I like dogs,

but sometimes their owners can drive me crazy.

My family's just returned from a camping trip. It rained a lot, but we had a good time anyway. Though, for a couple of days we had a family camped next to us who were in the habit of letting their very large dogs roam around loose. (The campground has a rule against that, but they're not too strict about enforcing it.) The dogs didn't wander too far from their owners, but still they were often uncomfortably close to the pipe where all the campers had to go to fetch water and other 'common' areas like the path.

"Don't worry, they're friendly!"

I don't know about anyone else, but I've never found this statement from the owner of a dog especially reassuring. And my husband and one of my kids are really, really uncomfortable around dogs, especially unrestrained ones.

Someone from the family came over to our campsite to let us know that the dogs were really gentle. While the man was talking, one of his dogs occupied itself by wandering around our campsite, sniffing at things and peeing against trees.

I got as far as "Please don't let..." before the man gave me the deepest, most profound look of disgust that I've ever had the misfortune to receive. It was clear that he thought I was EVIL. An unrepentant dog-hater. He was wasting his breath trying to make me see reason. Imagine someone objecting to a bit of harmless dog-pee in their camping area. After all, we were all in the woods!

For my part, I found his attitude as bewildering as he seemed to find mine. And so we parted in a state of mutual incomprehension and didn't exchange words for the remainder of their stay. After they left, a dogless family took their camping spot and it was very nice to be able to use the common path and fetch water without the fear of being barked and growled at.
  • Current Music
    churning of washing machine

The Horror of Dracula (or Christopher Lee is Cute...)

Last night my younger son talked me into driving him to the video rental store. I didn't want to go out... it was late, I was tired and we're all busy trying to pack for a camping trip. But I caved in.

While my son wandered happily through the shelves of Anime, I found myself in the Horror section. Ooh, Vampires! And look, here's a very young Chris Lee on the cover of this video...

I remembered seeing part of "The Horror of Dracula" on our family's old black and white TV years ago when I was just a kid. (I got scared and my mother made me turn it off and go to bed.) I'm a grownup now, so I picked it up. My son got himself some Cowboy Bebop and we left.

And today I had a very young Christopher Lee for company as I did many loads of laundry. :-)

My kids wandered in and out while I was watching the video. "Why is that girl throwing out all the garlic they put in her room and opening the window?" one of my boys commented. "She must be really stupid!"

Nope, she just likes 'em tall, dark and saturnine...
  • Current Music
    My kids watching Anime in the other room

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Once again it's been ages since I updated.

I've just had the pleasure of a delightful visit with Ariana Deralte. We watched "Spirited Away," which I've always wanted to see, but never had the chance. Wow, what a gorgeous movie! So many beautiful, haunting images. It's the kind of film that really stays in the mind.

Anyway, Ariana suggested that perhaps I should update my journal once in a while. So I thought I would.

On a less cheery note... has anyone else had a problem with their Yahoo e-mail account since Yahoo upgraded? Murasaki99's e-mails haven't been reaching me, which is a source of great frustration.

Murasaki, if you're reading this, did you get the e-mail that I just sent to you from my other e-mail?
  • Current Music
    My kids watching Star Trek (TOS) in the other room

(no subject)

It's been quite a while since I updated. Life's been stressful, though nothing has seemed exciting enough to write about.

I'm typing now because I'm fighting an overwhelming urge to severely nag my kids to work on their various school projects. Both of them have important stuff due next week. I hate it when they leave everything until the last minute. Then, after days of their happy goofing off I get asked to take them to the library or buy them some posterboard/markers/glue/clay etc. because their grade depends on it.


The kids have assured me that they've got everything under control and I worry too much.

Actually, typing this did make me feel better.

(I don't remember if my own school years were this hard on my parents.)

Order of the Phoenix

I've finished reading Order of the Phoenix, and passed it along to my younger son (who called 'next.')

My kids were in the room with me when I read the death scene. (They were watching Samurai Jack and I was reading.) Noting the fact that my eyes were teary, the boys pounced. "Who was it? Who died?" Emotionally vulnerable as I was, I soon caved in and told them. I'm such a pushover.

At least knowing who died doesn't seem to have dampened their desire to read the book...

I wish I knew how one goes about hiding spoilers in a journal entry. (I don't, which means I've got to keep my comments non-spoiler-ish.) The book left me feeling drained. It was an excellent story, quite a bit darker then the previous ones. Harry matures quite a lot. For once, he DOESN'T keep his feelings in. The boy can RANT! GO, Harry!!

The adults around him are being shown as complex, flawed and vulnerable people. He's not seeing them through a kid's eyes any more. That's cool.

There was stuff with Snape that I loved. There was stuff with Percy that really upset me, since I like Percy. Ditto Filch. (Is it nuts for me to be mad at my favorite grumpy Squib because he can't see past the end of his bulbous nose? It's not as if I really expected Filch to get a chance to 'grow up' in canon. -sigh-)

On the brighter side, Ginny and Neville were awesome.
  • Current Music
    purring cat

(no subject)

I'm feeling triumphant again. I chased down a plot-bunny that's been eluding me for a long time and finally wrote a chapter about Filch and his first cat for the flashback story, "Squib Apprentice." It's up on and will be up on Sugarquill soon.

Hopefully, I still remember how to Link:

New Chapter

Anyway, there's been nothing going on. Just work. I don't want to talk about work... The end of the school year can't come fast enough to suit me. The last few weeks are always so looooooooooooooooong.
  • Current Music
    purring cat

(no subject)

Blues Wizards

Isn't this a cool picture? It was done by the incredibly talented Murasaki99!! We were talking about Lord of the Rings recently, and I mentioned that I'd always pictured Alatar and Pallando, the long-lost Blue Wizards, as Jake and Elwood. She drew this great picture, and I just had to share it.
  • Current Music
    "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meatloaf

(no subject)

Today was lovely and sunny, a real spring-like day! After last week's reprise of winter, today was balm for the soul.

To celebrate, my family did something we haven't done in a long time. We went out to a nearby nature preserve and walked around, looking at assorted frogs, toads, turtles and snakes. (We also saw many geese and other birds, but my kids are really into reptiles and amphibians so those sightings are what stood out for us.) We saw three water mocassins, four painted turtles, one garter snake, one spring peeper and one green frog.

The turtles and snakes were sunning themselves, enjoying the good weather too.

The nature preserve also has a section where they take care of injured raptors and other birds before releasing them back into the wild. So we had a chance to see some bald eagles, peregrine falcons, red tailed hawks and turkey vultures too. And a lovely snowy owl, which my kids promptly christened "Hedwig."

(Hedwig... what big talons you have!! It occurred to me that owls can really do a lot of damage if they're so inclined.)

On Friday, we got our copy of the "Chamber of Secrets" DVD and have enjoyed watching it a number of times over the weekend.

Most of the deleted scenes are mere snippets, hardly worthy of being called "scenes." An exception was the appearance of Lucius and Draco in Borgin and Burkes. That one was nice and meaty.

And I confess that I have a definite soft spot for the snippet where Filch drops his Kwikspell letter and Harry picks it up and gives it back. Filch's expression is priceless.

(no subject)

"Squib Guardian" now has an epilogue at That site has been acting so strange lately. Uploading is suspenseful... you never know if it's going to work or not.

The epilogue seems to be up, and seems to actually be functioning, but I am unable to create a link to the epilogue that works!

I'll try linking again and see what happens:


Today we had an early school closing due to a blizzard. What happened to spring? True to form, the school administrators waited until the kitchen staff had already done a fair amount of cooking and food-prep before letting us know what was going on. Then we had to wrap up what would keep and wash all the dishes before we left to drive home through the driving snow. (Driving in snow terrifies me. Well, really it's the ice that scares me more.)
  • Current Music
    my purring cat