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15 July 2014 @ 11:22 pm
I wrote this awhile back, but a camping event this past weekend brought it to mind again...

I love how,
Though I've washed time and again
I still smell of smoke and sky
And that the peace of fire
has worked its way into pores and hair
and soul.
Current Mood: peacefulpeaceful
15 July 2014 @ 09:33 pm
Oh gods, I love Weird Al...
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Current Mood: pleasedpleased
15 May 2014 @ 01:10 am
"He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist."

-Louis Nizer, published in his book, Between You and Me (1948)

So much of my work these days is incredibly difficult. Worthwhile, but difficult. In my profession, my hobbies, and my relationships, the work is easier and more satisfying if I engage hands and head and heart all together.
Current Mood: pensivepensive
20 March 2014 @ 11:52 pm
It is strange to think this is my last night in the house as my house. It will be some weeks before I actually move and I am very much looking forward to beginning the new chapter of my life that said move will bring... still, it is a bittersweet moment.

I bought this house with so much hope and optimism for the future and that was followed by years full of heartbreak and troubles. Life took a sharp turn on me and I ended up going down a path I had not at all planned on, or even anticipated. There were hard years, but I learned so much about myself and how to be a better person. I met new people and got to know some old friends in new ways. In this house, I've had tea with a single good friend while stitching away the night and I've had every surface in the house covered with party-goers and crashers. I had adventures and parties and really amazing good times that made the house ring with laughter and my heart swell with happiness. There's such depth of pain and joy soaked into these walls. The only thing that mitigates the sorrow of leaving is knowing that this house that I have loved so well will pass to my apprentice and be loved properly by people I love too.

I've learned so much by owning this house - from painting skills to home repair skills to knowing-when-to-call-a-pro skills. There's something wonderful in owning your own place and being able to do anything you would like with it, even paint the kitchen a truly virulent shade of green.There is something awful in owning a home in that whatever goes wrong, it is your problem. I've learned that I am able to handle more of those problems than I'd have believed. I've never doubted myself as a competent person, but I've learned that I can be competent in whole new ways by being a homeowner.

The new house is a nice house, but so far it is just a house, and in certain ways, more of an idea of a house than a house that feels truly real yet. I hope to make it a home, with a bright, happy future, full of new challenges and joys, but right now it is a very scary thing. There is so much to do in the buying of the house, remodeling, and moving... and that pales in comparison to the work and the risks of building a whole new life there. I'm really quite confident that this is the right choice, that this WILL work, that I WILL be happy there, and yet, it's new and untested and so terrifying in its potential, both positive and negative. I'm thrilled and anxious, all at once...

Bittersweet. It's really the only word that even begins to hint at how I feel tonight. It seems so strange that by this time tomorrow, this place will no longer belong to me, not in the same sense. It's a close of a chapter that has not been easy, but has been on balance good, in favor of a new chapter that is full of promise, but has yet to be written.

So, on this last night, I'll say good night to you, my friends, this one last time from Eithni's Home for Wayward Girls. Tomorrow we turn the page.
Current Mood: pensivepensive
20 March 2014 @ 11:26 pm
I've been so busy lately that I've failed to do a lot of blogging. To be fair, life has been moving at light speed. To provide the very, very bare Clif Notes:

Things have been going quite well with whymc, to the point that we have decided to combine households and proceed with the really being a fer realsies couple thing. We found a house we like (just across the park from goldfrog) and will be moving there this spring, provided nothing explodes in the next few weeks. Happily, my #1 apprentice is buying Eithni's Home for Wayward Girls, so I can continue living here while we do some painting/renovation and I can move over there in a leisurely manner.

whymc, however, will also have to sell his place in Chicago and will be putting it on the market in mid-April, hopefully to close sometime in May. One of his other major concerns is that his mother needs some looking after and his childhood home is both quite large and quite far away, so there is the intent to move her down to the Madison area as well, ideally before next winter, but soon in any case. So, whee! At least two, potentially three moves this spring/summer.

Because of a number of awards that were to be given and because my #2 apprentice is Princess and has a bebe what needs minding, I decided this would be a great year to go to Gulf Wars. It was a cold year, but much fun was had, and I was happy to be there for the schtick and the helpiness. However, having been to India, I can say definitively that the facilities at Gulf Wars are sub-Third World standards. *shudder* The plague that ripped through camp was no fun either, and I am again reminded of the magic and wonder that is antibiotic therapy...

This coming week is whymc's spring break and we decided to go on vacation together. Actually, we had started planning to do so before we put some of the other plans into motion, and it is now feeling a little bit of a poor choice, just because there is so very much going on, but we've already got the plane tickets and hotel reservations, so it's off to Istanbul we go! I intend to relax as much as possible and eat as much lamb as I can possibly manage.

However, before I go, I will be attending the Laureling of a dear friend on Friday night. It is a 2.5 hour drive from here, but the ceremony will be happening by firelight in a longhouse he has built on his property and there will be nerdtastic Norse all over everything, making the excursion utterly worthwhile.

So, tomorrow I wake up, run some last minute errands/shopping, sell my house to my #1 apprentice, drive with said apprentice to the Laureling, hang out for a few hours, drive 2.5 hours BACK to Madison in the middle of the night, grab a few hours sleep, then take the bus to Chicago to meet whymc and fly to Istanbul!

When we get back, things hardly slow down, with our purchase of the new house a week after we get back and moving the first of whymc's things up from Chicago the week after that. Oi! Good, but busy days!
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Current Mood: busybusy
09 February 2014 @ 12:53 am
Gods, I love the OED

nippy sweetie
, n. - A drink of spirits, esp. of whisky; whisky.
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˌnɪpi ˈswiːti/, U.S. /ˌnɪpi ˈswidi/, Sc. /ˌnɪpi ˈswiti/
Forms:  19– nippie sweetie,   19– nippy sweetie.
Etymology: < nippy adj. + sweetie n. In sense 1 perhaps after nip n.4
It would seem likely that the word was first used in sense 3, although this is first attested slightly later.
Chiefly Sc.
1. A drink of spirits, esp. of whisky; whisky.
1974 B. Connolly Solo Concert (MS transcript of comedy routine) (O.E.D. Archive), I'm terrified of flying. And before I fly, I have four or five pints of the foaming ale, and four or five little whiskies, sometimes known as nippy sweeties.
1985 M. Munro Patter 49 How about a nippie sweetie to finish off?
1990 I. Rankin Hide & Seek 166 He..exchanged the names of local watering holes with him, making promises of a drink, a nippy sweetie some night in the future.
1999 Daily Record (Glasgow) (Electronic ed.) 9 Jan., If you're only old enough for sweeties, and not for nippie sweeties, the Aberdeen Youth Festival in August is a feast for the ears.
1999 Financial Mail (Johannesburg) (Electronic ed.) 20 Dec., Nippy sweetie price watch... In all, there are 127 brands of whisky available on the SA market.
2. A sharp-tongued or peevish person, esp. a woman.
1985 M. Munro Patter 49 Just keep out of that yin's road; she's a bit of a nippy sweetie.
1992 Herald (Glasgow) (Nexis) 17 Feb. 18, I was informed by the clerkess, a real nippy sweetie if ever there was one, that they had doled out some 11,000 punts that day.
2001 Daily Record (Glasgow) (Electronic ed.) 10 Jan., The nippy sweetie in the AA Insurance ad, bawling the face off her wimpish husband because he asked her if she hadn't phoned them.
3. A sharp-tasting sweet, or one which makes the mouth hot. Also in extended use.
1994 Scotsman (Electronic ed.) 16 June, Latest smart thing to do for the rich young German is to suck a Fisherman's Friend. For some reason the original nippy sweetie has become a trendy accessory in the land of 1,000 types of sausage.
2000 Times (Nexis) 19 July, The emphasis on the word ‘English’ was sufficiently strong to suggest he had just swallowed a nippie sweetie and that the English..were rather distasteful.
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Current Mood: contentcontent
08 February 2014 @ 03:12 am
So, I have all good intentions of doing the A&S 50 thing. I'm always busy. I even sometimes DO make stuff for me, I swear... I'm just miserable with my official count documentation. :P I really should go back and retroactively add a few things I made but never listed to give me any plausible chance of passing this thing.

Anyway, this was a project I wrote up quickly for our MOAS, so it was easy to plop in here too. Last Autumn, I went to Iceland and one of the things I most wanted to do was ride Icelandic horses. Well, if a girl is going to ride Viking horses, a girl is going to WEAR a Viking outfit. Over the objections of some of the employees who feared I would be too cold (in multiple layers of wool? whatever...) I wore the following on my equestrian outings:

Tunic - hand sewn, rectilinear construction, olive green wool tabby fabric, linen thread (#14)
Pants - hand sewn, slightly fitted cut with seat gusset, striped black, white, and red wool tabby fabric, linen thread (#15)
Hat - hand sewn, four panel construction, handwoven (by Mistress Elspeth) wool, natural dyed (by Eithni) linen lining, linen thread, recycled fur trim (#16)
Hood - hand sewn, cut based on St Andrew's Hood and the hooded riders on Pictish stones, wool tabby, machine woven wool trim, linen thread (#17)
Undertunic - hand sewn, rectilinear construction, white linen fabric, linen thread (#18)
Accessories - leather belt (purchased), wool pouch (previously handsewn by Eithni), leg wraps (previously handwoven by Elspeth), purchased leather shoes.

The goal was to look like these guys:
St Madoesriding

Hurray for nerding abroad!
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Current Mood: pleasedpleased
08 February 2014 @ 02:13 am
This one actually came across while back, but I am behind in updating...

, n. -‘ A store of words; (in later use esp.) the vocabulary of a person, group, or language.
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈwəːdhɔːd/, U.S. /ˈwərdˌhɔ(ə)rd/
Forms: see word n. and hoard n.1
Etymology: < word n. + hoard n.1
orig. poet.
A store of words; (in later use esp.) the vocabulary of a person, group, or language.
In modern use first appearing in translations of or references to the Old English word; now in more general use, although still somewhat arch.
eOE Metres of Boethius (partly from transcript of damaged MS) vi. 1 Ða se wisdom eft wordhord onleac, sang soðcwidas.
OE Widsith 1 Widsið maðolade, wordhord onleac.
1842 B. Thorpe tr. Codex Exoniensis 313 List what to me a prudent sage..Said, a wise messenger,..His word-hoard disclos'd.
1850 M. F. Tupper King Alfred's Poems 27 Then did Wisdom again Unlock his word-hoard well.
1869 W. Barnes Early England & Saxon-English 130 A Hoard, as herd, is a kind of gathering of any kind of things, as..Word-hoard—Vocabulary.
1939 L. Bacon Semi-centennial iii. 38 The rite properly initiated, he unlocked his word-hoard.
1961 Webster's 3rd New Internat. Dict. Eng. Lang. Pref. 6a/1 Books consulted in the Springfield City Library whose librarians have..given the editorial staff..access to its large and valuable word-hoard.
1966 Listener 24 Nov. 779/2 Thomas was immensely proud of his bulging word-hoard.
1999 K. Jackson Invisible Forms 106 The archaised wordhoard of Furnivall & Co.
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Current Mood: geekygeeky
13 January 2014 @ 08:17 pm
The four family Christmasses all went pretty well - the kids were loud, my brother was late, my grandpa insisted on talking about things that made my grandma crazy - you know, quality family time. The only really unexpected thing was that the usual suspects were not the most appalling at the Hetzel family Christmas. Instead, my aunt's brother in law took those honors. He was clearly a pushy opinionated Republican who wanted to berate me to no end about the stupidity of my political proclivities and sing the praises of his hero, Mr. Limbaugh. Ugh. Ignoring him didn't work, but nailing his ass to the wall in a few exchanges made him think better of it and he wandered off to easier pickings. Not really a solution, but at least he was no longer MY problem. On the up side, I got pretty much exactly what I wanted for Christmas - a matching butter dish and gravy boat, a gift certificate to Vom Fass, some cider and wine I actually like, and a really beautiful earring tree. In separate conversations, I had mentioned to whymc that I was paring down and organizing my jewelry collection and that I had especially fond memories of a ginkgo tree in the neighborhood where I grew up, and he took those two things together and bought me a beautiful pewter and rosewood ginkgo earring tree. It is an order of magnitude more beautiful than the earring tree I had picked out for myself and luckily had not yet ordered. Other prezzies were also nice, but I see that tree every morning and it makes me happy. So, generally successful holidays, with only a few minor family annoyances.

On the other hand, I had been concerned about the work holiday fall-out and I was entirely wrong about how bad it was going to be... it was much, much worse than I'd imagined. :( Christmas day I got a call for an authorization on something that sounded fishy, but since I didn't have any nursing notes, I gave a limited term authorization for based on the son's statements to the pharmacy. That turned out to be an epic mistake that I am still trying to deal with now, two weeks or so into January.

Returning to work proper was special too... The more competent of the two med room ladies was supposed to be working with me on Thursday and Friday, but she was sicksicksick. Like, her daughter called in sick for her because she couldn't sit up to use the phone sick. So, there I was in the post-holiday rush doing the work of four people. Ugh. I did NOTHING else that week - work and then crash was about all I had in me. Given that one of those days was an eleven hour work day and the other not too far behind, I don't feel too bad about that, though. I was essentially worthless that weekend as I recovered. The last week of January was sort of special too, since the other PharmD was still out and the med room lady was still not quite well (I sent her home early on Monday, despite not yet being caught up, since she looked ready to drop by 1PM). Finally, the end of the day on the 31st rolled around and I got free. Not everything that should have been done for the new year got done, but by then I didn't really care - I had at least something ugly and workable for everything in place and called it good.

whymc came into town for the New Year's festivities. Due to some weather delays, we ended up having a hurried Culvers' dinner instead of a nice dinner out as we had planned, but it worked. Then we popped in at a friend's annual party before heading back to my place to host some folks for cards and drinkies. We had a lovely, silly time but at the end of the night, the champagne caught up with me and poor whymc had to take care of me for a bit. New Year's day started a little rough, but by noon I thought I would live and devikat's drunk-baking scones really hit the spot. I hit my stride later in the day, though, and washed all the floors and all the laundry, so I started the year off with a clean house at least.

January 2-3 I spent in the Dells with my sister and her husband, mother-in-law-and kids at a water park. It was a lot of fun, but holy hell exhausting. I was thinking three adults to two kids was a good ratio (my sister couldn't get in the water because of a recent foot surgery), but then the MIL didn't ever change out of dress pants either, so it was just me and my BIL taking turns wrangling the toddler in the kiddie area or the 5 year old on the water slides, which he very much enjoyed, but wasn't big enough to carry the necessary tube or go down on his own. Late in the evening, there was little to no line, so we pretty much climbed up four flights of stairs, waited for about 60 seconds in line, rode the slide down, rinse, repeat. Ooof! Lotsa fun, but I definitely got my workout!

In the afternoon on the 3rd, I took off from the Dells and picked up whymc in Eau Claire and headed up to Twelfth Night. It was a really nice, low-key event with lots of socializing and gift-giving. There were some socially exhausting interactions too, but in general I think even those went well and what needed to happen has either happened or will happen soon. Sometimes the hard things are not the wrong things. We attended to postrevel/engagement party for two of my newly-engaged friends and that was both amusing and full of schmoopy goodness. He had been a bitter divorcee, but she has really turned him all romantical and it is adorable. :) We left the party earlyish and drove to Eau Claire since whymc wanted to be on the road early in the morning.

This past weekend was pretty low-key. Friday was puttering around the house, putting away Christmas, and staying up waaaay too late, but getting so much done. Saturday whymc came up from Chicago and we wandered around the home show (we bought a mop! Woo! Exciting!) and then had dinner with some friends. He had a game on Sunday, so I didn't see much of him, but hung out with friends instead. We went to the expo center, then tried to go to an open house that apparently wasn't actually open, and instead had a lovely lunch out. We were all beat by then, so we cancelled plans to go to Vom Fass and all just headed home. I had a quietly productive evening planned, but my sister and her husband and the kids came over and we ended up all working on a school project for the BIL and trying to keep the kids from killing each other, so it was a noisy, messy evening instead. It looks like I'll have a low-key week, though, since I have the plague that has been hanging around the house and am not up for much more than blogging about my recently busy and exciting life, which is why y'all are treated to this recap! :D
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