Books, Creativity, Dogs, family, Gardening, Life, Nature, Reading, Thinking, Writing

Writing and Gardening, Inside and Out

The sun has risen and the sky is blue.  Moose didn’t eat breakfast and has been beside me all night.  His tummy isn’t making gurgle noises so I am hoping he just has a case of the blahs.  Today will hopefully be Chris’s first day back to work.  If he does ok then I will look into setting up my job interview for later this week.

I did finish reading How Stella Got Her Groove Back yesterday.  It was good and light-hearted.  My problem was the stream of consciousness sentences.  Most of her sentences were paragraphs or pages long.  There was no pause for breath.  And it took me a long time to wrap my head around that.  It was like when Stella (my dog not the main character in the book) just gulps her food down without pausing and sometimes chokes because she is going so fast.  I got maybe a third to halfway through the novel before I got used to it and was able to focus on the reading and story rather than trying to figure out what was being said all in one breath.  That being said it did give me something else to help gauge my novel with.  I am hoping to try to work on that today as well.

I need to catch up on my correspondence today as well.  I have a few emails from concerned family members that I need to answer.  I’ve not been very good at keeping in touch lately.  I also need to sit down with my notebook and figure out which books I need to review and put on the various sites.  Right now the reviews are pretty much because the let me read the book.  And I am getting behind again.

People seem to be doing all this wonderful stuff now that they have the time and I have accomplished my planting of seeds and a bit of yard work.  No big projects.  I hope to do more soon but that will depend on the weather.  Chris made some Texas chili the other night and saved the seeds for the mirad of peppers he used and those have all been planted in pots.  Hopefully they will sprout as well.  I need to thin out what I have but I am running out of pots to put them in and space to keep them until it warms up enough to plant.  I keep looking around the yard and house for containers I can use.  I am going to have to do something soon.

I’d better look for a sour dough recipe so I can use some of the sour dough yeast I have in the fridge.  I have no idea what to do with it or how long it keeps.  And on that note dear friends I should wrap this up.  Thank you for reading!  Stay safe!

Animals, Books, Dogs, Emotions, Life, Reading

Saying Goodbye to Dante

The cold and dark reflect my mood this morning.  It has been one year today that I had to make the choice to let Dante go and have him put to sleep.  He was 13 years old and a huge cancer was literally eating away his leg from the outside in.  I still have his ashes.  I can’t bring myself to bury them in the backyard with everyone else yet.

My heart just isn’t in this today.  I wanted to stay in bed longer but I couldn’t.  My brain wouldn’t shut up and let me fall back to sleep.  I sit here and try to write this and end up staring out the window thinking of nothing.  Yesterday I watched a group of ravens or crows (they were too high up for me to see if their tail feathers were rounded or not) ride the wind currents over head.

I am almost done reading How Stella Got Her Groove Back.  I have about 100 pages left in the book.  If I sit down and just read today I will probably finish it.  There are a lot of blue jays out front.  I can hear them.

I’m going to wrap this up.  Sorry it’s so short and blah.  I just can’t think of anything to write.  Thanks for reading and stay safe.

Books, Cooking/Baking, Creativity, Food, Gardening, Life, Nature, Reading

Taking Things to Task

Day 2 of no snow in the morning!  Yay!  It’s still cold out (there was frost) but the sun is out and the skies are blue.   The kids and I spent most of our day outside.  The sun was out for most of the day.  I started reading How Stella Got Her Groove Back by Terry McMillan.  What she has written is similar to what I am trying to do with my story so I am using her a a reference.  I didn’t like the whole stream of consciousness run on sentences that she uses but it seems to work for the story.  It took some getting used to though.

I found some yeast so I may made some bread later today.  Hopefully.  We still have some store bought bread.  The homemade bread usually goes quickly.  I use the recipe from my classic Winnie the Pooh cookbook.  I’ve had it for years.  I also have some sour dough yeast in the fridge that Chris got from one of his co-workers.  I will have to look up what I need to make that type of bread as well as keep the yeast going.

This might be a short post as my brain is feeling rather muddled right now.  I was feeling good yesterday but right now not so much.  I picked up my phone to reference something for this post and by the time I had put my code in I had forgot what it was.  Not good.  My mind is not working well.  I don’t know why.  I feel like there is a fever in my head but not my body.

If it warms up enough today I may try to repot some of the seedlings that have sprouted to give them more room.  I only have one shell that hasn’t sprouted with my green pepper seeds and maybe three that haven’t with my tomatoe seeds.  I have to water the shell seeds almost every day because the dirt dries out so fast.  It will be interesting to see if there is any difference in the plants grown in the egg shells versus grown in a regular pot of soil.

Ok, I’m gonna wrap this up.  Stay safe and thanks for reading!

Creativity, family, Learning, Life, Reading, Thinking, Writing

Where Is the Story Headed?

I can write that all the snow has disappeared (and not reappeared).  Things are in a bit if a mess… well not a mess per say but off from the normal routine which puts everything else off.  Or atleast it feels that way.   Nothing bad so much as different so that I suppose is a good thing.  Something different in all this sameness.

I got a job offer yesterday that I had to turn down (atleast for the time being) because of being sick.  Chris plans on going back to work on Monday.  If he does well I will call my prospective employer to set up an interview and see about getting another job.  It would be considered frontline work as it is going to be at a big grocery store but  I need something reliable to pay the bills with.  Still no word on my unemployment other than I don’t qualify for the regular benefits (not enough hours worked at the lot).  Apparently Monday is when things are supposed to start happening in regards to the unemployment supplement.  We shall see.

I did have a bit of a break through with the novel in regards to the main character’s plight.  It makes more sense and makes her more relatable.  Now I just need to figure out what I am trying to do with the story.  My horror stories are easier.  You have characters against each other and they either defeat the scary stuff or they don’t (an oversimplification).  With this is is more of a drama and could happen (probably has happened) to others.  But I have never been any good at the slice of life stuff.  I know where the story begins but where does it end?  Why should we follow the story?  What is the story?  I have a few books that follow a similar premise of growth for their main character so I may have to set down some of the current reading material and focus on one of those books to see if I can glean anything for my story.  I am hopeful.

I am trying to write something other than my normal to stretch myself.  But it is difficult because I very rarely ever read this type of book/story.  It is something that normally doesn’t interest me.  Right now it is just my main character that interests me.  I want to see what she does.  But in order to do that she has to have the proper backstory.  So I suppose today ought to be spent in part rewriting her backstory to include the changes I decided on yesterday and see how that goes.

I should get going on that while I have the momentum and focus.  Thanks for your help and thanks for reading!  Stay safe!

Books, Creativity, Dogs, Emotions, family, Gardening, Life, Nature, Reading, Thinking, Writing

A Gardening We Will…. WHAT?!

A plow truck just went by.  A PLOW TRUCK… When I went to bed last night all the snow that had fallen had melted.   What do I find when we get up this morning?  Another 2-3 inches (5-7 cm) of snow had fallen overnight.  My big concern right now are my plants and trees.  The lilac bushes had begun to get nice big buds for the Spring.  For about three days now they have been frozen, thawed and frozen again.  The same for my three rose bushes.  I hate winter and snow at the best of times.  But when it is supposed to be sunny and warming up to Summer?  Yeah you don’t want me to get started.

So I guess this means I will need to spread out the little seedlings that are coming up like crazy now into pots and hope I have enough.  I may have to get a little creative.  I don’t think I have enough for everything.  I guess we’ll see.  As of Tuesday all the seeds I planted have sprouted.  The only seeds I am waiting on are the five orange pips I soaked and put in a jar.  If I can get them to sprout I will get a great big pot and put them in it.  Then I will just move the pot in and out as needed.  I have both a red onion and white onion planted in dirt now so really if all goes well we should have quite the garden this year.  I am very excited!

No one really did much yesterday (ok, I made puppy treats and did a load of dishes).  I did watch a little over three hours of Isle of Man highlights from 2019 (on Amazon Prime free if anyone is a fan).  I tried to keep the kids busy despite the pain in my arm.  I think I did ok.  They were rotating cuddle bugs while I was on the love seat.  Essie finally ate this morning.  She ate a little last night but left about half.  She ate all her breakfast.

Being stuck in the house is making everyone feel blah.  If the weather was nice we could have the door open and be in the yard.  We are getting tired of sitting in front of the tv (atleast I am)…. I just noticed that there are no birds singing this morning.  That makes me sad.  Books are just not keeping my attention anymore.  I have around 20 digital books that I was given and a bunch that I brought home from the lot that were unclaimed.  Some of them I was really excited by as I had wanted to read them but never got a copy.  Now that I have them… meh.  As for writing I have the time until Chris gets up for the day (sometimes not even that as the kids get antsy and want to atleast get attention) otherwise I am involved in keeping others entertained or keeping in touch.  I am also in charge of a Stephen King Facebook page while the creator is away.  While I am grateful to be trusted with it I am finding myself bored with social media so it is a struggle to check it to make sure posts are ok and accept new members etc.

I hear a few robins and some blue jays now.  I feel a little better.  I hope they will be ok as well.  Stay safe and as always thanks for reading!  Cheers!

Dogs, Life, Nature

When the Dogs Are Too Smart

I sit here with my mug of Twinkie flavored coffee (don’t judge) and contemplate the 2 inches (5cm) of snow that has fallen over the last few hours.  Where is this early Spring everyone said was going to happen?  Seems like we are backtracking up here.  I am glad that I got everything done outside that I did yesterday.  The girls managed to get out of the fence yesterday.  I had let all three dogs out to go to the bathroom.  A few minutes later Moose came to the door to be let in.  He had a look on his face so I stuck my head out the door to see where the girls were.  And LO!  The little stinkers were on the wrong side of the fence in the company of a big white dog.  Panicking I started to call for them to come in.  Long story short(ish) I managed to get the girls back in the house.  I am very proud of them for two reasons.  1.  There was no fighting because there was another dog and 2. they did not take off when the white dog did.  They stayed right by the fence sniffing and looking at me.  As it turns out the girls got out by pushing themselves under the fence.  (When they installed the fence last year… or was that the year before?  The contractor doing the garage did the fence.  Anyway when it was installed I complained that in some areas the fence did not reach the ground.  There was a 1 and 2 inch (2 and 5cm) gap from the ground.  It was deemed no big deal by everyone (and it turns out the guys who installed the fence did not know how to do it and watched a YouTube video to put the fence in) and nothing was done.)  So my solution was to haul the large tree limbs that they just dumped and did not clean up when cutting the tree to put up the garage along the base of the fence line where my two too smart girls might be able to get out again.  Fortunately there were a lot of thick branches for me to haul over.  The kids thought it was a big game and were playing along the fence as I worked.  Stella got a case of the zoomies and got the other two ripping around the yard as well.  So it was a win/win.  Everyone got some exercise.  The only downside was that I managed to take a small chunk of skin out of one of my fingers.  The plus side was that it was so cold out I didn’t notice until we got back inside.

Everyone was good and tired last night.  I managed to sleep until 3am or so then I pretty much laid in bed until 6:30am before I dozed off again.  I didn’t want to get up but we did around 8am.  Thus this is later than normal.  The sun is out despite the cold and the kids want to get into their various sunny spots.  I suppose I should take the hint and wrap this up.  I hope everyone is safe and thanks for reading!  Cheers!

Cooking/Baking, Dogs, Emotions, Life, Nature, Reading

Fighting the Boredom

The sun is out but it is bitterly cold.  The snow that fell yesterday and last night haven’t moved.  The ponds are even frozen over.  A thick ice too, not the usual light crispy layer that melts within minutes of direct sunshine.  Bless the birds for still sounding cheerful.  It is supposed to stay cold for the next few days as well.  None of us are particularly happy with that.  The wind is still blowing strong.  It has eased up a little but the trees and such are still moving vigorously.

I managed to make my tendonitis worse yesterday.  But it was for a good cause.  I washed the bedding yesterday and the dryer started beeping which scared Moose badly.  No idea why he gets like that but there it is.  Anyway, despite the fact that the removeable screen gets cleaned every load to remove lint etc. a lot seems to go through the screen and end up in the body of the machine.  So I spent maybe n hour or so with various long implements digging down getting as much of the lint clumps as I could.  I ended up putting duct tape (sticky side out) around the ends of the tools I was using to help get the lint out.  And my brave brave Moose sat beside me the whole time.  It doesn’t matter how afraid he is of that dryer he never lets me go in the utility room to do laundry alone.

Yesterday’s mail arrived with our income tax paperwork, my current issue of The Writer and my Minion mask that a friend made for me to wear out.  I didn’t get much done other than the bedding and the one load of clothes to empty out the dirty clothes hamper.  Today I need to make puppy treats and probably sweep the floor.  I had no focus yesterday so a lot of my day was spent watching tv.  I even ran out of episodes of NY Ink.  I was bummed.  But I did find that I have the first season of Inspector Morse until the end of the month.  So I was happy about that.

So with at the very least two more weeks to go under quarantine I am still mostly sane.  The headache isn’t helping.  I will wrap this up and try another cup of coffee and reading for a bit.  I hope everyone is well and staying safe!  Thanks for reading!

Dogs, Emotions, family, Life, Nature

And Back to Snow

Snowing in the front yard while raining in the back.   This is how confused the weather is this morning.  The internet hasn’t been much better.  The modem and router have been restarted once already this morning.  Both Chris and I are up.  Essie and Moose have upset tummies and won’t eat.  Stella is ready to play but finally asleep behind me on the loveseat.  I have tried to go one for my unemployment but it will not connect.  So I will try again later tonight.  I’m sure it won’t get better as more people wake up an try to login.

Today’s sketchy weather is supposed to include a storm (rain/snow mix) as well as very high winds.  So we’ll see.  I am very glad that the bikes aren’t out in this mess.  My routines have been messed up and it feels as though everything is off now.  There is no uninterrupted time in the mornings now.   And I feel bad for Chris because he is on the complete opposite schedule he needs to be on.  I’m not sure how late he was up last night.  I turned the lights off after midnight.  (I guess I should’ve stayed up and tried to do my unemployment.)

I have no enthusiasm for the day today.  I can’t do anything outside.  Two pups are sick as well as two adults (I felt better yesterday but not so much today).  Bedding is going in the washer so atleast the sheets and blankets will be clean for tonight.   I talked to both Mom and Dad yesterday but the video/audio was bad on the Facetime with Dad.  Connecting was an issue too.  I will probably send him an email to try to figure out a time to try again later.

I hear sirens.  I need to work on some writing today.  We’ll see how that goes.  I’ve not read very much either.  I’ve not been on my phone that much either so that is a good thing.  Maybe a shower will help.  Or maybe I will bite the bullet and fill the garden tub in the master bathroom.  I don’t use it much because it takes all the hot water in the tank to fill it and about 30 minutes to fill.  On really cold days the water doesn’t stay warm for very long.  I think the builders slacked off on insulation under the tub.

The weather is becoming more aggressive so I’d better log off while there is still an internet connection.  Sorry this is a bit of a negative post.  I hope you and yours are safe.  Thanks so much for reading!

Creativity, Gardening, Life, Nature

Plants and Fires

After all the bright sun of yesterday this morning has begun dark and chilly.  Atleast the wind has stopped.  All is blessedly quiet outside and (finally) in.  The kids have fallen back to sleep and Chris has wandered into his office while I do this.  I guess he couldn’t sleep anymore.

I did get all my seeds that I have planted out into the sun yesterday for a while.  The seeds planted in the empty egg shells are finally beginning to take off.  I was worried for a bit because nothing was coming up and three out of my four pots that had seeds planted in them were starting to sprout.  I try to keep them watered which sometimes means every day or every other day I bring them to the sink and put water into each egg shell.  I really wish WordPress would let me add more photos so I could show you the progress the seedlings are making.  I am very proud of them.  The red onion has taken right off as well.  You should see all the roots that have sprouted!  I hope the white onion does as well when I finally have a top to plant.  I may have to as neighbors to swap seeds later (or atleast bits of produce that I can grow plants from) because the Governor has closed the garden centers and deemed them not necessary.  I’m glad I thought ahead and got what I did.

The big drama yesterday was a brush fire just down the road from us.  As it was our neighbors to the west were burning stuff (we are under orders not to burn trash, tree limbs etc for the time being).  I got a few pictures of the smoke (a garage was blocking the rest of my view and since I am sick it’s not like I could wander over and take better photos) and for a while it was quite thick.  Thankfully the local fire department took care of it before it got out of hand.  And it could have very easily with the strong winds we had yesterday.  There was also a private plane that was circling overhead for most of the time.  Although I suspect that my laying out in the backyard helped to designate where they would circle off as well.  (Even that far up you can tell when a plane banks and it suspiciously did it right over me, lol.)

I am out of coffee so I suppose I should wrap this up.  Yesterday was mostly spent reading since that was really all I had energy for.  Not sure what today will bring.  Stay safe and thanks for reading!  Cheers!

Books, Creativity, Emotions, family, Friends, Gardening, Learning, Life, Nature, Reading

Focusing on the Good

I am not feeling too great this morning so I will just get to the good stuff from yesterday.  Dad and I had a really good chat.  I was feeling up to it to we talked for a few hours.  I received my surprise book from my friend in Scotland.  I started reading it last night.  It is different in a good way.  You can’t get into the story but you do in a different way.  It’s hard to explain.  He has a very unique voice that I am enjoying reading.  I think I may offer this one as a review book for one of my editors.  I also asked a friend in Traverse who was making masks how much to have him make me one and send it.  He is making it and sending it for free!  (He is my Minion buddy so it will be made of Minion fabric. <3)  Some of the seeds I planted in the egg shells are finally pushing their way up through the dirt!  I was getting worried that the “good idea” wasn’t going to work.  And I also figured out the correct way to grow an onion from scratch if you will.  Online they tell you to suspend it in water like an avocado but they just rot that way.  I got a small glass jar, put a few inches of dirt, dropped in the top of the onion (the bit you usually throw out when you cut an onion up) and covered it with more dirt.  Then I soaked the dirt with water.  A few days later I can see all kinds of roots growing through the dirt.  I am very pleased!  Hopefully it will warm up and stay there soon so I can start getting all these plants out there and get the outdoor seeds planted.

This is about all I have the energy for.  Thanks for reading!  Stay safe!