Home for the Holidays

As we do every time we come through town, I had the Girl take a picture of the Dallas skyline as we passed it.

Hi Dallas

“Hi Dallas” was posted to my FB wall. It’s a way to let the folks living in the city know that I am in town. Also a way to let the folks back home know that I have arrived (more or less safely).

*waves at both Dallas and Back Home peeps*

And now? Now we settle in for holiday/family fun. Which, in my family, means food, games, food, movies, coffee, food, prezzies, cocoa, cards, food, and all the (mostly) gentle snark we can dish. Additionally, there is my Mom’s disco shower. I freaking love that thing.

Did I mention food? I hope so, because I am dying to tell you guys the menu that my Mom shared with me over my sister’s and my birthday dinner last night.

Tonight we are having turkey tetrazzini, probably with a salad and crusty bread on the side.
Tomorrow is tamales, queso, chili, chips, dips, and crudités.
Christmas Day is a pork loin, roasted asparagus, corn bread dressing, and scalloped rosemary potatoes.

All of this is not including the breakfast (think Southern Living meets East Texas with a double side of corn bread and gravy) and lunch (almost certainly leftovers and/or sandwiches made of leftovers).
I am so very blessed to have such amazing food in my life.

There was a time in the Way Ago that I did not. Through a series of rash and (in perfect hindsight) really stupid actions on my part, I wound up living in the streets for a time. We usually had food, albeit not the greatest and certainly not the healthiest. But we knew people who did not. People who struggled on the daily to get a meal for their kids, for themselves, for their parents. You don’t want to know what watching someone rationing out a single dollar hamburger amongst three people does to your heart.

Hunger is a world wide problem, y’all. And with our population expanding ever upward, it is going to continue to be one. So, I am asking you this: do you have a little extra?
A little extra food?
A little extra cash?
A little extra time?

Because if you do, and you’re willing, you can help make a difference. You can take food to a local food bank. You can send a check to an organization that feeds the hungry. You can drive a van full of meals to shut-ins. You can help. You can.

abolish hungre

May your entire holiday -however and with whomever you celebrate it – be full of all the things, people, and critters you love.

Peace.

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Good Help

I was recently (today, as a matter of fact!) pointed to a fellow writer blog, I Saw Lightning Fall. I HIGHLY reccomend that you wander over there and take a gander. Make sure your chair is comfy and you’ve a tasty snack or beverage to hand. I suspect you will be spending a lot time there.
So. Many. Stories.  🙂

Anywho, I Saw Lightning Fall  is collecting dark Christmas stories. I was intrigued and definitely wanted to play!  The rules were pretty simple:  creepy content, 100 words exactly.  Below is my submission.  I hope you (and ISLF) like it.

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Good Help

“Is everything ready?” Clinking noises accompanied his words.

“Yes, sir.” I hoped he couldn’t see my hands shake. He didn’t like it when his servants were visibly frightened. He required serenity for his work, he said. I smoothed down the white fabric of the robe I wore. Eldritch patterns glimmered faint green along the hem and neckline.

“Now, Ms. Gardner. Let us begin.” He began to chant, his powerful, deep voice booming against the icy cavern walls, opening the Ways. I tilted my head back, as per instructions, stretching my hands up.

At the proper moment, I pierced his heart.

Late Night Stories

I stayed up far too late last night reading a book1. This is the second time in the last week or so that I have done this.
It was good. I mean, today my eyes are circled with purple tired marks and I am exhausted. But, still. It was fantastic, turning the pages, wondering what happens next, where the story was going to go.

I had forgotten the simple pleasure of reading something that wasn’t on a flickering screen.

3AM comes mighty quick when you’re deep in the throes of a Dresden novel.

 

As an added side effect, I woke up with some glimmerings of a story idea in my head. I’m not aggressively chasing that. Recent history has shown that is a surefire way to scare it off. I am going to let it percolate in the back of my head, though. See what bubbles to the surface like swamp gas. Or a monster breathing underwater.

Dice.
Dice.

Question for the gamer/GM types who read this blog: I recently recorded a session of the game that I am GMing. If I can get the permission of the people involved (which is a BIG maybe), would that be something you’d like to see?  Let a scribe know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1– The which I finished. Then I had to convince myself that I really needed to turn off the light and NOT pick up the next book in the series.

All I need now is Kyle MacLachlan

Inspired by most of a full night’s sleep and a comment to a post I made on FB.

 

I don’t know if y’all know this, but I am a raging insomniac. I have trouble both falling and staying asleep. Sometimes, if I am mid poor sleep-cycle, I will only average about 4 hours of broken sleep. And the problem worsens as I age.
If you think this has made me a completely cranky, hateful, mean, and all-around difficult person to be around…well, you might be right.

from Full Metal Alchemist, right?  ;)
from Full Metal Alchemist, right? 😉

 

But last night, I got sleep. A glorious, mostly in-a-row, 9 hours of sleep.
I am beyond grateful. And still a little tired1.

I mentioned on my FB that I was so very happy to have had some sleep. A friend posted that she was going to sacrifice a small pillow on behalf. I was tickled so I replied:

“I give unto thee, Mighty Sleep Lords, this small throw pillow (with fringe!) so that our servant may continue to sleep. May she ever follow in the Restful Way.”

 

Which of course led me down a Alician Rabbit Hole thought spiral; the outcome of which is this2:

 

I must sleep

Not-sleeping is the mind-killer.

Not-sleeping is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my wakefulness.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the wakefulness has gone there will be nothing….only sleep will remain

 

SOURCE: http://www.wallpaper4me.com/images/wallpapers/dune_city_w1.jpeg
SOURCE: http://www.wallpaper4me.com/images/wallpapers/dune_city_w1.jpeg

 

I know that there have been thousands of articles on sleep. How much is good, how much is bad, what kind you should be having, how to get to sleep, what drugs to take to sleep, what behaviors indicate a good sleep profile, how to sleep lucidly (wut), how to make profit from sleep…

I might probably have read most of them in an attempt to figure out my sleep issues. Nothing has ever really worked for me. Not long term, at any rate.

Well, except for one thing.
Being still. Or rather, allowing myself to be still. I feel kind of silly3 talking about this, because I am definitely a non-woowoo sort of person. However, meditation – the practice of just being – has worked almost every time I have seriously4 tried it.

I think…I think that in spite of feeling like a fool for counting my breaths and relaxing, I should be feeling like one for ignoring a modality that, yanno, works for me.

Is this what growing up is? The realization that everything that was embarrassing to you really has no actual impact. And that being embarrassed over something that helps you is asinine.

 

 

 

 

1– Have been operating on around 4 (or less) hours per night for almost a month, now.
2– I *did* mention that I have gotten about 37 (+ / -) hours of sleep in the last month, yes?
3– I’m not sure what it says about me that having found something that actually works I won’t use or discuss it because I feel a little silly about it.
4– By ‘seriously’ I mean sitting down with intention and not allowing my Traitor Brain to distract me.