Monday, August 31, 2015

delving the mysteries of the closet

I mean an actual closet, not the metaphorical one. ;)

I needed to find several items--a charger for a tablet, a specific pocketbook, and some pens. Somehow, someway, all the pens and pencils in my home have wandered away. I knew I had a stash of them somewhere, but where?

Between having some family stay for awhile, a household emergency, a friend stay for a while, and other life events, the things in my closets have been moved around a lot. A lot, a lot. Stacked, rearranged, and re-ordered. (Who doesn't need to go through the stuff they hide in the closets? I am no different.)

I thought maybe it'd take me a few hours, this past weekend. No, it took an entire day! But I did it. Like a scientist studying the layers of the earth, I dug and dug. I found a bag full of pens! Soon, I found the purse I wanted. But not the charger. Where could it be? At the very bottom-most box, in the very bottom of the bottom-most box, of course. But, I found it!

Along the journey, I found photos of years gone by, knickknacks I didn't even know I'd saved, more papers (the papers will never end, paperless society hurry up and get here), piles of clothes, empty boxes to things well in use, and wire upon wire upon wire. I don't know if these wires go to anything manufactured in this century. But yet, I'm afraid they might go to *something*, and so I am not yet throwing them out. I tucked them back into their box, and shoved them back into the closet. A task for another day.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

more awesome things I have done today

Most of the day is gone now, and I was industrious practically all of it. I'm not quite done with the evening, either. I still have a few tasks I intend to conquer before bedtime.

A continuation of the list of awesome things I've done today

- made food, ate food (not surprisingly, on these days of focus and concentration on cleaning, sometimes I don't make time to do this)
-- folded laundry
-- started more laundry
-- folded laundry again
-- cleaned off the deck
-- washed dishes, cleaned counter-tops, swept and mopped the kitchen floor
-- sorted more papers (I have papers, papers, everywhere!)

I look around, and I feel quite proud of the amount of work I have accomplished. My own sweet little home feels much less like a wreck, and more like a place in progress!

Awesome Things I Have Done

I have two days to get as much done in my home as humanely possible. I have well far more to do than I can get done, it is certain that I will end the weekend without completing everything necessary, so of course, I am prioritizing. And, of course, it is easy to get distracted and actually do the things that aren't necessary (but perhaps you'd rather do) than the things that are necessary.

So, instead of making a To Do List. I am making a list of things of things I accomplish, as I get them done. I have labeled it: Awesome Things I Have Already Done

This will keep me motivated. I like to see the list grow!

I am also writing the list down in fantastic colors, like purple and green and pink and yellow. That was the first thing on my list -- find out where I stashed my colorful pens!


Awesome Things I Have Already Done

-found pens
-started laundry
-worked out
-sorted a lot of paper
-paid bills
-sorted even more paper
-talked to a friend (caught up) on the phone

Off to do more things!!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Free Fiction: The Hidden Park, Part II

“Dad?” Annabelle moved her scrambled eggs around the plate with her fork. She looked up, waiting for a response. “Pop?”

Both her fathers were at the counter, finishing up their own plates for breakfast. Pop pulled toast from the toaster and quickly put them down on the plates, then Dad shoveled eggs over. They each brought their own plate to the table.

“What, sweetie?” Pop asked.

“Do you know that park behind Main Street? The small one with the trees?”

“Park?” Dad asked. His face drew down into a scrunch of thoughtful consideration. “I don’t recall there being a park back there.”

“Well, maybe it isn’t a park,” Annabelle said. “It could just be someone’s lawn. It was just behind that big, grey stone building there. I don’t know what it is. I think a church? You know, behind the pharmacy.”

Pop scratched at his chin. It was Sunday and he was clean shaven all week long because he needed to look good for his job as an attorney, but on the weekends he let his whiskers grow. Annabelle always loved it best by the end of Sunday evening when he looked scruffy and rough, like a cowboy instead of a lawyer. “I’m sure I’ve been back there, but I can’t seem to recall what it looks like. Why do you ask?”

“When I walked Duchess yesterday, we went back there, and there was this guy—“ As soon as she said that, both her fathers became serious and tightened up. “And Duchess really liked him, and he knew her name, even though I didn’t tell him.”

They relaxed a little. “That’s interesting,” said Dad. “You didn’t recognize him?”


“I wonder if Duchess knows him,” Pop said. He looked to the floor, and Duchess was there, sitting quietly beneath the table. She looked up hopefully, her attention flicking to the plates of eggs, and then back to their faces. Pop scratched the top of her head. “We’ll make sure you get a treat, don’t you worry.”

“We’ve only had her for six months,” Dad said, “she did have a life before we adopted her. That’s probably it.” Dad was an engineer. He designed and built air handling systems, and was the more practical of her fathers. He made lists and knew facts and figures. If Annabelle wanted help with math or science, or sports, she asked Dad. If she needed assistance with poetry or literature, or difficult logical thinking that required leaps of faith, she asked Pop.

“Still,” Pop said, “I am curious. I’d like to see this park, not a park, or whatever it is for myself.” He glanced to the windows, where sunshine splashed on the sill. “Gorgeous day for a walk, and that’s one of the reasons we got Duchess. So she could be our personal trainer and get us all out of the house more.”

“Perfect,” said Dad. “There’s a hardware store across from the pharmacy. I need some new work gloves and need to replace a broken drill bit. We can all go for an after breakfast stroll.”

Under the table, Duchess shifted to lean against Annabelle’s shins. Her fur was soft and luxurious, and her body was warm against Annabelle’s bare feet. “Okay,” said Annabelle.

“Now, eat your eggs before they get cold,” Dad said.

Pop laughed. “I was going to say that, too!”

Sunday, August 23, 2015

reading more

I haven't been writing as much as I'd like to lately, so I am going to start trying to read more. Reading excellent stuff always gets me revved up and energetic.

I've got Paradox next up on my list, by Chris Quinton ( ), one of my favorite writers (and a dear friend of mine). I'm excited to get into it! It won third place in the Rainbow Awards, too!

Check out her works here:

peaches and yogurt

Mmmm, got a special treat today.

Fresh, Southern peaches, ripened to perfection, and a high end yogurt. Dipped together, they are perfection!

Goodness, I do love late summer when everything ripens!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Free Fiction: The Hidden Park

Annabelle had never noticed the small grassy area before. Tucked behind a row of stores and off to the side of the rear parking lot, hid a gorgeous little green space. Duchess pulled at her leash, eager to get her paws off the hot asphalt and onto soft grass, and Annabelle allowed herself to be dragged forward. It was often hard to stop the powerful young golden retriever mix. Since her adoption only a few months ago, her once shy demeanor had blossomed into a more appropriate boisterousness. Annabelle liked the personality Duchess seemed to be developing, though she did miss the calmness of their early walks.

Parking signs on metal shafts jutted out of the ground on two sides of the lot, warning about parking only for customers and all others would be towed. The remaining two sides of the grassy rectangle were bordered by the grey stone of an old building. A door sat at the far edge of one wall, looking rusty and old and hardly used. The grass was trim and lush, however, and obviously well cared for. Someone spent time taking care of the small space. A handful of trees scattered across the green, providing shade and allowing dabbled sunlight to filter through the fluttering leaves.

Duchess pulled Annabelle forward and they entered the lovely little space. Once inside, Annabelle saw two white ceramic bowls near the disused door. Water filled one to the brim and the other was full of dog kibble. Duchess tugged on the leash and Annabelle moved forward.

Duchess lapped at the water and sniffed the kibble, but didn’t eat any, which was unusual. She liked food of any sort and tended to snarf up anything within reach.

Now that she was in the green space, it felt quiet and secluded. The cars on the street just thirty yards away hushed into a background rumble and the normal street sounds and voices of people were barely audible. Annabelle rubbed the spot at the bottom of Duchess’ ears and felt suddenly uneasy. There hadn't been any signs posted about keeping out, but the space didn't feel like Annabelle was supposed to be there.

“C’mon girl,” Annabelle said. She tugged at the leash and Duchess came with her until they reached the edge, where grass turned into parking lot. Duchess whined and sat down.

Annabelle shook her head. “Let’s finish our walk.” She tugged on the leash, but Duchess resisted.

“She don’t want to go yet.”

Annabelle looked up. An older man leaned against one of the thicker trees. He wore work gloves, jeans that were dirty at the knees, and a thin plaid shirt. Beneath his baseball cap, his face creased into well worn lines when he smiled. “What?” Annabelle said.

“She wants to say hello before you go,” the man said.

Duchess whined and whirled around, tugged against her harness and leash, eager to reach the man. The handle slipped from Annabelle’s hand and Duchess trotted over to the man.

He squatted down, removed his work gloves, and gave her an energetic rubbing. “Good dog,” he told her. “You’re a good girl, aren’t you?”

Duchess basked in the praise. She dropped to the ground and rolled over. He rubbed her belly, and then she bounced to her feet again.

“Got a home now, don’t you, Duchess?” he said to her, still rubbing her head and neck, then massaging the fur around her shoulders. “That’s good. That’s the best. You deserve it. Had a rough time before, didn’t you. Poor thing, poor girl.”

Annabelle stared at the man. Now that she wasn’t as frightened, he seemed much kinder, especially since Duchess obviously approved of him.

“Go on now, finish your walk.” He gave her one last pat, and Duchess whirled around and trotted back to Annabelle, dragging her leash behind her.

“She’s a sweetheart,” the man said. “Anytime you need to visit, you’re both plenty welcome.”

“Thanks,” Annabelle said. She waved politely and the man waved back, and she set off with Duchess. This time the dog followed obediently. She risked a look back after about twenty feet, and the man was still there, leaning against the tree and watching them. He waved again and so did Annabelle.

Annabelle didn’t attempt to look back again. Duchess seemed very happy and they were safely on their way. As she thought over the interaction, Annabelle realized—she’d never called Duchess by name while they’d been there, had she? She was pretty sure she hadn’t. A chill ran down her spine. How had the man known Duchess’ name?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Clouds, you disappoint me!

The Perseid Meteor Shower has been going on for the past couple nights, and all we've had in the local area are clouds, clouds, and more clouds!

With very little moonlight, it is supposed to be a spectacular display this year, and the clouds are having their little display of prominence! Normally, I'm very pro-cloud. They're pretty, they bring some rain when it is needed, they shield me from some too-harsh sunlight when I'm out exercising, but this week I think they have gone too far! ;)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sundays are for organizing

Saturdays are for recovering from the previous week, and then once you've recovered sufficiently, you can then attack all the bazillion things that need to be done. Up for today are various errands, paperwork, cleaning, paperwork, yard work, paperwork, catching up on e-mails, paperwork, organizing household items, and paperwork. There's always more paperwork than anything else!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Free Fiction: Pre-Focused

This short little bit will probably make more sense if you've read last week's ficlet, but I think it should stand on its own very well, too. It's actually set in the midst of Focused, but it is from Frank's perspective!


Frank had the side of the van open and he was puzzling out why the ladder suddenly didn’t fit the allotted slot when Mike lugged a full toolbox into its storage space.

“Can you see what’s in the way?” Frank asked. He’d been dreading trying to stretch or crawl into the small space. Once upon a time, he might have, but he was padded out with a few dozen heavy meals that now got in the way, permanently. Mike was stellar at weaseling into small spaces.

“Sure.” Mike climbed into the cargo space, eyeballed the slot, and then reached an arm deep into the recess. “Try now.”

Frank pushed and the ladder slid into place. “Thanks.”

“It was some old work gloves in the corner. Must have fallen out of something.” He paused for a beat. “Hey, Frank.”

Frank turned. “Yeah?”

“Do you remember that guy today? The one with the glasses.”

“Guy?” Frank thought about it for a moment. He’d been on the job long enough that he didn’t pay too much attention to the people. He worked one contract site, then the next, and all the people blurred one into another.

“He let us in to the lock down spaces and played babysitter,” Mike prompted.

Frank dredged up an image, but the guy was nondescript at best. Not too tall, not too short. He wore glasses and had the same waxy complexion that all office workers seemed prone to. Nicer than most employees who needed to waste their work time helping out contractors, though. He had been pleasant. “I guess,” Frank admitted. “Why?”

“I don’t know,” Mike said. “He caught my attention. I thought he was sort of interesting.”

Frank groaned. “You and your interesting. What is it with you and these nerdy guys? They look at their shoes when they talk to you instead of eye to eye.”

Mike grinned and shrugged. “Not this one. He spent a lot of time looking me in the eye.”

Frank groaned again, louder and more forcefully. “Ah, Mike. These guys eat soggy shredded rice cakes for dinner.”

“We’re here for at least three more days. I thought if we needed help for something, we could use him. I might get a chance to talk to him a little more.”

“Fine, fine.” Frank shook his head. “Just remember, you gotta wait until after the job is over. Nobody wants a repeat of that business like we had with that skater creep you found ‘interesting’,” he stressed the word, “at that job last summer.”

“Never gonna happen again,” Mike promised.

“Okay,” Frank said.

“One more thing?” Mike asked.


“Can you tell George?” The words were hardly out of Mike’s mouth when he backpedaled ferociously, and scurried away. “I’ll get the rest of the stuff!” he yelled from yards away, headed directly back into the building. He passed George, who had an armful of materials.

George emptied his load into the van and then leaned against the side with a knowing frown. “Tell me what?” he asked.

Frank covered his face with one hand and groaned.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

headaches, little and mechanical

Had the car into the shop today for somewhat pricey repairs. Potholes ruin everything on cars, but those ruined bits must be fixed.

Other than that scheduled, expensive headache, I also ended up with a wee bit of a real headache. Work's been having trouble maintaining the climate inside -- the heat has been creeping up, and sometimes the air isn't right and it gets amazing humid and the air seems dead, and stuffy. I read a funny article talking about that, what with the new scientific research into how offices are too cold for women, because they've been set for a 154 lb man from the 1960s. (154? How do scientists pick these numbers? Why not 150 lbs? Why not 155 bs?) In the article, it said there are only two office temperatures: too hot, too cold. So, so true....

On a happier note, I will have a little ficlet up for reading tomorrow. It's associated with last week's little fic, and looks at the perspective of the situation from one of the other characters.