Sunday, May 30, 2021

Sunday Update - Week 22

 Hello again, Everyone.

I actually managed to do some writing this week.  Well, Friday and Saturday.  It's only about 2K words, but it's better than nothing.  Friday, it was another case of 'I can't sleep', so after rolling around in bed for an hour, I got up and wrote.  Then yesterday, I made myself write again.  I'm not sure it's very good and I'm pretty sure I need to go back and change some things, but it's writing.

In marketing... I ended up moving 13 copies of Unequal through the course of its 5-day freebie.  Blink is free now and I moved 2 copies last night.  It'll be free through the 2nd and then on the 2nd Rumor Has It will start its 99-dent sale.  

I only read one book that I could attribute to my Reading Wrap-up for last week.  I read another book, but it was a beta read and the book hasn't been published yet.  Once it's published, I'll add it to the list and talk it up a lot.  It was seriously awesome.

On the baking front, I did granola bars early in the week, then I did a black forest cake.  Then I did pizza.  THEN I made oatmeal apple raisin cookies.  Yeah, it was one of those weeks where baking was necessary.  

As for activity, I have stuff down for 5 out of 7 days.  Most of that was either weeding or working in the garden (moving 42 pots worth of plants inside and outside and around the deck totally counts).  I walked one day - the first walk in over 2 weeks - bringing my total walk mileage to 33.2 miles for the year.  At this point, I'm thinking my goal of 100 miles isn't going to happen, but hey, who knows what the rest of the year will bring.

Gah, so much rain this week.  And it's not done yet.  

Yesterday, I had a little bird ditch into the window.  I didn't see anything looking out the window, but I always open the door and check to see if its under the chairs.  It was sitting on the door mat, totally not focused on anything.  I squeezed out the door, so it wouldn't maybe fly inside.  I needn't have worried.  He was totally stunned.  I picked him up and looked him over.  He was the prettiest little bird and I'd never seen anything like him before.  After he became alert, I put him in the hydrangea to finish his recuperation.  While I had him, I asked Hubs to bring me my cell phone and I snapped some pics of him.  Then after I came back inside, I downloaded the pictures and went to work on identification.  He was a male Kentucky warbler.  

Striking little dude, eh?  The pictures make him look bigger than he was.  And I have big hands.

In other nature news, the deer are still pregnant.  Shouldn't be long now and we'll start seeing does with sunken bellies.  Then in about a month to six weeks, babies.  Yay.  I was watching a buck in the front yard.  He was being a good boy and just eating grass, but then he walked over to my redbud tree and started munching leaves.  I knocked on the window and told him to stop eating my tree.  He looked up at me like 'what?' then he took a step forward, grabbed a whole mouthful while staring me in the eye, turned tail and trotted away with the leaves hanging out of his mouth.  Teenage boys.  What are ya gonna do?

We also had a raccoon, a bunny, and a turtle in the yard this week.  And I found a teeny tiny snake while I was weeding.

My big hydrangea is exploding with flowers this year.  I think it actually likes the fact that I had to cut the crepe myrtle down to the ground.  The myrtle is trying to make a comeback, growing up from the dead base.  My only remaining cultivated rose is also crazy with blooms after being cut back hard.  All in all, the hard freeze we had a while back didn't do as much damage as I'd feared.  Except the black cherry trees never bloomed, so no cherries this year.  And the black walnut trees had all their flowers freeze, so probably no nuts this year either.  (Which isn't necessarily a bad thing except the squirrels will be hungry little pains-in-the-butt come fall.)  Time will tell.

Okay, I think that's just about enough out of me.  I probably should go do something constructive this morning.  Have a great day, everyone.

How was your week?

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 5/29/21

Hey All.  It was a different kind of reading week.  I was reading along and then I got a book to beta read, so I had to stop in the middle of the book I was reading to take care of that.  As such, I only read one book that I could talk about.  I'll add the beta book after it goes live on Amazon.

I only got three new ebooks this week - two SF and one UF.  I still have three other unread ebooks on my Kindle.  No new hardcopies again this week.

Books Read:

27) Kiss Me Deadly by Jessie Thomas (5/28/21) - UF*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Picked this up for free off the Book Doggy newsletter.
Review: "I really enjoyed this book and it was a fast read. (It took me longer because I had to stop in the middle for an important thing.) I liked all the characters. The premise was interesting. And it turned out well."


5/22/21 - free - paranormal romance.  Meh.  The hero was fine in his first appearance in the heroine's POV.  Then he came off like a teenage boy in his own POV.  Not interested.  

Currently reading... I haven't started anything new yet.  

What did you read last week?  Anything you're looking forward to this week?

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Thursday This n That

I played the lottery.  Won a dollar.  Spent three.  I don't think this a sound path to financial freedom.  Of course, neither is writing, but here I am.

I don't know about where you live, but our tiny weekly newspaper is filled with Help Wanted ads.  No, I'm not looking for a job.  But I always look at the want ads.  Maybe someday, if I see the perfect job, I'll do something.  Right now, though, I have a friend who's kinda looking, so I'm looking for her.  Yeah, that's the ticket.

Just off our newly cleared yard space, we have two trees that are unlike all the others.  One at the southwest corner and the other at the southeast corner.  Yesterday, I took some pictures and got out my tree identification book to see if I could figure out what they are.  I got close with the book and then I went online to narrow it down.  Near as I can figure it, they're 'pumpkin ash' trees.  Of course, that species really isn't supposed to be this far west in MO, but hey, stuff happens.  Birds eat seeds.  Birds fly.  Bingo bango bongo, you've got trees where you weren't expecting them.  Anyway, here's a pic.  

The leaves all start in a funny pod thing at different points on each branch.  Then the pod opens and the leaves unfurl.  I wish I'd thought to take a pic of that.  Maybe next year.  (If you're better at tree identification and think I got the species wrong, let me know.  Seriously.)

I love trees, btw.  This place is a gold mine for my tree lovin'.  So many cool species live right here on my property.  I'm working on identifying them all.  Woohoo.  My other two nerdy loves are birds and rocks.  I'm in geeking out all over the place here.  I couldn't have designed a better spot for me to live.

When everything else is so freakin' weird, it's nice to be able to focus on something that's not crazypants.  Plants seem to be my outlet right now.  

I met the wife and kids of the guy who's building a house next door.  Turns out she's from Michigan, too.  In fact, she grew up about thirty minutes south of where I grew up and where my mom lives right now.  Her mom's still there, too.  Small world.   I wonder if she knows the one family I knew in that town.  Hmm.

They were cute kids, btw.  Most of the people around here are my age or older.  We only have kids around here when grandkids visit.  Soon, we'll have a little girl and a little boy right next door.  I'm not looking forward to the bus stopping out front at 6am, but I'll get over it.

Your turn.  What's on the this-n-that radar for you today?

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

It's Raining Again.

It's raining again.  It has rained every day since the 16th.  Not all day every day, mind you, but enough each day that I'm pretty much over it.  It wasn't supposed to rain yesterday, but I was sitting here when I heard the sky open up and I had to run outside to shift my garden so the still-small plants wouldn't get flatten by the drops.  We fished in the rain on Friday.  Soaking wet, drops falling from the brims of our baseball caps, standing in mud fishing.  Which was fun... but enough already.  Geez.

It reminds me of that part of Men in Black 2 where the gal is all like 'Lots of people get sad when it rains' and K says 'it rains because you're sad'.  I wish that chick would go elsewhere for a while or cheer the hell up.

These days, though, cheering up ain't so easy.  I mean, have you looked at the world lately?  It should be laughable, but it's hard to muster a chuckle when the things you know to be wrong as the same things other people are embracing as right.   And you're watching the country you love swirl the drain while being told there was nothing to love about the country anyway.  :shakes like a dog:

Up is down and right is left and the sun rises in the west.  And we're living an Orwellian nightmare.  Umm... no.  

On Facebook, you get to select the emotion you're feeling for each post - like, love, care, haha, wow, sad, and angry.  I'm often torn between haha and angry.  I like MeWe, where you get to choose like 4 out of a ton for each post.  (Although when the four have already been chosen, you have only those to pick from.)  So, you can laugh and cry and be angry at the same post.  Because that's the world we're living in currently.  Sort of a "Wow, that makes me so angry I have to laugh at it because it's absurd."

We should laugh at the absurd.  And it should also make us angry.  So, yeah, I'm torn.  If, ten years ago, someone told me this is where America would be now, I would've laughed at them.  Yah, sure, ri-ight.  But here we are.  Senile pedophile in the White House with a Ho next in line for the leadership of the free world and a hag in charge of the House.  Openly racist mayor of Chicago.  Pogroms being conducted against Jews in NY and LA.  Millions giving away their freedoms so that maybe, if they're good boys and girls, they'll be allowed to be free again someday down the road.  Umm... no.

Like I said, it should be laughable.  If it wasn't so sad and super scary.

And you wonder why I occasionally write dystopian.  I guess it's my way of saying 'Look, folks, this is where you're headed if you don't stop what you're doing now'.  Railing against the worst.  In a totally Quixotic way, doncha know.  Maybe that's what all writers of dystopian books are/were doing.  We see a future we DO NOT WANT and try, in our own ways, to stop it through fiction.  Orwell is spinning in his grave.  So's Rand.  And Bradbury.  And Huxley.  

UNEQUAL is near future.  This could happen soon.  BLINK OF AN I is distant future.  That could happen down the road a ways.  They don't have to happen.  We have the ability to shift the course.  

So, yeah, it's raining.  Again.  In more ways than one.  

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Sunday Update - Week 21

 Last week was annibirthary week.  Basically, I ate a lot and not much else got accomplished.

I didn't write anything or edit anything or market anything.  I did set up sales and freebies for the coming week, though.  I'll talk more about those when the time comes.  First up, though, UNEQUAL will be free Monday - Friday this week.  I think, pre-Memorial Day is the perfect time to read about a possible future scenario, don't you?   Then, for Memorial Day, BLINK OF AN I, my other glimpse of the future, will be free from the 29th through the 2nd.  After those, sales will begin.

I read some good stuff last week.

I didn't bake anything last week.  Hubs baked!  He made me a birthday cake.  Yay.  It was boxed with pre-made frosting, but I appreciated the effort nonetheless.

I finally went fishing on Thursday.  Then Hubs and I went together on Friday.  Thursday, I caught a spotted bass.  Caught the exact same bass on Friday in the exact same spot.  I knew it was him because I had to cut the line off on Thursday and he was still sporting it.  (For the record, it is my understanding this is the best thing to do for an undersized fish that has swallowed the hook.  Eventually, the hook will corrode and disintegrate.  Better for them then trying to yank a hook out and cause extensive damage to their innards.)  Anyway, I named him Rupert before I let him go and told Hubs if I caught him a third time I was keeping him because he obviously wanted to go home with me.  I did not catch him again, so I didn't have to be a liar.

Other than fishing, my activity level this week sucked.  I only did one other thing and that was sweeping the deck so I could rearrange the container garden.  Here's how that looks, btw:

If you want to see more of that, go over to my gardening blog.  I didn't bother weighing myself, what with all the eating and lazing about.

Looking ahead, I really need to kick myself in the ass and get back on track with both my writing and my non-writing.  Putting words down, getting exercise, being more careful with my eating, doing some real marketing so I sell books... those kinds of things.  We'll see if this morning's gung-ho attitude carries forward when we come to next week's Sunday Update.

How are things in your world?  Did you have a good Week 21?

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 5/22/21

Good morning, Everyone.  It was a pretty good reading week for me, so let's jump right into it.

Since I was almost out of new ebooks, I picked up 4 new ones this week - romance, mystery, UF, and paranormal.  I'm on the last ebook from before this week right now.  No new hardcopies.  

Books Read:

26) The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie (5/18/21) - Mystery - 5 stars.  Not new to me or underappreciated.  Picked this one up in that box lot I've been working my way through.
Review: "I've tried other 'Tommy and Tuppence' stories and couldn't get into them, but as I had finished reading all my other Christies and only had T&T stories left, I figured I'd give them another go with the first book in the series this time. Wow. This book is so awesome I stayed up late finishing it. Ms. Christie set me up but good this time, so I was totally surprised when the villain came to light. So good. Now I can read the other ones."

25) Dead Wrong (Cree Blue #1) by Kate Allenton (5/16/21) - Paranormal Mystery* - 5 stars.  New to me, but it has enough reviews to not meet my criteria for underappreciated.  (It could be more appreciated, though.)  Picked this up for free off the ENT newsletter.
Review: "I inhaled it. This book is too much fun! I loved the premise, the plot, and the characters. Interesting twist to the whole paranormal thing, too. Awesome backstory judiciously sprinkled throughout to give you enough info about Cree without boring the pants off you. I definitely need more Cree Blue in my life."

24) The Honeymoon Cottage by Barbara Cool Lee (5/15/21) - Romantic Mystery* - 5 stars.  New to me, but not underappreciated.  Free from the Book Gorilla newsletter.
Review: "I got this book thinking that it was a cozy mystery. Totally not cozy and leaning toward suspense with loads of romance. A romantic mystery, if there was such a genre. Still a very good book, though."


5/16/21 - free - Mystery.  Meh.  I think the author was trying so hard to 'set the scene' of a 'mystery novel', they'd missed what a mystery story actually reads like.  At least, what the mysteries I enjoy reading read like.

Currently reading...  A paranormal romance.  I'm not that far in, so the jury's still out.

What were you reading this week?  How'd you like it?

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Thursday This n That

The other day, the phone company guy gave me his direct number and told me to call him if the static problem returned.  I have tried the number on several occasions and always get a 'voice mail box has not been set up' kind of message.  Thanks for nothin', phone dude.

The other night, we heard a strange noise outside.  It sounded like an owl, but not like any owl we've heard before.  I thought maybe it was a barn owl, so I checked out that call.  Nope.  So I went through every owl that lives in MO/AR but that I didn't think I'd heard before.  Nope.  Then I checked out the great horned owl to see if it made any non-typical noises that it could've been.  Not that either.  My last hope was the barred owl, but I didn't think it could be that because we hear their standard call quite often here.  Yep.  It was a non-typical barred owl noise.  

The next night, we heard a different strange noise outside.  Kind of between a growl and a yowl.  Checked out foxes.  Nope.  Not a raccoony type noise either.  Tried bobcat.  Yep.  It was a sound they usually make in series when they're looking for another bobcat, but this was only once.  Silly kitty.

Ah, livin' in the woods.

Hubs just stopped by my desk to fill up my coffee and he was chuckling.  I asked him why and he chuckled some more before he finally said "No, I don't want to get that stuck in your head."  I then said "Well, if it's giving you a chuckle, maybe it'll give me one, too."  He chuckled some more and replied, "No.  I don't want to risk it."  He's so funny.

Tuesday, I was at the bank chatting with my BFF when she suddenly whips out her phone and tells me she's got to show me something, saying it always made her smile.  It was an old video of Allan Sherman singing 'Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah.'  Too fun and it definitely made me smile.  I'm not sure when or where I first heard the song, but it's been my head for decades. Hubs and I are both fond of it and often quote the line I'm sure we'll have some fun if it stops rainin'.

That line is kind of apropos for this week.  Holy sploosh.  It's rained every day this week.  Wet wet wet.  Good thing Hubs and I worked on repairing the drainage before all this started.  All the rain is nicely flowing around the house instead of straight at it and puddling up in front.

And on that wet note, I'll let you go.  Have a great day, everyone.  :hugs:

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

I Don't Feel 51

Today is my birthday.  I've always been big on birthdays.  It's my day.  Just for me.  Celebrating me.  What's not to love about that?  With a nod to Mom, of course, because she brought me into the world.  And a tip of the hat for Dad because without him, I wouldn't be here.  (Mom didn't want any more kids after the first four, but Dad did.  Then there I was.  Tada!)  

So, today, I'm 51.  Not sure how that happened.  I mean, I know how it happened... like duh... but I never expected it to happen.  I sure don't feel 51.  Although I'm not exactly sure how 51 is supposed to feel.  Like I said, I never expected to get here, so I didn't envision how I'd be at this age.  

I think my brain thinks I'm still 23.  (Okay, sometimes I act like I'm twelve.  So do me somethin'.)  

A while back I was chatting with a little girl and later it occurred to me that I was old enough to be her grandmother.  That was a shocking thought, believe me.  Seriously, though, my daughter is 27.  If she'd had a kid at the age of twenty, that kid would be 7 now... the age of the little girl I was talking to.  Yeah, yeah, it's all pretty obvious, but still shocking to me.

Last year's birthday kind of sucked.  Stupid Kung Flu.  I'd like this year's to be better.  I plan on making it better.  Maybe just having a better attitude will make for a better day, since I don't really have any plans to do anything special today.  I might do something special for dinner and/or dessert.  We'll see.  

The little girl who lives in my head just said "I want a puppy for my birthday."  I had to tell her that we can't have a puppy.  "But I have enough money for a puppy," she replied, pointing to the checks I need to take to the bank later.  To which I said, "We are not getting a puppy."  Now, I think she's sulking.  Maybe I'll buy her a pretty prezzie later.  But not a puppy.

Like I said, I don't feel 51.  

Monday, May 17, 2021

Seventeen Years Ago

Seventeen years ago today, Hubs and I stood in front of a judge and two office workers at the courthouse and said our vows.  I handed my camera off to one of the gals and she took our picture, which turned out blurry LOL.  I'd share it, but I've never posted a picture of Hubs before and I'm not planning on making him an internet sensation any time soon.  Suffice it to say, we are a cute couple.

If you've never heard the story, we met through  I found his listing and sent him a lengthy email.  He replied with a lengthy one of his own.  And we were off.  We wrote back and forth, in copious amounts, about everything, and then also talked on the phone long into the night when both of us probably should've been sleeping over the course of six weeks.  Then he flew me out to Colorado to meet him.  Oddly enough, it was April Fools Day.  We spent the next four days together before I flew back to Utah.  More emails, more calls.  Then he decided he was going to fly to UT for my birthday.  While we were talking about that, we started talking about getting married while he was out there.  Maybe driving to Las Vegas to get it done.

I quickly learned that getting hitched in UT was super easy, negating the need for a roadtrip to NV.  Yay.  So, six weeks after we met in person for the first time, we got married.  

Except I still needed to be in UT and he needed to be in CO.  I finished my employment and got the apartment packed up and junk.  Six weeks after we got married, we moved in together.  In total, we'd probably spent about 8 days in each other's presence before then.  

It probably sounds like a big gamble, but I knew him and he knew me.  And it's worked out pretty damn well, if I do say so myself.  Best decision I ever made.  

Yeah, I lucked out.  I know that.  He does, too.  I could've been psycho.  He could've been, too.  In our defense, it was a calculated risk that totally paid off for us both.  He's my best friend, the love of my life, and my business partner.  He's the piece of me I didn't know was missing until I found him, yes, he is my better half.  

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Sunday Update - Week 20

Oy, what a week.  

I only got about 175 words out this past week, and I'll most likely delete that.  I did get an idea for where to go, but it's not gelling in my head yet.  

I got some reading done.  I finished The Virginian.  It was WOW.  And then I read a suspense that was wow.  And yesterday, I finished a mystery that wasn't wow, but it was pretty good.

In baking news, I made cheesecake this week, but it wasn't wow at all.  I did something wrong. I mean, it still tastes good, but it's not right.  Oh well.  I have enough to make another one, and do it right this time, in time for my birthday.

Yeah, this is annibirthary week.  17/51 years.  I still can't believe I'm 51 years old.  Who the hell ordered that?  :shrug:

Along activity lines, I did stuff 5 out of 7 days.  Only 2 days were walking.  Other than that, it's been a lot of yardwork - weeding stuff and mowing.  I'm paying for it, believe me.  But the stone paths are now weed-free and ditched for better drainage.  I also mowed where Hubs can't - because poison ivy - and that looks pretty nice now.  It was shin to knee high tall stuff in there.  No bad work for an old chick, eh?  Now that the tall stuff is down, the next mow will be easier.  Weight: NA (cuz I didn't bother weighing myself)

The deer are getting fat-pregnant.  Soon, we'll have babies!

In garden news, everything is growing right along.  I did buy two tomato plants to get tomatoes quicker than my seedlings will give me them.  I need to take pics and post to my gardening blog.

I think that's it for me this week.  I can't think of anything else pertinent anyway.  What have you been up to lately?

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 5/15/21

 Hey there!  It's the Saturday Reading Wrap-up with your host, B.E. Sanderson.  :cue cheesy theme music:

I finally picked up some new ebooks this week.  Which was good because I didn't have any left to read.  I got a romantic suspense (which I'm reading now), a mystery, a paranormal mystery, and a paranormal romance.  No new hardcopies.

Books Read:

33) That Night by CJ Grayson (5/12/21) - Suspense*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  I picked this one up for free after hearing about it in a FB group I belong to.  
Review: "
A twisty, turny suspense that kept me hooked. I wasn't sure the author would be able to pull all the threads together, but everything was wrapped up by the end. And I totally didn't see it all coming down the way it did. "

32) The Virginian by Owen Wister (5/9/21) - Western/Literature - 5 stars.  New to me, but old enough that it's got plenty of reviews.  Still underappreciated, in my opinion, though.  Picked this up at a thrift store for 50c.
Review: "
This book is too awesome for words. If you haven't read it, you should."


5//10/21 - free - This billed itself as paranormal women's fiction but read like cozy paranormal mystery.  It was written by a 'known, trad-pub name' in UF, but it had issues in it my own editor and proofreaders would've kicked my ass for.  I probably would've weathered on for an indie, but I expected better and disappointment made me stop reading.

Currently reading... like I said above, I'm reading a romantic suspense.  I had it listed as a cozy mystery.  Boy, was that wrong.  I mean it started out kind of like a cute cozy, but it became pretty suspenseful.  I think it was the title that turned me in the wrong direction - Honeymoon Cottage.  :shrug:  I'm really enjoying it, so it's no biggie for me.

What were you reading this week?  

Friday, May 14, 2021

I'm With Teddy

I've named the immature male tanager Teddy.  And his lady friend is Gloria.  Anyway, here's Teddy turning his back on the world.

I'm with Teddy today.  I can't deal with the world.

Now, if only I can get Teddy to stop attacking his reflection.  I didn't say Teddy was smart.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Thursday This n That

Yes, I went out and filled the car and the gas can this week.  Yeah, it was partially because of the pipeline thing.  But the car was down to a quarter of a tank and the gas can was empty anyway.  As little as I drive, this should last me through into June.  I scored, by the way.  A gal at the bank told me that the gas station I usually use had just that morning jumped their prices ten cents to $2.69 a gallon, but the gas station I don't use often was still at $2.59.  Saved myself like $1.50.  Every penny helps.

I hit Wallyworld yesterday. The number of maskless people is climbing.  It was about 30% mask-free and yesterday it was about 40%.  I had fun joking with a couple of old biker-looking dudes that I kept crossing paths with.  We commiserated over the price of beef.  One steak... ONE... cost me $15.  It was something they were calling a 'cowboy' rib eye.  It still has the rib, so it was a smidgen cheaper per pound.  I also picked up a beef roast, discounted to just under $10.  And a pack of burger - 90% lean - for like $10-something.  2.25 pounds of burger... $4.50+ a pound.  umm, yah

I buy the 90% lean because less of a percentage and you're paying for fat that will drain away.  More of a percentage and you lose flavor.  

Because of the prices, I haven't been buying much steak in the past year or so.  (That and a lot of the supposedly good steaks are grisly.)  I got one this time because the annibirthary is upon us.  The steak is for our anniversary.  I'm not sure what I'll do for my birthday.  Except cheesecake.  I bought the ingredients for cheesecake.  I haven't made cheesecake in years.  Yummers.

Which reminds me.  I like to put brandy in my cheesecakes.  So I stopped at the quickie-mart to see if I could get one of those little airplane bottles of brandy.  Nope.  No big bottles of it either.  Damn.  So I asked for Amaretto.  Nope to that, too.  If I really want brandy, I guess I'll have to hit the liquor store/cigarette/bait shop.  I hadn't planned on going anywhere again this week, so... :shrug:

Which reminds me... I got the stuff to make tacos.  Except I forgot salsa.  AND I forget shredded cheese of a variety conducive to tacos.  (Okay... so I got TORTILLAS... it was only the tortillas.)  Perhaps I do need to go back out again.  Heh.

Oh, well.  I guess I should be getting my buns into some kind of gear this morning.  Anything going on in your world?

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Some Simple Truths

Some simple truths...

If you say someone is something because of their skin color, whatever their color is and whatever your color is, you're a racist.

No one is inherently anything.

No one is responsible for anything their ancestors did.  Or that their relatives have done.  They are only responsible for their own actions.

Certain cultures are better than others.  The ones that increase man's freedom are better.  The ones that decrease man's freedom are not.  The ones that celebrate man's achievements are good, the ones that deny and degrade man's achievements are bad.

The word 'man' includes both genders.

There are only two genders - XX (female) and XY (male).  (And yes, I realize there are anomalies like XXY and XYY.  Let's not quibble over a minuscule fraction of the populous.)  People are free to call themselves whatever they want and act accordingly, but saying there are more than two is denying reality.  

Denying reality is bad.  

Reality is reality and truth is truth.  Perceptions of each may differ, but there aren't separate ones for separate people.  

Freedom of speech is IMPORTANT.  You should fight for it, even if the person you're fighting for is a shithead.  Because once someone starts denying that freedom for those they deem shitheads, it breaks for us all.  And you never know when you're the one they'll deem a shithead.

Individual lives matter.  

So many people are trying to avoid death that they aren't really living anymore.

Take everything you're told by teachers, experts and 'authority figures' with a grain of salt.  Do your own research.  Dig deep for the truth.  

If it sounds hinky, it probably is.

What someone else earns or owns does not belong to you in any way, shape, or form.  

You aren't entitled to anything except life, liberty, and the freedom to pursue your own happiness.  Happiness itself is not a right.  You have to work for it.

Work is not a bad thing.  Stop trying to escape it.

Different is not a bad thing.  By trying to normalize 'different', they're essentially trying to wipe it out.  This is not a good thing.  Celebrate your differences.  And recognize that normal is okay, too.  Because normal is not a bad thing either.

Monday, May 10, 2021

BIrdy Day

We've been having all sorts of birds stop by the feeders lately, so yesterday, I grabbed the camera, sat in my chair by the window, and snapped a bunch of shots.  Here are a few...

That's a pair of rose-breasted grosbeaks.

Those are a female and a male, respectively.
An immature male summer tanager.  Isn't he pretty?
And a female summer tanager.  Here she is again... this is my favorite pic of the day:

Finally, because we love her so, here's Mama Boom.  She's a fox squirrel who's been hanging around a lot lately.  Something happened to her tail and she's only got half of it now.  She's so big, so looks like a groundhog when she's running across the lawn.  And with her short tail, she looks like a prairie dog when she sits up.

Most likely, Mama Boom has babies around here somewhere.  I hope so.  We need more fox squirrels to run off the gray squirrels.  (Fox squirrels are awesome.  Gray squirrels are furry-tailed rats.)

Hope you enjoyed the photos.  Have a great day!

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Sunday Update - Week 19 (I think)

First off, Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there.  I wished my Mom a Happy Mother's Day on Friday when we talked because today she'll be spending the day with my sisters, shopping for flowers and brunching, and generally having a nice relaxing day catching up.  

I only got around 2100 words written this week.  I can't see the next scene.  It's like in the old days when you were at the movies or watching a movie in class, and the film snapped.  I guess I'm waiting for someone to either repair it or put a new reel on.  Or I'm standing here looking at the snarly puddle of film lying on the floor.  Anyway, the book is at 16590 words right now.

Nothing else writerly got done.

I only finished reading one book last week.  Other than that, I've been hip-deep in reading The Virginian, which is a really most excellent book, but it's long.  I'll finish it today.

In baking news, I made granola bars early in the week, and then yesterday, I got a wild hair and made a batch of apple bread followed by a batch of Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I think I've posted both of those recipes before.  I might do a coffee cake today.  

On the activity front, I did something 6 out of 7 days.  Gardening, weeding, yardwork on one side and walking on the other.  I walked 4 days out of the 6 and did almost 5 miles.  My mileage for the year is 29.4 miles.  Woohoo.  Weight: 184.0.  Since I can't seem to stop stuffing my face, I'm trying to eat smaller portions.

My container garden is rolling along.  Everything is outside now, although I woke up in the middle of the night to a thunderstorm and rain, and lay there worrying whether my baby plants were okay.  I also realized I'm sublimating my need for a pet into this garden.  Demented, I know.

My other gardens are doing well.  The irises are blooming like mad.  So's the columbine.  The peonies and the lilies are almost blooming.  The big hydrangea has buds all over it.  One of the roses has buds, despite the harsh cut-back I had to do because of the freeze.  There are buds on one of my coral bells.  The astilbes and the sedums are thriving.  Even my remaining mums are doing well - including the one I bought our first year here.  I love Spring.

Speaking of Spring, the deer are getting fat pregnant.  And like every other year, I feel so bad for them, waddling around with their big ol' baby-bellies.  Lumpy is huge and back to hanging out with her yearling twins.  The little buck has his antler nubs.  And the little doe is such a dainty young lady.  

Anyway, I think that's about it for me today.  How are things in your world? 

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 5/8/21

 Hello and welcome to the Saturday Reading Wrap-up with your host, B.E. Sanderson!  :cue applause:

Heh.  Anyway, here's my week in readerly things... few though they may be.

No new books acquired.  I still have 2 unread ebooks and loads of hardcopies left to read.

Books Read:

31) Cracked: An Anthology of Eggsellent Chicken Stories by Various (5/3/21) - SF/F Shorts* - Most of the authors in this were new to me but while it probably could be more appreciated, it doesn't fit the criteria.  Picked this up when it was free back in February after hearing about it from a friend who's included in the anthology.  (Although when I wrote the review, I could've sworn I paid full price for this.  It's worth the full price.  Honest.)
Review: "
What a fun bunch of stories! And not a dud in the bunch - which is unusual for me with anthologies. Definitely a fun way to pass the time and worth every penny."

No DNFs.

Currently reading... The Virginian.  So far, it's pretty good, but it's slow reading.

What were you reading last week?

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Thursday This n That

I don't understand the new style of tucking your shirt into the front of your pants and leaving it untucked in the back.  I've seen it on several shows now.  Erin does it on Hometown.  I think Jenny does it on Fixer to Fabulous.  Nancy Kerrigan (the figure skater) was wearing her shirt that way on Antiques Roadshow - Celebrity Edition.  Is it to cover your ass?  It seems like the mullet of fashion - business in the front, party in the back.  :shrug:  Not keen on it.  I leave the whole shirt untucked these days.  Cover the belly and the butt.  

It occurs to me so many people are trying so hard to avoid death that they're no longer living.

Yesterday, I went out on the deck for a smoke and it looked like something had stolen one of my tomato plants.  I was thinking birds or a squirrel.  Then when I looked closer, I realized that tiny baby plant was laying flat in the dirt.  When I watered yesterday, I'd forgotten the tomatoes.  Derp.  I might have lost like four of them.  We'll see.  Someone local I follow on FB posted pictures of their tomatoes this morning.  They already have fruit!?  WTH?  My plants are only like 2-3 inches tall.  

The latest in stupidity from our Impostor in Chief is that he's trying to ban menthol cigarettes.  Because menthols are racist and target black folk, or some stupid shit.  Legalize drugs, ban menthols.  I smoke menthols.  What a dipshit.  (And yes, I know it's not actually him because he can't think his way out of a paper bag.  He's merely the figurehead.  Universal dipshit and his dipshit handlers.)

Hey, did you hear Snow White is awful because the kiss of the prince that saves her wasn't consensual?  Can't make this stuff up, people.  I guess mouth-to-mouth resuscitation should be out shortly, too.  Dipshits.

In happier news, we had a bunny in our yard yesterday!  And a raccoon!  Spring is awesome.  Here's pic of the bunny after it hopped into the woods.  Can you find it?  

In additional happy news, our black walnut trees are all starting to recover from the hard freeze that killed most of their new leaves.  Even the baby trees I was especially concerned about have new leaves.  Nature will find a way.  Yay.

My irises are blooming.  Yay!  And my lilies have buds.  Yay!  

And on that note, I'll let you get back to your lives.  Have a great day, folks.  And try to find some happy amidst the chaos.  :hugs:

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Going Maskless - a Chaos Diaries Update

Yesterday, I went to Wallyworld.  Walked right in without a mask.  The old gal who was greeting told me it was nice to see someone smiling.  I couldn't see most of her face, but her eyes looked sad.  Again, about a third of the people in there were maskless.  And she had to wear hers or lose her job.  No wonder her eyes looked sad.

Also yesterday, I heard about an MIT study that said masks are ineffective inside (and I'm guessing they would've said outside, too, but that wasn't the point of the study).  I haven't read the study, but I'm also guessing they referenced the paper/cloth masks we're all using and not the heavy duty N-95 suckers.  

I'm at the point in my life where if I get it, I get it.  And if I die from it, you can all point and say 'if only she'd listened'.  I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees. Actually, I'd rather live on my feet than die on my knees.  Living is always preferable to dying and being on your feet is always preferable to kneeling.  

Speaking of masks, has anyone else gotten to the point where their brain is just filling in people's faces behind the masks?  I was sitting here trying to remember who was wearing a mask and who wasn't, and the interactions I had seemed like no one was wearing a mask, but when I thought about it hard, I realized all the employees had to be wearing masks, so I was filling in faces in my head.  It'll be surprising if I ever run into them without their masks and I was right about how they actually looked.

Toward the end of my dad's life, he contracted Hep-C and he was genuinely worried he'd give it to Mom.  I don't remember if he wanted her to mask up, but I'm pretty sure he wanted her gloved up any time she had to touch him.  I can't imagine.  Poor Dad.  And poor Mom.  Being afraid to touch your own wife and to have her touch you.  It gives me a sad.

The thought of being so afraid of the 'rona that you live your life under a mask staying six feet away from other humans and sanitizing everything around you gives me a sad, too.  And talking to Mom, who's trapped in Halfwit Land* (aka Michigan) makes me sad.  Unfortunately, I think talking to me down here in Freedom Acres makes her afraid for my life.  I wish I could wrap her up and bring her here, so she could see that things are nearly as bad as she's being led to believe.  

Anyway, I'm going maskless unless and until someone stops me and makes me wear one.  (Which is pretty much how I've been all along.  Walmart was about the only place I still wore one until recently.)

And yes, I am totally on board with people having the right to wear a mask if they want to.  I'm just against people being made to live in so much fear they feel they have to... or they feel they need to make me wear one.

Nuff said.

* Halfwit = the current governor of Michigan

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Sunday Update - Week Somethin' or Other

I'm late and I don't feel like looking up the week number.  It was the last week of April.

I started out the week writing gangbusters and then fell apart.  Still, I did write 5 out of 7 days and I got down 6835 new words.  DN2 is at 14428 as of last night.  

No editing, obviously.  I rarely edit when I'm laying down new words, except for the editing I do WHILE I'm writing.  That's so natural I don't even think about it.  Hell, I'm editing this post as I type, too.

Let's not talk about marketing, k?  I had a sale and didn't sell a single copy.

In reading news, I had a pretty good week.  I finally finished that NF.  If you want to read about how attempting (or pretending to attempt) to make everyone equal actually hurts us all, read EQUAL IS UNFAIR.  

I didn't bake anything last week.  Shocking, I know.

On the activity front, I did something active 6 out of 7 days.  Mostly working with the container garden, but there was some walking and cleaning in there, too.  I'm up to just under 25 miles walked for the year so far.  Now that the weather is warmer, I should be able to up that third of the year average (thirdly?).  If I can walk about 10 miles a month from here on out, I should make my goal of 100 miles this year.  Sounds doable.

Gardening is going well.  Stop over to my Totally Amateur blog for updates on that.  We're supposed to get splooshed upon, so I have all the pots inside.  I jumped the gun on that.  The splooshing is supposed to start this afternoon, so I'll put them back out, water them, let them drip, and then bring them back inside.  I'll have inside pics and will post over there later.

And on that note, I should probably get started on my day.  How are things in your world?

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 5/1/21

May Day!  May Day!  Umm... yeah, I always get the urge to do that on May 1st.  Sorry.  Anyway, here's the skinny on my reading week...

No new books this week.

Books Read:

30) Curtains for Three by Rex Stout (4/29/21) - Hard-boiled crime - 5 stars.  Not new to me, but I think these books can never be appreciated enough.  Part of the box lot I received.
Review: "Nero Wolfe is always fun and this is no exception!"

29) Equal is Unfair by Don Watkins and Yaron Brook (4/27/21) - NF - 5 stars.  Not new to me, but not appreciated nearly enough.  Paid full price after an accidental one-click when I was trying to add the hardcopy to my cart.
No Review.  

28) Eye of the Monster by Andre Norton (4/26/21) - SF - 5 stars.  Not new to me but way underappreciated.  I've had this book for years.  I got it when I bought a box of Andre Norton's at a garage sale.  I'm still working my way through them and I hadn't read this before now.
Review: "This is probably my favorite Andre Norton out of all I've read so far."

No DNFs.

Currently reading... A fun SF/F anthology of chicken stories.  Yes, CHICKEN stories.  It's eggcellent so far.  ROFL

What's did you read last week?  Anything fun?