It is kind of nice listening to my children and Lee playing video games in Faeryn's apartment. Kind of hard too - I want to join them, but it's her space, and I've made it clear that I don't go down there uninvited. I try very hard to give her the respect and distance I would give any other paying customer. Makes it much lonelier, though.
Faeryn is coming for a WEEK in June! Ok, granted, I have to work the whole week, and she's going to be spending time with friends, her grandparents, her brother, and her Dad, but I'll get some time with her, which will be good.

Also have someone very interested in renting the apartment for June. He just wants the one month, which means I'd get a bit of income, then would have the place available in time to be able to maybe coax family or friends to come visit from PA or Boston.
*sigh* I can't wait until June and the chance to spend some time with my daughter. And I did get to see her in February at least. Her poor Dad is suffering from even greater withdrawal! I'm beginning to be afraid he's going to come to the con, just to get to see her, which would be incredibly stressful for me. Besides, I want time with her that I don't have to share. Yep, selfishness shining through again.

*sigh* a few more weeks. If I can survive the next 3 weeks, I'll make it.
The userpic is a rose that used to grow in the garden of the townhouse.

Cons are such a mixed blessing.

Yesterday I made it to Boston with minimal trouble. A little black ice on my driveway, and I got lost finding my way to the Daily Parking at IAD. Still made it to the gate 2 hours early. Decided at the last minute to take advantage of pre-boarding because I can't lift my left arm above my head, and am SO grateful that I did. Will do the same on the way back. It is worth the nasty looks from people who think I shouldn't be doing so because I don't look sick.

Faeryn caught up with me at the airport and escorted me to the home where she is living/working. We had time to catch up a bit, though I was pretty foggy from the journey and wasn't as communicative as would have been nice. F. provided me with a bag of thoughtful valentine goodies. Got to meet the family and get lots of baby cuddle-time. Little H. is adorable, and I enjoyed getting to chat with his parents too (I know they won't mind too much that my attention was focused mostly on him). I did have to reassure them that I had no desire to kidnap Baby even though I was dearly enjoying cuddling him - I want no more teens!

Eventually F's new local boyfriend, Jimmy, showed up and went with us to the con.

We explored the dealers room a bit and met a few people before registering for the con, and eventually Mary Anne found and kidnapped me for dinner, which was the highlight of my evening. I caught up with F. and J. in time to get in trouble for saying too much and to say goodnight to them before they went elsewhere for a bit. Early to bed for me, though not early to sleep. I woke in time to watch part of the sunrise from my room, then came down to the lobby to find internet access since I couldn't get connected there. Now I am trying to figure out what I want to do next.

Cons are a very mixed blessing. I love seeing people and collecting hugs, and I feel guilty that I don't reach out to any of these people in between cons. Most of them don't know or understand that by the time I can force myself to make that phone call to reach out, I am pretty much at the end of my rope and hanging on for dear life. I love the feeling of being cared for and somehow connected again. I feel closer to Greg. And I miss him more than ever. I see people we know, and turn to point them out to him. I saw Louis McMaster Bujold yesterday and wished desperately that he was there to meet her. I'm still considering getting her to autograph one of her books for him, silly as it sounds. I've greeted a few people who only know me as Greg's wife (which is perfectly fine with me). How many times did I go to cons with him, and just lean against him as I listened to him talk to people whose names I couldn't quite remember? I'm already overwhelmed and ready to go home, and there are still so many people I want to see and hug. I'm at the point this morning, though, where I'm already breaking into tears for no real reason.

I think it is time for water and Ibuprofen and to either wander the galleria a bit or go back up to my room and cool down a bit (the public areas of the hotel are grossly overheated - I'm sweating in a light-weight t-shirt!

Will try to keep up with LJ and FB, but with the limited connectivity available, I may miss something, so please drop me a note here if there is something you'd like me to know about or comment on.
It has been a long but not awful day, I guess.

46 years ago today, my husband Greg, the love of my life and my best friend, was born. I miss him horribly.

I did my falling apart early when I woke up at 4am after only a couple of hours of sleep, then cried myself back to sleep and into a nasty headache. I managed to get my act together, though, and be mostly upbeat when Faeryn left for the morning. Carol called and talked to me a bit, then Kathy came around 11:30 to hang out for a bit. My mother dropped her off with some very welcome chocolate cake and spicy peanuts. Dr. W, my therapist, called to check on me and see how I was surviving the day. Faeryn came home after her morning of babysitting and her boyfriend, Lee, came over for an hour as well. I got to talk to Kathy about Greg, reliving our first in person meeting and our first kiss. We looked at some stuff online, and I made appointments for an electrician to come give me estimates on some things I need done in the next few months. Kathy and I played some of the best Rummy I've played in years. At 6, Garrett came to get Kathy and by 7pm I was on my own again.

The house is quiet now and I am settled down for the evening with the cats. Snugs is passed out beside me, and Emo is gazing out the window, hoping his Faeryn will come home. Bed for me, soon, I think.

I wish I could sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time and that I'd stop waking up looking for him.

Emo has decided to come and curl up on me for a while and wants me to stop typing and put away the netbook.

Goodnight all.
Thank you to everyone who gave me information about grandmother names. I am probably going to be trying for Grammy, though I will ask Faeryn if she had had a thought/suggestion. I rather like Mommom, but it is too close to Mom to be comfortable for Faeryn, I suspect.
My father dearly loves deviled eggs, but given his health issues, really should not have them. Faeryn is searching for a tasty yolk-free recipe that she can make for him. I think other fillings for the cooked egg-whites would work as well, but of course everything I think of, like chicken/tuna/crab salad would take real mayo to taste good (at least, I haven't found a diet Mayo that I like particularly for chicken or tuna salad) and all the recipes I can find call for using the egg yolks. Any suggestions? Has anyone tried a yolk-free "deviled egg" recipe that they can recommend?
F. lost the only key to my car, which I had let her use to go out this evening while her car was in the shop.

This means a cab to work tomorrow ($30 trip), and goodness knows how I'm getting to my ultrasound appointment.

I really can't take any more tonight.

ETA: My son is bringing F home, and I remembered that I have Greg's key to the car, which they will borrow long enough to go get my car and bring it home. It is both heart breaking and reassuring that Greg can help me even now.
Went to the gyn appointment today. TMI behind cut )
As some of you know from FaceBook, this weekend was a particularly horrid one for me. Actually Saturday day wasn't so bad, but Saturday night was horrid.

F. had some friends over for a party. A very loud, very long party. It was, of course, a drinking party because I don't think kids her age (all over 21) know how to do anything else, at least not in her friends group. Given the frequency and intensity with which these kids drink, I strongly suspect alcoholism. I mean, some are known to drink until they get so blotto they can't figure out where to pee and have ruined stuff like a PS2 because of this. And since it happens repeatedly, obviously the lure of the alcohol far outweighs shame/judgment/common sense. The more they drank, the louder they got and the further into the toilet their language fell. Repeated shouts of "f that" or "you f-er", etc rang through the house through the night. The boys could not be bothered to use the indoor bathroom, but instead chose to go outside to urinate, often under my window. It was almost 5am before they quieted down, after a final tearful call from me to Faeryn asking why they had all gathered in the room directly below mine and yelled at the top of their lungs. The explanation that I was given was that "they wanted to get your attention". They got it. My cats, of course, thought that 6 was time for me to get up, so between the brats downstairs and my 4-legged brats, I got no sleep. I had to work Sunday, most of it in a daze and feeling nauseated and dizzy from fatigue. Though I got a good solid 9 hours+ last night, I still dealt with similar symptoms today. I simply don't have the physical resources right now to deal with stuff like that.

F. did send me an email with a short apology, and told me that her friends were apologetic Sunday morning. Since they didn't apologize to me, I don't know if they were really sorry at all or not. Since there will be no more partying at our house for a very long time, if at all, I suspect they will be more sorry the next time they want to play.

I ended up writing a lengthy angry email to my daughter, expressing frustration about a number of issues. I've also told her I don't want to talk about this in person for a couple of days, because I'm too tired to hold my tongue and not say things I might regret. Still too angry too. At some point we're going to have to talk, because I'm getting tired of being used and feeling less valued than anyone else in her life.

I started writing this before I left the bookstore (this is a rough week, both jobs today, gyn tomorrow, infusion Wednesday, counseling Thursday, dinner with a very kind but far too inquisitive and talkative former patient on Friday (though depending on how I feel by Friday morning, I may reschedule that)). Now I am home, have run the laser pointer around for the cats a little and am going to collapse in bed. I will have to go downstairs at some point this week to reset a fuse in my bathroom (the one that my tea pot is plugged in to :( ). Hopefully by the time I decide I need to do that, F will have gotten some of the worst of downstairs cleaned up. I'm avoiding going down for as long as I can, so that I don't get upset over mess that I can't do much over.

It sounds like she is home now, working some in the basement, so now is a very good time for me to shut things down and go to sleep.
The day has ended much better than it started. The house is warm because the plumber was adamant that I need to keep it warmer to prevent freezing pipes again given that tonight is going to be even colder than last night. I've seen the new bed, and I really really like it. It is just what I need to protect the things I need/want to have around me from the cats. The headboard is a little like the one Greg and I had, but not too much like it. There are lights built into the headboard, and drawers and cupboards, places to keep Greg's things close, but not where the cats can knock them down.

I've re-arranged my room, again, in anticipation of the bed. I moved all three of the bookshelves in the room by myself as well as the small TV stand, which will go into the basement tomorrow. Tomorrow morning I'll strip down the bed and see if I can start taking apart the bedframe. I may need to wait for Faeryn's friends to do that, but I'll try.

Faeryn and a few of her friends are hanging out in the basement, watching a movie, and supposedly preparing for tomorrow's party. I think they are busy dipping into the alcohol ahead of time *sigh*, but at least they are staying put tonight.

I thrilled to find my ipod while I was cleaning. Now I need to figure out how to download the contents and upload some new things.

Snuggles is cuddled beside me and Emo has gone downstairs to visit with the kids, and I can sleep in tomorrow, am even encouraged to because the kids will be sleeping in downstairs. Other than getting my bed into place, there isn't a whole lot I need to do tomorrow. Well, there is housecleaning and laundry to be done, as always, but I'm actually going to take a little time for myself and organize my beading supplies (I hadn't realized before tonight quite how much I have!) and read a little.

It has been a long day. Definitely time for sleep now.
Yesterday I got the bad news that my car isn't drivable until at least next week. While the brakes have been fixed, there is a small hole in the heating system such that fluid is leaking out and continuing to run the car risks ruining the engine. My mechanic was adamant that taking the car to drive this weekend, even less than a total of 30 miles was not something he would want me to do, and he's very glad I decided to bring the lack of heat to his attention so he found the problem.

On top of the car problem, my Treo has decided it doesn't want to function as a phone anymore. The rest of the functions work, but it won't recognize any SIM card put in, and says it gets no signal at all. *sigh*.

I wasn't looking forward to much of a day off, with no car, no phone, and no company other than the cats. Faeryn had said she might not be coming home last night, so I wasn't even sure of being able to borrow her car for a minimum of errands. We did spend some very pleasant time listening to music and fiddling on the computer a bit before she went out, though.

Faeryn did come home after all, relatively early even, and I borrowed her car when I got up. I ran out to Michaels who did not have what I was looking for, then back home via the credit union. I also went by the store, briefly, to pick up coupons that had been left there. I foolishly had the radio on, and fell completely apart when Garth Brooks came on singing "The Dance". I've been working very determinedly today on reminding myself how much less the day sucked than I was afraid it would, and trying to keep focused on little things to be done now rather than thinking about what has been lost. Mostly it works ok, especially when around other people.

I came home to find Faeryn awake. She helped me get the mailbox (which is driving me insane) back up, and hopefully it will stay up for another week or so. Then we ended up going out to put money from her into my bank, then out to the grocery store to get food for a friend of hers who has cancer and isn't doing so well, and to get goodies to put into a basket for my parents' anniversary on the 19th. We got olives of various kinds, a lovely tapenade, crackers, cookies, and hot chocolate. I just need to get a handful or two of Lindor chocolates to add in, and it will be all set. We're giving it to them with a set of videos, so it should provide them a pleasant evening all together. We also got a roast chicken and a salad for home. I'm having the salad for lunch and feeling quite virtuous (I'd rather be having slices of bread with olive tapenade and roast chicken, but I need to eat some vegetables for a change).

Faeryn has gone off to visit her friends, and I probably won't see her again until tomorrow. Hopefully she will remember that she is my ride to work (probably will). I'm going to finish my healthy lunch, then curl up with the cats and take a nap, then work on Christmas gifts. I can't find part of what I need to finish my gift for Mom McM, and I need to figure out what to make for my mother. After a nap I'll put on a book on tape, clean for a short bit and then work on gifts.

The cats are already dozing, so I'm going to go join them now.
The new therapist is a significant improvement already over the others I've tried so far. The hour flew by, and I was able to tell her a significant amount about myself and my situation, including some of the information about my relationship with my parents. When I told her that I don't expect an immediate cure, but looking for help coping and getting to the point where I don't have to spend every evening reminding myself of my promises not to do something stupid in order to make it through to bedtime. Her reaction to that statement was not to threaten me with inpatient care (which would be a problem only because I'd end up losing one if not both jobs), but to say that she thought therapy could help with that. Our expectation is not to take away the grief and pain, but to get me more functional and able to handle the grief and pain. I have appointments every week between now and the end of the year, which is reassuring.

I had to take Greg's car into the shop today, and Faeryn picked me up and brought me home. she ended up staying home with me, we even kind of ate dinner together, which was very pleasant. It was a low key evening, just some chatting and generally hanging out together, then she went to bed and I took a long hot shower. Having her in the house was exactly what I needed after therapy. After the shower, I got a call from a friend, and spent time talking briefly about some of the stuff going on in her life before I hijacked the conversation and made it all about me - oops! Luckily, she didn't mind too much, and I had a genuine smile on my face when I got off the phone a few minutes ago.

Now I'm ready for bed, and to get up way too early tomorrow for Faeryn to take me to work. It works well for me to go in early tomorrow because I've got to leave early for the endocrinology appointment. With any luck our car will get fixed tomorrow and I'll be able to go pick it up immediately after my appointment (the office is about 2 blocks away from the mechanic).

Goodnight all.

Overwhelmed

Dec. 6th, 2008 09:55 am
The holiday season is incredibly draining. I'm trying desperately to appear more upbeat after having heard from my daughter how hard it is for her to cope with my tears and depression. It isn't, after all, as if I don't have plenty of alone time where I can fall apart all I want.

I want/need to gather/make Christmas gifts for family and friends, and just can't seem to get my act together. By this time of year, Greg and I always had at the very minimum a list completed for all but one or two people, most of the items purchased or made, and had plans to deal with the rest. This year I've got a few items for the kids which I purchased over the last few months, but I can't even tell you what I got or where I put it (except for a pen-sized fishing rod I got for Garrett).

I can't enjoy Christmas this year. Usually it is a stressful but pleasant time, now it is just stressful and painful. Every time I turn around there is something that reminds me of our loss. I was given 3 huge tubs of Christmas decorations, and I can't even begin to consider decorating. First of all, it is just me and the cats and they don't care. Secondly, Christmas is about sharing with family, and I really don't have anyone local to be spending time with. (Yes, I have given up on both children, they've clearly got their own lives, and I can't blame them for wanting to avoid my depression). Travel to visit friends isn't really much of an option between work, and my desperate desire to avoid church related activities at Christmas. I've also never been comfortable visiting other people - or rather spending the night at other people's houses, even if they are family. Sometimes it is necessary, and I can do it, but I tend to dread it. It was ok doing so with Greg, because having him was almost as comfortable as being at home. On my own, it is less so. I know I could invite myself to visit most of my friends over the holiday, but I'm just not good at being a social person, and I'm especially afraid that this year I am likely to pull down the mood of any gathering.

I need to make a list of everyone I want to get gifts for. I need to then go through and see who on that list I can make/bake things for and who needs gifts purchased. I have purchased a couple of gift cards as gifts (from companies that have made no noises about going out of business in the next month). I haven't figured out anything really personal for most of my relatives, which bugs me to no end.

I've been asked to make a list of things I want, too. Unfortunately, what I want most isn't available. I also find it very hard to ask for things, and a little uncomfortable when people go overboard providing things that I've said I am looking for (*looks pointedly northward toward a very dear person who goes way way way overboard*). Of course, if I want family members to provide me with wish lists, I know I have to do the same in return. Time to go to Amazon and create one, I guess. Most of what I want is little stuff, at least, with the occasional over-the-top item which I don't need but would really like to have.

I'm tired of working, and would dearly love a day off. The one I had earlier this week when I was sick didn't count at all. Somehow even though we've hired someone to cover Saturdays, I've ended up working every Saturday but one. At least the weekend before Christmas I won't be working.... but will be traveling to visit family, which will be good but is always emotionally draining. I refuse to spend my entire time there weeping in a corner, but it takes an extra lot of energy to keep from doing that. It seems to be how I want to cope these days. Or not cope, I guess.

Must get up and get ready for work. I also desperately need to find time/energy to buy some things for the house to make it more weather-tight. We're spending a huge amount on heating, and I'm keeping the temperature much lower than is comfortable as is. I do have a programmable thermostat to install, but I really don't want to do that when I am alone in the house, just in case.

It seems Faeryn didn't come home last night, didn't call, didn't text. I'm sure she did the sensible thing and stayed somewhere safe after having something alcoholic to drink, just wish she'd let me know, as I have asked.

Next thing on the agenda is to clean up the living room and kitchen to make it a) presentable in case people stop by (ha, ha) and b) in a decent condition for cooking/baking. I don't cook much anymore, just heat up a can of something, or pop a frozen meal in the micro-wave, but for actually holiday baking I really need a thoroughly clean kitchen. Of course, by the time I get home from work today, the odds of that happening are slim to none. Then comes getting the hallroom bathroom cleaned because I doubt it is going to get done otherwise.

Ok, said I'd only post if I had something positive to include. I've whinged, now I need something positive.

The birds are keeping the cats greatly amused and are enjoying the new suet cakes I found for them that include *shudder* mealworms. I counted at least 8 different kinds of birds in the 2-3 minutes that I was looking out at them with Snuggles.
Happy birthday to my beautiful daughter, Faeryn, who turned 21 today!

She got a lovely birthday present this morning - a dusting of snow on the grass and cars.
She had a wonderful trip, and will hopefully be writing about it on LJ. I just brought her and her father home from the airport. He kindly thanked me for taking them to and from the airport. It seems like they were mostly pleased to have been able to fly rather than drive, though the trip back got a little hectic.

Now, I am going to bed - my head is killing me.
Faeryn is off to Nashville in the morning. For those who are interested, you can go to her website at faerynco.com and follow the link to hear her demo songs (all covers of various songs).

Here is the song that she sang to win the Brooks & Dunn tickets:

03 Happy Girl
After my nap, I spent some time cleaning up a little around the house. There is a great deal that needs to be done, but I'm pleased with getting any of it taken care of. The worst was the poor cats' litter box, which apparently hadn't been cleaned since I left on Friday, though I asked Faeryn to do so.

I ended up very frustrated by the condition of things. I know I am a slob and my house is always going to be a wreck. I don't expect Faeryn to be incredibly neat and tidy or anything, but just to help out some. After working around the dishes left in the sink from the last time she cooked, picking up my things in the living room and working around the dishes left there and the projects scattered across the couch, gathering my good black coat which had been left on the floor of her bathroom along with dirty clothes, and then having to sweep rabbit dung up that had gotten kicked (by her bunny) all the way out into the hallway, I was rather upset. I still haven't heard from her, have no idea when/if she is coming home, or even if she was home last night to take care of the animals; given the condition of the litter box and the lack of dry food in their bowls, I rather suspect not.

I ended up writing a very long email to her, which I know is going to get her back up. I've asked her for help around the house (taking out the trash once a week, cleaning up the hall bathroom of her dirty clothes, cleaning up her dishes, and sweeping up after her rabbit). Nothing I think unreasonable, nothing she wouldn't have to do with any room-mate. I've also told her she isn't likely to be able to move into the basement apartment, because I am probably going to have to rent it out to help pay the bills (she doesn't really contribute financially other than to pay the cable bill which is in her name, and I pay for her car insurance and cell phone on top of the mortgage and household bills). I also talked at her about my need to have her show me some consideration in terms of letting me have an idea of where she is going and when she will be home. I also let her know that I'm aware she hasn't been being completely truthful with me. I don't think I've been unreasonable or asked for anything I shouldn't have. I made it clear I want to know when she will be coming home, not to invade her privacy, but to keep from worrying. I've asked not for details about where she is going, but rough ideas (to the karaoke bar? out with friends? in town or in a neighboring county?, home around midnight, between 2 and 3, or not at all?) I've asked her to consider what she would think in my shoes, and how she has felt on the few occasions where she's tried to call me at home or work on an evening when she expected I'd be at one or the other, and couldn't get me and had no idea where I was or if I was ok. Or how she'd feel if she came home late one night and I wasn't here.

I know she's going to be angry and upset, and that I'll get the cold shoulder and rudeness for a while. She'll probably threaten to move out, but she can't afford to go anywhere other than possibly to her brother's, who doesn't want her living with him. I suspect, after she thinks about it, she'll decide that the "luxuries" of living here are worth the constraints, though she will resent them and me for a while.

I should have done this before I left for OVFF. I'm really dreading the next week or so of her coldness and unfriendliness (which I get whenever she gets annoyed with me) and the fact that she'll probably not be home at all for a while, just to get away from me, and I'll have to worry more. She's a difficult 20. I know it can't be e y living at home at that age, but I am pretty sure I haven't asked her for anything unreasonable. I am just dreading a week of even less local support than I usually have, especially since I am actually not working much in the evenings this week.

*sigh*

Thank goodness for LJ, long-distance friends, and phones.
Faeryn called me at 1am last night to tell me she either wasn't coming home or was going to be very late. She told me she might be spending the night at her Aunts. She tells me this quite often. I admit, I wonder. I really hope she isn't doing anything foolish.

This morning I woke with a horrible headache after not having slept particularly well. I should get up and go do things, including going to the bead store to get beading wire, but I don't think that is going to happen. I'm going to lie down a bit more if the cats will let me and hope the ibuprofen will kick in. The headache really needs to calm down a bit before I drive anywhere. At least I don't have to be at work until noon.

I really need to get screens repaired or replaced on the windows in this house so I can open windows when it is lovely and cool out like it is right now. Besides, the cats would love it.

Going back to bed now.
Tonight I am home alone with the cats as usual, not finding the energy to get anything done, and not really caring. This week I've done one load of laundry, run the dishwasher and put dishes away, taken out the trash, and cleaned the litter box a few times (and must go do that again as soon as I finish this post). That is actually more than I've done around the house in a few weeks, so I guess the Welbutrin is helping. I still really don't care or feel like I've got the energy to do anything. Work is easier because I've got someone to tell me what needs to be done, and to help me keep on track.

Evenings are hard. There isn't really anyone around here to hang out with; my only friends are married and busy at home in the evenings, and one is my boss, which makes socializing a little odd. I've thought about trying to join some kind of local group, but haven't found anything that interests me enough to keep me going back. The knitting/crocheting group would have been nice, but it meets on Wednesdays at 7pm and I have to work Wednesdays until 8. I could go to the gathering then go back to the store after 9 to get the work done, but realistically, that isn't likely to happen.

I don't know how to meet people or make friends. Greg was always the social one, the one who dragged me along to all sorts of gatherings where I ended up usually enjoying myself. I'd be tempted to go to the Karaoke bar where Faeryn hangs out, but she's made it rather clear that she'd rather I didn't. Not that a lot of the people who hang out there are likely to become close friends with me (most are smokers, I'm asthmatic, not a good mix). Her aunt is invited to the bar for her 21st birthday, but neither her Dad or I are welcome, not even for the beginning of the party. I understand that she might not want us to hang around for the entire thing, but dropping in for an hour at the beginning might have been nice. We're useful people to have around, we provide shelter, clothes, transportation, Steve's even making sure she gets her chance to go to Nashville, and I bought the airline tickets. I guess my parents probably felt this way about me at times too.

I'm tired and lonely and not looking forward to the weekend, and feeling depressed. Tomorrow is an 8 hour shift at the bookstore, Sunday is as well. I'm somewhat grateful tomorrow isn't a 10 shift for me. At least I'll be around friendly people for most of the day, and do some reading and maybe make some more odds and ends of beaded stuff to sell at the bookstore.

Time to take care of the litter box and go to bed. Another week is over, and I don't remember most of it, which is probably a good thing. Maybe tomorrow will be the start of a better one.

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