Reverb 2016: A Day in the Life

A day in the life.  Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays can be busy days and they can also be lazy recovery days.  Tell us about yours (or your plans for a day this weekend) from top to bottom.

Rachel: We’ve got a somewhat busy weekend planned this weekend.  Tonight we it’s game night with our friends.  We’re playing in a Deadlands Noir game where our characters just suddenly sailed into the Bermuda Triangle and ended up hundreds and hundreds of years in the future.  And in the middle of a desert instead of the Caribbean.  It should be interesting!  There are zombies walking around and talking robots instead of the Tommy guns and trenchcoats we’re more used to.

UntitledSaturday is a day that I look forward to every December, we’re headed to a different friend’s house for Gingerbread Day!!  For the last several years we’ve spent a day decorating gingerbread houses.  I’ve made some pretty odd ball ones.  I had the Supernatural House one year, complete with gingerbread Dean Winchester and his candy cane flame thrower.  Then last year I made the Night Vale radio station/secret surveillance center.  I have no idea what I’ll do this year.

On Sunday Katie is working for Strawbery Banke.  She’s roleplaying a lady named Dorothy Holt in 1943 and her outfit looks SO GOOD.  You guys, OMG, red lipstick and a gorgeous headscarf… she looks AWESOME  *grin*.

And then I need to get myself to the post office somewhere in there!  Wish me luck!

Katie: My plans are the same as Rachel’s! Who knew? 😄 Like she mentioned, I’ll be playing Dorothy Holt on Sunday at Strawbery Banke, our local living history museum. We’re putting on the annual Candlelight Stroll, which is an enormous event that fills our entire grounds with roleplayers, ice skaters, horses and carriages, carolers, theater productions…you name it. I’m hoping to try out some curlers for my hair. Last week I just made a little poof with my sort-of-bangs (I’m growing out a pixie cut) and this time I’d like to see if I can get them to look curly. Still going to wear the headscarf, of course, to hide the back of my hair, which isn’t really long enough to curl.

Reverb 2016: Sunny Surprises

Sunny Surprises.  Most of North America starts to get frosty and cold this time of year.  If you had an unusually warm (tank tops and flip flops warm!) day unexpectedly and didn’t have to work, what would you do?

Rachel:  We actually had snow yesterday morning, so trying to imagine this is doing my brain in just a bit 🙂  Hmm, let’s see.  I might haul off and go to the beach I think.  Something to soak up a little vitamin D before we plunge back into darkness.

Ooh or a bike ride!!  I keep meaning to make Katie bike the greenway trail with me.  Get her dad to help load up our bikes and drop us at the top of the trail and then we’d bike all the way back.  Katie will probably look at me like I’ve got three heads, but I sort of think it’d be awesome to bike a long way and have one overnight camping trip kind of thing.  :3  How about it, sweetface?

Katie: Uhhh it’s possible 😄 Actually, as long as “a long way” meant an amount I knew I could bike comfortably and not worry about getting exhausted far from our destination, I’m for it! Especially on the Greenway where we wouldn’t have to contend with my biking-on-the-road phobia 🙂

If we had a sudden warm spell, I’d want to go walking at the beach or in the woods. We’d take a picnic–we almost always take bread and cheese and fruit when we picnic, and I love that tradition. We usually get some kind of cheddar and one weird kind that we haven’t tried before. The last time, it was some kind of ale cheese with mustard, and it was really good! Crusty bread, grapes, and raspberries or strawberries usually top off the meal 🙂

Reverb 2016: Just Not That Into It

Just Not That Into It: Everyone has their own tipping point. What do you hate about the holidays?

Rachel: I’m a pretty big fan of the winter holidays.  Christmas, Solstice, Yule, Channukah (which I don’t celebrate but still think is pretty dang cool), and the rest.  The one thing that really irritates me is the whole “war on Christmas” shit that the far right tries to shove down everyone’s throats.  Wishing someone “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” isn’t some evil satanic plot to take the Christ out of Christmas.  It’s just a nice inclusive way of wishing you well.

I’ve never personally had anyone chew me out for wishing them Happy Holidays, but I sort of imagine it’s because I live in New England where everyone is of the mindset (for better or worse) that you should mind your own damn business and not be about telling everyone else what they ought to do.

Now, granted, I’m not a Christian, but from what I remember Jesus was big on the “do unto others as you would have done unto you” kind of thing and I bet that is someone wished him happy holidays he’d have smiled and wished them the same.

Really, that whole war on Christmas stuff is just a con that they’re selling you.  Christians aren’t persecuted in this country, it’s just that other groups are asking to be allowed to join the party and some of those way right types think that any inclusion of others means they get less.

But, like Aubrey, I prefer to focus on the happy stuff.  Like decorating our tree and putting lights all over the house!  With that, I wish you all Happy Holidays whatever you celebrate or don’t celebrate, I hope the season finds you happy and healthy and well.

Katie: There isn’t a lot I hate about winter holidays, since I’m fortunate enough that they’ve always been relatively low-key in my family. The thing that comes to mind is that I really disliked the mindset of obligatory participation that I used to encounter when I worked at an office (that won’t be a problem this year, HA!). Rachel and I have always had to carefully plan our holiday gift budget, and something would always come up suddenly at work where we were required to buy a random, impersonal gift for the office’s Yankee Swap. Or two of them, depending on how many swaps were going on there.

My managers never quite got the idea that the dollar limits they set might be too high for some people :\ Especially when I’d pretty much be guaranteed not to get anything I’d have a use for in return. (People at my office gave a lot of booze.) In the last few years, though, some of my more outspoken coworkers convinced the management to stop making these multiple swaps mandatory. So that was good 🙂

I’m happy to have shaken off the feeling of having to give my friends and family a certain amount of stuff, as well. They always like the thoughtful things better ❤

Reverb 2016: Best Gift I Ever Got

The Best Gift I Ever Got: We all remember That One Gift that gave us The Most Joy.  Show us what that gift was for you and describe why it makes gives you all the feels.

Rachel:   I think the best gift I ever got was my first spinning wheel.  I’d learned how to drop spindle spin at Fiber Camp and I was itching to try out a wheel.  But they’re expensive and at that time they were completely out of reach for us money wise.  So I had sort of resigned myself to having to save for a couple of years or else just not have one.

I was sharing my pictures of my spindle spun yarn on my livejournal and lusting after wheels I saw.  A friend of Katie’s who we knew through livejournal read my posts and told me that she had a spinning wheel sitting in her attic collecting dust and that if I wanted it, it was mine.  She even had it mailed to me!

New Spinning Wheel!

She arrived safe and sound, well padded by piles and piles of wool!  It was love at first sight.

 

New Spinning Wheel! And in no time at all I was spinning some AWFUL yarn on her! 1st spinning attempts on the wheel

But, as they say, I got better 🙂 Over those intervening years, I’ve improved at least a little 😉 But it it hadn’t been for Pam’s astounding generosity, I wouldn’t have been able to have a spinning wheel for years. Spinning brings me so much comfort and happiness and I can’t thank her enough. I LOVE my little Ashford Scholar.

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This last year I was able to afford a second wheel, an Ashford Joy and now that we’re a two wheel household I can start teaching other people!!  So, yes, that little trusty wheel is one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten.

#Reverb 2016: Cozy

Cozy: Some of us live on the Tundra, while others live where the tumbleweeds roll.  Either way, we still have to nest when December rolls around.  What keeps you cozy through the wintertime?

Rachel – We live in more of a tundra type area (New Hampshire) so we batten down the hatches and bundle up in blankets and piles and piles of knitting.
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A few years ago I wanted to do this sock knitting thing where I was supposed to knit one pair of socks every month and I failed miserably!  But I’m thinking this could be the year where I manage it.  Or at least maybe I could knit a pair every other month.  Handknit socks are a glorious thing, made to fit your exact foot size!  The pair you see here is my Business in the Clouds socks.

Also cozy making – lots of hot soups and fresh baked bread.  I’m going to make this winter the winter of bread baking!  I’ve got a decent grasp on the basics I think so I want to expand!

And speaking of cozy, the most cozy thing about our house is the kitties and us.  I love when Katie and I spend an evening watching silly shows and movies together with a cat on each lap.  So much FUR, so much love. 🙂

Katie – TEA. ALL THE FRIGGING TEA IN THE WORLD. In the last couple of years, I’ve really started to feel the cold. I don’t think it used to bother me quite as much. Luckily, we have a huge wall of tea and two electric tea kettles (I can only find one at the moment, but it’s the big one, so no matter).

My favorite teas lately have been genmaicha from Dobra Tea in Portland, Maine (a hearty, filling green tea made with toasted rice) and rose and lavender black tea from The Clipper Merchant Tea House in Limerick, Maine. My rose and lavender tea is like four years old, too, and it’s still such a perfect mix of lovely aromas and delicate taste. I don’t even like black tea all that much, but this one is divine.

A new tea that we just got is Highland Organics Blue Mellow-Yellow tea (“A taste of wild Maine in every cup!”). It’s wild Maine blueberry tea with lemon peel and lavender, and it is freaking incredible. The only drawback is that the package was like $12 and there are only 6 tea bags in it :\ The instructions say they’re designed to be steeped at least 3-5 times, but I steeped one bag 4 times and it had lost all the blueberry and lemon taste by the last steeping (though the lavender was still present). Still, it’s such good tea that for a splurge it was worth it.

Aside from wrapping myself in several thousand blankets and sweaters, the other thing I like to do to batten down in the winter is play video games :3 We love to play them at all times of the year, of course, but winter seems to be our peak video gaming season, particularly when it comes to DS games. Rachel and I just got Pokemon Moon and Sun (respectively) and we’ve been playing them at all hours…usually, as Rachel mentioned above, with at cat on each lap ❤

#Reverb2016: Intentions

I’m borrowing this idea from Aubrey.  It seemed like a nice way to end off the year.  More details on what it is are here: #Reverb2016.

I haven’t told her yet, but Katie and I are going to do this together *grins*

We’re behind just a bit, but I think we can catch up!

Intentions.  Let’s set our intention for the month of December on writing, creativity, and expression.  What do you hope to get out of a month of writing each day?  What is your favorite part about writing – the idea, the first words, the final sentiments?

Rachel – I’d like to have a little more life on our teeny blog.  And I’d like to share some holiday traditions, maybe start some new ones, and bring more light into this dark season.  I’ve been struggling with a series of really grey days around here lately and today the SUN finally broke through and I feel like a new person suddenly.

My favorite part about writing is probably the dizzying possibility that is inherent in it.  You never know quite what you’ll end up with!  A gripping drama, a heartfelt appeal, or a goofy comedy.  I’m probably half goofy comedy with some notes of the others thrown in.  I’m great at beginnings, but not to good at endings.  Which is why I roped Katie in.  She’s good at sticking to it!

Also, here’s my honest declaration, I will probably prattle on about knitting and crafting a whole lot.

Katie – Rachel texted me about this while I was working at my part-time museum job this morning 🙂 I’m writing novels full time now, so I want to use this month to bring more variety to my writing routine. I’m writing lesbian romance (under my author name, Marian Snowe) so I absolutely love what I write for my job, but I find that since I’m spending all week writing my novels, I never write anything else. And I’d like to get back to that.

My favorite parts of writing are crafting perfect, subtly meaningful sentences 🙂 Each sentence I write in my novels can’t be perfect (not to my standards, or else I’d get nothing done) so I have to reign in that impulse. Hopefully this challenge will give me an opportunity to let it have just a teensy bit more control 🙂 Or, on the other hand, to ramble pointlessly 😄 Which I also enjoy.