six on Saturday

Six on Saturday – the things that are frustrating me edition

1. Yesterday we bought a new refrigerator. At last. After much teeth gnashing and worrying over the colors and sizes and whathaveyous. Got home from ordering it, remeasured, and the built-in that we have isn’t as deep as what we bought. It will stick out into the pathway several inches. Instant crash and burn for me. We were going to cancel it but the built-in built-ins are $7K to $8K. Unreal! And less space and less feature and poorer ratings. So we are going with the original choice and will now have a fridge sticking out into the narrow pathway. Hey, it will match the microwave that sticks out on the other side of the kitchen. Remodeling the kitchen is such a pipe dream compared to all the other things that need doing around this house that I need to accept that what is, is. It is on its own wall, at an anle. We can’t push it back any farther unless we want to remodel the bathroom and take out the countertop. Which we do, but not right now.

2. We went to multiple stores yesterday looking for a decorative but HEAVY chain to hold up the antique chandelier we bought, oh, a year or more ago. We can find heavy chains that will hold the heavy chandelier but they look like the ones you use to tow a car. And I am sure that when the electrican goes to hang it he is going to find more a problem in the ceiling. It’s just the way it goes with this house.

3. The bird bath in the backyard overflows, which is good, to water the fern/wetlands area near the patio. However it does not flow the direction one would think, as in down the steeper incline. It flows toward the patio so much so that we now have a bog. Which is not good. We have played with multiple solutions and while they MIGHT work, none of the strike me as ones that WILL work for sure which is realy frustrating.

4. We have lived in this house for over two years now and the living room still does not have any furniture or a purpose or a hint of a purpose that would help me figure out what to do with it. It’s a funky design that makes it even more difficult. So basically you walk into the house and see a junky room which is, let’s face it, rather depressing.

5. I am trying to find a handyman or a carpenter or someone to build us sturdy garage cabinets, ones that don’t have particle board shelves that will warp as soon as you put a can of paint on them, but they don’t seem to be anywhere around.

6. Okay so those are only five things that are frustrating me but it frustrates me that they are bugging me so I’m counting that as number six.

Saturday, July 4, 2009|Categories: Random|Tags: , |2 Comments

Six on Saturday – It couldn't be more random

1. A friend commented on my not posting lately and I told her my brain was fried from deep thinking. It’s good to go deep but now I don’t know what to do with all that information. (Greg, some of it is coming your way.)

2. I went a solistice party today for a new friend I met on Twitter. Going to new places where I don’t know anyone is really tough on me but I went and I am glad I did, I met a few interesting people but most of all I met a young woman named Kristen who is a closet children’s artist and author. I think the Universe sent me there just so I could meet her. I saw the fire of the dream in her eyes. I hope I can help her fan the flames.

3. I think we are now hooked on True Blood.

4. I bought more Baby Tears for the shade garden today. It is one of the two non-natives in my yard. I feel a tiny bit guilty until I look at it and then I realize it makes me happy and that’s a good enough reason to have it in the yard.

5. There are caterpillars on my Hummingbird Sage. I do not think they are the good kind but I have not been able to ID them yet so I don’t want to pluck them off until I am sure. They are tiny, only about an inch long and not very fat.

6.  I was worried that I really didn’t have 6 things to share but I do. ha! Monday is the next class I am teaching (online) in Social Networking for Authors. More info here: http://www.susantaylorbrown.com/classes.html

Sunday, June 21, 2009|Categories: Random|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Six on Saturday – A Random Edition

1.  I am trying to convince myself it is time to give up my chai that I buy by the case from this one place in Santa Cruz. I can’t get two cases that taste the same each time and it is making me crazy. Right now I have 5 gallons of a lot I can’t stand. No amount of tinkering with it is making it right. I am seriously bummed because it is Saturday and I like to sit and drink many cups of chai while working at the computer. Regular tea doesn’t do it for me. Not enough something to help me pop up.

2. If I give up chai I might go back to coffee. A few expressos in the morning would be good. But if so, I am going to have to buy one of those wonderfully expensive automatic ones that my friend Mac has so all I have to do is put the cup under it and push a button. It even cleans itself. If you have one and you love it, tell me what kind/model. If I don’t do chai or coffee I really need a breakfast drink. Part of it is to help me wake up (not a morning person) and part of it is the routine of getting into my morning by prepping those things.

3. Same friend with the fancy expresso machine remodeled his kitchen and gave us his nearly new Bosch dishwasher to replace our very ancient one. It is waiting to be installed by someone who won’t cross the wires and burn the house down. But here’s the thing, the dishwasher is white. All the other appliances are black. I like the black. I put black handles on all the cabinets. Black works. I think the black is going to bug me a lot. Hubby won’t even notice. Bosch does not, like other dishwasher manufacturers, make a replacement panel for it. Sigh. So I am wondering if I have it installed in white or try to take it to an auto shop and have them paint it black. What would you do?

4. Cassie is being tapered off the steroids and I can see hints of our wonderful dog coming back to us. Poor thing has serious steroid hunger pangs and wants to eat all the time. I found a woman on the German Shepherd forum whose dog Sean also has this auto immune disease and has been doing fine on the Atopica for many years. That’s heartening. And I had a realization about Cassie last night. Every since we have had her she has sneezed a lot. I mean every day, every time she would get up from sleeping she would sneeze several times. Considering how many naps she took every day, that’s a lot of daily sneezes. Since she has been on the medicine she hasn’t sneezed once. Makes me wonder how many other things are going on inside this poor kid. Ditto her ears. She was always shaking them as though they bothered her but the vet could never find anything, even going deep down to look. We finally just decided that she didn’t like any wax buildup at all and I just clean her ears a lot, which she is fine with. But since the medicine, no issues with the ears. Which leads me to her coat. We thought her problem with her coat was a bad diet. When we got her at about 9 months of age she had a shiny stripe down her back and dull, lifeless coat everywhere else. We figured good food and fish oil would help and it has some. Now instead of a 1 inch healthy fur stripe she has one that’s about 5″. She is slowly getting a shiny coat but now I am wondering if it isn’t also tired to this auto immune disease that she has?

5. I am frustrated with my pot ponds. After all the work I did soaking them to get them to hold water up to the top, now that I have them planted the water is leaking from some places and the wood won’t swell back up again. I am really tempted to dump the one in the backyard and give in to my desire to have a bigger one that is partway in the ground. But it would mean a fence around it to keep Cassie out because she thinks it is her job to remove anything that is floating in water, from the water.
6. There are still a few spots left in my online class on Social Networking for Authors and Illustrators. We’ll explore all the various online opportunities authors have today (Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc) and how authors can best use them to build their online presence. I’d appreciate it if folks could help pass the word along. I don’t post at Verla’s or the Blue Boards (or are those the same?) and would feel awkward to go sign-up just to post about my class. But if you do, maybe you could mention it there? Thanks!

Whoops!  I forgot to add the link for the class info/sign-ups.
http://www.susantaylorbrown.com/classes.html

Saturday, April 25, 2009|Categories: Random|Tags: , , |15 Comments

Six on Saturday

I think I am having a blog identity crisis. That’s my excuse for being away from the blog for the last couple of weeks. It has nothing to do with the second go-round edits on the Alamo book, revisions on the baker’s dozen ESL books, working on the Web 2.0 for authors presentation I’m giving next week or the article on antagonists in children’s literature that gave me no end of grief when it came to interviewing editors.

Never mind that I also have 25+ native plants sitting in the courtyard waiting for me to plant them. (2 more manzanitas, a bunch more native strawberry, yet another ceanothus because I so love that plant, and lots of plants for the two pot ponds and surrounding moist areas.)

So despite, or perhaps because, of all that going on, here are my six random thoughts on Saturday.

#1 – Regarding Flyboy, I am pondering the paternity question. Not that it would be a big twist but it might add something interesting/different to the story.

#2 – Regarding Plant kid, I am absolutely aching to work on him right now but I also know that it isn’t quite the right time yet.

#3 – I really need a system of some kind in order to feel a teeny, tiny bit more organized. Instead of getting work down in spite of myself I would like to get more work done because I have my act semi-together, at least on alternate Tuesdays.

#4 – I am thinking a lot about Tricycle Press and Ten Speed being sold to Random House and wondering how it is going to affect me. When I saw the most recent Tricycle catalog I was so excited because my book, Hugging the Rock, was in there not once, not twice, but THREE times! Once under hardcover backlist, once under paperbacks, and once under award winners. I don’t know when I’ll see the trickle down effects of the changes but I know they will be coming.

#5 – Matt and Kathy at Yerba Buena nursery  (California Native plants) rock! They are great with answering my questions and making sure I have just the perfect place for my plants.

#6 – Dave the dog walker also rocks. He comes twice a week and walks Cassie for an hour. When she gets home she’s so tired that she sleeps for 2 hours or more.

Saturday, March 14, 2009|Categories: Random|Tags: , |0 Comments

Six on Saturday

There is still a little bit of Saturday left and since I didn’t do a Friday Five, here’s my Six on Saturday.

1. I bought 25 new plants today. Another 20 or so are being delivered next week. I have lots of digging ahead of me.

2. It’s raining again. That means most of my digging will be in mud. Clay mud to be exact.

3. There is no way I am going to meet all my deadlines for next week. I just have to figure out which balls are plastic and therefore okay to drop and which ones are glass that I need to keep juggling.

4. Carpos hamburgers in Capitola for dinner. Yum. Yum.

5. You can still enter to win a copy of SAY THE WORD by Jeannine Garsee, aka onegrapeshy  . Tonight’s the last chance. All the details here.

6. Some of you know that my son Ryan has Muscular Dystrophy. It wasn’t diagnosed until he was a young adult already living on his own and working a job he loved. Today he blogged a bit about his life with MD and he said something he discovered to be true for himself that I think we can apply to our writing. He was talking about how he had managed to find a way to continue to do his job as a mechanic in spite of the limitations of his body.

He said, "I was doing things I should not have been able to do simply because I did not know that I should not be able to do them."

What if we wrote without thinking about limits? What if we simply wrote the story we wanted to tell without thinking about all the parts of writing we don’t know how to do? What if we just let the story be the guide? I bet we might all find out, as Ryan has, that we are capable of much more than we ever realized.

Ryan is new to blogging and this is the first time he has shared so much about his disease with so many strangers. If you’re so inclined, perhaps you’ll pop over and read the entire post here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009|Categories: Family|Tags: , |4 Comments

Six things on Saturday – a random edition

Okay, I didn’t manage a Friday Five because I wrote my long post about the latest session with the Incarcerated Teens Poetry Project so I decide to post a Saturday Six instead.

1. Contest! I’ve been meaning to post this all week. [info]beckylevine is having a contest at her writing blog. All you have to do is leave a comment and you could win a copy of the Donald Maas book, Writing the Breakout Novel! (It would be nice if you read the post too because there’s all kinds of good info in there.)

2. Last night we went and picked up some wood and wood brackets for some more shelves in my office. Not for books but for baskets that I fill with junk (important junk but probably junk all the same) and papers and WIP and all sorts of things. You will see part of them the minute you look into the office so I hope they turn out ok. But I gotta have ’em. One, I need to cover the stupid in the wall air conditioner that we don’t use but can’t afford to replace yet because it means replacing a chunk of the outside wall, siding, etc. And two, I need the out in the open storage space. So we got wood plants and wood brackets and now, per the instructions at the lumber yard, they are drying in the living room. I’ll attempt the staining next week and then they will dry some more and in another couple of weeks, presto chango, I’ll have the shelves. Sigh. I have no patience. I want them now.

3. We have figured out a solution to getting me a little bit of quiet time on the weekends at least, in the morning. My husband stays up late on Friday and Saturday nights and sleeps in late too. I used to treasure that totally quiet time in the house but when Cassie came into our lives, all that changed. She is totally bonded to him (tolerates me for the stinky food treats and that’s about all.) So when he would seep in, I would shut the door and she would race up and down the stairs, ask to go outside even MORE than usual (like every 10 minutes) because of course he could have snuck out the upstairs window into the backyard without her knowing about it. Husband, who is a saint about this, as well as a very sound sleep and possessed of that ability to be awakened and then, instantly go back to sleep, came up with a solution. I just leave the bedroom door open. Cassie explodes up the stairs, pounces on him a couple of times and is told “no.” She then retreats to the top of the stairs assured that he will not be able to get out of the bedroom with her knowledge and I have peace and quiet for a few hours.

4. I have decided to admit defeat with some of the French antique pieces of furniture we bought for the living room. They were some of the first pieces we bought and while individually they are great, they do not a living room make. Least ways not a comfy come in and put your feet up kind of way and that’s the kind of people we are. So I’m working on the craigslist ads to sell two chairs, a dainty loveseat and a to-die-for coffee table though I know that trying to sell any of that sort of expensive stuff right now is probably not going to work.

5. We have had several days of rain here and the native garden looks wonderful. The plants are perking up, happy to have had a drink. Buds are forming on the ceanothus bushes and the ribes are already dripping with pink blossoms. Birds are hopping around on the ground, getting acquainted with the area. Spring is going to be grand.

Saturday, January 24, 2009|Categories: Random|Tags: , |18 Comments