Hi

What’s up, y’all?

Sorry haven’t written very prolifically (is that a word?) lately…I have had tons going on!  I just now finished making a very large batch of fresh salsa.  Mmmm.  I missed that from my tomatoes last summer!  I’ve just started getting enough in my CSA to get back into it, and this year, my CSA program included a “swap” section at the pick-up.  If they have something extra, they bring some, and if you would like that instead of what was allotted in your box, you just trade it in approximately equal amounts, which in turn adds to the variety of what you can swap for.  This week, apparently, some people did not want their tomatoes, and as I don’t like carrots, I made the switch with visions of fresh, chunky salsa in my mind!  So, I have a good sized bowl of it as you can imagine since I used 8 tomatoes, 5 peppers, 1 onion and 1 bunch of cilantro, plus the appropriate spices and liquids of course.  I go through phases when I just want to eat chips and salsa for dinner, breakfast, whatever.  OK, enough about salsa.

What has been keeping me so busy?  Well, I started the tent thing on Sunday.  Don’t get too excited…I managed 4 days of it, but am staying the weekend with a friend.  It was all going wonderfully until it rained.  I made it through 2 small showers, although I did learn through those that I had a leak problem.  The second one clued me in as to where it had been leaking.  I was confused before because it seemed like it leaked in a lot of places, but I couldn’t find any holes.  Hmmm.  But I learned that it was leaking at the pole connector at the very top of the dome on the tent, so the water would come in there underneath the rain fly, and then drip down the underside of it until it just fell off wherever it got too heavy.  And that is why there was water everywhere. 

So, Wednesday night I went to bed, knowing it was supposed to rain, but not having had the chance to fix the tent, hoping I’d be able to make it through whatever we got.  No such luck.  I woke up about 1:30 AM to POURING down rain.  I adjusted things in the tent, because there were a few areas that would stay mostly dry, due to how the rainfly sits…I tried to lay down and go back to sleep.  But it poured for 2 hours, and it was still going, and by this time, all of my bedding except for one blanket was pretty well wet.  The dry spots are not large enough for my bedroll!  I decided to call it a night, got up and went to a local 24 hour coffee shop.  I hung out there from about 3:30 in the morning until 7:30 or so, at which point I went to work (early).  I even washed my face and brushed my teeth in the bathroom there, and put my make up on at my table.  Appropriate, I know.  It’s kind of fun being homeless.  🙂 

I should tell you that the people whose back yard I am staying in have an outdoor building with a couch in it that they have said I could use in the event of bad weather.  (Not to mention they’ve said I can really just come in the house if I want to.)  I don’t have a reason I didn’t go in there.  It just seemed fun to go to the coffee shop by then, I’m not sure why. 

What did I do at a coffee shop for 4 hours?  Well, I can (and have) sit at a coffee shop for much longer than that, but this particular time, I was writing.  Which is another reason I have not been posting very much.  I am writing a book.  This is one of the reasons I wanted to live in a tent – to have time/inspiration to write the book that has lain dormant in my mind for years.  Even though I am still working, somehow the adversity of tent life makes you feel like you are supposed to be writing.  I am writing a fictional story – probably really for youth.  It is sort of along the lines of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time series or C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia.  Books like those have always been my favorites, and to this day, are the books I will read and re-read again and again.  So, I decided I should write one of my own.  I was talking to a friend one day, and thinking about how I always say I want to write a book, but I never start it.  And it hit me – if I wanted to write a book, I would write one.  And if I didn’t write one, then I didn’t really want to…if I wanted to bad enough, I would make it happen, regardless of whatever 10 minute windows I would have to work on it because of time constraints.  So, I started it, and it definitely digs into my bloggin’ time.  Sorry ’bout that, guys.  I’m 37 typed pages into it.  Woo hoo!

I love to write on it, because I don’t plan ahead what will happen.  I know that sounds crazy, but I literally decide as I am writing what will happen next.  So, when I get to a turning point, I’m excited to “find out” what does happen next.  One day my un-boyfriend (that’s sort of like an un-birthday, which is where it is not really your birthday but you treat it like it is) was sitting next to me while I was writing, and happened to read a paragraph where my characters were about to enter a door behind which something was happening – you know right at the literal threshold of suspense.  He read the one paragraph one the page, and asked me what they were going to find when they opened the door.  I said, “I don’t know.  I haven’t written it yet.”  He looked at me like I was a little crazy, but later I read the follow up to him, and he got on board with thinking that doing it that way was probably good. 

I really do think God works through that, because after I write something, I always think it is way too good to have just come out of my own head, especially with no forethought.  It is not meant to be just a silly book of entertainment, but to really make readers think and engage, so if it becomes that, I will know it is God who did it.

So, there – that’s what I’m up to.  Hope you are all well.

Later,

Connie

P.S.  I’m not sure why I felt the need to write this as if I were writing a letter, but I did.

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Cabin Adventures (aka “Tragic Mouse Tales”)

I told you a little about my cabin in “Letting the Cabin Out of the Bag,” so I figured that it was time to start sharing a little more.  Here are a couple of pictures of my little cabin in the woods.

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There she is!  Well, as you can see, it really fits the bill for “Little Cabin in the Woods.”  And my experiences here so far readily verify this! 

One of the first fun things was the mice.  When I was cleaning out the kitchen cabinets before I began unpacking, I noted a significant amount of mouse droppings.  I wasn’t really surprised.  I mean, it’s in the woods, and I don’t know how long it had been since the last person lived here.  I cleaned very well, don’t worry.  AND I put down shelf liner.  Well, all of that took so long that I did not get to unpacking the kitchen on the same day.  So, the next day, when I began to put things on the shelves, I could not help but notice that there were NEW mouse droppings on TOP of the shelf liner.  Ahhh, so this makes it a little different.  It’s not left from past mice.  It’s current mice!  So, of course, I go and get some mouse traps.  (Sorry to all who are disturbed by this.)  I put them out in the shelf where I saw the new droppings, and in the two adjacent cabinets as well.  Three or four days passed.  No mice.  Hmmm.  Now, why would they be there the first night, and never again for four days?  Unless they are very smart mice, and know how to avoid multiple traps.  I was perplexed, but happy not to see or hear any more evidence of them. 

I should now mention that there was also a monstrous leak under the kitchen sink.  And when I say “leak,” I mean that all the water you ran through the faucet subsequently ran out of the ubend underneath.  ALL of it.  (Thankfully, this has since been repaired.)  So, I had a nice 5-Gallon bucket to catch the water, which had to be emptied frequently.  And one night, I am about to wash the dishes, and figure I should empty the bucket first.  I pulled the bucket out (you know where I am going with this, don’t you?), and thought, “What is that lump?  Nothing that big would fit down the drain.”  Of course, then I take a closer look, and realize that it is the carcass of a small, drowned mouse.  Ewwwwww.  Then as I am looking, yet another body floats lazily up beside the first.  DOUBLE ewwwww.  Two drowned mice in my leak-catching bucket.  Poor guys…the water in it probably smelled like food scrapings from dinners gone by.  Diving in expecting to find paradise, and…well, I needn’t continue.  The tragedy is apparent.  Shakespeare could do it justice.

On the upside, there has been no more evidence of mice.  Who needs traps?!