Tag Archives: neighbors

Socked in the Jaw

I spoke too soon and completely jinksed it. The neighbors woke me up 3 times last weekend including twice in one night (11:30am and 2:30am), there have been six cars parked there since I got home last night, they woke me up at 2:30 and 4:30 (!). Mom must be away again. argh.

Last week I was running some errands and had to transport various awkwardly shaped items to and from the car. In the process I managed misjudge what I was doing and hit my jaw on the corner of the car door really hard. I have a relatively high pain threshold and I still had to stand there for a couple of minutes with my eyes watering. It made me think of all those movies and TV shows where the hero gets beaten up and/or shot and then rappels out of a building and leaps into a helicopter and flies off to save the day. That wouldn’t happen.

I was out in the garden earlier looking for greens and I found raspberries. If it ever stops raining I need to get back out there and harvest.

Ms. is cooking along, still more slowly than I like, but I will meet my goals one way or another.

Coming soon: Clarion West Beg-a-thon. It the 10 year anniversary.

68512 / 75000 words. 91% done!

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I Just Wish Someone Would Ask Me About My Privacy Settings

If you’re concerned about this website and privacy, please be assured that I haven’t the slightest idea how to exploit your privacy, nor do I have the time or energy to learn how, should I decide that your privacy could be of some use to me.

One item that’s been on my list forever is my passport. I knew it was expiring at the end of this year and I didn’t want to leave it for the last minute. But then I never got around to dealing with it. There’s a passport photo place downtown but it’s not super convenient. When the weather was terrible there was always an excuse not to go over there.

I finally set aside a day when I could go over and take care of it on my lunch break when I was informed that paperwork that was supposed to be delivered months ago, would arrive at the exact time I intended to get my passport photo.

Another couple of weeks went by and I was determined. When I looked up the address of the photo place to confirm I knew where it was, I found a passport photo place right next to the office. The whole thing took 10 minutes including the time to walk over there.

Renewal was sent off and new passport has arrived. I can go abroad. Someone buy me a ticket.

Tomatoes went into the ground this weekend. I planted four plants all from Territorial Seed because I had such great luck with them last year. (Non spon!) Katana and Bumble Bee are two. I can’t remember the other two. I wish I could write copy for tomato plants. “Our most delicious and beautiful and easy to grow and tasty and pretty and prolific tomatoes.” I originally put way more plants in my cart and I had to get a grip on my sanity.

Here’s an update on the neighbor situation:

It is one million percent improved. The party moved elsewhere. I have been sleeping with the windows open. (Please o please let me not jinks it by writing this.) There are still a wide variety of cars coming and going but I have no complaints. The renter and I talk when we see each other. One of the young people (wearing a fedora) said hello the other day. I am no longer stressed about the situation

The book is barely under control. If I die today, someone could look at my draft at have a clue what I was trying to do, but if I die today, please don’t look at it.

I still have a couple of major scenes to write, many scenes that need to be filled in, and lots of tidying up to do.

The hardest thing about this process letting things go around the house. Well, the hardest thing is all of it, but one main thing that gives me endless grief is being forced to abandon the yard and ignore clutter and be super half-assed about social interactions. I’m not the kind of person who can look at a giant basket of laundry and not fret about getting it done.

If all goes according to plan, this will be off to beta readers in a few weeks and I will take a very short break and enjoy some World Cup games before I buckle in to finalize it.

68591 / 75000 words. 91% done!

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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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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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Keeping Up with the Neighbors

I call this one: Giant Slug with Favorite Shoes and Socks

I feel like I spend half of one weekend day sitting here dealing with random details. I’ve been here all morning trying to get started on writing but then finding something that I need to take care of while I have a chance.

Here’s the latest on the rental house next door: The house seems abandoned Sunday-Wednesday with no cars parked or activity of any kind. Thursday-Saturday is the opposite with numerous cars parked there and coming and going and only a couple of regulars.

A few weeks ago they had a big loud party on a Friday night that lasted until who knows when? The last time I woke up was 1:30a. I thought about going over there except I would have had to find pants and shoes and glasses and it was easier to stay home and complain about it later. The next week we phoned the leasing agent to let her know that there was a lot of activity over there and we weren’t even sure who lived there.

She was surprised since she rented the house to a single woman who said she traveled a lot on business. Leasing agent supposedly phoned to let them know the neighbors expressed concern and there have been no other major get togethers since. Coincidentally the weather cooled at the same time so it’s not as likely to have a big loud group in the backyard. So, at this point, the noise hasn’t been a problem but there are still a lot of different cars parked overnight.

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #4

Klamath River upriver from Orleans, July 2017

So to clarify, I am updating my progress for week #3. We are starting week #4 today.

My work flow was out of whack due to a my trip to California. But I did the following:

1. I finished the teaser story for the romance series. It’s shorter than expected but a clean draft so shouldn’t be too much work to get it ready for distribution.

2. I worked on polish and fixing on the romance manuscript. I also figured out a fix to some of the things that were bothering me about the ending.

3. I didn’t do the blurb. I can’t help it, I keep avoiding the blurb. I did epic administrivia and worked in the yard during the hottest part of the day. I found all sorts of things to do instead of work on the blurb. I’ve got 2 more weeks.

I am going to abandon the idea of revisions to the spec fic short story that I have been submitting. I only have 2 more weekends to get the manuscript finished so all my attention will be devoted to that.

Same general area. Klamath River upriver from Orleans, March 2017

The rental house next door is empty again. I am assuming it will be rented again. That will make the 9th tenants in 15 years. We’ve been lucky the last couple of times. We’ll see how our luck holds out.

We also had baby raccoons in the yard this morning. It was daylight so I was a little worried about them. We have a big hedge and no one is next door so I hope they found a safe place to hide. They make a cute chittery sound, like Tribbles.

Here’s all my classmates again if you’ve considered donating but haven’t gotten around to it yet:


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Stunning Development

You may find it hard to believe but I have completely lost track of what I’m doing here.

I thought I had photos of my flowers out front all cropped and ready to post. Instead, I found this one tulip photo.

I wasn’t overwhelmed with my tulips this year. They were okay-pretty. But there have been years where I drove up and thought: my flowers are so amazing. Then I would get out of the car and stand there and admire them.

This year I thought maybe they suffered from too much rain. Does that happen? I also buy the cheapest bulbs. Maybe that’s the problem?

All the flowers out front are long gone. There are still a few tulips in the back and the irises are just coming in. Last year we had crazy hot weather just as the irises came out and that was the end of that.

Should we be so lucky this year.

I think I’ve mentioned that house across the street I refer to as the bro house.

Our cool neighbors moved and a couple of years later we still haven’t figured out what’s going on there. I am not the world’s most outgoing neighbor but I at least wave. No person who lives (stays) there has ever even made eye contact with me.

It is not a large house — I think maybe 3 bedrooms and 1 bath. The basement was unfinished last time I was there. Small yard. I think I have identified two regular residents (bros). One guy has a dog. There are any number of cars coming and going from that house. Different cars parked overnight – most of them black SUVs. Mostly guys but occasionally women.

I don’t think it’s drugs. Nothing about it seems like drugs. I’m wondering if there’s a company where people travel a lot and this is the place to crash when they’re in town? They’ve had a few parties but generally nothing to complain about — just odd situation.

About 6 weeks ago they woke me up at 2:40am on a Friday night (Saturday morning). I assumed it must be a sweetheart quarrel – why else would people be talking outside in the middle of the night? But then the following week, they woke me up at the exact same time. I could hear car doors slam and people drive off. Bob said it must be a party breaking up but why would the party break up at the same time each week?

I came up with the idea that maybe someone has an early shift and they are headed to work. Except why they stand around outside talking before going off to work?

The following week it happened again, same time. But I haven’t heard them since.

It’s a mystery.

This isn’t particularly relevant to where I’m at in my process, but so I can feel like I’m making forward progress I’ll post my latest stat:

The manuscript that ate my brain:

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Don’t Rock the Boat

I’m going to break my rule about embedding Youtube clips because I have a terrible earworm and I want to share it with you:

This song was on the radio alarm clock one morning last week. I remember when it was a hit on the radio. I don’t dislike the song but I don’t want it playing my head all the time.

It looks like our next door neighbor moved out. I’ve written about the rental house next door a number of times. (e.g. 2013, 2011 and 2009).

My big takeaway is that it’s a pain in the butt to own a rental because I think only one tenant has lasted longer than 2 years.

We’re always nervous when this happens since you never know what you’re going to get. We didn’t get to know these tenants very well but when we saw them they were nice enough and they didn’t do anything terrible like crank death metal at 3am. We’ll see what happens.

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Local News Wrap Up

Hey – check out this craptastic photo from when I saw the U.S. Men’s National Team play Belize in the Gold Cup earlier this week. It was my first time ever seeing them play and I loved it. Can’t wait for World Cup next year.

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The morning after the 4th of July I went into the kitchen to put my tea cup away and I saw a man in our backyard opening the shed door.

I said, “Why is there a guy in our backyard?”

Bob jumped up and said, “I don’t know.”

And we both went running out there. He was wearing Jack Skellington pajamas and looked pretty harmless.

He introduced himself like he knew us and I thought it was pretty obvious he was high. He said he was looking for his mother. She had run off.

Bob hustled him out of the backyard and told him to get lost. I thought maybe we should make sure he got home in one piece.

Bob said he saw him later on the porch of the house where he told us he lived. He did not make eye contact.

We’ve got new renters moving in next door. Long time readers will recall that this is a regular event. We really liked the previous renters. It was a couple and they were stable and friendly (uh, but their dog pooped in our yard) but otherwise they were terrific. They’re having a baby and bought a house.

The house has been empty longer than it was between previous renters and word is that the rental agent took extra time to make sure she got good people. We’ll cross our fingers.

I grew a sugar beet. I found what looked like a pink turnip. I tasted it and it tasted like sugar cane mixed with nuclear waste. I guessed it might be a sugar beet and found a photo online. Maybe the wrong seed slipped in at the seed factory?

If I ever time travel to the 50’s and start a band it’s going to be called The Sugar Beats.

I have no idea where the time goes. I woke up at 6:30 and I’ve been going almost non-stop since then. I still have a ton of chores and my poor yard desperately needs attention. But I’m on my way to a Timbers game. Maybe tomorrow.

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Random Tidbits

I’m not kidding. Today I finished the last piece of Halloween candy in my stash. (Still working on Xmas) and I went to the store and Cadbury Eggs were out. It was a chocolate miracle.
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I remember when I was a girl scout you actually had to go out and sell the cookies. You had to take a little paper form and go door-to-door in your dumb uniform and ask people if they wanted to buy any Girl Scout cookies. People would say no. And if they said yes you would have to collect the money and put in the order and then later deliver the cookies. I never sold any because going door-to-door to sell things is awful and I hated it. Last week I watched co-worker pull up a website and punch in his zipcode and then a list of stores came up with the times that the cookies would be available for sale out front. And he was in a panic whether he’d be able to get there before they sold all the good ones.
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A long time ago I bought some bath sheets that I really liked. They were the perfect size with a nubby texture. I still have some of them although they’re getting frayed and see-through in the middle. A year or so ago I went and bought some new bath sheets and I guess America decided they wanted their bath sheets bigger or may it was just the brand but these things are like drying off with a bedspread. They are too big to be pleasant to use. I have to keep wrangling the ends so they don’t touch the floor. And it hangs all droopy on the rack. And the texture is sorta smooth in a way that would be nice for a bathrobe but worthless for a towel. I feel like I want to throw my towels away and start all over.
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We’ve got new next door neighbors. Again. I saw them moving in and I felt bad because I don’t even know them but I wanted to dislike them. I saw a dog. I worked it out. The house has been a rental for 9 years and these are the 6th tenants. Bob remembers a couple that I don’t so possibly 7th tenants. The third in 14 months. So far they seem to have only two normal sized cars. They go to work at normal times. The dog hasn’t barked or bothered anyone. They haven’t had a whole group of people over that never leave. These may be the neighbors we’ve dreamed of.

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