Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fire, Smoke and Rain

It's been an interesting Autumn here in Western North Carolina thanks to the wildfires. My house was never in danger, but places that are relatively close to where I live, like Lake Lure and Chimney Rock, were evacuated because of wildfires.

Since the fires didn't reach us, at first I didn't really think there would be much going on where I live. But as the fires and the drought continued, our air quality got very bad. Depending on the way the wind is blowing, we can get smoke. 

Last week I was taking Emily to an appointment, and the further we got into Asheville, the smokier it got. It's been making my migraines worse and I can't imagine how bad it is for people with breathing issues. Emily has often complained that they weren't allowed to go outside and play during recess because of the smoke.

Finally after months of little to no rain, we got some the other night. It was a very welcome sound and the fire closest to us was able to be 100% contained. But then I saw the news that Gatlinburg was on fire. It's still on fire with three people dead, the entire town up in flames and thousands of people evacuated. 

I've never been to Gatlinburg but it's one of the places I've wanted to visit. It's only a few hours away from here. We've passed by a few times on our way up to Michigan in years past. The pictures from there are horrifying to say the least.

So I continue to pray for rain. Rain to come wherever the fires are still not under control. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Browncoats Cry Tonight

This year has been full of death and despair. Most of the celebrities that have died haven't had a huge affect on me. Some made me sad, some made me feel old and some made me feel nostalgic. But as I was in line to get my ticket to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I saw on Facebook that Ron Glass had passed away.

I fought the urge to cry right there. For those who don't know, Ron Glass was a wonderful actor. He was Shepard Book on Firefly, among other things. Firefly and the fandom surrounding it has been one of the most tremendous parts of my life. I've met so many wonderful people and formed lifelong friendships because of it.

My husband, who likes Firefly, but isn't a Browncoat doesn't really understand why I'm so sad tonight. But I know thousands of fellow Browncoats are just as upset as I am.

I was lucky enough to meet Ron Glass at my very first Dragon Con in 2007. He was very sweet and I'm so glad I had that opportunity. For now, I'm going to go watch the episode "Out of Gas" and try not to cry too much.

Rest in Peace Mr. Glass - you are very missed!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thanks for Being Alive

Image: coolrain44.wordpress.com
Thanks to my Timehop, I figured out that two years ago today was the day that I had my seizures. I don't remember the seizures, but thinking about fills me with dread. Just the fear and confusion that I do remember upon waking in the ICU the day before Thanksgiving is something I wouldn't want to go through again.

So I'm feeling thankful to be alive. I don't think the seizures would have killed me, but it's possible. It's more likely that my demise could have been brought about by all the falling down I did. I had a bunch of bruises that I didn't really notice until I got home from the hospital and one in particular was huge.

Sadly, because my many doctors still have no clue why it happened beyond the mass that was in my brain. And because they don't know what really causes the stupid masses that pop up every once in a while, it's hard to predict if or when another attack might come.

But I forge on, living my life. I'm in a lot better shape than I was even last year at this time. I try to do my best to be able to take care of myself and make myself stronger. This year, I started weight training and that has helped a lot!

There are a lot of things I'm thankful for this holiday season, but being alive is pretty near the top!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Disney Trip 2016 - Rest Day!

This is the 4th post of my Disney trip report! To start from the beginning, click here!

Since we hadn't gotten back to our room until midnight, we slept in until about 8 am. I've been to Disney in October several times before and I've always scheduled our rest day for the day after the Halloween party in order to sleep in.

After we did wake up, we got moving because Emily wanted to go to Disney Springs (formally known as Downtown Disney). We took the bus there, and walked a bit to get over to the World of Disney store.

My husband, who we called several times a day while we were gone, decided to give Emily an extra $20 in spending money and it was burning a hole in her pocket. But the first thing we saw when we walked into the store was that there was a visiting princess doing meet and greets. 

I had read about this before our trip and knew it was a fairly new thing. Because we were curious who it was and because there was no wait, we went to see the princess who turned out to be Aurora. Emily got her picture taken with her and then went off to look for something very specific she
wanted.

She had seen a little bear stuffy from 'Brave' and she had to have it. I had to ask a cast member but we were directed in the right place, and Emily got her precious bear, that she named Bear. I got some pins, and was tempted by the Captain America ears, but decided not to get them.

From there, we went to the LEGO store. Emily played with some Legos and I got new lego keychains for my keys. We also had to get pictures with the different LEGO statues, which are all very cool!

We didn't really have much else we wanted to look at, so we headed back to the bus. Thankfully everything was well marked so we could find our way back. The whole area had pretty much changed a ton since our last trip.

Once we got back to our resort we had some lunch in the
food court. I had given Emily the choice of mini golf or swimming for after lunch and she picked swimming. Since we had quite a bit of time, we opted to go to the Big Blue Pool to swim. Emily also played some in the Nemo splash pad. 

The hurricane was coming closer but we only had a few sprinkles so far. The sky was a bit dark while we were swimming but thankfully no bad weather - yet. After swimming for a while, we headed back to our room to change for dinner.

We had reservations at the Whispering Canyon Cafe which is located at the Wilderness Lodge, We took a bus to the Magic Kingdom and then we rode a ferry boat to the resort. At this point, it was raining some so we had to ride on the inside of the boat. No-one could be on the outside.

It took us a bit to figure out what way to go but we got some help from some lifeguards that were standing around, waiting for the pool to be able to reopen because of the weather. The resort was beautiful! I would love to stay there someday.


We didn't have to wait very long to be seated. I had heard good things about this restaurant, not just for the food but for the fun games they play. Before we left for our vacation, I was told by several people to ask for ketchup. So I did that right away.

Our server yelled for ketchup and people brought us about 20 bottles of it! It didn't take too long before another table needed ketchup so Emily and I took our bottles over. Though Emily did keep one and hoarded it like it was her precious.

The food was really good and our server brought Emily a cupcake with a candle in it for her birthday. Then the entire restaurant sang 'Happy Birthday' to her. She was thrilled about that and still talks about it.

As we waited for our dessert, it was time for some fun and games. Emily took a horse on a stick and parades around the room with the other kids, as everyone else twirled our napkins in the air. It was a blast!

Once we were done, we decided to look around the resort a bit. It is beautiful! I'd love to stay there sometime. There was a bit of a break in the rain, so we headed back to the ferry to get back to the buses to get back to our resort.

It was really easy and not that long of a wait to use the other transportation options after we took the bus to the Magic Kingdom. Of course, all our meals that were at other resorts were at Magic Kingdom resorts. But it was nice not to have to use my car at all during the week.

Night was falling when we got back to our room, but the rain had stopped and it was clear and warm out. Since I knew the hurricane was coming, I asked Emily if she wanted to go swimming which she did. She really thought swimming after dark was a blast!

After swimming, we got to bed at a decent hour because we had to be up fairly early the next day since we were going to go to Animal Kingdom!

Up Next - Animal Kingdom & Hurricane Part 1!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

My Ghost Adventures - Knocks in the Night

To start at the beginning of this series, click here!

Even though I live in a haunted house, we have periods were there is no activity at all. And usually the activity we get isn't very scary. But a few days after Halloween, I did get a little scared.

It was evening and Emily was already in bed. I had been in the bathroom when I got very cold all of a sudden. It's been really unseasonably warm here in NC, so I knew at once that it was a cold spot. The hair on my arms started to stand on end so I finished up quickly and went back to my room.

I love to cross stitch but I generally only do it in my bedroom after an unfortunate experience where one of my cats got my threaded needle in his mouth. I got it out before he swallowed it, but it freaked me out. If they eat even the thread, it can give the cats issues.

So on this night, I was sitting up in bed watching TV and cross stitching. My orange cat, Sam, kept scratching at the door, trying to get in. I got up several times to shoo him away, but one time amid the pawing at the door, there was an actual knock.

It was 'knock knock' like a human would do. It wasn't a noise that Sam could have made. I got up, turned all the lights on in my bedroom and opened the door. No-one was on the other side besides Sam the cat. It freaked me out enough that I didn't go to sleep until Todd came home from work!