• To write at least three hours a week. More is awesome. An hour a day is superlative. But three hours a week averages out to a half hour a day, six days a week, and even I can manage that. I think. Maybe.
  • To read at least one hundred books this year, not counting rereads but counting individually published short stories and possibly picture books I read with my kids.
  • To read (amongst the one hundred) at least twelve debut authors this year. Most of these will probably be YA, because that's mostly what I read.
  • To clean and purge my house in preparation for eventual moving. I know I say this all the time, but it really needs to be done. My life is a huge, cluttered mess and my house being the same makes everything seem worse.

Reading Challenges:
I found a nifty YA debut author reading challenge here and will be taking part in it - a fair number of these books, just the ones slated for January, sound all kinds of awesome. The twelve debuts will fit in nicely with my 2012 one hundred book challenge on GoodReads, as will any ARCs Penguin Teen happens to send my way. If anyone knows of a challenge similar to the YA debuts (there's also one for YA sophomore releases, I think on the same site) for adult fiction, that'd be awesome.

I intend to do more of both this year, starting with finishing the stockings and tree skirt I started for a friend of mine back in the beginning of December. Teachers' end of the year gifts will likely fall into this category, as may quite a few birthday presents. Ideally as I gain confidence in the basics I'll get better at costuming for both cons and SCA things, yay! I need more garb. And I want to wear costumes at the cons, really I do! I just never make things, or think to go shopping enough ahead of time.  Maybe that'll change this year, though probably not in time for ConFusion, alas!  Being a superhero or villain for the masquerade would have been cool.

And . . . that's about it, really.  I just haven't posted in a long time and felt like maybe I should.

courtcat: (Cure)
( Oct. 22nd, 2010 01:19 pm)
.....and by red, I mean angry.

Dear Landlady, )

Dear Upstairs Neighbors, )

Dear Husband, )

courtcat: (Quieter)
( Jul. 18th, 2010 07:15 pm)
30 days )

Day 12: Whatever tickles your fancy
It's been way. too. hot.  Am covered in sheen of sweat that makes movement difficult. Send help.

courtcat: (ADD)
( May. 3rd, 2010 09:57 pm)
So, last weekend was Penguicon, which is made of awesome and win - this was my third year, I think, and there hasn't been one that I didn't have a fantastic time at.  We went with kids this time, which made things challenging in a lot of ways, but it also made them awesome in some others, so it's a toss-up as to whether or not we'll bring all three again.  Morgen . . . is pretty much coming.  She volunteers, she behaves near-impeccably, she cosplays, she gets authors to twitpic her.  I have a feeling this kid's gonna be a con staple for the long haul.  (Next year she wants to dress up as one of [ profile] jimchines princesses, and also Molly Grue.  I forgot who she said she wanted to be for ConFusion next year, but if [ profile] yuki_onna is going to be there, I would lay money on September again.  And Wendy, Dorothy or Alice may have been mentioned.)

At any rate, it's time for the highlights, organized by day.  Sort of.  Maybe.  See the icon!

Friday was a shitty, stressful day.  We didn't even get to the hotel until around nine, so there was rushing to the room to eat our super late Burger King dinner and get the kids ready for and in bed.  From there, once they were settled, I left to wander - downstairs first, where I saw Stone Crazy Pirates play a few songs, which was quite entertaining but not quite what I was in the mood for.  So there was con suite for free beer (I don't remember what I had, but I didn't like it much) and then wandering for parties.  I met David the First at sometime during this - he was lots of fun!  We snarked about the karaoke song selection together, and wandered around for a while until he had to go to bed.  I also made friends with some barfleet-ites and got the special wristband.  Other than that, nothing of note happened Friday - eventually, I went to bed.

Saturday, though, was a day made mostly of pure, distilled awesome.  Morgen cosplayed September from [ profile] yuki_onna 's The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (there will be picspam to follow, for those of you who didn't see her and/or aren't my facebook friends).  I did nothing of consequence most of the day - wandered around pushing a stroller, watched Morgen pitch people on Cat's book, shopped (got presents for friends and lots of books and cool new t-shirts for the fam), etc.  The first ZOMG SO COOL thing didn't happen until book signing (where Morgen promptly pitched Cherie Priest, Tobias Buckell, [as an aside, crazily talented and successful (by varying definitions of such) people my own age and close to intimidate the heck out of me] and a couple other authors before giving them ribbons, and Cherie Priest took the aforementioned twitpic.  I was later (after sticking my head into swing dancing with Morgen in her lovely September costume and deciding that it was far too crowded for a stroller and such) handed free books, one signed.  Coincidence?  I think not.  (Breakfast was at the hotel restaurant.  Lunch was con suite, as was dinner.  Nothing spectacular in any occasion.)  Absolutely most important, coolest things about Saturday, though?  Meeting Molly and David, with whom I spent most of the waking portion of the night.  There was dancing, drinking, karaoke, more dancing and drinking, running down twelve flights of stairs in a way I haven't done since high school . . . basically, there were hi-jinks and shenanigans, and I had a blast, and they are both now high on my list of favorite people in the world.

Sunday involved more shopping (but only one bit of buying) and a sketch by Randy Milholland of Som*Pos fame, but was mostly pushing around a stroller and watching Liana do stuff while Morgen volunteered (for four hours!!!) and Jerry went to stuff.  Liana made a new BFF amongst all this, and there were good-byes and then it was time to come home.

My pictures are all on my facebook for those of you who know me there, but here, some picspam of Morgen in her costume and Liana (and her new BFF) and Kaelinn being adorable.

.....or not, because I can't get the insert a picture thing to work.  Will try over on LJ once I post this!

Today was Monday, and not just any Monday, but Brownie Meeting Monday.  The rest of the week should be better!  I may well start reading one of those new books and do a review somewhere, at some point.  I meant to start with the La Roux album for my first - maybe I should finish that one of these days.

courtcat: (Shadow)
( Mar. 15th, 2010 09:39 am)
So, I hate losing internet friends.  Losing friends in general pretty much sucks, but in physical life there's generally some sort of closure - an argument, someone moving away, different priorities that drive people further and further apart.  Things change, people change.  Online it's harder (or so I think); a person is there one day and gone the next as often as not, and sometimes you never find out what happened to that person.  Sometimes it's as simple of a growing apart as it is in real life, but that's rarer in my experience - people fade.  They disappear.  Things in their own real lives eat them alive.  And then those of us who are still around are left wondering.  This is not always the case, of course, but of the internet friends I've lost (which have been many, and in a sad turn of events, may well be more friends than I've ever had in my day to day, face to face life), the majority have been by this slipping away.  And it's bothering me now because it's happened again, if with more closure than usually happens.  And I'm sad.

I still wonder about various people I've known on the internet who've wandered into and out of my life.

And then I feel pathetic when I realize that all the people I'm closest with, the people I open up to, are people online.  Or people from summer camp when I was a kid, but that's a whole different story.

In other news (since this is a whine-and-complain blogging), Morgen lost her school binder at some point over the weekend.  It's somewhere in the house, but since the house is trashed, goodness only knows where that somewhere is.  And it's occurred to me that a big part of the reason I can't get the girls to do even simple picking up after themselves when I ask is because they both watch Jerry either say sure, he'll do what I ask and then not do it, or just ignore what I ask him to do entirely.  Which is shitty, because then I realize I was probably a lot the same way for my mom when I was a kid.  "Daddy doesn't have to do what you ask, why should I?  Clearly, it's not important."  And I have no patience for fucking up with school stuff, even this young; I was a fuck up when it came to school, and look what/where it got me, three beautiful and brilliant children not withstanding.  Anyway, Morgen's blazingly smart, but man, I don't know if it's a lack of common sense or what.  It kills me sometimes, and today was one of those times.  Is one of those times, I guess.  And I'm not sure if taking away the extra stuff she does until she figures out the school thing is the way to fix it or if that's just taking away her outlet and relaxation time.  Goodness knows, I didn't have much of either when I was little, and now I don't even know how to deal with it on the rare and odd time it comes my way.  But at the same time, Girl Scouts is a treat.  I don't know that she should have it when she's not keeping it together for the important stuff . . . but I'm the leader, so I'm screwed for the rest of the year at least anyway, even if I do pull my kid out.  Which means she'd be sitting in the hallway doing homework or something while I'm leading a meeting, so . . . I don't even know.

Today's making me want to pull my hair out.  Can I have a do over?

courtcat: (Shadow)
( Feb. 16th, 2010 08:17 am)
I haven't written poetry consistently in a long time, and recently I wrote a gaming moodpost in free verse. So, my interest has been revived! Only instead of bleeding my angst onto the page (or screen, or . . . whatever [for yoooooooooouuuuuuuuu]), I'm going to be productive and practice various forms of poetry. I like this - I thought of starting with sonnet, as that's the form with which I'm most familiar, but then didn't feel like deciding which kind, and whether to use iambic pentameter or some other structure. So here, I give you my first ever attempt at a sestina, as improper as it is. You will find no iambic pentameter here, alas, though when I revisit this form over the next couple weeks, that may change. My six words, chosen at random from my really awesome Brewer's, are peddler, hearth, Beltane, sheep, tumbler and earth.
A difficult spot to get out of )

Musings: I really kind of hate this form, but it could just be the repetition without the constraints of proper meter. Also, the last tercet is awful. I'll keep working with this form, though, for the next couple of weeks.

In other news, my living room is again full of girl scout cookies, though it's thankfully not nearly as many as last year. I'm not the cookie mom, so I'm not in charge of everyone else's stuff! I just have to deliver my cookies and collect for them and make all the various deposits, which is awesome. I also need to figure out wtf happened with the money from the nut sale, because that shit's complicated as hell. Next year, I've decided we're going to do nuts and not magazines, or that if we do do magazines, it'll be through the online stuff because that way, it's all figured out by the site's algorithms or formulae or whatever and I don't have to sit here figuring out how much we keep and how much we send away and what gets send where. There has to be a more efficient meatspace way of handling that, though I have no idea what it would be. It was just a huge pain in the ass all the way 'round. Other than that, the troop is going pretty well - I both love and hate this time of year, where it starts seeming like the kids are out of school more than in. Yesterday should have been a meeting, would have been if it weren't for this week being midwinter break. In a month and a half, maybe two months, we have spring break. Not to mention conferences and all the various other days off of school here and there. But it's okay, because it's still less of a pain than the summer, with constant park madness and all. We've been missing piano this year because of lack of funds, but we've still been crazy busy with the extra homework that goes along with being in the advanced class and all. Liana just turned five at the beginning of the month, and can't wait for kindergarten to start, so it's crazy and exciting and busy here, as always.


And . . . that's about it, really.  Whee.

courtcat: (Adventure)
( Jan. 26th, 2010 03:14 pm)
So, last Saturday I went to ConFusion with my eldest and youngest girl-children (I say as if I have any other kind of child).  We went for a couple reasons, even though it was only for the day (and only half of it at that - I'm still sad that Morgen missed KidFilk).  We went to see Cat Valente, who I think is made of awesome and win.  And Jim Hines, who is the same.  And a few friends I've made over the handful of cons I've been to since my geekitude reached this sort of enormity.  We also went because Peter S. Beagle was the author GoH, and I've loved The Last Unicorn since I was a very small child, and my small children love the movie now, though Morgen's only just old enough to start reading the book.  And because SJ Tucker was the music GoH.

Now, I was first introduced to SJ Tucker about the same time as I was introduced to Cat Valente and formally inducted into the delicious smelling cult that is BPAL.  By the same people, in fact.  I can thank Amal and Jess for many of my new-ish obsessions, I must say, which is another thing entirely!  So, anyway.  I've listened to Blessings and Girl in the Garden through some pretty rough times.  Same with reading various works of Cat's.  And RPing with Amal and Jess, for that matter, though RPing is a far older obsession than my acquaintance with either of them.  But all of that pales when I think about standing in that particular circle of people at Con.  (And of Morgen and Sheryl's kid taking to each other almost immediately.  That was pretty awesome, too.)  I'm not . . . a very open person.  This will surprise those of you who only know me online, no doubt!  I've gotten considerably worse about this as I got older.  I used to be able to walk up and join almost any conversation seamlessly, but now I stand back and watch more often than I take part.  Not so, standing there with Cat, Sooj, Sheryl, K, D, and everyone else.  I don't often feel like I'm part of things, and that was a completely different thing. Cat talks about her tribe a lot, and I figure we all have them, somewhere.  I stood there, talking and laughing, and listening to Morgen talk to Sheryl and Cat and everyone, and having Sooj talk about and make faces at the very stripey baby on my hip, and it felt amazing.  Like, I'm still aglow!  I miss experiences like that; I need to surround myself with people who are conducive to producing them more often.

It was awesome watching Morgen in the space talk with the science GoH and having both kids let me sit through a couple of panels that had nothing to do with music, even.  This ConFusion may have been my best con yet, and I really kind of can't wait to bring kids to PenguiCon even though there isn't dedicated children's programing there.  We didn't take much advantage of it at ConFusion, anyway, and if Morgen's in kid stuff the whole time, it'll be harder for her to pimp Fairyland the way she wants to!

In other news, Jerry finally has a job again.  He started yesterday and it's only a short-term contract, but it's better than nothing.  Finding a job anywhere is just about impossible right now, I know!  But this seems to be especially true in the metro Detroit area, where everything is tied to the auto industry and companies are going out of business left and right.  I don't know how long it'll last, but it's nice to breathe a bit easier for a little while, at least.

Brownies is going well - I can't believe it's almost February already.  I remember doing fundraisers for things like that when I was in school - not just cookies, but other stuff.  Though I think it was in junior high, so I guess it wouldn't have been Girl Scouts any more.  Music had long since eaten my life by then.  Um . . . I don't think there's anything else that interesting that's been going on, not that most of this is to anyone but me.  So, I'll stop writing now and come up with something better to write next time!

courtcat: (Quieter)
( Oct. 22nd, 2009 03:15 pm)
First things first, before I forget!

Halloweenie reviews part one. )

There, that's done.
The oddities of HTML and formatting boggle me sometimes, but it all looks right from here, as I can tell.  And, I am having a momentary inferiority complex as my reviews are rather blah and boring when compared to the friends who got me into this with their writing of gorgeousness and all.  Oh, well, they get the point across sufficiently.

And thus, onward!

Stress is . . . somewhat alleviated.  I mean, it's still there; Jerry's still unemployed and so we're still having trouble making ends meet.  His parents are a huge help financially if not in any other way.  Morgen's settling into a routine at school (OMG FINALLY) and dealing a lot better with all the changes brought not only by being in second grade, but by being in the advanced class.  Liana's getting used to not having Morgen around and being stuck with parents who have to pay as much attention to her baby sister as to her.  And Kaelinn's getting used to . . . well, being, I guess.  Liana's the same OMG LOUD ball of perpetual motion as always; I love her to death, but I certainly don't pity her future teachers, I tell you.

The drama I at least half expected with an old friend hasn't happened, and though I'm sort of waiting for the shoe to drop, I'm far more relaxed about it.  We're not hanging out or anything, and I'm not encouraging my kids to hang out with hers (long story in its own right), but it's alright.  Or . . . I'm alright with it, though that makes me sound terribly self centered.  People I used to work with ages ago have found me on facebook - it's always strange when that happens, like when eighty gazillion people that I graduated with suddenly found me a while ago.  I owe one of Morgen's friend's moms fifteen bucks because she brought a U of M shirt back from Ann Arbor for Morgen.  Brownies are going well - I need to read the kid book chapter and activities, though I'm pretty well accquainted with the leader book section - except for the renovations being done in our meeting room and displacing us; I need to figure out what we're going to do for meetings until that's done.

NaNo is almost here!  I have an idea and have decided to use the snowflake method of outlining in hopes that I actually finish something for once, rather than writing and writing until I get bored with it, and losing interest somewhere along the way.  It's a pretty exciting prospect, that, and I kind of can't wait.

But now, it's time to go pick up Morgen from school.  I'll try to remember to update more often!
courtcat: (Ship)
( Sep. 18th, 2009 10:44 am)
I'm all kinds of stressed out.  My house is a mess and never gets any cleaner (well, neater - it's clean enough, but man, we have too much shit and it's everywhere) no matter what I do (having three children under the age of ten [though one's only two months old] and a husband who rarely helps unless it's to make more mess does that, I suppose).  School's back in session for Morgen, so there's all the stuff that goes with that - Brownies, DI, volunteering, this function, that fundraiser, etc.  I'm buried up to my chest and it's getting hard to breath.  =\
( Sep. 8th, 2009 09:25 am)
So, today was the day.

Morgen went back to school, and started second grade in the 2/3 split, which is the advanced class.  In this class, there are six girls, four of them in third grade, and twelve boys - I'm not sure of the ratio there, but I know for sure three of them are in second like Morgen.  She's not very happy about this two boys to one girl thing, which is funny, because most of the time she'd rather hang out with boys than girls.

I was frustrated because I had to use her camera, which is my old camera, and so I only took two pictures.  Stupid camera is a piece of shit, but here they are - first, Morgen and one of her best friends, and another girl who's friends with the best friend and was in Morgen's kindergarten class.  I would like to state for the record that my daughter, the strawberry blonde, looks JUST LIKE ME when I was that age, except my hair was OMGRED.

No, I'm not going to put these behind a cut.

Next, Morgen and the other second grade girl in her class - this girl is adorable and was home schooled last year though she was in kindergarten with the blonde in the middle of the picture above.  She was seriously bawling when everyone first went inside, but she calmed down and seemed pretty happy when I asked her to be in a picture with Morgen.  She's one of a set of triplets, the other two of which are boys and also in the 2/3 split with her and Morgen.

Why yes, that is my daughter being a very Hufflepuff-y Gryffindor; some little boy, one of the third graders, had just said something snotty and pushed the other girl out of his way.  Morgen punched him in the kidney (not very hard, she's only seven) when no one was looking and then tried to make this little girl feel better.  I know I shouldn't encourage violence, and I do my best not to, but I'm amazingly proud that she'll look out for other people like that, especially when I know for a fact (have seen it happen, in fact) that she'll take no end of shit on her own account and not say a word.

( Aug. 12th, 2009 05:20 pm)
The summer between fourth and fifth grade, I had my first sleep away camp experience.  This is not to be confused with camping trips with my dad - those were many and always SCA related, be they for Pennsic or Border War or something else entirely.  Anyway, so there was sleep away camp, and it happened to be a church camp.

Now, before I get into the camp bit, I have to say that I love church.  I love the quiet and the smell of wooden pews and the music and the stained glass and watching the processional and recessional and the organ pipes and the imagery and the symbology and everything about it - or, well, almost everything.  I love being a part of something, and I was always that at church; there was Sunday school/youth group and acolyting and all sorts of fun stuff.  I just . . . don't believe in a lot of what's said and to be honest, I don't really think I ever did.  Camp resonated with me so strongly for reasons entirely removed from the Jesus bit, though under the trees, by the lake at sunset, tucked in a dark corner of the lodge basement for a pseudo-reenactment of an early Christian rite, it was really, really easy to believe in god, or gods, or . . . well.  I was encouraged almost from the time I could read to look into what interested me and believe what seemed right, and I started reading at a very young age.  As long as I've been reading and researching, I've known that I have strong pagan tendencies, but mine are more naturistic (I think that's the word) than specific pantheon based, and so it gets along well with church most of the time.

Especially camp.

So!  That first year at camp, I met people who I'm still best friends with to this day - friends that I talk to regularly if not as often as I'd like, friends who serve as godparents to my kids.  One of the priests I met that first year officiated my wedding.  That first year was also around the time I started being interested in boys and girls both, and so I had a crush on a different person every year, though of course I only ever admitted to the boys until . . . oh, high school or maybe even after, I don't remember when exactly I let the camp crowd know such things.  Not all of it was good, mind; there are people I resent to this day too, though I'm not in contact with them as one might imagine, so it's not the intense sort of dislike I felt for them ages ago when we lived together for a week at a stretch.  Camp is where I first learned that all the coolest kids play guitar.  It's also where I learned that the 'cool kids' are more or less the same everywhere, and the camp ones don't really like geeky, bookworm-ish, bespectacled, gap-toothed red heads any more than the school ones do.  It's where I learned that cheerleading is hard work and a real sport as opposed to something that pretty girls with little brain capacity do (because yes, one of those aforementioned best friends and her twin sister were cheerleaders, as well as various other campers of various levels of import) instead of reading.  It's where I fell IN LUV for the first time, and where I had my heart broken the first time.  I cried more on the property of the camp than I've ever cried anywhere else in my life; some of the tears were happy and some weren't.  The first person I was close to who died was one of my counselors - she died of a form of leukemia, if I remember correctly.  I know it was cancer, anyway.  As a camper, I spent a week every year but one from that first summer until the summer after my senior year in high school at camp, and then came back a couple years later as a counselor.

I got in trouble, that summer I was there as a counselor, for telling a cabin full of a dozen to fifteen ninth grade girls that having sex probably wouldn't get them sent to hell - something about how some of them were looking for an excuse or license to go off and do it at the first opportunity, while my reasoning for saying what I did was that some of them probably already had found that excuse or license.  And yes, I'm still friends with some of those girls.

I'd be a very different person today if it weren't for that camp, I think.  Sometimes I can smell it, or see the sunrise or sunset over the lake behind the lodge.  I still call skim milk 'green milk' if I'm not careful, because of the color of the carton (two percent was blue and whole was red - yeah, I call them that too).  My kids know the 'get your elbows off the table' rhyme and will gleefully throw it at me any time they catch me breaking the rules.  We do 'cabin checks' during the summer in our house, during which I may well snatch a stuffed animal or two to be returned at lunch time.  But mostly, camp taught me to believe, I think, and was a big part of forming what I think and believe now (though I'm not sure how pleased the various priests and counselors and fellow campers would be to hear that, given).

Pennsic and Border War and other events - all camping ones except for Val Day - hold special places in my heart too, but none like camp does.  And now the summer is almost over and I've been missing it for months, but I turned my head just so earlier and smelled the bonfire down by the lake, and the odd but not bad combination of bug spray, sun screen and sweat of a day of playing, worshiping and all sorts of fun stuff.  The nostalgia, it chokes me up.
courtcat: (ADD)
( Aug. 7th, 2009 10:43 am)
For those of you who don't know yet, Kaelinn Irene was born on 30th July; she's home and we're all healthy and well, though migraines/headaches are back in force now that I'm not pregnant any more. I wonder why it happens that way? Even with the blood pressure issues, I've never gotten headaches/migraines when preggers the way I do when I'm not, which doesn't make sense since my blood pressure is usually at the low end of normal, at least the bottom number.  Ah well, I suppose it'll all work itself out.  And in the meantime, I now have three beautiful little girls.  And a mess of a house to clean by myself despite the husband who's off of work for two weeks to 'help' with things, but that's neither here nor there and I'm not in the mood to complain about it right now.

Park madness is done!  Or, well, it will be in an hour, and I'm home missing the last day of it because the baby decided she needed to eat when it was time to go - yay babies and their timing, only not really because I kind of wanted to go today.  Ah, well.  When the kids are done, they and Jerry will come pick me up and it's off to pay rent and grocery shop, because that's about all we can afford this paycheck, given lots of other things.  Ugh.  (I will be getting the three bottles of perfume I've been dying for, I think, though I'm currently too broke to join in on the decant circle I reference below.  Alas!  But there will be no other luxuries during this two week span because Morgen needs new glasses for school and we need to eat and . . . well, I already mentioned rent.)  I can't tell you how terribly tired I am of having to pick and choose . . . but then I feel like an asshole when I think about it, because at least I get to pick and choose.  It's not like there's no fun and nice things anywhere - it's just that I can't have all the ones I want, all the time.  And being the gratification - both instant and otherwise - junkie I am, it kills me.  At least this way we'll have a bit of money for PPD on Saturday.

Next week I have a Girl Scout training thing - I'm supposed to have two, but I've only gotten confirmation about one of them and I have to skip out of the second one and go next month anyway partly because of baby and partly because of Jerry's scheduling issues.  We're missing out on his cousin's (Morgen's godfather's) kid's birthday party that afternoon too, for the same reason, and never mind that I want to strangle him for it.  Not because I'm particularly keen on going to the party or the training, mind, but because he knew these other things were going on, let me plan for them, and then said, "Oh yeah, by the way . . ."  It's not that I need everything to be planned within an inch of its life - I don't really, and I kind of hate it when things are that rigid and structured.  But when everything's overridden because of whatever takes his fancy at a given time, it pisses me off.  And sure, the kids and I could go to the party and get a ride home with the sister-in-law or the parents-in-law, but that would really suck, and only works if they aren't all going out together in the first place since seats are limited even in minivans.

I'm going to make blueberry muffins this afternoon, I've decided, only I don't have any regular sized muffin tins so they'll have to be those little bite sized things like the vegan chai muffins I made a while ago.  Which is okay.  I may get the stuff to make banana nut muffins too - I'm in a muffin-y sort of mood, apparently.  I don't even want to make cookies, just muffins.  It's odd but I want to bake and so I will.  Maybe I'll even post pictures and recipes and such when I'm done; I am a part of the Bake Bake Bake community on LJ, after all.  Ooh, and chocolate chip muffins, since I have the stuff.  I may have to comb my cupboards and see what I've got as well as combing the intarwebz for recipes.

Oh!  One of the errands to run today is to go to the post office and send my switch witch her package.  I can't wait!  I was going to bake something to put in it too, but the box is already stuffed to the gills and I don't feel like finding another, bigger one.  It will have to go as is, and I hope she likes it!

BPAL Update of Doom and my thoughts thereon. )
( Jul. 21st, 2009 01:20 pm)
Here there be bitching. )

Ahem. And, that's enough of that, I think.  The furnace guy is downstairs - or it sounds like it, anyway - inspecting furnaces and maybe fixing ours.  There's a valve or something that leaks and something that doesn't work so we were running the bloody thing on AA batteries all last winter, which doesn't strike me as particularly safe even if it was better for our gas bill than the other way around.  There's stuff in the way that I'm sure I'll get bitched at about, but they'll have to deal until I have more boxes to put said stuff in, which isn't right now.

In other, happier news, I think I have most of the stuff I need and want for my Switch Witch reveal package; it's almost all local to the metro-Detroit area, this stuff, and most of it came from the market right down the street.  I hope my witchee likes it, though she'll get at least one more thing in between now and when I send the big box.  And I can't wait to find out who my witch is!  S/he's mostly ninja-ing it, but I've gotten a couple ecards from her/him, the latest of which reminds me to not buy stuff for myself that s/he might get for me, heh.  Which is a good reminder, except for the broke and pretty much everything this paycheck going to bills and last minute baby stuff; we still need our stroller and carseat, though that's the only big thing.  I really wish we could afford one of the OMG awesome baby joggers they have at Moosejaw (the BOB kind that are built like trailers for biking/hiking camping trips and by a company that did those before strollers), but I'm thinking I'm probably going to have to make do with something lesser, especially since I'm not a runner (though I'd like to start jogging again).  We need to get a couple weeks' worth of baby outfits in unisex colors since we don't know the gender, and the weather here's been crazy which will make that a difficult prospect; it's been really mild, for the most part, and more days have bordered on cool/cold than have been hot.

My cards for the handmade card swap are way late (though I PMed the person I'm sending them to to let her know, at least) because I made the first paper way too thick and it didn't dry, though I like this set better anyway - I hope she likes them too.  The Altoid tin project is proving more difficult than I thought too, though I suspect that's mostly because of my latent perfectionism and lack of recent experience with things crafty, but at least that isn't late.  I'm thinking about taking up some of my old woodworking stuff again to make another box or three for my perfumes and things, as they keep stacking up with nowhere to put them, though I'm spoiled by the box my witch from the shotgun round sent me - so pretty, and I don't have the patience to make things so well, I don't think.  Though goodness knows, I know enough people who do woodworking, and really well at that, so who knows?

Huzzah, my landlady is finally gone and thus I can stop hiding; I get way more done when she isn't here than when she is, just because I don't want to deal with talking to her if I don't have to.  I'm tired of the recriminations and being told that I have to do this and I must do that.  I know what I have to do, and how my house should be kept, thank you very much.
( Jul. 14th, 2009 09:33 pm)
I'm really, really tired, and I haven't slept well in . . . well, years to be honest.  But it's been worse for the last few days, at least, and part of it's because even if I do go lie down, I can't fall asleep until I'm tired enough that the exhaustion chill kicks in and I'm shivering with it.  Which is always an interesting thing when it's eighty degrees outside.

The room-cleaning (meaning my bedroom) is coming along nicely, though it would come along much faster if I had some help with it.  Sort of, anyway, as a lot of it is washing, sorting, folding and putting away laundry, and thus I have to stop to catch up with what's already piled in the basement periodically before I can bring more down.  It's a good thing we have a bit to do this and get it done!

Baby-wise, everything's fine . . . though I'm rather tired of my feet being so swollen that even my sandals don't fit me properly.  Also, being hugely pregnant in July sucks, even when the summer's a relatively mild one.  I can't imagine that breastfeeding a baby through August and September is going to be pleasant either . . . ugh.  Ah well, we do what we must and all that, and at least my in-laws won't be in town around the due date, which makes the whole labor and delivery thing lots less stressful.

Swim team's almost over for the summer, though then there's the last two weeks of classes and lessons and things before school, and the mad rush to get everything ready for that; it's strange, I think, how much busier my summers are than my school year.  When I was a kid, it always seemed the opposite . . . but now, I've been terribly careful about how many activities I allow the girls to join a year, so that helps.  I think.  I'm not running them around constantly, at least, during the school year, though this year may be a bit more hectic than those prior just because Morgen may well be adding two activities instead of just one.  She wants to keep swimming in the fall/winter, and so I think I'll let her try out for that team, plus she's adding Destination Imagination to the roster, on top of Girl Scouts and the piano lessons she had last year.  Then there's Liana and she'll probably stick with ballet . . . man.  It'll be kind of crazy, but in a good way.  I hope.
courtcat: (Cure)
( Jul. 2nd, 2009 09:46 pm)
I have a lot to be thankful about, I really do - I want to make it clear that I know that.  Life is not a perfect thing and the world is not a perfect place, nor would I want things to be so, but man!  I'm tired of the money situation.  And I feel bad complaining about it because I know a lot of people are in worse situations - some that I know personally, even - but I never imagined we'd still be playing catch up this long after Jerry went back to work.  I need new glasses.  Jerry needs new glasses.  Morgen needs her eyes checked and will probably need new glasses before school.  And then there are school supplies and clothes, bills, rent, and that's before considering what needs to be spent on things for the new baby.

This is how I know the baby'll be born soon, by the way (well, that and knowing the due date is five weeks away) - this sort of freak out always happens when there's only a few weeks left.  Soon, I'll be cleaning frantically and insisting everything be JUST SO OR ELSE, and a few days after that we'll be in the hospital.  Knowing that on an academic level doesn't lessen the problem on an emotional level any though.

Anyway, I can't articulate how tired I am of not having enough for the things we need, let alone the things we want.  I asked for things when we had more money (and let me tell you, getting garnished for old debts is a huge bite in the ass), from people that I have to pay for said things.  One of those things is taken care of, but there are lots more - and most are not important at all, just little perfume luxuries, but I want them.  And the entertainment involved lasts longer than it would with a DVD, at least, and at a comparable price, so it's a win situation, right?  So I justify it, anyway.  That, and some of it isn't really for me, but for someone who's done a lot for me without knowing it (and is currently having an even worse go of it) and thus I like the idea of sending her something tangible in return.  (Aside from the part where I just like giving gifts.  I can't really help it.  My Switch Witch is going to be spoiled terribly, too, along with another friend who knows it, just not when.  And I'm not telling!  Haha.)

But enough complaining.  I'm in good health and though my blood pressure is high the first time it's taken at every visit, it goes right back down which is far better than this point in either previous pregnancy.  Also, no blood sugar issues other than the one time when I had to deal with all the crap testing (I'm not going to like it when that goes back to normal, the blood sugar I mean - I swear, I have more problems with that when I'm not pregnant).  Just a strong heartbeat and a lot of movement and an estimate that this baby is at least half a pound bigger than either of my girls was at birth already, though I'm assured that there were similar estimates at similar times with each of them, so who knows?

The house is a mess and my mother-in-law's cleaning lady is coming tomorrow; I feel bad that we have her ever considering how small our place is, but man it's a help that I wouldn't have otherwise.  Jerry and the kids just make more mess, and I get frustrated and give up on it all far too quickly.  I really want my own house that I can set up how I want it, with storage and everything.  And pretty colors and art on the walls and . . . and . . .  My mom's always disappointed in me for wanting that sort of thing, but I ignore it as well as I can.  I mean, we all want something and really, that's not a bad want.

Park madness is relatively painless this year - either I'm getting into the swing of things or I'm better at the whole Grosse Pointe Mom (tm) thing than I was now that I have two years of school (one of them spent as a Girl Scout leader, even) under my belt and all.  I've even made a couple of friends, I think, or as close to such as I ever come with people I actually have to face in real life on a regular basis.  It's so much easier (in some ways, anyway) when the relationship is comprised at least mostly of words floating across a screen and the occasional note or package sent hither or yon.  Sure, it's easier to get things wrong, but  I've had that sort of misunderstanding blow up in my face a lot less often than it's happened in meatspace.  And so, my best friendships remain online while the people I know in real life are just acquaintances more often than not.  Anyway!  Morgen's doing well on swim team and with her diving class, and Liana's doing well in her classes (it amuses me greatly that she's nearly three years younger than Morgen and there are still people Morgen's age in her swim class), and things are well on that front.

So, yeah, I have a lot to be thankful for and very little to complain about.  So why is it almost always the bad that sticks out so much more?  It's terribly frustrating, and I try to think positively and all that.
First, there's this because [personal profile] upstart_crow is a great writer and hey!  Who doesn't need more poetry in their lives?

Then, there's . . . not a lot more, really.  It's June, which means July (yay, Harry Potter!) isn't far away and August (yay, baby!) isn't far after that.  I'm 30 now (thanks, [personal profile] ouri, for the birthday wishes if I didn't say already!) and my husband threw me an awesome surprise party even if he did still spend way too much on his Toronto trip for the weekend.  I have lots of new pretty-shiny-smellies, which makes me happy, and will be spending (too much) more on them this weekend, after bills and rent are paid.  And after I have Sims 3 and a new graphics card, but that's neither here nor there.  I'm working on a 'Made in Michigan' package for whoever I get for the summer Switch Witch round, and the vast majority of it so far was made less than a hundred miles from my house.  Someone in England is combing used bookstores for British editions of the Harry Potter books for me.  The mini-me is seven and reading Island of the Blue Dolphins.  All in all, life is pretty good.

I hope everything's well for everyone else, too!  I'm sending good thoughts and what energy I can (though I've never been much good at energy work) to those of you I know need it.  I love you all.  =D


Not really, anyway.  I need to find more mood/subject specific icons that don't have to do with the majority of the population being stupid.  I'm a bit misanthropic, I guess.

I can haz a plan - I've been putting together things for a gift box for a friend for ages, was mostly just waiting for the afghan (that she knows about, but the rest is sooper seekrit, shh!) to be finished, but now I have a new idea.  Heh.  She's still getting most of the other stuff I planned for her, though some of it will go into the Switch Witch Box of Doom that's started growing since I took part in a shotgun round over at the BPAL forums.  I have new ideas for things to put in her box because . . . well, because.  Everyone needs cool presents that they're lusting after every now and then.  And the idea of sending her this box when she's gifted me with quite a bit pleases me greatly.  Now to ask my mom if she ever finished the afghan . . . because I'm not talented that way at all, despite my efforts and wishes.  (Though I'm seriously considering making/buying a drop spindle and investing in an instruction book and learning to spin.  I do so love textile, tactile things.)

In other news, the Gregory/workshop-piece is mostly self indulgent and, while I do love writing him in all his guises (and goodness knows, there are a few), it's likely going to stay that way.  I'll still write him, but it's not a real project, per se, and will be sporadic.  I have a new idea, though, and am researching for the possibility of starting it . . . I don't know, maybe this summer sitting at the park while the kids are in various classes/lessons.  If and when this idea turns from bud to blossom, bits will be posted as I progress.  I'm counting on people here to read and what not, and let me know what they think as they go because like everyone, I'm silly and insecure and need reassurance that I'm at least headed in the right direction.  Input is always a good, welcome thing.

Baby stuff: nothing's new.  Still don't know if it's a boy or a girl though names are picked out and what not - still need to get a lot of stuff.  And clean the house, particularly our room since that's the only place we have for the baby to sleep currently and we need to get the crib in there.  Or rather I need to do it (all but the actually putting things together part) because goodness knows if I wait to have help or for someone else to do it, it will just keep getting worse.  Like it always does.  Hell, even getting it done in the first place isn't a guarantee that it won't, not by any stretch of the imagination.  Needless to say, this leads to a lot of frustration and irritation right now.  Anyway!  So far as anyone can tell, the baby and I are both healthy and well.  I'd imagine (or can hope, at least) that this labor and delivery will go much the same way the other two did - which is to say about six hours after contractions start in earnest (and about a half an hour after I start pushing), there'll be a new baby.  Yay for born breeders?

Less than two weeks of school left for Morgen, then a summer of swim team and diving classes and likely private swim lessons with one of the lifeguards, while Liana just has swim classes and then private lessons later in the summer, when the classes are done.  She's only four, so I doubt she'll be heartbroken or anything - goodness knows, both of them love just being at the park.  As do I , mostly, but man it gets old - talking to the same people, doing the same things, etc.  It's as bad as going to work at an office job, really, and goodness knows I hated that.  I will persevere, though, as I have every year since Morgen was Liana's age - despite lack of reliable way to get to and from the park (yep, as for years, no car despite the constant Big Plans to see to such) other than a bike which is fine when one isn't seven months pregnant, but not so much otherwise.  We'll see what we see, I suppose.

A little more than a month before Half Blood Prince!  Yay!  I think I'll focus on that to chase away the blahs.
( May. 28th, 2009 12:23 pm)
Apparently, I'm irresponsible because I didn't confirm or deny something that wasn't really a solid plan to begin with until my brother asked me about it - interesting.  Also, I'm still the devil which is pretty amusing, given what my other siblings (mostly my sisters, to be fair, though my brother's the one who still lives there) get up to and that I'm quickly approaching thirty, married with two children and one impending, countless volunteer hours logged at the school and goodness knows what else.  For the record, I was taken to get my work permit on my sixteenth birthday and started filling out applications and scheduling interviews the next day.  I started my second job the Monday after I graduated high school.  Rent started with my first paycheck - yep, that's right, when I was sixteen and still a minor in my parents' household.  Still on their taxes and insurance and all that, still in high school.  None of which truly bothers me any more - oh, it bothered me a lot when I was younger, but that was a long time ago.  I mean, I graduated over a decade ago.  But still, given the circumstances, it would be nice if people WEREN'T ALLOWED TO TALK SHIT about me.  Especially to people who might actually listen.  Especially my freaking mother.

And never mind, of course, the part where something I paid her for that was supposed to be done by the end of April still isn't done.  I'm irresponsible.

Ahem.  Anyway.

Pink eye appears to be making its way through my house - here's hoping Morgen and I don't get it, because we're both crazy allergic to most antibiotics - like, I get an itchy rash if amoxicillin so much as touches my skin.  Jerry and Liana are fine, can take 'cillins or 'sporins or whatever's necessary to get rid of it, but Morgen and I are different cases entirely.  I'm not looking forward to the possibility of having to play with some experimental drug when I'm pregnant . . . or, well, heh.  Maybe I am, a bit.  The Girl With the Silver Eyes, anyone?  I loved that book when I was a kid.  However, nasty allergic reactions aren't fun under the best of circumstances, so I'm imagining that pregnancy would make them quite a bit less so.  Regardless, I need to see if I can make a pediatrician appointment for Liana tomorrow morning cos that's when my appointment is and if Jerry doesn't take the day off because his eye is goopy, itchy and otherwise nasty it'll be a lot easier to get her in then than waiting unti sometime later in the day and having to deal with my in-laws.  Not having a car sucks mightily, I tell you.  And it's going to get worse over the summer - ugh.
courtcat: (WTF)
( May. 26th, 2009 05:34 pm)
Huh, apparently having a low tolerance for bullshit drama in people who should know better for whatever reason makes me a bad big sister.  Also, I should change myself to be what people want/need me to be at a given time.  Because, you know, I don't do that enough for my family (the ones I actually live with and/or see on a regular basis).  And because me spouting what someone else wants to hear is truly helpful or useful to anyone involved.


On a side note, I really want to make challah bread and I lost the recipe my dear friend gave me ages ago - and I never get a chance to talk to her any more.  So, anyone who has a recipe, pass it my way?  Thanks, I appreciate it.




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