Thursday, December 28, 2017

Book and Publishing News

Wayfarer Contentious is out and available on Amazon and Smashwords.  This is a continuation of Adara and Decker's story.  More turmoil and trials with the Command withdrawing their support and racial tensions rising.

Change and conflict surround the Phoenix.  New trainees and Nancy O'Neal Finnegan arrive to board the Phoenix.  The Command mandates keep coming provoking the unrest amongst the crew.  Racial tensions rise with many attacks on other races.  Trainees complain about Adara, leading Command to issue and ultimatum.  Allies are attacked, humans only group is on the rise.  Have they reached a tipping point?

In addition to publishing the book, I've updated covers for the Defenders series.  TJ Jahns created new artwork for me (see her web site).  I think they turned out well and are a decided improvement.

Defenders of Magic is coming soon.  I have the cover done (I think).  Final edits went on the computer but I still have to read through one more time and do a spell check before I can publish.  I have to find a few hours of free time in order to do the actual publishing.

Behind the scenes, I've been updating my files so I can more easily market my crochet patterns and my short stories.  Part of this was to find links for my web site in order to make it easier for people to buy from their preferred vendor. 

Over and above my own writing, I'm working on reading some books to write reviews.  I've completed six and have two more to read.  Out of the six, only one of them was enjoyable enough to keep.  I'm hoping the other two I have are more enjoyable but I'm not holding my breath.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Getting Your Ducks in a Row

I'm getting an education which I'm not sure I want.  With my mom in the nursing home, I'm taking point on her financial stuff.  My siblings are standing behind me which is nice.  However, it means I'm digging into a lot of tasks and information in order to take care of my mother's stuff.

Here are a few things I've learned.  Make sure you have a power of attorney for both health and finances.  This is just a first step.  In addition, give the person who is POA access to medical and financial stuff.  This doesn't mean you have to turn over your accounts to them but it makes it easier.  Mom has bills to pay and while she is able to write checks and such it is hard for her as she is tired and recovering.  I had to go to her bank get to become an authorized signator on her account.  This allows me to sign her checks and pay for things with her money rather than paying for it myself and having to get paid back.  The medical allows the medical community to talk to me about her appointments and her treatment. 

This is the business end of it.  When my sister and I went to prepay for my mom's final wishes (no she's not dying but it's better to be prepared), I had to write a large check.  Every time I write a check, I question is this necessary?  Is this what mom would want?  I'm spending someone else's money which in theory sounds fun but the reality is I'm more conservative and concerned with her money than I am with my own. 

Mom needed a few clothes and a new bathrobe.  My daughter and I shopped, got good prices but still I questioned whether I was getting the right things, too many, not enough.  It's her money.  It's hard for me to spend it.  I know - this is what I'm supposed to do but still. 

There are so many details to keep track of I feel like I'm forgetting something important.  We are trying to get mom registered with a county program to help once she goes to my sister's house.  This means I'm looking through all of mom's paperwork to pull what they need.  In order to qualify for the programs, she has to have less than $2000 in assets.  This includes life insurance policies, money in the bank, and anything else (cars, houses etc).  The more she has, the more I have to figure out if it counts.  Apparently for life insurance, whole life counts against her assets but term life doesn't. 

Mom has one policy.  I called and asked.  They wouldn't talk to me.  I understand I'm a voice on the phone but I had to fax over the POA which isn't really in affect because mom isn't incapacitated.  Next I have to call again and work my way through their phone system.  It eats up time.  Once I get the answer to my which type of policy is it, I'll have to take the next steps.  Whole life she has to cash in and then spend the money down.  Term life she can keep. 

It's a lot of work.  It's a lot of details.  With mom being 86, I know at some point dealing with her will and her belongings is going to be an issue.  Since I'm her executor, I'll have all those details to deal with.  I'm trying not to stress out about all of this but it all rolls into one massive ball of wholly shit this is a lot.

I keep reminding myself I can only do one step at a time, one thing at a time.  I have wonderful family backing me up.  With six of us total, we have rarely agreed on anything but when it comes to mom we all seem to be on the same page with her care and how much we're willing to allow the medical people to do.  My daughters have been amazing with offering support via phone (for the two in Georgia) and with helping with all the details.  My husband has been good about helping with logistics and being there to listen to me cope with all of the stress. 

I'm learning a lot with this whole process.  The next step - when I have time to take a breath - is to get stuff set up for my hubby and me so it's as simple as possible for our daughters.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Crafting Escape

It was a good weekend.  Friday I left work to go to the doctor with Vicki.  We were forceful about her needing a different antibiotic.  She has a sinus infection - the first antibiotic didn't help.  Our ENT said this happens a lot.  So we got the second antibiotic and it worked.

After the doctor's office, we went to Joann's to spend my gift card.  I got yarn to make a blanket for my mom as she particularly liked one of the ones I made while she was in the hospital.  I'll work on it this week I think.  We spent quite a bit of time wandering the yarn aisles.  It was a nice escape.  By the end of the trip, I spent my gift card and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Saturday was errand running and then we watched the Die Hard movies.  While watching I crocheted.  It was nice to sit down and not think about anything but a mindless movie and crocheting. 

Of course I paid bills this weekend and checked on sales for my books.  The fun thing was Friday night Stephanie called for some crocheting advice and we chatted with her while the three of us (Vicki was with me) crafted.  Even though we were in different states we crafted together and chatted.  It was fun.

There were the inevitable chores which had to be done.  Vicki and I worked on prep for food this week.  She made apple crisp and I made garbage soup.  The nice thing - Sunday I spent the whole day in my jammies.  We watched the Lethal Weapon series while we crafted.

A couple of editors sent me books to review.  I've gotten eight to ten from them.  I've read and reviewed three.  I read one last night.  It was a beginner book for Wicca.  I'll be writing the review today I hope.  I started a second one on tarot.  I'm hoping to whittle these down and get them off my to do list relatively quickly. 

I didn't get to publishing but I'm hoping to do that next weekend.  There will hopefully be fewer things going on. 

For a pay weekend, it was pretty calm and mostly relaxing.  I needed a relaxing weekend with a bit of me and crafting time.  It's nice to escape into the yarn and the pattern without thinking about anything else.  Hopefully it has refilled my energies so I can face another week of handling mom's stuff and life in general.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Crocheting for Sanity (or as close as I can get to sanity)

I've finished a scarf for one gift.  Last night I worked on the edging for a fleece blanket for the mother of a friend.  Vicki told me her favorite scarf was ratty so I told her to hit her stash to find yarn for another one.  I started that last night.

At work, I meet up once a week to crochet with a co-worker.  This week I'm working on a cloth to put in the door of a refrigerator under the ice / water in the door.  Water collects there and I was asked if I could create something to fit in there to soak it up.  I'll be working on that today during our weekly session. 

I'm hoping the weekend will be busy with crafting.  I need to clear off some of the projects on my sofa.  There are a ton of them.  Some of them need prep work and some need finishing.  If nothing else, I'll pop in DVDs and watching those while I crochet.  I'm binge watching Designated Survivor.  I have one more disc to watch to finish the first season.  Then I'll determine whether I'm interested in the second season which I'm hoping is all on On Demand.  If not, I may have to wait for it to come out on DVD and get from the library. 

It's been a stressful week.  Monday is Mom's day - I go to the nursing home to visit with her and do anything she needs me to do.  Tuesday this week we met with the county person for aging to talk about the programs.  I also got grumpy with one of her doctor's offices about scheduling.  The end result - I'm pretty sure that doctor's office doesn't like me but mom's appointments got moved to a city half the distance from her location.  My sister Aimee and I are doing funeral planning today - no mom is not dying but we are being proactive about the process.  Plus for the county programs she has to have fewer assets and funds.  Long term the county programs will help her more so better to spend down her accounts. 

I also need to find time to read some books.  I have four or five books which I need to read and review.  People have sent them to me so I feel obligated to get them read.  I'm working on a tough one where it is a bunch of essays.  The authors use a lot of big words to say nothing.  It's disappointing - at least so far.  I'll continue to work my way through it.  The nice part about the essays is it gives me short goals to get through the book faster.  But it's a large book - 300 + pages I think.  My goal is to set the book next to me.  Then I can read an essay or two between crocheting.  I'll see how this works.  I'm hoping the other books are better and more interesting. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Crafting as Therapy

Saturday I had a plan which changed.  My plan was to get a bunch of book work done.  When I was playing one of my games, I got several hours of free play.  So instead of being responsible, I played on my phone until my middle daughter and a friend showed up to go craft shopping. 

I was reluctant - yes, I know but true.  I felt like I had too much to do to wander a craft store or two.  I went and in the first store we were wandering.  I got some Christmas stuff to decorate my mom's room in the nursing home.  I also found a Christmas present for my oldest daughter. 

At one point, I was by myself in the yarn aisle.  I texted my youngest daughter and she said it was dangerous.  I was good and didn't buy any yarn in that store. 

In the second store, I wandered off to the yarn aisle by myself again.  I found the colors and type of yarn I was looking for. 

In both stores, I was able to get a lot of great deals.  The Christmas stuff was half off and I had a coupon for 40% off the other item.  At the second store, I had a 50% off coupon for one item and then a 20% off coupon.  By the time I was done, I saved more than I spent.  In the second store, I got three skeins of yarn and with my coupons, the third skein was free. 

The rest of the day was spent crafting, cutting out fabric, prepping projects and crocheting.  I spent most of Sunday (after doing the responsible stuff) crocheting and watching tv.  After all the drama and stress with dealing with my mom's health issues, it was nice to hibernate in my house and do something which de-stresses me.

I finished one project for a Christmas gift and worked on more prep stuff for other gifts.  I'm happy with my progress on the projects even as my living room is a bit crowded with projects.  I really needed a crafting weekend to help reduce the stress. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Rough Week

It's been a rough week.  Mom went by ambulance into the hospital on Saturday.  My oldest sister rushed to be there so she wouldn't be anxious or upset.  I followed as soon as I could.  They weren't sure what caused the problems but suspected a TIA (mini stroke).  After we left another of our sisters stopped in to spend time with her.

After being there Saturday to support my mom and sister, I went back on Sunday as did one of my sisters and one of my nieces.  Monday I picked her up from the hospital and took her home. 

Yesterday my daughter was supposed to take my mother to a doctor's appointment.  When she got there, my mother was lethargic, unresponsive, dizzy, and couldn't get to the car.  My daughter called for an ambulance. 

In the last four days, my mother has had two CT scans, two chest xrays, an MRI, and ultrasound, and lots of blood drawn.  Now they think she has a heart infection.  They wanted to send her to Madison for a test - to be taken by ambulance, put under anesthesia, and then brought back by ambulance. 

I'm not thrilled with the medical community under normal circumstances.  This makes me even less thrilled with them.  Why did they release her on Monday?  Obviously she wasn't well.  Perhaps if they had kept her in the hospital, she wouldn't have deteriorated or they could have caught the other issues. 

We are facing a lot right now.  I have to say, as much as kid about my family and how we don't always see eye to eye, we've been on the same page.  It's all been about the best care possible for mom without infringing on her desires for little intervention. 

Mom is 86.  She's fighting this infection.  I don't know where this will take us but hopefully we will continue to all be on the same page.  We all have different belief systems but we are all sending our positive energy or prayers or whatever we believe in to our mother for the best possible outcome. 

My daughters have been amazing in offering me support and care, giving me a chance to vent and talk through all the things going on.  The family has all come together to support mom in this difficult time. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sexual Harassment

It's such a surprise to everyone that women are coming out saying me to. Our society has treated women as second-class Citizens for centuries. Women have been property, have been slaves, have been raped and tortured and beaten. It goes on today.

Yet now with the Weinstein everyone's coming out with oh my God this is so shocking. But it's not shocking it's a common occurrence and believe 1 in 4 women are assaulted in our society. How is this all right?

How do we make it alright for little boys to grab little girls and it's cuz he likes her. How do we allow stereotypes like girls must wear pink and boys must wear blue on TV? Why are we as women not fighting to be equals?  Equal pay, equal say, equal access to all health options like birth control and abortion.

I've heard perfectly intelligent men and women say oh it's just the way it is. That's wrong. It may be the way it is; it's not the way it should be.

We should tell the people around us that requiring sexual favors for anything is wrong. No means no. Yet that simple phrase is so debated I feel like we need something else but I don't know what's stronger. How do we break this cycle of male domination in the worst ways and in the most subtle of ways? 

It's not a woman's problem it's a societal problem. We have to teach our boys to be respectful. We have to teach our girls to stand up for themselves and say no, even if they have to use force to say no.

It's time for society to realize that women have value. Without women none of us would be here. Until women feel safe and able to be around everyone we will continue to have this problem. Men need to shut up and listen. Because women say this happened to me does not mean that a man's experience of being abused is any less or any easier to take. It simply means we as a gender have experienced more of this.

A man of power used his power to manipulate women to do things they didn't want to do. This is rape. This happened so often it's commonplace. Yet we act like this is something new with the Weinstein accusations being levied. 

The DA's and the organizations and the actors and the other industries who are coming out and saying oh we didn't know it was this bad. To them I say too little too late. Now when there's been bad PR and an outcry against these things happening why didn't the police or the prosecutors or the other male-dominated organizations do anything to stop this man. To me this is more cover your ass activity for these groups then it is actual prosecution and punishment.

It's time we get our heads out of the sand or other locations and face the problem at hand. The problem is women are not valued. They are considered mothers or whores. They are considered property although in our politically correct society they aren't called property anymore. However what else would you call it?

We need to stop talking about change and start making things change. Stand up speak out and be proud to be a woman by standing up for other women.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Let's Call It What It Is

Here is another rant - you've been warned.

It's such a surprise to everyone that women are coming out saying "me to". Our society has treated women as second-class Citizens for centuries. Women have been property, have been slaves, have been raped and tortured and beaten. It continues today.

Yet now with the Weinstein scandal everyone's coming out with oh my God this is so shocking. But it's not shocking it's a common occurrence and believe one in four women is assaulted in our society. how is this all right?

How do we make it alright for little boys to grab little girls because he likes her. How do we allow stereotypes like girls must wear pink and boys must wear blue on TV? Why are we as women not fighting to be equals?

I've heard perfectly intelligent men and women say oh it's just the way it is. That's wrong. It may be the way it is it's not the way it should be.

We should tell the people around us that requiring sexual favors for something, for anything is wrong. No means no, and yet that simple phrase is so debated I feel like we need something else but I don't know what's stronger. How do we break this cycle of male domination in the worst ways and in the most subtle of ways?

It's not a woman problem it's a societal problem. We have to teach our boys to be respectful. We have to teach our girls to stand up for themselves and say no, even if they have to use force to say no.

It's time for society to realize that women have value. Without women none of us would be here. Until women feel safe and able to be around everyone we will continue to have this problem. Men need to shut up and listen. Because women say this happened to me does not mean that a man's experience of being abused is any less or any easier to take. It simply means we as a gender have experienced more of this.

A man of power used his power to manipulate women to do things they didn't want to do. This is rape. This happened so often it's commonplace. Yet we act like this is something new with the Weinstein accusations being levied.

The DA's and the organizations and the actors and the other Industries who are coming out and saying oh we didn't know it couldn't possibly be this bad. To them I say too little too late. Now when there's been bad PR and an outcry for if these things happened why didn't the police or the prosecutors or the other male-dominated organizations do anything to stop this man. To me this is more cya Activity 4 these groups then it is actual prosecution and Punishment.

It's time we get our heads out of the sand or other locations and face the problem at hand. The problem is women are not valued. They are considered mothers or whores. They are considered property although in our politically correct society they aren't called property anymore. However what else would you call it?

We need to stop talking about change and start making things change. Stand up, speak out and be proud to be a woman by standing up for other women.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Hostile Work Environment

Herein lies a rant.  Don't say you weren't warned.

The other night on the news there were two stories which annoyed me - obviously enough I'm still thinking about them.  One story was about the juvenile prison which had five employees attacked over the weekend.  The story was all about the how they have a hard time keeping employees.  

The other story was about the DA in Dane county announcing they are no longer going to be able to prosecute all crimes due to a shortage of employees, i.e. prosecutors.

Both of these stories hit a note with me.  I've worked for the State of Wisconsin since 2006.  I've liked my jobs and the people I work with.  The different departments I've worked for have been interesting and like most jobs there were great things and not so great things.  Then 2010 rolled around.

In 2010, the governor basically said state employees were bankrupting the state and they were horrible people.  This started a war against state employees.  For a time insurance cost more, before it became a political move to lower the cost of our insurance.  But instead of the state covering what they used to, they changed the insurance so there are more co-pays, more deductibles, and more money out of my pockets.  

Public service employees are typically paid less but the benefits used to be some of the best.  Now the pay is mediocre and the benefits are getting too costly.  

Back to the two stories, why would someone work for an organization which vilifies its employees?  Why would you accept a job which has mediocre pay when you can make more in the private sector?  The reason the government can't fill the positions is because the top people have made working for the state a bad deal.  There's a disrespect for the ethics of the employees.  

If you want employees who will stick, you have to provide them with good wages and benefits, as well as a safe work environment.  If you aren't providing these things, you aren't going to get quality employees who are willing to stay.  To our top government officials, get your heads out of your asses, stop helping the rich and start doing what you're supposed - representing EVERYONE in the state, not just the rich.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Wayfarer Limits

The new Wayfarer book is out!  Wayfarer Limits is all about defining the limits in the characters lives and what are acceptable limits and what limits are not acceptable.

Here's a description
Disagreeing without fighting, Adara and Decker face the new challenges as Command issues new mandates restricting how all members do their jobs.  Tension rises on the ship and across the human territory.  Diplomatic relations with the Tuscalains goes poorly for the humans but not for the Wayfarers. Racial unrest ripples across the human territory, hitting close to home with Adara’s family.

I'll be updating my website as soon as links become available.  So go here to find the links where this is for sale.

For the rest of my day, I'm planning on working on editing or maybe watching disaster movies.  I've not decided.  I'm really excited about this publication.  It wrote fast and edited really well.  Right now I have five or six manuscripts to edit.  

Friday, October 13, 2017

Days Fly By

It's only October and my life is speeding up.  My weekends are full and busy.  I need a vacation but won't be getting any for the rest of the year. 

We've been working on the house.  By we - I mean, Ken and Vicki with some outside help occasionally.  Vicki's rooms are painted and I think she's got them organized the way she wants them.  Our bathroom has been painted and reorganized.  Our bedroom has begun the process of deep cleaning, painting, and reorganizing. 

On my couch, I have a dozen (maybe more) crochet projects which are in different stages of completion.  The problem - I'm writing.  I counted this morning and have completed eight manuscripts.  Some have been published.  Some are in the editing stage.  Some I'm working on covers and other components.  I need to make gifts for faculty and student workers.  My crochet list is never ending. 

This weekend is busy.  Vicki's going to a book sale event at the state fairgrounds.  It's a pay week so we're going to have all this running around to do.  I've got to pay bills.  Grocery shopping needs to be done.  There are other errands which need to be done. 

Then there is the prep for breakfast and lunch this next week.  We'll have to fit that in.  As is normal, I have this list of things I want to get done but it's looking like this weekend will be filled to overflowing. 

Instead of stressing about the busy weekend, I'm going to attempt to prioritize things and schedule next weekend.  In a part of my head, there's the crazed maniac saying but we have (insert list of a dozen or two dozen things to do).  In another part, is the rational person who is saying there isn't anything earth shattering that has to get done this weekend.  I'll make a list (of course) and do as much prep as I can so I can be ready to do what I need next weekend which shouldn't be as busy - I hope. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Grumpiness Abounds

It's been a week.  The weather changed and my pain level is up.  I try to remember this most days but sort of lost it at work.  My student worker got to listen to me complain and curse.  I apologized it shouldn't have happened.  I did close my door, call my sister and complain to her.  I got over it mostly but there are just things which annoy  me.  I had one of those days.

All around, rough week.  Pain at levels which are nearly unbearable.  I hear my inner voice saying things I don't really feel or believe but when I'm weighed down with pain it takes me to places I don't want to go.  This is not a plea for pity or sympathy - a statement.  My hope - if I talk about this which I hate doing - someone out there will know they aren't alone and will know someone else understands.

Movement equals agony.  Breathing is work.  For me the worst part is I can't crochet.  I am struggling to write when I've got stories pounding in my head.  The things which lift and change my mood - which is supposed to help - are too painful to do.

This is what chronic pain is.  This is what I deal with.  It makes it hard to be positive and upbeat and pleasant.  My job requires pleasant.

I get through.  I'm not giving in to this bullshit.  The pain will ease.  The pain will fade.  I'll sleep.  I'll work on a story until the pain has shifted.  I'll do what I can to get through it.  It's all I can do.

Part of me wants to rail on the medical community but really what's the point.  I'm to a point where I accept they're not going to help me.  All I can do is find ways to cope.

So on to normal - whatever that is.  It's pay week.  I've paid bills.  Ken and Vicki will run errands tomorrow.  I'm hoping for a quiet weekend.  I'm hoping I can spend time writing and publishing things I have done.  I'll have to see how the weekend goes.

It seems like we always have a lot going on every weekend.  I have a stack of crocheting on my couch I'd like to finish.  I have several projects I'd want to experiment with.  I just need to get my arms, back, and neck to stop hurting.

Tomorrow I can sleep later.  I'm hoping to sleep until I naturally wake up.  This helps with the pain but again, it's a pay week so busy weekend.  I'll see how things go.  Ken and Vicki like to grocery shop at like six in the morning.  I see no reason to acknowledge six am exists.  They're happy morning people.  I'm going to post this blog and go write.  If the writing is going, I hope it will keep me busy for a few hours.

I'm working on an independent story.  If that peters out, I've got Wayfarer 17 and a few other options for working on writing.  I also have editing to do.  Always there seems to be editing to do.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Catching Up

Over the weekend, I got three manuscripts edited and worked on two other manuscripts.  Ken and Vicki did all the errands on Saturday.  Sunday we went out to breakfast.  We have a couple of places we like but wanted to try other places.  So we went somewhere other than our favorites.

The food looked and tasted good but all three of us had unpleasant stomach issues after going to this place.  We will not be returning to that place for a Sunday meal again.

Saturday, I spent a couple hours at Natureland.  I can't hike anymore which makes me exceedingly sad as it's such a nice park.  I sat in my car and edited while the beauty of the place helped me cope with a few things.  I parked in an end stall in order to be out of the way and in the shade.  The tree closest to it seemed to reach down to try to tease me.

It was productive for me to be there.  I turned my phone down.  I worked on editing.  I watched the lake and the trees.  I watched the people come and go.  I wrote two scenes (by hand which means I need to type them up).

Sunday Vicki and I worked on food prep for the week.  I cut up a bunch of stuff for her for lunches and supper tonight.  I made pudding for Ken and Vicki.  We got a lot of stuff done.

Surprisingly, we sold the snare drum which has been on Facebook.  I thought we were going to sell Vicki's table and chairs but unfortunately the guy never showed.  When I messaged him, he said he couldn't get a van.  It would have been nice if he had let me know.

We still have a few things to sell and they are listed on Facebook.  I'll see how they go.

Every weekend we're working on things in the house.  Ken's been painting our bedroom.  We picked a color and they went to get.  I thought it was darker but didn't say anything.  Ken got two walls done and had to go back for more paint.  When they mixed the color, it was different.  There was a bit of back and forth.  It was decided whoever mixed the first gallon did it wrong.  So they got the new gallon for free.  They talked about leaving one of the walls the darker color and painting the other three walls the lighter color.  I'm good with that.

Vicki's been working on getting her space more organized.  She's been painting, building shelves (book and bedside table) and a desk.  She's been working on organizing her books, getting lists made, and making it portable so she can have lists so she knows what she needs to purchase.

I've got several crochet projects I need to work on but the writing has been pushing me.  I've finished a number of things.  I have a meeting with my artist to see about covers and other things.  I'm hoping to finish several projects and get them published soon.

I've been getting journals from all sorts of places.  I took one of them and made it into my writing to do list sort of.  On one page I outlined what I've got the projects I'm working on.  I've been losing track of what stage I'm at for different projects.  This means I'm doing work twice when I shouldn't have to.  Hopefully this will help me keep better track of where I am for the projects.  It will also prompt me to work on different aspects of the projects like writing the synopsis and so on.

In the journal I think I'm going to work on pages for marketing things as well.  Maybe take a page per book and write where I've sent requests for book reviews.  I have a hard time tracking this which again leads to a duplication of work.

I feel like I've been so busy, I hardly have time to breath.  I know it's good because I keep going but there are times I want to just take a moment.  I guess that's why I went to Natureland - to take a moment.  Even though I was editing, it changed my perspective.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

On the Back Deck

It's a three day weekend!  Yesterday I sat on my back deck and spent time with Vicki, Ken and Beth.  I also sat in the front yard and talked to the same people, my mom and my sister.

Today I've had breakfast, made a decision on paint color for the kitchen, and worked on the computer.  There is more work to do on the computer.  I'm hoping my legs last long enough for me to get it all done.

I've been plagued with headaches for about three weeks.  It's annoying and frustrating because there is a lot I want to get done but can't because my head hurts.  What do I need?  A massage.  Unfortunately the budget is not going to stretch for one of those.

The problem with my being down with a headache, I have all these ideas bouncing around in my head and I cannot accomplish any of them.  Depending on the level of headache, sitting in a dark room with silence is about the only thing I can do.

Unusual for me on a Sunday, I've caught up my emails.  I try to take the one day away from all things work like so I can have the downtime my mind needs.  This may be tomorrow as I had a ton of emails to get through.

I'm hoping to get rid of the current headache and either crochet or write after I'm done on the computer.  I've got Wayfarer 17 pushing at me as well as a few other projects.  However, I'm looking at my pile of crochet projects and they are pushing on me too.  I need more time to do stuff - someone needs to win the lottery.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Published Crochet Pattern!

One of my patterns was published in Pattern Pack Pro through Happily Hooked.  I made a purse from jute and crochet cotton.  I'm thrilled with how it turned out and excited it was published!

With the jute, it's sturdy and holds its shape.  The issue has other interesting patterns as well.  You can see the pictures of the purses on

Next I need to figure out what else I want to crochet and submit to try to get published.  I enjoy this publication.  They put out a good product with the magazine but also the patterns are checked before they're published.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Moon Affirmations Journal

Now available in paperback a journal to go along with Moon Affirmations!  I'm really excited about this one.  It was an aha moment for me.  I received some promotional items I ordered for one of my other books (working on a project and needed something to include with my brand).  One of the items I received - journals I made on Vista Print.  They turned out really nice!

In the moment of looking at them I thought - huh?  I should totally do this for Moon Affirmations except with Moon Affirmations, I wanted it to include some of the art from TJ Jahns (go to her website).  She did amazing pictures for the book and I wanted to keep them for the journal as inspiration.

I decided I would create my own journal.  This led to lots of questions.  How do I do lines?  Do I want lines?  I wish journals had both lined pages and blank pages.  I realized it was a great opportunity for me to create what I would want in a journal.  For each chapter heading and day, there are lined pages and blank pages.  Some of the artwork from the original is in there.  Hopefully it will inspire the readers of Moon Affirmations as they do the meditations and work on themselves.

It's available on:
Barnes & Noble

I'd love to hear feedback on this journal or any of my books or crochet patterns.  Feel free to contact me through my web page or leave a comment on this blog!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Where is My Crazy Brain?

In my family, there's a story my maternal grandmother was a descendant from a Native American.  I've heard this story my entire life.  It was interesting to get my DNA testing done and discover where my DNA comes from.  One of which was a slight indicator (1%) of Native American.

But of course, I have two parents.  My father is passed so we couldn't test him.  However, my mom did get tested and we recently got her results.  There was a lot of similarity in our DNA - as you would expect - but interestingly no Native American, not a trace of it.  This means if there was any (which with such a small percentage it's debatable) Native American in my lineage, it came through my father's family.

One of my sisters also got her DNA done and it was fascinating to see the differences between her and I even though we have the same parents.  We were able to see three areas which were not in my mother's DNA so they are good indicators of our father's DNA.

I find genetics a fascinating topic and if I were science minded (which I fail at completely) I would go into genetics.  Now it would be interesting to see how the other siblings compare.  I would also love to have my husband and all my daughters tested.  I just have to convince the people and find the money to do it.

We had our rummage sale over the weekend.  We got rid of several of the big items and some of the other stuff.  When it was done, Ken and Vicki filled up her Equinox and took a load to Goodwill.  During the sale, we only sold two big items which was disappointing.  Vicki suggested we post the other items on Facebook.  So I did.  We sold three more items through Facebook.  I have a number of them still posted and we will see what happens.

We still have items in my garage which will need to be loaded into her car and donated.  I'm hoping that will be on the agenda for this weekend.  There were a few other things which were higher dollar items I want to post to Facebook.  Additionally, I have a bunch of crocheting I want to do.  Preventing me is the need to work on my stories.  They've been taking over!  I love it but it can also be exhausting.

The next thing for me to prep for is to determine if I'm going to make the attempt do the vendor sale in November.  If I am, I need to make a lot more crocheted items - including a lot more variety.  The thing is I feel if I'm going to do the vendor's sale, I should be able to take credit cards.  This I'd have to figure out.  It's a lot of research and I'm not sure I want to hassle with it.  This is why I waffle.

If I do the vendor's sale, I could take my books and crocheting.  I might be able to put out my books and sell some with more profit going into my pocket.  It's definitely something to consider.

Right now on my couch, I have a dozen projects but have been so buy writing, I don't have time to crochet.  I may have to take a Saturday or Sunday to binge watch something and work on finishing projects.  I've been getting ideas and ideas and ideas on projects I want to work on so I know I'll be switching from writing to crocheting in the near future.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wayfarer Convictions

The new Wayfarer novel is published!!!  Wayfarer Convictions is available on Smashwords and Amazon.  It will be available in paperback by the end of the week (I hope) on Amazon.  It's available now on Createspace.

Here's a description:
Raiders, Tuscalains, and cold cases, Walter Farento, a services efficiency expert observes the Phoenix. Rhia fumbles for leads in her cold case, while the hacker eludes Jolen. Avin hunts a firebug. Sabotage threatens the assembly of a new station. A breakthrough in the cold case points to something deeper and more sinister. It all amounts to just another day on the job for Adara and Decker

Nealon and Adara’s other pilots arrive on Ravena station to help with assembling a new space station.  Walter inspects the different departments to determine how they are being efficient.  He can’t understand why no one is comfortable with him until Abby Sprit, Galvin’s great niece tells him for doubting Adara’s integrity. 

After a romantic interlude in a nebula, Adara and Decker discuss the million credit offer made by the Busalacchis for reparation.  A break in the cold case, Rhia must leave Paul and her children for a few days to interview key people.  A link between the hacker, cold case, and fire bug lead back to an unexpected source and old enemies.  

Buy it today on Amazon or Smashwords or Createspace 

Friday, August 11, 2017


I have two rants to vent today.  The first is silly and the second isn't and will involve adult language to illustrate my point.

Books are a passion.  Words and language I geek out about.  When I see what I consider an error, I like to let authors know.  I received a newsletter from an author.  In it was an example from one of her books which included the following sentence (similar don't want to infringe on her copyright):

She kneeled down in front of her friend.

Kneel is a regular verb but when you make it past tense, it is an irregular verb - meaning it doesn't typically add the -ed at the end of it.  Instead it become knelt.

I wrote the author a note to point this out to her - my thought was if I had something like that in one of my books, I'd appreciate someone pointing it out to me.  I never expected an answer but instead got one and was surprised by it.

She said the irregular verb was no longer being used - it was old fashioned.  She said the Brits use it but Americans don't.  In a way, she was somewhat snotty about it.  I did a google search, discovered it is starting to be acceptable in America.

My response - if you're going to write like that it's going to jerk me out of the story - which it did with the excerpt - and I'm going to be unhappy.  If you do it a lot I'm going to be unhappy with your book and stop buying your books.  I wrote her back, gave my opinion and didn't get a response - not a surprise.

To me this is a dumbing down of America.  It's okay if we have a good reason for making change but to me this just seems like someone couldn't remember to use an irregular verb.

On to my other rant.  Again - this one is going to have strong language and unpleasant language I normally would not use.  You've been warned.

Trolling through Facebook, I came across a Proctor & Gable (here's a link to where it is P&G The Talk ).  I found it moving and disturbing.  I posted it on my page because I wanted to talk about why this kind of talk is needed by a race.  I related to it as a female in our culture where we are treated like property and parents have the talk with their daughters about not going out alone etc.

On my Facebook page there was some discussion - a lot of discussion - about the video.  Some of the discussion was heated, some was discussion and debate which is what is needed to raise awareness.  And then it happened.

I have a lot of friends on Facebook and use it to promote my writing.  Generally, I'm pretty laid back about what people say and try not to get involved.  If you know me, you know I cuss - a lot.  My favorite cuss word is Fuck - FUCK FUCK fuckity fuck fuck.

Unfortunately, I dealt with some extreme unpleasantness.  A male (not a gentlemen by any standard) posted Fuck you and the name of one of the people in the discussion.  Now I know people say this in jest.  I was annoyed but wasn't going to respond or remove the post.  But he didn't stop there.  He went on to say things like he looked forward to the day when the minorities (note the plural) were all wiped out and the European descended people could rejoice over their annihilation.  And there he stepped so far beyond my line for tolerance, I deleted all of his hate speech.  I looked for a way to report him but couldn't find one.  I unfriended him.

On the discussion, I stated I wanted open discussion and wanted the debate but would not tolerate the hate he spewed.  He then messaged me, called me a stupid cunt and told me I should go kill myself.

I deleted his message.  Everyone has a right to free speech (though there are definitely limits on this) however, everyone also has the right to not hear the garbage this person was spewing.  I chose not to hear him, not to give him power over me with his hate and intolerance.  I chose to ignore his idiocy and not engage with him because there is no reasoning with an insane person.

By beliefs are simple.  If we know the individual - regardless of race, sexual preference, religion or any other stupid way you want to classify a person - if we KNOW - trully know an individual you will find the core beliefs are going to be close.  In general (yes, I'm aware we should avoid generalities) people want to have a good life, safe place to live, freedom to live their life their way, safety for their children or the children in their lives, they want love.

If we get to know the individual and look past those classifications, if we step away from generalities, we're going to find someone similar to us in a lot of ways.  If we find those similarities, we can then accept the differences between us.  Not just accept but embrace them.  If we were all the same, believed all the same, looked all the same, felt all the same it would be boring and tedious.  We are enough alike to connect and enough different to enjoy those differences.

As for the male who spewed his hate, if he thinks he hurt me, he didn't.  In truth, he pissed me off.  I wanted to reach through my phone and give him a piece of my mind for his small minded idiocy.  Words like he said, his truth - fine - but I don't have to accept or agree with them.  I don't have to allow him to spew his hate on my feed or in my messages.  In fact, his words are like he yelled fire in a crowded room - not acceptable and I think (though I'm not a lawyer) able to be prosecuted for spewing them.  I'm fairly certain I saw a news story where a woman was being prosecuted for telling her boyfriend to kill himself - and he did.

If you don't like what I've got on my feed - flip by it.  There will be something shallow or ridiculous in the next post.  Move on and get the hell over it.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Is Showering Really Necessary?

It's pay week so the normal chores have to get done.  Bills are paid.  Grocery list needs to be made.  I've got to go through Ibotta and Checkout 51 to see if we can get any rebates.  We need to make up a menu for the next two weeks.  I need to clip coupons.

Fortunately, I have  more time to do these tasks since I'm off this week.  Today I'm slow getting up.  I woke up sleepy despite going to bed early last night.  My plan for the day - pay bills (done), take a shower (I guess), check diggers hotline to see how far in advance we have to schedule, work on edits for Wayfarer Conviction, read the rest of the Wayfarer series, and remember to have meals.

Yesterday I got to tell my daughter I was at 90% for reading a book and she needed to go away while I finished.  She's usually the one telling me this - but she reads a kagillion books in a year.

My vacation is going well.  I've crossed off a number of things on my todo list and I'm still working on several of them.  Progress is good.  I've also had down time to veg.  I've worked on the business side of my writing / publishing stuff.  I've finished writing a novel and am shifting to the editing phase.

Next I want to do some crocheting.  I'm trying to decide if I will take a day to binge watch a series or movies while I crochet or if I'll do it during the evening.  I'll have to see how things go.  (This is more of my zen approach - sort of).

The hardest part for me during my vacation?  Remembering to shower and eat.  I get involved and forget to do both.  I've listened to a lot of music and read several books while I've been off - a few not the Wayfarer series.  It all goes to me taking time to take care of me and do the things I LOVE to do.

One downside to cleaning and organizing my craft room - I want to crochet and create.  I can feel that edging into my brain for let's do this now.  We were putting away some amazing yarn and I wanted to get my hands on it and make good stuff with it.  I can feel the switch from writing to crocheting coming.  However, I have a lot of editing to get done first.  Right now, characters are pushing on me more than the desire to crochet.  I'm going with the flow of things for now.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Mid Week of Vacation

Monday was all about finishing writing Wayfarer 16.  Tuesday was all about organizing stuff.  Today is all about getting book work done.

Yesterday with help from two people, I got my craft room looking like a craft room rather than a storage locker.  I can find things and get to them more easily than before.  Things are labeled and stored appropriately.  I put several boxes of things out for our sale.  I weeded out some yarns (they went into my remnants crock).

Today I made some calls, paid some bills, and worked on the computer.  I updated my spreadsheets.  It doesn't sound like a lot but it's time consuming.  I got my sales spreadsheet caught up with the change in the month.  I have to look at the vendors I sell through and see what sales were.  Depending on the vendor depends on the ease of doing this.

When I'm done on the computer, I think I'm going back to reading.  I started the Wayfarer series and am working my way through them so as I edit, I can make sure the flow is right and refresh my memory on characters, story lines and such.

Many things have gotten checked off my todo list and I'm happy with the progress.  I've gotten covers made for some of my novels and I'm working on editing.  Fingers crossed I'll be able to get Wayfarer Convictions out this week.  Then I start the process all over for the next one.

I have all these ideas floating around in my head for crocheting.  I'm hoping to get to some of them this week.  I'll see how my time goes.  Tomorrow is pay day for me, so more bill paying and computer work but hopefully not as long as today.

I'm taking it one day at a time.  The progress made yesterday is good, though it did clutter up parts of my house as we shifted.  Now we have to make harder decisions about things.

Monday, July 31, 2017

A Nap or ???

Busy weekend means a lot got done but also a lot of aching people in my house.  Ken and Vicki worked on a whole bunch of things while I took care of a bunch of computer stuff.

Ken replaced the small step off our deck with a wider and longer step.  It looks lovely and will be easier once he gets a railing up.  Vicki liked it a lot.

Vicki got part of her living room painted and with Ken got shelves assembled.  Of course she loaded them up with books.

I worked on Wayfarer 16.  This morning when I had time alone in the house it took me four hours to finish it.  I like how this book turned out.  I'm not sure on the ending - but I never am.

I'm showered and dressed - odd for a vacation day but I am.  Next I'm going to go take a nap.  Or maybe I'll read Wild Magic since I think I want to work on Wild Magic 2 next.  Or maybe I'll take a break from it all and watch a movie while I crochet.  So many options.  Nap is sounding good especially since I had a weird night sleep.

Tomorrow I have someone coming to help me with the organization I want to do.  Hopefully we get a lot done but we will see.  I'm looking forward to seeing her.

The rest of this week will go to editing Wayfarer 12 and getting it published.  I'm really excited to get this out there.  I've been working on covers and I need to work on back material.  It's exciting!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Response Time for Alarm Less Than 60 Seconds

My middle daughter who works in a prison as a librarian sent this text to the family texts.  I read this twice before it hit me.  Now obviously she sent the text so she must be okay.  There are a lot of reasons why an alarm might go off in a prison - medical, fight... but this is one time my mom concern came out.

My girls are all adults.  They are capable of making their own decisions and taking care of themselves.  Generally I wait for them to tell me the good, the bad, and the bizarre.

With this text, I actually set everything aside and called my daughter.  Normally I wouldn't be able to because she's not allowed her phone in the prison but I knew she was on lunch.  I called and said, what happened and are you all right.

As I said, there are a lot of explanations for an alarm.  In this case, it was a faulty radio which kept sending out an alert of an emergency for the officer in the library.

The good news - no injuries or drama.  Of course I gave her crap because she texted a deliberately provocative message, meant to make me go - what the F**K.  This is the warped sense of humor my family has.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Pre-Vacation Cranky

Prevacation cranky has come over me.  Next week I'm off my day job and will be able to work on anything I want to.  If you've read my blog - you know I have a to do list.  Counting the weekends, I'm going to have nine days off!  I cannot wait.

I have writing and publishing goals.  I have household goals.  I have crochet goals.  Are there more goals than I can accomplish in nine days?  Probably, most definitely.

Writing has been stampeding me.  I've written four novels with a fifth nearly done.  I've submitted a bunch of my novels for contests.  I've submitted a story for a book.  I had a pattern accepted in a magazine, sent it off for photographing and got it back.  I sold it to a friend who liked it.  I've been editing where I can.  It's been crazy busy.

During my lunch hour and when I watch training at work, I pick up my crocheting.  I've made pot holders and coasters.  I tried a new pattern which I'm going to have to tweak because it was poorly written.  However I like the idea so I'll tweak it.  I've fulfilled one crochet order and gotten paid.

My house is a mess.  I can't seem to keep up on it.  I'll pick up as I'm able (which isn't much) but I have piles of laundry in my bathroom and lots of stuff sitting around in my living room.  It's starting to bug me so more effort.... unless I get too involved in writing my novel.

We painted boards for Vicki so Ken and her can build her bookshelves and a desk.  The shutters we wanted to replace the plastic ones on our house went on sale with a rebate.  We picked them up.  Next step is to paint them and put them up.  Hopefully sooner rather than later.

If things go well, I'll have help a couple times this next week to work on more organizing, discarding, and cleaning of my house.  If schedules don't mesh, I'll work on other things.  I know my days off are going to fly by but I can't wait to have the time to work on what I want and get stuff done and off that never ending to do list.

For next week, I've got specific days which I'm working with other people.  Other than that I'm hoping for quiet days at home so I can do what I want, when I want, and without a lot of fussing.  A lot of peace and quiet to help recharge my batteries.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

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 yesterday to give me a heads up her place of work was going to be in the news.  She was working and in the parking lot a lot of drama took place.  Apparently two people had a confrontation resulting in one of them shooting the other.

Apparently the two people were arguing over a parking spot.  My daughter said her car might be in some of the footage.  I'm glad it was her car and not her.  She lives in a large metropolitan area, crime is expected.

At work yesterday I got notified a robbery suspect was at large in the small town I work in.  This is not common.  Yes, there is crime but not generally armed robbery.  Are we safer in the small town?  I doubt it.  Shit happens when and where it happens.

Fortunately for my family, no one was involved any more than peripherally.  The robbery notice I got, I disregarded as I wasn't near the location and doubted I'd see the suspect from my building.  My daughter's incident took my breath away because there's the instinct to protect.  However, after a bit of discussion and joking about letting people have whatever parking spot they want, it had little affect on me.  We were fortunate.

The "give me what I want no matter what" attitude is beyond my comprehension.  Perhaps because I grew up on a farm where we worked hard and appreciated the benefits we managed to eke out, I find this attitude a horrible symptom in our society.  I'm not going to say it's a generation or a young person's attitude.  I certainly know older people who have this attitude.  I find it shallow and counter productive to a healthy society.

To me, it doesn't matter what your beliefs are or what you look like or your abilities.  What matters is are you a productive member of society?  Are you working to the best of your ability to take care of yourself?  If you are, we're good do what you want with your life.  If you aren't, get a clue.  You aren't some anointed God or Goddess who has power and control over lesser beings.  There are no lesser beings.  We're all interconnected and need to rely on each other to make it through.

Is a parking spot worth a man's life?  If he dies, are you willing to live with the fact you took a life?  I've got a temper and I know it's not easy but walk away.  Walk away, call the police, and don't do something you can't take back.

Friday, July 7, 2017

One Down...

This week a friend came over to spend the morning helping me get my living room cleaned and organized.  Things got shifted, cleaned and rearranged.  The living room looks wonderful!  I'm very pleased and can't thank my friend enough for helping me.

My stress level goes down every time something gets organized.  When I can move through the house and not be banging into things, I feel better and less stressed.  Now I have to work on the other rooms.

In my office I have a bookshelf which has random stuff all over it.  There's no organization and in reality, I'm not sure what the heck is on there.  In the closet, I want to make a shipping center so when I have a package to send out, I can go in there and easily find what I'm looking for.  There's three or four boxes of genealogy stuff to go through.

Genealogy always takes longer.  I started with a stack of papers less than an inch thick.  It took me two hours and I didn't get all the way through.  It's a lot of data to process, research to do and then where does it get put?  I have a file cabinet full of folders by last name.  If I have a folder, it's easy enough to file.  If I don't have a file, it gets more complicated.

Some of the work I can do on my own.  I need to start sorting through what is on the shelves and figure out what to do with it.  The closet I'm going to need help.  My biggest frustration is I used to tackle a room and get it done in a day or less.  Now with my limitations I struggle to get through a day unless I have someone else to help me.  I keep reminding myself, I can only do what I can do.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Waving the White Flag

We have a new built in dishwasher!  It's built in!!! No more clunky beast rolling back and forth from the dining room to the kitchen.

Our a/c stopped working which required a call to the repair guys.  When they repaired the a/c, they discovered our furnace was not working properly.  We needed a new one.  This is never what you want to hear.  Then they told us it was covered under warranty.  Thank goodness.  They have been out and repaired the furnace as well.

This leaves me with a few more repairs.  When they installed the dishwasher, they discovered the cabinet under the sink was going and the sink was not in good shape.  It looks like redoing my kitchen will have to come sooner than I really want.

Ken was working in the basement making sure the furnace guy could get through, when he discovered our water heater is leaking.  This means more money.

I've got a call in to a tree trimmer because we  have four trees which need to come out.  I've gotten one quote, but I want at least one more.

All of these household expenses on top of the medical expenses is making 2017 a difficult year.  I like the new dishwasher and I'm happy my a/c is working and our furnace won't kill us but I'm waving the white flag.

All I can do is pay my bills, start buying supplies for the kitchen redo and hope things last until I can get the work done.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Are We Caught Up?

We've been so busy.  A few projects have gotten done around the house.  Ken and Vicki painted the garage door and our front door.  They are now a lovely purple.  I LOVE how they turned out.  We still have to do the back door but of course we ran out of time.

We also got our new appliances delivered.  Yes, we know stainless is in but we prefer the black and I think they look great in our kitchen with the yellow walls.  The dishwasher still needs to be installed but that will be next month!  I cannot wait!!!

I'm still recovering from my surgery.  I still get tired too easily but it's getting better.  I didn't have a lot of pain but every now and again, I'll touch my nose and it will twinge.  It's not really a hurt but more a sensitivity to being touched.

This last weekend we accomplished nothing other than to go to the ALA (library) conference with Vicki.  She got to talk to a lot of vendors, librarians.  We got a massive number of books for her job.  Ken and I got a large number as well.  On top of the lovely books, I spoke to some amazing people.  One was a children's book publisher who expressed an interest in my children's book (once I get it completed).  I have her card and hopefully I can make a connection.  I also spoke to and gave a card to a reviewer.  Interestingly, I stopped to speak to a vendor and we got to chatting.  He asked what I do - i.e. why I am at this conference.  I had on my tag I was an author.  He asked about what I write and took my card.  Now we will see if he purchases.  I realized I need to get more general cards - something which promotes my writing, editing, and publishing.

I have two days off now.  I'm in need of them.  The conference was fun but exhausting.  I've been spending my nights working on crochet things - currently I'm crocheting around all the fleece I have to make it into different things.  I have several I'm making up for the rummage sale.  I also got another set of potholders done.

I'm working on reading a book for review.  I'm not sure how I feel about it yet.  I've decided I'm going to take a book to work and read during my lunch hours.  My to read list has gotten excessive and I miss reading.

I got my purse sent off to the publisher.  I'm excited to see it in the magazine.  I hope they like it.  I know I do.  It will be wonderful to get another publishing credit under my belt.  This weekend I'm hoping we can get through some of our to do lists.  All three of us have this long long list of things to get done.  We're making progress but our weekends are so busy.

I've been experiencing some serious crankiness over not physically being able to get things done.  I know what needs to get done, but I can't physically do it myself and the other people in my house are working on other things.  It's making anxious because there are aspects of the tasks I can do - i.e. sit and sort through things but when I physically try to shift things, or work on it, I can't.  My legs hurt, my joints hurt. It is frustrating me I can't get more done.  I was getting cranky at those in my house - even though it isn't their fault - but now I'm recognizing what I'm doing, I'm attempting to do what I can.  I've started a list and I'm getting someone in to help me do the things which are top of my priority list.  The other people in my house all have their own lists which are as important as my list.  I keep reminding myself in the end we'll have a more organized space.

Today I'm working on some computer stuff where I need to be at my computer but then I'm going to go write.  I've already updated my budget, sales for the last two months and other reports I do to keep track of my writing stuff.

I need to write my pagan blog and work on my web page.  Once I'm done with these tasks (and hopefully in the process I don't find more tasks) I am hoping to go write.  I need to be off my legs and give them a chance to rest.  I'm either going to write or I'll watch some tv and crochet - with the dozens of projects I have going it won't be hard to pick one or ten to work on.

The plan for the today and tomorrow - rest and recover from the last three days.  My legs are swollen and painful which is what happens when I spend too much time doing and not resting.  It will pass and in the meantime I'll be busy doing things I'm able to do.  The more I accomplish the less stressed I am about the things I can't accomplish.

I would think things would slow down a bit but they aren't.  Our a/c was giving us grief so we had the HVAC people come look at it.  In the process they discovered our furnace was broken to the point where it is dangerous to turn it on.  Anyone who knows me knows I can run my a/c or furnace any time depending on my temperature.  Our furnace had been red tagged - meaning we cannot use it at all.  The HVAC guy turned off the gas so it doesn't even turn on accidently.  In all this drama, I'm starting to have a panic attack about the costs of the work.  To fix the a/c it cost us nearly $200.  When he told us about the furnace, it's only seven years old, I started to freak out.  However, it's under warrantee so no cost to us (thankfully).  But it still needs to get fixed.  They are coming in on July 5 to fix it.  Since I had to take off, I asked someone to come over on that day to help me with a few projects.  The guy who is installing our dishwasher is coming on July 8.  We have a ton of stuff to get done between now and then.

I'm hoping for a cooler weekend so I can get out in the garage and sort through some things which we have to decide if we want to keep or get rid of.  I think Vicki has stuff she needs to sort out there as well so hopefully we can get it done in a couple of hours.  Then I'll move on to other projects.  There are so many right now, the problem will be more in deciding which one than to find a project.

It is the Fourth of July weekend so I think Vicki has plans but I doubt Ken and I will do much more than hang out at home.  If I can get the sorting done in the garage, I will likely need to sit with my feet up.  This means crochet or writing time depending on who is around and what's going on in the house.  Either way at least I'll be productive.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Surgery and Other Updates

Last Wednesday I had sinus surgery.  It was a day surgery where they cleaned out my sinuses, straightened a deviated septum, narrowed some bone in my nose to alleviate some of the allergic reactions I have, and removed a bone spur.

Each hospital personnel who entered my room for the first time commented on my list of things I'm allergic to.  It doesn't build confidence when the anesthesiologist asks what does work for me.  Shouldn't he know options?

Fortunately, everything went smoothly.  The surgery was successful and I was home and tucked into my recliner before too long.  Thursday and Friday were uncomfortable but Vicki was around to bug me and make me drink but let me sleep.  I accomplished almost nothing for those three days.

Monday I had the stents taken out.  I was told by someone it was extremely painful so I was a little apprehensive.  I was pleasantly surprised when it was nothing more than slightly (very slightly) uncomfortable.

I left the doctor's office being able to breath which was very nice.  I came home and wrote.  My afternoon was spent at my computer working on the next Wayfarer novel.  Tuesday I was supposed to meet up with my niece but she couldn't meet so I slept late, got up and dressed and sat down to the computer again.  I spent four hours working on the Wayfarer novel. I'm two or three scenes from being done, drawing the final plot lines together, making them solidify into a really good (I hope) conclusion for this group of plot lines.

Wednesday I came back to work.  I expected to be over tired and grumpy by the end of the day.  I certainly didn't want to fall back into the work day routine but it was nice to see my faculty and student worker.  It was good to get out of the house and my head.

I've been working on my basket patterns.  I wrote them more than a year ago and never got around to publishing them.  I was less than happy with the pictures I had.  While I was off, I went through the patterns, edited them (thankfully) and I'm down to half a one left.  Once I get the last one done tonight, I'll work on pictures - hopefully better than the last one.  I'll do a few group pictures and individual ones.  I think the baskets will be a pamphlet, though I do have a couple places I may want to submit them to in an attempt to get them published.

Once the baskets are done, I have a bunch of fleece I want to get made up.  A few pieces I'll be keeping but most I'll be setting aside for the sale we're having next month.  Once I'm through those pieces, I'm going to look at the themes for the crochet magazines and see if there's anything which inspires me.  

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Comedy of Errors

Last night I decided I was going to write.  Several people have been bugging me for the next installment in the Wayfarer series and I've been working on the novel but it isn't flowing easily.  This  happens sometimes.  My normal response is to wait it out because when it isn't flowing, I need to go with the flow.

I opened my laptop which I use in the living room.  It's a lightweight both in programming and in physical being.  It took forever.  I figured it might as I hadn't turned it on recently.  I played on my phone and did other things while I waited for it to grind through all the things it needed to do.  Updates, loading, opening, and all of that took at least half an hour.

My sister started a class and had a paper due yesterday.  She wanted me to edit it for her.  I told her to call me because I was writing.  If you don't know a writer, let me explain.  When I'm writing, I don't pay attention to anything.  I will forget to shower, eat, dress, answer my phone.  About the only thing which gets through to me (in a good writing session) is my phone ringing because it isn't just a noise.  Fortunately, my sister gets this.

When she got her paper done, she called me.  I said no prob, I'll switch over.  I did.  I opened my email and tried to download her paper.  My computer would not do it.  I've done a number of editing tasks on this computer including downloading papers from my email before.  Yet this time, I could not get the paper to open.

After a frustrating fifteen minutes, I shut everything down on that laptop and moved to my office.  Now I don't like to sit at my desk at night because my legs hurt when I sit at the computer too long.  However, she needed this paper edited.

Fortunately, I was able to download and edit the paper for her and send it back.  I went back to my recliner and tried my computer again.  As long as I was only working in Word and Excel it seemed to be fine.

I kept scrolling through this section trying to figure out how to make the chapter shorter.  I couldn't.  It frustrates me because I don't like such long chapters.  After a frustrating time skimming through, I decided I'd work on writing.  I got a small amount of writing done but suddenly I was so tired, I couldn't keep my eyes open.  Opting to be responsible, I shut down (I'm hoping the computer will be better tonight when I open it) and prep for bed.

By the time I got ready for bed, I was awake.  This happens to me a lot.  I try to do a lot of my prep stuff early so when I get tired, I can just go to bed.  Not last night.  I ended up playing on my phone for an hour before I got sleepy again.  It wasn't a bad night but it wasn't stellar either.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Three Day Weekend Equals Three Visits to a Craft Store

This past weekend was busy.  It seemed like there was no time to do anything.  I hoped for more progress than I got on my list but I don't know when we could have done more.

Saturday I paid bills, worked on budget and we went to my sister-in-laws wedding.  Sunday we went to several stores.  The first was Home Depot and after that I sat in the car while Vicki and Ken went into the stores.  Vicki and I did go to Joann's.  There were Ibottas and coupons.  I got a lot of money back for buying yarn I was going to buy anyways and 10% back.  Additionally I had a coupon for 20% off my whole order.  On Sunday, I had two coupons for 60% off any regular priced item.  I got two lengths of luxe fleece.  This is super soft fleece which is normally $15 - $20 per yard.  I only buy it when I have big coupons or it is on steep discount.  I also found lace I liked for the front window.  Ken had put up an dark blue ugly curtain I didn't like on our front door.  I looked through the lace.  There was this gorgeous feeling white which I loved the feel of but didn't really suit the room.  Vicki picked out a color I liked but I didn't think Ken would.  I'm not sure he likes it but I do.

Monday Vicki and Ken went back to Home Depot to get a range hood.  Ours has been getting louder and louder as well as working less.  They picked up one.  Ken came home and installed it.  We discovered more strange things about how they did things in our house.  The range hood is on the same breaker as our garage.  Vicki and I went back to Joann's because when we were there on Sunday we picked up some buttons on clearance.  These are the fancy buttons which normally cost anywhere from $1 - $5 each but on clearance for 50 cents.  When we were there on Saturday the buttons had all sorts of prices on them but they rang up as 50 cents.  So Sunday we went back specifically for buttons.  Vicki and I picked over what they had and then found a table to lay them all out at.  We weeded through and narrowed it down.  I still spent over $20 on buttons.  But I got a great deal on them.  Plus I got the 10% back on Ibotta.

All three days we went to Joann's and I used coupons to save big, bought stuff on clearance, or used Ibotta to get rebates.  I saved over $16 in rebates from Ibotta but in savings from the coupons and in store sales I saved over $85.  I saved almost as much as I spent so really good deals.

As for what did get accomplished, I got bills paid.  That was on my list.  Ken finished the closet space in the family room.  Next step is for Vicki and I to figure out what we want out there.  I did work on crocheting all weekend.  I got six sets of hand towels / dish towels done.  I also prepped five fleece blankets for crocheting.  I crocheted the edging for two of them.  Other items I worked on, I got four pairs of earrings and four scrubbies made.  I organized all the stuff which had been accumulating on my couch.  I'm going to keep working on dish towels and hand towels.  I have three skeins of scrubbie material so I'm going to keep making them up.  All the excess crocheted items are going on the rummage and craft sale we're going to have.

I got stuff done.  I shouldn't feel bad I didn't get stuff done.  I just didn't get the stuff done I planned to get done.  In the meanwhile, I'm going to keep crocheting and adding to my stockpile for the sale.  I have excess fleece in the craft room which I plan to make up into blankets for the sale.  In my head I have a list of things I want to make for the sale.  I'll see how far I get in making the stuff.  I'm trying to only use the yarn I have on hand.  I'm trying to use up my stash of yarns and reduce the amount of stuff I have in my craft room.

Ultimately a productive weekend but not productive for my list.  Part of me says to let go of the damn list but another part of me knows I'll forget things if I don't keep my list.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Fun Versus Work

I have the feeling I'm going to be struggling with balancing out the need to have down time while I also have a long long list of things to get done.

Things I want to get done include:

  • going through the garage and organizing all the things out there including bringing in the last of Vicki's belongings 
  • going through the back porch and organizing all the things we are storing there for the sale
  • cleaning and organizing the craft room
  • finish setting up the closet type space in the family room so the coats, scarves, etc aren't tossed on the couch
  • finish cleaning the office
  • publishing and writing tasks
  • cleaning the basement (i.e. arguing with my husband about not keeping everything)
  • getting ready for the rummage sale I want to have 
Now there is enough here to keep us busy for several weekends.  I'm aware of this but for some reason, I want to get all this stuff done so we should work on it all weekend.  Right?  Nope.  I know perfectly well I'll be lucky to finish one of these tasks.  

It may be a three day weekend but it's also a pay weekend which means there are all the errands which go along with getting paid.  I have stuff to go to the post office.  Grocery shopping and other errands need to be run.  We have a family wedding to attend.  Preparations have to be done for next week and all of us going to work.  

On the fun side, I'd love to go to a movie or spend a day crocheting and watching movies (or both).  I'm well aware all three of us work hard during the week and need to have some down time on the weekends to recharge our batteries.  

Realistically, I'm hoping to accomplish one or two things on my list.  With the extra day, we might be able to accomplish something in addition to the normal weekend tasks like laundry, grocery shopping, and errands.  I'm crossing my fingers and trying to not be cranky about it.  

Monday, May 22, 2017


Where did the weekend go?  Saturday I was up and dressed but didn't do a lot.  I crocheted.  I'm working on a kitchen set for someone.  Friday night I worked on dishcloths - lots of them.  Saturday I worked on pot holders.  Sunday I worked on a lot of different things.

It seems like my weekend flew by but I didn't get a lot of stuff done.  Sunday I helped Vicki in the kitchen with baking, prepping for the week and a few other things.

We're having a rummage sale next month.  I've been working on crochet items to sell during the rummage sale.  I've got a few dish cloths and I had some terry cloth.  Sunday I worked on cutting it up and prepping it so I could crochet around the material.

Once I'm done with the kitchen set I'm working on, I'll work on the dish towels and hand towels.  I think I might have some fleece in the craft room which isn't claimed.  If I do and I have time, I'd like to make up those so I could try selling them as well.

My goal for the rummage sale - make enough to get our dishwasher installed.  We're going to go look at the dishwasher this next weekend - during all the sales.  The hope is we will have a built in dishwasher by the end of June or mid July.

From there, we will tackle other issues in the house.  In the meanwhile, I'm crocheting a lot and hoping the items will sell.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Publishing Crochet Patterns

My day yesterday did not go as planned.  This is not a surprise to me - rarely do my days go as planned.  But last night I was kicking myself for taking a nap instead of getting things done.  Vicki went to bed early and I opted to work on the computer.

This meant the publishing I was going to do in the morning got done last night instead.  I have eight new crochet patterns out.  There are links to them on my website.  They are all on the Crochet Patterns page.

My niece asked me for headbands so I created new ones for her.  In doing so, I took pictures and wrote the patterns.  This means there's a new Half Dozen Thread Headbands available.  She also wanted a bandana which lead to me creating Bandana X.

I had two student workers graduating - one wanted an afghan and one wanted scarves.  The blanket is called Framed Tipped Lattice and the scarves are Climbing Vine, Lattice, Shades of Blue, and Sparkling Squiggle.  I finished an experiment for my daughter which is really a mini scarf - Puff Chain Scarf.

I've got a couple more in the works but they aren't quite ready to be published.  The patterns are done, I need to work on the components.

Today, I'm working on publishing stuff until my niece gets here, then I'll be working on cleaning and organizing my office and hopefully tackling some of the dining room.  It depends on how long stuff takes us.  I'm hoping we can get a long list of things done but I know my plans never work out.  I'm going to go with the flow.  Anything finished is an improvement.  If it reduces the chaos we're living in right now, that's all that matters.  I have two more places to market my stuff.  Then I'll be getting off the computer and start on the other stuff - I hope.

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...