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Archive for the 'Real Life' Category

Tarot Sunday and Too Many Open Contests!
Sunday, January 29th, 2023

It’s Sunday, and I slept in. Wish I hadn’t. My dd woke me a little while ago to ask me a question, interrupting a dream about me baking a lemon cake and wanting to add poppy seeds, but I had no poppy seeds, so I collected mouse turds to put into the cake. Is that a prescient dream? Will I be that mouse-shit crazy when I have dementia?

Anyways, it’s Sunday, which means it’s time to brush up my weekly work plan and balance my checkbook. After that, I might just kick back and do nada! Before I begin updating plans, I’ll pull a tarot card…

The Nine of Pentacles. Hmmm. What does the picture tell me? Well, Daedalus (you know, father of Icarus who flew too close to the sun?) is standing behind an impressive stack of gold. The grapes are ripe and abundant. He’s wearing a gold gown rather than his usual craftsman’s apron, so he’s celebrating, right? What does that mean for me? Will I have a “good money” week? I’ll check the book. It says, this card is about reward and achievement. That it “augurs a period where one might be justifiably pleased with oneself…” I’ll take that. Now, I actually have to do the work to earn that card!

So, I’ll be updating things, and maybe tackling the rabbit cage (I guess I’m still thinking about those mouse turds). What are your plans for the day?

Just as an FYI, I’ve got friends popping in with posts this coming week. You’ll want to check them out: Leah Braemel, Genevive Chamblee, and my cousin, Brent Archer!

Open Contests

  1. TV Series Finale Rant & the Saturday Puzzle! (Contest) — This one ends soon! Win an Amazon gift card!
  2. Most Anticipated Movies — See trailer for RENFIELD! (Contest–and Open Contests) — This one ends soon! Win an Amazon gift card!
  3. National Compliment Day! (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
  4. Word Puzzle — Chocolate covered… — Win an Amazon gift card!
  5. Tell me a story… (Contest) — Win a FREE book!
  6. Classic Movies — Your Favorites! (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
  7. Saturday Puzzle-Contest: Will you be my valentine…?
Most Anticipated Movies — See trailer for RENFIELD! (Contest–and Open Contests)
Sunday, January 22nd, 2023

I love movies. I’m sure a lot of you do, too. My tastes are “low brow.” I could care less about movies that win Oscars because of their “important” stories. I want to be entertained. Plus, I LOVE so-called “B-movies.” The more improbable and campier, the more I love them. I watched and waited in eager anticipation for every new Sharknado film. (My family did viewing parties!) I loved Eight Legged Freaks. Die Hard is my all-time favorite film. I’ve watched it over twenty times, I’m sure.

So, when I say I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for Renfield, you know it’s probably not the best movie ever made, but it hits me in all the feels—ridiculously over-the-top, funny, NICK CAGE, vampires… Do you remember Vampire’s Kiss with Cage when we weren’t entirely sure if he was becoming a vampire or was nuts? I loved, loved that movie. Now, he’s back as Dracula!

Watch the trailer!


And wow, the guy from Warm Bodies, Nicholas Hoult, (another favorite film of mine) is the main character! I can’t wait for its release on April 14th!

For a chance to win a $5 Amazon GC, tell me whether Renfield is something you’re eager to see. Also, share your favorite B-movie picks!

Open Contests

  1. A. Catherine Noon: Letters from Far Away (Contest) — This one ends soon! Win a hand-painted postcard!
  2. How my January is going so far… (Contest–2 Winners!) — This one ends soon! Win a hand-painted bookmark!
  3. Saturday’s Puzzle-Contest: All I want is a decent cup… — Win an Amazon gift card!
  4. Gabbi Black: When You Flip a Trop on its Head (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
  5. TV Series Finale Rant & the Saturday Puzzle! (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
TV Series Finale Rant & the Saturday Puzzle! (Contest)
Saturday, January 21st, 2023

Well, I’m up at O-dark-thirty again. Dratted insomnia. I don’t ever fight it. So, this morning I went ahead and made a cup of coffee and headed in the dark to my computer. The house is quiet; I can Google without feeling guilty. LOL. So, yeah, I’m how old? Self-employed? And I still feel guilty not “working” when I power up.

I went to bed a little early for me last night feeling a little angry. Why? The ending of Star Trek: Enterprise! I’ve been binge-watching the older series for a while now. Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager. All were unique but the same. Know what I mean? I was comfortable with the progression. Enterprise was uncomfortable from the beginning. I liked the idea of it happening before Kirk and was intrigued with the idea of watching “the first” Enterprise begin the star-trekking adventures.


Problems? I didn’t like the captain. Over the seasons, Captain Archer seemed…a bit irritated and sometimes too aggressive. While I’d found Janeway annoying the first season of Voyager, I came to admire her (after the “Rambo” episode, I loved her). Archer never had that moment where I came to accept his personality. I struggled through the first season, but the show caught me in the second. I loved the evolution of the conflict with the Xindi, and it was odd, but my favorite castmate wasn’t a “regular”. He was a frequent guest—an Andorian commander in the Imperial Guard named Shran. Over the 4 seasons, I actually found him and his mobile antennae to be quite sexy. 🙂

He had a fiery temper, was stubborn, but at heart he was an honorable alien male who loved deeply.

And what did they do to his character in the finale? They made him a criminal! I wanted to see him as an ambassador, having moved up the chain of command through his heroism and good deeds. Nope.

And what else did they do in that finale? They killed my favorite regular cast member, Trip. He never got his HEA with T’Pol—even after they lost their child and all the years they yearned for each other. In fact, the finale fast forwarded years and said they’d broken up six years prior. WTF?

Yeah. I’m not happy. And now, I have to start into the newer Trek series and hope the Powers that Be redeemed themselves. Okay, deep breath. That’s the end of my rant.

Tell me, have you ever been fighting mad over the ending of a series? Tell me about it for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card! 

Saturday Puzzle

Following my Star Trek rant, here’s a picture of what my imagined first encounter would look like. Enjoy the puzzle!

My Favorite Pasta Recipe — Ravioletti & Sun-dried Tomatoes!
Thursday, January 19th, 2023

So, a couple of weeks ago, I asked y’all to tell me what you wanted to see on my blog. You apparently like everything I’m doing, but someone mentioned they’d love to see recipes, too! So, I’m sharing the dish I make (I don’t have a huge repertoire) that my family loves. It’s super simple. And you don’t have to measure, just throw things in.

First, I set a pot of water boiling on the stove with a couple of dashes of olive oil and a shake of sea salt. When it starts to bubble—don’t wait until it’s fully boiling—go ahead and throw in your ravioli. We like cheese ravioletti, the little raviolis, better. And because we like leftovers, I make three boxes at a time. Two would actually be enough, but again—leftovers! Here’s the link on Amazon to the box we like: Ravioletti. It takes about 15 minutes to cook. I start testing them around 12 minutes. You don’t want them too soggy. I like a little chewiness.

As soon as the ravioletti is cooking, take out a fry pan, heat it with a shake of olive oil in the bottom, and then combine these ingredients in the pan:

  • diced onions to your taste (I use half of a medium onion)
  • a jar of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped. This is the jar I love: Sun-dried Tomatoes.
  • a heaping tablespoon of minced garlic (not the dried kind–we use the stuff in the jar)
  • a packet of pine nuts
  • several hard shakes of oregano and basil; a little sea salt
  • Yes, the sun-dried tomatoes have their own olive oil, but add maybe a tablespoon more of olive oil

Once the onions are translucent, add a bunch of fresh spinach. I usually get one of those large containers in the salad section of the supermarket. I add enough it’s almost to the top of the deep frying pan I use. It’s not too much because it reduces to nothing when it’s cooked. Once the spinach is reduced, turn off the stove and set the pan aside.

When the ravioletti is done, drain it, then combine both pans into a large bowl and mix it up.

Serve it with parmesan cheese. I add pepper to mine.

Here, my daughter made some homemade focaccia bread to go with the pasta. So, delicious!

Now, if I were making this dish for myself, I’d add artichoke hearts! It’s sooooo good in this dish, but my family hates artichokes.

If you try it, I’d love to hear how you liked it! Also, let me know if you’d like more recipes!

Saturday’s Puzzle-Contest: All I want is a decent cup…
Saturday, January 14th, 2023

UPDATE: The winner is…Tamye Whitener!

My day starts with a cup of coffee. I need a couple of cups just to get going in the morning. Then I have another around noon because I don’t dare have one later in the day or I’ll be up to the wee hours of the morning.

Coffee is more than just my jumpstart. Always has been. When I was in the Army, we called it “Lifers’ Blood,” and yes, we drank out of an urn of coffee that kept it warm all day, but the coffee had the consistency of molasses by the time the afternoon rolled around. Still, we drank it. Actually, it was a badge of honor to sip a cup of the sludge without grimacing.

These days, my daughter and I sit sipping coffee outside in the morning, rain or shine, warm or cold weather, while the dogs have their morning run. We talk about what we’re doing that day, gossip about family and friends, share news about politics and celebrities—all over our favorite beverage.

I’ve decided that since my daily brew is the center of so much of our lives, that we deserve an upgrade. For convenience’s sake, we both have Keurigs. Truly, it makes terrible coffee. We’ve tried different brands, but they all pretty much taste the same coming out. We do love how fast we can get our cup in the morning, but I’m willing to put in the time to produce a decent cup for our morning “share” session.

Years ago, I had an espresso/cappuccino maker. It was a pain in the ass to operate and clean. However, espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes are my favorites when I go out to someplace that actually makes a decent cup. Hell, I’d also love a coffeemaker that makes a decent plain cup of coffee.

So, for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, help me out. Share your recommendations for improvements. Do you love a particular brand of K-cup? Do you have a coffeemaker you love? Do you have a recipe for a fancy coffee that I could try making with what I have?

How my January is going so far… (Contest–2 Winners!)
Thursday, January 12th, 2023

UPDATE: The winners are…Pamela Reveal and miki!

This past week has been a bit of a trial. First, I came down with a respiratory infection (cough, stuffy ears) last Wednesday. I did a home COVID test, and then went to the doctor on Friday. No COVID, but I’m on steroids and antibiotics. That was after last Tuesday when I broke a tooth. So, I went to the dentist last Thursday, and had a cleaning, ex-rays, and was scheduled for a crown. *choke* I went in Tuesday of this week for the temporary and am now $1000 poorer. The dang thing keeps popping off. I had several nights where the coughing and the sore jaw kept me sleepless. Wah-wah. I know.

All of that mess put me behind my tidy, productive work schedule, so although I’m feeling better now (not fully purged of the infection or wearing my permanent crown just yet), I’m suffering from having to do tons of pages of edits to catch up. Which means, no time to write, which means as soon as the edits are out the door, I have to power down to get the pages written. January is turning out to be soooo stressful.

And add to all that, and we sprang a leak in the upstairs bathroom two days ago, which dumped water into the downstairs bathroom, and now we have repairs to make there… We fixed that leak, and another popped up yesterday. It never, ever ends. And I committed to going to Hawaii in July?

That’s three or four disasters, right? They’re supposed to come in threes, right? Are we done yet?

Anyway, I wanted to do a little giveaway today. Since I recently mailed all the hand painted bookmarks and postcards I owed to readers already, I thought it was time to give away some more. If you read eBooks, stick them in a recipe book!

For a chance to win one of these, tell me how YOUR January is going so far!

National Clean Off Your Desk Day! (Contest)
Tuesday, January 10th, 2023

UPDATE: The winner is…Mary Liz Wilson!

Well, National Clean Off Your Desk Day was actually yesterday—the 2nd Monday of January—but it coincided with National Word Nerd Day, so you know which day took precedence with me!

Let’s not worry about being late though. I took a picture!

No, that’s not the BEFORE picture.

I know you minimalists are likely hyperventilating, thinking about trying to work with all that clutter, but it’s organized and decluttered quite a bit from how it was. I have SPACE in the center front of my desk now. I tore apart my desk yesterday and dusted and rearranged, discarded, etc. Yes, I have too many candles and a huge wax warmer in the left corner next to my monitor. More candles in the far right of the picture, tucked behind my notebook stack. I just have the essentials, you know. And truthfully, my desk is more crowded in the winter than the summer because of all the plants I bring in from the patio that line up at the back of my desk. I can’t leave them out in the cold. And doesn’t everyone have jars and coffee cups filled with pens and markers? Maybe four large containers is a bit much, but I like having my tools. And I have a medium-sized bowl to the left of my desk’s working space where I dumped all my Halls and Ricola cough drops, plus prescriptions for the respiratory infection I’m trying to kick, so I thought putting them all in one container was “neater” than the having them lined up around my working space. I’m trying. I only have one water container for painting on my desk, and I trimmed down the number of palettes cluttering up the sides of my working space. So, much better than it was. There were stacks of things. I moved all toys and figurines into the shelves above my monitor. That round tin in the front right of the picture is a single bracelet kit, so I don’t have beads cluttering up everything, everywhere.

And voila! My desk is clean and orderly (according to my particular needs!). A pristine, spartan surface is like a blank page—it offers me no inspiration whatsoever!

So, are you going to take up the challenge and clean your desk or workspace? Are you a minimalist or do you need inspirational clutter all around you? Answer for a chance to win something. I’ll decide what later!