I am horrid when it comes to determining what time it is in what time zone. HORRIBLE! When we were in NY it was easy, everything was - something or other. Now we are CST it's hard to remember which direction it goes. So I've fixed my problem with a nice ajax program. It started out with just a PHP script for a static time. Now, it changes as the page stays up. Yay!

My Time Zone Clocks

I have a few resolutions this year

1. Minimize our debt
2. Reach at least 136lbs by July 1. I'm shooting for 125 but not sure if I'll be able to maintain that with out alot of exercise.
3. Maintain at least 1 client per week with Heritage Web Solutions. Hoping to ramp up to three per week but not sure how doable that is.
4. Learn something new, or get better at something I already know. Things on this list are: learning to draw, getting better with photoshop and illustrator graphics, learn flash, get a better handle on ajax.
5. Finish some personal projects: DR PSW Basic Database, Creating my own city for a World of Darkness campaign/story to write
6. Potty Train Kathleen
7. Start playing with my girls in a more productive way for all of us.
8. Start some sort of exercise program for myself and the girls.

Christmas Eve was eventful for me. I was bad this year and didn't wrap my presents before hand so I tried to put the girls down at 7:30 as usual. Well that didn't go well. Kathleen fussed for about 30 mins, so did Samantha. nothing I could do could comfort both of them. So I gave Sam to Shea and he dealt with her while I held and rocked Kathleen for a little while. Finally was able to lay her down with a bottle and she was out. I then had to fight more with Samantha to get her to eat and go to sleep. So by 9pm they were in bed. *sighs* it wasn't fun.

Then I had to pick up the living room so that when Shea's parents came it wasn't a disaster area as usual. I had to wrap the presents, which also meant I had to sort presents so I knew where things were when they woke up. I decided not to wrap the swings as the box was huge, I just put them under the tree.

So far things have gone over pretty well. They were both up at 7am, needless to say Mommy is exhausted. I didn't get to bed till midnight, and the girls woke up several times during the night. And I didn't fall asleep right away, the normal I want Christmas to come. Not for me but for the girls. I can't wait for them to open up their presents.

And the wait was worth it. We set up the video camera for my parents to watch while they opened their gifts. It was cool. Sam and Joyce came in near the beginning. Kathleen absolutely adores the little counting piggie bank Gram T bought her. She loved the Doodlebop DVD, she's watched part of it then got bored with the TV. She loves her keyboard topper from Santa. And I'd bet we'd be outside on the swing if she could.

They both got much needed clothes. I've been waiting to see what Mom bought them before buying more for Kathleen, she's in dire need of clothes that fit well. Thankfully she has some to get her buy till we get some extra cash.

Shea got an IOU and some John Wayne DVDs. We got some books that will help with the diet and some. I got some flannel pants, a fleece blanket and my zune, which is syncing up right now. It's really cool. I love it, hopefully it sounds good.

We got some chocolate and that's about the extent of our events. Samantha got toys for her age, rattles and teethers mostly.

Oh yeah, they both got a stuffed animal. Kathleen got an orange tabby cat and Samantha got a monkey. They are adorable. These were both from Gram T.

We still have one more round of presents to go through and next Saturday for Kathleen's birthday party. Lots of fun!

I love Christmas, I miss my family but this was pretty good. We even had Christmas eve dinner cause I had to cook the turkey that we'd bought for Shea's family Christmas, but we had a change of plans so I had to get rid of it. It was good. I also baked off the bread that I had bought for thanksgiving and didn't get to make. It was good!

We found out one more rule. Samantha cannot go to bed first!

For the past two nights the girls have been sleeping in the same room. Thursday night we moved Sam into the girls bedroom and there wasn't a very big protest. Kathleen said no no no at first, I think she thought it was for her, but when she realized it was for sissy she didn't seem so bothered.

The first night Kathleen and Samantha were put to bed at 7:30pm. That didn't work well. I tried to feed Sam in there but Kathleen wanted me to rock her too, so that didn't go well, halfway through the feeding I put them both in their bed. Kathleen ended up climbing into Samantha's crib. At about 8:00pm, I pulled them both out of bed and we waited half an hour to try again. By this time they were both dead. I put Kathleen to bed first with her bottle and feed Samantha in the living room while we finished the movie. Samantha fell asleep so I put her in the bedroom.

They woke up with their usual schedules but didn't wake each other up.

So the next night proceeded the same way, Kathleen in bed first then Samantha after she ate. So far we are doing great!

I'm working on a Database for the PSW yet again. This time I hope to actually finish it. So far so good right? We hope so anyway.

I have never been good with optimizing my queries to the database, so today I figured I would try to use a join or union to do what I know it could do. The mysql.org documentation only showed examples using two tables, I need to do multiple tables. Well a nice search in google and I came up with an article written by someone else and it was exactly what I needed, and it showed the data that the query resulted in so that I knew it was exactly what I wanted. Yes!

Thank god for the internet, particularly for a self-taught, book lacking person like myself!

I have a few more Christmas presents to buy. Shea needs to decide how to spend his dollars he got from my parents. And I need to get something for his parents, but other than that my shopping is done.

The biggest thing though is I have to plan Kahtleen's birthday party. She didn't have a one year down here last year as things just didn't work out, she had a party at my parents on her birthday so that was good.

Shea wants to go out somewhere I'm thinking a party at home with family and a few of the little family members is all that we need, cake and ice-cream and let her play in the play room. She'll have the swing set outside if it's nice, maybe if Shea sets it up before it. One can only hope. I think I've got some of the items to get her for her birthday, still need a little more as I need to buy for Mom and Dad too since they forgot to include anything for her in the packages they sent her. I fell bad about calling them and asking, I wasn't fishing for presents for her, but I just wanted to make sure when I got the packages that her birthday presents didn't go under the tree. I really don't want her birthday to get lost in Christmas.

I still need to buy a tree, the mice ate the one from last year so I need to buy another. I'm thinking small again this year, make it easier for us to keep little fingers and mouths off of things (including diamonds). Though it can't go in the play pen this year as we are using it to block the unfinished closet where Shea's tools are right now.

I have alot on my mind and on my plate. I'm very much looking forward to break time with Shea. It will be a good relaxing time for us all.

It really is amazing to watch the girls grow up. Samantha rolled over for the first time the other day from back to stomach. A few days ago she rolled over the other way from stomach to back. She's also getting the sitting up by herself thing going. She's still wobbly but she's doing so much better than even two days ago.

Kathleen is too smart sometimes. She's opening up our gates we purchased to keep her in. She's known how to open them but with the advent of learning how to jump, she's figured out if she jumps and pushes at the same time she can open it. She's yet to do it when no one is watching I will have to keep an eye on her in the next few weeks to make sure she stays out of my kitchen. If she is opening up the gates, nothing is safe anymore and I'm going to have to get a lock for the kitchen gate. I've lost two cans of forumla and 3 cartons of eggs to my daughter's destruction in my kitchen.

Well it's that time of year again when I miss my family the most. All I can do is make the best of it with me, Shea and the girlies. Only bad thing is Shea's family is having to deal with his granny's increasing health problems, so it's going to throw a whole dampner on the holiday season.

We had originally planned to visit at Thanksgiving but Shea ate up all his vacation days so we moved it to Christmas, but now we've canceled that for safety reasons. If it were just Shea and I, I wouldn't have said we weren't coming, but it's not safe with the girls to drive up there, so we are planning to head up in July. Though I might try for Easter, not sure if I can wait that long. Though the longer the better and the more time we have to save to get there with no problems.

So not only am I depressed about the family thing, but the money situation is bothering me again. Gotta love it when the holidays put a cramp on the budget. That and the fact that we need a new washer *sighs*. The only good thing is I've got some clients. One's flaking on me so I'm about ready to cancel the stuff I purchased for the site. I'm giving that another week or two before I do that. Three have paid in full and the money has been helpful for the bills. One of them paid for the new washer mostly, only had to take out 50 from this weeks pay check to pay for it. Hopefully it'll last.

I have two from HWS that will be paying decent. 110 and 100 but 25% of that I need to put aside for tax purposes just in case we need to pay for it. I have a feeling this year we aren't getting a refund. Though we will have Samantha's birth on this one so that's great! I'm thinking about picking up two projects for HWS see how I can manage that, the house, the girls and my free time obligations and wants.

I'm thinking we might get a real Christmas tree this year, but I dunno, I think it would be money better spent on a fake one that we can use again next year. I'm gonna put up a three on or right after Thanksgiving. I really hope it'll lift my spirits. I also need to plan a birthday party for Kathleen. Nothing extravagant, but something. It'll be a small party, mostly just Shea's immediate family, maybe his Aunts and probably the only cousin Kathleen's age. Samantha's party in March will include Claire and her family as her little one will be about 3 months then. She may or may not have the little one for Kathleen's birthday as she's do the same day I was. We'll see.

On another up note, Shea's son and his girlfriend are hopefully coming home for Christmas, barring anything bad with his Great Grandmother he'll be down then, if not he'll be down before. So we will hopefully have the whole family here for at least one Christmas, and he'll actually get to meet his littlest sister.

I love my girls. They are growing so quickly. Samantha still isn't sitting up by herself, but I think alot of that is self-defense. The longer she needs support the longer sissy can't pick on her too much. She did however roll over today all by herself. Got stuck on her arm, but she did it all by herself. No help from sissy or a lopsided pillow.

Kathleen is having an issue with eating lately, Shea thinks it stems from Sammi's feeding habits now. Mommy feed Sammi with a spoon and Kathleen has to feed herself. So last time I ate with Kathleen and Samantha. Sat at a card table and fed Sam and ate with Kathleen and ate myself what Kathleen didn't pick out of my plate lol.

I can't wait for Turkey Day, tho I think I'm going to have to have my own Turkey Day the day before, as I'm sure we'll be with Shea's family having sea food lol. Not that I don't like seafood but I miss the Turkey. Another one of those things I miss most.

It's really strange cause most of my friends cant' stand their families or at most tolerates them. Shea's the same way. I'm miserable with out mine at Holidays. In some weird way I'm really hoping a hurricane will wipe the house out so we can move back home. And yes, it will always be home, it's not the same for me down here. Sure love the weather, love my inlaws, but it's not the same.

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp Country Crock Light Margarine
2 tsp onion powder
2 garlic cloves minced
2 cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts shredded
1 cup 2% milk
10 oz of tomato sauce
2 tsp cumin
3 tsp chili powder
1 cup low fat cheese
10 fajita size flour tortillas

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 375
-melt 1 Tbsp margarine in skillet add garlic, sauté lightly
-add shredded chicken
-melt 2 Tbsp margarine in sauce pan, add flour - make a roux
-add milk slowly whisking out all lumps
-add tomato sauce, and seasonings
-add 3/4 c of sauce to chicken mixture
-add 1/4 c cheese to chicken mixture
-coat 13x8 baking dish with cooking spray
-divide the chicken mixture among the 10 flour tortillas, roll tortilla tight and place in dish
-spread remainder of sauce over tortilla rolls
-add cheese over top
-bake 20 mins at 375 until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly

In order to keep the bottom of the tortillas getting too crispy and then tough to cut is to pour the remainder of the tomato sauce from your 16 oz can and add a little of the sauce you've made to the bottom before putting the tortilla rolls down.

The girls are so different from each other. It's really amazing how much people say they look like twins. They hardly look alike. They are definitely sisters, but I would go so far as to say they are twins. The only thing they really share alike is their dark hair, and Samantha's is lightening up, it may even go blond. Shea's hair did that when he was little so we'll see. Sam's eyes are the prettiest blue and Kathleen's got big beautiful brown eyes. They really don't look alike, Sam's smaller too at the same age I mean.

But they are different in more than appearance. Kathleen hardly played with toys when she was little, not rattles or anything she was content just looking around. Samantha loves to play with toys, rattles, anything she can get her hands on, Kathleen explored, she was always playing with her feet, I don't think Samantha's found hers yet lol.

I've started my story and so far I'm proud of it. It's going well and it's not WoTish, except for the "bond" thing which I can't ignore but vampires and magic aren't necessarily part of the WoT so far so good!

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The Embrace

By Alicia Wilkerson

Prologue: The Beginning

My favorite time of day has always been just as the sun has set, and I begin to fully wake up. It has been so long since I’ve seen the light of day that I no longer remember the feel of it’s warmth upon my cold pale skin. It is through the darkness that I watch my kin. I have seen generations come and generations go, and I always choose one of my kin to follow through life. I am looking for another like me, another soul who could embrace this darkness I live in. A companion of sorts, someone to carry on with the heritage I leave here. I am not the first of my line to be embraced, nor will I be the last.

I believe I have found that companion to join me in the darkness, and this is her story. But before we begin the tale of her embrace, we must go back farther to better understand the things that come before us. If I had paid close attention to those details, perhaps I would have thought differently about Cari Namere – a third name by which she was known. She will be known by many more, but this name is hers now, and it is the story we will tell.

Born, as we all once were, in the depths of the darkness, a storm heralding her birth raged outside the windows. I watched from the foggy glass panes as the mother gave birth to a daughter, the last she would ever have, and her last breath she would ever take. It was the process of the times, but she had lived through it before, but this child was breach, and tore through the mother’s body, it was all the midwife could do to keep the child alive. Blood covered everything in the small room, it should have been a sign for things to come. The innocent child now had her first blood on her tiny hands – a tarnished soul to begin with. And a prelude of what would like ahead for the child.

But as families all do, they mourned the passing of the mother. The three children before Cari wept tears of sorry. The father, my kin, tried to keep a stiff upper lip, but you could see the sadness in his eyes. But life, as they say, will go on. It must be noted now, that Cari’s given name was Kayla. Kayla San, a beautiful dark-haired, dark-eyed bouncing baby girl with a future of pure darkness ahead.

As I watched through the window as my kin rallied in sorrow I did not know that this little girl would become my companion, nor did I know at the time that she was the one I would choose to follow through the next generation. But as things would have it I would find out soon enough where my path lay with the girl.

Three days after little Kayla was born, the funeral proceeded during the day and that night tragedy struck again. My kin seemed to been having a bad string of luck these last few years. First a rival merchant was vying for their selling territory, then the death of their mother, and now this. The storm from three days prior returned again, of course not the same storm, but it was that time of year and storms raged one after the other through the area. The lightening flashed as I saw a man slip into the back window of their house. Dressed in black the man was barely visible even to my keen eyes. Water dripped through the now open window and I watched as he slipped back out with a small bundle under his arm. It took me a moment to realize what the bundle was – a small baby, wrapped in the blackest of blankets I had seen in my very long life. As the rain splashed on the swaddled infant she began to cry. He held her close to his body and that seemed to quiet her as he slipped past their gates and into the darkness. Intrigued by the events that came I followed.

My kin, I could hear screaming from his house, yelling for someone to help him. But we were soon out of range for anyone to easily find the culprit who had just stolen his baby girl. Normally I would have let things play out. But my kin’s rage soon became mine, and I made my decision to stop the kidnapper.

From the house top that I was now watching I swooped down in front of the man. He was younger than he looked from a far, a mere child of that generation. No hair on his face, only the gruffness of dirt from living the life he seemed to be set upon. It was only moments before he was screaming as I barred my teeth at him. I drank of his life force; the red sticky blood was like the elixir of life. The coppery taste was one of the few things I loved any more.

He fell lifeless from my arms, and I picked the now crying child from his arms - another life on her little hands. Holding her under my cloak to keep the rain from dampening her further, I made my way to the nearest inn. I would not return her to her family, I only watched, and I could not be seen arriving at their place, it was too obvious what would have happened. I put the child down in a covered wagon, wrapped in my cloak to keep her warm. She slept and I went back to the shadows to watch.

Unfortunately, the tides again took a turn for the worse as an old man came out and reined the horses into a gallop out of the city. And so my journey with Kayla began. I followed as I could; leaving my male kin to his life, to follow the life of another. I rarely followed the female side, but sometimes life takes you where you least expect it to.

Kayla, Cari, my kin, whichever name you prefer to call her by had a hard life when the old man finally arrived home. He had not tried to give the child up. For his own reasons, perhaps because he was afraid that they would think he was the culprit who had kidnapped this child. But it would have been their mistake. He cared for the child at minimum but she grew up. She grew up strong and healthy and with his knowledge. Her caretaker was a man of the earth; he tended the herbs of every nation you could think of in his back yard, from the spices they used on their foods to the ones they used to help in the healing process. He knew all their uses, all their traits, and by default he passed that knowledge on to his waif of a child.

At the age of five, she came home with a name. Later I asked her why that and she told me because. She is a woman of few words, she prefers to do rather than talk. You will come to see it as a gift and a curse later, but she now was called Matalina. A girl with aspiration she was not. She lived life from day to day, unloved and barely cared for. It wasn’t until she was eleven that her life truly began. And again it was with death that it would. A third life on her hands; her caretaker was sick, dying of what I knew was old age. His body grew weaker and he stayed in bed most of the time. Matalina was tending most of his business these days to keep the income steady. Few knew that she was doing more than running his errands. But she was out that day, running the last of the days errands and she stopped off at the practice yards to watch the men and women practicing their arts of war and weaponry. It was something she did often enough that the men and women there knew her on sight. She never did more than watch, but when she returned later that evening with the potion the local healing woman gave her to help her caretaker out, she found him lying in a pool of his own spittle, drowned in his own bodily fluids. An interesting way to die I might say, but there was no sorrow in the girl. She was just confused with what she would do with life now. No one to care for her, not that she needed much care, she’d been tending her self for years. But what direction life would take her. It didn’t take her long to realize that there was no life there for her, not in that small house. She packed her things as the moon rose, and as I watched I was surprised to see the cloak I had given her was among the things she would pack, and the blank that had awed my eyes upon her kidnapping was still as black as the last time I’d seen it. Tucked into a bag, she set off. Off to where I would not know but she moved with a determination, or what looked like determination, only to end up sitting on the steps of the barracks as she watched the servants putting away the equipment from the day’s practice.

Night drew on and I watched her stare into the world around her. She was lost. And again feeling the pain of my kin, I moved to help her. From the shadows I stepped but she was not startled. She looked up at him, and there was no recognition in her face. I refrained from smiling. We spoke. We spoke of many things, of life, her dreams. There was little to the girls dreams, little she wanted to do. A child this age should have dreams, aspiration; want to be something when they grew up. But her day to day life had taken a toll on her dreams as well as her ability to love, but that would not be seen for many years to come. The conversation was long, and the sun was soon going to rise, I needed to find the darkness of my haven soon. Decisions were not made; she still sat staring into the darkness that early morning the day after her caretaker died. Sat and waited for something to happen.

I woke the next evening to find my dearest Matalina working as a servant of the men and women who protected our good graces. She was too young to start her own training, which I could see in her eyes as she watched a few remaining men spar in the darkness. She was waiting for them to finish their practice to take their equipment into storage. Someone had given her a direction, a path in life, or maybe she’d found it all on her accord. I never asked, and I probably never will. Life takes us where it wants to go, we are just along for the ride.

My life was similar in that affect. I knew not where I was going but now I keep living this life of undeath. Would I have chosen the same path if I knew my destiny lie as the undead? Probably not. But would you? Forever is a very long time I’ve come to realize, hence the need for a companion. Cari has not been my first companion, nor will she be my last, but it will do for the next hundred years or so. But Cari’s life doesn’t end here. Nor does her undeath begin now. She’s still many years ahead of her, that shape who she is today.

To say my protégé is a good killer would be an understatement. She eventually started her training. Four years of being a servant taught her much, she was into the top ranks quickly and snatched up by a magic-wielder before she was 18 years old. Teri Lusmo, a magical healer, and Matalina became friends while, Matalina was in her training years. Teri was a worldly woman and needed a permanent protector. The ways of magic are beyond me, and I am glad they have finally died out, but that is far into the future of now, I digress, back to the story. Teri formed a magical link with her protector; it was as much a physical and mental link as it was magical. They could feel each other’s presence and know what they were feeling. The closer they were the strong it was. A female to female bond of this nature was said to be much different from that of one to the opposite sex. This bond was generally reserved for marriages of magic-wielders. But some, like Teri used it to insure their safety.

So Teri and Matalina set off into the world to cure humanity as it was. A notion, while grandeur and noble was never a reality. There was no cure for the things that ail humanity or even the undeath of humanity. But it was Teri’s cause, or so she would lead you to believe in the daylight hours. Reality was not so kind, Teri was not so good natured in the darkness. She dabbled in the dark arts, using her healing powers to bring those who tried to thwart her deeds to their knees. Death followed in their wake as they moved from city to city.

But somewhere along the line, Teri sent Matalina off. On a mission or back home, I wasn’t sure; I only followed the couple as I could, losing them for several days. It was an adventurous life I must admit, and I can see why Matalina clung to that life for so long. But I believe that Teri and Matalina had a heart to heart and Teri told her protector of the evil things she did as they walked their path of good. I don’t know the reasoning, but one night while I watched in the shadows Matalina fell over in pain, clutching her head and heart as if she were dying. She screamed in pain, death would have been far sweeter, but she screamed, and I did nothing but watch. The voice of agony stretched across my ears, music. It had been many years since I had heard such a sound. It was a shame I was not inflicting the pain that caused the music. But it ended as abruptly as it started and Matalina collapsed. Pain wracked her body and it still quivered from it. Morning drew near and yet she still did not wake, but I knew she was alive, I could see the shallow breathes of her life coming and going but her consciousness had not returned when I went to sleep.

Days passed before she woke, and when she did she cried out Teri’s name. Teri was dead, the last dead she had done was end her miserable life, and taken a part of Cari’s with her. It would be years before we really understood this token gift Teri had departed on her protector. Matalina went back to the barracks, defeated and lacking confidence. It looked from the distance like she was back in the days of her caretaker’s house – defeated, unloved, a child with no future.

Thankfully new hope arose in her, but it wasn’t from a likely source. A boy she knew as a child. A tormentor of her youth was in the city celebrating some triumph or another. He was a local hero! Matalina joined the celebration upon urging by him. Xavier Frost a few years older than herself and trained a few years ahead of her. He hadn’t gone on a personal mission but he’d been sent of to lead a great battle. Which I’m gathering was successful. Another of his friends, Norton Calran kept his nearly dirty mug full of amber ale, and also that of Matalina’s. Xavier and Matalina danced, they kissed and sparks flew. The inn they were throwing the party in was only one story, I found their naked bodies entwined in painful embraces. Scratches adorned both their bodies some bled others were mere welts, but they inflicted pain upon each other as their bodies heaved with the pleasures of sex. Now I am not a voyeur. Nor do I find pleasure in watching the acts of others but these acts were riveting. Their drunken actions while uncoordinated left lasting marks upon both of their bodies. The pain of some things they did glued my eyes to their passions.

I am not sure how long I watched, but the sun was nearing an appearance soon and I had to sneak into the shadows before I was scorched myself. I had wished to watch their passions unfold but the sun has a deadly affect upon my pale skin. So I left, unquenched in my own passions. I had not feed, and I would be hungry the following evening. Undead do not dream, but I was sure I had that night the images of their passions so vivid in my mind. I woke replaying pain after pain in my mind, the screams of pleasure wracked my own body, and my first victim that night paid dearly for it. I was not gentle with her; not gentle at all. A unman of my age can make a feeding feel like sex, but I wanted pain, wanted to smell the fear radiate from her every breath. It was sweet music!

Matalina and Xavier never repeated their acts to my displeasure, but it struck a spark in Matalina and soon her luck picked back up. A woman, a historian, a researcher, again a woman of magic came to her, came to inquire that she help her in her research. She needed a protector, much like Teri, Wendy produced the means to pay for Matalina’s personal services and the same link was fashioned – body and mind together.

Their adventures lasted many years. And they did boring things, things I hardly bother with noticing. If it were not for the constant movement of the pair, I might have found another to watch for a while. Their adventures were boring, but Matalina on the other hand was showing signs of corruptions, even that early in her life.

It was taboo for women to make advances on men, and even worse for them to make them on women. But Matalina was soon doing both under the guidance of whatever inn’s brother counselor they happened to be staying with. In these days it was not uncommon for the inns to house their own brothels. Their serving girls were often bedded by the local men, and the travelers that passed through.

It started one stormy night in the middle of nowhere, a small town with a few girls on staff. It seemed one girl was in training and the inn was lacking any men. Testing their poweress was key to their so-called graduation to freelance their bodies to the customers. But with no men in sight, the girl grew desperate, and she started adding ale to Matalina’s drink. The last time she’d had any ale, she’d been ravaged by a friend whom she also ravaged in return, now this girl presented herself to Matalina with a long draw out kiss that would bring any man woman or undead to their knees. It was all it took before that girl made Matalina’s day. I didn’t watch the passions, but it sparked Matalina’s own interests in the naughty side of being a woman. Seduction became a hobby and she learned from whoever would teach her, and she slept with whoever would take her. Matalina knew not how to love so her heart was safe from breaking.

But as her life begins to pick up so does her end. Without realizing it her travels brought her back to her birth place. Men and woman mistook her for another and that was key to the end of Wendy’s life. Wendy and Matalina were invited to a ball at one of the merchant houses in the city, the same merchant who had been her biological families rival in the territory.

I enjoy balls and I dolled up for the occasion. A bit over dressed but I was able to walk right in with out being notices. The powers of the undead are a wonderful thing at times. I watched as a man came to her, he kissed her neck; he kissed her lips and then led her off into the back rooms. Dylan Rashad, was the owner and host of the party and he had dark plans for the girl he was seducing. I only overheard a part of the conversation, he called her Reana, a name I had not heard in over 23 years since leaving this city where I once watched my kin. He attacked her before he knew she wasn’t who he thought she was, at the mere thought of injury and the act itself brought Wendy flying into the room wielding a ball of magical energy. But that ball of energy would do her no good. Matalina easily handled herself and Dylan Rashad lay on the ground gasping for his last breathes that would not come, his throat slit from ear to ear and Matalina stood over him with a dagger glinting in the moonlight with is blood dripping from it.

But he was not the only attacker in the room and Wendy took a dagger to the back. Matalina turned only to fall on the ground in agony again. She couldn’t even watch as her partner died, she writhed in pain, and the sweet music stalled my hand from helping her. I watched from the shadows of the room.

Another woman, Rebecca Bryant who we would find out her name later, came in to the room, she took one look at Wendy and saw no nope for survival but Matalina was fading fast, but alive. She looked from one woman to the other and saw the problem. She severed the link that held Wendy’s pain to Matalina but the pain of that action pushed Matalina’s consciousness away. Rebecca wielded a ball of flame and cast it as the remaining attackers, they fled with their lives and Rebecca called upon the only magic she knew would work to save Matalina, she formed a link with her and used her own strength to lend to her new protector. Rebecca was not a healer or a researcher, she was a self taught magic-wielder and she dabbled in the darkest of the magical arts. But her strength gave Matalina a new purpose and reason to heal. Duty was far stronger that the will to die. It is one reason why I choose her to be my companion. But it was not the only one. Soon, very soon you will see why she was my ideal partner for this part of my undead life.

It seemed now that the dark arts were something Matalina was destined for. And I really should have suspected such when I found out Rebecca was a practitioner. However, I was blinded by the newest development in my protégé. It was plain to see now that Matalina suffered from what they now call Multiple Personality Disorder. It sounds exactly like what you think it is. In those days they might have said she was possessed or insane. But it wasn’t really either, even though it appeared that way. She talked to herself regularly and spaced out in the middle of the conversation. I would love to be a voice inside her head. To listen to the things that went on in there. But clearly I cannot, I can only go of what she has told me.

At this point in Cari’s life, there are two additional personalities in her mind – a child and something else, something evil, a seductress with evil intent is probably the best way to explain it. Cari named them, Kayla and Marosa. Kayla was as you suspect herself as a child, the child who was unloved, uncared for and curious about the ways of war and weaponry. Marosa was the evil one – frozen heart and totally uncaring of anyone else’s feelings. And it was Marosa who caused the lust filled love of Cari’s life to fall in love with her.

A man named Alexander Namere walked into her life. It was a chance meeting. A stranger in an inn walks in, they meet eyes and they are instantly attracted to one another. I’m not sure how it happened, but it was most definitely not alcohol induced as her first sexual encounter with Xavier had been. And it was not a one shot deal, they had sex several times that first day and many times more over the next week. Their relationship was based on the wonderful pleasures they gave each other. The one time I watched I did not linger long, it was love filled love making, no violence, it was clean and pure and they appeared in love.

Accident’s happen. Matalina became with child. And in a fear induced panic Matalina fled their location. Rebecca soon followed but Alex was none the wiser. Rebecca returned to her home and continued her research in the dark arts while Matalina found her way back to her birth town. While she was their last there were rumors of what had happened to her floating on the winds. Dylan Rashad mistook a girl as Reana San, and he paid for his life. It was by chance that Matalina ran head on into Reana. The closeness in appearance was blinding and Reana took Matalina in to her home and helped her through child birth. It was then that they told her of her family, and her own birth into the world, her kidnapping and how joyed they where to have her back. But Matalina wanted none of it. Love, as I have said, Matalina was and is still incapable of. The only love that is true for my companion is that of a mother.

Jeffery Kincaid was born. And then he too was taken from his mother at the age of three days old. But unlike before I watched as Reana slipped into Matalina’s room and took the child from his slumber. Reana attempted to run with the child. To take him to his rightful place with her family, but Matalina was far wiser than her biological family and she tracked Reana down. I must say I am proud to call Matalina my kin, she took matters into her own hands, and she made Reana and her family pay for the things they had done. Matalina snuck into the house and put her son on her back in a sling. She moved through the house with ease. Her training as a warrior honed her senses and she knew when things were too close for comfort. But with ease she knocked each of the members of her biological family out and laid them in their beds. She locked their windows tightly and set their rooms ablaze.

She was out of town long before the fire got big enough to be a problem, and she was beyond the view of the city by the time the screams of her biological family carried to the next house – too late to be saved, they burned to their deaths for their folly.

These were the first lives Matalina took for no honorable reason. And it would not be the last; Marosa’s influence was defiantly taking hold.

Matalina returned to Rebecca’s side and they continued their partnership and Matalina expanded her knowledge of the darker aspects of her own career. Studying stealth and more deadly poisons, while teaching her son to read and write and do his arithmetic. While he was loved, he did not live a normal life like most kids did. He was raised outside of the dark influences Rebecca held and Matalina was continually gaining in.

It was six years before Alex would walk back into her life and unsettle Matalina and Rebecca’s relationship. It was another chance encounter. I’d say that these two were destined to be together but I know the events that precede these and I know now that this was just lust filled passions covered by the semblance of a loving relationship. Matalina was not capable of loving anyone. Reason number two in my turning her to my side of death.

Matalina never told Alex that Jeffery Kincaid was his son, he never knew and neither did Jeffery Kincaid. But it was hard not to tell him she was pregnant again with his child. She thought she was in love with him this time. She felt what she thought was love. It was lust, but it was her only semblance of love but she left him again to birth their daughter, Fawne Mael Namere.

Unfortunately I lost sight of Matalina for two years until she returned to Rebecca’s side only to find her lover gone. He’d found someone to protect from his past and he felt obliged to go with her when asked. I should have known at the time that it was not meant to be, but I was blinded by the shear evil that emanated from Matalina now. It was not something you could see with out knowing the woman well. But her time away had been enlightening to her. And there was more to it but I wouldn’t find out for another few years what it was.

The darkness with in grew stronger and Matalina’s relationship with Alex deteriorated beyond the point of repair. They had a huge fight, one that resulted in near death by both parties. And that was the end of what could have been an interesting loving relationship. But Matalina’s inner-self gave up and one of the other personalities took over. Marosa was far stronger than Kayla and Matalina was hiding in her own mind with out much attention to the real world. Their fight hurt her, and she was doing the only thing her mind knew how to do to survive, it fled. Marosa was more than happy to take over, she seduced a blind man into her arms in the very inn that Alex worked. He wasn’t there, but she did it anyway. She took the man to his room, she ravaged his body, and Alex felt the whole thing. I knew I forgot to explain something a while back, but before Fawne was born, Alex proposed to Matalina. She said no, but they worked through their issues in a round about sort of way. Her duty was more important than him and that hurt his feelings, but she tried to remedy the situation, showing him she loved him but he wanted to fight about her priorities, in the a priestess found them arguing on the steps of the chapel and proposed another idea.

I know I’ve spoke before of the marriage links by some magic wielder couples. What I didn’t know was that it was possible between two non-wielders as well, as long as it was preformed by one. That was the priestess’ solution to their problem. And Matalina regretfully agreed, it was the lesser of two evils in her mind. This link wasn’t the exact same as the one she shared with Rebecca, but it was similar in the fact that they could feel one another. Sex had to be interesting for them.

But back to the story, Marosa seduced the man and made sure that Alex felt all the pleasures she was feeling. She screamed as pleasure wracked her body in hopes that he might even hear. Marosa was an evil woman and made sure that her newest lover understood that this was just a one time thing. She never say the man again, and it took many months for Matalina to come to her senses, and by that time it was time for them to leave again, and Matalina had no problem leaving Fawne with her father, Jeffery Kincaid was already off playing page to one of the local magistrates.

But the darkness continued to grow stronger and it began to jeopardize Rebecca’s work, and Matalina knew this. She requested to be released. She knew it could be done; Rebecca had severed the link to her with Wendy as she died. She knew it was possible. Rebecca relayed all the things that could happen but it mattered little the link they shared could bring them both misery and Rebecca severed the link with regret. It hardly hurt her, but Matalina lost consciousness almost immediately and remained in that state for months before waking with complete amnesia.

Matalina spent her time not knowing herself getting to know her daughter, and Alex’s new lover. It was difficult situation but since she didn’t know the history it was easier to move on. But three months into it her memory returned but she didn’t anything that had happened in the past three months. She didn’t remember the connections she’d made with her daughter or with Alex again, and she left with little more than a letter, telling Alex she would contact him when she was settled.

It took six years of wandering the world before Matalina, now calling herself Cari Namere to do as she had promised Alex. In that time she had run into Xavier again and Marosa pursued their memories relentlessly, eventually pulling them into a violent embrace. Shortly after their encounter in bed they were practicing the sword together and it got out of hand. Cari’s darkness became enraged and took control of the body, nearly killing her friend, but she stopped it before it could do it, and that moment of hesitation was all Xavier needed, he retaliated for his life and in doing so almost took Cari’s. He left her with a very large unattractive scar on her back. It was amazing it did not sever her spinal column. It took a few months of healing the muscles and as that happened Cari found out she was pregnant again. Xavier had already left town and Cari was again left to raise her children alone, but this time she would do it herself.

Nine month’s later Cari had twins. She named the Aiden and Kate al’Ker. The last name came from a famous assassin in the town they were born in. Someone Cari wished she could have met. It was the first of many signs that these children would be like their mother.

And that’s what she did; she found a home at a Ranch that was also a haven for those of a darker nature, a school for assassins and a few of the dark arts. All of which Cari was familiar with. The Rashad Ranch was now Cari’s home. It was another three years before she heard back from Alex. Fawne wanted to visit her mother.

And when they came it was more of a tragedy than anything. Alex’s own health was deteriorating and since he knew about Cari’s darker secrets he was assassinated by Nathan’s order. Poison in his sleep killed him and Cari felt his dying breath, sending her into yet another amnesia phase. But Cari had since learned to journal her life so they could keep things as normal as possible. It didn’t last long before she came out of it, it was mostly for the sake of her daughter who she had to return home. Fawne had a life there and she didn’t want to disrupt it by making her stay. And it was far safer there than on the Ranch.

The trip itself was rather uneventful but Cari found out Alex’s lover was with child and that brought her pain.

On the way home while she was spending the night in an inn, a young man came in looking like he was running for his life. He sat down frantically trying to look as if he’d been there the whole time and blend in. Cari was just sitting getting her plate of food when two burly men burst into the inn, looking everywhere at once. Cari took her plate and set it down in front of the young man and pulled his arms around her as she sat down in his lap. She tilted his head up and kissed him passionately, like she’d done it for many years. He returned it but not until he figured out what she was doing. When the kiss broke, they looked over at the door and the two men were gone. Cari removed her self from his lap and sat down next to him, raising her hand for another order.

The young man’s name was Demus, and he was a friend in the dark arts. There were always ways of telling who people were, simple subtle hand jesters. And it was then that I noticed that Cari saw something different in him. They bantered back and forth with the innuendos and I could tell that Cari was hoping he would take her up on the offer of sharing a warm bed.

And he did. But he also found out that Cari enjoyed the company of women that night, as an old friend had found her and stopped by to say hi. Rachel, the girl who had first started Cari on the path of seduction, was practicing in that particular inn, how Cari missed it I’m not sure, but may be she hadn’t. Demus got a display of female on female loving before Rachel left the two of them to be alone.

That night was the beginning of a relationship that could have lasted into the current day, if things had turned out differently. But that is part of this story, and not her past, so lets move on to their blossoming friendship. Sex was probably the farthest from her mind with Demus, but they continued their playful banter of sexual innuendos, you could tell that the sexual tension between the pair was high. There was a mutual attraction and the only real thing stopping them was their age difference. Demus was barely as old as Jeffery Kincaid.

Their life on the ranch brought them jobs as well as a good cover for their real work. And it also brought Cari the family she never had in her former life. She enjoyed her time on the Ranch, and she would do anything for the family. Cari was asked to return to home, her first real home in the training barracks near where she grew up. Their grandson was killed and they wanted to bury him at home. So Cari went and would return with his body. She took the children and Demus with her. And it was probably a good thing, because Cari found more trouble than it was worth. Fawne decided then that she wanted to live with her mother. Two men found out that Cari was Matalina, despite the drastic change in appearance that she’d gone through those 9 years since leaving. The first was an old friend, who for some reason she found the need to sleep with that very day, and again that night. A relationship of sorts started with Yearn and looking back now it was probably not a good thing for Yrean to get involved with, but he was in love.

The second was a man whom she slept with to keep him quiet. Cari didn’t remember his name, it was unimportant in her life, so she didn’t think too hard on it. But he agreed to stay quiet and Cari was free to leave. With Talyn’s body in the wagon, Fawne accompanying them home, and a planned meeting with Yearn in the proceeding months, Demus and Cari went home.

We are nearing the end of the beginning, and starting on the real meat of this story. A few last details that are important before we start. Cari and Demus started a real relationship, one that included love and sex after they had a heart to heart. This discussion happened after Demus had tortured Cari. He was ordered to by Nathan for reasons only known to the ranch owner. Though I suspect Cari knew but didn’t tell me. It was a sparking point for them and it brought Cari happiness to be with Demus, something she had not had in many years.

Cari and Yearn’s relationship moved forward as well. Yearn moved to the town near the Ranch, and opened up a rare weapons shop. Their relationship was mostly defined by sex and Yearn’s over protectiveness. He didn’t want anything to happen to the woman he loved. Yearn found out who had ordered her torture and killed Nathan. Both Cari and Demus tried to keep the information that Demus was the person who carried out the orders to themselves, and till the end that is how it stayed.

Both Demus and Yearn had to deal with each other, as Cari did not hide the relationship she had with each of them. I don’t think they ever became friends but they accepted their lives and went on with them.

Kate and Aiden started following in their mother’s footsteps shortly after Demus and Yearn both came to live on the Ranch and nearby town.

The last bit of information that is important to this story is a little note about Jeffery Kincaid. Jeffery Kincaid followed his mother’s protector side for a while before finally finding out he was a magic wieldier. He had powers that none in the family possessed, and he went into training for it. His specialty was healing.

You will soon find out who I am and the role I play in the whole situation. The story will begin 9 years after Jeffery Kincaid came to the Ranch looking for help in learning about his magic. 9 years of relative happiness for Cari and her family and friends. 9 years of me watching her and finding out her little secrets that few new, and my understanding of what I thought was Cari’s defining points, but we will see what you think by the end.

Well it's final, I've changed hosting providers, and so far we've only had one glitch. I have most of the sites up and running. The three galleries I have not installed, and the reason for that is because it creates folders and to download said folders would take about a billion years, and I'd never be able to upload them with the right permissions. So the three galleries I need to try to install a fake one in a different database, then change the config file to the old file and upload only the album folder which from there should be fine I might have to change permissions from that point. If not then I will have to have everyone resign up and reupload their files again. The only good thing is that no one really uses the other two, mine I will probably upload from scratch when I have a moment or two again. I never finished it last time so it's not a big deal for me.

I'm also changing it a bit. I'm using it as a multisite install. from one set of core files, I had a problem with the last run I tried earlier today and I'm having to upload the gallery files again to fix the corrupted ones. It's a slow process and why I want to use a multisite configuration this time it's so much work to upgrade it, such a large upload.

Just letting anyone who might read my site that my hosting contract is nearing end and I'm not really happy with the service I am getting on this one so I am changing providers. While there will be no loss of information except for anything posted today and later it will take me a while to get things done and moved over and up and running for all the sites I host here.

So this is the reason why nothing may be posted for the next few days.

Ever since I took that one Imatrix I have not had a headache. That is 10 days headache free. Do you have any clue how odd it is not to have a headache. The doctor had said something about rebound headaches from the medicine I was taking. I wasn't taking alot but it must have been enough. Either that or the weather has calmed down enough that I don't get headaches from them anymore. We can only wait and see.

But I'm happy and pain free going on 10 days!

Well, I applied for a third time to the company that outsources their designs to freelancers. And I got it this time! They changed the way they did the submissions and I was able to go on my portfolio more than the test they had me do the previous two times. I've only added two peices to my porfolio since the last time I've applied with them but it must have helped, either that or they didn't look at it.

So today I accepted the position and I hope to begin working sometime after Thursday. They require a headset and it will take me a little while to get it up and running. I seem to always have troubles with them. So I will see if I can get one up and running this time.

I am really looking forward to this!

Kathleen slept completely through the night! You have no idea what kind of accomplishment this is. Her new blankets and the foam matress are helping, money well spent! She only woke up once before we went to bed cause she didn't want to be in bed. But she went back even though it was alittle bit of a fuss. But she didn't wake up till around 7:30am... yes!

Both of us have started to officially diet. We've been on and off of one since Samantha was born. Last week I signed us up for Weight Watchers Online in the Flex Plan. Basically, this will help us with portion control. Shea's allotted 33 points and I'm alloted 22 points. So I have to watch both of our dinner values to make sure he gets enough to eat and doesn't go over his limit. Mine is a bit more difficult.

However I do believe I am losing weight. Probably alot of water weight. So this week will probably be a big loss in weight, we'll see on Monday when I officially weigh myself.

Since Tracking day is Monday there is no progress:
[pfmeter id=2]

Well, it would seem I have migraines and other headaches too, but migraines are the really bad ones. Doctor gave me Imatrix to try on the bad ones, well I had one yesterday. I'd had a sinus headache all day, pretty bad, but nothing worth taking meds for, it definately wasn't incapacitating. About time I sat down to eat dinner I could feel my headache change to the right side and my stomach started to get queasy, so I took the pill he'd given me and waited, it got worse, alot worse as predicted. I eventually had to try throwing up and using head-on, they helped on a miniute level but it was enough for the pill to do it's job. The headache was pretty much gone in an hour and a half, those headaches don't usually respond to anything but sleep and then sometimes not even that.

I hate having headaches all the time, but at least I know have it on very good faith that it is a migraine I'm dealing with. We will see how well it works on the next one and if I have a lot of them. I shouldn't have more than 4 migraines a week, we'll see. Though from my tracking I've only had 3 really bad incapacitating headaches over the past 3 months, not counting yesterdays, that was an odd occurance too, it happened 2 days after the last one. Which is way atypical for that.

Last night I had a killer headache. To the point that my thoughts were of going to the doctor. Shea told me last night that I needed to go too. I had already planned on it. We will see what's up. *crosses fingers*.

Well I got part of the program working finally. I can finally track headaches through windows including getting the xml file from the web and saving everything in the database. The hurdle I'm trying to get through now is the weather tracking log. My program ran for the past few hours where it is suppose to save weather data at 6am/pm and 12am/pm but it didn't so now I have to figure out what I did wrong. I think I know and I'm testing that now.

The test didn't work, so now I have to figure out how to do that. Maybe the book I read will help as it updated weather but I think it connected all the time I only want to record data every 6 hours, I guess every hour is doable, but I really don't want a huge database full of weather data particularly when I'm not having headaches then lol. So back to the drawing board there.

*edit* Well it wasn't back to the drawing board. It helps when you actually enable the timer lol.

After I test the 6 hour timer I'll be able to move forward into some of the other things I want to include but first I will test for exceptions and stuff to make sure that when the internet is not connected we don't crash.

It's really hard to beleive that the man responsible for getting Shea and I together is now gone. Robert Jordan, the author of the Wheel of Time passed away yesterday afternoon. If it were not for his books, Shea and I would never have met. I'm saddened by this loss as are the millions of his fans worldwide. There really is no way to express how I feel right now. I'm almost at a loss of what to do.

It is a sad day.

Since the end of July I have been tracking my headaches with a handy dandy script I wrote for my website. It's been over a month and I've had a headache at least once every week for the past month, sometimes having multiple headaches in one week.

I had another incapacitating and stomach upsetting one last night, it's still persisting today but as long as I don't move my stomach doesn't lurch and the pain is bearable, unfortunately sitting still isn't an option with Kathleen and Samantha. The only good thing is right now Kathleen is watching cartoons. For which I'm glad of it allows me to do some work today that I had planned on. Though I have a ton of housework that won't get done because of the whole moving and getting sick thing. I really need to find a way to keep Kathleen's mess from trashing our house so bad, particularly if Shea's gonna need knee surgery. Let's hope he doesn't but the other option doesn't sound any better either right now. Today he has an MRI so we'll see soon what's going on.

I created a headace Diary online a while back to track my own headaches as well as collect some weather data. I was telling Shea about it and he said I should "market" it. While I had intended for it to be something that had an install script and all for people to use, it requires someone to have a server that has mySQL and PHP5 on it. So chances of it being used by anyone other than web geeks was small. So now I'm spending my free time learning how to program in windows. I know how to program in C++ and C# is my new latest conquest in the programming languages but I've never done anything in windows. All my programming was done with the DOS interface as I wasn't a Computer Science Major or a Software Engineering Major. So I bought two books. Build a Program Now! Microsoft Visual C# 2005 Express Edition (it comes with the software, but you can download the Express Edition online, and I had done so two computer reformats ago so I had them already, yay! and installed them about a week ago) and Beginning Visual C++ 2005, while this one is not tailored to the Express edition I think it will be a good resource as I plan on writing the program in C++ because I know that much better, but C# has always been something I wanted to learn, and this is a good way to begin. Though my plans may change when I start programming and may switch to C# since I"ll know the software a bit better. But we'll see. I have a general idea of what I want it to do and alot of other things I hope I can do. So my first windows program is underway. We'll see how it goes.

It's so cute when the little ones start playing and laughing. Samantha's been fascinated with her arm rattles for a while now, she enjoys the movement and sound. She's started laughing too. Shea hear her before I did but it's cute to have her giggle at you now. She's growing up so fast.