Making the beaten path

We went hiking today.

At least for a given value of "hiking" that includes having a four-year-old along, and also the unexpected discovery that the people who'd been clearing the storm deadfall across the road had given up about a mile short of the trailhead, so we had to walk the last bit, and didn't do much of the trail itself.

It was "crowded" for a trail that's in the middle of nowhere and not going to much that's really notable, which is to say that usually we share the trail with maybe one person and this time there were four cars parked there. I guess with nothing better to do, more people are hiking. A more popular trailhead we drove past on the way up, that usually has four or five cars in the lot, was packed. I mean, it's got like ten miles of trail in there, so even thirty or forty people is pretty spread out, but still! I've never seen "crowds" like that.

There would have been more people at our trailhead (or parked short of it, rather), but I saw two different cars reach the deadfall point and turn around.

This amuses me, because if they were driving up there to hike they gave up on going hiking because the would have to walk about a mile. Lol. I mean, maybe some of them were just out for a drive or something, but it still makes me chuckle to think of somebody going "Oh! We can't go hiking, we'd have to walk to the trailhead! Guess we'd better go home."

It was nice to get out in nature and do a walk other than the one around my immediate neighborhood that I usually do.

We used to go hiking every single weekend with decent weather, back in the day, and got up to the point where we were doing some pretty serious hikes, for just an afternoon out. I know it will be years and years before we can do that again, given the kiddo, but even doing the mile and a bit we did was very nice. I'd like to start making it a regular thing, and JJ seems to agree, so here's hoping. This entry was originally posted at https://bladespark.dreamwidth.org/1600463.html.


I really don't know what to write here, some days.

It's meant to be mostly my writing blog, but I think it turns into more my "bitching about things" blog.

I could bitch about writing? It's never as easy as I'd like!

Though it's going okay today. I'm working on a paid commission. On the one hand it's totally straight, which I find incredibly boring. On the other, the kinks involved are right up my alley, so it's got that going for it. So far, so good, though I haven't gotten to the *really* fun bits yet.

I don't do close word counts, but I know I've gotten a couple hundred out on it today, and I hope to get more before the day is done. This entry was originally posted at https://bladespark.dreamwidth.org/1600003.html.

Does anybody like zooming?

I like things about zoom meetings. Zoom church, the lowest-effort zoom thing I do, because I only have to listen and it's more like watching a very nice youtube livestream, is good in that I don't have to put on pants and I don't have to get the goober dressed and ready, and I can like, make coffee during the meeting if I like, but that's about it.

I feel like trying to do video chat is inherently multi-tasking? Like "be in a zoom meeting" or "be on google duo" is a brain-use task already, even if a small one, so then adding "talk" or "listen and process" is adding a second task. I feel like I do when I'm trying to multi-task, at least, that bouncy, rapid-switch processing that's the best a human brain can do at doing two things at once, kind of feeling.

Also seeing myself in the little window is SO distracting! I'm constantly fiddling with making sure I'm in frame (I don't have a stand or tripod or anything, I just have the phone in my hand) constantly noticing my own motions when I touch my hair, constantly processing my own expression and wondering if it looks okay to everyone else, oh god my resting expression looks so weird, (I have resting worried face, rather than resting bitch face, which I've always known, but I'm not aware of it normally like I am when I'm seeing it!) man, my smile looks weird, and maybe I should tilt my head a bit, my hair is such muppet hair, it looks better at this angle, and wow, my collar is super obvious, it's amazing nobody ever brings it up, and...

Just this constant low-level stream of thoughts about how I'm presenting myself that's either not there at all or at least not constant normally. I might have a brief "geez, I touched my hair again, didn't I?" thought at an in person meeting, but it doesn't get much further than that for me.

Anyhow. This is all to say that even before you throw nine four year olds, one of whom I'm suppised to be making pay attention into the mix, zoom is hard! Goober had her "class" today and she was so not there for it. Then I had the UU trans support/small group meeting thing, which was lovely, but I feel entirely discombobulated the whole time and I know I'll be much, much, much more coherent in my contributions to the conversation when it's in person again! I'd say "may the day come soon" but I don't mean that. "May the day it's really and truly safe come at a reasonable time" is better, probably. :3 This entry was originally posted at https://bladespark.dreamwidth.org/1599803.html.

It's a secret to everyone.

I promised not to tell anyone, but I think that doesn't apply to the blog, they just don't want a customer riot. :D

Anyway, after discussing the farm box situation with the farm folks, it turns out that they're sending their e-mails at a normal daytime sort of time, but some hiccup to do with how their mail sender handles trying to send out a few hundred e-mails all at once is making some people get theirs much, much later. Which of course unfairly handicaps those people in trying to get a farm box! I expressed a non-accusatory disappointment in missing the box two weeks running after voluntarily skipping a week, and a sadness that I might miss the next week as well, and did they have any suggestions about how to make this more fair?

And the farm person was all, "Hey, you buy a lot of stuff, and you're being very nice about this, I'm just going to put you down for the next box. We don't do that, don't tell anybody, but consider one yours."


This problem will go away when the regular "season" starts in June and I just automatically get my box, but it is good to have at one guaranteed box in May!

I also feel this points out the value of being a.) an actual regular when you complain (so many people in stories about irate customer complaints involve people who claim "I shop here all the time!" when they really don't) but more importantly, b.) really polite about your complaint, and asking what they can do, rather than making demands. :3

Woo, turnips! This entry was originally posted at https://bladespark.dreamwidth.org/1599539.html.

Cats *facepalm*

We currently have two cats. Kali we've had for fourteen years now. She is 17, and has been a grouchy old lady cat since she was about six. :D She's in great shape, you'd never know she was an "elder" cat except that she's missing some teeth.

Ged is a massive chonk cat. He'd be huge even if he wasn't fat, when we first got him and he was an emaciated stray he still weighed three pounds more than Kali, and he's like twice her length? He's a big boy. And he's obsessed with food. See the "emaciated stray" thing for all you need to know about that.

We had always just free-fed our cats, but after getting Ged, that had to stop. He got so fat he was peeing himself, and so it was diet time. Ged currently gets a metered portion of kibble three times a day, dispensed by an automatic feeding machine, so there's no conning a second dinner out of the other human or anything like that.

Feeding Kali is more of a challenge, though, because of course Ged will run her off her food and eat it on top of his own. So she eats in a big tub with two holes just big enough for her to squeeze inside cut in it.

This morning I happened to be downstairs when the feeder dispensed. Normally Ged comes galumphing down at the sound, but he didn't. Kali wandered over and started nibbling on Ged's food, and I'm all "the fuck?" Then I realized that the only thing that would keep Ged away from food is other food, and sure enough, when I got upstairs he had managed to get a paw in and hook the food bowl over to one of the holes in Kali's food tub, and had his head stuck in and was eating her food. While she was downstairs eating his.

Cats! This entry was originally posted at https://bladespark.dreamwidth.org/1599302.html.


Despite all the goober child could do to interrupt the zoom meeting, I am now officially a Unitarian Universalist. Or as official as I can be in these times. I have not done the ceremonial Book of Names Signing thing, because we're not doing in-person ceremonies. But I have paid my "offering" and my name is on the mailing list. :D

And like everything else about the UU, it's refreshingly different from the Mormon way. For one thing, there's no "sorry, if it's not 10% of your gross, it doesn't count", it's "we know not everyone has money, we can waive the offering if need be, but if you can, give what you have to give." I'll admit to giving only a token amount, because good god is my financial situation bad right now. (Not covid, or not directly, other things, but bleh.)

So yeah. New thing. It feels good. This entry was originally posted at https://bladespark.dreamwidth.org/1599043.html.


I'm writing the thing with the trans man and the uncanny crows and the were-raven who's Totally Not Sherlock Holmes (I mean, he's not, but also kinda he is a little.) It's SO STUPID but hopefully in the fun way. I mean, it's got the love interests tied together with a magical bond that's forcing them to share a bed so there's all kinds of dumb-ass awkward and they just had what should have been a discussion but then of course had !Sherlock pinning down the trans guy and ranting at him instead. Oops? So dumb.

I hate stories that play complete idiot ball, where the characters act like they haven't got two brain cells to rub together and the story is built on cringing. But being a little stupid about relationships is just... I dunno, the drama is part of the fun, you just have to walk a line that stops short of total idiot ball, which I hope I have.

At least I'm writing, and something potentially publishable, too! Woo! This entry was originally posted at https://bladespark.dreamwidth.org/1598684.html.


The down side of fixating on produce: I'm not getting any, and now I'm fucking depressed.

The e-mail came at 1:30 am. I was asleep. By the time I got up and replied, (not even that late! 8am!) all the boxes had been taken.

No turnips unless I want to risk going to the farmer's market. Probably no strawberries at all. :(

Edit: I kind of...rage cooked? If I don't get fresh strawberries, at least I can have jam. I've been meaning to make jam from the frozen berries we have for a while. So now I have jam. This entry was originally posted at https://bladespark.dreamwidth.org/1598383.html.

Status: still obsessed with turnips

Apparently I am coping with things by fixating on produce. I dunno, it's something new and interesting and exciting that I'm doing.

And I do at least sorta mean "new". I was raised very poor, so our vegetables were cheap, bagged, frozen veggies mixes, 99% of the time. JJ, who introduced me to "real" food, is something of a carnivore. There are veggies he likes, but overall he's a meat and potatoes kind of guy. So large amounts of fresh produce are something I'd have to do on my own, and just...haven't until now.

Right now the Farm Share Thing is in the "pre-season", before they do their regular produce boxes. However they are currently doing bonus boxes of a sort, on a limited, first come, first serve basis, offered via e-mail to their Farm Share e-mail list. Every Monday they send out an e-mail saying what they're harvesting now and will put in the box for Saturday, and you reply to claim and pay for your box, or your skip it.

I'm using up the last of the box from nine days ago tonight (some potatoes) so I'm super anticipating finding out what'll be in this week's box.

Ergo every single time I get an e-mail notification right now, I'm all "OMG, maybe it's the farm share box list!" And so far every time it has not been. Booo. I want to know if I'm getting turnips or not! I want to know what greens they're sending. I want to know if I get jam! Some of the boxes have jam! Will there be jam?

So yeah, totally obsessed with produce right now. I guess there are worse things! This entry was originally posted at https://bladespark.dreamwidth.org/1598130.html.

Sometimes the stars are right.

This evening is better than this afternoon.

Which is not usual, my days tend to start okay but then slowly spiral down into madness, exhaustion, and cranky irritability.  Not necessarily in that order.

But I managed to take a walk today, and make rose syrup, so I've had rose lemonade. And then I had some blueberry crumble as a late evening treat.

Then I wrote some!

I've been having spurts of creativity around this Lovecraftian ponies thing that my girlfriend inspired. :3  We've seen a dead Cthulhu's dreaming cultists, a Zoog wood where meeping ghouls and fae-changelings live, and some maddening mountains with a singular servant of the Elder Things beneath them, and now we have arrived at the altar beneath stars that are right (or perhaps wrong) for the Thestrals to perform certain rituals...

It's been fun to blend Lovecraft and ponies, and I'm really hoping that the final twist will come off well for readers.  We shall see! I still have to write said final twist, and then probably let it sit at least a little, give it a few edit passes, etc. before it's fit to be shared with anybody.  But it's nice to be writing again, even if ~15k words over several weeks isn't super fast for me.  It's better than nothing!

This entry was originally posted at https://bladespark.dreamwidth.org/1597634.html.