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With the power of YouTube, I figured out why my seams were coming out as big knots of thread. I then brought out my favourite polo shirt, which was losing its hem at the bottom, and repaired it.

I went to our local thrift store and bought a pretty pink flat sheet for $1.50 in order to turn it into something. Possibly a basic skirt. I've seen those on YouTube as well.

Lent has begun in the western Church. While I haven't observed in years, for some reason I've been off booze. Thursday night, Steve brought home a bottle of wine from his old university, Cal Poly Pomona, and we shared it. Since then I've just been drinking water and I don't know why. I'm hoping this leads to a little weight loss.


That's the word for the year, and I've done all right so far.

Saturday, Steve and I went to the National Guard gym. Saturday morning is a good time to insure you have the gym to yourself, and don't have to work around the homoerotic posing of various dudebros. Seriously guys, take that to a private gym.

After showers, we went to get lunch, then over to our local fabric store to find material to make a skirt. YouTube has some helpful videos on sewing simple ones. I came away with the elastic I'll use, but I think starting out using a flat bedsheet from a thrift store would be a better beginning because that'll be cheap.

I had put a mother-of-pearl crescent moon on my traveler's notebook as a charm, but it broke. I wanted a Tree of Life theme, and found a small tree pendant at Michael's, so that's on my notebook now.

Today I did some more work on my Brothers Hematic Space Marines, and thought some more about their backstory and how to tell it. Black Library has an open submission for freelancers, and I know someone who got a contract that way, so maybe....

Finally, Steve and I decided to start watching the original Star Trek from the beginning. There are episodes I have not seen in decades. Someone on Tumblr wrote that James Kirk is NOT a womanizer, that he just falls in love very, very easily, and that he is actually more feminist than a lot of male main characters now. This has already started in "Charlie X" where he spends a lot of time trying to tell a 17 year old who was raised by bodiless aliens about consensual and non-consensual touching.

Holding back the hands of time

Over the past year or so, I'd become resentful of having to go to the gym and keep fit and under a certain weight. Now that I've changed units, I find that that's lifted. I think it's that I know I have a much smaller amount of time and money to commit, so the gym can be more for me and less for Uncle Sam. Steve and I both refer to Uncle Sam as my abusive second husband, saying "You stay skinny and attractive, or I'll throw you out!" Which is what it comes down to when a Command Sergeant Major can ban hairstyles because he doesn't think they are attractive. There was one which was pretty popular back in 2005 which was a short back that lengthened towards the front. CSM didn't like it, so he banned it.

But as I said, I feel more like doing this for myself now.

I realized that I need to do more weightlifting, to keep my bones dense. I have to mentally remind myself of this because it's just not something that otherwise occurs to me. I still think I'm 25. I'm twice that, and I figure if I can be muscular with tough bones I'll be able to keep thinking that.

The other thing to keep me feeling 25 is mental agility. I'm--torturing is the wrong word, but I do my best to stress my intellect--using Hebrew. Hebrew is not an easy language and the letters tend to all look like each other. But there are women in their 80s and 90s at my synagogue who read like rabbis and are sharp as tacks, so Hebrew is probably a good plan.

Certainly I have felt more welcomed at temple than I ever have in a Catholic church. Living out where we do, I value that sense of community and am trying to spend more time there. I keep saying that I'm not committed to conversion, but I'm putting out an awful lot of effort for someone who claims to be ambivalent.

This is also because when I have been OMG SO SURE of things I wanted to do, it's because I had doubts. I also don't feel any need for urgency. The only thing I can't do is be called to the bima to read Torah. It's not as if I'll go to hell if I don't accept the Torah as my Personal Lord and Saviour. And even if I did, it'd be Jewish hell and the food would be good.


Big changes, though. I have put in my transfer for the JAG team in Mesa, Arizona. Mesa is 90 minutes away from my house.

Big differences. During the winter, they do PT in the afternoon because it's too cold for them in the mornings. So on Saturday I was able to leave my house at 0700 and arrive at 0830. They also believe in leaving work no later than 1530. This means that today (Sunday) I was home in daylight, in time for dinner. Steve wanted Mexican food, so after some negotiation we decided on Chuy's for chicken nachos.

Also the two female enlisted both are into ghosts and ghost TV shows. One of the has a friend who is a "paranormal researcher" here in town, and he is co-author of some books on haunted Tucson. I've put a hold on his book through the Pima county library.

So overall feeling optimistic about this change in my Army job.

Creativity Part II

I finally got the nerve to start up my new Singer Simple. I watched the DVD that came with it and sat down to fill the bobbin.


I read online to see if I'd done something wrong. I called Singer. They said it sounded like the machine was defective and to just return it. I was sad.

So we traded it for a new one. And it works! I filled the bobbin, threaded the machine, and sure, the tension on the thread was too loose at first, but I was able to fix a skirt and run another experimental seam on a trashed t-shirt.

I broke a needle, but that is all me because I forgot to raise the presser foot.

I have plans.

Getting things done

I've been in a depression for the past couple of days. Yesterday I worked at home and then Steve and I went to the National Guard gym for a workout. For dinner he made a hearty chicken soup using broth he canned himself!

Today he had medical appointments, so I had the house to myself for most of the day. As an introvert, this was long overdue. I mostly did Army paperwork, forwarding e-mails I sent around the 19th to the people I'd mailed them to the first time who hadn't seen them for whatever reason. My NCOER support form (my input for my NCOER which is my "report card" as an NCO) is done and I sent it on Sunday. It's not due till January 4. I ended up resending that, my transfer request, and more medical records to support my request for a walking profile (a document saying that for medical reasons, I cannot run). If I end up not going to drill weekend at all in January, you know I won't cry.

Oh yeah, and I had a third interview (over the phone) with Pima County. The fourth step will no doubt be in person.

I also scrubbed our granite counters and cleaned up the kitchen floors. I cleaned the litter boxes and got the dirty stuff out the door.

Steve came home with a rotisserie chicken, so now we're watching WWE Network but will switch over to "Daredevil" in a few.


The key word for 2016 is CREATIVITY.

Steve got me a Singer Simple sewing machine. I have watched the DVD, purchased three spools of thread and a pair of shears. It's Shabbat, so I will start using it after sunset.

He also got me three of the grownup colouring books currently in vogue and a set of ALL the crayons Crayola makes. The colouring books are designed for pencils, so I bought a set of 32 of them (Crayola brand again) for $3 at Walmart.

More journaling. I say that every year, and honestly I'm not a piker when it comes to journaling, but I can always be more diligent.

And as ever we have a fantabulous kitchen and both "The Joy of Cooking" and "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" which is all a body needs.

Watching movies

Attention ebenbrooks, I re-watched "The Road to El Dorado" while in a very un-prickly mood and enjoyed it quite a lot. I still think Miguel looks like you.


Recently there was a controversy about SF conventions and if they were doomed because so many younger fans are brought in by gasp! MEDIA. This trend probably got it start when Star Trek's original series made its debut. But in true "Get out of my yard, you damn kids!" fashion, some elder literary fans have been predicting the death of SF conventions because oh noes, no one is reading classic SF anymore!

My question is, since it was getting stale and offensive when I myself was a teenager, why would we? I know someone wrote a really good column about that, so moving on....

I don't think it's fair that some purists place literature on a higher pedestal than TV or film. I mean, Babylon 5 anyone? Recently there has been a huge bounty of intelligent SF/Fantasy/Horror on TV. Sense8 on Netflix really made me want to growl at the "literary classics or you are not an SF/Fantasy fan" crowd.

Aside from the wealth of superhero shows on basic cable and Netflix, there is now a lot of short films on YouTube and Vimeo. I watched one on YouTube this morning, called "6th World", made by a Navajo producer and director, with Navajo actors.

Because of digital books, authors can now present their work in very professional formats without the hassle of agents and publishing companies. I've read some really good novels that way. (Also some really bad ones, but that's the risk you take.)

SF and fantasy still needs conventions. Perhaps it needs them even more, because we have more to choose from than ever.

Today I....

Worked from home half the day, drafting an attorney's fee application.

Made the elaborate potato casserole Mandel requested for our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.

Helped Steve get the filling together for the apple pie (baked in a cast iron skillet) we are also taking to dinner tomorrow.

Did my laundry.

Had an acquaintance from FaceBook over at the house. Before that, Steve and I did a quick and dirty tidy of the main room, which now looks so much better.

Now it's time to get in bed and rest up for the long day tomorrow. We're going up to Phoenix, and while that's a 90 minute drive, we're going to be roasting the turkey when we are there. Mandel already has that and the stuffing at his place. The stuffing is a brand called Mrs Cubbison's, which I had never heard of until I moved to the west coast. We always used Stovetop or made potato-sausage stuffing from scratch.


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