Monday, December 14, 2009

Travel Log 12-14: Copious Amounts of Alcohol and a Survey

Well tonight is the company christmas party. Because the dealership I work for is still family owned the  owners close the place down and invite us all down to Dana Point for a party. Every person I know has taken a solemn vow to get stinking skunk drunk tonight. In front of our bosses. Yup, not a lot of long term planning going on there. I shall be sitting back with my ginger ale laughing my butt off!
     Oh and The Blogger Formerly Known as Rayden sent me a tag for a holiday survey so I'll be answering that cause it looked like fun!

1. Have you started Yule shopping yet?  Yup, just last week, lol.

2. Tell me about one of your special holiday traditions? My husband and I sneak out on yule eve, after the kids have gone to bed and pick up a fresh cut tree, sneak it into the house, and decorate it with small presents and their stockings.

3. When do you put up your tree? We usually get a really cruddy looking "decoy" tree around the end of the first week in December.

4. Are you a Black Friday Shopper? good gods no! I did it once with my OH cause he wanted to see what all the fuss was about. We both heartily agreed after that we would gladly pay more money never to have to do it again!

5. Do you travel at Yule or stay at home? We usually stay home, but sometimes we go out to a movie in the afternoon.

6. What is your funniest Yule memory? I'm a little weird, but my favorite winter holiday memory is when I found out there isn't an actual santa that comes in and hides toys. I was 7 and had asked for a parrot that year and I got a very long and detailed letter from Santa explaining why it wouldn't be a good idea for my family to have a parrot. Written in my oldest sister's handwriting(she's 11 years older than me). I then proceeded to get out a magnifying glass and a piece of her homework and circled all of the points that were the same in the writing. I then proceeded to Make a list of reasons why I was sure that my sister was not in the employ of Santa or any elves and ended with a demand for the aforementioned parrot. What can I say, I was a weird kid.

7. What is your favorite Yule movie of all times? Muppet Christmas Carol, hands down

8. Do you do any Yule baking and what's your favorite treat? Yup! My favorite has always been bread pudding.

9. Fake or real tree? real, although growing up we always had fake.

10. What day does the actual panic set in to get it all done? About 10:30 yule eve when we start guzzling coffee.

11. Are you still wrapping presents on Yule Eve?Every single year

12. What is your favorite family fun time at Yule? yule eve we all sit around and read A House at Pooh Corner together. We've done it since I was a kid.

13. What Yule craft do you like best? We make candy cane animals. That's a blast.
14. Yule music? Yes or No, and if yes, what is your favorite song? Carol of the bells, Santa Baby, and Baby it's cold outside.

15. Do you plan to finish all your shopping? Someday.......maybe....

I can't decide what 5 other blogs to tag for this, so anyone who wants to answer sign on up! I would love to read the answers any of you would give!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Travel Log 12-4: I'm BAAAAACK!

I have been neglectful I know. I have been lazy and not updated or checked other blogs on here at all in the past few weeks. This shall change!
     I have finally gotten used to the routine at work I believe. They added another team of sales persons so the schedule has lightened up a little. I am also doing pretty good if I do say so myself! So any of you readers out there in blog land who live in southern California or have relatives who do and need a car, come on down to Claremont Toyota!
    Anyway, I digress, lol.  Not much other than work has been happening here. And since it's been a while since I was in the labor force I find the people there pretty funny. It is pretty much exactly as you would picture it, lol.
     I have been accepted into the boys club and shall soon have all of their secrets written down and transferred to female headquarters to be gone through and distributed for mass use. We shall rule all! Ahem, Sorry, I got out of hand there for a sec.
     On the down side though, since I got a nifty sewing machine for my birthday I haven't had the time to use it. I plan on making a few of the presents for the kids this season and I have to get cracking! And I haven't even gotten any of my shopping done. Absolutely none. I am officially insane and shall be subjected to a round of near chirstmas shopping that shall hopefully cure me of the urge to ever do this again.
     Since it's the holidays and they tend to get frantic here is a happy home spell that is pretty nifty that I found at White :

If moon is travelling from new to full, you want to bring love into the home.

If the moon is travelling from full to new, you want to push negativity out from the home.

Take half an onion, close your eyes, saying:

"I empower you to collect all negativity In this house."

Imagine the onion turning into a giant vacuum cleaner, sucking up all the negative

energy in your house. Place the onion on the window ledge of the room where most

of the family usually gathers. Hold a clove of crushed garlic in your hand, close your

eyes and say the above chant. Do the same visualization.

If a particular person is causing trouble, take a clove and place it under the rug, under

that person's bed or in a place where they often sit. If there is no one causing the problem,

place cloves of crushed garlic all around the outside doorstep of your home.

Take some carpet deodorizer (granules or spray) and sprinkle around the house

(after first consecrating them!) say: "I empower you to collect all negativity In this house."

Vacuum up the deodorizer. Write every loved one's name with a red marker on a heart

cut out of white paper. Circle all the names with one big circle say:

"I encircle all I love with positive energy, Healing and peace.

Let no evil enter our home."

Hold the paper in your hands, close your eyes and visualize your family sitting together

and very happy. Say:

"With harm to none

May all astrological correspondences be correct for this working,

And may this spell not reverse

Or place upon me any curse.

So mote it be!"

Friday, November 20, 2009

Travel Log 11-20: Another FLy by

busy busy busy here. Been having an interesting time at work. The other salesmen have figured out how to handle having a girl on the team- they pretend I 'm a guy, lol.
    The little ones are doing good, except squirticus is getting his last set of molars and having a miserable time of it. He threw up twice last night and once again this morning so he's feeling pretty pitiful right now. But luckily this is the last set!
    My OH is having a bit of a tough time at work. The job he has now is a temp one, and he likes the company so wishes he could stay. Well 2 of the companies engineers have quit this week, but the company can't hire him because they would have to pay a huge payout to the temp agency. So he's a little bummed and I'm trying to help him through that.
     Oh and any good luck thoughts you can shoot my way this weekend please do. The bonus for top sales is ridiculously high and I wants me it!
      Here's a 7 days of luck spell from Spells of

7 days of luck

Items you will need
  • Black 7 day candle
  • Water
  • saucer
  • paper

Casting Instructions for ' 7 days of luck'

Fill your saucer slightly with some water. On a piece of paper write the things you most desire, (like love, money, a job..) Fold that up and put it on the saucer (yes, in the water) Now put your 7 day candle on top of the paper and light it. Each night before you go to sleep visualize your desires being obtained. On the seventh day, snuff out the candle and dispose of it by getting it away from your property. This spell can be customized by using different colored candles, pink or red for love, purple for spirituality, and so on. The black candle is used for ''breaking through'' those obstacles that are preventing you from your desires.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Travel Log 11-17: Oh How Long It has Been

Sorry I've been gone so long :(. The new job has kept me hopping with crazy hours and just plain exhaustion. But now I'm back!
   I hope to be posting a lot more often now that I've gotten the hang of this. On the plus side it turns out I'm great at selling cars, lol. So that's good. It would have been lowering to not be good at it.
   We just got report cards here, and my two older munchkins are in for some serious studying sessions because they have decided not to do their work in school. They do their homework, just not their work in class. So we are going to be going on a motivation spree around here.
    In other news my OH has decided to continue his pursuit of joining the airforce as it's the best bet to get into aeronautic engineering with the current trends in the industry. So he's on a massive weight loss kick, which is leading me to eat slightly healthier so we'll see how that goes =).
     Unfortunately one of the things that has gone by the wayside in these quick changes has been blogging(which will be changing =)) and my writing. Alas NaNoWriMo hasn't been happening for me. But that's ok as I plan on finding a way to fit in some writing anyway!
     That's it for now, hope to have more for you guys tomorrow!

here's a nifty little spell I found by Ember over at Spells of :

Have A Good Day Spell

added by Ember
of the coven Black Cross
Cast this spell first thing in the morning for best results.
Items you will need
  • *a glass of water
  • * a mirror. 

Casting Instructions for ' Have A Good Day Spell'

Stand before the mirror and say quietly to yourself: Im going to have a really good day. Today everything will go well. Today is going to be great! Place your projective hand (the one you write with) over the glass of water and imagine that you are sending magickal white light into it. Now look yourself in the eye in the mirror. Smile and say: I take into myself the power of a truly magickal day Drink all the water and finish the spell with the words: Blessed Be No wash and dress and generally go about preparing for the good day ahead

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Travel Log 11-2:Excuses and An Ending

Sorry about taking so long to get this up, but I got called in to that new job and was working all weekend. Sucky I know, especially since the 31st was also my wedding anniversary, but needs must as we all know.

So since I have kept you in suspense long enough, here is the new and character approved ending to Off the Path!

Off the Path Conclusion

     The cave was carved into the very side of the mountain. The peaks towered above and the shadows were long and deep. The mouth yawned open and looked ready to swallow her.
     The beast didn't pause as it walked straight into that black hole, it's black fur making it disappear almost instantly. After a few deep breaths and a mental lecture that followed the 'what have I got to lose' road Tiffany gulped and followed the wolf inside.
     As she stumbled in the dear pitch blackness her eyes slowly became more adjusted, and she could see a flicker of light around a bend in the large tunnel. When she reached it the light turned out to be a fire crackling merrily under a large cooking pot. The contents were bubbling and a yummy spice filled smell was wafting her way from it.
     "If your hungry eat. You'll need your strength and whatever wits you may actually have. I will not lose this time, and I'll need your help to banish that creature to the hell that spawned it."
      Tiffany saw bowls stacked on a shelf carved out of the rock wall just behind the pot and went to fetch one down. But she couldn't reach. She stretched her arms as far as she could, but still the bowls were out of her reach. She had fogotten how much it sucked to be little.
       In the end she did a sort of hopping grab and ended up with a rain of bowls that barely missed her head. To a chorus of what she would swear was beastly laughter she jumped as a ghostly hand helped her pick up the bowls and stack them neatly on the shelf then ladle out a portion of soup and hand it to her. What was worst was that it was not a ghost, it was just a see through hand that hovered in the air, then disappeared after it had done it's task.
      When she was settled with a bowl and taken a few bites she turned her attention back to the wolf.
      "What the hell happened to me? Who are you and where the hell did that hand come from? And what is running around in my body?" She fired these questions out as quickly as she could.
       "That thing is a creature of malice and evil, let loose upon the earth by the unwise and vengeful spirit of a medicine man for the tribe that used to live in the valley. I will tell you the story while you eat." The wolf settled in and laid on the cavern floor, crossing its forepaws.
      "Back before this area began to be settled by the white people, there was a tribe of Indians who had lived here for untold generations. They revered the mountain and gave thanks to it for its protection and the bounty that it gave them down in the valley. They lived in peace and prospered in those days. But those days were not to last. The first white people were met with curiosity and welcome. The mass that followed once word of the fertility and bounty of the land got out was an overwhelming wave. The tribe was slowly pushed out of the valley to live on the edge of the very mountain itself. But still they found peace in there existence and gave thanks to the mountain. They did not make war on the whites, though the whites were often harsh and violent with them. Soon the settlement had turned into a village, and began to prosper. But still the people looked for more. They turned their greedy eyes to the forests that  covered the mountain and brought their axes to the trees. The tribe were shocked. The trees were the children of the mountain, and must be protected. So the tribe went to protect the mountain's children. They stood between the whites and the trees, and so the whites turned their axes on the tribe. Soon there were fewer and fewer of the tribe, and what was left would continue to try and stand between the white's and the mountain's children until there were only the very young and the sick left. And the medicine man. Seeing the end of his tribe the medicine man began to step away from the peaceful laws of his people. He sent the children to a neighboring tribe in hopes that they would survive. Then he began to exact his revenge on the townsfolk. He ran off their cattle and burned their crops. He caused mischief and havoc where ever he could, until he was caught. They beat him and whipped him. They stood him up before their judge and tried him by there laws. Through it all his spirit would not break, and he cursed them at every turn. He called down every foul spirit he could name to ravage them. Then the hung him from a coil of rope until the life had left his body. Even as he dangled from their rope he cursed them still, with the last breath in his body."
       Tiffany stared at the wolf. It had been so matter of fact. A whole civilization had been destroyed, a good man turned to evil in his pain, and the beast stated it all as if it were reading of a shopping list. Deep inside an anger she hadn't realized was there began to burn a little brighter for all those who had been discarded as an obstacle to someone else's ambition, including herself.
      "And then the townspeople did something very foolish. They did not know the customs of this land, or the magic that was in it, so they buried the shaman in the forest his people had died to protect, thus denying his spirit it's trip to the otherworld on the winds that would have carried his ashes.. And the judge's pretty young wife had planted an ash tree over the spot so that it could be remembered as there would be no headstone. As the roots of the tree of the dead sunk into the earth, and into the dead body of the shaman his spirit's anger and curses spread up into the tree, and the tree grew in his hatred and pain. When it was grown it dropped one seed, and that seed turned into the demon that has taken your body. It uses the form you hold now to lure it's victims in so that it may return to the village and enact vengeance on the town and it's people when they have forgotten how to protect themselves. I then have three days to stop the bloodbath that is to come. I have yet to be able to do so. That hand was one of my charges helping out. I give shelter to the souls of those that the creature has taken so that they may have a place to rest where they do not have to think about it."
       "So this thing is the medicine man's vengeance? How on earth can we stop a dead man's payback?"
      The bowl was empty in her lap, and Tiffany was becoming more tired by the minute as the warmth from the soup spread through her. If what this wolf was saying was true, it was several hundred years old. That could't be right. What was the average life span of a wolf anyway? Too bad Amanda wasn't here, she'd know or run off to look it up.
      "Oh no, Amanda! Aunt Sarah! How are they going to know it's not me?"
       "They won't. It will appear as if everything is normal, until my time is up, and then it will kill anything near it until I can reach it."
      "Why don't you just follow it around then?"
       "Because farmers have guns and tend to shoot wolves, that's why. It may not kill me, but it will certainly put me out for a while and then it will be able to kill as many people as it wants, which will be everyone."
      "Ok then how the hell do we stop it?"
       The wolf sighed. "If I knew that I would have stopped it decades ago. Now can you please focus, we don't have much time. The key to ending this has to be one of these books." The wolf nudged a pile of leather bound volumes that were stacked against the wall of the cave.
       "I have read through them but I must be missing something. This creature is not of this land. Something brought it here, and it found a home, but this is not where it came from. There must be some way of sending it back where it did come from. These books are on the tales and legends of the people who drove out the tribe, and killed the Shaman. They must have brought it with them, and therefore must have a way to banish it. I just can't find it. I do not understand them enough. You are one of them. You must look through these books and find the answer for me."
     The wolf sat up and nudged the books over to her. She sat up a little straighter and picked up the first tome. Then she began to read.
      The next two days were spent in a reading and researching frenzy, but she never found any mention of a little girl that possesses people and then goes on a murderous rampage. There were plenty of nasty things, and tales of what they did or didn't do to or for people, but nothing quite like what it seemed they were dealing with. Eventually in the evening of the second day Tiffany slammed the book she was currently looking through down.
      "We're never going to find it. Whatever the hell it is. There has got to be a better way. Look, the tribe was, like, really connected to this land right? And you know all about them right? So are you absolutely sure that this couldn't be something that they just didn't know about? Hell, maybe it just has to do with the damn tree, what did they know about the trees around here?"
        The wolf sat up and yipped a couple times. Then it's tail began to thump in excitement.
       "No this is not anything the tribe knew about, but you have brought about a fact that I had not paid attention to before. The tree. There are no other ash trees here. In fact, until that one was planted there had never been ash trees here. So the creature must be tied to the tree. Two strange things cannot enter the land at the same time and not be related. Now we only have to figure out what this information means."
      "Pass me that book over there. There was a chapter in here about spirits that live in trees. Oh yeah, here it is. It says here 'spirits may live in the hear of a tree, and if that tree is killed, then so is the spirit, but if a piece of that tree survives, and is replanted then the spirit is revived and will draw the essence of then land into itself, just as the tree itself draws in life from the earth.'  This has to mean something but what?"
     "Aha. So this spirit might have been with the tree when it was planted. The judges wife planted it with a cutting not a seed. And the spirit took on the essence of the land that the tree grew from , which was land that held the body and spirit of a vengeful victim."
     "And that's why the spirit takes out the medicine man's vengeance. It grew from his hate and anger." Tiffany paused and thought for a moment.
      "Well now that we know this how is this going to help get rid of it? This book doesn't give any instructions, just that the spirit's home must be purged if it is causing problems. It doesn't tell us how to purge it, so what do we do?"
       "We burn it. If the tree dies, the spirit dies."
      They rushed to the tree, Tiffany's little legs pumping as she fought to keep up with the wolf's loping gate. When they reached the tree she stared up at the spreading branches. She didn't think she had taken the sheer size of it when she had been here before, but then everything looked huge when you were as little as her. The wolf began to sniff around the roots of the tree and drag fallen leaves and twigs to a crook in the roots. Then he motioned Tiffany to come over with a shake of it's head.
        "We need to set fire to this kindling. Look for a flint rock to spark."
      They searched and a few minutes later Tiffany was striking two rocks together in hopes of starting a fire.
      "This is ridiculous." She muttered to herself. "We're never going to burn it this wa-"
       The spark caught and the tinder began to smoke and then burn. In a few seconds the flames licked their hungry way up the exposed roots and began to rise up the trunk.
       Suddenly a loud screeching filled the forest and Tiffany saw herself tearing through the trees at an incredible speed. She stopped at the edge of the flames and began screeching again.
       "What have you done? My tree. My beautiful tree!" it continued to wail and began to beat ineffectually at the fire. The wolf sprang between it and the tree, standing with it's paws at the very edge of the flames, growling and forcing the creature back.
        "I will not let you damage that girl to save yourself. As long as you wear that form no harm shall come to it."
        Tiffany saw her face lit with panic for a moment. Then a sly grin slid over it and she fell backward in a faint. She ran over to her body and found it limp and breathing shallowly. She peeled back her eyelids and stared into her own vacant eyes. Now the panic began to work it's way into her again. how was she going to be herself again?
        "Now let me put that horrible fire out." Said a high pitched voice from near the ground. When she turned to look there was a twisted little creature that resembled a potato with arms and legs. The screeches were coming from a slit towards the top that served as a mouth, and tiny little wriggling white worm like things served as fingers and toes. It started to run towards the burning tree, but once again the wolf stopped it.
        "Those two are not free. I will not leave them to be taken by you again. This tree burns until they are free."
         A wail started up again and Tiffany saw a white floating shape hovering not far away in the trees. Then the white thing began floating towards her at high speed, until it hit her in square in the chest. She fell over backwards and the blackness took her again.
       When she opened her eyes again she was staring into the blue eyes of a little girl with blond curls and a red hooded cape. Tiffany sat up quickly and looked down at herself. She was in her own body again. The little girl reached out a hand and helped her to her feet. The screeches of the little creature were still wailing through the forest and they turned to watch the burning tree.
      The little creature was beating at the flames about the base of the tree but the fire had already began to engulf the branches and leaves. Soon the little creature had began to burn itself, and it's howls and screeches increased in power until it collapsed in a heap at the base of the tree and lay still, surrounded in fire.
       Tiffany and the little girl stood hand in hand, staring until the fire burned itself down to an ember. Miraculously the fire had not spread to any other trees, and now all that was left of the ash was a smoldering carcass that would never grow again. The ashes spread with the wind as the sun began to peak over the horizon. There was no sign of the creature.
      The wolf came to sit before the the two girls and bowed its head.
      "Thank you for your help. Now we are all finally free."
       As the sun's rays touched his fur it began to smoke and crumble, until there was nothing left of the wolf and before them stood a tall dark skinned man in buckskin breeches with long black hair adorned with feathers and beads.
       "I can finally join my tribe. Thank you again."
       And the man faded into the sunlight that now filled the forest.
       Tiffany looked down at the little girl. She was quiet  and looked a little bit afraid. How long has she been trapped in the forest? Did she have family left?
       She sighed and tugged the little girls hand and headed towards the path that led out of the forest. She had always kinda wanted a little sister.
        As they wound their way down the path the little girl skipped a little to keep up with Tiffany's  stride. Whenever she would take a hopping step the stick in the pocket of her pinafore would slap lightly against her hip. As they drew near the edge of the trees she smiled and let out a little giggle.

The End

I hope you guys liked it, lol, now that it's taken me forever to get it finished up here. Thanks for bearing with me!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Travel Log 10-29-2: And now to the finish line!

As promised here is the last installment of Off the Path!

Off the Path Part Seven

     The leaves crunched under Tiffany's boots as she wandered further into the deepening shadows. Bushes and branches snagged and scratched at her clothes. She could just make out red flashing ahead of her and the sound of giggles drifting on the breeze that had come up.
     Her  teeth began to chatter a little as the wind penetrated her clothing. It was all so quiet. Except for the occasional giggle from the red dot up ahead.
      Suddenly a wolf howled from somewhere behind her.
       She started moving faster through the brush. As she got closer to the red dot it resolved itself into the form of a little girl standing with her back against the trunk of a huge old ash tree. The child wore a blue checkered dress that was pretty well worn, and a red cape covered all but the ends of her golden curls. The wide blue eyes looked at Tiffany through a sheen of terror and she would almost say, pity.
        "What are you doing out here alone?" Tiffany moved closer to see if she could get the girl to come with her. That howling was getting closer.
         The little girl shook her head as her mouth began to move.
         "Oh please come help me, I'm too scared to move." The voice was sing song sweet and seemed to float on the chill wind. The child began shake her head harder and her eyes seemed to grow even more panicked as Tiffany drew closer.
           As she was about to take the girls hand a deep growl sounded behind her. Tiffany turned slowly and found herself facing a large black wolf with dripping fangs and a deep rumbling growl. It seemed focused on the little girl and started to stalk slowly towards the tree.
         The voice inside Tiffany's head was screaming at her to do something, but her feet seemed rooted to the spot.
         "You must run." Almost to low to hear , the whisper finally shook her out of her terror and she grabbed blindly for the little girl and dragged her by the hand away from the tree and the beast.
         The world swirled and spun around her as she stumbled and fell to her knees. The last thing she heard before the darkness closed in around her was a haunting and mournful howl wailing through the woods.

      "Wakey wakey." Sharp slaps on her cheeks dragged Tiffany back to consciousness. At leas she thought she was conscious, but that couldn't be. She had to be dreaming.
        " Oh no, this is no dream. A nightmare maybe, but then those always are more fun, hee hee." The high pitched voice sounded strange as she watched herself say the words. She looked at her windblown and disheveled clothes and mousy brown hair and thought "I really need a make over."
          And then she started screaming.
          Tiffany covered her ears and walked a few steps away muttering to herself and then turned back abruptly and slapped herself hard, across her small cheek making her blond curls bounce.The red hood fell back onto her shoulders and she wrapped her arms around her knees and began to rock.
           "Oh don't be so pathetic. You certainly were brave enough when you thought that it was your friends playing a prank. Well now you really did get a good trick didn't you." She tossed back her head and let  a fountain of high pitched giggles our out.
             "It's simple really, you're still you , just not in you anymore. I'm taking up residence now, and boy will I have some fun. Damn humans and their rules. I thought they would never start forgetting and I would be stuck in here running from that damn wolf forever. But then here you are, big as life and practically inviting me to come out and play. Oh how old fang face is going to suffer tonight. The blood will flow again,  I hope my new toys will last for a while before they are completely broken. When the dead are buried beneath the ash tree, then their vengeance belongs to me! What fun it shall be!" With that the thing that wore Tiffany did a little dance and strode out of the clearing giggling to itself.
             Tiffany continued to sit and rock, watching herself walk away through the trees.
             After a little while she pulled out of herself enough lean back against the tree trunk and look around.
             The wolf was sitting on the edge of the clearing watching her. It seemed to be staring.
             She felt the hysteria bubbling up inside mixed with a strange sort of lethargy. When the beast began walking slowly towards her she tried to scramble away, but her leaded limbs wouldn't move fast enough.
             It padded over until it sat down squarley at her feet and crossed it's paws and stared at her some more.
            "Couldn't stay on the path could you?"
            She looked around for the voice, but there was nothing but the wolf.
            "Of course it's me. How many other wolves do you know who would pay any attention to a little girl in that ridiculous get up?"
            The crazed laughter finally made its way past her lips, and Tiffany sat there, trapped in the body of a little girl in a checked pinafore and hooded cloak, and laughed until the tears rolled down her face and her sobs wracked her little body.
            "Oh knock it off. Crying isn't going to do any one any good. We've only got three days and I don't want to waste any of it on hysterical little girls." This was followed up by a sharp yip and a light nip on her ankle.
            This. Can. Not. Be. Happening.
            Wolves don't talk.
             Little girls don't steal your body and run off with it.
            This is some really really sick joke and Millie is going to pay for it.
           "This is not a joke, dream, hallucination, or any sort of illusion you can think of. Best get those thoughts over and out of your head right now, I don't have time to waste on them. That Demon will be back with your friends by now and we only have three days to stop it from massacring everyone it can get it's claws on."
           At this the wolf got up and began to stride into the trees.
            "Come on. This time I am not going to fail."
             Her heavy limbs finally seemed to respond to her. She got up and followed the wolf deeper into the woods.

I know I said that this would be the conclusion, but those darn characters mutinied and are demanding I rewrite the finale( they have my stuffed dragon and are demanding rewrites or he "gets it")- so unfortunately tomorrow night shall have to do! Until then- unpleasant dreams and Samhain wishes to all!

Travel Log 10-29: A Little Tidbit

As I've been running around this week I've taken little moments to think and reflect on the season and the changes it brings about. Which of course made me feel better, lol.
     But anyway, here is  a little tidbit I jotted down while waiting for interviews. It made me smile.

    The Witching Hour

     The night is filled by the cries of crows
     Through the cemetary a chill wind blows

     Mist crawls and creeps along the ground
     Trees sway making eerie sounds

     The moon rides high casting her silver light
     All is ready, tonight's the night

     Stoke the fire, keep it hot
     Fill the cauldron, stir the pot

     For by the pricking of my thumbs
     Something wicked this way comes

     Grab your broom and take to the sky
      Rejoice, for the witching hour is nigh

Because at this time of year I feel especially close to her, here is a chant honoring The Morrigan that I found at  Casting the Runes :
Honoring The Morrigan
She the Queen of spirits,
She, the mistress of the night,
Lady of the darkworld,
Shapeshifter, raven and shadow,
She the harbinger of fate,
She the keeper of the gate,
She the mistress of all wyrd,
She the washer at the ford
Protector of the sacred land
The sacrifice She claims,
I give respect to Morrigan
The ruler of the slain.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Travel Log 10-28-2: And Finally Off the Path Part 6

     And here it is folks-

Off the Path Part Six

      "C'mon guy's. I know you're out there and I know you're going to pull some lame prank. Might as well give it up now."
      Tiffany peered into the deeply shadowed woods and thought she could make out the shape of someone hiding in the brush. A giggle carried out on the slight breeze. A flash of red began to weave in and out of the trees just beyond where she could see well.
       "This is so stupid guys. Just come on out."
        "You can't catch me" a young sing song voice sounded from the trees.
         "What's a kid doing out here?" Tiffany muttered as her boots crunched the dried out leaves at the tree line.

     When Amanda lead her down the road to the edge of the tree line where a group of kids was waiting, Tiffany tried to reassure her again.
     "It's just a stroll through the woods Amanda, nothing to worry about. I'm sure they'll plan some loser prank to scare me, it won't work, and then we'll have a good laugh about this tonight."
      Amanda stopped short of where the other kids were gathered and turned to Tiffany.
      "If you come out of those woods tonight whole and sane I will be shocked. I have a really bad feeling about this. I'll ask you one more time, please don't do this."
        Her eyes pleaded with Tiffany, and she almost relented, until Millie broke from the group and strode over.
       "Chickening out at the last minute freak? Ready to concede and run back to your aunt the witch?"
        The smirk that accompanied the words sent a steel rod up Tiffany's spine and she strode forward with bravado.
        "Ready when you are small town. I've seen much creepier things than a few trees."
         The teens were fairly solemn as they gathered around her and presented a long red scarf that had been stuffed in a pocket. As she wound it around her neck Millie began outlining the rules for her little expidition.
      "Here's the deal. You have to wear the scarf the entire time you're in the woods. You'll follow the path that starts right here. You'll stay in the woods until three hours after the sun has passed completely behind the mountain. You can't cheat and just hang out at the edge of the woods. You have to follow the path until you reach the end or the time is up and then return. We'll be waiting for you here when you come screaming out."
        Tiffany sent an unimpressed sneer Millie's direction and headed over to the trail that had been pointed out.
        "This is really the best you could come up with? A stroll through the woods, and not even until full dark? Wow. You're a bit lamer than I thought. Oh well see you in a while." And with a wave she turned and headed into the tree line.

And that's it for tonight. Tomorrow night- The Conclusion of Off the Path!

Travel Log 10-28: Quick Turns and Unexpected Detours

    Well it's been a few days since I posted and I'm sorry I haven't been around much  but some changes have gone on around here that have taken my immediate attention.
    The big one is that due to some unforeseen financial problems I have had to go out and obtain gainful employment in a hurry, which fortunately I have. The unfortunate part is  that I will be working as a car salesperson. Weird, I know, but I can sell like no bodies business and it will be a quick way for us to get the cash we need. The really bad part is I will be working A LOT. Which means less time to go through all of your blogs and less time to devote to this one. I am still going to do NaNoWriMo this year and I will complete it!
     In other news my OH has decided that he is going to pursue a possible career in the military and there for is going on a crash diet/exercise kick to lose the weight necessary to enlist. This of course brings untold amounts of family court stress revolving around HRH and the Weremonkey as I have no intention of leaving without them and my OH is there stepfather. So yeah.
     That's been my week so far and I have done some 31 days stuff but I'll have to get that posted later cause my brain is fried.
     I'll have more Off the Path tonight and it will bring us close to the conclusion of Tiffany's trip into the woods!
      Here's a chant I found to help fight lethargy from Spells of  :

A Chant Of Invigoration

If you are feeling low on energy (not magical energy) just say this.
When you are feeling lethargic, chant this:
I am low and need your grace,
To replenish my aura in this place.
I beg of you, hear my plea,
Give your gift unto me.
Once you have done this, stand up (if you are already standing up, walk three steps to the north) and say:So mote it be.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Travel Log 10-25: We Partied Like It Was 1699....

Well last night was the Halloween party and all the frantic scrambling that I went through to get it going was worth it.
     the last minute runs to the store, the day full of baking and icing, and baking some more.
     Everyone had a great time and we did a lot of the old games and a bunch of crafts. Then everyone subsided into a sugar coma, lol.
      Now I get to have left over cupcakes and brownies for the next few days as I way overestimated how many I would need. That and I got a bunch of the Little Debbie pumpkin sandwich cookies as back ups in case the cupcakes didn't turn out, so I'm going to be running on a sugar high this week.
      And thanks to Wendy over at Athena Academy I am now forced to go back in the kitchen and make chocolate chip pumpkin bread. The craving has begun!
      I hope to have another installment of Off The path tonight and pictures of the cool corn husk brooms we made!
     Here's a charm for inner strength I found at Spells of  that if I do this next year I plan to have on my person at all times!:

Charm for Inner Strength

You enchant the thing so it gives you inner strength.
Empower an acorn with the following chant & carry it on your person during difficult times.
     ''Little seed with cap so fine, Grant your strength & make it mine. Make me as sturdy as your tree. As I will, so mote it be!'

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Travel Log 10-22: Off the path part 5

Yes I know, its a holiday miracle that I am posting this 2 nights in a row.
   But before we get to the story lets get some sundry bits out of the way.  For the blog party I have been busy getting the decorations and food done for our halloween party this weekend. Yesterday I set up our decorations in the front of the house and started to re-arrange the furniture. Today I worked on the food and made some vanilla cupcakes with pumpkin mouse frosting( I am not sure those are going to make it until saturday, lol).  And I made the pumpkin mousse from fresh pumpkin, which somehow was messier than when I made pie. It was a lot of fun though!
       Oh and I did a fairly out there thing for me today. I submitted one of my works to an agent to see about representation for publishing. Mainly this is a trial run for me to get over the knuckle whitening fear because in exchange for making it possible for me to participate in NaNoWriMo (watching the kids and doing extra chores to give me time to write) my OH has demanded that I actually get out there and get whatever book I complete during November published. So I am dangling my toe in the water so to speak.
And now on to the story!

Off The Path Part Five:
        "You guys can come out now,  there's no way I 'm falling for it."
       Tiffany pushed herself to her feet and started to walk towards the rustling sound. She heard a light giggle as she got near the edge of the trees. She peered into the gloom and saw a flash of red move quickly through the deeper gloom.
       "I am so not scared you guys. This is lame." She called as a wolf howled in the distance.

      "It's a bad idea, I'm telling you."
      Amanda was sitting on the edge of Tiffany's bed as she got dressed.
      "It's no big deal, I don't know what the big freak out is with everyone and those woods. They're just a bunch of trees and squirrels." She pulled  the gray sweatshirt over her head and pulled her mousy brown ponytail out of the collar.  She pulled on a pair of warm wool socks and started to stuff her feet in her boots.
     "It's not the woods. It's what's in them. No one goes in the woods after the mountain hides the sun. Bad things happen in there. Ever since that Shaman gave his curse those woods have been dangerous."
      "Oh please, it's just an old myth that people have blown out of proportion. So some guy laid down a curse when he was pissed about dying. Big whoop. Nothing to get spooked about."
       "But the curse came true!"
        "What are you talking about? A curse can't come true."
         Amanda sat up straighter and started to gesture expressively while she talked.
         "Everyone thought that when they buried that Indian, but then a few months later the judge's pretty young wife went walking in the woods after shadowfall wearing her favorite red cloak. No one noticed anything out of place at first, except that she would laugh all the time, but after a couple days they found her wandering out of the big old mansion the judge had built for her covered in blood and screaming about the wolf. When they went inside they found everyone hacked up with a cleaver. Everyone from the judge to the little scullery maid that was only eight years old."
        She had gotten more solemn as she had finsihed her tale. Tiffany shook her head.
       "Just because some rich chick loses it and kills some people doesn't mean there's a curse, it just means that some one was silly enough to let the crazy woman near the knives."
      " Eleven people. She killed eleven people without even one of them able to fight back. And she wasn't crazy until she went in those woods. And she wasn't the only one. The school teacher about 30 years ago didn't believe in the curse and went into the woods after dusk to gather some plants he said were really rare. When he came out he wouldn't stop giggling. The Doctor at the time gave him some medication and suggested he get some rest. Two days later they found him sitting in the middle of his classroom with  a rifle shooting out the window at the kids on the playground. If the Sheriff hadn't shot him on the spot who knows how many kids he would have killed. I'm telling you don't go in there today it's dangerous."
        "I get that you believe this crap Amanda, you were raised here. But no curse is going to keep me from showing  Millie Hawks and everyone else that they can't mess with me or Sarah. If this is what it takes then so be it." She relented a little bit because Amanda looked so concerned and it was nice to have a friend to be concerned about her. " I'll be careful I won't go off the path, I swear."

That's all for tonight, hopefully I'll get more up tomorrow night =).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Travel Log 10-21: It's Almost November

As Amy over at Hello Better Than Ever Reminded me in her post November is National Novel Writing Month. There is a great bunch of people over at who put on a whole event for it and make a great community to reach a goal of 50,000 words by the end of the month. I've watched this in years past and never done it because I was just too scared to even contemplate letting people read anything I've written, or even know that I write, but over the past month I've opened up to all of you on here and I've tried to let that go.
     In less than 3 weeks I'm going to turn 30. This is often marked as a transition point in people's lives where they essentially embrace their adulthood. So it's time to put on the big girl panties and take a deep breath and take the plunge.
     Now here's where I try to drag as many of you with me as humanly possible (there's safety in numbers dontcha know!). It's free and there are no strings attached. It's all about the word count and no one will be judging your work(or even actually see it if you don't want them to), so there is no pressure, and all of us do so much writing on here and have so much creativity that I would love to see what we all come up with
        Let's see how many of us out here in blog land can be novelists by Yule!

As a side note if you want a great free book download on the NaNoWriMo experience and tips on how to make it through check out NaNo for the New and Insane it's an amusing read and really helpful.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Travel Log 10-20-2: Finally As Promised....

Off the Path Part Four:

     The silence creeped into the woods. From her seat Tiffany could see a few feet into the trees, but as the shadow of the mountain quickly spread down to the valley the shadows deepened and her eyes began to strain.
     "I'll just rest for a moment, they can't take much longer." 
      Her eyes drifted shut then shot open as she heard leaves rustling to her right.

      The jukebox played an annoying country song that Tiffany had heard a million times already. She rested her elbows on the counter and dropped her head onto her fists.
     " I wonder if I play it backwards if the guy will get his wife, truck, and dog back"  she muttered.
      All in all working at a pizza place had its perks. Free soda, as long as she didn't drink too much, a free slice a night, and tips when people were feeling generous. On the tolerable scale this was pretty high. But weighing heavily on the other side of that scale was having to listen to the music that any joker with a dollar bill wanted. And boy did they love them some country in Cottington.
     The bell above the door jingled and she stopped glaring at the guy in the cowboy boots getting up with another dollar to greet the new customer.
     "Hey Tif how's it going?" Amanda bounced up to the counter and dropped onto one of the red vinyl stools.
       Here was the best part of working in The Pie Palace. Amanda's parents owned the place. So she got to hang out with Amanda while she worked and no one gave her crap about it.
       The weeks had passed pretty quickly. The Homecoming dance was next week and it felt like only yesterday that she had watched Rita drive full speed of into the sunset. And yet it seemed that she had been here forever. 
     Now when she walked around town she noticed that not all the whisperers were looking at her. Apparently Sarah was a bit of an oddity in the small town. She'd even heard an old woman mutter "witch" as they passed the other day. But there may have been a b on that instead.
      What a bunch of yokels. Just because a woman lived alone and liked to garden didn't mean she went around cackling and looking for kids to shove in an oven. But on the whole they didn't get hassled too much. Millie and the triple P's still gave her crap, but Amanda said it would blow over once Sean finally asked Millie to the dance.
     Tiffany would rather take the little tricks they tried to pull on her than see Millie snuggled up to Sean.
      Sean Amos was the school's celebrity. He had written a poem that had been published in an actual book of poetry. He had even gone on a book signing tour and everything. Tiffany had read it and his poem was awesome. He was so deep and meaningful. Every girl for at least two counties was swooning at his feet. Of course Amanda said that it didn't hurt that he was six foot  two with gorgeous blue eyes and shaggy black hair. And Tiffany would have to agree, it didn't hurt at all. Except when she thought about him going to the dance with, gag, Millie Hawks.
      No, she would much rather picture him riding up to Sarah's house on his shiny black motorcycle- oh it was so hot! Then he would knock on the door and smile that crooked smile as he-
     "Tif have you been listening?"
      "Huh? Oh yeah, sorry Amanda I drifted off for  a minute, what's up?"
      " Only the hottest scoop of the year! I can't believe you would rather day dream than hear the latest Sean Amos bulletin." Her friend gave her a sly grin and nonchalantly leaned against the counter. "Of course if you may just not be into him as much as I thought you were." She looked down and examined her unpainted nails.
       "What, did he finally get around to asking Millie?" Tiffany tried not to sound too interested. It didn't matter. She was a drifter. What would one dance matter when she drifted on to the next place Rita dumped her.
        "No in fact she practically threw herself at him in the supermarket and he told her to-"
         The little bell tinkled again as the door opened and in walked the subject of their discussion, bringing Amanda's tale to a halt.
          Tiffany smoothed the Pie Palace t-shirt she had to wear down and rubbed her slightly damp hands on her jeans. How could anyone possibly look so cool in just a t-shirt and jeans with a ratty leather jacket over it. She gulped back the drool that had started pooling at the back of her mouth and kept chanting in her head- be cool. Be. Cool.
        " Hey girls, mind if I pull up a stool?"
          "Yeah sure Sean, sit on down " Amanda answered while Tiffany silently nodded.
          Smooth. Absolutely smooth. She was such a loser.
          "Can I get you anything. " she finally croaked out. Where the hell was a handy rock when you needed to hide?
            "Sure, I'll take a slice of pepperoni and a coke."
            As she hustled to get his order Tiffany had a silent screaming match with herself. By the time she returned with his pizza and drink her morose side had won. It usually did. Winning was the only thing it liked to do.
            "Here's your slice and your coke. So you shackled yourself to Millie yet?" Oh. My. God. The voice of the shy girl in her head kept pleading with her to say that she wasn't the one who just said that.
            Sean started laughing so hard that he sprayed a little bit of the soda he had just sipped. That relaxed her a little bit. He wasn't the earthly embodiement of cool. He was just a boy.
            " Is that what everyone is buzzing about. " he eyed Amanda who was staring at Tiffany as if she had grown another head. "No I don't intend to get my self 'shackled'  to that particular piece of work. " he said on another chuckle.
          "Aw come on. Oldest story in the book. Popular guy meets popular girl. They go a few rounds of hard to get then the float of into the sunset together on a little golden raft of popular bliss. Don't tell me you're going to be the one to break the chain. Society as we know it may come to a grinding halt." That got him laughing again. God he had a great laugh. If she could keep him laughing forever it would be worth it. As long as he was laughing it meant he was noticing her.
         The bell tinkled again.
        "Well hello Millie. I see you've got the entourage with you tonight."  Sean's voice had cooled as Millie and the other girls in her group sauntered up to the counter.
         "Waitress, get me and my friends a large veggie pizza. Well hello Sean, fancy seeing you here." The blond eyed Amanda and Tiffany. " I thought your taste was more sophisticated than this."
          Tiffany stiffened at the obvious insult. She glared at Millie as she rang up the order.
          Millie wrapped her arm through Sean's and began trying to tug him to his feet. " C'mon and sit with us, we'll be sure to entertain you."
           Sean wouldn't get up. Millie tugged a little harder and her grip slipped, causing her to tumble back. Tiffany snorted a laugh that she tried to cover up. Don't confront, don't confront.
           "What are you laughing at weirdo?"
            "There's no need to be rude Millie. It was pretty funny watching you almost slide on your butt." Tiffany felt her heart beat race. He'd stood up for her again!
            "What are you doing hanging with these dweebs anyway. Come sit with us and we can talk about when you're going to pick me up next Saturday." The blond grabbed one last time for his arm but missed as he stood and backed away from her.
            "Contrary to popular belief it will not cause the downfall of civilization if I don't take you to the dance Millie." Did he just wink at her? Tiffany almost pinched herself because in no universe that she was aware of was Sean Amos turning down Millie Hawks and winking at her!
             "But Sean honey, of course you're going to-"
             "Let me make this as clear as possible Millie." He turned so that he faced Tiffany fully leaving his back to a shocked Millie. " Do you happen to have an escort to the dance Tiffany?" She shook her head as she stared at him. "Excellent. Would you care to go with me?" She nodded silently and started to wonder if she was halllucinating. " I'll be by to pick you up at six then. We'll grab something to eat. Something more sophisticated than pizza. " He winked at her again strode out the door never even looking at Millie.
            Tiffany stood there and wondered if she had passed out and just not noticed. Amanda was talking a million words a minute and Millie was glaring daggers at her. Then all of a sudden Millie stopped glaring and started smiling. Snakes would have run screaming from that smile.
           "Well didn't you turn out to be the clever one? " Amanda wound down as she warily watched the blond girl.
           "I didn't do anything. He just likes me better." Yet again her mouth had run away with her. You never answer back. Never. She watched Millie's nostrils flare out with the anger the comment spiked. Then she smiled again.
           "Of course you did. You're the niece of a witch. You probably got her to put a love spell on him. That's the only way he'd choose a little creep like you over me. I'm sure Sean will see the error of his ways when I tell him what you did."
           Tiffany felt her own anger starting to heat.
           "Sarah is not a witch. only an ignorant fool would say something like that."
           "So she's not a witch? Well we have a test for evil in these parts. If you and your aunt aren't witches then you should have no problem passing it. Unless of course you have something to hide."

That's all for tonight. The next installment will have some definate creepy crawlers in it now that  I've got the back story sorted out, so stay tuned!

Travel Log 10-20: It Has Been A Weekend!

As I may have mentioned before yesterday was Her Royal Highness's 8th birthday. And boy has it been a birthday extravaganza this weekend!
     Saturday she went to go see Charlottes Web with her grandma and aunt(we took the boys to the pumpkin festival and insect fair). Sunday we all went to Goofy's kitchen (a really cool kids restaurant with all the Disney characters coming around to the tables and getting up and dancing in the middle of the restaurant- they even have pb&j pizza!). At least 5 disserts were had by all!
     And then yesterday we suprised HRH and the Weremonkey by letting them play hookie from school and taking them to Disneyland! Where HRH was treated to the princess makeover at the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique. From head to toe she got a princess outfit(she chose Cinderella from dress to shoes to purse and gloves), they did her hair(she chose the punk princess style with this really cool multi-color hair piece), her make up,  her nails, and did a photo package. It was all really well set up and she had a blast. Everyone at the park wished her a happy birthday all day and we even got pictures and autographs from Captain Hook, The Queen of Hearts, and The Evil Queen. It was awesome.
      Then we came home for an icecream cake party with all her presents. If this doesn't go down as one of the best birthday's ever I'm going to disown that kid...
     My OH warned me not to keep setting the bar so high,lol.
      And to keep up wiht the 31 days of Halloween Saturday was the pumpkin festival, Sunday was halloween crafts including making spiders out of blowpops, and yesterday I hit up the Haunted Mansion- which is decked out in Nightmare Before Christmas and even got to pick up a cd of the original story recording for the haunted Mansion from its opening in 1969. It's all creepy radio showish and I squeeed all the way home listening to it. Supriningly the male lead was played by Ron Howard, so it gives the silly kids who stumble into the mansion that extra "gee whiz"  quality.

I'll have pics and more of Off the Path tonight. The story for sure, the pics might have to wait because I'm old fashioned and use regular film so they''ll be up when I get it developed, which by the pile of film on my desk I haven't been doing regular enough. But here is the promised picture of the book I made for HRH. It's just the outside cover, but I did it all myself! I'll get better ones later this one is from my phone so it may look a little crappy, but in real life it looks awesome!

The swirls are in gold glitter.

But that was my weekend and I'll have more for you soon.
Until then here's a little tidbit I found that I intend to try beccause I think it's a nifty idea from   White :

Charm Of Protection For The Car

Purchase a plastic toy of a dragon, dinosaur or other fierce beast.

Make sure its mouth is open showing lots of wicked teeth.

You may want to charge it first, by holding it in your hand, visualizing it fiercely protecting

your vehicle from accidents, theft and vandalizing. Say an appropriate invocation to your

god or goddess if applicable (for instance, if you are using a cat or lion toy, you may want

to invoke Bast). If you hang this in your windshield, it will fiercely protect your vehicle.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Travel Log 10-17: 31 Days Rock!

If you haven't head over to Mrs. Bs 31 days of halloween and check out what she's got to offer. Haunted blog tours, Guest bloggers, and giveaways golore!
 Today she's giving away some awesome stuff but the one that stands out to me is the giveaway from Octoberfarm .
      It's a whole bunch of goodies from Salem and the East Coast. I am crossing my fingers, doing every entry and hoping for this one!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Travel Log 10-16: Excuses, Excuses

  Well I'm sorry to say that Off the Path will have to wait unitl tomorrow night. I'm working on HRH's birthday stuff tonight, and it's going to be a late one!
But to keep up with the blog party, and because I promised to post it when I finished here is the sketch I've been working on fully colored. Oh and btw- Does anyone know of any way other than pixel by pixel in paint to color pen and ink sketches? because I'm starting to see grids everywhere, lol.

Also what would you suggest naming it?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Travel Log 10-15-2: Off the Path Parth 3

Well it's late but here is the next installment of the adventures of Tiffany!

Off the Path Part 3

     "If they think they are going to scare me they are crazy."
      Tiffany rounded the turn in the path and found herself  and found a small clearing surrounded by trees. On all sides.
      "Well isn't this just a fan-freakin'-tastic little journey. Whatever they have planned better be damn good."
     She leaned against a tree and slid down until she was sitting on the ground with her back to the tree. As she settled in to wait the sun slipped completely behind the mountain.

      The smell was always the same.
      No matter what school she was in , no matter what town, a highschool always smelled the same. Fear, sweat, and hormones. To a nervous new girl it was the smell of hell come to earth. For the "in crowd" it was the smell of glory.
     Oh how she hated it.
      Tiffany leaned on the wall outside the office as Sarah finished up the paperwork to make her an inmate of this particular prison.
      Wood floors and generous windows made it more appealing than most. Cottington had turned its old courthouse into it's school years ago. K-12  walked through the double doors everyday from September through July and filled seats in rooms that had once housed the wheels and cogs of justice. It was rather ironic really.
      The book of local legends and folktales that Sarah had given her to read had had a story about some sort of spirit who was said to haunt the old courthouse.  A Chief of the local tribe had been hanged at the gallows that had stood in the courtyard, but before they had slipped the noose around his neck he had cursed the townsfolk, the town, and the mountain itself for his death. If it wasn't a high school now, and ghost stories were fake, Tiffany might almost think that was cool.
      "Well that's that. Here is your class schedule, and they'll have one of your classmates come and show you around." Sarah handed her a slip of paper, patted her shoulder, and headed out to her car waiting in the parking lot.
      Tiffany sighed and looked down at the schedule. Her locker number and combination were written in the corner. Might as well find it and stash her stuff.
     It took her a minute to find it down a side hallway. It was actually in a pretty good location. Off the main hallway, not near the bathroom but a few down from the teacher's lounge. This should keep her away from all the crap.
     "You must be Tiffany."
      The skinny brunette pushed her glasses up her freckled nose and held out her hand.
     "I'm Amanda. They sent me to show you the ropes."
      After a quick once over she sized Amanda up as the captive nerd. The one that always gets roped into doing the dirty work because they're just too polite to tell an adult to go to hell. Poor idiot.
     "Yeah I'm Tiffany. Sorry you're stuck with me."
      "Oh it's ok. Got me out of gym. Let me give you the tour."
     As they walked around the hundred and fifty year old building Tiffany got comfortable with the other girl. Amanda was easy to listen to. She had facts stuffed in her head that just seemed to leak out or jump out at any given moment and send her off on a tangent. She had never been much of a talker, so Tiffany found it pretty nice to be around someone who so obviously didn't expect her to. She didn't even tell her that she had read about the ghost story when the girl had launched into it since she was really enjoying telling it.
     The bell rang just as they got back to her locker and kids came pouring out of the classrooms.
     "Do they all dress like that where you come from?"
      "Huh?" Tiffany was distracted trying to size up all the kids she saw wander through the hallways as they were trying to size her up. A lot of whispering and pointing was going on. God she hated that. Standing alone while everyone whispered and pointed.
      "Does everyone dress like that where you came from?"
       Startled from her thoughts she really looked around her at how all the others were dressed. It hadn't clicked before, but everyone was wearing a variation of the same thing. Jeans in shades of blue, and tops in various colors. Tiffany's all black t-shirt, hoodie, and jean combo stood out like a sore thumb. This was not good. She had thought she would blend in.
       Just as the dismay was starting to sink in They strolled into the hallway.
       The triple P's Tiffany had always called them. Pretty, Perky, Pains in the ass. Every school had a cluster of them, and obviously Cottington High wasn't going to miss out either.
       The curvy blond at the head of this particular set homed in on the new girl with almost heat seeking precision.
       "You're that weird chick's niece aren't you? Should have known you'd be strange too."
        Silence spread through the hallway  like a wave.
         Trying to pidgeon-hole her already. The strange chick. The weird girl with the weird aunt.
         Sarah wasn't weird. The nagging voice in the back of her head wouldn't let that go. Sarah wasn't weird. She was just a woman who lived by herself.
          "Sarah's not weird."
           Oh Lord, was that her voice? She knew better. You never engage. You don't give them anything to go on, and eventually they get bored and go away. Damn that voice in her mind.
          "Says the weird neice. But then I bet your whole family are experts on weird."
          "Back of Millie."
           Tiffany turned to boy who had come to her defense and felt her stomach drop and she could hear her heartbeat pounding in her head as her palms got a little sweaty. She felt heart roll right out and land at his feet.

Well I think this is a good place to leave it tonight. I'm off to bed

Travel Log 10-15: A Very Lucy Moring

I decided to finish making my crustless pumpkin pie this morning (I know, foolish foolish woman!). The kids had helped me scrape out and bake the pumpkin last night(which I did TOTALLY wrong, lol) but tonight I have to pick my husband up all the way from work and not the quick trip to his carpool so there would be no way for them to help with the actual pie making because I would get back too late. So I got the bright idea to make it this morning so it would be ready for them when they got home from school.
    This was my first mistake,lol. Then I decided I would puree the pumpkin in the blender. This worked after a whole lot finagaling (note to self-don't put your blender on a shelf for a year and then expect it to do a big job, they don't like that).
     Then I got the brilliant idea to mix all the other stuff in there too and make it a clean one appliance job. Oh poor misguided woman, all the hearth and kitchen gods and goddesses must have been thinking. I am sure there was much shaking of the head and outright laughter in the heavens as I blissfully went along with my inspired plan- even singing to myself as I felt all domesticated and competent.
      All the ingredients fit in and I decided to put the sugar in last, through the little hole at the top. It was all going so well. Yes it was getting kinda close to the top, but one of the cool things about sugar is that it disolves right?
     One thing it doesn't do is dissolve quickly.
      So when I added the sugar, all in one brilliant lump, the liquid began to bubble up and out the little hole in the top that had been the vehicle for my own form of kitchen pumpkin slaughter.
      By the time I got the little cap back in it looked like a pumpkin had sprung a very good smelling artery all over my kitchen walls. And me. And the baby.
      The Squishisaurus, who had been sitting in his highchair eating banana's next to the counter,  looked at me with eyes, just under a splash of pumpkin across his nose and forehead, that seemed to say "please tell me I'm adopted."
      I couldn't help it. I dissolved into a hysterical fit of laughter on the kitchen floor. And the little Squisherton picked up his sippy cup with an amazing amount of dignity for someone with orange goop across his face, began to drink, and very studiously ignored the crazy woman on the floor covered in pumpkin and giggling.
Here is the link to the very good (and very detailed if you follow them) instructions on how to make pumpkin pie from scratch- with pictures!
      Pick Your Own

Remember- instructions are not just for suckers as my OH tell me! Learn from my example kids, read them, love them, thanks the gods for them!
     That's all for this mid morning PBS  special!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Travel Log 10-14: Stuff and Stuff

Well I got my beloved car back today, with a brand new brake system. Apparently what had happened is the master cylander had fractured and leaked into something called the vacuum booster. Apparently that's a bad thing, Am I the only one who thinks of the felix the cat movie when they hear master cylinder?
     Well and unexpected trip to CalPoly Pomona brought about proof that college students have been stealing all the pumpkins and causing the shortage. And here it is

and that's just one half of the field!

     But that lead to me buying pie pumpkins in an attempt to make my own pie filling. this so far has not gone particularly well. I forgot to put some water in the oven when I baked them. So I have no idea how its going to turn out. But since squishisaurus has been teething, sleep is still an endanger species around here, so unfortunately I'll have to pick up Off the Path tomorrow night.
    I hope everyone is having a spooky week!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Travel Log 10-13: Off the Path Part Duex!

Well I'm Baaaack! Lol.
     I have now reached the squirrel on crack portion of lack of sleep. Which makes my OH shake his head and start hiding the coffee. But as promised I have brought you the second part of  Off the Path, my current voices in head compulsion.
     **disclaimer** Since I know quite a few of you are endowed with green thumbs let me say that  I'm researching any and all plant and herb references as I go, so if I get it wrong I'm sorry and just let me know and I'll correct it =)!
   Off The Path Part 2

     "Stupid ..huff..hick town...huff... in the middle of... huff.. nowhere."
      Tiffany was starting to get a little breathless as the path she was following weaved in and out of the forest and rose towards the base of the mountain. As she leaned against the trunk of one of the trees that line the path, she wiped some sweat away with the bright crimson scarf she had looped around her neck. She took a few moments to catch her breath.
      As she pushed off from the tree and began walking again the sun just started to slip behind the mountain.

      Tomorrow she was going to have to go to  school. This was where the real suckiness started for Tiffany. Always being the new girl got old real quick. Especially when you had the kind of baggage she carried around. The vultures would be circling by lunch time.
     She flopped on the bed in her room. The cottage had two bedrooms and she had moved her three suitcases into the spare one and found it nicer than a lot of places she'd been. The bed wasn't too small, the room was clean, and she didn't have to share it.  The pale gold walls and gold and pink patterned quilt had made the room feel welcoming and comfortable. All in all a step up from the closet sized place Rita had had her staying in.
     She had to share a bathroom with Sarah, but if she were being fair she was kind of intrigued by the strange glass bottles that Sarah kept in her bathroom cabinet.There were none of the designer labels that Rita had to have, or the cheaper knock- offs that some of the people she'd stayed with had kept. These were weird glass bottles, with different shapes and colors. There were no labels at all, and when she had pulled the little plug out of the tall blue one the smell had been great.
     The last few days had gone by pretty uneventfully. Sarah spent most of her time during the day out in the garden. After about three hours of wandering around the cottage and looking at the strange figurines and drawings that were all over the place Tiffany had given up and gone out to join her. At first she had leaned against the wall by the front door and watched as Sarah bent and clipped, or bent and pulled different plants and flowers. At first she thought that it was haphazard but after a few minutes she noticed a pattern in what plants were clipped and which were pulled out.
     "If you are at loose ends and want something to do you could help me."
     It was said in an offhand manner, and Sarah never turned around to  see how she reacted. She just kept clipping an pulling, while Tiffany stood and watched. And thought.
     Should she just go back inside and stare at the walls in her room? Should she even bother to getting to know Sarah, or would it be a waste of time since she would most likely get bounced somewhere else? Either Sarah would get sick of Tiffany or Rita's newest what's-his-name would get sick of her. She never got to stay anywhere long enough to settle in.
      She had just started to push off of the wall to head back inside when Sarah sat back on her heels and pointed to the plants she had been clipping.
     " These orange blossoms here are Calendula. They can make some decent healing aides as well as being one of the ingriedients for the facial cleanser that is in that tall blue bottle in the bathroom. If you want I can show you what else is in there."
       Now she did turn to look at Tiffany, and the steady measuring in her gaze stopped her from heading directly into the house and holding up in her room. instead she walked over to where Sarah knelt on the ground and settled next to her in silence.
      That had begun a good vibe that had pervaded through the afternoon, where Tiffany learned about a few of the plants that sprouted everywhere around the cottage, and through dinner and the evening, when Sarah curled up in front of the fireplace with a book. Tiffany had headed to her room, to brood about her life, and go to sleep.
      The next day Sarah had taken her on a tour of the village while she did her errands. As they had walked around to the various shops and places of business people had stopped to stare at them, and  a few had whispered. Great, they had all heard the little snippets that her relatives had felt like passing on to Sarah. It made her want to crawl into her own skin and hide. She hated being stared at. That was the only good thing about going anywhere with Rita and her guy of the week, there was a guarantee that no one was going to be staring at her.
       It's not like she was interesting to look at or anything. She had dyed her mousy brown hair a few months ago, so there was a strip of brown at the top of the black, but that wasn't so remarkable. And her big clunky glasses weren't hiding anything spectacular either, just plain old greenish brown eyes. Since they had that crazy no red rule she had put on a black sweatshirt and black jeans, nothing spectacular, but she seemed to be the only one they ran into that was wearing any black at all. Apparently these people hadn't heard the memo that black was the new black..
     It was all so small town too. Everyone seemed to know everyone else, and the country feeling of the buildings came through loud and clear in the people. She would be willing to bet a large amount of money that she would not be fitting in very well here.
      When it started getting late she and Sarah had headed back to the cottage and Sarah had fixed dinner. As they ate she had warned Tiffany that she would be teaching her how to help her cook. Then Sarah had settled down in the living room to read.
       When Tiffany had sat restlessly in the other rocking chair, Sarah had taken a book off of a shelf and handed it to her.
      "This is a group of stories from the area. Kind of like legends. I think that it might help you understand the people here. You can tell a lot about someone from their superstitions."
      Tiffany looked at the thick book in her hands and figured-why not? She had nothing better to do. So she settled in to find out what bogeymen the people of Cottington had hiding in their collective closets.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Travel Log 10-12: Oh How The Day Has Flown

Well today has rushed by, and unfortunately I'll have to pick up the next part of Of The Path tomorrow. Squishisaurus rex is teething like crazy and sleep was non existent last night. Add to that helping my son build his model Chumash dwelling and we have a mommy with cramped fingers and fried braincells. But on the happy side I got these awesome cookie/ baking trays that have Halloween pictures in them that imprint on whatever you bake in them. I've already made a batch of sugar cookies in them and they will make an excellent decorator cookie for the Halloween party.
   Oh and on a scary note I'll be getting new brakes put on my car tomorrow because on the way home from picking my husband up from his carpool they decided they were going to stop working. Luckily we were in a very slow zone, and not on the freeway, and we got home ok, but it was pretty scary and I thank the Gods we made it back ok.
   Here's a prayer of gratitude that I plan on sending out tonight that I found at  Rituals of Wicca :

Prayer: Gratitude to the cosmos

"Gratitude to the cosmos
swirling masses of dancers
dancer atoms
dancer gasses
dancer people
dancer animal people
dancer rocks
dancer of endless possibility
dancing emptiness
dancing reaches
& dancing arcs of outer space
dancing of all things that have ever been
and will ever be
Gratitude to the cosmos
And blessings."
by Francesca De Grandis, copyright 1992