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Actually, I think–I hope–my head is coming through the other side of being a toxic waste dump, but jeez o flip. I’ve had two back to back colds. I don’t think I was sick when I went to Liverpool, so I guess I’ve been sick since about the Sunday after, which is three weeks today. It feels like longer. Both colds have been entirely in my head with a massive fucking cough that ejects gobs of snot that the constant nose-blowing assaults on my sinuses have not been able to remove preemptively.

I’ve been a lot of fun to be around. I coughed so hard I threw up! I’d never done that before. Cross one off the bucket list, I guess. Anyway, Friday night I conceded to Ted that if this hadn’t taken a significant turn for the better by Monday I should in fact go to a doctor and see if it’s more than just two utterly crappy colds in quick succession, but then Saturday afternoon and night I was able to lie down for sleep without trying to expel my lungs, so I think I may be on the mend.

(She said, ferociously ignoring what feels like a new fresh sore throat as opposed to “oh god my throat hurts from coughing so much”.)

IN OTHER, less gross, news, despite being a one-woman snot-production company, I’ve been working on a proposal for the publisher who’s interested in working with me, binging s1 of Brooklyn Nine Nine (I love the Pontiac Bandit so much), READING (how great is READING, PEOPLE?!!? (although reading Kim Stanley Robinson’s AURORA and James S.A. Corey’s CIBOLA BURNS back to back created some significant cognitive dissonance)), and making fumbling attempts to clean the house.

Oh, and Dad brought over four kilos of cherries, so those got pitted stemmed and frozen, and I need to pursue jam and perhaps cherry pie with them. Mmmm. And let’s see, what else. Ted got an e-reader and we’re culling the print books again, although at this stage we’re pretty close to the bone and are reaching Things That Can’t Be Purchased As E-Books, which means we keep ’em. :)

Yeah, what else, hm. There is a fluffy! bouncy! kitten in our yard (or in its vicinity, anyway), courtesy of some of the feral cats who live in the area. I’d like to try to capture the kitten(s) and see if they’re young enough to be tamed and homed, but it’d obviously be good to capture the adults and get them fixed, too. (*pauses to email the local animal rescue people about this, in fact* There, that’s done.)

And now I’ve taken a remarkably long time to make this blog post and shall rise up and go clean the kitchen, because for some reason it WON’T STAY CLEAN. If only we didn’t need to eat….

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

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My older nephew, wishing to space his birthday out from Christmas somewhat, requested a half-birthday, so the family got together today for a kind of combined Father’s Day/unbirthday party.

Between the hours of 8am & 2pm, I baked a rather complicated cake, made its complicated frosting, made vanilla ice cream, cleaned the kitchen 2 times, did 4 loads of laundry, emptied all the rubbishes, cleaned the kitty litter, made lemonade, and just barely managed not to die of the outrageous 80 degree heat.

Ted went out to do errands, and the first thing he said upon returning was, “In my defense, *you* sent me to the bookstore….”

(The take was 2 cookbooks for said elder nephew, who wants to learn to cook, as well as Naomi Novik’s TEMERAIRE, a book for Indy, and the next three books of the Expanse series.)

Post-erranding, Ted made a ridiculously delicious dinner of grilled veg, salmon, shrimp, & kielbasa, which we all sat down to eat with hearty appetites. We also spent a lot of time lounging in the back garden, where, among other things, I spent a few minutes leg pressing my sister, which is no doubt perfectly normal behaviour.

The unbirthday boy cleaned up nicely, with a whole bunch of *extremely* nice tea (he’s apparently really in to tea, who knew?) and cookbooks along with an offer of cooking LESSONS from my husband the professional chef, and a super cool katana-style letter opener and some other good stuff, and seemed very pleased with his unbirthday.

The cake and ice cream turned out very nicely–the ice cream was so rich and smooth it was practically obscene, which isn’t always the case with my ice cream; I don’t make it enough to be really good at it consistently–and the lemonade was appropriately appreciated.

I managed to walk 4000 steps without actually leaving the house, which seems a little ridiculous. I am absolutely shattered, and to top it all off, I’m coming down with a cold. But it was a splendid day and we’re all happy. Tired. But happy. :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

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So yesterday was my birthday and it is also the birthday of my many many birthday twins, but I wasn’t online much and so I failed to say happy birthday to Esmerel and Silkblade and Chaz’s niece and also Morgan Freeman and Marilyn Monroe and Superman (the first Superman comic was published June 1 1938 :)).

Happy birthday, twins, and thank you to everybody who wished me a happy day!

Ted and Indy snuck off and got a couple pieces of art that have been sitting around for a long time framed, for my birthday. I had no idea what they were plotting, even with Indy saying, “Daddy and I went to see a man to do a thing for you and the man said it should be ready by your birthday!”, which kind of vague meaningless information is often sufficient for me to figure out what’s going on. This time I didn’t, though, and I was absolutely *floored* to receive these:

I love both of these dearly, and was so surprised and happy! The raven is an artist’s copy of a painting done by an Alaskan artist who lives in Belfast (!!!). She had her copy at a convention to show the prints she was going to have done, but she offered to do an artist’s copy for me because we bonded so strongly over understanding Raven from an Alaskan’s point of view, and, being no fool, of course I said yes.

The other is by an artist whose name I can’t remember right now, but I bought it at…Eastercon a few years ago, and I just…love it. So much. I can look at that painting for *hours*. And while the photo does reasonable justice to the silver frame of the raven painting, it really does no justice at all to the greens and blues and silver-gold shimmers of the other frame. I may have to take a better picture at some point, because it really is gorgeous.

And then also for my birthday I got to go see Wonder Woman with a bunch of girlfriends, which was honestly a terrific way to see the movie. (The women going to the all-women showings at the Alamo Drafthouses in the states are going to have an AMAZING experience.) I looked down the row a few times, to see us all smiling like fools.

There were scenes…I know I’ve seen scenes like then before, but I’m not sure I’ve ever beamed through them before. Watching a woman, watching _Wonder Woman_, doing those things…it meant more to me than I ever imagined it would. I mean, I was looking forward to it, obviously, but…it still affected me more than I expected.

Gal Gadot is terrific as Diana. I mean, honestly, utterly terrific. I think she deserves an Oscar nomination. She was *amazing* in the role. Chris Pine is very funny and charming and this is probably the best-written part I’ve ever seen him in. And Robin Wright is just OH MY GOD. OH. MY. GOD.

There are a WHOLE BUNCH of things I’d have done differently. I would have liked to have seen what a female scriptwriter would have done with the story, for example. But it was funny and it was powerful and it had heart and it made me happy. I hope it makes ALL THE MONEY and I intend to do my part in seeing it more than once to help that goal. ♥

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

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A couple of weeks ago Indy and I went out to a restaurant here in town and Indy asked them if we could have a window seat. But they brought us to what he considered the wrong one, and he said, “No, that one please,” and pointed to the front window, which had obviously just been vacated and not cleared yet. I was saying words to the effect of “oh my god indy don’t make their lives difficult” when the host suddenly said, “Oh, now I know you! You usually come in with your father!” to Indy, and swept off to clear the table and seat us at it.

I was appalled and spluttering and Indy said, “No, it’s *okay*, Mommy! They know me here! They think I’m charming and delightful, just like the people at the hot chocolate shop do!” Which was clearly true, although I told him we don’t generallyask people to go to more trouble than is necessary for us.

So last night Dad came to babysit and Ted and I got to go OUT TO DINNER on our OWN for an anniversary dinner. We went to this same restaurant, we were seated, the waiter came over…

…and said, “Where is your son?!”

It was 9:05pm and I said, “We hope he’s at home asleep!”

The waiter left and Ted, amused, said, “What are we, chopped liver? We pay for the meal!”

We had dinner, which was delicious, and went to pay.

The host said to us, “How was your dinner? Where is the little one?!”

We started laughing, and the host started telling us what a well-spoken and intelligent child our son was, and how he came across as much older and more experienced than his years, and went on being complimentary until we’d left. *throws hands in air* :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

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Indy’s on Easter holidays, which is 2 weeks off, and I’ve basically been convinced it’s the weekend since the 8th of April.

Strangely enough, it has not been the weekend since the 8th of April, which has led to some deep confusion on my part. I suppose I’ll get back in the swing of things when school starts up again, but this bodes ill for my brain over summer vacation.

We went down to Fota Island for a day, and I took some pictures.

Indy was thrilled beyond comprehension to see REAL! CHEETAHS!



He raced the cheetah. The cheetah chased him, in a desultory fashion. :)



Just some pretty flowers.



The white-handed gibbons were in fine form, giving out to one another…



…singing…



…and playing…



Indy making a wish at the wishing well. (He wished Fota Island would have 130 cheetahs. They apparently ALREADY have THIRTY-NINE!)





(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

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C.E. Murphy

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