so I did a thing…

October 21, 2021

Sorry for the silence, I was off having an adventure.

You’ll have to take my word that that’s me on the right there. Photo courtesy of my friend’s Go-pro.

This was my first dive trip in almost three years, to the Bahamas, and it was just so wonderful being in the water again. All the skills came right back. I did 8 dives and saw some great stuff.

This was an organized shark feeding, and boy, the sharks were waiting for us. There were about 14? Hard to count, they kept moving around.

These are reef sharks (there were also a couple of nurse sharks, but they’re not in the picture). They don’t eat people, and I felt safe because they frankly weren’t interested in the people but in the tasty, tasty fish bites coming out of the bait box. Though we were warned not to stick our arms out because that’s the exact gesture the feeder makes when he offers them fish bites…

These animals are just so beautiful, I really loved getting to see them up close.

operation enjoy fall

September 13, 2021

Did something a little different this Monday morning.

This is Union Reservoir, with Longs Peak on the horizon ahead of me.

It was a little windy and wavy for comfort, but it still felt GREAT being on the water. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve been scuba diving? Too long.

But this is a nice way to get some sun and water until I can pull out my wetsuit again.

horses

August 2, 2021

Happiness is turning on the TV just to see what they’re actually showing on the Olympics and catching the show jumping phase of the Three-Day Eventing competition. True story: I used to do that back in high school. Well, no, not exactly that. At my level they call it Combined-Training Eventing and we did it all in one day and the jumps were only 2’9″.

Basically the equivalent of your local 5k fun run versus Olympic marathon.

But still.

Anyway.

The horse I’m taking dressage lessons on now competes at the same skill level as the Olympic dressage horses. I’m learning a ton. I’m not anywhere near there as a rider myself.

But I do get a bit frustrated that the one category of sports I know ANYTHING about hardly gets any mainstream coverage.

Adventure weekend!

June 8, 2021

I had a weekend full of good hikes and visiting, staying with a friend out in Crested Butte. I’m incredibly grateful for the means and ability to just hop in my car and go on trips like this. I try not to take it for granted.

Colorado is full of spots like this and I just love it:

(If it’s not clear, the text on the sign reads “Cottonwood Pass, Elevation 12,216 Feet, Continental Divide, Atlantic Ocean, San Isabel National Forest, Pacific Ocean, Gunnison National Forest.)

Really beautiful country. Still lots snow up there.

And then I drove home in time to see a tornado touch down maybe 25 miles from my house while I was on the freeway. So that was exciting.

This pic is close to the view I got. Unmistakable. Fascinating and also a little terrifying. It was evening rush hour and I wonder what would have happened if it had crossed the freeway…

bird feeder adventures

June 29, 2020

I think there must have been a chickadee nest in my yard somewhere, and I think the chicks must have fledged recently, because I’ve suddenly got like 5-6 chickadees absolutely swarming my feeders. They’re loud, busy, aggressive, and not totally coordinated.

Teenage chickadees, if you will.

I like them.

 

I’ve found over the last couple of months it’s really important to have things to look forward to. Even if it’s something simple like getting to see Hiddleston’s Coriolanus next week, planning a walk in my favorite park, getting takeout from a favorite restaurant, or opening a nice bottle of wine. Since my usual events I really look forward to — concerts, movies, trips — are not happening at the moment (Bubonicon has officially been cancelled, so that’s off the list), I need to find other things to fill that gap. And it helps. Something to break up the days a little and make me smile in the morning.

I got this idea from my niece and her family:  a Future Joy Jar. If there’s something I can’t do now, but can maybe do later, I write it down and put it in the jar. At some point I’ll be able to empty the jar and make bigger plans. Go to the symphony, reschedule my dive trip, that sort of thing.

I’m just not sure when it’ll be the right time to open the jar. Not yet, I don’t think.

Until then, I will look forward to little things, like walks and new books and the next project.

 

masks

April 27, 2020

Like lots of cosplayers and historical recreationists, I have been sewing masks. It takes me a long time to sew them, so I haven’t been making a lot. But I managed to get my whole family masked up, and now I’m making them for donation.

I haven’t had to buy new supplies to do this. It’s all from the pre-existing stash. I might finally be making a dent in it! Which feels pretty good, especially for such a good purpose. I’m making my own bias tape, which is tedious (even with the tricks I’ve been learning, and the bias-tape gadget a friend 3-D printed for me), but it’s saving me from having to order or track it down elsewhere.

I’ll probably keep making them, a few at a time, since we’ll likely be at this for awhile.

retail therapy

April 10, 2020

Hey there. Today I’d like to talk about SHOPPING.

Like a lot of folks, I’m worried about my favorite small local shops and restaurants who are having to shut down during this crisis. I’m also REALLY worried about my favorite convention, SCA, and Ren Faire vendors, who’ve basically had all their events and income streams vanish.

Fortunately, we live in the internet age and shipping is a thing. If you are able and feel inclined, you might seek out some of your favorites and see what deals they’re offering online shoppers. Here are a few I’ve visited.

Dryad Tea and Pottery has lots of good tea and geek-themed accessories. She mostly sells at conventions and so could really use some online traffic right now. My favorite blends of hers are Maid in Bedlam, Selkie (really good with honey for colds), and We Are Shangri-la.

Old Firehouse Books in Ft. Collins has hosted events of mine, and they’re great folks. They’re offering free shipping on orders over $20. Nina at Broadway Book Mall will also ship — you’ll need to call, but she very likely has some signed books of mine still in stock from the last convention.

We have this great little gift shop here, the Magic Fairy Candle Shop, and I ordered a gift card so I could go get myself a nice candle when this is over. While on the site I found a super cute headband, and decided I just needed something pretty and frivolous, so I ordered that too. Owner Nichole delivered it to my doorstep that afternoon and it made me so happy I just cried for a little bit. (Because it turns out when you’re stressed and things are weird, crying over little things happens a lot.) You can see the candle side of their business here.

The ladies at the Clockwork Cabaret podcast taught me everything I know about steampunk music, and here’s their Patreon.

In fact, lots of your favorite artists, authors, and musicians probably have Patreons and can use your support right now.

If you check convention websites, they’ll usually have lists of dealers. Same with Ren Faires. If like me you’re sad that we’re not going to be able to go to our favorite events and do that shopping we’ve been thinking about… you can still do the shopping. I know it’s not quite the same, but it’s something. And I want all these people to still be around NEXT year, when we can (I hope) go back to doing all the things we love.

Stay safe.

 

still we march

January 20, 2020

I spent Saturday at the Denver Women’s March.

Not as big as the first one, but those gathered are just as passionate and just as determined to hold whatever line we can against hate and corruption.

We can do this all day.

adventure ho!

January 16, 2020

Check another thing off the bucket list:  I’ve been snowshoeing. Twice, even.

I should have done this ages ago, because I really like it. Hiking, in snow. Generally, I don’t like the cold, but the snowy world is so beautiful and engaging it’s totally worth the extra prep and attention. Rocky Mountain National Park, one of my favorite places, is different in winter:

Bonus:  The first trip up was right after I finished watching The Terror, which added a certain zing to the adventure. This is up at Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park. This picture is me actually on the lake, which is very frozen right now. How cool is that?

Seriously, I look like I’m about to dive into a James Bond adventure.