Mar 2, 2015

Metaphysics Monday

metaphysics ~ study of principles of nature and thought

Got snow? We sure do. Here's the view from my dining room of our deck:

And we're supposed to get another snow dump tomorrow. But I'm not too worried because they're predicting it ahead of time, and it seems when they do that we don't get nearly the snow they say we are. Like, yesterday we were supposed to get a couple of inches and we barely got enough to have to brush off the car.

Of course the snow could be worse, I could live in New Brunswick where my sister is. She and her hubby went on a three week cruise down south and came home to eight feet of snow on their car. Eight feet!

My big concern is what happens to all that snow come spring? Normally it snows and then gets a little milder and the snow compacts or goes away completely and then we get more snow and repeat the process. This year the snow's not going away between blizzards. It's just stacking up.

A friend brought up a scary thought about it the other day - what happens if the weather suddenly gets mild and then we get several days of rain? I can't even begin to imagine the flooding that would result.

So last week was kind of a bust as far as getting things done went. A friend kidnapped me and took me to a nearby city for lunch on Tuesday, and by Tuesday evening I was sick as a dog. Was it something I ate? An IBS attack? The flu bug that's going around? Who knows. All I know is it took me until Friday before I was feeling okay again.

But good news! I found the cord for my camera that allows me to download pictures to my lap top. So here's one of the pictures I wanted to share a couple of weeks ago:

Doesn't it look yummy? It's minestrone soup with barley instead of pasta and kale instead of spinach. Incredibly healthy, yet tasty too. Pair it up with some garlic bread and you've got yourself a meal:

Speaking of soup . . . yesterday I started a huge pot of turkey soup. I had two turkey carcasses, one of which was from the turkey we had at the family Christmas dinner and it was huge. I probably could have used it by itself, but I already had the other (much smaller one) ready to go. So I boiled the bones for a few hours, and then, because my soup pot is so big, I strained the broth through a colander into my roasting pan. However, the soup pot fits into my fridge easier, so then I poured it from the roasting pan back into the pot, scalding my left hand in the process.

Somehow a fitting end to a long week. Let's hope I have better luck with my week this week. :-D

Feb 27, 2015

Wreck This Journal - Week Two

If you missed the beginning of this series, you can find it HERE.

Nowhere in the instructions for this journal does it mention how often you're supposed to wreck a page, so I've actually only been working in it a couple of times a week. And although I'm trying to do these pages in order, I did miss one for this week's post. The instructions were to step on or jump up and down on the page, and I did do this, but because we've got so much snow my shoes were only wet, not dirty, so it didn't really show up well. So I'm going to try something else with it this week to post next week. :-D

So, first up, you can probably read the instructions on the page yourself, but they were to Pour, spill, drip, spit, fling your coffee here. So I dipped my fingers in my coffee and dribbled it over the pages, then I set my mug down on the pages where it left one satisfying ring and one kind of faint ring.

The other page I did instructed me to poke holes in it.

But honestly, that made for a boring page, so I decided to get a little creative and turned the holes into flowers.

Okay, so maybe I'm not a great artist, but at least it's a little more colourful. :-D

And that's it for this week. I'll be back next Wednesday with more wrecked pages from my journal.

Feb 26, 2015

Earth - Chapter Sixty-two

This serial is presented in draft form and will be updated each Thursday. Your comments are always welcome!

Ch 1 ~ Ch 2 ~ Ch 3 ~ Ch 4 ~ Ch 5 ~ Ch 6 ~ Ch 7 ~ Ch 8 ~ Ch 9 ~ Ch 10 ~ Ch 11 ~ Ch 12 ~ Ch 13 ~
Ch 14 ~ Ch 15 ~ Ch 16 ~ Ch 17 ~ Ch 18 ~ Ch 19 ~ Ch 20 ~ Ch 21 ~ Ch 22 ~ Ch 23 ~ Ch 24 ~
Ch 25 ~ Ch 26 ~ Ch 27 ~ Ch 28 ~ Ch29 ~ Ch 30 ~ Ch 31 ~ Ch 32 ~ Ch 33 ~ Ch 34 ~ Ch 35 ~
Ch 36 ~ Ch 37 ~ Ch 38 ~ Ch 39 ~ Ch 40 ~ Ch 41 ~ Ch 42 ~ Ch 43 ~ Ch 44 ~ Ch 45 ~ Ch 46 ~
Ch 47 ~ Ch 48 ~ Ch 49 ~ Ch 50 ~ Ch 51 ~ Ch 52 ~ Ch 53 ~ Ch 54 ~ Ch 55 ~ Ch 56 ~ Ch 57 ~
Ch 58 ~ Ch 59 ~ Ch 60 ~ Ch 61 ~

Chloe sat back on her heels.

"What is it? What's wrong?" Gannon demanded.

"I need a break, that's what's wrong!" she told him. "Do you think this is easy?"

He eyed her dispassionately. "Ten minutes, then back to work. I want this finished before the sun sets."

Chloe nodded. "Do you have any water with you? I could use a drink."

He huffed out a breath, then dug out a bottle and tossed it to her.

"Thank you." She drank half of it down without stopping.

Idly she watched the drones sealing the three containers of pantarium riddled ore and move the containers into the hold of the ship Gannon had used to bring them here.

"This is going too slow," Ulrik whined. "I think--"

"You?" Gannon rounded on him. "You? Think? I warned you before that this is my operation and--"

"If it hadn't been for me you'd never have known what you had right under your nose!"

"You're right, but my gratitude only goes so far." Gannon pulled out a laser pistol.

Ulrik back peddled fast. "Wh--what are you doing?"

"You've just become expendable." There was a brilliant flash as Gannon shot him.

Chloe stared, open mouthed, as Ulrik's body slumped to the ground.

"All right. You've had enough time. Back to work."

Still she stared, frozen in shock.

Gannon shrugged, carelessly. "He outlived his usefulness. Perhaps you should see that you don't outlive yours."

Shaken, Chloe resumed her kneeling position. Once again she rested her hands on the earth, sinking her awareness down, down towards the deposit of pantarium, pushing Gannon's callous way of dealing with his former partner from her mind.

It was easier this time, the way familiar. Again she took her time, checking one of the fault-lines that ran downwards at an angle. Was it larger than before? And those fractures . . . had they held that spiderweb of fissures? The ground began to tremble but there was no helping it. She would just have to compensate for it when she brought the ore back up.

Shrugging off a sense of foreboding, she focused on the task at hand. Her awareness touched the large pantarium deposit and her whole body jerked.

It was massive. And almost one hundred per cent pure. It was . . . it was almost a living thing. Chloe was filled with a sense of euphoria. It would be so easy to just lose herself in the sensation forever.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Zephryn secured Tierra in her life pod in the medical bay and then sought out Da'nat and Granny in the lounge. Somehow he hadn't been surprised to see her lurking near the hatch of the ship when he entered.

"I've secured the pod as best I could," he told them. "But I wasn't sure how to connect it to the ship's power so I left it on its own."

"That's fine," Da'nat told him. "It could very well be we won't need to connect it to the ship. I'll check on it later."

"We need to warn them," Granny said abruptly.

"Who?" Zephryn asked, confused.


He glanced at Da'nat but the Illezie seemed pre-occupied. "What about Martin?"

Granny looked at him, a question in her eyes. There was something different about her, as though she'd undergone some kind of change.

"We can warn Martin - he'd know who to get in touch with at the other mines. I can--"

"No," she said suddenly. "I'll get in touch with Martin. You need to go to her."

That got a reaction from Da'nat. He seemed to come awake and looked at her sharply. "No! It is far too dangerous!"

"He is the only one who can do this."

"I will not allow you to put him in danger. You have said it yourself, you have meddled too much already."

They glared at each other. If Zephryn didn't know better, he'd have thought Da'nat was taking orders from her. What was going on?

"What are you two talking about?" His annoyance leaked into his tone.

"Chloe needs you," Granny told him.

"No! It is too dangerous!" Da'nat was adamant. "She is losing herself in the earth. He will not be able to reach her before she begins to take on the characteristics of the pantarium."

Zephryn heard nothing other than the fact that Chloe needed him.

"Where is she?"

"You're right, it will be dangerous," Granny said to Da'nat. "There is no time to waste. We must send him to her - together."

Zephryn looked from one to the other. What was she talking about? And why was Da'nat glaring at her as though she was revealing something she shouldn't?

"Just tell me where she is," he told them. He didn't have time for whatever game they were playing.

"You know it is the only way," Granny said softly.

Da'nat was clearly unhappy. "Then it must be now," he said. "And I would have your word that should he not be able to reach her, we will bring him back."

"Agreed." Turning to Zephryn, she said, "Stand here, between us."

Though he had a thousand questions, Zephryn did as he was told. He caught their sense of urgency. Questions could wait, Chloe couldn't. Of that he was absolutely sure.

They faced each other, Zephryn between them, and held their arms slightly away from their sides, palms facing outwards. He could feel some kind of energy building, a pressure that made his ears pop.

He blinked and suddenly he was outside, the ground beneath his feet trembling. Chloe was several feet away, kneeling on the ground. And she was beginning to glow.

Feb 25, 2015

Wreck This Journal Wednesday

Sorry folks, no post today. I'm sick.

Come back Friday for the Wreck This Journal Post

If I'm not feeling better by then I'll let you know where to send the flowers. ;-)

Feb 23, 2015

Madefy Monday

madefy ~ to moisten or make wet

I was sitting here last night trying to talk myself into doing this post (and trying to keep my eyes open at the same time) and then I remembered that I have an appointment in the morning. This meant that if I didn't have this post scheduled before I went to bed it wouldn't get done until almost noon.

So here I am. :-)

Last week was better than the week before, and the turning point seemed to come on Thursday. Thursday, for those of you who keep track of such things, was the Chinese New Year. I made up my mind that this year was going to be better than last year, and when it didn't start out that way I decided that my year wouldn't officially start until the Chinese one did. So maybe it was just co-incidence, but whatever. It works for me. :-)

As you know, I have cats. And they're a bunch of little weirdoes. How weird are they? They don't like boxes, they like caves. Specifically, they like caves made with a blanket draped over a chair.

The two biggest cave dwellers are Dante and Romi. Romi made his own cave by wriggling his way under the blanket I have over the futon in the workroom to keep the cat hair off, and he sleeps in it every day. Dante prefers a cave made with a throw over my recliner, but will grudgingly (for a couple of cat treats) use one made with the wing chair instead.

Now my husband's cat, Julius, has suddenly decided he likes caves as well, but only the ones Dante likes. I think he's doing it more to tick off his brother than anything else. Anyway, he beat Dante to the cave on the wing chair one night and was pretty smug about it. However, Dante learned passive aggressiveness from a master - his mother. Undeterred, he jumped up on the chair on the outside of the cave, and then sat on the lump under the afghan. And he stayed there until Julius gave up, then he moved in and went to sleep. If you look carefully, you can see Julius's nose sticking out of the cave.

Yesterday was almost a bad day, but purely self-inflicted. I started out in my office, thinking to clean it up so I might be motivated into getting some actual work done in it this week. But it was cold and the day was overcast, and then it started to snow . . .

But I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and started with something easy - shredding. I had a lot of shredding piled up, mostly all over my desk. I now have a large recycling bag full of shredded paper instead. :-)

While I was shredding I was also looking around my office. There wasn't a lot of stuff out of place, what was making it cluttered were the knick-knack collections all over the bookcases, and the overabundance of books. I really like my knick-knacks (except when it comes to dusting them) so that left my books.

After finishing the nook, I kind of slacked off on the whole book migration thing, so I decided it was time to start working on that. I'd start by moving some of my reference books upstairs to the giant bookcase in the upper hallway.

I've been putting this off because I keep thinking it's not going to be as convenient having these books upstairs. I like having them at my fingertips. Well, the Man, Myth, and Magic set can go up there because I have them in magazine format as well. And yes, I need them both. The hard copies are more convenient for looking weird stuff up, but the magazines have extra articles on the back covers. And the Planet Earth series from Time/Life can go up there because I've had these books for 20 years and I think I've only cracked two of them open in all that time.

I did have a before picture to show the semi-empty, dust covered bookcase, but you couldn't really see how badly it needed cleaning, so I'm just posting the after picture:

Obviously it's not done yet, but I've made a good start to it and hopefully it'll inspire me to clean up the bookcases in my office as well.

Feb 19, 2015

Earth - Chapter Sixty-one

This serial is presented in draft form and will be updated each Thursday. Your comments are always welcome!

Ch 1 ~ Ch 2 ~ Ch 3 ~ Ch 4 ~ Ch 5 ~ Ch 6 ~ Ch 7 ~ Ch 8 ~ Ch 9 ~ Ch 10 ~ Ch 11 ~ Ch 12 ~ Ch 13 ~
Ch 14 ~ Ch 15 ~ Ch 16 ~ Ch 17 ~ Ch 18 ~ Ch 19 ~ Ch 20 ~ Ch 21 ~ Ch 22 ~ Ch 23 ~ Ch 24 ~
Ch 25 ~ Ch 26 ~ Ch 27 ~ Ch 28 ~ Ch29 ~ Ch 30 ~ Ch 31 ~ Ch 32 ~ Ch 33 ~ Ch 34 ~ Ch 35 ~
Ch 36 ~ Ch 37 ~ Ch 38 ~ Ch 39 ~ Ch 40 ~ Ch 41 ~ Ch 42 ~ Ch 43 ~ Ch 44 ~ Ch 45 ~ Ch 46 ~
Ch 47 ~ Ch 48 ~ Ch 49 ~ Ch 50 ~ Ch 51 ~ Ch 52 ~ Ch 53 ~ Ch 54 ~ Ch 55 ~ Ch 56 ~ Ch 57 ~
Ch 58 ~ Ch 59 ~ Ch 60 ~

Chloe looked at the robot drones grouped together in the bowl created by the surrounding rock and soil and felt a chill. Even if she were successful in drawing the pantarium to the surface, she had her doubts about the drones being able to safely move it into the containers.

She tried one last time to make Gannon see reason. "There are many precious gems and metals at a depth that would make them too costly to try for. It would be so much better --"

"They would not fetch the price the pantarium would."

"No, but at least we'd be alive for you to enjoy the profit," she snapped.

"It's like she doesn't want to see her mother cured or her pilot, what was his name? Zephryn? released. I think she's stalling," Ulrik said.

"No one asked you," Gannon told him with a glare meant to quell. Ulrik glared right back.

"Even bringing up non-volatile ore so close to the mantle is dangerous. I've never done anything like this before and I could accidentally trigger a seismic reaction."

"Then you'd better be especially careful." Gannon was implacable in his greed.

In despair she looked at the seven containers waiting to be filled. "You think over much of my abilities. What if I'm unable to extract enough ore for all of these?"

He shrugged. "Then you will keep at it until you can extract no more."

Even if the deposit was closer to the surface, this would be a dangerous operation. Fortunately the deposit was sizeable and the containers were not large. Such was the value of the ore that just one container would hold a small fortune of pantarium.

If it had been within her power she'd have warned the miners - not just at Righteous Angel, but the other mines as well - about what she was going to attempt so they could be prepared.

"I suggest you get on with it," Gannon said.

Chloe opened her mouth, then shut it again, leaving whatever she was about to say stillborn in her throat. There was just no reasoning with him. He would have what he would have, even if it meant the destruction of their world.

He was right about one thing though. At this point she was just stalling for time. She hoped the minor tremor she'd accidentally set off during her test run hadn't done too much damage. More, she hoped she hadn't weakened any of the natural faults in this area.

If something went wrong, would Zephryn be able to escape? And what about her mother? No, she had to put them from her mind. She couldn't allow herself to think of anything but the task at hand. Zephryn wouldn't just sit idly by - she had faith that he had some kind of plan to escape, and that he'd take her mother with him.

"I'm losing patience, Chloe."

She turned to him. "Let's get something straight here. Once I begin, under no circumstances are you to disturb me. You can't touch me or even talk to me. Any distraction that could compromise my concentration could be fatal for us all."

"Understood," he said, though she had the feeling he didn't fully believe her.

Mouth dry, Chloe moved to the center of the circle of containers. She wished she could have had one last moment with Zephryn, one last kiss. One last chance to tell him . . .

No, that was defeatist thinking. She had to stay positive. She could tell him how she felt when they saw each other again, once she succeeded in extracting the pantarium.

Kneeling down, she placed her hands palm down on the ground. Technically, she probably didn't need direct contact to accomplish her task, but the tactile sensation helped calm her.

She felt the sparse blades of grass, the prickly edges of the chokeweed that covered the ground here. Narrowing her focus she could feel the stones beneath the foliage, then the sharpness of the grit before it turned to earth.

Despite Gannon's obvious impatience, she took her time. Rushing things would only lead to making a mistake, which she could ill afford. Focus - she needed to focus. Don't think of anything but the task at hand.

As her awareness sank deeper and deeper into the earth she kept track of the natural fissures and channels. The less she had to manipulate the surrounding soil on the way back up, the better.

Her heart sank as she hit a hard-rock ledge. There was no going through it and she didn't dare try and move it, it could be catastrophic. The pantarium was somewhere below it and she could not quite tell how far.

She was already too deep, she could feel the reverberations of what she was doing radiating outwards along the naturally occurring fault lines. There was no way of knowing what kind of damage it was doing and she had not the energy to spare to try and dampen it.

Working her way around the ledge she continued downwards until she reached the closest deposit of pantarium. Slowly and carefully she coaxed the ore upwards along the path she'd created for, leaving the veins of pantarium in the zaminyte and gansite it was threaded through. With any luck the additional rock would help keep it stable.

The ground shivered in front of the first container as the pantarium riddled ore pushed its way to the surface. Chloe sat back on her heels and swiped an arm across her face. Her forehead was beaded with sweat.

"It's not pure pantarium," Gannon said, clearly disappointed.

"That's what refineries are for," she snapped. "The containers you have are not capable of transporting pure pantarium."

His lips tightened but he knew she was right. "Proceed."

Chloe was able to raise enough ore to fill three containers before the vein she was working ran out. This is what she was afraid of, she was going to have to tap into the larger, and far less stable, deposit.

She hoped Zephryn had somehow managed to get himself and her mother safely to his ship.

Feb 18, 2015

Wreck This Journal - Week One

As I mentioned in my post on Monday, I bought my daughter and I copies of Wreck This Journal for Valentine's Day. And then I decided to share the fun I have with mine on my Wednesday posts. So first, we'll start with a picture of the journal, just so we have a record of what it looks like as I start:

There's a lot of fun instructions inside this thing and one of the first things it tells you is that you don't have to follow the instructions in order.

I have to admit, since I only got this journal on the weekend, I haven't got very far in it. So far I've done this page:

and these pages:

And let me tell you, cracking the spine on this thing was not an easy task for me. First of all, it was the principle of the thing. I do not crack the spines of my books. Ever. I have books I've read that look like they're still brand new because their spines are intact.

The second reason this was not an easy task for me was . . . it was not an easy task. I don't know what they used to glue this book together, but it's pretty darned solid. But I did manage one good crack right down the middle. I may have shed a little tear when I did so. ;-)

I can't wait to see what the journal has in store for me this week!