Dresden: Harry magicking


My parents got their first dose of vaccine today! They were able to get into a clinic almost as soon as the notification was sent, though my mum said the appointment slots kept getting taken as she tried to book them. But yay! One layer of protection activated! This entry was crossposted on Dreamwidth (https://awanderingbard.dreamwidth.org/313018.html). Replies are welcome in any location.
Dresden: Harry magicking

Bits and Bobs

Hello there! Happy Passover to those celebrating and happy almost Easter to those celebrating. I hope you will be doing so in a fashion most safe for your current state of vaccination and/or COVID caseload.

We're still really behind on vaccinations here. Despite the fact that my parents can now both be vaccinated, there is no vaccine to be given, and the one that they will likely get is the AstraZeneca one which no one can decide is safe or not, so yay. My dad is looking at late April for his first dose. I have to say, I think Canada did, like, okay on COVID. Not the best, not the worst. But the way they've handled vaccinations sucks. It's confusing and complicated and annoying.


We finished our Easter tree! Pic:

It's in our window, so I closed the curtain to get better lighting for it. I think it's cute, and it was super fun making everything.

I have my new glasses. They were a bitch to get used to, but they are helping. I've had way fewer headaches since I got them, though the first four days were so painful I was almost in tears. My eyes were so confused about what I wanted them to do. I usually have something similar with a new prescription, but this was worse than anything I'd had before. Switching between the two pairs isn't as hard as I thought it might be, though I still realize I'm in the wrong ones occasionally. I've made a glasses case to hang around my neck and carry whatever pair I'm not using.

Finally, here is a picture of Pax, being his smiling self:


See you soon! This entry was crossposted on Dreamwidth (https://awanderingbard.dreamwidth.org/312636.html). Replies are welcome in any location.
Dresden: Harry magicking

Yep, it's me.

Hello friends and lovelies! I hope you are doing well and looking forward to being vaccinated in the near future. Canada has vaguely fucked up the process, so we're a bit behind the 8-ball here, but we're still expecting everyone to be vaccinated by the end of September. My parents should be done by the end of May, hopefully. In the meantime, our cases remain low here, though we do have a few cases of 'Variants of Concern'.

Been feeling really run down lately, and I'm suspecting low iron is to blame. I've started some blood builder to see if that helps. Otherwise, the stones are really good and I think the apple cider vinegar routine is helping. I've been having a lot of migraines, but I'm also waiting for new glasses to come in. My annual check-up concluded I now need two pairs of glasses: one for distance and one for reading. Thankfully, my distance prescription is the same as the current one, so I only needed to buy one new pair of glasses for the reading issue. I had a lazy eye as a child and did all the correction work for it, but up close, it's still hard for the two eyes to focus on something, so my eyes jump around a lot or I get double vision. But the amount of prism needed in my lenses so I can read comfortably would overcorrect the distance vision, so she said she'd either have to give me two different prescriptions or try to find a happy medium where neither distance nor close would be super happy. And bifocals and prisms don't work great, so two pairs it is.

I'm looking forward to the new glasses for a variety of reasons, but one being that Mum and I have embarked upon a Project that requires a lot of close work. Mum is determined to leave our little Christmas tree up year-round because it makes her happy and we're in the middle of a pandemic and she will not be moved on this point. It's just this thing my dad got from Ikea which is a 2D metal sculpture type thing with 24 hooks on it to hang ornaments, sort of like a jewellery display. I can't find a picture online for some reason, but it's very pretty and way easier than putting up a proper tree and we really like it. So, we've decided to change the decorations with the seasons and are now working on an 'Easter Tree', and knitting and crocheting little ornaments out of leftover sock wool. Which is very small and needs a very small hook and my eyes are sore, but I'm having so much fun. I forgot how much I love making amigurumi! We'll do a Spring tree next and a Summer one and so on. I'll post a picture when we get it done.

We've been watching the Muppet Show on Disney+ and it is making my little heart so happy. I think I can trace my entire sense of humour and taste in music to the Muppets and Sharon, Lois, & Bram. Also, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown is up on Britbox for a new season and remains very entertaining as well. We also really enjoyed Miss Scarlet & the Duke and All Creatures Great and Small on PBS, but they're done now. I'm glad they're both getting second series'.

Apologies if I've grammared wrong or worded weird here. I'm the middle of one of those migraines where the pain isn't that bad and I can sort of function, but I'm also dizzy and not making sense when I speak sometimes. This entry was crossposted on Dreamwidth (https://awanderingbard.dreamwidth.org/312392.html). Replies are welcome in any location.
Dresden: Harry magicking

And on we go

Hello, world! Another check-in post.

Things are fine here. My area has tanked our COVID numbers again, and we've had several days with no new cases reported, so that's really great. Ontario is still in lockdown, though, and we don't know for how much longer we will remain in it. It's not too big a deal for us, who don't do a lot, but Pax is starting to look shaggy and his nails are too long and we'd like to get him groomed. Not that it matters to him. He's perpetually happy.

I've finally trained him to put on a slip-lead! He HATES putting a collar or leash on, and we've sort of got him going on his collar now, though some days he just nopes out and won't come near us. But we want to get him used to putting on a slip-lead to help brush him, and he was so stressed, it was awful to try to get it on him. So, I invested in a clicker to try clicker training and now he does it without a treat! He's very smart and overthinks everything, and I think he thought that what I wanted him to do was try to steal the treat from my hand. But with the clicker, he figured out he was supposed to put his head through and wait for the treat. I also got him to shake hands with his other paw, which is something we couldn't sort out, either. I love him, but he is a handful to live with. He ate part of a tennis ball last week or at least chewed it to bits, and we have no idea where he got the tennis ball. I thought he had a chew toy, so didn't see what he was up to until he'd torn it open and chewed half of it up. He was fine, not sick at all, luckily, but it was a stressful night. And today he pulled all my computer cables out of the wall. I also don't know how he did that. But, baby steps! Celebrate the victories!

Other than working on crocheting myself a cardigan, I haven't been up to much. I'm sort of frustrated with myself and my health at the moment. I feel a little like I'm stuck in my body and I can't get out. The stones are doing a lot better, so I'm trying to celebrate the victories, there, but I'm just so tired and sore and can't lose weight no matter what I try. I'm not depressed or anything, but I think I'm in the 'anger' phase of recovery, where I'm just a little frustrated about it all. On the bright side, despite the fact that I had to stop the birth control pills due to side effects, my period cramps have been totally manageable with the TENS machine. Hopefully, with both the cramps and the stones on the down low, I can start to properly rest and get myself together again.

Anyway, hope you are all surviving and doing well! This entry was crossposted on Dreamwidth (https://awanderingbard.dreamwidth.org/312306.html). Replies are welcome in any location.
Dresden: Harry magicking

Pumpkin Loaves

Doing another 'posting this recipe for posterity because we keep losing recipes' post. Feel free to make if you would like. They are very good! They come from my mom's mom's side of the family, where there were 11 children. Hence the sheer size of the recipe. I suggest halving it if you don't want a plethora of pumpkin-based baked goods.

PUMPKIN LOAVES (makes 3 loaves or 24 muffins)

3 cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 eggs
1 cup water
2 cups pumpkin puree
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
OPTIONAL: 1 c add-ins (raisins, dates, chocolate chips, pecans, etc.)

BAKE @ 350F for 1 hr (loaves) or 20 minutes (muffins)

Will work well with a sugar substitute if you so desire. I usually do half white sugar substitute and half brown sugar blend. The muffins are quite moist and dense, a little bit like pumpkin pie filling in a cake form. This entry was crossposted on Dreamwidth (https://awanderingbard.dreamwidth.org/311851.html). Replies are welcome in any location.
Dresden: Harry magicking

Greetings from Flynn!

Hello from my new computer, who I have named Flynn, in honour of Flynn Rider from Tangled because he is a nice, loyal, guy who also is a lot of fun and that's what I'd like this computer to be for me. Mum and I may or may not have watched a great deal of the Tangled tv series on Disney+ over the last year. Spoiler: we did.

Flynn is awesome so far and I'm enjoying it greatly. I had a game I was trying to play on Issie that took ten minutes to load up and lagged like crazy and it was loaded in less than 30 seconds on Flynn. I even downloaded and installed Photoshop while playing that game and nothing lagged. Also, it came with a mechanical keyboard that goes clicky-clack when I type, so bonus. Also, it has rainbow lights on it that I can programme to do whatever I want, which is completely unnecessary but makes me feels special.

Getting my files over has been somewhat of a nightmare (my USB stick wouldn't work? It just wouldn't read it. And everything I read on the Internet was like 'Mac and PC use the same file systems for USB drives and it will be a seamless, easy thing to share files!). I tried several different methods, but ultimately Dropbox has been the one that worked. Transferring 14,000 icons from one computer to another takes time, though. The only part of the new computer that sucks.

Speaking of things that suck, America, I'm really sorry your country is a mess right now and I hope things look better for you soon.

I'm posting this on Dreamwidth and LJ. One of my New Year's resolutions is to try to remember to crosspost. I've also changed my LJ journal layout, though that was also something of a nightmare, as, apparently LJ just got rid of the Flexible Squares layout sometime last year and didn't tell anybody, and if you change out of that layout, you can't get it back now. And guess who changed that layout for the first time in several years testing new ones? Thankfully, there is a workaround using custom layers, but, it's lame that it's no longer available normally. This entry was crossposted on Dreamwidth (https://awanderingbard.dreamwidth.org/311585.html). Replies are welcome in any location.
Dresden: Harry magicking

Happy Almost New Year!

Hello, world! Happy Almost 2021. Good job on making it here! You did really well and I'm proud of you.

It doesn't seem to matter what kind of Christmas we have, Mom and I are always wiped out afterwards. Every year we pare down more and more and every year, we still seem to need to sleep for a week once it's over. We didn't even have company this year! But we had a really good time anyway. I can honestly say, doing it over Google Meetings wasn't much different from having my brother and his wife in the room with us. It would have been nice to hug them and all, but we still had a lot of fun the way we did it. And Paxie was very well behaved! We had him out the whole time we were eating and opening presents and he only ran off with a couple of empty bags and his own presents, so he was a very good boy. There is perhaps hope of him settling down into something we aren't constantly saying 'Pax, what are you doing?!' to.

I had hoped to be writing this from a new computer, but one of the packages missed the cut-off point, so I have a monitor but no desktop, and because of the holiday, I won't get it until Monday. I took advantage of the Boxing Day sales to get a not-cheap but also a not-too-fancy computer for myself, since poor Issie isn't cutting it anymore. She's very slow and beachballing a lot and freezing her programmes and even trying to open the save dialogue in Photoshop is a struggle. I've tried everything to help speed her up and help her out, but I think she's just past her prime. But she served me well. She came to rescue me in the woeful hour of the Great FlashDrive Crash of '15 and has been as faithful and stalwart as I hoped she would be. She hardly ever crashed and never lost a single file. I'm going back to Windows again, because Mac just doesn't have what I need for what I want to do now. Also, I was a Windows girl for 29 years and even with five years of Issie, I still am only vaguely aware how to do anything on a Mac without googling it first. In my decision making, my mom pointed out that I should have what I want since we're still going to be stuck at home a lot and apparently I deserve to be happy or something. Having supportive parents is wonderful, but I feel like my parents didn't get the memo about discouraging their children from --

Okay, my computer just arrived in the middle of me writing about how my computer wasn't going to arrive. Poor Canada Post is very confused this year. They are under a lot of stress and we've had a series of strange events in regards to packages.

But yay! New computer!

Anyway, I shall finish this post as intended, which is just to say I hope everyone has a safe and happy and better new year than this old one. Hang in there, keep doing what you need to do and keep yourself healthy. We'll get through it. Thanks so much to everyone who still reads this journal. I know fewer and fewer people are using LJ these days and I'm not posting much interesting still, but I don't have any desire to move to somewhere else at the moment. I love you!
Dresden: Harry magicking

Happy Holidays!

Hello, all you cool cats and kittens out there! I hope you are enjoying or will enjoy your winter holiday celebrations. In a safe fashion.

Our COVID cases are on the rise here, so my family has decided to do virtual Christmas this year to be on the safe side. My dad is at very high risk of COVID complications, and my brother and his wife aren't in our bubble, and we just want to be safe. And it's just one year. And my parents are both medical professionals and worked shiftwork all my childhood, so celebrating holidays in a prescribed 'we do this same thing every year' way is not how we've ever done things. So, we'll be fine. My brother is coming later today to safely swap presents and then tomorrow we'll have virtual dinner and virtual present opening. I know we're still a long way from everyone being vaccinated, but it seems silly to be risky now that we have hope of an end of all this within the next year.

The upside of not having guests over is that we don't have to clean, or cook a big meal, which is good because my body has totally given out on me. On Friday, I sat down in a chair to take my morning pills and when I stood up again, I...couldn't stand up. My back gave out, like really, really gave out. I was able to sort of walk, but it was a struggle and caused a significant amount of pain. I have no idea what I did, but it was not happy about it. My mum thinks it's just way too overtired and is trying to tell me to rest, which is perhaps valid. Thankfully, the very acute pain was short-lived and I felt about 75% better by the next day, but I still can't stand for very long and am quite sore and stiff. However, I don't seem to be actively passing stones at the moment, so that's nice. I wonder if there is a connection. Like, the kidney stone passing muscles relaxed and the ones protecting the kidney stone muscles went 'Imma head out' once their job was done. Anyway, it will be a quiet Christmas, and that's fine. I'm mostly just sad I can't sing all the Christmas songs on my karaoke app. It's my favourite time of year for that and I'm in too much pain to have any breath support. :-(

Ontario is heading into a 28-day lockdown on Boxing Day, but not quite as severe as the one in the Spring. I hope it will help stop the post-Christmas spread.

Hope everyone else is staying safe and sane! Hang in there.
Dresden: Harry magicking

I'm running out of creative titles to say it's me again

Hello! Back again with another check-in post. Things are getting a little more serious around here, COVID-wise, but we're still pretty low in numbers. The new cases are from people who travelled out of our region and brought it back. We're in the Yellow Zone now, which means things close a little earlier at night, but other than that, everything is still open. We all have to wear masks to enter any public building and everyone is complying, so hopefully, we can keep things down. Though I'm worried for the Christmas season. I hope people stay home. If we do this just one year, we hopefully won't ever have to do it again. Please stay home.

Health-wise, things have been kinda shitty for me overall. Lots of stones, a few bad episodes of colic, and my period cramps are otherworldly of late. Plus some migraines, due to the change in weather (and also possibly staring at my iPad watching states change colour for a week back at the beginning of the month...). My GP put me on birth control continuously for the next three months to give me a break, so hopefully, that will help out, and I've started seeing a physiotherapist again for the migraines. He's going to give me a TENS unit to help with the pain. I just feel like I need to get on top of something because right now I feel it's coming it at me from all angles.

My brain is still pretty shot, but I've been learning how to photoshop with my character portraits (and consequently redoing them, because the better I get at it, the more I dislike the ones I did before). I also just got the new Crusader Kings game, which is a learning curve, but will be fun to figure out. Mum's having a bit of trouble with the weather and her knee, but otherwise is doing well.

Paxie continues to be a delight and also trouble, but mostly a delight.

Hopefully, y'all are still hanging in there. I know it's been a hella weird time for everyone, and I wish you peace and health!
Dresden: Harry magicking

The Giving of Thanks is Upon Us

Happy Thanksgiving from Canada! COVID restrictions mean we really aren't allowed to get together and while I'm sure that many people will be flouting that, we are obeying, so we're doing a little dinner tomorrow instead of having my brother and his wife over for brunch like we usually do. And she is his wife now because they got married last week! Again, due to COVID restrictions, they did a private civil ceremony, but that was their plan anyway. They were just going to have a big party afterwards, which they are saving for their anniversary next year (hopefully things will have calmed down enough for that by then). We have pictures from the ceremony and they're very sweet and they look very happy, so we're pleased for them, even if it's a bit disappointing that we couldn't celebrate with them.

We have a pretty big second wave of COVID happening right now in Canada, especially in my province, but, thankfully, my area is still very low. I don't know how long the schools will stay open, though, and I suspect we might be going back a phase or two for lockdown restrictions again soon.

Healthwise here, we're all trucking along. Mum's knee is playing up, probably due to the change of season, but she's doing well otherwise. I have been feeling kind of like shit lately, but in an overall run-down sort of way than anything in particular. The stones have been quite good lately, aside from yesterday, in which I had the feared combination of epic period cramps + stones made worse by said period cramps. Yesterday was NOT a good day. I find it funny though that my mum is so proficient at stone whispering that she can rub my back and go 'yeah, this one's turned the wrong way, okay I've turned it now, I think there are three of them, they're right here, they should be turning the corner soon'. Like, she could get a job as a professional Stone Hurry-Alonger.

I've been keeping myself busy with a new Tunisian Crochet hook set and playing around with ArtBreeder, making all my OCS. Look, it's Vampire Mat!:


It's a lot of fun because I can't always get exactly what I want with the website itself, so I can take the photo into Photoshop and practice some manipulation skills to get it right. I also discovered you can 'breed' two photos together, which is good for making children of characters. It's...a deep rabbit hole. I'll probably post everyone once I get them done.

Anyway, I hope everyone is doing well and hanging in there! The world is a strange place, I hope you are managing to find some joy in it.