Sunday, May 5, 2019

Random ramblings

The kids have a bit less than three full weeks of class days left of the school year.  They were scheduled, at first, to get out on the 21st; however, ice and snow forced a couple of make-up days, and now that date has been pushed to the 23rd.  They've got the elementary fun field day set for a week from Tuesday, and the pixie has a field trip to the park with her class a week after that.

I really need to sign them up for swim lessons.  And summer fun classes at their school.  I also need to sit down with a calendar before I do that to make sure I don't double-book them on times.

I also need to make sure they've got plenty of time to run around outside like crazy, be kids, and decompress without adult supervision and/or interference.

I'm honestly looking forward to not having to fight with them to get up.  Or fight to get them to do their homework.  Or listen to them whining about having to study spelling.  Or listen to them whining about doing badly on spelling tests (study, you little assholes!  Without whining about it!).

I need a break from the whining more than they need a break from school.

Shadow has been demanding to spend more time out in the garage, as the weather warms up.  There were a few times, this past winter, when she'd follow me out, when I'd go get something out of the freezer, then be waiting in the kitchen for me long before I could even get to the foot of the steps back into the house.  The cement floor was so cold it hurt her little toe-beans, and she got downright cranky about it.  She's much happier, now, and spends a few hours out there--exploring, napping in odd places, and hunting--every day.

While the weather's good, I don't mind.  When it heats up, I'm sure she'll be angry and unhappy again.  Not because she doesn't want to spend time out there, but because I won't let her stay out for long.  I don't want a heat-sick black kitty.

Cricket's been a lot calmer, since Shadow's been out hunting mousies instead of in hunting Cricket.  She's started settling on me, instead of stomping spastic circles.  She reaches up and puts her paws on my face and pats me.  I've figured out that she wants me to pet her face when she does that.

I've finally figured out Merry-dog's* favorite kind of toy: she likes stuffed toys.  They don't have to squeak--she doesn't care one way or the other about the squeakers--but her favorites don't have dangly, gangly limbs.  She likes toys she can shake the shit out of without hitting herself with anything, or snuggle in her bed with.  Walmart's got some really good ones.  I'd gotten her a mallard, and it tore after a couple weeks.  It's been relegated to nothing but snuggles by the dog so that she doesn't make it worse.  So I got her a pheasant made in the same way, last week.  She saw me through the French door with it, when I was cutting the tags and stuff off, and her ears went up and her tail started wagging slowly.  I opened the door, and the tail sped up.  I held the toy down for her, and she very carefully took it from my hand, took it on a lap around the yard (showing it around, I think, like a little girl with a new dolly does when she gets it home), then took it to where she'd been sleeping and snuggled down with it.  Cute as all hell.  She brought it in for snuggles in her kennel during that half-day-long series severe thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon, too.

Next weekend, I'm going to wash the dog, then we'll shear her like a sheep...or a boot camp Marine.

I've been playing with some of my ink samples, lately.  I have a lot of them, and I'd like to get them used up.  I've found myself going back to a few inks over and over, in a few colors, so I'm using up the others to get them out of the way.  I'm using Quink blue for the imp's spelling study in the TWSBI Eco I'm letting him use (non-staining, doesn't bleed through the paper, doesn't show through very much), and I use a lot of different shades of blue.  One of my favorites, now that I've figured out which pens it works best in, is a tamper-proof ink called Bad Belted Kingfisher--it's a dark navy with hints of green and turquoise.  It bonds with the paper, and doesn't come out with water, acetone, ammonia, vinegar, or UV.  I've got a similar red-black that looks like dried blood when it dries, that I'm using in writing the first draft of the second Liquid Diet Chronicals book.  Most of my inks are blues, blacks, burgundies, or greens.  I like turquoise, too, but not as much, and if the cats drool on most of my inks, the words wash away.

I guess, since I write most of my first drafts out by hand, that's why most of the inks I use are water-resistant, at least.  I have several gorgeous ones that aren't, and I just...don't use them.  Even though I'd love to.  Because Cricket drools, and Cricket knocks my sports bottles over.

That said, I am writing.  I'm still trying to get caught up on housework--December through the first half of April, I was nearly constantly sick with something or other.  The fourth in the Modern Gods series is half-edited (waiting on two beta readers to finish), and the second in the Liquid Diet Chronicles has a title (Having a Pint), and is 10K words into a planned 55-60K words.  And a lot of it is written in Noodler's Red-Black.  Meg seems to really like that one, and the words come easier when I'm using it.

This is the good in life.

My aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer, week before last.  She had three appointments in the city where I live last week.  She's got another one last week, and two a week from tomorrow, four hours apart.  Her appointments are with oncologists, surgeons, reconstructive surgeons, and several other specialists.  I don't know what stage she's at.  I'm not entirely sure she knows what stage of cancer she's at; the doctors are pushing fast for fast treatment.  I'm hoping.  Praying.  I'm praying they caught it early enough.  Because her husband's in is 80's, and is blind, diabetic, and crippled.  And I'm praying because, even as obnoxious and mean as she is, she's my aunt.  She's one of the four people that taught me to read.  She taught me to crochet.  She taught me to read animal body language.  I'm praying she comes through this okay.

And I'm not entirely sure she will.

This is the bad in life.

Life goes on.

*Merry-dog is a Scottish terrier.  Her full name is Merida, because what else do you name a Scottish princess?