I took the long way around to work so I could stop to get gas and grab some lunch. I even left ten minutes early to factor this into my travel. Welp, first the usual gas station (Wawa, which has decent sandwich options) was under construction, so half the pumps were out of service and the other half were pay-inside only. Between people getting gas, people getting food, and people getting coffee, the line was out the door. So I went an extra few miles out of my way to the next closest Wawa. All their gas pumps were open, and I secured lunch, but the line to get out was insane, and I sat through two traffic light rotations. Then traffic backed up en route to work because OMG, a cop had pulled someone over, and I swear everyone including the bus drivers were slowing down to stare. And then the traffic lights in town were all against me, and it's already 85 degrees here with a forecast high of 95-feels-like-104, and I could hear Aveline using her I-courteously-hate-you voice with a client on the phone as I walked in 30 minutes late...

...5:00 and that bottle of white wine in the fridge cannot come soon enough.

Reading Log: Seven Stones to Stand or Fall by Diana Gabaldon; Supernova by C.A. Higgins; Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead
So, the story of my mornings now in the new house. It is worth noting that the house has three levels--the finished basement, the living room/kitchen, and the two bedrooms upstairs.

I: get up

Yeats: stays in bed, because it's summer.

Westley and Hector: prowl impatiently around the bedroom while I shower and dress, because someone should be feeding them.

I: go downstairs.

Westley and Hector: race me down the stairs, almost tripping me.

I: go downstairs again, to the basement.

Westley and Hector: start yowling dramatically at their empty food bowls, which are at the foot of the basement steps.

I: getting the food out of the laundry room. "Yes, guys, I know."

Westley and Hector: om nom nom.

I: go back up to the kitchen, have my coffee and my twenty or so minutes of calm time before the day kicks into gear.

Westley: at some point meanders back upstairs and goes to take his post-breakfast nap on the sofa.

A small plaintive voice from somewhere in the basement: "Mew? Mew? Meeeeeeeeeh?"

I: go back down the stairs to the basement.

Hector: is sitting forlornly in the dark.

I: "You ninnyhammer, did you forget that you can go back up the steps?"

Hector: "MOM! Everyone left, but you came for me!"

I: go back up the stairs, almost tripping over a super-enthusiastic Hector who wants to headbutt my calves to show his love as I lead him back up into daylight.

He's only alive because he's so darned cute, I swear.

Reading Log: Bitch Planet: President Bitch by Kelly Sue DeConnick; The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter by Theodora Goss; The Thing About Love by Julie James; A Break with Charity by Ann Rinaldi; A Second Chance by Jodi Taylor; A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear
Dear client:

We have not heard a single solitary word from you in four months. Four. Months. We left messages at your last three (!!!) known numbers, we sent letters to your last two known addresses. I checked online obituaries just in case. Not a peep.

So don't start calling me and Aveline names when you finally call the day before your hearing and Aveline's not here to talk to you. You've had five months since your last hearing to try and pull yourself together, but all you want to to is cry about how your life is so hard and you really feel you could clean yourself up and kick the habit for good if you just had someone to love. Yes, because having a baby to care for fixes everything, and is certainly not a stressor of any kind. Definitely do not hang up on me when I ask for an update on whether you have a house suitable for your baby, a job that will help you provide for your baby, and a support system in case heroin proves more tempting than life with your baby. Which it has in the past.

Yours truly,

The legal assistant who is really tired and grumpy and wants some chocolate and also for people to be better.

Reading Log: A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant; I Crawl Through It by A.S. King; Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham; The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery; Iceling by Sasha Stephenson; A Wind in Cairo by Judith Tarr; The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture by Glen Weldon
Dear car whose battery has mysteriously conked out for no discernible reason twice in the last two weeks:

Please don't need anything more expensive than a new battery (less would also be good!). We just purchased the biggest thing ever, and I am still panicking a little about that. The mechanic says he doesn't know why either, but hopefully a new battery will fix it. IT BETTER.

Reading Log: What's Left Behind by Gail Bowen; Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly; Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton; Food of the Gods by Cassandra Khaw; Boy's Life by Robert McCammon; The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons; Commedia della Morte by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Yay, the roofers came.

Boo, the roofers came at 7:01am, while I was getting out of the shower and Yeats was dead asleep downstairs in the den because he couldn't get to sleep in bed due to a defunct pillow and rampaging cats. Today is going to be an all-caffeine-on-deck sort of day.

House is 95% unpacked, and we will be getting a lovely new sofa and coffee table for the living room on Friday, which will allow us to put up wall hangings and the like now that we know where furniture will be. Yeats treated himself to a real charcoal grill, and we grilled burgers and corn last night despite the sudden advent of a summer thunderstorm. I have birthday gifts, and a couple more coming that shipped late, and I am wearing a new lip stain called Darth Side of the Moon that is helping me face the day as a grumpy Sith Lord (Lady) should.

Onward. Lightsaber at the ready.

Reading Log: Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali; The Master by Kresley Cole; Cold Reign by Faith Hunter; A Single Stone by Meg McKinley; The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn; The Gauntlet by Megan Shepherd; Silver Silence by Nalini Singh; Beren and Luthien by J.R.R. Tolkien; The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne Valente; All Systems Red by Martha Wells


Jun. 26th, 2017 03:21 pm
We are moved and we are alive and have not murdered each other. No, not even after the Incident of the Bar Glasses, where he could not find the box where he'd packed the bar glasses and stomped and raged and swore vengeance on the movers for a solid hour, only to find them safely buried in a larger box of clothes three hours later. The bedroom is sleepable and has lovely new light-blocking curtains, because we like sunlight, but not at 5:30am in the summer. The basement is a wonderful cool den lined with bookshelves, and I have maybe 90% of the books unpacked. The kitchen is still magnificent, and Yeats made celebratory pasta carbonara in it last night. And we wielded our new gardening tools yesterday and did battle with the Triffid Rosebush (don't laugh, the thorns on that thing are vicious) and the Dandelions that Ate Manhattan and the Unidentifiable Six Foot Tall Weed, and emerged victorious. And the cats are back, and Hector loves his new house, and Westley hates it, but has graduated from hiding under the bed and sulking to following us around the house loudly telling us how much he hates it.

I'm still exhausted. But a happy exhausted.

Reading Log (what little time I've had): A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge; To Ride Pegasus by Anne McCaffrey; Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire; A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor
We are in the "burn everything down and start anew from the ashes" stage of moving, exacerbated by Yeats doing the lion's share of the packing and transporting boxes to the house while I spend the day at work and pack some stuff in the evenings. Also exacerbated by my being (apparently) a complete and utter idiot and packing things wrong, or in boxes already earmarked for other things, or just generally being in the way/in the vicinity while he's trying to do something.

I know we're just stressed and tired, and once we're officially in the house this weekend, things will get better, and unpacking is easier than packing. But I'm sore and tired, and if I am, Yeats is well on the way to shambling-undead.

I will check tomorrow's work calendar, and perhaps ask Aveline if I can take a half-day to go along with my Friday off. I need to pull my weight.

Reading Log: Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan; My Cousin Rachel by Daphne DuMaurier; The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman; A Voice out of Ramah by Lee Killough; Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis; The Dispatcher by John Scalzi; Triggered by Fletcher Wortmann; Judenstaat by Simone Zelitch
Before I forget, we did go see "Wonder Woman" on Saturday, and it cleared my skin, made my crops flourish, and paid part of our upcoming mortgage. Gal Gadot is perfect, and so were every last one of the Amazons, and I legit teared up twice, and I hope the Justice League movie is made up entirely of Diana and Aquaman kicking ass while Bruce and resurrected Clark watch with their jaws dropped and hearts in their eyes.

Also, please help a girl out here, I need any good fic you've found about Diana and Steve's kiss and whatever happened after. I'd write it myself, but I have no time right now, and I also get verklempt just thinking about the way their eyes met, and his little hesitation before he stepped back inside and shut the door, and...
Two English majors shouldn't marry and enable each other. I have taken two full bags of books and DVDs to the used bookstore (and gotten a grand total of $34 for the lot), there's an entire tub of further culls to haul out there sometime in the next couple of weeks, and I've packed twelve boxes/tubs full of books.

And I'd estimate just over half the books are packed. *collapses and weeps*

On the plus side, we've got utilities, water, and cable already lined up for the new place, Yeats is going to set up garbage and recycling today, and our real-estate person and our mortgage lender both say they see absolutely no obstacles to closing day (Friday!). So my panic dreams about everything falling through at the last minute and Yeats and I having to scramble for a new place to live can just shut up.

The theoretical scrambling is due to the fact that our rental office, after having been nice and cooperative and friendly for the last nine years, decided to respond super-huffily to Yeats' 30-day notice by claiming that they needed 60 days' notice and also would require rent for July, since our lease expires on July 31st. Yeats calmly emailed them a copy of our current lease and a copy of the lease renewal notice they sent us in April, where it clearly states that 30 days' notice is needed, and also that our current lease expires on June 30th. They responded with "oh you're right sorry..." and have been silent since.

Nevertheless, we persist. We will have a house, and it will be awesome, and Yeats can boogie around a lovely full-size kitchen while he cooks, and I can line the finished basement with bookshelves and grow an herb garden in the backyard.

Reading List: Missing by Kelley Armstrong; Phantom Pains by Mishell Baker; The Professional by Kresley Cole; The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine; The Stars are Legion by Kameron Hurley; Sleeping Beauty by Judith Ivory; Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire; Friday Night Bites by Chloe Neill; Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly; Mary Astor's Purple Diary by Edward Sorel; Big Little Man by Alex Tizon; and the short-story collection Beyond the Woods
95% better, the cough is lingering (and if it's not demonstrably fading by tomorrow, I'm calling the doctor) but everything else is back to normal, and I miraculously did not give whatever this vile illness was to Yeats.

House closing on the 16th (!). Moving house on the 23rd (!!!). I have Aveline's permission and blessing to take those two days off, I have a monetary gift from my folks that will greatly offset both the final closing costs and the costs of fixing the roof, and Yeats has already set up both the roofers (who will do the work between the 16th and the 23rd, bless them) and the movers.

And now we pack the house. Oh, lord. At least I have a promise to pause in the packing this weekend and go see "Wonder Woman".

Reading Log: The Empress of Mars by Kage Baker; The Architect of Sleep by Steven Boyett; The Boy on the Bridge by M.R. Carey; See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng; Our Lady of the Ice by Cassandra Rose Clarke; Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys; All the Lies We Tell by Megan Hart; Rebel Rising by Beth Revis; My Beautiful Enemy by Sherry Thomas; Anne Boleyn, a King's Obsession by Alison Weir
Woke up on Friday morning with the achy limbs and scratchy throat that usually presage a cold. Went into work anyway, because I already took a personal day this week and there's stuff that needs doing. Aveline was dealing with mild food poisoning, so we both slogged through the day. I came home, took some cold medicine, and hoped I'd wake up Saturday morning ready for the holiday weekend.

A day and a half later, I think I have galloping consumption, and it sucks, and this is not a romantic thing in the slightest, 19th-Century Authors. I am coughing so hard and so badly that I've scared both cats, I am either shivering with fever or sweating through my T-shirt, Yeats has made two trips for various cough syrup/drops and ice cream and tea for my throat, we had to call out of Tall and Steff's annual Memorial Day shindig, and I live on the sofa now amid a scattering of handkerchiefs.

Have I mentioned how much I hate this? Because I HATE THIS.

Reading Log: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh; The Berlin Project by Gregory Benford; Star's End by Cassandra Rose Clarke; A Girl From Yamhill and My Own Two Feet by Beverly Cleary; The Purple Diaries by Joseph Egan; Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray; The Radium Girls by Kate Moore; Brimstone by Cherie Priest; The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein
Someday I will not be tired, but it is not this day.

Weekend was a smash, don't get me wrong. We went to the release party--two debut authors, Yeats promoting Stillbright, and the lovely Tara with her second short-stoty collection--and it was a blast. Instead of nasty weather and people milling around an art gallery, this year it was the entire second floor of a local pub, so there was beer and cupcakes and a 14-piece swing band that actually convinced Yeats to dance. And all our friends came, because they are awesome, and we partied all night, and Mr. Kramer the audiobook narrator came and said some very complimentary things to Yeats (audiobook will be available for purchase tomorrow, btw!), and many books were sold.

And then we came home yesterday and got nothing done because we were exhausted. And I woke up this morning knowing I'd need to go to the grocery store and other errands after work and probably wouldn't get home 'till seven or later, and there's still laundry to do, and the house is a mess...

So I texted Aveline and asked for a personal day, which she was kind enough to agree to. Now I have the day to do my errands, do some cleaning, have some time that is not shared with anyone but myself (I love Yeats, but after three days of near-constant togetherness...), and maaaaybe watch the last episode of "Anne with an E", if I get enough stuff done.

House looks like it's actually happening! The roof issue is still an issue, but it does not need to be fixed immediately, there is no imminent danger of leaks or collapse or anything, so we accepted the offer of a couple K off the house price. Now, this caused some adjustments to be made in the loan, and we'll be paying another chunk of change out of pocket. But we have the funds to do so, Yeats' mom is contributing some money from an old life insurance policy, my folks have said that my birthday gift this year can be whatever monies and/or household items we may need, and every single one of our friends has offered to come help with moving, unpacking, or organizing. Because, as I mentioned, our friends are great.

I am exhausted and stressed, but in a good way, I think.

Reading Log: Little White Lies by Ace Atkins; Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile; City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett; Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker; Death's Mistress by Karen Chance; Never Caught by Erica Armstrong Dunbar; Snared by Jennifer Estep; Passing Strange by Ellen Klages; Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older; If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio; Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld
Super fun week, in that I walked into my office last Friday to find a new copier that looks like it might transform into a robot at any second and my computer indescribably "updated". So the week has been spent trying frantically to remember all my passwords, discovering that a whole lot of templates I've been blithely using for years are now gone, and adjusting to the new way of things.

I don't like change...

Lessee, other news. The audiobook of Ordination is available for preorder on Amazon ( Here! ), and Yeats and I have listened to bits and pieces of it and are delighted. Mr. Kramer will also be attending the book release party in two weeks, and is apparently ready and willing to read books 2 and 3 as well. Stillbright is shipping, Yeats is obsessively checking Goodreads for new reviews, and has finally heaved himself over a hump in the road of the book he's currently writing. I...am tired. Very tired. Part of it is actual tiredness, I have not been sleeping well and Hector likes to violently cuddle me awake at 3:00am to prove his love. Part of it is that I am fretting about the books, and fretting about the house, and fretting about politics, and my brain will not sit down and shut up. And when I do fall asleep, I have anxiety dreams--either the basic ones of "Spiders in my hair!" or "I forgot to do something important!", or more currently-apropos ones like "I am a Handmaid NO NO NO".

House update! Okay a roofing guy looked at the house and confirmed that the roof will need about $4K worth of repairs sooner rather than later. This is actually less than we were led to believe might be needed, but still not great. So our agent is putting forth an offer that the owners pay for repairs to the roof and the front/back porches. If they balk, she will "concede" that they could just pay for the roof instead. As the current owners have already moved out-of-state and are super-ready to sell, we think they'll agree to this. We've got homeowner's insurance in place and ready to kick in, a closing attorney at the ready, some tentative plans of where to put furniture...so we can haz house?

I can leave early once I get these last couple of tasks done! Tomorrow we have to go down to VA for Rob's First Communion (if their priest tries to choke me with incense, we will Have Words), but tonight is for pizza, booze, and me watching the new Anne of Green Gables series on Netflix.

Reading Log: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli; Orbital Resonance by John Barnes; Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep; A Season of Spells by Sylvia Izzo Hunter; Stolen Songbird by Danielle Jensen; Unmentionable by Therese Oneill; Lady of the Eternal City by Kate Quinn; Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor; A Season of Daring Greatly by Ellen Emerson White
Hectic morning at Casa Yeats-Grey (I to work, Yeats to a friend's dad's services), but we paused for 2.5 minutes to watch the Dark Tower trailer.

Yeats: Okay, that looks pretty great!
Me: ...*heavy breathing*...
Yeats: What is it with you and Idris Elba?
Me: ...did you hear him recite the gunslinger mantra omg my body is ready...
Yeats: Do you even need me to see this movie with you?
Me: Someone's going to need to pass me handkerchiefs whenever I weep.

IT LOOKS SO AMAZING. ALL OF IT. Also, who knew that apparently Matthew McConaughey was born to play the incarnation of cruel and chaotic discord? You think you know a guy. Also also, it's interesting that the trailer is framing the story as more of a portal fantasy, with Jake as the viewpoint character drawn into Mid-World, rather than beginning the story with Roland tracking through the ruins of moved-on Mid-World and Jake the unexpected stranger. Yeats pointed out that this was probably so they could set the majority of the film in "reality", and if it does well and the TV series materializes, it will probably be set mainly in Mid-World (and all the other worlds, so many other worlds than these!). I also think if that's the way it goes, they should smush The Drawing of the Three and The Waste Lands together into a first season and just throw the ka-tet together and into adventures.

House-buying adventure update, we had the inspection yesterday. Good news is, most everything is in pretty darn good shape, with just a few things (the threat of ants, a couple of cheap pipes that will need replacing, some minor issues with the back porch) that would need dealing with soonish. Bad news is, there's the roof. The homeowner and the disclosure folks assured our realtor and us that the roof had been upgraded/fixed up in 2013 and was in excellent shape. The inspector looked at it closely, and told us that it honestly looks like the roof hasn't had any serious work done on it since the place was built in 1993, and will probably need fixing, if not outright replacing, within the next two years. Things are therefore on hold while our realtor asks some pertinent questions. If the inspector is right and the roof needs to be replaced, Yeats and I agree that, depending on what we learn, we'll either dump that on the homeowner--dude, your disclosure said there was no issue!--or offer to split the cost 50/50. This guy is eager to sell, and we and our realtor think he'll accept one or the other just so he can seal this deal. And we still really, really like the house.

Reading Log: Pornology by Ayn Carrillo-Gailey; Forever Mine by Erin Nicholas; Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older; The Romance Reader's Guide to Life by Sharon Pywell; Pasadena by Sherri Smith; The Chosen by J. R. Ward
*sighs* Thanks so much uterus, this was exactly the week I needed to feel knock-down drag-out exhausted all the time. Nevertheless, inspections are scheduled for Tuesday, all important documents have been faxed to agent and lender, copies of Stillbright are apparently shipping, Yeats and I are going to a book thing in Arlington tomorrow, and out to dinner tonight. So, triumphing nevertheless!

Reading Log: Gather Her Round by Alex Bledsoe; An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole; Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin Kiernan; The Echo of Twilight by Judith Kinghorn; An Import of Intrigue by Marshall Ryan Maresca; Railhead by Philip Reeve; The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz; Grace Notes by Katey Sagal; After the Crown by K.B. Wagers
Oh my dear sweet Lord.

Saw delightful house on Friday.

Told agent we want to move forward on house on Tuesday.

Made offer on Wednesday.

Offer accepted this morning.

Tentative closing date, June 30th.


Reading Log: A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong; Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs; Last Day on Mars by Keith Emerson; The Wanderers by Meg Howrey; Fastest Things on Wings by Terry Masear; Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill; Hunted by Meagan Spooner; A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas; The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear
Aveline made it to Hawaii one day late (airline cancelled their Friday morning flight, ashamedly managed to reschedule them for Saturday night. I can only imagine the cold angry stares she bestowed on them), and I have been doing busywork and answering phones. There have been one or two hiccups, such as a subpoena being served to entirely the wrong place, and a client deciding that he didn't really need Aveline and could totally send a five-page letter with ten pages of attachments explaining his position straight to the Judge (hint: YOU CANNOT DO THAT), but mostly it's been me, the giant stack of files that need breaking down, and the coffee truck that parks up the street with its cute owner who makes amazing chocolate-orange mochas.

Yeats should get the first 50 (!!!) copies of Stillbright sometime next week, the audiobook of Ordination is in post-production and should be available by June, and the copyeditor is still grinding through Crusade. Yeats and I are also leaning slowly towards taking a big step--buying a house. We both want some more space--not a lot, but more, and Yeats wants a bigger kitchen with every fiber of his being. We looked at three houses today, all in the same general area in a nearby development. The location is ideal, it's less than a mile from two grocery stores, our favorite pub/restaurant, and a library. It would lessen Yeats' commute, and only add a few minutes to mine. The first place was...not great. We were both very aware that when a listing says "needs some TLC!", that's an ominous sign, but this place needed more help than we would be able to give. The second place was nicer, in much better shape, but would also need some work--the family there now has two dogs and three children under six. The third place is...it's not perfect, but oh, we like it. A beautiful big kitchen with a gas stove! Hardwood floors in the living room! Two big airy bedrooms, both of which have connecting doors to the master bath! A finished basement with plenty of room for bookcases, toys, and D&D stuff! A little deck and patio with a small backyard! And this place has a lot of new appliances, including a water heater, washer, and dryer. We're going to look at a couple more homes next week, just to make sure we're not limiting our options, but Yeats and I agree that this particular place suits us, and if we can...well, it would be nice, after renting for almost ten years.

Today is for relaxing, now that we have done our adulting. Tomorrow is the same. Sunday is for driving down to MiL's house, making Easter paella, commiserating with Kel over her broken wrist (she accompanied Queen Liz to her Girl Scouts ice-skating party and paid the price), and celebrating.

Reading Log: Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop; Congress of Secrets by Stephanie Burgis; Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya Dyer; Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh; Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan; Brother's Ruin by Emma Newman; The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi; Flygirl by Sherri Smith; The Night Watch by Sean Stewart; Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
Chugging along. Aveline is ready to leave on vacation RIGHT STAT NOW, so I am tying up loose ends and drafting letters that require her signature and generally ensuring that the office will run quietly and smoothly while she is on her tropical island sipping drinks. I also get to tell people that she will not be available--not for consults, not for hearing, not for "just a little advice", not for NOTHING--for the next three weeks. It's kind of satisfying.

What else am I doing? Trying really hard to catch up on Critical Role! I had no chance to listen to/watch it on vacation, so now I am just starting episode 80 and avoiding as many spoilers as I can. This crush on Taliesin Jaffe is just not going away, and I am ridiculous. I am also playing Mass Effect: Andromeda. Kind of. Yeats is much, much, much farther along than I am, and so our playing time evens out to about two hours apiece on weeknights, and then something like five hours on weekends, until he remembers I'm there and sheepishly offers the controller. I don't mind; I'm getting the hang on the controls and powers, and Mandalay Ryder is infiltrating everywhere, being best buds with Vetra and Drack, and has plans to bang Liam Kosta like a rusty screen door.

This weekend, CecilCon in northeast MD! Next weekend, Easter! The weekend after that...darned if I know, but I'm pretty sure we're doing something either book- or family-related each and every weekend until June. Ha ha ha ha--*falls over*

Reading Log: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (my precious larcenous found-family babies!); The Wild Hunt by Elizabeth Chadwick; Tart by Lauren Dane; Liberator by Richard Harland; Gilded Cage by Vic James; Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister; A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson
Back! And alive! Also, I am sick of cars, and I never want to live in Florida, it is flat and weird.

Friday's flight out of Philly left on time (I kept a gimlet eye on the departures board, and probably scared some of my fellow passengers), I got to TN and spent the night with my folks, then Mama and I headed down to Georgia on Saturday morning. We stopped on impulse at a tiny little place in a tiny little town because we reasoned that someplace called The Biscuit Box might indeed have excellent biscuits. We were correct! It took almost six hours to get to Macon (as opposed to the usual four) due to traffic, but we made it. Z and Abs were unspeakably delighted to have Aunt Grey all to themselves. I chased them around the neighborhood playground, read three storybooks to Abs and did all appropriate voices, helped Z with his spelling and then let him show me how to play Minecraft, took Abs shopping for an Easter dress (it took me, Sil, and Mama to get her into those things, but she was so cute OMG) and snuck in some conversation and beer time with Geek Brother and Sil. We stayed over on Sunday, then waved the kids off to school Monday morning and hit the road for another four hours to Florida.

Grandmother lives in an older, but still very nice assisted-living place. They have an excellent Alzheimer's unit that took good care of my grandfather, and a good nursing home facility for folks who need around-the-clock care, and they have assured Grandmother and us that there will be a place for her wherever she needs to be for as long as she needs it. Her unit is tiny--living area, wee kitchen, one bathroom, bedroom--but it's big enough for her and her nonchalant cat, Louie. Louie is very chill, and climbed on my lap a few times. We were there for three days. We got to see my Aunt G, walk along the beach and dip our toes in the surf, talk about Grandfather, see some friends I hadn't seen in years, and in general have girl time. Granted, this meant that I ate several facility-provided meals ("Oh, it's ham steak day? With Dole pineapple and a baked sweet potato? Grandmother, you shouldn't have."), bit my tongue hard when politics came up, had to sneak-tip the dear IHOP waitress after Grandmother tipped her exactly ten percent on the breakfast bill, and watched a movie about saving your marriage through the power of Christian prayer without snarking once...but I love my grandmother. Although that movie may require a rant/deconstruction post of its own.

Four hours back to GA on Thursday, where we picked up dinner for Geek Brother and family as a thank you for letting us invade their spare room. Four more hours back to TN on Friday morning. I spent most of Friday doing laundry and reading on the porch, soaking up the feeling of not being in a moving vehicle. Then, up at 4am to catch a 6am flight, back in Philly and in the car with Yeats by 8, and down to GriffinCon in VA! Not too many sales (darned poor college students), but a lot of interest in the upcoming audio book, plus Yeats got to judge the costume contest and give away an ARC of Stillbright. Back home on Monday, back to work yesterday, and now, today, I am almost caught up!

And my husband, my dear husband, whom I love and am happy to be back home with...you survived without me for 27 years. Please explain how you managed to do no laundry, leave every piece of mail in a tottering heap on the kitchen table, "forgot" to put any Tupperware away, neglected to vacuum or de-cat-hair the furniture, and in general apparently did nothing but play "Mass Effect" and send sad texts about how much you missed me ALL WEEK LONG? Don't ask me why I'm so stressed after getting back from a long vacation. YOU KNOW WHY. Now come help me fold your damn boxers.

Reading Log: vN by Madeline Ashby; Chapel of Ease by Alex Bledsoe; Javelin Rain by Myke Cole; Blight by Alexandra Duncan; Chimera by Mira Grant; Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones; Magic for Nothing by Seanan McGuire; The Body Electric by Beth Revis; The Rising by Ian Tregillis; The Shadow Throne by Django Wexler
Dear weather, please just let me get out of Philly and down to TN tomorrow afternoon. It's 70 degrees down there, I am assured, and I am looking forward to snuggling my niece and playing Nerf War with my nephew and chatting with my grandma and wearing shirts that *gasp* expose my wrists. Please let me go. Yeats assures me he'll manage for a week without me, and given that he managed for 27 years without me (somehow), I must take him at his word.

Tuesday ended up dumping about three inches of snow and another three inches of ice on us. We lost power (and we never lose power, this must have been something major) from 9:30am to 4:00pm. We were fine, we had sandwich fixings and I'd made coffee right before the power went, and so we spent the day on the couch under blankets reading. Westley and Hector thought this was just the best, and so we were cuddled. Right about the time we were discussing calling our friends down the street and seeing if they would loan us their stove for cooking and their outlets for charging things, everything winked back on. So I have spent better snow days, but hey, I got three books read!

Today, hold down the fort at work. Tonight, pack and henna my hair (all the women in my family have beautiful silver hair when they get older, I'm just not ready for it!). Tomorrow, kiss Yeats goodbye at the airport and catch afternoon flight out. There had better not be a repeat of this past summer's airport shenanigans, but so far as I know, it'll be above freezing, and the possible weather blowing in won't hit until late Friday night and is coming from the north, so my flight south shouldn't be affected.

Knock on wood, let's fly!

Reading Log: The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen, Midnight's Daughter by Karen Chance; The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine; Silver Stars by Michael Grant; Locke and Key: Small World by Joe Hill; A Conjuring of Light by Victoria Schwab
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