Thursday, June 30, 2016

Thursday This n That

So, a local store offers really yummy fried chicken.  Same store is often tagged in the local health department report for various violations.  I took a chance on Tuesday because I was in town and I knew I wouldn't feel like cooking dinner when I got home.  Chicken, pasta salad for me, coleslaw for Hubs, chunked cantaloupe.  Everything was really yummy.  We had leftovers yesterday for lunch.  And I was miserably last night.  Just me.  Hubs was fine.  Which means it was the pasta salad.  Moral of the story.... The health department report is probably right and no matter how yummy their fried chicken is, I should probably never purchase in-store made food from them again.  I'm gonna miss that chicken.  =o\

I don't go out of my way to read the health dept report, btw.  It's published in the local paper.  And reading it makes me never want to eat out again.  Sometimes my laziness tramples over my good sense.

Speaking of health, I went to the doctor Tuesday - which is why I was out of town - and I lost 2 lbs since the end of April.  My blood pressure was also down.  Yay.  I'm still not doing anything more than increasing my activity.  Of course, increased activity means I'm not snacking as much as I used to. And when I'm out fishing, I'm not sitting here drinking copious amounts of Dew.  (I take jugs of water or Gatorade when I go fishing.)

I went fishing the other morning and the fog was so thick I could've cut it with a knife.  Scary driving but I enjoyed standing on the shore fishing in it.  Very calming.  Very solitary. 

There's an old man who must live near where I fish because he uses a small tractor to put his boat in.  I get there are see the tractor and boat trailer backed up into the river.  Then, in a little while, he boats past and up onto the trailer, and off he goes, dragging the trailer back into the neighborhood that surrounds this fishing area.  I think it's pretty cool.  I haven't spoken with him yet, but I expect he's a neat old dude.

What on your this-n-that radar today?

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Saving My Sanity

Yesterday, I posted this on Facebook:

"The world is becoming a sad, strange place. But I made zucchini bread that almost tastes like Mom's. It doesn't make the world any less sad or strange, but I found a happy spot in the midst of it all, so, for right now, I'm good.

Saving my sanity one slice at a time."

And, as I looked this morning at who responded to that post, I thought about the fact that the world is a sad, strange place to different people for different reasons.  Some of the things that make me think it's sad and strange might be the good things about it for other people.  And that makes it sadder and stranger.  :shrug:

But I have my zucchini bread.  And I'm going fishing.  No matter what view you have of the world or currents events, you have to find those little things that make you happy.  It's the only way to defeat the sad and the strange.  It's like a little life preserver, keeping you afloat until it blows over.  And giving you a hope that it will eventually blow over.

So, to share my little happy, here's the recipe for the bread I made last night.  It's not strictly zucchini bread here.  I didn't have enough zucchini, so I used some summer squash, too.  But it does taste almost like Mom's, like I said, so it's all good, baby.  Enjoy!

Squash Bread 
(makes 4 loaves)

6 eggs
4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup olive oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 ½ cups zucchini (peeled then shredded)
1 ½ cups summer squash (peeled then shredded)
4 cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350F.  Liberally coat four 8x4” bread pans with cooking spray.  Beat eggs until light and fluffy.  Beat in sugar, oil, and vanilla until thick.  Stir in shredded zucchini and squash.  In a separate bowl, sift together remaining dry ingredients except coconut.  Add dry mixture to wet mixture.  Stir in coconut until well combined.  Pour equally into prepared bread pans.  Bake for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out  clean.  Allow to cool 15-20 minutes.  Turn out from bread pans onto cooling surface.  Slice and serve, or package and refrigerate for later use.  Can be frozen.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 25

Nothing witty to say here, so let's just jump right into it...

I got the deep edit for Up Wish Creek done on Thursday night.  Then I took Friday off.  I was supposed to jump back in yesterday for some more little tweaks, but I couldn't muster the will, so I took that day off, too.  I still should have this to my editor on the 30th.

Someone awesome sent me the neatest prezzie last week.  It's a little leather-bound notebook with my initials on the front cover.  It's my BS notebook!  =o)

This is the last few days to take advantage of Accidental Death being on sale.  It's 99 cents right now.  I'll be raising the price back to $2.99  on Thursday.

Wish in One Hand is now 99 cents and probably will be until I launch Up Wish Creek.  Although, I might throw in a few free days when it gets closer to release day.

Just because... here's a teaser of the Up Wish Creek cover:

I haven't been writing anything new lately.  Not sure what's up with that.  It's almost as if I can't seem to put new words out until all of these other books are set free into the world.  I really need to get over that.

You've already heard of my car troubles, so no sense rehashing that.  All is well.  Except when we were poking around under the hood, I noticed something has made a nest up in there.  Not sure what until a couple days ago when I was pulling out of the driveway and noticed a mouse running out from under my car.  Umm, yeah, she's getting evicted this morning.  After Hubs wakes up and has his coffee.

The bats are back under my bathroom window casing.

No fawn sightings yet.

What's going on in your world?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thursday This n That

Today's bird on the Bird a Day calendar is the red-legged honeycreeper.

If you're not on FB, you missed my adventure in car-trouble.  I went fishing on Tuesday and when I was ready to go home, my car wouldn't start.  No even a cursory click-click.  Dead battery.  Totally dead because even after Hubs drove the 20 minutes out to where I was stranded, it wouldn't jumpstart.  Thank goodness we weren't fishing together that day.  Thank goodness we got that second vehicle last year.  BIG thank goodness I have an understanding and wonderfully handy husband who knew how to change out a battery.  AND he took my car out yesterday when he ran his own errands so I wouldn't worry that it was more than the battery.

It's too hot here.  Too hot to fish.  Too hot to garden.  Too hot to think.  Even with the AC.  I just want to lay in the recliner and watch TV.  Because it's apparently also too hot to read.  Bleh.

Yes, it's also too hot for coffee.  Well, coffee past like 8am.  Good thing I keep waking up at 5-ish. LOL

That's all I've got today.  What do you have to share with the class?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 24

First off, Happy Fathers' Day!  (I never know where to put the apostrophe there.  It's a holiday for all fathers, right?  :shrug:) 

This past week...  Ummm... 

I made it all the way to page 104 in the deep edit of Up Wish Creek.  Tackled one particularly gnarly scene where I couldn't tell what the hell I meant or who was speaking.  Slapped that one around, cut and pasted, deleted and rewrote until it did what it was supposed to do and furthered the story.

Sales are dwindling from my Memorial Day Weekend advertising.  I supposed I should be glad it lasted this long, but I need to find a way to get some kind of momentum so sales aren't a total roller coaster.  I haven't managed to secure any new advertising this month.

I read some awesome stuff this past week.  My friend and colleague and all around awesome person, JB Lynn released the 15th book in her Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman series - The Hitwoman Under Pressure.  It was awesome.  And I need to write some reviews.  I also read a book by Ngaio Marsh called Overture to Death, which was loads of fun.  One other book I read was by Helen MacInnes.  The first one of hers I'd read.  It was really good until the very end, when something happened that I didn't think was bloody-well necessary to the story as a whole and kinda ticked me off.  :shrug:

I spent Wednesday morning scouting new fishing locations and taking awesome pictures - like this one:
And this one:

I saw my first baby deer this week when I was out scouting new fishing locations.  Twin fawns crossed the road with their mama, an aunt, and probably an older sister.  Unfortunately, I was in the car and did not get the camera out in time to catch a shot.  (It usually rides in the car in its carrying case.  That'll teach me to care more about the camera than a potential awesome shot.)

I also went fishing on the last not-grotesquely-hot afternoon until probably September.  Caught about a dozen little fish.  I thought they were baby rock bass.  Nope.  Upon further research, I have learned they were baby green sunfish.  All about 3-4" long, so no keepers.  Oh well.  I had a lot of fun. 

Umm, yeah, about that further research.  Turns out what I thought were too-small rock bass all along were actually really nice-sized green sunfish.  So I didn't need to throw them back. In fact, the one 8.5" 'rock bass' I threw back would've been a nice meal as a sunfish.  Better safe than sorry, though.  I do not need to get slapped with a fine for keeping a too-small rock bass (they have to be over 9" inches here) and in my defense really big green sunfish (no size limit there) do look kinda like the rock bass I remember catching when I was a kid.  Live and learn.

That's about it for me.  What's the update with you?

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Thursday This n That

I'd forgotten how much I like crawdads.  (Crayfish, crawfish, crawdaddies... whatever you prefer.)  Not to eat!  To watch.  They're like little freshwater lobsters.  We used to dig for them at the bottom of the hill behind our property.  Yes, dig.  We lived near a couple swampy areas and somehow the crayfish would be there in the dirt.  Not sure how or why.  I'd totally forgotten about all of that until the other day when I went fishing and saw a couple crawdads in this little pool I was using to wash my hands.  Lucky for me, I saw them before I put my hands near their hiding spots.  Crawdads pinch hard.  Yesterday, I saw another one in a different spot.  It was huge as crawdads go.  Probably 6-8 inches.  See if you can spot him in this pic:
(Hint: upper right, partially under a rock.)

I've decided that sanity has taken a staycation this year.  I don't believe it's left the world entirely.  I just think it's not working right now.  What does one do when sanity has stopped working?  Muddle through.  Carry on.  Go somewhere and sit on a rock and watch nature. 

It's too freaking hot right now.  Mid to upper 90s for the foreseeable future.  This means everything I want to do will be limited to the mornings.  Which isn't that much of a relief.  It's already 76F here headed toward 98F.  Umm, yah.  As soon as Hubs gets up, I have to get ready to go to Wallyworld.  Ugh.  Kind of craps out fishing.  I went picture taking at 6:30 yesterday morning.  In no time, I was soaking wet with sweat.  Yep.  Bleh.

In the summertime, I take a cooler with me when I go shopping.  It's the only way to get the ice cream home without it melting.  Or the milk home without shortening its life by several days.  I absolutely hate when milk goes bad before the sell-by date.  Ticks me right off.

What's on your mind today?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Hermit Goes Exploring

I love to go exploring. Which probably sounds a little weird coming from a hermit.

I mean, we've lived here for a little over 3 years now and I've never been to Springfield - unless you count the airport, which isn't in the city proper.  I've never been to Branson.  I've never been to Rogers or Fayetteville or even little Harrison, AR.  The locals are shocked to discover these facts about me.  "What?  You've never been to Branson???" 

Umm, no.  And I'm not really interested.  Oh, I joke about going to the Andy Williams Theater.  And who wouldn't want to see Barry/Greg from the Brady Bunch live on stage?  Or Yakov Smirnov?  (That last one is probably most interesting to me.  I always thought Yakov was a hoot.)  Not interested.  There are too many people doing stupid things.  I get panicky in crowds.  And the panic increases when stupid is thrown into the mix. 

Seriously.  What is it about being on vacation that makes people lose all common sense?  Too many times I hear news reports of someone walking in front of a car in Branson.  They have clearly marked signals and crosswalks and everything.  Ugh.

No, I'm more interested in exploring the non-populated places.  Show me a trail.  Give me a boat launch in the middle of nowhere.  Present me with an out of the way park.  I'll be happy exploring that.  Sans people.  If I want company, I'll talk to the chipmunks.  Or Hubs, if Hubs is along - which is nice, but not necessary.

Gah, give me a dirt road pointing off into nowhere.  (And a better car, but beggars can't be choosers.)

We've been here 3 years and there's still so much untouched area to discover.  Using Google Earth this morning, I located at least three more potential fishing spots within fifteen minutes of home.  I'll go check those out sometime soon.  And when I get bored with discovering stuff within 15 minutes, I'll go out 30 minutes.  That should take me another decade or so. 

Why exactly would I need to go into a city again?  :shrug:  I have plenty to keep me occupied here in the back of beyond.

Have you explored where you live?