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  • Lisa Millraney

autumn is falling

Okay, I lied again. LOL. It really wasn’t a lie. I did intend to blog before the con, but to paraphrase the great wise one Ferris Bueller, life comes at you fast sometimes. sorry! Hope all y’all had a good end-of-summer.


I finished the Smoky Mountains hat I was knitting when last we talked, just in time for fall! Thought I had taken a picture, but can't find it. I promise to share before the weather gets appropriate. lol. But I did make another hat after that, thanks to the art swap I mentioned last post! It was so much fun. I couldn’t settle on one format, so I made several smaller things for my recipient, including a cross stitched bee on a dog rose (she likes flowers and insects), a crocheted nature spirit doll, and this little painting of a beachscape. I’m still no artist, but I think I’m getting a little better.






Anyway, during signups, one person mentioned she wished she could get somebody who would appreciate hand-spun yarn. Naturally, I shrieked and waved my virtual arms frantically, and the swap mods got the idea. So I got this gorgeous skein of alpaca-blend, and made this wonderful squishy warm slouchy hat out of it! (Kindly ignore the doofus modeling.)



The two Supernatural auction dolls are done and in their forever homes, just in time for me to pledge another one, plus some earrings and fingerless gloves, for the Marvel Trumps Hate charity fundraiser. Here's one, the angel Castiel with rainbow wings!



And Dragon Con happened! And God bless them, the precautions they put in place (vaccine and mask requirements, plus the cutback on crowd size, regular cleaning, limiting people in rooms etc) seemed to work a treat. I haven’t heard any kind of semi-official reports on covid incidence, but an informal poll taken in one facebook con group had 98% of attendees testing negative post-con! (me being one, I swabbed my nose in the drive-thru at Walgreens and they already had the result back by the next morning, so, yay Walgreens) It was still great fun with lots of panels and activities, just not nearly as jam-packed, which was fine by me. As usual, I stayed in the suburbs and rode the train back and forth. I tell folks that when I’m standing on the platform and I hear the MARTA coming on Thursday afternoon, that’s when it hits me that I’m there and it is ON. hehe


My Sylvie costume went over really well! The shoulder harness for my wingman (wing-gator, in this case) needs some tweaking, but the concept was solid. Gator Loki's mask that matched mine went over hugely. I lost count of the people who wanted to take our picture! (No lie, I like masks. They hide my double chin, and I've always thought my mouth is my worst feature.)



Here are some shots of me and all the other Lokis and affiliates at the photoshoot!





I'm toward the back of that last one, looking like I'm trying to summon...something. lolol


I came up with another of what I call lazy cosplay, while packing! I tried on my Black Sabbath t-shirt, bought because it’s the one Tony wears in The Avengers. It’s a bit too big for me, but it occurred to me that because of that, the functional arc reactor I got last Christmas from my secret pal would snug into my bra, the battery pack would tuck into my leggings, and the wires wouldn’t show!



So, yeah, I made a mask out of AC/DC fabric to go with it (it’s what Tony would do, lol), tossed together a quick backstory if anybody asked (meet Antonia ‘Toni’ Edwina Stark, aka the Iron Queen!) and off I went. Which was great, until the arc reactor fell out of my bra while getting dressed and one of the wires pulled loose. ☹ I messed with it enough to get it semi-working, but it took spells of flickering on and off all day. Needless to say, I was devastated…until somebody commented on it, and without a second thought I said ‘yeah, it hasn’t been right since that jerk Scott Lang messed with it’ (spoiler if you haven’t seen Endgame! In all fairness, Scott messing with the reactor was Tony’s idea.) That got a laugh, and so for the rest of the day I just worked the ‘malfunction’ into my storyline.


Best meals of the trip were the first and last day. There’s a chain called Bucees out of Texas, known for having the world’s largest convenience stores. Picture Stuckeys, only the size of a Wal-Mart, no lie. 0_0 They just opened one between Chattanooga and Atlanta, I stopped to gas up and pit stop, and got a sandwich of their famous sliced beef brisket. Very good stuff. I actually didn’t eat out much; I don’t anyway—you may recall me saying on previous Dragon Con trips, I use my room’s kitchenette for breakfast and pack a sandwich for lunch—but this year I picked up supper and brought it back and chilled in the room and ate. The less being maskless in public, the better, right now. Before I left on Monday to come home though, I caved and ate at a place called Aviva, in the food court of Peachtree Center. It’s famous and much loved by congoers, and I finally found out why. Holy CATS, their chicken shawarma is mind-blowing.



They know their customer base, during con. :D But heck, I could make a meal just off their side dishes; tasty seasoned veggies, and pasta with olives. And I don’t even LIKE olives. LOL


I did a little Christmas shopping in the vendor halls (no further comments, because spoilers), gave blood, enjoyed the scenery



got into a lot of panels I might not otherwise have if the normal massive crowds had been in attendance, got some autographs, met up with some friends


and generally had the time I needed to have. I love my house, but I was really hoping to be out of it more by now. Sigh. Y’all go get your shots, please. The Stones are still coming next month, and I’m still planning to go; since the concert is outdoors, the risk of picking up a covid bug or any other one is less. I sure wish I could find some Stones fabric to make an appropriate mask though! No luck. Sadness.


In other news: Talked with my publisher before con, and he’s still having issues because pandemic. He still loves my book, and still wants to publish it, so I’m hanging on with him for a bit longer. He’s been so nice and supportive, I don’t want to jump ship at the first hint of rough seas not his fault, you know?


Kitchen adventures continue! My fig tree started bearing in early August, a week or two after my last post, and it went HARD. I made several batches of jam, put some in the freezer and gave some away. Plus my usual eating them fresh with cottage cheese and crackers. I tried a batch of sugar cookies with them, which were pretty good. When I got home from Atlanta I had a couple of handfuls left in the bottom of the fridge, too ripe for eating straight but not quite enough to bake a full batch of anything with. So I pulled out the recipe for the fig loaf I made last year, cut the other ingredient amounts back to match the amount of figs, and made a small batch of fig muffins, because y’all know how I hate to waste anything.


Y’all. Those were so darn GOOD. The difference between that recipe and others I’ve tried is, it includes a little buttermilk, and that seems to give it this wonderful tender crumb and such a good taste! I gave some to the man who helps me wrangle my parents’ house and land and the renters and what-all, and he called me with his mouth full cussing happily about how they were the best things he’d ever eaten and I needed to sell them. LOL. Seriously though, a guy in my neighborhoood nextdoor group lost his job in the pandemic, started baking while at home, and now runs a bagel shop. I’m reaching out to ask him how he got started. Maybe my next act in life is as a muffin queen! Who knows, right? :D Stay tuned for the next thrilling (hah) episode and find out (right along with me, because Lord knows I’m none too sure either)

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