One Bad Apple

This is the apple tree before. I have more great snow day photos. The snow is gone now but there will probably be more photos to come.

This is the apple tree after. More pictures as it is disassembled and sent to its next life.

I’m doing some homework now on planting some dwarf varieties of fruit trees. I love the idea of fruit trees but super lazy about taking care of them so we’ll see.

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Long and Silky

Early morning view at the park-n-ride last week.

A year ago I decided to grow out my bangs. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I do. I love seeing my giant no-botox fivehead when I look in the mirror. I like being able to pull my hair back without fussing with my unruly bangs. It’s amazing how hostile I feel toward my bangs now that they’re gone.

I have mostly cut my own hair over the years and I used to keep it at basically the same length, even in the middle of my back. When I quit trimming my bangs, I quit cutting my hair completely and it’s gotten really long. During the snow I used some product and ironed it. I don’t think my hair has ever been this long.

It’s pretty scraggly but I’m going to let it keep going for now.

Check out this giant icicle. They had yellow tape blocking off the sidewalk so no one would walk under it. It’s all gone now.

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My Thursday Commute Adventures

Walk to the bus stop before sunrise. It was quiet and beautiful.

This was the worst part, waiting for bus #1 for 20 minutes. I got nervous maybe I didn’t understand snow route and I was in the wrong place.

Bus #2. The express buses weren’t going all the way into downtown. Instead, they were taking passengers to the park-n-ride at the lightrail. The highway was nuts. I guess the truckers had to chain up as soon as they got into Oregon so there was a long line of big rigs of to the side and then, I think 2 lanes of traffic getting by. I didn’t choose my seat well so I couldn’t see as much as I wanted.

Lightrail! The train wasn’t very full. This was the highlight of the day. Pretty views everywhere you looked. I felt like a tourist seeing everything for the first time.

SW Broadway. Total time door-to-door was 1 hour 45 minutes.

I’ve never seen so much snow downtown. I went out for walks a couple of times. There’s a hotel next door where airline pilots stay. The pilot van to the airport was stuck against the curb and there were pilots in uniform trying to push it out. About half the food carts were open so we had plenty of choices for lunch. While I was waiting a little breeze flared up and snow from the trees sparkled down. It was magical.

The trip home was an adventure, too. Same routine. The bus from the park-n-ride wasn’t an express bus and there was a guy in a safety vest sitting next to me smoking weed. He was being all secretive so you couldn’t see but you could sure smell it. Then I thought I missed the local bus to take me to the grocery store not far from my house but instead a bus that goes right through my neighborhood showed up.

It was a great day. But it’s weird to look out the windows and still see snow.

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Apologies – I cannot name the weavers who made these beautiful Karuk baskets. I was at the gathering and took photos and failed to track down that information.

I could swear I wrote a long manifesto about saltines. I don’t pull it up when I search. I did tweet about it, but it wasn’t a manifesto.

I have a strange love for saltines. For many years I wouldn’t even buy them because I would eat a sleeve in one sitting. I still love them and I like to have them in the house.

Over the last several years it seemed like every time I ate them they would be stale and taste like burned and dust. I kept assuming that I’d just had the box too long or I’d accidentally bought an old box or the sleeve must have been ripped and the crackers got stale.

Finally, I had a notion that it might be the cracker. How did we get information before we had Internet search engines? Sure enough, Nabisco changed the recipe. There are complaints all over the place. I am not the only person very upset about the state of saltines.

One board suggested trying Keebler but my market doesn’t have Keebler so I tried Kroger and I am thrilled to tell you huge improvement. Not 100% my old beloved saltines but close. I’ve already eaten one and a half sleeves.

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This is the Scene Today

A bunch of snow slid off the roof and covered the front step. We could hardly open the front door. We just cleared it off so we could open the door and find the steps. I already had to change pants and socks once today.

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Know Your Limits

This is not the current scene. This is from a couple of years ago. This weekend we got a light dusting with some freezing rain on top.

I tracked down all of my blog post idea lists. I have one in google docs, one on an electronic stickie on my computer desktop and one on a piece of paper that I printed out at least a year ago that had only two crossed-out items. One about papaya and one about lists. (ahem) I didn’t merge the lists, just made a note that I had three and where they are.

One of the items on the printed list was Goals for 2016. That’s not a typo. That’s because the list has been sitting here so long. Grabbed a sharpie and crossed that off.

This is why I don’t do a bullet journal. A bullet journal is a written journal where you write all your lists and stuff to do and ideas and supposedly it’s super organized and intuitive and handy and people love them. (More here.) That article says a bullet journal is great for people who have millions of lists and like paper to-do lists and like goal setting. Sounds like this was made for me.

Here’s where the wisdom of old age comes in. I know I would spend all my time making the bullet journal. It would be all pretty and organized and color coded and take up a giant chunk of time that I could use to actually do things. Plus it would never be quite right so I would fart around with it, thinking and rethinking my organizational strategy — so I could get really efficient with it. But then I’d be afraid to cross things out and I would get weary of transferring the same to-do things over and over and over and over. The only thing I would ever cross off my list would be “organize bullet list.” Then after a few weeks I would fail at that too.

My best organizational system is the poor one that I am implementing now. I keep a giant list. And lots of sub-lists. I have one in Google Docs and various lists on my computers. I name them things like: “OMG Save Me! Another List” and “Neverending List of Doom”

I print them out. I break them down and write them on index cards. I put them on colored index cards and fasten them with fancy paper clips.

I don’t need any new systems. Plus I thought all the kids today wanted everything on their phones. I’m still trying to remember to put things on my phone. How long has the iPhone had Reminders? I *just* learned how to use those. (Aside: I saw a blog post from a year ago that said I was on page 42 of my iPhone book. The post-it that reminds me what page I’m on in my iPhone book still says page 42.)

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Happy New Year

We made it to 2017. Hooray.

I made some ambitious writing goals so you can expect much more of the half-assed content you’ve grown accustomed to. (Or would that be much less?) I keep finding notes for posts stashed everywhere — on Mac stickies, in Evernote, on my phone, on regular paper. I don’t know why I fail between that step and pasting it in right here.

I’ve had a good winter break. I always wish it were a little longer but I’m well-rested and more or less on top of my list. Less, actually. Perhaps one of my 2017 goals will be to let more things slide. Don’t tell Bob.

This time of year I clean off my bookshelves. The idea is to take books away to make room for the new books. I give the old books away or sell them back. Very rarely, I will throw a book away. A number of years ago I read a book that was beautifully written, wonderful characters and the worst story. This poor lady was a good, decent person trying to do something and everyone was against her and in the end she had nothing and was run out of town.


One less copy exists now. You’re welcome.

In the process of going through my shelves I always come across books that I forgot I had or that I still want to read. I found one such book and opened it and the purchase receipt from 2004 fell out. I still think I’m going to read it.

Keep your feet warm.

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Merry Christmas

I had this really cool clipart but I couldn’t make it do what I wanted it to do so you get this floating Santa over the Columbia River instead.

I’m going to be spending some time offline.

Happy Holidays everyone.

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Little Big Snow

My super big news, is that pen name received a *Recommended Read* review from Dear Author (prominent romance review site).

I knew there was a reason I still hadn’t worked on my best of list for this year and this book is it. Yep, it’s going on it for a number of reasons but I’ll cut to the chase and say it’s one of the best overall books I’ve read this year.

–Jayne at Dear Author.

This is a review site that I am a big fan of, however I’ve backed off romance reviews lately because I was buying 3 books for every 1 I read and I resolved (unsuccessfully, so far!) to catch up on reading what I have before I bought anything new.

I am now more motivated than ever to work on Book 2.

I’m trying to learn to use textures in my endless quest to be better at Photoshop. I don’t think these are excellent examples, but you gotta learn somehow.

We had just enough snow with a lovely coating of ice to make life interesting around here for a few days. It’s supposed to warm up tomorrow and stay above freezing so fingers crossed we’re in good shape for the holidays.

One last thing, the salsa update: I had this weird accumulating liquid issue in the fridge that I kept wiping up without realizing there was a problem. I vaguely remember dropping the salsa container. Must have been enough to crack the container. All that’s left in there now is salsa paste (still tastes good!).

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Duct Work

Shadow ran away to live on a farm back in October. He was my sister’s loyal pal and had a great life with a warm bed and lots of treats and long walks and people to scratch his belly. People who love dogs don’t last long without them and there is a new energetic bundle of destruction in the family. I will have photos after xmas.

This summer we had to replace our air conditioner and as part of the process we had some sort of efficiency evaluation. It was one thing I didn’t have to be in charge of, so to be honest, I didn’t pay much attention.

Since we’ve lived in this house I have complained about how whatever temperature air is being pumped into my writing room, the flow is so forceful that it makes the room uncomfortable. In the winter, I don’t mind being overheated but I would need to keep the door open or turn the thermostat way down so it didn’t blast me while I was exercising. In the summer I would have to wear sweatpants if I wanted to work in there while the air was going.

I don’t know what sort of dark magic went on but I guess there are some air flow gadgets on the ducts in the basement. Someone switched something somewhere and now it is completely reasonable in here even when the heat is blasting. Meanwhile, the vents on the far side of the house have air flow out of them. It is a Christmas miracle!

I am about 90% done with my outlining process for book 2. Hopefully I can get a hunk done over the holidays. We’ll call it the project of early 2017:

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