128 – and the beat goes on

Oh my word, I haven’t posted here since August. Since no one is protesting, I’ll just have to assume y’all haven’t missed me. That should make me sad, but it actually makes me feel a little less pressured.

So, since August, I:

  • Completed the contract at the restaurant, and handed it over to a new manager. My opinion of him will remain unwritten–he’s still there as I’m writing this, so it’s been seven weeks, as he started right at the beginning of October. I hope, for the Mitchell’s sake, he makes a success of it. Scuttlebutt around town is not good, but then, it seldom is about most things.
  • Am 11,000 words into Flak Be Nimble, the sequel to This Little Pig, which makes me very happy and annoyed at the same time. I used NaNoWriMo to jump into it, and have struggled to get in gear. I did great for the first week and a half, and been just eking it out ever since. Minor proof is… I’m writing in this blog for the first time in THREE MONTHS, because I’ll do anything to not be writing in the novel. I should be 40,000 words in, and I’m just over a quarter of that…
  • Bought a warehouse with Corey. And an RV storage lot, as the property came with a half-acre lot, hurricane fenced, triple-strand barbwire headed. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Still standing empty… but that’s not really why we bought the property anyway.
  • Stopped writing my column for the 90 days I was at the restaurant–as I know I suck at multi-tasking and might not have time to do the column justice. Jody Bailey Day, one of the most amazing people I know, ably stepped in and did a Mayberry serial, which was awesome.
  • Went back to writing my column a couple weeks back, and totally spaced that this week was Thanksgiving, so just wrote an everyday column to turn in this Sunday… 🙂 Corey and I don’t really plan to do anything but bake a ham on the day, and otherwise kind of ignore the whole thing. He is busy-busy with stuff for the ranch and will probably work through the four-day weekend… and I have to be in town on Friday evening anyway.  Hmm…

So, it’s been an interesting 90 days. Life never stands still, does it?

Advertisements

127 – mumblings from the mountains

Sitting looking at a smoke-hazed mountain outside my best friend’s back door. It’s beautiful, even in the fire-induced fog. The sun is trying to climb over it–she often doesn’t get actual sun on her house until upwards of 10 a.m. because it lies in the early morning shadow cast by that mountain.

Happy to be here, feeling a sense of accomplishment–a quilt that I worked on for almost a year has been given to the newlyweds, and the bride was my friend’s youngest daughter. The bride and groom are off now to Hawaii. Now a couple days just for us, the vacation we both sorely needed–and a quick visit with son John in Great Falls before we head back to super-heated but not-on-fire West Texas.

attic window quilt
attic window quilt

Got a nice, long visit with Kelsey and Brian and the kids the last week of July, got to know Miss Haley Leann a little bit better, and had tons of fun with Tyler.

Also took on a consulting job shortly before that, getting operations turned around at a restaurant in the 8000+ population town 45 minutes from the ranch. The same folks who own the ranch own the restaurant, and when their general manager asked if I’d take on the challenge, I couldn’t resist. That was July 17, and from there until we flew out to come up here for a week, I’ve been running with my ears laid back. It’s in much better shape now, with tons of help from Kels and Brian as well as Corey, who jumped in with the staff to do the massive cleaning that was the first step to getting the place back on track. It’s a 90-day contract, minus the time here in Montana, so as of October 16, I’ll be back to entrepreneuriality, if that’s a word. And November is NaNoWriMo.

Oh… and we bought a warehouse. 🙂

125 – happy insomniac

Up at 4 a.m. this morning. Promised Corey I’d never say 4:13 again. He finds that kind of precision funny. I would say I don’t know why… but I do, ’cause I find it funny when other people do it, but only when they add vague qualifiers to it, like “almost 4:13.” We are weirdly alike for two people that on the surface are not so much… But that’s probably what makes us work as a couple. At any rate, woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep, so I figured I’d rattle off a few paragraphs.

Not a lot of plans for the weekend, other than to get into town in time to check the mail, pick up some ranch stuff, pick up some grocery stuff… get back home and work on the craft project that I’m up in the middle of–it’s a gift, so my lips are sealed. Am taking pictures.

My only other ambition is to get our van up and listed on a couple of websites. If you know anyone who might be in the market for an extended body 2002 Ford Econoline E350 cargo van, with a 7.3L diesel engine, let us know. It’s in good shape, two brand new tires and two good ones, just passed inspection a few months back. It’s very clean inside because we’re clean freaks. We stripped it down to the metal inside, repainted the inside floor and put it back together again. It does have a ladder rack for the top. The picture below is not a picture of THE van, it’s a picture of A van, same year model, same body type, frame, etc. I’ll replace it when I get a moment to get out and take pictures, if it’s not raining once the sun’s up this morning.

We had planned to kit it out as a weekend camping van, and it has room enough for a 2002-ford-econoline-cargo-van-058-p3queen-size bed in it, but we are just too busy to get it done… and enjoy just exploring the ranch on the rare weekend where we have time to just enjoy the weekend together. Plus, we like sleeping in our own bed now that we’re older. Camping, bluntly, kinda sucks.

But, I digress.

We’ll be listing the van for $6,500. Someone will want it just for the engine, according to my mechanically expert husband, who says it has 3/4 of a million miles of run-time left on it. Don’t know the mileage offhand, but I gather these engines run for decades. I know jack about engines, but know Corey wanted the van because of the engine, with eventual intent to tow a bumper-pull trailer, use the van for extra storage and the trailer for living space.

All I know is, rather than let it sit, someone who can use it ought to be using it. So if you know someone who might be interested, flag me down and let me know.

124 – light dawns, habit calls

As the sun rises on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, 2015, 6:51 a.m: We do not forget. To those who thank living veterans, we appreciate it–but please give the day’s respect to those who paid with their lives for our freedom. Raise a glass in their honor; celebrate their names. Remember them. We do.

I was looking outside to see if it was light enough to run yet, and decided MemorialDayto check and see when sunrise actually was these days in these parts… and it would be, oh, now.

Didn’t run yesterday and felt guilty as sin–may have finally developed a good habit. Only took me what, eight weeks? They do say it takes 27 repetitions to develop a habit, and considering I’m unusually slow, especially when it’s something I should be doing, I’m figuring a little over double isn’t too bad… 🙂 I’ll take it.

The final proof copy of “She’s Thinking Out Loud,” my book of collected columns, is uploading (for the seventh time) as I write this. The digital copy is out for review, and my apologies to my reviewers, as I set a deadline for them of this weekend, my head being so far up my own backside that I totally forgot that for normal people it’s a three-day weekend. So I re-sent my e-mail and asked them to get reviews back to me by June 1, and if I get them at all, I’ll be grateful.

There’s space in the print reserved for them, and they’ll be inserted after the final print proof is in my hands. Woo-hoo, second book will be out in June, people!

And, speaking of books (and you knew I would) if you happen to be around Fort Stockton, Texas, on June 11, at 6 p.m., stop in at The Garage, Coffee, Music & More, at 1110 N. Main St., for “Meet the Author,” where I’ll be presenting a few selections from This Little Pig, A Flak Anders Mystery. The first 40 people seated will be able to buy a signed first edition of the book. It’s my first book in print, as well as my first novel.  Bring cash, I don’t accept credit cards yet! 😀

119 – my head just exploded (in a very good way)

Lots going on, my chickens, but in a good way.

You may have noticed (you may not) that I tend not to identify myself on this blog. Lots of reasons, not least because I’ve never felt really SAFE on the Internet. If you do, you’re an idiot. That said, there are a lot of reasons why I’m coming out of my shell, not least of which is that I now have a book for sale, and my name is all over it, and the only way to sell a book is to be proud of it, which I am.

So, you’ll find me publicizing the book more here, plus linking back and forth between my brand-spanking new website, www.lisachannon.com, and this site.  I think I’m going to be starting a new blog, as well, on post-gastric-bypass ramifications and weight loss, but I’ve got a lot to think about before I do that. Stay tuned. It’s a really specialized subject, but there are good reasons to both start a blog and not to, and I just need to think about the whole thing.This Little Pig - ebook Cover 2

I was going to actually move this blog over to the new site, but it turns out that this is not as easy as it might sound. You have to start a whole networking thing, modify the backend of the site (which sounds rude, but is actually coding, and Mama didn’t raise no coder, sorry) and do other things which I simply don’t have time to learn, nor cash to pay anyone else to develop for me. It can be done by filtering with categories… but that’s where my head exploded, per the blog header… so, we’ll see.

I’m working on losing weight, successfully as it turns out, but not saying a whole lot about it because a) I’m writing about it, and b) I’m writing about it. Oh, and c) I have to finish this up and go for a run so I can lose some more weight. 🙂

It will all come out in the wash… Anyway, the final! proof of This Little Pig is on its way to me. The Kindle version is as error-free as it’s ever going to be, so please, feel free to pop over to www.lisachannon.com and explore there, where you’ll find links, or straight over to Amazon.com if you’ve got a Kindle or the program on your computer. The print version should be available (fingers crossed) very shortly, and then the marketing blitz begins, baby. Press releases over in East Texas, blah, blah, blah.

Life just got interesting…. but then, it always has been, hasn’t it.

Lisa

109 – love this old house

Moved from one house to another here on the ranch the week before Thanksgiving, and I’m not sure it’s possible to get much happier.

It’s a more spacious house than the converted bunkhouse we lived in before, and it’s a hugely more spacious yard for Daysie Dog, but that’s not why I love it.

As hard as we tried, we never really truly made the bunkhouse into ours. I honestly don’t know why.

Maybe it was easier in this place just because the kids got here the same week we moved in, and even helped us move the last bits and pieces and put the pictures up. Putting pictures up usually takes me months. This time they were up in the first week.

Honestly, I feel so at home that I almost feel guilty. We’ve spent a huge number of our spare hours for the last six months looking for what we hoped would be our “forever home,” the place where we will go when we retire, whenever that may be. Even took a week’s vacation to search this last summer. Got really close to putting an offer in on a place. Withdrew it. Too much work, too far away, too, too… whatever. It wasn’t right, so we didn’t do it.13-Living Room from Dining Room

Found another place in nearby Sanderson, and we were really intrigued. Well, “nearby” in Texas terms, about 45 minutes away. It had so many things we really wanted, but again, got spooked for a number of reasons and withdrew the offer.

Now I’m fully aware that the place we now live in, no matter how much I love it, will never be ours. It’s owned lock, stock and barrel by Corey’s employers. They supply housing for us in order to have him here, where they need him, day or night, weekend or weekday, not an hour away in town.

We do not own this house. We never will. This cannot be our “forever home.” (Talking to myself here, can you tell?)

So why does it make me feel so happy and so settled?

I honestly don’t know.

I do, however, have my suspicions.

I think part of it is that the bunkhouse was built to house the unrelated men who worked the ranch. This place, on the other hand, was built to be a home for a family.  There is history here, and it simply feels like a home and not a building.

I think another reason is because there was so much attention to detail in building this place. The beautiful stone tile floors you see in the picture above are throughout the house, except for the bedrooms, where there is carpet the same color as the caliche dust. Caliche dust is just part of the deal when you live on a ranch. It’s also open plan, very much like the house we someday had dreamed of building for ourselves.

It’s possible that another part of it is that I know, by the ranch owners moving us in here, how much they think of Corey and the work he does for them. It’s a big vote of confidence, this house–and well-deserved. He’s an amazing man, and he both thrives and excels in this work and home environment.

It may be that it’s because there’s a separate office, with a door, where I can walk away from my virtual job and keep it separate in ways that were just impossible in the bunkhouse.

It may be because there’s a dishwasher. Which does, indeed, make me just as happy as I thought it would.

It’s also vaguely possible that I just have an itch to move every so often, and this scratched the itch. Good Lord, I hope that’s not it.

Whatever the reason, I feel truly at home for the first time in a long, long time.

Let’s see… Corey’s 45 this year, if he works until 72, we could live here for, oh, 27 years.  I can see that.

I just went back and counted. I’ve moved 27 times since the year I entered kindergarten in Black Eagle, Montana. I was married for 27 years to my ex-husband before I bolted… Coincidence?

Well, yeah. But still… kinda cool!

108 – welcome to TTAADD

As of today, I’m being published in print once more. Welcome to the blog if you wandered over here from The Fort Stockton Pioneer–you’re very welcome.

It’s been four years since I wrote for  a weekly newspaper, and a quick conversation with the publisher has me writing for them once more.  I couldn’t be happier about it.

I wrote for them during 2009-10, while I was in the process of divorcing, getting remarried, and moving three times. I was also watching my brand-new daughter graduate high school, and waving her off to the tender care of the US Army.  It was a time of much chaos.

Publisher Pam Palileo told me more than once, though, that my articles were the most popular part of the paper, and actually made me believe it. I often got stopped on the streets of Fort Stockton with the question “Aren’t you the one…” My first, last and probably only taste of fame…. 😀

I quit writing in 2010, and in retrospect, it was because I was so frustrated with having to hold my tongue about so many things. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was only about 30 days away from quitting my job of nearly three years with an oilfield services company, and going back to work for Cisco Systems.

The funny part is, had I known that was going to happen, I would have probably kept writing! Part of my frustration was that my professional position kept me from being able to say what I wanted to about the company where I worked. The few times I had, my hand had been summarily slapped.

I was also involved in the Chamber of Commerce through my position at work, as well as a number of other organizations. It put me in a place where I could only say positive things, never anything negative.  Basically, I felt like my hands were bound, and my mouth was gagged. No writer is comfortable in that situation, so I just had to stop writing.

Now… now, I’m free to write whatever I choose, as long as it’s not libelous. Should be fun!