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Category Archives: pamily
What’s in the hat box?
Hello friends. It’s that time again. The latest class of the Clarion West writing workshop moved into the house today.
A group of us will be writing at home while they are there and trying to raise money while we do it.
Just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about, I wrote a post about my experience at the workshop last year and the year before. If I can think of anything fresh to say about it, I’ll write another one next week weekend.
My main goal for this write-a-thon was to re-work a short story about an NDN casino in space that I whipped up in a weekend in January 2017. I haven’t looked at the draft since.
I got it out this morning and the first 3/4ths are pretty good. It’s a fun idea with fun characters. The last 1/4th is a complete mess that makes no sense and doesn’t flow logically from the beginning. It’s like I passed out under a bridge and when I woke up I was forced to finish the story or face dire consequences so I wrote the ending of a different story.
It’s actually such a mess, I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I’ll poke around with it a little, at least a week or two, but I don’t want to waste a lot of time if I don’t see a way to fix it.
Then I need ideas for new goals:
1 – Finish the kayak story and submit. Completely doable.
2 – Figure out some system for all my bazillion ideas and scraps and research. If this was doable, I think it would be done by now but let’s put it out there.
3 – Do some idea storming and try to do the first draft of a completely new story. Not hot on this idea. I don’t know if I want to do a lot of short story writing at this point.
4 – Go through partial novel manuscript that I abandoned when I started writing romances and see if I can get a working outline. Possibly doable.
5 – TBD
I will report at the end of each week.
If you’re inclined to donate, my page is here.
I usually link to my classmates who are also write-a-thoning but as of this moment, none of them are. (FOR SHAME!) I’ve sent them a guilt trip so I may have some to add next week.
One of our workshop leaders is write-a-thoning and you can donate here: Neile.
Micro-donations are welcome. We love your support.
I included a photo of the elders, my mom and auntie – modeling their hats. They were grand marshals in the Orleans Old Timers Parade last weekend.
These are my daffodils in the backyard this minute. I don’t have any tulips yet and the tulips that are out there continue the trend over the last several years of looking pitiful. I’m sure there’s something I could do to remedy that but I don’t have the energy to figure it out right now.
I like to keep a string of multi-color holiday lights up in my room. In the winter I keep them on all the time. It’s a nice night light and I can hang out without having to turn on the overhead light.
Those lights are crazy cheap but also don’t last very long. This year as soon as they started to die I took them down. There was another string in the dining room and I brought those in and when I got them up and plugged them in, they didn’t work. Then the dragonfly lights died, too. It was like as soon as I unplugged one string every light in the house gave up. I threw everything away in a huff and I need to run by the craft store and buy more.
Mom’s party last week was super fun. The only photo I took the entire trip is the one above. If you like photostreams of people that you don’t know, Aileen posted photos here.
I’m still working my way back into productive writing. I’m always working but sometimes it’s a few steps back before I go forward again. I also finally dug out the tax stuff this weekend. The federal stuff is a breeze but Oregon makes me so furious I can hardly keep my brain from bursting out of my eyeballs. Bob can tell when I start doing it even from a distance. It’s difficult for me not to believe that Oregon tax form makers are the most passive-aggressive forkwits that like to punish nonresident tax payers. I could go on but I need to stay calm. Word count update next week.
I’m in CA celebrating. Hopefully photos of the main event when I return.
Here’s an update for anyone interested in what’s been going on with my family.
My dad had a hip replacement at the beginning of the month and was doing great with his recovery. Unfortunately, one day he misjudged the place where he was going to sit and he fell. He was taken to the hospital.
My folks live inland and the nearest medical facility is on the coast, about 90 miles one way.
I was off work for the holidays so I rearranged my holiday stuff and went to California to see what was going on. He didn’t have to do another surgery but he has to keep weight off of his leg for 4-6 weeks. When I got there he was still in the hospital but the next day he was released to adult physical rehab facility.
If you don’t know what that is, you should stop reading right now and wrap your arms around yourself and take a moment to be grateful. Chances are you will know someday, and you will yearn for this more innocent time.
While I was in CA we did several day trips to visit and then I spend several days in a motel and shuttled back and forth to the care center. Mostly to keep him company but also to help get situated and communicate with the staff on any issues that we wanted to bring to their attention.
The good news is that Dad is doing great with his physical therapy, getting more upper body strength to get in and out of the wheelchair, practicing walking with a walker using his good leg, and getting better mobility with both legs. The therapy staff is super terrific and seem to genuinely like working with Dad.
He had another X-ray while I was there and we were hoping for an Xmas miracle but unfortunately, no luck. The bad news is he’s stuck there at least another 4 weeks which was hugely disappointing.
During all this another family member had a health bloop but is recovering well. Also during this time my husband was moving his mother into assisted living. He stayed here while I was gone.
So, all-in-all it was a strange holiday season and not very holiday-ish with all the concerns.
BUT, we had a great meal with the extended family on Christmas eve and got a chance to celebrate being together. Then the immediate family went to spend Christmas day with Dad. The important stuff worked out.
I finally returned home on the 27th and it’s taken a few days to get back into the groove here. I plan to enjoy a lazy holiday weekend and then get ready to go back to work next week.
Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have a companion post about my trip down south.
Twenty one years ago today I married this burning hunk of love. We’re going to have a local adventure and walk around downtown and sample different food and beverages.
Photo credit: Aileen Wilder. Used w/o permission. hehe.
The sleepless trend continues although now I’m sleepless in Orleans. We don’t have a schedule here so I can stay in bed as long as I want if I fall asleep again. But still, by afternoon I have a fuzzy head.
At the last minute I decided to go to California for Fourth of July since it’s my Dad’s birthday and we wanted some family time. My sister is here, too. Here’s Summer. I was trying to get her to do her silly face.
I think I’m numbering these posts goofy because today is starting week #3 but I’m reporting on week #2.
I worked on the story, the blurb and the draft but made little meaningful progress. I don’t get a lot done on the weekdays anyway and then Friday I was in the car all day driving here. I listened to S-Town Podcast on the way which was fantastic for a long drive with heavy traffic. Yesterday I read some commentary on it — this could be a whole other post but I’m not up for it right now — let’s just say I had similarly complex reactions about the story.
Back to my write-a-thon progress. I have plenty of time in Orleans but I’m not always inclined to work. I like to be outside and listen to the river and relax.
Here’s the view:
My goal for week #3 is to keep on doing what I’m doing but more. I have a couple of days when I get back home when I can be productive.
If you’re thinking about donating but haven’t yet, I strongly recommend sponsoring Raj because he is giving away prizes. Here’s his post with all the details.
Here’s the list of my classmates who are participating. Go hug a writer.
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.
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.
Generally, there are few foods I won’t eat. That’s excluding unconventional or uncommon stuff like offal or bugs.
I hate tuna fish but I would eat it if I was a guest at someone’s house and that was what they offered. I don’t like yellow mustard or tarragon — which are more like flavors than foods. But if I get a sandwich with mustard or something in a restaurant has tarragon, I’ll eat it. I don’t like scallops but that’s because scallops don’t like me. I guess it’s the fat in them (?) but they give me terrible indigestion.
I can’t think of anything else right now.
One food I do not like is papaya. I don’t even like to be in the same room as papaya. I think it smells gross.
When I was a teenager I was in Hawaii with my family and we were on an inter-island flight and I made a terrible face and said: I smell papaya.
We were flying over a papaya orchard.
When I tell people this story they tell me: You were in a plane. You couldn’t possibly smell that.
Recently it occurred to me that I am a grown-ass woman and that perhaps I like papaya now. I haven’t tried it in decades. Maybe this is a delightful treat that I will regret not eating for so many years.
So while I was at my folks in CA this past weekend I bought a papaya. Even as I peeled it, I made a face. I tried a bite and then made a face like my tongue needed to be scraped and bleached.
Conclusion: I still hate papaya.
[UPDATE: OOPS. Someone on our staff scheduled a post and didn’t preview and had the photo dimensions reversed. The management at You’re Doing It Wrong apologizes for any inconvenience.]
Twenty years ago today we got married.
We are celebrating by returning to the scene of the crime for a nice dinner. In the evening there will be live music followed by a screening of Star Wars under the stars.
This afternoon I put something in the outdoor fridge. It looked like a pitcher of iced tea exploded out there. I got some sudsy water and baking soda and a sponge and took everything apart and scrubbed it clean.
Later, when Bob got home I casually asked him if there was an iced tea explosion in the outside fridge. He said he’d pulled the pitcher out too quickly but that he thought he’d cleaned it up.
I stood there with my mouth working open and closed but no sound coming out. I finally said, “I can’t imagine how you could think that was cleaned up.”
And we laughed. Twenty years ago that would have been a huge fight.