Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Chaos Diaries - 4/30/20

Yesterday, I did go to Wallyworld. 

And to kill the suspense up front, it was the kitty litter making the cat sneeze and balk about going into the litterbox.  As soon as Hubs changed it out, the cat went in and didn't sneeze at all, peed without issue, and the general sneezing has lessened considerably.  It'll probably stop once I clean the house again.

Now, here's how the day went...

First things first, I made a colossal grocery list.  Like damn and whoa.  Then off I went.  Hit the bank first.  They informed me that they'll be opening the lobby back up again on Monday.  Yay!  Everyone is fine there.  Stopped for gas.  $1.29 a gallon here.  Everyone is fine there.  Hit the feed store and got eight 50lb bags of whole corn for the deer.  Everyone there is fine.

Unfortunately, I got the sullen dude loading corn into my car this time.  I told him 'put 6 bags in the back seat and 2 in the trunk'.  He throws two in the back seat and moves the forklift to the back of my car, where he starts throwing bags in the trunk.  I stopped him after two and repeated my instructions.  Man, was he pissed as he moved the forklift back next to the car.  I've been over this with him before.  I need a certain weight distribution in my car or it drives weird, which is why I always load corn into the back seat.  This time, I got so much, I needed to put some in the trunk.

Anyway, I got that done and trundled down to Wallyworld.  I didn't see everyone going in or coming out with masks on their face, so I stuck mine in my purse and went for it.  I also put a cough drop in my mouth because smoker's cough right now is a bad thing.  The workers at the little tent pass-through thing were wearing masks and they informed me Walmart is mostly one-way now.  Follow the signs, etc.  Through the doors and into the store where a worked told me the carts are disinfected and that it's all one-way and to follow the signs. 

Off I went into bizarro world.  I finally found my first sign after a bit - at the first short aisle I went to.  They're on the floor.  And at the end of that first aisle, I encountered a elderly woman trying to enter the wrong way.  I said 'sorry, hon, but you can't come in this way' and pointed to the sign at her feet.  She grinned and apologized and said something like 'oh, that's where the signs are'.

I went about my shopping like usual, following the signs which isn't that hard.  Most people were obeying the rules.  Some people were being assholes, but you get that on a regular day anyway.  About 2/3rds of the shoppers were wearing masks.  Of those, about 10% were wearing them wrong.  If you're going to wear a mask, it has to cover your nose AND your mouth.  All but two of the workers were wearing masks and the two who weren't didn't seem like they had half a brain between them.

So, I go into the juice aisle and there are these two young males in blue vests and no masks, staring at the shelves like they can't find where they're supposed to stock something.  I need to get to the apple juice, which his behind the big cart of stuff they're stocking.  So I point to the juice and ask them to move their cart.  Which they do, but then they're standing right there where I have to brush past them to get the damn juice.  So I ask them to move again.  And they look at me like I'm an idiot.  Then I'm all likes 'dudes, Walmart is telling me I have to stay 6 feet away from you, so move back 6 feet already'.  Sheesh.  Not brain surgery.

About 3/4 of the way through the store, my cart is full to overflowing.  There was no way I was going to get the meat and produce and frozen stuff in there.  So, I decided to check out with that load, put it in the car, and go back again.  Checkout #1 went fine.  I stuffed the car and went for another run through the gauntlet.  Keep six feet apart, follow the signs, etc.  Got what I needed and headed for checkout again.  The shortest line happened to be one of my favorite cashiers - I'll call her K.  Yay.

The guy at the checkout checks out.  The guy right in front of me has a little dog with him and is wearing a big top hat.  Okaaay.  Then I notice he's buying copious packs of balloons.  Fun.  Except he doesn't have enough cash and he keeps digging through his pockets coming up with coins and tossing them on the conveyor in hopes he'll come up with the $24.35 or whatever he needs to make his purchase.  I spoke up and offered to meet the difference, but K shook her head.  On and on with more coins being found and him continuing to say he was sure he had a five in their somewhere.  I pulled a five out of my purse, threw it on the belt, and said 'make up the difference out of that'.  

He thanked me profusely and told the cashier that any change was mine.  Well, duh.  Then he asked me if I had any kids.  Umm, okay.  Then he informed me he makes balloon animals in the park and gives them to the kids for free.  Umm, okay.  Explains the odd clothes and the little dog, I guess.  He gathered his balloons and left.  I just wanted to get back out to the car before my ice cream melted and at the rate we were going, it wasn't going to be likely without intervention. 

Poor K.  She told me that guy does that every time he comes in there.  :shrug:  I told her it was worth $5 to me to get the show underway.  I ended up paying $1.03 for his stuff.  We won't talk about how much I paid for my stuff.  Good thing it was for a month's worth of food. 

I asked K how she was doing and she just shook her head sadly. then she whispered that she's been there every day since this whole thing started.  Bad enough for any cashier, but K is like in her seventies.  She's wiped out and I don't blame her.  But she's good at her job, she's probably taking on extra shifts because she knows they're hurting for workers right now and, unfortunately, I think she needs the money.  I wish I could do something more for her than just being a nice customer who doesn't give her shit and genuinely cares about how she's doing amidst all this chaos crap.

Other than the huge unloading of the car, the rest of the trip was uneventful.  The gal at the feed store told me that Arkansas is allowing restaurants to open starting on Monday.  Yay.  It doesn't matter to me, because we don't eat out anyway, but it'll help the local economy, which is always good.  Her?  She's a widow who eats out often, so this is even happier news for her. 

Well, I just scrolled back up and saw how long this post became.  Thanks for sticking with me all the way through.  I hope your day is awesome and that you stay safe and healthy.  :hugs:

How are things going for you?

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Chaos Diairies - 4/29/20

One thing one must remember is that they are called a dollar store, at least why they used to be called dollar stores, necause they often sold seconds and irregulars and stuff made more cheaply than regular stores.  Therefore, buying the same brand at DG might yield a different result than the same brand at Wallyworld.  The reason I mention this is that I bought Kira's regular brand kitty litter at DG the other day.  Ever since we started using that particular package, she's been sneezing her fool head off and is less likely to want to use the litterbox.  Oh, she hasn't gone anywhere else yet, but she balks every time I put her in the litterbox now.  I'm all like 'the sooner you go, the sooner you can get out', but no.

Which leads me around to the salient question of the day - Do I go to Wallyworld earlier than planned or let the cat sneeze for another week?  Also salient - is it the litter or are her allergies spiking particularly hard this year and it just happened to coincide with the opening of the litter?

Owl also informed me last night that she's almost out of something she needs.  Blerg.

I had heard a rumor that everyone has to wear facemasks at Wallyworld now.  The most recent update I could find says employees have to, but customers are only encouraged to.  I will take one with me and put it on if I have to.

Additionally, I saw a headline this morning that some stores in Western Michigan are refusing service to people not wearing masks.  Personally, I think the world has gone stark-raving mad.  It also occurred to me that a certain segment of the populace, who wear face coverings as part of their culture, should be particularly happy right now. 

I'm particularly tired of statistics right now.  Statistics can be manipulated pretty much any way you want to manipulate them.  Which reminds me, there's a commercial with this one particularly annoying ass talking about the drop in Trump's approval ratings like it's the most fun thing ever.  Last I heard, there was no drop in approval ratings.  I could be wrong.  I don't exactly have my finger on the pulse of the American people.  And I guess it depends on which segment of the populace you're polling.  Either way, people can say pretty much whatever they want on TV.

Right now, people are watching a lot of TV, so I guess now would be the time to put out whatever message you want the masses to buy.

Speaking of buying, I'm getting irritated with commercials for things we can longer buy or no longer have access to.  But then again, I'm just generally irritable this morning.  I need more coffee. 

How are things with you today? 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Chaos Diaries - 4/28/20

I'll be glad when I no longer have reason to do another Chaos Diaries post, but the foreseeable future looks bleak, so here we are again.

Not sure if you've heard, but farmers are getting hit hard by this shutdown crap.  People aren't visiting restaurants, so that whole section of their market isn't buying produce and meat.  Individuals aren't buying fresh produce very much right now either.  Not sure about the meat, but I bought a freezer full early in the month, so it's not like I'm contributing to their sales right now either.  And when meat sales go down, the grain to feed those cows see sales tank.  It's a vicious cascade.  I won't be able to judge availability for myself until the next time I hit Walmart, which'll be either next week or the week after.

In Michigan, Halfwit decided it was okay to do some things outside, but everyone has to wear face masks.  Mom has been getting in her car, driving it to the back of her apartment complex to get her mail and then driving back to her parking space.  Other than that, and one short trip to the office to take care of pressing issues, she hasn't left her apartment for over a month.  Her library is closed, so no books for her - which is a definite hardship for a woman who regularly picked up a bag of 20-30 books from the library.  I'm tempted to box up a bunch of books to mail to her, except she has nowhere to store books and no way to donate them to anyone else.  I really wish she was open to the idea of an ereader, but she's not.

Our mailman is now wearing surgical gloves to deliver mail.  The thing about surgical gloves is that you should change them frequently.  As in, if he was doing it conscientiously, between each mailbox he touches.  Otherwise, the germs he picks up from one mailbox travels with him to the next mailbox, and so on so on.  Purell your hands, my friends.  If you're really concerned about the spread of germs to yourself and others, it's the way to go.  And if you can't find hand sanitizer, alcohol.  And if you can't find alcohol, just don't touch your face until you're somewhere you can wash your hands.

Personally, I hate hand sanitizers.  They're hard on my skin and I have this neurotic thing about dry hands.  But I use the stuff every time I go out.  When I get home, I wash the crap off and then lotion the hell out of my hands.  Oh, the stuff we have to roll with these days.  Let's not even get into my neuroses about having something covering my mouth.  I haven't been anywhere where a mask is required.  I dread that day.  I mean, I know rationally that I won't suffocate, but I still feel like I'm going to suffocate.  Imagine trying to make it through a grocery shopping trip while feeling that you're going to suffocate the whole time.  Yep.  Dread it.  Mightily.

All in all, we're still all fine here.  Owl is getting a little lonesome for the outside world - mainly shopping, I think, since she's keeping in touch with her friends online and taking walks.  I have shot appointment on Friday.  I really need to call the doctor's office to see if they have any rules in place so I know ahead of time whether to bring a mask or wait in my car or what have you.  Hell, I'd be willing to wait on their back porch and have the nurse poke me in the doorway.

On the bright side, Hubs and Owl are getting a chance to connect that they never had when Hubs was working.  Gotta find the bright sides in all of this.  They're there somewhere.

Got any bright sides for me today?  How are things going where you are?  Have you been to the store lately?  How's the produce and meat selection where you're at?

Oh, I forgot to mention... During this chaos crap, my internet is obscenely slow, so if you don't see me on FB, your blogs, etc., I'm wading along as best as I can and I'll get there when the internet allows me to.  This also goes for approving comments, since it's hit or miss whether Gmail will come up at all.  Blerg.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Sunday Update - Week 16

Hello.  I forgot to set this up last night, and I'm not quite awake yet, but here goes...

I finished all the edit notes I had and then started in on the crutch words.  I'll work on those today and then start the read through tomorrow, so I can meet my goal of having this done by the end of the month.  After I get that done, I still have to format, so it might be 5/1 when I finally get it live.  May Day! 

Last week was a good reading week.  Yesterday, I started Dan Brown's Inferno.  Gotta say, so far I'm not feeling it.  Which is too bad because I liked the other two books of his I've read. 

I was a baking fiend this week.  I made chocolate chunk cookies (recipe below), peach upside-down cake, and pizza.  All sans-mixer recipes.  No word on when my new mixer will ship.  =o\

All the cat food I've ordered has now shipped.  One package is coming from FL and the other is coming from CA.  They should both be here midweek, good lord willin' and the crick don't rise.

On the activity front, I was only really active 3 days this week.  Two of those days, I went fishing.  One day I cleaned the inside of the dishwasher, which, if you've never done it, totally counts.  Still, one of those pounds I gained back left again.  Weight: 173.4

Other than that, I was pretty much a slacker.  I really need to get outside and do some gardening.  Weeds need pulling, there are still two beds I never cleaned after the winter, and my block project is still sitting under the deck waiting for me to start it.  Hubs mowed again and should start the first bug spray of the year today, so I need to get some of that stuff done before he sprays.  Ah, thank goodness for cool mornings.  I also need to do some cleaning inside here. 

Okay, well, I think that's it for me.  If I've forgotten anything and you have a burning need to know about it, ask.  What did your last week look like?


Incredible Chocolate Chunk Cookies

½ cup butter (softened)
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup peanut butter
½ tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup oatmeal
1 cup chopped Hershey Special Dark miniatures.

Preheat oven to 350F.  In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugars.  Stir in egg and vanilla until smooth.  Stir in peanut butter.  In a separate bowl, sift flour, oatmeal, baking soda, and salt together.  Slowly stir dry mixture into wet mixture until combined.  Stir in chocolate chunks.  Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets.  Bake 9-10 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  Cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes before transferring to whatever you use to cool cookies completely.  I use paper towels or dish towels. 

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 04/25/20

Hello again.  It was a pretty good reading week here, even if I did have a couple DNFs.

I also picked up a few new ebooks, including the fourth book in a YA paranormal series I'd loved but was too cheap to buy the 4th book.  When I saw it was free, I was all like 'woohoo and squee'.  The other new ebooks were a future thriller, a paranormal, and a paranormal mystery.  Still no new hardcopies.  :heavy sigh:  Thank goodness for ebooks and my large collection of hardcopies.

Books read:

 39) The Judas Cypher by Greg Dragon (4/24/20) - Hard-boiled Crime/Dystopian*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Free off the Book Adrenaline newsletter.
Review: "Action packed throwback to the old hard-boiled crime novels but set in the later part of this century. A little crime, a little dystopian, a lot thrilling. Yay!"

38) Walking Sam by Deanna Lynn Sletten (4/22/20) - Romance*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated as far as reviews go.  Free off the Robin Reads newsletter.
Review: " Nice little romance, sweet and fun with a little sad and a good happy-ever-after."

37) Blood Money by Chris Underwood (4/18/20) - Urban Fantasy*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated as far as reviews go.  Free off the Reading Deals newsletter.
Review: "Wow. That was super fun. I loved the premise and the characters and the story. I especially loved Hider. More of this series will definitely be going on my 'to buy' list."

36) The Mummy (or Ramses the Damned) by Anne Rice (4/18/20) - Paranormal Romance - 5 stars.  I've owned this for years and I've read it bunches of times before, just not recently.
Review: "It's been years since I read this, and yep, I still think it's the best thing Rice ever wrote."
Note:  I'm not saying that lightly.  I read some of her vampire books* and thoroughly enjoyed them, but this was way better.   Kind of a chicken soup book for me, it's that good.


4/20/20 - Western - Meh.  Once again, not everything needs to be described in exacting detail.  I got bored slogging through the descriptions of his horse, it's tack, and the cattle car they were standing in, and moved on.

4/18/20 - Mystery.  I should've known better than to snag a 5th book in a previously unread series.  Maybe if I'd read the others, this one wouldn't have been so irritating.

Currently reading... I finished that last book right before bed last night, so I haven't had time to pick up another read.

What was on your reading list last week?

*Queen of the Damned was the best of those, in my opinion.  Still, second to this one.

Friday, April 24, 2020

The Chaos Diaries - 4/24/20

Every day the world is getting weirder.

All the catfood I ordered has now shipped.  Sixteen more days worth.  Unfortunately, the hand mixer that is in-stock has not shipped.  I saw something this morning about pet food being 'essential' that made me think they're not shipping my hand mixer because it's 'non-essential'.  Listen here, bud, that hand mixer is essential here. 

And since when do we let other people decide what is essential to us?  Every job is essential when it puts food on the table for your family.  Seeds are essential for the same reason and for the reason that planting things - even just flowers - is an excellent way to de-stress, get exercise and fresh air, and generally increase your well being.  City folks just don't get it.  And city folks are the ones controlling this crap for the most part. 

I read a thing this morning about a guy who has allergies who coughed in a store and got a bunch of dirty looks.  And he was wearing a mask, for petesakes.  Come on, people, get a grip.  This is why I now carry cough drops everywhere I go - which, to be honest, isn't very many places anymore.  I cough because I smoke, not because I have the 'rona. 

Speaking of not going places, it's been 16 days since I went to Wallyworld and over a week since I went to any other store.  This is not good for my mental well being.  I joked about being a hermit before.  Pish.  Before has nothing on now.

Here, we've settled into place.  The Owl does her thing, we do ours.  Her semester at college is officially done.  Other than not going to stores, our lives are pretty much the same as they always were.  I'm trying to find new and interesting things to make for dinner.  Today, though, will probably be chicken patty sandwiches.  The last of those.  Ate the last of the homemade chili last night.  Finished off the last pork roast Saturday.  I hope everyone likes chicken and fish, because we still have tons of that stuff. 

I defrosted one jug of the frozen milk and had some with a bowl of cereal.  Tastes the same, so that's a win.  Which is good, because the fresh milk is almost gone.  Time to start the defrost on a second jug - it takes about 3 days in the fridge to completely defrost. 

I am about this close to saying 'fuck it', jumping in the car, and wandering around Wallyworld for the hell of it.  If I wasn't worried about bringing this crap home to Hubs, I'd totally do it.  I'm not worried that it'll kill him, but I hate when he's sick because I always feel so bad for him, and I would hate to be the one who brought it home to him.  Me?  I'm not worried about me.  I'm strong like bull.  (So is he, btw, but like I said, I hate when he's sick.)

So, how are you these days?  Allergies getting to you?  Going stir-crazy?  Sick of the crap?  Talk to me, people.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Thursday This n That

Evaporated milk should not be put directly on cereal.  It wasn't bad, per se, but it was weird.  I had a partial can in the fridge and we're almost out of milk, so I thought 'what the heck?'  Next time, I'll use the 1:1 ratio of EM and water before I pour it over cereal.  It did work well as a milk substitute in oatmeal cookies, though.  (Which explains the partial can in the fridge.)

Frozen eggs are just as good as fresh.  I made an omelet with some eggs I froze and it turned out fine.  Note: I scrambled them before I froze them and they looked really orange until they were cooked.  Then they were yellow like usual.

It's been 15 days since I was at Walmart.  I feel like I should be sitting in a shoppers anonymous meeting when I say that.

I went fishing on Monday.  It was like a holiday weekend out there.  Boats everywhere.  People driving said boats like frickin' morons.  Almost got to see a boat accident, but instead got to hear fisherman yelling at the dude in the speed boat who almost hit them because he'd passed close enough to their boat to cut their fishing lines with his prop.

We're out of chocolate chips, so I raided the bag of Hershey's mini mix, pulling out Special Dark and regular.  I chopped those up and added them into the batter for a new cookie recipe I wanted to try.  Yummers.  I posted the recipe to FB.  I'll post it here on Sunday.

Today is the new moon according to my calendar.  I find it interesting that moon does not rotate.  It just sits there, staring down at us, as the Earth's shadow passes over it. 

Mother's Day is coming up and I don't even have greeting cards in the house to send to the moms.  I need to get off my butt and get something ordered ASAP.  Derp.  This chaos crap really has me all messed up.

Okay, one more cigarette and it's time to start the day.  I need a shower and I have to do the dishes I didn't do last night and... well, other stuffs.  Have the best day you can out there in the world. 

Anything on your this n that list today?

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Chaos Diaries - 4/21/20

Yeah, I know I already had a post today, but I thought this warranted posting, too.

Yesterday morning, I read a news story about a man in Florida who was so wrapped up in the fear and the chaos, he threatened to take a gun to Publix* and shoot anyone not wearing a mask and gloves. Of course, he did this publicly and is now in jail.  But what if he hadn't posted his urge to FB and had followed through?  

In comments to that news story, folks were saying how they understood him, which to me is almost as scary as the idea of him shooting up a Publix.  The fear is making people crazy and making people willing to accept the crazy. 

Also, I saw what I thought were perfectly rational people posting screeds against the re-opening of America.  As if that's going to kill us all. 

Early on,. I heard it said this was going to be no worse than the flu.  Then they ramped it up and it was going to be way worse than the flu.  Now they're saying it won't be worse than the flu.  The only way this is worse than the flu is that we aren't all terrified of the flu.  I don't think I've ever seen or heard of anyone threatening to kill people who might be spreading the flu. 

Also early on, I said I was more afraid of the economic impact of this thing than of the virus itself.  Yep, still am.  Unemployment is HIGH, small businesses are closed and may not be able to recover from this, we're looking at a huge down turn in the economy the likes of which make take us years to recover from. 

In other news, Half Whitmer announced she may extend Michigan's lockdown because of the protests.  Why?  :shrug:  I'm thinking spite.  Sort of an "I'll show you not to mess with me."  She's on a huge power trip and I hope the voters in Michigan do something about that. 

I heard the other day that journalism is taking a hit.  Well, what passes for journalism these days.  I think the article was in The Washington Post.  Personally, I don't think it's the virus that's hurting them as bad as the lies they've been printing for years.  They're responsible for part of this fear that's making people nuts. 

I do feel bad for the people who are so terrified of this they'd happily kill people and watch the economy fail.  They're trading liberty for the illusion of security.  Like the gal who went off on a tear calling anyone who wants to see the lockdowns lifted 'dumb asses', because her husband is a police officer and could, I don't know, catch this from people who aren't staying home.  I suspect she's spends every day afraid she'll get that call telling her that her husband will never come home.  Forcing everyone to stay home won't make her husband any safer, except from the chance he might catch this.  The criminals he deals with every day won't be paying attention to the stay-at-home order any more than they pay attention to any law.  Perhaps that's part of why this virus is so rampant in the areas where crime is high.

Now they're saying like 80% of the people who catch this get over it without medical intervention, many without even knowing they had it because their cases are so light. 

I also feel bad for the people who are dying from this.  And I feel bad for people who've died of any other contagious disease.  And I feel bad for people killed by drunk drivers.  You do what you can to avoid it, but sometimes death wins.  And it sucks.  Every time.  But we don't shut the world down for any other disease.  We didn't shut it down for Swine Flu, Ebola, Bird Flu, AIDS, etc.  Why this?  Why now?

Election year, perhaps?

Anyway, we're still all fine here.  I still don't know anyone who has it and I haven't heard any more stories of anyone I know who knows someone who has it.  An old dude in my pay job's office building was quarantined because he had a fever and a cough, but no word as to whether he actually had it, and he showed up at his office on Friday, so he must have gotten over whatever he had.  He's around 80 and in poor health anyway, so if he can get over it, I'm even less worried about it if I do catch it.

How are you and yours? 

*If you don't know Publix, it's a large grocery chain I used to shop at in FL.  I think it's elsewhere, too, but we didn't have any in MI and there aren't any around here either.

Socially Distant

The older I get the less interested I am in conflict.  This has never been more sharply in my mind than now, when the opportunity for conflict is all around.

When I was young, I would gleefully engage when someone said something I knew was wrong or stupid.  Now?  Meh.

I used to worry that people would take my silence for tacit approval.  Now?  :shrug:

Of course, I'm reminded of the old Seinfeld gag - where one of the characters chants 'serenity now' every time something bothers them until finally they explode from all the pent up rage.  "Serenity now, insanity later."

I'm also reminded of something Ayn Rand said a long time ago (and I'm paraphrasing here) - "When you realize the person you're talking to is irrational, walk away."  Which I take to mean, there's no amount of debating or arguing that will change an irrational mind, so continuing to engage with them is a waste of time.  It's saved me a lot of effort and a little heartache.

Of course, it helps that I am socially distant from the majority of mankind and have been for years.  I self-isolated before it was cool.

I trained for this as the wife of a city manager.  Getting involved in the bullshit of his job wouldn't have done us any good, so I stayed away from it all.  It was something we agreed to early in our marriage and it served us well over those years.  And it serves me still today.

Sure, I ranted and raved.  In the privacy of our home.  I still do in the privacy of our home and the limited autonomy of the internet - where I choose not to engage those that may have a difference of opinion.  I say things here and ignore any conflict that may come my way.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Sunday Update - Week 15

The fifteenth week of the year and who knows how many weeks into the chaos.  Woohoo.

I'm not still not writing or editing.  I admire greatly anyone who has the ability to shut this off long enough to focus on being creative.  I ain't one of you.  I wrote that yesterday morning, preparing this post for today.  Then I kicked my own ass for being a whiny baby and got back into the edits for Ugly and the Beast.  I edited almost 100 pages yesterday.  The end is near.  This chaos crap has wasted enough of my time and mental real estate this year.  Time to open back up for business.

Also, I had some new thoughts about Cinder Ugly's next scene and I'm feeling good about getting back to that again.

I have been reading, naturally.  That shuts the chaos off for a while.  Other than what you saw on yesterday's Reading Wrap-up, I finished The Mummy and read a whole, albeit short, book yesterday, too.  I'll talk about those two next Saturday.

In baking news, I did granola bars, chocolate chip cake cookies, and oatmeal raisin cookies.  We're out of baker's cocoa now and powdered sugar, so chocolate anything and cake frosting are off the menu for a while.  We're also out of cake mix and chocolate chips, but that might not necessarily preclude me from making more cookies.  I have mini Hershey bars I could chop into bits, as well as the ingredients for cookie dough.  As long as the eggs hold out.  Still can't find eggs locally.  =o\

This morning, I'm going to make an omelet using eggs I had previously frozen.  I'll let you know how it goes.

My activity level's been pretty good this week.  I did the Hard Target Walk yesterday - 1.6 miles - and I shaved two minutes off my usual 30-minute time.  Also did a couple of shorter walks this past week and some cleaning.  And went fishing twice.  I gained back a pound from the stress-drop, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.  Weight: 174.6.  Still down eight pounds for the year.

Another active thing I did this week was spraying the poison ivy.  Die, you rancid bastards, die!

The deer are starting to look pregnant.  Yay!  And the hummingbirds are back!  Yay! 

And that's about it for me today.  What did your Week 15 look like?

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 4/18/20

Hello again.  It was a pretty good reading week.  Not explosive, but nice.

I picked up one new ebook this week - a western.  Still no new hardcopies, which is giving me a serious sad.  I can't wait for the thrift stores to open up again.  If they do open up again.  I'm not too worried about St. Vinny's - they're an institution - but the smaller places might not survive the shutdown.  =o(

Books read:

35) Greed (DI Scott Baker #1) by Jay Nadal (4/12/20) - Suspense*# - 5 stars.  New to me.  Plenty of ratings, but few reviews, so I'm counting it as underappreciated.  Free off the Reading Deals newsletter.
Review: "I do love British suspense novels. This was a pretty good one. Interesting plot. Neat twist. Good characters. Kept me turning the pages."

34) Catatonic (Tails of Talisman) by TM Stark (4/11/20) - Paranormal Something*# - 4 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Free off the Reading Deals newsletter.
No Review.
Note: I used the Amazon link here because Goodreads didn't have this book and when I used the Amazon ASIN to search it, it came up with basically the same book with a slightly different title and a totally different author name.  (I suspect she tried using a pen name in one place or the other, and rebranded the book.  The version I read was Catatonic.  The Goodreads version that I used for my Book Goal is the other one.)

4/11/20 - Mystery.  Free.  It was weird right out of the gate, especially the part where the MC is American, but the book from her POV is written British.  The author either needed to write it American or make the MC British.  Otherwise, it just feels wrong.  An American wouldn't be experiencing things in British terms.  We use a bathroom, not a loo.  Subway, not tube.  Truck not lorry.  Stuff like that.  =o\

Currently reading...  I pulled a chicken-soup book off the shelves - Anne Rice's The Mummy (or Ramses the Damned).  It's the best thing she ever wrote, in my opinion.  Seriously.  So much awesome.  I'll probably finish it today.

Hey, before I let you go, quick question: Have you ever snagged a book after reading one of these posts?  Just curious.  I'll keep doing these whether you answer 'yes' or not.

What did your reading week look like?

Friday, April 17, 2020

The Chaos Diaries - 4/17/20

I'm not sure how much longer I'll be doing these posts.  I guess as long as the chaos remains, there'll be something to talk about. 

Have you heard about the video Pelosi put out where she's talking about us being in this together eating ice cream (or some such nonsense) while she stands in front of her $20,000 SubZero fridge filled with gourmet ice cream?  Sorry, lady, the Dollar General here is out of ice cream and my Kenmore floor model fridge's freezer is full of meat, cheese, and bread I had to buy to stay out of the stores due to the chaos. 

Down to my last half-bowl of cheap-ass Great Value super-tub vanilla, btw.  The last of the GV orange sherbet went to the Owl yesterday.  No ice cream for us po' folks for a while, I guess.  I did manage to buy a box of those freezer ice thingies.  Oh, yum*.  I went all fancy and bought the Italian Ice kind, which should keep the Owl happy.  They were a dollar.

I had a real hankering for a chocolate chip cookie yesterday and went to get one.  But they were gone.  I muttered to myself  'someone ate the last cookie and didn't bother to tell me' at which point an abashed Hubs poked his head into the kitchen and admitted he was the culprit.  I don't care if he ate the last cookie.  I like making cookies for him to eat.  It was the not telling me part because if they tell me, I can make more.  I almost made more cookies last night, the need was so great, but they wouldn't have cooled in time for me to put them away before I went to bed, so nope.  I'll get to that later today.  Along with a batch of oatmeal cookies, because those are gone, too. 

Three people on a menu typically meant for two isn't an easy thing.  Everything goes quicker.  Usually, I eat leftovers for lunch.  No leftovers.  Good thing I like soup.

Yesterday morning, I went fishing by myself.  Just me and the lake.  It was necessary.  I didn't catch anything, but I did get some time in reacquainting myself with the baitcaster reel, so when I take Owl out again, I can teach her the spincaster I usually use.  Oh, and I also had 4 ospreys keeping me company.  I even got to see one dive for its prey.  (It missed, but still cool.)  I'm such a bird nerd.  =o)

The parking lot at the lake wasn't quite as full this time.  Still, more than on a typical Thursday morning.  I guess there are worse ways to spend your 'forced not to work' days.  As long as they all get in their boats and stay away from me, it's fine.

Well, I suppose I ought to get my butt in gear and start making cookies.

What are you up to in these chaotic times?

* Note sarcasm.  I want ICE CREAM, not frozen, flavored water.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

The Chaos Diaries - 4/16/20

There doesn't seem to be as much chaos here lately.  I'm not sure if everything is settling down or I'm just getting acclimated to it.

I hit the Dollar General yesterday.  When I got there, there were about 6 cars in the parking lot.  I saw five other shoppers, so the 6th car must've been the cashier.  One woman had latex gloves on.  Otherwise, except for staying the hell away from each other and emptier shelves than usual, it was pretty much any other morning in the store.  One gal was there with her kid, who was maybe 9. 

As for emptier shelves, DG wasn't too awful.  No eggs, no ice cream, the only cooking spray they had was butter flavored.  They had cat food, but none of the kinds Kira will eat.  Thankfully, thirty cans arrived in the mail yesterday - 10 more days.  The juice aisle was pretty scant, but I did get more apple juice.  We go through a lot of juice here since we quit soda pop.

Speaking of soda, I broke down and opened our last bottle of offbrand Mtn Dew.  It's two years old.  And flat.  But it's a beverage that isn't water, so I'm drinking it.

Speaking of things to drink, I heard through the grapevine that tonic water with quinine is good for combating this virus.  Not sure how true it is, but it can't hurt.  I'm drinking tonic and OJ like once a day.  Ooo, so exclusive.

Yesterday afternoon, the three of us went fishing and I began teaching Owl how to fish.  For the maiden outing, I broke out the old rig - short pole and closed reel.  The easiest to learn on.  Her casting was improving quite well.  Next outing, I'll teach her how to use my spincaster.  She got some bites, but nothing worth catching.  Hubs spent his time working the lures.  I caught one bluegill and that was at the end of our being out there. 

If you haven't already heard, the stimulus checks have started dropping.  Ours hasn't hit yet, so Hubs found a page at the IRS where you can check on your check.  Since we haven't had a refund in years, they didn't have our banking info on file for the direct deposit.  He entered all the stuffs, so we should be good to go now.  If you haven't seen yours hit your account, I suggest you hit the site.  You will need last year's tax info to prove you are who you say you are - Adjusted Gross Income and the amount of your refund/tax payment.  Good luck.

I also saw this morning where the Missouri governor is encouraging self-employed and gig workers hit by this to apply for unemployment.  Check whether your state is offering the same assistance. 

Additionally, I heard that the federal government's plan to help small business by getting them loans is a clusterfuck.  Hopefully, that will be worked out soon, so we won't see a tidal wave of small businesses going under due to this chaos crap.

There's other stuff, I'm sure, but it's time for me to get on with my day.

How are things going for you out there?  Anything to add?

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The Chaos Diaries - 4/15/20

Well, today is supposed to be tax day, but the chaos has pushed that back to... June?  July?  I don't remember.  We've all have our taxes done here, so it doesn't matter to me anymore. 

The governor of MO basically said 'why bother opening schools for two weeks?' and cancelled the rest of the school year.  I guess I had no idea the year was supposed to end on May 15th anyway.  :shrug:  This comes from not having school-aged children and the one in the neighborhood lives around the corner, so I don't actually notice when the bus stops coming for the year.  I'll notice next year when she moves into the house they're building next door.

Half Whitmer in Michigan is apparently trying to backpedal, pointing her finger at the retailers as being the ones who 'misunderstood' her mandates.  Well, maybe if your mandates were clear and made any logical sense whatsoever - you know like a real leader of men might issue - there wouldn't have been any misunderstanding.  Silly bitch.

I read something this morning about people getting ready to protest these mandates and stuff in North Carolina.  I also read something about protesting being declared 'non-essential' in Virginia.  So basically, they're saying 'stay in your homes and suck it, folks'.  Good thing I don't live over there.  Even better thing is they're not pulling that crap here.  Yet.

Yesterday, I made pizza.  It turned out really yummy and thus, I ate too much of it.  I also spent the morning poisoning the poison ivy.  That stuff is insidious, hiding under the mayapples and trying to look like Virginia Creeper.  I'll have to spray it again, I'm sure.  Maybe two more times.  Whatever it takes to kill it.

Today?  Well, I'm hoping my paycheck shows up, but if it doesn't, I'm still going to Dollar General.  Have to get my cell phone days before they run out.  One of these days, I'm going to look into something other than TracFone, but today is not that day.

Okee dokee.  I supposed I should go do something.  Have a great day wherever you are.  Stay safe and stay healthy.

How are things in your neck of the woods?  What are you doing to keep busy?

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The Chaos Diaries - 4/14/20

These days, I have Benjamin Franklin running on a loop in my head - 'Those who would give up liberty for a little security deserve neither.'  (Probably not an exact quote, but you get the gist.)  Especially as I watch my old home state run right down the crapper.

Personally, right here, we haven't given up any liberty except what we choose to set aside - like running to the store once a week - and our security is fine.  Other people in MO, with small businesses and jobs and school-aged kids are harder hit.  Some other states?  They're screwed royally.  Unfortunately, I fear the country as a whole may be screwed as well.  We'll see.

I said early on I was more worried about what this virus would do to the economy than what it would do to me.  I haven't changed my mind.  Virus worry is pretty low while economy worry rises daily.

One thing the chaos is doing is showing the true colors of some politicians - in glaring detail so it should be hard to miss it or ignore it.  I mean, hydroxychloroquine is showing awesome results, so banning it for no other reason than that the President said it was a good thing?  People are dying and they're playing politics?  

By the way, just now, I went to Google to learn how to spell hydroxychloroquine and the top three news stories - Washington Post, CNN, and MSNBC - were all negative about the drug.  Hmm.  Funny how other non-MSM news outlets are posting good stories about it saving people's lives.  Funnier how those positive stories are not making the top three at Google.  Just something to think about.

In other news, I scrubbed my shower yesterday.  With two people using it now, it needs more attention than it used to.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  Today, I'll tackle the rest of the bathroom.  Scrubbing the shower takes a lot out of me.  It's a full surround, so the only way to really get it clean is to wipe it all down with Soft Scrub and then strip down nekkid, turn on the shower, and climb in.  I get the whole thing scrubbed and rinsed, and then I wash myself.  The overhead part really gets those arm muscles working, lemme tell ya.  And now it's sparkly clean.  Yay.

I'm still trying to remember: Nothing matters but what matters.  It is what it is.  Conflict serves no purpose.  Then Hubs tried to put a fork in the dishwasher without rinsing it and I barked at him.  Well, not really a bark.  More like an emphatic nawp.  In my defense, I was doing dishes at the time and he could've just handed it to me.  In his defense, I'm a loon and there was nothing wrong with him trying to be helpful by just dropping the freaking fork in the silverware basket.  I apologized.

Being zen is hard when you're a closet control freak.  I did let Owl unload the dishwasher without standing over her shoulder to make sure she put everything away right.  And I've been letting her cook stuff without hovering.  And I haven't said anything about the amount of water she leaves on the bathroom floor after she showers.  Serenity now.  Ohhhhmmmm.

Not sure what today will bring.  I'm waiting on my paycheck so I can go to the bank and hit the Dollar General for a couple things I forget to buy at Wallyworld.  It's a day late so far.  I expect the USPS is running slow like everything else. 

Speaking of slow, I got an email from Amazon that one of the boxes of catfood I'd ordered shipped yesterday.  We'll see when it gets here.  It'll be another 10 days worth of food.  Which should put us safely into next month before I have to go to Wallyworld again.  By then, hopefully, the peak of this crap will be over and we'll be on the downslope.  :fingers crossed:

Stay safe and stay healthy out there, my friends.  :hugs:

Monday, April 13, 2020

The Chaos Diaries - 4/13/20

Easter went over without a hitch.  Of course, it's usually just the two of us and Owl is pretty self-encapsulated, so this year's Easter wasn't that different from other years.  The ham was certainly bigger.  Loads of leftover ham.

We ate around 1pm.  Then cake around 3.  Later, Hubs and Owl foraged for dinner.  And I totally forgot to eat dinner last night.  Derp.

I feel bad for my family in Michigan.  They get together every holiday - Mom and the sisters and my brother and their kids.  This was the first year in forever that no one could go to Mom's house except my middle sis who lives in the same building.  It's a tradition broken by this damn chaos.  I called Mom yesterday morning and wished her a Happy Easter, which has been my tradition for 18 years.  She's usually in the middle of making the big spread for the day and waiting for everyone to arrive.  This year, nothing.  I think Mid Sis was making the two of them a ham.

By now, you've probably heard about the power-mad governor of Michigan.  Hell, they were talking about it on the fishing forum down here, it's so nuts.  You can boat and fish, but only from non-motorized vessels?  Like the boat motor spreads King Flu or something?  You can't buy gardening stuff there?  Seeds are off limits, for pitysakes.  Okay, so you can probably get seeds online.  What's that going to do to the local gardening places?  And she wants to be vice-prez?  :shudder:  I feel bad for my family up there - they sure as hell didn't vote for Halfwit, but they're trapped by her policies.

Speaking of online, I ordered cat food from Amazon last month.  They keep saying it's going to arrive today, but it still doesn't show my order has even shipped.  We're still good for about 10 days (actually 19 - I forgot about the backup cans), but let's not push it, eh?   ** 10:30am update - got an email from Amazon that shipment has been delayed, but the link they provided still says it'll be here today.  No ETA on when it'll actually be here.

To add to the chaos, yesterday morning our internet went bonkers and then died.  Apparently, it was a large outage and not just us.  Scary shit.  We got it back around noon, after 5 hours, but being internet-less was not something any of us wanted.  My heartfelt thanks to all the people who worked on Easter to get us back online.

Hubs watched an old Yankees game last night.  When you're hard up for sports, that's what you have to do.  It was nice to see the old gang - Jeter, Posada, etc. - but it wasn't the same.  Personally, I'm sad that we had no Masters Tournament this year.  And the old Masters they were showing was last year's.  Boring.

How are you doing out there in chaos land?  Did you have a nice Easter?  Are you getting outside to enjoy Spring? 

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Sunday Update- Week 14

The days and weeks are blurring together worse than usual lately.  I know today is Sunday because it's Easter. 

Happy Easter, by the way.  We're having ham and I made a cake yesterday.  Other than that, just another day on self-imposed lockdown.  The real thing about today is it's the first Easter we've spent with Owl since 2012.  And I don't even know where the Easter basket is and we don't have anything to put in it even if I knew where it was.  I usually send her a gift basket or something, but this year, since she's here and it's chaos, we got nothin'.  But she's 26, so I think she'll get over it.

Still no writing or editing.  Maybe today.  I spent a lot of time thinking about it when I should've been falling asleep last night.  We'll see.  No marketing or sales either.

I only finished one book last week before the Reading Wrap-up.  Then I finished another one yesterday.  I DNF'd one yesterday, too.  Those'll be on Saturday's post.

In baking news, I made a cake yesterday.  Since I was out of baker's cocoa, I made a vanilla oil cake with franken-frosting.  The cake is okay, but it needs more flavor.  The frosting is really good.  I melted some chocolate chips and butter in the microwave, added the last of the powdered sugar and some milk.  Beat it until it was smooth, then added a heaping dollop of peanut butter, beat it smooth again, and frosted the cake.  I also did a batch of crisis cookies (cake cookies) with yellow cake mix and chocolate chips.  I have to do granola bars and oatmeal cookies this week because we're almost out of both.

As I said, today, I'll be making a ham.  I buy the bone-in kind, cover it with pineapple slices and brown sugar and throw it in the oven for like 20 min per pound.  It's like a 11 pound ham, so about 3.75 hours at 325F, or something.  I'll have to look at the packaging to figure it all out later.

Not a lot on the activity front.  I screwed up my hip washing the kitchen floor on Tuesday, which harshed doing anything else.  As for weight, I gained back two of the pounds I lost due to stress, so I'm now at 174.2.  Still down about 8 pounds for the year.

I did go fishing twice this past week.  One undersized bass caught each time.  The first time, I took Owl with me.  She'd never seen anyone catch a bass, so it was exciting for her.  She wants to go back.  Yay.  Unfortunately for her, she's a night owl and fish a lot in the mornings.  Yesterday, I went out and was home before she woke up.  Ah, yesterday...

It was an interesting experience, so I'm glad she wasn't there.  A LOT of people were fishing yesterday - lucky for me in their boats, so not near me.  The parking lot wasn't too bad when I got there, so I parked in my usual spot.  Shortly thereafter, some numbnuts started to block me in with his big ass pickup and trailer, so I jumped up and moved my car.  As I was walking back to my fishing spot, I noticed another guy standing at the edge of the parking lot, apparently gazing off into the river.  Nope, he was pissing, which I realized when he turned toward me zipping his pants back up.  Then he told his woman to go piss behind the truck that had almost blocked me in.  I bet the people in the mansion across the river from where he was peeing got a eyefull.  Oh, living in the Ozarks, where there's always a place to pee even when there isn't.  People are gross.

I fished for about an hour before a thunderstorm rolled in.  The thing about fishing from the bank is that I can easily avoid storms by walking to my car and going home.  All those people in boats?  So screwed. 

When I got home, I discovered why there were so many people fishing yesterday.  The crappie are plentiful in the river right now - with some people catching 40-50 a day.  :shrug:  This is one of the bad things about fishing from the bank.  If the crappie aren't near the bank, I don't catch them.

Anyway, that's my week.  What went on in your week?

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 4/11/20

Well, it wasn't a good week for reading here.  I just wasn't in the mood to read, so the Flynn took me longer than it usually does.

I did pick up a bunch of new ebooks, though - two mysteries, a paranormal, an urban fantasy, a romance, and a SF suspense.  Still no new hardcopies - the thrift stores are closed and the budget doesn't allow for new paperbacks (except for new releases by friends, and there haven't been any lately.)

Books read:

33) Memorial Day by Vince Flynn (4/10/20) - Political Thriller.  5 stars. Picked this up at a thrift store somewhere along the way.
It's Vince Flynn... nuff said.  No review.

I read the same book all week, so no chance to DNF anything.

Currently reading... I started a little paranormal something - a third of the way in and I'm still not sure what.  It's fun so far and right now, that's all that counts.

What books have kept you occupied lately?

Friday, April 10, 2020

The Chaos Diaries - 4/10/20

I'm still gimping along over here.  Every day a little bit better, but it's certainly putting a crimp in my activities.  Meanwhile, Hubs finished mowing the lawn yesterday and then hung blinds on the garage windows.  Let's not talk about how long ago we bought those blinds for in there, k?  And whether it was actually my project all those years ago.

Speaking of blinds, years ago, I removed the blinds from my bathroom window and hung curtains.  With Owl here and the guys building their house next door where they can look right in my bathroom window, we went looking for the blinds I took down.  Can't find them any-frickin-where.  (Looking for blinds is what prompted Hubs to hang the garage blinds.  Too bad they were too big for my bathroom.)  Anyway, he sacrificed the blinds off his bathroom window for the girl's room.  What a guy.

All the shopping I did so I wouldn't have to go out again for a month?  I forgot to pick up a 90-day card for my cell phone.  I have 8 days left.  A Dollar General run is scheduled for Monday when I'll have to go to the bank anyway.  It's all good.  Maybe they'll have the few things I also forgot at Wallyworld - like pizza sauce.  (Bought the fixin's for pizza, but no sauce.)

Last night. we had a bit of fun.  Owl decided she wanted to go for a walk at dusk.  I asked her to be back before dark.  She wasn't.  And when I called her cell phone, she didn't pick up.  Well, crap.  So I got in the car and went looking for her.  (She's a city gal now and I wondered whether she realized how incredibly dark it gets here.)  When I got to the T, I had a choice - go right toward the highway or left toward the other neighborhood.  I chose right.  No Owl there.  So I backtracked and went down the other way.  No Owl.  About halfway back to the house, my cell phone was vibrating in my pocket, so I pulled over to answer it, but it had stopped ringing by the time I got it out.  I figured it was Home calling to say she'd made it back, but in the dark, I misdialed and then I got frustrated and went home.  It buzzed again as I was pulling into the driveway, darn thing.  Anyway, she was home.  She'd gone left and by the time I got back to the intersection, she was already past where I would see her heading for home.  Comedy of errors.  I mean, it wasn't funny last night, but it is now.  And she didn't answer her phone because she ran out of juice - so no phone and no light.  It must've been kind scary out there in the dark with things rustling all around her.  On the bright side, it really is beautiful out here at night.  Orion was brighter than I've seen him in years.

In worldly news, both sides of the aisle have now gone nuts - with one side calling for tighter restrictions for longer and the other side wondering why we needed all these restrictions when the cases are way lower than predicted.  (Umm, they might be lower because of the restrictions - just sayin'.  But more restrictions over the next 18 months isn't going to do anyone any good.)  And Bill Gates can cram his idea of tagging people like Jews in WWII up his gold-plated butt.

In the local paper, they had a post from the sheriff.  He stated firmly that his men will not be pulling people over to ask them why they're out and about.  They will not be taking calls from people reporting other people for not adhering to the rules, either.  I love our sheriff and I'm glad I voted for him.  Everybody needs to chill the hell out and use their freakin' heads.  Six feet isn't that hard to guesstimate and you can still talk to people from six feet away.  Sheesh.

Anyway, that's all from me today?  How are things with you?  What honey-dos are you getting done during the chaos?

Thursday, April 9, 2020

The Chaos Diaries - 4/9/20

Well, I did end up going to Wallyworld yesterday.  Here's the skinny...

As I said yesterday, I didn't make it out as early as I had planned.  I ended up heading down there about 8:30a, which put me at the store around 9:15am.  (I stopped for feed first.)  The parking lot was about as full as it usually is when I get to Wallyworld on a regular day - which is not that full.  I got my favorite parking spot, the first spot in a row near the non-grocery side next to a cart corral.  (Nobody parks on either side of me that way.) 

I saw a little pavilion with workers in front of each set of doors, but no line of customers either side.  I caught the attention of one of them and pointed to ask whether I should head for the other door.  She waved me toward her.  Okay, so none of that 'only enter through a certain door' thing for here.  Yay.  As I approached, one of the guys gave me the standard verbiage of 'we ask you stay 6 ft away from other customers'.

Other than that, it was pretty normal in Wallyworld.  I found everything on my list - and I now wish I'd thought to look for wipes and sanitizer - even if I could only buy one of certain items.  They had TP!  I grabbed a pack and hugged it. much to the amusement of a couple I had been chatting with while I waited for the aisle to clear. (They were 6 ft away from me.)   I bought the pack for a reason I will get into later - and not because I hugged it, although that was reason enough.

People were cool.  I chatted with a few of them, from 6ft away.  I helped one gal get some Easter treats off the top shelf, because she was short.  She was talking about how all her kids were home and she's so not ready for Easter and how she had to leave work to take care of her kids because they aren't in school anymore.  She seemed really stressed and I was glad I could be there for her, if only to give her an ear and a helping hand.

I thanked all the workers I encountered for being there and doing their jobs.  Everyone was nice while I was there, but I'm betting it gets less nice as the day wears on and they take a lot of shit for things they have no control over.

One interesting thing I noted while I was there.  The only people not paying attention to the social distancing rules were people wearing masks.  It's like they put on a mask and they're suddenly immune and not Typhoid Mary.  :shrug:  I also caught myself holding my breath whenever I had to pass someone in an aisle.  Not consciously, mind you, but it was a thing I found myself doing.  And I made myself stop because once I realized I was doing it, I felt silly.

Of the people I talked to, the general consensus is this is all pretty silly, but we do what we have to do to get by.  Better safe than sorry.  And all that. 

As for the TP, I bought it in case I have to mail some rolls to Michigan.  If all Mom can get is shitty TP or no TP at all, I'll be happy to box some up and shoot it to her.  After all she and my sister have done for me lately, it's the least I can do for them.

How the chaos treating you these days?  Anything interesting to report from your corner of the world?

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The Chaos Diaries - 4/8/20

In this time of being trapped in the house, people are trying to find things to do.  True, my being trapped isn't like other people - because I'm not usually going anywhere anyway - but being told to stay home is different from choosing to stay home.

Anyway, yesterday, I got a wild hair* and decided to wash the kitchen floor while Hubs was mowing the lawn (his own particular wild hair).  Now I usually wash the kitchen floor with Clorox wipes.  Since those are in short supply, I went to the old fashioned way - a bucket of sudsy water and a wash rag.  (I don't own a mop.)  No biggie.  So, there I was down on the floor washing it by hand when the stove - which I have had and washed around for 7 years - bit me.  Somewhere under the bottom edge there was a sharp spot and I found it.  I yelped - loud enough to draw the Owl out from her tree hole to ascertain my okayness - and the blood started to well.  I washed it off, slapped a bandaid on it, and went back to work - using the non-booboo hand to do all the bucket work.  I got it done.

Then I went to get up off the floor and my hip had seized.  I've been hobbling around ever since.  (Yes, after I got the floor done, I rewashed my cut, liberally applied some antibiotic cream, and re-bandaged it.)  Thus, I might not be going to Wallyworld today.  It's not too bad right now, but I'm hopped up on Aleve.  (I took two.  I usually only take one.)  At least last night, my no sleep was due to something other than the chaos.

The Kung Flu** isn't going to kill me, but the other stuff just might. 

I read this morning that here in MO, while the number of cars on the road is way down, accidents and fatalities are up.  People are more distracted than ever out there, folks.  And they seem to take the empty roads as cart blanche to drive like idiots.  (More so than usual.)  Don't survive this only to get killed in a car accident.  K?

Anyway, this morning's bright and early Wallyworld trip didn't happen.  I can't imagine walking around the store with a gimpy hip.  We'll see how I feel in a while.  Maybe after it's time to take another Aleve. 

In other news, I made crisis cookies (cake cookies).  Chocolate chip ones.  Yum.

How are things in your world?  All is well here and I'm in better spirits than I have been, so that's a yay.

*If you're not familiar with the phrase, a wild hair is something that niggles and tickles and generally makes itself annoying until you deal with it.

** If you don't like the term, take a chill pill and get a humor injection.  Right now, everybody is Kung Flu fighting.  Those germs are fast as lightning.  We all need to give it a ha and a high-ya and kick it's viral ass.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The Chaos Diaries - 4/7/20

I saw something on FB yesterday.  A writer is self-isolating at her vacation home in another state and has been there for almost a month.  She went somewhere and got back to her car to find a series of notes telling her to go home, that she wasn't wanted in their state, etc. etc. etc.  How ridiculous.  Ugh.  Seriously.  I live in MO, but only about two miles from the border of AR, and I like the AR store better than the closest one here.  (The drive up there sucks and it is still farther away then the AR store.)  I swear if I come out of Wallyworld to find a note like that on my car, I'm gonna go apeshit.  Of course, about half the cars at Wallyworld on any given day are MO cars.  And OK cars.  And a few TX cars.  So the chances of nasty notes are slim.  If I lived in a city, I'd shelter here, too. Still only one case in my county, one case in the county where I get gas, and one in the county in the AR where I shop.

I read a headline a couple days ago about a band of people in some state (Rhode Island?  Vermont?) who are forcibly isolating out-of-towners.  I didn't read the story, but the implications there... Ugh.  You try to forcibly isolate me, I'm bringing you up on charges.

The other day, an old woman was killed for not staying 6 ft away from people.  I also read a story about a man killing his family and then himself to protect them from the coronavirus.

If you wonder why I call these posts, the Chaos Diaries, think about it for a sec.  The virus isn't what's causing this crap.  Fear.  Ignorance.  Misinformation.  Assumptions.  Outright lies.  You fear a zombie apocalypse?  Well, this is as close as you're gonna get.  People are turning into zombies - brainless, mindless drones acting on impulse.  The only difference - well, except for the whole not eating each other yet - is there's a cure for this.  It's called REASON.  Hell, maybe the justification for zombies eating brains is because they have none of their own.

Recently saw where one county in CA is making it mandatory to wear a mask if you step outside your house and if you don't, you face a $1000 fine.  Thank goodness I don't live there.  I'm not wearing a mask, and will only do so under extreme duress -. like if they say you have to or you 1) will get fined, 2) will get arrested, 3) can't shop without one.  You see, I have this thing where I can't have anything over my mouth or I panic like I'm about to suffocate.  Rationally, I know I can breathe just fine, but it's not the rational part of my brain at work here.  Just the thought of wearing a mask makes me palpitate.  Happy to stay 6 ft away from people, though.  Ten feet is better.  A mile would be fine.

As for me, I grabbed the Owl and went fishing yesterday.  Well, first we stopped at the bank and I got to see my bestie for the first time in two weeks - through the glass of the drive-thru window.  I miss seeing her in person and getting a hug.  =o( 

Anyway... It was good to be at the lake.  There were people, but they were either putting their boat in or taking it out and no one but Owl got anywhere near me.  She didn't fish.  I wanted to see if she'd enjoy it before I slapped down the $50 for a license for her.  She said she liked it, insomuch as she watched me catch a fish and stood around at the lake, so I'll get a license - online, of course. 

Tomorrow, I go out amongst people.  While talking with my bestie, she said she'd been to our Wallyworld since the new rules were in place and it wasn't too bad, so I have hope.

In other news, Mom and Sis are having a tough time finding TP.  Mom isn't going out - Sis is doing all the shopping for both of them now.  She found one 4 roll package of shitty TP for them both.  Not sure what their supply was like and how long that'll last.  Come on, people, leave some TP on the shelves for people who need it.  Surely your supplies are such now that you don't need to hoard more.  Mom's sure people are buying it up and selling it at a huge markup.  She's probably right.

Okay, time to let you all go about your day.  Have as good a one as you can out there in the chaos.  We're holding the fort here. 

Monday, April 6, 2020

The Chaos Diaries - 4/6/20

Here we are again on day whatever of the chaos. 

It has been decided that I will go to the store on Wednesday.  And this was decided before I heard that Senior hour is a madhouse.  (Thanks for that info, Deb.)  It just makes more sense when all factors are considered. 

I am a wee bit concerned that I will be going to Wallyworld without a mask - not because I'm afraid I'll catch it but because I'm afraid of panicky people.  It doesn't help that I cough because I smoke.  The chance of me catching this in a county where there has been like 1 case is really low.  The chance that I will be attacked in some way because I coughed in a store is higher.  I'll be carrying cough drops with me.

I was in the Dollar General the other day.  One woman had a surgical mask on.  One woman had a winter scarf wrapped around her face.  And a man was wearing this high-tech mini-goalie mask thing over his mouth and nose.  Out of maybe 8-10 people in the whole store.  Scary shit, man.  Not the disease = people's reactions to the chaos.

One of the things that gets me about all this is the total lack of real information.  So much of what's out there conflicts what else is out there.  Agencies we're supposed to trust contradict themselves.  And it doesn't seem to be based on data or reality.  It seems to be based on whatever way the wind is blowing.  It's all very confusing.

Hubs is reading me a list of National Parks they've closed.  National Parks, people.  Where generally you're not within 6 ft of anyone - except where tourists glut together for pictures.  They closed all the rest huts and bathrooms on the Appalachian Trial, where I'm pretty sure you won't see another human being all day.  No walking outside dammit.  He just said they closed Death Valley.  We had a little laugh about that one. 

Locally, there have been reports of people gathering and not social distancing at boat ramps.  I understand the idea.  Humans are not made for isolation.  Americans aren't made for obeying orders.  And around here, the tendency is to NOT trust the government about anything.  Put those things together and you've got people flipping the bird at the chaos rules.  Hell, I'm halfway tempted to flip the bird at them, too.  If this goes on long enough, expect even the law-abiding citizens to say 'fuck you, I'm going outside'. 

Most of my obeying of the chaos rules comes from the fact that it would wreck me if I brought this crap home to Hubs and now the Owl.  Mama Bear doesn't want to see her family sick.  Sure, I don't want to get sick either, but it's more about them than me. 

How are things with you out there? 

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Sunday Update - Week 13

Well, that was a Week 13 if I ever saw one.

Still no writing, editing, or marketing.  I keep telling myself I'm going to do something writerly, but then when the rubber meets the road, I can't get any traction.  I need to do something because it's been about a month since I sold any books.

My reading week was weird.  A bunch of DNFs and then I read two books in a series back to back, which I almost never do.  Good series, though.  I wish I had the budget to buy the next three books, but I have other things I need to spend that $12 on right now.

You've already heard about life in the chaos this week, so I'll skip that.  There'll be another Chaos Diaries post tomorrow.

I made another chocolate oil cake this week.  And another batch of granola bars.  I have just enough ingredients to make another batch of granola bars, but I'm out of baker's cocoa, so no more of that cake for a while.  I might make applesauce bread this week.

They will be shutting down Missouri effective tomorrow, but they left a nice wrinkle - we can still outdoor recreate (as long as we follow the chaos rules), which means I could conceivably go fishing.  You know, if it ever stops raining and warms back up because I have no urge to freeze my ass off right now.  Maybe today.  Perhaps tomorrow.

Hubs and I are in discussions as to who's going shopping this week.  He says him because he can get in at 6am on Tuesday.  I say me because I know where everything is and can get in and out quicker.  I really wish I could trust the local grocery store to not poison me, so I could have an alternative to Walmart.  Oh, in case you hadn't heard, Walmart has new shopping guidelines that went into effect yesterday.  There's a set number of people allowed into the store at any given time and once that number is reached, you have to wait until someone leaves before they'll let you in.  Should be interesting. 

Lastly, everyone here is well.  And everyone I'm related to is well as of Friday when I talked to Mom.  I hope all the people I care about beyond that are healthy as well, but since I only communicate with most of them online or face to face (which I can't do anymore), I only know about them if I hear from them.  If you're reading this and you don't usually comment, drop a quick 'Fine here.' in the comments so I know you're okay.  Okay?

What went on in your week last week?