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In the long, long ago

Tudor rose
Welp, it's been, uh, it's been a long time, now and I happened to look back over here and give a check-in post.

Last night I took apart Old Slightly Faithful, my old corset, in order to cannibalize the metal bones for the new corset, long may she reign lovely. About 12 bones worked for the new corset, the rest will need to be cut down and resealed, but at least only on one end. I'm going to use 14" reed for the other bones. Fabric is a beautiful black and gold damask of which I held back about a 1/2 yard before dyeing the rest black (and then ironing it all while watching all 3 currently available episodes of Cosmos and hoping feverishly that the dye job hadn't killed the silk so much it wouldn't give a pleasant surface again, but happily it steamed well to a nice, though less lustrous, surface). The remainder will become Meridiana.

I have recently gotten a sewing/embroidery machine that is far, far more useful for embroidery - and therefore making machine lace - than my Husqvarna Rose. With the software and the now markedly increased market of solid but inexpensive designs out there since the last time I looked, I am now stocked for some really very nice lace, indeed. I'm also making up some lovely sleeves for a smock for Rose. This particular design may also work nicely for a coif pattern and will lend itself well to additional embellishment, like gold paillettes. Post translational modifications, if you will. After I get the bodies made up, I'll be patterning out the gown herself.

Ooh! I got a pair of these! I luff them. I happened to be able to get in on an early adopter special at a moment when I also had the money to join in and now I have lovely red Bethan heels. They're so pretttttyyyyyyy. There will definitely be new ribband cockades for them, yes, there will.

School proceeds apace. If all goes right, I'll be in my last semester of undergrad ever. I got an interview at the school I was most wanting and that was in February. I'm currently on the Hold list for acceptances. I'm not rejected but essentially this means that they liked me, they just want to see if they like anyone else more; they have more meetings of the admissions committee and the hold files are brought up at each one, and then any still on the list after all spots are filled are on the numbered wait/hold list. The AMCAS has guidelines/rules/etiquette about acceptances such that if the med school you'll be going to starts classes before June 30, you need to send your notice that you decline to any other schools that also accepted you by April 15, and all other students attending schools with later start of classes should have notices out to their other acceptances by May 15. After that I may hear something more but I don't really know, since they're not allowed to tell me what my placement is on the hold list and they pretty much go down the list by number as they get notice letters that their students are going elsewhere. I could conceivably hear two weeks before classes start, no lie. A professor's daughter had that experience.

It's a kind of hellish limbo, really. I mean, I'm not rejected, which is very yay! But... they *sorta* like me. I *might* go to med school and follow these dreams and vocation - or I might be sitting with my thumb up my rear, no job, and a newly refreshed load of student loans, nearly useless college credits with no degree and a financial aid committee that won't give me more loans in order to get a useful degree, and the delightful feeling that I have stressed myself and my family to no purpose. So yeah. A hellish kind of limbo. I've done the best I can and I think I interviewed well. Hopefully that will be enough to tip the scale for me and I'll be able to report back here with super exciting good news.

And if it happens, I will.

So right now back to studying. I have an exam tomorrow in a special topics biology class in vector borne diseases and a quiz in Molecular Genetics. I'm seeing a little bit of the light at the end of the tunnel as exams are in earliest May but I'm really needing the upcoming break, I can tell. In one way, it's legitimate to say that I have Senioritis for the fourth time.

A move

Ic onblaeste
So, as I type this I'm in the process of moving my blog over to Wordpress. I'll post the link in a bit after things are more ready; this is really just more of a warning for folks. I probably won't delete this one but we'll see. Depends on the hijinks hat LJ gets up to.

"...And then I died."

Tudor rose
I just explained the concept of the Laurel's handshake to B. he had never heard of it, I'm not sure how since he lives with me, I know about it, and as much as I talk garb you'd think HE knew about it. But no. So I explained it to him, and for the cheap seats, it how it's someone who is interested in how your garb is constructed looks at your garb - with their hands. (As a sidenote, I've used this concept to tell small children to look at something with their eyes instead of with their hands, because you have to specify and remind them that those are separate ideas.) Feeling the fabric to see what you used, if there's an interlining or other internal construction that you've covered over with the outer fabrics, flipping the piece over at some point to see the internal stitching or lining or sometimes both. You know: the Laurel's handshake.

B was completely befuzzled at first when I initially said, "Honey, for women the Laurel's handshake is down here," and I bent over at the waist as though I were going to examine the hem of a gown. He kind of started laughing and then said,

"Haha! Show me on the doll where the Laurel touched you...." I bent over at the waist again, laughing.

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The silk, it calls to me

Tudor rose
Heh, well, there was buying of things. I'm still studying, so there hasn't been a lot of making of things just yet. I'm also digging out my office some, and there's a new computer as well. I'm pretty much needing to excavate back to my sewing desk and otherwise, I'm only able to cut and sew on the kitchen table. I have been refreshing my research, though. It's really great to see all the pockets and things that people have made, and the increasingly better stride in the general state of research and re-creation. I cut because I loveCollapse )

But there's all the studying that comes first! And I'm behind, frankly, though I can catch up.

In the land of Me-the-Student, evidently I don't need more financial aid because I have enough hours to have a degree! Well, duh, federal government and uni, you knew that when I entered. I'm appealing. I have no idea what the chances on that are and *maybe* I can get a education-based loan for this coming year from my credit union (I got a small one to cover perceived differences in financial aid and required money) but yay for something else on my plate.

I might be getting LASIK at the end of the month! Exciting! And it can only happen if the financial aid stuff works out. :/ Still, if it does, I have to admit that I will probably love the results. Peripheral vision and when the time comes, there's nearly no chance that any change in prescription isn't covered by modern eyewear. Yep, I'm getting to the point that soon I will be limited in what optics can do for me with glasses. I had a prof this past year whose sight was so bad that he wore glasses AND contacts. That's a solution, of course, except for me, because I can't wear them. Like, I have been told by multiple docs that I shouldn't wear them, and my small amount of experience with them indicates that that's a sound decision.

Well, that's about it. It's summer, my vacation, and I feel terribly behind in everything but this sweater I've been knitting on while I study because it gives myvhands something to do while my brain is occupied. I'm knitting up the Antler Cardigan by Tin Can Knits.

Oh, and hey, anyone know this pattern? Curious Margarets would like to know if/how it works up.

Nice!

Tudor rose
Had a perfectly lovely weekend, though Rose pitched a seriously impressive meltdown Sunday afternoon, meaning we started breaking down much earlier than we had intended. The French farthingale worked very well - wore it with the lavender silk skirt. Worked nicely! Yay! Had a blast, seeing tons of people I had really missed. Also played judge unexpectedly to a Little Black Dress competition that was just tons of fun. I wore the French farthingale and a part of my schtick was that I needed a minimum of two seats for me and my dress.

The lavender skirt will continue to be the petticote for that farthingale (except perhaps on the warmest of Spring days, when it may well perform as the outer layer. I spent last night and a chunk of today trawling the webs and going through late period clothing warrants and have decided upon and ordered a black silk damask as my main fabric. I suspect that I may have to overdye it black for my purposes but e'll see; it's got some gold in it, but I can't really be sure how much. As my theme for this one doesn't so much include gold, if it's got too much, it'll go into the dye bath.

I got 8 yards because I'm planning either Nifty Sleeves or a new set of stays, and in honesty, given how my old stays are behaving with steels poking out of the bottom of more than half the tabs, I think we're looking at a new set of stays if there's nothing that seems appropriate in my stash. I think I'll hit Sirs for some lining material but we'll see; gowns like this were often lined in another, lighter silk in at least the skirts, and there's always Dharma Trading, where I'll be ordering a smallish amount of fabric, anyway, for another part of this project.

All right I should see if I can't get at least some MCAT reading done today. I put it off last week and then instead of getting adequate sleep for today I ended up awake till 3 AM trawling Ebay (found some truly awesome handmade bobbin lace that I WANT - and it's inexpensive; I have a message in to the seller about something and I'm waiting to hear back). In my defense, I completely lost track of time. However, it does mean I'm running on a little more than 3 hours' sleep, so my ability to focus is crap right now. I may declare it a lost cause until tomorrow and do something innocuous, like some stockinette knitting. I might not screw that up terribly....

(Incidentally, the warrants of the Great Wardrobe include one for the relining of a pair of what's called knitwork sleeves, which I find a very interesting sort of listing.)

I made a thing or two

Tudor rose
So, pursuant to a project that I think I referenced last year, I have completed a new bum roll and a French farthingale. They're in a rust-colored fine pinwale corduroy and the edge of the farthingale is bound in purple satin ribbon so they're ugly as sin, but they're done! The lavender silk skirt goes over them beautifully, too. I'm a happy camper about that. I'll see if I can't post some pics. As jaie will attest, when I wear just them I sort of look like Judy Jetson in some sort of formal skirt.

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May. 12th, 2013

Tudor rose
Well, it's been quite the year. I took and completed Organic Chemistry and the best thing about that is that I never need to take Organic EVER AGAIN! WOOOOO!

No but seriously. In the Fall semester I ended up with surprise! hospitalization! from a Crohn's flare gone very nasty, and I missed pretty much a chapter and a half of lecture in the second-to-worst chapter I could've missed. When I went to catch up on my reading for all of this (mind, I was doing homework in my hospital room), I was reading fast enough that I didn't notice that some pages were pasted together, and therefore missed a crucial piece of information. The rest of the semester largely sucked, after that. I just couldn't make sense of it until the very end of the semester, when I spent several days locked in my office, pretty much rereading the text from right before I was in the hospital. Then it was like all of that semester's subject meaning rolled out in front of me, right there.

So that semester sucked. I was also doing a weekly shift as a Chemistry peer tutor, teaching an A&P I lab as well as helping to teach a Biology I lab for nonmajors, on top of being a club secretary for the pre health professional. I dropped the Bio lab helping (I wasn't needed at all) but it wasn't quite enough, and I ended up with a C last semester and let me tell you, that C was a gift, and I know it. My other grades that semester were pretty much substandard, too.

This semester, my only extracurricular thing I did at school was the secretary position and as a lab assistant for one of the Gen Chem II (for majors) labs. That's as opposed to TA, who is basically the teacher in charge, usually a graduate student who is teaching as part of their stipend agreement. Ratcheting back paid off, and I got a B. Considering that I think I deserved a D for last semester's grades, that's a two-letter improvement that I will take.

But I likely ain't getting into Harvard Med, we'll just say. Am I still applying? Of course I am, because hope is irrational and if you don't shoot for the moon, you certainly never get there.
So now here I am, Mother's Day 2013 and I'm going to post this entry and then get back to studying for the MCAT this summer. I qualify for the Fee Assistance Program, which makes everything a little easier and makes the MCAT cost only like taking the SAT and the ACT, not like taking them twice and a half over, and I get a ton of free primary applications and some other goodies that are minorly helpful. I'm taking the online Kaplan review course for that and it's exactly the help I was hoping for. I have a class online later today, actually (happy Mother's Day :/ ).
The chickens are largely, well, chickens. We're down to a dozen hens plus Leroy, the rooster who adopted us and is part of their flock, and Matilda, the peahen. Yes, they both made it through the winter.

We're going to price out having the chickens butchered out, though. The hens aren't laying much at all and Leroy isn't fertilizing them, so we'll put them in the freezer and restock, now that I'm home to hand raise another, littler, flock. We'll need to clean out and bleach the hen house so that it's ready for the next biddies, and that will be a bit of a chore, but not a bad one.

Well, I need to read some more for today's MCAT review class. More later, possibly.

Dear tea lovers

Drinkydrinky
A recipe for a "chai tea concentrate" that kinda rocks my not-lots-of-time-during-the-week socks. (madhavi, turn your head away)

1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground clove
3/4 c powdered milk (I KNOW! Just stay with me)
3/4 c sugar or other appropriate sweetener
1 c hot water

Combine all the spices really well. Add to powdered milk and sugar, stir really well. Pop it all into a liquid container like a Mason jar you can properly lid. Add hot water (I used water just off the boil). Stir. Let it sit overnight and then start using it - original recipe says to use about 1 tsp of this for each mug of black tea. PSHHHHH. Don't think so! Use more like a tablespoon.

Keeps about 3 weeks in the fridge.

Now, you can also add other spices, really play with it. Ground grains of paradise would be really great, or just a pinch of ground cubeb. Or throw in a long pepper to sit in the jar after you've stirred everything in, before you pop it in the fridge. Not a cassia fan? Grind up some proper Sri Lankan cinnamon and use it. Ginger freak? Go to town. Ooh! This could be really great with something like star anise, too. And now that I'm releasing this into the wild, where the SCA cooks will see it? I expect more ideas. (Tiniest pinch musk?)

Okay, now the powdered milk. Absolutely makes no sense to me, but it works. Doesn't even have that "ew, this used to be dry; it hardly respects itself" taste. I bet powdered goat milk could be just as amazing, too, and creamier. Also, I used a sugar substitute because Meg used up all the sugar in the house trying to use up Kool-Aid because she's become a girl who thinks with her stomach, not so much with her restraint. It may or may not be just as awesome without sweetener, depending on how you take your tea and/or chai. Let me know, please, if you go that route.

MOD NOTE

Butthead looks

Folks are reminded to read the Yahoo!group main page. The rules listed there apply here, and the rule primarily on my mind this morning is NO ADS. Ads belong on Garb4Sale

ETA: D'oh! One day I'll learn to LJ!

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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Markers and toddlers

Tudor rose
Blessed Youngest got hold of a Sharpie quite a while back and used them to much effect. I'm not worried about the walls and front door, as I plan to paint those anyway, but the woodwork in the kitchen sorta stings.

Recommendations for removal of Sharpie marker that's also wood/finish-safe? Thanks.

Not/Awesome

Tudor rose
Things that are not awesome:

Getting your house broken into.
The bastards warping the door, and finally having to break the frame to get in. This has nuked the old door, which needed replacement tout suite, because due to the warping where they kicked in and the breaking of the frame, B had to nail board across the door to keep it shut. Barring windows, that's one of two exits from the house. Not safe, not good.
Getting your kid's/your old laptop and portable DVD player (from Daddy, she just got it for Christmas) stolen
Lack of sleep due to the break-in
Losing research hours as you take care of the pile of shit that is required to be taken care of after a break-in that broke part of your house
Finding out when getting the door-hole evaluated that the shit (albeit steel) door, combined with the stupid (albeit VERY SOLID) deck install, that was there has caused a certain amount of rot at the base of the door hole.
Basically losing my entire monetary contribution to the house because of this shit.

Things that are awesome:
My new back door has a window in it so that A), it lets natural light into my dark kitchen and B), someone could break the *window* to get in, which is cheaper to replace than a door and its entire frame.
The door hole rot issue is fixed and ameliorated for the foreseeable future.
The new door has to be painted - so I'm going a bit overboard and painting the entire kitchen.
I AM PAINTING MY HOUSE IN COLORS. FIRST TIME EVER.
I will have a cheery yellow kitchen
With blue accents.
And possibly the pantry door will be painted to be TARDIS-like but I'm not sure about that now, as I've needed to change the blue that I chose for the room, since there's now more light
This door is properly fitted into the frame, which means that the weatherstripping works, which means a lowered electric bill. (Basically, we moved into an ex-rental and the folk before us trashed the place before they left, necessitating replacement of external doors before it would sell, which was done on the cheap, which meant that the frames weren't replaced, just new doors plopped on. This is not a good idea. Neither was the Pepto pink that the folks before us had painted the main bathroom and hallway, as evidenced by paint left behind on some fixtures in out-of-the-way places.)
The alarm they heard when they busted in made this a smash-and-grab instead of a wipe-them-out.
They took away the two push lawnmowers that were largely irreparable paperweights. Now B can no longer futilely try to fix one while avoiding taking care of the yard, with a pushmower I can't use even when in working order.
In daydream, someone broke their foot on my door.
As a result of the break-in, we have a dude mowing our yard. His rates are, well, they were too low, frankly, and I insisted on paying him at least a bit more. His work is great, he's maintaining our edges well and he's pruned the Bradford pears and the bushes in front. They were, uh, long overdue. He's Round-Upped the perimeter, which is fine by me, as I don't want anything growing there, anyway, and won't grow stuff on a fence (Although we did tell him to leave the blackberry canes on the back fence).
Nemo is currently napping and purring on my lap. He is the awesomest cat, ever.
OMG pretty, painted kitchen! Also, we took down the useless hutch and put it into storage yesterday. As a result the kitchen looks really, really big, now, and I have a sideboard.
Haven't really been working on the smock in the past while. The neighbors have a little boy and he is getting a seriously cute Aran sweater. I finished the body today, having kitchenered the shoulders together this morning. I'll cast on sleeves in a bit, maybe, but I'm leaving in a while to go to Sock Club.

Got rye bread in the oven. Okay, I've been trying the 5-minute, no-knead technique and it really doesn't use a lot of yeast at all. I tried a loaf's worth as an experiment about three weeks ago - and it worked. I made a decently respectable though rather flat white "peasant" round bread - and didn't need an epi pen/tons of Benedryl. Got enthusiastic about it and tried it several more times and.... same result! So I bought the book for my Kindle (Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes) because I wanted better technique (something was off and sure enough, read the book and poof! it's fixed!) and the recipes seemed good. Works like a charm for me. I'm pretty sure this is the combination of allergy shots (really, I've been keeping them up and am now at the point where I can go for them once every other week) and low yeast levels. I do need to be sure I've taken my usual allergy pill - but I can make bread again for my house! I'm largely still establishing things so I haven't really tried proper "sandwich" loaves, yet, but I'm trying out a deli rye right now, so we'll see. If it doesn't, oh, darn, bread for us to eat. I may even buy the authors' other book, Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes. We'll see, there are a LOT of recipes in this one, and really, this bread is healthy and varied, so I'm not sure what else they'd be doing.

...just pulled it out, and yeah, it's bread for us to just nom upon, I think. It's lovely, and it smells just as delicious as these others have been (omg, y'all, I made the MOST PERFECT BOULE EVER LAST WEEK). We'll get square boring sammich bread this afternoon while we're out, I suppose. If I want a sammich loaf, I'll have to go for a much bigger dough lump.

I've been at the farmers' market every weekend since we changed the hens' bedding and they decided that they wanted to feed us eggs instead of hand-raised chicken. We did lose one of the hens to either illness or really bad pecking order issues, and separated one for a while until we could buy some of the spray-on blue antiseptic and let her vent heal - the dead hen got head-pecked, this other hen got vent-pecked/plucked. She's back in the general population and things seem fine. I'm keeping an eye out for signs of more such behavior.

Research goes apace but it's at the steps where I can't really talk about anything. We have actual group meetings, just like it's academia, and there's a Ph. D. student in the lab and we all get along well. It seems to make for a much healthier environment than I have been hearing about from other universities. I'll definitely take it. I've also found out the new organic chemistry text and now have a chance to buy it at good discount instead of the uni bookstore, where the motto is, "If we ain't gouging the student, we ain't doin' our job."

Well, that's about it, and I'm kind of salivating here because I smell that bread and man, it just smells amazing and I want it in my MOUTH. It doesn't help that I haven't eaten yet, today. I slept in till 9 this morning - oh, yeah, my days have moved to the 5 AM-ish wake-up, which doesn't go well with my late-night habits but did have to happen if I'm going to really have a chance at the weird, early hours ahead of me if things go as hoped and planned.

Okay, off into the rest of my day. Maybe if I go change clothes I can put off breaking into that loaf before it's really ready. Hope springs eternal, but honey butter is in the making. Bread! And I made it with yeast! And it's in my house! Love.

Happy Father's Day, all

Fuuuuuck
I WILL NOT KILL AND EAT MY PROGENY. I WILL NOT KILL AND EAT MY PROGENY. I WILL NOT KILL AND EAT MY PROGENY. I WILL NOT KILL AND EAT MY PROGENY. I WILL NOT KILL AND EAT MY PROGENY. I WILL NOT KILL AND EAT MY PROGENY. I WILL NOT KILL AND EAT MY PROGENY. I WILL NOT KILL AND EAT MY PROGENY. I WILL NOT KILL AND EAT MY PROGENY. I WILL NOT KILL AND EAT MY PROGENY. I WILL NOT KILL AND EAT MY PROGENY. I WILL NOT KILL AND EAT MY PROGENY. I WILL NOT KILL AND EAT MY PROGENY. I WILL NOT KILL AND EAT MY PROGENY.

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So, no Pennsic for me

Tudor rose
Because our home insurance deductible is $1000 for theft incidences.

Yep. We came home on Wednesday to our back door warped in and the frame completely broken. The back door is entirely steel and just warped against the force of the kicks (and may they have broken their feet on it) so the only thing to give was the frame, which did. They saw and heard all of our alarm stuff and so instead of completely wiping us out, it turned into a smash-and-grab. They got my old/Meg's laptop and its mouse, cord and cooling fan thing, and her portable DVD player, and two largely defunct push lawnmowers. I really hope they try to fix those up before they sell them and wish them the merriest hell till they discover that one's got a slowish hole in the gas tank and the other's engine likely needs an overhaul. They were so fast to get out that a $5 bill that Rose got for her birthday which she'd left on the chair was unnoticed and untouched.

No, we don't really expect to get anything back, even with putting things up on NCIC.

Anyway, so we're getting a new back door. The one that was there was terrible for the frame, anyway, and daylight showed around the "weatherproofing" seal that didn't, so good riddance to bad rubbish but still: I wanted to spend that money on Pennsic. The door will have a half-window in to finally let some natural light into that room. We're also getting a new storm door to replace the completely shitty one that we think dated to the early eighties. It'll close properly and have a properly functioning screened portion and be cleanable and everything. The frame-breaking messed around with the paint job around it, too, so I'm taking the opportunity to paint the kitchen that cheery yellow I wanted, with blue accents that should go well with the existing colors in the tile on the floor and the countertops. I'm going to try it out on the door that's going away because I might as freaking well. If I like it, I'm going remove the moulding on the broken frame toward the otherwise-a-total-PITA-too-tiny-to-easily-paint corner there, paint it up nicely before the dudes get here and then not have to worry about it so much! It's one of those extremely close corners that happen when door frame are practically right next to one another in a corner.
When he didn't show up to mow on Thursday, we were suspecting that the new yard dude was part of the theft but he showed up on Friday and again on Saturday and did an awesome job. Seriously, we are keeping this guy. He's going to come every week, too, for half the price of the every other week plus $2. More than willing to do that - the yard is actually really thick and gets seriously overgrown in ten days, out here. I'm just delighted. This guy is awesome, he's just starting out and we are keeping him for as long as we can afford him.
For three-ish weeks, now, we've been really getting to the point where we were just feeding the hens for as long as it took us to take them to a custom butcher (don't are to try to explain to Rose why we're chopping their heads off) and put them in the freezer. The egg laying has just dropped off that much.

Found out this weekend that they just wanted different bedding than what they had. Laid a dozen just today, AND, for a wonder, one laid in the lower box (never happened before) and another bedded down in there for the night which has just never happened, but she was happy just being a bit broody over that one laid egg. As a bonus, something about this bedding makes a huge difference in how clean the eggs are when they're gathered. Win-win-win. Yep.

Additionally, I wonder if the peahen that's adopted us is really young - I found this morning that an egg was laid outside the hen house. I candled it, and there didn't appear to be anything denoting fertilization, so it went in with the other eggs. It could just be that a chicken egg just somehow weirdly got out of our gathering at some point and rolled off, but I really don't know. I don't know how old the peahen is, so I can't tell if this is just a first laying, so it's the size of a chicken egg and will get larger, like the chickens did (laid small and are now up to large to FREAKIN' JUMBO, YOU POOR THING 0.0 ). Anyway.

So the end of the week and the weekend have largely sucked for sleep, what with some hyperalertness on my part, becoming an even *lighter* sleeper, and Rose deciding on both Friday and yesterday night to crawl in the bed with us, which means I don't fall asleep till after she's back in her bed a few hours later.

On that note, last night and tonight have all involved getting her to sleep in less time, without B sitting in there with her after story time until she nods off. Instead, dental care, kisses and hugs, reading, and goodnight with reminders that B and Meg are right there in the living room, and I'm down the hall in the office. I AM EXCITE, and I know B is, too. It's a bit overdue but hitting four years old on Thursday has clicked some changes in her own head (I'm four now so I'm a bigger girl and now I can do x, y, and z like the big kids). We are absolutely trying to maximize on that with this. That said, I'm going to point out to them that we are messing around with her bedtime routine, so moving her to the next classroom entirely might be a thing best done in another week or two. Or, considering that the big kids/summer kids are in that classroom, i.e., her big sister, they might just hold off till Fall, anyway, because of the sibling thing. Hm.
Well, time for sleep. Got to finish up the itemized list and deliver it to the sheriff's office tomorrow so we can get the ball rolling and see if there's any point in asking for reimbursement from insurance - I'm betting not. I don't want my rates to go up over a less than hundred dollar check, thanks.

May. 31st, 2012

Tudor rose
This morning, before I'd even finished my breakfast, I got at least 900 people right where it counts.

Thewayoftheid is replacing her cell phone for the second time in at least two months. She's a known killer of phones.
Karn (and others, let's be fair) started ragging on her tech-killing ways and I got into the game and suggested all manner of things, like "Hey, there's a very strict and clear contract between them. Don't judge. #ykinmk"
K answered with "It's murder."
"Even technology has the right to die." I responded, "It's called a 2-year warranty."
Her: "They last two months."
Me: "Maybe they're all terminal."
The rest of the past 24 hours has largely sucked rocks outside of a few slightly ragged bits silver lining clinging to the storm cloud. More on that later.

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That's it!

Tudor rose
I'm officially dubbing this my Summer of Making. It's like I couldn't get much of anything made during the school year, so I'm trying to really make up for it now.


  • I spun up about a half-ounce of silk/superwash merino today.

  • I knit on a new shawl I really like and is totally potato-chip (can't knit just one row/stripe).

  • I finished up dyeing the Jacob 2-ply that Roz bought for me a year? ago. It's still drying but is so ready to be toe-up knit stockings for SCA events. Came out beautiful red that the dark bits in the Jacob treated with love and the lights bits, affection.

  • I'm about to cast on for Kate Davies's O W L S sweater. It turns out that I have exactly the yarn called for the yarn juuuust shy of the yardage I need but that's okay because I can either go find another couple of skeins online (Black Welsh breed of Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds Chunky). And? I got the yarn on steep discount. This'll be awesome.

  • I've also got enough to make one for Meg and one for Rose, in a differentyarn of the same size.

  • Yesterday, we picked up our first CSA basket of a half-bushel. Plus some other little things.

  • Yesterday I also picked the beets I picked up (a pint), plus two quarts of cauliflower with turmeric in for pretty color. Next week, I'm getting even more beets, pickling those, and then I'll use the product to pickle hard boiled eggs.

  • And quite possibly take for Pennsic, which is looking like something that's totally going to happen, even if it's just me, which would actually kind of suck. We'll have a better idea as it gets closer to the end of online pre-registration.

  • I also made a polenta/grits/thingy with the braised beet greens, chevre, and shredded Parmesan. It was lovely, and I will eat more of it.

  • Tomorrow, I'm ironing down the seam allowance on the body of the smock and sewing that down in the middle of whatever else I get up to, which will likely be cooking - the season's first summer squash are in the basket and I've a real hankering for fried squash. Nice and narrow and crispy-dark and cornbreaded, just like I like.



And on top of these things, I'm giving serious thought to starting a podcast, something I've been thinking about for a few years now but have put off due to lack of nice equipment. I think I'm just going to get started, and let my motivation to buy a better mic and a decent mixer just ramp up accordingly, until I find myself with a decent recording mic. Just a general life blog with a very heavy balance of fiber-related stuff, maybe a few reviews, and a bit of how my life is going. We'll see. Wondering, frankly, if anyone would want to listen, but a local friend just began hers with essentially the same equipment that I have, so at this point it's just time to pay for a bit of LibSyn's space and do it.
The hens are about to go entirely into the freezer - the past two days have gotten all of three eggs because the shits are eating them as soon as they're freaking made. I'm replacing them with juveniles I'm going to buy from McMurray hatchery, I think, that way, they're healthy and strong already, very close to laying age, and past the time where I really feel a need to be available pretty much 24/7 to monitor them like I did with this batch. I was hoping to keep some of these but the habit's just spread through the whole flock. Fortunately, we have a local custom butcher, so I should be able to keep the nice saddle and tail feathers. So get them in the freezer, clean the coop and equipment and spray it down with bleach (to try to prevent cross-contamination issues), and then get the new flock in. Then wait for eggs. Oy.

Sometimes, I sew things

Tudor rose
So on Thursday I picked up some lace for insertions and whatnot at Hobby Lobby, and stopped by Hamilton Dry Goods and picked up some of that awesome linen-cotton I love so much. I started in on it on Friday while running some successful solar experiments and as a consequence I got the arm pieces of the smock entirely hemmed on Friday by the time I went to bed. Then for some reason, before joining them together, I decided that I was going to do some needlelace polychrome silk insertions in the seams. Mostly this is because I won't be getting the black taffeta that I want until at least the next paycheck and because my eyes happened to light on one of the spools of light silk cording that Roz gave me after returning from a Pennsic about two? three? years ago. Couldn't find the red spool for some reason (I'm still looking) but I happened upon some Splendor cards that include a nice red-purple that scans as a deep scarlet next to the green.

However, I also blame this on PoF fumes, the which I found last night finally and pored over some more. I was going to go for something pretty intricate, but truly, I don't think something really complex is period-appropriate for this smock's time, more's the pity. Fun fact, though - research seems to be indicating that a falling collar is not out of the cards for me on a different outfit, nor a curved-front doublet, yay! I mean, screaming edge, yeah, but not out of the cards. And? More pictures of pockets, or pouches-cum-pockets, on women in the 16th in the English Isles.

I've gotten most of the initial framework for those stitches done this weekend but I'm about to brush my teeth and head to bed. The green below is the initial work and was originally achieved by spacing the edges with a 1/4" dowel, pinning the fabric pieces to themselves thoroughly so that they didn't move, and then sewing that ladder of green up the gap. Right now I'm doing passes with the red-purple to cross the green and form red saltire-oriented crosses between the green bits and I'll run a central line up the middle after this, knotting around or weaving in between already-crossed bits.

For now, I'm really, really tired - I caught up on nearly the entire season of Grimm (really? we're doing this to our partner and our loved ones? really?) last night before bed, which meant that I got in bed around, oh, 3: or 4:30 in the morning. I'm tired, is what I'm saying. So g'night yall, here's a bit of garb pron. Both are of roughly the same area: the join of the armpit gusset to the middle-ish of the arm. I'm probably going to do a spider's web sort of circle in the crotch of the Y, here, for pretty and also for strength.Pictures behind the cutCollapse )

Tomorrow is more research and more time in the sun with solar experimentation, unless there's rain, in which case there will be lab cleanup, general tidying, and possibly mucking around with melting points in the lab again.
We got a due with a working zero-degree turn mowing machine (MAN, I want one of those!) to do our yard this week because I finally brought home to B that that it is a liability as well as an eyesore and we are no longer equipped with our nonfunctional yard tools, and cannot afford to buy a new one right now. Dude is - wow. $40, he mowed down our eyesore of a yard, sprayed the boundaries along the horse pasture fence (with something that doesn't hurt the horses) so that those can be maintained, he weed eated, and he trimmed our bushes back. Next week, he's bringing some saws to cut the lowest, most interfering branches on the Bradford pears out back, and is going to try to make gradually increasing inroads into our back acre as he goes. We're keeping this dude. So keeping this dude.

We've moved back to feeding the hens in the AM and are gradually getting more eggs as they feel okay to lay earlier in the day because there will be food then. They're eating fewer eggs, too. Sadly, we're expecting molt near the end of the summer, after which they'll likely have sharply reduced production, as well as being grumpy. I'm looking into our options for getting in a few more pullets to replace some we'll be culling. In the meantime, we are getting massive, massive eggs. Like, one is the size of something the peahen could lay but it was legitimately not her, as it was in the hen's laying house.

Yes, she's still around. Yes, we're feeding her, now - because I'm a softie and if things are going to be insistent about living here, well, I'll feed them, at least, and provide water. She's a pretty thing, and mildly behaved toward me, and is also starting to trust me well enough to come very, very near me for feeding. I hope to pet her sometime soon, if she'll tolerate it. In the meantime, the rooster's been harassing her enough that she's skittish around him and runs, even when he's invading her food bowl and she's obviously really hungry.

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So

iPod this
The Garb Muse snuck up behind me this morning on the way into town, pounced on me, and really sank her fangs in as a sort of "welcome back! I hear you might be bringing in some money! Let me help you get rid of it! Oh, and that extra bit of time, too." Just one image, fairly close up, invaded my noggin and the cascade of inchoate ideas congealed into angel trumps and light - and gave me a silly grin. My husband, who knows me so well, immediately knew what had happened and started grinning, too, because, well, he knows me.

So today I have purchased clocked silk hose (though frankly, silk hose don't need a reason to be a purchase).
Two sorts of insertion lace.
Three yards of the excellent linen-cotton blend from the usual suspects because you can never have enough comfortable underwear.

I'm going to be revamping some sleeves I've had for a long while but which have largely gone unused. The doublet that goes with them, which I outgrew at least 7 years ago, will be cut up for bits (Margo pattern and I futzed the neck, so that's just fine), most likely a stomacher and the base for some of that insertion lace. If I don't like how the lace looks, I'll be upgrading the software for the embroidery machine so that I can make the K-lace reticella-look squares on the wash-away interfacing, and then laying that over, instead - I still love that stuff.

I need more black velveteen. And black silk taffeta or satin. I have a line on a fabric in black and white that should be pretty perfect for the skirt. Well, the underskirt.

I pulled out some other things I'll be using for linings and toiles and the like and I've located my various stay supplies - I'll be making a drum farthingale disc, which will use the heavier of the stuff I got from Kass, and I'll be using the smaller half-reed bents for the bodies of whatever it is I'm going to end up with. I'll have to have a new pair of bodies as mine has really started to spring stays through the ends of channels. So, largely skin-out, with a 1590s court outfit. In black and white. I will call it "The Big Damn Dress" - no, actually, considering the black and white theme I might name it "Meridiana," which gets even funnier when you know that our nicer SCA plates are extremely color maiolica plates whose maker is the company Meridiana. But yeah, "Meridiana," I think. Alternately, "The Plate Dress."

In the meanwhile (come on, this is a long, huge project and it's in largely black, for crying out loud; I live in the South and it's almost June!), Somewhat simpler plans for the meantimeCollapse )

But in the meantime I'll be sourcing a LOT of pearls and restringing a few strands some I already have that are needing it. Oh, and finding that black taffeta/shot silk taffeta. And possibly some other stuff. We'll see.

So, who needs wool? I ought to sell a thing or two to see if I can't fund this garb habit I seem to have.

Get on that, y'all.

Tudor rose
I need an updated bodice sloper. Why do none of you live closer?!

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Dear assholes,

Tudor rose
What the hell.

Due to meeting lots of new people who are unaware of my classification/status here at the uni, I get a lot of questions about my academic background. That's fine, and I don't mind sharing that information, but I always sort of internally gather myself because I know what comes next.

Why is it that every time I mention that I no longer play violin and someone asks why, saying, "I had a stroke," is not enough to make them shut up? And this isn't exclusive to other students but includes random strangers, for crying out loud! Random people who don't know me well enough to even tell me from Eve in a lineup. And yet, they ALWAYS have something to fix me/my tragedy and aren't they great people for being so helpful to someone in need? And it's "what do you mean that violin requires lots of "signal" density and you're slow at it? You're knitting and talking to me at the same time," with a healthy side of, "clearly you're wrong and don't really know what you're talking about! You're just NOT TRYING." Also, I'm clearly just angry at the world if I want to drop the subject and one day I'll come around and play beautiful solo music again and They Will Have Helped Put Me On The Road To My Real Self. This is usually with a smattering of some of the crap based in "women are encouraged to be lovely and musical decorative objects for reflect their men's awesomeness," and "you don't really want to be a doctor, now, do you? Because honey, I don't know if you know it, but there's, uh, PEOPLE GOO in medicine, and it's a lot of work, too."

FUCK you. More than 75% of the time, they've never even picked up a violin in their life. Fuck you sideways, because I might have a damn clue as to what the requirements are for playing violin decently (what with the DEGREE AND ALL) as opposed to knitting, I might know my own ability and dexterity levels, and, y'know what? I don't want to sound like shit. I fucking hate it. I will not tolerate it and I don't have to - I can sing perfectly acceptably.

In contrast, no one who has played violin or any other stringed instrument with any level of seriousness has ever once proposed ideas about how I'm doing it wrong. They just wince and commiserate and then the topic moves on because they have a clue in what I'm talking about. No one in health care, either, has told me about how I'm doing it wrong, because they have a basic understanding of neurological deficit - and accept that I might know what I'm talking about.

This rant brought to you by the investment advisor asshole from yesterday, who I know from somewhere but can't quite place.

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May. 8th, 2012

Tudor rose
Just got a call from Meg's school nurse, who was calling to see if I wanted her to attend an abstinence-only education session, done by the same group that both "counsels" pregnant women about their "options" (so long as they're pro-life options only) but, conveniently, runs an adoption agency to adopt out the infants of such women - so long as they're not of mixed race because you just can't place those babies, right? Yeah, those assholes. It seems that somehow Meg's "health form," wherein I clearly signed my name in the NO slot for this issue, as well as writing "NOT EVER" boldly next to it, was lost.

So instead of assuming that the answer was Yes, because she knows what's in parents' heads/what's best for the child/fill in bullshit excuse here, she called me to ask. I am delighted. Delighted.

I kind of want to send the woman flowers, no lie.

ETA: Hold that. I just realized that I'd not thanked the woman for that and called back to do so. What happened was that the nurse listened to Meg, who told her that she didn't think that her mom wanted her to go because I'd already talked to her. I'll take it. I'll take it.

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