Saturday, October 26, 2013

Scrap metal sculptures

I went to the big fall plant festival downtown today and had a good time browsing the flowers and trees and garden accessories, plus handmade soap, etc.; the wild animal rescue display is always interesting too.  So, once again I looked at the critters made from scrap metal; there is always such an amazing variety of birds and animals.  The horses, dogs, birds, peacock, etc. are fun.  I was tempted by the big dog with the bone (wrench) in its mouth and the eyes made from gauges, the smaller version, and the Chihuahua (little dog anyway) with blue eyes.

I finally decided on the smaller version of the dog with the bone in its mouth, which was a good thing 'cause it's heavy!  Its body is a really big coil recycled from something; its head is a hammer head; its feet and ears are from golf clubs, and its tail is a straight thin pipe sticking straight up.  The length of the coil is 13".  The height to the top of the head is 15".  The wrench (bone) in its mouth is 9" from one side to the other.  The height of the tail from its rear is 9".  The eyes are backed by metal circles, and the bluish eyes are plastic maybe.  When I took it in the house and put it on the living room floor, Blizzard sniffed its butt...

Friday, October 18, 2013

AC repair update

Our AC company sent a repairman with the new condenser coil yesterday.  It took him a few hours because he had to remove everything and then put everything back, but now it's cool on this side of the house, where my office is, so you know I'm a lot more comfortable working. He had to add eight pounds of freon, btw.  I didn't know that it took that much or that you measured it in pounds!  He also said that he wasn't sure if the manufacturer would honor the warranty because of the cicumstances...  (That is an expensive piece of equipment!  And it was an expensive repair--labor and materials.)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Christmas gift list

Check out these gift suggestions (fiction and non-fiction):
Something Furry Underfoot by Amy L. Peterson:

When Amy Married a biologist named Mark, she knew that a few pets were in her future, but she had no idea the number and variety of pets Mark had in mind:


From Zero to Four Kids in Thirty Seconds by Amy L. Peterson:


From Zero to Four Kids in Thirty Seconds is a fun read, and it includes tips for stepmothers:.


To Ignite a Fire on Enceladus by Vincent Miskell combined with Jack London's To Build a Fire:


Miskell updates Jack London's classic story.  I enjoyed reading them both together, and I love Miskell's dog...


Godspeed Inc: A Naomi Kinder Adventure (Naomi Kinder SF Adventures) by Vincent Miskell:

This first Naomi Kinder science fiction adventure spans the wide orbits of Pluto and Uranus and takes Naomi to the airless, icy moon of Umbriel.  Naomi’s got some special abilities, but she’s no hero. Now the fate of the civilized solar system depends on her.  [Free]:
Rescuing the Future: A Naomi Kinder Novel (Naomi Kinder SF Adventures) by Vincent Miskell:
Another fun Naomi Kinder adventure:


Punctuation by G. Miki Hayden:


An essential primer and Reference book:


A Murder in Harlem by G. Miki Hayden:


The complete collection of 11 mystery/crime stories featuring Miriam, her husband, Kofi, and her co-wife, Nana, by Edgar-winning short story author Hayden. Five of the stories were first published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine:


Detour Trail  by Joy V. smith:


Review excerpt: The main character in this book is Lorrie, a strong, courageous woman that goes off the Oregon Trail and blazes her own life in the West. She's the embodiment of what a woman of that time period had to be like: able to make decisions, able to pull and use a weapon, and with the people skills needed to survive and thrive:   
Hidebound (SF) by Joy V. Smith:
After Anfissa meets Ferenc, they flee to a planet where even the grass is deadly:  and

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Home decorating and entertaining

The November issue of Country Living includes panel screens, collectibles, Thanksgiving entertaining ideas (including paint sample colors placecards and labeled table runners), and home decorating suggestions--old and new can work well together (I'm glad they kept the original black and white checkerboard linoleum in the foyer).  And using a linen tablecloth as a coverlet is a cool idea.  Plus some of the best recipes I've seen in a while.  The Citrus-Cranberry Sauce (add grapefruit juice), Potato Gratin (rub the cooking dish with garlic first), and a Carmelized-Onion Galette (I think that's a tart) look and sound especially good.  The Spicy Pickled Green Beans (with dill) sounds good too.  'Course I love dill.  I must not forget the Sweet-Potato Spoon Bread with Caramel-Pecan Topping!  

Friday, October 11, 2013

AC coil sabotage!

It's still hot here in Florida (we're used to that in September, but it's almost the middle of October!), but then we noticed a few days ago that it was hot inside as well.  I really noticed it sitting at the computer in the office so we called our AC company, and a repairman came out, took that unit apart (we have two so the other end of the house is cool) and then wandered around in the attic for a while.  Finally he came in the house and led us out to the unit and showed us the problem.  Our little Corgi male has been lifting his leg on the unit, and the acid in the urine destroyed the coil and so the freon escaped.  So now we're waiting for a new coil, which should take 7-10 days, and then we'll pay big bucks to have it replaced.  The repairman advised us to fence it off so that doesn't happen again.  Yep, we went straight to the hardware store and bought several sections of little plastic fencing and surrounded the unit and its slab.  It's not your pretty little picket fence, but it's in a corner hidden by a lot of plants, which is why we never noticed what he was up to...

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Flash fiction stories podcast (link)

Bailey’s Writing Tips podcast ‘short stories’ episode number 32 went live today and contained four flash fiction pieces that have appeared on my blog as Flash Fiction Fridays.
This episode contained: Blackbird by Jade Kennedy, The Letter by Jane Risdon, Why Me by Angela Watt, and Triumph by Joy V Smith.

Li nk:

See the link above to read the stories… or hear my dulcet tones on the podcast…

The podcast is already available via Google’s Feedburner and will be in the next few hours on iTunes, then Podbean (when it catches up), Podcasters (which takes even longer) or Podcast Alley (which doesn’t list the episodes but will let you subscribe).

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Meet Amy L. Peterson, author and step-mom (link)

I enjoyed this interview with Amy L. Peterson, author of From Zero to Four Kids in Thirty Seconds and Something Furry Underfoot.  I enjoyed--and reviewed--both books, plus her children's books about some of the pets that appear in Something Furry Underfoot.  Now here's Amy:

Friday, October 4, 2013

Tropical Storm Karen

TS Karen is heading NNW and may make landfall between Mobile and Pensacola before turning east.  It probably won't become a hurricane.  We may get some rain Sunday. 

I didn't give much space to TS Jerry, who is long gone, I think.

It's been quiet this season (for us), and I saw on the weather report a few days ago that we were 28% lower storm wise...  Or only 28% of what we usually get in the way of named storms--or hurricanes.  Something like that.

Update (10-5-13): Karen is now a tropical depression and is expected to make landfall in southern Lousiana and still expected to turn northeast after that.

Update (10-6-13): The remnants of Karen are heading east.  We might get some rain tomorrow.

Note: The first winter storm was named Atlas. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

October: The month of the bazaar

Yes, it's time for fall bazaars and Halloween. I pulled out my Halloween decorations this morning; I don't go all out and put a cemetary on the front lawn--though I passed one last night that looks cool--or put up all kinds of scary stuff. I have two ghost candles and cardboard black cats and pumpkins and a huge Hocus Pocus book (it's hollow and makes funny noises when you open it, though it looks like it needs a new battery), plus colorful (fake) leaves covering the hunt board. One of my favorite restaurants is more impressive! It has spiders (flat and 3D) and bats (flying and hanging), ghosts, skeletons, etc. all over the windows, the walls, and the interior doors (full size on the doors)!  So have fun--and don't scare the kiddies!  And for entertaining, a hollowed-out pumpkin is great for serving a pumpkin dish or candy (line it first for the candy).