After months of being unable to access this site from work, today I'm in. Okay!

Aiden moved back to Illinois shortly after losing his car. Since he'd recently gotten an iPhone6 and charged the payments to our phone bill (!), I told him he was not taking it to IL with him. We went to the AT&T store, where I got him a $50 Samsung and took his iPhone for myself. If I'm paying the bill, I'm damn well going to enjoy the product. Aiden made some lame noise about sending us money from his tax refund, but I just ignored him. If I had ANY of the money he's said he was going to give me, ever, I'd be lenient, but so far, he has never given me one red cent, so hand it over. Since he went home, we have not heard a peep from him.

Trump continues to appall me. I knew this would be the result. David got really angry when I told him (last summer) that voting for Trump was grounds for divorce, but LOOK AT THIS MESS. It's a shitshow, and will be until the last bitter moment. We used to say that anyone could grow up to be president. Now we have to say any braying jackass can buy the presidency. Gah.

Ivy, as it turns out, is a digger. The back yard looks like the surface of the moon. It's quite appalling, and a hazard to all ankles. I know what she needs - more exercise - but I have not been walking the dogs like I should. Cue the finger wagging. David, of course, is no help at all. Sometimes he takes Jake out for a forced march, but he's just not a dog-walking kind of guy. It requires all my attention to walk two dogs together, if only to avoid being made into a May pole. I got a friction burn on my hand from the leash last month, because I was preoccupied with the poop bag instead of minding the dogs, and Jake shot off before I was ready for him. Jake is 90 pounds of unbridled enthusiasm, and when he shoots off, I'd better be ready. He wears a prong collar, and I know many folks disapprove of those, but I like my shoulders un-dislocated, so that's what I do. It's the only thing that gets his attention. Collar, harness, weighted backpack, none of that stuff fazes him at all. The prong collar, he respects.

At work, we are about 18 months into the construction of a new building. It's scheduled for occupancy in June, and we will move in then. Once we are moved, the crew will demolish this building and make a parking area. We are hoping to be back to normal by November of this year. In the meantime, all of my training programs are held at other sites in town and holy moly, what a pain in the neck that is. I have to pack up and transport all the food and equipment. If I want to use a fleet car, that's another layer of irritation to deal with. I am truly looking forward to having our classes at the office again someday. Also, we've been parking about a half mile away while this is going on. They have a shuttle, though I usually walk. It will be SO nice to park two minutes away, instead of ten.

Drama on Friday

Well, my estimation of a Trump shitshow was right on the mark, not that it was a surprise. Hundreds of thousands of people marched all over the world. This weekend is the Moral March in Raleigh. I'll be there, in my pink hat. I've made two more, and am working on a third, for some people at my office. (I don't think they're marchers, I guess they just like pink hats.)

Aiden's car was repossessed this week. He's been slipping and sliding, leaping and hiding, and it's finally caught up to him. He did have the thoughtfulness to text his dad to let us know to cancel his car insurance. David replied by piling on and really giving him shit. Way to go, man. I texted Aiden this morning that I was sorry about his car but thankful for the notice about the insurance, which is due next week. He replied that he was sorry, and had no one but himself to blame. That is 100% true, and we are not bailing him out. Consequences suck.

I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, and yesterday, I got a CPAP machine. I used it last night with little trouble. I do feel more rested. The machine is more or less silent. My main concern is that the dog doesn't chew on the damn hose. (She's chewed up two of my bras in the past month.) I spent some time figuring out how to store it in a way that keeps it out of her reach.

I'm at an off site class today, and I'm sitting out in the hallway. They have a local top forty radio station playing over the intercom, complete with commercials. Imagine my delight. NOT. I have my earbuds in, but I can still hear it. I don't know why people can't stand quiet. Gah. At least it isn't a damn tv. I'd have to leave.


I haven't been able to post from work in a couple of weeks - the connection times out. David is on the phone with some soldier, and it's noisy in there, so I'm back at my desk.

We had a big weather freakout the first weekend of January, and while we did get some ice, most of it fell west and north of here. I did venture up to Raleigh to pick up Aiden at the airport, but that didn't go exactly right, and we ended staying overnight at my mom's house and driving home the next day.

This past weekend, David and I went to Greensboro to attend Twelfth Night, an SCA event. David enjoyed it, and I enjoyed it mostly, though I could have used a lot more quiet time. There were lots of noisy drunk people. Anyway, I did a lot of knitting and ate well.

This weekend, I'm going to march at the March on Raleigh. I just can't sit at home and watch the shitstorm I expect to happen once Trump is sworn in. GAH.

There are other things going on, but I've got to go knit some more on a hat I promised my friend Vicki. I need to mail it tomorrow.

New Year's Day 2017

From @literallyalflame:
an open letter to 2017
listen….. pal…… buddy…… the bar has never been fucking lower

Happy New Year. 2016 was rough, really rough. I can't imagine that 2017 is going to be an improvement, considering the incoming President. I'm going to try really hard to keep a positive attitude about the future of the United States, despite all evidence to the contrary.

My goals are to lose weight and get more creative work done. Easy to write, harder to do.

Thundering Thursday

We had thunderstorms this morning before 7 am. On December 29. That's just plain weird. Of course, the last time we had a thunderstorm at the very end of the year, in 1999, we got 24" of snow within the week. Happily, it's not supposed to get cold enough for snow all next week. And yes, I did check the minute I heard the thunder.

The rain stopped around noon, and now it's sunny and mild outside, a distinct improvement. I drove in today, since I needed to run an errand at lunchtime, but I'll walk to the shuttle lot after work and get a little fresh air and sunshine then.

For the first time in quite a while, I didn't sleep well last night. Since Ivy insists on sleeping on the bed, I put a towel down for her to lie on. This is because she still does a little submissive pee sometimes, and I don't want to have to wash the duvet (again this week). David rolled his eyes, but didn't put her on the floor. I woke up again and again, probably from subconsciously worrying about Ivy, down by my feet. Apparently, there was no snoring to wake David, as he was still asleep when I left for work.

Sometimes it's not my snoring that disturbs him, but Jake's. Jake snores so extravagantly that I'd swear he was putting us on. Then there's the squeaky almost-barking, the twitchy almost-running, and the ferocious growling that he does while dreaming. We call it chasing rabbits. It's entertaining while we're watching tv, but less so at night.

David also snores, but a brass band probably wouldn't wake me up. Apparently, only a 15 pound dog by my feet will disturb my slumber!

Tuesday blues

Made it through the holidays, despite having zero holiday spirit. I can't think of a year when I was less interested in Christmas, presents, or anything to do with it. I did listen to some Christmas music, but that was it.

Between the short days, the election and the relentless drip of bad news that has followed it, and general malaise, I've felt unmotivated for weeks. I haven't done any weaving, the house is a disaster area, hell, I haven't even managed to put my clean clothes away in over a week. My stepson is an entitled, ungrateful brat. My job is boring as hell.

Hey, the days are getting longer. It's cool enough out that I can walk to work, thereby getting some exercise AND some daylight. Things will get better. In six weeks, flowers, shrubs, and trees will start blooming all over the neighborhood. Spring in NC is the equivalent of fall in NY - the beautiful, magical scenery that is the consolation prize for the hellish weather that follows.

Man, even when I try to be positive, the negative still sneaks out.

I sleep very soundly. Actually, I sleep like the dead, and I always have. But I also snore, and occasionally gasp, so I am scheduled for a sleep study next week. Sleep is my superpower - I have no trouble falling asleep, and I feel rested when I wake. Unfortunately, I'm been keeping David awake, and five days out of seven, he sleeps on the couch. That isn't good. Anyway, the doctor at the sleep center said I sounded like a very sleepy person (?) and recommended the study. It seems to me that he has a financial interest in diagnosing me with a sleep problem, but I'll try to keep an open mind. (There it goes again.)

Bah, humbug. This, too, shall pass.


Today's random prompt is "Tell us about your favorite holiday concert experience."

In 2008, I took my in-laws, Doris and Wally, to the Sandhills Community College to hear a holiday concert. The music was performed by local musicians who got together to do this each year. That part of the state is chock full of retirees, so a bunch of them formed a big band. They were reasonably good (though under-rehearsed). The big ending was the big band arrangement of "Sleigh Ride," which is always a crowd pleaser. It was a good show, and we really enjoyed it.

Doris and Wally traveled a lot in their marriage. Since they couldn't drive any longer by the time they got to NC, I took them out as much as I could. When they were staying with us, I got us all tickets to see the Lipizzaner Stallions at the local arena. We went to a Fourth of July concert in Pinehurst. We went to Pioneer Days at the Malcolm Blue Museum, where Wally told me all about using the various antique farm equipment they had on display - he was raised on a farm in west Tennessee. I took them to house concerts to see Jonathan Byrd, and then the Santa Cruz River Band, on a tour from Tucson.

My in-laws were always game. They'd go anywhere and eat anything. One of the last big outings was to the botanical gardens at that same college. We went in the spring, when everything is blooming and it's like a fairyland. We saw a huge, lovely weeping cherry, which took Doris' breath away - so pretty! We walked past it, turned right, and seeing it from this angle, Doris exclaimed again in delight. It was a whole new tree for her. There was also a walled cactus garden, where we sat for some time. She missed the desert.

Over time, it became harder and harder to take Doris anywhere because of her memory problems and other problems that stemmed from that. By the fall of 2009, we couldn't go much farther than to the Walmart or TCBY. Doris passed away in July of 2010, and Wally moved to Oklahoma to be near his oldest son in November.

And that's the story of my adventures with the old people.

Tuesday anniversary

David and I got married in the chapel on Smoke Bomb Hill on Fort Bragg, thirteen years ago. It was a cloudy, chilly day. When we got there, I was surprised at how many people had come. We got married on short notice and didn't really expect anyone but nearby family. It was lovely, and I'm glad every day that we are married.

I have a webinar at 12:30 today. I sent out the wrong instructions for it, and now I'm waiting (waiting, waiting) for someone to email me the correct ones. It's in an hour. I'm getting a little panicky, and I'm afraid I'm losing my damn mind because I looked right at the damn information and sent out directions for January 20. C'mon, brain, I don't want to be here either, but pay attention. I hate it when I screw things up like that. It makes me look like an idiot.



It's actually cold today, but it's going back up to the low 60s again tomorrow. I can't complain, but I do feel like December ought to be at least chilly.

Today, in reading this and that, I discovered an article about knots in space - specifically, what type of knots are used to secure cables in NASA's unmanned vehicles and other things that get launched into space, along with the deliciousness of sending modern technology out into the void with technology from Viking days. Then I fell down a rabbit hole of knots in Wikipedia, reading about the bottle sling, the miller's knot, and the constrictor. Amazing what people can do with string. And you know, I do like string.

This weekend, we have a different SCA event on each day. They shouldn't take up the entire day of either, so I hope to get some other things done, too, like grocery shopping. I haven't done much about Christmas, still. Mom suggested donating to charities in lieu of buying gifts. I'm inclined to agree. We all have so much stuff.

The puppy discovered last Sunday that she can jump up on the bed. And not a scramble - she gets up there in one quiet, easy leap. I can barely feel her land on the bed. I wouldn't care, but David is opposed, so we make her get down. Since she tried it, she's gotten up there (only to be booted off) every single day, and has woken me up with a wet nose more than once. So far, David's been tolerant of her desire to be with us. (She's been on the couch since day one, and he's used to that now.) I think it's adorable and I hope he comes around, but really, having a dog on the bed is a personal preference and if he doesn't want to, I understand.

Man oh man, I love my dogs. Ivy is the most cheerful, happy little dog you'd ever want to meet. Jake is a good boy (though 100% untrustworthy around food), always friendly, with no aggressiveness around other dogs, at all. He's a sweet boy. Dogs are the best.