Category Archives: doing it wrong

It’s That Time Again

This is my healthy tomato plant, loaded with tomatoes. It’s so loaded I have it the tomato cage staked.

Another of the special features of the rental house next door is a walnut tree growing out of the side of the house. I don’t think this is a good idea but since the owners live in another country and nobody else cares what happens to that house, the tree remains and gets bigger all the time.

Right now it is full of walnuts and squirrels. That’s what I am listening to right now — squirrels romping around the tree and walnuts hitting the ground.

The house next door has been reasonable lately until this weekend when they woke me up at least three times on Friday night and once last night so I’m thinking unkind thoughts about them again.

Remember that time I found a shriveled red potato in the back of the potato drawer? I ran out into the rain with a trowel and shoved it in the dirt. This weekend I decided to dig up one of my many, many potato hills and all of these came out of one spot. That’s four pounds of potatoes. Potato salad coming to our supper table soon.

I canned applesauce yesterday with colleague but somehow in this world where we can have everything on all our devices — even things we don’t want — all the time and anywhere, I can’t pull up a photo of our 12 pints on this computer. It’s a beautiful pink color and very delicious. We each got 6 pints plus a giant bowl to eat this week.

Last weekend we went with Geena to the Clark County Fair which was super fun and I have photos but somehow I look like Great Aunt Eunice who never washes her hair and enjoys collecting bits of string so I’m not going to share those with you. We watched the dueling dogs that jump off this dock and race across a pool — the jumps are amazing. We looked at sheep and goats and bunnies and chickens. We listened to the fiddling championships. We ate fried Nutella, onion rings, fish tacos, peach milkshakes, and had a beer before we shook shook shook our booties with KC and the Sunshine band. An epic fun day.

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #4 Report

Bad Kissingen salt graduation tower

I did do writing and writing related activities but I failed at my goal to finish my first draft this week. I won’t even make excuses.

I am unlikely to finish a first draft next week either as I’ve got family coming into town.

This week my goal is to keep doing writing related stuff when I can and otherwise not worrying about it. There’s a whole big world out there.

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week Week #3 Report

I didn’t make huge progress on my goal this week. I changed the characters around a little and there’s some rearranging and new bits that need to be done. I didn’t get far.

Meanwhile, a couple of new romance related tidbits have come up that have taken my attention. I’m not going to elaborate at the moment but there maybe be more information coming. I’m not writing another romance, but instead of being 99% certain, the meter has moved to 75% certain.

But I’m relaxing and enjoying summer still so I’m not making decisions right now.

Things I did more successfully this week:

Picked, prepared, and ate bush beans and peas. We have so, so, so many.

Watched soccer: Sunday we had the Women’s World Cup Final and the Timbers played NYCFC. The US Men played Mexico in the Gold Cup Final and normally I would have watched it but I ran out of steam by then.

I finished Stranger Things 3 last night. I love this series.

The only goal for this week is to finish a first draft of my story even if it’s a really ugly draft.

As of yesterday the write-a-thon had 165 participating writers and had raised over $10,000. Thanks to everyone!

There’s still lots of time to donate. All donations are welcome.

Donation Links:

Here’s the address if you’d prefer to mail a donation:
Clarion West
P.O. Box 31264
Seattle, WA 98103-1264

Thanks for supporting nerd writers.

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I love Sharpies. I have them all over the house in different colors. I have a bunch at the office. I write most of my notes to myself in big giant Sharpie letters.

No one is sponsoring this post except for me, Sharpie lover.

My middle sized red Sharpie at work dried up and gave me sadness whenever I needed to write in red. I finally put in a supply order and I was doing it via keywords online and the Magnum is the Sharpie that arrived.

I practically need two hands to wield it. I tried it out and got high from the fumes. If the office ever gets held up, I’m going to use them as a weapon. (I got two.)

It is my favorite Sharpie ever.

I am going to be in CA this weekend for fun family stuff. Enjoy your weekend.

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The results of my endoscopy were hiatal hernia. According to my research, something like 60% of the population has HH and many never know unless they find it during an endoscopy. There’s a long list of lifestyle changes and again, according to my research, there is no one size fits all so I’m trying everything, even the woo-woo breathing exercise I found on one website.

One suggestion for heartburn is putting your bed on an incline so your head is higher than your feet. I found some bed risers online and purchased a set. We started with the 3 inch risers which already seemed pretty high. The first couple of nights I woke up further down the bed than the spot I started.

Today we went up another level to the 5 inch riser. It looks ridiculous. They suggest going to 8 inches — we were joking that it would be like training for mountain climbing. I’m going to put a pillow on the floor at the end of the bed. I expect to wake up there tomorrow.

Do I think it helps? I don’t know. Since I made about 20 lifestyle changes at the same time, it’s hard to tell. It could be the woo-woo breathing that’s helping and I could bring back the spicy salsa and French fries. For now, I’m going to keep doing it all.

The annual write-a-thon is almost upon us. Details coming soon. Here’s my donor page if you want to get a head start on your donating.

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Drooling is Permitted

This is the old PGE Park in 2009.

On Friday I had an endoscopy at the day surgery part of the clinic. Just before my turn, I waited by myself behind a privacy curtain and I overheard someone ask about going to the stadium. This person was going that night to get a wristband to get in first to the general admission section. I wanted to call out to find out who was a Timbers fan so we could share our fan-ness but it seemed rude to yell out across the room.

This is the park now from the same view. They just did a huge renovation and added 4000 seats. It is amazing. Too bad our first match there was doodoo.

Continuing my procedure. It’s strange being wheeled in a bed. It’s tempting to want to enjoy it but also it seems ridiculous when I can walk myself.

The prep nurse and also the doctor explained what was going to happen and gave me instructions — don’t try to help with the scope, might feel like you have to drool, go ahead, burping will happen, go for it. They had me lay on my side and next thing I know someone is putting apple juice into my hands. They gave me those bright orange square crackers that I would never pick for myself but I inhaled like it was food of the gods. I never got to drool. (well, consciously.)

My team just got a new player. He just got here a few weeks ago and Bob said on the way home I told him a long and rambling story about him. I did read a lengthy article about him but I don’t feel like I could tell you anything about it off the top of my head.

This is outside. I couldn’t find any older photos from this angle.

Everything went fine. Two and a half hours after I checked in, I was home in bed sleeping like the dead. It was amazing. If I could have taken a picture of that nap, I would share it with you now.

That night we had the windows open for fresh air. I woke around 2am and heard what sounded like high pitched cat sounds. I knew already it was probably raccoons. I went to the front window and it sounded like they were on the side of our house. After a bit, one came running out across the yard. Bob came to join me and after a minute, two more came running across the lawn. They were big fatties scampering down the street.

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Garden Update

These are my broad beans. I wanted to know when to pick them and the directions said when they felt full. Right now they look huge but they feel squishy so I’m going to keep waiting.

If you somehow have missed it so far, Crooked Rock Romance Book 4 is now available everywhere. All links and info here.

This is the berry patch. It was looking completely derelict and I cleaned it up to inspire it to give me berries. It still needs some major TLC. That’s always one of my projects that I intend to do but never seem to get around to. Maybe this year.

Last weekend I was moving some things around in the outside freezer when I found some brownies, helpfully labeled, “normal.” I vaguely remember making a giant pan of brownies at Valentine’s day and freezing some because we couldn’t eat them all. These were so incredibly delicious I almost stuffed the whole container in my face. No nuts, so brace face here could eat them. I can’t remember which recipe I used. It’s nice not to be disappointed by something from the freezer.

Look at Sybil with leaves. I’m going to remove those tags, I just need to carefully label a photo so I can remember which branches are which thing. I found a pear tree with multiple varieties so that may be going in someday too.

Last weekend was my first weekend in about four and a half years that I wasn’t writing a romance novel. I still did a bunch of promo so this is technically my first weekend with zero romance duties. I am going to Nashville with friends. Maybe photos next weekend.

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The Mat’s Too Fat

I spent all day doing book related things and promotional things.

The book will be available on May 15. You can pre-order it now at your favorite ebook seller. The paperback should be available by Friday. If you still haven’t read it, you might want to check out the free prequel story about Linda and Arnie. It’s not super important but there’s a little set up that gets paid off in book #4.

All the links can be found here.

Our bathroom mats were disintegrating so I found some nice squishy ones and impulsively bought them.

We liked the squishyness but you could no longer close the bathroom door without actually pulling it shut because it got caught on the rug. It took me less than 24 hours to decide I hated them but–you know me–I’d rather suffer with something I hate than do anything about it. I lasted about a week and then bought new bathroom rugs. The squishy ones went downstairs.

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Save Something For Later

I am enjoying this weekend of not working on a book. It’s hard to resist the feeling that I need to be getting something done.

I’ve been spending my mornings reading in bed which is among my very favorite things to do. Yesterday I finished a New Yorker and two books I had going.

Today I started Babylon’s Ashes (The Expanse, Book 6), which has been sitting on my shelf for over 2 years. I was so lost I had to stop and pull up summaries of the previous books and even reading through those took over an hour. The good thing is that the second I finish, I can read book 7 and then run to the bookstore and buy book 8. Then I have to wait for Book 9 with everyone else.

Yesterday I tried a new recipe for roasting butternut squash that seemed like the temperature was going to be too hot. I was right but I did not know this until after I had created brown, extra-crispy butternut chips. It’s always a hard call with a new recipe. Sometimes the instructions seem off and the food turns out perfect. Other times you have to make a note in your cookbook or toss the recipe, as I did yesterday because it make me mad.

This morning Bob went off to do some stuff and I was under the impression he was returning mid afternoon.

I started a project in the kitchen that involved taking everything out of the utensil drawer and getting rid of the doodads from takeout orders and separating the dessert forks from the regular forks and cleaning everything out. (Yeah, I know, first world problems.)

Bob came home in the middle and it’s too hard if he’s around so I put it all away and took the vacuum cleaner and said, “I’m done organizing for now. I’m going to leave something for next weekend.”

And he practically fell over from laughing so hard.

Quite a few years ago I bought some tulip bulbs that were interesting shaped flowers. I think the bulb is out of gas because now I just get this.

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This Real Forever

What a weekend.

NCAA Gymnastics Final 8 on Friday and Final 4 yesterday. Timber match yesterday.

Changing over from winter to summer sheets.

Baked two pies for Easter celebration.

Finalized Book 4 and sent it off.

My brain is done for the day, the week and even the year. (Nope, kidding, not the year. I’m already itching to start working on some other projects.)

Hopefully I’ll be up for a more meaningful update next weekend.

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