Still Here

There’s been a rumor goin’ round that I was abducted by Men in Black, but it’s not true.  The authorities don’t even suspect me yet.

Lately, I’ve been reading, reading, reading.  You know the kind of guilty pleasure that I’m talking about.  The kind of indulgence, where you neglect everything else, fix the pillows on the porch swing and let one leg dangle off the edge, so you can rock yourself with your big toe, until you go blind and your true love becomes completely exasperated.  (He won’t even fetch me the ice tea anymore. Yesterday, he deliberately put sugar in my glass.  YUCK!)

SurprisingReadingList:

One Second After by Wm. Forstchen//just finished//fascinating, included some scenarios that I had never thought about, but a bit maudlin.  I think I skipped all of Chapter 7.

Cell by Stephen King//finished// I’m always mesmerized by his style–and jealous.

The Book of Weeds by Ken Thompson//would have liked more pictures.

Peterson’s Guide to Poisonous Animals and Plants// now that I have it, I call it a necessary book.

Country Wisdom & Know How by Storey Books// a tome–you don’t so much read, as look things up.  Still it’s been taking up a lot of my time.

Peterson’s Guide to Edible Wild Plants// so far, I’ve tried some daffodils and flax.  Still alive.

Creepy Crawley Cuisine by J. Ramos-Elorduy//not what I expected.  Doesn’t give a lot of info on preparation.  It reads like you go down to the grocery store and buy a can of beetles.  I did try some black, native American ants.  Haven’t really formed an opinion yet on taste or worth, but then again I didn’t pig out.

Running Man by Stephen King//on hold.  Get to it later.

Solar Power For Dummies by Rik DeGunther//not what I expected. Have to get something else that will Dumb it Down even more.  I think I need a video. DUH HUH.

Summer Lightening by Judith Richards//read a condensed version and decided I wanted to read the whole thing.

Hidden Boundaries by Catana//in queue and friendly plug

Notes from An Alien by Alexander Zoltai//in queue and friendly plug

Will to Live by Les Stroud// You know, Survivorman.  I’m in the middle of the first story and absolutely stunned by his writing.  Who would have thought he could write so well?  Wonder if he had help…

Plus, I’ve downloaded about 60 free ebooks to my Kindle and maybe 25 samples, along with more books that I actually paid for.  (Hey, when I get to rolling, I can’t find the brakes.)

***

Also:

I’ve been putting my brain to work on the monthly bills.  So far, I’ve knocked $167.00 off the budget, by giving up satellite TV and switching to Netflix and by dumping the land-line telephone for a prepaid cell phone. Hate contracts. But I got to keep that Internet going.  Next, I’m going to downsize the hot water tank and the refrigerator.

Seems like no matter how much I cut, we still spend the money–piss it away on fun stuff. (giggle-giggle.) Holding onto money is like trying to keep water in a rusty bucket, don’t you think?  I’m really good with credit and budgets but not so hot with savings.  I don’t know how stupid people make it from month to month. (??)

***

I’ve built a raised-vegetable garden:  collards, carrots, tomatoes, and peas.  Seeds are sprouting, but it’s a bit late in the season.  Ah, well, I’m only experimenting. (Small scale investment.  Wait until next year.  Storing Heirloom seeds in the freezer now.)

I also jerry rigged a solar water purifier, using a shiny windshield reflector, a glass bowel, with a glass lid, and some black felt on the bottom of the bowel.  Temperatures in the bowel have reached an impressive 160 degrees Fahrenheit, more or less, on sunny days.  (Cooks vegetables okay if you’re not in a hurry, but I haven’t tried to cook any meat in it yet.  Chicken.  No, not cooking chicken; chicken to cook chicken in it.)  I’m currently building a sand/charcoal water filter.  But how to test the water????  I guess I’d have to take the water in for testing, also I’m not happy with idea of run-off from the roof—given what shingles are made of.  Who knows?  Carcinogens galore.  So I bought several Lifestraws, and will buy a Lifesaver Bottle.  I tried to build a solar refrigerator or a zeer.  Big Flop.  But they warned me that it might not work in humid climates, and if any word can describe BAMA it’s HUMID.

I built a birdfeeder with some left over wood and a big tin.  Raging success and kind of rustic looking.  Many people spend a lot of time chasing away birds, rabbits, moles and squirrels as pests.  (Last year, one of my neighbors trapped a bunch of squirrels just before winter and hauled them away to parts unknown, so he says.  He probably killed them, and one of them I considered a pet.  I even named him Harry.  Harry was a brazen animal.  I admire the bold and the brave.  I even like mockingbirds; they’re so bossy.  My neighbor, on the other hand, is an idiot.  Now–six months later–the oak trees are just as full of squirrels as ever before.  Life goes on.  You can’t fight nature, you have to work with it.)  He’s a double dipper on the poop stick.

Besides, I say:  There could come a day when you’d be happy to see a furry butt or a plump breast de pigeon, so I’m generous and indulgent with all creatures trespassing on my humble grounds.  One might say, even a little encouraging.

My philosophy on neighbors is studious aloofness–Sorry, what was your name again?‘  People who live close to you make terrible friends and even worst enemies by the very virtue of their proximity. Besides, I can’t stand to hear about their latest adultery, pugnacious children, boring gossip or, as in the case of next door neighbor, their cruelty to animals.  Fart!

***

For my birthday, I got a Crosman, CO2 Powered BB Repeater.  Damn thing is powerful.  Goes right threw tin cans and bales of pine straw to lodge in yon fence.  (I use to be a pretty good shot, but a couple of years ago I had corrective eye surgery to rid myself of wearing glasses.  Generally, I’m please with the results, but at night when I’m driving I still have to wear glasses.  I also have, what doctors call, mono-vision: 20/15 in the right eye and 20/30 in the left eye, so I see far away with my dominant eye and read with my left eye–the best option for me in Lasik.  On the firing range my vision calls for Cyclops-aiming now, even with a pistol.)  Oh, yeah, I had to erect a safe shooting range and target for the yard.  Don’t want to accidentally pop the neighbors.  (My power drill has been getting a real work-out.  I decided to use cedar board for the back.  More expensive, but it holds the BBs in place for recycling and gets softer every time it rains.)

***

I even manage to squeeze in a couple of hours for writing in the late afternoon and early evening.  I’m working on a 7 story collection for Smashwords.  (When it will be done?  I’ve NO IDEA.  That’s when.)  Something about summertime puts my creative juices on the backburner.  Summertime is for research, don’t you agree?  I have not started a new story in months.  Ah, well, gives me a chance to edit some old ones.  Tis a bit depressing though.  Some of my old stories need a lot of work, and, gee, I remembered them as being a lot better.  Ego bust.

I blame my lack of writing progress on the heat, but that’s just an excuse.  I expect it to be hot, even when it isn’t.  Right now it’s drizzling rain.  Been raining all day.  I had lunch downtown today and overheard a woman complaining about the moisture.  Can you imagine that?  Here we are in the middle of a drought.  I wonder if she’d be happy to have a sandstorm scrap all the hair off her head.  (what an imagination I got, hey?)  In general, people are stupid.  Pity.  I sometimes wonder how they manage to get from point A to point B in a relatively intact condition.

My house sits on the top of a hill and I can see a forest of trees on the opposite hill.  Mist shrouds the woods, but there’s also the sound of buzz saws at work. (Got to make room for more people.  Really big YUCK!)  Anyway, the pleasant conditions outside must have inspired this blog.

Somehow, all my reading and experiments will work their way into a story.  As they say:

‘U R what U eat’

‘U write what U read.’

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2 thoughts on “Still Here

  1. And U are what you read. Wow, I thought I’d been hitting the books lately, but you’ve outdone me by several miles. And ignited a wave of nostalgia for when I was gardening, experimenting with energy-free cooking, etc. But old age, a third floor apartment, and a writing addiction have changed things considerably. And I remember that the most obnoxious neighbors I ever had were several hundred feet away, back in the woods, on a dirt road.

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