Monday, June 29, 2020

Another Picture Post

Back in 2003, I lived in Utah.  Here's a pic from one of my many exploration ventures out into the Wasatch Mountains.
If I remember right, this stand of birch was on the east side of the mountains, south of Park City.  But it's been 17 years and the memory ain't what it used to be.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Sunday Update - Week 25

Creeping up on halfway through the year.  And what a year it's been.  Ugh.

I did manage to get some writing done this past week.  Not a lot, but better than nothing. I also did a little editing when I opened Cinder Ugly and this new thing - tentatively called Suicide by Murder (lame, I know) - to see if I could write new words.  No marketing.  I still can't seem to muster the will.

I read a couple good things last week and only had one DNF.

In baking news, I made a pineapple upside-down cake.  So yummy.  And nothing else because it's too damn hot to bake unless I get right at it first thing in the morning.  And I don't know about you, but baking isn't high on my list of stuff to do first thing.

Last week was not an active week.  It was hot and I was lazy.  There were several mornings that would've been nice for a walk, but meh.  

Monday, I went fishing.  The lake level is still pretty high and I was fishing the parking lot of my favorite spot while standing in what is usually the east driveway.  I caught 5 nice bluegills by casting to where I would usually walk back to stand on ledges overlooking the river.  The ledges are underwater now, like everything else.

We've now seen three definitely individual fawns now.  A single and a set of twins. 

In 'I hate to have to do this' news, I ordered a new computer.  Well, a new refurbished computer.  It's exactly like the one I'm currently using (Windows 7, yay) except it has more RAM.  Which is not the reason I ordered a new computer, but I chose to pay about $20 more to get more RAM this time.  The reason I need a new computer - and it's a need - is because this one is starting to make noise when it starts up and when it gets overloaded, it whines.  I just have to limp this one along until the new one arrives sometime between 7/9 and 7/13.  Please don't let it be delayed.  By the way, a refurbished computer costs less than $200 at Newegg and they work just as well as a new computer.  So far.  :finger crossed:  I bought this refurb in April of 2016, so four years ain't bad considering I smoke next to the damn thing.  Lest you think I am nuts for going with Windows 7 still, I have my reasons.

There was the well problem this week.  That's taken care of.  The construction company was supposed to come out the next day and fix the line to the new house.  Or so we were told.  They never showed.  Big surprise.  Oh well, it's fixed on our end.  Not our freakshow, not our dog-faced boys.

Last night set a new benchmark in the 'I didn't sleep well' category.  Thus, I am draggin' ass today. 

I'm sure other stuff happened last week, but like I said, I'm draggin'.  Tell me about your week.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 6/27/20

Hey All.  I'm still rolling right along on the reading goals.  In fact, I'm way ahead of my goal right now with 52 books read and 18 to go for the year.  I'll probably readjust my goal next month, depending on how the reading goes.

I didn't pick up any more new books this week.  With only 2 unread ebooks left, I'll probably do that sometime this weekend. 

Books Read:

52) The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (6/25/20) - Literature - 4 stars.  Neither new to me nor underappreciated.  It's a classic, duh.  I've had this book for probably 20 years.  Funny that I hadn't read it until now.
No review.

51) Steeped in Suspicion by Eryn Scott (6/20/20) - Cozy Supernatural Mystery*# - 5 stars.  New to me and while it has plenty of ratings, it has less than 50 reviews.  Free off the Book Doggy newsletter.
Review: "A nice little mystery with a supernatural twist and a thrilling climax. Definitely a fun read."


6/21/20 - Fantasy? - Free.  This was billed as a YA fantasy, but for the first like 10% the MC was an adult (although that's not clear until many pages in when he mentions his wife).  Then it switches to what amounts to backstory.  And there really wasn't anything fantasy-like to it.  More like an alternate history set after Roman times.  I got bored with it and wandered away.

Currently reading...  I'm almost through an urban fantasy.  It's pretty exciting with some romance and a good mystery going on in there.  I should finish it today.

Your turn.  What was on your reading to-done list this past week?

Friday, June 26, 2020

A Whole Afternoon of Fun

So, yesterday, I was in the bathroom, doing my thing, when I heard Hubs in the kitchen issuing expletives.  I called out 'what's wrong?' but he either didn't hear me or was focused on the problem to the point where he didn't answer me.  I stepped out of the bathroom into a pile of fun.

Note sarcasm.

Hubs had turned on the water in the kitchen sink and it only came out of the tap at about 1/3 pressure.  Shortly, we discovered it was the same all over the house.  Crap. 

He goes under the house to make sure we don't have a blow out somewhere.  Nope.  He checks the pit with our water tap.  Nope.  He checks with the guys building the house next door to see if they're running an obscene amount of water.  Nope.

He goes down to the well house to see what he can see, which is not much, other than the turning it off and on again doesn't help.  Visually, everything appears to be fine.

Time to call the well guys.  He is informed they are booked solid and they can't give him a timeframe as to when they'll be out but we're 'on the list'.  Peachy.

Since Hubs is in charge of the well now, we start getting calls from the other people on the well.  One gal stops by.  We're getting flashbacks of the time he was a city manager.  Nothing we can do until we hear back from the well people. 

About 90 minutes later, the phone rings and the caller ID shows a name I don't recognize, but hell, I need to answer it in case it's someone about the well.  Sure enough, it's the well dude and he's sitting across the street at the well house that isn't ours.  Hubs directs him to our well house and then off Hubs goes.

Twenty minutes later, Hubs comes back.  It's not the well.  Somehow, somewhere along the line, there's a leak.  Well Dude has narrowed it down to the line going out to the west of the well house (our side), but that's as much help as he can provide.  He's a well dude, not a line dude.  It's up to us to find the leak.  Yummy.

With a glance at the stove clock - 4:23pm - and a shrug because I can't preheat the oven for dinner when I don't know how long we'll be, I get into 'out among people' attire and head off with Hubs - me driving slowly and him walking the line from here to the well house to see if we can see anything.  Nope.  We go into the well house - me armed with a fly swatter because the wasps are en masse.  He fiddles with the valve going to our side to retard the flow so there's some water but it's not overloading the pump.  We both hop into the car and head back, stopping along the way to talk to the two other homeowners who are effected.

Oh, I totally forgot.  Hubs washed the car the other day and for some reason, the bargain car washing soap had totally squicked out my windshield, making it really hard to see and windshield washer fluid didn't help.  So while we're home and he's checking other things, I grab some stuff called 'Invisible Glass' and clean my car windows.  I just get done with that when I hear him say 'Found it'.  He's over at the well tap near the construction site, so I walk over there.  Sure enough, there's a puddle in the tall grass. 

Between him, the two guys working on the new house, and the other neighbor, they get that tap turned off (it's in a pit and you need a special tool to get to it) and figure out what the problem is.

Weeks ago, when the company installed the line from the tap to the new house, they must not have let the adhesive set sufficiently, so when the guys turned on the water at the new house, air in the line jiggled the line enough to pop it apart and thus caused the leak.  We watched that company install that line and Hubs noted at the time that it didn't seem like they'd let it set long enough before they filled the hole.  Not our circus, not our monkeys - or so we thought. 

Anyway, we have water.  And it's flowing at the right pressure.  And everything.  Dishes are being washed as I type.  Shortly, Hubs will do our laundry and then Owl will do hers. 

By the way, I finally ate a bowl of cereal for dinner at about 7pm, after a whole afternoon of fun and sweating in the 90+F heat and angst and not flushing the damn toilets.  All because some questionable company couldn't wait for the glue to set.  Fucktards. 

Thank goodness we'd showered before it all went to hell.  Of course, after all that, we both needed showers again.  Derp.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Thursday This n That

We now have three fawns.  The single I took a picture of and a set of twins.  Yay.

Yesterday, I made a pineapple upside-down cake.  We're out of ice cream again and that's one cake you can eat without it. 

Speaking of ice cream, what the heck?  Owl and I are blowing through that stuff like it was nothing.  Unfortunately, unless I want to expose myself... hush, not like that... I'm pretty much home bound.  So I'm wrapping trips together for maximum efficiency.  Since we don't need anything else right now, the ice cream will have to wait.

On a happier note, the other day I went fishing and caught 5 fat bluegills.  We had them for dinner on Tuesday and I'm planning on using the leftovers to have a fish sandwich for lunch today.  Yum.

There was a rabbit in the yard last night.  Yay.  And there's been a raccoon regularly visiting the deer corn at dusk or dawn.  It's not a fat one, but it's not thin either.  Just a nice sized, healthy looking coon.

Well, folks, it's bedtime here and I've run out of things to say, but I want to get this scheduled so early risers can read it with their morning coffee.  Have a great day and if you feel like it, leave some of your this and that stuffs.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Chilling Out

Sometimes you just have to lay in the grass in the shade and chill.

Monday, June 22, 2020

More's the Pity

It's glaringly obvious to me, but I'll say it anyway...

George Orwell's books were not meant to be how-to guides.  They were how-NOT-to guides.  This passage was not meant to teach people what to do...

"Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

But they're doing it.  Wiping out history with the toppling of each statue and the banning of each book.   The media is rewriting history as it happens.  Sometimes, they're writing it ahead of time to make it happen the way they want to.  And all of this is marching toward one goal: control for 'the party'.
And for those who weren't paying attention, the pigs in Animal Farm were THE BAD GUYS.  But I suspect the little, goose-stepping assholes will be rewriting or banning or burning that book soon.

Yep, the world has gone fucking nuts.  If you can't see this or you're okay with this, then I can't help you.  More's the pity for us all.

Welcome to mid-2020.  I hope you buckled up early, because the ride doesn't stop and you won't be allowed to get off any time soon.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Sunday Update - Week 24

Hello.  We're 24 weeks into 2020.  I say we stop here and have a do over.  Reboot the year and maybe it won't be crashed went it loads up again.

I wrote some words.  And then self-doubt got me.  Nothing else writerly got done.

I read some good books and DNF'd some not-so-good ones.

I finally got my computer backup into the safety-deposit drawer, so that's checked off my to-do list.

Yesterday morning, we saw the year's first fawn...
The light was low and it wasn't standing still for the photo, so yeah, it's blurry, but hey, I got a pic.

I managed 5 days out of 7 for activity - cleaning, walking, yard stuff.  Unfortunately, the activity stuff is not showing on the scale, so we won't talk about that right now.  Suffice it to say, I have gained back all the weight I lost in March.  I expected I would, but I'd hoped I wouldn't.  :shrug:

Speaking of yard stuff, I started doing block work under the deck.  Unfortunately, there's been a recent blow-up of 'rona cases in the area, so skipping down to the building supply store for more blocks is 'unnecessary' and therefore, on hold.  At least until I can't stand the self-imposed incarceration anymore and get all 'let me outta here before I snap'.  Then it will be necessary for the safety of all mankind.

The Owl informed me that she needs some stuff the next time I go to the store.  I'm all like 'what do you need' and thanks to my extreme hoarding and inability to throw stuff away, I actually had what she needed tucked away already.  Score one for me.

If you've been stopping by, you'll see there've been a lot of pictures going up here lately.  It's either that or rant.  So, pics it is.  And I have LOTS of pics I can share. 

So, tell me, how was your last week?  Anything good to share? 

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 6/20/20

Is it Saturday again already??  Sheesh.

No new books of any kind this week.  I still have four unread and one I'm currently reading out of the ebooks I had already downloaded.  And, of course, I have scads of hardcopies to read.

Books Read:

50) Modern Sorcery by Gary Jonas (6/17/20) - UF* - 5 stars.  New to me, but not underappreciated, per se.  Free off the Freebooksy newsletter.
Review: "Awesome book. Great characters. Interesting premise. Thrilling storyline. Terrific end. What more could anyone want? I loved it."
Note: Available in Audio from Amazon.

49) Moonstruck: Betrayal by Silver James (6/14/20) - Paranormal Romantic Suspense* - 5 stars.  Not new to me, but a new release, so it needs way more appreciation.  Paid full price because it's Silver James.  Duh.
Review: "So much awesome! I read the original books years ago and loved them so much, but this compilation with its extra material is like damn and whoa. It made the whole thing richer and fuller and so full of feels that I inhaled it. And when that... umm, bit... person... got what was coming to her, I cheered. So satisfying. Yay!"


6/16/20 - Free.  UF.  The first sentence was missing a word or needed to be reworded to make sense or something.  I mean, the first sentence, folks.  It's the one a writer spends the most time angsting over and getting just right, right?  I didn't hold out hope for the rest of the book, so I swiped to the end and closed it out. 

6/16/20 - Free.  Cozy Mystery.  Ugh, I really wanted to like this one and I kept reading longer than I should've, but bleh.

6/15/20 - Free.  Paranormal Mystery.  It started out well enough, but then I decided I really didn't like the MC.  Full stop.  Move on.

Currently reading...  A mystery with a paranormal twist.  It's pretty good so far, so expect to hear about it next week.

What did you read last week?

Friday, June 19, 2020

Watching Where You Step

Yesterday, as I was moving the three landscape blocks I already had to the project location, I happened to set one down to get a better grip on it.  (Those things aren't light.)  And as I bent down to pick it back up again, I noticed a small, gray, ropey looking thing in the grass.

Snake, of course.  Probably about as big around as a pencil.

I knew from the lack of pattern on it that it wasn't anything venomous, but I still searched for the head.  And there it was a few inches from the spot I first noticed.  A pretty little ring-necked snake with a bright, red-orange ring.

Okay, so maybe the ring-necked snakes are slightly venomous, but not harmful to humans and totally non-agressive.  Anyway, I picked it up - knowing this because I'd already encountered and researched the species.  It just looked at me like 'oh, hello' and then did the whole 'see my belly?' thing in my hand to try and dissuade me from eating it.

And here was me:  "Oh, you so kewt.  Wook at your scary belly.  Eek."

I almost brought him up to the front door to show Hubs, but I didn't want to stress the little bugger out.  I mean, he was pretty chill in my hand, but no clue what traveling with him would've done to his overall outlook.  Instead, I put him in the iris bed so I wouldn't risk trodding upon him as I trudged up and down the hill.   Have a nice life, little dude.

Then I went back to work under the deck.  A short while later, I was moving some crappy broken cement block pieces when something jumped at me.  And I jumped with a little actual eek.  It was a toad.  Just your standard American Toad who was trying to get away from my big, lumbering feet.  They blend in so well, I didn't even see him before he moved, and I am so careful about watching because it would wreck me to step on something cute and kill it.  I tried to catch him and move him, but since he was actually hopping away from where I was working, I gave up the chase and let him be.  Hop and be free, my friend.

So, yeah, around here, it pays to watch where you step.  Aside from not wanting to hurt the small critters we share our yard with, we have plenty of venous snakes around here.  Not sure if those can bite through a tennis shoe, but I'm not interested in testing that out either. 

Interesting and wondrous things abound all around us, if only we watch where we step.  ;o)

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Thursday This n That

I totally brainfarted out on the whole 'today is Thursday' thing until a few minutes ago.  Good thing, because my timesheet is due on Thursday morning and the office just opened.

And then I got distracted for an hour, so this is even later.  Derp.

There are so many rant worthy things going on right now, I could rant all day and not touch them all.  To the people jumping on the 'get rid of the police' bandwagon, be careful what you wish for.  Criminals don't ask what your opinions are before they commit crimes against you and they aren't going to thank you for making their criminality easier.  In fact, I suspect they're laughing at you right now.  Suckers.


The next part of the 'under the deck' project requires blocks of some kind.  The kind Hubs wants weigh 70 lbs each but would only require 10 of them.  The kind I'm leaning toward is lighter and would require like 30.  His blocks would match the ones we already have in place and would do the job better.  My blocks wouldn't throw either of our backs out and since it's under the deck, they don't have to match the ones in the front.  His would cost a total of like $50.  Mine would cost a total of like $100.  Until we settle which block wins, the project is on hold.*

Please be careful driving right now.  Many animals are having babies or have babies dependent on them, so if you hit one and it's a mom, you've sentenced her babies to a horrible death by starvation.  Slow down.  Pay attention.  Keeping that in mind, though, don't do anything stupid like swerving to miss a critter and getting yourself killed.

I really need to go fishing.  Unfortunately, it's too hot and all the fishies will be too deep for me to reach.  =o\

Maybe I'll just go for a walk.  Right now, I'm waiting for the butter to soften so I can make oatmeal cookies, and it's kind of cool, so it would be a good time to get outside.

You, too.  Go outside or something when you can.  K?

What's on your this n that list today?

* 10:10am.  I was mistaken when I wrote this earlier.  I got to thinking about it and about three smaller blocks I was using for something else and then I went out and started messing with it.  I need about a dozen more smaller blocks to achieve the look and utility I was going for.  Not today, but soon.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Feeling Ranty Again... Photo Time!

This Cooper's Hawk seems to be my spirit animal today.  Good thing I don't have a stick like his with which to poke people.  Or to beat them soundly about the head and neck.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Another Horrible News Day, Another Picture

It's time for another picture...
Taken in Colorado back in 2012.

Monday, June 15, 2020

An Update of Sorts

Yesterday's Sunday Update was shunted aside in favor of something more important.  Not that there was much to cover from the previous week.  Nothing writerly got done.  I read some stuff.  I baked some stuff.  I did some active stuff.  Mostly, I sat on my ass, growing increasingly angry about things outside my control.

I'm thankful every day that we chose to move out to the middle of nowhere.  Less chance of getting the 'Rona here.  Less chance of getting in the middle of these stupid riots.  Less chance of getting looted, etc. 

I'd be a whole lot better off if I avoided the news, but I don't.  I keep as up to date as my sanity allows because I don't want something major to go down and be caught off guard.   I mostly read the news in the mornings.  Then I scan through headlines off and on throughout the day.  I can only take about 7 minutes at a time.  Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. 

Right now, almost all my stress relief valves are squonky.  Walking?  Too damn hot.  Baking?  Too damn hot.  Cleaning?  Too damn hot.  Fishing?  It's too damn hot and the water's too high. Thrift shopping?  Well, the 'Rona has that all fucked up.  Writing?  My brain's spending too much time swirling in the chaos to focus on putting stories together.  About the only things I have left are reading and TV.  And TV ain't lookin' too good these days either.  So, I'm reading.

In better news, I'm starting to see deer with slimmer waistlines and full udders, which means BABIES!  They're out there somewhere.  Hopefully, it won't be too long before we see them.

In other nice news, my original hydrangea is covered with big, beautiful, clusters of white flowers that will turn pink and then darken to rose over the course of the summer.  And my second hydrangea is doing well, considering what it's been through.  Maybe that one will bloom next year.

And that's it for today.  But it's early yet.  Fingers crossed today brings something better for us all.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

I Support the Police

I support the police.  It's a scary thing to say that in today's climate of rampant hate and unbridled ignorance.  Just hitting publish on this post could bring a shitstorm down upon my head.  Not from my friends, but from the scads of internet trolls with nothing better to do.  (Case in point, the young woman who is getting death threats because she makes teddy bears for the families of fallen officers.  Death threats because of teddy bears.  If that ain't nuts, I don't know what is.)  Lucky for us all, I moderate the comments so no one but me has to see it, if it occurs.

Anyway... here goes nuthin'.

I support the police.

I know the majority of law enforcement is made up of good people doing a job most of us would not be willing to do.  Day in and day out, they risk their lives to make our world a safer place.  And every day, they take a tremendous amount of shit for it.  Still, they do the job to the best of their abilities.

Condemning the entire police population because a few bad ones wear the same uniform is like condemning all blacks because some criminals have the same skin color.  Or condemning all Jews.  Or condemning all gays.  All are painted with the same brush because of a few?  Not in my world.   

True, I haven't had a lot of contact with the police.  There's a reason for that.  I'm a law-abiding citizen.  I don't touch things that don't belong to me.  I don't trespass.  I don't get drunk or violent or loud.  I occasionally drive faster then the speed limit, and if I should get pulled over for it, I will take my medicine and pay the ticket without bitching because I know I'm breaking the law.  And we are, after all, a nation of laws.

In the times I have had interactions with law enforcement, both outside and inside of things I have done wrong, they've all been fairly positive.  My grandfather was the first Chief of Police in a Detroit suburb, so I've had a positive slant toward police my whole life.  I never met my grandfather, but from all accounts, he was a good man.  I spent a summer working with the City of Marquette police department, with their animal control division but still.  Those officers were a good group of people.  The officer who pulled me over for speeding when I was thinking too hard about my niece's car accident and whether she would survive long enough for me to see her, was super nice, even if she did give me a ticket.  The officers who handled the accident I caused and then had to transport me to where my wrecked car had been towed were super nice, even if I probably deserved a harsher interaction for being that damned stupid.

When Owl was young, every Sunday we would get dressed and go to breakfast at a Big Boy in Flint, MI.  The local police officers also ate breakfast there.  They would come and go as we were eating and would sometimes stop to chat with me and my daughter.  A super positive experience I hope she remembers to this day.

I had one less-than-positive experience with a deputy back in the summer of 1988.  Not super bad, just a Barney Fife type with short man syndrome who decided he was going to try and roust my large boyfriend.  Barney's partner brought him in line and my boyfriend walked away with a warning.  Well, we both got warnings, since we were doing private things while parked on the side of a public road.  =oO

Are there bad officers out there?  Sure.  Take any group of people and you'll have a small percentage of shitty individuals in there.  If the officers in Minneapolis did what they are accused of, they should pay for their actions.  And before you point to the video evidence and accuse me of being racist for even suggesting the possibility they might be innocent, the internet isn't a court of law - even if some are using it like one.  Every accused gets their day in an actual court, before a jury of their peers, who will decide their fate.  Not me.  Not you.  Not the media.  Twelve individuals tasked with doing their damnedest to get to the truth.  If the truth is that those men did what they are accused of, then they should face the penalties for their crimes to whatever extent the law allows.

I support the police as a whole.  I support humanity as a whole.  And humanity as a whole needs laws.  Oh, if we lived in a perfect world, people would do what was right without the law, but we don't live in a perfect world.  We live in this world - where there are murders and rapes and thefts and assaults and...  Yep, we need laws.  Which means we need people to enforce those laws.  We need the police.

So, yeah, I support the police.  As unpopular as it might be right now to make that sentiment public, I like to think I'm in the majority, despite what the news, entertainment, and academia would have you believe.  I don't want to think about living in a world where I am in the minority.  =o\

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 6/13/20

Hi there.  Not a bad week, per se.  I started with a good book and I finished with a good book, though, so yay.

I picked up 7 new ebooks this week - 2 UF, 2 mysteries, a suspense, a fantasy, and a paranormal suspense.  Still no new hardcopies. 

Books Read:

48) The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper by John D. MacDonald (6/12/20) - Hard-boiled Crime - 5 stars.  Neither new to me nor underappreciated.  I've had this old paperback for years but never read it until now.
Review: "The beginning was a little wandering and the very end made me feel like I missed something (which I probably did), but all in all an enjoyable read."

47) Pricked by Scott Mooney (6/6/20) - Paranormal Mystery*# - 5 stars.  New to me and while it does have loads of ratings at Goodreads, it lacks more than 50 reviews there or at Amazon.
Review:  "What a fun story! Great premise. Awesome characters. Thrilling mystery. Superb world-building. I loved the whole thing, including Briar and the whole gang. It'll be interesting to see where Mr. Mooney goes next with this."


6/10/20 - SF/F... literally.  It started out with a pretty good, albeit weirdly laid out, SF story, which then began to morph into a fantasy.  The characters were having a tough time wrapping their heads around it and so was I.  

6/9/20 - YA Paranormal - It seemed interesting, but the asides were killing it, and then it got all whiny and preachy.  Just tell the damn story without trying to foist your opinions on our unsuspecting youth.  K?

Currently reading...  Since I finished that crime novel at about 8 last night, I didn't want to start up something new.   I'll probably read the paranormal suspense next because it's by someone I know and love.

What's on your reading list for last week? 

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Thursday This n That

You know me.  I love baseball.  But I swear if the players don't knock this horse shit off, I'm done with it.  I loved football more and I quit that without too much pain.  I don't even miss it anymore.  Next up, golf.  All this COVID crap has shown me I can live without sports.

The guinea fowl now wait for Hubs to do his morning 'feed the critters' thing.  They are his faithful subjects.  I have three of them named now - Harry and Henry (previously Harriet and Henrietta, but then I learned they were males) and Pie (short for Piebald - also male).  Henry's light, Harry's dark, and Pie has white on his breast.  They travel together and have enough differences (all guineas pretty much look the same) that I can tell who they are.  There's also a trio of nearly identical guineas - all the same dark shade of gray.  Two males and a female.  And the female limps, so I know when it's THAT particular trio.  I think I'll name them Bing, Bob, and Dorothy.  They're off on the road to Morocco.  ;o)
I think that's Dorothy.  (Smaller wattles is the key to gender identification in guinea fowl, I guess.)

I've been distracting myself with playing free online poker again.  No worries, though.  I can only play for ten minutes at a time before my computer starts to whine from the overload.  Then I learned I can play free slots at the same site without the drain on my system.  Totally mindless entertainment.  I went through 250K chips yesterday, though, so now I have to wait and build my acct back up again.

I don't know about you, but I'm sick of virtue signaling.  Then again, I'm pretty much sick of everything right now.  Like I've seen on FB, I think we need to turn 2020 off and back on again, and see if that fixes the problem.  We need some sort of reset on this year.

Tropical Depression Cristobal was a non-event here.  We got like an inch of steady rain overnight.  :yawn:  Right now, we're getting more wind from some thing blowing out of Oklahoma than we did with big, scary Cristobal.

On a walk last night, we saw a squirrel that was dead in the road.  Flat... and more than that, it's spine was laying about 3 feet away from it.  Which I thought was cool.  Owl was grossed out.  On the way back, we had to pass the squirrel again.  I had Owl walk as far away as possible and look into the field as she passed it.  I took a better look.  The animals had definitely been busy on the carcass.  I won't gross you out, too, but I still thought it was pretty interesting.  I'm weird that way.  For years, I had a cat skull one of my brothers found long ago.  Not sure where it went.  Lost to one of my many moves, no doubt.

Okay, on that note, I should probably wander off somewhere and let you enjoy your day.  Have a good one!  And tell me what's going on with your this n thats today.

Updated to add:  I woke up this morning to learn that A&E cancelled Live PD.  Those fuckers.  I'm beyond pissed.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Feeling Ranty, so Here's Another Picture

Still feeling ranty.  Here's another picture I took.  I think this one was from 2016.
Mr. Cardinal has that whole 'are you lookin' at me?' thing going on here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

After the Storm

Here's what our view off the back looked like earlier this morning:
The sun filtering through the trees and the moisture was quite striking and the photo doesn't do it justice.  But it's pretty enough to share.

Have a great day.


Monday, June 8, 2020

The Chaos Diaries... The Next Generation

I find it strange that a bunch of people standing around holding signs for the country to reopen is a severe danger to the public health, but a bunch of people looting and rioting is okee-dokee.  Holding a regular funeral is bad, but holding a nationwide funeral with thousands is peachy.  Social distancing is mandatory... except when you're marching in protest. 

I read something about a speedway declaring they were having a protest, but really it was just a race, and 2000 people showed up to enjoy their favorite pastime.  I heard the same thing about a church service.  I guess as long as you call it a protest, the powers that be think you're immune. 

Either we'll see a massive spike in Kung Flu cases or this whole thing will bear out that it wasn't that scary and contagious after all.  Fooled you.  Hah.  Or some such thing.

I went to the Wallyworld last week.  About half the shoppers were wearing masks, down from about 2/3rds.  The arrows mean little to more people now.  Social distancing?  P'shaw.  I saw a confused looking dude and did what I always do, asked him if he needed help.  I stopped my cart a distance from him to ask, and he walked right up to me to talk about his problem.  (Mice in his car and how to get rid of them without leaving little rotting corpses in there.  I suggested peppermint oil, btw.)

The county where my Wallyworld of choice is has seen a slight spike in cases, so I'll be avoiding it for a while again.  I hope the Dollar General has ice cream.  Thank goodness cat food is in stock again at Amazon.  I ordered a bunch.  Let's see if it gets here in a timely manner.  My last order, which they said was delayed, actually showed up on time.  Let's please all remember that it isn't always Amazon delaying these shipments.  Most of the time, they're shipping on time. The delay is usually somewhere in the shipping chain.  And the other part of it has to do with the supply chain.  If they can't get it, they can't ship it. 

I heard a story from a friend that she was in a location of a national store chain that had recently reopened and there was a woman there freaking out that the dressing rooms weren't available yet.  First, the lady needed to chill the hell out.  Things are weird right now.  Life goes smoother if you roll with the small stuff.  Second, why were the dressing rooms still closed?  It's not like you're in there with a group of people - strangers or otherwise.  Maybe they were afraid the extra cleaning of those rooms would put an undue burden on their staff.  :shrug:

I also heard that the rioters were talking about bringing their 'message' to rural America.  Bring it.  We're out here for a reason, which is chiefly to be the hell away from you, and more of us are armed and trained to be armed.  I guarantee a roving band of masked rioters around here wouldn't be roving for long. 

Don't get me started about the anti-police sentiment rising in America right now.  Seriously.  Don't.  And, in case you missed something, I'm pro-police.  Very much so. 

And another thing... No.  Once I get started rolling on that, I won't be able to stop.  Which was the point of last week's parade of pictures.  Speaking of which, here's a shot I took years ago and then tweaked to make it look like a painting...

It gives me a happy.

How are things in your world?  Anything making you happy these days?

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Sunday Update - Week 22

Let's just say it wasn't a great week, k?  The world's gone mad and I'm even more inclined to crawl into my hermit hole and pull really big rocks over the entrance.

This said, is it any wonder there's no writing or editing or marketing in the update again this week?

I only finished one book in time for last week's Reading Wrap-up, and I finished one yesterday afternoon.   Go me.

Because of the swollen lake, there was no fishing.  All my spots are underwater and the one spot where I can fish has no shade.

I was active 5 out of 7 days - yard work, walking, grocery shopping (which totally counts when you're pushing a full cart) - but I gained about a pound.  I need to cut back on the snacks and the size of my portions again.  Weight: 177.  Still down 5.6 pounds for the year, but up 4.4 from my low in March.

The only baking I did was a batch of granola bars.  Oh, and I made a pizza.  I think I overworked the dough, though, so it wasn't exactly my best pizza crust.  :shrug:  We're out of oatmeal cookies, which Hubs totally loves. Unfortunately, it's getting hot, so baking is not high on my list of things to do right now.  I'll probably still get him his cookies.  As long as I can be done with them first thing in the morning.  Not today.  But soon.

Speaking of heat, mid-90s is a bit ridiculous for early June, wouldn't you say?  Ah, well, it's supposed to drop back into the 80s this coming week.  Poor Owl, having to be here over the summer.  She isn't acclimated to this and our spare room faces west for a full blast of afternoon sun.

Mom got back to the office this past week.  Thankfully, Sis had been holding the fort all that time, so it wasn't total spazz-ville.  Luckily, through all this, Mom's a roll-with0it kind of gal.

I think that's about it for me.  How did your last week go?

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 6/6/20

Hello again.  Well, I wasn't exactly burning through the pages this week, but I wasn't DNF'ing books either, so it's all good.

No new books of any kind.  Gah.  St Vinny's opened, but you can only go in if you're wearing a mask and I don't need used books bad enough... yet... to subject myself to that.

Books Read:

46) The Surrey Stalker by BL Pearce (6/1/20) - Suspense* - 4 stars.  New to me, but loads of ratings, even if it has less than 50 reviews on Goodreads.  Free from the ENT newsletter.
Review: "Very enjoyable read. Interesting premise. Thrilling. I liked the end of the plot - which was satisfying - but not the end of the book. It was probably just me."

Like I said, no DNFs this week.

Currently reading...  an urban fantasy of sorts.  At least it was billed as an UF when I snagged it.  It reads more like paranormal mystery to me.  Interesting premise.  Likeable characters.  I'm about halfway through and it's looking like a 5-star.  As long as it doesn't throw something at me at the end, that is.

Okay, your turn.  How did your reading week go?

Friday, June 5, 2020

Lonesome but Pretty

This is an oldie, but a goodie. 
Taken in June of 2010 out in the countryside of NE Colorado.  I liked this one so much, I printed it, framed it, and hung it in the living room here, alongside this one (taken the same day back in CO):
They're kind of lonesome, but pretty in their own ways.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Thursday This n That

I've been quiet this week.  It's not that I don't have anything to say.  It's that I'm afraid if I say anything, the gates I'm keeping everything behind will shatter and it will all come pouring out, causing death and destruction to anything below the dam.  And no good will come of it.  Shakespeare said it best through Hamlet: Whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by there opposing, end them.  I'm going with the former.  For now.


The deer are fat pregnant.  And they're starting to distance themselves from each other, so they're coming for food in singles or, when there is a larger gathering, it's all young does.  The big doe with the two buck yearlings has kicked her boys out of her general area, which means the boys aren't coming around anymore.  =o(

My roses went a little crazy this year...
The front bush is still cultivated.  The back bush went feral a few years ago (its original cultivar was yellow).  There was a third bush next to the house, but it gave up the ghost last year.  Those two?  They thrive on neglect.  Other than dead-heading them, I ignore them and they're loving it.  Still, I do have them both tied to the porch so they don't take over my parking space.

Mom made it back to the office yesterday.  Poor lady is up to her ass in alligators after being trapped at home since mid-March.  I mean, she did a lot of work from home, but there's only so much you can do without your computer and filing cabinets.  Sis helped her out a lot, but again, there's only so far anyone else can go to do her job. 

I made unsweetened 'sweet tea' the other day.  It's like regular iced tea, except for adding baking soda to the pitcher before you pour in the hot water.  (The baking soda makes it smooooth.)  I sweeten each glass with my yellow packet stuff.  I know, there are southern women all over the land gasping at this perversion, but I gotta do what I gotta do.  I love sweet tea, but I don't need the sugar.

Yesterday, I got the paver project done under the deck.  I need to snap a picture, but I'm lazy.  Anyway, it looks quite nice - manmade paver-type bricks interspersed with natural flat rocks.  Now, I'm itching to go buy some big blocks to shore up the end and finish the under-the-deck.  And a few bags of dirt.  And more gravel.  And some pretty flowers... like the quiet dam, once this one bursts, look out.  ;o)

Okay, I'm tapped out now.  What's up with your 'this n thats' this week?

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

A Study in Orange and Green

I still don't want to talk about the world, so here's another picture to help remind you there's beauty out there somewhere.
Northern Oriole in my redbud tree - 5/6/18.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

A Peaceful Setting

With all the stuff that's going on, we could all use a peaceful setting.
If you look really close, you might see a bobber or two hanging from the tree.  They aren't mine, btw.

In other news, today would've been my dad's 84th birthday.  I think he'd like that picture.  He probably would've liked fishing there even better.

Monday, June 1, 2020

A Little Bird

I can't write a post without ranting this morning, so here's a little bird.

It's a spotted sandpiper.