Sunday, May 22, 2022

Sunday Update - Week 20

Welcome to the Sunday Update, wherein I talk about all the stuffs that happened (or lack thereof) in my previous week.

I started out the week gangbusters on the writing and then life happened.  I did get about 4800 words out over 4 days.  Not my fastest, but it was something. Shroudlands 2 is now just over 16000 words.  

No editing.  No marketing.  And very little reading (hence the absence of a Reading Wrap-up again this week.)   The only baking I did was a batch of zucchini bread early in the week.  Coincidentally, that was the only day I got any exercise.  

We set up an appointment to get my brakes done on Friday.  Hubs followed me out in the Jeepster, we dropped off Cally Cavalier, and went home.  They figured about 5-6 hours.  It only took 4.  Yay.  We loaded back into the Jeepster and headed down the road to pick up my babycar.  Suddenly, there was a thunk and a clunk and the power steering on the Jeepster went out.  Now, there is NOWHERE to pull over here.  These highways do not have shoulders.  They have deep, jagged ditches and drop offs.  He wrestled with the car as we headed toward town.  The temp gauge shot right the hell up and we continued to limp along.  Another thunk and clunk. I saw something fly out from under the back of the Jeep.  Still moving, still overheating, he coaxed that old beast another couple miles until we reached the bank parking lot - the first safe place to stop, really.  We parked it and I went into the bank to make some calls.  The mechanic has no towing.  They have no one who can come get me to at least pick up Cally.  On the verge of calling for a tow, a nice man who'd overheard my saga says he can drive us to the mechanic.  Yay.  Long story shortened a bit, we got the car, we had the Jeep towed home, and all is well.  A pulley thing fell off (most likely due to a loose bolt), dropping the serpentine belt onto the highway.  We found the belt laying alongside the highway and picked it up.  We never did find the pulley thing.  It probably rolled into a ditch somewhere along the way.  Hubs can replace the pulley thing himself and the belt is fine.  Thankfully none of this was as bad as it could've been.  

On an additional note, I have to take the car back to get a slight adjustment on the rear passenger brake cuz it makes a noise when the brakes are applied.  But only after the car has been driven for more than ten miles.  (I know this because we took the car back yesterday and it wasn't making the noise by the time we got to the mechanic, so we told them never mind and left, but it started up again by the time we'd gotten to our gas station for a fill-up* and smokes.  Derp.)

No, I am not interested in getting a new car.  We'll drive Cally and the Jeepster until they fall apart.  

Anyway, this past week also saw my birthday and our anniversary.  Birth-iversary or Anni-birthday, however you want to look at it.  We had cheesecake as a special thing on the anniversary (which doubled as birthday cake) and then bacon cheeseburgers for the special thing on my birthday.  Other than that, they were just regular days.  

And that's about it for my super-exciting life.  How was your week?

*Gas was $3.99 here yesterday.  $40 to fill my car, which still had about a third of a tank.  I've never spent $40 to fill any tank of any car I've ever owned.  =o\

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Thursday This n That

I was reading about the Milgram experiment again this morning.  I find psychological stuff fascinating.  One thing I hadn't known about the experiment before was that Milgram had polled both psych students and colleagues beforehand about what they thought the results might be, and few of them guessed the truth.  In retrospect, and knowing what we know now, it's unsurprising to me that a majority of people would follow authority even against their own consciences.  

Just now, I was at a friend's blog talking about POV choices, and it reminded me of a tense-choice I made years ago.  I had originally written Wish in One Hand in third person with a totally different general storyline.  A whole novel, shitcanned in favor of a tense change.  In case you're not a writer, that's a LOT of work in the dumper there.  I think the first draft of that was like 236 pages.  Useless and doomed to sit forever in the labyrinth of my folder system.  

I took yesterday off.  Of like everything.  I watched TV and I ate.  Bacon cheeseburgers with french fries cooked in bacon grease and store-bought cheesecake.  Yum.

Oh, we did make the decision to bite the bullet, raid the savings, and schedule a full brake job on old Cally Cavalier.  In this super-hilly country, it's definitely necessary.  That's set for tomorrow.  I drop the car off in the morning and pick it up in the afternoon.  Time to dust off The Jeepster for a little shuttling work.  Thank goodness for the second vehicle or I'd be stuck sitting at either the shop or the bar down the highway a piece for 5-6 hours.  It's too far out in the middle of nowhere to walk anywhere else.  I could take a book, but sitting for that long on questionable seats would wreck me.

Cross your fingers for me.  This is an untried mechanic for us.  I mean, he came highly recommended by a guy who knows him and knows vehicles (a retired truck mechanic actually), but there's always a concern when dealing with any new [professional, doncha know.

I'll be sitting here tomorrow like a worried mama who's baby is in the hospital.  I've had Cally for 19 years now.  

I joked with Hubs yesterday that I'm going to name the new brakes Rover.  Cuz I could've used that money to get a dog.  We laughed and laughed.  LOL, I kill me.  And he might if I keep joking that way.  Ba dump bump... ting.

And on that note... What's on your this-n-that list today?

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Brain Clutter

They're doing that thing again where you list the states you've lived in and visited.  Someone was all like "I'm not putting that info out there for the hackers".  I'm ambivalent.  If the hackers haven't already seen this about me, well, that's how it goes.  Anyway, I made a map.  Red dots are where I've lived and blue dots are where I've visited.  (The placement of the dots is random and don't indicate exactly where I was in any given state.)

Six states lived in (MI gets two dots because I lived in each peninsula at some time or another.  Not every Michigander can say that, doncha know.)  I'm done moving around and pretty much done traveling.  I might still drop into OK, but only because it's so close to here it wouldn't be a haul.  For as much as I'm in AR, that dot ought to be like purple or something.  LOL

In further interest of putting things out there the hackers could always play with, today is my anniversary.  18 years of wedded bliss.  And no, that is not sarcasm.  I love Hubs more today than the day we married and I'll love him more tomorrow.  No matter the ups or the downs, we remain strong together.  Oh, and tomorrow is my birthday.  I joke that I made him marry me the day before my birthday so he would never forget one or the other.  I'm 52.  If the hackers don't already have that info, I'd be totally surprised.

I saw something on FB.  2022 is as far from 1970 as 1970 is from 1918.  Let that sink in.  

Some days I feel old.  Some days I feel like a kid.  Either way, the prevailing thought is 'there's no way I can be x years old'.  But I am.  I finally bit the bullet and listed 'gray' as my hair color on my fishing license.  The ol' DL still says 'brown', but it really is more than 50% gray now.  I figure when the gal at the DMV tells me my hair is gray, I'll put it on my driver's license.  Since MO licenses last for like 9 years, that'll happen next time.  LOL

Something struck me the other day.  The longer you live, the more memories you have to clutter up your brain.  Yeah, it's obvious, but I hadn't really thought about it.  No wonder I can't get to sleep.  The ol' brain is constantly flipping through the memories - on random.  Mom's got 30 years on me, so I'm not sure how she ever sleeps.  Imagine how many more memories her brain has.  Sheesh.

And on that note, I'll let you get back to your regularly scheduled lives.  Lord knows, I've got a bunch of stuff to do today... that'll probably turn into stuff I need to do tomorrow.  LOL

Have a great day!

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Sunday Update - Week 19

Mornin' Everyone.  Let's just jump right into the week, okay?

I had a good writing week, if a bit strange for me.  Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I wrote on SCIU4 - 2770 words.  Friday and Saturday, I shifted gears and worked on Shroudlands2 - 3188 words.  Right now, I have to go where the inspiration takes me.  And right now, the inspiration is following reader input.  But I'll try and talk about that more tomorrow.

I didn't read anything else all week until yesterday when I went ahead and picked up a suspense novel I've been chomping to read.  If I'm writing fantasy, a suspense shouldn't harsh my groove.  Yes, being a writer is weird.

In baking news, I did a lemon oil cake with strawberry frosting.  I also did a batch of granola bars.  Expect the baking to slack off now that the weather is decidedly warmer.  Although, I do plan to make a batch of zucchini bread today.  Hubs does love his granola bars and zucchini bread for breakfast.

On the activity front, I managed 4 days worth.  Tuesday I sprayed weeds in the driveway, which was a haul.  Wednesday, I took a short walk in the woods.  Thursday, I did a BIG grocery trip.  Friday, I mowed the lawn for an hour.  (Hubs did the rest - which took another 3 hours.  We have a push mower and a big lawn.)

Speaking of spraying weeds... it only worked a little.  I needed more vinegar in the vinegar, dish soap, Epsom salts, water mix.  Hubs redid the driveway yesterday using mostly vinegar in his big sprayer on wheels.  (I used the pump sprayer.)  By afternoon, there was visible Weed-mageddon going on out there, so yay.  

As for the grocery trip, it was BIG.  I went in and got all the non-perishable stuff and took it out to the car.  Then I went back in and got all the meats, cheeses, produce, and frozen stuff.  We're good for at least a month now.  One trip saves gas.  We won't talk about the fundage I dropped.  Let's just say it wasn't pretty.  It was all stuff we needed, but ouch.

I did buy a lottery ticket this week.  Won $10.  Woohoo.  In other gambling news, I won another tournament.  202 people started and I was the last man standing.  The whole thing lasted 101 minutes.  

The bunnies are back for the Spring.  There's one in the yard right now.  Yay!  Also, the deer have reached maximum fat pregnant, so we should be seeing the mass drop toward their hips and then a sudden thinning as they bring fawns into the world.  We won't see fawns until late June, if things run along previous years' schedules.  We did have two yearling bucks laying in the front yard the other day, though.  How cool is that?

The weather here has been weird.  Too hot for right now and storms that are predicted but pass us and dump all over other people.  We're predicted to have a nasty one today.  Here's hoping it also goes elsewhere.  

Not sure what's on tap for the week ahead.  More writing.  I have to get back to the neverending weeding.  I should also probably get some cleaning done.  Otherwise, the possibilities are end... Okay, not endless, but there are possibilities.  ;o)

How was your week?  

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Thursday This n That

Sorry about yesterday's post.  I was doing some research and it lead me to believe that having that post out there in the world was not in my best interests.  Am I paranoid?  Yeah, probably.  But just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean someone's not out to get me.  ;o)  And these days, one can never be too careful.  Am I right or am I right?

The postal service lost another one of my paychecks.  Wouldn't ya know it, though? The day the office mailed me a new one, it arrived.  It had been folded and mutilated, but it got here.  Let's see if the replacement check arrives.  

I follow a place called Wild Heart Ranch.  Those people are doing some amazing things rehabilitating wildlife.  They got in this bald eagle who'd been grounded for quire some time due to an old broken wing.  He was dirty and his feathers were bedraggled.  On a happy note, he wasn't emaciated.  He must've been finding enough to eat on the ground to keep him going.  This morning, they posted a picture of him in his huge flight cage.  He's all clean and his feathers have grown out and he's FLYING.  I'm not sure if he'll be 100% release-able but there's hope for him now.  Yay.  (If they don't think he'll succeed in the wild, they'll transfer him to somewhere where he can be an ambassador animal and live out his life in captive health and happiness.)

When I was a teen, I read a book about a wildlife rehabber.  And I SO wanted to be one.  A friend asked me recently if I thought about becoming one now.  I'm too old, gimpy, and crotchety, and too set in my ways to attempt a task of that magnitude at this stage of my life.  Hell, I can't manage a house pet right now, let alone a slew of wild and helpless critters.  

As an aside, that book about the wildlife rehabber was non-fiction, and it held some widely popular if utterly wrong ideas.  Like 'never feed birds peanut butter'.  I went years believing if I fed birds peanut butter, it would kill them.  I was horrified when my daughter's school made pinecones with PB and seeds.  Derp.  I know better now.  And hey, it was written in the '80s,  Maybe she truly believed what she was saying was true.  One would think, though, that if she was rehabbing animals, she'd know from experience that her belief was false.  :shrug:

Yesterday, I made granola bars, but since I hadn't been shopping yet, I didn't quite have all the right ingredients.  I made do.  Not enough walnuts?  Chop up some mixed nuts and throw that in.  I bought the wrong kind of oats, too.  Rolled instead of quick.  Eh, they're tasty, if slightly more crumbly than an actual bar.  Hubs doesn't care, so it's all good.  Such is life in this make-do world we're living in.

Okay, I should probably get my buns in gear.  Today is Wallyworld day and I still have stuff to do before that happens.  Hasta la bye-bye.  And have a great day.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

If you were here earlier, there was no post.  No post at all.  A complete figment of your imagination.  And if you thought you commented, I do appreciate the effort, but you were imagining that, too.  Sorry.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, awesome.  You're probably better off that way.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Sunday Update - Week 18

Good morning.  And Happy Mother's Day!

The week started out gangbusters and then fell apart.  I did write for 5 straight days and the book is over 10K now, so I'm not kicking myself.  Much.  It is what it is and I have a clue where it goes from here.  Basically, I need to kick myself in the butt and slap that ol' self-doubt down.

I didn't do much reading.  Finished one book last Saturday.  I did acquire a bunch of books, but I haven't been reading them because I'm trying to keep my brain on my own story.  Eh, like that's working.  Blerg.

No baking.  Hubs is still working on the last batch of granola bars and of zucchini bread, so it's all good.

I got some activity in.  Not a lot, but it was something.  I spent a couple hours weeding and moving rocks one day.  Another day, I washed the kitchen floor.  Yesterday, Hubs and I walked the loop, which added 1.1 miles to my total and rolled me over 15 miles for the year.  

Speaking of walking the loop, we were on a riverwatch mission.  We've gotten so much rain recently that the lake has jumped about 11ft, so we thought it would be a good idea to see how the waterfront neighbors were all fairing.  The water's still a few feet from any of the houses, so it's all good.  It's supposed to be dry all week.  Whew.  Too much more and that one house is going to be flooded again.  And after all the work they put into remodeling it after the 2017 flood, too.  Bummer.  We got to see a couple kids fishing from their yard, in their yard, which was kinda cool.

We have free movies this weekend, so we've been partaking of that.  And golf.  Right now, we have the channel for that and I can watch foreign golf, senior's golf, and regular golf all day Thursday thru Sunday if I want to.  Eh, it's quiet and non-taxing to the brain.

Anyway, that's about it for me.  I hope you all have a nice Mother's Day with the ones you love.  I'll be calling my Mom shortly and later Hubs will call his Mom.  It's all good.

How was your week?