Home Again

Jun. 10th, 2017 12:22 am
liralen: (Ukitake Tea)
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: sfm of my medic (my_medic)
I started in October, at the very last minute putting an ad up on the UGC LFP forums for the NA Iron teams. There were, as I understood it, five divisions, the lowest being Iron, then Steel, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. And the teams that placed in the top so many spots of each division could move up.

I honestly didn't think I could even get into Iron... I only had 700 hours in the game, and barely 60 of them were as a Medic. I'd mostly played Pyro, Engie, Heavy, and Medic was my fourth-most played class. But Medic was the one class I thought I might be able to play in the 6's meta, which really only allowed for medics, soldiers, scouts, and demomen.

I had no idea how bad I really was... )
liralen: (trouble)
Lots of things have been happening, some of them looked bad when they happened, but some of it has turned out all right.

Our 20-year-old Passat died a complete death, I've had periodontal problems, and my old overuse problems with my hands and arms have come back with the competitive video gaming. None of those things were particularly surprises, per se, but they haven't been that much fun.

Coping has had a few good side effects... )
liralen: (Ukitake Tea)
... I did nothing but exist.

It was 9 F (-13 C) outside, and I stood there, watching through the open garage door all the tiny flakes dance down out of a white sky onto a landscape blanketed in light and limned in sepia and shadow. Every breath bit cold at the linings of my nose and the back of my throat.

I stole the moment because I was helpless.

There was nothing I could do, so I did nothing but exist.

I had an 11 am appointment that I was going to miss. I'd left my keys in John's car, and he'd found them there, and was running them back to me in order to rescue me, taking time from his meetings and calls and arrangements, making me a priority ahead of the rest of his plans. I was grateful.

I'd called the chiropractor to tell them I was late, and they would tell my massage therapist. We would just have to wait and see how things played out.

So I just breathed and saw and felt.

And it was good.

John was happy about being able to help me, and I was grateful to him for the help. I ended up being half an hour late, but both my therapists moved their times around for me this time. I'd done the same for them in the past, with as little fuss, but it seemed a miracle for me. *laughs* I thanked them, and got taken care of by them, and was, again, grateful.

With their help I'll be able to scrim tonight with my team. I'd found a scrim partner the night before, and another captain gave me their spreadsheet for organizing scrims, and another captain said that they'd love to fight us again: we were a good challenge. My pocket soldier talked with me about strategies and personal mottoes during his off period in high school. My medic mentor took some time to go over a demo with me between his college classes and performance periods.

I am being helped all the time. An exercise I hadn't consciously undertaken, but it was one I needed. I was horrible at asking for help before all this TF2 stuff, and now I'm asking for help all the time, and it's all from people who don't get asked that often by someone like me, either. It's good for them, too, to know that they should be respected for their abilities, patience, and authority--for their agency in someone else's life.

I ice every night, to save my hands for a little longer, to let myself play a little more. I know my hands will go, my reflexes fade, my hard-won muscle memory will, one day, be nothing but memory; but, for now, I fight as hard as I can, learn as quickly as I can, do the best I can for the people I'm with.

And it's enough.
liralen: Finch Painting (David)
So for the last couple of weeks, we've been prepping Jet for his Colorado Music Ambassador's to Europe trip. He's going with Voyager's, a group that solely sets up high school bands, orchestras, and choirs for trips to Europe. Yesterday, we managed to get Jet checked in and off through security with 500 other kids. It was pretty crazy, and took four hours to get through the whole thing....

... and then we packed the Eurovan, got our stuff together, and this morning we headed dead North along I-25. We've just driven from 9am until about 9pm with stops for lunch and dinner, and a few bathroom breaks and gas stops, and we're now in Harlowton, MT at the Country Inn Motel, which is superbly clean and comfortable for only $55 a night for the two of us.

For pictures and pre-run detailing... )
liralen: Finch Painting (urahara)
And now I am unofficially done with being moderator.

I actually wrote my position out of the official governance, and when the present moderators got it put into effect, I was finally out of the job. So, some of it was that the Moderator Past (yes, I used to do a lot of Christmas Spirits jokes about the Moderator Elect, Moderator, and Moderator Past) was officially a part of the Cabinet for the years following their time in office. And in rewriting the governance, I wrote that position out.

I was expecting to have to stay on the resulting board for the church for this coming year, as part of the transition, but the moderators made it clear it was actually entirely my choice as to whether or not I stayed on. And the they were very sympathetic to me leaving and getting to rest.

The rest of the details and an antique counterpane knitting project that has resulted in a pattern! Oh! And MORE PUBLISHED PATTERNS!! )
liralen: (crane)
I am done with being moderator of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Longmont, Colorado.

It's official.

Read more... )
liralen: Finch Painting (pumpkin)
Halloween was fun. For the first time, I actually went out with the parents and the kids to go trick-or-treating. I'd always chosen to stay at home, and this time I decided to just leave the bowl of candy on the front doorstep with a sign, and I went with John and Jet through the neighborhood.

It was fun. Especially more fun since John was back home from Seattle. We traded off weeks, and I'll write more about the gaming and convention and setup for it in another entry; but the week while John was away made me, as always, really appreciate everything single parents have to go through so much more. Especially when things break down...

The bad and the good... )

A Day

Sep. 10th, 2015 10:39 am
liralen: Finch Painting (monkey)
I had a Day, yesterday, which I was glad I finished.

I work up with more tooth pain in the relatively new crown, and I was really unhappy about it. It's been happening for the last three weeks, so I finally broke down and called the dentist and got an emergency appointment at 2pm. It was amazing how much relief I simply got from having made the call, at least I'd know what was going on...

Read more... )
liralen: Finch Painting (bat)
Amazingly grateful for being able to walk around the neighborhood in the sunshine today, with Jet. I'm happy that I can cook again, that I can wander around the house again, that I can actually drive to church and do everything that I needed to do there. I'm amazingly grateful for just the simple act of being able to put my hair in a ponytail and not be dizzy from the unconscious head toss that I do when I do it. *laughs*

It's pretty amazing the number of things I have back.

The biggest was that I was able to let John go off on a trip to Cleveland on Wednesday through to today. I tested being able to drive on Tuesday morning, and was so exhausted at the end of the meeting I had then that I had to lie down on one of the couches at church for a conversation with someone else. After that I was good enough to get home. Luckily, it got better after that...

Read more... )
liralen: (crane)
On the 14th of February it was pretty obvious I had an eye infection of some sort in my right eye, but I'd had a bunch of those in the past, and on the 15th John was going to Fort Collins to do a talk about the flood recovery work he was doing, so Jet and I went with him as support and as witness. It was important and a good thing, but that afternoon, my eye started really hurting, so we went to the Urgent Care clinic before it was going to close and I got antibiotics for what was a bacterial infection in that eye.

And it gets more interesting in that old Chinese Curse Sort of Way... )
liralen: Finch Painting (Akatsuki)
There is a follow-up. I made them! I am so happy, too. It was pretty straightforward, and I just mostly followed the Japanese Cooking 101 recipe for An Pan, but used canned Anko (about half a can per batch).

Cut for pictures... 'cause It didn't happen if there's no pictures! )
liralen: Finch Painting (sheep)
One thing about being in the center of a natural disaster is that one gets to see just how amazing people really are. National TV and the media and even social media portray common decency as if it's a rare and marvelous thing. When I'm in the center of it, though, I see it ALL around me.

There are gangs of people just roaming through the flooded neighborhoods offering to help muck out and empty soaked everything, pull wet sheet rock and insulation, and do the slow work of wiping everything down with disinfectant. The job lines for the flood mitigation companies in Colorado (not that there were many of them, I mean, come on... flooding in Colorado?) are 200 people long and the prices match the work involved, which is backbreaking, dirty, and nasty. So people are both doing it for themselves, and doing it for those who need the help. Everywhere.

On Friday, I got permission to feel the grief I've been carrying around with me all week. On Sunday, I went to help a lady with a sick son and a husband just out of surgery get the floorboards pulled up in her house, and found a huge part of my neighborhood in there with me.

Cut for mostly commentary and a picture or two. I was a little too busy pulling stuff to actually take many pictures this time. )
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 (Moon)
The end of the Seattle trip has been kind of crazy. It started easy with Isabel for our last day, but things didn't turn out quite as planned with the Eurovan, and circumstances snowballed into one utterly insane day that could only have happened under the full moon.

The tale-worthy ending... )
liralen: Finch Painting (Open Road)
We spent a really great day on the eighth at the Lewis and Clark Caverns and the camping site that was just at the foot of the mountain that held the caverns. On the ninth, however, due to a series of unfortunate events, we ended up spending most of the day in Butte, Montana, waiting in car repair shops and getting ferried by various people as the Eurovan got carried by flatbed truck to said repair shops.

What exacerbated the experience was the fact that Butte was having a festival and a rental car couldn't be had for love or money, and the guys at Car Tunes, where the Eurovan is now being repaired, did just about everything they could. We ended up staying the night in a Comfort Inn, taking advantage of the "stranded motorist rate", which I didn't know even existed until now, and being wished well by nearly everyone we met. That was pretty cool.

So now we're another 700 miles to the West and a bit north, in a rental car from Enterprise. We went to Bellingham for a wonderful visit to the sea, some amazing seafood and views, and are now in Redmond, where we got to visit friends and will have other people to see all around Seattle for the next few days. I've only written through most of the caverns, and past the Unfortunate Events, into Bellingham, and I'll try and get the rest tomorrow.

Details of the caverns, camping, and getting back on track. )
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 (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 (Blue Jyuushiro)
Just today I was reminded of the first six months after I quit work. I'd just come off a huge project that involved hundreds of people, lots of management and coordination, and communication up and down the organizational hierarchy. My boss actually offered to send me to the West Coast to get an MBA because of the work I did, so I had shown some aptitude. I was good at it.

However, for the first six months after I stopped working, I spoke to nearly no one. Even John and Jet didn't get a lot of conversation from me, and I slept 10 to 12 hour nights for quite some time.

I feel a little bit like a flat tube of toothpaste.

I'm still not exactly sure why, but given that last year I came up with nearly half a million first draft words, and this year for the first three quarters I still managed to write nearly a quarter million words even with nearly a whole quarter completely off and all the editing needed to get a manuscript published, maybe I have reasons.

And, as always, it's hardest to cut myself some slack, but I've tried to with ghost shrimp, outdoor movie, and books. )

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