Picking-Up Past Projects

Since my husband and I decided to shut down the homestead and move to a more manageable property, new entries on my Ginger Gardens blog have been few and far between. While I do intend to continue posting stories about projects and tutorials there at times, it feels as though this is the right time to resuscitate this blog after several years. My last post here was about fostering Raven, who has long since been adopted into her forever family after about a year in my care.

My life has simply taken a turn. I was overburdening myself with the duties of the homestead, and felt as though I were never making any progress. The things I really wanted to do, I found I didn't have time for. I now have the opportunity to build my web design business, to learn how to program mobile applications, to knit, and to get back to my writing.

While I'm currently writing several books, the one I've been working on for more time is proving to be rather long. It's almost at 55,000 words, and I'm not even a third of the way through the eventual story that I have planned. That doesn't mean that the pace is dragging. Rather, I have so much action packed in that it's simply taking that much to tell the story. Therefore, I've decided to split the story up over several books, rather than writing a single tome.

Fur Babies and Fur Balls

It has been absolutely crazy around the homestead as of late. We now have a total of seven animals in the house - three cats, three angora rabbits, and a giant dog. It is both wonderful and stressful. Previously, we had the cats, dog, and one of the rabbits - Apple.

I had mentioned in a previous entry that I was going to be taking in a foster bun, and we did as planned. This is Raven. She is incredibly sweet and curious. She's very accustomed to people. She'll eat right from your hand, and even climb on you if you sit near her. As long as she's getting pet, she doesn't even mind being held. You just can't hold her for too long, or she'll get the exploration bug again.

My Corner of the World

My corner of the world is a comfortable one. The inside of my home is a safe haven, where no one wants for much. The people and animals who live here are always well-fed, and kept healthy. The water here is safe to drink, and we are lucky enough to be able to afford any necessary medications. Perhaps even more importantly, every living being is showered with love and attention. It truly is a beautiful place, and I carry more gratitude for that than I could ever express.

My intention here is not to brag about how fortunate I have become over the last few years. Rather, I intend to point out the one glaring issue that makes all of this seem inconsequential. The problem is, I have internet. I have the ability to see beyond my and my neighbors' spacious yards to the interiors of overflowing animal shelters. I see kids in our country who can't read because their parents couldn't teach what they didn't know. I see war-torn villages overseas where people die daily for lack of basic necessities. Worst of all, I see people I know to be kind-hearted ignoring it. Maybe that's how they cope.

These are the stories that are being told. I'm left to speculate those that aren't. My heart breaks every time I open a new tab in my browser, it seems, but I feel helpless to do anything about it. I try. I have five rescued animals of my own now. I'm going to be foster mama to another furbaby soon. Still, I can't help but constantly consider how I could accommodate more.

Changes and Delays

I guess I did it again. I abandoned my blog for months - almost three this time. I've been extremely busy. Since my last post, I got married, my husband and I bought a house, and then we adopted an adult dog. Needless to say, it's been stressful. I've been checking in on Facebook, but the blog and my videos have been the furthest things from my mind lately. I'm trying to get back on track, so I figured that today I would give you guys the general update.

The wedding was tiny and wonderful. We'll be having another, larger ceremony so that friends and family can be part of the celebration. Our new house is a gorgeous log cabin, which we could not be any happier in. Our three cats and Apple the rabbit settled in nicely before our new addition came.

Our new dog is named George. He's part Labrador and part Rottweiler - a beautiful, gentle giant at about 120lbs. He's a rescue dog, so he'll need to spend some time adjusting and learning about his new environment. Since he's arrived, the kitties have been hiding, but George is probably more afraid of them.

Happy Hallmark Day!

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. It's a day that women and advertisers worldwide wait impatiently for. Non-single females around the globe are pampered by their loved ones, showered with flowers, chocolate, and jewelry. They get taken out to dinner, and on the dates their significant others have been dreading (like watching that sappy chick flick). I did not, and I have never felt more blessed.

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know this isn't because I'm single. In fact, this was the only Valentine's Day that I will have while engaged. Next year, we'll already be married. He didn't forget the holiday - in fact, he reminded me. He very deliberately did not bring home a card, or chocolate, or flowers. And I am happy about this. I'm aware that statement requires some explanation, so here we go.

A Stress-Free Wedding

I've spent the majority of the last few days working on the plans for my wedding. When I started, I was really nervous. Aside from friends and family, I'm not getting much in the way of outside help. I opted not to hire a professional planner, so most of the details and arrangements have fallen to me. My fiancé couldn't care less about the decorations.

At this point, I have about six months to go until the big day, and I already feel like the bulk of the decisions are out of the way. I know I made the right decision by not getting a planner. Instead of being stressed out by all the little choices, I feel zen. I'm marrying my best friend, and this wedding is absolutely true to us. In many ways, it's not traditional, but it's perfect for the two of us.

In addition to the duties of the planner, I also took on the responsibility for... well, everything, pretty much. I've already made the decisions on food and the table settings. My mother-in-law will be handling the floral arrangements. I actually designed our invitations personally, because we knew there was no way that traditional invitations were going to fit our style. We worked together to write the code for our wedding website. I thought it was going to be a lot of work, but I'm just kind of floating through everything.

Ethical Angora

Recently, I have seen several articles detailing outrageous business practices concerning angora products. Apparently, some major fashion brands have been working with distributors who harvest the fibers in a rather horrific way. For those of you who don't know, angora is a heavenly soft type of wool that typically comes from rabbits, although there are angora goats, alpacas, cats, and more. Personally, I have a bunny buddy, so this issue hits particularly close to home.

My angora rabbit's name is Apple. I adopted her from a rescue network in 2008. She's getting elderly now and has some arthritis issues, so she gets extra spoiled. Her favorite snack is parsley grown just for her in my living room. Her favorite activity is shaking her rattle when whatever show we're watching gets particularly suspenseful.

When I first adopted her, I was worried about the cats I was living with. They were feistier than my current felines, so I never imagined that Apple would be the one chasing the cats around! Thus, she earned the nickname "Bun Bun," an homage to the switchblade-wielding rabbit from Sluggy Freelance.

Patterns and Publishing

This week has been a crazy one. I never imagined that I could experience so much excitement in my professional life without ever leaving the house. Where should I begin? First and foremost, I published my first eBook!

You can now purchase a Kindle version of Ragdoll's Riot on Amazon! I am absolutely thrilled about this. It's still in the same formatting - the entire book is laid out in my own calligraphy rather than a standard font. If you would prefer a hard copy, they are still on sale in the "Writing and Performance" section of this site.

Since the eBook launched, I have been obsessively refreshing the page. At first, there was really nothing there to see. The page doesn't show number of sales or anything, but this morning I got a wonderful little surprise. Down near the bottom where it shows the category of the work, it said that Ragdoll's Riot was the number five download for Women's Poetry! What an incredible feeling!

The Boob Tube (Part Two)

A few weeks ago, I wrote an entry about several of the more popular television series currently running. Mostly, I complained about some of my favorite shows. The truth is, there are very few modern shows that don't make me roll my eyes at the state of modern entertainment. This time, instead of griping like the cynical old lady I am rapidly becoming, I want to focus on the series I do enjoy, and why.

I promise this one will be much shorter. I really rambled last time.

Doctor Who

If you're reading my blog, you already know how much of a nerd I am. Doctor Who is my favorite television series of all time. It's actually going to be the theme for my wedding. I'll be cosplaying as River Song. Old and new alike, the show is an essential staple of the science fiction genre.

If you've never watched the show, it can be difficult to understand the level of pure obsession that takes hold of your friends who have. First off, for geeks, there's something about sci-fi that's lasted a long time. "Original series," "first edition" and similar phrases hold an extreme power over us. The first episode of Doctor Who aired on November 23rd, 1963 - three years before anyone gave Captain Kirk a starship.

Shiny New Things


I am very excited. If you watched the most recent video, you already know that I will soon be launching a new website. For years now, Halliday Won't Stop Writing has been my one venue for all of my projects. Therefore, despite its name, it occasionally features drawings, jewelry, knit, crochet, or other kinds of work that I've done.

That's about to change.This website is going to become a single section of a larger site. The Journal will remain a more general blog, but this area will be specifically for my writing from now on. There will be a second section for my fiber arts, and a third for miscellaneous projects of assorted media. I really can't wait to launch it. I've been working on it for a couple of weeks now and I'm becoming very happy with the way it looks.

Unfortunately, I still need to find a good way to incorporate this site. The last major overhaul wasn't that long ago, so I'm reluctant to make major changes in the appearance. The merge will also most likely include the deletion of the current home page, so bookmarks will have to redirect, most likely to the front page of the Journal.

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