Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 25

Hello again.  Let's jump right into it.

Writerly stuff:  I'm up to pg 158 on the editing phase for Wish Hits the Fan.  Only 38 pages left to go.  Yes, this one is a tad shorter, but action packed.  Also, my sale and marketing venture wrapped up.  It did not go as well as I'd hoped, but better than it could've gone.  Cover stuff is going well.  I got the new cover for In Deep Wish and it sounds like my artist and I are on the same page for the cover of Wish Hits the Fan

Readerly stuff:  I spent a lot of the week not reading.  BUT, I did snag a new book from Jennifer Lyon and inhaled it.  Savaged Dreams was amazing.  I also finished another Cat Who mystery last Sunday.  Those bring me up to a total of 48 book so far this year out of the 70 book goal.  15 books ahead of schedule.  I'll probably end up raising my goal, but for right now, since I don't know what the coming months will bring, I'm leaving it alone.  Right now I'm reading a honker of an anthology - mystery and suspense stories from the masters.  That should keep me busy for a while.

It's been too hot to fish.  I did go out once last week.  Tried several different spots and only caught one little bluegill. 

So, the lack of fishing and the lack of walking (because of the heat) has begun the slow slide into atrophied lump status.  I tried dance-exercising last week to make up the difference and after 5 minutes I quit.  Then I swept the floors, so it wasn't a total loss.

Made what I call quesadillas last week.  They are totally not quesadillas, but I call them that.  (It's probably more like a tostada.)  Fry two tortillas until they're golden.  Set them aside.  Brown ground beef and add taco seasoning/water.  Sinner until the liquid is gone.  Put one tortilla on a pizza pan, sprinkle it with cheese, spread the beef all over it.  Put the other tortilla on top, sprinkle cheese all over it.  Put it in the oven until the cheese is all melty.  Serve with salsa and sour cream.  Sometimes I put sliced olives in it.  Sometimes I saute mushrooms with the beef.  Sometimes I use chicken.  This time I put enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkled more cheese before I baked it.    Anyway, they're pretty awesome.  And it usually makes enough for two meals for us - if we aren't piggish about it.

Well, I think that's it for me.  Anything up with you?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thursday This n That

First off...
I said I'd give you the cover when I had the cover, and there it is.  It's uploading to Amazon as I type this.  I still need to put it up everywhere else the old cover is posted.  Should be done by the end of the day. 

A former employer approached me with an interesting business proposition yesterday.  A non-writing business proposition.  I'm considering it.  Expectation is that it would take 10-20 hours a week.  During regular business hours, so it wouldn't really interfere with my writing - which I do at night for the most part.  Weighing the pros and cons now.  I should make my decision one way or the other by the end of the weekend.  I'll let you know after I let them know.

So, yesterday, some dipshit attacked an off-duty police officer at Bishop International Airport in Flint, MI.  He was reportedly shouting 'allahu akbar'.  In Flint, MI.  For those of you who don't know, I grew up in a little farming community outside Flint.  I mean, Flint sucks and it has for most of my life.  I grew up knowing to stay the hell out of Flint proper because it was such a hole.  But Islamic terrorists haven't been on the radar there.  At least not for me.  Murder?  Yep.  Robbery?  Oh most certainly.  Rape, etc.?  Definitely.  But Islamic terrorism?  Wait, what?  No way.  I mean, Bishop is only an 'international' airport because it has some flights into Canada.  (I think that's it.  It may have flights to Mexico and the Caribbean by now.  I haven't actually been to Bishop since 2001.)  Of course, Flint is only about 90 minutes out of Dearborn, which has a huge - and so far low-key - Muslim population, so it probably shouldn't be as surprising as it was to me.  It's just that I wouldn't have expected to hear about this shit there.  Hell, it's only about 30 minutes from my mom.  =o\

The world, she is a changin'.  In scary, weird, asinine, unexpected ways.  I don't know about you, but it kinda makes me want to dig a bunker and become heavily armed.

But I have books to write and promises to keep and miles to go before I... Well, you get the picture.

To that end, I'm at pg 131 in my edits.  Even with the business proposition looming in my head.  Even with a phone call from the Kid last night.  Even with the world spiraling into a craptastic mess.  I'm still working.  Finally.  You have no idea - okay, maybe you do - what a relief that is.  And I'll keep working as long as the world lets me.  Cuz this is America.  And fuck those who would make it NOT America.  Am I right or am I right?

That's it for me today.  How's about you?

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 24

Here we are again.  Which is definitely better than the alternative.  ;o)

Last week... Let's see...

In the realm of writerly stuff, I'm up to pg63 on my edits for Wish Hits the Fan.  I plan to hit the thing hard the rest of this month and maybe get something not-sucktastic to my editor by the end of the month.  :fingers crossed: 

Also, since the post where I said I had lost the will to market, I did marketing stuff.  My genie books are free or cheap thru tomorrow night, with an ad going out today, so I've been hitting the FB status updates hard.  I even went to Twitter for the first time in months.  :gasp:  (My author page on FB updates to Twitter automatically, but I felt I should probably visit the site.  And I was reminded why I don't go there*.)

To that end, I have given away 54 copies of WIOH and sold 2 copies each of IDW and UWC - as of this morning, pre-advertising.  (Which is more books than I sold all of last month, so I'm pleased.)

I read three books last week and I'm most of the way through a fourth.  I read a scifi, a fantasy, and a mystery.  I'm currently reading a paranormal romance. 

I spent yesterday morning scrubbing the burner pans from my stove.  I lead such an exciting life. 

Fishing has been super sporadic lately, which means I only went out once last week.  I'd set a reward system up for editing, but with the way things are going, I have to fish when I can if I want to fish at all.  I guess I'll just have to kick my own ass into gear without the carrot. 

The deer all seem to have had their babies, but we haven't seen any of the fawns yet.  Thus begins Fawn Watch 2017. 

Fledgling birds are everywhere.  So cute.  I don't know if you know this but fledgling titmice make this really high-pitched noise when they're begging for food that sets my teeth on edge like fingernails on a chalkboard.  I can forgive it, though.  Cuz they're cute. 

Oh, and I spent the majority of the past three days watching the US Open golf tournament.  So much golf that I'm seeing putting in my sleep.  LOL, luckily today's the last day.

Well, that enough out of me already.  How's about you?

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 6/17/17

Hello again, and welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report.

Not a lot to report from last week.  The lake level is going down for the most part.  Not sure what last night's rain is going to do to it, but it's headed in the right direction.  Or something. 

Right now, the lake level is at such a point where the places I can reach are just close enough to the trees that I spend more time hung up in branches and on deadfall than actually catching fish.  Plus, the sun was out a lot last week.  Plus, it's getting hot out.  Plus, the summer people are here.  So, I only went out once last week. 

Tuesday.  I went out early to avoid people.  Sure enough there was a dude in an SUV parked in the middle of where I wanted to fish.  So, I walked through the trees to try the river side rather than the parking lot.  First cast was a clusterfudge.  Hooked it left smack dab into the root ball of a fallen pine.  Broke the line and watched my bobber float away.  As I was re-rigging, the dude drove away, so I gathered up my gear and went to my go-to spot.  Caught two little punkinseeds, but nothing bigger was biting.  Tried casting in a couple different spots and got hung up on an underwater tree a couple times.  Good news is I got that bobber back AND I got the bobber that had floated away earlier.  But the sun was getting higher and my shade went away, so I drove around the backside of the area, hoping to fish in the cove.  First cast, right into a cedar.  Lost that whole rig - last seen still hanging in the tree.  And when it broke free, the line shot back at me and became a horrible tangle.  Having already depleted my stores of patience, I packed up and went home.

I had planned on going out Thursday morning, but that fell through.  I thought about going out Friday, but thunderstorms rolled in, and when they rolled out they left clear skies with tons of humidity behind.  Thunderstorms again this morning, and I'm just not motivated.  We'll see what next week brings.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Thursday This n That

This morning I was reading a news story about a car dealership in Michigan that had offered a panhandler a job.  The panhandler laughed at them and told them he makes more money than any of them.  Something to think about when you see them with their signs.

Yesterday I went to a new-to-me thrift store that benefits a local animal shelter.  I won't be going back.  I hadn't been there before because it looked hard to pull into and hard to pull out of.  It was.  I got there right when the doors opened.  At the counter stood a man putting on his deodorant*.  I mean, I'm appreciative of anyone who wears deodorant, but no.  Just no.  The place smelled of mildew.  The books, what little they had, were in the basement down a narrow stairwell, and were two to three times more expensive than my usual thrift store.  I did find some books, though.  When I went to check out, I noticed a bullet-hole in the front window.  I said, "Is that a bullet hole or a stone chip?"  They said "It's a bullet hole. This used to be a pawn shop."  Like that explained it all.  Then the gal was all like "was that you that parked over there?"  Yep, it looked like a perfectly normal place to park in their dirt lot.  "Don't park there.  People like to whip through the parking lot to turn around and we've had a lot of people hit backing out of those spots."  Ummmm.  Ri-ight. 

The reason I was looking for a new thrift store is because my regular thrift store was snotty to me the last time I stopped in. (And had been snotty in the past.)  Plus, their 'new management' jacked up all the prices.  I'm not ever going to be a premier donor or shopper at these places, but I do donate stuff regularly and I do shop regularly.  Driving away small customers like me seems unwise.  But maybe that's just me.  Next try?  The Salvation Army location.  I just want someplace that'll take my donations and offer me stuff to buy without any irritations.

Anyway, back to the books.  I found some really cool stuff - a mystery/suspense anthology with a lot of awesome older crime novelists, a SF anthology with a lot of awesome older SF novelists, an Agatha Christie in the same edition as the one my mom had on her shelf when I was growing up (which I, oddly, never read), a fantasy paperback in a series I've been reading but haven't bought that one yet, a paperback UF by an author I've been meaning to read, and a mystery novel by Isaac Asimov.  I didn't even know Asimov wrote any mysteries. Oh, and a Nero Wolfe I hadn't read yet.  In hardcover.  Score.

Okay, I think that's just about enough out of me for this morning.  What have you got?

*Lest you think, 'well, maybe he was homeless', he was later telling me about his two houses and his 20 acres of land.  He has a full-time job and volunteers there on his day off.  And I saw the brand-new SUV he got out of when he arrived.  Plus, I'm pretty sure the place has a bathroom where he could've applied his toiletries.  :shudder:

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Spontaneous Generation

If you're not familiar with the theory of spontaneous generation, it's something they came up with centuries ago to explain the presence of something when there's no possible other way for it to have come about.  So, say, you've got a bin full of grain and you think it's pretty secure, but one day you open the bin and it's full of mice.  They must have spontaneously generated.  Right?

Of course, upon further inspection the theory was disproved.  Mice got into the bin because mice can get into anything with like a 1/2" wide gap.  And if there isn't one, they'll make one.

This theory always fascinated me.  Things don't just poof into existence.  Derp.

This morning, though, I'd almost be willing to subscribe to the theory.  In the past four years, we have plugged every hole possible in this house to keep the mice out.  Every. Hole. Possible.  And yet, this morning, there was a mouse on the sticky trap* next to the fridge.  Hubs dispatched it

So, now we're trying to find how the damn thing got in.  All of the steel wool I have stuffed into all the exiting holes appears to be in place.  Except for that spot next to the dishwasher, which I'll reinforce after I've had more coffee. 

I've come to terms with mice in the walls.  And in the garage.  Even the thought of mice running around in the house doesn't really squib me out.  It's when they get into the cupboards and you never know if they've run around licking the silverware or whether they've used the dishtowels as a litterbox that gives me the heebies-jeebies.  They need to not be in the house if I can ever use my utensils and stuff without washing everything beforehand every single time.  Thus, they need to get gone.  Seriously. 

Never mind about the cat.  She's useless.  She's like that stupid commercial where the bank is being robbed and the uniformed guy says "I'm not a security guard, I'm a security monitor.  I only tell you when the bank is being robbed.  :pause: The bank is being robbed."  She's a vermin monitor.  She'll point it out, but she rarely does anything about it.  She might pounce on a baby cricket, but that's where her effort ends.  She did visit the bedroom in the middle of the night last night, but since she doesn't speak English, we didn't even get the message that there was a mouse in the house.  Like I said.  Useless.  "You've got claws.  You've got fangs.  Kill the damn thing already, or let me sleep."  :eyeroll:

Anyway, since I know spontaneous generation is so not a thing, I guess I need to search for possible entry points I missed over the past 4 years.  With mice, it's sort of 'where there's a will there's a way' and I will probably never totally mouse-proof my house.  Ten years from now, I'll be sitting here scratching my head and looking for their latest access point, I'm sure.

For now, though, when I'm caffeine and nicotine deficient, I'm leaning toward spontaneous generation.  Poof! there's a mouse.  


*I keep sticky traps all over the house to catch brown recluse spiders.  I do not use sticky traps for mice.  Snap traps are best. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Homemade Suet

I had some people ask for my suet recipe, so I'm putting it alone here - in case anyone missed it on Sunday. 

Homemade Suet

1 1/2c shortening
3/4c peanut butter
1T honey

Let the shortening melt on low.  When it's clear, add the PB and stir until well incorporated. Stir in honey.  Turn up the heat until the mixture just boils then take it off the heat and let it set.  Meanwhile, in a big heat resistant bowl, mix together...

1 1/2c corn meal
1/3c chopped nut topping
1/3c raisins
1/2c flour
1 c sunflower seeds (bird feed quality)
1c chopped corn feed

When the wet mixture is still pretty warm, but not boiling hot, dump it into the dry mixture.  Stir thoroughly.  Pour into suet molds (I saved all the store bought ones and washed them out so I'd have molds to dump my homemade into.).  Should fill 3 store bought plastic thingies.  Put them on a tray and slide them into the freezer.  Once they're frozen, slide them into a big baggie and use them straight from the freezer.  Birds don't care if it's frozen.  But here's the kicker, once they warm up, they keep their shape and don't fall apart all over the porch underneath the feeder.  (Which is what happened with the last two batches of suet I made.  The first batch was too dry and it crumbled all over, the second batch was too wet and it splopped all over.) Fair warning, though, these do get a little gooey above 80F.  Not drippy - just soft.

If your suet seems too runny before you pour it into the molds, add in some more flour.  If it seems too dry, up the amount of shortening.  (You can mix more in without boiling it.  The boiling helps get rid of the air in it and helps it harden, though, so not too much more pre-boiled.)  Play with it.  Add in cranberries instead of raisins.  Or wild bird seed mix instead of sunflower seeds.  You could even get fancy and buy dried mealworms to add in.  Just remember as with all recipes, if you delete a dry ingredient, add in another dry ingredient to keep the balance.  And remember, as with all recipes, your mileage may vary.

This week, I'm going to make more suet but substitute a wild bird seed mix for the chopped nuts.  I'm also going to try boiling just the shortening and then adding the PB after I take it off the heat.  (Sometimes the PB scalds to the bottom of the pan which is messy and makes the suet smell like burnt PB.)

Good luck!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 23

Hello again.  I'm kind of mush for brains right now, but let's see what I can rebuild from last week.

I did some writerly stuff.  Still not willing to talk about it.  It's like trying to approach a deer.  Don't make any sudden movements or it'll run away.

I read 5 books last week.  Three mysteries, a paranormal suspense, and an old western.  The paranormal suspense was Silver James' latest Nightrider novel - Night Fire.  So much awesome.  One of the mysteries was a newer novel by Laura Bradford - Death in Advertising.  The other two mysteries were part of 'The Cat Who' series.  And the old western was a Zane Grey.

I made my own suet.  Here's the recipe...

1 1/2c shortening
3/4c peanut butter
1T honey

Let the shortening melt on low.  When it's clear, add the PB and stir until well incorporated. Stir in honey.  Turn up the heat until the mixture just boils then take it off the heat and let it set.  Meanwhile, in a big heat resistant bowl, mix together...

1 1/2c corn meal
1/3c chopped nut topping
1/3c raisins
1/2c flour
1 c sunflower seeds (bird feed quality)
1c chopped corn feed

When the wet mixture is still pretty warm, but not boiling hot, dump it into the dry mixture.  Stir thoroughly.  Pour into suet molds (I saved all the store bought ones and washed them out so I'd have molds to dump my homemade into.).  Should fill 3 store bought plastic thingies.  Put them on a tray and slide them into the freezer.  Once they're frozen, slide them into a big baggie and use them straight from the freezer.  Birds don't care if it's frozen.  But here's the kicker, once they warm up, they keep their shape and don't fall apart all over the porch underneath the feeder.  (Which is what happened with the last two batches of suet I made.  The first batch was too dry and it crumbled all over, the second batch was too wet and it splopped all over.) Although, they do get a little gooey above 80F.

If your suet seems too runny, add in some more flour.  If it seems too dry, up the amount of shortening.  (You can mix more in without boiling it.  The boiling helps get rid of the air in it and helps it harden, though, so not too much more pre-boiled.)  Play with it.  Add in cranberries instead of raisins.  Or wild bird seed mix instead of sunflower seeds.  You could even get fancy and buy dried mealworms to add in.  Just remember as with all recipes, if you delete a dry ingredient, add in another dry ingredient to keep the balance.  And remember, as with all recipes, your mileage may vary.

The deer are starting to fawn.  Some of them look post-pregnant, some of them are still fat-pregnant.

Well, I think that's it for me right now.  I have to get my buns in gear and hit the Wallyworld before it gets too busy and the temps get too hot.  What's up in your world?

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 6/10/17

Welcome back to the Saturday Fishing Report for less than competent anglers.

The lake level is still pretty high.  But it's slowly coming down.  925.63 as of 5am this morning.  Still about 10 foot above where it ought to be.  I'm still fishing in parking lots, needless to say.

Went out on Wednesday to a spot on the main lake.  The parking lot there is dry, but the water's all the way up to the top of the boat ramp, so that's where I was fishing.  No shore to fish from at this time.  I caught two little punkinseeds but then the sun was full out and I lost what little shade I had, so I moved.  I went to my go-to spot.  Full sun there, too, but I dealt with it.  Caught two big bluegills I didn't keep.

While I was there, a man came to chat at me.  It's a thing.  Wherever I am, people stop to chat at me.  Which is sometimes nice and sometimes not.  It was nice talking to this man, but the half-hour I spent talking to him probably would've been the best time to fish.  And then my luck went south.  I cast out and got the worst line tangle I've ever had.  I couldn't untangle it, so I had to cut it and then re-rig everything.  Then I forgot to latch my tacklebox, picked it up and spilled its contents all over the ground.   Then the fish stopped even nibbling, and the sun came out. 

Thursday morning, I went back to the go-to spot first thing.  As long as I managed to cast underneath a big sycamore, I was catching fish.  Anywhere else, not even a bite.  I caught 10 bluegills between 7" and 9", brought six of them home to eat.  I had two others get off before I got them to shore.  One thing I did notice was the huge profusion of fry (baby fish) in the water.  At one point a baitball of epic proportions like you only see on National Geographic swam by.  Then later, I watched a baby bass ambush attacking a smaller school of bait fish.  It had to be a largemouth or a spot - because of the side stripe.  It hid at the end of a submerged log and then BAM darted out into the middle of the school.  He couldn't have been more than 6" long.  So cute.

That's it for me for the past week.  It's still officially spring, but for all intents and purposes, it's summer here.  The weather's been lovely, so get outside if you can.  But remember the big spray.  Those insects are vicious this year.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Thursday This n That... Mostly That

First off, how did it get to be Thursday already?  I'm so displaced in time.  Bleh.

We've been experimenting with ways to get to sleep and stay asleep lately.  Because we've both been without a good night's sleep in months. Weeks?  Whatever.  I've even considered OTC sleep aids, but I haven't gone down that road yet.  But I think we've hit on a couple of things that are helping.  1)  I turned the clocks in the bedroom so neither of us can see them from the bed.  2)  I've begun telling myself  'Bedtime is for sleeping not for thinking' in my head every time my brain starts wandering off when I'm trying to sleep.  Got Hubs doing it, too. 

I started making my own suet.  The birds here are going through a brick a day of the cheap stuff and it's getting to be a drain on the ol' pocketbook.  I'm still playing with the recipe.  If this batch works like I think it will, I'll post a recipe next week.

If you're only feeding suet in the wintertime, you're missing out on a great birdwatching opportunity.  Everyone comes to the suet feeder - cardinals, jays, orioles, wrens, titmice, chickadees, grosbeaks, sparrows, crows...  Plus all the woodpeckers and their cousins.  We're the hottest spot in the neighborhood.  And the birds really can use the extra food throughout the year.  Especially when there are babies either still in the nest or fledging out. 

We had to move our suet feeder over a foot because the squirrels wouldn't leave it alone.  Now the squirrels are all really confused because they know they used to be able to reach it and now they can't, so they're running all over the porch looking for new spots to jump from.  But there aren't any.  Of course, now we have to kind of walk under the suet to get off the porch, but if it stymies the squirrels, it's worth it. 

Well, that's it for me.  What's it for you?

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 22

Another week gone by and a new week begun.  A new month, too.  Woohoo.

I'm still not talking about writing or editing.  Suffice it to say, things are being done.  Not a lot of things, so don't get excited.  =oX

Reading, on the other hand...  I finished two books last week.  Both of them pretty large and in charge, heavy-duty stuff that needed word for word attention.  Pretty good stuff.  I haven't started anything new at the time of writing this (Saturday night).

Hubs and I spent some quality time weeding.  He did the driveway and I did the gardens.  Next up, the gravel border around the house and under the deck.  Big fun.  Hubs also mowed most of the lawn, but he had to quit two-thirds of the way through.  (We have a honker of a big yard.)  Good thing he did, too, because shortly after he stopped, it poured rain.

Fishing has pretty much sucked lately, but a bad day fishing is better than the best day sitting around the house, so it's all good.

I started watching American Sniper for the first time last night.  Yeah, I know how it ends.  I have the general gist of the story.  The first half was damn good, but I was getting too pissed to watch more and like I said, I know how it ends - some stupid fucker murders him here at home. 

:deep breath:

Like I said, it rained yesterday afternoon.  A slow, steady rain that lasted about an hour.  Afterward, the sun came out and it was slanting through the trees, making the rain drops on the needs of our cedars look like diamonds. Everything was so sparkly and pretty.  Then a little baby wren flew up into the redbud and was so adorable.  These things... I have to remember these things...

How were things for you last week?

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 5/27 & 6/3

Hey All.  Welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report. 

Let's just start out by saying that it hasn't been good.  At least, it hasn't been good fishing from the bank.  I've read reports of how awesome it is fishing from a boat lately - I mean, if you can find a good place to launch your boat with the water so high, and if you can find a place to park your truck and trailer after you launch.  Here we're keeping the boat in the garage until the lake gets back to some semblance of normal. 

Part of the reason fishing hasn't been good for me is that there are few spots from which I can fish right now, and those spots are severely truncated from the way they were when the lake level was 906'.  Which means that those people who are inclined to fish are crammed together.  I've left several spots over the last couple weeks because other people were there when I arrived or other people arrived shortly after I was there.  I did find a spot where other people weren't gathering, but there were ticks - something I discovered the hard way. 

Another part of the reason is I'm using worms and a bobber, and from what I gather, they're feeding along the bottoms on beds, and personally, I'm leery of bottom fishing because invariably, I lose my rig on rocks and junk.  Perhaps if I wasn't so leery and was using lures, I'd be racking up the numbers, too.

Having said that, though, when I can get out and when I can find a spot and when I've been left alone, I've caught a few.  Mostly panfish.  Some small bass.  I caught a couple little punkinseeds that were fun fighters. 

The water, from what I've seen, is full of tiny baby fish.  So, any thoughts I had about stupid bass spawning in parking lots and millions of eggs getting caught by the receding flood waters were silly.  The water is not receding fast enough to matter and the fish are hatching out so as the water does go down, they'll float out along with it. 

I also saw some big-ass tadpoles.  Which thrilled me no end.  Later, Hubs said I could use the tadpoles as bait.  I shuddered.  Having a childhood history of making friends with frogs/toads and keeping them as pets and generally enjoying their company, I don't think I could ever put a hook through one - either in adult or tadpole stages.  It's totally my hang-up, though.  If you're inclined to use frogs, go for it.  Just not where I can see you or I might end-up ralphing on your shoes.

As a side-note, the summer people and the weekenders have arrived with their noise and their trucks and their kids and their kayaks and their sometimes lack of consideration for others.  (Not all summer people and weekenders are bad, but the good ones are a smaller percentage.)  This means my fishing will most likely be held to weekdays and mornings until fall arrives.  Which is probably how long it will take for the water level to reach normal again.  I'm joking... kinda.  It's 926' right now.  Normal pool is 915'.  Eleven feet.  Ugh. 

Well, that's it for me.  Hopefully, I'll have something more to say next week.  Time and temperature and weather will tell. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Thursday This n That

Brainfart. I thought I had something to say when I started this post, but by the time I typed the title, it was gone.  I think the thing I wanted so say was something that would've been better suited for a Sunday Update post than this one.  Something about reading, I think.

June 1st.  Tomorrow would've been my dad's 81st birthday.  He's been gone 15 years now.  Wow.  it doesn't seem that long.  He never got to meet Hubs.  Missed it by two years.  Not sure what they would've thought of each other.  I think Dad just wanted me to be happy and secure, and I am, so that's good.

Not going fishing is seriously harshing my groove, man.  Nice weather + heat + truncated fishing spots = poor fishing prospects.

There hasn't been a damn thing on TV worth watching lately, so we've been turning on the AWE Channel.  They call themselves 'A Wealth of Entertainment' and they certainly are geared for the wealthy - Selling Yachts, Mega-Mansions, Behind the Gates (with glimpses into rich people's homes), Private Islands.  It's awesome, but I learned one thing quick - wealthy home buyers are just as weird as less-so home buyers.  They're just getting neurotic for a lot more money.

Also, since there wasn't anything on yesterday afternoon, I went scrolling through the music channels on the satellite.  Fun fun.  Spent most of the time on the 70's channel and the 'Soft Hits' channel, but when I scroll down, I hit all the channels here and there.  Singing along as I go.  Hubs would hear something and laugh, or say 'I remember that one' or 'I hated that song, they played it all the time'.

That's it for me.  Off I go.  What's on your this and that tap for today?

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

They Make It Sound Like It's a Bad Thing

America.  The great melting pot.  A place where people from all different cultures can come together, learn things from each other, and become better than they were before.  To paraphrase Bill Murray in Stripes, we're mutts.  And that's a good thing.  One single town can have people whose ancestry traces back to dozens of countries and cultures.  All living and working together as Americans. 

The melting pot.  Awesome.

Hell, look at the language we speak here.  It's called English, but it's actually parts of all sorts of other languages.  Do some entomology and be amazed.  Latin, German, Spanish, Italian, Greek... with new stuff coming into usage all the time.  And it's an amazing language that one can use to communicate concepts and ideas and feelings and...  Well, you get the drift.

Look at the foods we eat here.  Go to any city of a size and you'll find a Chinese restaurant, a Mexican restaurant, and an Italian restaurant.  Larger cities and you also find Indian cuisine, falafel stands, Greek, German...  Yum.  So many choices that anyone can eat.  Last week alone, I made German food and Italian food in addition to burgers and sandwiches.  I also do a mean quesadilla and a helluva a stir-fry when the mood strikes me.  Because I can.

The clothes we wear, the homes we build, the art we embrace, the makeup and jewelry we use to make ourselves pretty... all could've had their roots in some other culture.  And I think that's awesome.

So, there's been this new buzz phrase making headlines - cultural appropriation.  They make it sound like it's a bad thing.  Which is weird. Taking good things and making them our own?  How can that possibly be bad?  These things enrich our lives, and the great thing is it all happens without actually taking anything away from anyone.

But they want you to feel bad about taking something away from someone somewhere without any proof of any wrongdoing.  They want you to feel guilty about this good thing.  And for some stupid reason it's working.  :shrug:

I refuse to feel guilty for making my life better when no one else is harmed. 

Cultural appropriation.  It's a good thing.  No matter how they make it sound.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 21

Here we are again with another week gone.  Another month gone.  Pretty darn close to halfway through the year.  Time flies whether you're having fun or not.

Still nothing on the writing or editing scale. 

I've been reading like crazy, though.  Four books last week.  Eleven so far for May.  I started another one last night and have one in the hopper - both of which I should get through before Thursday.  On a side note, my Kindle Fire keeps telling me I can't read the books I've paid for at Amazon because of DRM.  It tells me to delete the book and then go purchase it.  Umm, duh, I already purchased it.  I don't pirate books, you freaktards.  Thankfully, I have my old Kindle and it's not telling me I can't read those books. So, I'm switching over to the old model whenever I get those errors.

The deer are still preggers.

We had some freaknasty storms yesterday and last night.  All's well here at Sanderson Acres, but the area's getting hit hard this year.  I read this morning that Branson got 5" of rain last night with the flooding and junk that goes along with the much water all at once.  Like we need more rain.  Ugh.

I did go fishing last week, but didn't do the fishing report.  I only caught one fish anyway and it was too small.  I did get a tick, though.  Brought that home.  Hubs pulled it out for me because it was on my back in an unreachable spot.  Itches like a bad devil now.  (Yes, I cleaned it good and I'm keeping antiseptic cream on it.)

The summer people have arrived.  I'm hiding at home.  Those people are nuts.  Why do people go on vacation somewhere and lose all sense of courtesy and decorum?  If this is their normal behavior, I feel sorry for their neighbors wherever they call home.  Sheesh.

The upside to storms is that it keeps the partiers inside and quiet for the most part.

Oh, and we're getting red-headed woodpeckers in the yard this year.  I've seen them down the hill by the river, but never up here, so that's a win for me.  So pretty.

That's it for me.  What's up your world?

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Thursday This n That

It's time for my yearly physical again.  This morning.  At 8am.  Since I have to drive east to get there, I'm glad sunrise is at 6am this morning.  It's a bitch to drive into the sun.  Anyway, since I had the full meal deal physical last year, this morning is just a 'pat and chat' visit.  She'll come into the room, talk to me about how I'm feeling, and then give me a boob exam.  yay.

So, I hate doctors.  In a general sort of way.  I can remember an individual doctor here or there that I liked, but it's a small percentage considering how many doctors I've seen over the course of my life.  My physiatrist in Michigan?  He's awesome.  This general practitioner?  I give her a 2 on the 'hate scale' - (1 being low-hate and 10 being total-hate).  Since we developed an understanding, she's been pretty cool.  The understanding being I won't be letting them poke me for blood tests I don't think I need.  I had one doc in CO hold my shot hostage until I let her draw blood, the nurse there popped my vein, and the tests came out normal.  I relayed this story to the doc here and she said 'that's just so wrong' and she promised me she would never hold my shot hostage.  Yay.

For the record, I love the office staff and the nurse at my clinic.  Also, for the record, I feel great, so I don't anticipate this to be a long doctor visit.

My new drapes arrived yesterday and I put them up while Hubs was mowing the lawn.  They're very pretty, but they're too thin.  I wanted something less heavy than the black-out drapes we had, but this might be less privacy than we feel comfortable with.  :sigh:  Anyway, the ones for the living room are chocolate and the ones for the office are sage.  The office ones will stay.  We'll see about the living room ones.

The big does are all fat pregnant.  Poor things.  They look so uncomfortable.  But the pregger bellies are shifting toward the back, so they should be dropping fawns soon.  Yay fawns!

We had Carolina wrens nest under our sunroom this year.  They fledged out four of the cutest little buggers, who are now flitting around our yard eating bugs.  =o)

What's on your this n that today?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Old Paperbacks

A friend of mine who is well aware of my penchant for hard-boiled crime and old detective novels sent me a link to a sale they're having on Ellery Queen ebooks.  Which is awesome and thoughtful of her.  But I realized as I was looking through the listings, that I prefer old paperbacks for those kinds of novels.

Don't get me wrong.  I love ebooks.  But there's something about reading old crime novels in paperback - in the original editions if at all possible.  The smell of the old pages and the feel of the worn and dirty covers just seems to lend itself to the reading of a gritty crime story.  For me, anyway.

Ebooks, for me, are for new novels.  And for classics (because sometimes those classics are huge and ungainly and hard to hold, ya know?)  I'll sit for hours holding my Kindle reading the latest from my favorite authors, or an interesting new author, but for some reason, I can't envision myself hip-deep in a crime story on an ereader.  Oh, I could probably get over it, but right now, I don't have to, so I won't.

The other day, after certain birthday prezzies arrived, I found myself looking through the Amazon listings, trying to find an old copy of I, The Jury (because my copy is falling apart and I'd like to read it again).  Nope.  People must be holding onto those with both hands because they just aren't available - at least not for a reasonable price.  I could've gotten an ecopy, but the thought just felt weird.

Maybe I'm weird.  (Okay, quit giggling... I am weird.)  I do love me some old books.  And I circle the used book stores like a vulture looking for any old crime novels I can find.  Every once in a while it's a HUZZAH! and I find one I've been hoping for.  Heh, I think that's part of the reasoning, too.  The treasure hunt of finding the books.  :happy sigh:

There's just something about an old paperback that makes me happy.

What about you?  Still reading paperbacks or have you switched to ebooks? 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 20

I'm pretty sure it's Week 20, so I'm going with it.

I have been a total slug, but here's what last week looked like...

I decided I'm not going to talk about writing for a while - at least until I pull my head out of my exit orifice.  Not sure how I'll manage marketing if I'm not talking about writing, but it doesn't really matter because my marketing efforts haven't been working anyway. 

I read a lot.  I only finished two books, so it might not look like a lot, but one of those was a historical novel, so that took many hours.  And I'm most of the way through a chunky crime novel now.  A Mickey Spillane, which I usually inhale, but this one is a little outside my comfort zone.  And a little disappointing really.  It feels almost like the editors in 1972 told Mickey to sex it up and he complied in a way that made it all so very nasty and crass.  Perhaps a passive-aggressive attempt to tell the editorial board to fuck off.  But the story is still pretty good, so I'm cringing through the nasty to get to the actual Spillane awesome.  Still, I'm thinking this book is only going to get 3 stars.  =o\

Fishing has been spotty because the weather is heating up and the sun's been out, which I think is bringing other people out to the very limited places to fish.  I like to fish alone, tyvm.  Then we had storms that dumped about 2.5 inches of rain.  Now the lake, which was slowly going down, is going back up again.  Bleh.

I had a nice, quiet birthiversary.  Ate lots of cake and ice cream.  And I'm officially 47 now.  (Usually after New Years Day, I start shifting my age in my head. so I've been thinking of myself as 47 for months now.)

Well, I think that's about it for me this week.  How was your Week 20?  Anything good on the horizon for Week 21?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 5/20/17

Welcome once more to the Fishing Report. 

It's still pretty floody around here.  The lake was dropping, but with more rain yesterday and forthcoming, I don't see it going down any time soon.  The good news as of Thursday was that the road to one of my fishing spots has been re-opened.  (Good thing for all those people who live up there, too.  Now they can drive the direct pavement instead of the dirt backroads.)

What happened last week... let's see...

I went out on Monday, I think.  Cleared some more detritus out of the road at my go-to spot, but on a different part.  The bluegills were biting, but the bass were bored with worms.  I mean, I could literally see bass ignoring my bait.  Casting out underneath the trees caught me three 8-9" bluegills.  They all went back.

Back out again on Thursday.  I tried going to a few different spots first thing in the morning.  The first one up under the bridge on the main lake: The parking lot is above water which meant it was full of trucks and trailers.  The only place I thought I might be able to stand and cast out was a poison ivy garden.  The next spot was a state park I'd fished in last week, except now they're 'open' and charging $5 to enter, so I left.  Plenty of free places to fish.  As often as I fish, I'd be broke if I fished there.  Went exploring some of my usual regular spots and found that road open, so I went to the top of the peninsula.  The parking lot is above water, but just barely.  I cast out from there, but it was super sunny and getting hot.  No luck.  Then I went to another, semi-hidden spot.  The water was up to the sign that says 'Lake Ahead'.  Which means the parking lot is totally flooded.  I made a 7-point turn in the road and left.  Off to my go-to spot again.  Got some solid hits there, casting out into the parking lot, but was unable to seal the deal.  Left about noon.

Update on the reel saga.  The shiny-new Plueger is dead.  Thus, to avoid wasting more money on shit that breaks, I went back and taught myself how to use that damn Abu Garcia I had so much trouble with.  Umm, once you get the hang of it, it's really a good reel.  Derp.  So, I'm using that and an old spincaster Hubs had.  The Abu Garcia is great when I have loads of room to cast and the spincaster is great for when I'm in a tighter spot - like when I was casting under those trees on Monday.  (Mainly because or rod length, I guess.  The Abu is on a 6.5' rod and the old spincaster is on a 5.5' rod.)  Anyway, it's all good now, baby.

I'd tell you to get out and enjoy nature, but the weather is weird, so do what you can.  Until next week, Hasta la bye-bye.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thursday This n That

Sorry for the dearth of posts lately.  Every time I sit down to write a blog post lately, it's either ranting or whining.  Bleh.

It's my birfday today.  I'm going to make myself some big, fat, freakin' cheeseburgers.  And follow it up with chocolate cake and peanut butter ice cream.  Or maybe I'll have the cake and ice cream first.  Because I'm an adult and I can do whatever I want to do.  (At least when it comes to food.)

Speaking of food, I weighed myself yesterday.  183.  Two pounds up from the low, but I'm cool with that.  It's better than the 195 I was sitting at at the beginning of 2016.  It's probably two pounds of Easter candy and Big Pack Nutty Buddies.  (If you haven't tried the 'Big Pack' yet, there aren't more in the package - there's more peanut butter in between the wafers.  So good.  The Big Pack Oatmeal Creme Pies are evil.  Bigger cookies, more creme.)  And the fact that I haven't been fishing as much lately because of the flooding doesn't help matters. Sitting and reading doesn't burn calories, ya know?

Speaking of flooding, it's slowly coming down.

Yesterday was our anniversary.  Thirteen years of wedded bliss.  No matter what crap has gone on in the last 13 years, we've had each other and our love and commitment to each other.  He's the best thing that ever happened to me.  Last night, he grilled me salmon for dinner.  And we had vanilla cake and ice cream (PB for me, cherry for him). 

Lest you think I have multiple cakes laying around the house, I bought a cake sampler at Wallyworld.  Four different kinds of creme cake, each section big enough for two slices.  Perfect.

Yeah, I'm pretty much a snack hedonist.  Like right now we have a big bowl of mini-candybars on the dining room table, alongside a bowl of leftover Robin's Eggs.  Then we have bags of peanut M&Ms in the cupboard - regular and mega. (They were on clearance.)  With Oatmeal Creme Pies and these things called Red, White, and Blueberry rolls.  (OMG, if you haven't tried them...)  We have donuts and cake.  Right now, there are three kinds of ice cream in the freezer, along with the remains of a box of Klondike Bars and a few ice cream sandwiches.  And a cupboard shelf full of chips - offbrand Doritos, Cheetos, and Fritos, Chex Mix, Lays Stax Bacon Cheese something or other.  We don't usually have this much crap, but it's been one of those years.  Good thing I've been staying active and out of the house a lot.  LOL

I am a sucker for clearance items. 

Okay, so today's this n that was mostly about food.  I'd say it meant I was hungry, but I'm not.  It's too early to think about eating.  Mornings are for coffee.  Am I right?

What's your this n that today?  What are your favorite kinds of snacks?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 19?

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there.

Another week ended yesterday and I really don't have a lot to show for it.

You really don't want to hear about the writing malaise and I really don't want to talk about it.  It's here.  It is what it is.  I'm sick of it and I'm sick of myself.  Nuff said.

I read two books last week.  I would've read more but one of them was a fantasy, which means large and involved. 

I did some outdoor work and some fishing.  Speaking of which, some of the work I did was undone by other people.  It wasn't unexpected and it was something I feared would happen.  But bleh.  I could rant, but that's all I seem to be capable of lately and I'm sick of that, too.

The deer here are fat pregnant.  I can't wait until we start seeing fawns again.

The birds are still migrating through, but the ones who left for winter all back and the ones who came for the winter have left. 

The week ahead is my birthiversary week.  We're not doing anything for either, just like we're not doing anything for Mother's Day.  But I'll be 47 and we'll have been married for 13 years.  And 24 years ago today, I was pregnant with the Kid. 

That's it for me.  Please tell me something about your week.  Did you accomplish stuff?

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 5/13/17

Welcome again to the fishing report for less than competent anglers. 

The flood waters are slowly receding, but the majority of my fishing spots are still inaccessible.  I took it upon myself to make my go-to spot accessible because not going fishing was making me jumpy.  Not that I didn't try other spots, but it wasn't the same.

Sunday - Went to a different park.  Fished off one of the camping spots into what would've been other camping areas.  Got some solid bites, but no go.  Tried fishing in the parking lot, but I think it was too sunny.  Back into the car and off to another spot, which was a bit of a haul.  Flooded boat ramp and one of the few with most of the parking lot still above water, so a ton of fishermen had put in there.  I saw someone in a boat catch a walleye off where the end of the boat ramp would be, but no luck for me.

Monday and Tuesday - I spent the mornings clearing logs and timber and sticks and crap out of my go-to spot.

Wednesday - Alternated cleaning and fishing for a bit, but the fishing was so damn good I stopped cleaning.  I lost count of all the fish I caught.  From what I could piece together later, I caught at least 8 bluegills between 4" and 8", and 7 bass between 8" and 14.5" (spotted, largemouth, and smallmouth).  And one 10" sucker.  All on worms.  All in the flooded parking lot.

Friday a.m. (8:30 to noon) - Cloudy, rainy, windy.  Did a little more cleaning but only because the wind had drifted some logs in my way.  The fishing was amazing again.  9 spotted bass between 12" and 15" in short order.  Two of them were over the size limit, but they were full of eggs, so I put them back.  (Silly fish laying eggs in a parking lot.)  Then the bass bite tailed off and I tried throwing under the trees.  Caught a 20" sucker - awesome fighter that was.  Woohoo.  Moved back to the parking lot proper and caught one more spotted bass - 8" - then a big redear sunfish and two big bluegills.  Caught some more bluegills and went home. 

Friday p.m. (3:30-6:00) - Mostly cloudy turning quickly to mostly sunny with some wind. After hearing about my amazing morning, Hubs got the fishing bug and we went back out in the afternoon.  The bite wasn't quite as good, but it was still there.  Hubs caught the biggest at 13", but we both caught bass.  Probably a half dozen between 8" and 13", and two bluegills.

I might try to go out again this morning, but the fog's pretty bad.  I've never had much luck in fog.  Then again, I've never had the kind of luck I've had this week, so maybe it's worth a try.  Check back next week to see what I decided to do today.  ;o)

That's it for me.  Have an awesome week and try to get outside a little. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Thursday This n That

I cleaned my coffee maker last night and this morning's coffee tastes awesome.

If I seem kind of testy lately, it's because I am kinda testy lately.  Every time I turn around I read about something else that makes me want to poke people in the eye.  Since I can't go around poking people in the eyes, though, I've been bottling it up, and since I'm not hermetically sealed, it's leaking out in other ways.  I usually bleed it off by fishing.  Except due to the floods, I hadn't been able to go fishing.  Yesterday changed that.  I hope to be less testy soon.

Of course, there's always the possibility that the irritations will build up faster than I can bleed them off.  And I'll pop like a balloon.  Little bits of B.E. everywhere.  Ew.

I really did have the most amazing morning fishing yesterday.  I caught so many fish I lost count.  Rebuilding some of it in my head, though, I'm pretty sure I caught at least 18 fish.  Big fun. 

I just now got a notice from Amazon of a new release by B.E. Sanderson.  Only a little over a month late there, Big A, but thanks.

Okay, that's it for me.  Anything popping up on your this n that meter today?

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Crazy Lady at Work

I've spent the past two mornings cleaning up at my go-to fishing spot.  It looked like this...
Looking west toward the entrance to the parking lot.
Looking north at the exit to the parking lot.
 The parking lot, as you can see, is underwater.

I spent about 90 minutes straight yesterday cleaning the flotsam out of the exit.  I spent about 2.5 hours alternately fishing* and cleaning this morning.  All the logs are moved to the side of the exit.  Most of the logs are moved to either side of the road to the entrance.  Except the ones I couldn't manage alone.


Hubs was working, so no aspersions cast on him.  No aspersions cast on anyone, really.  Except maybe those who wait for someone else to come in and clean instead of rolling up their pantlegs and wading in.

I did this because I love to fish.  And I love my fishing spots.  This one has been abandoned by whichever government entity owns it.  The concrete picnic tables are all smashed.  The bathroom is locked and overgrown.  The only people who take care of this place are people like me - the fishermen, the nature lovers, the dog walkers who want someplace pretty to wander through on a spring afternoon.  We're the ones who pick up garbage year-round.  And before now, they were the ones who cleaned up after the floods.  Now I'm one of the cleaner-uppers of flood damage, too. 

Some people came down to the park while I was there.  I'm not sure if they came to stare at the receding flood waters or to stare at me.  I don't care.  Come and stare at the crazy lady with her sweatpants rolled up to her knees and her t-shirt tied up under her ribcage acting like a lumberjack, tossing limbs and branches and rolling logs.  Sweat-soaked and stinky and covered in dirt. 

I did it.  And I'm pretty damned proud. 

I'd go and clean up my other favorite spot, except the government has locked the gates there.  Liability, I'm sure.  Protection from the numbnuts who would run amok inside, perhaps.  (Lord knows that during the winter when the park isn't watched, some idiot decided to offroad in part of the park, tearing huge grooves in the lawn.  Asshole.)  I'll wait and let the official park personnel do their jobs - because I have to not because I want to. 

Tomorrow, maybe, I'll attacked the go-to spot from the other end of the submerged road.  I'll need to bring a saw.  A couple of trees had fallen across there before the flood even began, when we had that EF0 tornado in the area, and if those are above the water line, I'll need to get those out of the way so I can work.  We'll see.

All I know right now is that I can fish at my favorite place again because I didn't wait for someone else to clean it out.  Maybe I can't fish all the way out on my standin' rock, but I can't make the water recede any faster.  I'm good, but I'm not that good.  ;o)

* I didn't catch anything, but the fish were jumping and I did get some bites.  I'm blaming not catching on getting used to the new-old rigs.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 'Oh Who Cares'

Seriously, does anyone really care what week it is?  Oh, I'll probably still note the week number in subsequent Sunday Updates.  This morning, though?  Meh. 

Now to get to what last week looked like...

The lake crested at 934.53' above sea level.  As of this morning, they've got it down to 931.28.  At this rate, it should be back to 'normal pool' in July.  If it doesn't rain any more.  Seems they've stalled the dumping of water from the dam because there's too much water in the Mississippi - which is where this water will eventually end up.  Perhaps once the Mississippi chills out, they'll dump faster.  Time will tell.

I didn't get any writing work done.  Still not sure what to do about the general malaise.

I've read a bunch, though.  A mystery, a SF, and a romance.  And I started another mystery last night.

Fertile Ground is still on sale worldwide. 

Took loads of pictures.  Here's one:
That's a female rose-breasted grosbeak.  I tried to get pics of one of the males, but he was camera shy.  We've also had northern orioles in the yard, but they're camera shy, too. 

Here's a baby goose butt...
One of these days, I should compile all the bird butt pictures I've taken over the years. 

Speaking of female rose-breasted grosbeaks, I had one ditch into the window this week.  I held her and stroked her little head until she stopped looking stunned.  Then she flew away.  I hate that birds knock themselves silly on our picture window, but I love being able to hold them. 

Well, that's it for me.  What's going on your world?

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 5/6/17

Due to the flooding, the fishing report has been canceled - because fishing all week had to be canceled.
It's actually down 3 whole feet from when that pic was taken, but 3 feet down still leaves my fishing spots underwater.  I'm jones'n bad, folks.

On another note, my nearly new Pflueger fishing reel that broke a week ago Friday has been operated on, but it's looking grim.  The surgeon - aka Hubs - can't figure out what's wrong with it so he can fix it.  I know what's wrong with it.  Crappy workmanship.  It's everywhere, so why not at Pflueger, too?  I could've bought 5 cheap reels for what I paid for that one and had them last me as long.  Feh.  I babied the hell out of that thing, too.  Bah.

Here's hoping I have actual fishing to report next Saturday.  Not fishing is making me grumpy.  =o\

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Thursday This n That

The other day, Hubs got a call from someone he went to high school with.  He hasn't seen or spoken to the guy in 45 years and out of the blue... bam.  It was pretty cool.  And they had a nice conversation.  The whole thing led me to thinking about the people I went to high school with.  Which led me to the FB page for alumni and teachers who've passed away.  Some of it was decidedly depressing - like seeing that a long-ago friend of my mom's had passed away.  But two teachers I had despised also passed away, which made me happy.  Yeah, I'm that kind of person.  What can I say?  They were mean to me.  Googling, I also discovered someone I was friends with in HS is alive and well and teaching 6th grade at a local (to where we grew up) private school.  I tried calling her after our 10 year class reunion, after which we went out and talked for a while, but she never called back, so meh.  Glad she's doing well, though.  I tried googling another friend, but I only know her maiden name and she's dropped off the radar entirely with that name.

I'm in a slump with regard to writing again.  In fact, I found myself asking if I really want to do this anymore. Again.  I expect this too shall pass.  It usually does.  Right now, though...  Meh.

So, I got something in the mail from someone I haven't seen in 4 years, and it was a graduation announcement for one of their children.  Which left me wondering a couple things - 1) were they doing a blanket announcement to everyone they've ever known trying to get grad prezzies?  2) since they never sent my kid a grad prezzie or card, what exactly was my obligation?  Yeah, I'm that kind of person, too.  I sent a card.

I'm connected to a cousin's wife on FB - and she keeps asking me where I live... on FB... as if I would blurt it out there.  Other than 'SW MO', I don't really like telling people on social media exactly where they can find me.  Yep, that kind of person, too.  If she wants my address, she can ask my mom. 

BTW, my mom is total awesome dipped in awesomesauce and covered with awesonesprinkles, so I fail to understand why anyone would want to lose touch with her.  I talk to her as often as our schedules allow.  And I'm hoping she lives at least as long as her grandmother, which would give me another good 20 years with her in my life.

Well, that's it for the this n that today.  How's 'bout you?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Flooding

Yesterday, I drove around to a few places and took pictures of the flooding carnage.  Of course, being who I am, I focused on the carnage to my fishing spots.  (I refuse to take pictures of other people's misery.  It's just too awful.)

First, let's take a look back...

My go-to fishing spot October 11, 2016
Same spot April 23, 2017
And now for how it looked yesterday... Sorry, I couldn't quite get the same angle - as where I was standing before is now underwater.
My go-to spot May 1, 2017
The park where I go is off-limits.  They've put up the gate at the entrance and there's no way I'm walking the mile or two to get back in there. 

The road is also closed to three of my other spots.  There is a back way in, but it's a craptastic dirt road now being used by the residents of all the neighborhoods up that way and I'm not interested in fighting those poor people for road space.  (Did it yesterday just to look-see, but I won't do it again.)

And another road is closed to an auxiliary spot I've used but never caught anything at.
The road runs straight through there.  If you enlarge that, you might see where the road picks up again way in the background. 

And then there's my spot on the main lake underneath the hwy bridge.  There is no underneath anymore.
And the parking lot is flooded...
It says 'no parking' in the parking lot because they don't want people to park on that side.  Parking is in the non-lake side... except that's underwater now, too.

This morning, I'm going to walk around the neighborhood here - something I haven't had the heart to do yet.  It's not going to be pretty.  Worse than in December 2015, for sure.  =o\

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 17

Well, it's the last day of April.  Woohoo.  And this last week has been a pisser.

Monday at 9:30am we lost internet, which we got back Tuesday at 9pm. Then we lost power at 1:30am on Wednesday, which we got back at 4:15pm.  Thursday was nice. Friday and yesterday it rained and rained and rained.

I got some small bit of editing done on WHTF, but my brain was elsewhere.

I read a bit.  A finished Calumet K (literary) and The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare (mystery).  I started on another mystery and I'm about halfway through that, but right now, I can't remember the title and I don't feel like looking.

I fished a little.

As for the rain, it's raised the lake level from 919.44' above sea level on Friday to 927.29' as of 4am this morning, and it's still rising at about 4/10ths an hour.  Not sure of the exact rain total because it's still dark and neither of us want to venture outside to read the rain gauge yet.  Actually, we still might not have an exact total if it rained more than 2 inches since yesterday afternoon.  There was already 3" in it, and it only goes to 5".  (By the time we thought about dumping it, just in case, it was raining too hard and neither of us wanted to get drenched.)  Suffice it to say that prior to Friday, we'd already gotten 8.6" for the month of April.  We're wet.  Last year we had a drought.  Nature seems to be making up the difference all at once. :7am Edited to add - Hubs says the rain gauge was at the 5" marker, so it didn't overflow, but it was full.:

Today, we'll begin to repair whatever slight damage there is outside.  Mainly, I think, fixing where the driveway edge has eroded.  I know we have a boatload of pea gravel that washed down toward the house.  Pick it up and put it back.  Way less trouble than a bunch of people in the area are facing this morning.  My heart goes out to them all.  Later, we'll probably take a walking tour of the neighborhood to see if the riverfront people are okay and need any help.  (Although last year we offered to help down there and got snubbed, so maybe not.)

That's it for me, folks.  How's things for you out there in the world?

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 4/29/17

Sorry I'm late getting this up this morning, but it was one of those weeks.

First off, we got a boatload of rain this past week and the week before, so the lake level has risen dramatically.  At the beginning of April it was around 906', this morning it's at 919.91'.  Almost 14' in a month.  This means all of the fishing spots I have depended on since this time last year are underwater.  The Kings River is a floating log jam on top of chocolate milkshake water.  The lake itself is high and wide.  It's a mess.  Now, having said that, here's how fishing went this week...

Monday - Went to the park.  The ledges I usually stand on are underwater, so I ended up back a few ledges.  I could still get around them pretty good though.  The water was super clear and I saw at least two humongous carp swimming right off the shore.  HUGE.  They weren't interested.  I also saw a good sized bass.  It also was not interested. Caught one 6" bluegill.  Since only bluegill were biting, I went to my go to spot.  Too much mud and crap. Nothing was biting.

Thursday - Out in the morning.  This trip had two purposes - to fish and to survey storm damage.  On the way to the park, I could see trees down, poles down, cow feeders overturned.  The park?  Other than the usual post-storm leaves and junk, it was fine.  A little more water up the ledges. Caught one 12" spotted bass and one small bluegill.  Went to my go-to spot.  OMG what a mess.  Trees blown over, the water filled with trees and logs and limbs and junk.  I thought there was mud and crap on Monday?  I didn't know what mud and crap was.  A blown-over pine tree is blocking the path to my ledges there, so I fished right off the parking area.  Right off.  Like I could've sat on my car and cast out.  Things were biting, but I didn't seal the deal.  Had something big on and almost got it to shore, but I couldn't see it in the muddy water.

Friday - The rain settled down by afternoon, so I went out about 2:45p.  I went to the park.  Back to the ledges.  Water's about 6 inches from coming over the next level of ledges and backing me up even further.  The water was a little murkier, but still not bad.  But for the first two hours, I wasn't getting any bites.  And I tried all sorts of stuff - deep, shallow, far, close - with the worms.  I tried several fake baits.  Had a big largemouth chase my Senko green and white worm to within a couple feet of the shoreline, but he changed his mind and I couldn't get him on the next cast.  The next cast, my rig hung up on the rocks and I lost the whole deal.  I went back to worms and back to just chilling out.  At one point, I was sitting farther back, just watching my bobber float toward me.  It had drifted to within a foot of the shore (well, the edge of the water - where it was at least 5' deep - and WHAM.  I landed a 9.5" redear sunfish.  (Weighed him at home - 9oz.) 

(Check out his pretty red ear there.) I cast out and tried to get more of those - because they're damn good eating - but nope.  He was by himself or his friends got scared off.  So I went farther out again, and let it drift toward me again.  About ten feet out, it got hammered.  I landed a 14.5" spotted bass.  I think it was a girl and that she was empty of eggs.  Dare I hope for post-spawn?  After I landed her, my nearly new reel decided to take a shit and while I did have a back-up rod/reel, I didn't catch anything else. 

That's about it.  We're supposed to get hammered with loads of rain this weekend.  Who knows where I'll be fishing next or how bad it will be out there on the lake.  Fingers crossed.