Heirs of the Magi News Flash!

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

Cassie's Journals have now come to an end with the start of the Magi Ascension storyline on June 15, 2018! Ethan and Ehlana will now be taking over the Heirs of the Magi daily updates as Cassie prepares to move on to college - and you can read all about her story by picking up a copy of Magi Ascension - Part One! Ethan's and Ehlana's roles in the Ascension of the Light is just beginning now too; so their journals will offer a different perspective on the events going on at home while Cassie is away at college!

Happy reading this summer; and I hope that you enjoy this new 'chapter' in the Heirs of the Magi story!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cassie's Journal - January 30, 2014

The happiest girls in town tonight are Hannah Draper and Stacey Burroughs – after they found out that their favorite boys were sending them along on the girls’ weekend away with Mom, Aunt Leanne, and the other women.  I’ll guess that there will be more buzz around town this weekend about our new Pastor’s wife going on ‘that’ kind of trip, but I think that Aunt Grace’s suggestion to set that up for her new friend was great; and they’re going to have an awesome mini-vacation.

My day wasn’t that exciting by comparison, but I did have fun; and am going to be sleeping before midnight again – though this time I needed to cheat with a little Magi-powered time phasing to make that happen.

Football fever is taking over at school now; though this last round should be over by next Monday or Tuesday once the boys are finished with their post-mortem on the Super Bowl – and the girls are in full Valentine’s Day mode for the first two weeks of February.  I’m wishing that we’ll be done with football until July or August, but Tim probably won’t let that happen for Rowen and me.  He’d be right up there with Michael, Rowen, and me if he paid as much attention to his school work as he does for all things football.  He’s already following the off-season news; and has the added bonus of Kyle’s preparations to play college ball for Lee’s alma mater.  Nobody in town has any doubt that he’ll get a scholarship and make that team as a freshman; but Tim’s mostly interested in everything Kyle’s doing to get ready for that – hoping it’ll help him to make our school team next season.

While I’m on that subject, I’ll mention that Michael is countering that here and there where he can.  It’s one thing to want to play football, but something else to want to be like Kyle when Tim, like his father, won’t ever be as big as his uncle or cousin.  Michael’s influence is keeping Tim from attempting to follow Kyle’s training diet; and they’re not weight training with the goal of bench-pressing farm equipment.  That seems to require regular reminders, because Tim is very competitive; and he apparently doesn’t like watching the bigger guys working with much heavier weights than he or Michael can handle.

Don’t bother to apply logic to that – he’s thirteen, a guy, and the facts don’t matter to him.

There isn’t much to write about from school today.  Michael, Tim, Rowen, and I went outside for a while at lunch, and though it didn’t feel like the end of January kind of winter day; we got some rain this afternoon and it’s much colder again tonight.  Our study time at the Inn was good; playing with Michael and Rebecca in the kitchen was fun; and game night was a blast.  Michael and I didn’t get to end our day with much of a goodnight kiss, but that was only one little disappointment in an otherwise really good day; and we only missed out on that because Mom needed to get home right after the games so she could finish getting ready for her trip.

That’s why I did most of the bedtime routine with Ethan and Ehlana after we all got home and Dad did his homework in the office while Mom finished packing.  Mom still multi-tasked and did my Magi lesson too, but then I came up to my room when she was ready to have some goodbye alone time with Dad before getting some sleep.  There’s still working on that, but as always; feel free to use your imagination on that while I move along and wrap this up.  As I mentioned, the only way to get all of my work done without staying up way too late tonight was to use a little time-phasing; so I made an exception and did that.  While I really don’t want to get into the habit of using time-phases just so I can get more sleep; the practice tonight was good for me.

I don’t have any news to report from my studies or computer checks, and we need to be up very early to see Mom off to the airport; so that’s it for now, and I’m off to get some quality unconscious time.

Live long and prosper, fellow Magi of the Light!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cassie's Journal - January 29, 2014

The talk around Witch Falls, and particularly in our Grade Eight class because of our focus on government this year, was often about the highlights from the President’s State of the Union address last night.  I didn’t mention it in my update last night, though I did listen to it while doing my archive studies; but that was mostly because I have a fairly jaded view of politicians in general – and I’ve mentioned before that governments mostly just get in the way of our family business work.

Expressing those views; or my analysis of the speech last night in class wasn’t exactly an option; though Uncle Nick – Mr. Ayres – is well-aware of them.  He did allow a more open discussion than probably happens in many classrooms around the country; but our ‘debate’ over the issues wasn’t exactly in-depth, and didn’t really get into the real problems facing our government and country.  Part of the reason for that is the changing breadth of our lessons when it comes to politics.

For instance, I’ll guess that in the not-so-distant past, the role of media wasn’t even discussed in the classroom as part of the political equation during events like this.  Media bias and spin is now a really big deal, and whether you agree or not with the results; there isn’t much doubt that media deeply influences what a large percentage of the population believes to be true – whether they’re right or not.

I won’t go into every detail of the speech or our discussions about it in class, but there are a couple of things that will affect our family business that I do want to mention.

First up would be the increase in minimum wage.  There is the usual media spin going on at both ends of the issue today, but I’ll stick to the practical, business effects.  A forty percent increase in labor costs for jobs where that’s applicable does have an impact on businesses.  That added expense will either be passed on in higher prices; productivity will need to improve to warrant the added cost; or alternatives will become more cost-effective – like robotics or business relocation to less-expensive countries.

While the President’s planned executive order will only impact government contractors at first, he’ll likely get congress to go along with the new minimum despite the fact that it’s a net-negative to the country and won’t really help current minimum wage earners.  The government contractors will love this because I’m sure many of them – as we are for the few family business companies that do government contracts – make their profit on a cost-plus percentage mark-up basis; so they get free money out of the deal with no added work or effort.  That may not be the case for their employees.  Higher wages mean more taxes; could mean less supplemental government benefits; and there will almost certainly be increased prices – particularly for products that rely heavily on a minimum wage workforce.

Note that the President mentioned that the increase was needed because the current minimum wage is worth twenty percent less than when it was enacted.  The problem has never been what the minimum wage is – it’s how much those dollars can buy.  The only thing this wage increase will accomplish is to add more to the government debt, since that forty percent will need to be paid for somehow; and shift spending from one place to another.  People always seem to forget that money that is spent on wages isn’t spent somewhere else.

I don’t want to make too big a deal of this, since the impact on our family business is actually fairly minor; but it will have an effect; and we may decide to change some things.  That certainly isn’t strictly business for us; but we do still need to choose where we can help people the most; and our vision for that is global.  Here at home, particularly with the store owners, it will be very important if congress does implement the President’s proposal as a federal mandate, and though none of the employees working directly or indirectly for the family business will be affected; I’m sure that Mom will take a look at how we can help with the impact the change will have on smaller businesses in town.

Moving along, next up is the announced ‘MyRA’ retirement savings plan.  To be blunt, this is nothing more than a money-grab plan by the government to get more dollars flowing into government bonds.  Here’s a novel concept – the government should try running a balanced budget – that way they wouldn’t need to sell bonds to fund their debts to pay for things like minimum wage hikes and Obamacare.  The entire notion is even funnier when you consider that Washington has been doing everything possible to discourage savings for the past fifteen or twenty years and encourage consumption and debt accumulation.

Will people plow money into the new program?  Possibly.  Will they regret that decision in twenty or thirty years?  Probably.  I don’t mean to offend the President or Congress, but it doesn’t take a twelve-year old Magi Master to figure out that financial security provided by the government only lasts as long as the governed who pay for it continue to consent to do so; and nobody – at least ethically – gets rich through these types of government savings programs.  Let’s not even discuss the idiocy of putting all of your eggs in one basket; which is essentially what counting on social security, Medicare, and a government savings bonds retirement fund would be.  I’m certainly glad that we have other options for most of our companies and employees in this country – and many others as well.

The bottom line for pretty much the entire State of the Union speech boils down to ‘we know what’s best for you; so let us take care of you’.  Feel free to decide whether that’s true for you or not; but I can assure you that it isn’t for me; and my work would be much easier without all of the ‘help’ I’ve personally experienced with the government.

That’s enough of a rant for one night, so let’s do the quick daily report; and then I’ll be ready for some quality down time.

We had a standard morning routine; school was fun but uneventful; we studied after school at Tim’s house; and then I worked on my part-time job from the time I got home until nearly eight o’clock with just a short break for a soup and sandwiches dinner.  Mom did my Magi lesson before we put Ethan and Ehlana to bed; and then I came straight up to my room to do the usual studying and work.  That’s why I’ll be sleeping before midnight while still getting all of my planned work finished.  Some Michael and me time might have been nice, but I do like the getting to sleep before two or three in the morning; so we’ll survive the occasional evening when we don’t see each other.

I definitely don’t want to be dreaming about politics when I do get to sleep; so let’s end this with those thoughts about Michael front and center in my mind.

Live long and prosper, fellow Magi of the Light!

Cassie's Journal - January 28, 2014

It’s been another really long day, so I’ll keep this short.

The highlights from today included music class and band practice; where Valentine’s Day themed music ruled; and that’s especially fun when you sit next to your boyfriend while practicing those songs.  Our study session at the computer store after school was short and entertaining; and then Michael came home with me for dinner and an evening of Magi lessons; music; and just a little bit of play time in the lounge after Ethan and Ehlana went to bed.

That’s why it’s closing in on three o’clock now as I write this.  He went home shortly before eleven; but then I had a chat with Mom and Dad in the office until nearly midnight when we all headed up to bed – and I got started on my bedtime computing and studies.  There isn’t anything new to report from the studies or the family business work I took care of tonight, and I really am just ready to crash for a few hours; so...

...Live long and prosper, fellow Magi of the Light!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cassie's Journal - January 27, 2014

It certainly got cold again in a hurry overnight; and the freezing temperatures seem a bit harder to deal with this year because of the flip-flops between frozen and near-spring weather.

Helping Michael to warm up from his walk before Tai Chi was fun; but the walk to school with Rowen and Rebecca wasn’t quite as much fun because of the cold.  The deep freeze seemed to put a damper on things at school too; and not just because only a very few kids bothered to even attempt some outdoor time before or after school – or during lunch either.  We still have a couple of weeks to go on the current round of study modules in most of our classes before we’ll have a break for Valentine’s Day week, so other than a test and a quiz; there wasn’t anything newsworthy to write about from our classes today.

There’s more action on the gossip network – both around the school and the town.  At school, and for our class; that started with the post-party recaps from Friday night.  Valentine’s Day is getting more attention too; and a couple of couple-related stories involved both of those top topics.  I’m sure that bumpy teen relationships are common in big city schools, but then months-long dating would be considered long-term in those schools too while that isn’t the case here.  Dating a different guy every week at our school would mean a girl would be out of dating options in about three months – and only if that included dating the boyfriends of other girls.

I guess that’s really good in some ways; but it also sometimes keeps couples together long after they’ve figured out that they’re not really compatible as a couple.  It can also make for long, drawn-out break-ups.  For the two couples I’m referring to here, that means that Lisa’s party wasn’t much fun for them; and Valentine’s Day could be make-or-break time for either pair – though it doesn’t sound as though that will happen between now and then.  There are other teen romance stories going on around school in other grades, including potential break-ups and brand-new romances; but none of that happens much by Grade Twelve – the seniors are either paired up for years by then; or haven’t found a match here at home and are single when they head off to college.

Except for any guys involved in the current romantic turmoil, none of the other guys are interested at all in Valentine’s Day or any of the favorite girl chat topics; but they were talking football a lot now that we’re less than a week away from the Super Bowl.  The game itself is only part of the most important aspects of the day, and for some of the guys; whether they were going to the ‘best’ parties was socially a very big deal – with the one at the Landry’s house being the coolest party to get an invite for.  I guess that was a big deal for a few of the girls too, so Jenny’s happy that she’s on the list along with Garth, the other guys on the football team, and most of the cheerleaders; but I’m glad that Michael and I will be helping his Dad out at the Inn instead – though I’m sure we could have gone to the other party with Tim and Rowen instead.  They’re going to make an appearance there; but spend most of the day at the Inn with us – at least when we’re not helping out in the kitchen.

I heard more about the Super Bowl party and dinner at the Inn tonight while at Michael’s house for dinner and the evening; but I’ll save the details for that until my journal update on Sunday night.  Since I’ve covered the only interesting parts of the school day already, and there isn’t really anything newsworthy to report from our after-school studying at my house; I’ll just skip that and continue with the news and action from my time with Michael and his family.

Rebecca is happier lately thanks to some extra best friend time with Jenny.  That’s meant fending off some matchmaking suggestions; mostly because she now knows from experience that Jenny’s taste in boys isn’t at all like her own.  Since I’ve been known to take an active role in matchmaking, I can’t say anything about Jenny’s attempts at that; other than that she really shouldn’t use her personal preferences as a filter for Rebecca.  My thoughts on that are also colored by what Ethan, Ehlana, and I know about the probability of certain future events that might involve Rebecca in a big way, but even without having that insight; I know that Rebecca and Jenny will never have the same taste in boys.

While Rebecca and I had a chance for a little girl talk by ourselves, the main dinner conversation topics were Miranda’s upcoming girls’ weekend trip and Jacob’s plans for the weekend while she’s away.  Those plans include having Michael and Rebecca put in some extra time at the Inn; but I’m sure he was only joking about the all-night parties after work on Friday and Saturday.  There were also jokes about taking Miranda shopping tomorrow so he could help her pick out some clothes for the trip – like one of those old-fashioned, neck-to-knee swimsuits; but the girls at the table managed to convince him that he wouldn’t find anything like that at the mall anyway.

He’s really just wishing he could be there to watch his wife if the girls get to have any swimsuit time this weekend, since he certainly doesn’t have to worry about any Hollywood hunks sweeping Miranda off her feet when she has him waiting for her back at home.

Michael’s fairly progressive for a teen guy, but even he didn’t really want to hear about his mother’s hotness factor; whether she should take skimpy bikinis along; or anything else about what happens when a group of mothers go away for a girls’ weekend away.  Since Rebecca and I may want to go on a few of those weekends with our friends when we get older; we were fine with finding out about some of the details – though I’d heard about most of them from Mom and Aunt Leanne already.  I suggest trying that out soon, but I suppose we’ll at least need to wait until one of us can drive before doing that.  A girls’ night campout in the back yard wouldn’t count; and I don’t plan on biking to Crystal Springs and back – even if I could get a group of girls willing to give that a try just for the chance to do a sleepover at a hotel and maybe catch some spa action, fine dining, and a movie.

It’s probably getting boring to hear about the great food we get to have every week for our meals at Michael’s house, but I never get tired of the culinary experiments; and the dinner tonight was fantastic!  Michael, Rebecca, and I took care of the clean-up, and then Michael and I went up to his room for my guitar lesson and a music practice – including getting ready for music class; band; and our Valentine’s Day duet.  We had just a bit of play time while we were alone, but then I had a visit with Rebecca in her room before we both met up with Michael, Miranda, and Jacob for our usual end-of-night chat before I headed home for the night.

I was back in time to help Mom with getting Ethan and Ehlana bathed and ready for bed; we did the bedtime story and snack with Dad in the office; and then it was time to get going on the rest of my school night studies.

My Magi lesson with Mom was first; and after spending an hour or so working on advanced manipulation of the elements before it was time for me to come up to my room and get started on my bedtime studies and computing.  That all went really well tonight, but the late start to that is why I’m just getting to this at two-thirty.  Now that I’m getting through the basics of the current group of languages, those studies are getting more interesting, but the archive assignment Mom gave me tonight was a snooze-fest.  I guess that’s about it for tonight, since there wasn’t any news to write about from my email tonight; so I’m ready to tuck my computer into its bag for the night and crash for a few hours.  I have lots of work that I want to get done this week, but I’m also going  to need to think about some extra sleep too in case I end up spending time this weekend helping out with Zack or Leah while their Moms are away with mine.

There might even be a chance for some alone time with Michael tomorrow night, and I don’t want to be falling asleep if we do get a chance to do that; so, until next time...

...Live long and prosper, fellow Magi of the Light!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Cassie's Journal - January 26, 2014

Time for another micro-update.

Morning Tai Chi was more fun with Michael and my family; he stayed for breakfast with us for a change; and then we had a really good morning at church with our family, friends, and neighbors.

The main event for my afternoon was a make-up study session with Michael, Tim, and Rowen to deal with the homework we didn’t do on Friday night while at Lisa’s party instead.  I helped out at the Inn with Michael after that, but only stayed until the food for the second buffet went out to the dining room before heading home and getting an early start on my Magi lesson and school night studies and work.

That’s why I was in bed and doing my language studies by shortly after nine; and have even more work done than I’d planned even though it’s just closing in on midnight now.  I’m still past-ready for the extra down-time, though, so...

...Live long and prosper, fellow Magi of the Light!

Cassie's Journal - January 25, 2014

Tai Chi for one, breakfast with Rowen and her family, and a little play time before heading home this morning was a great start to the day.  The morning work session was mostly fun too as there was some Magi play time involved for Ethan, Ehlana, and me.  Michael and I had some play time with Rowen, Tim, Ethan, and Ehlana during his afternoon break; but it was pretty quiet around the house during the hours surrounding lunch and dinner today.

Mom did Magi lessons with Ethan, Ehlana, and I after dinner, and then Michael came over in time to help with Ethan and Ehlana’s bedtime routine – including their baths.  He and I tucked them in for the night on our way up to the lounge; and then we spent nearly two hours enjoying some quality him and me play time while semi-watching a movie.

That made for an amazing end to the day for me that I don’t want to spoil with a lot of studying, work, or computer time; so that’s all I have for tonight and I’m off to enjoy what I’m sure will be some very pleasant dreams!

Live long and prosper, fellow Magi of the Light!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Cassie's Journal - January 24, 2014

Happy 13th Birthday, Lisa!

I’ll get to the news of the day – and Lisa’s party – in a minute; but I have our Magi Project on my mind right now, and want to write about that first.

The main reason for that is because I found what I sensed with Lisa’s family particularly interesting – especially after getting to spend a handful of hours around them as a group.  Lisa is part of the extended Byrd clan, but there aren’t any Magi in her immediate family line – including back at least through her grandparents on the Byrd side of her family.  That’s a little unusual to not even have a single Magi in a branch of the tree for any of the original families; and I may have picked up some hints about why that happened – at least in this case.  We’d actually need to do genetic testing that might not be possible anytime soon even with the lab opening this year; though that doesn’t even include the whole issue of whether the Magi talents can even be genetically mapped – or affected.

For Lisa’s family, while the ‘children’ are all latents; key members have particularly weak auras.  Two of those ‘parents’ married ‘normal’ partners, and while that didn’t mean that all children had weaker latent auras than their parents; it apparently has seriously weakened the genetic potential.  That might even be true if the kids had or someday have a Magi mate.  That dilution of potential isn’t something new, but the hints I picked up tonight might be; and could help our understanding of the situation here in Witch Falls.

First of all, we’ve spent some considerable time studying the concept of perfect matches in the context of developing stronger Magi; but haven’t really thought about the possibility that a perfect match could have the opposite effect too.  I’ll admit that I hadn’t considered that at all before tonight, but if you think about it for a while; it does make some sense.  There are certainly cases we’ve looked at where evidence suggests that partner incompatibility affected the Magi potential of the children; but tonight I was able to study several examples of near-perfect aura matches with very happy couples – and I suspect that every one of them also detrimentally affected the latent potential for Magi abilities in their children.

There are certainly a lot of reasons why the proportion of Magi in the total Witch Falls population has declined over the centuries, and while this one needs a lot of study; it could explain at least part of the mystery surrounding the hit or miss nature surrounding the births of so many of the Magi – or lack of them in families where they’d be expected.  I’ll write more about this in the Magi Project archive; so mosey on over there if you’re interested in more details about our research.

Moving on to the daily report, Roger did a pretty good job in the boyfriend department this morning by having flowers, a birthday cupcake, and a little gift on Lisa’s desk this morning by the time we went into home room.  That got him razzed by the guys, but earned points with all of the girls; and Lisa was very happy.  That got our school day off to an entertaining start; but then we got to work and were kept busy all day except for a mini-party lunch for Lisa that included more Olde Bakery cupcakes and some gifts from friends who weren’t going to Lisa’s party – plus a second little gift from Roger.  That was seriously putting his reputation in danger with the other guys; but he didn’t seem to care – or at least he preferred the hugs and kisses from his girlfriend.

Those guys can joke all they want; but I’ll guess that they were all taking notes too.

We had about an hour between the end of school and the start of Lisa’s party, so that meant skipping our after-school study session so that Rowen and I could get ready for it instead.  Yes, Michael and Tim went home to do that too; but they needed about ten minutes to get changed while Rowen and I spent closer to forty-five before Michael and I collected Rowen, then Tim, on our way to Lisa’s house.  It’s winter, so we were dressed accordingly, but while the guys might prefer sundresses, shorts and tees, or swimsuits like we can do for summer parties; Michael and Tim were appreciative enough of the cuddle factor that comes with the soft, warm sweaters that Rowen and I chose for tonight.

A few of our friends were already there by the time we got to Lisa’s home, along with her younger brothers, sister, mother, and a few party work volunteers.  After dropping off our gifts in the dining room and stopping into the kitchen for the usual ‘passing-through’ visit with the adults; we moved on to the family room where video gaming was already in progress.  As usual, the guys mostly had control of the gaming system while the girls watched on, listened to music, and talked about everything from the latest celebrity gossip and scandals to weekend plans and local grapevine news.

Lisa’s father worked until six o’clock, so we had time to play before dinner.  While we’re still a long way from being buddies, and I’m sure that my invitation to the party only came because Lisa wanted Michael there; she and I are getting along much better now.  It’s still occasionally a little uncomfortable for me when I see her look at Michael with sad, wistful eyes, but then I noticed tonight that I have company in that boat; and it’s probably harder for Roger to see that than it is for me.  In a way, he’s competing with Michael for Lisa’s affection; though only in the sense of what might have been – or more specifically, what Lisa had dreamed about having with Michael.  I’m fairly sure that she’ll always have a soft place in her heart for Michael, and I’m okay with that, but if Roger keeps doing what he’s doing; he won’t need to worry about how Lisa feels about any other guys.

Dinner was a buffet, fill plates and go event; mostly because there were too many guests and helpers to feed everyone at the dining room and kitchen tables.  Michael, Tim, Rowen, and I were among the teens that did sit down in the dining room; but Lisa’s younger brothers were allowed to join the video gaming while we ate; and they had about half of the guys with them and willing to compete while taking turns demolishing plates full of food.

I wonder if the government has ever considered the need for subsidies when birthday parties have more than ten teenage boys attending?  There really ought to be at least a little tax write-off for the parents!  Let’s not name anyone specifically, but Lisa would’ve needed to get precious gems gifts or something equally valuable to cover the cost of food for between two and four of the guys.  I’m seriously considering upping my birthday gift budget this year to compensate – though that doesn’t really help the parents much.  Maybe I’ll come up with something else for them – like giving them bottles of wine instead.  In this case, I actually know for sure that Lisa’s parents and the other adult volunteers were ready for cold, adult beverages by the time they’d cleaned up from dinner, the cake and ice cream, and Lisa’s gift-opening mini-marathon.

Note to future parents: encourage your teen kids attending big parties to buy group gifts for friends.  Most of us don’t have attention spans that last through opening thirty or forty gifts – we save that up for important things like video games.  ;^)

While the guys ruled the Playstation before dinner, Lisa had other plans when we moved back into the family room – starting with a Guitar Hero competition.  I’m sure that she didn’t do that specifically with Michael in mind; but he fairly convincingly destroyed the competition – which wasn’t at all surprising considering that he’s by far the best guitar player in our school right now.  We followed that up with some video game dancing, and then got to the only weird part of the night for me – a karaoke video game.

Michael and I really love singing together, but there’s a big difference between doing that at home or even singing in front of a big audience and singing in front of a small group of your peers.

In our case, that’s because we got a very different reaction to our duet than anyone else got.  That was good and bad – especially when most of the adults joined us in the family room to listen to Michael and me.  The bad included getting royally razzed by Tim and some of the other guys, and Lisa was teary-eyed for good and bad reasons.  I’m seriously tempted to back off from any public singing; but that probably won’t happen now that the cat’s out of the bag about this particular shared talent.

There were a few more attempts at karaoke, but there wasn’t as much enthusiasm for stepping up to the microphone and following Michael and me; so we moved on to the chick flick movie that was the last main activity of the evening.  That worked for all of the girls, and the guys didn’t mind the cuddle time with their girls; but half of them also heckled their way through the show to the point where it was more than a little annoying.

I really hope that every guy reading this knows better by now since you’re all adults, but if you haven’t; get with the program – we girls love our happy ending love stories; and you’ll be happier too even if you have to fake it and pretend to be interested.  There were definitely some boyfriends in the doghouse by the time we all headed home after the party tonight.

Though Rowen and I are having our sleepover at her house, we split up for most of the walk home so that she could have a little alone time with Tim while I walked with Michael to his house.  Their goodnight moments took longer than ours because Michael was inside and possibly in bed, and I was sitting on her front porch steps already when Rowen caught up with me at about twenty-after-twelve.

Everyone at her house had gone to bed by then, but her Mom joined us for some girl chat time shortly after we were in Rowen’s room and getting ready for bed.  Patrick had Scott staying over too, which wasn’t a surprise; but if they were still awake; they didn’t try bothering us tonight.  Maybe we really have passed through the worst of that stage with them.  Patricia wanted the party report, and told us about her evening; but then went back to bed and left us to wind down while snuggled in Rowen’s bed with our computers fired up and ready for action.

For me, that just meant doing the usual, light version of my nightly computer checks and this update while Rowen played YouTube vids and we did our own, more detailed recap of the party.  It’s heading toward two o’clock now, and we’re both working in the morning – either at the computer store and data center or at home; so I need to wrap this up and we both need some sleep.  Other than some alone time with Michael tomorrow night after he’s done at the Inn and that work, I don’t have much planned for tomorrow, but I do want to be wide awake for that alone time opportunity; so that’s all for tonight, folks.

Live long and prosper, fellow Magi of the Light!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Cassie's Journal - January 23, 2014

Happy 30th Birthday, Liz!

I’m sure she’s had a happy day too; but we won’t write about what she might be doing with her kid-free night while Naomi is with us and Eli is with Uncle Nick and Aunt Deborah.

The reason I’m sure she’s having a great day is because he top birthday gift was finding out that she’s going on the girls’ weekend away with Mom, Aunt Leanne, and the other women.  There were at least a few people in her family in on the surprise; since half of her gifts just happened to be perfect for a weekend of sun and fun – especially the spending money that should more than cover her expenses and some quality shopping time.

I wasn’t actually there for the gift opening or birthday dinner at Grandma and Grandpa Ayres’ house because I was helping out at the Inn instead; but they brought the birthday party to the Inn for game night, and Miranda had a second birthday cake there for the main snack option.  Before I get to that, though; let’s cover the rest of the daily recap to that point.

While Mr. Ayres was having a good day because his older sister was hitting the big three-oh; his students were mostly getting excited about Lisa’s thirteenth birthday party tomorrow night.  Weekend parties are always more fun; mostly because we get to keep the fun going later than most parents allow on a school night.  Football is mercifully on the back burner right now; though I’m sure that’ll kick up into high gear again next week in the lead-up to the Super Bowl.

It was a pretty quiet morning at home before school, and there isn’t much exciting happening in our classes right now either; though we are pushing through quite a bit of work right now.  That’s probably because we’ll get into Valentine’s Day mode by early February; and our teachers want to push the core lessons while they can – just as they will do between Valentine’s Day and Easter.

We had a fair bit of homework to get done tonight, so Michael, Tim, Rowen, and I worked on that at the Inn until Michael and I really needed to stop and help out in the kitchen.  I could have gone to Liz’s birthday dinner, but new that her parents already had a full house; and one less kid just made it a tiny bit easier for them – or two guests; since Miranda would have let Michael go with me.

I didn’t really feel as though I was missing out on anything tonight because I wouldn’t have gotten to spend much time with Liz anyway; though hanging out with the toddlers or helping with the babies would have been fun.  Working in the kitchen with Michael and Rebecca was great too, though; and I’m always glad to get that time with them – and with Jacob and Miranda.

The dinner crowd was light again this week; so we had lots of time to get the work done and the dining room cleaned and set up for game night before the usual gang started showing up – plus the extras who came specifically to help Liz celebrate her big day.  While her big birthday gift was a top story, my favorite part of that was knowing that two more Moms were going to get that same surprise next Thursday night – and both women were at the Inn tonight; lamenting that they couldn’t go on the trip too.  I’d like to be a fly on the wall when they find out; but Mom probably won’t let me use a time-phase or transmutation to do the next-best thing.  Then again, maybe I wouldn’t want to be there; depending on how enthusiastic the thank-you responses might be! ;^)

Let’s not go there and move on.  Game night was more entertaining with the bonus birthday party action.  Liz might have liked to add a game night championship to her birthday memories, but she was too distracted most of the time to pay much attention to the gaming; so she and Philip didn’t even place top ten.  Michael and I did a bit better than that with a top three finish in the junior championship; but then we spent as much time playing with Ethan, Ehlana, Naomi, and Aiden as we did playing the games.

I would have liked to have some more time with Michael after the games were finished, but Mom and Dad needed my help with four toddlers and overnight gear for two of them, so we went home right after the championships were announced; and I had to settle for a very unsatisfying, public good night hug and kiss with Michael right before we left the Inn.  Ethan, Ehlana, and their sleepover buddies kept me too busy to think about that too much while we did an extended bedtime routine with them that included a group Magi lesson; but that lack of Michael and me time has a lot to do with why I’m still awake now – and managed to get a lot of studying and work done tonight too.

That hadn’t been part of my plan for tonight, but I wasn’t going to be sleeping anyway; so I went with putting that unused energy to productive use – though a time-phase visit to Michael’s house did cross my mind a time or three.  It’s past-time for me to get some sleep, though; so maybe I’ll get to that – and at least there’s a good chance that I’ll see Michael there; preferably in ways that I wish we were getting to share more often in real life.

Until next time...

...Live long and prosper, fellow Magi of the Light!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cassie's Journal - January 22, 2014

Compared to what we were doing at our family business and future plans meeting tonight, nothing else that happened today was very important; so I’m just going to cover the evening highlights and skip the non-news from an otherwise uneventful day.

Uncle Adam, Aunt Leanne, Uncle Nick, and Aunt Deborah were our only attendees tonight; and they even had Leah and Zack spending a few hours with their respective, available grandparents to make it easier to keep the meeting going without major interruptions.

Though we still have lots of winter left to go, we have things to do over the next couple of months that are really going to be fun to watch happen.  For Ethan and Ehlana, the Solar-Wind Farm project is right at the top of the list; and we’ll be ready to hire the manager for it by the end of February.  While it’s a pet project for them, they’re also happy about who we’re going to offer that job to because it’s going to make a huge difference for one of their KidZone and Sunday school friends and his family.  The ground-breaking for the power farm won’t start until the end of March, but we’ll have all of the equipment and crews ready to go by then; and our new manager will be able to hit the ground running.

The first ground-breaking project this spring is going to be the Witch Falls Professional Building that will house the new medical and dental center along with a handful of other businesses.  It’ll be next to the lab to the east side; approximately at the bend in the river and across the road from the new section of town.  That’s obviously Uncle Adam’s second-favorite future plans project next to the lab; and he and Uncle Mark are going to have a very cool new place to practice medicine – with a lot of new toys that most small-town doctors could only dream of having.  They still have nearly a year and a half to go before they’ll be able to move into the new medical center; though we’re actually going to have Uncle Mark co-ordinate a lot of the finishing work on that project because Uncle Adam will be busy with the lab – both this spring and summer with the set-up, and with actual research when it opens in September.

I guess we might as well keep going with the lab while we’re there anyway.  The interior infrastructure is pretty much done now; and the floor plan construction is in full swing.  While the most-secure bio labs in the basement were modules, the labs, offices, and greenhouse on the second floor are all being built now; as are the main floor offices and conference rooms that will mostly house Aunt Grace and her administrative and operations staff.  Researchers and lab techs will mostly be on the second floor; while the level five labs in the basement will not really get a lot of ‘official’ use at first.

Ethan is fairly fired up about the progress in the lower two basement levels, since that’s where our archives will have their new home; and the work there is ahead of schedule.  We’ll wait until the construction crews are finished before moving any of our archive books there; but we’ll probably be ready for the first deliveries by Easter – when Grandma Eleanor and Grandpa Grant are due home from their next archive packing and retrieval trip.

A little further out still is going to be Mom’s work at the lab with the computer systems, but that ties into the plans we worked on tonight for college teen summer jobs.  Violet and Dillon are at the top of the list for that, and while we’re going to talk Aunt Grace into hiring Violet for the summer to work with her; Uncle Adam is going to hire Dillon to help out with the lab and greenhouse set-ups.  Mom’s going to hire Andrew Jennings to help out with the computer work; though she may have him work with Owen too – both with hardware set-up and maybe at Emerson’s new data center so that Andrew can learn about that side of the systems that will be nearly identical to those she’s putting together for the lab and medical center.

If Andrew thought our home office was cool; he’s going to be delirious when he sees the high-tech we’re bringing to town over the next few years!  That’s a good thing; since we have plans for Dillon’s future brother-in-law.

We haven’t planned anything specific right now for Christina McEwan, but expect that she’ll want to find a job here next summer and be close to Josiah.  While having her do something for the family business is an option; she could also work at the Emporium or somewhere else in town too – like for Josiah’s Aunt Abby; so we’re not worrying about that right now.  There will be some other teen jobs being offered at the lab; but I won’t go over every one of them tonight.

The only other big project on the go right now is the first apartment building; and it’s on-track to be ready for first move-ins by the end of June.  Aunt Leanne and Claire will have a showroom apartment available to them by Easter, and while some of the units will be rented to locals; Aunt Leanne expects to have most of the apartments rented to construction workers – particularly the men and women who want to bring spouses to live here while they’re working the bigger projects.  We’ll have some new house rentals that will help with that problem for families; but we’re not taking that into consideration to any major degree for the new home build-out plan.  We don’t want to build too far ahead of what the town will need.

There will be new homes and townhouses built this year, and that’ll start in the spring again too, but some of those homes – or the land – are pre-sold; while others will accommodate the influx of new permanent residents that will come this year with the dozens of new jobs that will be created at the lab and elsewhere around town.  Most of those new homes will likely be move-up sales for locals too; so it’ll be a busy year in real estate for Aunt Leanne and Claire; as well as even more work for Dad on the legal side of those sales.

On the financial front for the family business, all of this work means that we have a pile of money going out this year with minimal income, and that’s going to continue for another couple of years; but we’re not doing any of this for the money anyway – even though we will eventually make a lot of it through the products developed at the lab.  The only part of these projects that seems strange to me is that we’re actually spending that money so close to home and seeing the impact with our friends and neighbors.  We have larger projects on the go all of the time, with the same kind of initial outflows of cash, and though what we’re doing here is different; the long-term impact is going to be immense, amazing, and world-changing.

Yes, Ethan, Ehlana, and I do know something, but I can’t write about that here; since this journal will likely be available to other Magi here before a lot of what we can ‘see’ comes to pass.

Speaking of that, there are a few things coming up soon that we didn’t talk about at the meeting; but that’s only because we don’t want to spoil any surprises for Mom, Dad, or our aunts and uncles.  I’m sure that you, future reader, either know, or can check, what’s going to be big news for my family and around town over the next few months; so you’ll understand why my brother, sister, and I are so excited about everything that’s going to be happening this year.

That is pretty much all I have from the meeting.  After our uncles and aunts left for their homes, I helped Mom with Ethan and Ehlana’s bedtime routine while Dad got some work done in the office.  She did my Magi lesson once the twins were tucked in for the night; and then I got started on my bedtime studies and computing after getting changed and into bed with Mandy.  I haven’t gotten as much work done tonight as I wanted to do, but I’m still ahead this week; and too tired to stay up any later tonight.

I may not even get much more studying or work done this week, but fun with my friends and family is going to come first for the next couple of days; and I can always work a bit harder next week if needed.  Right now, I’m just going to work on some quality unconscious time, so...

...Live long and prosper, fellow Magi of the Light!