Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hi Ho, Hi Ho...it's off to snow we go....

Whew.  I have less than 7000 words to write for NaNoWriMo.  Yea, me!  I am trying to get everything done so that we can take a trip to Wisconsin for the holidays, and that means have the writing caught up as well, as I may or may not have computer access there.  My house is semi cleaned. I have a caretaker for the animals and a back-up if I need it. The fridge is pretty cleaned out of leftovers and goo and the bird cage is cleaned as is the chicken coop.  Most of my packing is done, just a few things I've thought of late and written down left to go in the suitcase, like my knee brace. lol  I'll be taking a box of jellies and pickles and such as well, but will grab those up in the morning. Am also taking a local ham that I brag about all the time...the best I have ever eaten in my life. H&B. It was on sale this week for a measley $2.99/ pound. I bought one for us and one to take. We've been eating on ours some, and the rest I cut in half and froze. The one to take is intact. lol  The Irishman talked to his dad tonight who said, leave early, weather is supposed to get bad. I looked at them today and it was 19 degrees. Yikes. It was 75 here yesterday, but much colder today. Tonight is down in the high 20's I think. All the critters are in and snuggled up.

   I am so grateful to have 5  days off in a row. I am so in need of this time away.

  Just wanted to stop in and wish all a very happy and Grateful Thanksgiving.

  Love and blessings....

Thursday, November 18, 2010

In the early morning rain...

 It's a bleak and grey morning out there. Thank goodness, we need the rain. Chilly, I'm guessing it's about 42. The chickens are squabbling and the cats are none too happy about going out and coming right back in because they don't like the chill.  The dogs are in and out and in again. Right now, everyone's inside all cozied up.  And I am wasting time reading that I should be spending writing. lol I do need to look for a recipe for making Craisins...sweetened dried cranberries, as one of the markets has the m for 89 cents a pound right now and I thought I'd get several pounds and dry them. I love them as a snack and in salads and breads. But they're too expensive to buy very often. Wish me luck!

  Am going in early to have lunch with my sister-in-law today.  Haven't seen her in months it feels like, and she only lives 45 minutes away. She and my brother own a pest control business and are ridiculously busy in the summer. Things are slowing down for them now.

 The jalapenos that I strung to dry are hanging on either side of the kitchen window over my sink. They are turning a beautiful red . Look:
 Aren't they beauties? These were the last ones I picked before the big freeze. I made salsa, pickled a few jars and put some odds and ends into other pickled sweet peppers and vegetables.  They produced really well this year. I also froze some whole. Not sure how they'll do, but thought maybe I could stuff them with cream cheese or something.

  Had a good day yesterday, all in all. I am sitting a little more than 31,000 words in my writing project. Need to get busier with that, but it is what it is. I have faith I'll finish in time. 

  I need to get my insulated drapes up in the living room. They really help keep the heat in in the winter time. All summer I have nothing but sheers or lace panels up. We live far enough off the road that we really don't need much, especially with all the trees and hedges around us. The honeysuckle hedge blocks out a lot in the winter as well, as it's pretty much evergreen. I need to get a new traverse rod and put it up in there. Oh right--that's why I was waiting. We measured it at 99 inches. I don't know if the picture window rods are a standard size or not.  Anyway, it's that time of year. I hate blocking out the light, but love it being warmer and the old furnace not having to work so hard. I always open them in the day...and it's getting dark now by 5 anyway. 

  Alright, I've stalled long enough. Gotta look for that recipe for the Craisins--anybody out there done these?  Hope you all have a grand day...I know I will.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday Wayfarer

This is the horse carriage we rode in on our little tour of the French Quarter, back in 2005, before the Great Disaster. It was lovely. I'm surprised I didn't get more and better pictures of it...The horse was a beautiful creature, all gussied up for the tourists. We got one of those great little historic tours, and lots of colorful information about the city itself. It was my first time in New Orleans, actually. Surprising, since I have been all over this country...a time or two.  lol

We had a hard frost last night. This morning the furnace was running full blast when I got up. The dogs wanted out, but they didn't stay out for long. Too chilly for their little furry butts. I need to get out and check the chickens, but they'll wait a bit. I tried to get on here to post yesterday, but never could quite make it. had one of those mornings...

 My friend came by to help get the router straightened out (God only knows what I did wrong setting it up).  We had problems getting the netbook to power  up first, and then the disc drive burned up. After it wiped the hard drive clean. lol  Sigh...later a series of little things went wrong and lastly, coming home I stopped for gas and the pump's automatic shutoff didn't work and spewed gas all over the car, the bay and my shoes and pants. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. I don't usually stop at this particular gas station, and the last time I was there the same thing happened. I was livid, to say the least. And when I went inside to tell them about it, the girl working said we have notes on the pumps telling people not to leave them unattended because sometimes they do that.  I looked at her and said--Unatttended? The f**ng gas is all over ME. How could I have not been there?  AND there is no note on the pump. Oh yes, she says, there is. I go back out and look and there is no note, of course. Although I did see one on the pump across the bay. A little orange sticky note. I am calling the station today and speaking with the manager. Of course, I will never do business there again. 

  So, today will be better. lol  I have no netbook, but will call my darling nephew and see if he can fix me up. But I still have my computer and I got up early this morning to work on NaNoWriMo...and so far, an hour and a half later, I have done nothing but fool around.

Am finishing my second cup of coffee. Pretty soon there will be no excuse for lollygagging and I'll get in there and write like a demon.  I am running out of excuses...I got up at 6:30 yesterday and got my house all cleaned and got laundry done and a chicken and rice casserole into the oven for the Irishman's supper last night.  I also made a big pot of split pea and ham soup the night before last in the crockpot, so there's plenty of food for leftovers. SO really, there's no reason I shouldn't get about 4 hours of writing done today. I'm still ahead of the word count, at a little under 30K, but we are going to be gone for Thanksgiving and I don't know if I will have access to a computer. High class problems, eh?

  It will be a good day. I got my hair colored after having gotten it cut the day before. I still have to get the oil changed in the car and maybe one new front tire before we make the trek to Wisconsin. It's about an 8 hour drive, maybe a tad more. We have the $$ to make the trip and I have the motel rooms reserved and paid for. That will help avoid any potential problems with the inlaws.

  Okay.  I have writing to do people.  See you later....


Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday is the ONE day...

...where I start out slow and stay that way. For some reason. Didn't get up til after 8:30. Just finished the coffee and am sitting down now with my first cup. Moving slow,but feeling okay about it.  lol

  Having lunch with a friend , early, because I really need to get my hair colored today. It'll be early and short, probably, but we haven't caught up in a bit and she's leaving this week for the rest of the month. Found out last night that another friend has just had surgery for colon cancer. He didn't really tell anyone much...it was a shock, but I guess that particular cancer is epidemic lately. Wondering (to myself) if it could be the national past time of Big Macs and Whoppers instead of real slow food?  

  Having some cool and crisp fall days and cold nights.  Got the heat lamp and heated water dish installed in the chicken coop for the winter. Got the compost all cleaned up and turned into the winter cooking bed. Two completely empty bins now, all ready for me to fill up again with an assortment of food scraps and chicken coop cleanings. Got the tomato cages all pulled out of the ground and ready to sort through. This was the absolute LAST year for many of them. They are deteriorating, and will go to the scrap yard. Believe it or not (despite all my bluff) I am sad to see the gardens so bleak and down for the winter. Sort of.  lol

 On the other hand, if I could stop going to lunch, I could get my kitchen all straightened away and back to normal. I'm afraid that will have to wait until the end of the month, though. Between going to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving and writing NaNoWriMo, and working, I am knackered. In a good way.  I'm just not as resilient as I used to be. In my youth. lol  I'm still trying to get over the last bits of this cold/flu thing that knocked me for a loop weeks ago. There's the tiniest annoying bit of a cough hanging on and I am just plain tuckered out a lot of the time. I want to yell at my body..SNAP OUT OF IT !!!!  But I am trying to be kinder to my body these days, even if it is a little late in the game. I wonder if everyone goes through this?  Hell on wheels all their lives until suddenly things come to a screeching halt...and then it's "Oh, dear, sorry? Have I abused you, dear body? Oh here, let me make it up to you?..."   Apologies for all the years of working, drinking, playing like a demonic dervish...oh well. I have a plaque on my bathroom wall, a quote from Erma Bombeck, and she says at the end of her life she wants to say God, I used up everything you gave me. I've certainly used everything up. lol

  Okay. Off to the showers, since I've finished up my first cuppa and can now focus my eyes. I stayed up a little late writing, am at 27K+ words on my novella, and going strong. Yay, me!

  Have a marvelous Monday. I plan to.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

A slice of Saturday , please!

Chilly and overcast today, highs forecasted to be around 52. I've been out a couple of times, checking on things like dogs howling in the middle of the day and chickens laying beautiful brown eggs. Mostly I've been NaNo-ing and am more than halfway to my goal. Feels quite good.

Made a lovely salad for supper last night, along with a thin crusted Mediterranean pizza, replete with artichoke hearts, black olives, sun dried tomatoes and feta cheese. It was quite good. I threw together a pumpkin pie for dessert...it was all quite yummy. We sure like to eat at this house.  lol

  I am running a little late today and plan to get in the shower any minute now. Have to be out the door by 2:30 and it's after 1 now.  The doggies are chillin' around the house, kittens are sleeping their little kitten hearts out, waiting for evening when they will dash about and run with joy, tearing up everything in their path. My Russian Blue, Po-Po was missing for almost a week and I was really worried about him. He showed up yesterday and we loved and fawned over him and gave him extra canned food and he has been asleep on the sofa ever since. Thank goodness he's alright. I always worry about the coyotes and my cats, though I don't think the coyotes get that close to our house because of the wonder dogs. Still...you can hear them yipping and singing all night long, so they can't be that far away. Po-Po  is a big boy, probably 20 pounds or more. He can probably take care of himself. But still....

  Okay. Found a wonderful new-to-me blog that I will be visiting often. Judi, at Mind over Matter and a kitchen blog of hers as well. I was hooked after reading one page...

  Enjoy your slice of Saturday...after all, it only comes once a week.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Freedom

Yesterday was the holiday here...no kids at school, no mail and I didn't see any veterans out handing out poppies. But I live in a pretty secluded place, and guess I didn't go through town yesterday either.  There wasn't much talk of parades and such, though there was a lot of stuff in the newspaper of local veterans.  My father served in WWII, in a battalion called the Blue Devils in Italy. I think I posted about it last year. I had one uncle that I never met who died in that war. One other uncle served alongside my dad and I had one brother who has served. My husband, of course, was in the Marines.  War touches us all in some way or another...

  I slept in til after 8 this morning. Got almost 4000 words written yesterday, though I haven't updated my word count for the last 950.  I hope to get at least that much written again today. I will take my little netbook with me on vacation and hopefully be able to continue to write in Wisconsin. I made reservations today. This year I am writing in Google documents, so I will be able to access it no matter where I am. Last year I  foolishly wrote in Microsoft Word processor on my home computer and that's where I was tied. Live and learn...I am such a technotard..

  I just snatched a recipe off Frugal Antic's blog for snickerdoodle cookie bars. I'm going to try them this morning and might take some with me to the great frozen north when we go. I hate to bake cookies and almost NEVER do it. Bars I can manage. And snickerdoodles are my all time favorite cookie (when they're good ones).

  Today is supposed to be our last warm nice day. Rain is coming in tonight and then cooler temperatures are rushing in behind it.  I guess by Thangsgiving, we will be back to more normal seasonal temperatures in this part of the country. These mid to high 70's have sure been nice though.

  Going for a haircut today and whatever else the day brings. The Irishman is working OT again today...that's 3 Fridays in a row. The extra money is nice, so I'm not complaining. It's just that it's the only day we really get much time together. Maybe we'll go out for some nice Chinese dinner tonight or something.

 I need a little breakfast and some more coffee. Then I'll get dressed and go get my hair cut. Might as well get out there and enjoy this beautiful weather...it is fleeting. The doggies and kitties are all in various places around the house and yard, dozing in the sun. Thanks for all the kind comments about my little Jack Russell...she gets very depressed being tied up and it kills me.  But she gets a lot of love too, so...we do what we have to do for now. I told the Irishman that we need 15 or 20 acres somewhere so that she can run and run and never see another poodle for as long as she lives.  That wouldn't bother me a bit.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wild Wednesday

Probably not, really. Off to a slow and peaceful start...a little over cast out there after 2 days in a row of mid 70's sunshine. The weather cannot decide what it's going to be...late summer or real autumn.  

My favorite giant coffee mug...

  I started to post the picture of Miss Molly McGee, the Jack Russell Terrorist, with a caption that read: "Does this LOOK like the face of an alleged attempted murderer?"  But changed my mind.

 The neighbors have accused her of attacking their poodle again. Again, they didn't see it. My dogs had no blood on them, Molly did have a couple of flecks on her side/rump. But it's deer season here, and she finds carcasses in the woods. Nothing on her chest, snout or legs. He demanded that I pay the vet bill of $162.00  I did. But I am not admitting anything here. He has no more proof that she did it than I do that she didn't. She is, however, on house arrest once more. And I am boiling...

  It's eating me up...that we have to maybe get rid of her? Or that she's being punished for something she didn't do.  There are at least 10 dogs roaming around here in the country every day, excluding mine.  

 On a brighter note, I have a little over 15,000 words written for NaNo. I try to work in the morning before and then again after I get home in the evening. This morning I have managed to waste about 2 hours+ just screwing around here.  lol  I am a master procrastinator.

  I need to  get out and feed the chickens and clean the catboxes and then settle down to some serious writing. Yesterday I had to go to work at 10:30..today I am free until almost 3. I was so tired last night when I got home I couldn't write, and was in bed by about 11:15.  I woke up this morning about 6:30 and still haven't written a thing. Well, a few emails. Some FB comments. Some blog comments. Here. Everything except what I SHOULD be writing. lol

 Okay. I'm gonna go light some incense and feed the chickens and clean the catboxes and make my bed. THEN I'll be ready to write. So, until tomorrow...I remain, your friendly neighborhood dogmurderer harboring writer.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Suddenly Sunday

   [This is what a lazy Sunday morning looks like]

Ah...a brilliant Sunday morning, the time has changed, and all is right in my world today. Home alone, and thinking about putting my decorative mums in the ground, but will probably put it off until tomorrow. I really meant to get in here and get busy writing...Nano is in full swing and I am at about 8500 words. But...you know how it goes...I needed to find a motel in Wisconsin for the holidays. So I started searching ..a fact-finding mission, really. LOL  Then I started looking at real estate again...found some gorgeous acreages with little cabins on them priced insanely low...about 40-50 miles from my inlaws. Close enough to work, and far enough away to work.  Once I got on THAT route, I was on the real estate pages for 2 hours.

  I have to tell my friend that I will be gone that weekend...Wed-Sunday. She won't like it, but I need the time.Back to work on Monday. WooHoo.  I already eased into it, telling her we were going to go, probably. Now I have to find someone to come feed the animals while we go--that's always the hard part. 

  The Irishman is going to New Bloomfield, MO today for the renewable energy show again. My son was supposed to go along, but last I heard he hadn't returned the calls. They have a few things done now that weren't done when we last visited, like the berm house and some other stuff. I pray my darling has a safe trip and enjoys himself immensely.

 I have plenty to do, have been a bit out of sorts the past few days. At first I thought it was a relapse of the flu, but it was entirely different symptoms  this time and I was puking my guts out on Friday. Sigh...other people I know have had those symptoms, lots of intestinal distress, but not me. Til Friday afternoon...lol

  I just wanted to drop in and say hello...we've had some bone chillin' cold mornings of late. Made it to 52 yesterday...supposed to warm back up again a little, I think, the first part of the week.  But I do believe fall is here for good...



Thursday, November 4, 2010

Falling leaves

 Geez...this seems to have happened fast.  

  It's very chilly today, not 50 and breezy, with intermittently cloudy skies. I am shuffling around in my flannel pajamas and fuzzy slippers like an old woman. The kittens have gone out and come in a couple of times, they want to be out there but it's just not warm enough for their delicate sensibilities.  The Jack Russell Terrorist is in and sleeping comfortably on the couch.  She's not enamored of the cold either. 

  The leaves are everywhere, rustling and crackling as you step through the yard. I went out (in my robe) and fed the hens and filled the water dishes, and looked at the remains of the gardens--giving up the fight. We have had a couple of soft freezes and they are done in. Fine by me. 

  I have a Caribbean pork stew going. The recipe changes every time I make it, as I use what I have. Today it is loaded with boneless pork chunks, okra, sweet potatoes, edamame, tomatoes and corn.  It smells of ginger and cumin and garlic and onion and the aroma is heavenly. I'm debating making some quick rolls to go with it, but I'd better decide as I have to leave for work in a little over 4 hours. Maybe corn muffins would be good. That would certainly be easier than making yeast rolls.Or really, even biscuits would be good with this...garlic cheddar biscuits, like the ones they serve at Red Lobster. Yum.

  Can you tell I like to eat when the weather turns?  The main thing I love about fall and winter is that I can make soups and stews to my hearts content. The Irishman loves these thick stews like todays, served over rice. They are nutritious with all the veggies from our gardens and they stick to your ribs, as my granny used to say. And don't forget the comfort food side of it...thick, steaming bowls tummy toasting goodness. Not to mention the fact that they reheat well and make a great lunchbox item for  you-know-who.

  I have started NaNoWriMo..written about 4K words so far. That feels pretty good. By the end of today I should have over 5000 written, if I am to stay on a schedule of output to manage the 50K by the end of the month. We'll see what happens. My pattern the last couple of years has been to procrastinate, stall, be obstinate and skip holidays. LOL  Perhaps this year I will do better.  I have, however, bought 2 new books to read, just in case I need to be distracted. I admire the stamina of real writers who enjoy the discipline necessary to stick to goals and work diligently until they finish a manuscript. Last year was the first time I have ever completed anything like this, and I was so full of myself for a while I could barely breathe. 

   Alright, I smell stew that needs a bit of stirring and I shall open my googledocs and get to work. I may have to stop and take a shower and get dressed first. Or not. I feel pretty comfy right now, but I also feel like I could easily go back to sleep. Tomorrow I need to make a coffee beans run to Edwardsville and pick up a couple of things at the local food coop as well. I thought about doing it today, but since husband has to work mandatory OT again tomorrow, I may as well use up the morning doing some shopping. Maybe I can hook up with my friend Cathy and have a little lunch. hmmm...good idea.

  Have a wonderful autumn, all.  Run and jump in the leaves and smell the woodsmoke from your neighbors stoves and remember all the good things in your life.