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The Writer They Call Tay
Last night, I was sitting in the den, listening to music, with Mom in the chair next to me. I could hear her singing, but it wasn't to the song we were listening to, so I paused the music.

Me: What are you doing?
Mom: *very matter of factly* I'm singing a song about myself.

It was to the tune of Brahm's Lullaby and was about her going to bed. :D

Things are moving along here. We were worried she might have an infection in the surgery wound since it was red and she had a fever, but she saw the surgeon and he's confident it's not an infection. He thinks it's a haematoma and her body is just trying to clear the old blood away. She's otherwise moving really well and the pain isn't too bad, but she's having trouble sleeping on and off (hence the singing of the customized lullaby to herself). Nothing that isn't normal for post-surgery, I don't think.

In the meantime, I've been watching a lot of BritBox, which is a newish streaming service that shows BBC and ITV programmes. I've been catching up on The Last Leg and Mock the Week. And we currently have two different seasons of The British Bake-Off airing here (an older one on PBS and the newest, Channel 4 one, on CBC). So lots of nice, not too involved programming to watch.

And I can read again, which is nice. I couldn't concentrate enough before, but I've managed to get into a book about the history of British manners, of all things, and it's really fun and interesting. Did you know before people said 'bless you' when someone sneezed they said 'Christ help'? And in Henry VIII's time, women were expected to carry a handkerchief in their sleeves, but should have no more than half of it showing, lest it fall out and 'cause a commotion'.

And that's the update for this week.
 
 
The Writer They Call Tay
03 July 2018 @ 09:49 am
Mom came home from the hospital a couple of days ago and is doing really well. Turns out the information we got from the surgeon was wrong--she actually bled more than last time (but, you know, he's an ortho surgeon so as long as the bone bits are fine, as far as he's concerned, it went well :-P). But she is certainly not as sick and her blood pressure didn't drop, so she's recovering much better. Also, we didn't know how low her haemoglobin was last time, so we weren't treating it for a few months. This time, we've got her on the blood builder right away. They did a different approach than the last hip, too, so there are different restrictions than last time in what movements she can do and can't do for the next little while. There's more swelling too, but she seems to be in much better spirits than last time.

I've been looking after her and also getting back into doing some graphics-like stuff. I miss my PaintShop Pro, which is Windows only and I'm on a Mac now. I tried the Photoshop CC trial, and OMG, it is soooo much easier to do anything on there than in the other programmes I've been trying. But it's also sooooo expensive. Why did they switch to a subscription service? That's impossible for an amateur to keep up with. Affinity Designer and Photo were recommended to me, and they are one time payments for a reasonable amount of money. Designer I really like. Super easy to use, with even better features in some areas than PS. But the Photo one isn't quite as good for what I want to do. It would be good for icons and stuff, but not so much for painting and drawing, and I haven't quite worked out if I can do what I want in Designer on that front. But we'll see. I have a few options I'm trying out before I make a decision to buy.

In the meantime, I did this watercolour photomanip thing of my vampire, Mat:



It was originally a picture of Tom Mison, which I first manipulated the colours on and then did a watercolour effect over. Learning skills is fun!
 
 
The Writer They Call Tay
28 June 2018 @ 02:44 pm
Mom’s surgery went super well. Faster than expected and very little bleeding. I haven't seen her yet, but I talked to her on the phone and she sounds just like herself. Apparently, the coins were a good portent after all.
 
 
The Writer They Call Tay
27 June 2018 @ 02:18 pm
Back for another 'hey, I'm not dead' update. Basically, yes, I am not dead. I am still here. Still passing kidney stones. Still very tired. But, feeling a little more creative, maybe?

We've had a weird thing going on around here for the last two weeks where Mom and I keep finding coins everywhere. In weird places. Like, on the ledge of the steps of the back porch stairs. And behind a chair in the den. And on the floor of my room, even though I never carry change and no one who comes into my room does either. And on the ground of the parking lot next to our car. And on a ledge by the front door that we just put something on a few minutes earlier and didn't see a coin there. Mom thinks someone on the other side is trying to get our attention. Whatever the reason, it's weird, and I might write a story about it.

Mom is having hip replacement surgery tomorrow, the other hip than the last one. Last time she bled a lot and had a hard recovery as a result, but we've investigated and think we know the possible reasons why that happened and it's the same surgeon and anesthetist as last time, so at the very least, they know what to do if it happens again. She's taking the coins as a sign things are going to go better this time.

Hope everyone else is chugging along!
 
 
The Writer They Call Tay
20 May 2018 @ 11:22 am
I got a couple of months of Ancestry subscription to help me peruse my parent's DNA results and to work on the whole 'who is my mom's great-grandmother' thing (talked about here). I still don't know, but I did discover my mom's great-grandfather had a wife none of us knew about before the one we did know about. That side of the family is all from the Eastern Townships of Quebec, which is very close to the border of Vermont and so they often popped down there to get married and I found a record of him and a woman from 1893. It's definitely him, right name, right parents names, close to right age (no one knew how old they were then, as far as I can see), right place of birth (the town still has only 500 people in it, so there's very little chance of it being a name coincidence thing). However, I cannot find any records of the wife beyond the marriage one. Her name does not appear elsewhere, her parents' names do not appear elsewhere, there's no record of her death, I have nothing to go on. I suspect the records are typed from handwritten ones and the spelling is funny on them through a combination of bad transcription and the original person writing down the information trying to sort out French names/accents and using phonetics. I can tell it's my grandfather because I know the names, but without any info on the bride, I can't guess how they might have changed it. All I know is that he married this woman in 1893 and by 1906 he'd married the lady who raised my mom's grandfather. AND, I cannot find him on the 1900 US census or the 1901 Canada census, despite going page by page through the regions I know he lived in.

And let me tell you about trying to find this family on the census! Not only do they not know when they were born, they willy-nilly went by different names and I have yet to see two censuses where the same spelling of the last name was used. It ends in et (making an 'eh' sound). I have seen: -er, -ette, -et, -eau, -ear, and -ier. One of the censuses has none of them using their birth names, but I was able to spot them through knowing their middle names and nicknames. Except for my mom's great-grandfather, who was named Henri but written down twice as Andrew, on two different censuses. None of his names are Andrew, or close to Andrew, or contain the same sounds as Andrew. One sister went by four different variations of her name through her life. And I suspect one sister is written down by her sister's name on one census, but I can't prove it.

All of this is frustrating, but also oddly fun, and keeping me busy. I'm continuing to chill and rest and try to recuperate. My dad's doing a lot better now and my mom has a surgery date for her hip, so hopefully by July or so, at least a couple of us will be on the mend!
 
 
 
The Writer They Call Tay
26 April 2018 @ 11:21 am
Here I am to prove my existence once again. Still feeling kind of yucky, healthwise, but maybe a little better. My dad's had some health issues now, in addition to my woes and my mum needing another hip replacement, so Ascii is the healthiest member of the family right now, but we're getting by.

In Ancestry news, my mom's DNA came back, and it was also about what we expected (except more Southern French than we knew about), but with the exciting news that her grandfather, who was illegitimate and adopted, is, in fact, the biological son of the man who adopted him, or at least a member of his immediate family (we found matches with people who were connected to both his adoptive father's mother's and father's lines). We had a lot of family legends around that, and I haven't been able to find anything to link him to a mother yet, but it's cool to have it confirmed he was biologically related to that line of people in some way. I also found out my grandparents were very, very distant cousins, which is interesting. The area of Quebec they came from is pretty small, so it's not surprising there was some crossing of lines there. My mother's side has over a thousand people matched with her DNA, so a lot more people on that side have taken the test, compared to my father's side, who only had about 400 results, I think.

And someone on my father's side of the family (his mother's cousin), got in touch with me and has given me so much information about my great-grandmother's family. Pictures, full biographies, documents, like, just tons of awesome stuff. And he solved a family mystery I've been working for YEARS without success, so that's great to have cleared up for me.

If I can just figure out how my other great-grandmother on that side got to Canada (she is on no boat records, despite the rest of her family being there) and clear up the whole 'birth mother' thing on the other side of the family, I will have solved all the mysteries.
 
 
The Writer They Call Tay
13 April 2018 @ 10:48 am
I'd like to introduce you to Mr and Mrs Duck, the lovely mallard couple who come every year at this time to...do duck things in the neighbourhood. Sometimes they bring duck friends. Every day, Mr Duck takes Mrs Duck on a little stroll around the town to gather food and is very sweet with her, like a husband in an old married couple escorting his wife around on a Sunday outing. I took a little video of them today:



In other news, my parents got AncestryDNA kits during their Family Day sale and my dad's results came in today. Nothing too surprising, pretty much entirely Ireland/Northern England/Scotland, which is what we already knew. But there was some Iberian Penisula in there, which is unexpected ('Black Irish'? Though Wiki tells me that's a myth), and 1% Finnish. Vikings, maybe? I dunno. The cooler part was looking at the DNA matches of other people on Ancestry, since my dad's family history is spotty, so it'll be good to have some other people to pool resources with. Still waiting on Mom's. For some reason, despite being mailed on the same day, hers was a week behind his in getting processed.
 
 
The Writer They Call Tay
30 March 2018 @ 06:52 pm
Couple of daemon memes. Because I can still meme and character development, even if the rest of me is broken.

Mathurin LeBlanc + IsraCollapse )
Margot Belleview + HallenCollapse )
 
 
The Writer They Call Tay
20 March 2018 @ 05:59 pm
Remember memes? Remember them? I am going to do one! A generic, non-writing related one, but one none the less. Stolen from tumblr.

5 things you can find in my room:
A bed
tap shoes
a Snowball microphone (for singing)
A stack of writing notebooks
My CPAP machine

5 things you’ll find in my bag:
Sanitary Pads
My wallet
a keychain of key chains without any keys on it
Clip on sunglasses for my old frames (note to self: buy new ones)
Candies for low blood sugar incidents

5 things that make me happy:
Singing
Listening to music
Getting a really good idea for a story
My dog
Having a bath

5 things that I’m currently into:
Knitting with Magic Loop (yay new knitting needles!)
Watching QI on AcornTV
Sleeping a lot
Watching people play video games on Youtube
Vulgarlang.com (it invents languages for you!)
 
 
The Writer They Call Tay
13 March 2018 @ 04:48 pm
Whew, it's been a long time without a post. Unfortunately, my battle with unexplained kidney stones goes onwards, so I've spent a lot of time in the tub and in bed instead of writing. Not that I need to be writing, I just like to be. But I'm still fiddling away with things, so hopefully, a story will come at some point, even if it's just original fic I'm playing around with.

In brighter news, I have lost a bunch of weight since I changed my diet back in July. All healthily and carefully and necessary. I have PCOS, which makes me prone to gaining weight and is benefitted by the loss of it. So, I'm working away and it's going well and hasn't been too hard or unenjoyable.

If anyone is interested, the Mediterranean diet was recommended by a few health officials to me and/or family members, and so far has been working great for us. It's not very strict and gives you lots of options. Even with my tomato allergy, I've found lots to eat that fit the bill.

And it cute news, we bought a new living room chair back in the Fall and Ascii has claimed it in the Name of Scotties, and it hilariously big for how small she is, but that does not stop her from being important on it: (click to embiggen)

IMG_0284.JPGIMG_0283.JPGIMG_0281.JPGIMG_0210.JPGIMG_0209.JPG
Hope everyone else is functioning to their best abilities! Remember to be kind to yourselves! Everyone keeps reminding me of this, so I will pass along the message.

This entry was crossposted on Dreamwidth (https://awanderingbard.dreamwidth.org/298555.html). Replies are welcome in any location.
 
 
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