Monday, August 29, 2011

I'm ready to rock 'n roll

After four weeks of this retired life I am ready to ‘rock 'n roll’. I had intended to spend a month of cleaning, organizing and generally getting my life in order but the best laid plans etc. After two birthdays, a visit from two grandsons, a country wedding and helping to look after a 95 year old friend with hospital and doctor visits and numerous chores around the house I am ready to go back to work. I was warned about this but I must say I am enjoying the extra 30 minutes I give myself in the morning.

However, the other half of Jamie Tremain has been busy finishing the 2nd draft of Body Perfect and adding a few finishing touches to the story from our last get together. It is done!!!! Yea! Thank goodness Liz is a great typist as I am a two finger plodder on the computer. Hard to believe I took three years of typing in school. The manuscript still needs some polishing but that should take one more go through and then we can send it to be bound while I finish the synopsis and query letters to send to agents and publishers. Very exciting. A book is really never finished as one can always see something that needs to be changed or added. We will expect our trusty reading fans to give us some constructive criticism as we find that very helpful. We tend to get so close to the story that we sometimes miss things.

I did manage to get a bit of reading done over the last few weeks. It has not all been catching mice and ironing. I sometimes managed to do absolutely nothing. I am not too good at that, but with practice I should be an expert. My husband has it down pat so I will take some lessons from him.

When I was not doing anything constructive, I was reading the new Linwood Barclay thriller “The Accident” http://linwoodbarclay.com/ I have read everything he has written and this one is very intense and nerve-wracking. Check out his website for his other books.

I have a list of books from some of my favourites who have books out this fall. Louise Penny, www.louisepenny.com/ has her seventh book in the Armand Gamache /Three Pines series. “A Trick of the Light”. I can’t wait to get my hands on it. The worldwide launch is today.

Also check out John Moss’s new book called “Reluctant Dead” http://www.johnmoss.ca/ new to the Quinn and Morgan series.

The fall line-up of new books is terrific and another I hope I find the time for is by
author D.J. McIntosh and her book is “ The Witch of Babylon” http://www.babylontrilogy.ca/

If I start to read all these I will never get my own writing done. Oh, I forgot I don’t have to go into the office..... Liz will kill me for saying this.

Talk soon,
Slainte,
Pam

Monday, August 22, 2011

Where oh Where is the Other Half??

I am enjoying a week away from work, although for the first 2 hours of this day I have probably worked harder than a week at work!  Its that physical vs mental thing.   Two loads of laundry in the works and I’ve been scrubbing and cleaning the basement floor.  The kind of job you never seem to have time for otherwise, because, really…do I want to do that on a Saturday?  I think not.   Putting a load of discarded and broken odds and ends together for a trip to the dump will also help make the space cleaner and fresher.

Now back to my initial question – it seems Ms Blance is adapting to the retirement clock quite nicely; although she claims she has been busy organizing closets and desk etc.   She can have the rest of August “off”, but hopefully we will have a blog update from her soon as I’m sure she will have some news or other to update us with.   Come September though, she has promised to adopt a schedule for her Monday to Friday week. 

Its delightful to have windows open today as well, the sky is crystal blue and the air is fresh.  Dare I say it, but a hint of autumn not that far away is on the breeze.  Already some trees have begun to show tinges of orange and yellow.  Others have not fared so well with the dry and hot conditions of July and are showing the stress.

Tomorrow will see me drop my car off at my local garage to see if they can determine where water is leaking in from; after heavy rains the carpet under my driver's side and behind me in the back are often soaking wet. And no, I didn’t leave a window down by accident.  So they can poke around in there for the day and see if they can uncover the mystery.     As you can see, a week away from work leaves room for all manner of excitement.  Should I bump up the sarcasm?

Whatever your week brings you, I hope its all good.  And perhaps the week will also bring a blog update from my writing partner in crime.

Cheers!
Liz




ps...I had just posted this and then learned of Jack Layton's passing; I am so very sorry to hear he has lost his battle with cancer and extend my prayers and sympathies to his family.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

One Week Post Pam

The first week has come and gone since Pam’s final day of work. It definitely felt surreal to walk by her empty desk throughout the day.  There is still the sense she is only on vacation, but I'm sure by the end of next week that will be put to rest.  Although her leaving didn't  truly seem official until I noticed on Friday that her name is no longer on the company email address book.  I guess that means it’s really final.  

Pam has mentioned a time or two her battle with exercise..to do or not to do.  Well I just received the following helpful advice and thought I would share it with Pam, and you..this program seems reasonable and I’m sure could be undertaken with little cost.  Obviously the long term benefits would be worth the time and effort required:

EXERCISE FOR PEOPLE OVER 40: Begin with a 5-lb potato bag in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Each day you'll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer. After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb potato bags.
Then try 50-lb potato bags and then eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb potato bag in each hand .
After you feel confident at that level,  start off by putting a potato in each bag.

This afternoon there will be a birthday get together for my youngest grandson, Max, who will turn 4 years old tomorrow.  Not sure if the weather will co-operate with outdoor activities; a thunderstorm threatens and the humidity levels are rising accordingly.   July was very dry and hot and August is warm as well, although there seems to be more rain in the forecast.  The parched lawns and flowerbeds would welcome a long soothing drink no doubt.

Well Monday will roll around again before long and will be faced with a different perspective for Pam.  Unfortunately she will miss our semi-annual awards celebration this Wednesday.  Its shaping up to be a fun day and I’m sorry she won’t be there to see me be a contestant on our own version of “Family Feud”.  Hopefully there will be some photos to share afterwards.

And now to put the finishing touches on Max’s gift and get ready for the party!

Cheers!
Liz

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tae a moose....

No, not that kind of moose! In Scotland we call a mouse a moose in the local dialect.

The tale I have to tell you is of a wee house mouse that was just doing what all mice do and that is look after it’s family and feed its belly with whatever I may have inadvertently dropped in the kitchen or the pantry. We live on a ravine, so from time to time over the years someone in the house will spy a mouse. This time it was my grandson Riley.

Don’t get me wrong. One of my favourite movies is “Stuart Little” and my husband and I like that other rodent the chipmunk. They have taken to burrowing and making their home in our garden. I am not allowed to weed or move any of the old plants in case I “disturb them”. But I draw the line at having one scurry through my kitchen, so my husband was sent to fetch a few mouse traps.

We had the traps for weeks as my husband has a weak stomach for dead animals no matter what the size and I was busy and forgot about them until we noticed ‘evidence” of visitors under the kitchen sink. So this is how the story goes......

The two brave lads that live in my house set up a plan and laid a trap with peanut butter. The older lad gave instructions to the younger to make sure he disposed of the mouse first thing in the morning before Granma was up. She surely would freak out if she saw one caught in the trap!! I think maybe the older one was the one to freak out.

Sure enough, the younger lad rose at 6.30am and confronted his Granma, who was straight out of the shower with this wee moose in its trap. The older lad should have instructed the younger to dispose of it before showing it to Granma because all I could think was...

Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murd'ring pattle!

By Robert Burns


I don’t think a mouse trap is what Rabbie Burns had in mind.

Talk soon,
Slainte,
Pam