lydamorehouse: (Mistaken)
 I'm going to have to keep this fairly short as I need to head out early to pick-up Mason from his job because 1) he texted to say they might be let out five or ten minutes early and 2) we're out of canned cat food AGAIN.

I swear now that we're down to three cats (two of which are elderly--technically, "geriatric,") we go through more food than ever.  

There was an interesting discussion on someone's FB feel about 'true' morning larks, vs. whatever you call the people for whom the 9 to 5 world is designed to accommodate.  This person noted that night owls like to complain that the world is built around larks, but it really isn't. I mean, yes, me much more than them, if only because being to work at 9 am isn't a hardship for me.  BUT, I naturally wake up around 6 am (our alarm is set for 5:30 am, though, because of Mason's early start time of 7:20 am.)  Waiting for stores to open feels like half of what I do as a lark.  Science fiction conventions are even worse for me, because most of the "action" starts well-after I'm ready to head to bed. People always say to me, "Well, just stay up late and sleep in!" Thing about being a lark? Sleeping in, for me, is 7 am. I often _can't_ go back to sleep, no matter how late I was out the night before.  

Still, I wouldn't trade. Mornings are still my favorite time to sit and write and get things done. It's when I have the most energy and feel most creative.

My family just sits in bleary-eyed silence while I yammer on about everything on our morning drive into school. This, it should be noted, is me BEFORE I've had coffee.

Anyway, you may have noticed that I'm not reporting my spell-of-the day progress. I may start up again, but I just hit a wall with Llewellyn when I got to the "Youthful Appearance" spell for the new moon. Y'all _know_ what the new moon is, right? It's a night with basically no moonlight.  The moon is virtually invisible to the unaided eye.  This spell wanted me to go outside with a mirror to "catch the new moon's light." You know, okay, for an anti-aging spell, I suppose I could catch some "anti-"light, but then the author wanted me to also imagine my face "being flooded with moonlight."

THERE ISN'T ANY MOONLIGHT ON NEW MOON. NONE. ZERO. NADA.

Yes, yes, the moon is still there, but the point of the dark moon is that it's dark! Invisible! 

So, I just set the book aside and haven't much felt like going back to it yet. I think I will, if only because having a project like this amuses me, but seriously.... wtf, Llewellyn?
lydamorehouse: (cap and flag)
 ... to try to write about mundane things after Inky's death, but life goes on, I suppose.  

Shawn ended up doing a ton of research into "elderly" cats and discovered that Deliah, who is 16, and Ms. Piggy, who is 18, are considered BEYOND elderly and into geriatric. You can kind of see it on Ms. Piggy, she's been cranky and stiff for some time now, but Deliah? She still acts like a kitten!

Shawn sent me a lot of the articles she'd read and it was comforting to read that we're doing everything right by our older cats. It's absolutely correct to be feeding on demand (small amounts, often,) and looking for foods high in protein and fat.  Of course, this is doing NO GOOD for our fatty orange boy, Buttercup. But at this point, I'm very much looking at our cats and saying "WHATEVER YOU WANT, MY PRECIOUS BABIES."

Today is Imbolc, but my family is going to celebrate tomorrow. Normally, in our tradition, we dedicate ourselves to work with a particular deity for a year. No one in this household has had he wherewithal to do the requisite research, so our plan is to make something yummy for breakfast (I'm thinking cinnamon buns) and spend a little time as a family planning out some of the rituals we all want to do together.  That seems 'close enough' to the spirit of the holiday for us right now.

I made some piroshki for dinner tonight at the urging of my family.  

piroshki on a plate

This is a recipe that Shawn got from her "Recipes North Dakota" FB group. Shawn has the best FB groups. She's in "Liberal Preppers," "Recipes of North Dakota," "Simple Vintage and Homemaking," "Stocking our Shelves," and "Weird Thrift Store Finds."  All my FB groups make me vaguely annoyed, and meanwhile, she's showing me pictures of strange things found at Good Will. To be fair, Shawn spends a LOT of time curating her feed. She has a modest number of friends that she follows and she is very fast with the hide, snooze, block, and unfriend buttons. Meanwhile, I friend anyone. Part of that is because: writer.  I never know who is following me because they've read my books and they just want to know what might be coming out next.

Mason had work today at KAYSC. He said they had an open discussion about various projects they're considering undertaking. It sounded very much like baby's first meeting. He came home and bonded with Shawn about various buzzwords, "fostering synergy" and such like. 

He's now playing D&D on Discord with a bunch of people he's in an amateur Overwatch league team with. I'm so glad he found his people. I have no idea who I'd be if the internet had existed when I was his age.

Otherwise, I spent part of my day going through old DW journal entries updating my tag set. It started because Shawn and I had one of those arguments couple have about the timing of various things in our collective memory. Did this thing happen first, or that other thing? Both of us were SO SURE we were right, and I knew I'd blogged about the events in question.  BUT, it took me forever to figure out how to track down the whole story because I'd been really sloppy with my tagging. So, I spent an hour or so reading through the old entries from 2011 and making the tags consistent.  

It was really funny to watch my comments numbers drop precipitously after I became a Bleach fan.

Ah, speaking of finding one's tribe, if only I'd known about Tumblr back then (or whatever other fan communities existed.)  

Otherwise, it was a quiet day. I've been a bit more spotty with my Spell-a-Day, but I did manage yesterday's. Not much to report, however, just a renewal spell/meditation. 
lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
I guess we only ended up with 4 inches on the ground, but St. Paul Schools shut down early last night. You might wonder WHY the capitol city in a state that often prides itself on toughing out temperatures and conditions worthy of the arctic panic closed when the forecast looked bad. You only have to look back one year to find out: www.mprnews.org/story/2018/01/23/many-students-stuck-in-schools-buses-hours-st-paul. (Last year, some students' buses didn't make it home until LITERALLY after midnight. Might be fine for high schoolers, but imagine kindergartners....)

Pretty sure our superintendent is going to close early and often, rather than let something like that happen EVER again.

I know closing school on a day like today makes a lot of parents mad and inconveniences them, but I kind of get it. I mean, I can say that, because, of course, our family is fine. I'm home today, anyway. Having Mason here is a feature, not a bug. Of course the superintendent might get in Big Trouble again, since the temperatures are supposed to plummet dangerously low over the next couple of days and schools are required to close if the temps drop into the 'your face/skin ACTUALLY freezes within a minute of exposure" range. So, people have implied that we could end up with several days off this week, given the forecast.

Honestly, I can't believe this kid's luck. He needed a mental health day on Thursday, had Friday officially off (some kind of end of quarter grading day for teachers), a weekend, and now this. It's like he really gets a Christmas break do-over, like we wanted. It's only too bad that we had to take Mom in to work, or we could have had some lovely, much needed family time.

As it is, we're probably going to spend the day filling out the Yale Global Scholars application. Mason finally finished the last of the THREE essays required for the program (and we gathered up all the documents needed for financial aid.) Whee.

All right, I promised to catch you all up on my spell-a-day project. I have skipped a few here and there, but part of that is being determined not to do anything ill-advised again.

Spell-a-Day Project (Jan. 24 & 25) )


Spell-a-Day Project (Jan. 26) )


Spell-a-Day Project (Jan. 27) )

lydamorehouse: (Default)
 I know many of you would counsel me to toss my Spell-a-Day book in the open river after the pipe incident, BUT y'all have to know that today's "spell" was really quite spectacular.  It was actually just a meditation that wanted me to go for a walk.


Winter view of como lake

Since I had to go out to Roseville DMV to collect my tabs for the car, anyway, I stopped on the way home to make a brisk walk around Como Lake. Right now, it's 17 F / -8 C, though I suspect the windchill makes it quite a bit colder. I hadn't intended to go the whole distance around the lake (1.6 miles / 2.6 km), but you know how it is once you start. I kept thinking, "Oh, I'm probably halfway around now..." 

The picture doesn't do justice to how sunny it got. The sun broke and was so bright that I wished that I'd thought to grab my sunglasses.  There are always people walking their dogs, jogging, or strolling around Lake Como, so I nodded a "good morning" to about a half dozen people and several puppers/doggos--including two Huskies that looked like they thought this was the BEST TEMPERATURE EVER, even as I was wondering if I would ever regain feeling in my thighs.

I spotted a couple funky little nests hanging like purses from the branches that I've asked my birding friends for help identifying.

purse like nest. Seemed to be made partly of moss?

Google gave me the option of red-eyed vireo, which is a kind of warbler that does seem to live around here at least part of the time.  But, I really don't know anything from birds, so I hope my friends will have a clue. My friend Sharon "Bird Chick" Stitler, says that's an oriole.  I didn't know we had those here, but that's awesome. 

After my walk, I stopped at Kowalski's because I work tonight, and the current plan my family has to deal with my absence is to "have something frozen" for dinner. But, they couldn't give me anything more specific than that to work with, so I picked up a variety of frozen options for them. 

Mason has work tonight, too, so he's going to have to make his way home via the light rail.  Shouldn't be a problem for him. He's gone on several walkabouts that have taken him far enough afield that he just hopped the light rail back home.  (Free range kids are the best!)  

Meanwhile, I can't remember the last time I had a library shift. I'm a little concerned because I think they changed the time sheet process during my absence, so that may require some poking around on the emails.  (This is why I stay home. It's too difficult out there in the real world!)  But, Shoreview is often fairly chill in the evenings, so I should have time to figure things out.

Hopefully, I didn't just jinx it, by suggesting that, however.

Right, well. I'd best hop up and get the rest of the around the house chores done before I have to pick people up and then turn around and head off to work. 
lydamorehouse: (Bazz-B)
 ...that went down the drain? THIS drain?

a snapped lead pipe on a dusty floor.

Magic works, people. Magic WORKS.

Unfortunately.

I think, at least, I reversed the spell soon enough that it won't cost us the full amount that I had written on the paper, but holy hell.

So, what happened? Well, Mason went to take his bath last night. A wash cloth fell behind the tub. He couldn't reach it, so he thought, "I'll shift the tub a little." The other pipes going into the tub are clearly flexible, so he didn't even consider the 110 year old lead pipe connecting the tub to the drain pipe. SNAP! And a, "Ummmm.... mom? Ima?"

He feels terrible, but we all talked about THAT SPELL, so no one is blaming him. Or me, for that matter. We're all pretty cranky with Llwellyn's spell proof reader, but you know... the truth is, if it snapped that easily, it was bound to happen. My reversal of the spell may have saved us from the "what if" of had Mason not noticed until it was time to drain his bath.  That might have cost us a new pipe, a new bathroom floor, and, as this is our second story bathroom, a new kitchen ceiling as well.

As we say here in Minnesota: Could be worse.

Today I was supposed to meet my friend Anna D. at the Science Museum, but that will be postponed until Friday, as I have to ADUT today and secure a plumber.  Fun times!
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Though not by too many days!

Hello, hello! How's things? I don't have a huge amount to report. Friday was the day of forgetting things. I was just leaving the coffee shop when I got a text from Mason. He forgot his iPad at home. So, I headed home, picked it up, and then went back to school. As I was half way to school, he wanted to know if I could also grab earbuds? But I didn't get that in time to double back. I left his iPad with the school but then remembered we might have earbuds in the car, so I quick texted Mason to come back and grab them. He'd already headed back, but was able to turn around. That was all before 8 am!

Then, when I was getting ready to go to the coffee shop, I got a call from some guy trying to sell us on a paint job that made me unreasonably angry for various reasons, and I was so wound up about that that I brought my cord to the coffee shop, but forgot my laptop. I think that worked out okay, however, because it meant I was less distracted during the conversation we had about a story that [personal profile] naomikritzer was writing, which opened up a lot of interesting questions to me (none of which she was actually writing about, but hey) like: what's it like to know you're related to a criminal or a murderer (which I am) and any number of similarly fascinating philosophical questions.

What else... oh! Shawn finally watched "Infinity War" and we all saw "Solo." We ended up doing two movies because "Infinity War" was such a downer AND I had earlier tilted during a game of "Trivial Pursuit" that spilled over into another little snip. "Solo" was just what the doctor order. Y'all think it sucked, but I thought it was fine--entertaining, even.

Saturday Mason worked and I had my first session of a new Star Trek RPG game with a bunch of friends: [personal profile] jiawen [personal profile] bcholmes John T., and Sabs. MUCH FUN. As I've said earlier, I haven't role-played for some time and I had so much fun I ended up writing fan fic (in the form of my character's personal log) about our adventure.

Sunday we spent the day hanging out. Mason had an in-person D&D game, Shawn made a disastrous pie (it was a cannoli pie). Shawn notes that the "Idea" of the pie was good, but the flavor didn't suit us (me less than her). I did a lot of stamping, which I enjoyed.

This morning I woke and chatted a bit more with [personal profile] jiawen about life and the super, blood, wolf moon eclipse. Most of which I missed, because I CAN NOT with the late nights now that I'm old. (Shut up. 11 pm is late for me, okay??) Anyway, chatting with [personal profile] jiawen always fun, we can talk about anything for hours.

Then I did a lot of cooking. I tried to make cheesy puffy ball bread things, but they collapse. They were tasty though!

my sad cheese things

Very much like eggy popovers, which was fine since we ate them with lunch (spaghetti) with a hot marinara sauce dip.

Then we decided to have a big chicken roast, so I started roasting the bird around 1:30 pm, made mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, corn, cheddar bay biscuits (from a box), and chicken gravy. I managed the timing pretty darn perfectly, if I do say so myself, and the meal was a huge success.

So. LOTS of food today.

I managed to mostly keep up with my spells over the intervening days. I will give you a series of quick updates under the cut. I will note that I did spend the day after the DOWN THE DRAIN money spell, undoing it, and decided that was enough of a spell-of-the-day for that day, since it was supposed to be a day to get rid of something.

Spell-a-Day Project (Jan 18 & 19) )


Spell-a-Day (Jan 20) )
lydamorehouse: (Aizen)
Today was the day I'd signed up for a friend's meal train.

She was coming back home from fairly complex surgery yesterday and I'd agreed to bring "chili, and maybe bread, If I'm not too lazy." (Actually, I wrote "bead" on the form, but I meant "bread." I'm not sure how one would eat bead.) That meant that I started making bread around 8:00 am, right away when I got back from dropping everyone off. Bread is one of those things that is both time-consuming and takes no actual time. 4/5ths of the "time" bread takes, it's just sitting in a bowl doing its own thing. I put the bread in the oven at 10 am and started the chili, with the plan to drop-off precisely at noon.

The nice thing about making this particular bread (which these days is in the cookbook as "Lyda's French Bread,") is that it makes two loaves. I planned to give one to my friend and save the other for dinner tonight. I'd bought pork chops, thinking it would be a nice meat and potatoes + bread kind of meal... but that's a later story.

My friend lives in Minneapolis, so I got everything ready around 11:30 am (I'd bought flowers for her when I was at Kowalski's this morning, too,) and headed over probably a bit too early--but I'm like that. I'd much rather arrive five minutes early than five minutes late. Plus, now-a-days, I tend to get lost going into Minneapolis... which is weird, since it's the city I first moved to. But, apparently, I've been rejected by the Minneapolis fairy (and adopted by the St. Paul trolls.)

I only made one wrong turn and so drove around aimlessly, wasting time a bit before pulling up to the house.

I was really surprised to see her up and walking. Did I mention major surgery?? But, good on her. She and her wife were getting rid of some books and so I looked through those and chose a few for the little free library (Full Metal Alchemist light novels!) and myself (yaoi!). Their kitty inspected me very closely. Much sniffing. They have one cat named Uryuu, named after Bleach's Ishida Uryuu.

But, I wasn't there to have lunch WITH them, so I made my excuses and headed home.

For myself, I ate a couple of bowls to the chili before going over... so it was kind of breakfast/brunch (?) --though, ostensibly to taste test them. I'm not sure what to think of the fact that I gave myself heartburn. Mmmm.. Hopefully, my friends did not suffer the same. I'm telling myself that I got heartburn because it was the first thing I ate, and I had TWO bowls of it.

Dinner turned out to be "ah... no one really wants that" when I picked my family up, so now Shawn is in the kitchen eating bread and butter (and complaining that we don't have milk for cereal,) Mason took himself to Culver's just up the road, and I had a sausage sandwich at Caribou Coffee. I've had a little bread and cheese and butter, too, along with my tea. But, it's sort of sad "yoyo" (you're on your own) dinner. I probably should have put my foot down and declared the pork chops a "shut up and eat it" meal. But, bah. Thing is, I really like making food that people WANT to eat. Thus, when people don't want what I'm making, I don't want to make what I'm making, if that makes sense.

I'd rather save the pork chops for when everyone is in the mood for them.

In other news, last night's spell-of-the-day was the first one I've actively decided to 'unwind.'

Spell-a-Day Project (Jan. 16) )


Hump Day!

Jan. 16th, 2019 08:08 am
lydamorehouse: (Mistaken)
I have a few days that I need to catch y'all up on.

Let's see... Monday. What did I do on Monday? I know I did a lot of household chores, because Monday is both garbage day and recycling for our alley. We amass a LOT of recycling. I also went to the pet store again. Since Ms Ball's illness, the rest of the cats got very used to the idea that wet food might be available to them at all sorts of hours. Plus, as I'm sure many of you recall, I was trying ANYTHING I thought she might eat a lot of. So now the rest of the cats are very, "What is this, hooman? This is not the good gravy stuff???" Thus, I bought a bunch of the good gravy stuff as well as some other cans of things that everyone seemed to enjoy, because why not? At this point, I look at my fat cats and think, "GOOD. There will be lots of time to figure out what's wrong before you waste away, should disease hit!"

So my memory of Monday = errands and housework.

Yesterday was far more pleasant. Even though Shawn had a migraine and ended up coming home early, the day started and ended well. As a family, we all go out to bagels on Tuesday mornings. At some point, I made a comment that I felt that Tuesday were worse than Mondays, because everyone EXPECTS Monday to suck, as it is the first day back to work after a weekend. But, Tuesdays are like stealth Mondays. They're too early in the week to start having happy thoughts about how soon it will be the weekend again, and so they're really like Monday--only without any sympathy. We decided that in the spirit of this, Tuesdays would be a day we would treat ourselves because Tuesdays are hard, too, but no one is going to say, "Ah, yeah, man, TUESDAYS, am I right?"

Then, after picking Shawn back up and bringing her home early, I went to visit my friend [personal profile] naomikritzer at her place. I was able to stay a little later than usual because Mason is in full-swing of robotics, but we had also all earlier agreed that since it was payday, we would go out to Indian at our favorite place: Taste of India in Maplewood. Taste of India is one of those places that a surprising number of people we KNOW frequent. In the past, we've run into our friends the Murphys and the Fox-Manns. This time, it was just us, but it was also just what the doctor ordered.

With Ms. Ball's illness and death putting a literal pall over our holiday vacation, my family and I have been in desperate need of quality family time. I'm fortunate, in that my little nuclear family all really love each other and enjoy each other's company EVEN OUR TEENAGE SON. Which, is kind of miraculous, I've been told. So, dinner was perfect. We all got comfort foods and caught up on life, the universe, and everything in a much need fashion.

Then, when we got home last night, Mason and I played Smash for a half hour or so. I have to report that this button-masher is starting to learn a few combos. I have one character "Cloud," that I can consistently remember how to use. This is starting to excite Mason, as it means that he has a player in the house who isn't a complete push over. He still wins every time, but I'm making him have to fight for it a little.

In other news, Mason has been having a lot of fun watching various colleges start to take notice of his early PSAT scores. Mason took the test early, as practice here in 10th grade, and did extremely well. Every day, after school Mason will update us on the various folks that have started spamming him with "hey, when you get serious about university, don't forget we exist!" emails. The other fun thing he got was an invitation to apply to a summer program at Yale. It's Yale Young Global Studies Program. There is a 20 page application that includes financial aid (because holy moley is this thing EXPENSIVE.) But, we figure we should give it a try, even though the deadline is nipping at our heels already (Feb. 6.) Because, why not? Nothing ventured, as they say. Given how many people apply, it's probably a long shot at any rate.

It's really f*cking cool spam, though, you have to agree, neh?

I also spent a good part of yesterday starting to plan for Mason's PSEO (post-secondary education opportunities) next year. Washington Technology Magnet is OUT of math for our child. So, he's going to have to continue on at university (of some sort, though we are crossing fingers to get into the University of MN's program.) To that end, we are planning on attending the very first informational meeting on Feb. 18, I think it is. (It's on the calendar). I also went ahead and booked a tour of the Science and Engineering department, because, again, why not? But, there are a lot of forms to figure out and things to do for that, too--though, much like with the Yale thing above, my job is not to apply, but to heard our smol into applying for himself.

Still a full time job, if you ask me.

I also spent a lot of time on Monday and yesterday trying to get some hours set for my library job. I tried to pick up an extra shift this week, but someone got to Shoreview before I could nab it. Alas. At least I got my Feb. schedule to my boss, who was able to give me some shifts for next months. Yay.

Luckily, I don't need to pick up too many shifts. This month got covered by a surprise royalty check that was mid-triple digits, the likes of which I haven't seen in a long, long time. (Audible.com, I LOVE YOU.) Next month, my Loft teaching will carry us, too, although I won't see that money until the work is done and dusted, so not until March or April.

I did manage to do all my spell work. I will post under-the-cut below, but I do want to share the one funny observation: I thought for sure that when these spells started calling for various herbs and oils, I would have to write some scathing commentary about how NO ONE HAS THIS STUFF JUST LYING AROUND. And, yet, last night when I was shaking my head thinking, "Oh, right, like I'm going to have camomile flower heads sitting on my shelf," there, in our witchy cabinet, was a vial of camomile flowers that I harvested several years ago, dried, and carefully preserved. I have actually yet to be stumped!

To be fair, I did have to do a couple of substitutions. A spell below called for hyssop, which I didn't have, but lavender is a common substitution, and I have several jars of lavender (to be fair, we grow it and harvest it ourselves, just like we had with the camomile.) I had to make my own dragon's blood oil, but I actually HAVE dragon's blood resin in my cabinet, so there is that.

My witches' pantry is actually surprisingly well stocked!

Spell-a-Day project (Jan. 13) )


Spell-a-Day Project (Jan. 14) )


Spell-a-Day Project (Jan. 15) )
lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
...so this might not be a very long post.

Yesterday was weirdly exhausting. We all ended up in a huge fight. It was dumb. Most of the arguments my family has are not over anything significant, but, in the way of fights, they will spiral into All The Things that are WRONG, Everywhere, ALWAYS. Last night it was over some timing around diner and a text that Mason failed to answer promptly. Simple stuff, really, easily straightened out--but thanks to being hangry and all of us in various states of hormones (Mason is in puberty, Shawn and I are menopausal), there was wailing and gnashing of teeth and much sobbing all around.

We got through it, of course.

But, then I had to bundle myself off to Wyrdsmiths, which often goes until 10:00 or 11:00 pm.... which is way, WAY past my bedtime. We had an excellent meeting, however. All of us came, for once, even the elusive Kelly. We reviewed two pieces, and spent a good deal of our time trying to convince Adam that while his memoir was fine and good, what it really needed was Elder Gods... or possibly dragons. Then, I went on an odd sort of rant about why not doing the dishes is NOT a crime against humanity based entirely, I think, on having too much time to think about one of the critique pieces while waiting on rugs to wash at the laundromat.

But, between the argument and the late night, I have spent today in a kind of fog, even though today is the day that I usually meet up with Eleanor, [personal profile] pegkerr, and [personal profile] naomikritzer . We had a nice time at the coffee shop chatting about life, the universe and everything, actually, but, MAN, I would rather have been napping at home.

So... tired...

I managed to NOT do my spell yesterday, but I did get it done today.

Spell-a-Day (Jan. 11)... )

Now my wife has talked me into re-watching "Highlander" (the TV series) because it appeared on Amazon Prime. It's objectively terrible... though I remember ADORING it in the 1990s.
lydamorehouse: (cranky aizen)
Admittedly, I have been procrastinating on setting up my work email so that I can view it from home. Several months ago, Ramsey County experienced a payroll hack that had IT scrambling to plug holes. One way in which they did so (inconveniently for _me_) was to set up a two-point authorization for those of us who need to check email remotely (i.e., from home.) This required an app and, thus, obviously, a smart phone, which I didn't have until very, very recently.

Even so, I've had my smart phone for a couple of months and I only just (after some good-natured harassment from my family yesterday) decided that today would be an excellent day to make all the various calls to the IT folks and Get It Done. First, I forgot my password enough that I locked myself out of the log-in page that would get me started on the process. Then, after calling to change it, I discovered that it didn't matter because I had been dropped off the official list of people who needed to access this whole deal. So, I had to call AGAIN. And, then wait an half hour.

So, I took full advantage of my half hour and I went to the library to return a book that was about to be due and to pick up another on hold. I then, went to the grocery store and picked up victuals for dinner tonight. (Mason really wanted "meat muffins"--which are basically individual meat loaves in muffin tins.)

Back at home I downloaded the app and thought I had it all set. Well, for reasons unknown to me, the process got hung up in the verification step and so I had to call IT AGAIN. This time the guy was one of those people that you sort of wonder how they keep their job because he was so inarticulate, while also insulting my intelligence ("Did you try to scan the QV code from the PDF?" To which I said, "Do you THINK I'm a moron?" He chuckled but added, "You'd be surprised how often that's the problem.") But, he also left me with the "instruction" to wait for a call back from IT when they were done resetting my account.

Good f*cking thing I didn't wait for a call before I tried again, because I'D STILL BE WAITING.

Instead, I thought, surely it's been long enough and I went through the process and this time it worked, no hitches.

Good news, everyone: I appear to still be employed by Ramsey County and I now have access to mail at home.

Woo.

Otherwise, I printed out all of the submissions for tomorrow night's Wyrdsmith's meeting (for those of you who are new subscribers, Wyrdmiths is an in-person writers' group that I founded back in 1997-ish[?] that has been on-going ever since. We meet on Thursday nights at a local coffee shop and talk writing.) We have one very short story from Adam, and new novel bits from [personal profile] naomikritzer I'm looking forward to reading and reviewing both of those tomorrow while I sit at the laundromat washing all of the rag rugs that poor Ms. Ball ruined with her Hell PoopTM .

Spell-a-Day Project (Jan 9) )
lydamorehouse: (Renji 3/4ths profile)
The phone rang just now and it was our old vet, Dr. Holly.

We stopped going to All Paws some time ago for various reasons, including issues of money, but when the Lap of Love people asked us if we had vets that should be informed, we told them to let both Como *and* All Paws know, since it seemed right. All Paws had seen Ball for years before we switched.

I can't get over that she called, but Dr. Holly is just that good, just that caring. She was devastated by our loss and was desperate to know what had happened. It was hard to have to tell her that we ultimately had NO IDEA what killed Ms. Ball in the end. I could tell that she was trying very hard not to be incensed on our behalf that Como wasted time with a mistaken first diagnosis. I had to reassure her that this was a mystery that even Dr. Ralph had no clue about when he did the ultrasound, and, given that we were racing against time with Ball's weight loss, Como did the best they could.

Which I really do believe.

Even though she never pressured me to say anything about it, I told her that we absolutely would have brought Ball to her, but she's basically become unavailable. She works one day a week, starting at 3 pm, and then ONE Saturday a month. Otherwise she exclusively does animal surgery and dentistry. My problems were with the other main doctor there (and I couldn't tell Holly that, as the other doctor is not only her colleague, but her WIFE.) We needed someone who could see Ball ASAP, someone who wasn't half way across the metro area. St. Louis Park isn't the end of the world, but we were ALWAYS fighting highway traffic, even during the best of times. I feel badly about this, because everyone in this family secretly believes that Dr. Holly would have moved heaven and earth to find out what was wrong with Ms. Ball.

I need to remind myself that Dr. Holly saw all our previous cats, and none of them lived any longer than our current eldest cat, Ms. Piggy, who is easily closing on 18. Also, sometimes these things just hit like a storm and there's nothing to be done.

I'm glad she called, though. She's such a good person. Shawn and I did some calculations and we'd been seeing Dr. Holly exclusively for 29 years. Almost as long as we've been together, Shawn and I. (Shawn and I met in 1985; we started seeing Dr. Holly with our first cat, Artemis, in 1990.)

Other than that, it was a low-key Tuesday. [personal profile] naomikritzer came over for lunch and I fed her hot dish (as provided by the Randalls.) I'm always impressed by the range of conversation Naomi and I can have--everything from professional jealousy, mastectomies and reconstructive surgery, to Star Wars movies. I guess that's what it's like with a good friend.

The only other thing that's worth reporting is that Mason's PSAT scores (he took a practice practice test, as it were, in 10th grade) went public and now a bunch of colleges are emailing him, letting him know that, you know, when the time comes, they'd sure like to have him. That's fairly gratifying. I feel proud, even though the only thing I did was help prod Mason to prod his school into letting him take the test early.

So that's cool.

Spell-a-Day (Jan. 8) )
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) )

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