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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Apple Blossom Time

Meet our NEW APPLE TREE Sybil!!

I bought a 4-way variety but if I understand the little tags on the branches, we got 5! Don’t tell anyone. They might come over and snip off one of the branches. Or maybe it’s supposed to be like that? I’ll learn more later.

Gala-Braeburn-Honeycrisp-Fuji-Red McIntosh. Apples in 2-3 years so after I get my braces off but before I retire. I will keep you updated.

69392 / 75000 words. 93% done!

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I Miss Crunchy

This is the food cart lot across the street from last week’s photo. I don’t know how much longer they have but I understand the luxury condos and five star hotel are still on.

I still haven’t whacked back my roses. Normally I would have done it by now but it’s too cold and I don’t want to work in the brisk wind. Plus, from what I can see when I look out the window, it doesn’t look like they’re doing anything yet.

Also normally at this time of year, I have a photo from my second Christmas, opening day of Timbers. But we’re adding seats to our stadium so no first match until June 1st. I watched them on TV yesterday. They played in 16 degrees, snow coming down weather in Colorado. I was cold watching them.

I told ticket partner: thank goodness we didn’t get some bright idea to travel away to the match since we have to wait so long here.

My team gave up a goal in stoppage time to draw. AND WE ARE BACK!

I’ve gone past our stadium a couple of times on the train and it looks amazing. As soon as it’s over 50 degrees, ticket partner and I plan to go up there and take some photos and test my pizza eating ability.

I got top braces in December and lived with those for a month before I got the bottom braces in January. I wildly underestimated what my life would be like with braces. Consuming any type of food is extremely unpleasant. My bite is messed up so it’s hard to chew. My front teeth are sensitive so it’s hard to bite. Hence the pizza test. I’m hoping if I can cut off bits with a knife, I can eat them. If not, I don’t what we’re going to do since the pre-match pizza eating ritual has been going on for 7 or 8 years. Ticket partner joked that I could scrape off and eat just the topping or ask them if they make pizza in a bowl.

Insert 1000 crying emojis.

Last week I tried to eat my favorite carbonara and it took about 45 minutes to eat one quarter of it so I brought it home to Bob.

I have a list of the things I will be eating when these come off, around the summer of 2020. The first celebratory meal will be at Brunch Box and it will be the bacon cheeseburger where the buns are made out of grilled cheese sandwiches. Other items on the list: chips, cookies, Moose Munch, See’s Candy with toffee or nuts, crackers. I’m sure I’ll be adding more.

I am in the zone on my project. Making lots of great progress. Two more weekends before it goes to first readers.

68070 / 75000 words. 91% done!

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Smooth Out Everything

This cart is long gone. I only went to it a couple of times. It was replaced by a cart called Food Koma (I think?) and I went there all the time. They had a delicious bibimbap dish but they called it something else. Every time I have a good bibimbap source, it goes away.

But the real news is that this little cart pod is now a hole in the ground because apparently downtown Portland needs yet another boutique hotel. The big pod across the street is in danger, too. Last I heard the luxury apartment and condo tower was on hold, but who knows.

It’s been awhile since I mentioned the rental house next door. You might have thought our problems were solved. We were cautiously optimistic. It was quiet over there for months. Maybe loud voices in the yard now and then and still a number of different cars, but nothing to legit complain about.

But then it ramped up again. Lots of different cars again. Not like all different cars coming and going. More like 5-6 of the same cars, often parked overnight. On Valentine’s night (or technically early hours of the 15th) there was shouting and swearing out front for over a half hour together with car door slamming.

It’s been quieter this weekend. It feel like it gets bad unless we stay on top of it.

Meanwhile, I have had an epic writing weekend and I am pooped. I got the last big long troublesome section cleaned up. At this point I have to go back clean up some smaller bits, lots of continuity to fix and then smooth out everything.

But other than that, it’s under control.

66688 / 75000 words. 89% done!

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Never Argue with a ChatBot

Recently I had a funny memory that my cellphone bill was supposed to decrease after a certain amount of time. Probably from a fever dream but colleague suggested that I examine my bill.

In the course of examining my bill I learned that cellphone company had deals where I could get the same thing for much cheaper. But really want they wanted me to do was change to more than I need for almost the same money.

After doing the homework I consulted a cellphone company rep.

Rep wanted to “upgrade” me.

Basically I had the plan that was 2 oranges, 2 apples, and a banana, but LoganDylan said he could upgrade me to: 2 apples, a banana, and two oranges for almost 50% less money.

“Is that really an upgrade?” I said.

He was very excited to give me the upgrade. I said it wasn’t an upgrade but agreed to the new deal.

Bob took me to see UCLA at Oregon State for NCAA gymnastics and it would be difficult to convey how deliriously happy I was to be there. I love the sport and I’m such a huge fan of UCLA. Here I am on TV with Madison Kocian, Olympic, World, and NCAA champion (and Bob). Both teams were fantastic. It’s ridiculous how good your gymnastics team can be and still be in the late top 20.

Here’s the sad ficus. There were rumors of a snowpocolypse but the winds changed and we only got a few slushy inches. I didn’t even take photos because I was waiting for the good stuff and it went to Seattle instead. SO here is a snowless sad photo of the ficus that I euthanized. I still feel bad.

Big news. I finished a first draft of Book Four of Crooked Rock. It is extremely light in spots and needs tons of work but I’m still on schedule for a May release.

65227 / 75000 words. 87% done!

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