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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Might Be Halfway

We bought four blueberry plants last year and this is the early one. We had a little bit of snow last night and I intended to get out there and get a photo but I was too distracted by writing and the sun has melted almost all of it away.

The goal for the weekend was to get a handle on everything I have so far and hopefully be at least halfway. I’m still not sure if I’m there yet. I rearranged some things which meant I needed to rearrange other things so I’m only about halfway to my goal of being halfway. As soon as I hit post I’m going right back to it.

If you haven’t heard from me, that’s why. The situation will not improve for some time.

This is the flowerbed out front. These will be daffodils and tulips. I meant to throw more bulbs in last fall but I don’t think I ever got around to it.

Here’s the latest on the neighbor situation. After the party I did some research and talked to the leasing agent and learned how to make a non-emergency phone call to the police. I didn’t know you could do that. So the following weekend when I was woken up again in the middle of the night, I called the police. I honestly hated to do it and there was lots of handwringing but I figured if there was going to be change someone had to do something.

I do not know what happened but the tenant came over and introduced herself this weekend and apologized for the noise and left a phone number. She has a son. They woke me up again but it was before midnight so I sucked it up. This is me trying to be reasonable. But at least we have a dialogue so looks like there is hope.

This is the daffodil situation in the backyard. That one little flower. When it snowed the flower drooped over and was buried in the tiny accumulation. This is a metaphor for everything.

I haven’t even had time to watch much Olympics. It seems like whenever I remember to turn on my DVR it’s a bunch of things I don’t care to watch. I have a list of skating programs I want to go back and find online but I haven’t gotten to that either.

Hope you’re keeping your feet warm.

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Freedom

Last week I forgot my update on my month of giving up non-essential Internet.

It was brilliant. Why don’t I do this all the time? I don’t know. At the beginning of this month I signed back in and gave up on giving up. Why is it so hard to give up the things we know are bad for us?

I decided to sign back out of everything. I should probably nuke all of my accounts but I can’t decide. I need to recommit to that “non-essential” thing, too but I need my cute animal gifs after I have my lunch and one thing leads to another …

I’m still not clear on how my new DVR works and somehow I have it set up to tape every freaking NCAA gymnastics meet that is aired within my cable package which turns out is 5 or 6 a week. That’s about 3 or 4 more than I can watch. If I keep my the remote in my hands I can power through a meet pretty quickly and whatever I haven’t finished at the end of the week I delete so I can be ready for the fresh batch.

Does anyone out there watch The Magicians? It’s based on the books by Lev Grossman that I would love to re-read if I can ever get back to reading more than one book a month. I had a funny reaction to the books which is that much as I loved them, the whole time I was reading them I kept feeling like I was on the verge of losing my mind but never got there. So yeah, I criticized the books for not being even greater than they were.

We’re in the third season of the TV show and I’ve always liked it but this season is so insanely good I am losing my mind. I don’t keep track of what’s changed from the books since I finished the last book years ago but whatever is going on in the show is working for me. Margo is my idol.

That middle photo is my apple tree stump. I had a guy come over and grind it out so it’s a big hole in the ground waiting for me to plant a new apple tree. I thought I would get to it this weekend but I had some other plans and urgh. I have got to get in the groove with this dang book. I can no longer tell if I’m still panicking or if I’m moving ahead. On the current timeline I need about 5000 words a week to make it which is doable if the stars are in perfect alignment and I have no distractions which is not possible in this universe.

I’ll figure it out.

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Sunshine on the Water

Destination reunion weekend turned out spectacular. Sunshine and beach views were incredible.

It was fun to spend time with people I share history with – there were a lot of great memories and laughter. It was also validating to be in a room of all women my age and most of them didn’t understand how their smart phones worked, either.

The only problem with going away is coming back. I’m still trying to get my act back together. The writing project has stalled and I haven’t managed to get it restarted yet. Oof.

It’s a predictable part of my process but I panic every time which leads to more stalling which makes me panic more. Not a great loop to be stuck in. I’m hoping some good quality sleep and a healthy diet and some magical beans will get me going again.

Last night there was another party at the rental house next door. I thought things had settled down over there. It seemed like there were semi-regular cars parked out front. They woke me up at 2:30 and kept going until 4am when they moved to the front and then stood around talking and shouting and laughing for another half hour. I am now regretful that I did not complain at the beginning. I hate being confrontational but I also hate being woken up by people who aren’t even pretending they care about being considerate. That is all changing. Knowing my luck these will be the kind of people who react by putting dog poop on my lawn and throwing rocks at my car.

There was a commuter bus that was scheduled for 5 minutes after my work day ends. Every day I would walk up the hill to catch this bus and every day it would pass me going to the next stop. I started leaving my desk a few minutes early hoping to catch it. I still missed it.

I began to build up some major outrage that the bus was so consistently leaving ahead of schedule.

Then I remembered that time this lady complained that her bus was late every single day and I suggested that if it was late every single day, maybe she was expecting it at the wrong time. I checked the bus schedule and guess what? It was changed five minutes earlier. “File complaint about bus” has been removed from my list.

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