Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Holidays

The insanity of the holidays always makes me grumpy.  This year I'm missing my girls but I'm trying to make the best of it.  Vicki is home but the other two are in Georgia.  I'm missing them and I'm missing the all day game playing, movie watching, and being together.

Ken and Vicki went off to his family gathering.  They likely won't be back till late afternoon or early evening.  I'm working on the computer for now but then I'll be going back to crocheting.  I currently have two projects in the works for Vicki - an apron which will be a mix of terry cloth and crochet cotton and a shawl which I'm crocheting.  If I could figure out how to work on both, I would.

Yesterday Vicki and I went to Festival and got groceries.  We shopped their sale items and had a ton of coupons.  We spent $250 and saved about $120 between sales and coupons.  Today I was going through the receipt to split up her items and mine.  I noticed several of our coupons didn't take off.  I called them expecting them to say there was nothing they could do since it was yesterday.  Instead they refunded the money and gave us two coupons for a dollar off.

Tomorrow we are going to do as much as possible with the girls in Georgia.  I'm sure there will be video chatting (or at the very least phone conversations) but we are also attempting to go to a movie at roughly the same time.  Saturday when Beth is over, we'll open gifts and have more family time.  I'm also hoping to go see a movie on that day.

Aside from the holiday stuff, I'm hoping to get a number of projects done.  I've pulled out one of Vicki's bags and have been working on the projects in it.  I finished two skeins of yarn to make her hat, wristers, scarf out of one and hat and wristers out of the other.  I'll see how far I get by the end of the weekend.  I may have to shift things to determine what I'm going to work on.  As is normal - I have a LONG LONG list of things to do for her.

I've got classical music on.  I'm babysitting the two grand fur babies - Sasha and Ava.  I'll be going back to crocheting shortly.  All in all, a good day so far.  Just one more day to get through with the holiday silliness and I can put another year behind me.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Cleaned up

My living room has been filled with craft projects and all the accessories which go with the craft projects.  Over the weekend I finished seven projects and got started on an eighth one.  I am hoping to finish this one tonight.  Last night I could barely keep my eyes open to work on it.

I took time to put away four bags of yarn and still have one more to put away though I'm waiting for Vicki to be home so she can check out the goodies I have in there.

Two of the ponchos are for my mom.  She bought the material and I just crocheted around it for her.  Hopefully she likes them.  She'll let me know.

The baskets are for the kids of one of my faculty.  Her oldest son asked me for an orange one and I made it.  Then her other kids asked me for some so here they are.  I'm sure they will enjoy them.

The green poncho and the headband is for Vicki.  I'll see if she likes them.  If not, maybe I'll keep them.  I can already hear her saying "They are MINE, mom!!!"  I have to tease her because I can.  She wouldn't know what to do if I didn't.

I thought I was making progress on the projects and then Ken washed all the material Vicki and I bought after Thanksgiving.  This means I have another large basket of projects.  When Vicki is home, I'll prioritize them and see what she wants done first.  Then it will be a matter of spending time with her while I craft and she reads.

Finishing these projects did clear off a number of things on my to do list but I still have forty or so on my to do for crocheting only but I haven't added the fabric items which need to be done.  I'll be adding those to her list and some to my non-Vicki list for other people.

I like seeing the items get done.  I like accomplishing things and seeing the pretty things done and ready.  It's also wonderful to see people's faces when I give them their stuff and they are delighted.  I just have to balance all the crafting with all the other aspects of my life.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Prepping for Vacation

Four days of work left before my vacation.  I can't wait.  It will be good to have a break and just be at home.  I don't have to shower or dress if I don't want to - though the other people at home might object if I go too long without showering.

My plan - tackle the boxes of yarn for Vicki and get as much done as possible.  I'm currently stalled on the blanket I'm working on.  I'm doing a more intricate border and it is taking longer.  However, I'm hoping to finish it tonight and move on to one of the other three I have prepped.  Two of them are smaller so if I do complex, it still won't take as long and one is a blanket but needs a simple edging.

Once I'm done with these four, I have four more to do - two for my mom and two for Vicki.  Then I also have the basket full of material which needs washing - though I think most of that will be decided on after Vicki comes home.

The semester is winding down.  The work load is easing off.  I'm saying goodbye to one student worker as she student teaches next semester.  Otherwise I'm just wishing them all happy holidays as they finish off their finals and head for home.

My desk at work is getting clearer as I finish up a number of tasks.  I'll be cleaning up some tasks so they can be marked as complete - at least as far as I can take them for now.

It is nice to clean up and clear off before I go on vacation.  It means when I come back to work, I'll have emails to deal with but few URGENT projects.

This year I find myself wishing my daughters could all be home.  I feel a need to have them near for family time.  I know the two in Georgia can't make it home but I am missing them.  We will video chat on Christmas.  I'm looking forward to spending the time with them that way instead.  I think we are all going to try to go to the movies on that day.  It's convoluted but we will all at least be doing the same thing - if not together at least at the same time.

I know part of this is my normal holiday grumpiness.  It's just hit me a bit harder this year.  I'm coping.  My crocheting and meditating help me deal with my feelings.  Crocheting - creating really - helps to lift my spirits.  I know I'm creating things which will brighten people's spirits.

My inner dialog has been rough the past week or so but as I work on a project, produce more, it helps me be kinder to myself.  I can't really explain how or why but it does.  Also, I'm clearing out some of the clutter in my living room with each project.  As the room gets neater, I start to feel better.  I'll get through the stack of projects and then I'll put away most of the yarn except my container of projects.  We do have to prep for the grand fur babies coming home, one of which is a mischievous bugger who gets into everything.  Clear up, clean up, and prep for the visit.  That will be the weekend.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Morning Blahs

This morning I'm on my own in the house.  It's an odd thing to happen on a Saturday but Ken is off doing other stuff.  Whatever will I do on my own?

I've sorted had breakfast, sorted laundry, and checked out my sales.  I've been on Facebook, Linkedin, and Goodreads.  It's surprising how much time this takes up when I get on the computer.  I still have to look at my website and my pagan blog.  From there, I'll work on a cover or two for a fellow author.  After that's done, I'll decide whether I'll continue at the computer and work on publishing stuff or go back to the recliner to work on crochet stuff.

I've got four projects I'd like to get done this weekend - more if I can.  I'm giving myself through the end of the year before I go back to writing on a more regular basis.  I've needed some down time, some time to step away from telling stories and working on publishing.  However, now I have a number of crochet patterns to publish, a book to edit and two novels to finish writing.

I finished watching Veronica Mars last night - all the way through the movie.  I enjoyed it and want more.  Unfortunately, I don't know if they are ever going to do more.  I know the fans paid for the movie to be made.

I've got several suggestions from the girls on other options for watching.  I was watching the old Dick Van Dyke show while I crochet.  However, I have several crochet classes which I want to watch on Craftsy so I may put those on to see if anything sparks an interest for me.  I'll have to see where my mind goes while I crochet.  I could also listen to audio books.  So many choices - whatever will I do?  I'm sure I'll figure it out.  Maybe I'll watch the Harry Potter movies.  I can throw those on and not have to watch them while I crochet.  That's definitely a viable option.

The more I can get done crochet wise, the better.  It will help clean up the living room as it has become craft central with fleece and yarn in piles around the room.  I'm hoping to finish off a number of them so it's less cluttered.

The pictures are of some of the projects I've been working on but haven't been able to show because they were gifts.  I hope you enjoy them.  

Sunday, December 6, 2015


Finished a number of gifts last night.  This morning Ken helped me get them packaged up for distribution.  I have two more to finish by Friday and then two more to finish the following week.  Then I'll be moving on to clearing up some of the other crochet projects on my list including some for when Vicki comes home to visit.

I've been anti-computers lately.  I think I've gotten an overload at my day job so when I come home the last thing I want to do is be on the computer some more.

Having said that, on the drive to visit Vicki my mind wandered to stories and where I was, what I want to do with them, and progress.  I've been creating a bunch of patterns so I'm going to put them on my to publish list though they probably won't make it out this year.  I've got writing ideas I want to work on but a big part of my brain wants to crochet.

Since I need to keep my stress level lower, I am crocheting.  Stephanie asked me for cat toys so I'm making them during my lunch hour.  People who come in while I'm working on them are just amazed which surprises me.  These are simple little things which are easy enough to make.  Yet they all exclaim over them - go figure.

I've got time off coming up - starting the 23rd.  I can't wait.  Vicki will be home.  I wish I could get Virginia and Stephanie home as well but it isn't possible this year.  My plan is to spend time with her and crochet.  I'll post pictures when I can on what I get done for her.  I have a number of projects which are experimental.  I'm hoping they turn out nicely but we will see.  Plus I'd like to clear out some of the bins she has of yarn in my craft room.

Once she goes home, I'm going back to working on other projects - a skirt, two afghans and a few smaller projects.  I'm also going back to writing after the holidays.  I have several patterns to publish, a novel to edit, and two novels to finish.  After I'm done with those writing projects, I have a non-fiction book I want to work on.  This will take more in depth research and writing but we will see how it turns out.

Christmas is always a difficult time of the year for me.  It stresses me out and annoys me.  Yes, my kids call me Grinch.  This year I feel even more Grinch-like than ever.  Normally I like the lights.  They are bright, shiny, and fun.  This year - I just want to tell all the people who have them out to stop it.  Turn them off and stop wasting money.  I said I was the Grinch.

To be fair, the sun in the morning as I'm driving to work has been annoying me.  I'd prefer the darkness, the cocoon of darkness always feels so much better to me.  It's like if I can't see the rest of the world, I'm wrapped in a comfortable blanket of safety.  I guess my morning grump and my holiday grump are showing.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Everywhere I'm seeing how we need to be grateful and thankful.  It's that time of year with the US celebrating Thanksgiving.  I saw an article where some celeb gave away 1000 turkeys for the holiday - my first thought was where was this celeb the rest of the year since poor people need food year round.  This was harsh of me as it is possible the celeb does help out year round but with the holiday it got noticed.

I'm not going to lecture about being grateful etc.  It's everywhere and nothing I have to say will mean much.  I do want to acknowledge though that everyone can get focused on the me-centric aspect of life.  Everyone struggles and sometimes the struggles overwhelm to the point where you forget to see how others are struggling.  All you can see is how hard your own life is.

I'm not a holiday person.  I find most of them annoying and shallow.  The only good thing about them is I usually get a day (or two) off work.  However, I like the idea of a holiday where people are supposed to remember the good things in their lives.

Today is one of my nieces' birthday.  My daughter's birthday is tomorrow.  These events remind me how blessed I am to have these strong and amazing women in my life.  I know they've learned lessons from me but I've also learned from them.  They've helped me be humble, silly, loving, and so much more.

There are struggles in my life, sometimes I feel like life is only a struggle.  However, I know I can rely on those nearest to me to help me see past the struggle of the moment and into the good things.  This is what I'm most grateful for - the people who matter in my life.  You know who you are...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Craft Organizing, Crafting Weekends

With the weekend snowstorm, we've started the winter season.  We got slammed with just under a foot of snow.  I've heard grumblings and complaints but really it will probably all be gone by mid-week.  We were lucky it came on a weekend so for the most part we could curl up inside and not have to go anywhere.

For me, I did a lot of crocheting.  I cleaned and organized some of my craft stuff but mostly I worked on projects.  I can't show many of them because they're presents.  I do have one, which turned out better than I expected.  I've had the supplies to make this for a while but thought it would be tough with attaching it to the hardware and working it to fit but I was wrong.  It was actually a breeze.  It's made with Lion Brand Bon Bon yarn and was simply a matter of sewing it to the closure.  I might have to make more of these.  I might even try to make my own pattern.

I've got a four day weekend coming up and I'm looking forward to spending it crocheting.  I have a large list of small projects I want to work on.  I'll post pictures when I'm done.  However, after this weekend, I have to focus on finishing up the gifts I need to make.  Those pictures won't go on here until after I've handed them out.

Once the presents are done, I've got two larger projects I'm working on that I'd like to complete and get out of my craft basket.  This is of course a prelude to me picking new projects to put in my crochet basket.  I reach a point where I look at a project and say - all right I just want this one done.

I sorted through several baskets of yarn and as I did, I wanted to set aside a number of things and just pull out certain yarn and work with is.  This is my current work in progress.  I came across the yarn and couldn't resist starting a blanket for my daughter.  I made up a pattern which took a bit of trial and error but now I've started, I'm loving it.  I want to go buy up a bunch of this yarn to make a bunch of projects with it.  It works up quickly and is warm and soft.  I'll have to see how things go and hopefully will be able to work with more of this yarn.  I can see in my head all sorts of options and projects.  I love it when a product inspires me.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Crocheting and Charmed

Last night after Ken went to bed, I watched Charmed and crocheted.  I spent the night watching the season with the Avatars.  I've been rewatching this program because it was a good program and I enjoy it.  While I watched, I worked on a wrap for Virginia and a blanket for Stephanie.

The wrap turned out beautifully as you can see.  I spent less than $5 on the materials.  I spent a few hours creating and it is gorgeous.  I hope Virginia likes it.

I'm still working on Stephanie's.  She wants an eight row border which I got through half of last night.  When I'm done on the computer, I'll be working on it this afternoon and evening.  I'm hoping she'll be able to take both with her when she goes home.

This morning I made garbage soup for lunch and I'm hoping I'll have enough left to take for lunches this week.  Ken went grocery shopping so we've been doing this Ibotta app where you can get rebates based on your purchases.  For us it isn't a lot of money but I'll take what I can get.  Ken also saved over $8 in coupons.

Ken's watching football.  I'll be crocheting and watching Charmed.  It isn't an exciting life but I'm not complaining.  It will be peaceful and calm and quiet.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A Calm Weekend - Hopefully

Stephanie came home on Thursday.  Ken, Stephanie and I went to Paint Nite and had a good time.  It was a long day for all of us but particularly Ken.  Stephanie spent the morning with Ken while I worked.  They came to pick me up and we all went to lunch with Beth.  She and I went to Joann's and did a bit of shopping.
She went to visit friends in Ripon.  Which left Ken and I to our own devices.  We caught up on tv shows and I worked on prepping a bunch of fleece I'd bought.  I have about half of them prepped now.  Last night I started a throw for my oldest daughter which I hope to finish today.  I have a blanket for Stephanie which I want to finish before she goes back to Georgia.

It's the first week of registration where I work.  This means I've been working longer hours and my legs are swollen and sore.  I'll be spending most of today in the recliner and crocheting.  I'm hoping to get a number of projects done.  Work has been incredibly busy and a bit too stressful so this weekend is about being mellow.

With the terror attacks in Paris, I'm hoping Stephanie has no problems flying back on Monday.  Like most of the world, these baffle me.  If you don't want to be alive and feel the need to take your own life, do it but don't hurt or kill others.  It doesn't make sense but then again, I'm not a disenfranchised person involved with a terrorist group.

Since my gout is flaring again, I'm going to spend my weekend being as quiet and calm as possible.  I'm going to enjoy my daughter being home and spending time with her as much as possible.  This means I'm doing things I like to do and trying to shut out the chaos of the world and the frantic pace of my job.

I can only hope some semblance of sanity returns to the world.  My job will be crazy for another couple of weeks before it calms down a bit.  While it is so stressful, I'll be crocheting and relaxing as much as possible.

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Pox on Daylight Savings

I have a friend who has been grumbling about the dark mornings.  I'm going to heartily disagree.  I drove to work this morning and the sun was in my eyes again.

On top of the inconvenience of daylight in the morning again, I was awake at 3:30 this morning.  It's not uncommon for me to have sleeping issues but really I'd only had about four hours of sleep and would have appreciated another couple of hours.

We play with time.  It's ridiculous because time doesn't change it just ticks on - second by second.  It's a matter of what we do with our time.  Are we wasting it or are we making the most of it?

With my six hour limit on sleep - yes I literally wake up after having been asleep for six hours - I have to be careful how early I go to bed.  Too early and I'm up early again like today.

This is one area where I think we need to stop messing about and just let time tick tick tick rather than swapping forward and backward like a very slow drunk.

Unlike my friend, I like the dark of the year.  It's peaceful and comforting.  It wraps you up.  The darkness is soothing.  No need for all that light, all that sunshine annoying you first thing in the morning when no sane person should be up.

However, the sunset tonight was spectacular.  There were all these orange, red, and yellow streaks.  It was gorgeous.  Now if we could have that in the morning, I wouldn't mind so much.  Obviously I'm not a morning person nor do I like the light when I'm grumpy about having to get up.  However, the time is all messed up.  So we have light now in the morning for a short bit before it doesn't matter a bit and it's dark all the time... except a few hours during the cold days of winter.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

More Quiet, More Crocheting

Ken and I went to JoAnn's yesterday.  He hates it but was very helpful and even helped pick out fabric.  He's such a good sport, sometimes.  I got all the things I needed for the projects I have in mind.  The fabric is in the laundry being washed and dried so I can work on the projects as soon as they are done.

I came home and crocheted.  I got a number of small gifts done.  I bought fleece for a blanket for me.  Yes, I'm actually going to make something for me.  It's shocking but true.  I picked out the yarn and went totally opposite of what I thought I would do.  I also know the pattern I want to do.  Hopefully today I'll finish it but we will see what ends up happening.

I can't show the rest of what I worked on because they will be gifts.  However, I got a lot done and I've only got two more sections to do.  I'm hoping to finish them today.

Sitting with my legs up and crocheting most of yesterday was a good thing.  My legs feel better today and the swelling has gone down.  This means the pain level is lower which of course makes me happy.

My plan for the day?  Editing for my sister, reading email this morning, and then going back to my recliner and working on crocheting.  I'm hoping the fabric I bought yesterday is done so I can work on those projects sooner rather than later.  I have a few smaller projects which I would like to get off my plate.  One of which may involve making my own patterns.  If I do, I'll be publishing them.  It promises to be a good day of crocheting.  Hopefully I get a lot done.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Crafting and Quiet

It's a lazy weekend for me.  I swear I'm not going to do much this weekend.  I'm worn out from work this week and next week is going to be busy and stressful.  So this weekend I'm going to do only fun things - I hope.

I've already worked on budget and writing business stuff so that is out of the way.  Now it's time to see what kind of fun I can have.  I have several crochet projects I want to get done.  I've had several requests from different people for ideas and so on.  Now it's a matter of sitting down and working on them so I can see what they like and what fits.

After lunch today, I think I'll wander to JoAnns to see about picking up a couple pieces of material for trying out ideas I've seen on my crochet group and online.  I'm excited to try these projects which combine fabric and yarn.

I slept late this morning but I still feel like I want a nap so I may indulge in a nap today.  Unfortunately, I have to be careful about naps because if I nap too much I won't sleep tomorrow night which makes it difficult to get up for work.

Crafting this weekend with little else on the agenda.  Maybe a trip to JoAnn's for supplies (specific ones for the projects).  Otherwise, I'm keeping it quiet, calm, and low key.

Friday, October 23, 2015


Good or bad we all have habits.  This week I've realized a habit I've gotten into is talking on the phone while I am driving home.  My daughters - who are the ones I normally talk to - have all been busy this week with conferences and school.

My new car allows me to be hands free so I just tell it who I want to call and (if it's working right) it calls them.  I spent the next 20 minutes talking to the person if they are available.  This week I've not talked to any of my daughters.

It's goofy but I miss this snippet of their lives.  I hear about their day or the cats antics or bad traffic or whatever.  This means when I don't get these snippets, I feel out of the loop and a bit disconnected.  I know the routine will return next week but I'm still feeling out of sorts about it this week.

It's made me realize I don't have my drive with the silence I was used to.  I've replaced the silence with chatter via technology.  I'm not sure that's a bad thing but I'm not sure it's a good thing either.  Hearing my own thoughts can help me cope and destress.

However, I don't think I want to give up the time with my daughters.  It's nice to have those few moments to catch up with them.  It helps to keep us connected while we are all living in different states.

I've missed my habit this week but I know it will be back next week.  The conferences are done today and my daughters will be more available next week.  I've enjoyed the silence and my own thoughts for this week but I'll enjoy going back to that habit of chatting with the girls next week.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Ups and Downs

My scooter broke this week.  This meant I had to walk much more than I'm supposed to which has resulted in me being in a lot of pain.  The scooter new costs $1500 and I was panicking a bit but after a bit of research, I don't believe we will have to pay that unless we come to a worst case scenario.  Fortunately, I called a welder and he was able to weld the frame together.  Now I just have to hope it stays together until I can go through the process of getting the doctor to prescribe one for me so the insurance will pay for it.

It's been a busy weekend.  Saturday Ken and I ran errands.  We went to a variety of different places including a craft store (Ken's least favorite place to go).  I got the three things I needed for the three projects I wanted to do and saved $31.  I love coupons.

It was a practical day.  I spent time paying bills, working on budget, running errands and so on.  Nothing momentous happened but stuff got done.  I worked on crocheting last night but was tired.  I spent a bit of time on the phone with my daughters.  This was the best part of the day.

Today has been just as productive.  I made a new breakfast thing to take this week.  I also made lunch for today and for the rest of the week.  Ken did the shopping and saved $22 in coupons.  I've been working on the computer a good portion of the day.  It's writing related things but not writing.  I also worked on two crochet projects.  I got two done so I will be able to write up the one pattern.  The other is just making dish towel with terry cloth and crocheting around the edges.  I made one.  Ken is supposed to try it to see if he likes it.  I'm hoping they work well so we don't have to buy the one from the store.  I like them better but I never know whether Ken will or not.  The dishtowel is just under 2' square so you can dry those bigger dishes.

I published a short story today.  Journeys is a about lifelong friends who come together for a weekend away from family.  The two women share their frustrations and joys of being mothers. The short story is only 99 cents and is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

And the Results Are In

In May I discovered a lump under my arm.  I had been crocheting a lot and had a stiff arm.  I thought it was just a bunched up muscle.  I kept an eye on it but said nothing to anyone as I didn’t want the “OMG you have breast cancer” reaction.  I didn’t know what it was.  I didn’t know if it was even a lump.

I made an appointment with my doctor to have it looked at but I still didn’t tell anyone.  I wasn’t trying to be brave or shut anyone out. I simply wanted more information before I talked about it. 

Ken found out before I went.  He was upset which is exactly what I wanted to avoid.  I went to the doctor.  He felt, said yes there is a lump and ordered an ultrasound.  The ultrasound was inconclusive.  I had to wait a week for the appointment for the ultrasound.  I had to wait a week for the results.

I talked to the doctor, he wanted me to go to a surgeon.  I went to the surgeon – this time only a few days.  He felt and said yes, he felt the lump.  He wanted a CT scan.

Now I’ve had two CT scans previously.  The first one had me freaking out because I’m claustrophobic and the second one – well it was bad all around but that was more because of the medical issues I was having at the time than the test itself.  Needless to say, I was nervous.  I only had to wait five days to have the CT scan. 

The technician was good.  She answered all my questions, listened to my concerns and took her time with me.  The test wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  But still I wait for results.

I have every faith this lump is nothing more than a cyst or bunched up muscle or something similar.  The waiting, the not knowing is the worst.  Like most people, when my mind is quiet and there is nothing to distract me, I consider all the worst case scenarios.  I try not to but there is a part of my head that won’t let it go. 

I’m trying to prepare – what will the doctor say?  Will there be more they want to do?  A biopsy?  How will we manage the time?  Ken’s vacation is gone so if he takes off it’s unpaid.  This has significant impact on our budget.  I know my daughters (any and all of them) would come in and help but they all live out of state.  All of these variables run through my head and I can’t get them to settle into any coherent form because I don’t know what the next step will be. 

The last time I had a medical issue, I pushed hard to get my way because I had a feeling something was drastically wrong.  I don’t have that feeling now but still my brain goes there.  I don’t know how much I want to push and I don’t know how grumpy I want to be about it.  I believe it is a cyst or muscle issue.  However, you can’t ignore lumps.  They generally have to be attended to. 

In some ways, I laugh at myself.  I feel like I can feel it in there but I know part of that is my worry.  The worry is manifesting itself as a lump in my armpit.  I laugh when I write this but I also know the feelings are real.  I laugh at myself and remind myself to not be so overwhelmed with all of this. 

Finally on Thursday I got the results.  No bad things showed up on the CT scan.  The docs think like I do - a cyst or clump of tissue.  Basically, I'm getting lumpy in my old age.  Of course, I'll keep an eye on it.  If it changes, gets bigger, or I have more pain in my arm, I'll go back to the doctor.  The wait is over.  I have answers and now my brain can stop doing the worst case scenarios when I'm trying to sleep.  Now I can think about - what am I going to crochet next?

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Long List of Crafting and Writing

It's a list weekend.  I have a long list of writing tasks I want to get done and a long list of crocheting / crafting things I want to get done.  I may manage to stay in my jammies all weekend just to get stuff done.

Last night I watched Blacklisted and worked on an afghan for my niece.  I've got about 40 rows done.  I LOVE the colors she picked and the pattern.  I can't wait to see the final product.  In my crochet basket, I have about four projects started.  I am going to try to finish two of them this weekend and work on the other two.  Two of them are larger projects so will take longer than a weekend to complete.

I have written about four patterns which fall into the "Baskets" category.  I want to get them compiled into a document so I can publish them but before I publish, I want to print them out, follow the directions, and see if there are any adjustments I want to make.  I'm hoping to work on that this weekend.

I've got a short story finalized and am hoping to publish it this weekend.  Next is to do the searches on Wayfarer 10 and print for editing.

I've been wrapped up in marketing.  I'm trying to tweet and post on facebook regularly so I can get my work out to others.  I'm also looking at my marketing spreadsheet to see what I need to do for the things I've already published and not done the marketing.

I have a number of gifts to work on for crafting.  They are on my weekend lists as well.  I guess I better quit writing and get busy.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

No Jammies Today

It was supposed to be a stay in my jammies day and do little to nothing.  That didn't work.  I got up to an email from Joann with one of the things I wanted for a project being on sale.

After spending part of the morning on marketing, I got organized and Ken and I headed out to Joann's.  While I was looking at things online, I got a notice to text Joann's to get a coupon.  I did.  I got a 20% off coupon.

The items I wanted were already 50% off so we went in, found what I wanted and picked them up.  At checkout, they used my coupon and I spent nearly $10 less than I had budgeted.  I spent $42 and saved $60.  This is good shopping as far as I'm concerned.

I've spent the last two hours working on getting marketing stuff organized into a One Note notebook.  This is the software I just learned how to use.  I have to say, I'm finding it useful both at work and with my writing things.  I've created two notebooks to make my marketing tasks simpler.  I'm still gathering quotes from different books but it's coming along nicely.

Looking to move on to the next thing - will it be more marketing, work on the project I just got the materials for, or something completely different?  I'll have to see how the mood strikes me.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Busy, Busy, Busy

Yesterday I came home from work, paid bills, worked on editing, and booked a date for going to Paint Nite.  Ken and I had our normal Friday night meal of Toppers pizza and he went to bed.  I tried to settle into something but couldn't.  I finally decided to watch some training I'm trying to knock out.  Doesn't this sound like an overly exciting way to spend a Friday night?

Today, I went through coupons and wrote up a grocery list, made a fleece blanket with a crocheted edging, helped my mom, ran errands, watched two movies and crocheted, worked on pulling quotes
from books to use for marketing.  It's 10:30 and I'm ready to crash for the night.

The blanket is fleece - Packer pattern - which I crocheted around with some funky yarn.  I think the edging turned out nicely and I'm pleased with the result.  Believe it or not, this is a simple single crochet around the blanket.  It's the yarn that makes the funky pattern.

Ken's been sick all week and taking the time to watch those two movies was good for both of us.  He got rest instead of doing yard work.  I got to crochet (and maybe take a mini nap).  The afghan I'm working in is gorgeous.  I'm loving the color combination and the pattern.  I've got a number of projects going with none of them making it to the final stage (until I finished Ken's blanket today).  It's been hard to crochet but today I just pushed through it and did the crocheting.  My mind seemed to settle and go to a place where it needed to.

I was able to settle into the marketing task I needed to work on.  It isn't done.  I still need to do more but at least I made progress.  Normally I'm up late, working on something.  Tonight I may actually go to bed early - well for me.

Tomorrow, I plan to work publishing a short story and more of the marketing things.  I also want to watch more of the training which I believe I'll be able to crochet while I watch.  I'll have to see what Ken wants to get up to but I want to crochet so long as my arm isn't hurting.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

It's Quarter till Twelve

Isn't there a song like this?  I don't know I'm too tired to remember.  I had plans.  I had a specific list of things I wanted to get done tonight and they all went out the window.

When I got home, Ken was grumbly and not feeling well.  We had supper and he said he wanted to go to Urgent Care because he felt bad - sinus infection.

One thing I hate is coming home, getting settled in, and then having to go back out.  However, he wasn't feeling well and hasn't really felt well since Friday.  We went off to the Dean Urgent Care and sure enough he's got a sinus infection and two ear infections.  He's staying home tomorrow.  The shocking part about this is I didn't have to nag him to stay home.  He decided to all on his own.

Ironically it took us about an hour in Urgent Care and almost another hour at the pharmacy.  I think the woman ahead of us in drive thru was telling her entire health history to the guy and the entire health history of her family.  We sat behind her for nearly twenty minutes I think.

When we got up to the window the gentleman told us his antibiotic wasn't ready yet, could we pull around and come back in fifteen minutes.  I had my phone and played 2048 for the time but Ken was not happy sitting in the car.  He wanted to go home.

Finally I got him home, he took his meds and went to bed.  I hope he gets a good night's sleep and sleeps later than normal for him.  I think he needs it.

I started on my list and got some of it done but not nearly all.  It's nearly midnight and I'm going to sleep as soon as I'm done typing.  Hopefully tomorrow will be more productive in some arenas.  I was productive but not in writing or crocheting as I was busy helping the hubby.

My list would take another couple of hours to get through.  I think I'll pass on that and opt for a few hours of sleep before I go to work.  I'll adjust my to do list and get things done tomorrow.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Quiet Weekend

Three baby bibs done for my daughter to give to her friend.  One more to go.  After that, I've got a list of what I want to work on.  My arm is feeling a little better so hopefully I'll be able to work on the projects without too much difficulty.

Yesterday I was unproductive.  I watched Foyle's War (BBC show) and crocheted.  Ken wasn't feeling well so we didn't do much of anything other than hang out at home.

This week is looking to be hectic with all the things going on at work.  I've been working on a procedures book for the student workers and my position.  I edited my position description.  I'm also working on other projects like budget, advising manual for the faculty and others.  All of this is on top of distributing work to the student workers and tending to the needs of my faculty.

I'm hoping if I get some of the crochet projects which are on my mind done, I'll be able to go back to writing.  My head seems to get stuck in "I want to work on this" and then nothing else really satisfies me.  I've been stuck on the I want to crochet mode but with my arm bugging me, it's been difficult to get the crocheting done.  I'm hoping today to finish two of the projects before the arm hurts again.  I've got three which are nudging me.

I'm working at my desk this morning and I'll see how much editing and other tasks I get done.  This afternoon I plan to go back to watching Foyle's War and crocheting.  It will be a quiet Sunday.  Ken will watch football and I'll do my own thing.  No need to wander out or even get dressed - staying in my jammies today.

I've talked to all the girls this weekend.  It's always nice to hear what they are doing even if it is just stuff around the house.  Vicki called me to talk yesterday between her errands.  I called Virginia and caught her just after she got a haircut.  I talked to Stephanie as she was working around the house.  It was nice to be part of their day and to hear what was going on with them.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Lost and Not in the Good Way

In general, I feel politics is a waste of time.  The normal person doesn't have the power or the connection to make a difference in our political arena.  This doesn't mean I don't vote or voice my opinions.  It means most of the time I feel helpless.

The things is the politicians are supposed to be representing all the people.  I'm one of the geeks who has actually read the Declaration of Independence.  It is eloquent and strong.  It is inspired and treasonous.  Yet, if you read it, dissect the meaning from the old language, it reminds us of how our country came about.  "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." Declaration of Independence

When do we as a people look at our governing body and say enough?  When do we look at how the legislatures - regardless of party - to see they have stopped governing and are simply doing the bidding of a few rich corporations and individuals?

It baffles me people can't see, don't know why we started this country and don't see how we have strayed from how we were meant to be.  In the last seventy years, we've allowed certain factions to have more say than they should have in our government.

I'm not saying we should go back to the values and societal norms of the 1700s.  I'm saying we should look at the principles espoused by the founders of the country and really consider who is helping and moving us forward in a positive way for ALL the people, not just an elite few.

We're returning to an era of Robber Barons - who are now the corporations.  We're back to yellow journalism (yes I'm talking about Fox news but also the others who are owned by the corporations).  I want NEWS not some opinion espoused and filtered through corporate agendas.  I want facts so I can make my own determination about how I think on a topic.

Get out and vote.  Contact your representatives to tell them what you like and what you don't like.  Become involved.  Pay attention to what is happening because otherwise rights will be lost and freedom will stop to exist.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

What Veggie Are You?

My arm is giving me grief again.  I've got three crochet projects I want to work on but every time I crochet I end up with pain in my arm.  Rest is the best medicine at this point.

I've gotten the editing done I wanted on the short stories.  Now I have to write summaries, make covers, submit them where I want them and move forward with publication on some of them.

Work has been chaotic.  My days are filled with projects and so many daily tasks and requests I can't count them.  I'm happy to get the projects off my desk as it cleans up and clears out some of the backlog.

My down time has been lazy.  I've not been writing much or crocheting because of my arm.  I did finish watching John Adams which was a mini series put out by HBO (I think) about the second president.  It was fairly interesting and well done.  How close it came to the actual man's life, no idea.

I came across the HBO Band of Brothers and I'm watching it.  The first episode was interesting and I love that they interviewed WWII vets to discuss the events which they made the film about.

The new seasons have hit so I got to see the first episode of Big Bang Theory and when it ended, I said, where's the next one?  It made me laugh and go awww a few times.  After my long and busy day at work, it is nice to come home and watch something that makes me laugh.  Tonight I'll be curling up and watching a few of the Band of Brothers episodes to see if the mini series continues to be good.  Tomorrow will be a long day of work which is why I need to be a vegetable tonight.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Right as Rain

Finished the JD Robb book - Devoted in Death.  It was good, a little bland but overall good.  I read a bit in Cast in Sorrow by Michele Sagara.  However, it was raining last night and the sound of the rain, the thrum of it lulled me to turn out the lights early (for me) and go to sleep.

As I lay in the dark, words rushed into my head (no surprise there) and I turned on my phone and spoke them into the phone which then copied them down.  When I have time, I'll see if they make a poem.

There is something soothing about the rain and thunder.  It seemed to roll through last night.  I ache everywhere with my arthritis but the sounds, the clean smell, all of it just seems to sooth me.

This morning there are amazing clouds, from white to grey to darker almost black.  The formations are incredible.  It looks like someone smeared a brush across the sky with different colors.  They're moving pretty quick, changing the scene as they go.  It's beautiful.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Motivation - or the lack of it...

Is it fall or is it summer?  We are in the time of the year where the weather is up and down.  This is great because we actually have days where the air conditioning is turned off but the flip side of that is it wreaks havoc with my arthritis.

My pain level has been higher with the weather changing so motivation is a problem.  This is why last night I curled up under a blanket and played a word game.  It was a completely unproductive night.  I probably could have done more editing but my mind and my focus was not where it should be for editing.

I've gone through a writing spurt where I wrote several short stories.  I finished one manuscript and started another.  I'd like to get all of them editing so I can move forward with production but editing is tricky.  I can't just finish writing and pick it up to edit it.  I have to let it sit for a while.  Sometimes this is a day or two and sometimes it is a week or more.

I need to swap out my computer in my office.  There are tools I want to use which are on the new computer and not on my current one.  Plus I'm realizing my laptop is nearly ten years old.  While it works well, it is old.  What I want to do is shift it so I have two computers so I can do certain things on each one.  That way if one goes, the other is there for back up.  I just need to bite the bullet and do it.

If I'm going to set it up the way I want, I need to clean off my desk and rearrange.  This means I have to get motivated to clean my office.  I've been struggling with this for three or four years.  It might be time to stop procrastinating but you never know.  It depends on how I feel this weekend and if I can motivate myself to get the office cleaned and organized.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

New Grandbaby

My middle daughter adopted a new kitten on Thursday!  She is an adorable six month old kitten.  Sasha, her older sister now, is not happy with the new addition to the family.

Vicki is dealing with a lot of changes.  She has a new energetic kitten who is into everything and has few manners.  She has an older kitten (Sasha is always a kitten) who is unhappy with the new addition.  She is juggling the affections of two demanding kittens.

Ava - the new kitten - is sweet, active, and playful.  She seems to be fascinated with Sasha and wants to play.  She is high energy which is quite the change for Vicki as Sasha was two when she got her.

It's been a few days of pictures and drama with the new kitten in the house.  Sasha has been grumbly at Vicki which makes Vicki unhappy.  It's been fun listening to their adventures.  Today for the first time the two cats touched noses without hissing at each other.

Saturday my niece came out to paint.  We spent the afternoon on our deck painting.  I did three paintings which I think turned out all right.  It was wonderful being out on the deck.  Ken worked in the yard and chatted with us.  She and I worked on painting.  It's funny, I did the sunset one with the water and had no idea what else I wanted to do with it but after I did a second painting I went back to it and knew exactly what I planned to do.  I think of the three it's my favorite.

Last night I watched Big Bang Theory and crocheted a little.  I was very cold so ended up cuddled under my electric blanket.  I didn't get as much done with crocheting as I wanted to but I was so cold I couldn't hold the crochet hook.  It's been a good weekend.  I think the cats are adjusting and I had some good times with painting and crocheting.

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Good and the Bad

The good and bad part about visits from the girls is they always go home.  It's good I get back to my routine, my privacy, my quiet.  The bad part is they are gone.

Vicki was here over the weekend.  It was a busy and great weekend with her home but at the same time, I'm exhausted.  We spent Friday shopping at different places and being together.  Saturday was all about errands and being together.  Sunday was about relaxing a bit.  Today she went home.

She came home and I had some dishtowels done for her.  She left with five new blankets (fleece with crocheted edging), dishtowels (six in all), a doily, and wristers.  It was fun to finally try out the technique on the blankets and I'm glad she got the blankets she wanted.  I have one more to do - for Ken.  I'll probably work on it next weekend.  The picture of the doily doesn't do it justice.  The yarn is VERY sparkly and packer colors.

The dishtowels were all made with scrap yarn.  She said she wanted more and I said what colors.  She said she didn't care.  I said scraps, she said sure.  I think she liked them.  They are all different.  There are five in the picture but I made her another one last night after we were done painting.  I was so tired it took me hours longer than it should have.

I've not thought about my writing (much) or done any writing, editing, or promotions.  I've spent the weekend with her.

I finally got to try the egg muffin technique for cooking.  Vicki fried up onions, peppers, and bacon.  I assembled.  The recipe turned out good.  Next step is to see how well they reheat.  At some point today, I have to do my yogurt for the week as well.  I'll have to remember to do it before I settle in for the night tonight.

The busy weekend means I'll probably spend today with my feet up so my legs are ready for work this next week.  My legs are hurting - partly because of the activity and partly because of the weather.  This means I make it a point to sit in my recliner with them up and probably under a heated blanket.

I'm tired so I think it will be a quiet day - maybe working on a project I don't need to think about while I watch a new obsession.  Vicki wanted to watch something but we didn't want to fuss with finding something.  She suggested Big Bang Theory so we watched nearly the full first season and part of the second season.  Maybe I'll pull out the next project and watch several of those episodes.  They make me laugh.  Last night we were watching an episode and I was laughing so hard, I couldn't breathe.  It was hilarious.

Labor day weekend has flown by for me.  I'm so happy Vicki was home and got to see some people.  I'm equally glad we got her here.  But now, I need a nap.  Even though it is going to be a three day week for me (I have Friday off), I have the feeling it is going to be a long week.

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Today is going to be another rest and relax day.  Tomorrow starts another stressful week with lots of meetings, faculty, students, and people in and out of my office.  I'll probably have more people in my office in a half a day than I did all summer.

I'm working on a crochet pattern and plan to finish it today.  I'm hoping it turns out all right but I have to do math so I'm sure the next part will be a bit frustrating.  Math and I don't always see eye to eye.  Once that is done, I have a short list of things I want to work on.  I'm going to see if I can convince Ken to watch movies with me.

I spent last night being a bum.  Crocheting was too much effort so I read through a few different things.  The thing is I woke up this morning with a scene I want to include in Wayfarer 11.  I'm mid-scene and not sure where it's going - though the more the scene I want to write sits in my head the more it firms up what I think will happen.  Sometimes I just have to let my characters sit and stew before they tell me what's next.

While I am taking the needed R&R, I plan to try out a few other patterns.  This will lead to what I call my ridiculous electronics.  The other night I was crocheting a new pattern so I had my phone to take pictures, my tablet to write the pattern, and my netbook to watch a class on Craftsy.  I laughed at myself for all the electronics but didn't shut a single one down.

If Ken doesn't watch movies with me today, I'll probably do the same.  Watch a Craftsy class while I work on my projects.  I'll have the tablet and phone available so I can create new patterns.  I know it is ridiculous but it's easier than using pen and paper because I can email it to myself and don't have to take the extra step of typing it up.

The point of today is resting.  Tomorrow will be busy with training student workers, meetings and the first week of classes starting at my day job.  This week will be busy with more of the same.  Today is all about relaxation!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

I Survived...

I survived the first week of faculty being back and a crazy schedule of meetings including two all day meetings.  It was good to see everyone back and to have a bit of a buzz and energy in our department.  However, I'm worn out from the hectic pace and high demand.

Refilling my tank this weekend is going to involve rest, sleep (if I can) and crocheting.  I'm in the mood to crochet.  So long as my arm doesn't get too sore, I think I'll work on projects.  I have a few going and a few I want to get done.  I like quick projects as they allow me to feel like I'm accomplishing things.

I've been making baskets and I want to try a couple more different things for patterns.  Then I will put them together into a group of patterns.  It has been fun to try out different techniques and see how they work.

There is a strange thing happening this weekend - I have no plans.  I know there are things I should or could be doing but at this point, I have NO plans.

I wrote last night for a bit.  It felt good to get a short story out of my head which had been bouncing around in there.  I worked on Wayfarer 11 for a bit but couldn't settle into it and switched to the other story.  My intent was to just get the opening down as that was pounding at me.  Instead, I wrote the whole story before crashing for the night.  That's just how it works sometimes.

Today I'm going to be lazy, keep my legs warm in the damp weather, and crochet.  If I make new patterns great.  If I fall back on old patterns, great.  I'll do what I do and see what I get accomplished.  I have no agenda and I'm ignoring my to do list.  At least as of right now.  I'll have to see what mischief I get up to and what I get done without looking at my to do list.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

It's Only Tuesday?

It's only Tuesday.  I keep telling myself there's only three days left but it feels like I've already worked a week.  It is the week before classes start and the building is buzzing with activity and last minute tasks.

One of my student workers came back today.  I had a long long list of tasks for her to do and she barreled through half of them.  While she worked on her list, I worked on the Student Employment Handbook I've had on my to do list for a while. It took most of the day to pull it all together but I got the first draft done.

On top of the heavy activity at work, the weather changed so I've had a constant headache for about four or five days.  Tylenol helps somewhat but it is still tiresome to have a headache.

I'm restless and unable to settle to anything, probably because I am so busy at work.  I know it will settle down after a couple weeks of classes - well at least for a bit.  I'll get more into routine and back to writing at night more.

The good thing, I got another crochet pattern done and will be publishing it soon.  I've posted my patterns on Ravelry and am getting some good hits on there.  It's a marketing tool which hopefully will lead to more sales.  However, at 99 cents, my patterns aren't going to bring in money hand over fist.  It's more like a trickle.  I'm okay with it - it's nice to know my patterns are out there and people are using them.

Sunday, I made a new recipe for my breakfasts.  My niece told me about it.  It's oatmeal (rolled oats not instant), yogurt, and fruit.  You mix it up and let it sit for 8 hours in the fridge.  It has a consistency of a soft muffin.  I struggle a little with the oatmeal but overall I like it.  I can't see doing it every day but it is a good start.  I found a recipe I want to try to intersperse with it.  It's essentially an egg muffin or egg cup.  You fry up your meat - sausage, Canadian bacon, or bacon, and chop it up.  Then you mix onions, peppers, cheese and eggs into a bowl, add the meat and pour it into a well greased muffin tin.  It's baked and you can put it in the fridge or even freeze them.  I'm going to try them to see if they are easy to make and good to eat.  If they are, I will stop driving through McDonald's for my bacon, egg white and white cheddar, bagel with apple juice.

I'm so not good in the mornings so breakfast has to be easy or I won't bother.  It's easy to drive through but it adds up.  If I can replace my morning meal, I can save myself a lot of money.

I'm loving the cooler weather.  It's nice to step outside and be able to enjoy the day rather than hurrying to the next air conditioned place.  For August, this high of 60s is cool, especially when we've been in the upper 80s for a couple of weeks.  It's a welcome but unexpected relief.

It's not even 10:00 and I'm thinking about crashing for the night.  This is an oddity for me, but I know it is the time of the year.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Normal Weekend Errands

Bills to pay, errands to run, and writing tasks to get done.  This is what I should be doing.  Yesterday I wandered off to Nasco for some craft shopping.  I picked up one thing for a project I want to try and canvasses so I can do some painting.

Today is going to be all about business - writing and personal.  I have spreadsheets to update, marketing to do, and bills to pay.  It doesn't help that I've got a headache - again.  I think it is from the change in weather but it could be anything.

I'm sitting here knocking out one task after another and thinking I should be doing more.  I know I can't but still.  I read through a proof this morning.  Format looks good.  I just have to approve it but since it is available for preorder electronically, it has to wait until next weekend.

Ken is off cutting up a tree for my sister.  We hope to get it out of her yard today.  It came partially down in a storm last weekend and she had people take it the rest of the way down.

Since it's pay week, I have to make a grocery list, clip coupons.  Once Ken does the grocery shopping, I'll have to do some food prep.  My list of other things to get done is long as well.

Hopefully the headache will ease off so I can get lots of things done while Ken is off cutting up wood.  It's easier to do some of the tasks while he isn't around.  He's already been up and gotten laundry started.

Last night I watched Sense and Sensibility (the long version) and Emma (with Kate Beckensal).  The Emma was a version I've not seen before.  It was well done.  The S&S is one of my favorites but I found myself saying oh this is the spot in the other version where Emma Thompson does this or whatever.  It amuses me.  The ironic thing is even though I just watched this version - which I like very much - I now want to go watch the over version.  I spent a couple nights watching Pride and Prejudice and wouldn't mind watching it again - the one with Colin firth which is six hours long.

I might have to do Shakespeare next though because Vicki and I were talking about Much Ado About Nothing.  I'll have to see how things go.  If the writing is flowing, I'll be too busy.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Audacity by Melanie Crowder

I'm in a good flow with my writing and rarely do I take a break to read a book.  I'm busy creating a book.  I don't have time.  One of my sisters (you know who you are) was at my work and told me about a book I had to read.  She described it as a fictionalized story written in poetry form about a woman who helped unionized the garment district in the early 1900s.  

I thought - poetry?  Really to tell this story?  Well move over Homer the epic poem has a new face.  Even better, it has a strong, powerful, inspiring face talking about an amazing woman (yes there were amazing women in history) who did incredible things against all those who told her to be submissive.  

Melanie Crowder has created an incredible story based on the real life of Clara Lemlich.  My sister handed me the book and I was skeptical.  How would you tell a story like this in poetry.  Buy the book, open its pages and read.  I read the first poem and wanted to keep reading but couldn't as I was at work.  

In three hours, I read the poems, the Historical Note, and the interview with the family.  I wanted more.  The poems are not hard to read or puzzle out the meaning but they have depth and breadth which is almost unseen today.  In so few words, Crowder manages to entrance, engage, and emotionally draw in the reader.  It was worth interrupting my own work to be inspired by her work.

I've got quotes and two of her poems which moved me so much I'll be copying them into my journal.  I must remember these words.  In a time of social apathy and upheaval (yes it's possible to have both), this story illustrates how one person can make a difference and how one person can inspire others to work together to create the change which is needed.  Go buy this book.  Stop reading my blog and go buy her book!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

It's All Her Fault!

In my head last night, I had a little argument with myself.  I was working Wayfarer 11 and writing a scene.  I had to pee but I didn't want to interrupt the flow of writing.  In my head, I'm saying, I have to pee.  I have to write.  I have to pee. I have to write.

Needless to say, I did eventually make it to the bathroom.  When I realized I was having this inner debate (it was distracting from my writing) I made myself stop writing for the necessary break.  This is how involved I get with my writing.

I spent the commute home talking to my eldest daughter, we discussed at length where I was with 11.  I reiterated it was her fault I started the next Wayfarer novel as we were talking about different plot issues and scenes.  It made my brain think about it and I woke up with these ideas, which led to me writing 3000 words.

By the time I was done last night, I had nearly 12000 words and am LOVING the start of this book.  I don't always say that and usually by the time I'm done, I don't like the book.  I was able to tie up several loose ends from previous plots.  While those plots were finished, they weren't tied up nicely.  This way all the answers are out there and it made for an exciting start to this book.

The thing is I woke up this morning with more in my head so I'll be working again tonight with writing (hopefully).  Even though I didn't get to bed until midnight, I actually slept really well until  my 5:00 am alarm.  This is an improvement from the night before.  Five solid hours of sleep is better than eight hours of broken up sleep.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Lazy Night

Why is it when I'm tired and try to be responsible by going to bed early, I sleep horribly?  It's probably my messed up brain.  I went to bed early but woke up on and off all night.

I worked longer yesterday as we are coming into the new academic year.  I got home later, received an order from Amazon only to be disappointed with it.  I tried buying some hemp rope for a project I want to do.  I guess I might have to go to Farm & Fleet to see if I can find what I want.  The crochet hooks I got a great deal on did actually turn out nice.  I'm looking forward to trying them as they have the ergonomic handles.

This week will start to speed up and next week will be insanely busy.  Meetings are abundant right now.  I don't mind if they are productive but if you're sitting there listening to people blather on, they are tedious.

I pulled out my binder with Defenders in it so I can start the review process.  I'm hoping it will spark a creative way to move forward without having to write a bunch of battles.  Battles are all right if you have a unique perspective but the book / series isn't about the battles as much as the magic and so on.  Maybe I'm over thinking it.  Either way, I'll work on the review and see if I get inspired.

Ken and I were both so tired last night.  We were sitting in the office helping the girls with some information and neither of us had the energy to either go to bed or do something else.  Eventually he went to bed and I played solitaire on the computer.  It was a lazy night for me.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Wayfarer Salvation

Wayfarer Salvation is the next installment for Adara and Decker.  See how they cope with a pregnancy after a miscarriage.  Adara continues as a trainer for pilots and has to deal with a recalcitrant and arrogant Bart Jarvin.  After two conflicts, he decides to show her what a good pilot he is but fails miserably by crashing a shuttle and injuring himself and three engineers.  A cascade of events follows with a secret investigation being launched into Adara.

The release date for this book is September 1, 2015.  You can pre-order the book now on Smashwords or Amazon.  The links are available on my website:

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Diversions and distractions

Diverted, I think is the way to describe my evening last night.  I went home focused on finishing Wayfarer 10.  Ken and I had a late supper and chatted before he went to bed.  I spoke to two of my daughters, warning the middle one I was going to write.  Her response was "And?"

I was in the groove, writing a scene when I got a text from my niece.  We had made arrangements to chat last night and I'd forgotten.  She was letting me know she was running late.  I said no problem, finished what I was writing (not the book but the section) and settled in for a conversation.

Three hours later, we finished our conversation.  I'd like to say it annoyed me to not finish the book but the conversation was so good, so interesting and diverse, I didn't notice the time slipping by until after 10 last night.  If someone forced to me tell them what we talked about, I could probably come up with a list but it was convoluted.

After our conversation, I wrote for another hour and a half.  I should have kept writing because I couldn't sleep.  It took me till almost two to get to sleep.  When I woke up this morning, I had four short stories, a to do list, four scenes for Wayfarer 10 fleshed out, and two or three scenes for the third Defenders novel all screaming to get out of my head.

To calm the voices in my head, I emailed myself an outline of the short stories so I can refer to it when I have time to sit and write them.  I opened up Google Keep on my phone and made the to do list.  I got up (late by this time) showered, dressed and got off to work.

My evening was diverted from my plans but I have to be honest, it was a good diversion.  One I enjoyed and hope she did as well.  The scenes bouncing in my head are fuller, better developed ideas.  I can't wait to write them to see how they play out.  I think my characters will enjoy the twists and humor of them.  I know I'm going to.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Dear Businesses

I'm a hermit.  I freely admit I'd rather stay home than go out.  When I do go out, it has become more and more difficult for me to go places.

I've been feeling a bit annoyed with myself over the anxiety I feel when I have to go to new places.  It's hard for me to know whether I'll be able to get into a new place of business or not.  Yes, we supposedly live in a world where everywhere is supposed to be handicap accessible.  We don't.

My favorite craft store in my home town does not have automatic doors.  I know this may seem small but without them it makes it more difficult to get into the store.  When an employee sees me struggling to get in, they do come help.  Also I had complained to the manager about how difficult it was to get through their aisles and it has been somewhat better.

Ken, Alicia and I went out to supper last night.  Alicia and I were going to do a Paint Nite event at this restaurant.  I was excited and looking forward to it.  Alicia went in to see where in the restaurant the event was going to be held.  If it was close to the door, I would have walked but it was at the back of the store.  We were told we could go in the back.  I drove around but there was a fence surrounding the back and you had to climb over the fence to get in.  Does this sound handicap friendly?

I drove back to the front of the building and went in.  Now had I been on my own, I would have had a hard time getting in because the doors weren't automatic.  Fortunately, Ken was there to open doors.  I got all sorts of funny looks when I drove my scooter through the building.  We got to the area where the event was being held.  They had all these plastic lawn chairs or tall bar stools.  I can't sit on a bar stool, my legs go to sleep and I can't walk.  I asked the bar tender if they had sturdier chairs.  I'm a big person and the plastic chair wasn't going to cut it.  She ignored me.  When I asked a second time, she rolled her eyes at me.  Fortunately, Ken isn't shy and he went into the restaurant and got me a better chair.  Again, had I been alone, I wouldn't have stayed.

So here is my little rant.  If I could I would send this to all business owners.

Dear Businesses:  We may be a minority but we still have money to spend.  If you want a handicapped person to come to your store make it easier for them to get there.  Have your doors easily accessible for people to get in and out of.  Train your employees to assist without judgment.  If I feel like I'm inconveniencing you, I won't come back because I don't want to inconvenience anyone.  I don't want my visit to be a production.  If it is, I'm less likely to come back.  I don't like to be stared at or considered a difficult customer.   Think about whether your customer - all customers are going to be comfortable when you pick your chairs.  I shouldn't leave your establishment in more pain than when I came in just from sitting on an uncomfortable chair.  Flimsy plastic chairs are not going to work well for larger customers.  If you don't want my business, no problem.  I'll take my money elsewhere.  But you can bet your bottom dollar, I'm going to make sure everyone I know is aware of how poorly I was treated.

These factors contribute to my being a hermit and the anxiety I feel going to a new place.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Wayfarer Freedom, Grandma's Doilies, and The Broom Closet

Three new books are available.  Wayfarer Freedom is the eighth installment in the Adara and Decker story.  The Pritchard was destroyed and now Adara is trying to cope with her grief and loss.  She wonders if she's a jinx as the captains all thought after the Aegis.  While working through this grief, Decker and Adara suffer a more devastating loss.  Struggling with loss and grief, they return to Command.  Decker wants a bigger ship with more people. Adara's afraid she won't be able to protect their people. Pulled into negotiations, training, and prepping for a new ship, Adara couldn’t possibly have time for more but there is always more.

The Broom Closet is a collection of short stories.  A Stroll, a woman takes a stroll through a park to bring herself back to a place of balance.  The Broom Closet addresses the issue of religious freedom in the workplace.  Choices, a stressful life has led to medical issues which leads her to meditation.  Dolphin Quest, an old woman visits a dolphin.  She takes a journey with him to the depths of the ocean.

Grandma's Doilies is a collection of short stories.  The Fight a boy waits to see if his mother will be abused. History Repeating, a great aunt tells of being raped. Guess, a mother teaches her daughter fiscal responsibility. Grandma’s Doilies, a granddaughter recalls a beloved grandmother. Dream Rich a poor mother struggles to feed her baby. Poignant stories address difficult topics.

Wayfarer Freedom is 2.99.  The Broom Closet and Grandma's Doilies are both 99 cents.  These are available on Amazon and Smashwords.  I've got links on my site:

If you've read my books, please post a review somewhere like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Goodreads.  To all my supporters - Thank you!  I keep writing because of the encouragement I get from the readers!

Saturday, August 8, 2015


Last weekend I drove to Fort Wayne to visit Vicki.  It was fun to take the car out on the interstate and open her up.  Since we bought the new car, I've been ridiculously protective of it.  I took a longer route to one event because they had just graveled the road I normally would have taken.

Ken was annoyed with me on this trip because he has this habit of just throwing stuff on the floor while we travel and picking it up when we get to our location.  I wouldn't let him do that this time.  I made him put all the garbage in a bag so nothing messed up my car.  I was annoyed when he spilled soda on the seat.  To be fair, I wasn't annoyed with him but the fast food place because they didn't put the lid on tight.

I did get the car up to 90 while I was driving - I was passing an erratic driver - and she handled beautifully.  I got great gas mileage.  On the way down, I made 35 mpg it took 3/4 of a tank to get there.  On the way back, we had a head wind but I still made 33 mpg.  We would have made it all the way home on one tank but I wanted to make sure we didn't run out before we hit 39 as there aren't a lot of good places to stop on that road.

While we were down there, other people drove my car.  I was annoyed because the average mpg was lower than I like.  When I drive it is right around 30 mpg they were driving and it was around 25.  Plus they don't treat her as nice as I do.  I don't like that.  See this is my ridiculousness of having a new car.

Vicki said she wanted to trade cars.  I told her absolutely not.  I like my car.  I'm being ridiculous about my car I know but I'm sure in another year or so I'll stop being so protective and ridiculous about it.  Maybe.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Write, Edit, Publish, Repeat....

Writing has been on my mind and keeping me busy.  I have five projects I'm working towards the production phase.  They're all written and edited.  The next steps are to enter changes on the computer, do spellcheck, read through a final time, write a summary, create a cover, and production.

For Wayfarer Freedom I'm at the production phase.  I have to sit down at my computer at home to put it through the production steps.  For the other ones, I have various steps to get through.  I'm hoping to finish as many as possible so when I do production, I can do a number of them all at once.

Once these are off my plate, I will go back to writing and crocheting.  I have a number of projects for crocheting that are grumbling at me.  My brain wants to work on them but I haven't had time.

I have to come up with a name for Wayfarer 9.  I'm considering suggestions from my test readers and what sounds right with the book.  I also have to figure out what I want to do for a cover.

I also need to work on marketing again.  It's never ending but much needed.  There are times when all the tasks I need to do get to be overwhelming but I just keep plugging away at  it.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Weekend Away From Home

Ken and I spent the weekend with Vicki.  She and I went to Painting with a Twist on Friday night and did a moon picture.  Saturday, Vicki talked Ken into going and he had a good time.  We did a sunflower picture.

We watched the three original Star Wars movies and the three Back to the Future movies.  As well as I made pizza for Vicki.  She made me hermits and Ken German Chocolate Cupcakes.  She thoroughly spoiled us.

Today is back to reality.  I have a long long list of writing projects to deal with this week or at the weekend.  I'm hoping to accomplish some of them during the week but I'll have to see how my week goes as I can only spend so much time at my desk at home without it bothering my legs.

It was good to get away.  The car handled wonderfully and we got good gas mileage - definitely an improvement over the van.  In addition to the good gas mileage, I didn't hurt nearly as much as when I was driving the van.  Ken also was more comfortable in the car.  It was a good decision to get this car.  I don't like the loan or the car payment but I like the improvements for my pain level and his.

Ken and Vicki took Sasha to the vet for shots.  She is having surgery as she appears to have a cyst or growth on her paw.  It's bothering her so Vicki will be taking her to the vet again on Thursday for a quick surgery.  Hopefully all goes well and Sasha will only be annoyed with Vicki for a few days.

Normally when we go to Vicki's we do as little as possible - mostly just hang out with her.  This is the first time I didn't crochet her anything while I was there.  I wasn't in the mood.  It was nice to just sit back, watch movies and hang out with her.  Painting with a Twist was fun.  I didn't like my painting on Friday but when I woke up and looked at it on Saturday, I did.  Now I just have to find a place to hang it.

It was a good weekend.  I enjoyed the mini break and the time away from home.  Now it's time to get back to work on my writing and crocheting.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Writing Tasks

Wayfarer 8 will be Wayfarer Freedom.  I'm nearly ready for production.  I have a group of short stories ready for production but I don't have a name for the book.  I also have to think about a cover and name.  These stories have gone to my test readers.

I have a second set of short stories which I have to edit, then I will decide whether they will be individual short stories or if I will do them as a book.  Wayfarer 9 has gone through a number of edits.  I need to come up with a name.  I have several in mind but I'm not in love with any of them.  I also need to work on the cover.

I'm apparently in edit mode right now because I keep working through all of these different manuscripts.  I've got a number of projects going and I hope I can get some of them cleared up in the next couple of weeks.

Hopefully in the next month, I'll be able to get the four projects (two Wayfarer novels and two short story groupings) completed and through production.  I've also got a number of marketing things I'm working on for getting people interested in my crochet patterns.

I have to keep reminding myself it's one step at a time.  I can only do one thing and keep moving forward.  It's a matter of working hard, keeping focused, and keeping at it daily.

Back at the Grindstone

With nine days off, you would think I got a lot accomplished.  I did when it comes to spending time with my girls but off my to-do list?  No...