Sunday, November 30, 2008

Score! Another Anniversary

I moved to Rocky 20 years ago today.
For the past two decades the mountain scene in this photo, or some version thereof, has been a common sight.
I'll post about this again, but for now I simply wanted to mark the day where I moved into my current life.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Did Hell Freeze Over?

This is not a picture of Hell. It's a frozen pond. I took the photo with my new Olympus 850SW.

I never thought this would happen, but it did.
A telemarketer hung up on me a few days ago.
She was a persistent little cuss determined to do her job. I told her repeatedly that I didn’t want the Calgary Herald. I get the Edmonton Journal. I like it.
My refusal only made her more ardent. I could get all manner of wonderful extras and could even still get the Edmonton Journal’s digital edition.
I said no a bit firmer and proceeded to tell her that she was going a very good job and that persistence was good, but I really was not interested. I was quiet. I heard the hum. There was no one on the other end.
I have to say I’m at a bit of a loss. I was kind about it. I simply wanted her to understand that no means no.
But she saw fit to hang up. That technique might work in face to face conversation with some people, but it doesn’t work on me. It is pointless over the phone between a client and a telemarketer.
I hope she had a good day. I certainly did.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Awarded For My Attitude

Back when I was a young 'un I never thought this would happen. An award for attitude.
My blog buddy the wonderful Thomma Lyn at Tennessee Text Wrestling gave me this the Attitude and Gratitude Award!

It proves once again that anyone can change. And look what happens when you do.
Anyway, enough about me. Here are the rules of engagement:

-Put the logo on your blog or in a post
-Nominate at least 10 blogs which show Great Attitude and/or Gratitude
-Link to your nominees in the post
-Let them know they have received this award by leaving a blog comment
-Share the love with a link to this post and to the award-giver

Okay, I understand that I got this for my gratitude not so much my attitude.
But I maintain an attitude of gratitude. Never mind. The point is I got an award and I am tickled silly about it.

As for nominating other blogs. I think all my blog buddies have great attitudes and I refuse to single anyone out.
And I'm really quite lazy.
Consider yourself awarded.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fuzzy Bulbs

Clematis in full fuzz.

I have another new camera. An Olympus 850sw was part of the birthday excitement on Saturday.
It's a fun toy. I've got a great deal to learn. I'm a product of a different age. Just adding software to my computer is nerve-wracking. But at its heart it is still a camera so I can get my mind around it.
It's got some macro settings I was playing with yesterday in an attempt to get used to it.
The top shot of the clematis is okay.
The picture below or the orchid bulbs is not so great.
Learning is done best by doing, for me anyway, so I was out learning.
The pics are posted for your enjoyment, such as you can find it.

Add Image
Pseudobulbs of a coleogyne cristata. The other kind of fuzzy.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gratitude Monday - You Asked For It Edition

Some of you, at least two, let it be known in the comments patch that you wanted to see a photo of Mike and me at our simple dinner out for my 50th birthday on Saturday.
I am grateful that you asked, and grateful that we managed to get a photo of ourselves that was adequate.
Dinner was very good. We made happy hogs of ourselves and I went to heaven on the sticky toffee pudding at dessert. I'm grateful for that, too.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fifty And Fabulous

This is a Westphalian Cherry Cake.

It's my birthday.
I'm fifty years old today and thoroughly proud of it.
I can take all that glorious life experience from my first 50 years and put it to good use during my second 50.
That is going to be fun.
And if you're wondering about my use of the word fabulous, let me assure you I mean that I fully intend to live a life that becomes the stuff of legend.

We're going out tonight so I insisted we start on the birthday cake last night. It's very tasty. I'll be insisting he bake something similar soon.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

I'm busy writing a paraNano novel. I didn't register at the NaNoWriMo site, but I am playing along at home.
Two fellow writers are doing something similar and we check in with one another twice a week or so. We call it PoLeRo, based on our names, and it's good to have someone else to answer to.
It's been going well. Some days I totally wing it while others I have some clue, cobbled together from the night before, as to what I need to write about. Occasionally I pay attention to these notes.
I'm having a blast. I am lousy at dialogue and thought it would be a great exercise. I force myself to have conversations. I'm building characters with it. I have two characters that have no idea when to shut up. One rambles a bit. The other tends to prattle on.
I've several different sentient species to play with so I give them interesting appendages and coverings. Not everyone breathes air.
I needed to get my imagination fired up to make sure it still works. So far it's earning its keep.
As of last evening I had 34,145 words.
This excitement goes to the end of the month. It is likely that the blog will take a bit of a hit while I busy myself with the destruction of the ancient world due to a math error.
I smile for no reason. I'm having fun. ParaNaNo PoLeRo has created a monster.
My husband took this pic of me. We were trout fishing in a reclaimed gravel pit along the first range of hills out west of town. I'm smiling. I'm having fun. That's about how I look this month.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Second Blogiversary

November 17 marked my second anniversary of blogging.
Thank you to everyone who stops by and reads me. You are under no obligation to comment, but I appreciate it when you do.
It's still a thrill.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Gratitude Monday – Snowy Sunday Edition

I used a slow shutter speed to make the fluffy flakes of snow show up better against the hawthorn trees in the back yard.
We had a snow day yesterday. In this neck of the world that simply means it finally got around to snowing like it ought. It’s November. It’s normal. I am grateful for it.
I was worried about the poor little animals who may have changed to their winter togs already. Nothing worse than white mink standing out against a yellowy-brown landscape. Critters need a place to hide.
Trees get confused when it’s too warm. They need the cold to rest just like any of us.
We need the insulation of snow and the resultant moisture.
On a personal note, I like cold weather. It gathers my energy to me instead of spreading it out. Writing is a much more enticing pastime and easier when there’s no nice weather whispering how much you need to be outside right now.
I like to cook things that take all day and warm up the house. A pot of stew simmering on the stove is a welcome sight and imparts a wonderful, homey fragrance throughout the house. I put one on yesterday and let it simmer as I wrote.
Snow makes for good baking days. I’m grateful that my husband likes to bake and he’s good at it.
It was too miserable to go outside and carve so he made a batch of apple strudel. It’s one of his specialties.
Stew and strudel and snow. That’s plenty to be grateful for.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Green Scene

It's good to be reminded of the abundant life which surrounds and sustains us. It's all gone cold and dormant now, and that's good, too, but the occasional reminder is good for the spirit.
I was going to say something about denial. I changed my mind when all I could muster was "Denial is a cow."
Hoofed mammal, two stomachs, chews cud, gives milk. No, can't quite get what I was trying to say with that.
Maybe I mean it's sacred. Or a good source of leather.
Whatever it was I am not denying the cold. I like it. It's good for writing. But I do think that as the days get colder and darker we need to be reminded it's only sleep, not death, and it'll be green and vibrant again.
Happy days of cold everyone. Enjoy it for what it is because it's all we've got.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Peaks and Valleys

Banff National Park

Peaks are less intimidating the closer you get. But they're still high.

I had a very good writing day yesterday. I had a reasonable idea for a scene and a character and had fun writing it. I've alway felt good when writing, but it's been decades since I felt this good. My paraNano project has been wonderful. I'm inventing creatures and writing dialogue. It seems to have blasted through some barrier. I was never very good at dialogue and got to the point where I told myself I couldn't write it.
Now I am writing it.
Stop thinking and start doing. Or, as I tell people who are annoyingly negative around me, "Stop telling me what you can't do and start telling me what you can do."
I am supposed to hit the 20,000 word mark today, 20004 in fact. As of yesterday I was less than 1,200 away.
It is logical to assume I will get there.
And if I fall short today, so what? There's always tomorrow and there always will be a tomorrow as long as I'm enjoying it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gratitude Monday - Philosophical Edition

I’m grateful I decided to write a novel and take my imagination out for an airing.
It’s surprising me.
Characters are doing unexpected things and I’ve got a new a character who insisted on joining in the fun. It’s a pre-adolescent and neither male nor female. It insists that it’s important to the story.
I decided to parallel NaNoWriMo which means that I’ve committed myself to 50,000 words before the month is up. I’m keeping pace so far and I’m grateful for that, too.
My husband is very supportive. When I told him I was writing a novel he responded with a fist pump and a hearty “About time!”
I thought 50,000 words was good in that it represents 1,000 words for every year of my life. I’m grateful to say this got me thinking about my memoir. My next project should be 1,000 words about every year of my life. Whether I do it or not it sounds like a great exercise. And I’m grateful to get the writing juices flowing again.
Meanwhile, novel writing has put almost everything else on hold including freelance work and the contemplation of deeper meanings.
This brings me to the question posed by today’s photo.
I’d be grateful for any insight you might have.

For the love of all that hops and purrs, why is this chicken crossing the road?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Big Month

Some green, some gold, some reflection. It's a good time of life.

November is a big month all around for me, this one especially.

Reason No. 4: As of the end of the month I'll have lived in Rocky Mountain House for 20 years. That's the longest I've stayed in one place. Ever.
Reporters move around a great deal. It's good for life experiences.
I found the love of my life here and thus found legitimate cause to stay.

Reason No.3: Within about two weeks I'll have been blogging for two years, and this marks my 444th post.

Reason No. 2: I'm unofficially Nanoing. I lacked the personal courage, and the plot, to sign up for NaNoWriMo, the national novel writing month. But then one fine night last week I got a brilliant idea in the bathtub. I realized I could combine an old, bad story that I never finished with a not-quite -as awful story that I'd barely started. Both had been around for years.
My fantasy novel opens somewhat like the bad story and I was able to use the bare bones of a few scenes. Somewhere along the line a plot fell into place. Who knows if it'll stay there.
The writing is fun. I haven't been this tickled about writing since my first manuscript.

Reason No. 1 for November being a big month: I turn 50 in just over two weeks.
I'm looking forward to it.

Now, how about you? What are your big months? Do you have any? Or is life one big, juicy celebration?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Beautiful Day

Thank you, thank you, thank you US voters.
Maybe later I'll have something of substance to say, but for now I am overcome.
President-elect Barack Obama.
I am filled with hope.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

To The Light

Today is the US election. I have great faith in American voters. They will usher in change in some manner no matter who their ballot goes to.
It is said there are only two emotions, love and fear.
The world is changing and our old ways are crashing, or at least restructuring, around us. Sen. John McCain represents the old, fear-based ways while Sen. Barack Obama has campaigned on hope and positive change.
McCain uses fear in an obvious manner. Obama has taken the position of love though it takes a while to see it.
Fear is cold and dark and keeps us at bay while love is warm and light and encourages our growth.
As the US goes, so goes much of our reticulated world.
Please, US voters, go to the light.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Gratitude Monday - US Election Edition

I am very grateful that the US is a free and democratic society in which regular elections are held. I am grateful that the regular election is tomorrow and the current reign of error will come to a close.
I am darned grateful for the 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution which prevents anyone from being president for more than two terms. Ever.
And I really like it that the Constitution prevents an ex-president from sneaking in the back door by taking a turn as vice-president.
I don't have much else to say about it as a foreigner although my grandmother was from Nebraska and I have American relatives on both sides of the family. This allows me, in my mind, to take a few liberties.
Enjoy your election.
Meanwhile, I love this picture. You might have to be of a certain age to think it's funny, but I am and I do.
Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures
see Sarah Palin pictures