Wednesday, October 23, 2013

D....d...d... Dreamsssss!!!

Not sure why that is just so dang exciting, but it is. I think.

Why a post on dreams? Why not dirges or death or despair or destruction, or combine all of them and do dragons? Outside of the fact that I don't want to seem to absurdly morbid, I was at a friend's house drinking tea and eating some blueberry danishes (No lie. I felt slightly British), I mentioned that I have a blog and before I could get to whatever point I was trying to make (assuming I had a point), she perked up and began firing questions at me. Then helped me brainstorm non-morbid "D" words when I said "D" was up next. Her list: dating, dreaming, dancing, delight, daring, Denmark, and distance.

So, I changed a verb into a noun and, viola! Dreams.

There are, apparently, people who don't have dreams. I want to say that they are very unfortunate people, but then I remember just how weird my dreams are and how frazzled they can make me that I begin to consider that they are the lucky ones. They never have to face the possibility of having a nightmare or the disorientation caused by not being sure whether a memory is dream or something that actually happened. And that "What the frack?!" feeling is something they will never wake up to.

That feeling you have after seeing this, that's how waking up from one of my dreams feels
I can't begin to count how many times I woke up with that feeling. Generally followed by staring at my wall trying to figure out if anything in that dream made any sense. Why was my best friend's brother who never danced begging me to dance to "Thriller" with me? Why did my friend suddenly have a six-pack, and was protecting me from her were-wolf brother? What the heck with me not being me and shooting some random guy at a funeral? And the waking up with "Oh good. That was just a dream" when I thought I was forever imprisoned in Victorian era clothes. Sure, those dreams can be kind of fun, but I'm pretty sure I could have lived without ever dancing to Michael Jackson or killing someone.

But, as a writer, dreams are priceless. They are the inspiration and motivation to actually write whatever story is in my head. Because I can only remember my dreams for so long, I have a limited amount of time to write them down. So I have to write. Then I go into a fury of typing fingers and glares at interrupting family members because ohmyword, I am loving what this is turning into.

(After not really looking at the sloth and just having it sit there in my peripheral vision, I am beginning to be freaked out. So warning: DO NOT LOOK AT THE SLOTH FOR TOO LONG).

look at the cute little puppy that won't turn dreams into nightmares

Interesting fact about dreams: Studies show that the ability to dream/recall dreams is linked to a person's political party. In general, as with most things.

Yes, apparently you can make an educated guess about a person's political standing based on their dreams, or lack thereof.

Honestly, this makes sense. Who tends to be more artistic and creative? Liberals (or people like my friends and I who are sitting there kicking are feet refusing to identify with any political party because they are all idiots). Aren't dreams seen as a somewhat creative thing?

For the conservatives who do dream, they get stuck with mundane ones that make sense. They probably dream about a lovely little neat romance or a day at the office and everything is orderly and linear and there is no world hopping (those are the people to pity. Never getting to spend the day in Narnia with Aragorn or climb all over Lothlorien's trees with Edmund... it's a shame) or labyrinth tackling or falling in love with the devil. Instead it's the liberals who get to experience the fun, and scary, side of dreams.

I do know conservatives who have insane dreams, by the way. Not quite as bizarre as mine, but up there.

No. I retract that statement. Having people change faces and three people rotate bodies and our pastor try to kill him for talking about God was pretty bizarre.

Do you dream? Are those dreams bizarre and mind-blowing-upping or the kind that are just there? What is the weirdest dream you have ever had?

Friday, October 18, 2013

C... Castles!

I was going to tell you all about cats. Particularly my cats. Mainly because they are awesome cats with awesome names (Hercules and Zipporah - or Princess Zipporah Moon Shadow - it doesn't get much more awesome than that). But then I sat down and I really don't feel like writing about cats. Don't get me wrong, I love cats. I will be that crazy old cat woman and I shall have to find myself a crazy old cat man if I ever plan on finding myself married one day. But alas. I shall not be writing about cats. Not today anyway.

What do I want to write about?


As a fantasy loving and writing and lover of epicness, I have to love castles. It's just part of the description. 

Unfortunately, this does not mean I have actually been in one. For starters, I am broke. My family rarely had/has extra money to spend on awesomesauce stuff like that. So getting my butt to a castle, not so realistic. Second. I live in America. We have manors and mansions and really cool buildings, but I'm pretty sure we don't actually have castles. Not the awesomesauce ones in Europe and elsewhere anyway. 

You know how the brain likes to remember things five minutes later? Mine just did. I have, technically,  been in a castle. My grandfather has a house in Vermont and right down the street is this place called the Wilson Castle. Most visits to his house we have also visited this pretty awesome building. And by awesome, I mean that the one time I snuck out at night to walk into the nearby city of Rutland (with no nightlife, let me tell you), the place had transformed and I swore it was going to try to eat me. 

There it is, in it's non-menacing form. There are tours that show off a really nice fireplace, some fancy schmancy bedrooms, and an area of collected art. And it's in Vermont, so there's this really pretty view along the road and the highway right by it. Especially in the fall.

This place was built by some guy who married a pretty rich woman and decided, hey, let's build this place and call it a castle in 1867. So it's not even that old.

In 1939, a radio engineer named Herbert Lee Wilson, came to Vermont. He was a pioneer in the AM radio field and built radio stations all over the world. He was looking for a new location to build another station and a summer home for his family. He bought the castle & installed radio station WEWE in the old stable, which remains in operation.
That's from the website and just solved the mystery of what exactly was up with the old building and the antennae sticking out from it. But, it also explains why it is the "Wilson" castle.

Every fall, the owners do a haunted house tour. I have never been as we always avoided that stuff (for a reason. Anything creepy and I mentally peed my pants). But the one year they were testing out some of the stuff a couple of weeks before the haunted house opened. Well, my family went and when my brother asked what was behind a particular door, the tour guide grinned and said he can open it if he wanted. The elders among our group began laughing and smirking. My cousin and I stood there trying to figure out where this laughter was coming from. Brother narrowed his eyes at the guide and told her to do it herself. She came up with some excuse. Then my five year old cousin hopped over, opened it in a grand display of bravado, then screamed like a little girl, along with my brother, as a skeleton popped out of the closet. So the tour guides have plenty of fun with people whenever they can.

Okay, so you know how I said there are no castles in America? Apparently there are quite a few of them. More than a few actually. I am just a snob and think America has nothing epic. Whoops.

So here's a few to look at for you Americans, and non-Americans who may be scratching your heads wondering when exactly such things happened.

1. Lyndhurst ~ Tarrytown, New York

The history is nothing too interesting, but feel free to look it up yourself.

2. Castello di Amorosa ~ Calistoga, California


 So, heh, there are torture chambers at this place. Along with a moat and a Catholic church thing.
torture chamber....

This place is now a winery, so for any of you who love wine and torture chambers, there you go.

3. Bowman's/Nemacolin's Castle ~Brownsville, PA

Nemacolin's Castle

The castle started as a little trading post set up where a couple of forts used to be. During the French and Indian War, the Brit's had built themselves a wooden fort and before that, the "prehistoric indigenous peoples" (or, old time Native Americans) of the area built their earthen mounds there. The castle is at an intersection of the Nemacolin trail (thus the one name). Before all the Native Americans got their butts kicked by some greedy, land-stealing Europeans, they had a trail running through the mountains and Nemacolin, a Shawnee chief, decided to mark the trail, and ta-da! there it is. (I honestly have more interest in the trail at the moment than this castle. I like Native Americans and I like trails.)

4. Lord's Castle ~ Waltham, MA

File:WalthamMA LordsCastle.jpg

Nothing too exciting to look at (to me anyway), but the tower looks kinda cool and the story behind it is kind of sweet. This guy, Rufus Lord, fell in love (or lust. Or something) with a chick from Germany. He proposed to this lovely lady and she decided that she would not give him an outright yes or no. Her answer was conditional. As long as he built her a castle like the ones from Germany, he could have her hand and the rest of her, too. Because the guy was a builder, apparently had some money, and was a builder, she got her castle and he got himself a wife. I find this adorable on his part and kinda like a lady dog on her part.

5. And finally, the most famous one of all (I'm sure you know it...)

Yeah, that's right, Cinderella's castle. The icon of my childhood. What little girl growing up before internet became common in households across america (as that's about when the quality of movies went down the toilet), didn't ever dream of seeing that castle on the horizon? Everyone wanted to go to Disney. As a girl, especially one trying to convince my mother to name the baby in her belly Cinderella, I would have killed to go there. Lucky enough for me, I got to. Not that Cinderella was actually there. Oddly enough, even though I went to the Cinderella Castle, it was Sleeping Beauty we were told was hiding in it. This is now disturbing me greatly...
Anyway. The name of the castle says it all. Although, historically accurate me would like to point out that the castle, if Cinderella's, would more than likely actually belong to the family of her husband, the prince, not to a merchant's daughter.

And, that's a wrap!

Sand Castle Cat Climber
And this is for your darling (or not so darling) cat's to rule in.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Birthday Wishes... B

This is a tad late. As, well, life has a way of pushing me away from all things I plan on doing. I do believe I made people aware of that at some point. Anyway, so here is the much too late "B" post...

My birthday happened. Or didn't happened. Or happened as I tried to pretend that it is not in existence and holy whoa, I am not actually this stupid defunct age of 19. But, I am now throwing around defunct like it is a frisbee, so, it's not half-bad.

When it comes to birthdays, at some point, someone, usually, asks what one wants for his/her birthday. There are normal people answers (not that I can tell you what they are, as I avoid normal people.). Then there are my answers. I'm not sure why my mother even bothers asking me such questions because I have always given such answers.

So, here is my birthday wish-list:

1. A ship. Pirate-y, Viking, Egyptian - whatever. Something sure to bring about epic times as I sail the world and try to conquer my fear of the water. A ship stocked with a crew would be even nicer as I can barely manage to row a rowboat (as I discovered yesterday), much less work a whole amazing ship.

2. The ability to pause time so that I can read and write. Apparently I don['t know anyone who can grant these kinds of wishes, which is upsetting as I really need this to be able to write while at a concert.

3. Switchfoot in a jar. More specifically, Tim Foreman in a jar. (I am allowed to Fangirl sometimes)

4. A sword ('Nuff said).

5. A new cat. Preferably a little calico kitty that likes cuddling with me.

6. Kevin to exist. He is one of my characters and the fact that he is not in this reality is heart-breaking. I want to non-marry him and have a wonderful life of adventures. (Shhh... Don't tell whomever I am romantically linked with this. I don't think me pining after a "non-existent" being would go over to well with  most people...)

7. to become a wizard. More Gandalf than Harry Potter.

8. A cape with matching hat and boots.

9. A cloak and Elf-ish boots. Also a handy bow and full quiver set to go with.

10. A camera. A real-live working camera. I have never owned one of these things and have been pining away with camera-envy for years now.

And... That's about it. Really lame post, but oh wells.

6 Wishing Wells in 4 different syles.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A... Autumn!

Look! Look! I'm sticking to the plan! I am following something I would do! Guys, you have no idea how rare this is. I have been waiting a month now saying I am going to write my resume. Is it written? Not in the present time, no. So, to not ramble too much before I even begin...

Let's see what Google says:

Look guys, it's a really creepy looking pumpkin! I am honestly of the opinion it thinks human flesh is tasty and would love to fly from the screen and chomp on my face. 

 Desktop Backgrounds · Animal Life · Dogs | Puppy dogs 
 Dog Walk autumn

Because we always think of adorable puppies that might be in the middle of a fight with leaves.

The cat woman in me approves.

I have been lucky enough to hike right by this during the Autumn. It is indeed this pretty.

Now, what do I have to say about Autumn?


I don't hear the word "Autumn" and think of creepy pumpkins and kitties in leaves and crazy leaf necklaces about to kill an adorable puppy or ohmygoodness, that's a pretty view with leaves on fire. Nope. I tend to get that look on my face people get when they hear their name. Oh, right. I am hearing my name.

See, names were very important to my parents. Or my mom at least. I was never around for the hunt for the perfect name on my dad's behalf. Mom would throw names left and right until she found the perfect one. My one sister was due a week before Christmas, so she wanted something winter-y but not obnoxiously Christmas-y. Everyone else was given Biblical names. Heck, even winter-child sister got a name that appears in the Bible.

I'm the stand alone, non-Biblical name. I wasn't supposed to be born when I was. I was supposed to be a Summer Baby and my name would either be Sage (wise and a plant. My mom was a hippie) or Hunter (That would be me dad. ), depending on gender. Then I refused to come out of the womb for a couple of weeks and whoops! Autumn descended on the northern hemisphere and isn't Autumn such a pretty name anyway? So believe me, I've had plenty of time to think about the season I bear the name of.

By the way, dear parents, yeah, sure. Pretty name. Don't! Naming your child a season is a curse. Every time she meets someone she will hear the same old joke, over and over. She will want to kiss the wonderful person who doesn't make some supposedly clever quip about it. Also, when she is in primary school, every time her name is mentioned in something the teacher is reading, the rest of the class will giggle and make some comment.
Don't Do It Foundation: spread da mike, not the Nike
look! There's a whole group of people agreeing with me!

Anyway. Back to Autumn and me not going on tangents.

Autumn is gorgeous in the area I live in. The sky seems bluer, the days are often the perfect temperature. The gradual change of the leaves covering the land is amazing. Nature is just screaming to be looked at and enjoyed. Take a hike up a mountain and by george, the view will be absolutely breathtaking.

We used to visit Vermont every autumn and stay in a house nestled into the crease of a mountain. We would hike up an old dirt trail with rocks to climb over and trees dangling their jewels. A little pond would reflect the colors of the sky and trees and birds would chirp their good-byes until they came back for spring. We would reach the top with the old cairn my great-grandfather built and two benches, one wooden, one stone, and find ourselves holding out breath so as not to disturb the beauty we were alive in. Looking down we saw fields with green green grass and one littered with specks of orange we might later raid. There was a sparkling sliver of blue cutting across a meadow. A brave tree reaching it's lonely arms, up, up to the sky, leaves skittering away every time a strong breeze blew. There was so much magic surrounding us as we finally breathed again and began darting between trees and laughing and giggling and teasing. My brother would pretend to conquer some age-old enemy hidden in the woods as I would search for hidden traces of fairy life. My parents would hold hands and smile at us, passing whomever was the baby at the time back and forth. To me, that is Autumn.

Autumn is also a season, not just memories. It's a season so alive in color, in nature's mimicry of flames, and so so beautiful. But it's a season tinged with sorrow. Yes, the sweeps of land are alive, but they won't be for long. I know I'm a pessimist, but let's face it, autumn is the season of dying. When I was little I saw winter as the season as death, but that's not really it. Everything is already dead or sleeping in winter. It's quiet and peace. White.

So it's autumn where everything dies. Slowly, then all at once it's all gone. The beauty doesn't completly disguise the coldness that's coming or the dreary, oft overcast skies. It's a farewell, beautifully done, but a farewell none the less.

Guys, this is another reason not to name your child Autumn. She will grow up with this sense of impending doom all her life and as if everything bad is her fault, because she's the season of dying, so of course things around her are going to die.

But, all in all, such a lovely time to wander through woods. I suggest it.

Tranquil Autumn Trails in Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Recreation Area, East of Edmonton Sep '10