Author Archives: Pamela

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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Happy 80th Birthday Mom

I’m in CA celebrating. Hopefully photos of the main event when I return.

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Earning Our Highest Condiments

I’m not going to lie. There are daffodils out there but I don’t have time to get out the camera and take photos so these are from last year.

On Monday I came home from work and opened the refrigerator and the bracket that holds all the condiments in the refrigerator door popped off and condiments went flying.

I was not in the mood to deal with that problem. Fortunately, nothing broke so I transferred the condiments from the floor to any shelf where they would fit. I took the broken shelf and set it aside to deal with later.

Our refrigerator door holds a buttload of condiments and we love condiments and have very many. It became a problem to find anything in the fridge because every shelf was overflowing with condiments. I finally found a box, filled it with condiments and put them in the outside fridge.

I thought maybe I could fix the shelf but it’s a tiny wedge of broken plastic — just a teeny piece that holds it on the door. Poor design in my opinion. So then I dug out the paperwork that came with the fridge thinking I could pop online and order the part but I couldn’t figure it out. So I now look forward to what will no doubt be a long and aggravating telephone conversation with Sears to see if I can solve this problem. Plan B is duct tape.

All my energy that isn’t devoted to day-to-day survival is on Book #3. (I have a cover!) The situation will not change for some time.

(Yeah, it does look grim. There are still a couple of scenes ahead that aren’t counted in this but I’ve moved into panic mode.)

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I’m On Google Maps

Last summer I was walking back from an appointment and the Google Map car drove by me. I made a note of the cross street and put it in my tickle file and I’ve been checking ever since and I finally found myself.

In other news, I have had terrible experiences with two of my favorite and regular stop food carts. The first one was I think was just a couple of slightly too old ingredients. I did eat that one. The second one I think was way too old ingredient. I ate about a third of it yesterday before wrapping it up and thinking: well, maybe it’s me. But I unwrapped it today and took a bite and then spent the next 10 minutes scrubbing my tongue with a napkin.

I’m not a person who likes to return things but both times I came *this* close but I always feel so awkward and terrible about returning things. Isn’t that crazy? What is wrong with me? I paid $8.50 for that burrito. At least it didn’t make me sick. Yet.

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I Dig The Snow

A Fig Tree’s First Snow

I actually did not dig the snow literally or figuratively. It’s always unpredictable and I was at work when the forecast kept changing to expect snow earlier and earlier. I’m anxious about ending up stuck in traffic if there is a huge weather meltdown so if things look sketchy I will usually go home early or if I’m already home, I will stay home.

I can usually do some work from home so it’s not the end of the world but it disrupts my schedule.

Normally, this week would be pre-season for soccer but we’re remodeling our stadium — I have photos but no time to look right this second — No home matches until April 14. I was only a little bit sorry to miss out on sitting in a plastic chair in freezing temperatures to see the guys.

The next day I walked to the bus stop rather than drive to the park-n-ride. The sun was out. The snow was still fresh. It took over 2 hours to get to work and was a giant pain but it was SO PRETTY it was worth it.

I have just made a quick photostream of my photos from that day: Snow Day February 2018

I have finally hit my groove again on the book. Well, I say that cautiously. I’ve had better grooves but I’m doing better than I have been. I still have a few parts written out of sequence that are not counted in this total. I’m still behind where I want to be but have enough to stave off total panic.

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