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for Comic Con (coming this Star Wars weekend (5/5. Give it a minute. Say the date like Sir Alec with a mild lisp. May the......fourth. Be with you! :lol:)). At NTIF, Herself had an idea for the punniest cosplay - urban assault pants and boots, with a grammar-centric shirt, red pens, and our Boba Fett helmet. I'd be a Gramandolorian! :rofl: We hit the Army store the next weekend where I picked up the pants and boots (no worries- they'll be used for Nerfing, too!) I was all set, and rather proud of myself, when we got an email from the Con.......ALL the voice actors for MHA are going to be there. Oh noes!

Fortunately, we have a cosplay hoodie pattern, and JoAnn's had all their fleece on sale. I traced off my pattern....decided it looked "small", so added to it, then panicked and decided to make a test sew, first. Walmart had fleece for $3.50/yard, so I grabbed 3 yards, ran home, and...this happened:

hoodie - dragon back

hoodie - dragon front hood

I had planned on doing a plain one....but got to the hood, where the instructions said "if adding details, STOP and do it now!" and...well, why not? It turned out too big - because, of course, the pattern was correct. :sigh: Still, I've worn the heck out of this thing, so - win!

Then I cut out the good fabric. I decided I needed an All Might Silver Age hoodie (Herself has a Golden Age one, and you can find those all over the place. The Silver Age.....not so much, unless you want a cheap printed one.) I think it turned out pretty good:

hoodie - AM front finished

hoodie - AM sleeve finished

hoodie - AM back finished

hoodie - AM back cape

Yes, it has a cape. No, it's not permanent. Just funny. :lol:

Then Herself decided SHE needed another hoodie...this time, Bakugou. I told her SHE needed to sew it herself, so......we ran out and bought the fabric (which was now *70%* off. Woot!) While she dithered on beginning (just started today) , I decided to whip up another one....this time, Uraraka.

hoodie - Uraraka front finished

hoodie - Uraraka back

I even sewed in the back piece! I'm proud of this one - I had found (and purchased) a pattern, but upon actually looking at it, decided it wasn't accurate enough. (Yeah, yeah - it's a hoodie. Still......if I'm going to put in the effort, it's going to be as close as I can get it. :shrug:)

So. That's 2 days down - 3 if I do use the Gramandolorian cosplay on Sunday. We'll see.......

Anyway. Taxes are due tomorrow - yes, a LOT of people owe this year. No, it shouldn't be a surprise - withholding was Decreased this year. Withholding is a payment plan for the taxes you owe......DEcreasing the "payment" doesn't decrease the amount due. Anyone who's surprised by this wasn't paying attention. (That'd be a LOT of folks. :sigh:) Add to it the fact that exemptions were changed, so most people can't go long form anymore, and the fact that taxes due go up almost every year, and.....yeah.

We were at a funeral yesterday for one of our clients. We had just finished his return......and he was in a fatal truck accident. Very sad.....we've already contacted his heir, and have offered to help with any financial questions they have.

I *really* need to start working on jeans soon. I am running out of pants to wear - for real. And undergarments........at least we're done with taxes for the moment. We filed 3 extensions, but have time before they are due. Think I'll try to spend some time in the Studio this week, working on "real" clothes.
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OK, NTIF was this weekend, so I'm tired. It was fun - I have new yarn! And Herself sold 3 pairs of earrings! And I might be able to move Himself's kilt hose (he'll never wear them, and told me it was OK to rehome them.) Moving on...

Re: Comment from Anonymous on my entry on my worthless health insurance. "I wold keep that insurance like Gollum wanted to keep the ring." You DO know how that ended up for Gollum, right?

Look. YOU might be able to afford to *waste* $709.00 per month on a crappy product. *I* cannot. *I* cannot afford to throw $6,000/year away on something that does NOTHING. Do the math:

$500/month premium. $25/visit, that DOES NOT INCLUDE x-rays, lab work, MRIs, etc. ($40 for approved specialists/$60 for NON-approved.)

Let's see how this works out, shall we?

Let's posit 1 doctor's visit per year - because you are healthy. Doc orders a bunch of lab work. So. Using my numbers above, you are out $6,000 for insurance premiums, $25 for the visit, and.....let's see. X-rays are $231 on my plan, let's assume lab work will be.....less than (because I am trying to be positive, here.) $115 for the lab work. That adds up to $6,140.00 for *1* visit.

What about self/cash pay? Well, my doc charges $85/visit - which INCLUDES lab work. I think it includes x-rays, as well, but for argument's sake, let's say it doesn't. The Ortho charges $100/visit for self/cash pay. Let's look at THOSE numbers, shall we???

2 Doc visits = $185. X-rays - you know what? I googled, and x-rays cost on average, $260 - $460 for CASH pay. Let's average those numbers, which gives us $360 for the x-rays (and I was charged - WITH insurance, $231.)

So. Had I gone in under self-pay, I'd be out $545. That's IT. I would have SAVED $5,595. But some anonymous person thinks I should keep this crappy insurance.......why? Because YOU have insurance that costs you $709/month? Why should I cause financial hardship for me and mine just because you do? That...makes no sense at all.

Oh, and prescriptions? You can get free discount cards that will help offset cost of prescriptions. I don't take any prescriptions. I WON'T take any - most of them have more side effects than I am comfortable with, and I can find herbal remedies that a) cost less and b) have little to no side effects. So.......:shrug: NO, I won't keep this waste of money. You do you. If you like spending that much money ($8,508/year, if you do the math), then more power to you. I do suggest, gently, that you run the numbers, though. Unless you have a life-threatening condition (which, actually, we ALL do - we are all terminal. Death WILL happen to everyone at some point.)...in which case, well, do what you gotta do.

On to FUN stuff: Wolfhounds, and the life with one. :lol: We're on #3, now, so I have a *little* bit of experience.

For your first one, I'd HIGHLY suggest going rescue, and getting one at least 1 year old. 2 years is better - the brain fairy doesn't visit before 18 months for girls, and 2 years (IF you are lucky!) for boys. Puppies are...a LOT of work. Bree was 6 months old when we got her; Duncan is now almost 8 months. (I need to register him...wonder if the AKC will accept his full name "Dammit Duncan!" ? :rofl:)

The chewing stage started at about 5.5 months with him (Bree was.......well, not as bad. The worst was my Bible - she took it outside and shredded it. Guess she thought she needed to INJEST the Word. :lol:) So far, we've lost a few shoes, a TON of dishtowels (I really need to buckle down at the loom. Really.), 3 skeins of yarn, charging cables, a portable DVD reader (it's still usable, but it has some new.....markings), some belts, a My Pillow, and - just yesterday! - the husband's hand-knit, hand-felted, Balmoral hat. :sigh: The main problem is that with Wolfies, if they can SEE it, it's theirs. Or so they think.

And when they are tall enough to see over the table before they have a brain, well........

Don't get me wrong - they are FANTASTIC companions. They are NOT "dogs" - they are honestly more like people that just happen to be in dog-form. Even at this young age, you can see him *thinking*....he just doesn't have the brain-power yet to realize what is a bad idea. (Hey, SOMETHING had to give. You grow THIS fast in such a short time, something has to be put on the back burner. The brain lost out over massive size. If you can deal with that, then stop waiting and grab a Wolfie!)

So far, we've not had a Wolfie try to go over our 4' fence. They are sight hounds, not jumpers. (Don't take them off-leash anywhere. You.....might get them back, eventually, if you have enough cheese. Cheese is like their kryptonite. Buy stock. Or goats, to make your own. Cheese has it's own line-item in my budget.....) They are VERY independent. Don't expect them to play fetch - they will do it once, maybe, then stop, look at you, sit, and VERY clearly tell you "What. You want the damn stick, YOU shouldn't have thrown it away. YOU go get it." They are not good watch dogs - they are, generally, standoffish to strangers, but they won't *guard* stuff. They'll guard *people*. THEIR people.

Duncan is, so far, the most...shy Wolfie we've had. He doesn't bark at strangers, he just pulls back and watches them. He will warm up, if you don't force it, but he won't go out of his way to check people out. Most Wolfies will stand there and boredly allow strangers to pet them, IF Mom and/or Dad says it's OK. If cheese appears, well.....they are your best friend. :lol:

I hope I didn't scare you - seriously, I love this breed to death. Because of the size, the usual puppy antics are magnified, and you have to keep reminding yourself that yes, he IS still a baby. They don't *need* a lot of space (no, really!) . They are professional-grade nappers - most of the day is spent speed-bumping around the house, with spurts of the "zoomies". (I did a post a LONG time ago, outlining Bree's typical day. It consisted of a bunch of photos of her sleeping in various spots in the house, following the sun beams. They don't really outgrow that....)(Nov 11, 2010, if you want to journal-dive. Seriously, it's just Bree sleeping around the house.)

Food-wise......they don't eat a lot. Honestly. He's getting...maybe 4 cups/day of puppy chow (but I need to switch him over to adult food soon. I think there's a little too much protein in the puppy chow......we'll see.) Bree got.....2.5 cups, maybe? We have 5 dogs, and go thru 1 bag (40 pounds) of puppy and....3 bags (40/50 pounds each) of regular dog food/month. Vet care is a little more, because of the size/weight, but - so far! - they've all been healthy.

But. Life-span is about 8 years. TOO short, but there ya go. I wouldn't miss it for the world.....but it is a short time. :sigh: I think it 's worth it, though.
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Let's see....busy, of course. Picked up more work - I'm now helping do tax returns. Fun stuff - no, it really is. Tax returns are fun, and relatively easy. I know it won't last - 4/15 is coming up fast! - but the extra money is good. The regular contract job is ticking along.

Health: I have insurance now! It SUCKS! Went to the doc about my leg 2/5.....total waste of time. The NP didn't listen, caused me more pain (I went in at a solid 8. Left at an 11.), and lied to me ("I'll call you in a few hours." 6 hours later, *I* call. "She doesn't have time today. She'll call you tomorrow morning". Next day, at 1 PM "Oh. She's LEFT FOR THE DAY." At 3:30 "She looked at them, and they're negative." Um. Either you lied to me about her leaving for the day, or she took the X-rays home with her, or she didn't actually look at them, or she came in just for li'l 'ol me. Right.). :Sigh: Made an appt. with the only Ortho in town (for some reason he's NON-Approved by my insurance. Um...he's the only one in town, so how can he NOT be approved??), who also didn't listen and caused even MORE pain. I quit. (He also didn't LOOK at the x-ray - not that it showed anything. Bones heal in 6 weeks - I am 6 MONTHS out from the injury. Bones are healed, and the X-rays are worthless. He said he'd send me out for a MRI if exercises didn't work. Um - 6 MONTHS, dude. Exercises aren't going to do jack except cause more pain. I'm DONE.)

See, this insurance doesn't actually cover anything. We pay $500/month for....this. Regular doctors are $25/copay. (Not bad). X-Rays are NOT covered ($251/copay. That doesn't apply to the $1,500/person deductible.), neither are MRI's. Or lab work not done in the doctor's office. Specialists are $40, unless they are non-approved, in which case they are $60. ER visits are $200/copay. Once you meet your deductible, you're only covered UP TO 70%. Did I mention it's $500/month ($6,000/year) for this....."coverage"?

The insurance we had at the husband's previous job was what you expect. Yes, it was more per month (the retirement coverage was $1,000/month for the 3 of us; he was paying $500/month for him and Himself), but co-pays (both regular doctors AND specialists) was $30. ER visits is $100. Once you meet your deductible ($750, with a family maximum of $1,500) you're covered. Period. The husband's carpal tunnel surgery (BOTH arms) cost us $250 out of pocket. And no, he hadn't met his deductible yet. And that included the doctor co-pays. EDITI was mistaken. It was only $30 TOTAL.

So. After the horrible orthopedic visit, I did the math. I can't afford to have anything done to my leg, assuming these.....doctors....can find anything. So......I quit. I told the husband to remove me from the policy - if I can't use it, I refuse to pay for it - and I'll just continue on the way I was. With the exception of my leg, I am healthy and don't go to the doctor much, anyway, so why pay?

Anyway.

Sewing: Just finished a new barn coat. Pattern is Green Pepper's Barn Jacket......I like it. Easy pattern, directions could use a little tweaking (how you cover the raw edges on the neck after attaching the collar...suck, to put it nicely), and the resulting jacket is nice. I used the heavy-weight denim I had (it's all gone, now!) and lined it with a nice Black Watch plaid flannel......I'll be testing it this AM. (Oh, shoot - I need photos. I'll try later today.) There's at least 3 more in line - Herself wants one in purple, Himself wants one in.....some dark color, and the husband decided he needed one, too. :lol: I'm thinking I need one in a lighter-weight outer fabric, for knocking about.

Herself bought us a 36" wide plotter for printing out .pdf sewing patterns. We are having issues loading the drivers - probably because the only laptop we have that can use them is...well, borked. I have a friend configuring a "new" laptop for me - he said he'd try to load the drivers for me, too. :fingers crossed: (Full disclosure - the printer was only $120. If you consider we were paying $10/page for pattern printing (because I am OVER taping letter-sized pages together), this is a HUGE bargain. Print 6 patterns, and we are even.)

Household: Had to have both the washer and dryer worked on this month. The dryer is about 14 years old, we think, and the rollers went out. My beloved Speed Queen is just 4 - the timer went out. The repairman said we should be good for another 15 years or so...hope so! I still love my washer - this is the first time we've had any issues at all.

Duncan: His official name is "Dammit Duncan!" because he's 7 months old now, and has discovered he can reach the table top. He's eaten 3 balls of yarn, a memory foam pillow, 3 shoes, 1 portable DVD drive, 1 hat, numerous pieces of firewood, 1 feather pillow, 3 pairs of reading glasses.....and I'm sure I'm forgetting a LOT. He's a destructive force of nature.....:lol: Good thing he's cute!

I need to get ready to face the weather and do morning stables. I'll try to pop in later!

Sigh...

Jan. 30th, 2019 10:53 am
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Well, we lost Tigger Friday morning. The seizures came back Wednesday, and got progressively worse. The Vet changed her meds; I started the new one Thursday morning, but it did nothing. By Thursday evening she was averaging 1 every 4 minutes.......

No fun. We’re coping - most of us expected how it would end.
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So. How've you been? I've been busy - as usual. :lol: Himself asked me to replace his shirts with me-made ones, :gulp!: so I've been in the Studio working on a muslin for him to abuse. Funny thing - about the same time he asked me, Fabric Mart sent me an email with all shirtings on SALE. DEEP sale. (Gotta love Divine intervention, no? :rofl:) He now has 5 pieces of designer (seriously - Ralph Lauren, a "famous Hawaiian designer", and someone else I can't remember) cotton waiting to be turned into lovely button-down shirts. The muslin just needs buttonholes and buttons, then he gets to abuse it for a couple of weeks before I start on the "real" fabric.

In the meantime, I'm going to be sewing him a body double - Bootstrap Fashion has done it again. They offer custom drafted dress form patterns now....$24 for most sizes ($35-ish for the standard, multi-size patterns). I have his pattern, and we went out Friday and picked up the fabric for it (plain, gray, mid-weight cotton. He didn't want a pattern - even though it's in MY Studio. I don't mind - as long as it's in the color scheme I have going, it's good.) Soon as I get the buttonholes in, I'll start on it. :excited:

I'm not doing goals/resolutions/aspirations this year. Too much stress. :lol: Instead, I'm going to look back at 2018, then forward to 2019 to see what I plan on doing.

Knitting: Last year was pretty much a bust once FIL died. My knitting mojo left, and still hasn't really returned. I think it's because I had just finished a pair of stained glass socks (he LOVED them), and started another pair when he died. I finally finished the 2nd pair in....August, I think (he died in MAY). I started a scarf for Himself in December, and I'm finally 2/3's done.

This year, I'd like to knit more. I need to finish his scarf, knock out a hat for Herself, and start on this year's scarf for Himself. And finish a few pairs of socks for me. We'll see.....

Sewing: Last year wasn't too bad. I spent at least half focused on bags/purses, but I did get a few clothing items done. This year, I want to do Himself's shirts, then focus on undergarments for Herself and me. And a few purses, here and there, for the shop. Oh, and a few laptop cases - Cyn needs one DESPERATELY, and I want to see if maybe there's a market for geeky ones. (Hers will be the tester. :lol:)

Spinning/Weaving: I honestly haven't done much of either. I NEED to get back to the loom - I need the quiet contemplation weaving brings me. Spinning......well, can't do that in the house right now, as Duncan would eat the wheel. Teething wolfhounds are...well....a MESS. But cute!

Exercise: By December, I had a decent routine worked out. Sun/Tues/Thurs I do the weight machine. Mon/Wed/Fri I do a Pilates tape - 20 minutes right now. I want to keep that up - I've lost an inch in my waist so far! :huzzah!: Soon as my ankle gets better (don't ask) I'd like to hit the treadmill.......:sigh:

The contract job has sorta started back up. We'll see how it goes - I don't mind it. The money is nice, and the work is easy. I'm supposed to help Cyn with tax returns, so that'll also help.

Himself has gotten me to play some video games with him - it's fun. It's also a good way to bond...so this Mama is going to try to become a gamer. :gulp: So far, he's got me into Subnautica (creative only - I don't DO scary sea monster jump scares! I like building underwater bases and exploring.), Medieval Engineers, and he wants me to start playing Space Engineers, too. Oh, and Kerbal Space Program. :lol: He's offered to buy me the older Star Wars games, too.....but that's going to involve getting a MS :hiss: machine to properly run them - Macs aren't great for gaming. (I think I'll be getting one, anyway, for the contract stuff. All the programs client uses are MS based.....:sigh: I HATE MS machines! I'm an Apple fan......) Ah, well - it's fun. The kids are currently playing Borderlands 2........it's too violent for *me*. I'm a wuss.....

Let's see....oh. Monday last Tigger had a seizure. NSDH immediately ran her to the ER Vet - she's now on anti-seizure meds. (Don't mind me. We can't afford for me to go get my ankle checked out, but we can go into debt for a dog. Sure. Why not?) She's doing fine now - we have no idea what caused it. Our vet said they don't diagnose epilepsy after the dog is 5.....she's going on 11 now. So....who knows? She'll be on pills the rest of her life (at $75/month. Really, don't mind me - I'll get over it eventually.)

Anyway, I think that gets me up to date. Tomorrow is back to Cyn's, then Tuesday is finish the bloody shirt and start the body double day. Should be fun!
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last week. Didn't mention it, because it was a big one (I am now half-a-century old!) and....well, I wasn't feeling it.

Herself, however, hit it out of the park. Let me back up a bit: We did Broadway Musicals as a class in Homeschool. 2 years; the first year was an in-depth study (using the Great Courses as a base, adding in some PBS documentaries), the 2nd was watching all the Musicals I could get my hands on, adding in reviews and any extras (for example: Kiss Me Kate, then watching Taming of the Shrew and doing a comparison. Same with Romeo & Juliet and West Side Story, etc.)

My *favorite* Musical is Phantom of the Opera. (Yes, ALW is a HACK, but the story is fun, the songs are singable, and the theatrics are outstanding. It's a fun experience!). We spent a few weeks on PotO; watching the film version, then watching the behind-the-scenes documentary, reading a synopsis of the story it was based on......and Herself was hooked. She told me then that if PotO came thru Dallas and we could afford it, we HAD to go. (I've seen it on stage 3 times before now - each time it was a slightly modified original production. Swinging chandelier and all. :lol:)

Well, this was the year. Our performance was yesterday.....I have to review it. It was AWESOME. And VASTLY different from the productions I've seen.

This version.......is......well, sorta steampunkish. Most of the productions have been....theatrical, for lack of a better word. This one was........the ONLY way I can describe it is to say that this is what you'd expect to see if you went back in time and watched a "contemporary" version (i.e.: Victorian) on stage. (I KNOW it's not actually Victorian, but it's set in quasi-Victorian Paris.)

The whole production was focused on the center of the stage - everything was designed to draw your eye *there*, and to make you "miss" the "off-stage" stuff going on. The stage hands were dressed like Victorian stagehands would have been (and the wardrobe department knocked it out of the park - they looked like poor, dirty, unwashed men.) The main part of the stage was a...box...in the middle of the stage that opened up to become the various sets, or spun around to become the Phantom's realm. IF you were familiar with the story, you'd find yourself glancing to the dark corners of the actual stage...and you'd see stuff going on "off stage" (which is really part of the action), slightly obscured in shadow - just like I imagine Victorian/Elizabethan plays were)....it really sold the mood of the Musical.

The special effects carried this point home - instead of using trap doors and modern technology (well, *obviously* modern), this used pyrotechnics and sleight-of-hand. The chandelier didn't *swing*; the Phantom "shot" the cable it was hanging from, and it dropped, stopping barely 3 feet above the audience (5 rows in front of us. *5* rows!!! Did I mention we had *fantastic* seats????) You could smell the "gunpowder", and see and feel the sparks. (At one point, the Phantom lights the lights at the front of the stage, and they flare up to 6'. We could FEEL the heat, y'all. I had to close my eyes because it was so bright.)

They cut some of my favorite scenes (the candelabras rising up from the river, and the wedding-dress jump scare), but honestly? They didn't need them. I enjoyed every minute.

Now, some critical analysis: the Phantom had a good voice, but it was straining in the top registers. He was *good*, but I've heard better (I'm NOT complaining too much, here. He was GOOD, just not Fantastic.) We had Christine's understudy - I can't imagine how good the actual star is, because this lady was phenomenal! Carlotta was the perfect diva - she overacted magnificently. :lol: Raoul was good......he maybe needed a little more "bottom", but honestly - the only singer I can really complain about was Phantom, and only because you could hear the strain as he tried to hit some of the higher notes.

It was fun. We enjoyed ourselves - and Herself was totally happy. We were among the best dressed - what happened to people? Used to, you dressed up to go to the theatre.......now? I saw a LOT of ripped jeans and t-shirts. :sigh:

Still. If you like Musicals, and IF you like Phantom, I highly recommend you go see this new production. It's different enough from the norm to make it new, and it was totally enjoyable.
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Been busy - the contract job is nuts. The lady....well, her employees don't give a flip, and most of what she has paid/is paying me to do is fixing their mistakes. And boy howdy, do they make mistakes! STUPID mistakes....and they don't key the stuff into the computer. They had marked 1 bank account as reconciled......I had to go back to *2014* and reconcile, as it had NOT been done. :sigh: And they hadn't input the transactions on 3 bank accounts.....since MAY. (And...that's what they are paid to do.) Oh, well - I don't mind. Money is money......:lol:

My son bought my Hanukkah present today - a Bissell Crosswave Pet Pro. Basically, it's an electric mop/carpet cleaner. Fancy! Works a treat - the carpet cleaner is...lacking, but it'll work as a once-a-month thing. The mop works FANTASTICALLY - and since we are completely vinyl, it was worth the cost. Especially since we had a 20% off coupon. I had borrowed Mom's carpet cleaner (which is what started my search!), so the rugs were clean - I wanted a smaller model for us so I could keep them that way. (With the dogs....well, the rugs were FILTHY. I cleaned them Friday; today we cleaned the 2 kitchen rugs. The water was dirty, but no where NEAR what it was on Friday.)

There's not a lot to talk about - the contract job has been more steady than I really wanted. NOT complaining, mind you - but I had planned on 1 day a week, not 3. Or 4. :sigh:

Hope y'all are doing well. Hopefully I'll get back here later this week!
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First up, what you're actually here for - Puppy Pictures!

IMG_0363

IMG_0182

IMG_9659

(See, I know my audience! :lol:) The top pic is from the Vet's yesterday (final puppy visit. He's a healthy pup - he went from 35 pounds 3 weeks ago to *56* pounds yesterday.); the other 2 were taken on Friday for the breeder. He's such a cutie! :lol:

The husband started his new job yesterday. Today they threw him on an actual route; he had to be ready to roll out of the warehouse at 0530. Which meant he had to get UP at 0330. Which meant *I* had to get up at 0330. :sigh: Ah, well - its not like I was sleeping well, anyway.

I have another short contract job this week......which is good, financial-wise. I made a batch of soap for laundry-use........basically just a bunch of vegetable shortening and scent. :ugh: NOT for skin-use, but perfect for laundry-use. I also have 3 bags cut out, just need sewing up. When I'm more awake.

Oh! I bought a video game - My Hero Academia: My Hero One's Justice. It's *AWESOME*, especially if you're a fan. Himself and I have been bashing each other - I've even won a couple of times! :rofl:
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Can't sleep.....ankle still screwed. I had the pain down to mostly manageable levels....then I stepped in the husband's trench yesterday. :sigh: Ah, well. I was fully aware of the risks.

Last week we finally replaced the piece of junk sofa/loveseat set we got 5 years (or so) ago. RTG told us it was "leather everywhere your skin touches, and bonded leather everywhere else. It'll last!" Yeah....not so much. The back of the top of the couch - where you stretch your arms out - started flaking off within 6 months. :sigh: Biggest waste of money.....

Anyway. One of the reasons I took the contract job was to get the funds to replace them. The original plan was Ikea......but I got to thinking. $1500 for a set I wasn't really in love with. So I hit CraigsList....and Wednesday I found a nice-looking set, in the next town over. I quickly emailed and was told, well, someone was coming out to look, but they'd keep me in mind. The seller's next email went to Spam. I found it Thursday afternoon, quickly emailed, then called......long story short, we ran out Thursday evening and came home with a new-to-us REAL leather set. Built in 2003. In EXCELLENT condition. (Pictures when it's not so early.)(And after I clean them - it's been raining here. 14" or so in OCTOBER alone. Mud. :sigh: Why I wanted leather!)

Duncan is growing. I've been sewing. Himself has joined Herself in making earrings

Oh! Husband has a new job!!!!! It's an answer to a prayer - Praise God! He starts next Monday - no more contract labor!!!!!

Need to rustle up breakfast. Today is personal sewing (I need a new wallet), so should be relaxed. I'll try to be more consistent in posting.....since I switched our checkbooks to an accounting program (Manager.io - it's like QuickBooks, but FREE) I should be on the laptop more (it's easier to post from the laptop than the tablet. It's easier to use the tablet......you see my problem? :lol:)
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:whew: It's been a whirlwind, but I think I can finally breathe again. The contract work is done for the moment, my cosplay is finished, the etsy shop is current-ish, and Duncan is sleeping. For now. :lol:

Where to begin........

1. Comic-con is this weekend! I am going Sunday as Uraraka from My Hero Academia. Fabric.com SUCKS, but it got the job done. I....don't want to think about cosplay again for a while.....

2. The shop has tons of earrings. I have 1 purse to list, but want to get a few more done first. I have another cut out ready to sew; today was spent sewing a new purse for me for the Con. In My Hero Academia fabric, to hopefully create some interest in our wares. (The one waiting for sewing is ALSO MHA......I'm hoping the buzz will help.

3. We subscribe to Great Courses Plus - streaming service for most of their classes. (If you're not familiar....get thee to Great Courses and start browsing. College courses, videoed. Don't buy them at full price - they go on sale All The Time. Or hit eBay. OR.....subscribe to Great Courses Plus, and stream them. It's.....on sale, $120/year. If you pay month-to-month, it's $20/month. WELL worth it! ) Right now, I'm printing the guide to "Biblical Hebrew"......I have been trying to learn Hebrew for 6 years now - it hasn't gone well. I'm hoping having an actual *course* will help. A lot of their catalog is streamed, now......seriously, check it out!

4. Ankle is NO better. :sigh:

Not much else to report - I need to head back to the house before it starts raining again.
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I have some good excuses, though....

Duncan sleepy 2

Duncan sleepy

Duncan face

Seriously, can you blame me? :lol:

Let's see.....


1. Duncan came home 9/16, and had his first vet visit on 9/17. He's healthy and happy, and so are we. He's figured out the pet door....but hasn't quite figured out that poopies are OUTside, not Inside. He's also figured out how to climb up on the couch...puppy snuggles are great!

2. Herself and I opened an Etsy shop - I can't figure out how to link here, but the shop name is thatdamnfangirl . Herself's idea - it's a riff on something Kacchan from MHA says ("You damn nerd!") She thought it was hysterical, so......there ya go. Not much there right now except earrings, but I'll be uploading bags as soon as I finish my cosplay. (Uraraka from MHA, in her UA uniform, with a Deku doll. We have the wig, and I've finished the blouse. Just need to do the jacket and skirt....I have until 10/19.....wish me luck!)

3. The Lord sent a contract job my way - it has been a HUGE blessing. I've earned enough so far to buy a new, improved rice cooker (Himself's request. This thing.....it's a Zojirushi, it has multiple rice type settings, and....well. I haven't figured it all out yet, but Himself has.), and new tires for the Jeep (soon as that check comes in, we're off to Firestone. :huzzah!: Next up is some more storage for my studio (Ikea lack and kallax, both in white), and a new sofa and loveseat for the living room. (Ikea. The Evil Empire has me in thrall. :lol:)

4. Ankle......yeah. Moving on.....:sigh:

Happy Sukkot, y'all!
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We didn't get to visit the breeder this weekend (more on that in a moment), but she sent me some lovely pictures yesterday. He's gotten Big!

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We're planning on going out this weekend, since all our necessary chores are done (as of today - right now, in fact.) See......last August, when we got our septic tank pumped, they informed me that the tank (fiberglass) was collapsing, and gave me anywhere from a few months to a year.

It lasted just at 1 year. Last month, the alarm went off - so we called. They sent out an inspector.....long story short, the tank has totally collapsed and needed replacing STAT. Gave me an estimate of 6 weeks......2 days later the planner came out, did a drawing, and gave me an estimate of, still, 6 weeks.

3 days later, he called and said they'd install the new CONCRETE tank, in *3* weeks. Or, today. :gulp:

So. I went into work mode. No one else did. :sigh: Last weekend, SG finally realized that Oh, S**t! Tank install is THIS THURSDAY oh dear! :sigh:

The back fence has been moved to behind my Studio (FINALLY! 2 years I've been waiting......) We put up a temporary side fence, and yesterday (yup. YESTERDAY. Why do I even....?) the old back fence was removed (well....most of it. There's still 16' that needs to come down....but at least MOST of it's down, right?)

This AM, SG removed the temporary side fence so that they could get the equipment in. I have 5 very upset dogs in the house right now - don't I understand that there are THINGS that need barking at? Outside? Now???? :lol:

We also got Himself's Studio and the "sweat shop" (what? It's better than "torture chamber", yes?)(home gym) painted, all the lights/fans installed, and measured for carpet. The carpet has been ordered and paid for, and the floor store ordered it Tuesday. Should be here in 2 weeks or so.....

Herself and I have "opened" an easy store. There's only 1 thing in it right now (Pokemon cards), but soon it'll be stocked with geeky jewelry and bags. I'll post a link once it's open - and then I will try not to mention it much again. I don't want this to devolve into an advertisement channel. :lol:

ETA: well....I am a klutz. While the guys were getting ready to remove the electrical box for the old system, they told me they needed to cut the power. I said OK, then realized that they didn’t know to also cut the solar box. I ran outside and got them safe, watched them remove the box, tie off the wires, and restart both boxes. I turned to walk back to the door, and found a hole Chloe had dug....and felt - and heard - something in my left ankle POP. Sigh. I have an orange-sized ankle now, turning a lovely shade of black - down from the softball-sized ankle of yesterday. Hurts......but I’ve survived worse. I e is my friend.......
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Sorry about last week - we had to skip the visit due to working on the new building...but this week! We spent a good hour with him yesterday. He's looking more and more like a *real* Wolfie now!

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I got PUPPY KISSES!!!!!!!! Lots of them - he's a snuggler!

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Sleepy baby....

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VERY sleepy - you can see how big he's gotten!

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He's got a nice profile.

SG wants to show........oi vey! I've never shown dogs....but horses. Horse shows I know. Political to the max. Expensive. The breeder says dog shows aren't very expensive, but they ARE political. Fun.......well, it may be. We'll see. SG wants to breed.......again, we'll see. *I* just want a Wolfie around the house. :lol:

Gotta skitter - rain is moving in, and I need to be in the Studio.
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We ran out and saw wee Duncan on Friday - the breeder was taking one of her Danes to a show over the weekend, so...if we wanted snuggles, it had to be Friday. No biggie - the kids and I wanted to hit Ikea, which is in between us and the breeder, so it all worked out.

On Friday, he had 1 eye open! You can see just how much bigger he is now - it takes more than 1 hand to hold him!


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By Saturday evening, he had both eyes open. He's SO CUTE!!!

We spent an hour with him - me snuggling, Himself snapping photos, and Herself cooing at him and the Dane puppies. :lol: We then hit the comic store (Himself scored the new Thrawn novel - it's good. We both read it over the weekend - couldn't put it down. ), then Ikea. I spent Saturday assembling 3 Billys for my Studio, and yesterday tidying up. Then I assembled Herself's new craft desk. Today we started tidying HER studio......the desk in in place and already full. (What can I say - FIL had a bunch of stained glass tools. That are now ON her desk. Eventually we'll get them sorted and in the drawers....for now, we have a path into the house that doesn't involve gymnastics. :rofl:
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Looks like I'll be updating weekly, for a while anyway. :lol: Puppy pictures are IMPORTANT STUFF, y'all! I need to share the cuteness!

Duncan at 1 week old. He's now 2 lbs, 9 oz - so he's doubled his weight!

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We didn't visit this week - too much going on here. We are going THIS weekend, though - so you'll have photos that we took (these are from the breeder.)

The boys have been working on the new Studio/gym. Himself is learning how to wire up a house - good experience! He's done all the plugs on his side, and most of the plugs on the gym side. Today he has a few more to do; tonight he and SG are starting on building the panel.

Meanwhile, I've been in the Studio myself. I have another project bag completed - this one is the Swoon Harriet tote bag.

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This is the last of my MHA fabric; I got 2 complete bags out of 1 yard (plus a very, very little left over. Maybe enough to do a coin purse....) Once again, Swoon patterns show how well-written and designed they are; no major problems (well, I did sew the top inside panels in upside down, because the pattern doesn't show which way the pattern should run. No biggie - this is my new knitting bag - but next time I know which way to orient those panels. :lol:). The bag went together nicely - it only took me about 5 hours from printing the pattern to turning off the sewing machine; I did differ in my clasp. The pattern calls for a magnetic clasp; I used a turn lock instead.

The cool thing about the Harriet is the expandable sides. The bag, closed, holds an 8.5" x 11" laminated pattern, my current 2-ball sock project, the completed sock, my darning egg, and a bunch of misc. tools easily. I think I could fit a sweater project in there if I unzipped the sides.

Herself thinks she wants one of these. :lol: We'll see - today I am making a Brooklyn bag. She might just change her mind.........:rofl: (Why, yes - I am knocking out bags recently. I *need* new project bags, and a couple more purses. Plus......Mom wants a bag, and I want to give her few choices of style. Can't really do that without examples, can I? :lol:)

Gotta skitter!
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So. We are all giggly-happy over Duncan's arrival. *We* won't get him until mid-September, of course, but the breeder has been happily sharing her photos with us. Since I know y'all are only here for puppy pictures, let's start with him:

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This was the first picture she sent me. Let's all say "Daawwwwwwww...." :lol: Then came these:

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Then we made a trip to visit.....and Herself snapped this one of me and Duncan:

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There is another photo, but I am making a very silly face (I was cooing at him, all right?) so it will NOT be posted. :lol:

After we got home, this appeared in my text messages:

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Moving on before we all succumb to cuteness overload.......I spent most of yesterday in my Studio (finally!) and managed to knock out another purse:

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It's the Swoon Patterns Blanche bag. The fabric is from Spoonflower - expensive, but the ONLY place I could find My Hero Academia themed fabric. I accidentally grabbed an invisible zipper (it was the correct color!), so Uraraka is helping me with the pull. :lol:

And, finally - Herself has a new friend:

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His name is Griff; he's a Joltean (Pokemon) made by an Etsy.com artist named CrypticEnigma. He's AWESOME. Very well made, the fabric is lush and soft and nice, and the artist couldn't be nicer. (Herself has ordered 4 custom plushes from her now......:heh: She's sending up progress shots - she is SO TALENTED!)

Himself and I played a new outdoor game this AM - Recoil. Basically, laser-tag. With air strikes. He beat me handily, but it was fun.

Gotta skitter - Himself has a doc appointment, and he wants to take us out to lunch. Laters!
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Duncan (working name) was born early early this morning. He and his 4 sisters are doing well, as is Mom. We ran out to peek this morning - oh my goodness is he the tiniest bit of Wolfhound I’ve ever seen! I did get to cuddle him - youngest puppy I’ve ever snuggled.

The breeder thinks he’ll look like Dad (who looks like Bree).....so, I have another blonde. But a BOY!!

Pics will be forthcoming - I have a couple on my phone. He’s the biggest of the 5, and the only non-brindle.

Mom demanded some pats, then ignored us. :lol: so did Dad - I got leaned on. And licked.

Hope your day is going as well as ours!

Happy July!

Jul. 8th, 2018 03:13 pm
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Not much going on here. It's Hot, it's dry.....except it's about to rain right now. :lol:

Haven't done anything in the Studio in...about a month and a half. There are 2 window A/C units in front of my ironing board, so pressing is out, and there's no reason to sew if I can't press as I go. Can't weave, because there is a lot of stuff that needs rehoming in front of my bench......so I've been in the house, doing not much of anything.

Himself's studio/home gym is supposed to be built this week. We hit Ikea yesterday to get ideas on furniture for Himself's side, and a TV stand for the gym. We purchased our workout equipment over the 4th, so we will be ready to go soon. I hope. :lol:

Wolfhound update - 5 puppies, due 7/14. I am hopefully looking forward to this......IF there's a boy, he's coming home with me. We have a short-list of names; Duncan and Connor are at the top. So far. (I do have a list of girls names, as well, just in case....but I want a boy this time.)

Not much else to report - I'll check back in later!
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First off, thank you EVERYONE that has kept us in your thoughts/prayers. It's been.....tough. Thank you for helping us.

Let me see....

Families can be...tough. We had some drama....but I am trying to ignore it. The Estate was to be split 3 ways, with the kids splitting 1 share (their dad's, basically. 3 kids in the family. I was honestly surprised that the kids were included, even though SG told me I shouldn't be. :shrug: I am VERY grateful!) BIL said we could all go thru and take what we wanted, with the understanding that Herself got ALL the stained glass components (not the finished stuff, but the glass/tools/etc. Apparently, I was the only one that didn't know she got the glass as well as the tools.....Surprise! :lol:) Ended up that 1 family member basically stripped the house of everything worth something.......including a couple of first edition books. :sigh: It's only stuff.....the only thing that hurt was 1 of the beds - it had been left to Herself, and EVERYONE knew it. We talked it over - we have NO room - and SHE decided it should be included in the Estate Sale, and everyone could get a piece of it. It.....got taken. Oh, well......I think I have Herself accepting it now, but it has been hard. Himself didn't want anything, but I got him some of FIL's things from Lockheed - like the tie tacks representing all the planes he worked on. :lol: And FIL's Navy yearbook.

Anyway - *7* full Jeep loads later (and 1 truck load!), we have all (or, almost all) of the glass and tools here. FIL....well. He'd been doing stained glass since the '90's.....and he had a bit of a....well.....stash problem. AND he was an Engineer.....so he had ALL the THINGS. And now we have all the things......Oy Vey.....We had spent the Tuesday evening after the funeral emptying out Herself's studio, cleaning it up, and painting the floor. Everything was outside, because it's JUNE, and that means HOT and Dry. Only......at 4:00 Wednesday AM, I was awoken by the distant rumblings of thunder. At 5 AM, SG was awoken by a HUGE clap of thunder, and we spent the next 45 minutes frantically hauling stuff back inside, trying to keep it dry. We.....failed, but the kilns and my soap was safely inside before the rain hit. Nothing got ruined, but...what a way to wake up! (The plan had been to bring everything inside Wed. morning, carefully putting it where it belonged, then taking Himself to his therapy appointment. That was a fail!) At least we had room for the glass storage......I thought. :lol: I didn't realize how MUCH glass he had....let's just say that *I* no longer think I have a yarn problem. :rofl: (It got SO bad, that I was yelling at the kids to QUIT opening boxes in FIL's garage. Seriously - every single time we opened a box, there was more glass. Or patterns. Or tools. We now have....8 soldering irons. The man had backups for his backups! :lol: And I'm sure we left some stuff......I have asked that the Estate Sale guy put any glass stuff aside for us, but if he doesn't, oh well. I think we can afford to buy any tools we may have missed. :nods:)

I have been trying to organize.....we have a large filing cabinet full of patterns. We will NEVER need to purchase a pattern...ever. We have tools I don't know what they do. And....I need to learn, because Herself only wanted the scraps for jewelry making, and we have panels. And panels. And large scraps. And did I mention patterns? Because.......yeah. :lol: Guess I have a new hobby.....I have plans. I want to eventually do a panel for our back door.....and transom-type panels for the top of each window in the house. I've been reading - this doesn't look like a difficult hobby. You trace your pattern on the glass, cut it (either with the hand wheel, or a saw - we have both), grind it (have 2 grinders), then foil it, tin it, and solder it. Add a frame (of lead - we have....quite a bit) and hangers, and voila! Done! We're going to start with mosaic stepping stones, so we can learn to cut and grind on pieces that don't...matter so much, then move to sun catchers. Then panels. We just have to get her studio fully organized...which will take some time. And some new furniture - she needs a larger desk to hold the workspace - the table FIL used will be where the saw and grinders live. (He had a HUGE workbench where they lived, but we have no room for that. We can squeeze in a desk, though, along with the table.) He also had a microwave and a microwave kiln for slumping glass.....:whee!:

And.....I think we are with puppy. I found a breeder not too far away that has a litter of Wolfhounds due 7/10. The sire....is closely related to Bree. :sob: and :lol: We visited them Sunday, and he is a HUGE love bug. The mom-to-be was a little more aloof than other Wolfies I've met, but I figure it's due to the pregnancy. She's got the more classic, bulkier/chunkier build than Bree (and the sire) had - which is actually what I want this time. And I want a boy. I told the breeder I'd be there the day after the litter arrives to put the deposit down; I didn't want to put down a non-refundable deposit and then not get a boy. :sigh: IF this works out, we'll be bringing the laddie home on or about Sept. 18......:fingers crossed: I miss my Wolfie......

Think that brings us almost up to date.
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because we are gong to have to say goodbye to Brianna today. She's 8. And an Irish Wolfhound. She's been having hip problems for a while....Saturday she could no longer stand on her own. Yesterday, she could no longer walk more than 2 or 3 steps.

We have a vet appointment at 1:45......and my heart is breaking.

I don't know if I can live without a wolfhound....and I don't know if I can live with one, either, knowing our time will be short.

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