Catching Up, Again

Since my last post/beginning of the month (not necessarily in order):

  • Windycon was good. My at-con duties were feeding the tech crew, and some help at the A/V locker on Friday, when my abdomen said that I still had a weight limit (in a “not pain now, but don’t lift anything heavier” sort of way). Cheese, sausage, and crackers from the Target across the parking lot for lunches, pizza and other stuff from Sarpino’s for dinners.
  • Ordered a book about bookbinding, haven’t read it yet.
  • Ordered two books about letterpress printing, finished one, working on the other.
  • Failed to resist the call of letterpress this time around (it’s tried more than once). Ron was no help. This has kinda followed us home:
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  • That is a Kelsey Excelsior 6″x10″ tabletop press. 6″x10″ is the theoretical max printing area, usable is actually less than that.
  • Don’t ask, we still don’t know quite where it’s going to live.
  • Although it will be easier to deal with than some 1000#+ big treadle-driven units we were drooling over.
  • I had hopes it was going to ship out Monday, and arrive Friday at Ron’s office, which has a loading dock (instead of having to go to a freight terminal to pick it up – 300# crate). Sadly, it won’t go out until this coming Monday, for Wednesday-Thursday delivery. Dratted holiday disruptions at the seller’s shipping agent’s end.
  • This also followed me home, twice:
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  • Parsons 18-pt type. I’m hoping the type foundry/seller will make some 12-pt available soon.
  • The press comes with some type, and I’ve gotten some more off of eBay.
  • And don’t ask about blocks (pictures).
  • Did I mention that Ron and I are getting Letterpress for Christmas?
  • That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it
  • A week ago I had the shaping done for two crowns in the morning. Thank Chemistry for Xanaxx!
  • Then I went to have the first fill of my lap-band in the afternoon.
  • The Physician’s Assistant tried to do it blind (ie: by feel – not under floroscope).
  • She was not successful.
  • It was uncomfortable, but not especially painful.
  • But enough, on top of dental work, to make me fall apart when the PA while the PA went to see if the floroscope room was open.
  • She was very very sorry (about that, and the wait).
  • We’re trying again in about an hour, under floroscope.
  • Which technically means I’m only supposed to have soft foods tomorrow.
  • Don’t ask, don’t tell.
  • Faux Thanksgiving, which was supposed to happen on Saturday, was cancelled (travel issues happened to the hosts).
  • Waaah! No deep-fried turkey skin!  Waah!
  • And since I’m the only dark meat fan in the house, I’d only gotten a turkey breast, thinking I’d get my dark meat at Faux.
  • Did I mention Waah!
  • And we were left with a big pan of corn pudding, which I sent to Ron’s office, because that’s too much high-carb yumminess to have around the house.
  • Pippin repeated the escaping under the fence trick a couple more times.
  • That line of fence now has 6×6 landscape timbers blocking the gap between the ground and the bottom of the fence.
  • The landscape timbers have been successful…so far. I’m not stupid.
  • Here, have some dog pictures to finish with:

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I’m Back

So, that was the last couple weeks.

Surgery was a week ago today. I took Thursday of last week off for the clear liquid diet and other surgery prep that was more comfortable at home.

Surgery was initially scheduled for 12:30. About mid-day Thursday the hospital called and moved me up to 9-ish – a change in exact time was expected, and earlier was fine with me, less time to wait. Then later in the afternoon they called again, back to noon. (with arrival times 2 hours pre-surgery). Ok, whatever.

About 7:00 Friday morning, while Ron was out getting breakfast and I was packing up my CPAP and change of clothes, the phone rang. My gut said it was the hospital again. It was. Could I be there at 8:00?  Yeah, I can. Fortunately, Ron was about a block away, so we finished packing up and off we went.

Blah blah blah surgery prep. What do they do with your arms during surgery? I wondered, as gurneys are narrow and if they’re operating on my abdomen, my arms can’t be on my tummy. Good question (and the operating table is even narrower) – they go straight out to either side. I remember getting onto the operating table, getting my left arm (with IV) on the extension, and I have a vague memory of doing something with my right arm, and that’s all she wrote.

Then I woke up really really sore and nauseous. Laproscopic abdominal surgery means your whole abdomen gets inflated, which makes your chest and shoulders sore. Eventually better living through chemistry helped, and they moved me up to a room, IIRC about 2:30. Pain makes me nauseous, so pretty much the rest of my Friday was napping, feeling queasy, and playing with the hospital bed trying to get comfortable. With the bonus excitement of having to stand (and not barf) for an Upper GI X-ray/CT scan/Whatever it is. Thank Ghu the radiologist was fast. The nurses would have liked me to get up to walk Friday evening, but going to the bathroom and back was the best I managed (being flattish helped the nausea).

Sleep, hah. My CPAP thinks I got at least 4 hours Friday night, it must have been in tiny chunks. About 5 am Saturday I got disconnected (IV  from power outlet, my calves from anti-clot massagers) enough go to the bathroom, and did go for a walk.

Ron came back. Mid-late morning I made the switch from injected to oral pain meds. Robin came for a visit. I had a bunch more mini-naps. Late afternoon I finally got sent home (I think my nurse actually delayed a bit at the end so she could get me a dose of pain meds just before going, giving us time to get the Rx filled).

Ron dropped me off at home, and went out in search of my prescribed liquid pain meds (basically vicodin syrup, aka the red heavy-duty cough syrup without cough supressant). Fortunately, the Walgreen’s he tried (after our usual CVS failed) had it, and the pharmacist stayed late to fill it. Which reminds me, I owe the store a thank-you note.

Saturday night was a bit better for sleep, but not much. Sunday night we got it set up so I could reach my CPAP controls myself, and just plain healing made it easier to move and sleep.

Every day gets slightly better. Tapering off the pain meds during the day, which is the nice thing about liquids. Today is the last day of liquid diet, tomorrow starts “week 2”, which is a slightly thicker diet, then another week of still squishy. Yeah, getting tired of drinking mostly everything (Jello at VS – woo!), but at least since the surgery I’ve got more flavor choices. And starting tomorrow I can have mashed potatoes among my mostly-thickish liquids.

My stomach looks like a war zone. 8 various small holes with steri-strips (fiber packing tape for people), one larger bandage over my belly button, several sets of staple holes, and an array of bruises. Lap-band and fill port installation, hiatal hernia repair (should reduce reflux problems), umbilical hernia repair, bruises around most of the incisions plus extras from some of the blood thinner injections, which were every 12 hours in the hospital, once a day at home, last one tomorrow, yay.  Ron says its much easier to do on me than it was to do them to himself. I had to do one myself, I can believe it.

Pippin and Elrond are going to be sad next week when I go back to work. I can’t say I’m thrilled either, but I think physically I’ll be ready. Although waking up still tired is no fun, its getting better – I’m not waking up nearly as sore, at least.

Been knitting a lot. Coloring/playing with markers requires more leaning forward, knitting I can lean back on the couch. Yesterday I finally started working on the Windycon book again, will do some more on that later today, and the pocket program.

I think it was Wednesday that we noticed Elrond was off, took him to the vet, he has another UTI. Last time was just before Ron’s surgery, when Ron was getting ill just thinking about the protein shakes. This time is just after mine. I’m wondering if Elrond fussed himself sick both times. He’s doing better now, though. Another win for better living through chemistry.

And now I should probably go for a walk. Which, BTW, is/was the main solution for the chest/shoulder soreness from the surgery.

Flailing Through Scheduling, Plus Frivolous Natter

The Flailing and Scheduling Part

I did get surgery preliminarily scheduled late Friday afternoon, as well as a pre-surgical visit with the surgeon. Yesterday I got confirmation of the date (Friday 11 October), and hopefully got pre-registration with the hospital sorted. Still waiting to get pre-surgical testing scheduled, which I want to do before scheduling a final visit with our family doctor.  I’m fine with the people in the St. Alexius/Alexian Bros. facilities, but scheduling and registration involves stupid amounts of time and (imagined) flailing to get things done.

Friday I also found out that I’d be getting a CPAP, as I do have minor sleep apnea (avg. 9.1 episodes/hour). Picked that up Monday, fought with the mask Monday night, gave up (on Ron’s advice) at 2 am Tuesday, and didn’t sleep well the rest of the night. Last night Ron re-fit the mask to me, and things went better. I made it until 10 minutes before the first alarm, when the call of nature won over sleep.

A Not-Quite Rant

Yesterday I was looking for advice on how to be supportive, for a parental unit that expresses support badly. Found lots of patient support, and nothing to point parental unit at.

I also found lots of blogs and websites from the Healthy at Any/Every Size and Fat Acceptance camp(s), some of which really pushed my buttons.  The cherry-picking, distortion, fear, etc. about bariatric surgery was amazing.

Fat-shaming, body-shaming, weight discrimination, clueless insensitive medical professionals, they all exist, no question. Our society has serious body-image issues, on both ends of the spectrum. I can’t and won’t argue if somebody feels healthy and that their life is what they want it to be even if their body shape is not the supposed ideal.

However, *I* do not think that *I* am healthy at my size. *I* do not think that *my* diet has been healthy.  I really wish the extremists  would do me the courtesy of letting me deal with *my* concerns about *my* body and *my* behavior like an adult.

They sound, as it seems to me, like the anti-vaccine extremists – lies, damn-lies, junk-science, etc.

Thank Ghu none of my friends or family seem to be that flavor of difficult person, so I’m just going to skip the rant, and go on to…

Natter of a More Frivolous Nature

We’ve been watching NCIS the past few weeks. I love Abbey. And Duckie and Ziva. Gibbs, McGee, and Duckie’s assistants are pretty good, too. In the early seasons I wanted to slap DeNozo on a regular basis. He’s still an annoying git, but not quite as bad.

Sunday Robin and I braved Ikea and procured more DVD shelving, which Ron and Robin assembled and filled.

As a reward to ourselves for braving Ikea, Robin and I stopped at Dick Blick. We got Copic “art” markers. At age fourty-mumble I have regressed, and am coloring. Still learning to stay inside the lines.  Also shading. When painting miniatures, you start with the darker colors and shade going lighter. With the markers its bass-ackwards, as you start with the light colors and work to the dark.

Did I mention that Pippin broke Ron’s nose a couple weeks ago?  They were playing, Pip whacked Ron in the nose, there was a sickening “crunch” from around his septum, another one when he straightened his nose out.

The joint supplement (a chondroitin formula) Elrond has been on since late June/early July seems to be doing him good, and he’s feeling even more frisky now that we’re into fall weather.  If you recall, he was very sick at the beginning of July. What didn’t process in my very upset brain at the time was that he had a urinary tract infection.  Since the antibiotics cleared that he’s been fine.

The amigurumi rabbit I was working on still needs back legs and a tail, because I’ve been doing leatherworking and the Windycon program book.


Knitted Things and Other Knatter

Friday night I finished the shell on the nautilus. I took all my silly knitted things with me to the MuseCon post-con meeting/party, to show Wendy. As expected, she liked them. But I didn’t get any more done on the nautilus.

I got the eyes and tentacles done yesterday. The pattern for Knitilus Nautilus suggests 8 tentacles, but I had to check Wikipedia to see how many tentacles a nautilus has – up to 90. Ok then, 8 sounds good. Then I bought some more patterns: Glubby Goldfish, Sheepish, Lab Mice, Chickies, Bun Bons, and Obstinate Octopus, and made Glubby Goldfish:

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Once I finished the goldfish I started an Obstinate Octopus.

No! I do not have a problem! I’m not obsessed!

In other news, Ron and Robin did the front brakes on the truck yesterday (sounds much better now, no grating, squeaking, or chirping), and discovered that a chunk of suspension was broken. Ron dropped the truck off at John and Scott’s this morning, and since I definitely need the car tomorrow for an appointment and a meeting, let him take the car to work.

I’ve been alternating between working on the octopus and sewing swivels on tails. I’m down to the tentacles on the octopus (knit from the body to the tentacles), and 8 out of a dozen tails done. And had both dogs snuggling at different times. Between the tails and the dogs I’m covered in fur. Pippin has been very good about the tails – he’s sniffed, and he has to at least turn and look every time I open the bin, but hasn’t done any more than that.

Saturday morning I sat down to work on the Windycon progress report, and discovered that I hadn’t set up my style sheet (my term) – the document where I define all my text styles. That took a bit, but got it pretty much done before the MuseCon meeting. I finished up the progress report yesterday about 11 am, did a couple-three editing passes with Bill and Angela, and once a backup that was sucking serious CPU cycles was done, I uploaded it to the printer last night.

Marmaduke was over yesterday, so it was a good thing I made an entire half brisket for dinner. The locusts left nothing of it and two packages of vegetables but a little sauce.

Robin is getting positively domesticated: He’s got me slowly emptying the freezer of meat. I believe he has the ulterior motive of defrosting the freezer. I can’t really complain. So, for the next few days I have a package of elk stew meat, Polish sausage, and three probably-pork chops.

For the MuseCon party we took a bowl of salad, which was, to be honest, a clean the refrigerator salad. In it went three heads of romaine, tomatoes, carrot shreds, and some mint, all of which were left over from last week’s salad binge, along with some sweet pepper, red onion, and a sweet and sour dressing.

I just heard an immature hawk fussing outside. They sound vaguely like a seagull, but not quite. I first heard/identified one when we were building the kitchen porch. Last year we didn’t have much fussy-hawk, but this year’s fledgling is more so. But not as bad as the one two years ago – once I figured out what it was, I called a rescue group to ask if it could be in trouble (as opposed to just a crybaby, which was the conclusion we came to).

Robin left a while ago for the first day of fall semester classes. Hopefully this semester goes better.

I Spilled My Mushroom, and Now There’s Lentils Everywhere!

Now that’s something you don’t hear every day: “I spilled my mushroom, and now there’s lentils everywhere!”  Unless you live at our house, where it really wasn’t all that strange. In context.

Stringy Bits

Friday night I made a Flappy Flounder. Saturday morning I made a Splat Cat:


Saturday afternoon I started one of Da Fungi:


 He’s knit top-down, and one of the final steps is stuffing the bottom section of the base with something heavy. We have some shot, but I was afraid it was too fine and would leak, so I used lentils (should’ve used the shot). In the process, I uttered the above phrase. But it was OK, Elrond and Pippin thought raw lentils were acceptable as a snack.

Today at lunch I finished Manta Ray:


Tonight I expect to start a ridiculously colorful Kiwi.

Yes, I’m having fun with the Cheezombie knit amigurumi patterns. They are much faster (and therefore more fun) than patterns in the knit amigurumi book I got a few years ago. This would be a book that had you knit a carrot with the rows running the length of the carrot, using short rows for shaping. A carrot is a modified TUBE. Knit it as one! I still may go back and make some of the more complex things . . . someday.  But at the moment I have a bunch of Cheezombie’s amigurumi calling to me.

Flappy Flounder, Splat Cat, and Da Fungi are all mostly Blue Moon Fiber Arts Woobu left over from making kilt hose. Manta Ray is mostly Harrisville Designs Highland (worsted weight).  All knitted on US size 2 needles. Although the link to the Highland is to washed skeined Highland for knitting, the yarn I used was bought on a cone, unwashed, for weaving. Debating if I want to wash him so he’ll soften up and risk slightly purple eyes, or let him stay a kinda scratchy.

In other weekend news . . .

Windycon meeting Friday night. There was some decision-flail, with the result that this weekend I’ll be laying out a legal paper-sized Progress Report instead of a postcard. I have the two I did previously in that format, so I don’t expect any issues.

I decided to go from work to the meeting, so I stopped at the Hobby Lobby store near-ish my office, and finally found a 5-shelf storage cube we’d been looking for to use for stained glass storage. While I was there some knitting needles and yarn, um, followed me. Because I forgot the needles for Flounder, and the ridiculously colorful yarn was on clearance. I have no guilt, however, about the hank of pink perle cotton I bought for Splat Cat’s tongue and nose. Nor the black and white I got for eyes because I didn’t realize I had a ball of white fingering leftovers in the stash, and I don’t have a lot of black.

When I got home from the meeting, I found that Ron had spent the evening working on stained glass. Will post more about that later, maybe on Ron’s blog.

Saturday morning began with a trip to take Pippin to the vet for a skunk bath. It was a good night for skunks, when I picked Pip up there were two other dogs being picked up who’d been skunked. Fortunately, the skunk smell came out of the bedspreads and my (washable!) wool blanket. Unfortunately, we’re still getting whiffs of skunk from Pippin now and then. I may take him for another regular bath Saturday or Sunday.

Ron and I proceeded on to a bariatric surgery behavioral change class. After that we got Ron some more solder, stopped for lunch, discovered the Palatine Michael’s is closed, stopped at Hobby Lobby instead (stuffing for amigurumi – although I actually got quilt batting because it was available in less stupidly large bags than stuffing), came home, and I retro-stuffed Flounder (his mouth is not actually closed),

Then Xap and the Xaplets arrived and we played a Pathfinder (D&D relation) game with pre-generated goblins, with a break on my part to go retrieve Pippin. Now, in Pathfinder, goblins are afraid of horses. The description of my character says she likes to take stupid chances to scare her opponents. So when we scared the horse away by half-killing it with a fireball or something like that, my obvious next move was to start chasing it, yelling wildly. So I did. Ron later agreed that I had been acting in character (not that he, as GM, disagreed at the time).

After dinner we did something or other. I think it involved a murder mystery on the DVD player.

Sunday morning we cleaned house in preparation for the cleaning service’s visit today. In other words, we picked up and put away all the carp that had accumulated in the living room. There’s more space in the living room now, especially behind the chair at Ron’s desk. Sunday I also uttered the subject line of this post, sewed swivels onto fox tails for Otter Necessities (which I also worked on Saturday), and mostly-finished my purple, gold, and orange mittens. Still have to darn in ends.


We had defrosted a whole beef tenderloin for dinner Sunday night, which is Stupid Amounts of food for three people (Saturday we’d had a half-ham that was even Stupider Amounts, hence having it when there were six of us), so Robin went through the One Pot of the day Cookbook looking for recipes. Considering that book does a lot of braises and stews, which are not where you want to use tenderloin, he only found one – beef and broccoli stir-fry.

He had more success in the One Salad of the Day book, so we did a Peapod order of lots of vegetables.  Salads with meat are better for us than starchy stewish things anyway.

Last night we had the stir-fry, which was bolstered with green beans and a zucchini that didn’t follow Xap back home on Saturday. It was served over a base of egg noodles. Peapod didn’t have oriental egg noodles, so I got Barilla multi-grain (lower carb than standard pasta, but not as hippy-literally-crunchy as whole-grain pasta) angel hair. I debated about cooking the whole box or not, but decided to go ahead. Good call, the Locusts (Robin and Marmaduke) left nothing behind. I pretty much ignored the recipe for the sauce, but it came out acceptable, if slightly runny.

Tonight we’re having a Greek salad with lamb. Not sure if I’m cooking/assembling or if Robin is. He was planning on making the sauce/dressing after lunch today, which I believe is essentially tzatziki.

Circling Back to Cleaning

When I left this morning, Robin was cleaning up around his desk. He’d already cleaned up the desk (which is a set of shelves) on Friday, in preparation for the cleaning service visit. I’d meant to clean up some stuff in our room last night, but had an urpy tummy and didn’t get to it. But I did this morning, and it turns out there’s a floor on my side of the bedroom! It isn’t just an endless layer of dog blankets!

The cleaners were scheduled between 2 and 4 pm. I understood that to mean arrival time, so the house may be getting clean as I type!   I’m not getting the spare bedroom, Robin’s bedroom, the dining/work room, or the basement done. I think the not-basement stairs are included, too. I did leave a note with things I don’t expect them  to do (the high shelves with all the models in the living room – high and delicate things, and above our beds – only way to get to them is stand on the beds), a couple fragile things to be careful of on the fireplace mantel, and that I don’t expect full eradication of the hard water/rust stains – those didn’t form in a day, I don’t expect them to go in a day.

Weekend Recap, With Food

Friday night Ron went with me to the Windycon kickoff meeting (mostly to keep me company, but he’s also A/V second). We threw money to Robin for dinner, and had Kao Soy at Baisi Thai, which is at Oakbrook Center. We were concerned we were never going to find the right part of that stupid labyrinth mall, but we did in the end.  The meeting finished by 9:00 (7:30 start), which was a pleasant surprise.

Saturday morning I took a quick look at “One Pot of the Day” and decided what recipes we would be doing. Quiche Lorraine for Saturday night. I defaulted to my usual recipe, no clue how the one in “One Pot of the Day” is.  I got “gypsy bacon” from the Eurofresh deli, which has more flavor than mass-market bacon. I messed with the dairy part of the recipe, using a pint of heavy cream and a can of coconut milk for two quiches. I didn’t notice anything odd about the flavor.

Some of the recipes we’ve been doing have been a bit shy on the vegemals, and there is a “One Salad of the Day” book, so we talked about getting that, and adding salad to the menu some days.

We did a PeaPod order for the rest of the week after Saturday’s trip to Eurofresh, and on reflection on produce, decided to go back to Eurofresh for salad ingredients and napa cabbage for stir-fry this week.

When Robin was a baby we had a little 2-3 cup mini Cuisinart food processor, that we used to make baby food when he seemed to have an issue with carrots (because finding baby food without carrots was challenging, and because baby food meat is disgusting – both Robin and the ferrets turned up their noses at it, which I understood upon tasting. Robin ate it once we added pepper. Throwing some of our dinner into the mini food processor was also cheaper than baby food). It eventually wore out, after many years of service.

Several of the recipes lately have called for finely chopping one or a few shallots or other things – enough to be tedious with a knife, but not enough to warrant breaking out the big Cuisinart, and I started missing the mini one. Turns out a new one was only $35-ish from Crate and Barrel, so we made a trip there Saturday midday.

Saturday afternoon Ron had to go into work, as something on his laptop and/or their system was borked, and he couldn’t log in from home. He ended up spending almost a whole work-day there, boo hiss.  While he was gone I worked on the MuseCon grid handout, to be ready for Capricon, and a few other publication-type things.

My hands were getting cold while working at the computer, so I dug out a pair of fingerless mittens (as opposed to fingerless gloves, which have truncated fingers, these have a truncated mitten hand) I’d gotten from a friend. They helped, but it drove me to want to make a pair that would make me happier – up the fingers more, a thumb gusset, and a bigger thumb bit. So last night I rooted through the stash for some yarn and needles.

I seem to missing one of my set of short steel size zero needles. But I found some bamboo ones, and some Brown Sheep Co. Wildfoote in burgundy with a ply of black. I think I’ll make fingerless mittens. I have a pair of fingerless gloves at work that I made several years ago, and the fingers (which I did in 1/1 rib) are almost too thick).

I also found some sock yarn that’s calling to me, but I told it that it has to wait until I finish my fingerless mittens. I also have a pair of kilt hose going for Ron, and some other UFOs.

Sunday was more poking at the grid, messing about taking pictures of pouches, and finally in the evening we made the trip to Eurofresh for produce. None of the recipes for this week were calling to me, so Ron suggested finding something fairly quick and easy (but real food) to make. That turned out to be dinner salads, which hit the spot.

When we went out to go to Eurofresh yesterday the freezing rain was doing its thing. I did not fall and hurt myself.

This morning, I did not either. We did, however, have a series of issues that kept Robin running in and out.

Ron left the house, then I heard the door, and Robin complaining about cold cold feet. I recinded calling him a doofus for going out in bare feet when I found out that he’d gone out to help Ron, who’d slipped on ice at the bottom of the front-porch steps and fallen.

Ron came back in, very sore and wet, to change clothes. He slid far enough out into the yard that he didn’t crack his skull or his back on the concrete steps, which overall is a good thing.

Shortly after Robin came back in from salting the patch of ice Ron slipped on he went back outside to find Ron’s glasses. Undamaged. Yay.

Then I realized the top had blown off the top-bar hive. I’m afraid it was open most of the night, and the bees are wet, cold, and deceased. But we sent Robin out to put the top back on in case. One set of the hooks that are supposed to hold the top on are all bent up, and I couldn’t find the cam-buckle cargo straps that are somewhere in the house, but  the lightweight ratchet straps are in from the trailer for re-building, and I sent Robin back out with one to strap down that end of the hive top.

What fun. Not.

Chicken and Broccoli Not-Casserole, Plus Convention Stuff

Ron and Robin made dinner last night (while I did dishes), which Robin decided was going to be the chicken and broccoli casserole. Except it wasn’t really a casserole. Whatever, it was good. The recipe goes something like this:

Coat chicken breasts in seasoned flour, and brown. While the chicken is cooking, spread broccoli in a baking dish. Put chicken on top of broccoli. De-glaze pan with a half-pint of heavy cream, add some sherry and some herbs or spices, then melt in parmesan. Lay thin slices of ham over chicken breasts. Pour sauce over everything. Top with more fresh parmesan. Bake until done.

The recipe called for around 6 ounces of broccoli, and 6 breast halves. I bought and a 12-ounce bag of broccoli florets, because I know that’s not too much for the three of us, and Ron and Robin decided to use only three breast halves. IIRC the ham was black forest style from the deli, I think each piece of chicken got two slices.

I think the only other change was that, instead of a quarter-cup of sherry that we didn’t have, they used a whole single-serving bottle of some type of white wine. Moscato, maybe, I didn’t look. They also added some of the leftover seasoned flour to thicken up the sauce a touch.  The sauce was a hair thin, but it was about the right amount of sauce. Ours, IMO, was the correct broccoli/chicken ratio. There were no leftovers.

I asked Ron if he’d considered mixing the broccoli into the sauce in the pan he’d made the sauce in, so it was a really one-pot meal, which he had, but he pointed out that then you wouldn’t get the sauce over the chicken and ham, too. Good point, and I think this was the lowest pan count yet at 2.

Tonight I have declared we’re having the lamb tagine with dates.

Went to VS, and wearing my workshop room coordinator hat, I think we resolved some MuseCon workshop room/tech track issues, so the schedule can be unveiled at Capricon. This morning I called the printer for MuseCon and WindyCon and figured out the program book deadlines.

A Little Less Lag…

Last week Thursday morning at around 4:30-ish Ron experienced massive amounts of pain.  I summoned an ambulance then barked for Robin to get up and put the dogs in bed, turn on the outside lights, yadda yadda while I got myself and Ron decent and collected our carp for the trip to the ER. Experts suspected and CT confirmed a kidney stone – just one little one. Sent home under the influence of IV-administered painkillers and with a prescription for more.

Got home, started dinner (curry beef stew in the crock pot), showered, got ready for work, went to pharmacy to get prescription, got home, was leaving for work, and my stomach decided that no, I was not going to work. I think it was tired with a side-order of stress.  So I stayed home and worked on leather.

Ron never took any of the prescription meds, in 20-20 hindsight he thinks he passed the stone before we left the ER. That’s what happened last time, too. Given that the previous kidney stone was about 10 years ago, I think its a bearable pattern. By mid-afternoon Ron was feeling much better so he went along with when I took Robin to Harper and we ran errands while he was in class.

Friday night Ron was out doing other things, so Robin and I went to a new-ish restaurant in Palatine, Pita Pita. A bit slower than Pita Inn, but probably because business was much slower, so they can’t/don’t keep as much food ready to go. Robin rated it as about as good as Pita Inn.  I got the yogurt salad (yogurt, mint, garlic, onions, cucumbers), which was huge, instead of rice with my dinner. And abundantly blessed with garlic. The falafel could have been cooked a bit longer, the insides weren’t quite hot and not-quite gummy.  I got meat kufta kabob, IIRC Robin got meat shwarma. Not sure if the meat was lamb or beef, on-line menu doesn’t specify. They were good. We’ll probably go back.

After dinner Robin and I killed time at Barnes and Noble, where there are almost no chairs to be found any more. But now they have toys and games. Oh joy (insert rolled eyes here). Then we went to see “Hotel Transylvania”. It was a fun movie. Dracula with a big goofy smile is a disturbing sight. I must be getting old, the love at first sight/only one true love tropes annoyed me. They didn’t spoil the movie, though. Ron says I’m taking him to see it this weekend. Our other movie choice had been “Frankenweenie”, but the only showing Friday night was later than I wanted, and in 3D. Bleah.

Went shooting Saturday morning for the first time in quite a while. The re-painted ranges at GAT are brighter, but not sure how much is due to re-painting, or the fact that now all the lights are on in the range (previously you turned on the light for your chosen distance for your lane).  Next time we go shooting I need to test to see why my Ruger Challenger is fussy – is it fussy about ammunition, I’m not holding tight enough (so recoil energy is going into recoil instead of cycling the action), or if it just needs a visit to the  gunsmith.

It mis-fed consistently with bulk Federal rounds, but even when I switched to “high velocity” Remington I still had issues, although fewer of them. As did Ron, so I’m not sure about the insufficiently firm grip hypothesis. Note: the Challenger has is essentially a sawed-off .22 rifle with a built-in bipod, so I shoot it from the bench, and can get away with a lighter hold on it. Ron could probably single-hand it, but I’ve never had the wrist-hand strength to do so (safely).

John Scalzi has, as he so often does, some cogent points on his blog regarding “Gawker, Reddit, Free Speech and Such”. A couple commenters get some good (and deserved) digs in at Gawker along the way. My understanding of Reddit, admittedly based on the (con-) creeper discussions earlier this summer and now this latest thing, is that there’s a whole lot of icky unsavory underbelly, enough so that I’ve never been inclined to investigate if there’s a more pleasant side.

Robin’s birthday is Saturday. He’s turning 19. Insert feelings of “WTF” and “I’m feeling old” here. I’ve been asked to make two ginger pumpkin cheesecakes – one for us and one for Marmaduke’s family. I can do that.   Ron is thinking of taking him to get his drivers’ license on Friday.   Not sure what else is up in the way of birthday presents from us, dinner, etc.

Pippin is getting a little uppity. The other day there was an argument over begging rights, a mythical right in our house, and last night he grumbled at Elrond in defense of couch space. Considering how pushy he is about hopping up between me and Elrond, there was a certain level of irony there. And dog rights to the couch are another myth. I may have to institute a dreaded dogs-on-couch embargo, or maybe just a Pippin-on-couch embargo for a while to make it clear only humans have couch rights.

Debating if I’m going to commute to WindyCon, or stay home and sew again. The dogs both ended up with upset tummies at MuseCon, not sure if it was specific circumstances to that weekend, or if it was general unhappiness with being con-dogs, and don’t really feel like dealing with dogs at the con.  I also don’t want to pay boarding expenses, hence the commute or skip decision.  I have a rollover membership as a result of being on staff last year, so I may go down for a couple concerts (and the tech crew would like me to make sure they get fed) on Saturday.

Oh, back to Saturday morning. We found floor space in the living room! Ron and Robin folded up the big floor loom and rotated it, which created a whole bunch of space! Wow! The only problem is that the associated cleaning fit precipitated a number of things into the dining room, which I’m still slowly dealing with.

I think this weekend I may spend a couple hours working on my side of the bedroom, while Ron works on the spare bedroom. Both are disasters, much of which is a result of things not being put away.

Finding Fabric

Went through the fabric bins this morning.  Found many things, some expected, some not.

  • Blue Italian Ren. overdress, and I the lining I had cut out.  I don’t know where the blue cord for it is, though.
  • Cut out Missouri River Boatman’s Shirt.  Trimmed in tan, not dark teal as I was thinking.
  • A cut out almost-complete wrapped/pirate shirt, and parts of a second.
  • Sleeves for a kosode (the not-quite-kimono garment I’ve been trying to remember the name of).  I think sized for Robin when he was smaller.  Also some other chunks of same fabric, but not body pieces, I don’t think. If it wouldn’t be Just Wrong, I could find coordinating fabric and I could probably make it to fit Younger Xaplet.  If she’d be interested.
  • Fabric for an Afghani Nomad Dress in indigo/white
  • Green fabric for my Chinese Jacket
  • Dark red calico with a small black print that I think is going to be part of the Turkish/Steampunkish outfit.
  • A mottled dark red calico that I think is going to be the underdress for the Italian Ren.
  • Rust fabric and a piece of black with small tan print that is going to be a Russian-ish shirt for Ron.
  • Green fabric and some wide trim for another Russian shirt for Ron.
  • And some more fabric.

Next stop: Doctor appointment, haircut (same shopping center), then to JoAnn for navy cord for the Italian Ren. dress, pins and a pincushion (can’t find either of mine), red thread, and muslin, a bunch of muslin, for petticoat(s) for the Italian Ren and a can-be-screwed up underdress, test run of the modified Gibson Girl Blouse to go with the Turkish/Steampkunish outfit, and probably mockups/lining for the Entari for that outfit, and whatever else I need muslin for.  For which I have a 40% off code I had texted to my phone.

When I get home, and the rest of the weekend:

  • Missouri River Boatman’s Shirt
  • Then cut out Russian shirt(s)
  • Work on Russian shirt(s)
  • Italian Ren

Yes, I’m probably skipping most of WindyCon. I don’t want to know what the drama-llamas did to my blood pressure, although I didn’t kill anyone at the dinner last night. And I’m not sure Eowyn is up to conventions any more (yeah, some continued decline since Muse), and I can’t afford to board her.  So I may go a bit for tomorrow and/or Sunday if anything looks really good or they need me for Tech setup/teardown.

Anyhoo, time to go.

Pocket Progress, Etc.

Almost-finished the steampunk spare pockets last night!  “Almost” because there’s room on them to put loops or dees for holding more stuff. But they’re finished enough to wear. Unless worn in front like an apron they’re going to get in the way of sitting, so I’m not sure if Robin wore them to school today. But he could wear them to, say, WindyCon.

In other news, the wool processor called yesterday with a couple questions about the wool I sent in 11 months ago.  Hopefully this means I’ll have yarn soon!

Ron and I did errands yesterday afternoon, and among our purchases was a dog door. It’s going into the kitchen door, so the dogs can continue to let themselves in and out. I’m not sure if we’ll let them do that overnight or not, considering the dead skunk found in the back yard previously, and I’d worry about Eowyn not being able to make it back up the steps and getting stuck outside without our knowledge. I think Ron is planning on installing it tomorrow night. We weren’t up to it yesterday.

Robin and I mostly made a lamb curry-ish stew yesterday – lentils (red, and yellow split peas), leeks, lamb, and veg-all (with limas, to continue the L schtick!), liquid (chicken broth) to be added to the crock pot today. Also garlic paste, five-spice powder, and Penzey’s Vindaloo and Tandoori curry powders. Except both Ron and I forgot to start it this morning.  I guess we’ve got tomorrow’s dinner.  Dinner last night was a pork loin roast, cooked on top of baby carrots, onions, and spuds (with olive oil and Penzey’s English Prime Rib Rub – which also went on the roast). Yum.

I think one of these days I’ll try some parsnips in with spuds to be roasted. Ron and I were talking about that, and to make things really entertaining, do white and yellow spuds, rutabaga, parsnip, and maybe turnip all roasted together – what is this white or yellow cube?!?

This week I need to do some MuseCon tasks – I owe people updates to the vendor information, and some web banners.

WindyCon Publications seem to have come to a successful conclusion, as the head of Registration picks up the program books and pocket programs. Some ads that didn’t get into the book because of an e-mail forwarding issue are being taken care of (printed and stuffed into books) by other parties.  On Saturday Marmaduke was looking at the electronic versions of the publications, and I think he was a bit boggled by all the things that looked fun – MuseCon was his very first convention, and although I told him how much bigger WindyCon is, I’m not sure he really groks it yet.  🙂

Moving on to sewing/costuming natter, I see I was a bit vague in my post yesterday about a sirwal pattern from Folkwear – that would be part of #501, Algerian Suit (not shirt).

Upon consideration, the Chinese jacket probably won’t be the next thing I work on.  I’m pretty sure I have a Missouri River Boatman’s Shirt (Folkwear #204) cut out, and have had for umpteen years.  Finishing that makes sense.  I just have to go back and and look at the pattern/instructions: I made one of them before, and it wanted to roll backwards. I think the problem is the way the neckline is done – IIRC there is not cut out of the back piece for a neckline. If that’s the case, and I can fudge the front neckline opening and collar sufficiently, I’ll cut a bit more back neckline.

While I’m looking for that, I’ll also see if I see the parts for an Italian-Rennaissance over-dress that I cut out sometime after Robin was born. It’s navy textured brocade-ish, either drapery or upholstery fabric.  I don’t think it would even take terribly long to put together.  That one will probably wait until I get my dress form – I used a modern dress for a partial pattern, and I’m not sure it would fit now (hips); it depends on how full I cut it.

OTOH, the dress is essentially the pink one shown on the cover of Reconstructing History #RH510 – 1470s-1500 Florentine Lady’s Overgown, which is open down the side, or in other pictures, has cords between the front and back pieces; so that I may still be able to make it work.  Hmm.  Looks like the RH version of the gown doesn’t have a train, or much of one.  Which is good, because I know I cut mine without one.  And I trust RH patterns on the authenticity front.  I think I cut the lining out, but even if I didn’t, or if the lining is synthetic, procuring coordinating calico isn’t difficult (I really don’t like synthetics, most things called “linen” in fabric store’s aren’t really linen, and I’m not lining it with silk).

I had a nice white-on-white calico to use as the chemise, but that got made into a the base kimono-ish layer of my Japanese outfit.  But as above, sooo hard to find cotton. And I have a copy of “The Medieval Tailor’s Assistant”, which should point me in the right general direction (as my Folkwear chemise pattern is stated to be Victorian – although it may be easily adapted, once I know what the differences are). I probably should also make a couple petticoats to help get the silhouette right. I might even succeed.