Sometimes, there are actual words.

A huge farce, in sectional dated form.

Thanksgiving..
icecelt


This goes out to people I love, and this journal is all about my family, the people I love so much, my life, and the people I am thankful for.

I could own everything in the world, but without all of the people in this journal (MY LIFE), this year would have been unbearable. Some people made it worse than it had to be - paperwork, some thoughtless, unpleasant folks on the phone and in emails, etc. (damn bureaucrats), but the people with real hearts came through with a vengeance - they are INCREDIBLE people who I am very lucky to know!

This song goes out to Marcus, Cassie, Tris, Geoff, Bas, Mike A., my Aunt Veryan and my cousins - Cheryl, Karla, Antonia, Georgia, and Charles - and to Dan N. Amy N., Sandy N., Brandy Y., Jeff Y., Stephanie G., LeeAnn H., Gin, Steph N., Jen M., a HUGE shout out to Ken H., Roark H., Chris D. Amber. G., Mayan A. Geeta, and to new and wonderful people I've met this year - Shawna, Tanya, you've made life fantastic. And to all of my furbabies, always :)

I may be the "Sole Survivor" (Geoff loves the cymbal phrasing and drumming in this song, and I am inclined to agree in terms of the drums being freaking outstanding), but all of them made damn sure I never, ever felt like it. :)

And THAT is what I'm thankful for. :D

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Pre Turkey-Day Musings...
icecelt


Mum's been gone a year today. The pain has diminished quite a bit as I came to a lot of realizations. She left a LOT of herself and her lessons in me, and knowing that I'm her daughter, that no matter what she's always a part of me - helps a lot. More of the good memories are flooding in. Everything I've had to deal with this year has shown me that I can do all of this - and I was lucky enough to have the parents I did, who helped teach me to handle what life likes to toss at us.

As for Mum, I like to think of her having a good time, that's just the feeling I get. :) And this picture is her in her home of the heart, Cornwall, where she was born. Though she traveled everywhere and lived all over the world (mainly in Hong Kong and the US), she loved Cornwall with a passion - the smile on her face here shows that! She also taught me how to make a mean pasty, and though I've moved to an area with not one, but two pasty shops (so we're lucky!), they're very.. not Mum's. Enjoyable for what they are, but definitely NOT my mother's. :)

She loved wolves.. wolf EVERYTHING, and yes, she was a Celt all the way down (dark auburn hair, bright sea green eyes, family from Cornwall and Brittany all the way back), she had vim and vigor and wit and sparkle and a keen and superb intelligence, but was NOT to be trifled with - she was a hell of a force of nature herself, and so this is for her today:



Dha weles, Mum, and love you so much :D Know you're watching out for me :) I'll leave the cream out for the brownies until then! ;) (The barn cats here love it, but it's a neat old tradition!)



Meanwhile, Mum's niece Antonia (my cousin!) and HER niece (my cousin Georgia's daughter!) :D LOVE this picture!

And so proud of Antonia - going for the full-on massive doctorate at Oxford in Archaeology. I have no idea what that is there - here it'd be a PhD but there just clueless in terms of what it's called. She posts all of these great and fascinating articles on Facebook that I love to read. Though I should comment more, I'm not an expert so just enjoy them :) She's been terrific, the whole family has throughout this year, and Cassie's going next year to finally see them all (Antonia, Georgia, and Charles, and their families) - I'll hopefully be able to in a couple of years!



Here I am with Kiki, my other cousin :) She came down this past month with her husband and daughter to visit AND.. AND to scope out the area for a possible move to here! WHOO-HOO!! :D It was a wonderful visit except when Matt (her husband) attempted to climb a tree and the entire branch broke off, got the wind knocked out of him something terrible. There's something about these trees that make you WANT to climb them, but then they stealthily attack you by breaking. LOL! Anyhow, he managed to breathe, so all was good, and we had a great time :) They all decided they love it here, so now it's a matter of when, not if. I am VERY happy :)



And here comes Cassie in a Minion hat I grabbed off of Etsy! :) No I didn't make this - the lady who makes them charges more than reasonable prices for the crochet work and my backlog of crochet work is a bit HUGE by now. My hands can't work fast enough! But oh my God Cass looks adorable :D Gave it to her on one of her visits up here and she seemed pretty pleased with it. She can't wear it at work of course, but I think she should sometimes maybe just to lighten up the occasion if the family seems amenable. She was invited to an Irish Wake and said that family seemed like they might not mind!



Tris at a Sharks game with more than his share of cotton candy ;) Damn, kid! Nah, he's holding his and Cassie's, and making a 14 year old teenage boy face! He's very particular about ear protection, something his Uncle Geoff and Cassie kind of pounded into him - since he plays bass CONSTANTLY now, they want him to be able to do that for a LONG time coming. The Shark Tank gets REALLY loud! YES! I am all about ear protection also, but musicians, you know.. they really make the message loud and clear (but not too loud.. LOL!)



Marcus and Cassie went to "Meet the Sharks", an event for season ticket holders. Here Marcus is with Mike Ricci! Ricci doesn't play now, he's on the coaching staff, but we've been fans since the days of Nolan and Ricci and Friesen and so forth (and a little beforehand) - he was the first guy they made a BEELINE to at the event. When Ricci was playing, you KNEW he was on the ice, he made good stuff happen!



Marcus and Cassie lining up and having our oldest jersey signed by some of the greatest hockey players ever. That's Antti Niemi (NEMO!) in that picture signing the jersey :D



The signed jersey :D Very old school (for the Sharks), about 12 years old so the logo is sightly different and so forth. The picture doesn't show all of the signatures very well, but the frame is on order and the signatures show up just fine in person!



Marcus and Cassie in a very low-budget version of "Jaws". ;)



Boris Karloff having tea and toast - or me after watching a particularly nasty hockey game. ;)



I've been going to some great quirky awesome sales up here put on by Ron Quintana and Mike Meals, they sell the weirdest and coolest stuff! When I was a kid, my Malibu Barbie did NOT date Ken, oh hell no. She dated Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar man. That's RIGHT! Well Steve Austin was at their sale, and I've kept that Barbie (yes, all of these years she's been in a case with her clothes and everything because I got ONE Barbie as a kid - my parents didn't think more than one was necessary, so she was precious!). I grabbed Steve Austin with a quickness. Suddenly now we're back in the 70s, Peaches and Herb are singing "Reunited", oh yeah ;) LOL! Bow chicka-bionic-noise. ;)



Hey MOECULA!!!

See what I mean about neat and quirky stuff? I can't miss their sales! I had no idea that Moe was a vampire until now! O.o Plus "Super Death" from Family Guy? Insta-purchase. :)



Happy Halloween, darlings ;)

I actually went out to greet a Notary Public like that - first a look of shock on her face, then a HUGE smile - totally worth it for the trial run :) It made signing car documents WAY more fun!



Hey Luuuucy!!! Or maybe that's Ricky. Yes, the stage crew for Testament (and possibly the band, didn't ask) call those guys Lucy and Ricky. If you've seen the Testament show lately, well, you know, now you know that! Hope that doesn't ruin the ambiance for ya ;)

LOVE this picture of Geoff's face :) LOL!



WE HAVE THE POWER, KEPTIN!!

Yep, solar's all installed and running - first time in my LIFE I've seen an electric meter run BACKWARDS. :) We're generating an incredible amount of juice now and PG&E bills are a thing of the past. Toodles! :D

::goes to turn on all electric appliances DURING THE DAY::

I don't have to do laundry after midnight anymore to save money on power bills! I can run the AC without guilt! YES! God it's fantastic :D We're grid tied for now, off grid later as we slowly build a battery bank. For backup in case PG&E goes down, a propane generator that can run all power for a LONG while is there for now. This is like the ultimate in luxury to me - I never have to worry about losing the contents of a freezer to a blackout again EVER! :)



Cassie's new used car! Now some might think we spoiled hell out of her. Nope! She's on a slow payback plan and has to pay for her own insurance and the title is solely in her name. But Mum's car that I gave to Cass was not going to limp around much longer. For her work, Cass has to drive ALL around the Bay Area at all hours to meet with families, hit different county offices for certificates, sometimes go to hospitals to bug doctors to actually sign documents, go to three separate offices, go to several churches, temples, cemeteries from Santa Cruz up to Santa Rosa - she spends a LOT of time in traffic when she's not arranging people's pre-needs in the offices, let alone coming up here when she can. She NEEDED a dependable car, it was not something optional. So a Volkswagon Jetta TDI fit the bill perfectly. (You can look them up - they're as great at hybrids at gas mileage and being clean, yet last about a bazillion times longer and have more "ommph").

California dealers, knowing that people want these cars badly, have marked them up astronomically and will NOT be talked down. So I said "screw this" and looked in Nevada. Found the car in Vegas for 8k cheaper than here for the same model year (2011) and mileage, had the Carfax sent to our mechanic Chris (a miracle worker), he talked with the dealership's mechanics, and we had the car shipped straight to Cassie's work, all for thousands less than if we'd bought it anywhere in this state. Normally not a great idea - California emissions laws, right? TDI.. no smogging required ;) Hopefully more California dealers will catch on as people are literally flocking to Nevada to grab these, but until then, it was done right, efficiently, and my daughter, after a couple of problems with a new vehicle were ironed out (she left some power on somewhere and drained the battery.. LOL!), now has a car that will go another 250k miles for her. No that's not a typo.

Plus, as she pointed out, it looks kind of like a mini hearse, so we both thought it was ironically funny ;) I didn't aim for that, it's just what the dealership had available. LOL!



LeeAnn sent this out from her little sojourn to Rhode Island with Jan! WHOOP! It's been years since Marcus and I lived back there for those couple of years for Marcus' work at Boston Scientific, but I never forgot the different and wonderful flavors of all the foods back there, and coffee milk was a definite favorite! It's Rhode Island's state drink, and it is SCRUMPTIOUS. :D So that was some happiness delivered in the mail, and a TON of "thank you's" again to LeeAnn for her thoughtfulness :D



As for life here, it's going well - I've had a couple of visits to the ER and to the Bay Area to see my doctor and have some more stuff done, but what it comes down to is that all of this hassle is leading to a dream come true soon, a surgery I have wished for for about uhm.. since late 1999 ;) Nothing dangerous or life threatening, just not great, and now it's not optional, it's not something an insurance company can turn down, it's something that HAS to be done soon, so WHOOP! :D The waiting time until then is painful but meh, I know I have something to look forward to that is a solve and something I've hoped for a long time. So I'll take this pain, oh yeah, in exchange for the result :) LOL! That's probably sometime early next year but we'll see, if it's a Christmas present I'LL TAKE IT!!! LOL! I can have Christmas in bed, no problem, JUST DO IT!!! Hehehehehe!! ::jumps on gurney, inserts own IV:: Now, now would be fine! :D

In non health news, gearing up for the holidays and hopefully a fum get-together with a lot of loved people, trying to get that arranged - schedules and whatnot. Laying in alcohol now ;) The dogs are doing great and almost full grown now - the dobermans are HUGE, especially Effie. I have got to get pictures again soon. Thorin crows and trills, Galadriel the peahen guards the property from all comers and makes her wonderful yet weird call for a mate (we're looking!), all the chickens are happy and laying the most delicious and REAL eggs ever, the garden is done and ready for a sleep, the trees are about to embark on "Happy Nekkid Time" (except the evergreens - puritanical trees), and it's time to settle in for a nice cozy winter of hot cocoa, warm fires, great books, and F#@#ING PUCKS IN THE NET BOYS!!! :D

Happy Fall to all! :D

Brace yourselves - Raking is coming....
icecelt
It is now my son's birthday, though we're not actually celebrating it until tomorrow and all week long, really :) Lots of things planned, but first, he sleeps!!! Ok, after a little Minecraft ;) LOL!



Here he is with Cassie at a certain large chain computer store. The kids changed the background on a computer to that picture of Tris, and it took 3.. yes.. 3 employees, to sort out how to change it back, as Tris and Cassie stood a couple of aisles over and watched ;) If you are going to work in a store selling computers, it may be best to at least know how to change the wallpaper, really. Ahem. I should probably be like "Oh, shame, shame on you kids! Oh bad!" But no, I laughed my ass off, to be honest. ;)



Here is my gorgeous daughter actually wearing a color other than BLACK! She listened to me! Sure she's a funeral director now (one of the youngest in the U.S. and damn good at it, too), but that doesn't mean she has to look like a freaking undertaker. A few jewel tones here and there are appropriate! :)



Here are Mike and Crystal at the Raiders opening game!! Mike is Mike, if you read this blog you know who Mike is, and Crystal is Bas' niece, which means she's my niece also, though not by blood, just by heart, like her Uncle is my brother by heart :) They had a WONDERFUL time! Mike has had season tickets for the endzone of rabid Raiders fans for every season now since the Raiders moved back to Oakland. I am more a Niners fan if I root for football at all (I am a hockey fan - I bleed teal - SHARKS!!), but I do not mind the Raiders and don't feel that hatred and rivalry a lot of people seem to feel. I'm just happy Northern California has two football teams I get to root for! :D Anyhow, you can see by the looks on their faces that they had a GREAT time! :D Mike is taking Marcus to a Raiders game this year in exchange for Marcus taking Mike to a Sharks game (we have season tickets to the Tank), so LOTS of sporting-ness ahead!!



Meanwhile Geoff was out with Vista Chino on their last run, doing, I almost positive (phone conversations get fuzzy when so much is in them!), FOH, stage managing, AND drum teching. Exhausting, but he loves those guys, so he had a great run. He also loves Gene, so he's back with Gene on the next Testament run now. :) Vista Chino used to be known as Kyuss Lives before there was some rigamarole around that, but whatever, their sound is still intact and I enjoy them :) His run with us is in December, where he tours HERE with Sanya, and those are my FAVORITE tours he does ;) LOL!



These are the Silkie chickens as they were growing up in August - almost fully grown in this picture - still a few pinfeathers :) For a segue, I'll say that Geoff's tours here always involve his enjoyment of our organic farming methods, as he's a HUGE permaculture enthusiast. There. That was all ok then,that transition, right? LOL!



Here's a Silkie nearly fully grown! About a week away! :D See what I mean about yard Muppets? OH MY GOD they are ADORABLE! Unlike the Anconas, who are much more flighty and wild, the Silkies are really mellow and will come right up to you and try to get in your lap if you raise them that way :) Since all of our Anconas are named after the Dwarves in the Hobbit, we have 9 Silkies.. so.. 9 Nazgul names. ROFL!! Oh evil, evil Ringwraith adorable yard Muppets ;)



FINALLY!!!! AT LAST, 3 of the 4 cats we have are now all getting along! Shani, Salem, and Tashi (l-r), all on the bed at the same TIME! Not fighting! No fur flying, no hissing, no Tashi telling them all where to go! (She's the boss around here - not even the dobies will mess with her - she has NO FEAR). She decided to cede bed space to the others in exchange for peace, and now they all spread all over the bed, leaving me in some quirky positions when I wake up sometimes. LOL! I don't mind a bit - that purring is priceless :D Though ok, get off my head kitty.. head is not a pillow.. fur in mouth.. pffft.. Salem thinks heads are pillows O.o



Lizzie, looking insane! LOL! All the dogs (and us) were supporting a dog we know named Cherie who SURFED (for real!) to raise money for the Helen Woodward Foundation for Animals. So we got some of the bandanas, and made sure the world knew that all of our gorgeous dogs were behind Cherie every wave she took! :D



Arry, looking very dignified and showing her support also. The leashes were necessary because the cameras on our phones seem to take blurs unless everyone stays PERFECTLY still, like some old-timey 1800's camera. LOL!



Maleficent, looking like herself:) My beautiful red dobie, my sweetheart :)



Asajj! The force is strong in this one - out of all the dogs, she's the most intelligent, Yes, even moreso than Arry, who is a border collie/Aussie mix. Asajj is the smartest dog I have EVER had. Learns every new command on a dime, very laid back unless she picks up that she's not supposed to be (intruders get stared at, not barked at unless they cross over a certain line on the threshold), and is a complete lapdog, even though she has no idea that she's FAR too large for that, or if she does know, she doesn't care. She is so affectionate, so bright.

I do not have favorite dogs. I love every single one of them equally, asking me to pick would be like asking me to pick a kid, I couldn't possibly. I love all my dogs so much! But I will say that to work with in training, Asajj is easily the most pleasant and easy :) But I also love Effie's stubbornness and bossiness, Arry's playfulness and mischief, and Lizzie's sweetness :) All of my dogs RULE!



Here I am hanging out with Asajj on one of the porches. :) She's not as attached to the hip as Lizzie is (NO Doberman is like a Cavalier King Charles when it comes to being like that), but she loves hanging out out there with us :)



My Asajj. :)



We now have a new and unexpected member of the household! Her name is Galadriel (going with the theme here), and she just showed up in the driveway about a week ago and decided this is a good home. I think she's a huge car afficionado because she's always hanging around the cars here. LOL! (No our cars are not up on blocks for chrissakes - we just have a surfeit at this time due to last year, some of which are now drained of fluids and will be put into the garage for my son to work on when he starts Automotive Engineering in a year). Marcus went around to all of the neighbors asking if they'd lost a peahen, nope. We keep checking Craigslist and the notes by the mailboxes, nothing. So, she is now ours, we have grown attached already. Building a VERY large enclosure for her now, and at night she calls out for a mate, so we're looking for a peacock now. If he's white, his name, of course, will be Gandalf. If he's a blue or green, it will be Celeborn (thanks for the suggestion Pete K.! :D ) But her calls are so mournful, really. Poor thing is lonely. We'll fix that up soon, AND make sure she's warm in the winter AND safe from the predators around here (we have found coyote prints right next to the house, and raccoons, etc.). But I LOVE the sound of peacocks and peahens, so I'm happy :) And she's very sweet though a bit people shy still, but she's learning we're ok!



For starting the garden super late this year and not expecting much, we got a TON of yummy things! This melon, a "Jenny Lind", was simply the most delicious, luscious, mouth-watering cantaloupe style melon I have ever had IN MY LIFE. Right off the vine, oh my GOD. Next year the fruit and veggie garden will be MUCH bigger, and I can't wait already for another experience like THAT. Never before in my life - wow!!!



We have HUUUUGE praying mantises around here - defenders of the gardens! Rescued quite a young ones off of the porches from the cats also, set them free in the gardens :) (The mantises, not the cats.) The more the merrier, all I have to say about that. KILL THOSE FREAKING APHIDS!!!! My precious roses now have an insect army protecting them. :)



I love this sign so much, just found it one day on imgur, and now I want one. If anyone knows who makes them, please let me know or I'm just going to do it myself. Yes it's snarky and kind of mean, but honestly.. every time I start reading comments on articles or YouTube because I forget I should never do that, this comes to mind now ;) LOL!

For anyone reading who was on my old Facebook account, I'll get that over with quickly. Everyone I'm close to and know has my email and/or phone number. I'm always available that way. :) But Metallica, I love their MUSIC, ok. I do not love the horsecrap with the gossip and whatnot, and just won't anymore. It's been a year from hell in my life in some ways, and I don't have time for all that interpersonal stuff. If you have a problem with someone, please take it up with them yourself. If you have problems with people going to concerts or movies, get the whole story first. But it doesn't concern me, I don't go to either of those things. I just enjoy Metallica's music and some of the fun merch, ok. 'Nuff said. My family only account is a Metallica drama-free zone and it will stay that way. :) Thank you. Again, doesn't mean I don't love folks. It means I love a LOT of folks and am sick of seeing them rip each other apart over a band. It's bullshit. Cut it out.

Ok, off to watch "Sleepy Hollow" with the hoosband (GREAT show so far!) and then get some shut-eye! :D

::skids in before summer's over:::
icecelt
Been a while since I updated here, and LOTS has happened in that time! I won't go over it all, oh hell no, but just touch on the main points. :)

The Hobbit Hole chicken coop was finally set into place one day in July by these three amazing guys:



Pretty spectacular the way they did it - quad with a winch, a bunch of lever action with boards and whatnot, and sheer muscle power. LOL! Coop is now set on the base, and now all that needs to be done is a wattle fence and landscaping around the front next spring. It's already become a sort of new landmark around here though, and I've seen people slow down and take pictures :) LOL! Anyhow, as usual, Mike and Bas rule the entire world, and Marcus isn't too shabby himself ;)



There is is, pre-front yard! The Anconas LOVE it, so that helps. They're all healthy and happy :)



Geoff and Sanya found time in between his tours and her work to visit also, it was WONDERFUL!!!



Bas came by, and here are two brothers from a LONG time back!! :D They met in elementary school! We all met in our young kidling years, so we ARE family. :) And here are my brothers hugging :D



Geoff, Sanya, and me out on the porch of awesome :) It was a REFRESHING (ugh!) 90+ degree day out, and Sanya still looks like that!! :D Yes she's amazing, and I love her so dearly! Cassie and I both do, and love her visits! She's interesting, and since boring people are boring, it's awesome that she is about as far FROM boring as it gets. We love the same books, shows, everything! Can talk for days if we're allowed. We try not to. LOL!



Meanwhile I was worried about Marcus' beard coming to life, it was getting a touch out of control, so he shaved it off. I love his face so much! But he's growing back a beard, this time keeping it trimmed. He seems to prefer facial hair now, but no more insane beard-o-rama. Swear to God he could have been hiding a cat in the thing before he shaved it, I'd never have known. Gotta protect the cats from getting lost O.o



I believe I've mentioned Stibbly the insane deviant stalking quail on here before - here's a picture of him on the run. Not like on the lamb, booking from the authorities or anything, I mean on the chicken run. Of course now he's not around quite so much because...



Thorin is a boy! LOL!!! A beautiful Ancona rooster, yes indeedy, and he doesn't crow like a normal rooster, he TRILLS. It's actually really neat and not irritating like other roosters. Anyhow, poor Stibbly knew he was overmatched completely, and has stopped hanging around the chickens so much. There is a newer family of quail here running around, and we're hoping they have a little girl around that Stibbly can go woo. :)



I have ended up loving chickens and their antics so much that I got some silkies also!! We have that coop that's much smaller, and these are small bantam slkies. Why get them? Because if you have ever seen a silkie chicken, essentially you're getting yard Muppets :) Who can pass that up? Really, if you have room, WHO CAN PASS THAT UP????



This is them about 3 days ago. They'll be fully mature in about 5 weeks, and then we'll make sure their coop is nice and warm for their first year outside, same as the Anconas. Solar powered safe heat lighting for the coops is what we're looking at. In fact now we're in the process of powering our entire home with solar power, in the thick of that right now, in amidst everything else. I seem to spend half my days on the phone, at least for this past week O.o



Cassie comes up now and then for visits as she can (her work schedule is crazy busy day and night, and now we add school to that - full course load at college to finished getting one degree and fill out places for the second degree), and here you can sort of really see how Tristram is growing. Rapidly. Like "Oh man, join Costco and get the extra freezer filled NOW!" rapidly! He'll always be her little brother though. She's got that attitude - don't mess with Cassie, just don't. LOL! And yes, he's playing football and yes, he's a linebacker. Kicking ASS also!



My son at 13. Holy CRAP time does FLY!!!!!!!



After 8 months of growing out my hair, I decided it's a pain in the ass. Henna it, condition it, deep condition it, leave in condition it, still look like Priss from Blade Runner, just fuck it (pardon). So two days ago, it all came off again. Fantastic! I know people are out there who would love to have hair (remember my mother? yeah, please spare any lectures on that), but I just dislike having it in such quantity on my head (or anywhere - that scene from "Scary Movie" comes to mind.. sorry, sorry). So off it all came again. Damaged ends, split ends, not perfect hair? Dealt with. Kablam! No time for that stuff right now anyhow, oh BOY no time!!



Making time :) Just got this RV - this is the beach house I have dreamed about since I was a kid. Since we didn't get a beach house, this will do :)



Some of the interior of the RV at the dealership. I am so excited! Already got some basic gear to keep in it, and will be putting some fishing equipment in there and so forth when we take possession of it in a few days (dealer doing some extras I talked them into - I am VERY patient at dealerships - be prepared for hours and bring beverages and a hard head! ;) ) I've already mapped out and planned for campgrounds in the off-season, and will be doing a LOT of writing in this thing by the ocean. Also have plans to visit some friends in CA, WY, family in ID, and MN with it :) May even make a trip to the East Coast to show the kids around there, but in Spring or Fall - best seasons out there for that :) Cassie going will depend on work and school schedules, of course. HOPING!!

Also working with Tris in an ISP this year, which gives us the flexibility to go anywhere at any time and not on some school's schedule right now. I have added a ton to his curriculum, and so far he's happy. :) He's read more already in a day than I saw all year last year - the trick is to, I don't know, assign something they might want to READ? Just a thought. To get readers reading, give them things they enjoy, THEN introduce the stuff that is a little more thought provoking. On MY curriculum for him this year is "To Kill a Mockingbird", but right now he's started the "Shannara" series. From there we started a discussion on the whole "farmboy/adventure" storyline that is ages old, which led us into a discussion of "The Epic of Gilgamesh" - stories go WAY WAY back.

Last night we watched a great show with Michio Kaku presenting, and so today Tris wanted to know what a Newton was. Not the guy, the unit. LOL! So we sorted that out and he did the math and had fun with that - that's the sort of REAL learning that takes place even outside of curriculums, and re-instills a love of learning in someone who has lost it. Now he's full of questions again, eager to work, and happy :) It works for us, so that's good :) I can't see him NOT passing any standardized test at the end of this year! ROFLMAO!!!

We'll be taking that learning on the road - to learn California state history (though his main emphasis will be on civics and US history in more detail this year), one way is to go to places in California and actually get a sort of hands-on approach to it all. We're lucky enough to be able to do that, so we will be. Missions ahoy!!! We lived on the El Camino Real for years, he has no idea about the significance of the signposts. That will change this year! The Bay Area - the Ohlone tribe was there, up here, different tribes, so we'll be learning about the native Americans and their regions in this state also, all of it. (Avoiding ugly part of subject matter about the missionaries on here, but don't worry, that will be covered as well here at home!). The gold miners, well, we're certainly in the right area for THAT, in fact he's gold panning with his Dad already and learning that history.

He'll also be helping his Dad with the beekeeping and learning about that - this Friday's Time magazine article on bees should FINALLY explain to the world why Marcus is doing what he's doing. Most people thought he was nuts when he walked away from a career designing medical devices. This should shut his detractors up once and for all (he was getting some guff from old fellow engineers - guess what guys? Yeah! Hehehehehe!!!).

Meanwhile early next week I have a CT scan for my ear again (fleh), but hopefully that's just a minor part of my visit, and the MAIN part is some great quality time with Cassie! Shopping trips planned, etc. :) And then the RV pick up, and then next month OFF TO THE BEACH!!!

WITH MY DOGS!! :D At least a couple of them - if we all go for the whole time, then all of the dogs. Right now we've hired someone to help us at home for three sessions with more advanced off-leash training, but the dogs are already well behaved and socialized enough (correction - they're fucking AMAZING dogs and video and pictures next entry) to head out on the highway and have fun at a beach also :) A lot of the non public campgrounds allow pets, so not a problem there :) I can't WAIT!!!! And no, don't worry aout the chickens - they have nipples and massive feeders, and the cats do also ;) No really, chicken nipples. Go look them up ;)


The Last and Final Home :)
icecelt
Another photo-intensive post, but FINALLY the interior is done except finalizing desks and one "charging" shelf coming in the mail, where we put everything in a single area that needs charging (phones, tablets, batteries, etc.), but yeah! After yesterday's visit by an awesome friend to bring one of her paintings? All DONE! So finally, and comprehensively and not in "bits", is the house tour :) A couple of pictures, and then pray that the "cut" command works again!

So here we are, the house, our sanctuary, and where I fully intend to stay until I die. Thank you. LAST MOVE!!!! WHOO!!!





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EXTREME PHOTOGRAPH INUNDATION!!!!
icecelt
Hopefully that's enough warning and I'm REALLY hoping this time the "cut" command works on here or holy crap, I'm so sorry. It's been a while though and again, I like to keep a record here where I've kept records since 2002, so this is much more record-y in terms of what's happening in life. I believe I have something like 30 pictures coming up, so I'll do that now and add commentary throughout the day as I get time. Life is very busy here, which I'll also get to later! For now, just photos. Sorry :)





The weapons wall :) From L-R are Needle, the Catspaw Blade, and Robert's Warhammer from Game of Thrones or ASOIAF (A Song of Ice and Fire - the books). Needle was made before the show was even in production, same as Robert's Warhammer, but the Catspaw Blade was made after the show came out, so based on that prop. Above are some house banners - Stark, Targaryen, and Lannister. Love GoT? YES! In all forms!



A moonrise here, across the street.

MANY MORECollapse )

Ok, back in a while for the rest (like text, for one thing), right now it's just a confusing array of pictures :) But so much to do, and seriously, so little time!!! GAAAAH!

Dramatic pose with dobies!
icecelt






What happened behind the scenes on their first day of dual-lead training though?







Yep. But the required dramatic imposing photo of dobies was done, and now we can go back to our regularly scheduled silliness and laughter :)

Easier this way than words.. ;)
icecelt
A few words, I guess :)

But first, my son's extreme competence with a hand drill at the ripe old age of 13, the chicks a week later and growing FAST, and my dogs sitting on command all at once (and yes the dobies are getting big and remember - they're only 5 months old!), which is a normal thing now of course, the sitting, but a quickie show of how they're doing before I go and make individual videos of all of them. I'll need help with that so it waits.



Also, since I have an awesome bunch of key holders and a gorgeous tic-tac-toe and a checkers board from her, I requested a cribbage board on commission! I've never "commissioned" anything before in my LIFE, so I was super pleased when she wrote today and said the board was ready. And WHOA! I do believe this is the prettiest cribbage board EVER MADE IN ALL TIME!! I only requested the pegging (60 instead of 120) and asked her, since she's the artist, to do whatever she felt she wanted and would look good. OH MAN does it look good! :D

Commissioned cribbage board!

Her store is located here: Etsy constersue store! We have her key holders next to all the doors now in all sorts of designs... way cooler than the normal wire holders you find everywhere lately. :)

And last but not least.. I got this. I know it seems extravagant. But this is for Shawna Mayo, and for my Dad and my Grandpa.

In honor of Edmund Hallie Perry, who served as an old China Marine back in the 30's, then went on to train troops at Guantanamo Bay for amphibious landing right before WW2, and then fought at Guadalcanal - and for my Dad, Edmund Conant Perry, who served with HMM-164 as a door gunner in Vietnam and also served with SLF Bravo (two tours total in Vietnam), BOTH my Dad and Grandpa with Presidential Unit Citation ribbons (not a normal thing), this is for them. It will be displayed proudly with their "dongs and gongs", as Dad put them, in two separate archival quality displays in the house somewhere. Dad always gave to various wounded warrior groups, and this helps carry on that tradition, while also helping another wounded warrior. Her story can be found on Kickstarter (the goal was reached!):

Freedom Through Clay

She has gumption, a zest for life, a wonderful artistic sense, and is now a new hero of mine, though I think she'd hate to be called that.

Footsteps for Freedom

Think that's amazing? I do!! She also has an Etsy shop, and those plant stakes? WILL BE MINE!!

JSBArts

Now it's time to dive back into this new book I just got - back out to the patio! :D Have a good week, all!!

The uneventful last few days ;)
icecelt
Hopefully quick notes to go with these massive amounts of photos, as usual! Why so many photos? I'm chronicling our bizarre journey to how we get to where we hope to end up.. which is as large scale beekeepers. But with a LOT of other stuff going on! Just a couple of months ago we were in the Bay Area, my husband was a clean cut engineer designing medical devices, and we lived in a tiny home with no room to breathe (I now realize). So these MASSIVE changes have to be down here!

Starting off with celebrating Bastiaan's birthday! He came by with his dogs Monkey and Shasta (Monkey is the black lab, Shasta is the beautiful pit girl), and he brought his niece (and who I consider to be my niece as well) Crystal! :D Oh man, THAT was a great visit! :D Smiles everywhere!





Why a picture of bread? Because Crystal, the master pastry chef (for real, with a degree from a culinary institute and write-ups in LA newspapers for her master baking and everything before she moved back to the Bay Area to bake there - too bad for you, LA! LOL!) made this loaf for me! REAL sourdough from San Francisco as made by a master pastry chef? Oh yeah! Oh HELL yeah! :D She made cookies for Marcus and Tris, and wow. Just WOW! That loaf was DEVOURED, and man, that woman can freaking bake. She hangs out with Cassie some back there, yet neither of them are large. I have no idea how. If I hung around Crystal a lot and as much as we'd all prefer, I'd be MASSIVE. Happily so! LOL! :D Store bought sourdough will always disappoint me now. Well it always has and I tried instead for "artisan" breads from the market, but I'm sorry, I haven't had a loaf like this in my life! I don't normally take pictures of food EVER. That tells you something ;)



The required photo of our dogs sleeping :) Yes they're adorable. That's why they keep being posted! ;) This week we're working a lot more on "house manners", and one of the dobies ate some bills on my side table O.o Well at least chewed and ripped them apart. Normally I'd be jumping for joy, but those bills were kind of important, so I spent the rest of that day making frantic calls to get amounts owed. Crap! LOL! But the dogs are getting VERY polite and mannerly now :) Except bill eating. Hehehehe!



The turtles are still super happy in their little safe but open enclosure, and Cassie sent up a Sharkie gnome who now lives in with the turtles (for some reason this Sharks gnome is wearing scuba gear. I have no idea either. It's ok!), along with some new water plants! The lettuces we planted are actually rooted and doing super well also! The bamboo shoots I ordered, a few will be going in there also once they're here. Oh mail, why do you drag so when it comes to plants? Or does it just seem like it? ;) Anyhow, Gamera and Ariel are happy and come out to bask often. Little turtle love nest ;)

Speaking of the SHARKS - FUCK YES! SWEPT THOSE CANUCKS OUT!!! SHARKS RULE!!!!

Pardon. That was awesome though!!!! :) I think I may still be a little hoarse. Got tickets for Cass for her and her friend to go watch the game, she's even more die-hard a hockey fan than she was before. Sorry, hockey RULES ALL. You have to go to a game to get it, I think. But once you do? Yeah :) Every swear word you have EVER known will be thrown at your TV for the rest of your life, especially during playoff season - and if your team wins? You won't stop smiling for a looooong while :) No other sport like it ANYWHERE. Oh man, I love hockey! Ok, shutting up. People get a lot of this on Facebook like crazy. I won't stop though. Next round of the playoffs coming up!



Ok, back to more calm things. Kind of. If frantic gardening can be called calm? ;) These are the first of the companion plants for the damask roses, in fact ALL of the roses. What you want to plant with roses to ward off pests are marigolds (pot marigolds, not calendula officinalis), garlic, and lavender. It's all being started now! YES! We can't use any pesticides here - I used to use systemic rose food. No can do here (bee death = bad). So companion planting is way important, along with organic sprays and beneficial insects. :)



The roses seem to be happy though? :)



Those hyancinths I was unsure about bloomed like MAD! Oh, the scent right outside the front door is HEAVEN!



Got a new fuchsia also! I love these, and the older ones that were neglected during the move are going to take a couple of years to regain their full vigor. So for now, a new hanging fuchsia. Happy asshole hummingbirds! :D Plus the feeders I am CONSTANTLY filling now. 3 feeders going! And a hummingbird nest in an oak near the house! They'll be back next spring for sure now! They might be jerks to each other, but I love them :D



All of the roses right now before the garden can be done with the beds and everything this fall. They're hanging in there in their pots and boxes and everything (little baby bareroots in boxes, they don't mind).



A close-up of a blue girl rose here :) Sigh of happiness!



So this is the front right now, kind of a "before" picture .. it'll take at least a year for the "after" and a couple of years beyond that for a full effect "after".



The sign on our garage. We mean it. Mostly. ;)



Today I planted these seeds and I won't list them all here - I have a separate garden journal. It was imperative to get them in NOW though before the upcoming heatwave, which will actually benefit them in that little shelf greenhouse, there. :) Faster germination guaranteed! LOTS of veggies and fruits and herbs in there! More seeds being rushed to me, mostly melons and tomatoes and some peas. All heirloom, and with the amount of stuff I have planted here, I'll be seed sharing with people, absolutely. I am pretty darn sure there's going to be a surplus of seeds. Little bit.::cough:: may have overplanted ::cough:: I'll make a list on Facebook for anyone who might want any next year :)



The very start of what I call the "Apothecary Shelf" across from the kitchen. Anything to do with the lotion making and poultices and so forth from the herbs here will be there on that shelf. All utensils and bowls, non metallic. That glass double boiler - herbs only. It's important. Essential oils everywhere, some still wrapped. It'll be done and working soon :) First batch of calendula lotion coming up! See those jars of yellow calendula petals? Yeah :) All grown by me, all cleaned, picked, packed. Soon there will be herbs hanging all over the kitchen and outside. Can't WAIT. Been too many years.



This is the bathroom window. Or was. Jesus. I'll quote my friend Tina from Facebook, because she had me giggling!

"Tina Lopez: I just pictured a scene from a scary movie... waiting for the bloody hand to hit the window then slowly inch down.. isn't that what always happens in those movies.. ;) "

GAH! And yes,it was THAT WINDOW! I kept waiting.. nobody should EVER have the jibblies in their own bathroom, ok. ::shudder:: Oh man, I love Tina! LOL! She got it!



Ok, fixed that ;)



That light fixture, remember, was remade from an ugly yellow thing on EBay. The window is now better. Now all that has to be done is the lace tier brought in from my parent's kitchen for the top windows. I think they'd approve :)



Bedroom windows getting a move on as well. Everything slowly, surely coming together :) It may look bizarre, but that's what you do when you move into a place like this, as I said before. You fight it, or you go with it. We'll see the final thoughts when I'm done in here ;)



My Ghost "Infestissumam" collection both from Europe and the US, except a signed poster and a CD I lent. Not sure if any of this will be part of the decoration, but thinking about maybe at least colored vinyl from this album and "Opus Eponymous". I grabbed as many colored vinyls as I could from both. I feel like a Pokemon collector, but I love this music! :D I would even if NOBODY else did, and I kind of have proof of that, which I won't go into here ;) If you understand, you do, and awesome, but I love ALL of Ghost's music! :D



And now, for the BIG NEWS! The baby Ancona chicks arrived! Oh man, that morning I was so nervous, I'd gotten email a day before with a tracking number and I kept checking, and they all got here safe and sound - the mail lady said "It seems you have some babies!" Yes! :D Marcus had run up to the post office to get them, but by the time he got there the mail lady had already grabbed them to bring them straight here! (She is made of awesome!) All 10 baby girls got here safe and sound! Oh wow! They are ADORABLE!



Video proof of chick adorability factor! Every day we check them many times, I de-paste their bottoms if needed (I'm a Mom, this is nothing), fed, watered, and they're already growing fast! When they're grown up? You can look up Ancona chickens for yourselves. BEAUTIFUL chickens, nothing all boring and bland about them, no! And no, they're not for eating! They're for eggs - REAL eggs! Their names? Ok, get ready to laugh, especially as they're all girls:

Fili, Kili, Balin, Bombur, Nori, Gloin, Thorin, Dori, Oin, Bofur

Yep! ;) The reason why will become even more apparent in about a month!

So... that's this week and a half or so. Chicks, gardens, paperwork, the house, Tris has a huge school trip to Washington DC planned next year that fundraising is already being talked about and planned PLUS his school's Ren Fair in a week so getting prepared for that, beekeeping meeting, bee rearing, plans for trip to the Bay Area for an unfortunate and very sad memorial for a friend in June, in-laws visiting this weekend, maybe another friend visiting at the end of the month, Cassie up here when she can and calls and messaging every day to make sure all is good, dog training daily, and Geoff traipsing throughout South America sending me pictures of more paradises outside his hotel rooms. So, there we go. Man I'm tired, but a very happy tired! :D

MANY hugs to all!!! Please have a good weekend!!! :D

Hot day.. but still beautiful :)
icecelt
Hit 87 according to the digital thermometer in the shade, but it's still gorgeous - still love waking up and throwing open windows and curtains and going outside! :)



Mum's "Double Delight", well over 30 years old, and still showing beautifully. I know part of her heart is in these roses :)



My Lizzie, smiling :)



The rose tree that Marcus gave me for my birthday. GORGEOUS, even in this heat where roses want to crisp up a little and blow early - first bloom of the morning? BEAUTIFUL!



The bees are far away from the house :) It's ok. I promise! Steph or Gin or anyone visiting, the porches are screened in, and the bees are far, FAR away :)



I live here, I can wear whatever the hell I want. I can look like a damned hippie! LOL! But man, what a comfy dress :) And cool! And oh wow, necessary today :)



My Dad had this amongst his DVD collection. Because my Dad RULED. Miss him so terribly. At the end, I'll put something I came across on Facebook.



My beautiful baby Dobies, Maleficent and Asajj. They're almost 5 months old now. Yes, this means they're nowhere near fully grown yet! :)



That pipe that Marcus was going to get in exchange for singing "Misty Mountain" to me from the Hobbit Soundtrack? It came :) Awesome!

Now for that thing that I found on Facebook.. I found this extremely comforting for myself first of all, even though I knew a lot of this stuff - I loved having it spelled out anyhow. And since my daughter now works as a funeral arranger and mortician, we were talking about my own plans (people should pre-plan anyhow to spare their kids a lot of extra stuff on top of everything anyhow - my parents did, and I am thankful - and FFS don't die intestate.. holy crap. I am so thankful my parents were thoughtful and with foresight!). Cassie said I'll get a service anyhow because SHE wants me to have one. Gah! O.o I said "I don't follow ANYTHING that could be considered a Western or Eastern religion, but I'm not an atheist either (I'm not that sure of anything.. LOL! Though if there is a god, it may well be a flying spaghetti monster, hell if I know. Might not be one at all. I DON'T KNOW.) Good luck finding anyone to say anything."

And then this came up. Here's your faith. Here's mine anyhow :) Here's magic. Here's the strangeness of the Universe, here's the beauty of it all:

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

And at one point you'd hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

And you'll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they'll be comforted to know your energy's still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you're just less orderly. Amen.

-Aaron Freeman.


So I guess if a physicist could be there, and if anyone understood what they were saying, then it'd be ok. All I know is that my Dad helped make sure I already knew a lot of this, and so I know my parents are around, somehow, some way :) But I still miss them terribly. And yet? Life is still wonderful and fulled with smiles every day - simply because I know all of that...

...and because I will it to be that way. :)

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