Monday, February 28, 2011

Getting It Done

Sorry for the late post, folks, I was getting something done.

And yes, I say that cheekily but not to annoy.  I say it because I’m actually getting stuff done.  When I started this blog, ‘get it done’ was sort of my mantra.  I started the blog to make sure that I would follow through on the millions of inspirations and ideas that I was bombarded with.  I wanted to work on my writing, I wanted to finish craft projects, and I wanted to just get it done. 

I like to think I’ve done a fairly decent job with it.  There have been late posts, unfinished projects, and some ‘oh crap’ writing, yes, but for the most part it has kept me on track and going. 

This morning I was rushing to send in a poetry submission to an Iowan yearly publication.  It had to be postmarked TODAY and of course I waited and worried and waited until the last minute to get it done.  But it is done and in the mail.  Do I think I will win the contest?  Probably not.  Do I think I’ll get chosen to be published?  Maybe.  But it doesn’t really matter because I finally followed through with it.  I will not be sitting here for the next year feeling guilty for not trying. 

I followed my word for the year and took ACTION. 

I’m really liking this Action stuff but it’s scary too. 

My favorite bands are playing in Des Moines on Friday and I don’t have anybody to go with.  The friend I normally make go with me isn’t that fun to go to concerts with.  She doesn’t understand why it’s fun to listen to live bands.  She gets bored so easily it’s not fun to go with her.  The other friend I was trying to go with can’t.  So I could either buy her a ticket and maybe she’ll be able to go, or I go by myself.  Eep!

That’s the thought running through my head, though, why can’t I go to a concert by myself?  Do I have enough self-confidence to stand up in a room full of people for several hours all by myself?  Do I really really want to see this concert?  Can I get my mom to babysit?

We will see. 

For now, I will enjoy having done something.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mused: Planting Inside

I went out to eat with a friend a few days ago and talked about gardening plans.  Since I can't dig into the yard, I'll have to make due with makeshift buckets and storage containers.  My friend suggested that I ask the restaurant if they had any buckets rather than buying them from the store.  Have you see the price of buckets? 

The store had a couple different varieties of buckets and were happy to sell them to me for fifty cents each.  That is not that much when you are talking about five gallon buckets.  There were some two gallon buckets as well.  I have some square and round ones now that I can plant things in.  I keep thinking they are too small, but they should work just fine.

I got the gardening bug last night and so punched a bunch of holes in one bucket so I could start planting.

Once I had down these, including the four on the sides of the buckets, I went back in and added another couple rounds to make sure that drainage wasn't an issue.  I planted lettuce in this one and spinach in another and put them beside my kitchen window.  Did I remember to take a picture of the dirt?  Of course not, but I'm sure you can imagine what a dirt filled bucket looks like. 

From what I have read, leaf lettuce will grow in shallow containers so I actually wanted something smaller than this bucket for it.  But I couldn't find any of the plastic I had been setting aside for planting.  I have to remember, though, that even though it is one small seed, it will grow up to be a big plant. 

Here's to hopes for a great garden this year!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Write: Zombie Squad Ponderings

A friend of mine is getting interested in Zombie Squad. I used to be real excited about it, but now I'm a little swamped with everything else.  So I've been pondering going with him to the first Iowa meeting.

"Target spotted.  Over."  The radio crackled in Kayla's ear, telling her to hurry.  She mumbled a reply and picked her way over the winter grass, blades crunching beneath her feet.  She winced at the noise but Kayla knew she wouldn't be heard in the back yard she was making a bee line for. 

"No survivors.  Repeat no survivors.  Over."

Kayla didn't need the radio to tell her that no victim would survive this attack, she could hear it in the screams.  Survivors screamed like their lives depended on it.  It was harsh, frantic, but still held a note of hope.  As they demanded help, they believed a hero would come and rescue them. 

Victims knew they would die.  Their voices were lower as if it didn't matter how they pushed the octaves.  The sounds were full of pain, pleading for it to end, regret for a world lost.  And then nothing but sobs that faded to silence.

Kayla stopped as the screaming stopped.  All that was left was hurt little noises and sobs.  She took a deep breath and adjusted her shoulders, moving the strap that held the shotgun across her back into a better position.  She double checked the load on the shotgun in her hand and nodded to herself.  "One, two..."

She flew around the broken door in the fence, firing directly at the head of the attacking zombie.  Decayed flesh and brains scattered through the yard.  Kayla pumped two more shells into the creature, leaving only a stump of neck before stepping back.

The remains of a young man were thrown against the house, a smear of blood showing where he had slid down the siding.  The woman that had been the latest snack lay in a bloody mess beneath the zombie.  Kayla hadn't adjusted her aim to avoid her.  There was no need, she was dead when she stopped screaming.

Kayla stared at the woman, watching her chest frantically drawing in air.  Each breath exposed more of the white ribs showing through her skin where the zombie had been munching.    Kayla gave her a weak smile before blowing her pretty blonde head into bits.  "I'm sorry."

She could have saved bullets if she had pulled the man away from the wall before blowing away his head, but she wasn't sure how long he had been dead.  There was no specific time frame for when the virus took hold.  Too many of her friends had been killed by handling a dead body suddenly turned zombie.

"Kayla to Treehouse.  Yard cleared.  Over."

Monday, February 21, 2011

Inspire: Get down in the dirt

It's the end of February and you know what that means?  That I should have been planning my garden weeks ago.  But I got a bit busy and distracted with other things...  But now I am ready to give it a go!

I live in a duplex and I don't really have a yard.  I take that back, we have a yard, but it's not for gardening.  It's manicured grass and I'm not exactly sure what we are supposed to do with it.  It's great to have the green there, but it's annoying that I can't dig it up for a garden.  On a good note, however, there is cement 'patio' space to the side of each building that currently gets used for grills and parking (because my neighbor hasn't figured out that the pole means stop).  I don't think anyone will have a problem with me taking over some of that cement for a garden.

How am I going to garden on cement?  In pots of course.  I just bought a bunch of buckets from a local restaurant, now I just have to get them ready to hold my garden and figure out what to plant and I'll be golden.

Last year I borrowed some garden space from a friend who lived down the street from my old apartment.  Then, halfway through the year, I moved before I pulled more than some radishes from it.  I really miss the mint I planted.  It was growing so fantastically.  I should have taken a cutting from it but I didn't even think about it.  Why can't I ask for a cutting from my friend?  Because she has separated from her husband and no longer lives there now.

I didn't have time to go to the greenhouse this weekend, but you better believe it's on my list for next week!

Are you gardening this year?  If you don't have a yard, how do you grow green things?  Any suggestions and tips?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Create: Key Necklace

I've had this idea buzzing around in my head for over a year so I'm happy some form of it finally came out.

I took my skeleton key and strung it with beads and a few charms.  For some reason, I felt compelled to put a spiral and bells on it as well... 

Each bead/charm has knots before and after it to hold them in place.  The ends are 'macrame' so there is a row of square knots that hold it all together.  I forgot to take a picture of that, however. 

The original plan was for this to be a part of my Raven Faerie outfit for a ball last year.  The ball is coming up in April so maybe I'll finally finish my costume!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Write: A Missing Key

"Stop, stop!"  I'll tell you!"  Barclay slid across the cement floor on his back with arms raised to protect his face.  The man was half Urisk and it showed in his craggy face, but his human side had more control over him than the Fae.

“Tell me what?”  I asked as I swaggered toward him.  I let my boot heels click loudly, emphasizing each step towards him.  He rubbed at his face but only succeeded in smearing blood from his nose to his cheek.  Pitiful.  All those muscled and he was overpowered by a girl.  Then again, I’m much more than just that.

“Everything, witch. Everything.”

I hunkered down next to him, resting my elbows on my knees.  My flash of smile made him wince.  I shook my head and tucked the multicolored hair back behind my ears.  “I thought you didn’t know anything.  You swore up and down you didn’t know where the key was.  If you don’t know that, then I don’t want to hear anything you have to say.”

“I lied,” he sobbed, “I’m sorry.”  Barclay gave up his fussing to lay curled on the cement.  He sniffed and gasped, tears making the blood run again.  I hate it when targets cry.  It makes my job more difficult.  Have you ever tried beating up a guy who is blubbering?  It’s not fun. 

I swallowed my sigh and twisted my fingers, mumbling the chant before I reached out to touch him.  The truth spell settled down while he jerked at my fingers on his forehead.  “Now tell me what you should have before.  Where is the key to Willow Grove, Barclay?  Where is the key to the Fae?”

Monday, February 14, 2011

Inspire: Sandman Slim

It's been some time since I posted about something that inspired me rather than events and calendars.  But this one should make up for it. :) 

I used to roleplay and read from the cyberpunk genre.  We're talking William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, Blade Runner, and Shadowrun.  I like the gritty anti-heroes who would rather watch you die than save you without cash up front.  I like the characters who have deep flaws but save the world anyway.  

Unfortunately, it's been quite awhile since I read anything in that genre.  Then I found this book with a quote from William Gibson on the cover:  "An addictively satisfying, deeply amusing, dirty-ass masterpiece....Sweet."  Of course I had to pick it up.

Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey isn't quite cyberpunk, but it's a fantastic book.  The book starts off with the main character returning from Hell (the place where Lucifer lives) after eleven years and mugging some rich guy in a cemetery.  And it only gets better.  The guy, Stark, as he likes being called,  finds a punk-tiki bar called Bamboo House of Dolls.  Then he chops the head off an old friend who is one of the group who sent him to hell.  But don't worry, the guy is still alive, just isn't attached to his body.  Yeah, Stark is a magician.  At one point, he attacks another magician with a toilet plunger.

Stark was betrayed by his magical buddies and sent to Hell alive.  He found a way out and now is back for revenge. 

It's a great book and one I'm very glad I got to read.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mused: Valentine's in the Mailbox!

At the beginning of this week, I really wasn't into V-day at all.  But I've started coming around.  Today is the kiddo's valentine's party at school, so we had to make up some treats and a container to receive his treats.  (When I say 'we' I mean 'I' this time.  Normally he helps).

I found this tutorial on Crafting a Green World and used it as my idea.  I didn't follow the tutorial, although I should have, it's so cute!  Instead, I went with what I had on hand and what I could remember from the image.

I am in love with my hot glue gun.  It made this project go so much quicker than it would have if I had used my glue stick.  I took a Bisquick box for the mailbox and cut it up.  The bottom I made bigger than the rounded top.  I folded over an inch on both long sides and glued the top to those flaps.  It made it pretty sturdy.  I would have made an actual front door for the mailbox, but I didn't have any big enough pieces of box left over.  The back was made from a piece of foam board I had left over from the kiddo's birthday party.  It was, once again, hot glued into place very easily.  Then I took a piece of cardstock and glued it in place over the cardboard.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Musing: Another Day Dawns

Another day dawns,
full of hearts and roses
in the middle of winter.
Another day dawns,
getting a jump start
on spring.
Another day dawns,
the beloved sing
of their lovers.
Another day dawns,
Cupid curses the arrows
gone astray.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Muse: Sweet Valentine

A week from today is Valentine's Day.  Today is also my kiddo's birthday.  Happy birthday!

Valentine's Day kind of sucks when you are single and everyone else is making googly eyes at their beloveds.  But oh well, I get the kiddo some sort of goodies and call it a good time.  It helps that I'm against most of what V-day has become.  While I do appreciate a dozen roses, I would rather my significant other gets me a single rose or a potted plant.  I see no need to pay a huge amount of markup just because of the day.  And to me, it shows no originality.  Not saying it's not nice to receive it, I would just rather receive something that I knew thought went in to. 

Spring is coming and with spring comes rituals like this, ways of saying you love someone and getting excited for the fertile new year. 

Maybe I will herd some friends together and we can go do something nice like a singles night out. 

What are you doing for V-Day?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Extra! Extra! A Late Noumenia

The theme of my life right now, this post is late. :)  Something weird happened this month.  All the calendars I look at to see when the new moon will happen told me it would be on the 4th.  But on the 4th I saw the first new sliver of the moon.  So my calendars were off by a day.  And I still feel like I haven't caught up yet.

Today was the kiddo's birthday party.  It went pretty well and he was excited about it all. 

Noumenia goals are already kind of broken.  I planned on creating my own Imbolc ritual and posting it to a new blog.  I figured I would divide my religion from my crafting/writing so I would have a place to post my wanderings and questions as well as a goal to try to keep up practice.  I find that if I make myself accountable to other people, that's how things get done. 

While I did create my own ritual and performed it too (I'm so proud of myself!), I have yet to get it posted. 

And I'm doing horribly on exercise.

So my goals for this month is to get my blogging squared away.  Do I want a new name for this blog?  Start the other blog.  Figure out my goals, etc.  And exercise.

What do you think?  What would you like to see more of here?  What would you like to see less of?  Would you participate if I put up a poll for a new name?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Mused: Napkins for Mom

I love my cloth napkins.  They have saved an amazing number of paper towels at work.  I use them for coasters, plates for snacks, cleaning up spills, and, of course, as napkins.  I went to dinner at my mom's a few weeks ago and realized that she needs napkins. 

Every once in awhile she likes to have fancy dinners (Thanksgiving, birthdays, etc) and she doesn't have any nice napkins.  So for her birthday, I made her a set.

I found some great fabric at the store that I thought she might like and found a good tutorial online for mitered corners.

I used a yard of fabric and cut it into 12" squares.  I only cut out six squares but could have made nine.  Once I had them cut, I used my wonderful iron.  I seriously don't know how I did any craft project without an iron before.  Some days I don't want to get it out, but I tell you, it's fantastic.  I found that using the steam setting helped my edges stay down very nicely. 

With the iron, I folded over all the edges of the fabric about a quarter inch, and then again, pressing to create nice lines. 

When the lines where laid, I opened it up and cut off the corners.  Then I pressed that section in to lay it flat.  Once that was set, I folded up the fabric along the lines and pressed once again.  With the corners cut off, the edges of the fabric should meet at the corner and give you a nice edge.  Most of my napkins had a great fit but this one shows a bit of a gap.  I found as I went on that you can adjust your lines with the iron to make them fit better.

I was lucky and found a cream thread at home that fit pretty well with the fabric.  I probably should have tried to find a matching blue, but I forgot to buy thread when I bought fabric. 

Tadaa!  I now have a great (I think) birthday gift for my mom.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Musing: My Son

To my son,
on the cusp
of teenage change,
I say don't rush it -
enjoy your time
free of older worries
and take time to play.
I rejoice in every night
left with your younger self.