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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Animals Being Jerks

These are walls of water. The photo is from the garden a few years ago.

I spent the last two afternoons busting my heinie in the garden. I bought a bunch of soil and manure and had lots of clean-up to do — weeds to pull or whack, volunteers to discourage. My arms get so tired. I pushed myself to finish the basics yesterday so I could take a break today.

I got a seed catalog this year and they have the world’s best copywriters because once you look at the catalog you become convinced that you need to grow everything.

If you don’t believe me, ask colleague. I asked if he wanted to look at my extra seed catalog and he came back an hour later with a list as long as my arm.

I’m only planting 2 tomatoes this year because I’m trying to cut back on acidy foods. I picked one cherry tomato and one “super prolific plant with bold, bright colored fruit, starts early and produces late into the season, best tasting tomatoes of your life, you will feel younger, healthier, and more alive if you grow this.”

I had two walls of water left. I put one up and the other one turned out to be made of holes. That did not prevent me from trying to use it anyway. But a walls of water that doesn’t hold water is landfill.

I woke up this morning and saw a green blob in the garden.

“Oh no! The walls of water fell over.” This has happened before. As it settles it sometimes leans.

But what I found was my walls of water turned inside out and my poor baby tomato plant floating in mud.

That raccoon was so angry, he chewed off the little stick I used to give the tomato something to lean against.

He chewed the thing up good. I’ve never had a creature destroy a walls of water before.

Look at this poor little guy. I hope he makes it.

I’m going to buy some more walls of water and try again.

BOOK UPDATE: Everything is on track. Should be available next week. Stand by.

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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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Camera Troubles

I wrote about my bulb buying and planting here. I have been deliriously happy with my blooming flowers. Especially my tulips, so pretty.

I’ve taken numerous photos since they started blooming but didn’t notice that I bumped some dial on the camera and all the photos came out too dark. It took me several tries to figure out the problem so by the time I had it working properly, I was tired of taking pictures of flowers.

Don’t worry, there are at least 80 more. I’ll be posting more eventually. But the flowers were already getting blown out by the time I fixed the camera problem.

Last fall I planted broad beans as a cover crop — maybe this strategy is for people with more garden space? When I started the whole thing I wasn’t clear how it was going to work. I’m ready to put in the garden. The broad beans were still doing their thing.

I yanked up most of them and Billy brought his rototiller over. I won’t have time until after the ms. goes to the editor but I have a pile of seeds sitting here, ready for my half-assed gardening.

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I have photos of my tulips but they are still stuck in the camera. Coming soon. I took this picture because I was so happy that Yogurt’s drink is finally getting recognition.

All my jeans are saggy mom jeans so I considered buying myself a pair of skinny jeans. Apparently what I think of as skinny jeans are the new saggy mom jeans.

I don’t even understand what’s going on with jeans.

Jeggings are leggings that look like jeans? But there’s also a category of jeans that look like leggings? Because all the skinny jeans I looked at were contour hugging, skin tight things. And the waists are high again.

I don’t want pants like that.

Also–and I’m sure I’ve written about this before because it scarred me for life–when I was about 14 and in the middle of a grown spurt I went to school wearing pants that were too short. Some older girls followed me around and made fun of my flood pants so to this day: I do not like pants worn above the ankle. I never liked capri pants. I don’t like these ankle pants. I don’t think they look good on anyone.

And yes, as a matter of fact, I am a thousand years old.

I read somewhere about a brand that will probably go under because everything in the store looks like it was in style 5 years ago. I need to go back and find that article and start shopping at that store because it sounds perfect for me.

This is probably the last time I will post a word count meter. Two more weekends and this baby is finished.

72310 / 75000 words. 96% done!

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Check Items Off

I’m always amazed by how out of shape for yard work I am when spring finally gets here.

I was out for one piddly hour on Friday and one piddly hour yesterday and both times I felt like I needed to be brought back inside on a stretcher. My arms were noodles and I needed a nap.

I was going to skip today but looks like the last nice day for awhile and I still have a writing project to finish so I better get out there and show the weeds who’s boss while I can.

Twice in the past year I’ve been in a situation with an organization that I was trying to pay but having trouble doing so. In one case I went months enjoying the services for free with no one at the organization the wiser. In both cases the organizations made sure I knew that it was all my fault.

What happened to “thank you for bringing this to our attention, we appreciate you taking care of this” ?

If I had a customer going out of their way to make sure I got paid, I wouldn’t be a jerk about it.

I know I’ve mentioned it before but we have a neighbor on our street who has an astonishing capacity to do noisy things at their house. This person moved in a couple of years ago and has done everything from breaking up concrete to ripping out landscaping, remodeling, hours and hours of power washing. Now something involving a saw. I know that’s life and people have to do stuff that makes noise around the house but this single home is so consistent.

Yesterday I miscounted that I had 2 more weekends before writing project had to be done and I passed out for about 3 minutes. I have 3 more weekends which should be enough. I spent this weekend completely tearing apart one sequence that isn’t working for me. I haven’t put it all back together yet but I see my path.

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I’m Not Trying To Own The *Whole* Road

I am scheduling this post and at the time that it appears, hopefully I will be in the midst of a long, screen-free weekend enjoying time with family.

A couple of weeks ago I was downtown and crossing the street in a crosswalk with a green light and walk sign in my favor. Two other people were in the intersection with me when this giant black pickup truck came barreling through so that we all had to jump back to avoid being flattened.

All three of us waved our arms around and shouted, “Hey! What’s wrong with you?” and the driver of the truck stopped and rolled down his window and yelled at us: “You think you own the whole road?”

I was like, “Well, yeah, I’m a pedestrian.”

Is there any jurisdiction on the planet that provides traffic control specifically for pedestrian safety that expects pedestrians to jump out of the way if a vehicle wants to go when they have the right of way? I don’t think our expectations were unreasonable.

It was funny but also nerve-wracking because you never know when someone will go from being unreasonable to whack-a-doodle. I probably worry about that more than statistically necessary, but that’s how I am.

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Wailing Away on the Wall

I finally have daffodils out front and the ones in back are just starting to bloom.

I don’t believe fish oil capsules do anything but I’m taking one a day anyway. I bought a different brand and I started tasting citrus around bedtime and I would try to remember what I ate — maybe a lemon cookie? I finally figured out it was my fish oil.

Since I’m still having trouble chewing I did some research on meal replacement foods, and wow is that a rabbit hole. Weight loss, weigh gain, vegan, prepper — you name it, you can find it. I finally settled on the grocery store brand nutrition drink. It’s not terrible. It’s not my main meal planning but a handy thing to have around if I’m not getting enough to eat.

I made Irish soda bread for dinner tonight. The recipe said to let it rest and I wandered off and let it get dried out. We had a little side explosion here. It tasted good and had a decent crumb. No one complained.

Book went to first readers this afternoon. I’m easing up a little bit this week and taking next weekend off for family fun. But then I need to kick back into gear. It needs to be finalized for editing by April 21.

70880 / 75000 words. 95% done!

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