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!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cassie's Journal - July 31, 2014



This is going to be a quick update because I’m writing it before getting started on what will be the best part of the day – our camping adventure.  I don’t want things like work, email, or anything else to get in the way of that fun; so I’m doing the nightly computing thing now.  I’m not even going to take my computer out to the tent tonight!

Why not, you ask – because I’m planning on having fun with Michael, Rebecca, and our friends; and we’re going to be doing that without any younger kids to take care of for a change.  It’s just going to be us, Lucas, Tim, and Rowen.  Ethan and Ehlana are doing a sleepover with Naomi and Aiden; but they’re doing that indoors this week.  For the record, that wasn’t our idea – Mom mandated it; and then Dad had some fun teasing us about not having our chaperones with us tonight.  He supposedly only agreed to the plan when he was assured there were only going to be two tents set up for the six of us.  Three apparently would have been a problem – though I liked the idea. ;^)

I’ll give you the camping report tomorrow, and it won’t take much for that to be more exciting than the rest of my day so far.  There wasn’t really anything going on that was very much different than yesterday except that Michael and I took the twins canoeing instead of biking during his afternoon break today.  Baseball practice tonight wasn’t that exciting, though that was more because Jenny wasn’t the only player skipping the practice; so we didn’t quite have enough players for a full practice.  In contrast, Michael, Lucas, and Tim had more guys at their football scrimmage.

Maybe that was because it’s the last day of the month, and more guys are thinking about the upcoming season now that it’ll be August in a few hours, but whatever the reason; they had a fairly enthusiastic game – and had more spectators watching them than we had at our practice.

I’m sure that the guys will be talking football while we hang out around the tents tonight; but Rebecca, Rowen, and I should be able to divert their attention from sports now and then too.  I’ll let you know how that goes too with the next update because I’m ready to go outside and play again now; and I am definitely in the mood to spend some quality time distracting my boyfriend and having some fun!

Until next time...

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

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cassie's Journal - July 30, 2014



Nothing happened today; so, until next time...



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



***

Okay, that was fun for a change; but my day was slightly more eventful than that – if not by much.  Yes, it was a work day, but we managed to have a bit of fun here and there too; and it’s been another hot, amazing summer weather day too.  That was good for Tai Chi this morning; breakfast on the back porch; and a little swim in the river time for Ethan, Ehlana, and me before they went to the lab with Mom for the morning and I got to work in the office – along with doing some laundry and house work with Alicia.



Mom brought a small gang home with her for lunch, and Alicia and I did most of the work getting the food ready for that.  The twins and I had that meal out on the dock while the adults and college teens hung out around the back porch.  When Mom went back to work at the lab, I kept Ethan and Ehlana with me and we went for a bike ride to the park.  Michael met up with us there for his afternoon break, but Rowen and Tim were doing their own things today – and that’s plural because they weren’t doing that together.



I know, it’s shocking; but even us ‘town kid’ couples have to spend some time apart now and then due to other commitments.



While we were with Michael, we biked the main trail once; ran around at the playground; went for a swim; and then ended that time with a ice cream run to the Emporium.  We ate those ice creams while sitting by the river behind the Inn, and then Michael went back to work while Ethan, Ehlana, and I went home and hung out in the back yard until dinnertime.  It was a quick and easy meal night; I was back at the park to help out with kid control during the co-ed baseball practice; and then Mom and Dad took us home and opted for another quiet night there instead of some pub fun with their friends.  Mom did a Magi lesson with the twins and me; I took care of getting them off to bed; and then I came straight up to my room after that.



Michael and I decided not to get together after he was finished work tonight; mostly because he had some things to do too; and we both wanted to get a good night of rest ahead of our weekly camping night.  Yes, we do seem to have had too much of the responsibility ethic rubbing off on us from our parents, but that isn’t likely going to change for us; so we’ll just deal with it.  We don’t exactly have anything to complain about – though I suppose that some kids and teens would disagree with that when it comes to the work side of Michael’s life.



I only had the basic nightly computer checks left to do by the time I was tucked into bed with Mandy, so that didn’t take long to get finished; and there isn’t any major email news to report from around the family.  Christina did send me a mid-week update, and it sounds as though Jenny’s having fun hanging out with Jonathan and meeting all of his buddies, but Jenny’s apparently too busy to send any email of her own – though I haven’t checked with Rebecca to see if she heard any news from Jenny today.  She may be too busy now, but I’m sure that we’ll hear all about the trip when she gets back on Sunday – especially if she’s home in time to help out with the Sunday buffets.



That’s all I have for now, and while this wasn’t a very exciting day full of amazing adventure, I did have fun with Ethan and Ehlana; and with the rest of my family and Michael when we were together too; so I’m a happy camper.  With the extra sleep, I’ll be an even happier camper tomorrow night; so I’m going to get to that right now.



Live long and... oh wait, I already did that.  Now how am I supposed to end this?



This is the archive that never ends; yes it goes on and on my friends; some Magi started writing it not knowing what it was; and now we’re stuck with eons worth of useless facts because...



...This is the archive that never ends...



If I’m still around when you read this in the future, and can’t get that song out of your head; please don’t yell at me – it seems funny to me right now.



Yeah, you’re probably right – I’ll get some sleep now and see if my sense of humor can recover with a bit of rest.

Cassie's Journal - July 29, 2014



I’m going to start this update with news from the other side of the world where Grandma and Grandpa have moved on from Japan to South Korea for the middle two weeks of their trip to East Asia.

You’re welcome to read their own travel journal for the daily details, but I thought that this would be a good point to leave a few of my own impressions of their adventure so far.  The top story they have from Japan probably doesn’t really surprise anyone – it’s the fallout, both real and rhetorically, from the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster.  The things that Grandma and Grandpa found out through means mundane and Magi are more than a little scary, and while we want to help those affected by the disaster; doing that in an environment that is as politically and socially constrained as Japan is makes doing any work there very difficult.

The problems in Japan are daunting and deteriorating, and while the potential global impact of the ongoing crisis are serious too; the immediate issues are all in-house.  We have been offering support since the tsunami and nuclear accident through our charities; but it’s more clear to us now that much more needs to be done.  What we are going to have a lot of trouble with, though, is getting anything done with all of the obstacles being thrown in the way with nearly every foreign offer of Fukushima-related aid or expertise.  This is not the first time that I wish I could just go there and fix the problems, but I’m not sure that even the combined power of every Magi in Witch Falls could deal with a problem that big – even if we could do something that big without revealing ourselves to the world.

Compared to those issues, the economic problems in Japan seem less-critical; but in many ways, those issues are just as important.  The governments in Japan can’t deal with the disaster expenses without money; and that’s a fairly big problem in a deteriorating economic situation.  I’m definitely not going into all of those details, but if you are trying to read yourself to sleep; there are other places in the archives where you can find all of the snooze-inducing financial boredom you’d ever need for that purpose.  Let’s just say that we have big challenges in Japan, and while we will keep trying to find new ways to help out; we don’t and won’t force our aid on anyone if they don’t want it.

I’m tempted to go on a little rant here about the idiocy of pride – both personal and national – but I won’t go there either.  We would have a much happier planet to live on if there was a lot less of the bad kinds of pride, but that isn’t likely going to change anytime soon.

Moving along, and as mentioned already; Grandma and Grandpa are in South Korea, and they’ll be starting out their visit there with a play and sightseeing day before getting back to work for a few days.  Our family business and charity interests in South Korea are a bit different than is a lot of other places because we use that country – and others – as a stepping stone into North Korea.  We would like to do so much more to help the people there; but that’s one of the tougher countries to work in and we have very limited success there – and a few too many failures.  I’ll do another update on that part of their trip in a couple of weeks, but while we’d like to make some progress with our operations there; it’s mostly about starting to build relationships right now with a view for the long term.

I guess that’s it for the travel news for now, so let’s talk bike trips next.

That needs to start with the football report, since our ride started out with the hop over to the Norton’s farm for Tim’s football workout with Michael and Lucas.  Rebecca biked out there with us; but she didn’t go on the ride to Maple Valley with Michael, Tim, Rowen, and me.  Lucas had invited some of his ‘farm kid’ friends and football players or hopefuls; and had four guys answer the call – and get out of their chores for a couple of hours to do that with him.  Garth Green, Luke Taylor, and the Johnson brothers – Jason and Marc – all know Lucas pretty well; and Garth and Luke were particularly interested in finding out what Lucas had been doing hanging out with Michael and Tim – as if getting to spend extra time with Rebecca wasn’t enough of a reason.

While I’m thinking along those lines, it was a bit weird for Rebecca to be there with Lucas while Jason was there too; but he honestly didn’t seem to have a problem with the situation at all.  I’d actually suggest that Garth was the one feeling a bit jealous of Lucas today – and possibly wishing that he’d tried dating Rebecca instead of Jenny.  He’s mellowing a bit this summer from what I saw today, but I still can’t see him as Rebecca’s type at all; and he definitely wasn’t a year ago when making the football team had his ego flying high.  He’s a big, strong guy, and I’m sure that he’ll make the team again this year; but he also needs to do some work considering how he stacked up against most of the other guys this morning.  In his case, being big did not help him with the drills Tim is running, though to be fair to him; he shouldn’t be able to keep up with guys who are hoping to be receivers or running backs – at least not for more than the first ten or fifteen yards.

Rowen and I ran most of the usual drills with the boys, and I quarterbacked again too; but the fun level for us is going down a bit the more guys Tim has working out with him.  We get razzed no matter how well we do; and that gets old fast.  I resisted the urge to toss a couple of really hard throws at a couple of the guys who were the worst offenders for that, but I’ll also leave them nameless here and not embarrass them over that kind of teen nuttiness.  Let’s not add to the already bloated list of stories that come back to haunt us time and again; and this just isn’t that big of a deal.

The time is coming when Rowen and I will start sitting out the football training, though; so don’t be surprised if that happens well-ahead of the actual opening of the football training camp.  I’ll guess that will happen for me just as soon as Tim gets someone working with them who can throw the ball with some minimal amount of accuracy for their route-running drills – something he doesn’t have now if it wasn’t for me helping out.

I’ve had enough of the football reporting, so let’s move on to the bike ride to Maple Valley adventure part of our day.

We had another awesome day for biking – not too hot; but warm enough to be comfortable in tees and shorts.  Before I get to that, I’ll mention that we did not leave Rebecca to ride back to town by herself.  She stayed at the farm with Lucas and Emma; and got a ride back with Claire after having lunch with them.  Claire is also thrilled with her oldest son’s choice of girlfriend; and has apparently warned him not to mess it up because she’s decided to keep Rebecca and disown him if he does.

I don’t actually know for sure whether she’s joking about that or not. ;^)

Our ride to Maple Valley was faster than the one to Brookbridge because we could kick up the pace quite a bit compared to biking with Dawn, Jillian, and the others.  I should have visited Maple Valley in the summer before now.  It’s a lot more fun to wander around when it’s hot out – even without the festival activities.  There isn’t anything bigger than a creek in town, but there is a small lake or big pond at the park; and cooling off with a swim was an option.  We had our picnic lunch there too, and spent nearly two hours there before needing to hit the road again and head home.

We’re not going to get that many more chances to do these all-day rides this summer, but I have to say that we really had a lot of fun with just the four of us, and it didn’t feel nearly as tough of a workout with the faster speed and shorter time each way.  The Tour de France winner doesn’t have anything to worry about from us anytime soon; but I think we did pretty well for our age covering about seventy miles in total in one day.

After getting home, we went for a swim with Ethan and Ehlana, and then Rowen and Tim left while Michael stayed for dinner before we needed to get to the church for our teen praise team practice.  We spent more than an hour doing that to get ready for the service on Sunday; and then we went back to my house for another swim with the twins.  Mom did a Magi lesson with us after that; we spent a little time playing with Ethan and Ehlana before putting them to bed; and then Michael had I had a second night in a row with a bit of play time for two in the lounge.  We also didn’t really watch a movie; and wrapped up our night with a bedtime swim before he went home and I came back up to my room and got ready for bed.

I needed to get some work done tonight; so I’ve been working on my computer for an hour and a half and change.  That’s mostly been family business-related; though there were a few emails to read and answer too.  We’re mostly doing a work day tomorrow, so the fun level will be dropping for a day or two – at least until our Thursday night camping adventure.  We’re definitely not going to do any more major biking trips, and while we’ve talked about another canoe trip; that won’t likely happen this week either.

There isn’t anything else to cover tonight, and I’m starting to get tired out; so let’s just wrap this up and call it a night.

Until next time...

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

Monday, July 28, 2014

Cassie's Journal - July 28, 2014



I don’t have a lot to write about today, but we’re planning on a bike trip to Maple Valley after football practice at the Norton’s farm tomorrow morning; so I’m going to keep this short anyway and get off to sleep so I’ll be ready for that.

Since football has already come up; let’s start with that.  Tim and Michael had three guys working with them – us – this morning; and there were a few spectators stopping by for a few minutes here and there too.  That’s mostly been kids coming for an early play session at the playground or adults going for morning walks at the park; but I’m sure that we’ll have real spectators once it gets a bit closer to the opening of training camp for the team the last week of August.

Rowen and I still did the same drills with Michael and Tim – even though they got razzed about that a bit; and I was ‘quarterback’ again while they practiced running routes and plays.  I’ll humbly admit for Rowen and me that our boyfriends are the best players on the field right now; but Tim is hoping that some of the older guys will start coming around too so that they can see how they stack up against the senior players.  He’s not sure how they’ll manage up against taller, bigger guys in real-game situations.  That is a problem for them, though we are working on some things to help out with that; and being smaller can sometimes be an unexpected advantage.

Tim was fairly happy with how the football training went today, but the other guys aren’t interested in biking out to Lucas’ farm tomorrow; so it could just be the three of them for that practice – along with Rebecca, Rowen, and me.  We went back to Michael’s house for a swim and snack after we were done at the park; and then Rowen and Tim moved on for the rest of the morning while I stayed and helped out with the chores – including bringing our lawn tractor over and helping Michael with mowing the lawn.  Even with our big yards, it really doesn’t take long to do that work with two riding mowers on the go.  I worked with Miranda and Rebecca on the gardens too and we had a fun little swim break between those two bigger jobs; so it was a pretty good morning even with all of the football and work.

Michael and I had lunch with his family too, and then we spent the rest of the afternoon playing with Rowen, Tim, Ethan, and Ehlana.  We went for a canoe ride that included stops at the park to play and the Emporium for ice cream treats.  We had our frozen snacks at the falls, and then wandered around for a while; including stopping in at the museum and a few other stores on our way back to the canoes.  We haven’t been into the museum all that many times, but it is still a fun place to visit even if I do have everything memorized already.

Rowen and Tim were doing their own thing again for dinner, and I was with Michael at his house again for our meal – which was quick and easy so that we could have everything cleaned up before Michael needed to get to his ball game.  For those of you who don’t know this; quick and easy meals at the Stone’s house are not the same as pretty much everywhere else – at least when Jacob is home to cook.  Even grilled burgers are five-star cuisine; and the side-dishes are just as awesome.  Rowen and Tim came over to meet up with us as we were getting the clean-up done, and while the boys went to their practice; Rowen and I went over to my house to do a Magi lesson with Mom.

The latest news from home that we found out about then was that Violet and Dillon have decided to spend this coming weekend in Woodvale.  I’m trying not to think about it, but Violet and Dillon obviously are getting ready for their return to school that is now less than three weeks away.  I really don’t want to go there yet; so let’s not and move on.

Rowen and I had fun with our lesson, and when the boys got back from their practice; we went for a swim with them – and with Ethan and Ehlana.  Rowen and Tim moved on to her house after that; Michael and I did the bedtime routine with Ethan and Ehlana; and after we had them tucked in for the night, we came upstairs to the lounge and had an hour or so of fairly entertaining play time before he went home for the night.  I’m not going to turn this journal into a haven for literary teen romance voyeurs; but our play time was definitely fairly hot tonight.

I am definitely okay with that – and with actually managing to make more time for that kind of fun than we have so far this summer.  We’ll try to do better during the second half of our vacation!

We aren’t still playing now because we both want to be ready for our second big cycling adventure of the summer, and there isn’t really much else to report for today.  I’ve been doing my usual bedtime computing since Michael left and I got changed and into bed with Mandy.  There was only one little family business project to deal with tonight, and not much email going around; so I guess that’s it for now and I’ll get started on getting my batteries charged up and ready to go for morning.

Until next time...

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