Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Out with 2013...

...in with 2014, one year closer to King Putt being peacefully deposed.*

My house is less cluttered than this time last year.  I can't say it's cleaner because my hair is six inches longer, which leaves bigger hairballs when I shed...and our vacuum's motor crapped out.  With planning to send the imp to private school, that really doesn't leave much slack in the budget.

I published two books in 2013: The Last Pendragon, and Highway to Tartarus.  

The kids continue to grow, and learn, and stun everyone around them speechless with the things that they say: Christmas Eve dinner included sliced ham and cheese pieces for the kids.  The pixie picks up a piece, and says, "Oh, look!  It's a trapezoid!"  The imp asks her to hold it up then confirms that it was, indeed.  And so it was.  Keep in mind: she's three.  Barely.  As in turned three twenty days before that. 

Odysseus began taking classes to earn his CPA certification.  He completed six out of a needed 27 credit hours, and is signed up for nine more this coming semester.  He also started swimming in the university pool during open swim hours. 

And we learned, early in the year, that our health insurance plan had been grandfathered in.  Yeah, the price has gone up, but it's nowhere near as bad as it could be. 

All in all, 2013 wasn't terrible for us. 

My resolutions for 2014 are as follows:

1. Keep decluttering and simplifying my home and my life.

2. Finish and publish Pendragon Resurgent and Fire and Forge.**

3. Start homeschooling the pixie while the imp is off at Catholic school.  I'd homeschool him, too; however, the little twerp refuses to show me what he can do until he's certain he's got it down.  That includes letters and sounds. 

4. Get more comfortable driving.  This one is a necessity.  And while I do, I'll pray that the bad driving endemic on my dad's side of the family isn't genetic. 

*I hope.

**I have had a request to add a glossary of characters in the Modern Gods books--who they are, what they do, which pantheon they come from, and associated prophecies and such.  I think I'll add that to the next book, but should I post it in the blogs?

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Shadow the cat just scared herself into hiccups. She jumped up onto the candy container (a large, square, Rubbermaid leftovers storage container) on the table--which was precariously balanced, thanks to the three year old that put it there--and it fell off with her.


I don't feel like doing much, but I needed something to eat so I could take some more Aleve. 

I took a slice of ham and slapped it on my cast iron griddle skillet.  Then, when it started to sizzle, I cracked an egg onto it.  Salt, and cayenne pepper, and a slice of cheddar between them, and mustard on the bread. 

And the kids?  Peanut butter sandwiches.  The pixie has Nutella on hers.

Although...the pixie?  I have to cut hers up bite sized, or she peels it open and starts licking the goodie out of the middle. 

random ramblings

The kids seem to be starting to feel better.  Instead of laying around on the couch watching Disney movies and whining (and playing with their InnoTabs) all day, they played with each other, running back and forth between their rooms. 

I've been informed that I can't avoid my aunts, the bully and the wimp.  They want to see the kids for Christmas, to give them their presents.  My mother says the bully has improved her behavior, but I really doubt it.  She refuses to admit there's anything to improve, so how can she have? 

Honestly, once my mother passes away, I'll probably cease to make the effort to see anyone other than my sister.  Because my aunts?  Don't make an effort.  Even my mom doesn't make any effort--we go to see them.  They never come here, and it's for more reasons than Mom stupidly picking a vehicle that's unreliable and expensive to maintain.

I'm not in a very good mood, this morning.  I woke up at about six thirty this morning, with my back twisted out of shape and spasming.  It still hurts quite a bit, but I'll try to stay upbeat and not whine.  It isn't easy when both kids are whining about nothing being on television. 

You know, I remember getting up on Saturdays to enjoy the cartoons.  Things like Bugs Bunny, and the X-Men (when I could sneak it past my mother, who didn't approve of it).  Now?  Now there's jack shit on.  And none of it is anything I'd permit my kids to watch.

So, they whine.  I've put in a DVD for them--The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. 

The dog managed to not crap in her crate this morning.  I'm pleased about that, and she gets to go outside once Odysseus gets up and dressed. 

The cats got a package of catnip fish for Christmas: little canvas bodies stuffed with crinkly plastic, and infused with catnip.  Cricket is prone to picking one up in her mouth and carrying it around, yowling the entire time.  Shadow grabs whichever one she decides to play with between her front paws, flings it up into the air, catches it, then presses it to her cheek and snuggles for a while. 

The dog's Christmas present is already in the trash.  She ripped an ear off of it, then ripped its back open and pulled the squeaker half out. 

I have two more weeks until classes start.  I'm half looking forward to it, half dreading it. 

Did anybody see DaddyBear's review of Highway to Tartarus?  It's a pretty good, honest review.  Go read, then go order the book and read it for yourself to see if you agree.  It's only $2.99, after all.  And if you have a Kindle and Amazon Prime, it won't cost even that much, because you can borrow it. 

I'm going to have to re-read what I've done of Pendragon Resurgent before I can finish the last ten thousand words.  The world and character have gotten out of my head, from spending three weeks knitting Christmas gifts for people who likely won't appreciate them.  Shouldn't take me long--I read fast.

Friday, December 27, 2013

FFOT: stuff

1.  The kids getting sick over Christmas can fuck right the fucking fuckety fuck off.

2.  The dog can fuck off.  Instead of going back to bed when I put the kids back to bed at seven (hopefully, more sleep will make them behave better and get them over this nasty cold faster), I got dressed to let the dog out on her leash.  Silly me--I shouldn't have bothered.  The dog had already shit in her kennel.

3. Leukodystrophy.  I have an older half sister in a nursing home with this.  She's four years and four months older than me, and doesn't remember me.  It's like Alzheimer's, only worse.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


It looks like it's gonna be New Years' Eve before Christmas will finally be over.  Damn it.  As bad as the pixie was yesterday (and the day before), the imp is actually a little bit more miserable with his. 

And I?  I'm suffering more from way too much rich food than I am anything else. 

I really hate this time of year.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


My pixie is sick.  Like, hacking/sneezing/snorting/running a fever sick.  Having weird bad dreams sick. 

Right now, she's sitting on the couch, watching Peter Pan and eating an apple.  I strongly doubt she's going to be willing to do more than graze, since her sinuses are draining.

Guess we won't be finishing up the Christmas season tomorrow with a visit to my family after all.

Celebrate the birth!

Monday, December 23, 2013

You know there's something wrong...

...when Walmart is practically deserted, two days before Christmas, and Sam's Club is packed.

Last minute stuff...

We will be celebrating Christmas with Odysseus's parents tomorrow, and opening gifts with the kids on Christmas morning (though Odysseus works Christmas night).  Weather permitting, we'll make a flying surprise visit to my mother's on Boxing Day, provided her sisters all go home on Christmas--otherwise, the visit will be put off (and also not previously announced).

Why yes, yes I am trying to avoid my aunts.  One of them is a spineless wimp, and another is a bully--neither character trait is something I want modeled for my kids, especially not what happens when the bully lights into the wimp.

I haven't yet gotten my mother a Christmas present.  I just don't know what to get for her.  We haven't made it to the store for what we're going to get for my in-laws, either.

Last, but not least, we need to make a brief grocery run.  We need to make cranberry relish (recipe here at bottom of post) for my in-laws, and I need to pick up a prescription refill.

I hate this time of year.  I really, really do.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Random ramblings

So, in the past two weeks or so, I've made five hats (one each for my sister-in-law, her grandson, my aunt, an extra from the tag ends of the first three that my daughter claimed, and one from a different type of yarn for my sister), and half of a scarf.  I'm still working on the scarf.  After I'm done with that, it'll be time to make cookies.  Pumpkin spice.  Some will be plain, some with raisins, and some with dried cranberries.  Also, cranberry relish.  Treats for the in-laws, and some for my family.

The pixie has backslid in the last couple of weeks on potty training.  She wet herself on Friday morning, and decided to keep playing with her brother rather than going to use the potty for #2, just now.  I'm thinking that this is mostly due to a disruption in routine.

The imp...has spent the past few days acting up: tormenting his sister, bossing her around, smacking her, pulling hair, charging at her screaming to scare her...you name it, he's done it.  It's not that he never does this, but more that he's doing it nearly constantly that's driving me batshit insane.  Like the pixie, I think it's because of a disruption in routine.

Yet another reason I detest the holiday season: it fucks up the kids' schedules and their behavior something fierce.  It's gonna take forever to get back on.

The cats...are cats.  They spend about two thirds of their time looking for warm places to sleep, and about a third of their time playing, eating, following us around, being weird, or otherwise acting like cats.

The dog got water-tortured (by her definition--in reality, it was only a bath) last night.  So, we have a clean, fluffy puppy...that pretty much instantly started acting the ass to get herself thrown out into the yard.  It almost worked, to her detriment: we've had sleet, and freezing rain yesterday and today, and will have snow tonight and tomorrow.

I've been too busy knitting and cleaning to write, lately.  However...I'm almost finished knitting the last Christmas gift that I'm going to be making: a hat and scarf set for my sister.

----time break of about four hours---

I had a hell of a nice surprise (bordering on shock, actually...).  My oldest half sister came by to visit (and bring a couple of little Christmas presents for the kids).  I was expecting her.  I was expecting her to bring her niece (her younger half-brother's child).  I was not expecting her to bring our oldest brother with her.

I hadn't seen him since 1997.  When I graduated high school.  I hadn't met my sister-in-law at all until today.

I am...beyond happy.  That was one of the best Christmas gifts I've ever had.  

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Life in general sure loves me, lately.

I woke up yesterday morning feeling like I'd been punched in the face: a sinus headache from my eyebrows down through the top of my mouth.  Today?  It's not nearly as bad, but I have a dentist's appointment in an hour.

And I'll have three more after this one.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Disrupted schedules...

Yesterday, the imp refused to nap.  Played to keep himself awake.  I went in a couple times, got fed up, and told him if he didn't sleep, he wouldn't go outside.

So, he went to sleep.  Slept until almost six. 

Needless to say, he didn't go outside.  Didn't go to bed, either, until nearly ten.

He was still up before seven thirty. 

And he's been a right little shit since then.  Throwing fits every little bit about things that he wanted to do, that he knew I don't let him do...like go play before nine.  Or come out when he's been sent to his room for throwing a fit, just because there's something on TV that he wants to watch (after having thrown the fit to go play). 

I got fed up with it, and put him to bed.  Seems I was right to--he went right to sleep. 

The pixie is watching Dora the Explorer--something I can't stand without my headphones (which I can't find), so I'm hiding back in our room while Odysseus watches her to make sure she doesn't start running around and wake her brother up. 

Her schedule was disrupted, too, but she tends to be whiny rather than throwing screaming temper tantrums.  She will be going down for an early nap, though. 

I can already tell this is going to be a hell of a day with the kids.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Weird headspace

I felt really strange, last night.  Not quite a headache, not quite feeling a panic attack coming on, but something wrong.  It had me so off balance that I completely forgot to put a pull-up on the pixie for sleep.

As it turns out, it was heralding a night full of flashback dreams. 

I am...exhausted.  I think I may end up drinking my entire pot of coffee, today.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Been a busy day...

So, today, we had a couple of friends of ours over.  Morning had me scrambling around, cleaning up messes, while the main part of lunch roasted in the crock pot (I put a mesquite seasoned pork loin in at eight or so, and dumped barbecue sauce on it around ten, then turned it down to low).  Lunch was that, steamed, mixed veggies (corn, green beans, peas, and carrots), and corn bread.  Yummy, yummy cornbread. 

More cleanup after lunch (thankfully not a whole lot), and then laundry.  The chore that really never ends, because at the end of the day when you've got everything clean, you undress to go to bed...and there are more dirty clothes. 

Odysseus worked this evening, so I was by myself with the kids from about three thirty to the time I finally got them into bed...but at least they helped a little bit with stuff.

Now...now, it's time for me to write.  Because I am not going to do another fucking lick of housework.  I want to get at least the chapter I'm working on done, and then get to bed on this side of midnight.

Random ramblings

Odysseus, who has gone back to school for a CPA certification, took his last final for the semester on Thursday night.  I'm turning in my grades tomorrow, completing my semester. 

Next semester is going to be very much not fun for me.  Thursdays will be very, very long: I teach on Tuesday and Thursday, from 9:00-12:15 (75 minute classes).   The kids go down for their naps at one, and sleep until three.  Odysseus has classes MWF on campus, and works from 4:00 to 10:00 (getting home anywhere between 10:30 and 11:00) on Monday, Tuesday and Friday of every week. 

Which means that my best (perhaps only real) option for my required four to five office hours will be either Wednesday or Thursday afternoon.  All afternoon. 

So, since it's the simplest solution, my office hours will be set from 1:00 to 5:00 on Thursday, and I'll just stay put at the office.

The pixie had her annual checkup on Wednesday morning, this past week.  The doctor worked a miracle: she was actually quiet for five full minutes.  In any case, she's currently in the process of catching up to her brother in weight (since he's not putting any on), and is maintaining the same difference in height by putting on the inches so fast you don't see the weight.  She's a bit over three feet tall, at three years old.  And is in the process of eating everything in sight.

My imp...oh, my imp.  He truly never shuts up.  He isn't shy at all.  Not even a little bit.  The only thing he does at the doctor's office during his checkup is fight to keep all his clothes where he thinks they should be, and refuse to cooperate with the part of the checkup that makes sure his boy parts are doing okay and growing as they should.  "NO!!  DON'T TOUCH MY PENIS!!!" 

Which cracked the doctor up.  She just tells him that that's very good, and that he's not to let anybody touch him there except the doctor during checkups and mom or dad during baths.  And got me complimented for teaching clinical terms instead of euphemisms.

I am...looking forward to Christmas, this year.  I think I've figured things out to keep my aunts from ruining things for me.  I will simply...be elusive, and not give prior notice about when I'm going to show up to visit my mother.  Since the aunts I want to avoid live about half an hour away, and take an hour or so to get around and get ready to leave their homes, we should be nearly ready to leave by the time they get word, and get on the road. 

And if not...at least it'll be a short visit. 

I'm kinda sorry I have to miss one of them, missing the other one makes it worth it.  Really.

The dog has been a miserable dog since Thursday.  She got some outside time, but not a whole lot.  The weather has been miserable: wet and cold.  Frequent bouts of snow.  Ice, sleet, and freezing rain. 

The cats have gone crazy.  Shadow fished the plastic bag I've fastened the foil bag of catnip tea into out of the box to snuggle.  And watched where I put the box so that she could do it again after I took it away. 

Cricket has, again, found one of her knitted mice* and has been going stupid with it: she throws it in the air, catches it, picks it up in her mouth and carries it off to play with it around obstacles.  She will skitter and scramble around the kitchen and living room chasing this thing for an hour at a time.  That, in and of itself, isn't too bad, or it wouldn't be if she didn't talk to it.  Loudly.  The whole time she's playing with it. 

The only other cat I've ever had that's done that was full blooded Siamese, and wasn't a house cat.

I've been busy with housework lately, mostly in the kitchen, and mostly trying to battle a roach infestation.  I thought we'd finally gotten it handled--the bugs were, at least, fewer--but then I went in and turned on the light to finish loading and run the dishwasher, last night before I went to bed. 

Guess what?

So, between that and the kids needing pretty constant supervision (they don't fight when Mom's sitting in her chair in sight or earshot, only when Mom's up doing housework), my writing has suffered.  Think two or three hundred words per night (at most), rather than three or four thousand.  I may try to get a couple of hours of writing (instead of housework) in this evening.  I've got one really big fight sequence coming up in the chapter I'm on, and I'd like to get all of that done in one shot.  And after that, most of what's left will be mopping up what's left of the bad guys, and getting the good guys settled in somewhere safe.

After that, I'll be writing a children's book I've got in my head.  It's going to be a chapter book, but a short one.  About a horse.

Friday, December 13, 2013


So, when I woke up this morning, I'd forgotten it was Friday.  By the time I remembered, the day was in full swing, but I didn't have anything to write about (other than wrenching my bad knee in my sleep--again).

Until I checked the news a bit ago.

And found something that fully disgusts me.

A university administrator for the University of Colorado has been placed on paid administrative leave while they gather enough chutzpah to fire the bitch.  Paid leave.

Because apparently, running a phone sex/soft core porn business during office hours apparently didn't pay enough.

And apparently, it just doesn't do to straight out fire her for neglecting her university job.  We can't expect her to do the same amount of work as her colleagues after all--she's a woman, and she's black.

The whole situation has me so infuriated and disgusted that I cannot muster the invective appropriate to the situation.

Update:  I forgot to link the story.  It's here.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A dilemma...

If a five year old boy cusses, but it's not in English, should he still get in trouble?

How about if Mommy and Daddy lose their shit, quietly, and he's in the other room and doesn't know it?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

So proud of my pixie!

She is, barring an accident where she shouldn't have trusted a fart, potty trained.

Monday, December 9, 2013

weekend off

Well, not really.  I took the weekend off from blogging and writing, because I needed the time to be able to straighten up the living room as best I could after putting up the Christmas tree (two boxes and assorted wrapping for slightly more delicate decorations).  And I discovered that the roaches that had moved in here about four months after they were kicked out of their previous abode* hadn't vanished--they'd moved into my silverware drawer--and nothing I was doing was getting rid of them. 

So, the weekend has been spent battling my house. 

I am about to raise a white flag, and just go back to my writing.  Which I'd prefer to be doing anyway.

*Last spring--about March, or so--a landlord evicted some tenants about two houses south of us.  The tenants, apparently, were nasty: the landlord had to rip out all of the carpeting, and some of the sheetrock, and replace it all.  And, with that, a few hundred thousand roaches fled the place, scattering in all directions.  They hit us about August.  Our neighbor directly to our south had them within a month, but has no pets, and was able to vacate for the day and bug-bomb the hell out of her place.  I have two cats, a dog, and two children, and am not willing to use poisons like that.  And the baits do not work.  

It seemed, for a short while, like the egg inhibitors we placed were working, then I realized that they'd just moved into my silverware drawer: it's right next to the dishwasher, and the hot, moist air vents right straight into it.  

My silverware is no longer in that drawer.  Not much is, except for a boric acid/powdered sugar mixture.

The bugs have finally thinned...but they're still fucking there.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Why, oh why...

...does it take a three year old three hours to eat less than half a cup of something she likes?  After she's whined for half an hour about how hungry she is?  And still fail, after three full hours, to eat it all?

I am so very glad she's in bed right now.  Because I have a stress and frustration headache that you just wouldn't believe. 

I think this calls for some hot catnip tea with honey whiskey.


The dog is in the kitchen (tied to the fridge to keep her from eating the mess in the living room left over from putting up the Christmas tree), and the pixie is sitting in the living room doorway, just out of reach of the dog she loves but is terrified of, "reading" to her. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Stuck in my head...

I will admit, I don't mind too much.  Tim Curry can sing.

Cold, dark, dreary day...

But it's warm inside, the cats are being entertaining little nuts, and we just got the Christmas tree put up.

I think, after the pixie goes to bed, I'll have a cup of hot cocoa with Irish Cream.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Three years.

Three years ago, today, Odysseus and I sped to the hospital at 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon.  I got a spinal block at 4:00 p.m., and my pixie was born at 4:30 p.m.

It's been a fun three years, even as it's been frustrating, and insanity-inducing.  She's so very cuddly and affectionate (much the opposite of the imp, unless he's sleepy or sick).  So very girly.  I found, last night after she'd gone to bed, that she'd tucked a green army man into the folds of a baby blanket, and put him to bed. 

So, this afternoon, after work, we're going up to visit Grandma and Grandpa, for the pixie's birthday. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Oh, hell no.

No, not just hell no, FUCK no.

If they pull this shit (and they're working on it, with Common Core), I'm going to say to hell with school in general, and teach my kids at home.

Monday, December 2, 2013

My last Monday for the year...

Semester ends on Friday, for fall '13.  Saturday, I'll grade the last of their stuff, and then I'll post their grades.

All they're doing this week is blogging--which means that they don't have to come to class, so long as they get their shit done (and I don't care either way if they do or don't--it's their grade, not mine).  So, this week, I'm just sitting in my classroom for four hours today and Wednesday, and three hours on Friday. 

Do you know how much I can write in four hours???  I'll be finished with Pendragon Resurgent by the end of the week!