Monday, January 1, 2024

Happy New Year!

Well, the end of another year went by.  2023 wasn't necessarily bad.  It wasn't necessarily good either.  In the end it all balanced out.  2023... the Year of Meh.

I used to use a post like this to talk about my book sales.  Suffice it to say, there's no joy in that particular section of Mudville.  I sold 27 books last year and made about $28.  Wrote nothing, published nothing.  But I got a nice letter the other day from a reader, squeeing about my djinn books, so that was good.

The beginning of '23 saw a thing, which I am not at liberty to discuss.  The end of '23 saw us completely out of debt.  

I'm still working.  Being out of debt doesn't mean I can afford to stop.  Not unless I want to get right back into the mess that prompted me to start working after 18 years.  (Thanks for the sucky economy, you know who you are.)  On the upside, I'm pretty good at my job and I'm improving all the time, so yay.

2023 saw us head over to the pet rescue for a kitten and bring home two.  They're both a year old now.  Finn is still a cuddle-bug.  Sawyer is still a tornado.  But Sawyer is getting better.  And we've all adapted to each other quite nicely.  At a year old, Sawyer is 15 pounds and Finn is 11.75 pounds.  

This past year, Hubs and I both traveled to see our mothers.  They were separate vacations, but that's okay.  I think we both needed to do that - have one on one time with the Moms.  They aren't getting any younger, ya know.  

I started 2023 at 165.2 pounds and started 2024 at 161.0.  At one point I got down to 158, but that didn't last long, and for the remainder of the year I've been hovering between 160 and 162.  It wasn't a super active year.  I did start walking on my lunch this fall and managed to get myself up to 19 miles walked in 2023.

I didn't go fishing even once last year.  As such, I never even bought a fishing license.  =o(

One definite upside to 2023 is we didn't lose any loved ones.  The Moms are still going strong.  The sibs have their issues but are, for the most part, healthy.  Owl is out there in the world, doing her own thing.  Hubs and I are alive and well.  Another year older, another year wiser perhaps.  Still in love.  This year, we'll celebrate our 20 year anniversary.  Yay.

And that's about it for the yearly wrap-up.  I hope 2023 was better than, and certainly not worse than, MEH for you all.  Here's hoping 2024 is a better year, no matter how your 2023 went.  


Thursday, December 21, 2023

Thursday This n That

I don't have a lot of time this morning, but here I am.

Customer service is a lost art these days.  I was thinking about it this morning and about my customers.  Yes, I reached a point a while back where all these people are mine, and that's important, but we'll circle back to that.  I've been working on a project where I'm building a sort of list of customers, what we do for each one, addresses, email addys, etc.  It's for sales & marketing, but it's something more.  It's given me an opportunity most people don't get.  I have at least SEEN the names of every customer we have, because I typed them into the list.  I didn't generate it using a report function.  I Typed It In.  So when Lorna Doone calls, even if I've never spoken to her or met her, she doesn't have to tell me she's a customer.  I can greet her like I know her.  "Hello, Ms. Doone.  How are you today?"  Good god, I can't remember the last time I was greeted like a person when I called customer service anywhere.  And when I do what I do, I can hear the delight and sometimes shock in the customer's voice that I remembered them or knew them or even just didn't act like they were a number.  It's kind of awesome.  Circling back to that other point, I think reaching a point where the customers are YOURS means you take better care of them.  You want to provide them with better customer service because they're yours.  Jus' sayin'.  

I don't know if I told you this, but when we first got the kittens, we would shut them in the office at night so we could sleep.  Okay, when we FIRST got them... like the first week... they were free range kitties, which is why we started shutting them up at night.  Mama needs her sleep.  Anyway, a few weeks ago, we decided to let them free again.  Those first few nights were not gentle slumbers, but eventually they're getting the idea that we sleep at night and they're settling into bed with us.  Sawyer likes to wake up at 3am and play, but I just scoot him into the office and go back to bed those nights.  For the most part, they're both becoming good cats.  Yay.

Since I starting working again, my typing speed has accelerated.  I'm not sure how fast it is now, but man... whoosh.  Taking notes over the phone really sped the old fingers up.  When/If I start writing again, look out.  LOL

Okay, it's about the time to ponder whether I need a shower, and if I'm gonna take one, then I need to get 'er done.  Some days, I just can't muster the will or the energy to shower.  I'm thinking this'll be a 'wash my hair and call it good' day.  

Well, whatever you decide and whatever your day brings, have a good one.  

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Thursday This n That

Dragged, kicking and screaming, into this decade, I am finally allowing Windows 10 into my home.  I'm kinda forced to, and believe me, I wouldn't be doing it if they* weren't forcing us to.  But nothing seems to be updating for Windows 7 anymore.  Bastards.  You see, Hubs needs a new computer because his laptop is like 13 years old and we're on tenterhooks wondering whether today is the day it's going to die.  We stopped closing it years ago because the monitor/lid hinge was getting to where it was close to popping off the next time we opened it.  Anyway, I hit Newegg and ordered it up last night - 'puter, monitor, keyboard, mouse.  All for under $200.  Yay.  Yeah, they're refurbs, but I've been working on a refurb for 3 years.   Once Hubs' is in and we're sure it works and junk, we'll order me up a new 'puter, too.  Just the machine - I have a monitor, etc.  Maybe afterwards, we'll be able to load stuff faster than the speed of snail.  Freakin' browser with it's 'we won't update your software anymore you dinosaur' messages.

I know you haven't heard from me in a while.  Work takes pretty much all my brain space these days.  I wish I could talk about it, but there are eyes everywhere.  :waves:  

The kittens are 11 months old now.  Sawyer is my chonky boi, but Finn's no itty-bitty kitty himself.  They're the same length stem to stern.  Sawyer's a bit wider and Finn is smidgen taller.  We'll weigh them at a year.  

Sorry, I had to stop there for a while because Hubs wanted to go over the budget.  End of year, trying to figure out where the money went... Weeee.  We're definitely better off this year than we were last year, and last year was way better than the year before.  Hell, we're out of debt now.  Woohoo.  Say what you will about work, it does the trick, eh?

Speaking of which, I should probably stop here and start moving in a general workly direction.  Have a great day wherever you are.  

Peace out.

*The assholes who make computer software.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Sunday Update - Week Helifino

 I really have a tough time writing anything these days... including a blog post.  So, bear with me.

I finally finished a book yesterday.  It was Silver James' latest - Crossfire - and it was AWESOME.  Her best yet and all the others were awesome, so that's saying something.  Yes, it took me like a month to read it, but that's totally on me.  Reading is like writing for me, in the fact that I've been having a tough time doing it.  I lack focus for anything not work related.  Which kinda sucks.

The other day someone gave me a box of books, too.  And I want to read them, but when I will is anyone's guess.  I have only read 17 books this year.  So much for the goal of reading 50, eh?

Okay, so I lied a little.  My lack of focus is not just work.  It's kitties, too.  These boyz take a lot of attention.  I've had to get up twice now just in the space of typing the above.  Sawyer's always into something, and Finn is often along for the ride, but he's also starting to instigate things himself.  There's the third time... And now Sawyer's in the bathroom because he wouldn't leave stuff alone.


Life is pretty boring out here in the back of beyond.  I work, I eat, I sleep, I attend to kitties (if only to give Hubs a break because he's home with them all day).  Not much else going on.

But I'm not dead, so there's that.  

How life treating you these days?

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

A Few Thoughts for a Nothing Morning

I wonder if the person who coined the term 'windbreaker' for that certain style of jackets giggles every time they hear it.  "farter'... hehehe

For some reason, Sawyer is obsessed with feet.  Socks on, socks off, shoes, no shoes.  He must have the feet.  Finn, on the other hand, is obsessed with used tissues. He couldn't care less about new tissues, but blow your nose in it and set it down... haHA.

I got the Boyz a couple of dog toys - a mallard duck and a raccoon.  The duck was the goal, but I bought the raccoon, so they'd each have a toy to play with.  Nope, they just love the duck.  The first time one of them grabbed it by it's neck and ran through the house with it... achievement unlocked.

By the way, the Boyz have been weighed.  At 8 months old, Sawyer is 11.5 pounds and Finn is 9 pounds even.  Sawyer's my chonky boi.

So, I was laying in bed last night not sleeping and thinking about the demise of my writing.  And wouldn't you know it, the answer of 'where the hell do I go with the next book?' hit me like a bolt out of the blue.  Of course, I am up to my ass in alligators, so finding time to write will be difficult, and I may be burned to a crisp if I try to write while doing everything else, but there it is.  

Speaking of busy, the past couple of days, I've been working 8 hours... with a half hour lunch in the middle... then coming home to do spreadsheets.  And finishing at about 8:30p.  Yeah, add writing to that... :snort:

Oh, and then I play with the kittens before going to bed, because I don't want to neglect the babies.  Poor Hubs.

And that's about it.  Time to call the Michigan office before I have to get ready to go to the Missouri office.  Yay.  

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Thursday This n That

Wow.  It's been over a month since I posted.  

A couple days ago, I got back from a trip to Michigan - not a month worth, only a few days.  It was great seeing Mom and the sibs.  We did nothing but sit around, chat, watch TV, order in... like I said, it was great.  Here's me on my vacay...

Yes, I feel the need to curl my toes.

The Boyz are getting big.  Sawyer is a giant among kittens.  He's my chunky boi.  Just kidding.  He's not fat, he's all muscle.  And Finn's no slouch either.  My super-sleek house panthers.

Speaking of Finn, he's been distracting me from writing this post.  He's such a cuddle bug.

It's been super hot and dry here.  I guess while I was gone, the heat let up a bit, but it's come back in full force.  Blerg.

I was screwing around on Etsy last night and I saw a candle that you can buy in various interesting (good but different) scents - including maple bourbon, pumpkin souffle, and Fruity Pebbles.  The store had all sorts of sayings you could get on the glass the candle comes in.  I liked "I'd shank a bitch in the kidney for you." but I'm demented.

Mom watches a lot of those court shows - Couples Court, Paternity Court, People's Court, Judge Judy - so that was watch I watched while I was there.  It was fun.  Man, people have messed up lives.  

I also noted that up in Liberalia (aka Michigan) the commercials inundate people with social justice messages.  No wonder the populace up there is so messed up. It's a blitzkrieg of brainwashing.  Mom's got pretty good armor - I just feel bad that she has to sit through that crap to get to the shows she wants to watch.  

Yesterday, I was back to work.  Eh, it wasn't that bad.  Only like 26 emails and I had picked a slow time of the month to go anyway, so I wouldn't have to come back to a pile of anything vile.  Yay.  I had warned several of my customers I was leaving, so they wouldn't call to talk to me.  =o)

Speaking of work, I should probably start moving in a workerly direction.  Have a great day, everyone, and don't be such a stranger.  ;o)

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Thursday This n That

I don't post very much anymore because I don't really have much to say.  Work, home, kitties.  The occasional trip to Wallyworld.  This is my life now.

Briefly touching on my old life, I signed up for the Smashwords sale next month.  50% off all my books during July.  (Although, if I read it right, any book that's 99c now will be free.  There are a few of those, so go for it.)

Today is my one-year anniversary of going back to work.  I should get my review today.  I think it'll be a good one.  I've hit my goals, my customers love me, and I take on whatever is thrown at me. If not always with grace than at least with style.

The kittens are slowly settling down.  Well, for varying definitions of 'settling down'.  Sawyer decided it was fun to jump down behind the tall dresser.  Unfortunately, once he was back there he couldn't get back out.  The first time, he accidentally fell back there.  The next several were intentional.  So this morning, I moved the dresser flat against the wall so he can't get back there.  We've moved or hidden so many things now.  Our spare room looks like The Room of Requirement.  I half expect to find a diadem in there.

Finn has become my little cuddle-bug.  He's such a good kitty that he sometimes gets less attention because we're constantly having to deal with Sawyer's antics.  Luckily, he's pretty much happy playing by himself.

We have baby turkeys.  Yay.

And fawns. Yay.

Okay, well, that's about all I've got for this morning.  Have an awesome day out there everyone.