Welcome to My Journal

Welcome to my journal. I'm putting this at the top so folks can find things easily. There are so many years' worth of stuff on this journal that it's not that easy to find things. I started out just journaling, but then got into writing fiction as well.

First, trip journals. They're all family friendly. You can also just click the travel tag as well to see everything related to it.

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Of Many Feasts

My trips for BigBadCon are always filled with feasts: feasts of the body, mind, and creative spirit.

The Chef Chu's feast was one of those, with friends that I haven't seen for a long time, with food that I cannot get in the Boulder County area. The dishes were of Peking duck, sea bass steamed with ginger and scallions, dry cooked string beans, pea sprouts with garlic, and tangerine beef along with the favorites of snow white chicken, pot stickers, and cream cheese crab wontons fried deep and crisp.

But best of all it was with people I haven't seen for a year, and have talked to just about a often, people I used to game with all the time and whom really feed my creative juices: Trip, Earl, Cat, Carl, Chrisber, Christy, and their Teo. It was fun to tell them stories of Jet, who is now taller than I am and driving. *laughs* They'd last seen him when he was tiny, still holdable in arms, stealing glasses, and crawling about playing with tableclothes that hung over the edges of tables.
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Back in the Bay Area Again

And going to BigBadCon at the end of this week.

I'm a little sad that I had to miss the last of Isabel's visit to our home to get here, but I think I really needed some time away to evaluate and think about things.

My art show had gone quite well, at Mimi's studio. There are photos of my show space on Flickr, and John and I helped Mimi and Paul clean out a beautiful little breezeway that had amazing light for the display space. It was small, and the paintings were pretty crowded in there, but people got to see them, which was the whole point of it all.

There was even a very nice little table/desk where I could put all my painting materials so that I could demonstrate how it worked or allow others to try out the ink, brushes, and paper. I had an outlet so I could bring a water boiler and make herbal teas and it was amazingly nice because the weather during the show was really rainy for Colorado, days of rain, which is really unusual. But it meant that a lot of people came to the show.

I sold three paintings, and nearly all the art cards I had made. They were just blank greeting cards with pictures of my art on the front, but it was like everyone could bring a small, portable bit of my art home with them. Several of the ladies said that they were framing their little masterpiece to enjoy it in their homes. That bemused me, but it was cool to know that they enjoyed them so much.

I also got leads for three art shows. One I hung the Friday before I left for here, at the Salud Clinic here in Longmont, it's a free clinic for low-income people, and they really needed some art and beauty for their waiting rooms and some of the staff's offices. Nine paintings went there that would otherwise just gather dust, so people are enjoying them.

Another show will be for the Denver Taiko group when they come to the Longmont Museum. I get to hang half a dozen paintings, bring my art cards, and demonstrate before and after the performance. It'll be exposure to people, and some small sales, perhaps. The third show will be at our church, which should be fun, as always. There is a registry at ARTS Longmont that should allow for more such endeavors, and I now have the paintings for them, what with getting ready for this show.

The Saturday before leaving I was at a Women's Retreat with the women of our church, and it was really good, but I, and two of my carpool mates, had to leave a little early so that I could get to the 4:30 performance of Jet's marching band. They'd decided not to do a competition in order to practice the whole show all the way through. So they did that, and I got to see it and eat at the taco bar after. *laughs* That was worth doing.

On Sunday, I met up with Simon Bisson and Mary Brascombe for breakfast with my family, here in Longmont, at Lucille's. It was so amazing to get to see them and talk with them! And even better Mary pointed me at a Cloud of FPGAs that can be rented, accessed, and reconfigured on the fly. That will be interesting to explore. The rest of the day and Monday was mostly taken up with packing things, playing with the gamer boys as I was able, and dealing with a surprise snowstorm, which shouldn't have surprised us 'cause whenever Isabel visits it snows. But I had to close up the bee hive, to keep the drafts down, and so that the girls could keep themselves warm. I also found that the hive was so heavy with honey that I couldn't even think of shifting it into a sunnier spot, which was probably for the best.

So I'm kind of tired, still, and trying to catch up in hotel rooms, which isn't terrible, but isn't that easy, either.

Carl, as always, has been an amazing host and we've planned things down to a T using a wiki page that we've changed and edited as plans have formed up. Yesterday I got in, which no problem on the flight, and we went to eat at Chef Chu's with the usual suspects, in this case Earl, Cat, Trip, Chrisber, Christy, and Theo. The food was, as always, amazing, and the company was fun and lucid on many subjects.

From there Carl and I headed to Santa Cruz, and we stayed there last night in anticipation of meeting up with Gretchen and perhaps Brad today.
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I'll admit that I'm as guilty as the next person with respect to building up a model of the world and having a hard time changing it when I find out that things are different than I believed. I really, truly believed that my bees couldn't make enough honey for another harvest, and that during the early September examination, that they'd only have partially filled the emptied super I'd put on and would need some help filling their brood box for the winter. Having lost my last colony to a bad mite infestation and very slow shipping on mite control substances, I was also convinced that I'd have to treat for mites.

I was entirely wrong on all points, and had to take half a day to process what I really found when I went into the hive.

I also kind of resisted going in, as I'd really wanted the bees to just keep all their honey for the winter and not have to deal with them again until they'd started to pack up for the cold; but it all kept nagging at me, as they'd been so quick to fill the supers the first time around. So to be responsible to them, I had to go in.

So I did.

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Slipping Sideways

I feel a little like I'm slipping sideways instead of moving forward or back. I'm still gaming, but in different venues than just TF2. I'm now playing Terraria, Civ V, CS:GO, Overwatch, Payday 2, and, most of all, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, mostly because I get to play with Jet, and he and his friends really like playing with me, no matter how good or bad I might be. I'm helpful, I cheer them on, and I usually do something smart in a game where there are so very many ways to die by being stupid.

Still, I've decided that I'm out of competitive, and that's been a good decision all around.

I am painting, spinning, and even dyeing again. There have been some fun things in the past few months, and the bees are still doing quite well. There are mites, but I think I'll just treat them this fall and it might help with next year. I've been getting through a huge volunteer work load for the Longmont Studio Tour, and a lot of it has been for the marketing side of things, rather than just the art. But I've been painting again, backing things, and trying to figure out matting and framing as well. And, of course, John and I just had our 30th Anniversary and it was a good, quiet one, with the annual Boulder County Fair ferris wheel.

Some of the pretties...Collapse )
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Making Room

The previous Wednesday I went to a little spin-in with four ladies and we dyed wool from the setup that the lady there had. But one of the other ladies was thinking about keeping bees as she’d inherited a top bar hive from a family that had simply neglected it, thinking that it was kinder to not bother the bees.

The bees had filled the hive, getting past a stopper that was supposed to keep them from the rest of the hive, and building on all the bars past that. And when they’d run out of space, they’d left. So I really wanted to make sure that my colony had plenty of space to build and store honey.

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Opening Up for Summer

The weather has been finally getting really hot, in the mid to high 90's for a few days, and I knew that I had to get better ventilation into the hive for those weeks when it would be close to 100.  The hard part of it all is that I have to replace the bottom board to do so.

There might have been other ways? But I've did this both years when I had my last hive, and I liked having the bottom board be sealed when the colony was small and needed fewer entrances to defend.  It was obvious, from watching the bees coming in and out each day, that they had good numbers to defend themselves, now.  Plus, the girls might need more room, so I prepared a super with another eight frames for them to build on and fill that would fit above the deeps that I was leaving for them to keep full of honey, pollen, and brood.

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Moving House

When we first set up the hive, it had to be away from the house because we were replacing the roof and the solar panels on the south side of the house had to come down before the roof could be put on. So we put the hive on the North side of the yard, facing South to catch the sun in the entrance on most days.

But the entrance also faced the biggest part of our backyard lawn, and the flight path for the bees was right over the grassy area where all the kids would play if we had a party again in our backyard. So we had to move the hive.
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An Everything Day

Today was one of those days....

I was added back onto the roster of my old 6's team, I got my bee allergy shot, I helped plan a siege defense, I got to play Rainbow Siege Six for the first time with my son and his friend, I had a last minute dental appointment with my periodontist that was nearly foiled by my GPS, and I might have a mild eye infection as well. But I got Dairy Queen and good gaming.

I think I'm a little tired.

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Home Again

I had a salad today.

There are some things that I miss when I'm on the road, and in particular, oddly enough, is the food that I can get at home. A salad with half a slice of crumbled bacon, half a perfectly hard boiled egg with a moist yolk, bits of Stilton, apple, candied pecans, creamy blue cheese dressing, and a whole bowlful of young spring greens that were on sale at the local super market for only 2.79, less than a quarter of what such a salad would cost at any of the restaurants. Or a soft boiled egg with a few droplets of soy sauce on the yolk with a slice of toast, buttered and slathered with quince jelly from the quince tree in our neighbor's backyard...

It's good to be home...Collapse )
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