Archive for July, 2020

I’ve Been Writing

Posted July 27, 2020 By kmarrs

I’d never written fanfiction before. Hell, I only rarely even read it. But I got a story idea that just wouldn’t go away so I sat down eariler this past week and wrote my first and last fanfiction. It is a 1300 word one shot focused on a confession immediately taking place where the show leaves off. I’ve been told it’s sweet and wholesome.

A Thousand Kisses from You (1328 words) by madhattermax
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Good Omens – Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett, Good Omens (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Crowley (Good Omens), Aziraphale (Good Omens)
Additional Tags: Ineffable Husbands (Good Omens), Asexual Relationship, Asexual Aziraphale (Good Omens), Asexual Crowley (Good Omens), Soft Crowley (Good Omens), Soft Aziraphale (Good Omens), Fluff
Summary:
The kiss was as tender as only 6000 years of pining could achieve. However, that’s not where this journey begins. That’s where this journey leads. In the beginning, there was a quiet walk to the bookstore from the Ritz, the day after the aborted Armageddon.

Then I started getting kudos and comments and realized that writing things like this and putting them out there was a hell of a high and maybe if I came up with another plot idea, I’d go ahead a write it. I figured that’d be months away, but I was open to the idea.

An Aura of Demonic Love (1100 words) by madhattermax
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Good Omens – Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett, Good Omens (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Aziraphale/Crowley (Good Omens), Aziraphale & Crowley (Good Omens)
Characters: Aziraphale (Good Omens), Crowley (Good Omens)
Additional Tags: Soft Crowley (Good Omens), Soft Aziraphale/Crowley (Good Omens), Soft Aziraphale (Good Omens), Fluff, aziraphale takes the lead
Summary:
Aziraphale takes a sip of wine, his eyes not wavering from Crowley’s. “I can sense love, you know. Are you ready to talk about it? It’s been over 6000 years, so I am.”

Surely that was it though? I’d written two short and sweet confession pieces. Purely wholesome. Sweet as sugar. I was done.

But, I’d been receiving good reviews on writing them ace. But I had only ever implied they were ace, mostly by dropping it in the notes, and by omitting lemons. What if they blatantly stated they were ace and didn’t even kiss, but still showed affection because they are in love? I was asking the important questions. I was also learning you have to sometimes write the representation you wish to see in the world.

Ineffably Ace Husbands (1172 words) by madhattermax
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Good Omens – Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett, Good Omens (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Aziraphale/Crowley (Good Omens), Aziraphale & Crowley (Good Omens)
Characters: Aziraphale (Good Omens), Crowley (Good Omens)
Additional Tags: Ineffable Husbands (Good Omens), Asexual Relationship, Asexual Aziraphale (Good Omens), Asexual Crowley (Good Omens), Soft Crowley (Good Omens), Soft Aziraphale (Good Omens), Fluff
Summary:
Aziraphale looks down, avoiding Crowley’s eyes. “There is only one nonhuman I know of who could tempt me in that direction. Though I prefer to avoid sex altogether, if it were someone I loved, I might consider it as a sign of my affections. However, there are a million and one ways I prefer to show my feelings in place of sex.”
Crowley pauses, and studies Aziraphale’s face then breaks into a soft smile. “Yes, Angel, I do see your point. I understand humans have sex as a means of expressing affection. However, I mostly see it as a way of repopulating the earth, and I too have other ways of showing how I feel.”

I was done.

But what if…

Wild Thing, You Make My Heart Sing (1175 words) by madhattermax
Chapters: 1/?
Fandom: Good Omens – Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett, Good Omens (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Aziraphale/Crowley (Good Omens), Aziraphale & Crowley (Good Omens)
Characters: Aziraphale (Good Omens), Crowley (Good Omens)
Additional Tags: Femme Crowley (Good Omens), Asexual Relationship, Asexual Aziraphale (Good Omens), Established Relationship, Established Aziraphale/Crowley (Good Omens)
Summary:
She is stunning. Crowley was always a sight to behold, in Aziraphale’s opinion, but something about the long wavy hair loose, if not for the victory curls, and the fit of the dress she is wearing makes Aziraphale’s breath catch and pulse quicken. Is that a hot flash? Aziraphale is definitely having a hot flash.

Fuck. Chapters. So much for ~1200 word one shots.

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This is a summary that I wrote out a day or two after I almost died the other night. Everyone knows about the throat closing up bit. But there is so much more to it. The summary is a little incoherent maybe. But the entire process of dying is a little incoherent. So you’ll excuse me that, I’m sure.

“The throat closing and chest tightening and sudden onset of headache because you aren’t getting enough oxygen and you try to swallow but there is something in your throat that feels like a noodle. There is no noodle in your throat. There is only throat in your throat. But you can’t swallow past the noodle. And holy fuck maybe if the headache would let up maybe you could think straight but the headache is only getting worse. And your chest is being squeezed by Andre the Giant as tight as he can squeeze. And the flaming sword piercing through your chest hitting your spin doesn’t help anything. The paranoia feels well placed though. You’re actively dying. The paranoia hit before the rest. It always knew you were dying. The noodle is getting bigger. Your throat is getting smaller. The sword is getting hotter. Andre is hugging tighter.”

I had my first double epi event that night. I always start with 6-8 benadryl. Epi pens are expensive and thus hard to come by. I know this. But about an hour after I took the meds, the lack of oxygen headache was setting in, and the next step is turning blue, so I went ahead and injected the first epi. It sort of helped and the noddle lessened. But then is came right back so I used the second one on the ride to the hospital. You don’t actually need to go to the hospital with just one epi. But a 2 epi event can lead to cardiac arrest so as soon as it became clear the one wasn’t going to cut it, we headed out.

Anyway, they pumped me full of steroids (and sent me home with more) and monitored my heart for a few hours. But the epi pens did their job and my heart was fine, so I was released at the end of the 4 hour monitoring period.

Here is the fun part.

Guess who has met their epi-pen quota for the year. Apparently, due to the cost of epi-pens (A generic brand 2 pack is over 600$ because in the land of the free pharmaceutical companies can charge what they want. These same 2-packs are 32$ before insurance in the UK, for the record), my medical insurance will only cover 2 near-death experiences a year. The third is life insurance’s problem. I do have a full set on hand. I’ve only almost died once this year. But if it happens a second and then a third time? Guess I die for real. Btw. This isn’t the 2020 quota. It’s a rolling 12. I can’t get another refill until June 2021. Also, this is why I take a half bottle of Benadryl before I even think about the epi. But sadly, allergies like this get worse with each exposure. My throat will close more and more with each exposure and get harder to reopen. And I can’t just avoid the thing since it’s in everything and not listed on the label. Obviously I do my best but… Anyway, when I say capitalism kills this is what I mean.

So that’s where things stand in mid July of 2020.

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Calamus Swamp and Photo Dump

Posted July 13, 2020 By kmarrs

I honestly thought swamps were only in the southern United States like Florida. However, a friend posted about a local swamp they went to and all the frogs they saw/heard and I was super excited. Within a week Iris, Lucas, Sammy, and I were at the swamp frog watching and hiking the trail. Then a couple of days later I went back with Robin. It was glorious. The frog songs lifted my spirits. The startled splashes as they hid from us were endless fun. We did see a few. And I got some photos. I also took photos of the flowers, greenery, and the swamp in general. I’m going to go ahead and dump them here. There are… a lot. I’d apologize but I wouldn’t mean it.

I’ve decided that once or twice a month, from now until forever, we’re going to explore Ohio. The fact that there was a swamp with frogs only 27 miles away and I didn’t know about it, is tragic. So I’m dedicating myself to exploring trails, reserves, and parks in Ohio that are outside my usual stomping ground.

Later this month we’re going to Clifton Gorge. It’s about an hour away, just to the east of Dayton. In August we’re going to take a day trip up to Lake Erie. Then in September and October, we’re going to explore a couple of caves at Hocking Hills. Next spring we’ll visit the waterfalls there.

I want to see Ohio. I love nature. I love hiking. I love bonding with my family. I can’t afford to pay admission for all of us to do things like Cedar Point. But the parks? Parks are free and amazing!

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Quarantine Chronicles Part 5

Posted July 6, 2020 By kmarrs

This is going to be long because I’m super fucking behind. I’m sorry.

Day 61 of isolation

The shrubbery came! All my plants are in the ground! We are now thoroughly enjoying the space I created in my own backyard!

I took the 16yo and Iris creeking in my favorite creek. It was a delight to forge the creek with my eldest 2. In a couple of weeks, we’re going to go back with the littles. Just need to get them aquatic shoes first so they aren’t wearing heavy sneakers in the water.

I don’t know how long the quarantine will last. I bunkered down early and I’m going to stick with it until the government forces me back to work. But it’s nice to have the freedom to enjoy my handiwork.

Day 62 of isolation

Spent the day on the porch with Sammy and occasionally Lucas. We didn’t really do anything of consequence. Just hung out while it rained and the mowers dodged showers. The three of us got mani-pedis. It was quiet. Nice. Important.

Day 63 of isolation

It rained all day. All-day. That creek I played in on day 61 is now a river. Much more rain to come too.

Finally finished season 3 of Ducktales. Dying to watch season 3, which has started, but I want to move on to other media first.

I’m finally sitting down to The Umbrella Academy.

Also picked up a couple of books that were thrown in my general direction by someone who wants my attention.

Day 64 of isolation

Hello. I just want to be able to eat the things I enjoyed. Without almost dying.

Day 65 of isolation

I got to the halfway point of The Umbrella Academy. Hopefully, I can find the motivation to finish that soon. It’s really good and I want to see what happens next. But the motivation to do anything is hard when you’re working on your third month of quarantine.

Made surprise chocolate chip cookies for the family right before bed. They’ve been begging me to make cookies almost daily for a couple of weeks now.

Day 66 of isolation

I’ve reached a quiet antisocial mood. Maybe it’s hormones. Maybe it’s quarantine.

Time blindness doesn’t help.

Day 67 of isolation

I finished season 1 of The Umbrella Academy today. The soundtrack goes hard. That’s really the only comment I’m choosing to make.

I started reading The Witcher series today. I’m ready to get lost in a book or 12 for awhile.

Day 68 of isolation

I may or may not be attempting to grow lavender from seed. We’ll see how that goes.

Day 69 of isolation

I am plotting. With plants. Less garden, more chaos. I am being a true Hufflepuff and friend of the bees. I’m very excited!

Speaking of bees… I have 3 carpenter bees working hard at creating a home for themselves within the wooden support of my porch roof and I am thrilled!

Day 70 of isolation

I got! My first! Frog villager! On New Leaf! Today! And then! I caught! Many! Frogs! In my ponds!

Also, I now have 5-7 carpenter bees calling my back porch home! I thought the new ones were fighting with the established ones. Nope. Turns out they were fucking. So that’s nice. Guess I’m going to be a grandma soon.

Day 71 of isolation

I’m feeling really fatigued these days. I think I could probably use a good hike to like shake myself out. I’d go creeking again but the 16yo needs water-friendly shoes first (soon) and I need the creeks to not be flooded.

Day 72 of isolation

Took the 16yo to get a sport physical. He’s playing football for his school now, I guess. Practice starts Monday.

My clover seeds showed up. There are millions of tiny seeds in the bag. Millions.

Day 73 of isolation

I’ve been up since 5. Tossed the clover seeds around while the sun was still down so I didn’t get caught. Played ACNL on the porch for a few hours. Did my basic daily gardening. Rested some more. Then took Sammy on a 3-mile hike at the park.

Oh hey. I also did 4 loads of dishes and like 5 loads of laundry.

Also had both my Slytherins gang up on me and talk me out of going to the local protest. Being chronically ill and the mother of 4 seems to make me not riot material. Even if I’m mainly just wanting to be a white meat shield between the police and protesters. I am, however, going to break out my new stamps and send a few dozen letters to the elected decision-makers that are supposed to do my bidding.

Anyway, it’s 3 hours until the brand new curfew, and part of me wants to spend the night on my patio, which is decidedly not in my house, writing letters by hand through the night. But who am I kidding? I’m a spoonie with a bedtime that takes place before the curfew even goes into effect, who has been up and highly active since 5 am. Going to the protests would give my adrenalin and therefore spoon count wouldn’t matter. But alas, without the adrenaline, I’ll be snoring here soon.

Day 74 of isolation

Listened to some new (to me) music that y’all have been listening to for a decade now and well, I understand the drive towards tearing down the establishment all the more. Finally listening to this album was well-timed to the current protests and riots. I kind of want to stand at the front lines blaring this music from a boombox. And while I have not named the album or artist, that’s a choice I made because really so much music from the last, oh, 20 years does apply and I realize that. I listen to nothing and y’all have been listening to bands that call for the destruction of the current system for your entire lives.

Fueled by this music, and knowing I can’t protest, I went ahead and sat at my desk and did what I needed to do to send out almost two dozen letters to almost two dozen people that are meant to represent me, and you. I started with Trump and ended with the seven members of my city council.

The rest of the day has been quiet. Lots of sun. General gardening upkeep. Finally got my hands on a new hose for watering and playing with the kids. I’ve been using a big ass watering can hauling it from the front yard, where the working spigot is, to the back yard, where the plants are. Also, my wife fixed the spigot at the back of the house. Which is good because the hose I bought was cheap and nice, but not long.

Day 75, 76, and 77 of isolation

I’m not sure what to tell you all other than it’s all been a blur, I’ve been distracted, and Black Lives Fucking Matter.

I did add to my pile of letters and snail-mailed my reps a request to save the post office.

Otherwise I just feel so lost and helpless.

Day 78 of isolation

Validated by my new provider at the hematologist.

Grew my first blueberry.

Bought the kids a kiddie pool and sprinkler.

Day 79 of isolation

I have discovered Kentucky Derby hats.

I will be buying Kentucky Derby hats.

For sitting on the back patio.

Day 80 of isolation

Went creeking in a different than my usual creek that the 16yo is always hyping up. Took the 8yo. Should not. Should have just gone to the usual creek. We had a bad experience. My left thigh is fucked up.

Day 81 of isolation

What is a day? What is time? Is a day really exactly 86400 seconds long? How did someone determine that? Why did someone determine that? To make me suffer? Who determined exactly how long a second is? Hasn’t mankind seen enough needless suffering?

The corned beef and cabbage we had for dinner was good though.

Day 82 of isolation

Admitted the kiddie pool and hose and sprinklers are going to be a major part of my kids’ summer so I went to my mom’s to pick up swimsuits and bought new ones for Sammy and Lucas who are like weeds. We also bought a bunch of beach towels to have on hand so they can stop walking through my living room soaking wet.

The Shepard’s hook that comes with bird feeders finally got here. Lucas has a really nice setup outside his window. Regular seed, black oil sunflower seeds, peanuts, and suet cakes are available for the birds and squirrels. My sister found some really nice binoculars at a thrift store and my dad cleaned them up. Lucas is now ready to fully submerge into a special interest. I even bought him a bird’s of Ohio identification guide and a field journal to track what he sees.

Day 83 of isolation

While running around outside barefoot, Sammy injured her foot. Not in a need a doctor sort of way, but there was first aid needed. And I realized noisy how ill-prepared I was for the situation as far as supplies go. Sure I have plenty of bandaids. But I keep very little gauze in the house and had no medical tape. Made me really pause and reevaluate how I’m spending my money this month.

A proper first aid kit is of course a must for every household. But the thought of piecing one together is so overwhelming. But considering my 17yo actively plans to break his nose and get his first stitches this summer (two separate occasions even) I apparently can’t wait.

Day 84 of isolation

Started buying supplies for two first aid kits. One for my house and one for my car. I also plan to buy a mini one for my bag. I’ve got a solid start but still a long way to go.

Day 85 of isolation

Gotta keep this up! Apparently it’s inspiring! <3

It’s helpful to me too.

Anyway.

Sammy, who is an extreme extrovert not made for isolation, has been reconnected with her two closest friends from school: Abby and Abigail.

I spoke to her teacher and the school counselor and was honest that she was suffering and falling into a deep depression and that I didn’t have the social skills to already know how to contact the parents of these two girls. I asked her teacher to please email both moms and give them my email address and phone number. We would leave it in their hands so I wasn’t intruding, but that I’d love to hear from them (text message or email preferred) so we could get the kids talking and in another month if things have settled and we avoid a second wave, we could set up playdates.

She’s been chatting on discord with Abby for a few days now. And today when Abigail reached out, I broke down and agreed to let Sammy spend the night over there tonight. They’ve been isolating like we have, is my understanding, so it seems pretty low risk. Plus Thomas has been going to football practice and friends’ houses since just after memorial day, so if he can she can.

Sammy is already a million times better from her depression.

Oh and it’s her first sleepover that isn’t Grandma’s house.

Day 86 of isolation

Spent the day running errands with my 17yo. We hit some 6 different stores across Columbus putting together the two first aid kits. They are now 95% complete and I’m super happy with them.

I also really enjoyed the time with my kid too. That was just the absolute best!

I’ve also pretty much decided I want to go to the local community college to get my EMT certificate. It’s a single 7 credit hour class plus an official test that certifies me. I don’t want to be an active EMT. But I want to know the first aid and I’d like the ability to be a street medic as needed. I could do things like help run the first aid tent at pride every year. Also, it’ll look good on my resumé and on grad school applications. It also gives me a decent topic for that application essay: how being I’ll be prepared for an injury my daughter sustained during the midst of feeling helpless during the 2020 race riots led to my decision to and passion for becoming EMT certified.

Anyway. The class is like 1.1k and I can probably do that with my next tax return. So summer 2021 goals!

Day 87 of Isolation

I took the littles to the zoo.  They just opened back up, with precautions in place, and this weekend was members only, though you have to reserve a spot since they are only allowing so many people in at a time.  Luckily I reserved early because they sold out for this weekend almost instantly.

We were only there for about 2.5 hours.  We didn’t come close to seeing everything.  But we got what was most important to us.  I wanted to see the bears.  Sammy wanted to see the lions and tigers.  Lucas wanted to see the penguins.  We all wanted to see the Heart of Africa.  We even got to feed John Peter the giraffe!

Yesterday I got 10k steps in.  I don’t normally care, but I’m been tracking the days I do things like the zoo and hiking.  Mostly because those are the days I royally fuck up my right foot.  I’m learning I have a collapsed arch.  And really anything over about 5k steps in a condensed time fucks me right up.  So imagine 10k.

I’m going to have to see a doctor and get custom inserts.  Which makes me feel so old.  But hiking is my primary form of exercise, so I need to be able to actually walk a few miles and still able to walk the usual 4k steps the next day, without pain.

Day 88 of isolation

I had a rough day.  I really needed a day to unwind and rest and just be mellow and keep to myself, but apparently, that just wasn’t an option.  I think the highlight of my day was Sammy biting her way out of a headlock Lucas put her in and drawing blood in the process.  That really just nicely sums up the chaos of the day.

Day 89 of isolation

Today was also a mess.  I was just fully incompetent as a parent until about 1 pm due to a rough night of bad sleep.  Finally got myself into gear and was functional at 1 though.  It’s not been a super day, but things were accomplished.

One of my chosen sisters sent me some cash and directed me to go buy bulk birdseed at the tractor supply store.  The village supporting my 12yo’s needs to feed/watch the birds is really heartwarming.  I priced all sorts of bulk seeds and such there.  I’ll be able to get the regular variety seed, the black oil sunflower seeds, and the mealworms there for great bulk prices.  I found a good price on suet cakes from lows.  So I think I’ll be able to keep this going indefinitely.  I might need some cash tossed in my direction here and there.  But like, it was looking a lot worse just a few hours ago.

Day 90 of isolation

I basically slept until 1:30 and then went back to bed at 8.  It was a catch up on sleep and fix the sleep schedule day.  Which sometimes, that’s just how it goes.

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