Sunday, November 17, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 46

Hello again.  It's been a week.  For the most part, a good one, but a little bumpy here and there.

In writing news, I wrote 6587 words.  Would've done more, but I took Thursday and Friday off due to things.  Last night, before I wrote, I sat down and kind of roughed out the next several scenes. Then I got words out before things and then Live PD hit.

Marketing for the OUAD sale kind of fell apart.  The ad's supposed to go live today, though, so I have hope.  Not a lot of hope, but it's there.

Reading went well.  I finished three books, which is cool.  I do love reading so.

Yesterday was a baking extravaganza.  Okay, it was only two things, but after making granola bars and then oatmeal cookies, I was kind of shot for more baking.  I did, however, do a pot roast.  Yummers.  The day before I made a vat of chili.  Before that, I did pork chops and scalloped potatoes.  Today?  Maybe apple cranberry bread or apple cake, if I'm up to peeling and paring apples.  And leftovers.  Lots and lots of leftovers.

After baking, we went into the woods and played for a while.  Fun fun.  I love playing in the woods.  Maybe I'll do more of that today. 

The guy building his house next door got a survey done.  Now we know exactly where our NW pin is - three pins down and from that we can approximate where the 4th one is.  Yay.  We've been guessing for 6 years.  (Yeah, we thought we had a surveyor coming out.  He never showed.  We called again and he said next time he was out this way, he'd do it.  He never showed.  Then in the height of summer, he wanted to do the survey.  Umm, no.)

The leaves are nearly off the trees now and that means raking can begin.  I did the small south yard.  And then I paid for it on Thursday and Friday (and a little on Saturday).  It does look nice afterwards, though.  I love our trees, but cleaning up after them is a pain in the back.

Hunting season started here yesterday.  Keep a positive thought for our deer.

And I think that's about it.  Or at least, that's as much it as I can think of right now.  How was your week?

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 11/16/19

Well, I did better this week with the reading thing.  Three books finished.  And they were all good ones.  Yay.  And only one DNF.  Yay.

I've been scanning through the newsletters, but nothing was really compelling me to download until yesterday when I picked up a supernatural thriller and a paranormal mystery.  Otherwise, I'm down to 3 older unread ebooks - YA something, mystery, paranormal mystery.  :shrug:  I've also got hardcopies if I blow through those.

Book read:

102) Murder, Mayhem, and Bliss by LouLou Harrington (11/14/19) - Mystery* - 5 stars.  Not new or underappreciated.  I bought this because I'd read book 2 earlier in the year and when I saw this for free on the Robin Reads newsletter, I had to get it.
Review: "So much fun! I loved the characters and the plot and the setting and the mystery... Well, everything about this story."
Note: The series is set in Oklahoma, in case, you know, you happen to like stories set in OK.

101) Where Eagles Dare by Alistair MacLean (11/11/19) - Action - 5 stars.  Not new or underappreciated.  I mean, it's Alistair MacLean for pitysakes.  And it was made into a movie with Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood.
No Review.
Note:  I never saw the movie, which is weird because I'm into this type of movie, but I'm glad I didn't because if I had, I would've known what was going to happen in the book and I don't think I would've had nearly as much fun reading it if I knew what was coming.  Loads of twists in this one, folks.

100) Epitaph by Karla Brandenburg (11/9/19) - Romantic Suspense*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Free off the Reading Deals newsletter.
Review: "I loved this book, even though it was totally not what I was expecting when I downloaded it. I was thinking something along the lines of cozy paranormal mystery. And that's probably my mistake. This is totally romantic suspense with a supernatural bent to it. And being a big fan of romantic suspense over the years, lemme tell ya, this gal has got the chops for it. The supernatural just added an extra yummy element. It did turn out a bit spicy on the romance side for my tastes, but I have weird tastes, so I'm not shorting this any stars for it. Like I said, I loved it and I would choose it again.

DNFs:

11/11/19 - Free.  This was the other one I snagged off Amazon's 100 top free thriller list.  Further proving that being on a Top 100 list doesn't necessarily equal being a good book.  In its defense, I probably shouldn't have started this after finishing an action thriller by one of the biggest names in the genre.  Total disappointment after only a few pages.

Currently reading...a political thriller I picked up on the author recommendation of a friend.  (She hadn't read this title, so if it fails, I'm not knocking her.)  So far?  I'm not really getting into the whole first person thing here and the POV character is kind of an ass.  I'll keep going and I'll let you know how it goes next week.

What did you read last week?  Anything good?

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Thursday This n That

I went fishing yesterday.  It was cold, it was windy, and chances were that the fish wouldn't be biting, but I really needed to blow the gunk out of my pipes.  You know the days - when you feel like throat punching the world and so you yell at the cat.  (Kira doesn't care, but it's still not a good thing to do.)  It worked... it usually does... and I came back in a better mood than when I left.  And HAH, the fish were biting.  I only caught one undersized bass, but I was getting loads of bites.

While I was gone, Hubs was raking leaves.  The guys were working on building the house next door and they waved him over to talk about stuffs.  While they were talking, Hubs learned that the one guy's lady is from Michigan.  He didn't remember the town exactly, but it's about an hour north of Detroit.  And when he was telling me what he thought he might've heard, it sounded like a town pretty near to where I grew up.  Not THAT would be totally 'small world'.  This bears further investigation, because if she actually is from there, it would be total old home week.  And if she isn't, it's still pretty small world if a gal from Michigan moves next door to two other people from Michigan in SW MO.  Know what I mean?

Back to yelling at Kira.  That's the thing about cats versus dogs.  You yell at a dog, and they are totally effected by it.  You yell at a cat and they're all like 'you got a problem, it's your problem not mine'.  If Kira could flip me off, she probably would.  On her way back to bed.

Oh, while I was out at the lake, I saw what I thought was an abandoned goose egg laying amidst the detritus from our last big rain.  And I thought 'wow, something that fragile survived all the wind and the rain and everything', so I picked it up to bring home.  Then I noticed it wasn't an egg at all.  It had spots top and bottom like a seed pod of some sort.  And it was empty.  When I shook it, it rattled.  Upon doing some internet research, I learned it was an Ozark Nest Egg gourd.  They only grow around the Ozarks near rivers and streams.  Cool.

My work email has been down all week.  Something about the provider getting hacked or something.  They're routing as much as we can through alternate addys and they're sending stuff through my private email, but because it's down, they aren't getting what they're supposed to be getting - ie most of the spreadsheets I do.  Blerg.  Hackers should be dipped in honey and staked to an ant hill.  They never think about who they might be hurting when they do their crap.  Little guys like me, that's who.  Little companies like my family's business, that's who.  And even if they go after big companies, that shit rolls downhill to the consumers.  The little guys.  :steam:

I saw a great blue heron yesterday.  Beautiful birds.  Not the prettiest of noises.  Anyway, he honked/grunted at me as he flew by.

Okay, that's about enough out of me.  What's up with you?

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Apple Cranberry Bread

The other day I made Apple Cranberry Bread and said I couldn't post the recipe because I hadn't typed it up yet.  Derp.  I searched this blog and found where I'd posted it back in 2010.  For some reason, I must've typed it directly into the blog because I had no copy on my hard drive, which is why I thought I'd never typed it up.  Now it's a freakin' file, so I can find it when I need it.  Sheesh.

Anyway, here's the recipe (doubled for two loaf convenience, even though I only made one loaf this time around):

Apple Cranberry Bread
(makes two loaves)

4 eggs
1.5 c. sugar
4 T vegetable oil
3 c. flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp Hot Apple Cider drink mix
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 medium granny smith apples (peeled & chopped into 1" pieces)
2 c. fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray two 8x4" loaf pans thoroughly with fat-free cooking spray.  In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugar and oil until smooth and fluffy.  In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients.  Slowly stir dry ingredients into wet mixture.  (It will be very thick.)  Stir in apples and cranberries.  Spoon batter into loaf pans.  Bake for 60-65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool for ten minutes before tranferring to wire rack or whatever you use for cooling baked goods.  Let cool overnight, slice and serve.

If you don't have the drink mix handy, it's good without it.  It's just better with it.

I need to make some more of this before the rest of the cranberries go funky.  Maybe today.  Or maybe I'll make an Apple Cranberry Crisp.  Also yummy.  We'll see.  Since today is supposed to be colder than a witch's nose, it'd probably be a good day for baking.  Lord knows I won't be going outside.  Brrrr.

Do you bake when it's cold?  


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 45

Only 7 weeks left to 2019.  Whoa.

I am hip deep in NaNoWriMo.  Wrote every day this month - even though the NaNo site thinks I missed a day.  I forgot to update on one of those days and it won't let me go back and change it.  One day, due to a thunderstorm, I only got 133 words out, but I wrote that day, so it counts.  The counter thing here shows the truth of it.  As of last night, I'm at 11446 words for the month, 9341 of those this past week.  The book itself is at 67322 words.  Anyway, I'm really excited about this.  And as long as I can keep away from people online saying things like 'is your fantasy just a regurgitation of other fantasies?' (a general post, not someone speaking specifically to me) which makes me doubt what the hell I'm doing, I'll be fine.

I didn't do much marketing for the dystopian sale.  With FB not showing my posts to many people, it was almost like 'what's the point?'  I have another sale starting Wednesday and running through to the following Tuesday night - the Once Upon a Djinn books are all 99c/99p.  There'll be paid advertising for that one.

Also, not much reading last week.  I blame NaNo.

In baking news, I made another Romanian apple cake.  This time, I remembered that I had a secret ingredient - hot apple cider drink mix.  Add one teaspoon when you put in the cinnamon.  It elevates it to a whole 'nother taste level.  I also made meatball subs.  OMG, so good.  And BBQ pork chops.

It wasn't the best week for activity.  A lot of fishing at the beginning of the week, but few actual calorie burning things.  I did weigh myself earlier in the week - 179.6 - so that's something.  I can't seem to bounce past that number.  Maybe if I stopped making such yummy food.  ;o)

The fishing right now stinks.  Apparently, I missed the 'fall fishing' thing again this year.  It must've been like a week long or something.  I had people tell me they caught loads of bass, but I didn't catch doodley-squat for fish.  And now it's too cold and all the fish have gone deep again.  Bugger it all.

Speaking of cold, we're supposed to maybe have snow tonight.  I could care less if we ever got snow, but since we didn't want to move farther south than we are now, we have to put up with it when it comes.  Oh well. 

And that's about that for me today.  How was your Week 45?

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 11/9/19

Hello.  Welcome to the first Reading Wrap-up since NaNo overtook my life.  I only managed to finish one book this week.  It was a really good one, but it stands alone.

I didn't download anything new this week because I'm not sure when I'll be able to finish the books I already have downloaded.  There are five of them - thriller, 2 mystery, YA SF, and paranormal mystery.  I also have a boatload of hardcopies to read if it comes to that.  Right now, I'm at 99 books read for the year with a goal of 120.  Better step it up somehow or I won't make the goal.  :shrug:  If writing again means I miss the goal, I'm okay with that.

Books read:

99) Trail of the Hana K'ilo by Channing Whitaker (11/5/19) - Mystery*#2 - 5 stars.  Not new to me, because it was a book 2, but definitely underappreciated.  Picked this up at full price $2.99 after reading book 1.
Review: "Another excellent installment of the Skeptic Detective. Okay, so I did want to poke Harlan in the eye for a while there near the beginning, but I love him anyway. And I love Vieve. They'll go a long way together, if they keep their wits. I also loved this mystery and the resolution and the explanations of everything. The setting was neat, too. I'm always interested in Alaska and the author does an excellent job of putting the reader right in the setting. I'm looking forward to more Skeptic Detective mysteries in the future."

DNFs:

11/2/19 - Romance.  Free.  The beginning was creeping me out.  Sure, I get that the author wanted to show that the couple first met when they were kids in elementary school, but the way the hero at 10 was thinking about the heroine at 5 made my skin crawl.  More like a suspense showing a killer's early beginnings than the beginning of a romance novel.  Anyway, I flipped past the backstory and got into the today part of the romance and it all seemed so contrived and flat.

Currently reading... I had it down as a paranormal mystery, but I think, now that I'm halfway through, it's more of a romantic suspense with a supernatural bent to it.  Not really 'paranormal' in as far as it has no paranormal beings (vamps, weres, fairies, genies, etc.) - just the MC with a gift and another character with a gift.  So far, it's pretty good. A little spicier than I expected.  Whoa.

What was on your reading schedule this week?  What stops you from reading as much as you'd like?

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Thursday This n That

Last night, just after I sat down to write, a thunderstorm rolled in.  So my word count for yesterday was 133 words.  And that was all fixing part of the scene I wrote the day before.

I decided what critter was going to attack the band of intrepid characters and it ended up being one of my own design because nothing fit what I had in my head.  So, I wrote the scene.  Then yesterday, I realized the beastie needed to be beefed up a little in the description and it needed to be gray rather than black.  And it ended up being a battle scene without any battle.  Beasties defeated by cunning.  I thought my solution was rather brilliant at the time.  We'll see if I still feel that way in edits.

For a guy who didn't want his magic or any kind of leadership role, Aryl's pretty good at both.

On the way to go fishing, a little hawk flew across the road in front of me carrying its prey.  Not sure what kind of lunch it would be having, but it was definitely something small and furry.  Too small to be a squirrel, too big to be a mouse, too dark to be a chipmunk and the tail was wrong for a chipmunk anyway.  :shrug:  Eat hearty little hawk.

With the time change, I've been getting up at 4am.  Which is good because the cat expects to be fed at around 4:30 (she used to get fed around 5:30, but time change).  The worst part of it is that getting up at 4 means that by the time it's time to call the office at 8, the coffee is almost gone and I don't want to make another pot just for a twenty minute call.

Speaking of the time change, where is this extra hour of sleep I was supposed to be getting?  Total rip off. 

Can anyone tell me why people vote YES for new taxes?  I wonder if it's because they don't think that whenever they vote for new taxes, they will also be taxed.  Maybe they think the taxes will only hit the other guy.  I mention this because we voted on Tuesday and while we voted against the new tax thing, it passed - by a slim margin, but still.  Blerg.  I guess I shouldn't bitch overly much because some of you out there are paying outrageous amounts in taxes and Missouri is still pretty low.  But I want to keep it that way and apparently others here don't.  Double blerg.

Speaking of which, our property tax bills arrived this week.  Umm, yay?  Most of it goes to pay for our shitty school system, which we never used and never will.  I wouldn't mind helping pay for the education of our youth if the education I was paying for was actually worth something.  Know what I mean?

The bucks have been stopping here.  (Yes, I went there.)  We've got some really gorgeous boys this year.  If only I could get some pics. 

Speaking of pics, I really need to wash my windows.  It's hard to get a good photo when the glass you're shooting through is dirty and has spider webs strung across it.

Wow, I've been kind of chatty this morning.  Thanks for reading this far.  I'll let you go for now so you can get on with your day. 

What's up in your world?