Showing posts from August, 2009

An Anniversary

We’re celebrating an anniversary around here, today. No, not a wedding anniversary. A homecoming anniversary. Two years ago today, I rescued Skye and brought her home.

Back then she was on-edge, stressed, and a little distrustful. And she was a chatterbox.

Now, she’s considerably more laid-back. Queen of the house. And still a chatterbox

Do you like her feather boa?

I’ve been reminiscing a bit about all that was going on in my life two years ago. It wasn’t a happy time. At least, not until I rescued Skye. And she rescued me. We adore each other.

We’re spending our anniversary at home. I’m writing and she’s soaking up the sun in her favorite sunspots. I have a treat for her for supper. Her new favorite EXPENSIVE cat food. Fancy Feast Appetizers. They must put cocaine in that stuff. Or catnip.

Happy Anniversary, Skye kitty. I’m so glad you chose me to be your human.

Working Stiffs Wednesday

I'm back at Working Stiffs this morning after a brief hiatus to make room for a few guest bloggers. Today, we're updating our writing goals--looking back at whether or not we met our previous ones and looking ahead at new ones. Come on over and share.

Over the Falls

We spent the weekend at our camp in Confluence, but it wasn’t a vacation. Saturday was the annual Over the Falls Festival at Ohiopyle and I was “on assignment” to cover it for that potential article I mentioned last week.

I love this job.

We took a ton of pictures. Really. Tons. Okay a couple hundred. At least.

Here are two. This one shows how it’s supposed to be done. Pretty cool. In an insane kind of way.

And this one shows how it’s NOT supposed to be done. Yes, that kayak is upside down. And, yes, there is a person hanging on, under it. Not the way you’d want to go over an 18 foot waterfall.

And, yes, he survived.

The Bathroom Remodel: Phase One-Complete

At last.

I think it looks great. And everything works. VERY important.

This week, Hubby finished the trim work. Yesterday, I washed my lace swag curtain and hung it over the new blinds.

Yes, I’m happy.

At least until we start the next project, which might just make this one seem like child’s play. We’re going to rip up all the carpeting and put down wood floors in the entire house.

I don’t want to think about it. Right now I’m just enjoying my sparkling new bathroom.

A Working Writer

Lest you think all I’ve been doing lately is vacationing and attending relaxing yoga retreats, I’ll have you know I’m currently juggling three writing “jobs.”

First, there’s the novel. I’ve been moving steadily forward on it and am about to move into the third act. Rolling toward those two little words: THE END. But first, I’ve been taking an online course given by a retired cop who is willing and able to answer any and all questions. So I’ve been learning that I need to rewrite a bunch of stuff. Like most of the police scenes. That’s almost half of the book. But some of the revisions only require a line or two. Some involve pages and pages. Thankfully, none of it affects the bones of the story. So I’m tinkering.

Second, there’s the short story. Yes, THAT short story. I’ve received a second (and I’ve been told LAST) editing letter. More minor changes that I can already see strengthen the story. I think I love my editor.

And third, today I received the go-ahead on one of the articles I’ve…

Vacation Afterglow

We’re home again after five luscious days of no appointments, no schedule, and no demands on my time. Yes, we were at the camp.

It’s not entirely true that I had no appointments. I had one. Our local Sisters in Crime chapter is planning a writer’s retreat and I had made an appointment to meet with the owner of a local bed and breakfast. But it didn’t feel like an appointment since it was scheduled for Friday late morning, early afternoon. None of that 10:40AM stuff and then sit in the waiting room for two hours. Plus I rode my bicycle there. Now THAT is my kind of appointment.

The rest of the time I either read or wrote or rode my bike on the trails or around town. I whipped out two chapters. Plus, while biking the lush green wooded trails, I plotted almost the entire rest of my book. Nothing like being productive AND lazing around at the same time.

Skye returned to her party cat ways and played and romped and bounced on the bed (specifically MY PILLOW) all night long. But losing sleep t…

The Return of Pitt Girl?

Is it true? Or is this another cruel rumor meant to tease me and then break my heart?

Is Pitt Girl returning?

I can only cross my fingers and hope.

Any time something newsworthy (especially if it ranked as extremely stupid) happened in Pittsburgh, my first reaction would be: what’s Pitt Girl going to say about this? And she never disappointed.

Until she closed up the Burgh Blog.

But after nearly a year, it’s back. Right now there’s only a promise of something big coming and her archives. PLEASE let the “something big” be her return. With the G-20 Summit coming up, we’re going to need her perspective on the insanity taking place in our city.

Come back, Pitt Girl!

A Peaceful Weekend

I’m home from the retreat. Yes, I did take my computer, but, no, I didn’t do any work. For one thing, the retreat was held at a local university that brags about free wi-fi. What they don’t mention is you have to be student or member of the faculty and have a university email address in order to log on. Mere guests such as myself are out of luck.

But that was okay. I spent the weekend immersed in the workshops, classes, and meditation practices. And the rest of the time, I slept. I think I slept 10 hours Saturday night.

Unlike most of the yoga workshops I’ve attended in the past, which focus on the asana (yoga poses), this was very definitely a spiritual retreat. I sat at the feet of Yogi Amrit Desai and listened to his wisdom and his teachings.

I was reminded of the vast gulf between the part of me that writes mysteries and the part of me that enjoys yoga and chanting and mediation. They are polar opposites that I still can’t quite reconcile even in my own mind. But perhaps I don’t need…

The Cave, the Cat, and the Laptop

I know I’ve mentioned it here before, so it may not be news to you that I get homesick. Before I go somewhere. It’s an odd little bit of insanity. I will plan and eagerly await a trip away from home, only to develop a dread of the whole ordeal in the days leading up to departure.

So far, it hasn’t driven me to cancel any plans, but I always consider it. Basically, I’m a hermit. I’m happy to sit in my cave with my cat and let the world do its own thing without me.

Speaking of the cat, I’ve come to realize that I don’t suffer this premature homesickness when we’re heading for our camp in Confluence. Is it because Skye the Camping Kitty comes with us? Maybe I just miss my cat. Or is it because the camp in Confluence has become a second home? My second cave. I have to believe it’s a little of both.

This weekend, I’m attending a yoga retreat. Two nights away with no cat. No husband either. They’ll both be snuggled in at home. I’ll be off on my own.

It’s a YOGA RETREAT for goodness sake! Good f…

Girls' Day at the Races

Saturday, I escaped from the bathroom remodel project after lunch, picked up my friend Sara, and headed for Mountaineer Racetrack for West Virginia Derby Day. Sara and I are kindred horse-crazy spirits, but she had never been to a Thoroughbred race before and I was looking forward to showing her around that world.

You can read her tale of the day here.

The weather was gorgeous, Jessi was able to score a barn pass for Sara, and Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird was running in the West Virginia Derby. Sara and I arrived before Jessi and waited for her in her barn. Her horses kept us entertained.

This one expressed its opinion to Sara.

And this one was not cooperative about sharing a Kodak moment with me.

This was as good as it got.

Once Jessi arrived, we headed to the track. Had to park on the far turn. I knew the place would be a madhouse and wasn’t disappointed. Weaving our way through the hoards was a talent we’d pretty well perfected by day’s end. The lines for the food stretched back …

The Bathroom Remodel: Part Seven

The Changing of the Toilet

The old one must have sensed something was up, because in recent weeks, it’s been dying a slow death.

For a while now, when we flushed, we had to hold the handle down. Next, the tank stopped holding water, so we had to turn the water off at the valve. So the flushing procedure became: Turn on valve and wait for tank to fill. Flush and hold the knob until the bowl emptied. Turn the valve off again.

And three days ago, one of the hinges on the lid broke.

Think we need a new toilet???

As it happens, we’ve HAD a new one in a box in the basement for months. We just had to finish the tiling first. I’m happy to report, the tile is done. Grouted, sealed, done. I took my first bath in our newly tiled bathroom on Thursday. More on that in a moment.

So the new toilet is going in. It’s not completely installed (Hubby is off to buy parts because the old ones don’t fit). But here it is IN PROGRESS.

And here, lying dead and dismembered on our front porch is the OLD toilet. Rest i…