Category Archives: Blessings

*dusts off the blog*

I’m really tired. And I have work to do, so hey, peeking in here is procrastination, right?

Lots of changes and adjustments going on, and they’re exhausting. 2020 is bonkers to begin with. For the past two years the family has gone through some development and evolution as well, and everyone’s in a better place.

Sparky only has a year and a half of high school left. What even. He’s doing 50/50 in school/online.

Owlet has had some learning difficulties finally confirmed and diagnosed, and they explain so much. Her individual learning plan with the school can now be tweaked to more accurately reflect the support she needs.

HRH is currently crewing on a ship and there are good things in his future. (If the pandemic and bureaucratic incompetence can just get out of the way for a bit.)

I’ve lost track of my books. I’m writing a new one. Royalties are a thing, and because all my old books have been rereleased… the past fifteen years of work are finally paying off way more now than the original work-for-hire titles did.

I have awesome support from inspiring local friends. I’d be a mess without them. Online friends are also a thing, and although our annual girls’ trip to Rhinebeck was cancelled this year, my circle of fibre-artist mums with nine-year-olds is still a thing. It just about our ten-year anniversary.

I started writing little fiction bits again. I connected with another writer online and we do stuff together, too.

I now have four spinning wheels and a truly embarrassing amount of fluff.

Sparky is my size and inherited my Eastman 7/8. I upgraded to a 2016 Scarlatti model Xuechang Sun 7/8, and a lovely new bow from The Soundpost. We’ve been doing lessons online since things went to COVID heck in the spring, and there are things I like about it (mainly not losing four hours of a day to travel and two lessons), I do miss not being able to hear my teacher perfectly and have her demonstrate subtle things that just don’t translate well over Zoom. But I… can play decently? As in, I don’t hate my sound? And now my lesson time is mostly about phrasing and interpretation, not technical stuff. I never thought I’d reach that point. (Twenty-six years into this. Good grief.)

I started working with a massotherapist, who swears creatively in Quebecois under her breath when she works on my body. Apparently I’m a mess and shouldn’t be able to function like this. Things are loosening up and unlocking, and slowly getting better as she focuses on different areas. The fibro is still fibro. I went for some tests in the late spring but my doctor is kind of busy with this whole pandemic thing. I figure if anything was a red flag, the office would have called me. These days it’s mostly extreme fatigue, which is understandable given the stress everyone is carrying thanks to *gestures at 2020*.

Anyway. Things are mostly good.


Every five years or so, the people of my spiritual path gather together in southern Pennsylvania for a long weekend of reflection, worship, fellowship, and meetings. Between these major retreats, there is a weekend for the leaders within the tradition; a sort of leadership conference where decision-making happens, policy is discussed, and techniques are shared.

This past weekend, HRH and I attended one of the latter retreats. It was the first event I’d been able to attend in seven or eight years, thanks to a variety of instances that prevented me from getting to the others (financial crisis the day before I was to leave, health crises associated with scheduled childcare so I stayed with the kids while HRH went alone) so this weekend fed my soul in a very particular way. I saw people I hadn’t seen in person for almost a decade. I participated in seminars and worship services that I didn’t lead — a rarity for me. Not having to facilitate anyone else’s experience allowed me to actually look to my own, a luxury I am rarely allowed.

The weather was stifling, and the ten-hour drive down and back was not fun. Travel steals a lot of the energy I need to function on a daily basis (thanks so much, fibro), as does dealing with heat and humidity. The metal folding chairs were murder on my back. But I am so very grateful that the universe made sure I could go this time. What I got out of it was immensely valuable to me. I reconnected with other people who practice our tradition. I reconnected with the source of our path. I did some soul searching, and had a couple of revelations that I need to meditate on some more.

We stayed at an absolutely wonderful B&B in Harrisburg, the City House, and after the day’s activities we returned there and walked to pubs or bistros for light evening meals. Our last dinner was at a locally famous steakhouse with nine other conference attendees, and it was good to be with them.

Grandma came to stay with the kids, and they had a fabulous time with her and their grandfather, who came over during the days as well. We are very grateful to them. I missed the kids, but a couple of days without them went a long way to recharging my parenting batteries, too.

Meet Jiji

We took the kids out for a surprise today. Where were we going? We wouldn’t say. It’s a mystery! Just sit back and enjoy the trip, kids. (As best you can in 31 C weather before humidex and with no AC.)

Meet Jiji.

We went to the shelter for a cat one year or older, since the population of those skyrockets around July 1 here (it’s moving day) and whereas kittens always find homes, rehoming adult cats is much more challenging. We felt we were at a place where we were ready to offer another rescue animal a home and a forever family, and the shelter was running a half-price adoption fee for adult cats, since they were overpopulated. We found three we liked as we walked through the cattery (two calicos! a grey!)… except then we saw this three-month-old guy at the end of the hall. He tried to climb through the glass to get to the children, and, well, game over. A full-price kitten it was. Black cats are always harder to get adopted, so we helped him, right?

He’s spectacular with both kids, with whom he played in the meeting room for over half an hour without fear. The adoption facilitator kept saying, “I have to tell you all this stuff about stress and warnings and how adjusting can be hard on the cat, but… somehow, I really don’t think it’s going to be a problem.” She said she hadn’t seen a cat click with a family that well or that fast in quite a while. So far Gryff and Minerva haven’t had hissy fits about the Strange New Cat Smell on the Family, which is also positive, although the true test will come tonight when they are both denied entry to our bedroom, where they like to sleep.

(PS: Bonus points if you get the name reference!)

Sparky: Ten Years Old!

We did it! We made it to double digits!

These birthday photo posts are getting very long. I think that makes them all the more special, don’t you?

Ten entire years ago, during a humid heatwave, we unexpectedly found ourselves with someone who wasn’t scheduled to arrive for another nine weeks. In those nine weeks, I had to correct the galleys of one book, deliver the first draft of another, unpack from the move, create a nursery, and perform in a rock concert. All that was rearranged, rescheduled, or cancelled (for me, anyway): the galleys were corrected in the hospital (yeah, I’m hardcore that way; HRH FedExed them to the publisher for me as soon as they were done), t! took my place onstage with Random Colour (I dictated basslines to him over the phone from my hospital bed), the delivery deadline for the first draft of the other book was moved (bless my editor at the time!), the nursery was hastily finished while Sparky was in the neonatal unit, and unpacking happened when it happened.











For what it’s worth, he showed that striped shirt to me yesterday and said, “This is too tight on me now.” We’ve been weeding clothes out of his drawers on what feels like a weekly basis, and he’s eating an awful lot. Not a lot at a time, just frequently.

Oh, let’s add another one where’s he’s actually smiling.

One decade ago he was born nine weeks early, and we’ve been trying to keep up with him ever since.

Books books books books Lego books Minecraft books Pokemon books.

He’s wearing size 10-14 or large youth shirts, and size 9-10 pants for length, although we have to cinch the waists. He’s wearing youth size 2 shoes, and more of my socks and some of my more fitted t-shirts are mistakenly ending up in his drawers when the laundry gets put away.

This year at school he ran into math problems because he didn’t have a basic handle on multiplication/division/fact families. But then he discovered fractions and blazed through those, and plotted coordinates were fun, too. Grade four is the first year of provincial exams here, and we’re waiting on those results.

He’s sensitive, funny, loves sharing stuff he’s interested in, actively tries to engage his sister in play (until she tries to direct said play, that is), and adores puns. We have a special family game or movie night with just the three of us every Saturday night, and it’s a blast.

(We just watched Jurassic Park in two goes, because while he was happy and awed for the first hour, when the T-Rex ate the lawyer it was all “WHY ARE YOU LETTING ME WATCH THIS THIS IS A TERRIBLE MOVIE” and we had to stop it. After a week of getting used to it, he proposed watching the second half, and he was fine. Now he’s changed his idea for his birthday party from a spy theme to a Jurassic Park theme. Uh-oh.)

He’s a terrific kid, and we’re looking forward to the next decade with him.