luscious_purple: scribal blot (scribal icon)
On Monday, Labor Day, I posted the following tribute on Facebook. I *meant* to copy it here too, but I got tired later in the day.

One hundred years ago TODAY, my Uncle Rene was born. Yes, my father and one of my uncles were born just four days apart in the same year. Uncle Rene was my *maternal* uncle, just so you're not totally confused.

Most people pronounce "Rene" as "reh-NAY," same as "Renee," but my family of French Canadian Americans always pronounced my uncle's name as "RAY-nee." At any rate, my Uncle Rene was the third of six children born to a couple of residents of a heavily French Canadian neighborhood in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

Rene grew up to be the tallest of his siblings and was always a big high-strung. His hair stood up straight on top of his head, and he wore thick glasses. He left school after the eighth grade because by then it was the Depression. At some point he lost the tip of his right middle finger to some sort of tool or machine. He had only the tiniest stump of nail on that finger.

As you can see from the
[Facebook] photo, Uncle Rene joined the service during World War II, but I don't think he stayed on the front lines long. My mother always said he had "shellshock." I think he was shipped home to recuperate. I have a little satin pillow that is printed with the words "For Mom from Fort Belvoir."

Rene never married or had kids, but lived with his mother (my grandmother) and took care of her as she aged. She signed the house over to him before she died, so he would always have a place to live. He worked as a janitor at Fitchburg State College (as Diane N***
[a former member of my church who attended Fitchburg State] can attest) until he retired.

My Dad and Uncle Rene were good friends and were in a bowling league together. One Sunday afternoon they scared my Mom -- they went down to the local airport and convinced someone to take them up on his small plane for a cruise around southern New Hampshire. Better to seek forgiveness afterward than to try to get permission beforehand....

By 1987 Uncle Rene and my mother were the last of their siblings left alive. They were the third and fourth kids in the family, and I think my mother was closer to him than to her other siblings. He died at age 79, and my Mom died four weeks later.

Happy 100th Birthday, Uncle Rene.

* * * * *

On Monday I had gotten up early to march in the Labor Day parade as a member (really, president) of the local Toastmasters Club. I should really start a DW/LJ tag for Toastmasters, as that's probably going to be a bigger part of my life for the rest of the "club year" (i.e., until next June 30). The town where I live was built as a New Deal project 80 years ago, so yeah, we love our Labor Day festivities. It's traditional for marchers to toss candy to the children on the sidelines, and some of them bring bags, almost like Halloween trick-or-treating.

This is the third year I marched in the parade with the Toastmasters. It's really quite fun, and it's not a lengthy parade at all. This year's event had a TON of entries for local politicians. The area is so heavily Democratic that next year's primary (I think it will be in June) is tantamount to election. So, yeah, everybody wanted to "press the flesh."

At the elementary school book sale at the Labor Day festival, I scored three books, including The Civilization of the Goddess by Marija Gimbutas -- list price $60 when it came out. I think I paid $8 for the three books and the reusable tote bag to carry them in. Deal!

At the parade I scored coupons for a free Mission BBQ sandwich and a free slice of Three Brothers pizza. So I think I came out even, more or less.

* * * * *

I was supposed to have a small surgical procedure today (to remove a small BENIGN lump), but the hospital arbitrarily rescheduled it to next Tuesday, without bothering to TELL me until I made inquiries late yesterday afternoon. *grumble*

I had explicitly made no commitments to anything for the coming weekend, because I figured I was going to spend the weekend loafing around and sleeping off the painkillers. Now, however, what to do? In addition, money is a bit tight again, since I paid off some crucial bills.

Although I've been invited to attend no less than three different SCA events in three different states, I think I'll stick closer to home this weekend. Maybe I'll catch up on some projects here. I really hadn't planned on going to an event until Battle on the Bay, which is the weekend of Sept. 22-24.

* * * * *

I haven't been in touch with Tall Dancer a lot lately, but he called twice this afternoon. Apparently he is on a long drive from Georgia to Tennessee for a small relax-a-con with friends. And he just got back from Florida to celebrate his grandmother's 95th birthday. I do hope his relatives are safe during Hurricane Irma.


Nov. 12th, 2015 11:40 pm
luscious_purple: i'm in ur fizx lab, testin ur string therry (string therry)
When it comes to the four classical elements, I'm all about earth, air and fire. Not so much water.

When I was a kid, I *hated* getting water up my nose with a passion. So I developed something of a phobia about it. I never got the hang of rhythmic breathing no matter how many swim classes I took at the municipal pool and Girl Scout camp. By my last year of Girl Scout camp, I was the *only* girl in my unit still at the Advanced Beginner level. Everyone else was at least an Intermediate. True, I had the Advanced Beginner counselor all to myself, but I'll bet that she would have rather had the time slot to herself.

Anyway, I'd lived here in Maryland for many years without setting foot in my current community's municipal pool, but I'm glad I've started taking water aerobics classes there. I don't have to put my face in the water, but I still get some exercise.

The secret: a flotation belt that straps around the waist. (OK, so it rides up a bit during the class.) You get into the deep end of the pool and you are just suspended there like an astronaut training for an EVA in a neutral-buoyancy tank. No weight on your feet, no pounding on your knees, but you can get lots of great abdominal exercise by lifting your legs.

Some days, like today, I haven't felt like exercising, but then I drag myself to the pool, and afterwards I feel better and I'm glad I've done it. After all these years, I guess I've become a pool rat!
luscious_purple: "avoid heralds" (avoid heralds)
Choices, choices!

I wish I could go to Baltimore for the 7 p.m. astronomy lecture at Space Telescope Science Institute. I adore hearing about new astronomical instrumentation! And I might even run into a friend from Massachusetts!

But my body desperately needs the water aerobics class at my town's indoor pool from 6 to 7 p.m. I haven't been to a class there for about six weeks, thanks to the major renovations at the indoor pool.

Can't do both. The pool and the institute are at opposite ends of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, which always gets jammed up at rush hour.

luscious_purple: Boston STRONG! (Boston Strong)
Lately I've been trying to get some exercise two or three times a week. That may not sound like much, but I tend to be a sedentary person, and working at home does not exactly encourage me to get out and move my butt.

The convergence of a few different things, however, has gotten me up and about. I started reading the Single Dad Laughing blog, in which the author wrote about losing enough weight and improving his health enough to lead Tough Mudder teams three times. (He's got a whole group on Facebook called "The Single Dad Laughing Health Club," which is full of positive encouragement.) Then Master Liam, a mostly online friend from the SCA's East Kingdom, had to miss Pennsic because he landed in the hospital with pneumonia ... and heart failure. Liam is my age; in our junior year of high school, his high school and my high school did a band and chorus exchange, so technically he's the first SCAdian I ever met, even though we have no memory of interacting with each other. Still ... my mother died of a combination of COPD and heart failure, so to hear of it in someone my age is ... scary. Plus, the August/September "birthday season" in my family of origin reminds me of those who have gone before me -- and the average age at death of my parents' generation is something like 67. So that means I have only about 11 years to go before my body poops out. Needless to say, I'd like to have more years than that.

Earlier this year I did a few yoga classes at a studio some 20 or miles or so from here -- I had gotten a gift certificate in the church auction last fall and had to use it up before it expired. I enjoyed the place and its instructors, but the drive, which took me past No Such Agency at evening rush hour, left something to be desired. Why get all stressed out on the way to my relaxation??? So I started doing twice-weekly deep-water aerobics at the local municipal pool complex. I enjoyed the classes and always felt great afterward.

The summer classes were all held in the indoor pool. Normally, the outdoor pool is closed after Labor Day. However, the indoor pool needed a completely new roof, so the outdoor pool has been staying open through September. Yeah, it was definitely a bit chillier than indoors, plus no hot tub afterward, but I still got some good exercise the last couple of weeks. Class attendance was dropping off, though, so this week the instructors threw in the towel (figuratively) and called off the classes.

So this afternoon I made myself do a *brisk* walk around the neighborhood lake, and when I passed each of the 10 or so position markers on the trail, I made myself jog about 25 steps before going back to walking. I wasn't sure how my knees were going to take that, but I'm not in pain so far. Yay! Maybe I'm not as decrepit as I think I am!
luscious_purple: Daily News: Mitt Hits the Fan (Mitt hits the fan)
So, now that I have recovered from my cold (except for some residual clearing-out of phlegm and other mucus), the boy toy has come down with the virus. So he's lounging around today and I cooked him pancakes and sausage for brunch (instead of him cooking for me).

Somebody please tell the natural world out there that it's supposed to be spring?!
luscious_purple: Daily News: Mitt Hits the Fan (Mitt hits the fan)
Who knows, maybe I can get a post in every day this month? Or at least this week?

My skin seems to be less itchy today. Thank goodness.

It still is REALLY quiet in LJ/DW land. Where did everybody go? Well, at least [personal profile] pearl posted some links for safekeeping! Thanks!

Now, back to work...
luscious_purple: OMG WTF BBQ (OMG WTF BBQ)
Last night I think I had what is known as a "sinus headache" -- a dull ache behind my face. Kept me awake, tossing and turning, for hours and hours. Finally I realized that the acetaminophen in the cold-and-flu medicine wasn't doing anything for me, so I took some ibuprofen and that FINALLY got rid of the pain around 5 a.m. At LAST I got some sleep -- with some really intense dreams about driving an ancient old station wagon with mushy brakes -- and rolled out of bed around 3:30 p.m.

At the store I sprung for some Advil Cold & Sinus with the REAL pseudophedrine, not the fake OTC stuff that doesn't do anything. We'll see what happens with this medication.

I really hope to be OK for tomorrow. Just don't hug or kiss me (yeah, I know that takes all the fun out of cons...).
luscious_purple: Baby blasting milk carton with death-ray vision (death-ray baby)
This morning I woke up with a minor sore throat, and my throat still feels a bit scratchy, so I'm not sure if I'm coming down with a cold. Geez, I really hope NOT. It's like summer out there in terms of heat and humidity, and we're coming up on a holiday weekend. I want to have fun, not feel like dog feces.

I have been planning on going to Balticon for Saturday only, and then spending Sunday and Monday at home, pecking away on the decluttering project. At least I will catch CZ's party on Saturday night, and Patches' medieval dance lessons, and (I hope) some other programming.

I thought of the "Saturday only" strategy to save money. If I make three round trips between home and Hunt Valley, that's 300 miles total, or a tank of expensive gasoline. Plus, that's a lot of time on the road. OTOH, registration for Saturday only is still $43 versus $62 for the whole con. Geez, the next time people tell me how expensive SCA events are, I'm going to start screaming or something.

I don't know what to do -- if I am truly sick by Saturday morning, I wonder whether I should bother to go at all, as I don't want to give the cold virus to everyone else. But I want to spend at least one day of the weekend with friends. Blah.


Oct. 5th, 2010 09:03 am
luscious_purple: i'm in ur fizx lab, testin ur string therry (string therry)
Ugh, I hab cub down wid a code in by nose. First tibe I hab a code in baybe 2 years or bore.

*reaches for another Kleenex*
luscious_purple: OMG WTF BBQ (OMG WTF BBQ)
One quick bit of ranting here: I itch. Mostly on my legs, especially the ankles; a bit on the hands and arms. Damn mosquitoes! Damn all the skeeters!

Why is it that I *never* get bitten by mosquitoes at Pennsic? Granted, I camp on the north side of the Serengeti, but there's a small stream nearby (or at least a ditch that can hold water). Do the Coopers soak the site with pesticides just before War begins, or what?

Question: Would Benadryl pills (or their generic equivalent) help me stop itching at night? I can't take Benadryl during the day because I would fall asleep at my desk (literally). But I don't want to keep waking up in the middle of the night to scratch and to slather myself with more anti-itch gel. *sigh*
luscious_purple: Star Wars Against Hate (Default)
Lately I have been wondering why my dentist hasn't been advertising in the local weekly newspaper. His practice isn't a fly-by-night operation; his father AND his grandfather were dentists working out of the same building for at least the past 60 years. Talk about having "roots in the community." He and his brothers (also dentists) have been taking out a half-page ad in the paper for years and years. So why was the ad missing?

Yesterday I got a letter in the mail. It says in part:

As many of you know, we experienced a great deal of water damage at our [name of city] dental office during the snow in February. Half of our office was affected as a result. ... The great news is that we are fully insured, and we received the go-ahead permission to make repairs! ... We are committed to meeting the ongoing dental needs of our patients during this time of remodeling and we expect to be back to full strength soon.

OK, at least they didn't abandon us for Bethesda or McLean.

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