?

Log in

Moving at the Speed of Procrastination. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
E.G.

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

[sticky post] Other ways to contact me [Apr. 4th, 2017|12:06 pm]
E.G.
[Tags|]

If i quit posting here, feel free to look for me at http://elainegrey.dreamwidth.org/ .

I receive email via google's mail service at the user name elaineforexample.

Confidantes may find more information at http://elainegrey.livejournal.com/654579.html
LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Apr. 29th, 2017|07:58 am]
E.G.
Thank heavens that work week is over and i get to run away and leave the kerfuffle. Our company wants to be certified for a certain standard. On round two of the process, we had a consultant in who basically revealed the most cynical frame for certification -- much smoke and mirrors and little conformance. Not dissimilar to round one. We're now on round three with a recently hired executive director of security who wants to do things by the book, but in the most expedient way possible: no consideration of long term consequences.

I made many jokes about alcohol.

And then there was the point where i lost a day's work because the combination of remote Microsoft "One Drive" plus Excel plus Mac OS executed no automatic periodic saves.

The best part of the week was contacting external vendors for what is called "multi-factor" or "two-factor" authentication, describing what we have built, and seeing if they could interoperate with our system. In describing what we do, i was gratified by the other person appreciating the complexity and scope of what we have built and the challenge with which i was presenting them.

--== ∞ ==--

The first part of the week was quite wet: now things are back to growing by leaps and bounds.

I am disappointed by my early April use of the greenhouse. I think things got far too warm and i killed many seedlings. Sprouting pawpaw seeds were cooked. I'm hoping my Torreya taxifolia seeds will survive: it's a rare yew tree. The seeds were passed on by another native plant enthusiast.

I'm also wondering about seed vendors, but before i start pointing fingers, i'll point at myself for failures. Still: how hard is it to provide sunflower seeds with over 50% germination rate? I've 12 seeds, dropped one, and three sprouted. A fourth sprout seems frozen. On the other hand, three of these 18' sunflowers are sufficient, i think, to shade the south west wall of our bedroom.

I harvested my one beautiful head of romaine and a cup or so of snow peas. I think i need to get a sense of how many square feet of plants make enough of anything to be useful.

--== ∞ ==--

Hot and humid. The air conditioner is already coming on, but i'm pondering lowering the temperature. I'm wondering about programming the thermostat. It's easier to cool the house overnight when it's cooler outside, right? So shouldn't i use the overnight setting to cool to the coolest temperature?

LinkLeave a comment

Band meme [Apr. 26th, 2017|11:45 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

A meme, via [personal profile] zyzyly , that seemed fun to do. Nine performers/bands i've seen perform live and one i haven't.



  1. Phillip Glass
  2. Laurie Anderson
  3. Devo
  4. Metallica
  5. Journey
  6. Patti Smith
  7. Bob Dillion
  8. Pink Floyd
  9. Rush
  10. Queensryche
Feel free to guess the one i haven't seen. And the two that i slept through. 



This is also posted at http://elainegrey.dreamwidth.org/649690.html .
LinkLeave a comment

Last week's post that lingered [Apr. 26th, 2017|11:41 am]
E.G.
In, "Oy, that backfired!" news, i asked my boss for some additional work. (Not bluntly, not, "i need a few more deadlines to stop procrastinating.") Instead i got some praise for how i advised a reinterpretation of requirements (so that it was consistent with current infrastructure instead of a change that would be ridiculously expensive to support). The praise was in the form of, "If you just sat there in North Carolina for the rest of the year, that one comment would pay for you -- not that i want you to do that."

My inner six year old really didn't need to hear that.

--== ∞ ==--

California plant life doesn't go through the volume of growth as occurs here. There's a native plant closely related to sunflowers, Smallanthus uvedalius, that was growing at the edge of the yard when we moved in. It grows eight to ten foot tall from a tuber in ... must be 6 weeks? I'm astounded. I've transplanted some from where they are at the edge of the woods near where the previous owners had their garden plot to the base of the tall tulip poplar that stands alone near the side of the house.

The tallness of the tulip poplar is accentuated by the absence of lower branches. It clearly had company as the cluster of stumps reveals. And, as the sprouting of the stumps shows, i think the trees were part of efforts to make the house salable. I would not be surprised if "you need more natural light" was a bit of the consideration. Some of the trees were quite close, though, so there's that. Some small spurs have leafed out on the naked trunk, so i am in hopes that the tree will someday look a little less naked. On the other hand, it shades the garden for a bit in the afternoon. I suppose i will welcome that as the moment when i can say to myself, quick, get some work in before it's back in the full glare.

I don't know if i've written about the extent that the yard seems like it was abandoned. We find things like full bags of rotted manure just sitting in places. Off the back deck, in the back yard are toys for children and dogs, clothing, broken windchimes, grilling tools. I imagine a grandmother telling a crying child that the toy is gone and there's no getting it back. It's like flotsam and jetsam swept off into the great ocean jungle. I've speculated about why everything was abandoned, and my initial theories of failed health don't hold up. I have a new theory: a fear of ticks.

Ugh.

--== ∞ ==--

We've had a nice rain come through, and it's cooled off. Just a few degrees cooler at night seems to make a difference in whether i sleep through the night or not. Huzzah for programmable thermostats.

LinkLeave a comment

Lunch [Apr. 21st, 2017|12:59 pm]
E.G.
And i ate my first pea pod while in the yard!


(Thought i had reduced the size on that image!)

LinkLeave a comment

Wednesday ramblings [Apr. 19th, 2017|08:54 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

Continue to feel disrupted by the absence of my laptop. Happily, the mirror i made of the system mounts on my desktop machine, and i can use my work laptop to access the interface from my lollygag locations. Better than nothing.

Taxes completed in time, after some confusion from the software regarding the multistate taxes. I resent the confusion because the software should have warned us it wasn't what we needed. Pfft. Christine's parents must have had drama every tax time because she's always had huge anxiety around taxes. My family's tradition was to procrastinate. Hm. So, clearly we keep to how we were raised.

At work, my team builds the systems that support authentication into the various services The Whale [1] offers. We're doing work to become compliant with a number of certification systems, most of which require us to amp-up our minimal password management. "Ah-ha," said our security analyst, "why don't we just buy a system that already does this. That would save this money." I in turn shudder at the thought of how much work it would be to integrate with such a thing, if we could find one that meets our requirements. Yesterday evening and this morning i wrote up the requirements for such a theoretic money saving system. I think it makes clear how much integration work is required. I don't know if it made clear some of the maintenance risks. I felt a certain sense of pride as i reviewed the requirements: we've done a great deal of good work.

Yesterday evening's yard mowing was pleasant. I was a little concerned because the east yard seems to be a urban center for ground dwelling bees. I don't think the mowing disrupted them too much. I didn't mow much of the low growing bunch grass that my sister says is a native. We love this grass! I'm delighted how well it integrates with violets. It's not a dense carpet like lawn grasses and it has a coarse texture, but maintenance is low.

A video of the bees from this weekend is at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwP9rg2b1QL3aHBJcDJmT1Z3eVk/view?usp=sharing for at least the next week or so (probably months). (Pfft, the low sun doesn't do my shadow any favors.)

Boy, do we need rain. It keeps being promised. I think i'm going to do a flood of the areas between the beds today. Here's an attempt an an ascii diagram to depict how the soil is loose beneath the level of the paths between the beds, so flooding the paths causes draining into the sub soil of the beds. I find that the water gets pulled up into the bed above the path level after some hours. Eventually, i'll come up with something more efficient, but i think the flooding beats a sprinkler at this point.
           
   / + + + + \   / + + + + \
=== + + + + + === + + + + + ===
===  + +  + + ===  + +  + + ===
===============================



I'd set my mind to disliking the azaleas up close to the house so i could remove them as a fire hazard. One of them, though, is a glorious deep pink with large blossoms, just out my work window. The salmon color shrub doesn't appeal to me, and one that is cotton candy pink is still only buds. I think i'll be able to want that one gone. It seems propagation of the bright pink one from cuttings would be feasible, so there's that.


[1] Haven't used that pseudonym in a long while. It's due to the scale difference between my original library services employer and the company we merged with, now noted as "largest online public access catalog in the world."

Link2 comments|Leave a comment

Tuesday morning notes [Apr. 19th, 2017|08:44 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

I'm cranky my mac is at the shop... and that nothing turned out to be wrong with it in all the diagnostics. I'm happy this happened in just a few weeks before the warranty expired: i still have time to add two more years of Apple Care.

I'm delighted to discover pappadum make up so well in the microwave. I'm having boiled eggs seasoned with curry paste and pappadum for breakfast: delightful!

I also discovered that many of the oxalis and cudweeds around are natives: huzzah! On the other hand, my sister reports that crimson clover spreads -- when i thought it was an annual and doesn't set seed here. Gah, https://www.smithseed.com/seed/legumes/clovers/crimson-clover reports "excellent" reseeding. I wonder if i confused crimson clover with buckwheat. It still can't be as bad as the stilt grass. In "Other Non Natives That Are My Fault" the mixed cover crops that include brassicas are going to seed. I've gotten a good bit pulled up, but i thought i had a little more time.

LinkLeave a comment

Oh and also [Apr. 17th, 2017|11:13 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, ]

My brother in law told me about a research paper on making tea. In the microwave.

I'm happy to see this is about green tea. Although what is this "bag" they speak of?

".... Dr Quan Vuong, a researcher at Australia’s University of Newcastle, is the primary antagonist here.

Back in 2012, he actually looked into microwaving (green) tea and what it would do to the compounds inside the leaves. Based on careful chemical analyses, Vuong’s study concluded that the method above extracted far more nutrients than any other. The actions of Tennant’s fictional detective just brought the paper to light again." -- http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/best-way-make-tea-microwave-according-science/

official site - http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfca.2012.06.001 - http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889157512000828

available at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Quan_Vuong2/publication/257273267_Improved_extraction_of_green_tea_components_from_teabags_using_the_microwave_oven/links/541c0e6c0cf2218008c4e3f4.pdf

I'd also found a related paper, Efficient extraction strategies of tea (Camellia sinensis)
biomolecules, http://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-014-1487-3 -- but this paper tut-tuts the value of caffeine. Harumph.


Meanwhile, Zotero, where most content like this is now being recorded, isn't working with the browser plug in to automatically generate the citation record. Harumph.

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Apr. 17th, 2017|08:20 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

It was a fairly pleasant weekend, despite it being warm. I couldn't think of anything to do on Saturday outside that wasn't in the sun, so i ended up sitting on the screened porch going through a year's worth of photos on my phone.  I spent some time on Sunday at my parents with my sister's family and her husband's sister's family. Cousins at play! Altogether not a gathering where you have much time with folks: my mother is delighted to have people gathered and she isolates herself in preparations. My dad is beginning to appreciate that she's happy, even though she's not actually spending time with anyone. 

The king size comforter sat in the large bath tub long enough that one of the cats "did his business" on it. It's been taken to a nearby cleaner for a $40+ cleaning. Next year -- if we use it -- it will be cared for more promptly. But what a hassle. My grandmother also had a feather duvet with a simple cover. *THAT* is a practical item. I might look for a heavier duty cover for it and skip using this maroon/burgundy satin thing altogether. 

Slugger, of Slugger & Louise, our cardinals, is showing around his fledgling son. I do hope he doesn't teach Junior to attack his reflection while sitting on the car  & truck side view mirrors. 

My laptop is unexpectedly shutting down once again. I count myself incredibly lucky that i got a decent backup yesterday. Now it's just the hassle of getting to the apple store. I've turned that into a visit with my sister plus a dog outing. Yay. 

List of things i want to research that aren't my job:
  1. Plant IDs
    1. Tree that i've thought of as a "cherry" that probably isn't in the rose family, now that i've seen the inflorescence.
    2. a DYC Dad has observed spreading in his pasture. It looks pretty much like a hawkweed, but a single dandelion-like blossom.
    3. a borage family flower growing under the dead tree of heaven
    4. a composite growing in the glade with white aster-like flowers
  2. Grace
    1. Did early Quakers write of grace?
    2. What concept of grace was around in England pre Cromwell?




This is also posted at http://elainegrey.dreamwidth.org/648018.html .
LinkLeave a comment

Snippet of plant thoughts [Apr. 15th, 2017|07:45 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

So both Asteraceae-Cichorioideae-Cichorieae: Youngia japonica & Lamiaceae-Teucrioideae-Ajugeae: Ajuga reptans in the yard with rosette behavior. Both are non-native. Both are potentially invasive but not listed in NC. Is it hypocritical of me to keep (er, not fight) the bugle plant and not keep (attempt to prevent spreading) the false hawksbeard?

I'm now recording the Family-Subfamily-Tribe of plants in big families in the Evernote entries about my observations. After taking the Asteraceae class - daisies and dandelions and sunflowers - i knew being able to key out a new plant by recognizing the tribe would be helpful. Beans, mints, and the apple family are also so large and varied that i am finding it useful to subdivide there, as well.

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Apr. 14th, 2017|08:42 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

Luigi is standing in the door to the front room, hissing and yowling at the sleeping dog. I guess i should open the bedroom door so he can hang out with sleeping Christine. (Who was up late working on a project.)

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Apr. 14th, 2017|07:02 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

I missed my niece's birthday yesterday. Glad i glanced at Facebook and found that out, but i carry disgust & dismay with myself. Working on tempering that: don't want to dismiss the feeling altogether because i want to motivate myself to get back to the patterns that helped me, well, KNOWINGLY miss celebrating dates for folks. Sigh.

Did i mention i have a therapist? I have felt myself getting resentful of the elephants and wanted to make sure the elephants -- as it seems likely that they will be around for a long time -- don't damage our relationship. Christine is working as hard as possible on them, and i have to balance her desire for privacy (hence elephants) but i'll say much is out of her control. Anyhow, therapist.

We talked a bit about procrastination last visit. She's mainly acting as a coach. I know what i need to do, it just helps to have someone who can remind me of what i know and not let me weasel out. Straight talk about procrastination: just stop frittering away the time! Yeah, that is what i have to do -- and there are tricks to make use of and so on -- but ... sigh.

I realize i don't know when the redbuds went away because my glasses are broken and i'm making do with my close work glasses. I'm glad dogwood blossoms are nice and large. The lilac has bloomed -- BOOM -- and smells divine. Christine has found the shrub to be in an annoying spot, and i thought it was a boring thing. But now, wow. One azalea, as well, has been blooming like mad. Like the saucer magnolia, the azaleas that are planted are not the natives but ones from Asia that have been bred up as an ornamental. They are rather flammable, and i rather think i want the ones right up next to the house gone some day. The one that has been blooming, though, is away from the house and is a lovely red (on the blue side) and looks wonderful with the lilac. If the frost hadn't hit the saucer magnolia, it would still have wonderful pink flowers as well.

Onions and mystery bulbs are about to bloom, the peonies are as well. The pansies i rescued from the remainder bin are gorgeous, except slugs are nibbling away at them (and probably the collards). I know the potatoes are nigh a month from maturity, but i went to look anyhow, willing to give up future bulk to serve my own potatoes this weekend. Pfft, not a chance. Nothing that looked like even thoughts of tubers. So, there's that.

I am reminding myself that last summer i didn't have a place to plant ready. THIS summer i will be able to get in the autumn garden and will actually have greens to eat all winter. The baby collards and onions and one lettuce made it through the deep cold we had (thanks to the "snow", i'm sure): i am confident that it will be worth it this fall to keep them going.

Link2 comments|Leave a comment

Downloading LJ as CSV & XML solution? [Apr. 12th, 2017|06:55 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

Anyone have an account that can scan jar files for malware? Something like https://www.joesecurity.org/joe-sandbox-cloud? (If not, eventually i'll go through http://cleanbytes.net/malware-online-scanners and find a free one.) I want to use this LJ download tool instead of manually catching up on getting XML and CSV archives. It's not very suspicious -- a 2007 executable seems less likely to target a mac than one today -- but with so few downloads, i just want to be sensible.

If you have a better idea for a mac user, feel free to let me know. I suppose i can stretch my curl skills to figure out how to script a request with a cookie and form data.

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Apr. 10th, 2017|09:21 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

Insight! I'm gonna grow sweet potatoes as a ground cover. Sweet potatoes vs Stilt Grass: fight!

Christine finds vines creepy, but i think i can argue that vines six inches high or so hide less mysterious crawling things than the stilt grass. Sweet potatoes don't seem to be escaping to nature much -- reported in one NC county in the coastal plain, similarly not that common else where in the south east. Perhaps it's problematic in the deep south.

I'd love to give the ornamentals a try, but the patented plants are more expensive singly than a bundle of 25 slips from the local farm store. I figure i'll get a bundle of the purple root in hopes the foliage is distinctive and a bundle of some pest resistant type. I'm not expecting them to grow well as i'm not going to pamper them, but i suppose i'll end up with some sweet potatoes at the end of it. Christine likes the root, at least. The greens appear to be edible and enjoyed, so i might like that.

In other weed news, i think i've found Polygonum cespitosum (Oriental Lady's Finger or something like that) sprouting. UGH. So many of my nemeses gone over winter. Also, there is a tiny something sprouting thickly in places. I'm hoping it's just the bitter cress. Somehow, the bitter cress just doesn't seem quite as horrifying. I suppose it's because i imagine i can get it before it goes to seed. (I just haven't in a number of places.) It does EXPLODE it's seeds when you walk through it, which is very disconcerting.

In happy news, i found some spring beauty and have transplanted it into the "courtyard" area of ferns. I also dug up some Christmas ferns and put them in hanging baskets. They look fairly nice, but i planted them in the native clay. Too heavy to hang. So, i'll need to repot with wood chips mixed in.

--== ∞ ==--

In inside news, king size beds have a high TCO. How am i gonna wash the winter comforter? Apparently the bathtub is the answer. (The laundry machine refers to washing sleeping bags and *small* comforters in the bulky mode, so there's that.) We're going to dry it on the car.

I've bought another dog toy from the same PetSafe Busy Buddy folks who have made the best toy so far, a "barnacle" that holds kibble in it and makes the dog work for it. In the same order was a very (to me) expensive case for the phone Carrie damaged. I don't think i want to go to the bother of replacing the phone until begins being problematic: with tape over the crushed corner to keep the pulverized glass from slowly escaping, i think it will work a good while. Now i pick up the phone and caress the leather instead of looking at the chew marks and gnawed corner of the old case. I will eventually stop noticing the broken screen, right?

The last part of that purchase is a little mirror, designed to be added to side view mirrors to reduce blind spot issues. I've put it on the window frame opposite me so i can (kind of) observe the porch. The porch is far more "busy" that the area beside a car! But i should be able to see people at the door.

Link2 comments|Leave a comment

Oh, fie, you fickle Spring, you [Apr. 8th, 2017|06:48 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

It's just below freezing out there. Poor little green solar panels that have pushed through the heavy red clay. What'cha going to do?

I pondered thinning the salad mix, but decided that the taller sprouts (ooh, here's one with a real leaf!) would shelter the shorter.

I wish i could believe that many ticks were dying and all the sprouted stilt grass was withering -- i'd give up my (pop)corn for that. I don't think, though, that any of the three will be harmed. Or the salad sprouts, to tell the truth. I've not planted anything early per the charts for piedmont North Carolina, and perhaps the collards will even like the crisp weather.

The peonies -- one from the previous resident, one from Christine's maternal grandmother -- had set buds, so i've covered them up. And a friend had given me pepper sprouts: i covered those with domes from grocery cookies etc.

I'm not sure what's happening to the apple trees. They were butchered at some point -- topped -- and i pruned the snarl of water sprouts dramatically in early January. The leafing out is highly irregular, tufts of leaves in some spots, tight scales in others. I don't see anything like flower buds. I wonder about investing time in the trees, but i figure i can make mistakes on these trees before making them on new trees.

Thinking back to the corn, it's time to get my scare"crow" up. Except it's to scare deer. I don't think dog hair works, but i'm going to mulch the collards with a bag i collected yesterday. It might scare mice?

LinkLeave a comment

Octopus News [Apr. 7th, 2017|02:21 pm]
E.G.
[Tags|]

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/06/science/octopus-squid-intelligence-rna-editing.html

This is just fascinating, cephalopods (or, at least, the octopus/squid branch of that class) have been discovered to do extensive RNA editing, giving them access to much more complex protein building behaviors than most creature's far less dynamic

To quote the NYTimes: "natural selection seems to have favored RNA editing in coleoids, even though it potentially slows the DNA-based evolution that typically helps organisms acquire beneficial adaptations over time."

The first two extinction events:

* 439 Mya (Million years ago) Ordovician–Silurian Extinction
** "86% of life on Earth was wiped out."
** "Trilobites, brachiopods, and graptolites died off in large numbers but interestingly, this did not lead to any major species changes during the next era."

* 364Mya Late Devonian Extinction
** "75% of species were lost"

The ancestors of cephalopods "became dominant during the Ordovician period," that is 485.4–443.8 Mya -- before that first extinction event. It seems that octopii are pretty adaptable as they are -- physically changing shape, changing skin appearance, incredibly mobile. And now the genetics of the creatures seem to be pretty flexible and mutable as well.

My mind swirls with what ifs and curiosity: Surely we have lost cephalopod diversity with the extinction events. There's no reason to believe the most smart-like-human-smart creature lineages would have survived all extinctions. The cost of those extinction events to a slowly evolving lineage would be much higher than to us vertebrates. (And plants' capacity for diversifying genetics seems much more than animals' capacity) What if there hadn't been extinction events? What would the apex of cephalopod evolution be like then?

LinkLeave a comment

Reflections on two Meetings [Apr. 7th, 2017|10:42 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

The women's book groups in California had a book. And the talk was about the book. Which was in some way improving or Quaker focused.

The women's book group here gave up on books ages ago. It's a potluck time with sharing lives.

I think this second group makes it much easier to become intimate and vulnerable. In the abstract, a unstructured gathering is riskier in that someone could ruin the dynamic: someone with drama all the time, etc. On the other hand, the long relationships some of the women have had makes it stable. It will be some time, i suppose, before i determine whether there is skill in managing boundaries in this group. My sense is that they can -- if someone showed up and was me-me-me-me, they could guide them. I sense a capacity to give support without being overwhelmed. On the other hand, a small meeting may not be attractive to someone who is emotionally needy.

[Here i ponder some difficult personalities over the years and try to imagine them in the set.

I have a muttering about "integrity" about the name, and i've managed that for myself by suggesting it's the book of our lives.

....

I heard from Friends from the California meeting of a relationship triangle that has formed, apparently without the consensus of all three folks. It sounds like it's been a challenge. I may ask one or two of the members of this meeting whether anything like that has been handled. It's this sort of issue where the not-professional laity of unprogrammed Quakers comes up short: how do you provide pastoral support and minister to the whole community as well? So glad it's not my knot to be dealing with.

....

I think my reticence about expressing myself in panentheistic terms is about equal in both communities. It helps (compared to pagan Quakers i know) that i am comfortable with a beatitudes focussed understanding of Christianity and also comfortable with some metaphorical use of the traditional narrative. (To be explicit, I can use Advent waiting and Easter "risen" language to express some of my experience. I'm not comfortable with "my cross to bear.") From talking with Christine, i think i am safe in describing myself as postmodernist in theology, with belief that That Which Is can never be captured in one consistent system of thought.

....

There's an earnestness and formal quality to the California meetings i've attended that i think holds to the FGC streams of Quakerism. I wonder how much of the behavior is due to so many convinced Friends? And so many attenders? And, given the universalist streak, a worry that the distinctiveness of Quakers must be preserved?

Link3 comments|Leave a comment

Live Journal Status [Apr. 4th, 2017|11:54 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

Well, i clicked through the agreement page having read other's routes to some assurance. However, if you are posting on Dreamwidth, i've dropped you on LJ. I also dropped a whole stack of communities and folks who have disappeared.

If i dropped you, please feel free to let me know!

I need to make a post that points to Dreamwidth that's visible if you aren't logged in. I may start posting comments with my Dreamwidth account if your journal allows that. Haven't sorted that out in my head.

So, that's the latest administrivia.

Link2 comments|Leave a comment

A sign of a good day? [Apr. 3rd, 2017|10:31 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, , ]

I just received notice that my medical flex account claim was received. I had to email it on Saturday, a day after the due date, as the fax failed on Friday several times. They don't say whether the claim was accepted, but they don't say, "too late, the money is OURS."

So, some hope that that will sort out.

Unlike my phone, which the dog has chewed on. The screen is cracked but it seems all works, except for a crack across the lens of the "selfie" camera. (And even that works fairly well.) Given how rarely i use that camera, i may be able to get some more use out of it.

Then there was the rosemary i bought yesterday. I read the tag, after it was planted, and it says "Not for Human or Animal consumption. " Here's a larger plant with the same warning (under the image). Best i can guess is they pesticide-ed it to death in the nursery? Surely that would go away after, i dunno, a year? I'm rather irritated. (Lowes says one year. Might return it and get the much smaller plant, but it might not be as big as this one in one year. Hrmph.)

I discovered the phone and the rosemary warning shortly before water boiled over on the stove and sent the fire alarm off for a rather long bit yesterday evening. Loud sounds stress was an unwelcome addition.

Eventually, we got things settled and had a lovely dinner.

--== ∞ ==--

It was a bit of a roller coaster weekend. Venting, in briefCollapse )

Link2 comments|Leave a comment

(no subject) [Mar. 30th, 2017|11:30 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

The spot soldering/welding job on my new glasses at the temple has come undone. I can find the flux and solder, but not the little butane torch. Argh.

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Mar. 30th, 2017|07:22 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, , , ]

Carrie carried many shoes into the living room overnight and chewed a strap off one of my sandals and one of Christine's shoes overnight. She also took socks out of the bedroom and left them in front of the library, and pulled jeans to the door of the bedroom. It would be adorable if it wasn't so expensive. Christine talks about nominative determinism: i should remind Carrie her name is not "Carry."

I've ordered "bitter apple" spray that should arrive in a week.

Also, i will be trying to not let her sleep all day.

--== ∞ ==--

A black snake slithered out of my way as i was mowing the east yard yesterday -- first snake of the season. The exterminators found mice under the house, so snakes follow. (Actually, we'd seen a snake going under the house when we first moved here.)

Also, when i went out before heading to sleep, fireflies. Fireflies! Already! I don't recall them before June, but i also didn't have the habit of going out every night when i was growing up.

The exterminators gave us a quote for replacing all the vents under the house, around $1500. It seemed wise to get an estimate for sealing off the crawl space as we had pretty serious humidity issues last summer. I was sure it would be over $10k, but it wasn't. So, we'll have the crawl space sealed up and included in the HVAC system. I think it will help reduce Christine's anxieties about snakes under the house, and it should be more efficient. All around a good investment.

--== ∞ ==--

I saw a therapist yesterday. She thinks i'm lonely, and that's affecting my capacity in dealing with Christine's elephants. She's echoed one of my goals for the week and helped chat me through some of the procrastination. It's hard for me to see myself as lonely, but i have been aware that my interactions with people have decreased. Even here with you all.

One insight i had was that i didn't have a clearly social relationship with many of my CA friends. That is, it was either a group gathering, stopping to see someone at work, or in conjunction with Meeting activities. I never had a pattern where they or i reached out directly to each other.

She also loaned me a book about living with someone with one diagnosis of what the elephants may be. Much of the details did not resonate. Christine said when i shared the book that it was a diagnosis that was one of the more unlikely. After reading some of the diagnostic points, i'm leaning towards discarding it as a possibility altogether.

Link1 comment|Leave a comment

(no subject) [Mar. 27th, 2017|10:12 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, ]

Spring is going to go gangbusters now.

I walked around the yard yesterday several times - so much growth is on the way. After weeks of watching daffodils creep out of the soil, i feel like everything is going to explode this week. The autumn olive and honeysuckle are already greened up; i found the first seedlings of the cursed stilt grass yesterday. A few potatoes are peaking out of the soil. I just started watering and wonder if i should have started earlier. I suspect that there will be fully leafed out trees next weekend.

We have redbuds and dogwoods aplenty. I went out one day - maybe weekend before last - tying red silk ribbon on redbuds. (The ribbon is rough stuff, meant to be used to bind edges, i think. It has unfinished edges. I bought it to dye & crochet, but it seems an environmentally friendly way to mark the trees.) I still have plenty to mark. I think the trees i found were early bloomers: there seem even more now.

Again, i note how our property with its gentle incline facing the north, seems to be slower to bloom than yards and treelines i observe while driving around.

gardeningCollapse )

Hmph. Straight from heat to air conditioning? (At 3:30 it's 90°F on the south side of the house, 80°F on the north side.)

--== ∞ ==--

The "Carolina Friends Emergency Consultation" on Saturday didn't use my queries. I have decided it was because i was an unknown quantity to the convener and drafted them last minute. The convener might also be a fairly disorganized/distracted person.

Posted by one of the resource teams was this list: http://www.aforcemorepowerful.org/resources/nonviolent/methods.php . "Lysistratic nonaction" was a new one for me. I did recognize it was a Greek term, for what it's worth. I have depressing reflections on the effectiveness of such nonaction in a culture where women's bodies are not respected.

--== ∞ ==--

Meanwhile, goals. Last week i found it terribly hard to wake up. I think it was the cold, because yesterday and today i woke well before the alarm. I have managed to mostly attend to the "basics" habit. The new schedule has been a little harder. I am getting to my work desk at 8, which is good. Once i'm at my desk has been a different matter.

I break the year up into seasons for goal setting. This spring is getting a hold of myself.

I have a therapist lined up. It was amazing: i have an appointment less than a week from my first call. I'm really uncertain as to how this will be helpful in dealing with being in a supportive/caring role while not getting burned out, but i do think i need to do something before i burn out.

May rapidly approaches, and with it two travel periods.

Goals: between now and Beltane

* execute: basics + plan next day's most important task to do first thing + do most important thing (practices that have slid since the election)
* execute: new am schedule
* experiment: evening habit changes
* plan Beltane season: travel & yard
** need to plan to meet up with people when traveling
* plan Summer+Lammas to be social focus
** Summer social event/s here?
** other summer plans?
** discuss a Summer Solstice gathering with C

Link1 comment|Leave a comment

Queries [Mar. 25th, 2017|09:10 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

I'm going to a meeting of Quakers today where we will discuss all our concerns for the current state of affairs and how to address them. I've written queries that i'm not sure will be used. So, to share my morning's reflections, here they are:

2017-03-25 The Carolina Friends Emergency Consultation,
Spring Friends Meeting, Snow Camp, NC

Concerns and Callings are both valuable and necessary as we manifest Light in the world. How have you discerned the difference between the two in your life? Have you experienced a group being Called to action?

We have an abundance of gifts among us. Sometimes the abundance can look more like trouble and constraint than gifts. Have you witnessed the creative transition of gifts into solutions?

The root of "Emergency" is emerge, bring to light. As we gather, what concerns are you led to bring to the Light in this gathering?


LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Mar. 24th, 2017|06:13 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

Old moon rises in the trees, thin crescent barely seen.
Starshine: the big dipper in the crest of pines.
The rush of pre 6am shipping flights above.
A raspy hum from US 64, a mile to the south.
The roar of commuters on RCC Road.
I finally hear ... frogs! Despite the near freezing temperature, frogs sing.
Then an owl..

Time for tea

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Mar. 22nd, 2017|07:34 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

A private premier of Christine's sister's film was held Monday night. She rented the Varsity in Chapel Hill and there was quite a crush of friends, associates, neighbors. Christine's brother & my parents as well. Their other sister isn't able to travel as easily and will see it at its public premier in Winston-Salem at the River Run Festival. My sister was returning from a work trip to England.

In general, folks really appreciated the film. A filmmaker mentor & friend said she nailed the memoir format; Christine & D's hairdresser confirmed that D succeeded in making the film about their family and not about Christine's transition. I think it does a lovely job of communicating that a difference like being transgendered can be accepted by bible based faith family members, and that it provides some help in being compassionate. (Left unanswered, given the initial filmed responses, what if a son had come out as gay in their family. The cognitive dissonance of Christine & i remaining together is expressed in a few comments.)

There was appreciation for our willingness to be vulnerable, and that awareness of vulnerability -- seeing yourself on the big screen with a hundred or so mostly strangers -- is bouncing around in both my & Christine's emotions. The next year will be festivals and some point the NC PBS station. I know there are some Texas festivals D's applied to.

--== ∞ ==--

Meanwhile, Christine's aunt died, the last member of her mother's generation. We drove up to the little country town for the graveside service yesterday. It was simple, which i appreciated but perhaps not Christine. The closing reading was of the rapture as described in Revelations. We were the city cousins, particularly with D's Fluevog high heels in pink and black, her grey tights with black flowers and birds, her fit-and-flare black dress, and her capelet with pink chenille embellished on the black net. (I'm forgetting what that textile work is called.)

--== ∞ ==--

I'm sick, although pine trees are entering into the pollen season.

Link2 comments|Leave a comment

Monday was a wet dog [Mar. 14th, 2017|11:44 am]
E.G.
[Tags|, , ]

Carrie seems terrified of towels. Unlike drought era California, we do have rain here and she has no choice but to get wet. Not sure how to solve this: manhandling her so that i can dry her doesn't seem likely to help. Must remember to have treats at hand. Maybe some treats while holding towels, etc.

Winteresque weather has returned. We're due some solid lows (22°F). The peony has emerged, and i think i need to keep it protected. It out grew the cover i had for it on the first day -- i need something else. Maybe a sheet or towel over an old tomato cage?

Christine gave me a game camera/camera trap for my birthday, and i think i have ruined it by leaving it in "aim" mode all day on the very first day. Eventually i need to call them for support. Not happy about the fuss.

This morning a near catastrophe occurred. My teapot's handle gave way: it is bamboo held on with wire hooks through the ceramic, one of which finally slipped through the loop. I had a heavy robe on, protecting me from a serious scald. I was able to have a controlled drop of the tea pot, right side up, on to the empty dog bed below, so there was still tea. The thought of that failure occurring at some other more vulnerable moment is daunting.

I can't remember if it was my Silver or Cadmium year resolution that was about habits, but i think that this year is going to be about habits again. I've dropped so many. Some drops may be just fine, but i think others need to come back.

Goals Check-InCollapse )

Link1 comment|Leave a comment

Things i might have written about over the past week [Mar. 13th, 2017|03:08 pm]
E.G.
[Tags|, ]

Apparently, when you boil the violets (Viola sororia) with the sugar to make a violet simple syrup, the color turns out emerald-y -- or as Christine put it "yellow striving towards blue." Recipes indicate i would have had more success had i steeped the violets in hot water, strained them out, then made the simple syrup.

Speaking of V sororia, there's no violet flavor to speak of.

We had snow! Started Sunday morning, we were able to gaze at it, go for a walk in it, make pancakes & hot cocoa watching it, and it was gone after lunch.

Sick on Thursday. Meh.

Took Wednesday off, in solidarity. Wasn't very productive (probably due to onset of cold). Drove to a historical oyster bar with my Dad & Christine and had a little bit more birthday celebration with a peck of lightly steamed oysters.

Didn't do much adulting on Saturday. Read two of "The Sharing Knife" series by Lois McMaster Bujold. I feel it misses the strength of the Chalion series, but it's an admirable series. Most of the demerits for the November-April relationship are redeemed by a comment about laundry in the second book.

Link2 comments|Leave a comment

(no subject) [Mar. 13th, 2017|02:00 pm]
E.G.
[Tags|, , ]

Weekend flew by << this was the FIRST weekend in March. I've been dragging on this post.

We had dinner up at Christine's sister's, and i split a bottle of sparkling wine with her. We were home late for me, and so Saturday morning was a very slow start. Mower had the blade replaced with assistance from the local shop (they undid the bolt for me), and then i mowed. The back yard had long grass; everywhere else was just tidied.

Spring onions are the main "culprit" of an untidy appearance: it turns out that the best way to get rid of them will be to dig them all out. (Or some annoying pattern of poisoning.) Since they are theoretic deer detractants, i ponder waiting until i have plantings of fruit trees, etc, that could use a circle of onions (as ground cover?). They are attractive plants, just a good bit taller than anything else out in the yard at this point.

The main reason i mowed was to minimize bittercress going to seed.

--== ∞ ==--

I have discovered sudoku. The NYTimes website puzzle interface for sudoku is just as appealing as for crosswords. I never found these attractive diversions with paper and pencil: with the efficient interfaces i am much more engaged. Also, i seem to be not so stressed out by work that puzzles are unattractive.

--== ∞ ==--

I AM SO DIFFERENT from me a year ago.

There. I had often wondered if i would really have time for a yard. Well, i do. I just don't have time for anything else. Yesterday evening i just wandered around outside, appreciating the fading light, looking at the state of various plants, worrying about the freeze coming....

I am also very happy to sit an watch the dog or cats or just sit.

Contentment? Maybe. There's an edge of procrastination/avoidance going on hinting at dysthymia.

I've dropped so many habits that used to anchor me: some just since the election, some since the move. I know i need to reinitiate them.

--== ∞ ==--
[personal profile] owlmoose tagged me for the ten random facts meme. I decided it needed to be an acrostic, for some unfathomable reason, so there's that.

Also, i need to tag some folks, so : amaebi, gurdonark, [personal profile] zlabya.

Training has included hunt seat riding (not much jumping though), how to handle radioactive materials, andhow to record the location of weeds.

Environmental preference is currently on the cool and shaded. While I have SAD and like the sun, i wilt pretty quickly.

Arithmetic is a weakness of mine. Manipulate symbols? No problem. Actually add? Let me get my fingers.


Shopping is not a delight of mine. I was a catalog shopper before the internet. I imagine that had the internet not come along, i'd have file cabinets or bookshelves full of catalogs.

Tea was one of those shop-by-mail items, although i don't know if i found out about the company i've used for the past 30+ years by USENET. That's Upton Tea by the way. I know there are many different tea companies out there, but novelty in my tea isn't something i've desired.

A glimpse of me without the internet is offered by my mother, with her files and files of paper and all her books. I'm thankful to have been raised by someone so interested in information, and i appreciate the cautionary lesson she offers as she now goes through all her clippings. I was just referencing USENET "clippings" from the 1990s, but i have full text indexing.

I can still remember, shortly after Christine and I were married, explaining the internet to Christine and having her ask, "How will you find anything?" I can't remember when Yahoo started its directory of information. I do recall the "what's new" page where new websites were announced.

Novelty isn't a driver for me. I don't really care for rereading novels or rewatching videos, but given the narrow  genres i choose, i'm not sure I can claim a delight in novelty there. At one point, i would have claimed delight in novel restaurants, but.... Well, if a Noma-esque restaurant opens nearby, i'll save my pennies. I guess i've eaten widely enough that novelty in dining is now pricy. Milk snow at the Umstead!

Eating, while i do enjoy trying new things, is more often very mundane. The fairly basic meal planning we have reflects an amount of depression and overwhelm on my or Christine's part. Christine is not a very adventurous diner, either, so i tend to be the one to cook things that go outside the usual dishes. Part of my delight in getting a garden is the hope that surplus will lead to creativity.

During one summer i lived in New Mexico and ate fruit salads day in and day out. The produce choices just seemed better than what i had seen in NC near my college, and it delighted me. Again, it was very simple -- fresh or steamed (in the microwave). I didn't seem to have the desire for a carb or fat to be added along. I also dropped in weight -- i hadn't realized what constant cream sodas and Pepperidge farm cookies while studying was doing to me.

LinkLeave a comment

Camera Trap! [Mar. 4th, 2017|10:24 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

Go here for video: https://flic.kr/p/SspKDn

Fox! First night, same path we saw the paw prints.

Also, yes, that's the garden plot one of the deer is in.

Link3 comments|Leave a comment

(no subject) [Mar. 3rd, 2017|06:38 am]
E.G.
[Tags|]

Yesterday there was a certain amount of distress in the household. Carrie should be taking it easy to recover from the spay operation. Thus she is a ball of excessive energy and gets rambunctious around the cats, which they find distressing. Christine then tries to fix it, and gets distressed and then i get distressed.

We went into solution mode: i found Benadryl is supposed to be a bit of a sedative for dogs. A friend asked about chamomile, and i found this article: http://dogsaholic.com/care/how-to-sedate-a-dog.html

Let me take a minute to share my eye-rolling about uncritical representation of natural = safeCollapse )

I didn't think chamomile tea in the water dish would be as assuredly consumed as Benadryl in cheese, so i went the Benadryl route in the evening when my extended family was coming over for birthday cake. Christine took the exercise route: she's hired a dog walker for the next week. I can't say the dog walk Christine took her on and the Benadryl sedated her much for the family gathering, but we gave it a go.

Over the weekend i had noticed Carrie chewing on the plastic wrap that Christine's prized books are wrapped in. I had considered the cost of some of the books, the leather bindings on some, and how much peace would be in the household if Carrie came to believe books were toys. I promptly went to Amazon and searched for toys that are designed to engage a dog. I was delighted to find puzzle toys abound. I bought several, and some arrived yesterday. The one with little compartments and a spinning lid was mastered pretty quickly. The toy i thought of as just being a chew toy, though, "PetSafe Busy Buddy Jack Dog Toy," was clearly more than just something to chew on. She worked HARD trying to manipulate the object to get at the "gnawhide" rings. I think it exhausted her last night -- but not enough that she didn't dance at the cats on the bed.

And so, the final dog behavior moderator: the spray bottle. Wow. Carrie promptly left the cats and went to lay down very low on the floor.

I think we have enough tools now to keep Carrie calm for One More Week. Then i can go back to playing with her in the back yard and in the lovely large dog park where she can race around like ... nothing i've ever seen before!

--== ∞ ==--

Meanwhile, it was my birthday which i share with my Dad. It was delightful to be with him and share the celebration: Christine indulged us all buying two glorious cakes, one of which was half icing. I have never had a slice of cake where i felt there was enough icing -- this one ... took the cake! I was quite satiated last night, but this morning i find myself.... Well, i think some slices are going to have to get frozen and wrapped up so that i pace myself responsibly. And there's enough that i think i have something to take to our next door neighbors whom i have not met.

Link3 comments|Leave a comment

navigation
[ viewing | most recent entries ]
[ go | earlier ]