A Ferry Tale

Last week we had a big adventure: We took the ferry over to Denman Island!

Why are you laughing?

Okay, fine; you’re right. Before COVID, a ten-minute ferry ride would have been a mere footnote in our lives. But we’ve been cooped up for so long that it felt like an exotic vacation. It was a glorious sunny day with a fresh breeze, and it was a joy to be out on the water. Heart-palpitating excitement, I tell you!

I admit, though, some of the heart palpitations were due to unresolved trauma left over from my last trip to Denman Island. That was the time Hubby marooned me, sailing off into the sunset (or at least to the opposite shore) without me.

I’ve never let him forget it; but to be fair, it wasn’t really his fault. We were new to ferry travel then. We didn’t realize that when the operators load cars onto a small ferry, it means they’re going to depart within minutes. We also didn’t realize that schedules for the smaller ferries change without notice if there’s a mechanical problem or any other hiccup.

So we went over to Denman and spent a few hours roaming around, taking in some spectacular views and some ever-so-tasty food. After a lovely day, we took our place in the ferry lineup with forty-five minutes to spare.

That meant there was enough time for me to hike over and check out a nearby artisan’s studio, so Hubby waited with the car while I headed out. I kept an eye on my wristwatch, planning to be back at the car fifteen minutes before the ferry was due to sail. I was right on time.

But our car was gone.

In fact, all the cars were gone. I was nonplussed, but not overly concerned. I hiked down the hill to the ferry terminal, expecting Hubby to be waiting for me there. He wasn’t.

He didn’t have his cell phone, but I had mine with me. Against logic, I checked to see if I’d missed any calls. Nope.

“Okay…” I thought. “Maybe he’s driving around looking for me.”

He wasn’t. I retraced my steps, but there was no sign of our car.

I knew that if he’d been on the ferry he would have reached the other shore by then. There was a ferry terminal, gas station, and restaurant there; and they all had phones.

But he didn’t call me. I began to wonder if he was not-so-subtly trying to tell me something.

With no other choices available, I waited an hour until the next ferry came. When I disembarked on the opposite shore, Hubby was waiting for me. “I didn’t realize they were going leave right after we loaded,” he explained. “I thought it was like air travel, where you just sit there until your flight is scheduled to leave.”

“Why didn’t you phone me?” I demanded.

He rolled out some Husband Logic: “I knew you’d be on the next ferry. Where else would you go?”

I didn’t kill him.

But this trip, I stayed in the driver’s seat. Just in case.

Please tell me I’m not the only one whose spouse has marooned them on an island…

Book 17 update: I’m on Chapter 33, and a man wearing nothing but tighty-whiteys and a blanket has just given Aydan some vital information. Will Captain Underpants save the day?

Denman Island shoreline

Marriage Is A Short Sentence

Now that I’m in the final stages of polishing Book 15, my brain has apparently decided to become creative in more questionable ways.  For instance, last week I figured out why language skills seem to diminish with age.

It’s not normal aging.  It’s not even dementia.  No, the cause is much more widespread and insidious.

It’s marriage.

I determined this through exhaustive scientific research, of course.  To be exact, it occurred to me at the dinner table.

Hubby and I were chatting about nothing in particular when I mentioned that I’d finally taken time to clean my engagement ring.  I’m an avid gardener and even though I always wear gardening gloves, fine particles of soil sift through the fabric and sully my diamond.

I attempted to communicate that idea as follows:

“I always wear gloves, but you know how fine dust always comes through the…”

I didn’t bother to complete the sentence.  Hubby was already nodding, so I knew he’d gotten it.

And that’s when it hit me:  After being together for twenty years, we don’t have to finish our sentences anymore.  We each know what the other means.  (Or we don’t; and then we accuse each other of conversations that never actually took place.  Marriage is all about give and take:  Give blame, take credit.)

But it proves my point:  We don’t lose language skills as we get older; we just expect others to decipher our meaning after only a few cryptic words.

And Hubby and I have only been married for a couple of decades.  People who have been married for fifty years probably don’t even need to use nouns.  In another few decades, this will be our dinner conversation:

“Did you…”


“How about…”

“Uh-huh. But don’t forget the…”

“Got it.”

If we were married even longer, we could probably communicate with only the lift of an eyebrow and a nod.  (Or the lift of a certain finger; but that’s more of a universal gesture so I’m excluding it from my scholarly research.)

But now that I’ve identified the problem, I’m stumped for a solution.  It seems like a lot of work to change my habits just for the sake of keeping up language skills; and it’ll likely be a while before the COVID-19 isolation protocols are relaxed enough that I can visit regularly with people who require me to express complete ideas.

So I guess I’ll have to start conversing with inanimate objects that can’t possibly nod and indicate their understanding after only a few words.  As long as self-isolation doesn’t last so long that I develop an unhealthy relationship with my teapot or my dining room chair, everything should be fine.

But if they start replying…

I don’t think I’ll finish that sentence.

Book 15 update:  I’m expecting the final feedback from my beta readers this week, so stay tuned for a release date announcement in my next post!

Baa-a-a-ad Boy!

The other day we were sitting at the dinner table when Hubby said, “We need a third person in this house.”

Since we’d been talking about eating brownies only seconds earlier, I responded to his non sequitur with a jaw-dangling, “Uh… what?

“Yeah,” he went on, oblivious to the fact that my dirty mind had already zoomed off in a different direction.  “Because then you’d never know for sure that I was the one who’d eaten all the brownies.”

I fell back in my chair, relieved that he was only angling for plausible deniability.

And he’s right:  Our household lacks a scapegoat.

Roommates or kids would work; but we don’t want any of those.  A dog would do, although it might be a little hard to believe that the dog neatly removed the plastic wrap from the brownie pan before devouring the contents.  But that downside is conveniently offset by the fact that dogs can’t protest their innocence.

The only real problem with the ‘scapedog’ scenario is that it’s such a cliché that nobody believes it, even when it’s true.

When I was married to my first husband, we had a dog.  Jet was part black Lab and part blue heeler, so digging and chewing were his favourite things.  After my ex and I separated but before the divorce was final, one of my ex’s friends lent him a book on relationships and he passed it on to me.  (Too little; much too late.)

I’ll never know whether Jet sensed my teeth-gnashing irritation ambivalence about the book or whether it just smelled appetizing, but I came home one day to discover that he’d mauled the book.  Its covers were crushed and torn, its pages crumpled or missing entirely, and the whole pathetic corpse was drenched in dog drool  and patterned with pawprints.

Oh nooooooo!!!

Even though it had annoyed me, it was still a book.  All books are holy and never to be harmed in any way.  Borrowed books are to be handled with reverence and returned in exactly the same condition as they were received.

The guilt was awful.

And even worse was the knowledge that nobody was going to believe I hadn’t trashed the book in a fit of rage and blamed the dog.

I interred the sad remains (of the book, not the dog) in a bag along with a written apology and money for a replacement copy, but twenty-four years later I still cringe every time I think of it.  So… no scapedog for us.

Hubby and I are actually cat people, but cats make lousy scapegoats since it’s pretty easy to determine whether a ten-pound cat has eaten five pounds of brownies.  So I guess Hubby will be our household scapegoat for the foreseeable future.

Too baa-a-a-ad, Hubby!  (But I love you even when you do eat all the brownies.)  🙂

Book 14 update:  Another beta reader has weighed in, and this time there are only minor edits.  Progress!

Of Mice, Men, And Smellograms

Ever since we moved into our new house I’ve been waging war against mice.

Some men might be worried if they woke in the middle of the night to find their wife sneaking around the bed with a flashlight, but Hubby greeted the sight with his usual resigned tolerance:

Him:  “What are you doing?”

Me:  “There’s a mouse in here.”

Him:  “Can’t be.”

Me:  “There is.  I heard it.  It woke me up.”

He knows I’m a light sleeper, but he didn’t really believe there were mice in the house; and even if there were, he doubted that I could be woken by the pitter-patter of their tiny feet.  So he observed with skepticism while I bought mousetraps and set them under our bed.

Imagine the scene:

We’re lying in bed in the dark.  He’s snoozing.  I’m staring tensely at the ceiling, clutching a flashlight under the covers.

And then… I hear the little bastard skittering across the floor.

I bolt up in bed, yanking the covers off Hubby and jabbing my flashlight in the direction of the sound.

Hubby:  “What the…?”

Me:  “I saw him!  I saw the little shit!  He ran under the bed!”

Hubby:  “Yes, dear.  Please turn off the flashlight and lie down.  And give back my blanket.”

So we settled down again…


I rocketed out of bed, flashlight blazing.  “I got him!  Ha!”

When I held up the trap containing the still-twitching body, Hubby had to admit that there actually had been a mouse in the bedroom.  But he thought the excitement was over and he’d finally get some sleep.  Poor deluded man.

I got up and disposed of the body (the mouse’s, not Hubby’s); then reset the trap and went back to bed to stare at the ceiling some more.


Once more Hubby jolts awake to find his wife doing a pagan victory dance around the bed, stark naked and waving a dead mouse.

Did I mention he’s a very tolerant guy?

After I’d caught several mice, the traps on the main floor remained untouched.  I still caught one in the crawl space every day or two, but after a while my catch dwindled and I stopped checking the traps every day… until I got my first whiff of rotting mouse and went down to find a bloated corpse leaking malodorous body fluids.


Needless to say, I check my trap lines daily now; and I’m working at closing every tiny aperture around the foundation to stop the invaders.

So when Hubby suggested mice for today’s topic, he added, “Make sure you mention the swollen one.  Maybe you could include a smellogram.”

Me (laughing):  “Is that even a thing?  ‘Cause if it’s not, it should be!  Imagine a knock at your door, and some uniformed guy holds out a jar and says, ‘Smellogram for you.  Please sniff here.”

I did find the word listed in Urban Dictionary, but the definition insists it’s specifically related to farts.  So no smellograms for you today, dear readers.

But if you’re haunted by the recurring image of a naked middle-aged woman dancing around brandishing a dead mouse in the middle of the night, then my work here is done.

Have a good week, and sleep tight…

P.S. I finished the draft of Book 12, woohoo!  It’s with the beta readers now.  Stay tuned for a title announcement and a release date!

What Colour Is The Sky In Your World?

We’re travelling again this week, so my usual routine is off-kilter.  Normally I write the draft for my posts on Monday, but Monday night rolled around and I hadn’t gotten to it yet.  So I said to Hubby, “Tomorrow morning I need to write a draft first thing.”

And he replied, “Ah, leave it.  You can pull it together in a few minutes tomorrow night.”

So I suggested that maybe he’d like to write today’s post for me if he thought it was such a quick and easy task.

“That’s a great idea,” says he.  “Then I can tell everybody how I do all the research for every single one of your books…”

At which point we both burst out laughing and I inquired, “And what colour is the sky in your world?”

Hubby is my go-to guru for the latest weapons and network information, and my trusted sounding board for plausibility whenever I invent new technology.  He’s also my first beta reader, unerringly sniffing out inconsistencies in voice and narrative.  But “doing all the research” may be an ever-so-teeny-tiny exaggeration.  The sky in his world is definitely a different colour than mine.

For instance, in Hubby’s fantasy world:

  • Garlic does not exist, and any attempt to create it or anything that resembles it is punishable by full immersion in a vat of Listerine.
  • There are no speed limits on any road.
  • Raisins are not allowed in butter tarts or cinnamon buns.
  • All mechanical devices are assembled using only common, currently available tools and fasteners.
  • The outside temperature never dips below freezing or rises above 25C/77F. Special exceptions are made for ski hills, which are permitted to maintain a temperature no lower than -5C/23F.

While in my fantasy world:

  • Mosquitos, ticks, and other blood-sucking, disease-bearing creatures do not exist.
  • Our skin is immune to sunburn and cancer.
  • Our bodies select whatever nutrition they need from anything we eat, and flag everything else through the system as ‘recreational calories, not to be absorbed’.
  • Teleporters exist: handy-dandy booths all over the world so we can instantly pop in wherever we want and go home when we’re done.
  • Salespeople who lie to their customers choke on their tongues and die, and go immediately and directly to hell. (No, I’m still not over my car-shopping experience; why do you ask?)
  • Come to think of it, that last one applies to anybody in a position of authority who lies. Gonna be a whole lotta chokin’ goin’ on…

Anyway, I’m hoping Hubby will allow me a special dispensation to exist in his world, but that might be asking too much.  He may decide to prohibit me and my garlic-breath entirely, and just pop over to visit in my world instead.  But as long as he’s still my Hubby, it’s all good – we’ll enjoy the sky in our own little world whatever colour it may be!

What are the rules in your fantasy world?

P.S. My internet access is sporadic today so I might be a little slower than usual responding to comments, but I’ll check in whenever I can.  ‘Talk’ to you soon!

* * *

New discussion over at the Virtual Backyard Book Club:  Found any ‘Easter Eggs’?  Click here to have your say!

Ears Like A Fruit Bat

In the past I’ve complained about various parts of my body starting to mutiny as I get older, so I thought I should give credit where credit is due: My ears are still loyal citizens of the Kingdom of Diane.

Mind you, they do enjoy making me look like a goofball on a semi-regular basis. F’rinstance, they don’t necessarily translate other people’s speech accurately. Some of the things I’ve thought I heard would raise an eyebrow or two. But considering that they have to use my brain as an intermediary, my ears are probably doing the best they can.

Their preferences can be picky and arbitrary. I always carry a set of earplugs because movies are invariably too loud. Same with live bands, and sometimes even noisy bars. Outdoors I shoot wearing sound-dampening earmuffs; indoors I have to use muffs and plugs because muffs alone don’t soften the reports sufficiently for my princess eardrums.

But give me the fat lolloping rumble of a tricked-out big-block with straight pipes, and I’ll just grin and soak it all up earplug-free. Until I get to the drag strip and those pipes really start to bellow. Then I need earplugs again.

But I don’t mind indulging my ears a little. They’re good ears. I can tell whether a CRT is switched on without even being in the room, because I can hear the high-frequency electronic resonance. When we had cats, I could always hear them coming by the sound of stealthy paws compressing the pile of the carpet.

Or, as my brother-in-law puts it: “You’ve got ears like a fruit bat.”

(*Giggle* I originally mis-typed that as ‘ears like a fruit bag’, which is an entirely different thing.)

Anyway, I didn’t realize how dependent I am on my hearing until I had a bad cold and both ears got blocked. Apparently I cook based on sound. Whether it’s the barbeque or an open fire or the frying pan, I know it’s the right temperature when the food sizzles properly. Pancakes sizzle at a different frequency than, say, scrambled eggs. Foil-wrapped potatoes/butter/onions over an open fire should sizzle loudly but not crackle. Until my ears cleared I hovered anxiously over everything I cooked, wondering whether I was cremating it or barely warming it.

Since I’m a gearhead, I’m also attuned to even the tiniest change of sound in my car. We were driving this weekend when I mentioned to Hubby that I’ve been noticing a very slight whine lately that might be drivetrain-related. He couldn’t hear it even when I hummed its frequency (admittedly not the most effective diagnostic tool, since I can’t carry a tune in a bucket).

But I know he has a few flat spots in his hearing, so I remarked, “Oh, well, it’s probably just in one of the ranges you can’t hear.”

And he said, “Oh, you mean like the ‘wife zone’. Guys don’t pick up that frequency at all.”

I’m just going to pretend I didn’t hear that…

That's me: Ears like a fruit bat.

That’s me: Ears like a fruit bat.

Um… Hello, 911…?

…I think I just killed my husband… with a bathtub…

I came very close to speaking those words several years ago, and yes, you did read that first sentence correctly. ‘With’; not ‘in’. After all, killing one’s husband in a bathtub is practically a cliché, and you know I’d never stoop to that.

When we bought our house, the upstairs bathroom had a ‘cultured marble’ (read ‘concrete finished to look like marble’) jetted tub.  If we didn’t remember to run the jets frequently it spat stinking gouts of slime because there was no way to drain the stagnant water from the lines. It was ugly, as cold as stone (go figure) and poorly insulated on an exterior wall. In winter my ass froze on the bottom of the tub no matter how hot the water was.

It had to go.

Our plumber friend surveyed it and advised, “That thing probably weighs nearly two hundred pounds. Break it up with a sledgehammer and take it out in pieces.” (Gary, if you’re reading this: We should have listened to you.)

We didn’t, of course.

No; the tub was in good shape. Somebody else might be able to use it. It must be salvaged!

We’re both strong, so removing it wasn’t too difficult. We extricated it from the bathroom with a modicum of sweat and profanity and lugged it to the top of the stairs.  There we balanced it precariously overhanging the stairs, and I went down to support it from below while Hubby held it from the landing above.

I eyed the teetering monstrosity looming over me and said, “I think we should wait until after lunch to do this. My blood sugar is low and I don’t know if I can hold this thing.”

And Hubby said, “That’s okay, I’ll take the bottom and you can take the top.”

We swapped positions and I quavered, “I think we might be solving the wrong problem here…”

And we were. Oh, yes, we were.

Have I mentioned that cultured marble is slippery?

As soon as the tub tipped past its centre of balance, it wrenched out of my grasp. I had only enough time to yelp, “I can’t hold it!” before it hurtled down the stairs like a murderous toboggan with Hubby underneath it.

The lower landing sported an oak railing and (luckily) a 90-degree bend in the stairs.

The tub hit the landing and slammed into the railing. The railing let out a hellish crack and tore loose from the wall but miraculously held at a crazy angle, barely preventing the tub from shooting over the edge and plunging through the living room floor below.

Frozen, I gaped down at the scene of the crime: The tub (still in one piece); the broken railing; Hubby squished underneath.

And I thought, “Shit, I just killed my husband with a bathtub.”

I hadn’t, fortunately. He was smart enough to let it carry him down instead of trying to stop it, so he escaped with only a few minor bruises. After I’d eaten some lunch and stopped shaking, we anticlimactically carried it down the remaining stairs, and we did eventually sell it.

But I’ll never forget the horror of those few moments.

Any bulldozing bathtubs of doom in your family tales?

Code Phrases And Cauliflower

Before I begin, I’d like to note that I generally don’t criticize a man who’s washing dishes. I believe the correct response to a dishcloth-wielding male is a sincere ‘thank you’, possibly combined with hugs, kisses, ear-nibbling, and/or some friendly groping. (An aside to my dinner guests: This is why we turn down your offers to help with the dishes. It’s just one more little way we ensure we’ll still be friends when the evening’s over.)

But there are exceptions to every rule. (Okay, not to every rule. There are no exceptions to the “Don’t grope the guests” rule. It’s safe to visit us, I promise.)


A few evenings ago I watched the dishwater turn orange while Hubby scrubbed a pot with a steel-wool pad so rusty it looked like Ronald McDonald’s hair, and this conversation took place:

Me: “Maybe it’s time to either pull off the rusty part or throw the whole thing away.”

Hubby: “It looks okay to me.”

Me: “Let me put this another way: Don’t use that thing on my pots!”

And that got me thinking about the subtle little code phrases that develop in marriages. For example:

Me: “Do you want some of this (food item)?”

Hubby: “I’ll have some later.” Translation: “I will never eat that. I will continue to say I’ll eat it ‘later’ until it grows legs and walks itself to the garbage.”


Me: “Were you using the (whatever tool I’m currently looking for)? Do you know where it might be?” Translation: “Goddammit, I can’t find the goddamn tool that I know I put away the last time I used it! Stop stealing my goddamn tools, goddammit!” (Yes, I’m a writer. You can tell by my extensive vocabulary.)


Either of us: “What’s that smell?” Translation: “Did you fart, or is it time to search the fridge for rotting cauliflower again?”

Yes, there’s a story behind that.

One day Hubby and I were in the kitchen making lunch, and I smelled something.  Something vile.  Something remarkably reminiscent of gasses better released in other, more private areas of the house where food is not being prepared.

But I didn’t say anything. I mean, sooner or later we all let one slip, right?

But it happened again. Then again.  At last I demanded, “Did you fart?”

Hubby denied it. He thought I’d been dropping silent-but-deadlies the whole time.

We agreed that something must be rotting in the fridge, but we both dug through it and found nothing that should be emitting that stink. So I tore the fridge apart, washed the shelves and crisper drawers, and checked the drain pan underneath to make sure nothing hideous was growing in there.

Nada. But the smell persisted.

After several days of futile searching, Hubby finally traced the offending vapours to a glass container containing raw cauliflower. It had a locked-tight lid with a silicone seal and the cauliflower looked fine inside, which was why we’d missed it in our previous purges. But the stench was so fearsome it had come right through the sealed lid. Yikes.

The whole episode reminded me of a long-ago friend’s father when he encountered his wife’s er… effluvium. He sucked in a deep breath and then boomed in the heartiest of tones, “Well, hello, cabbage-ass!”

Yep, he was a master of subtle code.

Any code phrases or tales of festering cruciferae in your household?

* * *

P.S. Cool news:  I did a promo with Bookbub over the weekend, and Never Say Spy hit #1 on the Kindle Free Bestsellers list.  For a short time it was the best-selling book in the entire Kindle free store, fiction or non-fiction.  Of course, it was only my fifteen minutes of fame and it had dropped by the next day, but it’s still #1 in Women Sleuths. The best it had ever done before was #9, so I’m pumped!  Woohoo!  😀

NSS #1 in all Kindle ebooks

My fifteen minutes of fame


Compatibility Is Overrated

Over the past decade or so, it has become apparent that my husband and I are completely incompatible:

  • He’s a pack rat.  I’m a cleaner-outer.
  • He dwells happily in his cluttered man cave.  I need a tidy house and a clean desk.
  • He’s a procrastinator.  I do things as soon as they come up (which is really only because I’ll forget about them otherwise, but still).
  • He likes to have music or TV always on in the background.  I prefer silence unless I’m actually concentrating on listening to music.
  • I love all kinds of music.  He’s rock & roll to the core.
  • I’m a jock.  He’s a couch potato (sorry, dear, but you know it’s true).
  • I’m an adventurous eater.  He’s a meat-and-potatoes kinda guy.
  • He winds down by watching TV.  After half an hour in front of the TV, I’m ready to chew off my own arm if that’s what it takes to escape.

But it doesn’t end there.  We can’t even agree on the things we agree on.  We have two kinds of everything in our house.  I drink skim milk and he drinks full-fat homogenized.  I eat crackers with unsalted tops; he eats salted.  He drinks black tea; I drink green and herbal.  He likes white bread; I like whole-grain.  We don’t even use the same brand of toothpaste.

A while ago, I ran into an old friend in the grocery store and we were standing there catching up when he suddenly blurted out, “I can’t believe you’re still married.”  When I laughed and asked him why, he couldn’t (or didn’t) come up with any concrete reason, but I suspect it was the compatibility thing.  Looking at the list above, you’d think we’d have throttled each other before the first year was out.

But we’ve figured out ways to compromise (or agree to disagree), and there are lots of activities we both enjoy.  It also helps that Hubby is the most tolerant guy I’ve ever met, and he encourages me in absolutely everything I try (even if I suck at it).

Yesterday was our fourteenth wedding anniversary, and I can’t believe how quickly the years have flown by.  It’s been the best fourteen years of my adult life.

I think what I love most about him is the way he does little, special things for me.  The surprise trip to a new restaurant; cleaning out the dishwasher because he knows I hate doing it; the fancy bows on the chairs we bought together as a mutual anniversary gift; the flowers for no reason; the way he magically appears with a dishtowel in his hand when he hears me washing dishes.  No grand fanfare, no ‘look what I did for you, praise me now’; just his quiet smile.

And I love the way his mind is constantly active.  Conversations at our dinner table range from quantum physics to car maintenance; astronomy to science-fiction laser guns; building computers to growing tomatoes to finding a way to filter out the awful taste of his last batch of rotgut homemade wine.  (We never did figure that one out.  If anybody wants a few gallons of dark-brown fluid that smells like rotten eggs and burns with a clear blue flame, let me know.)

Our basement is full of obscure mechanical and electronic oddments, and Hubby’s always working on some theoretical problem or invention.  It’s unfailingly interesting, and occasionally alarming.  I’ve narrowly missed being struck in the back of the head by an exploding capacitor (it shot past my left ear).  Sometimes there are billows of dense smoke or worrisome chemical odours.

But I think I’ve finally trained him not to use my kitchen sink for toxic substances or my food processor for non-food items.  At least, not while I’m looking.

And after all, where’s the fun in predictability?

So happy anniversary to my dear Hubby – I’m looking forward to many more!  (Anniversaries, I mean.  Just thought I should clarify that…)

Optimism Or Idiocy?

This week, I’m diving into uncharted waters – again.  It seems for every new situation that arises in my business or personal life, I acquire another three skills I never wanted to have.  But does that make me say, “Oh, wait, I don’t know how to do that; maybe I should get some help”?

Oh, hell, no.

’Cause that would be sensible.

No, my response looks more like this:  “Sure, I can do that.  No problem.  Is Wednesday okay?”  *scuttles frantically away to research arcane topic*

Last week, I learned basic ASP programming in an afternoon.  It wasn’t one of the more enjoyable afternoons I’ve ever spent, but I got my web forms working.

This week, I’ve been reading up on discretionary trusts, crash-safety specs on 2012 SUVs, and how to get rid of pocket gophers.  Frankly, rodent eradication has been the most relaxing and enjoyable part of my research.  Those little bastards have been decimating my carrots.  Messing with my garden is a killin’ offense.

…aaaand now that I’ve invited flaming hate mail from gopher-lovers…

Most people would consider my jump-in-with-both-feet approach to be at best, a liability, and at worst, sheer idiocy.  I prefer to call it “optimism”.  After all, I’m living proof that too much prep time isn’t necessarily a good thing.  My only colossal failures occurred after years of training and/or preparation:  my first career and my first marriage.

I dated my now-ex-husband six years before I married him, and my bachelor’s degree in interior design took four years to acquire, plus the extra two years it took for me to wrangle my failing thesis through the appeals process.  As long as I cheerfully disregard the delicate issue of innate competence (and I do, oh yes I do), the cause of my failure in both cases was obviously “too much preparation”.

Since those massive failures, I’ve flown by the seat of my pants for everything from becoming a computer geek to installing granite floors to developing the optimum recipe for banana bread.  And everything has worked out pretty well (including my second career and second marriage).

Thank goodness for my enabler:  that source of great wisdom, pure bullshit, and occasionally, useful instructions – the internet.  With the internet on my side, it’s actually possible to take on a ridiculously unrealistic challenge and come out smelling, if not like a rose, at least not like a skunk cabbage.

Problem is, I’ve been cursed with an unholy combination of do-it-yourself-ism and perfectionism.  I don’t just jump in and do it, I jump in and want to do it well.  I expect to come out smelling like a rose.

Which brings us back to that “optimism” thing again.  Some may use the word “delusional”, but… pshaw.  What do they know?

I realize this approach sets me up for more colossal failures.  I can sense their vile miasma hovering just behind my left shoulder.  Fortunately, I’m right-handed.  My plan is to keep moving so fast that failure doesn’t have a chance to catch up.

And I don’t mind if people call it idiocy – I’m happy in my delusional little world.  ‘Cause it has nice granite floors…

The house Delusion built.