Friday, May 22, 2015

Yard Again

The compost bins are on the other side of the yard behind the poor excuse for a rock garden. It seems to want to collapse backwards. The rock garden is a mound of rocks that I threw some dirt on. Just rocks scattered about the yard.
At the back of the yard, along the fence are some old cement blocks. I got them when I enlarged the entrance at the back door. The entrance and steps were too tight to move a washer and dryer through. I couldn't reuse the blocks that I removed.
So I took these blocks and stacked them two high behind the garden. Now some soil to fix that up and it will be a work of art.
All this is cutting into my writing time.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


More Work in the Yard

      Next thing to do was get my firewood racks in order, refill the rack I used in the winter, old wood up front, etc. That took a while. One side of the shed has a firewood rack. Get the sun most of the time. The other side has my compost bins. Three black plastic bins and one wooden bin. Each year, I move the stuff from one bin to another. The wooden bin is last, and that's where my wife get the soil for all her planters.
That side of the shed seems to be in shade most of the time. That's one reason I have to move them, and another reason is that I have to lift that side of the shed. A lot of water accumulates at the back of the yard during the winter. At the back corner, on the other side of the yard, I had a wood rack - gone now. And that is where the compost bins are going.
       There's a photo of my shed a few years ago. Wood on one side, bins on the other, but you can't see them. Shed looks level.
      And you can pick up a copy of my latest book "Mediterranean Mission" by clicking on the photo on the right.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I think I'm a Renaissance man. This morning I used jacks to lift the shed and level it. and now after supper, I'm washing the dishes.

Outside Again

      After getting the tree cut down and branches from the other trees lopped off, the backyard was full of potential firewood. That all had to be cut up, carted away, etc. But this was Oct. and starting to get cold, so it would have to wait until the spring. We shoved it all at the back of the yard and left it to stare at all winter. It did make big snow banks.
      I spent part of last week cutting it up and carting it away. There was also bundles of small branches for garbage pickup. Garbage day is usually Mon. but since Mon was a holiday, our day was Sat. We are only allowed to throw out five bundles at a time, so three of my neighbors got to enjoy four or five bundles each. So now it is gone, and that's that.
      I'm glad it was on Sat. because Sunday was heavy rain, and we would have had to carry it all out in that.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Outside Work.

I was busy outside last week. Last fall, I had one maple tree cut down and three others trimmed. They are large trees, about 70' high. The one I had cut down started to rot about 5' up. A branch was cut off years ago and it started there. Bugs got in and over the years it just got worse. I became worried that in some hurricane it would fall on the house next door. Not that I'm worried about it - that house is abandoned and ready for the wreckers. The property has a new owner, and people have been around in the last couple of days. That will bring along a new set of worries. What kind of neighbor will I get? In the photo you can see the tree coming down and the house next door.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Still Free today!

      My book is still free today. So jump on it and grab a copy. And don't forget the review. You know how we want reviews.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Free Book

      I put my latest book up on Amazon and for today and tomorrow, it is free. So, download if you like. Of course, it comes with a request, and that you give it a review. It doesn't have to be long, just a few words. I started something awhile back, and that is I give a review to every book I read. I was going to call it "St. Peters Bones", but my wife said I should get a better title, something that relates to the book rather than part of a chapter. Now she is happy with it.
      So now it is called "Mediterranean Mission", which does relate to the book, and it has a new cover that relates to the story. I got the idea from my cruise 1 1/2 yrs. ago. Part of the book relates my trip with a bit of exaggeration. To that, I added some intrigue. If you don't read it, you can always give it away.
      Here's the link or you can just tap on the cover picture.

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Secret of Getting Ahead

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Sears Card

      At the start of last week, my wife and I went to Sears. They convinced us to switch our Sears card to a Sears Master Card. First, we did mine - no problem. Then we tried my wife's. It came back no, because she didn't have a photo I.D. She doesn't have a drivers license. This has caused problems before, so we decided to get her a photo I.D. The photo I.D. is done at the Licensing Bureau. It looks like a drivers license, except the photo is on the opposite side. I won't go through all that, but to say that it took 1 1/2 hrs.
      Then, we went back to Sears and tried it again. Came back no, so we gave them a call. They said she couldn't get a Sears credit card because she didn't have someone's else's credit card. She has had a Sears card for 50 years. They said that card is tied with my card, so she doesn't have a credit history. We would have to go to the bank and get a credit card.
      So, off we go to the Royal Bank and tell them our problem. They tell us we have a credit card and since it's tied to a joint account, we both have a credit history. She showed us our different credit histories. So I told her to cancel those cards, and get a new card in my wife's name. I'll get the extra card. Then the lady said, "The next time you go to Sears, tell them thanks for the business."
      Then I told my wife that we have to wait till we get her new card before we try Sears again. She said," Never mind. I have been dealing with Sears for 50 years, and if they don't trust me enough to give me a card, the heck with them. I have my own credit card from Visa, so the next time I go to Sears, I will put it on my VISA card."

Sunday, May 10, 2015

College Probably Won’t Hurt You

I don't think a college degree is necessary to become a good writer, I'm not even certain it's an advantage. College probably won’t hurt you—if you don't take it too seriously, But far more important, I believe, is broad general experience: living as active a life as possible, meeting all ranks of people, plenty of travel, trying your hand at various kinds of work, keeping your eyes, ears, and mind open, remembering what you observe, reading plenty of good books, and writing every day—simply writing.


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Rewriting Is The Essence Of Writing Well

Rewriting is the essence of writing well: it’s where the game is won or lost. The idea is hard to accept. We all have emotional equity in our first draft; we can’t believe that it wasn’t born perfect. But the odds are close to 100 percent that it wasn’t.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Oil Change

Got my tires changed on the van this morning. Faster and cheaper when you own the rims. Also, had an oil change. Oil changes for this van cost more because of the different type of filter. Strange looking filter. 6' high and about 2' across. Looks like an air filter. I'll put up a photo. On the way home it started to snow. Turned to water on the ground.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Daily Newspaper

      Well, there are three days left on my newspaper subscription. I didn't bother renewing it. $350.00 for a year. I hardly read it - just the obituary and the comics, and lately, I have been doing that on my pad. I can go on a comics site and get stacks of them. I read Blondie, Luann and Alley Oop.
      Of course, there other uses for a newspaper, spread on the floor for this or that. Fortunately, there another newspaper in the area that is free. Just pick it up at the supermarket.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Snow Tires

      There is no snow on my lawn, which means it's time to change my tires. I have to bring them up from the shed. With rims on, they're quite heavy. It's almost May, and normally I'm cutting grass by now. At least it has stopped raining.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Good Old Days

 You often hear people reminisce about the good old days. Well, I remember something special - the toilet paper was a lot rougher. And it didn't matter whether it was Eaton's or Simpson's, it just didn't crumple up all that well. If you were out in the woods, you could always use grass. The flies would be on it before it hit the ground.
      After the printing press came out, do you know what the most popular books were? You are going to say the Bible. Well no, it was books of poetry. The pages made fine toilet paper. They say you could see crumpled poetry pages tossed in the wind across the fields of England.
      Did you ever wash you hands after going to an outdoor toilet? No bathroom sinks there. When you were a kid, and they called you shitty-pants, there probably was a reason. And when they said you were as green as grass, they probably meant your ass. Yep, you're as green as your ass.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Prescription for Writer's Block

My prescription for writer’s block is to face the fact that there is no such thing. It’s an invented condition, a literary version of the judicial “abuse excuse.” Writing well is difficult, but one can always write something. And then, with a lot of work, make it better. It’s a question of having enough will and ambition, not of hoping to evade this mysterious hysteria people are always talking about.



      I'm trying to force good weather by wearing short sleeve shirts. After the last few days, I'm worried that it might be the recipe for a monsoon. It started raining yesterday morning and it is still at it. I had an appointment for tomorrow morning to put on the summer tires, but I cancelled it until next week. The problem is, my back yard is like a swamp and there is still snow in some spots. And that's a problem because my tires are stored at the back of my shed. I built an extension on the shed to house my snow blower, the tires, and all the snow shovels. So I have to drag the tires through the swamp. I'm going to use a wheel barrow. Those tires are heavy. I rolled them down hill getting to the shed, but I certainly can't roll them uphill, and, of course, it's still raining.

Monday, April 20, 2015


Did you ever see those cartoons of a small desert island, where there is just one palm tree? Usually it has a guy with a long beard, standing and watching. When I was on a cruise a few months back, I saw a few of those islands. There it was, all alone in the Caribbean Sea, with one palm tree. As far as I could see, the population was zero. The palm trees were quite high, so they must have been there for awhile. I wonder if those islands get larger or just sink out of sight. Could you land on one of them, plant your homemade flag, and say, this is mine? Set up a little bar. Get on the list as a cruise ship stopover. You would probably need a good radio to warn you when a hurricane was approaching.