rowanf: (Rowan - PCon 2011)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
I have decamped from San Antonio and arrived in Las Vegas. Russell is working at Photoshop World and will be out to 9pm tonight. I have availed myself of a long soak and a nap and am now deciding between room service and wandering off in search of provender.

The trip to SA was filled with family goodness. Not only did Martha & Katie come down from Austin but Paul and Annette came down from Dallas. Annette visited her sisters Sunday night and Paul and our family went out for Moroccan food. The food was good and the service wasn't -- fulfilling all the reviews on Yelp and Urbanspoon. The food was really good. I think if it was in my neighborhood I would only do takeaway though. The service was just that bad. The next morning we visited some more and then Paul and Annette headed back to Dallas. It took them nine hours! Ack. Mum worries they'll never come visit again since this is the second really back commute home. I hope she's wrong. It is so nice to have family around. I know Mum misses being just around the corner from Martha when they lived in Austin.

Dad go the results of his cytology and we know that whatever is going on with his lungs is neither TB nor cancer. No idea what it is yet, but those were the big scary things and it is good to have them ruled out. He goes back to the doc again tomorrow for more tests and another draining of the pleura if needed. The first few days after his last one it hurt to cough but he is getting his wind back.

Yesterday I spent quite a bit of time taking iPhone pix of pictures in early family photo albums. Mostly just pix of me for my "Rowan's life" set but some of my family too. And lots of school class pix that I had no idea existed! I'll process those over the next while and put them on flickr.

Hmm, I think I will venture out and see what I can find to eat. The room service menu is very dear and limited to boot.
rowanf: (anime reader)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Since the EDD cut off my unemployment and I don't have to keep my nose to the grindstone about looking for work... I decided to head off to Texas to see my family and help Spike with a WorldCon event and hopefully get to WorldCon.

Upon arrival, I found out that my dad has a pleural effusion and would need to get it drained the next day. A liter and a half of fluid has been making him rather short of breath. He thinks he had an embolism or something when they were in Brazil last October. They had at the time suspected and ruled out a heart attack but didn't check his lungs. Gah. People kept telling him of his shortness of breath that it "is just old age" and I think he is feeling justified to know that there really was a problem. OTOH, he is also wondering about cancer or a recurrence of TB (which he got as a medical resident) and other things that are kinda scary. I had really hoped to drag him off to WorldCon since he is First Fandom and it would be fun to show him a modern Con, but he isn't feeling up to it.

Yesterday we had the kick-off events at the San Antonio Public Library. There were panels and readings by authors at 1 and 4 and a panel of editors at 2:30. My job was to shuttle them back and forth from the Convention Center to the Library. It is about a mile but the temperature got up to 101F and we really weren't going to ask them to walk it.

1:00 - 2:30 pm Kathleen Goonan, Tanya Huff and Walter Jon Williams
2:30 - 4:00 pm Liz Gorinsky, Lee Harris and James Patrick Kelly
4:00 - 5:30 pm Robin Hobb, Catherine Asaro and Elizabeth Bear

I had been wanting to get Tanya Huff to sign my lending copy of _Enchantment Emporium_ which Song had returned to me just a couple of weeks ago... but I couldn't find it anywhere. I got her to sign my ipad cover instead. How cool is that?!

It was actually really fun to be their driver and I enjoyed chatting with various of the authors and eavesdropping on their conversations between themselves. And the panels and readings that I caught were really good.

Then at 6:30-8:00 pm we celebrated the publication a new anthology, _Rayguns Over Texas_. About 16 of the 25 authors in the anthology where there to talk about their work. I got them to sign a copy of the book for Dad. It looks like it will be a fun read.
rowanf: (child rowan broom)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
My high school's 40th reunion is coming up in October and so whilst I am here in Texas visiting my folks I took the opportunity to copy some snaps from my mother's album. Can you believe I thought that hair was awesome!? You can't really tell but it was piles of banana curles all down the back of my head practically plastered in place with hair spray. The graduation pictures are much more what I looked like. My hair didn't hold curls then any better than it does now. The sad thing is... I have no idea who ANYONE is in those pictures besides me (well, and Doree).

I'm having a lovely visit with the folks. We haven't venture out much (this is the 52 day of temperatures above 100 here) but my sister drove down from Austin and we had a great visit. Tonight I went to the ukelele sing-along at AFV I with the folks (who of course are amongst the ukelele players). It was fun. I love my musical family. :)
rowanf: (child rowan broom)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
I'm still moving a bit more slowly than usual (and letting my Dad and Sister do all the driving). Today we slept in, went to lunch (and Martha & I got sidetraced by a lovely shop on Main Street where I bought the shirt in the snapshot), the visitor's center and then to the Cooper County Historical Society. We got lost on the way there and found a cache at the Hannah Cole Memorial Park which I thought was really awesome (Hannah Cole was the first white woman to settle here in 1810 or 1812, I forget). We spent the afternoon at CCHS and I copied quite a few pages from the Amick family file that weren't there the last time I visited. We shall see about new info! I have Reunion on my iPad so I didn't have to carry my computer. It worked out fairly well as a research tool.

We stopped at two rest stops on the way back to the hotel to get some caches and I was totally out of spoons. However, my father declared he was heading to the ice cream shop in Boonville. They have a 16-scoop sundae called the Bellybuster that he is totally jonesing to try to eat. (One person has ever finished one, he took 43 minutes and has his picture up on the wall.) My father may or may not go back tomorrow after the funeral for ice cream. The parlour also had very nice sandwiches and were happy to make me a turkey club lettuce wrap so yay.

My sister and I have hung out on our computers this evening. I found that my mother has tons of family pix on her facebook page, so I downloaded them. Very much a family day.
rowanf: (crown)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
I got email from my mother yesterday telling me that my Aunt Nancy had passed on July 31st. I am sad, but I realize that through the last few years of dementia I have processed most of my grief in losing her. She hasn't really been here for awhile. But it does seem right to take this opportunity to share a bit out her. She is one of the pillars of my life, a role model, mentor and beloved relation.

She has always been my Aunt, but she is really my first cousin one removed. But when she was a teenager she and her mother moved in with my mother's family. So she and my mother are "sisters" and that works for me.

In the early 1940's Aunt Nancy went with her uncle, William L. Nelson, a democratic representative from Missouri to Washington, DC. She lived in a boarding house and worked on the Hill. She worked for a succession of Missouri delegation folks and then in the late 40's, early 1950s whilst working for NY member, Frederic R. Coudert, from the "silk stocking district" of Park Avenue she met Kingie who worked in the office next door for the Congressman from PA.

Gertrude "Kingie" King was Nancy's life partner. They were my God Mothers and very important in my life. They were glamorous and travelled alot. They liked to go to golf resorts in exotic locations and they always came to visit my family as we lived in Panama or wherever. They always sent me things for my birthday (though often half a year from the date.. something I understand much better as an adult.) Kingie passed about a decade ago. I blush that I don't have a date.

The word "lesbian" was never uttered but one year at a family reunion I was thrilled when Nancy said "Hi, I'm Nancy Nelson and this is Gertrude King Nelson". One time when I was staying at their apartment I accidentally left a button on the floor of the closet that said "How dare you presume I'm heterosexual". I never got it back and I always wondered what they thought. Guess I'll never know. But I know that the acceptance my coming out as a lesbian met with came partly from their existence (and partly just because my folks rock).

Nancy and Kingie lived in the River House apartments across the street from the Pentagon in what is now Crystal City. When I was a kid it was in the middle of nowhere next to a forest planted by generations of Boy Scout Jamborees. Many of the photos you saw from the 9/11 Pentagon plane were taken from Aunt Nancy's apartment. Nancy had been in the bath when the plane hit but there was a clear view from her window. I visited in November that year and watched some of the clean-up. Nancy always had a guest book. I have read through, looking at all my visits over the years. For 9/11 she had all the reporters and photographers sign her book. I hope someone thinks to conserve it.

The last few times I visited Nancy she remembered me... but not the fact I had visited a few months before. We had a lovely time together but it was very hard to know that once I was out of the room she wouldn't remember I'd been there. A couple of weeks ago my mother reported that Nancy didn't remember her at all. None of us really expected her to make her 97th birthday but she did and one day more. She was a grand lady and I loved her very much. May she now be reunited with Kingie and may they be born again into places and times of love and learning and fun places to see.
rowanf: (berries)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
So Tuesday bright and early (well, not so bright, it was pretty foggy) found us on a bus to the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, TX. The trip took about an hour and a half and we passed many wildflowers along the road. Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrush and various daisies and others I can't recognize. Texas in April is a tribute to Lady Bird Johnson to this day.

The museum is partly in the old Nimitz Hotel which was where Admiral Nimitz grew up. It has been restored to somewhat of its 19th c. appearance and houses a history of the Nimitz family and a tribute to Admiral Nimitz. There is a large courtyard surrounded by stone walls upon which plaques dedicated to individuals, ships and squadrons are dedicated. Evidently there is also a large Museum of the Pacific War but many of us missed out on that fact.

The weather was chancy and so they held our ceremony of remembrance inside. Killer read the names and Zev rang the bell as each of the sailor's names was read. Then they remembered the wives who have passed (called their First Mates). Then a bugler played taps. It was very moving.

Then we processed outside where we found the plaque to the USS Amick covered iwth a fabric cover awaiting its unveiling. Killer & Zev lifted the cover and said a few words. Then we took lots of pictures of us and the plaque. We wandered around and found the plaque for the Astoria, the ship on which my uncle Gene Amick actually died and also a plaque to the Saco, the ship my father's brother was on.

After the unveiling we wandered around looking at plaques and then sat in a rose arbor for awhile. It was very interesting how many people came up to the guys and thanked them for their service. (They were wearing WWII vet tags that let them in the museum free.) People had their photos taken with them and plied them for stories. It was cool. Then it started sprinkling and we retreated under an overhang.

Evidently my folks and some others who knew there was an actual large Museum of the Pacific War went over there to view the exhibits. I'm sure it was very cool but I'm not sure but what I think the guys got as much out of the attention as they would have of exhibits about the war. They are mostly very well read on the topic it seemed.

We went off to lunch at the Peachtree Tea House where we were at four separate tables. I sat with my Mum and my sister and her daughter. Martha & Katie had driven down from Austin to meet us at the Museum. It was awesome to get a chance to visit with them! Katie (who can be found blogging at http://eco-monkeys.com/) is still a high school orchestra director but is getting very burnt out on the school where she is currently teaching. The administration is just that unsupportive. She plans to move on next year and maybe do like her brother and head overseas to teach. Martha is currently taking a class in bust-making and she showed me a bunch of busts from the Pacific War Museum of which she had taken pictures.

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After lunch we headed back to San Antonio where I processed my pictures and then dressed for the banquet. We had a lovely banquet set up for us by AFV and I chatted with folks and took more pictures. Then my stomach dictated it was time to retire and I went up and took allergy meds and imodium. *sigh*

Wednesday I caught a shuttle to the airport along with four of the reunion folks. It turned out Zev and I were on the same plane to Dallas so we got our seats changed to sit together. Zev is 88 and lives in North Carolina. He was fun to visit with and I'm really glad I had the chance to sit with him. Unlike the trip out, Dallas to San Jose was on time and I mostly slept through it.

Got home, had a lovely dinner and hangout with Russell and then got to bed on time. Being back home in our waterbed is a goodness. But I had a great trip and am really happy to have gone!
rowanf: (Rainbow Rose happy)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Sunday was much running to the airport as the USS Amick Reunion-goers arrived. I made hors d'oevre plates whilst Dad did shuttle duty. We put out quite a spread for our weary travelers who visited through the evening. The USS Amick was a WWII destroyer escort that was named after my mother's brother, Eugene Earle Amick who lost his life at the battle of Salvo in the Pacific. She was launched in 1943 and decommissioned in 1947 (from the US Navy -- she went on to the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Philippine Navy thereafter). So this reunion is of men who served on her between 1943 and 1947. There are six men left to attend and they are 85-90 years old, so this may well be the last such reunion.

This morning we got up and had breakfast in the cafeteria then caught a bus downtown to see the Alamo and take a Riverwalk tour boat. At 1pm we had lunch at Mi Tierra, an historical Mexican restaurant in the old Mercado area. The food was really fabulous. We came back and folks rested for awhile. Some people played washer toss (kind of like horseshoes with washers) and then we gathered in the meeting room and snacked and visited. Well, some people snacked. I was still plenty full from lunch. We are off to bed now as tomorrow we are going to dedicate a plaque to the Amick at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, TX. More on that tomorrow night perhaps.
rowanf: (lovers - swans)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
People keep asking for updates, so I guess I really have to write a couple of journal entries. *grin*

As my twitterfeed noted, I flew to San Antonio on Wednesday. It took 11 hours because of storms in Dallas holding up American Airline planes all over the country. Our plane was the last to land at SAT and the whole place was waiting for us so they could shut down. My plan was supposed to get there at 10pm but arrived at 2am the next day instead. Gah. Nonetheless, my parents were waiting at the airport and carried me home to their apartment in Air Force Village II.

Thursday I got the tour of the Village, including a perimeter walk to see the wildflowers. Then my mother and I went caching together. We took afternoon naps having had such a late night. Thursday was my folks 60th wedding anniversary so I took them out to dinner. They chose a place called the Alsatian Chalet Restaurant in Castroville (about 13 miles away). It was very nice with good Germanic food and a nice view of the Medina river valley.

Friday is their regular wii bowling in the lobby of the Village. I had played with Mum's wii a bit the night before but we did tennis so this was my first bowling attempt. They went to get groceries for the Reunion (I stayed home finishing up Noblegarden in WoW). My mother introduced me to the wii fit. I admit I like the fit exercises better than the sports.

Saturday there was a caching event celebrating a local cacher's 2000th cache. We went to the lunch and then hit a 17 cache series along a 2.2 mile hiking trail. (We backtracked quite a bit and probably did at least 2.5+ miles.) We found 17 caches but one wasn't part of the series. Not sure how we missed #14 of 17. They were the most boring series ever... all film cans zip-tied to tree branches. I am fairly sure our Bay Area reviewer would not have allowed it. It was all about numbers rather than creativity or interesting hides. We were totally beat, neither of us wearing good hiking shoes. We ate at the Bistro at the Village and turned in early.
rowanf: (child rowan broom)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
My parents have left for San Diego. Our plans were totally over thrown when my brother got a contract that kept him away over the weekend until Tuesday. So instead of driving down to celebrate my Day's 82nd birthday with Ralph we just stayed here.

Thursday night I picked the folks up at Travis AFB as they came in space available. It was quite grueling for me between the drive and the wait in the base visitor's center. Plus there were no boxed lunches on the plane as they'd been told so they hadn't eatin about 8 hours. We ate at a Red Lobster in Fairfield which was a bit of a treat. I hadn't eaten in one in a couple of years.

Friday we went to the SJ Farmer's Market so I could pick up my custom BBQ sauce. We bought berries, straw & rasp. The raspberries in particular were amazing. We went out to dinner at Su Hong with Brigid and had a lovely time visiting.

Saturday headed over to the Spirit of Japantown festival. We checked out the booths and ate at Minato. It was really hot though and we decided we just couldn't stay long enough for the Taiko drumming.

Sunday we walked around to Backesto Park where we did not find a cache. I had found it in 2005 and that didn't help at all. Then we walked down to another cache near 18th St which we did find. Yay for that.

Monday was Dad's birthday and we mostly just hung out together. I couldn't think of anything amazing to do. *grin* And he really just wanted to hang out. I gave him a run for his money in the family Snood tournaments over the visit. I took them out to the Outback (his choice) for a birthday dinner. I mentioned ey was his 82nd birthday as we came in and they gave him a sundae which was his perfect dessert.

Tuesday I put them on a bus to San Diego. The space available plane to Travis may make fairly regular trips getting here Thursday (flying on to Hawaii) and head back to Texas on Tuesday. If we can figure out transit somehow I might get to see more of them in times to come. Yay!
rowanf: (Default)
Russell and I have come up to San Francisco for our annual holiday in the City. Tonight it was supposed to be pouring rain but after raining all morning it cleared up. We walked down to Union Square and wandered around. No cool windows this year.

We had dinner at Cortez Restaurant, about a block from the Serrano in the Adagio Hotel. It was quite good (Michelin 1 star). One of those places where the chef likes to put constrasting tastes and textures together to tease the palate. Many of the combinations sounded a bit much. And the cocktails were way too strange. Russell had a "Gobbler" (which doesn't seem to be on the web menu was was very seasonal), I just had a Manhattan.

We started with "soup shots for two" with the soup of the day which was cream of parsnip. Yes, they really brought two vodka-shot size "shots" of soup. LOL I notice there was milkshake shots for two on the dessert menu... I detect a theme. For dinner Russell had the sea bass (Crisp Skinned Filet of Wild Sea Bass artichoke barigoule, sautéed salsify & bacon-rosemary broth) and I had a quite exquisite venison (Pan Roasted Venison poached Seckel pear, celery root purée, hazelnut & long pepper).

I couldn't talk Russell into sharing beignets, so for dessert I ordered a "flight of sweet wines" - a reisling, a port and a ben rey. I think I'd have preferred the muscat, late harvest sauterne & reisling but I took what was on offer. I wasn't in the mood for port. The ben rey was sweet and citrusy and quite interesting. The late harvest reisling was buttery and smooth and delicious.

Tomorrow we're off to Dickens Faire and the Storytime Festival.
rowanf: (tartan)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
After my fishing triumph, we headed over to the house to hang out with family until the wedding. They had set up tables for 170 guests in the back yard (yes, Christine does have quite the back yard!). They were out of diet Dr. Pepper? Why am I surprised, my family goes through it like mad. But dang! I had to nurse the one I brought all afternoon. *grin* They did a drink run and I switched to a nice BV Merlot my brother bought for me. Most folks were drinking beer or margaritas so I was happy to have that bottle!

It was fun to watch my siblings see old friends. Both Ralph & Martha went to High School in this area and this was like a HS reunion. I got introduced to all sorts of folks (including both of their first dates) and enjoyed the stories whirling around me. Russell was surprised that I didnt' know any more folks than he did really. There were a few of the young friends who remembered me - the older college sister who blew in during holidays occasionally. One women assured me that I "was her Grace Slick" and we agreed on the importance of getting our freak on from time to time. I was glad I had my braids and was still being the "weird older sister". *LOL*

In due course a very nice catered Mexican dinner (plus lasagna) was served. (Yes, the reception was before the wedding.) We ate and drank and the stories continued to flow. Russell was doing yeoman work taking pictures of everyone. He took over 900 snaps and now is busily going through them. Finally the bride was ready to come out but it was well after the 8pm proposed start and the light had gone. Russel had hoped not to have to use flash for the whole thing sincet hat light is so harsh. My Mum and Martha and I saw together down front. Ralph looked great in his suit, as did my brother, Paul, who stood as his best man. One of Christine's sons, Brandon, gave her away. Their friend Dave was the officiant and it was a hoot. It was the first stand up comedy wedding I have attended. There were various ads for the various tradespeople and small businesses of the bride and groom and their friends, there were silly anecdotes, there was much laughter... and they were well wedded. They headed off to the first dance and it was really lovely. I danced awhile but we had to be on the road to head home by 7:30 next day, so Russell and I took our leave before the cake was cut. We did pause and take a picture of the cake - with its lovely wooden swan centerpiece carved by my Mum.

Sunday we drove to Goleta again. LA wasn't as bad early Sunday morning as it had been Friday morning. I took a nap whilst Erika & Russell visited and we ate and were on the road again. Reaps was heading home from the Bay Area where he had spent the weekend and we met at a blueberry "you pick it" place where he had stopped to pick berries. It was nice to see him, since we had missed him in his absence. Also, he gave us some freshly picked blueberries! Yum!

We zoomed north and actually for awhile hoped to get home at a reasonable hour... but then we hit Soledad and it was 15-25 miles an hour all the way home. Given that we had stopped for a couple of hours at lunch time, it probably only took us a little over 10 hours. But we were on the road by 7:30 and home after 8pm and it was just a bloody long day. Boy howdy, I am not doing that drive again any time soon! I wouldn't mind going down and doing the rest of the zoo and visiting Ralph & Christine... but I want two days each way for the drive. Or fly. We filled up once before we left and once on the road, once in El Cajon and once on the way home... for a total of about $120 in gas. I love my Prius!

I took my camera to the wedding but I didn't take any pictures. Here is a pix from two years ago when I visited Austin. The bride & groom from this weekend are the blonde in the blue shirt and the guy in the red shirt in the front row. Everyone here except Katy & Tyler were at the wedding.

Back row - Katy, Alex, Mum, Tyler, Brandon
Sofa - Christine, Martha, Paul, Ralph, Rowan
rowanf: (navigatrix)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Saturday morning we got up bright and early and met my parents and sister at The Valley House restaurant, home of the Iowa Porker. An Iowa Porker is basically chicken-fried pork tenderloin served with country gravy, potatoes, and a homemade biscuit. Can you say Rowan food? It was better than any chicken-fried steak I have ever had and I am having very mixed feelings - oooh, I wish it was near me.... ooooh, I'm really glad it isn't near me! They evidently also serve it in a sandwich at lunch and with mashed potatoes for dinner. I promise you that if I find mysel fin Santee, CA again I am eating there for sure!

When we drove up to the Valley House my mother and sister were in the back parking lot looking for a cache. We weren't finding it, so we went to breakfast. But it was a quick find once our minds weren't clouded with hunger and we decided to spend the morning caching. My brother and his bride were off getting licenses and it was a nice chance to play hookey. Dad went back to the house in case he could help. Boy, Santee has an amazingly boring lot of park & grabs on fire hydrants. Good for the numbers (I'm now at 753 caches found) but the only place amongst them that I felt it was worth visiting was a virtual at an aerospace museum... which was closed. But we could get the info from the outside and were able to log it.

We dropped off my family and Russell and I went back to our hotel so I could participate in the Isle of Wyrms Final fishing tournament. My family, though a bit bemused by its virtuality are totally down with the idea that fishing tournaments are important. *LOL* I tied for first, which means I came in second. I won a hedgehog avatar and two riding snails! (I have put a picture of Lemmy just for illustrative purposes. I haven't tinted my hedgie yet (or even unpacked it) and I already have that snail so I won a different one. A real picture soon, I promise.)
rowanf: (Default)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Thursday I zoomed home and had a fishing tournament for North American qualifer for the big Isle of Wyrms Final over the weekend. I actually qualified for the big one! Go me. I'm the purple wyvern hatchie in the snapshot.

As soon as I got offline, Russell and I were in the car driving for Goleta where [livejournal.com profile] luverika had kindly offered us crash space to break our drive to San Diego to my brother's wedding. We got to Goleta around 11pm and fell over. We had a nice breakfast with Erika and headed to San Diego by 9am the next morning. Traffic through the LA Basin was awful even in the late morning. We didn't get to San Diego until about 3pm.

We stopped on the way to the zoo at a coffee shop where it was quite evident that San Diego Pride was the following day. We picked up a magazine called FlawLes with young, beautiful lesbians ala The L Word and photospreads to make a het man drool. I admit to a certain level of bafflement and wonder what the women I came out with back in the day would make of this zine. *laugh* I'm the older generation!! When did that happen?!

We had about 2-1/2 hours at the Zoo which isn't anything like enough but we had fun. Saw the bonobos and a variety of other monkeys and apes. Walked through the aviary but didn't see many birds (we went over in the gondola later and saw they were all in the crowns of the trees out of sight from the ground). It was nice to walk and stretch our legs after the long drive. I found the Zoo map and layout fairly incomprehensible, I must say.

Then we zoomed out to El Cajon to the rehearsal dinner. Not that Russell and I needed to rehearse but they invited us to dinner with them - it was pizza & beer so there was plenty for a couple more folks. *grin* We touched base with family and had a nice visit before heading back to our hotel.
rowanf: (Default)
Yesterday was another blur of being sick. I did start to feel more lucid and together by evening. Russell & I watched a couple of episodes of This American Life TV show (which Russell got from iTunes after Adobe gave him a $50 gift certificate). It is interesting to see them after having listened for so long. We had lamb burgers with spinach and mashed potatoes for dinner... I actually had enough energy to cook.

So today, I am at work. I admit that I am exhausted by the least thing... getting from my car to my desk, walking out to the front to get newspapers, walking to the mailroom, shelving magazines. I have a 1pm meeting and I mean to make it that far... but then I'm going home. I've been here three hours and I feel like I've run a race. I cancelled the Pagan Singing Group for tonight because there is no way I will have energy by then... and I heard from most of the regulars that their lives are crazy and they hadn't been able to come either.

My mother has figured out how to get onto IM from her hospital room so we are chatting comfortably as usual. She thinks they will let her go home tomorrow. Instant messaging is the best technology! My mother rocks!

Tomorrow I am going to fly to Chicago for the Second Life Community Convention. I still don't know which track I'm going to attend. Probably a mix of machinima, education, business and social. Though they'd like if we would choose a track and go to that. I am staying with one of the librarians I work with inworld and there will be a number of us there. Lori Bell is leading a panel on "creating learning communities". We're planning all go out to dinner on Saturday. I am very conflicted about whether to bring a lot of hall costuming. There will probably be a lot of media there off and on and I don't know that I want to stand out. But costuming is so much a part of my experience of Cons. We shall see!

Conjure seems to finally be back in service - but gmail is probably the best way to contact me for the moment anyway. And moved my lj forwards there.
rowanf: (Default)
Nothing to report in my life - I'm still fighting a virus and mostly sleeping. I did have a fun foray into SL last night and went step dancing at an Irish bar with Scar. Pix in my flickrstream. *grin*

But I'm making this post because I just talked to my folks. My mother sounds cheerful and lucid. My Dad is finally believing it will be okay. They've decided to keep her in the hospital for a few more days to supervise getting her meds back in order. And incidentally... unrelated to the current stroke, they found that her right carotid artery is about 80% blocked. They'll be doing surgery to clear that in about a month. That will prevent a stroke that was building up on that side from ever happening. So in a way this small stroke got that seen to. *shiver*

Thank you so much to everyone who responded with support to my last post. I am so blessed in my friends. And please keep the energy going to my mother so that this stroke resolves and the surgery to prevent another one goes well. I love you all.
rowanf: (crown)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
When I was a child, my parents were very definite about a ritual they had - neither would leave the house without kissing the other goodbye. They said an insurance study had shown that people who were kissed before they left the house had fewer accidents. But that was really just an excuse to show their love for each other. I have continued the practice of "insurance" in my marriages too.

Sunday morning, my father went into to kiss my mother goodbye as he went off to play some early morning handball (or something like that). She said something nonsensical and he recognized that she had had a stroke and called 911. If he hadn't been a physician himself and if he hadn't had the lifelong habit of kissing her goodbye things might have gone much worse. As it is she is recovering very well. Mum passed her cognitive tests this morning with ease and they will probably only keep her in hospital another 24 hours. We hope for a full recovery.

Thank you to all my friends in various networks who are sending her energy. I really appreciate it and along with the prayers of her community and my father's quick action it seems to be doing the trick.
rowanf: (Default)

Dad&fish2007
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
So this morning my Dad & I headed out to Lake LBJ to his fish camp. The marina there is under renovation so we went to his friend's house where his boat is curently living to fish from her dock. We had hardly put line in water before a 12" black bass hit my line. He caught a smaller Guadalupe bass in quick succession. We threw them back. Still trying to get set up, I stood up and walked to our stuff and something pulled one of my fishing poles clear into the water and it was lost. Huh. No telling what kind of fish that was, but it must have been big!

Things were quiet for awhile and then we caught another black bass. We figured we had gotten the "dock watchers" and wandered over to the neighbor's dock to see what we could find there. We caught a sunfish and quite a nice catfish which we put in the fish basket in case we caught enough to make it worthwhile to carry him off. Then a nice croppie. It was rising lunchtime so we wandered back to his friend's deck where we had left our snacks. We continued to fish (or rather lose minnows to things that nibbled but didn't catch a hook). Dad decided to walk over to yet another neighbor's dock and caught two more croppie and a fresh water drumfish. The day was rising hot (we had had a lovely overcast morning to fish in) and we decided to take the three croppie and the catfish off to his buddy and head home. So in about five hours we caught six different species and nine fish altogether. It was really nice.

And driving out to Kingsland was really nice, it is almost past the wildflowers season but there were still plenty of yellow daisies, firewheel daisies, indian paintbrush, white thistle, primroses and bluebonnets. I kept wanting to take a picture but it was all along the highway and there wasn't a good way to do so.

We got home around 4pm and I admit to being pretty tired. It was a great day though.
rowanf: (navigatrix)
Saturday my father and I went to the grocery store across the street from Nancy's apartment and he made Shepherd's Pie for dinner. We visited and had a nice evening together.

Sunday morning I got up and took the Metro over to DC and went caching by myself. I took the yellow line to the Archives/Navy Memorial where I did the "Lone Sailor" virtual. I had never seen this memorial before and it was really very cool.
Lone Sailor statue )
Then I went to one near Ford's Theater and was just finishing one up near Chinatown when a gentleman drove up and was obviously checking out the site looking for the cache info. I said "hi" and we introduced ourselves. He was Flowerman, the guy who had hidden the big cache my father and I found yesterday! He offered to give me a ride and I told him I had just been going to take the Metro back down to the Mall. He said the best place to start was the Lincoln Memorial and he would take me there. I said I had also been hoping to hit one of the real cache like Secret Garden or Rose Park so I could do a bug drop. He said Rose Park was one of his and he took me to the vicinity and waited for me to find it. He then dropped me off down by the Lincoln Memorial and I got seven more virtuals along the Mall for a total of 10 virtual caches and the one real cache. I picked up a TB from Rose Park and Flowerman gave me one he had that he thought would do well to go to California. It is looking to visit National Parks.

I hadn't seen the Korean or WWII memorials before. Korea in particular still had lots of tributes from Veteran's Day. There were more individual remembrances up at the WWII Memorial though.
Korea Memorial with floral tributes from Veteran's Day )

I was supposed to be back in Pentagon City by noon, but the first Metro station I hiked to was closed and I called and said I'd be late. Our cousins Jeanne and Jack were due at 1pm, so that was what I was now shooting for. I got there at 1:10, not bad given the extra hike and the long Sunday intervalsl between trains. Altogether today I hiked almost 10 miles (9.7 miles). Go me!

The folks and I and Aunt Nancy and Jack & Jeanne had a nice lunch of leftover Shepherd's Pie and caught up on kids, grandkids and great-grandkids. *laugh* After J&J left, we were sitting around talking about the tchotckes on Aunt Nancy's table and a lovely Murano glass piece got my Dad telling stories about being a Merchant Seaman in WWII. I knew he had been sunk off England (where he was a "destitute seaman" for awhile) but I hadn't realized he had been all over the Mediterranean before that. When I was in DC I went to the WWII Memorial (there is a very funny virtual there) and I had used the kiosk to look up my mother's eldest brother who was lost in the Pacific. He was buried at sea and it had never occurred to her that there might be a memorial stone but evidently there is the Manila American Cemetery in Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Phillipines. It would be nice to get a photo of that.

Around 4:30, Dad & I came back to the hotel so he could take a nap and I could log my caches. At 6:30 we rejoined Mum and Aunt Nancy and went to Wolfgang Puck Express for dinner. This is the first time I've seen Nancy go further than the elevator in her apartment. It was nice to see her out and about. She is more frail each time I see her. I can't remember if I've been back since 11/2001. But she has more osteoporosis and has shrunk considerably. She is still pretty sharp (though of failing memory) and my mother is impressed that she doesn't need glasses at all at age 92. We should all be so lucky! And my mother at only 77 has whiter hair. *laugh*

Aunt Nancy and my parents )

We came back and packed and I read Mum the Helena chapter from The Seven Daughters of Eve. It was fun to share my research on genetic genealogy and on the whole mitochondrial DNA universe. And now I really should get to bed, our flight is very early tomorrow morning.

May 2015

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