Category Archives: doing it wrong

Good Morning Mama Raccoon

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Wildlife Cam Success!

I moved the camera a little bit and changed the timer. I’m pretty sure this in an opossum. I got more cat pictures and a squirrel.

And lots of raccoon pictures. Those guys were active out there for awhile. This the best shot.

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Old Married People

This is from 2002 when Erin ran with the torch. Photo Credit: Aunt Aileen.

Today we are married 24 years. I’d post a more recent photo but I can’t find a good one right now.

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Cerberus

Did something try to eat one of my apples? I gasped when I found it on the ground like this. It’s a little green and I had to chop it into tiny pieces to eat it because of the braces, but it was pretty and tasted good. Red McIntosh.

I’ve been meaning to write about the bro house across the street. We called it the bro house because when they first moved in it seemed like a bunch of guys lived there in rotation. We were never sure what was going on over there. In all the years they lived there no one ever even made eye contact.

At some point everything changed and the bros were gone and it was a lady and a baby with the main guy.

My story is about their dogs. They had Boxers.

One day the main bro was driving down the street in his SUV with all these dogs sticking their heads out the window, happily barking. So then I referred to the dogs as the Cerberus.

There were four dogs and they barked a lot. You could always tell when UPS or FedEx drove up because of the chorus of dogs. (Not complaining, I thought it was cute.)

One day I was out in the front yard and the woman was yelling at one of the dogs and it had a very not-dog name like Rosemary so what I was hearing was: Rosemary! Bad! Bad Rosemary! Stop it! Rosemary! Bad!

But all the dogs were barking so I’m not sure why Rosemary was called out.

All of this is in the past tense because a week or so ago there was a moving truck and since then all the cars and the Cerberus are gone.

After my post last week I decided I would buy a wildlife cam. I was like Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes) waking up every few hours wondering about all the wildlife I was capturing on my new camera. The minute I woke up I put on pants and ran outside to get the camera card.

This was the single picture on the card. Impressed?

I’m pretty sure that’s a cat.

I treated the lenses with some stuff that will hopefully not mist up. Stay tuned. I’m going to get Bigfoot or something good soon.

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News From Native California

Bev Ortiz wrote a lovely piece about my writing for News From Native California. You can buy the magazine here.

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #6

First tomato. Sherman and Mr. Peabody for scale. A week from now and I will have plenty more plus lemon cucumbers.

This week I tried to map out a conflict before I started rather than just thinking of a character and typing. It is a pretty half-assed entry but I made my stated goal of writing 6 brand new stories pulled out of nothing.

This week’s story is about a bored elder Aunt Beety who escapes quarantine to meet her sister and catch-up on gossip only to be thwarted by a tribal road block. She tells a fib to get around it with unexpected results.

Snippet:

“Well, I’m sick,” Beety said, touching her forehead. A flimsy folding table sat next to the nurse. She grabbed a little gadget and held it to Beety’s forehead.

Beety jerked back. “I do not consent.”

“You don’t have a temperature. Do you have symptoms?”

“Of course I do. Why would I be driving around by myself?”

Beety put her hand on the side of her face and grimaced then slid her hand down her neck and to her chest and forced a gargly cough.

“Yeah, that’s bad,” the nurse said. She picked up a walkie-talkie from the table. “We’ve got an elder gonna need an examination.”

Five (5!) pounds of roasted hatch chiles arrived on my doorstep Wednesday.

This is the final week of the write-a-thon but you may donate anytime. From the final report we had 535 writers with total donations of $19,839. OOF! So close to $20K

You can still sponsor me here.

You can sponsor one of our workshop leaders here: Neile.
Or tireless workshop supporter Kate.
My classmate: Maggie.
My classmate: Tracy.

If you want to check out the participants yourself: CW Write-a-thon Writers.

Here’s the address if you’d prefer to mail a donation:

Clarion West
P.O. Box 31264
Seattle, WA 98103-1264

Thanks again for your support.

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #5 Update

Percy the fig tree in November, 2017.

This week I attempted to write something dark since I normally don’t even write characters who are mean to each other. I was not successful. This week’s story was 2400 words about Derrick, the bumbling thief who tries to steal $5000 from a lady upriver. It’s really 2400 words of throat clearing.

Snippet:

All he had to do was steal Dee’s dog, pretend to find it, bring it to her, get a reward, see where she grabbed the reward money from, knock her down, take the money, run to the dealer, get the drugs, set aside a portion for himself, sell the rest, and return the money to Dee.

What could go wrong?

I had a brilliant idea for a story as I was falling asleep and roused myself enough to jot a quick note so I would remember it in the morning.

The note says: Shallow NDN [illegible] $ Kids tribal [illegible.]

Feel free to steal.

Fig harvest 2020! So far we’ve picked 4. I ate 3 and gave 1 to Bob. There are 7 more out there.

The fundraiser continues. I seem to have deleted the progress report email but I think we raised almost $15K of our goal of $20K.

You can sponsor me here.

You can sponsor one of our workshop leaders here: Neile.
Or tireless workshop supporter Kate.
My classmate: Maggie.
My classmate: Tracy.

If you want to check out the participants yourself: CW Write-a-thon Writers.

Here’s the address if you’d prefer to mail a donation:

Clarion West
P.O. Box 31264
Seattle, WA 98103-1264

Thanks again for your support.

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The Grass is Way Greener

These photos are from over a month ago.

Bob put fertilizer on the lawn and then we got tons of rain. He was in the midst of finishing the school year so he had hardly any free time and it seemed like when he could carve out some time, it was too rainy.

So the lawn was abandoned and grew hilariously out of control.

When he finally had time to get to it, it took 2 days.

Friday when I was in the market, Please Mr. Please by Olivia Newton-John came on. I don’t think I’ve heard that song since I was in junior high but I remembered almost every word. Now I have an earworm. I have to include the wikipedia link because that is quite an entry. The song was released by ONJ in 1975. I don’t think I ever had the single to this one. But I for sure had the single to Have You Never Been Mellow.

When I was in 5th grade two of the girls in band learned how to play Have You Never Been Mellow (flute and oboe) and they got to play it at the end of an assembly with piano accompaniment. I was so jealous.

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Market

The Wednesday downtown farmer’s market is back. This one of my favorite days when the market starts and my sad Winter Is Coming day when they close in the fall.

Downtown has much fewer people than normal anyway but the market layout has been revised so it is spread out along several blocks and has a one way travel design. So far I have loaded up on asparagus and filled up on my favorite Verde Cocina – chicken in adobo and gringas con molé. I bought enough to bring home dinner.

Last week I also picked up a bunch of tamales with fresh salsa. (Different vendor and I am blanking on the name at the moment.)

I can’t remember if I shared this story.

I watch Westworld — it’s a reboot on HBO. I think we just finished season 3.

I DVR the show and then watch it when I get a chance.

At one point this season I settled down for the latest episode and it was in Spanish with subtitles. The characters were in Mexico so I figured this was some conceit of the episode and kept watching.

The show continued in Spanish. After about fifteen minutes I thought it was strange. Wouldn’t this be alienating so some of their audience to do an entire episode with subtitles? But maybe this was going to pay off in some interesting way.

I kept watching.

You guys – I watched for 45 minutes before I figured out that it was my TV! Somehow I held down some magical arrangement of buttons to switch my TV to Spanish. I don’t know how that could happen. I don’t know how to do it on purpose.

Well, I do now. I learned so I could turn it off.

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When The Morning Cries and You Don’t Know Why

Remember last year when I planted only 2 tomato plants? And the angry raccoon tore up the walls of water where one of the plants lived?

The plant lived on but never recovered. It was supposed to be a prolific yellow cherry tomato plant but it barely grew to a foot and I got about 10 tomatoes off of it.

I saved some seeds and started one on the window sill. See arrow above. I was determined to get my prolific yellow cherry tomatoes.

The rest of those are 2 tomatoes, 4 cucumbers, and 4 Anaheim pepper plants.

Look how healthy and happy it looks, ready for it’s big new life outside.

Then: tragedy.

This was not an angry raccoon. This was operator error. I knew it was kinda tricky getting the walls of water to balance right so I was extra careful.

But not extra careful enough. I looked outside a couple of hours later to see the ruin. Poor little yellow cherry tomato. It is not to be for us.

I have one more tomato on the window sill that I can transfer to this spot.

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