Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Wii Wednesday #6

We did not Wii today! Shame on us! There were just quite a few little things going on all over the place that didn't allow for it to happen. It was also a day when I was feeling incredibly rundown and emotional, so it was difficult to get motivated. I had wanted to Wii in the morning, but both my husband and daughter woke up after 9AM! That is incredibly unusual.

So I finished the write-up on our D&D session and watched some Critical Role. Then I started working on different little projects as my mind would allow.

My husband made calls about school for my daughter and it looks like we'll have some good news on that soon. 90% is pretty decent and I don't think a principal is going to hand out information willy-nilly like that. But then again... why didn't her district already have something like this in place? Right now there are so many questions and the answers are all so aloof. But it looks like we'll be able to keep Isabelle in the district AND she'll get to homeschool, which makes me so happy.

My husband is still waiting on his unemployment checks. We're starting to feel the press and it's not good. He started to go down the rabbit hole of contacting the various government departments to get paid. Augusts are always the worst for us, because of school and other various weirdness.

One of the projects I was able to work on was making a classroom wishlist, so if you're a charitable person out there reading this, here is my wishlist for materials and my wishlist for books (I teach Literacy).

Bookset Wishlist (any amount of any book will be better than nothing)

Today had to be a reset day. Hopefully tomorrow is much better!

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Dungeons & Dragons Tuesday #6

Today's game is definitely where my daughter hit her stride. Today they were going to finish up their river travel to Firefinger. She was so excited to play this adventure again. We normally would have played our Out of the Abyss adventure, but our friend is going to be out of town next week, so we swapped game days.

Here is where River Mist and Flask of Wine reveal the dangers of the Pterafolk. As they get closer to Firefinger, they recommend getting off the river or travel at night or when it's overcast. The problem we ran into was realizing they didn't know what their goal for going to Firefinger was. River and Flask didn't need anything from Firefinger, just heard stories about how dangerous it was and that maybe some information was there. Azaka Stormfang was the guide who needed something from the Pterafolk.

That night, they discover an abandoned camp near their campground. They find two tied up tents and some healing kits and a tree with daggers stuck into them to the hilt of the dagger. The camp area was in a clearing. There is a very uncomfortable vibe to the environment, but nothing was located to explain what happened. It is after that this River tells them about the Pterafolk who attack people on the river. We encouraged our daughter to use the her ranger skills to help with the investigation of the camp area and I think they got her excited about that.

The following day they are attacked by some pteranodons on the river, but they're able to fight them. My husband is obsessed with Eldritch Blast, which I totally understand. My daughter is learning about her ranged skills and is starting to think more about her Level 3 skills. We're going to talk about what she wants from her dinocat, too. So that will be out of game. 

Finally, though, River and Flask pull the boat over and shrink it into its box to make it easily carried. They enter into the jungle and start hiking towards Firefinger. The group is introduced to the menga leaves that, once dried and turned into a tea, could heal one hit point per one ounce of leaves. Exceeding 5 ounces, though, will call for a Constitution save or you'll pass out. Rorik (Friend Jim) also discovered some apes eating Dancing Monkey Fruit. The apes were quite happy dancing, and Rorik remembered learning that DMF is essentially a magical fruit that can poison you into dancing for a minute, but leaving you with a nasty post-dance hangover that lasts for an hour. Rorik was able to safely back away from the apes without incident.

They finally stopped at a cave that River and Flask found to be a safe space to camp in. They recommend heading out at night, so they could rest now. So they set up camp and that evening they set out into the woods. River stays back at camp. Flask accompanies them to the base of the tower.

At the base of Firefinger they find tons of dropped, dead bodies. Some are recent, within a few days, and others are just bones. The group realizes they need to climb, but the ladder doesn't touch the ground and it looks a bit wonky. They pull out their climbing kits they found at one of their stops and set up a climbing order. They decide to stay connected, with Jekotikk (minotaur) taking the lead, to help pull everyone. Rose and Milly are at the back and have trouble climbing up the 60ft climb! They keep slipping and having to regroup. 

When they make it to level 1, they find an entrance into the spire and there they find a pit. Rorik was the first one to go into the pit to cross over and he is attacked by 4 giant wolf spiders. Which terrifies my husband, because he absolutely hates wolf spiders. When we lived in NC, they were all over his house and our rental. They get so big and are just kinda creepy. So I felt bad triggering his fear.

After taking care of the spiders, they found the chimney that would take them to the next level and they climb up, but this time in reverse order. Milly was first and kept slipping. Oh my goodness it was so funny! And my daughter continued to play as her character. Invested in what was going on. She didn't shy away from chipping in ideas, even though she was getting a little too "talk out of turn"-y. 

When we arrived at Level 2, the group was met with a large group of stirges. They work different than the Pathfinder ones and were a great low-level create joke for myself and Friend Jim and my husband. Little mosquitoes almost took me out! Lots of fun that was! But it was a good fight. We were attacking the things on each other. Quite a few laughs with that.

And then it was time to put a stopped on the adventure. We're trying to be really time conscious when we're playing. Our daughter wanted to keep going and everyone was in a really great mood to keep going, but my husband and I agreed it was time to stop.

So next time they'll be adventuring out onto the ledge and then debating over climbing a ladder to the next level!

I got a hug from my daughter when it was all over. She gushed about how much she loved this and how she had spent so long watching us play and now she was getting to join us. She couldn't stop talking about everything. Then she proposed Sunday through Saturday we play and then take a week off and then do another week, etc. That was a big no, but that's how excited she was when it was done. Kind of tearing up and super proud.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Monday Me-Day #6

I spent a good chunk of today working on classroom things. There are so many unknowns, but there were projects I could work on. I've been keeping my mindset "digital." How can I still do these things, but digitally. So I'm transferring things online or putting them in digital form so that they can be more easily accessed.

Here are some of the materials I was working on over the weekend and today:

Digital Book Board
Reader's Notebook
Writer's Notebook
Prefix/Suffix Work

We use this program called Canvas to deliver material to the students, so these slideshows and things will be presented through Canvas. I really like them and am excited to use them. I'm going kind of rogue with revamping my lit class this year. I'm literally theming the entire year: Heroes. We are starting with creating a superhero, then working our way into comic books and graphic novels for argument writing and then working with the topic of teen activism. It's going to be great!

After some work on school, though, I had other personal stuff to do. I'm in a bad way emotionally with all the news and decisions that are coming my way (all personal). So I really wanted to make sure that I took today to relax. I put on Riverdale, which is now in Season 3, and let it run. Sadly, Season 3 has made me not a happy camper. It ripped off Shawshank Redemption and it took D&D and turned it into some dark, real magic thing. It's not funny and it's not cute. Plus the whole season feels really out of sync. Our main characters are not behaving like high school students. There lots of disconnect between days, story, characters, etc. It's driving me nuts. But... I keep watching. My husband jokingly asked me, "Which is worse: Ryan Murphy or Riverdale?" Oh gosh... still don't have an answer.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Plan Ahead Sunday #5

Not much planning ahead going on today, but some relaxation and cooking went on. I made a tweaked recipe of the frozen oreo pistachio dessert my grandma used to make. We had some leftover keto sushi bowls I made and my daughter made us taco bowls for dinner.

I was able to keep playing a little more Marvel. We stopped mid-fight last night and decided to finish it up today instead of waiting two weeks. It was pretty epic! There were more villains waiting in the wings, so the fight lasted quite a while. I got to shift Io into more than just her super-powerful electrical form. I was able to do a few different things with Finn, my high-tech hero. I tried not to get frustrated when he busted out this massively tough "boss" type character. We made it, though, but now our group somehow got separated and things are going totes pear-shaped! Ahhh!!!

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Go-with-the-Flow Saturday #5

I woke up to the most exciting site! STARS! My dog and I were moving our heads at the same time and he clocked me with the hardest part of his head right in my right eye socket. Oh my goodness... it hurt so bad! Good morning world!

After I regrouped from the assault, I spent the morning doing some basic upkeep, but I was really consumed with school work. Our class lists were released online today and I have been working on some digital notebooks for my students to use. I'm not going to go into school stuff right now, but I am not going to be hush about feeling we should be starting digitally.

Today my husband broke out Marvel for us to play. He has the original TSR system to roleplay Marvel. No adapting to D&D or some other system. It's percentile rolling with a chart. It's fiddly, but it keeps things interesting. We don't play consistently enough where I still have the system memorized for all the bits and pieces. But it's pretty neat. If you'd like some information on the system, drop me a comment, I'm always happy to share.

So we've been playing our campaign since 2015. My character is named Io Leda. She's an alien from the planet Edylah. She's an experiment and had several powers reveal themselves over her lifetime so far. My husband says she's "badass" and, honestly, she is. She can do so much cool stuff and, he'll say, she's invincible. Again, I don't believe that, because I have very little defense, but he's given her some armor items. I just rolled really well on the day of character creation. But she's awesome and I have written hundreds of pages of storyline about her. Whether it's backstory or in-game story. My husband even had some work commissioned for me as a gift. Her nickname is "The Gardener."
We used the play the game with a friend of ours, but he stopped playing. I was heartbroken, because this was so important to me. My husband decided the two of us could keep playing, but I had to create a second character. Finn Ashworth is a trust fund baby who loves to fiddle with gadgets. It's not my wheelhouse for a character, but it's what I rolled. He's a nerdy high-tech hero. I have a hard time coming up with techy ideas for him to work on because, again, it's just not my wheelhouse.

Anyways! I got to play today! We're in the middle of a battle or a dungeon crawl, as one might say.  We're fighting Genoshian Magistrates, who are all anti-mutant and all that. It's an X-Men thing and totally worth looking into. Oh game does create it's own timeline, but right now the Old Guard is out to get us! Ah! But I'm excited to get to fight again.

So we made it through a couple more places in the sewers of Paris as we chase the Old Guard Leaders and try to get to the heart of it all! So exciting! My husband does such a good job with RPG. I wish I could be as half as good as him.

I also started watching Riverdale the other day and it finally clicked at being interesting. So now I'm binging the show. Hmmm...

Friday, August 7, 2020

Friday Night Movie #5

Today was a day of so many things!

First of all, I finally got my hair cut and bleached. It has been a year since I've had my hair cut and bleaching means I get to dye it purple again. See, my husband dyes my hair. I only need it to be professionally bleached, because bleaching your hair incorrectly can be damaging to your hair and I don't trust myself enough. So goodbye old hair and hello blond me!

Then it was time to pop up to my classroom and have a look around. I was trying to find my notebooks, but things just still feel weird in my classroom. So I grabbed what I could find and I left.

We had our grocery pickup, so I have all of our meals planned for the next two weeks. I am officially going back on keto to try to shed some of this weight so that I have the energy to get back on the treadmill.

Then our evening was watching Harry and the Hendersons (1987). It was a cute movie and the plot ran much faster than I remember it going. Still an endearing look at how we treat others, especially our animal friends.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Tabletop Thursday #5

Today was one of those days where your body literally tells you that you are not allowed to do anything. Sadly, my mind was all about it and everytime I wanted to do something, it would almost give me a headache. So I couldn't really do much. Even writing this right now is taking a herculean effort!

I was, though, through small windows of motivation, get my husband to set up Pandemic Legacy Season 2 for us to play. We had played the practice scenario once, but it was so long ago we decided to play it again before moving on to the full game. Season 2, I remember, is much more frustrating than Season 1. We're also in post-epidemic world. I don't really think it's a spoiler to say we get to name our three havens right away. We chose Enyo, Ohranjeno, Boo'ya Bay. Good times for everyone at Boo'ya Bay!

We didn't win. We were only one turn away from winning, but such is the game of Pandemic. My husband wants to move onto the official first scenario, but I'm nervous about the commitment. I said we'd play the practice until we won it and then we'll move onto the next one. Sounds absurd, but I'll commit once we win!

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Wii Wednesday #5 (Dungeons & Dragons Tuesday #5)

Today is my daughter's actual birthday. Her friend stayed the night and the two woke up and gamed together. Once it was around time to take her friend home, we let my daughter open her present from us:
In the background you can see that Wii Bowling occuring on Wii Wednesday!

Once we sat down to play D&D, things got really interesting for my daughter. She got to choose her dice and she used her dice tray and was so excited!

First, we went over their Chult map and they met up with Flask and Mist to go over the mission. The next morning they had to revisit the Collecting a Debt mission. They found the gladiator Taban. Jekotikk (my husband) decided to cast "charm person" on him and the results were not what they were hoping for. Taban didn't have the money at the moment, but said he'd drop it off the next day after his fight. Guess they'll see what happens when they get back. While there, though, my Rorik (Friend Jim) said he wanted to be a gladiator. I'm curious to see if he'll end up trying to do an adventure there.

The next morning they were finally on their way. I was disappointed they didn't take a certain route to the piers, because I wanted to show them the dinosaur pens, but that's alright. They get into the magical boat that someone made this image for and I decided to use it:
They had an encounter on the river with a small group of hadrosaurus. Luckily they didn't kill any of them, but used their animal communication skills to try to de-escalate the ship bumping incident. Also, at one of the stops, they encountered some undead on the shore. They came out of the woods to get them. It was during this encounter that we learned Rorik sleeps in his tent in the buff. Ooof! (Which is what my daughter awkwardly said.)

It had been a long day for my daughter, at this point and she was starting to get antsy. I knew I needed to wrap things up, so I ended with them waking up to the dino cats. They slept for the night, but the next morning, a small family of dinocats had come into the camp. Three were sleeping around Rose (my daughter), one was in front of Rorik's tent, and one was fishing. Rose slowly woke up and noticed them and brought out some treats and fed the one in front of her. It took quite a bit of prompting to help my daughter get going into the roleplay of the situation. But she finally attempted to charm the dinocat in front of her and it worked! They also all leveled up (technically), which allows her to have an animal familiar which was supposed to be the dinocat.
And that ended our scenario for the day! My daughter finally had her dinocat! And her birthday was secure and a very happy day. The best I could have wished for with the lack of big gesture things we could do.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Dungeons & Dragons Tuesday #5 (moved to Wednesday)

Today would usually be our D&D day, but we had to move it to Wednesday, because my daughter had some things going on.

First, she had a tubing adventure with her girl scout troop. That's where you sit in an innertube and just float down a "lazy" river. We were going to go, but the temperatures were just too questionable for me. We knew that this trip would take the bulk of the day and would probably make her sleepy.

But then we also learned that her last CampIN scout meeting was today at 3PM! It was the closing camp ceremony where they have a slideshow and fun things. It's all online. It's been a great camp activity. Usually it's on Wednesday, but they moved the final one to Tuesday. The meetings are usually anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. So she would have been done by 4PM.

All of this would have been fine to have a 2 hour session of D&D, until she begged, for her birthday, to spend the day with her best friend who she hadn't hung out with since before school let out. Knowing the family and all that, we felt comfortable inviting her over. So today we've had my daughter and her friend here after they were done tubing.

First we had to run out to get the birthday cupcakes from the local cake guru:

Blueberry Macaroons
Then the girls went out just in time to participate in CampIN. I spent my time relaxing and watching old episodes of The Great British Baking Show. During this time, my daughter's friend went from visiting to staying overnight. Ha! Kids...

So we went to the grocery store to get some items and then it was dinner time. The girls had also been working on some ceramics that we purchased at our local ceramics shop. My daughter chose a dragon and bought her friend a cat. They still have some touching-up to do, but here's what they have so far.

After dinner and they finished their ceramics, it was time for cupcakes and presents! We sang to my daughter, her friend, and my husband who all had birthdays in "quarantine." Mine isn't until December, so I asked not to be sung to. Then we put candles in all their cupcakes.

Presents followed and it was just a few. My daughter got Lost Ember and a Cutetito from us. Her big gift is for tomorrow. Then she got a super cool dragon t-shirt and D&D keychain from her friend.

I was super drained by this point. Just feeling out of energy. My husband and I got the girls set up with a movie in my daughter's bedroom and then I went to my bedroom to just "hang out" until I fell asleep. My husband stays up all night, so if the girls needed anything, he was up for them.

I'm just glad we could do something for my daughter. She has missed her friends so badly.