Thursday, April 29, 2021

Thursday This n That

I finally checked the last things off my to-do list yesterday.  As a result, there's a new remote control in the mail (ours had a couple buttons that don't work anymore) and there's a guy from the phone company coming to figure out why we have static in the line and, hopefully, fix it.  Oddly, there was static in the line when I called the office and when I called DirecTV to get the remote, but no static in the line when I called the phone company to report static in the line.  

We've had static in the phone line on and off for about a month.  Yeah, I procrastinated the hell out of that call.  And hey, why does it always have to be me that calls about that stuff?  Couldn't one of my neighbors call?  So part of my waiting was to see if anyone else would bother.  Umm, no.  Their laziness outwaited my stubbornness.  Bastards.  

I had all my zucchini and carrot plants out on the deck.  Then yesterday morning we got a sploosher, so there I was dragging all those pots back into the garage so my baby plants wouldn't get drowneded.  They'll go back out later today when this system passes through.  At some point, they're going to have to stay out there even through the splooshers because there's no way I'm dragging all those zucchinis back into the garage.  

According to Hubs and our rain gauge, we got 4 inches of rain in this system.  Sploosh.

I don't know what the hell my fingernail just accidentally touched, but suddenly I had a whole big sidebar thingie here that looked like programming language and junk.  Eeek.  Luckily, I could exit it easily.  They really ought to warn people about that shit.

I was over 44 million in poker and hit a string of bad luck during which I dropped 800K in chips. Beats so bad that I actually banged my head on the desk.  I mean, when you flop the nuts and go all in and they need runner runner to beat you and they make the runner runner, that's horrific.  And it happened twice inside ten minutes.  So, that was 400K out the window and then little beats here and there ate the other 400K.  (Yes, I understand most of you won't have any clue what I'm talking about there.  Sorry.)

In happier news, I've added 6200 words to Duke #2 this week.  So twisty.  Not only do I have no clue about who dun it, I have no clue who the bodies are.  Hehe.  It's so much fun finding out.

And that's all I've got today.  What's on your this-n-that radar today?

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

You Really Have to Laugh

I did an experiment yesterday.  A friend got warned by FB for saying something they considered 'hate speech', so I posted the exact same verbiage on my page.  (For the record, saying 'boys are idiots' is not hate speech.  Come on.)  She got warned.  I got nothing.  I'm beginning to feel slighted.  I suspect this is because she is someone with a lot of followers and a reach.  I'm no one in the scheme of things, so they don't give a rat's ass if I post stuff.  Hell, I actually swear and junk... without the asterisks.  Most of the George Carlin words and then some.

I did get warned once for sharing something they'd already considered 'bad'  They told me it was bad and that if I shared it I might be considered bad, too, so I should probably think before I dismissed their warning and shared it on my page.  I shared it anyway.  Nothing happened.

FB has become such a joke.

Basically, I'm at the point where every time FB 'fact checks' something, I assume it's true.  My reasoning?  If it wasn't true, they wouldn't be afraid of it and feel the need to tell everyone how untrue it was.  If I want to check whether something is actually true or false, I go over to Duck Duck Go and look for valid sources.  Multiple valid sources, usually.  I don't rely on FB to tell me the truth.

Speaking of which, a page I follow posted a meme this morning.  The meme showed a see of exactly the same face looking up into the sky and chanting FB's COVID-19 verbiage, which had then been tagged with the same verbiage and then tagged with the same verbiage again.  The meme was tagged with the same verbiage.  Which was hilarious.  

A while back, someone posted something that talked about being unable to understand how a senile pedophile and a high-priced call-girl could've received so many votes.  FB fact-checked it with 'he's not a pedophile!'  I found it incredibly funny that they didn't fact-check his senility or her being a hooker.  Apparently, you can say he's an addled minded old fart and she's a ho, but for godsakes, don't call him a pedophile.

You really have to laugh at this shit.  It's comedy gold, people.

I'm so sad Carlin died.  He'd be calling all of this out, dragging it into the light and showing how astronomically stupid all of it is.

Seriously, though, the only appropriate response to this shit is to laugh at it.  Gretchen Halfwit now says children aged 2-4 have to wear masks.  You can't get kids that age to keep their clothes on and you want to mask them up?  That's going to go over well.  A comedian back in the '80s... I want to say either Robin Williams or Howie Mandel*... has a bit about their kid taking off all their clothes and running around screaming 'LOOK AT ME!  I'M NAKED!'  Keep a mask on that, you silly twatwaffle.  

Sure, it's serious.  Our country is swirling the drain and headed right for the septic tank.  People are dying.  Others are going broke and still others are killing themselves.  Maybe if everyone had laughed at this shit from the very beginning, it wouldn't be as bad as it is.  I don't know.  All I know is if I don't laugh at it now, I'll go nuts.  

*Yes, that Howie Mandel.  He was a comedian before he was a gameshow host.  I still repeat some of his stuff.  It was that memorable.  He was also an actor on one of the most highly-rated medical dramas of the time - St. Elsewhere.  Look it up.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Time for a Drive

It's time again for me to go get my license plates renewed.  And the boat registration, too.  I detest the drive up to the county seat.  It's all hills and curves through the woods.  I mean, it's lovely.  If I could take it slow and meander, that would be great, but invariably there are numbnuts in so much of a hurry they feel the need to be right on my tail.  And there's no place for them to pass me safely.  (They still try.)  It's worse when the sun's out because sunlight through the forest turns the road into a strobe-licious disco trail.  

I'm planning on going up today.  It's nice and cloudy.  But without rain or wind.  I just have to see if I can get the car inspected today.  One thing about living in the back of beyond is wondering whether services will be available when you want them to be available.  There's only one dude at the local place authorized to inspect vehicles, and he doesn't do it every day.  So, you have to call ahead to make sure he's there and that's he's in the mood to do inspections.

By the way, here a car inspection consists of him walking around the car while I use my turn signals, headlights, and brakes.  Honk the horn once and we're good to go.  Costs $12.  And like I said, you have to be authorized by the state to do that.  Woohoo.

In addition to the inspection certificate, I have to take my driver's license, proof of insurance, and property tax receipts.  Cuz they won't give you your plates (or itty bitty sticker for the plates) if you didn't pay your property taxes.  I wonder what people without property to tax have to show to prove they don't have taxes to pay.  Hmm.

(Hubs just got off the phone.  The dude will be there at 9:30a.  Yay.)

The government office where I get my registrations renewed isn't too bad.  I mean, it's TINY, but the gals there are pleasant and the wait generally isn't too awfully long.  

Between the car reg (2 years) and the boat reg (5 years) it'll cost us about $100.  :shrug:  Totally not bad compared to other places I've lived.  

In the eight years since we moved here, I've encountered deer in or near the road a few times.  Fingers crossed the critters are sticking to the woods today.  

Yeah, not the most interesting post.  But that's life.  What are you up to today?

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Sunday Update - Week 17

 Seventeen weeks into 2021 and it's getting weirder by the day.  By the way, it's National Zucchini Bread Day.  As if it wasn't weird enough to have that day in freakin' April, I went looking for info on it and one site says zucchini bread was invented in the '60s by hippies.  Umm...  I think my grandmother was making zucchini bread way before that.  (It also said that's when banana bread was invented.)

Anyway, it wasn't the best writing week I've ever had, but writing did happened, so that's a win.  4332 words for the week.  And then I hit a mental block.  I figured it out last night when I should've been sleeping.  I need to delete the end of that last scene and the block should disappear.

I tried to do some marketing, because the Model Curse books are on sale, but I got crickets and then I got discouraged.  Then I went crickets.

Only one book read last week, mainly because I'm still working my way through that NF.  

It was kind of a baking bonanza, though.  I make drop biscuits, oatmeal raisin apple cookies, and chocolate walnut upside down cake.  

I did something active 6 days out of 7, but not hugely active things.  Spot cleaning, some yardwork, a little gardening, and fishing.  Weight 184.6.

Tuesday we got snow.  Heavy, wet snow. 

I was out there in it trying to knock snow off the cedars and the bushes and my plants, because the snow was heavy enough to drag everything toward the ground.  I got super wet and freakin' cold and it was an exercise in futility.  Although, I think it saved the peonies, so that's something.  All of our black walnuts trees are hurting.  Their new leaves couldn't take the cold and nearly all of the leaves are black and curled up/crunchy now.  The big trees will survive.  The little trees?  Time will tell.  

My container garden was inside, so it's all good.

I finally got my filing done.  I don't think I filed anything after the chaos started, so there were months worth of bills in a stack on the top of my printer/scanner.  I can see the top now!  Yay.  

The windows still aren't finished.  I did another third of them and then my arms said 'oh, hell, no'.  I'll get the last three windows done today - the spare room and Hubs' bathroom.  Then I can cross that off my to-do list until Fall.  

And I'm still playing poker.  I'm around 42 million now.  

I think that's it.  There may have been other stuff.  I'm kind of manic right now, using busyness to avoid the news and the world.  

How are things going for you?  

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 4/24/21

 Good morning.   I didn't have the most exciting reading week, but here goes...

No new books.

Books read:

26) The Source of Magic (Xanth #2) by Piers Anthony (4/20/21) - Fantasy - 5 stars.  Not new to me or underappreciated.  Got this in the box lot of paperbacks.
Review: "
It's been ages since I read this one. It's enjoyable. Not my favorite in some aspects, but in others, quite good."


4/18/21 - I set aside that Zane Grey I was reading.  I just couldn't get into it.  I'll try it again another time.

Currently reading...  I'm still reading that NF ebook.  It's slow going, but I'm up to 45% now.  And I'm reading an Agatha Christie in paperback.

What were you up to in your reading last week?

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Thursday This n That

Does it seem like every week since this started is stranger than the last?  Or is it just me?  (Yes, I am getting stranger, too, but that's not the question.)

In case you missed it, this week a police officer saved a young girl's life by shooting the girl who was trying to stab her.  He's being attacked for doing it.  See?  When you leave all the skin colors out of it, it's pretty simple and the reaction to it is pretty strange.

Lumpy's jaw lump is back again.  She's still eating fine and is still a good weight, though.  Not sure what's going on there.

On the way back from fishing the other day, Hubs and I saw a buck who still had one antler.  It should've dropped off a long time ago.  Not sure what's going on there either.

I'm going to turn 51 next month.  If that ain't strange, I don't know what is.

A Model Curse is still on sale.  99c each.  Get all three for less than the regular price of one.  How is that not a deal?   Strange that people aren't snapping that up.  :shrug:

A couple days ago, we got a half inch of snow.  Which promptly melted.  Then that night, we got below freezing temperatures.  Which sucked.  I was afraid all my plants would croak.  Hubs told me the peonies were all gross looking.  I didn't want to see.  I've spent so much time and effort on those gardens and I didn't want to see the carnage.  Well, I sucked it up and went out to look yesterday afternoon.  Most everything seems fine and the peonies looked normal to me.  The black walnut trees on the other hand look like crap.  All their tiny new leaves are wilty and curly and turning black.  =o(

Michigan is seeing some kind of surge in the Kung Flu.  I mean, several states are seeing an uptick, but Michigan is way worse.  Not sure why, since that bitch has those poor people so locked down I'm surprised any virus could get through.  Mom says it's because people aren't being given the vaccine quick enough.  Data shows that to be false, so I can only assume she's being lied to by the press.  We're pretty opened here in MO and we're floating along.  TX is way open and despite having a larger population than MI, there are fewer cases.  Maybe it's because people are trapped inside due to the policies and the weather.  Then again, if that were true, there should be a surge in all the cold states with dem governors.  :shrug:  

For one of the spreadsheets I do, the company we get it from decided it would be a good idea to round the figures.  So any line item that was less than 50c is now a zero sum.  Sure, the lines that are more than 50c and less than a dollar were rounded up, but that didn't work in our favor.  Now I have to wait to get the right numbers so I can do the spreadsheets.  Blerg.  Now sure what the thinking was on that.  Strange.

I had this one guy trying to friend me on MeWe.  I went to his profile and there was nothing but pictures of him.  Sorry, dude, but I'm not interested in you.  Show me something in your interactions that might make me think I'd like to see your posts in my feed or don't bother.  So, I denied the request.  He must've thought I was a pretty hot chick, because he tried three more times.  I finally blocked him.  Of course, sometimes I look at their pages and think they might be interesting only to have them immediately try to sell me something when I friend them.  Those get blocked, too.

My knee is still bending right.

And that's more than enough out of me.  How are things in your this-n-that world?

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

An Afternoon at the Lake

Hubs and I were out at the lake yesterday, drowning some worms.  We won't talk about how they've totally harshed my favorite fishing spot.  (After they harshed my original favorite fishing spot by closing it entirely.)   We only drove through there and decided not to bother.  We went to what used to be my third favorite spot.  The sun was high and hot, which doesn't really make for good fishing, but the only actual goal yesterday was to be out at the lake and to stare at bobbers. 

So, there we were when a father and two small children come along.  The kids are swimming and floating and the boy has his own little fishing pole.  They were over there.  They didn't bother us and we didn't bother them.  

After a while, the little girl starts picking her way along and suddenly, there she is next to me.  Pretty little blonde girl in her pink lifejacket.  I say hello and ask her if she was being very careful.  (Because I'm a mom.)  She immediately strikes up a conversation.  The fish weren't biting, so I reeled in and let her talk.  Boy, she could talk.  Reminded me of me at that age.  

After a while of telling me all sorts of things - about her dad's boat and the cabin they own and her brother and her sister and mom's headache and.... you get the point - she tells me she's in first grade.  Cuz she got left back.  I tell her 'that's okay, you'll catch up in no time'. - because I could clearly tell she was a bright little girl.  She solemnly tells me that she got left back because they couldn't do much school last year.  Because there weren't enough teachers and they had to have two grades in the same class.  And that her mother held her little brother back so they wouldn't end up in the same grade.  Cuz that would be weird.

Meanwhile, Hubs caught a fish.  A 12.5 inch bass.  Not big enough to keep, certainly.  I took the pliers over to him to get the fish off the hook and then called the girl over.  I let her pet it and convinced her to touch its mouth (bass have no teeth, per se, but sandpapery lips.)  Then she was off again, talking.  

After a while, her father wandered over and asked if she was bothering us.  "Has she told you her life story yet?"  Dad knows his girl apparently.  I told him she was fine and that she got to touch a bass.  Apparently Hubs' bass was the only one any of us caught.  

In the times when I could get a word in edgewise, I told her about how my daddy used to take me fishing when I was a little girl.  She doesn't like to fish.  I told her some other things about when I was a little girl.  She asked if we had a TV.  Umm, yes, but we didn't have a color TV until I was ten.  She nodded sagely and said something about there not being TV's before then.  I told her there were TV's but not cell phones or computers.  Shocked, she was.  

Too funny.

Anyway, we fished for probably another 30-45 minutes and headed off.  The family was already gone.  The girl said they were leaving Monday night, and yesterday was Monday, so I'm guessing they needed to get back to pack the car.  I never did ask her name.  She never offered it.  Which was good.  She actually didn't give me any identifying information.  Which was also good.  Sure, she talked to strangers, but all-in-all she was a good girl.  

On the way home, Hubs and I talked about her.  She's one of a huge generation of kids who, because of this chaos, are behind the curve of where they should be.  Kids who didn't get to finish school last year because of the 'rona.  A nation of children 'held back' in more ways than one.  

After we got home, something occurred to me.  I'm old enough to be that girl's grandmother.  If Owl had a kid when she was twenty, the kid would be seven now.  :shudder:  I'm too cool to be a grandma.  (Okay, maybe not cool.  Too mentally young?)

It was an interesting trip, to say the least.  We both needed some lake time, even if we didn't catch more than that one fish.  

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Sunday Update - Week 16

 Hello again.  Sixteen weeks into 2021.  The weirdness continues and we're holding our own.

I got back to work on writing Friday night.  Duke Noble 2 is on its way.  Between Friday night and last night, I got out just over 3200 words.  Yay.  Already has a twist.  Heh.

I really need to do some marketing and have a sale.  I'll see what I can do this week to make that happen.

In other writerly news, I received the last proofs and now all of my books are available in paperback form.  In addition to the Kindle form.  I'm still waiting on the author copies of RHI, but those should be here tomorrow.  :fingers crossed:  I have at least two people who want to buy a copy.  Maybe a third, but I haven't talked to her yet and I probably won't see her for another couple weeks.  

It wasn't a great reading week. Only finished one book.  And the Zane Grey I was reading got set aside for another time because I just wasn't into it.  I picked up a fantasy instead.

In baking news, I got a wild hair and created my own recipe.  Chocolate Walnut Upside-Down Cake.  It was awesome.  So I posted the recipe on FB.  Except I forgot to put down something when I wrote the recipe - mini chocolate chips.  Oops.  I bet it's still good without them.  (corrected recipe below.)  I also did a batch of granola bars.  And it's not baking, but I made a vat of beef stew yesterday.

On the activity front, I did something 5 out of 7 days - skipping Friday and Saturday.  The weather was chilly and wet, so I used that as an excuse.  the other 5 days, I walked, did gardening, did some windows, went shopping, and went fishing.  Weight: 185.2 - up 4/10ths of a pound.

When I was fishing I caught 3 little bluegills and a little green sunfish.  None of them were keepers.  

If you want gardening news, go over here.  

Hubs found an antler in the yard!  Eight years we've been looking for antlers and suddenly there it was.  It was only a spike, but hey, it's a start.  It's long past when deer drop antlers.  We're thinking a squirrel found it in the woods and was dragging it somewhere to eat when it dropped it where Hubs found it.  It's in the garage for now.  I'll clean it up and put it in the house eventually.

From the sounds of it, Hubs is killing a mouse in the garage as I type this.  Must've got one in the trap and it didn't die.  I hope it was the one chewing in the wall for the past hour or so.  It was driving me crazy.  (Update:  It was a mouse, but it wasn't caught.  It was running around.  He didn't get it.  Drat.)

Other than that, not much going on around here.  Hanging in there.  Watching the country I love circle the drain faster and faster.  Not much I can do about it.

Oh, I went to Wallyworld earlier in the week.  About thirty percent of the people weren't wearing masks.  So I took mine off.  Freedom!  I still stayed as far away from people as possible - it's ingrained in me now more than ever.  If I get the crud, you can say I told you so.  If I don't... neener neener boo boo.  

Okay, now that's really enough out of me.  How was your week?


Chocolate Walnut Upside Down Cake

1 stick butter

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 1/3 cups chopped walnuts


2 cups white sugar

3 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup baking cocoa powder

2 cups water

1 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp white vinegar

1/3 bag mini chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 350F (175C).  While oven is preheating, put the stick of butter in a 9x13" cake pan (sliced for quicker melting) and place the pan in the oven.  Remove as soon as the butter is melted.  Stir in brown sugar until combined.  Stir in walnuts until all nuts are coated and then make sure they're evenly placed.  Set aside. 

In a large mixing bowl, sift together sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.  Add water, oil, and vanilla.  Stir until combined.  Stir in vinegar until smooth.  Pour batter over the nut mixture in the pan.  Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely before cutting and serving.  Overnight is best.  (If you don't let it cool, the still-warm cake falls apart.  Trust me on this.)


Saturday, April 17, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 4/17/21

Well, it wasn't an exciting week in reading, but here goes...

No new books.

Books Read:

25) The Sound of Murder by Rex Stout (4/11/21) - Hard-boiled crime - 5 stars.  Not new to me but so old that it's underappreciated.  (Plus, it's not a Nero Wolfe.) - picked up in a group lot from a friend.
Review: "Wow. That was a twisty, turny, 'keep you guessing' book if ever there was one. Alphabet Hicks is a heck of a hero and I wish I'd discovered him years ago. Now I'll have to go searching to see if Stout wrote any others and finding them to snag as my own. FUN."

No DNFs.

Currently reading... and here we come to why I only finished one book this week.  I'm reading a non-fiction ebook and it's taking me a while.  I also started a Zane Grey to give my brain a break when it's overflowing with NF.  I rarely read two books concurrently and this particular NF is very thought provoking so it's taking a lot of attention.

What's on your reading list for last week?

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Thursday This n That

Videos of police lip-syncing and dancing... I think they're awesome.  Those guys do so much for us and their jobs are so stressful, they deserve to have a little fun.  Every one I see makes me smile.  (I watched a new one yesterday morning where the lip-syncing was so horrendous it should've been a crime, but it was still fun to watch.)

I took pictures using my phone for the first time.  They didn't turn out too bad.  

This is of the new boulders they put at my favorite fishing spot and in the foreground is the approximate location where I fell on my ass.  (I took the pics so Hubs could see what they did to the place.  Note: I am not happy.)  You might not be able to tell, but some of those gray rocks are 2-3ft across/high.  

I have static in my phone.  Sometimes.  I thought it had cleared up and then I was talking to someone and it started back up again.  I really need to call CenturyLink.  But I hate calling them.  I really wish someone else in my neighborhood would make the call, but they don't.  It seems like I'm the only one who ever bothers.

By the way... if you ever talk to me on the phone or in person, I have this thing I do where I stop and start and pause a lot.  It's because my brain is searching frantically for the next word.  And sometimes, in its haste to get a word out, it inserts whatever word it came up with, even if it's the wrong word.  The longer I talk, the worse it gets.  Hubs and Mom are used to it.  To everyone else, I probably sound like a moron.  This is partly why I rarely get into long conversations.  

There's a new gal at the bank.  Okay, she's been there for a few months now.  Anyway, I took my RHI proof with me to the bank to show my BFF and happened to take the time to chat with the new gal.  Turns out she's a voracious reader and wants a copy of Duke, too.  Yay.  

Speaking of copies, Amazon said I'd have my author copies between the 14th and the 16th.  I got a shipment notification from the Big-A last night.  They sent one book and it won't be here until the 20th.  The other 4 books I ordered?  Who the hell knows?  I have three books already spoken for.  Dammit.   (Okay, I just looked at it again and NOW it says they sent 4 books.  Derp.  Where's the 5th?)  I wonder what they would've done if I'd ordered 100 books.  *

Anyway, I probably should go start my morning.  Hubs already has laundry going and I feel like a slug.  More coffee!  Stat!

What up in your world?

*Okay, I think I figured it out.  There are two shipment notifications.  One for one book and one for four books.  They shipped them all, but in two different packages.  Maybe.  I guess I'll find out Tuesday.  :eyeroll:

Wednesday, April 14, 2021


When I can't think of a long enough thing to make a whole post, you get this... randomosity.

Yesterday, I learned of something disconcerting.  A friend of mine had been throw in Facebook jail.  Her only recourse was to appeal the decision, which she did only to be told that they're awfully busy right now and might not have time to get to her.  So, she's off FB for the foreseeable future.  And she doesn't post anything controversial.  Guys without their shirts on.  Funny cat/dog pics.  Goofy memes about coffee.  They didn't even tell her why, other than to spout the standard 'violated community standards' crap.  Gah, I am so pissed I can't see straight.  Anyway, they didn't touch her author page (show your support and go like it if you're on FB), but she can't touch it either.  She can't even log onto FB to look at stuff.  Bastards.

I went out fishing yesterday and the first thing I did, before I even got a worm in the water, was to fall on my ass.  In their infinite wisdom, they put huge rocks all along the river/creek, so now, in order to bank fish in my favorite spots, I have to traverse some iffy terrain.  Loose rocks underfoot... fell on my ass.  Unfortunately, I fell with my left leg underneath me, so it got bent all the way to my ass - something it hasn't done in 27 years.  And something popped.  It hurt like hell and I think I screamed.  So, there I sat wondering if I'd well and truly screwed myself.  After a time, I figured I'd better get up and see if I could walk to the car.  It didn't hurt anymore, but sometimes that happens.  I got up.  And stood there, still not hurting. Then I wiggled my leg.  Still not hurting.  Then I bent my leg back and forth.  Lo and behold, my leg bent like it used to.  Something must've broken loose.  Old scar tissue?  Anyway, it still bends.  I ache all over this morning, but it still bends like it did before my accident.  Happy accidents do sometimes happen.

Oh, I caught three fish afterwards.  Then I went to a different place, walked all over there and caught one fish.  

Oh and I accidentally kicked up a flock of teals.  And their were osprey at the other place. I love it here.

In case you're not following my new blog about gardening, I now have zucchini seedlings coming up.

Yesterday, Lumpy's son - the yearling buck - was playing by himself,  Tilting his head like was going to fight another buck and jumpy all around.  So cute.

The trees here are filled with tweeting birdies.  Loads of them.  But I haven't laid eyes on any of them and their songs aren't such that I can say I've heard them before, so the birds remain unidentified.  Might be finches.  Did I mention I love it here?

Okay, off you go to your own regularly scheduled lives.  I'll be back again tomorrow with a similar post.  Although, now that I've written this, I have to come up with more random things to say.  I bet I can do it.  ;o)

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Word Manipulation

"The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words." - Philip K. Dick

"We don't want to use past definitions of infrastructure." - Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm

Inside of one generation humans won't have any other definition of certain words than the definitions now provided for them by leftists.  Kids today are being taught the new definitions.  Old definitions... the ones we've used forever... are being scrubbed out of existence.  Even the dictionaries are changing their definitions so words don't mean what they used to anymore.  

As a human being, this makes me sad.  As a writer, this pisses me off.  But I don't have the words this morning to convey what I want to say.  Other than to remind the world that 1984 was a cautionary tale, not a how-to guide.

:wanders off:

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Sunday Update - Week 15

Gak.  Sorry I'm late here, folks.  I didn't finish this last night and then I got distracted this morning...

Well, we started out the week with Easter, which was just another day here at Sanderson Acres.  I didn't even make a special dinner.  Just threw a Stouffer's Grandma's Chicken and Vegetable Rice Bake in the oven and called it good.  

I didn't do any writing or editing this week, but I did format four books for print, get the two I'd done entirely myself uploaded, and get the proofs ordered.  And I contacted my cover artist for the other two books, got the paperback covers, uploaded those books and ordered proofs.  Then the proofs for the first two came in and I approved those for sale on Amazon.  The other two proofs should be here this coming week.

I really should set up some marketing for the paperbacks of Blink of an I and Unequal.  But I haven't.

I had a great reading week.  Right now, I'm on a Rex Stout - one that isn't a Nero Wolfe.  I never knew he'd written that many books.  I have a lot of work to do on that collection now.

No baking.  Maybe I'll make something with walnuts tomorrow.  I had a walnut windfall, so we're chock-full of those buggers.

In gardening news, stuff happened.  And I created a new blog to talk about that, so I'll let you go over there and see some stuff.  Including pictures!  Woohoo.  

On the activity front, I did something every day but one.  Some days I did more than one active thing.  All told, I walked almost 4 miles.  And did some garden stuff.  And went fishing, which was a bust, but I did gardening that day, too, so it's all good.  Weight: 184.8 still.  Better than up, though, right?

Speaking of garden stuff, my flower gardens are coming along.  Most of them were untouched by the deep freeze.  Unfortunately, my roses took a big hit and I had to cut them way back to remove all the dead stuff.  And I think my crepe myrtle is mostly dead.  Which is a bummer.  It has new leaves at the very base and not even a leaf bud anywhere else.  =o(

Since I'm late, I'll just leave ya there.  I can't think of anything else I did last week anyway.  How were things in your world?

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 4/10/21

 Hello again!  It was a good reading week here.

I picked up one new ebook - a suspense.  And I received 9 old paperbacks from a friend who was weeding down her collection - 3 Agatha Christies, 4 Rex Stouts, and 2 Piers Anthony.  Squee.

Books Read:

24) Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie (4/9/21) - Mystery - 5 stars.  Neither new to me nor underappreciated.  Paid a box lot price which included shipping.
Review: "Ooo, that was a good one."

23) Ogre, Ogre by Piers Anthony (4/7/21) - Fantasy - 5 stars.  Neither new to me nor underappreciated.  Paid a box lot price which included shipping.
Review: "I repeatedly read this way way back when I was a teenager. I haven't read it since, until now. While some of the puns weren't quite as funny as when I was younger, it's still a pretty awesome book. And it now has a treasured place on my bookshelf."

22) The Case of the Perambulating Hatrack by Cedar Sanderson (4/3/21) - Paranormal Noir Mystery* - 5 stars.  Not new to me, but a new release so probably underappreciated at this moment.  Paid full price when Cedar let it be known that it was live on Amazon.
Review: "So much fun! A perfect blend of old P.I. noir and new urban fantasy. If Spillane and Butcher had a love-child, it would be Solly. Who would've guessed I could fall in love with an orc? Oh, I loved all the other characters, too. (Nettle was my favorite after Solly.) I loved the plot and the mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed the world-building. Definitely different in a totally good way. I can't wait to read another one of these."

No DNFs.

Currently reading...  Not sure what I'll pick up next.  Maybe the NF title I one-clicked by accident.  Maybe a Rex Stout.  Tune in next week to find out.  ;o)

What was on your reading list for last week?

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Thursday This n That

I was at the dollar store the other day, checking out, when the cashier asked me if I wanted any two-dollar bills.  I'm all like 'sure, why not'.  She then proceeded to tell me the story of the man who had come in earlier and paid in all two-dollar bills.  And when she tried to give him his change, he wouldn't accept it.  Didn't want any of that 'dirty money'.  According to him, two-dollar bills are the cleanest money.  We should, in fact, be doing it like the Germans who have some kind of thingy in their cash registers that cleans all the money while its in there.  Ummm... okay.  Anyway, I now have a two-dollar bill.  I tucked it away.  Who knows... someday it might be worth something.  :shrug:

I also have a plethora of coins.  I'm pretty sure they're not worth anything.  (I've looked some of them up, and no, not worth any more than face value.)  But they're interesting to me.  Whenever I happen across foreign coins, I keep them.  I used to have an arrangement with a store in CO.  If they got foreign coins by mistake, I'd buy them for whatever American coin they got gipped out of.  You know, if it looked like a quarter, I'd give them a quarter.  Pennies, nickels, etc.  I have stuff from China, Australia, Mexico (natch), the Dominican Republic.  When I was in Michigan, Canadian coins were everywhere and they spent the same.  Down here, no one wants a Canadian, so it's worthless.  To everyone but me, of course.  I got a lot of Asian coinage when I was  in Utah.  Go figger.

The other day, a friend posed a question on FB about hobbies.  I mentioned fishing and gardening.  She pointed out that baking was probably one of my hobbies, too.  I joked back about baking being a compulsion, not a hobby.  And we laughed.  I also collect old books.  And I guess the coinage thing could be a hobby, but I don't devote that much time to it.  Same with collecting rocks.  

The covers for UatB and CU came in last night.  Now I just have to upload everything.  Also, the proofs for Blink and UEQ shipped yesterday.  Woohoo.

I have so many carrot sprouts coming up it looks like the pots are growing hair.  I'm going to have to thin them soon.  I hate the thought of thinning.  I mean, each of those carrots I thin will have to die.  I wonder if I can eat them.  Carrot microgreens?  Could be a thing.

Okay, I'm running late, so I'm gonna just leave it at that.  How are the this-n-thats in your world?

Wednesday, April 7, 2021


Sorry about yesterday.  I had a plan to write a blog post and then I got doing my usual morning stuff and then I had to call the office and then I decided to go fishing.  By the time I got home, I somehow thought I'd written the blog post and so I went on about my day.  This morning, I realized what a total brainfart that was.  I'd feel better about it if I'd caught even one fish.  

I was only gone for about 45 minutes.  When I got to my fishing spot, I discovered they were doing more work on it.  They're now repaving the roads.  The crew hadn't arrived yet, and they park itself wasn't closed - just the ramp was closed - so I went on in.  I found myself a spot where I figured I'd be out of the way.  After a while, I started to hear large equipment moving up near the entrance, which made me totally paranoid that they'd pave me in.  So I left.  

I would've gone elsewhere, but I was on an eighth of a tank of gas and I don't carry much money with me when I go fishing.  So I went home.  

Just as well.  I had stuff to do.  Like transplanting my lettuce sprouts.  (Did you know microgreens are just lettuce sprouts?  At least, that's what I read the other day.)  I got that done.  Twelve egg things into four ice cream buckets.  Woohoo.  And yes, I ate one of the sprouts.  It was good.  

This morning, after another fun-filled night of not sleeping well, I opened my inbox to find my cover artist had done the back covers for UatB and CU and needed my approval before she makes them into PDFs.  So I whipped the email open and checked them out and... There was a mistake in the blurb for UatB.  It was a mistake that carried through all my stuffs - like Amazon and my blogs and pretty much every other place I had it listed.  Way to go there, brainiac.  And I'm the one who's tough on people who don't proofread their stuff.  :adjusts big red nose and floppy clown feet:  I fixed it all and it should be fixed live on Amazon shortly.

Some days I wonder if I'm actually as sharp as I pretend to be.  Derpy derpy derp derp.

Anyway, I hit the ground scrambling this morning and now I'm toast.  Like I went to stand up and my foot was asleep.  Only it's my head.  

I'd go get gas and try fishing again, but I hear thunder in the distance.  Maybe I'll just go read a book and hope my brain wakes the hell up.  

How are things in your world today?

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Sunday Update - Week 14

:blink blink:  It's Easter, isn't it?  Happy Easter to them that celebrate!  Or Hoppy Bunny Day for those of us not into the religious side.  Eat some chocolate or something.  Personally, I totally forgot it was this weekend and even after I remembered, I couldn't figure out what to fix for dinner, so we're having a Stouffer's frozen meal of some sort.  Nothing special going on here.

Anyway... let's get back to the regular Sunday stuff...

On the writing front, I didn't write anything or edit anything, but this week was filled with writerly duties.  I updated the back matter for all 16 books.  I created a paperback version of Duke, got the proof, and approved it for sale on Amazon. Then I fixed all the print listings for all my books.  I also redid all the print covers for OUAD - to reflect the series title on each cover now.  Then I formatted UatB and CU for print and sent a letter to my cover artist.  (She replied this morning that she's ready for me, so I'll get the page counts and cover copies to her today.)   Today, I'll format Blink of an I and Unequal for print and get those covers done.  Whew.  I got tired just typing that out.

I did a little marketing for RHI on Monday, because I belong to one FB group that only allows self-promo on Mondays.  

I had a pretty good reading week.  Plus, I finished reading another awesome book yesterday.  That one will be on next Saturday's update.

In the baking/cooking realm, I was a busy little monkey - I made pizza dough, coffee cake, and oatmeal apple raisin cookies to bake, and also pot roast, chili, and leftover pot roast soup.  

It was also a busy week for activity.  I spent three days doing yardwork and garden stuff, one day walking and cleaning.  I'm up to just under 15 miles walked for the year, which is off where I should be, but still pretty darn good considering.  Weight 184.8. Up three pounds since the beginning of the year, but I'm not kicking myself about it.

Speaking of garden stuff, my lettuce is sprouting!  Yay!  No signs from the carrots or the tomatoes yet.  I planted zucchini in pots this past week, too.  The cedar seedlings I transplanted are doing well.  Oh, and the new peony is already sprouting up through the ground.  Yay.  No signs from the hollyhocks yet.  Spring is awesome.  Oh, and I created a spreadsheet to track my gardening.  (Quit laughing.)  I'll now be able to track everything from the time I planted it through to harvest.  

The deer are starting to show that they're pregnant.  At least 6 does are looking bigger around the middle.  Yay.  Lumpy must be pregnant, too, because she finally kicked her twins loose to fend for themselves.  

Oh, and lastly, eight years ago today we arrived at this place.  Yay!  It's been every bit as awesome as we imagined it would be.

How was your week?  Do you celebrate Easter?  How are things in your world?

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 4/6/21

Hello again!  It was an interesting reading week here, so let's get started.

I only picked up one new ebook, and I'm reading it now.  As for hardcopies, I should have a box of old paperbacks in the mail.  I'll talk about those after they get here.

Books Read:

21) Death by Chocolate by Sally Berneathy (4/2/21) - Mystery/Suspense* - 5 stars.  New to me, but not underappreciated.  Free after seeing it on a friend's FB page.
Review: "Wow. That was an awesome read. I loved the characters, the plot, the cat... and the suspense was delicious. Plus, there are recipes in the back. So much fun!"

20) Northern Affair by DK Findlay (3/31/21) - Adventure - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated as far as I know, probably because it's so old.  50c at the thrift store.
Review: "
I found this old paperback in a thrift store stuck in amongst the Westerns. It's definitely not a Western. It's a story of survival and adventure in the arctic. Definitely enthralling and very interesting. And it ends well. It's going on my keeper shelf."

19) Hot Under the Collar by Roxanne St. Claire (3/28/21) - Romance* - 5 stars.  Neither new to me nor underappreciated.  Free after seeing it on Roxanne's FB page.
Review: "
What a fun romance! And a great start to this spin-off series!"


4/1/21 - mystery.  Free.  It didn't take long to realize I didn't like the main character, and the author was trying too hard to make the MC witty.  It seemed like every sentence was a zippy quip.  You gotta sprinkle those judiciously, man.

Currently reading... a paranormal noir mystery.  It's pretty good so far.

What did you read last week?

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Thursday This n That

I started the week with a massive to-do list, but I'm whittling it down.  And I'm adding to it.  But hey, stuff's getting accomplished.  For instance, all the gardens are weeded now.  Of course, the first one I weeded is already showing signs of needing to be weeded again.  Blerg.

If you read yesterday's post on Paperbacks, you'll see there at the end how I discovered issues with those of my paperbacks I migrated over from Createspace.  That alone added to my to-do list.  I think this is a neverending to-do list.  It just goes on and on and on.

Neverending should be one word.  Jus' sayin'.

Today is April Fools Day.  I don't do pranks.  Loathe them, in fact.  It is, however, the day I met Hubs in person for the first time.  Seventeen years ago.  Our wedding anniversary is in May.  About 6 weeks from the day I saw him to the day we got married.  When it's right, you know it.

When we got to the car that day, Hubs had a dozen yellow roses waiting for me.  I still have several of those, dried in a vase.  If I'd known how momentous the occasion was going to be, I would've kept them all.  I have every other rose he ever gave me, though.  

April 1st was also my childhood dog's birthday.  Or the day we assigned as his birthday.  We got him mid-May 1976 and he was 6 weeks old, so we walked it backwards.  Happy Birthday, you wonderful dog, you.

I don't say my dog's name online because it's frequently a security question.  I also never use that name as a security question because you never know when I'll forget and drop the name somewhere out in the world.  

It's amazing how many little things we have to do in our daily lives because some numbnuts did something no rational person would conceive of doing.  Can't buy effective cold medicine over the counter?  Thank the group of numbnuts who make meth with it.  

I just joined this group over on FB that's devoted to Crime Fiction.  But they don't allow self-promotion except on Mondays.  So it's just a bunch of people talking about the books they're reading and asking about books others have read.  It's kind of nice.  I did do a self-promo this past Monday and got one sale in the UK from it.  I think.  It's a UK group - a fact I discovered after I'd joined.  :shrug:  It's either that or my one Brit fan who used to hang out here found the book on the same day I posted.  Either way, yay.

I got my proof copy of RHI on Monday.  The Amazon proofs come with a banner all the way around the cover saying 'Not for Resale'.  Well, duh.  Except the banner covers verbiage I'd like to be able to read to determine whether it looks right.  Derp-heads.  The old Createspace proofs had 'Not for resale' stamped on the back page.  Heaven forbid someone wanted to buy one of those.  :eyeroll:

While I was out weeding, I found a wee, itty-bitty frog.  A baby gray tree frog.  So damn cute.  I mean, they only get to about 1.5 inches when they're full grown, but this one was maybe a half-inch, so a baby.  Yeah yeah, actual baby frogs are tadpoles, so let's say an adolescent tree frog.  Geez.

Well, this ended up being longer than I thought it would be, so I'll just leave ya there.  Got any this-n-that to share?