moderate_excess: (Default)
Welcome to my journal! Feel free to read, to friend, to be yourself. All I ask is that you treat me and the people in the comments with respect.

I also have an art journal, [livejournal.com profile] art_at_large, in which I post stuff about the art I do. I don't update it as often as I do this one, but it sort of goes in fits and starts.

I may or may not add you to my reading list. If I don't it's probably because I've looked at your journal and it didn't seem like something I would want to read. Sometimes it's because there's nothing but memes, sometimes it just doesn't capture my interest. If your journal is primarily friends-only and you think I'd enjoy your locked entries, by all means drop me a comment and tell me so. Also, if I don't friend right back, please don't take it personally. I have a terrible streak of procrastination in me and it sometimes just takes a while.

So, I think that's that. I do have filtered posts and I have a number of different filters. If I do know you IRL, let me know and I'll put you on that one.

Have fun and thanks for reading.
moderate_excess: (Heart Yarn)
And no cat on my lap at the moment, so you get a post!

It's a brutal -18F here today, one of the coldest days in Wisconsin in quite a long time. The high is only supposed to make it to -14. Needless to say, I'm staying in today. Baking is scheduled, because what else do you do when it's frozen out there? I may have made a tactical error there, though, as I was confident I had all the supplies I needed when I went to the store on Friday but didn't do a thorough check, so I barely had enough buttermilk for one loaf of robot bread and there is enough all-purpose white flour for only a single batch of cookies. Whole wheat bread flour, pastry flour, stone-ground flour, white bread flour, rice flour, buckwheat flour, potato flour... got plenty of those. All-purpose white flour? Not so much.

I'm also knitting again and in the last two weeks have produced four hats, one of which fits me and I am wearing a lot. The first two were too small and have been sent off as surprise gifts to someone else's grandchildren. I hope they find them useful and pretty. They have cables.

Right now I'm knitting a black and white short-row scarf with some mill-end yarn I bought on sale at the craft store. It's very thick and the scarf is knitting up very dense, but I hope that this will be a good thing in the long run. It's good to have something to do with my hands besides eat left-over holiday cookies.

I bought a TV and smart Blu-ray player on which I can get Netflix, so I have been burning my way through series that I missed the first time around or lost track of part-way through. I enjoyed Heroes, am halfway through season two of Once Upon a Time, which I like quite a bit, but I am taking a break and watching season five of Dexter, which just became available. I'm looking forward to watching all of Alphas, which I've caught kind of hit-or-miss over the years. I occasionally watch PBS with the folks, and we had people over for the premier of season four of Downton Abbey, to which my mother is addicted. It was fun but contained few surprises beyond the one revealed in the opening minutes.

My reading has sputtered to a hiatus after a binge reading of all the Harry Potter books and Libriomancer by Jim Hines for the fantasy book group I've joined. I'd blame the TV, but I was blocked even before I got it. There are plenty of books on my "unread" shelves, but none of them really draws me right now. Maybe when I'm tired of knitting and can let myself just read I'll give it another try.

Time is passing very strangely for me. It's hard to describe beyond "slipping away un-noticed". If I get two things done in a day I feel accomplished. If I get five done, I feel exhausted. There's always tomorrow, because life has become a series of identical days punctuated by pre-set activities and the occasional social invitation or doctors appointment.

OK, I have been informed by Beamer that I have done enough typing for the time being and she would like her lap back, please. Next time I have the chance, I'll put in some pictures.

Take care, everyone, and stay warm wherever you are.
moderate_excess: (Default)
Hi Folks. I know I owe you a good, long update, but I have no time yet. So many things going on. But I wanted to make a short post for a good cause. As a life-long bibliophile, I have always loved going to small, independent book stores. They are getting thin on the ground these days, so when I have a chance to support one, I try to do so.

My LJ friend [personal profile] editrx recently bought a small bookstore in New Hampshire and is raising funds for needed improvements and inventory. There are 12 hours left in the Indigogo campaign and she needs $1000 to make her goal. She has some lovely incentives (I'm getting a pin) and I think it's something well worth supporting. Since I don't have an extra grand just lying around, I figured I'd mention it here. It would be wonderful if we could get her to her goal today.

The campaign can be found here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/star-cat-books-acquisition-fundraiser

Thanks! Reporting will resume soon, I promise!
moderate_excess: (Moo!)
In the past month I have: helped design and buy furniture and display cases for a trade show in NYC, updated the company web site, unpacked and shelved the better part of 16 large boxes of leather-bound journals from Italy, worked at the pen shop as needed including running to the storage unit for inventory, completed blasting a 6' tall octopus on tempered glass to go in a bathroom door, designed and blasted two shower panels, the glass for which was not delivered until last Friday, oversaw and coordinated (long-distance) a complete remodel of the basement room at my parents' house in Madison, Wisconsin into which I will be moving, packed all the books and loaded them and as much stuff as I could manage into three ReloCubes to be shipped to Madison ahead of the move, packed the rest of my things, including the entire sandblasting studio, rented a 26' truck, loaded a 600 pound compressor onto it, and in general juggled cats until my arms were tired.

Today is moving day. Everything has to be finished being packed and get loaded onto the truck, including all the rest of the equipment from the studio. Laundry to be done, cats loaded into carriers, final shopping taken care of. There are people I didn't get to see before I go and things I never got to do. Everyone tells me I must come back, and I will, but I don't know when.

I've meant to post photos of the glass in progress, and the piles of boxes rising higher and higher, but time got away from me again and so you'll just have to imagine or wait for me to gt around to it once I get to Madison.

Thanks goodness I have had help, in the form of [personal profile] bibliofile, who has been invaluable in helping pack things while I've been sandblasting and keeping me company and giving me an excuse to eat at some of my favorite places one last time. And she will continue to be invaluable when it comes to driving the car and two of the cats up to Madison, while I pilot the huge-ass truck and its loudly complaining feline passenger. She's lucky; she gets the boy-cats, who are gentlemen in the car. Also thanks to Laura, the professional organizer I hired to help pack, event though she packed things I told her not to pack and put things in weird places. Control freak freaks out. But it's all good, and this too shall pass.

And now it's time to shut the computer down and pack it into a box and do the laundry and pack the remaining items and my suitcase, and, and, and...

If I didn't get to see you to say goodbye here in NOLA, please know I really wanted to but time got away from me. I hope to see you when I come back for a visit.

Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish beads.

Moving

Jul. 5th, 2013 12:12 pm
moderate_excess: (2 cents)
Has anyone had any experience with using either PODS or ABF U-Pack relo-cubes for moving? I have quotes from both which are coming out within about $200 of each-other.

Relo-cubes are 6'x7'x8' and can be put in my driveway by fork lift. PODS are either 8'x7'x7' or 8'x8'x16' and are delivered by lift system, which might not fit in the driveway and may need to be put in the street. I could have the pod for an entire month to fill if I needed; with the relo-cubes I get 5 days.

Any experience you can share with me about either of these options would be valuable.

Thanks!

Off to pack more boxes of books.
moderate_excess: (Heart Cookies)
Pictures below the cut because I care. Read more... )

Pi(e) Day!

Mar. 15th, 2013 08:31 am
moderate_excess: (Heart Cookies)
Thanks to the willingness of my co-conspirator [personal profile] iridium, pie was achieved last night out of available ingredients. It was a total wing-it adventure but it was gooood. Apple pie with streusel topping.

(Pictures to follow when I get back after the market, for which I am late.)

Aging

Jan. 19th, 2013 10:02 pm
moderate_excess: (2 cents)
My parents are getting older, and I've been looking to see how much I can do for them at a remove to supplement the times I am able to help them in person. Last year after Thanksgiving, I found a device for my Mom to help her get in and out of the car more easily as she was having trouble swinging her legs in and out. It's basically a padded swivel seat and she says it helps a great deal.

When I was up there, she asked me to help her put her sock on her right foot, as with her knee and shoulder problems she isn't able to do it herself. I know that my dad helps, but his back has been giving him a lot of pain lately and so I've been looking into various assistive devices. The most promising looking is called the Easy On/Easy off sock aid kit (http://www.colonialmedical.com/easy-on-easy-off-sock-aid-kit-P-7614.html), which looks pretty good, but I wonder how well it would work with her knee socks.

Does anyone have any experience with this or other such devices? There are many out there with straps and handles and such, but this one looks simpler to use, especially for someone with shoulder issues. I would appreciate any feedback y'all might have on this.
moderate_excess: (Moo!)
Just a quick post before I head off to work.

Every time I go away for a while, the cats get up to more mischief than usual. This time, [personal profile] iridium emailed me a picture of The Moo Cat's latest shenanigans. This is what she found when she returned home from work: Read more... )
Thank goodness for kind and understanding room-mates. With smart-phones.

Updatery

Nov. 11th, 2012 07:15 am
moderate_excess: (Default)
I've been thinking about how to write about the brain weasels, and I'm still mulling it over. Most of my friends understand the term and wrestle with their weasels on various levels. The ones that yammer at me the most at the moment have to do with my fluctuating weight--after a magnificent run of losing weight, I've managed to regain more than I'm comfortable with, and it's proving very difficult to reverse. I blame the onset of winter; it seems to be a time for storing up resources and my body is very enthusiastic on that front. But I'm not going to write about weasels right now, because it's morning and my thoughts haven't cohered sufficiently.

The boy cats now have microchips and thus can, in theory, go outside again. I am oddly reluctant to let them out and am waiting for a day when I am home and able to let them back in as desired and reassure them that they still have a home. They have chips because on Friday, my room-mate [personal profile] iridium found that the Moo cat (most likely suspect) had stolen her glasses and left teeth marks on one lens and abandoned them in front of the door where they could be crunched by the incoming termite guys. Yeah. I made the appointment that day and took them in on Saturday.

Work at the market has been... sporadic. I've had excellent days and crappy days, and lately we've had cold weather. My income is not what I would like. I know that I should do something about getting my work into a gallery, but the brain weasels have things to say about that.

Plans have been made to fly to Madison for thanksgiving with the Old Folks. I considered driving, but 4 days on the road to spend three days in Madison isn't a great idea, imho. So I am flying, but booked with an airline going into Madison so at least I don't have to deal with the bus.

Wow. Wasn't that just *fascinating*? Oh the glamour, it never ends. Off to work in the market.

(I have set the preferences for the crossposting from Dreamwidth footer. With any luck, it will appear properly.)
moderate_excess: (Default)
Crossposting from Dreamwidth now (when I can make myself write). I'm moderate_excess over there, and if you have a DW account, I'd really appreciate you adding me. At the moment, my reading page there shows a fraction of the entries on LJ, and I'd like to be able to duplicate my LJ list as much as possible.

Thanks!

Upcoming posts I hope to write: finished glass commissions and pictures thereof, fun with cats, French Market follies, recent visitors, and the ongoing adventures of the brain-weasels. Commenting may affect this.

Also, I need mailing addresses for the following people: [personal profile] scarlettina, [personal profile] sillylilly_bird, tn_grrl* (kept getting an error message on your user name), and [personal profile] amusingmuse. I hope you all remember why...
moderate_excess: (heart-clockwork)
I don't think I mentioned it here, but I agreed to design the pocket program and schedule grid for Chicon 7 in a moment of weakness, flush from the success of doing the Readercon souvenir book. I expected to be able to go to the convention, but in the end it became apparent that there was no way I could do so and I canceled my plans.

I did finish the pocket program and grid, however, and made the rather insane deadline in the face of constant updating of the data. I've gotten a little feedback through comments on lj, but the following was just posted to the concom list by a staffer and I want to preserve it for posterity (and those times of feeling low):

"The thing I heard the most positive feedback about was the pocket program book with the map in the back flap, and that the grids had numbers which allowed quick look-ups for more information."

I fought tooth and nail for those numbers and I feel entirely vindicated. Yay!
moderate_excess: (Flood St)
The power came back on at 6:15 pm today, which was wonderful. So nice to have air conditioning and a working washing machine. And internet. Oh, sweet internet... So that makes 2 1/2 days without power which, all things considered, isn't that bad an ordeal. The worst part was trying to sleep. Tuesday night when the storm hit, I didn't put my earplugs in because I wanted to hear it if something hit the fan (so to speak). I got very little sleep as I kept waking up at every little noise and the wind was howling around the house. At around 6am I woke up to discover the electricity had gone out (thank goodness for cell phones and battery-powered wall clocks).

Wednesday was spent mostly reading with the cats and obsessively making rounds of the apartment checking for leaks. My landlord set up the generator late in the day and I got out the really long extension cord to run around the house and into my front living room window (the only one in my apartment that a) has a screen that opens and b) is protected by the deep porch. I plugged in the refrigerator, torchiere lamp on a long cord that I carried from room to room like a lantern, and my cell phone charger. Later I plugged in the modem and router, but the cable was down so I unplugged them again and plugged in my big box fan.

The wind was howling down the length of Carrollton avenue and I went out on the porch to watch the trees dancing. The huge old oak in front of the house is an impressive sight when the big limbs start moving, but I was never in fear that they would break. Some trees just as large and old lost that battle and I saw their enormous fallen bulks spanning streets or slotted neatly between houses when I finally ventured out today. The palm trees shook and bent and tossed their crowns and rained fronds down over the roads and neutral grounds and the street became a stream covered in leaves. It was a kind of fairy tale transformation of the familiar into the strange--full of the eerie light of the storm and the sound of the wind in the trees and the rain, and nowhere a car or electric light or man-made sound. The direction of the wind and the break provided by the house and bamboo stand next door made it possible to stay on the porch and feel only the lightest of breezes. I opened the window onto the porch all the way to help with the stuffiness and stillness of the air in the apartment, but without another window open there was only the slightest effect.

My landlord (A) and his wife (D) and three sons went out and played in the water and waded in the stream down to the corner in each direction and back. They reported deep lakes over the sidewalks and reveled in the rain, which had quieted in a lull between storm bands. I was glad I had moved the Camry I'm trying to sell onto the neutral ground, to a spot carefully chosen to be out of the path of any large tree or limb and in an area I knew wouldn't turn to swampy mud. I kept an eye on it throughout and it made it through beautifully. The Prius I parked in the driveway between my landlord's car and truck where it accumulated some leaves but nothing more. Higher ground at exactly sea level.

The water in the street subsided a bit and during one of the longer lulls the intrepid [livejournal.com profile] thewronghands and [livejournal.com profile] project_mayhem came over and spent some time hanging out and being gracious about the lack of a/c. It was really nice to see them, especially as my ability to go out and seek out social encounters was at a low point. They headed off on their rounds and I went back to my book.

Wednesday night passed much like the previous night, but without the comfort of air conditioning and the ceiling fan. The generator was turned off at midnight and the still, muggy air became quickly oppressive. It was hard to sleep and the wind and the rain, now coming from the opposite direction, rattled the windows and shook the house. It was the hardest night to get through. I eventually slept, but woke up frequently. There were occasional mysterious crashes that shook me out of bed to make more rounds of window checking. Thank goodness for preparation and a good supply of batteries for the flashlights.

Thursday it was clear the worst had passed, and the landlord's family were all out cleaning up the yard and putting things to rights, even when the rain would start up again. They shamed me into doing a modicum of straightening in my own room, putting away things I'd allowed to pile up for months. It's still a disaster, but less so. When I got too hot I sat and drank ice water and read again. At one point I went out to see if the Camry would start (it had needed a jump in order to move it to the neutral ground in the first place) and the battery was dead, dead, dead. I could have called AAA at that point, but figured they were probably busy with more urgent calls.

That evening was lovely and clear and I went out onto the back patio and joined A & D and the kids in a game of cards by candle and torch light. They had just gotten a beautiful and sweet ginger tabby kitten and had it playing in the garden around us. The game was frequently interrupted by the toddler coming by and wanting to grab everything on the table, but it was a nice, relaxing evening. I had planned on dinner with [livejournal.com profile] thewronghands after she finished the fitness portion of the evening, but neither of us knew what was in store for her when she agreed to go out on a run with the Hash House Harriers. A nice 4 mile run through the city--that should take about an hour... Hahaha. Not when it's through storm water and up levees and through dense woods and brush along the river and weaving through darkened neighborhoods dodging downed trees and power lines. When she did make it back to her phone and got in touch dinner was really not an option. I only teased her a little about making me worry that she was dead in a ditch, and then I went inside and made myself a salad followed by a bowl of ice cream.

She and [livejournal.com profile] project_mayhem came by early this morning and kindly gave the Camry a jump so I could move it off the neutral ground before the tow trucks got to it. Not having access to the news meant I had no idea when the city would lift the permission to park there and on my way out to the car to wait I saw a squadron of tow trucks headed down the street. I still haven't watched or listened to the news despite having had the power on for a whole 5 hours.

Today was the kind of relaxed, laid-back day I enjoy when a friend comes in from out of town and there's no particular plan. The airport reopened this morning and [livejournal.com profile] thewronghands' plane was due to leave on schedule, so we had most of the day to just do whatever we wanted. First order was checking my email on her laptop, followed by breakfast. In a city with massive power outages, that can be a challenge. I didn't want to go down to the quarter for breakfast as I assumed it would be mobbed, so we headed off down Magazine. Almost everything was closed and some streets were blocked by trees. We saw a sign for the Laurel Bakery and headed there, but they had only croissants, bagels, and biscuits. A biscuit for me and a can of orangina for [livejournal.com profile] thewronghands and we continued the quest. The first open restaurant we saw was Slim Goodies Diner and we pulled over. There we were offered the dazzling choice of scrambled eggs with bacon and hash browns or scrambled eggs with bacon and pancakes. We both opted for the scrambled eggs with hash browns, no bacon, and it was delicious and the server delightful.

After giving up our seats to some of the waiting throng, we headed down to the quarter and stopped at the French Market when I saw people I knew set up. A pleasant time was spent walking the market and talking to people and finding out who had power and who didn't and talking about the whole event. Eventually we headed out of the quarter and up to Bayou St. John where we discovered the Parkway Bakery and Tavern not only had no power but had a downed awning and some other wind damage that I hope was minimal. On to the lakefront where we hiked up the levee and looked at the remaining pools of water from the storm surge, then back along the bayou where we saw egrets and Muscovy ducks (we had to look them up--they are very weird looking and seem like a cross-breed between ducks and geese; we were calling them deese gucks). By this time lunch was in order and after reconnoitering Oak street and finding nothing open, we headed down St. Charles (with a detour for fallen trees) and found ourselves at the restaurant on the corner of Napoleon and St. Charles that opened where Copeland's had been before The Storm. (Yes, I've forgotten the name.) Their power was out, too, but they were serving a limited menu which included catfish po-boys and catfish with etouffee. This was an acceptable thing and lunch was delicious. I was an evil person and suggested Sucre for desert, as we had noted it was open when we drove past earlier. We both had small cups of gelato that we couldn't finish, but oh, was it good, and they had air-conditioning! We arrived at the perfect time, just before the rush of mothers with their small children in tow.

Sadly, at that point I had to drive [livejournal.com profile] thewronghands out to Elmwood to connect with her ride to the airport. It was a truly delightful day and a wide range of topics were discussed. I feel enormously fortunate to have had so much time with her--usually her schedule is packed tight with activities but the hurricane forced her to do an unfamiliar thing and just relax. Ha!

When I got home the power was still out and I was ready for a nap. But then the phone rang and a text from my room-mate came in, and in the middle of measuring the kitchen drawer for her the power came back on. Every since it's been laundry and catching up on internet stuff and now writing this post which has to be one of the longest ones I think I've ever written. Suddenly it's almost midnight, and I am working in the market tomorrow.

So there you are, all caught up on my little slice of this particular storm. Friends in outlying areas didn't fare as well, but that's their story. I'll most likely turn the television on for a bit before bed and see what the news has to say. Goodnight, everyone, and thanks for your words of concern through all this.
moderate_excess: (Default)
I'm still here, muddling through with no a/c or internet/cable (oh, woe). The landlord has a generator and I have a really long extension cord, so my fridge is running, the light is on, I can charge my cell phone and the box fan is doing its best under the circumstances.

I've been less get out and be social than I was the last time I rode out a big tropical storm, but times change and my neighborhood is different. I'm different. Much more inclined to stay home, but open to company.

This has to be short as I'm posting from my phone and even with Swype my hand is cramping up. When the internet is back I'll make a proper post.
moderate_excess: (FEMA)
...run in circles, scream and shout.

Nearing the seventh anniversary of Katrina, we have a mass of swirling clouds in the gulf seemingly aimed directly at us. This sucks on a number of levels including emotional flashbacks. This is not a Katrina-sized event, however, and the pumps, floodwalls, and levees are in much better shape now. It will probably be a cat 1 or tropical storm and we'll get heavy rain. I'll park my car in the driveway or on the neutral ground and we may lose power. I have lots of candles and somewhere I have oil for the hurricane lantern. I have a lot of books I haven't read yet. And my landlord has a generator for the refrigerator, so I'm not terribly worried about losing power. I have absolutely no plans to evacuate, but I did fill up the tank of the car yesterday. Just in case. Because I'm not an idiot. I had to wait in line to get gas and the first station I went to was completely sold out and the second and third had lines too long. I didn't have to go too far to get to the fourth, so that was good. I got a little more food just in case. I did not buy water. I have a slew of containers I can fill with good old tap water should it come to that.

I'll be working in the French Market today because I have to in order to maintain seniority. I've been off for a week for complicated health reasons I don't want to go into here. It will be interesting to see how many people are down there. I imagine the hurricane party people will be out, as the quarter is one of those "safe" places. It does flood when it rains hard, though. I hope they've gotten sandbags for the shop and can get the inventory up off the floor.

I had originally planned to be in Chicago this weekend for Worldcon, but I'm actually relieved that I changed my plans and will be home. It's incredibly stressful to watch something like this from a distance. Those of you who are at the con, have fun, raise a glass for me, and think good thoughts. (Oh, and please be gentle when you critique the pocket program and grid. I had very little time and some difficult circumstances in their creation. I didn't even put my name in them.)

OK, this has been a rambling update post. Just wanted to touch base and let you all know what it looks like from down here. If you need to watch any local weather people talk about the storm, the best one is Bob Breck on local channel 8 (Fox). He's one of the few meteorologists who doesn't give in to the panic mentality and actually talks a lot of sense about what's actually happening and what isn't. He's an odd little man, but he's honest.

OK, time for me to go to work. I'm surprisingly calm.

[update] Perhaps surprising no-one, the Market isn't going to be open today. Patrick just called and said there was nobody down there. I reminded him to get things off the floor at the shop and he said "oh, good idea!" He doesn't have sandbags, but maybe he'll get some now that I've reminded him of what happens when it rains hard.

So I guess I'll be working on the glass design for those windows today. I got a lot done over the past three days and may actually be able to finish today. That would be nice.
moderate_excess: (Default)
Just to let you know that I have lowered the price on my little fish glasses and small bowl over on etsy. Check it out: http://www.etsy.com/shop/nevenah

Spot

Jul. 31st, 2012 06:07 pm
moderate_excess: (Default)
Probably the best cat portrait I've ever taken. Cut to spare your friends page )

etsy WTF

Jul. 30th, 2012 03:40 pm
moderate_excess: (Default)
And, of course, mere moments after posting, etsy went down. *facepalm*

They assure us that it will all be fixed soon.

Please do check back. I want you to see the new stuff.

Moar Art!

Jul. 30th, 2012 02:23 pm
moderate_excess: (Glass Octopus)
I'm still working on getting all the glass I have for sale up on etsy. The most difficult part in all of this is the photography. You guys, do you have any freaking idea how difficult it is to photograph this stuff without a professional set-up? And no, I don't have the money or the space to set one up for myself or hire someone to do it for me. So for now, it's a piece of black velvet draped over stacks of stuff in the box room and natural light. A few pieces look pretty spiffy on the kitchen counter, too, but it's a bit of a crap shoot there.

New today: Lizards and a giant squid! Check it out.

ANYway, I'm off to do some grocery shopping (making groceries). More slogging in the picture mines when I get back.

In the meantime, any and all signal boosting for this is greatly appreciated. That link again, for your shopping pleasure, is http://www.etsy.com/shop/nevenah.
moderate_excess: (Travel)
I just got back from a week in Wisconsin and the 2,000 mile round trip drive there and back, and I'm about to leave for a 3,000 mile road trip on Tuesday. Yes, I'm crazy. I quit my job driving long distance so... that I could drive the same distance for fun! Yeah!

So, anyway, I'll be headed up to Readercon. I've been searching for contact information for my artist friend in Athens, TN, whose house is at the perfect 1-day drive stopping place, but I can't find it! I also can't remember her last name. I fail.

So I thought maybe I'd go on here (in the middle of the night, so no one will ever see it) and see if anyone in the Chattanooga to Knoxville range of the interstate might have crash space for me on Tuesday night. I don't smoke or snore loudly, and I don't think I have any other bad habits. I can even come bearing goodies from New Orleans.

Please let me know if you can help! Otherwise, it's Motel 6 for me.
moderate_excess: (Consciousness)
Greetings from the Ghost in the Machine. I'm still here, still alive, and still reading LJ faithfully. Still, obviously, wrestling with the ability to update.

So. a series of brief updates:

1) I have a new room-mate. She's great. She's one of the first people I've had living here who really wants to make this her home, too, and we have been working together to create space for her. To that end, we tackled the storage area in the laundry room. OMG, y'all.* I threw out a huge stack of empty boxes that once contained a variety of products from popcorn poppers to printers, hauled out Mardi Gras beads by the bag (and bag, and bag...), sorted out all the obsolete electronics I'll never use and don't need, found the boxes of old St. Nicholas Magazines and took them out and put them on shelves, cleaned out all the old paint cans and other chemical detritus left on the shelves from the previous owners, put all the boxes of National Geographics on those shelves, sorted out all the odds and ends I don't need that could go to charity, pulled out several boxes of old Playboy magazines I'm hoping someone might pay for, went through the packing supplies in my box room and transferred a healthy proportion to the laundry room, and cleaned and swept and re-stacked what was left. All in one day. The transformation is amazing. I'm wishing we'd taken "before" pictures. The plan is to shift more stuff from the box room to the laundry room so that it becomes a use-able space for her to store her own things.

I should point out that my room-mate worked tirelessly along-side me, taking stuff as I handed it down (the storage space is at the top of a ladder), helping me decide whether it went or stayed, did the bulk of the cleaning after the paint cans were gone, and put most of the boxes on the shelves. She is a hero of the revolution and I couldn't have done it without her.

Yesterday, I took an entire car-load of beads to The ARC of Greater New Orleans, which works with developmentally disabled adults. They use the proceeds from the sale of Mardi Gras beads to fund some of their programs. Then I took a car-load of donations to Bridge House, which is a center for helping people with substance abuse issues. They are not religious, and do a pretty good job. I put all the computer stuff on the front porch and contacted someone on Craigslist who said he wanted old computers. He was supposed to come yesterday to pick it up, but didn't. I'll contact him again today to see if I can get rid of it.

2) The cat situation had a little set-back the other day, when Beamer jumped up on my lap and proceeded to pee on me. It was a nice, steady stream, so it's not a bladder issue. I surmised that she was having difficulty getting to the litter box because Spot and The Moo Cat like to chase her, so (after I put my clothes and lap towel in the laundry), I filled a plastic bin with litter and put it down in my room and closed it off to the other cats. Beamer used it immediately and seemed quite pleased with it. I've brought in cat food and water for her and continue to keep the other cats out and she seems much more relaxed and calm now. She even played with a toy yesterday! It's a little tricky at times keeping up the segregation, but I think it's good for her. I may consider allowing brief, supervised visits by The Moo Cat at some point, but they are adolescent males and don't understand that they shouldn't chase the elderly cat.

3) I had an amazing WisCon and the Tiptree Auction went very well. I spent some time at home taking care of things around the house for the folks, and having serious discussions about the future. In the interests of my being able to drive up to see them instead of flying, and because my old Camry wagon is now 19 years old, they bought a red 2006 Prius with 146,000 miles on it for themselves to drive around town and gave me their old  2005 Prius with 47,000 miles on it to drive long-distances. I drove it home (through an amazing storm that hit just north of Blytheville), and it's great. I'm heading back to Madison tomorrow for my high school re-union (33 years!) and it will be nice to not have to worry about the car falling apart or bankrupting myself for gas.

4) While I was gone, my landlords finished remodeling my bathroom. They had started two weeks before, and I had to make do with using the powder room and taking sponge baths, with the occasional shower upstairs in their apartment. When I got back, I had a beautiful new bathroom with marble tiles on the floor, new sink and bath-tub and subway tiles, and a gorgeous purple and white paint job (I picked out the color to match my towels). They really did a fantastic job, and it was all finished before my room-mate arrived.

5) I'm still working at the French Market, but Sunday we had temperatures in the mid 90's and I had a terrible time. Yesterday the heat index was 105 and I was glad I had the day off. With temperatures today scheduled to top that, I canceled the market for today, too. I suspect I'll be down there fewer days during the summer, but I kind of expected that. I still have work to do on a glass job, and I'm putting in a bid for another.

6) I designed the Readercon souvenir book again this year, and I think it came out rather nicely. I'll be driving up for the convention, which should be fun.

OK, that's enough for now. Keep writing, and I'll keep reading, and who knows, every once in a while I'll open up a window here and let you peek through the curtains.


*Yes, I really did just say that. It seems appropriate. Live with it.
moderate_excess: (Default)
OK, so supposing I got a wild hair and decided to go to 4th Street Fantasy, who else is going, and do any of you have space in a room? Also, maybe a ride to Madison afterward.
moderate_excess: (Dude)
I imagine this will come pretty out of the blue to most of you, as I haven't been very good at sharing my thought processes here lately, but I gave notice last week on my art driving job.

My heart hasn't been in it for the last several shows, and I needed a change. 4 years is a long time to do something that physically grueling, and without a single pay raise in all that time and a growing sense of alienation, I decide enough was enough and it was time to part ways. I sent Kate an email late Wednesday night and I haven't heard back from her at all. However, there is a new ad on Craigslist for my position, posted on Friday, so I think that's a pretty sure indication that she got my email. It was a very positive email, too, no bridges burned, but I think it says a lot about how she's been treating me that she hasn't even deemed it worth responding to me. The last straw for me was her decision to have someone else work for her at Jazz Fest, and telling me about it only a few days ahead of time. No discussion, no question, just "oh, hey, you're not working." Yeah.

Anyway, I'm working more often in the French Market and making decent money (at least as much as I would make on the road, if not more) and getting to go home every night. I also went with Gerry to bid on a job reproducing two antique acid-etched windows for a house here in NOLA, and we got the job! It's a lot of work, but it's good money and it will be an enjoyable challenge. I feel good about having more time at home to work on my art. And there's the almost total lack of a social life that needs to be rectified. I've been hanging out with a bunch of vendors from the market, and it's been really fun. It will be nice to get into a routine with them, instead of scheduling around my trips.

I'll still be going to WisCon (I have my tickets!) and Readercon, and I'm planning a trip to Madison at the end of June for my high school re-union. I wish I could go to 4th St. Fantasy, but I do need to work sometime in order to pay the rent. Alas. I have some hope for Worldcon, and I have a supporting membership.

I'll miss the friends I've made on the road and some of the pleasures of travel. I won't miss the brutally hot shows, setting up and tearing down in all kinds of weather, driving 12-16 hour days, and being treated like a second-class citizen (whoops, did I say that?).

Time for the next phase of my life, one hopefully with a lot more of my own art-making in it, and better success marketing it and making more of a living from it. This new commission is a step firmly in the right direction, and it feels like a big thumbs-up from the universe telling me I made the right decision!
moderate_excess: (Mutts Purrr)
I was going to make a mopey post today about the fact that the Moo Cat seemed to have disappeared. I came home from the most recent show to find that when the room-mate moved out on Sunday, the Moo Cat also vanished. My landlord and his son went out that evening to let the cats in, and could only find Spot. When I got home on Monday, I called and called, and the Moo never answered. I went out several time that night and the next morning, but nothing. I made up signs and posted them all over the neighborhood (in the pouring rain) and called for him as I went. Nothing. Then today, as I was paying for my groceries at the Roberts up the street, my landlord called.

"Are you still looking for Moo Cat"
"Yes!"
"Well, I'm lookin' at him. He's in the neighbor's yard, behind a car. He's stalking something."
"Keep an eye on him, please, I'm on my way!"

When I got home, I jumped out of the car and headed behind the neighbor's house. I didn't see him, but I called and heard his little meow and soon he was snaking his way through the fence from another yard. He ran right up to me and I picked him up and snuggled him. I carried him back down the driveway, at which point he started to freak out a bit and struggle, but I hung on to him and got him in the house. As soon as he was inside, he relaxed and trotted straight into the kitchen to the food bowl. As I cut up my watermelon, he came over to me at regular intervals to slam his head into my leg and get petted, then back to the food bowl. He and Spot also spent some time having a little love-fest, including head licking, butt sniffing, and purely ceremonial paw swatting. He climbed into my lap when I sat down at the computer, and Beamer came over and sniffed him and sat next to him. Which is pretty amazing right there. Spot also came over and for a little while, all three of them were within inches of each-other and there was no feline drama at all!.

Now the Moo Cat is reclining in all his spotted length on my bed. I just glanced over at him and he's asleep. Aww. I tell you what, I don't think I want to let them out after this. I was so worried and miserable!

In other news, met with R____, who came to look at the room for rent, and I think it went quite well. She told me she'd spent a fair amount of time being driven around to look at places she didn't want to live, and she met my landlady who told her she could pick the colors the room would be painted once all the repairs are complete, so those bode well for me, I think. I'll know in a few days.

In other news, the Houston show went well, even though the weather sucked rocks. It was hot and very windy the first day, then windy with threats of torrential thunderstorms the second day, and they let us pack up early. It started to rain in earnest after being all indecisive about it for a couple of hours, but fortunately I was just finishing loading the van and nothing got wet. I picked up a few things for the kitchen at IKEA, and discovered they had the light green glass votive holders I couldn't find before, so I bought a few.

I've been cleaning and tidying and settling back into my home, and it's very nice. I'll be home for a few weeks before the next road trip, and I'm looking forward to that. The box room needs sorting, and I'd like to set up a little photo area for the glass. I'm not, however, looking forward to the bathroom being out of commission. Ugh. I just hope they'll be able to put it back together in fairly short order. I spent a bit of time in Home Depot today, looking at bathroom fixtures and bath-tubs (and kitchen sinks and faucets--one can always hope) and getting an idea of how much they cost. Not as much as I had feared, it turns out. Very nice porcelain-glazed metal tubs can be had for $125. Color me surprised.

Work at the French Market tomorrow, which is why I was at the Home Depot to begin with. I'm trying to get a tall canvas-back director's chair, and they seemed to be available at the HD, but alas, it was a web-only special. I left chair-less. It appears I'll have to order one, which I don't like to do without a chance to try one out. Unless you have an idea where I could get one. Web searches are tricky; several results seem to indicate you can get one at a local store, but that turns out to be an illusion in most cases. And I'm not looking to spend more than $50, so that's Brookestone right out.

Well, my view is now blocked by a fat black cat who wants her lap back, so I'd better finish up.

That's the news from my restored household. How's by you?
moderate_excess: (Default)
Hello. I'm still here. Still reading all your posts, just been in a period of internet quiet.

So, I've been working a *lot* lately, both on the road and in the French Market and the pen shop. The market has been pretty good recently, and this has allowed me to actually buy something I've wanted/needed for over a year. That's right, I have a smart phone. After much research and back-and-forthing, I chose the Droid Razr. In Purple. To match my fountain pen. Yep, that's me, feet planted firmly in two eras. It's very shiny. I've had it two days and am figuring out how to make it dance. So far I've gotten it set to Swype, which I love, downloaded Dropbox, downloaded a Dr. Who ringtone, figured out the navigation feature, and a few other things. Stuff I have not figured out yet: how to get it to use a different ringtone for text messages vs email notifications and how to turn off the 4G feature so that it will connect to the web only if there's a wifi connection available (which will also, I understand, save on battery life). If you know the answer to these, please do let me know.

Otherwise, life goes on. Smudge the cat disappeared as suddenly as he showed up, and I suspect he was re-claimed by his owners, or by someone else. I'm not terribly sorry, as he was an incredibly destructive and disruptive influence on the household. Spot and Moo Cat are integrating nicely, and Beamer has actually tolerated the Moo Cat on my lap next to her (!), although there was some ear-flattening and growling when he leaned a little too close.

I'm trying to get out more, socially, and have made friends with a bunch of people from the market. They hang out at a local gay bar, which is pretty small and low-key and features art on the walls, so I may go there after work more often. The only drawback is the cigarette smoke.

My current room-mate is leaving April 15 (while I'm at the Woodlands, TX show, of course), and I am corresponding with someone who sounds like an ideal candidate. We'll meet after I get back from Woodlands.

(I feel I should have used bullet points. Oh, well. I trust you to visualize them if you want.)

The landlord is planning to tear out my bathroom (the only one with a bath/shower) as soon as the room-mate leaves, so I will be shower-less and living alone until that gets finished. The floor is cracking, and the state of the underfloor is, apparently, alarming. He wants a month and a half to do the work, so we're shooting for a June 1st availability date for someone to move in. In the meantime, they've offered the use of their shower upstairs. I'm still a little uncertain about this.

I'm still making my own bread, and trying to eat just one slice a day. I'm back on the eating plan, as I've managed to regain some of that lost weight. So far so good, and I'm down 5 lbs from starting it up again. Today I made several batches of my low-fat hummus, so I'm well and truly back on track. I'd forgotten how delicious it is, so I'm looking forward to having it for lunch again. Dinner has been huge salads of spinach, red bell pepper, seedless cucumber, 2 oz feta cheese, and a quarter cup of toasted sunflower seeds. Yummy, and pretty balanced. I like the seedless cucumber and am looking forward to having some with the hummus.

So that's the current state of things. I've had things to say over the months, but not found the will to put fingers to keyboard. I have, however, been keeping a paper journal for about a month now, so I may post some highlights from that.

OK, off to a baby shower. Love to all of you (whoever is still reading and even those of you not. But how would I know?).
moderate_excess: (Monorail cat)
Hi there! Posting from not at all sunny Orlando (because it's the middle of the night). I'm ensconced in a Super 8 motel with a decent wifi connection (but not the Motel 6 I'd planned to stay at, as they only had smoking rooms when I arrived) and a pretty nice big bed, but the weirdest bathtub I think I've ever seen. It has the drain on the side, and it's elevated about 6 inches above floor level. The bottom is oddly flexible, and feels as if they installed it over nothing, when it's meant to be installed over a subfloor. It made a lot of odd flexing sounds when I shifted my weight. Good thing I'm on the first floor.

So I didn't decide on the audio books for this trip until this morning, as I am completely off my rhythm after 2 months at home. I finally settled on three books; one stand-alone (I think) and two in a series. The first is Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed, and the others are Habitation of the Blessed and The Folded World by Catherynne M. Valente. I admit I'm a bit prejudiced toward these books as one of the authors is a good friend, and the other is someone I've met a few times and who strikes me as a lovely person. Also, I heard good things about his book from people whose opinions I general trust.

So I'm listening to Saladin's book first, and I'm really enjoying it. Oddly, even though it is set in a non-western world, much of the story feels comfortable and familiar. It took me a while before I realized that it reminded me strongly of the Jim Butcher Dresden novels. The protagonist fights evil with magic, and has a kind of world-weariness and perpetual longing for a normal life and a love out of reach that seems to haunt gumshoes across time and genre. But the world Ahmed creates is a wonderfully rich and beautifully realized middle-east of the past. There are just enough cookie crumbs for someone with as slapdash an understanding of world history as myself to pick up to clue one in on the geographical area and time period in which the book is set, but without any hand-holding or expository lumps. I'm about 3/4 of the way through it, and I'm very glad to have chosen this book for the drive down.

Tomorrow I head for Ft Lauderdale to pick up a member of our group, and thence to Coconut Grove, where we'll be setting up for the show this weekend. It's going to be a long day tomorrow, so I think I'd better sign off here and get to sleep. With any luck I'll be able to connect at the Mutiny Hotel, and update tomorrow night. If I'm not dead, of course. Good night!

1:11 am

Feb. 14th, 2012 01:11 am
moderate_excess: (Cake-traditional-pink & blue)

51 years ago, while an ice storm raged outside Mary Greeley Memorial Hospital in Ames, Iowa, my mother held her squalling little Valentine in her arms. At home, my brothers had the measles, so Mom was able to stay in the hospital for an entire restful week. It was the last rest she got for a while (or so she tells me).

It hardly seems possible that I'm 51. I have nothing planned, no-one special in my life. How did I get here like this? It's a great big mystery to me, every day.

In any case, it's time.

moderate_excess: (Default)
I'm working in the French Market tomorrow, so I need to get up at a fairly early hour (for me, anyway). Accordingly, I'm signing off now. Shower, bedtime reading, and sleep will ensue in due order.

Carry on.

a

Jan. 21st, 2012 08:41 pm
moderate_excess: (Default)
Wow. After reading this: http://www.fastcompany.com/1809674/the-return-of-livejournal, I think the migration to DW might be in my best interest. I emphatically do not want LJ to go the way of FB and if it does, I'm getting off the bus.

I've had an account on DW for quite a while now, though it's been dormant pretty much since I created it. I've just been going through and adding people from here who have accounts there, but I suspect I'm missing a few. As people post, I'll try to add them.

I have a different journal name over there. I'm moderate-excess, which is the name of the journal I set up here for talking with local people about a smaller subset of interest. I let that lapse when it became too much to maintain two journals, and when my interests in those original subjects began to wane.

Please feel free to subscribe to me over there. A version of this post will go up on DW, and then I have to figure out this whole cross-posting thing.
moderate_excess: (Default)
Hi folks. This is livejournal user intelligentrix, coming to you live over Radio-Free Albemuth Dreamwidth. Please feel free to subscribe here. I don't promise more frequent posting, but hey, you never know.
moderate_excess: (Heart Yarn)
I snagged this from the redoubtable [livejournal.com profile] scarlettina (who changed the wording slightly from the original, which was much more pushy).

I will do my best to make something handmade for the first five people who comment. They are encouraged in turn to post this and make something for the first five people who comment on their status. The rules are it has to be handmade by you and they must receive it before 2012 ends...who's in with me?!


I am inspired to do more good things for other people, as I just shipped off the box containing the rose glasses I donated to the [livejournal.com profile] magick4terri auction. Plus, it will give me goals, which are good for me (enlightened self-interest, ho!).


moderate_excess: (Walken in a Winter Wonderland)
In a little while I'll be out the door and on my way to the wilds of Slidell for (insert secular holiday of choice here). I've been baking bread (seeded rolls, challah, and spiced pumpkin bread) all day and getting ready to make cookie dough to take with me. I also did the layout for the Smith Family holiday newsletter again, and got it to my brother *before the 25th*! That's gotta be a record. Maybe next year we'll shoot for the week before X-mas rather than the day before.

Oh, and I ordered a new laptop. My holiday present from the folks. Thanks Mom & Dad! It's a Dell Latitude, and I'll post pictures and specs later. Right now, it's dough making time!

Play nice, y'all (I'm looking at Moo Cat and Smudge here) and I'll see you Monday morning.

(Oh, and I guess I'd better use this icon while I can.)
moderate_excess: (Glass Octopus)
I went back to the gallery today to deliver some gift boxes for my little origami crane ornaments (selling well), and took the opportunity to take some additional pictures of the wave vase. I'm putting up four different views to give you an idea of how the patterns overlap and interact.

Pictures )
moderate_excess: (Glass Octopus)
I mentioned making these in my last post about glass, and  [livejournal.com profile] pameladean expressed an interest, so here they are. I'm giving you the right of first refusal, Pamela!

Ginkgo Votives

In the gallery, they'd go for $65 for the pair, but I'd be happy to work something out for you. I have two more of these, and then that's it; this glass isn't available in the US anymore (I found them in the UK, but it would be too costly to try to get them shipped).
moderate_excess: (Fat Cat)
I posted a bit about this on FB, but haven't gotten around to doing a proper post here until now.

I mentioned the cat I was calling the Volunteer Cat (AKA Spot) in a post quite a while ago. I did budget money to get him checked out by the vet, who proclaimed him healthy if a bit undernourished, and already neutered. So he was definitely a house cat. (He drinks out of the bathroom sink exactly like Harley used to, but his paws are considerably dirtier.)

In the week before I took him to get checked out, another cat started showing himself--a little skinny thing, white with black spots--and making his presence known (loudly). The landlord started calling him The Sheriff because he was always yelling at people (I don't know) but that just didn't seem quite right to me. Because of the Holstein patterns, I started calling him The Moo Cat. (At the time I thought he was a girl cat, and added the name Mimi. When the vet determined he was a male, I changed it to MeeMee, but I mostly just call him The Moo Cat.) 

On the day I brought Spot home from the vet and into the house, The Moo Cat tried to come in with us. And when I kept him out, he sat outside on the windowsill and howled. I think I lasted about 5 hours before I opened the window and he waltzed right in as if he owned the place. Great. Now I had two new cats. After keeping them indoors for a couple of days I relented to their constant pleading and let them out during the day. They came back in the evening and sometimes begged at the window to be let in early, so that seemed to be OK. 

I went away for a weekend to do a show in Florida, and when I came back I found that another black and white cat, suspiciously similar to The Moo Cat, had started hanging out on the porch and howling at the doors and windows. He came right into the house with me when I opened the door. I had just finished a very long drive and I was tired. I considered letting him stay, but then the Moo Cat went over to my big chair and peed on the slipcover. I couldn't deal with that and put the both of them out. (And sprayed the slipcover and chair with Nature's Miracle.)

The next day I let the Moo Cat back in; his companion wasn't in sight and I had de-stressed a bit. The other cat showed up soon, though, and make quite a racket and tried to come in every time the door was opened. On the third day I finally relented and let him in. There were no further incidents with the chair. He acts as if he's always lived here (in truth, both the black and white cats do) and has turned out to be at time aggressively affectionate, attempting to stuff his entire head up my nose a couple of times. He loves to sleep with me. It took me a few days to come up with his name, but I finally settled on Smudge. The pictures will explain why. He can be a little boisterous and a bit bitey when playing with The Moo Cat, but all in all he's a fine cat. He loves to play and will drag the ribbon-wand toy around with him from room to room and will come and drop it at your feet. Collectively, I refer to the two black and white cats as The Brothers Moo, even though I haven't had him checked by the vet and thus am not entirely sure of gender.

So now I have three new cats. And Beamer is Not Amused. I had hoped she'd enjoy a little company, and I think if it had been just Spot she would have adapted better. She does not like having the rabble around her and spends much of her time in my desk chair or on my lap if I'm sitting in it. She has touched noses a few times with both Spot and The Moo Cat, but she growls at Smudge and usually growls at all of them if they get too close. It's an uneasy detente, but at least none of them have been aggressive towards her. I am hoping things will calm down and she'll relax. I'm considering some Feliway.

And now, some pictures (behind the cut because I care). )

 

New Work

Dec. 19th, 2011 12:15 pm
moderate_excess: (Glass Octopus)

In the face of the looming (and fast disappearing) holiday shopping season, I finally got my brain and hands together and made some stuff. I worked a solid 12 hours a day (or more) on Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, and about 5 hours on Friday getting stuff ready to blast, and then Friday afternoon/evening, most of Saturday and part of this Sunday in the studio blasting. The following pictures show most of the results of that labor: Pictures )



Final tally: 1 Octopus Vase

1 Wave Vase

1 Bamboo Vase

1 Dolphin bowl with carved edge

2 new dolphin glasses

1 light blue dolphin bowl

2 dark blue dolphin bowls

4 tall aqua fish glasses

8 short aqua fish glasses, 4 with new designs

6 short blue fish glasses, new designs

4 NOLA heart ruby votives

4 NOLA heart short ruby glasses

2 NOLA heart ruby tumblers

 

Total: 37 new pieces in one week. *whew* I needed that. And I got through the last two full seasons of Angel and got caught up on a bunch of current shows while doing it (I like to have TV shows playing on my computer as I work--it gives the other half of my brain something to do).

And now I'm contemplating doing some small, triangular light green votives with ginkgo leaves. And maybe something else. We'll see. I've learned I have to ride the wave when I can--there are too many fallow days in my life.

moderate_excess: (foxes)

 Terri Windling and her family have been coping with health and legal issues that have drained her financial resources at a critical time. Due to the serious nature of these issues, and privacy concerns for individual family members, we can't be more specific than that, but Terri is in need of our support. As a friend, a colleague and an inspiration, Terri has touched many, many lives over the years. She has been supremely generous in donating her own work and art to support friends and colleagues in crisis. Now, Terri is in need of some serious help from her community. Who better than her colleagues and fans to rise up to make some magick for her?

Terri Windling is an amazing person; artist, writer, editor, friend. I consider myself privileged to have worked with her and had wonderful conversations with her. I've offered a set of hand-carved drinking glasses etched with a rose pattern. There are some amazing things on there already, from original art by Alan Lee, the Frouds, and Charles Vess to jewelry, books, poetry, Tuckerizations... really, it's an amazing collection of work on offer, for a very worthy cause.

If you can, check out [livejournal.com profile] magick4terri. Bid high, bid often.

moderate_excess: (Beamer)
That's odd... Semagic won't open. Hmm.

A few things banging around in my head, so I thought I'd put them down here and see if I can move on.

Some time ago (middle of August, I think), I went rummage sailing looking for a few things for the new room-mate's empty room. Among other things I came across, I happened on a little yard sale on Freret St. The heat was getting to them, so they were loading everything in a truck to take to Goodwill. I was told to pick what I wanted and make an offer. I got a nice cake pan, a clock that turns out to need new works, a few other odds and ends, and a bread machine. They didn't know if it worked--never tried it--so they offered it to me for $1. Sold!

I found the manual on-line, printed it and a few recipes, and gave it a whirl. Yep, it worked. And that first loaf wasn't half bad (too much of a strong molasses flavor, though, and I didn't care for the cumin seed). The next loaf was a total disaster, as I made too many substitutions and the liquids must have been off. I went back to the internet and found a recipe for seed bread that looked good and tried that. I've now made it four times, tweaking it a bit each time, and I'm really enjoying it.

I used to bake a lot of bread, when I was in my teens and twenties. I enjoyed the smell of the yeast, and the feel of the dough as I kneaded it on the old kitchen table. Of course, it took all day and a a lot of wrist strength. I have the time, but not the healthy wrists, and even though I also have the Kitchen-Aid with the dough hook, I haven't really felt like making bread the old-fashioned way again. I am really enjoying the machine, though. There's something wonderful about putting everything in the machine around noon and having freshly made bread for dinner. It is difficult not to eat too much of it right away, of course, but I am managing.

The current recipe is a whole wheat bread with added rye and buckwheat flour, as well as some wheat bran and corn meal. The seeds I'm adding are sunflower, sesame, toasted pumpkin, and flax, along with a little millet. I think the next batch will have more sunflower seeds, as I like the taste.

I know a few of you out there also have bread machines. Any good recipes to share?

___________________

I've been rattling around the house for the past few days, not feeling like going out and being social or doing much of anything. I'm still all broken up about Harley, but I don't know if I'm ready to write about it. Maybe I don't need to. The volunteer cat has been putting in a good bid to become a member of the household, but I'll need to save some money to get him/her checked out and given a clean bill of health. That is, of course, if it would be ok with the kid upstairs, who is very fond of him/her (I used to be able to tell easily--now I'm not so sure). Beamer is, I think, a bit lonely. She has been running around playing with rubber bands (not eating them, thank goodness) and a stray earplug, and yesterday I got out the cat wand and she went after the ribbon like a kitten. She played with it for a little while tonight, too. I may get her a fuzzy ball. Maybe her personality is starting to develop after all these years in the shadow of the big boys. (That's her in the icon from about seven years ago.)

___________________

I went to the doctor yesterday so of course my finger started feeling better on Tuesday. I went anyway, and he sent me to get an x-ray and put me on a course of cortico-steroids. I'm hopeful that will at least help with the tendonitis flare-up I've been having. He also gave me a set of exercises to do to strengthen the finger and I've been trying. It's amazing how much I've compensated for not having the use of my index finger. Even now, I am typing entirely without using it at all. It'll have to be a conscious effort to bring it back on line.

___________________

I've been trying to work on some glass, but my heart just isn't in it. And I went looking for my large sketchbook today to get started on the new octopus drawing I did in it, and I can't find it. Not only that, but I don't have a good mental image of where I saw it last, which worries me. I'll look again tomorrow and maybe get a little straightening done while I'm at it. My room really needs it.

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Still trying to figure out how to convey to the room-mate that it's the polite thing to do to leave the bathroom door open when it's available for use. I have already made a point of it on several occasions, but it doesn't seem to have sunk in. She's done it *twice* this evening alone! Gah! I *hate* that. It's one of my biggest peeves, especially in the morning. I hate lying in bed, my bladder bursting, waiting for the bathroom, only to discover she's not in it. I really, really, hate it. With a passion. I don't want to be a bitch about it, but really! Fuck. Don't even get me started on the messes she leaves in the kitchen. It's only til April. It's only til April...

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The weather here has been beautiful and I have the windows open. That's a good thing, yes. I sat out on the porch today with VC (volunteer cat), AKA Spot, on my lap. It was nice, and he/she didn't want me to leave. Tomorrow I may try to get out of the yard.

And that's the news from Lake Woebegon.

Thank you

Oct. 3rd, 2011 09:14 pm
moderate_excess: (love every one)
I can't tell you guys how touched I am by your generosity. I honestly wasn't expecting much, but you, my friends, have really helped. I have a little over half of Harley's final vet bills, and it's a huge relief. The amount doesn't seem quite as insurmountable.

Is there something I can do for those of you who have donated to the cause? Some service or tangible thing... I know others have put up fiction in exchange for financial help, but I haven't written anything in years and I'm not sure that would really be such a reward in any case. Ha! I could send New Orleans-themed packages (coffee, beignet mix, beads) or baked goods, or bring something with me if I'm coming to your city. Let me know, please.

And if you haven't donated and would like to, I could definitely use a little more help getting to my goal.

Here's that button.

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