Old Married People Report

One time I found Bob’s bath towel in the laundry. I washed it and hung it on the hook behind the door so he would have it next time he bathed. It sounds thoughtful but it’s also so he won’t get out of the shower dripping wet and wander around leaving puddles everywhere because he forgot about a towel. I can’t imagine getting into a shower and not knowing exactly how I would dry myself but our brains don’t work alike.

Next time I went in the laundry room it was already balled up and back with the dirty clothes.

He thought he forgot to put it in the wash so he threw the clean towel in there.

Now I fold towels and put them in the cupboard when they come out of the dryer.

Last night I couldn’t sleep and Bob was very chatty while he slept. He told someone they were cute. He said he was happy. He was looking forward to having fun. Fun Fun Fun Fun Fun.

I sketched out the milestones I’m aiming for Book 4. Still on track for a spring (late spring!) release. Although I should tack another month on because it seem like it always takes longer than I think when I get to the last stages.

52085 / 75000 words. 69% done!

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Where Would We Be Without Books?

This is most of the to-read shelf. There are other pockets of to-read books on various other bookshelves in the house. Probably another 30-40 ebooks. I use three different ereader apps to disguise the extent of the problem. Not that it’s a problem.

While I’ve been directing so much energy to writing, my reading has taken a hit. (Along with TV and movie watching.) For a couple of years I tried to minimize how many books I acquired but I gave that up because getting more books is fun.

But at the moment they are stacking up faster than I can make a dent and a lot of the books I want to read are fatties. Last year I finished 16, the year before 12 and the year before 17. That’s not a perfect count because sometimes I don’t write them down.

Going through this stack made me want to weep a couple of times as books that I forgot about were buried in the back where I never see them. I think I’ve been “currently reading” that Ted Chiang collection in Goodreads for two or three years.

This is a great problem to have. I finished two books yesterday so I get to pick something new.

Here is the current status of Book #4.

45270 / 75000 words. 60% done!

I am doing a big free promotion for Book #1 at the end of the month. Details to come.

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Not A Wrap-Up

I had this great idea of doing a 2018 wrap up and talk about some fun things I did, movies I saw, books I read, recipes I tried. But I’m still writing books so I didn’t do very many of those things. The above photo is me in Atlanta, pretending I’m going to demolish all this barbecue. I did eat my fair share.

I saw I,Tonya and Phantom Thread in the last couple of months and thought both were fantastic. I watched the first season of The Crown which was phenomenal. I had a list of things I wanted to watch or re-watch during the holidays and ended up spending almost zero time in front of the TV.

One of my favorite foods is fresh figs. I’m still several years away of having a fruit bearing tree but my neighbor gave me some and I picked some off the tree in Orleans.

I didn’t read a lot of books this year but most of the ones I read were great. Some friends gave me In the Distance by Hernan Diaz and I loved it. It’s like Cormac McCarthy only less dark but more odd. Kira gave me a book called A Court of Thorns and Roses which resulted in me spending every spare moment of holiday time reading. I read all three books which grew fatter and fatter as the series continues. (There’s a novella to bridge these books to some news ones but I didn’t read that.) Sexy faeries if that’s what you’re looking for.

This is a hole in the ground in my backyard and I’m going to have an exciting announcement about it coming up next year. Something to look forward to.

I didn’t try many new recipes this year. I did try this: spicy chickpea and coconut milk soup which we inhaled. It made a ton, too. My stovetop pressure cooker that we got when we got married died so we just bought an Instant Pot. I will report back when I have more data.

Get out there and have a Happy New Year.

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Do They Know It’s Christmas?

I’m scheduling this in advance and this is the forecast for my destination. Looks good, huh? Luckily there will be lots of food and fine company, plus puzzles and books. It’s going to be good.

60s Christmas. Are those bathrobes epic, or what? Going to be celebrating with my family again this year

There is a trio of elders in our neighborhood who walk every morning.

One morning we were going for a walk and as we made our way down our street we noticed a large number of cats lurking at the curb and watching. We were half joking about it and half creeped-out.

Then lady walker came around the corner with a little bag. She gives treats to all the cats. It’s very cute. Yesterday I was up early and I looked out the window and I saw two yellow safety vests and a third figure wearing several red blinky lights giving one of the neighbor cats a treat.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and may the new year be filled with people bringing you treats.

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Closed for Winter

[Long very sweaty, spitty, furious rant about recent update to WordPress omitted. After wasting an enormous amount of my time, I found a plugin to let me revert to the old way of posting. And I would tolerate the new way if there was warning and some tutorials. No. Just, here you go, completely new interface. I couldn’t make it work and did not design my day to figure out new software this afternoon.]

This is my winter flowerbed. I made myself go out there on Friday and chopped down the dead dahlias and pulled out some other dead stuff.

These are my broad beans and a bunch of stuff composting in the middle of the garden. You can’t see from this angle but there’s a butternut squash that had a bad spot on it and was rotten before I could pick it.

Normally I roll my eyes at certain types of kitchen innovations and shortcuts but precut parchment paper sheets are AMAZING. I hate cutting parchment paper and dealing with the curling flappyness. Sorry, I didn’t take a picture. I got them at the grocery store. They just pop out of a box and fit right in the sheet pan. I am now so motivated to use parchment for everything.

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With Plenty of Flash and You Know It

My favorite sleeping style is to be on my stomach with one of my legs bent so my hips are crooked and then both hands curled up into little T-Rex fists and wedged underneath my body.

Apparently this is a very bad position to sleep in. Bad for hips, arms, neck, back. Who knows? Probably my skin, too.

Also developing: age related creakiness in all those same spots. If I sit funny even for a short time I am toast.

I am trying to learn how to sleep on my back which is supposedly good for you but feels completely unnatural and contrary to human biology. Even watching people on TV go to sleep on their backs troubles me.

But if you want to go around without neck pain or wrist aches, you have to make the tough changes.

When I first get in bed I start on my back but. so far, I can’t fall asleep like that so after awhile I move to my side. I have woken up on my back so there’s hope. At the same time, when I’m half-asleep, I find myself sliding onto my belly and kicking my knee to the side. I love it.

Crooked Rock #4 update:

37565 / 75000 words. 50% done!

I don’t know what my current word count is because I decided to move some stuff around and the ms. is all torn apart at the moment. But this is the real end goal.

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What’s in the Forest?

I have this ficus that someone gave me over 30 years ago. It currently looks peaked and like it’s given up. It’s looked bad before and I tough-loved its roots and gave it lots of fresh dirt and fertilizer. But now I’m thinking of throwing it out into the garden pile. That seems so mean. But I feel so ambivalent about this tree. Does it bring me joy? No, but I’m used to it. This is how I make decisions.

Why change something I don’t like if I’m used to it?

If I get rid of it I’ll take a picture. Maybe if it snows, so I can make sure it looks terribly sad.

Whew, made it through the month. I will be back to my weekly posts, maybe.

NaNo Wrap up:

37565 / 50000 words. 75% done!

My stated goal: 50,000 words (200 pp) is unlikely but if I aim for that I can probably reach 35,000 (140 pp) which will get me roughly half way.

I had some sort of word count every day except Thanksgiving Day when I only had a very short time for writing. Next goal is to finish the first draft by the end of the year. I think I can do it.

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Squash Blossom

I don’t believe in those zinc tablets that you’re supposed to take when you’re coming down with a cold. They supposedly reduce the seriousness or length of your cold. There is no science to support this.

HOWEVER, Bob was sick and asked me to buy some and I felt a cold coming on. Since we had them, I took them. Three tablets for three days. My cold never settled in. I felt iffy with the sniffles and I only coughed for about 3 days. A three day cough! Normally if my body has a chance to cough it digs in and gives me three full weeks to enjoy it.

So, I don’t believe in them, but I would use them again.

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Remember iPods?

Bob getting this life-changing gift years ago. I would be surprised to learn that any other iPod in history was as well used as that one. Even after he got his first iPhone he hung onto that until it gasped its last gasp but I bet it’s still in a drawer downstairs.

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I’m Trying to Root For You, Sears

If you recall, back in March our condiment shelf on our refrigerator door broke. I eventually called Sears and the nice person on the phone found the part and arranged to ship it to me for about $50.

You can imagine my disappointment when my condiment shelf broke again, barely 6 months later. We could play solve the mystery about why this shelf keeps breaking but that’s not what I’m writing about here.

I called Sears again since I’d already done this once and the person asked me for the model of my fridge. I read the number I had in front of me and he said that wasn’t a model. I read other numbers that I had in front of me and he asked where I was getting those from.

From the little book that came with the refrigerator.

Can’t you just go look at the refrigerator? He described where I would find the model number.

No, I said. I’m at work. I need a job so I can pay for all these condiment shelves. Don’t you have it in your system?

No. He did not.

SEARS! It is 2018. There are online retailers who can tell me what I bought 10 years ago. You need to get with the program.

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