dragoness_e: Me in the pink straw cowboy hat (Pink Hat)
We're fine. We rode out the storm at my mother's old house, and had power the whole time, though the internet got shaky.

View for the last three days...

We're on the high side of town, so I don't expect problems from storm-surge flooding beyond street flooding. (Steve went out and cleared some storm drains that were full of debris on our street, which helped the street flooding situation a lot.) However, the south and central sides of town are about 3-5 feet underwater from storm surge.

Mostly, I'm really tired of being house-bound. Becky's on her way to Dragon*Con, so I worry about her getting there safely, as she's driving under the edge of (now) Tropical Storm Isaac. OTOH, she managed to get to Dragon*Con in 2005 driving through the storm-shattered wasteland that was Mississippi & Alabama after Katrina rampaged through, so I trust her resourcefulness.


Aug. 22nd, 2012 07:05 am
dragoness_e: Living Dead Girl (Living Dead Girl)
Back from vacation. Pictures to come later when I have the ambition. However, got a few things done lately.

- cleared out mother's hat collection from master bedroom closet (okay, passed it to the daughter to see if she wants any vintage hats.)
- over vacation, finished a Skyfire fic, "Port Call". No, it's not up yet.
- over vacation, turned my DBZ and Transformers fics into collections of eBooks. Got permission from the artists to use certain pieces of fanart as covers, inspirational pieces, etc. If you want to read my fanfics on your Kindle or Nook or whatever, I have EPUB, MOBI, and zipped-up HTML packs available at http://www.republicofnewhome.org/lair/writing/ebooks.php
- as a bonus, eBook readers of "28 Dead Ends" get a preview of an unfinished 28, "On Vacation".
dragoness_e: Me in the pink straw cowboy hat (Pink Hat)
I buried my mother yesterday. Since Dad was a WWII Veteran, and he died 5 years ago but his ashes were never interred, I informed the funeral home that I wanted to see them both buried at a National Cemetery. Not a problem, all they needed was a copy of his discharge papers which I dug out of Mom's filing cabinets. They arranged everything.

A bit of bad comedy ensued three days ago when I checked the urn I thought Dad's ashes were in and it turned out to be (a) already opened and (b) empty. Oops. I guess Mom scattered or buried Dad's ashes without telling me. Unfortunately, the funeral and burial were already scheduled and my in-laws were already on the way down. Double oops.

Several frantic phone calls to the funeral director later, they got on the phone and checked with Biloxi National Cemetery and found out that it was not a problem; Dad would just get "In Memory Of" on his stone, and Mom would be buried there as planned. Cue me stopping panicking and having hysterics.

Yesterday was a very nice day; on the way to Biloxi, we passed many, many classic cars that were in the Gulfport/Biloxi area for "Cruising the Coast", a classic car gathering/festival. Didn't even know about until I saw the cars, so it was pure lagniappe.

When we got to the VA complex, we followed the "Funeral Procession" signs as my funeral director had instructed... and they stopped at the entrance of the Cemetery. We had no clue where to go, and drove around a bit until I noticed the pavilion and earth-moving equipment. Beyond them was what turned out to be the admin building. A-ha, this must be the place!. Also while searching for the right place, we saw a red fox hanging around the columbarium; he kept ducking behind banks of mortuary niches when we looked at him, then peering out from behind the other side to see if we were still there.

At the Admin Building, the gentleman in charge pointed us to the pavilion, and told us to talk to Becky, the sexton in charge of things. I asked about the fox, and he turned out to be a well-known inhabitant, and was apparently much annoyed from all the stirring about and setting up for a burial today. We then went over to the pavilion and talked to the sexton; Becky was very helpful, and introduced us to Deacon Henderson, who was very nice and was the chaplain to conduct the burial service. Once we got everything set up, we waited for the appointed start time, because I thought some of Mom's friends might show up, and it was a good thing I did, because Julia S., her friend and former lawyer, did show up, so it was me, my daughter, my spouse, his parents, and Julia S. there.

It was a very nice service, outside on a very nice fall day. After the brief service, we walked over and watched the urn buried. For a cremation urn, they don't use earth-moving equipment; they dig the hole by hand and fill it in by hand, all very old-fashioned. The stark white marble stones that they use in a military cemetery stand in neat ranks, and there is something profound and inspiring about those ranks, all of them engraved with the names of those who served, and sometimes those of their wives (or husbands). If you have ever served a term as an active duty military person, you are entitled to a grave in a National Cemetery, and so is your spouse. If you have [i]both[/i] served, both of you are entitled to a plot and a headstone. (Otherwise the spouse shared the headstone with the one who served).

We'll return when the headstone is installed, in a couple of months.

After the burial, after we thanked everyone--and everyone involved was very helpful and efficient and nice--we all went off and had lunch. On the way out, we got to see even more classic muscle cars. All in all, it was the nicest funeral I've ever been to.

It's over.

Sep. 28th, 2010 07:37 pm
dragoness_e: Me in the pink straw cowboy hat (Pink Hat)
The nursing home just called. My mother has passed away. I rather expected it; she was in the last stages of decline when I visited her this afternoon. She lived a long, full life: she was born Dec 7, 1923, got married as an 18-year-old in the midst of WWII, had a kid, had a grandchild, was widowed in 2005 and rode out Hurricane Katrina 3 weeks later, and died today, Sept 28, 2010, just shy of 86.

Farewell, mom.


Apr. 18th, 2010 06:11 pm
dragoness_e: (Default)
My remaining cat died today.


Apr. 5th, 2010 12:47 pm
dragoness_e: Me in the pink straw cowboy hat (Pink Hat)
So over the weekend I dug out my old fishtank and associated gear, hauled it up to my mom's house, and cleaned it and all the associated decorations, hoses, mysterious plastic objects, etc. This morning I assembled it, figuring out what all the parts were and how they went together. I think it's been 20 years since I had an active tank.

I figured the kitchen counter might be the best place for the aquarium; it will actually get looked at and maintained instead of being abandoned and forgotten if it's in a well-lit main traffic area rather than in, say, an unused bedroom. (Also, I don't want to listen to the air pump buzzing in my ear all night). It felt good to clean off all the old magazines, coupon stacks, and random slips of papers with notes on it and give the counter a good scrubbing, just like it felt good last week to put in the little flower bed. (Speaking of which, I need to weed that this afternoon--nut grass is pushing up through the mulch).

After sorting and assembling things, I confirmed that I have 1 undergravel filter and 2 over-the-side filtration units. I put the smaller, older one away, since it isn't needed. I also have 3 aquarium heaters and 3 air pumps. I think I only need one of those, as well. I'll probably test the aquarium heaters and find out which ones actually work. The air pumps all seem to work; I'll probably use one of the single-outlet ones. I can't see needing the big dual-outlet pump for anything.

Next, I need to get gravel, and activated charcoal for the side filter (still have filter wool), fill the tank with water, and let things settle out. I'm not sure if I want live or plastic plants yet, but I'm leaning toward live.
dragoness_e: Me in the pink straw cowboy hat (Pink Hat)
Yesterday, I made honey-oatmeal bread for the first time. It's the first loaf of bread that I've made that actually rose to full size and looked like a proper loaf of bread.

The honey added a nice sweetness to it that made it especially tasty. Ravyn, I used some of that Swamp Honey (I have a jar, too). I swear that's some of the tastiest honey I've ever had--I think there's something in the mix that tastes like citrus flower honey.

The fruitcakes I made two weeks ago are still curing in the fridge, of course. I soak them with rum.
dragoness_e: (Default)
I'm in the Bay area of California, and it's raining! There's wet drippy stuff outside my window, and the sky is grey and the ground is wet. I'm told this is very early in the season for rain. I wonder if I'll get a chance to see those brown hills turn green?

Addendum: I walked over to Maria Elena's for an early dinner. The air was still moist, a misty drizzle that you could just barely feel, and very, very fresh. The damp brought out the smells of all the wild herbs in the area, and the air was ripe with the scent of wild fennel. It was like walking through licorice.

Maria Elena's fish tacos are absolutely awesome! I recommend trying them if you're ever in the area.

Cut for pink hat )
dragoness_e: Living Dead Girl (nasty bitch)
Job hunting has always been the most demoralizing thing I do in my life. Funerals are more fun. But posting application after application, and either hearing nothing at all ("Did my e-mail with resume vanish into a black hole, or what?") or the usual "Sorry, you don't meet our needs at this time" just frankly sucks. Nothing like rejection after rejection, day in and day out, to make you appreciate yourself... as a useless waste of space who is obviously not competent to function as an adult in the Real World.

Now I'm getting a new twist: "Sorry, but we require more recent experience." Never mind that I've been out of the job market for five years because of family obligations and a fucking hurricane wrecking my town, all they care about is I haven't worked in my career field since late 2002.

So if you stop working in a technical field for a few years, what, you're supposed to just go on welfare or work a minimum wage job for the rest of your life? You can't start back up at maybe a lower level of seniority or something?

From what I saw of my fellow contractor-programmers when I was working, even with five years of rust, I'm smarter and better than 90% of the wallys out there. But will I get a chance to prove it?
dragoness_e: (Default)

It's been one of those weeks where I seriously empathize with Dead End. I've been unaccountably depressed, stressed and prone to bursting into tears over the least little thing. And had to stay home sick from work yesterday. Still don't feel so good.

It's been a stretch of those last few days where I feel that everything I do is pointless, that I'm just wasting lifespan in a life that doesn't mean much to begin with. I've been writing a lot in the last few weeks, which means I should be happy, because I love writing, but I'm in one of those moods where I feel like my writing sucks, everyone else is way better than me, and no one will like what I've written so I might as well just toss it. I've got too many responsibilities that I haven't kept up on because I've been writing and working 8 hours a day, so that gets to me, too.

Right now, I suck, my writing sucks, life sucks, and I'll die in 40 years or so if I'm lucky.

Yeah, I can get into Dead End's headspace and write him--if I can stop being depressed long enough to type. How's that for irony?

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