25 July 2017 @ 02:25 pm
Tried the new inhaler for the first time. Wow! Did not realize how constricted my bronchial tubes were or how much it was hurting me to breathe!

UPDATE: Aaaand, I have been having hallucinations this morning. Psychotic reaction. Talked to pharmacist--reaction is very rare but has been documented. Call into doctor.

It took me over 45 minutes to make a phone call this morning because of the hallucinations--I thought the phone was in game mode and I couldn't get it to work. No matter that I rarely play games on my phone (I have a few, but don't use them much). I'm not even sure what the game WAS. I thought maybe someone had hacked it. It was getting really frustrating until it hit me that I might be hallucinating.
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Current Mood: surprised
Current Location: My Lair
 
 
25 July 2017 @ 04:53 am
Looking at fanart of the Marauders, set back in the late 70's/early 80's--it's amusing to me how no one ever seems to get the pants right. Everyone wore very high-waisted pants back in those days. Boys wore TIGHT high-waisted pants. It was a unique silhouette which doesn't show up in the fanart very often.

I was in junior-high/early high school at that time, so I remember (with some embarrassment) those clothes very well!
 
 
Current Location: My Lair
Current Mood: silly
 
 
Up early--heartburn. Probably stress. I think I can nap a bit later, but I want to get some sewing done today as well.

A slight break from the ungodly heat, but it's coming back for a few days. Wonder of wonders, it looks like a cool front will come in by this weekend, so the fighters at our event on Saturday may have a pleasant day of it after all! Good!

Looks like we have a buyer for the tent. That was fast. I'm holding it for them until mid-August (after Pennsic) when they can pay. Normally I would not do that but it's a local buyer, and if the sale falls through, I can just list it again. Nightmare scenario: they find some more period tent on sale cheap at Pennsic...however, from the conversation, they really wanted a Soulpad of that size, so I think it'll be fine.

My lovely tent... ;_; It was a sweet dream while it lasted.

Bob ended up pulling up 1/4 of the carpet down in the basement. We lost an old bookcase as well (wood bottom got wet). He's having to go through the books on the bottom shelf to see if there was damage, but it looks like it didn't seep up that high. He's suspicious about his surge protectors, which were in the wet area, so he's going to replace them for safety. Fortunately, he has a big desk with metal legs--no harm there, and the electronics were already high off the floor. He'll set it up now so that all the surge-protectors, plugs, etc, are up high. He's mainly lost paper/cardboard things.

Turns out we did leave our dehumidifiers back at the old house. Got a new one about the same size as before and put it to work. In five hours, it already needed to be emptied. Looks like this will be a daily task.

The carpet and pad were just loosely glued on concrete (WHAT? WHO DOES THAT?). Bob is eventually going to have to pull up the rest of it, which will take a long time because he has so much stuff stashed in that room. Thank God he had emptied the moving boxes and put things on wall shelves and tables, plus the new Ikea shelves he installed last year were on the other side of the room and took no damage.

He overdid, of course. I ordered him to take it easy tomorrow and rest. He's got to work the rest of the week, with overtime. This is the busy season at his job. (Note: I offered to help move things around, but he doesn't want me messing with his stuff. It's chaos down there to my eyes, but he claims he knows where everything is. I just let him believe that, LOL.)

Exploring ideas about what to do for the flooring in the future. There are some cracks--I'm not keen on paying to lay down more flooring if we will have to pull it up again for more repairs. OTOH, I can argue for a reduction in property taxes now since the basement is back in "unfinished" state.

(I should note that the tent I'm selling was not in the basement--I have it stashed by the coffee table in the living room. I didn't want it in the garage, and the basement is for Bob's stuff.)

Will start calling contractors today (Tuesday). Primary focus is getting bids for the garage door, but I also want to get a foundation expert in for an opinion. There are classic signs--we know there is an issue, has been since the weird earthquake last year. But I need some hard data and ideas/prices for what that project is going to entail.

Monday was spent at the doctor's office. Just the annual check-up, but I had to take some tests so I was there a few hours. I'm having breathing issues. There were chest xrays done back in March and my lungs are fine. The doctor is pretty sure it is tied to my weight--my impressive boobage is rather heavy, so it's hard to get a full breath. Just in case, I'm to try an inhaler and see if it helps any.

Blood pressure was back in normal range, so no more meds for that, yay. Won't get results from the blood tests until later this week.

My doctor thought that bariatric surgery was a viable option, and said she would help in whatever way the insurance company needs. I am going to an informational session with a surgeon next week, plus my doctor told me of some other local options as well in nearby Overland Park and Lenexa. The journey begins.
 
 
Current Mood: awake
Current Location: My Lair
 
 
23 July 2017 @ 07:06 pm
I put my new tent up for sale. I'm first listing on my FB page and on the Calontir page (give locals first chance), but will post on SCA Yard Sale FB tomorrow. The tent is brand new and never used, so I think it will sell.

It was a heartbreaking decision. I feel like I've shut the door on a dream. But with my health issues, Bob's schedule (and lack of enthusiasm for camping), and now these house repairs, it makes more sense to sell the tent rather than devote more money towards camping (I would still need to get a few more items, the most expensive being a portable battery for the CPAP machine.)

Not camping will most probably kill my chance of ever getting a peerage, but I need to make peace with that, and enjoy the hobby just as it is. There is plenty going on locally, various indoor events, and two big Arts & Sciences events a year to look forward to. Lilies is still close enough to daytrip, and someday I will make it down to Gulf Wars, and stay at my cousin's house.

But yeah, my tent. I loved that tent. I loved the possibilities that I felt because I had such a wonderful tent. I had plans for banners that we would post outside, and ideas about painting it.

But life is full of choices, and I choose to be pragmatic.

Dammit.
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Current Location: My Lair
Current Mood: disappointed
 
 
23 July 2017 @ 09:27 am
You know, I had so many snow icons from when we lived in Iowa. I need some storm icons for here in Kansas!

Huge, violent storm hit the KC metro last night. Thunder went on for hours, 70 to 90 mph winds, power outages (not here, thankfully), trees down, and flash flooding. Bob had to drive home through the deluge and had issues because there was so much water on the streets, the rain was coming down so fast.

And...our basement sprung a leak. Not a huge one, but bad enough. The idiot previous owner (who I am really growing to detest, as we keep stumbling on problems because she couldn't be bothered to take care of the house) put carpeting all through the basement. Carpet in the basement is never a good idea--even the best of basements get water in them.

Anyway, we're not sure yet of the source. There are foundation issues (need to get a specialist out here to figure out the extent), but this is not in the same area.

Bob has his desk in that corner, and loads of stuff stacked there, so we had to move a bunch of stuff. Some of his art prints were ruined, but luckily, he kept most of them in plastic sleeves, so only a couple had to be thrown out. But he's going to have to cut out a hunk of the carpet on Monday so that we don't get mold.

I don't remember if we took our dehumidifier with us when we left Dubuque. I think we left it at the house--that basement needed it! We need to buy one to help with the moisture issue. Bob has a ton of books down there.

My dad is loaning us money to help with the garage door, once I get estimates/bids in. So that's one less worry in a stack of trouble.

I had to back out of one of the things I'm doing for Feast of Eagles next weekend--it was a display about the Siege of Orleans. The organizer was never clear about what exactly she wanted from me. I'm already working gate in the morning, running the pre-print table in the afternoon, helping with the feast prep the day before, plus I've donated one of the prizes for the tournaments, and several items to the "Fish in a Barrel" raffle. NO ONE can say that I'm not doing my share of the work.
 
 
Current Mood: indescribable
Current Location: My Lair
 
 
21 July 2017 @ 07:57 am
I've decided to start looking into bariatric surgery again. I tried for it seven years ago, even taking the nutrition course necessary, but the hospital (University of Iowa) turned me down as a candidate because I have bipolar disorder. Since that time, there have been more studies done that show that bipolar patients are just as likely to follow post-operative directions as anyone else.

I will have to get documents from my psych doc, but I think he will cooperate. I still have episodes (that doesn't go away) but I recognize them and deal accordingly.

I'll be talking with my primary doctor next week about this, and have an informational meeting set up the week after that with a surgeon to see what options are available locally and also to get a handle on what the costs might be.

My father, who had tried for the surgery some time ago, found out the hard way that most doctors have an upper age limit (usually 55 to 60 years old), so if I plan to do this, I only have a few years to act.

The fact is that I weigh almost 300 lbs. I've had some limited success with diets, but the weight always comes back, especially when I have to take seroquel. I look and feel extremely unattractive, my hips, knees, and ankles are badly stressed, and it's difficult to find clothing that fits anymore.

Enough is enough. I know the surgery can work--both my brother and his wife have had it. They still have to work at keeping weight off (that never ends), but the surgery gave them the running start they needed.
 
 
Current Location: My Lair
Current Mood: determined
 
 
20 July 2017 @ 03:42 pm
This house--it's like it can hear us! Bob and I were chatting the other day about the garage door. It is original to the house, a double-sized wooden door with no insulation, which explains some of our cold problems in the winter (our bedroom is directly above the garage). We were making note of the wood rot/water damage on the lower part of the door.

Today, Bob somehow hit one of the side rails with my car mirror (Cue RAGE WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MY LITTLE RED CAR THAT I LOVE??!!!), and the door wouldn't close. He got out some tools and hammered the rail back into place, but it is badly rusted and the area around it has some significant wood rot OMGWTF. There are bolts that are, I kid you not, tied into place with bits of rope. We actually took some rope and tied another bolt down so that it would not slip out of the rail. This is a temporary fix.

So now I need to start calling around and getting bids/estimates to replace the door. This time, we want a good one, preferably insulated steel (although vinyl might do). I don't know if we'll have to replace the garage door opener, but odds are good we will since the door will be much heavier, and that thing looks like its on its last legs as well.

Poking around online, it looks like we'll be out $1,500 to $2,000 for the whole thing? Bah.

Granted, owning is still cheaper than rent, especially in this area where the rents are rather high, plus I know at least three people who are having to move because the house they live in is being sold out from under them. House ownership costs money, no getting around that. It's frustrating, though.

Let's see, since moving here 4 1/2 years ago, we have had to replace:

The front door
The back door
The back deck
The front window(s) (two regular windows plus an oval display)
The water heater
The washer and dryer (did that when we moved in)
The guest bathroom toilet
The garbage disposal
Some of the gutters

plus extensive repairs on:

the plumbing
the irrigation system (every freakin' year!!)
three closet doors
two bedroom doors

And we're saving up for:

Repairing the foundation on the south side of the house
Repairing/replacing the concrete work (front steps and driveway)
Repairing settling damage on the outside front, second story
Repairing wall cracks (from foundation settling plus incorrect installation of drywall)
Painting the entire interior
Replacing the upstairs carpet (with pergo-type flooring)
Replacing the basement carpet (with laminate over a basement-type base)
Replacing the backyard fence
Replacing the Master bathroom toilet and the basement toilet

If we decide to stay here after Bob retires:

Replacing the siding
Replacing most of the windows
Exterior painting
Solar panels, maybe?

We also have to consider usual wear and tear on things, so odds are good we will eventually also have to replace some other appliances, the furnace and air conditioning, and possibly the roof.

This is why we don't have money to do much travel!
 
 
Current Location: My Lair
Current Mood: bitchy
 
 
20 July 2017 @ 03:39 pm
Still a bit woozy, but I went ahead to the taiko workshop yesterday evening. I don't know when they'll offer it again, so I didn't want to miss my chance!

I've no previous experience with taiko, so it was all new. We learned some stances and hand positions while holding the bachi (drum sticks). It's very much like shodo (Japanese calligraphy) in that everything is rooted in FORM, and yes, you do need to do the form correctly because if you cheat now, it'll catch up with you later.

The most difficult part was the stance--a wide "horse" stance with knees slightly bent, but you have to keep your back straight and not lean over the instrument. I'm heavy and have bad knees, so this was a challenge, but I did my best! Taiko was fun and i learned a lot, so I'm glad I went, and am looking forward to the next three weeks' classes.

I came home and took some pain meds to stave off problems and that seems to have worked. I'm a bit sore, but not too bad. They were very careful to make sure everyone stretched before working on the drills!
 
 
Current Location: My Lair
Current Mood: sleepy
 
 
18 July 2017 @ 09:38 pm
Up all night last night, back and forth to the bathroom. I think it may have been food poisoning. Stomach was in full rebellion. Mint tea helped, though. Feeling better but dragging today. Decided not to go to Baronial sewing night. We ended up watching a few episodes of The Expanse, Season 2. (Really, one of the best sci-fi series I have ever seen, even if somewhat grim.)

As it happens, on the Famous Womens Project FB group, there was a discussion about the pleats on a number of the dresses that people were wondering about. The Cornificia dress also has these pleats. In my first bit of research, I found a number of examples in religious paintings of the Virgin Mary during the mid-15th century. Turns out a lady over in Northshield (Annetje van Leuven) did a good bit of research on this type of dress some years ago, and she shared a number of pictures of some extant garments that had the same pleating.

Definitely food for thought. My dress is structured a little differently, but it seems that the extant garment had some extensive adjustments in the 16th century. Then again, I'm not entering this for Arts and Sciences--this is to help someone doing a photography project. However, I'm picky enough to want to get things right, just because.

All kinds of ranting online today regarding the new SCA "Bullying and Harassment" policy. I'm sad that we even need to have something like that spelled out in a society supposedly devoted to the ideals of chivalry, but OTOH, I've been in the SCA a very long time and seen some very ugly behavior. It's not as rare as it should be.

I think the policy is badly written, though. Way too vague, and I'm afraid that it could be misused because of that. Calontir's King Damien, who grew up in the SCA, put out a calm and measured statement about his ideas on the policy. We'll see what happens.

Okay, off to bed. I think the worst of the stomach problems are over--I really do not want to miss shodo tomorrow morning and taiko tomorrow evening!
 
 
Current Mood: calm
Current Location: My Lair
 
 
17 July 2017 @ 11:26 pm
A little bird sings
In the surrounding darkness
Only crickets chirp
The fireflies dance and die
My God it’s full of stars

link: glow of fireflies in the twilight to fireflies dance and die.

“My God it’s full of stars” is from Arthur C. Clarke’s Novelization of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Although widely believed to have been said in the movie, it actually wasn’t. I refer here to things I thought I heard, but were not actually said. That seems to happen to me a lot nowadays. I don’t like it.

The poem can be read forwards or backwards.
 
 
Current Mood: sad
Current Location: My Lair
 
 
17 July 2017 @ 10:00 pm
Bob still has a couple of days off (he took last weekend, and then his schedule turned out in a way that he had 10 days off in a row). We have a massive heat wave hitting now (heat index in the 100's to 110's F), so there's not much incentive to go out anywhere. And the Y's pool is closed for repairs this week, too!

The local Taiko group (Three Trails Taiko) is holding a introductory workshop over the next four Wednesday nights, total cost $30. I decided to give it a try, especially since they are here in Olathe (no driving 30-45 minutes to some spot in Kansas City). "Three Trails" is actually a reference to Olathe, which is where the three main trails to the Old West (the Oregon Trail, the California Trail, and the Santa Fe Trail) all converge. Olathe was and continues to be a railroad town, although fortunately, most of the tracks are on the other side of I-35 from where we live.

I don't know anything at all about taiko, so I figured if nothing else, I will learn something new. If I do like it, maybe it will be a way to meet more people and have fun.

Still doing shodo, but it is mostly a solitary thing. I meet up with my teacher usually once a week (or so).

Went to the Shire's Cooks Guild meeting on Friday. They were taste-testing some of the recipes for our event's feast later this month. I was so nervous, but everyone made me feel welcome and didn't mind all my questions. And I got a delicious meal, too!

Saturday was CalonCon, which is a day of business meetings for local SCA officers. Last year I was with the Chatelaines (not fun), then sat in with the Heralds because ours had to work. This year, I am the Shire's Herald, so I just showed up for that meeting. Despite all the nitpickiness of Heralds' work, heralds themselves are pretty fun to be around, especially with all the puns and jokes they like to sneak into names and devices. Got some questions answered, heard some stories, good meeting.

But I had a bad people hangover afterwards. Ysabel texted me to see if I wanted to come over and play board games with some of the Shire folk, and I had to turn her down because I was already in my pajamas at 8 pm. The day was fine, but being around so many people just exhausted me.

Sunday was doing laundry, napping, and watching some British comedy called Upstart Crow. We waited to watch the Game of Thrones premier until this morning (no spoilers--dang, it was good!).

I meant to cut out and experiment with the sleeve on the Cornificia Dress (I think I figured out what was wrong, after watching some Youtube videos about inset sleeves), but was so not in the mood to mess with sewing today. Need to do that tomorrow, though. Both the chemise and the dress use that same sleeve, so I have got to get it correct before I cut out the good fabric.

I put my new song up in the Shire FB group. It's called The Falcon's Cry and is sung to the tune of Palestinalied, a 12th century German song. I'd mentioned at the meeting and at Cooks Guild that I thought it would be fun for the Shire to sing Their Majesties off to war, since ours is the last event before they head out to Pennsic. (Not to mention, our theme is the Hundred Year War.) Some folks encouraged me, but now that I've posted it, there's been no response at all. Bob liked it out of pity (although he says it's good, but he can't go to the event anyway).

I have to decide whether I want to try to sing it on my own. See, this is why I consider myself a poet rather than a bard! I'm not a bad singer, but I'm a high soprano and better suited to choral singing. (Also super-sensitive to comments about When Fat Ladies Sing. Yeah, people are cruel.)
 
 
Current Mood: anxious
Current Location: My Lair
 
 
16 July 2017 @ 07:12 am
These sacred feelings
Enshrined upon an altar
Trapped behind my teeth
The river breaches its banks
I cannot outrun this flood

Link: Enshrined to Enshrined


The minutes linger yet
Time with her winged sandals
Goes racing past us
As fleeting as the glow of
Fireflies in the twilight

link: cannot outrun to racing past us

Written for the occasion of Rhodri ap Hywel’s birthday
 
 
Current Mood: accomplished
Current Location: My Lair
 
 
14 July 2017 @ 05:33 pm
Typical Kansas summer--super hot and humid air-you-can-wear weather, followed by a huge storm that takes several hours to go through the area. Listening to non-stop thunder for over 2 hours is an almost surreal experience.

On the plus side, we did need the rain, yay.

After months of soul-searching and dithering, I have finally decided to sell the Soulpad tent that I got for my birthday. Reasons include:

1. Slow recovery from the illness in March. It is taking much longer than I thought. It's difficult to have fun at an event when you are exhausted.

2. Bob has progressed from "I'm not really into camping" to "I hate camping and don't want to do it." I had hoped we could go to Gulf Wars and/or Pennsic together. He has made it very clear that he does NOT want to do that. Oh, he would go if I went (to make sure I was okay) but Bob at his most passive-aggressive is no fun to deal with.

3. Auxiliary costs--due to the CPAP machine and my bad knees, there are additional items that I would need to camp comfortably and they are outside of what I budgeted. Plus cooking items--I have two coolers, but nothing to cook with. People spoke up at the time with promises of help, but those seem to be just words. The fact is, I don't want to have to depend on people for physical help. It's their vacation, too.

4. I don't want to spend so much money and time on something that doesn't make my heart sing. The majority of my SCA experience has been with non-camping events (or just day-tripping at camping events). Because of where we live, I can continue doing that and still be active. And push comes to shove, if I want to do Gulf Wars, my cousin lives 45 minutes from the site and has invited me to stay with her. And Pennsic? Well, been there twice, done that twice, checked that box off twice.

The tent has not even been used, and I got it on sale (with free shipping), so I'm pretty sure I can sell it for what we paid for it.
 
 
Current Mood: disappointed
Current Location: My Lair