liralen: (Default)
Welcome to my journal. I'm putting this at the top so folks can find things easily. There's so many years worth of stuff on this journal that it's not that easy to find things. I started out just journaling, but then got into writing fiction as well.

The complete list of my stories and a few old adventures as I can index them... )
liralen: (sunset)
"... To live in this world

you must be able
to do three thing: to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go."

-- Mary Oliver, "In Blackwater Woods"

It's a gorgeous poem. I bought a book it's in to simply have it and then another copy for my Kindle as the imagery at the beginning is so evocative...

On Monday, I went to visit a friend of mine who is in the very last stages of ovarian cancer. She's in hospice, now, and weak enough she mostly stays in bed. It was a visit that she and I have been planning for nearly a month, with one not-quite happening just before Thanksgiving. One of my low-level dreads has been that she'd die before we could come face-to-face again, and I live so close to her.

More about Thanksgiving, how I got my crown fixed again, and how well the visit eventually went... )
liralen: (pumpkin)
Sometimes, I think that scientists, early on and at a very early age, get an tremendous education through classic Halloween horror stories on the pitfalls and error of disregarding the opinions or feelings or thoughts of the rest of the human race, especially if they're particularly brilliant. That just because you might think they're stupid or slow or whatever doesn't mean that what they think or feel doesn't matter or that they can't hurt you badly if you treat them badly.

Of a lessons learned and not-yet learned, Halloween, doctors, and a 3-hour tattoo... )
liralen: (powerLir)
This year, as with every year, [ profile] amberley and I started planning for the run up to BigBadCon and the convention itself months in advance. It's good to build upon the delicious bones of adventures past to create precise structures for the future with just enough room and juice in it to allow for the wonderful surprises of what's to come.

We actually created a wiki for everything, including what we were doing each day, and details of the games and everything. And during BigBadCon's signups, I didn't get into several games I'd wanted to get into, including one of [ profile] amberley's, and I was pretty disappointed at first, but then I realized that 1) I'd gotten into a lot of stuff I really truly wanted to get into and 2) I had room for something to surprise me in really good ways.

Read more... )
liralen: (bee2)
As posted on [ profile] ursulav's journal:

“Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt – marvelous error!–
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.”

— Antonio Machado

I went out last weekend, in the sunshine, to find a cloud of active, healthy bees around my hive. John and I were happy for a moment, thinking that they were actually orienting bees, and the mite treatment had worked, but it turned out that it was a healthy colony robbing out the last dregs of my poor hive...

No pictures as it was just too tragic... )


Sep. 30th, 2014 08:03 pm
liralen: A pictures of one of my bees (bee)
Went in today to put the MiteAway strips on the top bars of the bottom of the two brood boxes. I also took the feeder off and wanted to put the super back on with the emptied frames so that the the bees could take the leftover honey off of them.

And when I opened it up, I found very very few bees in the box. The top box was practically empty. The honey in the feeder was about half gone, and while there were a few bees up there, there weren't that many. It was a shock given how many bees there were earlier this month.

Read more... )

I'm Clean!

Sep. 29th, 2014 11:25 pm
liralen: (crane)
The dentist had noticed that I had some significant bone loss around a few teeth, so he scheduled me for an extra-long session with the hygenist. I was not looking forward to that, either... but went in today to get it done.

Lucky for me, the bone loss is mostly from my habit of grinding my teeth. Even with a toothguard, the loss has been pretty significant, but it's not periodontal disease, thank goodness. I don't have the inflammation, nor do I have significant plaque buildup, and my gums are healthy as can be. The hygienist was amazingly thorough, delved into places that she was even surprised she was able to get to, and ended up finishing half an hour early. She also cut the bill to just two-thirds the original quote, simply because I didn't need anything more than what she'd done. She also gave me the usual goodie bag of brush, floss, flossers (for my bridge), and toothpaste. Plus, she gave me the added assurance that my bridge was on solid, and no worries there.

So it's all good news and I'm grateful.

I was doing all right, so I made a zucchini bread that uses a pound and a half of shredded zucchini and is lovely, dense and moist without being gummy at all. It's modified from an American Test Kitchen recipe, partially for taste preferences, partially for altitude, and partially for how I like to put together a quick bread. I also made a pot of butternut squash soup from a squash I'd gotten at the Farmer's Market a few weeks ago. It's a little like fall in a bowl, and the recipe was in the American Test Kitchen's Home Cooking cookbook that I really love for the teriyaki chicken and the sweet potato casserole.

A rainstorm swept in from the West, and has made for a very cool and damp evening, perfect for a mug of warm herbal tea and just contemplating things. I managed to read The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker and loved it and all its intricately beautiful bits. Set in the turn of the century New York City, it's really good storytelling. Seemingly unrelated bits, all falling in on their own, ending up all to connect at the juncture of the climax. Very very nicely done.
liralen: (dandelion)
I'm not sure how I forgot about this in that last entry... but I finally finished my Tuscan Sunflower Shawl. Took about four months, and I ripped it out twice to get it to go right. It's a pattern, and I used the Comfy cotton yarn for it. I love the texture.

Cut for the picture... )
liralen: (pyro)
Just been on a kind of recovery schedule... taking it easy, mostly, but trying to get some physical work in to let me sleep at night.

Yesterday I spent hours on the rose garden, wedding, watering, and dead-heading in full sun, and it was wonderful. We've had a month of rainier and wetter weather than we're used to, which is nothing compared to what we used to get in Seattle, but here it was pretty unusual, so it's been nice that this week we're back to high-80's during the day and 50's at night, so that it's comfortable to sleep.

Today I got in a good long walk through the whole neighborhood, too, along with a much needed two hour nap. I'm just wiped and not exactly sure why, but I'm sleeping when my body seems to really need the sleep. So that's all to the good.

I also had about fifteen minutes of TF2 gameplay... )

I Did It

Sep. 23rd, 2014 11:21 pm
liralen: (crane)
I had a crown that had a hole in it and I was NOT looking forward to replacing it. At all. But I went into the dentist this morning and they took off the old crown. There was a small cavity underneath it, which they quickly removed. They built it all up again, and then took an impression of both the inside and the outside, and then made me a temporary crown and put it on.

It hurt doing it, for all the doctor did a great job of applying the novocaine, to the point where I couldn't feel my tongue or that side of my mouth; but now it hurts a lot less than I thought it would. They adjusted everything beautifully, and for all that they tore up my gums pretty good getting it in and clearing out all the old stuff, the tooth itself doesn't hurt as much as it used to or nearly as much as it did when the old, badly made crown was put in place. I suspect that the cavity was starting to affect it a little, and having it covered up well, now, makes it happier.

There were a lot of small things they did... )
liralen: (crane)
Yesterday I had our monthly Cabinet meeting, and it always takes a lot out of me, but we got through everything on the agenda and got out of the meeting with three minutes to spare. I really am aware of how much people sacrifice to get to these meetings, so I try to make the best use of their time.

But it left me pretty flat this morning, but I was up at 6:50 to meet up with Amber, a friend of mine, whom I word war with at 7 am every Thursday morning. She's a lawyer so has to get to work by 9 on that day at least, so we just get the words in before she leaves for work. Right at 9 am, Gina showed up with 10 pounds of white grapes from the vines in her backyard and all the ingredients for jelly.

Cut for pictures... )
liralen: (crane)
A friend of mine had a ton of crabapples on her crabapple tree. They were the larger variety, thank goodness, but she and her husband had bagged them up in bags that had nearly seven pounds of the little suckers in 'em. They brought them to church to give away to anyone that would take them.

Several people took home bags, including me, since one of my younger friends at church said that crabapple jelly was the best thing ever, and my friend, Mimi, had actually served me some of her crabapple jelly on goat cheese on crackers and it was very tasty indeed. I figured I might have the time to do it, and since I'd never done it before, the whole process intrigued me.

Cut for pictures and a very involved process. )
liralen: A pictures of one of my bees (bee)
On Saturday I went in and took the last eight super frames, I think the theory is that if the beekeeper takes all the supers off by the end of summer, the bees will still have the time, through the fall, to put in honey supplies in all the brood chambers. Two frames weren't built at all, four were half-built and half-filled and uncapped, and then the last two were completely full and capped. So the last two are the only ones I can jar to sell, the others might not be dehydrated enough for common consumption.

The local keepers say to use it for mead, and I may well do that as my husband's a brewer.

In the meantime I'll make ginger ale instead... )
liralen: (tf2_heavy)
I actually ran a tabletop RPG game for Jet and Teddy last week and it's turning into something we can probably do on-going. I ran it with Dungeon World, and found it far easier than I thought it would be.

And I've been playing and watching a lot more TF2 in the last week than I thought I'd be watching, and it's turning into a lot more fun than I thought it would be, too.

Cut for the usual ramble and a few gameplay thoughts and feelings about how some things went. )
liralen: (bee2)
The girls have been very productive, indeed... and I've been kind of remiss about actually recording everything.

In July, on the 25th, I actually pulled four frames, or one and a quarter gallons of honey, from the bottom of the two supers I had on the hive, and I swapped the positions of the supers, so that they'd work on the "lower" and half-full super before they worked on the upper one. John and I scraped clean the four frames, and the next morning I put them all back in to let the bees clean them off.

Cut for Pictures... )
liralen: (monkey)
Finally got past a bit of a barrier about my dental stuff. I'd had a bad experience with a dentist in the spring, and finally got around to finding a new one, and doing all the things that I needed to do to get all my records to a new place that someone I really do trust a great deal recommended. I'd been thinking, nearly all summer about the fact that I should get it done, but it took me months before I actually did it.

And the hardest part was just picking up the phone to call the old office to tell them that I wanted them to transfer the records. Especially since their main office manager is a mom that we know well from carpools and the bus stop as she's in the neighborhood. I had all these fears in my head, but when I made the request she was perfectly professional and perfectly helpful, and it was such a relief.

It is funny to me, at least, that the phone call was much harder for me than the prospect of going to the dentist to get a crown replaced and a filling redone. Maybe. The dentist I didn't like had recommended a whole bunch of things, some of which I knew I wasn't going to do and didn't think I needed. He seemed to really be pushing that I get stuff done, and I am getting a second opinion on the necessity of both of those procedures.

Cutting through that block seemed to open up a lot more things as well... )
liralen: (Gromit_Knit)
I've been knitting on this for about a year, whenever Jet and I were watching Naruto, the new Fairy Tail episodes, or the newer One Piece episodes. It's the Hue Shift Afghan in the "Rainbow" pattern, though when I bought it was called Prism. I really love how it glows in the center...

Cut for picture... )
liralen: Finch Painting (Finch)
We got up a little earlier than usual because we knew we'd have to go a good number of miles before we got where we had to be that night. I'd also been pretty disappointed by Whisk the previous morning, so I looked through all the food magazines in the hotel and found Brown's Court Bakery.

Two words: Sriracha Croissant. )
liralen: (orihime and dragon)
John and I have this habit, on vacations, of just going to an area and then discerning what's interesting in this new place and going to explore that with intensity. We've done this repeatedly: flying into Hawaii, knowing we had a free resort setup but little else, flying into Mexico with just our suitcases and asking the taxi guy where a cheap and good hotel was, and flying into London and lugging our luggage to a garret room with shared bathroom for a night before deciding to drive over 1000 miles all over the tiny island. China was an exception for us, and I think I now realize that I might have resented that in some small part, but also was grateful for it, though I spoke as much Spanish as I do Mandarin and we got by fine in Mexico. Still, China's government makes it a bit more difficult to go anywhere without requisitioned permissions.


After the reunion portion, we decided to wander in our usual manner... )
liralen: (Open Road)
It was interesting, this time around, that "going on vacation" actually meant a great deal more than usual. Ever since the flood, John's been working a pretty steady work week, sometimes even including Saturdays when local churches offered work parties for jobs that were available. So these last two weeks were really "time off" when it hasn't been that way for a long time.

As a quick starter: these enormous Filley-Rostykus reunions started way way back, and had their roots in the times when Isabel and George would take their four boys across country in a station wagon to go back to Isabel's mother's home. Walt, John, and Isabel were all sibling and they would gather whenever the Rostykus clan made its way to the East Coast. One of the earlier ones I knew was when Isabel's mother turned 100, and as much of the clan as possible would gather. This particular reunion started about a year ago, and had its seeds within the reunion that myJohn organized in the Rocky Mountains a couple years ago.

Cut for Pictures and Long Relationship Explanations... )

December 2014

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