Friday, July 28, 2006

A is For...

Even though I haven't yet "officially" joined the WordPlay group, here is my first contribution:
A is For...

Alanda -- in Piers Anthony’s Isle of View, Alanda is the Earth Goddess. In Mercedes Lackey’s Wren series, Alanda is the country the story takes place in. But in our home, Alanda is my clone, oldest daughter, channeler of Kali and Poet Laureate.

Aqua -- water, cool, sweet water. Lovely to drink when the heat is in the 90s, even better with ice tea mixed in. Fabulous to swim in, except the local river which is kind of chemical and harbors way too much broken glass and stolen bicycles. Fun to play with the dog, Nakeyta likes to try and catch water from the hose like she is drinking from a fountain, I really need to get her on video one day. Fun to walk in during the rain, at least for Alanda, she dances in the rain even during thunderstorms. Me, I like rain but not the fireworks. And finally, a gorgeous shade of blue. Send yarn or fabric, please. {grin}

Adolesence -- a long word for HELL ON EARTH. Both for those going through it, and those living with those going through it!

Absolute -- there are none in this life, everything has shades of gray. Also a brand of vodka, but I have never tried it so I can’t give an opinion!

Adam -- the first man, according to Biblical history. Also, the oldest son of my friend from high school, who was in the play with my oldest daughter; he has AWESOME hair. My personal favorite definition: what beavers build.

Anthony -- the last name of my favorite sister-in-law, until she got married and became a Philps.

Antidisestablishmentarianism -- who cares about the definition, it is such a fun word to say and spell!

Attic -- the one room I never had in my home, but still want. The spot to hide all the trinkets and treasures, to play “let’s pretend.” The single coolest store in Battle Creek, even better than Barnes & Nobles! Check out Barb’s website here:

If Women Ruled the World

A conversation in the drugstore led to today's topic. While commiserating with a total stranger about the hazards of dealing with men, she opined that the world is in the state it is today because women aren't running the world. If we did, and had access to The Red Button, you know that everyone would be much more careful about what they said and did. Because darling, if we are PMSing and that button is within our reach: well, enough said.

This led me to the thought that we should all have Red Buttons in our homes. Guys, if we are heading for that Red Button, get out'da way! A clearcut signal that we have had enough and are ready to snap. And there will be consequences! Yep, that's what we need. Then she had the great idea of bumperstickers for our cars: I'm a woman and I have a Red Button. If only I had a working car to put such a sticker on!

So my next Bright Idea Project is to design, create, and sell Red Buttons for the household. Not the "Easy Button" that Staples stores use in their ads, but a true This is The Button Red Button. I wouldn't really hook it up to a nuclear detenator.... not only because I don't have that kind of technical expertise, lucky for the rest of the world; but also because as a Wiccan, and Quaker descendant, I don't go in for violence (98% of the time, anyway). I can't honestly say that I haven't had times when I wanted to commit Acts of Heinous Violence, especially when it involved someone hurting my kids. But those instances are few and far between.

I Found the Site!

Yay, after probably half an hour of surfing, I found the site that lets you design your own headstone! Or at least, I found *A* website, if there are others I would like to try them out. I made the DH's headstone at Just in time for the library to close for two days... I hate Thursdays, I have no excuse for not doing anything at home. At least when the library is open, I can use the excuse that I had to go to the library before they close!

So now that I have designed George's headstone and my own, Alae had to do some serious editing to get her epitaph to fit in the limited space allowed on this site. But here they are, just for S&G...

Monday, July 24, 2006

Short and Sweet

At one point, I decided that my husband's future epitaph (hopefully very far in the future!) would be "Anyway, as I was saying..." because that is the phrase that I hear the most from him. (He just won't let someone change the subject!!!) He just left the library, and as the door closed I heard him using his other most favorite phrase... It is going to be very special, when I have his headstone carved with "Hey, your shoe's untied!" He gets such a kick out of people checking their shoes, only to realize that they are wearing slip-ons or sandals or something equally untie-able. (Yes, he says it to barefooted people, too; and yes, fifty percent of the time they look!)

Although he can be a PITA sometimes (everybody can claim that title some time or another!) I still love the Old Fart. This isn't the best photo I have of him, but it is the best that I have with me at the moment. There will be other, better ones posted some time. Or check my website, or my albums. I will probably start up an album of his creative work, to go along with my stuff. While I knit, crochet, sew, photograph and quilt; he quilts, and has a wonderful touch with the flower garden. I have some gorgeous photos of his roses, of course they are all at home on disk and not here with me at the library.

Aren't you glad I don't have the Internet at home! I would be writing all the time! And posting pictures! But I have to admit, while I have a few great flower photos, Dusty has a LOT of great flower photos on her blogs! (I tend to download them and use them either as desktop wallpaper, screen savers, or in the Puzzle Master game where I can make my own photos into jigsaws and put together on the computer: which is way more fun than the traditional way because nobody can steal a piece while I'm not looking!) So if you want some awesome garden pix, just go over to the links and check out Dusty's blog!

Eventually I hope to get a photo of the shruggy-shawl that Dusty just sent me. The colors are DIVINE, and if you could only feel how soft it is! I am going to be cuddling with it tonight, while hubby cuddles with his oxygen filtrator thingie. (It isn't actually an oxygen tank, but it filters the air he breathes to provide him more oxygen so he can defeat the vile Sleep Apnea Monster).

OK, I really need to go and finish the other multi-tasks I am trying to do. Oh, one quick update on my List of Projects from Hell: I got most of the knick-knacks off of the windowsills in the kitchen, now I need to find a way to reach the windows without standing on my stove or in my sink so I can give them a good scrubbing. Then wash the yucky greasy sticky off the knick-knacks and find a different spot for them. OMGs, I am going to end up re-arranging my whole frigging kitchen. Put the Marines on stand-by.....

Monday, July 17, 2006

Thoughts From Home

Yes, I am actually writing a post at home to upload later at the library. I know I said previously that I have a hard time doing this, but it gets easier with practice. And this way I can write more than six words before Mrs. K announces "time to get off the computers, ladies!" Deep in my heart I doubt that she would ever use the word "lady" to describe me in real life... which is fine by me, because I seriously doubt that we share a definition of that word! I won't say that I don't consider myself a lady, but I will say that it isn't the first word I would use to describe myself to someone who doesn't know me.

Wow, what a change to go from Dean Koontz to a book by Terry Pratchett, back to Dean Koontz! The literary version of jet lag, or culture shock-- one of the two, if not both! I finally decided to read A Hat Full of Sky: the Further Adventures of Tiffany Aching and the Wee Free Men, after buying it through the bookclub last month. I like the Discworld novels, but thoroughly love the tales of Tiffany and the Nac Mac Feegle! Pratchett not only treats witchcraft with respect, but he gets the whole idea of witchcraft *right*. (If he had been a consultant on The Craft, it would have been a much better movie...) Now I am going to get totally messed up on the reading thing, because I started one by Koontz this morning, and this afternoon a book I had requested at the library came in (already!?!). This one is Labyrinth by Kate Mosse; a story about the Grail where the women have the swords. (How could I resist a blurb like that one!?!) Of course it is a new release so I only get it for two weeks, instead of the standard four weeks. Not usually an issue, when I get "into" a book I have no trouble finishing it fast; I just feel pressured to "only" have two weeks, it makes me feel like I won't be able to finish it in time. (This from a woman that normally reads Harry Potter in one night)... I never said that my brain works logically, people...

Update on Floppy Disk Hell: at this moment, now at 58 disks with a very few more files to back up, and THE FRIGGING HARD DRIVE NO LONGER MAKES A FUNKY NOISE WHEN IT STARTS UP. Which was the whole impetus for backing everything up in the first place.... this hunk of hardware is definitely of the MALE persuasion! No wonder I named it Elvis when it first got set up! Not that I hate men, mind you; I just completely agree with Maxine that "Computers are for women that don't get enough frustration dealing with men." (I adore Maxine! She reminds me of my late grandma: spunky, funny, and always right.) {grin}

Last post I mentioned my "Projects From Hell" list. It now has a total of nine uncompleted items, and I *plan* to not add any projects to it until every item is completed. Or until I think of another thing to do that will make me miserable to do but SO glad to be done. Bear in mind, most of these projects could require years to accomplish... Now, here for your amusement, amazement, and petrification, I reveal to you the terrifying List of Projects From Hell:
1. Clean/organize desk drawer (**ACCOMPLISHED!!** WHOOO HOOOO!!!)
2. Clean desk
3. Clean desk area, return Amelia Earhart's remains to her family...
4. Organize/label photo negatives
5. Inventory crafting magazines to sell
6. Clean & organize file cabinet, keep Marines on stand-by for rescue
7. Clean kitchen windowsills of cute little knick-knacks and dirt
8. Clean & organize basement (forget the Marines, get Vin Diesel on stand-by)
9. Organize crafting supplies
10. Switch kids' rooms between Liam, Alae, and my room

I suppose I could add "clean & organize dressers" to the list, but that would fit better on the "Fantasy Wish List"... right up there with "regain virginity" and "keep the house clean for more than one day with other people still living here with me".

Friday, July 14, 2006

REAL short today

Accomplishments this week: I can cross off one item from my "Projects From Hell" list-- I cleaned out my desk drawer and re-organized it (again). The things I will do to find a stamp!!!

I am still working on the floppy disk hell, am up to 52 or 53 diskettes now.... yee ha. Now the frigging Explorer is acting up on me, won't let me open file folders! I tricked it, though, added Win2000 to it and can open anything I dang well want to.... when I can find it on the two virtual hard drives and two operating systems. Yes, I know: I NEED A NEW COMPUTER but it ain't going to happen this year, sorry to say.

It's time, so got to end. SAID it would be short. More later!!!

Monday, July 10, 2006

TechnoWhining and BOOKS

The techno gods hate me. I am in floppy-disk hell. With all the blank CDs that my friend gave me, I should have had the frigging hard drive all backed up on disk three days ago. But NOOOOO, my external-drive CD-burner appears to only love music; every CD I burned with data instead of music, has not turned out. (Tip of the Day: Bad CDs make neat little "scarecrows" in the garden, simply hang them from a string and watch the wind twist them and the sun reflect... back in the "olden days of yore" the tip was to use broken cassette tapes, string the tape in pieces and the fluttering would scare off the birds and squirrels. So now you all have a use for the tapes and VHS tapes that you just can't seem to get rid of! LOL)

Back to the computer: I have pretty much weeded out the superfluous files, and zipped the rest (which I need to re-zip into smaller files in a few cases). And am now having all SORTS of fun putting everything on floppy disks, AFTER scan-disking each three or four times to get all of the blankety-blanking errors fixed. So far I am up to 29 floppies, with a banana-load of files (mostly JPGs) still to download. Even went through the ones I already did and made a list of what is on each diskette, which I am glad I did because I would have had about six files duplicated if I hadn't gone through and typed up everything. The one good thing about Windows 3.1 was that I could compile a list of files on a disk or drive with one function, instead of having to type it all out. Seems that a handy feature like that would have been maintained in the subsequent versions of Windows! Almost makes me want to delete 98 and install 3.1... yeah, right. Now that I finally got a cd for 2000 upgrade (just in time for Elvis to airplane) I am NOT going to go backwards, TYVM. (*Thank You Very Much)

So, now here I sit at the library, blogging, emailing, and surfing for the lyrics to the CD that Dusty sent me (Anne Hill's Circle Round & Sing) that I am listening to on the headphones right now. I love this CD!!!!! Oh, if the Fundie librarians only knew what I am doing! Contaminating their precious space with PAGAN MUSIC. Shame on me. **NOT!!!* Not like it is possible to get any pagan/Wiccan books from here, Herculean task just to get plain SF/Fantasy... But romance and Christian literature overflows. No prejudice here! (Yet, at the main branch I found a pagan book in the used book sale... and they even have books on witchcraft in the nonfiction AND the reference sections.) Some day, I will be a rich Mofo and will open my own library: the Beulah McRae Memorial Library, in honor of my grandma that originated my love of words. And she was fey, as well... My other fantasy is to own my own used-book store, with my apartment above the shop. Yes, I read Christopher Morley's The Haunted Bookshop and Parnassus on Wheels many years ago! Am trying to replace the copies that were lost over many a move. I found the e-books online and downloaded them, but it isn't the same as the old, musty books themselves....

Oooh, am surfing on some of Dusty's links and like what I see... wish I had the Net at home so I could bookmark pages, but here at the library everything gets deleted at the end of the day. Not that I usually get the same computer every time anyway! OK, I am going to finish up this post with two accomplishments: I did four loads of laundry this weekend, including two unfinished- and needing repair- quilt tops, since I currently use Grandma's Wash Tub to wash all laundry by hand, this is one hell of an accomplishment (thank goddess for Pain Medication, even if it did knock me out for a day afterward!). Secondly, I am past chapter 33 in From the Corner of His Eye by Dean Koontz. And don't forget that I am cleaning my computer (but not the desk) and got one ball of yarn rolled up from a very stubborn tangled skein. And did the dishes! And set up DH's meds for the week, except for his phenobarbital that the quack-- I mean, doctor-- needs to call in a refill for. Geez, all this and PMS, no wonder I am tired!

Going to end now, and check to see if Ruthi is done scanning my photos yet. (The advantage of sharing photos: fifteen or more years later, when you can't find your copies, there is some friend in the world with your pictures that you can borrow and recopy!) (Hey Dusty, still got that photo of me and Dave in front of the Xmas tree? Scan it if you do, I want a copy! I was SKINNY then!) LOL *** Love ya, Sis!!!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Short But Sweet

Had to publish a link to a site about Alan Rickman as Metatron, in the movie Dogma. While he is excellent as Snape in the Harry Potter movies, I will always and forever first think of him as The Voice of God! If you haven't seen Dogma, wow; but if you don't have a strong sense of humor, or you are easily offended by religious "comments" or lots of swearing or naked black men, then I wouldn't recommend it. Favorite line from the movie: pretty much all of them! Favorite charactors: Metatron, Serendipity, Rufus, and Silent Bob. And Loki, even though he is a "bad boy"... "You didn't say God Bless You when I sneezed!"

OK, have about three seconds left online, got here late as usual. Must now go home and clean house.... if I have any more Vault to drink for some energy.... I hate cleaning house, have I mentioned that before???? If only it weren't so useless, but with five people and uncounted spirits residing there, I get done in time to start all over again. Of all the spirits in the world, why can't I find one that washes dishes... and get him/her/it to move into my house!!!

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Alae got a book at the library about Hauntings in Michigan, wanted me to read it too. I still have a few pages to go, but it is going very fast because I have already read it a few years ago. Oops! LOL But it piqued my interest enough to get the other two books on the subject that they had on the shelf. I have been ignoring my beloved Dean Koontz to read these ghost stories!
Then of course, Alae had to do a blog post about some of her supernatural experiences. Ghosties, ghosties everywhere.... I hesitate to share my tales of the Otherside, but since it is still daylight out I might be persuaded...

The very first experience, was not really a ghost story but more of an out-of-body experience. In the house that I grew up in, the basement door was three feet in front of the back entrance door. If you were in a hurry and clumsy (like a young kid...) it was quite possible to barrel through the entrance and go right on through the basement door. When I was younger and less experienced with the paranormal, I insisted that my younger sister had done exactly that: bounced into the basement door and down the steps. My mother maintains that my sister never did any such thing; so of course I had to tell her about how I remembered the event. She gave me a sidewise look when I was done, because without thinking about exactly what I was saying, this is how my recollection went:
"I came in the back door in a big hurry, and tripped against the basement door. It flew open, and the next thing I remember is standing there at the top of the stairs and seeing a young child at the bottom of the steps. I guess I yelled for Grandma, because she came running. The next thing I remember is sitting down at the bottom of the stairs saying "yes, I'm alright" and trying to figure out how I got to the basement when I just came in the back door..."

The entire twenty-plus years that I lived in that house, I was never entirely comfortable in the basement; if I was doing laundry (the washer being in the room immediately at the bottom of the stairs) I would make sure that the doors to every other room were closed, and I would actively avoid looking down the hallway to the extra bathroom. I still can't say exactly what I was feeling, except that I was convinced that if I were to turn around I would see someone--- usually no one in particular, but sometimes I felt that if I turned around I would see my sister's father (this is twelve or more years after he was killed in a car accident when I was six years old). I wasn't ready yet to see the shades, with my eyes anyway; apparently I was seeing them with something else at that time. (I learned later that my sister had seen her father there, so it looks like I was right. There are a lot of ghost stories to tell about Danny, her father!)

But more stories occur about the house. My great-grandfather lived in an apartment next door, and he would come in to our home to use the bathroom or shower. One time, and I was too young to even recall how old I was, he came over very late (I think) to ask my grandma (his daughter) to take him to the hospital, he didn't feel good. I am fuzzy on the details, but it seems that this would be his last trip, he passed away at the hospital. For years after, until her death as far as I know, Grandma would still hear him knocking at the door some nights, calling her name. While I never heard the knocks or the calling, I don't doubt for a second that Grandma did hear them. Being of good Irish stock there was a long string of fey in the family, and Great Grandma Smith was fey as well. All I remember about the funeral for Great Grandpa is that I was scared because I had no idea what was going on, all I knew was that Grandpa was dead and I would never get to see him again (or so I thought, I was just a little tyke). I remember being furious because my aunt wouldn't let me go in with everyone else to the room with the casket, she thought I was "too young" to view Grandpa's body. Have to tell you, this instilled a huge fear of death in me for many years. I didn't understand why I couldn't say goodbye to my gampaw, everyone else was. And I knew it was a very important occassion, this funeral, because my grandma was wearing a dress. That scared me more than any thoughts of seeing a dead body! Anything important enough to get Grandma to wear a dress was important!!!

Partly in response to this first exposure to funerals, when my children were born I had no hesitation in taking them to visitations and funerals at a young age. I got flack from some people, but I really didn't care, because I was not going to let my kids grow up afraid of death and dead bodies. And they aren't.... afraid of spirits, maybe, but not of the bodies. Therein lies a tale or two, as well!

But I digress...

My two favorite stories about the house, though, are the ones about the angel, and Molly McGillicuddy. But since this has turned out to be so long, you have to wait for Ghost Stories - part 2 for those tales!