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Sunday, May 28th, 2017 10:01 am
Today, I re-shared on Facebook something I also shared three years ago - an image of someone giving a cup of coffee to a homeless person, with the statement, "The world is full of nice people. If you can't find one, be one." I added, as I shared it, "This. And if you can find one, be one anyway. The world is full of nice people, and that's something we want to keep going, please."

Yesterday, I needed to go get potting mix. Which meant I was at Home Depot on Memorial Day weekend, which is really not when I would prefer to go there. The parking lot was a zoo. I saw someone start backing up then look THEN stop...just before he would have collided with the woman who had been walking behind his car before he put it in reverse. He DID stop and wait until she wasn't behind him. She was about to return her cart to the corral; I was returning mine and offered to walk hers over, after that incident. She thanked me...and was partway across the same space when she had to backpedal hastily to avoid being hit by the flaming idiot who came into the aisle (it was about the fourth space in) and headed for the space at a decent clip, slowing only a little when they realized SOMEONE WAS WALKING THERE.

When I left the parking lot, I had trouble getting out because of the lines of cars, and someone cut me off when they could visibly see I'd been waiting longer.

All this is to say that I was grumpy, agitated, and very nervous about people in general as I left. And I made a conscious, deliberate decision to let people in. It's too easy when we're grumpy to just go auto-pilot through our day and not delay it any further. After all, I'd already been delayed and worried and bothered! It felt good to be kind instead.

This is not I'm a saint. I'm pretty cruddy at this, actually. But I still do it. Because that's the kind of world I want to live in. Because it feels good.

I'm not saying that being nice or kind or standing up is always easy. Nor that it's always safe; in some circumstances there may be objective risks that outweigh being nice in your circumstance.

Side note about a good-samaritan case where two of them died, recently in the news )

...but often it _is_ simpler than that. What if you let someone turn out of a driveway during heavy traffic? Let someone with only a couple items go ahead of you in a grocery store? It's a small thing. Maybe all it does is brighten their day. Maybe it actually makes their life much easier than you realize. But if "all" it does is brighten their day, and _they_ go on to interact with the world more kindly....

Well. Many big things are built of lots and lots of small things. Not all. But many.
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Sunday, April 30th, 2017 07:45 pm
Hope is a verb - an action, not (just) a feeling. It can be a choice.

That doesn't mean it's easy, but it does mean it's possible.

(So is getting to bed on time, if I get back to what I'm supposed to be doing, so I think I'll post this and get back to the evening chores.)
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Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 08:28 pm
...but I <3 <3 <3 inline commenting on my reading page.
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Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 06:24 pm
So, the current forecast says we're probably getting freezing rain again tomorrow night after midnight (so Friday morning really).

At least it's supposed to thaw off Friday instead of hanging around forever, at least as far south as we are. And who knows? Some of the "storms" we were supposed to have had, barely materialized or not at all. Another was way worse than predicted. I guess we'll see what it looks like when we get there!
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Sunday, January 29th, 2017 06:23 pm
I think my anti-sinus-infection measures are actually hitting it back. It got pretty bad yesterday and this morning, but...I'm doing better as of about noon. Morning will be worse again, it always is, but...maybe just maybe I don't need antibiotics here. That would make me happy.
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Monday, January 23rd, 2017 06:55 pm
Andrew's registration fees for the after-school enrichment courses this term is paid. And Ian's kindergarten registration is filed now, and I can forget about it for the time being. Yay! It's different from when Andrew entered kindergarten, but not by a lot. No choice of half-day or full-day (it's all full-day now) and no fee for full-day. But now you need a form that they've had a dental and vision check. Before that was not required (although Andrew had had both; they simply didn't care if I had proof or not).

Also today, Andrew's backup pair of glasses arrived. He likes them, though hopefully he won't need to wear them often.

Tomorrow I have a meeting at Ian's preschool. Wednesday I have my annual physical (and have to fast for it, because blood tests), and Andrew has a dental appointment in the afternoon (which Scott is handling, fortunately for my ability to get work done). Thursday will hopefully be the day that I pick up Apple. Friday we have the gaming group over in the evening.

Saturday I may hibernate. ;)
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Monday, January 16th, 2017 07:12 am
So, we were under a wind advisory as of last night. (Which I largely ignored, but with everything frozen it may not be good for trees/power lines; at the same time, most wind issues here are not a big deal for us personally.)

And starting Tuesday evening through Thursday, we're under a flood watch. (Because after dumping 8+ inches of snow on us, the temp is going to go rapidly up, the snow level rise to 7000 feet or more, and it's going to pour rain down, thus melting most or all of what we got.)

And then, some time last night or early this morning, they posted a winter storm watch for tomorrow, 4 am to 6 pm, because the rain is going to arrive before the freezing leaves.

Yes, we get one last bout of freezing freaking rain. If it materializes. Now, the warning time is for the whole region - where I am, it should rise above freezing at 6 am.

So we'll have water over ice if all this happens. GOODY.

Bets on school starting on time Tuesday? Because I'm thinking we'll be lucky if it's a two hour delay.
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Tuesday, January 10th, 2017 08:30 pm
...and thus in the grand scheme of things this is nothing. But Kevin & Kell, which I normally enjoy quite a bit, is annoying me with the current Lindesfarne-is-pregnant storyline.

First, she throws up, and that's what clues her in that she's pregnant. Because, you know, she couldn't just have the stomach flu or anything...and everyone pregnant throws up. (Pro tip: nope. I never did, with either boy, although there were times when I decidedly didn't feel well, _after_ I knew I was pregnant both times.) I realize this CAN happen and DOES happen to some women, but it really annoys me that it's such a *thing* to do it that way.

Second, they blame it on her quills. You're telling me that a college-educated scientist who was carefully planning to delay children (it's come up before!) was not using ANY form of birth control except condoms? Knowing she was a quilled species???

Third, clues go out everywhere and they realize their relatives are going to all find out, so they announce it and let everyone come over and hug her and horn in on her business.

This last is moderately realistic, and REALLY ANNOYING. This kind of BS claiming of a right to be over-involved in someone's private life, is not okay. And they shouldn't have to share the news before they've even seen a doctor, if they don't want to. Not one person appears to feel bad about this mess. Even Lindesfarne. It'd be more realistic if she was spitting quills.

I'll be interested to see if they lose the baby. They won't, of course; it's a webcomic, and that'd be too deep. And also, the artist would be accused of using a harsh reality for cheap attention. But at the same time, that concern is exactly why so many women don't share their status until later in the pregnancy....

Apparently I need to take a break from the comic for a while. Since I'm glaring at it instead of getting a few seconds' amusement out of it.
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kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Sunday, January 1st, 2017 08:18 pm
Today also brought a late-afternoon unexpected hailstorm that blanketed the roads, sidewalks, etc., in a carpet of snow-like white. Except when you got close it was little tiny hailstones. (About 4-5 needed to achieve a pea-size.) And then, apparently, it laid a thin layer of snow down on it while I wasn't paying attention.

I cleared the front walk, the driveway where Scott would need to access his car and get it out (the man is still on crutches; his purple cast is awesome, but he should not have to slip-slide to his car, and it's possible we won't go above freezing until Friday per some forecasts - but not others, at the moment), the sidewalk from where we set our trash cans to the community mailbox bank. I started with the mailbox bank once Scott could get to his car, actually, no one needs to get hurt getting their mail. But there's a whole stretch in front of the yard I haven't done yet. I was tired, and it was dusk when I started and flatly dark when I finished. (Well, as far as sun in the sky status. There's a perfectly fine street light just across the street, so I could see what I was doing.)

Since the temp was still above freezing then, it had a chance to melt somewhat. But no worries, it should be refreezing now....

Tomorrow is a holiday for our workplaces and the kids' schools, so hopefully given a day things will straighten themselves out a bit and we can resume work on Tuesday without too much winter-weather-drama.
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Sunday, January 1st, 2017 11:29 am
I have been moaning about 2016 for a while, but honestly? Most of my objection is that it piled a good chunk of things on top of each other in the latter part of the year, especially the holiday season. This is not to say there weren't sad and even terrible things this year, because I can't type that with a straight face.

But 2016 did have some good times too, and I'm glad for those. I'm glad for the snow gamely trying to cling to the lavender and the cars out front. I'm grateful for Scott's recovery which is going well. I'm glad Andrew is enjoying school and Cub Scouts. I'm glad Ian got to move to a great new preschool with more outdoors time/space, which he is loving. I'm glad I made a little time for photography. I'm glad for some new recipes we've found that we enjoy. I'm glad for the good friends who were with us physically or virtually (or both) this year. I'm glad for sharing, and smiles, and pears. I'm glad for tea, and kindness wherever and whenever it manages to creep in.

I'm glad for improving my accountability and tracking of various things, including budgets and to-do lists.

I'm also glad for sleep. I hope 2017 will manage to be a good year - I'm a bit worried about it, but I can't do much of use about those worries at this very minute, so right now I will just hope - but however much I hope that, I still let it ring itself in last night. I watched the ball drop for midnight on the east coast, and then I finished chores and went to bed.
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Sunday, November 20th, 2016 11:21 am
A few weeks back there was noisy construction activity at the corner of the apartment complex near our house. We had not been notified of anything, but I thought nothing of it: while our back fence and theirs are adjacent, this was -nowhere near- our house, being a tenth of a mile away and around a corner (4 houses down or more depending on which side of the street you use to measure, because of the curve).

After a couple days it was done and was clearly a mini fenced-in dog park in an unused corner of the grounds, under the trees. Black chain fence enclosing it, bark mulch laid down, etc. Not huge; big enough for small dogs, less-active medium dogs, and maybe large dogs who wanted to nap off-leash. I don't think the complex allows large dogs in residence, so this is probably the perfect size for their residents. It was not very pretty, but it wasn't ugly, and I am always glad for more off-leash areas to discourage people from (illegally, but it does not stop them) having their dogs off-leash on sidewalks/in parks without such an area/otherwise in the open).

A week later, we got a notification from the city of a retroactive permit request for construction of the off-leash dog area. Apparently they did not actually request a permit, and someone turned them in (it was very visible from the street, so I suppose almost anyone who has cause to come down here could have; while there are not too many houses down here, there is one senior center, and so rather more people than a dead-end street would otherwise see). I mean, I assume so, although it's possible they went "oops!" and filed the request on their own?

2-3 days ago the fence was gone, the bark mulch and underlying weed cover done, and then the bare ground was re-seeded.

And yesterday's mail brought the notice of administrative decision from three days ago denying the permit.

Before undertaking construction, know your local permitting requirements and follow them. You...would think the management company for a large, established apartment complex would already be aware of this.

I imagine the residents with smaller dogs who had been using it were, however, disappointed. I feel bad for them. I didn't mind the dog park, and had it stayed I would not have minded. They got a nice new thing...and then in days to weeks after it opened, poof, it went away again.
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kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 03:20 pm
First, I supported Bernie. Absent Bernie, I supported Clinton. I find Trump's win as worrisome at best, scary at worst. That said, he _is_ now President-elect, and I have to live in this reality and not another one.

That's my bias. This is not, however, going to be about that, but about what I hope we will all - regardless of how we voted - act _now_. If you'd like to skip over the rest of this post, here's a cut tag, but I hope you'll keep reading )

* This is actually my one sticking point. If you supported Trump to upend Washington DC, or because you liked other parts of what he said, or because you hated Clinton - I don't agree with you but I'm not going to argue it. At this point history will sort that out. But if you supported Trump or wanted to support Trump because you think people of another race, or of another religion, or of another gender, are less-than and should be treated as such?

If that's the case, please unfriend me. I'm not unfriending anyone over politics. I will unfriend over bigotry if it's there.
kyrielle: (stormy sea)
Saturday, October 15th, 2016 09:36 pm
The high wind warning was originally to expire at midnight, but they changed it to expire at 9 pm. We did have some pretty good gusts and Scott (who took the boys to a friend's birthday party this afternoon) tells me there were some tree branches down, but it was nothing like as bad as the worst-case scenario.

Here.

The coast had a really brutal time of it. The Portland NWS issued *10* tornado warnings (previous record, at least as far back as 2005, was 2...). I could then claim they were being alarmist because of the forecast, except that there actually were two confirmed tornados on the coast. (One in Manzanita which did a fair amount of damage, and one near Oceanside that...wandered on to the beach and that was it. Thank goodness for that, at least.)

Meanwhile, I planned my cooking to hopefully have everything done before the hours of likeliest power outage. We didn't have a power outage, but we did have a yummy lunch and dinner, so that worked just fine. :)

And hey, it spurred me to get some chores done early, which means I have a little bit of flexibility in my weekend for tomorrow. (...because we didn't do anything outside the house except the birthday party, today, and I was home doing chores and cooking during that....)

My house is warm and safe and comfy, my family is secure in it. The boys are asleep and after a bit more that needs to be done, I will be.

For this, I am thankful.
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Saturday, October 8th, 2016 05:38 pm
So, I've been reading this series. I wasn't actually too impressed with the first book, and yet I enjoyed it so much that I needed to read the second, and now I definitely need the third. This is VERY typical of my experience of Lackey, whose tropes are some of my own favorite mind-candy.

That said, these books are not so awesome in terms of continuity. Friends who know me: I spotted continuity issues on the first read-through.... Yeah. Not good. I cannot really explain them without spoilering things to heck and back, but there are blatant continuity errors. Largely unnecessary - you could achieve the story without them.

But the underlying story - assuming you like Lackey's favorite trope of a young person who is All That And More - is pretty fun and the world is fascinating.

What I really do NOT understand is all the complaints about Joy - Joy is our main character - and how she figures things out and how come no one else is.

I don't think there are spoilers here, but my generalizations might let someone who then read the series figure things out ahead of time here and there )
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Wednesday, May 18th, 2016 06:14 pm
Well, the boys were "okay" with their eggs and pleased with their garlic bread tonight. Didn't get them to eat the salad. (Didn't try hard, either. WHY do people love "spring greens"? I consider eating them a necessary evil when they're what I have, but if the taste were any sharper, I could've used it to cut the garlic bread.)

We are getting a CSA share from OurTable this summer: http://www.ourtable.us/news/springsummer-local-food-boxes-week-3 was this week's.

Garlic bread made with the white part of the garlic and a whole lot of butter (and a loaf of Italian bread from the store); eggs cooked with the green garlic (for the boys and Scott) or with zucchini, some radish greens, and a bit of choi (me, because cannot have garlic); and, urgh, spring greens in a salad.

Not too shabby. I'll enjoy eating the actual radishes tomorrow, and I have another serving of my eggs and another of theirs left over. And enough greens for argh. They were really generous with the salad greens.

I'm actually looking forward to "oh GOD they planted ZUCCHINI" season because I love all the options zucchini provides. I realize this makes me a freak. But...we got our first zucchini this week. YAY. (Extra yay, because joking aside, that means we'll lean more toward strawberries in a future week, and if you ask me if I want 'extra strawberries' or 'extra zucchini' to be a thing in a week that already had some of whatever-it-is, well, extra strawberries are more-appreciated by the rest of the household and equally appreciated by me, so. But I also have a lovely chocolate-zucchini-muffin recipe that will probably get some play time this summer. Tonight I didn't have the energy for it tho.)
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Saturday, May 14th, 2016 11:12 am
Scott and I are both feeling a bit run-down and off today, so no swimming today after all. (Open swim at Children of the Sea is closed tonight in any case, but we'd planned to go to Canby. Now? Nope.) Luckily, Canby has public swim 1-3 Saturday _and_ 3-5 Sunday, so we can still get plenty of swimming in tomorrow too.

The cookies I baked were a hit, which is good.

A while ago it was noisy upstairs, but Scott was in amongst it and it didn't sound un-cheerful, so I ignored it.

I just went up to help Ian put away a game, and Scott got to enjoy my reaction - the dresser that was supposed to be moved today or tomorrow from Andrew's room to Ian's room is IN IAN'S ROOM. Scott and the boys moved it. It's not a small dresser, and the boys are rightly proud of themselves.
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Friday, January 1st, 2016 09:10 am
So, we went to Disneyland for Christmas this year. (This was partially a whim and partially not - we had savings for, and plans for, an eventual Disney trip. I'd been waiting until the boys were old enough to enjoy it, and when our Christmas plans shifted a bit we said 'why not?' I'd meant to do 5/8 for the ages, but 4/almost-7 seemed close enough.) The one bad thing about timing is that Ian is 41 inches tall at the moment, or perhaps 41.5 with shoes on, and that makes him a half-inch too short for several rides. He was very disappointed by this once or twice, but honestly, mostly he didn't miss it. I think the Grizzly River Run is the one thing he really regretted it on, and if he had ANY idea how cold Andrew and I were...well, he'd still have regretted it, because four-year-old excitement and practicality do NOT mix. Heh.

I am not going to try to describe the Christmas decor in the hotels, Downtown Disney, or the parks. It was GORGEOUS and AWESOME and I will have pictures up later and let them handle it because seriously, awesome to look at, probably boring to read about.

I'm including steps/miles walked, as registered by my phone, because they amuse me.

I'm cribbing some of this from text messages sent to other people to jog my memory, so some of you may recognize parts of this. :) Day by day, because I'm not sure I can keep it coherent even so.

MONDAY (11,112 steps; 5.22 miles):

Travel, hotel, and Downtown Disney )

TUESDAY (16,475 steps; 7.34 miles):

Disneyland )

WEDNESDAY (18,098 steps; 8.39 miles):

Breakfast with Mickey and Friends; Disney California Adventure; Laura's health (bah) )

THURSDAY (18,364 steps; 8.26 miles):

Chip & Dale, DCA, Disneyland, and the Rainforest Cafe; one lost item )

FRIDAY (18,759 steps; 8.27 miles):

Goofy's Kitchen, Disneyland, and DCA )

SATURDAY (6,919 steps; 3.32 miles):

In which small children having their routine disrupted catches up with us, and we go home. )
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Saturday, August 29th, 2015 06:25 pm
It was always questionable - the boys and I had our eye exams this morning, and if they dilated us, maybe not. Then we saw the forecast with a 70% chance of rain...maybe not. It stormed this morning (YAY) and then was supposed to (and did) again in the afternoon (oops) and they also dilated our eyes (all three of us), so no state fair today. Tomorrow, Drew has a swim lesson in the late afternoon so that's not a really good time.

But next weekend - Saturday or Monday would work. So we deferred. (We pre-bought the tickets and wristbands to get a better price, so we ARE going, barring disaster.)
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Sunday, June 14th, 2015 09:30 am
Things that didn't used to matter when I worked my four-day week-of-doom (because I had Fridays off), but do matter now:
  • The vet my cats go to, here in town, to has full Saturday hours. Which reminds me, I need to schedule appointments for the critters. They will not appreciate it.
  • The dentist we see is here in town. And has occasional Saturdays, but I'm not sure how much I need to depend on that.
  • Our doctors are 15 minutes away, but no freeway/rush hour traffic need be involved unless the weather is bad. We have EXCELLENT doctors, so I am not likely to change this.
  • The eye doctor we see, who is perfectly fine, is 10.5 miles away but it all involves roads that can get ugly at rush hour. They are open only weekdays, except "some Saturdays" (call and ask) and the latest they are open is 6 pm on Monday - the rest of the week it is earlier. Meanwhile, there is what seems to be a perfectly good eye place here in town, which is open until 7:30 on Tuesdays and has regular Saturday hours. ...I need to change eye doctors for us, yes I do.
  • The affordable/easy store probably isn't, unless I ask Scott to go. They used to be right on my way home; they are now an 11 mile drive away. But they aren't too far from Scott's office, so when he's in the office I may ask him to stop on the way home. Some days. (Scott doesn't like grocery shopping, so this is an imposition, though.)
  • The Washington County library system has been my preferred library, both because picking up holds was easier (three days a week I drove past my "home" library in that system, Tigard, when they were open - they're not open Thursdays - whereas Friday was the only day I could go to Wilsonville's library without sorting out kiddos), and because they have a slightly better book selection system-wide, in my experience. Now, Wilsonville and Clackamas County is, because the Tigard library is holy whoa out of my way.


...yeah. Reorganizing my life around being extremely local, and having five days a week of job. On the whole I like it, it just needs some adjustments to fully make it work. The library adjustment I knew was coming; I didn't know about the local eye care place and how good it was relative to my schedule until I started hunting during a recent eye health crisis (when I luckily turned out not to need it, and may I never have a stye/infection on the inside of my lid again, because ugh). I didn't know the vet had Saturday hours because I never _needed_ to know, but it was right there waiting for me on their web site when I looked.

And hey, I get a Thursday farmer's market that I can actually get to. Which is nice, because suddenly driving to the Tigard farmer's market or Lake Oswego's looks like an even bigger pain. (Although LO is a good weekend option, but on Saturday, it's pretty close after the Thursday market. Tigard is on Sunday. Both of those are really good markets, IMO, but ... they require more driving!)

This week, I made two trips that I expect to be atypical - I drove up to Tigard to Home Depot and the Farmer's Market on Sunday, and I drove to downtown Portland for a company event on ... I think it was Wednesday? Maybe it was Tuesday. Some day. And I only walked to work one day this week, Friday.

Even with that, my mileage for the week is under half my former _commute_ mileage (not including side trips or Friday errands). This is really sweet. Of course, this week Drew starts summer camp, which is further away. My route to pick up Drew-then-Ian-then-home is just under 15 miles per day, though - so 75 miles a week for that. Add another 5 miles once a week for the farmer's market. Add 2 or 4 miles per day I drive to work (depending on whether I come home for lunch). 100 miles is sort of the worst-case for all of this, before any attempt to add in errands such as grocery shopping. My former commute mileage, for 4 days a week only, was 200 miles a week. And during the school year, the whole loop from home to Drew to Ian to home is 5.5 miles (instead of 15 miles), and in fact next summer the same will obtain.

(We are switching child care for Drew next school year and summer from the YMCA to Club K, so he can stay in the school and go to after-school activities and such. Drew loves the YMCA, and so do we, but he's willing to try it because he also hears good things about Club K. And one of their summer camp locations IS Drew's school, so that will simplify a lot. Also, his school is close to the farmer's market, so the full round trip hit for the farmer's market won't happen in that case. This switch was already planned for the after-school activities, before I changed jobs, so.)

Reorganizing my life to be incredibly local and allow for my schedule turns out to be, on balance, fairly easy. And really rewarding.