Thursday, December 31, 2020

Thursday This n That

Last night while I was making dinner, I went to shift the Foreman Grill and grabbed it in the wrong place.  Yep, burned my fingers.  Derp.  I won't be leaving accurate fingerprints with those for a while.  

On a happier note, look who I found in the Christmas clearance area of the DG:

They're Ralph the Elf and Kris Moose.  (Kris got two pics, so you can see his little sign and his face.)  They gave me a happy, so they came home with me.  And they were 50% off, so I got them both for $7.50.  Cha Ching.  They've already more than paid for themselves in the joy they've brought me.

You were looking at the titles on my books, weren't you?  Heh, caught ya.  I do it, too.  If I see books in the backgrounds of pics, I always read the titles.  (To help out, Ralph is sitting next to Henry V in its box and original oil skin, Don Quixote also in its box, and a volume of Jack London stories.)  That bookcase is for my collectibles and special stuffs.  Here's how it looked before I rearranged it:

Sorry you can't read the titles.  I'll help you out there, but we'd be here all day. 

Tonight is New Year's Eve.  I'm holding out hope next year will be a better year.  For us all.

I spent a large part of yesterday working on spreadsheets.  The morning was for my own stuff.  In the afternoon, I got stuffs from the payjob and spent the rest of the day working on that.  By the time I was done, I was too pooped to write.  I'll rectify that today.

Hubs always warns me before he turns on the overhead light in here.  And I invariably look at him, which means I get a blast of light in the face when he hits the switch.  Derp.  I really need to stop doing that.  :blink blink:

Tomorrow, I should be taking down the Christmas decor.  We'll see if I have the gumption and whether I want the house to go back to being non-cheery.  I might leave Ralph and Kris out year 'round.  I definitely need to take down the tree and get my dining room table back. 

Here's wishing you the happiest New Year possible.  Hang in there.  :hugs:

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Rambling at Year's End

Stuck in the between when the holiday is over and the new year hasn't begun, when I have no idea what day it is. (Worse than usual.)  The lost final week of a lost year.

At some point today, I have shopping to do.  They're predicting craptastic weather starting tomorrow, so the big decision is whether to go south and get groceries today and go north for cigarettes tomorrow, OR do both today.  Cigs are a half hour north.  Groceries are a half hour south.  Doing both today would put me on the road for 2 hours today.  Not that I haven't done that in the past.  Yo, former road-warrior here.  But it has been a while since I did hauls like that and these days, if I have to drive a lot, I'm a toad for the rest of the day.  By the time you see this to comment on it, the choice will have been made.  

At some point this week, I have to finish the spreadsheets.  Oh, I finished the ones for the pay-job yesterday - all twelve monthly ones, and three others input to throughout the year.  I also got some smaller personal sheets done - books acquired, the weight/activity log, the one where I keep track of my marketing.  I have the big Sales Totals spreadsheet and the Books Sales Data sheet that feeds it left to do there.  And I have to update the one where I keep all income and outgo for the writing biz.  That one makes me have a sad, but ignoring it doesn't make it go away.  Ignoring it would be like sticking my fingers in my ears and humming to avoid having to hear bad news.  It is what it is.

I also have to do my yearly wrap-up blog posts.  

And I should probably start thinking about taxes.  Blerg.

I have three books left to read by the end of the year to meet my updated goal of 90 books.  The one I'm reading now, though, is longer than I thought it would be, so I might not hit 90.  We'll see.

Eh, it's time to call the office.  I'll catch you all later.  What are you up to this week?  Getting ready for 2021 or trying to hide from it?

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Sunday Update - Week 52

I wish I could say this was the end of 2020, but we still have a few days left to go.  Although, saying that reminds me that I have a boatload of year-end stuff to do this coming week.  But we're not here to talk about what's ahead, are we? 

I wrote every day last week for a total of 8531 new words.  Duke Noble is now sitting at 28536 words and 96 pages.  Not sure how long this one will be overall, especially since I feel like I'm ramping up toward the climax.  :shrug:  If it turns out to be a novella instead of a novel, I'm okay with that.  It'll be tight without a lot of fluff.

In marketing news, I've been working pretty steady on posting about the sale to FB and MeWe.  I've moved a lot - for me - of free copies of Wish in One Hand that I hope will turn into sales of the other books once those copies get read.  And I've sold 3 sets of the entire series.  Today's the last day for all of it, so we'll see.  I haven't seen any page reads from this.  Or from the SCIU sale earlier in the month.  Is KU not a thing anymore?  :shrug:

Last week, I finished a couple of good books and DNF'd a dud.  I'm pretty close to finishing my final goal of 90 books for the year.

In baking news, I made an apple cranberry crisp using a different recipe.  It's pretty good.  I also made a double batch of applesauce bread.  For Christmas, I didn't bake anything but I did do steak with sauteed portabello mushrooms and sauteed shrimp.  Hubs declared it a winner.

We didn't do anything for Christmas.  I called my mom.  Hubs called his mom.  I got a Merry Christmas chat message from Owl.  A certain awesome person - she knows who she is - gave me Black Rifle coffee for Christmas.  Yummers.  It didn't arrive until yesterday, but that's okay because it gave me a whole other day to celebrate.  I made a pot yesterday afternoon and we sat around drinking coffee and smoking and playing poker.  Fun times.  I also made a pot of it this morning.  And it came in a OD green bag with a big red cross on it - emergency medical coffee.  Mobile Army Surgical Coffee.  It gave me a happy.  

Speaking of arriving yesterday, I finally got the Christmas card from my Mom.  And two other Christmas cards.  And my paycheck that was late arriving.  No word on whether my nephew-in-law in the Navy every got the package my sister sent him back in mid-November.  Of all the mail that needs to get where it's going, holiday packages for the troops should've been a priority for the USPS.  Anything with an APO address.  Seriously shouldn't have been that hard to get the stuff to the troops.  Gah.

In yard news, a cedar just off the yard has begun falling over.  The thick, wet, heavy snow that turned to ice last week was too much for it.  The root base snapped on the uphill side and now gravity has a hold of it.  

Not the best picture, but if you look between the reflections, you can see how the trunk has tilted.  It used to be as straight as the other trees.  =o(  I feel like one big squirrel leaping onto it at the right time could push it over.  Sure, it's just one of many trees, but I love my trees and I hate to see any of them die.  On the upside, this could be the key thing that gets me a chainsaw.  When it falls, it'll block off a couple of trails, and we can't have that.  Bwa ha ha.

In other news, it appears that Pierre has moved on.  The leaf litter we put all around the wood pile hasn't been disturbed and the stink is dissipating.

The deer are still coming in bigger herds than usual.  And we've been seeing an old buck lately.  Not anyone we know (we think).  He's lost his antlers already and he looks kind of sad.  I think if this ends up being a harsh winter, we'll lose him.  Everyone else is looking good, though.  Loads of healthy does and yearlings and fawns.  The cycle of life continues on the Sanderson homestead.

How's things in your life?  Did you have a nice Christmas?  Get anything good?

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 12/26/20

Happy day after Christmas or Boxing Day for them what celebrate it.  Did Santa bring you any good things to read?

On Christmas Eve, I got myself four new ebooks - SF, mystery, cozy mystery, and paranormal.  Christmas morning, an author I've enjoyed in the past put the first book of another one of his series up for free, so I snagged that, too.  That one is a suspense.

Books Read:

86) Decker and Joy by Elle Rush (12/20/20) - Paranormal Romantic Holiday Mystery* - 5 stars. New to me, but not underappreciated.  Free from the Robin Reads newsletter.
Review: "Not your typical paranormal romance. More like a holiday romance with cute paranormal and mystery elements. Whatever you call it, it was loads of fun and super cute."

85) Gloria by Jessica Lynch (12/19/20) - Romance*# - 5 stars. New to me and underappreciated as far as reviews go.  Free off the Robin Reads newsletter.
Review: " Super cute, fun, sweet romance."


12/22/20 - free.  I started what was supposed to be a cute holiday paranormal romance by a best-selling author.  (Or so it said.)  Gah.  Commas!  They exist for a reason.  Use them.  Please.  And if only two people are having a conversation, you don't need to name them every paragraph.  Jane said.  Mary said.  Jane said.  Mary said.  :gouges out own eyes:

Currently reading... an urban fantasy.  A little heavy on the banter for me, but the premise is good, so I'm forging through.

What did you read last week? 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Eve This n That

Years ago, when it was just Owl and I, we were kind of poor.  The worst of it was I think the year the furnace went out in our new house not long before Christmas, so whatever extra money I had went to paying to fix it.  1998, so Owl was five.  Anyway, there was almost no money for Christmas.  We had a tree and some ornaments - both of which I got from my parents - but not much in the way of other decorations or presents.  So, I hit the dollar store - back when they actually sold stuff for a dollar or less.  I spent my last $20 on garlands and wrapping paper and loads of cheap toys for little Owl.  The living room looked like Santa had exploded, but Owl was happy.  And Christmas morning, she had lots of prezzies to open, so she never knew how hard that Christmas was to put together.

I'm not sure how my parents did it.  Well, actually I do know.  They did it because Mom is frugal.  But they made each Christmas magical for five kids* on a limited budget.  I'm sure none of us got loads of presents like only-child Owl did.  What we got, though, was always amazing.   

Growing up, I never thought of us as poor.  Not until I reached my teens and understood things better.  We always had plenty of food.  We were clothed and had a roof over our heads.  So what if the food wasn't prime cuts of beef and the clothes weren't Giordache and the roof sometimes leaked.  There were always presents under the tree and cookies to bake and fudge for everyone.  

I remember one Christmas Eve night, all us kids were sent to play in our rooms before bed.  Middle sister and I were in our room doing something or other when suddenly we heard all this noise in the living room.  And then we heard... I think it was Dad... calling to us to come see.  So out we went and we we got to the dining room we could see that there was a TON of presents under the tree in the living room.  I swear the present must've stretched from the tree in the corner all the way to the middle of the living room, there were so many.  Dad informed us that Santa arrived early.  Heh, Dad never could wait for Santa to arrive.  We were only allowed to open one that night, if I remember correctly.  I think that was the year I got my big stuffed frog.  I loved him so much.

A short while back, my middle sister asked me if I remembered Grandpa.  (We only had one we could remember, since Dad's dad died when he was ten.)  In my accident, I lost most of my childhood memories, so no, I don't really remember Grandpa much.  Anyway, she brought up this stuffed frog he used to have.  THAT I remembered.  She said he used to play with it with me and make it ribbit and stuff.  I only remembered the frog.  Flash ahead, and she sent me a stuffed frog.  It's not exactly the same, but it's a memory she shared and I love it.  It has an honored place in the house now with a blanket that was Dad's and some other memory stuffs.

We're doing things a little different this year and having steak with mushrooms and potatoes instead of the traditional ham.  Hubs will whip out the grill and I'll be in here doing the rest of it.  Other than that, it'll be a quiet day like always. 

Anyway, I hope you all have a glorious Christmas tomorrow or a Happy Whichever-holiday-you-celebrate. May it be as beautiful as you hope, filled with love and joy and all the good stuffs.  :HUGS:



*Not sure if my siblings remember them as magical.  I do.  But my memory sucks.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Got Stuck in a Time Warp or Something

Wow, I totally brainfarted out yesterday.  This morning, I was all like 'time to write the Tuesday post'.  Except it's not Tuesday.  What happened to Tuesday???  Seriously.  It was like I got caught in a time warp or something because Tuesday is totally lost.

How the hell are all of you?

Oh, and I have a sale starting today.  Wish in One Hand is free and all the other genie books are 99c for the next 5 days.  If you were looking for something fun to give someone, there ya go.  Loads of fun without a load of expense.  Cuz, lord knows, we don't need any more expenses right now.  Am I right?

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Sunday Update - Week 51

One more full week of 2020 to go.  Either I screwed up the count this year or this horrible year actually has 53 weeks.  I wouldn't surprised either way.

Writing went really well for the first couple days of the week.  Then I hit a spot where I wasn't sure what I was doing was any good and crashed.  I ended up deleting some words which I though helped because I wrote a lot the next couple days and then the 'this is crap' hit and I crashed again.  As long as I don't think about it, I can write.  Once I start thinking about it, it falls apart.  Admitting the problem is half the battle, right?

I'm thinking about having a sale this week.  Not sure what it'll be for or whether I'll even have it at all.  I'd like to finish this year with a bang, even if it is muffled.  

It was an okay reading week.  I read a few really good books, including one I finished yesterday that'll be in next week's wrap-up.

In baking news, I made a batch of my Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies - the ones with oats and peanut butter.  There are like two left.  

The dumping of snow we got last Sunday/Monday is almost totally gone now.  The only spots left are where Hubs shoveled and made piles here and there.  I managed to get out to the store on Tuesday and got plenty of corn for the deer, which is good because one day there we had 33 stop by for breakfast and another day we had like 20+.  Now that the snow has melted off and they can forage again, they shouldn't be bunching up like that anymore.  :fingers crossed:  We really can't feed a herd that large every day or I'll be spending all my time running back and forth to the feed store.  

Yesterday, I went into the woods to blow off stress.  I started by working on sawing up a fallen tree.  It took some time, but I got the top 3-4' off and onto the wood pile.  Then Hubs came down and we worked on putting leaves around the wood pile to see if Pierre the skunk is hanging out in there.  Today, we'll go out and if the leaves are moved, we'll know he's still using the pile as his den.  

The second pile farther down the hill has signs that other critters are going in and out under it in four different spots - one with dirt scattered like something is making a burrow.  No stink, though, so whatever is habitating there isn't Pierre.  I'd like to think bunnies and maybe a ground hog.

Looking out the back window yesterday, I noticed one of the cedars just off the yard had tilted slightly.  When I checked it out, you can see where the base of it cracked.  We assume the weight of the snow pulled it sideways sufficiently to snap one of the anchor roots.  The tree seems to be okay, even with the slight tilt.  We'll see how it fares over the summer and whether it turns brown.  =o(

I also spent some time this week attempting to save several little 7-10' cedars.  The weight of the snow had pulled them all over so their tops were laying on the ground.  Once we got the snow off, they came back so they're standing mostly straight now.  Stupid heavy wet snow.

Well, that's about it for me.  Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom.  Here's hoping for a good week for us all and a bunch of Happy Holidays this week - including a Merry Christmas.  :hugs:

How's your week go?

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 12/19/20

And here we are again.  Getting pretty close to the end of another year and another big yearly wrap-up.  For now, though, let's just get to what happened in my reading week.  

No new books this week.  I still have four unread ebooks to tackle and a boatload of hardcopies.

Books Read: 

84) A Case of Need by Michael Crichton (Jeffery Hudson) (12/17/20) - Medical Suspense. 5 stars.  Not new to me or underappreciated.  I picked this one up back in February from one of the local thrift stores for 50c.
No Review.

83) The Conspiracy (DC Jake Tanner #1) by Jack Probyn (12/13/20) - Suspense*#. 5 stars.  New to me and while it has plenty of ratings, it's kind of lacking in the review department.  Got this off the Book Adrenaline newsletter.
Review: "Amazon has all the episodes as one book, so this is a review of that. (Same ASIN#.)
Thrilling story with lots of twists and turns. Definitely a roller coaster ride."
Note: Goodreads has the book as separate installments instead of one whole book, which is why the review says what it says.  And perhaps why there are so few reviews.  It was kind of confusing.   

No DNFs this week.

Currently reading...  a cute little romance.

What were you reading last week?  What are you looking forward to reading this week?  Is Santa bringing you books for Christmas?

Note: I upped the number of books in my reading goal to 90 this morning, since I'm already halfway through #85.

Friday, December 18, 2020

A Morning Rant

Just because something is natural doesn't mean it isn't also disgusting.  

Case in point, I saw a commercial the other day.  Part of it shows a woman lying on her back in bed.  Then she rolls onto her side and you can see a bloody splotch on the back of her sleep shorts and a corresponding splotch on the bed beneath her.  I assume the product was feminine napkins, but... gross.  Yeah, periods are natural, but no one wants to see that.  I was eating at the time, you sick freaks.  And that which has been seen cannot be unseen.  In my brain forever, assholes.  Thanks for that.

I don't want to see people throwing up either.  Or eliminating their waste.  Or fucking.  All natural functions, but come ON, let's have a bit of decorum here.

Seriously, in what fucked up world is any of this okay to show on TV?  Or even in the movies for that matter?

Sure, the scene in Revenge of the Nerds where Ogre is pissing and it takes forever is kinda funny, but you don't actually see it - you see the back of him and hear it.  And it's that kind of movie.  There's a dude named Booger in the movie, for pitysakes.  You know pretty early on, it's going to be that kind of movie.  The scene in Pitch Perfect where the gal mega-barfs?  Not so much.  And gross.  And even then, they had to kick the grossness up a notch by having the one gal making snow angels in it. 

And if you want to see fucking, there's a whole series of channels for that.  Go for it.  But don't put it where the unsuspecting can stumble across it.  (Looking at you Direct TV with your porn channel listings that just suddenly showed up one day between Sundance and the outdoor sports channels.  The titles alone make me want to gouge out my eyes.)  

I'm old school.  Natural stuff happens, but there are more elegant ways to convey that.  Close the door, go behind a bush, use sound off camera.  Hint at it and the majority will figure it out.  People aren't stupid (well, they didn't used to be) and can figure out what toilet paper is for without being shown someone wiping their ass.  And any female over the age of puberty knows what happens when her pad isn't fitting right.  Do we really need to see it, too?

Jus' sayin'.

And another thing... what's up with the poop background choice there Facebook?  Is that really necessary to the existence of your users?  Come on.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Thursday This n That

Yesterday, I stopped by the store and all I bought was chocolate.  The new Ferrar 'signature' box of chocolates?  Disappointing.  For that kind of money, I want either quantity or quality.  There were 8 pieces of chocolate and the ones I've tried so far were just meh.  Live and learn.  I also got a box of chocolate covered cherries because reasons.  Those never disappoint.  And I picked up some turtles for Hubs because Hubs loves turtles.

What I really need are these.  Guylian Belgian seashell chocolates with their hazelnut filling.  OMG, so good and so worth the price.  You know, if I wasn't such a tightwad.

I sent out Christmas cards last week.  At the same time, I sent out my middle sister's b-day card.  She got the b-day card but not the x-mas card and Mom hasn't gotten her card either.  WTF?  They were in the same batch going to the same place.  

Speaking of the mail, Mom was telling me they're having problems with mail just disappearing.  For instance, a company they do business with sent them a check on 11/1 and it never arrived.  Of course, they're in Michigan and that was right around the election.  I suspect the check went into someone's garage with a boatload of other mail :cough:ballots:cough:

And that's all I have to say about that.

Yesterday morning, Hubs went out and fed the deer like he always does.  Usually, 3-6 deer arrive shortly thereafter.  Yesterday?  Thirty-three deer showed up.  33.  And that was without any of the bucks.  They went through the corn like damn and whoa, and then milled around looking for more.  Hubs took another bucket out and while some of the deer scattered, the ones that stayed went through that corn lickety-split.  Sheesh.  Sorry, deers, I know the unexpected snow makes it hard for you to forage, but we can't afford to feed you like you're cattle.  Umm, and if you stop letting the crows chase you away, you'll get more corn in your bellies.  Just sayin'.

In poker, I moved up from the 10K room to the 100K room, and now I have almost 8mil in chips.  It wasn't hard once I got used to the larger amounts, or more specifically, the potential to lose larger amounts.  I used to cringe when I dropped 20K.  Now I can drop 200K before I cringe.  It's all play money, so no big deal.

And I think that's about enough out of me this morning.  What's up with you?

Wednesday, December 16, 2020


One of my best online friends was talking this morning about being a hugger and not being able to hug people right now because of the damn 'rona.  

In real life, I'm not a huge hugger, per se.  There are only certain people I hug - usually once I know them really well and become comfortable enough to have them inside my personal space.  For them, I am a hugger.  When the urge to hug them arises and I can't do it, I'm sad.  

The other day, I said 'screw it' and hugged my best in-person friend.  She has had a rough year, even given the 'rona chaos.  And the latest thing pretty much put me over the top.  She needed a hug and I needed to hug her.  Screw COVID.  She's been exceptionally careful and I'm a freakin' hermit, so the likelihood of either of us being Typhoid Mary was slim.  

I saw another friend of mine yesterday.  I asked her how her and her husband were doing - he has cancer.  She said they were both doing really well and she had a smile on her face (yeah, mask, but I could see it in her eyes.)  I wanted to give her a happy hug, and I would've if she hadn't been at work under a dozen cameras.

This thing has got us all so terrified of touching each other.  Humans need contact with other humans.  Actual physical contact.  The internet, while cool for keeping in touch, doesn't replace actually touching other people.  

No wonder depression and suicides are up.  

Long ago, probably in my Child Psychology class back in 1990, I read about a study of orphaned children.  The children who had been orphaned as babies, who didn't receive enough physical contact from their caregivers nearly always had some mental irregularity - neuroses and psychoses.  Sometimes those poor babies even died from lack of contact.  

What we've been reduced to... it's all very sad.  So... and I know it's not much, but it's the best I can do from here...


To quote an old commercial, reach out and touch someone today.  In whatever way you can.  

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Cranky Day Means Pretty Picture

 I crawled out from under the wrong side of the rock this morning, so here's a pretty picture...

The first rays of morning sun through the snowy trees yesterday.

Update: One of my woes has been taken care of.  Yesterday, I forgot my cell phone was in the pocket of my sweat pants and I washed my sweat pants.  Didn't notice the phone was in there until we heard it thumping around in the dryer.  Hubs rescued it but it was total toast.  So I threw it in a bag of rice.  That wasn't doing anything, so I removed the battery and put all the components back in the rice.  This morning, it's alive again.  The display looks kinda funky, but it's legible.  And the main huzzah is that I got in enough to copy down the damn serial number so I can transfer my stuff to a new phone if need be.  Now if I can only 1) get enough sleep (or enough coffee to compensate) and 2) get constipated kitty to poop this morning, I might just make it through.

Update #2... LOL, literally.  Crass, I know, but it's amazing how happy we are when the cat poops.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Pictures in a Winter Wonderland

 Sorry I'm late with this, but Blogger was down when I woke up.

I can't think of anything else to post about, so here's a few pictures from the snow we got yesterday...

First off, here are a couple of shots taken of the same general area  - one from early in the snow and one from later...

Those were taken about three hours apart - 10:30am and 1:30pm.  I didn't take any pictures from later than that, but it got even snowier.  Hubs figures we got about 2.5 inches.  This is the most snow we've seen here in years.  It's a Winter Wonderland out there.

There's Oberon (the white oak) covered in snow.  And here's the woodpile that Pierre was recently evicted from:

Here's one of the two big cedars in our front yard.  Unfortunately the north tree (the farther one in this photo) lost a big limb overnight due to the weight of the snow.  =o(

The cedars never did get snow under them this time.  

Most of the snow should be gone by the end of the day.  It's supposed to be sunny and up into the forties.  As long as the roads get cleared so I can go out tomorrow, I'm fine with it staying.  It's kind of pretty.

How's winter where you're at?

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Sunday Update - Week 50

 It's Sunday again.  How did that happen?  Blerg.

Okay, so Tuesday I was sitting here playing poker when I suddenly felt the urge to go back and read what I'd written on that noir thing I was doing at the end of the summer.  I read through the 7800 or so words I had and I added some stuff and tweaked some stuff and when I got to the end I wanted to keep writing.  So I did.  By Friday night, I had written exactly 5000 words.  (Which I mention because hitting that number unintentionally is something I could never do again.)  I wrote again last night  - 5th day in a row - which brings my word count for the week to 6195.  Not bad, if I do say so myself.  And I gave the book a name... kinda.  Duke Noble, Private Investigator.  I rolled over 14K words last night, so it's all good.

Also, my brain is sparking on this story all over the place, which is something that hasn't happened in a while.  Be nice if I could sleep, too, but hey, story.  But last night's mental free for all gave me some ideas for the pivotal 'reading of the will' scene I have to write today.

No marketing or editing (other than the minor stuff I did for Duke).

I read one really good book - a noir supernatural mystery thing.  

I did some baking this week.  I did a chocolate oil cake and made peanut butter frosting to go with it.  The frosting turned out awesome, but I didn't use a recipe.  I just threw things together until it was the taste and consistency I wanted.  Unfortunately, the cake turned out overbaked - even though I baked it exactly 40 minutes like always.  Not sure where I fell apart there.  I also made drop biscuits last week using my favorite recipe for rolled biscuits.  They turned out pretty yummy.  Would've been better if I hadn't been distracted by Perry Mason and had taken them out of the oven when the timer went off instead of a couple minutes later.  Not burned exactly, but a lot browner than I intended.

Wednesday, I got the Christmas cards out.  Thursday, I put up the tree. I played Christmas music during both of those tasks.  Still not in the mood for Christmas movies, though.  Here's this year's tree:

Pretty much looks like last year's tree. I think I put more stuff around the bottom this year to make it festive - since, ya know, we never put prezzies under it.

Other than that, there was the Kira vet thing I detailed on Tuesday's post.  Kira is getting better with the respiratory thing.  And she remained constipated until last night.  Nuff said on that.  Except right now, she's decided she doesn't like ANY of the flavors of food we currently have in the house.  Tough luck for her because I'm not due to hit the store until tomorrow.  Unless...

We woke up this morning to the weather places predicting a potential big snow starting today.  If we get the 3-6 inches some places are predicting, then Monday's trip south could be postponed.  We still have plenty of food available for us and the cat.  If she doesn't like the food we have, she'll go hungry bow bow bow.  (This morning I woke up to her gorging herself on the food she wouldn't eat last night, so there's hope.)  The only thing we'll really need if the weather takes a shit, is corn for the deer.  Cross your fingers the forecast is wrong because those big babies get hungry and then they show up in our front yard, picking over the birdseed and getting generally obnoxious.

And lastly, I did get a couple walks in last week.  I haven't weighed myself since 11/25, though, so no clue whether I gained, lost, or held steady.  It is what it is.

How was your last week?

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 12/12/20

Oopsie.  I accidentally post this to the wrong blog last night.  Here it is.  And if you were already there, here it is again...

Well, hello there.  Fancy meeting you here.  It's almost the end of the year, ya know, and we're coming to the end of these wrap-ups for 2020.  (I have a flare for stating the obvious, doncha know.)

I picked up four new ebooks this week - paranormal mystery, UF, paranormal romance, romance.  And I have one book left from before - a thriller.  No new hardcopies this week.

Books Read:

82) Drop Dead, Gorgeous by Mike Jastrzebski (12/6/20) - Supernatural Mystery*# - 5 stars.  New to me and while it does have loads of ratings, it doesn't have many reviews, which is too damn bad.  Free off the ENT newsletter.
Review: "Wow, that was a really fun story. I loved the characters and the premise was interesting. It was well-written with an intriguing plot. Plus, it hearkened back to the old noir crime novels I love. Supernatural mystery for the win."


12/11/20 - romance. Free.  I read this about 2/3rds of the way through and then I realized there was no way I was going to be able to give the book more than 3 stars, no matter how it finished.  So I stopped.  I mean, there was sooo much unnecessary stuff in there.  The author could've trimmed a lot and had a much better book with fewer pages.  One I probably would've read all the way through.  =o( 

Currently reading... the thriller left over from earlier in the month.  I'm not loving it, so I'm not sure if this will become a DNF today.  

How did your reading week go?  Anything awesome to report?

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Thursday This n That

Yesterday I made turkey stew and drop biscuits.  Hubs was happy.

In case you're not familiar with drop biscuits, they are what they sound like - you drop heaping spoonfuls of biscuit dough onto the baking sheet and throw it in the oven.  Drop biscuits are for when you're too lazy to make rolled biscuits.  I used the same recipe minus the whole flouring the counter and rolling the dough out and folding it and rolling it and folding it and rolling it.  Less work and less mess.  Have to note, though, that they take less time in the oven.  Last night's batch was a little overly browned.

I find making rolled anything is a huge pain in the buns.  Which is why I bought cinnamon rolls yesterday.  I have had a huge craving for cinnamon rolls and I've looked at numerous recipes for same.  But every time I think about making them, I think about all the rolling and mess involved and then don't make them.

Ahem, my pizza does not require rolling and I knead the dough right in the bowl.  Less mess. I take the risen dough and slap it onto the middle of the pizza pan and then gently coax the dough to the edges of the pan while constantly turning the pan.  :shrug:  It works for me.

The story I posted a snippet of yesterday is rolling along.  1400+ new words last night.  Like I said, it's noir and it's kind of a throw back to Spillane and his contemporaries.   

I mailed my Christmas cards out yesterday.  The final count, if I remember right, was 27.  If you got one last year and don't get one this year, blame the USPS.  They're off to MI, FL, CO, CA, OK, NM, and one to Nova Scotia.  (:waves at my lone Canadian friend:  You probably won't see it until after Christmas, but that's how things go for us.)

While doing cards, I turned on Christmas music for the first time this year.  Still haven't put up the tree.  Maybe today.

Apropos of nothing, I'm up to 4.6 million 'dollars' in play money poker.  Considering I only play at the table where the most I can buy in for is 20K, I think that's pretty sparky.

Okay, I've run myself out of things to yat at you about.  What's on your mind today?


Tuesday, December 8, 2020

My Yesterday

Okay, so yesterday didn't go anywhere near to what I had loosely planned.  And it didn't do a damn thing to help increase my Christmas cheeriness.  

'Round about last Friday, Kira started sneezing her fool head off again.  So I cleaned the house like a maniac and Hubs washed all her bedding, in hopes we could stave off the impending respiratory infection.  Umm, nope.  By yesterday morning it was clear we were going to have to get some meds for her.  

Considering that she just had the exact same maladies last May, I had great hopes I could just call the vet and then run down to pick up the meds.  Umm, nope.  Since the last time had been longer than 6 months ago, they had to see her before they could prescribe anything.  I harangued the poor office manager to no avail.  I explained once again, as if they'd forgotten, that Kira is agoraphobic, that she gets motion sick, that she's like 86 years old in kitty age and doesn't need the stress of riding and barfing in a car all the way there and all the way back.  Still, nope.  We set the appointment for 2:30pm.  I mean, what choice did I have?  Cat antibiotics (and cat laxatives, which she also needs again) are by prescription only.

Long about 1:45, I load the cat up and drive her down.  She meowed and barfed the whole thirty minute trip.  Which is why I left plenty of time to clean her up when we got there.  We arrived, I cleaned her up, and then I called them from the parking lot to let them know they could come out and get her.  Because, like, their lobby is still closed and no humans are allowed in.  Umm, yeah.  

I told the vet tech what was up - Kira has a URI again and she needs more laxative.  Last time, the vet also gave me some stuff to help with kidney function, but I researched it and it's iffy as to whether it even does anything, and it's hella expensive, so I told the gal I didn't want that.  

Then I went to run a quick errand*.  Something I had planned to do in the morning, but since I was going down there in the afternoon, I left it until then.  

I was back in about ten minutes and as soon as I got back, the vet was out to talk to me.  She was really pushing the need for blood tests to check Kira's kidney function, which she was certain would be bad, and pushing the supplement thing, using loads of BIG WORDS to convince me I was remiss and the research I had done was wrong.  Umm, okee doke and whatever, but I'm not having the blood tests and supplements done at this time, thank you.  Antibiotics and laxatives, thank you very much, and what's the charge so I can write a check and have it ready when you bring my cat back to me?

Within minutes, my cell phone buzzes.  It's the office manager to give me my amount.  (Oddly, she called the house first, even though I was parked right in front of the doors and the vet knew I was out there.)  Minutes later, I had my cat and her meds.  Zip zap, I was home by 3:15. Which, of course, included a quick stop at the convenience store for ice cream. 

Of course, I was a total spazz for the rest of the day and I didn't get any sleep because my brain wouldn't quit replaying all of the social interactions.  Today is all about coffee, let me tell ya.  And maybe I'll go throw some logs in the woods.  Rebuild the last nerve everyone was bouncing on yesterday.  

Oh, and thank goodness that while I was waiting to take Kira to the vet, I made a chocolate oil cake.  Frosted it after I got home with a super yummy peanut butter frosting.  Lord, I needed that.  (Well, that and the ice cream.)

Needless to say, my early plans of throwing on some Christmas music and doing Christmas cards and decorations flew right the hell out the window.  Holly Jolly I wasn't.  Maybe today will be better.

Oh, and yeah, the reason I had to take Kira in rather than just pick up the damn meds without her?  They changed some stupid law governing pet prescriptions.  If they haven't seen the pet within 6 months, they can't write a prescription - even if it's a chronic condition.  As I told the gal**, that's asinine.  But then again, that's government.  Thank goodness Max isn't around for this.

* my toilet went squonky over the weekend and I needed to stop at the plumbing supply place for replacement parts.  woohoo.  Thank goodness this house has more than one bathroom.

** lest you think I am a total bitch, I did apologize to the office manager for giving her shit on the phone.  I know it's not their fault, but it really is asinine.  And I am on my last nerve.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Ho Ho No?

It's the 7th of December.  Setting aside what day this actually is (if you don't know, go smack whatever educator was supposed to teach you history), we're already 7 days into the month and I have absolutely no urge to send Christmas cards, decorate for Christmas, watch Christmas movies, or listen to Christmas music.  And I've tried.

I bought a box of new Christmas cards because Hubs mentioned them.  They're sitting on the dining room table, staring up at me accusingly every time I walk by.

Before that, I was in the storage room, pawing through my decorations to find last year's cards and see if I needed to buy new ones.  I did.  But I put the lid back on the box and put everything back where it was instead of dragging everything out and decorating the house.

I did watch Die Hard*, but when I sat down to watch The Santa Clause... meh. I usually love that movie.  All I could think was... whiny kid, snotty adults... why am I watching this?

Three of the stations I have set on my car radio are playing Christmas music.  Nothing else was on, so I flipped over to one of them.  Meh.  

By now, everything would be up and the cards would be done or mostly done.  I'd be playing Christmas music in the house and watching all the old favorites.  I'd be surfing the online stores looking for the right gifts to ship to loved ones.  Maybe making up a box to send to the Owl.  

Nope.  It's all Ho Ho No around here.  

Part of it is the weather, I guess.  It's been warm.  It's supposed to hit 68F later this week.  That's warm even for a southern Missouri December.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out what's causing the rest of it.  

Eh, I really need to get over myself.  Throw some damn Christmas music on - Nat King Cole ought to do it - get the boxes out and decorate the tree, get the freakin' cards done so the people I love know I'm thinking about them.  Maybe that'll get my Christmas groove on.  Or at least fake it 'til I make it.  Or something.

How about you?  Have you got the Christmas spirit?  Ho Ho Ho or Ho Ho No?

*Die Hard is too a Christmas movie.  It might be the least Christmassy of the Christmas movies, which is why I could watch it, but it's set at Christmas, there are Christmas songs and decorations, and even a Ho-Ho-Ho.  It's written on a dead bad guy, but it's there.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Sunday Update - Week 49?

Another week of 2020 is finished.  2021 will soon be here.  I have great hopes that it will be a better year, but I'm not holding my breath.  I had great hopes for this year and look how that turned out.


I wrote about 150 words on a weird little story that popped into my head.  I'm calling it Bert the Immortal.  I got mired in researching his backstory and then got bored with myself.  Never a good way to start a book.  The premise is sound, though, so I may go back to it once I get out of my own way.

Last week's marketing was wrapped up in Friday's post.  

I wrapped up last week's reading yesterday.

In baking news, I made another pumpkin cheesecake and I also made Peach Jam Squares - recipe below.  (Okay, they were supposed to be half peach and half strawberry, but I accidentally grabbed sugar-free jam instead of regular and I don't like usually sugar-free jam to bake with, so I ended up with 1/4 strawberry from the old jar and the rest peach.  Turns out the peach was yummier anyway.)

In deer news, the rut must be over because the does are gathering up again and they're pretty much ignoring Arthur when he feeds with them.  (He's ignoring them, too, so it's all good.)  Here's hoping we see lots of fawns in late spring.

Not sure if any of you need to read this, but here's an awesome article: Put an End to Emotional Abuse.  I got out of my wicked spiral of emotionally abusive relationships a while before I met Hubs. I can't even begin to count the number of people I've known over the years who were either in an emotionally abusive relationship or who had already escaped one.  Hell, I met another gal the other day who told me about the crap she once put up with.  We commiserated.  If you're in one of these poisonous relationships or if you, too, have escaped one, you're not alone.  There's a sea of us out there.

I sat down and watched Steel Magnolias yesterday.  (The original one.)  Balled like a baby, as always.  The funeral scene... need I say more?  I also cry during the first beauty shop scene because I know what's coming.  Let me also just say, I love Weezer.  I think I'm turning into her.  "I'm not insane.  I've just been in a bad mood for 40 years."  ;o)

And on that note, I'll let you get back to your day.  Have a great one, wherever you are.

How was your week?


Peach Jam Squares

1 cup butter (softened)
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 3/4 cups flour
2 cups quick oats
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup peach preserves

Preheat oven to 400F.  Grease or nonstick spray a 9x13" baking pan.  In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until smooth and consistent in color.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, and cinnamon.  Stir into butter mixture until well combined.  Stir in walnuts.  Set aside two cups worth of the dough.  Press the remaining dough into the bottom of your prepared pan.  Spread the preserves over the it until preserves covers every inch.  Crumble the set aside dough over the top of the jam and press it down until it's flat.  (You may still see some jam here and there, but that's okay.)  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is golden and the jam is bubbly.  Cool completely before cutting into squares.  Store the squares in an airtight container.  I refrigerate mine. (You can easily use any type of fruit preserves for this.  I like peach best.)

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 12/5/20

Hello again.  Thanks for taking time out of your day to stop by.  Hopefully you'll find something you want to read when you're perusing these Saturday posts.  =o)

I picked up one new ebook this week - a thriller.  I still have two ebooks leftover from last month that I should get to next week - a romance and a mystery.  

If you stop by my 2020 Books Read post, you'll see I upped my reading goal for the year again.  And I probably need to up it again, if these fast reads keep coming.  I'm only 4 books off the new goal and I will probably end up reading more than that.  We'll see how fast I get to 84 and then make a decision, eh?

Books Read:

81) Cherry Pie or Die by CeeCee James (12/3/20) - Cozy Mystery* - 4 stars. New to me but not underappreciated.  Picked up for free off the ENT newsletter.
Review: "Cute little mystery with a nice set-up for more stories and an interesting background for the heroine."
Available in audio.

80) Two Hearts Home for Christmas by Tamara Ferguson (12/2/20) - Romance*# - 5 stars.  New to me and while it does have plenty of ratings, it doesn't have nearly enough reviews.  Free off the Book Doggy newsletter.
Review: "What a nice story! So what I needed right now."

79) A Litter of Bones (DCI Logan #1) by JD Kirk (12/1/20) - Thriller* - 5 stars.  New to me but plenty of reviews.  (It's so good, I'm not surprised.)  Found this on the All About Books Divas FB page while it was free.
Review: "What a wild ride! The suspense was so delicious that this one was really hard to put down to do things like eat and sleep and various other life stuff. I thoroughly loved this book. It reminded me of the Masterpiece Mysteries I wait months to catch and then can't sleep afterwards going over and over the scenes in my head. This one will stick with me for a while."
Available in audio.


12/4/20 - Themed compilation of fiction and non-fiction.  The intro and the first two 'stories' bored the every lovin' hell out of me.  I'm keeping the book.  I'll try again later.  Maybe there are more interesting stories in there somewhere.

Currently reading...  Since I gave up on that book last night, I couldn't find something else to start.  Bummer.

What did your reading week look like?

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Thursday This n That

Adapt dammit!  Whether you want to or not. 

I've been up since 3:30.  This does not bode well for human interaction.  And I have to go to Wallyworld today.  

Lucky for Hubs, he is exempt from my crankiness.  He and Mom are the only ones with that exemption.  The cat doesn't care.

I read a really awesome book this week.  It was a British suspense/thriller.  I need to coax some money out of my budget to buy the next book.  

Unfortunately, I got my new jacked-up health insurance bill this morning.  They added an additional $50 a month.  A month.  That's more money per month than I've made this year selling books, btw.  And I never use the damn insurance.  Seriously.  Never.  I only have it in case something bad happens.  If I'd taken all the premiums I've paid and never used over the years and put that money into a savings account, I'd probably have enough to pay for major surgery out of pocket.  Sheesh.

As I told Mom yesterday, don't get me started or we'll be here all day.

Yesterday, I saw a bald eagle.

No sign of Pierre the skunk since that one time.  I hope he's okay.  I mean, I'm glad he's not stinking up the joint, but I don't want anything bad to happen to him.

Send positive thoughts out to my BFF's great niece.  She's fourteen and they just discovered she has a brain tumor.  =o(  Come to think of it, send positive thoughts to her and her whole family.  It hasn't been the best of years for them.

It hasn't been the best of years for most of us, I'd say.  Sure, not as bad as the above, but we're each struggling with all of this in our own ways.  Hang in there.  By your fingertips or the skin of your teeth if you have to, but hang in there.  :hugs:

Sorry to be such a downer this morning.  Don't say I didn't warn you.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020


Instead of the morning rant I just typed and deleted, here's a couple pictures of Arthur.

These were taken back in September, but we saw him yesterday, which means he made it through another hunting season.  Yay. 

I think he's the buck I was calling Curly last year because of the hair between his antlers.  He's got a cool 'do.  

Anyway, he's the dominant buck in the neighborhood and he'll be spreading his genes around this year.  I'd be willing to bet that most of this year's and last year's fawns were his kids.  He da man.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Apropos of Nothing

As you all might know, I am a slave to a geriatric cat.  She's 17, which is like 86 for her.  We have to take her to the litterbox on a regular basis so we don't have accidents outside the litterbox.  As you also might know, I like to make up songs.  We have one for calling her to dinner (she doesn't actually come to it anymore, but we still sing it).  And now I made up one for when we want her to go poop.  It's sung to the tune of 'If You Want to Sing Out' by Cat Stevens.  "If you want to go poop, go poop.  If you don't wanna poop, jump out."  It amuses me and she seems to respond to it, so yay.  

My dad used to make up the words to songs, too.  With Christmas approaching, I'm reminded of his famous "Deck the Halls" wording.  'Deck the halls with Boston Charlie, fa la rah la rah de sis boom bah.'  So apparently, it's in the blood.  We won't talk about how my brother ruined the song Yesterday for me.  Suffice it to say, I can never listen to that song without hearing his words instead of Lennon's.  (Yes, I did pass on that to my daughter, but only the non-R rated verse.)  

The sky is just beginning to get light in the East and it's like 20-something degrees out.  Hubs braved the cold to feed the critters.  The birds will have to eat off the ground today because the feeder lid is frozen in place.  Blerg.

I still hate the new Blogger format.  And I'm still forcing Facebook to show me the original format.  Every 48 hours, which is a pain but less of one than trying to force myself to accept the new format.  Which, by the way, looks a lot like MeWe's format, so I should be able to learn the new FB.  I'm just being mulish.  

It's baking day.  I have enough ingredients to make another pumpkin cheesecake.  And we're out of both cookies and quick bread, so I need to make those.  Not sure how much will get done today, but something.

And I'm spent.  Got anything random to talk about today?