elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 06:09 am
Daily journaler is seeking other daily journalers. I'm looking for other diarists that share some aspect of their daily life, whether it's limited to a narrow aspect of creativity or concern or is wide ranging. The diarist should be open to reading my entries and ideally is already reading the entries of folks in my circle.

ETA: Diarist should have high tolerance for typos.
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Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 10:35 am
After the years in California, particularly the drought years, a gloomy, wet winter day is near novel. I'll admit, the delight and giggles of a bright California February day on the coast were in part because of memory of days like today. And, i've plenty of California coastal gloomy summer days as the marine layer socked in the whole coast with grey. [1]

I ought to go re-plant a pulled up violet as well as the pansies at lunch. I just did a little tour of the yard and found one pulled up -- not sure if it was part of the Sunday-Monday dining event and i didn't notice, or if it is a new dining event. With the wet, it should be clear if any critters are making themselves welcome in the garden. It doesn't seem they are, but the winter rye has finally sprouted. I was certain bugs had eaten all the grain. The scarlet clover and the "deer plot" greens are getting big enough to be seen at a distance.

I am pondering the "spook the deer" future. A scarecrow might be more of a scare deer, especially with some motion activated feature. I imagine using something like this Halloween motion activated decoration as part of a scarecrow. There are plenty of skulls that could be used, too.

There's a motion sensitive water sprinkler, too. That is also on my list of potential deer repellants.

[1] Is there a different idiom i should be using? "Socked in" sounds familiar, but....
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Monday, December 5th, 2016 07:30 pm
I made a horrible mistake and read the twitter feed of the president elect. There's something about the rhetorical style, exclamations of "Sad!" "Special!" "No more!", which ... are the verbal equivalents of emoticons, now that i think about it. And now i feel uncomfortable, but i suppose "more articulate than smiley faces" is yet a low bar. I suspect i've been exposed to emoticons for so long that i am inured to the shorthand.

--== ∞ ==--

Friday i had a bit of a migraine. "Bit of" in that i was not laid completely out, but "migraine" as it was preceded by a scintillating scotoma. I was restless and raked leaves and unloaded all the unboxed books into the bookshelves: they fit! We had plumbers fix a leaky faucet, and it is truly fixed. I suspect it was about two quarts a day. Every little bit conserved helps, right?

Saturday was planned to be a bit busy. I started with burning a pile of brush, and pulled a great deal of honeysuckle and grapevine out of the near by bit of woods. I went into Raleigh to meet up with my sister. Instead of our plan to meet at the Unity rally, we met up at the art museum where i collected my niece E. We spent a while together enjoying both the modern collection and the antiquities, and then we met up with my mother at a Scandinavian Yule Fair. E had $13 burning a hole in her pocket and we went to every booth multiple times as she looked at little trolls and small figures.

Sunday, Christine and i went to the Mark Hewitt pottery and bought a 2 gallon jar as an anniversary celebration. Come the winter solstice, we will have been married 25 years. The jar was in my arms as the potter came in and we had a lovely chat with him, and he asked questions of us -- it turns out he knows our neighbors and, well, it is a small town.

Today we thought we might go see the swearing in of our new county commissioners, but instead stayed home and discussed dental insurance. We are so very very delighted that the governor's race is finally over and the progressive candidate won. Huzzah.

We saw a doe behind the house in the morning, looking delicate and magical. At lunch i found all my pansies had been munched along with the collards. Harumph.
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Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 07:17 am
For some reason, it feels warmer outside today, even though the thermostat reads a bit warmer in the house. I suppose it's something to do with slight humidity levels. I'm on the deck, listening to the wind in the trees. We are promised a rain storm today, very welcome. I've a big pile of brush we cleared on Saturday that needs to be disposed of, which is by burning it here, out in the woods. I'm learning NOT to burn to ash but to stop at a char stage, and then use the charcoal/biochar in the garden. The ash is a fine amendment for our acid soil, but i can get lime for that.

My compost is in the red zone this morning, which is finally up in the pathogen and seed killing temperature. Huzzah. 

I need to make a new place for composting: the current location is too visible. I fantasize about creating a woven (wattle) screen around the area. It's not like i'm wanting for materials. The autumn olive branches are very flexible, and it would be nice to put them to use.

--== ∞ ==--

List of things i'm procrastinating over:
communication with extended family and friends
getting my to-do list back into order after a month of ignoring it
getting engaged with Meeting
photography
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Sunday, November 27th, 2016 08:06 am
It has been a very relaxing holiday, although i have been in an odd emotional state in the evenings. I will refer to it as "cranky" for lack of a precise description.

List of what went on, tinted with my crankiness. )

My mind is on trying to sort out what my moodiness is about, but stepping back from that mystery, it's been a lovely holiday. I want to share photos of happy things, like the compost thermometer, time on the lake, and pumpkin ricotta, but i am all backed up with process. Time with family has been warm and loving, not overwhelming.

Speaking of pumpkin ricotta: one large tub of ricotta + one 16 oz can of pumpkin (roughly 2:1 in volume), drained for at least 12 hours, mixed with powdered sugar and spices to taste is THE BEST THING EVER. Spread on toast. Put in fancy puff pastry cups. Eat out of the bowl. Pipe on to pumpkin bread.

I have finally identified one of the ferns growing around the house: ebony spleenwort. It's low growing and not very dramatic, but i do like it. There are other larger ferns, and i worry a little that clearing out the autumn olive might clear out the shade needed for those other ferns.

Potluck at meeting today: i'm wrestling with hermit-y feelings in conflict with a sense that community is Good For You,® and therefore i should go.
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Thursday, November 24th, 2016 07:36 am
A weapon against gerrymandering has been found! Courts may use the 'efficiency gap" to measure just how biased a redistricting plan is. Hallelujah!

The very problematic Duke Power is actually experimenting with some solar energy solutions,
demonstrating both environmental sensitivity and cost effectiveness can work together.

And, from Harvard Divinity School, Casting out fear.

Finally, i pulled out the instruction manual for the oven, learned that the oven can actually be divided in two, and realized the divider had been incorrectly placed in the warming drawer (making the warming drawer far too shallow to be useful). (So glad i found the divider, because i suspect a replacement part would have been a bit pricy.) I pried the divider out successfully: now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL stove! And a warming drawer! No figuring out how to juggle broiling tomatoes AND cooking the casserole!
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Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016 10:31 am
Family gatherings were the most concerning thing about moving back home. We did NOT miss being at big bustling day-long gatherings. Nor did we miss the massive meals. Indeed, we don't like making big food productions on the holidays. I like having the time off to make some special things, but we don't eat them all at the same meal. Feasts make sense in the times of want, and also in the times of poor storage options. That's no longer the life Christine and I live.

We also don't eat most animals: we have some fish and shell fish we chose to eat with environmental awareness. Sitting with omnivores' platters of meat on the table is not appealing, particularly for Christine.

It seems we are negotiating this holiday with aplomb. We'll have 'brunch' for Christine's sister & husband here, and then desert over with my extended family at my parents'. It will have the quiet and space we're accustomed to on holidays. I'm very happy it's working out to be low drama and low stress. (Except for Christine immediately assuming any food i mention is intended for brunch.)

I might try baking cannoli this weekend. I don't think i can stand to fry up cannoli, but there are a number of recipes for baked pastry that might be a pleasant adventure. A filling of pumpkin and ricotta seems like a wonderful treat.

I hope for those of you observe to able to enjoy the coming American holiday as you wish.

--== ∞ ==--

I didn't go protest last night, i didn't even leave to accompany Christine to the concert where she volunteers. I was pretty sleepy well before she got home.

Today i have a list of calls to make to advocate for the Water Protectors in North Dakota. I'm also trying to round up tasks and to-dos, clean out in boxes, etc.
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Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016 08:44 am
LIFO, Last in-first out, is in my impression an "anti-pattern" for personal effectiveness. Get to the requests that came in first, respond to the oldest emails, etc.

I'm not 100% certain of that. I have grown to appreciate that opportunities are constantly making themselves available, and i periodically strike off old to-dos ("punt"), file old emails (email and comment bankruptcy), and in general focus on the present. So, that's what i tried to do this morning to get myself going instead of the "read the whole internet" strategy that i have been employing lately.

I must say, Usenet kept me fixated MUCH LONGER than the internet does today. I suppose the surfeit of choice makes me more picky. Facebook is excluded from my "read the internet," so that removes all sorts of trivia. I do have an extensive list of web comics, but they are optimized -- i have reading lists for each day of the week, and i simply open all the tabs in my bookmarks to have a cascade of amusing reading to do. I've added various local news sources that don't have RSS feeds.

--== ∞ ==--

Oh oh oh my soil tests are in!!

Fairly acid, pH 5.5. Potassium is good, but it seems like there's very little phosphorus. The report is given as an index, and the lawn area reports very very high phosphorus. I don't know if the index is so different because of the difference in planned planting (a grass that doesn't like being over fertilized vs a vegetable garden) or if the previous owners fertilized the fenced in lawn area to death. The area near the lawn, that has been the target of much of our clearing, i specified would be for apples. It took seems to have an extremely low phosphorous rating.

I want to find out if tobacco cropping leaves phosphorus depleted soils. That might hint at the land's history.

ETA Hrm, this 1927 report http://www.ct.gov/caes/lib/caes/documents/publications/tobacco_bulletins/tb_7.pdf says tobacco is not a heavy phosphorus feeder.
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Monday, November 21st, 2016 11:25 am
So, here it is, Monday morning, and i'm dithering. Email triggered some work and i was productive on personal things (putting things up) while listening to some folks describe a new tool for doing certain software development practices.

The weekend was rather productive, though. I borrowed my dad's tiller, made some initial passes over the 15' by 30' garden area, and then created the beds. The long dimension runs north to south. The west side of the garden faces the house. So there's a border that goes around the north to the west and from the south to the west. The border opens in the center of the west side to have isles on both sides of a narrow center bed. What's left are two 10' by 10' beds, and those are divided into three. That was the size recommended for a "three sisters" planting.

Here's a sketch of the lay out and what i intend to grow. I made a mistake in the labeling: the basil, squash, and peanuts are for after the *potatoes* are harvested, not the pumpkins.

In the three sisters square, corn, beans, squash.... )

Yesterday i skipped Meeting to stay home with Christine who had been feeling fragile. Many times the fact that i'm a morning person and she's an evening person work in our favor, but it's not conducive to togetherness at ends of the day. By staying home, she could wake up on her own schedule and not feel rushed by me having to get out to meeting for business. I need to remember to set the Saturday mornings aside before early Sunday meetings.

In the afternoon more gardening. )

I did a little research this morning: dehydrated potatoes sounds like a great way to preserve any surplus potatoes. In some time, i'd like to be able to grow most of the potatoes we eat. I don't have anything like a root cellar to keep them in, though. I chose later to mature varieties that were "good keepers" hoping to extend the period when we can eat them fresh. Nonetheless, it's theoretically possible that i could have 50 lbs of potatoes come in over two months. I don't think i'm going to get 1 to 10 returns, but even 25 lbs of potatoes is a bit much for the two of us over a short time. Dehydrating would be great way to preserve them. I'm not excited about other ways of preserving food. Freezing is expensive and risky (due to power loss). Canning seems miserable.
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Friday, November 18th, 2016 06:07 am
Yay, i have my laptop back: logic board replacement needed. Then I needed to restore from backup, which i had gotten just before the last failure to reboot.

Skimming the wildfire incident reports in North Carolina is a bit too much like California. Currently there are five incidents, each involving thousands of acres, including onw that is 13 thousand acres. Four of the incidents have hundreds of folks assigned to the incident. I don't know if som of those folks handle multiple incidents at the same time (firefighters couldn't but someone managing logistics could be assigned to multiple). We're to the east of the drought, but it looms as a reminder to do something about collecting rain water.

I'm running SETI@home again. I have mixed feelings about the energy usage, but a nostalgic wish to be involved -- i was running the project in 1999 apparently. There's also http://www.climateprediction.net/ running on the same platform. If you happen to be running on either & on a "team", let me know. I'm on the Sluggy Freelance team and i haven't read that comic for YEARS.

Hoping for a good work day, in particular that the product manager is in a less aggravated state.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Friday, November 18th, 2016 06:03 am
Yay, i have my laptop back: logic board replacement needed. Then I needed to restore from backup, which i had gotten just before the last failure to reboot.

Skimming the wildfire incident reports in North Carolina is a bit too much like California. Currently there are five incidents, each involving thousands of acres, including onw that is 13 thousand acres. Four of the incidents have hundreds of folks assigned to the incident. I don't know if som of those folks handle multiple incidents at the same time (firefighters couldn't but someone managing logistics could be assigned to multiple). We're to the east of the drought, but it looms as a reminder to do something about collecting rain water.

I'm running SETI@home again. I have mixed feelings about the energy usage, but a nostalgic wish to be involved -- i was running the project in 1999 apparently. There's also http://www.climateprediction.net/ running on the same platform. If you happen to be running on either & on a "team", let me know. I'm on the Sluggy Freelance team and i haven't read that comic for YEARS.

Hoping for a good work day, in particular that the product manager is in a less aggravated state.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Wednesday, November 16th, 2016 06:39 am
My rhythms are all out. My laptop is gone to be fixed, so my morning laptop rhythm is all gone. Multiple instances of distressing news has distracted me and affected Christine. We have VERY different reaction patterns to traumas. Right now Christine is angry that college kids are being treated compassionately for an election trauma when she was rarely treated with any compassion. Since i was instilled with a culture of tough survivor behavior (Think black knight, "It's just a flesh wound.") i've had to learn self care, and so i can still get a great deal of vertigo in judging myself: am i being a lazy, work avoidant lump? Or is this reasonable self care? I'm still feeling guilty for taking time off work on Friday.

Christine's had to put up some shields, and her shields can be a little counterintuitive. That anger at others getting concessions is part of the shielding, and i accidentally knocked out that shield last night by creating a logical feedback loop in her thinking and self awareness.

My shields are different and what i most want to do is go bury myself in completing a gantt chart plan of next year's gardening and a resource map of available planting areas. I'm trying to decide what i think of various companion planting advice: do i believe the wikipedia assertion that marigolds should be separated from legumes? By how much?

Hmm https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/110135/Fagan_O'Halloran_Przybylski_Rentschler_2014.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
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Tuesday, November 15th, 2016 06:20 am
I am very thankful Christine is OK. She was in a collision with a large buck yesterday just after 2pm, just moments different would have led to far more damage to her than the little cut. The driver's side of the car, from the headlight, including the hood, to the full driver's door is crumpled.

The buck died quickly. A consolation is that the carcass was picked up to feed the big cats at http://carolinatigerrescue.org/ .
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Monday, November 14th, 2016 12:00 pm
The Saturday galavanting was refreshing. We started at the local co-op for breakfast, during which i got them both to make plans to buy seed potato with me. On to an antique store that was having a holiday festival with bluegrass music and some extraneous vendors. I was impressed how long my sister could have spent looking at the farm antiques: she's all captivated by the idea of taking a wooden chicken crate and making it into a coffee table. We wound through the country side, dotted with dairies and obsolete chicken barns, country houses, and garlanded with golden autumn foliage. It was a beautiful day. Lunch was at an honest country restaurant, and i decided to ignore the odds that there was bits of meat in the black-eyed peas or greens. We wrapped up with a stop at the molasses festival, and by molasses, they mean sorghum syrup.

I will not plant sorghum to make my own syrup. I will not plant sorghum to make my own syrup.

(Searches on how to efficiently reduce juice to syrup. Also http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/agr/agr123/agr123.htm)
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Saturday, November 12th, 2016 05:13 am
Anyone know a good history of anti-intellectualism?

ETA:A world history that takes into account something more thanthe last 500 years. Although I can't helpbut think the scientific method & dmocracy have a important part in defining the state.



Wondering whether the rejection began with evolution.

Note that it seems that heretical knowledge is something different to me -but that is why I would like a history.

Can't delete the following inthis Interface for some reason.


→IGNORE→




is somsomething ifferent
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Friday, November 11th, 2016 09:18 pm
I finally felt I could cry today, so I decided to take time off from work. We all spent sometime in the morning light and tears began to finally come.

By taking time off, i could take my laptop that was no longer stopping to the Apple store. It's near where my sister works, so i was able to eat lunch with her at her office. My sister shared that my father had shared with her the story of the Red Strings (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Strings) and we discussed wearing red strings -- and i thought i would tie red string to my mailbox.

When i drove up to the shopping center i was a bit surprised. I was certain i knew where the store was -- because i was remembering where it was in a very similar mall at Stanford. I did make it to the appointment, a little late, and had to wait and wait to check in. I knew my anxiety about being late and missing a chance to be helped was unreasonable, and i practiced breathing and trying to be calm while i waited to be checked in. No one cared i that i was late, and eventually my machine was checked and diagnosed as needing to be shipped off for repair.

I ran some errands in town, getting bone meal (phosphorous) and muriate of potash (potassium) for the potatoes. I'm not really sure how different processes to extract a mined mineral may or may not be organic: apparently certified organic farmers have to make sure their muriate of potash is certified organic. I am hoping that once i start getting my garden going that i will be able to just use compost to return the nutrients to the soil -- but right now i'm starting with red clay and my compost isn't ripe.

At home i discovered that instead of red strings, it's safety pins that will be worn to communicate solidarity. I might still do something with some sort of red cord.

Tomorrow i will galavant around the county from antique stores to craft fairs to a molasses festival with my mother and sister.
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Thursday, November 10th, 2016 08:03 am
My distant Swedish cousin wrote a few days before the election, sharing photos of her son and noting the All Soul's Day observation. I replied this morning

Thank you! [your son] has grown, and what a beautiful blue sky in the background. Is your weather behaving oddly? We have had an uncommon stretch of mild weather, and no rain since the hurricane hit. When it hit - oh my, there was much rain and the nearby creek was flooding the bridge to our neighbors' homes. We live on a gentle slope and a sheet of water was draining from the woods around our house across the entire yard.

We are still unpacking. Sometime this winter i will take the time to pull together the before and after photos of a great deal of our outside work. We have been clearing an area that had become very overgrown with non native plants, vines that warped trees. We started by having goats visit and eat much of the underbrush. We've since been clearing -- pulling up vines and cutting down trees.

I've planted onions that grow over the winter, and i am planning my garden for next year.

Our family here in the states spans the political spectrum. I'm not really sure how [the Florida family] voted. I know [my aunt's] husband often expresses right wing views to my father.

My immediate family-- Christine, my parents, my siblings and their spouses -- all voted for the Democratic Party candidate Clinton. My parents are concerned about the environment and climate change, concerned about justice for their Muslim grandchildren and for LGBTQ rights for myself and Christine. Yesterday I called my brother, my parents and reached out to my sister: we are all dismayed and grieving at the turn of events. [My brother] reported having to calm his sons who were very worried they could never come back to the US. My spouse, who is transgendered, is worried that she and I may need to escape the US if the radical right wing gets their way. One of my African American colleagues has shared that she and her family are all getting passports. There's a great deal of fear due to the extreme rhetoric of the past months.

I am leaning on my faith, consoled that we are close to our family and we can be together if the extremes of history repeat. I hope we have learned from history, and believe that more people are awake to justice for all.

I hope our country's chaos doesn't cause distressing ripple effects for you all. Do i recall correctly that you work for Ikea? I imagine seeing such a large market vote in protectionist government causes practical concerns.

May Love triumph, and with love to you and the extended family in Sweden,

[me]


I'm not quite sure how to articulate i really mean by leaning on my faith. It's a more existential faith i'm leaning on -- not a faith that somehow i will be protected. No, i am very aware of my privilege. Because i'm white, able bodied, educated, cisgendered, and don't present in a way that shouts Queer i have some insulation: it's hard for me to know if i am having faith in my privilege as protection.

Tonight Christine's sister's film has a short that is being screened at a festival event in Wilmington -- her sister received a grant from the festival last year. Color correction and audio balancing takes time. The film's depiction of coming together despite difference seems all the more meaningful today.
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Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 07:01 am
For my friends in the US --

* As i told my Muslim sister in law, i will continue to support religious liberties, looking for where i can be effective in education and advocacy. (If you are in the San Fran Bay area, supporting the building of the Islamic Center in San Martin against the NIMBY crowd is a concrete action.)

* I will continue to mind my carbon footprint and encourage others to mind theirs. I will work to educate on the realities of global warming.

* I will work to ensure EVERYONE is included in our society. I'm not sure how to do that but listen. Black Lives Matter. Trans Lives Matter. How can i help people understand that raising up people doesn't mean pushing down others?

* I will listen to the people who supported Trump and try to learn. Where are the bridges?

After the cut are my thoughts this morning for my record.

Read more... )