home_and_away: (Default)
Well. That's that. LJ's officially taken one step further than I feel like walking beside it, so we're migrating here.

All the posts are transferred, and IIRC, comments too.

I can't promise I'll be any more active here, but I do know I'm going to cease activity there. So... ~shrug, wry grin~ Be welcome? Drop me a ping & say hey?
home_and_away: (moonbathing)
Via [livejournal.com profile] belenen, from [livejournal.com profile] kehlen_crow:
Drop a comment and I will give you three colours. You will then look around from where you're writing the reply, and name three items you see in each of those colours.

When I asked to play along, James gave me white, orange, and violet. (and then I squee'd because I don't tend to have a lot of orange around but LO! today I've indulged in a mango craving! So!)

White: Bills waiting to be paid, half the stripes on an afghan my kid's great-grandma crocheted for him when he was tiny (forward-thinking woman she is, she made it sofa-sized. <3 ), and the as-yet-unstained microwave. :D

Orange: Some of the information on Dae's school calendar, most of this bottle of Synergy "Mystic Mango" kombucha, and my coil of 22g copper wire.

Violet: My steel waterbottle, a drink koosh Dae decorated for Mothers' Day in preschool (it's a bright violet, strewn with blue and yellow foam cutouts of hearts and flowers, and scrawly squeaker-writing in blue marker, "Ma you're the best". I'm guessing part of the reason it's scrawly is because there was a teacher's hand cupped round Dae's at the time of writing, because...again...preschool. <3 ) that's currently full of pencils & pens, and (for twilight-blueish values of violet) my shirt. I don't know who's responsible for rayon knit fabric being in fashion, but OH I'm happy. So soft. So drapey. :D

So that's me. Want to play?
home_and_away: (moonbathing)
* There's at least one rabbit living under my back deck.
* Clover is green, fluffy hell to mow through with one of these lawnmowers, at least when it's the first mow of the season.
* The best time to mow my back yard is, weirdly enough, between noon and 14:00. Sure the sun's mostly right overhead...but the same trees that keep the place dim and damp and still? They cast lovely shadows over 3/4 of the yard in midday.
* Our wi-fi signal reaches all the way out to the edge of the yard, no problem!
* It takes most of Iron Maiden's Powerslave album to mow the back yard, at least when it's the first mow of the season.
* The birds are less disturbed by a human blaring metal from her back pocket than they are by a quiet human. Maybe they figure I'm not hunting anything if I'm making all that noise and no eye contact? Hm. Anyway, it amused the daylights out of me to watch the robins hop around in the freshly-mown strips listening for worms while Bruce yowled lines like, "live to flyyyyyyy, fly to liiiiiiive..."

Gods, I'm tired.
But it's a good tired.
An exertion-with-something-to-show-for-it tired.
~nods~
home_and_away: (moonbathing)
Today is the day I have enough hair to make a tiny phhht! of a ponytail right at the crown of my head! It's missing all the hair round the back of my head, and my bangs are probably only staying in the tie because of peer pressure....BUT! RIGHT THIS MINUTE? My hair is off my ears and out of my face and the next six months of growing this mane out no longer look quite so insurmountable. SOON! SOON I will look like a version of myself again!
\o/ !

(Honestly, I give the long hair till the beginning of next summer before I have at least 30% of it shaved off again. But TILL then...! :D )
home_and_away: (moonbathing)
Tonight's dinner:

* ~One pound of chicken thighs, excess fat cut off, meat cut into chunks about the same mass as my distal thumbjoint. (see what I mean? What a unit of measure. But when you're chopping, it's good to have something nearby to compare to. Is this too big? ~looks at thumb, looks at chicken~ yeah a little; halve this bit of meat...)

* One packet Taco Bell taco seasoning. It's not just the spices; I could find authentic spice proportions somewhere and use those...but then I'd miss out on whatever thickening agent rides along with the spices and MSG in the packet and turns the spices into sauce while they cook. If you know how to use cornstarch responsibly, you can probably work from scratch. I will continue to use the little packets till they stop producing them or my system rejects the MSG dosage with violence. Makes measuring easy.

* An arbitrary amount of frozen bell peppers & onions from the bag I snagged at Mal-Wart for about two bucks. In this case, the amount was "what's left in the bag"; in future, it'll be maybe...mmmnnnn, say a 1:3 ratio, veg:chicken? Depends how far I need the chicken to go, you know? Anyway, throw 'em in frozen--the liquid that thaws out of them will eventually contribute to the sauce.

Those things all go into a bowl (or a gallon-sized ziploc bag if you're like that) and get massaged together then left to sit for a half hour or so, till the veg thaws.

Then! It's time for...
* At least one short stick of chorizo. I used one, tonight, and it was lovely but spread a little thin. Next time, TWO short sticks. Because I hearts me some chorizo.

Squeeze the chorizo out of its plastic skin into your waiting skillet and scramble it over medium high heat. You know it's done cooking when it looks a little gravelly and it starts hissing and trying to jump out of the pan. It will jump at you. I hope you're wearing a high-necked shirt. Be brave: the chorizo can smell fear.
At that point, remove the chorizo to a small bowl. The feisty thing.

Don't clean the pan. Just throw a little olive oil at it so the chicken mix doesn't stick.

Then add the chicken mix and cook over high or medium high heat.
Tonight, I put the whole thing into the pan; we have a big pan and it was a short pound. Next time, I might cook it in two shifts. We'll see. Anyway, you want kindof a stirfry situation happening in the skillet, thus the great temperature. Cook the chicken kindof fast before its juice can flee or the peppers can get soggy. Tonight, the short pound of chicken took about 10 minutes of flipping and pushing round the pan to cook. It was crowded; things more steamed than fried in there. Macht nichts: it still cooked through.
JUUUUSSSSST BEFORE you declare the chicken-bits cooked, put the chorizo back into the pan and give it a good few turns to integrate the sausage with the everything else.

To serve? Heh. What do you like? Mark & Dae had their share wrapped in tortillas; Mark put cheese in atop his. They seemed quite pleased. I put mine over a bowl of lettuce and topped it with cheese. Next time, maybe I'll put salsa in too; it needed some tartness to perk up all the savour/sweet and spice. Rice might make a nice option. Try things.
home_and_away: (moonbathing)
This is the most perfect thing I've heard all day.

I love that someone sat down and listened to little baby Michael Jackson pleading with somebody to give him one more chance and thought of Taylor Swift riding her nopetopus into the seafloor horizon.
This makes me bouncy happy in ways that the two songs, individually, didn't quite.
<3
home_and_away: (moonbathing)
Oh little FinePix S602Z, how sweet you have been to me over the last nine years, and how sweet you were to Mark for several years before I even turned up. How much I have learned with you. How I love you.
How grateful I am that you waited till the Socially Acceptable Time To Spend A Couple Hundred Dollars On Something That Doesn't Generate Income to drop dead.
Well done in all your doing, little S602Z. I will take out the batteries you no longer recognise that you have and the SD card you won't stay on long enough to add pictures to, and I will put you somewhere safe with Mark's Dad's 35mm. You have been a good camera.

And welcome home, little FinePix S1. I look forward to lots of long walks with you and your rechargeable battery, 50x zoom, 16M effective pixels, and weather-resistant hull. <3
eeeeeeeee! :D

squee!

Nov. 13th, 2014 10:53 am
home_and_away: (moonbathing)
Spent all day yesterday painting Dae's bathroom. It's now (except for a 24"x4" swath up along the ceiling) the same pale brilliant blue as the sky on a sunny day, right near the horizon. It's now a plantlight away from being my favourite room in the house. I want to bask in it like a lizard. First, though, comes painting that last strip of edge.

Am fresh home from the monthly shearing. I like having someone I can trust to know, ask, and listen when it comes to my hair. Granted, this month she sheared me a little closer than I love best (I'm at about a quarter-inch everywhere but my fringe; a half-inch gives me visible hair without being long enough to mess up) but it'll work out beautifully: this way, I won't be climbing the walls needing to be shorn again till January, and I'll have the right amount of skullfluff over Thanksgiving and Christmas. Tomorrow, I mean to be-purple my fringe again while there's still blonde streaks near the ends. (Their orangey-gold itches me when I look in the mirror, but I've not yet met a brown dye that looks at all like what I grow, and all dye crocks, so if I'm going to be watching haircolour swirl down a drain, I want it to be purple.)

Pictures of All The Colours tomorrow, maybe, if I can convince my camera to co-operate.

~quiet cycle of breath: in...hold...out....~ Yeah. Yeah. It's a decent week so far. Shaping up well, anyway.
home_and_away: (moonbathing)
How does a part of the world leave the world?
How does wetness leave water? Don't try to

put out fire by throwing on more fire! Don't
wash a wound with blood. No matter how fast

you run, your shadow keeps up. Sometimes it's
in front! Only full overhead sun diminishes

your shadow. But that shadow has been serving
you. What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is

your candle. Your boundaries are your quest.
I could explain this, but it will break the

glass cover on your heart, and there's no
fixing that. You must have shadow and light

source both. Listen, and lay your head under
the tree of awe. When from that tree feathers

and wings sprout on you, be quieter than
a dove. Don't even open your mouth for even a coo.

From Soul of Rumi
Translation by Coleman Barks
home_and_away: (moonbathing)


I don't know which is better: learning that rocks skipping across ice *chirp*, or watching another human being be as happy about that as I felt, or just *looking* at Alaska.
home_and_away: (moonbathing)
Magic is the art of recognising the signs of rain in time to dig a trench away from your foundation & toward your garden. Can't change where the house sits on the land; can't stop the water from coming down...but you can avert flood and feed the plants if you're attentive and put in the work.
home_and_away: (moonbathing)
Walked into the parts shop this morning seven minutes after it opened.
The guy who sold me the pump yesterday was just getting to the counter. "You're back!" he said, a ready-to-be-sympathetic smile on his face.
I answer with a half-grin of my own and, "Yep. The good news is, my washer now has a good strong pump! The bad news is, that wasn't what needed fixed."
"What can I get you today?"
"One o' these, please," and I hand him the paper with part and number written on.
"Aaaah. Not agitating?"
"And making a godsaweful noise about it, yeah."
He ducks into the back for a second and returns with a small plastic bag containing three smaller plastic-and-metal bits. Hello, motor coupler. "Let's see if this does it for you, then."
I watch the register's display as he rings up the part. Six dollars and change, plus tax. "Um..."
"Yeah, it usually goes for twenty, but you were just in yesterday. So."
I blink at him. "Thank you. You don't have to do that."
He hits the Total key and now the machine's waiting for me. "Still."
I shuffle for my card. "Thank you."
"You have a good day, ma'am. Good luck."
"You take care, yourself."

So yeah! Please allow me to advertise for my parts store! I can't promise every location will be staffed as kindly as Huntsville's, but the selection of goods is pretty solid.

And on the off chance you could use some How To Fix A Washer help (or just enjoy repair videos), here's the part of Angel Acevedo's site that we've been haunting for the past two days.
home_and_away: (Bear)
Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.
That was not the gods-damned part
That was broken. Fuck.

What I wouldn't give for a database of malfunction noises, so that when something breaks, you can hold your device's mic up to it and push a button, and after a second or two, see a suggestion.
Sounds like your machine's transmission has failed, or Sounds like your vehice is missing its catalytic converter! or Have you checked the attic for raccoons?

Back to the drawing board...
home_and_away: (moonbathing)
Salvation in hand,
I sit back and count seconds
Watching my tea steep.

I love how one little thing can take a day from harried to unhurried. w00t.
home_and_away: (moonbathing)
So just in case anyone else needs to eradicate adorable rodents from their walls, please allow me to present The Richard Thompson Electric Trio performing Cream's "White Room."


(I could listen to Mr. Thompson sing a phonebook, myself.)

Hm! <3

Mar. 11th, 2014 09:04 am
home_and_away: (moonbathing)
So, housefinches do A Thing: when they've found a good nesting site, they tend to come back to it. They also, if the weather and food supply and willing partners permit, will breed twice (wiki says more than twice is possible, but the ones I've watched only put up two nests) over the spring and summer, instead of just the once. That "willing partners" bit is the one that's making me smile today.

See, last year, I could ID the male finch who'd taken up residence in the geranium pot because his diet gave him a deep reddish-purple head, neck, & chest. I'd seen other male house finches, but none of them had this guy's shade or spread of colour. But the female...she was speckled dun-brown and would dive bomb me and shout invective when I walked past, so I could *find* her easy enough. But *individuating* her from any of her sisters? No dice. So I didn't know whether the two nests in the pot were both hers or if she had company.
I knew that one male would sometimes have two or more mates in a season and that housefinches among their "household" have little notion of personal space: the two females who share a mate might build conjoined nests and all three adults feed both clutches. But without visual confirmation of more than one female...~shrug~ it was just fun data.

This morning, though. :D
This morning, I saw three adults, two of them speckled dun-brown, diving into and out of and back into the hanging pot. Nobody was mobbing anybody else out.
So for this year's set of finches, there's THAT question answered.

(I'm quietly pleased to know they feel safe enough in that hanging pot to run two concurrent clutches in it. That's a good feeling, considering the real estate scuffle we had with them a couple of weeks ago. They must be optimistic about the food around here, too.)
home_and_away: (moonbathing)
I've been talking mostly to myself, here, for a while. Sometimes a person needs to process and doesn't necessarily feel up to asking for an audience for it. Pretty frequently that person is me.
I finally got round to unloading a MASSIVE number of pictures from my camera, not long ago. And since, I've been crawling into plants' personal space to see whether I could get the camera to show something at all like what my eye found.
Today's result:
Violets are apparently my favourite thing

(I was deeply amused to realise that I'd put my wee purple flowers under a stained glass lamp full of purple flowers. Methinks there's a theme I'm only occasionally conscious of, here.)

So how're you lot?
~hugs all round~

:)

Sep. 13th, 2013 02:40 pm
home_and_away: (moonbathing)

I didn't put it together till Mark texted me this morning:
"Happy Friday the 13th!"

1) Yay, personal holiday!  :D A host of other folk can talk about how you're bad luck, Friday the 13th, but *I'll* love you.  We make our own luck, and every time you turn up, I'mm'a use it as a reminder to make something good.
2) Yay, first-date marker!  It was a Friday the 13th, then, too.  For grins, I did the math: 100 months.  <3  Neither of us is quite who we were then, but so far we still fit well.  Happy day.

So I took my more-clear-than-they-were-yesterday sinuses and my we-haven't-worked-till-we-ache-in-a-week muscles out into the perfect autumn midmorning, and shoveled sod off the place we'll be building the deck.  Mark showed me how last weekend and got a start made on it.  I got the space about half-done and its edges started.  There's now a nick in the insteps of both my boots from kicking the shovel blade into dirt, but that's alright: they're five years old and their soles are smooth as an infant's arse and they cost $20 to replace; when it's time, it's time.

The point is, my arms and legs and obliques are happy with me, we're a little closer to making the place look like WE live here, and did I mention the perfect autumn day?  Just a little wind, robin's-egg blue sky, and 81F.  Gorgeous.

Happy Friday the 13th.
Life's not all sunshine and roses everywhere, but it's brighter than it has been, brighter than it could be, bright enough and I can feel the satisfaction in it.
I.  Will. Take.  It.

home_and_away: (moonbathing)
Apparently, the way to get me off my ass is to give me a cold.

This morning, I got a wild idea: if citron in honey eventually makes a good goo for making tea (seriously: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yujacha), I bet those sour, tiny orange-looking fruits on the tree Mel's Dad gave me will do it, too! So I wandered out to visit Mr. Tree and see if he had anyone ready for the table. And lo! Three fruits were ready to come in! So at eight this morning, I was sterilising a jar and washing fruit for another citrus tea preserve.

Won't know for a while how it's going--got to give the little kumquat/orange/I honestly don't know bits time to gel--a couple days till it's Food; a couple months till it's Itself.

Still.
:)
home_and_away: (moonbathing)
Reason #1 that it's been a decent day: The rain in the forecast (20% chance) turned up before 11:00 and was done by 11:30, replaced by omfgALL THE SUN. It was kindof, "hey guys, makin' the rounds. here's sommat to keep the dust down. bye!" and done.

Reason #2: Even though it only took one cider and one ounce of JD Honey to give me a "mama puma carries me round by the scruff" hangover, said hangover yielded readily to B vitamins and breakfast. Yay!

Reason #3: Went out to the super-shady-and-constantly-squishywet back corner of the lawn today to ask Mr. Tree a) whether he would tell me what sort of tree he is, or loan me a leaf so I can look him up, and b) whether he'd mind if I planted something at his feet if I could find something that liked the environment down there. And Mr. Tree answered, "here; start with elms; and nnnnnmmm I don't know." and gave me a leaf.

So the leaf and I went inside and I looked up slender elm leaves. And lo! There he is! "[O]ccurs primarily along streams and in moist soils on floodplains"? Yep, that's my yard's back corner...
And oh, hey: "Sugarberry's leaf litter contains allelopathic chemicals which inhibit seed germination and growth in many other plant species." Well, that would explain your reluctance, sir; now I see. So that's a conversation I'll have to get back to. If I could find a way to separate his soil from their soil a little, or mulch them so they don't get the full brunt of his leaves, would that be claustrophobic for him or comfortable? Or, what plants don't mind his leaflitter? I don't know any of that, so I won't bother him yet. I figure if he's not on board, any planting I try to do near him's going to be like marching on Russia in the winter.
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