Thursday, December 22, 2016

Family Holidays

The middle daughter is home.  The presents have been received by the other two daughters.  Everything is ready for the holidays - I think.

Friday night will be video holiday with all of my family.  I'm looking forward to seeing their faces when they open their gifts.  I'm sure I'll hear corny jokes, laughter, and all the other things which go with family gatherings.

I miss the times we would spend together playing games, watching movies and so on.  However, they are in Georgia and we are in Wisconsin.  Ken can't get off around a holiday and Virginia is working every day except Friday.  We will adjust and adapt while we make the most of the time we do have together.

Saturday Ken will go to his family.  I don't know whether I will go or not yet.  It depends on my sinus issues and the weather.

Sunday is my family gathering.  I'm not sure whether we are going or not - for the same reasons above.

Tonight Vicki and I will be clipping coupons, checking the rebates, and making a list for batch cooking.  At some point we are going to make some large batches of food for the freezer.  I'll have to pay bills in order to figure out how much we will have to spend on groceries.  We're going to make a list of where we're going and what we need to pick up.  It will be a busy day on Friday.

Since I have off, Vicki and I will spend the day running errands, shopping, and getting ready for the family thing Friday night.  It will be a very busy day.

Next week will be full of cooking, crocheting, and spending time with Vicki.  I'm hoping to finish a few projects for her (writing up the patterns of course).  However, we'll see what trouble we get into.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Indoor Activities

It's in the negative numbers outside.  I'm up early(ish) and have done a search for my daughter on knitting patterns.

Yesterday I managed to finish one more gift and make a good start on another one.  The plan today is to finish the gift and move on to another project.  I'm hoping to make a good start on the second project I have in mind but I'll see how the day goes.

Ken will be watching football all day.  I'll hibernate in the living room to watch West Wing while I work on crochet projects.  It's too cold to do anything other than stay inside and keep as warm as possible.

The week will be busy but I only have four days of work this week.  I'll be off for eleven days and I'm hoping to finish a couple of projects.  My daughter and I will be working on batch cooking for a day or two.  We'll do video chatting with the girls in Georgia for the holiday and gift exchange.

My hope is to get a few projects done for my daughter while she's here.  There are projects I want to work on which she needs to be here for so I can make sure things fit appropriately.

During our lovely frigid weather today - crocheting, West Wing, and quiet.  Doesn't sound like a bad day to me even if the temp outside wasn't horrible.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Snow Day!

While the weather outside is cold and snowy, my plan is to work on more holiday gifts.  The last package went to the post office this morning.  Ken tackled the roads in his truck - I think my car would have gotten stuck in our road since we've not been plowed out.  We got about 5 - 6" of snow and they're calling for another 1 - 6" depending on who you listen to.

The weather for today is supposed to be more snow.  The weather for tomorrow is supposed to be frigid with below zero temps.  This seems like the best time to turn on Netflix and work on a crochet project.  I've got two or three left to do for holiday gifts.  Then Ken gets to do the wrapping.

The meds for my sinus infection kicked my butt.  I'm done with them for now but I think the sinus infection isn't gone.  It may be time to go back to an ENT to see if he's got other options he can give me or better drugs.

I've been sleeping a lot.  I get up and do a couple of things.  After which I feel like I've run a marathon and want a nap.  I keep reminding myself this is my body's way of telling me it's healing.  I need to slow down and let my body recuperate.

Since I don't do well with cold air, I'll be staying inside and crafting.  I've got a number of projects to finish for the holidays and a few others to finish in general.  It's something I can do while I'm resting.  Ken's filled the humidifier with water and essential oils.  I'll put on Netflix with West Wing or something else and crochet and nap throughout the rest of the weekend.  Hopefully by Monday I'm feeling more human.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

New Tricks

I've been crocheting for about 40 years.  I love crocheting but sometimes I get tired of the same old same old.  It's always a pleasant experience for me when I learn something new.

The other night I was working on a project (gift for daughter) when I ran out of yarn.  Now normally I tie a knot with the new skein and work over the knot.  I tried this but the material is silk so the knot wouldn't stay.  Recently I read about a new way to join.  I read a description of it and had no idea what they were talking about but I did a google search on it and found a YouTube video on how to do it.

I've been crocheting for a long time and sometimes I get in the mode of I know best and new stuff is not the "right" way of doing things.  Reluctantly I tried this new join technique.  I was thrilled with the result.  The material around the join was slightly thicker but overall it was a better join than the way I've been joining material for the last 40 years.  There were no tails to tuck in, the joins was smoother, firmer, and held better.

Now before I say I will use this join on all materials, I want to try it out more.  It was definitely a wonderful way to join silk and have a smooth invisible join.

Here are a few links to how to do this:

Lion Brand 

YouTube

Another YouTube

The nice thing is you can use this for any yarn craft - crochet, knitting, or others.  I'm looking forward to trying it with different materials.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Let it Snow?

It's piling up!  The trees are covered with white, the ground is buried beneath a blanket of white.  It is definitely WINTER.

Driving from Iowa to Wisconsin in the snow wasn't horrible but we were on the leading edge of the storm so more whispy than heavy snow.  Looking out at the weather it is pretty but I know it won't be once we have to go out in it.

Today will be spent watching some television and crocheting.  I have several gifts for my daughters to finish and I'm hoping to get the ones for the Atlanta girls done today so they can get in the mail.  The heater I have in the living room will go on and I'll snuggle in to get the gifts done.

After I finish the holiday gifts, I'll be working to finish the two big projects I have going which aren't overly portable but I have to finish the project for the publication and get that sent in for pictures.  Once all of those are done, I'm going back to writing.

It promises to be a quiet and calm day today.  Tomorrow will be interesting and challenging with getting to and from work and in and out of my building.  Hopefully the snow stops sooner so roads and parking lots can be cleared.

Friday, December 9, 2016

It's a Racket

Unfortunately I'm not talking about tennis or badminton.  And yest before you read further - you should probably know this is going to end up being a rant.

My husband went to the doctor for his checkup and was told - you must get tested for Hep C.  He's not at risk for it, has none of the symptoms.  But it seems to be the latest "NECESSARY" test we're all supposed to fall in line to get.

The doctor said - the insurance will pay for it.  I wish he'd talk to my insurance because the blood test cost us $67.  To be fair, when I read through Mayo Clinic's at risk people, he falls into two of the categories.  Perhaps it is worthwhile to have him tested - perhaps.

To me it sounds like yet another way to squeeze money out of the patient and into the medical insanity we call health care - for profit health care.  We're supposed to get flu and pneumonia and shingles shots.  But not once - no every year.  This pumps chemicals into our bodies - what are these shots really made of?  Also the people who get these shots still get the flu - so what is the point?  I never get the shots and I rarely have flu issues.

We're supposed to have all these tests - paps smear, mammogram, colonoscopy.  Yes they are important health checks - but do they really need to be so often?  We have a HUGE population over 50 if everyone over 50 is supposed to get these how much money does that make the doctors, hospitals, insurances, and so on.

What happened to a doctor actually taking the time to listen to their patient, address their questions, and showing concern and care for their patience.

I've been working with a rheumatologist for six months.  She asks a lot of questions, she's run up a ton of bills for us in the way of blood tests and xrays and yet, I still don't have a diagnosis, treatment plan, or relief from the pain I went to her with in the first place.  I'd ask her questions and get brushed off.  The attitude was - do what I say and don't ask questions.  When I didn't agree with her next test - which would have cost me even more money and asked for an alternative treatment - she told me no with no explanation.  When I objected, I was told I should find a different rheumatologist.  Yes, I will but it means being in pain for another six months while I wait for an appointment to get in to the new doctor.  Basically the last six months of visits, tests, and drugs has been a complete waste of time.

We need to put health care on the not for profit line.  We need to reign in the insurance companies, the profiteers of the drug companies, and stop the horrible practices currently going on in our medical community.  We need to start treating the individual.

At this stage I don't trust any of my doctors enough to take their advice at face value.  I don't believe in them or believe they have my best interest in mind.  I think they are showing up to fill their pockets and don't care about my quality of life.  Until one of them proves otherwise, I'm going to be stubborn about saying no to everything until they can explain the options available, the reasons they are choosing this treatment over another, and offer me a say in my own treatment.

Monday, December 5, 2016

First Snow

It's December.  We got our first snow yesterday with about 3-6" falling.  It was beautiful - white against the dark green of the pines and a variety of colors of the houses.

This was my feeling before I had to go out in it.  It's late for the first snow.  Normally we get a little in November but not this year.  I like the white, the snow covered pines and trees.  The contrast of the colors between the snow and the buildings, trees, and so on.

We got enough snow to actually have the snow plow hit our road last night.  Usually if we have under 6" we don't get plowed out.  This makes driving on our road a challenge.

Something to note - I don't have to deal with removal of the snow.  My husband does all of that.  The reason being is I have this tendency to stop breathing when I shovel or do much in the cold air.

This lack of dealing with snow removal means I can take a more positive point of view towards the snow.  I don't have to spend time making sure the driveway and sidewalks are clear.

From a looking outside, the snow was pretty.  However, I had to switch coats to my winter weight coat.  I also had to decide which scarf to add to my jacket (which is always a choice because I have so many pretty ones).  I had to drive on roads which could have been slippery.

Since it's the first snow, people were driving more cautiously than they needed to.  It's always interesting with the first snow.  People seem to forget until they fishtail the first time or they drive so slowly it's ridiculous.

I maintain the snow is pretty but I empathize with those who have to work on the removal and who work out in the weather.  Winter has begun.  I'm going to attempt to keep a positive attitude and recognize the beauty the weather brings us even during this cold season.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Holidays

The turkey was barely cold before the shopping frenzy started this year.  Vicki actually talked me into going to an insane number of stores.

The nice thing - we used coupons to save money.  We used our apps - Ibotta and Checkout 51 - to save money.  While we did some spending, we reduced the price as much as possible.

I need to get working on afghans.  I have a queue of five right now - more I'm sure if I look at my list.  However, before I can crank on the afghans, I have to finish the holiday gifts which I have two or three left to do.

I'm going to have a number of days off between Christmas and New Years.  I'm looking forward to the time but the holidays are always a struggle for me.  It surprised me this year how annoying I found holiday music - even songs I enjoyed previously.  I've also been super annoyed with the Christmas commercials which started right after Halloween.

I'm going to attempt to be less of a bah humbug but I'm making no guarantees.  Ken told me the neighbors were all putting out their decorations.  All I could think was what a waste of money.  I know I'm a humbug.  I try to keep it to a minimum but still... it affects me.

In an attempt to look on the bright side, I've been enjoying how November hasn't been as gloomy.  We've had great weather which is a bit unusual for us.  It's been pleasantly cool but still nice enough to enjoy.  The days haven't been too gloomy - though today is.  I'm watching the low clouds move across the sky and thinking they look like snow clouds but I don't think we're quite cold enough for snow yet.

December is fast approaching, work is slowing down from frantic to crazy.  I'm looking forward to about eleven days off in a row at the end of the month.  I'm hoping to get a lot of crocheting and organizing done.  In the meanwhile, I'll work on not being grumpy with people about the holidays.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Bits and Bobs

Everyone is talking about the election results.  I'm tired of the election all the way around so one small commentary and then moving on to other things.  Disappointment is the easiest emotion to express.  I'm disappointed in our country, disappointed in the people who I think are better than this.  The results did not surprise me at all but at the same time I had a little hope.  The hope was dashed and now we have to deal with what we have.  There needs to be some serious restructuring of our elections process but until we get people in who actually represent the people it won't happen.  I think we will see a serious downturn in our lives.  I think changes will be made which will be detrimental to our country and our membership in the world society.  Like many other people, I'm appalled and concerned about our future.

On other notes, in the small town where I have my day job there was an apartment building fire last night.  The complex has 107 apartments.  I haven't seen the damage.  I'm hoping they are able to relocate people and I'm hoping it doesn't affect the entire complex.  Here are some links to the story:
http://www.channel3000.com/news/residents-displaced-by-apartment-building-fire-include-uwwhitewater-students/42449162 

http://www.wkow.com/story/33674255/2016/11/Wednesday/fire-officials-investigate-apartment-fire-in-whitewater

http://www.nbc15.com/content/news/Fire-near-UW-Whitewater-campus-400634331.html

http://www.cbs58.com/story/33674486/three-people-rescued-after-apartment-fire-near-uw-whitewater

I was talking with my middle daughter who said by the way... so I went looking.  I texted all my student workers to see if any of them lived in the apartment complex.  None did thankfully.  I spent a good chunk of the night being curious about what happened and found little information on it.  There's more out today but I may have to take the long way home and drive by there.

It was sort of funny as I was talking to my middle daughter I kept referring to them by who used to live there.  She hadn't a clue who I was talking to.  The different references for both of us are interesting.

Last night I spent most of my time paying bills, doing the prep for a birthday gift for my oldest daughter, and putzing on the computer.  Tonight will likely be more crocheting.  I think I pulled a muscle in my back and leg so have been dealing with added pain.  It makes it hard to sit in one position and crochet.  If I can't crochet, I'm going to try clipping coupons and making a grocery list.

It's pay week again so this weekend will be errands and hopefully finishing up holiday gifts.  I'm not holding my breath on the last bit as I have a lot to do yet.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

It's the Little Things

Friday I asked my husband to help me with a couple of things this weekend.  He never said yes or no, because that's how he is.  Saturday while I was chatting with my daughter and my sister, plans were made for me to go to craft shopping with my sister and mother.  It gave me two hours to get the prep done on the next set of projects I'm working on and get lunch.

Ken went in the craft room and started putting the suitcases away.  He didn't come back out, I thought he was waiting for me while I was on the phone with our middle daughter.  I told her I had to go but she wanted to keep talking so I went in the craft room while on the phone with her.  Ken was sitting in one of the chairs in there waiting on me.  He had put away all the bins which had been out for the suitcases.  He had brought in the bins which I'd gotten from a friend.  He'd put all the books which had been on the table on the shelves for me to go through and he'd put the bags of left over projects in one place under the table.  My habit is to gather a few projects and work on them in the living room and the left overs - extra skeins or balls of yarn go in a bag.  When I'm done, I'll take the bag back and put them away.  I've been so busy with making, I've not been putting them away.

On the table he had all the items I needed.  He spent a good half hour with me picking yarn, getting the projects organized, and carrying them all out to the living room for me.

Later in the day, he put my favorite lounge around the house jammies in the bathroom for me.  It was thoughtful and sweet.

Now today he did the grocery shopping.  When I came out to do the Ibotta and Checkout 51 stuff, he helped me get it organized.  While he was shopping he found a breakfast thing for me to try rather than going out every morning.

He's been on the ball with all these little things.  He's not so great at the big gestures but on a daily basis he does a lot of little things which make my life easier and better.  He's thoughtful and sweet.  Now don't get me wrong, there's no one else who can annoy, frustrate and tick me off faster than my husband.  However, it's all the small things he does which have kept us married for more than 35 years.

It's the little things - if I'm going to be philosophical - that keep us going together.  It's the holding hands, the help on the projects, and other little things which keep us appreciating and loving each other.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Next

With Ken gone, I had a couple days to myself at home.  I enjoyed the time on my own.  At one point I realized nothing had been said.  I was playing a game and cursed the game out loud.  It startled me which also made me laugh.

I've finished the projects for my sister and now I'm turning my attention to my own projects.  I have the student worker gifts done and now am prepping to make for the faculty.  This weekend I hope to gather the items and do any shopping I need to so I can settle into getting the items made.

At the same time, I need to finish an article and get it submitted.  I also have a crochet pattern which is going to be published which I need to make up again.  Once it's made up, I'll send it off to the publisher for pictures.  These are the three most urgent things on my radar.

I think the gifts will take me through most of November and then I'll be going back to writing and crocheting in more balance I think.

I'm looking forward and thinking - it isn't that long until we are in the holiday craziness.  My middle daughter is already talking about where we are going on Black Friday - i.e. which JoAnn's store we will go to.

My day job will get busy - crazy busy - in November.  I'm hoping with the changes we've made it won't be horrible.  Registration always is stressful with a heavy influx of emails.  I'm hoping for a lighter year as we've been steadily making improvements.

From now until the end of the year, I'm going to be busy both at my day job and at home working on projects.  I still have my two bigger projects I've been working on and I'm hoping to have those done before the end of the year as well.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

New Book!

Wild Magic is out!  I've published this one and it's available on both Amazon and Smashwords!

Here's a description:
Mallory follows her magi gifts back to Linos Province where almost all the magi were killed. Her magi powers send her to help a boy. In saving the boy, she joins a small group who need her magi powers. The small group escapes from hostile villagers and magi hunters. Reaching Scons Province doesn’t offer safety only more challenges for Mallory, Leland, Pintra, Faolan, Jadan, Ovra, and Erga.



Sunday, October 16, 2016

Long Long Day

Ken left for Georgia yesterday.  Vicki and I took him to the airport at 3:30 in the morning.  This meant we were up at 2:30.

Not being a morning person, this was not a great start to the day.  Vicki and I were home by 6:00 but we didn't come back and go back to bed.  We stopped at Woodman's.  We shopped for both her household and mine.  By the time we were done, we'd saved $57 in coupons, $6.25 in Ibotta rebates, and $2 in Checkout 51 rebates.

We came home so she could unload.  All the perishables got put away and some of the sorting out of what she wanted and what I wanted.  My mother and sister stopped by so they got to see Vicki for a few minutes.

Once they left, we made a list for Sorgs and I called it in.  Since it was Saturday Sorgs is always busy so we wanted to expedite our time there.  We stopped at Urgent Care because Vicki has a sinus infection.

The rest of our morning we spent time going to Shopko, Target, Penera, and Walgreens.  That finished our morning.  We came home to eat lunch.  I took a nap but she was bouncing all over getting things organized.

She brought home her laundry so she wouldn't have to pay to go to a laundromat.  She did our laundry as well, so we folded and hung up several baskets of clothes.  Once we were done with that, we went to the kitchen.

The two of us made lasagne, chicken tetrazzini, and diced chicken which we marinated with dressing.  Once those were all done, we had lasagne for supper, did some more laundry, and then went back to the kitchen to make cranberry apple sauce.  Vicki canned the results of this experiment so she had to stay up long enough to get the ten pints in and out of the water bath.

All of this got done yesterday with only about three hours of sleep.  All in all, a good day but exhausting.  I kicked Vicki to bed at about 10:30 and got to sleep short after 11:00.  Today, I'm going to work on crocheting and watching movies or documentaries.  I'm planning to enjoy my peace and quiet.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Harvesting

It's FALL!  I love fall!  The cooler temps, the changing weather and the harvest.  While driving over the weekend, I loved seeing the fields and farmers working hard to bring in their crops.  I know from growing up on the farm they are in a state of constant work - long hours, hard work, and worry over whether the crops will sell well.

Fall has always been about canning, freezing, and prepping food for the winter.  At this point in my life, we aren't doing this as often.  In fact this year, we aren't doing any canning at all.  I did get apples but we will probably eat them as apples rather than making applesauce or slicing to freeze.

This has made me wonder what I'm harvesting this year.  What have I done, created, and so on that I'm going to harvest.  There's nothing in my life which has to be grown and harvested at a particular time.  I've published many things this year and still have a few to get out.

I'm in the middle of making holiday gifts.  I've been working on several for the past couple of weeks.  My sister asked me to work on some blankets for her - she has fleece which she wants a crocheted edging around.  I have one or two other things to finish which should be done tonight or tomorrow night.  I'll move on to doing the crocheting for her before I work on my next group of projects.

My craft room is in chaos and in need of a good cleaning.  I'm hoping to get it organized again and move forward with all these projects.  If I get my sister's stuff done, it gets two or three bags of things out of my craft room.  After that, I'll be working on my own holiday gifts which will empty many things out of my closet.  Then it's back to the skirt and afghan I'm working on.

I think for this year, this is my harvest.  Getting all these projects done before it's too late is a good goal.  One I'm hoping will be accomplished.  On top of this harvest, I have several things which still need to be published and finished.  Now things have calmed down a little with my middle daughter, I'm hoping to spend my weekends working on projects and publishing.  However, I'm aware that the best laid plans.... generally don't get accomplished because of life...

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Surprise for Grandma

Yesterday I took my mom and friend to Gays Mills.  The purpose was to get apples but there was an underlying purpose as well.  Vicki, my middle daughter, met us there.  We had a lovely day getting apples, having lunch, and chatting.

The fall colors this year are a bit muted.  Some trees are vibrant but mostly there are the muted greens and golds.  It was a lovely drive.  I hope everyone had a good time.

I came home with apples, cider, cookies, and salad dressing.  I got to spend time with a friend, my mom and my daughter.  It was a good day!

Today we've had a bit of excitement with our power going out for about an hour.  It went out and we heard a loud bang outside.  No idea what happened but we were without power.

I sat and crocheted after I notified the utility our power was out.  I saw on their web site that almost fifty people were without power so probably a transformer blew.  Now the power is back on and I'm at the computer for a little while.

Once I'm done with the computer, I'm going to work on holiday gifts.  I have a number of them done, a lot more to do, and some to do for someone else.  Next step for me, go to my craft room and gather up bags of the projects.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Back to Couponing and Crocheting and Publishing

Saturday afternoon I spent a chunk of time clipping coupons - for myself, my sister, and my daughters.  For the first time in nearly six weeks, I made a grocery list based on my apps and coupons.

Ken went grocery shopping early on Sunday as he usually does.  He overspent by a little but I knew he would because we haven't really shopped while we've been helping our daughter move.  He used a bunch of coupons - saving over $32.  In apps, he saved over $5.

I meant to spend my Saturday working on publishing but by the time we were done with errands, I was wiped out.  I tried napping to get rid of a headache and get some energy back but spent the time talking on the phone with multiple people including some of my daughters.

Sunday I managed to get one book published - Draconian Peace.  Here's a brief description of it:

Racial tension has destroyed the relationship between the Draconians and the humans, leaving thousands of mixed breeds disenfranchised.  Prejudice and suspicion mar the joining of Dewi Bradon, half and half, and Lord Lachlan Camdon until they learn to look passed their race and trust in each other.  As they begin to trust, changes ripple through society and expose rampant corruption and crime.

It's available on Amazon and Smashwords for now.  It will get out to all the other options as time permits.  There is a paperback as well on Createspace.

I kept getting interrupted so only one item published.  I did work on a holiday gift and have it about three quarters done.  I'm pleased with the pattern and how it's working out but it means I'll have another pattern to publish.  I might submit it for publication first to see if I can get it in a magazine.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Back to the Routine

It's a normal pay weekend.  I've gotten up, paid bills, talked to one daughter, and am about to head out to run errands.

Once the errands are done, I'm going to be sitting at the computer to work on several projects.  I'm avoiding my phone which is telling me the two games I've been playing are ready for me to play again - my lives are full now.

It's funny how I have to have a game tell me my life is full.  Yes - it is.  From my work, to my hobbies, to my family - I'm busy.  I have a lot going on and some days I'm lacking in energy and ambition.

Motivation is key today and tomorrow.  I have a lot I want to clear off my to do list in the hopes of feeling like I'm moving forward with these projects.

Went to the rheumatologist yesterday - Ken came with me which was nice.  She wants me on a drug so I get to try a new drug to see if I break out, have other nasty side effects, or if my body can tolerate it.  If I can take it, I get to wait weeks (up to three months) before we know if it's helping.  I'm not optimistic but at the same time I know something has to change.

For the first time in over a month, I'm going to sort through coupons, make a grocery list, and send Ken off to the store with a detail list rather than "get what we need" comment.  We've only been picking up the bare necessities while we've been helping Vicki move.

Lots to do today so I better get off the computer and head out for the errands.  Hopefully they don't take long and I can be home soon to work on publishing, couponing, and the other tasks I have on my todo list.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Chilling on the Weekend!

Yesterday I met Vicki in Dubuque and we went to a craft store and shoe store before having lunch together.  We spent a bit of time chatting over lunch and in my car after lunch.  On the drive home, I talked to Virginia (when my phone wasn't cutting out) for over an hour.  It was a good afternoon.

Last night, Ken had supper nearly ready when I got home.  We watched the last episode of Newsroom while we ate.  He went to bed and I watched How to Train Your Dragon while crocheting.  I got the first part of a holiday gift done!

One of the things I did yesterday was to pick out yarn for gifts.  I did this before I went craft shopping with Vicki so I wouldn't buy things I didn't need.  In picking the yarns, I got excited to work with the yarns.  The one I worked with last night was a strand of fleece - it literally looks like someone bought fleece material and cut it into thin strips.  It was a dream to work with and I finished the project late evening.

Today while Ken is watching football, I'll be finishing up How to Train Your Dragon (it's a series) and working on the next aspect of a holiday gift.  This means I get to pull out another exciting yarn and work with it.  Not only do I get to enjoy working with the yarn, I get to enjoy creating a pattern from scratch.  I love taking a strand of material (whatever kind) and creating something useful and pretty.

In case people don't know, I'm a yarn geek.  I picked up yarn for a throw for another holiday gift.  I can't wait to get my hands on it.  I'm already envisioning how it will work up and how it will feel.  Yup - yarn geek.

It was nice to be home for this weekend.  Yes I went to Dubuque but there was no pressure in that - it was go and enjoy my daughter.  It made me wish my other daughters were close enough we could meet up and do similar things.  Unfortunately, the best I can hope for there is a long weekend somewhere between Wisconsin and Georgia.

This morning, Ken helped me get breakfast and lunch for the week made up and in the fridge.  I'm going to work hard to remember in the mornings to pack my meals rather than buying them.  I've got fruits and veggies for snacks.  I've got soup for lunch two days and he's making a pasta dish for the other days.  I've got a hashbrown combo for breakfast each day.  Now I need to follow through in order to not spend the money on fast food.

I'm off to put my feet up and crochet.  I am looking forward to the down time alone in my living room.  No moving stress, no must be somewhere, nothing be me, yarn, crochet hooks, and whatever I decide to watch on tv or listen to for an audio book.  Sounds like the perfect Sunday!!!

Friday, September 23, 2016

A Compliment

I know I'm a good writer and editor.  While my books aren't perfect, I know I tell a good story.  However, there are days when I feel like I can't do anything right.

Writing is a tough job which requires dedication, concentration, and perseverance.  One of the things I struggle with daily for writing is marketing my books.  Really I need reviews - lots and lots of reviews.  Preferably positive reviews but always HONEST reviews.

On a regular basis, I send out requests for people to read my books and provide a review.  I send a lot of these emails.  I feel lucky if I get one or two responses to the emails and thrilled if I actually get a review.

I won't say who but I got an email from a reviewer recently.  I'm always apprehensive about these emails - did they like my stuff; did they hate it?  Will they write a review?  Are they going to say what was I thinking?

I read this email - well written, professional but not giving an indication of how the review was going to go.  Each word holds me enthralled as I hope for a good review.

I've written reviews.  I've worked with publishers who want you to be snarky, harsh, and even mean (though I draw the line there unless it's a really bad book).  I get the requirements and expectations.

I read this email.  It may sound dramatic but my heart in my throat and at the end of it, the reviewer says, "you're a great poet, but you already know that".

I hope I am.  I dream of being one but ...  to hear someone else, a complete stranger say that to me.  In the moment, it made my day.  It was a small sentence which carried big impact.  I still have no idea of what the review says - can't wait to read it.  But that small compliment lifted me from my cranky self to a place which reminded me I was on the right track.  Thank you to the reviewer.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Mood Matches the Weather

Exhaustion doesn't cover how I felt after the move for my daughter.  It was a lot of driving, stress, and drama.  However, she's in her apartment and working on getting settled.

Unfortunately for me, the drama doesn't stop.  We paid Home Depot for them to install new doors.  Ten days ago we went in but hadn't heard from them when they told us in a few days we'd get a call.  I called them on Monday night and finally yesterday I got a call to schedule an appointment yesterday.  The woman on the phone acted as though she was doing me a favor.  Apparently the money I spent at Home Depot was enough to get polite customer service.

My brand new scooter has been giving me grief.  I turn it on and the light flashes.  I've already been in touch once with the people and they sent me a new battery and charger.  However, it is still doing the same thing.  The scooter is supposed to be able to freewheel - as in you can push it along as needed - and it doesn't.  I put in a complaint and got a call at 7:30 last night.  It was the same guy who I talked to earlier.  He was condescending again.  His response was basically I'm doing things wrong.  His tone and demeanor on the phone were unpleasant - like I was wasting his time.  I wasn't able to get to my scooter when he called so I'll be calling him again today.

It's only Wednesday - hopefully nothing else goes wrong.  I'm thinking of building a comfy fort at home and giving up being an adult for a while.  I keep telling myself the weekend is coming and for a change - I don't have anything planned for the weekend.  My biggest plan is to work on publishing stuff and some crochet projects.  Aside from those things, I plan to sleep a lot and do as little as possible.  That's the plan and for now, I'm going with the illusion that all my plans work out.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

An Opportunity ... but Not This Year

Locally there is a vendor sale which I've been invited to participate in - one of the organizers has seen my crocheting and thinks I should sell my stuff.  I agree but I have nothing made up.

I've been struggling since I had to use a manual wheelchair because my arms bothered me when I crocheted.  They are starting to feel better but now I have several project to get done before the beginning of December.  My sister has several for me to work on and I have the gifts I give to get done.

I knew about this a year ago so I can't complain about not having enough time.  However, I've been working on writing, editing, publishing, and crocheting for my own purposes.  I have a list on my phone of things I could make for the sale.  I have yarn stockpiled in my craft room.

Somehow I never got around to making the things.  There was always a project for someone to work on or writing or family stuff.  However, I've had one article published in a crochet magazine and will have another by the end of the year (hopefully) as well as a crochet pattern (hopefully).  So it would be nice to play with the yarn I have and create what I want.  It would be fun to play with the yarn and crocheting to see how I like the different techniques.

I'd love to see how my stuff sells but this year - I'm too crazy with things to do right now to consider having enough time to do it.  I'll keep the list on my phone.  I will make an effort to make ahead for next year but you never know where my time will go and what I'll get involved with.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Life Interrupts

My daughter got a different job.  This entails her moving two states from where she's currently living and working.  The last few weeks I've been involved in  helping her either look for a place to live or getting packed for the move.

I remember when the girls were little and moving was a thing - for a time Ken and I moved every six months.  It was never fun or easy.  I remember getting up early, getting organized and going until the house was somewhat set up.

Now I've been down twice now to help her move and I'm exhausted.  Yes I have more health issues which slows me down a lot.  Last weekend Ken and I were there to help her with the majority of her packing.  We worked all day on Saturday.  We got a lot done but less than I would have liked.  I say that but her kitchen was packed - except the things she'll need through next week.  Her dining room was almost completely packed.

Sunday we got up, worked on more packing.  I didn't do much.  I feel like I spent more time watching tv than packing.  She sorted and packed while Ken moved stuff and I assembled boxes and did some packing.

I am once again feeling my age as I help her get organized and ready for her move.  I know she appreciates everything I've done.  At the same time, I'm done and can't wait for a free weekend again.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Feminism for Men

I've noticed a theme since my last post.  I went to a talk at my job about feminism.  I had a troll on the internet try to tell me it was women's fault they are where they are.  He was unpleasant.  I read several news articles which reaffirmed my beliefs.  It's been a week or so of confirmation of the need for feminism.

I've been a fervent feminist most of my life.  I've even been accused of not liking men.  This isn't true.  I have high expectations of men.  I think they should be strong enough to support their women.

Honestly, I've been very lucky in the men in my life.  My father was very progressive - especially for a man born in the 20s - and encouraged all of us to go out and do what we wanted to.  My husband is usually very sensitive to the issues of women.

Because I've had these amazing men in my life, they've set a high standard for my expectations of how men should be.  Now neither of them is perfect but they set the bar high for others.

It doesn't make men less to support women, to be their cheerleader, to help them be the best they can be.  It does make them love and appreciate you more.  It does increase the amount of respect women have for men.

With three daughters, it was important to me they have a good example of how a man should treat a woman.  When I chose Ken, I made a great decision.  He's been an excellent role model.

So I say to all the men - the mothers of boys - to the other 49% of our population.  It's time for you to step up and be a man.  Be a real man who can cry when he's sad, laugh when he's happy, and treat his women as they deserve to be treated - with love and respect.

Here's a secret for all the men - if you manage to do this, you will have a better and stronger relationship with your woman and partner.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Is Feminism Still Needed?

Someone once told me feminism was no longer needed.  This was a woman who was younger.  My answer to her is look at our society and you will see the answer.

A gymnast in her excitement of winning a gold medal forgot to put her hand over her heart - she got blasted.  An Olympic man lied about being mugged and he got a boys will be boys attitude.

Women are raped which has lifelong effects on her life.  The rapists get off - with the same boys will be boys attitude.  The most recent one I read was the judge didn't want the rapist to miss out on the college experience.

In the last week, I saw an ad for a University which showed mostly men (yes mostly white men) in their ad with an occasional woman or two who were onscreen for very little time (minority males got more time than the women).

Women still make 70 - 80% of what men make.  There are double standards galore in our society when it comes to gender roles.

My answer is - we need feminism now more than ever.  We need EVERYONE who is willing to stand up and say - this is WRONG - to do so.

If women in one of the allegedly free countries are still treated like second class citizens, how can we expect other countries to do more than we do?  How do we make a difference in the world society if we don't resolve the problems we have in our own society?  Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't survive long in the countries where women are supposed to be covered and silent.  I'd rather be a woman in the United States or most European countries than a woman in almost any middle eastern country.

When women are partners and equals, society is evolved.  When the crimes against women are taken seriously, it affirms we are equals.  When they aren't, it proves we still need feminism.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Wayfarer Acceptance

The new Wayfarer novel is published!  Wayfarer Acceptance is now available for purchase.  Here is a brief description of the next installation of the book:

Adara gives birth! Their daughter arrives early and under less than ideal circumstances. Finally they learn why so many attempts have been made on Adara's life. While Adara and Decker get used to being parents, Jolen and Tillie take on a hacker. Rhia and Bas work on a murder case. Adara meets thirteen year old Bethania from the Holy Cross. The Holy Cross is an old private vessel carrying too many people. It spells disaster.

This one had me stalled because I had to decide how Adara would give birth.  Since there were already a number of births in the books I didn't want to bore my readers with yet another typical birth.  This one is all Adara!  

This book is available on Amazon and Smashwords right now.  Soon it will be available through other sellers.  You can also check out my website http://eileentroemel.weebly.com/ 

Friday, August 12, 2016

It's Here!

Yesterday my scooter arrived!!!  I took the day off to make sure I was there to sign for it.  It came midday and the guy didn't make me sign for it.

I'm so happy to have this.  Now I have to figure out how I'm getting it in and out of my car so I don't end up with sore body parts, dirty clothes, or damaged car.

It folds differently from my previous scooter so I can't slide it in like I did the old one.  I'm going to look for options at some point this weekend.

This means I can go places and not feel like a complete burden.  I'll be able to get around and it will be better than before because my old scooter was sporadic at best towards the end.  I have independence and confidence in being able to get around and do things.  I don't have to feel as anxious about going to new places or being left out of things because I'm concerned I won't be able to get around.  My new scooter means I am able to get around any store - maybe even multiple stores!

The struggle with the insurance and the process to get the new scooter was difficult.  I'm glad it's over and I can put it all behind me.

I'm actually looking forward to doing errands this weekend.  I have two stores I need to go to and I should be able to get around and do the stores without a problem.  I should be able to take care of the things I need without there being any issue.  I'm almost excited to shop - and I don't like shopping.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Drawing to an End

Errands are run.  Coupons are clipped.  Ken will grocery shop tomorrow.  Once I get up, we will prep the meat we got for the freezer and hopefully prep stuff for breakfast and lunches next week.

A headache has settled in the last few days.  At times, it is migraine level and at others it is just there.  I'm hoping it will go away soon.

If the headache stays at bay tonight, I'm going to work on getting the edits in the last  manuscript I have to do.  Hopefully tomorrow after we get the chores done, I can work on publishing.

For my to do list for my vacation, I got most of my stuff done.  I have a couple of items still on the list but this is how my to do lists go.  I'm closing in on my last day off.  Going back to work won't be hard but at the same time I've enjoyed having the down time and getting writing projects done.

At this stage, I'm waiting on my scooter and hoping it arrives at the earliest date rather than the later.  The week will be difficult when it comes to pain level while I use the manual wheelchair but I don't have the option of not going to work.

Having said that, I'm going to put all of this behind me and try to focus on enjoying the last of my vacation and down time.

Friday, August 5, 2016

A New Scooter!

I ordered my new scooter yesterday!  My DVR counselor pushed the paperwork and got all of it done so I could get my scooter on order!  The scooter should be here in a week to ten days.

I still have to go back to work with the manual wheel chair next week but there will be an end in sight for the pain I'll have to cope with.

This morning I slept late again but am now tackling my to do list.  I've gotten a couple done and am now working on the computer.

Last night I finished watching Land Girls which is a BBC show based during WWII about the women who relocated to work on farms while the men went to war.  It was an interesting show and highlighted some interesting aspects of life in the 40s.  Unfortunately, it doesn't look like there will be more seasons of this.  Now I'll have to look for something new to watch.

I did get some writing done yesterday afternoon.  There's a story I'm playing with which is coming in spits and spurts rather than waves.  I'm not sure it will amount to more than an outline / rough draft.  Normally I can see or feel where the story is going, with this one I can't.  Time will tell on this one.

I made progress with some of my other projects.  One of the publishers got back to me with a tentative yes on two articles.  Progress all around on many things.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Plan Shot To Hell

If you've read anything in my blog, you know I'm a list maker.  I make to do lists all the time and work off them to keep myself on track.  All week I've had a list I'm working off.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not one who schedules every second.  But I wrote up a general list of things I wanted to get done while I was on vacation.

Today is payday so I had a plan for my day.  Yes an actual plan starting with getting up early and getting things done.  That didn't happen.  It actually got off track yesterday when I got a migraine.  I couldn't sleep because of the migraine, so I ended up being up till 2 am.  Not a problem - I'm on vacation.

This morning, I talked to one of my daughters early (6:30 - 7:00 ish).  While I was talking to her I could feel the migraine coming back.  I did what any reasonable person would do, I went back to sleep.  However, this blew my timeframe out of the water.  I wanted bills done early so I could work on publishing.

Here I am at noon and I've still not showered (good thing no one is here) or done any of my other morning routines.  I do have bills paid, have dealt with all my personal emails, and have handled a call for assistance from my mom.

While my plan for the day is shot to hell, I'm still going to get stuff done.  Showering is high on my priority, then I'll see what other mischief I get up to.  I have lots of publishing stuff to do but I may try to tackle it tomorrow.  I'll see how my mood goes once I've showered.  I've got other things on my to do list to tackle like couponing, sorting through some clothes, and organizing some stuff.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Scooter Update

When it comes to medical / health care stuff, I find myself annoyed, frustrated and distrusting.  Over the years, I've had doctors do stupid things which have adversely affected me.  However, I try to go into these situations with a positive attitude.

Two weeks ago, the insurance turned me down for a scooter.  I could fight it but it would take time.  My doctor said he would write me a letter so I could get a scooter if the insurance turned me down.  When I found out about the insurance, I immediately called his office.  He was on vacation.

Last Monday, I called talked to his triage nurse and gave her the information on which scooter I wanted to buy.  In order for DVR to pay for the scooter, this information has to be in there.

Starting last Wednesday, I called and left messages to see how long it would take to get a letter.  I've called every day since then.  I mean, really how long does it take to write a damn letter?  If he couldn't get it done in a timely manner, I would have been happy to write it and send it to him for his damn signature.

I called this morning.  I was firm but polite.  Yesterday they said someone would call me as they put my message as a high priority.  Right.  That didn't happen.  I spent twenty minutes on the phone, ten of which was before I even spoke to someone.  Once I got someone, they put me on hold.  Finally they came back to say my letter was ready.  I made sure my husband could pick it up.  He will hopefully get what I need and I'll be able to move forward.

I'm relieved about finally getting the letter but to be honest, I'm nervous as hell about what the letter says and if it will satisfy what DVR needs it to say.  Ken won't be home until this afternoon.  I'll be working on editing until he comes home.  Once he's home, I'll scan the letter (if it says what it needs to) and send it off to the counselor at DVR.  I will at that point look for the three quotes she will need to approve the purchase.  I'm hoping it only takes her a couple days to approve.

The fact that it took ten days to get a simple letter is appalling to me.  It was a matter of one sentence - it is medically necessary for this patient to have this scooter.

The only blessing in all of this, I'm off work this week so my pain level is down to a reasonable level but starting on Monday I'm back at work and having to struggle with a manual wheelchair which will raise my pain level significantly again.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Vacation!

Friday Ken and I drove to Indiana to spend the day with Vicki on Saturday.  We returned late Saturday.  Friday was also my last day of work until August 8.  I printed off several manuscripts to edit while I'm on vacation.  I have the edits made on paper but need to put them on the computer.

It was a tough drive for me on Friday.  My pain level was high and I was tired.  We had detours, construction, and impatience.  The drive which should have taken five hours took six and a half.  On the way back, we came a different route and it took four and a half.

This morning I finished the manuscripts and I've been working on bills, budget, and a variety of other things.  Sitting at my desk, being organized, and getting stuff done is necessary but I'm antsy to get back to the recliner to enter the edits in my files and work on covers, descriptions etc.

The nice thing, I noticed yesterday my pain level was down.  I didn't have swollen ankles, sore knees, or sore hands.  I might even be able to manage to crochet again.  I can make fists with both my hands.  Now whether this is from the drugs or the inactivity - no clue - but I'm feeling better.

Next on my list is to keep grumbling at the doctor's office.  I have called every day, left a message, and not gotten a call back.  If they don't do a letter for me, I will end up paying for a new scooter on my own.  This is disheartening because I really can't afford the new scooter on my own.  I'll figure it out if I have to but... I'd rather not have to.

Good news for the week - I went to defer my student loans in order to afford the scooter and discovered I'm paid up until February.  This means I don't have to make a payment and I'm not going into deferment.  Both good things.  Also, Ken is going to visit the girls in October.  I went looking for a ticket for him and got it for under $200 total.  This is a great price!  It makes it much more affordable.

The rest of my week will involve a lot more writing tasks.  I am hoping to spend some quality time getting items out and promoting them.  Fingers crossed!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Updates

The insurance came back early and not with good news.  They aren't going to pay for anything with my scooter.  I could fight it but don't really feel I have the time.  I'm waiting for my doctor to get back from vacation to see if he will write a letter for the folding scooter in order to not have to do anything to my car.  He's back tomorrow but I don't know if he will call me as it's his first day back.

Meanwhile, the rheumatologist prescribed drugs to help with the pain but it's a steroid.  I'll see how well this goes.  I don't normally do well with steroids.  She did come back to say she thinks my arthritis is inflammatory.  Part of me is like - see I told you.  Part of me is relieved it isn't something worse.

My pain levels been through the roof.  I'm still trying to manage and get to work.  I hate missing because I'm in pain but this last week I've spent a lot of time laying in the recliner in the dark.  It's unproductive and a waste of time but when I can't close my hands, put weight on my legs, move my shoulders without pain searing through me, there's little else to do.

I have to keep reminding myself to do what I can, to keep looking forward.  There will be an end to this high level of pain and I'll get back on track with writing and working.  Plus I'm making progress just not at the rate I would like.  I remind myself to give myself a break.

This weekend has been all about errands and a little fun.  Yesterday Ken and I ran errands - pharmacy, post office - and then we went to see Star Trek Beyond.  It was good.  I enjoyed it and there were some great lines - Dammit Spock from McCoy as well as others.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Quiet and Calm Today?

Wedding present done!  Wedding was beautiful and fun.  Now today, I'm going to be a bum.  I have to go back to work tomorrow.  I'm feeling a bit worn out so today is a day of rest.

Tomorrow I have to call to find out more information on hitches.  Then I have to get quotes on receiver adapters in all likelihood.  I also have to check to see if the company I'm getting my scooter through has heard anything from the insurance company.

It will be an interesting week.  I'm getting through to the first week in August when I have a week off.  I've declared that a week for writing.  I've got a list of things I want to get done so I'm hoping for few interruptions and lots of accomplishments.

On top of the successes I've had in getting things accepted and published, I've also been getting rejections.  These are always difficult - part of me says, why don't you like my stuff but I try to remember how publication works and let it go.  It's when I get a lot in one day or week that it overwhelms a bit.

I've got two Goodreads giveaways going on right now.  One ends tomorrow and the other ends at the end of the month.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Collection of Four Scarves by Eileen Troemel

Collection of Four Scarves

by Eileen Troemel

Released March 09 2015
Giveaway ends in 1 day (July 18, 2016)
3 copies available, 380 people requesting
Enter Giveaway


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Defenders of the People by Eileen Troemel

Defenders of the People

by Eileen Troemel

Released September 17 2014
Giveaway ends in 15 days (July 31, 2016)
3 copies available, 86 people requesting
Enter Giveaway

On Smashwords, some of my books are on sale!  You should go check it out.  If you go to my page, you can look at my books to see which ones are on sale.  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/kevvs229   It says on the right underneath where you add to the cart.  Some of my stuff is free and some is on sale.

I'm going to have a mellow day.  I'm sticking with jammies today and not thinking too much so it can be a mellow day.  I've been watching Madam Secretary which is pretty good.  I'm partway through the second season.

At the same time, I've got two stories in my head which need to come out so maybe some writing time.  It depends on my mood as I move forward with my day.  At this point, little effort sounds good but I can only do that for so long before my brain rebels.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Goodreads Giveaway - Defenders of the People

On Goodreads, you can sign up to win a free copy of Defenders of the People.  It is an epic fantasy about a group of seven who start a journey to take care of their people and free their world from corruption.

There are three signed copies available in this giveaway.  Sign up today!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Defenders of the People by Eileen Troemel

Defenders of the People

by Eileen Troemel

Released September 17 2014
Giveaway ends in 20 days (July 31, 2016)
3 copies available, 80 people requesting
Enter Giveaway

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Mobility?

Bills paid, a few errands run, and I'm ready for a nap.  Now I'm done working on the computer, I'll be hitting the recliner to watch something and crochet.  I still am working on the wedding gift.

It's been a rough week for me.  My scooter finally gave up the ghost and isn't working.  I've been working on getting a replacement but have had to shift from not being in a hurry to needing it now.  I tried walking for an appointment on Thursday, ended up walking too far.  I've had a lot of pain since then.

Friday I spent the day making phone calls, and have to go make a few more in order to get all the quotes I need.  Since the new scooter will not fold, I'll have to have a hitch added to my car and use a cargo carrier with a ramp.  I went round and round with the Kia dealership to see what they recommended.  At one point I felt like the guy was telling me I would need a new car because I was expecting too much for my car.  I really hate car guys.

For now, I have a wheel chair and the promise of assistance from my sister to get in and out of work.  I will at least be able to go to work and get things done.  I have no idea how long it will take to work through all the bureaucracy in order to get assistance with paying for the scooter, hitch, and carrier.  In the end, I will hopefully have very little out of pocket which is the point.

Last night I called my sister to check in and let her know I had sent her something she wanted (via email).  I found out my mother and uncle were in a car accident on Thursday.  Fortunately, they weren't hurt but the same can't be said for everyone in the accident - one woman was killed.  They were crossing a road with water and their car was swept away.  The car ended up partially submerged and the woman drowned.  I'm grateful they were okay but at the same time this is awful.

I'm hoping for a calmer day tomorrow.  I have to finish the wedding gift, but at the same time I have a story in my head I want to get out.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Vacation!

Ken, Vicki and I took vacation to go to Florida for one of Vicki's conferences.  On the way we stopped to see Virginia and Stephanie.  It was good to see them and have time with them.  When we were with them we kept it low key and hung out at their house.  We grilled out, played games, and just spent time together.

Florida was hot.  I can't say I was impressed.  It was hot and muggy.  The hotel staff were rude and the manager was no help.  The conference was interesting.

We did see the ocean, we didn't make it to the Gulf.  We spent a morning at the Kennedy Space Center.  It was very interesting but a bit overpriced.

On the way back, we stopped to see the girls again which was again another low key day.  We needed it before the long drive back to Indiana.

By the time Ken and I got back to Wisconsin, we'd put over 3000 miles on the car, visited with our girls, and done some sightseeing.  One thing I am very proud of is we saved up the cash to take this trip.  None of it went on credit cards.  We came home and had a little money left over.  

Ken had to be back to work on July 1 but I had off until July 5.  I went back to work yesterday.  It was odd.  I had vacation brain by 10 am I was ready for a nap.

I got my article in to the crochet magazine.  Now I wait to see if they print it.  I got the crochet pattern in to the other crochet magazine, I have to mail off the project for pictures.  I think - maybe - I'm all caught up on emails for both home and work.  I need to finish the wedding gift I've been working on.  I have it about half done.  I'm printed two patterns I want to use so I'll work finishing the gift this week and over the weekend.  I need to pick buttons and sew them on.  Next step will be to buy a gift bag to put them in.

Unfortunately, my scooter isn't working.  Ken says there is a broken wire and he can't fix it.  This makes it impossible for me to go to work.  I can't walk the distance to get into the building.  I'm taking today and tomorrow off.  I have an appointment with DVR to see if they can help me.  If they can't, the next step will be to see about a loan to purchase the scooter I need.  Hopefully they can move quickly so I don't have to miss too much work.  I'll know more tomorrow - I hope.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Collection of Four Scarves - Goodreads Giveaway!

I'm a crochet nut.  It is one of my favorite relaxing things to do.  In the last year or so, I've combined my love of crocheting with my love of writing and have published a number of projects.  In one book - I've gathered up four patterns for scarves.  I'm giving away three copies of this on Goodreads!

If you'd like a chance to win one of these, follow the link below and sign up for one.  Good luck!!!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Collection of Four Scarves by Eileen Troemel

Collection of Four Scarves

BY EILEEN TROEMEL

Released March 09 2015
Giveaway ends in 30 days (July 18, 2016)
3 copies available, 101 people requesting
Enter Giveaway

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Time to be an Adult

Warning - this post contains a rant with foul language.  If you can't handle passionate beliefs and strong language, you may want to skip this post.

I'm really tired of the politics and fear mongering.  I am all for people having the right to own a gun or a dozen of them or more.  I'm not for people owning assault rifles.  An assault rifle is meant to do just that assault someone with a massive number of bullets in a short period of time.

When will we put on our big people panties and do what needs to be done instead of falling into the fear of OMG they (whoever the hell they are) want to do (insert bad thing here).

Guns - we have every right to have them.  Not because of the second amendment - read it people that was for a militia.  But our case law has moved us to having this right.  But like everything in life there needs to be reasonable limits.

I think most people can agree on a few basic things.  No one outside the military or the police need assault rifles.  They shouldn't be able to be purchased by Joe Blow who says he's going hunting.  If you want a gun, you should be willing to fill out a damn form and pass a background check.  If you can't one would assume you shouldn't be having a gun.  I see no problem with making people wait two days or so for a gun.  Because in real life, if you're pissed enough to kill someone there are a million ways to do so - knife, poison, cutting the brake lines.  (It's either scary I know this or it could be a side effect of being a writer).

As for race, sexual orientation, and anything else you can think of to discriminate against people with.  GET OVER YOURSELF!  The world is not out to fuck you.  If someone has more than you, work harder, work smarter, and do better.  Be the best person you can be rather than trying to drag the other person down.

You say life isn't fair.  Yup - you should have learned that before you got into high school.  Today may be that person's moment.  You moment was maybe yesterday or will be tomorrow.

Does anybody ever wonder if we all live and let live, we would be happier as a whole society?  I mean come on, do you really care what your neighbors are doing in their bedrooms or how they're praying?  Isn't it their responsibility to see to their own soul or sex life?  So long as they aren't hurting minors or asking you to watch what do you care?

Can we please get over the bathroom thing?  I don't now about men's bathrooms but women's bathrooms all have stalls to give privacy.  Once in a stall I'm not generally trying to see in the next one.  I don't really care who's in the next stall so long as they aren't coming in my stall.  So far no one has - well except my kids but that stopped a while ago.

Finally, (I swear this is the end of my rant) can we please punish people who do bad things.  Can we please stop raping victims who have already been raped by putting them through the ringer?  Can we please, pretty please send the message that if you prey on women, men or children, you will be punished.  Rape is a heinous crime.  It destroys lives more completely than murder.  Rape isn't "20 minutes of action."  It's a violation on the most intimate level which should be punished at the same level as murder is.

Maybe if we stopped judging each other, competing with each other, then we could fix the problems which are tearing us apart like poverty.  Instead of having the all for me attitude, we should be looking to improve all of us.

End rant for the moment - I really shouldn't read the news.

Wayfarer Aegis Giveaway!

Do you track your books on Goodreads?  I've got a new giveaway on Goodreads through the end of June!  Sign up for a chance to win a signed copy of Wayfarer Aegis.  This is the short story about Adara's time on the Aegis and how she rescued her fellow crew mates.

Here's a synopsis of the book:
Before the Pritchard and Decker, Adara had a contract on an explorer class ship. The ship was supposed to be her home, the crew her family. With a rigid by the books captain, Adara found herself written up, reprimanded and in danger of losing her contract. Still she forms bonds with people on the crew. Carving out a niche, she finds a balance until fate intervenes with a deadly asteroid shower. 

There are five copies I'm giving away of Wayfarer Aegis!  Sign up today!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Checked Off

Last night as I'm trying to go to sleep, all I can think about is the scenes which are coming up in my new novel.  In my head, I've mapped out the rest of the book.  It will be interesting to see if I follow what I mapped out or if my characters will derail me.

Today I'm hoping to work on the list of things I need to get done.  Ken did the grocery shopping and I did the rebates etc once I got up.  In coupons we saved over $12 and in rebates we saved over $5.

Once the coupons were done, I made fruit salad while Ken got lunch in the oven.  Vicki got me a new purse so I swapped out purses today.  Normally Vicki swaps my purses for me but I did it this time.  She'll probably steal my purse next time and reorganize it.  But this was on my list.

I was able to get half the scarf done last night.  I'm hoping to finish it today when Ken and I watch Criminal Minds.  Then it's a matter of taking pictures and sending them to the editor.  Then I cross my fingers and hope they want to include it in their issue.

This still leaves me a few smaller tasks.  As I was waking up this morning, I was thinking about the wedding gift I need to make.  I think I've figured out what, how many of each and possible design for each item.  I'm looking forward to creating these and hope I can get the materials prepped for the project today yet but time is my enemy.

From my list, I've managed to finish 13 items but still have 5 items on the list.  It's already 11 in the morning so I don't know if I'll get them all done today.  However, I'll keep working on them this week.  I'm trying to balance out writing with all of its deadlines with crafting which also has deadlines.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Coupons, Rebates, Errands, and a Dozen Other Things

Last night after a rough week for me, I started thinking about all the things I need to get done.  I've had two requests for possibly paid writing assignments, as well as a number of errands to run today.  My brain was going a mile a minute so I did what I always do.  I made a list.  I also set my alarm.

I hate setting my alarm on the weekend because I hate mornings.  Mornings shouldn't start until noon but that isn't how the world works.

This morning I woke up at 3:30 in pain (no news there).  It was too early to take my daily meds.  I tried to go back to sleep and only managed to doze.  When my alarm went off, I took my meds and refused to get up.  My brain simply wouldn't function enough to be upright.

However, I was up, showered, and dressed by 8:15 at which time I hit the computer.  I paid bills yesterday but I had a bunch of other things to do.  I've gotten six things of my long long list done this morning.  Actually as I look at my desk, I've gotten more because I've also started a grocery list.

I need new cartridges for my printer so I ordered stuff online to pick up in the store.  I have to give them an hour.  In that hour, I'm hoping to check off a couple of other things from my to do list.

One of the writing assignments is an editor wants to see one of my crochet patterns in different pictures.  Unfortunately, I've given away the item so I can't just snap new pics for her.  I have to make a new one.  I've already had two people offer to take the item when I'm done with it so that's good.  I need to figure out colors - need two.  I'll look at the pattern and see what yarn I used before and then I'll hit my stash.  If I remember correctly, the pattern only took a couple of nights so I'm hoping I can finish it quickly in order to take the requested pictures.

For the other writing assignment, I have to get a rough draft done and off to the editor in a week.  I made a start but when I wrote it I sort of hated it.  I've done this before.  I'm often too critical of my own work.  I'll reread what I have and see if it's usable and if not, I'll start over.  The other thing is to see what pictures I have to go with the article.  The editor gave me a deadline but not length requirements which makes it more difficult.

Shortly, Ken and I will run errands and probably pick up lunch.  Then I'm hitting the recliner and writing - article or novel - unless Ken wants to spend time with me.  If he does, I'll work on crocheting.  It's going to be a busy day and busy weekend but hopefully I can clear up my to do list and make a fresh start for next week.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Busy Week, Lots of Inspiration

It's been an interesting week.  I use a scooter to get around.  Last Friday my scooter didn't want to work.  This meant I had to struggle to get into work.  I had help.  The people in my building are wonderful and willing to give aid.

My husband came and worked on my scooter so I could get out of work without causing more pain.  However, the damage was already done.  My legs hurt - the scale of 1 to 10 didn't touch how much my legs hurt.  I spent the weekend in the recliner in the hopes my legs would feel better.

Recently I was diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency.  This means I hurt everywhere and I'm tired all the time.  I'm on massive doses of Vitamin D for the next month.  I guess this is the penalty I get for the sun hating me.  I'm also probably going to have to take the vitamin for the rest of my life.

All of this led to a somewhat lazy weekend.  Saturday I slept.  I slept on and off a lot.  Ken and I ran errands.  We mailed out the books to the winners of my Goodreads giveaway and did a couple other things.  We weren't gone for more than an hour but by the time I got back, I was done.  I curled up on the couch and tried to sleep.  Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful because I started sneezing and couldn't stop.  However, by mid afternoon I put my head down and slept.

Sunday I wrote for a while.  I'm working on a new novel.  I don't know how I feel about it yet.  I like parts of it but I'm always hyper critical until after I've done edits.  Ken and I watched tv (nothing new there) and I finished the scarf I was working on and a second one.  Now I need to work on the skirt I need to get done.

In my head, I'm starting to make a mental list of all the things I want to get done and I'm thinking I need a second me.  I've discovered something about myself though.  I reach a point where I'm doing all these things  - writing, crocheting, editing, publishing, family... and so on - and I reach a point where I need to be quiet.  Maybe it's just watching a program and not having my hands busy or maybe it's curling up with a good book.  If I take this time, steal it from all my tasks, I let my brain rest, and come back to the quiet place where all the good things come about.  I've had a couple of these days where I let everything slip away and allow my mind to wander.

On Memorial day Ken and I watched a western and two war movies.  I got ideas for my books.  I've been watching Criminal Minds.  I got more ideas for my books.  It almost makes me laugh as I'm curled up not thinking and suddenly something will strike me and my brain snaps into focus of - huh if I used something similar in this book / novel, it would make an interesting story line.

Not plagiarism because I'm not writing a western or even sticking to the same story line.  It's usually line or something small which grabs my attention.  Then my imagination grabs hold of it and twists and turns it until it isn't recognizable as coming from whatever it originally came from.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Perfectly Normal Weekend

A perfectly normal weekend with errands run and chores done.  It is Sunday morning and all of the normal weekend tasks are done.  Now I have to decide what I'm going to work on.

As always, I have a long list of things I could do but I've been really tired and feeling a bit blah.  I've also been sleeping a lot more than normal for me.  The last few nights I've slept at least five to eight hours.

To me this means I need to take things easy and let my body recuperate from whatever is grumbling around in there.  I've been watching Criminal Minds.  I've just started the fourth season.  I find myself creeped out, grossed out, and sometimes hoping the bad guy gets away with it.

There was an episode where a woman was killing men.  She was raped and the cops did nothing about it.  She "solved" the issue by enticing men away from their friends and killing them.  Unfortunately, they weren't the men who raped her but... I had a hard time blaming her.

Along the same lines, one episode was a high school boy who killed his father, his girlfriend's father and several people in the high school.  The fathers were abusive and the people at the high school were bullying him both in person and cyber bullying.  I had a hard time empathizing with the victims in this episode.

I know this is fiction but when you read the news and hear about all these things, it makes you wonder how sick the human race is.  At the same time I wonder if we treated ourselves and our children better if there would be fewer problems.

It is a complex issue and I know I'm simplifying it but this show makes me think about all sorts of things.

Violence is not the solution

When your daughter calls to say "I'm okay", there is always a moment of oh shit, what happened.  My oldest daughter called me ...