Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Last Gig of 2005

Guess what I'm doing all this week? Prepping for a New Year's Eve dance gig! Maybe I should get my music together at some point? At least it's making me sew up a skirt out of that black silk chiffon I bought about four years ago. Talk about procrastination...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas!

All the best to you and yours on this magnificent holiday!

Dreaming of a Green Christmas

It's so warm outside these days a trip across the yard to the barn gets me thinking about garden planning. After our cold snap of a few weeks ago it's downright in it's almost 60f right now. I've gone from breaking the ice on the water buckets to opening windows to let the breeze through. Talk about micro climates...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Santa Time

I just stumbled on this while looking for another photo on my hard drive! About this time of year, usually a bit earlier, when I was little, mom would dress us up and take us to the department store to be photographed with Santa. Back in "the day" it was the Frederick & Nelson in Bellevue, WA. Frederick's, home of Frango's, no longer exists, alas. Now you have to go elsewhere for a quality Santa photo. This one looks like it was shot when my bro' was going on two years, so that puts me at age six or seven. I'm terrible with this age/date stuff. The bunads on sis and me are from Grandma's trip to Norway. Nobody is crying, for some reason. Is that allowed?

Well, for what it's worth, here's my 2005 Christmas list (don't laugh):

Serenity DVD
Complete score for Fellowship of the Ring, Two Towers & Return of the King (OK, I know I'm dreaming)
Vacuum cleaner
Serger thread
Tickets to the Bellydance Superstars
A leopard print beledi dress
A massage
Dark chocolate mint Frango’s (Bon-Macy’s) (or any other good, dark chocolate)
Firefly series DVD set
New spark plugs & fuel filter for the VW

Friday, December 16, 2005

Five on Friday: Bookish

1. How many books do you read per month? How many are for work/school? I read a couple of novels every month, mostly to help me relax before sleep. And I always have a couple of study things going on, mostly history and/or theology. I listen to a lot of recorded books while I clean house/sew/cook, usually novels.

2. What is your favorite genre of book (fiction, self-help, etc...)? Romantic adventure/mystery (includes contemporary, historical, fantasy, etc.) Favorite authors are Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters, Laurie R. King (her Sherlock Holmes novels), Georgette Heyer, Jane Austen, Jasper Fforde...etc.

3. Do you subscribe to any magazines? Which? Are there any you'd like to subscribe to but haven't? Sunset. I'd love to get Smithsonian and Threads, but funds are tight.

4. Where do you get your reading materials? Online? Bookstore? Library? Library almost exclusively. Next is the used book store.

5. List 5 books you recommend people read: The Bible (technically it's 66 books...however it's an "integrated message system"* so I'm listing it as one work), The Lord of the Rings, The Great Divorce (C.S. Lewis), Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis), The Screwtape Letters (also Lewis).

*Chuck Missler

Kicking into Holiday High Gear

Having company is a great way to kick-start me into cleaning house, decorating for Christmas, and generally getting things done. This weekend Gordon's oldest daughter and her hubby are coming up for a visit, which will be cool, so it's forcing me to put some more work into the guest apartment and tidy up the house. Since my folks are in Kona with the sister/niece/bro-in-law units, I've appropriated mom's vacuum cleaner. Unlike mine, it actually vacuums. We're going to a Renaissance feast Saturday night, which is forcing me to finish up a a couple of sewing projects, too, which is forcing me to work on the sewing room.

Of course, I wasn't motivated to do anything in there until I had painted it. Yes, the last of the deep, dark, dusty rose paint is gone! GONE, I tell you! Then I'll be set to finish the Christmas gift sewing I've been putting off (because the sewing room was non-functional). It's the dreaded domino effect: I can't do X until I do Y until I do Z, etc. By the time our New Year's guests arrive we should be swimming along nicely.

As far as baking goes: I've learned not to do any serious baking unless I know people are coming over, because I have a tendency to eat all of it. Gordon will get about three cookies (or whatever I've concocted) and I just graze the rest over a period of two or three days. Then I feel icky. I'm a baked goods addict, and, unfortunately, I'm a good baker.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Christmas List: #1

In no particular order, here's the first thing on the list: DVD of Serenity (even though the cover art is unexpectedly ghastly as well as having pretty much nothing to do with the movie). I like looking at other folks' Christmas lists, because it tells me a lot about them. Anybody who looks at mine is going to find out really quickly that I'm a total geek. People who know me already will find no surprises, and probably also know that I'm not expecting any, let alone all, of these items to magically appear under the tree. It's just fun to play the "what if" game!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Angels We Have Heard are High

Last year it was the Cavalcade of Bad Nativities. This year Going Jesus brings you: Angels We Have Heard Are High. Lighten up your Christmas season with these terrifying examples of angel kitcsh (kitsch? ktschxshch? aaaaagh!)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Home Sweet Kitchen

Another gloomy winter day in the great Pacific Northwest: ha! Sunglasses are NOT optional. I haven't put up a tree or many other Christmas decorations, yet...but I at least have the happy Christmas tablecloth in place: so there! At any rate, the house is coming along. Mom gave me a lace "insta-valence" from her house, and just putting that up on the giant, ugly aluminum kitchen window made a huge difference. It's not perfect, but it's starting to look like home instead of "weird non-committal drywall infested shoebox house one step from trailer park". Oh, yes, that is massive condensation running in rivulets down one side of the window. Why? Because I guess the previous owners felt that only one side of the double-paned window (that they apparently got at "Bargain Clown: Home") needed to actually have two panes of glass.

Someday, when I'm feeling perverse, I'll post a picture of the window over the sink that has three and a half panes. Yes, one of the outside panes is only half there, so only half of one side is running with condensation. Go team!
And now, the stock report: A little teeny hawk had a go at my chickens this morning. It did not go well for the hawk when little Emma Seabright shrieked and ran around to the aforementioned kitchen window and I darted out in time to see Mr. Chickenhawk swooping up into a nearby tree. Gordon shot at it with the BB rifle and it flew off toward the horses (no, it did not attempt to stoop on them, though I think it might have crossed its little bird brain).

Friday, December 02, 2005


It's wet, and there's not very much of it, but it's snow, dagnabbit!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Nick of time

Well, it's a good thing I dug up the spuds yesterday, because Jack Frost paid us an early visit last night. It wasn't quite a Winter Wonderland this morning, but it was close. "Is", actually. It's still, to quote Tom Servo (from MST3k's treatment of, you guessed it, "Jack Frost"), "Colder than a polarbear's butt" out there.
Fluffy ice crystals...wish I had a better camera so I could really get this down...

Sunday, November 27, 2005


The way things are going, the ground is going to freeze soon, so I bit the bullet and dug up all the spuds today. I figured I'd get at least a bucket full. Ha! Two and a half huge baskets later (more than a bushel) I finally finished. Mostly Yukon Golds with a few blues. Gordon will not be hungry this Winter. I wish I could eat them, but nightshade plants are tough on blood type-A.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Sleet Storm

Last night we experienced the first big storm of what may be shaping up to be an early Winter. Amidst flashes of lightning and crashing thunder, the heavy rain turned suddenly into hail/sleet/ice. I chased our old horse Taxi into the barn, since, being a horse, he was too stupid to come in out of the mess. Once inside I scraped the layer of sleet off of his sodden blanket. Woody (ed.: Not Twister. Can you tell I'm tired?), young, dumb, and healthy, I coaxed inside with a snack.
Eric inquires, "Why is the deck all cold and wet like slippery sandpaper?"
This morning it still hadn't melted, and I had to break ice on the chickens' water bowl!
The chickens found some dry dirt under the deck house to roll in, and, as luck would have it, it's also a nice sunny spot. From left: Emma, Aethelred, Arra/Bella (I can't tell them apart...)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Take some time to think about what you are truly thankful for, even if you feel like your life is circling the drain. It will do you some good.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Five on Friday: favorite film characters

Captain Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds of Serenity — He's Han Solo but better: more witty, more jaded, more hair trigger, and just as good looking! To quote Aurorealis, "Charming albeit emotionally repressed, he’s full of contradictions. If the Firefly story doesn’t continue beyond the first movie, I am going to miss this guy big time." I concur.
Zoe Washburn of Serenity - She's calm & cool in a fight, she understands the chain of command, she looks good in a slinky dress, and she loves her man. If I were black and drop-dead gorgeous I'd be her doppleganger, because I've got all that other stuff going on already!
Eleanor Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility — Just because she doesn't wear her heart on her sleeve (like her sister Marianne who, to quote blogger Aurorealis "gets burned so hard that she nearly expires") it doesn't mean she has no feeling. She is the rock that stabilizes her nutty family (which I totally can not identify with). On the other hand, she has deep, deep desires and feelings and is totally blindsided by happiness eventually, which is more in my line. As an oldest child, there is much I understand in her.
Ellen Ripley of Alien - She's no-nonsense, tough, ethical, and fights for her "family" no matter how big and scary the monsters are. You can see she's scared, but she's going to take care of business no matter what. If I were a Colonial Marine I'd be jonesing for her, too!
Sam Lowry of Brazil - He decides to follow his dream, and what dreams he has! Stuck in the perversity of the grey suit ratrace, he dares to follow his bliss. He's my hero!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Tuesday Twosome

1. Have you ever said "I Love you" and not meant it? Has someone told you "I Love you" and not meant it? Nope; if I said it, I meant it. I think I've been told this by people who sincerely believed it at that particular moment, and by people who really honestly did...but circumstances got in the way, but I don't think I've ever heard it from anybody who didn't mean it.

2. Do you believe in love at first sight? Do you believe in karma? I believe in "interest" or "infatuation" at first sight, which can evolve into love...sometimes pretty quickly. I do not believe in the texbook definition of karma, no. However, I'll often use the word "karma" as a pop substitute for "poetic justice" or "what goes around, comes around".

3. What person do you trust the most? What person do you trust the least? The human I trust the most is my husband, absolutely. The supernatural being I trust the most is, of course the Big Cheese Uber-Creator, the big "I AM"...that guy. As far as "least" goes, I don't know anybody whom I honestly don't "trust". There are a few people in my life who I know I can't always count on...but it's for little things, really. You want somebody you can't trust, please check out Satan/Beelzebub/The Prince of the Powers of the Air/etc. : he'll do a number on you.

4. What type(s) of music do you like? What type(s) of music do you dislike? I love classical music, ancient music, old hymns (mostly pre-20th c), many film scores, lots of folk music. I really abhor rap "music". Offensive in so many ways. I also loathe most "Contemporary Christian Music", which is so bland, inelegant and derivative as to be a virtual abomination. It's also boring.

5. Who is your celebrity crush? Who do you think is your celebrity look-a-like? Celebrity crush? As in "If I were single I would think of ways to encounter this person in a casual yet calculated way guaranteed to ensure future interraction?" At this moment I'd have to say Nathan Fillion: he's sweet, motivated, talented, funny, attractive... it's a no-brainer, really. I would have said Adam Baldwin, for mostly the same reasons...but he's married (of course so am I, so why am I even answering this question?!) As for me, I've been told I look like Natalie Wood, Madeline Stowe (pre-collagen lips) and Julia Roberts. I don't look exactly like any of the above, but you can see the type I'm lumped in with.

Monday, October 31, 2005

I Want it This Way

Got a minute? Need a laugh? Actually, it's about 3 minutes, but it's a hoot.

Just a couple of Chinese geek boys being goofy lipsynching a bad pop song, but I think it's a scream. I especially like the even geekier guy in the background just playing his video game and totally ignoring them. Brilliant.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Color my Dance

What is your bellydance color?
At last, a quiz thingy for raqs sharqi dancers! It simply can NOT be a coincidence that green is the color of the costume my sister just brought back from Cairo for me.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Demon Barber of Suquamish

No, I didn't eat anybody, but I did give my mom a haircut today that isn't what I would call "elegant". She's really frustrated with all of the hair people around here, who can't seem to cut in a straight line. Her hair was getting in her eyes and driving her nuts, so I offered to trade haircuts (I needed about 3" whacked off, which I can't do myself due to the length).

Since I cut Gordon's hair all the time, I figured to could do all right. Thing is, he has this thick, wavy/curly hair that is pretty easy to chop into shape. My mom's is straight as a pin. Well, at least her hair is out of her eyes now, but she kind of looks like Joan of Arc.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Serenity on your head!

Geek happiness is finally getting your nifty "Serenity" ball cap in the mail! Wooo! Yes, I cashed in most of my points at the Browncoat site a couple of weeks ago and traded them in for this cool ball cap. Gordon can wear it to work and do his bit for the cause.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

50 reasons to see Serenity

What? You haven't seen it yet?! Here's why you should.

Better yet, here's a fellow who speculates on whether C.S. Lewis would have liked Serenity were he still here to see it. He thinks...yes.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Tilbury 2

Still recovering from our slam bang very cool weekend of Renaissance equestrian (and other martial arts) training. I'll be updating the official site soon with more great pics! This one is courtesy Deux Cheveux, who turned out to be a fabulous horseman! See Gordon's blog for more.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Serenity: view the first 9 min!

Just picked this up over at the Browncoats board:

Hello fellow BC's, This was just posted on IMDB forums: the site offers to view first 9 minutes online:

This requires internet explorer and does attempt to install some components to enable streaming view. Now, as a marketing move I believe it can produce fruitful results. The components are by, which provides video streaming solutions, so it's no trojan trap or whatever. I have tested it, and it does show the movie clip.

I tried it and it worked for me. If it hooks you into seeing the film, I've done my job...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Serenity at

A trio of great pieces on Serenity at this one here is a good intro, this one here is on the Libertarian themes in the original TV series, and this one (warning: contains spoilers) develops the ideas of the previous one.

It's Serenity Quiz Time

I'm Zoe. It doesn't get much better.

The Soldier. You are the second in command, and that is fine. You like a chain of command, but only when the one in charge has earned your respect. Those who earn your love or loyalty will find no one better to guard their back.

Which Serenity character are you?
created with

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Sunday, October 02, 2005

To see it, or not to see it?

Should you go see Serenity? What do you, the viewers at home, think? "Hm... is it the kind of movie I would like?" you may be asking yourself. For answers to these questions and more, go here...

Friday, September 30, 2005

I'm a leaf on the wind...

Just saw Serenity. I am now serene, sort of. Kick butt movie. Nathan Fillion is the new Harrison Ford. He's the man. If I weren't married I think I'd move to LA and stalk him (just kidding)...except he lives in Edmonton, oops.

Adam Baldwin is the man, too. Can there be two? As usual I want both Inara's and Zoe's wardrobe.

Wowie zowie. Firefly fans: be sure to sit through ALL the credits for your karaoke oppportunity. Thought they left out the theme song? Ha!

Serenity NOW!

Happy Serenity day! Yes, I will be seeing it today; a matinee 'cuz I'm a bit cash poor at the moment, but still very exciting. I'm an unabashed Browncoat.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Terror at Sea Level!

Spent the first part of Sunday battling smoke and flames on a sinking ferry...sort of. I was a "victim" in a massive terrorism response excercise in Elliot Bay. I've always wanted to do a real-time scenario like that! Lots of cops, firefighters, swat guys, bomb squad dudes, and a really good lunch: what more could you ask?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Serenity Interview Transcripts!

Jeff Overstreet of Looking Closer is back from his press junket to LA to interview the director (Joss Whedon) and cast (above) of the soon to open film Serenity (you know, the subject of the shameless banner at the top of the screen, here). It's good reading, I promise! I'm excited, anyway. Links to transcripts here...

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Hurricane Zone: spam?

My Mom forwards a lot of email to me that often turns out to be urban legends or other kinds of spam. She's learning, but it's a slow process. Today another one appeared in my inbox but I can't seem to find anything about it on Snopes. If anybody knows whether this is the real deal, an amalgam of true stuff "chunked and formed" into a simulacrum of reality (that's my guess), or just plain ole' spam, feel free to chime in. Here it is:

> Subject: Fw: Hurricane Zone > >
> This note is from a girl named Robin. She's in Louisiana and amid all the turmoil there. I'm sending this to all of you to spread the word, PRAY. There are local churches where she lives is housing the homeless.
> Here's her note:
> ** We have had a battery operated TV so we've been getting local channels focusing on the situation there and here. I'm just getting the "national perspective" and its *(&*&(*ing me off!
> First, this is not a racial thing. I'm sorry if all the reporters are seeing are black faces but if they would take their cameras to places like Slidell, Mandeville, Metairie and CHALMETTE! they would see a several thousand white faces being affected by this. Most of the tip of the boot that is Louisiana south and east of Baton Rouge is under water. Those people are stuck too waiting for help, dying, but all the news people can focus on is the Superdome.
> Another misconception. The violence going on there is not the reaction of desperate people. Its typical New Orleans on any given Tuesday!!! Its a dangerous, dirty, drug infested place where the city police and city government is corrupt and useless. Volunteers are getting shot at and their cars vandalized. Helicopters are being shot at. Just another day in the city.
> Another misconception. These poor people couldn't get outbecause theydon't have cars. If the cameras show the city once the waters recede, you'll notice all the flooded out cars littering the streets. They couldn't all have been broken down before the storm hit . Yes, there are always people who do not have transportation. Part of making the call for a MANDATORY evacuation is that the city has to provide for transportation and/or shelter in the city. People stayed for the same reasons they always stay. They think the storm will turn and go in another direction. They think they can "ride it out." Or, they're just too (*&( lazy to pack up and leave.
> Another misconception. The federal government was slow to respond. The president issued a state of emergency BEFORE the storm ever hit, unprecedented. This means that the full access of the federal government, be it military or civil, were at our governor's disposal. The levee broke early Monday afternoon. She did not call evacuation until Tuesday morning. You cannot call up National Guard units in 20 minutes. It takes time. The governor and mayor are in high CYA mode at the moment.
> The situation is bad here. Crime is becoming a problem in Gonzales andBaton Rouge where the evacuees are being housed. We live between the two cities and there is pistol on my desk shelf as I type (yes, I know how to use it). Helicopters flying overhead all day, gas is running out, stores shelves becoming empty. Its like a war zone. Our kids are both here and are staying here until the crime situation gets in control and I fear it will get worse before it gets better. Pray for us. **
>SO, that's all I'm asking. SEND this to your friends and right now say a prayer for the people going through this whole catastrophe. Thanks.

No matter what the origins and accuracy of this email are, the people down there do need our prayers, that much I DO know.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Gimme Some Skin!

I was going to title this entry "No sex, please, we're gardeners!", but the thing is there's really no sex, per se, going on here. Seems that the Kitsap County extension of the Washington State University Master Gardeners decided to do a little fundraiser a la the protagonists of the recent film Calendar Girls. In other words, a tasteful calendar populated with nudes cleverly disguised by creative prop placement. Even though this concept was run by the head honcho out at WSU, the finished product was apparently just too wacky for the staid home office and the calendar is now "Banned in Pullman"! The horror! This is just soooo Victorian. Here's the story from our local newspaper. As one commenter says there, "You see more skin at the mall!" Seems as though the calendar is selling like hotcakes. Was it all a clever plot to stir up interest? The conspiracy theorist in me wonders...

Personally, I really like the above photo. It reminds me of the hand-tinted images done at the turn of the (last) century, right down to the "negative scratch" rain. Bring 'em on, I say!

Some of you out there in geeky cyberspace may remember the short-lived site "Am I Period or Not?", the costumer's version of the ghastly "Am I Hot or Not?" web site (no, never been there...sounds icky). Folks would post pics of their best costuming efforts and then wait for people to rate them, supposedly based on quality, execution, and hopefully "periodnessness". It got weird and sometimes ugly, with snarky comments and morons running around voting "1" (on a scale of 1-10) at random, and it was finally put out of its misery.

Well, the ship has been relaunched with a new look, format, and controls to moderate the infantile behaviour that marred the old site. If you are into wearing historical or theatrical costuming, get yer hinder over there and post a pic...or at least check it out!

Sunday, September 04, 2005


Have you heard of Freecycle? If not, you're going to hear about it now. I discovered it through blogger Sarah over at Going Jesus. Have something you need to get rid of but somebody could use? This is the place for you! It's organized through Yahoo Groups on a regional basis. For instance, I'm on the group for the county where I live. I imagine if you're in a huge metropolitan area it might be organized by parts of town, but I don't know. So far we've gotten rid of a huge pile of moving boxes (somebody's always looking for boxes) and picked up a nice full-sized sofa bed (score!) and a stack of oak-veneer panelling & mahogany window sills!

If you're penny pinching and willing to read the digest every day it's definitely worth your time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Action Gordon (with lance-fu grip)

Who needs ESPN when I can just look out my kitchen window? Here's some actual footage of the man doing what he loves to do, courtesy Guillaume de Garrigues.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Miyazaki Rules

What are you doing sitting in front of the computer? Go see this movie immediately!!! (more unashamed blathering here...)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Tilbury Camp

They came, they played, they're pooped. So...where were you this last weekend? We were at Tilbury Camp...
...and we had such a good time we're going to do it again: October 8-9! All the cool people will be there, and this means YOU!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Stay up late & duck meteors

The annual Perseid Meteor Shower peaks tomorrow night (08-12-05). The perfect way to spend an August night! Detailed info at

Despite my attempt at a catchy title, the only thing you should expect to duck are fireflies (depending on your location), because the odds against being struck by a meteor are (ahem) astronomical.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Goats Across the Water

I've heard of "sister cities" but never sister goats, but I think I've just found the spiritual dopplegangers of the pair that live catty-corner across the road from us in a blog called "Momentary lapses of insanity... ":

"...I returned from a day off to find that during my short absence, a brace of goats had been installed in a pen in the garden.They were large, had horns, were brother and sister, and had been named Homer and Marge. ...I didn't know a lot about goats, but I soon found out that they are (or at least these two were) very friendly, permanantly hungry, omnivorous - vegetable and mineral, they will eat it - bloody minded, and could teach Houdini a thing or two about escapology."

Our neighbor's goats are constantly getting out of what passes for fencing around their yard. They are really sweet, but the blackberry vines are always sweeter on the other side of the fence...also the magnolia bushes and apple trees, as our other neighbors have discovered to their chagrin. The goat lady is kind of non-proactive so I doubt she's offered to pay for the damage. Luckily, a friend of hers has been helping her make improvements to her place, so the escapes have gone way down. Perhaps she noticed me installing rhododendrons in my front yard (deadly poisonous to goats).

Hey, at least the goats won't kill my chickens, like the local dog population seems hell-bent on doing. The coyotes, bears, cougars, eagles and hawks? No problem! The only predators that have bothered us have all been wearing collars (that means YOU, goat lady's stupid tomcat with the baaaad attitude and the flying pebble heading for your backside...)

Monday, August 08, 2005

Serenity is coming...

...and in honor of said film I am temporarily going over to a color scheme to coordinate with this COOL countdown banner I just plopped in the header. Do I get some sort of nerd fan geek prize for this?

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Backyard Bashing

Gordon was inspired by our trip to the fair yesterday, so he made Woody work on a Sunday! The horror! (Woody just hates to play, you see... not). The cute part is Taxi cantering along behind and ducking under the spinning quintain after Gordon & Woody have whacked it...

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Chicks with Sticks

Today we visited the Washington (state of) Renaissance Fantasy Faire in Gig Harbor. As per the curve that we've been experiencing since moving up here, this one is several degrees better than the last fair thing we've attended. As an extra bonus, a friend of ours is riding with the jousting contractors this year, so we thought we'd go show our support. That's her in the picture (the blonde on the right, the other person with cascades of hair is a guy, believe it or not). She's no stranger to the sport, and has her own outfit for doing shows and demos, the Warhorse Guild. The head honcho of this particular outfit was shy riders and enlisted her help for this gig, so she thought she'd give it a go, despite rumours that the arena on site is somewhat less than ideal (which is indeed the case). So far, so good. This guy likes to use really heavy shields and lances, so she had some trouble "steering" the darn pig-sticker, but she's hanging tough. For more thoughts on our day, visit Gordon's blog.
(and there she goes again...!)

Monday, August 01, 2005

Serenity? It depends...

The new trailer is up! Along with the new one-sheet and the new downloads and.... No, I'm not very serene, I guess. I'm just excited about this movie, which is blowing all the other sci-fi offerings out of the water (including the latest Lucas epic) ...and it hasn't even been released yet! I'm such a geek...

I'll post the one-sheet as soon as "Hello" starts working again. Grrrrr....

Ahhh: that's better...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Time Travel on Horseback

I can't remember when I've had such a cool "historical" experience! Mr. Frye and I spent last weekend in Orting at the local SCA's "Lionheart's Tournament", which had plenty of equestrian stuff to keep us busy. We ran a "challenge course" which was kind of an obstacle/confidence course on horseback with tasks to perform like tilting at the quintain, picking fruit, and spearing a "pig" (made of foam). Everybody should have a cute "lance girl" to hand up weapons (above R). More info on Gordon's blog. Bonus: I finally qualified as an "Advanced" rider in the SCA, which means I can participate at any gait now. Also, somehow we managed to win a costuming contest that we didn't know we'd entered. Huzzah! For a cool little movie of our cavalry charges, go here.
More horsy types, including Queen Angharad of An Tir (back center) and Anne-Marie whom Gordon has chatted with online for ages...and now we've met! (photos by Guillaume)

Monday, July 11, 2005

Diggin in the dirt

So much gardening, so little time. Finallly staked out the north fenceline and am moving plants in to place...after removing the very dense, heavy sod. Ow.

The sod chunks are filling in the various divots in the lawn.

Meanwhile: Aethelred (the Silver Seabright rooster) is learning how to crow. He sounds like a very tiny model-T horn.

The corn was not "knee high by the 4th of July", but then it had a late start. Perhaps it will be knee high by the 4th of August, which doesn't rhyme but who cares.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Rainy Day: yay!

Thankfully, it started raining last night, which kept the local fireworks idiots from keeping us up all night again like they did on the 4th. I'm all for pyrotechnics, but when it interferes with my sleep time I get cranky. I figured things would quiet down after midnight: ha! After 0200 I was thinking about calling the cops.

Funny incident (which was more irritating than funny at the time): The garden was getting kind of dry, so I decided to do some watering on Monday. Well, I watered a bit too long and ran the tank in the well-house down to where the gal who shares our well wasn't getting anything. Instead of coming and knocking on our door, she went to the neighbor, on whose property our well sits (long story). He went over and shut off the pumps. Then she came and knocked on our door to let us know that there was a problem. You see, she has a history of letting a faucet run or leaving a leaky toilet tank unattended all day, so she just figured we were being spacey, too. No, I knew exactly what was wrong: I'd be moving the hose from area to area for the last couple of hours!

The previous owners had assured us that there was always plenty of water, which there is. The helpful neighbor guy (and he really is helpful, this weird day notwithstanding), on the other hand, proceeded to tell us that the previous owners never ran any water for more than ten minutes at a time! Water for ten minutes, shut it off for twenty. You're kidding, right? How in the world are you supposed to get anything done that way? I guess because it's an above ground pump (vs. a submersible) it might get overheated if it runs too long. I totally understand that, but I wish the previous owners had said something to that effect when they were explaining the workings of this place to us. Oh, and Helpful Neighbor Guy also informed me that it was better not to water "in the heat of the day."

Heat? I guess he's never lived anywhere that actually gets hot, because I don't consider seventy-flippin'-four degrees to be exaclty sweltering. Also, I had started my watering debacle at about 0830, which isn't exactly mid-day in my book. When I told my folks and the assorted little old church ladies at our ID4 salmon bake that night they just laughed. They found the "heat of the day" comment hilarious, and were indignant about the "10 minutes on then off for 20" routine. Quoth one octogenarian gardener, "I have better things to do!"

Anyway, we're thinking maybe we need to re-locate the well to our property at some point, and goat lady can have the old one with the cranky delicate pump. It will increase the value of the place when it comes time to sell if the well is actually located ON the property, I think.

And now that it's raining I'm sure the fragile Western Washington water table can recover from my depredations.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Iris is Back in Business!

It appears that Iris has recovered from the trauma of moving across two states and having the rest of her chicken family slaughtered in front of her: she's laying again! Perhaps the addition of three pullets to the barn crowd has helped as well. She's not the only chicken on the block anymore...she has somebody to boss around again! While we were down in Kali, she made a little nest in a corner of Woody's stall and by the time we returned on Wednesday there were four nice green eggs in it! Thursday she layed again. Today I checked but Woody must have kicked the nest because it wasn't all perfect and round, so I imagine Iris will start over somewhere else. In Stockton she made experimental nests in the garage a couple of times; she's very creative.

The hen house needs finishing in the worst way...sigh. The three new barn girls, Josephine, Keridwen, and Lobelia, are doing fine (if a bit flighty). The four little birds, Aethelred & Emma Seabright and "M" & "N" are now in the garden shed (out in the sun during the day) in their dog crate.

The garden is going crazy. We're going to be in potato & tomato world soon (yay: nightshades I can't eat) and beans, peas, corn & various greens are doing great as well. Hopefully we'll get some actual rain tomorrow. If not, it's sprinkler time.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Home Sweet Home

It is so good to be back! The kitties are healthy and happy, as are the horses and chickens. The lawn needs mowing in the worst way. We are tired, but it's nice to have a swell place to come back to!

The wedding was spiffy; Lizzie looked like royalty (and her dad looked like a prince as usual), and it was great to see friends that we won't be seeing a lot of now that we live in the PNW. We extended a lot of invitations to come and visit.
(Note to self: I have got to take that white dinner jacket in. It just hangs on Gordon. Let's just say his daddy, from whom he inherited the jacket, was quite a bit chunkier than Gordo, who is 6'4" 200 lbs.)

The food was great, due to Julie B's expertise in that area, and the cake(s) were big and yummy thanks to Holly's expertise in that area (and my amateur decorating abilities, in this case the ability to shingle the edges with split hazelnuts). More & better pics here & here.
We also got talked into hauling a few things out to the Novato Ren Faire of course Gordon had to share his new acquisitions with the boys.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Nice day in Vallejo

Let me tell you, it's good to get out of the Central Valley (Stockton & environs)! Yesterday's weather was "Stockton: 90...Vallejo: 72". Hm? Which sounds more appealing? You make the call. Our friend who is catering Lizzie's wedding is letting us crash at her place. Today, while she's at work, I'm doing minor alterations to my "garden party dress", steaming out Gordon's dinner jacket & trousers, ironing his shirt and tie, and generally getting ready for tomorrow. He and famous bluesma Pork Pie Phillips (aka our buddy Carl) are driving down to San Jose to deliver some stuff to Evil Roy (things we forgot to get to him before we moved: oops). Before they left I gave Gordon his monthly haircut (whether it needs it or not). He was starting to look a bit Byronic.

It's nice and cool here and I have three kitties to keep me company and lots of historical movies to watch/listen to while I work. Tonight we're doing the last of the food prep for tomorrow, but many hands make light work.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Bizzy Weekend

The pirate festival was a hoot. We looked awesome. You'll have to take my word for it, because I forgot to pack my camera. Gordon was very Howard Pyle indeed.

Today, in honor of Father's dad helped me build a henhouse. OK, I hinted that I needed help and he and Gordon slaved away all afternoon. We'll finish it when we get back from Kalifornia. I picked up a cool door from a contact through Freecycle (it's the best). The chickens will be living large.

I'm not looking forward to driving all the way down to CA and back...but I am looking forward to Lizzie's wedding. I hate leaving the katz (the horses are in no danger from coons & coyotes), and I have some pullets that need daily attention, but between my mom and the horse/cat sitter I think everything should be fine. The folks in Stockton will be thrilled, I'm sure, to see the last of our junk go away (the stuff we didn't have room for at the last minute).

Pros: dressing up for a wedding, which will involve great food and desserts, and seeing distant friends. Also, we'll be coming back towing a cool Cabriolet (read: gas economymobile).

Cons: worrying about the kitties plus a long, hot drive.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Huzzah! (& all that...)

Today we tried our third Medieval/Renaissance Faire type thingy (well the first one was technically just an SCA event, "Maypole", but that's nitpicking), and each one has been ever so slightly better than the last. We're still feeling a bit overdressed, so here's hoping the Washington Faire in Gig Harbor this August (it's supposed to be the local "biggie") is more up to speed. Pop-up tents and pirates are getting old really fast. It sounds promising, as we spoke to the merchant coordinator for the WA Faire and apparently they're buying land and will go to a permanent site as of next year. No more pop-up tents: huzzah! (If I say that again Dr. Forrester is going to punch me..."Take that, you community theater reject!!") On the other hand, they are calling it the Renaissance Fantasy Faire, which worries me. O well, bring on the fairy wings and leather boys, I can handle it.

Let's see, we ran into at least three people we knew from other gigs: A buddy who works with the Seattle Knights, whom Gordon worked with on The Postman, a reenactor guy and his troupe of Shakespearean Actors we knew from various gigs in California, and another guy we've worked for doing workshops for schools (in CA). The last guy is pictured above (right) as "Robin Hood", in whose guise he is performing stories for this Faire.

Next week: Port Angeles Pirate Festival! Pretty much the same cast & crew...slightly different costuming. Time to scrub the rust off the cutlass...

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Honorary Gamgee

Although I had thought about doing it, I hadn't really thought it would happen, but I've become the part-time gardner for my Mom and several of her lady friends. At this time of the year it's hard to keep up with even a small yard, and all of these ladies have HUGE yards/gardens. I'm glad to have some part-time work, and I'm enjoying working outside in the pleasant high 60s/low 70s weather we've had lately. The ironic thing is I'm getting tanned now that I've left California. Ha! It was too hot down there to expose your bare skin to the sun. Up here, however, I'm working on my second sunburn (minor) in as many weeks.

Sunday, June 05, 2005


Well, I shot Gordon yesterday...and the evidence is at left. Made you look! Yes, he's finally christened the back pasture by shooting his "new" doglock for the camera by way of illustrating an article he's writing. Ow, that's a clumsy sentence. O well, you know what I mean... He was all dressed up as we had just arrived home from visiting the "Medieval (ha!) Faire" across the bay (a whole eight minutes or so away), so it seemed like a good time to do the photo session.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Have a Great Memorial Day!

For those Americans not at a Civil War Reenactment (yes, Memorial Day was decreed to commemorate the end of the War Between the States), I hope you all take a moment to be thankful that however screwed up some aspects of the USA, it's still one of the better places on Earth to live and currently free of major civil strife. Here's the official Memorial Day web site...

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Dog Days

We're officially moved in (although not anywhere near unpacked) to our new home. Today I spent some time planting and weeding, and putting more of the kitchen together. This morning I did a couple of hours worth of gardening for a friend of my mom who is getting on in years and not able to do a lot of that kind of thing anymore. It's become a little weekly part-time job for me, which helps with the groceries.

On a very very sad note, we've lost two of our birds to the neighbor's dog. First to go was Bertie Rooster, who wandered into enemy territory and was gone in a flash. We didn't make a stink about it, as we had been warned that this dog was a livestock killer, so I should have kept the chickens from wandering. However, day before yesterday the dog got loose (as it often did) and went straight for our barn. When I went to check on the animals I opened the outside tackroom door and found him in there with Henrietta's body and feathers everywhere.

I lost it.

I grabbed him by the collar and dragged him up to the garage where Gordon was talking to some other neighbors. Gordon took him back to the tack room and beat the snot out of him with the victim's body, but not before he punched the dog with his fist hard enough to break a knuckle. At least we think it's broken. We may have to find a "doc-in-a-box" to look at it if it doesn't start repairing itself. Just as our friend Morgan was calling Animal Control to come get the pooch, its owner showed up and was very apologetic and offered to get rid of the dog. I was pretty busted up by this point. I was totally slammed by Henrietta's death, then Gordon went Medieval (in front of other neighbors who now think he's some kind of axe murderer...which isn't entirely a bad thing if one likes to be left alone), and of course I feel bad for the dog who was just doing what dogs do. However...people need to control their animals, and this one has a record of doing this kind of thing.

What really frosted my shorts was when Mrs. Dog Owner told us that when poochie had gone on his last killing spree she had offered to get rid of him and the neighbors had said "Oh, don't do that! It's ok!" Excuse me?! It is most certainly NOT ok! What if he had bitten one of their kids? Is it because it's "just" a chicken? Would it be "not ok" if fido had molested a sheep or a calf instead? Where do you draw the line?

Needless to say, when she offered again to remove him from the vicinity I accepted. I feel bad about it, but I was having visions of this problem going on and on, and if that animal had touched one of my cats things would have gotten ugleeeee.

Luckily, the neighbor who think's we're crazy animal abusers* is kind of a goober tree-hugging liberal type anyway, so it wasn't like we were going to be on his social calendar or anything.

*I guess it's ok for dogs to kill chickens, but not ok for humans to discipline chicken-killing dogs. Maybe we can have a barnyard seance and ask Henrietta if she felt abused while fluffy was ripping the feathers out of her cooling corpse, hm?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow...!

Tomorrow is the milestone day: we can start moving in to our new house. Today we bought two gallons of primer to seal in the scary pink in the bedrooms. This morning I made a temporary "cat befuddler" (modelled on those cone things they put on mooring lines to keep rats from climbing them into ships) out of an empty kitty litter container: Hattie keeps trying to climb up to the birdhouse on the pole at the corner of the NE paddock to eat the barn swallows. Bad kitty. No biscuit. I'll make a nice cone out of some old copper sheeting my dad saved from a project and mount it permanently at some point. If Hattie can climb up there, then Gimli will be up five minutes after he's let outside for the first time. The plastic thingy will do for now. I like the swallows: they eat bugs.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Escrow has closed...on our new place (and the previous owners' new place in the Tri-Cities). They will be moving out over the next few days.

I am starting to get really excited about this. Today my mom spearheaded an expedition to the other side of the pond which included Ikea: Gordon now has another nice new bookcase to put in his office. I love the "as is" section at Ikea! The only drawback is that you have to cram an already-assembled piece of furniture into your vehicle...but it's worth it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Big Day

Today we should close escrow on the new place. It's been a tense few days, as the title company in Stockton has been somewhat less than speedy getting things handled, which was beginning to make everybody up here nervous (as in "If we don't close today the people from whom we're buying our new place will lose the house they're buying in the Tri-Cities!") Yes, the agent in the Tri-Cities is a poo-head, but that's a separate issue.

By the end of today we should be the proud owners of a 5-acre "ranch". The Roths will start moving out on Friday and be totally out by the 20th. Then I start painting. The Pepto-Bismol pink walls (and ceiling: yes) in the bedrooms is going away before one stick of furniture is moved in.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Silent Running

OK, this is it. I'm packing up the machine. For the next couple of days we're officially off the air. See you in Washington!

Friday, April 29, 2005

Allmost there.....

Kitchen, front room, dining room, bedroom: check!

We've been given a few days' reprieve, and our departure day is more likely to be Sunday morning at this point...

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Moving Van: check

The movers came and went on Tuesday. It was a gruelling day that started at sunrise and went until the truck pulled away at about 5:20. We're now finishing the big cleanup; loading our pickups and putting the rest into storage with friends and family until we come down for Lizzie's wedding in June. Right now we are enjoying the peaceful "zen" of camping out in a pretty much empty house. We were planning on driving away tomorrow AM, but things are pushed back a bit and we may not be going until Sunday morning (there was a SNAFU with the dump trailer, to the tune of it never showed up today. Argggh.). A couple of teenagers from down the street will be coming tomorrow to help with the last of the hauling and toting (and throwing out, of course). I can't wait to be driving up I-5...

Sunday, April 24, 2005

It's Always Darker...

...before it goes totally black. Just kidding.

Tomorrow is the last day we have to pack before the movers come on Tuesday. Are we ready? Ha! We've spent roughly 50% of our packing time throwing out things that should have been thrown out years ago. Don't do this to your kids, parents: tidy as you go! Don't leave them a giant life-draining Jawa Sandcrawler of junk to deal with. Just say "no" to clutter!

We'll make it, but it's going to be a rugged 24 hours...

Friday, April 22, 2005

Quote of the Day

From Going Jesus, a quirky blog from a quirky Episcopalian:

We've had a 19" monitor sitting in the living room since I got my laptop. It was on the floor, just out of the way enough to keep walking past it every day. I finally moved it this week because I needed a new monitor at St. Ned's. The empty space it left has me wondering what else is in my way that I just step around. How long does it take for something to stop being annoying and just become the Way Things Are? (entire post here...)

How much junk in our lives is just "stuff we walk around"? We don't need it, use it, or really want just becomes a collector of dust and a burden to weigh us down. Moving every once in awhile is good for the soul if it does nothing more than force us to get rid of the excess baggage.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Combat Packing

OK, I'm starting to dream about felt pens, packing tape, and cardboard boxes. We're getting to that point where the chaos seems to be increasing and the panic is beginning to set it, but the reality is that we are almost on the downhill slope. You know, that point of having a cold where you start to sound really awful but you're actually feeling lots better. The garage is just about whipped into shape. A few more hours and the only things left in there will be things that the movers are going to load into the truck. Same goes for the lab/shed: Gordon has been kicking butt in there (he deserves a Combat Engineer medal, if there is such a thing, for that duty).

Only four more days of packing left. Can we do it? Yoda sez, "There is no 'try', there is only 'do'." OK, boss...

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Plague o' Mosquitos

Here's something else I'm not going to miss: mosquitos. Yes, we have them in WA, but this is nuts! I think the abatement department has just given up on this neighborhood in Stockton, because this year, like last year, we are now swimming through swarms of them in the evenings. I'd have to move to a swamp in WA to have this many bugz. Last night I opened the door to let a cat in and looked at some light-colored fabric folded on a chair on the porch: there must have been 25 skeeters sitting there! Lazy bugs? Weird. After my hand smashed down there were perhaps only three or four lazy bugs. Take that.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Den: check!

Well, it had become more of a lean-to with a caving-in roof...but it had really been a working space back in the day (in fact we discovered some photographic evidence of this today). All mucked out: phew! There are some things we saved for the girls, like some old costume jewelry of grandma's, some sewing tools, and a rocking chair for the one with the new baby (gotta have a rocking chair). Most everything in there either went in the trash or the thrift store pile.

On to the garage (and kitchen, bathroom, office...etc.)

Garage Sale: check!

The leftover books went to the Library Friends Book Sale store last night. The rest goes to the thrift store or in the dumpster. Gordon's brother just left to drive back to Oregon. I think he is a bit put out about the whole process. The fact that the Ancestral Home is not as it once was completely flummoxes him (this is a guy who practically worships his past, especially his childhood...there are practically no other topics of conversation with him). The fact that it sold so quickly really threw him for a loop, too, as all his opportunities to attempt to influence Gordo's decisions at each step of the process were instantly bypassed. Let's just say big bro' does not move quickly on anything regarding money.

I realize that this move is not going to solve all of our problems and make life a bed of roses, but there will be certain tangible improvements: no more police/fire sirens practically every night/morning, no more people racing up and down our street with sub-woofers blazing irritating non-music, no more yappy neighbor dog accross the street barking and barking at nothing, no more neighbor's house alarm going off at odd moments, and no more stench of un-buried dog poop in the yard adjoining our back yard in the Summer heat. I'll miss having a Trader Joe's within walking distance, but that's one of the few things I'm going to miss about living here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Red Letter Day

The movers will be loading us out on the 26th. Up until we signed the paperwork it wasn't quite real for me, just a lot of mess. Now we're in the pipeline and I'm really getting jazzed up! When I left Washington for Japan I hadn't really planned on spending 15 years in California. Funny how life is such an adventure if you're willing to take some risks.

Making it Real

Great blog entry by Holly Lisle on getting past the nitpicks to the soul of your subject, whether it be painting, writing, or whatever.

Monday, April 11, 2005

The Scramble

We just heard from our selling realtor, and the people buying our place are being total hardbutts and will not allow us to remain on the premises even one hour after closing. I could understand this if they were waiting to move in, but they are developers wating to bulldoze the place. At this point any motivation I had to go the extra mile in cleaning up the property just went out the window with the rest of the dust bunnies. I think we'll just take that nice oak front door with us, too...and they can keep the cloudy shower curtain. Neeless to say, dusting and vacuuming are off the "to do" list until we're in the new place.

It's a good thing the current owners of our new place are just the opposite of the above individuals. They're letting us turn out the horses as soon as we get there, and the movers can just deposit all of our worldly goods in the nice new three-car garage. Luckily, my folks live about 8 miles away and have a huge place, so we'll just stay with them (as usual). Meanwhile the Roths are packing as fast as they can to move out so we can move in (they found a great place in Eastern WA at last)! Yes, it's a Chinese Fire Drill all around.

We meet with the movers tomorrow, and I'm hoping and praying they can get us on their schedule on such short notice! It's time for full-on packing mode....

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Book Pimp

What a relief! I'm not the only person who messes with the books on the shelves in bookstores to favor the work of authors I know...

Whole Lotta Lei

The pink jasmine outside our kitchen window is in its annual Spring frenzy of fragrant white stars, and this morning I finally got off my hinder and picked some blossoms to string leis. Occasion? None, really...although some friends are coming over to go out to the local Indian Restaurant with us tonight, and since it's probably our last "date" with them for awhile I guess that's as good an excuse as any to "put on the dog".
Eric the Red (aka "The Large") believes that ladders are built for two. He also enjoys crunchy baskets as a way of adding extra fiber to his diet.
The finished product: a box of four long, smelly white leis sitting in the fridge. I feel so it's back to packing...

Friday, April 08, 2005

A Silver Lining for Every Cloud...sort of

First, the bad news: we just found out that someone we once trusted stole over two grand from us several years ago...totally weird and creepy. The mysterious missing funds are now explained, but in an unfortunately sad way.

Now the great news: The wedding invites for Gordo's #1 kid just came in the mail! Yay! Funny how little pieces of paper make things "official". It's a western culture thing, I guess. Asians just laugh at our obsession with getting things in black & white. When I lived in Japan a buddy of mine there told me about going to see "Little Mermaid" (yes, this was a few years ago) and how the Tokyo audience roared with laughter when Ariel signed the contract with the Sea know, like it's a big deal or something (stupid gaijin).

Hm, that puts me again in mind of the person who stole from us for some reason. Feh...enough with the negative waves already, I hear wedding bells. Luckily, Liz is cool and I don't have to get her anything from here.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Dumpster is Full

Here we go; it's major moving & mucking time...and all Gimli can do to help is play tree monkey. Let's just say I've never had to "rescue" him from a tree. If I believed in reincarnation (which I don't), I'd have to guess he'd been a squirrel or monkey in a previous life.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Weekend Warriors

Spent another day in sporting mode: horses and guns! Charge (literally)! Pictured: firing a flintlock carbine from horseback (as you can see, the horse is totally spooked...not.) Not pictured: "running at the heads" or "flailing at cabbages spiked on poles as you canter by". I actually hit one or two but felt like a weenie most of the time; dang sword was getting the better of my unconditioned wrist.

So what if only a few cavalry turned out, we still rode rings around the infantry...
The studly fellow on the right (in wide hat and leggings) is me in "Squire Bob" mode. (That's also "Bob" second from the left above)