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.

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.


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!

104 – peaceful Sunday morning

Laundry in the washer and dryer is such a comforting sound… along the lines of “all’s right with the world.” As long as you’re doing your laundry in your house and not a laundromat. Then it’s leaning on the dryer watching all the weird and homeless people and hoping no one talks to you.

Whoops! Sorry, channeling my younger self.washerdryer

The windows are open throughout the house, as the temp outside and inside is about the same, mid-60s. I love fall.

So many things to be happy about, and not enough time to name them all… the ability to be this blissed-out begins and ends with the man in the bedroom who is playing a video game where he builds civilizations and wars with others.  My desk is a few steps from the bedroom door, and I’ve already brought him his second cup of coffee… The soundtrack of swords clashing, and men shouting is muted, but puts him squarely in the world he’s building.  It’s his form of relaxation. Don’t ask him if he’s winning. It’s not that kind of game, I gather.

In my own game of always and forever challenging myself to continuing to learn, I’ve been reading a lot of business articles off LinkedIn. It’s one of my favorite business-oriented places to hang out, and recently, I’ve started writing posts there, as well.

I’m feeling very pleased, as a recent post of mine got publicized by the editors there.  The post was about the public outcry around a statement by the current CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella. I took the contrarian view, that he wasn’t wrong for saying what he said. I’m not a contrarian, necessarily, but I continue to believe he wasn’t wrong. The happy part? As of this writing, nearly 13,000 people actually viewed the post, and 74 gave it a thumbs up. More than 40 commented on it, as well.

Thirteen thousand is more than have ever visited this blog, even if I line y’all up end-to-end. Which would just be weird anyway, and why should you sit still for it?  Plus, you’re all in different states, both geographically and states of mind; it would be like trying to herd cats.

I find myself taking positions like the one on Nadella’s statement because I’ve believed for so long that there is a  middle ground between feminism (and environmentalism, and most “isms”) and real life. If you’re that interested in my philosophy, it’s probably closest to humanism. And yes, I’m aware of the irony in endorsing an “ism” at this stage in this paragraph.

However, like so many of the others, there’s middle ground there, as I am less on the philanthropic side than the ethical substructure without regard to the transcendent. Which pretty well describes how I feel–if we can’t tell what’s right and wrong without referring to an instruction book, then we are hardly mature, now, are we?

Humanism’s drive for ad fontes, or “back to the source” for education is what drove my position with what Nadella said. If we don’t consider the source of the information and the intent, then we haven’t got a leg to stand on when we criticize. Most who took a position considered the official source–Nadella as CEO of Microsoft. That, to me, is not who Nadella is, it’s what he does. Nadella has spent most of his life being someone other than CEO of Microsoft – how could he be expected to channel Bill Gates that quickly?

Anyway, there’s the thoughtstream for the week. Hope you have a lovely and peaceful Sunday, if that’s what day you’re on, and a wonderful week…