alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)
So I decided that there were definitely two things that will be vital for surgery recovery: a wedge pillow and a laptop tray for the bed. I remember needing to be propped up after my gallbladder surgery and I wedge pillow will help make that not only possible but comfortable. Since I don't own a tv, let alone have one in the bedroom, a laptop tray is vital for post surgery vegging.

I'll work with family members to figure out some easy meals that are low-yeast/low carb friendly for the first two weeks. And I have some comfy shorts, tanks and t-shirts that I can wear over those weeks.

So can folks think of other things that might be helpful or necessary to put in place before surgery?
alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)
My surgery date has been moved up to Oct. 14! Very exciting news.

In less exciting news my brain weasels suddenly decided to get worked up last night and focused on the topic of "you having surgery is going to be such a pain in the ass for your chosen family cause they will have to take time out of their busy lives to take care of you." I have reminded them that I have never found it a hardship to reorganize my own schedule to help those I love out, and that this sort of thing is how healthy families work. But it is hard to let go off those first lessons learned. The only other surgeries I've had were while I was still living with my mother. My tonsils came out at 7, and since I was still in the "young enough to pamper" stage my mother was all lovely dovey and supportive. Sadly that didn't last very long. She would still do a bit of pampering if I was sick, but usually only if she could use it to make herself look like the wonderful mother making sacrifices for her sickly offspring. It was pretty hit and miss. By the time I had my gallbladder out in my early 20s, I was pretty much expected to take care of all things on my own. And if she did help there was a lot of "oh the things I do for my children; aren't I just the best mother in the world." Basically all the things that leave you thinking that being sick, injured, or needing surgery make you more of a burden than your worth. I've untangled a lot of these responses and can now recognize them as bullshit. But the deep brain weasels still love to latch on to the old thoughts.

So I'm doing my best to focus on the positive. While surgery is never done lightly, and recovery won't be a walk in the park, it will be well worth it in the long run. It will be one less regular source of pain (physical and mental) and aggravation. And that makes it entirely worth it. Also my chosen family is awesome and nothing at all like my mother.

Other unrelated good things: There is a steampunk festival in Vermont this year (Sept 11-13) and I have treated myself to a weekend pass, tickets to the ball, and a hotel for the weekend. Doubt I'll do any cosplay this year, but it will still be a blast to go. One of my sisters and nephew will meet up with me on Saturday to hang out and enjoy things. So that is very happy making.

Good things

Sep. 2nd, 2015 01:31 pm
alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)
  1. Hysterectomy has been scheduled for November 3. All necessary pre-op appointments have been scheduled and I have someone to take me to various appointments.

  2. I continue to like my therapist and we've found a good time for regular appointments.

  3. I went to my second trans support group at the local Pride center despite a bout of social anxiety and being a wee bit low on spoons. Thankfully I was already downtown as I'd had a therapy appointment. So I treated myself to dinner and went on to the meeting. It was very nice and I'm glad I went.

  4. Elementary is now available for streaming on Hulu, so I can finally get around to watching it. Though my watching may go slowly as I have other things I need and want to do.

  5. The over the counter progesterone cream by PCP recommended for use on non birth control pill days (which is now every day) seems to be helping some with cramps and bleeding. This is very happy making.

  6. Heating pads are glorious inventions.
alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)
So today was a very good day for two reasons. One, I met with a potential new therapist whom I really like that works with many trans and genderqueer folks. Said therapist is also well versed in dealing with childhood trauma and abuse. Normally she likes to do three visits for both patient and therapist to be sure that it is a good fit. I see her again on Tuesday. So that is of the good.

Two is that I met with a trans/genderqueer gynecologist today. I'm going to put the rest of this under a cut for those who are triggered by discussions of reproductive organs and issues )

So that was my busy but very happy making day. I'm going to chill for the rest of the day, and if I have the energy tomorrow I might do a bit of thrift store shopping. See if I can find some more masculine clothes to add to my wardrobe to see how it feels to let my more masculine side out to play.
alee_grrl: Happy mouse from Aristocrats nomming cookie.  Text reads: Cookies! (cookies)
New PCP was amazing. I think I spent a bit more than an hour with her. She was amazingly easy to talk with, listened to my complaints and issues, listened when I noted why a solution would not work for me, was willing to discuss multiple options of things. Plus she is Lyme literate and understands the protocol that I am on. She was able to explain why I've been having such issues with my cycle lately and offer a couple of solutions, including the name of a trans friendly gyno who can evaluate my candidacy for uterine ablation. She also had a great suggestion for a trans friendly counselor who deals with many of the issues I juggle on a regular basis. So I will be making calls tomorrow to see if I can set up appointments. She had some excellent suggestions on how to manage current hormonal and menstruation problems while we work on more permanent solutions. We set a follow up appointment for October (though I can go in sooner if something else arises).

I'm absolutely ecstatic and thanking my gods for such a good fit.
alee_grrl: Eddie Izzard pointing at his head.  Text: In my Mind. (in my mind)
I know I've been super quiet the past few months. I stepped up my Lyme treatment, which meant a lot of time spent resting. I also needed some time to focus inward and to process several things. Now I feel like I'm ready to start socializing again, and ready to catch folks up on what has been going on in my head and life. This is likely to be a long post. It is also likely to contain some fairly heavy topics. Content Warnings: Discussions of Grief and loss, discussions of mental and physical health issues, mentions of body dysphoria/body image issues, gender dysphoria, gender identity issues, abuse and trauma )

For those who do not have the spoons (emotional or otherwise) to read the whole post, I've been doing a lot of thinking and come to the realization that I'm genderqueer. Not sure where on the spectrum I fall, but I am finally comfortable acknowledging that I am genderqueer. Reasons for not acknowledging it earlier are many and discussed in depth above. The big take away is that I am okay with the realization and taking steps forward in exploring a more authentic version of myself. It's just been a lot to process. But in the end I'm gonna be just fine. I'm currently comfortable with they/them and she/her pronouns. I'll let folks know if the preferred pronouns change.
alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)
I know I've been missing in action lately. Mostly been just recovering from the last few years and low on words and spoons. Will hopefully start feeling up to posting more frequently again soon. In the meantime, I wanted to share this fun meme that I discovered via the lovely [personal profile] sulien.

There is a quiz that will tell you what your D&D character would be, complete with stats and alignment. I wasn't terribly surprised by the results. Although I did think I would be more neutral good than chaotic good, but then I remembered that my patron god is a trickster god who governs travelers and misfits and my patron goddess is one governing death and transition. So chaos is kind of a large part of my life. I was completely unsurprised by the classes I got. Not only were these two of the classes I always played when I did game, but they also fit my nature. I'm very much a back to earth, practical, environmentalist pagan which is modern day Druid in a nutshell. And with as arcane and incomprehensible as the legal system is, lawyers may as well be wizards. Not to mention that wordsmithing is a magic of its own.

I Am A: Chaotic Good Human Druid/Wizard (3rd/2nd Level)

Ability Scores:







Chaotic Good A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but he's kind and benevolent. He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree with that of society. Chaotic good is the best alignment you can be because it combines a good heart with a free spirit. However, chaotic good can be a dangerous alignment when it disrupts the order of society and punishes those who do well for themselves.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Primary Class:
Druids gain power not by ruling nature but by being at one with it. They hate the unnatural, including aberrations or undead, and destroy them where possible. Druids receive divine spells from nature, not the gods, and can gain an array of powers as they gain experience, including the ability to take the shapes of animals. The weapons and armor of a druid are restricted by their traditional oaths, not simply training. A druid's Wisdom score should be high, as this determines the maximum spell level that they can cast.

Secondary Class:
Wizards are arcane spellcasters who depend on intensive study to create their magic. To wizards, magic is not a talent but a difficult, rewarding art. When they are prepared for battle, wizards can use their spells to devastating effect. When caught by surprise, they are vulnerable. The wizard's strength is her spells, everything else is secondary. She learns new spells as she experiments and grows in experience, and she can also learn them from other wizards. In addition, over time a wizard learns to manipulate her spells so they go farther, work better, or are improved in some other way. A wizard can call a familiar- a small, magical, animal companion that serves her. With a high Intelligence, wizards are capable of casting very high levels of spells.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)
My dear friend, [personal profile] lizcommotion, and her partner need some help. They're looking to movie out of their current situation, which is very stressful and unhealthy for both them and their two cats. The goal is to move to Boston. I've copied [personal profile] lizcommotion's post to explain in better detail what they need. Please feel free to signal boost.

As my partner has an unconventional work history and we're moving from far away, we think it would be easier for us to get an apartment (to share) and also for her to get work if she did so from within Boston.

Ergo, our plan is for her to go to Boston ahead of time (preferably the month of August) and temp/apartment-hunt. My partner is hoping to rent a room or a couch or a something for that month for approximately $400 so we can sock more into savings.

If you are a Boston person interested in such an arrangement (for even part of the month), or know someone who is, we would much rather work out something with a dreamwidth or fandom-associated person than sorting through Craigslist. That's step two, but y'know, Craigslist *can* be sketchy and it takes awhile to sort the wheat from the chaff.

FWIW, my partner is the "neat one" in our relationship, and she promises to clean up her sleeping stuff if it's in a common area and stay out of the apartment during the day if you need private time. She really just needs a safe spot to sleep, stash her stuff, and use the shower during her month-long temp-and-apartment-hunt thing. She's also a really nommy cook, if home-cooking is appealing to you.

You can reach me through DM or lizcommotion (at) gmail etc.

Signal boosts also appreciated. (And yes, I'm flagging RFM.)
alee_grrl: Bruce Willis holding coffee cup.  Text reads: Coffee fail....caffiene levels dangeriously low (coffee fail)
My sister and nephew came up yesterday afternoon and helped me go pick up my new-to-me furniture and move it into my apartment. I then treated them to dinner because if someone helps you move stuff then you ought to at least feed them. :) Plus dinner gave me more time to visit, which is always fun. Lots of lively discussion happened, and I managed to make plans to go see the new Avengers movie on Sunday with nephew and maybe sister and brother-in-law (nephew is 16 and a lot of fun to hang out with).

I will note that it's been a long time since I've driven anything larger than a small SUV, so driving the U-haul cargo van was both terrifying and fun.

Anyway, I promised some photos when I got the chance. I haven't decorated much yet, so the walls are a bit bare. Both couch and chair will be getting slip covers. A dark red cover for the chair to make it look a little less retro, and a dark tan cover for the sofa to try to protect the pretty cream sofa from inevitable stains. I also got three small wooden bar stools as they make the best portable coffee tables/laptop stands (and are the perfect height for most chairs and couches).

pictures below the cut )
alee_grrl: Illustration of the Shire (shire)
So the local Habitat ReStore was having a grand re-opening sale/event today. I decided to wander over to see if they had any good furniture (as I still have only a table, some temporary chairs, a bed and 2 standing lamps). I was in luck as they had lots of furniture in good condition. I finally settled on a comfy rocking chair (looks like a recliner but does not recline) that could have come from my grandmother's furniture collection (avacado-ish green floral), an elegant off-white sofa that also happened to be very comfortable and will be good for naps and guests, two oak or other light wood bedside tables, and a dresser. Not a bad haul at all. I wasn't able to bring them home just yet, as the sofa is too large to fit in most vehicles. I have arranged to rent a U-haul cargo van Wednesday afternoon and my heart-sister and nephew will come up and help me move the stuff. I will likely end up buying slip-covers for the couch and chair, but haven't decided yet. I will try to remember to post pictures when I have things set up. :)
alee_grrl: Clint Barton holding his bow and looking down to the left, word bubble says "Aw coffee no" (clint)
For those who haven't read Matt Fraction and David Aja's Hawkeye series, you just need to know that in it Clint Barton generally has shitty luck and makes some really awful decisions but all in all is just trying to make do. He also has this adorable habit that I tend to share, which is talking to the world around me including inanimate objects. In one scene he goes to pour his coffee and spills it, and then says "Aw, coffee, now" as if the coffee had betrayed him or something. It's always made me smile because it is just the sort of thing I would do.

So today I had gotten my grocery shopping done and put away, grabbed a shower and put on my pjs, made a couple of different types of iced tea for the next few days, done some dishes, and warmed up leftovers for dinner. Was all set to sit down with my dinner and watch this weeks episode of Agents of SHIELD. Go to scoot my chair closer to the table and there is the god awful crack, I feel the chair start to give and I'm up and moving away from the falling chair. The back left leg of the chair has come off and since it was a solid long piece holding part of the back in place the rest of the back rest has come apart too. I look from the chair to the table where my nice warm plate of food is sitting and sigh, muttering some equivalent of "aw, chair, no." I pick up the pieces of the chair. Look again from the chair to my dinner. Sigh over the fact that I have not gotten any other chairs yet. Test the stability of the chair resting on the three remaining legs, note that it is remarkably stable and should remain upright if I turn it backwards so that the empty spot is not bearing any weight and sit on it very, very carefully without leaning at all. I finish my dinner, carefully get up from the broken chair, and then move the remains of the chair out of the way to await a determination on whether the chair is fixable (it came apart in pretty solid pieces).

So I sigh again, go put back on clothes that are not pajamas, and head to first goodwill to see if they have any stray kitchen chairs (they don't), and then to Wal-Mart to purchase a folding chair for temporary seating. I have not yet bought couch or any other furniture so the options would be "eat on bed" or "eat on floor" neither of which were agreeable to me. So I got a folding chair and a camping chair for sitting outside and enjoying the weather now that it's warming up. By this point I'm fairly achy and did not want to go anywhere else, which is why I ended up settling on the folding chair solution. Turns out the camping chair with enough pillows piled on it is a more comfortable solution so that was a happy find. If I have the spoons I will go out in search of additional furniture tomorrow.
alee_grrl: Little green dragon with cookie sitting on a bookshelf reading a book by candlelight (dragon)
Some of you may be familiar with [personal profile] paganaidd's fan-fiction, which is incredible and I highly recommend it all. She is an excellent writer and packs a lot of great stuff into her stories. I'm delight to say that she is also working on an original novel and has entered an excerpt of that novel in the Echos of Another World writing contest over on Inkitt.

In All the In Between Places is phenomenal. If you like things that meld modern times and events with myth, magic and the otherworldly, then please check this out. This is the review that I left on the story itself:

"Each of the little vignettes is potent and powerful, though that last one was the one that really punched me in the gut. A very good introduction to a world that is a bit more than it seems with tantalizing glimpses of how magic, gods, and other worldly creatures would interact with our modern world. A very solid start for a novel."

If you read it and enjoy it, please feel free to share it with others. Thank you.
alee_grrl: Ellie and her adventure book (Up) (up)
So I've mostly been resting, watching movies, and reading fanfic as I recover from moving and the latest antibiotic increase. Since it's also that lovely time of the month that comes with cramps and PMS I did not sleep well last night and was feeling kind of out of sorts this morning. However I knew I needed to go out and pick up a prescription refill. So I got dressed, poked my head out the door to determine if a light sweater was needed (it was) and headed off to the pharmacy, which is thankfully less than 10 minutes away by car.

I hadn't really explored the little shopping space that the pharmacy is in, other than noting a coffee shop that will be opening soon. So I was curiously looking around to see what other shops might be there when I spotted a sign shaped like an artist's palette. My brain immediately went "Art Store!?! Is there an art store so close to my house?!" So I checked my spoon levels and detoured over to take a look.

There is indeed an art store so very close to my house. And the offer classes! I can't afford to take classes all that often, but an occasional one here and there is a definite possibility. I checked out their up coming class list and decided to treat myself to the Journal Jam workshop which focuses on renewing creativity and expressing oneself in words and art. It's not til May 2nd, but I think that will give me a bit of time to settle in more too.
alee_grrl: Candle burning next to mirror in a window sill with snow seen through the window (Winter candle)
My heart-sister in Virginia was amazingly sweet (though she will deny it to her dying breath) and loaded my car for me Saturday morning. It is packed to the brim, but we were able to fit almost everything in it. Three small boxes of clothes and shoes will need to be mailed. After the car was stuffed with things I pointed it north and started driving. Stopped overnight in Binghamton, NY at a decent hotel that even had a Japanese restaurant in house. So that was happy making. Had dinner, showered, and crashed early. Then got up, grabbed coffee and breakfast and got on the road. Had a lovely drive and am safely ensconced at my heart-sister's in Vermont. I am exhausted but happy. Tuesday evening I will go up and meet with the landlords to do a walk-through and get the keys. Wednesday I will move in. Internet is scheduled to be installed on Thursday. There is still loads to be done, but it is nice to be back in Vermont.

I will probably only be online in brief surges this week. Much love to everyone!
alee_grrl: (sleep)
Or in the basement in today's case. I started packing in earnest today, with my focus being on books, dvds, cds and other media. My niece totally earned the $11 she was looking for by hauling said items downstairs to the basement for me (we live in a 3-story townhouse where the first floor is the garage and den, second floor is kitchen and living room, third floor is bedrooms). I figured since it was bitterly cold today I would do the packing in the garage, this way when I go to pack my car next weekend the boxes do not have to be hauled very far.

My preferred packing method is to sort by size and shape, then play packing tetris. I start with the biggest books then work my way down, trying to limit myself to one super heavy book per box of larger tomes/collections. I load them in so the bindings face up, and after a row is filled I fill in empty areas with smaller books, cds/dvds, and other odd ball items (card games, tarot decks, etc). I will pack/re-pack my household goods and decorative items in smaller spurts over the next week. My space saving method for fragile items is to use my clothes and linens rather than packing paper or bubble wrap. Tends to work well and makes it easier to fit everything in your car. I did buy some dish foam as that is really useful for layering between dishes and isn't quite as bulky as clothes.

Having moved repeatedly as an adult, often in situations where I had to fit everything in my car, I've winnowed down my collection of things. I bought ten small heavy-duty boxes and three medium heavy-duty boxes. I only needed six of the small boxes for media, which was nice. I'm beginning to think that I might really be able to fit everything into my car this time. Last move took two trips, but my Subaru should fit more than my Saturn did as the Subaru is a hatchback.

Despite that I always run into the "ah I have too much stuff" when I'm packing. Probably because packing takes up so many spoons. I'm definitely done with packing for the day. I foresee hot shower and an early bed time tonight.
alee_grrl: a still of chihuro sitting on a balcony overlooking water and watching the train ride across the water (train watching)
Found out today that one of my law school friends died. She was close to my age and I know struggled with her own demons. She was bright, funny, and compassionate. She will be missed.

So many bright lights gone in the past year and a half. Some I knew from personal experience and friendship, and some I only knew by their works. I raise a glass to all of them and hope that their lights find peace in whatever is next.
alee_grrl: Candle burning next to mirror in a window sill with snow seen through the window (Winter candle)
My trip to Vermont went well and I have made some big decisions. I have safely returned to Virginia despite the lingering winter and wanted to post a brief update before I crashed.

The biggest announcement is that I have decided to move back to Vermont. Being closer to my Lyme doctor will make continuing treatment so much easier and much less frustrating, and while I love my heart-sister, niece, and numerous friends in the DC area, I long to be back in Vermont. I wasn't even thrown by the brutally cold temps and tremendous amount of snow, but rather glad to have my little dragon car and delighted that it handled the weather superbly despite having only all-weather tires rather than snow tires. The universe apparently approves of this decision, because not only did I find a good apartment in the Burlington area but I also secured the lease for said apartment. The only drawback is that I will be moving in a month, which is both sad and happy making.

There is a lot to do in the next month, but I will also be making sure I have time to see friends before I go. There are a lot of people I am going to miss like crazy. Thankfully the internet makes staying in touch so much easier. :)

Tonight I'm going to rest, and tomorrow as well. If the roads are good enough I may go to the bank to get a few things done there. Otherwise it will be laundry and resting.
alee_grrl: From Fantasia: Demon mountain from Night on Bald Mountain (bald mountain)
Windy just doesn't quite cut it in describing the current weather. Blasting winds might be a better term. These are the sorts of winds that do not howl around the house, but batter the house--a ceaseless buffeting that leaves no doubt why folk tales spoke of malevolent winds and wendigos. Add in the cutting cold that flowed from the walls with each blast, and it is not terribly surprising that sleep was difficult last night.

My bed is up against the outer wall (only place to really put it in the room I've got), and normally this does not bother me because I prefer a cold room when I sleep. Plus I have a nice toasty electric mattress pad (basically one giant heating pad), and that is a great way to get the sheets warm before climbing into bed. Normally I turn the heating pad off once I'm in bed, but last night I left it on very low for most of the night. I wrapped one of a super soft fleece blanket around my pillow as I usually sleep with a hand under the pillow and that hand kept getting cold (as did my nose). Having the fleece blanket over and around the pillow gave me nice warm nooks to tuck my hands, and kept my face a little warmer. I detest sleeping with things covering my head, so just sleeping under the covers doesn't work well for me.

I did get some sleep despite the cold and the wind, but it was a tense sort of night and I woke up feeling a little extra achy and sore today. Thankfully I have no intention of going anywhere today and plan on curling up with fanfiction and other forms of entertainment today.
alee_grrl: Rupert Giles looking up from reading a book.  Text: bookish (giles)
Several of my friend's/circle are doing the Snowflake Challenge this year. The responses to this daily challenge, particularly to the Day 5 challenge, specifically [personal profile] sperrywink's,response got me thinking about my own fannish origin story. So I decided that even if I did none of the other day's of the challenge I would like to do this one. Challenge and response placed under a cut for length )


alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)

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