The Office 1: 2024

Those of you who have been here forever know that my office becomes a pit very quickly and then I finally do The 12 Days of the Office posts as a way of guilting myself into getting organized and running the vacuum. Today is that day.

Well, yesterday was that day. Yesterday I was looking for something that I needed to do the day break pages on Rocky Start and I could not find it. So I spent the day rearranging furniture, cleaning (yes, I actually assembled my vacuum and used it), putting craft stuff in the guest bedroom and yarn in my bedroom, throwing stuff out and . . . it’s still a freaking mess. So I will be putting up Office 2024 pictures until this place is organized. I’ll talk more about it on Working Wednesday, but here’s where it was when I started yesterday (Monday). (I showed this picture to Bob and he said, “Where do you sit?”) Continue reading

Happiness is Frost Free Nights

So tonight at dinner, a friend announced that the nightly frosts were over for our neck of the woods which means I can put herbs in pots outside and maybe some cherry tomatoes. Which means it’s really spring. That makes me happy.

How did you feel warm with happiness this week?

Working Wednesday, April 23, 2024

I have FINALLY got my kitchen organized. There’s something about a kitchen, especially one you’ve never worked in before, that’s really tough to arrange, especially if it’s smaller than those ginormous magazine kitchens. As in, is there a logic to plates, bowls, cups and glasses storage? (Yes.) How much of my limited cupboard is going to go toward pantry? What the hell do I need in a pantry if I can get groceries delivered every day? (Because I don’t want groceries delivered every day.) And do I really need all these pieces of equipment? (No.) I’m still not done, I still have to work with the equipment I’ve got to see if the pieces are worth finding a place to store (my air fryer is under a table behind my couch right now), but I’ve got things mostly sorted. Big helps: buying a small freezer to add to my already overstuffed kitchen and putting up a pot rack on the wall over that. I’m feeling very adult about the whole thing.

What did you work on this week?

Happiness is Making Progress

I’m behind on everything, but I am slowly making progress and things are working out well. So I’ve decided to not feel bad about being behind. Everything will get done when it gets done. One day at a time. Getting out from under the pressure I putting on myself is damn near orgasmic.

Happiness is lowered expectations, people. What made you happy this week?

This is a Good Book Thursday, April 18, 2024

Last week was six kinds of awful, so I decided to put my mind on something completely different, a very old book I’ve been working on for a very long time called You Again. It’s my homage to the country house murder mystery, especially Agatha Christie’s versions of it, so I reread The Hollow and my fave, 4:50 to Paddington. Then I went on to Marsh and Overture to Death; next up: Death and the Dancing Footman. I’d already read all of these long ago so I know who the murderers are, which means I can watch while Christie and Marsh duck and swerve their ways through the plots, playing fair with all those fascinating characters. It’s a master class in mystery writing, or would be if I started taking notes. The biggest lesson so far, which was not a surprise: It’s the characters, stupid. You’d think it would be the plot, but it’s the characters that make it work.

So what did you read that was enjoyable this week?

Working Wednesday, April 17, 2024

When I get so tense I can’t think straight, I pick up a crochet hook and do something ridiculously easy, something that’s all one stitch, and I get lost in the rhythm and that repetitive motion calms me down. In this case, it’s a sweater I’m making from an antique bed jacket pattern. It’s all double crochet in the back loop, and the only places I have to pay attention are at the back turn where I have to do two double crochets three times to make the turn, and the front edges where I put the double crochet in both loops. Just miles and miles of simple double crochet. Better than valium. I still have a long way to go on this one, but below is one I made twelve years ago, during another tense week. Great pattern.

What did you work on this week?

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Argh Author: Deb Blake’s Wickedly Magical and Wickedly Dangerous

Our own Deb Blake has two reissues coming out. As she explains, “This month I’m releasing the prequel novella to my Baba Yaga series, “Wickedly Magical” [for only $.99], and the first novel, Wickedly Dangerous . . . . The remaining books will be coming out one at a time, every other month. Ebooks everywhere, and print on Amazon.”

Wickedly Magical: Long ago, in Russia and its neighboring countries, legends told of a witch named Baba Yaga. Some of the stories portrayed her as a frightening old crone who lived in a log hut that stalked through the forest on chicken legs. Others said she was an elemental goddess who was guardian over the natural world and the doorway into the mystical Otherworld.

As with all stories, some parts were true and others … a little less true. The Baba Yagas were powerful witches; that much the tales got right. But there was never just one, and they were neither good nor evil. Just very, very powerful. And very dedicated to doing their jobs, no matter who got in the way.

These days, the United States is home to three Baba Yagas: Barbara, Beka, and Bella. Each of them powerful, beautiful, and magical, and each with her own story – for of such women and deeds are legends made …

WICKEDLY MAGICAL is the prequel novella that introduced the world Barbara Yager, the oldest and most powerful of the Baba Yagas. Along with her dragon-dog Chudo-Yudo, she travels the Eastern United States in an enchanted Airstream trailer, fulfilling her duties as a Baba Yaga and avoiding normal humans, until one comes to her with a request she can’t turn down. See how it all started, in this story of debts owed, promises kept, and justice administered the Baba Yaga way.

Wickedly Dangerous: Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them…

Older than she looks and powerful beyond measure, Barbara Yager no longer has much in common with the mortal life she left behind long ago. Posing as an herbalist and researcher, she travels the country with her faithful (mostly) dragon-turned-dog in an enchanted Airstream, fulfilling her duties as a Baba Yaga and avoiding any possibility of human attachment.

But when she is summoned by a woman desperate to find her missing child, Barbara suddenly finds herself caught up in a web of deceit and an unexpected attraction to the charming but frustrating Sheriff Liam McClellan.

Now, as Barbara fights both human enemies and Otherworld creatures to save the lives of three innocent children, she discovers that her most difficult battle may be with her own heart.

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