Dec 022015
 

The new homesteadEach day on Facebook I get a reminder and a link to a set of posts that I made or participated in on the anniversary of the date.  Today’s reminders contained a link that started this reflective mood.  One year ago today is when I first posted about having turned in my notice at a job I had held for seventeen years.  I wrote about it on this blog in the post titled “Rebooting My Life“.

Reading back on that post made me reflect on all the things that led up to that decision.  More than that, it made me look back on the year that has passed since then.  Needless to say, not everything in the last year has worked out the way I expected it to.  Some of it has worked out better, some worse.  Of course, I suppose that’s pretty much the way life is.  No complaints.  I’ve got a good home, good life, and a wonderful wife to share it with.

Sure, there are things that I wanted to accomplish in 2015 that didn’t pan out the way I planned.  There’s the book that I spent the first several months of the year writing.  Chucklers now languishes unpublished in the virtual drawer awaiting a fresh perspective and rewrites.  My second writing project of the year is Year 12, the sequel to Half Past Midnight.  If things had gone according to plan, it would already be published.  But it’s also still unfinished.  In fact, the only thing that I’ve managed to publish this year is a horror novella that I wrote in 2014.  It sold well for Halloween, but now is barely moving.

Then there’s my gardening.  I had high hopes that I was going to be able to help cut costs on our groceries by bringing in all sorts of fruits and veggies.  Instead, between the bad growing season we had this year, and the money I spent on getting good soil into the garden, I think I probably managed to cost us a couple of hundred dollars more than what we would have spent just buying the groceries.

But here’s the thing… I learned what to do next year.  I learned where I messed up by planting too early, and so stunting some of my veggies.  I learned that the huge garden I have is simply too big for me to handle.  So I’ll be scaling it back for next year, and I’ll hold off on planting for next year until late April or early May.

And for my writing, I should be set up pretty well for the next year.  My plan for Chucklers is to clear up the confusing timeline issues by splitting it into two different books.  And the first draft of Y12 should (hopefully) be finished by the end of this year, setting it up for publication next year as well.  If all that goes according to plan, I could have three new books published by this time next year.

But not if I don’t get my phatass back to work.  So enough reflection for now.  Be careful everyone, and stay safe.   Bye

Jul 082015
 

Almost forgot to write my Wednesday posting. Luckily, there isn’t really any contentious news to take up any of our time today. There was the holiday weekend that those of us here in the US just celebrated. MBH and I took advantage of the long weekend and went to visit friends and family in Houston. It was a little rushed, as holidays go, but it was also a well needed and greatly appreciated respite from the day to day.

And when we got back home we had some surprises waiting for us. Our cantaloupes are finally beginning to actually produce some fruit. They’re still small, to be sure, but it felt great to find them in the garden. If all the melons that are currently growing manage to mature, it looks like we’ll get about a dozen of them. Of course, the weather has taken another turn, and it’s been raining for the last few days, so there’s no guarantee that they’ll ever mature at this rate.

There are also about a dozen ears of corn trying to grow, and a handful of grape tomatoes. And we still get the occasional strawberry or two, and Royal Burgandy bush beans. But the weather has just been too crazy this year for us to be able to depend on any sort of real return.

But I’ve learned a lot during the course of this first big garden, and hopefully next year will be more productive. Not that I’ve completely given up on this year. I just realize that the growing season is passing me by, with very little to show for it so far.

What else? Hmmm…..

Oh! MBH and I have found a new show that we really enjoy watching. It’s the History Channel’s “Forged in Fire“. It’s a weekly bladesmithing competition where they have four bladesmiths competing for a weekly $10k prize. It’s really reminded me of how much I used to love making knives. The blade in the picture here, is one that I rough-ground, but never got around to finishing. Maybe I’ll get a chance to get back to it again one day.

Hey! It could happen. LOL

And if you are interested, and haven’t already seen them, here is a link to some of the kit knives I used to make and sell.

Writing

The writing is moving along. Not as smoothly as I would like, but it is moving. For those of you who write, you know how sometimes the story just seems to flow from your fingers and you knock out three, four, or five thousand words at a sitting? Then other times it’s a fight to get one thousand? I seem to be running into a lot of those one thousand word days lately. I hit a speedbump in the story that has forced me to throw out a few thousand words, and getting back on track is a real struggle.

But I think I’m just about back where I want the story to be. It’s still rough, but it’s a first draft. Polishing it will come later.

Speaking of writing, I need to get back to it. So that’s it for now. You guys stay safe, and I’ll talk to you in about a week. Bye

 Posted by at 11:14 pm
Jun 222015
 

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve already fallen off on my resolution to post here daily. I thought about it before letting the blog slide for a few days, but had a couple of people point out to me that the time I was spending on blog posts was time that I wasn’t working on the WIP. It’s a valid point, and after considering it I’ve come to the conclusion that my time would be better served by blogging less, and spending more time on the book.

I’m not yet sure how often I will end up posting, but it will probably be at least once a week… maybe more. Maybe I’ll make Wednesdays my blogging days – “website Wednesday”. Who knows? But today is Monday, and I’m here, so…

So, what’s happened lately? The obvious one is that yesterday was Father’s Day. It was a peaceful relaxed day, with my wife trying to pamper me, and me feeling guilty when she did. The kids all called to wish me a good one, so that was really nice.

The hardest thing about it was trying not to dwell too much on the fact that it was my first Father’s Day since my dad passed. I kept finding myself thinking about him, and at times had to make myself busy doing something else to keep from tearing up. I guess it’s natural, and I know there are so many people who have gone through the same thing or worse. But it’s new for me, and I’m still finding my way.

20150622_071322We spent several hours of Friday evening and Saturday morning on the yard. With it being a much bigger yard, it takes MBH and I working together for a good three or four hours. And for the last two times we’ve mowed, we’ve noticed that the riding mower seems to be cutting crooked. This morning when walking the girls, we got back home and MBH looked at the yard and said, “It looks like one of those crazy hair styles where someone was trying to cut a pattern into their hair.” Personally, I think it looks more like drunken aliens were trying to make crop circles, and couldn’t quite hold the pattern. Either way, it doesn’t look like a well maintained lawn. I don’t know if you can see the lawn art in the attached picture, but there it is. I really need to take a look at the deck of the mower & see if there is some sort of adjustment to straighten it up.

But the garden is growing, the yard is mowed, and today it’s back to writing. Let’s see how that works out today, shall we?

Oh! A PS for the person who left a comment asking whether or not I built this website myself – First, I am using a discontinued WordPress theme called “Suffusion”. It’s very adaptable, and you can pretty much make it look however you want. I elected for a relatively simple color scheme with light print on a darker, static background. Here’s the thing though… your comment appears to be clickbait spam. Granted, if it is, it’s better written than most, but it’s suspicious enough that I’m not going to allow the pending comment through. If you are an actual person, please feel free to reply to this & let me know who you are, but until such time as I am convinced, your link will die in limbo.

Stay safe, everyone.   Bye

Jun 162015
 

cabbage wormInvasion of the lettuce eating something or other worm!

We noticed several days ago that there was something munching on some of the green leafies in the Garden Tower. At the time, it wasn’t too much, and I wasn’t too concerned (what with me trying to be Mr. Organic Gardener and all that.) Two days ago, I got much more concerned when I found quite a bit more lettuce chewed, as well as some of the spinach. Worse yet, some of the lettuce was beginning to rot.

Picking through the lettuce, I found several spots with black eggs all over the leaves, and finally, I found this little guy (or more accurately, this gal) happily munching away and laying her eggs. I picked out the leaves she was on, as well as the ones on which she had laid her eggs, and tossed them into the burn pit.

Alas, that was not to be the end of the story. Yesterday was another rainy day, so I didn’t go outside to check on things. Late in the evening, MBH called me outside. She found another of the little buggers, and more eggs scattered throughout an entire section of lettuce. Trying to cut our losses, I pulled the entire pocket from the tower and looked closely for any more eggs or worms. Let’s hope I go them all.

On the writing front, yesterday was a great day. It was the first mostly full day of writing I’ve gotten, and I knocked out just a bit shy of 3000 words. W00t! If only every day could be like that. LOL

So off I go again, to the WIP. Stay safe.