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April 2017

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Oof... it's Monday morning (barely) already... where did the weekend go??

I remember having "spare" time... I really do. But there certainly was none to spare this weekend!

Friday after work, it wasn't raining and the grass seemed reasonably un-soggy, so I came straight in, changed into yardwork clothes and managed to get the front yard mostly mowed. Also discovered that I have baby robins in the crotch of the apple tree, so I gave it a fairly wide berth after momma bird cussed me out for getting too close to her babies. Walked over and had a lovely chat w/ the elderly couple next-door... they're getting ready to be traveling for awhile, so I'm glad I got to visit with them before they left town.

Saturday was a blur of rotating dogs in and out (I have my two, plus a foster dog who's on crate rest and has to be leash-walked, plus Barry and Sally's girls were visiting for the weekend) while doing laundry and random bits of housework. I did spend some time just hanging out in the yard with the dogs, which was nice. We've had such a wet, chilly spring that the occasional moments of sunshine are worth treasuring. Did some work on the fire department's website, practiced guitar for awhile, and went to bed at a semi-civilized hour so I could get up early on Sunday.

Sunday got busy... children's museum, zoo, and my first run w/ the local fire department... all back here behind the cut! )

So now I'm finally relaxing! Doing some paperwork for work that I would normally do tomorrow, but I have a vacation day tomorrow! Hip Hip Hooray!! If the dogs will let me, I'm going to sleep late, then I'm probably going to work on the fire department's website for a good chunk of the day. I have most of the info I need, and my target go-live date is the end of this month. And now one of the guys wants a website for his business. Eep. I don't need to actually sleep, right? 'Cause that's about all the "spare" time I have left!
So... because I needed another project like I need a hole in my head, I seem to have joined the local volunteer fire department.


Not as a firefighter... I'm so not in shape enough to do that! But as of this afternoon, I'm the photographer/web/PR-person for the Frankton Volunteer Fire Department. Nifty, eh?

All this got started a few weeks back when there was a huge barn fire at a dairy farm a couple of miles from my house (no animals were in the barn at the time, thankfully). In the process of watching all the trucks go by... and by again... and back and forth some more (all the tankers were going back into Frankton to refill)... I went looking for the fire department's website and realized it hadn't been updated since 2007. So I mocked up a site in Wordpress and started talking to the Chief about taking on hosting/updating the website for them. (Yay for small towns... need to get in touch w/ the fire chief? Call the town hall and ask nicely and they'll give you his cell phone number. :-))

This afternoon, they had their first monthly meeting since we started talking, and I went to the meeting to give them a demo of the site and to meet the guys. Apparently they liked the site (and me), because by the end of the meeting they had voted me in (which gets me covered by their insurance at incidents), gave me a pager and a key to the fire station, and they're getting me a reflective vest and an ID. As soon as the latter two get done, I can start responding to incidents and taking pictures and video for the website, so my photography and journalism skills will get dusted off and used for something more than writing updates about the dogs. I'm still a little stunned at how fast the official parts all took place... I really wasn't expecting to walk out of today's meeting w/ a key to the station. Eep!

So now I'm working on pulling together updated info so we can make the site live, and I'm hoping to launch the new site by the end of May!


I remember spare time. I do. It's becoming an increasingly vague memory, but that's okay...
Saturday was cloudy and about 8 degrees warmer than had been threatened... we started the day at 52 and cloudy and the temps dropped a bit over the course of the morning, but the rain held off other than a bit of really heavy mist about 2/3rds of the way through the course. I met up w/ a couple of work friends at the office and we carpooled downtown, lucking into a parking space that wasn't either too expensive or too far from the festivities.

By "starting time" I think we were still several blocks (and probably 20,000 people) from the actual starting line, but that was okay... we were there to have fun, not to set any speed records. :-) Spent a lot of the race reading the signs on various other participants' backs... especially poignant was the family walking in memory of wife/mom/sister/aunt who had lost her battle during the last year and who couldn't have been more than mid-30s. Seeing all the people wearing "Survivor" shirts really brought home just how many people this awful disease affects.

Lots of folks dress up for the race, so there were men in hot pink mohawks (and at least one guy with a bright fuschia beard), lots of bright pink feather boas and some really entertaining hats (the best were the baseball caps all "decorated" with different fancy bras), plus a lot of themed t-shirts ranging from the humorous to the serious and in-between ("Got Boobs? Get 'em checked!").

Pictures are here 2011 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and that's a public gallery... no Facebook login required.

Thanks again to all my friends who supported my walk this year! I was thrilled to be able to raise $675 for a good cause!

Oh yeah... the shopping... there was a lot of Race for the Cure merch for sale for those who were willing to brave the somewhat claustrophobic conditions in the merch tents, with (according to the tags) "at least 22.5% of the price" being donated to the Komen Foundation. I'm not a big fan of pink (that's an understatement) but they had a nice long-sleeved black t-shirt w/ a flock of gray ribbons running across it, led by just one of the ribbons in signature pink, so I picked up that, a pair of logo sock (which I'll wear for next year's walk) and an "Imagine life without breast cancer" armband.
I'm off to bed, so I can be up bright (cloudy?) and early in the morning for the Race for the Cure.

I'm thrilled (and somewhat astonished) to announce that my donations total is currently at $675. You guys rock!

(And yes, I know I said my earlier post was the last one about this, but I meant the last one where I was actually asking for money. I may keep thanking y'all for awhile!!)

last chance!

Apr. 15th, 2011 10:34 am
tollermom: (roses)
My online friends have really come through for me in this fundraising campaign for my first ever participation in Indy's Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Can we get a little farther before morning?

It's gonna be cold and wet in the morning. Thanks to you guys, I'm over the $300 mark for donations, but I'd certainly feel warmer in the morning if we could push that to $500. :-) Donation Page

For those of you who've donated already... thank you so much!! Every time one of those "One of your friends has donated" emails shows up from, I get warm fuzzy feelings.

For those who haven't donated... can a few of you spare a few dollars? I know some of you can't afford to donate. Trust me, I totally understand that mortgages and groceries and car repairs are vital.

I promise this is my last post about this, at least 'til next year. :-)

(Update: While I was writing this, more donations came in and my total is $365 now! Rock on!!!)
This weekend is Indy's Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5k, raising money to cure breast cancer.

I'm walking! 5k... on Saturday morning... when it's predicted to be in the 40s and maybe raining. Eww.

Most of you know me. Exercise... really not my thing. :-P But it's a good cause, and I needed an excuse to get off my butt and do something, so there it is.

I'm currently $85 short of my $250 fundraising goal. Some of you reading this have already donated... thank you for that! But for the rest of you, if you could spare a few bucks, I'd really appreciate it. $10 here and $10 there really adds up.

Debbie's Donation Page

Thanks in advance!! :-)

Also... ladies... are you due for a mammogram? If so, what are you waiting for? Get it scheduled!!!

Seriously... in September, I had a scare with an abnormal mammogram, and a couple of tense weeks of getting re-squashed and ultrasounded and all those less-than-entertaining things. Thankfully, it wasn't anything serious, but it made me think about the fact that my dad's sister had a radical mastectomy when she was younger than I am now. So, in the interests of healthy breasts everywhere... schedule your mammogram! And feel free to toss some money to a good cause if you can.
Pre-reg for FilKONtario closes on Monday!

That's only a few days away. Do you know where your registration is? (And if not, why not? Go! Register now!!)

It's gonna rock, after all!
So, who all's going to FKO?

We had Wild Mercy rehearsal on Sunday, even though poor [ profile] harperjen had the crud and laryngytis, and finalized our set list and ran through a few things. It's the best bits of the set list we'd planned for Capricon, then the set list that actually got played by our "Trouble Comes in Threes" incarnation, which works out to a solid hour of rockin' tunes! It's gonna be a great concert, and I'm sooooooo looking forward to FKO.

This is my first FKO! Can you believe it? I keep trying to go, and it keeps not working out (it being in the middle of our fiscal year-end craziness at work has been contributory in past years), so I'm really fired up about it. And there are going to be lots of people there that I've never met, including [ profile] talis_kimberley, who I had hoped to meet when she was at Duckon, then my truck died and caused me to stay home.

And there will be lots of people who I normally only see once a year or once every couple of years at OVFF, so that will be fun too. One of the best parts of getting out of our "home" region is getting to see and hear filkers that I don't see often. I guess after FKO, GaFilk will have to be my next "I haven't made it there" goal for filk cons. :-)

So, back to my original question... who all's gonna be at FKO? It's coming up really _soon_ now, so plan fast if you haven't planned already!

Tomorrow marks the end of Trevor’s second week here at Reddog Central, and he’s come a long way in a very short time! Big improvements in housebreaking, crate training, knowing his name and the meaning of “No!” and, best of all, being able to play outside with both of my dogs! He’s been on doxycycline for eight days now, so three weeks more ’til he can start his heartworm treatment.

Trevor enjoys the run of the yard

Except for the very first day, he hasn’t tried to mark in the house, but he was tethered to me for all of the first week, so he had very little opportunity. I’ve now received Belly Bands that fit him, so he can have more freedom without me having to worry about the furniture, but I’m not sure they were necessary. He seems to have quickly realized that marking is Not Allowed in the house. He’s had no accidents in his crate after the first couple of days, either, which makes me very happy.

This week's milestones... )

Next steps… leash manners, “sit,” “wait” and taking treats gently (those last two are related… to each other and to my bruised finger).

The vet called with the results of Trevor’s last test today. No intestinal parasites! Yippee! I knew the shelter had wormed him, but the wormer they use doesn’t kill whipworms, and finding out whether he was clear of those was the last barrier to him being able to have unsupervised play time in the yard with my guys.

A tale of meds, and dogfood, and testosterone... )

So now I spend the next 30 days giving Trevor his antibiotics and trying to put some weight on him. Also, continuing to introduce him and Drummer. I tried yesterday… Trevor and Thunder were out in the backyard, and I took Drummer out on lead. They started off just sniffing, but then there was some generalized grumbling from both of them, so I wasn’t willing to turn them loose together quite yet. Boys. I swear. You could cut the testosterone with a knife.

It’s going to be an interesting few months, I can tell!

The new foster dog is settling in nicely, and I think he’s a Trevor. It came down to Trevor and Sparky in the end. He could be a Sparky… I think he’s got the personality for it… but I think Trevor works better for him learning things, since it’s vaguely close enough to the sound of Drummer and Thunder that calling any of the names in the backyard tends to get the whole pack moving (which is usually what I want if I’m calling them in from the yard, for instance). So he’s getting used to “The nice lady yells something that ends in “-er” and we all run back to the house.” Hey, it’s a start… I’ll take my training babysteps wherever I can get ‘em.

Yesterday was busy )

Finally back home, poor Trevor was going a little stir crazy with nothing but leash walks, so I decided he could have some supervised time out in the yard with Thunder. The two of them played like puppies… it was so cute! Lots of play bowing and bouncing around. Trevor definitely has a good repertoire of doggy body language, and he doesn’t really show any effort to be alpha, so that bodes well for him and Drummer getting along (I may do that introduction this afternoon).

Pictures and a Movie )

The shrieking you may hear in the background of the video is Drummer, who had to stay inside and miss all the fun. He was not a happy boy!

Originally published at

Short update until I have time to post more. I have a new foster dog (who currently needs a name). He’s an English Setter, very sweet, picked up as a stray in New Castle, IN, a few weeks ago. I picked him up from the shelter yesterday and ran him by Caring Hands for bloodwork to (a) check his heartworm status and (b) pull pre-op bloodwork in hopes that heartworm would be negative and I could schedule him to be neutered ASAP.

Unfortunately, my vet called me this morning to let me know the heartworm test was positive, so I guess he’ll be with me for awhile while he goes through treatment. :-(

More when I know it. Working with my vet and the rescue to formulate the plan for going forward.

Originally published at

Whee! At this time two nights from now, I should be in open filk at Capricon, or possibly having a fast concert set run-thru with [ profile] harperjen and [ profile] sweetmusic_27 before decamping to open filk for the rest of the evening.

For most of the weekend, you'll be able to find me in the Capricon Cafe, where I have a set on Friday afternoon and where I'll be running sound for most of the other sets on Friday and Saturday.

Saturday night, we have Semi-Feral Mercy: Trouble Comes in Threes! (We decided that if Jen and I are "Half-Wild", then Jen, Amy and I are just Trouble. :-)) There will be harp! There will be fiddle! There will be guitar and percussiony bits.

We'll be doing songs you've never heard Wild Mercy perform! We may even be doing songs that we've never heard Wild Mercy perform (see earlier comment about a concert run-thru on Friday night... this would be why :-)). After all, we have to take advantage of having our very own fiddler, which doesn't happen nearly often enough, so we may go back to our roots and do actual traditional Celtic tunes. (Ooooh... aaaaah...)

Whatever happens, it will be fun, and you should totally be there!

(Oh, yeah... bring your voice, 'cause there will be singalongs.)
[ profile] min0taur's mother, Libby, passed away this evening. [ profile] harperjen had gone to the nursing home this afternoon to play harp for Libby, Barry and the rest of the family, and while the rest of the family went to get some dinner, Jen and Barry stayed and started playing "Mantra" on harp and guitar and Libby just peacefully slipped away, surrounded by love and music.

As Sally put it, "Actively helping a person make the transition is almost too profound for words.  People forget the power of music to touch people so deeply in terms of bodily responses and spirituality.  We treat music as a product, when, in fact, it's a powerful transformer.  Other cultures haven't forgotten this, and I'm ever grateful that some people in our culture haven't forgotten it either.  I'd say if people want to do something, they can donate to any of the Alzheimer's organizations."

Sally asked me to pass the word, since she and Barry are likely to be too busy to get to Facebook and LJ for the next few days. If anyone wants direct email addresses, feel free to contact me (debbie at reddogs dot com). I'll pass along additional info as i know it.
Home from Wild Mercy rehearsal, where we were picking our set list for Capricon. Taking advantage of having [ profile] sweetmusic_27 there, it's a very fiddle-heavy set. :-)
Wow... I've been bad about not posting here on any remotely regular basis, haven't I?

Sorry about that... I'll try to do better! :-)

Now that we've all survived the holidays, Wild Mercy is focusing on our next couple of conventions. First up, we'll be at Capricon next month, where we'll be joined by [ profile] sweetmusic_27! I think all of us have Capricon Cafe sets, and I'll be working the Cafe all weekend running sound, so I should be easy to find. Wild Mercy has a concert on Saturday night before open filk, and we'll do some new stuff, and some old stuff, and some Far Light stuff. (If you have favorites you want to suggest, now would be the time!)

So who all's gonna be at Cap? I know Xap, Gundo and Roper will be, 'cause they're all working. :-) What about the rest of you? Chime in!

Next up after Capricon is FKO!!! We're wildly excited to be the GOHs at FKO this year and it's hard to believe that it's only a few months away now. There will be music, and workshops, and more music, and I fully expect that hilarity will ensue. I'm extra excited because not only is it my first-ever FKO, it's my first trip to Canada! (I know... I know... I've lived w/in driving distance of the border for almost 15 years and never actually made the trip... and I even have Canadian dogs!!) I hope we're going to see lots of you there in April!
Thinking back over 2010, I'm trying to give it the benefit of the doubt and remember the good stuff as well as the crappy stuff.

the year that was... )

and the year to come... )

There's more stuff that could go in both lists, but I think that's the most important bits.

May the new year treat us all with grace and compassion, and may everyone accomplish what they're hoping for in the upcoming year!
Just a brief note since I haven't updated here recently...

Tonight was our UUI (Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis) Winter Solstice Celebration, which is a wonderful public ritual full of singing and chant and drumming and readings. I think we had the best group of readers that we've ever had this year, and they and the narrator set the tone beautifully for the service. The choir was totally on, the drumming was rockin', and we had a packed house as we started in the dark, progressed to the lighting of candles (it's amazing how much a room brightens up when 300 people hold lit candles) and on to the singing/dancing/energy-raising portion of the evening, then we chilled out a bit to bring everybody back to earth before we shared a feast and sent everyone back out into the cold to make their way home. It was fabulous. I absolutely love this ritual, and it's the kickstart that I needed to get out of my BahHumbugs and start really appreciating the Yule season.

Best of all... we get to do it again tomorrow! We have permission to take the whole ritual out to the Indiana Women's Prison tomorrow. A couple of the folks who volunteer out there have already been teaching the women some of the chants and singalong tunes, and I think it's going to be a blast to take this ritual, which is an old friend now that we've done it seven (eight?) years in a row, and translate it into a completely new environment.

We rocked tonight. We'll rock again tomorrow. Then there will be a total lunar eclipse of a full moon on the actual night of the solstice. Spring has no choice now... We Have Spoken!

C'mon back, sun!! :-)
So... originally I had scheduled gallbladder surgery for the day before Thanksgiving, because the surgeon thought it would keep getting worse and therefore shouldn't be put off. But, you know, he's a surgeon and it's his job to cut. Me... I haven't had even the slightest twinge from the gallbladder since the first week in September (when it landed me in the emergency room for an evening), and I'm just not sure I really want to go through surgery for something that may or may not continue to be a problem. So I cancelled the surgery. In hindsight, this was a good thing, 'cause that freed me up to take a Semi-Feral Mercy gig this coming Wednesday, so Jen and I will be playing from 7-10pm at the Plainfield Claddagh. W00t!

Three hours. Damn. That's a lot of music. That's a lot of music without being able to rely on Barry's guitar chops or Sally's percussion. Hmmm... So there's been a lot of guitar practice in my week (and I have the ouchy fingertips to prove it!). Tomorrow, I drum for church in the morning, then Jen and I rehearse in the afternoon. Wednesday is the gig. Thursday, Thanksgiving at [ profile] textdeviant's, for which I promised to make chocolate pastry cake. This could be complicated, since I won't get home 'til late on Wednesday, and the cake needs to set up overnight before being served. Meh. I'll figure it out. Sleep is overrated, right? :-)

Tuesday, I had a guy out to quote swapping my (existing, brought from prior house) heat pump and thermostat in to replace the plain A/C currently in the house. I'd have to have a new heater coil too, and the price turned out to be totally reasonable. Not something I can afford right now, but definitely something that can be planned for, and it will get me closer to not needing the blasted propane, since the heat pump can provide heat until temps are down to about freezing. I also acquired a Comfort Furnace freestanding ceramic heater which is currently heating the entire upstairs, and Thursday I came home early and met the chimney sweep, who gave the chimney and Buck Stove a thorough cleaning and pronounced them safe for use. So even w/out swapping out the heat pump, I may be able to get through this winter w/out paying for propane (I spent $1600 on propane last winter... I can't do that again!!). Haven't had a fire yet, but I did bring a good selection of damp firewood onto the back porch so it can dry out.

I've scheduled several shifts to work Christmas at the Zoo. Unfortunately, shortly after scheduling, I got an invitation to a drum event on one of the same evenings, so I may try to shift my schedule around. Currently scheduled for four shifts... Saturday, Dec. 4, Saturday, Dec 11 (this is the one I may reschedule), Tuesday, Dec. 21, and Thursday, Dec. 30. Working as fire pit monitor all shifts, 4:30-9pm, so come warm up and hang out w/ me if you come to the zoo on any of those evenings! :-)

I'll also be drumming for the UUI Winter Solstice again, which will be on Saturday, Dec. 18, this year, with a repeat performance on Sunday afternoon at the women's prison. Then I leave on either the 22nd or 23rd for a few days in Mississippi w/ the family for the holidays.

For now, I think I'll practice some more guitar. Learning [ profile] cadhla's "Wicked Girls" for the gig. Yay!
Jen and I have a gig at the Claddagh Irish Pub in Plainfield, IN, on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (7-10 pm... join us!!). This would have been a full Wild Mercy gig but for the fact that Barry and Sally will be five states away at the time and we haven't yet perfected the transporter.

This, of course, has led to discussions of "What do we call ourselves when we're only half the band?" A variety of names were bandied about and mostly discarded, and the gig flyers are for Half-Wild Mercy, 'cause I was out of time and I wanted something that made it clear that it wasn't the whole band for that night.

I stopped by Barry and Sally's to pick up the keyboard last night, and Sally tossed out a new idea, which led to this discussion via text message w/ Jen...

Me: Sally posits that half-wild mercy is semi-feral mercy. This amuses me.

Jen: Should we behave differently as half-wide than as semi-feral? Or, for that matter, differently than when we are fully Wild Mercy?

Me: Well, both variants sound like we're at least partially civilized... or we have the potential to be. Of course, it also allows us to be much less predictable. :-)

Jen: Bwahahahaaa!

So, ladies and gentlemen, I give you... Semi-Feral Mercy!