imbecamiel: (Scarlet Pimpernel Flower)
 Happy Easter, to all who celebrate it! Hope your day's a lovely one. :)

Gonna be a quiet one, here, but good. Now we're back from church, we'll mostly just be hanging out at home, cooking, enjoying the warmest, nice, sunny day we've had in a while. Yay! Lance and Dylan will be coming over for dinner, later. Turkey dinner - not quiiiite traditional, I know, but my dad is crazy for leftover turkey. *g* 

By the way, heads up for anyone who plays Dragon Cave and hasn't noticed - there's currently a very fun Easter egg hunt going on! I'm particularly excited about this one, because it marks the first time my art's officially appeared on the site. ^.^ Though it's mostly handled by the in-cave artists, I was invited to secretly participate in creating the art this time around. Ended up having so much fun I made three different eggs, then got indecisive about which'd work best, and sent them all in for those in charge to decide which they'd like. Looks like my favorite was chosen in the end! *happiness* 

Anyhow - even if you haven't done anything yet, there should be plenty of time to participate still if you'd like, as the event'll be going on for another couple of days. :3
imbecamiel: (Default)
Meh, I feel like I'm being terribly uncommunicative lately. Lots of big and little craziness!stuff that adds up, not so much to an actual total lack of time to do things as to  general distractedness and inability to focus on anything. So much writing I want to get done, both my own and in comments, and yet... *so much fail* 

But yeah, lots going on, even setting aside last-minute Christmas preparations! Among other things, the masons came to tear out the whole stone front of our fireplace, which has caused a fair amount of chaos...

And of far more interest, and the best possible chaos - I have a brand new great niece! Baby Elle arrived last night! *so excited* There were a fair amount of complications during the labor, which was the cause for some anxiety, but both momma and baby are safe and healthy now, if quite exhausted. And Elle is adorable. Not that I'm at all biased. ;D

And Lexie is, naturally, continuing to be an adorable little princess herself as well. She's missed her mother terribly, and so when she arrived she cuddled up next to Ashley and just repeated "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy..." over and over in the happiest tone of voice - not wanting anything, just so happy to be with her again. So. Cute. 

Just a couple pictures (yes, I shall resist the urge to spam y'all with them ^.^) -

Baby! )

(Why yes, we did spend quite a bit of time at the hospital today. There aren't that many good, fun reasons to visit a hospital, but boy, when they're good they're really good. *g*)

So yeah, even when I've had time on my hands it seems like I've had the worst time actually getting anything done. Yes, in a couple days the holiday craziness with be settled and it'll likely be much easier, but still. *feels bad*

Heh, as so often seems to happen, though, when I'm having trouble focusing either because of sickness or busyness, the one thing I can easily do is art. And as Nef's got me started on a little art spree (literally as well as figuratively)... A few things I've done.
Leetle art-ish stuffs. )
imbecamiel: (Where to begin)
 I...

Um. 

Remember what I said about being rejected by a publisher? Yeah. They were going to have a final decision "on or about March 15th." So by now it's looong over, no news is bad news, move on... right? 

Except, not. 

They just contacted me. My story made the final cut. I'm going to be published. As in, in a real book, an anthology of fantasy stories. I had to read the e-mail about three times before I could actually process what it was saying, and then I almost cried. Which, yes, is a really stupid reaction, but I just... really needed some good news right now. Might also be because I'm completely exhausted. Heh. God has incredible timing. 

No, I'm not being paid a very large amount, yeah, it's a newer, smallish publishing company, but - It's. A. Book. And I'm going to be published, for reals. They'll be sending me the final editing/formatting changes for my approval, soon I think, and I'm gonna need to get them an author bio... don't have any exact dates on when it'll be published yet.   

I still can't believe it. I'm kind of scared to post this, because I keep expecting to get something any minute saying it was a mistake, or there's some problem, or.... 

Seriously?
imbecamiel: (Far horizons)
I... have a new laptop at last! :D 'Tis a Toshiba, and very shiny, both in the literal and the "very awesome indeed" sense. And fast. And pretty. And it has sooooo much more room than my old one. And everything works now. And I love Windows 7. And did I mention it's fast? *g*

I've already got all my files transferred, except for my spriting files - my main program there is too outdated to work on this computer. New version's already ordered, though, and should be getting here any day now. Also got aaaall my internet bookmarks transferred (bless you, Firefox, for making that so simple!). So now I'm in the process of organizing, figuring out what does what, and adjusting various settings. Hehe, that, and playing with things that either wouldn't work, or which I didn't dare even attempt earlier lest my computer have a complete hissy fit. (Firefox personas ftw!) So. Much. Fun. *ded*

Ahem. Yes. Sorry, just a tad overexcited at the moment. I have been generally stressing out over and planning and researching computer stuff for so long, and my laptop was getting so frustrating. *hugs new compy*

Also, I found a really, really good price on a wireless ergonomic keyboard on eBay. It just got here a couple days ago, and oh my... *bliss* My wrists are very happy indeed. Takes a bit of getting used to - both the different shape, and the keys being slightly farther apart than on the laptop, which is more of an adjustment when you've got small hands - but it is so nice. :D

Now I just need to see what my new laptop's personality's like, so I can come up with a good name for it. So far I've had the infamous Chrysophylax (after the dragon in Tolkien's Farmer Giles of Ham, which will only behave and tell the truth if someone's standing over it with an enchanted sword) and Caudimordax (the enchanted dragon-slaying sword, which nonetheless has more of a mind of its own than one might expect from an inanimate object). Hmm. To stick with some sort of Tolkien-related theme, or go in an entirely new direction?

Suggestions, anyone? *bg*
imbecamiel: (Spock - Face Hurts)
Faster internet! Thank you, God! And it's not even going to cost us one penny more than we're already paying!

*ded of happy*

Late afternoon of the 24th (seriously, they're working then?) it shall be activated. I am very hopeful that it will be both noticeably faster and more dependable than it has been. ;D

Either that or, y'know, it'll all go wrong and we'll be without internet for a week or two. So if I disappear off the face of the earth for a while here... that'll be why. *g* But I'm hoping that won't happen, as this should be fairly uncomplicated. I think.

(Ooo, and between this and the fact that they're being released for several days, I may actually be able to catch one or two of the new DragCave Christmas dragons. Yay! :D)
imbecamiel: (Hobbit)
Nope, haven't fallen off the edge of the earth - just a tad busy. Editing latest issue of teh magazine, Mom and Dad have been gone a few days celebrating their 25th anniversary, busy time for Eric's golf tournaments, and getting ready for Grandma coming in - eep, 'bout two weeks! Also, trying to write, but not succeeding very well. *pokes stories*

Not doing bad, though. We're thoroughly enjoying having a dock on the lake. Yay, lots of fishing! And we've got a whole bunch of torches to light the dock and path down by the lake. Going out there at night, through a yard just full of fireflies, to a lake lit up by flames and the moon, with so many bright stars in the sky... It's just so magical, I can still hardly believe we actually live here. :D

Hehe, and we now have a turtle living in the lake that'll come when called and eat out of our hands. Add one more to our Home for Confused Animals! XD It's so cuuute... Now we just need a name for it. I'm thinkin' maybe Fischel.... *g*

ETA: o.o While I am still enjoying the BBC Robin Hood TV series, there is one thing I will say. I would not recommend the series finale. Seriously. That is positively the most idiotic end to a Robin Hood story I have ever seen or heard of. I'm sorry, that is just not poetic or dramatic - that's stupid. Sometimes, I hate TV series writers. *goes off grumbling*

imbecamiel: (Hobbit)
My birthday was indeed quite wonderful. :) Lovely time with church family in the morning, and an all-around enjoyable, peaceful day. And I now have some lovely new reading material - including a copy of The Thief with a little extra section that the library version didn't have. And the most perfect, tiny MP3 player! (Which my sweet, tech-savvy little brother got completely set up for me, with all of my music on it, as well as giving me a run-down of how everything works.) And the Iron Man DVD. Yes, I am turning into far more of a superhero fan than I'd ever expected. Sometimes, my levels of geekiness surprise even me. *g* And Neffie made me an awesome cake - a brownie/chocolate cake thing, with a chocolate cheesecake layer on top, and a chocolate glaze on top of that. She knows me well. :D

My family is so wonderful. *hugs them all*

And in a typical quite random change of subject...

NCIS fanficcy ramblings - i.e. talking myself out of a bad idea, since doing it in my head's not effective enough. )

imbecamiel: (Comma)
Well, we've still had some crazy/stressful happenings of late. Nothing too catastrophic, though. Heh, between the birds and the cats alone we've had quite a bit of drama going on... No trouble actually between the various species, though, ironically enough. Our primary problem with them at the moment is that one of our cats decided to go absolutely insane, Sunday night, and still hasn't regained her senses.

Kitties, Editing, and Karate - what a mix... )

imbecamiel: (Hobbit)
Between one thing and another, I've been hovering on the edge of being seriously stressed out, anxious, and depressed the last few days. Even though it's not quite accurate, really, I've been feeling like I've got far too much to do, and not nearly enough time or energy to do it.

And then today was our church's women's retreat, and it was... so very much what I needed. Good, encouraging teaching, fellowship, relaxing walking around in the woods in between things... and yes, lots of chocolate, too. :) And I got a neat little book by John Piper on joy, which I will definitely be reading with my devotions this week. Today has been so very peaceful, and I've been both surprised and thankful for how much I've been able to just step back from everything that's been going on. Yeah, I've still got a lot going on, but I think today's really helped in getting my mind and heart back on the right track again. God is so good!

And! In a rather random turn of subject, I meant to say how the karate tournament Thursday night went, but I've been rushing around so much I didn't get to it. So, now that I'm here -

Karate Tournament! )

imbecamiel: (Spock Laughing Hysterically)
So, we went to Taco Bell today, and they had an... interesting sign on the doors.

PLEASE BARE WITH US:

OUR A/C UNIT IS
NOT OPERABLE


Er... The Air Conditioner's not working, so let's all take off our clothes? Um, I'm really hot, yeah, but... not quite that hot, thankyouverymuch. :P And yes, of course I promptly cracked up. I'm far too amused by these things...

And then we spent the afternoon visiting Ashley and Lexie, so -

Pictures!

Jul. 23rd, 2008 03:51 pm
imbecamiel: (Insane Mind)
LOL, oh yes, I'm still very much excited and energized and walking around with a permanent goofy grin on my face. But come on, tell me...

imbecamiel: (Quill and ink)
Little Lexie Ann was born this morning, and she is absolutely the most wonderful, beautiful, perfect baby in the entire world. Yes, the entire world. And I say that with very detached, unbiased judgement. ;D She's so sweet and content and tiny - I can hold her in one arm! And she is adorable. She's got her father's black, curly hair (and so much of it!), and slightly darker complexion, but she looks so very, very much like Ashley... And she's just wonderful. I'm so, so happy that both Nef and I are recovered and no longer contagious and were able to hold her. I never wanted to give her back!

The birth went well, both Ashley and Lexie are healthy and happy and doing very well. She was born right on her due date, and despite seeming so amazingly tiny she's actually quite a healthy size. Thanks very much for all your prayers for both of them. :) And please don't stop! In many ways, the hard part is only just beginning.

But oh, I am so looking forward to babysitting duties! Hee, such excellent motivation to get in lots more driving practice and get my license very soon. I have the most adorable great niece in the whole world!!!!

Hee, and yes, I am very tired and extremely giddy. ;D But she's so wonderful! LOL, I'll probably post a picture... tomorrow. When I've had some sleep. :D
imbecamiel: (Renewed Blade LOTR)
... and feeling so very relaxed and contented. :D

Had an awesome week, very peaceful - somehow not nearly long enough, as usual, but wonderful. For all I love exploring and seeing new places, I think one of the things that makes this my favorite trip to go on is not just the relaxed pace but the fact that it's so very predictable. We were doing some reminiscing while we were up there, and realized that this is actually the 18th year we've gone there, and our 21st time staying there. We don't do things exactly the same every year, but there are always certain people we visit, we pick up groceries and such on certain days at certain stores, and everyone pretty much knows what to do. Sometimes (I particularly recall when we were just moving to our new house) it's just such a relief to have everything so familiar and un-rushed and to be surrounded by so many good memories. Some of them rather bittersweet now, with Grandpa gone, remembering the many, many times he was up there with us.

We hung around a lot, and I was absolutely irresponsible about anything I'd be worrying about at home (before we left I'd had a vague idea of maybe getting some things written up, etc., but no...). We went swimming, even though the water was icy and the day wasn't even all that warm - had fun anyway. Swam under the dock and signed our names on the underside of it, as is tradition. I got a bit of a suntanburn. Eh, my skin only has two options, apparently: "ghost" or "toast". But I actually escaped getting a nasty sunburn this time, so yay! :)

We also fished, and went boating... Saw a gigantic snapping turtle out in the bay shortly after we'd gone swimming. O.o Dad, as usual, tried to talk Eric into jumping off the boat to try and catch it. (Dad actually did jump out of the boat himself to try and catch one once. He admitted afterwards he had no idea what he'd have done if he'd actually caught it. Those things are mean.) Also got very close to a mother bear with three cubs - rather unusual, and So. Very. Cute. Heh heh, glad we were in the car, though, 'cause Momma bear didn't look too happy. We then went back a ways to warn three women who were walking that they might want to go a different way.

And, of course, I got a bunch of reading done - 'bout a book a day, pretty much the usual rate. A rundown of books read and what I thought of them shall likely follow in a day or so.

So, now I am feeling very energized, and shall likely be in an overachieving mood for some time to come. Which is probably good, because I've now got plenty to catch up on, and I came home to find the next issue of TEACH waiting for me to edit. Ah well, definitely not something to spoil my mood, even if more than the usual number of articles are still missing - and at least I got a decent deadline this time 'round!

Anyway - sad to leave, but still glad to be back! I missed y'all! So many times things would happen, and I'd think of you and want to tell y'all about it... *group hug for everyone*

Off to switch laundry!
imbecamiel: (Urge to conquer large parts of Europe)
First off, a bit of praise and celebration - Ashley's visit to the doctor went well. Apparently the baby weighs about four and a half pounds at the moment, and everything is looking good for a healthy birth. Praise God!

And yesterday was rather exciting... We're going to be gone during karate promotions night, so we were tested early - Nef, Eric, and I are now all green-with-purple belts! Yays! ;D

And then we had a big storm here last night, with us right in the path of the worst of it (bad enough that the weather radio actually mentioned our little town by name o.o). So we all had to rush around to secure everything before it hit, and then piled into our basement bathroom. Five people, two cats, a dog, and a bird are a bit of a tight squeeze in one bathroom. Heh, and even though it doesn't phase Strider in the slightest, the cats have recently demonstrated that thunderstorms make them nervous. Fortunately it tends more toward the clingy, cuddly, and hiding in the shower, rather than going berzerk. ;)

For some reason, having to take shelter during severe weather tends to make most of our family rather punchy and giggly. As when Neffie was giving the animals some water in her cupped hands, and then decided to wipe her hands off on my towel. When I protested and told her to use her own, she said, "But it's way over there!" *points two feet away* XP

Anywho, it turned out all right - storm passed over, and almost immediately the sky cleared up and we could see the moon. No damage to the house, and I don't think we even had anything to speak of to the trees. Less than the last big storm, when one of the trees down by the lake blew over. Fortunately it was a comparatively small one, and it even helpfully toppled right on top of our wood pile - guess it knew where it was going to wind up. ;P

And in just a few hours we'll be heading off to the cabin! So if you don't hear from me in the next week or so, it's not a sign that I don't care or that something drastic's happened - just a sign that I'm out in the middle of nowhere without internet. :D

Talk to y'all when I get back!
imbecamiel: (BookStackLight)
First off - happy slightly-belated Easter! Hope you all had a wonderful one.

My own was really, really good. I've been reading a lot of C.S. Lewis lately (mostly his essays on stories), and between that and yesterday's service, I was just... I don't know, it's hard to put into words. Struck again by how real this is, I suppose. It's like... all the most wonderful and epic stories and legends you read, and desperately wish were true, that there were heroes and adventures just like that, how wonderful it is to see the good guys triumph, and the bad ones utterly defeated - and this, this story that we base our lives on, it is. Worse villains, more wonderful Heroes than anyone can fully imagine, greater victories, and more real than anything else around us. And it not only exists, we're part of it. Maybe not a big part, most of us, or what seems like an important part, but we are important to the Hero and Author of the story - and He loves us and knows us as individuals, and wants us to know and love Him. It's... mind-boggling.

I don't know, maybe it sounds disrespectful, like I'm trivializing the gospel. It's just hard to find the right words for impressions like this sometimes. What I felt was more like awe. I can't be the only one who's read Narnia and just ached to go there. And then to realize that it is real, Aslan does exist here, now, greater than any author can capture Him - and yet here it can be so hard at times to really see and feel that reality. Sometimes I get so impatient and homesick for heaven. As weak as my faith is, as completely messed up as my priorities so often are - how could I survive without this foundation?


And that's all for now - must get back to work.
imbecamiel: (Default)
Thank you so much for your prayers, mellyn-nin. *hugs* I appreciate them very, very much.

The doctors were finally able to figure out what the problem is - some kind of scar tissue from a previous surgery blocking a duct between her liver and pancreas, apparently. The procedure to fix it was fairly minor, and she's already doing much better. They say she should be able to come home within a few days. Thank God!

God has been so good, taking care of us through this. Heh, the paramedics who came with the ambulance weren't exactly impressive in their competence, at least at first - makes you kinda nervous when they can't find their thermometer and Mom has to tell them that the reason they keep getting error messages with the blood pressure cuff is because they put it on wrong... But they took good care of her in the end, and got her to the ER safely. At the hospital Mom was taken to, one of the emergency room doctors on duty that night is an elder at our church, and it was really reassuring to know he was one of the people taking care of her. And Dad actually had yesterday off already because he had a colonoscopy scheduled, so he was able to spend most of the day with her (LOL, though it's not really terribly reassuring when both your parents wind up being unconscious at the same time... :P). This would be one of the times I'm very grateful to have a doctor for a father, who can understand what's going on and what things mean. Though Mom says it's not always quite as nice as a doctor's wife, because they tend to talk to you more in doctor speak and think you've picked up medical knowledge through osmosis or something... :)

At any rate, I'm going to stop rambling. I hope I'm making some sense here - my mind's kind of numb right now, with everything that's been happening. Thank you for praying. It does make such a difference. *hugs again*
imbecamiel: (BookStack)
It seems that of late December is destined to be the month of craziness for my family.

Two years ago we had our Christmas tree fall over - twice - breaking a number of our glass ornaments. Then we found out our new house wasn't as well sealed as we'd thought and with the cold mice had come inside. Then Dad's truck slipped in the snow on an incline, rolled over on its side, and slid into the creek. And then our internet kept going out for days at a time. And then on Christmas morning, our sump pump broke, flooding our basement - where the bedroom Nef and I share just happens to be located.

Last year, Mom caught pneumonia, so Nef and I wound up handling a lot of Christmas preparations on our own. We've been doing more and more as we've gotten older, of course, but she was so wiped out we had to pretty much take care of everything, in addition to keeping the housework up and helping take care of Mom.

This last week, we've already had lots of overall stressful craziness going on. And every time we try to get together with our niece for Christmas baking something comes up and it has to be canceled. And then yesterday we were in a car accident. Aside from general soreness everyone's alright, but it looks like the van may be totaled, and at the very least is going to be in the repair shop for some time.

BUT God is good, regardless.

Two years ago: when Dad's truck rolled over, he wasn't hurt and damage was minimal; when our basement flooded, it was with clean water, not sewage, and we caught it before any major damage was done (Nef and I were still sleeping on the floor then, but our mattresses weren't wet, and there were boxes of books and such on the floor right in the water - but only the cardboard was wet, it hadn't soaked through enough to get anything inside them wet).

Last year: we actually did very well, kept things going, and Mom got better soon enough to at least enjoy the celebrations with us.

And this year: the craziness seems to be much easing off, and as I said, everyone's alright, and the accident was clearly the other woman's fault, so her insurance has to pay for everything, including a rental car for us in the meantime, and a new vehicle of equal value should we need to replace the van entirely.

So, all that to say - I'm very sorry for pretty much disappearing off the face of the earth for the last week here, and I hope to be back posting and responding to things (including your stories, Niro and Polly!)  very soon. My absence hasn't been for lack of interest or desire to respond :)

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