Uranus: Rolling Retrograde Pale Blue Beauty & Simple Car Repairs 1-ohhhh!-1: YOU GOT THIS!

Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun and not visible to the naked eye. It’s an interesting and f96496501b29ea59d0cd2f06ad7bba09im-not-saying-its-cats-but-its-cats-thumbunique planet worthy of our attention. Don’t you feel that about yourself sometimes? Especially as a Lonely Woman, or Lonely Man? That you are no longer visible but you are unique and interesting and worthy of attention? You’ll hear, “Get yourself out there! Be around people!” But, it is exactly the “getting yourself out there” thing that is confusing and daunting and scary, isn’t it?

But I digress. Because I like to say/write: I digress.

Uranus’s axis is tilted at 97-98 degrees, so the planet rolls on its side for most of its rotation around our sunmain-qimg-86166fcd316a7716d4486a9e420e9a96. This rotation is called retrograde—opposite of Earth and other planets (besides Venus and Pluto, which also spin in a retrograde direction). In these retrograde planets you can imagine that the sun would rise in the west and set in the east. Though, Uranus is so tilted on its side that some of its orbit points its poles right at the sun so there’s 42 years of sunlight at one pole while the other is in complete darkness for 42 years—that sounds like my moods sometimes; hahaha! The 42 years of sunlight/darkness is during Uranus’s solstice; during the planet’s equinox it is a little more “normal” in its “seasons.”

It takes 84 years for Uranus to orbit the sun—Earth takes 365 days. Imagine that for your birthday I pick you up in my Lil Log Spaceship and take you to Uranus.  Let’s also imagine your birthday is today, July 16, and, let’s say you were born in 1970. If you were back on Earth you’d be 46 years old. But if you were with me on Uranus you’d only be 0.54–notice the decimal y’all!—and what would be your second birthday wouldn’t be until July 20, 2054! I bet you’d miss all the cake and ice cream and presents and would scurry on back to earth. As for me? Well: Pitiful Lonely Woman Alert!—my last birthday was spent—guess, no really, guess!—yeah: alone. Dang. So a birthday once a year or once every 84 years—hmmmmm, gotta think about that one. Like Charlie Brown says (and I don’t exactly quote): We don’t mind being alone and lonely so much, we just don’t want a holiday(or birthday) to emphasis it. Awwwwwwww!

On Uranus, a 115 pound person would weigh 102. Not a huge difference like some of the other celestial bodies—for example, a 115 pound person would weigh over 3000 pounds on the sun but only 19 pounds on the moon! I’m gonna have my cake and eat more of it too on the Moon.

uranusUranus is an Ice Giant planet. There’s an ice mantle that surrounds rock and more ice. Its atmosphere above consists of ammonia, water, and methane ice crystals—this gives it its gorgeous pastel blue color.

Now here is a weird thing: because of Uranus’s atmosphere, it is thought that it may rain diamonds! Imagine diamond-hail falling down on and around you. As well, It could be that there is a layer of liquid diamond. I’m not a diamond kind of woman, but I’d love to have me a big ole pretty jar of liquid diamond. Now I bet that would be interesting and beautiful. Dang! My precious.

Many people believe Saturn is the only planet with rings, but Uranus has rings too (so does Jupiter and Neptune). They are small rings made of dust and small boulders.

Neptune has 27 moons. Can you imagine looking up and seeing 27 moons? They were named after William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope characters—like Puck, Juliet, Ariel, Cupid, Miranda, Oberon, Caliban, etc. etc.

For more on Uranus, see this video below:

Some pronounce this planet Ur-ran-us and others Ur-anus. I admit I picked this planet today because I was saying “Your-Anus” in my head, and since I kicked ass yesterday, that was my reason. Yeah. Well. What can I say? Laugh. I have my own thought-processes.

And the reason I kicked ass is because I was able to make a couple of repairs on my car without any help—because there IS no help. When you are a Lonely Woman/Man, you are responsible for everything, and that includes car repairs and maintenance. And that’s what I want to talk to you about today, besides Uranus, that is! The more we can do on our own, the more kickass we feel. The more empowered we feel. Before I opened up that hood, I was worried about what those repairs were going to cost me, and where would the money come from? How much more can my groaning credit card take? I’d been putting it off, and it wasn’t safe to do that. I was tired of the anxiety over it.

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You are allowed to look pitiful if it’s your birthday and you are by yourself being a Charlie Brown. Just say’n

Stress . . . worry . . . obsesses . . . anxiety . . . or, open the danged ole hood and just Try It.

The repairs I made saved me a trip to a mechanic (other than the “check engine” light that I will talk about), and everything I did was completely FREE! I included a video (below).

These repairs were done on a 1998 Subaru Outback. Your car may vary. Refer to video below if you want to “see” what I’m talking about. And be careful about safety: Engine OFF; hood secured, and any other areas of safety necessary. Your car may be different from mine, so just be Smart about things.

Problem: One of your headlights is not working. It’s not the bulb, because either you’ve had that replaced, and/or you notice the light sometimes works.

Solution: I always keep my engine off! Open the hood, secure the hood safely. Now, look around at FullSizeRenderwhat appears to be connectors and connections leading to the headlight. Behind the bulb you’ll see wires connected to a “plug” –unplug this connector and make sure all the wires are secure. Press the wire connections in, brush/blow away any dirt and dust. Plug the connector back in. If you are lucky, as I was, the headlight will come on! Just be sure you are not forcing things—if it isn’t something easy to disconnect, maybe it’s not supposed to be disconnected!

Problem: Windshield wiper cleaner not working. No motor sounds; no water.

Solution: Again, engine off, look under your secured hood (safety always please!), and find your 064B5BE3-06C5-4A51-9BE8-A33E9221BAA0 (3)windshield wiper fluid container. Make sure first it has fluid. Then look for connectors/connections-wiring leading to the fluid container. Check the wires and connections—I like to press them, push them in, move wires out of the way so they don’t hang up on something. Press on the connectors to make sure they are secured. Sometimes it’s just a loose wire or connections rather than a bad part!

If you have motor sounds but no water comes out to clean your windshield, then look for the small tube that goes from the windshield fluid container up to your hood. In my case, that black rubber tube coming from the windshield wiper fluid container was disconnected from the white plastic connector on the hood. I simply connected the two, turned on my wiper cleaner, and VOILA! Done!

Problem: “Check Engine” light suddenly comes on. Right after I drove my car after these repairs, my check engine light came on. This has never happened before and I was about to panic, but I knew it had to do with something I’d just done. I drove right to a local mechanic (in this case Waynesville Tire—and they were awesome). I told them the repairs I’d done.

Solution: They hooked up a device and all they ended up having to do was put in a code to turn off the check engine light indicator. The mechanic explained that some things will cause that sensor to go off and indicate a check engine light when there is nothing wrong with the engine. We figured that when all that water sprayed in my engine from that loose tube, it somehow caused the sensor to go off. It cost me nothing. So “check engine” doesn’t always mean something bad or catastrophic. If your check engine light comes on, don’t let someone scare you in to some huge repair. Take your car to someone you trust and ask them to try putting in the code to turn off that check engine light. If it continues to come on, then you may have something to address. However, in my case, that was the solution!


Next give-away is next post. And I draw from people who’ve “liked” or commented (here or on the post that shows up on my Facebook Page) from the last drawing until now, so more people are included and it makes it more fun. So on the posts I don’t have a give away, your name still goes “in the hat” for the next drawing.  

During the next few posts, I’m going to delve into the area of – gasp – Dating! Or Not Dating, as the case may, or should, or could be. Stay tuned.


 

1964980_10152466287074176_8369086502746553258_nIf you like Southern/Appalachian/Family Saga fiction (sometimes with a supernatural touch), then I hope you will consider one of my novels (or short story “snacks”) by clicking on this link to my 51j6n1OihJL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Amazon Page. I appreciate your support!

1461250_496657083765127_1387255473_nAnd I thank you, my readers.

Earth’s “Near Companion,” Vomitus-Appearing Suppers, Tip for Dirty Oven Doors

It seems that Earth has a mini Moon (it’s not really a moon but I like to think it is) that’s been around for about a hundred years. Only no one Asteroid-2016HO3-e1466075012630knew it until recently. This little asteroid has been circling round Earth for a long time, and will stick around for a much longer time—centuries maybe.

Scientists call this moon a “near-Earth companion.” Asteroid 2016 HO3 orbits the sun but stays this constant Earth companion. It never strays far away. There was once another asteroid that followed for a while, but it went away—buh-bye. If I may personify for a moment: I wonder if Moon grieved that companion? If space seemed more spacier after that moon was gone.

But this little moon is “. . . much more locked onto us.”

If the asteroid drifts ahead or behind or too far away forward or backward, the Earth uses its strong gravitational force to hold tight to the asteroid so it can’t or won’t wander away too far.

It also stops the little moon from becoming too close.

A PRODUCT PICTURE, DOORMAT, GO AWAY, COME BACK WITH CHOCOLATE 2_001Ah. There it is. The irony. The contradictory contrariness of relationships.

Andrew Griffin in a science news article (<click to read) writes, “In effect, this small asteroid is caught in a little dance with Earth.” Oh the dizzying dance.

Ah. It all sounds like Human Relationships, doesn’t it? Are you the little moon? The Earth? The Sun? Do you try to get away and are pulled back by the gravitational force of someone? Will you stick around for centuries, or go away as the other little moon did?

A “Near Companion”—that seems rather perfect to me. Not too close, not too far. And always with the knowing you could spiral off and away as the other asteroid did if things become too . . . too . . . permanent—whooosh! Buh-bye. Dang. I pitiful myself.

If you are your own companion, out there as Moon seemed to be before little moon was

This is the lighter sweeter frosting

The best chocolate cake I have EVER made for someone special – contact me if you want the recipe.

discovered, you must find ways to navigate the universe as Lonely You. One of those things is the obtaining of and cooking of (or not cooking of) and eating of food. Today I’ll talk about the preparing and eating of Alone Fooding.

When I pop out from my lil log spaceship for supplies, I try not to be resentful of the money and time it takes to gather and pay for food. I’m tempted to grab the easiest most processed crap-a-doodle-doo-doo because cooking alone and eating alone while not always horrid can be rather boring and uninspired. You can’t cook something delicious and then have someone say, “Omg! This is so delicious! You are amazing!” Or on the other hand, you cannot say that to the person who just prepared you something amazing. Dang.

But since I am a healthy woman—I was a personal trainer for many years—and I know what I am to do to keep my body and mind strong, I try to prepare healthy food most of the time. Though I do admit that I am a sucker for those cheap-ass Mrs. Callender’s chicken pot pies—add a salad, and there you go! And always cook them in the oven, not the microwave or else they aren’t as good. I also sprinkle Parmesan cheese, or feta, or blue cheese, on top of the pie when there’s about five minutes to go—it makes it seem a little more Home-Madey and gives it a nice fatty-yummyness. Once I stirred in brown rice—nah, took away the pot-pie-ed-ness of it all.

strawberry salad 2 - Copy

The last of the peanuts at the bottom of the jar. Strawberries that needed to be eaten. Last of the yogurt in the bottom of the container-deli mustard-olive oil-honey balsamic vinegar dressing

strawberry salad - Copy

Sometimes I put chicken on my salads, but sometimes I use vegetarian meat replacement – like this chickpea and spinach patty.

I do not like to waste food—not that I ever did before, but even more so now with a tight budget of One, I want to purchase and prepare and eat only what I am able to, and waste not want not as the old cliché goes—a cliché becomes a cliché for a reason, y’all! So this often has me preparing strange conglomerates of ingredients. It often has me throwing bits and pieces into a stir-fry or salad and then just shoving the mess in my mouth and chewing and swallowing until I am done.

I’ve thrown fruit on salad, and the “dressing” is often only an infused vinegar and a little olive oil, but sometimes I will be, um, “creative” and stir together yogurt, honey-mustard or other kind of mustard, pepper and salt, whisk that together, and though it looks like vomitus, it’s rather tasty.

raspberry salad - Copy

Vegetarian “‘fried’ chicken” patty, shaved parm, peanuts, raspberries I need to eat quickly, olive oil, and pomegranate-infused vinegar

Salads are a good way to have a summer cool meal, but make sure you have some protein on there. I add nuts, seeds, and often I use vegetarian “meat” replacement, or real meat, or eggs. Cheese and the olive oil also adds some fat and flavor. I’m not a crouton kind of person but sometimes I’ll eat my salad with tortillas, and rarely but occasionally crackers. I’ve even tossed the last of the bag of Dorito-dust on my salad—though I very rarely purchase empty-caloried chips and crackers.

 

 

 

vomit food

Vomitus on the plate – but it was tasty! I promise! Brown rice from the freezer, bell-pepper from the freezer, seared chicken that I didn’t burn!, green beans that needed to be eaten, spices like Curry, parm on top. As for the chicken – I purchase chicken tenders and freeze each one separately– I only eat one tender-not a big meat eater. I also squeezed a half of a grapefruit into it because it needed to be eaten that day!

Sometimes the food looks appetizing and yummy, and sometimes this Experimentation means the food looks like dawg vomit. I threw into this stir fry some raspberries that were just at the edge—one more day and they’d be too mushy to eat. And I ate it with gusto!, because: waste not want not! Really, it was rather tasty! I promise.

I cook up a big pot of brown rice—brown rice is better for you. Yes it is! Suck it up and eat it!—and portion it out in individual freezer-safe containers so I’ll have brown rice on hand. You can add it to canned soups so they’ll be more nutritious, but not to Mrs. Callender’s pot pies—no no! Or to the stir fry. Or beans and rice. Sometimes I’ll throw the brown rice in a skillet and then add a couple of eggs and stir that around—quick protein—wheee!

A quick “stir-fry” idea is: add a little olive oil to a skillet, and at this point if you are using chicken or other meat you want to sear and cook that now; otherwise, if the meat is cooked or you are going “vegetarian,” toss in bell-pepper (I purchase bell peppers and immediately wash and slice them up and store them in the freezer—they freeze very well), onion and garlic if you like it (I also freeze my chopped onions, but I purchase the jar of minced garlic—just works better for me), and sauté this until the peppers are a bit “wilted” but still have a little crunch (or not, for if you are like me, you half burn them because you become distracted—ungh!). Add in the brown rice, meat or fake meat if you want, and any seasonings you like, (I also squeezed half a grapefruit I needed to eat), and DONE! Voila! Dinner in a flash!


yogurt oats2

Instant or not instant oatmeal with no sugar added, low sugar plain yogurt, dried fruit, milk or water, honey, refrigerate overnight

Instant or not instant oatmeal with no sugar added, low sugar plain yogurt, dried fruit, milk or water, honey, refrigerate overnight

vomit oats

Ugh. What’d I do this time? Bleah – vomit. But I ate it.

One night I threw together oatmeal, yogurt, a little cream and water, dried fruit, cinnamon, honey, stirred, and refrigerated overnight and had a nutritious breakfast before my hike. It was pretty danged good. But the next time, it turned out a gloopy gloppy pasty mess—and I ate it for supper while I worked on an editing job, and for dessert I had a peanut butter and jam sandwich—urp. Waste not want not.

 

corn burnt tortilla

Gorgonzola cheese sprinkled over corn tortillas, broiled in the oven, and then drizzled with honey. Had I not burnt them, they’d have been perfect. But I ate em up. That’s canned soup on the side that I added some of my brown rice from the freezer to.

I have really great “palate” instincts—I have been told I’m good at flavors, mixing flavors, finding unique and tasty flavors. I have the ability to be a Good Cook. But I am not. I often burn things because I’m in a hurry and turn up the heat too high, or become distracted by a shiny thing. I will start out with a yummy thought like these gorgonzola cheese sprinkled on top of corn tortillas with a drizzle of honey: what would have been delicious is instead burnt, but I ate them anyway *see want not waste not.* Not bad—urpity.

You know what the difference is between a good cook and someone who cooks? Patience and Love. I have neither but especially I do not when I am not a Near Companion to anyone. When I’m the asteroid who flew off and away into the galaxy or beyond, I Throw Shit Together and Hope for the Best. Sometimes it turns out fabulous, and other times I have Dawg Vomitus or Gloopy Glopped Messes or Burnt Tortillas or eat Mrs. Callenders pot pies. Mostly, I am bored. Bored. Bored. Bored. And when I am Bored, I experiment, and when I experiment, I have to eat what I prepared, even if it sucks.

I will tell you this: do not eat over the sink or even while working (though sometimes it must be done) or out of the pot! No no! Prepare your gloppy gloop or your burnt food or your surprisingly tasty dawg vomitus and ladle/spoon/fork it onto a plate or bowl and grab your silverware and a napkin and Eat Civilized, my friends. Eat Civilized.

grinder

Grind your own spice mixes! A small hand-cranked coffee grinder works well.

By the way—I took this coffee grinder and instead use it to grind pepper, or salt. And I add things to the mix. Even coffee! Coffee salts, coffee peppers—really quite good. If you are by yourself, you don’t have to worry, because if you mess it up, no one will know, right? Right!

So, my good friends—what do you prepare for a One? Or a Near Companion? How do you navigate your kitchen? How do you shop for food for one so you don’t “waste not want not?” I need ideas, recipes, thoughts!

 


Update on my post below about Alcohol: I had nothing to be concerned about after all! I am happy to report that I’ve not missed my daily fancy craft beer or my wine one bit. I thought I would. I worried I would. I was terrified I would. But, I do not. Never looked back. Feel great. Lost a couple of bloaty pounds by not imbibing. It seemed it was more a habit and boredom than anything else. This proves something important to me. I will continue not to Drink Alone, for I think that is best. But I am very happy and optimistic that I can return to my many many years of Social Drinking. Can I get a WHOOHOO! Y’all!


 


dirty oven door

Dirty Oven Window

This worked!

door2

Hot Water – Paper Towels – Soak

salt door - Copy

Salt – scrub

clean door

Voila! One more time and it should be perfect!

 

 

 

 

 

TIP OF THE DAY! I have a self-cleaning oven and it works great for the oven
part, but my glass door always looked gross. I’ve scrubbed to no avail.

Enter Ask Heloise –  I’ll need to repeat it one more time but it worked!

Eleven years of frustration remedied in about 20 minutes. Hot Dang! Open oven door and carefully poor water you’ve boiled (I was boiling eggs so I used that water-ha!). Be careful! Lay paper towels over the hot water and let soak 5-10 minutes, adding a little more hot water about halfway through. I went the entire 10 minutes. Wipe up the water. Cover the window with salt, and then scrub. Wipe up the mess with a damp cloth. Dry. Though she didn’t say to, I then used a Clorox Wipe to shine it and then a paper towel to buff. Try it!




 

Winner of the Coffee Drawing is: Karen Anderson (<click to her blog)!

Karen, please contact me via email or FACEBOOK or in the comments here.

Also note that in the future I will be adding names to the drawing from any comments or “likes” not only here on my blog but on Facebook as well.

Next drawing is for something you can’t buy at a store. Details later



1964980_10152466287074176_8369086502746553258_nIf you like Southern/Appalachian/Family Saga fiction (sometimes with a supernatural touch), then I hope you will consider one of my novels (or short story “snacks”) by clicking on this link to my 51j6n1OihJL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Amazon Page. I appreciate your support!

1461250_496657083765127_1387255473_nAnd I thank you, my readers.

Alcohol Clouds in Space, and the Sneaky Bad Sucky Friend called Alcohol.

There is a big cloud of alcohol in space many many light years away. Larger than our solar system. As well, in our Milky Way Galaxy, at Sagittarius B2,  is a vast alcohol cloud that it is thought by alcohol and womenscientists that it tastes a bit like raspberries and smells like rum. Alcohol is an organic compound made up of hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. For such a simple molecule, it holds great power. Consider that we are made up of four main elements: hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon. So, alcohol—building block of life? Ironic isn’t it? Since alcohol often tears down lives.

You can read more about Alcohol In Space by clicking.

So we steer towards that alcohol cloud, safely park where we won’t have to drive again, and stick a big straw out of the Little Log Spaceship to have us a big ole raspberry-flavored rum drink party. Wheeeeee! Of course we can’t drink the alcohol in space—it’s full of poisons. But isn’t the alcohol we do drink a poison? Poison to our minds, bodies, families, friends, lovers, loved ones. If it is abused.

If it is abused. Again—if it is abused.

Now comes the hard part. I feel anxious even as I begin to write it publicly.

Last night I parked the Lil Log Spaceship, for I have a hard and fast rule I have never strayed from: no drinking and driving, and I drank too much. I did it with purpose. Nothing good ever comes out of saying, “Fuck it.” Once you utter those words, you are giving yourself permission to act like an idiot, an ass, or to be hurtful, or reckless, or stupid, silly, childish.

While I drank, I noted with distant fascination that I can hold more alcohol than I used to be able to. That somehow over the last year or so, I’ve built up a tolerance—one or two glasses of wine, or a bottle of beer, at a time. While the grownup rational side of my brain thought, “What are you doing? This isn’t healthy!” The “Fuck it” part of my brain laughed gleefully and went on social media and thought how witty and funny I was being because my inhibitions were released all willy nilly. A party of one in the Lonely Woman’s Galaxy slurping up the alcohol gas cloud at Sagittarius B2.

There was a time when I drank socially. Other than my mad-wild-partying teen years, I have not since then been a big drinker. There’s alcoholism in my family—my father stayed sober 50 years but his years of drinking took a heavy toll on his life and loved ones, and very small children—of which I was one.

Until last night, I never considered that alcohol had suddenly, sneakily, insidiously, wormed its way into my life as a Bad Friend, a very bad sucky friend who pretends they only want to be your friend and all the while they are sucking the life out of you and leading you down Bad Decision Making paths. Why, I told myself, I only drink a glass of wine or drink a beer every so often—though “every so often” began to mean almost every day. I told myself: “I don’t get drunk!” Though, last night I did, and I wasn’t sick or dizzy and I didn’t wake with a hangover—this sounds great, but it is not great. It means I have built a tolerance. It means my body and my brain are growing used to me poisoning myself.

But consider that most evenings I do not over-drink. I have one, and on occasion two drinks. In the big scheme of things that’s not so bad, right? Maybe not.

Until.

Until you look at your face in the mirror the morning after you drank too much and acted like an ass and begin taking stock of how you are using alcohol to cope with the anxiety, and with the loneliness, and with the stress. You are using alcohol to numb the fact that you are not writing and writer's blodkathat has made you unhappy so you drink so you don’t feel unhappy but then you act like a ridiculous ass and that makes you more unhappy—and more anxious—and more alone. And the big ole ferris wheel of horror goes round and round and round and round and round. If you are looking up from below as the riders whizz by, you see faces lit up with terrified glee—a few gripping the bars and begging to be let off. You see yourself and you are not having fun.

You again consider that the thought you had while slamming down that alcohol last night is a thought you’ve had before over the last few months—the: “Wow, always before I was unable to drink this much without being dizzy and sick! Huh.” Oh well. La Tee Dah. Shrug! *Guzzle Guzzle Glub*

This morning, as I crawled out of bed after a sleepless night—for alcohol may put you to sleep right away but it will shake you the hell awake all night—and drank my coffee in the Little Log Spaceship, the realization and recognition of just where I am heading slapped me hard against my very hard peahead.

Here it is. The hard thing to say. What I didn’t see coming. What I don’t want to publicly admit but I am:

Alcohol is beginning to be a problem in my life. If I don’t jump off the Ferris Wheel of Horror, alcohol WILL be a problem in my life.

Alcohol is already a problem in my life.

I’ve watched as alcohol destroyed or near destroyed others’ lives and I always felt my Power and my Control over it. I was nearly arrogant in my complacent attitude towards alcohol despite my family history. Despite my own history from my teen years. Despite how lately my drinking to numb whatever I thought needed numbing was happening more often.

This Morning After I sit writing this and consider that if I am writing it, then I am living it. That if I am concerned over what seemed “innocent drinking” then it isn’t innocent. If I am sometimes an ass or out of control, or reckless, or maudlin, or giddy-then-depressed-then-regretful, then it is time to stop before it goes any further.

Like a very bad for me lover, I’m kicking alcohol out of my life. Forever? I don’t know. But it has to be until I know for sure I am not heading down a slippery path paved with Morning After regrets and a body that I have made healthy and strong over the years that alcohol will have no problems at all destroying. It has to be when I am not afraid of my drinking. It has to be No Alcohol until it has no power over me. When I am not lying to myself any longer about it.

Or when alcohol is not lying to me.

Because if I can’t stop after one, or if I look forward to that One far too fondly and anticipating that One too much, it is time to steer the Lil Log Spaceship away from the alcohol cloud.

And even as I write this, I am missing the person I was—the one who could sip on one drink once in a while and barely finish it before she felt all giddy and light-headed and would then just put it down. I miss that woman, but I’m not her right now. Maybe I’ll find her again. And maybe I won’t.

I love myself too much to let myself ever say, “Fuck it” to anything again. I love myself too much to poison myself and my thoughts and my dignity with alcohol. My dignity—just writing that I realize the truth: I care about my reputation and my dignity as a woman and a writer and an editor and a mother and a friend. Alcohol-induced “Fuck It’s” take away our dignity. Alcohol-induced buffoonery makes us look ridiculous. Makes us asses or assholes. And years of Living Right and Working Well and being proud of the reputation and life and work I have built can end in a destructive rubble after one night of Fuck It drinking.

I love myself, so I am going to prove it by taking care of myself. I am strong. I am independent. I am a woman who has much to lose. I am too smart for this. I am ready.

I feel relief now. As if the weight of those bottles has been on my shoulders pushing me into a hole. Free. Free. I feel free.

If you find yourself in my words, I hope you will love yourself and free yourself, too.


There is still time to click “like” or comment for the pound of Starbuck’s coffee drawing (below post). I’ll be drawing for that in about a week.


If you like Southern/Appalachian/Family Saga fiction (sometimes with a supernatural touch), then I hope you will consider one of my novels (or short story “snacks”) by clicking on this link to myAmazon Page. I appreciate your support! And I thank you, my readers.

I do also, suddenly, realize as I am about to publish this, that my Graces books have alcoholism- and alcohol-related themes to them. Huhn. Well now.

Black Holes. Deaths of Stars. “How to” of the day. Give-away drawing.

This from The Physics of the Universe, which has more information on Black Holes you may be article-2302364-00570A6100000258-460_634x430interested in reading: “A black hole’s mass is concentrated at a single point deep in its heart, and clearly cannot be seen.” A single point deep in its heart—ah, how poetic and lovely. In my lil log spaceship, I only skim around the places where the black holes are in our Milky Way Galaxy, because to go too close is dangerous. The blackness pulls, pulls, pulls, and once inside, just as with the light, there is no escape from it. We must search out the light and leave behind the darkness, though the darkness holds fascination and we are often drawn to its mysteries.

You see, black holes are places in space where the gravity is such that even light can’t escape; the gravity is so strong because matter is condensed into a tiny space. It can occur when a star is dying. The idea of shining beautiful stars dying is poetic in itself. Nothing escapes death—so shine as bright and beautiful as you can while you can. As the narrator in the video below says, “Out of catastrophe, comes creation.” Ah. yes.

Since no light escapes, black holes are invisible, but scientists can use their sciencey toys to look at stars close to black holes and study how they act differently from other stars.

The Big Ones are called supermassive black holes—imagine a mass that’s more than a million suns. Our galaxy has a supermassive black hole and it’s called Sagittarius A. Sagittarius A has a mass that’s equal to about 4 million suns. A whole bunch of Earth’s could fit in that black hole. But some are tiny enough to hold in my hand. *Kat takes a moment to picture this—holding a tiny black hole and feeding it light. Amazing.*

To say it most unscientifically, black holes are constantly “hungry,” and if the spaceship is too close, DSC09985we could be sucked into the blackness. Of course, then we’d know what was inside and that would be kind of awesome. Though, we’d never survive—once you arrive at the Event Horizon, time slows way down, and you are spaghettified—streeeeeetched out most uncomfortably.

Earth is probably safe, since black holes are too far away to swallow up our Earth. But even if Sagittarius A drifted our way, the black hole’s gravity would be the same as the sun and we’d just orbit the black hole.  Now, that presents problems all of its own, right? Sometimes in life we orbit around black holes instead of the sun, don’t we? Where light doesn’t escape. But we don’t stay there, because we are strong and we are fearless and we are determined. Right? Right!

Over the last few posts, I’ve talked about what it’s like to be lonely—the feelings and emotions behind loneliness. Now I want to explore our galaxy in other ways. Ways that will be helpful—I can’t guarantee I won’t become Black Hole-ish where light can’t escape and I am dark and mysterious and looming, but it’s all part of the Lonely Woman’s (or Lonely Man’s) journey, right?

Today I made you a video of how to check your oil. We all should learn how to do simple things with our vehicles, our homes, our lives. And taking care of simple things gives us a feeling of accomplishment and power. It saves us a little money, too. The first week I showed you a simple “repair” of your garbage disposal. Week after that, what to try if your ceiling fan is making noise. Today, checking your oil!

Next week, I will be talking about cooking for one. And, I’ll be asking you for ideas and recipes. It’s easy to slip into buying quick easy processed frozen food and though that’s okay for an occasional meal, preparing fresh healthy food will keep us at top performance, just as we want our vehicles to be at their top performance.

So let’s move away from the Black Hole for a while and towards the shining stars that are still brilliant and light-giving. Shall we?


Give Away: I’ll be drawing for a pound of Starbucks coffee. Beans or Ground, strong or medium or light, your choice. Coffee! Coffee! Oh how I love coffee! The winner is chosen by me drawing a name from the comments or “likes” section-either one, it’s just nice to have you drop by and acknowledge you were here so I can smile at you. My plan is to have at least one give-away a month, perhaps two. Judy D won the chocolate from the last give-away.


If you like Southern/Appalachian/Family Saga fiction (sometimes with a supernatural touch), then I hope you will consider one of my novels (or short story “snacks”) by clicking on this link to my Amazon Page. I appreciate your support! And I thank you, my readers.

Visiting Earth. The deafening loud-ass silence of loneliness.

Earth. Third planet from the sun and the only planet known to support life. It’s the only planet not imagesnamed after a Greek or Roman god. And unlike the naming of other planets’ moons, our moon is simply called Moon—this struck me today, that we didn’t name Earth’s moon; I wonder why? Though I like Moon and if they named it, I’d still call it Moon.

As Earth ages it is slowing down. Only about 17 milliseconds per hundred years, but it lengthens the days. Many millions of years from now, Earth will have a 25-hour day. What to do with that extra hour? Sleep in? Waste it? Yeah. We’ll waste it.

Though we have a 24-hour day, it actually takes 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4 seconds for the Earth to rotate on its axis—that’s called a Sidereal Day. No, our nights and days won’t eventually be wonky. Why? Because Earth orbits around the sun and if you consider the motion from the sun as Earth orbits it as well as the rotation of Earth on its axis, it comes to 24 hours, and that’s called a Solar Day. Solar Day is the time it takes for the sun to be back in the same place in the sky—24 hours. Yeah, that sounds confusing, but really it’s not when you think about it a moment, or just accept it.

And a year isn’t exactly 365 days. There is an extra .2564 days to make a total of 365.2564 days. To make things even out, every 4 years we have Leap Year. We are so clever.

Click here to see: Earth rotating at night.

And since I usually mention a weight measure when we visit other planets, did you know that at the equator you would weigh a few ounces less than if standing at one of the poles? Gravity.

If we were aware of how fast we are actually moving, spinning through space, at, depending where you are on Earth, a bit over 1,000 miles per hour, you’d at the very least vomit.  It’s weird to think though that people on the equator move fastest and people on the North or South poles are still. So if we were aware of our spinning and moving, we’d all rush to the poles and freeze our asses off.

It is on Earth I land my little log spaceship and trek down to The City for supplies and fuel. The City where I have my home-base is tiny with only 1,000 or so full-time residents. But during peak tourist seasons that swells and quite considerably. There are people and cars everywhere. You would think dsc06364that having more people would make the lonely feel less alone, but it does not. People are not meant to be alone. Like water finding water, people find people. We are social animals. Everywhere we go, there are groups, or couples. There are parents/grandparents and their children. There are couples—lovers or friends or both. There are groups of friends. There are families. There is touch and talk and laughter and argument and discussion and kiss and hold and share.

If you are alone and find something funny or interesting or amazing, the funny or interesting or amazing loses its shine when there is no one to say, “I know! Right?”

When you have been alone in your spaceship for many days, you are not sure of how you sound or appear to others. If you speak to someone, you wonder if you made sense. If your words and 002sentences and phrases come out coherent. You forget what conversation sounds like. If you are in a social situation, you either babble a million words, or you have few words at all and stare dumbly at the other person as they wait with raised eyebrows for you to say something. You practice speaking to your little dog because you aren’t sure if your voice will go rusty—can vocal cords forget how to speak if not used regularly? You google it, and find out, here, that you’d be just fine—that when someone woke from a 19-year coma, he was able to speak. You are relieved, and also, strangely, disappointed.

Though Earth is loud, especially during the busy seasons, or when you visit other cities while on Earth, and even more especially after returning from Pluto and Mars (previous posts), there is a vacuum of silence around you. While the silence of loneliness is quite apparent, the sound of loneliness is really quite loud.

When alone most all the time, you forget what you look like. Reflections lie. They do, really. If there 074is no one to tell you that you are beautiful or handsome and sexy and wonderful, what are you then to yourself? Though you shower, brush and floss your teeth, eat fairly healthfully, drink in moderation, and sleep, and exercise, and stretch, and take care of yourself in many various ways, you may not brush your hair for days; you may wear clean but comfortable-and-not-attractive clothes for weeks; you may wander about the spaceship touching things just to make sure you are real—because if the things you touch are real, then so are you. You don’t doubt your sanity—you don’t. You don’t. You don’t. Don’t. Don’t. You. Don’t.

Some nights the loneliness becomes shapes in the dark and you aren’t even afraid. Instead you ask, “Who are you? What do you want? Guess what I saw today?” And there is no answer, so you sleep and dream of people. People people people populate your dreams—and you are doing things with the people: talking, laughing, having sex, kissing, hugging, arguing, running from them and to them. You wake from your dreams and for a moment it is enough.

You have a constant “cruel wanting.”

The paradox is: though you are lonely, you want to be left alone. Because you get it in your head that people are not to be trusted. People mean hurt and chaos and responsibility. You can’t stand it but you do.

And that’s all I have to say to you today. That’s all I got.

————

(P.S. I’ll have another give-away next week, as well as a Repair of the Day, and some Dinner Ideas for One – WHEEHAW!.  – Judy D – you won the Mars Chocolate drawing from last week. Email or FB message me.  . . . )

Journey . . . begins, ends, middles . . . .

Well, my dear ones. A little housekeeping is in order. First, if you are receiving this blog post in your email, it is because you signed up to “follow” my blog posts. And while I wish you will stay, if you do not wish to receive my posts in your inbox, you must undo what you did to follow me!

I hope to be traveling the Galaxy here there and yonder, and will post at least once a week. Sometimes it will be just links and/or images, and others I will be speaking with you from planets and stars and moons, or black holes.

As well, I will periodically have giveaways: my books or maybe something else if I’ve a mind to. I like doing this, for it feels good to give, even if it is something small as a kindle copy of one of my books. Or maybe some chocolate. Who might know what treasures cross miles? Ha!

But, I must clean up around here, for cobwebs and dust bunnies have taken over my blog. So if you all who stay, and/or have stayed, with me all this time will be sweetly patient while I re-do and re-structure and fiddle-dee-dee with my blog, and enter my spaceship traveler, I will be ever-so thankful and delighted.

Journey.

I will return soon. Meanwhile, things are looking a little different so far here, and more to come.

 

 

 

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

imageHappy Thanksgiving, y’all!

Peeking my lil ole pea-head in here for just a moment to send you holiday greetings, and a quick “recipe” for homemade cranberry sauce.

Purchase a bag of fresh cranberries, wash them, put aside.

imageIn a saucepan add a cup of liquid–you can use plain water, or orange juice/orange juice/water combo. Or like I’m doing: a little water, a little fresh squeezed orange juice, a little “spiced water” I made by boiling a cinnamon stick, whole cloves and whole allspice (of course just use the spiced liquid and throw away the spices), and a little liquer (I like that orange flavored liquer but since I don’t have any, I’m using Drambuie). I also will be adding orange zest, and if I have it, lemon zest. Sometimes I add a little cracked pepper.

imageAdd sugar to the liquid: recipes call for 1 cup of sugar but I like mine less sweet so I add about 3/4 a cup or so.

imageBring liquid and sugar to a boil, then add cranberries, and bring back to a boil. Boil gently for anywhere from 10 minutes to 15 minutes, or until the cranberries are “breaking down,” stirring occasionally.

Pour into whatever dish you want, let it cool/chill overnight if possible.

imageEat and enjoy!

All photos are mine except the “finished product” at the end, which is Food Network’s (I haven’t quite completed mine yet!–preparing it as I write this!)

Here’s mine!

image

 

 

Well ain’t that some shit, Kathryn Magendie: kicking the ass of my fears.

I wrote this a year ago, when I thought anything at all could be possible. It bears re-reading (by me). I’m going to repost it and read it, and then I’m going to drink the rest of my dark rich strong black coffee and I’m going for a run and then I’m kicking the ass of the day–and the novel I am working on.

Kathryn Magendie

ipod photos 082I done been here, and I done been there, and I done this and I done that and I done the other. I done thangs I never done before. I done thangs I haven’t in a long long time.

I been where I’ve never been, and where I’ve seldom been, and where I’ve left, and where I’ve said I’d never go, or never return to.

This here woman done seen thangs that made her speechless with wonder. Made her stop right there and say, “Well . . . oh my god.”

This here woman done done thangs that opened her up and turned her inside out bursting kaleidoscopic super-nova–KaBOOM! Ka-POW! Ka-BAM!

And I ate things I said I’d never again eat. I broke many “food rules;” like, never eat pork: I ate bacon and damned if it wasn’t tasty; I ate peaches with the skin on them and the juice ran down my arm…

View original post 578 more words

Authors: You don’t have to set yourself on fire . . . .

imageOn a popular “talent” program, often the judges will tell the “contestants”  that they must kick it up a notch, take it further or farther than before, give more, be more more more MORE! No matter how much the act sings her heart out, juggles his arms and legs in amazingly weird pretzel shapes, climbs towering structures and falls–almost–to his death, dances their feet bloody, the judges tell them it’s not enough. You must engage the audience in ways you never thought you could! In ways that show what you have done before is Just Not Good Enough! Two such acts on a recent program showed me how we do not have to set ourselves on fire.

11377181_841444645937652_243275401139948379_n

The first act rose to death-defying heights on their motorcycles, proclaiming, and rightly so, that what they do is extremely dangerous. These guys have lost (and by lost, I mean they died–gone from this earth–no more) friends doing what they do. They pushed themselves to the limit, yet at the end of the death-defying heart-stopping act, the judges said, “You have to do more if you want the audience to love you.” So what did they do the very next week? They set themselves on fire, and did the same death-defying act as before. Later came the Houdini act: a man hung upside down while struggling quickly out of a straight jacket. How did he pump it up? By lighting himself on fire.

What next? How to top something so out of control? How to prove what doesn’t need proving: you are who you are; you do what you do, and you are good at it even without the flames. And the flames aren’t really fooling anyone–they see your core.

What you talkin' bout Willis?

What you talkin’ bout Willis?

While I agree that we must always strive to do more and to be more, there does come a point in our lives where we must acknowledge that among all our striving, at the core of us, we simply are who we are. We give our best, and when we type The End, we feel pride and a sense of good work done. When it is just us and our work, we dream of our readers loving the words and language and characters because we created with love and hard disciplined work. No, we should not sit on our hands, rest on our laurels, give up and become lazy and sloppy. But to ask us to be more than who is the very core of ourselves, to give beyond the capabilities of our talents, well, what can happen is we set ourselves on fire and try to fool people into thinking we are doing something Great and Wonderful. It’s like the Wizard behind the curtain while fire roars! We’re still the little old man.
images (1)
Do we really need to set ourselves alight with fire to grab our reader’s attention? Won’t our readers see what I saw with these two acts: they were doing what they know; what they do best, except for the addition of bright hot distraction. Why hide the behind the fire? What they’d done before was the top of their game, the pride of their life; a culmination of many many hours of hard work and sacrifice. We do live in a “viral video” society. Reality is that not many of us will ever go viral. I refuse to set myself on fire and risk a painful death of my Self. My readers deserve my best, and if I give my best, I do not need to add a distraction.

imagesWe are often those judges. The voices in our head judge us, tell us to set ourselves on fire–surely we’ll be noticed then. Surely we’ll grab everyone’s attention, so engulfed by flames we are! Are we only teaching others that we are willing to do anything to grab their attention? Anything at all? Why not let the work underneath the flashy flamed fire be enough?

So let it be written; so let it be done.

A dozen interesting tiddlybits to make you go, “Huhn. Well now I know! Thanks Kat! You’re Special!”

  1. 0841. Our interstates have a “system” to them. Odd numbers are north to south with the lowest numbers in the west. Even numbers are east to west with the lowest numbers in the south. Exits are assigned numbers to let you know the distance to the next exit—mile-markers aren’t always exits but they tell you distance “in between.” The interstate system is about 46,300 miles, and of those 46,300 miles, it is a known fact that 40.4858788584857% of the time, a bathroom will be ten to fifty miles from where you really have To Go Bad. And 50.4848482975875% of the time, a Left-Laner will hold up traffic for 20.225 miles, plus three, and then flip you off in indignation when you finally zoom by in frustration.
  1. Supposed to work - let's hope you never have to find out!

    Supposed to work – let’s hope you never have to find out!

    A skunk can spray up to ten feet away. The spray is a yellow oily substance—and guess what? Oil and water don’t mix; so if your dog is sprayed and you wet the dog, it’s going to stink worse—delightful, right? The spray contains as many as seven kinds of nasty “ingredients” that can easily be conglomerated by the skunk into a gas that explodes from the ass(it rhymed!)—that’s what makes it stanky; no, stanky isn’t strong enough a word—putridly pungent. A skunk stinks, yeah, but  in a sobering addition to this light-hearted skunkfomercial: did you also know that skunk spray can cause severe anemia and death in dogs? Okay, only very rarely but worth a note if your dog loves chasing Pepe LePew.

  1. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop? According to science: 1,000. According to Kat: about 30 before she bites into it with glee.
  1. When you google “Will I ever use Algebra in real life?” This is the kind of answer you find, which is an evasive non-answer in my Algebra experience: “This is a difficult question, but the simplest answer is that Algebra is the beginning of a journey that gives you the skills to solve more complex problems.” Uh huh. Nice try.
  1. 007It’s a myth that lightning never strikes twice in the same place. Where did that saying come from? Actually, it’s from the 1800s or some other time when people made up stuff out of boredom and other bored people readily believed it because there wasn’t Google, or Bing if you are a Binger, to debunk it (only 6.777558475% of people like Internet Explorer; poor thangs)—of course, ironically, the internet is full of BS that bored people make up and equally bored people believe. Anyway, lightning not striking twice meant: misfortune won’t happen twice in the same way to the same person. *fake-coughs out a barely perceptible bullshit*
  1. Women’s colons are longer than men’s colons (so who is more full of sh with a side of it, you may ask? Answer with care, my male friends, answer with care). And our female colons are more twisted up. We’re all discombobulated in there. Why? Whyyyyy? They—the infamous “They People” (who I believe are Aliens! No, really!)—say it’s because we give birth. Oh. Okay. So, we have more colon so we can squeeze out a human? Uh huh. They—the Aliens—are tricksters. Just tricksters.
  1. Conversely, a man’s brain is about 10% larger than a woman’s brain. Now, before you men’s heads swell up even more, no it doesn’t mean you
    This is your brain; this is your brain on gender

    This is your brain; this is your brain on gender

    are more intelligent, or any less intelligent. It does mean you process differently. But brain size is not a correlation to intelligence. The brain is larger to accommodate the extra body mass and muscle. Is to! Is TO!

  1. Speaking of brains. Artists have different brains. According to a scientific study (by “They”), researchers found sort ofishy scientifically that artist’s brains are structurally different from non-artists. I suppose that includes us writers, right? I need an excuse for my discombobulated hootnannies. Scans (by They/Aliens!) show that artists have more grey matter in an area of the brain that matters to scientists because scientists are awesome. That area of the 1291293eef10a1b7765ddd172deed303brain could possibly (why aren’t “They” ever sure?) be linked to that “inner eye” that gives visual creativity/clarity.
  1. While goofing off on Google, you find things that you think are jokes, then realize some people really do believe in these Thangs. Like, the im-not-saying-its-cats-but-its-cats-thumbf96496501b29ea59d0cd2f06ad7bba09“theory” that cats are aliens. Uh huh now; I see. Well, there is discussion of it Here and Here. Enjoy!  The first one actually is called “catalienconspiracy.com.”

10. The Perfect Every Time Boiled Eggs. Really! I swear! Put eggs in a saucepan and cover the eggs with water–I just added “the eggs” while re-reading this; didn’t want you to think I meant cover the pan with water -haha! Bring water to a boil and soon as it reaches that “roiling bubbling toil and troubling boil” turn off the heat, cover the pan with a lid, and let the eggs sit in the water for 14 minutes—no more! Some say 12 minutes; some say 13 minutes (what do “they” say?). I’ve had success with 14 minutes. Soon as the timer goes off—and if you don’t use a timer, you will forget and your eggs will suck–no one likes sucky eggs or to suck an egg; eww. No, you will forget–use a timer. I mean it; you will. Anyway, pour off the hot water, add cold water on top of the eggs in the pan, and add some ice to stop the cooking process. Perfect boiled egg.

  1. Most writers make crap for money. If writers are in it for the money, nowadays especially, then those writers may surely be sorely disappointed in the results of their dreams of Lotso Casholo. No, seriously! You wouldn’t believe the people who think I’m rolling in it because I have 5-6 books and some stories out there. When they see me pull up in my 17 year old Subaru decked out in clothes from the clearance rack, an old Dell laptop, a broken-shattered iPhone that I refuse to replace until my iPad’s paid for, they think I’m being ironic, or eclectic, or
    What you talkin' bout Willis?

    What you talkin’ bout Willis?

    that I left my sports car at home with my Louboutin’s. Seriously, though, folks. There is about 0.555785959992445566999999% of the population of authors/novelists who can do this “for a really good living without having another income” and 0.2455668855599999494994949 of those 0.555785959992445566999999% spend a lot of their time writing inspirational platitudes and giving writers advice about how we should be doing this and not doing that and all this blah blah blahdidly blah that they half-believe themselves but they’ve paid their dues, by golly gee, and can tell all us other writers how it is done and if we can’t do it that way, well no wonder we don’t sell books! The rest of us are varying degrees of starving, doing okay, doing pretty well, and pretending we are doing very well by posting upbeat Facebook and Twitter updates about how awesome we are doing and how we aren’t drowning our sorrows in wine and chocolate and sex—la tee dah, y’all! Haw!

  1. And speaking of Louboutin’s—while looking up how to spell it (I can spell Ked’s – wait, is that Keds or Ked’s – dang), a glance at a site that sells downloadthem yields this: “cheapest” (relative term): $525 for some kind of oogly-arse boat shoe looking thangs, to the more expensive sparkled heel at $4,225—my entire wardrobe does not come anywhere near that much—shoes included.

Now, aren’t you glad you know all that? I know I am!

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393520_294411430580586_999236092_nTouty Plug of the Day: I love this Facebook Page – easy, simple, uplifting, fun: Things I Like –About: “feel free to add your likes (3 per post)–just keep it clean–keep it positive. drop by or join our “365 day like-a-thon.” by posting here, we have your permission to include our favorites in the future, THINGS I LIKE ©”