Tomato Universe

The tomato situation finally grew out of control. I took everything off the windowsill and picked out all the ones that were getting squishy or had a spot or looked the ripest and I made them into soup.

I use Deborah Madison’s recipe: start with a few tablespoons of butter, handful of chopped shallots. While that cooks, quarter a bunch of tomatoes. Throw tomatoes into the pot and leave on stove for a few hours, stirring every so often. Strain and reheat. Season to taste. Add a glug of cream or whole milk if you want.

I ate a bowl, sent a bowl to my mother-in-law, saved a bowl for later, and froze a bowl for a cold terrible day in January when I will wish to remember summer. My husband isn’t a fan of tomato soup, if you’re wondering why none of this soup is for him.

It’s supposed to rain all week so I’m guessing I’m not going to get much else out of my plants. This morning I picked everything with a hint of color in it and stuck it on the windowsill. I’m leaving the plants in the ground. I can get a few more if the weather gets nice again.

I found my raincoat and put it out so I don’t have to look for it when I leave for work tomorrow. I pulled out a bunch of socks since I’ll be wearing closed toe shoes again. I didn’t flip the closet yet but I pulled out some of the stuff. I washed my long underwear since it didn’t smell delightful when I pulled it out of the storage container.

Bob’s back in school. Summer is over.

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There’s Never Enough Time Off

Remember when my sister moved from San Francisco to Utah and I followed behind in her car?

My mini-break has come to an end. It was mostly nice but as it always is with time off, there’s never enough and it goes by too fast. I feel like I barely made a dent in the things I wanted to do.

I finally got to see both Wonder Woman and Guardians of the Galaxy #2 — I loved both. I expected to like them and I enjoyed way more than I expected. I saw them at the mall and I did some back to school type shopping. The trailer for the last Planet of the Apes movie was terrifying. Those movies are really good but hard to watch and confuse my loyalties. Geostorm looks ridiculous, like a whole bunch of terrible ideas were put in a blender and then Gerard Butler says: yeah, I’ll do it. There was a crazy pants Halo Top ice cream commercial that did not make me want to buy their product. I can’t find a link I’m willing to put up for that one.

Bob and I bought some plants for the backyard and dug. We did not heed the warning of the lady at the nursery and turns out she was right: the ground is hard as a rock at the end of the summer. We aborted our attempt to make new planting areas and moved some other plants so we could put them in the existed beds.

We lasted for about 45 minutes of cleaning the garage and made a half-hearted pile of trash and gave up. I’m sure we’ll be more in the mood another day. (No we won’t. Cleaning the garage is terrible.)

Another thing we did was gather up some cans of change (meaning coins) and take them to the credit union and trade it in for $$$ and then we went to the new Ilani casino that opened up north of here. It’s very pretty and if you like casinos, you will approve. I don’t hate casinos but once I had taken a lap of the building, I’d had enough.

My body was nice enough to wake me up between 5am and 6am every morning I had off except for the morning it let me sleep until 6:30am. How much you want to bet that does not happen tomorrow?

I’m not quite ready to write words yet but the outline is coming into shape.

Resetting: Book #3

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Hair and Other Concerns

If in all my endless methods of flogging and self-promotion, if you didn’t hear, Book #2 of Crooked Rock is out in the world. All the details and links are here.

Today I’m going to write about a somewhat recent re-watch of the movie: Bull Durham. It came out in 1988 and starred Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon, if you’re scratching your head and trying to remember.

This movie did not hold up as well as I expected. I thought Sarandon was kinda shrill and didn’t think they had as much chemistry as they were trying to sell us on. Tim Robbins was good. I had other thoughts, too, and I remember taking notes. Except the only note I can find says “hair on chest.”

There’s a locker room scene and I was struck by all the chest hair. Remember the days when it was totally okay to grow hair below the neck? I am not onboard for all this depilatorization. Is that a word? Well it should be. If impactful gets to be a word than depilatorization can be a word, too.

So, back when I watched the movie I researched when this idea that men had to have hairless chests started and the google blamed it on Marky Mark when he was doing those Calvin Klien ads. Then I found articles where men complained about what a pain it was to do all this hair removal.

Tell me about it.

I think the moment has passed because I’ve seen men with chest hair again — on Supernatural and probably something else I can’t remember right now.

In other news, Comcast made us upgrade all our gear which was a large pain in the ass that Bob bore the brunt of. (Thank you, dear!) But while we’re still tweaking everything, something is wrong so it kicks me off the wireless once every 24 hours so I have to enter passwords on everything I own and/or use, every day. I’m tired of passwords. And PIN numbers. And secret words. And special questions. I don’t really want anyone to scan my retina but it that will save me all this other crapola, I will reluctantly sign up.

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Still Doing It Wrong

This is Roxy. She lives in Marysville and her dad is the one that gave me my epic tomato plants.

Here’s a not great photo of the latest harvest. More about my tomatoes in the days to come.

Not long ago I was here complaining about everyone doing it wrong. I have been yanking my hair out dealing with banks and technology. I don’t see how this is easier than writing a check and putting it in an envelope.

We had one more hour long phone call to get Bob added to my bank account. Then they Fedexed a debit card which I stole and hid because he’s not going to use it. Then I finally linked the savings for overdraft which was the point of this whole stupid thing.

Meanwhile, I tried ride-sharing. I have ride-shared when other people paid but this was the first time I paid and I was not impressed since they charged me double what they charge ticket partner after a Timbers match. I complained and they explained I had to pay a premium rate. Which again, ticket partner has never been charged a premium rate. So I asked them to close my account.

*Then* they credited me the premium charge. I still closed the account and then got a fraud alert on my credit card, which is through Bob’s pile of money. The alert went to him. I didn’t know and I got an alarm from my cellphone carrier that I hadn’t paid.


I spent an hour of my Saturday morning unraveling that mess.

The next door neighbor issue is that somehow, even with a tight housing market, we lucked out and now the everybody-crash-here house is next door. I’ve counted at least 10 different vehicles parked over there in 3 weeks. They are mostly silent except from 9pm to 4am on Friday and Saturday nights. If we keep the windows closed it’s okay. But it’s the tiny wedge in the calendar when we can enjoy open windows. So far no one has been especially friendly with some pointed eye contact avoidance. I’m still hoping we can get to know them and maybe it will be okay.

I’m not even going to start on the legal book sellers. I was able to do my business with a phone call which would have been helpful to know before I was in the endless looping chaos of their websites.

I have a VERY IMPORTANT soccer match starting in 1 minute so I have to run.

My Urban Indian Romance Book #1 is on a free promotion right now. If you or someone you know might like this info, links are here.

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Another Year Gone By

Twenty one years ago today I married this burning hunk of love. We’re going to have a local adventure and walk around downtown and sample different food and beverages.

Photo credit: Aileen Wilder. Used w/o permission. hehe.

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What’s the Title of the Blog?

Just in case anyone missed my endless social media flogging, I had a new story come out this week. Here’s the link:

Skinny Charlie’s Orbiting Teepee.

And in other author news, I finally have an announcement about book 2: It will be here September 5.

I finished the last bits today and put it all together. I need to double check the files and take a break to rest my eyeballs in a gentle saline solution. I’ve been staring at the screen too long.

I’ve been dying to write a long rant about my bank but since I had a story come out, I didn’t want that to be the top post. But now that the furor has passed, I’ll go ahead.

Every couple has to figure out their own way to share money. Our general attitude is that it’s both of our money, but we keep it in separate piles. For my main separate pile I had Bob on the savings but I opened the checking later so he wasn’t on that. (Spoiler alert: he’s still not on it.)

The bank sent me a notice that they automatically enrolled me in their overdraft protection program. I did not want to be automatically enrolled in anything. Since I have a savings account, I wanted that to be my overdraft protection.

I logged into that account and commenced with the clicking and the clicking. It kept telling me I don’t have a savings account.

Later, when I had time to dick around, I phoned. They said, you have to have the same people on the checking account and the savings account if you want to link them.

So I logged back in and commenced with the clicking until I sent Bob an invitation to join the checking account. He received no invite. We did this for two rounds before we found time to both sit in the room at the same time and phone them again.

Turns out Bob did not have an email account linked to the savings so who knows where they were sending the invitation.

We were on the phone with them for 45 minutes. I have no idea what the problem was. Something something credit card. We don’t have a credit card. Bob reading off endless data for their files. We finally begged to end the call, we have lives.

Last I checked, Bob is still pending to be added to the account. I still don’t know what’s what. All this so I can use my savings as overdraft protection. Number of purchases I have overdrafted in my lifetime: 0.

I have many more people who are doing it wrong for future stories. Terrible legal booksellers? New story on that. The rental house next door? Funny you should ask.

More details to come.

My sweetheart has a medical procedure this week that requires dietary prep including 24 hours of fasting later this week. Pray for us!

I’ve got the okay to stay home tomorrow during the eclipse-o-pocalypse. Everyone enjoy your moon on sun action.

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I’m Back! Or Am I?

I saw this photo in my endless unedited photostream and it looked so otherworldly it took me awhile to figure out what it was. This is someplace in Madison, Wisconsin. I should look it up but I need to run out the door in 3 minutes.

I am back in town after a whirlwind trip to CA last weekend. I’m still running around trying to do more than I can handle. But I did some social things, too. And I baked two pies this morning and taking one to a get together this afternoon.

I have a story coming out in Apex Magazine tomorrow. Read the whole issue — it’s really good. Here’s the forward from guest editor Amy Sturgis. And don’t miss Rebecca Roanhorse’s story Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience. It’s a good companion piece with mine.

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Beg-A-Thon Wrap Up and Future News

We had a couple of baby raccoons hanging out several weeks ago. I took both these terrible pictures from inside the house. They make cute little chittering sounds. I was a little worried about them wandering around during the daylight but it’s nature. I’m sure they’re fine. Someone has been chewing on the pumpkins out front.

The write-a-thon is finished. I finished everything I wanted to but not as much as I hoped.

I’m not going to work too hard next month on new stuff but I will be prepping all the stuff to get the book published.

Thanks again to everyone who contributed. Last figure I saw they’d raised over $18,000.

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #6

This is a wrap up for week #5. The workshop is starting week #6.

I have, just 5 minutes ago, sent off the finished manuscript to editor. My brain is ruined. I am a little dismayed by how exhausted I am right before I start the work week.

I wish I were more excited about it. At the very end I was still messing around with things and my computer froze during a save so I lost a little bit. I think I’m too tired to be a good judge of what I did. It’s done. Mission accomplished.

This week I will work on the blurb and otherwise give myself a break before I hammer on the promotion stuff. I might try to finalize the prequel story as well.

I made another fail loaf. I had the same problem last week and figured the sourdough was weak. Now I think the kitchen is much warmer than when I usually bake and I’m letting it sit too long. Haven’t had time to research properly. Homemade fail loaf is still better than store bought bread.

(Nice arty reflection shot) Also, RIP Black and Decker toaster. My parents gave this to me when I moved into my Lake Oswego apartment in 1992. I’ve been with this toaster oven longer than I’ve been married. We’re guessing the heat shield failed because Bob put in some bread to toast and minutes later black smoke and a smell like Satan’s butthole came pouring out of it. It’s in the backyard. We’re afraid to stand too close to it.

Last I checked the write-a-thon raised over $13,000. It’s not too late to donate. Even a few bucks is appreciated. You can sponsor any of these wonderful writers:


And huge thanks to everyone who’s participated.

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #5

Clarion West is starting week 5 today. I am reporting on my write-a-thon progress from Week #4.

I did all the things I said I’d do. A draft of the blurb/bleargh exists and I am finalizing the manuscript like a champ. I’m sending it off one week from today and I need every minute to work on it.

This week is a quick garden report:

Remember this? This is one of the tomato plants about a week after I planted it Memorial Day weekend. I wish I had a photo from when I first put them in the ground because they were about as big as my thumb.

There will be an update at the end of this post.

This was the first dahlia this yard. I have a yellow one and a few red and a couple of big pink ones out front. There are more on the way.

Check out that franken flower in the middle. It’s a head taller than the others. What’s up with that? And yes, I realize I have way too many for that tiny patch. They volunteer and I yank tons of them out but I always underestimate them. There’s one little tomato planted back there that is overrun with sunflowers and pumpkin leaves.

This is a backyard tomato that I grew from a seed. I think it’s a Stupice which is an early tomato. Probably helps if you plant it earlier which I did not.

Backyard pumpkin. In the early days the best pumpkins grew out front. This year the backyard is where the cool squash are hanging out.

Here they are – the huge tomatoes out front and growing like crazy.

Thanks again to everyone contributing to the write-a-thon. The last report said $9631 raised so far (not me, for the whole thing). Small donations are welcome. If you’re still considering a donation, please sponsor one of my great Clarion West classmates:


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