Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

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Mixed Bag

It's been a couple of good days with a few painful things mixed in, not bad things, just a bit of poinkiness on my part.

This morning, as we were heading to the bus stop, Jet said, "It's going to be a beautiful day, like usual."

*giggles* It is, too. Sunny and gorgeous and cool enough. Windy today, though. Last night, the wind had me dreaming of the booming surf on Hawaii's north coast as it tossed the trees around and whipped at the roofs. The two weather balloons that were 'markers' for the selling office of the development across the street had disappeared this morning. They'd even survived being near horizontal a week or two ago.

My sage plant was tossed from the table it was sitting on by the house. It's unusual for the wind to get to the east side of the house, as the prevailing winds are from the west, usually. But it had dried enough during the night to be light enough for the wind to just toss from the table. Broken limbs everywhere, but the main mass of it is just fine.

Monday was nice, too. I went in and got my front tooth examined. The dentist, after I told him it was a the biting edge, not the gum, while he was poking away at my gum, finally found the place where he hadn't sealed the bridge on completely. He went all the way around the support and added a layer of bonding material along all the edges, poinked the bottom edge a few times to make sure that the material got under the metal, and then proceeded to break a piece of floss on the join he'd made between my two front teeth. *sigh*

He cleaned up the excess in a huge hurry. And then asked me, "How does it feel?"

"Uhm... weird..." as it was all dried out, grainy, and still bitingly sour from the acid he'd put down as an etch before the bonding. He'd washed it from around the tooth, but not from the rest of my mouth.

"Oh, yeah. It will be all gritty and grainy for a bit, but you can eat on it." With that he walked away...

I thought briefly of my toothguard, but it didn't feel like he'd added *much*... which I deeply regretted that night, as I had dreams of flames eating my brain before I finally took the guard out and took a couple of Tylenol to calm the headaches and dreams. I didn't sleep much.

And then I had my eye appointment on Tuesday, and bleary with lack of sleep, I apologized to the technician as I asked him to repeat nearly every comparison test in my eye exam. But he said it was fine, it's a hard thing to just judge every single combination he threw at me. So I felt good about the new place. They ended up with the same prescription and given the distance tests and how they worked out, I didn't blame them as I'm near 20/20 in both eyes with the given lenses, even with the lower power on them. So even though the other optometrist bungled every single interaction with me, he wasn't that bad as and optometrist.

I'll admit that I enjoyed interacting with the bigger operation in some ways. Having the doctor mostly just do my eye health exam was good. Having the optics department hand me a free glasses case for my obviously floating free eye glasses from high school was very nice, too. The technician was very precise, knew exactly what needed to be done, and now to make me comfortable even when I had no correction (hint: big arm motions are *good* for a person so near sighted her focal length is about six inches from her nose).

The mildly unenjoyable part was realizing that my whole prescription was written, essentially, by the technician, not taking the doctor's valuable time. Another part of being treated by a big outfit was the little advertising for getting information on laser treatment for my eyes. I would do it, but my eyes seem to suddenly be changing again, after nearly two decades of having nearly the same kind of sight, they're now getting mildly less nearsighted, and that's been good.

Also I had my eyes dilated for the internal exam, which the Boulder operation was able to bypass with a different procedure that cost a bit more, but it was worthwhile not to be driving around all wincing at the sun and blurry.

The GOOD thing about Tuesday was that it started all misty and rainy and overcast. It was wonderful for the time I was dilated.

From the eye exam I went to the OUR center garden and spent just a little too much time there. I promised myself that I'd plant the cabbage if I did two BIG BUCKETS of weed pulling. So I pulled and pulled. And then I dug up the "cabbage bed" and turned it twice after pulling up a drip irrigation system that didn't seem to be attached to anything. *sigh* Hector came out and we tested the watering system there and there were two sprinklers that were working well enough. So we just coiled up the hose and he put it away. He said that he was coming back, but I wasn't sure what for. I needed help with watering, needed help with weeding all the pathways, and needed help with turning the other beds, but I'd told Rick all that and he said it would get done, so I left it at that...

Finally, I planted the cabbages, and I was content when it was done, but I was nearly late for my toothguard adjustment.

Yes, John had called the dentist office after my hell night, and they gave me an appointment, and at 1:30 I showed up dirty, sweaty, but with the night guard, and the assistant did the work of getting the area around the changed tooth just a bit bigger. The whole *area* ached while we did it, though, and I had a headache when it was done and it still seemed to hurt when I put it in at the end, but she'd done some pretty extensive changes to that area. So I said I'd try it that night, and she said that she'd adjust it again if needed.

I suspect that I'd bruised some of the stuff around my teeth Monday night, and I'm going to just have to take a while to have that all calm down even if the toothguard was adjusted perfectly.

In the midst of all this it didn't help that I was having my period, too. So I was really sensitive to just about everything. Bonnie gave me a massage on Monday and pre-booked a bunch of my appointments for me, and I was totally grateful for her holding my time slot like that. It's a popular spot and it's good to be able to depend on seeing her.

Tuesday night I slept like the dead, as the guard worked pretty well, though I'll admit that I was afraid to go to bed that night, so I stayed up rather later than I should have.

Wednesday was my "make up day" for the last couple of days and I went to Hobby Lobby and got a yard of plain, gray felt, a mixing dish, a huge pad of newsprint, and some white water color. I'd been looking at the OAS site and had felt like just buying myself the ultimate artist set, but decided against it. Mom and Dad had gotten me some very nice calligraphy books, Mom had pointed me at a nice painting book, I have ink galore, two rolls of real rice paper (single Shuen, though, not double, so it's very unforgiving), nice ink stones in three styles, plenty of water containers, paper weights, and twenty kinds of watercolors from when I painted with watercolors. I don't really need most of the kit. Stil...

So I thought about what I needed. One was the thick felt for absorbing things that some through the paper. OAS was selling it for $6 for a 24"x36" piece. Hobby Lobby had 36(more like 40+ as she was very very generous with my 'yard')"x72" for $4.99. I could even pick the color! *grin* I tripled it to fit in my workspace. I may contemplate cutting it to fit, instead. Still... it doesn't hurt it at the moment to just be there, folded, as only the top layer gets any color on it, and the others dry out pretty quickly in this environment.

The second was a brush stand. I could get one for $40 online... or... We have a huge pile of scraps from the redwood deck! Jet and I went out to the wood pile and the two of us picked all the triangles we could see. I was thinking of just stacking them on each other and gluing them together, finished side to finished side, but Jet wanted me to stack the hypotenuses together and glue there. Sigh. I compromised and did two squares that way, and then a triangle off each side for stability. And then we fastened the biggest triangle we could find on top and the long face of that was where John and I put nails in today. The whole thing stands a good 18 inches tall, now, and is HUGE. Hee. But it'll work just fine for letting my brushes drip dry and should be a conversation piece in and of themselves. It's better than using the antenna of my crank radio.

I wanted paper that was larger than my practice rolls, so I bought the newsprint, because one of the books said that it had the same absorbency as rice paper, but, of course, it has the archival quality of... well... newsprint. Highly acid, it basically self-destructs. But I know that when I'm starting I just want to throw most of it out anyway. So I bought a pad of newsprint for a bit too much money. I might have gotten end rolls from the local newspaper far more cheaply. But it was good to start *somewhere*.

Then I got home and Jet and I painted. He has his Nemo water color set. He got quite excited about it one day, and woke up the next morning and painted until we woke up. So that was very good. So the two of us set up in the office and we painted. I did some bamboo practice and the newsprint was *far* better than I thought it would be. I also sorted out my brushes into the one or two that could actually hold a point and The Rest, which I'm using for washes, side strokes, and fuzzy bits that are better done with a soft brush anyway. I may need to invest in some Much Better Brushes in order to get some of the affects I want.

But the ink work was great. I loved that. I then had fun with a blue-purple peony (unseen in nature), and the multi-colored petals, stem, and leaves. I need to practice leaves. They're so beautiful when done right.

The local trees are starting to get their leaves. The black winter starkness of black limbs all cloudy now with pale green "poofs" everywhere, it's magical to see, and I want to paint that. Wow do I. *grin*

So I'm all set up with respect to what I really want with my Chinese painting/calligraphy setup. Now "all" I have to do is practice. *grin* I would like a better hard brush and some of the OAS books, but that's about it, I think. I have some books I'm learning from, and that's been great, too.

Another great fun thing was that last night, the church knitting group came to my house to "knit". A little knitting was done, but the kids had fun playing around in the house. We also had dessert, with some cookies that Jennifer brought, and some strawberries from the four pounds we'd bought from King Soopers. I love my "egg slicer" as it does a good job on eggs, mushrooms, and, you guessed it, hulled strawberries. Beautiful slices that macerated quite well in just one tablespoon of organic, Fair Trade sugar (it is STILL sugar). The kids all ate big bowls of them, and Jet, of course, had to have his powder sprinkled on top. I had sliced so many I had wondered if we'd come close to eating them all, and, of course, between us all, they were all polished off.

I've been off knitting since Spring Break. I wrecked my hands a bit before and during it what with digging in the sand and knitting the second towel. So I was off it for a bit, but last night got me inspired for a bit, and I'm making another Surprise Baby sweater out of worsted, just to see how it'll work with a few adjustments to my translation of the original.

I need to start the Phoenix sweater, but I'm not... inspired to do that, yet.

Another good thing in the last few days has just been my reading library books again. I got both Inkheart and Inkspell and finished the first and got halfway through the second. I like them. I like the premise. I am mildly less enamored of the characters. They all have some reason to dislike them, but then, perhaps, that's how I feel about people in general, so it doesn't really reflect that badly on the book, as the people in it are interesting in various ways. I don't think I'll buy them, but I'm enjoying the wander through their pages.

Jet's also gotten back into the PS2's first Incredibles game. The interesting thing is that I found that game incredibly frustrating when I first got it. But after playing Okami twice through, I'm finding this game to be much easier than it was before. Jet's really enjoying it a lot, and I'm enjoying sharing the playing with him. That's been very good.

I do wonder, sometimes, if Jet will be put off from playing video games forever. As when he tries he fails the first couple of times, and sometimes John or I will be trying to tell him what to do. Which, of course, he gets very frustrated by (I get incredibly frustrated when someone tells me what I "should" be doing, so now that I am aware of it I'll try not to do that to him anymore, either), and he'll just hand the control over to us, then. *sigh* Well, maybe it wouldn't be a *bad* thing to have boy that's put off from video games. *grin* Aversion therapy?

The gardens are doing quite well. The OUR Center ones and mine as well. Lots of stuff growing in spite of the snow and freezes, lots of the stuff that's growing actually LIKES the very cold weather, so it's been very fun to see it all come up and *go*. They actually harvested a bunch of spinach and a lot of green onions, so it's already paying off for them. So that's keen.

My boys are the nicest guys in the universe. That's all to the good.

I now have two standard and two high speed bobbins for my Timbertops Beaver. Misty Mountain seems to be the only online shop carrying any Timbertops anything anymore, and they said that they get a rare few bobbins in the spring. They told me that last fall, so it's been nearly six months since I knew about them. So I bought them, sight unseen, and they came today and they're *beautiful*. Probably yew wood as they're darker than my original ones, but they have the brass shank and the beautifully smooth spinning. I was surprised and amused to find that ALL my bobbins are the high speed ones. I never got the standard bobbins that went with the wheel. This is why the low speed whorl had such a hard time with these. I now understand. I also now have enough bobbins to handle, perhaps, taking on the spinning of sock yarn for Sock Hop. I'll have to see.

It amuses me to feel like I have NO spare time, even though I'm NOT working.

In the balance, life is good. I just ache sometimes. *grin*

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