Thursday, April 2, 2020

Thursday This n That

I woke up this morning to a comment on one of my Goodreads reviews.  It was some guy trying to get me to buy his book - if you liked this, try mine.  Not cool, dude.  Even if it was a trad pub and the author is making tons of money, which this wasn't, not cool.  Piggybacking your sales off another indie author's work is totally not cool. 

It's early and I haven't had enough coffee, so obviously, I'm not too eloquent yet.

I saw the first deer showing her pregnancy.  Nice to see the fat bellies starting to arrive.  Love me some fawns.

The Night Owl made dinner last night.  Chicken Alfredo.  It was pretty darn good.  And I made a chocolate cake yesterday, so it was like a holiday or something.  Which it kinda was because it was the 16th anniversary of the day I met Hubs in person.

I'm trying not to mention the elephant in the room today.  I wish it would just go away.

Hubs and I took a walk after dinner, just the two of us.  It's not that we don't have any alone time anymore, because Owl is mostly in her room on the computer, but it was nice.

I saw a yellow-bellied sapsucker the other day.  I was surprised it hadn't migrated yet.  The eagles are already gone.

My hawk scratches are nothing more than pink lines now.  If they scar, the scars won't last long. 

Yesterday, I saw something on FB about someone threatening an author with one-star reviews if they didn't take down their opinion post.  No mention of the author's name, so no chance of boosting them up to defeat the asshole, but a lot of comments from people who wanted to.  And comments from people who wanted to shitstorm the asshole.  Beware the power of pissed off people stuck at home. By the way, threatening an author with one-star reviews is also not cool.

If this should ever happen to you, get a screenshot of the threat, so if the reviews do start coming, you can send the threat to Amazon and get the reviews removed. 

I have no idea what I'm going to do for dinner tonight.

There's an interesting moth fluttering around my bathroom window.  Something you may not know about me is I used to have a moth phobia.  Not paralyzing fear, but yelping and waving my arms like a fool was not out of the question.  They still kind of creep me out, but I spent a lot of time working on it so they don't scare me anymore.  Okay, so maybe if one lands on me unexpectedly, I still shriek and go all ninja.  Butterflies?  No problem.  Moths?  :shudder:  Silly phobias.

Okay, that's it for me today.  What's up with you?

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The Chaos Diaries - 4/1/20

Today is the end of Week 1 with The Night Owl living with us again.  It's an adjustment for us all.  And I still have to keep reminding myself that while she is my child, she is not a child. 

Last night was not a good night.  I haven't been sleeping well.  I thought once I got past the chaos of last week, the stress levels would go down.  :shrug:  I've been trying to walk or get outside and get some exercise every day.  Owl and I took a walk after dinner that ended up being longer than I'd planned because we were chatting and the next thing I knew we'd gone farther than I wanted to, which meant we had to walk back from there.  That alone should've knocked me right out.  Nope.  No matter how tired the body is, the brain won't shut up.

I started likening it to a hamster running on its wheel.  Lately, the hamster's whole family has taken up residence in my head.  A dozen wheels and when I get one to stop running another starts up again.   According to Mom, I come by this honestly - Dad was the same way. 

Every day, our elderly neighbors get in their car and go somewhere.  I don't know about her, but he's had some major health problems over the years.  One would think they'd be more cautious.  If anyone around here is going to get it, it's going to be them.  They're the canary in our coal mine.  Of course, right now, there's only one case in our county and one in the county next door, so maybe he's not taking as big of a risk as we think he is.  Time will tell.  I really hope they don't get it.

Hubs talked with his mom and his brothers.  So far, they're all well.  I talk to my mom almost every day, and she talks to everyone else in the family, so I know they're all good.  My oldest sister is head of maintenance and housekeeping for a large hospital and she's running ragged right now.  Ten hour days, seven days a week.  Mom's sister is trapped in an assisted living facility that is shut down to outside visitors.  The only people she sees now are the ones who deliver her food and I don't imagine they're staying to chat.  She's used to her daughter coming by often but that's screwed up now.  So, she opens her apartment door and the woman across the hall opens hers and they chat across the divide when they can. 

Okay, I guess it's time to start my day.  I'm not sure if I'll do these diary things daily or not.  I'd like to find something else to talk about, but the hamsters are single-minded right now.

What's up with you?

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Chaos Diaries - 3/31/20

Hubs and I were talking yesterday about, you guessed it, the chaos.  He's been watching the actual data and by his reckoning, the peak of this crap will coincide with the end of our food supplies.  So we decided the best bet would be to try and pick up some things now while the number of infected in our area is still low.  Since I had to go out anyway - bank stuffs - I extended the trip to include the closest dollar store.

Unfortunately, the mail with my paycheck didn't arrive until late morning.  I figured by that time anything really good would be gone, but I had to try.  Still no TP on the shelves.  No eggs.  No flour.  No evaporated milk*.

I did manage to get apple juice.  A necessity here since we don't drink soda anymore and a necessity for the digestive system.  Also purified water - for the cat.  And cat food - the last two boxes of Fancy Feast pate** which is the only kind she'll eat.  With what I already have, that'll last her until I can get more.

The thing that struck me as I shopped was the shell-shocked look on everyone's faces - probably mirrored in my own.  It was like footage you see after a disaster or a bombing raid.  

As I got into the checkout line, I noticed the guy in front of me had TP in his cart.  Then the gal who got in line behind me had TP, too.  I swear, I searched the store for it and came up empty.  So I asked the gal behind me.  She said you had to ask the checkout gal for it.  I stepped up to the register and the smiling cashier, made the usual polite conversation, and then mentioned the TP.  A thunder cloud came over her sunny disposition.  "If you want toilet paper, you're going to have to get out of line because I have to go to the back and get it and I'm not making all these people wait on you."

I collapsed in on myself and mumbled my apologies.  By this time, there were easily six people behind me, so I began to get out of the line.  That's when the gal behind me offered me her toilet paper, saying she'd be happy to go to the back of the line.  And then the gal two people behind her offered her toilet paper up to the first gal with the same idea.  The checkout gal relaxed and told me they have to be strict with the TP because people from out of state have been swooping in and raiding their shelves. 

We had also planned on hitting Walmart at 6am this morning because Tuesdays Walmart opens an hour early for anyone over 65 - and just those people, not their spouses.  After yesterday's run, I didn't have the heart to do it again today.  Sure, it would've been Hubs shopping alone and me waiting in the car, but I couldn't take the idea of another trip so soon.  So, we decided against it.  Which is good because it's after 6 and he's still sleeping.  And I'm letting him.

I had a nightmare last night that the eggs I have in the fridge actually expired*** last week.  Woke me right up.  Good thing, too, because I had forgotten to switch the thermostat back to heat after last week's AC usage, and it was freakin' cold in here.  I wonder if The Night Owl (the Kid) was shivering her buns off in her room.

Now, I decided to write all this out as a way to reach out to other people who may be experiencing similar stuff as a way to let them know they aren't alone.  Not as a 'woe is me' thing.  Looking at it this morning, I probably could tackle Wallyworld today.  Obviously not in time to do the Senior Shopping thing since it's almost 7 and it takes a half-hour to drive there, but I could do it.  I bounced back.  I always do. Some days the bouncing takes longer than others, but I do it.  You can, too.  :HUGS:

How are things with you?

* Evaporated milk can be reconstituted into milk.  Use a one to one ratio of water to EM, then taste it.  Add more water to thin it to your tastes.  It's not the best milk ever - like I wouldn't drink a whole glass of it  - but it works for having a bowl of cereal and using in recipes.

** When I checked Anazon yesterday morning, it was on back order until the middle of next month.  

*** Expired eggs can be checked.  If you drop an egg in water and it sinks to the bottom, it's good.  If it sits up, use it soon.  If it floats, throw it out.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Sunday Update - Week 12

Well, there went another week in 2020.  Week 12 of the year, Week... what?  2?  3?  of the madness. 

Still unable to think about writing or editing.  I had hoped that once I got the Kid here and settled in, the flow would start again.  Umm...

Also, no marketing.  I can't seem to bring myself to jump into the fray of 'hey, your world is falling apart, but here's a book to entertain you while you wait'.  I know books help take everyone's minds off this, but...  :shrug:

Speaking of reading, I finished three books last week with no DNFs.  Which is kind of amazing since for the first half of the week, I couldn't seem to focus on anything.  Actually, I finished two of those books on Friday, so if not for the last half of the week, my reading would've been sad.

In other news, you might have seen that the Kid is living here now.  So far, so good.  She's spending most of her time doing her college course work and keeping in touch with friends online.  Yesterday, she baked us up an apple Bundt cake that was pretty good.  I keep having to remind myself that while she is MY child, she is no longer A child.  She's been living on her own for 7 years.  If she doesn't do dishes the way I do dishes, so what?  "Chill out,you control freak,," I says to myself, "at least she's doing the dishes." Which is what I'm doing - chilling out.  =o)

In case you haven't guessed, we're now under self-isolation.  It really sucks not being able to go anywhere.  Sure, I've had 7-10 day stretches where I didn't leave the house.  But that was by choice.  And sure, we're able to take walks and junk.  But not being able to get in the car and scoot over to the store is driving me crazy.  I did manage to finally see my bestest in-person friend on Thursday.  It was through the drive-thru window at the bank, but it was better than nothing.  We chatted until someone pulled up behind me.  She and her husband and their extended families are well.

So far, I still don't personally know anyone who's sick and only know two people who know people who are sick.  Fingers crossed it stays that way.  Of course, the number of people I communicate with on a regular basis dropped precipitously in 2016, so my numbers are only anecdotal.

Got a call from Mom on Friday.  Which is weird - she never calls here, I call her and we'd spoken that morning.  She's fine.  She was making my chocolate oil cake and I forgot to put in the recipe whether to grease the pan.  You can, but you don't need to.  

Okay, that's probably enough out of me.  Hopefully, I'll have more interesting and writerly things to talk about next Sunday.  :fingers crossed:

How are things with you?

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 3/28/20

Hello again.  It was a stressful week for me and I guess that means reading.

I didn't pick up anything new, though.

Books read:

30) Love You Still by Kat Bammer (3/27/20) - Romantic Suspense*# - 4 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Picked this one up for free from Book Doggy.
Review: "I bought this as a romance, but it's really romantic suspense, which is fine with me because I like those, too. Good premise and plot."

29) Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie (3/27/20) - Mystery - 5 stars.  Got this at the thrift store in November.
No review.

28) Apprentice Fool by Aldred Chase (3/24/20) - YA Fantasy*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Free from the Book Barbarian newsletter.
Review: "Fun book! Great characters. Great premise. The story kept me turning pages. The only flaw? It ended too soon."

No DNFs.

Currently reading...  I finished that last book right before bed, so I haven't chosen what I'll read next.

What were you reading this past week?

Friday, March 27, 2020

The New Normal

Man, my internet is slow today.  I think in this time where internet usage is up like 70% (per something Hubs read) that the big sites like Facebook should scale down their bells and whistles so the sites actually load again.  Of course, it might just be me.  This is like our usual summer slow down.  Loads of typically summer people and weekenders are here for the duration.  Why not?  If they have to shelter in place, it's better to do it here than whatever city they live near.  Also, now we have 3 computers sucking bandwidth on the modem in the house.  :shrug:  So if you see me less, that's why.  Kid needs the internet for her classes.  Hubs needs the internet for his work.  I rarely need the internet for more than to entertain my brain.  I can read or watch the tube for that.  The few times I have to do stuff, I can wait until one or the both of them are done for the day.

This is the new normal.  I'd really like to go back to the old normal.  Please.

Yesterday, I introduced the Kid to The Match Game.  "Big money Match Game 78! With your star, Gene Rayburn!"  Applause applause applause.  It's on The Game Show Network from noon to one Central.  I love that show.  It's so not politically correct.  I also introduced her to The Chase.  Love that show, too.  I wish they were still in production.  Game shows... they're what to watch when everything else sucks.  Almost total escapism. 

Speaking of The Game Show Network, they have a new commercial where they talk about watching their shows during social isolation and then the camera pans back to show 6 people all sitting on two couches watching together and having fun. And I'm all like 'where's the separation?!  they're too close to each other!'

This, too, is the new normal.

I also find myself thinking 'do I really need to eat that?' because with the self-isolation, we're staying away from stores and anything I eat will need to be replaced down the road eventually.  Yesterday, the Kid was all like 'would you mind if I ate an egg?' because eggs are hard to come by.  Before this, I would've been all like 'if you want an egg, eat an egg'.  Which I did say, but after a long pause while I calculated what I might need that egg for before I can get out to buy more eggs.

This will pass.  This isn't like the USSR where you had to stand in line every day all day for years to get an egg.  Not yet anyway.

Let's try to make sure this new normal isn't a permanent normal and get back to the old normal as quickly as possible.  K?

How are you all doing out there? 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Thursday This n That - But Mostly That

It was a gorgeous day in the Ozarks yesterday. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, the tail winds way up high were advantageous.  The drive to the airport went well, her flights were all early, and the drive back was fine.  We made it home forty-five minutes early than expected. 

The roads were not as empty as I would've thought - plenty of people still out and about.  The traffic in Republic (a suburb of Springfield) was surprisingly heavy for 1:30pm on a Wednesday during the plague.  The airport, on the other hand, was creepy.  No hustle, no bustle.  Ghost town quiet.  All the little stores on the outside of the security checkpoint were closed.  The restaurant was closed.  Totally weird.  One airport worker I spoke with said he's been there ten years and has never seen it that quiet.  Lucky for me, I'm self-entertaining.  Also lucky that I didn't have to wait too awfully long.  Bored bored bored.  And the bench seating was too uncomfortable to sit and read.  I saw two people wearing masks.  Otherwise, the few people who I did see and/or talk to were social distancing. 

The only issue I had was that once I left home, there were no places to stop for a potty break until I got to the airport.  Fast food is drive-thru only and some places aren't letting customers use their bathrooms anymore.  Okay, I could've swung into the Wallyworld, but gah, who wants to go into one of those right now if you don't have to?

Purell is my friend.  (Actually, off-brand hand sanitizer is my friend, but Purell is a shorter word.)

Coffee is also my friend.

With all the rain we've gotten the river and the lake are swollen.  Not super-bad floody but definitely will make fishing interesting when I finally get to go.

In general, spirits are okay out there in the world.  I spent some time thanking people for doing their jobs amidst this crap.  The parking lot attendant was confused when I thanked him.  He sits in a box all day only interacting with people when they come out of the lot, but hey, he's doing his job. 

I hope your spirits are okay out there.  I'm doing a little better now that the Kid is safe here. 

Got any this n that for me today?