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14 October 2016 @ 08:23 am

buy better sugar
make fudge make MORE fudge if there’s time
pincurl hair
– pack M&M
– pack CHANCE
– pack fudge
– pack jam
– pack dress
– pack shoes
– pack nylons
– pack sturdy underwear :)
– finish laundry
– fold laundry
– put laundry away if we’re really ambitious
– finish setting up phone
eat something
– chop up more crabapples
– put the frozen ones into bags so i have room to freeze the new ones
– everything i’m forgetting, all by 1:45pm

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

12 October 2016 @ 12:42 pm

We picked apples on Sunday. This warped panorama does not do justice to the numbers of apples currently residing in our entryway:


The bag in the back corner, and the white box, which is like 2×3′ or something, are also full of apples. There are So Many Apples. There’s a fairly large bag already missing, too, as I sent one home with my sister.

A friend just dropped by and took away the small box next to the plant pots and the black bag at the foot of the photo, which made a small but visible dent. Ted said, “I can fix that. Want me to go pick more apples?”

I gave him the look he deserved. :)

I’ve been making apple jelly and jam almost daily. Now that we have ALL OF THESE off the trees I need to start apple butter, but it requires peeling so many apples I have to get started early or I’ll be doing apple butter at midnight.

Here are the jams I’ve made so far. Soon they’ll be available on Etsy. Soon!

crabapple jelly & jam, blackberry jam / apple jam & jelly, strawberry jam, raspberry jam
crabapple jelly & jam, blackberry jam / apple jam & jelly, strawberry jam, raspberry jam

This weekend I’m going to be bringing some to Octocon. If you happen to be going and see this post, there’s a poll here to ‘pre-order’ the jams you’d like, just to try to give myself a sense of how many I should bring. (Don’t fill it out if you’re not going to Octocon but want jam. The Etsy store will be up soon!)

There are still so many apples on the trees, omg. Oh, the crabapples:


13 pounds picked in half an hour, and that was literally only the low-hanging fruit on the tree. There’s got to be at least twice this again. I’m thinking of making crabapple butter, which I’ve never tried. I bet it’ll be an amazing color.

Anyway there’s still hundreds of apples on the main tree and we DISCOVERED a random fifth apple tree in the front corner of our garden a couple of weeks ago and there’s the one tree that fell half down and IDK if it’s worth trying to shake the apples out of it because most of them are growing over a hedge, and there’s the other tree that hasn’t fallen down and we haven’t even made a *stab* at it yet.

I’ve got so many apple recipes, but we can’t EAT this much!

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

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11 October 2016 @ 11:26 am
This is a poll for people attending Octocon this weekend.

I've made A LOT of jam and jelly and I intend to sell it on Etsy, but I'm going to bring some to Octocon and I'm trying to figure out how much I should bring, so this is a little pre-order/expression of interest form to help me judge.

If you're not going to Octocon, please don't fill this out, you'll be able to order this on Etsy later. :)

Poll #2055413 Expression Of Interest In Octocon Jam

I would like to pre-order

one of each jam (7 jars, €25)
strawberry (1 jar, €4)
raspberry (1 jar, €4)
wild blackberry (1 jar, €4)
crabapple jelly (1 jar, €4)
crabapple jam (1 jar, €4)
apple jelly (1 jar, €4)
apple jam (1 jar, €4)
hot fudge (1 jar, €4)
family-sized hot fudge (1 jar, €6)
07 October 2016 @ 08:12 pm

I’ve been having a hard time gathering myself to blog. Part of it is that I’ve been very busy (I got everything on the last post’s to do list done and a great deal more), and part of it is that I’m very tired. It’s been a terribly emotional year and as I’ve said to a few people, we’re not really so much scraping the bottom of the barrel as trying to claw our way back up to its great height.

So this is what I’ve been doing instead of blogging:

Last week I designed new business cards, got the bookmarks & postcards for the (very successful!) ATLANTIS FALLEN Kickstarter done & ordered, ordered copies of TAKE A CHANCE, my comic book that has FINALLY become a graphic novel (I have to do a whole launch day post about it, agh), designed a t-shirt, picked & processed 13 pounds of crabapples (which represented about a quarter of what’s on the tree, oi!), made about three gallons of jam and jellies, watched Luke Cage, threw together a little chapbook sized print edition of RAVEN HEART for a bit of swag at Octocon, and…

…and this week I’ve done a ton of other stuff. Bought costume pieces for Octocon, which is coming up next weekend. Raked apples up from the back garden. Gotten ATLANTIS FALLEN all but ready to go to the printer (it should go in the morning, in fact, i hope!). Went to a SF book club for the first time. Put in an Amazon order for things I can’t find locally and then of course also some extra stuff because Amazon. :) Accidentally walked 11.6 miles in one day. Spent hours unsuccessfully trying to recover an email address & twitter account. Indulged in some *really exciting* retail therapy like buying new laundry baskets and rubbish bins.

Many things I’m forgetting, including the fact that I’m only just over a cold that’s lasted a very solid two weeks. Anyway, that’s kind of the past couple weeks in a nutshell and I’ll try to get back to more regular blogging…soon. ♥

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

26 September 2016 @ 12:53 pm

mail voter registration stuff
go over AF galleys *EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE YAY*
shake down the crabapple tree (again tho)
process crabapples (again tho)
make crabapple jelly (again tho)
perhaps make crabapple jam (again tho)
– but just you wait
make raspberry jam for octocon/etsy
make strawberry jam for octocon/etsy
make hot fudge for octocon/etsy
order this wig? for octocon because reasons nah
order/have made a Stetson Aviatrix (Peggy Carter’s hat)
email isbn info to isbn lady
email harry for Chance copies
oh god everything else
– just you wait

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

20 September 2016 @ 04:55 pm

this morning i came home from dropping indy off at school and ted, looking very emotional, said, “come into the kitchen and see what our friends have done.”

a little befuddled, i went into the kitchen, and there saw a large box and thought, “oh! yes, one of them said they would send a few–” and somewhere around that point a started to realize that there were two large–*large*–boxes, crammed full, and…


this is…i just…i don’t even know where to start. they organized a care package of Food We Can’t Get Here, in the wake of Mom’s death. a dozen people helped put it together. people across the whole the united states, from alaska to boston and everywhere in between.

i have literally never seen so much bakers’ chocolate at once in my life. not even at a store. (the lady who bought it cleared the place out of it. <3) you can't get crisco here at all, nevermind in giant tubs. this will last us forever. i used to eat that kind of cereal when we were in alaska, and missed it terribly when we moved here. people sent me some for a while, but then i got used to other stuff, but someone (i suspect mary anne) *remembered*. i will be bringing one (or 1.5) of the ENORMOUS BOXES of mac&cheese to my sister Deirdre, whose boys love Kraft mac&cheese with... well, all the love of 11 and 13 year old kids. :) and i'd just used the last of the chocolate chips we had, and now we have bags and bags of POSH ones. and one of my oldest friends sent me a hug, in the form of this beautiful, beautiful scarf that she made: myhug

i’ve been wearing it all day. ted and i have been pretty much crying all day. every time we go into the kitchen it just starts again. we are so overwhelmed. so grateful. so thankful. so amused because OH MY GOD IT’S JUST SO MUCH!

i had pop tarts for breakfast, of course. <3 poptart

we don’t really know how to say thank you. we’re just stunned and grateful and feel so, so loved. ♥ ♥ ♥

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

18 September 2016 @ 10:56 pm

There’s a part of me that wants to go check out all the Hamilton fic that I’m sure exists, all the alternate universes where things went…better. And the rest of me is like NO NO NO because that way lies doom.

But there’s also the part of me that keeps thinking of the Neil Gaiman bit where somebody is talking to a late 20th century Earth person & says something to the effect of, “Who’s President? Ah. Clinton? And Bush before him, and Reagan…? Ah. Yes. You live in one of *those* timelines…”

And I keep thinking, maybe that’s it. Maybe we live in one of *those* timelines. Maybe it’s not Clinton and Bush and Reagan and Nixon, maybe it went wrong a long time before that: “Ah. Hamilton married Eliza? Had the affair? Wrote the Reynolds Papers? Shot by Burr? You poor bastards, you got stuck in one of *those* timelines.”

Because you could, y’know. Draw a thru-line from Hamilton’s disgrace to Trump’s rise. It’d be conjecture, the world has more moving parts than that, but you could. And if you can draw those lines, you can draw a whole different line along where it might have gone differently.

Maybe only writers do this to themselves, but it does make me want to explore that whole AU.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

12 September 2016 @ 04:28 pm

Me: *sings* My name is Alexander Hamilton!

Indy: Who’s that?

Me: He’s one of the people who fought the Revolutionary War and helped start the United States of America. He built the banks.

Indy: *wide eyes* Revolutionary War?

Me: Yes. You know how in 1916 in Ireland there was a revolution? The United States had one of those in 1776, a very long time ago.

Indy: Did Ireland have any more revolutions?

Me: Yes, in 1921. That’s when they obtained their independence from Britain, which is the same country that the US was revolting against.

Indy: Did the US have any more revolutions?

Me: Sort of. In 1860 there was another big war where the South of the US and the North of the US fought each other, but the people who started it didn’t win so it’s called a civil war instead of a revolution.

Indy: Why did they fight?

Me: They were mostly fighting over something called slavery, which is where one person is allowed to own another person and make them do whatever they want. Do you think that’s a good idea or a bad idea?

Indy, looking very thoughtful, lifted his hands in balances, one hand rising high while the other fell very low. I said, “Is that good or bad?”

“*Bad*,” Indy said emphatically. “Who won?”

“The North,” I said, “the side that thought people shouldn’t be allowed to own other people.”

“YES!” Indy shouted, and punched the air.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

09 September 2016 @ 03:30 pm

Indy and I went on a Pokewalk this evening. Won the local gym back (at great cost, half our Pokemon fainted!). We’re *terrible* at Pokebattles but Indy seems to be learning to embrace the “we’re doing it for fun not for winning” thing, which is great.


turns out there’s a Japanese legend abt a fish determined to climb a massive waterfall. keeps trying, keeps trying, keeps trying. all the other fish mock it, you can’t make it, you’ll never make it, stop making a fool of yourself. but it keeps trying, keeps trying. & FINALLY it succeeds

and the gods look down on this fish & say “good damn job,” & TURN IT INTO A DRAGON AS A REWARD FOR ITS PERSEVERANCE

Hence Magikarp –> 400 candies –> GYRADOS THE DRAGON

HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!?!?!?!?

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

08 September 2016 @ 03:23 pm

I’m suffering from that start-of-school-year feeling that I should run out and Improve Myself! Study Spanish! Learn sign language! Take a photography class! Do yoga! Take an art class! Start swimming! Get an anthropology degree! Find voice classes!

me: instead of trying ALL THE THINGS i should, idk, do one and actually stick with it?

brain: you’re not being creative enuf
me: i’ve pubished 2 books & started a new pseudonym this year

seriously, my brain is trying to kill me.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)