Monday, January 31, 2011

Stuff and Nonsense

"You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction." — George Horace Lorimer

Only made 164 words yesterday... it was a crazy day all around, so I know I can make excuses, but I hate not reaching my goal. Holly Lisle says not to play "make up" (i.e. I don't owe 836 words today, only my original daily goal of 500) but it's hard not to try.

I'm tired this a.m. ... went to bed early last night, but we've been sleeping with the door open so that the wood stove can heat the bedroom and not the heater. So, DH gets it in his head he has to reseal DD's bathroom floor at 9:00 pm. I *was* asleep until the light went on and work commenced (her bathroom is about 3 feet from our bedroom).

That finally ended but the smell gave me a crazy headache. Even so, I nodded off until DH came to bed a few hours later. And tossed. And turned. And tossed. And turned....

I finally told him I was going to crash on the couch because I HAD TO GET SOME SLEEP. I got all comfy and dozy and then, next thing I know he's upstairs walking around all over the place. Really? It's after midnight ...

I get up and ask him what he's doing. "There's a buzzing sound. It's driving me crazy." So he proceeded to go all through the upstairs and unplug everything (turned out it was from the keyboard in the spare bedroom which shares a wall with our room). How he heard that, I have no idea. But OY.

Finally, everyone was able to rest, but I dreamed all night about the things I had to do for the LASR/WC and the Goddess Fish sites... stressed out even in my sleep. Sheesh.

I woke with a start at 4:40 a.m., jumped up and looked at the woodstove because I didn't see a glow (it's really hard to get a fire started, so we keep it burning 24/7). There were a few coals left, but not many, so I had to put on wood. And of course, Dakota got up with me and wanted to potty ... and the cat wanted food. And I was up and about and ready to tackle my tasks that were haunting me, even in my sleep.

I swear, I look for ways to worry. I wish I could be a little more laid back.

Today, DH starts his jury duty. The case is only supposed to last a week, but we're expecting a huge storm on Tues/Weds (DH says upwards of 2 feet of snow are predicted, but everywhere I look, it only says a foot... "only"... ha) and if that happens, they'll cancel court. So ... his jury duty may extend into next week. Ugh. Poor guy.

Dru Ann, are they expecting your neck of the woods to get whomped again, too?

Those of you in 70 degree weather don't have to share that information with me. Just saying. ;-)


You Are A Fir Tree

You love anything beautiful, and you have extraordinary taste.

And while it's hard for you to trust, you care deeply for those close to you.

You are a social butterfly, and you have many friends.

You handle stress well - and you are a master at relaxing after a hard day.

Overall, you are modest, talented, unselfish, and very reliable.

The first half fits, the other half? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... no.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Snow Pix and Writing Success

The profession of book-writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business." - John Steinbeck

Have had two successful days. I wrote 524 words yesterday. They were fun ones, as I felt the story was getting a little too serious. While "Kitchen Matches" wasn't marketed as a romantic comedy, I like to think of it as being romance that doesn't take itself seriously, and the sequels should be the same way. So yesterday I had a Weathers family gathering (of course Micah was included) and those are always fun.

I wonder if I can get them on the football field again? Hmmm....

Sorry, those of you who haven't read "Kitchen Matches" haven't a clue what I'm talking about...

Otherwise I had a quiet day. We skipped the dog park in the morning, and ended up going closer to lunch time. There were some great dogs there, including a Swiss Mountain Dog -- something I've not seen in person before. I've seen many Burnese Mountain Dogs, so was puzzled at first. This guy looked like a tall, shaved version.

He was a sweetie, and the dog Dakota played with most, except the Basset Hound, who did his darndest to keep up with the two speed demons.

It didn't snow much yesterday (yay!) and no snow is expected today or tomorrow (yay again!). We might get a couple inches on Tuesday, but at this point, I'll take any break from the white stuff. Seriously.... take a tour of the city with me (it was an overcast day, hence the blue color -- and they're taken on my cell phone and yes, I was driving, but I wasn't looking at what I was taking... was just snapping like crazy and hoping some came out. Some did. Others, not so much):


You Are the Moon

Some may find you to be a bit harsh, but if anything you are a realist.

You are a loner and prefer to keep to yourself. You are shy, but you're also naturally introverted.

Those who get to know you appreciate your practical, no-nonsense approach to life.

You may not be warm and fuzzy, but you are extremely caring in your own way.

That pretty much nails me. Hey, Judy, bet you're the sun!


Saturday, January 29, 2011

It's My (Pity) Party...

Writing is the manual labor of the mind: a job, like laying pipe. -- John Gregory Dunne

For an exciting change in our weather, it iced a bit overnight. So, I can't say that it snowed... lol...

I threw myself a pity party yesterday mid-morning. I'd decided to write and my brain was completely blank. Completely. Feeling dramatic about the entire situation I decided I was done writing. That I'd never get another word down, and might as well shut down the blog and my website, because -- what was the point?

After much pacing and fussing, tearing of clothes and gnashing of teeth (okay, maybe I exaggerate a little), I settled down. I had stories in my head. It shouldn't be impossible to get them written. All I had to do was 250 words (I really wanted 500, but at this point I wasn't going to push it). 250 words... easy peasy, right?

I opened document after document, but nothing was working. Finally, I'd opened "Now and Forever" the "Kitchen Matches" sequel and decided I was going to get 250 *&^%$ words down if it was the last thing I did.

It was agonizing. I birthed each word like it was a two-week overdue breech baby. But darn if I didn't get just over 500 words done.

Now, I just need to repeat that today. Without the gnashing of teeth.


Here's an interesting video (hated the music, but the information was good):


You Show Thoughtfulness

You are the contemplative type. You like to think everything through throughly and carefully.

You are very conscientious and responsible. You take your time and make sure things are done right.

You are neat and accurate in any work you do. You pride yourself on being detail oriented.

You are tactful and polite. You choose your words carefully to make sure you communicate effectively

Mostly right...


Friday, January 28, 2011

An Encouraging Writing Tip

"Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer." - Barbara Kingsolver

Every Friday, I get a writing tip emailed to me from Holly Lisle. This week she talks about writing a little everyday. She said, in part:

I'm doing between 250 and 500 words a day, five days a week. I do it every day without fail, even if I don't feel like writing when I start, just because it's only 250 words to success.

It's nearly stress-free. It fits in around homeschooling the kid, creating courses, spending time in the Think Sideways writing community, and having a life.

She reminded me that even a little bit goes a long way. She also invited me (and everyone on her list *G*) to join in with encouraging others on her writing diary. It's no pressure, no worry, no unrealistic goals.

I think I'm going to do it. I can do 250 - 500 words a day. They may be crappy words, but they'll be words, and as time goes by they'll be better words. Writing is a real struggle for me right now, and it never used to be, so I'm having to learn how to do it all over again. I used to could turn out a 20,000 word novella in a couple of weeks. Novel in a month? No problem. Now, I can't even seem to finish the shortest of short stories no matter how much time I give myself.

I'm hoping that being part of a larger writing community with a daily check-in might both encourage me and make me accountable.

Here goes nothing!


You Are Sweet Potato Fries

You are open-minded and very inventive. You like to play around with new ideas.

You are excited by knowledge, and you like to put what you learn to the test.

You are a natural creator, and you love to make things. You are definitely a mad scientist.

Some of your ideas may be total flops, but you will produce valuable, original works one day.

That's mostly right...


Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Know This May Come as a Great Shock ...

Constant repetition carries conviction. - Robert Collier


Hard to believe. I know!

It started right around 6:00 last night and it's still falling, lightly, but there. We've probably only gotten about 3", but it's made the roads a mess and that means DH will be working from home today. He went into work on Tuesday after our dusting and it took him three hours to get there because there were so many accidents. People forget how to drive in the bad weather. Makes me crazy.

Really, aside from that I don't have a lot of news. Things have been pretty quiet and unremarkable. That's a good thing. There's a curse that says something like: "May you live in exciting times."

So, I'll just be dreaming of the Bahamas for now, and waiting for spring...


Your Birthstone Should Be the Sapphire

Sapphire represents intuition and insight - two qualities you've always possessed.

You are quiet but powerful. You have deep reserves of inner strength.

You are consistent and decisive. You don't change unless there is a good reason to change.

You are true to yourself and what you believe. You have strong values that you live by.

That's about right, and I love sapphires. Too bad my birthstone is a garnet...


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WWW Wednesday

Books are delightful society. If you go into a room and find it full of books - even without taking them from the shelves they seem to speak to you, to bid you welcome. ~William Ewart Gladstone

Because I have nothing new to report (Hey, guess what? Snow here today!), I give you via Should Be Reading (and discovered on Charity Tahmaseb's blog), WWW Wednesday:

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Here's mine...

Currently Reading:

"Darkwood Manor" by Jenna Ryan

I bought this book based solely on the blurb and the fact that it's in the "Shivers" line. So far, I'm not shivering, but I have hopes...

"Eat Right for Life: How Healthy Foods Can Keep You Living Longer, Stronger and Disease-Free" by Dr. Raymond A. Schep and Nicole Kellar-Munoz

This book is slow going. It is packed with information but reads much like a text book. I'm slowly making my way through, but it's not an easy task.

"Trust Me on This" by Jennifer Crusie

I checked this out on eBook from my library, and have to finish it first. We get eBooks for 2 weeks, period. No renewals. Oy. Normally that isn't a problem, but I have a pile of books to read.

This is a re-release of Ms. Crusie's that I've never read. I really enjoy her older stuff, and this book (while not as funny as, say "Getting Rid of Bradley") is a nice break from life when I need it.

What did you recently finish reading?

"In Too Deep" by Jayne Anne Krentz

I've been DYING to see Fallon get his HEA, so pounced on this sucker the moment I could. Ms. Krentz matched Fallon up perfectly, but while the romance was fabulous I wasn't as enthralled with the mystery portion of the story. Still, I admit, I mostly read it just to see Fallon be happy. :-)

What do you think you’ll read next?

I have "Hungry for You" by Lynsay Sands on my Nook, calling to me... I also have several of Jude Deveraux's books from the library that I may or may not get to. My reading time is greatly decreased any more.

What about you?


You Should Be an Actor

You are a flexible and even changeable person. You are constantly evolving.

You are a highly observant chameleon. You have always been good at imitating others when you need to.

You are artistic and charming. You have an air of sophistication about you.

You are dramatic and very expressive. You feel strongly about almost everything.

The first part is wrong, but the rest is *mostly* right.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

Some folks might sa-ay that I'm no good
That I wouldn't settle down if I could
But when that open ro-oad starts to callin' me
There's somethin' o'er the hill that I gotta see
Sometimes it's har-rd but you gotta understand
When the Lord made me, He made a Ra-amblin' Man. -- Hank Williams

I'm kind of all over the place today, but that's my brain this morning. It's a scary place to visit, but living here is even more ... interesting.

Hey, it's snowing out. In case you wondered.

DD starts art lessons again today. Last night, she ran up to me, hugged me so tight I couldn't breathe and said, "I'm SO glad I have art lessons tomorrow!" and then ran off again.

I think she enjoys them.

DH went in to swim in the jury pool again yesterday. This time though he got hooked and landed. He starts as a juror on a civil case next week. Oh. Joy.

At least it wasn't a capital murder crime. We have one going on currently -- four guys broke into a house and killed a mother and almost killed her daughter -- the weapons were a machete and a knife and the mother curled up around her daughter. Saved her life. Broke my heart.


My mom's computer died (a virus again -- I hate hackers), so she's been calling me every day and I check her emails. She gets upwards of 40+ spam emails daily. Amazing. It made me wonder: do people REALLY think they've won $50,000,000 pounds in the British lottery? Do they actually BUY drugs online from people they don't know? As an aside, my DH says those folks who peddle cheap V1aGrah don't care if you buy their stuff, they're looking to get onto your computer.

If people would stop falling for the idiocy of spam mails, maybe they'd stop.

As for Mom's computer -- she's sending it here to me, so my DH can fix it and we'll send it back. While it's going to take longer, it's WAY cheaper than taking it to the Geek Squad (heaven forbid) and I know it'll be fixed correctly.

I wish she was out here. *sigh*

I suppose I've rambled enough. Time to wander on somewhere else.... have a great day!


You Are Sensitive

You are very intuitive and insightful. You understand what's going on around you without needing to be told.

You are naturally nurturing and caring. You look out for people, even if they don't ask you to.

You tend to stay attached to those you love. It's hard for you to let go when you need to.

You are in touch with your emotions. You know exactly what you're feeling and why you're feeling it.

Um... I'm not really sensitive, but some of the rest fits. And I LOVE me a Boston Creme donut. Oh. Yum.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Smoothie Recipe

I forgot to mention that I posted my smoothie recipe at Healthful & Homemade last evening (I had someone ask me for it). Thought I'd share :-)

The Deep Freeze

The snow doesn't give a soft white damn whom it touches. ~e.e. cummings

It's COLD. Really, really cold. Right now, the weather stations say we're running somewhere around 10 degrees below zero.


I felt so bad putting the dog out to go potty. It's bitterly cold and all I could think of is how fast she could get frostbite on her tootsies. At least she doesn't have to pull down her fur to pee. *G*

It's supposed to be cold today, with a "warm up" tomorrow: highs in the 20s. I may pull out my summer clothes. The bad news is, this is our forecast for the week:

Snow. Snow. Snow.

Granted, it won't be a zillion inches, like we've been having. But still.. I'm really, really sick of snow.

My DH has expressed the desire to be buried in Arlington when he dies. I told him I'd bury him there on my way south because if anything happens to him, I'm hightailing it to warmer climes.

Only two more months until the spring equinox. Hurry up, Spring!!


You Are a Loyal Best Friend

You are true to your friends, and that goes double for your best friend.

You are trustworthy and faithful. Once someone is a friend, that person is a friend for life.

You are hard-working and believe in persevering. You don't give up on anything or anyone.

You make your friends feel stable and secure. You will be there through thick and thin.



Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Muse Has Lost Her Mojo

A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket. ~Charles Peguy

I tried to write yesterday... TRIED being the important word in that sentence. I haven't finished my fantasy (I'm SO freaking close) and I have one more week to meet my goal. I'm at the pivotal, uber-important part of the story and I don't know if I'm overwhelmed by it, intimidated by it, or just don't know how to get from point A to point B, but I open up the document and stare at it.

I was determined to write, though, so I opened "A Change of Tune". The Wild Rose Press is going to be offering a new western series and my store would fit in neatly. Since it's a sequel to my other TWRP story, "A Change of Heart", I figured I could kill two birds.

I'm at a fabulous point of the story, one that could be touching and funny and is quite pivotal (I plan on it being the first kiss for my H/H). I know what I want to happen, but when I open the document I just stare.

I used to write longhand when this happened, but my thumb is still achy and I can't write easily. So, I decided to open something light and silly, something I could write in without concern. A story where I could flat out be goofy if I wanted, thinking abject silliness might be the cure. I opened "Perilous Love". And stared. I admit, I finally just decided to write whatever came to mind just to see if I could bash through the block. It didn't help.

And I went to bed utterly dejected.

I'm going to give it a go again today. And tomorrow. And the next day. I suspect part of my problem was not writing something every day. It's easy to get out of the habit and, just like exercise, we get out of shape.

I hope that's all it is.



You Are Liquid

You are a laid back person, and you always good with the flow. Why fight things?

You are dreamy and imaginative. You get swept up in the moment, and you love abstract concepts.

You are comfortable with solitude. You treasure your alone time and get into your own groove.

You don't follow rules, and you definitely aren't punctual. You act without consulting anyone else.

Except for being comfortable with solitude? This is completely wrong.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

If the pain wanders, do not waste your time with doctors. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

The... patient should be made to understand that he or she must take charge of his own life. Don't take your body to the doctor as if he were a repair shop. ~Quentin Regestein

I received an email from the very sweet and thoughtful, Maria Zannini last night which reminded me that I haven't shared a recent decision with you about my knee surgery.

The short version is this: I've canceled it.

Now, the long story (if you're interested). Way back in the fall when the doc suggested surgery, I started heavily researching alternative treatments. I don't like surgery (who does, except those plastic surgery addicted people?) and wondered if there might be other options.

I made several lifestyle changes.

I went to a diet of about 70% raw foods, heavy on greens like spinach, and even now have a "green" smoothie for breakfast every day (it has cucumber, carrot, broccoli, apple, spinach, blueberries, ground flaxseed, soy yogurt and orange juice) and sometimes for dinner, too. Cucumber and flaxseed are good for cartilage and ligament strength, broccoli, blueberries and orange juice are high in anti-oxidants and spinach is just good for everything. If you ate nothing but spinach for the rest of your life, you'd probably stay healthy.

I (mostly) decaffeinated myself. I stopped drinking soda (there is evidence that the carbonation actually depletes calcium from our bones). I added high doses of glucosomine/chondrontin/MSM to my diet, as well as additional supplements of fish oil and vitamin C. I also take Yucca, which is an herbal anti-inflammatory (it's great for arthritis in people AND dogs, in case you wondered).

As my knee felt better (and it did!) I began exercising it. Walking more. Taking the stairs. I could kneel on it and squat! I added in some stretching (I've lost a little range of movement in both directions -- it takes an effort to straighten my knee all the way, though I can without pain, and bending it all the way is difficult). As a side effect to all of this, the joint pain I've had in my toe for ten years AND the joint pain I've had in my right thumb for three or four years disappeared almost completely. My toe, which was noticeably swollen, is not any more. And it doesn't hurt for me to write with a pencil or open cans (it's incredible how much we use our thumbs).

As I mentioned on my blog a couple weeks ago, in preparation for my surgery I was required to go off all my supplements. My knee was feeling about 95% well and I was already beginning to waffle on the need for surgery. Then... I started to hurt again. Not just my knee, which didn't "hurt" exactly but felt off a little, but my thumb joint as well.

It made me think. Could it be that the more major surgery he'd recommended -- the one where he would be drilling into my bone to stimulate cartilage growth (that may or may not work) wasn't necessary? Was it possible that my body was starting to heal itself? Could it be that most of my pain was due to arthritis (which he said I have in my knee)?

Was I being foolish to even think of canceling / postponing the surgery? I wanted some different opinions from the people who care about me the most and who would be vested in seeing me feel better. I talked to my husband and my mother.

My husband is an IT guy. He thinks with his head and isn't really into what he calls "the woo-woo stuff". But when I asked him his thoughts he surprised the heck out of my by saying, "Surgery is always a last option. I fully believe that there isn't much in our bodies that can't be healed by proper diet and exercise." And he reminded me that I could always reschedule the surgery if it became clear that my way wasn't working.

My mom, who is more into "the woo-woo stuff", and has successfully kept rheumatoid arthritis symptoms at bay for going on twenty years now without prescription medicine (something doctors never believe when she tells them, so they retest her every few years because they think she'd be crippled by now if she had it and wasn't treating it their way) said basically the same thing.

On Wednesday, the day before my pre-op appointment, I called in and canceled everything. And I restarted my supplements. It's been four days since that occurred, and as of this morning my knee is feeling almost back to where it was before. My thumb only aches a little and I'm able to use it at 100% again as well.

Some people would say it's all in my head. Maybe. But even if it is, if I feel better.... who cares? I think it's nutritional, though. And I have every confidence that over the next couple of months I'll be back at 100%.

And that's the rest of the story.


You Are Deep

You like to have fun, but you aren't a big fan of frivolity. You object to too much silliness.

You are quite intellectual and thoughtful. You get a lot of satisfaction from doing important work.

You are steady and consistent. You find it easy to commit to projects and people.

You don't let your emotions decide for you. You follow your head, not your heart.

Well, that's spot on. And again, that freaks me out a little...


Friday, January 21, 2011

Hey, Guess What? .... It's SNOWING

I like these cold, gray winter days. Days like these let you savor a bad mood. ~Bill Watterson

Shocking, I know...


NOAA says this about our weather today:

Today: Snow, mainly before 4pm. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 26. North wind between 6 and 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.

And here's a peep at the radar over NH right now:

And here's the look on my face:

And, really ... what more is there to say?

Except this, LASR/WC is up for best reviews site at P&E. If you feel the urge, we'd love a vote. Click here to vote.


You Are a Verb

You are an active and proactive person. Verbs are doing words, and you are a doing creature.

You're always up to something. Inaction drives you crazy. You get bored and restless easily.

And even when you take time to sit still, you don't quiet your mind. You are in a different state every few minutes.

Whether you're thinking, working, playing, loving, wondering, reading, or simply smiling - you are a verb all the way.



Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snow Pix

Okay .... I went outside and shoveled my driveway. Brought the camera with me.

Here's my driveway:

Dakota checking things out:

I love how the snow sits on the trees... it won't last long once the sun comes up, but it's pretty:

Will probably take more later for tomorrow. Have a great day!


And Again, And Again, And Again...

Winter is nature's way of saying, "Up yours." ~Robert Byrne

I'm just going to start repeating posts if this weather keeps up. Because...

It snowed yesterday.

It rained south of us (which wasn't great either because ... hello ice on the roads), but here it snowed ALL DAY LONG. It was fat, heavy, slushy snow until right around bedtime, when it turned to light, fluffy, airy snow.

I don't know when it stopped. I only know that my DH got home around midnight, told me it had taken him forever because the roads were awful, and it was still snowing. I shoveled the driveway for the last time at 9 p.m. and this morning there's easily 3" of snow on it.

It's not supposed to snow today, but tomorrow we're going to get whomped again. And then, HA, this weekend they say it's going to be unbearably cold with highs in the single digits. Fun times will be had by all... not.

I'm SO ready for spring...

(Because Tori asked...) I was going to take pix this morning, but the screen on my slider is frozen in place again and I can't get outside that way. Once everyone in the house is awake, I'll show you how high the drifts are around my driveway...

Today I'm going to the grocery store, to the library, to the dump ... and wherever else the spirit moves because I haven't left the house in three days. I'm going a little stir crazy. Normally I go somewhere almost every day. Cabin Fever is an ugly thing... we even missed agility last night for the second week in a row. :-(


You Are a Window Seat

You are a highly imaginative person. In fact, you are a visionary.

You are very curious about the world. You want to see as much of it as you possibly can.

You are mentally alert. You like to daydream, but your dreams always have meaning.

You come up with many profound and original thoughts. You find entirely new ways of doing things.

Hmmm... maybe. My LASR/WC biz partner, Judy always hates when I start a chat with, I was thinking ..."


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans - John Lennon

So ... we got a lot of snow yesterday. It snowed steadily from before dawn until about 4:00 and then it turned to sleet, which lasted until just before I went to bed.

It's a mess. When you take a good 8" of snow and then add the sleet... oy, let me tell you, it's nothing I'd want to be in. DH went out about 9:30 last night and shoveled. He'd run the snowblower as soon as it changed over and got the piles of snow off, but by bed time there was about 2" of icy slush on our driveway, and you don't want that to freeze.

Fun times.

Most of the schools closed yesterday. Many of the businesses as well. And this morning? There are nearly 300 delays reported for the state, which includes pretty much every school.

So ...

DD won't be shadowing today. I called yesterday (and left a message because they were closed) to let them know that I knew they'd have a delay today and that we'd reschedule. DD was only going to do a half day as it was (8 - 1), so sending her in two hours late would pretty well defeat the whole purpose. I checked this morning, and sure enough, they're on a 90 minute delay.

She's both annoyed and relieved. Annoyed because she "just wants to get it over with" and relieved because she doesn't want to do it in the first place.

She did have fun yesterday. Did school in the morning, but her two friends from down the street came by after lunch for sledding and other snowplay. Me? I did laundry. Cooked. Tried to ignore the hard rock music coming from DH's computer as he worked on the sofa ten feet away. I can't work with noise, so it was a challenge for me.

The joys of winter in New England.

And it's going to snow again on Friday! Woo.


You Are Having a Typical Day

You are creative and easily inspired. You see so much eye candy in the world around you.

You are a very organized and even scientific person. You like figuring things out.

Your thoughts are very far away from what's going on right now. You have something important on your mind.

You are quiet and reserved. You feel most at ease when you are able to keep to yourself.

It always freaks me out when theses quizzes nail things with such weird questions ... but this is pretty much right on. :::shivers:::


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snow Day ... Again

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. ~Anatole France

NOAA says this about our weather today:

Today: Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 27. Calm wind. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.

Tonight: Snow and freezing rain before 1am, then a chance of snow. Low around 25. Light north wind. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

I'm hoping it stays snow -- ice and freezing rain can lead to power outages, though they've downgraded the wind, thankfully, so that may alleviate the problem.

DD is supposed to "shadow" tomorrow at the private school we're looking at. That means she'll attend classes all day, following a "buddy" throughout the day. She's terrified, nervous, worried... she's had very little change in her life (same house, same friends, same parents *G*) so finds it very difficult to deal with it when it comes.

I can understand a little, though I had plenty of change growing up. We moved constantly, my mom and dad were divorced, I went to many different schools -- I seldom stayed more than a year or so at any given place. So, I learned how to deal. But change is never fun. Still, she needs to learn how to handle it.

Speaking of DD, here are a couple of her first tries at leather tooling:

For first tries, I think she did well... she's still learning, though she's run out of leather and I need to find out where to buy more (and how much it costs).

So, today we'll be pretty well house bound -- had I known this was going to start so early, I would have gone to the store. I'm out of carrots. And orange juice. I realize that doesn't sound like a tragedy, but I use them every day. *sigh*

Also, DH is staying home from work, so things here will be a bit different... oh well, guess I can handle change, too!

How's your day going?

Oh, also, I'm having trouble with my Google Reader -- it's giving me errors on about half the blogs I follow. I don't have you stored anywhere else, so if I haven't visited you recently, that's most likely why! Maybe I should keep a list elsewhere?


You Are Sunrise

You are a high charging, successful person. You know how to stay motivated and how to motivate others.

You are energetic and enthusiastic. You get up each morning ready to take on the day.

You are quite career-focused, but you work hard in every aspect of your life.

You are a self-starter and widely admired. You won't your stop hard work until the world is a better place.

That's mostly right.


Monday, January 17, 2011

A Quiet Day

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” -- J. Lubbock

DD got a leather tooling kit for Christmas and spent all weekend making stuff. I have to admit that I'm a little surprised at how well she's doing! I think after a few more practices, she's going to have another type of creation to offer on her DistinctivelyDD store. I'm very proud of her. I'd post pictures, but everything is behind the bedrooms and, oddly enough, the rest of my family is sleeping.

It was an incredibly quiet day yesterday. DH messed around with our water softener (it's still having issues -- we discovered that there is a block of salt at the bottom about 8" thick that shouldn't be there ... we're trying to dissolve it slowly with warm water, but it's a very time-consuming business) but otherwise just sort of lazed around the house. DD tooled leather. I worked on the LASR/WC website. The dog snoozed, or played with her duck (she got a duck that honks instead of squeaks for Christmas and she LOVES it). I did take her for a walk, despite the cold, but really it was a lazy day here.

How was your weekend?


You Are Restless

You're never one to feel too settled in your life - you're always looking to shake things up.

You are lively and energetic. Even when you feel done for the day, you usually still do something else.

You are enthusiastic and optimistic. Many things sound good to you, and you are reluctant to rule options out.

You are quick to respond. You sometimes get a little tired of waiting for everyone else.

About 75% correct...


Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Fish .... er, Shrimp Tale

“You will never get out of pot or pan anything fundamentally better than what went into it. Cooking is not alchemy; there is no magic in the pot.” - 'Dishes & Beverages Of The Old South', Martha McCulloch-Williams (1913)

I've done a lot of things in my life that made me feel all "pioneer woman-ish" -- growing up with livestock and "living off the land" will do that to you. So, I've plucked chickens and canned food and grown and harvested gardens. I've milked goats and butchered a deer.

Still, yesterday was all about new things for me. You see, I got shrimp. Fresh off the boat shrimp from my local "New Hampshire" store (that's not its actual name, but it's what DD and I call it). They have all local stuff, and the fish lady had mentioned last week that she'd have shrimp, caught on Thursday and picked up by her Thursday night from the docks at Rye Beach.

Doesn't get much fresher than that. I was excited. And then I got my shrimp... I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't shrimp that looked like, well, SHRIMP:

NOW what do I do?

Yep, I've only ever bought shrimp with its head cut off and no feelers, etc. Sometimes I've had "peel and eat" shrimp but never shrimp with this much stuff still there.

I turned to the internet, which I have to say wasn't a lot of help, and then one of my friends (whose parents were off the boat from Portugal and did this type of thing all the time) helped me out.

I had to twist off their heads (or cut, but honestly twisting was faster and easier, once I got over the "ick" factor) and peel off the shells. DD was right in there helping, though she kept taking bits to look at under her microscope AND dissected one head just to see what it was like underneath. Heck, there's never a bad time for a teaching moment when you homeschool ...

So, after nearly an hour (the first half was learning, after that it went FAST) we had shrimp that looked like what I always pictured shrimp as:

I was also told NOT to toss out the shells and the heads, but instead to boil them for broth and use it to make bisque ... so I did:

I've never had bisque before. I have to go to the store today to get some cream... and give it a try.

Anyway, for dinner, I sauteed those shrimp with some minced garlic and butter and tossed in a few portabella mushrooms that I had. And let me tell you: I've NEVER in my life had shrimp so tender, so tasty, so truly amazing. Fresh matters. And, while it was kind of a pain to process them, I may never buy any other kind of shrimp again.

Next week, I think I'll try some fish...


You Are Almond Shampoo

You are chic and sophisticated. You always look polished... and effortlessly so.

You are extremely subtle. You abhor anything or anyone who is too over the top.

You are known for your good taste. You always seem to know what will work.

Friends usually follow what you do, but by that time you've moved on to something else.



Saturday, January 15, 2011

Snowmobiling Party

“An optimist is someone who gets treed by a lion but enjoys the scenery.” - Walter Winchell

Yesterday, my DD decided she wanted to go snowmobiling (for the first time) with my DH (and three other family members). I was both excited (for her and for me -- YAY! Alone time!) and worried (would she be cold? Safe? Happy?). But ... I sent her off into the woods just before lunch and kept my fingers crossed.

They got home well after dark, but she had a lot of fun. Her feet were freezing (I didn't think to check her socks, and she'd put on thin, nylon ones instead of her wool ones... duh), but otherwise she was warm, safe and happy. A good day for her.

I, on the other hand, fought a headache (again ... it's almost a daily issue -- I feel like Ah-nold in "Kindergarten Cop", "It's not a tumor.") most of the day. At around 3 pm, I finally stretched out on the couch and closed my eyes. I never slept, but I did lay there, quiet and eyes closed, for about 45 minutes and it really helped ease the pain to a dull throb instead of being unbearable.

Otherwise, my day was quiet (except for my bored dog) and I got a lot of work done. I also figured out how to end my fantasy, and it's not what I had envisioned originally. I hope it works for the reader. I have two weeks to finish by February...

We're going to try to hit the dog park today. Not sure if it got dug out after the storm or not. I'm bringing my shovel, just in case.

Any plans for the weekend for you?


Dru had asked when my surgery was scheduled. It's for Wednesday, 1/26. I didn't get in for my lab tests on Weds because of the storm, and plum forgot until just now, so I'm hoping Monday is early enough.

My plan is to have surgery, and be well enough by the following Tuesday to drive DD to her art lessons. Power of positive thinking, right? I can't be kept down too long, or I'll lose my mind.

Heck, my last dog, Bailey had her cruciate ligament completely replaced and was walking around in just a few days. Surely I'm going to do at least that well -- I'm not replacing mine.


You Are Highly Independent

More than anything else, you have to be allowed to do your own thing. You crave freedom.

You believe it's important to enjoy today as if it were your last day. All we ever have is the present.

You are impulsive and energetic. Whenever you have the choice, you choose to take action.

You are restless and a natural wanderer. You never feel completely settled in your life.

That's mostly right...


Friday, January 14, 2011

Snow Day, Part Two

A good snapshot stops a moment from running away. ~Eudora Welty

Yesterday, we had to dig out the back. The snow covered our basement window and the bulkhead, so both needed to be uncovered so the basement wouldn't get wet when the snow melted.

DD, bless her heart, offered to do it for me. It's no easy task... Here's the end result:

This left a big pile of snow that was perfect for one thing... tunneling (taken through the screen because I didn't want her to know I was watching):

It was a gorgeous day, though -- bright and sunny:

Here's the dog, waiting to go sledding:

Unfortunately, DD's sled broke after only two runs (we're taking it back today ... we got it at Agway, and they're marvelous for standing behind what they sell).

Today, DH is going snowmobiling. He loves when it snows here, because our property abuts conservation land and that land has a snowmobile trail, so he's just cut through to that. He can leave for his ride right outside our door.

There's another chance of snow next week. I'm relieved, actually, because originally they were calling for a warm up and ICE. I hate ice.


You Are Leonardo

You are a natural leader. You know how to stay cool when you're under pressure.

You think things over calmly, and you're willing to stick your neck out when the time is right.

You may be in charge a lot, but you never let it go to your head.

You are modest and humble. You have more to be proud about than most people, but there isn't a vain bone in your body.

That's pretty close to right...