Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Yesterday's Adventure

Tomorrow May begins.  And that means it's that time again.  Time for new plates and a new driver's license.  So, yesterday, I took the trip. 

It's not a long trip.  I was there and back in 90 minutes, and 2/3rds of that was drive time.  Half hour up, half hour back.  In the remaining thirty minutes, I hit the bank, got the car safety-inspected, did the plates and then did the eye/sign test. 

The worst part of the trip is the drive.  It's all hills and curves.  The kind of hills that have the warning signs for trucks and the kind of curves where you'd better slow down to 20mph or you'll go shooting off into space (cuz, like, you're driving in a small mountain range). 

Oh, it's a very pretty drive.  Everything here is green.  It's like nature is trying to outdo herself with how many shades of green she can create.  Plus, the dogwoods are still blooming, so you have occasional bursts of white alongside the road.  And the sun was dappling through the trees.  Unfortunately, sun through trees at any speed tends to give a strobe-light effect. 

Anyway, I did the trip.  This year, Missouri decided it would be a good idea to give us all new plates instead of just a new sticker.  What a waste of money.  Plus, now I have to memorize a new plate #.  I liked the old number because part of it made a funny word.  The new number?  Blah.  The old plates had a blue bird on them which I loved.  The new plates are to celebrate the state's bicentennial... in two years.  1821-1921.  Umm, yah.  They're kind of boring. And no bird.  =o\

This year, Missouri is also shifting to the Real ID program thingie.  It's a federal government thing that's supposed to make it harder for assholes to fake the ID.  In order to get a Real ID, I had to present my old driver's license, birth certificate and my Social Security Card to prove I was who I said I was, and a utility bill to prove residency.  Kind of a pain, but if the program helps to keep our nation safe, I can deal with it.

While I was there, a gentleman was also trying to get his Real ID.  I overheard the gal talking to him and apparently, he tried to hand her a piece of paper with his SSN written on it instead of his SS card.  Nope.  Need the card.  Says so right on the postcard they send you.  Oops.  He did not seem happy.  :shrug:  Follow the rules and you'll get along fine.  I had all my shit together.

With one exception.  When I started handing all my paperwork to the first gal to get my plates, I didn't have proof of insurance in my Big Folder of Information (tm).  I mean, it was in my car, so not that big a deal, but it was especially funny because right before I left, Hubs said I should take the thing out of the glove compartment and put it in the BF of I.  And I was all like nope, I have this.  Which ought to teach me to listen to Hubs. 

The license thing went smoother.  Handed over all the stuffs and was directed to the nice young gal in charge of the eye test and taking the license photos.  Did the eye test - which consisted of reading the top line and then being able to identify six signs by their shapes and markings.  Passed it all with flying colors.  She said I would be surprised at how many people don't pass.  I said something about people needing glasses and she said that wasn't the part they couldn't pass.  Dude, if you can tell what signs are by their shape and markings, you need to maybe review that shit before you get behind the wheel.  Stop, merge, do not enter, signal ahead, no left turn, and no u-turn... simple stuffs. 

Anyway, she gave me an A+ and then shifted me over to get my picture taken.  I had thought about doing my hair to make me pretty before I left, but then I thought that these licenses are supposed to look like you on an average day.  Getting all dolled up would not have looked like me on an average day.  And the picture actually turned out better than my old license.  Go figure.

She punched holes (they spell out the word VOID) in my old license and handed it back.  Then she gave me a printed temporary license to carry around with me.  A paper license.  For three weeks.  Considering when I fish I usually only take my license with me instead of my whole purse, and I often get rained upon... Guess I'll have to carry that sucker in a baggie for a while.  :shrug:

On a side note, watching Live PD in Greene County, MO makes me wonder if we're the only people in the damn state who actually have licenses.  So many people on there don't.  Derp.

So, that's done for another two years on the plates and another six on the license.  Plus, I'm a legitimate person in the eyes of the federal government.  Umm, yay. 

And that was my adventure yesterday.  Gotta take the adventures where you find them.

What big adventures have you been on lately?

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 17

The last week of April.  Not sure where the first third of the year went.  Bleh.

I got a lot accomplished on this phase of editing.  Finished it yesterday morning.  And now I have pages and pages of edit notes to input and an ending to rewrite.  Once that's done, I hope to get back to writing new words again.

The sale for Accidental Death finished up on Monday.  This ended up being the second best April I've had.  Which isn't saying much, but hey, it's something.

Not burning up the pages on reading, but I did get two books finished last week.  I'm 7 books ahead on my Goodreads goal.  Yay.

I started back on my walking routine Friday.  We'll see how that goes.  With that, I managed 5 out of 7 days being active.  The scale's still not being friendly to me.  But that's the way life goes sometimes.  On the positive thinking side, I haven't put back those 14 pounds I lost last year - only the weight I lost so far this year.  I'm trying to get back on the wagon with both my activity and my eating.

Which brings me to...  I made another batch of cookies.  Oatmeal Walnut Caramel Chip.  So good.  And oats and walnuts are good for you.  I also made a batch of lemon bread.  (Recipes at the end of this post.)

Hubs and I went fishing one afternoon.  He caught two bass and I caught three panfish.  All of them were too small to keep, but it was nice to have some outside together time.  And we saw two ospreys circling each other in the sky over the river.  One was holding a fish.  I assume it was some kind of mating thing.  Him: "Hey, baby, look what I got you."  And her: "What, you couldn't get me a bigger one?"

Okay, I think that's all I have for you today.  What have you got for me?

And here are the recipes I promised:

Lemon Loaf with Lemon Glaze

½ cup butter (softened)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup milk

2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup confectioner’s sugar.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease one 8x4” loaf pan.  In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter.  Beat in eggs and lemon juice.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.  Add flour mixture alternately with milk until all ingredients are combined.  Pour into prepared pan.  Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove from oven.  While loaf is cooling in pan, combine glaze ingredients – stirring until smooth.  Once bread has cooled for approximately 10-15 minutes, turn bread out onto a plate and drizzle with glaze.  Allow to cool completely – so glaze sets.  Slice into ¼-½” portions and serve.

Oatmeal Walnut Caramel Chip Cookies 

1 c caramel chips
1 c walnuts
1 ½ c flour
1 t baking soda
¼ t salt
½ c butter (softened)
1 c sugar
1 egg
 ½ c milk
1 ½ cup quick oats

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease or line baking sheets with tinfoil. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add egg. Beat until fluffy. Alternately combine flour mixture and milk with wet ingredients until smooth. Stir in oats, walnuts, and caramel chips. Drop by heaping spoonfuls on prepared sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Makes approx. 3 dozen.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 4/27/19

Not a lot going on in the reading this week.  I was busy making progress on the editing.

I had 6 unread new ebooks left on my Kindle - two SF, a suspense, an UF, a chick-lit suspense*, and a romance.  One of the SF I paid full price for, the rest were free. Then I picked up 3 more freebies - historical suspense, SF with a F twist, and UF. 

Book Read:

34) My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara (4/23/19) - MG Coming of Age - 5 stars.  New to me, but not underappreciated.  Picked this up in hardcover for $1 at the thrift store to add to my old-book collection.
Review: "Definitely a must-read for just about any kid. And pretty much a must-read for adults, too. Positive story, positive ending - although I was a little afraid Ms. O'Hara was going to let me down at several points along the way. She didn't, though, and whew. I would've hated this book if she had let me down. I only wish I'd read this decades ago."

33) Blues, Butterflies, and Murder by LouLou Harrington (4/20/19) - Cozy Mystery*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated as far as reviews go.  (Less than 50 on Amazon and Goodreads.)  Got this as a freebie off the ENT newsletter.
Review: "Picked this up on a whim not paying attention to the fact that it was a #5 and I hadn't read the first 4. But I read it anyway. There were a few things I probably could've benefited from by reading the other books, but all in all, this stood alone quite well. And it made me want to go back and read the other books when I have the time and money. Loads of fun, but with heart. Good mystery. Great characters."

No DNFs this week.

I'm currently reading a SF I picked up last month.  So far, so good.  We'll see.

What have you been reading lately?   

*Don't ask me about chick-lit suspense.  That's how it was marketed.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Thursday This n That

Mother's Day is two weeks from Sunday.  Gah.  Gotta get cards so I can mail cards so the cards have time to reach their destinations.  Gah.

It's also like three weeks to my birthday.  No Gah there.  It is what it is.  There will be no cake, no prezzies, etc.  I'll get a card from my mom and one from his mom.  Hubs will tell me 'Happy Birthday' and give me a hug/smoochie combo.  And it will be good. 

Speaking of birthdays, I have to go get my driver's license and tags renewed.  What a pain in the butt.  This time, because reasons, I'll have to bring several forms of ID to get my O-fficial 'federally recognized' license.  Bleh.  Like somehow those can't be faked.  :shrug:  Oh, well, at least it'll be a pretty drive up there.

Today, I have to go get cigarettes. In the rain.  Derp.  Poor planning on my part.  On the upside, the pharmacy near the smoke shop carries greeting cards.  Barring that, the dollar store is just up the highway from there.  Maybe I can kill two birds with one stone.

I just had an idea for how to keep my peonies from falling over when it rains - stakes and yarn.  We have a boatload of both.  Yay.  And now that I've written the idea down here, I might not forget it.  ;o)

Finally installed my new mouse.  The roller thingie on the old one was going bad.  The new one is slightly bigger - even though it's the same make - and it's weird in my hand, but I'll get used to it.  Still haven't painted new letters on my keyboard, though.  Umm, yah.

Out at the lake a few days ago, we saw a couple ospreys circling each other and one of them had a fish in its claws.  I think he was trying to present her with a prezzie.  She wasn't having any of it.  Later, he left and she started calling - whether for him or in joy because he was gone, I don't know.  It was pretty cool.

Well, I think I've yattered on enough this morning.  Got anything to yatter back at me?

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Little Things That Make Me Happy

In no particular order...

- Hubs
- A new tube of toothpaste.
- A new mouse.
- When my hair looks good.
- The arrival of the mailman (even better if he's brought a check and no bills)
- Thursday morning trash pickup
- My bird-a-day calendar
- Flowers all around the yard - ones I've planted and wild ones.  Even dandelions.
- Seeing a hawk in our woods
- The call of a kingfisher
- Baby bunnies
- Puppies
- Kitties
- Learning one of my favorite animals at the pet refuge got adopted
- Finding really awesome used books at the thrift store
- Finding food I really like on sale
- Peanut butter on chocolate ice cream
- Selling books
- Buying books
- A new review
- Learning one of my reviews made the author's day
- A freshly washed floor (even if I hate washing floors)
- Baked goods
- Homemade pizza
- Finding a really good song on the radio
- Singing along
- When the eagles arrive in the fall
- Spring
- When Hubs and I are making each other laugh
- Good friends
- A nice day at the lake when the fish are biting
- Long walks in the countryside
- Helping and chatting with old people at the Wallyworld.
- A newly-mown lawn

So no matter how crappy things can be every now and again, I have plenty of things that can and do make me happy.  Some days are better than others.  Today is a good day.  Hell, every day you wake up is a good day.  =oD

What are some things that make you happy?

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 16

Here we are again.  Tada!

Once again, I did no writing, but I did get some editing done.  I really do love this book.  However, I've loved all my books.  Whether I love a book is not indicative of whether the world will love them, apparently.  Derp.

I've been marketing my wide ass off.  (Not literally, unfortunately.  Would that marketing could reduce ass size... :sigh:)  The ad generated 28 sales.  Hopefully I'll see page reads from that in the next week or so.  I sold 5 books I'm going to attribute to a combination of FB marketing and the increased rank from the ad sales.  AD hit #48 in Hard-Boiled Mystery, which is always good.  It also reached the top 100 in Noir.  Of course, those rankings didn't last the day, but hey, it was nice to see them first thing in the morning. And the sale is still going - today and tomorrow.  Woohoo.

I did a bit of reading.  Finished two and DNF'd two.

Kind of fell apart on the activity and the eating this week.  Only 4 out of 7 days of active stuff and some of that could barely count.  I mean, I got up off my dead butt and did something, but whether 3 of those days burned any calories?  Meh.  I know I burned calories yesterday because I scrubbed the kitchen-stove rug by hand and then I scrubbed the floors and shook all the other rugs.  Good upper-body workout, lemme tell ya.

On the other hand, I ate like a cow last week.  Which leads me to...

I made a bunch of foods last week.  Three straight days of baking - pizza, cake, and cookies - Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.  Finished the pizza Thursday, but we still have cake and cookies.  It's not so much eating things that's getting me, though, it's the amounts of things I'm eating.  I really need to cut down on the serving sizes.  I'm a firm believer in 'it's not what you eat, it's how much of it you eat'.  Gotta find some will power to eat less.  And exercise more, of course.

We went the entire week with no rat!  Peppermint, clove, and cedarwood oils did the trick.  I think.  I plan on doing an experiment starting tonight where I don't spray for a week and see if the furry bitch comes back.  If I don't spray and she comes back, it was the spray that drove her away.  If I don't spray and she doesn't come back, it's possible she got tired of rebuilding her nest.  Or a predator ate her.  I'm hoping it's not the latter.  She really was cute as a bug's butt.  And as annoying as she was, I don't want her to be dead.  Still, she's a prey animal and we do have coyotes, bobcats, foxes, snakes, and owls who would all find her to be a yummy meal.

Other than that, not much going on out here in the back of beyond.  What's up in your world?

ETA:  Ahem.  Totally forgot today would be Easter when I scheduled this post last night.  Happy Easter, Everyone!  

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 4/20/19

Hello again and welcome to another week of reading.

I was bored, so I went through the newsletters Thursday morning and picked up a bunch of free ebooks.  Plus, an acquaintance I trust mentioned a new release SF, so I snagged that, too.  Four books leftover from last month and 5 new books.  Yay!  I also still have most of those Agatha Christie's to read, a couple Phyllis Whitneys and... well, scads of other hardcopy books to read.

Books Read:

31) Ready to Were (Shift Happens #1) by Robyn Peterman (4/13/19) - Paranormal Romance* - 5 stars.  New to me, but not underappreciated.  Picked up off the Freebooksy newsletter.
Review: "Loads of fun."
30) The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (4/13/19) - Mystery - 5 stars.  First time I read it, but Agatha Christie is definitely not new to me or underappreciated.  Purchased at St. Vinny's for 50c.
Review: "Agatha Christie's first book... I can't believe I'd never read this one before. Interesting to see how it all began. Definitely shows why she's the Grand Dame of Mystery."


4/19/19 - Paranormal Mystery.  It read more like a travelogue or the beginning of a bad romance where the author is trying to show how much research she did on the location without giving a hint of the plot.  I gave up waiting for something to happen and moved on.  Too much to read to waste time on this one.  Luckily, it was a freebie I found on Ereader News Today.

4/18/19 - Romantic Suspense.  I wanted to like this, really I did, but I found myself making excuses to not read it rather than being excited to pick it up again.  At about a third of the way through, I finally decided to read something that did excite me.  I only paid 50c for it at the thrift store and that goes to a good cause, I guess.  It'll go to St. Vinny's on my next trip.

I'm currently reading the fifth book in a cozy mystery series I hadn't read yet.  :shrug:  I didn't notice the book was #5 until after I downloaded it and I thought I'd give it a whirl.  So far, so good. 

What did you read last week?  Any keepers?  Anything you couldn't bring yourself to waste time on?

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Thursday This n That

Yesterday afternoon, I got a wild hair and made cake from scratch.  And then last night, I made frosting from scratch.  Unfortunately, the frosting kind of took on a mind of its own and I probably have enough leftover to frost an entire other cake.  No, I did not do this for Easter dessert.  I did it because I wanted cake.  The cake turned out a little dense, but the frosting is to die for.

Speaking of Easter, I didn't even think about it until I realized earlier this week that it is, in fact THIS SUNDAY.  So, I asked Hubs what he wanted to do about dinner and he shrugged.  And then I shrugged.  Guess I don't have to panic then, huh?  We're not doing anything.  We pretty much deleted ham from the diet.  We stopped eating holiday candy.  I've been making all sorts of yummy things, so making something yummy Sunday wouldn't be super-special.  Meh.  Easter was more fun when the Kid was still living at home.  And I could gorge myself on Robin's Eggs.

I think Ms. Packrat is gone for good.  :knocks on wood:  Here's what I used: about 60 drops of peppermint essential oil and probably about that much of clove essential oil with lavender and cedarwood in a 32 oz spray bottle with about 16 oz of water.  (The peppermint said 20 drops per 5oz of water.)  Screwed the nozzle back and shook the hell out of it.  Sprayed liberally all over inside my engine compartment, paying special attention to the underside of the hood and the specific places the rat was nesting.  I do this every evening around sunset - which is when she starts getting active.  Fingers crossed it keeps working.  We're going to try an experiment and stop after a week.  See if she comes back.  If she does, back to spraying every day.  If not, every few days until we're pretty sure she's not coming back. 

I'm hoping the spray also keeps the deer from eating my lilies.  Wouldn't that be lovely?  Couldn't hurt, eh?

Also, I read somewhere that moles don't like coffee, so I bought some cheap coffee grounds and sprinkled them all over my gardens.  Time will tell if it works.

Saw my first hummingbird of the year.  I put the feeder out and the next day, a hummer.  Yay!

Okay, that's probably enough out of me.  What's up with you?

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Self-Sufficiency and, Oh Yeah, a Sale

Before I get started with the real post, here's the opening salvo for the Accidental Death sale.  Someone in the UK bought a copy before I even got started, so that's a good thing.
Nothing exciting ever happens in Serenity, CO. Especially not murder...

Starting today, Accidental Death is on sale for only 99c/99p. (Always free on Kindle Unlimited.)

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XM6VJ9U
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Accidental-Death-Dennis-Haggarty-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00XM6VJ9U"
Now, on to the actual post of the day...
I'm a big fan of self-reliance.  Whenever possible, I put my little thinking cap on and figure out how to do things with a minimum of fuss and expenditure.   

Take that picture up there.  Did it myself.  Oh, if you blow it up and really look, it's not perfect, but it works.  Made the cover of the book, too.  I like it.  

This weekend, I used some old insect repellent to drive away a rat.  Then I went out and got the stuff  in the insect repellent and made my own rat repellent.  Fingers crossed it works.  I haven't checked yet this morning.  That was not exactly cheap, but probably cheaper than paying someone to come out and trap the little bugger.  

The way our house is laid out, the morning sun comes through the sun porch window, through our office window, and smacks Hubs right in the face.  I thought and thought about that one, and tried some things that were lame and didn't work.  Then I got the idea to use a piece of black felt cloth I'd picked up years ago for another project, hang in from the plastic shelving unit and slide the unit in front of the sun room window.  Tada.  When the sun goes past a certain point, slide the shelving back.  Easy peasy.

Years ago, I sliced my finger open.  Probably could've used stitches, but it was Easter Sunday and who wants to face an ER bill?  Cleaned it up, put some bandaging on it, and then used to two popsicle sticks to keep my finger in place so the wound wouldn't keep popping open.  Barely have a scar now.

Hubs is the same way.  The bracket holding my muffler on rusted through and snapped, leaving my muffler hanging there with no support other than the pipe itself.  He took some wire and gerryrigged a fix.  That's held up for about three years now.  Then, when the grill had a rust problem, he found a way to fix that, too, using a couple metal brackets.  Good as new... well, almost.  It works, and that's the important thing.  Hell, after we moved here, Hubs taught himself everything about how to re-plumb a house and then did it.  Why pay a plumber, right?

Where there's a will there's a way.  


Sometimes, it would be easier to just pay someone else to do stuff.  Sometimes, it's necessary.  Like with anything electrical.  Neither of us wants to have anything to do with that, so we call our electrician.  He's reasonable and he's got loads of experience not electrocuting himself.  I also am willing to pay people to do covers I don't think I can pull of by myself.  And, of course, I pay an editor because I can't see everything that needs to be fixed in my own work.

But, still, I do whatever I can whenever I can do it.  

How about you?  Are you likely to do things yourself or find someone else to do it? 


Sunday, April 14, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 15

Fifteen weeks in... the wind still refuses to blow... no sign of land... the crew has slipped into a coma...  and still we float...

It's Sunday morning again.  Been up since 4:30 after a total turd of a night's sleep.  But that's what I get for eating ice cream before bed.  Derp.

No writing and no editing this week.  Blerg.

My sale for the SCIU books ended Tuesday.  Sold two books outright and had someone read through the whole series in KU, one after the other.  Then I tried to set up advertising for Accidental Death but I thought last week was the week before, so next week is two weeks away.  Umm...  Yeah.  Anyway, AD will be on sale starting Tuesday and running through next Monday.  Poor planning on my part, but I'm running with it.

Next Sunday is Easter.  Umm, yeah.  Poor planning on my part.  Totally.

I read some stuff.  Not a lot of stuff, but I'm chugging right along.

I did some active things early last week and then nothing.  3 out of 7 days.  But one of those days I went fishing twice, so technically I was active 4 times.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

If you're friends with me on FB, you may have seen the Packrat Saga.  Friday I was getting ready to go to Wallyworld and Hubs lifted the hood to put washer fluid in (my windshield washer mechanism leaks, so he does this every time I go anywhere) and a packrat popped up at him from my engine block.  It had built a lovely nest on my manifold the night before.  We scared the shit out of it, cleaned all the crap off - including the leaves from my hollyhocks... the bitch - and off I went.  Saturday morning, I went out to see if we'd scared her away.  Nope.  I found this...
No sign of the rat.  (Eastern Wood Rat aka pack rat, btw.)  But we cleaned it all off again.  I wiped everything down with orange Clorox wipes and then we put mothballs all around the engine compartment.  This morning, we'll see if it worked to encourage her to go elsewhere.  If not, it'll be Day 3 of Sandersons vs Rat. Two days and three hollyhocks bitten almost entirely to the ground.  Day 3 may include her untimely demise.  (Okay, probably not.  She really is kind of cute for a destructive little bitch.)  I read somewhere that dryer sheets and Irish Spring might deter her.  So, that's next up.

It's been pouring rain since yesterday morning.

In case you missed it, I made cookies on Thursday and posted the recipe Friday.  Yesterday, I made ribs.  And I ate too much of those, so I'm kinda feeling fat this morning.  No, I haven't weighed myself lately.

Spent some time watching The Masters Tournament.  Don't care who wins as long as it's not certain people who have irritated the crap out of me.

Hubs mowed the lawn for the first time this year.  Go Hubs.  As soon as this rain dries out, he'll be spraying for ticks.  Yay!  And I weeded the last of the garden beds so he can get the spray right in there for better tick slaughtering.

Not sure what this week will bring.  I'm closing my eyes and hanging on for dear life.  How about you?

UPDATE: Packrat 3, Sandersons 0.  The dryer sheets and Irish Spring thing sounded good in theory, but it was silly in practice.  I went to an old bottle of natural bug spray with citronella, lemon, and peppermint oil.  Doused the engine compartment.  Take that, you furry little bitch.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 4/13/19

Hello again.  Typical reading week here - a couple books finished (one of which was pretty long - the other I finished in a couple hours) and another started.  Let's see how it shook out...

No new books this week.  I'm down to 6 unread ebooks, though, so I'm making progress and should start downloading books again soon. 

Books read:

 29) Lights, Camera, Action by Heather Silvio (4/10/19) - Paranormal Mystery/Romance*# - 4 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Found it on the Kindle/Book Club for 99c.
Review: "Fun little paranormal mystery/romance."

28) Timothy Williams Demon Hunter by Iestyn Long (4/8/19) - MG UF*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Picked it up off the 'Free Kindle Books' FB page.
Review: "A thoroughly enjoyable story of the fight between good and evil, with a bit of tongue and cheek to cut the seriousness of the issue. I did go into this thinking it would be a Middle Grade novel - the main character is 13 - but partway in, I realized that perhaps this is a bit too gritty and gruesome for the age range. There were bits that had me cringing at the thought middle grade kids might be reading this without some kind of parental guidance. Personally, I loved the historical parts, but again, not necessarily for kids. You'll have to decide for yourself. Definitely loads to talk about with your kids if you read it first and then pass it on to them."
Note:  After I posted this review, the author added a disclaimer to his marketing efforts about this being PG-13.  Totally not my intention.  I just wanted readers to walk into it with their eyes open, so they don't get blindsided and end up leaving this wonderful book bad reviews. 


4/11/19 - Romantic Suspense.  This was a hardcopy I picked up at St. Vinny's for 50c of an older story by an author I usually like, but I didn't make it past the beginning of chapter 3.  The characters were annoying me.  And I realize it was just me.  Which is why I don't give titles and names in the DNF section.

Currently reading: This week, I organized all my Agatha Christie paperbacks by MC.  Then I sat down to read the very first book she'd ever published.  Nothing quite like going back to the old masters. =o)

What have you been reading?  Anything good?

Friday, April 12, 2019


Since I didn't have anything writerly to talk about over at Outside the Box today, I thought I'd share a recipe here. 

PBORC (Peanut Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookies)

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
¾ cup white sugar
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup quick oats
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350F.  In a large bowl, cream together butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth.  Beat in the eggs one at a time until well-mixed.  In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and oats.  Mix by hand into wet mixture until just combined.  Fold in raisins.  Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake for 10-13 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Let cool on sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring to paper towels (or rack or whatever you use) to cool completely.  Store in a gallon baggie or other airtight container.  Makes about 40 cookies.

The original recipe called for salt, but the cookies turned out way too salty for me, so I dropped it.  There's plenty of salt in the butter and peanut butter, plus the salty flavor of the baking soda.  If you want salt, though, go for it.  Just don't put in the entire teaspoon they had in their recipe.  It also didn't call for raisins, and I did make a few plain cookies before I added raisins into the rest of the batter.  They're good, so if you're anti-raisin, leave them out.  (Better with raisins, imo.)


Thursday, April 11, 2019

Thursday This n That

Yesterday's post was caused by a combination of the end of a week-long sale that had few sales and basic frustration.  I'd say 'it'll pass', but I'm not sure it will or that it even ought to.

I got a call yesterday from a 'Babette Hosier'.  Caller ID can be fun.  Definitely a change from "Unknown Caller" and "Not Provided".

Speaking of which, what the hell is it with all the freakin' spam calls?  I mean, we're pretty sure it's because Hubs will be eligible for Medicare later this year and it's a rolling stampede of morons trying to get him to sign up for their super-special supplementary insurance plan.  Lemme tell ya something - we will never sign up for anything that comes through telemarketing.  As if.  Duh.

We're also being inundated with wasps this year.  Oh, holy crap.  They like to get into the smoking porch - which is totally enclosed and has screens on the windows and junk.  Too bad for them, the smoking porch is lined with nicotine-impregnated cedar.  If we don't kill them with a flyswatter, the ambience will.  Heh.  Otherwise, they're just all over the freakin' place outside.  Walk around the yard at your own risk, lemme tell ya.

The other day we were casually watching game shows when there came a knock on the door.  Which was really weird because we didn't hear a car.  Peeked outside and there's a woman standing on our porch.  A pregnant woman.  Hubs opens the door and she starts asking if we've seen her little dog.  We have no clue who this person or her dog is.  Hubs asks what kind of dog and she says 'min-pin'.  "Excuse me?" he says.  "Min-pin?" Time for me to step in because she was kind of looking at him like he was nuts because he didn't know what a min-pin was.  "You mean a miniature pinscher?"  "Oh.  Yes."  Apparently it was fat little min-pin and she found it.  I saw her walking home with it about 5 minutes after she stopped here.  Nice to meet the new neighbors. At least now if we see him again, we know his name and where he belongs.

According to the fishing dudes around here, we're at the spawn.  This is the time when the fish are making baby fish - she's laying down eggs and he's milting all over them.  It's a good time to catch fish, but not a good time to keep fish.  And I want to keep them so I can eat them.  Right now, I sadly let even the keepers go, so they can make more fish.  The rest of the year they won't be so lucky.  And neither will I in catching them.  =o\

What's on your this n that radar today?

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Life with an Elderly Cat

Kira is an old cat.  Next month, she'll be celebrating her 16th birthday.  Which makes her 80, according to Purina.  I've had her since she was 13 weeks old.  Which means I've had her about eight months longer than I've had my husband. 

Here are some things I do to make her twilight years the best they can be.

- I give her Cosequin.  If you're not familiar with it, it's a joint supplement similar to glucosamine for humans.  It certainly helps with her hips.  Because she's not only old, but also hefty, she has hip problems.

- I have the house set up so she never needs to jump up on the beds.  I bought pet stairs for the master bedroom and I set up a bunch of plastic tubs as stairs for the bed in the spare room.  We lift her if she wants lap time.  She has never been one for jumping on tables, counters, etc. so that's a non-issue.

- We let her do whatever she wants to do, for the most part.  Don't mess with the old lady cat.

- She gets urinary tract formula pet food.  Which comes in these too-big bags that she takes too long to eat so it gets stale and causes its own set of problems.  So I've started portioning the bags out into gallon baggies and storing them in the freezer.  When one gets low, I defrost the next one.  That way the food always stays fresh.

-  We give her purified water.  Our tap water is extremely hard and I was thinking it was contributing to her UTI problems.

- She eats whenever she wants.  Right now, we're on a can of Fancy Feast four times a day - most of which gets thrown out.   The Cosequin goes in the third can, because that's the one she eats most of.  She also get about a third of a cup of kibbles before bed.  She grazes on that throughout the day.

- I put fish oil on her food twice a day.  It helps prevent constipated-kitty.  Use a pin to poke a hole in the capsule and squirt it on her wet food.  One capsule in the morning, two in the afternoon.  She prefers salmon oil.

As she's gotten older, there are now a few things I have to do to make her life easier.  I carry her and set her in front of the litter box because sometimes I think she's not exactly sure where it is or whether she needs to use it.  Sometimes, I have to encourage her to go inside.  If she then needs to use it, she does.  Sometimes she goes in and then comes right back out, but I'm okay with that.

If she needs anything, she isn't shy about letting me know.  She lays on the kitchen rug and meows until I attend to her needs.  The problem is figuring out what she's asking for.  If I've already fed her, then it's probably time for fish oil.  If she's already had food and fish oil, she probably needs to use the litter box.  If none of the above, she either wants pets and loves or she wants me to carry her to bed.  I pet her and love her and then put her on the bed next to her flannel pillowcase.  She loves the flannel.

Playtime for Kira consists of her laying on the floor next to her toys and occasionally batting at one or grabbing hold of one and biting the hell out of it.  Sometimes we'll get on the floor with her and shake a stringy toy, which she'll bat at vigorously - as long as she doesn't have to chase it - until she's bored.

She's the reason we don't have a dog.  She's also the reason why, after we lost Max, we didn't get another cat.  She prefers to be an only furbaby. 

Her life is good.  How much longer we have with her is anyone's guess.  They say if I put her on a diet, she'll live longer.  I think the stress of going on a diet will do more harm than good.  (And the stress of having an unhappy cat around the house certainly wouldn't do us any good.)

What are some things you do for your pets?  Did you ever think you'd do some of the things you do? 

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 14

Well, that was another week.  The first week of April.  Woohoo.

I'm back to editing again.  Last time I checked I was at 42% on the Kindle read-through / note-making phase.  Which means next up is learning whether the middle is as bad as I remember it.  Middles... Ugh.

This is the middle of a sale again, so I've been doing a lot of marketing.  Not a lot of selling, but I keep trying.

The reading went well this week.  Two books I seriously enjoyed and one dud. I'm enjoying the book I'm on now.  I thought it was MG - the MC is 13 - but it's a little grisly for MG.  :shrug:

On the activity front, I did something 6 out of 7 days - walking, fishing, cleaning,  I haven't started back on any actual exercise routine.  Maybe next week.  We'll see. Let's not talk about weight, k?

Spent a bit of time on the pay-job this past week.  Which is good as long as the mail service keeps bringing me my paychecks.  They lost one a couple weeks ago.  They cut me a replacement one, but I wonder how the postal people would like it if one of their checks got lost for two weeks.  Hmm.

In wildlife news, the deer are starting to show their pregnancies.  I counted six pregnant out of eight in the yard the other day.  And that's not even all the does we have.  I can't wait for the babies to arrive.

I spent a lot of yesterday morning working on the garden beds.  Ugh, there were a lot of weeds and a lot more to go.  And moles.  Ugh.  Time to pepper the gardens again, so I went to Amazon to see how much pepper I could get at one go and what it would cost me.  They have a 5lb container of black pepper for about $30, which is cool. BUT they also had a 6lb container of cayenne for about $28, which is even cooler.  Then I googled to see what spice works best to deter moles.  Yep, cayenne is better than black.  BUT coffee grounds apparently deter moles, too.  I have tons of coffee grounds readily available - I mean, once I start saving the used stuff instead of throwing it away.  Cha-ching.

Yesterday also saw me making homemade pizza again.  Hey, it's healthier than store bought.  (Not by much, but I'll take what I can get.) 

What happened in your Week 14? 

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 4/6/19

It was an interesting reading week, so let's get right to it.

I only picked up one new ebook this week, and I already read it.  I'm kind of holding off downloading more for the time being - you know, unless something I gotta have hits my radar.  I've still got seven unread ebooks waiting and then there are all those hardcopies.  Plus, I'm back to work again, so that ought to cut into the reading time.

Books Read:

27)  Roots of Misfortune (Herbert and Melancon #2) by Seth Pevey (4/1/19) - Suspense*2 - 5 stars.  Not new to me, and so new it has few reviews, but it is a Book 2.  The author contacted me about this one.  I paid full price - $3.99 - but I so wanted this I was willing to foot the bill.
Review: "This book is an amazing read. Totally lived up to the promise of the first book. With a new thrill all its own. Fun in places and a little disturbing in others, heart-wrenching along the way but ultimately uplifting. I loved Felix and David so much in THE KREWE I was thrilled to learn of a second book in the Herbert and Melancon series. The characters, the premise, the writing... with the backdrop of New Orleans... it's all there and it's all awesome. And now I'm sad that there is no more of this book left to read - because I'd read more if there was more. Don't worry, there's no cliffhanger here - just a desire to remain in the world of these characters, solving crime and fighting the good fight against the bad guys... and against their inner demons."

26) Dig Two Graves (Solomon Gray #1) by Keith Nixon (3/31/19) - Suspense* - 5 stars.  New to me, but not underappreciated.  And for good reason.  Saw this as a freebie in the ENT newsletter.
Review: "Gripping and suspenseful. I love these British novels and this was no disappointment. Loved the characters, an ingtriguing premise, plenty of twists along the way. Good stuff."


4/2/19 - I'd give the genre, but I have no clue - paranormal something or other?  I picked it up because it met my parameters and the beginning of it seemed quirky and fun.  But quirky, when overdone, can really wear on a person.  This was just weird and I couldn't figure out what the hell it was doing or where the hell it was going.  I finally gave up.  Found it as a freebie on Book Gorilla.

Currently reading a MG urban fantasy slash whatever with teens and angels and devils (I'm really bad at figuring out genres sometimes).  It's okay.  It started out with a promise to be way funnier than it is turning out to be.   And I thought I was making good progress on it only to see I was only at 25%, so it's either bigger than I assumed or it's a slow read.  

What awesomeness did you read this week? 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Thursday This n That

I find it amusing that California is apparently freaking out about a potential avocado shortage.  Especially since they're the highest avocado producing state in the US.  Sure, CA produces way less than we import, but they export most of what they grow, from what I scanned through yesterday.  Plus, avocados are grown in FL and HI, too.  Oh, and a bunch of other countries that aren't on our border grow avocados - AU, NZ, Brazil, Peru...  They might be a bit more expensive.  Then again, considering how much other produce we get from all around the world, maybe not.  Tell ya what Cali, keep all of your avocados in state from now on.  Personally, I'd rather have a secure border than a cheap avocado.  :shrug:  Tell ya what, you can have all of mine.  K?

Speaking of produce, I bought a bag of apples in AR that were grown in Sparta, Michigan.  Gotta love technology and progress and freedom.  Yummy yummy apples from my home state, out of season and reasonably priced. 

I'm utterly surprised to have lilies coming back this year.  The deer munched them all to the ground last summer, so I figured without the leaves to provide energy, the bulbs would surely die.  Guess not.  Must be the lilies way of continuing to thrive amidst adversity.  Go Lilies!

Amazon supposedly fixed the pricing problem I had yesterday.  Still looked screwed up to me, but I stopped having the gumption to fight it.  It is what it is.  Thank goodness I didn't pay for advertising this time.

Blogger is having a brain fart while I type this.  Lagging big time and putting weird characters where there shouldn't be any characters.  Bleh.  Remember how I said 'gotta love technology' up there?  Yeah, love it when it works. 

Anyway, rather than have this whole thing fall apart in the middle of writing it, I'll let you go for now.  How are the this n thats in your world?

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Ranty McRanterson

I am totally sick of commercials with snotty children in them.  If you're a business and you have snotty kids in your commercials, I won't be buying your products.  I'm looking at you, Cascade.  Yeah, I rinse my dishes before I put them in the dishwasher. And no snotty little girl is going to convince me that buying your product will stop the need for doing so.  What kind of out-of-touch marketing moron did you hire to think up that piece of brilliance? 

Apparently, I'm not the only one annoyed by the above.  When I went online to make sure it was indeed a Cascade commercial, I found several other people ranting about it.  In fact, there's a whole forum page devoted to ranting about that commercial.

In other news, I went to the bait shop for the first time in a long time.  I needed more worms and I wanted to get the skinny on that robbery they had a while back.  The skinny on the robbery was that it was two white youths in masks who approached the gal at the cash register with a knife.  She initially thought they were kidding and slapped their hands away from the register.  One of them snatched her cell phone and they ran off.  They have not been apprehended.  Little assholes.  Who the hell do they think they are?  Trying to rob an old woman at knifepoint.  Gah.

I also learned that one of the two old women who work there passed away about a month ago.  I was totally bummed.  I really liked her.  She was quick-witted and funny and a total badass granny.  Her death was caused, apparently, by a combination of a fall which led to a broken hip and then shoddy care at a nursing home which led to another fall and a couple heart attacks.  You'll never catch me in a nursing home, lemme tell ya.  I mean, I was already against it because of what happened with my grandfather nearly 40 years ago.  This loss just underscores that point.

Speaking of shoddy care, the night after my grandfather had his stroke in 1980, grandma fell and broke her hip.  While she was in the hospital, she developed gangrenous bedsores and had to have her leg removed.  And that was only my first experience with shoddy medical care.  So, people shouldn't wonder why I don't trust the medical profession as a whole. 

There are other things I could rant about, but we'd be here all day.  Don't get me started.