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Monday, December 22, 2014

Solstice



" Hail Earendel, brightest of angels, over middle-yard to men sent, and true radiance of the Sun bright above the stars, every season thou of thyself ever illumunest."

I'm not a hippy or a hipster (and my hips are curvy as hell) but there is one ancient holiday that always brings peace and hope to my heart. Winter Solstice is a time to reflect on the old and spend a time to take in the darkness of the shortest day of the year, embrace it and say goodbye to the sadness of the past year. From here on forward the days get longer and brighter, and a new year of exciting things begins. I know everyone makes new year's resolutions but for me the time to take stock and look forward is the 21st. This was one hum dinger of a year for me in so many respects, and despite the horrors and pain I am grateful for it for everything it's taught me about myself, and how it's shown me the kindness and love of the people I am so grateful to have in my life.

As the holiday season begins and we all take the time to be with family and friends please take a moment to sit quietly and reflect on the last year. What did you love about it? What can you leave behind? And most importantly - what can you bring into it to expand and refresh your life?

In our next trip around the sun we have so many new things to do and try. And so much to appreciate and recognize as worthy of being in our lives again for another year. As for me, I'm making a short list of things I'd like to learn/try/do this year and am putting them in a book and in a tin. When I have some spare time I'm going to pull a note out of the tin and try something new: learn the ukelele, get a tattoo, paper mache sculpt some armour, paint some ceramics, and make some new fruit wines, just for starters...and for my soul? More quiet time. And more focus on listening to others...with my memory being faded after chemo I often focus too much on what I need to do so I don't forget and fail...but I miss out on so many things while I do so and treat others at times as though what they need is less important than what I am trying to do. A simple pen and paper will let me be more present and not just take in what I need, but be open to the needs of those I care for as well.

The new year begins now. Further up and further in my friends :)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Metro - Eleven Days From Christmas





This obscure Canadian prairie christmas album was always on at christmas eve at my grandpa's. This song and Here comes Santa Claus still crack me up and get me in the mood for a small town christmas.

I mean...how often do you get a kazoo in your holiday music?

I know - not often enough :)



Seven 4 by 2 shlabs...to build a chicken coop to keep the ducks in...

Monday, December 15, 2014

Now kiddies, remember to put on your 3D glasses

We last bought a TV just after we married about 13 years ago. It was 30" and worked just fine...the thing was still kicking, but when J stopped working for Evil Conglomerate Who Shall Not Be Named we cut our cable and have been resorting to DVDs. The idea was to get an AppleTV and buy the few shows we want to watch (like Doctor Who) and hook up Netflix for the cold winter nights when you need something to entertain you...but our TV was too old. And our non-bluray DVD player was dying too....and, yup - no HDMI on either of them. So we sat and waited...mostly for J to decide on a TV. We'd been putting money aside and after 3 months (grrr...honestly I'd given up asking about it) we finally found a good Sony one on sale with all the inputs and outputs we need to hook it up to our old amp and such and to all the new stuff... and finally got it back to our place for this weekend. It was 3D as a bonus...and there was a 3D bluray player on sale as well, so now that we've replaced all the necessary technogubbins we're all kitted out.


And damn...it's cool. Not only is the screen so much bigger (50") and clearer (blueray is rather swanky I will admit), but it's net-ready so we have all that set up now too. Instant Netflix. We still need an AppleTV for eventual complete technological update of the house so we can stream our music from the computer out the stereo by wifi, but it'll do pig, it'll do damn well. It's like we leaped ahead about 20 years in a few days. We can even plug a memory stick into the DVD player to play files off of that. Most of all tho- the 3D is a damn cool bonus. I'm glad it worked out to have it - we weren't looking for it, but man - we bought the Hobbit on 3D and watched it over the weekend...and it was brilliant. I keep hearing Count Floyd in my head reminding me to put on my 3D glasses...he heh

Add to that that the Season 8 of Doctor Who that we totally missed out on is now out on DVD?
Well, I know where I'll be for the next few weeks. Gotta catch up on the new doctor-from the few we've watched I like him already. And the new opening credits? Wow.

OR should I say Dayum...
Looking this over I see that this post has 200% more damns than usual.
Uh oh...to make sure Santa comes by I shall go wash my mouth out with soap forthwith.
And by soap I mean scotch...
What? It's antiseptic...

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Eureka!

Experimental muffin extreme success:

Oatmeal muffins were made last night and I put a slice of banana and 1 teaspoon of almond butter or nutella in the middle of them before baking. I made 6 of each last night and yes...that awesome flavour you're imagining in your head right now? Well, it's better than that :)

So. Good.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Don't Speak

My husband has a terribly sore throat and can't talk. It hurts him to swallow. Normally I'd joke about the no talking thing but the poor man really is in a lot of pain. After 4 days of it he actually went to the Mediclinic about it yesterday, which means it's really bad - he hates doctors. Poor guy had to wait 3 hours for a throat swab and someone to tell him to rest and that he has laryngitis. No Sh1t Sherlock.
They think it's probably viral which means there's nothing to do for it other than rest and not talk...I was hoping it was strep throat just so they could help him, but they said they'd call him back today with the results of the throat swab. The irony of calling someone who can't talk to give them results on why they can't talk was apparently lost on the desk clerk. I hope he feels better soon. He's very hermity when he's sick, and I feel guilty when he feels bad and I can't help. It could be a very long and boring weekend.
In the cat world, things are slowly coming along. Gavin and Widget have made their peace with each other. They will be around each other and not hiss or growl. They don't go out of their way to meet up, but they are getting along. Widget is a play fiend and will let us pick her up and purrs like a little motor. Dax is still hissy and growly with the other 2 cats, but she is coming out into the main house now and not hiding as much and played with us yesterday. She's let J and I pet her and ate within 2 feet of Widget this morning without growling, so I'm hoping it'll just take some time. They don't all need to be friends...I just don't want them fighting. Especially with Gavin being the oldster he is...his last days are going to be the comfiest and most well fed I can make them. He will still eat wet food, but isn't eating as much as I wish he would, but I'm trying my best to get him to eat as much as he can so he doesn't get too skinny. Love that chudly little guy.

It's the weekend. I have no idea what will be happening. I plan to put up a small christmas tree on the weekend. What with 2 new cats I figure I'm inviting doom if we put up the big tree, so I'll put the small 3 foot one up from my apartment on top of the bar and see how it goes...


November is almost over. Yes.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Meow

The new critters are here. They're settling in well. Gavin is being pretty good about it all, all things considered. So glad we decided to take Dax's kitten as well. It's nice to have playing cats again. Dax is still a bit skittish, but I think with a little time and some love they'll be comfy here. Once they get used to Gavin I think they'll be fine. Right now they're just avoiding each other, which is fine...no squabbles. Just a bit of hissing.
Just in time for me to try and put up the christmas decorations....what was I thinking?? He heh...
It's hard to take photos of black cats, but here's what I could get so far...
:)

Widget the kitten

Dax the momma cat

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I'm going to lose all my hair again I know it

I'm sure you all know how un-enamoured I am with Microsoft Software and their endless random upgrades.

My current rant course? Sharepoint.
Before I went on sick leave I was just learning Sharepoint 2010 so we could create a few sites for the Lab groups and customise them. Now that I'm back we're building a website for one of my research groups and I'm looking after the Sharepoint stuff (work flows and calendars for fee for service analysis). SHarepoint can do amazing things...if you know how to use it properly. It's not in any way intuitive and they just changed a bunch of the functionalities so even what I used to be able to do is hard to do now.
I need some training and a good reference book before I pull all my new hair out. We have a specialist coming but he'll be serving the whole University...I doubt I'll be first in the queue when I need help so I need to figure this stuff out on my own without too much (har har) calamity.

Microsoft can bite my arse...
(doo dahhh, doo daaahhh)