lavendertook: (saki smiling)
( Sep. 4th, 2017 11:33 pm)
A very Happy Birthday to [personal profile] ladyjax today and to [personal profile] benedict tomorrow!!!


This would have been Saki's 19th birthday/coming home day. I was so lucky to have such a clown and sweetheart in my life for 16 years--many were hard years that I am grateful for because she was in them for the brightest moments.

Saki in a Bag 7-13

<3<3<3
My Eclipse Trek was a short 3 day there and back again kind of trip that I started hopefully planning through google wanderings 2 months ago and really came together the end of July when Debra agreed to come with me and introduced me to her petsitter D at her party. I read an article on the upcoming eclipse, probably from the Washington Post 2 months ago and learned the term the "Path of Totality", that the eclipses I saw as a kid were only partial, and that all kinds of cool special effects I missed could be seen only if you are in the Path of Totality. So my desire to see this astronomical wonder only started then.

The closest route to the Path of Totality was straight down I-95 to South Carolina. I knew motels in the Path of Totality would have been sold out long already, so I looked at availability in Florence, SC, which also had the advantage of being on the cross roads to the closest point of totality straight down I-95 to Santee, SC, east to Charleston, SC, or west to Columbia, SC. I'd aim for Santee, but tried to do research for good viewing spots around Columbia and Charleston if clearer skies were predicted that morning in either of the latter places rather than Santee. Florence had plenty of vacancies in July, but started filling up fast in August.

I made a reservation 2 weeks before at the Thunderbird Inn , a basic economical 2 star hotel, much like most of the places my family stayed at during our family vacations. It had definitely seen better days, but was plenty comfortable, and yet seemed to put a lot of its budget into landscaping, which was a big attraction for me, because seeing palm trees out the window in the morning would be my solace if clouds spoiled the view we were traveling to see. I could take palm trees and Spanish moss as my consolation prize, as it's been more than a decade since I've seen them. Stretching my back swimming in a pool looking up at palm trees would help make the long drive more doable.



Read more... )
Though the skies were partly cloudy, my friend D and I were graced with a clear view of the total eclipse today, as we sat on the shores of Lake Marion in Summerton, South Carolina a few yards from the centerline of the path of totality. It was such a quick 2 1/2 minutes of total eclipse! We were so fortunate and my heart goes out to people who were hoping, and especially those who traveled far whose views were totally obscured by clouds.

We saw it. We both missed the first diamond ring because we didn't know you should take off the glasses while you still see a tiny sliver of orange, but we saw the ending diamond ring right before we put our glasses back on. I saw red-pink Baily's beads around parts of the moon's circumference during most of totality--at least I think I did--I didn't know you could see them the whole time. We got to see the wispy corona--I know they vary per eclipse--I think

I didn't register the temp dropping as the moon covered more of the sun, just that I wasn't sweltering anymore and I was feeling really comfortable, so it probably dropped 20 degrees from the 90's to the 70's. Afterwards, when D mentioned it, I was "oh yeah, the temp did drop!"

What was very wonderful is that just before totality, the cicadas in the beautiful Spanish Moss adorned pines and oaks behind us started singing.--so we got the critter special effects as well.

The clouds were pretty sunset on the horizon. We didn't see a lot of stars come out. The brightest one was way off to the right at 3 o'clock--west--I wonder if it was Jupiter or Venus? There was a dim star very close to the eclipse at 11 o'clock--was that mercury?

Another cool thing is before the totality, I remembered to run up and look at the sand under a tree on the edge of the beach and saw tons of tiny crescent suns reflected through the leaves--got pics of those I will post when I can upload them. Thank you [personal profile] spiralsheep for turning me on to that--an awesome special effect. I might have seen some of the pre-eclipse gravity bands on a light gray metal sheets on the pier, but I'm not sure.

As the eclipse receded, the sky looked very dark southeast of us over the lake--I wondered if we were seeing the shadow falling on the clouds out toward Charleston and the shoreline--where it was reported to be cloudy--I don't know if anyone got to see it there--haven't had time to look at reports.

We were so lucky because there were clouds that at times totally obscured the sun as it was receding. D thinks she saw reflections of the moon's face (the man in the moon) on the sun's surface as the moon was receding.

It wasn't a life changing experience, maybe because I'm so wowed by so many of nature's details that many people don't take time to notice--(Eee to see palm trees out in the wild and Spanish moss again!), but it makes me feel very lucky and grateful because it would have been so easy for the view to have eluded us behind chance clouds that were so near. And it has been such a fun adventure to have.

And I have a wonderful new petsitter who spent the night with my cats, and Tuxie slept against her, so finally knowing I can leave my cats in security is kind of a life changing thing for me I haven't had for many years.

I will post more about this brief but wonderful adventure with pics in another post. I hope those of you who could catch the eclipse enjoyed. The viewing glasses we have now make watching even the partial eclipse so much cooler than when I was a kid. And yay for the wonderful NASA feeds--it was so cool to watch Oregon get their totality on screen just as ours was beginning outside while we were finishing lunch in The LakeHouse. What a great day! We were so lucky! Goodnight, my friends! <3<3<3
It's been so long since I've given a good update and I've missed so many birthdays. I keep hoping to post belated birthday pic spams, but I'm just going to give a shout out now before it's next year:

Happy Belated Birthdays to my dear friends [personal profile] hanarobi, [livejournal.com profile] addie71, [livejournal.com profile] jan_u_wine, [livejournal.com profile] julchen11, and any of my flisties I missed the last few months!

The US Coast to Coast Total Solar Eclipse on August 21st! So has everyone in the US gotten their eclipse glasses? I got certified American Paper Optics glasses on eBay and they came in the mail this week. Is anyone in the Path of Totality? Is anyone making plans to travel to it? I've seen partial eclipses before and wasn't impressed, but only learned the last few months that you only get the good special effects if you are in the Path of Totality and even 99.999% won't compare. The closest vantage is 8 hours south from where I live and I've been making tentative plans to drive down. But it all depends on the weather, kitty health, and the shape my achy foot is in. Anyone else planning on traveling to see it?

Much to report but I'll suffice with telling you about my friend D's 65th birthday bash last Saturday in the yard of her farmhouse out west of Baltimore. She hired our favorite local band ilyAMY to play a 3 hour set, and they were wonderful as always and enjoyed the Shire-like setting. I've been meaning to see them for years, but only first saw them last November, when I really needed them, for national reasons you can guess, and it really helped. Anyway, there were tons of cake and food, and more wine and beer, and to top off the hobbitiness, she had some grand fireworks, and people sent off burning lanterns into the sky. It was beautiful. Thank goodness we had a deluge for a couple of days that only ended a couple of hours before the party to keep all foliage moist and keep the celebration from burning the whole damned countryside down, because they would have sent them off anyway if it was dry--yoy! The party was in the middle of my Tuxie-medicating time, so I missed the first couple of hours, unfortunately, but I still had a really fun time. I enjoyed helping break things down and cleaning up and got to chat with some of the band and D's friends at the end. Most fun I've had in a long time. It was glorious.

Also glorious were the peach melba bonbon's that just came in the mail from the most generous and talented chef [personal profile] minoanmiss. <3 OMG, they were yummy and it's astonishing how quickly they disappeared! Those sweets made up for a really frustrating week of customer service annoyances, scam artist encounters, foot aches, and such draws on my time and energy, and together with the spring-like weather today in my beautiful town and purring kitties, life is good.

And thank you to everyone who gave me suggestions on getting a new cellphone a while back. I got an iPhone 7 Plus I am happy with. if you'd like to call or text me, please send me a PM or email and I'll give you the number.

Lots more to tell, but time for bed. Goodnight!
Happy Thanksgiving Day! I hope all who celebrate are having a good one. And to those who don't, OK, you can have a good day too. I'm so grateful to have all my friends here--I'm not sure how you all fit yourselves into my tiny macbook air, but I'm glad you did. <3

DSCN5568
Another October pic I took by the lake.

I had a yummy T-Day meal with [personal profile] zlabya and her DH and her BF. I made my signature salad, and she made a yummy chicken, sweet potato casserole, and apple crisp. Excellent company to hang out with.

Auditing the Vote

If you missed the news, Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for US President started raising funds yesterday to audit and recount the votes in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Best comment ever reported as seen on twitter by [livejournal.com profile] ambree40: lanyard @lanyardigan 8h8 hours ago: Please, God: like Gollum, let Jill Stein have a totally unforeseen and critical purpose. :-D

I contributed yesterday and watching it grow has been so exciting--they're up to $4.3 million and counting. Go here if you want to contribute or just watch the donations flood in.

A decade back I was following the voting integrity push, belonged to Common Cause, and presented a paper to Congresspeople involved in the movement. When I canvassed for John Kerry down in Florida on election weekend, I listened to poll workers who saw voting machines flip their votes from Kerry to Bush.

We've made great strides in creating a paper trail in many districts in this country to check these problems, but paper backup ballots don't do any good if you never audit and take a look at them. It's just a gigantic green flag to hackers, Russian gov't connected or from anywhere, if they know we're not verifying the optical scanners by checking some of the paper ballots. We should be auditing a sampling of ballots in every state before we announce the count, and we should get used to not having instant gratification and wait a week or 3 before announcing a winner, as grueling as it would have felt to do that this year.

So, without getting my hopes too high that they will find something that will overturn the horrid results of this election (but seeing that Trump has a pattern of doing the things he accuses others of and Bannon is involved with data-mining operations, how could we not check this out), the recount here is just a needed thing to ensure the integrity of the vote. As long as we're having elections close enough that one side wins the electors and the other side the popular vote, vote audits should be made an automatic procedure through legislation. We're doing a good thing here, whatever the outcome of the recount.

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/216488.html with comment count unavailablecomments
Happy Thanksgiving Day! I hope all who celebrate are having a good one. And to those who don't, OK, you can have a good day too. I'm so grateful to have all my friends here--I'm not sure how you all fit yourselves into my tiny macbook air, but I'm glad you did. <3

DSCN5568
Another October pic I took by the lake.

I had a yummy T-Day meal with [personal profile] zlabya and her DH and her BF. I made my signature salad, and she made a yummy chicken, sweet potato casserole, and apple crisp. Excellent company to hang out with.

Auditing the Vote

If you missed the news, Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for US President started raising funds yesterday to audit and recount the votes in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Best comment ever reported as seen on twitter by [livejournal.com profile] ambree40: lanyard @lanyardigan 8h8 hours ago: Please, God: like Gollum, let Jill Stein have a totally unforeseen and critical purpose. :-D

I contributed yesterday and watching it grow has been so exciting--they're up to $4.3 million and counting. Go here if you want to contribute or just watch the donations flood in.

A decade back I was following the voting integrity push, belonged to Common Cause, and presented a paper to Congresspeople involved in the movement. When I canvassed for John Kerry down in Florida on election weekend, I listened to poll workers who saw voting machines flip their votes from Kerry to Bush.

We've made great strides in creating a paper trail in many districts in this country to check these problems, but paper backup ballots don't do any good if you never audit and take a look at them. It's just a gigantic green flag to hackers, Russian gov't connected or from anywhere, if they know we're not verifying the optical scanners by checking some of the paper ballots. We should be auditing a sampling of ballots in every state before we announce the count, and we should get used to not having instant gratification and wait a week or 3 before announcing a winner, as grueling as it would have felt to do that this year.

So, without getting my hopes too high that they will find something that will overturn the horrid results of this election (but seeing that Trump has a pattern of doing the things he accuses others of and Bannon is involved with data-mining operations, how could we not check this out), the recount here is just a needed thing to ensure the integrity of the vote. As long as we're having elections close enough that one side wins the electors and the other side the popular vote, vote audits should be made an automatic procedure through legislation. We're doing a good thing here, whatever the outcome of the recount.
[livejournal.com profile] mews1945's spirit flew away on the high winds heralding in the autumn cold today, in a wave of the first brightly colored leaves, so attuned to the seasons as she was. I wish it weren't today and she was here longer. I wish I could have taken her to Braughers again. Safe passage, dear friend.

DSCN5284.jpg

I can't upload some of the older pics I'd like to include, so this one will have to do for now. I love this pic of her focusing with hobbity attention on her rare ice cream treat when we saw her this spring, such a joy it was to be there with her.

Namarie, sweetie.

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/208685.html with comment count unavailablecomments
[livejournal.com profile] mews1945's spirit flew away on the high winds heralding in the autumn cold today, in a wave of the first brightly colored leaves, so attuned to the seasons as she was. I wish it weren't today and she was here longer. I wish I could have taken her to Braughers again. Safe passage, dear friend.

DSCN5284.jpg

I can't upload some of the older pics I'd like to include, so this one will have to do for now. I love this pic of her focusing with hobbity attention on her rare ice cream treat when we saw her this spring, such a joy it was to be there with her.

Namarie, sweetie.
Moo and Tuxie planned to do a little dance for your birthday, [livejournal.com profile] febobe, but as you can see . . .


. . . they are very, very busy cats. It takes a lot of work and dedication to prepare to win the only feline Olympic sport and they are working very hard at their form here. They hope to bring back the gold in the synchronized team division.



Happy Birthday, dear [livejournal.com profile] febobe!!! May you have a gold medal birthday with fun, yummies, and love today with your folks!!! (((((You)))))

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/201841.html with comment count unavailablecomments
Moo and Tuxie planned to do a little dance for your birthday, [livejournal.com profile] febobe, but as you can see . . .


. . . they are very, very busy cats. It takes a lot of work and dedication to prepare to win the only feline Olympic sport and they are working very hard at their form here. They hope to bring back the gold in the synchronized team division.



Happy Birthday, dear [livejournal.com profile] febobe!!! May you have a gold medal birthday with fun, yummies, and love today with your folks!!! (((((You)))))
lavendertook: (Default)
( Jul. 18th, 2016 08:59 pm)
A very happy birthday to dear [livejournal.com profile] mews1945!!! I hope today is filled with love and all good things and that you feel a little stronger each day. Here are some pretties and fuzzies from around Greenbelt Lake, and thereabouts for you.


A sweet william in all their variety of colors that was blooming in May by the lake.


A deer in the woods behind my apartment building who was very fascinated by my talking to him in baby talk--so many critters seem to just love that.


A squirrel by the lake feasting at a lakeside house's yard where they put out bird seed.

Read more... )

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/201138.html with comment count unavailablecomments
lavendertook: (Default)
( Jul. 18th, 2016 08:59 pm)
A very happy birthday to dear [livejournal.com profile] mews1945!!! I hope today is filled with love and all good things and that you feel a little stronger each day. Here are some pretties and fuzzies from around Greenbelt Lake, and thereabouts for you.


A sweet william in all their variety of colors that was blooming in May by the lake.


A deer in the woods behind my apartment building who was very fascinated by my talking to him in baby talk--so many critters seem to just love that.


A squirrel by the lake feasting at a lakeside house's yard where they put out bird seed.

Read more... )
KVETCHING

A lot of annoying times for me these past 3 weeks, in addition to the upsetting world angst. Nothing life shattering for me--I'm just bent out of shape like it was--shape up self! Car repairs that took 2 days and resulted in having to replace the radiator and fan assembly. At the same time, I had a maintenance person in for 2 days working on the drip that had become a stream from my bathtub faucet and had to keep calling on him when the first days work resulted in not all the water going up to the shower head when switched, until he came up with a makeshift solution, which I hope holds.

Then the next week my bedroom ac stopped working. That took a week and a lot of calling, waiting for contractors who did not show up, hot nights, then the maintenance man making my sunroom into a mess when he brought in a portable ac. It was finally fixed Tuesday.

Read more... )



Read more... )
It has been a long couple of weeks of home and car repair stressors. But I’m finally taking some time to finish my moot write up that I started a couple of weeks ago now. I was a bit absent here in the spring focusing on moot prep, and since it focusing on household stuff that got pushed aside and not so good with keeping up with posts and comments here. I’m working my way back.

So we had this moot Memorial Day weekend. (-:

FRIDAY

The moot started a couple of hours later than planned—Friday morning I heard from poor [livejournal.com profile] hildigard_brown that her flight out of Austin was cancelled and she was rebooked for Saturday afternoon. I was sad not to meet her that morning and for the time she would miss out on, but I took the time to relax, take a walk before the day got too hot, and then drive up to the bus station in Baltimore to pick up [livejournal.com profile] aliensouldream and [livejournal.com profile] gabi_fics (from Manchester, UK via NJ, down to DC and back up to Baltimore) getting there just as their bus got in half past noon, and there were their smiling faces and it was a happy reunion! The two of them bought so much happy cheer to be here and with all of us that was infectious.

From Baltimore we went to the hobbity Le Madeleines in Columbia for lunch and happy chatter. Claudia, you remember Le Madeleine’s, right? Actually we talked a lot about politics and I learned some things about Brexit and Rupert Murdock’s machinations thereat (crossing my fingers about the vote today.) A wonderful start to the moot. Then I dropped them at the Greenbelt Marriott to check in, while I went back up to BWI to pick up [livejournal.com profile] shirebound in from San Diego and [livejournal.com profile] lovethosehobbit from Salt Lake City and collected my lovely hugs with our reunion and brought them back to the Marriott to check in. lovethosehobbit brought really cute Gandalf & Frodo silhouette bumper stickers for all of us. I need to clean a spot on my car for mine.

Read more... )
My fandom friend [personal profile] morgan_dhu is short of funds for transport so she can get needed surgery. You can find her post here on LJ or on DW to learn more about her situation and go to her go fund me site here. <3

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/198530.html with comment count unavailablecomments
My fandom friend [personal profile] morgan_dhu is short of funds for transport so she can get needed surgery. You can find her post here on LJ or on DW to learn more about her situation and go to her go fund me site here. <3
Very Happy Belated Birthdays to [livejournal.com profile] blslarner and [livejournal.com profile] kittyfosterami!!! I hope it was a great birthday week for both of you.

I'm sorry I've been so absent lately. Things have been feeling hectic and busy--some good things, but a lot of stressful things.

But of the good things was the beautiful weather the last couple of days, and the gorgeous hike I went on today with the fun company of [personal profile] zlabya and a local women's hiking group to the McKeldin area of Patapsco Valley Park, about half way between Baltimore and Westminster.


So let me take you on the trail:

It's lined with little wild flowers, though you can't see them too well in this pic--lots of violets and spring beauties, among others.

And here's the Patapsco River we walked along most of the way:


Read more... )
I had a great trip for a couple of days visiting my awesome and lovely best friend[personal profile] mererid. She picked me up in Phoenix and drove me down to Tucson to stay with her and her excellent partner R and their exuberant and well-coddled quaker parrot, Baby. Sunday we drove into the Tucson Mountains southwest of town to the Tucson Desert Museum.



There we saw nicely landscaped local flora, and fauna in enclosures, but I especially enjoyed seeing the fauna not in enclosures, and I'll show you lots more pics in another post. My hobbit dolls had fun there, too. We also drove around some of the neighborhoods of Tucson and its signature murals.

Read more... )

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/192048.html with comment count unavailablecomments
I had a great trip for a couple of days visiting my awesome and lovely best friend[personal profile] mererid. She picked me up in Phoenix and drove me down to Tucson to stay with her and her excellent partner R and their exuberant and well-coddled quaker parrot, Baby. Sunday we drove into the Tucson Mountains southwest of town to the Tucson Desert Museum.



There we saw nicely landscaped local flora, and fauna in enclosures, but I especially enjoyed seeing the fauna not in enclosures, and I'll show you lots more pics in another post. My hobbit dolls had fun there, too. We also drove around some of the neighborhoods of Tucson and its signature murals.

Read more... )


Tuxie was at a formal gathering of fellow tuxedo kitties, and heard from Ginny and Noah that it was [personal profile] synecdochic's birthday, so he made sure that we wish you a very happy birthday.

Happy Birthday, [personal profile] synecdochic!!!
lavendertook: close up of saki alert (Saki)
( Dec. 4th, 2015 06:19 pm)
Today is 2 months since I lost Saki. I'm doing a much better job this month of focusing on being grateful for the 16 years I had in the company of that magnificent cat-being than on the sadness of her ending. There are days, and times, but it's not as raw as last month. I am so grateful for the support from my flist friends who held me up during the worst of it. I couldn't get through without you. Thank you. (((((((FLIST)))))

Below is another favorite pic, this of Herself with a wool catnip-filled mouse an old friend made and sent for her. She tended to love her newest toy and her newest bed most, but her fondness for this mouse lasted many years and it stayed in her latest beds.

It's also 9 years today since my dad died--tomorrow would have been his 88th birthday. The 15th will be 5 months since Mom died. He and Mom have 4 siameses tucked around them, but maybe Saki is visiting with them tonight, too.

DSCN0857
Is that a smiling kitten cat, or is that a smiling kitten cat? So fluffy sweet and soft, but look at the strength in that possessive paw. THIS MOUSE. IS MINE. GO ME! LOVE U.

Read more... )

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/188651.html with comment count unavailablecomments
lavendertook: close up of saki alert (Saki)
( Dec. 4th, 2015 06:19 pm)
Today is 2 months since I lost Saki. I'm doing a much better job this month of focusing on being grateful for the 16 years I had in the company of that magnificent cat-being than on the sadness of her ending. There are days, and times, but it's not as raw as last month. I am so grateful for the support from my flist friends who held me up during the worst of it. I couldn't get through without you. Thank you. (((((((FLIST)))))

Below is another favorite pic, this of Herself with a wool catnip-filled mouse an old friend made and sent for her. She tended to love her newest toy and her newest bed most, but her fondness for this mouse lasted many years and it stayed in her latest beds.

It's also 9 years today since my dad died--tomorrow would have been his 88th birthday. The 15th will be 5 months since Mom died. He and Mom have 4 siameses tucked around them, but maybe Saki is visiting with them tonight, too.

DSCN0857
Is that a smiling kitten cat, or is that a smiling kitten cat? So fluffy sweet and soft, but look at the strength in that possessive paw. THIS MOUSE. IS MINE. GO ME! LOVE U.

Read more... )
Last Sunday I drove up to New Jersey to meet my friend [livejournal.com profile] lbilover at the Franklin Preserve State Park in the Pine Barrens. It was a long drive and totally worth it for her warm and comfortable company, along with the company of her sweet deerhound Gandy, the adventuresome Pippin, who I was very glad to get to see again, and the silky Clementine who joyed to show us the meaning of haste, and for the beauty of the pines. I sure miss living in an area well covered in evergreens, like there was in Carrboro, NC. Our hobbit dolls were also happy to see each other again. It was a gorgeous cool, sunny day, perfect for a 3 hour hike.


I tried to get a pic of [livejournal.com profile] lbilover with her whole pup family, but , being very busy pups, they were impatient with the whole process. Gandy here is blocking Clem and giggling about it, too.

Read more... )
lavendertook: (boat and lilies)
( Aug. 29th, 2014 10:03 pm)
My friend [personal profile] delux_vivens has died. She made the world a better place.

I never met her, but we IMed quite a bit over the last few years. She should have had more time. She shouldn't be gone.

DSCN5837

American lotus was her flower, but water lilies are close. Daisies, and black-eyed susans especially remind me of her beautiful beadwork.

Some pics for you, bb. One last time. )
I am so glad to kick 2013 out the door. Happy New Year to all my dear flisties. I couldn't have gotten through the year without you. *hugs*


I wanted to thank [personal profile] addie71, [personal profile] ancalime8301, [personal profile] baranduin, [livejournal.com profile] browngirl, [personal profile] claudia603, [personal profile] ladyjax, and [personal profile] shirebound for the pretty and cute cards, [livejournal.com profile] ladysnaps for the wonderfully creative, as always, EW manip card, [personal profile] llinos for keeping me up with the wonderful adventures of the knitted hobbits, [livejournal.com profile] lovethosehobbit for the cute card and ewey magnet, [livejournal.com profile] aliensouldream for the gorgeously glittery card and ornament, and [livejournal.com profile] jan_u_wine for the thoughtful card and gift of hobbit music. Thank you for brightening my room during a dark time for me.

If I forgot anyone who sent me a card, please do let me know in comments so I can have the pleasure of thanking you.

2014's arrival is most welcome. I'm looking forward to a better year.
.

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