Sunday, September 15, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 37

Hello again.

I took myself in hand last Sunday and shoved all my headspace negativity into a big box.  Since then, I've written like 5700 words.  Not a record by any stretch, but they're words on paper moving toward a finished story.  I did not do any editing.  At this point, editing would be antithetical to my purpose - which is to write without being critical.

I did a boatload of marketing.  The SCIU sale is still running until tomorrow night.

Unfortunately, now that I'm writing again, I'm not reading as much.  Only two books finished last week and one of those was finished yesterday afternoon.  If this slowdown keeps up, I may regret upping my reading goal for the year.  Derp.

On the activity front, I only did 3 out of 7 days, and most of that was cleaning.  I went from the 3rd to the 13th without taking a walk, which sucked.  I made myself walk Friday night because I really needed it (and it was finally cool enough to walk without sweating myself into a raisin).  We shall not talk about weight.

We're still battling bugs.  The fleas are fewer, but the oak mites have been voracious little bastards.  Kira gets her next flea treatment tomorrow.  There's nothing we can do about the oak mites except pray for colder weather and limit our time outside.  Which sucks.  My gardens are all totally neglected and pathetic.

Now that I'm writing again, I seem to be less keen on baking.  I guess the baking bug was my brain's way of telling me I needed to create something and be productive.  The writing is happening and the bug's flittered away.  Poor Hubs will have to live without as many home baked things.  And my ass will probably thank me for not shoving carbs down my throat as often.  I'll still make granola bars for Hubs and oatmeal cookies, though, cuz that's how I roll.

Ugh, I just remembered that I have a pork roast sitting in the fridge that I have to cook today.  Not ugh because I don't like port roast, but ugh because I keep forgetting it's in there. (Only two days, so no worries about old pork, but still.)  (Also ugh because thinking about food first thing in the morning grosses me out.)

Okay, that's more than enough from me this week.  How's things with you?






Saturday, September 14, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 9/14/19

Not a whole lot went on in my reading world this week. 

I did snag some new ebooks - historical thriller, mystery, and SF.  I have four left from before - fantasy mystery, mystery, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense.  No new hardcopies.

Books read:

86) Decision at Delphi by Helen MacInnes (9/10/19) - Suspense.  5 stars.  Not new to me or underappreciated.  50c at the thrift store.
Review: "Started a little slow, but what an awesome book."
Note:  I can't believe I hadn't read Helen MacInnes before recently.  She nails it.  Now, I'm snagging her books whenever I can find them at the thrift stores.

No DNFs.

Currently reading... a YA fantasy.  It's a book 2.  I read the first book back in January and enjoyed it, so when I was looking for a book 2 to read and get after my goal of reading six book 2s this year, I picked that one.  It's pretty fun.

And that's it for me.  Since I'm writing again, I'm not reading as many books, but I am still chugging along.  Still ahead of my new reading goal of 120 for the year.

What was on your reading menu this week?

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Thursday This n That

It's morning.  I forgot to write this yesterday.  I have not had enough coffee yet to adequately interact with other human beings. 

I didn't write anything yesterday, but that's okay.  I did write three days in a row this week, which is something considering how little I've written otherwise.  I had a major plot point jump up and smack me in the face and now I'm thinking about how I'm going to proceed with this.  Which I will do today.

I really need to take the cotton swabs to my computer's vent thingie.  But I have to turn the computer off to do it and I never remember during a time when I don't need my computer on.  Better get it done before the dust and cat hair cause a major computer problem, though.

French bread pizza is an awesome way to have homemade pizza without having to go through all the work of making the dough.  I have no urge to knead when it's this hot out.

When will Summer get the hell out of here already??  It shouldn't be this hot in the middle of September.  Gah.

We now have to make sure we wake up in the middle of the night to take Geriatric Cat to the litter box or there are dire consequences.  It's not that she can't walk to the litter box.  She forgets that she needs to walk over there.  During the day, she meows loudly to remind me that she needs something but I think she isn't quite sure what she needs.  At night?  Silence and she just pees wherever she is.  If I put her in there, she goes fine.  She is in her 80s, though, so we're rolling with it.

A couple days ago, I was at Wallyworld, picking up some more Benedryl gel and there was an older woman standing there staring at all the myriad itch relief creams and gels in apparent utter confusion.  So, I started talking to her about what she might need.  She showed me her arm.  Oak mite bites.  I have become a layman expert on oak mites this year.  I suggested the Benedryl and told her we also use Aloe Vera Gel (100% aloe from over in the cosmetics section).  She grabbed some Calamine instead.  :shrug:  That'll work, too, I guess.  Benedryl and/or aloe works better, in my opinion, but to each his own. 

A short while later, over in the food section, I kept crossing paths with an elderly lady.  And after a while, we'd laugh as we passed.  We finally stopped to talk in the juice section.  She was telling me about her husband who has a form of dementia and how she only ever gets a chance to talk to other people the one day a week she has someone come in to watch her husband so she can grocery shop.  I let her talk because people do kinda need human interaction and she was nice.  Then as we wound down, she apologized for taking up so much of my time and thanked me for listening.  I told her there was no need to apologize.  I wasn't in any hurry and she wasn't bothering anyone.  She needed an ear and I was happy to provide it.  And as she spoke of her once strong, intelligent, active husband turning into a healthy body with no mind, I was reminded again of how much dementia sucks - not just for the person who has it, but for their loved ones.  =o(

And on that depressing note, I'm out of here.  Hug your loved ones.  Exercise your brain every day in any way you can.  And enjoy your life while you have the mind and the body to do so.


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

HAPPY Mix

I mentioned my HAPPY mix on yesterday's Outside the Box post, so I thought I'd share it here today.  It's comprised of music from CDs or songs I own that I've downloaded to my computer for easy mixing. 

In no particular order (because I put it on shuffle anyway)...

Keep Your Head Up - Andy Grammer
Fine by Me - Andy Grammer
Lunatic - Andy Grammer
Biggest Man in Los Angeles - Andy Grammer
Good to be Alive (Hallelujah) - Andy Grammer
Honey, I'm Good - Andy Grammer
Back Home - Andy Grammer
Masterpiece - Andy Grammer
Red Eye - Andy Grammer
Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen*
Good Time - Carly Rae Jepsen
Brighter Than the Sun - Colbie Callait
Think Good Thoughts - Colbie Callait
This - Darius Rucker
Comeback Song - Darius Rucker
Southern State of Mind - Darius Rucker
Love Will Do That - Darius Rucker
I Don't Care - Darius Rucker (and Brad Paisley)
You Can Call Me Al - Paul Simon
Carry On - Fun
Tonight, Tonight - Hot Chelle Rae
I Like It Like That - Hot Chelle Rae
Radio - Hot Chelle Rae
Downtown Girl - Hot Chelle Rae
I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) - Kelly Clarkson
Everything - Michael Buble
I've Got the World on a String - Michael Buble
Good Life - One Republic

And that's it for right now.  I have some CDs I haven't loaded yet and a few songs I want to buy that I know I'll add to this, but this'll do me for the time being.

And after building this post Sunday morning and watching the videos I linked to, I was pretty damned happy.  Have fun clicking and listening and watching.  =oD


* The US Olympic Swim Team video of this.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 36

How did it get to be Sunday again already?  Arrgghh.

Let's not talk about writing, shall we?

I have another sale starting Tuesday with advertising going out Thursday.  Dying Embers will be the advertised sale at 99c/99p.  The other two books, Fertile Ground and Early Grave, will be $1.99 (or the UK equivalent) each.  Whether I get much chance to market these on FB will depend on our justice system and how long this jury thing lasts.

Did a fair amount of reading.  Finished 4, DNF'd 3. 

More granola bars were made. 

On the activity front, 6 out of 7 days.  More cleaning and walking.  One day of grocery shopping, which I counted this time around because... well... you try pushing a cart with a 24 pack of water, three big jugs of apple juice, two big jugs of orange juice, and a week's worth of other groceries around Wallyworld.  And the cart didn't want to make right turns.  Ugh.  If that wasn't burning calories, I don't know what would be.

No fishing.  With the holiday weekend, I didn't want to be anywhere near the lake.  And then it was too freakin' hot and I had stuffs to do in the mornings.  =o\

The fawns are losing their spots and growing.  A few are about 2/3 size of the does now.  The other day we had 10 does and 7 fawns in the yard.  It's a bumper crop.  Yay.

I got my files backed up.  If you haven't backed up lately, this might be a reminder.  :poke:

And that's it for me.  Not a whole lot going on in Sandersonville.  How about your ville?

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 9/7/19

First off, since I was creeping pretty damn close to finishing my 2019 goal of 90 books read, I did the math (books read divided by 8 months times twelve) and, allowing for unforeseeable crap, bumped my goal to 120 books.  30 more books in the next four months?  I'm averaging 10 books a month as it is. So, unless I go off the rails, totally do-able.

I managed to find a few books to download this week.  I tell ya, the pickings lately have been slim (i.e. not my taste, doesn't meet my requirements of free/cheap and low review #s).  Anyway, I got a paranormal romance, a romantic suspense, and a fantasy (book 2).  Plus, I still have a fantasy mystery and a mystery left to read.  No new hardcopies this week.  I still have a bunch from my last hauls.

Books read:

85) How to Flunk Magic by Elena Bryce/Stella Wilkinson (9/6/19) - YA Paranormal Romance* - 5 stars.  New to me but not underappreciated.  Free off the Robin Reads newsletter.
Review: " Loads of fun in the YA paranormal romance. I can't wait to read the next."
Note: I can't wait, but I'm gonna have to.  It's not in the budget yet.  

84) The Tetradome Run by Spencer Baum (9/3/19) - Dystopian* - 5 stars.  New to me and probably less appreciated than it should be.  Free off the Book Barbarian newsletter.
Review: "Gripping may be an overused adjective to describe books these days, but that's the best word for this book. It was gripping and enthralling. A page-turner, definitely. And assuredly thought-provoking. Kind of Hunger Games meets Running Man in a alternate history/present sort of way. All I know is I inhaled this book and it's not a short book. I just couldn't stop reading it. I read instead of doing anything else I was supposed to do this morning - walk, eat, work... All I'm saying is don't start it unless you've got a lot of time on your hands.

And after all that, I still want more. Gah."


83) From This Moment On by Debra Clopton (9/1/19) - Romance* - 4 stars.  New to me but not underappreciated.  Free thru the Robin Reads newsletter.
No Review.
It was a nice, light read, but not really needing my two cents.

82) I Know a Secret by Tess Gerritsen (8/30/19) - Suspense - 5 stars.  Neither new to me nor underappreciated.  50c at the thrift store.
No Review.  If you like Tess, you don't need my review.  If you haven't read Tess, you probably shouldn't start with this book anyway, so a review from me would be pointless.  Go, read Tess.  (Do not go by that TV series.  The books are way better.)

DNFs:

9/6/19 - Suspense.  17c at the thrift store.  Okay, so not technically a DNF.  When I picked this up, I didn't realize it was a collection of short stories set in the author's popular series world.   I have to be in a special kind of mood to read short stories and I prefer, if they're going to be in a world, it's one I'm already familiar with.

9/6/19 - Rabbit, Run by John Updike.  50c at the thrift store.  I only picked this up because I remembered someone recommending it once a long time ago.  It started off kind of interesting in a 'man on the street' kind of way, but I wasn't a fan of the imagery Updike was presenting.  How you describe things sets the tone, right?  So, if you have a chance to describe shingles any way you want, and you choose to say their colors run from 'bruise to dung', it kind of tells the reader 'Beware, crappy sense of life ahead.'  :shrug:  Life's too short.  If you've read it and I'm totally wrong and this book has an awesome sense of life, feel free to change my mind.  The book hasn't gone back to St. Vinny's yet.

8/31/19 - Romance.  17c at the thrift store.  Meh.  The hero was a jerk and the heroine was whiny.  Too bad because I was in the mood for a romance.  And I was lucky enough to have an ebook romance ready to read on my Kindle (See #83).

Currently reading... an old Helen McInnes I picked up at the thrift store a while back.

And that's it for me.  How did your reading week go?

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Thursday This n That

Thursday.  I keep having to remind myself that it is, in fact, Thursday.  These 'Holiday on Monday' weeks really mess me up.  (Not that it's that difficult. LOL)

It's getting to the point where I either need longer arms, a wider desk, or to wear my glasses while I'm at the computer.  Getting old sucks.  A friend of mine wanted to show me something on her phone the other day.  She handed the phone over and I held it out at arm's length.  "Can you read it?" she asked.  "Gimme a minute," I replied.  I should've just gotten my glasses out of my purse, but I'm not used to having to do that yet.  Definitely need longer arms. 

I now have glasses on my desk (for work and bills), in my purse (for reading at the store), next to my chair in the living room (for reading in general), and in my fishing bag (for tying knots).  I can't walk with them on so I need to have them scattered around.  I don't need them for driving - a perk of being farsighted.  I only need them for reading things smaller than say 14-pt font which now need to be held at a scosh farther than arm's length.

The fawns are starting to lose their spots.  :sniffle:  The babies are growing up.

I need to make granola bars today.  Hubs eats one or two a day, so it takes 10-14 days to go through a batch.

Wallyworld was an exercise in irritation yesterday.  There were these two gals shopping together and each of them had their own cart complete with small child.  And they kept stopping to talk, side-by-side so they took up the whole damn aisle.  And it seemed like every time they stopped it was in front of something I needed or they were blocking where I needed to go.  Argh.  Then I got into a checkout line and had this dude behind me who had no concept of personal space.  I hadn't even finished unloading my cart before he decided to start putting his stuff on the conveyor belt.  I tried to be polite - 'Sir?  Can you back up?  I'm not finished unloading my cart yet.'  Instead of 'Back off, Asshole.'  Not easy considering how irritated I already was.  Then in the car on the way home, I said all the things to him and to those two chicks that I really wanted to say in increasing volumes.  Got a lot of it out before I got home so I didn't subject poor Hubs to the worst of it. 

Come to think of it, I was already cranky before I left for the store.  Definitely didn't help.  Don't shop cranky.

Don't shop hungry either.  Jus' sayin'.  Yesterday, the irritation overrode the hunger, so I actually didn't do too bad.  Just ice cream, which I said I was going to stop buying.  And a chicken sandwich so I could take the edge off the hangry. 

With all the walking I'm doing, I'm having to buy new tennis shoes every 4-6 months.  The memory foam gets flat or something and they no longer provide the support I need.  I'd buy more expensive ones, but the ones Mom gets are more expensive and they only last her about 6 months, so what's the point of that?  Wallyworld - $20.  Got this round's new ones yesterday.  They're blue with peach accents.  So stylin'.

Oh, and I picked up corn yesterday.  No weevils!  Yay!

Okay, I've chewed your ears off enough for one day.  What's in your this-n-that world today?

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Jury Duty

So, I am supposed to have jury duty next week.  I'm all for jury duty, even if this time isn't the optimum time for me to be pressed into service.  I guess having it now is better than getting assigned to a case in the winter.  The drive up there is all hills and curves, and one I don't look forward to on a nice day.  I sure as hell don't want to drive it in snowy conditions.  Or during the rut.  Watching out for deer in that road is necessary on the best of days.  I'm not interested in dying to do my duty.

I'm not sure how they chose me.  They wouldn't pick me if they knew me.  And I did put 'crime novelist' as my occupation, which should've been a red flag to the defense.  Or to the prosecutor, depending on how they think I'd lean.  Random lottery is my guess. 

I don't expect to make it through the jury selection process.  I'll be watching everything both sides do like a hawk - and making mental notes for fiction research.  I'm pro capital punishment.  I'm anti-parole.  Do the crime, do the time.  But if you're going to put someone away, make sure you have the evidence to back it up.  I'll do my damnedest to not let anything slip by me.

Personally, I'm really judgemental about crime and criminals.  Oh, I'll take a look at all the evidence before I make a determination.  But once I've made my mind up about something, I don't change it.  (Unless, of course, further evidence proves otherwise.  I'm judgemental, not stupid.)

I'm also hard on the law and the judiciary system.  They have a job to do and I expect them to do it.  No excuses.  No cutting corners.  No slick moves. 

I think people get away with too damn much.

Which reminds me of something I hope to bring up to someone up there - the overwhelming number of criminals in this county who get 'suspended sentences'.   And often go on to repeat the crime.  Derp.  I'd really like someone up there to explain that to me. 

I'd also like to meet the Sheriff and thank him for his service.  And maybe the detective who recently moved into my neighborhood.  That'd be cool.  From what I've heard, she's nice, but I really don't get a chance to meet neighbors unless we run into each other while I'm walking. 

I really do appreciate law enforcement.  They do a tough and thankless job.  And it's got to be hard for them to do their jobs while watching criminals get off with a tap on the wrist. 

One thing I found interesting on the jury notification form thingie.  There's a section about attire and it says something about dressing 'suitable to the occasion'.  It's not a freakin' cocktail party.  And what exactly would be suitable to the occasion?  Stripes?  Orange?  A grim reaper costume for murder cases? Hubs and I have been joking about it.  A MAGA hat?  Something from the Warrior12 line? 

Anyway, it does give some examples of appropriate attire - like no shorts or tank tops (which pretty much takes away my standard summer wear) - but it doesn't mention sweat pants.  I'm sorely tempted to show up in my nicest pair of sweats.  I think I'll be a good girl, though, and wear a pair of khakis. 

And maybe an orange shirt.  ;o)

Have you ever done jury duty?  What did you wear? 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 35

Me, just now: "It is Sunday?"

Stuff happened this week.  I got some editing done.  Not nearly enough, but hey, better than nothing.  I did a boatload of marketing.  Not nearly enough, but hey, sold some stuff.

To that end, I wrote a sales update post for tomorrow's Outside the Box.  (Yes, I posted it on Friday by accident, but it's gone from there now.  Read it tomorrow.)

I also set up marketing for an SCIU sale.  Sept 10-16th.  Which ended up being unfortunate in terms of other things on the schedule*.

My reading week was kinda crazypants.

I was active 6 out of 7 days, but it was also shot week and according to the doc's scale, I gained two pounds.  Here's hoping that'll drop off by next week's Update.  Once again, the activity was mostly walking or cleaning.  The 1.6 mile hard-target walk is getting easier, which is awesome.  I did count the one day I spent hefting corn bags around.  Fifty pound sacks of corn is no bag of feathers, lemme tell ya.

Speaking of hefting corn bags, you probably already know about my maize weevil fun.  If not, go read Thursday's post.

In the baking realm, I did a batch of granola bars and an oatmeal cake.  This time, the bars were chocolate chip, almond, raisin.  And this time, I didn't do the topping on the cake.  The plain cake is plenty yummy without the topping.

I also learned I have jury duty coming up on the 11th.  (See above *.)  There's a chance that I'll call the night before to find out it's been cancelled, but with the way my luck is running, I'll not only have jury duty, but it'll last more than one day and shit out my gumption to pimp my sale.  Since I already have an ad paid for on the 12th, I can't reschedule the sale.  Umm, wee.

As for the coming week, I have nothing planned.  If I'd been paying attention, I would've made Blink free tomorrow.  Labor Day... fighting against the Union... that sort of thing.  Better luck next year.

And that's it for this week's Sunday Update.  What's been happening in your world?


Saturday, August 31, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 8/31/19

Hey all.  Busy week in the reading sphere this week.  Hang on, it's gonna be a bumpy ride.

A few new ebooks this week - a YA paranormal, a fantasy mystery, and a mystery.  After all the DNFs, I only have two left unread from before - a romance and a SF.  With all the DNFs, I'm surprised I found any new books.  I'm a little gun-shy about picking up new to me authors.  I did however stop by the 'super cheap books' thrift store.  Picked 6 paperbacks for a dollar and 3 hardcovers for another dollar. Got a few new to me authors and some old favs - Helen McInnes, Amy Tan, Andre Norton, Ed McBain.  I also got an old romance by Linda Howard.  I love finding popular authors when they were getting their start in romance.

Books Read:

81) A Holiday for Murder by Agatha Christie (8/27/19) - Mystery/  4 stars.  Christie is never new to me or underappreciated.  Another from the big Christie haul at the thrift store back in March, so 17c.
No review.
Note:  This one only got 4 stars because, for some reason, the way she wrote this one was kind of irritating me.  John says: and then drop down a line, Alice says: and then drop down a line.  I don't remember her doing that for any of her other books.

80) Demon in a Jazz Bar by Christopher A. Gray (8/25/19) - Urban Fantasy?*# - 5 stars.  New to me and way underappreciated.  Free through Freebooksy.
Review: "Not a typical urban fantasy story. In fact, I'm not exactly sure what this was. Sort of like a prequel to something along the lines of 'Callahan's Crosstime Saloon'* by Spider Robinson. All I know is that I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was over so quickly I was sad to see it end. And since I don't see any sequels hanging around in plain sight, I'm going to assume it really is over. =o\

If you've got an afternoon to get sucked into a really good story, take a chance on this one."


Note:  You know how sometimes you read a book and then you just sit there like a dummy staring off into space because you're still thinking about it and then your husband asks if you're alright but you can't explain that you're still stuck in the book's world because you don't want him to have you committed?  Yeah, this was that kind of book.

79) Lost Magic by Alexandria Clarke (8/25/19) - Paranormal Mystery*# - 4 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Free through Robin Reads.
Review: "I guess I didn't realize when I downloaded this that it was a book #7. Oh, it's a good story, but there were bits where I could tell I had missed some major stuff along the way. I did love the premise and the characters and the plot. It's loads of fun. I just tripped over my own expectations."

78) The Third Option by Vince Flynn (8/24/19) - Political Thriller - 5 stars.  Picked up at the thrift store for 50c.
No review.  It's Vince Flynn.  His books are already heavily reviewed, so they definitely don't need my two cents.  One thing I will say is that this particular book doesn't exactly wrap everything up, which cheesed me off.  I got more cheesed when I realized I do not own a copy of the next book.  Gah.

DNFs:

8/29/19 - MG fantasy. 17c.  Orphan kid pretty much alone in his guardian's home hears noises and discovers a secret passage that leads him to magical things. Kind of Secret Garden meets Harry Potter meets The Borrowers?  Except not nearly as well written as any of them.  (And written before HP became famous.)  Even kids would think this was lame and dumbed down.  Too bad because, in the acknowledgements, the author thanked another author I'd loved when I was younger, so I really had hopes for this.  =o(

8/28/19 - Legal thriller.  33c.  Liberal lawyer sues big corporation on behalf of little old man crushed by his daughter's untimely death.  Like The Firm meets that one movie from the '80s... Class Action.  There was supposed to be some dark conspiracy later, but I didn't make it that far.  Told in present tense, which I can read if it's done well.  I was just getting used to the tense when it started slapping me around with the liberal stuff.  Meh.  At least it was a thrift store find and I didn't pay much.

8/28/19 - 'Gripping Crime Thriller'.  $2.99.  Aarrgghh.  Gripping, my ass.  Another one of those writers who feel the need to drop the brand names for every little thing, as if that makes up for not really interesting or thrilling writing.  He took more care in the description of the car I'd never heard of than of the first murder.  Bo-ring.  And I paid full price for this one, which kinda pisses me off.   

8/25/19 - MG fantasy.  Free.  Also annoying me.  Yeah, I get that names in fantasy are supposed to be strange, but when I have to try and figure out what the hell every single one might possibly sound like (because when I read, it's like my own voice reading aloud in my head), it takes away from the story.  That and the book started out by making any potential plot impossible and I didn't want to think about what mental gyrations would be necessary to make anything happen.

8/25/19 - Mystery.  Free.  :shrug:  It was annoying me.  The storytelling was kind of all over the place and the backstory load was heavier than I wanted to slog through.

Currently reading...A Tess Gerritsen 'Rizzoli & Isles' that I picked up at a thrift store back in June.  I'm enjoying it, but it's so far down the line from the last one I read that I'm a little lost in the personal stuff.  Great suspense, though.

What's been on your reading calendar this past week?  Anything good?

*It's been decades since I read Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, but as I was reading this, I was struck with the thought that it could've been written as a prequel to a book like that.  If memory serves, CCS was an awesome book.  I should probably try to find myself a copy of that sometime.  (I checked it out of the library back then.)

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Thursday This n That

2019 is the year of the bugs.  Oh, we're still dealing with the grain bugs from last year.  And there are always the spiders and crickets and cockroaches.  And ticks and mosquitoes.  It's all part of living in the woods.  But this year has been bad.  The oak mites are particularly rampant and rabid this year.  Then Kira got fleas.  (We're knocking them back, but it's an ongoing thing.)  And Tuesday, unbeknownst to me, the bags of corn I bought and hauled in the back seat of my car, were infested with maize weevils.  To the point where you could actually hear them inside the bags - crawling, scratching, chewing... :shudder:  Lucky for us, Hubs noticed before he loaded them into our attached garage, so they never made it inside the house.  I carted them back to the feed store and got some non-infested bags of corn.  Then we unloaded the car and proceeded to deep clean in there.  Dozens of weevils, crawling all over everything.  I even had them on the ceiling of the car - one dropped onto my shoulder and crawled toward my cleavage while I was driving home from exchanging the infested feed.  Gross.  I'll be so happy when cold weather arrives and knocks the damn bugs back a bit.  All I can say is thank goodness weevils don't bite.  That would suck.  Literally. 

Scrolling down the BookGorilla newsletter last night looking for free new books to read when I passed a cover that looked extremely familiar.  I scrolled back, certain I couldn't have seen what I saw.  Yep, there it was - Accidental Death in the BookGorilla newsletter.  I didn't do it.  I can't afford an ad in BG.  And since I didn't do it, it was listed at full price - $2.99.  It's pretty far down in the newsletter and I didn't see any sales as far as I could tell, but hey, it was a pleasant surprise.  Who knew BG did stuff like that.  Gee.

I woke up late this morning, which is to say, around 5 instead of around 4.  (Or in the case of yesterday, around 3.)

I had some time before a doctor's appointment yesterday, so I stopped at one of the local thrift stores.  Before this year, I thought they only carried clothing, but on a whim, I went in and looked around.  Way in the back, they have tons of books.  So, anyway, yesterday their stock was a little thin, but I still managed to pick up 6 paperbacks and 3 hardcovers.  All for $2.  Nothing really groundbreaking in there, and I've already DNFd one, but I'm happy with the haul.

Around here, the thrift stores get a little lean in the summer, what with all the tourists and summer people picking through everything.  But it rights itself in September when everyone starts cleaning out.  I really hope someone out there donates a lot of old crime novels.

A friend who knows I circle the thrift stores looking for books put in two requests.  So now I have a sticky note in my purse with two titles to look for - a Nelson DeMille title and something by Eric Larsen. 

I went to school with a guy named Eric Larsen.  Probably not the same guy.

Okay, that's enough out of me for now.  What kinds of things are you throwing into the this n that today?



Tuesday, August 27, 2019

There Was a Point There Somewhere

I took a hard-target walk yesterday evening.  (Hard-target walk wherein I set a pace and keep it for the entire walk, regardless of incline.)  I did roughly 1.6 miles in about 30 minutes.  So, approximately 3.2 miles an hour on average. 

I'm a little stiff this morning.  I pushed it and I knew I was pushing it, so I'm not really surprised.  I got about .6 miles into the walk and almost stopped.  I stood there next to the power pole I figure is .6 out and looked up the hill toward the farm wondering if I shouldn't just turn for home.  And then I started walking again. 

At the .8 mile mark is an old farm house.  I stop in the driveway before turning back and heading for home.  No one lives there, so I can take all the time I need.  But I didn't need that much time.  In the past, I would've been huffing and puffing at the top of that hill.  Not anymore.  My legs were tired, but the ol' cardio was chugging along fine. 

Walking out is mostly uphill, so walking back is mostly easier.  The hardest part is the last bit where I have to walk a steep stretch to get to the house.  Yesterday, the steep stretch was broken by encountering a neighbor right in the middle.  It was the new guy from in the woods across the street and his bloodhound puppy.  (7 months old and so damn cute I wanted to snuggle her up.)  By the time we got done chatting, that last bit of the walk was easy-peasy.

Anyway, I had a point I was going for there somewhere, but as with last night, I got distracted by the puppy.  All floppy ears and loose skin and big soulful eyes.  And her name was Gertrude, which seemed to fit.  I mean, who could resist?

Ahem... the point...

Goals?  Determination?  Fighting through the pain to get where you want to go? 

I could hop into the Wayback Machine and remind myself that there was a time when I was told I would never walk right again.  I still have my cane in the corner of the bedroom.  But it's covered in dust now because I never need it and I don't remember it's there long enough to run a rag over it.  And that's where thoughts of my bad leg belong - in the corner, covered in dust.  Right now, the cane's best purpose is self-defense.  I could conceivably grab it and swing for the fences at any intruder.  (The handle is specially molded to be wide and spread any weight over a greater area of my hand.  Imagine getting whacked upside the head with that sucker.) 

Maybe that's the point... not hitting an intruder with a cane, but the idea that despite what we are told we cannot do, we need to move forward and do it anyway.  Screw the naysayers.  Even when the biggest naysayer is that little voice inside ourselves.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 34

It was a week.

Let's see...  We started out the week cleaning up a kitty accident.  (The last time I ignore the cat in the middle of the night, lemme tell ya.)  Since we'd ended the previous week cleaning for fleas, and then Sunday hit, it totally crapped out my gumption for Monday and Tuesday.  Don't even ask what happened those two days, because I don't remember.

I spent some time mentally berating myself for not working.  I thought it would help.  It didn't.  I'm in that place where not-working has gone on so long I'm finding it hard to start back up again.  I know I need to just suck it up and do it.  Jump in anywhere for godsakes.

The sale for Unequal happened, so I did some marketing.  Sold one.

I finished reading one book I could include in the wrap-up on Saturday and I finished another after the wrap-up went live.

On the activity front, I managed 4 out of 7 days.  Anyway, it was all cleaning and walking.  I've been eating a lot, though, so I'm not even bothering to step on the scale.  I saw a meme on Pinterest the other day "I run so I can eat more.  Don't judge me."  Substitute walk for run and there I am.

I made more granola bars yesterday.  Hubs is really getting a kick out of them, so I'll keep making them.  It's better than buying them, I guess.  I haven't really done the math on ingredients vs store bought.

Starting today, the genie books are on sale again.  The first is 99c.  The other four are $1.99ea.  I have an ENT ad going out on Tuesday.  Fingers crossed because August has really blown chunks so far.  I'm hoping to close out the month with a bang.

Speaking of sales and ads, I did spend some time updating back matter on my books - sticking verbiage about reviews back in again.  Here's hoping it helps.  I got some new ratings on Goodreads, but no new reviews in a long time.  =o\

Okay, that's my week in review.  What went on in your Week 34?



Saturday, August 24, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 8/24/19

It hasn't been a really readerly week here.  I only finished one.  I had hoped to finish another yesterday, but yesterday got out of control.  I should finish it today.

I did pick up a few new ebooks - a romance, a SF, and a suspense (one I've been wavering on buying for a while now and finally sucked it up and slapped my money down).  I still have four from before - the oldest downloaded on 7/12.  I'll get to it eventually.  The tally right now is one each paranormal mystery, UF, MG fantasy, mystery, romance, SF, and suspense.

Books Read:

77) Curtains for Romeo by Jessa Archer (8/19/19) - Cozy Mystery *# - 4 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Free off the Book Adrenaline newsletter.
Review: "Fun. And a fast read. Hits a lot of the 'cozy mystery' tropes along the way, but ultimately finds a way to differentiate itself from all the others. Definitely worth a read."

No DNFs.

Currently reading...  The Third Option by Vince Flynn.  This is another case of trying to work my way through a collection.  I love Vince.  And it still makes me sad to think that he's gone and won't be writing any more books.  Stupid cancer.  (Don't even talk to me about Mitch Rapp books that are still being published.  Those weren't written by Vince and I won't buy them.) 

What things were you reading this week?

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Thursday This n That

I don't have a smartphone, I have a dumbphone.  I've had it for like 10 years.  It doesn't do apps.  It doesn't need wallpaper.  It doesn't have a camera.  I could text with it, but what a pain in the ass.  Once, I tried to use it to access the internet.  It did not go well.  I pay $19.99 for three months worth of service.  It makes phone calls.  And it's for emergencies - like when my car battery dies while I'm out at the lake, or when I forget the grocery list, or when I witness something I might need to let the police know about.  Or if something happens that someone might need to let me know about when I am not at home.  I also use it when the landline is out, but I have to walk out to the road because the signal in the house sucks.

Sometimes when the world gets particularly heinous, I go to Pinterest and look at the pretty pictures I've pinned.  So there's that.

Last night, I had thought about going fishing this morning, but it's all weathery out there with more weathery stuff throughout the morning.  Rolling boomers in the sky.  Don't need to go fishing bad enough to risk getting zapped.

Isn't the English language an awesome thing?  I write 'weathery' and even though it's not a word, you know exactly what I mean.  Same thing with writerly.  And who hasn't heard a book described as 'unputdownable'?  With English, you can throw parts of words together and make a new word that other English speakers can still understand. 

I need to clean the coffee maker.  It's been getting progressively slower and this morning it's spitting and sputtering like the percussion section of a spastic symphony.  I do not need it to die right now.  Time to run vinegar through it again.  But first, time to drink more of its awesome elixir.

The other day, I did my weekly Wallyworld trip and wouldn't you know it, I forgot to buy a beverage for the trip home.  It's too hot to drive without a beverage, so I stopped at the feed store - cuz even though I didn't need feed, they carry a limited selection of beverages.  I got Orange Crush.  Anyway, while I was there, my favorite in-person reader friend (FIPRF) was training a new cashier and while the new gal was ringing me up, my friend nods at me and says "She's a writer, you know.  You've probably read some of her books."  At which point, I about fell over laughing.  The new girl was thoroughly confused, but we explained it all and I gave her some swag.  Maybe I'll have a new reader soon.  FIPRF really does try to generate new readers for me when she gets a chance.  She's awesome.

And that it for me today.  What's the this n that skinny for you today?



Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Gooey Oatmeal Cake

Sunday, I was a little antsy and looking for something to do that didn't involve being outside, so I baked a cake.  I'd been wanting to try this recipe for a while anyway.  Here it is with my tweaks...


Gooey Oatmeal Cake

Cake:
1 ½ cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup butter (melted)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1.2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
dash cloves
½ tsp salt

 Topping:
¼ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 cup flaked coconut
6 T butter (melted)
¼ tsp vanilla
¼ cup milk

Put oats in a small, heat-resistant bowl.  Stir in boiling water until oats are well moistened. Allow to cool.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease 9x13” cake pan.  In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars.  Beat in eggs.  Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Stir dry mixture into wet mixture until combined.  Stir in prepared oatmeal.  Mixture will be thick.  Spread into prepared pan.  Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. 

While cake is baking, in medium bowl, combine white and brown sugars.  Stir in coconut.  Stir in cream and vanilla.  Stir in butter until mixture is well-combined.  When cake is ready to come out, remove it from the oven and set oven to Broil.  Spoon topping mixture in small lumps onto cake.  Lightly spread the topping mixture over the cake until its completely covered.  Place under broiler for 2-4 minutes or until bubbling and slightly browned.  Remove and cool completely before cutting and serving.  To serve warm, microwave individual pieces of cake for 15 seconds.  Top with vanilla ice cream.

The original recipe called for nutmeg... which I hate... so I threw in a dash of ground cloves.  It also called for cream in the toppine, which I don't keep in the house, so I used milk.  Which might've made the topping a bit wetter than intended, but the wet makes it gooey, I guess. Next time I make this, I might not use the topping and just see how the cake is without it. 

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Sunday Update - I'm Too Lazy to Look Up The Week #

Most of the week here was spent 1) finding fleas on Kira, 2) ordering stuff to take care of said fleas, 3) waiting stuff to arrive, 4) worrying about it all... then, 5) picking up stuff, 6) applying stuff, 7) deep cleaning the house, and 8) feeling the ill effects of deep cleaning the house.

Yeah, I didn't get any work done again.

I did read a couple books.

No fishing.

No baking.

I did active things 5 out of 7 days - three days walking, two days cleaning.  I have not weighed myself lately.

After yesterday's cleaning, I did make a vat of chili.  This time I substituted black beans for pinto.  Turned out really yummy.

Then I sat in my chair and ached. 

Aleve is my friend.

I wish I had more to talk about with regards to writing, which is why you're here, right?  But like the book title goes... wish in one hand...

What went on in your worlds last week?

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 8/17/19

Hi there.  Not a lot of books read this week.  But what I read were good ones.

I only downloaded one new ebook this week - another mystery.  And I thought I was pretty caught up on what I'd downloaded from the past month, but I missed a paranormal mystery I got on the 12th.  That'll be next up. 

Books Read:

 76) Magic Harvest (Fairy Trafficking #1) by Mary Karlik (8/16/19) - Paranormal Suspense*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Snagged this one for 99c from the Bargain Booksy newsletter.
Review: "So good I wanted to cheer at the end! I loved the premise. And the writing. And the characters. And the... Well, suffice it to say, I loved the book. Pretty much everything crucial to this book wraps up at the end, but there's plenty of side threads to carry this series onward. No cliffhangers! Yay!"

75) Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie (8/10/19) - Mystery - 5 stars.  Obviously neither new to me nor underappreciated.  This was another from my score of $6/1 books from back in March.  Only two of the Agatha Christies left from that haul.  Then I'll have a sad.
No Review.

No DNFs this week.

Currently reading...  No clue.  I finished Magic Harvest just before bed last night and I don't know what I'll read next.  There are several paperbacks calling to me.  We'll see.

What did you read this week?  Anything good?  

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Thursday This n That

Firstly, Unequal is on sale starting today.   I really wish more people would read it.  It's kind of awesome and I do love it so.

On a different note, Kira has fleas.  How does an inside cat get fleas?  We assume somehow or other the little bastards came in on our clothes and then decided to make a home on the cat.  I have not yet actually seen a flea, but she's got flea dirt.  (Little black specks that dissolve and turn red when you get them wet because they're actually blood that the flea has pooped out.  Ew.)  Anyway, I have flea stuff on order and it should be at our local Wallyworld by tonight which means I'll get it tomorrow.  Actually, I already had flea/tick spray for cats in the house, but as I was applying it, the bottle got knocked off the counter and the spray nozzle broke.  Bugger.  This other stuff will work better anyway.  After we start the treatment, we'll clean the hell out of the house.  All in all, she doesn't seem overly put out by it.  Her neck's itchy where I found the flea dirt, but she's not constantly scratching at herself.

This too shall pass.

It's so freakin' hot right now.  And so humid.  Argh.  Everything we have to do had better be done in the morning or it ain't getting done.  And even then, I'm sweating.  Blerg.  Poor Hubs had to change his shirt mid-mow because he was soaked.  Every walk I take is total sweat-city.  Gross.

This'll pass, too.  I can't wait for fall to arrive.

Right now, I'm reading this book about a half-human/half-fairy who's never left fairyland until her full-fairy sister is stolen.  It's kind of paranormal suspense/mystery and kind of UF with a hint of romance set in London.  So far, so good.

Speaking of cats, the fiber thing is working.  (Wallyworld version of Benefiber.)  I sprinkle about 1/8th teaspoon of it on her food every morning and she's pooping like a champion.  No more constipated kitty.  Yay.

I've been using Pinterest a lot.  I still have only three followers, but that's okay.  I'm finding lots of pretty things to look at - art and birds and horses - and some good quotes to help inspire me.  I'm not sure how much its helping my book sales yet, but I did sell a couple books and get some page reads out of the blue (DE and FG, so far), so maybe that's where the readers found those books.  Yay.

Okay, I'm about tapped out this morning.  Not enough coffee in my blood stream yet.  Have a great day and drop some this n thats of your own if you feel the urge. 

Peace out.




Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Good News: The Kid

First off, I got the go ahead yesterday to talk about something on the blog.  The Kid was accepted to Eastern Michigan University for the fall semester.  SQUEE!  She's busier than a one-armed paper hanger getting everything set to move across the state and start classes at the end of this month, but she's getting it done.  We're very proud of how far she's come and the fact that she's brave enough and confident enough to tackle this college thing again.  I have every confidence she will kick ass.  Hell, she already kicked ass at community college, finishing up her courses there with a 3.3 GPA (I think), and doing it while she had work and adult stuff to contend with. 

Being the forgetful Mom I am, I can't remember exactly what her plans are for a major.  I think it's International Studies with a focus on Asia and a minor in Philosophy.  She's really into Asia stuff and has been teaching herself the main Asian languages in her spare time.  Reading, not speaking, if I remember right.  Because it's hard to teach yourself the spoken language if you're not in a place where you can hear it.  That'll change once she's in classes.

I believe her ultimate goal is to become a translator.  

I'm not sure how much I can let loose with on the blog, so I won't say much more.  Other than she's been working pro bono helping with cleaning up translations into English people can actually understand.  (You know how we all make fun of poorly translated stuff?  She's helping fix that.) 

Anyway, we're super proud of her.  Going back to school at 26 isn't for the faint of heart.  Lord knows I was never brave enough to do it. You go, girl.

I suppose at some point, I should stop calling her the Kid.  She's an independent individual now.  Then again, she'll always be my Kid. 

Love you bunches and bundles, Ki.  Go forth and kick some college ass.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 32

Yeah, I forgot to set this up, and then I slept later than usual, so here I am short on coffee and attempting to write an update post. 

No writing or editing this week.  Don't ask.  I did get an email from ENT with a date, so there's that.

I read a lot this week.  Yesterday, I picked up Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie and I'm working my way through that now.

Did 6 out of 7 days of activity - mostly walking, but also fishing and cleaning.  I finished the week yesterday with a morning loop+ walk and then an evening stroll with Hubs.  I haven't weighed myself lately, so no clue.

No baking.  It's hot again. And we're still working through my last baking extravaganza.

Yesterday, my mouse died - right in the middle of a damn spreadsheet for work.  It wouldn't let me click and drag, which is kind of necessary when I'm taking fives spreadsheets full of data and turning it into one spreadsheet my people can work with.  Argh.  Lucky for me, I have a big box of old computer hardware and found a USB mouse that isn't quite dead yet (the scroller-roller sticks).  It'll work until I get to a store.  (I also found several old style mouses with the round plug that I can't remember the name for right now.  This computer no longer has one of those ports and I don't have that kind of adapter.  USB to round?  Yes.  Round to USB?  No.)

Fishing... On the coolest day of the week, I dragged Hubs out of the house.  We weren't expecting to catch anything, but we both needed to sit on the rocks and stare at bobbers for a while.  I caught a 6" bluegill.  He caught an itty-bitty bluegill.  Not really anything worth mentioning, but at least neither of us were skunked.

We had a bit of an extended-family health scare this week, but last I talked to Mom, the scare is over and everything should be fine.  Unfortunately, Mom's generation is getting up there and these things will be popping up.  No losses in the family for a while, though, so... :knocks on wood:  You do not want to be around me when it's Mom's time.  I'm gonna be a mess.

Thought I was going to have another UTI thing with Kira again, but whatever had her all screwy cleared itself up.  Whew.

Okay, well, I'd better get a move on this morning.  Chores won't do themselves.  Dang it.

What went on in your week last week?  Tell me something good.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 8/10/19

Hello again.  Thanks for stopping by.

I picked up one new ebook this week - a mystery.  Still have four unreads left - 2 UF, paranormal mystery, and MG fantasy.  No new hardcopies.

Books read:

74) For Fox Sake by Emma Dean (8/8/19) - Paranormal Romance/UF* - 5 stars.  New to me, but not underappreciated.  Free off the Robin Reads newsletter.
Review: "Loved it, even if it was a little spicier than I like my paranormal romance. But loads of thrills and action, too. I picked it up because it sounded different - fox shifters, after all - and I wasn't disappointed. Loved the premise, loved the plot, loved the sister and the grandma. Totally lurved the foxes and their witch who isn't a witch."
Extra Note:  I want to read the second book, but it's breaking rules I set for myself - calling itself a 'reverse harem' book and frontloading keywords in the title.  Plus, it's outside my budget right now.

73) Curiosity Killed the Cat by TH Hunter (8/5/19) - Paranormal Mystery*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated as far as reviews go.  Free off the Free Kindle Books FB Group.
Review: "Fun paranormal mystery! I loved the characters, the setup, the premise... and, of course, the whodunnit!"

72) Omega Games (Stardoc #8) by SL Viehl (8/3/19) - SF - 5 stars.  Not new to me but could be appreciated way more.  I've had this book for years and I've read it before.  I'm slowly making my way back through this series since I originally read it out of order and skipped several in the middle.
Review: "I read this once, years ago, but I didn't remember it, so it was like reading it new all over again. Inhaled it. Awesome 8th book in an awesome series."

71) Maggie's Run (Outback Brides #1) by Kelly Hunter (8/3/19) - Romance* - 5 stars.  New to me, but not underappreciated.  Picked up for free from the Book Doggy newsletter.
Review: "Everything a romance novel should be. Plus, Australia! I have a weakness for romances set in Australia."

DNFs:

8/7/19 - Mystery.  Free.  I should've known better than to start a series at book #5, but I picked it up by accident and figured what the hell.  It was too cluttered with reminding readers about stuff that happened before while also being way too cluttered with new stuff.  This happened and this happened and this happened and this happened and here's a puppy.  It all got very 'short attention span theater' and confusing and I gave up. 

Currently reading... Nothing.  I did stuff yesterday, then I went fishing, then it was Live PD night.  So I didn't pick up another book to read.  I'll find something to read later today.

What did your reading week look like?

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Thursday This n That

How did it get to be Thursday already?

My ad got approved for Ereader News Today for the 27th.  So, the genie books will be on sale early August 25th thru the night of the 31st.  WIOH - 99c, the others $1.99. We'll see if a discount prior to Labor Day does me any good.  My only problem is UWC's Kindle thingie ends on the 24th, so whether it will be a Kindle Countdown Deal or just discounted on its own remains to be seen.  No accounting for when ENT gives me a date.

When I've been making burgers lately, I've been toasting the buns and then buttering them before I put the patty on.  Lemme tell ya... yum.

Every time I think the world as gone about as nuts as it can go, it says 'hold my beer' and leaps off the diving board into a whole new depth of loony. 

We had a turtle in the yard the other day.  Awesome.  And bummer.  When the turtles start coming into the yard again, it means the bug spray is wearing off.  Love the turtles.  Hate the ticks more.

If you're into bladed weapons (or forging, I guess), you really need to watch Forged in Fire.  Doug Marcaida testing weapons is a thing of beauty.

I made enchiladas the other day.  I usually put seasoned chicken and rice in them, but I was totally lazy and rice can be such a pain in the buns, so I substituted Ramen noodles for rice.  I boiled the noodles for 3 minutes, drained them, and dumped them in with the seasoned chicken.  Stirred until they were all seasoned, too, then stuff the mix into tortillas.  Rolled 'em up, laid 'em in a baking dish, and covered them with green enchilada sauce.  Yummers.

I believe I've mentioned before how much I love food.

Gah, I can't wait for summer to be over.

And that's it for me.  What's it for you?






Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Stuck at 179

For most of my formative years, I was thin.  And man, could I pack away the food.  In fact, I remember an uncle commenting on it at one of my sibling's graduation open houses.  "That's like the fourth plate of food you've taken."  :shrug:  When the food is good, I am so there.  And back then, it didn't matter because I could burn it all away so easily.

Now, let's put 'thin' in perspective here.  I'm 5'8" and I have good size frame, so when I say I was thin, I still weighed like 135 and wore a size 10.  Thin-thin, as in ribs showing and not a spare bit of fat on my frame was when I got down to 110 and wore a size 6.  (Due to stress and working and then not eating because of those two things - no dieting involved there.)  Even at a size 10, though, people commented on how skinny I was and told me I needed to eat more. 

I gained about 20 pounds my senior year in HS.  I was dating a man who enjoyed his food and drink.  Boy, did he enjoy his drink.  I'm pretty sure he was an alcoholic and intent on taking me with him.  But that's a story for another time.  Suffice it say, I wasn't skinny at that point in my life.

In the months before I got pregnant, I was back down again.  A little further down, since I was wearing a size 8 at the time.  Then pregnancy hit and I ballooned upwards.  I was around 183 by the time I gave birth to a 7 pound, 1 ounce baby girl.  So, yeah, most of that extra weight was me.

I finally was on track to get back to 135 when my accident happened about 5 months later.  Then my metabolism was so messed up and my body was working so hard to repair everything, I could once again eat like a horse and not gain weight.  And I was trying, believe me.  I was stuck at 125, inhaling everything I could to help my body repair itself.  Eventually, though, that evened back out and I was 136... for years.  Which worked for me. 

Then I hit 30 and it was like someone put the breaks on my metabolism.  Screech!  And back came those 20 pounds from HS.  (Didn't help that I tried to quit smoking then.  Gah.)  And I was stuck at 157 for a while. 

Before I got married, I had dropped those pounds again.  Back to the old 136.  With more exercise, of course, and a budget that didn't allow for much extra eating. 

Marriage has been awesome for me in many ways.  Weight is not one of them.  I got happy and then I got pudgy.  Lucky for me, Hubs doesn't care.  But I chugged my way up to my max weight of about 194 pounds. 

That was two and a half years ago.  I lost 14 of those pounds last year - by watching what I ate and increasing my activity level.  This year?  I'm down a pound.  (Depending on the day - it's an average.)  My activity level is increased again, but I haven't been watching my food intake.  I know all I have to do is eat less.  But that's the hard part.  Eat one piece of pizza instead of two.  One scoop of ice cream instead of three.  Stop it with the chips and the cookies.  Make a salad or soup instead of a big sandwich. 

I'm working on it. 

Now, I actually feel weird if I don't take a walk every day.  So there's that.  I feel good and I'm actually pretty healthy.  I'm just stuck at 179. 

What about you?  No, I don't want you to post your weight... Just tell me about your journey or talk about the changes between you now and you then.  Have you always battled your weight or is it something you've never needed to worry about? 

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 31

Well, here we are again...

I let my motivation train get derailed with that idea that there are books coming out that may be similar to mine.  And then I ran across two more books with similar premises.  And then... Well, I can't change the fact that Oliver* is a cat, it's on the cover and the plot doesn't work if he's any other animal, so I'm kind of stuck.  I mean, there's something about Oliver that is probably a little different from the others - I haven't read any of them so I don't know - but on the face, it all looks very much like every other paranormal mystery with a cat.  And it's derailing me.  So, I guess what I'm saying is no new words this week.

And no editing.  Unless you count my frantic brain gyrations as I try to see if any Oliver works as any other animal.

I started the week doing a bunch of marketing, but then the sale ended and I haven't done anything.  Well, except applying to ENT for an ad.  I'll know by sometime next week whether I got a date and an ad or got rejected.

Did some reading.  DNF'd one and finished two.  And I finished one book and read an entire 'nother book yesterday.  I'll talk about those next Saturday.

On the activity front, I did 4 out of 7 days.  One of those days was bathing the cat, which knocked me out of commission for a couple days.  Last night, I walked 1.6 miles in 30 minutes - my best time/length to date.  As for weight?  Well, I saw 178 this week, but then it went back to 179.

Which brings me to baking...  Still munching on those muffins and granola bars, but we ran out of oatmeal cookies so I made more yesterday.  And I made French bread pizza.  And did I mention I bought double chocolate ice cream?  Umm, yeah.  Doing great on the activity front, totally not on the eating front.

I may have mentioned constipated kitty.  The fiber seems to be working.  Like a quarter teaspoon sprinkled in her wet food once a day.

I think that's it.  Since I'm writing this Saturday night and I just got done walking, I'm going to go collapse for a while.  What things were you up to last week?


*Saw a book after this went live with a dog named Oliver.  It was a cozy mystery, but still... Blerg.  I swear to god, I'm going to rename him Itzhak and make him Jewish.  Or maybe he'll be Pierre, but I'll make him Cajun.  What's a gal gotta do to have something original, for petesakes?  Wait.  I have an idea...  Good thing I haven't sent UatB through the publishing mill and I still have time to change him.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 8/3/19

Hello again.

This past week, I downloaded 4 new ebooks - the romance I'm currently reading, UF, MG fantasy, and mystery.  I still have 3 left unread on my Kindle - 2 UF and a paranormal mystery.  Plus the paranormal mystery I started and still want to go back to.

Books read:

70) A Hopeless Murder by Daniel Carson (8/1/19) - Cozy Mystery*# - 4 stars.  New to me and underappreciated as far as reviews go on Goodreads.  Over 50 GR ratings and over 50 Amazon reviews.  Free off the ENT newsletter.
Review: "Cute and fun."  I mean, it was a nice book and a good distraction, but nothing really exciting me to write more of a review, ya know?

69) All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot (7/31/19) - Memoir - 5 stars.  Not new to me or underappreciated.  50c at the thrift store.
No Review.  If you haven't read these, though, they are nice books.

DNFs:

7/28/19 - political/medical thriller by a well-known SF author.  Got this one at a 6/$1 sale at one of the thrift stores.  I was reading along, making progress, when I woke up Sunday morning and realized I no longer cared.  No real hero standing out, no one to root for.  Not even a real villain I could root against.   All of which made the DNF kind of disappointing since I spent about 200 pages worth of my time already.  Still, stopping then was better than wasting another 300+ pages of my time.  I expected this would be a keeper, but it's going to St. Vinny's.

Currently reading... a romance set in Australia.  So good, so far.  I even stayed up late last night reading it, but then the need for sleep took over, so I didn't finish it.  What can I say? I'm a sucker for Australian romances. 

What's been on your reading menu this week? 

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Thursday This n That

Waking up early sucks.  I always get my morning online things done by like 6, and then I feel the need to do stuff, but it's too damn early to do stuff, so I sit here drinking coffee and feeling at a loss.  And there are only so many things I can pin on Pinterest.  But who wants to start cleaning at 6am?  And it's not like I can go for a walk, because it's still dark out.  I could organize files, but meh.  I'd do spreadsheets but those are all done for now.  Gah.  (Yes, this paragraph was written yesterday morning at 6am when I'd already been up for 2 hours.)

So now it's actually Thursday morning.  Woke up at 5 instead of 4, which is the time I actually get up.  And here's this post I never finished...  There still isn't enough coffee in the world for me.  Gah.

Ack, it's August.  I need to get the Kid's birthday card in the mail.  How did I get old enough to have a 26 yr old Kid?  Doesn't seem possible.

So, I was telling an in-person friend of mine that I joined Pinterest.  She was very excited.  Seems like it's her crack.  It is very addictive.

I'm trying putting fiber in Kira's diet to overcome 'constipated kitty'.  So far, it's working.  Walmart brand equivalent to Benefiber.  It's tasteless and odorless, so she doesn't even know it's in her food.  We never imagined we'd ever spend so much time thinking about how much a cat poops. It's an exciting life we lead here at Sanderson Acres.

This morning I saw a shared meme wherein there was a prominent female politician in a very angry photo with the caption 'Hillary 2.0'.  The original person posting it said something about her obnoxious voice.  But in the comments, women were going off on how horrible it is that people focus more on looks for women than they do for men.  I couldn't figure out what the hell they were referring to.  Seems to me that right there and right then, the only people focused on her looks were the women commenting.  Maybe I missed some inside thing from a previous FB post. 

Speaking of obnoxious voices, have you heard O-crazio?  I caught part of a video of some hearing the other day where she was talking.  OMG.  Nails on a chalkboard.  'Put hot wax in my ears so I don't have to listen anymore' horrible.  Maybe that's the secret to her success - people are so distracted by her voice that they can't actually listen to what she's saying.

I'm kind of full of beans this morning - and not the good, java-bearing variety.  Not yet anyway.  It's early.

Wow, I think it stopped raining.  We've been getting totally splooshed this morning.  Must be a break in the precipitation because I know it's not supposed to stop for a while yet.

And on that note, I'll let you go.  Have an awesome day out there wherever you are.