Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Nose Knows

In all honesty, the title of this post could not be less truthful. My olfactory senses are among the least reliable upon this planet. I get it honest, however. My mother, rest her soul, could not smell skunk stink along a country road while everyone else in the car gagged and choked.

This is really a beef about eyewear (eyeglass nose pieces, to be exact; hence the title reference). Last week the right one broke off my reading glasses. Long overdue for an optical exam since my former ophthalmologist’s practice closed, I called the eye care group SO uses.

A Minor Nuisance
We're blessed to have insurance coverage, by the way. But sad to say, my appointment isn’t until the end of July. ~sigh~ And though the folks there might be willing to do this little job for me before then, I really hate to drive that far for this. In addition, let me tell you that hot glue is not a viable fix, at least it wasn’t for me.

I decided to replace the pad myself. After all, we have an eyeglass repair kit. However, it doesn’t contain the type of nose pad I need. I proceeded to shop online but didn’t want to buy multiple sets of these things, the only way they seemed to be sold.

Why not shop local? That didn’t work out, either. Every area drugstore carried what I already owned, screws and a driver, maybe a magnifying glass and stick-on nose pads that are useless to me.

I went back to the Internet. The best thing I could find was five sets of eyeglass pads for about $1 (US) a pair. Fine. I bought them. They arrived late yesterday.

Today I sat down first thing to install them. Alas, they are too large! The screw that fits my frame won’t hold them in place even if I managed to file down the protrusion enough to fit the frame’s metal attachment. That idea came from SO, and I wasted several minutes on that fruitless endeavor before realization dawned on me.

There goes yet another fruitless attempt at DIY. ~rolls eyes~ I am not a handy person, to say the least. Now I’m either going to have to piece together my frames every morning and try not to disturb them until ready for my other eyeglasses or find someone willing to do the repair.

Ugh… I hate having to deal with the outside world.

Don’t you hate wasting precious time and money on a problem you failed to fix?


Sunday, May 27, 2018

I’ve Got My Eye on You

Our contractor came out the other day to work on the endless list of home repairs we have for him. When I followed him around the northeast corner of the house he showed me where a mother bird built her nest, right in the top of a shrub SO wants removed.

While these two look near ready to fledge, I know that some bird species raise more than one brood a season. As a result it looks like we’ll be keeping the overgrown shrub for a while longer, at least.

I Want My Mommy!
I never got a good look at the flighty parent but believe these are either robins or starlings. They are quite large for nestlings.

Actually, They Didn't Make a Peep as I Photographed Them
Are you what folks call a ‘birder’? If not, do you know what it means?


Saturday, May 26, 2018

Rainbow Snippet for May 26th and 27th

Every weekend, a Facebook group called RainbowSnippets shares six sentences of story from a LGBTQIA+ related work. Today, my humble little offering is an opening scene from “Kennel Club”, the fifth short story out of my privately stashed BloodMoon series. I hope you enjoy it and will pop over to check out what others have shared.


I looked up to find my father crossing the lobby from the airport
luggage claim, suitcase in tow. Seeing him ready to go, I apologized for
being late.

“Traffic slow you down?”

I looked to my lover, mischief glinting in his eyes. Sure. We cruised right along Cincinnati’s sleepy Sunday streets.


As I type this I’m enjoying a lovely spring rain from beneath a tin patio roof. What’s your weather like today?


Friday, May 25, 2018

You’re Doing it Wrong

Years ago I found a product called a ‘Purr Pad’, a synthetic wool squared material which cats find comfortable. Luna liked laying on them until I used one to roll around her body and keep her still after major surgery back in the day.

(Oops. Sorry, sweet girl.)

With her long gone they still get used by Jezebel while Tilly prefers certain cat beds or a blanketed lap. One of the funny things I learned about felines is that they like when I move their beds and whatnot around. Sliding the kitty hammock in front of a different window or dropping their little tent into the middle of the floor seems to make spaces new and interesting again.

Not long ago I put one of the purr pads on the guest bed which Jezebel has claimed. For some reason, yesterday she decided she wanted to go under cover. Normally that means bedding but I held the purr pad in the shape of a temporary tent and she dove right in. When I let go, the silly girl stayed.
I See You, Jezzy
How many house cats do you know who have their own queen size bed?


Monday, May 21, 2018

Monday Blues

It feels strange to title my post so seeing as I’m blessedly retired and all. But today has not been the greatest so far.

The early hours started well enough. I lay in bed and pulled out my Kindle to read an e-book started the other day. Well, the story’s entire first half ended up being the most depressing thing I’ve read in a long time.

I prefer not to share the title seeing as the second half may bring the main character some semblance of happiness. But right now, it’s not likely I’ll continue reading anytime soon. I got out of bed half nauseous, feeling sick in body and soul.

But duty called, so I put on my exercise/chore clothes and debated where to start. Of course, feeding fish was high on the list along with giving cat Tilly her thyroid pill. Taking care of my aquatic babies turned out to be another downer. One of my kuhli loaches died.

That shouldn’t happen. They live a long time and these guys aren’t that old. Rather than take time testing the water right away, I changed out three buckets worth just as soon as the cat took her medicine.

(let’s hope a pill doesn’t turn up on the floor as has happened a few times the last week)

Updating my aquarium notebook while lying across the bed, I am happy to say that our other feline Jezebel joined me. That made me feel a good deal better, even if she mainly wanted to lick the lotion off my hands. And didn’t that lead to itching!

(I’m ultimately still allergic to the little beasts)

Next I mowed the back lawn. Despite working mostly in shade and getting the task done early, I slogged along sweating like a horse until blinded with it. The shower afterward felt great, though, as I turned the tap cooler and cooler.

For some reason it brought back memories of my mother drying off my shivering little body, explaining how that would warm me up rather than just standing there as I tended to do. She had to tell me several times before my young brain wised up but never once rolled her eyes at me. Sharing it with SO brought us both smiles.

An hour or so later SO asked how much cash infusion my bank account required. Oh, boy. That’s always a fun topic. It’s not like I overspend or we argue, but when I gave a figure you would think I’d asked him to break into Fort Knox. ~sigh~ At least I can pay my Visa bill in full next week. We don’t like to run balances.

I asked if I should just close my account. “No,” I’m told yet again, “because it’s a security thing.”

“What kind of security does it provide me when the account has sixty dollars in it?”

Receiving no answer, I wasn’t surprised. For whatever reason the man injects angst into our rather nonexistent financial issues, it’s easier to just let him stare at his computer screen and pretend not to hear.

“Should I cancel my gym membership?” I asked his back minutes later, which I do every few months.


“Uh…” Duh. “Because it’s thirty-seven some dollars a month and I don’t go as often lately because I’m too tired after mowing the grass.”

“Does it keep you healthy?”

Well, of course, so that ended the discussion. But what’s a gal to do? A disappointed (disapproving?) look accompanied the check I needed to sign.

It’s not like I’ve been discouraged from buying a few clothing items or Palaye Royale merch here and there. Guess I better just put a kibosh on plans for any more.

One weird blessing is that this won’t be mentioned again (until I need more money, anyway) and we’re almost guaranteed to have a pleasant evening.. Meanwhile, here’s what came with my Alternative Press magazine.

Tacked to the Side of a Baker's Rack Turned DVD Shelving
God bless my husband, do you understand why I escape into writing romantic erotica?


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Rainbow Snippets for May 19th and 20th

This weekend I’d like to share something a little steamy. It’s not too explicit, but if you’re not comfortable reading about intimacy you may prefer to give it a skip.

Either way, I hope you’ll check out some of the wonderful tidbits shared on Facebook’s RainbowSnippets page. There are all sorts of genres and scenarios represented, all having to do with characters who identify with the LGBTQIA+ community. Have fun!


How could I have thought of doing anything besides kissing him? Hands sliding down, tucking beneath his warm bare arms, I scooped up raw silk strands curtaining his shirted back. Roping and twisting them to the point of entanglement, I ate his happy whines.

Bringing one hand down between us I tugged at the belt encircling leather pants. He pulled back from the kiss. I found myself chasing his mouth.


I hope you enjoyed this. My favorite thing in this world is showing the chemistry between these characters. And here, they barely know one another.

What’s your preferred genre to read or write?


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Ongoing Choices and Their Costs

I cannot believe it’s Tuesday already. Time moves so much faster since I left the outside work force. And early retirement is a pleasure I strive to maintain. As a result, we have to pick and choose where to spend our money.

Expensive yard improvements are no longer in the budget, and my flower beds are a mess thanks to an abutting back neighbor’s field turned unkempt disaster. Bindweed is a big issue. So are many other aggressive weeds and even an invasive tree (!) taking over the supposed weed suppressing rocks in the middle tier of our back retaining wall system.

Years ago I made an effort to turn that central section into a garden oasis complete with trellis, meandering path, and a tiny patio planned along the way. The wisteria never bloomed, instead overgrowing that trellis until the cedar frame warped and its base twisted right out of the ground. Delicate perennials became strangled by trash growth. Only a few welcome plants remain growing within the stone, such as my little white pine, Japanese maple, and a lilac bush among a few others.

These days, with lower energy reserves and very little tolerance for heat, I lamented over these situations to SO after I mowed the uppermost rear tier this morning. What did I hear in response? Solutions which cost either too much precious time, money, energy, sweat, or all four.

As it is I cannot calculate my personal and economic resources poured into this smallish property over the years. That included a lot of the mulch SO recommended this morning that ‘every gardener use’. You see, I used to buy the expensive soil amending type that degrades into the ground every year. Now the mere thought of hauling and spreading the stuff wears me out.

And I’m the younger in this couple, so forget any real assistance. I didn’t even mention the decrepit and mildewed ivy needing removed from the north side of the garage. Somewhat heat exhausted and with verbal expression being one of my least attributes, I heard myself getting more and more shrill decrying every well meaning suggestion.

Finally SO just walked away with nothing more to say. And I hated it. The frustration ate at me while I showered and dressed.

Reasonable points came to mind and I didn’t waste time readdressing my plight at the first opportunity. The bottom line is that I’m tired of the fight set up for myself the day I chose this home and started to garden. Going back in time to warn that young woman isn’t an option. Neither is buying or renting a condominium, moving another expense and inconvenience SO dreads.

All I can do is hack away at the issues a little at a time. Meanwhile, I asked for a sympathetic ear instead of a litany of rather unworkable solutions. Rant concluded.

On the bright side, my ill advised landscaping decisions brought the best, life altering little stray cat into our lives. Before Luna found me taking a break from weed pulling back in 1999 I lacked adequate medical treatment for a pesky asthma condition. Though my furry little soul mate is gone, we still have Tilly and Jezebel. SO and I laugh over their aged antics every day.

We miss you, sweet girl
Do you have any gardening or other property related regrets?


Saturday, May 12, 2018

An Interesting Morning

It’s not quite 10am as I type this. My day has had an inauspicious start. And I still need to go to the grocery store.

So far I cleaned up what felt like a quart of messy cat vomit, got swarmed by pavement ants, and got hit on the head by a shovel. No, it was not a result of marital discord. The accident happened as a result of my careless placement of the shovel against a garbage bin and SO’s typical oblivion toward our surroundings.

I was busy working on a flower bed from which the ants would soon boil. At least nothing necessitated a trip to the emergency room. In addition, my two strawberry and three lavender plants are settled for the season. I’ve never grown either before, so wish me luck.

Photo Courtesy of BigVeins
Meanwhile, I have yet to work on my writing. My fingertips are tender from yard work, so I’ll let them rest while going for groceries.

How is your weekend so far?


Friday, May 11, 2018

No Chard Remains

Sorry about the bad pun. Charred remains. Get it? Ugh… Sometimes I hate myself. ~shakes head~ Anyway, we are growing Swiss chard in an EarthBox and it’s growing gangbusters. The following photo was taken after yesterday’s major harvest.

Those are Radishes at Lower Left
I’m not sure how many big leaves I cut off the plants, but we cooked up a big batch trying out a new recipe. It’s very simple, classic really. You just start with onion and garlic sautéed in a little butter and olive oil. Then you add some white wine (we went with an inexpensive pinot grigio, which I highly recommend for this) followed by the chard stems. Once the stems are tender, you toss in the leaves and cook until they wilt, then sprinkle on some fresh ground parmesan and a little salt to taste.

Yum! This totally beat tender young leaves in a boring old salad. And hence I derived the name of this post as we ate every last morsel last night.

I may skip the cheese next time because the two tablespoons got lost, taste and texture seeming inconsequential. Instead, I want to crumble up some crisp cooked bacon (!) because that just sounds way too good. Sorry I am not likely to become vegan. I’m an omnivore to the core. I’ll let you know how that turns out, probably before the start of next week the way these plants are going.

Have you ever eaten chard?


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Another Lazy Day of Writing

My Temporary Little Writing Retreat
Yesterday I accomplished quite a lot outside of storytelling. So, I woke up today deciding it would be the opposite outside a trip to the gym. Then I walked into the kitchen, which I requested yesterday morning that SO clean up some.

Guess what didn’t happen? Ah well, at least the bills are paid without me having to lift a finger. Can’t beat that, can I?

And at least I’d kept up on dirty dishes. That said, the next thing I knew I finished loading the electric dishwasher and got a cycle running. It wasn’t even seven o’clock yet.

Now I’m on the back deck enjoying a nice, if humid, sunny morning. The birds are singing, squirrels are bouncing around, buzzards are soaring overhead, and I’m going to start writing in a minute. Heck, I even hear a woodpecker in the distance.

Did you know Ohio here in the Midwestern United States has five different types of woodpeckers?


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Scratching an Itch

Yesterday I got partway through the fifth short story in my series. It’s been fun revisiting them, if for like the millionth time. ~shakes head~ Today I completed that polishing reread and opened the sixth document.

But something continued to niggle me after I posted about this series yesterday. The newly renamed “Cat Scratch Fever” is a few thousand words shorter than most of the others (it remains to be seen where the seventeenth goes, currently incomplete with almost a doubled word count).

So, poor me, I have to read through the first story again and beef up the word count. ~sigh~ It’s such a chore (not) working on these scenes again. There are always little phrases that can spice up showing my characters’ personalities. That said, I’ve already punched up the first few paragraphs a little. Joy!

'Kyros" is pouting because he wants me to finish his story.
What are you planning to do today?


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Fun with Rewrites and an Eye Opener

It’s no secret I have a series of short stories, nor that I’m fearful of sharing with the world in general. There are so many haters, I think oftentimes just jealous of more talented and/or successful people. All the time I read of author acquaintances (many I’d dare call friends) demeaned by mean words.

Noodling Around with Book Cover Ideas
The Image is More Suited to the Third
Tale Set Partly in Patras, Greece
Despite what you see above, for now I’m happy just enjoying reading and rereading, polishing my tales one through seventeen. Others need major overhauls, reading somewhat like stereo instructions after being penned over ten years ago. I’ll get around to that, as well, I’ve promised myself, as long as my mind and middle aged body hold out. ~grin~ Meanwhile, it’s good to be me having fun playing with my characters.

As for my eye opener, let me give you a little back story. The series is called “BloodMoon” after my werewolf main OC’s hard rock band. Its initial tale was called the same with a space between the words, indicative of the yearly moon phase in the traditional ancient lycanthrope calendar I’ve imagined.

The rest of the series follows a trend I’ve mentioned before, and even asked for aid on, using phrases like bark at the moon, cat’s meow, etc. Thank you to those who provided suggestions. I have since added some new stories as a result. The idioms dog eat dog, weak as a kitten, and dog with a bone fitting new plots. That first already has a home in the timeline.

This morning my revelation involves the first story’s title. Not only is “Blood Moon” nonconforming with the follow-ons, but the reference to the lunar cycle no longer resides within its words! I split it into two a while back with a little cliffhanger in between so the stories are all closer to thirteen thousand words.

As of today the series now starts with “Cat Scratch Fever”. I’m happy how the title suits the tumultuous start to my characters’ relationship.

Do you have any current major obsessions projects?


Monday, May 7, 2018

Sparks Monday May 7 2018

To quote Annie of McGuffy’sReader, the bright spirited blog where she created Sparks Mondays, “I believe we are meant to be lights in this world. If we allow our light to shine, we can see where we are going. It is then that we can begin to truly see each other clearly. Together, we can light up the entire world!”

A fellow writer and FB acquaintance shared an excellent quote by Dolly Parton a while back. I immediately searched and found this on Brainy Quotes to save for today:

Which do you prefer, a straight path or the road less traveled?


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Bonus & a Beef

SO ordered an item from Poland a while back, an item which required an adult signature for delivery. Fine. We are home almost all the time.

Only yesterday, I returned from the gym to find a note on the door from the United States Postal Service saying that a package could not be delivered. I presented the message to SO, who looked at me in confusion from the desk never left since my departure.

Now it is possible that the new PC game drowned out the sound of knocking and/or the doorbell ringing. But this is not the first time I encountered this problem. Back when I was working and had frequent packages shipping to my house from Japan there were occasional notes left in the mailbox. And SO worked from home then.

At least the mailbox makes more since. This delivery person came all the way to the door. What the heck?

But, minor rant aside, the box contained a surprise. Check out the blood orange and mango filled chocolate bar! Though we haven’t tried the candy yet, that vendor is going to get high praise online for the extra courtesy.

Czerwona Means Red, Kinda Boring as Opposed to 'Blood' Orange
Have you ever tried a blood orange?