lydamorehouse: (cranky aizen)
 Last night, completely unexpectedly, we had to say good-bye to Inky.

Big, old black cat on a comfy chair

I'd noticed he was kind of poking at his food and water, but he is our quiet, retiring boy, so, while I was worried, it didn't seem dire. Until yesterday. He was hiding more than usual and seemed to be limping a little. After how fast we lost Ball, I thought: nope, get him in right now.  So, rather than wait for an appointment, I took him to the emergency veterinary last night around 6 pm. 

By 9 o'clock, he was gone.

I don't know what the f*ck is happening with this house, but it needs to stop. I can't take this. 

Doctors say it was a fast-moving cancer, a lymphoma or pancreatic. What the actual hell. How did this happen so fast that we never saw it coming? Doctor assured me that some cancers are like that and that cats are terrible about letting you know when they're ill--moreover, it probably ripped through him in no more than a couple of weeks.

Just like Ball.

I looked at her and said, "Okay, but you're sure this isn't something contagious? Because I can not." She told me there was nothing like that in cats. (I mean, there is Feline Leukemia, but they've all been tested and no one goes outside...)

We have sat down with our remaining three cats and explained to them that they are simply NOT ALLOWED to get sick.

Yesterday, we also found a bird frozen at our bird feeder. She may have gotten her head stuck in the feeding tube, or... who knows, but she was hanging there, dead, and it was awful, and so f*ck right off, everything is awful, and I am done with dealing with death, and so NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO GET SICK, Y'ALL TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES.

And, especially: JANUARY, GO HOME. YOU'RE THE WORST. I DO NOT WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN FOR ANOTHER WHOLE YEAR. GOT THAT???

I could not be happier that we have started February.  February is time for renewal. We're going to renew our house blessing and celebrate the renewing spirit of Imbolc, because we're done with this bullsh*t now, k?

Here's a picture of Inky (the black one) and Buttercup (orange/sandy) playing together on the iPad in a rare moment of harmony. Buttercup was always very much "Notice me, sempai!" about Inky, but Inky never much wanted much to do with the "new kid" so this was a photographically significant moment.

Inky and Buttercup playing with the iPad

Gucci, gucci Inky. You were a good cat.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
The Lap of Love folks have their own memorial page for pets and so I decided to add Ms. Ball. If you'd like to see a bit more about how Ball got her name and came to us, there's a short bit of a story about her under the "about" tab: www.lapoflove.com/pet-memorial.aspx. You are welcome to leave a "candle" there, if you like. (It all appears to be free.)

But, there's no need to make a special effort. I have very much appreciated all the comments left here for her and in support of our family during this horrible time.

In other news, because life goes on, I've decided to take on a rather unusual project for the next year. One of my Solstice gifts was Llewellyn's Witches' Spell-a-Day Almanac. Even though I'm getting a late start, I thought I would attempt to do each daily spell for the rest of the year. I will report on them here, probably a bit like I did with Ms. Ball's update, under a cut, in case my pagan practices aren't terribly interesting to you. But, nearly every year I vow to be "more witchy" and this seemed like a fun project to undertake. Plus, I have long followed the Tarot for Yourself practice of figuring out my personal "year" card, and, by chance, this year I have Temperance.


Aquarian Deck:Temperance


Which, according to Greer (my Tarot book author) means when applied to the year: "Developing health and haling practices, testing and trying out your beliefs and philosophy, creative combinations." (emphasis mine.) Seems like a good year, then, to try something like this.

I should probably put out there, before I begin this, that I'm very much aware that Llewellyn is in the BUSINESS of magic, and so, I will likely be critiquing some of these spells based on how much their ingredients might cost a newbie who might think they need the exact oils, herbs, soaps, etc., and will be offering cheaper alternatives (or practices that involve buying NOTHING.) I have, myself, been practicing witchcraft since the early 1990s, so I will be taking a lot of these spells with the proverbial grain of salt. If there are ones that I feel are ill-advised I will post about why I think so and see if the previous years' almanacs have alternatives that might work better.

But, even so, there's no harm in trying a project like this. I think it will be a fun away to be more mindful in my practice.Test out my beliefs, think about my philosophy. These are good things.

Spell-a-Day Project (Jan. 6) )

Spell-a-Day Project (Jan. 7) )
lydamorehouse: (Renji 3/4ths profile)
Ball in a box

Details about Ball's passing... )

Ball being a ball

Weird (interesting) stuff that happened afterwards... )

cat on a chair

Gucci, gucci. We will miss you Ms. Ball, our mouser extraordinaire.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
A friend of mine pointed out that she's been anxiously awaiting cat news, so I suppose I should catch you all up on it.

You may not want to read this, the news is grim and potentially disturbing... )

So, that sucks.

Yesterday, I skipped being with my usual ladies for our Friday writing gathering to stay home to be with Ball. I let her sleep in my arms while I watched a sappy Japanese soap opera called Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light. Its a Netflix original about a young man who tries to reconnect with his dad through video gaming. I ended up reviewing it on MangaKast, if you're interested in reading my take on it.

Mason is currently at the robotics kick-off. (He's the one in front second from the right with the gray hoodie and dorky smile.)

robotics brainstorming

He had to chose between work and robotics today, so that was tough--especially since work was team kick-off. So it was robotics first day or first day with his new work team. He handled the choice well (doing all the due diligence about informing his team leader, etc.) and I think, ultimately, this was the right pick. Work will be there. Robotics season is temporary.  Both are worthy STEM projects, so....

I should try to eat lunch.
lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
 A cinnamon pull-apart loaf is rising in the kitchen. I hope it turns out.  It's a new recipe and so I have no idea if I did all the steps right, you know?

I managed to write and submit a 300-word short story to the Queer SF Flash Fiction Contest.  300 words is a serious challenge, especially given the amount of stuff the contest expects you to try to pack in, but it was a good exercise for me. These last few days I haven't much felt like writing anything, not even fan fiction, which is VERY unusual for me. I blame Trump, I really do.  I find myself so very anxious about the news and when I'm anxious the last thing I want to do is sit still and write. Instead, I tend to want to do something physical.  I had had a really good method of dealing with stress in the past. There used to be a web site called Project 1491 that sent out daily progressive activities. I found that if I made the calls they asked of me first thing in the morning, I could feel like I'd done my part for the revolution and I could go on with my day.  They disbanded.  And I've been hunting around for other similar organizations, but I've not found anything that works quite as well for me.

I signed up for Daily Grab Back, which offers daily actions, but I find some of them kind of... I don't know, but today, for instance, they want me to donate my gently used shoes to some organization or other. That's a great idea, if I had a lot of extra shoes lying around.  But, that's not who we are. If we buy shoes, it's because the soles have fallen off the last pair, and I have LITERALLY worn shoes that other people left behind. Plus, this doesn't feel like direction action to me.

I also signed up for Do a Thing. Do a Thing is very much set up for the revolutionary who wants and needs simple, yet-sometimes abstract things to accomplish.  Do a Thing is for the activist who is in survival mode, who really needs to be able to participate, but who also has to do a lot of self-care. I signed up for this one knowing it wasn't going to fulfill the same shoes as Project 1491, but as a counter-balances for those days when I can't even. Like one of the things Do a Thing suggested was "Feel Feelings." This is good advice, but not exactly frontline revolution, you know? They do also offer concrete things, however, like donating to Meals-on-Wheels and or signing up to volunteer.

I just found this one: The Loyal Opposition, which looks to be more what I was hoping for--something with a daily phone call to make. Because part of my problem is feeling overwhelmed by all the things that are ON FIRE in this administration and not knowing where to pour water first.

I still, of course, get information from MoveOn.org and Daily Kos.  I like MoveOn.org because they have a local group that does #ResistTuesdays where they gather at the local offices of our senators to protest and to talk directly to the senior staff there. For the last few months I haven't been able to go, however, because I've had to work on Tuesday mornings. I should be able to get back to it starting in April.

All that went on hold, too, during this last week, dealing with Mark. In his honor I feel like baking a lot and bringing stuff over to Joe. :-(
lydamorehouse: (Bazz-B)
 ...finally got very personal for a lot of SF/F fans.  Tor editor David Hartwell just died.

I didn't know him, not really, though he was the editor of many people I know very well, so I've heard a lot of stories over the years.  

The one thing I knew about Hartwell before I met him was that he liked to wear funky, cool ties. When he was one of the Guests of Honor at Diveriscon in 2011, I pulled out some of my grandfather's ties and wore them.  We talked ties.  He helped me correctly identify the era from which my grandpa's ties came from and I told him that I'd heard that my grandpa and grandma used to go dancing a lot, and I always liked to imagine I was wearing a "dancing" tie (though, in truth, they were probably just grandpa's work ties.) We talked about a museum exhibit of ties that Hartwell had gone to.  Then, I think I was lucky enough to go out to dinner with him and a bunch of other people and we all managed to mostly successfully avoid bringing up some of the touchier subjects in Hartwell's life (such as his wife's involvement in the infamous 'Racefail.')

The only other thing I can say is, what the hell 2016?


lydamorehouse: (Default)
We're headed up to Grand Rapids, Minnesota starting on Thursday afternoon. We're interring Shawn's dad's ashes at his grave(s) -- he actually as two: one with his first wife, Shawn's mother, and the other with his second wife, Margaret. Both of whom have plots in the same cemetery. His final request was to be physically split between the two.

That ought to be odd.

But this ceremony is important because this is the one that Mason will be included in. His job is going to be two put a bouquet of flowers on each grave after the sprinkling of ashes. We were going to leave on Thursday morning, but it so happens that Mason's school is having class picture day that day. This will be a group picture that includes everyone in attendance that day, plus the teacher and teaching assistant. Did you have one of those? I did. But only, I think through elementary school -- maybe even only the first few grades. Still, it'll be nice. That way we can always have a picture of Jarius, Mason's best friend.

And Tina. Mason has a girlfriend of sorts, named Tina. He and one of the other boys, Liam (?), actually fight over who gets to sit next to her. Like, kicking, shoving fighting. This sort of behavior seems about twelve years early, doesn't it?

Anyway, I'm headed off early to the post office. I'm sending off a couple of packages of the AngeLINK series to some new fans. One who guessed Tate Hallaway's other identity correctly (there's a little contest on her FAQ page), and another who came across Archangel Protocol through his library. As I was telling [livejournal.com profile] xochiqueztl the other day, it's sort of like the universe KNOWS I've started work on the prequel. Fan letters have been showing up in my inbox for a book that's not only out-of-print, but nearly eight years old.

It's all very strange.

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