Garden addition

May. 25th, 2017 06:21 pm
nanila: nellie kim is awesome (purple nellie)
[personal profile] nanila
Back story: The garden behind our house is a very peculiar shape. It is quite wide at the back of the house for about 10 metres, then narrows abruptly to a very skinny path alongside the canal towpath hedge. It goes along like this for about 5 metres and then ends in a round, fenced-in patch about 4 metres in diameter. The round patch has a concrete pavement in a pretty circular pattern.

We’ve been trying to work out what to do with this odd space since we moved in. It’s a fair way from the house and not visible from the back door. Jacuzzi? Too much maintenance, plus it’s too far to trek on a horrible winter night. Bike shed? Functional but boring, and also bike sheds are ugly. This is a pretty space, ringed by climbing roses and vines.

A few weeks ago we went to the garden centre and found a display of cute playhouses with trimmed roofs and windows, and an interior upper floor reached by a child-sized ladder. The 6’x6’ models were on sale. As we had to carry the children away from them, literally, we thought, perhaps this is the optimal use for that round patch.

Thus far, we have been proved entirely correct, and the expense has been justified. Since it’s been installed, both children come home from nursery, dash through the house and out the back door into the playhouse to draw, play on the tablet or just run up and down the steps and in and out the doors. (There’s an adorable toddler-sized door out the side in addition to the larger front door.) The only thing that brings them back to the house in 15-20 minutes are the requests for drinks and fruity snacks, which are then carried back up to the playhouse.

tl;dr version We got the kids a playhouse for the garden. Photos below!

[Keiki on a wooden chair outside the playhouse. “Oi* shut da door on moi sister!”]

+3 )

* The Black Country is strong with this one.
** There is a whole separate post brewing about how I simply do not understand Danger Mouse.

The Hidden mall Part III

May. 25th, 2017 12:53 pm
aldersprig: (Swirls)
[personal profile] aldersprig
Part I
Part II

💰 💸 💰 💸 💰
“…I was going to buy that skirt…” Abigail complained.

“No, you weren’t. You would hem and haw about the price and in the end you would’ve left with nothing.” Liv patted her on the shoulder. “We could go into the bookstore there, or we could go to that place that looks like it’s selling herbs and spices?”

“Herbs and spices first. Once we get in a bookstore, we’re going to be there ‘till it’s time for your mom to pick us up.”

Liv giggled. “Like that one time, when she came in to get us…”

“Or that time she had the store page us.

“Or that time she texted us bits of War and Peace until we came out on our own… Yeah. The herb and spice place first.”
Read more... )

Want More?

The Lusty Lady

May. 25th, 2017 12:32 pm
lb_lee: A happy little brain with a bandage on it, surrounded by a circle and the words LB Lee. (Default)
[personal profile] lb_lee
There must be some bibliophilic older queer woman in my neighborhood who keeps dropping her queer books in the free library. Whoever she is, THANK YOU LADY!

From this hypothetical human, I have managed to get my hands on Exile and Pride, a really crappy pink book about multiplicity that I ditched, and now The Lusty Lady which is about the woman-owned peep show by the same name in Seattle. Back in the 90s, a photographer wanted to tell the dancers’ stories, only to be told that if she wanted to get it, she needed to work there. So she did, and the book is made up of her photos and work stories.

I picked the book up because I’ve heard of the Lusty Lady and wanted to learn about it, only to get an awesome reference text of queerness, sex work, and women in the 90s.


Off to another WisCon and related fun

May. 25th, 2017 11:11 am
catherineldf: (Default)
[personal profile] catherineldf
 Leaving tomorrow for WisCon, where I'll have a late Friday night reading and two Saturday panels, one on small press publishing and one on women and Gothic Horror, A Room of One's Own Bookstore will have copies of my new collection, OUT OF THIS WORLD: QUEER SPECULATIVE FICTION STORIES in the Dealer's Room (and I'll have a few copies on me as well as copies of RESPECTABLE HORROR, and Jana will have boxes and books in the Art Show.

Queen of Swords Press will be tabling and I'll be reading at the Queer Voices Pride Month Book Fair and Reading at the
Minneapolis Central Library on 6/27. They're doing some great programming this month!

The print edition of SILVER MOON is in progress and is going to be purty! And I should have an announcement on the StoryBundle soon. I also got a bio request for the Helsinki Worldcon Program so fingers crossed for panel assignments. In Sirens Conference news, Nivair Gabriel and I have submitted a round table proposal. I'm also waiting to hear back Diversicon and World Fantasy and have other events in the offing.

In other news, weird foot pain is weird and will get medicsl
attention soon, new toilet is glorious and some day, if it stops raining, there will be new asphalt by the garage. Also, hoping to go back to writing new fiction REAL SOON NOW. 

See Lee you at WisCon?

And Update of ALL Things Personal

NSFW May. 25th, 2017 10:20 am
ikneko: (Yuki)
[personal profile] ikneko
( You're about to view content that the journal owner has advised should be viewed with discretion. )

I am up to my ears in marking...

May. 25th, 2017 03:30 pm
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila here, have a photo from yesterday evening instead of hearing me moan about that.

[Humuhumu and Keiki in their swimming costume & swim nappy respectively, eating ice creams in the paddling pool.]

Human scaled measurements

May. 25th, 2017 02:01 am
kengr: (Default)
[personal profile] kengr
There are quite a few measurements that are (or at least stat out) based on the human body.

Best known is probably the foot. Do I have to explain that one? :-)

Lets start working up from smallest to largest

finger - the width of a finger, now mostly seen in measuring whisky

hand - the width of a hand from top to bottom with all fingers together. Now defined as 4 inches and used to measure horses.

span - The distance between the tip of the little finger and the tip of the thumb with fingers spread. Roughly 6 inches

cubit - distance from fingertips to elbow - now "defined" as 18 inches

yard - distance from fingertips to nose (think measuring cloth that way) Now defined as 3 feet.

ell - distance from fingertips to opposite shoulder (again used for measuring cloth)

fathom - distance between hands with arms outstretched (think of measuring rope that way). Now defined as 6 feet

stride - one step (ie distance between where left is when right foot lands)
pace - two steps (ie distance between to left or two right footprints)

mile - one thousand paces (from the Latin mille pacem). Now defined as 5280 feet.

league - 3 miles

I've probably missed a few.

These can be useful when reading old stuff, or when you need to rough measure something.

Also useful for alternate history of fantasy.

The Church of Paizo and Pathfinder

May. 25th, 2017 01:28 am
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
[personal profile] jewelfox

I'm starting to see game consoles, e-readers, and even franchises like Pathfinder and Warhammer 40,000 differently. They all have built-in stores, in a sense, but they also want to be your whole lifestyle, or even your religion.

Money, consumerism, anxiety, and abandonment )

fred_mouse: Mummified mouse (dead)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
 For years, I've been hearing about the quilt and crafters 'fair' that runs annually at the local convention centre, and not going, for any number of reasons (including 'oh, that was last week(end). dammit'). This year, I have decided to play hooky (kinda) and went for the morning. Part of the plan was too acquire equipment that I find difficult to get (and the two relatively expensive items were enough marked down that they covered the cost of entry and were still at significant discount), and part of the plan was to Not Buy Fabric. I wasn't sure which of the other features of the show I would be interested in, so I kind of attempted to do a bit of everything, and not all of anything. 

So, the stalls - weird mix of very popular and no-one looking, which didn't appear to correlate with how easy it was to get the attention of someone staffing them. I had a really interesting conversation with a fellow who is involved in running a fabric/sewing/craft/quilting shop near here (and I know which mob they are, and I wasn't impressed with them five years ago, but maybe I should give them a second chance, because they do stock a wide range of items that I find difficult to get. Plus, he was willing to show off all the features of the expensive gadget that he was showing, even after I said that I covet one but cannot in any way afford one. I think I would need to set up a sideline in selling shiny things if I bought one, although fancy cut vinyl stickers are something I've love to be able to do...). There was one stall focusing on Fiskars items, and the person demoing a cutting ruler with built in rotary cutter was talking about how she can use that despite shoulder issues, etc etc, show special, etc etc, especially if you buy it with the rotating mat (which was on my wishlist) etc. So, bought one of those and a square rotating mat (the other one I'd seen was round, and I didn't really want a round one) for a total of $120 -- looking at the Spotlight web site, just the ruler is $125, so I'm feeling pretty happy about that. (even if it was that I gave in to a sales pitch, I'm justifying it that I was specifically looking to buy equipment that will make my life easier)

The exhibitions- I did in no way manage to do this justice. There was a wearable art exhibition of about a dozen pieces, and I wish I'd given the time to reading all about them, but by the time I found the displays I was already hitting headachy, so reading was limited. From there I went to the travelling exhibition, which made me realise how little I value textile art. I kept thinking 'but these aren't really quilts' and things like that -- it was only when I made myself step back and examine them as artworks, and started thinking about them that way that they started to make sense (things like printing a photograph onto fabric, and then building from that - there were at least three of these, and I couldn't make them make sense as quilts). As 'pieces of art that people would put on display' some of them were fabulous (and some were just meh, but that is me and art at the best of times. And then there was a vast exhibition of a range of works, from competitive ones (there must have been two different competitions displayed, at least, there appeared to be two sets with state winner ribbons), through to several quilt guild groups showcasing work-to-theme sets (and I really liked that - what do a range of people do with the same one). I did find that this area was a bit confusing, and I wish that more of the quilting groups had just had a piece of paper with meeting times on, so that I could work out which one(s) I would actually be able to get to. The one I'm most likely to have any luck with is the one where there were really really enthusiastic people encouraging me, telling me that everyone is welcome, and if you are a beginner, everyone is really helpful. And they meet on Sundays, so I will definitely think about going to that one. 

Presentations - I happened on one on free motion quilting. The person presenting it did a really good sales pitch on a few things, and then a really good 'how to learn' set of instructions, and I was inspired to purchase their starter kit, because it had a couple of things that I had already been eyeing off, plus a pre-printed set of quilt as you go blocks, so I got a couple of bits for 'free'. Which, oops, means I have another project*, but I'm just going to put it in the music room, and I'll get to it when I get to it (the second half of this year is probably going to involve a lot of me-at-home time, so I have hopes of craft). Other than that, I didn't go to any of the presentations. If I were to go again, this would be why I was going, and I'd look at the schedule ahead of time, and plan around that. 

Not buying fabric - mostly this was easy. I hate buying fat quarters, and a lot of places seemed to be mostly selling those. There was a stall selling 'french linen' which had absolutely beautiful fabric, but I have no projects that would have benefitted from those fabrics, and I don't need fabric for a new project (in future years, I can imagine picking a project, and then going shopping for fabrics, because it would be a great way to go a hunting -- so much more variety than just going to a local store), so resisting it was easy. My downfall was a basket in a corner of one very crowded stall, where 'bolt ends' (~3m) were being sold at $3/m, and there were two really good ones for backing baby quilts, which cost me $20 for just over 6m. There was a third I kind of liked, but it doesn't fit with the kind of colours I usually buy. I'm kind of regretting not getting it, because actually, it kind of suits something I have in mind. But really, *not buying fabric* was the goal.

Overall - I got in early enough that it wasn't horribly crowded, I managed to see a bit of everything and have an idea of what I might go back for in future years, if it falls at a time I can get there, and I only pushed things a little too hard (ow. and apparently, when I don't have water, and my mouth is too dry to dry swallow tablets, I've reached the point where chewing paracetamol tablets seems perfectly sensible, and I don't even noticed the bitterness). Oh, and I read a chapter of the textbook (including answering as many of the questions as is possible without pen and paper), and about half the next one, so I actually go a reasonable amount of study done.

Now: resting in bed. Might have to get up and have hot shower to kill off the rest of the headache/back ache/hip ache. Don't have to do anything responsible until nearly 4pm, when I have to go collect youngest from the train. *flop*

*and when I opened up the kit, it turns out that there is a quilt pattern in there as well, so technically I think that this means I have two new projects, because I've never made a quilt from a kit, and I kinda wanna see how I go. Bets on how far from the original pattern I deviate should be kept to a minimum, because I don't think I've ever met a pattern I didn't want to vary. 


May. 24th, 2017 11:07 pm
weofodthignen: selfportrait with Rune the cat (Default)
[personal profile] weofodthignen
Cooler today, and the air was forecast to be less ozone-filled. So I mowed the backyard. Meanwhile the extension that was put onto a house over the back fence is having yet more added to it; they must have discovered another six square inches of the yard they hadn't roofed over. Constant racket of power tools: construction hereabouts seems to involve smoking drills and giant staplers.
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
It turns out that it's hard for me to stand on one foot while I brush my teeth. I thought standing on one foot was easy, but I think that's because my sneakers are (probably) designed to stabilize my foot. I'm much more wobbly when I'm barefoot.

I was going to finish the zoo story tonight, but I ended up working instead. I edited my timesheet three times, which it doesn't care about as long as you do it same day. Once I went past midnight, it started asking me why I was changing yesterday's hours. The first time I said, "Still working." The second time I wrote, "Stillllllll working," but that didn't seem very professional so I changed it to, "Still working!"

I think the almost-dead plant I re-potted a few weeks ago is going to live, so yesterday I adopted another almost-dead plant. I feel sorry for them because it's not like I do anything to help them, but it seems better than letting them die on their own. Plus then if they don't die it's very exciting.
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Outside Interference
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 17 of ?
word count (story only): 1071

:: This story takes place the same day as “Insurance Salesmen,” picking up as Edwina arrives at work. This story will begin to make obvious and plot-critical connections between the earlier stories. I currently expect to wrap everything up within a total of twenty parts, around 25k words. ::

:: Pay Special Attention: Warnings will be listed by chapter, with the proper spoiler-cover on the index page and listing all necessary warnings. In this chapter, it's time to regroup and reassess their problems. Also, this is a promise from the author of a happy ending, because the plot is not about a missing shoe. ::

Tension wound between them as the professor, too, slipped into the kitchen. Sighing, Mister Williams turned to Edwina and politely cleared his throat. “Miss Edwina, now that I know of your education, I look forward to discussing the matter with you on Monday, at supper.”

“Yes, sir,” Edwina agreed, torn between reluctance and hope.
Read more... )

My life remains a farce

May. 24th, 2017 11:32 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
As anticipated, the tour guide never showed up. I waited an hour and a half (nor did he call me back, asshole). Oddly I wasn't angry because I honestly DID expect this. Okay that's not entirely true, I was pissed but I was calm. At the concierge's suggestion I called the tour guides that have their info here in the hotel but not surprisingly there was no answer because these are often small companies and already out for the day (though they didn't call back either).

So I called the trolley tour because it went to all kinds of cool places and lets you out to take pictures etc. And they said call back in an hour because our trolley is having troubles. Um...okay. I also found the hop on hop off bus and my mistake was waiting on the trolley. It remained too broken to us (so you have just one trolley?)

I didn't catch the bus until nearly noon and I didn't make it to the stop in time. However he saw me and pulled over to let me join in. It was a strange bus with wooden park bench like seats that broke my spine for about an hour and a half of touring the town, going past the geneology library and the Mormon tabernacle, Brigham Young's beehive and lion houses (he had to build a second one as his 6 wives and 57 kids needed room), we rolled past museums and churches and if I had gotten on the damn thing at the Red Butte Gardens and Natural history museums but it was already afternoon and in spite of claims of hopping on and off with 18 stops, we didn't really STOP at most of these things. Eventually I gave up on the idea of lunch (thank god I had crackers).

What I did was have him drop me at the Pioneer museum because it was at the top of a huge-ass hill that I knew I would never walk up but I could go down. The museum was fairly large (and free). Apparently the pioneer women kept every damn thing. I've never seen such a huge collection of linens, lace and other home goods. There was a fun collection of sewing machines, spinning wheels and looms, not to mention some Victorian prams (I have a love of those things).

I learned of a lady doctor (and that Brigham Young was encouraging women to be doctors in the 1880s. While I'm not particularly religious and have no real interest in Mormonism, BY seems like he was an interesting guy), Ellis Reynolds Shipp This link has better info (if very LSD slanted) but Wiki has a picture. She sounds like someone I'd like to read up on.

They also had a replica of the Gardo house (go google the images of the building) which had to be an amazing building but what amazes me more is they tore it down in under 40 years.

There is also a fantastic steam fire truck in the place that I loved.

From there I walked down hill past the most amazing old apartments that I would love to live in (betting their in the 2000K price range) and headed into the Temple Square. I mean you can't come here and not drop in on the Mormon seat of power. It's a huge complex. Inside the north visitor center I was told two things a) I could not go into the temple because I wasn't Mormon b) I must see the glorious redeemer statue on the second floor.

Oddly I was somehow bothered by the fact that non-Mormons were banned from the temple. I mean these are people who feel very comfortable going everywhere to spread their own beliefs (almost ALL the girls working the compound were from South America or Korea) but make us unwelcome inside their church. It's weird and to me, a little anti-CHristian but whatever.

The big Christ statue was worth seeing. There's a spiraling ramp up to him and he's surrounded by a semi circle painted with a mural of a galaxy and across the ceiling. It was very peaceful and lovely.

I wandered into the original tabernacle and they were illustrating how perfectly acoustical it was by dropping a pin on the lectern and you could hear it in the back. That was pretty cool. The original meeting house was lovely too and the southern visitor center had a model of the temple with videos of it. I'll give them this, at least none of the sisters tried to hard pedal their faith to me.

I trundled back to the hotel and went for dinner. I was going to walk to the pizza place I've been hearing about but since i walked out into a freaking sandstorm I raced across the street to Squatters Brew pub for an excellent oatmeal stout and reuben (literally one of the best I've had in ages) just in time for it to rain.

From there I was going to go to the reception for my conference but the storm went from hey it's raining to OMFG we're all going to die. THere was a new alert on the tv every fifteen minutes with the areas needing to seek shelter expanding. So I stayed in and made up for no lunch by getting an overpriced dessert in the Carniege Pub an adult moon pie with a port wine cake, chocolate ganche and marshmellow cream fluff. The ganche was thick and yummy but honestly the cake was a bit dry. Still it was good and surrounded with strawberries, raspberries and raspberry puree.

And oh I forgot, I got to see the hand cart momunment. Somehow or other the very first group of 144 men and 3 women (don't ask, I don't know) didn't have carriages. they walked out here dragging stuff out here on hand carts (holy crap).

No photos because I'm tired. I did finally get thru to the OTHER tour agency and they're like go book it on line. So I did. I swear to god they better show up because I know their names and website and I will screw them online. If I don't get to go out to the damn lake (I sure as hell smelled it today) I will be pissed.
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
Well, today didn't turn out quite the way I planned.

I guess we'll try again tomorrow.

Chilli steak stir fry

May. 24th, 2017 08:49 pm
lilly_c: (Chad Michael Murray)
[personal profile] lilly_c
Tonight for tea I was having to check the dates on the various fresh veg items I got with my Sainsbury's delivery at the weekend and found that the mushrooms, beansprouts, onion and sauce were in date (just) and those all got used. Thankfully, nothing I bought got wasted (makes an enormous change in my house.)

Bullet points:
*Vegetarian recipe
*Prep in 5 to 10 minutes
*Cooks in 5 to 10 minutes
*Adaptable to vegan
*Adaptable to gluten free
*Costs less than £5 to make

Vitalite free from Sunflower spread (for greasing the pan; use what you prefer)
Quorn steak strips (there are vegan versions of these in shops)
Mushrooms (I use around 1/2 punnet cut into slices)
Onions (I use around 1/2 cut into pieces)
Beansprouts (full bag; they shrink easily)
Sweet chilli and garlic stir fry sauce (full pouch)

Various cooking bits:
Cooker set to 2.5 (medium high) I use electric so whatever the equivalent is for gas cookers and other electric cookers to heat up
Use oil or margarine to grease the frying pan/wok (I use Vitalite free from Sunflower spread)
Quorn in first and turn over as much as possible
Add in the chosen veggies and cook for a little over five minutes (use your preferred timings on how you like your stir fry)
Around two minutes before plating up add the pouch of sauce and stir until everything is covered.

Plated up :) )

Quorn steak strips £1.50
Mushrooms 90p
Onion 17p
Beansprouts 65p
Stir fry sauce 50p
Vitalite £1.20 (I already had an open tub in my fridge)
Total - £4.92 *the maths should be right, I used a calculator :p for it*


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