Happy New Year

Wow, I can’t believe it’s January already! If time continues to speed up as I age, by the time I’m eighty I’ll be planting the garden in January and putting up the Christmas tree in August.

Hey, now I’ve got an excuse if I ever start to lose my marbles: There’s nothing wrong with my mind; I’m just a victim of negative time flow. (That sounded more sane and reassuring in my head. Now that it’s written down, it seems kinda ‘lost-marble-ish’. Should I be worried?)

Anyhow, leaving aside my precarious grasp of reality (and I do; oh, yes, I do)…

I’m looking forward to 2021, but I’m not going to jinx it by saying ‘it has to be better than last year’. That’s just tempting Fate. Instead, I’ll paraphrase a quote I saw on Facebook. I can’t remember the exact words and I don’t know who wrote it, but the gist of it was this:

“At the beginning of 2020 I thought this would be the year I got everything I wanted. Instead, it was the year I was grateful for everything I had.”

A lovely thought. If we got anything good at all out of 2020, I hope it’s that.

So, thanks, 2020, but I’ve had enough self-improvement and character-building now! Here’s hoping that in 2021 we can go back to enjoying (yes, with extra gratitude) all the things we took for granted before COVID.

Happy New Year, everybody!

The first bloom of 2021: ‘Kramer’s Red’ heather. (Which isn’t red at all; but I didn’t name the plant, so what do I know?)

Book 16 update: My Christmas holidays were taken up by the gargantuan task of hauling my website into the 21st century, making it readable on all devices including phones… I hope. If you encounter any difficulties or weird behaviour (other than mine) on the site, please let me know.

My book progress consisted of editing what I’d already written, but now I’m looking forward to a productive writing week!

Dwindling Time; Shrinking Pants

I can’t believe 2019 is gone already — I honestly don’t know where the time went.  My theory is that aliens have been abducting me for several hours every day, and they’ve masked their nefarious activities with false memories of working at my desk.  Either that, or Dr. Who is hovering above our house and altering time so that I’m working at half-speed relative to the rest of the world.

I’m sure there has to be some sci-fi explanation, because I’m not fond of the thought that I’m working as hard and fast as I can and still falling behind.  So, aliens it is!

Now that we’ve got that sorted out, let’s tackle the conundrum of why pants shrink in December.  I’m sure it must be the shorter hours of daylight and cooler temperatures that make the fabric fibres contract.  (Or maybe that’s caused by aliens, too.)  It can’t possibly be related to that box of chocolates I can’t seem to pass without nibbling.

Speaking of shorter days, we’re in the gloomy depths of winter rain here, which is actually a bit of a relief.  I’m not fond of dark days, but it was a dry autumn and water reservoirs were low, so it’s good to know they’re being replenished now.

I’m ready to look at something besides grey clouds, so here are some cheery views from 2019.

(Click on photos to see a larger version.  Depending on your browser, clicking again on the larger photo might give you a closeup — worth doing for the little pollen-coated bee.)

Ahhhh, beach and blue sky!


Happy garden plants soaking up the sun


Bees hard at work – look at the pollen on this little guy!


Colours so vivid they almost hurt your eyes


Sunny rudbeckia. This is ‘Goldsturm’.


And our tiny rhododendrons bloomed heroically! This is ‘Lee’s Best Purple’, only about 2 feet tall but with flower trusses the size of basketballs.


Ah, I feel better now.  It might be a while before spring gets here, but at least I can happily anticipate it.

And hey, maybe my pants will stretch out by spring, too!  I can always hope.  (I could also exercise more and diet a bit; but that would imply that those shrinking pants are somehow my fault.  Perish the thought.)

Happy New Year!

Book 15 update:  Just when I think I’ve got everything figured out, another wrench appears in the works.  But I did some excellent plotting and lots of research over the holidays, and I’m bombing ahead with Chapter 26.  Things just took a turn for the worse for Aydan and the boys, and they’re scrambling!

Thanks For Another Good Year!

It’s hard to believe we’ll be starting a new year tomorrow – this one has flown by so fast!  I had originally planned to write some of my usual foolishness today, but instead I’d rather use this final post of 2014 to say thank you to all of you.

When I first started blogging I didn’t think I’d enjoy it, but it has been far more fun than I could have imagined.  And you, my wonderful visitors, make it worthwhile.

You give life to my blog and motivation to me.  You make me laugh, encourage me, and sometimes make me think in new ways.

And in the busy-ness of today’s crazy world, I’m honoured beyond measure that you allot some of your precious time to read my silliness and share your wit and wisdom.  Your comments are the best part of my blog!

So thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

I wish you love, laughter, health, and prosperity in the coming year and always.

Happy 2015!

gingerbread house

Happy New Y… Wait, Where Are My Clothes?

It’s a sad fact that I’m long past the age when that question should be on my lips.  It’s also a sad fact that I asked myself that very question this New Year’s Eve.

I only had three pints.  Honest.  And I was home by 9 PM.

In my defense, I was fighting a cold, and I didn’t feel much like eating.  Many people would consider it unwise to start slugging down beer when one’s entire food consumption for the day has been two slices of toast, an apple, a granola bar, and some guacamole.  Apparently, I am not one of those people.

The beer was very tasty.  I had good intentions to anchor it with a pizza, but the pub cook dropped my pizza in the kitchen (no, I’m not making that up).  So they had to make it again, and by the time it arrived, I’d already downed a pint.

Let’s just say it was a very effective pint.  I strive for efficiency in all things, and in this case I outdid myself.  By the time the pizza arrived, it was far too late to act as an anchor.  All it did was bob like a pathetic dinghy in the rough swells of my second pint.

The third pint was, frankly, unnecessary.  But oh, so tasty.

At approximately 1.2 pints, I achieved the correct level of intoxication for shooting eight-ball.  Anything under a pint, and I’m trying too hard.  At the magical “optimum beer saturation level” (OBSL), pool becomes easy.  I can still triangulate with both eyeballs.  I effortlessly calculate angles, the cue feels like an extension of my own arm, and I sink balls one after the other, swaggering around the table with only a tiny bit of cockiness to clear the table and sink the eight-ball.

The problem is, it’s impossible to maintain OBSL.  Exactly one game after achieving it, it slips away again, at which point I might as well try to guide the cue ball using the Force.  ‘Cause I sure as hell can’t guide it with the cue anymore.

We rang in the New Year for St. John’s, Newfoundland at 8:30 local time (thank goodness we live in a multiple-time-zone country), and headed home.  Walking, fortunately.  At least the cold didn’t bother me.

I went upstairs to change my clothes.

I couldn’t find them.

I stumbled around the bedroom, looking in all the usual places.  Closet: Nope.  Bathroom:  Nuh-uh.  Chair in the corner:  Not there either.  At last, I discovered them cleverly hidden in plain sight, lying on the bed.  (It was dark in there.  Never mind.)

I’m a little foggy on how that could have happened, because when I know I’m going to put the same clothes on later, I usually leave them where I removed them.  The walk-in closet and the ensuite bathroom are the usual locations.  If I had actually taken off my clothes beside the bed, I’d have been mooning the neighbours.  And that was when I was sober.

I guess I’ll never know for sure.  But if the neighbours avert their eyes and snicker the next time they see me, I’ll have a pretty good idea.

Happy New Beer!