tenaya: (exploring)
I went up to visit a friend whose husband is currently in Kabul for a year. We went to give support and companionship during Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, she has even more than an absent husband to deal with. I know we were one more ball to juggle, but we did have a good time and it was really good to see her again. And her cats were great fun.

While we were there, we bugged out for a three day stay at the awesomely beautiful Yosemite. I love this time of year up there. It had snowed in the high country the day before and the drive up there was, well the trees were heavy with thick snow. They looked like they belonged on a Christmas card.

The valley floor is a lower elevation so it was clear of snow. Everything was covered with frost in the morning yet was warm enough in the sunshine later on. We didn't see much wildlife, ravens mostly. The waterfalls had just a tickle of water. Some of the oaks still had yellow leaves but most of the other trees had lost their color already.

It was a short visit but that place always renews me, reminds me of the grandeur of the Earth, wakes me up for a while. *g*
tenaya: (exploring)
We had a good time. The flight there was uneventful for me, but there were lots of canceled flights and delays caused by the weather for others. The Causeway Bay continues to upgrade pretty much everything. I heard the hotel higher ups talking and in the fall the hotel will be franchized to Best Western, while still being owned by Causeway Bay. The beds were really comfortable if half smothered by decorative pillows. *g* Hummingbirds was remodeled and opened on the Wednesday before the con. While I didn't eat there, my friends stated that the service was terrible. Seems like they might have hired waitresses with very limited experience. :(

The con was much the same except I think everyone now fits into the hotel now with rooms left over as there were some mundanes there also. Yet, the room lottery remains. Strange, eh? The art show was okay, with some nice stuff. Some good panels. The dealer's room continues to shrink though, as do new zines. Sherlock was the hot fandom but no zines available. The most panels seemed to be Supernatural and Sherlock.

I think there were more decorated doors this year, but they are less complicated. Our door was this one:
Read more... )

Didn't win anything this year, though.

Oh! How could I forget the tornado! On Sunday a squall line of thunderstorms moved through Michigan. When it got to Lansing, the watch turned into a warning and the sirens went off. The hotel advised everyone to get into the service areas which had no windows. I went into the basement/pool area and waited with dozens of people for about 45 minutes until the warning was canceled. The tornado destroyed a house about 30 miles to the northeast. All we got was a downpour and some winds, which is fine with me!

The trip home was very uneventful, though apparently Mom didn't shut the door to my car when she used it last Friday and the battery was dead when she went to pick me up last night. The cool evening air was refreshing after the heat and mugginess of Michigan and Atlanta!
tenaya: (exploring)
My big project was a trip to Italy with a cruise to the Mediterranean. We were gone 19 days. We flew to Rome via Heathrow. Got there two nights early thus had a day to explore Rome. Next we boarded Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas. We had an accessible room with a veranda and it was very nice. Our ports were Messina Sicily, Athens Greece, Ephesus Turkey, Rhodes Island Greece, Crete Greece, Naples Italy and back to Civitavecchia which is Rome's port. We had two days at sea, too. From there we had a driver take us to Florence (stopping at Sienna and at a vineyard for wine tasting) where we spent four nights. Florence is fabulous! Next we were driven back to Rome via Assisi (which was super cool) where we had another three nights. We did tour the Vatican and saw many other museums, ruins, had wonderful food, met many kind people and weather that was warm and clear (actually, they were having a 'heat wave' into the 80s which just encouraged us to eat more gelato and wishing it was in the mide 60s were it was supposed to be.) The trip went very well except from Mom catching kennel cough on the ship. She was worryingly ill by our first night in Florence and the hotel arranged for an English speaking doctor to come visit her. Antibiotics, steroids and an inhaler had her back on her feet by two days. I caught the cough a few days before we left and took a few weeks to totally recover from. So, all in all, a wonderful trip with a lot of great memories...and photos. I'm still working through the photos as will post again when I have them up on photobucket.

Since Abby was still harassing Coco before we left, a good friend, sheepsclothing graciously took Coco in for the duration of the trip. Mom and I discussed the likely hood that perhaps sheepsclothing might want to keep her and how that would probably be better for Coco if that were to happen. I still felt that eventually the girls would become good buddies but knew it would take months if not years and would be stressful on Coco. Since I was sick when I got back and our three cats were incredibly needy for a few weeks, sheepsclothing was fine with keeping Coco for a bit longer. By the time I visited last week, Coco and sheepsclothing had fallen for each other. Coco was running around, had access to a small patio, had a big collection of toys to play with, was obviously very happy and affectionate to her new mom. Coco will get a new name which is fine because its not like she pays any attention to Coco! She's also going to get a new cat to live with, a 5 year old male named Mr. Tibbs. He's a beautiful Russian Blue, mellow, fine with other cats and very overweight. He's a rescue from a wealthy family who seems to have tired of him and was going to put him down. I think Coco will hide under the bed for a few days but as he proves he isn't going to be mean to her, she should come out eventually. Hopefully he will be the calming influence that Buddy is to Abby.

And that's all the news. :)
tenaya: (exploring)
Had a great time. Bought some lovely rocks, tools and a 'packable hat' for the up coming cruise. It looks like a straw hat with a five inch brim, quite graceful, but it's made of rag and nylon and it rolls right up to fit in the luggage. Cool. We stayed at the Rodeway Inn, the #2 motel in Blythe according to Trip Adviser. Honestly, I have no complaints about the lodging but last night when we drove up at 11pm, it looked creepy and slightly dangerous. It was fine in the daylight. It was just that 'desert town' vib.

Then we stopped at Agua Caliente, (Indian casino) for a seafood buffet. We're home now. The Feliway has been in use since Wednesday morning. I'm not seeing anything yet, but we were gone since Thursday. We'll let Coco out again tomorrow.

More cat politics:
Read more... )
tenaya: (exploring)
We got home late on Wednesday night. The boys ran out as we came in. Abby ran away from me, but within 30 minutes was plopped down on my lap, making biscuits and purring her secret little purr that you can only feel, not hear. She actually missed us! Not her servants or her roommates, but she missed her mummies that she loves! And she has been much more affectionate and relaxed around us. :)

Brindle also is very affectionate. Buddy seemed annoyed with us, upset. He did go to bed with me, but settled down at my feet. At some point during the night, he apparently forgave me and curled up in my arms for some cuddling and pattycake face (he likes to pat my face, headbutt it and stare deeply into my eyes.)

And since we've been home, lots of chores. And back to the grind tomorrow night.

Yosemite was wonderful. Cool and crisp, and smelling like Christmas and mulch. Beautiful colors, too. The forest was shadowy dark but the dogwoods were pink/yellow or bright yellow and brightened up the woods considerably. It rained most of Tuesday but that was relaxing, too. The falls had water in them, and in the morning the cliff sides were dusted with ice and snow. Tuesday night we drove to Tunnel View (or Inspiration Point) and parked. We watched the clouds coil and swirl around the cliffs, El Capitan in particular, and how the light from the setting sun provided dramatic and surprising effects. There was one brief moment when the last rays from the sun found a peep hole in the clouds. A small circle of rose lite the side of El Capitan while the clouds hovered at the top, giving the granite a circlet of whitish blue clouds. It only last a few seconds, so no photo. But you could easily imagine that that's where the mountain's heart is.


The drive home was stately with delays due to road works but as that gave us even more time to appreciate the forest and the views, it was all good. Then we stopped at a rock shop in Oakhurst and I found Mom a nice opal for Christmas.

Now it warmish and dry, and very clear. It's good to go away, but it's awfully nice to be home again. :)

Oh, I almost forgot. While we were driving around the valley floor, I pulled over near the bend in the river, looked down...and realized that I was looking at a naked man, posing, probably for a photographer I couldn't seen. This guy was covered in tattoos and had bits that glinted with metal piercings. Huh. I snapped a couple of photos and sped off, laughing with Mom. It was really too cold for stuff like that!

Updating

Aug. 8th, 2010 03:30 am
tenaya: (stargate)
The summer hasn't been too bad here this year with just a smattering of days above 90. That's so unusual! My bank account appreciates that the electric bill isn't crippling high as it tends to be in July and August.

I planted one cucumber plant and it is doing well. Very well. We have cukes in our salad, cukes soaking in vinegar and pepper...I've even tried cucumber sandwiches (didn't have squishy white bread so I made 'em with squaw bread. Was pretty good.) I'll be taking a half dozen foot longs into work tomorrow to give us some breathing room! I had no idea cucumbers were that vigorous! I also bought a zucchini but it's not doing much. A few blossoms and it looks healthy enough but I thought zucchinis were supposed to be the overwhelming plant.

The cats are good. Abby ran out with Buddy a few nights ago, but then looked worried. We just had to prop the screen door open and wait quietly. She snuck right back into the house. As a reward, the next day when I was doing choirs, I let her out. She crept about for about ten minutes then wanted back in. I'm so pleased that she prefers the house and wants to come back.

Lots of skunks and coons this summer. One momma with four babies, one mamma with a skinny tail with one slightly bigger baby, and two adults that pal around. The crawl space screen 'door' has been vandalized by skunks (pulled away from the frame) and thus...we have coons under the house sometimes. No sure what to do about that.

Mom wants to go on a cruise to the Mediterranean next spring. I need to conserve vacation time for that. I've spent a lot of time googling as I'm trying to figure out how it will work since she'll need a rollator or a wheelchair or scooter. We're talking going a week early to see Rome and Florence, then the ship will go to Sciliy, Naples (Pompeii), Athens, Ephesus, Crete and Rhodes. Mom also has IBS and never knows when she'll desperately need a bathroom. Complications.... But, it should be a wonderful trip if I can figure it out. Any advice?
tenaya: (captive)
I got home with only a few hours delay due to a lightening storm over Atlanta while I was there changing planes. I do hate flying....

The con was good. I changed roommates this year and while I hung with my old gang, I slept very, very well with the new ones. It makes an incredible difference! I did attend panels on Bones, Top Gear, Castle, Criminal Minds and co-modded one on Merlin. When we found we missed a panel we wanted to see, we held our own at dinner. *g* As I said before, we did well with the door contest. The art show was pretty good but a little smaller than last year. There was little SG1 or Merlin...plus I was feeling very, very poor since I've had a couple of paychecks that were less than a third of usual since I've been out of work because of my shoulder. There were some lovely pieces though. That also explains why I went on a solitary room crawl about 2pm on Saturday; I was hoping most of the room dealers were closed and I just wanted to look at the doors. I got 6 SG1 zines, and a couple of mouse pads and prints and that was about it.

We had a fine meal at Sahara's, ate many meals at Bob Evans', a couple at Grumpy's and even went for a few late night shake runs at Steak and Shake. My car was upgraded to full size so I had a Mercury Grand Marquis. I kept hearing Clarkson in my head, "that is cheap, this is poorly designed and it handles like moribund boat. Absolute rubbish!" I do like that it had two bench seats so I crammed 6 people in it. :) "Move along officer, nothing to see here." And it had a very good A/C unit. That made me very forgiving!

The Vid Show was pretty good, too. Longer than last year, too. There was a lovely Jack/Daniel one. :) And a lovely Merlin one set to Celtic music.

I don't really have any news from the con; just a lot of happy memories of friends, laughs and good conversation (and watching Firefly DVDs.)

Now for the cat report. The bottom line is that Abby got out and two days later she's safely back inside. The details for my own enjoyment are behind the cut:

Read more... )
tenaya: (Uther)
It's Monday and most people are bugging out. Said goodbye to my N. Carolina friends, had a nice chat with Obelix about Merlin and am now waiting for my friends to finish up with business. While I was out to breakfast, housekeeping took down my door decoration and our award. :( I had already took photos of it so that's not so bad. We won Best Multi-Fandom, so Yay! Will post photos when I get home. Must remember to get a decent photo editor on the laptop....

I only bought about 5 SG1 zines and some Merlin, Castle and Castiel merchandise from Cat's Meow. This will make it easy to pack.

It has started to rain a bit and looks like maybe a thunderstorm later on.
tenaya: (exploring)
MediaWest Con is vibrant this year. Not so much SG1 or Merlin, but am having a good time chatting with friends. Our door this year is a Top Gear door and I'll post a photo of it later. Haven't made it to the Art Show yet. Vid show had some excellent entries. The weather sucks, though--it's mid 80s and humid. The Dealer's Room is very hot!
tenaya: (pic#140176)
Here are those photos. I included some of the ice festival, but it you want better ones, go to the following website. They have ice sculptures lit in different colors at night. These are the entries for 2010:
http://www.icealaska.com/10/10sculptureindex.html

Here's a link to the photo album at photobucket:

http://pbckt.com/sN.tDV

And here is Mom and I at Skiland all bundled up:




This was my favorite ice sculpture I think:



Here's a sunset. See that lump on the horizon in the center of the photo? That's Denali, over 150 miles away. Tall mountain!



And if you want to peruse some wonderful aurora photos, start here and browse around:

http://www.spaceweather.com/aurora/gallery_01mar10_page4.htm?PHPSESSID=9jf93neddpq5adjf96ci5n8r44

Thus ends my vacation posts!

Am home

Mar. 15th, 2010 02:15 am
tenaya: (Mr Flibble)
We are home. We saw the aurora three times--and could have seen it three other times but didn't because it was snowing where we were and thought it would be snowing up on the mountain, too, or because it was on later in the evening and we were asleep. Tricky thing. I'll have to put some photos up later of our adventures.

Buddy and Abby are glad to see us, which is very nice to see. Brindle was collected from the vets. He has lost some weight and is anxious. Buddy took over Brindle's cat tree and feels ownership of the house, while Brindle--who is SO happy to have his life back--is in the position of being the 'new' cat. So, much kitty politics for the next few days as they sort themselves out. When we took our nap, Mom got the siblings, while Brindle cuddled next to me. Right now they are all out here with us in the family room, just needing to be with us. And who says cats are solitary creatures? So very wrong.

It was 75 when we got home and it feels so hot. It was so strange to live in place that was totally frozen. We did adapt and am very grateful for the advice my flist gave me on what I needed to buy to survive in a place like Fairbanks. The thermal underwear was essential and made things quite comfortable. Better gloves would have been nice....

I feel like I'm fighting something off so I'll go back to bed. I'm supposed to go to work tomorrow.... Hmmm....

And we found that Tivo recorded nothing while we were away. What happened was the FiOS box turned itself off (power failure? A reset? Don't know.) So, Tivo faithfully recorded a message that we needed to hit the Menu button on the FiOS remote. Castle, the Mentalist and all the others. I'd be more annoyed if I wasn't so tired...and so glad to be home.

Update

Mar. 11th, 2010 01:22 pm
tenaya: photo by Wally Pacholka @ Astropics.com (devil's tower)
It's -2 with a light snow coming down right now. I've got this beautiful view from my window:




Last night it was overcast with a few spots were the stars could peek though. We went up to the ski lodge anyway and were rewarded with a great display. At first it was though the clouds, diffuse shapes that slowly morphed from a band into stepping stones then into a snake. At times parts would light up particularly bright, like car lights lighting up a fog bank as it drove past. Then it got real exciting. Still mostly white with a pale green to them and sometimes they were still behind the high clouds. Suddenly they were over half the sky. Multiple shapes, bands that undulated and coiled, thin streaks that darted across the sky like fish in a pond. Then there was this bit were this diffuse light washed across the sky like waves on a beach--it was like how you blow a window and it fogs, but immediately dissipates. Just like that. So, so cool. And it was cold, about 10 below I think. Not much wind which helped a lot. I was able to stand outside for 15 or 20 minutes before I had to dart in for a quick warm up. There were three Japanese up there, too. They just laid down in the snow and enjoyed. "oooohs!" are pretty universal.

So, snowing now. Supposed to snow tonight, too. Finger's crossed though.
tenaya: (serious heyes)
Slept in. Went to breakfast at 1pm, came back and did laundry while Mom napped. Then I napped. Then we went up to Skiland but found it was all cloudy. Came back home. Mom went back to bed and I read my flist while I waited for the coffee I drank to wear off. Finally!

Tomorrow, we need to check out of the hotel and go see the ice sculptures. It's supposed to get very cold on Thursday so if we want to see them, we need to find some motivation!

This website has more about the ice festival:
http://www.icealaska.com/
tenaya: (exploring)
...and am home, safe and sound. The cats missed us. :)

This time we went to a rock and gem show at the Avi Casino at the tip of Nevada. Bought some cool stuff. Spent $10 on an Walk Like An Egyptian slot machine and had a great time watching the silly graphics for 20 minutes.

In the Fort Mojave tribe language, Whalia means moon, and Malika means ground squirrel. I'm tempted to rename Abby....

It was a good thing we postponed the trip from leaving on Wednesday night. The road near the Colorado had been closed due to flooding, flash floods so we would have been stranded at the casino, not to mention would have had a hellish drive out there on Wednesday. At Quartzsite, where we were two weeks ago, "A California Department of Transportation spokeswoman says a tornado near the Arizona state line has toppled big-rigs and downed high-voltage power poles atop a car with a person inside." Glad we missed that.

And again, was amused by the desert inhabitants. They are peculiar. Had an interesting talk with a jovial man who was explaining how he can see the 12th dimension where God exists. Luckily, God's one truth is Love, and his footprint is creativity. Apparently, after 2001, the horrendousness of 9/11 hastened things. We have all been given 12 years to choose sides between Love/God and evil. There is no area of grey. I don't/can't love Rush Limbaugh. What that means for my immortal soul, I don't know.

Also, I have a Stargate keychain bob hanging from my rearview mirror. I silently amused myself by observing it on the various desert landscapes we drove through. Even after all these years, I still think a Stargate on a alien landscape is the coolest thing.

I'm back

Jan. 8th, 2010 11:26 pm
tenaya: (exploring)
Mom and I went out to Quartzsite, AZ for a rock and gem show. If you're into making your own jewelry or like collecting spiffy rocks, this is a great place to shop. Great selection and great prices. We stayed at Blythe overnight and spent the day shopping before driving home. We also stopped at Agua Caliente to dine at their buffet. Bunny? Still no lobster bisque, but everything else was good.

Woke up with sore spot on the throat, but it wasn't really a sore throat. Decided to stay in today and nap. The cats approved.

And this is really just an excuse to try out the new icon. I kinda like having the text "police box" visible, but then one can't see the Doctor that well. Hmmmm....

Thanks!

Dec. 29th, 2009 08:39 am
tenaya: (heyes white shirt)
I had intended to respond individually and thank everyone for their wonderful and illuminating input about the cold weather gear. I can't wait to begin putting all that info to work.


Long story short, I had to work overtime and that cut into my net time before bedtime. I'm off on Wednesday, so I'll get to it all then. I just did not want you thinking I asked for help and then ignored you. I'm just out of time right now. :(

Again, thank you! I am totally clueless but now feel I can make good choices. :)
tenaya: (heyes white shirt)
Oh Flist! I need some advice. Mom and I have decided to spend a week in Fairbanks in March to try to see the northern lights. We are Californians and thus, are a little anxious about the colder weather up there. I thought, "I'll buy some thermal underwear!" But when I googled it, I discovered a wide price range.

So, for people that buy/use thermal underwear, what is your favorite type? Are there brands that I should totally shun? All help is deeply appreciated.

Actually, while I got you here...how about cleats for the footwear so we don't slip on ice so much? Last thing I want is for Mom (77 years old) to slip and break something while on vacation. Are there ones that are great? Ones that aren't worth a plug nickel?

Again, I will be grateful for any advice.

Thanks!

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