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Showing posts from December, 2010

Looking Back on 2010

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A large portion of 2010 was clouded by my hubby’s seven-month bout of unemployment. And I started out the year by parting company with my agent. Nevertheless, there were some moments worthy of acknowledgment before we send the year packing.

First would be February’s snowmageddon.

It was one of those things that’s better to look back on than it was to live through. Once the roads were cleared and the power restored, we had to travel to Confluence to shovel six-plus feet of snow from our camper’s roof. This involved snowshoeing into the campground, which was an adventure by itself.

Continuing 2010’s fun with foul weather, in March, our local Sisters in Crime chapter ventured to Confluence (otherwise known as weather central) during a major flood (not part of the plan) for our weekend writing retreat. I can’t believe none of us have written a murder mystery story about that weekend yet. While the rising river vied for our attention, we did manage to have a lot of fun, eat a lot of food, and…

An End to an Era

I’ve lived my entire life on property that at one time belonged to my grandfather. My folks built a house on one corner of Grandpap’s farm. When I married, we built our house on another ten-acre chunk of it. These two lots are the only ones that remain in the family. Over the years, I’ve mourned as the rest of acreage was sold off to others.

But some things didn’t change. The neighboring farm remained in the same family it had since long before I was born. Mr. C kept a large herd of beef cattle on several hundred acres. As I sit in my office at my computer, I look out my window to a view of his hillside. Pasture, some woods, and those beef cattle. Amazing how you take something for granted when it’s been there for decades.

Mr. C is one of those guys you just assume will go on forever. He never changes.

Except he is.

He’s getting older, like the rest of us. His hips are bad, so his jaunts around his property are done on tractor instead of on foot. Still, he loves his herd of cattle.

Or did.

Getting My Fix

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Anyone who knows me will tell you I am not a fan of winter. I don’t ski or ice skate. I used to love to sled ride, but suspect I’d break something vital if I tried it now. At least if I tried some of the stunts I did when I was a kid. But that’s a blog for another day.

No, I don’t much care for cold weather, snow, and ice. Hibernation has always seemed like a good idea to me. And when people ask me if I miss owning horses, I can honestly say, yes. I miss Jenny and Brandy and Gypsy. And most of the others who passed through my barn. However I do not miss breaking ice out of water buckets and chopping up frozen manure and sawdust to clean the stalls.

This morning, though, I bundled up in multiple layers and headed to Mountaineer to visit my friend Jessi. The excuse was that we had Christmas gifts to exchange and I had Avon stuff to deliver to her. But I really needed to get my hands on a horse. Yes, I’m an addict and there are times when nothing else will quench the craving…twenty degree …

Working Stiffs Wednesday

Today at Working Stiffs, I'm blogging about week 7 of Citizens' Police Academy. It feels odd because last night I actually attended week 10 of it. Since I'm only blogging at Working Stiffs every other Wednesday now, I'm behind. So while last night I heard all about the relationship between the police and the media, I'm blogging about drug investigations. Come check it out.

Photo Friday: Sisterly Tolerance

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I figured I'm overdue for both a Photo Friday post AND an update on the cats, so here goes.

While it's still not sisterly love, at lease we've reached a truce of sorts. Kind of a sisterly tolerance.

And here's Skye taking a bath.
Kensi doesn't look much like a kitten any more. Still acts like it, though. And she loves having her picture taken.




Mutiny

My “stuff” is ganging up on my wallet. I was going to say appliances or electronics, but it’s more than just that.

First my trusty black-and-white laserjet printer’s drum went bad. I use the thing just about every day and have run a small forest’s worth of paper through it, so it was no surprise. But when I learned what a drum costs? Yeouch! For an additional $10 I could buy a whole new printer…same thing as I had, only newer and slightly upgraded. No brainer. I came home with a new printer.

A week later, my more-than-five-year-old color all-in-one inkjet died. I tried printer CPR. Nothing. She flat-lined on me. I had used and abused that poor old thing. I bought it when my dad was going into long-term nursing care and we were dealing with legal and financial issues that required lots and lots of copies. I’m shocked it survived that first year.

So I ordered a new all-in-one online, and the guy in the big brown truck delivered it to my door. It’s faster and easier to use than the old one.…

Fish Tales!

Just about two years ago, the Guppies (Great UnPublished chapter of Sisters in Crime) announced our intention to put together an anthology of members’ short stories. I decided to give it a shot and wrote a tale about a romantic riverside picnic ruined when a dead body floats by. I was thrilled when, months later, my story was chosen to be a part of the anthology. I worked with our editor, Ramona DeFelice Long, who has since become a cherished friend (and a fellow survivor of the 2010 Sisters in Crime Great Flood and Writers’ Retreat).

After the usual long, drawn-out query and submission process (which I had nothing to do with…thank heavens!) The Guppies Anthology: Fish Tales has found a publisher in Wildside Press!

Here is a listing of the stories and authors:

“Thicker Than Blood” by Leslie Budewitz
“Secret of the Red Mullet” by Nancy Adams
“Accidents Happen” by Jim Jackson
“Identity Crisis” by Diane Vallere
“Sleeping with the Fish” by KB Inglee
“Feeding Frenzy” by Patricia Winton
“SASE” by Ka…

Working Stiffs Wednesday

This was the week at Citizens' Police Academy I was really looking forward to: using the firearms simulator. No pressure because it's all pretend. Yeah, right. Come on over to Working Stiffs and find out how that went for me.