Saturday, November 27, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 11/27/21

Hey All.  Sorry I'm late posting this today, but I didn't wake up until 6.  Ten hours sleep.  Woohoo.  I actually feel like a human being this morning.  Yay!

Anyway, it wasn't an exciting week in reading.  The holiday and all that.  

I didn't pick up any new books.

Books Read:

59) All Wands on Deck by Mara Webb (11/25/21) - Paranormal Mystery* - 3 stars.  New to me but not underappreciated.  Free off the ENT newsletter.
No review.
Note: I don't review books under 3 stars.  Why harsh the writer's day with my opinion?  I don't usually even finish books if I think they're going to be under 4 stars.  Unfortunately, I didn't think it was going to be under until I got close enough that I thought I might as well just finish the book.  Bummer.  Anyway, most everyone else seemed to like this book, so it's probably just me.

No DNFs.

Currently reading... NEVADA by Zane Grey.  It's an old copy and I'm trying to keep it from falling apart as I read it, but it's pretty damn good so far.

What did your week in reading look like?

Friday, November 26, 2021

The Friday After TGD

First off, let's start by reminding people that 'Black Friday' has nothing to do with race.  It has to do with putting retailers 'in the black' for the year.  Which means showing a profit as opposed to 'in the red' or not making enough money to pay for expenses.  If someone's told you anything different, they're jerking your leash.  Color words can be used for things other than race, doncha know.

I know everyone' talked about how expensive Thanksgiving was going to be.  The meal itself didn't seem any more expensive than it had been.  In fact, by shopping early, I paid less for a turkey this year than last.  I paid more for the pumpkin puree because Wallyworld was out of offbrand and I had to buy name brand.  I paid more for the stuffing for the same reason.  I think the cheaper bird offset the more expensive fixin's.  The gas to get to the store to buy the groceries?  Way more expensive.

A curious thing happened yesterday.  The turkey was done way earlier than it should have been done.  14.5 pounds... 20 minutes per pound at 325F... 4.83 hours.  It was cooked in 3 hours.  Either our oven is running way hot, which is possible but unlikely since the other things I've cooked in the oven haven't cooked any faster than usual.  Or the turkey was smaller than they said it was, which seems unlikely based on the amount of leftovers now nestled in my fridge/freezer  Or there was some kind of timewarp vortex in the oven between the hours of 8 and 11am.  

Anyway, the turkey was tender and moist and cooked through, so that's all that matters.  Of course, we ended up eating dinner shortly after 11am.  Cheesecake was at 2.  Tiny turkey sandwiches occurred at 5.  

We were in bed by 8 last night.  Before that, though, we sat down to watch a movie called Wild America.  We'd seen it before, but that was years ago.  It's about the wildlife film producer, Marty Stouffer, and his brothers when they were younger.  It's a nice movie.  Kind of outlandish in places, but all in all, pretty true to the story of those boys.  If you haven't seen it, give it a whirl.

Yeah, because of impromptu movie night and then early bed, I didn't get any editing done.  Oops.  Maybe today will be a better day for that.

How was your yesterday?

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, wherever you are.  (Yes, even if you aren't in the US or celebrating it.  Just be happy and be thankful already.  Geez.)

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

It's Wednesday

For those of you who are like me, today is Wednesday.  (And yeah, Wednesday is usually an Outside the Box day to post, but I have nothing writerly to say, so here I am.)  Knowing the day of the week this week is especially difficult because tomorrow is a holiday in the U.S., so it feels like a Friday.  

So close on the heels of the time change, this week is a total clusterfuck for figuring out the day and the time.  Make sure to cut yourself some slack this week.  It's not your fault.  You're stuck in this weird timewarp thing.  

Personally, I had to remember to send my timesheet to the office last night because I usually send it out Wednesday night, but payroll is today instead of Thursday because of the holiday.  Which was something the office had to deal with, shifting the payroll day and all.  

Poor Hubs was on the phone yesterday making plans for things that have to get done and he started talking about getting together with the person on Thursday when it struck him that's Thanksgiving.  Oops and apologies to the other party.  It'll have to wait until next week.  

We have some stuff we have to get done today, because otherwise, it will either have to wait until next week or we'll have to venture out into the shopping orgy on Friday to complete our errands.  And nobody wants that.  Plus, one of the places we have to go will be closed on Friday, because it's not just a one day holiday for businesses that don't sell things people might put under the tree.  Which is why my office is closed until Monday.

I'll still be working.  I have a project the big boss handed over yesterday and I'd like to make some headway on it before the office reopens on Monday.  My part has to be done before they can do their part and all that.  

Not working a normal job certainly doesn't help with the whole 'what the hell day is it?' thing.  Writing and spreadsheeting can be done anywhere between when I wake up to when I call it a day.  And it frequently is done outside of office hours.  So holidays don't really make that big a difference in the flow.  They still screw up what day it is, though.  Blerg.

So, consider this post a kind of public service thing.  It is WEDNESDAY.  What you do with that information is up to you and whether you hold it in your head?  Well, by lunch I may be back to thinking it's Friday again.  :shrug:

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Thanksgiving Then and Now

I had an awesome idea for today's post.  But I didn't write the post or write the idea down and, of course, I forgot it.

So, let's talk about Thanksgiving.

I don't remember a lot of my childhood.  And not for the same reason a lot of people can't remember the '70s LOL.  I think Thanksgiving was always sort of a big deal, though.  What I can remember was a house full of family and loads of awesome food.  

We'd start the day watching the Macy's parade and then whatever was on - usually some movie or other on one of the four channels we got - to stay out of Mom's way in the kitchen.

Mom would make a huge turkey - which I loved.  Candied yams - which I hated.  Pumpkin pie, easy on the spices.  And cranberry sauce right out of the can.  There may have been other staples, but I don't remember those exactly.  Corn?  Green beans?  Mashed potatoes?  :shrug:  

We'd eat and then Dad would watch the Lions play whoever on TV.

As we got older, and hooked up with special someones, more people would be there.  Then the babies started arriving.  It was something of a madhouse sometimes in my parent's home.  I do remember hiding in my room to escape the chaos.  Then dinner would be served and we'd all sit down - the adults at the big table and the kids at the card table.  

We'd eat and then Dad and the other men would watch the Lions play whoever while the women cleaned up and then had coffee while they chatted around the big table.  At some point pie would be served.  Then everyone would depart for their own homes.  Taking leftovers with them.  

In 2001, I moved away from Michigan.  No more family holidays for me.  It was during these years that I discovered I suck at making turkey.  I never have the patience to leave it in the oven long enough so the center isn't still bloody.  (And I never trusted the pop-up thingy.)  Thank goodness I never gave anyone food poisoning.  Thank goodness I married Hubs because he makes an awesome turkey.  

These days, it's just Hubs and I.  He does the turkey, I do the dessert.  We have stuffing that he makes and crams into the bird.  And canned, jellied cranberry sauce because that's how we roll.  (I take care of that, too.  I'm such a chef.  LOL)  And that's pretty much it.  No corn.  No mashed potatoes.  Definitely no sweet potatoes.  Bleh.  Sometimes we have rolls that I've bought at the store, but usually the rolls are left for tiny leftover turkey sandwiches.  (Hubs puts cranberry sauce on his, I just use butter.  Butter and turkey sandwiches... mmmmm.)  After we digest some of the dinner, we have dessert.  This year, I'm making pumpkin cheesecake.  Last year, we just had pumpkin bread.  It's not like we really need dessert.  Lord knows, we're already pretty stuffed after dinner.  Which we usually eat around 1:00.  

And that's about it.  This year, I bought a 14.5 lb turkey, so we'll be eating leftovers for a good long time.  Woohoo.  

What about you?  Any good memories of Turkey Day?  What's your holiday like now as opposed to when you were a kid?

Monday, November 22, 2021

Busy Little Beavers


Yeah, we've been busy little beavers.  In a figuratively literal way.  Hey, it's wood and we're chopping it.

We started on October 7th with the tippy cedar tree and one pallet.  (Now the center pallet.)  Then we got the bug and started dragging things up out of the forest to chop up.  Hubs added a second pallet for 'other wood'.  Once those two started to fill up, he added a third pallet.  We have one more pallet available and just enough room to put it.  We'll see.

Those pics were taken yesterday afternoon.  We've got it all underneath the sun porch, where it can stay nice and dry.  If you look at the top pic, you can really see the difference between the cedar and the 'other wood'.

Here's where the magic happens:

That's the stump from the tippy cedar tree we pulled down and chopped up.  We use it and the cinder block as saw horses.  The wood laying around is what we dragged up to saw.  When we get the urge, we'll cut it into lengths and throw it under the house.  Just two old folks and a limb saw.

Some of the wood we now have waiting to be chopped came from our oldest pile, where we've been throwing deadfall for 8 years now.  The pile was pretty tall and wide.  7 foot high by 10 ft wide by 15 ft deep.  It's now about half that and moved from between two trees to a more open spot.  We have three more deadfall piles as you go down the hill from the house.  We'll get to those eventually.  I don't look forward to dragging wood up from the bottom of the hill, lemme tell ya, but we'll do it.  

For the record, we are not taking down anything alive, except for tippy tree but he had to go.  And we're only working on land we own.  (Although I am starting to covet the deadfall on the neighbor's property.  When we finish with our wood, I'll ask him if he wants us to take care of his dead stuff, too.)

Anyway, like I've said, it's good exercise.  And it's an excellent way to leave the world behind for a while.

Are you finding ways to leave the world behind?  These days it's kinda necessary.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Sunday Update - Week 45

I broke down and looked up the week this time.  Yay me.  Forty-five weeks in, seven left to go.  May 2022 be a better year.  (Lord knows, 2021 sure wasn't.)

Anyway, thanks to a kind and friendly poke in the ass, I got some editing done this week.  I input 7 pages worth of edit notes and I'm through to page 129 of the manuscript.  Don't get excited or anything.  I'll have to go through and make a whole 'nother round of notes and input those before I can even think about sending it to beta readers, whose notes I will also have to input.  

No marketing, no sales.  

I seemed to have a better reading week.  3 books finished.  But I'm still 8 books behind on my goal.  I've read 58 books and my goal was 75.  Oops.  

In baking news, I made a tube of cinnamon rolls I picked up at the Dollar General.  Those were pretty good.  I also did a batch of zucchini bread, but for some stupid, brainfarty reason, I only put 2 cups of sugar in instead of 3 cups.  It's not horrible, but it's also not right.  Oh, well.  We have two loaves of that, so those'll get eaten before I try again.  Luckily, Hubs likes it.  And I don't hate it.

Let's see... what else is there?  Oh, yeah, activity...  I was active 5 out of 7 days.  4 days worth of woods work and one day we went fishing.  Let's not talk about weight this week, eh?

The woods work...  Hubs and I dismantled our top-most wood pile.  8 years that thing has been sitting there, building and decomposing.  We pulled out the best logs and set everything else in a better place, where it's not brushing up against any trees.  The best logs are now in a couple of other stacks, drying out and waiting for us to saw them up.  Hubs figures we're at a cord of wood now.

Oh, and that tree I thought might be a persimmon, based on the bark?  It dropped a fruit near where we were sawing wood.  It was a persimmon fruit, so it has to be a persimmon tree.  Mystery solved.

As for the fishing, we went out knowing a cold front was on the way.  The front arrived just as we got out of the car.  Woohoo was it ever windy and COLD.  We weathered it for about an hour, got some bites but no actual fish, and then went home.  It was fun, but cocoa when we got home was so necessary.

The yellow-bellied sapsuckers are back.  Yay.  Now we wait for the eagles.  I thought I might've seen one on my last trip to Wallyworld, but I couldn't confirm it, so I'm not counting it.  The robins are also stopping on their way south.  They've cleaned the berries off all the spicebushes already.  Voracious little buggers, they are.

Thanksgiving is this week.  I have all the things needed for a yummy TGD.  And the turkey is now defrosting in the fridge.  It's 14.5 pounds.  The smallest I could find for the price of 78c a pound.  I thought I was pretty smart for getting it that cheap.  Then my mom said they got theirs for 33c a pound.  Doh!  We also have cranberry sauce (jellied and canned, of course) and stuffing (Stovetop) and rolls.  That's about it for our feast.  I mean, I have corn and rolls, but we've been ignoring those these last few years in favor of pigging out on turkey.  LOL

Oh, and I bought the stuff to make pumpkin cheesecake.  I'll get that done on Wednesday.  (If I make it sooner, we'll eat it sooner.  I'm trying to be good here.  LOL)

And that's about it for me.  What's up in your world?