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06 October 2014 @ 10:36 am
And I've been productive already.

It's going to be another scorcher today, so I was up at the crack of dawn (earlier really as it was still dark out). I made a double batch of my nut granola, cleaned the house, kissed the menfolk as they headed off to respective schools and professions. It's the first day of term for Eldest (who's made the honor roll for his last term's projects and grades -- as well as being named Best in Term for his Observational Art class,) and midterms for Younger (agonizing over tidal and synchronous orbits of the moon and earth for Astronomy.)

While Eldest was lugging his portfolio and art supplies to his Anatomy class, I headed out to the garden for some end of season cutting back and harvesting. We missed one of our cucumbers, and it's now easily a foot in length! I'll cut/slice it for a refreshing side for dinner tonight. Then I harvested a squash we've let harden to a gourd (we'll use the seeds next year).

UberGeek germinated so many peppers this year, we're having a bumper crop. I don't even eat them, so he gives them away to his colleagues!

And now it's 10:30 and I'm going to pay bills. Whew! After all this, I'll need a siesta!
11 August 2014 @ 08:25 pm
For a couple of years, Robin Williams' office was directly below mine, and I saw him fairly often. He sent wine for Christmas and flowers on my birthday, and I remember once having a wonderful, long chat with his mom -- such an amazing woman. I am deeply saddened by his death. Our world has lost one of its best and brightest.
17 July 2014 @ 08:57 am
For a variety of reasons including health issues, both our sons have been homeschooled from their middle school years onward. It has been a decision with both positive and negative consequences. I've grown to think children who start being homeschooled from kindergarten age have an advantage over children who must re-adjust to the non-school, do it yourself with guidance, sort of education. In the long run, however, we have sons who are later to bloom, a little less well-adjusted with their chronological peers than others but are excellently placed with cross-generational interaction, and who have followed their dreams while learning not to be swayed by peer pressure (it rolls off their backs for the most part.)

With that being said, as of yesterday afternoon, they are now both enrolled in four-year bachelor's programs in fields of their choice: Eldest in Game Art and Design, and Youngest in Science with a Physics minor. We are delighted to see them each pursue their own interests in ways that will lead to fulfilling careers in arenas which are driven by their passions.

Of course, we're suddenly quite a bit poorer on a monthly basis (regardless of grants and student loans, it's expensive!) We had thought Eldest would take another several months, but he targeted the Art School of his choice, and one which does the four-year academic route as well. Ultimately, we're very pleased, and I'm very glad that we stuck to our beliefs even in the face of many people who thought we were insane!
12 July 2014 @ 06:30 pm
It's been a remarkable week, and tonight subversa and juniperus coaxed me into drabbling. It's something I haven't done in AGES, but it was so much fun. I had forgotten how very much I enjoy focusing my thoughts into these hundred-word amuse bouches.

Michigan mosquitoes are pernicious; it's not that they're huge, rather there are so damned many of them. They've certainly made inroads into making me feel welcome; indeed, I have suckling little kisses all over my body! You know, the gift that keeps on giving (or should I say itching). At least, it's something to remember them by when it's time to leave.

In other news, I've been able to splash a new short story onto the page; it's rather wet and sloppy, but some judicious polishing and it will be ready for submission.
14 February 2014 @ 04:57 pm and all!

You're most loved.
12 February 2014 @ 11:47 am
Packing today for a ten-day roadtrip tomorrow. The sons are driving with me and we'll meet up with UberGeek on Saturday. Then it's several days of house/property hunting. Our long-term plans have recently shifted to include Lady Voldemort who is increasingly frail. It's most probable she will be living with us in the nearish future. When next I see you Juni, I shall give you the biggest hug ever!

Bette Davis was right: 'old age ain't for sissies!'

In other news, we're still wrapping up the great aunts' estate. Those 18 days I had planned on last summer have rolled over into this new year, much to my dismay. Despite the heiress thinking we could dispense with sorting through ALL the books, we've done that very thing. Last week, Son #1 discovered a handgun in a hollowed out book.

Even though my estimates have proved wrong time and time again, I really think we're down to three or four more days of work after we return from our trip.

::crosses fingers::
17 January 2014 @ 10:50 am
Despite having the flu to begin the year, it's still a far better year than last. The pool -- that long-time money pit -- is gone, and in its place are some raised beds filled with growing winter vegetables and some lovely slate and green, green grass. Then there's the firepit ... right where the deep end used to be.

Oh, yes.

I don't care if there's another earthquake -- well, I do, but not for the sake of this comment. Even when there's another earthquake, the pool won't be cracked, or leak or any of the other miserable, highly expensive things we used to face on a semi-annual basis.

So, definitely, a happy new year.

I hope you're all having a great beginning of the year as well.

Also, thank you to the very kind, generous soul who gave me LJ for my birthday. ::hugs you very tightly, spins you like mad::
31 October 2013 @ 09:03 am
Pumpkin Fireworks
30 October 2013 @ 12:01 pm
I wasn't terribly pleased with the end results of my last successful NaNoWriMo. Yet, those sixty-five thousand words will serve as the foundation for a trilogy backstory, so they weren't a waste as I had originally thought.

With that being said, the timing is just 'write' for me this year.

I'm on the cusp of beginning the suspense novel draft.

Friday's the day.
04 October 2013 @ 08:43 am
I love M.F.K. Fisher. She's one of the most eloquent food writers anywhere, and the inspiration for the subject line of this post. Today's is a hodgepodge of things, both good and mundane.

First of all, I've been reading, and in some cases re-reading, Thoroughly Modern Monsters since my physical copies arrived by mail. I'm ecstatic that it's climbing the SF/F charts at Amazon. A number of my favorite writers have stories in the anthology, and I've wallowed in the sheer splendor of the imagery, the language, and the charm of many of these short stories (I'm rather happy to have a story amongst such very good company.)

The great aunts' estate is all but wrapped up, especially now that we've held the double memorial service for them. It was beautiful; family and friends came from as far as New York and Portland to pay their respects and tell just one more anecdote. Because my great aunt Teri had a jazz trio in her youth, and she -- as diminutive as she was -- played the bass, we had a trio play during the event. My mom knows Greg Poree (amazing guitarist) and Keith Jones (bass), so they snagged a drummer friend and played for us. The perfect accompaniment to the day.

In any event, I have one or two more chores before my part is done, and the only thing left will be waiting in queue for the Probate Court to finalize probate! We need a fossil guy/gal to give us an appraisal on a few unique fossils (including a four-hundred pound rock from New Mexico with fossilized seashells embedded in it.) I'm arranging for the camera equipment, most of it woefully outdated and in terrible condition, to be re-examined for a written valuation, and WOW! there's nothing else on my list. What a long, arduous road it's been.

But there's an excellent forecast for this autumn.

I'm writing. I have two short stories in the works, the first of which isn't in draft form, but the entirety of the piece is outlined, with character names and backstory. The second piece may be scrapped from the original idea. It's based off a true story of my cousin's, except it's been recently written up in a local newspaper, and I don't know if I want to piggy-back off it.

Then there's the spy novel. Need I say more?

And that's just the original stuff.

In terms of fanfiction, I have the outline for the last chapter of Saving a Death Eater -- which I'll confess has been on the backburner as I've developed the original work more.

Busy, busy, busy.

The last thing I'll end with is a little bit of a political thing, and it's the only thing I'll write about the US Governmental Shut-down (despite having so many thoughts.) If an employee, or several employees, walked out of my company after disagreeing with a rule ... they would have NO job to return to. I would not allow my company to be held hostage to such juvenile behavior, nor such unwillingness to comply with the rules set forth by their employer (in the broader case, the US voting public).

Okay, enough said on that front.

It's a gorgeous fall day here in sunny, southern California. I hope it is as gorgeous where you all live.