From A Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindberg:
The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what it was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting as it is now. For relationships, too, must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides. One must accept the security of the winged life, of the ebb and flow of intermittency.
It just needed saying...
If we go by my actual blog posts, I'm "silenter" than Silent Bob -- he talks at least once in every movie, right?
Depending on how religiously you check here in the hope for new content, you may have seen the blog go down for a week or two. Yeah.... I think some of the posts are broken/missing and this annoys me. I had a problem a couple months back and Randy swooped in to save the day -- the database had corruption issues -- and I think that's where the missing posts went. sigh
Because of that problem, I've been even more lax at doing any kind of managing of the site. This includes figuring out why my comments are being spammed so ridiculously -- I think there have been no legitimate comments in over a year, while the spammers are just drowning my blog with spammy comments. Meanwhile, I really do want to clean it up and maybe find a better theme. The blue is just too.... bright. Too "cheery". Like a flight attendant with too much caffeine. Ugh.
So, what's new with me? Hmmm.... Well, we've been looking for a house since before the house we fled from in June. You might recall we were putting a bid in on this house, before we left town for our 20th Anniversary Roadtrip. While we were out of town, the bank who was permitting the short-sale got back to us. Apparently, their comps (comparable houses in the area) were $20k higher than our bid (which placed the price very conveniently at their list price). So, they decided to go to foreclosure instead. Meanwhile, we learned that both A/C units had been vandalized and would need replacing. We already knew that due to such a long vacancy, the pool needed some surface repairs and we were likely to lose the orange trees from lack of watering. So, we passed on that house.
Once we returned home from the roadtrip (I'll cover that in a bit), I got right back to checking out ZIP Realty for price drops, new listings and such. One of our days of looking resulted in a fall -- I didn't see a "step down", twisted my ankle and landed on my left knee, directly on tile. I didn't realize until later, I'd braced myself with my hands as well, so I've done some kind of minor (?) damage to my right hand, along the pinky side. The right ankle is the same one I broke in the car accident.
Anyway, we kept looking for houses. (The one I fell in was not good -- the pool was so beautiful, but the house itself was just not workable.) Just before I left for New York for almost 3 weeks, we toured a house in Mesa, only .3 miles from the light rail! We put together an offer and began the process. It was made much easier by a product called DocuSign. We're currently waiting on a document to show up and for the loan to come back from underwriting. Close is supposed to be on the 17th of this month -- this Wednesday!
I really hate living in this tiny apartment -- and very soon, we're going to have one more person living with us! This is a good thing, but if the house falls through, it's definitely going to be an interesting start to the new year!
So, let me back up a little bit. The Roadtrip was good, until it wasn't. We visited Randy's parents, then headed in to Canton, Ohio for my sister's wedding on the 28th. It turns out she had a cold. I caught it. It dropped straight into my chest and I was extremely worried Randy would come down with it next. We cancelled all our other planned stops and made a bee-line for home. Poor Randy had to drive the entire trip by himself. For at least the first 75% of the trip, I was knocked out with all the cold medications. I think Sirius Radio saved the day! One of the plans cancelled was a meet-up with DrunkenMonkeyKnits herself. sigh
Many blogs are personal in nature, not business-oriented. For that reason, we all choose what we are comfortable sharing about our lives, online and in the clear. Maybe it's not super-obvious, unless you've tried to leave a comment (another reason I debated dropping the whole blog is because of the spammers), but I'm running my blog on Drupal. So far, I haven't really bothered with settings like "you must have an approved account and be logged in to read posts" because I feel that's sorta contrary to the concept of a blog. Couldn't I just send emails to the people I'm willing to let read the things I don't want public?
I've been struggling with how to handle some of the private stuff I'm not sure I want "in the clear". Those who know me in person are pretty likely to know some of this stuff already. Those who don't may or may not know it. And I'm hedging my bets on waiting, rather than having stuff "out there" I can't take back (at least, not easily!).
Something I can talk about is our Intentional Community, or IC (pronouned eye-see) as we call it. We've been debating whether to keep the name of the IC independent of the dome we hope to build (yes, it seems that most if not all of the domes have names!). So we tend to refer to it in the abstract as "the IC". We're adding another member to the IC at the end of the year, which I'm really excited about. We're hoping, if the house ends up being ours, to develop a garden and perhaps, eventually, a tilapia pond!
I've been actively planning to return to school in the Summer of 2011, to get my Master's in Architecture. With everything else on my plate right now, I'm feeling a little crammed just trying to study for the GRE. I'm also not 100% positive of my reasons for going back to school. I'll be the first to admit, I feel a little "worthless" at times -- worth very little and a drain on the household economy. So, I think the idea of going back for a degree in something I really do want to do and being willing to go back to work and "bring home the bacon" is appealing to me. More importantly, I don't want to be one of those people who just sit around and let life slide right past them, while they whine about life not being great and feeling depressed.
The question has been raised: did I quit writing for the right reasons? Did I quit because I wanted to? Or because I lost faith in myself? Did I allow Clarion West's rejection to dictate my future direction? Do I still really want to be a writer?
Which brings me to the GRE exam. It's $160 -- a lot to spend on just an exam, if I'm not fully committed. And right now, I don't think I am. With the possible move and settling into a new home, the addition of an IC member, the stuff I really don't want to talk about here, "in the clear".... plus some of my other personal projects, I just don't think my focus is on taking the exam this month or even next month -- only to have to turn around and put together an application package.
To this end, I'm going to focus on
Once I've dealt with some of these things and "cleared my deck", so to speak, maybe I'll focus on my first novel and the rat's nest I made of the ending, so I can finally get it onto a publisher's desk!
But for now, I'm not making any more claims. I've made too many and I'm starting to feel buffeted by my own winds of change.
I'm a little excited about discovering Epic Words and Obsidian Portal as some of our games are getting very multi-media in nature. Plus, I've become the de facto chronicler of our games (someone buy me an EeeePC!), so I've got journal entries and roleplay votes, loot records... that's a lot of data to be sharing by Wave or email.
Randy's already checking out some of the cool products I've discovered just by voting!
For an actual product, I really liked Battlegraph Dry Erase Boards. I like the grooves in the boards, facilitating straight lines. I like the modular nature of the boards. I dislike the price -- $24 (plus shipping) for 4 boards is a little steep... I'll be watching to see if the market price comes down a little. Maybe when it drops down to $20 / 4 boards, we'll check them out.
Lady Blackbird looks kinda fun. I've only ever played in "high fantasy" settings -- well, Rowan and Randy's new co-DM'd game started as Sci-fi and is bleeding towards high fantasy, but we've only used the fantasy mechanics. So, I'd love to check out Lady Blackbird from a mechanics perspective.
I've also signed up on Pen and Paper Games, despite my desire to bring more tech into how I save my game information. There's still a very strong pencil-and-paper element to the games for me. Especially with my efforts to publish my own set of character sheets for 3.5e and Pathfinder. (One day, I'll finally name them and get that whole ball rolling!)
Totally unrelated to the ENnies, but still gaming related, if anyone out there wants to gift me with something truly impressive, I'll take one of these Sultan Gaming table please. *grin* Doesn't that look cool? Randy disagrees, since it's not everything he wants it to be, for that price. I think he's got more geek-based ideas involving a screen projector underneath with an integrated PC to serve maps and the like. *shakes head* He hasn't managed to complete several other less elaborate geek-based plans, so I'd be glad to "settle" for the Sultan.
If you're a gamer, please feel free to point me to other cool products I may have missed -- just 'cause they didn't make this year's ENnies doesn't mean they aren't cool. I mean, I <3 Skeleton Key Games tile PDFs... and they aren't in this year's nominations.
I love to knit. If you read here, you probably figured that out already. But I also love jigsaw puzzles. And... in my humble opinion, there is no finer manufacturer of them than Springbok. I was browsing their site and I thought I'd share some of my favorites -- many of which are knitting-themed!
I've noted that Wists is down -- I don't know why or for how long. If it's permanent, I'll remove the footer from the blog. *sigh*
Fancy that. I'm going to write a post, on a knitting blog, about actual knitting. No way!
I finished the shawl I'm planning on wearing at Marcey's wedding -- in just 62 days! Wanna see it?
|This is the yarn: Yarntopia Treasures 10/2 Tencel in "Moccasin" colorway.|
|Here it is, wound into a center-pull ball. I like to use a coin (when I remember) to give a sense of "scale" to the weight of the yarn. This one is "laceweight".|
|This is the general pattern of the shawl. It called for the borders to be beaded, as well, but that would have called for another $15 worth of beads -- and made it much heavier. I'm glad I only beaded the squares.|
|A close-up of the beads. These are clear Czech glass 6/0 copper-lined seed beads, purchases from Beadaholique.|
|This isn't the finished product -- that's much longer -- but from this, you get the idea.|
Overall, the pattern wasn't difficult, just tedious. I didn't find it to be an easily memorizable pattern (and I'll memorize 12-row repeats of lace edging!). The repetition was boring though. I'm used to doing large lace charts that, once you've finished them, you move on to another large chart and so on. This one however, you do the chart again and again. And again. Ad nauseum. I stopped at about half way on the 14th repeat, so 13.5 repeats. Any more and it would have been just too huge.
I've got another teddy bear on the needles, but no pictures up until the recipient has it as she reads here. *grin* I've also got a semi-scary project on the needles. I'm trying to make lace stockings. Eek. Stay tuned to see how that goes.
...that made me stop and write a post.
The irony is that just the other day I commented, "I should write a blog post soon, so Gabriel's face isn't the first thing I always see." (It makes me cry when I see him...) I don't know that seeing this is much better.