Kitchen and Rest

Kitchen and Rest


My sleep schedule is all whack. Over the holidays I found myself going to sleep later and later. But no worries, because I could sleep in!

And then it was Sunday. And our Landlord was coming to visit. I wrote about this the other day didn’t I. Well, long story short, I stayed up, again, on Sunday to clean the kitchen. I went to sleep at 3 am. Hopes of starting the week off with plenty of sleep, dashed.

But the counter was clean and dishes were being dish washed, dammit.

Right afterward, I took a picture to commemorate the event. Currently, the sink is full of dirty dishes.

Last night, for several reasons, I didn’t get to bed until 4:30 am this morning.

Tonight the plan is bed. Soon. Very soon.

Heavy Heart

Heavy Heart

Giariel, Me, Sethlan, Orion & Bernie

Giariel, Me, Sethlan, Orion & Bernie in 2011

Earlier today I heard that a friend of mine, a fellow student in the Faery Seership path, was in the ICU. I was concerned, but as I saw her last October, and she seemed hale and hearty, not overly so. I sent healing energy (said a prayer), and figured I would check in later. Well, things progressed very quickly, and she passed a little before 8 pm tonight.

Bernadine Weeks, we called her Bernie, was one of those larger-than-life sorts. She was smart, and kind, and the epitome of being a life-long-learner. Sometimes she drove me nuts. I KNOW I drove her nuts. And I am pissed that we won’t be able to drive each other nuts anymore. Unless she haunts me or something (NOT AN INVITATION, BERNIE.)

Me, Sethlan, Orion and Bernie, Circa 2011

Me, Sethlan, Orion and Bernie, Circa 2011 – the same kind of picture, only less blurry and minus Giariel

I’ve known Bernie since the late 1990s, and she always made me feel included. When I needed a place to stay, Bernie opened her house for me without reservation. When I was going through the toughest times of my life, she was there, joining the other people in my cohort/class in providing the emotional support I needed to get through and do the things I needed to do.

Bernie was always there. And she effortlessly made everyone feel welcome. She was passionate and she respected her passions by pursuing them wholeheartedly.

My heart goes out to Bernie’s family, I know they are reeling. Too soon.

And for Bernie, maybe she’s still here? Maybe she’s gone off to another dimension? Whatever the case, I wish her peace and happiness on her journey.

Bloggy Blag Plans

Bloggy Blag Plans


I had my post for tonight all figured out. And then I went to the grocery store. Making Chili tomorrow  (dammit) and needed the fixins.

I was getting other things too.

Well, the store had been picked dry! I couldn’t reach the diced tomatoes, there were no cranberries  (for Edmund), and there was NO HAMBURGER. You know, an integral part of a lot of chili recipes. Especially MY chili recpie.

Ok. There was one 3lb package of hamburg. I only needed 2lbs. However, the package was open on one end. I decided against.

We live in a small city. So I went to another grocery store. NO HAMBURGER! Seriously?

Fortunately there was hamburger at the last store. Woo hoo! And good thing as they were closing in 15 minutes.

It’s 3lbs, but I can work with it.

IKEA and nesting

IKEA and nesting

I have a p-touch labler and I am not afraid to use it.

I have a p-touch labler and I am not afraid to use it.

I’m working from home now, and I think I like it. I get to talk to people via phone and chat during the work day, and not having to commute is a major plus. Sure, I miss office camaraderie, but the pluses WAY outweigh the minuses.

I don’t have pictures yet, but I am in the process of shifting things around in my office. To help with this, I went to IKEA and bought a couple of furniturey things. One was an “As Is” kitchen cart that’s easy to move to put beside my desk to hold my laptop so I can have a square of free desk space. The other is a storage thing I can use to put other things in (like my spare bag collection – handbags, totebags, duffels.) I’m also, GASP!, getting rid of some of the bags I don’t see myself using anymore. Gave some to my pal Melissa, the rest will be sent off to My Sister’s Place thrift shop here in Ansonia.

I will label things with my p-touch labeler (as pictured).

Right now I am debating on whether I can safely (with a modicum of swearing) set up the storage unit. Mainly because Edmund is sleeping so he can get up early to work. My instinct is no, which means I should probably go upstairs and tackle more of the kitchen stuff I wanted to do before our landlord arrives on Monday (to fix a problem with our kitchen light.) I want to project a pastiche of “we clean our apartment periodically.”

One thing about working from home, or WFH if you don’t want to type a bunch of letters, I find I am inclined to do more “housework” at times. Not so much so Edmund would particularly notice, but it is more on my radar.

If I don’t put together the storage thing, I might just cook something. Maybe a pumpkin pie? I have a hankering. Maybe tomorrow.

Oh. Yes. I mentioned IKEA. So on Thursday I popped over to IKEA after work (we’re only a half hour away), with the intention of purchasing a desk addendum. And then I thought of that corner of my office near my clothes that has been two weird storage things that don’t work overflowing with miscellaneous bags. I decided to ditch the weird things and purchase a 2×2 storage bookshelf-type thing for that area. On a whim I did. I figured it would fit. When I got home I checked out the area. There’s a utility door on that wall, instead of being a little over two feet up, it’s a little over one foot up, so the 2×2 would not work. I kept it in my car, and today Edmund and I went back to return it. And I bought a 4×1 unit. which is longer, and I might have to move stuff around for it, but I think it will end out being a better unit for me.

If I can get my office to not look like early hoarder I’ll share pix.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!


Well, 2015 is over. It was a year. Some good, some bad. I’m glad to have ended the year on an up note, with a new job and all.

Edmund has been blogging every day for the past month-and-a-half, I’m thinking of joining him here on the blag. No promises. I didn’t want to miss a day, so here I tap out on my smartphone.

Been watching Supernatural again. I seem to do that this time of year.

Ok. To blag or not to blag. That’s the question.

Updates – Adulting, kitties, and cankles

Updates – Adulting, kitties, and cankles

Kitten #3 - shortly before it was trapped in our cat carrier

Kitten #3 – shortly before it was trapped in our cat carrier

I cannot believe I haven’t posted since JUNE! That is crazypants.

Here is a quick update: I am currently looking for work, my cankles have receded, and I trapped some adorable feral cats today.

About my cankles: my ankles have been mostly svelte. Although for the last week, I haven’t been wearing the compression socks like I should (because all of my compression socks are dirty). Fortunately, because it’s no longer summer, my ankles aren’t ballooning up like they did. I elevate my feet whenever I sleep, and I notice a major difference from before I had the surgeries on my legs. It is all good.

In other news, I am committed to doing NaNoWriMo, aka National Novel Writing Month this year! Check here for my profile. To that end, I am not going to promise to blag every day in November. But I am going to be blagging a lot more. Once you get started writing, it’s hard to stop!

What I really wanted to do was post about how I captured the kittens today. And because I documented it all by Tweet, I decided to try out Storify for its story telling prowess, in that you can piece together several posts from different platforms to tell the whole story. And Better yet, I can just embed the whole thing right here:

Tip – make sure to click on Read Next Page to open the whole Kitten Story.

The Best Laid Plans

The Best Laid Plans

I could write in my journal, maybe? I have that with me. That won't make any noise.

I could write in my journal, maybe? I have that with me. That won’t make any noise.

I probably should’ve saved the title I used for this post for a topic more weighty. Like when I have some crushing disappointment. Or something.

What happened: I forgot my headphones. I am at Panera Bread in Derby CT ready for a day of working on my computer, of study and reflection, and I forgot my headphones. So: mild disappointment. Because I did the same thing last week. But really, a minor blip.

Now I can’t work on the courses I am taking on, or drown out loud people (if it comes to it), or watch youtube videos – UNLESS I want to be rude.

Maybe I have a pair in my car. The catch-all black hole in the center console might have a pair. Heck, I’ll even take ear-buds at this point.

I have searched both my purse and my backpack. No dice. No headphones.

Oh well.

I had other things on my to do list. Writing blag posts (like this one) was one. I can do that without being rude. (I might write something rude, but that’s a totally different animal.)

I plan on doing what I did last week. Write a few days of blag posts and schedule them to publish throughout the week. Maybe I can do the whole week. Who knows. I want to do productive things too.

Looking at my car. Might there be headphones there?

It’s raining.

On the mend

On the mend

Unna's Boot - Like Das Boot but not really

Unna’s Boot – Like Das Boot but not really

So regarding my health, last you heard here on the blag, I was on my way to have my first vein ablated. And I did. And I had the second one ablated. And today is the day I go back to my vein specialist to get everything checked out.

In the meantime, as you can see from the picture, I have had another Unna boot on my right leg.

You might be wondering: How is it going?

And I will tell you, it is frustrating. My legs are improving. Cankles are definitely less cankly. But the ablation is not an instant fix. I am still wearing compression stockings and taking lasix. I am still tired a lot. And I still need to elevate my feet – and will likely have to do it for the rest of my life. Because I have other veins, ones they CAN’T ablate, contributing to the issue.

Self-Esteem Shark Knows What is Super Great

Self-Esteem Shark Knows What is Super Great

I came to the realization that I will likely have to wear compression stockings off and on for the rest of my life. And that sucks. But cankles and especially leg ulcers are not things that are super great.

On the good news front – I am on the cusp of needing smaller socks – my calves are at the top of the range for the next size down. So with continued treatment, I expect things will get better. Only needing to wear compression socks during certain times, wearing them when I know I will be over-extending in other areas. In for a penny, in for a pound: a couple of weeks ago I bought a proper wedge so I can sleep with my legs elevated. That pillow I was using just wasn’t cutting it, and that wedge has made a difference.

Today I get to see how the procedures went and find out what is next. Wish me luck!



Birthday Present from Edmund

Birthday Present from Edmund

I haven’t sang in public, as a performance that is, since 2005. Needless to say, that makes me a bit rusty. However, starting a couple of months ago I started taking singing lessons for the first time since the 1990s. I knew I missed singing, I forgot how good it made me feel.

This time I am doing something different. My thought was, what if I practice every day? What would happen then? So far, I haven’t practiced every single day, but with that mindset, I have been practicing several times a week. And you know what’s happening? I am getting better. More confident. My pipes are coming back. And I like it.

Let me explain: in the past, in the time ago, I have had the luxury of being in spaces where individual practice time was not as necessary. Like – I am in a musical, so I go to all the rehearsals and learn the songs there. And I only learn the songs I am supposed to sing. Like that. Or I have my go-to songs I sang in public forever via Karaoke, like Big Spender, Goldfinger, I fall to Pieces, These Boots are Made for Walkin’, Crazy – that was my entire repertoire. But I stopped going to Karaoke.

New keyboard setup

New keyboard setup

Furthermore, I never really challenged myself. I didn’t think like a singer. And that was okay. But then those opportunities to perform went away. I did not seek them out. I decided to concentrate on my undergrad degree instead. Which I don’t regret, but the music feeds me too. I need it. I lost my chops and I want them back.

(It is important to note that I was enabled in my current endeavor because Edmund started taking lessons himself. He started with guitar lessons, now we are both taking voice lessons.)

So far, TLDR: I used to sing, and I missed it. So I started taking voice lessons again.

Here is how I am doing it differently. I remember how it was when I was at my best singing, and that was in High School and College. And the thing that really helped me there is that I always had access to a keyboard or piano (mostly piano). Don’t misunderstand me, I cannot play the piano. By any stretch of the imagination. What I can do is read music and plunk out notes, which means I can figure out how to sing new songs. Of course you could argue I can do this without a piano, but if you did, you probably aren’t a musician. So, we bought a used keyboard so I could practice. And it has made all the difference.

Once I had my keyboard, I was able to play around with new songs. What was a grudging practice session of a half hour became an easy 2-hour session wherein I rediscovered my joy in playing with music.

And those old karaoke chestnuts I alluded to above? I am moving beyond them. A whole new repertoire for a new age!

Happy Birthday Eddie! @rurugby

Happy Birthday Eddie! @rurugby

Edmund is Backed Up by Squiggy (and coywolf!)

Edmund is Backed Up by Squiggy (and coywolf!)

It’s Edmund’s birthday today. Happy birthday, Eddie!

For those of you in the know, we’ve had a tough couple of years. Grief and illness and whatnot. Today, however, I think it’s important to focus on the good, and Edmund is good and I am glad to have him around.

I am grateful for a life-partner who supports and encourages me in my endeavors. For a man who loves strong women, and takes care of me. A man who takes care of himself, even if it means doing something he finds scary. A man who I trust implicitly.

Ed Loves Al's Hot Dogs

Ed Loves Al’s Hot Dogs

If it weren’t for Edmund’s support, I might not have finished college, albeit on the 25 year plan. Even now he is cheering me on as I take up singing again, after a very long time away from it. Whatever I want to do, he has got my back.

I appreciate the joy he takes in his new guitars and his nature walks. His excitement when he talks about his trips to the zoo. His passion of poetry both written and spoken-word. And his support of other people. His generosity as he buys another artist’s work. His enthusiasm as he gives encouragement ot other artists.

And his passion for food, which has helped me stretch my culinary horizons, is a delight. His passion for music is beyond compare.

Squiggy, Eddie and Lenny per usual

Squiggy, Eddie and Lenny per usual

And lest we forget: Edmund’s love of the kitties. It was a sad day when we lost Hunter “Socks” Thompson, but Lenny and Squiggy have more than filled his void, their bond with Edmund especially poignant. The picture to the right illustrates what I often see, both kitties perched around Eddie, just because. It is super awesome.

So, Edmund, Happy Birthday. I hope it is great. I love you.

Pilgrimage circa 2015

My friend Robyn Mellish, Robyn Mellish: On A Pilgrims Path, has gone and done it. She quit her job, gave up her apartment, got rid of most of her stuff (put the rest in storage), and left the United States for an extended walk-about in Ireland. She is on her very own Pilgrimage.

And lucky for us, she is blogging about it.

And I want you to read it! So much fun.

Start out with her first post: STAR TREK HAS A LOT TO ANSWER FOR and navigate to the next one at the bottom of the page (Hint, it’s BUMPY ROAD AHEAD…). At this time, there are only a couple of weeks of posts to go through, so it won’t take a lot of time for you to catch up.

And then do what I did: sign up on her mailing list to get her posts emailed to you – so you won’t miss a thing. (You can sign up on her homepage here: Robyn Mellish: On A Pilgrims Path.)

Her writing is honest and funny and her journey is fascinating.

Would you give up your life and all its trappings to step away from it all? What happens if you do?

Why not live vicariously through Robyn, who is doing the brave thing and is writing about it with truth and vulnerability.

Happy Father’s Day To the Ether

DadI guess things do get better. The grief becomes easier somehow. Case in point, this year reminders of things I can buy my father for father’s day were not like stabs to the gut. More like a “Oh that’s sad, I wish he were still around feeling” mixed with “he wouldn’t want that, just a bunch of scratch tickets and a visit (or call if we were out of state).”

Mostly I am grateful. Truly. Grateful that I was fortunate enough to have a fantastic father. Grateful that my only regret with him is that he is no longer here. I am grateful.

So happy Father’s Day Dad. I hope you are having fun where you are; that your afterlife is satisfying. I miss you. I love you.


Apparently, one is not supposed to have the cankles.

(If you don’t know what cankles are, please do yourself a favor: when you Google it, DON’T LOOK AT THE PICTURES.)

Anywho, if you remember from my last post, I came back from Balloon Manor with swollen, painful legs. Edema of the legs (the medical term for swelling is edema). It was so bad, and the fallout was so scary, I finally got myself a primary care physician and followed up and did everything one is supposed to do when they have what might be a life threatening illness. Blah blah blah.

(Note: It’s OK.)

What it could’ve been: congestive heart failure, diabetes, lipedema, a thyroid issue.

What it is: Superficial Venous Reflux Disease.

My Great Saphenous Vein is not so Great!

What that means: The Great Saphenous veins are SUPPOSED to bring the blood from my legs back toward my heart. But MY Great Saphenous veins are punking out, instead pooling the blood at the bottom of my legs. Gross, huh? This can (and has) caused ulcers to form. Very icky.

What have I done for the last 2 months? Wrapped my legs, wore sexay compression stockings, took lasix, elevated my legs, and took it easy. I’d have to come home from work and put my feet up. Which was easy because I’ve been exhausted.

But here is the best thing about this: It can be fixed.

And that’s what I am doing tomorrow: taking care of my Great Saphenous Veins (GSVs). Taking them OUT! Well, one of them.

The Fix: I am going to have an Ablation! A thin catheter is going to be inserted into my GSV and it will cauterize the vein. Woo!

It’s an in-office procedure. Done in an hour. And the rumor is, once it’s done, no more cankle! (Oh, God, I hope so.)

I have to wait until the end of the month to get the other cankle abluated.

Now, I have had cankles off and on for a while. It will be weird without them, but I can certainly get used to it.

TLDR: I have cankles. I shouldn’t. And the fix looks to be easy (and hopefully permanent).

Full Disclosure

Been so busy. Last week I was at Balloon Manor in Rochester,  NY, (helping build a 5-story balloon sculpture) working full time, everything has been a whirlwind.

I’ve been having problems with swollen,  painful legs, and last night I started gurgling/wheezing when I exhaled. It was so bad, I decided to sleep in my barcalounger. Our bedroom is downstairs, living room upstairs. After walking up the stairs last night,  it took me 5-10 minutes to catch my breath.

Needless to say, we went to the hopspital to get things checked out. After a blood test, ekg, heart monitor,  chest x-ray, and leg ultrasound,  I can tell you I am ok. So that’s good.

One of the questions they ask at the hospital is about smoking. My answer is no, I don’t smoke. I could say I never smoked,  which would be true if we were talking about a habit, I have never regularly smoked. But, in truth, I have had some cigarettes.  Maybe 10 in my lifetime? I may have had more, but don’t remember because of the drinking. But I always feel like I need to give full disclosure: “No, I don’t smoke. Well, I may have had 5 cigarettes in my lifetime.” Like they care. Like it matters. But seriously,  I spend way too much time angsting about it.

(Notice I also reduce the number by half. That’s because I am sure I had at least 5 cigarettes. And I want them to think I’m a good person.)

I was doing so well…

Posting every day and then I stop. Just because. Pretty much stopped everything for the past few weeks. Except Supernatural. And advanced hanging out with the hubster. And I went to a conference. (My pal Melissa came over a couple of times, but since we were watching Supernatural, the visits are in the Supernatural category.)

And now it’s over a month since my last post.

Things are going on. Good things.

First of all, I am writing this on my new Kindle Fire complete with blue tooth keyboard. Woo! Both my Fire and my laptop were ailing, I decided to relplace the Fire first, and then we’ll see. The keyboard is tiny and slightly annoying, but better than typing on the screen, methinks.

Unfortunately I hate the case I bought, it has no strap for one-hand holding, and it stands up strangely. So I will have to get a new one. Boo!

Another good thing: going to Balloon Manor again this year! It’s out in Rochester New York! We’re going to build a 5-story undersea adventure! Very excited! Woo!

Hey, maybe I’ll try that blag-post-a-day thing again. What do you think of that?