Thursday, December 21, 2023

Thursday This n That

I don't have a lot of time this morning, but here I am.

Customer service is a lost art these days.  I was thinking about it this morning and about my customers.  Yes, I reached a point a while back where all these people are mine, and that's important, but we'll circle back to that.  I've been working on a project where I'm building a sort of list of customers, what we do for each one, addresses, email addys, etc.  It's for sales & marketing, but it's something more.  It's given me an opportunity most people don't get.  I have at least SEEN the names of every customer we have, because I typed them into the list.  I didn't generate it using a report function.  I Typed It In.  So when Lorna Doone calls, even if I've never spoken to her or met her, she doesn't have to tell me she's a customer.  I can greet her like I know her.  "Hello, Ms. Doone.  How are you today?"  Good god, I can't remember the last time I was greeted like a person when I called customer service anywhere.  And when I do what I do, I can hear the delight and sometimes shock in the customer's voice that I remembered them or knew them or even just didn't act like they were a number.  It's kind of awesome.  Circling back to that other point, I think reaching a point where the customers are YOURS means you take better care of them.  You want to provide them with better customer service because they're yours.  Jus' sayin'.  

I don't know if I told you this, but when we first got the kittens, we would shut them in the office at night so we could sleep.  Okay, when we FIRST got them... like the first week... they were free range kitties, which is why we started shutting them up at night.  Mama needs her sleep.  Anyway, a few weeks ago, we decided to let them free again.  Those first few nights were not gentle slumbers, but eventually they're getting the idea that we sleep at night and they're settling into bed with us.  Sawyer likes to wake up at 3am and play, but I just scoot him into the office and go back to bed those nights.  For the most part, they're both becoming good cats.  Yay.

Since I starting working again, my typing speed has accelerated.  I'm not sure how fast it is now, but man... whoosh.  Taking notes over the phone really sped the old fingers up.  When/If I start writing again, look out.  LOL

Okay, it's about the time to ponder whether I need a shower, and if I'm gonna take one, then I need to get 'er done.  Some days, I just can't muster the will or the energy to shower.  I'm thinking this'll be a 'wash my hair and call it good' day.  

Well, whatever you decide and whatever your day brings, have a good one.  

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Thursday This n That

Dragged, kicking and screaming, into this decade, I am finally allowing Windows 10 into my home.  I'm kinda forced to, and believe me, I wouldn't be doing it if they* weren't forcing us to.  But nothing seems to be updating for Windows 7 anymore.  Bastards.  You see, Hubs needs a new computer because his laptop is like 13 years old and we're on tenterhooks wondering whether today is the day it's going to die.  We stopped closing it years ago because the monitor/lid hinge was getting to where it was close to popping off the next time we opened it.  Anyway, I hit Newegg and ordered it up last night - 'puter, monitor, keyboard, mouse.  All for under $200.  Yay.  Yeah, they're refurbs, but I've been working on a refurb for 3 years.   Once Hubs' is in and we're sure it works and junk, we'll order me up a new 'puter, too.  Just the machine - I have a monitor, etc.  Maybe afterwards, we'll be able to load stuff faster than the speed of snail.  Freakin' browser with it's 'we won't update your software anymore you dinosaur' messages.

I know you haven't heard from me in a while.  Work takes pretty much all my brain space these days.  I wish I could talk about it, but there are eyes everywhere.  :waves:  

The kittens are 11 months old now.  Sawyer is my chonky boi, but Finn's no itty-bitty kitty himself.  They're the same length stem to stern.  Sawyer's a bit wider and Finn is smidgen taller.  We'll weigh them at a year.  

Sorry, I had to stop there for a while because Hubs wanted to go over the budget.  End of year, trying to figure out where the money went... Weeee.  We're definitely better off this year than we were last year, and last year was way better than the year before.  Hell, we're out of debt now.  Woohoo.  Say what you will about work, it does the trick, eh?

Speaking of which, I should probably stop here and start moving in a general workly direction.  Have a great day wherever you are.  

Peace out.

*The assholes who make computer software.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Sunday Update - Week Helifino

 I really have a tough time writing anything these days... including a blog post.  So, bear with me.

I finally finished a book yesterday.  It was Silver James' latest - Crossfire - and it was AWESOME.  Her best yet and all the others were awesome, so that's saying something.  Yes, it took me like a month to read it, but that's totally on me.  Reading is like writing for me, in the fact that I've been having a tough time doing it.  I lack focus for anything not work related.  Which kinda sucks.

The other day someone gave me a box of books, too.  And I want to read them, but when I will is anyone's guess.  I have only read 17 books this year.  So much for the goal of reading 50, eh?

Okay, so I lied a little.  My lack of focus is not just work.  It's kitties, too.  These boyz take a lot of attention.  I've had to get up twice now just in the space of typing the above.  Sawyer's always into something, and Finn is often along for the ride, but he's also starting to instigate things himself.  There's the third time... And now Sawyer's in the bathroom because he wouldn't leave stuff alone.


Life is pretty boring out here in the back of beyond.  I work, I eat, I sleep, I attend to kitties (if only to give Hubs a break because he's home with them all day).  Not much else going on.

But I'm not dead, so there's that.  

How life treating you these days?

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

A Few Thoughts for a Nothing Morning

I wonder if the person who coined the term 'windbreaker' for that certain style of jackets giggles every time they hear it.  "farter'... hehehe

For some reason, Sawyer is obsessed with feet.  Socks on, socks off, shoes, no shoes.  He must have the feet.  Finn, on the other hand, is obsessed with used tissues. He couldn't care less about new tissues, but blow your nose in it and set it down... haHA.

I got the Boyz a couple of dog toys - a mallard duck and a raccoon.  The duck was the goal, but I bought the raccoon, so they'd each have a toy to play with.  Nope, they just love the duck.  The first time one of them grabbed it by it's neck and ran through the house with it... achievement unlocked.

By the way, the Boyz have been weighed.  At 8 months old, Sawyer is 11.5 pounds and Finn is 9 pounds even.  Sawyer's my chonky boi.

So, I was laying in bed last night not sleeping and thinking about the demise of my writing.  And wouldn't you know it, the answer of 'where the hell do I go with the next book?' hit me like a bolt out of the blue.  Of course, I am up to my ass in alligators, so finding time to write will be difficult, and I may be burned to a crisp if I try to write while doing everything else, but there it is.  

Speaking of busy, the past couple of days, I've been working 8 hours... with a half hour lunch in the middle... then coming home to do spreadsheets.  And finishing at about 8:30p.  Yeah, add writing to that... :snort:

Oh, and then I play with the kittens before going to bed, because I don't want to neglect the babies.  Poor Hubs.

And that's about it.  Time to call the Michigan office before I have to get ready to go to the Missouri office.  Yay.  

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Thursday This n That

Wow.  It's been over a month since I posted.  

A couple days ago, I got back from a trip to Michigan - not a month worth, only a few days.  It was great seeing Mom and the sibs.  We did nothing but sit around, chat, watch TV, order in... like I said, it was great.  Here's me on my vacay...

Yes, I feel the need to curl my toes.

The Boyz are getting big.  Sawyer is a giant among kittens.  He's my chunky boi.  Just kidding.  He's not fat, he's all muscle.  And Finn's no slouch either.  My super-sleek house panthers.

Speaking of Finn, he's been distracting me from writing this post.  He's such a cuddle bug.

It's been super hot and dry here.  I guess while I was gone, the heat let up a bit, but it's come back in full force.  Blerg.

I was screwing around on Etsy last night and I saw a candle that you can buy in various interesting (good but different) scents - including maple bourbon, pumpkin souffle, and Fruity Pebbles.  The store had all sorts of sayings you could get on the glass the candle comes in.  I liked "I'd shank a bitch in the kidney for you." but I'm demented.

Mom watches a lot of those court shows - Couples Court, Paternity Court, People's Court, Judge Judy - so that was watch I watched while I was there.  It was fun.  Man, people have messed up lives.  

I also noted that up in Liberalia (aka Michigan) the commercials inundate people with social justice messages.  No wonder the populace up there is so messed up. It's a blitzkrieg of brainwashing.  Mom's got pretty good armor - I just feel bad that she has to sit through that crap to get to the shows she wants to watch.  

Yesterday, I was back to work.  Eh, it wasn't that bad.  Only like 26 emails and I had picked a slow time of the month to go anyway, so I wouldn't have to come back to a pile of anything vile.  Yay.  I had warned several of my customers I was leaving, so they wouldn't call to talk to me.  =o)

Speaking of work, I should probably start moving in a workerly direction.  Have a great day, everyone, and don't be such a stranger.  ;o)

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Thursday This n That

I don't post very much anymore because I don't really have much to say.  Work, home, kitties.  The occasional trip to Wallyworld.  This is my life now.

Briefly touching on my old life, I signed up for the Smashwords sale next month.  50% off all my books during July.  (Although, if I read it right, any book that's 99c now will be free.  There are a few of those, so go for it.)

Today is my one-year anniversary of going back to work.  I should get my review today.  I think it'll be a good one.  I've hit my goals, my customers love me, and I take on whatever is thrown at me. If not always with grace than at least with style.

The kittens are slowly settling down.  Well, for varying definitions of 'settling down'.  Sawyer decided it was fun to jump down behind the tall dresser.  Unfortunately, once he was back there he couldn't get back out.  The first time, he accidentally fell back there.  The next several were intentional.  So this morning, I moved the dresser flat against the wall so he can't get back there.  We've moved or hidden so many things now.  Our spare room looks like The Room of Requirement.  I half expect to find a diadem in there.

Finn has become my little cuddle-bug.  He's such a good kitty that he sometimes gets less attention because we're constantly having to deal with Sawyer's antics.  Luckily, he's pretty much happy playing by himself.

We have baby turkeys.  Yay.

And fawns. Yay.

Okay, well, that's about all I've got for this morning.  Have an awesome day out there everyone.

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Sunday Update - Week Huh?

Two Sundays in a row... I'm killin' it.

We saw our first fawn of the year today.

We introduced the spray bottle today in an attempt to curb the kittens' worst infractions - chiefly getting into the places where we have electrical cords that could easily zap them into kitty heaven.  After the first squirt, Sawyer now squints his eyes when I bring it out and seems less likely to get into trouble, but the minute our backs are turned, there he is.  He's a bull-headed little cuss.

I bought them a big, fluffy, decorative pillow to play with.  It looks like a muppet or one of those things on the cell phone commercial - no eyes, just blue fur.  Hubs named it the Blue Buffalo. Finn is already trying to kill it.  Sawyer fears it a little.

Work is work.  I'd talk about it more, but I can't.  

I booked my trip to Michigan.  It's been 9 years.  Time flies.  When I had the time, I didn't have the money.  Now I have the money and don't have the time.  Well, I made the time this time.  We can mostly thank Hubs for that.  He started it by going to see his mom and encouraging me to see mine, plus not worrying about the time I'll be taking off work.  These are the first vacation days I've taken since I started there a year ago.  (I had a couple days off due to illness and a couple due to weather, but these are the first days for just relaxation.)

That's right, it's been nearly a year since I started working again.  Whoda thunk it.  

Okay, that's about it for me today.  How are things in your little corner of the world?

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Sunday Update - Actually Sunday For a Change

 Another week went by in a blur.  Let's see what happened...

Well, Hubs got home from a trip.  I try not to say beforehand if or when either of us is going to be away from home because that just makes good sense.  But I can tell you afterwards, so there it is.  He went to visit his mom for her birthday.  Yay.  And he had a nice time, so it's all good.  No, I didn't go and no, taking separate vacations doesn't mean there's anything wrong.  He needed to spend time with his family without me tagging along and it made good financial sense.  Plus, someone had to stay home with the kittens.  I'll go see my mom somewhere along the way.

So, I've taken a couple roadtrips back and forth to the airport - which is like 75-90 minutes away depending on traffic.  It reminded me why I hate the city.  Too much traffic, too many inconsiderate drivers and pedestrians.  

I've seen a couple of deer that look post-pregnant, so the countdown for fawns has begun.

Work is work.  The stress level seems to have reduced, which is good.  I'm enjoying knowing the customers so they feel like people and not a number.  I even had someone call in and comment 'wow, a real person and not a phone tree'.  Yep.  Although, they do get a phone tree if no one picks up before the 4th ring.  I try to make sure the 4th ring never happens, but I'm not a god.  

The kittens are growing like weeds.  And getting into everything still.  Except their growth means they've got the heft to knock over things they couldn't when they were smaller.  The trick is to distract them.  Take all the mischief energy and redirect it.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  Right this minute, I have distracted Sawyer with a jingly ball, so he's running around the house playing a solo game of soccer instead of trying to climb into the paper shredder again.  Okay, in the time it took me to type that, he's back getting into trouble.  :shrug:  Finn is so much less troublesome, but we love them both.  

Jumping back to the stress level... now that the stress is less, I'm gaining weight back.  Not necessarily the happiest of side effects, but I'll live.

Well, that's about it for me.  Time to start whatever passes for a Sunday around here.  Ink Master marathon!  I'm not sure why that show is addictive for me, but it is.  Have a great day whatever you're doing.  :hugs:

Monday, May 29, 2023

Sunday... err... Monday Update

 It's Memorial Day, so you know what that means, right?  It's Monday but it feels like Sunday.  And I'll be screwed up all week as to what day it actually is.  Awesome. :note sarcasm:

Anyway, there hasn't been an update in a while because 1) I keep forgetting and 2) there's really nothing much going on in my life that you don't already know about.  I work, I come home, I wrangle kittens and I watch TV.

I had an interesting (for varying definitions of interesting) thing happen yesterday.  Well, two things really.  First, I got online to find all my saved passwords had disappeared, so I had to re log into everything (after a virus scan, of course).  While I was waiting for the scan to run, I did check my email.  Nothing there.  So, being bored, I decided to clean out my spam folder.  There was an email from an old boyfriend, asking me to properly attribute a photo I had posted to FB as being a photo taken by him.  The photo was from a trip to Yellowstone in 2003* and I have no way of knowing whose hand my camera was in when any of those pics were taken. (And neither does he, by the way.)  Anyway, once I was sure my 'puter wasn't infected with anything, I got on FB and deleted said photo along with any other photo that may have potentially been taken by him.  Problem solved.  I also went back through my blog archives and deleted same.  :shrug:  No skin off my nose to delete them and it was way easier then trying to determine which ones were his and which ones were mine and putting verbiage with each.  Plus, I don't need or want his name splashed all over my social media for all eternity.  

Oh, and the virus scan came up clean, so here's hoping it was just my old computer and the fact that nothing supports my Windows version anymore.  I suppose eventually I will be forced to use the latest Windows version, but I like 7.  It works for me and, like the car I've had for 20 years, I'm comfortable with it.

Let's see... what else... Oh, the deer are super fat-pregnant.  Should be any time now that we'll be seeing fawns.

Other than that, not much going on.  I think I'll go call my mom and then maybe do some gardening.  We'll see.  Have a great day.  

And remember, if only for a moment, why we have this three day weekend and all the freedoms we enjoy.  

* Yes, Mr. Petty decided to claim a photo taken twenty years ago on what was basically a 'family' trip.  :eyeroll:  He must be an extremely sad and lonely old man.  =o(

Friday, May 19, 2023

2023 - Books Read

It's that time again.  If you didn't already know it, I log every book I read throughout the year.  I've beem doing it since 2007. This is that post for 2023.  I start it when I finish the first book of the year and I keep moving it as I go along.  And there are links to all of these posts on the left side, underneath the books I've written.  

* = ebook
# = new to me and underappreciated (which means I haven't read this author before and it has less than 50 reviews on Goodreads)
if there's a number there, it's the book's place in a series (I do this if I remember, but I usually don't)

The book list is newest first, but they're numbered, so you can kinda guess that.  Last year, I had a goal of 75 books and I only got to 72.  This year, I'm going with a 50 book goal (because I'm now working full time.)  Feel free to play along.

Anyway, let's get this party started...

16) In Too Deep by Tracy Alvarez (5/21/23) - Romance*
15) Dead Set by Martin Shannon (5/15/23) - UF*
14) Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow by Dr. Jan Pol / David Fisher (5/11/23) - NF
13) The Shivering Sands by Victoria Holt (4/30/23) - Historical Romantic Suspense
12) The Wrong Victim by Allison Brennan (4/4/23) - Romantic Suspense
11) Cloudy with a Chance of Witchcraft by Mandy M. Roth (3/31/23) - Paranormal Romance*
10) Rainbow in the Mist by Phyllis A. Whitney (3/28/23) - Romantic Suspense
9) Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage by Sontag & Drew (3/24/23) - NF
8) The Road to Paradise Island by Victoria Holt (2/6/23) - Historical Romantic Suspense
7) Delicious and Suspicious by Riley Adams (1/31/23) - Cozy Mystery
6) Three Men Out (Nero Wolfe) by Rex Stout (1/20/23) - Crime
5) Domino by Phyllis A. Whitney (1/17/23) - Romantic Suspense
4) Spinsters in Jeopardy by Ngaio Marsh (1/14/23) - Mystery
3) Kill Shot by Vince Flynn (1/8/23) - Political Thriller
2) What Lies Beneath by Adam Croft (1/2/23) - Suspense*
1) Snowflakes and Sparks by Sophia-Leigh Robbins (1/1/23) - Romance*
0) The Cat Who Came for Christmas by Silver James (1/1/23) - Holiday Paranormal*

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 5/12/23

 Well, it's certainly been a while since I did one of these things.  Frankly, I haven't been reading a lot or doing much with books, so you haven't missed much.  Here's what's gone on since last I posted a Reading Wrap-up.

I picked up 3 books - all hardcovers.  I got a NF, a compilation of HG Wells stories, and a compilation of stories by James Herriott.  I read the NF already.

Books Read: 

14) Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow by Dr. Jan Pol / David Fisher (5/11/23) - NF - 5 stars. New to me but not underappreciated.  I picked this up for $2 at the thrift store.
Review: "I love the show and I loved this book."

13) The Shivering Sands by Victoria Holt (4/30/23) - Historical Romantic Suspense - 4 stars. Not new to me and not underappreciated.  This one I also got for $2 at the thrift store.
Review: "This one was a little hard to get into but it ended up being enthralling. Too bad I don't have as much time to read as I used to, or this wouldn't have taken me so long."

12) The Wrong Victim by Allison Brennan (4/4/23) - Romantic Suspense - 5 stars. Not new to me or underappreciated (although I always feel more people should be reading Allison's books). Another $2 at the thrift store.
Review: "Ms. Brennan nails it again. The story is enthralling. The characters are kick-ass. The layers in this are delicious."

No DNFs... who has the time for that? LOL

Currently reading... Well, now I haven't quite decided that yet.

I don't expect anyone to tell me the books they've read over the past 6 weeks, but feel free to tell me what's been going on in your reading world.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Random Update

First thing in the morning is a bad time to blog.  I have kittens to wrangle and coffee to drink and I have to smoke out in the sun porch now, so I can't exactly sit here while I'm doing it.  Then I have to get ready for work and whoosh, out the door I go.  Nights ain't all that great either.  I get home from work and I'm a totally toad.  Eat dinner, watch a little TV, maybe read a few pages of someone else's words and then I'm off to bed.  Weekends?  Well, there are errands to run and I spend a lot of time decompressing away from the computer.  Cuz like I sit in front of a computer all day long at work.  So it's not like I'm quitting blogging.  I still want to blog.  I just don't have the energy or the brain power to do it as often as I'd like.

And there ya go.

I haven't been reading much.  I haven't been baking at all.  We won't talk about activity.  And I weigh around 160.

They changed the office hours at work a smidgen, so we're not open until 5:30 now.  Which means I get home a half hour earlier M-Th.  Yay.  

Sawyer has this thing where, right after Hubs cleans the litter box, the dang kitten jumps in and then attacks the litter.  Totally ruins the feng shui in there.  Weirdo.  He's also our soccer star.  And he's obsessed with the ceiling fans.  Finn is our quiet boy, except when he talks to himself.  Walking around the house meowing little meows under his breath. He also likes to play in my hair, which occasionally turns into attacking my hair.  Scalp ouchies.  Bummer.

We've been hearing coyotes a lot lately.  Which does not bode well for the fawns should they arrive early.  Hopefully, the 'yotes will move along before the actual fawning begins.

Well, that's about all I've got time for this morning.  I'll try to remember to stop by on Thursday.

Friday, May 5, 2023

Thursday This n That

Hey, look at that... I forgot to post on Sunday.  Well, crap.  I mean, it's not like there's anything going on in my life or anything.  But still...

And hey, look at that... I forgot to post this even though I wrote most of it Thursday morning... So, read this like it's Thursday.  k?

The coyotes were serenading me again last night.  It was, of course, a full moon.  At least it looked pretty full.

The boys are rambunctious this morning.  Devil babies.

I ordered some kitty probiotic stuff.  There's a powder to add to their food and a bag of treats.  We'll see if that helps with the potty issues.  They're fine in every other respect.  They're eating, they're drinking. They have bright eyes and shiny coats.  They are certainly not lacking in the energy department.  So, crossing all of that off the list, it must be an issue with their gut bacteria.  Thus, probiotics.

We're expecting storms later today.  And the sky this morning is red.  Jus' sayin'.

My customers love me.  

I'm reading that book by Dr. Pol - Never turn your back on an angus cow.  Wise words.

And now it's Friday night and I'm too tired to do much of anything but veg in front of the TV.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, April 28, 2023

Thursday This n That

 Yeah, I know it's Friday, but I was busy yesterday.  It was take the kitties for their wellness vet visit.  They gave us something for Sawyer's sniffles and something else for Finn's intestinal issues, and something for both of them for general health, I guess.  They made it down and back with minimal meowing, no pooping and, most importantly, no puking.  The appointment was super quick and we were home before 10, which was good because I wasn't due in to work until 11.  

The stuff they gave Sawyer for his sniffles went down like a dream.  The stuff they gave Finn for his tummy was a fuckin' nightmare.  And he's my good baby.  I thought his head was gonna start spinning around he was freaking out so bad.  Thanks for that, doc.  And now he doesn't trust me.  Double thanks.  And the stress of the whole ordeal has made his poops worse.  Blerg.  Since the doc assured me it couldn't be parasites, I'm just going to hope he grows out of it.  And I'll probably try my sister's recommendation and start mixing cat food with the kitten food.  

It'll all work itself out.

Speaking of work, it's all starting to smooth itself out as well.

Not smoking at this desk is driving me nuts.  The force of habit is strong.

Speaking of smoking, I do it.  And I'm gonna keep doing it.  Why do people feel the need to make comments on it when they would think it rude to make comments on any other personal habit?  It's verboten to walk by someone eating and tell them that their hamburger is going to kill them.  It's tacky to keep reminding people who drink about what alcohol is doing to their liver.  Or that they could kill someone on their way home.  And you'll never hear someone telling someone else that they're perfume stinks.  But smokers are fair game?  Bah.  And feh.  I'm perfectly respectful about smoking.  I don't do it around people.  I police my butts.  Hell, if I'm smoking outside and someone who isn't smoking is nearby, I try to blow the smoke away from them.  Or I walk away.  

The deer are fat pregnant.  Soon, we'll have fawns.

And on that note, Hubs is up and I should probably go find something else to do for the few minutes I have before I have to get ready for work.  Have a great day, y'all.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Sunday Update - Week ?

 The weeks... they blur together like... things that blur.

Work is work.

The cats are in the middle of a wrestling match ranging all over the office.  Time out for litterbox.

This morning Hubs couldn't believe we've only had the cats for two weeks.  But yeah, it's only been two weeks.  Like I told a co-worker, it's like having toddlers with knives.  I think my two most used verbalizations are 'Be a good boy.' and NO.  They're going to the vet on Thursday for a wellness check.  I should probably trim their claws beforehand.  I mean, they're good kittens, but they are kittens.  

To say I'm distracted would be putting it mildly.  I have work, which takes all my concentration M-F (and some on the weekends because I can't make it stop) and I have the kittens who take all the rest of my brain power.  I thought briefly about writing, but that's about the extent of it.

I'm reading the same book I've been reading for two weeks now.  Every time I open the book and get settled, I have a cat on my lap... sometimes two.  

No baking.

No activity.  Weight 159.2

And they're back to wrestling again.

The birds are singing their brains out.  I love Spring.

The deer are all fat pregnant.  

And I think that's about it for the update.  Have a great week, everyone.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Thursday This n That

 I'm trying to take more pictures of Finn and Sawyer.  They don't make it easy.  They're so damn active a lot of the pics I take have to be tossed because they're blurry.  Anyway, here's a mash up of pics I took of each of them...

Such an attractive pair and so refined.  You'd never know by looking at this that they are devil babies.  But I must say that shutting them in the office at night is making a difference in our sleep.  Sure, we never were champion sleepers, but we were getting even less sleep than we were usually able to glean.  Last night was actually restful.  One in a row... yay!

I got kudos at work yesterday.  They did their weekly meeting (which I am rarely invited to... yay... I'm not a fan of meetings) and I guess they were talking about me because afterward, the boss told me that they were all saying what a good job I'm doing.  Yay.  I try, but I don't always know... ya know?

I'm not spending an awful lot of time online these days.  The boys are giving me ADD (no H... I can never be described as hyperactive.)  I try to focus and then I hear them up on the table, trying to eat my sunglasses and hide my keys, and I'm off.  Then I get back to my chair to find one of them sleeping.  Not sure how they do that.  

Because Half-Pint left the office, I now do the later shift - 9 to 5:30 - for the foreseeable future.  I enjoy having more time in the morning, but not having less time at night.  Derp.

Anyway, the boys are demanding attention, which makes it hard to type this post.  So, I'm going to let you go.  Have a great day, everyone!

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Sunday Update - Week 15

The week is a blur, but I'll try to recreate some of it...

Work, Cats...

That's about it.

Seriously, though...  Work was busy, but good.  We're learning to roll with fewer office staff.  A lean, mean, fighting machine.  Hoo ya.

The cats are filled with boundless energy.  I wish I could harness some of that.  Alas, they aren't sharing it.  And their boundless energy makes me tired.  LOL

I totally forgot to do my Saturday Reading Wrap-up again.  I may just stop doing that.  I didn't finish any books last week.  Right now, I'm on a Victoria Holt.  

Don't even ask about activity.  I did nothing except for cat wrangling.  Last I checked, I was at 160-ish pounds.

I saw a bald eagle yesterday.  That was probably the last one I'll see for the season.  I know, I said that the last time I saw a baldy, but this time I'm probably right.

Last night, to try and regain some sleep, we put the cats in the office with their food and water (the litterbox and their toys are already in here) and shut the door.  They were no worse for wear.  The office is like 600 sq ft and it has plenty of places to sleep/play/wrassle/run like crazy people.  And we got sleep, too.  Yay.

Yesterday, at the Wallyworld, I picked up some seed packets - tomatoes, bell peppers (mixed colors), and basil.  We'll see if I can get any of them to grow and produce yummies.  I'll settle for grow and at least fill  in the bare patches in my gardens.  :shrug:  As long as the basil grows, it'll produce something edible, so there's that.  I don't really have the time to mess with a garden these days, so they'll be on their own.  

And I think that's about it.  Have a great day and I'll yat at you later.  

Friday, April 14, 2023

Thursday This n That

I think my cats may be possessed.  Or they're just kittens.  Which could actually be synonymous.  I was awakened at 1am by one of them nibbling on my fingers and the other one trying to sleep on my face.  Right now, Sawyer is climbing my chair like some kind of Xtreme athlete. That boy's got skillz.  He would also put Pele to shame with the way he handles the ball.  Finn, on the other hand, is an instigator.  The Finnstigator.  He likes to start things up and then complain that he's being picked on.  But I've got his number now.  Last night they were REALLY good little kittens.  Tonight?  Not so much.  

Devil kitties.  Debbil kitties. 

The coyotes are singing to me tonight.  Maybe it's a full moon.  

Friday... Well, whaddya know... I never finished this post yesterday.  I didn't even get online after I got home from work.  Derp.

I was awakened this morning at 3:45 by a kitten nibbling on my fingers and then trying to sleep on my face.  Now they're chasing each other around with wild abandon.

Since I just watched the moon rise, I can now say it's not a full moon.  

There isn't enough coffee on the planet to cope with my lack of sleep.  I need mega coffee.  Or a coffee IV.  Not caffeine pills.  I tried those back in 1988 and NOPE.  Those thing'll kill ya.

I was with a guy back then who would try anything.  Pills, pot, coke, booze... loads of booze... He even dropped acid.  Oddly enough, he was very anti-cigarette. :eyeroll:  I expect he's long dead now.  But he had one of those common names, so I could never find him on an internet search.  Maybe he died before the internet became a thing.  :shrug:

Sawyer has learned to pick his toys up and carry them around.  And he's such a toy hog.  Of course, Finn only wants to play with what Sawyer has.  Boys.  

Okay, I should probably post this and make the rounds.  Have a great day!

Oh, and I just took this... 

Sawyer and Finn after having climbed Mt. Desk Chair.

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Sunday Update - Week Cat

 Well, we did it.  Yesterday, we got a cat.  Okay, we didn't get A cat... we got two - Finn and Sawyer.  

Both boys.  Both right around 14-15 weeks old.  Finn is the all tabby and Sawyer is the tabby-n-white. They're supposedly from different litters because they came in from different sources, but I wonder if they aren't brothers.  Finn was brought in as abandoned on 3/21 and Sawyer was owner surrender on 3/26, so they could conceivably be from the same litter.  :shrug:  They act like brothers and that's all that matters.

Last night was our first night with the boys.  Needless to say we didn't get a whole lot of sleep.  But we got more than I had expected.  The boys curled up between Hubs and I, and slept for most of the night.  The brief interludes where they weren't on the bed, they were chasing each other around the house like madmen.   They didn't wreck anything, so yay.

We are no longer smoking in the house, which makes mornings really hard.  I'm used to sitting here puffing away while I do my online things and drink my coffee.  But we made a commitment to not smoke around the kittens, so there ya go.  (Although, I smoked around Kira when she was a kitten and she lived for almost 18 years.)  We also promised the shelter that we weren't going to smoke in the house and a contract is a contract.

Work is work... now with 50% more busy.

Activity?   Does cat wrangling count?  And I haven't had a chance to weigh myself in a few days, but last weight recorded was like 159.8.

I forgot to do my reading wrap-up yesterday.  Cat brain, doncha know.  I finished two books last week and got back on track.  Whether I'll be able to read with two kittens in the house is anyone's guess.  

On the way from from work on Friday, I saw a coyote.  Yay.

Oh... Happy Easter.  I'd forgotten until just now when I remembered that I'm supposed to call Mom this morning.  Anyway, however you celebrate it, have an awesome day.  I'll be celebrating with my two Easter Kitties.

And that's about it for now.  I'll post more pics along the way.  What's up in your world?

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Thursday This n That

 Ugh, it's Thursday.  How did that happen?  Where did the week go?  

I feel like the underside of a public picnic table.  I woke up at 3 feeling gross, but I made myself go back to sleep.  I woke up at 4:15 feeling grosser.  After several cups of coffee and more than a few cigarettes, I'm feeling a bit better, but meh.  I cannot miss work, so this better go away.

You know how I was really busy at work?  Apparently, I didn't know what busy was.  The office is about to be one short until they hire someone new.  And another short for the next week due to a planned vacation.  For the past week or so, I've been training on some of person A's job in addition to my regular work, so I'm already behind.  Hubs reminded me yesterday that I can only do what I can do and if things fall through the cracks, that's not on me.  I reminded him that I don't work that way (and neither does he, btw).  Not being able to accomplish everything I am given feels like failure.  Even if the reality of it is that I'm being given more work than a single human can accomplish in 8 hours a day.  Or 9 hours a day, if they approved overtime.  Which they didn't.  

The hunt for a cat has stalled.  The cats we expected to hit the website yesterday did not, so they either got adopted right away or the vet didn't clear them to be adopted.  :shrug:  We might try again this weekend, if we call and they say they have more cats not pictured on the site.  

I keep forgetting that Sunday is Easter.  Which means my Saturday shopping trip is probably going to be packed with people.  Blerg.  Now that we don't have kids, Easter isn't really a thing for us.  Oh, we do something special for dinner, but not really any other holiday happenins.  

Two days ago, it was 87F here.  This morning, the heater is kicking on.  Ah, April in the Ozarks.

There was a show about rabbits on PBS last night.  There's this gal in England that raises giant bunnies.  She's got one that, when he stands on his hind legs, is about 4 ft tall.  Now, that's a big bunny.  

Okay, I think that's about it for my this n that.  What do you have in your this n that today?


Sunday, April 2, 2023

Sunday Update - Week 13

 Okay, so... Week 13... 

Busy busy busy at work.  Work, now with 33% more busy.  

The weather here has been interesting, but not bad.  So if you've been seeing things, they are not here.  We got a bunch of rain and wind.  Then we got bunches of sun and wind.  Loads of sticks everywhere, but no real worries.  We went for a drive yesterday and could see where a rather large tree had fallen across the highway.  But it was cleaned up by the time we got there, so no worries.  It must've been a helluva surprise for the first person who arrived  after it fell, though.  Come around a curve and ACK!  I hope they stopped and didn't hit it.  I supposed I'll find out when the newspaper comes out.

Speaking of going for a drive, we went up to look at puddy-tats.  We did not come home with one.  There were some nice enough cats there, but none of them were quite right.  Since Hubs is going to be the one home with it all day, he's leading the hunt.  There was a beautiful, long-haired, black male.  He has diabetes, so no.  After years of dealing with a special needs kitty, we are not willing to go there.  There was a short-haired, chunky boi tabby.  The employee there kept saying that this cat could be kind of a butt.  I did not find that to be the case.  Unfortunately, he was a little older than we want.  The flame-point Siamese mix was super unfriendly.  Bummer.   He would probably get over that in a home environment, but can't take the chance he won't.  This will be our cat for life, no takesy-backsies.  There was a gorgeous calico, but she may have something wrong with her and they won't say when or whether she'll be up for adoption.  She loved me, but again, can't do sick kitty.  They had an actual Abyssinian.  She was gorgeous.  I thought she was a kitten, but she was 3 years old.  Too small.  And after reading up on the breed, not really the cat for us.  They had two actual kittens - one was super loud and the other one... well, I'm not sure why I didn't go for her, but she wasn't right.  We'll know when it's the right one.  We might try the other shelter near (for varying definitions of near) us today.  Otherwise, we'll try again next weekend.  

Ahem... umm... back to regular updates... 

I finished reading a couple books this week and I'm halfway through another.  I've almost caught back up to my goal progress with only one behind now.

No baking.

Not much in the way of activity this week.  I keep saying I need to walk more and then I don't.  Hubs is doing good on his activity, but that's while I'm at work.  Blerg.  No weight check because I haven't stepped on a scale in a while.

We're starting to be able to tell which deer are pregnant.  Yay.  

And that's about it for me.  How are things in your world?

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 4/1/23

Happy April First.  No foolin' here.

It was a good week for reading.  No new books, but it's all good.

Books Read: 

11) Cloudy with a Chance of Witchcraft by Mandy M. Roth (3/31/23) - Paranormal Romance* - 5 stars.  New to me but not underappreciated.  Picked up off the Freebooksy newsletter, so free.
Review: "It took a little bit for me to get into this one, but once I was in, I was in deep. This is a fun romp with a good story, a bit of suspense, and romance to boot."

10) Rainbow in the Mist by Phyllis A. Whitney (3/28/23) - Romantic Suspense - 5 stars. Not new to me, but under 50 reviews, so a little underappreciated.  Picked up from St. Vinny's for $1.
Review: "I think I read this one ages ago, but I didn't remember it very well, so it was like reading it for the first time. It's a little heavier on the supernatural than Whitney's other novels, but still pretty darn good."

No DNFs.

Currently reading... I finished the ebook last night at 9, so off to bed for me.  I'll start something today.  Not sure what yet.

What were you reading last week?  

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Thursday This n That

I'm writing this at a quarter after 11 after having already tried sleeping for two hours and failing miserably.  The hamster wheel in my head is spinning over every mistake I've ever made, and there's a jukebox playing every song I've ever heard.  I got out of bed when it hit Supertramp's Goodbye Stranger.

I couldn't sleep the last two nights either - because I pulled a muscle in back while blow-drying my hair.  You know that muscle behind your shoulder blade?  That's the one.  Well, that's not the problem tonight.  Derp.

My brother had Supertramp's Breakfast in America album.  He's going to be 60 this year.  How the hell did that happen?  

Speaking of which, I'm old enough to be a grandmother.  Not sure how that happened either.  I was at the first Monsters of Rock concert in the Pontiac Silverdome, for petesakes.  I used to headbang and eat anything I wanted!  Now I screw up my back blow-drying my hair and my innards get messed up when I consume too much bread.  Getting old blows. Zero stars, do not recommend.

If you weren't paying attention... like I wasn't... Easter is a week from Sunday.

So, Hubs was talking with a neighbor today.  Apparently, there are druggies using the abandoned farm to do... well, drugs... and they're wandering around through field and forest.  And another neighbor's own big dogs attacked and killer her little dog and bit her when she tried to save it.  Ummm... Yeah.  So, now we must beware of roving addicts and vicious pooches while out and about.  We live like 90 minutes from the nearest city and a half hour from the closest Walmart, but whatever.  The neighbor is a young guy with a wife and a baby, so he's a little worried about them while he's at work.  Hubs told him she could call here day or night if she needs to.  I'm all for it, but it's sad.  We shouldn't have to worry about whether a young mother and her baby will be safe in her own home out here.  

It was super foggy this morning.  On my way to work, I rounded a corner and almost ran over a rabbit.  He just darted right out into the road there.  Lucky for him, his fluffy white tail stood out against the dark ground and I hit the brakes.  Silly wabbit.

Okay, well, I should probably go try to sleep again.  I'll schedule this for an hour and twenty from now, so it'll post at 1 like it always does.  And then I'll drag my butt to out of bed in about 6 hours.  Yay.  I'll definitely need extra coffee in my coffee for this Thursday, lemme tell ya.

What's on your mental plate today?

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Sunday Update - Week 12

Another Sunday morning and here I am...

Work was work, so let's get that out of the way.  My customers love me.  I got some nice kudos. I've made friends with the UPS dude.  (Never underestimate the power of making friends with the guys who deliver the stuff you need.)  I got paid again.  It's all good, baby.  Let's see if anything interesting happened beyond that...

I finally finished the non-fiction I was reading.  Yay.  I'm now into a Phyllis Whitney.  

Yesterday, I ran errands.  No Wallyworld trip this time because I had to head north for other stuff, so I just hit the grocery store up there.  And I was super-excited because a north trip means stopping by one of my favorite thrift stores.  Unfortunately, the dang place was closed for remodeling.  Son of a motherless monkey.  Once that was thrown out the door, I at least got to get these awesome little fruit pies Walmart doesn't carry.  And pistachio ice cream.  Yum.  If I can't get books, I can be happy about food.  Yeah, I lead a simple life.

Amazon still hasn't refunded my money from that instant breakfast tragedy.  I even chatted with a live rep who promised they'd get it to me.  Bastards.  Amazon is pissing me off.

Hubs and I took a walk yesterday.  I'm still only at like 3 miles for the year, though.  I really need to get off my dead ass and get some exercise.  Weight: 160-ish.  And I'm back to eating pretty much normal again.

We have discarded the idea of getting a dog.  It's the rational decision.  Dogs are a lot of work and with me gone all day, all that work would fall on Hubs, which isn't fair.  Now, I'm working on convincing Hubs that getting a kitty now would be awesome.  Cats are easy.  And then he'd have someone to keep him company while I'm at the office.

I saw a bald eagle on the way home from errands yesterday.  She was sitting in a tree near the road leading back in to home.  I say she because it was quite light, but I don't know for certain that's a gender-based thing.  :shrug:  Anyway, she was an adult - white head, doncha know - and she looked healthy.  She's probably the last eagle I'll see until late Fall.

 Other than that, not much going on around here.  How was your week?

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 3/25/23

 I did it!  I finished that damn book!

Ahem, anyway, here's my week in reading... such as it is...

No new books.  I might rectify that today.

Books Read:

9) Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage by Sontag & Drew (3/24/23) - NF - 4 stars.  New to me but not underappreciated.  I picked this up for 50c in October of last year from one of the local thrift stores.
Review: "For the most part, this was a pretty interesting account of submarines in the Cold War. I felt like it dragged at the end a little, though."
For the record, this book took me over a month to read.  Ack.

No DNFs.

Currently reading... I grabbed a Phyllis Whitney to rinse my palate after the long slog of NF.

What did you read this past week?

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Thursday This n That

PSA: Hubs is taking my car to run errands today.  He's a very good driver, but I have control issues when it comes to that car*, so I'll be having a slight nervous breakdown until he picks me up from work tonight.  Please don't make any sudden movements and keep your hands and feet outside the cage until then.

The other day, Hubs was making his morning Malt-o-Meal and I asked him why he was stirring it with a knife.  I mean, he had a spoon right there.  His answer was that he uses the knife to stir it and to cut the fruit he puts onto the cereal, then he uses the spoon to sprinkle sugar on it and to eat it. I figured he probably had a good reason, he always does, but I asked because I love the way that man thinks. Maximum optimization, minimum dishes.  =o)

My wrist thing is acting up again.  :shrug:  If it follows the course it's been following, it'll reach maximum ouch and then suddenly it'll go away and be normal again.  Nope, I will not be seeking medical advice about this.  I don't do doctors.  Once upon a time, one of my sisters had cysts in her wrists.  She'd get them removed and then a while down the road, they'd come back and she'd have to have them removed again.  I'm totally not interested in that.  I'm used to pain and I have enough scars, tyvm.

Besides, I totally hate spending money on stuff that other people can and do screw up.  That's why I cut my own hair.  I got tired of paying people to butcher it.  I can butcher it myself for free.  

I probably need to start getting ready for work.  I am unmotivated, but work doesn't care.  I'll make my lunch, get dressed, and then Hubs will drive me to the office where I will miraculously acquire gumption (coffee helps) and do my job to the best of my abilities.  Go me.

Have a great day, everyone.  And if you feel like it, drop some comments before you leave.  =o)

*Quit laughing. I know have control issues about other things, but the car is the worst one.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Sunday Update - Week 11

 At least I think it's Week 11... it all blurs together after a while.  

Nothing much happened this week.  I worked.  I did errands.  Last weekend's urge to write must've been a fluke.  It didn't happen again.  I'm not stressin'.  I'm grateful for the few I got out.    Yeah, yeah... a real writer doesn't wait for the words to come.  BICHOK* and all that.  

Speaking of writerly work, I let D2D upload my books to Smashwords and something called Palace Marketplace.  We'll see if anyone bites.  Since I had new venues, I got into my spreadsheet and started to add the links to those markets on my Links page.  That's when I discovered something intriguing.  Hoopla has blocked several of my books.  No notice. No reasons. It just says 'blocked' at the bottom of the list of markets and has Hoopla's logo under there. So, if you're on Hoopla and looking for certain books of mine, you're SOL**.  The books not on there are: Blink of an I, the entire SCIU series - Dying Embers, Fertile Ground, and Early Grave, and finally Wish Hits the Fan.  The last one confuses me greatly because it's blocked but none of the other genie books are blocked.  And none of the Model Curse books, which are way more R-rated in terms of swearing.  I haven't contacted D2D or anything.  I'm not sure I really care.  But if Hoopla is going to be that way, I may just pull the rest of my books off of it.  I mean, a venue that distributes to libraries blocking books of any sort seems a little suspect.  :shrug:

In other news, the package I was waiting for from Amazon got destroyed in transit.  And now I'm waiting for 'Zon to give me a refund, which they say they will do when the package gets back to them. Derp.  It was only a new bra and a 22-pack of instant breakfasts, but $27 is $27 and it's mine.  And I don't want to reorder until I have my money back.  I do have to reorder... I can't find chocolate instant breakfasts locally.  WTF?  I bought vanilla, but it's not the same.  As for the bra, I can limp along for a while longer with the ones I have.  Unfortunately, losing weight has necessitated purchasing such things.  

I haven't lost any more weight, btw.  I'm still at 160.2, but things are still getting looser.  So, my two favorite bras, which were tight a year ago and then fit perfectly, are now not fitting quite right and soon will not do the job they were hired for.  This is also happening to my underwear and my pants.  I can get pants at the thrift store, but underthings have to be new.  HAVE TO BE NEW.  (Even if the local thrift store does sell used brassieres.  They may even sell used panties, but I'm afraid to look.  Ew.) 

I haven't done any baking.  Hubs is teaching himself to do my baking while I work.  He made his own granola bars this week.  Go Hubs.  He threatened to make his own zucchini bread.  I may let him.  Then again, I may get a wild hair and make them today.  We'll see. 

Don't ask about reading.  

And I think that's it for the updates this week.  If you have a burning desire to find out about anything else going on with me, ask.  How was your week?

* For the uninitiated Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard.
** Shit outta luck

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 3/18/23

 I know I haven't done one of these in a while.  There's a reason.  I'm still reading the same book I've been reading since the last Reading Wrap-up.  No books finished, nothing DNF'd.  Not exactly an exciting thing to talk about every Saturday.  I had hoped to finish the book this week, but it didn't happen.  I will finish it and then get back to reading more books, but this ain't the day.  

I'm not going to ask what you've read all these weeks.  You can talk about it if you would like, but it's too much to ask.  I will only ask what you read this past week.  Share away.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Thursday This n That

 We have smoke in the air again.  Last I checked, they weren't sure where it was coming from, but it encompasses an area from middle USA across the Gulf to Mexico.  We usually get smoke clouds floating across from California or down from Canada.  WTF?  Is Mexico on fire?  

I found these little packs of imitation crabs legs for a buck a pack.  Crab for lunch.  Yay.

Hubs was reading me a news story about a teacher in Utah who made her students write an essay about how eating bugs was better for the environment because  cows are killing the planet or some such nonsense.  They couldn't write it as an argument against such tripe.  Why does it seem like English class is more often than not a vehicle for indoctrination?  I guess it's the natural choice.  Or as Nathaniel Hawthorne said: "Words -- so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them."

I've had to spend some time on the phone this week with the DMV.  Fun fun, I know.  I bet you wish you could be me right now.  One phone call had me 'waiting for a representative to assist me' for like 20 minutes and when I finally got him, he couldn't help me other than to tell me what I needed to do so he could help me.  I tried doing the stuffs only to find I couldn't do the stuffs.  I called again yesterday to find out what I had to do so I could do the stuffs I couldn't do.  On hold only 5 minutes and the gal who got on the phone told me the stuffs I thought couldn't be done had been done, they had all my paperwork in their computers now, and it's pretty much ready to go.  Nothing left to do but a stop in to pick up the tags and pay for them.  (A thing I do not personally have to do, so yay.)  I could've cried with joy.  I asked the gal for her name and the way she said it would've made one think I was about to yell at her.  Poor thing.  I praised the hell out of that gal for all her help, told her she made my day, and wished her a great rest of the week.  I had been prepared for a long, uphill battle and she made it easy.  I love that gal.  Always take extra time to praise people when they've earned it.  

They have the cutest puppies at the rescue right now.  Puppies!  And kitties, too.  We're still not ready for a pet, though.  

Errands after work tonight.  I was going to leave them all for Saturday when I had the thought to do a couple of them after work, to cut down on my Saturday driving time.  I mean, what kind of hothouse flower am I that I can't run errands after work?  Sheesh.  If I do the north stuff today, I only have to drive south on Saturday.  When I do them both in one day, it's like 30 miles north and then 60 miles south and 30 home again.  Yeah, it's still the same distances, but not all at once.  Yay.

I used to do all sorts of stuff after work.  I got out of the habit.  Now that I'm working again, I need to get back into the swing.  Maybe if I teach myself how to do it all again, I can figure out how to write after work, too.  Hmm....

And on that note, I'll let you get back to your lives.  Have a great day, everyone!

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Sunday Update - Week 10

 Ten weeks in.  Hard to believe, eh?

Okay, so it was a week.  I did my 40 hours of work and not much else, but let's see if I can't turn this into something more interesting.

I wrote words yesterday!  514 of them all in a row.  Actual fiction words!  (Not work words, which I do all the time.)  I'm not sure what this is or whether I'll actually finish it, but I don't care.  I had a thought, I sat down and typed it out then added to it and the next thing I new, I had a whole page (single spaced because who the hell cares).  

Yesterday, I also exercised.  Shocking, I know.  I did 9 minutes on the exercise bike.  1.8 miles worth of pedaling at between 10mph and 13mph.  I know it doesn't sound like a lot, but I probably shouldn't have done even that much, because I am feeling it today.  Blerg.  Weight: 160.2

I usually do Wallyworld on Saturday, but the weather was so gross, I pushed my shopping back to Sunday.  I mean, the stuff falling from the sky was actually splatting.  Like raindrops with slush in them.  Gross.  I'll do the grocery thing later this morning - sore legs or not.  

I'm still reading that submarine book.  I'm about 2/3rds of the way through now.  I mentioned something in it that had happened in the '60s and Hubs remembered it, so I told him the story that wasn't made public back then.  Pretty cool.

Oo, yeah, I also made pinto beans yesterday.  I tried the slow-cooker method using unsoaked beans.  Put the dry beans in the pot, added enough liquid so it was about two inches above the beans, set it to low, and let it cook.  The instructions said 5-6 hours.  Dinner was 9 hours later and the beans were still not done.  11 hours.  They took 11 hours and that was only because I turned the pot on high for the last 3.  I won't be doing this method again.  Soak 'em overnight.  Boil 'em until they're soft and creamy - 45-60 minutes.  Voila.  

I did use beans in last night's dinner.  I took some of the slightly under-cooked beans and threw them into a pan with ground beef and green onions.  They mostly finished cooking that way.  Just a little more texture than beans ought to have.  I served it over rice.  It wasn't the taste sensation I was hoping for, but it wasn't bad.  Ya know, there are shockingly few recipes online for Pinto beans that aren't chili or refried beans.  Such a versatile little bean, you'd think there'd be scads of ways to fix it.  :shrug:  I'll figure something out.  They're cheap and they're chock-full of healthy shit.  

Today, I have to make granola bars.  After groceries because we're out of condensed milk.  

Exciting life I lead, eh?  

Anyway, that's it for me.  Nothing much else going on.  What was your Week 10 like?

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Thursday This n That

Hey, it's still Thursday.  

I actually thought tomorrow was Thursday and I was stopping to set up my post for tomorrow all proud of myself... until I realized that it was already Thursday.  Derp.

Tonight, I was really good and made fish for dinner with a side salad.  About 30 minutes after I ate, I made myself a chicken salad sandwich (on a hot dog bun because that's how I roll, baby) because no way was I going to make it through the night on tilapia and salad.  I am satiated now.  Yay.  On the upside, I don't feel like eating a bowl of ice cream tonight.

I think the eagles have gone, but the exchange is songbirds are arriving and the air is filled with happy.

Another think... I think wrens are building a nest in a work van that hardly anyone ever uses anymore.  I hope it gets driven before the birds lay any eggs.

My neighbor used to leave his mailbox open so he'd know when the mail got delivered.  Wrens decided it would be a perfect place to build a nest and we watched them fly back and forth all day delivering weeds and sticks.  The next day, the neighbor had to clean all that stuff out, which was pretty funny.  Even funnier was that the wrens starting rebuilding almost as soon as his back was turned.  Day after day, they would work on the nest and later, he would take all the material out.  The wrens finally got the hint and left.  The neighbor never did learn to close his mailbox.  One day, a woman moved in with him and she started closing the mailbox. 

I love Amazon.  You can get all sorts of disparate items in one place.  Tonight, I ordered a new bra and a 22-pack of Carnation Instant Breakfast.  I wonder what the person putting that package together is going to think.  ROFL

Carnation Instant Breakfast - chocolate flavored - is perfect in a cup of coffee.  Screw milk.  Dump the packet into the bottom of a large coffee mug and fill it with java.  If you've been here long enough, you may remember it was my beverage of choice years back.  I called it 'Breakfast of Champions'.  I'm going back to drinking it because I don't think I'm getting enough nutrition and by the time lunch rolls around I'm so hungry I could eat my shoes.

By the way, the low-salt diet thing?  Screw that.  I thought I was putting a lot of salt on my food until I actually measured a 1/4 teaspoon of the stuff and dumped it into the palm of my hand.  And thus, I learned that's about how much I put into a pot of water for noodles.  The minuscule amount I shake onto a burger is piddlin'.  And I don't even use straight salt for that.  I use Lowery's which has less sodium than salt anyway.  Piffle.  

I'm hovering around 160 now.  Sometimes a little over, sometimes a little under.  And I'm okay with that.  It's 22 pounds gone since last June.  Hell, it's enough of a weight loss that I needed another new bra, so win-win.

Okay, I think that's enough out of me for one sitting.  What's on your radar today?

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Sunday Update - Week 9

 Well, here we are again.  Thanks for continuing to stop by even though I am quite possibly the most boring person on the internet right now.

Let's see what I did last week...

I did our taxes.  I wasn't going to actually submit them until April, but I wanted to do them to get an idea of how much money we were going to have to scrape together this year.  Turned out it was nowhere near what we feared it would be, so we just went ahead and finished them.  

The low-salt diet thing?  I think I went too far, so I'll be slowly adding sodium back into my diet.  No major issues, just a 'huh, how about that' kind of thing.  It's all good, baby.  For the record, you actually do need about 1500 mg of sodium a day at least.  It was an interesting experiment, though.  I was unaware how much sodium is in everyday things - like breakfast cereal, for instance.  Oh holy night, that's a lot of salt and it seems like there's more salt in the sugary cereal than in the non-sugary stuff.  Blerg.

I didn't do hardly anything in the activity realm this past week.  I did a smidgen of cleaning and junk like that.  Now that the weather is getting warmer, I really need to start walking regularly again.  Anyway, weight: 160.2.  I've lost 21.2 pounds since I started working.  And 4 pounds since the start of the year.  I'm up about a pound and a half since the last time I did my weight, but I think that previous low weight was due to the salt thing.  I'm back to retaining some water.  Which is okay.

At work, I have switched almost entirely to coffee and water.  No more sodas.  Okay, maybe a soda every now and then.  And hey, coffee and water are free.  Yay.

In case you wondered why I didn't do a Reading Wrap-Up again this week, I'm still reading the same book I was reading before.  Nothing to see here, folks.

My hyacinths are getting ready to bloom. The lilac is covered with tiny leaves.  Spring is a comin', folks.

And that's about it for me.  What's up in your world?

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Thursday This n That

I've been screwing around in my moments of spare time, listening to music on YouTube.  I like doing that because I can load specific songs or just click videos along the side of whatever video I've got queued up.  This morning, I was listening to old Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians songs.  I used to have their tape - Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars.  I'd totally forgotten this one: - cool.

Some of this music thing came up because of one of those FB things where they ask you to list your favorites of some specific thing.  This one was 'list 10 songs that make you think of a particular point in time and take you right back there' and you're not supposed to think too hard about it.  I did mine.  I told Hubs about it, so he shared some of his with me and I searched them on YouTube and we listened together.  Anyway, here are mine:
1) September by Earth, Wind, & Fire
2) Yeah Yeah Yeah by Judson Spence
3) You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC
4) The Living Years by Mike and the Mechanics
5) Push it by Salt n Pepa
6) Let's Go Crazy by Prince
7) Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver
8. If You Could Only See by Tonic
9) Chances Are by Johnny Mathis
10) No One is to Blame by Howard Jones
I could've done 20.  Music has always been a central part of my existence.  (Yes, there are a lot of '80s songs in there. What of it?)

Illness is sweeping through the office again.  I will NOT get it this time.  I refuse to.  So there.

The wind storm we had the other night toppled a tree across the road leading out of our neighborhood.  Lucky for me, someone else had to leave for work before I did and they must've had a chainsaw because it was passable when I got to it. And it was gone entirely by the time I came home.  Thank you, whoever you were.

I saw a bunny!  First one of the year.  For some reason, we only see bunnies in the Spring and Summer.  (Not baby bunnies.  There's a reason we only see babies in those seasons. LOL)

Okay, I probably should go get ready for work.  And remember to try and keep a positive attitude today, no matter what shit life throws your way.  =o)

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Sunday Update - Week 8

Eight weeks into the new year.  How 'bout that?  I wouldn't have thought we were past week 5.  The days are just flying by.  Derp.

Things are pretty much the same here.  No writing.  Nothing writerly.  Work.  Home.  Meh.

I didn't finish any books this past week.  I'm still working on that NF about the submarines.  It's pretty interesting, but not a fast read.

I got some activity this week.  I swept the office.  I went for a walk.  I did some minimal lifting.  Weight: 158.8.  

In cooking news, for shits and giggles, I'm trying this new low-sodium thing.  Lord knows, I probably eat way too much sodium as a general rule.  But I do like my snacks.  (Did I tell ya about the nacho cheese pretzels I found? OMG, so yummy.)  So I'm cutting back where I can control the sodium.  Yesterday I made a low-sodium spaghetti sauce.  It's only about 165 mg per serving.  (Yes, that is low.  One freakin' chocolate cupcake from Wallyworld has 310 mg, for pitysakes.)   Anyway, the sauce was okay.  It needed salt.  I added some parm, which helped.  I also made a salt-free vinaigrette which I thought was yummy.   I'm not sure how long the low-salt thing will last, but it's keeping me out of trouble for now.  ;o)

(Before you ask, I didn't mean health trouble.  I meant this is keeping me occupied.)

I was out at the feed store yesterday and they were super busy, so while I waited for my order to be filled, I sat on the loading dock and played with their kitties.  I love the gray one.  She's awesome.  I picked her up and put her on my lap.  She has the softest purr I've heard (or hardly heard) from a cat.  The calico kitty, who's usually standoffish, decided she wanted in on the action and started head-butting me.  So I had both hands going for a while there, petting them both.  Finally, calico had enough and flopped down behind me, pressed up against my back.  Awwww.  KITTIES!

The eagles are still here.  For how much longer, I don't know.  We're still getting a boatload of deer.  Thankfully, things are starting to green up around here, so maybe the deer will start finding alternate food sources.  My daffodils are loaded with leaves.  My hyacinths have buds and are starting to shoot them up.  Looks like all the purple ones survived and none of the pink ones.  Oh, well.  The lilac has leaf buds.  Spring is coming.  Yay.

Other than that, life is pretty bland around here.  How are things in your neck of the woods?

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Thursday This n That

The lack of people who've been properly trained to do their jobs is depressing. (No, that thought does not sprout from my place of employment.  I DO do other things besides work, for petesakes.)

I found someone the other day who was most excellent at his job.  When he was finished, I looked him in the eye and said 'You're a god among men, Floyd."  After spending the morning dealing with incompetents, he was.

With the drop in customer service (especially when you consider how rare it is to encounter a real human being these days), I shouldn't be surprised at the number of customers who are surprised when I recognize them on the phone and treat them as friends.  If I've spoken to you more than a couple of times, chances are I will recognize you.  If you're nice to me and we've chatted, it's like 'old home week' when you call.  Customer service... it's a lost art.

I'm moving kind of slow this morning.  But that's okay, I still have an hour before I have to leave for work.

I've been helping out and feeding the deer more often lately.  They're starting to accept me as 'not scary' and don't even run when I walk down there.  They casually walk back a few paces.  Lumpy is damn near tame.  I want to scratch her ears.  I won't and she won't let me, but I want to.

Okay, I think that's about it.  Not that I have to rush off, but I can't think of anything else worth talking about.  Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, February 20, 2023

Monday Update - Week Whatever

 Sorry I missed both Saturday and Sunday posts, but I had other things on my mind, so here it is on Monday with no books read and no update.  Missing Saturday was no big deal from my end because I didn't finish any books last week, but I do like reading about the books you read.  And I'm sure you like talking about them.  So... :hugs:  I'm sorry.

As for the Sunday update, not much went on last week that I'm at liberty to talk about in the online public forum.  The stuff I'm not at liberty to talk about took up a lot of my time and brain space.  Be assured that it is now over and all is well.  And we'll leave it at that.  

Like I said, I didn't finish any books last week.  I'm still reading that book about submarines and the Cold War, but I'm not making tons of progress.  Maybe this week.

In baking/cooking news, I made a batch of granola bars.  I also roasted a chicken in the crockpot.  And I created a salt-free salad dressing - kind of a red-wine vinaigrette - that I think is pretty yummy, but that Hubs is unimpressed with.  :shrug:

Not much on the activity scale again.  Weight: 160.4.

Work is work.  

The deer are coming in droves.  (How many are there in a drove exactly?  :shrug: With deer, it's about 25.)  All of them are looking healthy, so that's good.  It's too early yet to see any hint of pregnancies, but I know all the does are probably pregnant and that accounts for a majority of the drove.  We might have like 2-3 buck fawns from last year hanging around.  

I'm starting to hear our springtime bird visitors, so that's a good sign winter is almost over.  Yay.  I've had about enough of that crap.  

Other than that, life here is pretty boring.  How are things in your life?

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Sunday Update - Week 6

Another week gone by in a flash.  It seems like just yesterday I was posting a Sunday Update for Week 5.  Derp.  

Once again, not much happened.  Worked a full week.  Good days, bad days... gave myself a good talking to and all is well.  I cannot control the world around me.  I can only control my reactions to it and my actions in it.  Why I have to keep reminding myself of this escapes me.

In reading news, I finally did a wrap-up post yesterday.  Only two Books Read.  Also two DNFs.  :shrug:

I made a pizza yesterday.  Full on, with handmade dough and everything.  My arms are sore today, but it was worth it.  Today, I'm doing a BBQ pork roast.  Yummers.

Making pizza was the only thing even approaching activity last week.  Weight: 161.4.  I can't seem to break the 160 barrier and stay there.  :shrug:  That's fine, really.  If I live out the rest of my life hovering around 160, I'll be happy.  I know my body is happier for dropping those 20 pounds.  I just need to increase my activity level so I'm not one big pile of atrophied muscle.

I saw a raccoon on my way to work on Friday.  He crossed the highway a ways in front of me and was happily walking up the embankment on the other side when I passed him.  Good boy, Rocky.  I see too many of your brethren trying to cross roads and failing.

This cold thing has been a devil to get rid of.  I'm still not at 100%.  Neither is Hubs.  I'm probably at 95% but Hubs has only made it to like 80%.  Of course, I had it first, so he has to catch up.  The last lingering part of it is the cough.  Blerg.  I hope none of you get this.  Talking to Mom up in Michigan, she had it the week before I got mine, so it's not a local thing.  It's not fatal.  It's just a pain in the ass.

Yesterday, I ran errands.  I filled up the car - $3.09 a gallon. Twinge.  Hit the Wallyworld to top off the groceries - $146. Not as bad as I'd feared, but I didn't get that much.  2.25 pounds of 90/10 burger - $11+.  Ouch.  Picked up deer feed.  Whole corn is $11 for a 50 pound bag.  Ouch.  Now that I'm working, it's not hitting us as hard as it would've if I wouldn't, but come on, man. Can we please have Trump back now?

And on that note, I'll let you get back to your regularly scheduled lives.  Have a great day and an awesome week!  :hugs:  Oh, and feel free to tell me about your week.  =o)

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 2/11/23

I forgot to post a wrap-up last week and I didn't finish anything this week, so here goes my two week wrap-up.

I picked up a couple new ebooks.  Both of them duds.  And I got a new cozy mystery paperback, which I loved.  

Books Read:

8) The Road to Paradise Island by Victoria Holt (2/6/23) - Historical Romantic Suspense - 4 stars. Neither new to me nor underappreciated.  I picked this one up for $1 at St. Vinny's.
Review: "All in all, an enjoyable read. Not my favorite Holt novel, though. I would've preferred a whole lot less build up to the actual suspense, even if it did all weave together in the end."

7) Delicious and Suspicious by Riley Adams (1/31/23) - Cozy Mystery - 5 stars.  I'd actually read this one before and I've read others by this author, so not new to me and it has plenty of reviews.  I bought this full price from Amazon - $7.99
Review: "Fun little mystery full of lively characters and plenty of twists."


Let me start out by saying that when I was looking for new ebooks, I made the unfortunate mistake of picking two suspenses that both dealt with crimes against children - although they were DNF'd for different reasons.  I don't necessarily appreciate books where crimes against kids are the focal point, but I thought I'd give them a try anyway.  I hoped that maybe they would be well written and have satisfying endings.  Unfortunately, the writing was bad enough I didn't get a chance to see a satisfying end.  I DNF'd them both inside of ten minutes.

2/9/23 - free - suspense. This one started out in the child victim's head, but the writing didn't reflect the mind of a child.  Blerg.  Little girls do not think like adults.  If you can't portray a child's mind, don't do the POV from inside their heads.  

2/9/23 - free - suspense.  This one was in the POV of the criminal, but he was a walking stereotype. And not even in an interesting way.  Yawn.

Currently reading... a non-fiction book about submarines and the Cold War.

What's been on your reading list?  I don't expect you to go back two weeks, but it you want to, have at it.  =o)

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Thursday This n That

 I snapped off the earpiece on my glasses while I was at work the other morning. Now, I can read without my glasses, but it's a pain in the ass, and it gives me a headache.  I could've run home for a different pair, but I didn't want to use my lunch half-hour for that.  Luckily, I knew one of my co-workers had super glue.  I glued the damn earpiece back together and sat waiting for it to dry.  If you know me, you know I'm short on patience, so after a minute of waiting and the glue still wasn't dry, I took a strip of Kleenex and wrapped it around the sticky part, then taped that.  Black glasses, white band.  Yep, I went full nerd.  And yeah, I got laughed at, but I joined in with it.  (No, I do not see customers very often, so no worries there.)  I now have a different pair of glasses for work but the nerd glasses are sitting here on my desk.  LOL

The other day, I was out behind the office smoking when I heard a distinctive, reedy whistle in the sky that I knew meant cedar waxwings.  I love cedar waxwings.  I glanced around trying to spot them when the flock flew into view.  As it was flying along, some of its members noticed the big cedar tree they were about to pass.  The whole flock hooked a luey and settled into their favorite type of tree.  Not sure if there were any berries left in there for them to eat, but they seemed happy.

When I'm tired or I'm stressed, I have brainfarts. If I'm both, look out world.  Afternoons are the worst.  

I almost typed branfarts up there, with is a radically different thing.  ROFL

Getting old sucks.

I saw a thing on FB this morning that said something like 'singing while dressed up as the devil isn't going to impress your grandpa who was dropping acid while watching Ozzy bite the heads off of live bats 50 years ago'.   I laughed.  And then I realized that, yeah, my generation is now old enough to have grandkids.  I need to scan a photo of me wearing my Guns n Roses t-shirt.  Or one of me drunk off my ass.  I might have one that is both.  Makes me wish I'd gotten the t-shirt at the Monsters of Rock concert in 1988.  It'd be trashed by now, but there would be pics.

And on that note, I probably should head in the direction of getting ready for work.  It's supposed to be gross today, so I'm not dressing up.  Business casual all the way, baby.

Have a great day wherever you are.  Stay safe and stay warm.  :hugs:

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Sunday Update - Week 5

 Another exciting week in the life of B.E. Sanderson.  Just kidding... there's no excitement here.

Monday and Tuesday were snow days.  I made it to work the other three days.  Side roads were crap, but the highway was dry, so once I made it out of here I was good until I had to turn onto the road for the office.  And then reverse that when I left.  I'm a Michigan girl, though, so it's no big deal.

I ran errands yesterday.  Dollar General in the morning and then because of a snafu, Wallyworld in the afternoon.  I did meet a funny dude at the Walmart.  He was chatting with the greeter I like and she invited me into the conversation.  I think he might've been a Vietnam Vet.  He was the right age range.  But he also could've lost his legs some other way.  Dude was hilarious and I thanked him for giving me a chuckle before I walked off to shop.  Later, I saw him in the store and he was flying down the aisle in his wheelchair.  I called him a speed demon and he laughed.  Cool guy.

I forgot to post my reading wrap-up yesterday.  There was only one book on it, so I'll leave it for next weekend.  

On the weight/activity scale, the only activity I got was throwing salt in the parking lot.  Weight: 159.4

The cold from hell is still lingering in the house.  Hubs' cough is still present, although it does sound better this morning.  I bought some better cough syrup and cold pills, which he used as soon as I got home.  All my symptoms are almost gone, but now I have this smidgen of a headache.  Yip-pee.

Oh, the snafu.  I picked up a new phone card for Hubs' Tracfone.  No biggie, right?  Well, it wouldn't upload.  I don't know if all y'all have heard about the 3G sunset - wherein 3G devices will no longer work as of some indeterminate date - but apparently Hubs' phone was 3G and his date had passed.  So I ran down to Wallyworld and got him a new phone.   I attempted to set it up last night, but it wouldn't let me do it online, so today I have to call Tracfone and see if I can get them to get his info from the old phone to the new phone.  I am a dinosaur.

Everything else here is pretty much the same. SOS... SSDD... if you're old enough to remember those.  How are things in your world?

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Thursday This n That

 Mmm, coffee.

It's February. I suppose I ought to change my calendar.  Only a day late, so go me.

Between the weather and the crud, there were only two people at work yesterday - me and another dude.  Nice and quiet, just the way ol' hermit me likes it.  And I get along with the dude, so the few interactions we had were pleasant. Mostly, it was me in my office doing my things and him in his doing his things.

Driving home yesterday was interesting.  When they plowed the highway, they left large piles of ice at the entrances to all the side roads.  And it got just warm enough to make snowcones out of it. So, I had a pile of soft ice to get through to get onto the highway and another to get through to get off the highway.  Lucky for me, I know how to handle shit like that.  And thankfully, the highway was free of other drivers.  A little fish-tailing was involved and I was in the wrong lane for a smidgen there.  We'll see how doing it in reverse works this morning.

Michigander me thinks all of this is piddlin'.  I've driven through way worse.  Of course, it's been 20+ years, but it's like riding a bike.  I don't understand how some people forget how to drive in snow from one winter to the next.  

Hubs with the crud means I've been taking on some of his chores.  Like feeding the deer.  They don't know me, so they freak when they see it's me and not him.  But after a couple days, they aren't running away anymore, so that's good.  I also took over garbage duty.  I rolled the polycart up to the road last night, which was fun since everything is covered in a thick layer of packed ice pellets. Tiny steps.  And hey, I didn't fall.  :knocks on wood:

I made an apple-cranberry crisp this week.  Unfortunately, I had no vanilla ice cream and the roads were too bad for a run to the store.  Lucky for me, I had a bowl of whipped cream in the back of the fridge.  Yum.  You definitely need something creamy to balance the tart of the cranberries.

Okay, I should probably start getting ready for work and junk.  Have a great day, everyone.  

Monday, January 30, 2023

Let's Be Honest

Yesterday morning, when the house was quiet and I was keeping to the office to let Hubs sleep, I cracked open once of my unfinished books and started reading it.  Oh, it had a few first draft type problems, but all in all, it was pretty damn good.  

I had hoped that by reading through it, it would spark some kind of creative spark.  Okay, so I hoped for a bonfire, but I would've settled for a spark.  The only urge I felt, unfortunately, was the urge to edit.  And that wasn't even that strong.  No more of an urge than I get reading work I didn't write.  

It's been about ten months since I published my last book.  It's been over 6 months since I wrote anything creative.  From time to time, thinking about my writing has been a knife in my spleen.  Putting words onto paper had been my joy.  

I was going to say 'my passion', but I couldn't have been that passionate about it, if I gave it up.  I see other writers talking about the passion driving them to write more and be better, and how this has lead them to making enough money to live on (or at least to make their financial lives better).  

I don't think I've ever had that kind of passion about anything.  I love putting words down.  I love people reading those words.  I love having people pay me money for it.  But is it my passion?  :shrug:  Like I said, it couldn't been that passion-provoking, if I could give it up so easily.

Yeah, the choice to get a job instead of write was not the easiest in the world, but in retrospect, it wasn't that damn hard either.  If it was my passion, shouldn't it have been harder to give up?  But let's face facts - the writing was not making any money.  I made like $1350 that first year and every year afterward has been less.  My total sales figure since February of 2015 is just under $4K.  I can't even bear to think about how much money and time I spent to make that pittance.  I'm like $11K in the hole net.

Finally, enough was enough.  Continue to throw good money after bad, while Hubs works himself into an early grave to keep us from going bankrupt?  Or go get a damn job?  See, not that hard a choice after all.

Sure, somewhere in the back of my head, I thought I would work and write.  That was obviously a pipe dream.  My brain isn't wired like that, I guess.  I hit work and my left brain wrestled my right brain to the floor, pushed its face in the dirt, and shouted, "My turn, Bitch!" Shortly after which, ol' right brain crawled into a corner, whimpered for a while, and then slipped into a coma.  

I don't think I could write anything creative now if my life depended on it.  I write loads of stuff at work - mostly emails and letters.  No creativity involved.  Occasionally, I write marketing stuff and maybe put a little flair into that.  But that's rote stuff.  I could burp out marketing copy in my sleep.  Write such that characters come alive?  Not a chance in hell.  I was reading about Aryl and Lyra and the gang, and I know where their supposed to go and what they ought to be doing.  It should've been easy to start typing again, but I can't make the words come.  

Will I ever write again?  I have no clue.  I've never been very good at looking into the future.  For now, all I can say is that I can't write while I work, and I need to work for who knows how long...  Three years?  Five years?  Ten?  In nine years, I can take early social security (if there's any left by then).  Will anyone want to read what I write by then?  Will Aryl and Lyra wait?  Will Duke?  Will the SCIU gang and Dennis Haggarty even be relevant then?  Or will there be something new I can try my hand at, leaving all my unfinished books unfinished forever?  Time will tell.  

I'm such a stubborn cuss, I can't actually admit defeat here.  So, it's not goodbye to my stories.  It's just 'so long for now'.  And I'll still be here at the blog for anyone who still wants to come around.