helblonde: (Flocke and seal)
Just before Father's Day, the cousins and I gathered as a mini-reunion around here. We had such a good time with my cousin and her kids who are almost the same age as mine. We brought them to June Crown, went to the redwoods, visited the USS Hornet. We also visited Grandma, who didn't know any of us, but seemed pleased to have us around.

Not long before our visit, the attentive people at Grandma's nursing home noticed a growth. She has since been taken to doctors who have confirmed that it is, indeed, a return of her cancer. She can't handle surgery and radiation was a bad idea the first time through. This means she's officially on hospice and can get the Good Drugs(tm).

Everyone in the family has attempted solemnity, but I think we're all celebrating on the inside. Dad and Grandpa are being super solicitous in delivering the news, and I'm thinking, 'Don't worry about me. I already lost my mom to cancer. How the hell are you guys?'

It has taken a long-ass time to get to this point. Still no idea of prognosis. It's visible on the outside, so obviously it's growing on a non-essential system for now. (Or it's wider spread and we don't know? I doubt they tested it.) I hope it goes quickly at this point.

Anyway, a big recommendation for Moraga Retreat. Great staff, nice property, only 4-6 residents.

EDIT: I talked to Grandpa today. They didn't test for the spread of cancer, because there's no point if they aren't going for treatment.

Cool fact: Medicare will cover hospice treatment for cancer that can't be treated, even if there is not a six-months-or-less prognosis. So, Grandma gets to stay where she is for now, she gets regular visiting nurses and a house calls from a doctor as needed.
helblonde: (Daughter of Hel)
because my dad can't self-edit his photo sets down to just the really good photos. I promise both moriven and I have talked to him about it.

Anyway, he asked me to share his photos of the Pirate Festival from a couple of weeks back. [livejournal.com profile] trystbat and [livejournal.com profile] demode, I'm particularly looking at you. I hope Dad wasn't much of a bother.

There's another set, but I'm not recognising people in it. (That's because I don't want to go through hundreds of his redundant pictures. Don't judge me.) Feel free to share the links if you spot folks you know.
helblonde: (Flocke and seal)
We've been having grand adventures as well as misery.

A week ago Thursday I went to see The Grand Duke with some friends. It was a grand time. The only thing I didn't enjoy was not leaving enough time between dinner and the show. The first act, though enjoyable, did not get my full attention. After potty break intermission, I enjoyed myself immensely. It was so damn funny.

The boys had their first overnight at a friends' house Sunday while moriven and I went to Mayhem Festival* with Cathyn and Steingrim. This was awesome.** Hearing that Ursus Major had sweat through his clothes in the night was less than awesome. He had no further symptoms, so we proceeded with our week.

My brother-in-law's family was in town, so we finally nailed them down for a time to visit on Monday via text while we were at the concert. It was a nice mellow afternoon. Shortly after the family left, probably around 5:30, both of our boys put themselves to bed. Ursus Minor woke up every 45 minutes or so sobbing and would only be soothed by me. Poor cub. I failed to call folks to say I wasn't going to make it to sewing as expected, though, because I suck sometimes. I had the thought, but it slipped away before it became action.

Tuesday, the boys were just fine. Of course. I was feeling a touch off, but with moriven home for the week I got to sleep in a bit. We had a great dinner with my inlaws at my FiL's house. It was a great mellow evening. The kids had a great time with their cousins.

Wednesday, moriven took my truck in to have my tranny backflushed. I understand the mechanic did it twice. Heh. I just had to say that. The truck is running much smoother now.

Thursday we spent the afternoon in rachaelfleury's pool. (There was other stuff going on, too, I hear. :-) )  It was seriously awesome. The boys had never been swimming in a pool before and they LOVED it. I think I was in the pool for four hours with them, aside from a snack break. Ursus Major paddled all over the pool in his floaty. It was amazing. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed swimming, too. I was a grand time.

Friday, we took the boys for an overnight at my FiL's house. I was feeling a bit of congestion, so I didn't get as much done as I had hoped through the afternoon. We got the call at ~8:30  that Ursus Major had a 101+ fever and wanted to come home. We asked them to keep the boys up and dutifully made the drive back to Berkeley. When we got there, we found that Ursus Minor had put himself to bed. (Wow! He doesn't do that at home.) We took him home anyway so we wouldn't have to make another trip back again today.

This morning, Ursus Major is just fine. No fever, no pain. What is going on with him? I, on the other hand, have sinus pressure so bad it's making my teeth hurt. But just on the right side. I was really hoping to get lots done this weekend, but am just not feeling well enough to get to it. It's so frustrating.



* When I got my credit card bill I had a huge charge for Rockstar Energy Drink and I was pissed because I thought someone had stolen my CC info. (and bought $$$ of Rockstar? WTF?) Then I remembered that they were the concert sponsor. Word to the wise, ticket sellers: the credit statement should say concert tickets.
** Man, there were a lot of smokers in the arena, though. They looked shocked when I told them to put it out. Do they think nonsmokers  suddenly become smokers in the presence of nasty dank?
helblonde: (anecdote)
Do any of you have any experience with the commercial geneology websites? I've been considering ways to share the family photos and stories that I have, but don't really know what the best and worst sites are.

Features that I'm interested in:
  • The ability to create a family tree
  • The ability to link multiple photos to a name and a photo to multiple names
  • Privacy settings that can protect current generations' information
  • Potentially the ability to limit who can access the family tree
  • Perhaps the ability to share/limit admin rights
I don't know what other features I should look into. Any ideas?

No, I'm not going to code it myself.

Ponies!

Mar. 9th, 2009 01:49 pm
helblonde: (Flocke and seal)
The weekend in Tahoe was lovely. The weather was beautiful. The thin air made me even more sluggish than usual. Fortunately, no one seemed inclined to make me do anything and folks were generally pretty solicitous. We did get to play in the snow and see a little home-towny snow parade and build a Janus-headed snowman and go for a sleigh ride.


Just for [livejournal.com profile] callistotoni : These boys are Belgians. Jake, 7,  is on the far side. Captain, 6, is closer to the camera.

I napped in the car on the way home yesteday afternoon, which almost never happens. I usually can't sleep in moving vehicles. Fortunately, [livejournal.com profile] moriven is a rockstar and didn't mind driving both ways. Unpacking the truck after a weekend away is WAY easier when we don't do SCA stuff.

helblonde: (Default)

I had a great time with my cousin today. I met her at her grandma's house in San Leandro and gave grandma a bunch of quilting fabric from my grandma's stash. Cuz and I went to the city and explored Union Square. The kitties at Macy's are my favorite this time of year. We had lunch in the atrium at the Palace Hotel - yum! We met [livejournal.com profile] moriven at home and we all went out to dinner at Massimo's here in Fremont. Good times!

Unfortunately, when she and I got back to the SL BART station my truck had been broken into. The window was smashed and the stereo and the bezel (that plastic part of the dash that the stereo sits in) were stolen. The rat bastard. Somewhat fortunately, a BART police officer noticed and left his card with the report number on my seat. So, tomorrow I get to deal with my insurance agent. :p

Also, apparently the sewage pipe that has leaked sporadically the past three winters in our garage has finally broken its fitting, so our landlord should be coming over tomorrow to fix that. (We had long learned not to leave anything we liked in that corner of the garage, so no losses there.) Tomorrow is not shaping up into the finish-shopping day that I had intended.
helblonde: (Just B)
OMG! I just got a package from my mom's cousin. She sent me a drawing my mother did and my great-grandmother's wedding dress.
This one:



It even has the thin silk knit gloves. I'm giddy.
helblonde: (Licky Kitty)
Good news:
My cousin (the one who got married last Feb) just got back from a 7 month tour in Fallujah. Hooray!

Bad news:
The husband of my cousin who just had the baby last month just deployed to Iraq. Please send good wishes his way.

ETA: Why is Costco filled with ding-a-lings at 11 am on a Monday? *shudder* I waited all weekend to avoid you people!

Weekend win

Dec. 1st, 2008 10:58 pm
helblonde: (This army)
Of course Thanksgiving was lovely. How could it not be, with our wonderful chefs and good friends?

Sunday, though, made my weekend. My mother-in-law, who dislikes Christmas a great deal, agreed to come have brunch with us and then join us for chopping down the Christmas tree. She BARTed down from Berkeley and we drove out to Half Moon Bay. She arrived *ahem* a little early (we were still asleep when she called to give a 20 minute warning. I'm glad she called.) so we arrived in HMB and toodled around a second-hand shop, which was right up her alley.

We had brunch at the Miramar Restaurant about two and a half miles up the coast, which we found when my aunt was up a while back. The food was good and it was high tide, so the waves were crashing just outside (and, strictly speaking, across the road from) the windows. It's definitely a nice place to eat.

Then we went back out 92 to the tree farm and found a lovely plump tree. I cut it; moriven carried it. All was well. The tree farm had a net machine so we were able to fit the tree inside the Suburban. It smelled wonderful. The tree farm gave is little candy canes and my m-i-l had hers right away. I had a good time and she had a good time. I'm so pleased.

Sad News

Mar. 5th, 2008 06:45 pm
helblonde: (bear hugs)
My uncle lost his battle with cancer yesterday. It is a bitersweet sadness knowing that he is no longer in pain and yet that my cousins have lost their father. He was a good man.
helblonde: (Default)

This morning was cleaning the kitchen time. That was unexciting.

Grandpa came over and showed us the award that he was just sent recognizing my great grandfather as one of the top 100 people from the University where he taught from 1925 to 1962. Aparently last year was the University's centennial year and so on. It was very nice that L.E. was recognised. I know it means a lot to grandpa. I think it's pretty neat, too.

Grandpa also apologised for not getting Dad's Christmas gifts to me yet. Aparently they're still at my aunt's house. We had a good laugh about that. It's kind of odd that neither grandpa nor my aunt mentioned this before. Since December, I've been working under the assumption that Dad didn't bother to get me anything. It's nice to know he didn't forget about me. There was no other wierdness, which was a relief.

We've been putting aside "grandpa portions" when we cook meals, so I was able to send him home with a number of frozen dinners to give him a little variety.

After he left, I cut back about 2 years of growth from my bouganvilla, since it was toppled in the wind storms we had. I now have bandages all over my arms, since it fought back fiercely. The scratches usually becoem huge welts if I don't keep antibiotic goo on for a little while. I also repotted some asparagus ferns and transplanted my spider plants to the yard. 

Do any of you friends in LJ-land need small (mostly 5" or smaller) ceramic pots? I have a bunch that I just don't use and would be happy to give them away to someone who would.

I've been debating getting a composter from the county, since there is a spot in my yard that just won't grow anything. I worry about the compost smelling, but the neighborhood cats use that spot as a litter box, so the smell couldn't really be any worse.

On another hygenic note, I never really thoguht of Tom's of Maine deodorant as being particularly effective, but I forgot it one day this week. For those of you who saw me, I'm so sorry.

helblonde: (Default)

Travel...was uneventful. Except for the guy who sat near us, whose cologne made moriven and I queasy. Since we took a redeye out, we were exhaused by the drive to the hotel. On the one hand, this was all the bride's home territory, on the other hand all of the out of town guests had to drive at least 3 hours from any airport to get to the hotel. 

The Genetti Hotel was built in the mid-1920s and apparently has not been given any insulation or updated much since then. Think decor in cream, burgundy, and pink. We had a lovely 2-room suite, but folks in the regular "rooms" barely had room to walk around their beds. There was a hint of old cigarette smoke and the whole place reminded me of some of the nicer places we stayed in whilst in Spain. I have to respect any hotel whose maidstaff takes the teddy bears from the couch and puts them on the freshly made bed. The showerhead was high enough for moriven to be comfortable (a rarity in hotels, I assure you) and the hot water was just this side of too hot. It was wonderful.

To be continued...

helblonde: (Default)
 Twelfth night was going so well until I got food poisoning Saturday night from whatever I had at breakfast in the hotel cafe. *Damn you, DoubleTree! I shake my tiny fist * I'm feeling much better now. I'm very pleased that I managed to not be sick on my happy new dress. That was not what I planned to have as my major accomplishment for the weekend, let me tell you.

Aside from what was obviously the low of my weekend, I had a nice time seeing folks in 2-3 minute sound bites. The play was the highlight for me - the "C-word" tee hee hee hee. 

I was fuctioning on slightly less sleep than anticipated, but that's my own fault for deciding to redo my hat Thursday night. I did deliver my donations to T, and the last few gifts.

In other news, I just got a wedding invitation for the weekend of Estrella. It's my cousin's wedding and he's being deployed to Iraq in March, so we'll be going to the wedding for certain. I'm bummed about missing the war, but the wedding is much more important. I'm not keen on it being in the middle of Pennsylvania in February, though. But I'll bet it beats Penn in August.

Oh, and I don't think I've posted the new date of the Feast of Fine Arts. It's going to be on September 6th and will be combined with the Esfenn First Sword Tournament earlier in the day.
helblonde: (Default)
Magic Auntie helblonde to my darling nieces, that is.

I so enjoyed visiting my BIL's family over the weekend. I wish we'd had more time. I wish I hadn't been sick. I wish we had had more chances to just sit down and chat with my BIL and SIL. They're good folks.

Our 2 y.o. neice is a whiny, grumpy girl right now, but her 3 y.o. sister was a real delight. We made Chirstmas cookies and she rode on my shoulders at the zoo and those we my favorite parts of the weekend.

I also had my traditional favorite holiday fun. Every year I give them (lots) of Christmas cookies and every year my BIL tells me how much he hates me :) I'm unrepentant. Everyone else likes them. The 2 y.o. definitely approves. She figured out how to climb the stools at the kitchen counter just so she could get into the cookies.

The flying with the sick is not so good. Real behind-the-counter Sudafed is the win.

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