Thursday, December 30, 2021

2021 Goals Revisited & Graded

The year is coming to a close and, as I've done every year for the last handful (at least), I’m going to grade myself on the accomplishments of the goals I set for myself.

I’m giving myself a pass or fail, but I’m not judging myself too harshly. We were (and still are, of course) living in a COVID world and the fallout from everything hits everyone at different times and in different ways.

I think I got hit with some depression and worry over the course of the year and that had an effect on my efforts. But there were other factors as well. Some within my control, others not. Having to prepare for my conference was also a problem.

But let’s get going, shall we?

1) Learn about and harness the power of my personality strengths.
--> Big fat fail. Just didn’t have enough brain power for it.

2) Actively cook 1 meal per week; work up to 3 per week.
--> Pass! Doing okay here. Still at it.

3) Lose the 3 pounds I gained.
--> Pass! I’m back within the four-pound swing I have.

4) Publish 3 books.
--> Big fat fail. One project got derailed because of another, and I just couldn’t get things back on track before prepping for the conference got in the way.

5) Get my home gym completely kitted out.
--> Pass… Now, I didn’t get new ceiling fans. But I have all the equipment I want / need, including a TV, so it’s usable and I’m satisfied with it for now.

6) Get a handle on my housekeeping.
--> It took the better part of the year, but I did finally make a list of tasks I wanted to be doing on a regular basis and am making progress with getting those few things taken care of each weekend. There’s still work to be done, but so far, so good.

7) Brainstorm characters and plot arcs for new series.
--> Big Fat Huge Fail! I started off with the detailed character worksheets. I got a worksheet created for all the main characters of a specific series. I was missing a lot of information for each person after the first pass, but I’d planned to revisit each worksheet a couple of times and flesh the characters out more and more with each pass. But I never went back to a single one. I sketched a basic plot for exactly one book. And now I’m not sure I’m ever going to write any of those six books I’d planned for the series. I learned that that’s not a good process for me to follow.

8) Send a postcard to my Grandma in Denmark monthly.
--> Fail. I managed maybe once a quarter rather than the once a month I was aiming for. Part of the problem is—not much happens around here, which is why I went to post cards in the first place.

There you have it. I passed half, I failed half. Not great, but better than I expected going in.

I started thinking about my 2022 goals back in November, and I made a huge detailed list. It’s been a work in progress, but I’ll share the ones that made the cut next week.

Have a super holiday weekend, and I’ll catch you in the new year!

Monday, December 27, 2021

Miscellaneous Monday

I rather like this topic / format. Sometimes one item is not enough for a post, but if I gather enough small things to share, then I'm golden. So here we go!

Yukon Cornelius / Jordie Benn

The likeness is remarkable, isn't it? :0)

* * * * *

Head Scratcher...

My sister- and brother-in-law who live and work in Saudi Arabia most of the year, brought me back this pretty mug, but seeing that it was made in China made me laugh.

* * * * *

Gnome Crazy

So, yes, I caught the gnome flu... DD and I did Painting With a Twist before Christmas (I think I mentioned that already), and then we found little ceramic gnomes at Dollar Tree... So here we are... And there are more to come. :0)

* * * * *
Christmas Post Mortem

We had a super time seeing family and exchanging gifts for the first time in two years. I was very blessed by my family. I shared the mug above, but some of my other faves include a box of my favorite See's Candies chocolates I've been coveting, as well my Marc-Andre Fleury Funko Pop! They were all wonderful, to be honest, and I will enjoy every last one of them.
Thursday I'll grade myself on my accomplishment or lack thereof of 2021's goals.

Have a super week. Catch you Thursday!

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Happy Christmas!

Memories of Christmases Past
GI Snow!
I haven't created my redneck gingerbread scene for a few years because it's a lot of work. I miss the final product but not all the time and effort that goes into it.

This is my SIL's tree from several years back. I can tell by the white walls and the poinsettias on the tree. Can't wait to see everyone this year after not seeing them since 2019.

My babies from the first year Sonshine was in the Navy. In fact, at this point, he'd just graduated basic training and was headed for his job training facility. We were all so excited to have him home. Me, especially.
Tomorrow's Christmas Eve, so let me send my Christmas wishes out to you all today.
Have a great weekend no matter how you spend it.
Take care.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Miscellaneous Monday

Yellow Rose Award Winner!

I forgot to mention that I received this lovely trophy / plaque at my writers group meeting. And yes 2020 is the correct year. I won the award last year, but did not get the plaque. The president at the time sent the yellow roses; this year's president went the extra mile and got me the thing that would last longer than a couple of weeks...

Giant Christmas Light Pillow!

Sadly all the Christmas stuff at Walmart has been condensed to a few very short aisles as the store makes way for the next seasonal thing--but I saw this large shiny plush green Christmas light. I was tempted to get it, but I certainly didn't need it and have no place to put it. If it's there next week at a significant price reduction, I'll consider it. :0)

Board Games and Colorforms!

I had so many Colorforms as a kid. I had the game Battleship as a kid. But the combination of the two just tickled me. I was tempted to buy it, but it would never get played and so I took the picture to share the nostalgia here.

* * * * *

Hope you all had a good weekend. Mine was quiet and productive. Made ever more progress on the house-cleaning, one little extra project (like dusting a specific thing) at a time while I keep up with the general tasks & previous additions to the tasks.

Baked pup-cakes and made more taco soup for DD--more soup than fit in my largest stock pot, so we had to break out the crock pot. That ended up filled to the brim (no lie) as well. Since DD is home because of school break, she requested a double batch because she likes it that much.

Have a great week; see you Thursday...

Thursday, December 16, 2021

The Akinator!

Have you ever played this game??

Oh. My. Goodness! It's fun and amazing...

The premise is basically "20 questions." You think of a person, place, or thing...and you answer the questions about that person, place, or thing to the best of your ability, and AI will come up with the right answer most of the time.

Sometimes the game asks more than twenty questions before giving you an answer, and sometimes it seems like he's asking filler questions to get you to the twenty-question mark, and it's interesting to parse the questions in each case. :0)

The other day, I had a person in mind, though for the life of me, I couldn't remember his name. I didn't want to Google it in the same browser, of course, so I answered the questions to the best of my ability and the game correctly guessed Nelson Mandela!

I've also "tested" the system. As the AI was asking questions, I realized the answers I gave (up to a certain point, of course) applied to two different people. So after he successfully guessed the first one, I played again and unsurprisingly, it correctly guessed the second. Then I went for a third, which it also correctly guessed.

Anyway, if you've got time to kill and want to be amused and delighted by its powers, then give it a try.

Here are the links:

For PC:

For mobile phones:

And have a great rest of your week & weekend. Catch you Monday.

Monday, December 13, 2021

To Linzer & to Cherish



As of last Friday, my latest book is live and available for purchase. It was a fun book to write, although there were some challenges along the way.

All buy links are here, if you're so inclined.

Book two, In Shortbread & in Health, is in progress.

* * * * *

The last of my holiday events is behind me. My writers group gathered as we used to for a holiday party and ornament exchange. It was a small group, but it was fun to eat and talk in person. Then my closest writer peeps and I spent the rest of the afternoon together at a different restaurant gabbing as we used to do back before the plague.

Now it's time to hunker down and quarantine in preparation for Christmas with the fam. Can't wait to see everyone open their presents. And to just see everyone, period.

Have a great week.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

And you're in Puck Soup...

All good things must come to an end. I was going to brag on my hockey team who had tied their longest win streak in franchise history this past Monday. They had a chance to set a new record at eight wins last night, but lost. Granted, it was to one of the better teams in the league, but any team can beat any other team on any given night, so they could have done it. And were on their way to doing it, but seemed to rest an their laurels in the last few minutes of the game and gave up a two-goal lead in less than minute. *sigh*

Instead...let's talk podcasts.

As I said at the beginning, all good things must come to an end.

Puck Soup is my favorite podcast. I've mentioned it before, here and there. I won't bore you with how I found it, but it was the first and the favorite and has been a staple in my life for a good four? five? years now...

While this pod has its roots in another pod with a different pair of hosts, it started for me with Greg and Dave. Greg was a part of that original pod, but for whatever reason, one or both had to move on from it.

So Greg recruited Dave, and the two of them started this adventure called Puck Soup (version 1.0), mostly hockey news and talk (the PUCK) with some pop culture thrown in for fun (the SOUP).

I loved that version and the dynamic between the two of them...the jokes and the bits and the impressions. Oh, the impressions...

But then Dave needed to move on for career reasons, and Greg brought in two new voices, Ryan Lambert and Sean McIndoe, for Puck Soup, version 2.0... It took some time to get over missing Dave and adjusting to Ryan, who, sadly, has no use for Greg's impressions.

Wysh impressions are like sighting endangered species in the wild... I had a couple faves and I do miss hearing them. Sean is great and has a hockey-history-mind like a steel trap.

Now, because of contract terms with his employer, Greg can no longer host the pod. He's gonna be around for guest appearances and provide other content for the community, so we're not losing him completely. Thank the hockey gods because I just don't think I could handle the loss well at the moment.

I'm hearty believer in "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." I'm looking at you Special K and Apple.

As I said, I was disappointed with the loss of Dave from the original incarnation, but have come to love what Sean and Ryan bring to the table, er... the pod.

Sadly, even though nothing was ever broke, circumstances forced the morphing of the product. And while I'm sad that Greg won't be a part of the regular shenanigans, he'll be around and a new voice is taking his place--one I'm familiar with and actually enjoy and am looking forward to hearing on a more regular basis.

So here's to Puck Soup, no matter what version we're in. Long may it simmer.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Merry Christmas...

 And the shopping is done. I ran out and bought the last gift yesterday afternoon. The tree is up & decorated and the presents are wrapped and waiting patiently for their unveiling in just three weeks' time.

The best part is that with the shopping and the wrapping done so far in advance, I can really enjoy the holiday season.

I've decorated as much as I'm going to I think, unless I get a wild hair in the next couple of weeks...but that's unlikely!

Here's my before and my after...

And yes, sadly, there are two sections of lights that have now burned out...I'll have to either find the extra bulbs and go through replacing each one in turn or just string in new lights next year... 

Hope you had a lovely weekend and here's to a  good / productive week.

Take care.