liralen: Finch Painting (Christmas Me)
It's taken a while, mostly from circumstances beyond my control, which is all right. I only have seven more weeks of being moderator, and I am actually counting the weeks. It's not a pretty reality, but it's what I've got.

Thanksgiving went well. Our trip down to San Diego started in a horizontal snow storm on the way to DIA, 90 degree weather in La Jolla, lots of wonderful food adventures, and then a cooler end to the week there and a trip home to a winter wonderland of snow.

Of San Diego, Advent insanity, and a good movie and a good book... )
liralen: Finch Painting (Tenpou/Hakkai)
So I did do the challenge! And I finished it, too....

Cut for pictures, lots of them... )
liralen: (crane)
... and John did it for me, this morning.

The receptionist listened to John list the symptoms and said that my doctor is out on vacation all week, and the other two partners in the area were booked solid, so she said that if I really wanted to see a doctor that it would have to be urgent care because that was all that was available. John and I both agreed that it didn't sound like she felt like I had to see a doctor right away.

And I am getting better... )

In Memory

Feb. 22nd, 2015 10:01 pm
liralen: (crane)
Angie, the friend I visited around Christmas time went into hospice two weeks later, and died two weeks ago, peacefully dying after just a day or two's unresponsiveness. Her memorial service was yesterday. It was crowded, and filled with people who hadn't been to our church for a while, and it was so good to see everyone gathered in her name.

She had planned the entire service, in her fearless way. It included speeches from her sons, her husband, one of his sons, and a dear friend of both of ours; the reading was the one about love in Corinthians, which was used in my wedding; and ended it with a rousing rendition of the Village People's "YMCA". It was very much her. The luncheon was fabulous, and the weather defied the predictions that it would start to snow in earnest soon after noon, it waited until after the last of the lunch was cleaned up, and people were home. At 2 pm, wind-driven Gulf clouds whipped into the Front Range from the east, and driven upslope, proceeded to dump a good eight inches of snow.

Today, only the intrepid made it into church, and of those that did, several needed to tell their stories about Angie, too, and I had to sit down with the friend who had done the speech the previous day to just hug her and listen and be present for her as she mourned. John had a similar experience with someone else.

I talked with someone else who has a sister with ovarian cancer, and how that sister is living life for all she's worth. "We're all dying anyway, but some of us just know it's going to be sooner than we'd like," he said. And he is right in a certain sense. Enjoy the ones you love while you can. That's important.

I cried a little during the memorial service, but not a lot. I'd had three crying jags already with respect to Angie, and one of them was just a few days ago, while I was painting six-panel doors for someone's basement. I'd really gotten to know her, the first time, during one of the Biloxi mission trips; and construction work just reminds me of her. The thing that struck me the hardest was my utter gratitude that I'd gotten to see her before Christmas. And it was only then that I realized that what made everything all right was that when I saw her, when I had to leave, we got to say to each other, "I love you."

That made it all right, in a way. I still miss her.

But it's all right.

Busy Day

Feb. 9th, 2015 10:55 pm
liralen: Finch Painting (sanzo)
I've been reading a book called Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh, and I'm learning a lot of really specific practices that are just making living a little easier. His version of the Five Precepts still has me amazed and inspired. There are some things about being rooted in a long tradition with millenium of tested human usage of the practices that I can't deny. Still, I've always liked the prophets better, who like to tear down the very institutions priests build and hold dear.

I have always been and always will be suspicious and distrustful of religion for religion's sake. But there are practices, communities, particular individuals that I've come across that just... they work. They work with integrity, and they sustain and build up rather than tear down. Sometimes I really sympathize with Sanzo, who tried to tear down Heaven for its inequity and injustice, but is still... connected to what is Holy and Divine.

Read more... )
liralen: Finch Painting (teacups)
A lot of my life I still can't really write about in public, and that's okay.

[livejournal.com profile] rasetsunyo reminded me of just writing about being grateful on a regular basis, and that reminded me of my original incarnation of this journal, which was just a daily writing of what happened, and trying to think it through and be grateful for the good things each day.

The interesting thing was realizing that back then, with just Archie and Veronica, and much much slower and much worse search engines, I'd never worried about people at work ever discovering what I'd written there or here, for that matter. My moment of online omg was when a distant cousin of myJohn's out in Darvel, East Ayrshire, Scotland, happened to Google for his hometown and found one of my Scotland journal entries from 1995. I remember being on a ferry with my laptop on that trip, it was a machine that ran on two 3.5 inch floppies. *laughs and laughs* And a man on that ferry asked me if I were either very rich or doing work on my trip, and I said neither. I just liked having it for my journal...

Anyway... I feel like I need to get back into the habit, as while I have plenty of things to concern me right now, there are plenty of things that I can take joy in doing and experiencing.

Read more... )
liralen: Finch Painting (bee2)
On August 4th, I actually did a full inspection of the hive, because it had been a while, and I wanted to just see what was going on. I'd been on vacation to Seattle, so hadn't really had a chance until then to get at the girls. I also waited for the boards from Corky so that I could build the supers I needed.

I learned enough from that inspection that I knew I needed to go in again, sooner rather than later...

Cut for pictures and friends lists... )
liralen: (crane)
Yesterday, while I was stringing up the sugar snap peas (which had tripled their length in just three days of sunshine and plenty of water), I suddenly saw a cloud of bees in front of the entrance.

I asked my boss at the 911 dispatch center (I just volunteer as a transcript person there once a week), Ken Nichols, keeps bees and is very experienced his opinion on when to inspect bees, and he dragged out the lovely old adage of "if you want a dozen opinions, ask ten beekeepers." But he gave a very reasoned argument against going in every week, and for doing a bit more management at the end of the winter, and into the fall.

I told him about seeing larvae forming the last time I went in, and he smiled and said that I'd probably be seeing orienting flights soon, huge clouds of bees right in front of the entrance. They are newborns that are figuring out how to fly and how to find the hive and how and where it is, and every once in a while, after they start to get born, they'll just come out and hover. Knowing what it was made me run inside to tell the boys and grab the camera.

Cut for pictures and more text... )
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 (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... )

In Vigil

Feb. 19th, 2012 06:00 am
liralen: Finch Painting (seven)
I've never done this before.

Never bought a plane ticket the same day that I'd flown the flight, never prayed for the whole flight for someone not to die so that we'd at least get there to say our good-byes.

We made it. George's whole family made it into one room, children, spouses, and grandchildren all. We've said our good-byes.

All that remains is the waiting.

For my usual detailed processing of all this. )

In Vigil

Feb. 19th, 2012 06:00 am
liralen: Finch Painting (seven)
I've never done this before.

Never bought a plane ticket the same day that I'd flown the flight, never prayed for the whole flight for someone not to die so that we'd at least get there to say our good-byes.

We made it. George's whole family made it into one room, children, spouses, and grandchildren all. We've said our good-byes.

All that remains is the waiting.

For my usual detailed processing of all this. )
liralen: Finch Painting (Default)
My co-author and I wrote individual short stories last December, exploring some of the side characters that we created in New Amsterdam while writing Hearts Under Fire. It was a lot of fun weaving the various threads of their lives into the places we weren't able to explore in the first novel. It was also fun to coordinate a few of the details in both the stories, to make sure that they felt like they were from the same world, especially since they're both set on the same day: Valentine's Day.

I had a blast researching police procedure for my story, and got quite a lot out of understanding the entire organizational structure for most police systems in large cities. It was also fun to understand exactly what it would be that Sorenson had to when he ran into trouble. I've also been seeing a lot more male nurses at my local healthcare facility, both in the allergy clinic and with my family practitioner, so is nice to be able to write a male nurse.

I hope you enjoy these stories as much as we enjoyed writing them!

Luck in the Making by Kelly Wyre

For Jeffrey Ross, life is all about disaster management and recovery. Even a
ride on the subway presents its challenges. Thankfully, though, Jeffrey
works for Maxwell Clark, who not only notices difficult struggles and brave
deeds, he believes in easing the first by rewarding the second. And this
Valentine's Day, Clark's decides that Jeffrey is long overdue for some sweet
strokes of manmade good fortune.

Get your copy today:
http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=79_113&products_id=3508

Swing Shift by H.J. Raine

Valentine's Day is just another day in the line of duty for Officer Ed
Sorenson: investigate a murder, save a life, file the paperwork. But when Ed
has to step out of the closet to help an injured boy and to be a role model
for the New Amsterdam Police Department, he finds unexpected solace in a man
who understands what it takes to keep the city and its citizens safe.

Pick up your copy today:
http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=79_113&products_id=3509
liralen: Finch Painting (fire)
Rob Brezsny's Horoscope for Libras for the week of July 7 is an astonishingly welcome one. *laughs*

"One must choose in life between boredom and suffering," proclaimed author Madame de Staël (1766-1817). I beg to differ with her, however. As evidence, I present the course of your life during the next few weeks. After analyzing the astrological omens, I expect you will consistently steer a middle course between boredom and suffering, being able to enjoy some interesting departures from the routine that don't hurt a bit. There may even be pain-free excursions into high adventure mixed in, along with a fascinating riddle that taxes your imagination in rather pleasurable ways.

Running about like mad. )
liralen: Finch Painting (fire)
Rob Brezsny's Horoscope for Libras for the week of July 7 is an astonishingly welcome one. *laughs*

"One must choose in life between boredom and suffering," proclaimed author Madame de Staël (1766-1817). I beg to differ with her, however. As evidence, I present the course of your life during the next few weeks. After analyzing the astrological omens, I expect you will consistently steer a middle course between boredom and suffering, being able to enjoy some interesting departures from the routine that don't hurt a bit. There may even be pain-free excursions into high adventure mixed in, along with a fascinating riddle that taxes your imagination in rather pleasurable ways.

Running about like mad. )
liralen: Finch Painting (Default)
Been crazy busy for the last two weeks: finishing the second to last edit pass for Hearts Under Fire before handing it off to the editor to look over for a July release, dealing with the garden, helping Jet with Odyssey of the Mind and his science project, working out a trip to Florida for a friend, managing my eye, dealing with the anniversary of the death of Tasha, drinking a box of PG Tips teabags to figure out several puzzles, and working out what has to happen for the Biloxy trip we're leaving on in two weeks.

Trying to paint, get some Winter War done and dreaming about Twin Souls, and then John decided he was tired of how many of our books are doubled up in our library.

Of displacements, tea wars, and running about like a chicken with its head cut off, with a few pictures. )
liralen: Finch Painting (Default)
Been crazy busy for the last two weeks: finishing the second to last edit pass for Hearts Under Fire before handing it off to the editor to look over for a July release, dealing with the garden, helping Jet with Odyssey of the Mind and his science project, working out a trip to Florida for a friend, managing my eye, dealing with the anniversary of the death of Tasha, drinking a box of PG Tips teabags to figure out several puzzles, and working out what has to happen for the Biloxy trip we're leaving on in two weeks.

Trying to paint, get some Winter War done and dreaming about Twin Souls, and then John decided he was tired of how many of our books are doubled up in our library.

Of displacements, tea wars, and running about like a chicken with its head cut off, with a few pictures. )
liralen: Finch Painting (bullseye)
Not to do a huge meme thing, but I am curious as to what people were thankful for this last week?

I have the standbys of being grateful I'm still breathing and the health I have, my family and my present relationships with all of them, my long-term friendships and relationships, and just being generally well off. And even oddly grateful for all the friendships I've had, been able to manage making before folks have died this last year, too.

Thanks, all of you that have talked with me and reached out to me, and perhaps found something of me that helped you, too.

I'm very happy for my writing partnership with [livejournal.com profile] darkprism_fics, and all of the Bleach fandom and folks that have supported me in the last three years. I'm grateful to them and all the writing and art people I've found through fandom. It's been an interesting year.

Thank you to all my friends here, I'm grateful for you, you help keep me sane and good.

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