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Those of you who follow me on Facebook know that my latest venture into KeepingDebbieBusy has been to join the local volunteer fire department as their resident web & photography geek. This afternoon, after a month of pulling info together (and some browbeating of people who still haven't sent me their bios...), I took the new site live!

Then, after a couple of weeks with no pager action, we had two back-to-back runs this evening and I actually got to put shiny new content on our baby website. :-) First a vehicle fire (where I felt really bad for the owner, who was just starting the process of rebuilding it when it caught fire... Thankfully, it's an old, solid, mostly metal car and the fire was pretty much contained to the engine compartment where he was going to be replacing everything anyway) and then an "unknown fire" which turned out to just be a really big (and quite pretty) bonfire called in by a worried passerby.

So that's what up in my world. What's up with you?

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!
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!!!)
So... Friday night, I ordered pizza, as a treat for having lost 22 pounds.

Saturday morning, I had a couple of slices of leftover pizza for breakfast.

And things went downhill from there... )So... what's the concensus, LJ-land? Gallbladder surgery = no big deal? Or plan for a week off? Something in between?
Stream of consciouness random updates from my life...

Finally losing weight! Woohoo! No special diet... just good old-fashioned calorie-counting. I'm down 22 pounds as of today, and am officially retiring the jeans which are now too large to even keep on with a belt. Thankfully, the formerly too-small jeans fit again, so I can go down another size before I'm forced to go shopping. Ultimate goal? Getting to where my knees and ankles don't complain when I stand for a couple of hours at a Wild Mercy gig, and getting back off blood pressure meds.

Fiddler just ran off with the WiiMote. Silly cat.

Worked security for IndyFurCon w/ the Dorsai a couple of weekends ago, which was lots of fun. Have a compilation video that I'm putting together and will post eventually. There's a post building in my brain about that weekend, but I'm not coherent enough to string it all together right now.

Also... oh dear gods what was Apple thinking? iMovie used to be so easy to use and now it's an absolute nightmare, and I hate to put the entire Final Cut suite on my laptop just for this one little editing job. Grrrr... may have to finish editing that at work.

Wild Mercy is working on new stuff, which is always fun, in preparation for a joint concert with Il Troubadore. More about that once we have details worked out. Also, I'm working on new solo stuff, which means I'm playing way more guitar than usual, which mostly just makes me realize that I desperately need to find the time and money to take some guitar lessons.

Like I need more things to fill my copious "spare" time, I have a volunteer introduction meeting at the Indianapolis Zoo on Thursday night. I love our zoo... I've loved it ever since I moved here... and I'm looking forward to seeing what volunteer opportunities might work out. They want a fairly firm time commitment, which I can understand, but I'll have to see how that works into my Wild Mercy and con-going schedules!

This weekend I got bored w/ my hair (it was in that "I need to color the roots or re-color the whole mess" stage) and changed colors. I still have stripes, but this time they're bright pink instead of blond. It should be fun to see people's reactions to the change. :-)

The combination of all the recent work on the yard/sidewalk plus my forgetting that the car insurance and home warranty policies were all due in July (oops) means that I'm very short on cash right now. As a result, my going anywhere is very limited except for a couple of things that I've already paid for. Upcoming events... StrowlerFest in St. Louis, OVFF and WindyCon. if anybody is planning on going to StrowlerFest or WindyCon and wants to split the cost of a room, I've got space if you don't mind rooming with Drummer. :-) Which reminds me... I haven't booked a room for OVFF yet. I should do that.

And on that note... I already asked this over on Facebook, but I'll ask again here... who's going to StrowlerFest? Hopefully I'll see some of y'all there!

And now I must sleep. Tomorrow, work.... and entertaining reactions to fuschia-striped hair. Whee!
Well... if anybody's still reading, here's a catch-up post on what's up in the life of me, since it's been over a month since my last post. (oops)

First, this actually pre-dates my last post by a month, but since I forgot to mention it here... I have a new cat! Fiddler rounds out the kitty crew at four, taking the spot as Izzy's playmate, which was vacated when Bigfoot died. I adopted Fiddler from the Humane Society of Hamilton County, an excellent no-kill shelter in the county just south of me (where I work and where I used to live). He spent the first couple of weeks living upstairs while the other cats were downstairs, letting him get good and bonded to me and used to being here before introducing the rest of the crew. Then I let Izzy come up and she and Fiddler got a couple of weeks to become buds before Smudge and Gorby (sibling pair) were added to the mix. Izzy and Fiddler turned out to be the best of friends, and they play and play and play. Izzy has a waist again! (She'd been getting pudgy without a playmate.)

What's happened in my life in the last month or so... )

So that's my last month or so in a nutshell (and in pictures!). How've y'all been?

(NOTE: Picture links to Facebook are public links... no Facebook membership required. The Zoo gallery is on Flickr.)
Wow... just realized I haven't posted here in ages. I'm not dead, or giving up on LJ... I've just been swamped with work and foster dog and cons and stuff and the time to make actual coherent posts here has fallen by the wayside. The quicker bite-sized updates on Facebook and Twitter have been about the best I could manage, though there's a post on fostering in general and my current foster dog in particular germinating in my brain. Maybe I'll actually even post it... eventually.

For now, I'm finishing paperwork that's due to my boss in the morning. Eek!
Things are insane in my life right now... the annual timestorm that accompanies fiscal year-end at work, mostly... so here's a cute kitty picture in lieu of actual content. When I have a moment to catch my breath, I'll do con reports for Capricon and MidSouthCon, both of which were big fun!

(That link is supposedly the public link to a picture on my Facebook page. If you're not a Facebook member, please try it and let me know if it works correctly! :-) Thanks!)