Heirs of the Magi News Flash!

***Heirs of the Magi News Flash!***

The annual Samshwords Summer-Winter sale has ended! Thank-you to everyone for your support and interest in my books - and for any other Smashwords authors that you may have checked out during July too!

***Year Three of Harry Potter - After the Epilogue has now been posted at FanFiction.net in time for Harry's 37th Birthday! If you love my Harry Potter fan fiction stories as much as I do; check out this newest installment in the 'After the Epilogue' storyline!

Happy summer - or winter - reading!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Cassie's Journal - March 30, 2013



Happy 18th birthday, Jake!

I wouldn’t have ‘officially’ been allowed to know about him anyway, but this will not be an extra-special birthday for Jake anyway; and he will not be having ‘the talk’ that every Magi teen is most excited about when they finally turn eighteen.

Before you wonder if that little news flash affects my little crush on Jake, don’t forget that it isn’t news for me – I’ve known who nearly all of the Magi are since the summer before last.  The exemption Rowen and I gave him when we were nine and ten still applies, and even if she knew he wasn’t a Magi too; Rowen wouldn’t want to change that any more than I do.

I wasn’t involved in Jake’s birthday celebrations at all – in fact, I didn’t even see him around town today; and sent my happy birthday wishes to him through Violet, Michael, and an e-card and email that I sent first thing this morning.  Though Mom and Dad hadn’t planned on a big house and yard work day, we had a fairly nice weather morning; so Dad and I spent some extra time working in the yard and cleaning up the storage barn.  That included cleaning up a few canoes in the hope that we’d have some warmer weather soon so we could enjoy some play time on the river soon.  I worked on the porches, paths, and sidewalks; helped with cleaning up some downed branches; and we washed the truck, van, and Violet’s car.

While we were doing that, Mom, Violet, and Alicia were busy with housework and doing a little running round town.  Violet was able to hang out with Mom because Dillon was working the breakfast and lunch shifts at the Inn so that he’d have the evening off for Jake’s party.  They were able to do a short lesson too while Alicia took Ethan and Ehlana out for a little play time at the park; but even that was just some Magi-assisted cleaning.

Violet, Alicia, and I were all set free after lunch today, and I hopped on my bike and headed over to meet up with Rowen at the computer store.  They’d had a busy morning, and Rowen was just finishing her lunch when I got there, so we had time for a little visit with her Mom while they both ate and then we were off and riding.  That’s when we met up with Michael.  He was starting an extended afternoon break since he’d be helping out at the Inn tonight while all of the older teens were celebrating Jake’s birthday.  I strongly suspect it wasn’t a coincidence that he was on his way to meet up with Tim at Landry’s at the same time that Rowen and I were getting started on our play afternoon.  What I don’t know is who tipped him off; though Tim’s look of surprise at seeing Rowen and me with Michael when he joined us outside looked very suspicious; and so did the grins that he tried not to let me see.

So now we get to the tweeird part of the day.  Going for another bike ride together was fun – right up until the first band of the forecasted rain moved through while we were still about a half-mile north of town.  We were all fairly damp by the time we got back to town, and Rowen was nice enough to invite the guys to come home with us so we could warm up, get dried off, and have a snack break together.  I don’t even want to think about Tim’s jokes about her suggestion being better than doing that at his house, Michael’s, or Rowen’s where there were no parental units around.  I’m sure he would be right about that kind of story being a hit on the town gossip network, but the tweeird zone that was my house for the next hour or so will be a very entertaining story too – if it gets out.

First of all, we were more than ‘damp’ when we walked into the house, and that already felt weird before Mom ordered us to lose the wet shoes and clothes and get changed.  I’m so glad she at least let Rowen and I go up to my room, and sent Michael and Tim into one of the guest bedrooms on the second floor to do that.  Dad was recruited to get dry clothes that Michael and Tim could wear while their clothes were dried.  The temporary fashion ensembles he came up with for them weren’t likely going to be anything that might become the next fad at school, but at least they were warm; and I was grateful that Dad hadn’t tried to give them any of my track pants or workout clothes to wear despite the fact that they would have fit better.

Laugh all you want, but I’m in Grade Seven, and have no doubt about whether there would be jokes making the rounds about having not one, but two boys getting into my pants – especially since Tim is often a primary source of those kinds of jokes.

The tweeird continued as soon as Rowen and I met up with Michael and Tim in the kitchen.  I was immediately positive that I shouldn’t have picked one of my soft, warm, fuzzy sweaters to wear even if it was warm and one of my favorites.  Michael’s jaw would have hit the floor if the table hadn’t been in the way; and I don’t think anybody in the room missed his reaction to seeing me.  Ehlana was sitting in his lap; and she giggled and hugged him enthusiastically.

Rowen and I had needed longer to get changed and downstairs again, mostly because we’d needed to deal with our wet hair.  Maybe it was the change from wind-blown and wet that made such an impression, but I was wishing that I’d picked something else to wear while Rowen was quite happy about the reactions from both Michael and Tim; and the rest of my family thought the whole scene was cute and entertaining.  Mom already had hot chocolate ready, and she’d warmed up an apple pie in the oven; so Rowen and I were directed to sit down at the table right away.  Ehlana made sure that I sat next to Michael, and climbed from his lap into mine for a hug and cuddle.

That little move wasn’t the only one used to nudge Michael and I together over the next hour or so while he and Tim waited for their clothes.  I’m sure that Mom wasn’t making excuses about washing their clothes because she didn’t want the dirt in her dryer, but it did make for a convenient excuse to keep the two boys hanging around for longer than they would have if she hadn’t thrown their jeans and sweaters in to wash too.  We had time for our snack; Ehlana and Ethan wanted us to play music after that; and we played video games for the rest of the time.  The rest of the tweeird included Ehlana getting Michael to sit with her next to me on my keyboard bench while I played; and getting me to sit next to him on the sectional sofa while he and Tim played video games, she sat on my lap, and Ethan sat in his and tried to use the game controller.

I am not crossing over, but I had fun despite the tweeird; it felt way too good sitting there with Michael and the twins; and he is so great with them that it’s no wonder that Ethan and Ehlana love him so much.

I’m sure that timing the clothes being dried and ready to go when Michael needed to be back to the Inn was not completely a coincidence, and it was probably another pair of nudges that led to me being in the lounge on my own when Michael just happened to be sent upstairs to help me with carrying the glasses and bowls we’d used while playing video games down to the kitchen to be cleaned.  Nice try, but nothing happened for the couple of minutes we were alone.  I’m sure that Aunt Leanne will want to tell me how disappointing that news will be for her, but I’m sure she’ll survive.  The goodbye hugs that Ethan and Ehlana had for Michael were spontaneous – even if they might have had ulterior motives too when getting him to pass each of them off to me instead of just getting set down again, but that was their last nudge opportunity before he and Tim left.

Dad gave them a ride to the Inn and shop, and once they’d left; Rowen and I went back up to my room so we could chat and hang out there for the last hour or so we had left before she needed to be home.  She’d needed to tease me about Michael too, but the tweeird was over for the day, and we had fun; played with Mandy; and watched some music videos until it was time for her to go too.  It’s been another quiet night since then.  With a big food day ahead tomorrow, we just had a light dinner.  I was on the clean-up crew, and after that, we had a couple of hours of play time; Ethan and Ehlana did the full bath and bedtime routine; and I spent some quality time with my Jacuzzi after they were tucked in for the night.

Mom, Dad, and I played Easter Bunny after that.  There are Easter Bunny footprints all over the house now; eggs and surprises tucked in here and there along those footprint trails; and six Easter baskets waiting to be ‘found’ on the dining room table.  That was a lot of fun, but we’re all going to need to be up early to have time to have time to play that little game with Ethan and Ehlana and still have time to get ready for the sunrise service at church.  Violet’s still at Jake’s party, and will likely be late – and tired when she does get her early morning wake-up call - but I’ve skipped all of my usual nightly computing except for checking my email and writing this journal entry.  Since I won’t get that birthday party update until tomorrow sometime, that’s all the news for today anyway, so I’m going to wrap this up too; cuddle with Mandy; and get some sleep.  Dreaming about bunnies will be easy tonight – yummy, dark chocolate, Olde Bakery Easter Bunnies!

Until next time, this is Magi Master Cassie Proctor; logging out!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Cassie's Journal - March 29, 2013



It always seems appropriate to me when we get rain on Good Friday morning.  We only had a sprinkle or two of it this morning, but I woke up to see a spatter or raindrops on my window.  I left Rowen asleep while exercising with Mom and Dad; and then went to do her wake-up call while they returned to the second floor to take care of Ethan and Ehlana.  Once I had Rowen up and moving, we went next door to have a fun little visit with Violet; and then all three of us got ready for church before meeting Mom, Dad, Ethan, and Ehlana in the kitchen for breakfast.

Mom put us on the clean-up and toddler-sitting crew after we’d finished eating while she and Dad took their turn to get ready for church.  By the time they were ready to go, Dillon had come over to meet up with Violet; Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne had stopped in on their way to collect us; and we all walked to church together.  The Good Friday service was as somber and solemn as the occasion.  There were very few changes from the last two years; and there was a nearly-silent recessional at the end of the service, with no greet the pastors line afterward.  Knowing about the Easter stories in the Magi archives has given Pastor Martha a whole new perspective on Easter, and while she can’t exactly use any of that information in her sermons, you should think about reading the archive journal she’s begun keeping.  Mom thought that an archive from the perspective of an ordained minister Magi would be as unique as the one Uncle Adam is keeping; and I think it’s a brilliant idea too.

Since the service wasn’t very long, and there wasn’t any visiting going on, we were home again by eleven o’clock.  Rowen packed up and went home to have lunch with her parents and brother, and after I got changed, Dad and I went outside to get bikes ready for him and Mom; and hook up Ethan and Ehlana’s new trailer to his bike so we could go for a ride after lunch.  Violet and Dillon had lunch with us, but then they were doing their own thing for the afternoon; having dinner with his parents; and spending another evening together at his house.

We had fun at lunchtime, but I really loved getting to spend a few hours playing with Mom, Dad, Ethan, and Ehlana this afternoon.  Rowen came biking with us, and we rode around most of the town, including the new section, before going over to the park to ride the trail and have a little playground time with Ethan and Ehlana.  There were a lot of families at the park, and that part of our ride was slow because of the traffic on the path – particularly the river section to the falls.  We also had a bigger group because Michael and Tim met up with us while we were riding along Quarry Road near the school; and they decided to ride with us for a while.

Okay, Rowen; I can practically hear you thinking it all the way from over at your house – it was Michael’s idea to ride with us; and Tim went along because that’s what best friends do for their buddies.  My best buddy had way too much fun with that entire scene, though she did at least wait until we were alone after getting home again to razz me about it.

We each had family dinner plans, so we didn’t have a lot of time to hang out together after getting back from our ride and play time.  Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne were having dinner with his family, so we got to have Grandma and Grandpa with us tonight.  That gave us more time for Grandpa’s travel stories, and we had a quiet, relaxing dinner and evening together until Grandma and Grandpa went home after tucking Ethan and Ehlana in for the night.

It feels strange to be doing this on a holiday weekend, but once I finish writing this, I’m going to sleep; and it’s barely after ten o’clock!  I’m not doing any bedtime studying, and the only email news from around the family was from Aunt Grace.  She was just letting me know that she’d arrived in Seattle safely and was enjoying her visit with Mark and his family so far.  This trip, and the one she’s planning for the Memorial Day weekend, is as much about getting ready for their wedding as getting to know Mark’s family better; and from what Aunt Grace wrote, it sounds like her Saturday is going to be all about working on the wedding.  Fortunately for her, that will include a lot of shopping and fun too.

Anyway, that’s really all I have for today.  Since Rowen’s working at the store in the morning, and we only have Violet home with us this weekend, I’ll be doing some house and yard work in the morning.  I hope Mom and Dad are ready to work with me – that can be a bit scary when I’m fully charged, like I will be after getting a full night of sleep like I’m about to do now.

Until next time, this is Magi Master Cassie Proctor; logging out!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cassie's Journal - March 28, 2013



The big news buzzing around town this afternoon is that Aunt Leanne sold another new house today – this one to Hannah and Nathan Draper; possibly a combination gift from the Easter Bunny and early, new baby gift.  They picked one of the first few houses that are going to be built along the river; and have one of the two lots that edge the first bend in the river that used to be just outside of town.  With all of the construction going on over there for the next few years, there will be a lot of noise to deal with; but they’re going to have one of the nicest spots in the entire new section of town; and they’ll be at the bakery during most of the construction work hours anyway.

While the next news story didn’t escape onto the town grapevine, Ethan and Ehlana ‘graduated’ from Grade Ten today.  I honestly hadn’t thought about it, but their original schedule to be done before March Break was changed when Mom and Aunt Leanne headed to Florida.  Then we were on March Break last week; Mom was busy with the future plans work, including the groundbreaking ceremony on Monday; and everything else they all had on the go; so they didn’t get the last bit of work done until today.  I’m sure they’ll still manage to finish Grade Eleven by the time we’re out of school in June; and be finished high school by Christmas.  I’ve been there, done that, and it’s still amazing to watch them go through all of that work so quickly!

Compared to those stories, I don’t really have much to report from school.  The weather is finally warming up again; though we’re not starting this holiday out with the kind of day we had on the Friday before March Break.  It was nice enough that Rowen and I could take our new bikes out for a little spin after school without totally freezing our butts off; and we rode around the new section of town to check out the action there; checked out the even bigger and deeper hole in the ground at the lab construction site; and rode around the trail at the park before heading back to my house again.

We were supposed to have a work night, but Rowen switched her shift to help her parents on Saturday morning instead – mostly because that would be a busier day for them with last-minute Easter gift shopping and holiday weekend visitors.  Having a sleepover tonight worked out better too, so we got parental approval for that; and had Rowen’s bags packed and moved over to my house before taking a break in our play time to help Mom with making dinner.

The rest of the evening has been fairly quiet for us.  Violet got home at a little after seven, but didn’t really spend much time with us before going out again to spend the evening with Dillon.  Mom and Dad worked in the office to try and get as much done as they could so they’d be able to take as much of the rest of the weekend off as possible.  Rowen and I took Ethan and Ehlana out for a walk and a bit of play time at the park; and then we played in my room and the lounge.  Our little Magi-assisted music practices with the twins are always fun, and we followed that up with a movie and telepathic chat before it was time for them to go to bed.

Rowen and I started a second movie after they went to bed, and we’ve been chatting with Mandy; surfing the web; and just taking it easy.  Since we have church in the morning, we’re going to bed once the movie is done; and that’s pretty much everything I have to report for today, so...

...until next time, this is Magi Master Cassie Proctor; logging out!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cassie's Journal - March 27, 2013



Happy 2nd birthday, Jayden!

He wasn’t particularly interested in the phone call with us this morning, but Jaimie and Kaitlyn entertained us for a while before we sat down to have breakfast; and it sounded like they were having a good morning and start to their little brother’s big day.

That helped to make for a fun start to the day, and the ongoing entertainment from the pajama pants boys at school helped to offset the continuing empathic problems I’m having whenever I’m anywhere near either Michael or Lisa.  They were ‘together’ today, particularly when they were hanging out with the couples club at lunch; but then they weren’t really together either.

There were more than a few tweeird moments today too, with the first being just about everything surrounding gym class.  Maybe I was just oblivious on Monday, but Rowen and I definitely noticed that we were getting second and third looks from the other girls in the locker room while getting changed before and after class; and we were getting some attention from the boys during class too.  That’s right, the new underwear change apparently affects nearly every aspect of our lives; and while Rowen is as shy as always at school, and especially in the locker room; I know that she’s secretly thrilled by the attention.  I’m mostly just weirded out by all of it.

Since we’re going there now anyway, I’ll also mention that there is some weirdness at home too; though that’s all entirely my problem.  Seeing Mom’s bras drying in the laundry room has never bothered me.  My training bras were dryer-safe; and not a problem.  Now that my new bras need to be hand-washed and hung to dry; I’m a little freaked out about having my underwear on semi-public display.  I’m sure I’ll get used to it, but not anytime soon; and I’ve suddenly become extremely conscientious about getting my clean laundry up to my room and put away.

Getting back on topic, the extra attention made gym class totally tweeird, and that affected me enough that I hit four three-point baskets in a row before Rowen nudged me and whispered a reminder that we weren’t playing in the WNBA; and the last thing I’d wanted right then was more attention from either the boys or girls.  Tweeird Zone moment number two, if you’re counting by overall scenes, came during music class.  Today, Michael was wearing hospital scrub-style pajama pants, and we both found out that they are very thin compared to the jeans or khakis he usually wears; the contact between us while we were playing our saxophones had an effect on him; and those hospital scrubs are not capable of hiding the observable reactions, if you catch my drift.  For once, I was one of the first students out of that class; and he was one of the last after apparently needing to fix a couple of things before putting his, um, instrument away.  I know, but that was the joke Rowen whispered to me when she caught up to me, and while I was a bit mortified that she’d noticed too; we were both laughing about it – that – the joke! – for the rest of the afternoon.

While it was an after-school play day, our first order of business once we’d been set free from Spanish class was to head over to the salon for the Easter hair appointments our Moms had booked for us with Liz.  Vicky and Liz were booked solid pretty much all week, so Liz didn’t have time to play with our hair like she does sometimes, but while I just went with getting my bangs trimmed and less than an inch off the back to even things up; Rowen let Liz change up her hair style a bit, and they used up the extra time that I hadn’t needed to do that.  They were both happy with the results, and I think Rowen’s new look is awesome.

We were just getting ready to head home from the salon when tweeird scene number three popped up; though this time, it was Rowen who entered the tweeird zone while I was just there to witness it.  ‘Tommy’ walked into the shop with his girlfriend while we were paying our bill.  They both did a double-take when they saw Rowen, though Tommy managed to recover from the wide-eyed open-mouthed reaction before it was noticed by the wrong girl; and he dodged some potential tween trouble of his own.  The little chat we had with them before leaving was awkward, and Rowen had gone into full shy mode, but once we were out of sight of the salon windows; I hugged her enthusiastically, and she did a little happy dance before we hurried home to get our homework done and hopefully still have a little time to play before dinner.

We ended up just hanging out in the lounge and my room, and after getting our homework done; we played a little music, and had a little telepathic chat with Ethan and Ehlana while Mom was busy.  The rest of the evening has been fairly quiet.  Mom did separate Magi lessons – one with Ethan and Ehlana while Dad and I took care of the kitchen clean-up; and mine right after that while the twins played with their science lab on the conference table in the office.  It was a full bath and bed routine night for them, and I helped Mom with that; spent some quality time in my Jacuzzi once they were tucked in; and buzzed through my language and archive studies with a little time-phase help.  I made an exception for that tonight mostly because I feel the need for more than four or five hours of sleep.  We only have one more school day before the Easter weekend, and even though we aren’t going to have a house full of guests; we still have a lot going on just with the extra church services and family fun.

I probably shouldn’t waste any of that extra nap time, so...

...until next time, this is Magi Master Cassie Proctor; logging out!

Cassie's Journal - March 26, 2013



Guys wearing pajama pants is now officially a fad at school; and quite a few of the boys in Grade Seven and Eight jumped onboard.  I have no idea why, but Jake and Dillon were wearing pajama pants too; and Michael and Tim were following Jake’s lead.  Since it was another cold day, I think they’re all a bit crazy, but I also agree with the majority of girls at school who think that Jake Stone looks really great in the hospital scrubs he was wearing.

I am not commenting on how any of the guys in my class looked in their pajama pants, other than to suggest that one of the guys was incredibly brave to wear his superhero jammies.  If you’re reading this in some decades-distant future, and know both that story and the identity of the guy; I’ll guess that his future self regrets the youthful indiscretion.

There isn’t a lot else to report from school.  Michael and Lisa are still quietly having problems that they’re mostly still keeping between them; since there isn’t a peep about them on the school grapevine.  Michael joined Rowen and me for our lunchtime music practice; and I think that escaping into the music for a while helped; though he wasn’t having as much fun with it as he usually does.  I knew there had been more of a shift in his relationship with Lisa when she didn’t even check up on us once while we practiced; and while I was still getting the cold shoulder from her today, it wasn’t either better or worse because Michael spent that time with me.  A joke at the start of our first afternoon class about Michael spending his lunchtime all alone in the music room with two girls while in his pajamas didn’t even register the reaction the guy making the joke had hoped for from Lisa; and I wished even more that I could help her.  Hopefully, her best friends will be able to do that instead.

Since it was another cold day with a snowy-slushy mess on the ground; Rowen and I didn’t mind getting back to our usual Tuesday after-school jobs.  I haven’t mentioned Aunt Leanne’s morning sickness problems since before she took Mom on their weekend away in Florida, mostly because she’s only had minor issues in the mornings since her last batch of tough days; but today wasn’t a good one for her, and Mom spent parts of the day helping her while she was sick.  That included most of the time between when Alicia and I got home after school and dinnertime.  While I worked in the office; Alicia took care of Ethan and Ehlana; and Mom went over to be with Aunt Leanne at her place.

That was something that was different now that Grandma and Grandpa were home.  Aunt Leanne had extra parental support, and if she needed Mom; Ethan and Ehlana had an extra babysitting option during the school day.  While Aunt Leanne had wanted Mom with her through the worst moments of the day, Grandma helped her too; and she and Grandpa took care of cooking and delivering dinner for four that they shared with Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne while Mom came home to have dinner with Dad, Ethan, Ehlana, and me.

Aunt Leanne probably should have taken the night off, but they’d set up a wedding plans meeting, and the only change they made was to have it at her house.  Mom, Grandma, and Aunt Deborah were all there for that for an hour or so after dinner, and then Mom came home again so that she could do some Magi lessons with Ethan, Ehlana, and me before bedtime.  Just in case I didn’t have enough on the go, my lesson came with a big archive assignment; so I had a lot to work on after coming up to my room for the night.

Tonight, I started with the archive homework before moving on to studying the first of three scripts that are used to write Punjabi, but my mind wasn’t totally on my work tonight; and I also took a little break between the archive and language work for a little therapeutic music practice on my keyboard.  It’s late, and I don’t really want to go into the details, but I’m having a tough time dealing with the empathic stress at school with Michael and Lisa.  It’s a pointless exercise, but I’m also wondering if things between them would have been different if Mom and I had never moved here – something I’m sure Lisa is wondering too.  The Sight doesn’t allow me to look back and then forward into ‘what might have been’ futures, and even if that was possible, I’m sure the same rules would apply; and I’d just see all of the possible choices and outcomes from that point onward.  I can’t help how I’m feeling right now, and knowing what I do about the future doesn’t make things any easier – especially since, as I’ve mentioned before, Ethan, Ehlana, and I don’t get to have all of the details; and I know almost nothing at all about Lisa’s future.

Wow, that ended up being a lot for ‘not going into the details’.  I think I’ll just wrap this up; cuddle with Mandy; and stare vacantly at nothing while I wait for my brain to shut down enough to get some sleep.

Until next time, this is Magi Master Cassie Proctor; logging out!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cassie's Journal - March 25, 2013



There is a lot to write about today, but I’ll start with the top news in town – the groundbreaking for the lab; and for the first houses in the news subdivision.

We didn’t exactly have a beautiful Spring day for those big events, and the original plan had not included plowing away snow and slush before starting the digs; but it was still exciting – even for those of us who were busy and school or work, and didn’t actually get to see any of the action until after school.  There was a little ceremony for the lab groundbreaking that Mom took Ethan and Ehlana over for; and Uncle Adam was there as the representative of the company.  Aunt Leanne was there too, since her real estate business dealt with all of the land purchases and sales; but Dad had meetings in the office to deal with, and only a few people even knew that he’d been much more involved in the projects than just dealing with the legal side of the property contracts.

Ethan and Ehlana were fired up all day; and kept Mom busy trying to keep up with them.  I understand why they’re so excited, but on the other hand, the lab project is going to be nothing more than a very big, deep hole in the ground for months before we’ll see anything built above ground.  They’re keeping up with every detail practically as the work is happening, but I’ll probably just get updates from them and during our future plans meetings.

Moving on to my school day news, the top Grade Seven story isn’t actually a story yet; but will be one anytime now.  It’s a little disturbing for me, because I have someone who thinks that she hates me right now.  Lisa doesn’t really hate me, but she is hurt, mad, and jealous; and it’s a lot easier for her to focus all of that on me instead of Michael.  Being an ultra-sensitive empath can be tough; and today was definitely one of those difficult days.  I wish I could help both of them, but I’m the last person Lisa would want a shoulder to cry on from; and I have no idea how to help Michael without making things worse for Lisa.

If everyone and everything seemed to be conspiring to push me over ‘the line’ last week; the tween drama today went a long way toward convincing me that staying safely where I am right now is the smart decision.

Moving along, it’s been cold all day with a mixed bag of wet snow and drizzle that didn’t make playing outside a particularly interesting option.  Rowen and I still hopped on our new bikes and did a quick ride around to check out the action at the lab and behind her house and Aunt Leanne and Uncle Adam’s place.  The first day of work was already winding down by then, and there wasn’t much to actually see except all of the equipment and some holes in the ground; but it was still exciting.  Rowen isn’t sure how she’s feeling about having back-yard neighbors instead of open fields beyond her back yard, but she does think it’s cool that the Seagers bought that house.  Getting to watch those houses being built will be cool too; though the noise might get annoying sometimes.

Since we didn’t want to ride our new bikes or play outside in the cold today, after doing our little construction sightseeing tour, we spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out in the lounge; doing our homework; playing music; and having a little chat with Ethan and Ehlana.  Rowen went over to the computer store shortly after Dad got home, and I helped to make dinner after she left while Ethan and Ehlana supervised, and we all gave Dad the daily recap.

That reminds me to mention there was something else weird going on at school today.  Some of the high school boys were wearing pajama pants today – and by some, I mean a quarter or more of them.  Yes, that is only ten or twelve guys out of forty-something, but that was enough to get everyone’s attention.  I haven’t heard the real reason why they decided to do this, or who instigated it.  There were jokes filtering down to the lower grades that it was a ploy to try and get the high school girls to wear their pajamas and nighties to school too.  Jacob and Dillon were not part of that trend-setting group, but we’ll see if they join in before this little episode of goofiness runs its course.

Considering my earlier comment about being glad that I haven’t crossed over yet, suggesting that it would be fun to see Jake Stone wearing his pajama pants to school too – or in whatever he does wear to bed, as Rowen suggested to me – is probably wrong; but we couldn’t have been the only girls thinking that today!

Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Adam, and Aunt Leanne all came over after dinner mostly to have the first future plans meeting that Grandma and Grandpa could attend since in nearly three months; and to continue catching up with them on what we’d all been doing while they were away.  For the future plans part of the night, we mostly went over the construction schedule for the next couple of months; continued work on some of our mid-term projects; and brought Grandma and Grandpa up to speed with the latest news on the overall plan.  They had some new suggestions for ways that we could support new or expanding local businesses beyond what we’re already doing with construction-related companies; and they’re right about some of the things we’ll need in a growing town.  Maybe that’s something I’ll get involved with – especially when it comes to having more shopping options!

We spent an hour and a half working, and then moved into the living room for drinks, snacks, and an extended bedtime story-share before Ethan and Ehlana were tucked into bed by our grandparents.  I came up to bed then too.  While it had already been a long, busy day by then, I wanted to get started on my next language study; and began my nightly computing with that.  Punjabi is one of the Indo-Iranian languages, and while knowing the language will be helpful for our family business interests in Pakistan, India, and elsewhere, I actually chose to study it next because it connects Indo-Iranian and Aryan languages with tonal languages; so it will help me learn many other languages once I’ve mastered it.  Since almost nobody else who might read this in the future will be interested in languages like I am; I’ll leave that little lesson right there, and move on.

I worked on my first Punjabi lessons for nearly two hours; added another hour of work in the archives; and wrapped up with my usual nightly computing before getting around to this archive update.  It’s past two now; I’ve had enough fun for one day; and that’s all I have to report anyway, so...

...until next time, this is Magi Master Cassie Proctor; logging out!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cassie's Journal - March 24, 2013



Welcome home, Grandma and Grandpa!

Getting to have dinner with them at the Inn, and spending a few hours together was a great way to wrap up the March Break holiday, but let’s recap the rest of the day first.

Mom, Dad, and I had agreed to skip Tai Chi this morning in favor of a little extra sleep.  I actually did manage to get a few hours of down time, though it didn’t really feel like more than a cat nap when we first woke up.  The crazy Sunday morning rush kicked in almost immediately.  I helped Mom and Dad with four toddlers, and then Rowen and Rebecca helped Mom with them – and with Lindsay – while Dad and I headed outside for another round of shoveling.  There was maybe another inch or so of the white stuff to get off the driveway, sidewalks, van, and truck; but it didn’t take all that long to get everything done – especially after Michael joined in to help us.

Tim, Patrick, and Scott were the last to wake up, and the two younger boys had needed some encouragement that Rowen and I let Ethan and Aiden provide for them with a little constructive pouncing.  Mom had the breakfast cooking well underway by the time Dad, Michael, and I got back inside.  The usual juggling act continued from there, and my part of the circus included helping Mom with the rest of the cooking; eating quickly so I could take a turn having a shower and getting ready for church; and taking a turn or two watching Ethan, Ehlana, and the other younger kids.  Somehow, we all managed to be ready to go on time; and then Mom and Dad both drove loads of kids over to the church after Naomi and Aiden were each picked up by their parents first.  Dad had four out of five of the boys with him, and I was very happy that Rowen did not have any entertainment opportunities that might have happened if Michael and Tim had been in the minivan with us.

It’s Palm Sunday, so we – the kids and teens – were in the sanctuary for more of the service than usual before being sent off to Sunday school.  The teen praise team helped out with some of the music; some of the kids and teens were involved with the Palm Sunday story skits; and once we were in our Sunday school classes, we split our time between a bible lesson about Palm Sunday and more Easter weekend practices for the kids and teens involved in some or all of the services next weekend.  There was lots of time to get everything done because today’s service was more than an hour and a half long.

Rowen isn’t here tonight as I write this, but she’d be reminding me that I should back up and mention that all was not well in the land of tween when she and I walked into the sanctuary with Rebecca, Michael, Tim, and the remainder of our little sleepover gang.  We stopped to wait just inside the doors for Mom and Dad to join us, but Lisa and Nora had been waiting for Michael and Tim; and neither of them looked very impressed to see their boyfriends hanging out with us.  The whole sleepover news flash went over like a ton of bricks too, so I’ll guess that any details they hear about will just make things worse.

Tim tried to help mitigate the potential girlfriend problem by immediately going to hang out with Nora and sit with her family, but Michael had Ethan in his arms, and didn’t even try to pass him off to me after Lisa joined us.  They eventually went to sit with Rebecca and his parents after Mom and Dad caught up with us, but Lisa didn’t look at all happy for the rest of the morning.

And before I move on; new underwear day two was only a little less weird than it was yesterday.

It took a while to get home after the service ended.  Nearly everyone had driven, and that meant a line-up in front of the church that was mostly to keep the girls from needing to navigate slippery sidewalks in dress shoes.  Mom and Dad only had Ethan, Ehlana, Rowen and me to take home with them, and they invited Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne to have lunch with us.  Rowen’s parents were working at the store again for the last day of the holiday weekend; so she was spending the rest of the day with me until after the buffet dinner at the Inn.  Violet was home for lunch too, but she didn’t get home until after doing the goodbyes with Dillon and dropping him off at the Inn.

I was hoping that her sleepover at Dillon’s house would be of more interest to Aunt Leanne than grilling me about everything that didn’t happen last night with Michael and Tim; but she was happy to multi-task.  Having Dad, Uncle Adam, and Ethan there may have saved me from getting teased about the parts of our shopping trip that Aunt Leanne was most interested in – that, and the girls’ rules that prohibit her from gossiping about those back room purchases.  She had more than enough material to use without that, though, and even though I still mostly had fun despite being one of the main entertainment targets; I was really glad when lunch was over and Rowen and I could escape to my room for a while.

Violet needed to pack up and head home then – especially since she was in for a messy drive home; but we let her have that time with Mom and Aunt Leanne while Dad and Uncle Adam took care of Ethan and Ehlana.  She left for Woodvale by a quarter to two; and Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne headed over to their place then too.

I was thinking about having a nap right about then, and Ethan, Ehlana, and Mom did go and do that, but Rowen and I ended up going for a slushy little bike ride instead.

That change in plans happened because Michael came over to pick up the overnight bags that he and Rebecca had left here so they wouldn’t need to take them to the Inn from the church.  He had Tim with him, and they were going to goof around on their bikes while Michael was on his afternoon break.  Rowen was responsible for getting us invited to go riding too, but I’ll admit that I was just as enthusiastic as she was about showing off our new bikes and taking them out for a spin.  We froze our butts off doing that, but had a total blast until a band of rain rolled through and put an end to our ride.  Being cold and damp by the time we got home gave Rowen yet another excuse to keep hanging out with Michael and Tim; and Ethan and Ehlana were happy to help her out with getting them to stay for an afternoon hot chocolate and bakery snack break that stretched out until Michael really needed to hurry back to the Inn.

Grandma and Grandpa were delayed a bit by the weather, so our dinner plans were pushed back to the late buffet.  That gave Rowen and I time to have showers and clean up from our bike ride; play dress up; and spend some extra time doing our hair in braids and curls.  Mom and Dad drove us over to Grandma and Grandpa’s house when they were nearly home, and we were there to help them upload the van and get everything inside.  They needed a little time to freshen up before we all went over to the Inn, so we didn’t get there until nearly a half-hour after the late buffet started.

That change in plans also made it possible for Rowen’s parents and brother to join us for dinner; and there were quite a few store owners and their families celebrating the end of a busy March Break shopping week by having dinner there too after closing their shops and stores for the day.  Since we hadn’t seen Grandma and Grandpa in so long, Ethan, Ehlana, Rowen, and I got to sit at the double table that had been pushed together for us with them, Mom and Dad, Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne, and Uncle Nick and Aunt Deborah.

Grandpa provided most of the dinner entertainment with his tall – I mean travel – tales.  Ethan and Ehlana particularly enjoyed the improbable stories about their run-ins with Hobbits in New Zealand; Tasmanian Devils in Tasmania; and unbelievably gigantic whales while scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef.  I was happy to sit back, enjoy the stories, and try not to give Aunt Leanne any opportunities to tease me or play matchmaker.

I was mostly successful in that mission right up until I made the fateful decision to go into the kitchen to make sure Dillon was doing okay after having to say goodbye to Violet; and to share a round of goodnight hugs with Miranda, Jacob, and the rest of my friends.  It’s a good thing that we were one of the last groups of customers leaving the Inn by then; and that Michael wouldn’t have to get teased for long before he’d be able to escape and go home.

There’s no way I could sit here now and write that I wasn’t thrilled with his reaction to seeing me tonight.  I’d already hugged Stephanie, Jake, and Dillon by the time he walked into the main kitchen from the back room, and while he wasn’t at risk of dropping dishes or anything; he did stop dead in his tracks and lose track of several long moments while staring at me.  That earned him a hug; which ended up being at least as tweeird for me as it probably was for him.

Note to me – for the next however long it takes, use extreme caution when choosing hugging targets.  Tonight’s lesson came courtesy of the combination of new underwear, satin shirt, and another cashmere sweater that combined to make that hug with Michael very pleasantly uncomfortable.

I am not crossing over!  Repeat as often as necessary!

Since Michael was still more than a little dazed and unresponsive by the time I’d finished the rest of the hugs with his parents and Rebecca, I wasn’t surprised when Miranda had to pass that little news flash on to my family; and she and Aunt Leanne spent a few minutes teasing me about it before we headed home.  Regardless of the tweeird factor, that little memory was worth getting teased over; so I just went along with it and had fun too.

Grandma and Grandpa were tired, but still used to a different time zone, so they came home with us so we could talk with them for another hour or so; and do the bedtime story with Ethan and Ehlana.  Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne stopped in too, and Aunt Leanne had time for a little bonus teasing directed my way while we made up hot drinks for everyone before moving into the living room.  it was wind down time after that, and though I’d thought about starting my usual nightly studies after coming up to bed, the lack of sleep from last night has caught up with me; and I don’t have a few more hours of play time left in me.

When I think about it, this entire week has had a lot of strange moments mixed in with all of the fun.  We didn’t get anything even remotely close to the warm Spring weather we’d been hoping for a week ago Friday when it had been so beautiful, but we’ve still managed to have a really great holiday anyway.  I’m probably in the minority of kids and teens who are excited about going back to school in the morning, but then we only have a four day week anyway before the Easter holiday; and there’s sure to be a lot of holiday themed fun to go along with the regular work.

There could be some tween drama in my immediate future too, but I’m really not all that worried about it even though I wish that Lisa wasn’t upset with me – or with Michael because of me.  I’m too tired to think about that tonight; and might even be exhausted enough that I won’t be kept awake thinking about that hug with Michael either.

I am not crossing over; and I will not dream of cute, cuddly boys – BUNNIES!

Until next time, this is Magi Master Cassie Proctor; logging out!

Cassie's Journal - March 23, 2013



This has been one of those very strange days.

Having Dad home again always makes Tai Chi more fun; and that made for a great start to the day.  Doing the full country breakfast was good too, and Mom went over the work assignments with us while we ate.  For me, after helping Rowen to get her things back home where she was going to be helping her Mom; job one was to go with Dad and Aunt Leanne over to Grandma and Grandpa’s house to get it ready for their return home tomorrow.  We couldn’t do much of the outdoor work that Dad would have liked to get done if the weather had been nicer, but we did a quick once-through of dusting, vacuuming, cleaning, and bed-making.  That only took us a bit over an hour to get done, and then Dad and I went home again to work there while Aunt Leanne went grocery shopping.

Alicia wasn’t working with Mom today because she and Erin were babysitting tonight instead.  Violet had been helping Mom while we were gone, but shortly after we got back, she went to spend a little time with Dillon before he’d be working at the Inn.  Getting ready for incoming kids tonight was my next assignment; and the babysitting had morphed into another big sleepover event.  I needed to get the extra beds in Ethan’s and Ehlana’s rooms ready for Aiden and Naomi; two second-floor guest rooms ready for the guys; and the two extra bedrooms on the third floor set-up for the girls.  Add in three bathrooms to clean, and that kept me busy through until we stopped to have a late lunch at a bit after one.

Cue up strange moment of the day number one.

Mom took me shopping at Palmer’s and Taylor Shoes.  It was not a coincidence that Rowen and her Mom just happened to be available to go along.  While getting new dresses and shoes for Easter was the advertised reason for the little mother and daughter outing, the weird came when Rowen and I found out that our Moms had decided that we also needed to shop for our first ‘real’ bras.

Rowen was thrilled about reaching that little development milestone; I wasn’t nearly as excited; and we were both a little shy about going through the fitting process with Abby for the first time.  Choosing a new underwear wardrobe continued the weird for me, but I am really, really, glad that Aunt Leanne was not along to offer her advice.  That would have likely escalated the weird to ultra-scary!  Even without her there, I was having a little trouble dealing with the transition from plain and simple to lacey or satiny bra and panty sets that made me look and feel a lot different – and emotionally uncomfortable.

We’d needed to do that first before shopping for dresses, and while that wasn’t nearly as weird as the bra and underwear shopping had been, I was nearly as uncomfortable to discover that we were apparently ready for the next level in dresses too.  I love dressing up and looking my best as much as the next girl, but looking in the mirror and seeing the same ‘wow’ factor that I see in Mom or Aunt Leanne when they’re dressed up, if not quite to that level yet, was high on the weird scale too.

I didn’t feel that way at all about seeing Rowen in the dresses she picked out, and while Tommy does have a girlfriend, if he – and every other guy our age – doesn’t notice her next weekend in a big way; then he seriously needs to get his eyes tested.  Mom and Patricia seemed to find the entire visit with Abby entertaining, and the fact that Rowen and I were practically the opposites of our usual selves may have had a lot to do with why they seemed to be amused so much of the time.  Between the four of us, we picked out a total of eleven new dresses, and Abby was a happy camper by the time we paid for everything and moved on to Taylor’s to pick up new shoes to go with the dresses.  That wasn’t as weird for me, though Rowen and I moved up a level or two with our choices of dress shoes too; and the new footwear definitely matches our dresses.

After splitting up and going home, I was only at the house long enough to put my new clothes away before going over to Rowen’s to help her pack again for our second sleepover in a row – and the last one of our March Break.  it had been raining off and on by then, so we waited for a break to make the dash back to my house; and we were there in time to take over watching Ethan and Ehlana while Mom and Dad got ready for their date night with Uncle Adam, Aunt Leanne, Uncle Nick, Aunt Deborah, and quite a few of their collective friends.

The next couple of hours were fairly standard for our end of a parents’ date night.  Alicia and Erin came over in time to handle the kid incoming.  Philip brought Naomi over first, and over the next half hour, Aiden, Patrick, Scott, and Lindsay were dropped off by one or both parents.  Aunt Leanne was a designated driver, but Mom and Dad went to pick them up so she’d have the extra seating in the minivan for driving their friends home from Sheldon’s whenever the party started wrapping up for the night.  Violet was staying to help Alicia and Erin with our pizza-making dinner party, but then she was going to be staying overnight at Dillon’s house; and planned on hanging out with him, Jake, and Stephanie at the Inn while they finished up their work for the night.

Making our personal pizzas was fun, even with some goofing around by Patrick and Scott; and we made it through dinner and the clean-up without any major problems.  The second round of weird didn’t start until the rest of our overnight guests arrived.  Miranda and Jacob were two of the winners of a kid-free night, and they dropped Rebecca, Michael, and Tim off on their way home from the Inn before getting ready to meet up with everyone else at Sheldon’s.

There really isn’t an easy way for me to write this, so I’ll just say that my old training bras were, well, holding things in closer to my chest than the new bras do.  I didn’t need to sense anything empathically to know that Michael noticed the change.  I should add that Rowen’s dealing with a similar change, and that Michael wasn’t the only guy in the house to notice both of us.  The really weird part of that, at least when Michael and Tim first got here, was that I was trying to be my normal, fired-up self; and Rowen was back to being even a bit more shy than usual.

The lounge and my room was kid central.  Patrick and Scott had already taken over the lounge to play video games; and they dragged Michael and Tim into doing that with them for a while.  Rebecca was again helping Alicia and Erin as an unofficial junior babysitter; and we all played with Lindsay and the four younger kids.  That included some music time, and Michael joined us for a while; playing my saxophone while I played my keyboard with some rotating help from Lindsay, Naomi, and Ehlana.

Alicia and Erin had Ethan, Ehlana, Naomi, and Aiden tucked in and possibly off to sleep by nine-thirty.  They cut Patrick and Scott off from their gaming at ten-thirty; and didn’t really have them in their second-floor room for the night at eleven.  Lindsay had fallen asleep before then; and they’d moved her into the bedroom across the hall from the lounge.  The top weirdness of my day started shortly after eleven when Alicia, Erin, and Rebecca all decided to go downstairs to watch a movie in the living room; leaving Michael, Tim, Rowen, and me on our own in the lounge.

I don’t really want to know what they were laughing about as they went downstairs, but I can probably guess.

So there we were, just a couple of hours ago, just hanging out in the lounge.  My emotions were already all out of whack from our afternoon shopping adventure, and I was far too acutely aware of how my new underwear felt under my soft, cashmere sweater and jeans without having to think about how Michael was feeling about me too.  Three out of four of us voted to watch a movie, and I voted to be scared.  Why?  Because I’ve been having fun while feeling really uncomfortable too.

And before you think it; no, I am not crossing over!

We picked an action-comedy; Michael and Tim added bonus entertainment when they needed to deal with Patrick and Scott trying to spy on us and attempt a few pranks; and while we haven’t really spent time together like we were doing tonight, I’m sure that Michael and Tim had as much fun as Rowen and I did.  The uncomfortable side of that couple of hours came from the fact that we were in my lounge, and, except for the interruptions from Patrick and Scott, mostly alone with guys that both have girlfriends.  We weren’t doing anything to really feel uncomfortable about, but I was in the tweeird zone for sure anyway.  Add in the ongoing issue I was having with my reaction to wearing the new underwear, and I had to keep resisting the urge to move as far away from Michael or Tim as possible and still watch the movie – not that we were cuddling on the sofa or anything like that either.

No, Rowen, I do not wish that I was cuddling with Michael now even though we are still warming up from being outside – and that’s not nearly as funny as you seem to think it is.  Okay, maybe it is that funny, but I am not laughing.

Going outside was Michael’s idea, and Alicia and Erin gave us their blessing when we told them we wanted to shovel the driveway and sidewalks before Mom and Dad got home from the pub.  That seemed like a great idea, and we had a blast doing the work together right up until the time that Aunt Leanne pulled the minivan into the driveway – and caught us in the middle of a post-shoveling snowball fight.  I’m beginning to wonder if she recruited Mother Nature for her matchmaking too, since their timing getting home couldn’t have been worse for me or better for them from an entertainment perspective.

That’s right; Cassie Proctor was involved in another snow incident with Michael.  Nobody cared that Michael had slipped and fallen while dodging a snowball that I hadn’t even thrown at him, or that I’d only landed on him because he’d pulled me off of my feet when I tried to help him up.  That was bad enough; the teasing was worse; and I don’t even want to think about how that new, lacey underwear was making me feel while I was lying there despite the fact that Michael and I were both bundled up in our winter coats, gloves, and hats.

There hadn’t been a lot of snow, and it hadn’t taken long to clear the driveway and sidewalks.  The fact that it was late kept Aunt Leanne from teasing me too much about catching Michael and me in the snow, but she had a little time for a few zingers while she waited to give Alicia and Erin a ride to Alicia’s house, and Dad, Michael, and Tim went with Uncle Adam to his place to get their driveway and sidewalks cleared.

It was heading toward two o’clock by the time we were all inside again.  Mom and Dad went straight to bed then, and so did Rebecca, but my best friend in the whole world decided that she hadn’t had enough fun yet; and suggested that we – and Michael and Tim – should warm up with cups of hot chocolate first before splitting up and going to bed.  Add in Olde Bakery snacks, and that was a recipe for another half hour or so of tweeirdtainment – at least from my perspective.  Going up the back stairs after that reminded me way too much of stories from Dad and Aunt Leanne from when they were teens; and I’m not going to comment on why Rowen was grinning the way she was when we said goodnight to Michael and Tim on the second floor before continuing on up to my room.

Okay, I have two comments about that:

          1. He has a girlfriend.
          2. I am not crossing over!!!

Moving on, but not really; getting changed and ready for bed felt weird tonight too.  That was definitely a combination of the new underwear, and the fact that Michael and Tim were literally just a handful of feet away while we were getting changed – even though they were below us and there was a solid floor and ceiling between us.  Having scenes involving Superman-like x-ray vision playing in my mind did not help.

I’m going to need to not dream about bunnies and puppies tonight - soft, cute, and cuddly bunnies and puppies.

So we haven’t really been in bed that long; and I’ve been working on this most of the time while Rowen’s been having fun teasing me.  Though we’re alone, and all is quiet in the house; the tweeird continues for me.  Now it’s the absence of that new lacey bra that feels strange; along with the inescapable realization that I really liked the way it feels to wear a real bra – even with all of the emotional turbulence I’ve had today.

Rowen Emerson, that is so wrong!  Here are two more comments for you:

1. You should not be messing up a perfectly good dream-catching technique by telling me that Michael might be dreaming about auburn-haired Playboy bunnies with emerald-green eyes.

2. I AM NOT CROSSING OVER!

With that said, I’m going to wrap this up, snuggle with Mandy, and possibly stare at the ceiling for however long it takes to pass out for a couple of hours.

Until next time, this is Magi Master Cassie Proctor; logging out!