Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Still Better

Okay, so yesterday I got a wild hair and decided to head out for the lake.  Editing wasn't going well, pay-job stuff was done for the day, world events still sucked, why not escape a little, eh? 

It was gorgeous outside, so naturally I caught nothing.  I had the park pretty much to myself, though, which was awesome.  Gotta get park time in while I can because it closes for the season Thursday.  Bleh.

Anyway, while I was out there, I prepared for a long, hard cast with my favorite lure.  Imagine it was like me swinging for the cheap seats.  Except when I actually went to cast, the lure hooked my bag... My bag that easily weighed 8 pounds what with the full bottle of Powerade and two worm containers and everything else I carry...  And GURK. Pole went forward, line broke, and I stood there looking like Wile E. Coyote after he'd run full-on into a wall. 

Once I'd recovered from that jarring experience, I went through the process of re-rigging my pole.  First, I had to get the lure off the swivel so I could cut the swivel loose from the broken line.  Of course, the lure swung around and one of its hooks caught me in the tender space where my index finger meets my middle finger.  Swearing ensued. 

I unhooked myself from the lure, got it off the swivel, and cut the line off.  (Which I tucked into my bag, because I never leave loose line lying around.  Don't get me started on people who leave loose fishing line lying around.)  I re-rigged for worm and bobber, and cast out. 

The thing about casting is you hold the line with your index finger, right about at the crease for the first knuckle, until you're ready to let go and watch your rig fly.  And that first cast HURT like a sunuvagun.  I look at my finger and sure enough there's a red strip from one side of my finger to the other where the jarring cast had pulled the fishing line... the rather sharp, 10lb test fishing line... through.  Giving me the world's worst paper cut.

Ever prepared, I carry a first aid kit in my car.  But by then my car was a good few hundred yards away.  And it wasn't bleeding.  It was just making casting a bit difficult.  I fished for a while longer where I was - because I was sure fish were there and I'd walked all that way - and then slowly made my way back to the car, fishing along the way.  I got to the car and applied a band-aid from the never-before-used first aid kit. 

And the line kept catching on the band-aid when I went to cast.  I shrugged and kept on fishing, but I moved to a different spot on the lake. I did finally figure out how to cast with my bandaged finger, but still no luck. 

Eventually, I went home.  A little battered and totally fishless.

Still better than pretty much anything else I could've been doing for those two hours.  ;o)

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Sunday Update - Week 43

It feels like I just wrote about Week 42 and here we are at the end of 43.  Not sure where the week went since I didn't do much of anything.

No writing.  I did some editing.  Not much.  I'm still slogging along doing a few pages at a time.  This is obviously not getting me on track for meeting my goal.  But I'm not ready to give up the fight yet. 

Some of the time was spent on marketing, because, ya know, Sleeping Ugly is on sale.  It's not going well.  I thought I had some advertising set up, but they never contacted me and I never received an invoice, so I guess not.  

I didn't read much of anything.  DNF'd one book.

I did go fishing a couple times.  Caught some fish, but nothing really major.  Still, it's nice to get out by the lake and drown worms.

Exercise/activity?  Umm...  I was really active on Wednesday.  Last weight check, I was holding steady at 180.  Two pounds up, but I'm not stressing about that.  It's to be expected when I've been a slug.

This blah mood I've been in seems to have seeped into most aspects of my existence.  Writing/editing, reading, exercising... The only thing I seem to be rah-rah about is baking and eating.  I made cake cookies and corn bread.  Then I made Romanian Apple Bread.  I also made chili and I barbecued a pork roast. The fridge and the cupboards are full.  Maybe it's me storing food for winter like some demented squirrel. 

Speaking of woodland creatures, we're nearing the rut down here.  The herd is splitting up and getting ready for love.  The bucks are rubbing their antlers on everything, which is why the other day we had a buck walk into the yard with a branch stuck in his antlers.  Seriously goofy looking dude.  Lucky for him, it fell off when he bent down to eat his corn.  Maybe he was camouflaged.   Secret agent deer.  ROFL

Oh, and the eagles are back!  We had like four of them flying lazy circles over the house on Friday, heading south.  But some of them will stay in the area.  Now I'm waiting for the return of the yellow-bellied sapsuckers.

And that's it for me.  What have you been up to?

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 10/27/18

Well, if you came here expecting to read reviews and junk, I'm going to have to disappoint you.  I didn't actually finish any books this week.  I did finally decide to DNF that book I was reading last week, after only managing the gumption to read a couple pages here and there. 

DNF - 10/26/18 - SF.  I think it could be classified as 'new adult' since the MC was like 19 or something.  It wasn't a bad book, per se.  It just wasn't holding my interest.  And it wasn't exactly SF.  More like a 'here and now' kind of thing with aliens.  Kind of fun and a little snarky.  Probably the kind of SF I would write, but not exactly exciting my inner reader.  Probably why I don't write SF.

Not sure what the week ahead will hold.  I did download what looks like it'll be a fun paranormal by a writer I've already read.  But my reading slump is paralleling my writing slump. 

On a different note, I thought I'd found a neat new noir-type mystery to read.  Then in the blurb, they made the MC sound like a doofus.  Bummer.  I like noir.  I do not like books that appear to be set up to make fun of the genre.  :shrug: 

What does your reading week hold?

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Thursday This n That

The sale burp from yesterday is over. (I mentioned it on Outside the Box.  If you aren't following over there, I post there M-W-F and here T-TH-S-S.)   I woke up this morning to an email telling me they were looking into it and a check of the product page shows it's 99c, so it's all good now.  Unfortunately, I'm totally not as jazzed to be all rah-rah this morning.  I'll post something later.

I got out in the woods yesterday.  It was finally cool enough to not have to worry about ticks and snakes.  (Still checked myself for ticks afterward, though, because they're insidious little bastards.)  Anyway, it's always nice to be able to go in the woods.  It was just a reconnaissance mission - taking note of deadfall that needs to be cleaned up and dead trees that need to come down.  It's grown up so much in there since February, I had a tough time finding my trails.  The woods must've really enjoyed the cleaning we did last winter.  All sorts of new little trees popping up and the spice bushes have all sorts of new growth.  It's a jungle out there.

For some reason, my desk is squeaking this morning.  It's annoying to type and hear this telltale squeak with every keystroke.  I've had this thing for 15 years, so I'm not surprised.  The older things get the creakier they are.  You should hear me first thing in the morning.  LOL

I watched a video this morning that made me kind of =oO,  It was of a teenage girl who couldn't figure out how to pay for gas with a $20 bill.  She was trying to shove it up the slot where the receipts come out.  Finally, her mom told her to take the bill into the store and tell them she wants $20 on pump 6.  Then the girl goes 'but how will they know how much gas I want?'.  Mom says 'You're getting $20 worth.' and the girl's all like 'but what if I want more than $20?'  Yep.  We're raising a nation of people unable to reason things out.

Remember when gas pumps didn't stop on their own, so you had to pay attention or you'd go over by like a penny?  Then you'd have to locate a penny so you could pay for your gas?  I remember at least one occasion where all I had was a ten and then had to scrounge around on the car floor for a penny.  The good ol' days.

That's it for me.  What have you got?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Dreaming of Riches

When the Mega Millions was approaching $1 billion last Friday, Hubs and I were having fun thinking of what we would do with all that money.  (Shocker, we didn't win.)   My last thought before we went back to our regularly scheduled Friday night, was that I would take a portion of the money and open my own publishing house.

Then I could publish all the people who write good books but can't even get a nod from the traditional publishers.  And pay them better than the traditional publishers pay authors.  And drive the Big 5 out of business. 

Bwa ha ha.

I mean, what else do you do with almost a billion dollars?  Buy a new house?  Nah.  We like this one.  We'd fix it up.  Do the remodeling we've been dreaming about.  And we'd buy more land, of course.  There's this piece of property that fronts a creek I like to fish on.  Buy that, throw a little cabin on it for bathrooms, munchies, and naps.  A getaway ten minutes from home.

Traveling would be a lot easier. Buy a plane?  Nah.  I have no interest in owning a plane.  We'd charter flights. Pop up to see Mom.  Pop down to see Mom-in-law.  Fly people in to see us.

Give money to our friends and family?  Probably, but then they'd have to deal with taxes and crap.  Move Mom into a nicer place and pay the rent on it for the rest of her life, of course.  But giving everyone I know and love loads of moolah?  Not so sure about that.  More often than not, money ruins people. 

We're simple folk.  We don't want or need much.  We have pretty much everything we need or want already.  Having some more money so we never have to worry about it again would be awesome, though.  And having enough so our loved ones never have to worry about it again would be even better. 

I'm not buying tickets for the next drawing.  Over a billion?  That's way too much.  I mean, the $868M it was when I bought the last ticket was too much.  This is why I play the smaller game 'Show Me Cash'.  The biggest it's gotten as far as I can remember was like $500K.  I could work with that.

Sorry about not being able to open the publishing house, though.  That would've been cool.

What would you do it you won a billion dollars?  Did you buy tickets for tonight's drawing?

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sunday Update - Week 42

Well, would ya look at that... it's Sunday again.  Embrace it while you can because Monday's a comin'.  Now let's wrap up last week.

No new writing, but I did get some editing done.  Not nearly as much as I would've liked, but it was one of those 'god, I can't bear to look at this thing' weeks.  This is due back to the AWE by November 5th, so I better get my buns in gear.

The cover artist has my ideas for UatB's cover.  She's jammed this month, but she'll start work and get it to me in early November, which is cool by me.

Reading also did not go as well I as I wanted.  Maybe it's the books.  Maybe it's me.

I got the iris bulbs replanted.  All those little leaves poking up make me feel like Spring, even if it has gotten chilly here.  And it's the least they can do since I spent all that time putting them back in the ground. 

Friday I made a batch of corn bread and then made a batch of cake cookies in bar form.  Now that it's cooler, I feel all bakey.  Hubs is happy because he gets yummy things to eat.

I found this new online timesuck - WordRage.  I'm not linking to it because it's a timesuck.  Like any of us need more of those. Ugh.

Let's not talk about exercise and weigh loss, eh?  I was pretty active in the gardens, but it's not a huge calorie burning activity.  I also went fishing, and while that is an activity, 90% of it is spent sitting on my butt.  The biggest exercise I get is hauling my stuff from the car to the fishing spot and back.  

Nothing much else going on.  What's up with you?

Oh, I almost forgot...  Sleeping Ugly goes on sale Wednesday and will be 99c/99p through Devil's Night (October 30th).   Actually, I kind of did forget, but I remembered a little this morning.  I need a freakin' assistant.  One who works for free.  Ugh.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 10/20/18

It's the end of another week and time for the reading wrap-up.  Sorry I don't have much to talk about.

I didn't pick up any new books either.

Here's goes almost nothin'...

76) When Eight Bells Toll by Alistair MacLean (10/14/18) - Action Thriller. 4 stars.  Neither new to me nor underappreciated.
Review: "Not my favorite MacLean, but still pretty darn good. He seemed a little long-winded in places here and there, so I had to do some 'scanning past' in this book where I don't usually have to with his other books. Then again, a 'not favorite' MacLean is better than a lot of other books."  Apparently this was a movie at some point.  I never saw it.  Never even heard of it until I googled the title.  :shrug:  I think I'll pass.  If it's a movie made from a MacLean novel and I never heard of it, it can't be good.

DNF - 10/15/18.  I already talked about this on Tuesday, so I'll just paste that here.
"I DNFd another book yesterday.  Which kind of made me sad because it was in a series I had once enjoyed.  But the book was irritating the bejeezus out of me.  Life's too short to continue reading irritating things.  It was probably just me.  There's only so long I can continue reading a series before I'm just annoyed with it.  Familiarity breeds contempt and all that.  I had the same thing happen with The Cat Who series and with the Dresden Files series.  Which is probably why I stopped writing Once Upon a Djinn at four books.  Enough was enough for me.  Sorry to the readers who wanted more but writing more of those wouldn't have been a good thing for anyone."

I'm currently reading a SF (?) set here in this time, but with aliens.  It's kind of cute.  And kind of strange.  And a little 'I'm not sure what the hell is going on'.  I haven't listed it on Goodreads yet because I'm not sure if I'll finish it.  

I'm facing a deadline with one of my own books right now, so I'm also not sure if I'll get much reading done this coming week.  We'll see how it shakes out next Saturday.

What did you read last week?  Find any gems? 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Thursday This n That

Update on the keyboard saga.  So, I told the customer service rep to go ahead and send the keyboard she suggested and I'd give it a whirl.  I got a keyboard yesterday.  The exact same model keyboard I'm currently rubbing the letters off of.  I sent the CSR a note this morning telling her about the error and telling her not to bother trying to send me any more keyboards.  Enough is enough and I'm sick of dealing with it.  I got an email from them this morning promising to never contact me again.  Let's see if that sticks.

We went out to the park to go fishing on Tuesday.  The park was totally empty except for one camper parked right next to where we wanted to fish.  We went in there anyway.  There was no one at the site.  Just a dog.  By the time we got done fishing, the person had returned.  And wouldn't you know it, she was wearing a Mackinaw Island sweatshirt.  (It's a famous tourist spot in Michigan.)  What are the odds of that?  Anyway, we had a nice chat with her and went on our way.  Lucky gal had the whole park to herself.  And her dog?  Totally was chill about us when we went in, but when we came out, he was totally in protective-dog mode.  Cuz his mommy was home and he needed to protect her.  Good dog.

I've started replanting the irises.  So many bulbs.  I began with putting some back into the cedar bed, where they were when we moved here but on the east side of the bed instead of all over.  It's along the retaining wall.  I used about a third of the bulbs.  Today, I'll start putting them back where they belong.  Leftovers will go in the south facing bed along the garage - where the lilies were before the deer ate those.

Didn't win the lottery again.  Not even a dollar.  This is really getting irritating.

I have to pay bills today.  That lottery stuff would really come in handy. 

A relative of mine got her DNA thing done.  She's point five percent African and point one percent East Asian/Native American.  The Native American I can be pretty certain is from my line of the family.  My 11 times great grandmother was named Mourning Flower and I think listed as Cherokee.  The African DNA?  Well, it's possible it came from my tree.  It's also possible it came down from the part of her tree that isn't related to me by blood.  Interesting but not really critical one way or the other.  I've never really concentrated on the race box of my ancestors, except when I noticed that my mother's grandfather's brother married a woman who was listed on the census as 'half-breed'.

I don't remember if I mentioned the maggot issue or not.  The other day, I went out to the garage to get some gardening gloves I'd left in there and noticed they were covered in these weird little things that looked kinda like seed pods.  Then I noticed the same things were all over this and all over that.  And then I noticed the center of each pod was wiggling.  Maggots of some kind in a webby pod, I assume getting ready to pupate into something else.  We packed everything out of that corner of the garage, throwing out stuff and washing other stuff.  Disinfecting everything.  Cuz ew.,  I had to throw out a whole big container of extra towels and blankets I was saving for dirty work and drop clothes. Last night, Hubs was getting the garbage together to take to the road (they pick up early Thursday mornings) and when he opened the polycart, those maggots were all over in there.  :shudder:  They are not house fly maggots.  They're smaller and yellower with a tiny black head.  I almost wonder if they're moth caterpillars of some kind.  Anyway, whatever we threw out must've had the eggs in it - I never found those - and they hatched.  Gross.  No more of them in the garage as far as I can tell, though, which is awesome.

I'm tellin' ya, it's been the year of the bugs here.  Bleh.

And on that disgusting note, I'll let you go for the day.  What's on your this-n-that radar today?

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


I woke up this morning thinking it was Monday.  Took me a bit to reset the brain and convince myself it wasn't. 

Saw someone this morning who'd misspelled the title of their own book in the marketing copy of a FB post.  Thankfully, the cover was spelled right.  Proofread, people.

So, I contacted my cover artist yesterday to let her know I was ready when she was.  She's jammed, so I gave her the option of pushing the UatB cover back.  It's not like I need-need it right this month.  Hell, if I don't get off my dead ass, I might not need it this year.  We'll see what she says. 

We took a walk yesterday.  It was only 48 degrees.  I am so not ready for that cold yet, especially considering it was in the 80s last week.  I bundled up in a turtle neck, a sweater, and a fleecy jacket.  I was even wearing gloves.  My core was comfortable, but my face and legs were chilly cold.  Bleh.  I guess I need to get back to exercising inside.

I DNFd another book yesterday.  Which kind of made me sad because it was in a series I had once enjoyed.  But the book was irritating the bejeezus out of me.  Life's too short to continue reading irritating things.  It was probably just me.  There's only so long I can continue reading a series before I'm just annoyed with it.  Familiarity breeds contempt and all that.  I had the same thing happen with The Cat Who series and with the Dresden Files series.  Which is probably why I stopped writing Once Upon a Djinn at four books.  Enough was enough for me.  Sorry to the readers who wanted more but writing more of those wouldn't have been a good thing for anyone.

Sitting and thinking about Ugly and the Beast, I realize the problems I was having were caused by a need to rewrite the thing.  I got off on a weird tangent and it was turning into a book I didn't want to write.  Do-over!  But not right now because I got the edits back for Unequal

I am so not ready to face the edits.  But I'm going to get ready because I need to get this book out this year.  I've made a commitment and I'm sticking to it.  So, suck it up, buttercup, and get your butt to work.  =op

That's enough rambling out of me this morning.  Comments?  Questions?  Whips to crack? 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sunday Update - Week Meh

I totally didn't feel like looking up the week number this week.  It's one higher than last week's post.

Writing?  Nope.

Editing?  Nope.  Waiting on the return of Unequal today.

Reading?  Yeah, but not much.  See yesterday's post.

I'm still having a sale on Project Hermes through Tuesday night.  The ad got me one sale.  And probably some KU downloads because it rose in the rankings from 1.07m to 165K.  We'll see if page reads start to come through over the next few days.

I did something active every day last week.  Mostly landscaping and gardening.  Not sure that burned too many calories because I haven't seen downward movement on the scale.  But hey, I didn't start this active thing to lose weight.  I did it to stop being such a slug.  And to halt the progress of my ever-widening ass.  That's still happening, so it's all good.

Went fishing in the rain on Friday.  Caught 5 fish in about two hours.  Kept one.  It was a lovely red ear sunfish.  I named him Fred and watched him swim around my sink for a while.  Then I made fillets out of him.  They're in the freezer until I catch at least one more like him so I can make a meal for the two of us.  While I was out at the lake, I happened to see a crawfish that had been washed up on the rocks by a boat's wake.  He was moving pretty slow, cuz it was a little cold for him.  And he looked pretty sad.  Well, I was packing up to leave anyway and had about a one inch piece of worm still on my hook.  I took the worm off and dropped it in front of the crawfish just after he slipped into the water.  He grabbed it with both claws and immediately started munching away.  Talk about a windfall.  I imagine he was one happy crawfish.  Kind of made my day. 

Back to the landscaping/gardening.  I finished the retaining wall on the cedar bed.  It's just on the back half - the downward slope of the hill.  And it's only to help stop the erosion of that bed.  Then I tackled the iris bed.  I pulled out all the irises and dumped six bags of organic matter into the bed.  Now I have to put all the irises back.  But there's no way I'm going to get them all back in there.  So many.  Ugh.  I have plans for the overflow.  We'll see.

And that's about all I've got for you today.  What happened in your world?

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 9/13/18

Slow week in the reading realm.  I did pick up a couple new books, though.  A mystery and an SF from the Ereader News Today newsletter.  The mystery I read on the 17th. 

75) Amazon Decoded: A Marketing Guide to the Kindle Store by David Gaughran (10/9/18) - NF* - 5 stars - Not new to me, but slightly underappreciated.
Review: "As others have said, you can only get this if you subscribe to Mr. Gaughran's list, but if you're a self-published author, why wouldn't you subscribe? As with his other books on self-publishing, this is extremely informative and incredibly useful. I can't say I'm the greatest at implementing his strategies, but that's on me. And since I've read this and his other books, there's always hope. It's not a 'I'll read this and be an overnight bestseller' book. You have to actually do the work, which I suck at. For the self-published go-getter, though, this is a must read."

73) An Occupied Grave by AG Barnett (10/7/18) - Mystery* - 5 stars.  New to me, but not underappreciated.  It didn't totally meet the criteria, but I wanted to treat myself, so I picked this one up for free through ENT.
Review: " Fun! I love a good British mystery. This was kind of like watching 'Endeavour on Masterpiece', but set today and with its own special story. Great characters, awesome plot, interesting twists. Can't wait to see what's next for Brock and Poole."

I'm currently reading an Alastair MacLean - When Eight Bells Toll.  Apparently it was made into a movie.  I never saw it, so it's all good.  It's the last unread MacLean in my collection, which gives me a sad. 

I have an eARC of a mystery I need to read this coming week and get reviewed.  (It's due out on the 18th.)  Not sure when I'll get to that SF up there or the action adventure that's been waiting for a couple weeks now.  

What did you read this past week?  Anything worth talking about?

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Thursday This n That

Well, I've started the retainer wall project.  I bought 30 4"x8" pavers to start, which I figured would be about half of what I needed.  (And which was about as many as my little car would handle along with 6 bags of dirt.)  The problem came when I started laying them.  I got one row of 25 down.  I need at least 3 rows, maybe 4.  I couldn't figure out where I went wrong.  Then I looked at the paper where I'd written down my measurements.    I had to measure in halves because I was using the smaller measuring tape.  The number I had taken into my head was for the left half.  Derp.  I picked up another 40 (no dirt, so the car could handle another 10) yesterday and finished the wall.  I'll try and get pics or something, but it's not that impressive.  It's utilitarian.

There'd been a band of rain hovering over OK and KS for days and we kept waiting and waiting for it to arrive.  When did it arrive?  Smack in the middle of my landscaping work.  I got about 2/3 of the iris bed dug up and sploosh. I'll try and finish that up today.

Update on the keyboard saga.  As you may remember, I bought a new keyboard and the keys are already wearing off - and I haven't even written much on it.  Well, I was just going to suck it up and wait until my next check to buy another new keyboard.  But the company who makes the keyboard kept sending me emails to get me to review the damn thing, so yesterday I replied to the email, expressing my displeasure and asking them to leave me the hell alone.  This morning, I got a response.  They're offering me a different keyboard free of charge and telling me I don't have to return this one.  I'll give them another shot because their customer service responded so well.  If this replacement poops out after a month, I'm so done with them.

Last night, Kira missed the litterbox, so I've got that to deal with this morning and I'm so not ready to deal with that this morning. Oh, wait, Hubs is getting ready to deal with it.  I'm so not ready to deal with Hubs dealing with that this morning.

I need more coffee.  Like a vat of it.

So, Hurricane Michael tore through my ol' stompin' grounds yesterday.  Tallahassee didn't take a direct hit, but close enough to make a mess.  My last friends in that area had to evacuate, still no word on what their place is like because they haven't returned as far as I know.  Appalachicola, where my favorite restaurant was, got smeared.  I expect that restaurant is either gone or severely damaged because it was built out over where the river meets the gulf.  Beautiful locale, but not the best for weathering a hurricane.  =o(

I think that's it for me today.  What's it for you?

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Keep Your Head Up

Since so many of us have the blahs lately, I thought I'd post this song.  It's in my car CD player right now. 

Keep Your Head Up by Andy Grammer.

Crank it, baby.  And if that doesn't help you feel positive, I'm not sure what will.

And all of you, keep your heads up. :hugs:

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Sunday Update - Week 39

Hello again.  Thanks for stopping by.

I made some limited progress on writing this week, but not on UatB.  Instead, I jumped over to the next SCIU book.  I don't have a title yet, so it's just #4.  I have the villain.  I have the heroine.  I have a kinda sorta plot.  Now to put it all together and make it suspenseful.

I was thinking ahead.  Kinda.  And I set of Kindle Countdown Deals for three of my books over the next month.  First up is Project Hermes.  It's KCD starts Wednesday the 10th and runs for 7 days.  I've got some advertising in place for that.  Next up is Sleeping Ugly, which will run from the 24th through Devil's Night.  Then Blink of an I will be on sale from the 7th thru 11:59pm on the 14th.  I still need to set up ads for the last two sales.

My editor contacted me and asked if she could push back delivery of Unequal by a day to the 14th.  Since I wasn't expecting it until the 15th, it was no big deal.  And the difference in days was totally me.  She said 4 weeks, I thought a month, so while she was planning on having it back to me on the 13th, I had it in my planner for two days later.  It's always good to have a buffer.  And since I haven't promised anyone to have it ready on any particular date, I can be flexible.  I'm still shooting for the end of November, maybe early December.

There was cover art stuff done.  Stop by Outside the Box tomorrow to read about it and see something pretty.

I did some reading.

Still only made 4 out of 7 days on the activity plan.  But I'm down to 178, so it's all good.  Eating smaller and smarter portions combined with being active seems to be working this time around.  Now I just need to maintain it all.

The fawns have lost all their spots and now they've turned gray like their mothers.  They all look like mini-me versions of deer.  Rut is fast approaching.  As is hunting season.  If any of our deer get taken, I hope it's a clean kill and none of them suffer.  As long as hunters are doing it legally and efficiently, I'm all for it.  The herd needs culling.  Of course, I'll be sad, but I'd be sadder if the deer had to starve because the herd's too big and the resources aren't stretching far enough.  I'd also be sad if the herd became stagnant and led to inbreeding.  So, yeah, I'm pro-hunting, even of deer we've named.

We had some socialization this week.  On one of our walks, we stopped and talked to a neighbor.  Got the skinny on some stuff.   Then yesterday, Hubs ended up walking with a lovely couple - because they were headed in the same direction and walking at the same pace - who vacation here from Louisiana.  He gets way less contact with other human beings than I do, so it was good for him.  They had a nice chat while they walked.

I need to get out in the gardens soon.  Things need to be dug up and replanted.  I need to get a dozen bags of good dirt, too.  And I still have hopes of doing the retainer wall project. Not sure if this will be the week or not.

Last thing.  This is my 1900th post on this blog.  Woohoo.

And that's about it for me.  Nothing super-exciting, but still muddling along.  How were things for you last week?

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 10/6/18

Back around to the reading wrap-up again.  Hello.

I did pick up one new book this week.  I think it might be a thriller, but it's listed as Action/Adventure on Amazon.  I haven't started it yet.  Since I put off writing that UF I was working on, I dipped into the new ebooks I hadn't read yet.  And I still have all those hardcopy books.  Tons to read.

Unfortunately, the new release I was really looking forward to this past week went live at $8.99 for the ebook.  And if you know me at all, you know I won't pay that much for an ebook.  As much as it bummed me out to not be reading it right now, it's the principle of the thing.  Like I said, I have plenty of other things to read.

72) Resurgence (Demon Spring #1) by S. Usher Evans (10/5/18) - Urban Fantasy*# - 5 stars.  New to me and with less than 50 reviews, so underappreciated.
Review: "Interesting premise and a fast read. I loved the characters and the thought that went into creating them."

71) Crocodile Creek by Valerie Parv (10/3/18) - Romance - 4 stars.  New to me, but it's an old romance paperback.
Review: "Your standard late eighties romance title set in Australia - plenty of crocs and outback stuff. I was totally into Australia then, so I have a feeling I might've read this book before, but it was 30 years ago, so I can't say for sure. It certainly took me back."

70) The Krewe by Seth Pevey (9/29/18) - Suspense*# - 5 stars.  New to me, new to the world, and not appreciated much yet.  It's also the author's first book, which I didn't realize until after I'd read and reviewed.
Review: " Now, that was freakin' awesome. Whew. I'd been despairing of a good new-to-me author to read and I stumbled across this on one of the FB groups I follow. So glad I took the chance. Seriously good writing. Great plot. Awesome twists and turns. I loved the characters. And the setting. I can't wait to see what's next in store for Herbert and Melancon. Fingers crossed the next book will be out soon."  (I did find out he's working on the second book now, so it won't be out soon.)

DNF - 10/1/18 - Mystery.  One of the used paperbacks I picked up the other day.  The author was irritating me, so I put it down on Sunday.  I picked it up again on Monday to see if it was just my own headspace. I made a little progress until the author had her MC making snotty comments about the 2nd amendment.  I was, I don't know, about thirty pages in.  Meh.  I'm glad I didn't pay more than 50c for it.

I finished that UF last night and then posted this, so I'm not sure what I'm reading next.  You'll see when you check in next Saturday.

What were you reading last week?  Anything squee-worthy?

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Thursday This n That

I actually got to pet the neighborhood puppies.  OMG, they're so cute!  And I so do not want one.  Really, I don't.  I mean, they're cute and all, but those two boys sound like a handful.  Beagle mix of some kind.  The mother originally made me think beagle/sheltie, but the pups look like beagle/jack russell.  Either way, two breed mixes I do not have the time or the energy for.  But yeah, I'll happily play with them when I get a chance.  Don't despair, though.  It looks like the gal who took them in will be keeping the last two if she doesn't find homes for them.  So cute.  Ugh.

Also got some neighborhood gossip, which doesn't really mean anything to y'all, but it's interesting to us.  Looks like someone is getting ready to close on the vacant lot that's been for sale since before we moved here.  And for some strange reason, he was under the impression that, once the leaves were off the trees, the property would have a lake view.  Umm, no.  He'll have a view of the neighbor's house one way and the cow pasture the other way.  Methinks some realtor sold him a bill of goods.  We're closer to the lake than he is and we don't have a lake view - even in the winter.  Sorry, bud.  Best get out of that contract before it becomes final.  Please get out of it.  You won't like it here.  He told our neighbor he likes to play his music loud and have cookouts.  Noooooo.  She told him we all like it quiet here and we all keep to ourselves.  And he was rude enough to ambush her at 7:30am while she was letting the puppies out for potty, which doesn't bode well for future hopes of courtesy, lemme tell ya.

Speaking of neighbors, there are so many new people here.  We have no clue who most of them are.  So, we went into the local real estate portal and looked at all the property owner names.  I made a map of the neighborhood when we first moved here and a list with all the neighbors.  But so many of them have moved or died, that it's been wrong for a while now.  It's finally correct again.  Well, except for Vacant Lot Dude.  He hasn't closed, so it's still in the old owner's names.  And yes, I am weird.  But it's better than referring to one guy as Walking Dude and that house as Mold House.  (Although, we'll probably still refer to them that way because it helps keep it straight in our heads.)  And there's the one guy who I thought was named Dan for the first year he was here, and since then I thought his name was Tim, but it turns out it's actually Scott.  Umm, yeah, not good with names.  At all.

I don't actually want to meet any of my neighbors, but I like to know who they are.  Duh, hermit here.  And it's not that I would refrain from meeting them if the opportunity arose, but I won't be going out of my way and it won't be a social thing.  I don't like social things.

Cookouts?  :shudder:

I've found over the years that the more I get to know people, the less I want to know them - for the most part.  Every rare once in a while I meet someone cool who stays cool even after I learn more about them.  Usually, though, the more I learn, the more I'm likely to want to crawl back into my hermit hole.

Would you believe the letters ASE&D are already wearing off my new keyboard?  Ugh.

Your turn. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Oatmeal Jam Bars

Good morning.  I had a post all written for this morning, but it was a rant, so I deleted it.  Instead, here's a recipe for a super yummy treat.  I made a batch over the weekend and Hubs has been eating them for breakfast.

Oatmeal Jam Bars

1 cup butter or margarine (softened)
1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1 3/4 cups flour
2 cups quick oats
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup jam

Preheat oven to 400F.  Spray the bottom of a 9x13" baking pan with cooking spray.  Cream together butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, oats, baking soda and cinnamon.  Gradually add dry ingredients to creamed mixture, stirring until smooth and well combined.  Separate dough into halves.  Put one half into pan.  Spray your hands lightly with cooking spray and smoosh the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan.  Top liberally by spoonfuls with jam, then spread the jam to cover all the dough.  Drop spoonfuls of reserved dough over the jam layer, as evenly as you can, but not totally covering the jam.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges start to brown.  Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars and eating (because hot jelly is no fun.)

For my first foray with this recipe, I covered half with strawberry jam and half with blackberry.  It's still pretty hot here, so I'm storing mine in the fridge.  Super yummy and super easy.  And not terribly bad for you.  Hey, oats are heart-healthy, so that counts for something.  ;o)