Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trick or Treat!

Wow! Today certainly has not calmed my fear of owls! I received a package today from Bevin Rae that took multiple owls to carry it! I nearly ran away in fright at the sight of all those birds winging their way toward me, but once Rowena and Ophelia C. assured me they carried something for me and were not merely erratic birds (nor were they as over-excited as the bunch of owls that landed me in St. Mungo’s), I relaxed. A little bit, anyhow. :)

The package was for our in-House Trick-or-Treat swap, and I was blown away at how much there was inside! At first I couldn’t believe it was for that swap, as Olive said to use a bubbled envelope. I thought she meant a small one. I almost feel bad for how small and simple mine was that went out. Bevin used a bubbled envelope, but it was a large one.

I got a knit sock pattern, a crochet scarf pattern, a kit to make a Halloween garland, a witch pez dispenser, a post card from California, a candy corn candy holder STUFFED with candy (I don’t know how she got it all in there!), 4 pairs of plastic vampire teeth, and some Ravenclaw blue ink that I used with my quill tonight. :D On top of all that, there was also another envelope in there stuffed with fun craft goodies from her kiddos to mine!

My boys were very excited to see it all and were quite upset with me when I told them it was too late for them to get into it tonight. (I didn’t get the package until my husband got home.) They seemed to be pacified, though, with a sticker each and to each play with a set of the fangs. Tomorrow we’ll be crafty. :)

I’ve been keeping myself quite busy with S.P.E.W. as of late. I still haven’t heard anything about anything officially this term for it, so I’ve kind of just gone my own way and done my own chapter of it, if you will. As October is breast cancer awareness month, I’ve been making free beanie-style hats, some knit and some crochet, for cancer patients losing their hair because of going through chemotherapy. The first 7 I made are long gone, and I’ve got another 15 to send out yet. Over the past couple of days, I’ve finished 3 of those needed 15, and am working on the 4th.

I am really not happy with the fact that our Internet is down again. I had started to get back into playing WoW, and was actively leveling my paladin, trying to prepare for the expansion by making level 70 before the release on November 13th. The other night, I got up to two bars away from making level 66 and was in the midst of getting the seasonal achievements for Hallow’s End…and I got booted offline. I’m trying to give the Italians the benefit of the doubt that it was caused by the massive storm that we’ve had going on over the span of the past couple of days, even though it stormed the whole day before it cut off that night and that it was clear out today and we’re still not back online, but given that they’ve shut us off twice in the last 8 months, it’s hard. They had better not have disconnected us again. (The Italians will shut off your Internet without any cause, just so they can charge you the reconnect fee to get a little extra money, and it ticks me off! They get away with it!) If they did, they’d better hope it’s my husband dealing with them, because I’ll have no patience with them. Especially since we’ve been back online from the last time for maybe a month! I guess only time will tell, though…

Tomorrow (Halloween), there’s a carnival going on at the base in the afternoon, so I’m hoping I can get my boys to actually wear their costumes (they wouldn’t the other night) and get some pictures. Here’s hoping!

So, thank you, Bevin Rae for the spectacular trick-or-treat package! I absolutely love it! I feel quite spoiled! :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween Preperation!

What a fun night! Arick got a brand new video game (Fable II for the Xbox 360) and he wanted a few hours to play without the interruption of the boys, so he “kicked us out” of the house for the day. Not that I was sad to go! We spent the day at Kristin’s. When we first got there, we carved pumpkins. I’ve never carved a pumpkin before! The most I’d ever done was draw a face on it with permanent marker. Kristin had a pumpkin carving kit, but she couldn’t find it anywhere, so we had to use the “medieval” tools of knives and spoons. LOL I actually think they turned out quite well, considering I’d never before done it and had to use, what I hear is, such “primitive” pumpkin carving tools. I picked up two pumpkins from the commissary the night prior, so that there would be one for each of the boys. Aidyn really got excited about it and got into scooping all the insides out with his spoons and dumping it into a bag. It didn’t quite smell like what I expected…I guess I just thought it’d smell like pumpkin pie. LOL It most definitely did not! On Aidyn’s pumpkin, I did two spiders, and on Calen’s, I did a ghost. Kristin carved a cat and stars on hers. J

One of Kristin’s other friends, Liz, came over as well with her 2 month old baby girl. We all ended up going over to the base to try and take the kids to the Trunk-or-Treat and the non-scary hours for the Haunted House. Unfortunately for me, neither of the boys would wear their costumes. L I went through all the trouble of getting Aidyn a Halloween costume (Spiderman!), and he refused to wear it. I didn’t think of costumes ahead of time enough to order any online or ask my in-laws to send us some, and the options at the BX were little to none. They had infant and adult costumes and pretty mush nothing in between. So I was going to let Calen decide between his and Aidyn’s costumes from last year, James or Thomas, but he didn’t want either. Collin looked really cute in his skeleton jumper, though! If we get to make it to the Halloween carnival on base on Halloween day, maybe I can convince them to dress up then. Or maybe Arick can. He seems to have that touch.

When we got to base and around to where the line was for the trunk-or-treat, it really ended up not being worth the wait. The line was waaaaaaaaaay too long to stand in with 4 kids aged 2 months through 3 years. It was a little nippy as well, and not good for Hannah and Collin to be out in. So instead, we went to the food court inside and the boys got pizza. That made them happy. J The food vendors also had some candy set out for the kids, so we got a little (and I mean very little) bit anyhow. While I was there, I had to run and grab some diapers (I ran out in the diaper bag before we even got to base!) and picked up a little thing of Snickers bars as well, just so that Aidyn could say “trick or treat!” and get some candy in his bucket. I let him hold on to the bucket for the trip back to Kristin’s. That turned out to be a mistake.

Kristin and I were talking in the front, when all of the sudden, an aroma caught my olfactory attention. And we’re not talking about stinky diaper aroma, either. I could smell chocolate. I asked Kristin if Aidyn had gotten into the candy, and sure enough, he already had half of the bar gone! (They weren’t the mini-sized…probably about the size of the ones you see at the check-out counter.) I didn’t even know he could open packages like that! Needless to say, he didn’t get to hold the bucket for the rest of the trip. I guess the chocolate-y mess could have been significantly worse than it was, but I was just too miffed (and amused, really) that he’d even gotten it open to fully appreciate that. He got some on his socks and some on his shirt. (He was pant-less due to a wetting accident, just before getting in the car.) No chocolate, seemingly, on his car seat or anywhere on the car’s upholstery, thank goodness! We went back to Kristin’s and baked some cookies. Yum! Aidyn was very excited about using the cookie cutter to help make Halloween sugar cookies! In fact, when I turned my back (I know, I know, foolish me!) to put one on the cookie sheet, Aidyn helped himself to using another cookie cutter, smack dab in the middle of the rolled out dough! He even had pulled it up and set it aside, with the dough caught inside the cutter! He’s getting awfully sneaky and very independent. He makes his own choices on what he wants to do and acts on it.

After the cookies were all in the oven, the boys played their little hearts out while Krsitin and I chatted and crocheted. (I’m teaching her how to make the round ripple afghan!) J She and I got to decorate the cookies, too. At first we thought about letting the boys try to do it, but then this mental image of Aidyn squeezing the icing tube as hard as he could and making a huge mess just wouldn’t get out of my head! So we had fun with it instead. J I looked at the clock at about 10p, and thought that I should start to get the boys ready to go. I really try to not keep them out too late. When they started getting inexplicably cranky, though, was when I finally got around to getting us out the door. Guess why they were so cranky….it was because it was two in the morning!!! I can’t believe we stayed that late! I have no idea how 10-30 minutes turned into four more hours! I still can’t believe that was four hours!

I got home and the boys in bed, and went downstairs to apologize to Arick for us getting home so late, and I asked him if he enjoyed his 13 kid-free, gaming hours, and you know what he said? “It wasn’t long enough.” *eye roll* Gamers. ;) LOL So today I was going to return Kristin’s cell phone to her (she accidentally left it in the car last night), and he suggested that I take the boys and a movie and that the boys and I stay over there for an hour or two…or five. LOL We ended up getting to have some yummy pumpkin pasta dish that Kristin had never made before. It was quite tasty! Much to Arick’s dismay, though, the boys and I didn’t stay nearly as late this time around. LOL All in all, I had a fantastic weekend!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ahh, that's better...

Whew! Some of the pressure has been let off! I finished the round ripple tree skirt last night.

You can't tell from the pictures, very well, but the middle red, green and white section is done with the Red Heart Holiday's got silver sparkles in it...never again will I buy that yarn! It's too painful!!! The overall effect once it's done is nice, but in my opinion, not really worth it. My finger felt like steel wool was being rubbed across it. Ouch!

But as of this morning, it went off to join the other donations for the deployed troops on the front range. I didn't make it very large, but that's because their tree is only 4.5' tall...I hope they like it!

In other news, I finished another hat!

Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and I've still not heard anything about S.P.E.W. through HSKS for this term, I've decided to do my own little chapter of S.P.E.W. I'm making hats free for cancer patients undergoing chemo, and I am also going to sell some on eBay, with the proceeds going to cancer research. Here are all the hats I've finished so far:

I also got my Trick or Treat package sent off to my Ravenclaw "spoilee" yesterday morning. My owl, Sylus, took off dutifully and purposefully. I hope they get it quickly!!! :) I can't wait to hear the reaction to my's absolutely priceless!

So now I'm just down to working on the Special Olympics scarves and finishing up on Draco's package! Yay! ::scampers off to work on said projects::

Ravenclaw House Quiz

1. What security question does Mr. Weasley ask Mrs. Weasley before he enters the Burrow? What is the answer?
What is Arthur's nickname for Molly when they're alone? Mollywobbles

2. What two names does Mrs. Cole call Dumbledore when she takes him to see Tom Riddle at the orphanage?
Mr. Dumberton and Dunderbore

3. What is the name of Ginny's Pygmy Puff?

3. What three D's are needed for apparating? Destination, Determination, and Deliberation

4. What spell did Harry perform when he was attacked by Dementors? Patronus Charm

5. Who did an arrow salute at Dumbledore's funeral? the centaurs

6. What did Dumbledore set on fire to prove to Tom Riddle that he was a wizard? Tom's wardrobe

7. What Christmas present did Kreacher give Harry? a large number of maggots

8. What is on top of the Weasleys' Christmas tree? a garden gnome that had bitten Fred, stupified, painted gold, and stuffed into a mini-tutu with small wings glued to it's back

9. What was the most popular item at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes? Nosebleed Nougat

10. Why did Harry threaten to kick Ron off the Griffindor Quidditch team? His attitude toward his teammates

11. What happens if you break an Unbreakable Vow? the person that breaks the vow dies

12. Who did Hermoine go to Slughorn's party with? Cormac McLaggen

13. Who is Mrs. Weasley's favorite singer? Celestina Warbeck

14. Who are the only two people who know the full contents of the prophecy made about Harry and Lord Voldemort? Harry and Dumbledore

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Up to my ears in it!

Wow!!! So much homework needing completed in this Ravenclaw dorm room! The hats for cancer patients is going to be an ongoing thing, likely through the whole winter, which is well past the end of this term. The same goes for the Special Olympics scarves. I'm trying new forms of Transfiguration for those, stitches I've never tried before. And the first one is coming out quite well, if I do say so myself! On top of all that, I'm attempting a modified version of a Transfiguration spell I am very adept at: the round ripple! I'm making a Christmas tree skirt in a round ripple variation! Donations are being taken at our local military base to go with the tree that they sent down to our deployed troops on the front range.

On top of all that, I've still got some Potions to finish up! I've been collecting the ingredients for a little while, and I still have a couple more to get, but I can't wait to put it all together and mail it off to Draco! Plus I need to get the final ingredient for the Trick or Treat potion to send fellow Ravenclaw! :) The identity of my housemate I'm sending to is a secret until they get their package. :) I bought the Ravenclaw item when I was in Venice, so I really hope they like it!!! I know I do! LOLOn top of all that, I have requests from a family member to do some research for the Italian-themed Christmas they're having this year (in honor of us being here) and to find a sock monkey pattern to make them for my nieces. :) And I found a free crochet pattern that I'm going to use. I'm definitely going to have to tweak it a definitely needs longer arms and legs, and I may have to adjust the rest the meantime, I smell a surprise from one of my two poltergeists. I'd better go and locate the source and get it taken care of, and then I'm off to work more on my Transfiguration and S.P.E.W. awareness. I swear that campaign never rests...::sigh::

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Quidditch Round 2

1. What animal does the portrait in the Muggle Prime Minster’s office resemble?

a. Rat
b. Frog
c. Cat
d. Lion

2. What drink does Romilda Vane try to give Harry?

a. Gillywater
b. Butterbeer
c. Pumpkin Juice
d. Elf-Made Wine

3. What is the name of the person who heads the Holyhead Harpies?

a. Gwenog Smith
b. Gwenog Jones
c. Glen Jones
d. Glen Smith

4. How many ‘Exceeds Expectation’ grades does Harry receive in his O.W.L’s?

a. 6
b. 3
c. 5
d. 4

5. What is Professor Sughorn’s favorite candy?

a. Cockroach Clusters
b. Sherbet Lemon
c. Acid Pops
d. Crystallized Pineapple

6. What tattoo is Harry reported to have on his chest?

a. Mermaid
b. Blast Ended Skrewt
c. Hippogriff
d. Unicorn

7. What color robes do the staff at the Weasley’s shop wear?

a. Buttercup
b. Magenta
c. Royal Blue
d. Aqua

8. What is the man outside Flourish and Blotts selling?

a. Amulets
b. Cloaks
c. Wands
d. Hats

9. How much is the skull, which Hermione enquires about at Borgin and Burkes, worth?

a. 9 Galleons
b. 18 Galleons
c. 16 Galleons
d. 12 Galleons

10. What are Professor Slughorn’s initials?

a. H.F.G.
b. H.E.F.
c. H.A.L.
d. H.K.D.

My favorite Harry Potter character should really be no surprise....

I mean, really, when you come across a character in any book that is so thoroughly channeling yourself, how can they not be your favorite? Though the following also come in a close second...


As to my favorite magical creature...that one is a all honesty, even though I empathize with their enslavement and, at times, awful working conditions, I really wouldn't mind having my own....

Though I guess if we're simply talking about a favorite, and not necessarily one you'd like to own, there's always these...

After all, I have always wanted to experience flying like a bird does...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Scavenger Hunt (Part 1)

I was really trying to hold out until I got all the pictures, or at least the two in my mind, but I think I should just post what I have, since it's already late as it is....So without further ado, my photos!

First is my engagement ring (it's sitting atop the tower of Pisa)

Secondly is a broom, a common household item of any witch or wizard

Then comes the horcrux; I was surprised to find an object of such dark magic in my house! I suspect that my husband (who is a Slytherin through and through) had something to do with it's appearance...

Next, we have a bottle of Felix Felicis, my lucky potion, that I finally finished brewing recently

I found a certain Muggle artifact that Mr. Weasley would love to's a plug converter! The appliances in my Muggle home are from America, so they're not compatible with Italian plugs. We have some actual energy converters for the larger Muggle appliances (like the television), but for the things like the laptop computer that have an AC adapter, we can simply use this plug that can change the number and shape of prongs that go into the wall

The next object I found in my travels is a tree changing seasons; this one happens to be in my Muggle neighbor's yard...I get to see this beauty every day...(the tree is now orange!)

I was fortunate enough to find a used textbook from a Muggle class I had taken a few years back

Oh, and I snapped a picture of the butterbeer that I was sent by owl from Ophelia Croockshanks while I was laid up at home. It was so sweet of her to think of me, since I missed the first Hogsmeade weekend and all! Thanks, Ophelia! It was tasty! :)

I found this fanged frisbee abandoned in one of the classrooms at Hogwarts, and it was only after I took it as my own that I found out they were banned in the school halls! So I brought it home. :)

And I can't believe I found this Boggart in my Muggle house! This magical creature turned into the Muggle version of a ghost when the Muggle children I was watching stumbled across it. Luckily, I was able to rid the house of it without anyone (even the MoM!) noticing...

And lastly, I found this raven's feather. Don't be fooled by it's color! It was a feather left over from an upper-year's Transfiguration class. I'm guessing that either the student couldn't turn it back to it's rightful color, or it somehow shed this feather before being turned back to black.

Unfortunately, that's all I have right now. Naturally, I'll be posting the other items as I get them, because even though it's late, I still have to complete the entire assignment! It would go against my nature to not! So keep your eyes peeled for the rest!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My Marker

So it's late, but I'm at last getting my scavenger hunt pictures up...I was afraid that my stay in St. Mungo's followed by the doctor ordered bed rest at my Muggle home would mean that I had let my roomies down, but alas, Rowena and Arianna didn't even post any of the pictures! I sure am glad I didn't pull a classic me and stay up all night searching for all the desired objects....but at least one Soaring Eagle has to post! So to begin, here is my marker:

I figured it was appropriate, seeing as how my Muggle residence is currently in Italy...

Oh yeah, I suppose I should take this time to share photos of the offending packages that landed me in St. Mungo's...
The first package was from fellow Ravenclaw Fiera Firenze. :) She was helping me to get my hands on some things for Draco's kit that I couldn't get shipped to my address, so I'm not posting any pictures of the full package, but here's what she stuck in there for me! :D I got very excited when I saw these pins! They still make me smile every time I look at them. :) They're decorating my crafting bag.
This one was from Minee. A prize for winning the quote pop quiz. I love the little sewn bag, can't wait to use the yarn, and this brings my collection of stitch markers to two whole sets! :D

This one was from my Muggle sister. There's nothing really special about the yarn or anything, it's just your plain old, soft Caron yarn, but this many packages in one day with yarn in them? Too cool! ;) She sent it to me to make her a poncho, along with a copy of her wedding invitation (she got married on Sept. 19th) and a little activity book for my boys.

And lastly...

...the package that sent me to St. Mungo's. My beautiful hat from Elladora and some sock yarn in Ravenclaw colors. I'm so excited to get to make myself my first ever pair of house socks!!!

That many owls setting upon any person at once is enough to do some serious damage without even the duel hat being a part of the deliveries! But I have one more picture to get before I post my scavenger hunt results....::scampers away clutching her camera::

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My down time...

Oh, how I long for the halls of Hogwarts! I’m getting a bit stir-crazy being cooped up in my Muggle residence while waiting for the all clear for me to resume classes. I guess it’s a good thing that I’m out of the future duels, since I doubt I’d be able to have access to the pattern the moment of its release.

It really is almost disturbing to find out just how much time I spend in my transfiguration studies. I’ve been babysitting some Muggle kids that have been demanding every second of my attention, and I still have been getting bored! I have some good ideas on promoting elf awareness once I return to Hogwarts, though! I think I’ll try to put together a day where S.P.E.W. members remove all furniture from the assigned dorm, clean it thoroughly and then replace the furniture. I’ve been doing similar projects on a smaller scale, and they’ve been oddly satisfying.

And even though I’ve been MIA at school, I’ve been pushing hard to keep up with my studies! I’ve made excellent progress on Draco’s package, and I am getting more and more excited as each piece of it falls into place! I have also been hard at work in the intra-house scavenger hunt! I felt very bad for all but abandoning Rowena and Arianna with my St. Mungo’s trip. I contacted Olive, though, so hopefully I’ll get a little bit more time to get my pictures in. My Muggle Internet has not been working, so I didn’t even have access to the list of what I needed to take photographs of! I got the list last night, though. One of my Muggle companions let me use her Internet. I will post the pictures as soon as I can, I promise! Here’s to hoping the Soaring Eagles (I think that was what we had settled on for a name, though I’m not entirely certain) gets a bunch of points!!!

I was also very excited to find I had a couple of e-owls I had been looking for waiting in my inbox when I used the Internet last night. I got permission from the designers of the patterns that were used in the first round of the hat bracket of the duels to sell some with all of the proceeds going to fund cancer research! But I’d better get back to these Muggle children…they really are time consuming…


Due to circumstances beyond my control involving out of control owls, I, unfortunately missed out on the first Hogsmeade trip of the year! To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. But my stay in St. Mungo's wasn't all bad, I suppose. I was able to get some much needed rest, though it seems that I lost my duel. To say I'm not disappointed would be a lie, but at the same time, I now have more time to devote to my studies and S.P.E.W.

I really hate to cut this short, but the Muggle contraption called the "Internet" has gone out at my Muggle residence (I was instructed my St. Mungo's staff to take off a bit more time to recuperate) and I am at present borrowing the use of a friend's computer. I hope to be back at Hogwarts soon!!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Daily Prophet Special Rush Edition

Hogwarts Student Found Near Death After Owl Assault

Oct. 3, 2008, 5:10 p.m.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (DP) - A Hogwarts student has been transferred to St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries today after an absurd raining of owls. Hermione Bagnold of Ravenclaw House was eating a late dinner in the Great Hall with her roommates, Rowena Bladvak and Arriana Stylos, when a group of owls appeared to attack her. It turns out that they were all merely overzealous in delivering their packages, all being new owls from various owleries around the globe. The Ministry of Magic is looking into the situation to determine if this was truly by mere chance.

"It was pretty scary," says Rowena of the attack. "Out of nowhere, owls came all at once for her. One from a yarn dyer, one from the U.S. with potions supplies, one from a member of her own family, and another with a contest prize." Hermione seemed to obtain nothing but surface scratches and bruises from the initial group, but the last owl that came in is the one that kept her from being held at Hogwarts' hospital wing. A package from a certain Elladora Madley contained a hat that all but finished her off.

Elladora's representative maintains that it was an act of following dueling club procedures, and nothing more. Elladora herself has not yet been reached for comment, though she appeared to be overjoyed at the news her package found it's mark.

"Hermione was pretty stressed out about the duel's outcome," confides fellow Ravenclaw Minerva Wood. "She sent her owl out for delivery first and was anticipating going far in the tournament. I guess Elladora just had a better owl."

An anonymous Slytherin scoffed at the idea that it came down to the owls. "I suspect dark magic involvement," he states mysteriously. "I mean, Hermione finished her hat first and then helped out the others struggling with the pattern on top of it all! I think that Elladora should have surrendered on those terms alone."

A member of Gryffindor House, Prendolyn Wilcox, disagrees. "Hermione was all about fair. She helped out a lot of us that were struggling with figuring the hat out. She said it was an unfair advantage if others were seriously struggling with it. There are some things that are just beyond control, like international owls."

A second Slytherin, Ophelia Crookshanks, a friend of Hermione's long before the entered at Hogwarts, was only slightly shocked. "She did it to herself, you know. She helped her opponent out. Encouraged her to keep trying. I've seen Hermy do it before. When we were in Muggle school together, there was one spot open for Drum Major, and there was only one person that was an actual threat to her obtaining her goal, and he was going to give up! She told him he was better than he thought and convinced him to try out anyway, and he beat her out by half of a point!"

That story does not surprise her soft-spoken roommate Arriana. "She is a very encouraging person. I hope she pulls through!"

Hermione remains under close watch at St. Mungo's, with little hope of recovering, but many hope that she will beat the odds and come back to the duels, thirsty for more.