Showing posts from October, 2009

Photo Friday: Too Cute

My pick for my favorite picture of those I shot this week was easy. This portrait of my youngest grandniece is just too cute.

Working Stiffs Wednesday

After last week's big announcement of reaching "The End" of my first draft, the days that have followed have been rather low key. Which is my excuse for not having posted anything here yet this week. My brain has shifted into neutral. Or gone into hybernation for the winter, even though it's not at all cold. Yet.

So after staring at a blank screen for most of yesterday afternoon, I finally decided to dust off one of my favorite rants and update it, courtesy of those two Northwest Airlines pilots. The result is posted over at Working Stiffs, because it is my day to blog there.

Photo Friday: Reflections

Since the best way to learn how to use a new camera is to get it out and USE it, I've been shooting a lot of "stuff," lately. And as an enticement to continue practicing, I've decided to post my favorite photo of the week here each Friday.

This week's photo is the result of my attempt to play with reflections and was taken along the Montour Trail while I was out walking earlier this week.

Lady Bug, Lady Bug, Fly Away Home

I thought I was looking forward to Indian Summer. Those last few days of sunshine and warm temperatures before we plunge into those cold, gray, wet, and snowy days of late fall and winter.

But I was not alone.

Lady bugs (or Asian beetles or whatever the heck they are) were also anticipating the burst of sunshine to make their last ditch search for a winter home.

Thousands of lady bugs. Hundreds of thousands. Gazillions of lad bugs.

Apparently, they especially like log houses for all the nooks and crannies in which they can hide.

The swarm began Tuesday afternoon. The bugs looked like snow flurries outside, except they weren’t white and they didn’t simply fall down. They buzzed up, down and sideways. They started ticking against the windows of my office, which face south and receive all that sunshine. Then they started finding their way through the window frames, through cracks and gaps that I can’t see.

Obviously, my house is not airtight. Note to self: MUST CAULK BEFORE WINTER.

At first the…

The End

Well, I did it. I finished the first draft. Yay! The party is being held at Working Stiffs today, so come on over.

Floored again!

It took all day Sunday, but we completed another room. No more stained, dirty, faded, ugly blue shag carpet in the bedroom.

We also moved the furniture around a bit. This totally freaked Skye out for a while, but as you can see, she has located a sunspot on the bed and is happy once again.

This leaves my office, also known as THE BLACK HOLE. I’ve begged and pleaded to put it off until after I finish my first draft and the article I’m working on for Pennsylvania Magazine. If I have to pack up all my mountains of notes and research now, I’ll never find them again.

So I have a momentary reprieve.

Unfortunately, I also still have the stained, dirty, faded ugly blue shag carpet in the office.

Zoning Out and In the Zone

I have found myself largely distracted all week. By what? It doesn’t matter. You name it. The pattern of rain drops on my windows, YouTube videos, Facebook, watching Skye kitty sleep…

Finally, I came to the conclusion that, while my body is stuck here at home, my mind went on to Bouchercon without me.

I was supposed to go. Had the reservations. Was saving my pennies. But my travel companion and B-con roommate Joyce had to back out. Economy. Finances. Pay cuts. All the usual crap effecting us all.

Joyce, if you’re reading this, I really AM over it. Honest. Do NOT feel bad.

Heck, it took all of ten minutes to spend all that money I’d saved up and then some on the Nikon.

But I’m reading blogs and Facebook accounts from those who are there and, well, I guess I’m a bit wistful. Hey, it’s a heck of a party. Authors. Books. Readers. Agents. Bars.

So, yes, I’ve been something of a body without a brain all week.

Until yesterday.

Disgusted by my lack of production, especially considering I am so very c…

Working Stiffs Rocks

It's Working Stiffs Wednesday and today I'm over there sharing some of my favorite classic rock songs.

After Shots

I've finally managed to clear out all the boxes, so I guess it's time to post some AFTER pictures of the home improvement project.

Here are a couple of the living room with its new floor and rearranged furniture:

And here is the bathroom with new floor and new tile:

Two more rooms to go!

The Week in Pictures

I love my new camera, but I have to admit, most of my successful photographs have been the result of a combination of luck and the fact that the camera is smarter than I am. In an effort to change that, I started a series of photography classes this week.

They came with the camera, so I wasn’t sure how much I’d get out of them, but I really enjoyed the first one.

In a further attempt to get better acquainted with all the bells and whistles and buttons and knobs, I’ve decided to shoot at least a few photos each day, experimenting with different settings and options along the way.

Since several days have been rainy, Skye has been my main model. I think she’s getting sick of me pointing that thing at her.

Here’s shot of my downsized to-be-read shelves.

Please note the lamp stand next to the books has not been de-cluttered yet. It’s a work in progress.

Finally, today there was a brief break in the rain showers. The sky remained as gray as my cat, and these pictures of our property behind our ho…

Working Stiffs Wednesday

I'm back at Working Stiffs today looking back at the G-20 Summit now that the dust has pretty much settled.


It feels like only a few weeks ago, we were setting up our camp in Confluence. We had some great times there this summer. But this weekend was our last hoorah of 2009. We winterized and closed up the camper until next spring.

But before saying farewell to my new home, we had one last event on the agenda: Confluence’s annual Pumpkinfest.

We arrived too late Friday evening to watch the frog jumping contest. Darn.

Saturday held lots of fun for kids. The wee ones “competed” in the Pedal Power Tractor Pull.

And these youngsters are braver (and less scared of heights) than I.

If you managed to climb all three sides of the wall, you won $100. Me? You’d have to add a few zeroes…QUITE a few…to get me up on that contraption.

This band was pretty good. Thanks to them I’m still humming the tune to American Pie.

If you wanted to take out your frustrations, there was this reject from the defunct Cash for Clunkers program and a sledgehammer. Have at it.

What’s a Pumpkinfest without BIG pumpkins?

Hey, if Linu…


I would love to post some photos of my completed living room with its rearranged furniture and new floor. I would, but I can’t. I’m still unpacking all our stuff from boxes. We threw everything in them in about ten minutes. I’ve spent HOURS pulling bits and pieces of my life back out of those boxes.

One reason is the rearrangement of furniture. I can’t simply replace knickknacks and electronics where they were before. So I’m seeking new spots for lots of these doodads and thingamabobs.

Another reason is I have a sudden aversion to clutter. I discovered I liked the looks of wide expanses of open floor and sparse shelves and tabletops.

Here I am, married to the king of packrats and I’m turning Shaker. Aren’t those the people who hang their chairs from pegs on the wall when they aren’t using them?

As a writer, I love a good conflict. But I don’t care for this one so much. Mostly because I don’t stand a chance of winning it. Nature and my hubby abhor a vacuum. I clear out a space and stand ba…