Friday, December 29, 2017

Good bye and good riddance, 2017.

What a year. The country and the world have gone quite mad. Most recently, Christmas had me so stressed out I was in tears. I am quite over 2017.

My plans for 2018 include another Women's March. As Brother Arlo says, if you want to end war and stuff, ya gotta sing loud. I went to the march in Raleigh last year. This year, I might go to the one in Winston-Salem, just for a change of pace.

I'm going to take as many weaving/fiber arts classes as I can manage. I'm especially excited for the Master Weaver Level One class in April. This is a program held by Olds College in British Columbia, but they are also offering the class in one other place: Yadkinville, NC. I've already paid my deposit. I signed up for an indigo dyeing class at the Carolina Fiberfest in March. I have a Craftsy class on serging to take. (It's paid for, just not started.)

If I want to have a better year, it will have to be up to me.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Bar Harbor

Last week, David and I accompanied my parents to Maine, to see my stepfather's family. This is my fourth trip to Bar Harbor. The weather was superb, the family is awesome, the babies are cute (if intermittently inconsolably angry) and the food was great. We did a ton of walking in town. David did some studying, but actually accompanied us on most things. The other times he's been to Maine, he spent most of the time in the hotel, working. He actually got a vacation this time.

I went hiking with my cousins on Thursday to Great Head, a hilltop in Acadia National Park. On the way back, we stopped to see tidal pools, and I saw two birds in the ocean that I'd never seen before. My cousins were amused to see me pull out a field guide and start flipping through it. "What is that? Maybe it's a ... no. What the hell is that? Is it a female...? No. What IS that?" It turned out to be a male surf scoter in breeding plumage. Then I saw a male common eider about 100 feet away. (Birders can guess that I don't do much seashore birding. Those aren't rare birds.) Anyway, that was fun. The next day, we all went hiking on the ocean path at Sand Beach, then up to Cadillac Mountain after lunch. This is my new computer wallpaper:
And this is me squinting in the glare:

Friday night, we all went to dinner at a local lobster place. This is Vivian. She got a Whoopie Pie dessert. "Whoopie!"

It was cool and hardly humid at all in Maine. I was thrilled. We got home on Saturday night, and going outside was liked being slapped with a wet mop. Oh, July in NC. How I did not miss you. Anyway, I was glad to see my dogs, and vice versa, and I spent Sunday quietly, trying to get acclimated. 

I'm hoping to go to water aerobics this afternoon, but it's 3 pm and I just heard thunder. We get a lot of those afternoon thunderstorms in the summer. Maybe they will roll through earlier rather than later. Fingers crossed.

Friday, June 16, 2017


My thank you gift for chairing the Founders' Day committee. I am verklempt!

(For those who have not seen this, it means Sober As Fuck. Bah ha ha ha!)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

New season, new office

Our organization has been building a new three story building for the past two years. It's finished at last! We moved in yesterday and today, and WOW. I'm in an office with two big windows. The windows in my old office were up at the ceiling level, so they let in light but you wouldn't see out. Now I have a view in two directions. The space is smaller, but workable.

The new building is very nice, and well thought out. It's a little trouble getting used to the change, but soon it will be like we were always here. Yesterday, we got training on how to use the room dividers without breaking things or pinching our fingers. Good information.

One thing about the construction: we've had no parking on site since January of 2016. They have to knock down the old buildings (that we just vacated), and create a parking lot in that space. This is projected to take until December, so we are still parking off site and taking a shuttle back and forth. I can walk in the cooler weather, but in the hot, humid, eight month summer, I have to take the shuttle. I'm a Yankee, I melt like a candy bar on a dashboard.

One of my service jobs in AA this year has been to chair a committee to put on a big party for the annual Founders' Day celebration. It was last Saturday, and it went fine - no smoke or bodies, we're good. But I had a spot of brilliance on Monday and wrote up organizational information for the next poor sucker, I mean chairperson, so they don't have to figure it out from scratch. I would have appreciated having it myself!

Other than that, I'm recovering from some mild depression that I didn't even know I was in. I've re-joined the gym, and I have an appointment with a counselor later this month. I'm thinking about getting a master's degree. (Feel free to try and talk me out of this.) I'm nearly 55, but I'm never going to escape the admin gig if I don't try something new. I still need to get hold of the local university and see what I need to do to make this happen. I've had a pretty heavy workload the last few weeks, but it will slow down in July. So things are changing all around.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Welcome to the new site

In response to LiveJournal's new Russian ownership and subsequent anti-LGBTQ policies, I've moved here. Because really, fuck those guys. (Archives at

Spring is upon us. Summer won't be far behind. The azaleas and pear trees started in February, and we're already through with dogwoods. I really need to get some tomato plants in soon.

Last weekend, I went to Schenectady, NY, to attend a family wedding. It was bittersweet - I love my cousin's daughters and I'm always glad to see them, but god damn, I miss Cath. (She died four years ago from a glioblastoma brain tumor.) While there, I also went to visit my Dad, who lives about 30 minutes away. He's doing well, and we had a great time visiting. I'm glad I went. When your Dad's 82, you want to see him as much as possible, especially if you live 12 hours' drive away.

My service commitments are at the point now that I get about one weekend a month at home. Between AA and the SCA, I'm out of the house three or four weekends every month. This is my weekend, though I'll be going to see Mom and Phil on Easter. Or, at least, I will if I don't get the awful cold that David has. He's had a barking cough for a week. On my rare free weekend, I hope to do a little cleaning and warp my loom with a new project.

A year ago last week, I got my little dog, Ivy. She is just delightful, and I'm so glad I have her. She is short and stout and scruffy looking, and not afraid of much. She looks and acts like a terrier, but she is half Shih Tzu and half beagle (note the coat pattern and tail). (How I love that little white tail tip.)

We've had Jake for about three years now. He is a 90 pound sweetie pie. He's a good boy, mostly: he's gentle and tolerant and never barks at strangers, but he is utterly untrustworthy around food. He'll steal anything and gobble it as fast as he can. He got a roasted chicken carcass off the counter last fall, and it apparently passed through him without harm. We changed his middle name to Dispos-All.

We've had George the cat for two years.

Such a handsome boy, and he's very tolerant of Ivy. When she first came home, they'd wrestle, and he would be on top. Now, she mugs him when she comes in the door. She outweighs him by 50%. They still play, but she has the advantage now. As far as I can tell, George has never really whacked her. Ivy shows no fear of him or Jake, at all. 

The house is unconscionably filthy, but full of love. And dust bunnies.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Worst diary name, ever

Since it's been nearly ten years since my last post, I'm thinking the title needs to go.

I've been writing intermittently on Livejournal, but now it won't load for me, hence my reappearance here.

After eight years of President Obama, the country elected Donald Trump. I know, I can't believe it either. The first two weeks have been a dumpster fire of epic proportions, just a fucking disaster in all directions. There is literally nothing he's done as President that isn't offensive, if not unconstitutional. I've decided to be more politically active. I don't know how well that will go, but I marched on January 21, and I'm marching again on February 11. I'm trying not to lose my mind.

This past fall, David decided to become more active in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) and asked me to participate more. I have been doing so, but now we are running into scheduling conflicts. My late cousin's youngest daughter is getting married on a weekend that conflicts with my AA duties, and the other AA event I can attend as a backup is on a weekend that conflicts with Coronation, which is an important SCA event. As much as I love the couple that are getting crowned, family and AA have to come first.

In December, I was elected DCM in my district. The AA structure is that groups have general service representatives (GSRs), all the GSRs from a district elect a District Committee Member, who goes to the Committee meetings at the Area level to represent the wishes of the groups in their district. Anyway, that's 6 district meetings, 2 Committee meetings, and 2 Assemblies per year. It's a two year commitment.

David retired from the Army a few years ago, and is now studying to become a financial planner. His next test is this Friday, and he's nervous as hell. I have my fingers crossed that he gets through and starts working soon. We are okay financially, but having him home 24/7 has gotten old. He needs to talk to someone besides himself and the right wing scream machine on the internet.

I am hoping against hope that in a couple of years, we can move away from Fayetteville. It's okay here, but I want to be closer to my mom. David and I would both like to live in Asheville, but it's more important to be near my folks. (Selfishly, I'm also hoping that David will make enough money that I can quit working. I took six months off in the beginning of 2015, and it was awesome.)

In 2013, I got a big yellow lab named Jake from a family that couldn't keep him. He is a big ol' chill dog, except for one thing: he's absolutely nuts about food. He acts like a look at feeding time, he steals food from the counter in the kitchen, he eats things that are not strictly edible. So far, everything has come out alright, so to speak. We've changed his middle name to Dispos-All.

In 2014, we got a cat form the pound, a gray tabby, who we named George. He's a sweetie, but he's always trying to get out. David is unalterably opposed to this.

Last April, I got a mixed breed puppy from a rescue in Ashe County. She's half-beagle, half-Shih Tzu, so they called her a Bijou. That would be a good name for her, but they had already named her Ivy, and since that's a family name, I kept it. She is almost a year old now, and I just adore her. She chews everything, she does not come when called, she's scruffy and stinky, and she is my heart. Jake is so sweet and gentle with her, and she is an absolute rascal to him. They play grr-and-tussle, and he never hurts her, and she's not at all afraid of him. Ivy also plays with George, and he's sweet to her too. I guess being a puppy gets you a lot of latitude.

My tabby cat Noel died in 2012, at the age of 19. She loved me, liked Mom okay, and tolerated no one else. My dog Dolly died in 2014, when she was 15. She was the world's greatest dog, and everyone who met her had to agree. I'm sure your dog is great, but Dolly was the WGD. I miss her.

It must have been in 2013 or 2014 that my cousin Cathy died of a brain tumor. She was six and a half months older than me, and it never, ever occurred to me that we wouldn't be old ladies together. We planned to terrorize the nursing home and hold wheelchair races in the halls. Fucking cancer. I went to see her a month or so before she died, but I couldn't go to her funeral or her memorial. I was just sick about it, but it's done. (I'd like to know why decent people like Cath die young but Dick Cheney goes on and on. Heaven doesn't want him and hell won't have him, I guess.)

That's the overall update.