lydamorehouse: (cranky aizen)
My family has a very unusual attitude towards truancy. We encourage Mason to practice it from time to time, as needed, to blow off steam and to have a 'mental health' day/practice self-care. I don't ask a lot of questions or make any requirements for him to use these days. Mason just knows that he's allowed to say that he needs a day now-and-again.

On Thursday, driving in to school, Mason said, "You know how we sometimes just take off and drive somewhere? Today would be a good day to do that."

So, we turned around, I called him in sick, and we went home so he could catch up on a bit of sleep. Then, we talked about what kind of adventure he wanted, and, since it was really cold and there was supposed to be a winter storm moving in around us, we decided to stick close to home. After a comforting lunch, we headed out to Como Zoo. We spent most of our time in the Conservatory, because it's warm in there. Here's the view looking up at the glass dome.

looking up at the Como Conservatory's glass dome

This was just what the doctor ordered. Mason and I chatted about what's going on in his life, while strolling through the heat and the humidity of the conservatory. Because of the time of year, a lot of the tropical plants had fruit. We saw a Buddha's hand, coffee beans on the coffee tree, several ripening cocoa pods, and a bunch of other stuff that made me think that maybe I should try to take over the Conservatory when the apocalypse comes. I mean, they have COFFEE!

Then, because we're insane, we decided to see which animals might be out enjoying the sub-arctic temperatures. No surprise, perhaps, but the Siberian tiger thought it was lovely out.

Siberian tiger in the Minnesota snow

As I wrote on Facebook: 'Not the polar bear, surprisingly, she was sleeping. The Siberian tiger was out, as were the wolves, the reindeer, the bison, and the arctic foxes which I have LITERALLY never seen at Como Zoo before, despite having walked passed their labeled area for YEARS. The two foxes were prancing they were so happy that the temps were sub-zero windchills."

I couldn't get a good picture of the arctic foxes because probably all you'd see would be two eyes and a nose. They are MADE to perfectly blend with the snow, after all. But, they were very, very adorable. Potentially worth braving the temperatures to see, honestly. The Como Zoo is still kind of the sad zoo (as opposed to the MN Zoo, which we just call "the big zoo"), in that a lot of their "enclosures" are still little more than chain link fences, but they've been slowly renovating the place to improve the animals' quality of life. The foxes, unfortunately, are still in a very small-sh space, so that's why I'd say "potentially" worth a visit. Your enjoyment would totally depend on whether or not you can stand that kind of zoo.

Then, on Friday, Mason was officially home from school, but I let him sleep in while I met a friend on Friday to go to the Science Museum. As part of his job, Mason gets free passes to the museum and this friend had been looking for cheap/free things to do during the day. I ended up cancelling on my usual ladies to hang out with her, but I had previously planned to go on Tuesday, but that was the day the plumbing broke. What I would say about our trip to the museum was that, if you go, you totally should spend some time in the Race exhibit. It's... well, I mean, parts of it are heartbreaking and awful, but it's extremely well done. Anna and I probably spent the majority of our time in that room. It was a moderately quiet room, not being a favorite of the countless screaming argonauts (aka other people's children), which was also nice for us, as Anna is deaf/hard of hearing.

But, also, there are dinosaurs! This is a "compi" from Jurassic World (Compsognathus).

a Compi!  (Compsognathus)

Anna and I don't know each other terribly well--this is the third time we've done something together, though the first time it was just us. I would definitely hang out with her again. She's lovely company. 

In other news, I continue to try to find a plumber for our upstairs bathtub. The good news is that we have a fully functional bathroom on the first floor that has a tub, so we're not out anything while we figure out what we're doing. I had one set of plumbers out already, Ryan Plumbing, whose estimate was 1,500 - 2,000 bucks, as they figured they'd have to rip up the kitchen ceiling to get at all the pipes. Weld Plumbing called back and would like to wait and talk to their owner about whether or not they think they're the right people, which I told them was FINE as we're in a buyer's market, as we can just let it sit there until we get the right people with the right price. Weld was the first group who said that they thought there might be a way to McGyver it, if we wanted to try a fix for ourselves... which made me like them a bit more than the Ryan guys, but the chances of them calling back seemed kind of slim, you know? As soon as "I have to talk to the owner" comes out, it either means they think your job is too small for them or they otherwise don't want to do it at all.

BUT. I'm going to keep calling a couple of outfits every day because seriously, we have all the time we need to figure this out. It's a BIT WEIRD to take a full soaking bath downstairs while the rest of the family is hanging out in the living room, but it's definitely not the end of the world. 

I've been mostly keeping up with my spell of the day, but I'll catch up on posting about those the next entry. I've got to wrap this up as I need to run off to pick up Mason from his job in about five minutes.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I may need to put another pot on this morning. It seems like it really wants to be one of THOSE DAYS. I was awakened from a lovely dream about flying to ice and snow on the car. I bundled out only to discover that the ice wasn't nearly as bad as it looked. The car doors, of course, froze a bit. They always do this with the slightest amount of provocation. It's irritating.

Got Shawn to work and Mason to school. As we headed to school, I realized that some people were already having a MUCH worse day than I was, because we saw a stranded school bus on Kellogg near John Ireland Boulevard. Mason and I talked a long time about cascading bad luck, because not only were the kids who were in the bus going to be late, but all the kids waiting on the bus were going to be wondering what was going on... AND on top of that the bus and its tow truck were taking up one whole lane on Kellogg which mean traffic was backing up on to highway 94 and all the way down to University Avenue.

That made me realize that no matter how rough things were this morning, a lot of people were having it a lot worse.

And although Mason had to do some of his homework in the car this morning, we managed to get it done exactly by the first bell at 8:10 am. We found out that today is International Herding Cats day from the gym teacher, who always keeps us abreast of such things, and Mason remembered to bring in the Multiplication Rock DVD for Mr. G. as well as a copy of one of the Captain Underpants book for one of the other teachers to borrow.

So, you know, even though it's gray and I'm stiff from not having gone to kuk sool wan all week (we WILL GO tonight, dang it!), as we say here in Minnesota, "can't complain."

I had a really great time yesterday at the Women of Wyrdsmith's regular Wednesday gathering. [ profile] naomikritzer talked me off the bridge about the editoral letter I got for Tate's most recent WiP, and Eleanor bought me a mocha because I did the "agenting" work of printing out a story of hers and stuffing it into an envelope (which was subsequently bought by the editor we sent it to.) I even got a bit of revision work done, and am starting to see how I can make the book work the way my editor wants it to (mostly, anyway, and that's all a person can do,) We left a bit early because [ profile] naomikritzer had an errand to do, and some guy was setting up a keyboard. I was a little nervous about him because he had a giant cross around his neck, kind of ganster for such a skinny white boy with a Jesus beard.

Speaking of Jesus, it just happened that, once again, as we were quietly working on our various writing projects, we overheard two women discussing their personal relationship with Jesus. As I confessed to Eleanor and Naomi, it's a terrible impluse, but something about overhearing that sort of talk always makes me want to start talking loudly about my personal relationship with Satan. In that spirit the three of us protelitized to each other about various non-Chrisitan miracles we'd witnessed, including the miricle of the Great Fish (you'll have to ask Eleanor about this at the next con you see her at. It's awesome,) and my funny experience of corrupting the famous line about how god is "inordinately fond of beetles" yesterday morning to include the Goddess' fondness for creepy-crawlies.

This is a lot how my Wednesday writers' hang-out usually goes. Plus, of course, we gossip wickedly about our fellow Wyrdsmiths and other writers we know or have heard of in SF/F. It's probably the biggest highlight of my week, most times.

Today is my busy day. I'm going off to volunteer -- now at 1:30 pm -- to Mr. G.'s class, and will be staying until the end of the day. I offered that he might need someone to help herd cats with boots and coats and such. Perhaps I will be useless, but I'm determined to do whatever I can.

All right. I guess I should get working!
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I'm sitting at a nearby Caribou while my car gets an oil change and a tire-rotation. Of course, I overhear the guy at the coffee bar say into his cell phone: "We need to instill some Christian values into him!"

Why is my knee-jerk reaction: "Oh noz!!!"

I mean, perhaps, for all I know, the guy is a liberation theologist upset that his son/friend/brother/lover doesn't share his world view and wants him to be more Christian in that brown-skinned socialist sort of way. :-)

I suspect my reaction comes from the fact that that particular phrase seems to be one of those "dog whistles" the press always talks about. Christian values is like the Moral Majority, a phrase that has become highly politicized.

Egads, I just heard him say, "We'll you know you're going to die, and you can't take it with you. You've got to figure out how you can afford eternity."


At any rate, it's been a long time since I've posted. I should be able to be more consistant now, though. I hope. I finished two new proposals for more books in the cow mutiliation mystery series (Precinct 13.) As I've said, this series will probably never get off the ground because I absolutely adore it.

Speaking of things I love that are doomed, Shawn and I just started watching "Grimm." What an awesome show! It's like something I would write, because in the middle of all this fairy tale action we meet a Big Bad Wolf (a "blutbad") who isn't all that bad. In fact, he's trying to reform, and he's utterly hillarious. (Burn Notice fans will recognize the actor as the guy who played the crazy drug dealer/arms supplier). We're going to try to catch all the episodes because I'm absolutely certain it's not going to survive long. It's too smart with a touch of silly. That's not usually a good combination for a network show.

In other news, we're headed to Indiana again soon to see Mason's grandmother who lives there. I'm not looking forward to the grueling drive, but I am planning on downloading a bunch of podcast science fiction/fantasy stories to listen to on the way down. This is how I keep up on short stories actually, and this time they're doing double duty. I'm going to start deciding which stories to "assign" (it's always volunteer) for my Loft on-line students to listen to/read.

If y'all have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Well, I can't hang out here too long today. I've got to go check to see how they're doing on my car. Then, I'm HOPING that I'll get a chance to keep working on the short story I started, as well as re-keying "12 Traditions" which I'm hoping to sell as a reprint, AND formatting Archangel Protocol so I can send it off to the woman we're going to hire to do an e-book of it.

Life is always hopping at the Rounds/Morehouse place.


Oct. 3rd, 2011 09:15 am
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I'm officially overdue on my WiP now. It took a lot longer to recover from the total computer crash than expected, but I *do* think that the revision has made this a much stronger book. I have about 30,000 words left to write, which, if I push things, I can do in 15 days.

I may be fairly absent here, though, because of that.

Not much to report over the weekend, anyway. It really feels like fall here in the Twin Cities, so we got a lot of around the house errands done. I tend to gear up, physically, this time of year. So, there is paint ready to be applied to fences and walls and all sorts of projects like that. I also made a lovely batch of roasted acorn squash soup that's quite delicious as well. I'll be having that for lunches for the next several days, I think.

Mason has started up a new swimming class. He's in level 2, and he loves it. Now that he's figured out how to float, he's really got a lot more confidence in the water. It's nice to see.

We were all set to have him start painting the back fence when his friend from across the street came over. As Shawn posted in her FB: fence painting can wait, childhood can't. I do love that we have that sort of thing going in our neighborhood right now, where there are kids who know they can come over, knock on the door, and have Mason come out to play. That reminds me of my own childhood.

For myself, I really need to figure out how to get to the gym in the mornings/afternoons, so that I can get into the habit before the snow flies.

Okay, enough of this for now. Must write.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Let's see, for starters, I got nothing done this weekend. Apparently, there was some kind of holiday on Sunday which involved a lot of stores being closed, which nixed our one big plan for the weekend: fixing the toliet seat. Apparently Minicon was this weekend as well, but I kind of forgot about that too. (I'm a little sadder I missed that.)

Mason had Friday off (which should have been a clue about the above holiday), and my writer friend Gary and his wife Brin came over and we talked a good portion of the day away about writing, gaming, comics, health insurance, and life. It was a great excuse not to write a damn thing. (Actually, to be fair, with Mason off the likelihood of getting work done was already shot.) Plus, I got to introduce Gary and Brin to the Russian Tea House on University -- at the end of my block, actually -- which made me happy, especially as it was Friday which meant I got to get the stroganoff. Yum! I have no idea if they liked it, but I'm always happy to give those folks business. I really, really want them to stay in the neighborhood.

Saturday, I discovered that Shawn and I aren't normal, modern parents. Shocking, no?

Here's what happened: Mason had a birthday party and I (*gasp*) DROPPED HIM OFF. Yep. I left my son to have fun ON HIS OWN. Apparently this is one of the seven signs of the apocalypse. All of the other parents stayed and watched over their children. This, however, did not seem to make a more orderly party. When I came back a half hour before the party was scheduled to be over, I noticed that a lot of the parents stood on the sidelines and watched their kids run wild. There was no less screaming with a 2:1 adult to child ratio. And I kept asking myself why all these parents decided it was necessary to stand around with glazed expressions, when they could have just dropped of their children and stared at the wall somewhere else. Apparently, it's expected to hang around (and I did KNOW that on some level because I did ask the host parents if they needed/expected me to stay, and I left with their startled blessing.)

I have no memory of parties like this when I was a kid. Though birthday parties were never the PRODUCTION they seem to be now when I was younger either. I can't imagine my folks dropping hundreds or thousands of dollars on a birthday party for me -- well, maybe they did. I was pretty clueless about all the awesome things they did for me, but I certainly don't remember everyone's parents hanging around while I blew out candles (unless they were family, ala my cousin's folks or my grandparents.)

This is just one of the truths of the new reality Mason is growing up in that I continue to resist. We've decided to thwart our colleagues this year. Thanks to our friends from Colorado, the Jacksons, we're members of the Children's Museum again. The Children's Museum has awesome (and cheap) birthday packages with a maxium number of PEOPLE. We do need to have one grown-up/adult for every five kids, but we can have no more than 20 people total. Our invites are going to encourage dropping off.

Take that, helicopter parents!

It probably still won't work because Mason doesn't have fifteen close friends, but it's worth a shot.

In other parenting news, I found a pagan Sunday school for Mason. It's at Sacred Paths Center called "Kids and Kin." We checked it out on Sunday, and Mason LOVED it. They do a little craft/instruction at the beginning and a short ritual at the end (oh, and of course, the traditional pagan "cakes and ale" kid style: carrots and ricecakes/water and brownies). Anyway, Mason got to represent fire in the circle and you'd have thought he was crowned king of the world. This weekend was about "Tricksters" and it was, apparently unusually, almost all boys. The age range was pretty huge -- there were teenagers and two year-olds -- but Mason adores older kids and tolerates the younger ones, especially when they'll play chase with him.

"Kids and Kin" runs every other Sunday, and I think we're going to try to make it a regular event. As I told Shawn (who is still nursing a cold), there were two things I really liked: 1) they encouraged dropping off (see above rant), and 2) if Mason decides when he's older to become an evangelical Christian, at least he'll have had a solid base understanding of his "religion of origin" to leave behind. A religion to abandon/rebel against a gift every parent should give, I think. :-)


Feb. 1st, 2010 10:39 am
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I thought about titling this post: "Things You Didn't Know People ACTUALLY Did..." because on Friday, when school was out for teacher professional day, I took a friend's kids and Mason to the Children's Museum. We all had an awesome time, because my strategy for dealing with multiple kids with multiple agendas at the Children's Museum is to impose one simple rule: I stand at the door to the gallery. When you want to move to a new gallery, it's your job to round everyone up and convince them to go together.

This works suprisingly well.

I was also very worried about taking care of these guys, so the night before I came up with a couple of other strategies. I brought snacks. I brought water. I brought a mostly empty backpack for all the THINGS kids accumulate/take off during a visit to the Children's Musuem.

I ended up feeling pretty smug about my ability to herd cats... and we all had a great time. I even got a few pictures of the kids being cute in various galleries (dinos were a big hit). But right at the end of my tenure as super mom of three, everything fell apart. As my friend was picking up his kids and we were transferring booster seats back into his car, his son ACTUALLY stuck his tongue on the frozen metal pole of our stair railing.


I ran back in the house to get hot water in a plastic bottle, but while I was waiting the few seconds for the water to heat sufficiently, the boy tore his tongue from the pole. OW! I presume he's okay, despite all the blood, because his sister informed us that he was at school today. But... wow. I didn't know people actually did that.

Today is the craziness, however, so I'm just going to give you a taste of what I need to accomplish today and then run off to try to do it. I have to fax page proofs back to Penguin for Tate's HONEYMOON OF THE DEAD. I have to get to the post office to mail books to some fans. I have to write a zillion more words on RESURRECTION CODE, and write a proposal for an adult book for Tate's agent to try to sell to Penguin.

Oh and probably eat lunch and pick up my kid from school at some point and clean the house... oh, and learn Sanskrit!

Yay! Love my life! (seriously, universe!)

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