arirashkae: (Default)
Oh hey. The world's still here. Um.... Huh. Now what's this thing for again? Oh, right! Talking to people in >140 characters at a time! XD

Seriously, I never can think of what to say for posts any more, and micro-posts seem better suited to Twitter. (And I delete half of those before sending anyway.) I'm either at peace with the world, or just apathetic with no drive and/or ambition. :P Wonder if this lack of drive is cyclical.

But, a bit of news: Oldest is on stage crew for the drama club. First play is this/next weekend. Downside? He just started swim practice (as in he left ~15 minutes ago), and a couple of the practices conflict with the showings. However, the captain of the girls' swim team says it's ok to skip the 2 practices in order to work the play (she's acting, I think).

Youngest is having behavior issues at the moment. He's also falling asleep easily and running a slight temp, so I suspect the two are connected (no really?).

Trying to finish a pair of mittens, keep getting interrupted. At this rate, they'll be done by June. :P Waiting on the bead order to finish my shawl. I have to go shopping on Wednesday for household stuff, so I may swing in to see if I missed the message.

Finally got my husband to help me rearrange the furniture in our "room" (actually a curtained off area of the basement), so it now actually looks like a bedroom, and not like we shoved random furniture in where we could fit. Which is kinda what we did. :P Now I just have to maintain it.

Also! Want to do cards again this year, so come poke me with your address here: Dreamwidth or Livejournal (comments screened, of course) so I can send them out! <3 I hope to get them out by Dec 15th, but that's soooo not a hard deadline. :3

Oh, and because it's apparently a thing I'm late to (big shock), here's my wishlist. Yes, I am strange.

arirashkae: (Brilliant but lazy)
As much as I like to deny the existence of Christmas until the end of November, I also know I am a PROcrastinator. And I enjoy sending out cards. So I'd better start filling them out now, to have them done in time to mail for the season. ^_^

So if you would like a card, drop me a line (comments screened) and I'll add you to the list.

Now to go scamper through my f-list & see who else is swapping cards. ^_^
arirashkae: (Default)
Went to the Western MA PPD yesterday, partly to see my friend (who was helping another of her friends run a booth), and partially because I just haven't been able to go in a while.

Mostly, we just let the little guy wander until he reached his "crowd limit" and he wanted to go home. Picked up a hairstick from Willow to use as a shawl pin. It has Twilight Sparkle's cutie mark! <3 She had the whole set of the Mane Six (minus Pinkie, who got sold), as well as a Luna/Celestia one. Sadly, I didn't have the $30 by that point to get them all, so I went with Twilight's, since about half my shawls have pink and/or purple in them. I'll ask her for the rest later. ^_^ (I had spent my pittance picking up a book I'd been meaning to get for a while. Even got the author to sign it! Yay!)

Fairey Crown Cottage had some lovely stuff, but sadly, it was way out of my price range at the time. My favorite shop of the day, though,  (after my friend's of course ^_~) was Ironwood Artisans. They had carved wood board games, medieval & self winding tops, these adorable Floppy Feet Dragons, and actual made-from-real-horn drinking horns! Those really caught my husband's eye ("How do you clean them? Does the wax affect the flavor? How often do you need to reline them?"), so I made sure to snag their card. I'm thinking I just got his and my sons' shopping done! (They both wanted the self winding tops.)

There were other cool booths (I really liked the chainmail chicks, but can't find the card at the moment), and some nice workshops, but we didn't get to stay too long. However, despite the clouds and the weather forecast of 5 days of showers, it stayed relatively dry, so everyone was happy.

Oh, and I got my Mystery Shawl blocked out! I'm also not as far behind on the Fall Mystery Shawl as I feared. I'm not caught up, but I'm only 2 clues behind. My best so far! LOL

Now I get to go with my Mom & Grandma to a cousin's "divorce party". Yippee. :P

arirashkae: (Default)
OK, sometimes trying to clean this house really sucks, but on occasion I find some really interesting stuff. The Funk & Wagnell's 1931 Encyclopedia set was a mix of "Why the hell?" and "Cool! These books are almost 100 years old!" I've also located old French primers from my father & uncle.

Today I found a hymnal(?) that was dual language German (I think) and English. That one gets to stay on the shelf due to cool factor. And the "maybe I'll puzzle through it". XD


Sep. 1st, 2012 07:27 pm
arirashkae: (Default)
So after the last "camping trip", I told my husband I wasn't doing it again without electricity & running water. (Hey, I have to deal with enough crap here. "Roughing it"is not my idea of fun at the moment. :P )

Bastard. :) (He also has most of the photos on his phone, and I haven't had a chance yet to steal it & upload them.)

It was supposed to be a Friday-Sunday thing, last weekend, but with all the garbage going on during the week, including up to Friday morning, we didn't get down there until almost 7 PM, with barely enough time to set up. (A ~2.5 hour drive, keep in mind). So, Friday was shot. Buy a local pizza for dinner, inflate the beds, go to sleep.

Saturday was spent mostly at Mystic Aquarium, where the kids had a blast petting various sharks & rays, watching the penguins & whales watch them, and generally dragging us all over the place. :D We actually almost didn't get the little guy out of the Titanic exhibit, b/c they had small replicas of the Alvin submersible and a bit of the Titanic "engine" room (really just a pit with speaking tubes to the upper level, and buttons, lights, and horns), both designed to be climbed in. The ginormous cage of parakeets that you could enter & feed them was fun, but the little things were so small & zippy that my little guy was very freaked out and only happy if I was holding/feeding them. Poor dear. Oh, and he talked me into getting him a penguin plush as a souvenir. "Cutie-Pie" now goes every where with him, including the grocery store. And since s/he's a baby penguin, Humphrey the Ladybug & Pidove have taken over "mothering" her so she feels safe. <3

After the Aquarium, it was time to scour The Book Barn, which was how he talked me in to all this. ;-) Found all 5 discs of Rah-Xephon, the first 3 Nightrunner books (even if the 2n one has vanished), and a bunch of books I'd read, and was keeping an eye out for, including Knitting Goddess & The Mary Frances Knitting & Crocheting Book. Oldest grabbed Naruto & ... other stuff. I forget. XD Husband found a book on the NY Giants (and football season is starting. Joy. :P ) and fantasy-type room makeovers. The little guy got basically random stuff that looked interesting, including a kids book of haiku. Sadly, the one book I was really hoping to find, was not there (Dance With Dragons). I'd also hoped to grab more David Weber or Marc Del Franco, but only snagged On Basilisk Station (Weber). The only thing that kept me from grabbing about 3X what I did was the knowledge that my mother's Jeep had been packed to the gills on the way down. (As it was, we barely got everyone and everything back in.)

Sunday we broke down everything early, packed the Jeep, brought our extra firewood to one of the neighbors - apparently about 1/2 the lots are leased long term for RVs - and then grabbed a beach parking pass from the front office, so we could spend the day at the beach. Plan was to stay until we pruned, then return the pass & head home. Unfortunately, there was a floating dive platform anchored out, and my youngest wanted to go to it. He can't swim that well, at least in an active ocean, and we didn't have his vest, so that was a no-go, and he had a fit. We walked up the hill to the park until he ran it off, and then packed up the chairs.

All in all, a fun trip, but no, it wasn't worth the effort of camping. If I'm going sightseeing, why must I bring my bed & my room as well as my luggage? Camping, to me, is heading out into the woods for a week, hiking, swimming, campfires, etc. And right now, that is not a relaxing idea, because of the logistics of setting up for that week of playing.

Of course, watching my husband mutter "what the hell?" and "why did we ..." as we ran into the snags I expected was worth it, because he promised me that next time it was a weekend trip, it would either be an RV/trailer, or we would get a motel for the night(s).

That said, I wouldn't mind doing it again. Just, not in a tent. ;D

arirashkae: (Default)
I am dense. Really, really dense. My mother likes to say that when I was little, she could leave my presents out in the open, secure in the knowledge that my nose was so far in the book I'd never notice.

To this day, I don't know if she's serious. In my case, derailing my train of thought is about as chaotic as an actual derailment; takes me a while to regroup & recover.

Anyway, the whole point is that I finally realized that one can get away with a few basic recipes that can be altered at a whim. (Yet another thing I'm bad at. Hand me a recipe, let me make it once, and I can tinker little by little. My husband can open the cupboards & fridge, take random stuff he's never used together before, and achieve Cooking Nirvana. Bastard. <3 )

So, working in a kitchen has been great for me. I now have a basic soup recipe that's probably not news to the rest of you. But I have the attention span & memory of a pregnant goldfish, so here it is:

Soup stock (chicken, veg, water + bouillon cubes, wine, whatever)
Potatoes, cut up
Carrots, cut up
Onion, cut up (seeing a pattern?)
Celery, (you guessed it) cut up
Tomatoes - now personally, I like fire roasted tomatoes, but am lazy, so I buy canned.
Protein - Now here and the spices are where you can mix it up the most. So far, I've used chicken, leftover roast beef, and lentils. I also have precooked beans portioned in the freezer. No leftover ham left, but that may change.

Toss it all in a pot, cover & set on low. Let simmer until everything is tender.

For spices, I usually use garlic, celery seed, a little salt & pepper, & a generous pinch or so of crushed red pepper. If you're using lentils and haven't precooked them, wait until near the end to add the salt & tomatoes, or the lentils might not cook properly. Saute the onion & garlic first, for a change. Use different spices. Have fun.

How could I not see this before? :headdesk: XD
arirashkae: (Default)
I have ranted on occasion (mostly on Twitter) about the fact that the water tank for our oil boiler died back in October. This furnace supplied our heat (steam radiators) and hot water (internal tankless).

We live in New England.

Yeah, it's a good thing we weren't living in the house full time. Husband peels it apart, hoping the leak is in a spot he can reach/weld. No dice. Oil company wants ~$5-6K to replace entire boiler. Natural gas company wants same to convert (which would be a savings in the long run, but still). Oh, and they couldn't even think about installing until April, because of the whole "digging in frozen ground" thing.

I'd love to go with solar panels on the roof (we do face the right direction), and electric baseboards, but that's $$$ too. Husband's been working as much OT and 2x time as he can, but there's always one thing or another sucking away at it.

I thought Fortune smiled on us a few months ago when I chatted up a friend of a neighbor, who said he was doing a conversion from oil to gas, and would sell us his old furnace for $300. After all, it doesn't matter if the burner's shot; we just need the tank.

Sadly, we haven't been able to arrange things to get it over to our house, until today. Or so I thought. He was supposed to pull it out this morning, and be at my place around 2 PM. Around 7 PM, I told him that I had to leave to get my husband off to work. If he could get it on the truck, maybe we could unload it tomorrow morning, but I had to go to my niece's birthday party @ 2, so if not, he was out of luck.

On the upshot, I got my porch cleaned up, a dent made in the stuff stored in the basement (keep/donate/trash sorting), progress on my Mystery Shawl, and started a Kelp Forest Shawlette for when I finish the BSJ at work.

Oh well. If this flakes out again, my mother is switching her rental to natural gas. She's going to ask her guy if he'll bring the old furncae to our place, and just give it to us if he will. Downside is I'd have to wait another month.

arirashkae: (Default)
When I woke up yesterday morning my hair went to my waist. Then I went to my LYS* for some new laceweight yarn for the Mystery Knit Along, because I didn't like/want to use what I had.

There was a cancer support center moving into the building. Their grand opening was yesterday, which is why I went then. So I could do this:

It's now about 1-2" in the back, going to just above my jawline in the front. :)

I have a better before/after setup, but they're on my grandmother's phone, and I can't lay hands on it yet. XP

*Local Yarn Store, for the non-yarnies

Mail call

Jul. 9th, 2012 04:46 pm
arirashkae: (Default)
Great thing to come home to. :)

I got a package. :D )

arirashkae: (Default)
Say it with me, boys and girls:

My Kindle cover has pirate skulls on it. ^_^

I needed a cover for my Kindle Fire. The problem was, every one I saw was ugly, expensive, or both. Bleh!

I looked around for DIY covers, but all the hardback ones I found required sacrificing an innocent book in order to use its broken husk as a base. :(

Then I remembered, waaaaay back when I was a little geek (not the big geek I am now), doing a particular project in 4-H. We covered a plain looking photo album with fabric & padding, to make it look pretty. In fact, I think I can still locate it, if it survived the basement.

Anyway! I realized I have cardboard, duct tape, fabric, glue, and the know-how! I don't need no one else's stinkin' plans! :D

So, without further gilding the lily, here's my Pirate Skull Kindle Cover, start to finish:

Image heavy :) )

The outside fabric was left over from making a bandana for my husband, since a) he needed them for work and didn't like any of the ones for sale, and b) he had a hard time finding ones that fit. The inside fabric was left over from a corset-like top I made for myself. (Between the measuring and the sewing, I apparently lost enough weight that it's not snug anymore. :P)

arirashkae: (*headdesk*)
OK, weird fact about me: I am more ambitious when sick than I am when healthy. I'm not sure what it is. Maybe it's because I focus better on the stuff that's right in front of me and don't get distracted as easily. (Of course, I can get pretty damned focused any way, so maybe not.) Maybe it's just because I have no energy left to give a damn (my Give-A-Damn's busted? XP), and just do it.

Whatever the reason, I am finally at the bottom of my mending pile. I have a comforter that is older than I am to recover. (1 side is ok, but the other had a ginormous rip in it), and my son's patchwork blankie needs new patches.  (Of course, being told I could chuck 8-10 pairs of Dockers b/c they don't fit anymore, and he couldn't wear them to work it they did helped! LOL)

Blankie will be the time consuming one, since it requires picking the seams on the last "blankie bandages" I put on and resewing them properly, then adding new patches, a new back, and a binding. So I decided to do the comforter.

Tacked down all the ripped bits, start pinning the new fabric on, so I can see which layout I like better before I cut.

I'm half a yard short. Half a yard. 18 fragging inches!!! D: I don't even know if the store still has that fabric, but I will be checking later today. If not, I have to decide on a new one. :whimper:

Edit, oh, and thanks to "someone" posting this link, my Johari window. XD

arirashkae: (Poultry of Unusual Size)
OK, not here, but I gave a dozen eggs to my son's first grade class, 3 weeks ago, and they're hatching! \o/ I'm so glad, because the last time we tried this, in preschool, none of them hatched out. (There had been a power outage one weekend, and the eggs got too chilled. Fortunately, we had accidentally hatched some chicks at home, too, so the kids still got to see fluffballs.)

Anyway! I would have been happy if just 1 or 2 hatched out, since I stressed to the kids that there's no way to know, until 3 weeks are gone, if the eggs have chicks in them. No word yet on how many are hatching.

(And best part is I don't have to find room to squeeze them in the coop when they get bigger. They already have a home! XD)
arirashkae: (Default)
So! This past Saturday, my husband and I schlepped the kids over to the new anime convention in town. It was their first year, and I really hope they come back. We had a blast! The little guy entered his Starscream costume, after a few touchups from "battle" damage from Halloween. He wasn't quite expecting just how popular he would prove to be, though!

Would have been up sooner, but the photos didn't want to upload. :P )

The whole album.

Other people's BamCon photos on Facebook.

Also, the BamCon & GoPittsfield channels have some great videos of other parts of the convention! <3

arirashkae: (Hoptimus Prime)
So, my brother texted me a few days back, with a gem of a sign he saw on a semi:

<--- passing side

suicide --->

Now I want to see someone peg Optimus with a similar sign while he's recharging, except of course, more like both sides being "suicide" XP Kinda hanging off his back like a "Kick me" sign.

I really really need to figure out what's wrong with my head.  :P


Apr. 26th, 2012 03:41 pm
arirashkae: (Default)
It's a grey, not-yet-raining kind of day here, so let's skip straight to the rainbow! Took this one ... oh, maybe 4 years ago. As you can see in the base image below, it was actually part of a double rainbow.Unfortunately, thanks to the angles involved, the primary rainbow is right over the sewer plant, and I couldn't quite crop it ou. Not exactly "pot of gold" material. XD

Rainbow Mandala )

It's quite a lovely rainbow on the grey background, so I may try to go back and crop it out later:

Base image )
arirashkae: (Default)
Meant to post this back on Easter. Still have to do that daffodil one from Ostara.

Back when the chickens were running wild, a bunch of them decided to make a nest in the wood pile. XP )


Apr. 3rd, 2012 05:16 pm
arirashkae: (*headdesk*)
OK, so I've resolved to finally stop talking about crafting for $ and start doing it. Mostly scrunchies, maybe mandala prints.

And I remember why I didn't want to do this the last time I had this Brilliant Idea!!1!!

Prototype scrunchies. Approximate yardages per round. Cost per yard. Calculated costs. Estimated prices. Hope they're not too high. Hope they're not too low. Shipping costs. Worry there's something I'm missing.

I know it's necessary, and if I was handed this as a checklist by a boss or a friend, I'd do it without (too much) bitching. But damn if I don't want to throw my hands up in the air and say, "Screw it!"

And then there's trying to figure out doing the cards. CafePress? deviantArt? RedBubble (which I just found)? a different on-demand printer? a local printer? completely DIY? :headdesk x2:

Then I look around the house and see all the work that needs to be done here. That I'm expected to do, without actually moving anything.

I swear, I'm not a violent person but I really do think I'm going to have to kill someone here.

Now I've got to find something else, but it's time to make dinner, there's laundry to do, etc, etc .... :lesigh:

On the plus side, progress is being made on claiming MY BATHROOM back from it's lowly status as Random Storage.

arirashkae: (Wanna paint)
So, my son's Latin teacher wants to take the students to Rome next Feb vacation.


After fees are added in, it's ~$3000 per person, plus passports, health updates, etc.


Seriously, I'd love to send him. (It also gives me something to hold over his head for the next year, now that he's too old for Santa. XP) But my husband and I would both want to go, as well. Then there's the little one (he's 6) to figure out for a week. So, assuming everyone went, we're looking at ~$12K just for the trip, at least another $500-$1k for passports & fees ........

And we'd have to have it all by the end of Oct. $2k of it by the end of August.

I know there are going to be some fundraisers to help defray the costs, but let's see. ~15 kids + 10 adults x $3k per person = $75000.

Yeah, I don't see any combination of fundraisers covering that.

I'll be over here having my pity party.


arirashkae: (Default)

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