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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!

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Happy summer - or winter - reading!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Cassie's Journal - June 30, 2013



Happy 1st anniversary, Grandpa Grant and Grandma Eleanor!  I only got to see you for a couple of minutes at church; but I hope you’ve had a fun day.

June is almost over now, but Rowen and I don’t plan on staying awake just to see the start of July tonight – it’ll happen without us being conscious to witness the event; and it’s been a long, busy day.

We started the morning out with Tai Chi at Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s.  We should really do that with them more often, but that’s getting harder to make time for when we’re all so busy; and Aunt Leanne and Uncle Adam can start their day a bit later than we need to most days.  We had breakfast there too, and while Dad and Violet helped out with the cooking; Mom and I had the early time slots for showers and getting dressed up for church; which we again tag-teamed doing while getting the twins ready for the morning too.

I’m sure that I was right about Mark’s mother appreciating the Jacuzzi, but that couldn’t have been the only reason why Aunt Grace was smiling so happily this morning.  Aunt Leanne probably needed some details, but I’m good with knowing that Aunt Grace and Mark are happy, so if you need more information than that; you aren’t going to find it here.

While last night was more about getting to know Aunt Grace’s in-laws-to-be, the wedding was our main breakfast conversation topic.  Aunt Leanne led that chat, and they went over most of the schedule for this week – including the meet-the-Pastors time they had at, and after, dinner tonight.  That part of the morning was fun, and we were kept entertained while cleaning up too, but my favorite part of the morning was walking to church with Michael, Rowen, and Rebecca; and getting teased by certain members of my family when he sat with me during the service instead of with his family.  We had fun helping out with some work that the teens needed done during Sunday school to get ready for the service they’re leading next Sunday; and I walked with Michael to the Inn after church before hurrying home to help Mom and Dad with the lunch barbeque they were hosting.  There was some tweeird while we were at church too, but it’s been too good a day to bother including any of the details.

Rowen met up with me at home after she got changed and packed an overnight bag for the sleepover we’d decided to have this morning after I’d gotten the schedule for the day.  We were put to work setting up tables and chairs first before moving on to do whatever else Mom needed us to help with in the kitchen.  The men were all outside as required when grilling is going on; and Ethan needed to be with them too while Ehlana wanted to stay in the kitchen and near to Aunt Deborah and Leah.  When it was time to eat, Rowen and I took Ethan and Ehlana down to the river so we could have our lunch on the dock and let the adults entertain themselves.

There was more work to do after lunch, but that didn’t take long, and then Ethan, Ehlana, Rowen, and I got to go along on the walking tour of the town that Uncle Adam, Aunt Grace, and Mark took Mark’s parents on while the rest of our family and friends moved on to doing other things – like nap time for Aunt Leanne, Aunt Deborah, and Leah – for a few hours.  That included a bit of shopping while we were wandering around town; a visit to the falls where I got to tell the Witch Falls Witch story; and a walk around the park path before we wrapped up our tour with a little playground time that Michael joined us for while on his afternoon break.

When we got back home, Michael, Rowen, and I took Ethan and Ehlana swimming for a while, and then we had time for an ice cream snack break before Michael needed to get back to the Inn.  There was still a little time to play after he left, so Rowen and I kept the twins entertained while Mom and Dad were both working in the office until it was time for all of us to get ready for dinner at the Inn.  I wanted to get dressed up because we were going out with Mark’s parents for the first time, but the added bonus of seeing Michael’s reaction when I stopped into the kitchen for some hugs with Jacob, Jake, Dillon, and Rebecca was pretty good too.

Yes, he got a hug and kiss too – and was teased about it by the other guys.

Backing up for a second, one of the highlights of our tour around town was at the Olde Bakery; where Mark’s father had his first introduction to one of the best advantages of living in Witch Falls.  His reaction to the buffet dinner was even more entertaining.  Rowen and I were at a kids’ table with Ethan and Ehlana, so we weren’t in on a lot of the dinner conversation; but we did hear enough to know that Mark’s parents both loved discovering our town’s best-kept secret.

Our time at the Inn was as entertaining as always, and the food was amazing; but my highlight from there was when I went back into the kitchen before we left; ‘borrowed’ Michael for a couple of minutes; and had everyone in the kitchen laughing at us when I led him into the back room so we could share the goodnight kiss I’d been wishing we’d gotten together for last night.  Hopefully Michael thought that the kiss was worth the razzing he was getting even before I was out of the kitchen.  I was teased too, but a ‘that’s my girl’ hug from Miranda and the comments from Aunt Leanne and Aunt Grace were all much nicer than the jibes Jake and the other guys were dishing out to Michael.

Rowen needed to tease me too, but she waited until we were home with Ethan and Ehlana to do that while Mom and Dad went on with the rest of the adults to Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s house for the meeting with the Pastors.  Going along had been an option, but we had more fun going home; playing some games and music; and wrapping up our night with a movie and cuddle time in the lounge.

Ethan and Ehlana went to bed at ten-thirty; Rowen had a quick visit with my Jacuzzi; and we were in bed with Mandy by eleven.  I had most of my nightly computing done by then, and Violet and Dillon are downstairs; so we don’t need to wait for Mom and Dad to get home.  Rowen’s running out of chat material and steam; we’re both going to be doing holiday weekend work around our houses; and that really is all I have for tonight, so...

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

Cassie's Journal 2013 Part One Now Available!

The latest consolidation of Cassie's Journals for the first half of 2013 has been published on Smashwords this weekend!  You'll find the link to this new, free book at the top left; and all four of the Heirs of the Magi Archives books(so far) are free to download; so if you're new to Witch Falls, it's a great way to catch up on Cassie's story.

The annual Smashwords Summer-Winter sale begins on July 1st, 2013, and Magi Master - Book Two of the Heirs of the Magi Trilogy - will be on sale for 50% off during July.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Cassie's Journal - June 29, 2013



This has been a busy, fun, and occasionally strange day.

Tai Chi with two second-floor hecklers trying to throw me off while I exercised in Rowen’s back yard would qualify as strange.  By the time I headed home to get started on my chores after breakfast, Patrick and Scott had made sure that Rowen and I had more than our fill of the strange and annoying.

I don’t really have much to report from the yard work part of my day.  Between our house and Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s place, we had lots of help to get ready for the Fourth of July and the wedding weekend.  Violet worked with Mom all day, and Alicia worked a bonus morning shift too.  Both sets of Proctor grandparents were helping out too; and though the teens that were now taking care of Uncle Adam’s lawn and gardens had already finished their work for the week; there had still been nearly as much to do there as at our house.  The only real break we took was lunch for everyone at our house, but jumping into the river to cool off every now and then happened fairly regularly.

The work part of my day – or most of it – was done by shortly before four when I was sent off to get cleaned up and ready for the welcome home dinner we were doing at Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s for Aunt Grace, Mark, and Mark’s parents.  Mom, Violet, and I tag-teamed getting cleaned up and changed while taking care of Ethan and Ehlana too; and we all managed to be ready to go in about forty-five minutes.  Everyone else was already at Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s by the time we arrived; and Ethan, Ehlana, and I were kept busy for a while with the welcome home hugs and kisses.

Aunt Grace was really busy, but that didn’t keep her from finding a little time to tease me about Michael and picking her wedding for my first date with him.  I had advised her about inviting Michael, and managed to get that news to her before Aunt Leanne did; but she still seemed surprised.  Then again, she seemed even more surprised to find out that I’m only about three inches shorter than she is now.  I have grown about an inch and a half since the last time we saw each other the weekend we were visiting them in Granite Park, but maybe she was just in denial while I was still four-foot-something tall.

Meeting Mark’s parents for the first time was fun.  Dr. Aaron Everett is a very young-looking sixty.  His hair is as blonde as Aunt Leanne’s, and he has very light blue eyes.  Mark inherited some features from both parents, but he and his father are nearly the same height and build; and it’s easy to see that they’re father and son despite the contrasts – like Mark’s black hair and steel-gray eyes.  My main first impression of Dr. Everett Senior is that he’s going to need some time and convincing before he’s going to understand why his son has chosen to give up a successful, lucrative career and move away from his family to our humble little town.  He’s really nice, and as low-key and unassuming as Mark is; but he’s having a tough time dealing with this change to what his own life plans had been; so there’s a strong empathic undercurrent that’s at odds to his outward demeanor that I’m sure Mom, Ethan, Ehlana, and I can all sense.

Mark’s mother, Lorelei, on the other hand, was giving off nothing but good vibes.  I wouldn’t say that he’s marrying a girl just like Mom, but there are some nice similarities between Aunt Grace and her soon-to-be mother-in-law that go beyond the fact that they’re almost exactly the same height.  Lorelei – Lori – has the black hair that her son inherited, and very dark blue eyes.  She’s as quiet and gentle as her husband and son; was smiling every time I saw her; and earned the twins’ seal of approval in under five seconds.  While her husband likes Aunt Grace despite his feelings about Mark’s decisions; she obviously loves Aunt Grace.  Seeing them together definitely reminded me a lot of Mom and Grandma.

Since having a Jacuzzi-equipped guest bathroom was high on her list of favorite surprises so far since getting to town was near the top of her good things about Witch Falls list; I’ll guess that she’ll be a little in love with Uncle Adam by tomorrow morning too.  Just kidding – she already loves Mark’s best friend.

We had a little spit of rain roll through while the main course for dinner was still on the grill, but it didn’t last long; and our outdoor dining plans didn’t need to be changed.  Since there was grandparent, aunt, and uncle support for Ethan and Ehlana; Mom and Aunt Leanne put me to work before and after dinner.  By the time everything was ready and we could sit down to eat, we had a bit over an hour to relax and enjoy our meal before needing to be up and running again so we could have the clean-up done in time for Mom and Dad’s baseball game.  There really isn’t much to report from dinner.  We mostly traded family and home town stories with Mark’s parents; there was some baby chat; and almost no mention of anything wedding-related.

Even though I really didn’t get to spend all that much time with them, I’ve had the warm fuzzies going on all night; and I’m really happy to have Aunt Grace and Mark home to stay – or at least they’ll be home to stay after they get back from their honeymoon.  I also love seeing them so happy.  It’s not as if they’ve been miserable whenever they couldn’t be together since they started dating; but that separation was probably harder on them that what Violet and Dillon have gone through for the past couple of years.  They could at least see each other every couple of weeks without needing to make major travel plans.

Speaking of ‘home’, Aunt Grace and Mark love theirs – though they aren’t being allowed to go inside until Uncle Blaine can be here to do that with them.  They’d done a walk-around before we’d even gotten there, so I missed that; but I did get to see the smiles on their faces every time they looked across the back yards toward their new house.

Getting back to the news of the day, baseball was the next entertainment event of the night; and the Fix-it Uppers were able to pull off a come-from-behind win against Sheldon’s Big Shots.  That hadn’t looked likely after we spotted the Big Shots to a five-run lead in the top of the first inning, but we chipped away at that lead while keeping pace with the additional runs being scored against us; and finished the job off with the four runs in the bottom of the seventh to earn the fifteen to fourteen win.

I don’t think that Mark’s parents were all that impressed with the caliber of the baseball; but they did seem to enjoy the extra-curricular action that was what most people found fun about the co-ed games.

While going to Sheldon’s after the game had been an option for the adults, and it still felt early to Mark and his parents while they adjust from west-coast time; everyone decided to go back to Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s house and end the day with a comparatively quiet visit.  Ethan, Ehlana, and I went along for that, but we only stayed until eleven o’clock; and then Grandma, Grandpa, Grandma Mercy, and Grandpa Duncan took us home; helped me to put the twins to bed; and then left me in charge until Mom and Dad got back while they went home to bed too.

I’ve been working on my computer since then.  Rowen and I had a little chat; there was some family business email to deal with; and my usual nightly computer checks are all done now too.  It isn’t quite midnight yet, and I’ll stay up until Mom and Dad – or Violet and Dillon – get home; but there isn’t anything else to report from today.  The non-news news is that I didn’t see Michael at all today; and I wish that I had.  We were both just busy at the wrong times for each other today, and except for when we’re at church; I’m sure it’ll be the same again tomorrow – this is going to be a busy holiday week at the Inn.

We’re both going to be busy this week, but I hope we aren’t going to have too many days where we don’t see each other much – and we should definitely make time to practice our goodnight kisses.  Since that wasn’t an option tonight, I think I’ll go play my keyboard for a while.  Maybe that’ll distract me from thinking too much about moonlight kisses and Michael until Mom and Dad get home and I can go to sleep – though I doubt it.

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

Cassie's Journal - June 28, 2013



Happy 13th birthday, Joshua!

We had some more rain roll through earlier this morning, but we had great weather for the rest of the day – including for Joshua’s party.

Since it was raining, Tai Chi was indoors this morning, and we went with a light breakfast before Dad left for work, and Mom, Violet, and I all spent the rest of the morning working on the family business while Alicia watched Ethan and Ehlana.  Lunch was another easy-meal, and then I was set free to meet up with Rowen and do a little bonus practice on our bikes while we waited for Michael and Tim.  We’re still working on the tricks, but we pretty much finalized the routine we’re going to be doing.  It’ll probably need to be adjusted a bit as the parade goes along; but we should be able to run through everything we want to do once every hundred yards or so of the parade route.

Michael had been finished work for the day after the noon clean-up; and we had time to go for an uninterrupted swim without Nora feeling the need to get Tim away from us today – probably because she was busy getting ready for Joshua’s party most of the afternoon.  We all needed to do that too, but Rowen and I didn’t start doing that until after four o’clock; and we didn’t need all that long to get showered and dressed appropriately for an outdoor party at Joshua’s family farm.  I even had time to pack my overnight bag and drop it off at Rowen’s house before Violet gave us – Michael, Rowen, and me – a ride there.

We were a bit early, but that just gave us time to have a little visit with Joshua and Sally before most of the members of the couples club arrived practically at the same time; and the tween games began.  That started with Vanessa and Nora’s grand entrance.  I have no doubt that they’d have earned top votes for hottest girls at the party if the boys were allowed a secret vote that wouldn’t get them in trouble with their girlfriends.  Michael agreed with me when I asked him, but before any girls reading this start thinking bad things about him; he also had a few comments on what he thought about dressing up like that for an outdoor party on a farm, and needed to assure me that Vanessa’s games were not going to change how he felt about me.

I guess that one big advantage of being a Magi Master tween is being able to know what others are feeling, but Michael doesn’t know that I can do that; and I’m glad that he trusts me enough to be honest – even with tween-dangerous topics like the hotness of other girls.

Vanessa seemed to be quite happy with Michael’s response the first time he saw her, and that was definitely a bit tweeird to be getting two very different empathic perspectives about the same scene that were near-opposites.  I’m trying to play nice, but these stupid little games really are annoying – especially since it should be fairly obvious by now that divide and conquer is not working on Michael.  Some of our friends have had enough of it too; and Sally gets special mention in this report because she went above and beyond the call to make sure that Michael, Rowen, and I were included in most of the fun tonight.  She could get away with that because even Vanessa and Nora would not start anything with the birthday boy’s girlfriend on his special day; but that didn’t keep Sally from joining me on the receiving end of the glares and frowns.

Her help didn’t keep us from being kept out of the loop some of the time, but even when that was happening – like during dinner – Sally made sure that we had fun anyway.  She had us sit with Joshua’s brother, sister, and a couple of cousins when the ‘friends’ tables were filled with no room left for us.  Joshua’s the middle child in his family, so Michael had fun talking football with his fifteen year-old brother, Ray – who is expecting to make the team this year and help Kyle Landry to win a championship – while Rowen and I kept nine-year old Gabrielle and one of her cousins entertained.  We seem to have a talent for that, so I guess there is some good that comes from being so awful at being a tween – we have a lot of younger girls around town who really love us.

Joshua’s parents were putting on a fairly large party for him, and there were more than fifty guests; which felt just like home to me – though it was different being out on a farm too.  Two things that I loved most were the extra space that allowed us to have a half-dozen games going on at once before and after dinner; and the pond that we could jump into to cool off whenever we needed to do that.  Those were also the two best examples for why some of the girls shouldn’t have come to the party dressed to perfection – and why croquet was the most strenuous game that Vanessa, Nora, or a handful of the other girls and women played.

Rowen and I earned some bonus points playing games and swimming from different groups of kids and tweens.  Gabrielle, her cousins, and some younger kids of family friends loved the fact that we were the only older girls willing to swing out and fall into the pond on the knotted rope that was tied to a big old tree next to the water; or play their favorite water games with them.  Some of the boys were interested in us while we were in swimsuits too; but not for the same reason.  Rowen’s grinning right now as I’m writing that because ‘Tommy’ was definitely one of the guys who were keeping an eye on Rowen – even though I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that he didn’t even realize that he was watching her a lot – especially any time there were other boys hanging around near us.

There wasn’t a dock or groomed path around the pond, so getting dirty feet went with the territory for anyone who did go swimming, and you collected some more mud from the squishy, muddy bottom of the pond when walking out; but the water was clear and refreshingly cool; and at about one hundred yards long by maybe seventy-five yards at its widest; there was lots of room to swim and play.

Michael, Rowen, and I had fun with the games we played too.  Our team won a volleyball match; we all played football for a half hour or so; the younger kids had us play a couple of games with them; and we wound up our gaming time with some Frisbee action before everyone was rounded up for the campfire once it started getting dark.

The younger kids were with us for that until around eleven o’clock, so the scary stories and music were family-rated.  Michael took a turn playing guitar twice – once before eleven and a second time shortly before Violet and Dillon came to pick us up at midnight.  Vanessa and Nora were still doing their best even then to keep us at the outer limits of the tween group, but Sally again intervened.  She and Joshua bridged the divide between most of the couples club and where we sat by the fire with his brother, some of the other teens, and Gabrielle and most of the younger kids.

Michael found out one of the advantages of taking the time to play with the younger kids when he was kept fed by a steady stream of toasted marshmallows and other treats – especially while he was playing guitar and leading the sing-along.  We earned some little girl giggles whenever we held hands, and glares from Vanessa; but other than a couple of hugs while we were playing games, the only romance news to report was a short goodnight kiss when we split up at my house when Violet and Dillon went inside; Michael went home; and Rowen and I walked over to her place.

Don’t tell me you’re disappointed, Rowen.  We all had a really good day; and I wouldn’t even think about acting like some of the other couples were tonight – especially when there were kids and parents around.  That’s definitely one of the reasons why I was glad that we left for home when we did; and you didn’t want to see any more of that action either.  There are some things we just don’t need to know about our friends!

Moving along, Joshua’s party wasn’t the first ‘family and friends’ birthday party we’ve had, but it was the one that felt most like the parties and campfires are with my family.  That’s one of the reasons why this is one of my favorite ‘friends’ parties so far; though having Michael sharing most of the fun with me made everything more entertaining and exciting.  We were able to leave the campfire without causing much of a disturbance to the happily cuddling couples by helping some of the adults with a cleanup and re-stocking visit before they either went inside until the end of the party or headed home with tired out kids.

We were ready to leave when Violet pulled into the driveway, and we took turns with condensed reports on what we’d each been doing this evening.  I’d missed out on dinner and a holiday and wedding pre-cooking adventure, and Grandpa Duncan and Grandma Mercy had made it to town not long after we’d left for the party.  I haven’t mentioned it in my journals, but they’ve just retired; and the week and a bit they’re spending with us is just the start of their plans for a long, lazy, and well-deserved summer holiday.  Maybe they’ll even come to visit us more often – or maybe take some trips with Grandma and Grandpa – we can always use more volunteers for our charities!

Once we were back home, it would have been nice if the goodnight kiss with Michael was the last action for me tonight, but it wasn’t – thanks to Patrick and Scott.  They were ready to play their usual games; starting with a prank attack that was launched the moment we walked into the front door.  Rowen and I played along for a while, but the boys kept going for too long after it wasn’t fun or funny anymore; and, as usual, that meant that their games came to an abrupt end due to a parental intervention at a bit after one o’clock.

We were finally able to have some quiet girl time chat after that, and I’ve been doing my nightly computing while we’ve been chatting.  Rowen’s top topic was ‘Tommy’, and while she is glad that he’s paying more attention to her, that didn’t happen at all during the campfire because he was one half of the couple who could have been voted most-actively making out tweens at the party.  I agree with Rowen that he does have some real potential, but if she does ‘get her man’; I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that he’ll need to change his ways when it comes to making out in public.

Her second-favorite topic was Michael and me, and I’m so happy that we’ve been able to provide her with so much extra entertainment – including when we’re together; when we aren’t; and for the regular opportunities she’s getting to provide her best friend with commentary and advice.  I won’t be using any of her suggestions for dealing with Vanessa and Nora, but her post-party observations and jokes were entertaining for me too.

That’s why we’re still up talking when it’s going on two o’clock despite the fact that we both have a busy work Saturday that’ll be starting for me in about four hours or so.  With that thought finally making it to the top of our chat topic list, it’s time to wrap this up and get some sleep, so...

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

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cassie's Journal - June 27, 2013



We had some rain overnight that helped to fuel some more humidity today; but the only effect that had on my day was to add more swim time to the play day mix.

I am glad that we were doing our bike tricks practice while it was comparatively cooler this morning, but even with that we still went swimming twice while hanging out with Michael and Tim.  In Tim’s case, that second swim was cut short due to girlfriend intervention.  Nora may have conceded to the inevitable for Tim doing the stunt biking demonstration with us; but she was still trying to help Vanessa with their divide and conquer plan despite the mounting evidence that Michael isn’t showing any signs of suffering at all.

Since Michael had needed to get to the Inn about twenty minutes after Tim left with Nora, we didn’t get much more time to hang out together anyway; and then Rowen and I spent the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon playing with Ethan and Ehlana.  Rebecca and Michael played with us too while on their afternoon break from the Inn, and we alternated swim, park, and indoor play time according to what Ethan and Ehlana needed.

Our baseball practice tonight was a fairly serious workout – mostly because Carolyn really, really wants to win our Fourth of July game; and this was our last practice before that match.  Since there are two particular girls from our class on the Cheetahs’ team; Rowen and I can relate to that motivation.  We’ll definitely be ready to play!

After our practice, Rowen and I were on babysitting duty while Mom and Dad went to the Inn for a wedding meeting.  Aunt Leanne had set that up to go over everything one last time with the Stones, Greens, Drapers, Vicky and Liz, and a few others.  I wasn’t involved in any of that, but didn’t mind the bonus time with Michael when he was set free – and Aunt Leanne suggested that we could use his help with keeping Ethan and Ehlana entertained.  The first thing he wanted to do after coming over was go for a swim after spending a few hours in a very hot kitchen, so the five of us played in the water for a half hour or so, and then we played video games in the lounge until Mom, Dad, Uncle Adam, and Aunt Leanne got home.  Violet had gone with them so she could hang out with Jake, Stephanie, and Dillon; but the four teens had gone somewhere else to do their own thing after the meeting.

Rowen stayed for the snack and story time, but then she went home when Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne did.  Coincidentally, Dad suddenly didn’t need to rush into the office to get started on his homework; and he instead went to help Mom with giving Ethan and Ehlana their bedtime baths – leaving Michael and me on our own.  My enthusiasm for these little set-ups has changed quite a bit; and Michael was happy to go along with my suggestion for another swim.  We grabbed towels and bottles of water; and were soon having fun floating around in the river.  The temperature had dropped slightly since our last swim with Rowen and the twins, but it sure felt hotter with just the two of us.

Reminder to me – book more moonlight swims with Michael!  ;^)

We sat on one of the benches by the river and talked for a half hour or so after our swim before Michael decided that it was time for him to get home – he was helping out at the Inn for breakfast.  Our goodnight kiss stirred up some butterflies that are still hanging around with me – even during the short Magi lesson Mom wanted to do with me after I got inside again.  Mom’s trying to take it easy on me, but I’m sure she’s finding the last couple of weeks as entertaining as I thought it was pretty much from the first time we met Dad.

This will probably be the last chance I have to get a little extra rest for a while, so I should get off of that train of thought; wrap this up; and call it a night.  I’m working tomorrow morning; we’re doing an afternoon bike tricks practice; and then we have Joshua’s party.  Grandpa Duncan and Grandma Mercy will be getting here tomorrow too; and then Aunt Grace will be getting Mark and his parents from the airport on her way here on Saturday.  It’s going to be so great to finally see Aunt Grace and Mark again – and meet his parents.  Hopefully we’ll be able to convince them that their son hasn’t completely lost his mind!

Helping to do that will just be the start of the fun, and I really do want to rest up so I’ll be ready for the action this weekend, so...

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

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cassie's Journal - June 26, 2013



Sometimes my family business work can be strange.  It’s not as if I haven’t worked on back-to-school projects before, but some days it seems stranger than others.  Today, that was because of a combination of having to think about going back to school when we’ve barely started our summer holidays and a little daydreaming about what that might be like if Michael and I are a couple by then.

Oh, and if you’re interested, the work went pretty well today too. :^)

My favorite part of this particular retail and manufacturing event, like with Christmas, has people thinking about kids; and that is always good for our charity work.  This year, I’m adding some new programs to the mix.  My favorite include some companies that are going to try being the sponsors for new school projects; and we’re going to match whatever their fundraising brings in.  They’ll be coming up with the charity drive ideas; and I’m hoping to use the best of them for other projects in the future.

While my family business work is definitely more important than anything else I did today, getting to ride bikes and go swimming with Rowen, Michael, and Tim this afternoon while Michael was on his break from the Inn was more fun; and so was the play time with Ethan, Ehlana, and Naomi at the park tonight while Mom and Dad were at their Fix-it Uppers practice.

Our bike riding isn’t going to have us ready to do Hollywood movie bike stunts by the Fourth of July, but we’re having fun, and the routine is coming together.  Today we mostly worked on bunny hops; climbing up onto different objects; and jumping off of them again.  The boys are both a bit better than Rowen and I are for how high they can make their bikes ‘hop’, but we’re still able to do all of the tricks; and have a slight edge of our own when it comes to keeping our bikes balanced when we’re going slow or stopped.  Tomorrow we’re going to work on jumps.  Tim’s putting something together that will let us practice at a height that will be the same as what we’ll be jumping from on the trailer; so that should be fun too.

The river swim cool-off time didn’t last long for Michael because he needed to get back to the Inn, and Tim left with him to meet up with Nora; but Rowen and I swam upriver to my house and took Ethan and Ehlana swimming with us for nearly a half hour.  When Rowen left to meet up with her parents at the store, I helped Mom with making dinner for six, and the rest of the evening was pretty much a standard baseball practice night.  We ate; Violet and I cleaned up; and spent a couple of hours playing at the park before coming home again.  I guess the swim that we all hopped into the river for was an addition to the normal Wednesday night action; but then we likely will be doing that after practices and games fairly regularly for the rest of the summer.

Mom did three Magi lessons tonight, and mine was between the bedtime Magi playtime she had with Ethan and Ehlana and the lesson she did with Violet and Dillon after he came over from the Inn.  They really love getting to work together now, and Mom is also teaching them how to study together for when they’re away at college.  I don’t know how they’ll work out doing any lessons while living in dorms like they will be this year; but they’ll figure something out.

I was in bed before they were done their lesson, but that was only because I opted for a quick shower and cheated a bit on getting my hair dried.  They were planning on an early night too, but Violet hasn’t come upstairs yet, so they probably just got tied up with their goodnight hugs and kisses.  Let’s not go there, since I’m going to be trying to sleep soon; and don’t need to be thinking about things like that.  Rowen and I had a little chat while I was doing my nightly computing and email checks; and she needed to talk about the birthday party we’ve got on Friday evening.  With everything else I’ve got coming up over the next week, Joshua’s birthday party wasn’t something I was thinking much about at all; but Rowen is getting tired of being on the outside looking in on the tween dating game; and feels that more now since everything that’s happened with Michael and me.

I’m not going to let things get weird for her around us, and if our summertime challenge works out; it won’t be long before she’ll be in the dating game too.  As for the party, I expect that Michael and I will be dealing with more tweeirdness from Vanessa and Nora; so it could be another strange night for us.  Rowen definitely won’t need to worry about us spending the night hanging out with the couples club and leaving her on her own – we won’t be invited to play any reindeer games either. :^)

That will give us time to work on that summer challenge, though, so we might be able to have some fun with that instead.

I’ll talk to Rowen about that tomorrow, but for right now, I’m ready to put my computer away and get to sleep, so...

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

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cassie's Journal - June 25, 2013



We – Michael, Rowen, and I – have had one of those really great days!

For me, that started with Tai Chi by the river with Mom and Dad; followed by breakfast and a mad dash to get ready for a day at Quarry Lake that included packing a picnic for four.  Violet liked the idea of coming out to the lake too for a while; but she hadn’t even talked to Dillon about it yet before Rowen and I left to meet up with Michael and Tim and head out on our bike ride.

Michael had been ready to go by then too, but we had to wait about ten minutes for Tim to join us before we could get on our bikes and head north on Quarry Road.  We weren’t in any hurry to get out to the lake, and combined the ride with some play and trick practice time – though we didn’t do that while on Quarry Road – with all of the construction going on in town, there were trucks on the road hauling loads gravel, cement blocks, and concrete all day long.  That’s the main reason why we took a slightly longer route so that we could stay off of Quarry Road as much as possible.

There’s something extra-exciting about being allowed to fly and be free at each next-level of independence; and sharing that with Michael made that even better for me.  I wouldn’t classify our bike ride as romantic, but there were more than a few times while we were at Quarry Lake where the hot was not coming from the sun.  That was truer for Michael and me than Rowen; but then she was making things hotter for several guys today – including ‘Tommy’.  The fact that Rowen attracted the attention of a few tourist-camper boys our age may even have bugged ‘Tommy’; but I can’t be sure about that.  I had fun watching that action, though, and while Rowen was shy whenever the new guys were around; I could tell that she was really happy too.

I can hear Rowen telling me that those boys noticed me too, and Michael felt the need to stay close to me when they first wandered over our way; but I let him know fairly definitively that he had nothing to worry about; and we didn’t have any tweeirdness from them at all.  Too bad I can’t say the same for the members of our class couples club who joined us out at the lake about forty-five minutes after we’d arrived.

They didn’t actually join us – they rolled past, and took Tim with them before setting up their amazing campsite far enough away that Michael, Rowen, and I weren’t part of it; but close enough for us to see what we were supposedly missing out on.  The camping guys who had mostly just been watching Rowen to that point started moving in once we were a threesome, and while that was fun; watching Vanessa flirt with a couple of guys in what looked to be an attempt to get Michael jealous wasn’t fun or entertaining.  She probably mistook Michael’s expression for what she wanted it to be instead of bugging him.

The tweeird games didn’t keep us from having fun this morning, but Violet, Dillon, Jake, and Stephanie sure helped to kick things up a notch when they brought Rebecca, Ethan and Ehlana out to Quarry Lake for lunch and a couple of hours of play time that also gave Mom and Alicia a little time off to get some non-kid work done around the house.  After coming for a swim with us first, we also found out that they’d brought along some bonus picnic food to share with us that helped make the sandwiches and cold veggies lunch we’d expected to have much better.  That also managed to spoil the lunchtime tweeird games too; since Michael didn’t have any reason to be jealous about the major meal that Vanessa and Nora had packed – though Tim and the other guys with them appreciated their efforts.

Let’s skip writing about the rest of the tweeirdness from today.  I really loved getting to spend the play time with Violet, Dillon, Jake, and Stephanie.  We probably won’t get many chances to do that before they all head off to college in August; so I’m glad that they decided to do this with us – and with Rebecca, Ethan and Ehlana.  After having lunch, we did some playground time with the twins, and then swam and played in the lake for nearly another hour.  Rebecca and Rowen both had some guys hanging around and trying to show off for them; and Rebecca looked like she was having as much fun with that as Rowen was.  The four teens decided it was time to get Ethan and Ehlana out of the heat and sun by around two o’clock, and Michael, Rowen, and I helped then load up Mom’s minivan before they went home for afternoon nap time.

It was hard to tell at the time, but we found out later that there were toddlers and teens having afternoon naps, and judging by Violet’s smile; I don’t need the details.

Moving along, once Michael, Rowen, and I were on our own again, we had another hour or so to play – and for Rowen to dazzle the boys – before we needed to get on our bikes and head home again.  We spent most of that time in the lake, and then wrapped up our Quarry Lake time with just a bit more tweeirdness when Tim needed to choose between riding home with us and staying longer with Nora.  Having Michael back at work again starting tomorrow might have had something to do with his decision to keep Nora happy, but whether it was that, more time with his girlfriend in a swimsuit, or alternate reason; we only had a trio for the ride home.  Nora was happy to see us leave without Tim, but Vanessa obviously had mixed feelings about their divide and conquer plan working for Tim but leaving Michael with the option to hang out with me instead of suffering in solitude.  When we left, I also couldn’t feel too bad for her when she was also stuck dealing with the two fish – I mean boys – that she’d hooked while trying to make Michael jealous.

I’m not going to suggest that Tim really missed out by not coming along for the ride, since I’m sure he had fun swimming and playing with our friends; but we had an entertaining rest of the day too.  It was a really hot afternoon for the ride, so we didn’t play around as much on the way back to town, and then we hopped in the river to cool down after getting back to my house.  Ethan and Ehlana came in with us; and we kept them entertained until dinnertime.  Michael and Rowen both stayed for that; we were the clean-up crew; and then we wrapped up our play day with some more bike trick practice and another swim before they both headed home for the night.

Yes, there was a goodnight kiss with Michael; but it was not of the fireworks-inducing variety because we were not alone at the time.

After they left, I helped Mom and Dad with the bedtime routine for Ethan and Ehlana; Mom did a lesson with me; and then I was ready for a long soak in my Jacuzzi.  Doing my hair after that took a while, and then I played my keyboard for a half hour or so before climbing into bed with Mandy.  The nightly computing didn’t take long, and there isn’t anything new to report there.  It’s a work morning for Rowen and me tomorrow, but other than baseball practices and hopefully getting to work on our biking demonstration with Michael and Tim, we don’t have anything planned for the next couple of days.  Since the action level around here is really going to start picking up a few notches on Friday, though, I’m going to shoot for a little extra rest for the next few nights, so...

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

Monday, June 24, 2013

Cassie's Journal - June 24, 2013



There’s a lot to write about tonight, but I want to start with my favorite news – that Rowen and I are going to be in the Fourth of July parade this year.

We were drafted by her parents to come up with something to do that Emerson’s could sponsor; with the only instructions being that whatever we did needed to allow us to toss candy to the crowd too.  By noon, we’d decided on doing something with our bikes, and after talking about it with Michael when we got together at his house after lunch; we decided to go with putting together a street tricks routine.  It wasn’t tough to get Tim excited about the idea when we told him about it; and we had our little stunt group set to go – though Tim was immediately in the doghouse again with Nora.

I’m glad he was willing to take that hit for the team because he had a great idea for using a low-ride equipment trailer to do the cooler tricks on; and his mechanic Dad and Uncle were a much better choice to help us put that together than our chef, lawyer, and computer expert fathers would have been.  We may have an extra sponsor now too; but the Moms can work that out while we concentrate on putting our little trick riding demonstration together.

We worked on that for a couple of hours this afternoon, starting with some trail riding before spending some time taking those trail tricks to the street – or more accurately to the back yards and park picnic area.  Picnic tables worked great for practicing jumping up onto objects and balancing; a four-by-four on the ground worked for a balance beam that didn’t hurt to fall off; and Michael and Tim put together a make-shift ramp for us to try small jumps on.  It was a fun afternoon, but we’ve got quite a bit of work to do if we want to impress our family, friends, and neighbors next week.

The riding took up a lot of our afternoon, and we had company some of the time – particularly while we were practicing wheelies and bunny hops in the parking lot at the park; and riding on the picnic tables near the pavilion.  Vanessa and Nora were particularly interested in what we were doing, and made sure that Michael, Rowen, and I got laughed at whenever our trick attempts failed; and there were frowns and glares each time we succeeded.  Some of the other tween and teen guys at the park joined in to try showing off their best tricks too, and that mostly gave us more ideas for what we could put into our routine.

While Nora was annoyed with Tim for hanging out with Michael again and running off to play on his bike with us; today she changed tactics and lured him back to the fold with a timely invitation to go for a swim and an Emporium ice cream run.  I’m sure that she was just so happy to have Tim follow her like a happy little puppy that she just forgot to invite Michael, Rowen, and I to go along too.  We had to settle for some water play time with Ethan and Ehlana instead; and scooped our own ice cream cones at home too instead of taking the chance of some more tweeirdness by going to the Emporium too.

That swim was pretty much the end of my play time for the day anyway; though we got approval for a major bike trip tomorrow before Michael went home to have dinner before his baseball practice.  We’re going to bike out to Quarry Lake; and Michael sent an email to Rowen and me tonight to confirm that Tim was in for the trip too.  The bad news that came along with that was a heads-up to let us know that Vanessa and Nora were talking to Tim about meeting him out there and spending the day playing with some of their friends – which they made sure Michael overhead before leaving him on his own after the practice.

I didn’t get that news until after I was in bed for the night.  When Michael went home, Rowen and I helped Mom with making dinner and getting the office ready for a combination wedding and family business meeting.  She went home to spend the evening with her parents and to do some work around the house; and Violet was having dinner with Dillon; so it was just the five of us at our house – until our regular meeting members started arriving shortly before seven.

Let’s start with the family business and future plans news.  The second basement level of the lab has been finished now, and they’ve begun working on the third and ‘top’ basement level.  It’s on target to be done in about six weeks; and then the framing for the two floors that will be above ground can begin.  The goal is to have the lab closed in by winter so the construction crews can continue their work through the winter.  On the archive side of that part of our future plans; Grandma Eleanor and Grandpa Grant are going to start getting books ready to transport back home on all trips from now on; and we should be able to start moving them into the new building by next Spring.

We went over the house construction next, and the three houses that will be moved into at the end of July, including Aunt Grace and Mark’s new home, are all at the finishing and clean-up stage.  Other homes being worked on include the houses that the main construction company owners are building for themselves, and one row of townhomes is being built now that will mostly be used as model homes.  On the planning side of things, we have the final drawings for the first apartment building; and construction on that site will begin in September; though the land will be prepared this summer, and they may put the foundation in early too if everything else stays ahead of schedule.

The town business development needs chat started out with something that wasn’t specifically part of our plan, but is going to be news over the next few days.  Witch Falls Electric and Lighting are building a new store and shop; and expect to be opening the new store in time for the Thanksgiving shopping week.  Their current store is behind Emerson Computers, and Aunt Leanne will be selling or leasing the building for them for when they’ve finished moving.  Since that does fit perfectly into a plan that we do have; but we won’t need to do much about that until September.  I’ll write more about it then.

While there isn’t much we need to do about the people part of our near-term future; we did go over all teen college students we’re ‘helping’; and though there will be some surprises for them over the next couple of months; everything is pretty much happening as expected.  Our assistance now will range from financial to some special lessons that Mom’s going to do with Stephanie just in case she should end up anywhere near the Hathornes for any reason at all while she and Jake are in New York for the next four years.

We discussed some plans for adults, and there are some more teens in Grade Eleven and Twelve this year that we’ll be keeping an eye on too; but there isn’t anything there that gives us anything that needs to be done over the next couple of months.

Aunt Leanne led the wedding plans update; and we’re really going to start getting busy with that this weekend when Aunt Grace, Mark, and both sets of parents get here on Friday and Saturday.  From Saturday afternoon on, I expect to be busy day and night for the next three weeks – including the two weeks after the wedding when we’ll have cousins from both families on vacation with us.

I’ll be helping out with some of the extra work this weekend and next week; but a big part of my wedding assignments is going to be younger cousin control and entertainment coordinator.  I think I’ll ask Rowen if she’d like another part-time job to help me out with that – we’re going to have a lot of younger cousins here.  Hiring Michael might be fun too, but it’ll be all hands on deck at the Inn next week; so other than finding some time to practice for our Fourth of July trick riding demonstration; we’re not going to be spending much time together anyway – except on the Fourth and at the wedding.  As long as our first date isn’t a total disaster, I’m sure we’ll figure out a way to spend more time together for the rest of the summer.

For tonight, though, that’s pretty much all of the news I have.  The meeting took about three hours, so Ethan, Ehlana, and I pretty much went straight to bed after that – though I had a quick visit with my Jacuzzi first before cuddling with Mandy and getting started on my summer-lite nightly computing.  There were a few business-related email to deal with, but I’ll still manage to be sleeping before midnight; and that’ll be enough downtime to be fully charged and ready for our bike ride out to Quarry Lake in the morning.

Now that I’m thinking about that again, I’m going to invite Violet and Dillon – and Jake and Stephanie – to drive out and play with us for a while if they’d like.  The extra support might be good to have around if Vanessa, Nora, and the rest of the couples club are at Quarry Lake tomorrow too and not playing nice with Michael, Rowen, and me.  I’ll ask Violet in the morning – she’s still out with Dillon, and probably doesn’t want to be disturbed with a text message.

Okay, that really is it for tonight, so...

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