I can't predict when I have the time to post a new blog, but check occasionally. I'm going to try at least weekly.

Friday, June 2, 2017

We have a moving date...sorta.

Song of the day: “Issues” by Julia Michaels, is often tumbling through my mind these days. Very accurate for most folks, I’m guessing, so I don’t feel too weird having this as an earworm.

Well, lots has happened since the last blog, so I might as well get to it right away, right?

So it’s a done deal, big brother and I are moving house again. Yes, I know, we’ve been at the cute little farm for only nine months or so, but that doesn’t change the fact that when an opportunity arises, we shouldn’t jump on it like ticks on a hound…okay, gross analogy, I know, but you know what I mean.

As to the opportunity…well, there was one at our old place of employment. If we were to live in the same area as before once more, big brother could get a full time position at the technical department of the Spa & Wellness, and I could get back to the cleaning, if I want to (not a hundred percent sure yet about that, but we’ll see) on a part time basis at the very least. Since I can’t do more than part time anyway, this is certainly an option.  Gotta have time left to write and edit, so sacrifices have to be made in the job department, naturally. Can’t have two careers, and since writing is definitely the dream, I’ll scrub friggin’ floors if I have to.

Anyways, big brother is rather happy with the opportunity. He always liked working there (duh, doing technical shaite is way more fun than mere cleaning) so it is a great chance for him to also have a “normal career” while I try to get this whole writing thing up and running.

Writing. Well, we’re still in the editing stages. Some details that need to be ironed out, and since the book is so long, it is taking the editor longer than planned to get the bit on her side done. Well, duh. That was my problem, too when I had to do the last changes. Seriously, the 8-10 hours slaving behind  the computer to try to get it all done in time, weren’t easy by any means. Let’s hope that the editor at least has to admit that that was pretty amazing in the few weeks that I had to do the, what turned out to be massive changes. Grrrr. I cried, for crying out loud, especially when the darn thing finally went out and I could breathe a little easier once more.

But anyway, I was pretty happy with how the changes brought it back to the former quality once more, but apparently it wasn’t enough yet. What lies in the future is changing more chapters in regards to their POV, because for some reason the book has to be more from the female perspective.  A pity, that, considering that I wrote the book primarily from the hero’s point of view. Grrr. But what has to be done, has to be done. We’ll get it sorted out…somehow.

What else? Well, spent a long weekend at my father’s place last week. Not just a pleasure trip, I assure you. Big brother and I promised to move the shed from the back yard to the front, which turned out to be a bit more difficult than anticipated. Partly because there were parts of the wood infested with woodworm, *sigh*, and because the poor structure was old and had endured a large amount of patchwork jobs over the years to prevent leakage and what not. Anyways, there was quite a bit of improvising involved in terms of getting the right wood to replace the old…especially since our tools are not as extensive as they used to be…replacing the roof, moving the foundation from the old spot to the new before actually getting the shed there, etc.
The way we went about it was removing the damaged wood and the roof entirely, and then literally lifted the shed from its concrete foundation so we could remove it and place it in the new spot that we still had to dig out on the spot. The darn thing was friggin heavy, I tell you. Big brother and I could barely lift it with the both of us, prior to the removal of the damaged wood, but once that was done, and attachment points were put in place for easy lifting, we carried the thing together with stepmother and littlest brother, who came over during his lunch break for this very purpose.
What we had planned to be two days, turned out to be four in the end, partly because putting the whole thing back together was a tad more complicated by past-time patch jobs, and because hauling everything to the other side of the yard was a friggin heavy job what with near tropical temperatures for the duration of our stay (seriously, it was like being back in Spain! High 90s temps, for crying out loud!)  meaning that I sweated like a race horse as I hauled wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow with roof tiles, shells (they were for underneath the floor because they keep mice from tunneling under there) and of course all the wood and whatnot.
It didn’t help at all that at the beginning of the third day I stepped onto a patch of cut-off bamboo shoots and ended up with a serious hole in the bottom of my foot. Yep. That’s me. Why do things easy and without pain when you can do it with it? Grrrr. Anyway, when I inspected the damage, I first didn’t realize the extent of it and thought that something sticky got stuck under my foot. Grabbed it, and yanked it off. Turned out to be a couple of inches of skin. Aaaaargh. Rather than risk complete immobility if I stopped to really treat it, I decided to go the natural way, and used the soil as a bandage. Yep. The dusty ground worked really well as a bandage. Got a nice patch of mud on the damaged area, and it made for easier walking than on shoes, so that’s what I did for the remainder of the work days—walk around barefoot, because at least it would allow me to balance on my foot in such a way that I wasn’t constantly standing on the hole.
It did mean that I needed to clean it properly that evening prior to going out for dinner, as was the folks’ solution to feeding everyone in the evening. Hah. Nice food, mind you, but after hauling shaite for 9 or 10 hours I would have been just as happy with takeout pizza before passing out for the night. Gawd, it had been too long since I did this kind of work. Seriously, the first night I could barely sleep from all the twinges and aches all over, and the second night I woke every two hours for the same reason, before I finally just passed out on the third night. Hah.
But, as I was saying, the cleaning of the hole in my foot involved soaking my feet in baking soda water, and then spraying it with teatree oil, antiseptic spray. Stung like mad, but it did do the job.
This was the procedure for the next day, too, since barefoot was less painful than shoes, and we did in the end get the whole thing done.

Of course, the moment we left…sometime around 9 PM…the weather turned, and we came home to a nice low eighties summer evening. Yay. A little late, but I am not going to complain about cooler temps after four days of sweltering. It was a good four days, though. I missed the kind of satisfying work, building something is. Nothing quite beats the sensation of standing in front of a structure that you put there with your own blood, sweat and tears. Hah

We were late getting home, meaning I had to rush the cleaning of my foot a little so I’d get to bed on time. Work the next day, after all, despite being friggin’ bone tired. Work went well enough for a couple of hours, but then the foot started hurting like heck (the heat of friction, you know. Can’t stop that when you’re walking around in shoes, despite cloudy weather) so I finished the day by clenching my jaw and just putting one foot in front of the other until it was done.

Did manage to do my qi gong the next day, albeit later in the afternoon. Was really necessary too, considering the four days away where I simply didn’t have the energy for it. Was so nice to go through the familiar motions that I barely even noticed the discomfort in my foot through most of it. Do need to keep that up, even if I do start working more regularly. Especially the shoulder exercises that keep the muscles there supple, because a lot of tension gathers there really fast.

Moving. Yes, it is definitely happening now. Last week we got a tip, and since then we have seen the outside, got a tour of the inside the day after getting home from our father’s place, and everyone is in agreement that we will move in there the moment it is free sometime in the middle of the month.  Same deal as our present residence, and only twenty minutes away from work.
It’s a big place, which was my first requirement. These days I have a lot of problems with small spaces, in particular if I have to spend a lot of time there (like during edits and such) so I don’t much care for primitive stuff, as long as it is big. Thankfully this place is not at all primitive, in fact it looks a little like the place I grew up in prior to Spain. Same sort of design, same sturdy materials, albeit a little less elegant. The nicest part is the big kitchen. It’s huge, with a nice kitchen island which will make cooking there a pleasure.

Also the living room is massive, with nice big windows, so basically I have already decorated the whole place in my mind. Hah. Going to have a little fun with that when I get  to it. I will be allowed to paint walls white, which is probably something that needs doing, because everything is very beige, and thus dark now, something I have a little bit of difficulty with. I don’t like dark at all. There are a total of five bedrooms upstairs in the place, and two extra rooms downstairs, so I’ll also have to think about what to do with those.
But no matter, the nicest part of the place is the double garage, meaning that the cars will be protected and won’t need as much cleaning. Yay!  And there is a massive shed, which has some potential for a fitness area, for as far as I’m concerned.
Now the nicest part would be that we’re allowed to have a dog there, which is sorely tempting for as far as I’m concerned. There were thoughts of maybe getting my Sitabah here when I move, but I don’t want to be selfish in that regard. Poor baby is in the only place she knows as home, with all the dogs she’s known her entire life, and me she hasn’t seen in two years, and has probably forgotten completely, so for her it would be horrible if I did that.
But it is tempting. I mean imagine, having her here, and maybe Tadaika, or Fortune. *sigh* A girl can dream, right?

What else?
Well, packing is in progress, naturally. All the knick knacks are packed already, the books, dvds and basically anything that makes the place look cosy is gone already. It’s getting more spacious by the minute. Hah. Do have to be careful during the whole thing. I notice that familiar sadness. The kind I had in Spain while getting rid of everything, which is ridiculous, considering that this move is entirely voluntary and I won’t have to throw anything, since we’re just planning on renting another van and getting it all there, too…except maybe the couch. Am finding myself thinking of exchanging it for another one at some point, so I am not sure whether I’m going to do it before the move or after. We’ll see.

Have planned a small, casual dinner party sometime next week. A goodbye sort of thing for the neighbors, who have been wonderful for the past nine months. They were very pleasant people to live between, that’s a fact. Am going to do an Italian meal that we can all share around a big table. Two, maybe three courses, involving stuff that I then won’t have to haul along in the move. Yay.

And that about sums up the past few weeks, I guess. Actually some change for a change, pardon the repetition. Hah.  Am writing this while waiting for my job interview at the spa & wellness. Drove in together with big brother, meaning I had to get up at four, since at the moment we still live a good fifty minutes away from work. Would be wasteful for me to drive separately, so now I’m killing time doing some catching up like this one, and maybe some edit planning later on.

Since I will have to fill the remainder of the day as well, I will also do some shopping later, visit with some friends and then hopefully pick up big brother on time…not very likely, since yesterday was his first day here and he didn’t get home until six or so in the evening. Grrr. Lucky for him I had already cooked dinner (even had my meat for a change, good Sammie!) and he could dig right in.

Which is it for now…well, at least it was a decent size blog today, amounting to a whopping three pages, compared to the average 1 I manage these days. I know, bad Sammie, bad Sammie.  I am trying to do better and be here more frequently, but you know how it goes. So much to do and so little time to do it in. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The revision/edit done and sent!!!!

Song of the day: “Castle on the Hill” by Ed Sheeran. Lovely song. It’s been tumbling through my mind frequently lately.

So, let’s make this a quickie. Been a long day, what with work and stuff…and with the past few days having been incredibly busy, catching up with friends (lived like a hermit for the past month or so, delving into that revision edit with an average of 8-10 hours a day behind the computer) which was very necessary. Luckily for me, stuff got cancelled by others during the whole work thing, some get-togethers I was forced to cancel myself, but on the overall timing was splendid. The manuscript actually got done in time…well, only five minutes, over the deadline we had set, so sorta on time anyway. Hah. Technically the edit was done exactly on the deadline, but the actually sending was five minutes late. *sigh*

It was pretty stressful, though: the hours, the weeks, and then that last night, big brother so worried that he woke me up two hours after I got to bed, so we could go through the last bits and pieces, six hours before the deadline. Aaaargh. Seriously, I had the idea that I’d just fallen asleep, and the next moment my door opens and big brother is saying, “we gotta get started, Sam. We only have six hours left. Get up.” Startled me straight up in bed, my head pounding, my stomach protesting (about three hours in I puked out my porridge…I know, TMI, TMI, but there you have it) and bleary-eyed on bad coffee while we read through the last few chapters, checked the key-words that we’d kept track of throughout the edit, (found one, despite all our efforts of taking them out) ran the whole thing through the spelling program, just to be sure, which took an hour!!! And every little thing we could think of before sending it off.

Felt really weird afterward, like deflated, or something, and just gazed blindly at the computer for a while, skimmed through Facebook and finally just gave up and went to bed, rather than risk feeling miserably tired for the majority of the day. Slept several hours and then went outside so we could work on fixing the Daihatsu. Yes! We did it! The little zit is fully functional again, all the broken parts we exchanged for new (2nd hand ones, naturally)…although we still have to find a new hood, but that has no rush. Anyway, it works, it drives, and the garage who checked the poor thing over, declared it hale and healthy. Yay.

So, on the news part…there’s going to be some changes. Moving time is coming again…asap. Big brother had a rather good job offer, thankfully, so we’re planning on moving back south…at least a little bit, just as soon as we can manage it. Already looking, mind you, but such things take more time than I would want them to…but on the other hand, there is still a deadline for the book, and there will be at least two more edits before it can get the okay at the end of the month, so…I’m hoping that the actual move won’t be until next month. Seriously, can imagine me having to do the previous mentioned hours, while packing and loading most of our stuff, because big brother would be working full time at his new job. Aaaaaaarrrgggghhhh

As for the social business lately. We had some parties, b-days, from neighbors as well as friends, which was fun, if time consuming. Hah. Also visited friends with new babies, or babies underway. Five cases of that, just so you know, and just so you know, I’ve heard of two former colleagues who are having, and have a baby. Seriously, everyone seems to be procreating. I do hope it is not something in the water. Cute babies, though. I’ve been cooing over more babies the past few weeks than I did in the past twenty years. I kid you not. It sure is different, suddenly all the conversations are about babies and stuff about babies. Hah.

The car had a sudden problem the other day. We were preparing to bring away a load of old cartons, and the next thing you know the stupid thing just stopped functioning. Turn the ignition, but nothing happened, so I went straight to the garage, who offered to come back with me to see if he could get it started anyway. He could. Turns out the battery had completely died, so we had to replace it. Good thing that it was only that, because it seemed like it was a bigger problem. Was already seeing the disaster looming. Thankfully that wasn't the case.

Did quite some cooking, and baking. Have a divine chocolate cake, according to my volunteer tasters anyway. Personally I’m okay with them, but not the biggest fan…it being chocolate and everything. Also experimented with some dishes, which I think I’ll save for the cooking blog at a later time.

What else…well, not much else. Since the manuscript has been sent out I feel like I’ve been hit by a freight train and have been taking some naps, when the days allowed it, cleaning the house because it was a mess, doing laundry to catch up, and  doing my exercises approximately 5 days a week for more than an hour, if for no other reason than making up for the computer sitting time. If I hadn’t done that throughout the edit, I think I would have been a physical mess for sure.

The weather is finally improving. Everything is green again, which is a vast relief. The winter was incredibly long and I’ve had enough of it. Pity that now that the time to move has come, it’s a pity that it’s happening while everything has finally become pretty at last. I’ll keep you informed.

And that’s it for now. I’m leaving out stuff, of course, but I don’t want to get boring anyway. I’ll be back…as always. The question is just when. Hah.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Another blog bites the dust

Song of the day: “Symphony” by Clean Bandit and Zara Larson. Gorgeous song, been listening to it quite a bit, and it is sticking.

So it’s going to be a shorty today. I know it has been quite a while since the last blog, but I’ve been up to my elbows into revision/edits, and the clock is ticking. In fact, I should be working on that right now, and yet, here I am. Hah . What can I say, I’m nuts.
At the moment, I am feeling the pressure. Got about six days to go (at most) and all the big stuff has been done, but everything still needs to be checked. Meaning that roughly 300 pages need to be read semi-intensely. Can you feel the pressure yet? No? Well, imagine that you already went through that same material some odd 22 times and that you’ve changed so much already that inside your head the story is about 500 pages long because all the extra stuff of scenes that were added, removed, altered and whatnot is still tumbling through your head? How ‘bout now? If not…well, lucky you.

Besides all the editing, which takes up an average of about 10 hours a day, five days a week, I have been managing some Qi gong workouts, thank Gawd. Also managed to do cooking, cleaning, laundry and all that other shaite. Hah.  Do need to wash the windows one of these days. They’re a mess, and they[re annoying me.

Some of the seeds I sowed are finally coming up. Am seeing chard, beets, some broccoli and probably a cauliflower. At this stage they are difficult to distinguish. No beans yet, which is a pity. Maybe I’ll try putting some more into the ground soon.

Then there is the job on the side for the cleaning company. More cleaning, naturally. Got the offices that I now maintain in pretty good order, thankfully. Now it is all about keeping up and making sure that it doesn’t get out of hand again. One isn’t all that easy,  considering it is a gardening company, meaning lots of dirty boots on the floor, every single time.

Big brother is having some issues with his temp agency. They suddenly changed his contract, which makes no sense, so he’s going to have to make an issue of that. Very annoying, but if that doesn’t work the way he wants it to, we are seriously going to consider moving down south a ways and look for new work there in the near future. No sense in staying in this area if the work is not sufficient. Actually think that I am rather looking forward to that move. Am missing woods somewhat fierce, and though the house is lovely, the surrounding area is more important, I think. Can make a house a home anywhere, but can’t change the surroundings, can I. We’ll see how that goes.

There’s been good news, there’s been bad news, but now is not really the time to get into that. It would take too much time to explain it all, and I am not entirely sure if I want to…now that is mean of me to say, I know. That is like whetting your appetite for some big mystery, but it really isn’t. It’s too personal to bother anyone, really, so, don’t worry.

Spent Easter with family down south, which was interesting…despite me being distracted by the fact that the deadline was approaching. We actually left on time…only to end up with a friend calling underway and asking if, since we were near anyway, if we (that’d be me and big brother) wanted to stop over for coffee…so we were late coming home regardless. Grrr.

I’m so jealous. Littlest brother is in the States at the moment, and I soooooo wanna go there…which I can’t , of course. Not yet anyway, despite tickets being pretty reasonable at the moment. Can’t afford to spend money on that just yet while we’re earning a bare minimum to pay the bills. Maybe when the book is out and we’re getting some decent earnings…besides, when I go to the States, I wanna be there at least three months and just travel around and see everything. Wouldn’t that be grand? Why, for me that would be a dream come true. Let’s see if I can achieve it, huh.

Now it is very late, and since I don’t have anything remotely interesting left to tell I’m going to leave it at this and promise to be back a little sooner than this time.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Busy times...

Song of the day: “It ain’t me” by Kygo ft. Selena Gomez and “Issues” by Julia Michaels have been tumbling through my head quite a bit lately.

So, it’s been a while. Sorry ‘bout that. Life tends to get busy and regretfully the blog tends to take a back seat in that case. Grrr.
Quite a bit happened lately, not all of it good, but worthy of mentioning. Let’s see what I can come up with right now to put here.

Big brother and me were in a car accident. Yep. The zit car has its front folded in. It became clear, for once and for all that a slippery road and unexpected congestion up ahead don’t go together at all. Luckily no one got seriously hurt, least of all the car we rammed into. It barely had a dent, while our hood took most of the hit. I had some serious breathing issues that day, due to the seatbelt slamming into me. It wasn’t too bad while I was waiting for the tow truck, and while we dealt with the necessary forms, but as the evening progressed, there was some pressure there. Luckily, the next morning it was almost gone, so, no harm no foul…and as for the little car: It still runs, and as it turned out it was more outside damage than inside. Only part inside that was damage was the radiator and fan. Having it fixed, and if we get the spare parts ourselves, will cost around 600 buck…which is above our budget, naturally. But, considering that the damage is basically outside bits, we are going to try to do the majority of the repairs ourselves (the mechanic thinks that it is possible) we might be able to get the little zit back to functioning.

I got a job. Yay! Only part-time, which was the intention. Just a couple of days a week so that we can make ends meet. Signed up with a small cleaning company in the village next to ours, and now have two offices/stores that I’ll be cleaning twice a week. Heavy work, considering it’s quite a bit of square meters crammed within a few hours, while a lot of folks work there, making things pretty messy. Hah. Worst of it was, that my predecessor left two weeks earlier, so things were worse when I got there. Now, after two weeks of work. Things are starting to look neat again, smell better, and well maintained, I should be able to go back to a steady 100% rather than over it. Yay! It all does remind me of work at the sauna. And basically it requires very little thought, which is a good thing since I rather use brain power for writing, which I should be able to do around this job. My new boss is able to supply me with the tools/supplies I need asap, so there’s no messy making-due, and that’s a relief.

Regretfully big brother’s job is still a tad sporadic. As in, he’s supposed to work four days a week, but is lucky when he gets three and sometimes even as little as two. It makes the wallet a little tight. But, we’re managing to make ends meet, just barely. It just has to hold out until the book comes out…which could be a problem.

Yep. The editor got back with a new revision/edit, because, as expected some things didn’t work out as well as hoped after we had to cut out 15K words (50 pages, or so). Duh. Could have told you that. But anyway, there were some suggestions of how we could solve the problem, which literally made me cringe. Was hyperventilating there for a bit, but then we did some serious brain storming that got the okay, thank Gawd! So now we’ve spent the past week or so working on a plot beat sheet, with the twists and turns exposed (including some of the changes) and are now waiting for the Okay to get started on the actual changes. The waiting is driving me bonkers! We are sooooo not going to make the 20th of April deadline. *sigh*

A sad thing that happened was that our uncle died suddenly, a couple of weeks ago. Was very unexpected for everyone involved, not to mention a big shock for the entire family. My dad was numbed, I think. And considering he had been suffering from the flu, the event didn’t help any. My other uncle got hit by the stress so bad that he had a minor heart attack, so he spent the week after the cremation in a hospital, adding to the family’s  distress. And considering that my dad’s sister hasn’t been well in a while, things are…difficult to say the least.
Anyway, we went to the cremation, of course, more to show our support to dad, than our departed uncle, whom we’d only met once since our return, and barely remember from when we were little. Still, it was oddly intense, the whole thing. Apparently there is something different when it involves family, whether you know them or not. Strange. There was quite a turnout. More than a hundred people and a long ceremonial kind of thing, followed by a reception where a lot of people that I remember from when I was a kid (and a lot I didn’t) came to show their respect. This was followed by a trip to my dad’s place so the older generation could meditate while our littlest brother went for a walk in the woods with us. Had some nice talks, and then later that evening, dad took us all out to dinner at an Italian place. Didn’t get home until midnight, though, which was when we heard about our uncle’s heart attack, and I had to go to work the next day.

Well, what else? I sowed some seeds. Herbs on the most part. But also zucchini, of which one is growing real fast. Gonna have to sow stuff soon, otherwise it will be too late. Looking forward to that. Getting my hands dirty, get my own veggies from the yard come summer. Would be lovely.

What with the news of revisions, and the stuff that needed working out because of it, I didn’t get to any writing except for the stuff of the plot changes. *sigh* Very frustrating that. I so want to be past working on this book, and on to something new…although, the new changes would be exciting to see how they work out. Hah.

So, that’s it for today. Can’t think of anything else…although I’m sure there is more. Just can’t come up with it now. Ah well…we’ll get to that the next time.