Thursday, January 15, 2015

Today's Update - 15 Jan 2015

Sorry for missing yesterday but I was exhausted.  Today hasn't been much better but I did manage to get a little bit written.  The day started off fine but as the damp cold and rain settled in all I wanted to do was crawl into a corner somewhere and sleep.  Didn't get to.  Wanted to.  The war in my brain pretty much made sure that I've got mush floating around up in my skull.  Ugh.

Of course I woke up for a bit when Darth Molly and Pippin the Nightmare Cat accidentally on purpose sent me tip over teakettle into the pool.  My ears are still draining ... and I think there is some brain coming out with the water.  Molly just doesn't seem to get the concept that Pippin is not a dog and has no interest in being the friend of a dog.  He tolerates the dog - most of the time.  He'll even allow the dog to sleep on the same bed or other space as he.  But most definitely draws the line at sharing his food.  And for some reason the dog seems to think that cat food is her dessert.  The problem is that when Molly eats Pippin's food she gets hyper.  So you can guess what happened.  The dog chased the cat. The cat ran to me and then between my legs trying to avoid becoming the dog's play toy.  The dog tried to run through my legs after the cat but I was already dancing the merengue trying to avoid stepping on the cat's fluffy tail and instead stepped on the dog's head who then yelped and popped up and in the process knocked one leg out from under me.  My daughter said it looked like some kind of weird, spastic ballet because when one leg flew in one direction I pirouetted in the other direction ... that just happened to be at the edge of the pool and ... SPLASH!!

Of course the girls were horrified and ran to help me while the eleven year old couldn't stop howling in glee that mom fell in the pool.  I wanted to ring his tail as much, if not more, than I wanted to ring the tails of the two so-called pets we have.  Argh.  But of course eleven year old boys have always found the strangest and most inconvenient things funny since the beginning of time and that will continue to be true until the end of time.  Oh well.  I dried.  But now I'm pretty much ensconced at my desk, with a heater at my feet, a cup of chamomile tea on a coaster nearby, and a quilt draped across my shoulders.  I'm cozy but tired.

I'm going to take advantage of another slow writing day and rest up and finish the re-read on Larkspur in Eden and get going on the new chapters for it tomorrow.  I also have a lot of household chores to work on but the girls are going to give me a hand with those.  Next week the plan is to go to our "retirement home" and mark some more trees that need to come out for some projects we want to get busy with this summer.  The trees that will come out are going to get cut into lengths and set to cure for next year's fireplace fuel.

Today's story additions ...

Zombies Aren't Real ... Are They?!

A Bunch of Wild Thyme

I know it isn't much but it's all I had in me today.  As for rereading Larkspur in Eden I ran across some interesting research I did a couple of years back on wilderness medicine.  I thought you would enjoy this vid and it would remind you of that particular part of the story.

Using balsam fir resin during burn treatment

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Today's Update - 13 Jan 2015

Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone and another one gone
Another one bites the dust, eh
Hey, I'm gonna get you too
Another one bites the dust
- Freddie Mercury

OK, maybe that was a little corny but I gotta tell you, the satisfaction of completing another story and getting it off my to do list is palpable.  Sure I'm tired, but I also feel good.  I'd spent so much time frustratingly having to rewrite Linderhall Legacy because of an editing program snafu last year that I was beginning to wonder if I was losing the motivation to finish it.  And then finding the continuity problem just as I was putting the final touches on what I thought to be the final rewrite was an agony.  But all's well that ends well.
Now enough of the complaining and on to the next one.  LOL.
The plan is to finish Larkspur in Eden by the end of the month.  I repeat, that's the plan.  But what man proposes, God disposes.  So with a day to rest the brain pan, I will at least get started on the finishing.  <grin>

I did manage get a few new pieces for the following stories:

Up On Hartford Ridge

Zombies Aren't Real ... Are They?!

A Bunch of Wild Thyme

Sorry there isn't more but that's all I had the brain power for today.  For the record there are currently eight stories that have been completed:

  • A Will to Survive
  • Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men
  • Fel By The Wayside
  • Forsaken Harvest
  • Linderhall Legacy
  • Over The Mountains and Through the Fire
  • Rain, Rain, Rain
  • This Is Me Surviving

The links to all of these can be found in the side bar of this page.  Just turn your eyes a little to the right and you'll see the list of my stories that are currently on BlogSpot. 

And before it looks like I've gone and forgotten, I want to thank everyone that has been leaving comments here and at the various stories.  I appreciate the feedback and the time it took you to give it.  I know that is insufficient but words really do fail me when it comes to telling you how much your time in reading and responding to the stories matters to me.  Thank you.

Today's vid is of what I fed my family tonight.  I make a great green broth or garlic broth that I feed the fam during times that there is some icky virus or other bug going around, or those times when our energy levels are sinking.  Looooove garlic.  So does everyone else around here. The problem is, feeding the fam the same thing day in and day out makes the fam less than enthusiastic.  So my strategy is to feed them up with garlic but to not use the same recipe all the time.  Tonight it was a Spanish Garlic Soup.  Now in this version of garlic soup they use a lot of bread.  I know some of you are on low-carb and no-carb diets or you have celiac and here is a possible alternative.  I've made this recipe with less bread certainly but I've also made it with thinly sliced tortillas (corn or flour) acting like noodles.  You also don't need to have the poached egg on top, it's just traditional and adds protein. Either way the broth is just really yummy so hope you enjoy!


Monday, January 12, 2015

Today's Update - 12 Jan 2015

Just a quick note as I'm running around my hamster wheel as fast as I can to meet the commitment I made on Linderhall Legacy.  Family obligations took more of my time over the weekend than I expected is why but that's neither here nor there.  Doggone it I am going to finish this story before my head hits the pillow.

I've posted two new chapters so far and hope to get the last few finished before midnight.  I'm just having to clear up a continuity issue without ruining anything that has already been published.

Linderhall Legacy

So keep checking and hopefully you'll see "The End" sooner rather than later.


ETA:  FINISHED!!!!!!!  Yahooooooooooo!!!!!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Today's Update - 9 Jan 2015

Well, I can see it ... the light at the end of the tunnel.  Linderhall Legacy should be completely finished this weekend, Monday at the latest if life intervenes.  From there I intend to finish Larkspur in Eden and that will end the trilogy that also includes the completed story Fel By The Wayside.  From there I'm not quite sure which story I will focus the most on finishing, depends on my state of mind after finishing Larkspur

After all, there are so many to choose from aren't there?  LOL.  I never meant to have so many stories going at the same time.  I write on many of them in fits and starts as my imagination takes me ... or depending upon my mood.  Sometimes one character bangs around inside my head wanting to play, sometime another.  And sometimes they'll sit off in the corner pouting, not letting me get a good hold on them at all and driving me to frustration.

And then there is the necessity of living real life.  Friday is my primary cleaning day and I had a lot of it to do after yesterday's fiasco with the blocked chimney.  I didn't realize how totally "ewwww" the house smelled until I woke up this morning.  It permeated everything, like we'd had a grease fire or run the BBQ grill indoors.  Just nasty.  A morning of dusting, mopping, washing, and scrubbing took care of most of it but the linens that couldn't simply be taken off and washed still needed something.  I spritzed everything with a freshener made from water and baking soda but to make doubly sure I got everything, I took some lilac scented wax and used a coffee cup warmer to melt it and scent the air.

Oh boy, did I ever scent it.  Tooooo much lilac.  Now the house smells like my grandmother's boudoir.  Or in the words of my twenty-two year old son, "Who died and why didn't you tell me we were going to have a funeral in the house?"

Cute.  Don't you just love it when they become adults and suddenly think they've figured out the adult humor thing?  Of course it is a like father, like son issue and they both heehawed at my expense for a bit before agreeing to shut up and help me open the windows and doors and take down the shades so they could be taken outside and sprayed clean with the hose.  I love them but honestly ... men.  It has got to be genetic.

Luckily for me there is no way that I'll create a disaster tomorrow (knock on wood).  I'm taking the youngest to a cub scout event in Brooksville.  Some kind of regatta thing where they build small boats and float them down sections of gutter, racing their opponents until the final elimination.  Hubby would normally take him but has several meetings tomorrow that he couldn't reschedule.  I think I'll find a nice foresty corner and spend the day writing and avoid getting trampled by over excited boys of all ages.

Here's today's updates:

The Linderhall Legacy

A Bunch of Wild Thyme

Zombies Aren't Real ... Are They?!

Up On Hartford Ridge

Today's videos are on how to make your own homemade air fresheners.  Enjoy!

(homemade "Febreeze")
(homemade gel air freshener)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Today's Update - 8 Jan 2015

This update is turning out to be a midnight one for me.  Took me longer to get all four pieces edited for publication than I had expected.  Probably still some bloopers in there so be prepared.  LOL.

What a mess I've had to deal with today.  The electric company had to come into our yard area and trim the trees away from the lines.  All thanks to our neighbor who really didn't want to have his yard messed up and who did want to have to pay a tree service.  Instead they put some pretty nasty ruts along our fence line when they said they weren't going to.  So they spent longer repairing the ruts and tamping things back in place, repairing a conduit box they ran over and shattered with their small cherry-picker, and fixing a spigot they dropped a heavy limb on, than they did actually cutting the limbs.  All because we've got a neighbor that thinks he's speshul. 

Not that he isn't sometimes a nice guy.  He's the one that gave me a few of the pineapple starts I've been lusting after since he started growing them a couple of years back.  And he can be helpful too.  Just people sometimes have their thangs and his are all environmental.  Hubby and I have learned to work around him and frankly it hasn't hurt my feelings any that I don't have to deal with chemical overspray onto my organic edible landscaping.  Still, there are just those days when him and people that are like him make me grind the enamel off my teeth.  Sounds petty but if you'd been there you'd know what I mean. 

Then there is the fact that something fell down inside our chimney and when I lit a fire in the fireplace this morning most of the smoke backed up into the house setting off all the fire alarms and stinking everything up.  Cold as heck outside first thing in the morning and I had to have the house wide open to air things out.  I managed to dig out whatever it was - looked like the wind had dumped a squirrel nest  down it with a lucky bank shot - so the chimney is now clear.  But it took me two hours to get all the soot out of my hair because I pulled a brainless wonder and forgot to cover it up with a bandana or shower cap.  Smart enough to wear goggles but that was about it.  My hair is long enough for me to sit on it though I keep it twisted up but you can imagine just how much fun I was having ... on top of it with cold water because four kids and a husband decided they all wanted hot showers first thing to start their day off.  I swear if it is the last thing I do I'm going to talk hubby around to a 100-gallon water heater.  We have an older model 80 gallon tank right now with it is hooked to a heat pump and recirculator on a timer that saves us a ton of money.  And 20 gallons doesn't seem like a lot but trust me, when you are the one that most often has to deal with a cold shower those 20 gallons sound like paradise.

Here's today's updates:

The Linderhall Legacy

A Bunch of Wild Thyme

Zombies Aren't Real ... Are They?!

Up On Hartford Ridge

Today's vid is because we were gifted with a bag of suede work boots ... but the boots were in pretty sad shape as far as being cleaned.  I wanted to re-home some of them so I scrounged around looking for a decent way to clean them up without having to go to the expense of taking them to a cobbler.  Youtube is your friend and I figure some of you might find this informative and interesting.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Today's Update - 7 Jan 2015

Such horrible things going on in the world today.  Everywhere you turn it is something ... terrorism, war, political strife, death, loss, illness ... makes you wonder what lessons we are supposed to learn from such things.  How do we find the light in so much darkness?  I don't wish to take away from the very real compassion we should have for others but for me the lesson in all of that is once again the realization that none of us are promised tomorrow, and that we should enjoy what there is of today to the best of our ability.  I don't mean a self-centered enjoyment but one that is enlightened so that we try and share what light we find with others; and when we can't find light we should do what we can to make it.

After Christmas our family always goes through all the things we have to make sure that nothing is just sitting there and wasting.  I gave my parents a good bit of canned preps to help them through this time of year that is always a struggle for them.  I'll build our preps back up but sharing with family is one of the reasons I have such a large pantry to begin with. It isn't much in the scheme of things but I like to think that I'm trying to give back the way they taught me to and to return some of the love they've always given me my whole life.  My parents aren't hard up compared to some but they do live on a fairly fixed income.  Further, I know my mother can take what she has and make it go a far piece for her and Dad.

My daughters still living at home went through their clothes and accessories and pulled together things to give to a program run through our church for all of the foster girls in our county.  The girls get to come once a month and get tickets that they can trade in like coupons for an entire outfit from underwear to outfit to jewelry to shoes and a handbag.  During the Spring they even have a selection of prom and homecoming dresses. 

My eleven year old went through his clothes as well and all of those that he'd outgrown - and there were far more than I expected - were folded and donated to another children's program.  I need to go through my own clothes and hubby and my older son said they too will be donating things in the near future.  That is on top of the abandoned furniture, clothes, toys, and other stuff we had from several move outs from our rental properties at the end of the year.  (Don't ask, you'd be amazed at what people are willing to walk away from and then complain they have nothing in this world, over and over and over again.)

I've also been reorganizing in areas that have gotten cluttered the last few months as the holidays pulled me in other directions.  The decorations are mostly put away ... just need to box up the lights and get them put in the loft in the barn.  Next on the list after that is reorganizing my cleaning supplies.  I was thinking of going back to making my own detergent but I'm going to put that on hold until I can get rid of all of the commercial stuff I have right now.  Just eyeing it casually it looks like I have enough to give Pinocchio's whale a bubble bath with some to spare.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a cold day for us; high of only 55.  I might actually get to use the fireplace once or twice before I close it down until next year.  It definitely needs cleaning out, that's for sure.  On a windy day there is a musty, dusty smell if you stand close to it.  And the chimney needs a cap on it before the birds move in and start nesting again.  Last year we had a couple fly into the house and wasn't that a kick for the cat and dog.

Well, enough of that and here's what you came for ... the story updates:

The Linderhall Legacy

A Bunch of Wild Thyme

Zombies Aren't Real ... Are They?!

Up On Hartford Ridge

I do have one youtube for you.  It is on using household cleaners to clean your fireplace.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Today's Update - 6 Jan 2015

Just a quick note tonight as my wifi hasn't been terribly reliable.  Got the following updated.  Hope tomorrow is more conducive to harnessing the chaos.  LOL!  Enjoy!

The Linderhall Legacy

A Bunch of Wild Thyme

Zombies Aren't Real ... Are They?!

Up On Hartford Ridge

Monday, January 5, 2015

Today's Update - 5 Jan 2015

Happy New Year!  Yes, a little late but I think finally true for me and I hope for you as well.  I know some of you are having a tough time of it based on your posts in other locations.  Please know you and your families are in my thoughts. 

At our house the flu has been swept away and only one chick still has the remnants of the sinus junk that is going around and she wouldn't have that if the infernal weather would make up its mind.  Yesterday I sat around in a tank top and shorts, temperatures in the mid-80s, drinking iced tea and sweating while I got some much needed yard work accomplished.  Late last night a short but furious - and unexpected - rainstorm drenched us and the temperature today has barely reached seventy degrees.  The mid 70s are predicted for tomorrow and then the temperature is supposed to subsequently fall once again into the low 60s for a few days and then spring back up into the 80s once again.  This is what my parents used to call pneumonia weather and with good reason.  Ugh.

Well, it at least it will let me open the house up while I do the dirty, dusty job of rearranging the attic and some shelves out in the barn while I reorganize and store the holiday decorations.  I love decorating for the holidays; it's the undecorating that is a real drag.  Right now you can barely move in my living room where I'm packing all of it away and sealing up the storage tubs with duct tape ... that's fun (not) but it keeps the dust and silverfish out.

As soon as I get the decorations put away - likely to take through this weekend to finish - I need to inventory and restock my garage pantry.  Gave my parents quite a bit to take home with them and we've used a lot of my home canned convenience foods while everyone was ill or busy beyond bearing.  I also need to restock my Vigo garbanzo bean soup mix (via Amazon since it is much cheaper than store prices) since I used most of it at Christmas rather than making the soup completely from scratch as I normally do.  I expected to have more leftover that I could use in canning projects or freeze but even though I cooked more there were fewer leftovers.  That was either a sign of a good meal or good appetites, neither of which hurts my feelings at all.  LOL.

Spent a few days at our BOL right after Christmas as well.  That was nice.  Celebrated my father's 72 birthday while we were there, set off some fireworks that were left over from last year, burned off two bonfires worth of downed tree trash, and managed to reorganize the upstairs bonus room I use as a library.  Didn't even have to go to the grocery store as we utilized what was in the BOL pantry.  Drove back right before New Years Eve to avoid the nasty traffic that is normally on the interstate and have been putting the house to rights ever since.  Today the kids started back to school ... college and homeschool ... so I've been without my helpers and my back is saying some rude things to let me know how displeased it is.  Tomorrow I'll try and work smarter keep the body parts from cussing me.

I have managed to get what I feel is a reasonable draft calendar going for the completion of some of the stories in progress.  I'm tired of the mess I've got on my hands.  You might see fewer stories being updated on any given day but the updates should be more consistent from here on out and the stories will be finalized as well.  So long as I stay on task I plan on completing a minimum of two stories this month, maybe even three.  I want to complete one or two each month for the remainder of the year.  I have other stories in the pipeline but until I get some of what is in progress wrapped up those others will simply have to stay on the hard drive.

Today's story updates are:

The Linderhall Legacy
(surprise, surprise, surprise!)

A Bunch of Wild Thyme

Zombies Aren't Real ... Are They?!

Up On Hartford Ridge

Oh, and I'm sorry about some of the slow-loading pages with too many vids on them.  I think it is a combination of pictures and vids that does it when they are too big or in HD.  I actually don't have any vids for you today.  I'm looking for some useful stuff rather than just playing around like I have for the last few weeks. 

So, with all that said, Enjoy!  And see you tomorrow .....