The Great Pumpkin

This is the pumpkin crop. At first glance, it’s impressive. But when you look more carefully, it’s not. There are a lot of pumpkins but they aren’t very big. The small ones are cute to look at but worthless for producing edible pumpkin product.

And if you look even more closely, you can see that some of them already need to be composted.

There is enough there to get my Thanksgiving pie and probably a pot of pumpkin chili later this winter but that’s about it.

For almost all of the past 10 years I’ve done a post a day in the month of November. I don’t think I can manage a written post but I’m going to aim to at least have a photo a day.

I’m trying to get started on romance book #2 and I still need to get my story collection done. Romance book #1 is getting closer. There’s a photo of the bookmark/sticker on pen name’s website.

Posted in doing it wrong | Leave a comment

Fun with Sales People

I was all organized and updated pen name’s website but I forgot to mention it here. There’s an excerpt from Chapter 1 here. You can read a fun story about me and caulk here.

Everything is more or less under control except I decided to add one teeny bit. This weekend I should be able to final-final everything. Then I’m on standby until the cover art is finalized. Still hoping for first of November.

Remember when we needed a new copier at the office? Here’s the post about the cold-call from a company we will call “Won’t give you a proposal.” We ended up going with a company who we will call “Screw Me Once Shame on You, Screw Me Twice Shame on Me.” Here’s a post about the hassles with installation and delivery. For that occasion I invented a tag “clusterfukatonia” which I only used that one time but now that I remember I have it, I can use more often. Here’s one more short post about dealing with their online system.

You’ll never guess what happened.

A guy from a third competitor came here on a cold call and I said, “Yeah. Give me a proposal.” And he did. And he only asked to see the old lease once and when I said that wasn’t possible, he was good. And then he had a proposal to me in 2 days. And we like it. We especially like that the machine is easy to use. It has like three buttons. Bless any person in tech right now who is making things simpler.

But first I had to find out what was going on with the lease from the Screw Me company. You see, I had contacted them in APRIL, asking for a clarification of the end date of our lease. I believed the end date was October but it wasn’t clear. My new rep returned my call while I was out, didn’t give me the end date of my lease and left a bunch of numbers to call. I did not follow up. In May the rep came by and we talked about swapping out the current machine for a newer one for less money.

I never heard from him again.

So now that it was October and I had new guy’s proposal, I thought I’d get this party started. We have a procurement policy so we need to try for at least 3 bids. I contacted the We Won’t Give You A Proposal company using the form on their website that guarantees I will hear from someone in 4 hours. That was last Thursday. I haven’t heard from them.

I contacted the Screw Me company via email and heard nothing so I dug around and found my rep’s info and both his office phone and cellphone had “out of office on vacation, I will be back in June” messages. He included a manager’s phone number “if you need to talk to someone right away” so I called that guy–who answered the phone. A live body. Wow! He recognized the company name, told me he’d forwarded my email to my new rep and said he would let the new rep know to follow up with me.

I haven’t heard from him.

I finally called the bank that administers the lease and that’s when I learned that the lease ends in December. The Screw Me company has a deceptive lease and this is the SECOND time we’ve been caught up in it. I’m sure the minute the lease expires they will be all over us. That’s what they did last time.

Stay tuned for more fun with copier salespeople in the new year.

Posted in doing it wrong | Tagged | Leave a comment

Size Matters

During the dark months I like to have string of xmas lights in my room. Sometimes I can get away without using the overhead light and it’s cheery.

If you’ve used these lights, you know they are super crappy and don’t last long. The string I had up developed a short and would blink on and off so it was like living in a David Lynch movie.

The store doesn’t sell lights year round so I’ve been keeping an eye out. I didn’t think they would be here in October, but I was poking around the Halloween stuff in case there was something I could use.

The holiday lights are out now.

We went to Bob’s Red Mill this morning, and I picked up another giant bag of flour, even though I still had flour left from my last bag.

I had a lot of trouble moving the last bag around, and obviously, the most logical conclusion was that my aging body isn’t as strong as it used to be. I was also surprised that I hadn’t managed to use it up yet.

I brought home a new giant bag today (the one on the left) and I noticed the problem:

I still don’t have new romance novel news. Unfortunately, there are forces beyond my control causing delays. Trust me, if they were in my control I would be controlling them. I will update the minute I have something to update.

Posted in baking disasters, doing it wrong | Tagged | Comments Off on Size Matters

Pat the Pumpkin

I asked Bob to take some pictures of me to see if I could find something to use for my author photo on pen name’s website.

I already had the giggles from the great mattress flipping incident. When I switch the sheets in the spring and fall, I like to flip the mattress. I can’t do it by myself. Bob and I are good at being married but bad at all other forms of teamwork. We spent about 15 minutes trying to explain to the other the best way to flip it. I think we both had the same idea but completely different ways of communicating.

Back to the photo session – I have a photo that I like where I’m petting one of the neighbor cats. I said I wanted something like that so Bob told me to do the same thing only with the pumpkins. I squatted down next to them and he said, look at the pumpkin. I started laughing and asked if he wanted me to pet it. Hence, this photo.

The only update is that the blurb is up on pen name’s website. No cover or sample chapter yet. We are getting closer. I updated the website, too.

Meanwhile, I used this weekend to catch up on domestic stuff. I partially put the garden to bed and raked up Round 1 of the Apple-pocolypse. I dug what I think is the last of the potatoes. Got another bunch of beets. A nice bowl of roma tomatoes. I collected apples to make applesauce but ran out of steam. I had tons of green beans from Orleans so I cleaned two giant bags and composted some, cooked a batch, and canned dilly beans. My dilly beans came out doodoo. My learning style is to do everything wrong the first time I try it. I’m sure they’ll taste fine but they shriveled and I guess I need to learn how to stuff them in there better. They look like someone started to fill the jars and then got bored and gave up.

I did a bunch of other household things that I’ve been putting off. Next weekend I should be back to book stuff. I’m not going to make any more promises since there are too many things that can come up and derail the schedule.

Posted in doing it wrong | Comments Off on Pat the Pumpkin

Papaya Update

Generally, there are few foods I won’t eat. That’s excluding unconventional or uncommon stuff like offal or bugs.

I hate tuna fish but I would eat it if I was a guest at someone’s house and that was what they offered. I don’t like yellow mustard or tarragon — which are more like flavors than foods. But if I get a sandwich with mustard or something in a restaurant has tarragon, I’ll eat it. I don’t like scallops but that’s because scallops don’t like me. I guess it’s the fat in them (?) but they give me terrible indigestion.

I can’t think of anything else right now.

One food I do not like is papaya. I don’t even like to be in the same room as papaya. I think it smells gross.

When I was a teenager I was in Hawaii with my family and we were on an inter-island flight and I made a terrible face and said: I smell papaya.

We were flying over a papaya orchard.

When I tell people this story they tell me: You were in a plane. You couldn’t possibly smell that.

I could.

Recently it occurred to me that I am a grown-ass woman and that perhaps I like papaya now. I haven’t tried it in decades. Maybe this is a delightful treat that I will regret not eating for so many years.

So while I was at my folks in CA this past weekend I bought a papaya. Even as I peeled it, I made a face. I tried a bite and then made a face like my tongue needed to be scraped and bleached.

Conclusion: I still hate papaya.

Posted in pamily | Tagged | 1 Comment

This Isn’t The News You’re Looking For

This is another photo from Missouri. I think in St. Louis near the museum but I’m not sure.

Book is done and to the editor. (This is the new romance. The short story collection is in the void at the moment.)

I know I keep saying this but: for real, by the first weekend in October I should have real news like a cover and a blurb and an overly optimistic release date.

On my way to CA to visit family.

Posted in doing it wrong | Comments Off on This Isn’t The News You’re Looking For

The Post You’ve Been Waiting For (Final)

Timbers Fan Appreciation Night

Here I am with Vytas who also complimented my earrings and gets a million gold stars. He just joined our team this summer and his full name has about 16 syllables and twice that many vowels. He’s from Lithuania and completely charming. When he arrived he’d never been to the US and every time they did an interview with him he was happily counting off all the things he’d done for the first time since he’d arrived. He is one of my new favorites. The other guy is Wade Hamilton who is the “c” goalkeeper.

Here I am with Zarek Valentin, Darren Mattocks, Fanendo Adi (swoon swoon!) and Taylor Peay. I love all these guys. I wrote Season of Us before Zarek was even on our team. But he used to have a surfer hair thing going and the first time I saw him I said: Zach!

And that concludes my coverage of fan appreciation night.

I had to get yet another crown — the tooth kind. I had the prep two weeks ago and ate half the temporary in less than 24 hours. So for the past two weeks every time I inhaled with my mouth open you had to scrape me off the ceiling because that tooth nubbin was sensitive. I got my tooth installed today and the dentist asked why I didn’t come back to get another one. If I’m going to break them that fast, it didn’t seem worth it. I love my new tooth and eating and drinking hot and cold things without screaming.

Posted in doing it wrong, TIMBERS! | Comments Off on The Post You’ve Been Waiting For (Final)

The Post You Have Been Waiting For (part 2)

There’s probably a joke about “the post” in there somewhere but I can’t come up with it right now.

More photos from Timbers Fan Appreciation Night.

Here I am with Amobi Okugo and Nick Besler. Amobi complimented my earrings and gets a million gold stars.

Here’s a picture of me with the MLS Cup. I enjoyed this moment since I doubt I’ll be seeing it again anytime soon. We haven’t won a single away game this season.

If you’re having trouble computing, let me spell it out: the last time we won an away game we won this trophy.

I’ve actually never seen either of these players play. I think this is me with Ben Polk and Gbenga Arokoyo. They both have super cute smiles.

That’s what my seat looks from the field.

I am finalizing my manuscript this month plus I have to get the publicity train in motion so probably posting will about as scanty as usual. But not to worry, I have MORE Timbers fan appreciation night photos to come.

Posted in doing it wrong | Comments Off on The Post You Have Been Waiting For (part 2)

The Post You All Have Been Waiting For (Part 1)


Here I am with Diego Valeri (Insert that emoji with the smiley face and heart eyes — can you do that in WP?) and Steven Taylor.

Here I am with Jack Jewsbury and Ben Zemanski who is only half smiling because I’ve had my photo taken with him before.

Here I am a JACK sandwich with Jack Barmby and Jack McInerney (more swooning).

There are tons more photos to come in the next couple of days so as they say in college when you’re in a sorority: get excited for the next few posts.

Posted in TIMBERS! | Tagged , | Comments Off on The Post You All Have Been Waiting For (Part 1)

Did You Enjoy Olympic Gymnastics?

Yeah, this little pitiful harvest is my tomato crop. There are still tomatoes out there and I might get another handful but this is the best my garden could do. I’m going to need to rethink the garden next year.

Everybody loves gymnastics during the Olympics and then forgets about it until next time.

I am here to make a pitch for NCAA gymnastics. You probably get at least some coverage if you have a decent cable package. My coverage has varied over the years but for the most part I can get SEC and every single team is really good. I also get Pac12 which also has many good teams but for some reason last year Pac12 divided into a bunch of little Pac12 stations which means for TV I generally only get the Oregon State meet.

Not to worry, you can catch a lot of stuff online but in that case you have to watch live and I am not always able to drop everything and watch gymnastics on a Friday afternoon. Or in the case of some of the Pac12 meets, Monday night. I’ve never had any luck getting Big 10. Maybe your cable has it.

NCAA is a different beast from elite (Olympics) and Balance Beam Situation does a good job of explaining why. Here’s my explanation: NCAA is all about the team. They’ll let you individual high scores but the real competition is the team.

NCAA still uses the 10 point scoring system. The routines are shorter and more precise which leads to really tight scoring. Every toe point and landing is critical. In elite the score is divided between difficulty and execution so Simone can have a major mistake and still win a medal.

The other thing fun about NCAA is there is more artistry and originality. And there are so many really great gymnasts. Mark your calendar. The season starts in January.

Posted in doing it wrong | Tagged , | Comments Off on Did You Enjoy Olympic Gymnastics?