Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 52

It's the last day of the year.  Time for the last Sunday Update.

I was supposed to get Blink of an I back to my editor today.  Umm... Yeah, that was perhaps a bit optimistic on my part.  This thing is a hot mess and I really need to write her an apology letter for the crap she had to wade through.  I usually have a manuscript in better condition before I turn it over to her.  I made it to page 116 of my power scrub last night - after working pretty much off and on all day.  That was 39 pages worth.  Only 207 pages left to go.  If I do 35 pages a day, that's about 6 days worth of work still left to go.  So, Friday?  Maybe?  If I get it to her then, and if there aren't any more issues that take for-freakin-ever, then I should still be able to get this out in February, though.  Later in the month than I anticipated, but I only promised readers February, not a firm day inside the month.

I made my reading goal for the year.  90 books.  Then I started Shogun by James Clavell.  That'll take me a while, for sure.  I'm about 40 pages in and it's pretty good so far.  Definitely holding my interest.  Oh, and in case you missed it, I did a wrap up of my reading year on Friday.

No fishing last week.  It's too friggin' cold.

Christmas was nice.  Quiet.  Just Hubs and I and phone to and from family.  We had surf and turf for dinner.  Hubs grilled the steak and I pan-fried the scallops and shrimp.  Forgot that I had cheesy biscuits to make with it, though.  All we ate for dinner was the meat. I also did a deconstructed black forest cake - there's the cake, there's the bowl with the cherry pie filling, there's the bowl of whipped cream, build it yourself.  We have enough leftover for tonight.

I got a nice picture of Oliver this week.  He's our orphaned yearling buck who was of great concern last spring.  He's all fat and sassy now.  You can't even tell he was stick-thin and worrisome.
I can't tell which of the does is his twin sister, Annie, anymore.  She's also lost her waif look and blends in with the other girls.  =o)

It's snowing this morning.  (Although the National Weather Service says it's raining when it's only 14F.  :shrug:)  This will be like our 3rd snow of 2017 and this, like the others, will only be a dusting.

Other than that, all's well here in Sandersonland.  How are things with you?

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 12/30/17 & Wrap Up

Welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report - the last one of the year and a bit of a wrap up.

It was COLD this past week.  Which, naturally, drives fish to deeper water and drives me to want to stay home under a big blanket, drinking cocoa and reading books.  Needless to say, I did so and didn't drown a single worm last week.  Hubs read a fishing report earlier this morning from a dude who was way more committed to fishing than I am.  The air temp was 17F and the water was 45F.  :shiver:  He caught some fish deep.  :shrug:

2017 was an interesting year for fishing.  When we started the year, the water level was way low - like 906'.  It gave me all sorts of new places to fish and plenty of exercise walking around carrying my gear.  Then in April, it started to rain.  The lake was up to 918' by the time we got the deluge at the end of the month that ended up raising the lake to 934'.  That seriously curtailed my fishing spots, lemme tell ya.

Once I finally moved enough flotsam out of the parking lot at my go-to spot, it was all good.  Spring fishing in the parking lot netted me plenty of hefty bass.  I had to let them all go because they were fat with eggs, but it was still a lot of fun.

In July, they finally opened the park again.  Which was awesome.  Except the people they'd hired to host the park were total numbnuts.  Because of this, I spent most of my time at my go-to spot.  I catch more fish there anyway. So there.  I was really looking forward to the hosts leaving in October, and it was nice after they were gone.  For a bit.  They closed the park again at the end of November.  Stupidheads.

So, here we are in December.  The lake level is back down to like 910' and a lot of spots are opening up to me.  Except it's freakin' cold.  They aren't predicting a boatload of rain for January, so maybe by the time I get out fishing, my good sitting and standing spots will all be dry.  :fingers crossed:

Anyway, I caught my first catfish this year.  And my first sucker.  I also caught my first fish on a lure this year.  It was awesome, even if I didn't accomplish that goal until December.  I'll probably still mostly worm fish because there's less work involved and I am, by nature, lazy.  Unless the fish are biting good on lures and I'm up to the standing/casting/reeling.

Oh, and I caught one little unknown fish.  It might've been a darter or a chub of some kind.  If it hadn't slipped out of my hand so quickly I might've had a better chance of identifying it.

Not sure what the coming year will bring, but I'm ready for it.  As soon as the weather warms up to better than 'freeze your ass off and get frostbite on your feet' levels, I'll be out again.  Until then, find some time to enjoy the outdoors - even if you have to do it from inside.  ;o)

Friday, December 29, 2017

2017 Reading Wrap Up

As the year slowly swings to a close, I thought I'd do a wrap-up on what I've read this year. 

I started the year with a goal of reading 70 books in 2017.  Then I adjusted that to 80 books, which wasn't enough because I had to adjust it again to 90 books.  And I'll hit that goal tonight or tomorrow.  (I'm about halfway through on a paranormal romance and those never take me too awfully long.)

Of those 90 books, here's the general breakdown...

Mystery - 25
Paranormal (Romance/Suspense/Mystery/YA) - 17
Suspense/Crime - 12
Romance - 10
SF - 8
History - 4
Fantasy - 4
Literature/Literary - 4
Action/Adventure - 3
Women's Fiction - 1
Western - 1
Non-fiction - 1

Some of those slopped over to more than more category (Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, Historical NF).  I counted it in the category that was most valid for the story.

Most of those were adult novels, but I did get in 6 YA and 1 MG. 

I also had a goal to read new-to-me authors this year.  I read 15 of those this year.  I'll try to do a sort of review wrap-up on those next week for people who might be interested in finding new authors and supporting the under-appreciated among us.

All in all, it was a good year for reading.  I'm looking forward to what 2018 will bring.  To that end, I'm starting out with a 70 book goal again.  We'll see how that goes with my plan to publish 4 books this year.  Writing/publishing eats into reading time, doncha know.

Look for other wrap-ups as the year ends and the new one begins.

How was your reading year?  Did you meet your goals?  Read anything amazing?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Thursday This n That

I don't understand people and their attraction to getting tattoos.  Personally, tattoos gross me out.  I know a lot of people have them and it's their choice, but why?  What if fifteen years down the road you hate it?  What if thirty years down the road, you're old and saggy and the art piece you had inserted into your skin with needles now looks like an abstract drawing done by a chimpanzee? They're forever, unless you find someone to surgically remove it or someone who can artfully cover it with another tattoo.  I know people with tattoos - family members in fact.  I should probably ask them what the attraction is.  I have a feeling, though, that even if I asked, I still wouldn't understand.  Thankfully, Hubs and I are in agreement on this, so I don't ever have to contend with them on him or with him wanting me to get one.  :shudder:

I had a happy yesterday.  An awesome review of Wish in One HandCheck it out.  (It's the second book down.)  I was just scrolling down - because Cedar does some awesome reviews and I'm always looking for new books to drool over - and there it was.  Gave me all sorts of warm fuzzies yesterday morning.   (And I am not related in anyway to Cedar - not even by marriage.  Unless somewhere in her Sanderson family tree, her and Hubs share an ancestor I haven't found yet.)

Okay, so I started this at around 6:30am, then I got distracted and then I started doing chores, assuming I'd finished it and posted it.  But no.  Now, after lunch and shortly before naptime, I stop by the tab to look at something else and find this incomplete post.  Derp.

On the upside, I finally purged the filing cabinet of 2015 & 2016 paperwork, moved that old shit to the other cabinet where I archive stuff, moved the 2013-2014 archived stuff to the storage room, filed the bills from Oct thru now - which I'd put off filing because the files were too freakin' full, worked on spreadsheets for the office, called the office and went over a couple things, composed and sent an email to the boss, ate lunch, and did the dishes.


What's up in your this n that today?

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Taking Myself in Hand

The end of the year is rapidly approaching.  Where did the time go?  Sheesh. 

I know a large portion of it was spent sitting on my ever-widening ass, I'll tell ya that.  And it's got to stop.  (The ever-widening ass part AND the sitting on it part.)  So here's the plan for 2018...

1)  I will get back to my 'do something active every day' thing.  Every day I'm not gimped up or sick, I will do something active.  This includes any number of the following: dancing, actual exercise, woods work, cleaning, walking, fishing... anything that gets my butt moving instead of sitting.

2)  I will stop being such a whiny baby and do the work I know I need to do to accomplish my goals, regardless of whether I'm tired or discouraged or achy.

3)  I will publish 4 books in 2018.  Which means sitting at this keyboard any time I'm not doing something active or running errands.  And I will be doing writerly things here any time I'm not doing spreadsheety things for work.

4) Since I recognize that the above will turn me into a crispy critter, I will read at least 70 books in 2018. 

Yeah, yeah, I know.  I'll still be screwing around part of the time - watching the boob tube, vegging out with FB, etc.  But if I don't take myself in hand at some point, my plans will fall apart and I'll be sitting here this time next year lamenting the time I frittered away.  2018 will be more working and less frittering. 

What's your plan for the new year?

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

From our home to yours, Merry Christmas! 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 51

2017 is almost over.  I'll do some kind of year-end wrap up next Sunday or something.  For now, though, here's the week that was...

I started the week with the best of intentions, really I did.  And then it all kind of fell apart.  Then I was at the bank, chatting with a friend who works there, and she said something that totally threw water on my gumption.  I was telling her how much work I have to do over the holidays and how I would probably be working on Christmas.  She looked at me and said 'What are they gonna do, fire you?'  Which is not what I needed at the time.  I'm having a tough enough time getting my gumption to ignite.  Anyway, every time I think about editing, her voice pops up in my head saying 'what are they gonna do, fire you?' and since the answer is 'no', it's always 'no', I settle back down and let whatever other excuse I have for not editing wash over me.  It's hard. I'm discouraged.  My everything aches.  Whatever.  I really need to kick myself in the ass.  But probably not today or tomorrow.

I got over my reading slump.  Read two awesome stories - a military thriller and a hard-boiled crime novel.  So now I'm one book shy of my goal.  I'm not sure what the last book of the year will be.  Maybe I'll finish up with an Agatha Christie.  Or an Andre Norton.  Or that book I've had on my Kindle since October by a new-to-me author.  We'll see.  I'll probably read something meaty after that that'll stretch me into 2018.  I'll do a reading wrap-up post after the 1st.

Fishing took up a lot of time last week.  The only days I didn't go fishing were Friday and Saturday - after it got cold.

Speaking of cold, we got the first snowfall of the year.  A dusting, but still.  It was really pretty.  Then it melted off.  We're supposed to get some more this morning, if the band of snow drops far enough south.  :shrug:  I can take it or leave it.  I definitely don't need a white Christmas with it's slick roads and junk.  Bleh.

We had an interesting visitor to the yard yesterday in the snow.  A hawk of some unknown species (because it wouldn't turn around and show itself for better identification. 
It could be a broad-winged hawk or a smaller red-shouldered hawk.  Or maybe a marsh hawk.  Too big to be a merlin.  Anyway, it was pretty cool.

This week?  Well, tomorrow's the big day, so I'll be baking a cake today and tomorrow we'll be making surf and turf for dinner.  (Hubs is grilling the steak and I'm doing to seafood.)  Other than that?  :shrug:  Need to spend some time locating my gumption and setting it on fire. 

Have an awesome holiday tomorrow!  I hope Christmas brings you all all the good things you desire.  :hugs:

What up in your world?

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 12/23/17

Hello!  And welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report - now with actual fish.

I pretty much went fishing every day this past week.  Sunday and Monday were more of the same.  But Tuesday... Tuesday afternoon, to be exact... was awesome.

Hubs had read the fishing reports and told me he'd heard the fish were biting on topwater baits at the points in the afternoon.  Me, being a doubting Theresa, was...umm... doubtful.  But I thought I'd give it a go anyway.  I mean, my old ways weren't working, so why the hell not, eh?  So, Tuesday, I went to my go-to spot, that just happens to have a point where a creek comes into the river.  Walked right out to where I could get a good cast at the point and cast as far as I could make that topwater jerkbait go.  Jerk, sit, jerk, reel... BAM!  It missed the bait and I missed the set.  Cast again.  Same action, different results.  Pulled in an awesome 14" spotted bass.  Then I caught a 12" spot.  Then I called Hubs because it was a momentous occasion.  I'd caught my first fish with a lure.  Ever!  I proceeded to catch 4 more on the same two topwater jerkbait lure - one in silver and black and the other in silver and chartreuse.  All Bass.  No keepers.  One of the bass was a little one (10-11"), but as I almost get it to shore, I noticed a fat hog of a bass chasing it.  Maybe 17-18", judging its size against the one it was chasing.  Dang.  Then I almost caught what had to be a 16".

The next day, my awesome fishing tales convinced Hubs to go out with me.  Same spot.  Same time of day.  I throw the first cast out in the same place - BAM.  14" spot.  Next cast, BAM!  13.5" spot.  Poor Hubs hadn't even had a chance to get his groove on.  Then the bite dried up, which really sucked.  He did catch a 10" spot on a little diver, though, so it wasn't skunky monkey for him. 

I went out again Thursday afternoon, but the pattern had changed.  It was sunny and windy and the fish just weren't interested again.  But those two days were freakin' awesome.

Friday had to be a no-fishing day.  Man, all that standing and casting really put my feet and shoulders in a hurty place.  That and a cold front came in.  It went from 68F on Thursday to 45F on Friday.  :shiver:  No thanks. 

Anyway, that's it for me.  I hope you all have a safe and happy Christmas, and that Santa brings you something good.  See ya next week.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Thursday This n That

I can't get motivated this morning.  Coffee ain't doin' it.  Smokes ain't doin' it.  Getting up and movin' around ain't doin' it.  Bleh.  Oh well, motivated or not I have shit to do.

I have three books left to read before the end of the year to reach my readjusted goal of 90 books.  Nothing's blowing my skirt up right now.  Plus, I have editing to do and work stuff to do.  Not sure if I'll get those last three read in the next ten days.  What I kind of want to read will take me more than 10 days to read by itself - Shogun.  I picked it up at a thrift store.  It's a FAT book.  Epic.  Right now, I'm reading a Mack Bolan spinoff called Phoenix Force: Ultimate Terror.  It's good, but not really grabbing me.

I picked up Christmas dinner fixin's yesterday.  Scallops, shrimp, and a big Porterhouse steak.  I also bought a ham because at that price I couldn't pass it up.  I'll make the ham today so we have loads of hammy leftovers.  Hubs will be manning the grill on Christmas - unless the weather is super gross, than I'll cook.  Not sure what dessert will be.  I already made another pumpkin cheesecake - half of which is already gone. 

Had a couple of good fishing excursions this week, which might be why I am unmotivated this morning.  Sore, tired... bleh.  Lure fishing is loads of fun now that I'm finally catching stuff, but it's murder on my feet, legs, back... All that standing and casting and reeling is tiring.

Okay, like I said at the beginning of this, motivation or not, there's shit to do today.  Have a great day and drop a comment in the box as you head out the door.  :waves:

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Making Suet

As you may know, I am a bird nerd.  I love birds.  I love watching them.  I love feeding them, so I can watch them closer.  But I don't have the resources or the layout to feed them as much as I'd like.  I have one bird feeder (which feeds the squirrels more than the birds), one hummingbird feeder (put away for the winter), and one suet cage (that I leave out year round).

Earlier this year, I went on a search to find a good suet recipe and after some trial and error, I believe I've hit on the recipe that works best for the birds around here...

2 cups shortening
1 cup chunky peanut butter
2 Tsp honey
2 cups corn meal
2 cups bird seed (the mixed seed kind)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup raisins

Melt shortening (until just melted - do not allow to get too hot). Stir in peanut butter until thoroughly combined. Stir in honey. In a large heat resistant bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add wet mixture to dry mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined. Pour into suet molds (I use the ones from the last batch of suet I bought at the store and just wash them after use.) Let sit until they start to harden, then place in the freezer until set. Store in seal-able storage bags in freezer.

Loads of birds seem to enjoy it, so much so that right now we're going through a batch (5 bricks) in a week. All the woodpeckers stop by, of course... Pileated, red-breasted, hairy, downy, red-headed, and nuthatches.  But we also get other birds - chickadees, titmice, cardinals, blue jays.  As well as our resident Carolina Wrens, who seem particularly happy to have something to eat when it's too cold for their favorite food - bugs.  Every rare once in a while, grosbeaks will stop by for a quick snack.  The crows would get to it, too, if I let them, but our suet in on the front porch and they're shy enough to stay away from there.  And whatever the other birds knock on the porch, the juncos eat.

We also have squirrels doing acrobatics to try and reach the suet.  Sometimes they succeed and I'll look outside to find a squirrel hanging from the suet cage.  We chase them off when we can.  They have plenty to eat elsewhere. 

Raccoons will also try to get to the suet.  They're less successful at jumping off the porch rail, but to thwart those little bandits, we bring the suet in at night.  (It's crucial that raccoons do not get into the habit of eating at the porch.  They're hilarious and awesome but they're also super destructive.  They can eat in the back with the deer.)

Anyway, making my own suet costs about the same as buying it, but the birds like the homemade better so there's less waste.  Plus, the stuff I give them is better for them.  Win win.

If you're interested in making your own suet, you can also play with the recipe like I do sometimes.  You can add in breakfast cereal - they like Honey Bunches of Oats  - or bacon fat or cranberries or mealworms.  (I've been debating on buying a big bag of mealworms and making a special batch as a treat.)  Have fun with it.  And then sit back and watch your feathered friends.  =o)

Any questions?

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 50

Only two weeks left in the year.  How'd that happen?  Geez.

Okay, so Week 50.  Let's see...

I did not do any writing last week.  I did however get the edits for Blink of an I on Friday.  I read over the edit letter and then let it stew until Saturday night when I finally mustered the will to dive in.  I got 10 pages worth done last night.  My taking most of her edit suggestions and also doing some tweaking of my own because I haven't touched this manuscript in years and there's so much I would do differently now, so I'm doing it.  I said I'd have this done by the end of the year.  Umm... yeah, that might be wishful thinking.  BUT, and it's a big one, I am committed to putting this out for readers in February.  If all goes smoothly, mid-Feb.  If not, end of Feb.

I also sat down yesterday and scheduled a sale on all my books for December 25th thru December 31st.  Everything will be .99 in the US and the UK.  So, 9 books for under $9.  Now I have to try and see if I can get some ads or something.  (Yeah, I know.  By the time I think of having a sale, it's usually too late to secure ads for the sale.  Derp.)

My 2018 sales tracking spreadsheet is almost done.  Yay.

Reading?  There was a lot of 'pick up a book, read for while, put it down, find another book' last week.  I did, however, read a book a friend had recommended on FB - Doc (Vampire Hunting Dog #1).  It was pretty awesome.  Loads of fun with a touch of heart.  Good stuffs.  I have three books left to read to reach my goal for the year, so it's all good.

Fishing was the pits. 

Yesterday, I went into the woods and did some trail cleaning.  Then Hubs joined me.  We got Trail 3 cleaned all the way to the bottom.  Trail 2 will be next.  Trail 1 has to be recalculated based on a better idea of property lines before I can tackle that, and tackling that will mean hacking my way thru a stand of spicebushes.  (No worries.  They're weeds.  And they grow fast, so anything I do this year will be repaired this summer.)  Then the auxiliary cross trails will be added.  Umm, I don't really need trails in the woods, but it's awesome exercise and it gets me out of the house.  And then, when they're finished, I can walk them which is also awesome exercise.

I want to do something different for this year's Christmas dinner, so I've been scoping out stuff on the internet.  I researched buying an actual HoneyBaked Ham, but that would just be a variation on my usual theme, so I discarded that.  I think we're going surf and turf.  Steak with shrimp and scallops, though.  Not lobster or crab.  (I did investigate having that stuff flown in and WOOEE that shit's expensive, so no.)  This week, I'll be checking out the fare at our new grocery store - who are known for their meats.  I know the roast I bought there a couple weeks ago was awesome.  We'll see.

Other than that, not much going on at the Sanderson Ranch.  How are things in your little corner of the world?

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 12/16/17

Hello once again and welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report.

It was cold.  Let's just leave that there.  It was also sunny.  One of the best places to fish when it's cold and sunny is the park, which has been closed for some ungodly reason.  (Yes, I'm still griping about that.)  Anyway, I went out a couple times and got skunked.  Then Thursday, I went out early to a place that has finally become available due to dropping lake levels. 

It was cold, it was windy, and I got nothing casting in amongst the submerged trees that have been so kind to me in the past, so I moved around to a cove out of the wind.  I finally got some bites for my biteless week.  Last cast down the grooved concrete boat ramp and as I'm reeling in, ostensibly to remove the worm from my hook and go home, it feels like my bite sinker is knocking the grooves.  Then I see something at the end of my line, but it looks like I hooked someone else's lure.  Then I'm like 'holy shit that's a fish.'  I get it out of the water and it's wriggling all over the place.  And I have no clue what it is.

It's 5-6" long and cigar shaped, like a sucker but without the suction cup mouth.  Kind of a brown/bronze above with a bright white belly.  I think it might be some kind of darter, but my fish book doesn't show any darters longer than like 3.5".  Might be a chub of some kind, but the mouth looks wrong.  I thought about bringing it home to investigate further, but there are endangered little fish species in this lake somewhere and since I couldn't positively identify it as a regular fish, I didn't want to take the chance.  It took the decision out of my hands anyway when it wriggled free and dropped into the shallows.  Away it swam. 

I tried looking it up in my fish book.  I tried researching it online.  Not a single damn picture looks enough like what I caught to be able to say I caught that kind of fish.  :shrug:  Another one of life's little mysteries.

Better luck next week, I guess.

From the sounds of the guides around here, winter fishing has begun, though, and that means deep.  Oh well.  I'll just drown worms, hope for a fluke of some kind to bring me fish, and wait for spring fishing to begin again.

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Ever-Widening Ass at Christmas

Since I don't feel like talking about crime or writerly stuff today, I decided to post here. 

I got a Godiva newsletter this morning, and I'm questioning why I ever signed up for it.  Oh yeah, because I went to look for some creme brulee truffles I'd seen in a gift box in a catalog, you know to see if they were available outside the gift box, and when I got to their site, they said to sign up for the newsletter and receive 10% off an order.  So I signed up.  You know, just in case I saw something my willpower couldn't override.  My willpower won.  But now I'm getting these newsletters with the most scrumptious stuff inside and everything is on sale and I...  Argh.  My ever-widening ass so totally does not need Godiva.

I stepped on the scale recently after however many months.  The poundage I had lost is slowly creeping back onto my butt.  So, I started exercising again.  Not hard and not consistently, which is why I'm still growing.  Of course, when the momentum is pushing in one direction it's not necessarily easy to get it stopped and then get it headed in the opposite direction.  That's just simple physics.  Right?

I also still get the Swiss Colony catalogs on a regular basis, but after a totally trashed batch of sea foam ordered both for Mom and for myself, I'm kind of off SC right now. 

Mom's been ordering me stuff from someplace called Stoneberry (I think...).  Last year, we got really nice fleecy shirt/jacket things.  I'm wearing mine now.  This year, she sent us really super soft fleecy blankets.  Fleecy stuff is definitely better for my ass.

She also sent us fudge made by monks in Kentucky.  It's awesome.  Coffee flavored fudge for me and raspberry chocolate fudge for Hubs.  I'm eating it in small pieces, which will help with my butt.  To be fair, I usually send Mom chocolates of some kind and she is also in a position where her ass doesn't need them either.  But, come on... CHOCOLATES!

Thinking about it this morning, I have been exceptionally good about not buying and eating Christmas treats this year.  Usually we have a big bowl of chocolates and several boxes of chocolates on the dining room table.  This year?  Just the fudge.

My problem is not holiday treats.  It's the big bag of M&Ms I keep in the cupboard.  And the several bags of assorted chips/snacks I buy - Bugles, Doritos, Fritos (plain and honey bbq), cheesy pretzel bits...  I fix myself an assortment of those in a bowl, set it next to my chair, and proceed to eat the whole damn bowl. 

And my ass grows ever wider, like the monster in the movie Evolution.  I don't think shampoo will save the day this time.

So, I'm upping my activity level.  And I'm upping my activity because I know I have no will power to decrease the amounts of food I'm eating.  Now that the lake level is going down, I have more places to walk while I fish (well, except for the fact that they closed my park for the season... dirty bastards).
Unfortunately, in the winter, I'm less inclined to want to go fishing.  The fish aren't biting, but the wind is.  Thus, I have started turning on the disco channel and dancing for however many minutes I can manage before I reach my limit.  I managed 10 minutes the first time and 15 the last time.  I was up to 30 minutes when I was doing this regularly, so I've got a little ways to go.  I'll get there.  And an interesting thing about doing this increased activity thing is that when I increase my activity, I'm less inclined to want to sit on my ever-widening ass eating snacks.  Win-win.

So, I weighed myself just now.  188.  Seven pounds down from my high, but also 7 pounds up from my low.  We'll see if I can hold steady over the holidays and then lose some of that in the new year. 

OMG, I think I just made my first resolution for 2018.  :shudder:

My ever-widening ass is already cringing, but I will defeat it.  Maybe.  I guess.  ;o)

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thursday This n That

Some of this I may have said before or I may have posted to FB.  I can't remember.  Getting older sucks.

And while I was in the bathroom, I forgot what I was going to say that prompted the above.  Derp.

When I was younger, I could eat anything.  In copious amounts.  Now, I have to watch everything I eat and I pay for it when I don't.  Hence, last night's chili and bratwurst dinner is giving me fits.  And if I even stare at a picture of fattening food, I gain weight.  Yep, getting older sucks.

Watching rehab and renovation shows make me notice every little thing about this house that I could change.  This needs to done and that needs to be done.  We could remodel this and renovate that.  Tear down a wall or two.  Change the layout, open it up.  Move the laundry room, expand the bathroom.  And then I tell myself to chill out.  Nothing in this house actually NEEDS to be changed.  And I really do love my house the way it is. 

Speaking of renovation shows, I've come to love the Property Brothers, but why is it that their clients are almost always turds?  OMG, I want to slap most of those people.  If it weren't for the Brothers, I would watch the show at all.  But those guys are awesome.

Oh, I remember what I was going to say...  They discontinued my bird of the day calendar with the lovely plastic holder and the big bird pictures on nice card stock in favor of one of those tear off the paper page every day things.  Bleh.  Hubs told me to find another calendar.  But if I can't have the one I want, I don't want one.  =o[

Someone in the area - or probably several someones in a beater pickup truck with a rebel flag decal (just guessing) - has been spray painting all the local traffic signs with genitalia.  But only the signs off the highway, where they're less likely to be caught.  So, everywhere I go to fish, I'm treated with variations of the male jewels.  :eyeroll:  Which is annoying enough, until I start thinking about how much of my tax money is going to have to go to replace all those signs.  Then I want to find the little fucktards and spray paint their genitalia. 

I suspect the above dorkmonkeys are why they closed my favorite fishing park - the one with the bathrooms - for the season when they never close the park except for flooding.  So, now the whole place is closed to me unless I want to park at the bait shop and walk a mile carrying my gear.

Okay, that's about it for me today.  Sorry it was mostly kvetching.  Carry on. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday Update - Week ? (Near the End Somewhere)

Hi All.  I'm running more than a little late this morning.  And the coffee isn't doing its job, so my brain currently has too much blood and not enough caffeine.  Bear with me.

Writing?  Uhhh...

Editing?  Umm, well, yah...

Reading?  I started a couple books I didn't finish.  Right now, I'm reading Water for Elephants.  Not exactly like the movie.  Well-written, but it's kind of bumming me out.  It starts out with the hero at 93, a widower, and in a nursing home, and the story flashes from him really old to back to his younger years before and during the circus.  It's just sad.  I don't envision any scenario where this is going to end anywhere but with him dead.  He's ninety-freakin'-three, for petesakes.  There's no future in that.  It would've been better if she'd just told the story of his early life without the old man falling apart, lonely and unhappy in a nursing home.  Nursing homes suck.  'Nuff said.

Fishing was a bust for the most part. 

This morning, Hubs got up late and there were like eleven deer in the yard waiting for him to bring them food.  It was pretty funny.  Now the food's all gone and there are stragglers coming in.  Sorry, folks, you snooze you lose.  Come back for the dinner seating.

I got my first Christmas prezzie.  Fudge made by Trappist monks in KY.  And the Kid got her Christmas box.  It's all good.

My Christmas cards went out.  If you were expecting one, it should be there soon.  If you don't get it, let me know.  If you wanted one, but I've never sent you one before, you should've said something sooner.  ;o)

Okay, that's it for me.  :wanders off in search of more coffee and perhaps a donut:

What's up with you?

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 12/9/17

Hello again and welcome to the Saturday Fishing report... such as it is.

I went fishing three times last week.  Spent about 6-7 hours out there total.  Caught one fish.  It was a 5-6" bluegill and I threw it back. 

I have been seeing that other people in the area are catching fish, but they're in boats and going 30' deep or something.  :shrug:  What can I say?  It's gotten cold and the fish went deep.  The area skipped fall fishing entirely or it was so short a window that I missed it.  No big walleyes for me this year, I guess.

I have been getting more experience throwing lures, though.  And my arms are getting used to the constant throw and reel and jig, so that's something.  However, with only a few weeks left, my goal of catching a fish on a lure this year is probably not going to come to fruition.  Next year, maybe.

The days were beautiful here, if a mite cold.  Boy, howdy, that wind on Wednesday afternoon was a pisser, lemme tell ya.  We stuck to a sheltered cove for the most part that day.  Out of the wind, but also out of the fish.  I did catch the bluegill that day so it wasn't a total skunky-monkey. 

The resident kingfisher at my go-to spot has been a constant companion.  His scattergun, rapidfire call is a welcome noise.  And seeing him swoop and dive is always fun.  Sometimes he sits in a tree behind me.  I think he might be hoping I'll scare some scad to the surface where he can snack on them.  Hasn't happened yet, but we both can hope. 

Well, that's it for me.  Not sure what this week will bring.  Tomorrow is supposed to be a bit warmer, so I might go drown some worms for a couple hours.  We'll see.  Hell, if I get the jones'n, I might go out today and freeze my ass off.  Who knows. 

Have an awesome next week, and if you do venture outside, bundle up. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Thursday This n That

I just exercised in... I had to think about it for a minute, but... a year and a half.  Committed exercise - dancing, calisthenics, cool down.  Ten minutes total and I'm kinda pooped.  And that's what I get for not doing this a few times a week like I used to.  Bleh.  Have to do something to put a halt to my ever-widening ass.  And I am not at all interested in changing my eating habits, so exercise it is.  On a different activity note, I still walk all over the lakeshore carrying at least 5 pounds worth of gear (sometimes more) and I do not get winded like I did before I started increasing my activity, so that's a win.

I still have not cut my hair.  Hubs says he kind of likes it longer, but he might just be saying that to save me the trouble.  I at least need a trim.  The shaggy dog look is not a good one for me.

I started doing Christmas cards yesterday.  Got two done and then realized I didn't have the current address for my aunt, so I called Mom, but Mom had business work for me and I got distracted doing that.  Needless to say I am no further along on the cards than I was before I called her.  If you're expecting a card, it'll get there before Christmas, but how much before, I don't know.

Today's bird of the day is something called a white-breasted woodswallow.  They're kind of cute.  From the other side of the world, of course, but still.

We have a flock of Canada geese at the lake with one snow goose in it.  I've seen them several times now, so I'm guessing the snow goose is there to stay. 

Now that it's getting darker earlier, I feel like I live in a fishbowl.  You see, my chair is in front of the big picture window, and I turn on the living room lights before I feel inclined to shut the curtains.  I like looking outside for as long as possible, but I also like to see to read and stuff.  Thus, anyone walking, biking, or driving past the house can see everything and they all seem to feel the need to look in my windows.  I feel like shouting 'take a picture, it'll last longer' at them.  (I say it in the house where they can't hear me.)  I don't know why they all stare, but we really aren't that interesting.  I'm usually sitting there reading while we both watch TV.  :yawn:  I guess some people's lives are less interesting than ours or something.  Either that or they're just profoundly nosy. 

Okay, that's it.  Time to make the suet.  The birds are voracious right now and going through a brick a day or so.  What's up with you?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Consider the Source

I read a news story this morning about a thirteen year old girl in California who killed herself because, in her words, 'they called me ugly'.  WTF?  Seriously, WTF?

:climbs the soapbox:

When did we get to the point where we allowed the words of others to have such an effect on our lives?  I mean, sure, when I was younger, I got picked on.  I got called every name but white, and while it certainly didn't make me happy, it didn't drive me to thoughts of suicide.  (Other things might've but that's a story for another time.)

Then I grew up.  And I came to the understanding that the words out of other people's mouths only have as much value as you allow them to have.  Or, as my mom put it, 'consider the source'.  If someone you don't know or don't like, calls you a name, then the name is meaningless.  If someone you do know and like calls you a name, think about whether the name fits and if it doesn't, then the value of that person ought to decrease in your eyes - not the value of yourself.  If it does fit, and you don't like it, work on changing that about yourself. 

I went 'round and 'round with the Kid over this point.  Because, you see, sometimes it has nothing to do with what a parent might say when the world is pushing everyone to take every word of every other person into account.  She would come home crying because some little dipshit said something nasty to her, and I'd try to explain to her that they were wrong and they were dipshits and she really needed to ignore them.  But I couldn't fight the culture that told her the opposite all day every day.  So I yanked her out of that culture and homeschooled her.  It didn't solve the problem - which was ultimately her perception of the value of valueless people - but it did give her a break so she could thrive without their interference. 

The thirteen year old girl wasn't the first such news story and it won't be the last.  A week or two ago, it was a ten year old.  Before that?  Hundreds around the nation.  And what goes unreported are the thousands who live with that crap every day, thinking about how worthless and ugly and stupid and whatever they are because some dipshits told them so.  Dipshits.  They're letting their lives be ruined by what amounts to nothing more than dipshits. 

I won't get into the kids who, because of the above, kill others.  They are dipshits, too.  It's like a fucking disease - dipshitenza.  Where you spend so much time thinking about what the dipshits have done to you that you become one, too.  Or something. 

All I know is it pisses me off.  It's been pissing me off for years.  And there's not a damn thing I can do about it, except take to this blog every once in a while and rant.  I can't change the culture. 

But it does need to change.  Maybe if we all decide we really don't give a rat's furry white ass what other people think, we can make it change little by little.  Teach your children not to put so damn much stock in what other people have to say and think.  Teach them to consider the source. 

And when the culture overrides your wisdom, and your children are beaten bloody by the words of others, hold them tight and hope they can weather the storm long enough to grow out of it.

:climbs down off the soapbox:

'Nuff said.  Until next time when stuff has to be said again.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 48

A week has already gone by?  How'd that happen?

So, I made the decision to edit Early Grave instead of tearing myself up trying to write DH3 when it just wasn't coming.  But... BUT... I haven't done that either.  I did email the book to my Kindle.  I did download it.  I did get my handy-dandy notebook and set it next to my chair with my Kindle.  But I only read the first paragraph (which I hated) and then, when I actually wanted to buckle down and tackle more, my Kindle decided to update itself, which took until bedtime.  And I remembered that my editor will have Blink back to me mid-month, which doesn't give me a lot of time to complete a run-through of Early Grave.  Blerg.

It's not that I didn't do any work.  I started building next year's sales spreadsheets.  Wee.

I read some stuff.  I finished Wishsong of Shannara.  Yeah, it wasn't great.  The end was =op.  After the epic story and everything, the ending just wasn't worthy.  Harrumph.  Anyway, that's that.  I need to find a copy of Sword of Shannara and see how that goes, but I suspect it will also be as I remember - i.e. not as good as Elfstones.  I also read a spy thriller / hard boiled crime novel.  It was the 41st book in a series I'd never read before.  Pretty awesome stuff, so much so that I may have to find the other 40 books.  Then I read a medical thriller about 2/3rds of the way through, but it irritated me at that point so I DNF'd it.  Not sure what's next.

I went thrift storing.  Picked up about a dozen books, one of which was that medical thriller.  I also got some mysteries, a couple literatures for my collection, a few suspenses, a historical about Stonehenge, and a literary.  The literary was Water for Elephants.  I enjoyed the movie, so we'll see if I like the book.

Yesterday afternoon I got a wild hair and decided to scrub the front porch.  It was covered with dirt and bird poop and schmutz from the suet, so it needed a good deep scrubbing.  Thus, I am sore today.  But the porch looks nice.

And I fished.  Which might be another reason why I'm sore this morning.  I did a lot of walking and carrying my gear around yesterday morning.  :shrug:  It's better than being a chair tuber*, though.

Okay, that's the update for that week.  What's your update?

*Nope.  Doesn't have the same ring as couch potato.  Drat.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report

Hello again and thank you for sticking with the Saturday Fishing Report through these dry weeks of nothing much.  This, unfortunately, is another one of those weeks.

I went out a couple mornings last week and caught nothing.  Hubs and I went out a couple afternoons last week and caught a couple panfish and one spotted bass - and that was right at or near sunset.  He almost caught what we suspect was a 15-20 lb catfish, but it tangled the line in some submerged brush or something and Hubs had to snap it off.

Of course, there's more to fishing than fish.  Part of the reason I go fishing is to enjoy nature.  To that end, I saw a beaver this past week.  It was just making its way down the lake near the shore.  Last early spring, before the floods, I found a really awesome piece of chewed beaver wood about a mile south of where I saw that beaver.  Maybe it was his.  ;o)

I also saw a couple bald eagles.  One of them was diving and swooping at the fish in the lake, which was really cool.  Another one passed right over me - maybe 30 feet up. 

Now that the water level is down a bit, I'm seeing tons of tracks along the shoreline - deer, raccoon, heron, etc.  I keep my eyes peeled for mink or bobcat tracks.

Yesterday morning when I went out, it was kind of foggy.  Then it got really foggy right down at the lake.  It's a surreal experience, standing on the shoreline watching a bobber in the fog.  It hangs there as if suspended in mid-air - gray above, gray below, with no discernible horizon.  The lake itself was like glass, so there weren't even any ripples to break the solid gray plain.  Like I said, surreal.

And that's it for the fishing report.  Sorry there weren't more actual fish in it.  They're predicting a cold snap here, so I'm not sure how much I'll be willing to freeze my buns off next week.  We'll see.  Until then, I hope you all have an awesome week ahead and can get out to enjoy nature a little.