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Well I Tried

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When I announced I was suspending this blog, I expected it to be long term, but I found that I missed it. So I logged back in and discovered my readership has tripled since my last post. What's up with that?

So I'm back, the blog has a new look, and I'm going to start including photos when they seem appropriate--or even when they don't.



Kathy and I like visit the lake every chance we get, even after dark. Last night we were on our way back from a trip into town and decided to stop in at the South Dam Area. The sky was beautiful and I managed to get a fairly good picture.



I thought you might like to see the photograph I used for the new background. I don't know how to write HTML, so I'm limited to customizing the templates available from Blogger. It would have been nice to show the really colorful part of the picture, but I would rather write than fight with software.

The past week has been eventful. The U.S. of A. hasn't exactly been dominating at the Olymp…

It's Time

After struggling with this decision for awhile, I've finally come to a decision. Once again, I will suspend this blog indefinitely. I've been doing some juggling for awhile, but recent illnesses have made it harder to do.

I have a novel in the works, the third in the Eaters series, which has spent far too much time on the back burner. I also have a new novel in the Adamanta series that I'm working on and have an April deadline for a completed draft. My other blog is very time consuming. First, it requires research, I must get my information straight and get up and do some gardening or cooking to write about. Next I must do the photography (which only occasionally comes first) and the photo editing. Finally, I write the post, set it aside for a day or two, come back and edit it, and then post.

Besides the writing, having teenage boys around takes up plenty of time and adds to my time in the kitchen and out of house.

Really, this blog takes more time, because I have to try t…

Dormancy

Traditionally, this has been the time of year I head west, especially to the Northwest. Not every year, but when I do go it's always during the January lull in the weather. The middle of January always seems to have a week or so where the skies are blue, the roads are clear and the days are a little warmer.

This year I've spent the first couple of weeks of the month as a caregiver to sick family members, I had a few hours this morning being taken care of, and now I'm doing another round of care-giving.

It's been too cold for weaklings like me to do much outdoors. The wind cuts through the warmest coats.

Most of the wildlife has been staying out of sight, save for the few little birds who seem to delight in this weather.

It's only a couple of weeks from the start of garden preparations and then it's back to work. I plan to remain dormant just a little longer.

Stephen P.

Life is Messy

Hugh Mackay said: "Nothing is perfect. Life is messy." I've always liked that quote because it is one of the greatest truths of all time. It pretty much sums it all up.

When someone asks where you've been, you can either tell them in varying degrees of detail or simply shrug, but the bottom line: life is messy.

There's another quote: Man makes plans . . . and God laughs. It's been attributed to various people including Michael Chabon, but it may also be an old Yiddish proverb.

I can relate to that on a minute-by-minute level. It doesn't matter what I plan, what I end up doing is completely different. Now part of that has to do with having a life partnership. I plan, Kathy has other plans.

Right now I'm living in a situation that's complicated by having a grandson in an alternative high school situation. Another grandson has a serious illness. Sometimes the first grandson needs to get to school at the same time his brother needs to be at a clinic o…

To-Do List

There is so much to do outside this time of year, but with an expected high of 28 degrees tomorrow, nothing is getting done. I'm already behind my own arbitrary schedule. A few ambitious days when it's warmer will catch things up. For now, I'm making a to-do list.

First, I'm ordering more seeds. I would like to have a cash crop of some kind this year. At least a small one, sort of a foothold in farming. I've concluded that my best bet this year is to go with peppers. I did fairly well growing peppers this past season and I think I can do even better this coming year.

Planting season is almost here--well, not really, but time flies, so it will seem like no time at all. Here at the eve of a new year seems like a good time to work out a plan. Now this to-do list shouldn't be confused with New Year's resolutions. No, this is a way to procrastinate making a list of resolutions.

I have twenty-four varieties of hot pepper seeds and five varieties of bell peppers. …

Bitcoin Insanity

Bitcoin is further proof that investors are out of their damn minds.

Originally, Bitcoin was supposed to be an anonymous, untraceable way of paying for purchases online, especially on the "Dark-net" or whatever it's called. I guess that's why it is called a "crypto-currency." I never paid much attention or considered using Bitcoin. For me, PayPal is the best way to make online transactions. That's how I pay for most purchases and how I get paid royalties from the United Kingdom.

PayPal is really convenient for me, because I can pay using one click, for most things, including garden seeds, magazine subscriptions and random eBay buys.

Using and keeping track of crypto-currencies appears to be a little more complicated. For one thing, there is a special removable hard drive, called a digital wallet, or something like that. This drive requires a very long and complicated password, without which, you could end up with a very expensive paperweight. In fact, t…

Ramen is Noodles

Until last night, I had never had ramen. I'm not talking about the ramen they serve in noodle restaurants, with the clear bone broth, green onions, seaweed, soft-boiled egg, bean sprouts and a rasher of braised pork. Not that I've ever had that, either. No, I mean Top Ramen, the little orange package with a brick of dry noodles and a "flavor packet."

I have had the noodles cooked with a can of Swanson chicken broth, or occasionally, beef broth, but I've never known the joy of tossing the noodles and flavoring into two cups of water and cooking just below boiling until the noodles are tender. The package directions are a little different, but I've never seen anyone follow the package directions.

Back in the Sixties, I discovered I was extremely sensitive to MSG (monosodium glutamate). I don't get an allergic reaction or anything like that: no hives, wheezing or tongue swelling up; I just feel really fatigued for several days and have mild flu-like symptoms…