darkemeralds: Healing hands with white, blue and violet rays of light (Healing)
It's gonna be a long road. At 61, I accept that I won't see the end of it, or a return to "the way things were".

Which is all the more reason to remember that every day is precious, I am not unlimited, I must give my best work to the Resistance as best I can, and that means taking a breath, and a walk, and a moment to recognize that there is still beauty and hope in the world.
Gray cat foot standing among early green daffodil spears in the leaf-litter of winter
Graydie and the daffodils. January 30 2017
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
The one-year mark in the don't-work-no-more phase of my career has come and gone, and I find that I want some structure back in my life. I feel ready to emerge from my cave a little and reconnect, too.

So maybe I can do a post a day for a month.

Boy, am I rusty. Whew. Let's see... [self-censor kicks into high gear: "No, that's unoriginal. No, that would be whiny. No, that sounds like a commercial..."]

Screw you, self-censor. )
darkemeralds: (Monsoon)
Fun tag on Twitter tonight (apparently started by @wilw, Wil Wheaton) so I decided to join in.

Graydie )

Dara

Nov. 3rd, 2013 06:19 pm
darkemeralds: (Cat)
I'm becoming a cat lady. It was inevitable.

It's not that uncommon for a cat in this neighborhood to start life cared-for, then to be abandoned. Graydie, who is now my full-time cat, had been spayed and vaccinated, and so looked very healthy when she started hanging around my window, even after more than a year of stray living.

So when I see cats loitering about the place, it's not always obvious whether they're homeless. If they aren't collared-and-tagged, I put food out for them. And, um, maybe give them names (for which I consult [personal profile] ravurian who is the Namer of Things. It's a gift.).

I fed lithe little all-black Ivy for several weeks before discovering that she has a perfectly good home and family right next door. Whoops. I now gently shoo her back into her own yard when she drops by.

But then along came Dara. Like Ivy, he's all black, and at first I thought there was just one all-black cat. But Dara has a few white hairs of age and a kind of venerable, stately mien, and his head and shoulders are the most massive I've ever seen on a cat (hence the name, which means "oak"). His fur is very soft, his voice is very plaintive, and this morning when I was wheeling my bike out past the side of the porch, I saw that he had discovered the Kitty Igloo that's been sitting there unused for several seasons.

My messy porch, seen through the rails, with Dara the massive black cat poking his head out of a cat igloo made of fake fur


I like that he has a cozy place to be.
darkemeralds: (Monsoon)
This is what the porch is for.
Looking out from an old-fashioned front porch at a damp front yard towards the street in Northeast Portland. A big red bike and an empty flower pot are on the porch
A still, damp, cool early evening in September. An armchair, a book, neighbors walking their dogs or riding their bikes...

...and cats.

Ivy and Graydie's battle of wits )
darkemeralds: (Cat)
Ah, the winding-down time of year. I love the approach of autumn--even though the rainy season has made an early appearance here in Puddletown. Oh well. Time to get back in the habit of covering up my bike saddle. Ugh--white jeans + wet leather saddle = embarrassing stains.

Some miscellaneous day-brightening:

tiny white dog with a pink leash-handle, waiting alone on a bench outside Whole Foods near some pretty flowers
Dog parking at Whole Foods

All-black cat with pale eyes lounging on the patio
Meet Ivy, who has been hanging about lately. I think she has several homes, but I like to be a reliable source of food. Graydie puts up with her.

A smartphone mount on the handlebars of a bike, next to the cup-holder and the basket
Handlebar phone mount. One of my better recent acquisitions. Took me a few rides to learn to trust it but now I wouldn't be without it.
darkemeralds: (Cat)
On advice, I decided to walk out of the neighborhood this morning to meet my mom for breakfast, instead of riding my bike. A little load-bearing exercise, a change of movement, shaking things up a bit, I thought, might jog me off this weight plateau.

So I got some music together, stuck my walking shoes on and my earphones in, and headed up the street.

I've just crossed 15th, which is kind of a minor neighborhood arterial feeding the Whole Foods market and therefore rather busy on a Sunday noon, when, above Commentary! The Musical, I hear a loud meow.

I turn around and there's Graydie, following me, and about to attempt a crossing of 15th Avenue. I freak the fuck out (having once witnessed the death of a cat of mine that way and never having entirely recovered from the experience). I shout at her. "Go home! Go home!" She draws back from the brink and hides under a tree.

I begin walking again. She repeats the performance. I cross back to her side of 15th and scold her. I start out again. She follows.

Shit. The little furball.

So I walked all the way back home, Graydie trotting in my wake like a damn dog. I got my bike--which Graydie has never attempted to follow--and hastened out of the 'hood to my rendezvous with protein.

I have some serious concerns about ever leaving the house again on foot. And Graydie doesn't even live here. She just visits sometimes.
darkemeralds: Poster image of farm-fresh food (Eat Food)
I had a real sandwich today for the first time since I went gluten-free back in February. There is such a thing as GF bread but it's not very good, on the whole. The best of the commercially made stuff does not hold up to the real picking-up-and-biting required of a good sandwich.

But I think I may have had a breakthrough. I baked up a loaf of Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Hearty Whole Grain Bread Mix today, and it came out fantastic: a high, full-sized loaf, springy and moist and chewy, that slices beautifully and makes a sturdy, delicious sandwich. I am a happy clam.

See? )

I just sent Restraint Chapter 41 off to [personal profile] kis for her usual brilliant beta, and when she can lift her nose from the end-of-NaNoWriMo grindstone, she will surely have some great things to say that will allow me to get it ready for posting very soon. (After that, there really is only one full, long chapter left, then the Ending and the Epilogue. Seriously, I'm frightened of the impending emptiness.)

My Podbang entry is due in just a few days, and I'm happy to say that I finished all the recording several days ago and have been making good progress on the editing. I'm...fairly pleased with it, I think.

I'm also working on another super-long recording, [livejournal.com profile] lovesrain44's Blue Skies From Rain, one of my favorite Sam/Dean stories ever. I've made some significant improvements to my recording setup and techniques, and I expect to actually finish this and go on to make more podfic.

Oh, and I exceeded my calorie limit on Thanksgiving by a negligible, margin-of-error 21 calories. I was quite pleased with that, because it wasn't difficult or white-knuckle-y, and I ate ALL the food, including making a mashed potato Crater Lake featuring butter AND gravy. I just measured everything and wrote it down, and kind of skipped the other two meals of the day.

And, apropos of nothing in partic, CAT! )
darkemeralds: (Cat)
In a lovely piece of non-judgmentalism that did a great deal to offset my little bout of self-pity this afternoon, Graydie the Stray Cat brought me a present.

Charming girl. )

Thank you, Boo-boo. I feel so special.
darkemeralds: (Monsoon)
I dunno. It's kind of dull today. I'm feeling a bit blah. It's Wednesday.

So! Cat picture! )
darkemeralds: (Cat)
Glee made me cry. In other news, I like to eat chocolate.

(I want to make an icon with "Brunettes have no place in show business" on it. And was it just my lack of taste in dancing that made me think the dance accompanying "Bohemian Rhapsody" was stupider than most stupid things?)

I have nothing to say, so have a photo )

Graydie

Apr. 20th, 2010 08:53 pm
darkemeralds: (Monsoon)
Well, that was unexpected! I just had a knock on my door, and the guy who knocked said he used to be Sam the Stray Cat's person.

He told me which house they used to live in, and said that after two litters, Sam (who is evidently not a boy cat after all!) went kind of feral, and changed from a lap cat to a wild, untouchable thing almost overnight. She's been spayed (I figured--no pregnancy, which is kind of why I thought she was a he). She's about five years old, apparently, and has identical-looking offspring living around town.

Dean, the twin brother cat, was the neighborhood cat-bully, and not related as far as this fellow knew.

Sam--or Graydie, as he called her--ran away when they moved, about a year ago. They came looking for her for months afterwards, and left food near the rental house they'd moved out of, but couldn't spot her or get near her if they did. He's been asking around the neighborhood, and someone finally said, oh yeah, that big gray cat is staying with that big gray lady on the corner.

He was almost in tears to see her looking so well and actually wandering in and out of my front door as we stood talking. I was feeling strangely protective, and was sure he wanted to take her away, but no, his purpose in coming was to offer to help pay for her care and feeding, because he now lives where he can't have a cat.

Graydie seemed to remember the guy--at least, she let him pet her head, which she doesn't let anyone do.

So, it's not Sam-Sam-the-Kitty-Man anymore. It's Graydie.

Strange. Kind of nice.

Life

Jan. 16th, 2010 08:43 pm
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
In common with everyone on my flist and in my circle, I want to be respectful of the catastrophe in Haiti and the Haitian people's suffering. I have nothing of value to offer here and have given what I have to give to the Northwest Medical Teams, who are by all accounts a stellar and effective on-the-ground relief organization.

On a much more positive note, I want to express my heartfelt congratulations to [livejournal.com profile] kernelm who in just the last couple of hours got himself hitched, and has evidently, in the old-fashioned way, been made the happiest of men by [livejournal.com profile] virtualinsomnia. At least two of my flist are at the wedding, and as these folks are part of my fandom roots from the early Firefly days, I'm happy and excited for them all.

And then, a propos of nothing, there are kitty pictures! )
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
If you have to turn 54 (and yes, it is better than the alternative), there are worse ways to spend the day than riding your bike to BikeCraft V, a huge, sunny warehouse full of vendors with cool bike stuff--stuff for bikes, stuff about bikes, stuff made out of bike parts.

There were HUNDREDS of bikes by the time we got there, and they had these portable bike racks so everyone could park and lock. [livejournal.com profile] avventura1234 bought a new saddle and a bamboo water bottle holder. Me, I just looked, feeling still a little bit of an outsider in the bike community, and aware that Clyde and I aren't the average configuration. Which is to say we are both larger than average among bikes and cyclists and things don't fit. This is the story of my life and I'm used to it.

We rode to coffee and bagels after that, and I spent at least two hours on the phone with friends and family, near and far.

As the temperature dropped, I made a nest for Dean, the more feral of the two stray cats, who won't come into the house even though it's getting dangerously cold outside (Sam is happy to hang out in the warm and is doing so now). The nest is a big hatbox with an old pillow and some fleece fabric inside. So far, he hasn't tried it out.

While the thousand new words I'd hoped for didn't materialize, I did get some good writing done on Restraint today. Note to [livejournal.com profile] kispexi2: new chapter tomorrow night.

And then I edited the last two chapters of my Podbang entry! \o/ Just a little stitching together and music editing to go, and I think I'll make my deadline tomorrow night.

Tomorrow, to round off the birthday fun, I have Chocolate class in the morning with [livejournal.com profile] str8ontilmornin! I expect there will be pictures.
darkemeralds: Old French poster of bicycle with naked flame-haired woman. (Bike)
New camera. Works great! What does this make? Four posts in one day? [ETA: Nope, only three.] Sorry! Spam stops after this.

Clyde. Sam )

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