Second Verse The Same As The First

My sister-in-law and I have the fun task of going through my mother-in-law’s recipes and cookbooks. That isn’t sarcasm. I am looking forward to it.

This is a preview from a cookbook she already gave me.

She is a big orange sherbet fan.

I am not. I love cold frosty desserts but I’d rather have nothing than sherbet.

I loved the annotation on this recipe.

I am still plodding in place on this thing: .

The meter is not reflective of the epic amount of work I’m putting into this. I am now waking up at 2am and fretting about it. At one point I came to the conclusion that it would have to be scrapped except then what?

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Enough With Terrible Websites

I uploaded this photo last weekend and then never had time to write a post.

Mother Nature schedules everything using my soccer schedule. Early season match in March? That calls for 40 degrees and driving rain for the duration. First midday match in May? Ninety degrees, you’re welcome!

I bought a sun hat and sprayed 45 spf all over my arms, feet, and neck-front and back: TWICE. Plus I put one of those waterproof 45 spf special for your face all over including my ears and into my hairline. We only had the sun on us for half the time and I was hot and sweaty but not lobstered.

Tomorrow we have a nooner but supposedly it will be 75 and partially cloudy. I’m still going to drench in sunscreen.

The Project of Everything: URGH. I am still losing more words than adding. I am still fighting back distress about the whole thing and giving myself positive feedback. Words are going to fly out of my brain when I need them, right? Hopefully a better update at the end of the weekend.

Today’s Technology Rager: My doctor clinic emailed me a note about a preventative exam I need to schedule. I can’t get into my account. It says my password is wrong.

I went to change password and they asked me a security question. I don’t have the slightest idea what answer I might have given since the thing does not exist for me. I probably made something up but when I do that, I usually write a note on this piece of paper next to my computer with approximately 9000 pieces of information that I need to get into websites. I wrote nothing on this item.

Now I’m all worked up and I couldn’t take care of the problem. I had to send an email to the help desk which says it will get back to me in 72 hours. Well, yahoo. What’s that? Monday?

I already know what they want from me because they also robocall me on it. Also: I ALREADY HAD THE EXAM AT THE CLINIC.

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Everything Changes, Everything Stays the Same

Here’s a shot of the irises. They only last about a week and they’re kind of a pain. I don’t know why I feel bad every time I accidentally pull some of them up. Pretty while they last.

Here’s Percy — look how cute his leaves are. I found some fig forums online so I will be learning everything about figs. People who love figs are very passionate about figs. People who don’t know about figs are sad.

This is a giant dark opening behind the alien bush and inside the hedges in the backyard. Every time I do yard work there, I imagine a growling clicky sound like you hear in a horror movie while some unsuspecting lady hums while gardening and a giant creature with claws and teeth gets ready to tear her apart.

If you don’t hear from me, that’s what happened.

Still trying to fix the 90% draft and some sad back tracking happened this week. I nuked two chapter because they were a huge mess and sometimes it’s better to jettison stuff than try to fix it.

64163 / 75000 words. 86% done!

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We’re at 98% of a Flimsy First Draft

My goal was to have a first draft by the end of the month and I’m mostly there. I’m still working on it. I have a series of about five scenes that are more framework than actual draft and I am still filling those out so this is even skinnier than I would normally refer to as a first draft but I need a win so I’m giving it to myself.

I have almost two full months to get ready for first readers and I am going to need it. I struggle with all of these books in different ways which is exasperating. I want to have figured this out.

In other news, I nuked my Instagram account. This article helped me decide because this is my experience. People are posting fewer photos and more stories and often the stories are too long and I HATE that herky-jerky thing — I don’t need to know what it’s called. Also the ads are creepy — I will talk about something, like say, pizza, and then a pizza ad pops up in my timeline. We were talking about the opioid crisis at the office and then a drug ad showed up in my timeline. Creepy.

I still have a Twitter account and I reluctantly log in about 5 minutes or less a day, except Timbers games, when I spend a lot of time logged in because I like being with people sharing my joy or my pain, depending on what the team is doing.

A fig tree’s first spring leaves. There will be lots of photos of Percy.

A couple of miscellaneous notes:

New Yorker story about heirloom beans. I love everything about beans: stories about heirloom beans and other people who like beans, cooking beans, eating beans, pictures of beans, bean recipes, the bean store. I make lots of different kinds but generally we’re perfectly happy with pinto beans.

Neighbor report: woke me up again last night. *sigh*

I don’t know what’s going on with my word count meter. It was gone and then it came back and last time I checked it was gone again. Here’s a different one:

66254 / 75000 words. 88%

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And Boy Are My Arms Tired

Back in the days when we had plants out front.

I thought I would work some soil amendment in and prep this area for planting. When you have giant bushes for 20+ years the dirt turns into a massive root ball. I spent over two hours trying to get this cleaned up–chopping and yanking at roots and more roots. That was all of the upper body strength I had saved up for yard work on Friday. Me and my noodle arms retreated inside for a much deserved icy cold beer and Day 1 of NCAA gymnastics finals.

But I checked the weather and it appeared that Saturday was going to be rain and cool so I heaved my weary ass back out there to clean up the garden spot since I didn’t know when I would have time and good weather again. I pulled weeds and mixed in fertilizer. Then I did that thing where I found all my old seeds and flung them out there. Plus I bought a ton of new seeds. I carefully read the directions and then completely ignored them. Thrive or die vegetables!

A few more hours later I staggered back in the house. I was completely filthy so I took shower, whimpering as I tried to raise my arms above my head to shampoo my hair. I was still tired on Saturday. There is an endless amount of work to do out there but I feel some sense of accomplishment.

Will have to do word count update later. It’s not impressive but still inching forward.

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Cooking Along

Yesterday was my favorite day of the year: First home match of the season. It was a typical first match, raining and cold which is why I failed to take very many photos. I might brush off my pocket camera and bring it to a match. I think it takes better photos than the phone.

Here is the rhodie update: it’s completely dead. I asked the landscaper about taking it out and he pushed the trunk and it broke off at the spot where the shrub met the dirt. It’s gone and we now have nothing in front of our house. I expect to remedy that but first I need to do some household due diligence/maintenance/pain in the butt stuff –long story.

Everything in life: TBD.

This is the view from my bus stop. That high rise in progress used to be a gas station.

For the first time in ages I am trying a new recipe. I am making beef broth from some bones I had in the freezer leftover from a fancy dinner a couple months ago. It smells AMAZING. I keep finding an excuse to go in the kitchen and give it a stir. But the real recipe is onion soup. I’m doing a Cooks Illustrated method of cooking the onions in the Dutch oven in the oven. We’re in about 70 minutes so far. That smells good, too.

I had my most productive writing weekend in months and months. I am plodding more quickly. But now my brain is mush and I’m still trying to tie up loose ends.

Looks like this counter works again and I like it better because seeing that percentage thing go up gives me a feeling of accomplishment.

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The Models Are Real

Something is snacking on my daffodils

A couple of years ago I bought this weird bra at a local big box store. It’s cut like a sports bra but not made for sports. I don’t know what to call it. Maybe a bralette? It’s not lacy but has cute stripes. I like to wear it on the weekend.

I have never been able to find another bra like it at the box store. I’ve tried several similar bras but they were never as good or as cute as the first one.

Then I tried ordering one online that was super cute and very comfortable but my boobs end up sneaking out the bottom. (Is this TMI?)

A couple of weeks ago it occurred to me that I have access to a brazillion bras with a few click clicks of my computer. Why not expand my search?

I still haven’t found anything I love but the comment I wanted to make is that some places have regular looking people for models. Women with different shapes and freckles and muffin tops. Yeah sure, there were places with athletic slender models, too. But muffin tops! That made me really happy.

Final note: this week I ran across this article several times — it says that doing dishes causes the most relationship distress. Not for me. I don’t mind dishes at all. I’ve even written about it before. I hate planning, preparing, and cooking dinner. My favorite weeknights are when I don’t have to cook. I also hate ironing but I hardly ever do it so it doesn’t count.

I am on a roll with Book #3 at the moment. Current progress:

51475 / 75000
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The House with Sad Plants Out Front

Look — sad tulips. I have these two plus one more with ragged green leaves that look like they narrowly escaped a garbage disposal. I have the world’s longest list of projects and problems to solve that I will tackle as soon as I finish these books. (So, starting in summer of 2019.) “Improve bulb situation” is on the list.

I never got an apple tree either but I have a huge hole in my backyard. I impulsively bought a fistful of seed packets because that always works out well. After my great tomato success of last summer (scroll down past the dog) I bought four (4!) tomato plants online including a cherry tomato that is supposed to be VERY PROLIFIC.

Place your bets here by which date I will be complaining about cherry tomatoes.

Now look at the sad rhodie. It’s shown signs of giving up on us for several years. Then we had his bush companion removed and he’s never been the same. Now we will be one of those sad houses with nothing planted out front. Except for the fig tree. As soon as Percy sprouts leaves there will be more photos.

I might be back on track with the book. Every time I say that I get thrown off again so I’m not going to elaborate. It looks like the word count thing I was using died so I’m trying a new one. I’m still writing out of order but this is close:

44290 / 75000
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Rage Against the Tag

I’ve recently developed an unreasonable rage toward the giant tags that are on bathroom towels and wash cloths. Why are they so big? It’s hard to cut them off without it looking like ass — are we supposed to live with the giant tags and the way they curl up after you’ve washed the towel? Are you supposed to iron them so they look nice? Is there a way I’m supposed to remove them without leaving a corner of the towel looking all ripped up?

Since the rage started, I’ve been cutting them off. But the more tags I cut off the more tags I notice. Clothing, too. A lot of my newer stuff skips the tag along the neckline but then inserts a giant tag on one of the side seams. One of my extra long tags included the washing instructions in 4 languages and then a little dotted line showing me where I could cut the tag.

Gee, thanks. Am I supposed to memorize the washing instructions to all my clothes?

On some of my clothes with a confusing neckline — is this the back or is this the back? — I stitched a few little red stitches with embroidery thread. It’s a great idea but also sounds like something a weird old lady would do and also, not like I have free time begging to be filled.

I don’t know what to tell you about this book. I am having an agonizing time of it. My brain refuses to cooperate. I sit here for hours on end and have so little to show for it. The characters make the same cow eyes at each other and then make a bunch of ham-fisted remarks to drive my point and then we’re on to the same scene in a different location. I freak out every book but I freak out in a different way and this way seems like the worst. The only part that’s easy is when they take their pants off which is hilarious because with the first book, that was the most difficult part.

Looks like my old word meter died so I’m going to try this one out:

41770 / 75000
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The Lights Are Bright

These are my daffodils in the backyard this minute. I don’t have any tulips yet and the tulips that are out there continue the trend over the last several years of looking pitiful. I’m sure there’s something I could do to remedy that but I don’t have the energy to figure it out right now.

I like to keep a string of multi-color holiday lights up in my room. In the winter I keep them on all the time. It’s a nice night light and I can hang out without having to turn on the overhead light.

Those lights are crazy cheap but also don’t last very long. This year as soon as they started to die I took them down. There was another string in the dining room and I brought those in and when I got them up and plugged them in, they didn’t work. Then the dragonfly lights died, too. It was like as soon as I unplugged one string every light in the house gave up. I threw everything away in a huff and I need to run by the craft store and buy more.

Mom’s party last week was super fun. The only photo I took the entire trip is the one above. If you like photostreams of people that you don’t know, Aileen posted photos here.

I’m still working my way back into productive writing. I’m always working but sometimes it’s a few steps back before I go forward again. I also finally dug out the tax stuff this weekend. The federal stuff is a breeze but Oregon makes me so furious I can hardly keep my brain from bursting out of my eyeballs. Bob can tell when I start doing it even from a distance. It’s difficult for me not to believe that Oregon tax form makers are the most passive-aggressive forkwits that like to punish nonresident tax payers. I could go on but I need to stay calm. Word count update next week.

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