Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday Morning Coffee

I am pulling from blogger extraordinaire Patricia Mosca and instead of Saturday coffee, I am having Sunday coffee.

This is the first weekend day I have to myself, no plans, and will be my only day off until Tuesday a week from now. At this point in my life money is an extreme necessity, so am working long hours.

But I do have things to be thankful for which instead of feeling like my life is "terrible", "awful", goes bring some grace and laughs into it despite the NEEDS that have to be accomplished.

1. Because I have so many things which need to be fixed (teeth, car, etc) and a need to work long hours, some of my fellow co-workers are in the same fix and we have a challenge going on. For the next two weeks, the person who works the most hours will get a trip to Starbucks for a coffee. With the fun of cheering each other on, it's not as bad as it could be if we felt like we were suffering alone.

2. I was asked to help someone make a photo quilt for their mother's birthday. This person is in her 20's and not a "crafty" or "sewy" type person, so it is fun to tell her what she needs to do. It inspires me to get stuff going of my own.

3. There is very little housework to be done today, just a couple loads of laundry. So the day is mine. Texter won't be home until later (spending the night with a friend) and OD is going to work herself, so I will have the house to myself...and the dog....and the cats.

4. My BFF is ok. Thought there was some heart problems, but turned out to be "normal", so she is ok.

5. I have more and more writing being done and more ideas coming along.

6. Almost done with the item I am knitting for my mom's birthday (which is tomorrow by the way).

So despite the fact the blue heron probably won't visit my pond this morning as the water is really up from the rain last night, I plan on having a lovely, restful day....after all tomorrow starts a long 8 days straight at work and with Gustav coming along......better go pour some more coffee.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Things to do when your back is out......

I did "something" to my back and while it is slowly getting better (really don't have a choice), did take one day to be at home on muscle relaxers and heating pad. These are some of the things you can do from the couch.

1. Knit on a pretty simple pattern. But only for a short time.

2. Update Goodreads and LibraryThing. I just realized they give away copies of books too. I have updated with most of my books I have read recently. There is a stack of paperbacks which I have not listed, mainly because I have gotten lazy and distracted.

3. Add codes for Coke rewards. I "dumpster dive" at work and get other people's Coke caps. I don't drink that much coke....sweet tea here. I got enough to get a years free subscription to "O" magazine. Texter is eyeing my points this time around. She helps me enter codes at times.

4. Watch taped shows I have on DVR. Prime time on the east coast is 9pm. That is also bedtime at my house, so I DVR most of my shows and then watch them the next day when I get home from work. Also watching Season 2 of Dexter on Showtime a friend recommended. Have caught up on Season 2 of The Tudors already. Weeds is next.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Books, books and more books

I have been on a real reading binge lately. With the pending move, I put reading on the back burner so I am catching up on my reading.

Sherrilyn Kenyon's Acheron has been one of my "big" reads. I love all her books and this one ties in a main character through all her Dark Hunter books.

Christine Feehan's Turbulent Sea is another in a series I keep up with. I can't wait until September for a book in her Carpathian series to come out.

Can you guess I really like fang and fur and witches?

Anne Bishop's Tangled Webs is another in a series I enjoy. This is also has witches and mages and sex and .... or did I mention the "S" word? Shame on me!

But to prove I am not all other worldly, I am behind a couple of books in the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum series, just finishing up Lean Mean Thirteen. I now have to get number 14 in the series. If you want a laugh, read these books. Funny and some sex....can't beat it.

Despite my fondness for fur and fang, I do branch out quite often. Just finished The September Society by Charles Finch. This book goes back to the "old" style of Gothic and Victorian romances, a real departure from the "modern" mystery. A more formal style than usual, but an enjoyable read.

Another departure from my usual is Michael Ruhlman's The Reach of a Chef. I really enjoy reading stories which are day-to-day or behind the scenes of cooking and gardening.

Stephenie Meyer is a young adult fiction writer which I discovered via OD. If you haven't checked out what is going on with the younger set recently, take a gander. There is a lot of great fiction, beyond Harry Potter, geared for the younger set, but great reads for those of us with gray hair. I am at the end of book 4 of her Twilight Saga series, Breaking Dawn. If you read Laurell K Hamilton this is like her series, but for a much younger set....fang and fur and very little sex. Good read. Ms. Meyer has also written an "adult" book, The Host, which I have requested from the library.

In case you are wondering, the library is my best friend. I can surf and find books, request them from the library and they are there by magic. There are a few authors I do buy their books to hold and reread.

Four other books on my bedside table are The Silver Needle Murder, by Laura Childs; Zine Scene by Block and Carlip; No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong and Debbie Macomber's Twenty Wishes.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fowl Update and Turtle Story

There are other "things" in the water besides mallard ducks. One end of the lake is further away from the parking area and has been left fairly natural. This guy caught minnow after minnow while we were watching him across the water. I should be so successful fishing.

From clear across the lake, in a little cove, was the blue heron which visits the little pond under my balcony. It's nice to know he "lives" here when not visiting me.

Part of the Waterfowl Flotilla which can hear the rattle of a bread bag clear across the lake. The little ones have already learned to race across the water.

One of the pair of swans which live here. They are really impressive in size, especially compared to the "regular" ducks.

I never knew there was this pair at the lake until this last walk. We have named them "Ying and Yang". One solid black and one solid white, they are definitely a pair, swimming everywhere together.

The swans look like battleships among little tug boats.

And there are also geese, Canadian ones. It is interesting the ducks and the swans will swim together, but the geese keep totally away from them. Of course, swans, geese and ducks are way too noisy for the herons and cranes.

These are not "fowl", but there are hundreds of these little beasties in the lake and they will come up and eat bread and chips also. While I like turtles, I have a real problem with them in lakes.

See, when I was little, my grandparents lived near a lake and we would go up there during the summer and spend a couple of weeks, minimum. The cabin didn't have a really efficient bathroom system, so it was a daily ritual to load up, go to the lake with our bar of soap and play in the water and take a bath.
Since the bottom of the lake was really rocky, we had to wear old tennis shoes to protect our feet. But there were tons and tons of turtles in this huge, huge lake. There were parts of the lake were they would run trot lines and catch turtles which were 2 feet across and ugly and scary (mud turtles).

I was told when I was little, if a snapping turtle bit you it would (1) not let go until the sun went down or (2) not let go until it thundered. When you are 4-5 years old, it doesn't take much to put it together it could be several days before it thundered when the sun went down, so I have visions of walking around with this turtle attached to my toe. I don't like swimming in anything I can't see what's in there with me. A turtle might get me!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Walk in the Park

This is the front entrance to the unit I now live in. Although it is pretty enclosed as you walk in, they do have tons of lighting. It is a nice walkway to come home to.

Anyway, last week Arizona Boy was here for about a week. OD and Arizona Boy have been long distance "dating" for about 3 years now. She went out there and stayed with his family during spring break, so he came out here and stayed during summer break. Thank goodness for the passes I have as an airline employee and that they are young enough and "in love" enough to not mind being at the airport all day.

One day while I was off (Texter makes a great chaperon while I am working! Nothing like the little sister to keep everything on the up and up.) we decided to go for a walk around the lake behind us. OD and Arizona Boy loaded up on old bread and chips and off we went.

It was a lovely morning and off we went to feed the ducks, swans, geese and turtles. I have walked around the lake many times, but it was the first time I had taken one of the paths that lead down to the water on one side rather than walk on the paved pathway. I discovered there are 2 or 3 benches in the trees which will make a nice meditation, writing, or reading retreat.

They have also been adding some picnic tables at points around the lake rather than just in the "play" areas further away.

These are some of the mallards which abound at the lake.

These are the ones which would rather sleep than eat. I which I could stand on one leg on a rock and sleep. I wish I could just stand on one leg for any length of time.

OD and Arizona Boy dispense bread and chips to the "starving" ducks.

The walk around the park is 2.5 miles so it was a pleasant stroll, stopping to commune with nature...greedy little webbed footed things.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tying up loose ends so to speak.....

One of the benefits of the move was I got rid of a lot of unnecessary items. One of the downfalls of the move is I saw how many partially completed projects I had. Let me set the stage a little better.

At one time I did needlework 24/7. Primarily cross stitch, I not only stitched for myself but for a local needlework store. I could thread a needle and stitch by candlelight on 40 count linen (well, not by candlelight exactly!). Then I got bored. I had a box of items to be framed (still do) and wanted something more practical. So I switched over to knitting (and when equally rabid).

But with the move I have vowed (silently, to myself) I would go back and finish up some of these pieces, since I was getting a little tired of knitting. I reached in an grabbed the first one I came across and this is it.

It's about 1/3 done and I love the poem on the piece. It's about weaving a tapestry of your life and what it will look like when all is said and done. So I have dragged it out and am almost (notice the almost) ashamed to say I started this when the pattern was first published in 1994. So for 14 years it has been in my stash and I will get it out by the end of the year...maybe.

Did I mention I had opened by big mouth and had gotten "volunteered" to do costumes for the first thing our local community theater is doing? Luckily it is a simple production which will only be one night and most of the characters are hobos! We will see how that goes.

And on the writing front, I have been doing more writing. Hopefully, I will get some transcribed (yes, I handwrite most of my stuff and have a future posting on handwriting vs typing) and posted. But I have found out there is a local writer's group. It meets in a couple of weeks. I can't wait.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

New Apartment

It's been a month now and I think I am fairly unpacked and organized....ha, ha, ha. Anyway, this is the view from my new balcony. There is a 2.5 mile walk around a small lake on the other side of these trees. Or rather among these trees. In other words, I won't be looking out at any other apartments, houses, stores, parking lots, etc. Only trees. And I can't see or hear the people walking around the lake.

This is about the most of the apartments I can see. Now from my bedroom window, if I open the blinds I can see the edge of my neighbor's balcony and more of the apartments.

But to spare my neighbor's the horror of it all, my blinds are generally kept closed. Now when the weather cools off, they will probably be open a little more, but still, someone would really have to be looking to really see anything.

There is a small fountain in the little pond here (this isn't the lake people walk around by the way), so when I open my windows or am out on the balcony I get to hear some delightful water noise. So calming and peaceful.

I did spare you the picture of the "poohage" which runs beside the apartments. There is a gas line (underground) and electrical lines (those big ones) going down beside us. Once again, there won't be any shops, houses, etc. right beside the apartments. But this created an area about the size of 2 football fields the apartment complex keeps mowed, has a poohage disposal can (with baggies), so I can just exit the unit and it's right there. Very nice.

We also have 2 pools, with the smaller one being near me and 2 workout rooms. I have fallen in love with treadmills. Treadmill, TV, air conditioning... this all works well.

Even Noel is pleased with the move. Since we've moved she has learned to sit nicely while we put the leash on and not to pull quite as bad. The cats are ok with the move also it seems.

Well, need to get back to unpack or organizing "stuff" and to refill the coffee mug.