Animals, Books, Creativity, Dogs, dreams, Emotions, family, History, Life, Love, Photography, Reading, the World, Thinking, Writing

A Day For Me

The sun is out in earnest this morning. And it will have a time of it warming things up. It was almost cold enough for frost this morning. That being said it is supposed to warm up quite a bit for the next few days so I may uncover the plants in the memorial garden and pull out the ones I brought in. I am hoping the nights stay as warm as they say or warmer. I don’t want to bring them all in and out everyday.

Today is 9/11. It feels like a somber day for those of us that were alive when the 9/11 bombings happened here in the U.S. It seems as though we have gone from outside enemies to inside enemies since then. With no end in sight. I had to unfollow a fellow blogger this morning because of the posts they were writing. They were getting angrier and angrier. Anyone that did not do and think as that person did would incur the wrath of God because that person was right. I don’t need to see that on my feed. That type of thinking is part of the problem. It certainly is NOT part of the solution.

It feels weird not watching the clock to see how much time I have before I need to get ready to go. A good weird. I got a bunch of stuff done last night after I got home so that will be less I have to do today. I do need to see if I can get the mower going today. If not I may ask for help from our neighbors across the street.

I feel like I want to work on my writing today. I got inspired by a documentary on Amazon last night about the controversial Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark. I had all three books as well as the on based on the movie (thanks Mom!). I really love the art and the content. For those who have never read the books they are a collection of scary stories and folktales from all over. This type of book is what got my love for horror started. Just sitting around telling stories to each other in the dark (or with just a flashlight). I still have my first collection that I convinced my parents to buy me (they were still married so I had to be in the single digits with my age). It was at the local bookstore in Ferndale, Michigan called “Paperback Books Unlimited.” This place was a staple of my childhood. I snuck a peek at my first Fangoria Magazine there as well. My parents tried to take me there as often as they could. I just dug the book out of my shelves. It was printed in 1973 so I had to be around 5 or 6 years old. Some Things Strange and Sinister edited by Joan Kahn is the book.

I have always loved short stories because they are small bites that you can snack on if you aren’t in the mood for a full novel (or don’t have the time). It has been a long time since I last wrote a short story. The last one I sent out into the world was college and was a runner up in a contest. They were only going to print the winners but they liked mine so much they made and exception. I still have the copy of the magazine. I have a few done that I need to polish and get out there. But, again, I need to get myself a copy of WordPerfect. Everything is digital now. Very few places will accept hard copy sent through the mail. So I need a reliable program that I can edit and send my work on. That may be something I save up for. I need to make sure bills get paid and Moose has a vet appointment coming up.

Ok, I see that I have talked quite a bit. I will wrap this up and share a few photos. I hope you have a great day! Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Aging, Animals, Books, Dogs, Emotions, family, Friends, History, Life, Thinking

The Big Day

Well the day is finally here!  It is hard to believe that I turn 48 years old today.  So much has happened over the course of my life… and so much is yet to happen.  I really am at a loss as to what to write about this morning.  I have spent a bit on Facebook this morning saying thank you for my birthday messages.  It gives me the warm fuzzies to know that people take time out of their day to wish me a happy birthday.  ❤

I think Moose is not happy.  Stella has taken to coming in the office with us in the morning.  Her spot seems to be at my feet under the chair.  He stretched and I told him “Good stretches!” and then Stella stretched as well.  Lol.

I’m sitting here looking at all the things I have collected over my years.  I have so many memories packed into my office!  And not just mine.  I have stuff from my parents trip to Italy as well as things from my Aunt Rita (well she was my great aunt).  I guess you could say they are little cast offs from people I care about.

Do you ever sit in a room and look at things and just let your mind wander?  That seems to be what I am doing this morning.  Mom sees my room as cluttered because there is so much but to me it is my history made accessible.  My book shelves are crammed full and then some but they are organized.  I have my knickknacks pretty much all over.  I have flags, posters, autographs, framed photos, license plates etc on the walls.  I even have a bunch of flies that Chris tied stuck to my corkboard.

Since my mind doesn’t seem to want to stay focused I will share a few “full” photos of my office.  It is my happy place.  Thanks for reading and have a great day!  Stay safe!

 

Books, Creativity, Emotions, Life, Reading, Thinking, Writing

Trying Something New

This morning I am a bit short for time as I have an interview in less than an hour.  I am trying to focus on this and my mind is all over the place so I apologize if this is erratic.  I finally talked to my writer friend about his translated book.  I explained about a few mistakes and he asked for more.  As it turns out his publishing company hired a translator and he was beyond angry when he heard about the mistakes.  He contacted his lawyer and they are talking with the publisher to get it sorted.  Meanwhile he has pulled that book off of Amazon and is going to look through his other books that they translated and published.  I’m glad I was able to help.

I got everything laid out for the interview last night.  I am going for clean casual.  If I go dressy it will be too much.  I will look like I am trying too hard.  So I went for plain but nice jeans and shirt.  I will wear my nice high tops as well.  It is a casual setting so I am hoping this works.  It will be an interesting interview at any rate.  No hand shakes.  Not sure if we will talk in a room or outside.

And there goes my thoughts….  I should have everything together.  I don’t know if Chris is happy I’m going back to work or not.  I have been keeping the house up pretty well.  But since work is close I don’t think it will be difficult to continue that.  I’ve written down the days and times for the meetings I cover for the paper.  I’m hoping that won’t be a problem.  I have no idea what job I would get as there seem to be a lot of openings.  I’m sure the whole back to school thing is going on.  I know colleges are opening but I’m not sure what they have decided for grade schools and high schools.

I see by the clock I need to wrap this up.  Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Books, Creativity, Emotions, family, Friends, Life, Reading, Writing

Reading Leads to Writing

I did get some writing done on one of my stories yesterday.  I am rereading a series that I have not read in many years, Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.  I had forgotten how her words and stories flow carrying the reader from the past to present and back again effortlessly.  It gave me some more creative juice to use on my own work.  So for now during the day I will read Anne Rice and at night I seem to got to H.P. Lovecraft on my Kindle.  Both authors have a lot to teach with their writing.  Both can tell a good story (it may take Lovecraft more words to do it sometimes).  Rice paints her worlds and characters with a loving and lavish brush to make them come to life.  I can lose myself in either author’s stories.

Today’s goal is to be able to work more on one or both of my stories.  I have to say that I am having an easier time with the one that has horror in it.  I am not very adept at the straight fiction anymore.  It is easier to lose myself to the supernatural.  Which is evidenced by my library, lol.  I have limited straight fiction.  Looking at my book shelves I am tempted to reorganize them and have a section of the classics.  That would include such works as King Solomon’s Mines (one of my favorites), Frankenstein, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz (I am trying to get all the books) and other such gems from the past.  I have things divided into topics such as horror, mystery, research, children’s books, creativity and writing… you get the idea.  Other shelves are dedicated to specific authors like Anne Rice and Stephen King.  I do have to say that I love my library.  There are only a handful of books that I have not read in all of them.  Most of them have been read more than once.  Sometimes for pleasure, sometimes for examination and sometimes for a bit of both.  Right now the Vampire Chronicles are a bit of both.

I find myself drawn to different books and I am remembering when I received them.  I have the Chronicles of Narnia that Mom bought me when I was going on the road trip with my Grandma Morin for the summer.  She bought me the whole series to take with as well as a beach towel, a deck of cards (I still have those as well), sunscreen and a few other goodies.  I have A Ring of Endless Light by Madeline L’Engle that Dad got me (with a loving note from him written on the inside) because I loved reading it in the school library.  There is a book of love letters that Chris got me for an anniversary present (the same on he had flowers delivered to my work and I cried my eyes out).  I even have Dad’s copy of the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe (Dad memorized The Raven while he was on a ship in the Navy and that was the first thing I learned to read… and I still have the children’s book we read it from).  Sooo many memories on these shelves!

Goodness I have gone on!  Sorry about that!  I will stop here because I could go on endlessly!  lol.  Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Books, Creativity, dreams, Friends, Life, Thinking, Writing

How to Write (?)

I envy those that can just sit right down and start writing.  I used to be one of those people.  My imagination just feels like a dry vessel.  I seem to be able to do everything but write anymore.  Anxiety creeps in as I am forced to face the world outside of my home on a regular basis.  Seemingly all because I cannot find my way to regularly putting words on a page for money.  I cannot finish a story, polish it and send it out.  It sits barely visible on the page, unable to fight free.

Then there are those that publish and make money from seemingly bad writing.  And the particular piece I am thinking of might actually be very good in it’s native tongue but the translation leaves much to be desired.  What’s worse is that it is a friend of mine and I have been asked to read and review said published piece.  Each page is difficult to get through because of run on sentences and wording that doesn’t make sense.  Usually it is a failed colloquialism.  The piece has gone through numerous editors but it doesn’t show.  A well known book is referenced by name but the title is incorrect.  Not only that but the person that wrote the referenced book is the topic of the book I am reading and my friend is supposed to be an authority on this writer.  I am still only on page 3 of this book.  I skipped ahead thinking that maybe the writing would get better but it doesn’t.  And I don’t know what to do.  I read lines out to Chris and he just stared at me in shock.  It is so difficult to read and if I do finish the book I cannot favorably review it.  The “expert” can’t even get titles correct.  I’m not sure about facts.  I haven’t gotten that far.  This friend is bugging me to tell him if I like the book.  What do I do?  I can’t find anything good to say about the piece.  If I am honest it will probably cost me the friendship no matter how much I sugar coat it.  If I lie then others will wonder what the hell I was on when I read it.

So I sit and stare at the pages and think that I would be better off working on my own writing.  I got close yesterday morning.  I pulled out the notebooks containing my various projects and went outside.  I did the sit and think for a bit and next thing I knew I was sawing off branches of trees for the next few hours.  Things look nice and I won’t have to battle the branches when I mow.  But STILL NO WRITING WAS DONE. So I will try again today.

Thanks for reading and as always stay safe!

Animals, Books, Creativity, Dogs, family, Learning, Life, Thinking, Writing

Hocus Pocus I Can’t Focus

I was in a panic earlier this morning as I had to reenter all my information for unemployment.  I am still a little anxious as I am not completely sure about the dates I entered being correct.  I am currently trying to breathe my way back to calm.  I have Stella rapped around a foot as she sleeps.  Moose is nearby but facing the window.  Essie I think is in the living room in the big dog bed.

Today is the day I take the Jeep to get looked at.  I am anxious because if this is going to be a major repair session it is going to get expensive.  Hopefully our mechanic got back safely from his road trip.  I will text him once I finish with this.  I’m glad I didn’t start worrying about this last night.

I need to get myself together today.  I have things that need to be done and I keep putting things off.  Like my class work.  I still have plenty of time but I have the basics done all I need to do it tweak it and submit it.  It shouldn’t take any time at all.  Unless I procrastinate and then it can take countless hours.  I got all kinds of stuff done around the house for the family but doodlely was done for myself (other than read the new book… and that was supposed to wait until I finished reading my surfing book).

I wrote a to do list last night in bed.  Hopefully I can stick with it.  I have a meeting to cover tonight.  I hope and pray that I can get the Zoom connection to work.  I’ve not reported on this meeting the past two months because the link would not work for me.  I need to just sit down and do things instead of well-maybe-later.

I didn’t take a single photo yesterday.  The funny thing is Essie will pose for the camera but if I am using the phone camera she looks away.

The first photo is with my phone. So I set it down and got my camera. The second photo is with the camera. I didn’t even have to ask her to look at me.

The dogs are getting antsy and I am not far behind. I’m gonna wrap this up. Thanks for reading! Stay safe and have a great day!

Animals, Books, Dogs, family, Life, Reading, Travel

Tell Sleep I Miss It…

I am so overwhelmingly tired right now.  Pretty sure I didn’t fall asleep before 2am.  Essie wanted to get up around 8am.  But of course I was awake and trying to go back to sleep since 6am again.  Moose was all about staying in bed.  Every time I tried to get up he draped his head across me to keep me laying down.

Chris and I did a little road trip and acquired two used AC units for the house.  One is still in the bed of the truck (I told Chris he can put it in his office as I prefer to keep my window open in mine) but the other is in the bedroom.  With the fan going it cools the room right down.  We need to lengthen the felt cover that is over the window.  Even with the blinds down it gets bright in there when the sun is out.

I got my latest reading material in the mail yesterday.  The debut novel The Bright Lands by John Fram.  It’s a mystery set in a small Texas town.  It reminds me of Christopher Rice and some of his early novels so I thought why not.  Even though I am still reading the other book I am going to start this one.

I got another box from Amazon yesterday.  Amazon UK to be exact.  It contained a 3-in-1 nail gun (it does nails, staples and little U shaped thingys) as well as cardboard letters.  What is this for? you might ask.  I know I did because I never ordered it.  I got ahold of someone from Amazon once we had gotten settled in (we were gone most of the day so the kids needed to be fed dinner, groceries needed to be unloaded and put away and the AC units switched out).  I was told that I could keep it. So I have a new tool in my arsenal.

I can’t keep my eyes open.  I’m going to wrap this up and then curl up with the book outside.  Thanks for reading!  I hope you have a great day!  Stay safe!

Books, Creativity, Dogs, Emotions, Learning, Life, Nature, Photography, Thinking, Writing

Feeling Very Zen

This morning I am writing from my office desk instead of in the living room.  It feels different but comfortable.  Moose is sleeping behind me on the floor.  The girls are in their usual spots in the living room.  Stella wandered in a bit ago to see what was up.  Moose followed me in and has been here the whole time.

There are things I still need to tweak in here (my orchid is on my desk but I may move it as it is sort of taking up room… not a lot but we’ll see).  I also thought of another shelving unit I can put in the master bathroom to help get some of my book piles off the floor.  It does feel rather peaceful in here.

I find that I am calmer and more open lately.  Anxiety attacks are all but gone.  I am making a conscious effort to move forward with myself.  I am less tense and less of a worry wart which is a very welcome change.  I am able to appreciate the moment instead of play “what if” all the time.  The heat has also helped.  Because it is so hot there is not much you want to do.  So I am reading more and I am reading new books.  I’m not rereading comfort books to lose myself in familiar territory.

I found a Netflix series that uses the same story idea that I started with for one of my current stories.  I am going through that to see what they did, mostly for ideas and to make sure that I don’t use the same things in my story.  I am very excited as I have gotten a few ideas of my own from watching.  I sit with my notebook and fountain pen handy as I see how the story unfolds.  It is Italian but dubbed.  I am of two minds about it.  Dubbed means I can take in the whole experience without trying to rush to read the bottom of the screen before quickly taking in as much as I can of the background and what is going on before I have to read the next line on the bottom of the screen.  The other side of that is that I would like to learn Italian and I do enjoy the sound of the language.

I have to be careful that I don’t spend all

my time in front of the tv in this heat.  It is easy to do since the AC is right there in the window.  I try to get out in the yard.  If nothing else I water Minion’s garden under the tree and set up the sprinkler here and there as needed.  And of course take photos.  I got some beautiful ones of the sky last night.  I even got the colors!

I see that this post is a bit longer than usual.  I will add some photos from yesterday and upload for you reading pleasure.  Thanks for reading and stay safe!

 

There is a dragon fly landing to the left on the tiger lilies.

Animals, Books, Cooking/Baking, Dogs, Emotions, family, Holiday, Life, Nature, Photography, Reading, the World, Writing

Ahhhh… This Is What It Feels Like to Relax

Yesterday was a bit of a lazy day.  I got bills paid but when I tried to do the “free” car payment online it was $50 more than if I just sucked it up and dealt with traffic.  So I loaded up Moose and Stella and we went to the bank.  With Moose all but in my lap and Stella peering around my shoulder from the back seat the teller and I chatted for a bit about the times and dogs (it was video drive thru and there was no one behind me).  Once we got home (much swearing and the use of my phrase “damn tourists” repeated ad nauseum) we settled outside.  No I lie.  I wanted to bake the cupcakes for the kids birthdays before it got too hot (the one ac unit can’t keep up with all the heat and humidity this week).  Once those were done and cooling I did some thing unusual.  I grabbed my Minion quilt, my bag of books and writing, my camera bag and a few other things and we headed outside.  I laid out my quilt in the shade and set up shop.  Stella came and sat right next to me until I started to read my latest book The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma then she laid down beside me.  Moose and Essie were in and out.  As the sun moved so did we and we moved across the whole yard by the day’s end.  The kids spent most of the time out with me despite the heat (it didn’t feel so hot laying in the shade).  It was a relaxing day had by all.

I got some cool photos (I will download them from the camera and put some in this post) yesterday as well.  I found myself playing with the light.  I think I paid more attention to it because we were in the shade most of the time.  Especially when sunset neared.  The lighting got really cool then.

The only downside to yesterday was the loud music and fireworks.  The music I could deal with.  When the fireworks started they were sparse so Essie was going around the yard barking at them (she does this when the locals are shooting too close to the house).  But as the displays ramped up (we seemed to have them on all sides) Stella started to really freak out.  Essie and Moose were uneasy but coping because I had background noises going and I was nonplussed with the noise.  Stella began pacing around the house, a sure sign that she is freaking out.  So I pulled out the anxiety meds and snuck them into a cupcake for each.  That seemed to help but Stella would wake up (I decided to hunker in bed and read so we’d all be together) with some of the louder fireworks and just stare to make sure all was ok.  Things wrapped up around midnight or so.

I got a few books yesterday.  Well one is actually a pamphlet but you get the idea.  The pamphlet and one books are on Michigan butterflies.  We have so many different varieties this year I wanted to know more.  So I can sit outside with my bird book and butterfly books and see what we have this year.  The third book is actually a memoir.  It is part of my learning about the surfing culture books that I have on my Amazon list.  It looks so good and I really want to start it but I am making myself finish The Fishermen first.  I am halfway done and it is a very good book.  I get lost in the story (and it’s in Nigeria) every time I pick up the book.  But I really really want to read the new one!  Barbarian Days A Surfing Life by William Finnegan looks so good!  And I have a first novel coming in a few weeks from a new writer I discovered John Fram.  So I will be busy reading.  I am hoping this will compel me to get more writing done.  We’ll see.  It seems to have worked today!  This is a long one!

I will stop for now and download some of the photos from yesterday.  Thanks so much for reading this long post!  Have a great day and stay safe!

Animals, Books, Dogs, Exercise, family, Food, Life

Exercise and Food

We got up late but that was more because I ate something bad for dinner.  Around 10pm my tummy wasn’t happy.  I got to the point I couldn’t sleep around midnight and pretty much tossed and turned (gently to be sure) til almost 3am.  I still feel wrung out this morning.  I am grateful that coffee and water are staying down.

I think I understand another reason I read The Howling so quickly.  There was only on story.  The Terry Pratchett stories always have multiple storylines going on top of the satire.  It can be too much to plow through the whole Watch series in a few days.

I am contemplating (again) starting to run again.  When I lived downstate I ran with my Mom and my best friend over the course of a summer.  It was fun.  I would like to try again.  But I also want to take the dogs (one at a time) but that means I need to get them each a harness.  I would prefer to have the dog there to try said harness on instead of trying to order by measurements.  I think they need harnesses to begin with since it will make things easier all around it I want to start taking them outside of the home for exercise on a regular basis.  But I also need to have things replaced around the home as well.  And get the Jeep fixed (we are getting Chris’s truck in first since he drives more than I do).  So I guess do I spend the money and get good shoes and some harnesses for the kids or wait?

I am trying to do atleast a few exercises a day.  Last night it was way hot for all of us (I still enjoyed it) but I still did some exercises.  And apparently I did enough to still feel it today which is good.  It means I am working the muscles I want.  I think I am going on bout all this exercise stuff because I am really not feeling like doing much of anything after last night.  But we shall see.  I need to wish my neighbor a happy birthday before they leave for the day so I am going to wrap this up.  Thanks for reading!  Stay safe and have a great day!