liralen: (crane)
2015-06-12 05:55 pm
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[sticky entry] Sticky: Welcome to My Journal

Welcome to my journal. I'm putting this at the top so folks can find things easily. There are 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.

First, trip journals. They're all family friendly. You can also just click the travel tag as well to see everything related to it.

Just to keep this short... )
liralen: Finch Painting (Default)
2017-09-08 04:23 pm

Expectations

I'll admit that I'm as guilty as the next person with respect to building up a model of the world and having a hard time changing it when I find out that things are different than I believed. I really, truly believed that my bees couldn't make enough honey for another harvest, and that during the early September examination, that they'd only have partially filled the emptied super I'd put on and would need some help filling their brood box for the winter. Having lost my last colony to a bad mite infestation and very slow shipping on mite control substances, I was also convinced that I'd have to treat for mites.

I was entirely wrong on all points, and had to take half a day to process what I really found when I went into the hive.

I also kind of resisted going in, as I'd really wanted the bees to just keep all their honey for the winter and not have to deal with them again until they'd started to pack up for the cold; but it all kept nagging at me, as they'd been so quick to fill the supers the first time around. So to be responsible to them, I had to go in.

So I did.

Read more... )
liralen: Finch Painting (Default)
2017-08-26 09:42 pm
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Slipping Sideways

I feel a little like I'm slipping sideways instead of moving forward or back. I'm still gaming, but in different venues than just TF2. I'm now playing Terraria, Civ V, CS:GO, Overwatch, Payday 2, and, most of all, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, mostly because I get to play with Jet, and he and his friends really like playing with me, no matter how good or bad I might be. I'm helpful, I cheer them on, and I usually do something smart in a game where there are so very many ways to die by being stupid.

Still, I've decided that I'm out of competitive, and that's been a good decision all around.

I am painting, spinning, and even dyeing again. There have been some fun things in the past few months, and the bees are still doing quite well. There are mites, but I think I'll just treat them this fall and it might help with next year. I've been getting through a huge volunteer work load for the Longmont Studio Tour, and a lot of it has been for the marketing side of things, rather than just the art. But I've been painting again, backing things, and trying to figure out matting and framing as well. And, of course, John and I just had our 30th Anniversary and it was a good, quiet one, with the annual Boulder County Fair ferris wheel.

Some of the pretties... )
liralen: A pictures of one of my bees (bee)
2017-08-10 01:19 am
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Making Room

The previous Wednesday I went to a little spin-in with four ladies and we dyed wool from the setup that the lady there had. But one of the other ladies was thinking about keeping bees as she’d inherited a top bar hive from a family that had simply neglected it, thinking that it was kinder to not bother the bees.

The bees had filled the hive, getting past a stopper that was supposed to keep them from the rest of the hive, and building on all the bars past that. And when they’d run out of space, they’d left. So I really wanted to make sure that my colony had plenty of space to build and store honey.

So I went in and took some... )
liralen: A pictures of one of my bees (bee)
2017-07-10 01:02 am
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Opening Up for Summer

The weather has been finally getting really hot, in the mid to high 90's for a few days, and I knew that I had to get better ventilation into the hive for those weeks when it would be close to 100.  The hard part of it all is that I have to replace the bottom board to do so.

There might have been other ways? But I've did this both years when I had my last hive, and I liked having the bottom board be sealed when the colony was small and needed fewer entrances to defend.  It was obvious, from watching the bees coming in and out each day, that they had good numbers to defend themselves, now.  Plus, the girls might need more room, so I prepared a super with another eight frames for them to build on and fill that would fit above the deeps that I was leaving for them to keep full of honey, pollen, and brood.

Read more... )
liralen: A pictures of one of my bees (bee)
2017-06-19 07:35 pm

Moving House

When we first set up the hive, it had to be away from the house because we were replacing the roof and the solar panels on the south side of the house had to come down before the roof could be put on. So we put the hive on the North side of the yard, facing South to catch the sun in the entrance on most days.

But the entrance also faced the biggest part of our backyard lawn, and the flight path for the bees was right over the grassy area where all the kids would play if we had a party again in our backyard. So we had to move the hive.
Read more... )
liralen: Finch Painting (Default)
2017-06-16 12:15 am
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An Everything Day

Today was one of those days....

I was added back onto the roster of my old 6's team, I got my bee allergy shot, I helped plan a siege defense, I got to play Rainbow Siege Six for the first time with my son and his friend, I had a last minute dental appointment with my periodontist that was nearly foiled by my GPS, and I might have a mild eye infection as well. But I got Dairy Queen and good gaming.

I think I'm a little tired.

Read more... )
liralen: (Ukitake Tea)
2017-06-10 12:22 am
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Home Again

I had a salad today.

There are some things that I miss when I'm on the road, and in particular, oddly enough, is the food that I can get at home. A salad with half a slice of crumbled bacon, half a perfectly hard boiled egg with a moist yolk, bits of Stilton, apple, candied pecans, creamy blue cheese dressing, and a whole bowlful of young spring greens that were on sale at the local super market for only 2.79, less than a quarter of what such a salad would cost at any of the restaurants. Or a soft boiled egg with a few droplets of soy sauce on the yolk with a slice of toast, buttered and slathered with quince jelly from the quince tree in our neighbor's backyard...

It's good to be home... )
liralen: (Road)
2017-06-05 09:40 pm
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The Run Home

There was very intermittent internet in Winnemucca, NV. So I'm catching up today.

It's funny sitting nearly halfway across the country, still thinking about the water from Crater Lake...

Read more... )
liralen: (mimibot)
2017-06-04 12:34 am
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The Party

It was the graduation party today.

We arrived in the morning, had some pancakes, and went for a walk with Isabel before getting ready for the party.

Read more... )
liralen: Finch Painting (Default)
2017-06-03 01:06 am
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Graduation: Or Why We Came

Today was a really simple day.

We got up as we were able, had breakfast in the cottage. The lady renting us the airbnb room had stocked the fridge with eggs from the chickens who woke Jet up last night, fresh whole wheat bread from the local bakery, butter, raspberry jam from the garden, milk and half and half. We'd brought our own milk, too. She had also stocked fresh coffee.

The kitchen came with frying pans and the like, so we fried eggs, toasted bread, and ate.

Then we were off to Paul, Jan, and Marina's.

Read more... )
liralen: (Road)
2017-06-02 01:11 am

Farmland, Lava Beds, and Ashland At Last

From Alturas we went north and west and wandered about until we got to Lava Beds National Monument, another of our National Parks stops. There we did some extensive exploring of the lava tubes underground, and then headed to Ashland. There we found our cottage for the next few days, and met up with family and friends for dinner and some time together before heading back to our little home away from home, and there to bed.

Read more... )
liralen: (Road)
2017-05-31 09:20 pm
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Petroglyphs, Thai Food, and Wings

We ate breakfast in our room. John was the early riser, and walked a few feet to the gas station/grocery shop and bought us a half a gallon of milk. So we had cereal, yogurt, fruit, and some of my granola with dried blueberries as well. It was a great breakfast. Jet started up the boiler for his morning tea while John and I walked two blocks up the road to The Roost to get some coffee.

The coffee we found was far better than what we'd gotten the previous morning, and actually better than I've had from various coffee shops.

Read more... )
liralen: On the road (road)
2017-05-30 09:47 pm
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Getting to the Loneliest Highway in America

It's about 1500 miles from Longmont to Ashland, so most of today was just spent getting as far as we could.

We started in Vernal, UT, and headed west across Utah on 40. 191 went south through a canyon, and then 6 got us to I-15, which took us South and got off on 6 further south to Delta. There we picked up US 50, the loneliest highway in the US, and that took us to Eureka, Nevada.

Read more... )
liralen: On the road (road)
2017-05-29 08:46 pm
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On the Road Again

We took off at 8:30 am, after finishing the very last of our packing and the last dregs of the refrigerator. That's always one of those traditions of travel that I've both loathed and taken an odd sort of delight in. The usage of the leftovers in creative ways has always been kind of fun, but the last few meals are always something of a hodgepodge of odd bits and ends. And given that all the Memorial Day weekend and graduation party goodies were being advertised everywhere, it was insult on top of injury.

It was good to finally get out and going. )
liralen: A pictures of one of my bees (bee)
2017-05-28 11:41 pm

First Inspection

We're leaving tomorrow for vacation, and for the last week, it's been on and off again rain.

I don't really like to go into the hive when it's raining, since the bees get grumpy about getting exposed to bad weather.  So I just held off for four days. I'd been hoping to do the inspection on Wednesday, but it wasn't good and sunny until Sunday morning.

So I skipped church, and went into the hive in mid-morning, when the sun was full on, and a lot of the field workers were out. I prepped with a sugar water spray bottle, my suit, and head gear, and just went right in.

And I found what I'd hoped to find... )
liralen: Finch Painting (Default)
2017-05-26 12:46 am
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It's Raining

It's raining tonight.

The soft hiss of water on the pavement, the spatter on the windows, and the coolness through the house. The sky was a riot of fluffy clouds, shadows, and curtains of water being blown in from over the mountains.

Read more... )
liralen: Finch Painting (Default)
2017-05-23 10:24 pm
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Regaining Weight

One of the interesting things was that when I first started down the competitive path, I lost about 15 pounds of weight from my high of about 172 lbs, during the worst of the stressful days of moderating. Then, over the course of the six months of competitive, I got down to about 150 lbs.

I'm not a small woman to begin with, I'm 5'9", and I did and still do construction, so 150 was kind of frightening. The only time I'd ever hit that weight since my late 20's was also during my moderatorship, when I'd gone four months on extreme stress and got to the point where I came down with vertigo before I could actually stop and rest for a week. I regained my weight fairly quickly with actual sleep and food.

I did that again.

Within two weeks of quitting competitive, where I was cooking again, lifting again, and went from doing about 3000 steps on average per day to doing about 7500 a day now, I got back up to 155. Now I'm at 158 and steady with the usual daily fluctuations as I had been before all these adventures. The interesting thing is that even with the weight gain, I still fit into my skinny clothes, so I suspect that a lot of the weight regaining was mostly muscle mass that had atrophied when I wasn't moving around all that much and forgetting to eat. I went from getting breathless just going for a walk to being able to do my usual three mile walk easily.

Read more... )
liralen: Finch Painting (Finch)
2017-05-13 11:52 pm
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Feeding Demons

Yes, it has occurred to me that the whole year's worth of pursuing gaming was actually my running away from something else.

Immersing myself within game worlds, with people I could probably never see face-to-face, whom I didn't even know the real names of, was incredibly like the early Usenet in some ways. Handles like MonkeyMasterB8, Synchronous Heartbeat, ExtraOrdinary, Randomizer, ToastGhoast, and my favorite EvilDeath1234 were all a part of it. Most people felt it mildly rude to be looking for real names, though, eventually, with all the time in conversation, we would start to talk about our real lives.

Pursuing, if not perfection, at least excellence, with those whose sole purpose was to get better at the game, was intoxicating, and playing with people who did little but play video games for all their time off filtered for those for whom this was their life for now. And it turns out a lot of us really are walking away from life for a while, for various reasons.

And I had my own reasons... )
liralen: A pictures of one of my bees (bee)
2017-05-05 10:57 pm

Release The Queen!!

It paid off.

Putting the mini-marshmallow in instead of having to dig the cork out later. I did like I did last time, and waited three days to make sure they'd all settled in before I went into the hive in order to figure out if the Queen had made it out and if there were things I had to do in order to get the missing frame back in.

There were things I had to do, the girls were really busy.

And they were very clever about it all, too. )
liralen: A pictures of one of my bees (bee)
2017-05-01 10:42 pm
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The Girls are Back in Town

Murdoch's called last week to say that the bees would be in town on May 1st, and that I'd have 24 hours to pick them up. Then yesterday, Sunday, they called to say that people could pick them up Sunday afternoon/evening as well as Monday; but since I wasn't actually expecting them, I didn't get the message until today. And they said that we could pick them up until 5pm today.

So we went there a little before 2pm, as I had 911 all morning. It was kind of a rough set of incidents, including one with a suicidal father whom the dispatchers called directly to get him out of the house without weapons... that worked out; but it was odd to listen through.

But it was good to be with John and getting the girls. )