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I spent a great portion of 2011 in a state of near-panic about financial issues, which tended to overshadow other things on a day-to-day basis, but when I look back at the year, it was really a pretty good year (especially when compared to 2010, which definitely overstayed its welcome).

So, what did I do with my year?? )

So yeah... eventful year, and one that I could look back on and find a lot of negatives, but instead I look back and realize that I have amazing friends (both new and old), I have challenging volunteer opportunities that I enjoy and which get me out of my house and interacting with people, I've got four healthy dogs (counting the visiting Nick) and four healthy cats, and I got to spend the year making really incredible music with Wild Mercy. So I'll count 2011 as a win for me and challenge 2012 to be even better for all of us!
Wow... so I kinda forgot to update here after the "Eek I have to have surgery!" post.

After going to the walk-in (irony, there) clinic on Tuesday and finding out I needed surgery, I got a call from the scheduler on Wednesday telling me that Dr. Hupfer could fit me in on Thursday. Thursday? Like, _tomorrow_ Thursday??? EEEEEK!!

But it needed to be done sooner rather than later, and I started making panic-stricken calls and emails to see if we could get everything arranged in time. Jen, Barry and Michael came up after work and moved my bed from the basement to the living room, and staged everything else that I would need in easy reaching distance. Various friends offered to Debbie-sit, and I put them all in an email together and let them sort out the scheduling. Bob offered to take me to the hospital on Thursday afternoon, and Jen offered to pick me up and bring me home, and Liz was onboard to stay for the first night. My friend Christin, who's showing Nick for me (loaner dog visiting from Canada), and her mom (mostly her mom) agreed to take the dogs while I was out of commission, and Sherri came up and helped me haul the entire canine crew off to boarding.

Before I had a chance to panic, everything was arranged and Bob was whisking me off to IOH for surgery. According to Dr. Hupfer, the surgery went well and they were able to put me back together with a plate and five pins without need of the syndesmosis screw (between the tibia and fibula) that would have required me to be non-weight-bearing for months instead of only a week or so. Jen and Liz managed to get seriously drugged me into the house and settled in bed and the next couple of days kinda went by in a blur. (Sidenote: Percocet is good stuff. Also, oxycodone makes me itchy... apparently this is normal, but it freaked me out at first. Benadryl and Percocet combine for Really Good Sleep, which is most of where Friday and Saturday disappeared.) After Liz took the first night shift, Rexene came up and stayed for the next couple of days, and we made good use of the supplies laid in by Li, who ensured that I'd have easy to fix/eat foot for convalescing.

So... here we are on Tuesday... almost five days later. Spending a week in bed is getting old, but my energy levels are about up to hobbling to and from the bathroom and anything beyond that is gravy. Actually assembling food is kinda possible, but carrying it from kitchen to somewhere for eating isn't really a possibility when both hands are busy with crutches, so I still have people coming by and making sure I stay fed. Liz is back today, and she brought cookies. Yum. Also, crocheting, which is amusing the cats (Izzy keeps trying to help).

Friday, I have a 9:15 a.m. appointment to go get the staples out and (hopefully) a real cast to replace the current fiberglass splint and miles of gauze and ACE bandage. If I'm really lucky, I will get ordered to start putting some weight on it, which might liberate me from All Crutches All The Time, which would be nice. If nothing else, being able to hobble on one crutch and carry things in one hand would be a novel change. :-)

Sunday, we have a fire department picnic for 9-11, where I get to go and convince them that "No, I'm not quitting because of this... seriously, guys, you're stuck with me!" :-)

Til then... sleep... lots of sleep. And maybe cookies.
Greetings, faithful LJers!

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. However, having been hit by a raging attack of volunteerism, I've found that my time for even things like answering email has gone the way of the Dodo, and updating LJ/Facebook/Twitter/etc., just really hasn't been happening. Occasional short things to Facebook, and a couple of tweets early this morning, but not much even in that short format.

So here's the basic rundown.

July 22-24, went to Confluence... had a lovely time... heard some great music.

July 28, went to first Firefighter Mandatory (hereafter known as FFM) class.

July 31-Aug 2, went to Canada... had a lovely time... came home with a puppy (and his dad). Puppy is Petey and is insanely cute. Dad is Nick and is the most laid-back Toller ever. Petey is permanent. Nick is visiting. Missed a FFM class while driving back from Peterborough.

Aug 4, went to second FFM class, on SCBA use. This was only the second time I'd ever put on my turnout gear and an airpack. Discovered that crawling on concrete (simulating search patterns in dark/smoky house) is really hard on knees. Ow.

Aug 5-7, went to Musecon... had a lovely time... heard some great music... did lots of puppy socialization... proved to people that not all Tollers are as busy as Drummer.

Aug 8, took pictures at a barn fire less than a mile from my house, then worked half a day, which wasn't enough time to catch up on the email that had piled up while I was off the previous week.

Aug 10, FFM class on search and rescue (in structure fires... not in the open).

Aug 12-14, worked security for IndyFurCon with the Dorsai Irregulars. Spent too much time hanging out and not enough time sleeping, as the DI are a highly entertaining bunch to spend time with, and I don't see some of them very often.

Aug 13 (note overlap w/ above), had five-hour practical session doing search patterns in a very very dark two-story building at the training center. Knees and shoulder are officially on strike, but I survived. Still have one sign-off to get from that section, but we're going to do it next time we're at the training center, as it wasn't worth pushing the bad shoulder any farther on Saturday.

Aug 14 (note continued overlap), worked IFC shift in a.m., then actual Indy Zoo shift in p.m. Went home, snuggled dogs, took a nap, and went back to work the dance at IFC. Hung out talking to some of the other Dorsai Folk (that's those of us who work contracts w/ the DI but who aren't DI ourselves) 'til stupidly late. Headed home, anticipating arriving around 2:30 a.m. Got diverted by a fire department page for a motorcycle vs deer accident. Took pictures of downed motorcycle for run report. Finally got home about 3:30 a.m., let all the dogs out to do their thing, put everybody back up, and fell in bed sometime after 4 a.m. Alarm clock was not my friend at 6:45 this morning.

Today is an exercise in trying not to fall asleep at my desk. Whee! Tonight, more S&R/SCBA practicals, hopefully also posting updates to FD website for last several incidents, then sleep... blessed blessed sleep...
Busy busy busy...

Firefighter Mandatory class started Thursday night. Three-hour class turned into four and we still didn't actually get to finding turnout gear, so I go back in the morning to see if we can find gear that fits me. That should be fun.

Things you never think about (or at least I didn't, til now)... it takes a crapload of hose to run a fire department, and all that hose has to be pressure tested every year! We've tested 12,000 feet of hose in the last few weeks. 5-inch hose, even empty, weighs a lot. With water in it, don't bother trying to move it.

Got word today that I passed my HazMat Awareness and Operations test, so I have my first official certifications now. Also, my very own Indiana PSID (Public Safety ID) number. Kinda nifty. Test was hard and I was worried. I'm really glad I don't have to take that one again!

More training, and a puppy! )

Apparently I've lost my mind. Eep!

And if that's the case, I should have done it sooner, 'cause damn this is fun! :-)

See some of y'all at Muse!
One of the nicest side-effects of having joined the local volunteer fire department is that, for the first time in the three years I've lived out here, I actually have friends in town. For the last couple of years, I either went back into Indy (with all the hassle and traffic that involves) for fireworks, or stayed home and watched Boston's fireworks on TV. This year, I hopped in the truck, ran up the road to Summitville (a couple of small towns north of here) and met up w/ several friends from the FD and their families to hang out and watch the local fireworks display.

I like that Frankton actually feels like home now, instead of just the town where my house happens to be. :-)
This may be kind of stream-of-consciousness, but that's as articulate as I'm feeling at the moment.

Regular readers, either here or on Facebook, know that I've recently joined my local volunteer fire department... not as a firefighter (soooo not in shape enough for that!!) but as their photographer/web/PR person. I'll probably "upgrade" to Public Information Officer at some point, but there's training to be done first, and the next set of classes get taught at the state level and they're not currently on the calendar in Indiana or any of the surrounding states. So for now, I'm the photographer and the web geek and general Extra Set of Hands whenever I can be useful.

That last part is mostly what this post is about. My first few runs after I signed on were pretty benign... a fender-bender car accident w/ minor injuries who'd already been transported when I arrived... a car fire (unoccupied)... some storm chasing. Then we had The Big Fire wherein a store caught fire downtown and tried to take the whole block with it. The building was fully involved when we got there, and there was uncertainty as to whether the man who lived over the store was out of the building, so the guys were preparing to enter and search this heavily involved building. As I looked at the flames pouring from the roof, and thought about the fact that this meant they'd have to go up an old wooden staircase and search the second floor, it began to sink in that this was the first time, in my limited time of involvement, that "my" guys would be going into danger. They train for this (even as recently as last month!)... they signed up for this... but knowing that didn't make it any easier to watch them getting ready to go into an obviously dangerous situation.

We cut because we care... )

And there it was, in black and white... proof that these guys are mortal, hitting a little too close to home. "Can you put a thing on (web)page and Facebook... thoughts and prayers with Muncie Fire and their families... line of duty death."

Muncie, IN, is about 35 miles away in the next county over. A 40-yr-old firefighter there, married with three kids, lost his life yesterday when the roof collapsed at a huge church fire that they were fighting. He'd been a chief in the Yorktown FD, between here and Muncie, before going to work for Muncie FD, so some of our guys may have known him. My friend Wendy, who used to be an EMT, knew him. I look at Yorktown FD's Facebook page, and the comments on the news articles (especially on the firefighter sites, rather than the local newspaper site), and I can see how the whole firefighter community takes these things to heart, even if they didn't know the man personally.

And it makes you think.

And I don't like it. I've only been doing this for six weeks, but it's amazing how close I feel to this group of guys and their families in just this short time. I don't like having to think about the fact that one day it might be one of our guys who goes into a burning building and doesn't come out. Firefighters are heroes and heroes are supposed to be immortal... right? Right???

So I'll go to as many classes as I can. I'll learn Where Stuff Is on the trucks, and I'll learn to change the SCBA tanks in the air packs so they don't have to take the pack off and put it back on again when they're already tired, and I'll learn everydamnthing I can about safety, and I'll do everything that I can to have their backs while I document what they do and why they do it.

And at the end of the day, I'll hope and pray that they all come home.

life is...

May. 26th, 2011 11:05 am
tollermom: (beetle)
... crazy-but-good in my world.

If I've been quiet here lately it's mostly because life is so nuts right now that short posts to Facebook are about the best I can manage.

This past weekend was the 8th annual WomenDrum Spring Fling and we had an absolutely crazy group of women for the event. Lots of fun, and lots of pictures that will make no sense to anyone who wasn't there, mostly involving the spontaneous ritual to the sacred avocado. I had a blast, and realized afterwards that part of the reason was that, for a change, I wasn't sick. It seems that my seasonal allergies/bronchitis have hit right at the time of the fall and spring events for the last two years and I've slept through half the weekend. This time, I enjoyed the entire event, took lots of pictures, hung out in the pool enjoying the warm spring evenings, and just generally enjoyed some quality time with good music and good friends.

For the last month, I've been up to my eyeballs in web pages for the local fire department. We're down to the wire, but with luck I'll make my (self-imposed) go-live date of "by the end of the month." That would be less complicated if I wasn't spending the weekend in Columbus at Marcon instead of in the laptop making pages, but oh well... I've got Monday off work, so I'll get my last updates done then, move the mail accounts and flip the DNS. Maybe. If the previous webmaster remembers to send me the login to the registry. This past Sunday was the second monthly meeting since I joined, and I'm officially no longer the new kid... a new probationary firefighter got voted in at the meeting. Also, the Chief ordered me a safety vest that says "Fire Photographer" on the back, which will be nice at incidents 'cause people won't try to ask me questions I can't answer. :-) Tuesday evening, we went out and did a public service gig, directing traffic at the local elementary school, where they had end-of-year musical and baseball sectionals all happening at the same time. I got a radio and everything for that one. Ooooh... ahhhh... (yes, I'm easily amused). I also discovered, since I had worn my FVFD shirt to work (and thus to lunch) that Moe's offers a 50% discount to FD members. Go Moe's!!

Last night, [ profile] harperjen and I played a Semi-Feral Mercy gig at the Claddagh in Plainfield. A friend of ours had earned 50,000 membership points there, so the Claddagh threw him a party. He knew about the party, but he didn't know that we were going to be there to play, so it was highly entertaining. Jen and I went early, pulled together a set list over dinner (Shepherd's Pie... yum!), and then threw in a completely off-the-cuff and unrehearsed rendition of [ profile] s00j's "Alligator in the House" when it was requested by the party boy.

Today, I pack for Marcon, gather the dogs' stuff so they can go to the kennel, and (hopefully) pick up the Beetle from the shop, where it's having a new turbo installed. With luck, I'll be driving it to Marcon, at 45+ mpg, instead of my poor overworked gas-guzzling Trooper. Of course, this makes the whole Getting The Dogs To The Kennel part interesting, since I can't take three unrestrained dogs in the Beetle. I may drive the truck in the morning, drop dogs off, go home after work at lunch (we get a half day off!!) and trade vehicles.

I'll be hanging out in the Art Show for a good chunk of the weekend, if you're looking for me at Marcon. Saturday, we have a Wild Mercy concert at 1 pm in Franklin B/C, followed by Leslie Fish's GOH concert at 2:30, then I go back to the Art Show. Hmmm... we should probably finalize our set list, eh?

After Marcon, the fire department website goes live (which should settle things down a little but I also go back to my normal volunteer schedule at the zoo, after several weeks off. "Spare" time??? Whazzat???

Through all of this, I've had a foster dog who's undergoing heartworm treatment and is on 10 weeks of crate rest. The poor guy is actually feeling quite energetic through all this, so he really doesn't understand why he's constantly being put back in his crate. :-( Of course, this leads to barking and/or howling, which is driving me Out.Of.My.Mind, which is part of the reason I haven't been posting here and also part of the reason that this post is very stream-of-consciousness, as my mind has been reduced to a zombiesque state by lack of sleep. Oh, and it's spring so the dogs are molting. Every minute that isn't packed with other things (see above... band... zoo... fire department) is spent vacuuming... or sneezing.

So... how's life in your world? And who all's coming to Marcon?
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!
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!!!)
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!
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!
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!

ovff plans...

Oct. 18th, 2010 11:15 am
tollermom: (Default)
I've changed my reservation so I arrive Friday instead of Thursday for OVFF. I had the opportunity to pick up a volunteer shift at the zoo on Thursday evening, plus it will save me one night of points for the hotel.

I'm planning to leave Indy fairly early on Friday, as soon as the petsitter arrives so I can give her a key and introduce her to the crew, so I'll hopefully see y'all by early afternoon!