Jennifer Lawrence and Tom Hiddleston: how cute would that be?

Apparently the internet is freshly taken with Jennifer Lawrence.

I just want to go on record with the fact that I mentioned how much I admire her work lasterday*, in my post Tom Hiddleston: self-deprecating, intelligent, charming, gentleman – now a vampire. (Yeees!!)

She was amazing in Winter’s Bone and Silver Linings Playbook. And in The Hunger Games, of course. She even elevated a middling horror/thriller, The House at the End of the Street, into pretty-darn-good territory. Later this year, we’ll see her reprise her role as Raven / Mystique in X-Men: Days of Future Past, And she’s rumored to be slated to star in Burial Rites, based on the book of the same name.

Clearly I’ve been following her career, but I hadn’t thought much about what she might be like as a person. Seeing the new viral video of her being a good human being reminded of the way she reacted to Jack Nicholson’s presence, back when she won her Oscar for SLP.

When it comes to charm and appeal, she and Hiddleston seem to be in the same league.

I am suddenly struck with the idea that the two of them would make beautiful babies together.

‘Just saying.

[End squee.]

(I swear, this is not going to turn into a celebrity-watching blog.)

* Lasterday is a word my daughter coined when she was little. It means sometime before now, and probably recently, but not any particular day.


Yesterday, I posted this pic – in which I an NOT massively pregnant – to Instagram, etc. (Perspective is everything.)

scraped knee

Folks have been asking HOW I scraped my knee, so here’s the story:

We took the dog down to the laundry room. He was was wandering around as we moved loads – being a good dog – right up until a little girl and her mom and dad appeared in the doorway. He loped over to see the child, who promptly screamed. I made a running dive for his leash. There was carpet. My jeans, and my knee, tore.

I don’t remember a scraped knee being so … sting-y when I was a kid. I must have been tougher back then.

No real harm was done, as he didn’t actually touch the girl, but he was startled and dismayed by her reaction … and by my reaction, I suppose. I think he may have learned a lesson, because he was very obviously contrite when we brought him back into the room and put him into a down.

Ah, the joys of owning a big, goofy dog.

How old were you when you last scraped your knee?


Welcome to October: NaBloPoMo & general updates.


I feel chatty today. ‘Seems I’ve spent so much time putting together themed posts, that a lot of general news has built up. It’s just as well, because I’ve decided to make a run at daily posting through October.

(Also, I’m leaning toward doing NaNoWriMo in November – which will probably mean I WON’T be blogging much next month. Frequent blogging now will balance things out.)

Or I’ll just explode. We’ll see how it goes.

NaBloPoMo October 2013


  1. The winners have been drawn in my Halloween Give-Away. They have been notified and I’ll coordinate prize distribution this week. Thanks to everyone who entered. It was fun. I will definitely do it again.
  2. Buckle up – as long as I’m doing daily posting, I’ll be conducting an experiment this month. The plan is:
  • Mondays – Macabre & Mysterious Music (short post)
  • Tuesdays – Random (longer post – probably more personal / conversational)
  • Wednesdays – Random (longer post – probably weird news, paranormal, adventures, etc.)
  • Thursdays – Halloween Countdown posts (similar to those that have come already)
  • Fridays – The Friday Night Picture Show (equivalent to Wordless Wednesdays and the like)
  • Saturdays – Best ‘O Blogs (reblogs and/or  round-ups of my favorites of YOUR posts of the preceding week)
  • Sundays – Body Preservation stuff (recipes, fitness, lifestyle, etc.)

Some of these posts are already written / scheduled.


  1. Shout-out to new blog subscriber, Vanessa: When someone subscribes to The Paranormalist, I usually return the favor. I tracked your subscription backwards and found you on pinterest. I fell in love with your sensibilities so I followed ALL the boards 🙂 Do you have a blog too?
  2. Greetings to any new readers who have arrived thanks to NaBloPoMo. I only do this once a year, and I’ve found it’s a great way to make new blog-friends. Please leave a comment if you plan to stick around for the month, so i can add your blog to my reader. You’ll find some info about me and the blog on the backstory tab. I’m not likely to make use of many NaBloPoMo prompts, but there will be MUCH Halloweeny goodness here in the next 31 days.


  • I’m thinking of live-tweeting while watching The Haunting of Julia this weekend. (It’s been repeatedly recommended as a 13 best ghost movies candidate, and it’s streaming on Netflix right now.) Maybe on Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon? Does anyone want to make a date for a movie-tweeting party? I’m open to various times. ‘Never done such a thing, but it sounds fun.


Because of my usual themes and topics, I rarely write about my kids here. September was a good month for my babies, though, so I’ll take this opportunity to share an update.

Basic info about my family for those that don’t know or don’t remember:

  • Pooka – Daughter 27. Nerd, artist, cancer survivor, lives with rheumatoid arthritis, started an Etsy business this year, lives 1,300 miles away from me
  • The Boy – Son 17. Nerd, academic, black belt, homeschooled from 4th grade, now, simultaneously a hig school senior and a college sophomore
  • The Dog – 3. Canine Good Citizen grad, 70+ pounds, big adorable lunk-head
  • The Cat – 13+. Specializes in hunting moths, creeping me out by staring at blank walls, and fatting (15+ pounds) thinks he’s a dog
  • (The Ogre – Husband. Gorgeous, brilliant, charming – in an ogre-y sort of way. I don’t have any news about him this month; ‘just didn’t want to leave him out.)

The News:

  • The Boy is wearing a Phi Theta Kappa bracelet. That means he made Honor Society.
  • The Dog accompanied us to The Minnesota Renaissance Festival and I was able to check off a bucket list item. (#37 take my well-trained dog to the ren-fest) He was BETTER than well-trained; he was PERFECT!
  • Pooka’s new business did very well in September. It turns out that theater companies like to give out cast mementos 🙂 So far, she’s had orders for productions of both Harvey and Rocky Horror PIcture Show. (The Time Warp) I foresee more theatrical sets becoming available in the future. That’s 12 sets of her Harvey Collection, above. (60 buttons) She pressed, packed and shipped them in less than 3 days. But first she sent me this picture:

pooka scared eyes

Have I mentioned that she’s going to be home for Halloween??



The twilight walk: exercise for those who prefer the shadows.

For a couple of weeks now, more days than not, I’ve been doing something a little different. About an hour before sunset, I leash up my dog, grab my purse and keys, and drive ten minutes to a particular neighborhood in White Bear Lake. Then I walk. And look at things.


I know I could just head out my front door on foot and go, but I don’t enjoy the sprawling lawns of the neighborhood surrounding me as much as I do the village gardens, snugged up next to each other.

It’s not really exercise, because:

  • I don’t change into anything resembling workout wear.
  • I don’t walk for any set time.
  • I pause, stop, even sit down whenever I feel like it.
  • I neither break a sweat nor raise my heart rate.
  • I’m not miserable.

See, to me, real exercise has always been something one does at the gym or in front of a blaring TV. It’s loud, and bright, and unbearably upbeat. If you know me, you know that’s not my favorite kind of environment. If you read this blog, you probably don’t care for it much either.

Even so, I’ve been thinking lately that I have to start going to the gym again. These 10-18 hour days of sitting in an office chair – hunched over a keyboard until my back locks up and my mousing wrist gets hot –  are turning me into an old woman. But I keep putting that off, because the process is such a chore. I’ve been off that horse for a while, and climbing back on doesn’t appeal.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t spent much time resolving to go back. Ever since I quit the job at the hotel, I’ve been so focused on writing that I’ve been neglecting my body. In fact, I wasn’t even thinking about my health when I started the walks … I just felt bad for my dog, who was cutting short his own (purely utilitarian) daytime walks because of the heat and humidity. Guilt and concern made me take him out one cool evening.

Now we go because that first pity-walk made me remember that I need to unkink. So it IS exercise, even if it’s no fitness walk. It’s just as good for my mind and soul as it is for my body. I already feel a little better physically. And I’m remembering how good it feels to actually move around.

Yesterday, I skipped the walk. I watched Dexter with Ogre, then worked on the mostly-invisible blog revisions some more. By the time I was finally ready to quit for the day, it was so late that my normal walk might have gotten me arrested for casing the neighborhood. I was a pretty much one big knot of tight muscles. I wasted a minute or two shaming myself for not taking my opportunity to walk. 

Then I spent 10-15 stretching out. I used some of the yoga poses I remembered from classes I’ve taken, and I made up some by paying attention to what my shoulders and lower back were telling me to do.

Before I started my twilight walks, I wouldn’t have thought to stretch out. I might have climbed into a hot bath, but I would most likely have just gone to bed, hoping sleep would fix me before it was time to sit down at the keyboard again.

So, in its own way then, this twilight walk has been the best kind of exercise. Not only will I do it happily, it has energized me enough to take another step in the right direction.

In case all this talk of feeling better hasn’t been enough to send you out the door, here’s a sampling of the kinds of things I see.

It’s worth the drive to go to a place that feeds your soul.