liralen: Finch Painting (Default)
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)
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... )

Band Mom

Oct. 10th, 2015 09:42 pm
liralen: Finch Painting (My_hat)
It seems that I am a band mom. *laughs* And not just a band mom, but a marching band mom, which seems a different breed of sorts. And it seems that John and I have done our usual thing, which is just dive in and do stuff.

Jet has had marching band competitions both last weekend and this weekend. Luckily, or unluckily, depending on how you look at it, last year, his high school's marching band placed dead last in the standings, so there really was only room for improvement. And they have improved. The band director is really fun, and really wants his kids to have fun and grow with the experience, so it's been good watching the kids figure out what it is that they can do.

Read more... )
liralen: Finch Painting (Tenpou/Hakkai)
So I did do the challenge! And I finished it, too....

Cut for pictures, lots of them... )
liralen: Finch Painting (seven)
Last night one of my friends who is a subcontractor told me about the fact that he was feeling guilty about the fact that he hadn't had "anything really bad happen to him." He spoke about clearing the latter end of his week by telling inspectors and specialists to not even show up because the work wasn't as necessary as the recovery work. It meant he was going to get paid less, but it also opened up time for him to volunteer work for people that really needed it. And that was when I realized why I was in such a funk. I love having friends who have that kind of emotional honesty.

I was feeling guilty about not really having anything happen to me, and it didn't matter that we'd just had a meeting where dozens and dozens of people had just signed up to have John tell them what to do. He was coordinating jobs, people, and resources. He's good about not letting it spill over too much, but being married to him means that I do get the inevitable phone call here or there, when someone can't reach him. And I've been kind of drowning in all the data.

It didn't help that Jet, yesterday, said, "I'm bored. I want to go help at church." The church's been doing childcare, and he went to help them out yesterday. On the way home with John, Jet decided he wanted to do something more active today. So I resolved, this morning, to go with the boys to the house of a member of our congregation and help with the pumping, ripping, mudding, or hauling that needed to be done to help clear their basement so that it could dry out.

And so we did... )
liralen: (crane)
The heavy rains yesterday did send some of our friends back into evacuation mode, but we're fine. Whew... and now begins the cleanup...



That's John in the shorts, Hawaiian shirt, glasses and mustache.

We're starting to dig friends and neighbors and anyone else out that needs help. John's actually coordinating a huge number of people through our church to just get bodies where they can be used, and the outpouring of support has been amazing.

The Longmont Foundation has been a long-time organization that takes all kinds of charitable contributions from industry, the community itself, and personal contributions and uses them for the good of the City of Longmont. They've organized a fund that will use 100% of its proceeds for the relief for flood victims, and I've had a long enough personal history with the organization to know that they'll deliver exactly as promised. If you're looking to help us, this is the best way to do it.
liralen: Finch Painting (Katrina)
... to be in a Nationally acknowledged disaster area. It's not a good sign when local coverage of what's happening around town is going on all day. And we have been watching it as it unfolds all up and down the Front Range.

My family and I are basically on a peninsula, cut off to the North, South, and West by destroyed or underwater roads. For a little while we were cut off to the East as well, when I-25 and highway 85 were closed, it was impossible to get to or leave Longmont for a little while yesterday. The St. Vrain River cuts us off to the North from the rest of Longmont, to the south Boulder "Creek" cut off a lot of Boulder from the rest of Denver to the south.

Jet's school was closed Thursday for a Flood Day, and then we found out, on Friday that they were going to remain closed through next Wednesday, the 18th. So we just stayed at home, put away jugs of water, watched TV, ate our plentiful supplies, listened to helicopters going into and out of Longmont's airport, and just stayed safe. Until yesterday morning, when the sun actually came out for a little while and we went exploring on our bikes, not on cars that could be a nuisance for the emergency vehicles that were being deployed all over town.

Cut for the usual photos and text of explanations.... )
liralen: Finch Painting (orihime and dragon)
We spent two shellfish and family packed days in Bellingham, WA, where we went to a hang gliding take-off point, a beach through the woods, and all around town (especially Mallard's Ice Cream). We stayed late on Friday to have dinner with Yuri and Emily, and then went to Redmond with John's mother, Isabel.

From here we took Saturday to visit with [livejournal.com profile] niherlas and [livejournal.com profile] crimini, Sunday to visit Eastgate Congregational UCC and [livejournal.com profile] blackwingedboy and Jo in Ballard and meet with a bunch of Synarians at the Pellerin's for dinner. On Monday we took Isabel to the Great Wheel on the waterfront and Pike's Place Market, and then today we spent getting all kinds of stuff from Frye's, Ballard Bees (two medium supers!), and Trader Joe's.

It's been kind of busy.

It's also been kind of amazing realizing that I've been friends with Jim for more than 26 years, William for more than 16 years, and I'm not even going to be able to count years with all the people from Synario.

Best of all, there's news from the folks in Butte that while the head warped when the Eurovan ran out of coolant, it and the engine block didn't crack. So they're waiting on a head gasket, but have the machining to take care of most of it, so we'll hope. No chickens while the eggs are still round and smooth, but it's looking more hopeful for us to actually be able to *get* home in the Eurovan.

Okay... now for the long form, with pictures... )
liralen: Finch Painting (yoruichi_shunko)
It turns out that a group of people, intrigued by what Sir Conan Doyle wrote in his Sherlock Holmes stories, decided to do the historical research into the Victorian martial art of Bartitsu. A few of those historians were also practicing martial artists, and they gathered up all the materials and have started a school of neo-Bartitsu, what the art would have become if it were being practiced today...

Last Saturday I attended a local "seminar" by Australian Tony Wolf, on the art and found that it was more of an all-day workout in the art itself. Tony is based in Chicago and is flying around the country promoting the art and his two volume compodium of all the historical kata of the art. He also has done a documentary titled Bartitsu: The Lost Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes.

I don't think I've ever hit the mat quite so many times as I did in that one day... )
liralen: Finch Painting (Open Road)
We found a little diner for breakfast in Monticello, and had bacon and eggs and enjoyed it with some really decent coffee. Then we went on a far less strenuous day than the last several had been...

Needles Outlook, back to Moab, and following the Colorado River to Glenwood Springs. )
liralen: Finch Painting (sunset)
The evening before, while we drove through the park, John and I strategized over the order of what we were going to do and when in the morning. We decided to hike the smaller Windows and the Double Arch tail before doing the strenuous hike up to Delicate Arch, and it worked out quite nicely. So Wednesday morning we hit the coffee shop from the night before for breakfast, and then I got stamps from the post office for all the postcards. We filled up on water at the Visitor's Center right when we got into the park and we were set.

Cut for details and lots of pictures... )
liralen: Finch Painting (Open Road)
On Tuesday morning, we didn't get up until nearly 10. All right, truly it was that *I* didn't wake up until nearly 10 am, and the boys were kind enough to let me sleep until I actually woke up. We knew that we were going to explore Arches National Park the first day, and then maybe the other parks in the southern Utah area for the other days we were out there.

Once up, we went into Moab, found a nice little bakery called the Moab Bakery and had breakfast. They made their own specialty roll, from a challah bread dough, and they mixed in sun-dried tomatoes, jalapeƱos, red onions, and rolled it up like a cinnamon roll. Spicy and nice, and they made it especially so in an egg and bacon sandwich.

We'd never been to Arches, before and weren't sure what to expect. We didn't get to the gate until 11 am, and there were very long lines to get into the park. Once we paid our park fee for the three days, they handed John a map, and he handed it to me and said, "Pick where we're going to go."

I looked over the map, and saw, at the very end of the park, was the Devil's Garden. It was the longest trail in the entire park, and at the very end of the the Garden was The Dark Angel, a lone monolith on the end of the whole of the Devil's Garden array of arches. The Windows complex had a few things around a short trail, and the Delicate Arch was just three miles as a round trip, so I figured that if we did the longest one first, we'd be able to do any of the short trails afterward. It was only supposed to be four miles as a round trip to the very end of the trail, and the three of us did the three mile walk around Lake Macintosh on a regular basis.

Little did I account for the terrain and altitude gains of The Devil's Garden.

Besides, how could I resist a lone Dark Angel? )

Snow!

Feb. 24th, 2013 09:51 pm
liralen: Finch Painting (snowflake)
Last night and through this morning a good 9 inches of snow fell on Longmont.

Yesterday, Jet and I spent most of the day just napping. Both of us were recovering from colds and taking it easy. Today, however, we were so tempted by the snow that we had to go out and sled in it.

Sledding, Lord of the Rings, Old Man's War, Trip to China, Scrivener for Windows... )
liralen: Finch Painting (Default)
We really should be used to snow in November... but it's always something of a surprise to see the world in white when it was in the 70's just days ago, and I had to dig out my shorts in order to walk outside. Now our nights will be in the teens.

I've been... busy.

Writing, supporting a [livejournal.com profile] demented_dee, walking, learning... making her gluten-free Oreos too. Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] flit for pointing me at the site, as I have a friend who can't have even a trace of wheat in anything, and she was missing Oreos something fierce, so I took a few days to figure out all the ingredients, and then spent an afternoon making one batch, and another afternoon later in the week making another... for us. *laughs*

They were so good, we loved them just as cookies, especially with crushed peppermint candies stuck in the cream. They were very much like Trader Joe's Peppermint Joejoe's. Very nice. I do have to say that it feels like a minor miracle every time the dough actually comes together.

I'm also dealing with a mild depression, and doing the things that can distract me from it. Yesterday, John and I went to see Skyfall. Today we went to see the DaVinci Machines Exhibit here in Denver.

Read more... )
liralen: Finch Painting (Moon)
Nearly two weeks ago was my birthday, and it was great. The day after I flew off to Oakland to visit with Carl, the Horde, and game at Big Bad Con. I had a blast and learned a few lessons that I am really glad I got refreshers on, and some that I really wished I didn't have to have refreshers on, but they were good.

Yesterday, I had quite the adrenalin rush. The church had rented a one-armed lift, a cherry picker with a basket. It was good to 40 feet straight up in the air. We started by plugging some places in the roof of the church at about 30+ feet in the air, and getting really antsy; but then Gary took it up into a tree with an electric chainsaw, in the rain.

I followed suit and found that it was a lot easier to do than I thought it would be, especially once I got down to actually sawing the limbs. The work itself made a far better focus than the height, and so the fear melted away in the details of the work. Jet had a blast sanding and spray painting safety rails for a ramp. John did a lot of work clearing out gutters. It was a good morning, we got a lot done, and I've been recovering for most of the rest of the weekend. But I wanted to write up at least part of my Bay Area trip. I think, tonight, I want to get to everything but the games during Big Bad Con, and detail the games, themselves, in my usual way...

My Birthday, getting to Oakland, Cory Doctrow's book signing, and the day spent going to Santa Cruz and back via Los Altos. )
liralen: Finch Painting (Gromit_Knit)
I've spent the last week being a single parent, and as usual, I emerge with all the more respect and awe for anyone that has to do this on a regular basis. Plus a healthy dose of thankfulness that I can choose to do this or not, sometimes.

There were also a few things that happened along the way...

Like accidentally abandoning Jet, cutting a finger on one of my chef's knives, and having to deal with a recalcitrant waterheater. But it all turns out to the good. )
liralen: Finch Painting (sunset)
I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane today.

When one of the instructors asked me, "What brought you here today?"

I answered, "A promise."

"Oh, that's a good answer. The best."

He left it at that for a moment as we were riding out way out to the airfield. Finally, I thought I'd fill in the silence.

"A friend of mine died two years ago, today, and she knew I wanted to go, so she made me promise that I would, since she couldn't."

He took it in. His sunglasses reflecting the snowy fields of Long's Peak. "Hey, that's good. I respect that."

And it was a beautiful St. Patrick's Day... )

liralen: Finch Painting (hug)
I've been having a mildly unusual time of getting taken care of by a lot of people. A good number of them are from our church, and the biggest flood of that was on Sunday, where everyone offered us a hug, condolences, and a few moments of thoughtful conversations. It was amazing how much support we got on that day.

And I'll never forget Strider's words, he said that his experience was nearly the opposite of what John's was when his father passed away; but that on hearing John's story he could find the world a gentler place because he now knew that such a passing was possible.

We've had two meals already delivered to our door, and a third offer that will be in a day or two. When I was first asked if we wanted a meal, my first inclination was that they didn't have to bother, or that I was okay with cooking, but really it was a way for them to let us know they cared. So I said, yes, and I've been comforted and I think it comforted them as well. Remembering the times we've brought meals to people, it was a good thing for us as well as them.

And sometimes I have to remember that, yes, I am exhausted and a little fragile as well, and at others, I don't... )
liralen: Finch Painting (hug)
I've been having a mildly unusual time of getting taken care of by a lot of people. A good number of them are from our church, and the biggest flood of that was on Sunday, where everyone offered us a hug, condolences, and a few moments of thoughtful conversations. It was amazing how much support we got on that day.

And I'll never forget Strider's words, he said that his experience was nearly the opposite of what John's was when his father passed away; but that on hearing John's story he could find the world a gentler place because he now knew that such a passing was possible.

We've had two meals already delivered to our door, and a third offer that will be in a day or two. When I was first asked if we wanted a meal, my first inclination was that they didn't have to bother, or that I was okay with cooking, but really it was a way for them to let us know they cared. So I said, yes, and I've been comforted and I think it comforted them as well. Remembering the times we've brought meals to people, it was a good thing for us as well as them.

And sometimes I have to remember that, yes, I am exhausted and a little fragile as well, and at others, I don't... )
liralen: Finch Painting (painting)
Jet's back in school on Wednesday, so things have gotten a bit crowded lately.

Monday and Tuesday were doing a short story with Darkprism. Tuesday night, Jet went with his best friend Hunter to the Lakeside Amusement Park, and John and I went with him this time. John liked having company while the boys did the rides. Wednesday was the hosting of the Torquere site. Thursday the boys and I went up to Estes Park and rented a paddle boat and did Mini-Golf with running water and mountains all around. And, today, I got my bee setup in Littleton, went to H-Mart to load up on Asian goodies, and hit up 8 Island in Boulder for Hawaiian food on the way home.

It's all been pretty good.

Cut for pictures and ramblings. )

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