Sunday, October 2, 2022

Sunday Update - Week 39

Yay, I remembered!  Not that I have a whole lot to talk about, but hey, it's the thought that counts, right?

I actually wrote something fictional this week.  240 words.  They are totally lame, but they're on a page, so I have that going for me.

I read three books.  And I finally got my reading wrap-up posted yesterday afternoon, so there's that, too. Unfortunately, I started this coming week with a DNF.  Blerg.  Read all about it next Saturday.

We won't talk about weight or activity this week.  I didn't do anything and I came back up a little.  :shrug:

Yesterday, I went to the thrift store and actually bought some overpriced books.  The first hardcopy books I've purchased this whole year.  :jawdrop:  I also bought some more clothes for work.  I found a pair of pants that had never been worn - still had the tags on.  And the tags were from like the '80s, I think.  Totally cool for me, since the '80s are coming back and I loved the '80s anyway.  They fit great at the waist, but I think they were made for a giant.  I'll try to hem them.  We'll see how that works out.  

In baking news, the only thing I baked last week was scalloped potatoes with breaded pork chops.  Total yummers.  In other cooking news, last night I did bacon cheeseburgers that were awesome.  And we ate store-bought cheesecake for dessert.  It was okay.  I do a better cheesecake in my sleep, but who's got the time?  Meh.

So, Hurricane Ian.  We have family in FL, so we were watching the news a lot.  Hubs has a brother in Fort Myers and his mom is north of Tampa.  They're both fine.  MIL was far enough inland that it was a non-event for her, and BIL didn't even get water in his house, so it's all good.  I also have a cousin in Ft. Myers.  Haven't heard about him yet, but no news is good news.  We would've already heard if something bad happened there.  Farther along the hurricane trail, I have a niece with her husband and kids in VA Beach.  I haven't heard about them either, but I assume again that no news is good news.  I'll probably get confirmation of that tomorrow.

I had a pretty good week at work.  Nobody yelled at me in a whiny voice.  Friday afternoon, all hell done broke loose, but it was outside my scope and above my pay-grade.  Since there was nothing I could do and I was at 40 hours, I clocked out and went home.  I mean, I felt really bad about going, but me standing around being supportive (and nothing else), and then getting my ass chewed for working overtime wouldn't have done anyone any good.  I'll hear all about the fubar tomorrow.  And hopefully I did the right thing by leaving.  I'll hear about that, too, I guess.

Other than that, I got nuthin'.  How was y'all's week?




Saturday, October 1, 2022

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 10/1/22

Oops.  I totally forgot to post this earlier.  Sorry about that.  Anyway, at least it's still Saturday.  And to think, this was a week when I actually have more stuff to talk about than usual.  Derp.

 I only got one new ebook this week and I've already read it - Seal Moon.  On the other hand, being late today, I get to tell you that I bought some hardcopy books today at the thrift store.  First time this year.  Yep, I'm as shocked about that as you are.  I picked up 3 fantasy novels (Hogfather, Eragon, and Eldest) and one I thought was SF but turns out to be a compilation of Robert Heinlein's letters - Grumbles from the Grave.  :shrug:  Should still be interesting from a writer standpoint.

Books Read: 

53) Seal Moon by Silver James (9/30/22) - Paranormal Romantic Suspense*- 5 stars.  Not new to me, but recently re-released because the author got her rights back.  She had to remove traces of stuff because it was formerly part of a 'Kindle Worlds' series not her own, and she added some more stuff to make it extra yummy.  Yay. Paid full price: $2.99
Review: I just wrote it and I forgot to copy before submitting, so now I have to wait for Amazon to approve it.  Derp.

52) No One's Safe by CJ Grayson (9/28/22) - Suspense*3 - 5 stars.  Not new to me, but underappreciated.  Paid full price $1.19 
Review: "Brilliant. Full of twists and turns, and I never quite knew who to like, who to hate, or who to trust. I mean, other than Max and Ori. Awesome read."

51) Rescue Moon by Silver James (9/24/22) - Paranormal Romantic Suspense* - 5 stars.  Not new to me, but recently re-released because the author got her rights back.  She had to remove traces of stuff because it was formerly part of a 'Kindle Worlds' series not her own, and she added some more stuff to make it extra yummy.  Yay.  Paid full price $2.99
Review: "This new re-release - revised and expanded - is amazing! I mean, I loved it before, but there so much more to love now. Deeper and stronger, now with more excitement and suspense and all the feels. I love Hawk. I love Dana. Heck, I even loved Lucky. If you read it before, read it again. If you haven't, that's cool because you get all the awesome on your first read. Lucky dogs."

No DNFs.

Currently reading... Not sure what I'll pick up next.  

What was on your reading plate this past week?



Thursday, September 29, 2022

Thursday This n That

 Eh, hair's good enough... don't need to wash it.  So now I have time to write a post.  Yay.

My Skechers arrived.  And they seem to be doing the trick.  

The other day, I wore a white shirt to work the other day and promptly dribbled coffee down the front of myself.

Same day, I was presented with a large box full of new-old stock covered in filth that I need to try and sell.  Luckily, I had gone home and changed my shirt to a black one, because I spent the afternoon washing the gunk off those clamshell packages.  Yay.  A co-worker told me the box had been in storage since before he started working there... ten years ago.  I have one more small box of parts to wash today.  I'm dressing down for it.

I answer the phones all day every day.  One day, a gentleman called twice in the morning, and had called frequently in the intervening days.  At the end of the second call when I asked for his phone number, as I always do, I told him that as often as he called, I'd probably have his number memorized soon.  He called again that afternoon and instead of asking for his phone number, I read it to him off the readout on the phone.  He was shocked and amazed that I'd remembered it.  I let him off the hook by telling him what I had done.  We both laughed.  

Ya gotta find your happy spots where you can.

And with that thought, I'll leave you for the day.   Have a good one, wherever you are.  :hugs:


Monday, September 26, 2022

Monday Update - Week 38

 Yep, I missed the update again on Sunday.  Not that I have a lot to talk about, but I like to keep my toes in the pool, so to speak.  

I didn't do much reading, but I did finish a book.  Yay.

Not much baking either.  Yesterday, I made scalloped potatoes with breaded pork chops.  Super yummy.

Let's not talk about activity.  I'm a bag of loose meat at this point.  However, the bag is still getting smaller.  Weight: 166.8.  I was feeling gross Friday and Saturday, so not much eating occurred.  Is it any wonder that Sunday I was lighter?  :shrug:

Work is still work.  I rolled past my 90 day mark with nary a whisper from anyone about it.  :shrug:  I think I'm doing awesome, all things considered.  Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but with as many things that are chucked at me on any given day, and still maintaining my sanity, I'd say I'm awesome. 

I also did 6 spreadsheets last week.  I rock.

It's nice not to have to work my magic to keep expenses from slopping over our budget every damn month, I'll tell ya that.  If I want to buy steak, I buy steak, dammit.  I mean, we're still staying tight, because one never knows what'll happen with the economy, but now it's a choice, not a necessity.  

Speaking of expenses, I went to Wallyworld yesterday.  Most things are up again.  Suet - 8 bricks - was $6.98, now $9.98. (I didn't buy the 8 pk, they had some singles on sale that brought the price down and then I only bought 5. I still paid almost $5.)  Eggs - 18 ct - was $1.78, now $3.02,  Kraft singles - was $2.98, now $4.98.  Donuts - 6 - was $2.97, now $3.76.  Hershey's miniatures - was $9.98, now $11.98. Frozen chicken tenderloins - was $6.79, now $9.68.  Ice cream - 1.5 gal pail - was 4.88, now 6.24.  I spent over $200 on what used to cost me just over $100.  Bideinflation.  yay.

On a  happier note, I bought myself some new shoes.  Skechers - which my mom swears by and the reviews were great.  I also ordered a new bra.  They should be here today.  They're actually on a truck headed in my direction.  Let's see if they actually arrive.  UPS is coming from a different city than they usually do and if they're using GPS, they're screwed for finding me.

And that's about it.  How was your week?

  



Saturday, September 24, 2022

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 9/24/22

 Not a whole lot going on in my reading world these days, but hey, at least I still have a reading world. Right?

I picked up two new books last week - a fantasy and a paranormal romantic suspense.  I still have a suspense and a paranormal mystery left from the week before, so it's all good.  No new hardcopies.  I really need to hit the thrift stores.

Books Read:

50) The Miser's Dream by John Gaspard (9/18/22) - Mystery*3 - 5 stars.  Not new to me, being a 3rd book and all, but it could use more stars.  Paid $4.99.  
Review: "I loved the first two books in this series and book 3 didn't disappoint. I love the characters, of course, and the premise is always fun. Like the first two, the mystery here was excellent."
Available in audio format.

No DNFs.

Currently reading... that paranormal romantic suspense.  I've read it before, but it was re-released with changes and added material after the author got her rights back.  I can't wait to see all the changes.  So far, so awesome.

What was on your reading list last week?  

Friday, September 23, 2022

2022 - Books Read

Hello!  Welcome to the list of all the books I've read so far this year.  It's in order so the most recent one is at the top.  * means ebook and # means it's both new to me and underappreciated (as in it has less than 50 Goodreads reviews).  Feel free to follow along.

New for this year: When I know it's in audio format, I'll add an exclamation point (!).  Oh, and I never mentioned this before, but if the book is in a series, I don't usually put the series title.  This post would take on behemoth proportions if I did that, too.  Sometimes, I'll put a number indicating where the book is in the series, if it's not the first.  

Oh, and my goal for 2022 is 75 books, same as last year.  Here's hoping I make it this year.

53) Seal Moon by Silver James (9/30/22) - Paranormal Romantic Suspense*
52) No One's Safe by CJ Grayson (9/28/22) - Suspense*3
51) Rescue Moon by Silver James (9/24/22) - Paranormal Romantic Suspense*
50) The Miser's Dream by John Gaspard (9/18/22) - Mystery*3
49) Faytown Calling by E. Nathan Sisk (9/15/22) - UF Noir*3#
48) Shadow Stitcher by Misha Handman (9/5/22) - UF Noir*#
47) Order Bound by E. Nathan Sisk (9/4/22) - UF Noir*2# 
46) Seashells, Spells, and Caramels by Erin Johnson (8/28/22) - Paranormal Mystery*
45) Sorcerer Rising by E. Nathan Sisk (8/26/22) - UF Noir*#
44) Last Train to Nowhere by KC Sivils (8/14/22) - SF Noir*2#
43) Sins of the Fathers by SW Frontz (7/31/22) - Suspense*#
42) Fastening the Grave by LA McBride (7/29/22) - UF*#
41) Tapas, Carrot Cake and a Corpse by Charlotte Denver (7/24/22) - Cozy Mystery*
40) Crossed by Death by ACF Bookens (7/22/22) - Cozy Mystery*
39) The Daemoniac by Kat Ross (7/17/22) - Paranormal Historical Mystery*1
38) Death Warmed Over by Kevin J. Anderson (7/10/22) - Paranormal Noir*
37) Blood Water Falls by TG Reid (7/9/22) - Suspense*2
36) Dead Ringer by Kat Ross (7/3/22) - Paranormal Historical Mystery*5#
35) Murder on a Silver Sea by LouLou Harrington (6/26/22) - Cozy Mystery*3!
34) Murder of Angels by Jack Gatland (6/17/22) - Suspense*2
33) Dead & Buried by TK Eldridge (6/12/22) - Paranormal Suspense*#
32) The Hash Knife Outfit by Zane Grey (6/9/22) - Western#
31) Web of Lies by Sally Rigby (6/3/22) - Suspense*
30) Unlucky Charm by Kimberly Gordon (5/29/22) - UF*
29) Feels Like Home by Evelyn Adams (5/27/22) - Romance*
28) Murder by the Cup by Abigail Lynn Thornton (5/26/22) - Paranormal Mystery*
27) Cry From the Grave by Carolyn Mahoney (4/30/22) - Suspense*
26) Grimstone by Brad Magnarella (4/27/22) - UF*#
25) Letter from the Dead by Jack Gatland (4/24/22) - Suspense*
24) Witchy Reservations by Stephanie Damore (4/22/21) - Paranormal Mystery*
23) Space Murder by NL Haverstock (4/20/22) - SF Mystery*
22) The Golden Gate by Alistair MacLean (4/19/22) - Thriller
21) The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (4/14/22) - Literature*
20) A Brazen Curiosity by Lynn Messina (4/10/22) - Historical Mystery*
19) Magical, Murderous Cupcakes by Skylar Starx (4/6/22) - Paranormal Mystery*#
18) Murder in Cherry Hills by Paige Sleuth (4/5/22) - Cozy Mystery*
17) Rebel Tribe by Ramy Vance / Michael Anderle (3/27/22) - SF*#
16) The Redemption Man by James Carver (3/25/22) - Suspense*#
15) The Breaking Point by Daphne du Maurier (3/21/22) - Suspense/Short stories
14) Song of Shroud and Storm by B.E. Sanderson (3/20/22) - Epic Fantasy*#
13) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (3/12/22) - Literature
12) Dark is the Grave by T.G. Reid (3/7/22) - Suspense*
11) A Spell in the Country by Heide Goody, Iain Grant (3/4/22) - Paranormal Mystery*
10) True Blue Murder by Elise M. Stone (3/2/22) - Cozy Mystery*#
9) Once Upon a Crime by Mona Marple (1/23/22) - Cozy Mystery*
8) Faking It with the Demon by Rhiannon Hartley (1/22/22) - Paranormal Romance*#
7) The Side Hustle by Colin Conway (1/20/22) - Suspense*
6) The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum by Kirsten Weiss (1/18/22) - Cozy Mystery*
5) The Preacher's First Murder by KP Gresham (1/12/22) - Mystery*#
4) Murder in White Lace by Karen Sue Walker (1/11/22) - Mystery*
3) The Light of Western Stars by Zane Grey (1/9/22) - Western!
2) Never Say Duke by Erica Ridley (1/4/22) - Regency Romance*
1) Black's Beach Shuffle by Corey Lynn Fayman (1/2/22) - Noir Crime*#

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Thursday This n That

I woke up way too early.  Like 4:30 early.  Hubs was up before me, so at least there was coffee waiting for me.  Yay.

Last night, after dinner, I got a hankering and made cookies.  Big ass cookies with plenty of chocolate chips.  I took one while it was still hot and slid it into the bottom of a bowl.  Then I covered it with vanilla ice cream.  Then I drizzled caramel sauce and chocolate sauce over the top.  It was awesome.

By the way, I accidentally bought sugar-free chocolate syrup.  It doesn't taste bad, but it's super runny and it freezes weird on my ice cream.  :shrug:  I bought it, I'm going to eat it.

Every once in a while, one of the guys in the office brings in food his lovely girlfriend has made.  It's pretty awesome.  The smoked steak was to die for.  The beef and mushroom thing with loads of gravy was yummers.  (Not as creamy as stroganoff. Could've been bourguignon.  Dunno.  Duncare.)  Yesterday, he wandered through and offered me sushi.  Umm, nope.  It was probably most excellent sushi, but I don't do sushi.  I also don't do spicy, so the chicken enchilada dip was a big no.  Didn't even bother to try it because he said it was a little spicy, and his 'little spicy' probably would've burnt out my o-rings.

I'm down 13 pounds now.  The unfortunate aspect of this is that my clothes are starting to not fit.  I know I know, what gal doesn't like shopping for new clothes, right?  I love new clothes.  What I don't love is the expense of new clothes.  Anyway, I had to order a new bra.  The old ones still fit, but almost not.  I'm back down to a 38D.  Luckily, I had saved one of that size from the before times when I was thinner.  Playtex all the way, baby.  They're the only brand I could order online and be certain it would fit right.  In the back of the closet, I also have a 36D I bought in a weird fit of optimism back when I dropped from 194 to 180.  I'm 168 now and that one is still a long way from fitting.  

Like I said, my clothes are starting to not fit.  It's mostly a pants issue.  All my cool comfy work pants are falling down.  But I'm not quite to the next size down.  (I was an 18... who knew?  When all you wear is sweats and elastic waist bands, it's hard to tell.)  So, the 18s are sliding, but the 16s are still a bit too tight.  So, I'm alternating swimming in pants or strangling in them.  Might have to hit the thrift store this weekend and see what I can find that fits.  When you're losing weight, it doesn't make sense to pay full price for clothes.  

Wild Heart Ranch rescued a coyote.  The poor thing had the mange.  It was horrifying.  They got its skin all cleaned up and on the mend.  Then it was just pitiful.  Poor little bald thing.  Now its fur is starting to grow back and this morning I saw a picture of it where it's covered in all this lovely, golden-brown fuzz.  It still pretty shocking to see, but it's on the road to recovery and release.  Yay.

Okay, that's probably quite enough out of me.  Got anything on your this n that radar today?

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Universal Conspiracy

Strange things have happened to me lately that are starting to make me think the universe is conspiring to make me look like a fool.  Like yesterday...

I was having a fairly good day at work.  I even got a nice quiet end, where I was alone and the phone weren't ringing and I could focus on some stuff.  Then I get a call that there's a delivery headed my way.  The guy gets there, I open the garage door to the delivery area, and he bringing in the pallet worth of stuff.  Easy peasy, right?  

The garage door wouldn't close.  Hit the button, the door moves a fraction of an inch, and moves the fraction back.  Tried it again.  Nothing.  Looked for causes... couldn't find any.  Tried it again.  Nada.

I call the co-worker who lives nearby.  No answer.  I call another co-worker.  He tells me to hold the button down.  I hang up and go try that.  Nope, same thing happens.  Click, move, move back.  I try the first co-worker again.  He answers and gives me a couple more things to try.  I try those.  Nope.  Try the button thing again.  Nope.  

So, there I am with the building wide open and quickly approaching the time when I am supposed to close up and go home.  Now, I wouldn't have minded staying until other people could arrive - they were 40-45 minutes out, but I was told earlier in the day, no overtime.  Okay, so I'm willing to eat a half hour if I have to, but I'd really rather not.

I call the boss.  He's not happy.  There's nothing he can do.  I just wanted him to be aware of the problem and give me the number for his associate who also lives nearby, in hopes that the big D can come and help me fix the door.  I get the number and call the dude.  He arrives.  Yay, I'm not alone in my consternation.  Dude walks around in the bay looking at things and then asks me where the button to close the door is.  I show him and then demonstrate how I held the button down like I was told.

The damn thing slides right down as pretty as you please like there was never a problem to begin with.  Felt like a fool, looked like a moron.  But that's par for the course these days.  On the upside, I had eight minutes to spare before I had to clock out.  Yay.

Anyway, that's just the latest.  A while back, I was closing the office and the alarm panel did something really weird.  Like it always gives 90 seconds to exit and that time it gave 3 minutes, plus it didn't beep or talk like it always does... beep beep beep, exit now... and it shut all the lights off, which it never does.  The next day I tell people about it, in case it's like a new thing, and no one knows what I'm talking about.  That night, when I closed, everything was back to normal like it had never happened.  Derp.

Another time, I had a customer who was totally pissed and read me the riot act, so I took down everything he said and gave it to my supervisor so she could call him back.  I warned her, so she'd be prepared, and the guy was totally not pissed when she called him.  Like only a few minutes later.  Maybe he had a Snickers.  Maybe getting it all out with me took the vinegar out of him.  

Then again, maybe it was the universe, messing with me.  ;o)

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Sunday Update - Week 37

 I woke up tired today, so bear with me.  It doesn't help that last week was a blur.

Writing?  Nope.  Editing?  Nope.  Marketing?  Nope.  I did get an idea this week for a new book.  I wrote it down.  The note says "UF Golem PI".  I know I had more than that, but as the days passed, the rest disappeared from my head.

Someone in France bought the third book in the A Model Curse series.  I've never sold the other two into France, so I hope the reader doesn't get lost.  Maybe I'll get lucky and they'll buy the first two.  

I finished reading that series I was working on.  Well, finished until he comes out with more books.  Whenever that'll be.  It was a good three books.  Being done with them gives me a sad.  I did pick up some new books, though, so it's all good.

Not much going on in the baking realm.  I made granola bars yesterday and I made zucchini bread last Sunday.  Baking bookends for my week.  I probably won't bake anything today, though.  

Last Sunday, Hubs and I walked almost 2 miles.  And that was it for activity.  Weight: 169.6 - which puts me down 12 pounds since I started work almost three months ago.  

Gah, that's right. I'm approaching my 3 month anniversary.  One would think I would have this down by now, and I do for the most part, but they keep adding things to my tasks, so I'm not as settled as I want to be.  Some days I feel like I had everything to do and I did it.  Other days, I feel like I spent 8 hours running in place and, while I was busy all day, I didn't actually accomplish anything.  On the upside, I am never bored at work.  Plus, getting a regular paycheck is all kinds of awesome.  And I never have to clean house.  Hubs does all the chores while I'm at work.  

I'm still doing spreadsheets for the other company.  I have four I need to do today.  Plus, I have the spreadsheets for book sales to do.  (Yes, one sale a month still means I need to update those.)

Speaking of which, I should probably wrap this up and get to work.  Nothing else much happened, so I guess I'll leave it at that.  What went on during your week?

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 9/17/22

Well, howdy there.  

I hadn't picked up any new books in a while, so I went on a little tear last night and actually bought 3 books.  Two were books in series that I've enjoyed previously - I think they're both 'book 3s' - and another was a book that just sounded really interesting - suspense, mystery, paranormal mystery.  Should be fun.

Books Read:

49) Faytown Calling by E. Nathan Sisk (9/15/22) - UF Noir*3# - 5 stars.  Nope, not new to me, but certainly underappreciated, so I added it.  Hey, it's my thing, I can do what I want LOL.  Paid full price for it - $4.99.
Review: "
Chock full of everything I love about fantasy, paranormal, noir, and action/adventure. It even had a little romance thrown in. Woohoo, what a ride. I'll be seriously interested in what Mr. Sisk does with the next book. (And waiting impatiently for that book to be finished - like all his other fans, I'm sure.)"

DNFs:

9/16/22 - cozy mystery - free.  It couldn't decide if it wanted to be past tense or present tense, and it was trying too hard for a folksy quality that just came off as insulting to actual folksy people.

Currently reading...  After I DNF'd that one yesterday, I spent time looking for new books to read.  Nothing came up in yesterday's newsletters, so I hit Amazon.  By the time I found a few books to snag, it was too late to start one of them, so I watched On Patrol: Live instead.

What was on your reading lists last week?

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Sunday Update - Week ??

It was a week.  Don't ask me what the number was.  They all blur together now.  The days blur together, too.  Laying in bed the other morning, I had a devil of a time determining what day it was.  A large part of me was absolutely certain it was Saturday and was all for rolling over to go back to sleep.  But a little voice doubted it greatly, so it started thumbing through activities from the days before until it could present an argument that it was not, in fact, Saturday.  It got some heckling and I think someone threw a tomato, but in the end, I got out of bed and got ready for work.  

I got some reading accomplished.  It was all over the long weekend, but hey, it was something.  And I read a bunch yesterday, but it's a longish book, so I doubt I'll finish it today.  :fingers crossed:

Ack, I have to remember that the last Update was on Tuesday and not repeat myself too much.  Which shouldn't be hard.  Tues-Fri, I worked and didn't do anything else.  

On the activity meter, I did spend about 15 minutes at work sweeping the office.  It desperately needed it.  I also ran around gathering up all the garbages on Friday.  I try to do that every Friday because I hate the thought of garbage sitting in the office over the weekend and I do not want to walk into the office on Monday to stink.  Hasn't happened yet, but I want to avoid it if at all possible.  This week, I'm going to clean the bathrooms at some point.  For off-work activity, Hubs and I are going to take a walk today.  At least that's the plan.  We were going to walk last night after dinner, but we got wrapped up in a movie and then it was dark.  

The movie was The Importance of Being Earnest.  I saw in the theater in 2002, but Hubs hadn't seen it yet.  It's a fun movie and we enjoyed it.  With all the working, quality time with Hubs is at a premium.  I try to make the most of it.

I didn't do any baking last week.  Today, I need to make zucchini bread.  Hubs is out.  

Yesterday, I did the big Wallyworld trip.  We're loaded up for a couple weeks at least.  Yay.  It wasn't a bad trip.  The worst part of it was getting Yertle the Turtle for a cashier.  I got this guy once before, months ago.  One would've hoped he would be fired before now, he'd that bad, but nope.  Still there.  Still just as slow.  I think he might have Asperger's.  Which is like 'hey, whatever', but cashier at a Walmart is probably not the best fit for him.  Soooo, slooooow.  And lacking in the personality necessary to deal with customers.  I will not make the same mistake again.  

Also yesterday... hey, I told you Tues-Fri was all work... I was at the gas station and overheard the poor gal at the cash register trying to help an older biker dude :cough:poser:cough: with directions.  So, I was all like 'where are you trying to get to?', so the dude comes over with his little local marketing book with its tiny map and he's showing me where he wants to go.  I gave him accurate directions.  If he had followed them, he would've gotten where he wanted to go.  I pay for my stuff and walk outside to find him standing next to a pick-up truck with his little book, getting directions from some dude out there.  Whatever, man, I hope you end up in Oklahoma.  Nobody gives great directions like I do.   LOL, maybe the 'head south on this road until you reach the T, take a left' that confused him.  It could've been the 'this road turns into the road you're looking for once you cross the border into Arkansas and then it turns into this other road if you take a right' - but that's on the state of AR not me.  Dude?  Buy a map that's bigger than a postcard.

And I think that's it for me.  I hope you all had awesome weeks and that the week ahead brings you wonderful things.



Saturday, September 10, 2022

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 9/10/22

Hey, All.  I didn't read a whole throughout the week, but I did get two books finished over the holiday weekend. Yay.

No new books of any kind acquired.  I need to rectify that this weekend.

Books Read: 

48) Shadow Stitcher by Misha Handman (9/5/22) - UF Noir*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Free off the Book Barbarian newsletter.
Review: "Interesting characters, a fun mystery, solid storytelling. Of course, it was a little sad seeing what had become of one of my favorite places in childhood, but I got over it. Using the backdrop of a beloved children's tale to create a fantasy noir novel was brilliant. The author did an amazing job weaving the stories together."

47) Order Bound by E. Nathan Sisk (9/4/22) - UF Noir*2# - 5 stars.  Not necessarily new to me, since it's a book 2, but it's definitely underappreciated.  Paid full price for this one after reading the first book - $4.99.
Review: "What a ride! A most excellent sequel to a most excellent book in a most excellent series. The twist at the end was delectable. A surprise twist to a mystery that I wasn't even aware WAS a mystery. And the sweet carrot dangled in front of Virgil was heartbreaking. Dang, that's some awesome writing there. Good job, Mr. Sisk.

I'm super-excited at the prospect of reading Book 3, but I'm gonna need a day or two to come down off this one. "

No DNFs.

Currently reading... nothing.  It was a week and I didn't have the brain power to reading anything, let alone start something new.  Maybe today.

What was on your reading list last week?

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Thursday This n That

 I found this awesome red shirt at the thrift store.  It's long sleeved with a collar and with buttons up the middle and at the wrists, so it's kind of styled like a men's dress shirt.  But it's made from alternating strips of sheer material and satiny material.  I wore it to work yesterday with a black dressy tank top underneath over black silky dress pants.  I was probably way overdressed for work, but sometimes a girl has to put on her armor and wade in, ya know?  Today it's back to a golf shirt and casual slacks, but it's nice to know I can still rock the dressier garb.

I've lost 11 pounds now.  If this keeps up, I'm going to have to buy new clothes soon.  It also means that the two pairs of pants I bought last month that were a tad too tight will be wearable soon.  

Ooo, and now that it's getting cooler, I can break out my suit coats. I love suit coats.  And they're back in style.  I think.  Maybe.  :shrug:  I don't really care about style.  I wear what I like.  (That's appropriate for work, of course.  Otherwise, I'd be in sweats and t-shirts all day every day.)

I hate cell phones.  I mean, they're handy, of course, but having any kind of actual discussion over the cell waves blows.  Echoes, static, blow back, unnatural pauses, volume issues... Humans don't converse like that.  Give me a landline any day, every day, and all day.  Yeah, they aren't without their issues, too, but as I sit answering phones all day, I can tell the difference between someone calling on a cell and someone calling on a landline, because I am more likely to hear them, understand them, and not have to ask them to repeat themselves so I can take accurate messages.  Do the world a favor and call from a landline if the call is important.

And if you are calling on a cell phone, don't treat the other person like a moron if they have to ask you to repeat yourself.  We're doing the best we can with what we're facing.  The other day I had to ask a guy to repeat his name twice and then asked him to spell it because every time he said it, it was coming back garbled.  L-O-N-G, he says with a laugh.  I laughed, too, and apologized, but I really couldn't understand him.

Yesterday, while I was at work, a chickadee slammed into the picture window.  Poor thing broke its neck and poor Hubs had to deal with it.  I'd handled dozens of birds from that window since we moved here 9 years ago, and it always breaks my heart when I can't save them.  I would've done anything to save Hubs from that.  :sigh:

Hubs just refilled my mug, so I told him "I know you love me, because you bring me coffee."  It's the little things that show love, doncha know.  Or maybe he's just refilling my java because out of self-preservation.  ;o)

And that's it for me today.  What's it for you today?

One last thing to add on... I tried on a bra I'd purchased in a fit of optimism.  It was one size too small.  Now it fits.  That's progress.





Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Tuesday Update?

Okay, so I totally brainfarted out on the Sunday Update and then I was going to do it yesterday, but I forgot.  So here we are.  Stupid holiday weekend.  Don't even get me started on 'Labor Day'.  

I spent a lot of this past weekend reading.  Finished the book I had been reading last week on Sunday.  Made it most of the way through another book yesterday.  Good times.

I baked a lot, too.  Well, on the weekend anyway.  I made cake cookies on Sunday.  Then yesterday, I made biscuits in the morning and homemade pizza in the afternoon.  Something went wonky with the pizza dough.  I used all the right measurements, I swear I did, but the dough was really wet.  I added more flour and more flour and still more flour.  And I probably kneaded the damn stuff for 15 minutes.  (Which I am paying for this morning with ouchie arms.)  In the end, it worked out, though.  I was afraid it would be bland, but I brushed the dough with a butter, garlic salt, Parm mixture and it was yummy.  I did end up with two pizzas out of it.  I did one pepperoni, mushroom, olives and the other pepperoni, ham, mushrooms.  Loads of leftover slices.  Yay.  Lunch and dinner!  

In the realm of activity, Hubs and I took a walk one night after dinner.  Then Saturday, we worked together to clean the car.  We did the windows and vacuumed and scrubbed the dashboard.  Detailing... yeah, that's it.  Anyway, Callie's the newest looking 19 year old car on the road, man.  After we were done, Hubs took her for a spin and got gas for the lawn mower.  Then he spent yesterday mowing the lawn.  Oh, and I lost some more weight.  Weight: 170.2.

Because I had the time, I did some research for work, too.  Saves me from having to do it today, so yay.

The fawns are starting to lose their spots.  :sniffle:  

I saw a frog.  That might not seem noteworthy to you, but it was a big leopard frog and I probably haven't seen one of those since I was a kid.  I spent a lot of kid time playing with leopard frogs.  Sadly, this one did not want to play with me and he hopped away.  We get lots of toads here and the occasional tree frog, but leopard frogs... I knew they were in Missouri, but I'd never seen one here.  Yay.

And that's about it.  Exciting stuff, eh?  How have things been in your world?  Did you have a nice long weekend?  

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 9/3/22

Sorry about these reading wrap-ups becoming slightly less interesting.  Less than for reading, doncha know.  Anyway, here's how the week shaped out...

No new books.  I have four unread ebooks - Paranormal, suspense, cozy mystery, and UF noir.

Books Read:

46) Seashells, Spells, and Caramels by Erin Johnson (8/28/22) - Paranormal Mystery* - 5 stars.  New to me but not underappreciated.  Free off the Book Adrenaline newsletter.
Review: "
This book is loads of amazing! It's got an interesting premise and a unique paranormal world. Plus, the characters were awesome. And the hint of romance was delicious. Oh, and the mystery was fun, too!"
Available in Audio.

No DNFs.  Yay.

Currently reading... the sequel to that urban fantasy noir thing I read last week.  It's all kinds of awesome.  It's like... steampunk and fantasy and paranormal and action/adventure and noir all rolled up.  These are long reads, though, so I won't be surprised if the weekend passes and I'm still not finished.

What have you been reading lately?

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Thursday This n That

As I type this Wednesday night, Hubs is watching Dr. Strangelove.  I don't think I've ever watched it all the way through.  It's definitely a weird one.  

Apropos of nothing...  You know, there have been plenty of times in my life when I have been poor.  Scraping to make ends meet poor, not wondering whether I would have a next meal poor.  (Okay, there was that time in college when I only had enough money to eat something small once a day.  I lived on Little Caesar's breadsticks - when they were 99c a bag and I could make a bag of those things stretch for a few days - and the occasional Hardees 99c breakfast biscuit.  I could eat all week on like $5.  And I went around campus collecting cigarette butts that still had a few puffs left in them because if I had something to smoke, I wasn't as hungry.)  Anyway, as thin as things were from time to time, there were two things I never missed - rent/house payments and car payments.  Those got paid first.  Then the electric bill - cuz Michigan sucks in the winter with no heat, eh.  Then food.  Whatever was left got spread around to other things, like phone, credit cards, etc.  (Needless to say, I didn't have much on credit cards, because they would've been fools to give me credit.)  I had a tiny TV with an antenna that picked up three stations.  If I had splurge money, I might buy a half-gallon of cheap ice cream or a bottle of Boone's Farm.  I don't understand how other people think, but that's how I think.  Tighten your belt.  Pay your bills.  If you don't you're stealing.  

Yeah, that had a basis.  Not one I can discuss here, but it was there.  Life can be rough.  Suck it up, buttercup.  No one needs a smartphone.  Or TV.  You don't need booze or fancy food.  Or fancy clothes.  Hell, I'd say you don't need internet, but these days, life would be harder without it.  Prioritize.  Figure out what your actual needs are and stick to them.  

On a different subject, the young gal at work was totally dressed cute today.  And it was totally '80s.  Which I told her.  She was rocking a cute red blazer.  And I hope she took my words as the compliment I meant.  She seemed pleased.  Anyway, we got talking a little - because neither of us had time to chat - and she's into thrifting like I am.  I showed her my awesome slacks that I got for $4.  I can thrift with the best of them.  LOL, I have a lot of practice.

I just got an email from LinkedIn telling me I'm on a roll with my career.  I opened it, wondering what the hell they were talking about.  It was filled with suggested people to connect with in the writing world.  Yeah, if that was my career, I sucked at it.  (No, I don't think I sucked at the writing.  Just the career part of it.)  Talk about depressing.  If I had been good at the career part of it, I wouldn't have needed a job.  Duh.

God, I love ice cream.  I had a big, ol' bowl of chocolate ice cream with peanut butter stirred into it and drizzled with dark chocolate syrup.  Yummers.  

And I'm down 10 pounds.  Feel free to hate me.  The secret?  Busy busy at work, don't eat much throughout the day, stress.  I can eat all the ice cream I want now.  Bwa ha ha.  If I throw in some exercise here and there, I'd probably get back to my courtin' Hubs weight.  Only 36 pounds to go.

On that note, I should probably get back to the movie.  Maybe I'll be in time to watch Slim Pickens ride the bomb.  LOL




Sunday, August 28, 2022

Sunday Update - Week 34?

The internet is telling me last week was number 34.  I'm not sure I believe it, but eh, whatever.  Can you believe that August is almost over?  Yeeps.  Not much of note happened this week, but I figured I'd better do an update.  Let's see if I can make your trip here worthwhile with some semi-interesting stuff...  

It's been over two months since I wrote any fiction.  That almost feels like an introduction to a addict support group.  "Hi, my name is BE and it's been over two months since I wrote fiction."  At which point everyone would say 'Hi, BE.'  Except it wasn't an addiction and I didn't need a support group because I was doing it.  I might need a support group for not doing it.  'Writers Not Writing Anonymous' or something.  It kinda feels like I cut off an appendage.  I get phantom pains to write, but when I reach out for the ability, it's not there.

Whoa, that was disturbing.  :shudder:

Anyway, I read a great book this past week.  Visit yesterday's post to see what it was and a link to click.  

Yesterday, I made coffee cake.  It was my usual recipe, but I added applesauce to the batter and then dribbled applesauce over the top.  It turned out pretty damned good, if I do say so myself.  Today, I need to make granola bars because Hubs is out.

Speaking of Hubs, he's been working on my car.  This week, he took it to get the oil changed and he put two new tires on the back.  He also picked up the parts to fix my windshield washer - a new tank and a new pump.  Yesterday, the poor man spent 6 hours putting those suckers in.  In 90+ heat.  And during the test phase, we discovered it wasn't just the tank and the pump... the hose leaks, too.  He'll need to order that and go through the process of taking the front of my car apart again.  For now, duct tape is doing the job and my pump squirts liquid up onto the windshield again.  Yay.  Well, for now, my car will be put back together and driveable so I can get to work tomorrow.

Work is work.  Busy busy.  I'm still liking it for the most part.  There are a couple people I could live without, but I don't deal with them that often, so it's no big deal.  The owner seems like a good guy, and the four I have to deal with every day are good people, too.  The worst part is sitting like 90% of the time.  The 5% I spent standing ain't so good on the body either.  I need more motion in my day.  As soon as the weather cools down, I'm going to try walking on my lunch half-hour.  Fifteen minutes to eat and 15 minutes to walk.  We'll see how it goes.

Meanwhile, to try and ameliorate the ouchies caused by sitting too much, I ordered a gel chair cushion.  It's supposed to be delivered tomorrow.  Keep your fingers crossed.

This week, I discovered I've lost 10 pounds since I started work.  It's gotta be due to the whole not grazing all day thing, since I am definitely not getting any exercise.  Weight: 171.6.  That's the lowest I've been in like over 10 years.  A pound lower than the start of 'rona when I stressed so bad I dropped a bunch of weight.  I gained all that back.  Let's see if I can keep this off.  

Let's see... what else...   The fawns are getting bigger and their spots are starting to fade a bit.  We saw Chester Chipmunk and he looks well.  My gardens are toast.  Everyone in my family is doing well, as far as I know.  

Oh, one last thing...  I went to Wallyworld yesterday.  Lucky for me, I didn't need that much stuff.  And I still paid $48 total.  The price of damn near everything had jumped.  TP was up $2 from the last time I bought it.  $12+ for a 12 pack of Great Value when it was $10+.  Under Trump, the same toilet paper was $6+.  Doubled in under 2 years.  Thanks, Creepy Joe, you rat bastard.  

And that's it.  How was your week?  How's life in general treating you these days?

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 8/27/22

Well hello there.  It's morning.  I woke up tired.  And I forgot to schedule this post, so bear with me.

I got two new books this week.  I didn't mean to get two.  I finished a book last night and went to go buy its sequel. Once clicked that sucker like my ass was on fire and it was water.  And then I noticed I hadn't bought the second book.  I'd clicked the third.  Soooo, I went back and bought the second book, like I had originally planned.  (And no, I'm not returning the 3rd book.  I don't return books.)  Here's hoping these are as awesome as the first one was.  Speaking of which...

Books Read:

45) Sorcerer Rising (Virgil McDane #1) by E. Nathan Sisk (8/26/22) - UF Noir*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Free off the ENT newsletter.  (Last night, when I bought the others, this was only 99c.)
Review: "Now, that was a frickin' awesome read. It was nowhere near what I thought it was going to be when I downloaded it. It defies any attempt to pigeonhole it into a genre. And I loved it. Any preconceptions you might have... this is going to blow them all to tiny bits of dust. Much the way Virgil tackles his ultimate nemesis. Which, by the way, was incredibly satisfying. I miss Tiffany. I wish the best for Sarah. I want Conrad to thrive. Most of all, I want to see Virgil continuing to kick ass through many subsequent novels.

And yeah, it took me a week to read. It's a big book with lots of intricate stuff going on in there, but none of it is a slog. It's action packed and you'll find yourself staying up later than you ought to, sneaking in time to read when you should be doing something else, and still having it take a while to read. It's worth it. Dive on in. Now I have to go slap my money down for the next book."

No DNFs.

Currently reading... Nothing yet.  I won't be diving into book 2 of the above yet.  I don't like to read a series straight through.  I'll cleanse my palate with something else first and go into #2 fresh.

What was on your reading plate last week?

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The Spectacle

Did you hear the one about the optometrist who fell into his lens grinder?  He made a spectacle of himself.

Seriously, though, this is The Writing Spectacle.  But I'm not doing much in the way of writing anymore.  Well, not fiction writing.  I write tons of emails and texts and letters and sundry other work product.  I think my typing speed has increased exponentially.  Fiction, though?  Nada.  

Life itself is a spectacle.  Sit back and watch it sometime.  :cue circus music:   

Work is a spectacle.  It is definitely something to behold.  Setting aside the fact that this is the first time I've worked outside the house in eighteen years (two years less than the gal who has the office next door has been alive, by the way), it's a circus.  Some days I feel like I'm on the tightrope.  Rolling along on my itty-bitty unicycle, juggling chainsaws and tiny balls as I go.  Tiny ball, tiny ball, chainsaw, tiny ball, chainsaw, chainsaw.  Can't drop any of them.  And I can't set any of them down.  I juggle in my sleep these days.  

For the most part, home is quiet.  Until a bit of spectacle gets thrown in and I have a dozen oranges to juggle along with my tiny balls and chainsaws.  For instance: Anyone else caught up in the CenturyLink / Direct TV spectacle?  CenturyLink and Direct TV had an agreement wherein you could have your phone and your satellite bundled.  But then AT&T bought Direct TV and the agreement fell apart.  So they separated the bundles, which separated the billing.  Hubs is trying to sort out the double billing, and has been on the phone for irritating lengths of time, only to have me come home to a slew of emails from Direct TV telling me we're past due and they're going to shut off our satellite if we don't pay 1) what we already paid and 2) don't owe anyway.  I'm ready to tell Direct TV to go pound sand up their collective asses.  Hubs will waste another day trying to get this sorted out.  I feel bad, but I can't handle the oranges right now.

Oh, and in the midst of all this CenturyLink is reinventing itself again.  (It used to be CenturyTel.)  It's becoming Brightstar.  Well, la de dah.  Barf.

Needless to say, I don't have the brain space to write.  Too many of my neurons are devoted to other things these days.  I was thinking that maybe once the work thing reaches a cruising altitude I'll be able to put some words down.  Now I'm thinking there is no cruising altitude.  I'm strapped to a rocket.  

Ah, the spectacle.

Monday, August 22, 2022

No Update?

When there's nothing to update, there's no update.  Basically, my life last week was the same as it was the week before.  I can't think of anything new that happened.  Work, reading, TV, eat, sleep... lather rinse repeat.  And I already talked about the reading.

How are things in your life?

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 8/20/22

 :blink blink:  There I am.  Sorry about last week's wrap-up, or lack thereof.  I totally forgot, but then again, I hadn't read anything either.  Today's not going to be exciting, but at least it's here.

I picked up two books last week - a cozy mystery and an SF mystery.  The SF mystery I read this week - jumping it ahead of books I'd downloaded before it, but it was a book 2 I'd been looking forward to reading, so there ya go.  I still have four ebooks left unread - a paranormal mystery, a paranormal something or other, a cozy mystery and a suspense.  I'm three books behind on my goal.  :shrug:  It is what it is.  When I set the goal, I never dreamed I'd be working full-time again.

Books Read: 

44) Last Train to Nowhere by KC Sivils (8/14/22) - SF Noir*2# - 5 stars.  Not new to me, since it's a book 2, but definitely underappreciated.  I paid for this one during a late-night, 'I can't sleep' bit of retail therapy - $2.99. (I know.. Big Spender, eh?)
Review: "
A dark and deadly story, full of twists and turns, with just enough science to turn this noir hard-boiled crime novel into something really special. My only niggle would be that the writer eschews the use of commas on occasions where a comma is expected. :shrug: The story carried me past all that until I wasn't even noticing the missing commas anymore. Your mileage may vary, but the book is truly worth the read. "

No DNFs.  

Currently reading... well, this book is kind of hard to pinpoint on genre.  So I'm calling it a hard-boiled fantasy noir.  It's pretty damn good so far.  Man, one scene I read last night was gorgeously written.  Deep and dark with imagery so poignant it made the writer in me want to weep that I hadn't thought of it first.  I hope it keeps up being this awesome.

And that's it for me.  What were you reading this week?

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Thursday This n That

 I get these emails from Ancestry letting me know when they found something interesting in one of my trees.  I used to get them and heave a sigh because I didn't have the money.  Now, I have the money, but I have no time.  :heavy sigh:

Speaking of time, we're supposed to be implementing a new thing at the office where we schedule our tasks throughout the day.  It's a fine idea.  We are all exceptionally busy all day and working more efficiently is always a good thing.  Except for when it comes to my job it's probably pissing into the wind.  You see, I am point man on answering the phones.  And they ring A LOT.  And just about every call is critical.  Now, if I was just answering the phones and passing the call along, scheduling my day might be doable, but I'm answering the phones, then a) dealing with the calls myself, b) taking lengthy messages and either sending the info through on chat or in email, c) hunting down people when it's critical... you get the picture.  I will attempt to schedule, though.  Actually, now that I think about it I already do to some extent.  I have to or I'd already be insane.

And my phone is the wonky one at the office.  Woohoo.  They keep saying they'll fix it, but no one has time, so I deal.  Improvise, adapt, and overcome.  Hoorah.

I made the decision when I started working that I wouldn't talk about the specifics of where I work.  It keeps my online life separate from my work life.  That and I already know they researched me online before they hired me, so they could be reading this right now.  :waves:  Besides, I don't necessarily want the people who've been nasty to me on the phone to connect there with here.  (They still could if they tried really hard, but why make it easier?)

We bought a new mattress on Saturday.  I'd like to say I love it.  :shrug:  I'm getting used to it.  

And with that, I'll let you go because it's just about time to get ready for work.  See ya in the funny papers.  ;o)

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Sunday Update - Week 32

 I know I'm late, but hey, it's still Sunday.  Thanks for still stopping by, even though I'm not exactly here much and I'm probably boring as hell.

I still haven't written anything or done anything writerly since I started working.  I know scads of people write and work.  I just haven't figured out that secret yet.  Or rather, I've totally forgotten the secret because when I first started writing, I was working a full time job and I still managed it.  :shrug:

I also didn't read anything last week, hence the lack of a Saturday Reading Wrap-up this week.  Sorry about that.  

Work was busy last week.  I mean, it's always busy, but last week was intense.  And because of that, I hit 40 hours by like 2pm on Friday and they let me go home early, which was nice.  I would've worked 'til closing, but after I got home, I was so glad I didn't.  I didn't realize how tired I was until I walked in the door and put on my comfies.  I could've fallen asleep right then.  I probably should've at least napped then.  If I had, I wouldn't have gone to bed at 8.  Thank goodness for On Patrol reruns.  LOL

Yesterday, Hubs and I got the idea to go buy a new mattress.  My usual store said they had them in stock when I looked online.  When I called?  Nope.  So I called my alternate store - whose online thing said they had them in stock, too, but since the other store's online 'in stock' thing lied, who knew?  They said they had them, but quoted me a totally different price.  Anyway, we decided on taking the road trip and if they didn't have the mattress I wanted, we'd just call it a lovely day for a drive.  Thankfully, they did have the mattress.  We picked it up and then went out to lunch.  

If you know me, you know that's a big deal.  We NEVER go out to eat.  Anyway, we had Chinese.  I had sesame chicken and Hubs got a split platter of cashew chicken and sweet n sour chicken.  Yummers.  Then we had the leftovers for dinner.  Win win.

As for the mattress, it's still expanding.  The instructions said 24-48 hours, so it'll be tomorrow before we get to sleep on it.  Unfortunately, the only place to let it come to fruition is on the bed, so we're sleeping on our old mattress on the floor in the living room.  It's like camping.  I actually got a better night's sleep on the floor than I have in weeks on that old mattress.  Here's hoping the new memory foam thing is as awesome as everyone says it is.  If it is, I'll never buy another pricey-ass mattress again.  The old mattress is a Serta and it started to die years ago.  But who wants to spend that kind of money every three years?  Am I right?

Anyway, that was my exciting week.  Woohoo.  How are things in your world?


Friday, August 12, 2022

Life and Song

 Let me tell ya, for a while there my life was all like:


And I was trying to be all...

Now it's pretty much:


But...


And I have...


How are things in your world?


Sunday, August 7, 2022

Sunday Update - Week 31?

Sorry I'm late.  I don't really have anything to talk about.  It was a week.  It was busy at work and veggie at home.  (More of both in the coming week.)

I read one book and DNF'd several others.  I didn't bake anything.  I didn't do much in the way of activity and I only lost two tenths of a pound.  (Which I probably gained back after yesterday's see-food-eat-it festivities.)  We did just get back from a walk, so that's something.

If you missed it, I finally got my squeaky brakes fixed.  The silence is wonderful.

There's a doe around here with three fawns following her.  Not sure whether she had triplets or adopted some other doe's baby.  One is decidedly bigger than the other two.  We had a mama raccoon stop by this morning with three babies.  (It's not the same raccoon who came by with 4 the other day.  This mama is noticeably smaller.)  Someone ran over a copper head near the house.  :shudder:  Then this morning, we saw a dead Rough Green Snake (I assume it was this and not the smooth, because the smooth kind hasn't been seen in MO in a long time.  I did not touch it to verify my assumption) in the road. Bummer for that one because they aren't venomous and they eat bugs.

Other than that, it's been pretty quiet here.  Keeping my head down and working for the most part.  

How are things in your world?

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 8/6/22

Hello again.  Welcome to the Saturday Reading Wrap-up, where I talk about the readerly things I've done this week and then you can talk about yours, too.

I picked up three new ebooks this week, which was good because after the DNF stream, I was down to only one previously downloaded, unread ebook last night.  The one is a fantasy.  The others are a paranormal mystery,  a paranormal something, and a suspense.  

Books Read:

43) Sins of the Fathers by SW Frontz (7/31/22) - Suspense*# - 3 stars.  New to me with few reviews.  
No review from me either and I don't really think you need to know where I found it.  If you haven't been here before, I don't review books with less than 4 stars.  Most of the time I don't finish a book if I don't think I can give it at least 4 stars.  This one wouldn't even be here, except I did finish it and it counted toward my Goodreads goal, so here it is.

DNFs:

8/5/22 - free - suspense.  I felt like it was going to be pretty good.  The writing was solid and the MC was likable, but it had several plot lines running concurrently, and every time I started to get into one, it would switch to another.  Maybe if they'd stuck with one or even two I could've kept it straight.  :shrug:  I don't have the brain power to juggle that many threads at once right now.

8/4/22 - free - UF.  Eh.  The heroine seemed too stupid to live.  

7/31/22 - free - UF.  First person, present tense - for one thing.  I was soldiering through that when the MC said something I found super insulting and not wishing to encounter further crap, I swiped to the end and closed the book.  Ain't got time for that shit.  Thanks for playing, but EHNT wrong answer.  Next contestant please.

Currently reading... after I DNF'd that suspense last night, I was too tired to start anything else and On Patrol, Live was on.  We'll see what today brings.

What was on your reading list last week?

Friday, August 5, 2022

Thurs... err... Friday This n That

I totally brainfarted yesterday.  As in, I can't believe I missed Thursday and now it's Friday.  :shrug:

Hubs was doing this thing where he'd compare old pictures of various coastal places today versus way back when.  Take the Statue of Liberty, for instance.  Now... Then... count the bricks on the seawall from water level to the top.  Same same.  I did the beaches at Normandy.  Same same.  He found a site that was saying that this was no way to dispute the rising-sea-level' claim because the two pictures probably weren't taken at the same tidal point or some such crap.  My point was and is that we have documented 'experts' saying in the 1970s that certain places would be underwater by now and there is no tangible, objective, visual evidence of the water level even being higher.  Don't believe me, go look for pics yourself.  

Who ya gonna believe?  An expert or your own eyes?  ;o)

You may remember I got my brakes done a while back.  Well, something was hinky with the back set of new brakes.  It started out with a little thump and I took the car back over there and the dude told me it would stop after a while.  Well, it didn't.  It got worse.  I told Hubs, but apparently I didn't tell him hard enough.  Fast forward to Tuesday and Hubs hopped into the passenger seat while I drove us to go vote.  And he was all like WHOA, that's sounds bad.  Umm... yah.  We got home from voting and I went to work.  While I was at work, he called the mechanic and worked it out to bring my car in the next day.  He dropped me off at work and picked me up afterwards.  The damn brakes weren't set right.  The head mechanic apologized profusely.  Now it's fixed and my car doesn't make any untoward noises any longer.  Yay.  And the 6-7 weeks of noise didn't damage my new brakes.  Also yay.

Gas is down to $3.75/gal here.  I saw something on FB saying anyone who was grateful for a slight reduction in gas prices was an idiot because they went up so much that this little drop was nothing.  I beg to differ.  It's like when someone holds your head underwater for a length of time.  When they finally let you take a breath, you're grateful, even though you know they're going to shove your face back in the water again shortly.  And they know it.  

I took a trip down my last Walmart receipt.  It was not a pleasant trip.  The prices are totally jacked.  Take, for instance, vitamins.  Used to pay like $3-something for a small bottle of off-brand mens 50+ multi.  They didn't have any small bottles, so I got the larger one.  $12 and half or so.  And this was NOT four time more pills.  It was two times, so what, the small bottle is like $6-7 now?  Blerg.

I can't think of one thing that's better under this administration.  Seriously.  If you voted for this, slap yourself for me, will ya?

And on that note, that's probably enough out of me.  It's not time to get ready for work yet, but I've flapped my proverbial gums enough this morning.  What's on your this n that radar?  How's life in general?  I feel like we don't get to chat much anymore, so have at it.  



Sunday, July 31, 2022

Sunday Update - Week 30

Another week has passed and Sunday is here again.  

Unfortunately, these days I don't have anything interesting to talk about.  I work, I come home, I veg, I sleep... Lather, rinse repeat.  And since I can't really talk about the particulars of work, that cuts of 40 hrs worth of my awake time out of my Sunday Update.

I did manage to get some reading done.  I finished two books last week and DNF'd two.  I'm most of the way through another book right now and I'll finish it today.  

Baking happened.  Nothing exciting or even different.  I made zucchini bread last Sunday and granola bars yesterday.  

I also hit the Wallyworld yesterday.  I'm in charge of the pop machine at work now, and part of that is acquiring the cans to fill the machine.  So, before I did my own groceries, I did that.  168 cans worth.  What can I say, it's been a while since anyone did this and the machine was out of damn near everything.  My back seat is filled with pop.  Which meant I didn't have room for deer food.  Needless to say, I need to find a better way to do this.  Then I went back in and did my own shopping.  I was a naughty girl and bought stuff we didn't need.  Next month, I need to go back to my usual shopping strategies.  And of course, it was pouring rain, so between the two trips into and out of the store, and the loading of stuff into the car, plus the trips from the car to the house, I was soaked.  

After the rain stopped, Hubs and I went for a walk.  Our first real walk in weeks.  We did a little over a mile and man, can I tell that it's been a while since I walked.  I also took a short walk on my lunch half-hour one day this past week.  Still too hot for such activities.  I was a sweaty mess and I only walked for 8 minutes.  Additionally, on the activity side of things, I was moving boxes of stuff around at the office.  Weight: 175.4

In other news, my bank was robbed in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.  The gals who work there couldn't give me any details, because it's an ongoing investigation, but there were observations I could make on my own.  For instance, the two robbers knocked out the right side of the glass double doors to gain entry.  I'm not really sure what these bastards could've gotten away with - the vault, where my safety deposit box is, is well... a vault.  The bank does have a security system, which alerts the authorities and has cameras, so there's that.  Unfortunately, we are far enough out that the police did not arrive in time to catch the assholes.  

While I was discussing this bit of local news with the gal at the corner store, she told me there are also reports of a camouflage Chevy Blazer in the area making threats to set people's homes on fire and rob them when they escape the flames.  Nice.  I also heard about two other robberies in the area.  One of the people I was talking to said all this crime is because of, you know, drugs.  I think it's because people aren't being taught not to touch what doesn't belong to them, while being taught that they're entitled to shit, and there are no longer any real consequences for bad behavior.  And drugs.  But that's just me.

And now, on to the weather... It's been wet.  I can't complain, though, because we've been hoping for rain for so long that complaining would be hypocritical.  So, yay, rain.  

Nothing much else going on around here.  What's up in your world?


Saturday, July 30, 2022

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 7/30/22

Good morning!

I picked up a bunch of new ebooks this week.  3 urban fantasy, 2 suspense, a romance, a mystery, and a fantasy.  

Books Read: 

42) Fastening the Grave by LA McBride (7/29/22) - UF*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Free off the Freebooksy newsletter.
Review: "Good one here! A different and interesting premise, likable (or hate-able, as the case may be) characters, solid writing. All around an enjoyable book."

41) Tapas, Carrot Cake and a Corpse by Charlotte Denver (7/24/22) - Cozy Mystery* - 4 stars.  New to me but not underappreciated.  Free off the Book Doggy newsletter.
Review: "Cute, little cozy mystery."

DNFs (and here I was thinking I escaped the week with no DNFs):

7/29/22 - free - suspense.  I would've killed the two characters in the opening scenes myself if I could've.  Dragging the reader around with a pair of unlikable people for a couple chapters without introducing the suspense is not a good way to keep this reader reading, lemme tell ya.

7/29/22 - free - romance.  Bleh.  A tried and true premise tortured by godawful writing.

Currently reading... After I finished that good book and then DNF'd two dregs, I gave up and watched On Patrol Live.  I'll try something else today.

What was on your reading list this past week?


Thursday, July 28, 2022

Thursday This n That

Hubs found an auto mechanic that makes house calls.  

Paper towels are becoming scarce again.  

Speaking of paper towels, we have this dispenser at work that pulls sheets through a little hole in the bottom.  I swear you need a degree in physics to load the damn thing.  First, you need to rip the tube out of the center.  Then you need to pull the center towels such that they come out in a line so you can feed them through the little hole, but they don't want to come out in a line, they want to come out in a clump.  Ah, the little annoyances.  

Yesterday was a day of little annoyances.  And that's all I have to say about that.

FB is doing this thing where they're filling up my feed with 'suggested pages' instead of showing me the pages I actually chose to see.  Smart.  Not.

The other day, I saw this post about a police officer who rescued a puppy from some homeless people.  It was thin and had a horrible skin condition that looked like mange.  Poor ugly, little, bald puppy.  He took the puppy home and made it his family's puppy.  It wasn't mange.  It just had a bad flea allergy.  In no time, the puppy's skin is clearing up, the hair is growing again, and it's the happiest puppy ever.  It has its own FB page, so I'm following its progress.  Such a heartwarming thing to see.  They've named it Sir Charlemagne Buckington the Third.  Too fun.

I see a lot of things online about how horrible people are to drop their dogs off at a shelter and how if you get a dog, it's your dog for life.  But sometimes, giving a dog up is the best thing you can do for it.  When I left Michigan, I took both of my dogs to the Humane Society.  I was moving to Florida.  Aside from the fact that I would've had to drive 1000 miles with two big dogs (and my kid) in a little car, and the fact that I would never have been able to find an apartment that allowed two big dogs, I figured the heat would kill those dogs.  They were cold-loving dogs.  One was a malamute mix for petesakes.  Anyway, I did what I thought was right for all parties concerned.  It broke my heart, but I did it.

And now, I don't have any pets.  Not because I don't want a pet or seven, but because it wouldn't be fair to a pet to bring them into my life at this juncture.  Sure, there are tons of pets needing a loving home.  But pets need more than love.  They need loads of attention.  And they require a ton of money - food, toys, vet bills, etc.  If all I have is love to give them, but not the essentials, then maybe it isn't the time to have one.  Even if I know there are tons of them in shelters across the country.  Jus' sayin'.

Although, I keep thinking that a cat would be nice.  Hubs would have someone to keep him company while I'm at work.  I mean, he has the herd of deer, but he can't pet them and they definitely cannot come in the house.  LOL

One last thing... We have frogs hanging out in the front garden.  Frogs.  Leopard frogs.  In this heat and drought.  I was amazed.  You go near the front bed and they're hopping all over the place trying to escape.  So, I put a little flat pan of water out there on the ground for them.  And I filled the bird bath.  I put a rock in the center for perching and because I read that butterflies also enjoy a birdbath, as long as they have something to land on.  

That's me, kind to critters of all varieties.

What's on your mind today?

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Sunday Update - Week 29

We're more than halfway through the year.  Things are looking up on a personal level.  We won't talk about on a world level, k?  I'm just muddling through and trying to live my life here.

I thought about writing yesterday.  That's actually a step forward.  I also tried to come up with a schedule with which I can get some words out without burning myself to a crispy critter.  It may involve writing in the morning. That hasn't worked for me in the past, but hey, this is a new world I'm working in, so maybe there's hope.  

I managed to finish reading two books last week.  Yay.  I'm still behind on my goal, but I'm not dropping further behind, so that's something.  

In baking news, I made cake cookies last Sunday.  Today, I need to make zucchini bread.  

At work, I was relaying what I thought was a funny story about getting home from work and then doing spreadsheets, wherein I attached the wrong file and sent it to the office.  It was posited that perhaps I was stretching myself too thin.  Eh.  I've attached the wrong file when I wasn't doing a day-job, too.  I make mistakes.  In the scheme of things, it wasn't the worst mistake I could've made.  Hell, I could've sent the right file to all the wrong people.  THAT would've been bad.  Yes, I am tired.  It's just a matter of getting used to all of this and acclimating myself to working when I haven't.  :shrug:  I must be getting used to it, or my brain wouldn't be thinking about throwing writing into the mix, too.  I tell you one thing, I probably won't write on the nights I have spreadsheets to do, too.  Hence, the maybe writing in the morning.  

Thankfully, Hubs is doing a most excellent job of taking care of the house, so really all I have to do is cook dinner.  And some nights, he does that, too.  Or we have leftovers or sandwiches.  It's all good, baby.

We had a bit of a scare this week.  Lumpy came into the yard with only one twin.  Fortunately, the next day, she had both of them with her.  I suspect the boy is starting to get more independent and decided he didn't want to follow Mom that day.  Nature can be a bitch, though, so if we lost one, it wouldn't be totally surprising.  Just sad.  

We're starting to see bucks again.  And we're playing the game of 'wonder which one is Sonny'.  For those of you who are new here, Sonny is Lumpy's son from two years ago who hung around with his Mom and his twin sister, Sissy, until last year's rut.  He's out there amongst the bucks somewhere.  I expect he'll be a little bit tamer than the other bucks because his mother and his sister are so much tamer.  They know which human is the food-bringer and what yard to find him in.  So Hubs can basically walk right by them and they follow him down to the feed pans, like big dogs.  They do not get close enough to touch, which is the way we want it, but they let him get closer than any other deer would.  

We have a bitty bunny hanging out here now.  She's about 2/3rd size of an adult rabbit.  And very chill.  Like the deer, she knows where she can get food and water, and remain safe.  Welcome to the menagerie, Bitty Bunny.

It's been so hot here.  And so dry.  Hubs has been watering my gardens so my plants don't die.  I don't expect great things from them this year.  If we can just keep them all alive, maybe next year will be better.  The vegetable plants... well, they're annual, so there won't be a next year for them.  But hey, they're alive, even if they are nowhere near putting forth anything edible.  

Well, that was a long-ass post.  Sorry.  Loads to say, I guess.  Anyway, thanks for reading this far.  Leave a comment, if you're not too tired from reading, and tell me what your week was like.

The hot and the dry are making life hard for the animals.  Which, I suspect, is why the deer have been eating my irises.  They don't usually do that.  Irises are not a food of choice for the deer.  This year?  Munch munch munch.  Like the hard winter where they ate my coral bells (another plant they aren't supposed to eat).  It is what it is.  

Speaking of deer eating things, they have ruinated Elmer the elm.  He's just a stick in the dirt now.  Hubs keeps watering it, but I think it's a lost cause.  :shrug:  We still have Cecil and Cedric cedars, though.  Fingers crossed that when they finally go into the ground, the deer leave them alone.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 7/23/22

 Good morning, Everybody.  I've been busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest, but I did manage to find time to read this week.  

Unfortunately, I'm down to one unread ebook, so I'd better get cracking this weekend or I'll be without new books to read.  The one I have left is a cozy mystery.  Still have loads and loads of hardcopies, but I need to get some more of those, too.

Books Read:

40) Crossed by Death by ACF Bookens (7/22/22) - Cozy Mystery* - 4 stars.  New to me but not underappreciated.  Free off the ENT newsletter.  
Review: "Interesting premise with a slightly different kind of heroine. And I totally didn't figure out whodunnit before the reveal."

39) The Daemoniac by Kat Ross (7/17/22) - Paranormal Historical Mystery*1 - 5 stars.  Not new to me, since I already read the 5th book in this series, and it has plenty of reviews.  Free on Amazon which I discovered after I'd finished the 5th book and went looking for it.
Review: "
Excellent story! I actually read the 5th book in this series first and then went back to the beginning. I'm glad I did. I'm looking forward to reading the others along the way. Definitely worth reading, even if you don't start at the beginning."

No DNFs.

Currently reading... since I finished that cozy mystery not long before bed last night, I didn't have time to start anything else.

What was on your reading radar last week?

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Thursday This n That

Shit, it's Thursday.  Where did the rest of the week go?  Seriously.  I swear it was just Monday.  

Yesterday, I left work at the same time as one of my co-workers.  She got into her car and rolled down all the windows, then yelled to me that it was 114 in her car.  I have manual windows, so I was walking around my car rolling all my windows down at the time.  When I got in, it felt like 130.  And of course, my old car doesn't appreciate it when I run the AC.  Of course.  Callie Cavalier growls at me when I try to run the AC... the bitch.  So, I hopped in and drove.  The air coming in the windows... Well, you know that whoosh of hot you get when you open the oven to check whether the pizza is done in the middle?  That's about what it felt like.  Lucky for me, I only have a 5-7 minute drive.  By the time I got home, my lighter was hot to the touch, as were the metal bits on my purse - both of which were inside with me all day.  Hell, I was hot to the touch.  We won't discuss how hot the steering wheel and gear shift were.  

It's bill-paying day.  Woohoo.  As soon as I get this post finished, I have to go do that.  Then shower.  Then work.

Hey, my new sheets and shorts arrived yesterday.  We have two sets of sheets we rotate.  One of them developed a hole in the fitted sheet, so that's relegated to 'drop cloth' duty.  I ordered a new set to use as the main set and we'll take the older set and use them as backup.  I also developed a hole in the butt of my favorite shorts, so I ordered two new pair.  Hubs is washing everything right now.  Yay.  After this morning's shower, I'll put on a pair of the new shorts and tonight we'll be sleeping on new sheets.  

We have a baby bunny living just off the yard.  Not sure where, but close enough that we're seeing her frequently.  Yay.  

Speaking of babies, the fawns are doing fine in this heat.  Of course, Hubs is refilling the water pans like 3 times a day.  And we do live near a lake.  Still, the water is fresher and cooler here.  

Okay, well, I should probably start me day.  Have a great one!  


Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Library Stories and Reading

Okay, I stole the idea for this post from my friend, Silver.  This started out as a comment I was leaving on her post.  She asked for library stories.  Go read her most excellent post and then come back.  

Okay, so here's my comment:  "I don't have a library story.  Libraries haven't been my thing.  We lived far enough out in the country that Dad driving me into town to visit the library wasn't happening.  I went to the school library where we could check out one book a week, as long as we turned in the book from the week before.  Mostly, I read the same books over and over.  Or I read the few books I had at home over and over - Robin Hood and King Arthur were my favorites.  When I got old enough, I started reading Mom's books.  She belonged to that Harlequin subscription service where books would show up in the mail.  And the garage sale finds when Dad would bring home boxes of assorted books for Mom.  I read a lot of things I probably shouldn't have from those boxes, lemme tell ya.  Then there was the year or two when my oldest brother lived next door and he'd let me borrow as many of his books as I wanted, and he had tons of books.  I think it was high school before I started visiting the library regularly.  I'd check out as many as they'd let me and tear through them all.  Fantasy and SF mostly.  And that was the first, last, and only time I was a regular library visitor.  Weird for a writer to say that, I know, but it's true."

And here's what I could've added, but my comment was already too long for someone else's blog...

The truth is that I haven't stepped foot in a library in years.  And that was to talk to the librarian about carrying my books.  I donated a few and never saw them on the shelves, so I stopped.  Oh, wait, I went in one other time to attend their book sale.  I picked up quite a few.

Oh, I did try to get a library card here.  I had the idea that I would regularly check out books there.  The problem was that in order to get a library card here, I had to present not only my driver's license, but also a utility bill.  No, my checks wouldn't be enough to prove I was a resident.  Not my voter registration card either.  Had to be a utility bill.  And I don't carry those around in my purse.  I could never remember to take a bill with me when I was going to town, so I gave up on getting a library card.  

If I want to read a book, I buy it.  If I don't have the money to buy the book I want, I go without.  And I read a lot of free ebooks.  Or I buy books at the thrift store.  I also have a shit-ton of books here in the house that I can read.  

The last time I was in the library, and the years before when I went to the library regularly with Owl, I noticed that the library wasn't so much about books anymore.  They were internet cafes without the coffee.  Or daycare centers where a person could drop their kids off for free for the day and someone else would entertain them.  When I was a kid, libraries were for quiet, peaceful reading.  Maybe some research, which was also quiet.  The last thing I want when I'm reading or trying to find something to read is a bunch of kids running around.  Or people playing video games in the background.  

To me, a library is sacrosanct.  Like a temple to knowledge.  A place for quiet introspection and learning.  Filled with the smell of books, not the smell of sweaty rugrats.  

Anyway, it kind of turned me off of visiting the library.  And now, here anyway, the library is always asking for money.  So they can build a bigger location with even more room for computers and 'activities', but never a word about more room for books.  Feh.  

I'll stick to my personal library, thanks.  It's quiet here.  And there are actual books.  I can read them or pet them or just stand around smelling them.  

What about you?  What's your library story?  


Monday, July 18, 2022

Sunday Update - A Day Late and a Brain Cell Short

I totally derped out over the day of the week yesterday.  Thus, no Sunday Update on Sunday.  And I'm running slow this morning.  Good thing I don't have to be to work until 9, eh?  Plenty of time to get all my brain cells rowing in the same direction.  With the help of coffee, of course.  

So, I worked all week.  And I still haven't found the groove of being able to work all day and then write at night.  It's more like 'come home, make dinner, vegetate, sleep'.  And let's not even talk about the weekends.  I'll get there.  Right now, I have to focus my energies where they're needed the most.  Needless to say, nothing happened all week worth talking about.  And I won't talk about work, so there's that.  

On the weekend, I read a lot, watched a boatload of TV, and vegged.  It's too hot to do much of anything else.  My activity level is for shit these days.  Oh, I did get some calories burned at work.  Boxes of stuffs needed moving from here to there.  And then stuffs had to get moved from inside the boxes onto shelves.  So I wasn't a total slug.  But yeah, a whole lot of the rest of the time was sitting.  I lost another pound, though.  Weight: 175.4

I did some baking over the weekend, too.  Saturday, I made what I'm calling 'zucchini bake' wherein I layered sliced zukes with a burger, rice, and tomato soup mixture, covered it all with cheese and threw it in the oven until it was bubbling.  Yesterday, I made cake cookies.  

As near as we can figure, we have 7 fawns this year.  5 plus Lumpy's twins.  Speaking of Lumpy and her twins, I was headed for work the other morning when I came around the first curve and almost ran them over.  It was shady right there and the sun was coming at a slant right into my eyes.  Luckily, I thought I saw movement and stopped.  I did a slow roll forward until I could see and there was Lumpy on the left side of the road.  Suddenly, her twins shot out from the right and ran right in front of my car.  If I hadn't stopped and rolled, I would've hit them both.  I scolded Lumpy as I rolled past.  She's lucky it was me and not one of the speed demons who live around here.  I would've had a serious sad if I'd hit those babies.  

Okay, well, I suppose I should go get a shower before I have to call Michigan and get that part of my day started.  Have a great rest of the week.

How are things going in your world?