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Posts Tagged ‘Presents’

Diary #548

What a lovely Christmas I had!  Everyone at Sunset seemed to like their presents; most of mine had something to do with cooking, including kitchen tools, cookbooks, etc.  Big Bertha here was Grace’s gift to me; I’ve wanted one like it since I was in high school (the mother of one of my school friends had one), and it wasn’t two hours out of the box when I was rolling out pie crusts with it.  Then on Sunday, I spent the afternoon rearranging my kitchen drawers to accomodate the new tools & utensils (#TheSexyNeverStops), and managed to get everything neater and more accessible than before.  In fact, I think I may at last have my kitchen the way I want it, and that gives me hope for my office.

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Diary #547

I just love seeing a big stack of presents under the tree! Some of these are those we’ve bought for each other, and some for friends coming over on Friday; some were sent for us in the post.  Dr. Quest sent me a big order of barbecue for my family; Rick Pettit sent goodies as well, but sweet ones.  And Jeremy Dunn sent me one of Vincent Price’s cookbooks, so I can make goodies on my own.  A couple of my other gents sent money, which is of course always appreciated, and I’ll be finishing the last of my own Christmas shopping today.  Then tomorrow I’ll be heading back to Sunset for the rest of the year, during which time I plan to spend the holidays doing as little as possible.  And the ability to do that is probably the best present of all.

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Every year on this day, the traditional beginning of the Yuletide season in the US, I remind my readers that the real spirit of the season involves giving to others rather than literally fighting to get more for yourself.  Children and whores are St. Nick’s two favorite groups of people; you can help the latter by donating to a sex worker charity such as SWOP Behind Bars, or you can help BOTH by booking a session with a sex worker you know has kids.  If you don’t know any, you can help by participating in my annual Toys for Tots special.  This year, I’m doing it differently because so many people are doing the social distancing thing.  From now until Friday, December 11th, everyone who donates $100 for me to buy toys with (you can send it via PayPal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or via Cash app to $MaggieMcNeill) will get any TWO of my books (your choice), autographed!  If you want a copy of The War on Whores as one of your selections, that’s fine as well!  And if you’re one of my regular gents, we can still do the usual deal (30 minutes extra per $100) if you prefer.  If you’re not hurting economically yourself, please consider donating (either to my drive or to one near you); the pandemic has taken a huge bite out of many people’s income, and some have lost their jobs or businesses entirely, so there will be less money for toys this year.  And while we adults can understand that, it can be heartbreaking for very young children to think Santa Claus has forgotten them or bypassed them because they were naughty.  Please help if you can, so together we can bring joy to needy children who might otherwise have nothing on Christmas morning.

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Diary #542

I’m getting good at scheduling my appointments closely enough together to keep my trips to Seattle short and sweet.  I drove in on Wednesday, got my nails done, then on Thursday saw a new client I’ve known for some time online (he is an “out” client, but professional discretion still forbids my naming him unless he chooses otherwise) and found him both lovely and generous.  And speaking of generosity, I got three new presents: the DVDs for Thundarr the Barbarian from Brad Carter; a book of ghost stories from Nick Fowler; and a lovely snakeskin summer top from my friend Angela Keaton.  I also found out who sent the kitchen scale (RockyJimBeam) and the red cashmere sweater (Antonio Lorusso).  Jim will be glad to know that I already used the scale in preparing Saturday’s dinner, and Antonio asked for a picture of me in the sweater (I’m sure he won’t mind if I share it with everyone).  Thanks so much to all my wonderful, generous friends, clients, and readers; y’all have helped make this a very lovely birthday season!

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Diary #541

It’s been lovely to get back to all the cooking I used to do in Oklahoma. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been making all manner of old favorites and trying new recipes, and last week I did another of my traditional canning tasks: cooking down my Halloween pumpkin.  It went well, and I got ten and a half pints in all; I’ve already used two, one for pumpkin pie and another for cream of pumpkin soup.  This week, I’ll probably do pumpkin bread, but I’ll likely wait for the weekend because I’m heading back to Seattle tomorrow and returning Friday (with all the birthday presents that arrived while I was gone).  Scheduling my appointments together is working out well; I’m able to spend most of my time out at Sunset, and that makes me happy.  I’ve kinda slacked off on finishing Ask Maggie, Volume II, but don’t worry; it’s on the way and should be available before Christmas.

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Diary #540

I’m happy to say that I had a very lovely birthday week!  I was in an unusually good mood all week, and did a lot of cooking because I felt like it; for inner on Saturday I prepared three kinds of finger foods (deviled eggs, shrimp toast, and crab Rangoon) because I feel as though they’re kind of like adult trick-or-treat, and we watched several spooky shows.  An artist friend of mine was with us, and she gave me this paperweight she made from a stone from my property, painted with a lovely snake motif!  Jae also gave me a snake, a big plush one which I think I will leave to guard my bed.   And I got so many presents from readers and admirers:  Mike Siegel sent me Predestination and The Immortality Key; Jeremy Dunn sent me several of the “Shaver Mystery” reprint books and a Japanese horror film, Marebito, based on them; and two other readers sent me a lovely cashmere sweater and a digital kitchen scale, but since some Amazon sellers neglect to send packing skips, I don’t know who to thank!  If you sent one of those, please let me know.  On top of all that, several readers sent me cash gifts, which are always welcome!  All around, it was an exceptional birthday week, and thanks so much to everyone who helped make it so!

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I’m starting to run back and forth to Seattle more often again.  Back in April and May I spent most of my time at Sunset, and I still do; however, instead of staying there for weeks on end, I’m usually returning to Seattle after about 4 to 10 days, accomplishing whatever it was I needed to do (clients, beauty appointments, etc), and then heading back to Sunset after perhaps three days in town.  When I returned to my apartment a week ago today, my blue girl surprised me by having burst into flower during the week I was gone; I also found a DVD waiting for me, sent by a kind reader for my blog anniversary.  That’s how I plan to keep things for a while; since there’s not much reason to be in Seattle most of the time, I’d rather be working on my house than fighting traffic and enduring half a dozen sirens a day.  And because I’m not in Seattle as often, it’s a pleasant little change of pace when I visit.

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Generous Gents

Nearly every established sex worker I know has had generous clients buy big-ticket items for her, and I don’t mean frivolities like designer handbags and 500 pairs of shoes; I mean substantial items, like a central air conditioning system, furniture, a car, that sort of thing.  In my case, the most outstanding example is my farm at Sunset.  I was able to buy it outright thanks in part to a generous parting allowance from my wasband Matt, and another of my gentlemen bought me the truck Grace and Chekhov used to haul everything we own from Oklahoma to Washington.  Once it was no longer needed, I used the truck itself as barter to pay a hired man who has done a great deal of work for me, from setting up the jacks to level my floor, to digging drainage ditches, to helping me rebuild my chicken yard, to helping Chekhov and I build the guest cottage.  And of course Chekhov himself has been incredibly generous; not only did he buy both guest cottages and all the lumber for the bathhouse project and the bookshelves, he’s also bought me a number of new appliances and tools.  And of course he’s not the only one who’s bought me tools; many of my readers have purchased them for me from my wishlist, and this one in particular has seen very heavy use!  Another of my gents tips me with a Home Depot gift card every time I see him, and those have purchased many more tools and supplies.  These kinds of gifts may not be the stuff of male fantasy like fancy lingerie and expensive jewelry, but they mean far more to me: they are allowing me to create the comfortable home I plan to spend the rest of my life in.  And every time I look at my bookshelves or use my hot tub or just walk on the deck built with gifts from my gents, I cannot help but be reminded of their generosity.

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The Magic of Gifts

I’ve written before about how nice it is to receive gifts from readers and friends, and how much it means to me that I touch the lives of people so much (even when I haven’t met them in person) that they want to bring a smile to my face and/or make my life easier and more pleasant.  The gifts take all forms; sometimes people help me with things I need, such as my friend Winnie doing my nails this week or Chekhov buying all the lumber for my various building projects (not to mention an extra guest cottage!)  Other times, readers send me things from my Amazon wishlist, such as a Sonos speaker system for Sunset I got from Derek Ashworth last week; I appreciate all such gifts, and even have some very inexpensive ones on there for those on a limited budget.  And sometimes, readers send me nice things that they just thought I’d like, such as this six-months-early birthday present from a reader (who prefers discretion around his name) who was concerned he might not have the cash on hand by autumn.  But whether the gifts are practical or aesthetic, expensive or inexpensive, requested or spontaneous, I appreciate them all, and that’s why it’s so important to me to acknowledge each and every one so the senders – and everyone else – knows that.

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By the time you read this I’ll be in Orlando, Florida visiting with Alex Andrews of SWOP Behind Bars; there are some things she is much better at than I am, and she kindly offered to help me with them so I wouldn’t either procrastinate in the forlorn hope that they go away, or else have an anxiety attack when I force myself to do them anyhow.  Of course, travel itself gives me anxiety, and modern airline travel even more so; though I finally broke down and got TSA Precheck, the airlines themselves have discovered so many ways to make the experience awful that the Precheck is at best a harm reduction strategy.  I mean, take Tuesday for example; overfull airplanes stress me out, but airlines also have a tendency to cancel flights that aren’t very close to full, so I spent three days dealing with low-level anxiety over that because I managed to find a flight that had a wonderfully large number of empty seats.  And since Seattle was unusually sunny last week, my pineal gland was screaming that IT ISN’T SPRING YET DAMMIT SO WHY IS EVERYTHING SO BRIGHT AND NOISY?  As it turned out, the travel itself was relatively uneventful, and I got to celebrate Mardi Gras on Tuesday with one of my favorite gents before going on to Florida, where I hope to relax and drink too much in addition to getting done with the stuff I came to do.  And though I was a bit on edge over the weekend, I also got to see a new musical with Lorelei and go to Lady Vi’s “house cooling” on Saturday, plus I’ve sent the necessary materials to Shannon Reeves so she can start on the cover for The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume II.   Geek Downrange send me a router from my Amazon wishlist (thank you!), and I got the very good news that the young man who’s going to help us wth the floor-repair project went under the house and discovered that the problem is actually less severe than we had initially believed.  It looks like they’re going to start working on it this week, in fact, and I’ll be going out there a week from today (maybe even as early as Wednesday) to help.  So all in all, it has been quite a good week despite my brain carrying on as though there really were something to carry on about.

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