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Fruit of the Vine
Here There Be Goblins

Date: 2014-12-23 00:48
Subject: Foods and Peoples
Security: Public
Location:Witchnest Manor
Music:"Christmas in Mordor" {it's not really called that}
Tags:family, food, friends, mark

Tomorrow the Mom and the Stepdad arrive. They’ve already texted from Grants Pass, more than halfway (and stopping for the night). The house is not entirely clean yet, but it’s getting there. The yard is being worked on too, which in December consists of cutting down and digging up dead things and putting them in the appropriate receptacles, or at least in tidy piles. It’s kind of like cleaning. Only muddier.

It is 11:40 p.m. and Mark has just run off to Safeway in search of different/additional cookie cutters. Because apparently unicorns and dolphins and hummingbirds aren’t Christmas enough. It’s just that kind of night. ;-)

Myself, I went to only two grocery stores today, but that’s because he went to three yesterday. And he also went to one today. Not counting this Safeway run.

Holidays are complicated!

Also: yesterday, without (much) warning, Camille & Claude wafted through town, and arranged a little gathering at a local food/drink spot, for a congenial crowd. So we went to that. This evening, with rather more warning, a friend of mine from high school wafted through town, and we met her at the airport for an entirely delightful (and far too short) session of catching-up, with adult beverages and airport-priced (but delicious) food.

And Mark is making the Famous Ravioli again. I am so excited: we won’t be giving it all away this time. Though tomorrow’s dinner is mine: my famous lamb meatballs, LE YUM.

Thank goodness for stretchy clothes. We’ll diet in the new year.

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

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Date: 2014-12-20 22:42
Subject: The Lunch Party That Wasn't and the Dinner Party That Was
Security: Public
Location:Witchnest Manor
Music:Very Loud Supertramp
Tags:fishes precious, food, friends, home, mark, weather


(How many of my entries start with “So”?)

We have had long-scheduled a gathering at our house today, with some dear relatives of Mark’s, who live hereabouts. An assortment of them, from here and there more-or-less locally.

So this morning dawned, well, rainy. Quite rainy.

It’s Oregon! What’s a little rain?

“It’s awfully rainy,” Mark said, this morning, as we listened to it drum upon the roof. “I hope everyone doesn’t cancel because they don’t want to drive in this.”

“It’s Oregon!” I said. “And your relatives are life-long Oregonians! They won’t even notice this! Of course they’ll come.”

Within the hour, the first phone call came. In short order, the lunch-party was…not.

Cleverly, we had done most of the cooking the day before. Uncleverly, we now had a truly excessive amount of soup on hand.

So we invited the across-the-street neighbors over for soup, and steak-and-mushrooms, and cards. They braved the rain (but arrived quite weather-drenched anyway, even from across the street), and a delightful time was had.

And we still have LOTS of leftover soup. And I won all the cards.

That’ll do.

In other news: here’s a lot of cherry shrimp in the aquarium. (And a catfish tail.)
Cherry Shrimp 1 Cherry Shrimp 2

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

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Date: 2014-12-19 21:43
Subject: Friday Already?
Security: Public
Location:Witchnest Manor
Tags:cats, family, friends, home, mark, oloti, reading, travel, wine

So we dashed up to Seattle and back, and had a lovely reading at the University Book Store. A very friendly crowd, and wine afterwards, so what’s not to like?

Okay, wine beforehand too. Did you think I wouldn’t?

scarlettina graciously hosted us; it was so very nice to see her, and to spend some quality time, both in the evening after the reading and the next morning, when she introduced us to a dangerously delicious breakfast place.

And, as usual, the cats found the one person in the room who is Not Charmed (i.e., allergic). Here is Sophie, staking her claim:
Sophie on Mark's Knees

Seriously, look at that face. She’s like, Okay, FINE, I’ll sit on him, ’cause it’s in the contract that I have to sit on Allergic Guy, but I don’t have to LIKE it.
Sophie Dubious About It

Then we rushed back home and worked all week. Oh and had overnight guests. And a book group meeting (not here!). And a dinner party (also not here!). And a writing date this afternoon. And oh yeah, I did some laundry yesterday, like you do, and discovered that the utility sink, which the washer drains into, was entirely backed up. Laundry water on the basement floor, joy! So a nice plumber came this morning, and all is well again. (with bonus! fixing of the upstairs toilet, we hope.)

In conclusion, I present to you an Illustrated Example of the Horrifying Things You Suddenly See When Your Mom Is About To Come Visit:
Fridge Handles Before
Fridge Handles–Before

Fridge Handles After
Fridge Handles–After

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

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Date: 2014-12-14 19:01
Subject: Were You Wondering?
Security: Public
Location:Witchnest Manor
Tags:editing, food, friends, mark, oloti, per aspera, queries, reading, travel, weather

Yes, indeed, there WAS weather on Thursday. My reading at Powell’s was well-attended anyway–though I know of at least half a dozen people who stayed home because of the weather. But it was a good crowd, and the drinks afterwards were even better. :-)

After the reading, I checked my phone and found a message from my next-door neighbor, wondering if our power was out too. Yes, turned out it was…we got home to find our street entirely dark. So we wandered around in the dark turning out all the lamps we thought might have been left on, and went to bed. (Got most of them!)

Power came on about 2am, but the internet did not. Indeed, the internet was out all day Friday, not returning till Saturday morning–around 30 hours total, I think.

It’s amazing how much we rely on the internet. Just sayin’.

Anyway! It’s all fixed now, thank goodness. And we had a little tree-decorating-gathering last night, with desserts. Here’s the table, not even fully laden (later came the pies, and those punchbowls got filled, one with eggnog and the other with spiced cider).
Party Table Spread
What party is complete without a gumdrop tree?
Gumdrop Tree

We laid out all the ornaments and let folks have at it. I think it looks gorgeous, if rather more restrained than we’ve done in previous years. :-)
Tree 2014Tree 2014-detail

Then today, I managed to find time to read through my Per Aspera queries and sample pages. Found some marvelous things in that pile! I’ve requested some full manuscripts, which I am excited to read. (To continue reading, that is…you know it’s good when you get to the end of the 10-page sample and think, NOOOOO, where’s the rest of it, I want it NOW!!!)

But wait! There’s more! Tomorrow we dash up to Seattle for my reading at the University Book Store, 7:00 pm. Be there! See me struggle to pronounce “chirurgeon”! Fun for the whole family!

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

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Date: 2014-11-03 18:48
Subject: That Went Fast
Security: Public
Location:Witchnest Manor
Tags:cons, family, food, friends, mark, oloti, publishers weekly, travel, weather, wedding

It was a marvelous honeymoon! It flew by, though at the same time, it was quiet and relaxing.

Though we expected rain the whole time, Wednesday was actually pretty and sunny, so we went for a hike up Turtleback Mountain. We are soooooo out of shape, but the exercise felt good.

Then it DID rain the rest of the week, so we stayed inside by a roaring fire and played cards and worked a puzzle. You know, like one does on a honeymoon.

Thursday evening we had planned to splurge on a fine dinner out…only to be thwarted, in the best possible way. That is to say, we had an amazing dinner, complete with celebratory dessert–
Honeymoon Congrats Dessert
–and when the bill came, all it held was a note from my parents, wishing us a happy honeymoon and me a happy birthday. Thank you, generous parents! :-)

Friday morning, my actual birthday, we slept in a bit, then I picked up my phone and said, “All right, let’s see all the Facebook birthday wishes.” (I love all the Facebook birthday wishes, if that’s not clear!) :-) I opened my email and indeed there were many many many wishes…but mixed in with them was a little note from John Scalzi, with a link to something, wondering if I’d seen it yet.

Well the link was a pretty dang amazing thing!

Yes, Our Lady of the Islands did not just get a gorgeous, starred review from Publishers Weekly, but they also named it one of the best books of the year! Not a bad birthday present at all. It’s STILL sinking in; I still can’t quite believe it. (And I am still sad that Jay did not get to see this. He would have been so, so pleased.)

So, I’ve been kind of walking on air since then. And organizing a few signings/readings, which I will tell you about when it’s all worked out. I’m putting together a little West Coast tour. Except for southern California. At least so far. :-)

Friday afternoon, we did some shopping in town, including viewing the famous Pig Heads in the Island Market butcher shop:
Island Market Pigheads

That evening, the innkeepers hosted a party–for my birthday, and Mrs. Innkeeper’s birthday, and Halloween, and our wedding. We told folks to come in wedding clothes, and a lot of them did!
Wedding Halloween party
Miss D (on the left) is in charge of costumes for the local theater; but Miss M (on the right) is wearing her actual wedding gown from fifty years earlier! I’m impressed. I only fit into mine because it had only been a few weeks. :-)

The food was thematic too:
Wedding Halloween Birthday cake
That’s a birthday cake on top of a Halloween cake on top of a wedding cake. (Plus, naturally, the Cake Topper Couple.)

And these are some scary, scary eggs:
Scary Eggs

Then it was Saturday and we came home! And have been noses-to-grindstone ever since. Orycon is this weekend, and we’ll be selling things in the dealer’s room. Including a few early (very early!) copies of Our Lady of the Islands….Publisher Jak has sent me a few and said it’s okay to sell them, so if you want to read it before December 9, come find us! We will also have prints and note cards with Mark’s art, and other books (ours and others’), and I don’t even know what all else, but it will be marvelous.

And that’s enough news for now, I think!

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

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Date: 2014-10-28 22:36
Subject: Honey! Moon!
Security: Public
Location:Orcas Island
Tags:friends, mark, orcas island, travel, wedding

SOMEBODY was smart enough to plan the honeymoon for several weeks after the wedding (koff, koff, ahem).

Which gave us plenty of time to have the flu, and get over it, and get some work done, but not enough, oh well.

Yesterday we drove to Seattle, and stayed with some friends in their new home, which is RIGHT by the Seattle Center, I mean RIGHT by. I mean the light from the Space Needle bled through our curtains and would have kept us awake at night except we were so tired.

Of course the Little Cake People got to come on the honeymoon!
Cake Toppers in Seattle
Yes that is the actual Space Needle behind them, just outside the living room window.

Then today we visited another Seattle friend, who is recovering from major surgery; and then we got to Anacortes, very very early for the ferry as it turned out. (Better early than late!)

The Cake People were very excited when we finally got onto the ferry.
Couple on the Ferry

But not nearly as excited as they were to get to the inn.
Couple on the Duvet

And now I will draw the curtain and give the happy couple their well-deserved privacy…

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

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Date: 2014-10-14 22:32
Subject: Briefly
Security: Public
Location:Them Thar Hills
Tags:facebook, family, freelance, friends, mark, money, wedding

Wedding: achieved! Pictures later (and all over Facebook now, if you know me there)–I’ll make a real writeup here soon, but it is late and we’ve traveled many miles since Saturday…Mark has come down with a terrible awful no good very bad cold, and we are resting up at his mother’s house in the Land of Formerly Very Little Internet. I’m trying to catch up on all the emails that slipped through the cracks in the last week, and the Facebook congrats, and all the still-settling wedding details, and the stray charges to my credit card that shouldn’t be there, and all that and then some and then some more. Oh and the work I brought with me, innocently believing I’d have time last week to work on it! Hahahhaha.

So, a better report soon, but oh, all right, here’s a photo or two (or four) for now. :-)

Dog Stealing the Show
It’s a ranch. Dogs wander by.

Shannon & Dad
Me & Dad

Shannon Reads Vows
47-year-old brides need their reading glasses

Erik's snuck photo
Sometimes members of the wedding party sneak photos

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

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Date: 2014-09-29 22:49
Subject: Still Too Busy To Blog
Security: Public
Location:Witchnest Manor
Tags:friends, mark, money, travel, wedding

Probably it will be thus until the wedding. But: here, I have a moment, I will write something to the internets.

Maybe I will even finish it!

So as it turns out, it is perhaps cheaper but certainly less fraught to BUY several hundred wine glasses than it is to RENT them.

That is, if you have a certain Giant Swedish Warehouse Store in your town.

Now the car is full of Svalka, which is kind of inconvenient, though we went out yesterday and bought a Yakima (no relation to Svalka) box to put on top of the car, because we also have to carry a kajillion paper plates and plastic silverwares and wedding programs and decoration stuff and I don’t even know what all else, not to mention all our garb (I’ve begun assembling a Bride Box with all my various fripperies and foofy stuff), oh and the rest of what we’ll need for a week and a half away.

(And, can I just ask: WTF, Ikea, with the super-flimsy Svalka boxes, that go halfway up the glasses and are open on top? We are going to have to repackage ALL those glasses, just to get them anywhere and arrive with anything but shards of glass-rubble.)

And while I am expressing frustration…hmm, not sure how to phrase this exactly, but…hmm. Perhaps it is our fault. Perhaps we should have sprung for actual physical RSVP cards (and their attendant postage) in the invitations, rather than relying on the website. But. It seems to me, and perhaps I am being unreasonable here, but, just a thought: it’s kind of nice to know if people are, you know, intending on coming to a wedding, if they’re invited to it. Or if they’re intending on not coming. Either answer is entirely acceptable! We totally understand either way! But…not getting an answer at all…and having to hunt up responses (not one, not two, but three and four and five emails and phone calls in some cases)*…all I’m saying is, this is time we could be spending on, I don’t know, other things.

Like writing our vows and remembering coffee cups and chasing down the rental folks (who never respond) and designing and printing programs and figuring out how to make the wedding dress not-see-through** and buying more plastic place settings and finding bartenders and finding an appropriate reading for the ceremony and planning the Sunday brunch and oh yes the rehearsal dinner (and buying food for that too) and working out all the music with the DJ and figuring out what signage is needed and taking Mark’s suit to the cleaners (oh, gotta remember to pick it up too) and weren’t we going to practice dancing? and ordering beer which means I gotta talk to Youngest Brother first and um gifts for the wedding party and and and and and

Okay, too busy to blog. I knew it. :-)

*Because we do actually sort of Need to Know. Because the caterer is charging us a Not Inconsiderable Amount Per Actual Human Being Person, and needs to know in the next few days what that Number of Human Being Persons is, because she will be preparing food for That Many Persons, and if more people sort of show up unexpectedly, there will be not enough food; and similarly if people do not show up there will be wasted food and money; and come ON, people, really??

**The underwear situation here: seriously. Epic. I will be able to host a Smallclothes Convention just from this one outfit alone. The things I have learned!***

***Dimmers. Really.

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

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Date: 2014-09-22 22:39
Subject: More Social Whirl
Security: Public
Location:Witchnest Manor
Tags:food, friends, garden, mark, weather, wedding, wine

So then there came another whirl of social delights.

On Friday I spent most of the day with Miss H., my good friend and (not incidentally) one of my attendants. We worked on clothing stuff and hair and even makeup (!) for the Coming Nuptial Events, and I think we’re pretty close to getting that all worked out. Never mind that some of our decisions amounted to “bring them both, we’ll decide that day.” Shut up, that’s still a decision.

Here, have some dahlias that are still pretty even when they’re dead.
Send Me Dead Flowers

Then Friday evening we had dinner with Mr. B., which was ever so much fun. Charmingly, he took US out for dinner, and yet today, a thank-you note arrived. We do not deserve such friends!

Saturday, The Lovely Miss A. hosted a wedding shower for me. The theme was Wine and Chocolate; the fare was scrumptious, and the company was spectacular. We were a small, yet highly compatible (not to mention energetic) group. Much fun was had. Much amazing chocolate was et.
Chocolate Shower

scarlettina was down from Seattle for the shower, and other visiting; we had brunch with her and davidlevine Sunday morning, which was delicious and conversationally stimulating.

Then Sunday evening, some out-of-town friends (from Florida!) came for dinner. We turned this giant zucchini
El Zucchini Gigantico
into a delicious frittata.

Then today (whew), we had a loooong talk with the wedding DJ (not coincidentally, also a good friend and groomsman of Mark’s), then made a ton more wedding-planning phone calls, some of which actually accomplished something; then in the evening, our friend M. from Orcas Island came for dinner. Fortunately, garden bounty is still such that I can whip out something like this with no effort whatsoever.
Just Another Caprese Salad

Ah, summer. How I will miss you.

The rest of the week looks a little quieter! At least, I hope so. I’ve got lots of non-wedding work to do; it would be nice to get to some of it. :-) But yeah. “19 days to go!”, as the wedding website helpfully reminds me. Yargh. Thanks.

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

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Date: 2014-09-05 20:52
Subject: Food Thing
Security: Public
Location:Witchnest Manor
Tags:food, friends, mark
So: this is a thing, let me tell you: Sweet tomatillos!
Sweet Tomatillos

desperance, did you know about this?

You pick the pinkest ones (yes, they continue to ripen there in the bowl), and you coax them out of their paper, and you eat them, and they are SO GOOOOOOOOD, and sweet, and crunchy-juicy, and unlike anything else ever.
Sweet Tomatillo

Mark found them at this farmer's market the other day, for a dollar--he also found the farmer's market, one we hadn't known about--one day a week, and we will certainly be back.

In other news: there is no other news. It's Friday night, and it's been quite a week, and that's all you need to know about that.

But no: there is other news, and that's that LiveJournal refused to crosspost four times, and then blocked me from crossposting because of login errors, and I AM logged in, and phooey on you, LiveJournal, please stop dying.
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Date: 2014-09-01 21:46
Subject: The Sound of Crickets
Security: Public
Location:Witchnest Manor
Tags:fishes precious, food, friends, home

Ahh, I actually hear the sound of crickets. Because I’m sitting here, downstairs at my computer, doors and windows open to let in the cool, comfortable evening air. No one else is in the room. No one else is even downstairs.

Chirp, chirp. So peaceful.

Don’t get me wrong. I really enjoyed all our company over the last few weeks here. But….wow, that was a lot of people coming through this house. A lot of cooking, and eating, and drinking, and socializing. A lot of staying up too late, and falling behind on things. A lot of noise-and-busy, which wears me out. (We even had two toddlers here at one point. Oh my goodness, is this house not toddler-proof!)

Chirp, chirp, chirp.


In other buggish news, a ladybug came in and wanted to read my manuscript, but I had to tell her it’s not ready for review yet.

And the other day, we found a katydid walking across the top of the aquarium.
Katydid 1

The fish were very interested.
Katydid 2

Good thing the aquarium has a lid. Ms. Bug could have carried off handfuls of those fish, had she been so inclined.

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

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Date: 2014-08-25 08:28
Subject: All The Social
Security: Public
Location:Witchnest Manor
Tags:friends, home, introvert

Apparently, the end of August is the time when All The People want to visit Portland. (And I can hardly blame them: it is very lovely here now.) We had houseguests last night (to whom we are about to serve breakfast). We have a different set of houseguests coming tonight, and then yet more next weekend, when we will also have other out-of-towners visiting but not staying here. I’ve gotten several last-minute home-exchange requests. Had to turn those down, but fortunately our temporary roommate is out of town, so we’ve been able to say yes to all these guests!

Good thing we’ve got bed-and-breakfast innkeeping experience. :-)

Speaking of which: I am still taking care of my friend H’s B&B this month, while she is away. All the guests have gone, but there is still watering/weeding/general overseeing to do.

So yeah, I’ve changed a lot of beds and scrubbed a lot of toilets recently.

But the socializing! It’s not just the out-of-towners. We went bike riding with Alex & Claude yesterday, in the Hawthorne Sunday Parkways, then played cards; we’re hosting book group tomorrow; a dear friend I don’t see enough of comes Wednesday; dinner party this coming Friday; the back-fence neighbors came over last Friday, and we went to the across-the-street neighbors’ the following night.

It’s a lot for an introvert. I’m going to need to pull back a little soon, or I won’t have anything left for the wedding. (Not to mention I won’t fit into my dress.)

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

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Date: 2014-08-12 14:13
Subject: I Have Something To Show You
Security: Public
Location:Witchnest Manor
Tags:editing, friends, per aspera

You know I am an editor too, as well as being a writer. The editor-part of me is newer, but no less exciting…especially when I can tell you about the magnificent books that I get to acquire!

Here is one of them.
(cover art before all the type got put on, being as how I know the artist and all)

It is a marvelous little tale, dark and creepy, by one of my favorite writers, and favorite people: our own desperance. I am so honored and delighted that he sent it to me, to be my debut offering as a Per Aspera editor!

It’s coming out on August 28. You can already order it on Barnes & Noble; Amazon should be coming along any day now.

Oh and look: Mrissa said nice things about it! I am in agreement with her: horror is not usually my thing either, but this book…is. It’s lovely and quiet, gorgeously written (of course, it’s Chaz); it sneaks up on you. And you should just read it. That’s all I’m saying.

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

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Date: 2014-08-04 21:42
Subject: Partway-Boring Ride
Security: Public
Location:Witchnest Manor
Tags:bike, food, friends, mark, weather

In view of this THIRTY-THREE-MILE BIKE RIDE we’ve somehow signed up for THIS SUNDAY, we took a long ride today. Yes! That’s right, we chose the hottest day in weeks to get on our bikes at 11am and ride for hours.

We took the Springwater Corridor Trail, and rode about two-thirds of the way to Boring. Yes! That’s right, for you non-locals: there is a town called Boring; it’s just past Gresham.

It was a lovely ride, actually.
Pretty Swamp
This is usually a swamp.

Pretty Swamp 2
Actually, I guess it’s still a swamp. But with very pretty flowers.

I think we did something just shy of thirty miles altogether. Along the way, we stopped at Cartlandia for lunch, thereby undoing all our good efforts.
Voodoo Cart

But THEN I rode my bike out to dinner with a friend! So I was a bike-riding fool today.

And here is a particularly lovely spam comment on my blog:
nicely this can be very good website, lover! i am able to notice your own working hard for you to, adhere to done to you BTW!!!

Just thought I’d share that.

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

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Date: 2014-07-29 23:29
Subject: Escaping Shrimp and Other Tales
Security: Public
Location:Witchnest Manor
Tags:book view cafe, fishes precious, friends, garden, home

Ooh, here I was thinking I was blogging two days in a row! Except, not, I realize; for last night, the across-the-street neighbors texted and said, Do you want to come to dinner? We have Air Conditioning! And we said YES, and that was the evening.

We got to know their new puppy better.
Isis coming

She’s not actually that small; she was sitting very still, hoping I’d feed her something. She usually looks more like this:
Isis going

Cute, though!

And then this morning, I came downstairs and found what appeared to be a dead shrimp on my desk. Escaped from my desk-aquarium, you see. I went to pick it up…and it wiggled its little legs. So I plopped it back in the tank…and it swam off very excitedly, and it seems to be fine now! Go figure.

I don’t know why, or HOW, it got out of there.

Moving right along. For dinner, we made a huge salad out of Things From The Garden.
MY SALAD (ingredients)

It was awesome.

Oh! And a seriously amazing writer (Nicola Griffith) wrote a seriously amazing guest post on another seriously amazing writer (and marvelous human being)’s blog (Charlie Stross) (and this is not to say that Nicola is not a marvelous human being!, because she quite obviously is!, but I haven’t met her, and I HAVE spent serious quality time with Charlie, including beer, just saying)–anyway, this is just to say: she talked about Book View Cafe, and she’s right, we ARE a pretty amazing co-op, I remain astonished and awestruck that I get to be part of BVC. It’s such a functional, groundbreaking, collaborative, smart, professional group of writers, putting out amazing work…so, thank you Nicola and Charlie for helping to let the world know about us. :-) YAY.

And I think that’s all the news for now. Except that I was in the weird position of trying to figure out which of my NEXT big projects to start today, because none of the remaining ones were due three weeks ago. So I picked one and started it. I’ll tell you more about it later.

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

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Date: 2014-07-22 22:48
Subject: The Latest
Security: Public
Location:Witchnest Manor
Tags:food, freelance, friends, garden, home, mark, oloti, wedding

By happy coincidence, Madame Reverend E, who we just visited in Seattle two days ago, had business in Portland today so now she is visiting us. And we enjoyed a FEAST at Bamboo Sushi, including an Interesting Cocktail.
Interesting Cocktail

Before the festivities, we’ve just been working along–book covers (Mark), Our Lady final edits and freelance work (me), wedding business (both of us).

Oh and gardening of course. Always gardening. Our first dahlias are blooming! I’ll try and get a picture tomorrow. Today it actually rained a little, and a few transformers blew in the neighborhood–we could hear them, and the lights flickered off and on several times, though there wasn’t lightning or anything.

And speaking of the lights, pretty much most of my old-style light bulbs have gone by now. Fortunately, most of them didn’t actually blow up and shatter glass everywhere…but some did. The new compact fluorescents, thus far, haven’t. ::fingers crossed:: I wish I knew what was going on with the electricity in this house….

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

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Date: 2014-07-20 23:03
Subject: Sunday
Security: Public
Location:Witchnest Manor
Tags:friends, mark, travel, wedding

We dashed up to Seattle briefly, just an overnight. Went to one of the unofficial Clarion parties, and spent the night with Madame Reverend E, who drove us to said party in her shiny new Tesla-car. Very exciting! She showed off its acceleration. We might have potentially exceeded the speed limit, a time or two. Don’t tell anyone.

Also we spent a lot of time talking about the wedding ceremony, which Madame Reverend E will be performing, or officiating, or celebrating, or whatever you want to call it. She also showed us all her marvelous minister-swag, which is fun and marvelous.

Then we rushed back home and spent the rest of the day working on wedding stuff. Including contacting All The Peoples to get mailing addresses. Well, not All of them…but we made a good start anyway.

And lo, now I am tired.

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

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Date: 2014-07-18 00:09
Subject: Progress Report
Security: Public
Location:Witchnest Manor
Tags:family, food, friends, garden, home, wedding

It was a very productive wedding-planning trip to California last week, including bonus! visits with all my immediate family. Yay!

Then we drove home all day Monday, including an unplanned but quite fortuitous stop at a winery which, it looks like they will be not only supplying some of the wine for our wedding, but doing it with personalized labels at no extra charge. Double yay!

Then, having gotten home, we discovered that zucchini is sort of an all-or-nothing proposition.
Mah Zucchini
I am demonstrating that they are bigger than my head.

We cut most of both of those up and made them into zucchini-feta pancakes, for an old friend who was coming through town, and some of her friends, who are now our friends too. Much yum and fun!

And meanwhile, Mark has been designing our wedding invitations, while I went out today with my local bridesmaid and tried on Wedding Related Smallclothes. And found something which, though not particularly sexy or anything, does solve the problem of being able to read the small print in my belly button through my wedding dress.*

Oh and also-meanwhile, we have a new temporary roommate. Miss C moved in Tuesday; she is going to be living here for a few months. She is cash-poor and talent-rich, and therefore she will be paying in massages. To me. As I am also too cash-poor to pay for massages, this works out well for everyone.

And that might sort of catch you up!


*Hyperbole. My belly button has no small print.

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

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Date: 2014-07-07 23:02
Subject: And There Again
Security: Public
Location:Witchnest Manor
Music:Soul Coughing
Tags:family, food, freelance, friends, garden, mark, travel, wedding

Why is it so hard to blog these days? The end of the day comes too quickly, and so many things are undone, and…I go to bed.

Except tomorrow we’re heading to California at oh-dark-early, for a wedding-planning trip and some family visiting (my family this time), and who knows when I’ll have time at the keyboard again?, so, here we go.

I think part of the trouble is, I’m so busy doing things NOT at the computer–reading manuscripts, working in the garden, proofreading, errands–it’s not like I’m just sitting here anyway and can make a quick blog post.

So let’s see…what’s new?

Light bulbs are exploding again. I wish that wouldn’t happen.

We’ve really been enjoying our deck–have had every meal possible out there, including entertaining.
Dinner on the Deck
And I continue to master the barbecue–I successfully conquered spare ribs, which OH MY GOD YUM. And broccolini, and cauliflower, and LETTUCE yes lettuce.

We had our first zucchini this morning (scrambled into eggs, not on the grill), and we allllllmost have tomatoes! Seriously, one is probably going to ripen tomorrow. Oh well, we’ll enjoy them in a few days when we get back.

Mark did a handful of book covers over the last few days, one or two of which I’ll post when it’s okay to.

But mostly it’s just been work, work, work…which, I think that about catches you up. Tomorrow: on the road!

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

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Date: 2014-07-03 22:12
Subject: Picspam
Security: Public
Location:Witchnest Manor
Tags:family, food, freelance, friends, garden, home

Mark’s mother left on the train yesterday. It was a very nice visit, even if she did leave us with a jigsaw puzzle half-done. Of course she did the easy parts.

Well, it’s not as though we haven’t done the same thing to her. More than once. Even so! She should be better than us, shouldn’t she?

So mostly all I’ve got for you is pictures.

Sunday evening, we went to dinner at the home of some old (Ferrari) friends–new friends to me. The dinner was awesome and the dessert was awesomer.
Because Cake

Monday, I cooked here. I’m really getting this barbecuing thing down. My cheeseburgers are things of delicious delight.
Cheeseburger Cheeseburger Cheeseburger

Also, the garden.

I’ve made this photo the new background-screen on my phone (the garden in low morning light):
Garden Morning Light

And, in super-exciting news, I was weeding around behind the lilac bushes (formerly the lilac trees, but this particular one got powder mold and we chopped it to the ground), and discovered that the fig tree that we’d planted last fall, and thought we’d lost in the hard winter, is not dead after all!
The Fig Tree Lives!
Its original stalk is a dead stick, but it’s putting up three healthy new spurs–nearly two feet tall. Hooray!

And…work work work. I understand tomorrow is a holiday of some kind? (Whatever that means?) Actually, we are going to try to go see fireworks with Miss H., if we can figure out how to do so without driving into crowded places and getting stuck in crowded crowds of people. Probably we’ll bike, and seek out auxiliary sites. I like fireworks, but I hate…well, crowds. So we’ll see.

Fortunately, fireworks shows are necessarily late here in the PNW, as it doesn’t get dark till 10pm or so, so there should be plenty of time to get work done before the festivities start. :-)

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

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my journal
December 2014