aearwen2: (Sm Sindarin Lady)
Oi! I haven't been very active lately, have I?

Seems like the week just sped on past, filled with little errands that took more time than I thought they would - and before I knew it, the day was done and I hadn't even poked my head up in here. The next week promises much the same. Monday I take Hubby to blood tests and take another trip to Social Services (we won't bother to rant about how invasive their questions are.) Tuesday I spend with my new Russian friend - and I've finally figured out another pretty place along the coast to take her. Wednesday will be a "normal" day, I think... Thursday afternoon will start early with me taking my other Russian friend to yet another medical test - this time a barium swallow test. She's elderly, and I'm her "interpreter" (meaning me and Google Translate, that is...) And Thursday is when it's supposed to start raining again...

Progress report from the dam up in the hills: it's now at almost 45% capacity. This means that while we might just have enough water to get us through our "Dry" season, we still aren't completely out of the woods yet. We'll need another year or two at least before we can wipe our brows and declare our current drought "over". The good news otherwise is that other dams in the area are also filling - with one actually going over the spillway. The snow-pack in the Sierras is above normal, which means recharging the water table in the Central Valley. This has been a GOOD year for us, water-wise. Please, Mother Nature, keep up the good work!!!

In other news...

JJ has his new aquarium - the old one sprang a leak, we think... One way or the other, it was losing water WAY too fast. Anyhoo, we have the old tank out in the backyard (thinking about possibly making it into a terrarium to grow maybe some celery and/or green onions on the back porch in it) and the new tank in its place. Tomorrow we'll add the water & chemicals and get the filters running, and then let it go for a few days and take the water for testing before putting the two survivors of the last tank back into the newer, bigger home. JJ will be doing the running back and forth when it comes to filling the tanks, I swear. It's his aquarium, after all; he needs to be doing the work. :-p

And now, without further ado, I have eight days' worth of 365 Meme to catch up on, so bear with me. Gonna put it behind a cut, so as not to take up so much screen-space (and/or for those who aren't interested...)

365 Day Meme Entries under the cut )

See y'all next time...
aearwen2: (Sm Sindarin Lady)
Yesterday was not quite but almost a lost day. I wanted to get my fasting blood test done right away - but a trip to the kitchen while still half-asleep netted me a quick drink of cranberry juice at 4:45AM, which blew that out of the water. I still went to the lab tho - Hubby needed to get his bloodwork done. Then later, went shopping and generally tinkered with IDD Chapter 24 and hung out on Facebook. Crashed into bed early.

Today was Saturday, and my normal 8AM appointment with friends for coffee and conversation. Have decided I need to learn how to filter Facebook to take out all of the political crud mentioning, ridiculing or otherwise discussing our current federal leadership. I do spend time reading a couple of news sites, and I do so at length, so it isn't as if I don't know what's going on - but I'm tired of going to FB to relax and coming away depressed and half-angry. That's a good part of the reason I love coming here!!! There is so little of that, and it's SOOOOOOO refreshing!!!

Okay... On with the meme. Today's a catch-up day, with two prompts:

34: Where you’d like to be in ten years.

I'm at the age that, ten years from now, I'd like to be alive and well and still functional. Maybe even still writing either fanfic or O-fic. I want to still live in the same house I'm in now, in the same area I live now - hopefully with no water shortage issues.

35: Your views on drugs and alcohol.

When it comes to alcohol, I'm not a teetotaller, but I do believe in imbibing with moderation - and seeking help if one has trouble knowing when to stop.

I also am a proponent of legalized marijuana, and of doing the research into medical cannabis' potentials. I make and use my own cannabis ointment for topical use to help with the arthritis pain. I do NOT believe marijuana to be a "gateway drug" anymore than I believe it about alcohol. I believe the research demonstrates that marijuana is far less physically addictive than either alcohol or many other so-called "legal" substances.

My views on drugs, however, are a different story.

I have lived my life - and taught my kids - that "Drugs are for sick people only." In other words, if you haven't got a physical condition that demands that pill, you shouldn't be taking it. That said, I recognize that there are a lot of facets to drug addiction other than poor self-control. I have friends who are part of the 12-Step programs available, and seen the good they can do. I believe that rehab should be the recourse given to those convicted of drug crimes (along with any restitution that should realistically fall to them) and not prison time (unless the crime committed was one that included violence.) Prison doesn't make the problem better or go away; it often exacerbates some of the other issues of which the drug use is only a symptom.

I think that the way the pharmaceutical industry has flooded the airwaves with commercials for pills to cure just about anything that ails us - with a zillion and one side-effects that will, in turn, require even more pills - are a major contributor to the problem at hand, and I would like to see ALL advertisement of prescription medications banned, period, end of statement (except in publications aimed at medical professionals who would know what the heck they're about.) I advocate self-education in the many naturopathic remedies, and use of the same up to or until one finds them inadequate - and only then consider artificial (as in man-concocted) remedies.

More than you wanted to know, right?

Okay. Until tomorrow, folks. Have a nice rest of the weekend.
aearwen2: (Sm Sindarin Lady)
Today was an interesting, if tiring day. Spent it with another Russian lady who is desperate to better her English while she's still in the country. It's amazing how I got used to how Nina speaks and expresses herself, to the point that it was a stretch to understand Zina. Still, I'm going to be seeing her on a weekly basis too now; so I'm hoping my Russian conversational skills will receive a fair boost too. But I came home after spending over 3 hours working very hard at bilingual communications, and I'm wiped. I remember being wiped when I'd come home after long days that first year of university, when I'd spend every hour on-campus functioning in Spanish. It did wonders for my fluency, but I could finally understand how and why our Thai exchange student a few years earlier needed a nap after over six hours functioning in only English!

Anyhoo, here's today's meme offering:

31: What would have made today perfect?

Frankly, what would have made today any better than it already was would be my having a slightly better command of Russian vocabulary. I learned a bucketload of new words today - the challenge now is not to let my mental fatigue help me forget everything I learned. Thank heavens Google Translate for Android saves the words I look up. With luck, I won't need a whole lot of prompting; and maybe Nina will enjoy it that I understand her just a little bit better too.

That's my day, folks...

And now, I have a request from any of my old Lizard Council droogs who might remember my monster fic that I was working on. I've finished (finally!!! yay!!!) the next chapter of the thing, and would really appreciate anybody willing to look it over. Considering the number of OCs in it, breaking in a new beta really wouldn't be optimal - altho I'm willing to send a copy of the rest of it if somebody really wants to read & beta for me.

aearwen2: (Sm Sindarin Lady)
Well, it only took less than a week for me to completely and utterly miss a day's posting to the meme - and a doubled-up day at that!

My excuse - and a lousy one - is that it was a pretty full day. Hubby needed to get to a lab for a blood draw, so we'd scheduled about 10 AM. What time did the hardest part of the first storm system to dump on us start to dump on us? You got it - about 10:15, just about the time we were coming out of the lab. And dump it did!!! We got, all told, 1/2 an inch in a little under an hour.

Needless to say, neither Hubby nor I were really keen to climb out of the car in the middle of a deluge like that, so we decided to drive around a bit. Hubby, being house-bound, doesn't get to see how the area is "developing" (if you want to call it that, grrrr!!) so we tried first to go watch the ocean. Nope - traffic issues related to a mudslide on the freeway made that impossible. Okay, so we turned around and started driving Hwy 1 home - but nope. In one little town, a 20 yard-long section of Hwy 1 was under probably about 2 feet of water. Goodie, we get to use the residential streets.

We finally maneuver around the flooded part and get back on Hwy 1 - only to come up to a police car blocking the way and a telephone/power pole sitting skitty-wonkus at about a 60% angle. Okay... *sigh* back onto residential streets we go. By this time, Hubby needs to get out of the car, so we head home as quickly as traffic and the rain will allow - and both of us get soaked getting in the house. Hubby was more soaked than I was, because he needs a walked and simply can't walk fast at all.

Then, that afternoon, I had a meeting - and in trying to get out of that meeting, ran up against the traffic issues of Hwy 1 traffic being re-routed past where I wanted to turn left. *another deep sigh* Thank you to the kind-hearted soul who took pity on me and simply waited so I could slip in front of him, or I'd possibly still be sitting there.

Today, it's been fairly quiet - but I suddenly realized I hadn't posted yesterday at all, and not today yet either. So...


Mea culpa. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.


On with the questions - all four of them today.

13: What are you looking for from life?

Experiences. A little enlightenment. Lessons to be learned. "Life is its own answer."

14: Who is the last people to tell you they loved you?

My brother, over the phone, a little over an hour ago. My family has never been shy about telling each other that - and I'm very glad of it.

15: What is your favorite piece of art you own?

I collect Oriental artwork, and my favorite piece is a scroll about 4 feet high that is a brush painting of a sky dragon, done in blacks and gold accents, except for the flaming pearl in red. Lovely piece. Second favorite: a dragon worked in mother of pearl on a black, lacquered background.

Did I ever mention I love, and I collect, dragons?

16: Whats the last thing you apologized for?

For slacking off and not finishing plugging in the lyrics into the songs I wrote for a small production so I can print off a copy for the author/director/producer. And now that we've decided we're going to make it a video rather than a stage-play, I need to get off my cast-iron keester and get that done so that we can get our performers and at least get the audio of the music taped.

YAY!!! I'm caught up again!!!

See you all tomorrow...
aearwen2: (Sm Sindarin Lady)
Well, the first day (evening, night and morning, really) of our 5-day storm set netted us 1.5 inches in the rain gauge on the back porch. That's not bad at all. I figure around next Monday, I'll check in again at the webpage for our county's reservoir lakes and see how the percentage full business is doing. I can say, in all sincerity, that we've had more rain already this season than we've had in the last two years combined. I feel like a sponge that's finally found a pan of water, and I'm just happy soaking it all up!

And now for the day's 2 questions - still working on catching up with myself here...

11: Today I wish I had more _____


Today I'm having a nice, slooooooow morning, and then I'll be spending the afternoon with my Russian friend. On today's docket is our normal one hour a week exercise in memorizing Russian/English vocabulary, followed by at least another hour or two drinking coffee and yakking and hanging out. I do know that one thing I need to help her with is to make a medical appointment for a barium swallow/x-ray procedure, but that I do over the phone.

So I guess the thing I wish I had were more time this morning to ponder where I'm going next in IDD. I got over 1000 words written yesterday, and I'd really like to keep going at that rate a whole lot more often. I might actually finish that monster, if I could keep going at that speed; but I know that if I push myself into absolutely having to crank out that many words minimum per day, I'd burn myself out eventually - and I REALLY don't want to do that. I like the Tolkien fandom, and my IDD!verse, too much to risk it.

12: What made today unusual?

I'd like to say the rain, but we're getting enough of it this rainy season that it's not so unusual. We did get thunder and lightning this morning, however, which we don't get all that often - which is fine by me. I hate worrying about lightning hitting the lines and frying appliances, computers, etc. Had it hit the telephone line once and burn out my modem and printer port many years ago, and it was no fun having to tear my machine apart to fix it.

Okay folks, until next time...
aearwen2: (Sm Sindarin Lady)
It's been a long time, I know. I was starting to wonder if I'd burnt out again - I guess not. )

Okay. So that's what's going on with Aearwen lately. I know I've been quiet. That's why, and that's what I'm up to nowadays.

Have a good day, f-list folks!
aearwen2: (Sm Sindarin Lady)
Those of you who have been reading my blurbs and rants for a while know that I take part (as in am the musical director of) a small group of performers who put on a program during the first week in August. Well, last night was the performance for which we have labored six months, and it was a smash success!

We did Irish music - all flavors of it. We had moldy-oldies like "I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen" and "Galway Bay", comic bits like "Who Put The Overalls In Mrs. Murphy's Chowder" and "The Orange and the Green", all the way through to modern pieces like "The Island" - ending with a rendition of Celtic Woman's "Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears". We had an eight-year-old singing "A Mother's Love's A Blessing", and a men's group singing "Forty Shades of Green". I even stood up from the piano stool and sang Briege Murphy's "The Sea" to someone else's accompaniment on the guitar for a change!

I'm really glad we started organizing this monster back in February, mostly because so much of what we did were traditional pieces for which dedicated sheet music was hard - if not impossible - to come by. That's right: I did a fair share of just plain old musical arrangements this year, on top of the usual run of transpositions and such. My printer got a really good workout, as the updated/corrected/transposed versions had to be handed out to those involved. My own piece had no real resources available at all - a youtube video only was all I could find anywhere; I had to sit and listen very hard to pull the lyrics and then be glad my guitarist could figure out chords that were within my vocal range.

Thing is, this year's "convention" week was lighter than those that came before - or, at least, it was a lighter burden for me. I didn't have quite so many obligations to sit at the piano bench for activities this time, although those I did have were stressful enough. Included in this convention week was the memorial service for a man who was my best friend for many years, and I was asked to play several "meditative" pieces to fit into a service that Willy actually wrote for himself ten years earlier. (He died of a progressive and degenerative nerve disorder, and he knew what he'd be facing that long ago.)

Anyway... long story short: I'm free!! Everything's done and finished, and I can sit back and genuinely relax today. I have two weeks' respite from organizational meetings before we start doing early prep work on our Christmas play, which starts rehearsal the first Sunday of September. I fully intend to enjoy the fact that I don't have anything going on during my Sunday afternoons for the next two weeks - I may even decide to get myself into minor mischief somewhere. We'll have to see.

But I just had to share my relief, my exhaustion, and my pride at seeing a job through well-done.

Happy Sunday, folks!
aearwen2: (Sm Sindarin Lady)
The last couple of days have definitely proven interesting. I've been to see The Hobbit (and in 3D, after promising myself I'd only try 2D,) learned that my "almost-not-quite-officially-adopted" son from Tennessee is gonna spend a couple of weeks with us over the holidays, and finally finished the application for health insurance required by the ACA.

All kinds of yattering under the cut )

So... The days ahead seem full and busy, even for folks like me who don't celebrate Christmas at all. I play the piano at Halcyon this Sunday, then Christmas Eve service, and then the next Sunday too. This Sunday, I have my piano/organ duet cohort Nashoma with me, which is a treat (she's 81 now, and has nerve damage that sometimes makes playing quite difficult for her.) I have two (count 'em) fishtanks that need serious maintenance. I have several large meals to plan.

It should keep me out of the bingo parlors, eh?

Happy Holidays, f-list! Have a great time, and stay safe!
aearwen2: (Sm Sindarin Lady)
I know that this show is extremely popular in the UK, but I wonder how many of my f-list (especially those of us in the US) who have tuned in and watched it? I'm extremely grateful to [ profile] sykira for showing me where to watch it online, because I'm surely as hooked as anyone on the other side of the pond.

This is a wonderful whodunit, with a seemingly endless supply of suspects, red herrings, twists and turns, and secrets to be unearthed. Most American TV shows don't bother to go this deeply into the characters - and I'm finding that I really enjoy a drama that provides me with characters that are more than cardboard cut-outs by the end. I also really enjoy that this story is taking eight weeks to be fully told, and not simply wrapping itself up in an hour or two.

I don't have HBO or SHO, so I have to wait for Netflix to pick up new seasons of their offerings. But this one I can watch virtually at the same time the folks in Britain do. I really recommend this one - and I don't normally recommend TV shows, as you folks know. Besides which, it doesn't hurt that David Tennant is in it, and does a wonderful job with the nuanced role he was given.

Anyhoo, in case anybody's interested, here's the link to the first episode:

Broadchurch - Episode One

Episodes One thru Seven are currently available at that site. Needless to say, I'm gonna buy this one when it finally hits Region 1 DVD - or else I'll just have to go out and buy a DVD player that reads Region 2 discs. Yes, it really is that good.

And thanks again, [ profile] sykira, for providing me with a new obsession.
aearwen2: (Default)
I know, I know. This isn't exactly the time of year that one normally kvetches about heat waves - and yet we had one here. Wednesday it damned near hit 100°, Thursday, it was a relatively (and comparatively) sane 85°, and yesterday it barely hit 80°. Today, it's barely 70° and overcast. I can tell the barometric pressure is doing The Yoyo from the way my arthritis is acting up. No fun.

Mind you, I live in an area that gets warm maybe two days a year, so very few folks in these parts own an air conditioner. This year, this is the second - maybe the third - heat wave. I don't like heat. I'd rather be cold than hot; because when I'm cold I can bundle up and stand over my floor furnace and have hot air blow up at me. When I'm hot, I am miserable.

My daughter Súl was less lucky. Her health issues have her fairly unbalanced energy-wise anyway, and I guess the heat really knocked her for a loop. No air conditioning in the shop either, so when I was there yesterday I saw that she had two fans going: a small one on the floor aimed up at her, and a Big Bertha one kinda aimed at her client.

Hubby has a Big Bertha that he normally keeps out in the shop for days like this; but even he didn't have the ambition to go out and putter. My poinsettia got half-baked (no, not that way!!) and the irises I put out this summer really were quite wilty. Even the crows outside weren't flying around a whole lot in the real heat - and you know it's hot when they don't have much to say.

Writing-wise, I'm continuing alone. My DW fic is edging slowly towards the climax, and I have my beta worried about the welfare of at least one character now. Finally I'm getting to the scenes that have been part of my dreams for months now! The job now is to write it down and make certain that it 1)makes sense within the givens of the story; and 2)is as exciting as I hope it will be. Time will tell.

Oh, and my daughter did my nails yesterday and gave me the cutest set of spider nail art for Halloween. She's really quite an artist, and I can tell she's getting better health and mood-wise because she's getting more creative and whimsical. So I leave you with a shot of my nails, taken at the shop just after she finished them.

my nails

aearwen2: (Default)
Yeah, I know. It's been a long time since I blogged at all about my life in any detail. But this past week has been both eventful and peaceful enough that I thought some folks might like an update.

Miscellaneous personal nattering under the cut )

Writing-wise, I'm chugging away at finishing my Doctor Who fic and IDD - and when I'm not doing that or working on music, I'm preparing for my o-fic novel with the organizing software. My Muses are... well... reluctant to work very hard, but at least they will answer when I call them (even if it is to tell me "Later, Mom.") But they feed me enough to feel like I'm making progress, even if it's SLOOOOWWWW progress.
aearwen2: (Default)
Believe it or not, I'm still alive and kicking. Busy and working on things that I thoroughly enjoy as well, which is also good. Shoulder starting to hurt again, and not going back to the orthopedist for another set of cortisone shots until early September, which is not so good.

More trivia and miscellanea under the cut )

That's it from the Left Coast of California, folks... 'Til next time...
aearwen2: (Default)
*Once more Aearwen pokes her head out of the sands of lurkerdom*

Evidently a conference at the local Theosophical community of Halcyon was what my writing muse needed to really kick it into gear. After being completely deluged with musical obligations – from piano/organ duets to giving a talk on "Harmony and Spirit" to being the accompanist for a musical review program (which included two pieces of Joplin ragtime played by yours truly) thrown together at the last minute because the play being prepared was woefully behind schedule. Thank the Universe the musical review we had done in August, and we were able to mostly remember what we did and how we did it well enough to be presentable. However, the four-day conference gave me a much-needed respite from all things writing and Internet-related.

Although, to be honest, I'd been writing already - just not in the LOTR fandom...

More nattering, mostly about writing, under the cut )

Anyway, the sum and substance of this is that my Lizard Council friends will hopefully have something new to chew on from me after nearly six months of silence. And those who have read my DW story at Whofic will hopefully not be left hanging for too very long.

Now, all I need to do is organize my time so I can keep up my piano practicing too - with perhaps a little harp along the way? That isn't too much to hope for, is it?
aearwen2: (Default)
Yes, I'm still breathing air.

Misc. Natterings Under The Cut For The Uninterested )

So that's the news - what little there is of it. My son in OR will be down for a few days' visit in a couple of weeks, which will be wonderful. My daughter Súl is struggling with panic attacks lately, and is finally starting to move towards seeing an MD and getting herself checked out. Hubby was crowing loudly this morning that he's lost 10 pounds in the last week (he restarted his diet.)

And I managed to do some piano practice, but could probably use a few hours to work on the Mozart I'll be playing for the prelude next Sunday. Dammit! I wanna mess around with a harp too!! *grumble*

Until next time...

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