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.

Friday, March 17, 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...

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 Paranomal*

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.  

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Sunday Update - Week 4

 Fair warning: I don't have a whole lot to talk about today, so this might be boring.

I spent last week laid up for the most part with a head cold.  I'm still not 100% over it.  It's lingering.  And now Hubs has it.   Weee. 

Sick or not, things had to be done, so I ran errands yesterday.  Walmart was Walmart.  I picked up necessities and stuff to combat this cold.  Then I stopped at the feed store and picked up supplies for the critters.  I got home and unloaded the groceries.  Hubs unloaded the feed.  Then we spent the rest of the day laying around.  

A brief thought on Robitussin Honey... not worth the extra money you pay for better tasting cough syrup.  And yeah, that's the only reason I bought it.  I took some last night to try and kick the last of this stuff in the ass.  Now I have medicine head like you wouldn't believe.  I could've gotten the same for about $5 less a bottle. 

If you checked in yesterday, you saw I didn't read much last week.  I got about 138 pages into a book that I DNF'd.  One would think that since I was home and sick, I would've been reading a lot.  Nope.  Wearing glasses was not an option.  They sat on the bridge of my nose, weighing on my sinuses and making me sneeze.  Which was part of the fun during that short span I was at the office.  

Don't even ask about activity.  Bleh.  However, being sick has reduced my weight.  Weight: 160.0.  Yep, lost about 4 pounds in 10 days.  I do not recommend this as a weight loss plan, though.  I expect that I'll go back up again after this.  We'll see.  On a brighter note, I learned yesterday that despite my lack of activity, I can still heft around a 40 pounds bag of birdseed.  Go me.

I worked about 20 hours last week.  Monday, half of Tuesday, and Friday.  Friday was playing catch-up for the days I missed.  And there are still things left undone which are running around in my head like a hamster on crack.

The big snowstorm they predicted last week ended up dumping about 2-4 inches of the white stuff.  So, totally not the 4-8 or 6-12 they'd predicted days earlier.  It was mostly gone by the time I went to work on Friday. Yay.  

My month of Ancestry ended on Wednesday.  I learned a lot this time around - mostly about people closer in the tree.  Cousins and whatnot.  The best part was talking to Mom and hearing her stories about people.  (Might not have been the best part of her... me rattling on endlessly about genealogy.)  I got to hear about the guy who worked as a clown, marketing cookies in the metropolitan Detroit area.  And the great aunt my grandmother hated, who apparently stunk.  And how my grandfather built the addition on the house she grew up in.  (I googled the address, so I could see it, and then we talked about her growing up there.)  Dudes, if you still have older people in your family that you can talk to about this stuff, do it now before it's too late.  I don't have my dad to talk to and I lost all his stories.  Thank goodness, Mom remembers his stuff as well as her own.  Also, thank goodness Mom's memory is still as sharp as a chef's knife.  

Okay, I think that's about it.  Maybe this post wasn't as boring as I thought it would be when I started.  And the medicine head is going away, too.  Yay.  Have a great day everyone.  I need to hit the Dollar General today because, wouldn't you know it, I forgot to buy Kleenex.  Derp.

How was your week?

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 1/27/23

This wasn't the most exciting week in reading.  In fact, I spent most of the week reading a book that I DNF'd yesterday.  

I got one new used paperback last Saturday.  It's a romantic suspense by an author I love.  I got another paperback new from Amazon (which I just discovered I actually read before - derp).  No new ebooks.

Books Read:



1/27/23 - paranormal... horror... I can never tell with Anne Rice.  Okay, so I DNF'd Tales of a Body Thief.  I had read it years ago, but as I was reading it this time, I wasn't quite as impressed as I remembered.  Lestat is whiny.  And by the time I reached page 138 or something, he was approaching too stupid to live.  I suppose when you've got a character who basically can't die and you're tasked with writing another book about him, you have to go somewhere.  :shrug:  I couldn't take it anymore so I closed the book and slipped it back on the shelf.  I'll keep it, but I don't think I'll read it again.  I need to buy The Vampire Lestat and The Queen of the Damned to complete the set and read those again.

Currently reading... a cute little cozy I picked up to round out my last Amazon order.  Apparently, I've read this before, but I don't remember it so whatever. LOL

What was on your reading plate this week?

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Thursday This n That

Well, the big news of the week is this head cold from hell I managed to come down with on Saturday.  All sneezing and some coughing, but no fever.  I worked Monday, but only worked half a day on Tuesday and took all of yesterday off.  You know if I'm taking time off work, it's gotta be bad.  I've blown my nose so much that it and the space between it and my upper lip look like raw meat. I've gone through three boxes of tissue and a roll of toilet paper.  Between coughing and sneezing, I think I've pulled every little muscle in my rib cage.  I slept ten hours last night and I'm weak as a kitten.  I could probably sleep another ten hours.  I just wrote the office that I'm not going in again.  

The other day, I discovered a good channel on Direct TV that I didn't know we had - COZI TV.  It's got reruns of old shows - like Quincy ME, and Emergency! I accidentally scrolled too far up and ended up in the shopping channels, and it was nestled right in there with another good channel that runs old western shows and movies.  Anyway, they'll be running a marathon of Emergency all day Saturday.  Yay.  Ah, nostalgia.  I had a serious little girl crush on Randolph Mantooth.

My soap arrived.  I thought it was 16 bars, but it was only 8.  (I went back and checked.  My fault.)  $22 for 8 bars of soap.  Cringe.  But it's necessary to my existence, so I pay it.  Pre-'rona, this was easy to find on store shelves.  Now?  Nope.  

Okay, that's about as much as I can think of right now.  I'm going back to bed.  Blerg.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Sunday Update - Week 3

 Three weeks into 2023 and I already missed a Sunday Update.  Derp.  This is not an auspicious start for the year.  

Okay, anyway, I ate some things on Monday that did not agree with my stomach and spent part of early Tuesday morning praying to the porcelain god.  But I couldn't just not go to work because there was something very important that I had to do first thing, so I went to work.  Did the thing, made the call... and the dude wasn't answering his phone, so I left a voicemail.  Then I waited to see if dude would call back.  I gave up at 11 and went home.  I spent the rest of the day sleeping and reading, so I was all better when Wednesday came.  Yay.  Unfortunately, that little bout of whatever must've side-swiped my awesome immune system because I woke up yesterday with a scratchy throat which developed into a full blown head cold.  Anti-yay. :shrug: I've had worse, but I am a little bummed that I get to spend my two precious days off blowing my nose.

On the upside, sitting around doing nothing leaves lots of time for reading, so I actually finished 3 books last week.

Despite the cold virus, I made parm-encrusted pork chops last night for dinner.  Yum.  No baking otherwise.

In the weight/activity sphere, I cleaned the office bathrooms and then swept the whole office.  Cleaning is activity, damn it.  I sure felt it the next day.  Weight: 162.6 as of like five minutes ago.

I'm still playing in the family trees.  Mom set me a task yesterday morning, so I spent the afternoon tackling that.  Nor sure if I accomplished anything toward what she wanted me to find out, but I think I have the entire twig filled out, and I can ask if I found the person she was looking for the next time I talk to her.  In doing this, I discovered a bit about this one person in my family who was written up in the paper for wife-swapping in rural Michigan in 1939.  She moved in with the neighbor and the neighbor's wife moved in with her husband, they divided up the kids, and then they got divorces and remarried the new spouses.  Weird.  My month of Ancestry is almost up, though, so this will end and I'll go back to my usual pursuits.  I ought to have people pay me to do this for them.  

I did a little online shopping.  I bought soap.  Lever 2000 Aloe & Cucumber.  It's the only soap that keeps me clean without making me want to itch my skin off or douse myself with perfume to cover its scent.  It hasn't arrived yet, but it should be here before my last bar becomes a sliver.  I also bought 2 CDs - both by AJR - a book to round out my free-shipping amount.  (The soap couldn't be included in that, damn them.)  I haven't received those either, but I already downloaded the music to my computer, so YAY.

I think that's it for me today.  Work is work.  Life otherwise is unsurprising and unexciting.  How are things in your little piece of the world?

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 1/21/23

Three weeks into 2023 already?  Gah.  Anyway, it was a good reading week for me.  Yay.  Okay, part of that was being sick on Tuesday, so I had almost a whole day to sit in a chair, reading.  I'm 4 books ahead on my reading goal.  Woohoo.

New books?  I got my first new ebook of the year! It's a suspense.  Big surprise there, I know.  LOL  

Books Read: 

6) Three Men Out (Nero Wolfe) by Rex Stout (1/20/23) - Crime - 5 stars. Neither new to me nor underappreciated.  Picked up for 50c at St. Vinnys.
Review: "Rex Stout never disappoints."

5) Domino by Phyllis A. Whitney (1/17/23) - Romantic Suspense - 5 stars.  Super not new to me - I started reading and collecting Phyllis in high school.  Snagged this at St. Vinnys for 75c.
Review: "Another excellent novel by Ms. Whitney."

4) Spinsters in Jeopardy by Ngaio Marsh (1/14/23) - Mystery - 5 stars.  Not new to me, but I haven't read nearly as many of her novels as I'd like.  And she's got plenty of lovin' for this one.  Also a St. Vinny's find for only 75c.
Review: "
This one started out a little weirder than I was expecting, but it turned into a good mystery with plenty of thrills."

No DNFs.

Currently reading... I didn't start anything new after I finished that Nero Wolfe last night.  I might go with Anne Rice next or dive into that one suspense ebook I picked up.  Either way, good times ahead.

What was on your reading list this week?

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Thursday This n That

Hey, it's still Thursday!  

I had a gentleman call me 'kiddo' this week and it made my day.  And although that gentleman will never read this, I just want to say 'not knowing how to use computers very well certainly does not make you stupid'.  Think about how much of human existence and innovation happened before the computer was even invented.  And I've known too many people who could use computers who certainly weren't smart.  


A fly lands on the ceiling by putting its front two legs on the ceiling first and swinging the rest of its body up.  On day in college, I spent an untold amount of time watching a fly to come up with that observation.  You're welcome.  See, all that money wasn't totally wasted.

I don't actually remember a whole lot about college.  No, not drugs.  Car accident.  Achieved the same effect.  Moral of the story?  Don't do drugs.

Speaking of the car accident... the anniversary was last week. 29 years.  A while back, I had a gal ask me if I was alright.  I was all like 'sure, why?' and she said she asked because I was limping.  My answer was that I always limp.  But that's not strictly true.  For a long time, it was true.  And then it wasn't.  Tada. Of course, when I do limp, I don't notice it because part of me thinks I always limp. Silly wabbit.

There's a stack of bricks behind the office that I covet.  I keep thinking they'd make a nice retaining wall under the deck where the slope is bad enough it's washing our pea gravel down the hill.  I wonder if the boss would sell them to me, but I keep forgetting to ask.  :shrug:  It's not like I have time to futz with a retaining wall these days, but the idea has been tickling the back of my head for a while now.

Monday night, I ate somethings that didn't agree with me and spent part of the wee hours of Tuesday praying to the porcelain god.  If you're not familiar with him, his name is Ralph.  Sometimes they call him Huey.  

Crass?  On occasion.  I also once knew some of the dirtiest jokes you would ever hear.  I don't tell them anymore.  Every rare once in a while, I'll remember one and laugh to myself.  I told one to a friend back in the summer of 2021.  She couldn't remember it well and she kept asking me to repeat it, much to my dismay because it is particularly nasty.  She rolled every time she coaxed me to tell it again.  She has since moved away and I will never tell it again.  Never.  Don't even ask.

Seriously. I mean it. Don't ask.

And on that note, I'm going back to my Nero Wolfe.  Have a great night.. day... err, whenever you're reading this, make it great.  

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 1/14/23

Heigh ho.  Not a whole lot to talk about this week, but hey, it's another Saturday and I did some reading, so it's all good.

I didn't get any new books.  :sadface:

Books Read: 

3) Kill Shot by Vince Flynn (1/8/23) - Political Thriller - 5 stars.  Not new to me (especially since I read it in 2012) and well-appreciated.  I picked this up from St. Vinny's for $1.
Review (added to my previous review): "I didn't remember reading this, which made it even more awesome. And since I wrote my review, they did a movie with Mitch Rapp. I haven't seen it and I don't want to. I'd rather Mitch live in my imagination. =o)"

No DNFs.

Currently reading... Spinsters in Jeopardy by Ngaio Marsh.  Another thrift store find.  I do enjoy Ngaio Marsh, but this one started a little weird.  I kept at it and it's pretty good stuff.  

What's on your reading list for this week?

Friday, January 13, 2023

Thursday This n That

 Dang, I missed Thursday again.  That sucker just flew past with no regard for my blog.  Ah, well.  Better late than never.  I really had intended to do better this year.  Derp.

I read a FB comment this morning where someone was saying how much they enjoyed a particular suspense novel and, at the end, they said 'may contain triggers for some people'.  Ummm... I would reckon that everything contains a trigger for some people.  I would also reckon that if a book contains nothing that would make anyone uncomfortable, it's not a very interesting book.  Jus' sayin'.

I wrote a book about a serial rapist - FERTILE GROUND.  Did I put trigger warnings on it?  Nope.  It's right there in the blurb.  For the record, though, the book contains no actual rape scenes.  I didn't feel the need to be explicit in order to keep the pedal to the metal on the suspense.  And I made the end ultra-satisfying.  Well, I found it satisfying.  :evil grin:

This entire week has been one big slam-fest at work.  I thought I was busy before, but this week made a lie out of that.  I drank a pot of coffee yesterday just to keep up.  Man, I was flyin'.  Woohoo.  Too much more of that and I might actually turn into diffuse ball of charged particles.  So, if I disappear and you just see a glow hovering over SW Missouri, that's me.

Huh, I just noticed it's Friday the 13th.  Make sure you leave milk and cookies out for Jason Voorhies.  Eh, I'm not a suspicious sort, but it fun to joke about.  Of course, if today turns out to suck, I can blame the date. LOL

I actually got to use my writing skills this week.  A big important letter needed to go out and they handed it to me to edit.  I took the general gist of it and rewrote it (after I told the original creator I was going to rewrite it and got his okee-dokee.)  I received much praise for the end result.  Yay.

For the record, everything I say I've done, I've actually done.  Jus' sayin'.  And yeah, I know... many of the things I've done were a couple decades ago.  I must be rusty, but I still have the chops.

Okay, I should probably wrap this up and go about my day, so you can go about yours.  Have a great one!

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Sunday Update - Week 1

Well, hello there.  The first week of 2023 is in the can.  Onward and upward.

No, I'm still not writing.  I'm not sure if I can while I'm working.  It feels like the entirety of my brain space is taken up with the job and my creativity has curled into the fetal position in a corner. Every once in a while it mumbles something to itself and I try to write that down, but I'm not getting more than a whisper of an idea here and there.  It's been a while since I even got that.  I think it's comatose now.  It's funny (in a warped-sense-of-humor way) that before I went back to work, I had scads of time and no money. Now I have money but no time.

Anyway, I'm working 40 hour weeks with 2.5 hrs of lunch.  Bills are getting paid, the fridge is full, and that's all that matters.  Downtime is for decompressing.

I am reading in my downtime.  I've already completed two books for 2023.  I set my goal for 50 this year.  I should be able to do that even if I find myself too tired to read here or there.  I hit St Vinnys yesterday and came home with 8 books for $6 - a Vince Flynn I didn't already have, a couple of Phyllis Whitneys, a couple Victoria Holts, an Anne Rice, a Rex Stout, and a Ngaio Marsh.  Yay.  I'm reading the Flynn now.

In baking news, for New Years, I made a chocolate cake with strawberry frosting, and I substituted wine for some of the water needed to make the cake.  It turned out a little denser, but was pretty tasty.  I also made beef bourgignon for dinner that day.  (Someone gave me a bottle of Pinot Noir, and since I don't drink, I figured I'd better cook with it.)  It was super yummy.  

As for weight, I clocked in the year at 165.2.  Then I made a pig of myself all week.  (Pizza and donuts at work, cake at home.)  I'm a bit afraid to step on the scale today LOL.  No activity to speak of.  Hubs and I did take a walk early in the week, which was good.  I need to up the activity level before my arteries clog and I give myself a coronary.  

I'm currently doing genealogy again.  Yesterday, I discovered my great-great grandpa had a middle name.  I found his wedding certificate - in German - and using both an online translator and a print-out of German characters as they equate to English, I parsed it out.  Yep, Adam August was my 2x grandfather and just plain Adam was my 3x grandfather.  Genealogy is like working a puzzle combined with solving a mystery.  Right up my alley.  I found out another grandfather had fought in the War of 1812.  And I got one branch of the tree all the way back to a man who was born in 1475 and his sons all have Sir in front of their names.  

Yes, I could be using that time to write, but refer back to the creative portion of my brain being comatose.  I'm all analytical now, so this pastime suits me.

Oh, and I got a new-to-me wool dress coat yesterday.  It's a Larry Levin, or something - which run like $150 and I got it for $8, so woohoo.  Mid-thigh with a cross-button thing.  All I care about is that it's warm and that it goes with my dressier work clothes - for those days when I can't wear my leather jacket.  (My leather has never seen the rain/snow and I don't want it to.)

Well, this update thing turned out way longer than I meant it to, but I wanted to address some things and I'm feeling chatty.  But I think I'm done now.  Have a great week wherever you are.  :hugs:

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 1/7/23

 Welcome to the first Reading Wrap-up of the year.  Yay!  

I haven't gotten any new books this year.  That might change today. I'm thinking about stopping at the thrift stores to spend this Visa gift card that's burning a hole in my pocket.  Also yay.

Books Read: 

2) What Lies Beneath by Adam Croft (1/2/23) - Suspense* - 4 stars. New to me but not underappreciated. I saw this listed for free on a FB page I follow.
Review: "Interesting suspense... I just wanted more of it and less of the personal stuff. But that's me."

1) Snowflakes and Sparks by Sophia-Leigh Robbins (1/1/23) - Romance* - 4 stars. New to me but not underappreciated. Free off another FB page I follow.
No Review.

0) The Cat Who Came for Christmas by Silver James (1/1/23) - Holiday Paranomal Short* - 5 stars. Definitely not new to me, and not on Goodreads, so it can't get the appreciation it deserves.  Copied from the author's blog and sent to my Kindle for casual reading.  
Review: This story was awesome.  I love when Silver does her Christmas short stories - they're little slice of her worlds and they are always amazing.  If you aren't following Silver's blog... well, shame on you.

No DNFs.

Currently reading... A drama written in the fifties about an embezzler.  I'm not that far along in it.  It's interesting and the writing is pulling me forward, but I'm not quite sure what the point is yet.

What did you read to start 2023?  

Monday, January 2, 2023

2022 - A Year in Review

 Yep, 2022 is over. Time to go over what happened. And yes, I still have a flair for stating the obvious, so that didn't change with the new year. LOL

Let's see... 

I started out 2022 working on getting my 17th book ready for publication.  Song of Storm and Shroud hit the electronic shelves on 3/21/22 to a chorus of crickets.  Huge thanks to the 3 people who bought a copy.  

In all of 2022, I sold 30 books in 2022 for a whopping $54.  I would've sold more if I'd had the money for advertising, but I had no money. Which leads me to...

The big news of the year, of course, was the fact that I went back to work full time after an 18 year hiatus.  I am an office grunt.  I answer phones, file stuff, provide general backup for people whose jobs are more important than mine, etc.  The rented mule. The corporate mushroom. A busy bee.  The job is accomplishing it's intended purpose and that's all that matters.  I like it about 90% of the time, which is more than I've liked several other jobs I've had in the past.  

I had hoped that once I settled into my job, I'd have time to write.  I didn't count on the fact that once I get home, I don't have the energy or the will to write in the couple hours I'm home before bedtime.  My brain has entirely shifted away from anything creative.  I still hope to write again, but I wouldn't hold my breath while waiting on another book if I were you.  You'll turn blue and fall over.

In weight and activity news, I started the year at 182.2 pounds and ended the year at 165.2 - 17 pounds lost.  I wish I could say that was due to being active and eating less, but it's due to stress and eating less. I'm not home to graze.  I eat lunch - usually yogurt, a cheese stick, some ham chunks, and grapes - and then dinner and a bowl of ice cream.  I keep a bag of mixed nuts and a bag of Hershey's minis in my desk, and munch on those from time to time.  (I hand out candy bars to co-workers more than I eat them, though.)  I did have this great idea that I would walk on my lunch break (30 minutes), but I've only done that once.  Thus, my walking for the entire year was only 33.65 miles.  No biking at all.  My biggest activity these days is cleaning the office at work, once a month-ish.  I really need to up my activity level for 2023 so I don't turn into an atrophied lump of meat.

Tomorrow, work is having a big in-house thang wherein they go over the year before and address ways to improve and goals for the year ahead.  I had to fill out a sheet on my goals, etc.  I'm a grunt.  I have no goals except to do the best job I can do with the limited resources and control a grunt tends to have.  I mean, I'm 52 years old and post-retired.  What goals am I supposed to have?  Try not to fuck anything up too bad so I can keep my job.  (No, I did not put that on the form, but my bosses knows where my blog is at, so they're probably reading this anyway.  :waves:  Hi, guys.  Don't worry, no one around here reads this blog except you.)  I think I wrote 'continued improvement in all aspects of my work' - or if I didn't write that, I should've.  

Okay, I think that's it.  Not a whole lot of action in my year.  As for the year ahead?  Well, I don't have any goals or resolutions for the new year.  Keep working.  Keep breathing in and out.  Keep progressing toward Hubs' and my combined goals. I think we're thinking we can put in a wood stove by the end of the year.  

How was your 2022?  Do you have goals for 2023?