Birds Hate Me

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I stopped in a little, locally owned pet store. As I was checking out the gerbils and hamsters, this white parrot began mocking me. Hold on, let me back up…

For those who don’t know, birds hate me. They run into me while flying, chirp in the middle of the night outside my window, and generally just try to ruin my life. My aunt’s bird used to cuss me out and when she’d laugh and say it did that to everyone, it would wait until she left the room to crawl on the side of its cage and rattle the bars as it hungrily reached for my eyeballs with its disgusting talons. However, no one ever sees this ish because the little bastards are sneaky. You have no idea the pain of having a mortal enemy who no one else sees as threatening. Let me just say this: If a bird ran into you beak first or dive bombed you when you stepped out of your apartment, you’d hate the squirrels with wings as well.

Yep. Squirrels are also on that hate list. But that’s another story and likely one I should share with a therapist.

Anyhow, I was running errands when I saw this little store and as Christmas is coming up (don’t tell me it’s only July. You’re gonna blink and the next thing you know, you’ll be elbow deep in crazy crowds trying to get to that last roll of holiday paper. Meanwhile, I’ll be in front of a warm fire sipping eggnog and laughing at your misfortune), I stopped in to see the offerings for my nephdog.

I was immediately greeted by birds on each side, sizing me up. I realized that it was one of those bird stores (bad news for me, the one common enemy of every type of bird known to man. Except hummingbirds and owls. We’re cool.) but hustled to get past the hoopla. Toward the back of the store there were hamsters, mice, gerbils, and the like so I stopped to take a look at their cute, fuzzy selves.

That’s when it happened. I heard the tinny, forced voice that haunts my dreams croak out, “Hello”. I laughed nervously and said hello back to the little bastard and you know what he did? Started mocking my laughter. I know, I know. This sounds like I’m overreacting. The person I was out with thought so as well until the next bit. The guy running the place had drifted over to make sure we weren’t stuffing hamsters down our pants and then he lazily strolled back to his post, holding up the counter lest it hit the ground. I turned back to the cute little hamster who was busy attempting to beguile me with the cute way it could high five me through the glass (a trick that made me make the horrible mistake of buying a pair of mice a lifetime and a decade ago) when the white devil of a bird started getting cranky. He first tried to get to me through the bars and when that didn’t work, he began trying to pick the lock. That’s right. He started shaking and picking this lock like a psycho. I pointed it out to my companion who stood back in amazement.

I felt vindicated. I felt freed. No one had ever witnessed the blarney that birds put me through. At least the squirrels had the decency to kill my cat in front of witnesses. Squirrels don’t give a shit. They’ll murder your beloved family pet in front of your eyes, drop his lifeless body at your feet, and piss on your Wheaties before they flip you off as they go back to polishing their nuts. I respect that. They’re like the mafia. They’re gonna do what they want to do and no one is going to stop them.

Birds though… They’re bastards. I’d put some flowery words around it to pretty it up but it comes down to that. They’re little rat bastards of the sky who will sneakily haunt your days and screw up your nights. Owls and hummingbirds are the only good ones of the lot, the exceptions to the rule. Pigeons, parrots, those little tiny balls of fluff that like to tell me dawn is coming and I better prepare for it a full hour before the first rays hit the horizon? Those are all pieces of excrement. They’ll stalk your life, wait for you to relax enough to accept them as part of the scenery, then take a crap on your head when you’re on your way to an important meeting with no access to fresh clothing or even water.

So finally having a witness was a pivotal moment for me. For once someone saw the extremes of which these feathered sociopaths were capable! The piece of living foundation heard the commotion (bird rattling cage whilst I pointed a shaking, accusatory finger in its general direction stage whispering, ‘See?!? SEE?!?’) and came back in the room and it stopped. The moment he left, the overpriced feather pillow started again. We went through three or four rounds of this before the lock started to give way and I quickly fled to the reptile room (at which point the open cases made me almost have a heart attack and that was the end of that).

What’s the point of this story? Vindication.

Wednesday Seems to Roll Around Every Week…

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Is it just me or is time moving faster? When I was a kid time seemed to stretch on forever. A week was a lifetime. Now I blink and a week has zoomed on by with no consideration for me or my feelings.

Anyhow today I’m working with crochet thread and I have the hand ache to prove it.

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These are earrings. The anchors will be my first attempt at blocking anything, ever. So we’ll see how that goes. The tropical flower (that for some reason I keep wanting to call a lotus) is a bit on the big side but I like them. Calls attention to the face. :)

I’ve yet to finish last week’s bag, still need to weave in the ends and make a strap, because I’m fickle like that.

I’m reading Lover Unleashed

which is #9 in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I’m working through it slowly because of an excess of work (about which I’m absolutely thrilled!) and the need to wait for the next to come in. I deeply dislike finishing a book before I have the next one in my hands so I might put this one down to revisit Hearne or Frost.

Make sure you click the WIP Wednesday link (the pic up above) to visit the post today as there is a raffle that is going to be benefiting animals in need. PLUS you might get some cool socks out of yummy yarn from it! Or you could just click through to check out the other cool creations in this week’s WIP Wednesday!

WIP Wednesday and What am I Reading Today

It’s that time again. That time of month when I get so buried in work that I don’t know which way is up. I’m taking part in my first auction (yay!), testing for a couple new transcription companies and wetting my feet at a couple others, working (always) on my book, revamping my online writing portfolio… The list just goes on and on. But today I’ve got a WIP that makes me happy because not only is it in a cool color, it is of my OWN design (which has me hyped).

multibag wip

I made this first as a gray bag that I listed in my shop : 

 

Which I’m using as a travel yarn bag (I love it but wouldn’t recommend putting loose hooks/needles in there as the open work will let them fall right out) despite the pleas of my mother and sister (and downright demands). Everything in my shop is made to order, so don’t worry, I’m not using merchandise! :D Anyway, I didn’t write down the pattern, just did it freehand as I went. So now I’m trying to get the pattern written down and am using the above bag as a template for that. :) Except the fact that I forgot to write down that pattern too! So I think I’ll be making another one of these soon!

I’m deeply embroiled in J. R. Ward’s Lover Avenged right now.

 

I’m roughly a third of the way through and I admit, I am aching for a bit more of a love story (okay, okay, so I want the sex scenes. Don’t judge me) but like every previous Ward read, I love it. I’m going to keep this hazy so as to not spoil anyone but I hope a certain Lesser gets his, sooner than later.

Back to the grind…

Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

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I’ve recently discovered something about myself. When I finish a good book, one that dragged me into its world and even after I close the covers the tendrils of it catch me and hold me there, I tend to slam it down like a victor after battle. I look about me triumphantly and practically preen if I should catch someone’s eye.

Frost Burned was like that. Patricia Briggs started out by tickling my senses when I picked up my first read from her and each subsequent book has nudged her further up the ranks of ‘favorite author’. She now stands firmly among her comrades: Jean Auel and Piers Anthony.

Frost Burned was a novel that inspired me to write. I started it in one evening, had to force myself to put the book down and catch a few winks, and today what should have been a short work break turned into a reading session wherein I finished it. There aren’t words to encompass the depth of my feelings about this series. It is one that I never want to end as the world is almost real to me. I can not see a world with no Briggs in it. I now force myself to consume her books at a slower pace than I once did (reading the books back to back) because I never know when she might end the series. That would be a sad day. My fervent hope is that Briggs takes a page from Anthony and makes this series Xanth-like and thus never-ending.

If you haven’t read the Mercy Thompson series, you need to. Stat.

On another note, I now have to spend a few more hours working and needed something to transfer me out of the carefully constructed and incredibly real world back into the much more mundane and utterly boring world that is reality. The LaFontaines are currently doing that for me. Got to love a good Scottish band.

WIP Wednesday

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Butterflies

 

I’m making hair accessories today. The four butterflies just need the ends woven in and then to attach to ponytail  holders. The blue one is going to be a ponytail holder itself. I’m running an insane sale for the time being (not sure when I’ll cut it off at this point) where if someone buys two items from my shop, they get 50% off their order. The only problem with this? I only have 16 items listed in my shop! So I’m trying to get a bunch of things finished off to list tomorrow. Cross your fingers that the sky stays clear and I’m able to take good photos!

Outgrowing YA?

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A recent comment combined with reading a Slate article on the subject led me to question my reading habits. After all, I’m of the age where I begin to feel a slight hesitation when someone asks how old I am. I have even begun considering the person asking as slightly rude. So begs the question, should I still be reading YA?

Here’s the thing. I am a firm believer in this quote by C.S. Lewis:

A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.

That said, not all children’s books are good books. I’ve attempted to struggle my way through enough of it that I know this to be true. One in particular that I couldn’t finish but it seems as though everyone else in the world loved?

In order to write this blog post, I had to look up the book and in doing so realized that while I thought I hadn’t finished it, I actually had.

That, to me, is a marker of a truly unremarkable book. Something that I can’t even remember finishing. I remember struggling my way through it. I put it down many times and ended up finishing it mainly because it was due back to the library. Was it a bad book? Not at all. It was just set in the world of teens, a world that I no longer inhabit.

I couldn’t understand the angsty teenness of the whole thing. I don’t want to read about the beginnings of first love. Been there, jaded by that.

Of course, this isn’t to say that I’m giving up on YA altogether. I liked Hunger Games well enough. Cinder, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and numerous other YA reads are still on my to-read list. But my new audio book is a nonfiction about Queen Victoria and I love it.

 

(You should check it out, seriously. I’m listening to it on Audible as my library is a bit bass ackwards about digital content and I can’t access audio books through them.)

It chronicles the life of Queen Victoria just before and then during her marriage to Albert. I love Alison Weir’s The Six Wives of Henry VIII so I was thinking about listening to The Children of Henry VIII. However, I’m going to start watching The Tudors on Netflix again soon as I still have a season or two to go and I didn’t want to mix the two up. I loved The Young Victoria but haven’t read anything that even featured Queen Victoria except The Parasol Protectorate (which is another great series if you’re looking for something steampunky). So after a little digging on Goodreads where I ended up adding at least another 10 books to my to-read shelf, I found this and quickly downloaded it from Audible. I’m only about 20 minutes in but so far I haven’t been disappointed.

Anyhow, I guess what I’m saying is that I’m not going to entirely cross YA off my list of to-reads. But I do agree with the Slate article in that the world of books is a wide place and there is more to it than the literature written for children.

On that note, today I started reading The Boxcar Children to the chits. We’re two chapters in and so far Roo seems to like it. Fin and Belle are holding off their opinions… Though they were pretty happy to see me put it down and put on Frozen.

 

 

Face Painted Yesterday

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I’m really regretting not participating in the 48 hour book challenge (and am about to go do the rounds visiting blogs that are) but I’m super glad that I went and painted faces at DPL. I spent the majority of the time painting as fast as I could as the line was out the door but remembered to snap pics of the last couple patrons I painted. Of course, I got permission from their lovely mamas to use their pics. <3

blue face paint pink face paint

 

These girls were my two last to get painted. I admit that I took a bit longer on them than I did for some of the children as they waited for a LONG time for me to get to them. The first girl held so super still, even when I was breathing my coffee breath straight in her face, I almost forgot I was painting a child instead of a canvas. The second girl waited for about 30 minutes and when it was suggested that she go to the stencil side of the painting table protests came from both her and her parents that ‘it’d be worth it’ to wait for me. Of course, I had to make sure that it was.

All in all, it was a pretty great day. My chits crashed out after the party and I was afraid their snores would bother the other patrons as I sat in a comfy chair and read. Luckily, no one seemed to mind and I passed a couple hours browsing the stacks and then parked in an overstuffed chair reading as my chits curled up in bean bag chairs at my feet. All in all, it was a great way to spend a Saturday.

By the time we got home, oldest chit had a fever but as he was attacked by fire ants at one point, I think that was the issue. Yet and still, the night was passed checking his fever and giving him Tylenol. Today he’s bounding about, better than ever, so all is good.

Off to cheer from the sidelines for the Mother Reader 48 Hour Book Challenge participants!

Annnddd They’re Off!

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The Mother Reader 48 Hour Book Challenge #48HBC has officially begun!!

I’m super excited for the folks who are already participating! I have to wait in order to get the most out of my time (I have a ton of work to get through today to prepare for reading all weekend!) so I’ll be starting tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. I’m taking time out to go paint faces at the Dallas Public Library (which is harder than it looks folks) for their Mayor’s Summer Reading kickoff which means I’m going to lose at least four hours in the middle of the day (helping set up/dismantle as well) but probably closer to eight.

Once again I’m forcing myself not to read the books I have ordered especially for the challenge (out of sight, out of mind so I can’t even post the titles yet lest I tempt myself into reading…) but I’m super hyped that at least one book I’ve been waiting to reading for awhile came in just in time.

Be sure to check in often this weekend as I tend to get a little punch drunk/rambly around hour 30 with no sleep. :D

In the meantime, check out these folks who have already started:

No Boys Allowed

A Wrung Sponge

Randomly Reading

Always in the Middle

More Like a Flower

The One and Only Marfalfa

Random Musings of a Bibliophile

Readspace

Ms. Yingling Reads

A Library Mama

Hannah Karena Jones

By Singing Light

Don’t forget to hit the link at the top to go check out the starting post (and hey, maybe sign up yourself!! Only 12 hours are necessary to participate!) and check back in with me tomorrow at 7 a.m. to get my starting post!

Happy reading, folks!

 Edited to note: I apparently get really deep in my country speak when I’m in need of coffee. I do believe I used the word ‘folks’ more in this post than I have ever in my life in total… Three hours of sleep and an empty coffee cup do not bode well for the rest of the day.

 

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This summer is going to be a busy one. I just found out that I’ll have my chits seven days a week as opposed to the five I was banking on. This means that I’ll have little children underfoot while I’m trying to get my work done and though I have help during the weekdays to keep them occupied, working at home means that I don’t have a traditional work day so my help may often be gone during some of the times when I need the kids to be quiet and out of my hair. So I immediately went into ‘fix it’ mode and started compiling a list of activities that require minimal interaction with me for those times when I absolutely have to work and it’s just me and the chits. I figured that there may be other parents out there in need of the same thing so here you go:

10 ways to keep little boys busy (for cheap/free)

12 Best Summer Activities for the Kids

 

20 best indoor kid crafts and activities for rainy days

 

15 Nature Activities For Kids

 

100 fun kids activities for Screen Free Week

7 Places to Find Affordable Children’s Extracurricular Activities

 

10 SCREEN-FREE INDOOR ACTIVITIES {FOR INDEPENDENT PLAY}

 

Quiet Box. Independent Activities for Kids.

 

30 Fun Ideas to Help Tweens Survive Summer

 

20+ Unplugged Activities for Tween Age Boys

 

10 Crafts and Activities for Boys

 

This one probably needs supervision. But you’ll rock if you let your kids do this! :D

 

So you’re probably catching a theme here. Yes, I’ve posted more activities for boys than girls but that’s because I have two boys on the cusp of puberty who need to be kept out of trouble and a little chit who is happy to follow along with whatever her brothers want to do. That, or she’ll happily cuddle up by my feet with a blanket and a quiet activity. Plus, you can find girl activities all over the internetz without my help. Go on, Google ‘activities for preschoolers’. You’ll come up with a badrillion results.

Anyhow, I hope these help you (and me!) have a less stressful summer with kids!

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