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sakon76: (Sakon)
Ah well. No Comic-con for us this year. Once again Wonderful Husband got let into the sales room only after all badges were sold out.

So, (a) doubly glad we got to attend Wondercon, and (b) we are vowed to do something fabulous that weekend anyway.
sakon76: (Sakon)
So this weekend was Wondercon! And in some ways it's a good thing I didn't end up needing to fly up to help my sister after all, because Wonderful Husband is sick. Cough, stopped-up nose, etc... no fever. But he ends up extremely run down each day, which is not a good state to be in while taking care of a very active little boy in the form of Squiddle.

But we did the con, taking two separate cars on Saturday (he left about an hour and a half before I did) and going together on Sunday. One nice thing about being local to the con (we live ~5 miles from the convention center) is knowing where to park. The signs were directing convention center parking to Anaheim Stadium, to be bused in! We parked at the GardenWalk instead and walked over.

I took four books and got them signed by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon. We bought a couple new variants on Ticket To Ride (Rails and Sails, and a card game), Amy Mebberson's Disney Princesses books, a pair of Stupid Fox books for Squiddle (and a Furret sticker he really really wanted), some Pokeball hackysacks for juggling, and a HTTYD shirt for me. We didn't attend the Masquerade, but there was some wonderful hall cosplay going on. I only attended one panel (the Mercedes Lackey/Larry Dixon panel), but overall I left the con feeling inspired both for writing and for sewing. And also, yesterday Wonderful Husband was extremely patient and minded both boys while I donated blood. It's been years since I've done so, and I feel good about getting back into the habit.

Now to wait until this Saturday and see if we can get tickets to Comic-Con. We tried for the prereg sale, and Wonderful Husband got in the sale area at the last minute... only to be told that there were no tickets left for sale. Which was not well done of the ticket sales mechanism.
sakon76: (Sakon)
I got another of this year's new blueberry bushes into a pot. Only one left! I mix the potting soil with a cup or so of cottonseed meal to acidify it. So far so good. And having more bushes around, albeit in the small from-the-nursery pots, during flowering time definitely made an upward tick to the amount of blueberries per bush we'll be getting this year.

This afternoon was spent in something of a more hectic mode, though. My sister has been readmitted to the hospital for a mastitis abcess and infection. She wasn't going to be able to keep Niecelet with her, and there's no one else to take care of things. So the social workers at the hospital were going to arrange for me to fly up. A good chunk of the afternoon was spent back-and-forthing on this with her and Wonderful Husband. Jazzy was to go with me; Squiddle was to stay with Wonderful Husband. About an hour before the last possible time I would have been able to leave to catch the flight, a different doctor came in with a different verdict. Sister's getting admitted overnight, probably will be released tomorrow, and a friend of hers can room in and be the responsible adult so far as Niecelet is concerned.

So, I can go to Wondercon this weekend after all.

But at least now I know how quickly I can tidy up necessary crap around the house and pack for a trip.
sakon76: (Sakon)
I'm taking care of things at my parents' place while they're out of town. Today that included deadheading the rosebushes I planted out front years and years ago. This was actually done in self-interest, as I'm cutting myself a bouquet of roses for my dining room table every week. Today also included weeding their vegetable and herb beds, during which chore Rey, one of their cats, tried desperately to get under my hands to elicit gentle caresses. I summoned the Squiddle to help. His exact phrasing was "Rey, you naughty kitty. Come out of there!"

My baby, all grown up and talking in complete comprehensible sentences. (Sometimes.) It wasn't that long ago that he was at "Wei, wheh ah yu?" when talking to her....

Of course, I was slightly less pleased by his opining that a snail was yucky. I mean, sure I don't want them in among my vegetables, but I'm even less sanguine about him disliking them because of... reasons. Whatever they are. I suspect Peppa Pig may be to blame for this one.
sakon76: (Sakon)
I am... mostly okay now. The first couple days were the worst. But I have more deadlines I'm running up against, and little boys to take care of, and a husband who makes sure I'm as okay as I can be at any given point.

When running errands after Mommy-Baby Yoga yesterday, I took said little boys to the pet store. Squiddle always wants to look at the hamsters first. But he's not getting one until he's probably at least eight! What we were there for was to get some ghost shrimp to add to the fish tank. I got six, for a grand price of $.39 each. (Woo, really breaking the bank.) One has died; the others seem to be doing fine. And since we got back from our holiday I've only seen one African Dwarf Frog. (Though I haven't located a corpse for the other.) Still, a replacement each for the shrimp and the frog, and one more set of fish, and I think the tank's good.

(And a few more live plants. Always more live plants)

Unrelatedly, Wonderful Husband has been playing Pokemon Go for months. It's also a wonderful distraction for Squiddle at, say, restaurants. I finally gave in and downloaded it onto my phone while we were up in Washington....
sakon76: (Sakon)
Up at five a.m. I think I got a couple hours of sleep between two and four? We just got back from a week visiting my sister and niecelet up in Washington, and came in the door to find the cats' water bowl bone dry and Paris collapsed in the hallway and weakly meowing. We spoon-fed some water and wet cat food into her, then I ended up taking her to the emergency clinic. She was severely dehydrated and in critical condition - her core temperature was five degrees below normal. She weighed only seven pounds. I knew she was light, but I hadn't known she weighed so little. She was at least fifteen years old and the vet made it clear to me that even with hospitalization, her chances weren't great. I had to make the hard call to put her down. I've spent hours crying and I don't know how to explain this to Squiddle when he wakes up and asks where she is.

I should have left more water - though what I left was more than my parents' two cats go through in a week when my parents are out of town. Or I should have tried harder to get one of my cousins to check in on the cats. I think Paris just had so little in the way of reserves that everything collapsed. Sushi, who is by comparison quite sturdy, was just able to shrug it off.

I swear that I felt her weight on me while I was lying in bed earlier. Maybe it was her coming by to let me know it was okay, that she's okay. Stranger things have happened. Ask me sometime about my late grandfather showing up in my and my mother's dreams.

I will miss Paris dreadfully. She was the cat who would tolerate Squiddle and Jazzy touching her, only hissing when the former got too rambunctious. She was very vocal, so much so that had she not already been named when we got her, "Cricket" would have been a good name. She had a stutter-meow that let me know when she was bird-watching, and a deep "mur-OW" that told me when she'd found a lizard in the house. She loved sunbathing in the kitchen garden, and slept on the same spot on the back of the sofa.

It's never hard letting go of a pet, and it's one of those things that makes the ephemerality of the universe seem so cruel. But how much poorer would we be without them in our lives?
sakon76: (Sakon)
Pressed for time and stressed out of my mind. I may do summary/reviews later, but for now, here's what I've read in the last couple months.

Title: Spiderlight
Author: Adrian Tchaikovsky
Length: 291 pages

Title: Every Heart A Doorway
Author: Seanan McGuire
Length: 169 pages

Title: Rilla of Ingleside
Author: L.M. Montgomery
Length: 277 pages

Title: Searching for Dragons
Author: Patricia C. Wrede
Length: 242 pages

Title: Talking to Dragons
Author: Patricia C. Wrede
Length: 255 pages

Title: The Runaway Quilt
Author: Jennifer Chiaverini
Length: 329 pages
sakon76: (Sakon)
Have a baby draped on me, sleeping. Haven't had this experience as much with Jazzy as I did with Squiddle since, y'know, I now have a toddler to run after too. Just going to lean back, close my eyes, and enjoy my baby.
sakon76: (Sakon)
Still doing the shuffle of recovery. I (mostly) feel fine, but I sound like the living dead. Last night was fortunately better, as I had a guild meeting. Where I was voted and sworn in as Secretary for the next year. On top of running the Block of the Month and a Nine-Patch Exchange and sometimes helping out with Quilts For Kids. As one of my friends in the guild observed, "if you want to get something done, ask a busy person." Well, I expect it'll be good for me.

I'm also pondering which quilts I might want to enter in the quilt show in a couple months. Of the ones I've made and still have, there are five that spring to mind as maybes: the black/orange crane quilt, Wonderful Husband's flag quilt (the show's theme is "As American As..."), Squiddle's dinosaur quilt, Squiddle's sunflower quilt, and I need to pull out and get quilted the top from the round robin last year, since the show would like all those exhibited together if possible.

I'm four books behind in my blogging for the year, and currently working on my fifth, Rilla of Ingleside. I read maybe the first half of Montgomery's Anne Shirley books when I was younger, but I never got to this one, and I think it's a good thing, because I don't think I'd've liked it then. Now, it's interesting and I'm liking watching Rilla mature. Though the baby she's taking care of keeps taking me aback when she mentions things like him being exactly on track, weighing nine pounds at four months of age. Um. My babies were almost ten pounds when they were born. ^_^;; And they don't even hold the family record! I don't think I've ever held a baby that small.
sakon76: (Sakon)
Urgh. Only one out of the four of us slept well last night, and he's the one who has his own room. Nonetheless, stuff got done today including, yes, the purchase of two African dwarf frogs for the fishtank. Plus another bundle of plants for it - this time telanthera cardinalis. I'm figuring every couple of weeks I'll add a new species and a new plant to go with it, pulling out the plastic plants as I go. Of course, I'm only planning to add like two more species: some ghost shrimp, and probably some rasboras.

One thing that I wish I could find online is a tank stocking calculator. Something that says if you have this size of tank, how many fish you can you fit in it. With inputs for things like "I want X number of Y type of fish" where it will calculate their size requirements for you and do pop-up warnings if a type of fish will try to eat one of the others you've selected.

Also today I did get some more seeds planted. Sugar Pie pumpkins, Charentais melons, Minnesota Midget cantaloupes, Sugar Baby watermelons, rainbow chard, and jalepenos. Counting the popcorn seedlings this afternoon, it looks like I got somewhere around a 75% germination rate, which is not great, but also not terrible for a year-old packet. And that's why I planted the entire packet! Anyway, now I'm at the point where I need to fill more seed starter packs with soil. And research vegetative cloning of my surviving tomato plants....
sakon76: (Sakon)
Not much going on at chez Stonham since we've all fallen under the flu crud to varying degrees. Wonderful Husband took today as a sick day. And even Jazzy has a snotty nose and a nice chesty cough going! But none of it is worth a doctor's visit - fortunately Squiddle's fever broke Monday morning, otherwise we would've hauled him in for poking and prodding. And he was miserable enough as it was.

Unfortunately, however, the fact that we're all sick has meant no playgroups and classes for Squiddle this week! So he's been bouncing off the walls at times, which has drained me down further. Today, though, I'm hoping constitutes a turning point.

This afternoon, while both the boys were napping and Wonderful Husband was vidgaming, I did another session of "tame the kitchen garden." The dead bay tree was put in the brown bin for yard waste, as were the ginormous kale plants. The bin is FULL. No more yardwork until Tuesday, I guess. Though I need to examine the bottom of the pot the bay tree was in, since it died of drowning - the pot clearly needs more drainage holes before I use it again.

The hundred-and-seven popcorn plants just started peeping their heads up today, and the peas/spinach/radishes/beets/lettuce/carrots/whatnots in the one bed I've planted are all neatly sprouting. As are the onion sets at my parents' place that I thought wouldn't sprout, so goes to show what I know! Tomorrow we're due for more rain, which makes me happy, but... I'd kind of like a dry week so the back lawn and kitchen garden paths could get mowed. Ah well. Grass is always greener and all that.

I also did a 10% water change on the fish tank this afternoon and will probably add in a few more critters tomorrow. Likely either a couple African Dwarf Frogs or half a dozen ghost shrimp, depending on which one excites Squiddle more when we're at the store....
sakon76: (Sakon)
Well, the Squiddle is sick, with what's probably the flu. We're keeping him dosed with kiddie acetaminophen and ibuprofen, and if he's still feverish and coughing and congested and miserable tomorrow, we'll get a same-day appointment for him with our pediatrician.

Jazzy, meanwhile, has probably got a milder version of the same thing - runny nose, but no fever or coughing. He's also, at four months, outgrown the six-month sizes of clothing, so today I'm digging out the nine-month bin....
sakon76: (Sakon)
I planted 107 popcorn seeds (one whole packetful) on Tuesday. Will be interested to see how many come up. Meantime, in the garden bed I planted with fifty bajillion seeds a week or so ago, the radishes and mizuna are popping their heads up and I think I saw the first sprouts in the spinach and snow peas areas. (Also in that bed: mesclun, lettuce, cucumbers, two types of beets, leeks, carrots, arugula, and parsnips. Plus the potatoes and calendulas that had self-seeded from last year. I may have drawn myself a map so I remembered what's where.)

We bought a betta to add to the tank, so that's up to six fish now and everybody seems happy thus far. I'm going to wait a week or two before adding anything more. I'm thinking maybe some mollies or guppies would be pretty, but I want to do some research first.

I got an out-of-the-blue call today that pretty much summed up to "Hi, you don't know me, but I was given a bag of quilting fabrics and I don't really do that, so would you like them?" Seems someone (I suspect one of my guildmates) had given Shirley my phone number. And I love the fabrics she gave me - they're quite varied and I think I'll find them useful.

Also today, my sister, after two weeks in the hospital, has finally been released to go home. Hooray! This extended postpartum stay involved an abcess the size of a tennis ball. *grimace* Nobody was really happy about that. And she's still on antibiotics. But she and niecelet finally got released. And apparently the frozen breast milk I shipped up has come in handy, so at least that was good.

And, last but definitely not least, Wonderful Husband and I have now been married thirteen years. ^_^ Still my lover and my best friend, even if we don't get to date or dance as much as we used to. ^_^
sakon76: (Sakon)
Since my writing teacher told me I should write down the "out of the mouths of babes" stuff so I remember it in years to come....

Squiddle currently sleeps, most nights, under his blanket and one of the quilts I've made him. In the specific order "quilt down there, blanket up there." Very important.

Also, in my car his car seat is behind the driver's seat, so when we're driving and he asks me "what that?" I frequently have to guess what he's looking at. The other day I guessed "a billboard?" and he came back with "yes, dat a building board." ^_^

And, as of two days ago, Jazzy has mastered rolling over onto his tummy!
sakon76: (Sakon)
One little boy napping in his bed, the other napping on my left arm. I would like to be sewing right now, but I'm pretty certain Jazzy will wake if I try to move him.

Mt. ToBeRead is way too tall ATM, but I've gotten through another book I should blog about soon, as well as volume 8 of A Bride's Story.

In the background I hear the humming of the 28-gallon fishtank we took possession of from my parents yesterday. A thorough cleaning, new gravel, and running the rocks and plastic plants through the dishwasher has hopefully taken care of the snail infestation. I've added in a few live plants as well, and as they grow I hope to get more and eventually phase out the plastic ones altogether. Currently the tank is inhabited by four neon tetras and one catfish.

I am so very, very unhappy with the political state in the USA right now. I remember a few years ago a friend joked that what was screwed up in comic books was not the powers or outfits or interpersonal relationships - it was the politics. Such as Lex Luthor getting elected president and declaring Gotham no longer part of the country when it got devastated by an earthquake in the No Man's Land arc. At the time, I agreed and found his point funny. I'm not laughing any more. Time to get Jazzy his passport. Partly to visit his grandparents in the UK this winter, but also partly... just in case. In case things continue to go horribly, horribly wrong.
sakon76: (Sakon)
Sister had a CT scan this morning, which revealed an abdominal abcess. This was followed by surgery to deal with it. Hopefully, knock on wood, this is going to take care of everything! But meantime niecelet is going to be on formula again for at least 24 hours and my sister (possibly because of the infection) has not been producing enough milk for her. So tomorrow morning I'm going to put together and ship a relatively expensive care package of all the breast milk I've been sporadically pumping and freezing over the last couple months. I think part of the reason I've been holding off on taking care of donating it to Mothers' Milk Bank was maybe in case something like this happened...? In any case, not so good that she needs it, but good that I have it for my sister to use.
sakon76: (Sakon)
Niecelet almost a week old now and still in the hospital. Not for her - though she did spend two days in NICU - but for my sister, who keeps spiking fevers despite being pumped full of various antibiotics. She is Not Best Pleased, and no wonder. I had to spend a week in the hospital when I was expecting Squiddle and I was nearly climbing the walls. How much worse must it be for her, with a new baby?

On a lighter note, I've finished reading my first book of 2017!

Title: Children of Earth and Sky
Author: Guy Gavriel Kay
Length: 571 pages

Review )
sakon76: (Sakon)
Today is one of those days where I wish I had a flagpole in my yard. So I could fly the American flag at half-mast. A good man leaves office and is succeeded by a man who is the cream of society... in the Pratchett sense of "or at least that bit that floats to the top."

BUT!

Today redeems itself on a personal if not national level because I am now an auntie!!!! My niece Sibyll was born this morning. ^_^
sakon76: (Sakon)
Of course as soon as I did a "you can have my LJ when you pry it from my cold, dead hands" post, there arises a valid reason to migrate from this platform, which several of my friends have already done. And which I will probably do when I can hustle together the time and energy.

Meantime, my last four books I read last year:

Title: Deadly Gamble
Author: Linda Lael Miller
Length: 379 pages

Review )

Title: Deadly Deceptions
Author: Linda Lael Miller
Length: 367 pages

Review )

Title: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Author: Barbara Kingsolver
Length: 352 pages

Review )

Title: Next Steps in Machine Quilting
Author: Natalia Bonner
Length: 142 pages

Review )

2016 totals: 27 books read for a total of 8393 pages.
sakon76: (Sakon)
Somehow, despite Wonderful Husband stepping forward out of the tree shadows, two of the quilts have a bit of dark shadow on them in their pics. Sigh. Reshoot sometime soon. Meantime, here's "You Are My Sunshine":

Sunflowers quilt.  Made in September 2016 for my older son on the birth of his brother.  Blocks won from the Orange County Quilters Guild in May 2016. Cornerstone sunflower fabric inherited from my grandmother....

I made this for Squiddle and gave it to him when Jazzy was born in September. He currently sleeps under it. ^_^ I won the blocks from the Orange County Quilters Guild block of the month lotto in May 2016. Two of the blocks are mine - upper left and bottom center. The brown sashing is a purchased remnant - I used nearly all of it; one of the sashes is pieced! The blue is from my Costume College Bargain Bazaar haul. And the sunflower cornerstones are actually fabric I inherited from my maternal grandmother, the one who taught me to quilt. I like using her fabric in this quilt I made for her great-grandson.

September 2017

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