Saturday, August 4, 2012

Simply Saturday Heat Wave!!!

Predicted Saturday temps of 96 degrees.


Ruthy doesn't do 96... she barely does 85. So, with that in mind, I'm not painting outside today, I'm tucked inside, writing.

     Despair should never be allowed to rule Thanksgiving Day.
Haley Jennings eyed the two camo-clad little boys in her back seat, mentally searching for anything she might have ever learned about children in her twenty-eight years on the planet. She came up empty. That didn’t sound promising for her orphaned nephews, now in her care.

Writing about Christmas makes me feel COOLER!!!!  :)

Okay, I'm not really writing about Christmas, that story is DONE... I'm writing about a heat wave... a farmer, working the fields... blazing hot summer sun, mid-August.

Clearly I write what I know, LOL!

And when I need a break from my story, I'm working on the upstairs hall project...

Imagine a staircase that goes from first floor to attic.

Envision cobwebs a mile wide and twelve feet long.

(Slight exaggeration there. But only slight, I assure you.)

Doesn't this look so much better now??? Than dark blue and COBWEBS??????? I should have taken a picture to show you the 2 x 4 and plywood scaffolding Mandy made for me so I could reach this ceiling. It's at least twelve feet high, and over stairs... Let's just say it was an interesting balancing act, but now it's DONE!!!!  :)

Here's the green carpeting that's been here for 50 years... and is going, step by step:

Listen carefully to hear the creak of 157 year old stairs....

Few kids can sneak out of THIS house, let me tell you. Unless they used the windows. Creaking stairs, squeaky doors. We're quite ridiculous, really. Anyway, these are the stairs beneath the carpet. This will be a fall/winter project, to paint them and make them cuter-than-cute. Maybe with patterns... We'll see. I was thinking Ruthy-isms and/or Bible verses because this is the stairway to my office.

And here is another shot of one of the completed walls of the 2nd-to-3rd-floor staircase:

And here is the PINK!!!!! I'm using as a lower chair-rail effect just around the landing at the top of the stairs to the second floor:  (Mandy insists I chose this just to make her sick.... because it's that pink!!! Whereas my writer's head sees springtime all year, tra la, tra lee!!!!

So that's my day. I am not cooking. Grandsons coming to spend the night so Mom and Dad can have a night out.

Baking a 1/2 sheet cake for Mary Ruthy's 2nd birthday.  (Did that last night so I don't have to turn on the oven today)

But other than all that... (big grin here)... I'm writing!


  1. Ohhhh, I loved all of that. Creaky stairs, squeaky windows, grandkids over so parents can finish a sentence, baby birthdays, and writing.


    This might be off-topic, but the stairs reminded me of when I went to meet my husband's family in Mexico, before we got married. Up in the mountains, no running water or electricity, 15 family members in one hacienda, just a few rooms. They had built a little room off the main area so I woudn't have to share a bed with lots of his little neices and nephews (thank heavens!).

    But I got sick. And during the night I had to get up every 15 minutes or so to run to the 'bathroom'.

    And every time my door SQUEAKED OPEN, his mother would get up and watch which way I went... To the garden toilet area, or to the room where my fiancee slept-- which had 12 other people in it, and 4 in his bed!

    Love that woman, keeping her son from being attacked in the night. (Seriously, she's a saint.) Probably put something on the door to make it squeal like that. We were both tired in the morning.

    1. Oh, that's a great Mama right there, LOL!!!! Imagine... getting sick in Mexico.

      How odd.


      What a fun story, Virginia! And yes, squeaking stuff is fun. I can tell who's coming down the stairs by the footfall on the squeaks. I'm not even close to kidding. Everyone has a distinct footfall, kind of like a fingerprint.

      Must use that in a book!!!

    2. LOL, Virginia! That's hysterical!

  2. Love the story Virginia.

    my day it wasn't as cold. started wanting to do some graphics for a blog when I got a phone call. due to being in hospital I was a day late paying my electricity bill they then kept sending notes giving me 4 extra days I rang to say I paid I have a receipt etc. had to send that to them. heard no more for 2 weeks when I get a lawyers letter from a debt collector demanding payment. Rang them and the electricity people both said it was sorted. 2 weeks later I get phone calls from the same debt collectors (its got mums name on the bill so they wont talk to me even though I have power of attorney and mums in a nursing home. they said I can email it not idea where cos they wouldn't give me info). But seems they are chasing the bill I paid. This has left me feeling frustrated and a little worried about what they will do. I know nothing will happen before Monday but its so annoying and stressful. So my calm day of designing became a distressful day which has now left me tired.

    On a plus side I made Spaghetti sauce again and found out tomato past is much better than tomato puree also diced carrot is better than grated carrot.

    1. Oh, Jenny. Sigh... BIG SIGH.... What a pain to be caught in the system! We've had stuff like that and you know what it makes me think of????

      How stinkin' easy is it to rip off old folks who panic when something goes wrong with a household bill or medical bill and pay it twice???? They always worry that it's their fault.

      Hugs to you, my friend! Yes, it's stressful, but chalk it up as stupid annoyance and keep on keepin' on. It happens over here, too, and we just muddle through the techno red tape until someone realizes they forgot to notify someone else...

      But so annoying!!!

    2. Hang in there, Jenny! And hold your ground!

      And since nothing can happen until Monday, just put it in God's hands and get on with your designing.

      Sending a hug your way!

    3. Jenny, I"m sorry for your frustration! I'm sure they'll get it straight.

    4. Oh, man, I've been inthat kind of sitatuation with the IRS of my state. They wanted proof my children existed... then that they lived in my home... then that I actually provided for them. I guess it's a random occurence but it was handled so poorly that I almost had a heart attack every time I heard that man on the phone. He was too stupid to live.

      Eventually, I wrote an article and it got picked up in Portland, so then they got it figured out REALLY quickly. :) All for $109 return. Grr.

      Maybe he went to work In Australia at your electric company???

    5. Virginia, another case of the pen is mightier than the sword, my darling!!!! :)

      Beware the writer!

  3. Ahhhh, 96 sounds AWESOME! Much better than the 106 we have been have down here in Texas. Hopefully it will be cooler by the ACFW conference. ;)

    1. I am always amazed by how folks down South survive the heat.

      I can handle cold and wind and snow. I've got firewood and a great wood stove.

      But I can't cool down when the heat gets oppressive. And I get antsy staying inside. And my New York mindset says "DO STUFF!!!! NOW!!!!" So that's a little hard to reconcile, Sherrinda!!! :) I bet 96 does sound awesome though, compared to triple digit anything! Bless you.

    2. Wow, Sherrinda. It hasn't gotten that hot here in a while. Anything over a hundred is just horrible.

      Ruthy, I do admire you who can handle the cold. You can make fun of me this winter when I'm griping about temps in the 30's. :)

    3. Correction to Missy "Heat Wave" Tippens:

      Anything over 84.5 is horrible.

      And Missy if you come visit me mid-winter, I will make you great food, give you warm fuzzy sock slippers and I'll put an extra log on the fire. Just for you. Because you're that special and I would never make fun of you the way you do to me. Bless your heart.

  4. Sherrinda, I bought summer clothes for conference, even though we're already heading into fall up here in the north!

    Ruthy, I hate to tell you what our weather is like here. Well, no I don't, but I hate that you're still suffering the heat :( But August is here, so can cooler weather be far behind?

    And I LOVE it that you're writing today! Every day Ruthy spends writing is another day closer to a new book :)

    We're working on landscaping around here today. Or the guys are. I'm supervising and cooking. Pico de Gallo, deviled eggs, bread and burger buns, and pie if I last that long. Maybe I should do the pie first...

    Our landscaping project is to tear out part of our retaining wall and build steps into it. Some former owners built a set of wooden steps to place next to the wall to get from one level to the next, but they're pretty rickety, so we haven't been using the yard much (except to kill the grass!). These new steps are the biggest project, and then I can start putting in gardens. YES!

    1. Jan, pie first, always. Always. Always. Because if something bad happens, at least you have pie.

      Life with pie is always better!!!

      So are you in this house long-term? Because I love that you're re-doing those steps. And that's why this all took so long to get to, because our sweet old house had suffered for years of scarce money and time. Now, year by year, it's looking SO MUCH HAPPIER!!!!


      I love it when a house looks happy. And I probably use that too much in my books, but have you ever driven through a town and the homes and businesses are just plain sad???? So sad? Because no one has the time or money to spend on them?

      I loved that in A Town Like Alice, how havine Jean come to Australia, to Wills Town (I think that was the name) and opening an ice cream shop and a shoe factory for alligator pumps made a huge difference all around.

      Truly a trickle down theory at work in a great romance, at a time and in a town where women didn't run businesses or make waves.

      I love that book... that movie. Bryan Brown... Oh, yum.

    2. I think you're applying that trickle down theory in your Men of Allegany County books, aren't you? (Love each one better than the last, by the way!)

      Yes, we hope to be in this house long term. For us that's more than seven years :)

      But when Floyd was interviewing for this job, one of the questions he was asked was how long he would plan on staying here (they had his resume and knew our track record...or his former company's track record for moving people!). His reply was that we were looking for the house we could retire into - and he's planning his retirement for at least 15 years out.

      So yes, we're in for the long haul. We love the house, we love the town (even more now that all our children live here), our church, and absolutely LOVE everything about South Dakota, the north, the mountains...

      But my dream is to have a mountain cabin someday...on land...lots of it. I can see living there March through October, and then back to town for the winter.

      I'm going to have to write a LOT more books to make that dream come true :)

    3. Jan, I love that dream!! I'm the same, wanting a beach house. :)

    4. Sounds fabulous, Missy!

      Okay, back to the writing....

      Oh, after lunch and more cooking - but I can think about writing while I'm doing that, right?

    5. Jan, I love that dream too! Keep writing, Sistah! I've finished the proposal... Book's done... But Dave foiled my plans for working on the hall because he's sleeping in the room adjacent.

      Our room faces south, lace curtains, very Celtic, right? But hot on a day like today. And not the kind of windows I can install an air conditioner in, more's the pity! So I'm about to print and read this proposal (do not ask me how many times I've done this, because yes, I'm pretty anal about it. Why does anal have to be a bad word?????)

      I did a little rock hauling to the new water garden. So stinkin' cute!!! Seth got it all installed and leveled. Now rocks and plants, the fun stuff!


      I love me some fun stuff!

    6. Ruthy I saw A Town Like Alice the other week and thought of you. I came half way through it but it was the original movie not Bryan Browns. It ended with Jean coming to Australia and the hero in England and then he came back to Alice Springs and they meet at the airport. ended around there.
      I'll gladly send come of our cool weather for a few of your degrees even 10 would make it so much nicer here.

    7. I'm sending you some degrees, my friend! I didn't know there was an earlier movie version. Oh, how fun! And that ending is understandable... Because what a classic, her in Australia, him looking for her in England and the solicitor, wishing he didn't have to reveal that she's gone to find him...

      Very Hollywood, but so emotion-packed. Love it!

      I'm sending cozy slipper socks, too. From a garage sale. Fifty cents. You'll love 'em!

  5. Okay, I'm having a Ruthy moment...

    96 degrees? So what! Deal with it.

    LOL! I couldn't resist having a "put on your big girl panties Ruthy moment". But I did truly think "so?" when you opened with the temp. ;) As tough as you are in all ways, I just don't know if you could make it down here. :)

    I love the work you're doing, Ruthy! I really wish I could come see your house. I know I would love it.

    1. I want to visit in the winter and enjoy that soapstone stove!

      Ruthy, would you believe we don't have room for a wood burning stove with six people in this house? Maybe someday in the future when we're down to two... Meanwhile, we have a kerosene heater for emergencies, but it just isn't the same.

    2. I am a heat wuss. Totally. Completely. But I can tame a blizzard, hands down, so there, Missy Tippens!!!!

      And Jan, I hear you. This house is such an over-sized bear that it kind of begs us to use up space. I should make a bedroom into a library, don't you think????

      But who has time to read?

      Besides, if the lot o' youse ever come to NY to see me, I want to have rooms with beds...

      After we clear them off, of course! ;)

      For you to sleep in!

      And brand new terlets! (Just don't look at the chipped tiles in the bathrooms while usin' the terlets!)

    3. I wouldn't mind a library with a fold-out couch in it...

    4. A library with a fold out... Not a bad idea, Drexler!

  6. we have a hurricane headed towards us :-(
    and a bigger whammy - little Logan is going to Jesus - tests indicate brain dead with 0 chance of survival so they're letting her hold him and unhooking him so he can go. my friend actually called me this morning and sounded better than I thought she would (the official news hadnt' come yet)I found out from a friend of hers who found out from her sister. They're trying to decide where to bury him :-( her lousy father is just now on his way and probably wont be any comfort at all - his response to her losing little dude's twin and almost losing him was 'oh well it's not like I don't already have other grandkids' and to her last miscarriage it was 'oh well ya'll can't afford another kid anyways'. I have no idea why she even called for him to come for them. I don't know what to do - never had to comfort someone in this kind of situation. never had a kid either so all I can do is imagine.

    sorry for the crummy news but I know ya'll had been praying for Logan.

    btw I thnk a library would rock! :-)


    1. Susanna, I'm so very sorry. And what a nightmare situation with her father.

    2. yes her father is a real piece of work. :-(

    3. Susanna, people say the stupidest things when they're grumpy and old and short-sighted and maybe a little stupid.

      My dad didn't talk to me for over three months when he found out we were expecting our fifth child. He was that disgusted with us. And he made no pretense about sharing it. But you know what?

      She ended up eventually becoming the apple of his eye. In some way, I think she was a blessing to him, showing him not to act like that.

      Praying for your friend. And there are no words, nothing you can say or do... Maybe a card in the mail now and again. Just encouragement. Prayers. Some folks like to talk about it, it eases their minds and makes their loss more 'real'... others don't. Bless you. Keep praying. So will we. Dagnabbit. I'm just so darned sorry to hear this.

    4. Oh, Susanna. It doesn't matter how many children you have, losing one - and more - is so awful. The best way you can be a friend is to be available to listen when she needs to talk, without trying to "fix" anything. It can't be fixed, but she may need to grieve by talking - a lot of us do.

      I'll be praying that your friend's dad can be some comfort to her, in spite of everything. She called him for a reason - we always need our Dads, don't we?

      And yes, I understand thoughtless comments. After my third miscarriage my Dad's comment was "How many times are you going to do this?". Like I chose to lose that baby. But you have to forgive the comments, don't you?

    5. thanks ya'll. I haven't heard from her since earlier this morning when she was still hopeful.


    6. wow I cant believe the insensitive comments ya'll have gotten. just wow.

    7. Susanna, you don't need to have been in that situation or to have had kids. Your heart is obviously tender enough to know her pain, not completely, but enough to be a shelter in that storm.

      I'm so, so sorry. Praying for her peace and for people to understand that listening is sometimes much better than saying anything.

    8. Jan, yes. Forgiveness is key. And because I've been guilty of putting my foot in my mouth more than once, I have to forgive others for the same thing.

      Praying, Susanna. You're a good friend.