My Loyal Lamp

I posted this photo on Instagram.

This has been my desk lamp since my Dad bought it for me in approximately 1978. I’ve moved it to every place I’ve ever lived since I left home. I still used it up until the day that it died last month.

I have never loved it. The shade part heats up really hot so unless it’s winter, you bake your face while you use it. It will burn your skin if you accidentally touch it when it’s been on for more than fifteen seconds.

That is a long time to keep a lamp you don’t like. And it never occurred to me to find a replacement.

It’s like there are two kinds of people in this world: People who want what they like and people who will deal with whatever they have as long as it works okay.

I was at Target and found an equally unpleasing desk lamp for $7 and I almost threw it in the cart. Except if the new one lasts as long as the old one, I’ll have it until I die. I should pick something I like.

(But also that’s a joke because nothing is made to last long anymore.)

Now I’m thinking of trying to fix it. There’s got to be a youtube tutorial on lamp fixing I could use.

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Some Other Orleans Tidbits

As per my entire life lately, I’m trying to do a million things at once. I left the taxes until almost the last minute so I’m trying to plow through that today. Also, the sun is out so I need to do my 15 minute gardener routine. And Timbers this evening!

This is Summer. She was a rescue dog and still has a few issues with socializing but she’s a cutie. She likes chewing on things and chasing a ball outside.

This is Gracie. She is a lover and will crawl into your arms demanding attention. She also terrorizes other dogs and most other cats, even though she is smaller than all of them.

This is what the Klamath looked like last week. High, muddy and fast. You can’t see the high water mark in this photo but it’s up on the grass.

I take a million photos of this view and I couldn’t put my hands on a better summer photo than this for comparison.

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Projects with Dad

I failed to get a before photo so this is a screenshot of a similar dutch oven with original handle.

I spent the week hanging out with Mom and Dad.

I made no knead bread when I got there. At home I use sourdough but there I did the original NYT recipe.

I wanted to bake in Mom’s dutch oven but I was worried about putting the lid in the oven with that handle on it.

For my home dutch oven I bought a metal handle for the lid. I love they way they call it a “classic” stainless steel knob. Not just any old knob.

Mom and Dad live in the sticks and I was making the bread immediately so it’s not like we could run out and buy one or order one. I asked Dad if he had anything I could use.

He said, of course, and took me out to the shop.

Here’s a closer look in case you didn’t catch it in the larger photo.

Yes, that’s a box just for handles and knobs.

I got to pick which one I liked.

Then, we had to find the right sized screw.

The screw was too long so we had to cut it using a special cutting gadget that I failed to get a photo of.

I said: wow, you have a gadget for everything.

Dad said: I have gadgets that I haven’t figured out what they do yet.

And here we go. Ready for no knead bread.

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Podcasting Fail *Again*

Longtime readers might recall numerous trips where my attempts to listen to podcasts in the car have failed.

I tried a different podcasting app and yesterday I loaded up my podcasts and got them in the order I wanted to listen. When I got in the car, the gadget I use to play my phone through the car stereo was gone. Remember when my car was broken into last month?

They must have taken that gadget — who knows why — and since I never use it except on long car trips I didn’t notice until yesterday. I could just listen through the iPhone but I decided to listen to CDs instead.

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One Quick Round-Up

This is one of our neighbors who often has “great” free stuff.

I’ve always been a morning shower person and I’m trying to convert to an evening shower person. I catch the bus so early and I can’t bear to wake up any earlier than I already do. When we had freezing temperatures I didn’t want to stand out there waiting for the bus with wet hair. I’ve got a lot of hair and getting it thoroughly dry is a project. But I’m not used to taking showers at night so I’ll be settling down to watch my show and think: oh shit, I need to bathe.

I don’t notice the absence of bird noise until the birds return. That one nice day we had last weekend they were so loud outside my window. Not a complaint!

I am on my way to California for a week to visit the folks. They have wifi now so I’m not as cut-off as I used to be when I go down there but I like to minimize my online time when I’m there. Which now that I type that I realize is ridiculous since I’m rarely here anyway.

I’m trying a new podcasting app for this trip and trying to set it up right now while also packing and organizing to me gone for a week. I’m sure this will go well.

Bob has finals next week. I have good timing on this.

Have I done a romance novel progress update lately? My due date to my beta readers was in a week. I guess it was last weekend I was staring at the ceiling in the middle of the night with my heart racing, panicked because I’ve been struggling with this one and the closer I got to the deadline the more freaked out I was getting because it has not come together and my brain has been too worn out for the task. I asked myself: When did this stop being fun?

When I got up the next morning I emailed the editor and rescheduled for July. WHEW. So if you’re anxious to find out what happens next, you have to wait until August.

Best place to look for me while I’m gone is Instagram.

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Secret Breakfast

Look what I saw when we pulled up in the driveway this afternoon!!!

My sweetie has his 60th birthday tomorrow.

Today, to celebrate, we had an amazing day.

We started with breakfast at what I called a “secret restaurant” which was a very traditional Polish restaurant in the Polish Library of Portland. It was *amazing*. Small room. Few tables. Not many people there that weren’t Polish. What a great meal.

From there we went to the Expo Center to the Lego convention. It was awesome. I love seeing high nerd culture in its environment. I love seeing kids and adults having fun doing something together. This was a big room filled with people having a great time.

I will admit I rolled my eyes a little when Bob said this was what he wanted to do, but it’s his day. We should do what he wants. It was fun.

From there we went downtown. For any readers who don’t live around here, today was something like the 8th day since OCTOBER with lots of sunshine. Bob found some clothes and it was fun just walking around.

I can’t remember what all I planted but this is a future tulip. Maybe I just planted tulips. The daffodils aren’t impressive but looks like lots of tulips coming in.

On the way home our Max train was in an accident. It was a thrill. I guess the truck tried to rush in front or maybe was trying to make a yielding left when the train had the right of way. The train braked — you could tell something was wrong. Then a black truck with a sorry looking back end bounced back into the intersection and took off.

Since we hit a vehicle the train had to stop and do a report.

Fire trucks came! Fireman came on the train. They asked if anyone was hurt. We all laughed. They asked if there was a fire or anything they could do.

The Transit Police came and told us they had to take a report and asked if anyone had a good view of the guy.

They told us the train was not damaged and we would be on our way soon.

I told Bob if you’re going to be in a train accident, that was the way to do it.

Great day!! When I got home I worked in the yard for the first time since October. The sunshine was heavenly. One of my neighbors came over and said, “Excuse me, do you know what that giant glowing thing in the sky is?”

I had terrible insomnia last night so this is going to have to do it.

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Things Moving Ahead Slower Than Planned

Should it be “more slowly than planned”?

I am elbow deep in revisions and way too slow. I’ll tell everyone to only read the first 5 chapters.

Everything else is falling apart. We’re having a dinner casserole topped with panko and shredded cheese for about the tenth week in a row. My husband doesn’t complain but my waistband does. I have about 200 loose ends I’m trying to tie up. That’s a lie. I have 200 loose ends that I am watching flap in the wind and laughing at because they will flap until they go away or until April.

We started Timbers on Friday and I am too lazy to even get the photos off the camera. These are from last year – obviously because that guy is wearing shorts and open-toed shoes.

It was about 45 degrees and a cold steady rain when we arrived. I wore my heavy coat that soaked more rain than repelled so I sat in a damp coat for 3 hours. Honestly, not complaining. I was so overflowing with joy to be back at the park and watching my beloved team. Especially watching them win 5-1. This is only the second time in the last 4 years that we’ve won a game in March.

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I haven’t even taken any new pictures lately. My folks celebrated 56 years yesterday. “That’s longer than I’ve been alive,” I told them. This photo is about 1982, I think. Sorry my Mom looks like she’s in pain. This is the house I grew up in and I looked it up on Zillow a couple of weeks ago and the yard looked mostly the same and there was this entry table that my Dad made that was still there. The orange carpet is gone.

I read this story online about this kid who had a streaming music service and somehow someone had hacked it and was messing with his playlists. I didn’t understand most of what his problem was about but he ended up changing his password so the person couldn’t make changes to the app, but the person was still logged in with their device.

In order to get this person to log out he started picking terrible music and you know what he picked? Bon Jovi.

That was the best he could do?

It’s a good thing I wasn’t the hacker.

I am fried, fried, fried. Writing book #2 is killing me. I’m going to call this the first draft. It’s spectacularly terrible and if I die tomorrow you can’t look at it. I changed course a couple of times in the middle and things need to be fixed. I am a very linear thinker/writer and it drives me nuts when things in the beginning don’t match the end.

I’ve got a month to whip it into shape for the beta readers. Wish me luck.

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Petty Crime

Here’s what a stack of my books looks like. I did the cover myself with some help with typography from Debby Neely. I had a tough time and still see a few things I would fix if I were a little more clever. I have a job, and write books, and can do the splits. It’s okay if I’m only a C+ in book cover making.

Those URLS again: Giant Online Retailer or Still Giant Online Retailer.

And I’m sure you’ve all been wondering about the Timbers. I went to one pre-season game and am now anxiously awaiting the season opener on March 3. Don’t worry, I’ll remind you.

I joined an online network that’s like Facebook for your neighborhood. I wasn’t in love with the idea but there are times when it would be handy to be connected to the neighbors.

Of course, I’d barely been on there a week when everyone was reporting car break-ins and garage break-ins. Then other people freaking out about all the crime. And then other people freaking out if a car slowed down while driving down their street. I was already annoyed and assumed everyone was overreacting.

Then our car was broken into. I drive an ancient car and keep nothing valuable in it. Remember the days when we had to carry our car stereos around with us because of theft? My car is so old you can remove the front plate of the stereo as an anti-theft measure.

They didn’t take the stereo. They didn’t take the change bucket for the parking meter. They took one thing: the garage door opener.

Of course we discovered this on a Sunday night when we would have zero time to deal with it for another week. So we unplugged the garage door opener, bolted the garage door shut, and parked in front of the house.

Meanwhile, the neighborhood network is still going nuts with this crime wave. I began to suspect they weren’t just over-reactive nervous nellies. Finally, there was a story in the news that they caught a young guy and a teenager and charged them with over 50 break-ins.

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We’re Back, Sorta

My new machine wasn’t supposed to arrive until next week. I spent most of the day on Friday trying to turn my laptop into a desktop machine so I could work better. At 2pm I got a text from the Apple Store telling my they had something for me to pick up.

It should be a testament to how badly I wanted that new machine that I departed almost immediately to go into downtown on a Friday getting near rush hour.

I had a current back up so I was able to get the new machine running fairly quickly. I’m still sorting out passwords and software that limits how many machines you’re supposed to use it on and a few other things for setting up things the way I like.

Then I fired up the new machine on Saturday morning raring to get back to writing. I opened my work in progress and it was empty. Once I regained consciousness, I figured out I’d biffed and shut down the laptop before it was finished backing up to Dropbox. It was all fixable but there was learning, by me, involved.

I am now very behind and tempted to panic but that would not serve my cause. So I’m just facing forward and doing what I can do the best that I can.

I don’t think I even wrote about the technology challenges I had at work. The short version was that I had to arrange for an old copier to be hauled off, a new copier to be delivered and set up, plus our IT guy from Idaho came down to do something-something to make us more compatible with headquarters and his thing necessitated Comcast coming out to do something-something.

As you can imagine, this made is slightly impossible to get any work done so I was in a mild panic over some deadlines there, too.

My patience with technology is hanging by a thread.

The writing meter is just a guess because since my technology meltdown my system of keeping track hasn’t been accurately updated. (Probably because I’m scared to know.)

Oh — here’s news. The paperback version of my short stories Red Tape is now available from Giant Online Retailer. It has a different cover which I need to update — someday — but here’s the URL Red Tape Stories from Indian Country. If you don’t like to purchase books from Giant Online Retailer you can also get them here which to be honest, is also Giant Online Retailer. This is the world we live in. I think you can order the paperback from other book sellers. If you try to and you can’t let me know and I’ll add it to my list of things to check on.

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