Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 17

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

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

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

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

I fished a little.

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

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

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

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 4/29/17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thursday This and loads of That

Okay, so here's a little glimpse into my week so far...

Monday started out normal enough.  I got up, drank coffee, did internet things, called Mom, and then went fishing.  When I got home, Hubs told me the internet went out at about 9:30am but that he'd already called the ISP about it.  He gave me a break down of how the call went, because it's my job to handle all things tech, and everything was hunky-dory.  Except it wasn't.  Tuesday morning, still no internet.  I called for an update and quickly learned that the guy Hubs had spoken to - the one who said 'technicians are aware of the problem and working to resolve it' - never put in a ticket for our issue.  Okee, fine.  The gal I talked to put in a ticket and said someone would be out at the latest Wednesday morning. 

Ack.  But still.  I was patient.  About 3pm, a tech showed up.  And was totally stumped.  He swapped out our modem.  Nope.  He checked our box at the house.  Nope.  He checked the box at the intersection.  Nope.  He was on the phone with other tech people who were insisting that our DSL was, in fact, up and running.  Except it wasn't.  Back to the box on the house.  Then he disappeared for about a half hour.  When he comes back, he does not look happy.  He informs us that Monday at approx 9:30am, a different tech had come to our neighborhood with a disconnect order for a different address and disconnected our DSL by mistake.  Umm, right. 

So, on the ground tech dude tells us about our new modem - to let it cycle for 30 minutes and then start the configuration process.  Then he leaves.  We let it cycle and begin the process.  And hit a wall.  Something is totally farqued up because it will only let us be online for 5-10 minutes at a time and then we have to reboot the modem again.  I call tech support again.  The dude there runs me through a bunch of stuff, tells me he configured my modem remotely and assures me that I won't have any more problems.  I say thanks and goodbye and hang up.  Less than 2 minutes later, no internet again. 

I am loathe to call again, so I try chatting with support.  It kicks me offline again.

I suck it up and call tech support again.  This time, I get Marie.  Marie runs me through everything again, assures me that it should all be working fine and promises to call me back in a half hour.  We hang up and the damn thing kicks me offline again. 

Thirty minutes goes by with no call and I am kicking myself for being so damn naive.  At 45 minutes, the phone rings and it's Marie!  Yay!  I tell her everything that I observed in the interim and she runs some remote checks on my new modem.  It's a piece of crap.  She offers to send me a new one, but who knows how long that'll take.  I say to her 'I still have the old modem and it was working fine, can we use that one?'  She assured me that we can and we begin the configuration process for that.  But it's not working.  It keeps fucking up and neither of us can figure out WTH is going on.  Then she puts me on hold for a good amount of minutes.  When she comes back, she has an answer.  We walk through everything again, but slightly different this time.  Huzzah and hurray, it's working!  She offers to call back again, but by this time it's after 9pm and I am bushed.  So she gives me some specific verbiage to use if I have to call about this issue again to cut through all the red tape.  Yay.  I am happy.

We go to bed.

At 1:49am, I wake up and open my eyes.  Can't see a goddamn thing.  I mean nothing.  Zip.  And for a half a second I think "OMG, I'm blind" but then common sense kicks in and I realize it's just a power outage.  But I can't go back to sleep.  It's so black it actually hurts my eyes.  Hubs is up, too, so we hang out for a bit, having a smoke and getting out the blackout gear - LED lantern, flashlights, etc.  Finally, we go back to bed, using my Kindle as a nightlight.  Still had a hard time falling asleep, but at least the blackness wasn't crushing.

Wake up at 5:30. Still no power.  Hubs eventually makes me some coffee using the grill.  I call the electric company and get an automated message that they know we're without power.  Okee, fine.  We listen to the radio.  No news of this.  Eventually, I realize that the power company must have a pretty huge outage if their initial greeting informs customers they know we're without power.  I go back to bed, because duh.  Hubs falls asleep in the chair.  About 10, we wake up and decide to go out into the world in search of power and food.

The gas station about 5 miles east is powerless, too, so we head north, assuming that the power company's range only extends a little ways into MO.  About halfway to town, we notice lights on homes, so we're feeling pretty good.  We got to town, ate breakfast at the new restaurant, and headed home.  On  the way home, we're seeing lights on closer houses now.  The gas station is back up.  the street light there is one, too, so we're thinking 'Yay!'

Then we get home and we still have no power.  But now we also have no phones.  I look at Hubs and tell him I'm going back to bed because duh, and he agrees.  I wake up about 2pm and wander into the living room, snatch my cellphone, and try calling out.  I picked Mom, because who else would I want to take to?  Huzzah, the phone lines are open.  We talk for a while and then I remember that I was going to try the electric company again.

Finally I get through to the electric company.  The gal there tells me that they have all the crews out, plus other crews from other places, but like 40 poles are down and that doesn't include places where the poles are up but the lines are down, so they're hoping to get us power again by Thursday night.  But it might not be until Friday.  Not happy news. 

Hubs wakes up.  I tell him the not happy news.  And we begin cataloguing our resources and determining whether we need to go to a motel for the night.  In the end, we decide to weather it out.  We have enough water for flushing toilets and washing hands and brushing teeth.  We have outlets to get more water if need be.  And the frozen stuff is still mostly frozen.  We plan a big barbeque for Thursday to take care of thawed meats.  We eat the ice cream because duh.

I'm out in the back having a smoke about 4:15pm while Hubs is outside feeding the wildlife.  He comes back inside and I hear him shout, but I don't make out what he said.  He shouts again 'look at the clock', and sure enough, the clock is flashing!  We have power!  Life is good.

I'm afraid to look at the modem.  Hubs eventually does and sure enough, we have internet, too.  We were so happy!

The end.

If you've stayed with me this far, I just want to thank the hard working people at Carroll Electric for under-promising and over-delivering on getting us back to civilization. And a huge thanks to Marie at CenturyLink for proving there are still capable people in the world who care about their work.  Marie spent over 90 minutes on the phone with me when she could've foisted me off on someone else, and she did it all with poise and grace.  I'd also like to slap a certain unnamed tech in the back of the head and give a certain lying support dude a poke in the eye.  But it's all good now.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 16

It's that time again. 

I really don't have anything to update in the way of writing or writerly things.  I haven't touched WHTF.  I haven't done any marketing for NC.  I'm not even thinking about EG or any of the other books waiting to be written/finished.  Bleh.

I read one book - The Thirteenth Man by JL Doty.  It was epic, so it took a while, even though I couldn't put it down.  I'm in the process of re-reading Calumet K by Samuel Merwin and Henry Webster now.  I read it years ago.  It's a pretty awesome book with a very simple premise.

I went fishing a few times.  Then the rain hit and the temps dropped.

The rain... Man, it rained a lot.  I'm not sure how many inches total we got, but the lake level is up 5 feet from Friday morning and the Army Corp of Engineers is dumping water out the other end.

Most of the week was consumed with worrying about the cat.  Kira wasn't peeing the way she usually does.  Monday afternoon, she was meowing and spending a lot of time going in-n-out of the litterbox with nothing to show for it.  Tuesday morning, she was fine.  Tuesday afternoon, she was doing the thing again, so I called to get her in to the vet.  Wednesday morning, she was fine, so I cancelled.  She was fine again until Friday morning when I had no choice but to drive her to the vet in the pouring rain.  We didn't have an appointment, so I had to leave her all day and they'd get to her between appointments and emergencies.  They finally called about 3pm and said I could pick her up at 4:30.  Got there, and they were still running tests.  The blood work came out fine, but she does have a urinary tract infection.  Antibiotics for 7 days and an anti-inflammatory to keep her comfortable.  Yes, I should've just ignored her 'getting better' on Wednesday and taken her in.  Live and learn.  She'll really get better now.  As a preventive for the future, she's getting more wet food and some urinary tract formula dry food (if she ever decides to eat it).  If nothing else, we learned that despite her being overweight (14.6 lbs) and almost 14 years old, all her organs are in perfect working order.  She's fat and lazy, but she's healthy.  Or will be once we get this UTI kicked.

That's it for me.  What have you been up to lately?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 4/22/17

Hello again and welcome to the fishing report for less than competent anglers...

Easter Sunday - Yes, I went fishing on Easter.  We ate early and then it was just another day here, so I went to my go-to spot.  Anyway, the place was way busier than I thought it would be.  When I first arrived, some dude was hitting golf balls into the creek while his two small children stood at the edge of the parking area.  Then, once his friends had their boat ready, off they all went.  I took my gear and went to some ledges overlooking the river.  The bluegills were voracious little worm stealing bastards.  I caught 4 of them using just shy of a dozen worms.

Toward the end of my fishing excursion, a teenage boy on a wave runner decided he was going to sit in the river across from where I was fishing and fuck around.  He did donuts.  He waited for boats to come by so he could jump their wakes.  He was generally making an ass of himself.  Then he got bored and started trying to run over the Canada geese.  I was so pissed, but ultimately impotent.  Lucky for the geese, they're smarter and faster than that little shit, so no one got injured.

Monday - There was nothing on TV and I didn't feel like doing anything, so I went fishing.  Got out to the lake about 3pm and went to the park first.  Caught two bluegills about 6 or 7", but I was on a west facing shore and it was getting hot there, so I moved to the other side of the park where there was shade.  Nada.  Soooo, I moved to my go-to spot.  Got there about 5:30pm and cast out toward the point of where the creek meets the river.  Not long after I caught an 11" spotted bass.  Cast out again and almost landed a larger spotted bass (maybe 13"), but it got off about a foot from shore.  My fault for trying to horse it.  Then the bites there stopped, so I moved to somewhere I could sit and the bluegills were tearing me up.  Caught one of those *about 6"), but the rest were too wily. Left there about 7pm.

I found a lure on the east side of the park.  A little baby shad rattletrap.  I thought I'd try it when I got to the go-to spot.  Cast out, reeling slow, but nothing was interested, so I reeled in fast.  Just as I  got it almost to the ledge where I was standing, a big hog of a bass swooped out from the depths by the ledges headed for the lure.  It turned away at the last minute and I couldn't get him interested again.  That's the closest I've come to catching anything with a lure.  Ever.

Thursday - I went out in the morning, but I had some errands to run before I went fishing.  Then I got chatting with a friend of mine and never did get to the lake.  Lucky for me, it was still pretty good fishing weather in the afternoon - rainy, cloudy, warm.  And I managed to get Hubs out with me, so it was even better.  We got out about 4pm.  First thing, he gets a 10-11" spotted bass.  I moved over near him and was catching bluegills.  One time I was reeling in to check whether the bluegills had stolen my worm and two big spots followed my bait in.  Another time, I caught a 6" bluegill and when I threw it back in the water, a big bass came out from under the rock and tried to eat it.  So, I convinced Hubs to put a lure on and try that spot.  Nothing.  I put a fake fish on and tried.  Nothing.  Back to worms.  Caught an 8" bluegill, but threw him back because I didn't feel like cleaning gills.  A little while after that, caught another bluegill, threw it back, and damned if that big bass didn't try to eat it, too.  The whole time, I was seeing that damned spotted bass swimming back and forth in front of me, about 3-4' from shore and less than that deep.  Rude.  We left about 6:15pm and I told that fish I'd get him next time.  ;o)

That was it for me for the week.  We'll see what the next week brings.  

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Thursday This n That

I did not win the $234K in last night's drawing.  Not a single freakin' number.  No one won, though, so it's up to $267K.  But since I have nowhere to go today, I won't be buying more tickets.

Out of 9 hollyhock bulbs I planted, 7 are poking their leaves through the soil now.  Not sure if the last two are duds or if they're just shy.

The big poison ivy patch on the neighboring property decided to make a foray into our yard this year.  I made a foray of my own onto the other property and sprayed holy-hell out of the closer patch, then worked my way back, spraying the ever-lovin' shit out of any poison ivy I saw.  As of this morning, it was all wilting nicely.  If it bounces back, I bought more herbicide specifically designed for PI (regular herbicide doesn't work).  But I'm not worried.  I've killed all the PI in the yard and near the yard over the past 4 years, I'll kill this, too.

Like 15% of people are immune to poison ivy.  I am one of them.  Hubs is hyper sensitive to it.  So, I am determined to kill all of that shit and keep him from going through that.

A person can lose their immunity.  We'll see in the next few days whether my immunity still holds.  If not, I might have itchy ankles.  I tried really hard not to touch any of the stuff, but it's possible I might've brushed against stuff with my bare ankles.  Fingers crossed.

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

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Every year about this time, we get one hen turkey who didn't join in the breeding festivities.  We have no way of knowing if it's the same turkey or a different turkey every year.  Since there really isn't much of a chance of distinguishing one turkey from the next, we simply call any hen we see by itself LT.  (Lone Turkey.)

Natural imperative being what it is, the big tom turkey - we call him Hans - doesn't recognize that she isn't interested.  All he knows is he didn't breed with her yet.  So, she'll be standing there eating corn and up he'll come on the trails through the woods.  He gobbles at her.  She ignores him.  He pumps himself up.  She ignores him.

Eventually either he gives up and goes away, or she gets sick of his antics and leaves.  Somewhere down the road, he learns his lesson and gives up entirely, leaving her to eat in peace for the remainder of the season.  Or until the hens currently absent because they're sitting nests return to the corn.  Then she has friends again.

Or she doesn't.  It's just as likely for her to eschew the companionship of the other hens, too.  She's her own bird, after all.

Personally, I like her.  Out there in the woods, doing her own thing.  Kinda like me*.  LOL

*Except I have my tom, and we both do our own thing.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 15

First, I hope y'all either had or are continuing to have a Happy Easter - whether you celebrate it or not.  Mine's pretty much over - we ate muchly of the ham and that's about it - so time to get back to regularly scheduled programming.


I took last week off for the most part.  With Natural Causes released and everything, and WHTF not due anywhere any time soon, I did next to nothing in the work department.  Oh, I did some marketing because AD was on sale.  (Still is through tonight.)  And I did some marketing because NC is a new release.  But not much.

Anyway, Friday I did work on some WHTF edit notes.  Then I got tired and went to bed.  One page of those checked off.

Did a bit of fishing.

Got quite a bit of reading done.  Looking back, I finished 5 books last week.  Make Them Pay by Allison Brennan, Good Bad and Sexy by Jennifer Lyon, Dead Before Dying by Kerry Schafer, The Delta Factor by Mickey Spillane, and Call of Duty by Louis Scott.  Only Louis Scott was new to me.  I'm now one book ahead of schedule on Goodreads.  We'll see how long that lasts.

Everything is doing its thing in the gardens.  Blooming: Irises, Dutch Irises, Azaleas, Bugle Weed, Roses, lily-of-the-valley, marigolds, snapdragons.  Soon to bloom: peonies, columbine, more roses, hydrangea, more irises.  Everything has leaves now.  My new hollyhocks are finally starting to poke up through the ground.  The new bulbs are still shy.  The new lavender?  It's hard to tell whether that's doing anything.

We have a new bunny in the yard.  BunBun2.  Although, there might be two of the bunbuns.  It's hard to tell, but I think the one we saw in the front yard is not the same one who came up on our porch.

That's it for me.  How's about you?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 4/15/17

Hello again and welcome to the fishing report for less than competent anglers.

Sunday - Got out early and hit the lake about 7am.  I went to a cove I know of with loads of standing timber, off a feeder creek to the main lake.  Caught one 12" spotted bass.  Then I got hung up.  I broke the line and the bobber just bobbed there, still attached to the rig.  Too far to reach.  I went back to the tackle box to re-rig and out of the corner of my eye, I see the bobber disappear then a couple seconds later, it pops back up.  Damn it.  So, I finish rerigging and start fishing again, but that damn bobber was driving me nuts.  I took my worm rig off and put a lure on.  First cast, I snagged the line with the irritating bobber.  The whole thing reeled right in, easy as pie.  No worm, of course.  I guess whatever took the bobber down unsnagged the rig for me.  Not long after, the wind picked up, so I moved.  Didn't catch a ding-dang thing over there, so I went home.

Between one spot and the other, I stopped by the bait shop.  Since I was there, I thought I'd ask the gal if I could use her bathroom and save myself the extra trip into the park.  She told me I could and where to find it.  As I was headed into the deep dark recesses of the bait shop, I noticed a big sign - No Public Restroom.  After I finished, I thanked her for bending her rules for me.  And she told me why she put up the sign.  A while back, she used to let everyone use her bathroom.  Then some people in a brand new red pickup truck (she stressed the 'brand new red' part) used her facilities with their children.  After they left, the bathroom was trashed.  (I won't go into details like she did. Suffice it to say, they were disgusting.)  Now, only people she really knows - frequent flyers like me - get to use the bathroom.  Why people have to do stuff like what those folks did escapes me. Pigs.  I told the gal, 'if I trashed your bathroom, I'd never be able to come in here again', she said 'you could still come in here, I just wouldn't let you use my bathroom', and I said, 'No.  I'd be too ashamed of myself to ever come back'.  Not sure if those people ever came back.   Probably not, because she would've given them an earful and made them ashamed, if they weren't already.  Sheesh.

Monday - Went to the go-to spot because I was feeling lazy.  Caught two bluegills - a 6" and a 4".

Tuesday - Tried a place I haven't been to in months.  The ledges I had fished from are underwater now.  But I did have some luck at a place where I'd caught bass before.  12.5" spotted bass.  Then nature called and I went to the park.  No luck there at all.  Too much crap in the water still.  I did manage to land a 2' circular piece of black plastic there, though.  Like a garbage can lid, but not.  Man, that sucker fought hard.  It was like landing a sea turtle.  But I did get it out of the water and managed to frisbee it up to where the park cleaners will find it.  And if it's still there when I have a big garbage bag with me, I'll get it myself.

Friday - Back to the Tuesday location.  The water's even higher.  I started out about quarter to 8am.  Fished deep.  Fished shallow.  Threw out as far as I could.  Walked up and down the ledges.  Went down the beach a pace or two.  Nothing.  Back to the ledges, as deep as I could set the bobber and as close as I could safely let it float without it getting hung up on the rocks.  Got a nibble, set the hook, and danged if it didn't feel like I was hung up under that damn rock it was near, so I jerked a little.  And then the fight was on.  That bass must've taken the worm and then sheltered behind that rock until I jerked him loose.  When I landed him, he was a spotted bass measuring in at 14".  Same spot about 10 minutes later, I set the hook which promptly curled my line around the end of the pole.  Made reeling fun, but I was still pretty sure I had something on.  I did.  3.5-4" green sunfish.  I would've used him as bait, but he was too damn pretty.  The biting stopped right there, so I moved farther down the ledges.  About 3-4' off a big submerged rock, I got nailed.  Landed an 8" bluegill.  Nothing else, but that one fish joined the other 3 I'd caught previously for a Friday night fish fry.

That's all for me this past week.  I hope you enjoyed reading about the exploits.  Until next week.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Thursday This n That

I haven't been to a McDonald's in ages.  Until yesterday.  Thus, it was the first time I'd seen the updated nutrition crap.  Next to each menu item is the caloric content of said item.  As if seeing how many calories a cheeseburger is would stop me somehow from placing an order for one.  I got two and a medium chocolate shake.  Ate the burgers in the car between errands and washed them down with the shake.  As an aside, why is McDonald's now putting whipped cream and a cherry on their shakes?  It's a drink, not dessert. Sheesh.

Which reminds me.  In Utah, shakes are super thick, so you can't drink them.  Really inconvenient for drive-thru when they hand you a shake and a spoon.  "What the hell am I supposed to do with this??  If I'd wanted a Frosty, I'd have gone to Wendy's."  Which explains why they looked at me weird the first time I ordered a shake and asked for a straw because they forgot to provide me one.

Yesterday was a road trip day.  I had to get the car's tags renewed.  Half hour up to the county seat.  But first, I had to get my car's safety inspection renewed.  But first, I had to dig up my personal property tax receipts from the last two years.  Slid all that into a file along with my insurance card and off I went.  My usual inspection site only has one certified inspector, and he was out sick.  It's not rocket surgery, but it has to be done by a certified inspector.  (The inspection consists of making sure all the lights work - headlights, turn signals, flashers, reverse lights. And that the horn beeps.  That's it.)  So, I go home.  Find another certified inspector and off I go again.  Get that done.  Head up to 'town' wherein I have to wait for a half hour for someone certified to flash all my lights.  The whole time I'm in the waiting room with a woman who can't stop jujetding.  Juh-je-ding?  Anyway, bouncing her knee up and done.  Which wouldn't have been bad but she was obese and the floor was less than stable and she was shaking the chairs.  Then she started tapping her ring against the metal of her cane.  Tap tap tap, tap tap tap... all the while creating a 4.5 earthquake.  I was seasick and on my last nerve.  I went out for a cigarette.  The other inmate of the insane asylum went out for a smoke, too, and we have a lovely chat.  But by then I was getting hangry.  Hence, McD's.  The DMV actually only took like 5 minutes, which was awesome.  The actual driving was smooth and uneventful.  My side-trip to buy cigarettes also quick.  I got home an hour earlier than Hubs expected me.  And I was still ranting about the juhjeder. 

Don't worry, Hubs didn't know what a juhjeder was either.  It's just a term we've always used in my family to refer to people who bounce their knees.  It's a sin in my house.  And Hubs had never encountered the word because it was bred out of me to do it, and I bred it out of the Kid.  Knee bouncers... the bane of my mother's - and therefore my - existence. 

Maybe not having been around a juhjeder in over a decade made me particular sensitive to it.  That's about the closest I've come to wanting to exercise some of my fictional serial killing skills in years.  Argh.

On a happier note, we have a bunny visiting the yard again.  The first bunny since last year's vehicular homicide of Bun Bun.  I have, of course, named this one Bun Bun.  If it works, why mess with it, eh?

On another happy note, I finally figured out what bird has been eluding my identification of its song for the last 4 years.  It's a white-throated sparrow.  I identified them visually years ago.  I just had never put the song together with the bird.  Finally, I heard the song and saw the bird making it.  I was inordinately happy about that. 

This is probably why a friend got me a shirt that says BIRD NERD.

What's on your this n that skinny today?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Nature is Noisy

Sorry I didn't post this earlier.  Totally slipped my mind.  You see, I got a whole night's sleep without being awakened by raccoons for a change and it threw me off. 

"Raccoons?" you ask.  Umm, yeah.  Raccoons are not always the friendly-looking, forest bandits chittering away like funny little people.  Sometimes they shriek at each other.  When they're fighting.  When they're staking territory.  When they're laying claim to a mate.  It ain't sweet.  They're kinda vicious.  And since they do the majority of their lives' activities at night, they've been playing raccoon games after we've gone to bed. 

You see, in case you missed it, I live in the woods.  Well, I have woods on two sides, a vacant field with trees on another and the treed front yard.  Woods = critters. 

The first week we were here, something startled a wren at 2am and it started singing.  If you don't know Carolina wrens, they are incredibly loud little birds.  Anyway, it startled us both out of a sound sleep.  Also, at first, the morning symphony of birdsong was deafening.  And this for two people who lived a block from the train tracks in the little city where we had been ensconced. 

And then there were the coyotes.  Eerie sounding buggers. Sometimes far off.  Sometimes in our back yard.  (Or at least they sound like they're in the back yard.)

And owls.  We have barred owls and great horned owls here.  We had GHO back in Colorado, but these are closer and more frequent.  Big bunch of hootin' goin' on.

We got used to the trains.  We got used to the birds.  We got used to the owls, but that was easy.  We even got used to the coyotes.  We'll get used to the raccoons, too.  Not sure why those devils waited 4 years to get comfortable enough to party in our yard, but they're here.  Oh, we've seen them before.  They like to eat the deer corn after lights out.  But this is the first year they've been noisy about it.

Nature is noisy.  Still, I'd rather have all the nature noises.  The spring peepers are awake, so add frogs to the list.  And cicadas.  It's an entire orchestra of sound out here in the middle of nowhere, and so much nicer to my ears than cars and trains and the backbeat of some moron's car stereo at three in the morning.  But I got used to those, too. 

Now, I just have to find a way to sleep through 'Springtime for Raccoons'.  ;o)

What's noisy where you are? 

New Release and a Sale!

If you've already seen this over on Outside the Box, I apologize.  But I wanted to make sure the people who follow me here and not there got a chance to see this...

The long awaited sequel to Accidental Death has finally arrived.  (Well, I was waiting for it for a long time anyway.)  Natural Causes is now live across the board on Amazon (check your local listings or go here for English speaking Amazon affiliate countries).

To celebrate, I made Accidental Death a Kindle Countdown Deal.  It's available now thru Saturday for the low low price of 99c (or .99p in the UK).

And, as always, my books are all available for the Kindle Unlimited program which means they're free for subscribers (well, free after you pay you subscription fee, of course).

You don't need to read Accidental Death to understand what's going on in Natural Causes but, naturally, it helps.  See where I started Dennis's story, how he met Jillian, and the reason Dennis has got some baggage this time around.

Loads of fun for everyone.  Enjoy!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 14

This is the week that was...

I spent most of last week finishing up editing, then proofreading, then formatting Natural Causes.  I uploaded it to Amazon Friday evening and it was live by the time I went to bed.  Then I was so tired, I basically did a 'it's live' post because I couldn't muster the energy to really woohoo about it.  And it's my eighth book, so the shine has kind of gone off the apple.  Okay, that's not it.  But anyway, it's live and I hope y'all enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.  I really do love Dennis and Jillian, and their supporting cast.  I'm just drained.

What else...  I read some stuff.  The Bridge Over the River Kwai, which kind of wasn't nearly as good as the movie.  Then I read a super cute mystery called In For a Penny, which is the first book in the Granny series, if that tells you anything.  Old lady sleuths crack me up.

I went fishing a couple times to give myself brain breaks from the pre-publication insanity.

I did some yard work.  Planted stuff.  Weeded stuff.  Moved stuff.  Crap, I just remembered that i forgot to water the gardens last night.  Derp.  Anyway, everything's looking good.  Unless I keep forgetting to water it. 

I hid while the electric company came by and butchered err trimmed the trees away from the power lines.  They actually did less of a hack job in my yard than other places I've seen, probably because the first time they stopped I spoke with them, and then the morning before the whacking they stopped again and Hubs spoke with them.  They were very careful of my black cherry tree, but that poor elm.  We're hoping it survives.  It had to be done.  Limbs and electric lines are a hazardous mix. 

That's it for me.  What's up with you?

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 4/8/17

Welcome once again to the fishing report for less than competent anglers.  Not much to report as I was up to my armpits in my real job - writing.

Monday was the first time I got out to fish this past week.  Big, dark clouds with some wind and mid-60s, so the expectations were high.  I must've been wearing a sign that said 'stop and talk to me' because I wasn't out 10 minutes when an older gentleman stopped and asked me how the fishing was.  An hour later a guy about my age stopped his car and told me I was fishing in the wrong spot.  The fish were to the left of the boat ramp.  He caught a bunch of big bass there the day before, it seems.  I went over there eventually, but the wind had blown up so bad, I couldn't stand it for long.  Not a bite.  Went back to the wrong spot and caught a half dozen 5-6" bluegills.  Moved slightly and caught a 7" bluegill.  The water was still really muddy with loads of crap floating by.  I saw a lot of bass jumping, but none of them wanted to get on my hook.  Oh well.

Thursday - I finally got back out again.  The first location I tried was a bust - in both spots.  One spot was on the east side of a point with ledges.  Nope.  Then I moved over to the west side in a cove, but the wind was blowing hard enough I couldn't get a good cast.  And no bites.  I moved to the go-to locale.  Caught 1 bass and 6-7 bluegills in about 2 hours.  The water was still muddy as all get out and they were all biting within 8' of shore, about 6' down.  I was still fighting the wind, but it was working for me.  I think the bass was a spotted bass.  About 12".  I say 'think' because it had no markings at all.  Solid green.  I had to go by the mouth size and shape.  Too big a mouth to be a small mouth and it wasn't big enough to be a largemouth, so I'm going with spotted.  The bluegills were all in the 5-6" range. 

We're sliding around to 'summer' fishing here - which means the weather is nice enough for people to flock to the lake on the weekends, and since I don't want to be around tons of people, I'll probably start sticking to weekdays and mornings.  It also means, I guess, that I'll be catching more bluegills again.  I'm fine with that.  They're good eating.  When they're big enough to bother with.  Over 7", but I prefer over 8" for filleting.  And we have plenty of those in the lake, so I'm good.

That's it for me.  Have a great coming week and enjoy the outdoors if you get a chance.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Thursday This n That

I've had my head up my editing / formatting / publishing this week.  My eyes are grainy.  My brain is short-circuited.  My ass is flat.  But I'm nearly done. 

The other day at the lake, I got to watch an immature eagle attempting to catch fish.  It missed both times, but I suspect with all the crud in the water, it may not have been going after an actual fish anyway.  Then it flew away.  Pretty neat to watch, though.

Crud in the water...  It's rained A LOT here lately. Which has washed branches, limbs, logs, leaves, twigs, sticks, etc. into the water.  The water is very brown with all the mud.  There's some garbage, too, but not a huge bunch.  I tried to get a big, pink, plastic funnel out, but it was too far away and I couldn't hook it with my rig.  I also saw what I thought was a Folgers red coffee container floating down the river, but I couldn't reach it either.  I got a beer can and two Styrofoam cups out, though.

Speaking of rained a lot, the lake is up about 6 feet from its lowest point this year.  Still about 3 feet below 'normal pool'. 

That's all I got, unless I delve into things that piss me off and there just isn't enough coffee in me to face that crap yet.  What have you got for me?

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Flowers Flowers Everywhere

I enjoy planting things.  Flowering things mostly.  Food plants and I don't mesh.  These days house plants and I don't mesh well either, but I have a dim house with very little direct sunlight.  (Part and parcel of living in the woods.)

In past years, I have planted mums, peonies, columbines, bugle weed, astilbe, lily of the valley, sedums, and a hydrangea on this property.  We already had a lilac, a crepe myrtle, azaleas, roses, and irises here - and I've moved all but the roses to better locations and the roses I replanted in the same bed. 

I also planted cone flowers and a forsythia, but they died.  =o\

Something strange hit my mums last year and the majority of those died as well.  But I still have a few, including one of the original four yellow mums I bought the first year we were here. 

Every year I plant marigolds.  I love marigolds.  And I usually get some snapdragons for the front blocks at the end of the driveway.  And the wildflower seeds I scattered in the cedar bed are coming up year after year, so that's good.  I like it best when I don't have to futz with stuff too much.

This year, I also planted lavender, hollyhocks, butterfly bushes, and a mixed bag of mystery bulbs.  They're all in the two full sun areas.  Keep your fingers crossed for me that they all survive. 

Already, my roses, azaleas, lilacs, and irises have buds or blooms.  My azaleas are freaking out with buds - if not leaves.  (Poor things.  I can't figure out why they have so few leaves.)

Anywhere, I hope to have flowers everywhere throughout the growing season.  Now to when the snow flies this fall.  :fingers crossed:

What kinds of flowers do you like?  Do you enjoy gardening?

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 13

Last week was the 13th week of the year, and it held the 13th anniversary of the day Hubs and I met in person.  Lucky 13.

Anyway, the week that was...

I got Natural Causes' final edits back from AWE on Thursday.  Worked a little bit on them then.  Ended up taking Friday off.  Worked my buns off last night and am at pg 150 out of 247.  I should be able to get that done today.

Before that, I got some work done on Wish Hits the Fan.  Then I made the executive decision to put WHTF on hold until after the publication of NC.

Yesterday, I also did what I should've done two years ago and made a formatting checklist, so all the steps to formatting a book for publication are written down.  Thus far I've been trusting my memory - a sketchy plan at best.  I'll talk more about the checklist tomorrow on Outside the Box.

Other things... I created a bookmark showing all 8 books...

and re-did my FB banner...
And I added Natural Causes to all my blogs' right hand bars and put Natural Causes on my Mystery page at Outside the Box.

I read two books last week!  Silver James' Seal Moon and Jennifer Lyon's Sex on the Beach Book Club.  Both amazing.  Then I started The Bridge on the River Kwai for a bit of a change.  So far, so good.

I did some fishing.  And some yard work.  And some cleaning.  And some personal stuff as we had a death in the family and I volunteered to do all the flower ordering for the immediate family.  1-800-FLOWERS came through.  And from what I've heard via Mom, everything looked really nice.  Whew.  I'm always unsure how ordering flowers is going to go.  Images of dead or bedraggled flowers dance through my head until someone confirms otherwise.

This week?  Getting ready for publication.  Barring natural disaster, this will definitely be out before the 13th.  Once I have it out and have a buy link, I'll let you all now.  And once I have the link to put in the back matter for Accidental Death, I'll be putting that on some kind of sale.  (Sale or free... Hmm.  Wait and see*.)

Okay, that's it for me.  What's up with you?

* I'm a poet and I know it, cuz my feet sure show it.  They're Longfellows.  ;o)

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 4/1/17

It's April Fool's Day, but I don't celebrate that, so this is an actual fishing report...

Sunday - On the river at my go-to spot.  Man, was the water muddy from Thursday night's 2.4" of rain.  Full of crap - sticks, twigs, logs, leaves, garbage.  My sittin' spots are slowly disappearing beneath the water again.  :shrug:  Screwed around with worms, trying not to snag underwater detritus.  Finally started getting bites at a little cove off the river.  Landed one red-ear sunfish.  8.25".  Waited another hour, but didn't get anything else.  Which is too bad.  I love eating red-ear sunfish.

Tuesday - Hubs and I went out in the afternoon.  And it had come up even further.  We started out at the go-to spot, but weren't catching diddly-squat.  Then we went to the park - because bathrooms - and settled in on the chunk rock bank of a feeder creek to the main lake.  Hubs was trying out different lures and I was using worms.  Got some hits in one spot, but not sealing the deal.  Moved to a spot where I could sit down and just ignored the bobber for a while.  Until it slowly sank into the water.  Set the hook and the fight was on.  I'm yelling 'got something big on' and Hubs, being the gentleman he is, reeled in and headed my way.  I landed it without a net (which was good because we didn't have one with us.)  Walleye.  16".  Nice fat, healthy little cigar there.  Two inches too short, but that's okay.  Except he was it for there.  So we moved back to the go-to spot.  Nada until I let the worm drift closer to shore.  Wham.  5-6" bluegill.  First time I ever saw a bluegill jump out of the water.  Must've been doing his bass imitation.

Wednesday - Bad weather predicted for the afternoon, so I went out in the morning.  Got to the park with the ledges about 8am.  It was nice and cloudy with a little breeze and in the upper 40s.  About an hour went by and I was just getting into some nice bites when it started to sprinkle.  No biggie.  Then in the distance, I saw lightning.  I waited.  It took a good long time for the thunder to reach me, so I figured I was good for a few more casts.  Then it started to sprinkle harder, so I reeled in and started to pack up.  I heard the rain coming at me from across the lake so I packed faster, but not fast enough.  It was like some upended a bucket.  I scurried toward the treeline and beat feet up the hill toward my car.  The trees helped a little, but I was soaked by the time I got my stuff into the car and hopped into the driver's seat.  Soaked and totally out of breath.  I've gotten to where the hill isn't a big deal anymore if I take it slow.  Quick timing it?  Not so much.  And, of course, the weather subsided and we never did get the bad weather in the afternoon.  Bleh.  

Friday - Started out about 8:30am.  Went to a place I know of - a cove off a feeder creek to the main lake -- one with loads of dead trees.  A bit nippy at only 48F, but I was layered.   I mainly went there to see how the rising lake level had affected my fishing spot there.  Yah, I'm down to about 10 foot left of bank.  Another inch or two of rain and the shore will be impassable by foot again.  Bummer.  Anyway, I tried a bunch of different things, but only got bites on worms.  Caught a 13" spotted bass.  Then nature was calling, so I went to the park where they have restrooms.  Fished for a while there off the ledges on the main lake, but the water was so full of crap I was spending more time pulling leaves off my rig than fishing and nothing was biting for me.  (Two guys on a boat nearby were catching, but nothing big.)  Then I went to the place I caught the walleye on Tuesday.  Nada.  By then I was tired and my back was acting up from the lack of seating, so I went home.

That's it for me.  Here's hoping for a good next week.  I have some actual writing work to get done so I can publish my next book by the 13th, so it might be slim.  I still plan on getting out in the outdoors, though, so we'll see.  Have a great week and spend some time outside yourselves.  It'll do you a world of good.  ;o)