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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Stick & Mud Season. (Also My Tolkien at UVM Talk.)

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Stick & Mud Season. (Also My Tolkien at UVM Talk.)

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yavanna earth
Before I say ANYTHING about my video or stick and mud season, I want to wish a happy birthday to my friend and fandom partner in crime heartofoshun. I love you as an author and a scholar but most of all as a friend. I appreciate so much all you do for our little corner of the Interwebz and for me personally. Few people in my life have been so unconditionally supportive of me, and I can't express how much it means. I hope your day is as wonderful as you deserve!

Next things next: My video has creaked through the YouTube upload process on my satellite Internet. It's just the audio of me reading my paper with the slides. So this one is not 45 minutes of watching me sit and read! It's also only 20 minutes. I haven't watched it, so if there is anything egregious in the images or audio, it's a mistake--please let me know! The images are pretty crappy on my computer, but YouTube videos are usually pretty crappy on my computer--to the point that I can't always do my Drupal tutorials if it's rainy or snowy or windy because I can't see the image well enough to get anything out of it!--so I hope they're not actually that bad for people with normal Internet. If they are ... it's doubtful I'm going to have time to do anything about it, since it is basically redoing the video. But it can be used as a last resort as a sleep aid, presuming my accent isn't terribly annoying.

And! It was amazingly effing beautiful weather today. It was like Vermont said, "Fuck! It's spring!" and decided to do something about it. It was 77F/25C driving home from work this afternoon and brilliantly sunny. Most of the snow is now gone. And the river is thawed so ...

What else to do but go kayaking, right?? Bobby texted me when he got home--I was still working, of course!--and I pretty much packed up and left immediately, and he had the kayaks on the car already by the time I arrived home. We launched just a couple hundred yards/meters from our house because the river is so high that places that are normally an impossibly steep bank are only about a foot above the water now.

The Barton River flows near our house. Well, normally, it lazes past our house. It's a very calm river. In February, we had a few very warm days and a thaw, and the river rose to where River Road was, in places, just a car-wide track with water on either side. It wasn't so dramatic this time, but the river did rise to about a foot below the road on Friday. It's much lower now, but it actually has a current to it.

So going down the river was easy and fun. At one point, there was a tree fallen across the river except for a two-foot wide passage. I knew as soon as I went into it that I was going to regret it going back: With the current funneling into that tiny outlet, my kayak shot through like I was on the log flume at a theme park. It was hella fun! We rowed down to the bridge where Coventry Station Road crosses the river mostly because it was a logical turn-around point and I wanted to go under the bridge. This is our usual launch point on the Barton because it has a public access with a path down to the water. Looking at Google Maps, we paddled about 1.5 miles/2.5 km round-trip.

The row back was definitely tough, not helped by the fact that the only arm workout I've gotten since packing up the kayaks last fall is occasionally hauling wood pellets up from the barn--and Bobby does that most of the time! I almost didn't make it back through the log flume. It took two tries. It didn't help that the first time, Bobby essentially piled his kayak onto mine from behind! I let him through and tried again, and made it.

River Road runs parallel with a set of train tracks (a train came through while we were paddling, which was cool), and beyond the railroad bridge, the water was still solid ice. It was like looking through a portal into the North Pole.

We saw quite a few critters: two beavers, a great blue heron, what appeared to be a red-tailed hawk, umpteen redwing blackbirds, lots of different waterfowl. We're officially in mud season. One day last week, I stepped out of the car and sank about an inch into the driveway. But all in all, it hasn't been too bad. People always warn us first about the long winters--and we survived our first of those--and then mud season, and we're surviving that too. (It helps that we have an amazing road guy who has raked the road about weekly since the snow melted off of it. Our road is pretty scary when the traction isn't good, so I think I'd feel differently about mud season if not for our road guy. <3 to the Coventry road guy!)

It's also stick season since our trees are far from blooming or leafing out up here ... but some have buds! And I'm starting to sneeze more, which tells me they're doing their thing. And there is some green among the grass: faint and brave but there.

Right now? I'm tired. I want to stretch out somewhere and read. I wonder if my arms will be sore tomorrow.

This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

  • Thank you for saying so many nice things about me! And thank you for the birthday greetings. We had a great day yesterday and a relaxing day today. We were all home (Laura home sick!) and all of us just chilling. I put some pics up of our birthday lunch yesterday. Really a lot of fun.

    OMG! I have to listen to your presentation right now!!

    • I'm glad you had a good day, although I'm sorry to hear about the sickness! I'd rather Laura and Alex just played hooky with you. ;) I have the notification of your new post in my email; I have some catching up to do tomorrow. (I didn't even get the story list for the Strength & Beauty challenge posted tonight! And you know I almost never shirk fandom chores. I went out kayaking instead; it was such a gorgeous day, and here, that is not guaranteed to last. I half-expect a foot of snow next week.)
  • The presentation was great. Did you tape the discussion or just can't share it?

    The graphics are totally legible.
    • I cheated and recorded the audio in my study ... I installed Audacity on my laptop but didn't have room to put it near enough to me that I could have gotten good audio at the conference itself. I know now too that I can bring my video camera next year, assuming that's allowed.

      So no discussion--just me! (I never include discussions since I wouldn't feel comfortable with other people being in my recording unless they gave permission.)

      ETA ... thanks for the reassurance on the graphics! As soon as I complained about it here, they started showing up fine for me too. I've never had problems with Movie Maker, but my Internet can throw wrenches into the most well-oiled cogs.

      Edited at 2017-04-12 12:38 am (UTC)
  • I look forward to listening to your talk. :)

    I can imagine how tired your arms must be. I spent a few days canoeing ALL DAY a few years back, and it was HARD.

    Hooray and spring, and buds, and green!
    • Thanks! ^_^

      The husband and I want to do a local canoe trail. I've never done an all-day paddle before, much less multiple days! This one would have been easy--only 1.5 miles!--except for the current. And maybe the fact that I'm a little out of shape ... ;)
      • I enjoyed listening to this very much. I've never approached Tolkien's works as a scholar, but rather as a simple and appreciative reader and dreamer, so carefully-researched and -presented pieces of scholarship like this fascinate me. Beautiful job.
        • Aww, thank you for listening to it! ^_^ I'm glad you liked it.

          I'm the opposite: My education has focused on research, no matter what area it's in, and so it's how I very often respond to what I love. I've been expressing these ideas in fanfic for over a decade now, but it's been a fun change to switch gears to a different type of expression.
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