Sometimes it's just too much information

Fact: If you watch Dr. G: Medical Examiner, you will at some point come across a case where someone thinks they have a spider bite, when in reality it's Merca - a deadly staph infection that is also a flesh eating virus - and it goes into their bloodstream and kills them while they sleep.

Fact: You will at some point in your life, most probably right after watching this show, get some sort of insect bite.

You see where this is going, right? Let's just say fearing for my life sounds perfectly reasonable right now. But am I going to stop watching? No, much like the "Law and Order Years" when I had to make sure the doors were locked 15 times before bed, I feel like if I stop watching it's like telling the evil virus "Fine, you win!" And of course, I can't do that...

What to be, what to be...

Boop: Do you have to dress up for the whole day on Halloween?

Me: Well, you have to wear your Renaissance Princess costume all day at school on Friday, but then you can take it off. And on Halloween, you just dress up for trick or treating.

Boop: Oh good. I'm still deciding what to be on Halloween.

Me: Be a princess like you will be for school. (Mom's love costumes to do double duty)

Boop: (sounding concerned) But I really want to wear my vampire teeth.

Me: You can be a vampire princess.
Boop: That's just silly. Who ever heard of a vampire princess! I think I should be a mouse
Me: So you have heard of a vampire mouse...
Boop: Of course.

I'm bragging

I know, I know, I'm one of *those* mom's. But I'm so, so proud of my little Red. She had to write a poem for school about an emotional event in the book they were reading, Rolf and the Viking Bow. And she chose to write about the tree where a heart wrenching, unjust murder took place. (I am reprinting with the author's permission).

So I share with you her poem: The Tree.

The Tree

A tree of weeping, death, and sorrow
Yet lives to see a morrow.
Where Hiriandi died, and Frodi cried,
Of which Thurid warned and Einar replied
“Be quiet,” and went to bed.

Rolf shot, revenge to make,
Einar’s happiness to take.
A tree of enemies and foes,
A tree of weeping and woes.

To the patch!

We're taking the kids to the pumpkin patch today, which is really a fall festival extravaganza with rides and hay mazes and haunted houses and trains and food. I might be more excited than they are.

Boop came downstairs all ready to go in her red and white polka dotted satin sundress. I sent her back up to change. This is October in Seattle, after all. It's nice and sunny at the moment, but let's just say that if Noah had built his ark in Seattle, I don't think he'd have gotten any funny stares.

The kids have been scouring the house for my camera (as I think about how brilliant it was to buy the shiny red one - easier to spot in sofa cushions) because Mystery Man likes to wander the house taking pictures of his feet.

Boop just came back down... in her glittered tank dress. I sent her back upstairs.

Mystery Man is walking around muttering because I got him a new pair of boots yesterday and all he can think about is all those boots left at the store. He went to bed dreaming about trying on the rest of them and woke up saying he needs to go back to the store and get more boots. I'm hoping he can set aside the footwear obsession to play at the pumpkin patch.

We found the camera tucked inside my knitting bag. I'm formally blaming the kids for this one, but, it's at least possible that I slipped it in there to stop the photo documentary going on. I'm keeping that to myself, however, well - and the blogosphere.

Boop just came down again. She's wearing turquoise blue leggings, a pink sequin shirt that says "Birthday girl" from her sister's 7th birthday and gold satin opera gloves, but I think we're gonna go ahead and let this look stand. Her legs are covered, after all.

Wish us luck at the patch! Sometimes it's getting ready for the event that's the adventure...

A picture to share

I found this on The Traveler's Steampunk Blog tonight. Isn't it fabulous. It's not doctored - it's of a German battleship in 1917 with a Zeppelin in the background. Ah.... beautiful.

In other news, my zombie* hot air balloon scene has finally met it's match. And I've moved on to other fun things like pneumatic tubes and silver stallions. I'm about 2500 words from typing The End and meaning it this time. But, they're a tough 2500. Kind of like there's a minute, and then there's a football minute. But I've got good reason to believe I'll be all done while it's still October.

*zombie's not included

Hengrave Hall

A friend of mine just posted a bunch of pictures from a trip I took in college. I was blessed with a truly wonderful college experience, culminating in a semester abroad with several other English majors. Two professors and their spouses went with us and taught us while we traveled through the English countryside, London, Edinburgh, and Ireland - with a bonus two weeks in Israel at the very end.

And while we were there we had a home away from home called Hengrave Hall. We'd stay for a week or two, then take a trip to London and see 3 shows in 4 days, or go off to Bath and study Jane Austen. But we were always thrilled to return to Hengrave.

I had a room in the second floor that I shared with 3 other girls. The bathroom was in a turret that might have been colder than my refrigerator today, and we had to walk down the hall to find an actual bath. Every radiator typically had a student sitting on top of it to get warm. But it was magical.

At the foot of the grand stairs we had tea every day around 11 - black tea with cream and sugar and digestive biscuits. (I'm gonna have to find a way to make those gluten free, now that I'm remembering this). And although I'm the opposite of a homebody, I could stay there for days without leaving, because it was a community unto itself. We ate there, had class there, walked the grounds, talked to the nuns who lived there year round. And every Friday we all huddled around the one television in a back bedroom to watch Homicide: Life on the Streets together.

I find that Hengrave works it's way into my writing frequently. I'm enchanted with the idea of a big manor house that creates a community within it's own (more than) four walls. I'm also mindful of how life buzzed with excitement, but the pace was so much slower. This was before cell phones were common and the only way we managed email was by me taking my shoddy laptop down to the phone booth in the basement, hooking up my acoustic coupler to the receiver, and huddling on the floor until I heard the beeps stop coming. I did this once at a pay phone booth on a street corner in Ireland. I was dedicated.

But even without all the texting fever we have today, Hengrave was noticeably slower and more peaceful than life outside of it.

I felt quite a bit of culture shock when I landed in LAX after 4 months of that. I've readjusted, clearly, but I'm always mindful of how much I enjoyed life there, and how I loved the closeness of my friends, and the slowness of our days together.

Zombie Hot Air Balloons

I'm writing the scene that won't die. I thought about putting up a picture of a zombie, but hot air balloons are nicer and it is my hot air balloon scene that I'm working on... perhaps a zombie hot air balloon would be better, but this will have to do.

It's made worse because I know that I only have 3 more scenes to go before I'm done writing. I will need to revise, but I'm way past first draft, so I won't have tons and tons of revising to do - just the smoothing in of these new scenes.

And this thought haunts me. Tugs at my brain. Whispers to me from agent blogs. Allllllmooooost Dooooone! Like Jacob Marley and his chains taunting Scrooge.

I've felt this before when I'm nearly done with something. It's why my dear husband hid the castor oil whenever I got close to my due date and refused to buy me 5 star Thai take out. It's also why my memories of the night before my kids were all born is of me raiding the cabinets to find said castor oil while muttering incoherently to myself. The sane part of my brain knew that if I just waited, I'd have the baby - ok, that's not entirely true, because part of me still thinks they'd have ended up 15 pounds and 4 weeks overdue. But, let's just pretend I was that sane. Am that sane.

Anyway, I'm trying my very hardest to stay sane about finishing the book and not do anything crazy. (You know, like send a query while I'm still working on the ending. Noo......)

I'm thinking there's a life lesson here about patience. And I've got a little ways to go before I fully embrace it. But, here's to trying.