Friday, July 31, 2020

It Finally Happened--

I've mentioned my podcast habits multiple times...

I'm a subscriber on Patreon to one podcast in particular and one of the perks is the monthly 'subscriber suggested & voted on' topic.

For months and months and months, maybe close to a year, a The-Simpsons-related topic is put forward. The top four topics as "hearted" (voted on) by the subscribers makes it to the final vote. For months and months and months, maybe close to a year, The Simpsons topic has lost in the final vote.

Until this month. :0) The topic finally became the bride.

I won't be listening to it since I never watched The Simpsons and none of the conversation will mean anything to me, but now we (all the subscribers who couldn't care any less about the Simpsons) can be done with it once and for all.

* * * * *

I've been struggling with temptation and have been giving in way too often...from fast food to Starbucks...and I need to get back on the eating plan.

Thank goodness for bestie writer peeps who keep me accountable on a weekly basis. If I have to report back, I'm more likely to make better decisions.

So today I have to decide what's on the menu next week (chili with kale for one!) and add to the grocery list.

I recently tried a keto ice cream recipe and it was pretty darn good. Now I want to play around with some ingredients and flavors and see if I can come up with something that will thrill me almost as much as Pecan Pralines & Cream. Okay, who am I kidding? It won't take much. :0) Chocolate chocolate chip with coconut flakes was good enough.

* * * * *

All right...time to get to work.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The Battle of Pensylvania!

I watched live hockey for the first time in five months and it was glorious!!

Despite their teams (Penguins and Flyers) having one of the biggest rivalries in hockey, the players mixed it up during the playing of the national anthem in the spirit of unity and solidarity and to stand against social injustices, racism, and hate.

My favorite player--Sidney Crosby. And, no, he's not a Dallas Star...but he's the best in the world.

Sidney's teammate, Evgeni Malkin.

Sadly, my Pens lost...3-2 in overtime, however it was an exhibition game with no playoff consequences...except for maybe the mental ones from losing... :0(

Hope you're having a great week--I AM!!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Annual Writers Retreat

This past weekend I attended my annual private writers retreat at Lake Conroe. It's a private house and not a public venue, so the risk of COVID exposure is minimal, but I will be hunkering down for the next couple of weeks to make sure I don't have anything and to make sure I don't catch anything as I have my annual trek to visit my family coming about a month out. There's a new baby in the house I'm itching to get my hands on, so I have to ensure my health to ensure hers.


A good time was had by all as usual. I went in expecting to get the issues with my current work-in-progress sorted and I did. Does it still need some work? Yes, quite a bit still, but the missing pieces were found and another 5K words were added.

But I'm ready to get at the heavy-lifting called editing and work in the emotional story arcs and the internal narrative.

Lake Time is a favorite daily activity:

Hope you had a great weekend as well.

Friday, July 24, 2020


The NHL's thirty-second team finally has a name and a logo, a color scheme and uniform designs.

And I gotta say, I'm really excited about it.

Sadly they already named the arena, but if certain sectors of the fandon have their say, the Climate Pledge Arena may end up being affectionately known as the Krak House. I know it's funny on the one hand, but on the other--come on--it so is.

A lot names were bandied about by hockey writers and pod casters and I don't think most of them thought the Seattle team would end up with a such a cool name. I mean, we're talking about the NHL here. One of the oldest of the old boys clubs here and very traditional.

The leadership group for the team...well, they done good by the city and by fans of hockey.

They don't have a players yet. There will be an expansion draft next spring, I think, and they'll begin play in the 2021-2022 season.

Let's go, Kraken, let's go!!

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

You is good... You is kind... You is important.

I recently watched the movie "The Help." And wow, what a moving film.

The title of this blog post is a quote from the movie, which is based on the book of the same name, published in 2009.

The main maid character, Aibileen Clark, says the above to the children in her charge, currently a little girl about three years old whose mother spends little thought or energy on her. Aibileen has learned over the years that one of the few powers she has is to instill worth into the children she cares for and comes to love. It's heartbreaking at the end when she gets fired and the last thing she does is have this little girl repeat those words back to her, both of them in tears.

One of the minor plot devices of the movie is the notion of separate toilets for "the help." It was feared that Black people had different diseases than white people and that they'd catch stuff via the toilet seat.

But of course, the white folks entrusted the physical care and well-being of their infants and toddlers to the Black maids or the nannies... I really had to shake my head at the logic of that.

Anyway, it's a film worth watching.

Hope you're having a great week!

Monday, July 20, 2020


My October conference has been officially canceled due to COVID-19. A lot of attendees had already canceled and the organizers just didn't want to chance anyone getting sick during the five-day event, so they worked with the hotel to move the con to the following year.

Normally, the conference moves locales each year, but due to circumstances and the legalities of a contract with a hotel, it's my understanding that we'll be in St. Louis for the next two years. I could be wrong and it'll just be next year in St. Louis, but staying with the same hotel chain for the second. I don't know and I'm not worried about it at this point.

I'm bummed that I won't get to see a friend of mine that I haven't seen since my first GRL in  Denver in 2017, but on the other hand I'll no longer have the travel and hotel on the books this year and I may even show a profit!

The other bonus is that I can push the publication date of this current WIP out by a month, which I'm going to do. I've been struggling with it and the loss of that pressure to get it done will definitely help.

* * * * *

I've been wondering about a thing for a while and this weekend, I finally found out.

The thing I've been wondering is...can I fit into clothes for teenagers and little girls? I so often see so many cute things--not that I would everything, of course. But the answer is...


DD and I were in Target on Saturday and I saw these two really cure dresses and I can fit into a size 16 for girls. My height is the X factor here. Since I'm so short, nothing will be too short or too long!

Look how cute! The blue one is like a button down shirts with a skirt and the red is like a polo with a skirt.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Friday, July 17, 2020


Yesterday, I finally got back to the eye doctor-- a good eight months after I should have.

Unfortunately, I'd lost both sets of prescription glasses (close-up & distance), so I've been relying on store-bought magnifying glasses. And while they "do," I'm looking forward to being able to see well enough to cross stitch up close and personal and without wearing headgear that narrows the scope of my vision to a very small square and which usually gives me a neck ache because it's on the heavy side for head wear.

It had also gotten to the point where I wore my distance glasses to watch tv too. So the bonus here is that I'll have new glasses just in time for HOCKEY TO START BACK UP on August 1st!!!


I started up yoga again, but I switched to a different yogi. I love Adriene, but her beginners series has too much of a time range for me. I want a standard length of a workout each day, give or take five minutes. A friend recommended a different teacher and while it took a few days to get used to her method of presenting upcoming poses, the workouts are good.

I've even gotten to the point where my upper arms can support my weight all the way to the floor from plank position (or pushup position). I have never been able to do a standard pushup in my life and, while I still can't actually do a pushup, I can at least control my descent. Some day perhaps on the pushup--not that I have reason to need to do them. :0)


And Happy Friday!

It's writers group weekend, so I have hours of interaction with my writer peeps to look forward to tomorrow.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, July 13, 2020

My desire is bigger than my energy levels or my time constraints...

I've got all these things I want to do, from yard and house projects to plain old housekeeping tasks, but the heat and humidity makes it a challenge to muster up the lasting energy levels to get anything done.

Of course, housework is done inside where it's a chilly (?) 72*... But who wants to do housework? I mean, I keep up with the general, daily stuff. Dishes and sweeping and whatnot. The problem is, I need to do the major cleaning--removing the cobwebs from the corners, dusting all the knick knacks, wiping off the baseboards, and then moving furniture to do a thorough sweeping and mopping. In every room. *sigh*

Time is also a factor because, on the weekends, I also want to do other stuff like cross stitch and read. But I've also got to get the general chores like laundry, cooking, and grocery shopping done too.

I'd also like to repaint a room or too. And finish off the garage as a home gym. (Remember that project?)




Well. You get the picture.

And I still haven't finished the bird feeder bed... I was going to do it this past weekend until I looked at the weather. It hit at least 100* on Saturday and then we had no power on Sunday for seven hours.

We lost power again this morning, so no writing for two days in a row when I really need to get back on track.

But maybe the universe is trying to tell me something. I don't know.

Hope you had a lovely and cool weekend...

Friday, July 10, 2020

Well, what do you think...?

...about the new blog theme?

I'm trying to polish my image a little bit and so here we are. :0)

A few more tweaks might be needed, but we'll get there.

* * * * *

I finally finished one of the hockey samplers I'd been working on for forever and now it's finally listed on my Etsy shop, much to my pleasure. That inspired me to poke around the pattern archives and see what else I have in progress and what needs doing.

So, in my spare time, I've been working on additional hockey jerseys, mostly for teams that don't even have one listed for sale at this point. But also planning what the next project to stitch and list will be. Actually, I do have another project that's in some percentage of progress. I just need to dig it out and work on it now.

* * * * *

Fireworks season was a literal sell out across the region. And I don't ever use that word lightly, as you well know. We were the last store standing for miles and miles and had a line that wrapped around the building for hours. We had product to sell, but because we were so busy without ANY lulls--and I'm not kidding here--the best we could do was open a box of something and put the box with its side cut off on the shelf. Were we out of some stuff? Yes.

Sparklers? Gone. Roman candles? Gone. Assortment packs, from the $10 variety to the $300 variety? ALL GONE.

The season really was the perfect storm, but I think it put us on the metaphorical map. We had product all the way until the end--which has always been a point of pride for DH.

I don't know how long the wait was from the time a customer arrived until the time they left--as I said, line around the building--but surely no one will hold that against us... We couldn't have fit any more salespeople behind the counter and all I did was take people's money. Thank goodness. I'm not a fan of dealing with customers directly.

But we survived to tell the tale and earned a tidy profit to finally repair a few things around the place. :0)

* * * * *

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Take care and stay safe.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Do You Listen to Podcasts...?

You know I do. :0)

My favorite podcast, for which I will drop everything else to listen to the new episode when it drops, is...

Mostly I listen to podcasts of the hockey variety, but I've branched out of late and have found some interesting podcasts in the subject of history. I've always loved history and it was good place to start.

It actually started with a commercial for a podcast called Hope Through History, which was nothing more than a five or six episode series that offered a bit of insight and hope as we Americans faced a new large-scale crisis by looking back at large crises we've faced in the past, such as the Great Depression and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

I checked it out and found it interesting, though not all that hopeful. (But that's probably just me.)

I also listen to History This Week which is just what it sounds like--a story from some point in history of whatever week it is. I mentioned this just over a month ago, but I learned that our building codes came about as a result of the Great Molasses Flood of 1919 and that Beethoven wrote his finest piece of work, Ode to Joy, while completely deaf.

I used to get an email with the Ted Talk of the Day linked to it, but these days, I just get the podcast instead. I curate those and only listen to the ones that sound interesting.

The latest addition to my podcast play list is The Last Archive and it's current series, Who Killed Truth?, which has also been instructive.

They're good for those road trips, short or long, but also for sitting and cross stitching. That's about as multi-tasky as I can get these days.

Do you listen to podcasts? Any recommendations?

Monday, July 6, 2020

Road Trip Phenomena

A field of sunflowers on the way south to the fireworks store.

I used to hate the drive down to the fireworks store. Now, while I don't always want to go and be at the store, I do love the drive. The sight of the farmed fields, no matter what is growing, feeds my soul.

One of my dreams is to live out on a hillock somewhere in farm country. I don't want to farm--I'll leave that to the experts, but I'd love to be surrounded by fields and to watch the seasons from that perspective. I want to be up high enough so I have a the view to watch the planting, the growing, and then the harvest and to be able to watch the weather roll across when it comes.

As for the road trip phenomena... I tend to set my cruise control for four miles over the speed limit and then I let car do its thing, enjoying the views and passing cars and trucks as I come upon them. Now, we can all tell when we're closing the distance on the car in front of us and I tend to get over to pass before my car's radar kicks in and puts on the brakes.

Now I get that not every driver uses cruise control if indeed they have it, but they can definitely tell that they're catching up to another car. I always have to wonder about the driver who gets all the way up on your behind and then drives there for a few miles before whipping around you...

I mean, I'm in the slow lane going a bit over the speed limit and it's quite clear they're driving faster than me--so they were what? Expecting me to suddenly speed up? I don't even know, lol...

Anyway, I'm still recuperating from a crazy fireworks selling season.

I hope your Fourth of July was safe and fun.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Happy Treason Day

Have a wonderful, fun, safe day, whatever you're doing tomorrow.

Y'all know what I'm doing today and tomorrow...

Catch you on Monday.