Wednesday, April 24, 2013

And the Count Down.....It Begins

So, I've hit the two months left time for the wedding. June 21/22 is coming quicker than I had imagined. I'm a bundle of nerves over many things. Food is already in order, invitations are slowly coming together, addresses are needed, and my dress is still being made. While I know everything will fall into place and this will be a day to remember, for what ever reason, I'm still nervous as hell.

A lot of people think that being married suddenly changes everything somehow. For Grendal and I it's not going to change a thing. Seriously. We've been together for nearly 9 years, living together for nearly that long. We've had our wedding jewelry for nearly a year now, wearing it every day. The only thing that is going to change between us is the legality of it all. That and we will refer to each other as 'husband' and 'wife' ala Futurama(think Hermes and LaBarbara). We are happy with each other, accept our differences, and know that our arguments/disagreements are all perfectly natural and work things out when its needed.

I've been attempting to write some more but something isn't clicking. Makes me sad but I think I have to put my writing aside for a while. My muse and inspiration is just kinda not there anymore.

Also I've been attempting to get closer to Odin. Talking with Him, using my tarots, and what not. My cards are rather good and while I don't read as often as I want to, nor have people to do readings for, it's a little rocky. Things seem to be clearing up when communicating with Him. I don't know if it has any connection but I've been getting restful sleep as well! One big thing that I asked Odin was what should I do to really show my devotion. Should I create something? Perhaps take on a new craft or work on one that I have. The cards pretty much pointed to my wedding with Grendal as a show of devotion. I do know that I am setting aside some food for both the gods and the Wights, so perhaps that has something to do with it. Either way, there is some connection to my wedding! Happy day.

One last thing: the weather here is ridiculous. I had ONE WEEK to walk/bike to work since the changing of the season and ever since then it's been rainy. From the drive way I can still peer through the trees and peep through the trees across the highway to see the river. People had to evacuate houses and some houses are mostly underwater. Never understood why people really want homes along the river. While it is bad that peoples' homes have been flooded, we need(ed) the rain. Last year we were in drought conditions and this is a good start. While we're still dry (kinda hard to wrap my head around that with all this freakin' rain) it's a step in the right direction. Maybe a garden will be doable this year.


Friday, April 19, 2013

We'll Talk of Many Things

Or not. Seems like this post really had only two bits to it, but ah well!

It seems my manager and one of my coworkers are constantly on the search for a good diet. Both are over 50 (one just slightly) and are doing it for health reasons. No big deal, honestly, but witnessing this for the past 2 years is strange to me. Through out my life I never really met 'those' kinds of people. Ones who are looking for diets to make everything better. I don't know if it's because I was blind to it, the people around me were fine with their body at the time, or people were silent about their dieting. Grendal's parents and elder sister have been diet hopping for years as well, though they're not vocal about the new thing they're trying. Grendal's other brother has been sticking to a certain lifestyle for years and is a VERY healthy individual. My own mother and elder sister, why it's not dieting, have done exercise regimes to keep themselves fit but it doesn't last long.

I see nothing wrong in trying to change one's eating habits to better the body. Grendal's immediate family have all taken to the PaleoDiet movement(after giving up on vegetarianism, vegan-ism, and so forth). Grendal's brother is healthy to begin with so there wasn't an obvious change in him but he enjoys it, so good for him. His sister has dropped pants sizes and is ecstatic, though it is only obvious when looking at her before and after shots. If she had the drive to exercise then I think she'd slim down to her goal and possibly drop the belly that she laments. Grendal's father has slimmed some too but with a hectic style of life I think he's at a stand still but he is a rather healthy man. As for Grendal's mother....well, as Grendal puts it, she turns to food when she is stressed, upset, depressed, wanting to celebrate, etc. It worries him. His mother wants to get healthy but can't seem to stay away from sweets, sodas, and other unhealthy objects. As the one who buys the bulk of groceries in the house I don't buy those things because they're rather expensive, not particularly healthy, and I know that I'll start snacking on 'em too. Any sweets or sodas that show up are thanks to his mother buying them. It's obvious she gets upset when others in the family talk about dropping pounds but one can't really approach her about the extras she eats, because she sees them as treats.

Grendal and I have been on a nice little roller-coaster ourselves. We've gained wait and we're starting to drop it. I had always been told that when you're on birthcontrol that you gain weight. I was one of those people that didn't until I had to stop taking it. I never really weighed myself but I know the highest I was when I did weigh myself was 170-something. Remembering that I was about 125-130 in high school, it's kind of shocking. After a point we began to cut certain things out of our daily consumption. I don't know why we started to. It's not like we sat down and agreed that we needed to do this, we just did. Out went the soda, the chips, the abundance of cookies, and all of that. Besides being the one to buy groceries, I was also the one to cook dinners at night. I started cooking healthier things and having smaller portions. Being the one who cooked I was also eating more vegetables, especially after buying them fresh rather than frozen. I began to walk or ride my bike to work and have thought about joining a local gym to work on other bits. While I know I'll never get back down to high school weight(which BMI says I must be but the BMI is crap), which is all due to the fact that my legs are rather muscly, I have a goal of 145-150. I'm not too far. Once I do actually work out it'll be easy. Same with Grendal. He has LOTS of muscle and is built like a wall. When he finally joins me in working out, he'll tone up and be a happy man.

WEDDING STUFF! Gah. It's getting close, which is making me nervous. There are still things that need to get hashed out and I'm a nervous wreck. One thing that I managed to get out of the way was a song list. One that is random as hell but it's something I know I'll enjoy. Music spanning genres, nations, eras, and languages. Grendal even agreed that the song I want to walk to was great.

Oddly enough, the first time I listened to the song years ago I decided that this would be it. If Grendal and I were ever to marry, this was the song. It suits us and I love Voltaire's stuff. If for some reason Grendal and I had broken up, this song would have been pushed aside and probably never listened to again. I'm happy that we get to play it.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

You Say 'Hippie' Like it's a Bad Thing

Though I do prefer Granola Child.

There is no doubt that I am NOT the same person I was say, oh, about 12 years ago. Fresh out of high school I was decked out in metal band shirts, fishnets, knee high shitkickers(awesome freakin' boots), hair recovering from being dyed purple, spiked collars, and so on. I had been one of those kids in high school. Hanging out with kids into punk, goths, and the occasional druggie. We were a tight knit group, which was something I wanted during that period of life. When I graduated that all disappeared. That group was gone and these people didn't exist in college(at least not the one I attended). Some of those in my group of friends ditched 'the look' and went on with what ever it was they did. I was one of those people that changed my appearance but I still love my metal bands and fishnets.

One of the big things was my outlook on things in general. About a year after high school my parents, my younger sister, a friend of hers, and I took a 3 week long vacation to Hawai'i to visit family. We were on the Big Island and went to the beaches and visited Mauna Loa. It was our journey to a swap meet that seemed to be the turning point. There is a small town, not too far from the area where my Auntie lives, where the majority of the hippies live. It was near that town where the swap meet was. I was ogling their crafts, their clothes, and everything in between. I went from being a metal fan to a hippie in the making. To this day my mother says that if I ever moved to the islands I would quickly find myself living amongst the hippies.

Fast forward to present day. I no longer look the part of a metal fan. I still own a pair of fishnets, a spiked collar, and some clothes that I could wear if I wanted to look like how I did in high school. Now my wardrobe consists mainly of long skirts, tank tops, some odd shirts, and worn jeans. I've gone the no poo route in hair care, making my own shampoo and conditioner once a week. I'm looking into homesteading, green options for everything, organic foods, making what I need at home, staying away from TV. It's like I went from one extreme to another. I no longer want to live in a city but have found myself looking at plots of land that are within a reasonable distance of a town so that goods can be bought.

Looking up recipes and how-to guides online for certain things, I find an odd trend in things. It appears that you have housewives (sorry if I offend) and women ranging from mid-twenties to early forties with all of this DIY stuff and Eco-friendly items. That isn't the problem. I am happy to see more people doing this and want to encourage more to do so. The problem is, is when they refer to it as 'hippie' stuff. One article, forget where this was found it but I'll keep it to myself, was going on about making an alternative to toothpaste. At the end the author said that you could keep it in a little Tupperware cup in the bathroom or, if you don't want your boyfriend to see your hippie toothpaste, you can try and get it into an old toothpaste tube.  Really?  What? I just scratched my head at this. I suppose I should've known something was off when the title had been Hippie Toothpaste. I mean, looking at the site it appears that anything homemade gets the hippie title slapped on.

I suppose I shouldn't be upset by all of that and it's more irksome than anything else. The word 'hippie' seems to be used in such a way that it's praised but it still isn't a pretty word. :\  I can't seem to explain it. Ah well.  This Granola Child is happy with life and that's all I need.

Monday, April 8, 2013

It's All in the Details

I play Dungeons and Dragons. I L-O-V-E the game to no end. I had wanted to play it for years but never got a chance to. Within the first few months of being with Grendal we joined a small group before starting our own. The group we started is still going strong and we have incorporated other games into our 'play list'.

Last night, Sundays are our gaming nights, we made a decision on what we should play next. We had just finished a genre jumping game set in the Big Eyes, Small Mouth system and needed something to fill in. We decided to go back to Grendal's campaign since his work and class schedule had gotten better and the semester is nearly over. This made us pretty happy since that game had just truly gotten started and we all wanted to get back to our characters.Of course this meant my mind was going a mile a minute.

In that game I play a character by the name of Ruslan. The characters in the group, so far, consist of a human male(my character), a half-doppelganger female, a male Tibit(cat morph), a human female, a male Lizardfolk, a male gnome, and, now, a mechanized creature. Save for the mechanized being, the Lizardfolk and my character are seemingly the only ones with a major back story. The other players either haven't divulged or hinted at a story and their characters are doing these huge missions and bounties for, well, the money and the fact that one had mommy issues.  That's all well and good, and very much a reason to do things, but I look at Ruslan and wonder if his history is just too big. It's honestly what drives him to do what he does.

15-20 years prior to the game starting Ruslan's village was destroyed by a Copper dragon. To make matters worse, the dragon had raped and killed his wife as well.  All this had happened while Ruslan was away, having taken their two year old child to another village to stay with his wife's family while they began their move. When Ruslan returned and saw the destruction he searched the city for survivors. He found his wife's broken body and was quickly spotted by the dragon. Ruslan was no match and was easily pinned to the ground. The dragon, putting two and two together, began to tell Ruslan, in detail, what he had done to his village and his wife. To add insult to injury the dragon used it's acid breath to melt his left arm.

Somehow Ruslan made it back to his daughter. He told his in-laws what had happened and stayed with them while he healed. The moment he could travel, though, he slipped away with his daughter and headed towards a major city, which was well defended from such attacks. He raised his daughter alone, never telling her what had happened, and soon her memory of her mother was barely there.

Ruslan not only vowed vengence against the copper dragon he also denounced his god in favor for another. His god had not come to his aid, which was a major blow because during his younger years Ruslan was a devout paladin. Now, he served a god of justice and vengeance.

Yeah......the Lizardfolk only knows a small portion of this story, mainly Ruslan's complete and utter hatred of Copper dragons. Ruslan is very much ingrained in the city that the team calls 'home' and while I want the others to know his story, out of character, he isn't one to talk about it.

I'm worried that I put too much thought into Ruslan, which does make for a well rounded character but much of that history probably won't come to light. Which is what usually seems to happen with my D & D characters. :I

Ah well.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Of Wights, Mead, and Bike Rides

I had my first bike ride of the season/year yesterday. Rather than burden someone for a ride to work I had Grendal look over the bike the night before to make sure everything was good. After decking myself out in a backpack, a leather jacket, gloves, and a scarf, I was off. While it's only a 15 minute-ish ride it is still kinda chilly in the mornings, so that sort of bundling up was needed.  It was nice to ride again. My legs disagreed with me by the end of the day but I loved it. Set me off to a good start too. Healthy sort of breakfast, after ride munch, and a nice salad with an avocado(with a side of yogurt and some blah bread pudding) for lunch! While I may not need to drop any fat, I do need to tone up in general.  Though, I don't think my legs need the work. A couple years of martial arts and hula mixed kinda does that to the legs. It's my stomach and upper body that need to shape up. So, it looks like yoga and what not for that.

The mead should be reaching the point of racking. This also means that Grendal and I need to figure out what fruits we're putting in for half the batch. He knows he wants blackberry and cherry, while I'm kinda leaning towards apples and strawberries. If we stick with those, that just leaves two more that are undecided. Who knows. The book I have (The Compleat Meadmaker) suggests a couple of different fruits to use so I may stick with that.

I've been bothering Grendal with the idea of coming up with names for our different meads because, well, I'm hoping we continue to make it and possibly make it for others. I suggested 'Allfather' for the classic mead, which he responded with 'The Allfather's Eye Drops'.  I think I can compromise with 'The Allfather's Eye' and we both can be happy. I also had the idea of doing a mixed berry version in hopes that it's yummy and call it 'The Bifrost'.  And while Grendal doesn't like carbonation, I think he liked the idea of a sparkling mead to be known as 'Mimir's Well.'  I do know the apple version will have some reference to Idunna and we joked about a really red mead being a reference to Tyr, though I wonder if that would be in bad taste.

Speaking of the happenings of the past few days, Grendal and I had a little 'spook' moment the other night. Now, we have a tendency to misplace our combs. He blames it on me and while I misplace it more often then he does, I'm not the only one to blame. Anyway, we had lost our good one a few weeks ago and no amount of cleaning seemed to help. Hell, we cleaned rather well because we had a friend showing up and NOTHING! Well, the other day I came home to find our combs lying together on the bed. Of course I figured this meant Grendal had found it and was showing me as such while he was at work. So, I just put it over with the brush we had and left it at that. Later that night he goes to brush his hair with the comb and the following happened:

Grendal- Where did you find the good comb?
Me- It was just laying next to your pillow. I thought you put it there.
Grendal- Uh, no.
Me- What? *skeptical stare* You're not shitting me, are you?
Grendal- You're not shitting me?
Me- *stare*
Grendal- *stare*

Usually by this point one of us would confess to the other if we had been fooling around. I have a tendency to be easily duped in certain situations and was honestly expecting Grendal to be all 'Haha, fooled you'  yet there wasn't such a response.  He just had an uneasy look on his face and I went downstairs to do whatever it was I was going to do.

We've had spirits (both nice and grumpy) in the house before, but they seemed to either have quieted down or moved on over the years. While I do believe in the little folk, we've never had an indication of them being around. With my increased work in the world of Asatru I've begun offering foods to the Land Wights in the area. It made me wonder if I have a House Wight and they're making themselves known by doing such a thing. I'll set up another offering dish for the House Wight on the off chance we have one. Maybe that will make the atmosphere in the house a little more happy.