Secret Krampus

Secret Krampus

 

BY THE WAY (this is not by the way- this is completely off topic), a quick note:

Whatever your chosen holidayic affiliation, everyone has something to celebrate this time of year! Once you dig down through the crust of consumerism, stress, and glitter, don’t we have a lot to be thankful for? Don’t we??

Many people choose this time of year as a time to turn outward and think of others. And there are lots of ways to do that! Endless charities are out there doing fantastic things for the less fortunate. My four favorites to throw monies at are LDS Charities, Charity: Water, Red Cross/Red Crescent, and Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). But it’s easy to find any movement that has meaning to you! There are dental charities, farming charities, charities to help abused animals, charities lifting women out of poverty and economic dependence, charities dedicated to disaster relief, pairing abandoned unusual pets with new families, getting people with special needs a trained helper monkey, you name it!

No dollars? No worries! There are lots of ways you can give to your community (however big or small that may be) without spending a cent. Blood donations through hospitals or local blood banks are easy, safe, and save lives. And hair donations through organizations like Locks of Love  or Wigs for Kids don’t even hurt- and some salons will ship it for you! Donate your time to help teach a child to read at your local elementary school. Donate your voice by singing at an assisted living center or children’s hospital. Donate your muscles to help build homes for the homeless and give hope to the hopeless. Even just donating your attention by amplifying requests for service or donations via social media can make a big difference in the lives of our communities’ most vulnerable neighbors.

Giving can seem hard sometimes, but everyone has something they can give. And when all of us work together, everyone is lifted up! Happy holidays, everyone!

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Banned Book Week

Hi! Happy banned book week, the one week in the year when my kids are allowed to read Captain Underpants! Man, books get banned for all kinds of things. And while I reserve the right as a parent to exercise some controls over what my kids ingest, I like being able to make that call myself, thank you very much. Here’s to all the fantastic literature out there who have done the crime and served the time!

Banned Pooh

Prize Postcard

Sometimes, when I’m word sprinting with friends, I offer them postcards as prizes. A few months ago, my friend Mary totally spanked me and I promised her a custom postcard as her prize. Little did she know that postcard would be like two months in the making, but here it is, the postcard that was most-hard. (I don’t know what my scanner did to the colors here, but you get the idea.)

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Box of Bones Map

It is late and it is small and it is simple, but here is the promised map. It was a hard month, but I validated yesterday with 71 extra words and about a half hour to spare. If I scrounge up the time for it, I might do another map of the Grey Islands themselves, and another of the known world at large. I also wanted to do some topo lines, or maybe some olde schoole sea monsters lurking around the margins, but tonight is not that night.

Thanks for your patience!

BoB Maps

Recovery Week! (aka Pictures of Portugal)

Hello! I got back mid last week and we had a great Portuguese vacation! (The only bad thing about the entire trip was that, on our first day there, we received notification that a good friend was lost in the Chatanika River. If you’re feeling flush for it, or just want to leave a message of sympathy and support for his family, there’s a GoFundMe campaign set up for his wife and two small children. Thanks!)

We’ve only been back in town for a couple days, so I haven’t had a chance to sit down and write anything up and so, in keeping with post-vacation photographic tradition, here are some photos. (But I’ll admit it frankly- with this batch, I didn’t even try to find a writing theme to go with it. *pulls at face* I AM SO TIRED.)

  1. The “new” church at sunset (Pias)
  2. Me and some water (Foz do Arelho)
  3. Me carrying all my earthly possessions within five thousand miles (Lisbon)
  4. A big bright castle (Pena Palace, Sintra)
  5. A somewhat smaller, somewhat less bright castle (The National Palace, also Sintra)
  6. Husband breaking things and getting trapped in a bathroom (vegan restaurant in a tiny town on the way to Lagos)
  7. Dude tried to eat my foot first thing in the morning how rude (Salema)
  8. You aren’t in love until you share your first bowl of snails (Moura)
  9. Ghost cat resting in peace (Pias)
  10. Sunset on the roof (Lisbon)
  11. The graveyard of an abandoned church my relatives were probably buried in but we’re not sure because the tombs all got raided for rumored gold a couple decades ago, aka people are horrible (outside Pias)