Thursday Gratitude

Feeling sad about my Glory cat, can make it hard to be grateful, but I do have a lot to be grateful for in my life. I am grateful that…

  • Glory didn’t suffer, she died peacefully.
  • 14 years of her jiggling tail, little pink tongue and cute ways ❀
  • Very glad we took so many photos of her.
  • I finally got 4096 in the 2048 game on line and could take a screen shot (I got it once before on my tablet, but there was no screenshot ability so I could not share and crow about it.)
  • The coffee break went off yesterday, t’was a near thing.
  • Mary-Beth’s cats, Bugsy and Ming, are cuddle sluts.
  • The security guard in the BRB, I really need to learn his name, super nice guy.
  • I am glad I get to go to the ADEA convention; I think it’s going to be very useful
  • My new business cards arrived in time for the convention! Thank you Katie… also grateful for her commiseration over jerk supervisor.
  • Have developed a rapport with Jess in UMC, she seems nice and she knits, woot! (More on my secret plot to make knitting the new golf for business career advancement, hee.)
  • Husband cleaned up the litter boxes, and stacked them away for future cats. Love that he did the dirty work, but also that he is acknowledging that there WILL be future cats. ❀



Weekend Update

Life seems to be moving at a fast pace lately, hard to keep track of what’s happening fast enough to write it down!

The theme for this weekend was watching others succeed, which is pretty awesome. Saturday was Halim’s Christmas gift; making a knife at a forge. Our friend Theo/Ted/Eikbrandr agreed to teach our nephew Halim how to forge a knife from barstock. Halim was like a kid in a candy store. πŸ™‚ Good bonding time with hubby and Halim too.

Afterward we were STARVING and got Burgers 2 Beer πŸ™‚ Mmmm, burger.

Sunday was niece Jennifer’s play, she was one of the hotbox dancers in Guys & Dolls at the Heights Jewish Community Center. She was one of the oldest actors at 13! Those kids were talented, super adorable, if perhaps not skilled, hee. Husband added “Guys & Dolls” to our netflix queue so he can see it in its original form.

Afterward we rushed off for a movie date with Kristen and Halim to see Black Panther at last. Really great movie, if you’ve not seen it, do. Good actors, good plot, great costumes, nice special effects, thoroughly enjoyable.Β  Afterward we got yet more burgers (they were delicious, I’m not complaining.. we shan’t discuss my weight this morning though, heh.)

So it was a good, social weekend, but no progress on personal projects or exercise.

Monday morning Glory-cat was not acting right, she didn’t eat her food from Sunday night and was sitting on the chair. I pet her and she slinked down into the corner. Hubby presented her with fresh food… she licked it and then went back to her corner. Uh oh. I called the vet, and called off of work.Β  We took her in to the vet, they had us leave her there for observation while they ran blood work so we got our grocery shopping done and then I had my allergist appointment. I called for the results when we got home, they asked to hold Glory over-night as the blood work was worrisome.

Since writing the above… I got a call from the vet. Glory passed during the night. 😦  Heartbroken.


Thursday Gratitude

Today I am grateful for so many, many things

  • Hey, there’s an International Woman’s Day, that’s a cool thing.
  • Getting to go to the Woman of Power Conference Tuesday and the “Celebration of Women’s Leadership at CWRU” meeting this morning I was able to attend; very grateful to have the opportunity, especially since I am not actually in a leadership role and would expect not to have such an opportunity it is a gift.
  • All the wonderful women in my life and in my past who have made me a better person for having known them. ❀
  • I was able to run that report that student needed for her research πŸ™‚ (She was anxious, glad I got it done this afternoon and she didn’t have to wait until tomorrow.)
  • Glory cat has a clean bill of health and my husband survived the ordeal of having to take her to the vet all on his lonesome πŸ™‚
  • The custodial staff have not erased the whiteboard where two students wrote “Happy Birthday Grace” it has made me smile every time I come back to my office to see that message ❀
  • I shot like crap at archery last night… but I’m grateful I had the opportunity to shoot!
  • The reimbursement for my trip to Connecticut came through, yay money πŸ˜‰
  • Jess in UMC likes to knit; it’s great to find common interests with folks!
  • Had a really great talk with Genevieve today

Woman of Power Conference

Last fall I attended the Leadership Lab for Women in STEM, and a month or so ago I got an email from the University Administration saying that they had reserved a table at the Woman of Power Conference and some of us would be able to go; I replied right away that I was interested and so… yesterday, off I went!

Very grateful to have the opportunity! I was nervous about parking downtown and rush hour traffic… also I was still recovering from a bad night sleep on Sunday so not in the most receptive mood. Fortunately the automotive gods smiled upon me! Traffic was busy, but steady and right when I turned off of the Freeway on East 9th I saw the Willard Park Garage, $8 all day earlybird special. BAM! In I went, found a spot! Easy walking distance to the hotel. Hardest part of the morning commute was finding the entrance into the hotel, heh, I approached from the back, apparently, and had to circle the building until I found the way in.

Debbie Fatica was there, which was great, very good to see some of my friends from the Leadership Lab there. There were some really great speakers. Key Bank was well represented by their executives; Barb Smith SVP gave a great speech in the morning and the Keynote was given by Trina Evans, Chief of Staff and Director Corporate Center, KeyCorp. She was really inspirational! A lot of good humor and good advice, the sort of woman you dream of having for a boss!

I enjoyed the talk by Ebony Yeboah-Amankwah from FirstEnergy, she really called us all to task. It doesn’t matter how many times you say you have a commitment to advancing women and minorities if there are no results. She extolled us to not be afraid to say diversity was a factor in a hiring decision. It is a legitimate thing to look for that helps your business, own it. My thought was that yeah, they’re going to assume it was a factor anyway, why not own it and be honest. Yes, we did pick this candidate because, outside their other qualifications, they enhanced our diversity. Enhancing our diversity is a proven tactic to enhance our business. Studies show diverse populations are more productive and more creative. Why wouldn’t we want that??

In the “Getting it Done” Panel discussion, I really liked Jackie Dalton’s statements. My notes are a bit fuzzy at this point, I was taking notes on the pages in the program for note taking… alas they went with a glossy full color print so the paper wasn’t taking pen so well. I did switch to a regular notebook for the rest (Glad I brought one!)Β  “We set internal expectations that may not exist externally” and “If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough!” In other words; you are going to fail, embrace it. Failure is a part of the process.

In the first break-out session I chose the “Be Bold” track, and I boldly sat in the front row, hee. It was good I did get a spot right away, the room filled up fast and was SRO!Β  I liked all three speakers, though perhaps especially Katherine Brandt who spoke about “Leading in a Male Dominated Industry” could have easily listened to her for another hour. One quote I liked from her at the beginning of the session was “There are good things that come from playing with the boys” She had a lot of frank and straightforward advice.Β  “Gender is not a characteristic of effective leadership” She talked about the attributes of an effective leader and how to develop trust, and talked about the challenges honestly.Β  One of her specific tips was to sit down and listen to your staff. She said it was a very powerful tool. When she took on a new leadership role she met with all of the staff and asked them individually about their position and their job satisfaction. And for the ones who were less than satisfied, she followed up. Just listening and demonstrating that you care is a powerful tool of leadership.

Diane Fusco talked about “Finding your voice” she mentioned the phrases not to use, I think I’m going to make a list for myself. Things like “Just” “actually” “sorry, but” “I could be wrong, but” “does that make sense?”

and Kathleen Buse finished the track talking about “Believing and Achieving” which focused on self-efficacy; a repeat of a lot of what I got in the STEM Leadership Lab, but it was a great refresher and such important information! She listed four ways to develop self-efficacy, two internal: tracking your accomplishments and taking time to renew yourself, and two external: Positive words and Role models.Β  She was right, I do have a need to hear positive feedback… probably more than my male coworkers. I should communicate that to my supervisor.

One quote from the question and answer session I’m taking to heart “Don’t get stopped by one person”Β  They’re just one person. Find another way around.

Lunch was lovely, though I regretted choosing a chair with my back to the stage (I have this thing about not sitting with my back to the door) so I had to turn around away from my food to hear, heh. The food was lovely though, and I devoured it quickly to spend more time listening to the fascinating Trina Evans.

In the afternoon session I chose the “Be the Change” track which started with Roxanne Kaufman Elliott talking about “How to build a rapport with senior managers” Good stuff, but generally not something I was in need of. I think I’m pretty good at building a rapport with people already. For me the secret is just remembering they are also humans like you πŸ˜‰ Then Ramona Hood talked about “Mastering Tough Conversations” which was the bit I was particularly interested in. She gave some clear tips on setting the groundwork and preparing to have a successful conversation. Listen, be open. “Be able to be curious” Acknowledge their point of view and find something you can connect with in what they say.Β  Keep things neutral, instead of saying “You spoke over me in the meeting” say “I felt that my opinion wasn’t being respected in the meeting when you kept talking” keep the focus on you, not them, so they don’t get defensive.Β  Finally Jeff Barlow presented “Fine Tune Your Voice with Resources and Protection,” he did start with a joke about how it was the first convention he’d ever been at where there was no line for the bathroom at all. We laughed, mad props to him for engaging a room full of women so well and winning our trust as he talked about avenues to get help when things don’t go well. It was a bit dry, HR procedural type talk, but important information.

It was hard to choose the two breakout sessions I would attend and what four I would miss. Other tracks included Win-Win Negotiating, Carry as You Climb, How to be a Mentor, Intentional Career Development, etc.

The closing keynote was by John Skory, President of The Illuminating Company, and it was excellent. He admitted the faults in his company’s demographics and emphasized the importance of moving forward and what they were doing to improve it. He also talked about strategy and that all the well crafted mission statements or vision statements in the world are meaningless if you don’t have action. He called it alignment, that everyone in the organization understands how they contribute to the strategy. It needs to be visible, you need to be agile, accountable and collaborate. The vision should start with the leader, but then the strategy comes from below and the tactical plan should be made by the people who do the work, and they can only make that plan if they understand the vision. Keep everyone informed and involved. He emphasized cadence and pace as more important than a tidy document with well branded templates. He also talked glowingly of the women he’d mentored in the company and the fact that women will not apply for a position if they have 8 out of 10 skills required, while a man may apply if they have 2 or 3 out of ten.Β  I asked him about how to ferret out women candidates for mentorship, promotion and training when women are notoriously bad about asking for such things. He said they don’t wait for them to ask. “We track for high performing women and minorities and we ask them, not the other way around.” which was good to hear. Sounds like he’s got his head screwed on right, as it were.

Outside of the speeches and sessions I had some great conversations, one with a young professional named Victoria about creating common ground with male superiors and coworkers. As she said “The guys can all talk to him about football… I’m the only one he can talk to about gardening, that gives me an advantage.” We also talked about problems with communication and non-verbal communication and simulation and VR. Was a great talk. πŸ™‚

At the end of the day the sun was shining, and crowds dispersed… I kind of wanted to walk around downtown and enjoy the sunshine and architecture, but fear of rush hour traffic took me back to my car and on the road home. I did indeed beat the traffic and got home safe and sound. Also tired and feeling hopeful.





Weekend Update

It’s all a blur… Friday I went to my friend Irene’s home to teach girl scouts how to draw. Apparently they have a drawing merit badge. πŸ™‚ It was fun, I did a straight up Drawing 101 class; most of the girls were in to it. One of the moms asked me where I teach so I guess I came across somewhat professional. πŸ™‚ Also two of the girls copied one of my inktober drawings which was super cute and touching. (I’d brought samples) AND they gave me a merit badge. πŸ™‚ I need to decide how to display it, quite tickled to have it πŸ™‚

Saturday was an at home productivity day. I finished my doily (huzzah!) and that evening was Girl’s Night. Tried out the Spotted Owl in Tremont. I liked the ‘wheel of cocktails’ you selected they type of cocktail you wanted and they surprised you. Quite enjoyed mine. The decor was nice, music was too loud though and no parking. I ended up parking about a jillion miles away (OK, three blocks. I did need steps on my pedometer anyway.) I was in a bit of a funk and not much fun, I fear.

Sunday hubby and I went by Halim and Kristen’s so he could give Halim a how to paint walls lesson. Hubby was all dressed to paint but Halim just wanted the how to, not actual work. And he got us some awesome bagels from a local shop and we hung out a bit which was lovely.

I did work on my research and even dusted off a sewing project that’s been languishing in the basket.

Tonight is Scribe’s Guild; want to research but… I have scribal commissions languishing on the to do list too!

Costuming · SCA

Dress in Anglo-Saxon England

Had trouble sleeping last night so I picked up Dress in Anglo-Saxon England by Gale R. Owen-Crocker, Manchester University Press 1986.

The book is a bit light, and dated, but still yielded some useful points to my Merovingian research.Β  First a citation about the Saxons being neighbors to the Franks on the continent,Β  since they and other Germanic peoples invaded England there was definitely a cultural link there.
Bonus: Apparently some 5th or 6th century female graves in Kent were supplied with very Merovingian jewelry; paired bow-headed broaches at the waist, paired bird-shaped broaches and the crystal ball we’ve seen before. Apparently Aethelbhert, late 6th century King and convert to Christianity according to the Venerable Bede had a Frankish wife.

Of note the Kentish burials did not have buckles on their garters (if they had garters); the author presumes this points to longer hemlines, much like other authors assume fancy garters mean short hemlines, still an assumption. People wear lots of fancy stuff that’s out of sight, though in general when we have jewelry we want to flaunt it.Β  They also did not have any earrings save one burial that had them on her necklace. The author postulates that the Kentish ladies had close fitting headdresses so earrings would not show… I’m more inclined to think that Anglo-Saxons did not wear earrings and the ladies were not so wed to the Frankish fashions as to poke holes in their ears when no one around them was doing so.

So, if I can find some more recent information on Kentish burials of the time, I may have some more clues to Merovingian fashions. πŸ™‚ See? it was good I took this book out.

It’s been a staple of SCA and other reenactors for years and really was ahead of its time, though scant on concrete textile information. It’s written in a very accessible prose, which, alas, makes it a little hard to parse technical information. I’d much rather charts and graphs, you know.


Costuming · SCA

Merovingian Update

We’re still in hard research land. I read the article on shoes posted in yesterday’s blog, and went and pulled out “Stepping Through Time” and got most of the way through the scant references to Merovingian shoes in there; the author of Stepping Through Time postulates that the Merovingian innovation was that their flat shoe patterns had a distinct sole, though the sole was still a part of the whole and not a separate piece of leather. Interesting that the Shoe Museum article has a small, tear-drop shaped separate ‘sole’ on Aregunde’s shoes. Looking at the extant fragments… one wonders if this is a nod to a small bit of a different leather on the bottom of her foot… could it be a patch? Or indeed a separate sole as they envision. *ponder* (The cross-gartering is awesomesauce, btw.)

Also did a search through the University Library and on my break today picked up four new books to delve into:

Dress in Anglo-Saxon England by Gale R. Owen-Crocker, Manchester University Press 1986 (I figure as a related culture it’ll give some clues for construction.)

Caring for Body and Soul: Burial and the Afterlife in the Merovingian World by Bonnie Effros, Pennsylvania University Press, 2002

Merovingian Mortuary Archaeology and the Making of the Early Middle Ages also by Bonnie Effros, University of California PRess, 2003


From Attila to Charlemagne: Arts of the Early Medieval Period in the Metropolitan Museum of ArtΒ  edited by Katharine Reynolds Brown, Dafydd Kidd and Charles T. Little. Yale University Press, 2000.

Can’t wait to see what juicy tid-bits these give me πŸ™‚ Yay research!