Where do I even begin? April was incredibly hectic and so much has happened. At least I have pictures to go along with almost everything, I think. I'm going to section this update. Yes, that much has happened. Phew!
Circle of Fountains
Last month, we compiled ideas in a brainstorming activity that gave us a basic outline for our PPD ritual using post-its and categories. This month, I had everyone come to the meeting with a fully-written ritual in hand following a specific format.
We then chopped them apart...
... And puzzle-pieced them back together as one ritual written by the entire circle! Look at that!
I personally didn't participate because I will be taking this and editing it into a functioning outline. In a couple weekends, we'll be going out to the marketplace that PPD is held at to take a look around and do a rough walk-through. That'll tell us if we need to change anything based on the location. Next month, we'll be purchasing the materials and then, in the next two months, we'll have time for practice! We're definitely on the ball with this. I'm so excited for our circle to present this ritual!
April is wedding and afterprom season, which means I've been up late drawing fresh-faced newly weds and tired teenagers for over a month now. I love it though. April's one of the busiest months, but it's also when I feel the most alive because work picks up. I live for my job.
I've also been getting back to more realistic digital caricatures. When commissioned, my digital caricatures generally look like colored line work. There's nothing wrong with that, but sometimes I like to do away with the lines. Celebrities give me a chance to do that. Sadly, it took a death to inspire to the piece to the left. Seems the grim reaper has it out for a number of legendary celebrities this year.
Otherwise, things have been rather... sleepy for them. April was full of cloudy days and it was about all they could push through to get through it.
We had a rather interesting intruder the other day in the ritual area. I discovered the issue when I came down to let my dog out and found candles and pine cones scattered everywhere. I rounded the corner to this sight above.
Honestly, I expected to see a cricket or a giant spider or something under there. But nothing could brace me for the cute I was about to find.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is not a mouse. It's a vole. We've known about voles in our yard for some time, but this little guy must've slipped in the night before when I sleepily let Artie out and back in for the last time that night, likely running from our local owl population. I swear, our backyard is an episode of the National Geographic.
Never to fear: I put the cats in the litter box room, closed the door, opened the sliding glass door and coerced the little guy out with a folded umbrella. He made it out fairly unscathed (though probably thinking that he chose the worst hiding place ever).
I guess that brings me to the last point, and a rather sore one at that right now.
So you know how we're under a five-plant retrograde right now? This is pretty much what happens during those times. Yes, that's water. And it was everywhere.
Sometime overnight, the downstairs toilet randomly overflowed with clear water - don't ask me how because I still don't know. It must have overflowed for hours. I actually woke up randomly at 2 am thinking something was wrong, but I tried to force myself to go back to sleep because I had a long day of work ahead. By 4:30 am, I realized I just wasn't going to sleep for whatever reason and wondered into the kitchen for breakfast. That's when I heard what I thought was our wash machine running. Confused, I started to go downstairs when I saw the water.
We shut off the water to the lower basement and moved all the furniture out of the way with the help of circlemates. It took all morning. Then, I had to go to work. I mean, this is a picture of me from that day working at a local university.
What makes this even more of a nightmare story is that our rental company has totally neglected fixing the damage. It took them six days to come out and pull up the carpet, and they never actually removed the water.
Because they took so long to remove the carpet and it took 48 hours for the water to dry, we now have warped walls - which also presents a risk for mold.
After they removed the carpet, we have heard nothing from them since. We've called and we've tried to get in contact. Short of making the forty minute drive to show up in their office and demand they give us a time table, nothing has happened. This is what our basement currently looks like:
Guys, I'm done. I'm done fighting rental companies. So this time, I hired an attorney. Stuff like this just cannot keep happening. I'm so exhausted from it that I refuse to do this anymore.
I don't really want to discuss what's going on from there. Our lawyer has a timeline of how he plans to tackle this and we agree that it's the best course of action. I will likely have updates next month on this front - possibly sooner depending. Honestly, hiring a lawyer is pretty much the best thing we've ever done. I feel like we have this under control for the first time in our lives.
And I think that sums up just about everything! I'll update as I have updates that I can publicly give. Until next time!