ellenmillion: (Default)
Aging pets are hard. Just, hard.

A few nights ago, Norway tried to get up the front steps and failed. There are only two, and they aren't that steep, but he was having a bad back legs day. We put out the truck ramps for him, but they are metal, and although strong, sort of rattly. He looked at them, he looked at me, and said nope. I did finally get him up them with a firm hand on his collar, but it wasn't much fun. The next day, he ignored them and hopped down the steps. That night he got up the steps with effort. The following night, he walked right up them. It's so variable!

He's not the only one having issues with steps. Velcro's catbox and bed are on the main floor of our house, and her food and second waterdish are upstairs, where Norway can't help himself. I've pondered moving her food down because she clearly doesn't enjoy the stairs anymore, but figured it was the only exercise she was getting at this point. Yesterday, however, I watched her fall down them twice, and that's the end of that. The first time was just a few steps as she was going up. She picked herself up and powered up them, so I figured it was just one of those ungraceful cat moments they pretend you don't witness. But shortly after, she came down them and sort of got away from herself and ended up upside down at the bottom rocking in shock with her little extra toes in the air. She mewed at me in a very disappointed way when I came to help her up and spent the rest of the day sulking in her bed.

She's been missing the catbox more regularly lately, too. Oh, she tries! There are no accidents around the house, but sometimes she just barely gets into the catbox and the important parts aren't there yet. I've got puppy pads down, so cleanup isn't bad.

Poor old lady cat. Poor old man dog.

It seems like a lot of friends lately are losing beloved fur family members; Facebook seems to show me a few each week lately. I suspect it's just that I'm hyper-aware of them right now, because I know that my time with my own fur friends is not going to be a lot longer.

Have some art!

I recently did this for Portrait Adoption:


This one started life as a Sketch Fest sketch, in very rough form, and got refined at a gaming session.

A little over 800 words yesterday, slogging onward. The not-a-book is about 16k. I do not anticipate getting writing time today, as we have a playdate over quiet time. I've also got two more #junicorn pieces done (but not scanned), and am 1 behind (not counting today).

In less thrilling news, I finished the laundry, cleaned out the toaster with the air compresser, vacuumed upstairs (downstairs, too, but that's daily), and Guppy helped me measure and cut wood blocks for the woodshed.



And when I say helped, I don't even mean that with air-quotes! She fetched the blocks and drew the lines while I held the square. (She's wearing gloves because it's splintery treated lumber, not because it's cold.)

We made GREAT progress on the shed over the weekend, and we had our neighbors over for dinner, which was simply delightful, and we got a date night to go watch Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and have sushi. There have definitely been good times.

I'm growing on my bangs, and the irritation level is about a 6 right now. I've promised to try it until September.
ellenmillion: (Default)


It was a very early morning, but I was able to get this done during errands that involved waiting. The Junicorn landing page is here: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1604777.html

I got my 500 goal today, but none yesterday, so I'm still at a deficit for the month. I did also go through and polish up a few bits and catch some changes I made to my heroine, though. This not-a-book is up past 15k, and feeling like a real story. I don't think I'm close to halfway yet - this will probably be a 45k thing, which is the longest yet. I have two weeks of summer camp coming up, and am hoping to get a BIG CHUNK of it written those two weeks. Trying to work around a needy small monster who doesn't regularly nap anymore has proved challenging with no daycare/preschool/respite.

This weekend, we're planning to tackle the woodshed. And finally see Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
ellenmillion: (Default)
Sea Monster Month drew to a close yesterday, and this was my last contribution to it:


Original available. Download available in my Etsy shop. It's also available to any Torn World subscriber!

Guppy and I had an insanely busy day. I went to the gym, trepidatiously, and it worked out PERFECTLY. I feared the worst when she clung to me as I was leaving, but I peeked in a few times, as she discovered that the play microwave went BEEP and was beeping it, and then she made a friend and when I checked in again, they were playing happily in the house. So I did a pretty long workout, took a long steam and shower, and then had 30 minutes of earphones-in art time in the cafe. HEAVENLY. I got my first #junicorn piece finished, and will have a landing post about that shortly!

(Because it's June already, what?! My garden, now that I've removed the tasty bits out of reach, flourishes. We had chicken tarragon salad with tarragon that grew back in our garden, and the delphiniums have declared this their year and have sent out scouts. The columbine came back, and has a few buds just starting, and the chives are monstrous already. No potato shoots yet.)

After the gym, the plan was to go food shopping, but we were about halfway through lunch at the grocery when Jake called and said 'come for a walk!' It was the perfect day for a hike at Creamer's Field, so we did that. THEN the shopping, and some other shopping, and a little extra shopping, then we got water, and there was no quiet time today. (So no writing. Alas.) After grilling the chicked for the salad, we made another trip into town to get lightbulbs and water a friend's garden and get another load of water.

We saw baby ducks, and a chickadee nest, and we got strawberries and dinner was amazing, so the day as a whole was a success.

/rambly ramble.
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
Rocking the invoicing, sold some art, jamming to Budos Band, and drinking a gourmet hot chocolate from Sipping Streams (a MOUNTAIN of whipped cream, drizzled with caramel and chocolate, with two stick of cinnamon, and it's homemade cocoa to boot). That's a nice way to spend a cold snowy morning while the Guppy is enjoying preschool.

No new artwork today, mostly because the things I'm working on are all under non-disclosure...

But have a clever silent auction display! I needed something I didn't want back to display the ornaments I was donating, as well as a way for the winner to get their ornaments home, and struck upon this idea:



The ornaments can be tucked into the box - a free priority flat rate box - at the end, it's all very pretty and super disposable, but sturdy enough for the job. I would do something a little shorter and more weighted for glass ornaments, but for the light shatter-proof skellies, the taller display was preferable - last year, the auction tables were quite tightly packed, and it was tough to see everything.

My music has moved through Star Wars soundtrack to Kula Shaker, and it's about time to log off and go do grocery shopping.

Oh! I've also dyed my daughter's hair with a purple streak, because parenting is awesome. I'll try to get her to hold still for a photo soon.
ellenmillion: (thud)
Yesterday, I went back to the gym. Guppy is okay with being left at daycare now (though she says she didn't like it because some of the boys are noisy), and the daycare ladies just LOVED her, saying she was super sweet and very polite (parenting WIN!). I am sadly out of shape, but still won a basketball game with Jake. I also signed Guppy up for swim lessons.

I got a few hundred more words on my next novella, and mailed several hundred coloring books. This is what my Amazon Fulfillment boxes looked like before I packed them up:



I also got subscriptions out, and poked briefly at some webpage/admin things.

Today I was parent aide at preschool, and survived! That's really all I have to report so far, but it feels like enough.

(Okay, no, who am I kidding. I am going to go write some words and art some art and wash some dishes and program some magic so I can cross things off my list and earn my after-nap ice cream.)
ellenmillion: (Number 1 Dog Ribbon)
So much awesome today!

It was preschool day, and that went swimmingly. I left feeling a bit anxious, with 8 or 10 clingy 'one more hug and kisses!', but came back to a glowing report of great behavior and lots of smiles and happy excitement about what she got to do today... and other moms and dads smiled and said it was nice to see us again and I didn't feel like they were just being polite! I am on the shy side of social, and usually go away from conversations thinking back over all the stupid things I said, and all the clever/socially acceptable things I should have said, and generally feeling like a foolish oaf, so it's nice to think I may actually be making friends despite myself. <3


Posing with a shoe. On the cat cylinder. For some reason.

I also got another 900ish words on my story, packed up two orders, did a big shopping trip, picked up mail from the post office, designed and ordered new promotional postcards, started laundry (about to move them to the dryer), and cleaned up the house.

In business-y things, I am upgrading the coloring book order page, significantly. I just have too many titles to list them all full-sized on one bloated page anymore. Here's a non-official look at one of the pages I'm closing in on: http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/coloringbook.php?id=66

Now I'm doing the last of my Amazon restock (wait until I share photos of that!), and then there will be post-nap ice cream.
ellenmillion: (aahhhhhh)
Happy new year! I am back from my vacation, which was partly just an escape from business and social media (much needed!), and partly an actual-factual escape to sunlight and warmer climes - we spent some of the time in Hawaii! None of us had ever been there, and we can't wait to go back. Guppy is a fabulous traveler.



Now I'm back at my desk adulting again - and I've got lots to catch up on.

I have already unrolled a Sketch Fest improvement that should be pretty major - the prompts page has been streamlined SIGNIFICANTLY, and now loads a literal 30 times faster. *polishes knuckles* Sketch Fest #71 is NEXT weekend - we've got a Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1639152869681450/

I got my trashy novella all formatted for publication (it feels like that took as long as actually writing the darn thing...), and have started on my next.

Coloring books are back up for order - I nearly sold out of my fulfilled by Amazon selection while I was away, which was lovely, so I'll need to stock them again. (But it's always cheaper/better to buy them through my webpage, of course: http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/coloringbooks.php )

Now, we're back in the cold and dark (OMG, the dark. It's almost painfully dark.) and going outside to play on sleds at 8 degrees.



(I've missed you guys! I hope you had a fabulous time while I was away! Let me know if anything momentous happened while I was out!)

Thursdaily

Mar. 13th, 2014 04:55 pm
ellenmillion: (Kativa2)
Inbox is at 228.

Cute baby is cute:



A stranger at the Post Office yesterday asked if she was always this happy. It's one of my favorite things about her.

We had a really great playdate this morning, and she took an early, if slightly brief nap. She's in squirrel mode right now - chattering loudly and skittering around the house demanding attention.

Almost finished with a product management page at Sketch Fest. :) I've got the expiration codes in place when you upload new artwork now, and will be starting to expire older available products pretty soon... (You can change your default expiration choice in account management.)

I've done something to my left wrist this week - it's been bugging me the last few days. Hopefully it goes away soon, it's starting to get annoying.
ellenmillion: (Sketch Fest)
Sketch Fest in an hour! Get ready to be creative!

http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/

I've made a variety of cosmetic improvements throughout the site this month... mostly quite minor, but things that have been bugging me for a while. I also made progress on some big upgrades, but they aren't ready to roll out yet. (Sorry!) I also cleaned up a spam/hack attack - nothing compromised, just looks like a robot tried to 'purchase' a few pieces over and over and over again, presumably looking for a crack. Easily mopped up.

I should do errands today - we need groceries and I need to visit the PO - but I'm feeling supremely unmotivated to leave the house. It's 8 below, and I have a toasty fire, I'm still a little under the weather, and Ms. Minimus Monsterus is more than a touch whiny this morning. Besides, Sketch Fest!

And oh dear, that announcement list would probably be a whole lot more useful if I could remember to actually announce stuff to it in advance. I'm going to schedule the March Sketch Fest RIGHT NOW so that I give people enough advance warning.



Beating back brain lizards, in the meantime. Guppy asking (insistently) for attention now. Need to put laundry in.
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
I unwrapped a piece of leftover chocolate, and it told me: Take advantage of every free moment you have.

Which, well, have you been reading this journal or not?

(It was dark chocolate, so I'll allow it a little statement of the obvious.)

Today has been playing outside (at 15 below!), reading books ("Have YOU Seen My Cat?"), folding laundry, keeping the fire a degree from nuclear, and eating leftovers. I also baked some salmon that we'll make a salmon salad out of for dinner, with yesterday's bread. And I worked on a few fun projects and some freelance programming in every spare second I'm not being swarmed by energetic child.

Guppy has taken to saying good-bye to the ceiling fan when we go upstairs. "Bye bye ahhhhplane. Bye bye Mama's chair! Bye bye Papa's chair! Bye bye Kitty!"

She's unfastening my shoes right now... and the fire is burning low, so I'm off.
ellenmillion: (Number 1 Dog Ribbon)
I have a brilliant multi-colored knit hat that I wear when it's about 0 or above, and I call it my happy hat.

Guppy the other night asked for bread, both vocally and signing.

Jake: Do we have any bread?

Me: Nothing fresh. Just some old, crappy bread.

Guppy: Happy bread! Happy bread!

~~~~


This morning, she started fussing and pointing at... I couldn't figure out what. "AHHHPLANE! AHHPLANE!!"

Me: Lights? You want me to turn on the lights? (I did)

Guppy: AHHHPLANE! You AHHHPLANE broke!

Me: You want me to open the blinds? (I opened the blinds in the door)

Guppy: AHHHHPLANE!

And then I realized that she was pointing at the fan, which was off because the fire had gone out. Of course, it's on the ceiling, it must be an airplane! Heh! I turned it on, and all was well in the world again.

~~~~~


I worked on the map for Torn World today: http://torn-world.livejournal.com/168775.html

Stopping to work on some freelance programming that I'm not sure how to tackle but have to stop avoiding...

There is Sketch Fest THIS Friday! http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/

I also folded a load of clothes - another is ready to take out and fold, too. Bread is rising, and I have to figure out some kind of dinner. I'm thinking soup, because I haven't defrosted anything (doh!). Soup and fresh bread sounds good. We had homemade macacheeeee with veggies and leftover sausage for lunch, which was met favorably.

Still a little sniffly, but much improved.


Mondaily

Feb. 17th, 2014 03:04 pm
ellenmillion: (ellen with wrench)
I missed celebrating Monster Day yesterday, but would like to sit and sketch a monster today if I get a chance.

The house is still struggling back from the Illness. I think the smallest monster is going through a growth spurt - she's been terrifically needy and eating everything. Largest monster is dragging today and I'm still feeling a little under the weather myself, and sore from not quite over-doing it yesterday. I ran the snowblower on the driveway (we got about 4 inches of snow) and did almost too much hand shoveling on the switchback... my back today is letting me know that I got a good workout. There are some muscles in my arms used for blowing snow that have clearly been neglected, too. My throat still hurts and I blow my nose more than usual.

I did completely purge my closet over the long weekend, hang some art that had been cluttering the floor, and vacuum the entire upstairs. I got rid of a large diaper box (the wholesale crate size!) of clothing and a stuffed giant bag. Stuff I hadn't worn in forever, things I loved that were falling apart, some things that had been given to me that had too much baggage for me to ever wear... it feels wonderful to have it all gone, and my space is clear and orderly again and I found several items of clothing I'd forgotten I owned. I don't have to wear the same three shirts over and over again!

Pizza tonight (homemade sausage thawing, homemade bread rising!)... off to put more wood in the fire now.
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
There was a Sketch Fest this weekend, and I got 5 really rough pieces done, though I still need to upload three of those. I've got all the sales approved (none to chase down this month, which may be a first!) an am sending artist payments now.

I also finished a BIG programming update for a client, and am waiting for that to break with a finger on the roll-back button.

Adorable child has been adorable, but active...

In case this is too large for your feed... )

I did get a long walk with Norway, today - which was simply sublime, if exhausting. It's a ridiculous 31 degrees, so the snow is pretty squishy and I had to take off my coat altogether on the way back up the hill.

Very busy week ahead, I won't be around much. Off to chop up food for stir fry and give a toddler her special yellow spoon...

(Or, by the time I actually POST this, time for changing the sheets on the bed and then falling into it!)
ellenmillion: (Number 1 Dog Ribbon)
(Well, Programming is LIKE Circuses...)

Made bread, did laundry, baby-wrangled... the usual. It is warmer today, and snowing, so we went out to play for a while. Now, some programming and maybe even art if Guppy naps longer than usual (which wouldn't surprise me, given how hard we've played today, and how much she's eaten).

I thought I had something more scintillating to report, but it escapes me now...
ellenmillion: (ellen with wrench)
Programming this morning, plus a flurry of housecleaning, fire-making, laundry-starting, and adorable-baby-wrangling. I also scanned the finished submitted description artwork and brushed the cat.

Poor Velcro is finally starting to show her age. In addition to double-thinking jumping up on things, she's started having trouble grooming the area from the middle of her back to her tail. To compensate, she has been over-grooming the area around it, leading to funny little bald spots in a triangle down her back, which is what clued me in to her trouble. I've been making sure to brush her every day, and that seems to help. She's at least 14 by now (a pound adoption!), so this isn't unexpected.

In better news, yesterday was a banner day at the Post Office - not one, but THREE Kickstarter rewards came in! I now have two new art books, a GIANT copy of Digger, and a few various goodies.

I am trying to decide if dressing Guppy up as Digger for Halloween is the mark of a geek or just silly:


(See? Blurry! So many blurry photos! Baby is constantly in motion! I still thought these were cute.)

Sketch Fest is on Friday!
ellenmillion: (baby kitty)
It seems like an unusually high percentage of the photos I've tried to take lately have been blurry, or have a finger up a nose, or I'm getting an expression like this:



We have gone out and played in the snow a few times. Yesterday, she followed me back and forth to the woodpile while I was getting wood for the stove. She can now navigate herself on and off the porch with ease. This is from a week or so ago:



Today, we got the children's museum - where there were a few dozen other children! It was a bit of a madhouse, but she dealt well. We made it out without screams of protest, this time. (Well, our screams of protest, anyway. There were others.) We stopped and looked at the very big bear*, which she wanted to hug (but could not).

And speaking of bears! She has a stuffed Chicago Bears bear - one of those pillow pets that spreads out flattish. I've had in her bed for the last few months, and wasn't sure she really cared that much for it... until last night.

I put her down and she wasn't asleep, but she also wasn't fussy. She was babbling cheerfully to herself, or to her giraffe, maybe, for 10 or 15 minutes, when suddenly the noises became frantic and turned to crying. "Bahh! Bahhh!" she kept saying. "Mama! Bahhhh!" It wasn't her usual 'I don't want to sleep' noise.

I went in, and she immediately, imperiously, pointed to the corner of her room where the Bears bear was on top of her toys. "BBBBAAAAAHHHHH!"

Obediently, I brought her the bear and told her it was time to sleep. She put the bear on the opposite side of the crib from herself and curled up happily in her odd sleeping position (on TOP of the blankets, hands under her, butt in the air). She only had to know it was there, apparently.

She did babble for another thirty minutes, so possibly there was more bear interaction than I observed, but she was quite content until she finally fell asleep.

...

In non-Guppy news (there is such a thing?), I am refining my list of goals and systems, polishing up a few Torn World submissions, working on some artwork, and planning some travel.




*In the adult's section of the museum is a taxidermy brown bear. I don't know how tall he is - 9'? 10'? Very huggable, but the museum staff frowns on that.
ellenmillion: (thud)
I got a massage yesterday, a follow-up from an absolutely brutal massage/adjustment on Friday, and I still feel a bit... tender. Or perhaps, tenderized would be more accurate. There is a core conditioning class tonight that I shouldn't wuss out on.

Whirlwind of a morning, but we missed story time.

Lots of numbers in my head, and... I have to go rescue the cat from the baby now!

Tuesdaily

Jan. 7th, 2014 04:59 pm
ellenmillion: (Number 1 Dog Ribbon)
A week into the new year, and I still haven't figured out my goals for 2014. (Though, to be more accurate, my lists don't tend to be 'goals', so much as a 'system' or simple list of things-to-do.) Still stewing over what I want to see done at the end of the year. I was pretty pleased with my accomplishments of last year, and while I don't want to be unreasonable, I do want them to be a challenge. I keep eyeing the monsterus minimus and wondering what she's going to be like this calendar year. In 2013, she went from rolling to running, from incapable of opening doors to able to navigate the stairs and unlatch the gate. What monster-y advances should I expect THIS year?

In other news, I am feeling your pain, lower 48! I would have kept our cold if I could have - it's been too warm to run the woodstove, and I've missed having a cozy fire going. Also ironic - you guys are having the cold snap, and we're the ones out of food. The produce department at the store yesterday had been STRIPPED. There were long swathes of empty displays. You could tell that they'd spread out the apples they did have to make it look not quite so bare. I'm not sure if trucks were delayed somewhere, or maybe planes coming through the midwest, but it was a sad, sorry looking department. Sucks being at the end of the supply line.

Got some programming done today, and started poking at how to implement a few other ideas. Guppy and I bundled up and played outside for a while, and I cooked up the rest of the broccoli before it could go bad. That's how exciting my life is. BROCCOLI, people, I BOILED broccoli.

Also, it has taken approximately seven hours to write this entry. I had other things to blog about when I started, but they've escaped.
ellenmillion: (Kativa2)
Happy new year, everyone! I hope it's been a great start, and continues to be the best year possible.

It has been pointed out to me that I haven't posted Guppy photos in far too long - I was appalled to realize HOW long, exactly. Sorry about that! Here are her 22 month bear photos:





One of her favorite things to do is wrap herself in blankets and parade around the house. Little weirdo.

I did not take nearly as many photos over the holidays as I should have. I also got very little 'work' done. No programming, to speak of (though I did do a little password housekeeping that required code updates), only fanart, no writing. I did take several long walks in the woods. Today, I'd like to knuckle down on some programming, mail some packages, make bread, and maybe go to the children's museum.

Starting... now.
ellenmillion: (happy holidays)
It was a really, really lovely Christmas. It was only the three (two and a half?) of us for the day, and a few gifts and a lot of great food (bacon-wrapped, sausage-stuffed pork tenderloin!) and laughter and fun. I got a set of Copic markers to play with (eee!), a Batman shirt, a pair of long underwear and a shark with a FRICKIN' LASER POINTER! In all, quite awesome. Guppy got some fabulous loot, and has spent a great deal of time with a bucket on her head, telling me about her new letters (R included), listening to her Very Own music-maker, and putting her Very Own keys in her fuzzy purple purse.

I took a walk with Norway, and hung up my own ornament contribution. The only one I had was silver, though, so it's a little hard to spot. It is glittery, though, so it should sparkle when the sun hits it.



On Saturday, I was hanging my Batman shirt up on the line to dry and I asked, "Do you think Guppy would be okay with the Batman cartoons?" We don't let her watch an awful lot of TV, but once in a while, we'll turn something on. Before Jake could answer, Guppy pointed to the shirt and said enthusiastically, "BAHMAH!!" And we all cheered. My awesome little geek Guppy.

More scanning this weekend - and I got a NEW piece of artwork done, too. (But won't show you that until it goes up at the RT site...)


This was an RPG character from a Serenity tabletop game from 2006. I really liked this character - she was so much fun to play! (I even wrote fanfiction for her. (Fanfiction.net / AoOO)

(Hmm... thought I had more old artwork, but I guess it was all Torn World stuff...)

Today, there is Guppy-wrangling (as a given!), laundry-folding, bread-making, and a bunch of security programming work (massive changing of passwords housekeeping for self and for clients. YUCK.).

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