kyrielle: A very photoshopped stormy sky, dark blue sky with grey/black clouds swirling through (stormy sky)
Sunday, July 13th, 2014 08:11 pm
Today we had thunderstorms, complete with lightning. Way too daylight for any dramatic pictures to even be attempted, but I got to see the flashes and hear the thunder, and share my joy with the boys.

And remember how much my mother loved a good summer thunderstorm. Ours aren't as impressive as the ones she grew up with in Ohio, one of the things I know she missed. But they're not half bad, and I enjoy them, and I think of her.
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Saturday, May 11th, 2013 04:29 pm
Tomorrow is Mother's Day. I'm thinking a lot the last couple days about mothers and motherhood. My Grandma Bernice died when Mom was only four - and Mom missed her all her life, I know. My Grandma Ruth died when I was four. I remember her only barely, only vaguely, but I do remember her. My Grandma Evelyn, my mother's step-mother, was the one Grandmother I had all through my childhood - she lived until I was out of college. And I miss her most of all the three; I remember her best of all, and she was a wonderful lady. I imagine Bernice and Ruth were too, each in their own ways, but I never got to know them as much, as directly.

My mother died only a year after her step-mother, and I miss *her* terribly, as one does. She was wonderful; she was my mother; she was perfect, even as she was imperfect.

And now I am a mother myself, which she didn't live to see, and I wish I could nod and say how right she was in several ways. She wished I would have one just like myself, and I came close - Drew's awfully close to that - and oh my do I sometimes sound like her. And understand why she did.

Now, if only I could cook half so well....

...the boys would still refuse to eat half of it, but *I* would have a better dinner. LOL.
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Friday, July 13th, 2012 02:44 pm
Something that was said at my father-in-law's memorial, in the discussions at lunch afterward, has been echoing for me ever since - because it is SO TRUE.

He was always, always about what he could do, and there were always things he could do and enjoy. He was one of the most active, doing people I have known.

He had health challenges, "disabilities," and while he never denied them, they never seemed to come up except rarely, either, and matter-of-factly then. He'd lost one leg from just below the knee, and while he could walk, he used a wheelchair or scooter much of the time, of necessity. He had poor eye sight.

My most vivid memory of the scooter is of him giving Drew, not yet a year old, rides through Walmart on it. As for his sight - it seldom seemed to be an issue, though I vividly remember borrowing his computer and needing help to dial the magnification back, once. ;)

What do I remember? I remember what he could do, and did. I remember an amazing (and happy) cook, a man who could often pick out the spices and flavorings in a dish by tasting it. I remember him playing "knock in the water" (Wii sports resort fencing) with Drew, and Drew's excitement at beating Grandpa, and Grandpa's astonishment. (Drew is VERY fast: the astonishment on the first bout is normal. Drew has knocked unsuspecting people off the platform before they realize the game has started.)

I remember polished rocks made into jewelry, and making a clock with a petrified wood frame. (Actually, that's a lie. I don't remember the clock at all. I remember him showing us the petrified wood, over Skype, with his face stuck in where the clock would go.)

I remember t-shirts with silly statements (sometimes profound, but always funny) on them. I remember laughter. I remember a back-and-forth debate with Drew where each claimed they were going to knock each other in the water the next time they played. I remember cookies. I remember hugs. I remember watching him cradle Ian, not yet a month old, so gently.

I remember stories of road trips, national parks, and casinos. I remember conversations about poker (though I don't remember the content, poker holding little interest for me other than as something they were enjoying). I remember his joy in having fresh oranges and grapefruit growing around them in Arizona.

I can still hear his voice. Whole phrases. And his laugh. His laugh was so big - when he was amused, it was clear. And he was often amused, being good at seeing the humor in things.

I think he very much lived in the moment, when he didn't need to be planning. And I think the moments were good to him - because he was good to them, and because he was focused on what could be done, what he wanted to do, what he was doing.

I will miss his laugh. And I will miss the fun of wondering what, when we next spoke, he would have taken up as the next thing to be doing.
kyrielle: A very photoshopped stormy sky, dark blue sky with grey/black clouds swirling through (stormy sky)
Sunday, June 5th, 2011 10:12 pm
Drew had trouble falling asleep tonight, so after trying the other (easier, cheaper) tricks, we fell back on the trick of a car ride. And I felt very close to my parents.

First, Mom & Dad used to take me for car rides to get me to sleep. I don't remember that, of course, but Mom used to tell me that it was the only way to get me to sleep sometimes. (Yes, Mom, I got one just like me, just like you wished for me. *grins*)

But secondly, as we went out there was a flash of lightning. Yes! Lightning storm! In the Midwest, I might worry if it was only that. Here, I was not too worried, and as Scott and I also both love them, it was a very nice surprise. The next flash of lightning I made positive ooh-ahh comments about it. The one after that I explained to Drew that it was lightning and wasn't it pretty, and Mom & Dad like watching it, and Mom's parents did too.

We drove for a while, the little boy in the back seat with progressively more droopy eyelids. Not long before he actually dropped off (as far as we could tell), there was a sky-wide flash of lightning, and from the back seat came a soft, sleepy murmur. "Want it 'gain."

I assured him I did too, but we'd have to wait and see if there was any more. There was, but I don't know that he saw it.

We got home with our soundly sleeping little man, carried him in, and within a minute of settling him in his bed, the sky above our house opened and it began pouring BUCKETS, for perhaps a minute or so. It's still raining a little heavily, but not to the same degree as it was. Good thing we brought him in before it started.

And now I'm going to bed, but I really wanted to write this up before I forgot.
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Sunday, October 17th, 2010 08:32 am
The Cat Adoption Team has mentioned on their twitter feed how people feel about black cats, and the occasional black-cat story is made. Here's mine, but it doesn't fit in 140 characters.

When I was in fifth grade, we adopted a semi-feral little black shorthair kitten that had been near a friend's house. I'd wanted her brother - and we eventually got him, a black/white mix - but she was the one we were able to get hold of first and my mother loved black cats especially. And she turned out to be the better pet of the two (her brother was nice, but never fully tamed down).

We lived on a farm, and she was an indoor-outdoor cat. She quickly got named "Basta Ya!" (That's Enough!) or Basta for short. She was playful, full enough of energy for any two cats, and fun. And she would hunt and bring us bird bits. Ew. But she was a good huntress. And then, being an indoor outdoor cat, she disappeared.

We mourned. And some months later she came back, fat sassy and happy. We could only surmise she'd moved in with a neighbor for a while, who was now wondering where 'their' cat had gone.

This was the cycle for years. She would be there for a year or two, vanish for a number of months, and come back. She slowed down as a huntress over the years, but she started out a good snuggler and got better, and she had a very comfortable purr and head-butt. After about 10-12 years of age, she stopped vanishing and settled down to live with my parents.

When my mother was dying of lung cancer, Basta sat on the end of her hospital bed (in her room at home) most of the time, getting down only for food and water or to use the litter. Mom would tease her, sometimes, by bouncing her foot, because Basta often lay over it. Basta would wake up and look around, startled and out of sorts, then put her head back down and go to sleep.

After Mom died, the next night, Basta slept on the hospital bed. And then they took it away (it was rented), and Basta made Daddy cry - in the middle of the night, he heard her yowling. She was sitting in the middle of the room where the hospital bed had been, crying her heart out. He petted her, comforted her, picked her up and took her back to bed with him.

She lived six months after Mom died, and then she went herself; she was 21 years old, a venerable lady who still purred well.

She was one of the best cats I've ever known.
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Thursday, March 6th, 2008 09:51 pm
My mother's chair, now reupholstered in the fabric I chose last year, was brought back tonight. I am so, so pleased with how it looks. It's really funny - I have the back section of the old fabric (I asked them to save it), so I held it up, and the values of the two fabrics are very close although the designs were different. The values were closer than I realized, when I made my choice.

For now, it's in the library. Photos of it here: front view and side view.

I think it looks really good. It felt - odd, to have it reupholstered, as if I was getting rid of something of Mom's. She'd have been among the first to tell me I was being silly; the old job was worn and dirty and she'd have replaced it sometime in the next few years, herself, if she hadn't gotten sick first. After all, I know she had it redone at least once before. By doing this, I kept something of hers, really. I know that. And I know it better now that I have it back, because I really like how it came out.
kyrielle: (spirit of flight)
Friday, November 30th, 2007 08:08 pm
The good book is Maria Snyder's Poison Study which was very, very enjoyable. I've got a hold on the sequel now; since a copy's available, I should have it by maybe Wednesday at the latest. Yay! I want to know what happens next, darnit. ;) Seriously, good book. I enjoyed it.

My car has had two burnt-out bulbs replaced, so now I can see what gear I am shifting into when it is dark, AND I have TWO headlights. Actually, you know, on. And I got the oil changed. Don't worry, that didn't affect the headlights. ;) (Or anything else, in spite of Jiffy Lube's attempts to sell me windshield wipers. Yes, I do need to replace them soon. No, I will not pay more than three times what I should for them, which is what they wanted last time they tried. I didn't even let him quote it at me this time. Yes, they install them for me if I buy theirs. My wipers are snap-out snap-in. Not only can I not mess that up, most six-year-olds couldn't mess that up if actually trying to do it right.)

We have a design approved for the desks in the living room. He's hoping to have them done before Christmas. That would really, really rock. A lot.

We had a celebratory work meal earlier this week. Despite the menu NOT fitting my food issues, I gotta say: ohwow yay. They were very good about tweaking the salad so I could eat something more than lettuce, and the rest of it (well, with the entree I ordered) was mild dairy and I took pills, and wow good food and good company. (And we ran almost an hour over the planned time and everyone was fine with that, too. That rocked.)

No Christmas Shoes song at ALL this year. BLISS.

I have given to the Salvation Army three times this holiday season, after ranting about their bell ringers earlier. I'm amused by this, but none of them broke my "the heck I will pay you to hurt me" policy. The first one, the ringer was just ringing quietly and got spare change. The second one, the ringer had two bells that frankly were one step above cowbells (no, SA, we do not need more cowbell) with plastic handles. And was somehow getting them to ring clear and quiet. He was ringing them in a rhythm pattern, and dancing lightly to it. When I went in. And when I came back out a half hour later. At no time did I see him pause or take a break, and while he wasn't doing anything strenuous, that's a lot to keep up for a full shift. I gave him actual bills. He wasn't saying much to people, barely managed a soft response to those who gave money, seemed quite shy. And yet I will wager he was doing better than many more aggressive, forward ringers, because of how he was going about it.

The last one wasn't a bell ringer; the local grocery store had a nice, quiet sign about sponsored food boxes that would go to the SA for distribution, and the grocery store matched the donations to that purpose at 1/5. So I paid for one.

A snippet of memory from when I was young: we had a big flashlight, red, with I think a black band (not sure) and a big white squishy button that I sometimes had trouble pressing. It had a small bulb and a big reflector (perhaps 4-6 inches across, I think), and used four "D" batteries, and was just huge. I don't remember lugging it with me when I went out to the barn, and yet I know I did. I remember using the little black flashlight and we didn't have that until years later! (I now love maglites, which Dad also liked, but the little LED flashlights are good too. I don't think I need one longer than my forearm these days.)
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Tuesday, November 27th, 2007 09:20 pm
If I'm going to wish Dad a happy birthday, then I ought to wish for the cake, too - another family tradition. "Angel food cake with grease". I was at least ten, maybe even in my teens, before I realized no one else knew what I meant when I said that, no one else called it "grease". I have no idea why we did, where the term came from! It was angel food cake with a kind of thick sweet creamy topping, and, until the diabetes changed his diet, another staple of Dad's birthday. I thought it was Bavarian cream for a while, but I think that was wrong; it doesn't quite match. No clue what it actually was....
kyrielle: (holiday tree)
Monday, November 26th, 2007 09:38 pm
Under our tree, there are now several packages, two "from my parents" (okay, the boxes are mine, for those), and more packages to appear (I hope, I plan). Some of them are Mercer Boys gifts. (Family thing: a gift you give someone else, either after you've enjoyed it or so you can enjoy it with or after them, is a 'Mercer Boys' present. From my Dad's family - apparently he was notorious for buying Mercer Boys books for people, and reading them - I think before giving them, but it's been generalized to include any selfish or semi-selfish gift.)

Also under our tree, intermittently, is a cat. Babe has decided not to play with the tree skirt (oh my, it might survive to be used next year!). She is far happier to lie on it right over the heating vent it covers, which I am leaving clear of packages. I'd do that anyway for the sake of the contents of the packages, but I admit it's made more fun because it gives her a place to lie down.

Here is a photo of Babe beneath the tree (click photo for a larger view):
A very cuddly Christmas to you, too.

Also uploaded tonight were photos of Ribbon Ridge, a very seasonally decorated car, wreaths at Saturday Market (with peacock feathers in), and an absolutely gorgeous sunrise. Check them out here.
kyrielle: (In Nightly Dreams)
Monday, November 12th, 2007 06:49 am
I dreamed last night. A carnival, my first cat, and mother. )

And every time I woke, the wind was blowing by the corner of the house so I could hear it, and I thought I could hear the faint tick-tick of rain on the windows (which it did prove to be raining when I got up). I love a good bit of wind and rain as long as they do no harm, and Mom loved a good storm, though she did prefer the thunder-and-lightning sort.
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Sunday, October 21st, 2007 05:36 pm
I've uploaded more of Mom's recipes, on pages 3 and 4 of my Scrapbook gallery for them.

There are a mix of recipes including fish, Mexican, souffle, and miscellaneous others. Among those I take note of:

Dinner in a Pumpkin - I don't remember ever having this, and I think I would. But it is seasonal, it amuses and interests me, and I wanted to be sure [ profile] cadhla saw it just in case it sparks interesting ideas.

Meatloaf. I'm not sure this is the meatloaf I used to eat all the time growing up, because Mom usually made that without a recipe and I usually ignored the process.'s similar, at the very least. and that was good meatloaf.

Also in this set is the goulash I made before and loved. I know I posted the text of the recipe in a comment, but not everyone may have seen it, and anyway, here's the scan. It's good!

A couple of these are interesting because they have cost-saving notes on them too. I doubt the servings are quite as cheap now! ;)
kyrielle: (kyrielle-sketch)
Friday, September 21st, 2007 06:57 pm
Failed to find the work shirts I wanted locally. So be it; catalog it is, as I know I can get something that will suit. Joy. But it'd be nice to replace the worn one, and the couple I'm not so fond of, with something nicer.

I finished reading The Well of Ascension last night. I finished at almost midnight. I could not stop reading once I hit the final stretch because omigosh evil author. I was almost breathless at a couple points, usually from shock but at least once from horror. This is a really, really, really good series and I want the next book because sheesh what a place to stop! *whine*

You know, I'm still disappointed about the discontinuity in the Briggs stories. But, it wasn't that important to Moon Called - it was a throwaway line, and this reality conflicts with that one only on that page - and every time I reread this story I want the book (which will be next summer) now. (I have now reread the story, in part or whole, so many times I have no idea even an approximate count.)

I felt rather sorry for a truck driver today. He had a cab with a crane on it, and was pulling an empty flatbed trailer. Good thing it was empty: the pickup truck in front of him did one of those "ohnoes my TURN!" maneuvers, slamming on the brakes and snapping on his signal. Alas, he didn't sling himself around the corner. The (big) truck had following room to work with - but apparently wanted to be sure (I can't blame him!) given what happened. I had no problem slowing (I had distance enough, and anyway my car brakes a little better than a truck for some reason!), but I didn't have enough time to free a hand and shut the vent off before I was in the cloud of smoke from his tires. That's gotta be a bit rough on them, and probably no good for the driver's nerves.

I just discarded a book after five pages because it hit me with so many cliches in those five pages that it drove me bats. (Eileen Wilks, Tempting Danger. I admit, I wasn't really expecting to love it - but hers was the "tolerable" second story in the book with Alpha and Omega so I thought I'd give her a chance. Enough of a chance.) As I told [ profile] dormouse_in_tea this may have been a mistake, because at the rate she was slamming cliches into the story, I think she'd have shortly run out and been forced to be original. Except, of course, the things are infinitely reusable and I've already hit my threshold for tolerating them. Too many, too fast.

I want to go to Saturday Market. But I'm on call. So that will be next weekend. I want to go to a farmer's market, but see previous. Of course, I can do these things while on call. But it's not as convenient, for me or for the client. Neither of these are things I have to do this week (in fact, the farmer's market would now be silly since I bought produce at the grocery store today), anyway.

I went to the mall and Burlington Coat Factory today in my quest for business shirts. The mall where BCF is located is, of course, where Beaverton Powell's used to be before they moved out to Cedar Hills Blvd in Beaverton. Well. The building Powell's used to occupy near BCF has now been fully torn down and replaced with parking lot, and instead of being folded in with odd nooks as it used to be, it's now going to be a standard stretch-along-the-back-side-of-a-parking-lot mall. They're still doing construction on the buildings but it's starting to look pretty striking. And I no longer feel any attachment to it, because it doesn't remind me any more of Powell's, which was my main reason for thinking of it as more than a place to sometimes go shopping if I needed something. But it does look nice, which is more than I can say for some projects of that sort.

I took the remainder of the Pendleton jackets to the dry cleaner's today. I gave them one last week to see how they did with it - I'm very pleased, they get the rest. These were Mom and Dad's, but they're very nice jackets in varying weights/warmths. I grew up with them and used to borrow one (much too big for me) when I was really cold, to huddle in. Pretty children's coats are all well and nice, but these things pack some serious warmth. Of course, I made sure the pockets were cleaned. And was very surprised to find in one that was normally Mom's, a fencing staple - you know, the big nail-width type staple used to hold fence to a post. Not sure what the proper term for those is. I can't imagine why it was in there after all these years, I don't think she did anything with a fence in a decade. Maybe I'm wrong, or maybe Dad used it even though I mostly remember her in it.

My printer is back in for repairs again. I have a loaner. I hope I get to return the loaner. If they cannot fix the printer, they will replace it instead, probably with the loaner. The loaner is a perfectly nice C88 (I have a C84, so this is not a huge change). But I have almost two years exactly left on my warranty, and the replacement will get only the one-year manufacturer's warranty. The first repair the C84 needed was at 1 year 3 months so I don't care for the idea of a C88 with a one-year warranty. I have two years left and if I have a problem I get a loaner. I don't have to deal with just the manufacturer's warranty. If I had less time left, I would take the replacement, but...not really wanting to. We'll see, though, whether it's something they can still fix in terms of parts available.

I should have called a couple companies today, but I didn't. Well, I tried one and got an answering machine. And then I got distracted and didn't follow up. But I need to get a chair reupholstered, and I want a couple desks downstairs that need to fit in very specific spaces, so those will have to be custom. I'd whine about the price, but I'm too pleased by the idea of moving the desktop computers downstairs. I've liked having the laptop down here. I feel less isolated, and I can be nearby when the gaming group is here (or I can pack the laptop upstairs and hide). And when the gaming group isn't here, I have a cuddly cat when I'm at the computer. Just need to get a proper place for them and bring the desktop computers down.
kyrielle: (sheep)
Friday, September 7th, 2007 08:05 pm
1. Have you ever run away?

Not really. I intended to once when I was either a tween or very young teen, but I never got beyond realizing that, yannow, the world was big and scary and I had no idea what I'd do or even how I'd get off the ridge, given that I didn't drive. I did go outside that night and nap on top of the truck away from the house, sulkily. That was rather the extent of my running away. (I can't for the life of me recall what I was upset about, either. Not a real shock.)

2. What is the longest you've dated someone?

Well, hmmm. If you count that being with them and not being married, then I think 9 or 10 years passed between when Scott and I started dating, and got married. Of course, we were functioning as a married couple maybe two and a half years after we got together, so I'm not sure I really get to count the whole span. ;)

3. What don't you like to think about?

Past failures and losses. Missed chances.

4. What was your last illness?

Does this count the charming little things my gut does when it objects to what I choose to eat? Sometime in the past two weeks in that case. Otherwise, I don't remember. Unless allergy attacks count; I'm all stuffed up right now. But that's fairly normal for this time of year.

5. Do you like to get revenge?

Not really. It doesn't fix whatever-it-was.
kyrielle: (sheep)
Friday, August 10th, 2007 04:15 pm
1. What is the best part about late summer?

Fall. Um. The long days? Um. I am not really a summer fan. I liked it better when I was young, and oddly I like it better this year, but summer is often (even in Oregon) too hot for me and...oh, wait! Duh! Gencon counts. We'll go with Gencon and hope it lives up to that billing this year. ;)

2. what is your favorite memory and why?

This is a hard question since lately I am treasuring every memory I can pull up of my childhood and my parents, intensely. (And my favorite memory of them is not my memory but someone else's story about Mom, loooong before I or even Dad was in the picture!)

3. when you were small, did you realize summer vactions were not going to happen forever?

At some point I figured it out, yes. But I couldn't understand why adults didn't just take them too! I think that's part of why I fixed on 'teacher' as my possible occupation for several years, in part, along with loving the subjects. What I don't love is teaching, and especially not groups of kids! Oops. Fortunately I figured that out and majored in something I actually, you know, do enjoy doing.

4. where was your favorite summer vacation? why?

Summer vacation was usually mostly at home, with camping trips and other such jaunts. My favorite ever vacation was actually a spring break trip (drove to Texas, by way of several scenic places, to visit my grandparents; then on down through Mexico and back up). I spent part of each summer at Uncle Dick and Aunt Connie's house and I have good memories of those times, but I can't pin down just one of them since they kind of blur together in my memory now.

5. If you could have one last real summer vacation and cost was not an issue, where would you go and why?

I would go to several places, because I'm not going to take three months in one place unless it's home. This summer was a good start on that, only I'd extend the visit to [ profile] dormouse_in_tea (or make a second one), go to the Grand Canyon (not into it, sorry [ profile] canyoncat, but I'm not that hardy; I'll just look down from the edge). I'd spend some time on the Oregon coast. And probably some up Seattle way. And if money was no object I'd do it all in incredibly good hotels, spoiling myself as far as food, transportation, etc. ;) 'Cause why not?
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Friday, July 13th, 2007 10:13 pm
[ profile] fridayfiver: Here Fishy Fishy

1. Have you ever gone fishing?

Yes, but not since I was a child. I found it interesting, until I caught a fish. That might have been interesting, but it was too small and had to be thrown back. I would not have felt guilty, I don't think, if it had been big enough and we had kept it cooked it. But I felt horrid for hurting it and then tossing it back to live with having been hooked, the poor thing. I think that was the beginning of my changing from a girl who could cheerfully thank the steer that provided the meat for dinner, by name, and then eat it, to the girl I am now. I do still eat meat and acknowledge where it came from, but...if I had to kill my own, I think I'd wind up a vegetarian.

2. Do you have an aquarium?

No. We had one at work for a while. I took care of it for a while after asking a friend for information on how to do so, because I felt so bad for the fish that kept dying. I found it an exercise in frustration. Fish are fragile, and hard to take care of well.

3. Do you eat fish?

Yes, sometimes. There are few fish-based foods I like, so not often, but I do. (Salmon, salmon patties, salmon or clam chowder without milk, shrimp cocktail, prawns, rainbow trout jerky. That's about the extent of what I'll normally eat, that's fish-ish.)

4. Have you ever seen Finding Nemo?

Yes. I enjoyed it. I own a plush Nemo. I once put my plush Cthulhu on top, riding him, and took a photograph and posted it. I've lost the photograph, or I'd link it here. Ohwell!

5. What do you think of Sushi?

I find the concept so disgusting I cannot bring myself to try it. I realize plenty of people eat it and like it, but I have the "raw - ick - something would make me ill!" reaction to start, and logical or not, add to it that I don't love most fish and ... yeah. Really, not my thing. I used to be disgusted that anyone would eat sushi. I've gotten over that. Now I just don't want to eat it myself.

And now I'm tired and I go to bed.
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Wednesday, July 11th, 2007 09:41 pm
Today at work was normal-average, but today was good. Luana came over tonight and we hung out for a couple hours chatting and catching up (at least a little - it's been a while). It was a fun conversation, and she got to see our house and meet Scott.

She also brought the pinks, which I am deeply grateful for. And for the record? Childhood memories sometimes are wroooong. They are classic pinks with the pinked edges. That answers that one!

It was such, such a good conversation. And Babe came down and hung out near us. When we went out on the deck she hung out near the door to the deck, we'd left it on just the screen, but by the time we came back in as Luana was leaving, Babe had wandered off again in boredom.

And in small contentments, the bread machine finished running and we have lovely fresh bread. It's even cool enough right now (since it's late) that I welcome the fresh warm bread.
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Sunday, June 10th, 2007 08:10 am
I have uploaded more of Mom's recipes to my LJ Scrapbook account - all the ones I have scanned so far and plan to upload (some are clippings from books or commercial stuff; those I'm not uploading unless I have strong childhood memories of them).

All the recipes so far up can be found in this gallery.

Items of special interest (to me, anyway) among the new uploads:
  • Fudge - the fudge Mom made at Christmas was EXCELLENT, and we almost never got to keep nearly as much as young-me thought we should. It is based on the Joy of Cooking but is richer than that recipe (even in Mom's copy of the book, which is 40 years old - and I believe the recipe in the revised isn't even as rich as that one). It's excellent, and it's probably not on any diet except as an indulengence. :)
  • Spice Biscuits - very spicy, very tasty, and I loved them growing up in part because of the neat spice biscuit mold Mom had (and which I now have). When not in use, it hung on her wall (and hangs on ours) because it's pretty also.
  • Buttery lemon squares - a delicious dessert from my childhood. Yummy.
  • The fanciest cinnamon toast I've personally encountered, courtesy of my grandmother, Ruth Davidson. I don't remember having it much, or what I thought of it; the recipe just amuses me, and it was my grandmother's originally, so that makes it extra-special.

    • There's a fair bit of Mexican recipes in there, mostly on the last page. I was in the middle of that section when I left off the scanning, which I still need to resume.
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Monday, April 16th, 2007 07:05 am
I finally uploaded another set of slides that were in the photos Dad had. I have only roughly placed the time frame of these photos, as the set description now notes (this morning - those who found it last night, I hadn't added the description yet). A lot of these are very neat photos, but not ones that I can identify the place, objects, or anything. Feel free to browse, though.

Among the ones I can identify, this set has photos from the time I tried to give myself freckles...with a felt-tip marker. And a couple of me on the trip. Otherwise, I'm mostly at a loss. For those who don't want to browse, a few of the photos:

A couple of the photos of me with "freckles".

Me, panning for gold. (No, we didn't get any, and no, I doubt any adults were surprised or disappointed. No clue if I was!)

What I think is a neat photo, but I have no clue what or where it is.
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (profile)
Saturday, March 24th, 2007 09:41 pm
Missing my parents tonight, I went back through my listing of memories to write about, which I had somehow not gotten back to (read: run away from and/or delayed).

Mom, around the time I was in school, drove a Jeep - a CJ-7, a real off-road sort. She contended it was appropriate for the road we lived on and actually, I can't entirely argue that, since that road vibrated a tail light out of its socket (push-in, not rotating, but still) in my Corolla, last year. It wasn't any better when I was in high school. The CJ-7 had a soft-top so it was cold in the winter, even with the heat on, and there tended to be a breeze. I felt much less safe in it than in an ordinary car, because it had a roll-bar. Of course, I'm not sure why this made me feel less safe, other than acknowledging the possibility of trouble, where I would have preferred to ignore it. It was cinnamon-orange and Mom was rather pleased with it, I think, especially since when chained up it could travel nicely even in icy conditions.

I tried to learn to drive it, once. I had learned on Dad's Volkswagen Rabbit and I wanted to master Mom's Jeep. The Jeep won. I didn't have the strength and finesse in my leg to control the clutch - I could push it in no problem, but when trying to let it out, I couldn't keep it slow and steady. It would kick my leg back up - I complained that I almost ended up with my knee in my face, though I doubt that was actually true. I remember saying it, though! It was definitely difficult. A few times I did manage to get the Jeep into reverse, and first gear, but nothing else was possible for me. I'm sure with enough time I could have mastered it, but it was mostly a challenge - I didn't need to drive the Jeep or even really want to drive it, other than to be able to. And in the end, I couldn't. Mom could, though.

They got rid of it later, and I don't remember why, if I knew. Not sure if she tired of it or there was some other reason. I know she really liked the Saturn. I'm also realizing that the Jeep is the only car I can recall that was "Mom's car" that was not red. The Maverick, the Escort, the Saturn - were all varying shades of red. Hmmm.

The dresser we have now was my parents' first. They wanted to get rid of it and get a dresser better-suited to their house - years ago, I think before we moved to this house, but I'm not sure of that timing - and asked if we wanted it. I said yes. Not because we needed a dresser (although we did), but because I love that dresser. It is wood, it is beautiful, it has a mirror. Yes, the drawers stick a little, but not bad. Now the mirror likes to tilt forward; we have a temporary fix in place, but I need to more properly fix it. But it is a lovely piece of furniture and a part of my childhood, also. And besides, Mom told me once or twice that they bought it cheap from someone who'd been storing it in a barn, and they had to clean goat shit off it, strip, and refinish it. You couldn't tell it by looking at it, let me put it that way. It's lovely.

Today, I was running the dishwasher while I did work-work. Normally I start the dishwasher and wander away, but the laptop was set up in the living room, not too far from the dishwasher, so I was listening to it. It was like going home to childhood: something swishing in the washer on the back-porch would sound very similar. The hum and the swoosh of water, the comforting sound that meant Mom was doing all the domestic things she normally did (and, if it was the clothes washer, that there would within a couple hours be something warm from the dryer - how I loved, in the cold months, to hug warm clothes to me!). Eventually, the laundry had to be taken into town, because the well was such that the washer couldn't handle it. I think the dishwasher had the same problem. But still, in my early childhood, they were all used and that's what the sounds mean to me. (And Mom and Dad had had a clothes washer since they got the new well, at least - and a dryer all along - I imagine being able to wash the clothes at home again was a real nice change, though.)

Heck, back when the washer still worked, I remember the old laundry line strung between the shop and the pasture, to the east of the shop. Dad put up two T-poles and the lines, all standard stuff, and we actually hung clothes out to dry. I remember playing with the clothespins, and wandering through the laundry as it dried, idly batting it aside. I don't remember if I got told not to, but it seems likely, since my hands were probably dirty from playing. Ah, childhood. One thing I miss is having a place to hang laundry. And I don't know why I miss it. Practically speaking it is no better than using a dryer and, with my allergies and the risk of weather, might be worse. But I miss it anyway, because it is part of my memory of caring for things. I suppose it's silly, but...

I posted, a while back, about the letter that Mom wrote to Ford about the Escort. That car really was a lemon. Which is a pity; I gather later models in the same line were nice. And I've been surprised how happy I've been with our Ford Taurus cars. Scott had to push me into getting the first one, I was so set against Ford. But really a lot of the problem was caused by then-Newberg-Ford, whose servicing of the car at that time caused probably half or more of its problems. I was extra not-thrilled with it since it had replaced the Maverick, which I loved. I think I loved the Maverick mostly because it was "our car" and older than I was - we'd never not had it until then. Things change, though. I didn't like that even as a child. I've learned to cope but I still want to cling to things-as-they-are, sometimes too much, and I know it.

I'm not sure, speaking of allergies as I did a moment ago, how old I was when this happened. I believe I was about six or eight, but my memory's not reliable on that fact. I went in to be tested for allergies, and some idiot at the clinic told my parents I could not take my theophyllin for three days before hand. They sword afterward they did not say that, so perhaps my parents misunderstood, but they said not. In any case, the theophyllin is not an antihistamine (which you really do need to avoid before such tests, of course!) but an asthma medication, a preventative that takes time to build in the bloodstream and should be kept at an even dose and not skipped. So I had a nasty asthma attack one night, presumably either the day of the appointmnet or very shortly after. Mom took me into their bed and I was coughing so hard that it shook. Finally they took me to the emergency room. (My memory says this was McMinnville. I can't think why: presumably it was Newberg. Unless Newberg Hospital had not been built yet, but I thought it had - not the current one, but the previous one, which used to be near the swimming pool. Anyway--)

I remember we had the blue and white striped blanket that someone (I believe Erma Orr) had knitted for me with us, and I remember that I coughed so hard that I was ill on it, and that I was horribly upset that I had damaged my precious blanket. Mom had to reassure me that it could be cleaned up okay. Anyway, Mom when she told the story remembered the intern, who asked, "Are her lips always this shade of blue?" Since he was laughing a bit, I think Mom found that reassuring, though only a little bit. They gave me a shot of adrenalin. It didn't stop the reaction. They gave me another shot of adrenalin. No dice: the net result was that they now had a hyper kid having an asthma attack. So they admitted me overnight and put me on an IV of theophyllin. The adrenalin had probably at least helped my reaction some. I clearly, vividly remember that the IV needle was put into the bottom of my foot for some reason, though I don't remember any pain, just the odd sensation of it after it had been in a while. My parents told me that no, that was not the case, it was put in the arm in the normal fashion. I have no idea where my mind dreamed up the foot bit! Interestingly, the place I remember it in is almost the place that many years later I would burn on the kerosene heater, so perhaps that played into it? I have no idea.

My memory of the allergy tests is also flawed. I was convinced they had been done on my back, to get a large enough section of skin, but I was told no, it was my arm. I have vivid memories of how uncomfortable the tests were - on my back. The odd thing is, while the placement may be wrong, the memories aren't far off - when I had the tests done recently for my allergy shots, on my arm, they were (other than location) about as uncomfortable as I remembered them.

The foot - that was during college. I came home one Christmas break and was lying in front of the kerosene heater (a shop-type kerosene heater, the long sort you plug in, not the squat round kind you take camping). I was swinging my foot back and forth and managed to stick it (the triangle area behind the ball) right on the heater. I yanked it away quick - I have good reflexes, so I "only" got second degree burns. Ow! It helps that I drew a bowl of cold water and jammed my foot in it before calling Dad to see if he could come home and take me in to get it looked at. Not my best moment, to put it mildly. At least I knew not to try driving with my right foot out of commission that way.... And no permanent damage or harm done.

I don't like hot weather. Which makes it funny that, during cool or cold weather, I love heat enough to be a hazard to myself. That was not my first run-in with heat (and of course, I've mentioned the 'fresh from the dryer' effect above). When I was little - too little to remember this, fortunately - I had another encounter. I think it was while we were still at Carlton, but I could be wrong; if I am, it was not long after we moved. I would have been between 3 and 5 for this. I was bare-naked after a bath, and trying to get warm or stay warm. I backed toward the woodstove. I backed right into the woodstove. Which, yes, was lit. My parents told me this one (in response to my burning my foot, actually). I couldn't sit for quite a while apparently. I'm amazed I don't have even dim memories of that, but I cannot say I am entirely sorry that I don't recall it first-hand.

The woodstove at the house on Ribbon Ridge has front doors you can open and set a screen over, to have a fireplace. How I loved to lie in front of it, basking and baking in the heat, watching the flames dance. The cats liked it, too. It was interesting to pet a cat who had been there so long that their fur was radiating heat into your hand. I wonder whether some of our ditzier cats simply baked their brains out. (Then again, the same question could be asked of me, I suppose.)