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!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Last Day for the Smashwords Summer-Winter Sale

The Smashwords Summer-Winter Sale ends July 31, 2013!

You still have one more chance to check out the sale catalogue and take advantage of the discounts and free book offerings; so it's a great time to pick up new books to read during August.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cassie's Journal - July 30, 2013



The top news flash from our trip today is that Tim got himself into serious trouble with Nora.  I didn’t tell anyone else why Nora got so mad at him, and it won’t matter by the time you read this some day in the future; but I did hear what he said that earned her instant anger and kept her seething for the entire canoe trip home again.

What did he do that was so bad?  He didn’t hear a question Nora had asked him the first three times because he was distracted; and then when she actually needed to grab his arm and ask him a fourth time; he called her ‘Rowen’ while answering – and didn’t even notice until she slapped him fairly hard on the shoulder.  That probably didn’t feel very good with wet skin on wet skin; but he didn’t blush a brighter shade of red than Rowen’s hair because he was hurt or angry; and that reaction definitely didn’t help his case with Nora.  She barely talked to him much after that, and he probably preferred the silence to the few quiet growls she did throw at him like invisible knives.  When their canoe hit the dock she threw her life jacket off; grabbed her bag; and had a few choice words for Tim that I won’t repeat here before she stormed off.

When you do get to read this, Rowen, I’m sure that you won’t believe that Tim’s faux pas with Nora had anything to do with that hot little bikini you were wearing today; but I was there, and saw everything.  What do you think that says about your personal hot factor when you have that effect on a guy while his girlfriend is right there with him – and looking pretty good in a swimsuit too?

I’ll add a bit more to that part of the story, but let’s back up to this morning.  We were able to go outside for Tai Chi by the river; and Michael stayed for breakfast – and to help out with the work to get ready for our canoe adventure.  Rowen came over early enough to help with packing our picnic and loading the bags and coolers into the canoes; and the only thing we had left to do when everyone else arrived was to added their own contributions and bags to the middle of their canoes before getting on our way upriver.

As is obvious from the start of this update, Nora did come with us, and she and Tim paddled next to Joel and Jenny most of the way to the whirlpool while Rowen and Rebecca were alongside Michael and me.  That worked out pretty well for all of us; and we enjoyed the chat and play time as we took our time getting to the whirlpool.  We had time for a swim and some play time once we were there before having our picnic lunch.  Tossing a Frisbee around and playing with the other water toys I’d packed kept the fun going; and we enjoyed having lunch together before Michael, Rowen, Rebecca, and I went for a walk and explored as we wandered along the bank of the river while Jenny, Joel, Tim, and Nora mostly had a rest on the blankets we’d set out to have our picnic on.

While Tim’s girlfriend-identity amnesia put a chill in the air for all of us even if nobody else knew why; he’d at least made that blunder close to when we needed to head back anyway; so we had enjoyed the second-half of our whirlpool play time until then.  There are lots of teens and tweens that think that playing at the whirlpool is boring compared to video games or other entertainment options; but I’d pick canoeing and swimming in the river – or at Quarry Lake – every time.

As already mentioned, the trip back to Witch Falls was a little tense, and though there was some conversation and attempts to lighten the mood; we were a fairly somber group by the time Nora made her dramatic exit.  I think Jenny wanted to get going right away too, but Joel again took a hit to his rebel image by getting her to stay so they could both help us with hauling all of the gear inside or into the storage barn; and to help Michael and Tim put two of the canoes away too.

He and Jenny and Rebecca all left after that while Michael, Rowen, and I had a little visit with Mom, Ethan, and Ehlana; mostly to trade stories about what we’d all been doing while we’d been away.  Michael had invited me for dinner, and though I didn’t want to leave Rowen hanging with nothing to do tonight; she was okay with having dinner with her parents; and turned down our offer to come over to Michael’s house after dinner to hang out with us.  We are going to need to work on that, Rowen, or you’ll be backsliding and going back to being a shy bookworm whenever I’m spending time with Michael.

Not getting to hang out with Rowen too was the only downside of the rest of my day.  Dinner with the Stone family, including Stephanie, was another amazing culinary experience.  Jacob and Jake really have fun playing in the kitchen together when they can create their little experiments on willing family guinea pigs.  I get bonus points with them for being willing to try anything – something that doesn’t happen with most of their friends; and even the majority of their family.

Most of our friends would likely think that the clean-up that follows those special meals isn’t fun either, but while my perspective on that isn’t quite the same as Miranda’s; I can definitely see why she finds working in the kitchen with Jacob so entertaining just from my limited experience so far with Michael.

Our guitar lesson in his room was great too, and after practicing for nearly an hour, we went for a swim in the river with Rebecca; and wrapped up our evening by watching a movie in the living room with Jake, Stephanie, Violet, and Dillon.  Miranda and Jacob stayed for part of that, but then decided not to stay up past their usual bedtime.  I don’t know if they’d have stayed longer if the movie we’d picked had been better, but I stayed for the cuddle time with Michael; and Rebecca stayed for the hot guys in the movie who needed to lose their shirts  regularly while making their way through the action and fight sequences.

There was another post-movie clean-up, and then Michael and I went for a walk before doing our goodnight hugs and kisses on my back porch.  Our practices are working out nicely; and I’ve been smiling ever since watching him jog home through the back yards to his house.  Ethan and Ehlana were asleep already, and though Mom and Dad weren’t; they had gone to bed, their wards were up, and I did not try to stop in to say goodnight on my way up to my room.

Spending some time in my Jacuzzi was the first order of business, but I don’t want to be up half the night either, so I’ve been multi-tasking my nightly computing and some family business work since sliding into the hot, churning water.  Even with doing that, it’s heading toward midnight now.  The water is getting tepid, and since it’ll take a while to get my hair dried; I should probably wrap this up and get out of the tub.

That thought has me suddenly wondering what Michael – and the rest of the guys our age – would be thinking about my Jacuzzi comments if they could read these journals now.  I can assure them that whatever they’d be thinking that I am absolutely, totally and completely naked while drying my hair after my baths – clothes would just get wet and uncomfortable.

Just kidding! ;^)

It’s a good thing that Aunt Leanne won’t be able to read this journal for a long time either; and she’ll likely still tease me about including a joke like that regardless of how old I am when she does find that little gem.  What’s really funny about that is the fact that it’s also exactly the kind of joke she’d make about something like that.

Wrapping up this report on that note feels weird, but I really do want to get out of the tub; put my bathrobe on; and finish getting ready for bed.  Rowen and I are having work mornings, and we don’t have anything else planned for the day except a little babysitting during the Fix-it Uppers practice tomorrow evening.  With Michael back to work too, the next couple of days should be fairly quiet; and I won’t be surprised if we don’t see Tim at all – unless he’s in so much trouble with Nora that he has nobody else to hang around with.  Then again, that’d be a real catch-22 for him.  After today, I seriously doubt that Nora will look at him hanging out with Rowen, Michael, and me as dismissively as she has up until now.

I sense a disturbance in the tweeird, and should probably rest up so I can be alert and ready to help Rowen if she needs me, so...

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

Monday, July 29, 2013

Cassie's Journal - July 29, 2013



It’s been a rainy day in Witch Falls, so nearly everything I’ve been doing has been indoors; starting with Tai Chi through until now.

Michael came over to exercise with us this morning, but then he went home to have breakfast there and help with a major house cleaning day that they were doing instead of the yard work that was being delayed due to the rain.  Since the weather wasn’t cooperating anyway, Rowen decided to work at the computer store with her parents this morning; and I helped Mom and Alicia with some house cleaning around here.  I had time to do a little work on the family business in the office too; and that gave me a chance to have a little chat with Violet too.  That made for a quiet, uneventful morning, and it stayed quiet until after lunch; when Rowen, Michael, and Rebecca were the first to come over and make our house rainy-day central for the afternoon and evening.  Rebecca invited Jenny and Joel, and while Tim and Nora were both invited; Nora didn’t want to do that, and apparently wasn’t happy when Tim decided to hang out with us anyway.

The guys mostly wanted to play video games, and Jenny stayed close to Joel nearly all of the time they were with us; but Michael took some time to play music with Rowen and me; and we all made time to play with Ethan, Ehlana, Naomi, and Aiden.  Joel was once again really good with the younger kids, and even though he still plays the rebel role in public; he didn’t really do that with Michael and Tim today.  We managed to keep ourselves entertained while cooped up indoors, but I honestly don’t know how other teens – like Chris and Martin – can sit around playing video games day and night instead of being outside and actually doing something – anything.

That might have had a lot to do with why I suggested another canoe trip to the whirlpool for tomorrow.  Jenny wasn’t exactly warm to the idea until Joel assured her that he really liked the idea of spending a day with Jenny in a swimsuit – and away from parental supervision.  I think he liked going canoeing too, but didn’t admit that to us.  As of right now, I’m not sure about whether we’ll have extra tweens and teens along; but Michael, Tim, Rowen, Rebecca, Jenny, and Joel are all going for sure; and Nora is a ‘probably’.

Mom invited everyone to stay for dinner, and offered frozen pizza and wings.  Grocery store frozen pizza might not earn much enthusiasm for teen meals in cities where take-out pizza is an option, but even Joel was up for that invitation after going a month without pizza.  Using the dining room had been an option, but Mom didn’t have a problem with having our pizza party in the lounge either – especially since that made it my job to do most of the clean-up.  Rowen, Rebecca, and I helped with all of the work and cooking while the gaming continued in the lounge.  Dad had picked up extra on his way home, and even though Michael, Tim, and Joel didn’t have any food contests; we still needed all of the extra pizzas and wings.

Two out of three of the boys were convinced to give up video gaming in favor of watching a movie after dinner.  Naomi and Aiden had been picked up by their parents by then; but Ehlana, Ethan, and Mandy were happy to cuddle with Tim, Rebecca, and Rowen while we watched the show.  Hopefully Tim won’t be in trouble with Nora for cuddling with another girl for nearly two hours.  I’m sure he’ll tell her, but knowing Tim; he’ll probably leave out the fact that it was Ehlana right up until the moment he’s in real trouble.  Since he was on his way over to her house when he left here, we’ll know in the morning if he took another joke too far if Nora’s ‘probably coming’ turns into a ‘go ahead without me and don’t hurry back’.

We considered watching a second movie tonight, but with the canoe trip plan; most of us wanted to make it an early night – or have some couples alone time before needing to split up and go home.  Rebecca left at the same time as Joel, Jenny, and Tim; but Rowen and Michael stayed to do the bedtime routine with Ethan and Ehlana.  Michael told them their bedtime story while we had our snack break with Mom and Dad in the office; and then he and Ethan spent a little time together while we were tucking the twins into their beds for the night.

I went outside onto the front porch with Rowen and Michael when they were ready to leave, and we had a little chat before Rowen went home first; Michael and I shared ad quick goodnight hug and kiss; and I watched both of them dash through the light rain until they had each gone inside.  Violet was hanging out with Dillon, Jake, and Stephanie somewhere; so I had a little chat with Mom and Dad, and then came up to my room and got ready for bed.

My nightly computing didn’t take long; and I only did a couple of things that were family business-related.  Getting the extra sleep really is my top priority right now, and there isn’t anything else to report for today, so...

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

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cassie's Journal - July 28, 2013



This is going to be a short update, because I don’t really have much to report for today; and I’m making a point of going to bed early so I can get a little extra sleep.

We were able to exercise by the river this morning, but had some rain move in by the time we sat down for breakfast.  Michael went home after Tai Chi to have breakfast with his family; and we only spent time together during church and his afternoon break.  Rowen and I were as busy as Mom, Dad, and Violet were between the work in the kitchen, helping to get four toddlers and two babies fed and dressed; and taking turns having showers and getting ready ourselves.  Naomi, Leah, Aiden, and Hailey were all picked up by their parents by the time we were ready to drive over to the church, and though we could have all squeezed into the minivan; Rowen and I went with Violet in her car so we didn’t need to climb into the back bench together.

As promised, the most important news to report from church – for Rowen – is that ‘Tommy’ needed to look at her thirty-four times while we were at church.  There may have been more glances, but that was all of them while I was around until I left to walk with Michael to the Inn.  That is fairly significant since we were only at church for an hour and a half.

There was some minor tweeirdness too, but I’d expected to hear more about being a jinx for the Wranglers today; and Nora and Vanessa made sure that I wasn’t disappointed.  Vanessa hasn’t been trying to play any of the games she’d been using to try and get Michael interested in her anymore; so excluding us from birthday parties and putting me down with their little jokes and comments is probably payback for messing up their plans.  That’s going to get annoying if it goes on too long, but hugs and kisses with Michael make all of that fairly easy to take for now. :^)

Moving on, after walking with Michael to the Inn, I went home again.  The rain had already stopped about half-way through the service today, so Mom and Dad decided to have lunch on the back porch.  Rowen stayed for that, and we were set free to play for the afternoon, but then she had family plans for dinner and this evening; so she went home shortly after Michael finished his break and went back to the Inn for the start of the buffet rush.

Dad’s been working in the office most of the afternoon and evening, and Mom spent some time there too when she wasn’t doing other things with Violet, Ethan, and Ehlana.  Rowen and I took the twins to the park for a visit after lunch, but only had them with us for a swim while Michael was with us before he, Rowen, and I went for a little bike ride and spent the rest of his break time on our own.

It was nice having a quiet dinner with just our family; and spending a little time with Violet tonight too while she waited for Dillon to finish his shift at the Inn.  Mom even did a Magi lesson with Violet, Ethan, Ehlana, and me; and it seems like it’s been a really long time since we’ve been able to do that.  I came up to my room for some Jacuzzi time after that while Mom and Violet did the full bath and bed routine with the twins.  I multi-tasked my family business work while doing that, and then went downstairs again for the bedtime story and snack that we had in the office with Dad.  Violet went to meet up with Dillon after that, so I helped Mom with getting Ethan and Ehlana tucked in before coming up to my room again and climbing into bed with Mandy.

Michael and I had talked about getting together after he was finished at the Inn too, but decided not to do that.  The chat and goodnight kisses would have been nice; but we both need the extra sleep more tonight.  Since we are making that sacrifice to get the bonus down time, I should put my computer away and do that, so...

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

Cassie's Journal - July 27, 2013



I’m a jinx!

That’s according to more than one guy on the Wranglers’ team, but Michael advised me that Nora started that little rumor.  I’m earning that title because the Wranglers have gone from undefeated before I became Michael’s girlfriend – when Vanessa was helping Nora to support their team – to losing two in a row since then.  I guess my priorities are messed up because I didn’t show up to watch the game either; but I have to wonder if Nora and the other girlfriends of players who were there think that their boyfriends would be incapable of playing the sport without their support and guidance.

If it helps some of the guys get past another close loss, though, I’m willing to take the hit.

Other than when we were together for Tai Chi this morning, I didn’t even get to see Michael until he finished work tonight and came over to watch a movie with Rowen and me.  He was busy at the Inn and with his baseball game; and I worked around the yard from right after breakfast until we stopped for a quick dinner at six before needed to go to the park for the Fix-it Uppers game.  I took care of all of my usual chores, and helped Dad with some work and cleaning in the storage barn; washed all of the vehicles; and we also took care of a few minor repair jobs.  Mom and Violet took care of the housework and Ethan and Ehlana while Dad and I were busy outdoors; and we only visited with them during our short morning, lunch, and afternoon breaks.

I wasn’t being accused of jinxing the Fix-it Uppers tonight, but they lost their game to the Big Shots too.  Both the Wranglers and Fix-it Uppers had been the ‘away’ team for their respective games, but while Michael’s team lost in the final inning; the Fix-it Uppers had only been able to make up two of the four runs they’d been behind going into the final inning.  With and eighteen-to-sixteen score, there was a lot of action during the game, and a lot for us to cheer about too until the abrupt, double-play end.  More wins this season would be nice; but our team is still having fun playing together; and the co-ed division is just as entertaining for the spectators as it is every year.

Alicia and Erin Green had come over to the park to meet up with us near the end of the game; and they helped to get the kids they were babysitting back to our house.  We had a comparatively small group, but they had two infants and four toddlers; so that was more than enough to keep up with.  Rowen and I were glad that we didn’t have Patrick and Scott along too; and let’s not discuss the jokes that were mostly directed my way during the game suggesting that Michael, Tim, and Rebecca weren’t staying with us too because Mom and Dad were worried about having my boyfriend stay overnight.

Rowen and I helped Alicia and Erin with Ethan, Ehlana, Naomi, and Aiden while Mom and Dad got ready to go out; and Michael got here just before they left for Sheldon’s with Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne.  He helped us with a lengthy bedtime routine for the toddlers; and once they were tucked in for the night; Rowen, Michael, and I came up to the lounge to watch a movie while Alicia and Erin took care of Leah and Hailey.

Two out of three of us were tempted to vote for a chick flick, but we opted for an alien action flick instead that was fairly terrible; but fun to watch and laugh about for an hour and a half or so.  Mandy cuddled with Rowen to make sure she didn’t feel too uncomfortable hanging out with Michael and me, and though she tried to skip the post-movie swim; we were able to talk her into doing that too.  By the time we’d finished playing in the river, Michael really needed to get home; so our goodnight kiss and hug was quick enough that Rowen didn’t even get the chance to go inside first and give us some alone time.

I know you would have, Rowen, but we’re twelve; and there doesn’t have to be fireworks every night before bedtime.

After coming inside, we checked in with Alicia and Erin.  There’d been some baby nap time while we’d been watching the movie and swimming; but they were getting ready for midnight feedings.  They assured us that they didn’t need help with Leah and Hailey; so we came up to my room and got ready for bed.  One bad movie was enough, so we just climbed into bed with Mandy and have been playing on our computers since then.  Rowen had been busy all day too between working at the computer store and doing some chores at home, and we were both tired; but still needed some wind down and girl chat time.

I’m again being reminded that our summer challenge isn’t producing any results yet; and I’ve reminded Rowen again that she should be more enthusiastic about us succeeding than she is about me losing the challenge.  We still have five weeks to go; and I’m not at all worried.

That does remind me that we should spend a little extra time getting ready for church in the morning.  I really enjoy the entertainment that goes along with seeing the boys – including ‘Tommy’ – looking completely messed up when they see Rowen when she’s dressed up.  I’ll let you know how many times ‘Tommy’ sneaks peeks at her during church and Sunday school in the next journal update.

We’re also going to have four toddlers and two babies to help with in the morning too, so I’d better put my computer away; and Rowen and I really need to speed up our wind-down time so we can get some sleep.

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

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Cassie's Journal - July 26, 2013



Another wet morning kept us indoors for Tai Chi again.  Exercising by the river is always more fun, but I’m also starting to have a new perspective on why Mom and Dad – and Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne – enjoy Tai Chi more when they’re together.  It’ll be a while before Michael and I have that kind of synchronicity and communion while working through our forms; but there is already a connection between us that’s different even from what Mom and I have always shared since she started teaching me Tai Chi.

Michael didn’t stay for breakfast this morning – he was going to the Inn to help out there instead; so there were just the six of us for breakfast.  Violet and I helped out with making breakfast and cleaning up, and once I’d had a chance to grab a shower and get dressed for the day; I took over taking care of Ethan and Ehlana for the rest of the morning.  Naomi was dropped off early so that her parents could keep working on their new house before Liz needed to get to work at the salon.  She was starting to cut back her hours a bit, but that really just means that she isn’t working twelve or thirteen hour shifts anymore.  Aiden was dropped off later, after Mom and Dad were both gone and Alicia was in charge again for the morning.

Since Rowen was working at the computer store, Alicia needed to help me with the four toddlers.  The rain kept us indoors, and my room and lounge were play central.  I had Disney cartoons playing on the television, but that was mostly just background noise while we played games; had a little music fun; and spent an hour making crafts with Alicia.  That little diversion was mostly so that Naomi and Aiden could give their parents first crafts for their new homes to stick on fridges that were shiny, new, as-yet uncluttered, and sterile-looking.  That wasn’t a problem at our house, but there was always room for new works of art in our kitchen, the home and work offices, and at Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s house.

Alicia and Violet made lunch for us, and Mom, Grandma, and Grandpa came home to spend that hour with us before I was set free for the afternoon.  The parents had collectively made a decision sometime this morning to drop the four toddlers off at KidZone for the afternoon so they could play with some of their friends for a few hours; and they were already on their way over there by the time Rowen came over to meet up with me.  Alicia and I were still cleaning up from lunch, so Rowen pitched in to help while we waited for Michael to join us.

The rain had pretty much stopped by then except for a sprinkle here and there, so when we were ready to get started on our play afternoon; we hopped on our bikes and went for a tour over to the new section of town.  There was still one moving truck at the Draper’s house, and Mom had told us about the deliveries that had been going on despite the rain this morning at all three new homes; but most of the work going on when we stopped for three short visits was happening indoors.  Uncle Mark and Aunt Grace were going to be nearly finished the big jobs today, but then they hadn’t needed to juggle work and kids like the Seagers and Drapers had been doing.

Liz was working by then, and Hannah and Nathan were playing tag so that one of them was at the house and bakery all day.  I had hugs for all of my favorite people, and then we moved on to check out the other house construction projects in progress before heading over to the park.  We collected Tim along the way, and rode back into the woods to see what kind of shape the trails were in after the rain.  There were a lot of puddles and mud on most of them, so we ended up riding out river road and doing a country roads loop instead.

We’d been surprised that Tim wasn’t hanging out with Nora, Vanessa, and the rest of their usual group of friends.  He didn’t say anything about it, other than to tell us that he’d wanted to hang out with Michael – and Rowen and me – for a while before Michael was into another busy summer weekend at the Inn.  There was a hint of stress in his voice, and the expression on his face made it fairly obvious that choosing to do that may have been a problem; but he was genuinely happy to be hanging out with us, and we all had more fun because he did.

Biking the trails gives us more opportunities to do tricks on our bikes, but even when we’re out on the roads there are still chances to do some more extreme riding.  We were away from town for an hour and a half or so, and then went back to my house to go for a swim and have a snack break.  I needed to go over to Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s house to help out with getting dinner ready for an expanded dinner and a movie night after that, and Michael and Rowen came with me.  Tim was invited to stay with us and get added to the guest list, and I’m sure that he wanted to do that; but he had plans with Nora instead, so he headed home when we went to meet up with Aunt Leanne, Mom, Grandma, and Grandpa.

We were kept busy for the next couple of hours.  Setting up tables and chairs was first, and then we split the rest of our time between helping out with getting the food ready and entertaining some younger kids when they started arriving for dinner with their parents – including Ethan, Ehlana, Naomi, and Aiden.  Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne had invited all of their new neighbors tonight, though Liz and Hannah couldn’t come over for dinner while they were busy at the salon and bakery.  They did both stop in after the stores closed for the night, but that just let them catch the tail end of the movie and a little social break before everyone headed home for the night.

That jumped ahead of the story a bit.  Grandma, Mom, and Aunt Leanne had decided that we all needed to have a good meal after days of easy-make lunches and dinners.  That meant steaks and chicken on the grills and several hot casserole options; along with baked potatoes and corn on the cob.  That made helping out with feeding toddlers interesting, entertaining, and messy enough that it was easier to dunk them in the river after dessert than cleaning them up with washcloths.  Aunt Leanne even ran a load of laundry instead of sending home bags with food-covered clothes.

We didn’t have everyone stay for the movie, since there was work still going on tonight at both the Seagers and Drapers houses; but it was fun doing our first movie night with Uncle Mark and Aunt Grace – or at least their first one as residents of Witch Falls.  Having Michael there was really special too, and though that was making Rowen feel a bit out of the loop; she did have several cuddle buddies during the movie – taking turns spending some time with Leah, Ethan, and Ehlana.  The movie was a family-rated action-comedy; and I pretty much just cuddled with Michael and enjoyed the show and the quiet conversations going on around us while winding down from the afternoon work and play.

After the movie and follow-up social break, Michael and I couldn’t convince Rowen to stick around and go swimming with us; so we walked home with Mom, Dad, Ethan, and Ehlana.  Violet had met up with Dillon by then and they were spending some time with Jake and Stephanie; so we helped to get the twins ready for bed and tucked in before going out to the river for a swim.  We’re not in any hurry to take things to more intimate levels – even to the kind of making out some of the other couples our age don’t have a problem with doing in public; but swimming together in the dark does lead to some incidental contact that heats things up between us quite a bit.  That’s all new, exciting, and amazing; and I fall a little more in love with Michael with every one of those brilliant little shared experiences.

We swam and played for more than half an hour, and then went for a long walk around town before doing our goodnight hugs and kisses on his back porch on our way home.  Dad has an all-day yard work to-do list ready for tomorrow, and I’m going to sleep as soon as I finish this update; but I needed some Jacuzzi time before climbing into bed with Mandy.  I could have done my nightly computing then too, but I really just wanted to shut down and enjoy the moment; and I didn’t do any family business work tonight anyway.

Compared to the last few weekends, this is going to be a quiet couple of days, with not much else except work and baseball going on.  Michael and Tim have a game tomorrow afternoon that I probably won’t get to unless the yard work is done a lot earlier than I expect it will; but Ethan, Ehlana, and I will be at Mom and Dad’s game tomorrow night.  They’re also going to be taking Uncle Mark and Aunt Grace out to their first post-baseball night out at Sheldon’s Pub; so Rowen and I are doing a sleepover, and our house is babysitting central with Alicia and Erin Green doing that for Mom, Dad, and the other parents.

I’m getting tired just thinking about all of that, so it’s time to wrap this up and call it a night.

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

Friday, July 26, 2013

Cassie's Journal - July 25, 2013



Happy 13th Birthday, Vanessa!

Yes, I know she could care less about my best wishes for her big day, and might even be annoyed by the gift that Rowen and I sent with Tim to give her at the party; but that won’t keep us from doing things like that for her just as we do for the rest of our classmates.  We certainly don’t expect to hear about it one way or the other from anyone who is at the party.

I do hope that she’s having a happy day, but I’m also glad that we’re not there – and that she didn’t invite Michael to get an opportunity to play more personal matchmaking games with him.  She’s obviously still mad at us; but I’ll still hope that’ll pass before we head back to school in September.

I was busy enough today without adding a birthday party to the schedule.  We had Tai Chi; Michael stayed for breakfast again; and then Tim and Rowen came over in time to get a ride out to the ranch with us for our morning trail ride and lesson.  Rowen and I have loved doing these rides since my first summer here, but we’re having even more fun with Michael and Tim; and even Tim looks like he’s enjoying himself despite the fact that he probably wouldn’t have signed up if Michael hadn’t asked him to do it with him.

While I’m thinking about our ride, I’d like to mention that there are several guys, including Tim, who are fascinated with Rowen when we’re riding.  I think it’s the wind-tousled red hair and how great she looks on a horse that is getting their attention – along with the bright smiles and sparkling eyes that especially come to life when we get to take the horses for short runs.

She was getting noticed back at home again too when we changed into swimsuits and jumped in the river to cool off and clean up a bit too.  Michael and Tim couldn’t stay long for that, but we did play in the water for fifteen or twenty minutes before Michael left to go to the Inn and Tim needed to get ready for Vanessa’s party.

Rowen and I stayed home for lunch, and then we took care of Ethan, Ehlana, Naomi, and Aiden for the afternoon while the moving adventures continued.  Sophia had gone home and Naomi had been dropped off while we were at the ranch.  We took the four kids to the school playground for a change of scenery; did an Emporium ice cream stop on the way home; and spent the rest of the afternoon in the back yard playing and going for short swims in the river.  Mom and Dad were staying in to work tonight, but Rowen and I had an easy dinner on our own before going over to the park for our team practice.  That was mostly because Dad was going to be a bit late getting home, so Mom and Violet delayed their dinner to be ready when he was.

Our next game isn’t until a week from Saturday, but we’ll be playing our second match against Palmer’s Panthers; and Carolyn made sure that we worked hard tonight to get ready for that game.  The Panthers are in first place, and our only loss is to them; so we pretty much need to win this game to have any chance of at least a tie with them.  We’ll be the home team this time, so maybe that’ll help us out too; but they have a really good team this season, and it’s going to be a tough game.

It was time for another cool off swim when we got home, but Rowen didn’t stay to hang out with me after that.  I helped Mom with getting Ethan and Ehlana bathed and ready for bed instead after she left; and then we did the bedtime story and snack with Dad in the office.  Naomi had gone home again after dinner; and Aiden was with his grandparents tonight.  The Drapers still weren’t quite ready to move into their new house yet; but Mom told me that they would have enough done to stay there by tomorrow night; and had extra family and friends help lined up for the weekend.

Once the twins were tucked in for the night, I met up with Michael at his house.  Rebecca joined us for a short swim, and then Michael and I had another guitar lesson before going to sit out by the river again and having a quiet wind-down chat.  I love that time with him almost as much as the goodnight kisses; and the small confidences we share definitely draw us closer together.

I was home again by a bit after eleven, and pretty much just did a quick round of hugs and kisses with Mom, Dad, Violet, and Dillon before coming up to my room to get started on more family business work.  Sitting in my window alcove to do my nightly computing was easier when Dawn was bunking with me – or when we had sleepover guests in the lounge; but I like being able to look out over the back yard and river too while I’m busy, and the stars are always beautiful from that vantage point whenever it’s clear enough to see them.

That isn’t the case tonight, since it’s been overcast all night; and a dusting of rain started falling as I was wrapping up my work and moving on to my usual nightly checks before starting this journal update.  We’re supposed to have the rain hanging around off and on through the morning, and maybe into the afternoon; but Rowen’s going to be at the computer store in the morning anyway, and I’ll be busy helping out with toddlers again; so rain isn’t really a big deal – except it’ll slow down the movers a bit.  Michael, Rowen, and I have a play afternoon planned, and we’re doing a dinner and a movie night at Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s house; so hopefully the weather will be nicer for all of that.

I’m seriously ready to sleep now, and there isn’t any other news; so...

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

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Only One Week Left for the Smashwords Summer-Winter Sale!

This is just a quick reminder that the Smashwords Summer-Winter Sale ends July 31st, 2013, so if you're looking for some new summer - or winter - reads; there's still one week left to take advantage of the great bargains offered by many of the Smashwords authors.

Thanks again to everyone who has downloaded my books, and I hope you take some time to browse through the sale catalogue at Smashwords.  

Happy reading!

Cassie's Journal - July 24, 2013



Happy 6th Birthday, Ryan!

The tail end of the rain moving through the area was still wagging a bit when it was time for Tai Chi this morning; so we exercised indoors; and then Michael joined us for breakfast.  Sunshine was making an appearance by the time he went home again, and while Dad was at work and Mom was again helping Uncle Mark and Aunt Grace; Rowen came over and we spent the morning taking care of Ethan, Ehlana, Naomi, and Aiden.  Violet worked in the office all morning, and Alicia did her usual work around the house while supervising us – when we were around the house.

Rowen and I took our little gang for a walk and shopping to get the gift I needed for Ryan’s birthday party; we visited the falls; stopped in to see Dad and Aunt Leanne; and picked up ice cream for our midmorning snack.  That was followed up with a short playground visit to the park before we went home to go swimming.  Mom came home in time to do another big lunch for the moving crew family and friends, but Rowen went to work at the store and have lunch with her parents while I met up with Michael at the Bassett’s house to help out with Ryan’s party.

Everyone in Michael’s family stopped in for at least a little visit during Ryan’s party, but he was the only one there during the barbeque lunch that his Aunt Sylvia and Uncle Bill were putting on for Ryan and his friends; and quite a few members of both sides of their family.  Michael was already helping out with getting everything ready for lunch, so I joined the crew; and soon had a junior assistant when Jessica became my shadow for quite of bit of the time Michael and I were there.

Food choices for a bunch of five and six-year old boys isn’t particularly tough when the goals of the meal don’t include nutritional concerns.  Hot dogs, snacks, birthday cake, and ice cream kept them happy; so the rest of the food was mostly for the older kids, teens, and adults.  When it was time to eat, we sat with Jessica, Sophia, and the other kids that weren’t part of Ryan’s group of friends and classmates; helping with getting them fed and keeping them entertained.

It was different being there for a party with Michael’s family as his girlfriend, and we were teased a bit about that just as we are with my family; but we both really enjoyed the afternoon of fun and excitement – even with doing a fair bit of work too.  We helped with the post-lunch clean-up; supervised the party games after that; and were two of the supervisors for a swim in the river.  My last minute birthday gift purchase wasn’t likely on Ryan’s best gift this year list; but he and his friends did have fun playing with the motorized toy boat while we swam.  They also thought that it was very funny to send it motoring downriver so that Michael or one of the other older boys would have to swim, chase it down, and send it back upriver again.

While we spent most of our play time with the younger kids, it was fun getting to hang out with Rebecca, Erica, and some of the other older cousins and teens too when they stopped in to see Ryan.  Most of the teens had summer jobs, so none of them stayed for more than an hour before getting back to work again; but Ryan was too busy with his buddies to really notice much except for the extra birthday gifts that came with those cameo visits.

The party started wrapping up at four o’clock, and Michael headed for the Inn to help out with the impending dinner rush while I went home to help Mom with Ethan, Ehlana, Naomi, and Aiden.  With Uncle Mark and Aunt Grace in their home, and their moving helpers mostly taking the night off; we didn’t have extra guests for dinner.  Having their co-ed baseball practice tonight may have had something to do with that decision too, but after a busy afternoon; I was glad to have a little break in the action while we had a quiet dinner for eight out on the back porch.

Rowen came over in time to help me with Ethan, Ehlana, Naomi, and Aiden while Mom and Dad were playing baseball with their friends.  We added Jessica and Sophia Bassett on our way to the park; and had Emma Norton help us with kid control at the playground when she came into town with her parents.  That was another toddler-rated blast of fun that kept us busy until it was time to go home again after the Fix-it Uppers practice ended.

The Seagers were far enough along in their move-in to spend the night in their new house, so Naomi went home from the park; but Aiden was spending a second night with Ethan.  That was the main reason why we ended up dropping Jessica off at home and picking up an overnight bag for Sophia so that she could be Ehlana’s sleepover buddy.  Since Ryan was having a sleepover with a couple of his buddies too; Sylvia didn’t have a problem with letting her baby spend the night with us instead.

When we finally got home, we all went for a swim – including Mom, Dad, and Violet.  Michael came over and joined us for that shortly after we’d jumped into the river; and then he helped out with the toddler bedtime action.  Once Aiden, Sophia, and the twins were tucked in for the night, Michael, Rowen, and I went for a walk down to the falls.  Rowen had tried to go home instead, but we didn’t let her do that this time.  As we expected, there were some other tweens and teens hanging out there, and we all had fun hanging out with some kids our own age for a while.

That was partly because we hadn’t expected Nora or Vanessa to be there when they had probably spent the entire day getting ready for Vanessa’s party tomorrow; and they weren’t there.  Neither was Tim, but Michael didn’t know whether he was busy with Nora tonight or doing something else.  There was still some guys there in goof mode, but Michael didn’t join in for any of that action; and what was going on was fairly tame compared to what we’d all put up with while Chris, Martin, Jonathan, and their buddies were hanging out together.

We only stayed at the falls for three-quarters of an hour before wandering toward home again.  Rowen needed to be convinced to go for another swim with us, but then she only stayed in the river with us for about ten minutes before making a well-timed escape and leaving Michael and I alone to finish our swim.  Since that was fun, and so was the chat time on the dock after we got out of the water too; I’ll have to thank Rowen – even if I wish that she didn’t feel uncomfortable sometimes when it’s just the three of us together.

Moonlit goodnight kisses by the river are still setting off special fireworks for us, but we didn’t really spend much time doing that before Michael walked home across the back yards and I went inside to have a little visit with Mom and Dad in the office on my way up to my room.  I’ve mostly been working on the family business since getting ready for bed and sitting down in the window alcove with my computer, and it’s now after one-thirty, but with riding lessons, baseball, and more babysitting to do tomorrow; doing that work late at night is really the only time I have right now to do that.  Maybe next week I can get back onto a better work schedule, but something always seems to come up; so we’ll see what happens.

For now, though, I’ve had enough fun for the day, and don’t have any other news to report, so...

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

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cassie's Journal - July 23, 2013



Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne officially have new neighbors tonight.  Uncle Mark and Aunt Grace are staying in their new home tonight; though they’re only doing that because getting the master bedroom set up was a priority today.  They’ll be getting daily deliveries for the rest of the week; and still have rooms full of boxes to unpack from the truckload of Aunt Grace’s things that were delivered today.

While they’re busy with moving, I haven’t gotten to spend much time with Uncle Mark or Aunt Grace yet, but it is nice to get to see them every day; and I was busy today too.

It was nice being back by the river for Tai Chi again this morning – and with Mom, Dad, Ethan, and Ehlana.  Michael and the twins have learned the basic short form postures we started their lessons with, so we’re able to work through that form every morning now; and their lessons will continue to build from there on both the physical and mental aspects of Tai Chi.  That was another really special start to our day, and then Michael went home while I helped Mom and Violet with Ethan and Ehlana and making breakfast while Dad got ready for work.  He and I were the clean-up crew after we ate so that Mom and Violet could get ready to help out with the moving adventures today.  I took a turn having a shower and getting dressed for a play day after that, and was ready to go in time to help out with the goodbye hugs and kisses for Dad when he left for work.

Mom waited until Alicia came over before she and Violet left to meet up with Uncle Mark and Aunt Grace at their house; and when Rowen joined us; she and I took over taking care of Ethan and Ehlana while Alicia supervised us and did some of her other regular work around the house.  Naomi and Aiden were both dropped off over the next hour.  Aiden was last because his parents weren’t able to start working on their house until most of the baking for the day was finished at the Olde Bakery.  Rowen and I played with all four kids in the back yard for a while, and then we had a snack break in the kitchen.  That was when we decided to have a picnic lunch at the park.  Alicia helped us to put our picnic together; and we had all four kids ready to spend a couple of hours at the park by the time that Michael came over again to spend the rest of the day with us after helping out around his house again this morning.

There were a lot of kids at the park, and a handful of tweens; but not many teens – except for the few who had babysitting jobs like Alicia.  She hadn’t come with us, and was going to help out with the lunch Mom and Grandma were providing for some of the movers today; but we knew where to find her if there were any emergencies.  Some parents were at the playground too when we first got there, but they started taking their kids home for lunch not long after that; and we had almost no waiting time for swings or slides by noon.

I get teased now and then about having a brother and sister who are ten years younger than I am, and I do sometimes wonder what it would have been like to have siblings closer in age; but it’s also really amazing being old enough to have my perspective on watching Ethan and Ehlana growing up.  There’s nine months difference between Naomi and Aiden, with the twins nearly half-way between them.  That’s already starting to make less and less of a difference now that it has so far; and probably not even as big of a deal with how they play as their individual personalities are.

Naomi often leads because she’s the closest to me when it comes to being fired up and outgoing; not because she’s the oldest.  Ethan and Ehlana, as I’ve mentioned before, are somewhere in the middle between Mom and Dad and me on that scale; and Aiden probably isn’t the quietest just because he’s younger than his friends.  After all, I’m younger than Michael and Rowen; but am usually more hyper-active than both of them combined.  Aiden needs more help to keep up with their little games, but even that won’t be a problem by next summer.

Moving on with the report, we played for over an hour; cooled off in the river for a while; and then sat under one of the big oaks while having our lunch.  By the time we’d finished eating, there were more kids running around the park again, so we joined in to play until it was time to go home and check in with Alicia.  While we were there, Tim stopped in to see what we were up to while Nora and Vanessa were off doing something ‘girly’ and birthday-related.  Vanessa will join the ‘teen’ club on Thursday, but that event isn’t really anything I’ve been thinking about; since Michael, Rowen, and I were not on the guest list, and hadn’t expected to be.

Since he had some free time, we invited him to help us take Ethan, Ehlana, Naomi, and Aiden for a canoe ride.  The boys took one canoe, and Rowen and I had Ehlana and Naomi with us.  Michael and I knelt in the stern of our canoes with Ethan and Ehlana sitting directly in front of us while Tim and Rowen knelt just behind the bow seats and had Aiden and Naomi sit on those seats.  We paddled toward the falls; made a stop downtown for an Emporium ice cream break; and then paddled home again before going for another swim.

We had to move over to Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s house after that.  Alicia was finished work for the day, and Mom, Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Nick, and Aunt Deborah were leading the dinner work crew.  They were feeding most of the people helping out with the Everett, Seager, and Draper moves, and while we continued our babysitting duties; we also helped out with getting tables and chairs set up in the back yard too.

Tim was invited to join us for dinner, and accepted after checking in with his mother first.  We had fun, but after we were all teased a bit about looking like four couples while sitting together at the kids table; I’m not sure whether he had any regrets or not.  Those jokes may have been partly my fault – and Michael’s; but even though we wanted to sit together, that doesn’t explain why Ethan ended up sitting next to Naomi and Ehlana was with Aiden.  While Tim may not have liked being teased about him and Rowen making a cute couple too, he also didn’t mind sitting next to her and having fun with us.

We were on the clean-up crew after dinner, but that was mostly because it was looking like rain was imminent; and everyone pitched in to at least get the outdoor part of the work finished quickly.  Another cool off swim in the river followed the blast of work; but most of us were out of the water and getting dried off by the time the first spits of rain rolled in.

It’s been raining more on than off since then, and after stopping in to see how Uncle Mark and Aunt Grace’s place is coming along; we went home with Mom and Dad – all eight of us.  Dad had work to do, and Mom wanted to work in the office; so Michael, Tim, Rowen, and I took the four younger kids up to the lounge to keep them entertained until bedtime.  Naomi and Aiden were staying for a sleepover while their parents were busy – or needing extra sleep while trying to keep up with work and getting moved.

The four boys started out with some video gaming action while Rowen and I played some music and games with Ehlana and Naomi.  We didn’t have time for a movie, but we watched a cartoon that the boys picked out before it was time to get started on the toddler bedtime routine.  Michael and I took care of most of that while Tim and Rowen played a video game; but they joined us for the bedtime snack and story in the office with Mom and Dad; and helped to get the younger kids tucked in on our way back up to the lounge.

Michael had lent me his first student guitar to practice with, and he borrowed Dad’s so he could do another lesson with me while Rowen and Tim went back to playing video games again while we practiced chords and a couple of simple songs for a half hour or so.  Michael took over from Rowen on the gaming after that, while I cuddled with him on one half of the sectional sofa and we all talked together.  Rowen and Tim weren’t cuddling, but I don’t think either of them even noticed that they were sitting close enough together to touch legs and arms; and weren’t at all uncomfortable about the contact.

It was already past-time for Michael and Rowen to head home when Tim got a call from Nora that sent him jumping and on his way.  We didn’t hear her end of their short conversation, but he advised us that he was late; and she wasn’t happy about that – or having to call around to track him down.  While he didn’t wait to leave, Michael and Rowen helped carry our glasses and snack dishes down to the kitchen before going home too.  We all went out onto the front porch together, and Rowen left first; but she must have looked back toward us at least twice.

I know that, Rowen, because I heard those quiet, happy laughs even though you tried to muffle them with your hands.  For the record, you weren’t witnessing one extended kiss; not that it really makes much difference whether Michael and I shared one goodnight kiss or several.  He was walking home by the time you waved at me from your front porch.

Once I’d watched Michael until he waved at me from his front porch too, I went inside and had a short visit with Mom and Dad before coming up to my room again.  I wanted to have another soak in my Jacuzzi, but this time I multi-tasked the first part of the family business work I wanted to get done tonight.  Violet was home comparatively early tonight too, and since I was still up sitting in my window alcove with my computer then; she borrowed my Jacuzzi before having a little girl chat with me once she was finished having a long soak.

She and Dillon are really getting excited about going away to college, but other than doing helping Uncle Mark and Aunt Grace a bit more this week; they’re both planning on putting in extra work over the next two weeks because they’ll be taking the last week off before they leave to spend time with us and with their families here and in Woodvale.  Violet doesn’t have to worry about money, and will keep her part-time job while she’s away; but Dillon wants to make a bit extra while he can.

We have plans to help him over the next five years; but that won’t really get started until next summer; and he doesn’t need the help this year anyway.

Rowen and I are helping out with babysitting in the morning again, but then she’s going to work at the store in the afternoon; and Michael asked me to go with him to help out with Ryan Bassett’s sixth birthday party.  I’ll need to make a shopping trip part of my morning babysitting plans because Ryan hadn’t been on my last birthday gift shopping list; but I’m sure we can find something for him at the Emporium or maybe at the Fix-it Shop.  Mom and Dad have their co-ed ball practice tomorrow night too, so it’s going to be another long, busy day; and I really should wrap this up and get some sleep.  Violet went to bed nearly a half hour ago after we both heard Mom and Dad on the stairs when they finished working for the night.  There are wards up in both bedrooms, so I’m not the only person still awake in the house, but I don’t need to be the last; and I’m getting tired now anyway, so...

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