So This Is Christmas

Because when in Rome. Don’t get me wrong, I did my Winter Solstice thing. Or a thing. It was nice. I sat alone in the dark, save for the crackling of a nice fire.

But on to Christmas! I don’t think we overdid it this year, and I think the in-laws at least kept it to the same amount of overdoing it, which is quite an accomplishment. Believe me. And my mom did a great job as well. She seemed down about it, but everybody assured her that the reduction from previous years.

The kids themselves had a blast giving each other the presents they had picked out for the others. The Boy in particular seemed overly excited, going so far as to chase the Beast into a bathroom to tell her what he got her. That was five days ago. And he screamed it under the bathroom door.

Currently as the holiday winds down the kids are in bed. Mounds of goodies all around, exhausted from the sheer excitement of it all. The Eldest took it upon herself to try and occupy the other two this morning, under a Claus guise of her own. I’m thinking she’s past the myth and living legend that is Santa Claus, but I also think she’s aware that magic is just as much about making the show as is there being some one to watch it.

The Littlest Treehugger

My boy, all of four, has this thing about trees. He also has a thing about hatchets, trust me it’s related.

I caught him outside a while back with said hatchet. He just loves his ‘widdle ax’, and tries to get at it as much as possible. This time he was trying to scrap away bark from a downed tree just on the edge of the woods. As I came up he’s explaining that he’s just trying to help ‘this guy’ out, and when he gets back on his feet he’s going to hug him. Needless to say it was incredibly sweet, though an odd method of showing affection. Also it should go without saying that I’ve decided to take a chunk of that trunk and carve a figure or some such for The Boy.

It didn’t hit me until recently just what an amazing thing this whole scene truly was. There’s the easily to joke about notion that my son sees trees as people, or some sort of equally ‘alive’ thing. But I’ve come to think that it means he has an instinctual awareness of an inherent worthiness of all living things. Note, this isn’t some sort of vegetarian/vegan rant. Believe me, I’m very aware of what goes into the taking of an animal’s life to provide sustenance for me and mine. And while he might not be at that particular level, he’s a great deal closer than I probably was at that age. Or a great many after.

Or maybe I was there. Maybe we all were. It’s not until we are older and molded by the world that we begin to have the indifferences and dislikes rife in the lot of us. Who knows? I’m trying to keep this post light, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t a challenge.

Completely different directional segue! Well, this is a bit more abrupt, but still. Shifting gears, hang on and buckle up. School has been going well. The girls both made A/B honor roll! The Eldest has really broken through this year, and I couldn’t be more proud. The Beast has a long term sub, who seems to be there regardless of parents’ concerns. As for me, things are going great. I finally got my emails in regards to accepting the position. The class is largely adjusted, I think. There’s a ton of behavior issues to start slogging through, and there’s a ton of strategies to try and utilize to get around some of these deeply ingrained antics. I think there’s already a noticeable bit of progress. Just enough to have a toe hold, not even a foot. Not even toes. Still, progress is progress.

And on that positive and striving note, I’m off to do more laundry while listening to punk on Pandora. Wish me luck…

P.S.- The kitten is an insufferable food stealing shit.

Autumnal Something or Other

I got nothing for a title. But I do have a lot to tell.

Job is trucking along. I’m really liking this kids. They are pretty good crew and I think we are all definitely making strides towards getting a good groove going on. There’s been what I’d consider progress, but there’s also been plenty of rougher days.

We did a single day LARP at MACE. While fun was had, it was also rather dead. We had three other players other than those we brought with us (two friends, one of which is husband to one of my other Storytellers I usually work with). Still, fun was had and fun was had later on in the evening sessions. We played an RPG based on A Song of Ice and Fire, or whatever. I was very surprised it wasn’t all about finding dragons and exposing boobs. No, seriously, it truly was amazing. The first battle was a social one, and it was easily the most engaging fight I’ve been involved in game-wise in years. I think the sheer concept of treating social encounters as a battle in its own right was something, but that they made a system of mechanics to convey that is just wonderful.

I snagged a small collection of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition books at MACE. I’m torn between giving them to a friend whose first gaming experiences were from those books, or actually putting them to use myself and running him a campaign. I’m leaning towards the second notion. I know my friend, and while he would love the books they would just sit on a shelf alongside other gaming nostalgia I’ve given as gifts over the years. Also, while my initiation into gaming was via Vampire: The Masquerade LARP I always felt it should have been AD&D. But that’s another post all together.

Autumn has well and truly settled in around us. The leaves are shifting to their less green hues, and just as quickly falling to the forest floors. Deer are in abundance. I’m waiting for them to try and come in the back door. The air is crisp, there’s be a few smatterings of frost. Needless to say I’m loving it.

Turkey day is just barely a week away. The missus doesn’t work, which will be nice. It’s going to be a short week for all of us school-wise next week. I’m looking forward to spending some time during the day with my kids. Maybe I can get a turn raking up some leaves and jumping in wit h them. Hopefully. Oh, and more s’mores. We did s’mores the other night, and it simply has to be done again. And soon.

“Pray for me, Mr.”

I think I’ve made it obvious that I’m not really a praying type. I also hope I’ve managed to convey that this isn’t from a lack of faith, but more from that feeling that I need to throw words at the Divine (in Its many, many forms) in order to make things better. Fuck that. That’s dumb. If something’s not working, get up and fix it. If that doesn’t work, reevaluate. Can it be fixed? Or do you need a new one? Or do you need to remove yourself from the situation? And so on. Do Some Thing About It.

I think I mentioned a new job the other day. I probably can’t go into many details, and I largely think it was just that this one kid talks nonstop, but there was the request. “Pray for me Mr.”, and I got to admit I might make an exception. I have the impression that this kid has had a rough life, and it’s a long way from being over. I also think things are moving in a good direction for him, but it’s out of my hands. So yeah, a word or two might not be out of place. This time.

This Is Halloween…

So it’s tomorrow. Get over it. Also, I was thinking of Marilyn Mason’s version. It rocks.

It’s been crazy of late. The kids are still doing well in school, I’ve been doing some metal work, I’ve been plugging away at con notes, oh and apparently I got a job. Boom, huh? Yup. A nearby school got another EC assistant position and called me about it. I start tomorrow.

Finally- Accomplishment!

I did it! I finally finished something! Okay, I finally did something that will let me finish. Close enough.

I did a massive clean-out of upstairs. The kids will probably cry when they realize I took three bags full of stuffed animals to Good Will, but fuck almighty that leaves at three more bags’ worth. And that’s just in the playroom, that’s not what they each have tucked away in their individual rooms. There’s other things gone as well, including a large box full of books. Some duplicates, some the kids have simply outgrown, and others just because they don’t seem to end up in the rotation of books the kids read. They just sit there. No sense in letting the sit there when someone somewhere would greatly appreciate them.

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It’s not done, but it’s almost there. And I know the pic’s a touch blurry, but here is the start of the wife’s bottle tree. I’m thinking about four more branches at least, and some significant bits of bending to get it where the bottles will sit nice enough. But still, I WELDED. Again. Finally. Finally again. I can’t believe how much I missed it. I knew I did, but I didn’t realize just how much.

And again, while it’s not done I’m chipping away at my end of the upcoming con LARP. I’m hoping it comes together well enough, we are only a few weeks out. In fact, I’m off to email the dude with an update. Enjoy the rest of your week…

Autumn Is Upon Us

Yay! I’m rather excited, if you can’t tell. I’m actually gearing up for NANWRIMO this year. Crazy, I know. I usually don’t even both to check in on the site until the last week of November, but this time I’m at least staring with dread and complete sense of being an utter failure of not even having a friggin’ title in October. I think I’m finally growing up.

In other news, the Boy is loving some preschool this time. He’s loving his new bunk beds. What? Yup. We busted out the bunk beds finally, and he’s finally calmed down from that. It’s been great, he’s even had a buddy over. Sort of. Said buddy isn’t much for bedtimes, but he at least chilled out all quite like when he and his family were visiting for one of our regular bouts of gaming and what-not. It’s like something clicked over the summer and he’s suddenly into listening for a change. Weird.

The girls are doing well in school. Even the Eldest. Especially the Eldest. She’s on task, she’s doing her work and homework in a timely manner, it’s amazing. She’s still less than stellar in regards to turning all of that crap in on time, but hey this is some massive progress. The Beast seems to be enjoying 3rd grade, save some little shit who keeps rummaging through various lunch boxes. Other than that, it’s been great.

I’m still hoping to get something more permanent, but I’m also not holding my breath. I’m at least trying to focus on my various creative endeavors. Writing, woodworking, building things around the house. Speaking of, I should probably get back on that. We are almost done with the chicken coop enough to bring over more birds.

We are down to one kitten from the small litter than wandered up. We have named her Sylvia and she’s quite the unholy terror. She seems to love hands and fingers. She hasn’t really impressed the other cats any. She simply adores Milo, the dog. To his credit he is putting up with it admirably. He tries to move when she swaps at his paws and tail, but she’s rather relentless.

Our Anniversary, & Kittens

Twelve years as of last Sunday. It was a simple enough day. We chilled, we worked on things around the house, we played with LEGO’s. School seems to have worked its way into a nice enough routine. No more emergencies, at least so far. The Boy is even back into the swing of things after a nasty bout of Hand, Foot, and Mouth that took him down for the better part of a week. Still, he repeatedly told us that he “wykes his bumpy hands.”

A couple of days ago we found kittens. Out in the woods in the front of the house. Tiny little things, stalking up along the edge of the driveway. Well, two were but the other had already climbed up a tree. She eventually was retrieved. We figured that the mother must be out there somewhere as well so we fed them the best we could and called it a night.

The next day two of them returned. We realized that something probably happened to the mother, and something seems to have happened to the third. The other two looked rather rough once we got a good look at them. Obviously hungry, and covered in fleas. We set to work.

They seemed much improved. We asked around and we found a taker for one of them. The Beast has been crying ever since. Still, the one remaining seems rather fond of us, I’m kind of hoping she sticks around. I could use a black lap cat again.

My Boy

I’m sitting here, it’s nine PM. He’s played hard all day. I’ve worked equally as hard around the house. Honestly, I’m not sure what all he’s eaten today.

His day has consisted of cartoons, building fairy houses, painted nails, a robot salon, and chasing his best friend upstairs. 

It’s bedtime. He blearily requests food. I grab a few leftover nuggets. He’s grateful. We are having a rather chill moment and all is right with our world.

A Wrinkle In Time & so on, Part 2

I totally forgot pretty much everything I intended to actually post last night.

So, A Wrinkle In Time. Life changing. For me anyway. It was a wonderful bit of science fiction wrapped in fantasy enveloped in a loving embrace. No metaphor to that last bit, just some good old family hugging. Don’t get me wrong, I love some action/adventure, and by all means kill the fuck out of the evil dragons when they need to be killed. But A Wrinkle In Time showed that the story doesn’t have to end with the bad guys killed. Defeat takes many forms.

And Meatloaf. Confession- I probably have more Meatloaf CD’s that some one who did not grow up during the 70’s ought to have. I’ve come to realize that I rather prefer the Bat Out Of Hell‘s (1 and 2), but still. Meatloaf is intense. Meatloaf is not to be trifled with.

But I really do think it comes down to Jim Steinman being a living rock God. I think Steinman does a bit of what I love about A Wrinkle In TIme. There are hard rock elements in there, but there is also these flights of fancy. The combination puts me in the mind of a mosh pit in Heaven. Or arena rock. Something awesome with halos and wings and shit like that.

Once again I think I’ve lost my true flow. But not really.  I did want to get the bits out that needed to be gotten out last night I dozed off, and honestly I blame Netflix. Galavant is on there now and it’s weird. You can’t look away. You can’t. And now I’m off to make french fries since the Beast wanted some home made. Sounds like a fun time.