Saturday, July 31, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 7/31/21

Hey, wait, it's Saturday!  And the last day of July.  How'd that happen?  :shrug: 

Nada went on this week in reading.  I'm still kind of slumpy there.  I didn't pick up any new books.  I didn't read anything.  And I didn't DNF anything.  I still have eight unread ebooks on my Kindle.  And, of course, scads of hardcopy books to read.

Unfortunately, I'm not currently reading anything, except my own manuscript while I look for flaws, errors, and general issues.  I've been watching the Olympics and doing crossword puzzles when I should be reading.  Sorry about that.  Maybe next week there will be actual reading stuff in my reading wrap-up.

What happened in your reading world last week?

Friday, July 30, 2021

This n That on a Friday

Okay, so I forgot to post yesterday, so here's the This n That, but on a Friday.  

I've been up since 4 and I'm only just now beginning to be awake enough to be human.  Thank goodness for coffee.

Hubs has been up since 3.  Right after I got up, he started the laundry.  Friday is sheets and towels day.  He just threw the sheets in the dryer and now he's collecting all the towels.  Get 'er done.

Shout out to Suni Lee who stepped up in the gymnastics and is kicking ass.  (No, I don't want to talk about why she needed to step up.  I'm just glad she did.)

To all the Olympic athletes... don't bite your medal.  It's crass.

Speaking of which, anyone else notice they not showing the medal ceremonies this year.   I thought I was missing them because they were showing them late, but then I saw gals wearing their medals after the competition and no ceremony.  I guess I could Duck-duck it, but I don't really want to know the reason because it will probably piss me off.

Editing is going slow.  It seems like every other paragraph needs some kind of tweak.  Blerg.

Halfway through a cigarette just now, it tasted like goat butt.  I hate when that happens.  Gag.  Luckily, it only happens like twice a year.  And since I smoke a pack a day and there are 20 cigs in a pack... well, it's too early to math, but you get the idea.  Every rare once in a while a cig tastes like pot.  Makes me wonder.  I have to put those out, too.  Pot makes me barf in a most spectacular way.

I both get why people do drugs and don't get why people do drugs.  They want to lose control and blank out.  I hate that feeling.  Which is why I quit drinking in addition to not doing drugs.  If you're trying to escape reality because you think it sucks, it's still going to suck when you sober up.  I guess that whole 'escape reality' thing is also why people are in such a rush to try and warp reality.  Doesn't work, but they still try.  It'll still be there whether they try and change their view of it.  :shrug:  

It's been HOT here.  Like 97 yesterday with a hear index of 105.  Gah.  And as I was laying in bed last night I realized I forgot to water the garden yesterday.  Here's hoping that once the sun comes up this morning I still have a garden and my one tiny tomato didn't wither up and drop off.  

Thank goodness for the exercise bike or I'd spend all day sitting on my ass in the AC.  I'm up to 42 miles.  Which is more than I walked all this year so far.  So much for hitting 100 miles walking this year.

Okay, that's more than enough out of me today.  What's up in your world?

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

I'm Watching the Olympics

I've been watching the Olympics.  Yeah, there are a few scattered athletes with bugs up their asses (and that's all I'll say about that), but for the most part, the athletes are out there doing their thing without a word about their political leanings.  

Watching Lydia Jacoby win last night was awesome.  And the moment after she touched the wall, when she turned to see the scores and realized she'd won... Her face lit up and she glowed.  And it lifted my heart.  Watching her people watch her win was even better.  I would've been screaming right along with them if Hubs hadn't already gone to bed.  I think the whole town of Seward, Alaska was partying last night, as well they should've been.

Obviously, I'm rooting for the US team, but really, I want to watch and cheer for any athlete who proves themselves to be outstanding.  The Austrian gal who won a gold in the Women's Road Race.  The dude from Norway who won the Men's Triathlon.  The Brit who nailed it in the Men's Mountain Bike race.  All worthy opponents and great athletes.  And then there was the dude from Tunisia who kicked ass in the Men's 400m Freestyle swimming.  No one expected him to win.  He was in the last lane because his times were so crappy.  But there he was zooming ahead of everyone to win.  Dude.

Also outstanding was the gal who won the US's first medal ever in Taekwondo.  Kicked Russia's ass, lemme tell ya.  And she was so excited to have won.

These people are why I watch the Olympics.  They're stronger than the ones who try to ruin it.  Focus on them.  If you're one of those people who's staying away from watching because of a few silly turds, who should've spent more time focusing on their sport than flapping their gums, you're doing the good athletes a disservice.  And you're doing yourself a disservice, too, because you're really missing some awesome, inspiring, and happy stuff.


Sunday, July 25, 2021

Sunday Update - Week 30

 Another week gone by and not a whole lot to show for it.  But hey, it's the summer doldrums, so I'm not ready to flagellate myself yet.  Maybe next week.  ;o)

No writing got done, and very little editing.  But I'm thinking about it.

In marketing news, I have a sale that started today.  Accidental Death and Natural Causes are 99c each through Saturday Night.  

As for reading, it's pretty much stuck in the doldrums, too.  I only finished one book.  It was a pretty good one, though.  But I just don't feel like reading these days.

On the activity front, I did five days worth.  Four of the days, I alternated biking and gardening, and the fifth day was energetic vacuuming.  I'm up to 37 miles on the bike.  Woohoo.  Weight: 183.8

Not really much to talk about in the baking arena.  I did a pizza, but nothing else.  Several mornings, I set out a stick of butter to soften only to put it back in the afternoon because I'd lost interest.  It's also freakin' hot here right now, which makes the urge to bake tend to deflate like a sad balloon.

I transplanted all my zucchini and tomato plants and added fertilizer to everything.  Fingers crossed it helps them bloom and grow veggies.  I do have 2 tiny tomatoes now - on the same plant - but those were there before the transplanting.  Here's hoping they soon have siblings and cousins and neighbor kids.

Like I said, it's freakin' hot here right now with more hot expected.  This is making me not want to do much of anything but sit in the AC.  Unfortunately, I'm at the point where if the AC is low enough to kill the hot flashes, poor Hubs is freezing his ass off.  I think we've found a contented compromise.

I've taken to drinking cold coffee.  I mean, it's still hot in the morning, but by like 10am, I'm switching over to the cold stuff I have stored in the fridge.  Add some cream and it's a fancy coffee drink.  Or something.  :shrug:  It works for me.

I lead such an exciting life.  LOL.  What's up with you these days?

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 7/24/21

 It hasn't been the most exciting of reading weeks this week.  For some reason, I just didn't feel like reading for most of the week.  :shrug:

Oddly enough, despite not wanting to read, I picked up a lot of ebooks - a suspense, two mysteries, and two romances.  I still have three unread ebooks from last week, too - paranormal mystery, suspense, and cozy mystery.  

Books Read:

49) Never Came Home by CJ Grayson (7/23/21) - Suspense*2 - 5 stars.  Not new to me but underappreciated.  Free after seeing it talked about on one of the FB reader groups I belong to and snagged because I'd read the first already.
Review: "Wow. What a roller-coaster ride. So full of twists and turns sometimes I wasn't sure which way was up. But it all came out to a satisfying ending."

No DNFs.

Currently reading...  I didn't pick up another book after I finished this one yesterday.  Next up on my 'books acquired' list is a paranormal mystery, so I'll probably start that today.

How was your reading week?

Friday, July 23, 2021

Working Hard and Hardly Working

Years ago, in what seems like an entirely different life, I was working an hourly job making $6 an hour.  And since no one told me differently, I was showing up at 6am and working until 5pm.  Working.  Not fucking around.  Then one day, the boss shows up and tells me he feels really bad about my working so many hours and I really need to stop.  So, I tell him to make me a salaried employee and then he doesn't need to worry about it anymore.  We negotiated a dollar an hour raise for me (at 8 hours), made it salaried, and I was left alone to do what I needed to do.  Problem solved.  For me anyway.  I think he still felt bad, but since he no longer had to see a timesheet, he really didn't need to think about how many hours I was working.  

Flash ahead a bunch of years to another hourly job.  Shit needed to be done and it took more than 8 hours a day to do it, so I worked from about 7am to 5pm.  Then one day, the human resources chick wanders into my office and tells me to cut it out.  So, I tell her to make me salary and not worry about it, like I'd done in the past.  She tells me she can't.  There are laws and non-management positions can't be salaried any more.  And the company can't work me that many hours without getting fined or some such nonsense.  Well, fuck.  So, I tell her 'okay, fine' and start making my timesheet say 8am-5pm with the standard one hour lunch.  Because I still had more to do than I could fit into an 8-hour day.  

Then she caught me doing that.  'Sorry, you can't do that.  Against the labor laws.'  Informs me that if I keep working like I want to work, they'll have to let me go.  

Think about that for a second.  A company would have to fire me for choosing to work harder and longer.  

Oh, I was a good girl and I did it for a while.  Then things started to back up and weren't getting done in a timely fashion.  Then I went back to my old ways.   The HR chick, who was also my smoking buddy, took me aside and quietly told me to knock it off.  I asked her who I was hurting.  She told me that if they got caught working me like that, there would be hell to pay.  I wondered how they'd get caught because I sure as hell wasn't telling the government what I was doing.  It's none of their damn business, after all.  She was worried one of the other workers would report them to the government.  Well, fuck... again.  

Once more, I went back to working 8 hours a day and trying to cram 10 hours worth of work into it.  I was one harried little monkey, lemme tell ya.  You see, I was the secretary to the president of the company.  He worked from 7-6 (because salaried people work until the work is done) and he needed me there, doing my magic, while he was there.  And there were the things I needed to get done when I wasn't working directly with him.  

When I gave them my month's notice - because I got married and was leaving the state, not because I didn't like working there - it was the best and most freeing month ever.  I worked like a dog and loved every minute of it.  I no longer had to worry about what anyone said or did, and I didn't have to watch what I said or did.  No more pussyfooting around.  Ahhh.  I was cranking and spanking more efficiently than I had in my life - unfettered by regulations and rules.  By month's end, everything was cleared off my desk and finished, all my processes were detailed in various word documents, all the files were pristine, so the gal taking over my position wouldn't be caught in an avalanche her first day.  And if the company got tagged by the government, I was ready to denounce ever working more than 8 hours a day.  Like I said, my choices were none of their damn business.  

I'd do it again in a heartbeat.  You know, if someone was willing to pay me to do anything again.  I really need to apply that work ethic to my writing.  But no one's paying me to do this and if it doesn't get done, no one else will suffer.  Oh, I can still get cranking when the necessity arises.  It just rarely arises anymore.  Heh, I was working hard and now I'm hardly working.  

What about you?  

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Thursday This n That

What a world what a world what a world.  I say this frequently as I scroll through the news each morning.  Every day, something else pops up and I wonder what the hell.  Yeah, yeah, I should probably stop reading the news, but I really don't want to get blindsided, so I keep reading it.  Blerg.

So, last night, I had just barely fallen asleep when a sound woke me up.  And I lay there as the sound continued.  Over and over.  It was maddening. You see, a katydid had decided to sing his song of love on the outside casing of our bedroom window.  I got up and walked over to the window.  He stopped.  I walked away, he started up again.  Since Hubs was also now up, I banged on the window and the bug stopped for a moment, but then started right back up again.  Damn horny bug.  I shined a flashlight but I couldn't see where the bug had stationed himself for his concert.  Hubs and I got up, turned on our computers and smoked while we waited for Horny Bug to find somewhere else to announce his intentions to the world.  I was so tired I could cry, but HB was insistent.  Long about 11:30, I went back into the bedroom with a flashlight and tried to see exactly where the horny bastard was.  AHA!  Right there in the upper lefthand corner.  Now, that particular window has no screen and no storm on the outside, so Hubs grabbed a broom, we shut off all the lights and opened the window.  I pinpointed HB with the flashlight and Hubs took a broom to him.  Yay!  Sleep!  

I picked up more potting soil and nutrients for my garden yesterday.  This morning, I continue the repotting, nourishing of the plants.  If I can keep my eyes open.

If you're vaccinated, you can still catch the Delta variant, but everyone needs to get vaccinated so they don't spread the Delta variant.  Crazypants.

And I'm spent.  Seriously.  I can't seem to make my brain work this morning.  Bring on the coffee!

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Ah, Memories

This morning I was telling a story in the comments of a friend's blog about growing up next to a garbage dump.  It wasn't anything to me, but thinking about it now, I wonder whether others would be horrified.  I mean, it's not like we played in the garbage or anything.  Okay, maybe we did a little when the dump was closed and the heavy machinery was quiet for the day or the weekend.  That place was a treasure-trove and filled with adventure.

Anyway, the story I told was of the night a small, local grocery store caught fire and they brought all the trash from the clean-up to our dump.  Loads and loads of canned goods and jars and packages.  A lot of it only had smoke-damage to the packaging and was still good otherwise.  They could no longer sell it, of course, but it was still edible.  So my brothers went out and hauled loads of groceries to the house.  It was a wonder to me.  I'd never seen so much food in the house.  And best of all was the soda pop.  We never had soda pop in the house.  And there was nothing wrong with the food other than missing or damaged labels.  

But you hear about a family eating food they found in the dump and that's probably horrifying to you.  It was a wonderland to me and a happy childhood memory.

A lot of the clothes I wore came through the trash.  Not out of the dump, mind you.  My mom was the office manager for the garbage company and the drivers would find bags of clothes set out for pick-up, and bring them to her.  She'd take what was still good home for her family.  With five kids and a limited income, those clothes were probably a godsend.  

I never thought about it.  Clothes were clothes.  Until one day in fourth grade, a girl came up to me and told me she used to have the exact same shirt as the one I was wearing.  No doubt I was wearing her old shirt.  I didn't tell her that, but it was in my head from then on.  And from then on, I was less excited about wearing the clothes Mom brought home.  When I was old enough to work, I worked and bought my own clothes.  

Don't get me wrong.  I had a happy childhood, for the most part.  We were fed and clothed and housed.  Nothing fancy.  I didn't need fancy.  I made do.  The skills I learned back then have served me well.  I don't need fancy to this day.and I still make do.  

Do you have any childhood experiences that others might find horrifying but that was just life to you?

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Links and Things

I saw a neat idea on FB this morning.  Homemade heat packs.  A local pet rescue organization was looking for volunteers to make these because they're perfect for baby animals and for pets recuperating from surgery.  I don't have a sewing machine, or I'd give it a whirl.  Hell, I might make one by hand for myself.  It won't look pretty, but it'll work.

If you're interested in the pet rescue, go here.  If you've got a favorite rescue in your area, maybe you could make heat packs for them or share the idea with them so they can have volunteers make them, too.

This morning, Silver James posted a yummy recipe.  (She does recipes every Tuesday.)  

In case you're not following my Totally Amateur Container Gardener blog, I have a link over there about plant sex.  (Okay, it's about my zucchinis, but plant sex totally figures in there.)

If you're not reading NOT THE BEE, perhaps you should.  If you're familiar with The Babylon Bee, they're a satirical site.  This is like that, but not satire.  They're real articles on the conservative side of the spectrum.

Seen a bird but don't know what it was?  Go here and click on Instant ID Help.

If you watch Dr. Pol, you might have seen him working with Hopewell Ranch.  These folks do good work.

And that's it for me today.  If you have an interesting online place to go, don't post the link, but give enough information so I can search it myself and maybe add it to the end of this post.  (I don't allow links in comments, unless it's someone I know and trust.)

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Sunday Update - Week 29

Hello again.  It's Sunday morning after a fun-filled night of weird dreams and listening to the pouring rain while worrying about my plants.  Thus, I'm draggin' again.  Bear with me.

I didn't write anything this week, but I did start making edit notes.  I'm like 4% into it and already have like three pages of notes.  Ah, the dirty first draft of an intricate fantasy story.  Fun fun.

I did a bunch of marketing this week, too.  I moved like 29 free copies of Sleeping Ugly and one copy each of the other two.  (The other two are still on sale through tomorrow.)  Not great, but better than nothing.  :shrug:  Maybe I'll see some page reads.  I did have someone read the SCIU books after the sale I had on those last month, so there's hope.

In reading news, due to editing again, I only read one book.  I hope to start reading something today.  Luckily, I'm editing on my old Kindle, so I can read on the newer one.  Juggling Kindles should be fun.  Especially since one is a swiper and the other isn't.

On the baking front, I made granola bars.  And I made amped-up chocolate streusel coffee cake.  With extra coffee and more chocolate.  You can't eat this and sit still.  Woohoo.

Only three days worth of activity this past week.  All on the exercise bike.  I did like 35 minutes and almost 12 miles.  And gained .6 pounds.  Blerg.  Weight: 184.0

Okay, so you know the garden has been pretty much a dud.  I mean, all the plants look pretty good, but no veggies.  The zukes are blooming, but no fruits.  The tomatoes bloomed, but no fruits... until yesterday when I discovered a tiny tomato.  Right now, it's about the size of a pea.  So I moved the plant out into the sun.  And then forgot to move it back, so it was under the deluge last night.  Stupid stupid.  We'll see if I still have my one tiny tomato or if the rain knocked it off.

The deer are doing good.  So are the rabbits.  Rockette Raccoon brought her babies to the corn pans.  She has three nice, plump mini-mes.  I wish I could've gotten a picture, but it was low light.  Bummer.  We haven't seen any sick raccoons since the animal-torturer in the neighborhood died.  I think perhaps karma got him.  I get that sometimes people need to eradicate pests, but they should be humane about it.  And not then laugh about the animals dying in cruel ways.  Just sayin'.

Anyway, here's a picture I took of Uno, the one antlered deer:

He looks kind of silly with his one ear turned back to listen behind him.  Poor dude.  It's gonna be hard for him to attract the ladies this fall.  Better luck next year, Uno.

Okay, well, I think that's it for my Week 29.  How was your week?  Anything good to share?

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 7/17/21

Well, hello there.  Nice to see you again.  This hasn't exactly been an exciting week in reading, but here goes nuthin'.

I picked up 4 new ebooks this week - 2 suspense, a paranormal mystery, and a cozy mystery.  Which is a good thing since I got through all my unread ebooks.  No new hardcopies again.

Books Read:

48) Queen of Klutz by Samantha Garman (7/10/21) - Romantic Comedy* - 5 stars.  Not new to me or underappreciated.  Free off the ENT newsletter.  
Review: "
Super cute!"


7/10/21 - free - suspense.  The beginning was very romantic-comedy-esque, beginning at a wedding with people running around, getting dressed, and joking.  No suspense feel at all.  And the author named like 30 characters in the first couple pages.  There's no way all those people are going to be crucial to the story, so why give them names?  No one needs to know about Great Uncle Herb (not a real name) unless he's going to die horribly by the end of the chapter.  I quit before I found out if Great Uncle Herb was murdered because by then I didn't care.

Currently reading... Well, herein lies the rub.  I started edit-reading my latest manuscript and I haven't really been keen on reading anything else.  We'll see if that changes, because if it doesn't next week's reading wrap-up is going to be BOR-RING.  

What were you up to reading-wise last week?  Anything good on the horizon?

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Thursday This n That

I just got up.  Why?  Because I couldn't sleep.  Again.  I mean, I went to bed at 9 like usual, but I was up again at 9:40 because I was sick of flopping around in bed.  So, I turned the computer back on.  I played poker for a while, while listening to classical tunes.  Then I worked on my drawing for a while - got the paws figured out and fixed.  (I'm bad at hands and paws.)  Then I did my marketing posts, because I knew damn well I wasn't going to be in any shape to market this morning.  I went back to bed at midnight and still flopped around for probably another hour.  Blerg.

Can I just say one thing?  Menopause is a real rip snorter of a good time.  What evolutionary purpose does it serve?  Was it a defense mechanism?  Did our ancient ancestors' predators think 'don't eat her, she's all hot and sleepless'?  Seriously.  No wonder some old ladies have a reputation of being cranky.  Maybe womankind wasn't evolved to live this long and so by living this long, we've got evolution all screwed up.

Thinking about evolution reminds me of an old Gallagher routine.  I'd share it but it's a sight gag.  

Last night, Hubs and I watched a show about hummingbirds on PBS.  So pretty. And so interesting.  I had no clue that hummingbirds also eat tiny bugs.  I thought they were all nectar all the time.  Nope.  They open up their little beaks and gobble the tiny bugs mid-flight.  Cool.  On a coincidence note, the bird of the day on my calendar is a ruby-throated hummingbird.  

We also watched the new crime show with Lt. Joe Kenda.  Yay.  I've missed him.

I did the big Walmart haul yesterday, too.  Ugh.  On the upside, I got a $20 pork roast marked down to $12.  It's five meals worth of meat.  And it wasn't even at the 'sell by' date.  Yay.  On the downside, burger prices are up again.  And deer corn went up slightly, too.  Fucking politicians.  

Speaking of which, gas here is $2.79 a gallon.  A dollar more than before Inauguration Day.  But the fact-checkers keep saying the rising gas prices aren't Biden's fault.  Derp.  

A friend of mine on FB has a running gag where he's seeing how many times a single post can get fact-checked and posting screen captures of each additional fact-check added to the bottom.  Last count, he was up to NINE.  ROFL.  

Well, I suppose I ought to get my day going.  I'm dragon-ass today.  How are things in your world?

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Marketing and Social Media

Sorry I'm late.  I was posting marketing things to social media for my book sale.  (A Model Curse - get the whole trilogy now for less than $2.)  And I woke up late.  Derp.

I usually like to get that sort of stuff done before 6, but that wasn't happening.  Kind of puts me off schedule for the rest of the week - since I only post once to each group within a 24 hour period.  So, tomorrow, I can't post until after 6;45 and then the next day after 7... and so on.  Until I skip a day and reset.  Which loses me a day of selling.  Marketing... what a pain in the ass.  

Unfortunately, it's a necessary evil.  No marketing = no sales.  No sales gives me a sad.  So a-marketing I will go.  Heigh ho the derry-o and whatnot.

Adding to the PITA factor, Facebook has decided to make all my posts 'sale posts' - whether I want them to or not - which must be then authorized by the FB gods before they'll post.  Unless I catch it and click the dot-dot-dot thing and then click 'Turn off sale format'.  Stupid.  And they won't authorize my posts as sale posts because of reasons and insanity.  :shakes it off:

I like MeWe so much better.  I just wish it had the reach FB has.  I'd market all day at MeWe.  It's easy, like FB used to be before they got they're heads jammed up their a... armpits.   I also have accounts at several other social media sites, but those just don't seem geared for selling books.  More's the pity.

Anyway, I wish I had some way of knowing exactly where the sales were coming from.  It would help me target where I spent my time, if not my money.  I mean, I wish I could get away from FB, but I suspect that's where the majority of my visibility comes from, so I'm stuck.  Blerg.

What social media do you use?  Not just for selling stuff, but for personal use?  Is there some place I should be trying?  (Not Instagram.  They require an app and a device upon which to use an app, neither of which I have.)

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Sunday Update - Week 28

Well, here we are again.  Twenty-eight weeks in and on the downslope of 2021.

I finished the first draft of Untitled Fantasy.Thursday night.  Yeah, still don't have a title.  I'm thinking about Shroudlands for the series (umm, since I'm already thinking about the next book, I guess I have myself another series here), but for this book... no clue.  It topped out at 97552 words.  It will expand and contract when I put it under the heat of editing, so who knows where it'll end up.

In marketing news, A Model Curse will go on sale Tuesday.  Sleeping Ugly will be free for 5 days and the other two (Ugly and the Beast and Cinder Ugly) will be 99c/99p each.  So, three books for $1.98.  

With the writing being done for now, I hopped into some reading.  

On the baking side of things, I made cake cookies and pizza.  It's really getting too hot to bake much.

I started the week out pretty good with the activity thing.  Then I fell down.  (Figuratively, not literally.)  I was back at it yesterday, though, so I had 4 active days this week.  I'm up to over 17 miles on the exercise bike.  Woohoo.  And the weight is slowly coming down again.  Weight: 183.6.

Speaking of being on the bike, I've been putting old tapes on to listen to while I ride.  The last few times, it's been Icehouse - their first self-titled album that I dubbed off an old boyfriend's tape and then dubbed again onto a different tape so side B would be the Icehouse 'Man of Colours' album.  Well, when it got to the end of the tape, I was riding along and didn't feel like getting off the bike to change tapes and I just let it play itself out instead of fast-forwarding to the end like I usually do.  A strange thing happened.  It sounded like there was something on the end of the tape.  I stopped the bike and turned the volume up, wondering what the hell it was.  And I heard a baby.  It wasn't crying or anything.  Just cooing and making standard baby noises.  And then I realized it was Owl.  I stopped the tape and went to go have a cigarette.  Then I went back, rewound the tape to the end of the music and sat down to listen.  At one point, I did say her name, so that verifies I did, in fact, tape my baby.  For the most part, though, there was no sound on the tape other than Owl.  And maybe a TV in the background.  I don't remember doing it.  I'm sure I never listened to it before last night.  But there it was.  I wonder if I did that on any other tapes.  Are there more tiny time capsules?  Who knows.

We've decided to sell our boat.  Since we bought it, we've only used it 3 times.  It was fun, but not FUN-fun.  It's just taking up space in the garage.  Plus, I prefer bank fishing, since I get motion sick and have to where those wristbands.  :shrug:  So, I've been going around putting up flyers at various places.  Hubs' ad goes out in the paper on Thursday.  

Oh, I almost forgot.  I got a wild hair the other day and decided to try drawing my concept of a beast I created for the fantasy.  So I sat here and looked at some photos of things I'd said the beast looked like - panther body, bat ears.  Considering I haven't drawn anything in years, it's not too bad.  It's not cover art worthy by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm pleased.  I have to finish it, but yeah, not awful.  And since Hubs could see what it was I was trying to do - bat kitty beast? - I'm calling it a win.  (BTW, I'm calling it a mistmorph.)  Maybe if I finish it, I'll be brave enough to scan it and share it.  Don't hold your breath, though.

Okay, that's probably enough out of me this morning.  How'd your week 28 go?

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 7/10/21

Hello again. Here's the weekly wrap-up of my reading stuffs.

I picked up two ebooks this week - both billed as Romantic Comedies.  Still no new hardcopies.  I still have two unread ebooks - a romance and a suspense.  

Books Read:

47) Going All the Way by Cynthia Cooke (7/9/21) - Romance* - 5 stars.  New to me, but not underappreciated.  Picked this one up free through the Author Billboard FB page.
Review:  "Cute. And exactly what I needed - a light, fun romance without too much angst. A little spicier than I like, but I'm not knocking it for that. It's well written and the story is good."

46) Smoke Rising by Craig Halloran (7/8/21) - UF* - 5 stars.  New to me, but not underappreciated.  Free through the Book Gorilla newsletter.
Review: "Excellent story. Loads of fun. Interesting premise. You don't get to the supernatural part until about 2/3rds of the way through, so if you're intent on that, keep reading. You'll get there. It's worth it. The only niggle was I wanted more. Guess I'll have to get the next book."
Available in audio.

No DNFs.

Currently reading...  I stayed up to finish the romance and once I did, I went right to bed, so nothing new yet.  

What was up with your reading stuffs this past week?

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Thursday This n That

I got distracted by the urge to write this morning... I know, I never write in the morning, but the bug hit me hard.  And thus, I forgot to post this earlier.  Whoops.

I'm beginning to feel slighted.  Facebook has this 'extremist warning' thing going around and I didn't get one.  Plus, there's this page a friend of mine followed and she got a warning about their content, but I followed the same page after she mentioned it and didn't get a warning there either.  Am I not a big enough person to worry about?  Am I not extreme enough?  Or is it because they're already watching me?  

Why do my fingers keep wanting to put a T at the end of any word that ends in 'ough'?  Hey, fingers, enought is not a word.  Neither is althought.  Stop it.

Tuesday, Hubs and I went to the big city... well, the nearby small unincorporated town anyway... so he could get a haircut and I could post some flyers for something we're selling.  I stopped in to a couple of stores I hadn't been in before.  One of them was the evil fishing store.  Found out they have new owners and aren't evil anymore.  Yay for them.  I'm still sticking with my regular place, though.  Sorry.  The other was the local gun store.  SO PRETTY!  I do love guns.  I wish I could afford to bring them all home with me.  Anyway, the store was awesome and the owner was a hoot.  After I picked Hubs up from the barber, I took him back to the store.  He has a happy now, too.  

Tuesday was a busy day for me.  South in the morning for deer feed and some groceries.  North in the afternoon for Hubs' haircut.  I don't usually do both trips in the same day, but I was in the mood, so we went north.  It's nice to get out for a drive with Hubs.  Even if it's like 90+ degrees out.  

My old car doesn't like it when I have the AC on, especially going up hills.  And we live in a hilly area, so my entire drives are either bake or spend an inordinate amount of time turning the AC off and on and off and on.  Uphill off, downhill on.  Sometimes I'd rather just bake.

This week had a weird holiday thing going on.  Sunday was the holiday, but the government made Monday the holiday so its workers could get a day off because boo-hoo the real holiday fell on a day they already had off.  Umm, suck it up.  Anyway...  Usually with holidays our trash service is pushed back a day, so we didn't put the trash out to the curb the night before regular pickup morning.  Unfortunately, the trash service must've been on the regular holiday and not the government holiday because the truck went zooming by the house on the regular day for pick-up.  Dang it.  And wouldn't you know it, we actually had a full receptacle this week because of the sorting and shredding I did over the weekend.  Derp.

And that's it for me.  What's up with you?

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

The Journey to Get Healthier

I'm back on the 'trying to get healthier' wagon again.   I'm watching what I eat, getting more active, and trying to shed a few pounds.  Why?  Because I feel better when I'm slimmer.

But not too slim.  This is me in 2002 at 110 pounds and a size 6:

Look at those stick legs and spindly arms.  I could see all my ribs.  My poor boobs were like underinflated balloons.  Gross.  (Note: I did not get that skinny intentionally.  I was working a job I hated where I was on my feet for 8 hours a day with no lunch break, running around a call center, and not eating when I got home because I hated life.  I don't recommend it.)

This is me thirteen years later at 194 pounds:

Umm, yah.  When I'm that heavy, I feel gross.  My joints hurt.  I get winded easily.  The internals get squonky.   And it's just not healthy for me.  Especially considering my crumpled spots.  The ol' legs and hips can't take lifting the extra poundage and dragging it around.  

Right now, I'm at 183.8.  (I weighed myself yesterday morning.)  Still down about 10 pounds from the top, but not nearly as low as I'd gotten a couple years ago.  And I'm feeling it.  So, I need to get back on the wagon and shed those craptastic boomerang pounds at a minimum.  

I know what I need to do.  I need to decrease the amount of food I'm putting in my face and increase the activity.  That's really all anyone needs to do.  It's harder for some than for others, but seriously... decrease the calorie input and increase the calories burned and you will lose weight.

You don't have to starve yourself.  That's just silly.  And it doesn't work in the long run.  You don't have to deprive yourself either.  Eat what you love, but eat less of it.  Instead of a bowl full of ice cream, eat two scoops.  Instead of a bag of M&Ms, eat a handful.  Instead of an entire pizza, eat two slices.  (Start out eating half then switch to two, so you're not shocking the system.)  I knew a gal who could eat a whole pizza for lunch.  She then cut back to half and then wound up eating only two slices.  She lost weight.  How much?  I don't know, but it was a visible change.  Her clothes fit better and she seemed happier.

Also, you don't have to spend your whole day working out.  Do something active every day.  Start small.  Anything that gets the heart pumping and the limbs moving works.  Hell, when Hubs started his walking regime, he would walk back and forth in front of the house (on the flat) until he felt like he was ready to start taking the hills.  Now, he's walking 2.5 miles 3 times a week.  For exercise, not weight loss, but he feels better now that he's doing it.  I couldn't walk a mile when I started out either, but I'm doing it now.  

If you slip up, don't beat yourself silly for it.  Try again the next day.  You'll get there.  Soon, you'll find out two things - Overeating makes you feel gross and so does laying around.  

Oh, there will be pain.  Unused muscles tend to get bitchy when you start using them again.  Take the pain reliever of your choice and get over it.  Your muscles will thank you later.  Don't overdo it either.  Take it slow.  Your body will tell you when it's had enough.  When it starts to gripe, push it for a couple more minutes and then give it a break.  For godsakes, don't hurt yourself trying to get healthier.  That's just silly.

Another thing... You might get impatient to see results.  In this day, everyone wants the quick fix.  Get over that, too.  There is no quick fix.  Realize that every day you're feeling better and getting healthier.  Tell yourself that when you look at your nekkid self in the mirror before you hop in the shower and you're not seeing a naughty body.  Shrug and say "I'm healthier today than I was yesterday and I feel better."  Learn to like the body you see and you'll be more inclined to want to do stuff to keep it going.

I don't want to live forever.  I do want to enjoy the days I have and in order to enjoy those days, I have to feel better. For me, feeling better means being active and slimming down.

On a side note:  Pinterest has got this new rule where you can't talk about losing weight, share your successes, tell people how you did it, post before and after pictures of your journey - in the name of stopping 'body shaming'.  Being the taciturn turd I can sometimes be, I wrote this post.  If reading about my weight loss, etc. makes you feel ashamed of your body, that's on you.  It shouldn't, by the way.  I would hope it would encourage you.  If you are ashamed of your body, do something about it.  Don't hate those people who are doing what you won't do.  And don't be ashamed of your body.  Silly.  If it's working the way it should for you and you feel healthy, be who you are.  If not, do something about it.  Shame is a waste of time and doesn't get you anywhere.

'Nuff said.  This is my journey.  If you want to come along on a journey of your own, more power to you.  Good luck!

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Sunday Update - Week 27

:blink blink:  Sorry, folks.  It's almost seven and I just woke up.  Well, I guess if you're going to oversleep, Sunday is the best day to do it.  And it's a holiday, too.  Even better.

Speaking of which... HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!

Okay, now for wrapping up this week...

If you follow along on Outside the Box, you'll see I had an epiphany and wrote the climax scene.  But, if last night's writing session is anything to go by, there's so much more to write.  :shrug:  It is what it is.  I wrote 4 out 7 days and came up up with 4700 words.  Woohoo.

Still no editing or marketing.  Someone in the UK is reading the SCIU series one after the other, so I got that going for me.

In reading news, I finished two good books and DNF'd a dud.

As for baking, I made oatmeal apple raisin cookies.  

On the active front, I was only active 4 days - three on the exercise bike and in a row.  Yesterday, I got a wild hair and decided to tackle the storage tubs.  I'm counting it as active.  Weight: unchanged at 184.4.

Speaking of storage tubs, here's the deal...  We were looking for something the other day and couldn't find it.  In any of the tubs.  And we have a lot of tubs.  What a pain.  So, I got the idea to sort through all the tubs and achieve some measure of organization.  Which is what I did yesterday.  (Still didn't find it.  After all our moves, who knows where it went.)  Hefting tubs around, sorting through reams of stuff, up and down off the floor, back and forth to the storage closest.  And all the shredding.  By hand because paper clips and staples.  I ended up with two black garbage bags worth of crap to throw out.  I'll talk more about that in another post.

We're seeing fawns just about every day now.  Which is totally awesome.  And we have a pair of prothonotary warblers checking out our little birdhouse on the porch.  Which is also awesome.  

That's what I assume is the female.  The male is more colorful.

The garden loved all the rain we got this past week, but still no fruits.  =o\

And that's all I can think of for the past week.  How was your week?  Got any plans for today (the real holiday) or tomorrow (the government's holiday)?

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 7/3/21

Huh.  It's Saturday again.  How'd that happen so quickly?

I only picked up one new ebook this week - a suspense.  I only have one other ebook left unread - an urban fantasy.  Again, no new hardcopies.  I really need to get out to the thrift stores and snag some more books.  

Books Read:

45) Undiscovered by Anna Hackett (7/2/21) - Romantic Suspense* - 5 stars.  New to me but not underappreciated.  Free off the ENT newsletter.
Review: "Excellent story. Thrilling plot. Great characters. Interesting premise. Dastardly villain you can love to hate. All around awesome book."
Note: Available in audio format.

44) Spirits, Pies, and Alibis by Nicole St. Claire (6/29/21) - Paranormal Mystery*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Free off the Book Adrenaline newsletter.
Review: "Cute book with a good story, likable characters, and an interesting mystery."
Note: Available in audio format.


6/27/21 - free.  Cozy Mystery.  Gah. The formatting was messed up, man.  And if the story had been excellent, I probably could've gotten past that.  But it wasn't.  Over describing stuff that isn't essential to the story is becoming one of my pet peeves.  It seemed like every single thing had multiple adjectives in sequence to describe it.  And for pitysakes, put in some commas if you're going to use multiple descriptors for one noun.  The quick brown fluffy-tailed green-eyed old but sprightly fox died from the weight of all those adjectives.  :headdesk:

Currently reading...  I didn't pick anything else up after I finished that romantic suspense.  We'll see what today brings.

What was on your reading list this week?

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Thursday This n That

We're supposed to get 3-5 inches of rain.  TODAY.  Hubs and I went out to the deck and moved all the plants from the middle where they were getting the right amount of sun and rain to under the eaves where they won't get drowned.  We'll slide them all back to the middle when the rain stops.  Needless to say, we got wet.

Hubs just named Lumpy's buck twin. Sonny.  So I named his sister Stormy.  We've also decided to call the one-antlered buck Uno.  (His other antler snapped at the base and was hanging by a piece of skin... gross... until it finally fell off.)

I can't believe it's already July 1st.  I had such hopes for the year and it's already half over.  On the bright side, 2021 has been kinda sucky so far, so it's already half over.

I've been using the exercise bike again.  Two days in a row.  Woohoo.  Go me.  I set it up in the spare bedroom, next to the stereo, looking out the window.  So I can listen to music and stare at the yard while I bike.  Fifteen minutes on the bike is roughly 3 miles worth and it burns about 150 calories.  (I know because the bike keeps track of that stuff.  It also does heart rate as long as I keep my hands on the handle bars, touching the metal points.)

I need to make cookies.

Last night, I was all like 'I got chicken out for dinner, how do you want it?' and Hubs made a face.  I guess he's off chicken again.  I sauteed it up, diced it up, and put it on the counter with a bunch of other stuff to make a salad bar.  That was acceptable.  Yay.  He's always been more of a beef dude.  Before we married, he ate a lot of steak.  Hamburgers tonight.  

Speaking of hamburger, I made a pizza night before last and browned ground beef to put on it.  Pretty tasty, if I do say so myself.

My BFF lost her job - long story, but I so want to poke her ex-boss in the eye with a pointy stick - so I've been looking at the want ads for her.  There are a lot of jobs available right now.  Not many that she's probably like, but way more than there ought to be considering how many people are unemployed.  I saw one that I would probably enjoy if I were so inclined - working at a vet clinic in their kennels.  I mentioned it to Hubs and he reminded me of my one foray working in a kennel, a job I thoroughly hated.  I'm older now, but yeah, probably not as much fun as I imagine it would be.

Okay, well, I should probably go do something constructive, although this is my day to not call the office and with it raining, there's not much I'm in the mood to do.  Cookies.  Yeah, I can do that.  Talk at ya later.