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Aug. 16th, 2016

Due Consideration

Article on Trauma's Contribution to Chronic Illness


Has links to more information as well.

Aug. 11th, 2016

Due Consideration

Modern Gardening and Botany



Aug. 8th, 2016

Due Consideration

Long Weekend but Good

Long not as in having a three-day weekend, just a lot happening, starting Friday afternoon.

Got a massage - yay!

Went down into the valley and made a quick stop at CVS, then on to Applebee's for a quick supper...and ran into some of L's relatives who were in the area for the reunion on Saturday. So of course we had dinner with them...then a quick shop for ingredients for the fruit salad for Saturday -- got home late.

Saturday we went to the reunion and stayed for about 2-1/2 hours and then L was toasty so we went home. L mostly took it easy, I got a few things done, like picking a few blueberries and giving them a few gallons of water.

Sunday we went back to the family farm in the morning for pancake breakfast (and leftovers) - and yes, there were GF pancakes. No blueberry ones, but hey, can't have everything. Hung out long enough to be in a couple of family photos and then back home. L took a nap while I made a trash and recycling run and made another fruit salad for the Pennsic Pity Party. Not that we're feeling sorry to not be at Pennsic, but it was a chance to hang out with some people we haven't seen much in the past year. It was a cozy gathering -- and really, just about perfect for us. I got some really old artwork back from Fiona, from back when cut-and-paste was a real thing using actual scissors and glue :D


Today we'll be pretty low key, but I at least have more energy today than I would normally have after that much activity and traveling. I picked a _lot_ of blueberries today, and gave them more water. Normally I wouldn't be watering established plants but it's dry enough here that the poor things are already dropping leaves...

I also worked on getting access to a small piece of furniture (moving stuff on and around a table) and finished getting it clear today. It's part of an effort to make the office less cluttered and more usable...we'll be getting a filing cabinet from L's mom soon too, so I have to keep working on opening up space. It'll be nice to get the table out of its current location in the dining room, which is still serving as a storage space for things from all over the place, but esp. the future greenhouse space.

Oh, and we finally got the tiger tapestry up on the wall in the weaving room. It's on the large side and in a frame, so it was a challenge; only took seven months...yes, another year of chaos, but we're making progress.


Made appts. with an acupuncturist for Thursday. Let's see what she can do for L's continuing nerve pain and my various issues. Meanwhile, I've dug out the acupressure book and looking at and trying some possible points to use. I used to have a routine of points I did regularly but whenever something new is added to my or our lives I tend to lose other bits.
Due Consideration

Kabuto - construction methods and the oharaidate (crest holder)

I'm actually looking at different ways to assemble a Chinese headdress, but when I mentioned to fitzw that danabren was working on a complex headdress with parts that stand up and away from the head, he suggested looking at kabutos (Japanese helmets).

Didn't have a lot of success until I did a search that brought up a page from Sengokudaimyo.com. Of course. I didn't know Anthony Bryant well but we had some lovely online chats about Japanese clothing; he is missed. People interested in Japanese armor and underpinnings of same will be happy to know that a devoted group of volunteers are continuing to maintain his site and fill in the gaps - things that were lost or he hadn't had the time to finish are being recovered and worked on as well.

Also, there are links near the bottom of the side menu bar to his related sites on clothing, miscellany, and intro to Classical Japanese.


A few pages from his site:

http://www.sengokudaimyo.com/katchu/katchu.html (Chapter 8)

- Dealing primarily with describing different methods of helmet assembly, but there is this mention of crests: "Datemono (crests) could be attached to the front, sides, back, or even top of the helmet using a fixture called an oharaidate. Some helmet were even fitted with several different types of crest. Crests were usually removable. Even grotesques might have crests attached to them."

http://www.sengokudaimyo.com/katchu/katchu.html (Chapter 9)

- More detail on helmets. PDFs of templates linked in each section.

Key phrase for oharaidate: "Cut out and form the oharaidate (crest holder). There are more complex versions, but I’ve provided a simple one that should serve you well. Attach it to the front of the kabuto. Note that the central of the three dome rivets goes through the oharaidate. There is a second rivet lower down on the crest-holder, but it must be ground flat and is invisible."


- This is the PDF for the exemplar oharaidate. Diagrams and instructions.


When I get to seriously designing and making a Chinese headdress (Chinese opera-style), I plan on photographing the process in the hopes of sharing it with those interested. The opera hats seem to use hook & eye and ties, but I'm thinking snaps and velcro may also be of use. I was also remembering today about how for straps it can be useful to make slots/holes for them to go through - either one or two, depending on which side of a surface you want to have the fastener. The bending of the strap or tie to go under/over a surface redirects some of the force of the tension the strap is under, and makes for a "stronger" attachment because it takes some stress off where the strap is sewn/riveted.

Jul. 30th, 2016

Due Consideration

Clay Pot Irrigation

A method used in dry places for watering plants with minimal water loss. The most popular searches bring up the terracotta pots (olla pots), from South America I think, but the method goes back to BCE times in China. And of course there's permaculture sites that talk about it as well.

The olla pots are not cheap. Even regular terracotta pots are not inexpensive, but sometimes you can find them at transfer points/dumps. Or look at the garden center for chipped ones -- they're going to be underground so who care what they look like? I've also found sites where people used regular pots and put the pot plate on top of the pot (just make sure there's a small hole in the plate), and sites where people caulked two pots together. Your local Freecycle may be a place to look for terracotta pots as well.

Water needs to be able to pass through the sides of the pot, so no plastic or glazed pots. Although I did notice that some people paint part of the pots sometimes - to direct the water flow I'm guessing.

I'm trying out a small pot in one of my pots, just because it worked out that I had space in a pot to do that yesterday. Didn't have a clay pot plate to use as a cover, so cluged a cover with an old CD and some Gorilla tape.

Plants still have to be watered, via the pots, but the release of water is more regular and if the pots are appropriately sized one shouldn't have to water as often.

Some sites for more info:

Info and diagrams and stuff:

The pretty version of pots but has decent photos of the process:

Picture of pot with potplate: https://myfolia.com/journals/102148-completed-clay-pot-water-jar-irrigation-system

Jun. 21st, 2016

Due Consideration


Monday was a relatively quiet day, but L was up for some yard work. He did some more mowing (there is always more mowing), and got the grass in the grove to a manageable height. By which I mean that barring enduring rains it can be kept up with the reel mower if we do it weekly.

And, he put a lot of stones on the altar. We started stacking stones last year, then it sat over the winter. This was actually a good thing, as this gave the stones time to settle or heave if we'd chosen badly. We've been adding a few over the past few months -- the goal was to have it done by Solstice but of course with L getting ill I didn't think that would happen. It needs a thin stone under one corner of one of the top stones but otherwise it's pretty nice. We'll let it sit for a bit and see if it needs more than that. I think it looks pretty good -- I mean, it's essentially just a big cube-like stack of stone, but still.

We kept things super simple for the day, otherwise.

I did some work on making sun catchers -- good time for making them :)

The fireflies treated us to a lovely show at night, and we were fortunate that clear weather held for moon viewing. Apparently the rain we were going to get decided to pass us by -- my BIL R, who has been bringing in hay, is fine with that.

Jun. 8th, 2016

Due Consideration

And a bit more progress

Hey, at this point I'll take what progress I can get :P

L's rash has finished with the scabbing and is on to being red marks that are slowly fading. Pain is a continuing problem -- off to get more pain meds today. So far, seems to be progressing like a "normal" case; we can only hope.


L started to change out the old dining room ceiling light yesterday, but our replacement has a small crack in the glass so that needed a little glass glue and overnight set up. He needs to pick up a few things at the hardware store anyway -- yay trying to fit new things onto old things. The replacement was the floor model and deeply discounted, plus the crack/repair won't show once it's attached, so it's all good.


New mattress and box spring delivered yesterday. Not a bad night's sleep last night, although it will take a bit to get used to, of course. I think the last one had a 7-year warranty...which we exceeded by a few years...this one has a 10-year warranty.


Turned a curtain I wasn't using that way (made for previous house) into a body pillow case, and turned half of a pair of old curtains sideways to convert it to use in our hallway window. The other half is in the living room doorway now. So on bad hot/humid weather days we can work in there without trying to cool off the entire house. I may also hang the translucent white curtains around the stairway, to help keep the first and second floor zones more separate. I've done it before, but I wanted to wait until after yesterday's delivery.


Fiddled with cutting out pieces for making a bag last night. I think I'm at the point where I can sew today.


Oh! And not finished, but I found and have been working on finishing the edge on an old bag project. This one is a big one based on camel bags IIRC -- um, Persian? Anyway. Started two of them back when we were still going to Pennsic but the seam edges are to the outside and then wrapped in yarn, so at some point I just stopped, because of whatever life thing was happening. We've actually used them -- they're sized to hold the walls and ceiling of our oval marquee tent. But it would really be nice if the edges were done and the toggle closures attached.


Hung up a wall cabinet in the downstairs bathroom to test-fit. Needs magnet closures at the top of the doors so the upper parts don't stick out from the frame. Once that's done we'll screw through the back to anchor it to the wall.


Hung up a few pictures, moved some things back into place in the radiant room (from when I moved them to the side for the washer and dryer earlier this year), mailed some Japanese prints to a friend who is a devotee of the culture, gave a few other things away, moved some books and games into the trailer (L helped with that), did some digging and weeding, moved a trellis/hanging-pot-holder-thingie near to the patio, repotted two tomatoes and hung them on the thingie.

Hm. I guess I did a few things. Of course, what I wish is that I could do more, but hey. I suspect it's still more than I was doing a year ago?
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May. 28th, 2016

Due Consideration

A small window into stuff we're doing


So I'd had a possibly good idea and shared it with L -- who then got a major part of it done before I got outside. *sigh* And the air conditioners are now in the house as well. Neither one is set up yet, but we're one step closer. L is now laying down for a rest.

Oh, and he also got a single seat and bench seat from our old minivan out of the trailer, which will eventually make it to the transfer point to be trash. Unfortunately mice found a way to get into the trailer and made their homes in these.

We had an 8' long table taking up space in the center aisle of the barn -- it is now set up along one wall of the trailer. Boxes that were in that space are now elsewhere or underneath. I moved some of the lumber for the trailer project into the trailer and put it on top of the table, along with a rolled up rug that was in the way in the trailer; ten trips with two 2"x4"x8' boards at a time. The 2"x6"x8' boards will have to wait a bit; weather is horrible. But we're making three areas more open for passage and construction purposes at the same time, so yay.


The boards are part of a project to insulate the trailer so that it doesn't suffer as extreme temperature swings. We're also working out ventilation, etc. The end goal is to be able to safely store most of our books out there, as well as games -- sort of a library and entertainment area. We've been working toward this but with the mouse incursions plus being really tired of not being able to find books, etc., this year we're pushing it.

The far end of the trailer has some wood rot in the very end part of the floor and there are some smaller holes in the wall corners (where bolts or something used to be?), so first is cleaning, stabilizing and sealing, then construction. We'll do a section at a time, so as we complete a section we can move things over and do the next section. If we don't get it done by next fall, we can always hang a curtain between the done/undone sections to maximize stable storage.
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May. 22nd, 2016

Due Consideration

Not a bad weekend, all things considered

A slower pace this weekend, but still a few things accomplished. Yesterday we chatted with quite a few folks at the market, giving and gaining knowledge. Picked up a small flat of leeks and a couple of Juliette tomato plants. Later we went to the family farm and finished taking apart our old Sycamore shed (BIL Ray had started the process but it's best done with two or more). He'd been quite busy already with loading other things into his truck to take elsewhere. Lyle and I moved the shed parts into another pickup for the night.

Sunday L went and brought the shed over to our place. We cleared most of the accumulated detritus off the cement pad (nearish to the road) and offloaded the parts. Even disassembled it's a bit of a job.

And of course I got in a wee bit of sorting, and emptied another box from the trailer, did some laundry, and no doubt other things I can't remember.

A cabinet I ordered came sooner than expected; it is now mostly assembled, only needing leveling and figuring out what height to set the shelves at for the books going into it. Still have plenty of flatpack and plastic shelving, but I'm slowly working on either moving the old plastic shelves out of active living spaces or retiring them. A good deal of our shelving is 20+ years old, so it's perhaps time for something nicer.

Also, I just ordered a mini-trampoline...I'd like to be out walking every day but my knees aren't so keen on that, so something lower impact is in order. There are a few changes on the horizon, mostly geared toward reducing stress and inflammation, and hopefully moving toward better health.

L's meds seem to be helping, at least to make things more tolerable. Also using colloidal silver on the rash (thanks for the gifting loosecanon!).

Not a bad weekend at all.
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May. 18th, 2016

Due Consideration

Forgot a few things...

I succeeded in moving the claws off the sewing machine and onto a tray table today. Of course I couldn't just move them :P So now they're a bit smoother, etc. Maybe tonight I'll poke holes into the tabs for holding them onto gloves...unlikely I'll get to actually baking them tonight, but soon.


Unpacked some crystal water glasses I bought in my 20s and found a space for them in the cupboard. Some travel mugs I think L wants to hold onto for a little longer are now tucked in the back of the coffee machine cabinet.

Unpacked a bento box too, so I can see it and remember to use it at some point. If one isn't using something, even just for display, why keep it?

Put the boxes from those in the barn loft. Yay tidying!
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Due Consideration

August 2016




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