Thursday Gratitude – Friday edition

Well I did it again; I managed to forget it was Thursday yesterday. Oops. My apologies, gentle readers.

But I do have much to be grateful for so here you go, a day late. 🙂 And for starters today I’m grateful that the University closed early for inclement weather, woot! Snow day! 🙂

I’m also grateful for:

  • Being able to participate in the Tournament of Arts last weekend
  • My new knitting project 🙂
  • I managed to get a room reserved for the Coffee Break on Wednesday *whew!* that was rough!
  • Google forms
  • Coffee
  • We made it home before the worst of the storm!
  • I started my award assignment for January event
  • My wonderful husband took down the outdoor lights
  • My niece, Jennifer, is really coming out of her shell. So much more well adjusted and healthier than she was just a year ago.
  • Not having any particular plans this weekend!
  • Let’s not forget Dr. Martin Luther King. We could use a guy like him today.
  • My cat. Always. 🙂 Cats are awesome.



Laurel · SCA

Weekend Update – Tournament of Arts

This past Saturday was the Kingdom 12th Night Event (actually close to the actual day of 12th night, even) up in Lansing Michigan. The husband and I took a half day off Friday for travel time, it’s just over a 4 hour drive. We got lunch at our favorite local diner, packed up the car and hit the road a bit later than we’d hoped but still… we were ready for a nice easy drive. Ha! Silly us! We hit major traffic in downtown Cleveland that didn’t let up until we were way on the west side. And it was good that I was driving as I had a pair of sunglasses in the car (suspect the sun glare may have been responsible for the slow down, actually. It was very bright!)

We had a bagel for dinner on the Turnpike and smooth sailing up to Michigan where we hit an inexplicable scary traffic jam on route 23 north (Like… the speed limit is more a gentle suggestion there apparently, folks were zipping past over 80 mph and cutting in and out of the heavy traffic… yeah.) When we got to the hotel I needed a brandy or something! Opted instead for visiting the hotel work-out room, which was nicely apportioned. Wish I’d brought a swim suit because the hotel hot tub would have also afforded much needed relaxation. The exercise did the trick though and I slept like the proverbial baby that night. (Really liked the hotel, the Staybridge Inn, about 12 minute drive from the site. Would totally stay there again!)

Leisurely morning, breakfast, got dressed, headed toward the event site. Slightly miffed at the husband that we did not stop for coffee at the Duncan Donuts near the hotel, but in the end it was good we had the extra time as he’d accidentally written down the address as in Lansing, instead of East Lansing. (There is a 200 Grand River in both cities, by the by.) Oops, thankfully our GPS was being cooperative and got us to the proper address once we’d realized our mistake. There was then the parking adventure… lot of one-way streets around the site and the adjacent parking lot was full. With “Across Grand Avenue” as our only direction, we did eventually find a small parking lot and left our car in it… and when we got to the site again I was relieved to discover it was indeed a legitimate place to park where I was not going to be ticketed or towed. *whew!* (The parking lot they had meant to send us to, it turns out, was another block down.) We got checked in, got the hubby to the Tournament of Arts room and I went back out to get coffee at the Bigby’s coffee shop that was right next door! Ah, my coffee at last. ❤

The Tournament of Arts was a new concept this year, based on the Tournament of Chivlary our SCA Kingdom holds every year where the Knights hold the field and teach and train fighters. This one the artisians would be set up and we Laurels would circulate and dispense wisdom and advice (teach and train :)). Countess Serena organized it and paired us up so that entrants got a Laurel who was at least somewhat familiar with their art.  I was scheduled with a nalbinding entry, a late 15th century costume entry and a soapstone carved ‘scroll’. Sadly the costume entry had dropped out which made me sad because I was very much looking forward to that one!

Before the tournament started there was a brief meeting with the Laurels to talk about how it was going to run, with a lot of us repeating ourselves, heh. And His Majesty asked we take a group picture, which was fun. 🙂 Then it was off to the races!

The Nalbinding entry went well, she was very enthusiastic and actually said she was glad to get me! Like, she knew who I was? woah. Anyway, it was a great philosophical conversation and I hope I helped her. My second slot was actually open because of the 15th century gown not making it, and I was excited for a chance to move around and see the other entries. I spoke to about four different artisans during that period. And I got to play with Conal’s lathe! So cool!!!  Honestly, I think shorter time periods work better for me. Talking to people takes a lot of energy for me and I run out of steam quickly and need to move on. Third period I had a lady with a stone carving and I think we had a great conversation too, though I was starting to fade.  I talked to a few other people after that as I made my way towards food, I hoped but… there was the Laurel meeting. I failed to escape for food before the meeting, alas. The meeting was not bad, as meetings go, and then I was free at last to find food! And I found my husband and we searched the site for food, and food was not to be had, alas. Lunch tavern had closed long ago and the only other food was at the two vigils (and I did not know either Pelican vigilante well enough to go raid their food!) and a small selection of sauces by Baroness Hannah in the display, we ate some of her samples and then went out in search of off-site food. Fortunately there was a “Beer Liquor, Pizza, Subs” type shop across the street where we procured an Italian sub and gobbled it down in time for court (barely!)

Hubby ran off to join Their Majesties so he could march into court with them as A&S Champion and I found a spot in the hall with good lighting to knit while I waited for court to start. I got a start on my new project which pleases me. I did have a moment of self-pity as the hall filled up, but no one wanted to sit by me. I managed to nip it in the bud though, I’m sure they just didn’t see me. So there.

After court we said our goodbyes, I saw people I hadn’t seen all day! it would have been good to stay and chat, but hubby wanted to hit the road before we were exhausted, we didn’t have a second night at the hotel. We made good time going home, with a very nutritious dinner of skittles and coffee drinks, heh.

On Sunday we were both pretty destroyed and so did not do much. We did go out to the mall to do a little walking indoors and check to see if that cute nutcracker at Dillards was now on clearance for 75% off… sadly their Christmas items were 75% off, but the nutcracker and his brothers were all gone. Foo. Shoulda bought it at 50% off. Tant pis.


Thursday Gratitude

Hey, first Thursday Gratitude of the year! I remembered too so let’s be grateful for that too 😉
Today I am grateful for:

  • Looks like I will have my hand made item for the office gift exchange ready on time *whew* (was a near thing, first two tries went horribly, third try was the charm!)
  • Silk camisoles, slips, leg warmers and all the sundry extra layers that make this season bearable
  • Our New Year’s tradition of visiting Aiden and Hely ❤ This year they made us dinner too and it was amazing! If Aiden was a D&D Character, he has a natural +10 to all cooking rolls, I’m just saying. Wow.
  • It’s been quiet at work this week (shouldn’t say that too loudly, eh?) Ticket count is down below 90 for the first time in eons.
  • Sock garters. Surprisingly useful things for keeping long socks up in chilly weather.
  • My dad posting photos of birds on the birdfeeders I got him. Apparently it’s his winter sport 😉
  • Got two out of two on New Year’s Resolution’s for last year, that’s pretty cool.
  • Having my nightgown warmed for me on the radiator in the bedroom. mmmm. warm flannel is a joy on a cold winter’s night!
  • Mary-Beth is back to work from being out sick so I was able to deliver something to her. Yay. Also yay that she’s not sick anymore 😉
  • Cats and cat videos
  • Google Docs
  • Hope and optimism


Gratitude · Life

2017 in review

I went back through my blog and looked for highlights for the year; 2017 was actually pretty awesome for me, horrible politics aside. If you’re curious here’s the list:

2017 in review

Finished my “Joker” Elizabethan outfit 🙂
Got to speak at Azriel’s elevation to the Defense
Got to beg a boon to elevate my apprentice Oliver to the Laurel ❤
Repaired my fairy wings for Give Kids a Smile day, and I got to be the Tooth Fairy once more 🙂
I made two new linen undertunics
I started six pink pussy hoods, finished 3 so far 🙂
I did three issues of The Forum (newsletter of the Cleftlands) go me!
I went to the Laurel Retreat in February
Birthday min-break with sister to Geneva on the Lake
I hosted a Cotehardie Party where I helped four people draft patterns for cotehardies 🙂
I knit a shawl
Met Cassie for dinner, was so great to catch up! We must do it again.
The scribal display at SCA March Dessert Revel was awesome
I moved my blog to WordPress
I went to the Dental School Formal and wore my bridesmaid dress from Malinee’s wedding (1997!) It was tight but I’m still calling it an accomplishment. 🙂
I took my Dad to the Louvre. Major bucket list item scratched off, there!
Bought a new jacket for the trip and it worked very well.
I made a miniature for Dulcia
Went to the Marixa picnic, bought kimono 🙂
Finally finished Isobail’s evergreen scroll
Finished the little Bayeux tapestry embroidery kit Azemars gave me (the archer!) 🙂
I fixed the clapper bell on the birdbath
Was the tooth fairy for Alumni and Development’s ‘All In’ promotion
Took photos at Commencement
Made a photo book of our vacation
I changed banks. Hard to do, so worth it!
Marie and I published a Fat Mermaid comic 🙂 (8 pages)
I got the Award of Saint Alfred, my first ever Baronial Award 🙂
Saw Wonder Woman with friends
Made two award scrolls for NOWM
Survived axiUm Go Live (it went pretty well, actually.)
Husband and I both got the Dragon’s Heart at NOWM
Saw Jo Lavano at Uptown with Frankie
We got Air Conditioning!
I recieved the Dorothy Caplain Staff Excellence Award at work, wow.
My apprentice Isobail is now Baroness of Red Spears
I went to Memphis as a contractor, worked hard, ate well, would like to visit the city again sometime as a tourist
We pulled out that carpet in the attic
I knit ‘swircles’ for a Knitting in Early Modern Europe study
I hosted a jewelry trunk show/tea for JenBo and Heidi
Ran a MiddleWiki update contest
Llrydwyl died 😦
I spun gold thread on the drop spindle
Hubby had his cateract surgery
Big MiddleWiki update thanks to Baroness Verena
Ran archery at Standard Bearers and competed in the rapier tournament and did fairly well I think
I got the High Purity Dragon in Dragon City
Got a new work lappy
Bought a new recurve bow
Mapleside Demo
Went to the Leadership Lab for Women in STEM (AWESOME!)
Shot with the CWRU Archery club
Husband became Kingdom Arts Champion 🙂 ❤
I got to beg the boon for my friend Edyth’s elevation to the Laurel, as her Laurel was otherwise indesposed. very honored!
My team won the archery shoot at Brendoken Fest, my first ever archery prize!
Went to the Dental School’s 125th Anniversary gala
Did Inktober
I had an epiphany about Personal Vision
Dug up galdiola bulbs
Bought high heels and a purse
Kristen and Halim’s Wedding
I won an archery competition at Red Dragon!!!
Made a 1780s polonaise gown
Cleveland Public Library mini Maker demo
Went to Rochester NY for a mini-break, spent time with Boy Apprentice 🙂
Bought myself a bottle of scotch for the first time ever.
Won the gallery prize at the November rapier tournament
Ran an enamelling day
Colleen Nagy said nice things about me
Danced at the Nursing School party
Helped Will and Seadna move
Saw an allergist!


New Year’s Resolutions

I imagine a huge percentage of blog entries this week are going to be about resolutions. I think it is well and good to make resolutions, and you don’t have to just do them on New Year’s day, either.

My advice on New Year’s Resolutions; making a good goal is an art. Pick something you can do and build on. Set something small and achievable because then you can do it and you’ll feel better about it. My most successful ever resolution was when I resolved to floss daily. I totally did it and now it’s a routine. Easy to do, small add to my daily habits and (according to research) big win for my overall health. So pick something small. Don’t resolve to loose 10 pounds, instead resolve to walk 10 more steps a day. Don’t resolve to give up sweets or soda, resolve to have a small glass instead of a whole can of pop with dinner. And once you achieve that, it’s easier to improve on it with the next resolution.

You walk to Mordor one step at a time, after all.

Now for myself, last year I resolved to improve my daily step count and daily average minutes of exercise, and to make an appointment with an allergist. Success on both fronts! I put off the allergist thing longer than I should have. My regular annual physical was post-poned. It was to be in May, but I ended up doing it in November. oops. But I did ask for a referral to an allergist and got one. With a reasonable month and a half procrastination I called and got an appointment right away last week! Woot. I have now officially been tested and have shots to get. Not surprisingly I am allergic to dust mites, leaf mold, ragweed and a host of other pollen.  I am looking forward to a spring of less sneezing. 🙂

For the steps/activity: I am very proud. Over 10,000 steps per day average! woot!

  • 2014: 8,220.37, 25 minutes
  • 2015: 8, 684.31, 28 minutes
  • 2016: 9,218.81, 30 minutes
  • 2017: 10,989.99, 34 minutes

So new resolution for 2018 # 1 is to again improve those numbers. I hope to fence more and start up yoga again regularly for my back and that will help with the daily exercise minute total for sure. (This year sadly that was mostly walking.) Also I need to move the exercise equipment in the basement and dust it off so it’s accessible.

Second resolution, already in the works, is to enter the annual Research ShowCase here at work. I anxiously await their call for abstracts! If I’m not selected, well, at least I shall apply and call that a win. Must go brush up my abstract. I’ve re-written it several times already, heh.

I’ve had several things in mind after my navel-gazing 360 review last fall. Things I need to work on (these are not resolutions, just things to work on going forward):

  • Bringing conflict out into the open (being more direct), do not avoid conflict.
  • Set up some Skype or other video-chat time with my remote apprentices to improve communications. Would like to plan a ‘family gathering’ this year.
  • Negotiation – pay attention for when negotiation is possible and practice using it. You get zero percent of the things you don’t ask for.
  • Saying No (always hard to do)
  • Forgiving myself for not being perfect. You have to be bad at things before you are good at them and it’s OK to be bad at stuff, young lady!

Resolution number three is to change my work environment, either by changing the team I have today or by moving to a new team. Belonging is important to me, and I don’t really feel a part of the team today. I’ve already started touching base with my team-mates each day and I think it’s improving the atmosphere somewhat. We’ll see if I can turn this sow’s ear into a silk purse or not, meanwhile going to reach out to the higher ups and let them know I’m available for new opportunities, ya know?

Good plan, Bridget Jones. 😉 But now I’ve told it to the world so maybe I’ll keep on track, eh? That’s another part of resolutions, accountability. If you never tell anyone it’s easy to sweep under the rug.  Love to you all for keeping me honest and accountable. *mwah!*




Thursday Gratitude

Today I am grateful for many things. Woah, last gratitude for 2017! Feel the need to sum up somewhat…

  • First of all, very grateful for the boots I bought in Liverpool a couple years ago, they’re serving me well this winter. 🙂 hee. They’re not expensive, fake leather and will probably not last long, but they look good, were cheap and are comfy! Long life to you, boots.
  • I can change a tire. Did it again today (not grateful for the flat, mind you! but yay, i has skillz. ;)) Also grateful for Smolik tire on 200th street. A trustworthy local merchant is a rare, precious gem.
  • My step count is way up over last year’s (I always resolve to increase my average step count and this year I totally killed it. :))
  • 2017, while it may have sucked on a world scale, was actually quite good to me. The trip to France was a real wonderful thing and I’ll be basking in that memory for a good while!
  • That green jacket I bought to go to France, now my favorite in-between coat for spring and fall. Woot.
  • Hubby wants to go back to France 🙂
  • That Women in STEM Leadership Lab: first that my department felt well enough of me to send me to the lab, second that such a great program even exists! and finally for how it’s transformed me. I don’t think I’m over-stating that. I’ve struggled with self-esteem and self-confidence my whole life and it’s like someone switched on a lightbulb. Yes, I am pretty awesome. Who knew?? and these are skills I can train?? What???!!?? It’s amazing. I’m loving it and I think this one skill; self-confidence, is going to help me so much in 2018 and beyond.
  • My new recurve bow and resultant increased archery scores! Dude, what a fall for me and archery! I won two archery prizes! (one as a group and one individually) and really felt I was starting to be more consistent. Here’s a shout out to the CWRU Archery club for letting staff shoot, was so grateful to shoot there this semester and I can’t wait until the range opens again for Spring semester!
  • Christmas went well. Biggest moment for me was when I gave Jennifer the youth bow I bought her (25 pound longbow, with a purple grip. hee.) and the look on my little sister Lizzie’s face! She was so happy to see Jennifer get a bow. I hope all three of us get to shoot together soon. ❤
  • People liked my risotto. so there.
  • I had today off. Makes dealing with a flat tire easier! Go University!
  • Having enough free funds that dealing with a flat tire was an annoyance, not a danger.
  • Hubby got me a new phone for Christmas. I was hoping for one, actually. Sim chip is in the mail (old one doesn’t fit, not surprizing when one moves from a 1990s style flip phone to a modern android smart phone!) And hubby pushed me a bit and I’m grateful he did, to format the SD card as internal storage; a bit tricky (The command is hidden on my phone, had to do it via command prompt) but here’s some gratitude to people who put clear directions up on webpages!
  • I finally made an appointment with an allergist. Enough with these non-seasonal seasonal allergies! (I think that was on my resolution list too, actually, heh, so got it done just in time!)
  • Living in Christmas cottage 🙂

Thursday Gratitude

Thursday again? So soon? Well that’s time for gratitude! Today I am grateful for many things:

  • First and foremost, I am done with my shopping and sent all my Christmas cards. *whew!* (don’t hate me ;))
  • Christmas cards, I love them. So pretty, shiny, little happy things in the mailbox!
  • Dollar store tchotchkies
  • Dr. J gave me a necklace she made ❤ Dr. J loves me. That is definitely something to be grateful for!
  • Was able to attend Gianna and Meinhardt’s party this year without fear as it was not opposite the Lash’s party. Woot.
  • Origami
  • The scientific method
  • moisturizer!
  • The absolute freedom of being able to go Christmas shopping and not worry about the running total of what I spent. My god. How amazing is that? I worried more about the appropriateness of the gift and if so-and-so would like it and have I bought them enough already? and not “Am I going to over-draw my account?” It’s just absolute bliss. (Again, don’t hate me. I know how lucky I am to be in this place!)
  • The Pathology Form is done. Huzzah. (Took longer than it should, but doesn’t everything?)
  • I managed to get gifts for my coworkers before we left for break, t’was a near thing.
  • We got our Slovenian sausages 🙂 The refrigerator smells wonderful. Mmm, garlic.