Saturday, November 24, 2012

pinecone-cotton owls - happy thanksbirthday - rainbow spewing inspiration

 I have some catching up to do, hence the mother of all post titles. I hope you all had a turkey-stuffed Thanksgiving and not too many fires were started as a result.
My Thanksgiving was a little hectic. Heh, a little.
 Poor dear Mum was dreadfully ill thanks to a new prescription with "possible strong side affects". Possible? Are you kidding me??
 Anyway, the short version is that for the day before Thanksgiving, Mum was confined to her bed and could only have dry bits of toast and weak tea. So it was up to me to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for eleven people. (can you see where this is going?)
 Little Brother of course avowed his help at the start, but after I made him wash a few dishes he quickly disappeared from the Kitchen War theatre. And what a battle took place!
The pie crusts (bane of my existence!!) put up a stout fight, refusing to fit the pans correctly and tearing when stretched. But I over came and filled them with the purée of my other enemies, Pumpkin, Pecan, and the easily surrendering (canned) Cherry fillings.
I burned the crusts (surprise!) and I didn't melt the butter for the pecan filling quite right, so some people may of may not have had sudden bursts of butter (hurray!).
 I had to get creative with the cherry's crust as I had not made a double crust or 'lid' for it. Fruit pies generally need these to disguise the ugliness that occurs when the fruit is baked and turns kinda squishy and a not-quite appetizing color. Or that's my theory anyway. (Baking to me is like philosophy: I don't even try to understand it.)
 So what was I to do? Well, I scrounged and scraped together the very last scraps of dough, rolled it out in a pathetic little mat, and cut out an equally pathetic tic-tac-toe pattern that more or less did little to hide the after-baked cherry ugliness. Everyone told me it was good, though, and who was I to argue? it was canned filling so there wasn't much I could do to ruin it. Besides burning the crust.
The rest of the baking and cooking went miraculously well, and I don't recall having any real major cancel-the-dinnerparty! crisis. But then, I don't remember a lot of Thanksgiving Day, so perhaps I have amnesia. Mum was well enough by then to help me with some of the bigger dishes that required miles more experience than I'll ever have.
 This year we invited our sort-of 'adopted' grandparents and our neighbors and had a grand time stuffing ourselves to the usual Holiday benchmark.
LB and I made these little owl-creature-things for the centerpiece the night before and I also took several hours of my life to make stenciled and embossed place cards. The owls on the other hand might as well be called the lazy man's craft. Because seriously, if you have pinecones, cotton balls, and some basic craft supplies, you have these weird and cute little birds.
 In the title I mentioned the word 'birthday', so yes, it can be safely guessed that I had my birthday last week. My 18th. At the time I said nothing of it on here, because I really did not wish to (my birthday was the day before Hammie was hit). But it was a lovely cozy sort of day where I got to read non-school books (yay!), and the weather was nice so I went out and visited my now wooly horses. Then I got to spend a few hours over tea with a dear friend (shout out to L.Pevensie, my dear! ;) where she pretty much allowed me to relive my Charleston trip (my word, I can't believe I haven't posted about any of that yet! I haven't even edited all the pictures I took. gah!).
 Back home my second biggest sister came out and I had a lovely birthday dinner of steak and baked sweet potatoes with marshmallows (and an obscene amount of sugar, cinnamon, and butter), and a two layer cake baked by LB.
 My family was amazing with the gifts this year, too, checking several things of my wish list :) Like a headstall (one that can fit Piggy's odd sized head at last!), music, books, an awesome camera bag for Jack (THANK YOU, Biggest Sister!), an I (heart) (heart) Doctor Who t-shirt from LB, and a new camera lens! I'm over the moon for my 55-250mm! To see the product of this new lens (below being just one of them) click here.
Now for the inspiration bit to wrap things up. Can I just say I owe Andrew Lloyd Webber so much for creating his amazing score/musical well known to all of you, I'm sure, The Phantom of the Opera (if you just sang that, you are awesome.). Long have his songs and lyrics dance with my imagination and inspired day dreams of all the possibilities for characters living in an opera theatre.
 I spent some of my music money on tPotO soundtrack and while listening today was slapped up-side the head with the perfect lyrics from my favorite from the track, Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again. And since written words never do the actual music justice, here's a link to hear it yourself.

Wishing I could hear your voice again
Knowing that I never would
Dreaming of you won't help me to do
All that you dreamed I could
Passing bells and sculpted angels
Cold and monumental seem, for you the wrong companions
You were warm and gentle

Too many years fighting back tears
Why can't the past just die?

Wishing you were somehow here again
Knowing we must say, "Goodbye"
Try to forgive, teach me to live
Give me the strength to try
No more memories, no more silent tears
No more gazing across the wasted years
Help me say, "Goodbye"
Help me say, "Goodbye"
This will fit Cilla so well by the end of book one. I'm trying so hard to convey her struggle with her traumatic past that to have her practically sing how she finally faces up to it and finish her arc (for book one) and at the same time write the end scene is.... unbelievable. This is the kind of rare gem that makes writing worth it. There's a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in writing, as many of you know; it's never a picnic or a 'hobby'. So to have a song or picture impact you, perfect almost in every way for the situation, that practically writes itself, is an absolute dream come true. You can't ask for much more as a writer.

And now I really must close. Kudos to every/anyone who read the whole thing!

Friday, November 16, 2012


Dear Hammie,
 It's always you, isn't it?
 Always you, my baby boy, that things happen to.
 Wednesday was pretty much a nightmare, when Hammie got run over in the driveway as my older brother left for class. Luckily it was the driveway so the car was going pretty slow. All the same, Hammie was hurt pretty bad and we couldn't tell where so we ran him in to the vet.
 At the office they asked me to put him on the scale. Now, I've been suffering under some kind of sickness most of the week and Wednesday seemed to be the day it peaked. I was feverish and unbelievably weak and shaky. None the less I struggled and eventual was able to get all 58 pounds of Ham onto the scale, though I nearly fainted afterwards. (58 pounds, my goodness Hammie likes his chow.)
 From there they took him and treated him for pain and shock, and said they would X-ray him once he stabilized. They called us late in the afternoon with the results: That Hammie's pelvis was broken in two places, and his sacroiliac (the place where the spine meets the pelvis) was also broken. They said the bones themselves are fixable, but there was concern over whether or not his nerves had been damaged, the danger being his back legs could be paralyzed. It was late in the day so they said they would test and call us in the morning.
Wondering whether or not you will have to make the call and put down one of your best friends in the morning makes for a very hard and sleepless night full of worry and fear.
Thanks be to Jesus, the vet called with good news about Hammie's nerve and we were able to bring him home that afternoon. Once his right leg heals enough to stand on, we'll take him back to be operated on.
I'm pretty much his full time nurse along with Da, so I'm afraid NaNo once again must leave me behind. I'm pretty sure it's cursed for me. The last time I did NaNo I got sick and then Double Stuff got a bad case of colic. So I may never attempt it again for the sake of my animals. :)

Dear Hammie,
 I love you, silly old bear.

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and concern for Hammie! They're much appreciated :)
@Scarlett Pimpernel: Hammie is a half corgi, half Australian Shepherd -- good eyes :) 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

a blerg of words for you

Hello, ye few who may (just) remember my existence. I have some words for you. Explanation-like words. But a small amount - not enough to be called a post. So we'll just stick with blerg.
 (Because it's a funny, weird little word, that's why.)
You have not seen hide nor hair of me for a month for these reasons:
 + No internet here at the house. We're just closing in on a solution.
 + Adventures in Charleston, S.C. mid month -- a series of posts to elaborate (eventually).
 + Ugly Issues at my end. (The only cures to feelings I find, is copious amounts of chocolate, riding, and war biography reading sprees. And tea. Tea always&forever a fixer on grey days.)
 And a new as-of-today excuse: NaNoWriMo. Oh, yes, I'm going to try again. This time it's a haphazard journey through Peru involving the lost city of Paittiti, Incan gold, a Scottish journalist of Middle Eastern decent (her idea.), a devil-may-care American in search of adventure, and really big spiders.

I am being purposely vague on all these things because, in my deranged and fantastical mind, I believe that I will have the time and will power (not to mention words) to give each of these topics the post & pictures they deserve. If you'd like, though, you can browse my Pinboard for my NaNo novel. It's a bit chaotic, I warn you because I thought we (Walker, Sim, and myself) were starting out going after some lost Crusaders' treasure or something across seas and deserts and things, but they convinced me that that was the second book and I had to write the first in order to tell of how they met and other such rubbish, crushing my dreams of camels and warlords and Templar tombs.
 I moaned about this to Mum. She told me that I was the one writing the story and should do as I please.
 I laughed. Hysterically.