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)