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Very good, Jeeves...

I don't know whether to be impressed or completely freaked out.
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Alone again, naturally...

I've just learned that I am now a unique entity in the Universe. 

Exactly when this happened, I don't know, but it seems my namesake, the candle shop franchise 'Wicks 'N' Sticks', faded quietly away into the night somehow.   The only traces of it I can find on the web are individual storefront reviews on various local 'about town' sites, and all of those I've checked on appear to be outdated.  There are some franchise lists that still have it, and one of those showed that it still had 147 stores open as of 2008, but that's it.  The web links these listings include are defunct.
What happened to Wicks 'N' Sticks?  I mean, I'm glad I ostensibly have no worries about copyright infringement now, but this store was a regional mall staple for most of my life.  Where did it go?

Up early and walking...

Well, I did it.   My goal was to get up early this morning and walk, because I've been SO BAD about it lately.  Truth be told, I actually walked quite a bit yesterday, but it was... 'colloquial' walking.  Chris came over and we went to Busch Wildlife with Lucas.  We 'hiked' the Fallen Oak trail (which i set off in quotes because it's a paved trail), which amounted to 0.7 miles of walking.  Then we walked a little at Schaefer Park.  All together we probably walked a whopping mile, which is quite a bit less than I've been known to undertake in a day, terrain notwithstanding.
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PCG Stuff !

For those who remember the debacle with my subdivision over Project Common Ground, this might be of interest.
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Writer's Block: Significant Change

Nicole and I were talking about this just today, in fact.  The question is:

Have you ever significantly changed yourself to suit someone with whom you were either in a relationship or just wanted to be.  Did it work?

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Still reeling...

So I've been making a concerted effort to live 'healthier' lately. I'm modifying my diet, I'm walking on our new treadmill. This actually started well before New Years, but I guess this is still the time of year for such things, so it's probably natural.

At any rate, I've been really trying to make a habit out of the exercise, at least. My homemade treadmill desk (credit to Pangie!) makes walking every day much easier and more enjoyable, so it hasn't been hard to maintain that habit at all. I barely know I'm walking, and now I feel almost agitated when I'm working on my laptop without walking at the same time.

So today the boys are supposed to go on a field trip to the Daniel Boone Home. I was fretting over this to some of my friends because I wasn't sure I'd have time to work in a good walk on the treadmill AND the field trip. Melalvai suggested I get a pedometer and use that to measure how much I walk on the trip, and Pangie then offered to send me one of hers, as apparently she has many and was happy to send one my way. Awesome, right? What a great friend!

That was a few days ago, and last night a big padded envelope arrived from Pangie. And I mean BIG. Like... 9x11? And it was pretty hefty too, so I thought, "My goodness, how big is this pedometer?" I opened it up to find that it did, in fact, contain a (thankfully small) blue pedometer and a huge pile of envelopes and stuff. I glanced at the envelopes, not sure what they were, and set them aside while I played with the pedometer. I think I figured the envelopes and such were literature or something, since Pangie and I always talk about things like nutrition. It wouldn't have surprised me if she'd sent me recipes or some literature on nutrition or something, given my late enthusiasm for such things.

By and by, I had exhausted the features of the pedometer and turned to see what else she'd sent me. I turned over the top envelope on the stack and was surprised to find it was a stamped and addressed envelope from me to misaochankun. Pangie and I have sort of an in-joke about Thank-You cards, as we both understand and even approve of their purpose but still have trouble getting around to writing them. I don't mind the actual writing, myself; I just hate scrambling to find current addresses and then making sure I have stamps, and all of that. I always tend to put them off until it's too late to reasonably send them, and then I feel guilty. She once pledged to me that if she ever sent me a gift, she would make sure to include a self-addressed, stamped Thank-you card so that I wouldn't have to worry about it.

But this wasn't to her. It was to Misao. My mind whirled in instant guilt. Had Misao done something for me and I'd forgotten to properly thank him? Had he said something to Pangie? Was this her way of gently letting me know I was remiss? What had I forgotten?!

Around that time, I realized that there was not just one of these envelopes, but many. Plus a blue envelope and a gray square one that came from something called 'The Face & The Body'. I picked up these two and opened them, and then I realized what was going on.

My friends got together and got me a 'Mom's Escape Day' at a SPA! OMG. OMG! Andy saw the look on my face as the full comprehension of what this was washed over me and he asked me what it was. I showed it to him. He said, "You're going to cry now, aren't you? Oh look! There she goes!"

I swear, I have the best friends in the whole wide world! This is no courtesy little 'sample' package, either. This package includes a Swedish Massage, a facial, hair styling, make-up, and they even feed you lunch and give you flowers! FOUR HOURS of being pampered! It's just the sweetest thing I have ever seen in my life!

To demonstrate just how unbelievably grateful and touched I was by this, I sat down right then and wrote out all of the thank-you cards and put them in the mailbox. I also wrote E-mails to the couple of people for whom Pangie didn't have addresses. It seemed like that was absolutely the LEAST I could do!

I always say NarniaMUCK is my Nerdy Little Secret, but never let it be said that I'm ashamed of it. I have made some of the best friends anyone could ask for thanks to that game, and I hope they all know how much they mean to me. And to those who contributed (or even wanted to contribute but just couldn't), thank you so much and I love you! You guys are the best!

Update on Merrybell

More timeline. Feel free to ignore.

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The ol' Attaboy

It's hard to think clearly when people are patting your back.
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Once again, I find myself reminded that interacting online with 'Dog People' is bad for one's health.

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Poor, Sick Merrybell...?

I'm mainly posting about this so I can establish a timeline later if I need to. :)

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