Feb 20, 2017

Macrocosm Monday

macrocosm ~ large and complex structure considered as a whole

I’m late!

Or rather, this post is late. You’d think this being a long weekend I would have had plenty of time to get this post written, but you should know by now that’s not the way things work for me. ;-)

Saturday I spent the better part of the morning and part of the afternoon uploading my newest book to the e-publishers (more about that in a bit). I don’t know why I find it so stressful, this is the sixth time I’ve gone through the process and it’s not like I do my own formatting or covers. All I have to do is fill out the forms. Easy peasy, right?

Anyway, after that was done I had that curiously let down feeling you get when you finish a big project. So I decided to reward myself and indulge in a little shopping therapy. So I went to a couple of thrift stories, then the mall, and finally Walmart. And all I managed to come home with was replacement blender so I could start having smoothies for breakfast again. *sigh*

Next I tried on-line shopping and found a fairy tale book I’d been searching for at Abe Books. The way it works is they act as a broker - you purchase the book on their site, then they contact the seller who is supposed to contact you. I’m still waiting to be contacted. Seeing as this is the weekend I’ll try to be patient.

Day two of my long weekend, Sunday, I spent babysitting. The daughter and her hubby needed to go to IKEA to pick up new beds for them and the grandbaby. I can’t say that I’d want to be trapped in a car for an hour each way with an active toddler, nor would I want to have to wrangle said toddler in IKEA. But, by the time I got home again, it was time to start supper.

Anyway, I’d been planning to do a blog post for my writing blog on Sunday - that didn’t get done. And I usually do this post Sunday evening - I could barely keep my eyes open for Rizzoli and Isles, let alone type anything. So that didn’t get done either.

So this morning I had not one but two blog posts to get done, and I started with the one on my writing blog because today is Release Day for my newest book, An Elemental Earth, book 4 of the Ardraci Elementals series.

Help an author out, would you? Brazen Snake Books, read my interview, and enter the contest to win a free print book plus a gift basket. You don’t have to guess the correct flower, any flower will do. Just scroll down and leave a comment and you’re entered.

Thanks, and good luck!

Feb 13, 2017

Myrmidon Monday

myrmidon ~ follower; hireling; mercenary

I have a problem. I currently have four orchids. Two are tucked away on a stand next to the deck doors in the dining room, and two are on the window ledge of the kitchen. All four get pretty much the same exposure to the sun.

One of the two orchids in the kitchen is really too big for the window ledge, but I’m afraid to move it. I once had a beautiful cattleya orchid that I grew from a seedling. It took seven years for it to bloom, but the single blossom it produced was magnificent. It, too, started out on the window ledge of the kitchen, and when it became too big I moved it to a counter that was further back, but it seemed happy enough.

Unfortunately, I failed to take into account that the new space was across from the air conditioner in the dining room window and it did not like the cold air at all. I tried moving it back to the window but it was too late and I lost the orchid.

The bigger of the two orchids currently on my window ledge seems to be of sturdier stock. It’s bloomed a few times and last time it did so the bloom stalk had eleven blossoms on it. Normally once the blossoms fall off I’d trim back the stem to allow for new growth, but on the advice of my neighbour this time I left it alone.

Much to my surprise, it did get a new shoot off the original bloom stalk, which I promptly accidentally knocked off. Then it got another one, which I accidentally broke off while trying to tie it to a stick to make it a little more upright. When it got a third one, I left it alone, despite the fact that it the leaves are on one side of the plant and the bloom stalk is sticking out the other side. And then it hedged its bet by producing a second bloom stalk to stick out a third side of the pot.

Now my problem is this. There’s only so much room on my window sill and the leaves of the orchid are touching the cold glass. I don’t much like the arrangement, but it’s the only way to position it to minimize the possibility of knocking off one of the bloom stalks.

The blooms will keep going for weeks, provided nothing touches them, but both stalks stick out slightly over the sink. I could make room for the plant on the stand in the dining room - it won’t be easy but it’s do-able - but I’m afraid if I move it it’ll die, just like my cattleya orchid did. Plus it’s right beside the cat tree and I know at least one of my cats will try to snack on it.

Maybe I’ll just keep crossing my fingers. It’s worked so far. ;-)

Feb 6, 2017

Multifarious Monday

multifarious ~ having great diversity; manifold

Everyone out there catch the Superbowl yesterday?

I was dragged kicking and screaming to the get together my hubby’s buddy has every year where I ate too much pizza and actually watched the last half of the game. That was some come back by the Patriots, eh?

My big news for the week is that the bathroom is officially done. Actually it was done last week but I just didn’t have any pictures to post. These pictures don’t really do it justice - I don’t know if it’s the picture or just my computer, but the colour of the dark paint is kind of off.

Once I have a chance to get my pictures organized, and maybe take some better ones of the finished bathroom, I’ll do a separate post showing the entire renovation, but these pictures should give you an idea of what it looks like. If you'd like a bigger view, just click on the picture.

The first picture shows the sink on its stand and the mirror above it:

Next we have the rest of the bathroom. As you can see, it’s a really hard room to take pictures of because it’s so small:

And finally here’s a better picture of the window with the sconces:

And no, I haven’t had a bath yet. The tub needs a thorough cleaning first and I just haven’t had time to do it. But I can’t wait!

Jan 30, 2017

Masseter Monday

masseter ~ muscle used to move the lower jaw

I’m back. Did you miss me? Did you even notice I was gone? LOL

A funny thing happened on the way to getting my post written last week...

Usually I write this post on Sunday night. For whatever reason - I guess I was busy last weekend and too tired on Sunday night - I put off the post until Monday. But like happens all too often, I didn’t get it done before I had to leave for babysitting, and by the time I got home again it was too late.

Normally I’m the last person to complain about the cold or being cold, but last Monday I was so cold at my daughter’s house I thought her furnace had broken. It hadn’t. That was my first warning sign. The second was that I had absolutely no desire to eat the wonderful lunch I’d made myself - baked salmon, sweet potato, and brussel sprouts.

When I got home again I changed into my jammies, slippers, and bathrobe and curled up in the recliner under a blanket. And promptly fell asleep. Which is the best I can say about last week. The excessive sleeping.

When I wasn’t sleeping I was in utter misery from the worst case of viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu) I’ve ever had the misfortune to experience. Thank God the hubby got the toilet installed in the downstairs bathroom that weekend. I could not imagine going through this with only one working bathroom, and an upstairs one at that.

Tuesday and Wednesday I pretty much lived on water and apple juice, alternating sips of both. Poor hubby had to fend for himself as far as suppers went - good thing we had a supply of Campbell's Chunky Soup in a variety of flavours (although even the smell of them didn't help matters). I was so sick I even bailed on babysitting.

Thursday I felt marginally better, but rushed the whole eating thing (as opposed to sipping juice and water) and Thursday night I paid heavily for my folly. Friday I started to follow the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) and actually felt well enough to babysit. I’m really amazed at how much the bananas in particular helped.

Anyway, by Saturday I was over the worst of it, and slowly began to introduce solid food back into my diet. If Thursday night taught me anything, it was to not rush getting back to normal. The virus has run its course and it’ll take a while for my body to recover. Fine by me.

Now I just have to find the time to watch all the TV shows I slept through.


Jan 16, 2017

Multiloquent Monday

multiloquent ~ talkative; garrulous

You may notice the lack of a big reveal for the bathroom. My still-not-finished-being-renovated bathroom is cursed. I’m no longer looking forward to a nice, long, soaky bath in my nice deep tub - I don’t care how pretty it looks if/when it’s done. The bathroom is cursed - I’ll probably get electrocuted by the spa jets or something.

First of all, the wash stand for the sink that the hubby did such an amazing job on is just a wee bit too big for the space it needs to go in. The stand is so pretty with its many coats of paint and shiny varathane finish making it as smooth as silk. The hubby had to cut into that perfect surface to take about an inch off of the perimeter.

Next was the blind. When I replaced the ugly venetian blind in the upstairs bathroom and the even uglier curtains in the upstairs hallway with bamboo blinds, I bought one for the downstairs bathroom as well. The window in the bathroom is narrow, but it sits about three feet above the tile and half a foot below. The frame is painted the colour I was going to use for sponging, which would make a nice contrast with the dark bamboo. Except ... the blind was wide enough that it would hide the frame, not fit inside it like the others, and it did not look good against the dark paint.

So despite not wanting to leave the house this weekend, off to Walmart I went for a smaller blind. Only they didn’t have one. Since I didn’t have a receipt, I was given a gift card, which I promptly forgot about when I bought some other stuff I needed (just so it wasn’t a wasted trip).

We live in a small town and ever since Target screwed us over closed down Zellers, Walmart’s pretty much the only game in town as far as department stores. So I sat in the parking lot for a minute, trying to figure out who else might have blinds, and finally noticed the Home Despot Depot a couple of fields over. So off I went.

They didn’t have any blinds the right size either, even if I was willing to pay almost twice Walmart’s prices. But what they did have was this film stuff you can put on your window so it looks like stained glass. It’s going to look awesome.

However, before that happens we still have to deal with problem number three. The toilet.

I had requested a grown-up toilet for the bathroom, meaning one that was a little higher than a regular one. The one we found is a little higher, a little narrower, and a little longer. It was going to be perfect.

Now. The standard distance from the wall to the hole the toilet sits on is twelve inches. However, the drywall and tile weren’t up when the plumber put the hole in our bathroom floor and as a result there’s not quite enough room between the toilet and the wall for the tank. And that means we have to get a plumber in this week to move the hole forward by about an inch. *sigh*

And in the continuing saga of misfortune, I removed the blankets from my reading nook and de-haired the cushion (no mean feat in itself) but when it came time to cover the cushion back up to protect it from future cat hair, I couldn’t find the blanket I’d bought specifically for that purpose. It was more of a throw than a proper blanket, made out of arctic fleece, but there’s no trace of it anywhere. So when I was out dealing with the blind thing I got a new one. The old one is sure to show up any time now.

And remember all those pillows I washed and dried last weekend? Turns out they’re too big to use in the sweater cat beds. Also, the sides of the cat beds take more stuffing than I counted on so I’ll have to buy more. You know, when I buy some smaller pillows (which are cheaper than pillow forms from a craft store). I have no idea what I’m going to do with all those extra pillows. Hmm. Maybe I’ll embroider decorative covers for them and give them away for Christmas presents next year. ;-)

So ... while Friday the 13th wasn’t particularly unlucky, the same can’t be said for the 14th and the 15th.

Jan 9, 2017

Moirologist Monday

moirologist ~ mourner for hire

As you may have noticed by the lateness of this post, I’m still not quite up to speed with the new year yet. :-D

Last week was a little ... frustrating for me. I did finish getting things put back together in my office, which required a little shuffling of things and a bit of reorganization. I ended up buying a couple more hanging file holders for the top of my filing cabinet and some of those stackable paper trays, which are not as sturdy as they first appeared.

I did not get the reading nook de-haired, but I did get the pillows washed that I’m going to repurpose into cat beds. I even washed the sweaters I’m going to use. However, drying the pillows took FOREVER. The washing machine was willing to wash them, but the spin cycle didn’t work so great. And honestly? I think a couple of them could use a little more drying time, but I really don’t care. Hopefully they’ll air dry.

With my nice cleaned off and newly organized desk you’d think I’d get lots of work done in the office last week, but sadly that was not the case. The tile guy arrived shortly after 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning, as he did for the rest of the week. And with the bathroom practically across the hall from me, I didn’t feel quite comfortable enough to work at my desk. Although I did get my enormous amount of shredding done.

But the good news is, the tiling in the bathroom is done. The guy did a great job - here’s what it looks like:

Well done Henry! Especially since our walls are a little lop-sided, a fact that wasn’t discovered until he only had the window wall left to do, but which meant he had to painstakingly remove almost an entire wall of tile and redo it.

Here’s another picture showing the tile with the flooring. It’s not the greatest quality picture, but it gives you an idea. The floor looks like tile as well, but it’s wood laminate. And we couldn’t have picked a better match for the tile if we’d been trying to.

Now all that’s left is hooking up the toilet and sink, and cosmetic stuff, like putting up the mirror and sconces, and a thorough cleaning.

It’s getting close ...

Jan 2, 2017

Mirabilia Monday

mirabilia ~ marvels; miracles

Everybody have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year? Happy to see the end of 2016 and welcome 2017 with open arms? Just so you know, we’re not out of the woods yet. 2016 was the Year of the Monkey in the Chinese calendar, and monkeys love to play tricks, which accounts for the difficulties of the year. The Year of the Monkey doesn’t end until January 27 - let’s hope the Year of the Rooster is kinder.

I’m just happy all the holiday stuff is behind us now. More and more I’m finding the holidays are too people-y, and I can only handle people in small doses. And sadly, it’s not quite over for me yet. We missed one of the family get togethers due to weather issues, and we’ve yet to come up with an alternate plan.

I’ve had ten days off from babysitting, and I’m happy to report that other than the one day I lost to a stomach flu, I’ve been putting my time to good use. There was the holiday madness of baking and cooking and sewing and crafting, and since then there’s been the finishing of An Elemental Earth and the cleaning of the office.

Which is one of the reasons this post is so late. I was up until 11p.m. last night working in the office, and then I really needed a break so I watched Star Trek: Into Darkness. Which means it was something like 3 a.m. before I got to bed. This morning I woke up at my usual time, got up to feed the cats, then took an Advil for my headache and went back to bed for a while. ;-)

Anyway, there are no pictures of the office yet. Everything in there is clean - excerpt for the cushion in the reading nook - but I still need to put stuff back where it belongs. I’d move stuff to a clean surface as I cleaned and I just didn’t have the energy to put everything back again. I’ve come to the inescapable conclusion: I have a lot of books. And knick knacks.

While I was doing that, the hubby was slaving away in the bathroom. After doing a couple of test strips and lining things up to have a look, I decided against sponge painting the walls. One, I really didn’t like the look of the test board, and two, I decided that having a patterned floor, patterned tiles, and patterned paint was too much pattern.

Maybe if I was more familiar with the sponging technique, or maybe if I was using several different colours of paint I’d feel differently, but I kind of like the clean look of the dark paint. Hubby’s not too sure, but he’s also pretty sure he won’t want to re-paint the walls again because they look tacky.

It was too hard to try and get a picture of both the floor and the walls together (because there’s all that space to be tiled in between, so I’m just going to show a picture of the floor, because it’s really spectacular. You can see a bit of the paint at the top of the picture:

The guy who was supposed to help hubby with the tiling hasn’t been available, so in the interest of time (and because he’s never tiled before) hubby has hired someone to come in to do it for us. Which means, my friends, the end is near for the bathroom reno!

This is the point where I usually talk about my goals for the upcoming year, and recap how I did on last year’s goals. However, because I’ve been such a blogging slacker the last few weeks, this post has ran rather long. And since a lot of my goals are kind of writing related anyway, I decided to post them on My Writing Journal. So just click on the link if you’re curious. :-D

Welcome to 2017!