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I haven't posted on his site in a while. Not that there hasn't been drama or stress, but not at the same levels of say, the Ravenwood debacle. And I've been able to vent, safely on stuff that was getting to me. Until now.

Lots and lots going on. My son has moved back in with his dad. Earlier than planned, but that's when the help was available. Shrug. I miss him, but I understand it's what he needs to do. He's being great about helping and being around and in contact.
My daughter, on the other hand, not so good. Probably due to stress in her own life (getting married, etc.) is responding to me as if she's the parent and I'm the foolish child. She's starting to remind me too much of my ex. Very soon we are going to have a conversation about all this. She has her specific opinions about where I should move, when, what kind of lease, etc. And she seems to think that not only is she right, but she needs to nag me to go that way. yeah, no.
I know I have to move. I also know that, while I appreciate all the help I can get, the ultimate responsibility for the decisions is mine. I have to weigh all the factors to decide where we move and when. And the need to have mom not so far from her doctors (or less far than we are here) is seeming more important.

I'll post about this on facebook in a bit, but mom had one of her not-so-good days today. She couldn't keep anything in her memory for longer than about 5 minutes. Or so it seemed. I brought her down to the place I've got an application in on. by the time we got back to the car she couldn't remember why we had gone down there. It was one of those days in which she asked me the same questions multiple times. I know she wanted to understand and remember, but it got to me. It was a day off for me, and due to the heat I was working in the air conditioned part of the house. She wouldn't leave me alone. She wanted to help, so I asked her to do simple things. Everything she "cleaned" for me I'm going to have to do over. She hauled the trash out to the curb, even though I repeatedly asked her not to, since there was more to go out (and it was 90 degrees out).
Finally I talked to her about the fact that she was having a bad memory day (after getting cranky with her). She admitted that she was noticing more memory problems today. She couldn't think of any other symptoms, but did admit to being constipated. That might have caused it. The worst days are usually that or blood pressure issues. I'll monitor her bp tomorrow. I already increased her meds for the other. Sigh. How many of the bad days do I not notice because I'm at work?
I'm doing the best I can. I will be talking to mom's primary care doctor about what I do when her bad days increase in number.

My moving situation is stressful. My mom is not really able to help. So it's me sorting, packing up, and cleaning. It will probably be me making all those trips to and from with boxes and stuff. That's how it's been every other time I've moved since the divorce. I get help on moving day.
If everything were to go right, I would be working with a potential landlord for a move in date just after the first of August. I'll have to pay rent here (due the 15th), but not after. Old landlord would be happy. If I can pay new landlord after my check from Tod comes in around the first, we're home free. That time frame works for Kurt to borrow a truck (and no u-haul!) and for me to get more stuff organized, and maybe time to have another yard sale and arrange to sell stuff.
However, the place I put in an application for is ready now. The landlord wants a move in date of July 15th. It sounds like he wants to give it to me. But will my current landlord release me a month early? Could I possibly get everything moved in a week? Since next week is Comicon, no daughter, fiancee, or truck. Right now I honestly don't know.
What I do know is that I trust God. Somehow this will all work out.
I want a 2 bedroom place on the ground floor. Air conditioning to some degree. Decent sized rooms and decent storage (most of the newer and especially the senior places are horrid in that regard). A lockable garage would be wonderful! I don't want to have to get a storage place - even for just a few months. Not any further away from mom's doctors (who are all clustered near Los Alamitos). I'd love to move back to Los Al. We'll see.

So I have decisions to make. Lots more packing to do. I'm going to drop a note to my home church pastor and ask for prayer for the situation.

I'm looking forward to my birthday. I have the day off. In faith I plan to spend part of it unpacking.
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I'm going to be having a serious conversation with my children soon. 2013 is going to have to bring about some serious changes that I have been avoiding.

The fact that I have been avoiding for a long time is that my spousal support will run out when I turn 61 years old. That will be August of 2014. Five months after my daughter's wedding. I'm loosing $3,000 a month in income. That money has made the difference in my lifestyle. By d-day I will have to figure out some way to live off my income. And frankly, what I make at Knotts is crap. I make less than $9 an hour and only during peak season do I get more than 32 hours a week. I've done the math. It's not good. My mom brings in $2,017 a month in Social Security. After I pay her bills, apply some of it to rent and food, there's not much left.

I don't want to, but I have to move. Rent is $1,900 a month. Originally I planned to stay here until mom died. She's comfortable here. Moving her would be bad with her dementia. Right now it looks like she will be with us for at least several years, with less and less memory. I don't know at what point she will need more care than I can give her right now. That's something I will be talking to the doctor about. But I need to move to someplace less expensive. I plan to spend the first 6 months of the year downsizing and starting to pack. I will need to move, probably before October.

I'm also applying for a different job at Knotts. It's a recruiter position, which means I would be interviewing potential applicants for jobs at Knotts. It's only a seasonal job, but it is a foot in the door to an HR position. Frankly, HR would be a good use of my skills. And even if Knotts won't pay me enough, it could be a stepping stone to a better position elsewhere. Here's hoping. And if that falls through, I'll be back to applying for jobs again. I've got to. Somewhere there is a job that will let me make enough money to support myself as well as take care of my mom.

So I have a set of plans. I'm not happy about most of them, but sometimes life isn't easy. I probably should have started all this earlier, but now is better than not at all.
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I've been doing enough complaining (mostly about work) at my normal site that I haven't felt the need to use this account. However, there's enough rattling around to warrant this.

As I stated elsewhere, I am very happy with my new faire guild. Not really new, since I've been gatelisting with them for pirate events for at least 5 years. We get along. Not perfectly, because that would be unreal, but well enough that it feels like "family." Not having Ouch and Nails (Katey and Jeremy) was hard. It was a hole that only got filled that one weekend. The good news is that Jeremy could be on the transplant list as early as October. Lots and lots of praying!

It seems like almost every guild I know has gone through major upsets in the past few years-and especially the Corona guilds. Here's the roll call (starting from the main gate):

Torc Du: About 3 years ago the guildmaster and his lady broke up and he fell apart, lost his job and everything. He's living in Nevada now and the guild has reorganized well. My daughter reports more drama than she wants to deal with, but good people.

Antares: The guildmaster and his wife split very publicly last year. Surprisingly both were at Corona and it worked out. Others have had to step up to deal with leadership holes. Probably good for everyone there.

Ravenwood: A much smaller unit than in years past.They seem to have weathered the exodus of last year. They even added some new people that seems to be ok. I still have no use for Kevin. Captain Tony seems to be dealing with lots of changes (including the fact that his triplet girls are now 14!). But the real changes are with Beau and Amber. He thought he had everything he wanted when the group of us left last year. But now his new wife is apparently divorcing him. Not a surprise since Beau was her #3. That and a heart condition seem to have made Beau easier to be around. Maybe it's just that I'm not having to deal with him.

McDara: A craft guild also known as the geriatric guild. They lost a key member recently. That may have been why they deliberately tried to be more active in faire events. Their entry in the costume contest still makes me laugh.

Arts and Science: Due to real life both their guild master and assistant were not able to make it out to faire for most of the run. They did fine, but it was a real stretch.

MacCoulin Bakers and Artisans: This guild has gone through more personnel changes than any I know. And a lot of drama. For a while they were split into two groups.

Saint Martin: I'm amazed the French are still around. Their guildmaster had to leave faire last year to deal with alcohol problems and to try to save his marriage. Others stepped up, but they have to deal with root problems or they will be out. Billy from Rogues will probably be their military leader next season and will do a good job of it.

Rogues Cove: We're stable now, but a few years ago we had a pretty good split, so our numbers are still low.

Town Criers: Their guild building was locked up this season. The joke was that the members were either unemployed or pregnant or both. The guild master got into a fight with Tom the promoter. I don't expect to see them back. Tom's looking for someone else to buy the building and put a new guild in there.

DHF (the German military): They had a big split last year when Dieter took over. They picked up new members, so the numbers seemed about the same. Several former members went to Ravenwood.

The Towne Folk: This is a very loosely organized group that ebbs and flows in structure and membership. I was barely aware of them this year.

Santiago: Once upon a time this group was English (Saint Paul's). Depending on who you ask, they were either kicked out, or left due to problems with black powder safety. They came back to Corona this season in their new Spanish incarnation. Still problems with black powder safety. Sigh. And their guild master is still a major pain. Unless they decide to not come to Long Beach Pirate faire, I'll have to deal with him, again.

So yeah, everyone is dealing with change and real life. But somehow we stepped up our interaction with each other and with the patrons and we put on a good show. Go us!

So the faire part of my life is finally back on track. Now if I could just get work to improve... I'm tired of being on the run from when I start to when I end. I'm tired of comming home each day with a layer of salt on me from the sweat. And it's not even the hot part of summer! My top two supervisors are usually, to quote my mom, "a day late and a dollar short." I'm getting the hang of the store, and my partner and I are working out, but I am really, really tired of having to work so hard every day. I find myself not caring.
One thing I've decided is that I am going to need more mental health breaks with this shop. So I am not going to worry about asking for days off. Whenever possible, I'll schedule days off to be non-weekend, but I am scheduling adventures. In Sept. I'm taking Labor Day weekend off to go to Dragon Con. The first weekend of Haunt I'm going to be at LB pirate faire. Probably in early November I want to take my mom out to AZ to visit family there again. Maybe a day trip out to Bakersfield to visit her sister. And a trip out to Vegas or two to visit the Rogues out there-especially with Danielle due to have her baby in November!
It may not be the best attitude, but right now it's where my head needs to be at. What are they going to do? Fire me?

I had a dream a few weeks back that is surprisingly a source of comfort and encouragement. In it my mom had passed away and after I head dealt with the physical stuff, I moved to Kaui, Hawaii to house sit for some people I knew. While there I did odd jobs and lived very simply. All I was responsible for was me. I did a lot of writing and was very content. After about a year I had to return to the mainland because my daughter was getting married. And so my life began again.
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I forgot to mention the family drama that went on last week. It focused, as usual, around my sister-in-love Monica. Now I've known Monica since she was 16. We share the same birthday. She was a nice kid. Then she started going to college, decided that she wasn't going to be a Christian anymore, and basically turned into her mother and grandmother. To say she is controlling is a massive understatement. The upshot of the week was lots of hurt feelings, both Tod and I were out money, and I only got to see my 23 year old niece for about 3 minutes. There are reasons why I don't spend more time with those people. I'm so glad my kids were at my family reunion. Both of them commented to me after that they enjoyed being around family that wasn't crazy and actually liked each other.

The Ravenwood drama continues. Our Captain notified the membership that we were looking for a new president and explained the duties and responsibilities. All applications are due in by tonight, voting on line on Sunday. Good plan. This morning I woke up to the news that there are now two applicants-me and a woman named Laura. I admit that Laura has me beat in terms of experience in running a guild. However, she is only a member of Ravenwood beause she's a friend and likes to gate list with us when her guild isn't doing an event. That's right, she is very active in the local German guild. And she's the battle coordinator of the Corona faire-as a German. And she wants to run Ravenwood? I suspect the fact that she's long time friends of the 2 week president, Kevin, has something to do with her candidacy. My initial response was WTF??? It should be over by tomorrow night.

There is news about my Knotts job. I'll post that tomorrow as well. I just wanted to get last weeks drama ranting out of my system first.
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With my teaching job ending last week, I'm back to working 5 days a week for Knotts. My feet have reminded me why they really, really dislike that job. Having a bar toenail doesn't help. Sigh. Due to my Knotts scheduling, I still haven't made it out to a Corona battle practice. It does look like I will be able to go to the practice specifically for the archers (Thank you God!).

Lots of news. The good: SHE aka Nora from Antares has made the adult decision not to attend Corona faire this season. Frankly she cannot afford it, nor does she have transport. The fact that most of her guild (and a lot of mine) would like to push her off the river bank doesn't even occur to her. One less bit of stress at Corona. Tim (mostly of Ravenwood) won't be there either. Another victim of finances (that whole being unemployed and having a new baby thing). I'll miss having a drummer on site, but that's about it. I won't miss having to force him and his lady to actually put in the time working for Ravenwood that they promised by signing up.

My stressors from the previous post continue. No real changes for my son. My daughter's bf continues on his up and down way. He did fix my son's car (paid for by my ex as a belated Christmas present), so I will be nice today.

My new stressor is that my mom got a notice about her driver's license. The current one expires in May and they want her to come in for a written test-the first one she's had to take in years. I need to go get her a booklet very soon. It just occurred to me today that she just may not pass the test. I know I'm going to get her car someday, but I'm not ready to get it just yet. Mom still needs that bit of independence that being able to drive gives her. She keeps thinking that if she tries hard enough she will be able to remember like she used to. I haven't the heart to tell her that it's unlikely. Today she was trying to balance her checkbook and having problems. She was a bookkeeper for most of her adult life. Now she's having trouble understanding that the bank will charge her for overdrafts. Which reminds me, I need to look into that to see why the overdraft happened. To the best of my knowledge she hasn't bounced a check in years. Sigh.

I need to head to bed. Early shift at Knotts tomorrow with Manny. Yeah, the man who refused to work with me has a shift with just me for the first 2 hours Wed. and Thurs. He seems to be getting better around me. I wish I knew what he disliked about me-aside from the fact that I'm not 18 and female. It's supposed to rain tonight, so there's a chance that the shift tomorrow might get canceled. I can hope. In the evening my kids are coming over so we can celebrate Easter. We're all going to be tied up with work and other stuff on Sunday, so we moved out celebrations to tomorrow night. I even dyed Easter eggs from a Star Wars egg dying kit! It should be fun.
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I really despise drama at work. It's unprofessional for one thing. But right now I'm stuck dealing with some. The corporate drama (which I'll talk about first) just makes me mad.
On Friday, when I wasn't at Knotts, some Cedar Fair corporate folks from Back East were in the park. Our attendance numbers are down. Not a surprise. But it's still early in the month. By the 24th we are going to be needing every store clerk, ride operator, security, etc. we can get. However, this corporate big shot showed up on Friday, knowing the numbers and apparently began walking the park with the lead supervisors. Said corporate bean counter started pointing out employees and insisted that they be sent home immediately. "They weren't needed." Not even caring about our scheduling, etc. Apparently the place was in quite an uproar, since many of the people sent home were breakers, and finding people to fill the spots so employees could get their federally mandated breaks was a real trick. Not to mention how the employees who were sent home felt. Said bean counter also informed the senior supervisors that if the Haunt $$ numbers didn't improve people were going to be laid off. That set well. I think what irritates me most is the heavy handedness of the corporate jerk. In my opinion, what he should have done was to turn to the supervisors and tell them that they needed to send X number of people home. Maybe even indicate which areas of park service to make the cuts. Let the people who know the schedules and the individuals make the wiser decisions. But yeah, didn't help us any last night. The word is that Haunt monsters (the entertainment part of the Haunt budget) won't get laid off, but the rest of us in merchandising, foods, etc. could well go. Thanks, bean counter!

Now the drama in the Gallery is more complex. We have a guy in the gallery, named Manny. He's just younger than I am, probably working two jobs. I was told that he was hard to get to know, so not to be offended if he doesn't interact with me at first. Once he chooses to like a person, all is well. So I didn't worry about it. Besides, Manny and I haven't had many shift together.
Fast forward to last week. Manny and I were scheduled to work Coffin Photo together all week. I didn't think anything about it. He's efficient, knows his job, etc. I got to work that Wed. to discover that my shifts had been changed to all inside Gallery shifts. Apparently Manny has decided that he doesn't like me and refused to work Coffin photo with me. He informed the assistant shift lead about it, who got the shift changes made for him. Manny has proceeded to ignore me pointedly (and rather rudely) all week.
This rather floored me. I immediately thought of at least 6 reasons why he wouldn't like me. But I couldn't think of any way to solve the problem, except by direct confrontation, which didn't feel right. My daughter, bless her, had good advice. She told me that, in her opinion, Manny was being a whinny bitch and acting unprofessional. I should keep on doing my job and ignoring his childishness. Sooner or later, the senior lead in the office (Howard, who is gone this weekend and I'm pretty sure in unaware of the reasons for the changes) is going to find out what's going on and will do what he can to work things out between us. But for now, I do have hurt feelings. Not that anyone at work would know.
Luckily, Manny and I are not scheduled to work together next week. It's supposed to be a split week for me-half outside, half inside. Here's hoping.
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Last night (Friday) I went to a Great Big Sea concert. I love this band. My ex and I discovered this band around 10-12 years ago. One thing we always loved to do was to go see live music. And we both became major fans of this band. Being divorced didn't change this fact. In fact, Tod found his new wife through a GBS fan site I believe.
Now since GBS (for short) band members live in Newfoundland, they don't visit the Los Angeles area often. The last time was 3 years ago. So every time they're even somewhat close I go see them, as does Tod and wifey #2. Since Tod would rather I didn't exist on the planet it does make things odd. My daughter is a big fan too, but she's the one dealing with the most in this circumstance. I usually by her ticket, because if her dad did, he would expect her to spend all her time with him. I understand Katy's problem-she loves both of us. I bought her ticket, but her dad got stuck with the concert t-shirt bill. It evens out.
Which brings me to last night's truly odd thing. GBS does a song called "The Scolding Wife" which includes in the chorus the words, "I swear to God I'll hang myself if I get married again." In my heart of hearts I do tend to agree with this song, especially when Tod is standing right there. But Tod is still in massive denial about what happened in our marriage. So he used to sing along with the band (during concerts) making sure I saw him. He meant it to hurt me. My daughter has since confirmed this. I'm made of tougher stuff than that and have always ignored him. Actually, he never stopped trying to irritate me during this song. But it has evolved. While I wasn't paying attention, "The Scolding Wife" became a song that Tod and Marilyn sing to each other. It's "their song." By the end of it they were hugging and kissing. My head hurt and I think my eyes must have been going, "tilt!" I couldn't miss this one, since they (and Katy) were standing right in front of us.
It was Katy who brought this up to me on the way home. She finds it utterly bizarre. I told her to go with her feelings. It is utterly bizarre for a man to have as a love song to his wife a song about a bitter shrew of a wife.
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With the exception of the bomb scare it really has been a low key holiday season for me. The happy part is that my mom actively participated. Her short term memory loss is sporatic, but still really bugs me sometimes. We're getting a chunk of role reversal with me as the mom now and I'm not liking it. I'm really having a hard time being patient enough. It's not her fault that she's not remembering what we've talked about doing 3 times before. I'm really not looking forward to what I know is coming.
But on to happier stuff, mom had a good Christmas this year. And she feels confident enough with her new teeth to go visit 2 of her adopted sons in the Phoenix area. That's a big step.

It stayed drama free-the only real opportunities for drama were at the 2 parties I've been to so far. Ironiclly enough, the drama swirled around the same person. His ex-gf showed up at the Ravenwood party. She's still "getting over" him. As soon as I heard that, I walked away and didn't really talk to her. It's been over a year. The ex gf spent almost the whole party talking to my male friend who has the pregnant wife who's "in love" with the the WoW guy in Florida. I think they both needed to compare misery notes. I stayed away from those conversations too. When I left the Ravenwood party all three were talking. I didn't even go over there to say goodbye.

I did something odd recently. I joined an online dating service. The results were interesting. After about a month and a half I have found two guys I know (one from faire and another that sometimes goes to my church) and one guy who is apparently just in it for the sex. Such a waste of my time and money. Though the curiosity factor was worth it.

In the "this is ironic" news, I have invited to 3 different New Years Eve events. Last year I had none. My friend Paul is throwing a party, but so far I think I'm the only one who said they'd come. Both his roommates are working graveyard shift, so he'll be there by himself. That's sad. I'm thinking that if his party is a total bust I'll try to drag him to one of the other 2 events. He'd like both of them. Trainwreck is on his invite list. Yeah, I know, no mention of her for months now. Apparently she still talks to him every few weeks. But then, he is a brewer (oh, did I say that out loud?). I really doubt she'll come on NYE, but I really don't want to have to deal with her bs when I can go other places and have fun. Luckily I will have internet access while I'm in Arizona to keep track since I'm not getting home until the 30th.

I think that's enough venting for now. I need to pack a bit more, then get some sleep!
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Once again, oh faithful readers this is where I vent the stuff that I won't talk about in my regular journal.
This week at Corona was mostly ok. Only two real spots of drama in Ravenwood. We dealt with them short term, but the overall problems still need work. Dear Lord the woman has control issues! So much so that she refuses all offers of help in doing a costuming presentation and end up putting on what I hear was another bad lesson. Sigh. She and Summer got into it again about support issues. I just keep doing the jobs Summer assigns me. No glory (not my first priority anyway), but I make sure the stuff gets done. The ironic thing is that the woman in charge of our education program is about to step down. I know Amber is going to want the position (want is actually a mild word here. If her patterns follow true to form, she will assume she has the job), but I am already the Corona guild rep on that-by her boyfriends choice. It will be entertaining.
The other drama is more serious. The wife of one of our officers had been a bit of a nut job since I first met about 2 years ago. Lots of disassociation. The problem this weekend was head lice. I think once all the facts are sifted we'll find that the 14 year old son was the one who brought it home. But the wife was where it was discovered-by an employee at the Corona hair braiding booth. They refused to serve her (health code!) and sent her to get their diagnosis verified by a camp medic (we have 2 in our camp). Until that was cleared up, they could not braid anyone (especially from our camp), until they had checked their head.
Did the wife follow instructions? Nope. She got a shower, then asked one of the girls in our camp to braid her hair-without telling any of us! I found out about it when the braider refused to work on me until I had been checked and she got final word about the wife. I was a bit pissed-this drama took at least an extra hour out of my busy schedule.
In the end one of the camp medics did check the wife's hair (once it was dry) and verified the diagnosis. Because of the contagion problem the family was asked to go home and deal with it. The wife apparently stormed out (I don't think she believed she had a problem). The family removed most of their belongings and we "bug bombed" their tent and the tent that their kids had been sleeping in. We should be ok, but it makes my head ich even thinking about it.

On a happier note, Tristi and I had "margarita night." That was fun. And no, I did not go to bed sober. It was one of my rare nights of intoxication.
Funny drama. The narcissistic personality disorder in my daughter's camp made breakfast both days. The woman has no understanding of the fact that she is loud. And she never shuts up. It is a good thing we store the archery stuff at my camp. My daughter is now a good enough archer that she can usually hit what she aims at. And waking my daughter up early for no good reason is close to a capitol offense. We talked about it on the was home. My daughter agrees that shooting the young woman is probably the wrong solution (though tempting). Instead, she will try to politely tell her to speak with less volume. If that doesn't work, my daughter has no problem being rude verbally.
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I told my daughter that I had a few goals this season for faire. 1. I wanted to stay in character more. 2. I want to be more interactive with the faire guests. 3. I want to get my head in a place where trainwrecks noise and actions don't register on my radar.
My emotions before going ranged from excited to aphrehensive. I should have known that the reality would be entirely unexpected.
Yes, trainwreck was there. She was there with the singing group she's a part of. I found out later she gate listed with them. Which means that she "stiffed" MacGowan (which I so predicted). At one point Sat. night she was around the same Ravenwood campfire with me. Apparently someone offered her alcohol which she made a point of refusing (since my daughter and I were within earshot I assume). I never heard it. I was able to avoid her largely, and I didn't let her actions involve me or get to me. I consider that a win.
I do feel sorry for MacGowan. They made an ok showing, but not what they wanted. They had, I think, 7 people on site for the weekend-including a toddler. Two of the three officers had to work at the last minute, so the weapons master (capt. of the guard) had to run things. I barely saw him. The 7 people who were there are all people I still consider friends, so my daughter and I were welcome there, which made me happy.
The rest was good news, bad news, and fuster-clucks, which is normal for first weekend of the season. I did reasonable well at archery. The good news included getting to talk to one of my "sons" at faire. This is a 20 year old I've known for about 4 years now. He's had a rough spot, but it looks like his life is improving now. That made us happy. The bad news/sad news included seeing Tom-Tom (which I will post about in my other lj), seeing the problems The Bob was having just walking around, and some other stuff. Ravenwood is still working through drama, but for most of it I'm optimistic.
There's more to write, but I've had my post-faire shower, my allergies seem to be settling down, and so my body is insisting on bed. Oh yeah, bed, that lovely piece of furniture that is truly off the ground, is the right temperature and softness, and doesn't have wood chips (and spiders) all over it. Plus no sounds of a squeeking swing close by. Oh yeah, so there!
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