So Long November

It’s rainy this last day of November 2016. We needed it. 

A lot happened in November. Some of which is good, some bad, and some I’m just not sure what to make of. One thing is for sure, Novembers seem to go by more quickly each year. I feel like we should be only halfway through.

I did a pretty good job of writing consistently — some for NaNoWriMo, some for NaBloPoMo which is what this post of part of. I got more than 30 posts for November in wildly variable lengths and quality. But that’s better than this time last year.

And that’s a wrap. Time!

NaBloPoMo November 2016


General Updates

We’re still sad about our kitty. Sadness comes and goes in waves. 

Since Fidel Castro and Ron Glass passed in the same week, it makes me wonder if there isn’t something brewing in the universe. At least I can always remember what year our furry friend passed. 

If our kitties each had a superpower, Fletcher’s would be his friendly, chilled-out attitude towards everything and Mojo’s would have been his love of cuddling and getting petted. He aggressively sought kitty strokes. He’d even meow at us to sit down and pet him. 

Dave reminded me that twelve years ago I never would have claimed that Mojo liked to cuddle. He changed a lot over the years (so did I). We’ll continue to miss his cuddle especially as we get back into our everyday routine after the Thanksgiving holiday. 

Awesome friends sent us an Edible Arrangements bouquet in honor of Mojo. It was a super nice surprise and helped improve the overall mood at home.

Our other cat is taking it all okay. He didn’t mind one bit that Fidel Castro died. I think he’d have liked Ron Glass though. And he seems down about losing his buddy Mojo. 

Normally the kitties go through playful times. There’s lots of pouncing and chasing each other (and imaginary critters) as they tear around the living room. But Fletcher hasn’t done that in a few days, so I think it sunk in that his friend isn’t coming back. 

Fletcher is getting lots of extra kitty strokes and cuddling and treats and hugs. Hopefully, we’re helping him cope as he’s helping us cope. Mojo was our friend and his for over 16 years.

Between vet trips and mini-Thanksgiving trips and unexpected crying, last week was a busy one. I think I accidentally missed a day for NaBloPoMo and didn’t write anything for NaNoWriMo for a few of the days. Just when I’d expected to have some extra time for writing. Poof! I could not keep my eyes open. Gah. But life happens. 

I had a few technical issues with posting from mobile devices. A few posts I thought I’d posted before midnight showed up as after midnight (so had the next day’s date). That may have happened when I made edits. And I think at least once, my mobile device wasn’t connecting so it saved a post locally but didn’t post it live when I though it did.

I’ll try for an extra post or two today and tomorrow.

I have no idea how many total words I have for NaNoWriMo. I’ve been writing on different devices, so I need to consolidate and add it all up (then feed it into the machine to make it official). I definitely won’t be at 50,000 words, but that’s okay. I still wrote lots of days. I know I did better than last year. And I made some progress with the story. So that’s good.

I had a mini-cleaning frenzy in my kitchen. I think that’s a good thing.

Thanksgiving foods were all extra yummy, and it was nice to spend time with family and relax some too. No matter what else, we still had a lot to be thankful for this week. And I’m enjoying the leftovers.


On this day of eating lots of food with friends and / or family, I wish everyone much good food and plentiful friends and loving family. May we all have much to be thankful for today and all year. And may we have the wherewithal to give thanks. 

We ate food at my mom’s. The five of us ate food until we felt like we would burst. My stepdad usually cooks the turkey in an old, plain white T-shirt to retain juices. It sounds weird, but always tastes delicious as does the stuffing and giblet gravy (which weren’t cooked in a T-shirt). The sweet potato casserole was dotted with marshmallows and just enough seasoning (brown sugar and vanilla extract) to be super yummy. We made the green bean casserole — our favorite variation with diced water chestnuts. 

Then, when we felt like we could hardly eat another bite, we had pumpkin pie.

While we’re sad about the recent loss of our kitty, we had much to be thankful for. Earlier in the day I did some cleaning and even wrote some words for NaNoWriMo. It was good. 

NaBloPoMo and NaNiWriMo, halfway update 

We are now past halfway into November, so everybody participating in either NaBloPoMo or NaNoWriMo should have a lot of writing done.

With NaNoWriMo, I should have over 25,000 words behind me. I don’t. I’m not surprised that I don’t. (I didn’t think I would.) So far I have more words for NaNoWriMo than last year. I need to figure out how to upload the words to make them official. I’m good with that. 

My NaBloPoMo goals are better, I had a few wobbly days, but I did write and post every day. Just a few days were light and a couple of times I mostly revised an existing post or started one but didn’t entirely finish before midnight. It’s not perfect but not at all horrible all things considered.

Right now, I’m tired and may be fighting a cold. So it’s challenging, but I feel very good when it’s done.

Panera x2

Today was a NaNoWriMo Write-in at a local Panera Bread. Write-ins seem like a cool idea to me — get to meet other people who are trying to write a novel this month plus actually get writing done.

Panera had sent me an offer to get a free bagel every day of November.

Apparently, Panera had sent me this offer for the month of October, but I forgot about it and didn’t use it even once. So they re-sent me the offer for November. Thank you, Panera. I guess I haven’t been in one for a while, so they started throwing bagels at me to get my attention.

It finally worked today. I figured it was the perfect combination of reasons to go to Panera this morning — get writing done and collect a free bagel.

The NaNoWriMo thing started at 6:30, but this morning I decided I just had to clean part of the kitchen before I left. A bowl of fruit and garlic had been sitting around for way too long and the bowl was becoming a catch-all. It had crumbs on the bottom and some splatters. Plus I don’t think I ever meant the fruit and garlic to live together in the first place. It was supposed to be a fruit bowl. Time for it to go. So it did. Now there’s a tiny clean spot.

Then I needed a shower — there’s only so much that can be done with dry shampoo, and I rode on a hayride yesterday. It always seems like a good idea to bathe after one of those, and I was too tired last night.

Then I needed to give one of the cats his morning medicine.

I finally arrived at the Panera within the 6:30-8:30 timeframe, but distinctly late.

The free bagel could be any flavor. I got an Everything bagel with cream cheese.

It turns out that one little 2-oz-mini tub of cream cheese is about $1.40, and the free bagel doesn’t come with it. So it was a grand total of about $3.50 for my free breakfast (cream cheese + coffee+free bagel), but it was yummy and hit the spot. When I asked about the cost, the cashier told me that the bagels cost about $1 and that the butter is free. She said I could change my order. But my taste buds were primed for cream cheese.

Not knowing how the NaNoWriMo thing was supposed to work. I just picked a table and wrote. I got a few hundred words written and then headed in to work.

It was a busy day.

At about 5:30 my phone chimed with a schedule reminder — NaNoWriMo at Panera at 6:30 to 8:30 PM. Yes, PM not AM. Writing just seemed like more of a morning thing to me, so I hadn’t double-checked the time. I saved the event directly from the website into my calendar, so it was correct there just not in my bagel-filled head.

After work I stopped at the Panera again. I’d already used my free-bagel option for the day, but after ordering soup I found out that now they were giving me a free coffee or soda. Well, that worked out well.

There was a small NaNoWriMo area sign on a large table. I got to meet a few other writers (Josslyn?, Jannet, and Greg) and a random man who came there for NaNoWriMo, but didn’t actually come to do any writing. That was awkward for those of us writing. He just sat at the table and looked around. I think he was expecting a Meet & Greet not a Write-In. But I’m not even sure why he came to a Meet & Greet because he said he wasn’t even trying to participate in NaNoWriMo.

But we all seemed to get some writing done (except for the random guy).

So NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo I wrote words for both of you, YAY!


Another Awesome Day and Cats

I have over 500 words for NaNoWriMo so far today (only about another 1,500 and it will meet a daily goal except that I’m behind on my total goals). It’s early, so I have another chunk of writing time planned for later.

Plus this post counts for NaBloPoMo Day 6 which probably seems silly except that this way it’s done. That’s better than not done. (And actually I wrote more than I thought I would. So I may post again later today or not …)

I’m trying to squeeze a lot into this beautiful day. I’m planning to get several things done at home then maybe visit a farmer’s market. Then maybe take my daughter to Cox Farms to enjoy some Pumpkin Madness (a day of pumpkin smashing and fall activities). There’s a market there too though so maybe I’ll just skip the farmer’s market beforehand.

Our cats are completely battling it out in the kitchen as I type this. I can hear them squealing and thumping on the floor and on each other. Glad they still have some spunk. They finished the old-man gruel that we like to call “cat food,” and now they’re just full of it (piss & vinegar along with the food).

We have old kitties, so we mix their food with lots of extra water and some added clear fiber (like Benefiber only generic).

Dave recently purchased a mini-blender for the sole purpose of mixing up the cat food. The cats gobble this stuff down, and then they don’t know what to do with their extra time.

They feel like they should be eating for longer, so they pester us and each other in the time they would have used for eating. It used to take them about a half hour to an hour to finish their food because we’d have to add more water and give a little stir. They’d leave and come back a couple of times.The blender has changed that. 

Plus, our cat Mojo doesn’t like to drink water the same way most cats do. He likes to stick his paw in the water, splash it a while, then lick the water off. Sometimes he’ll even leave his paw in the water as he sucks on it, almost like a straw. It makes a mess. When he’s done, there’s  water on the floor and a path of wet paw prints.

Our other cat, Fletcher, usually looks at us as if to say, “Do you see what I have to put up with?” He doesn’t like drinking the water after Mojo’s had his paws in it. Today, Mojo was especially splashy with the water. So we took the water away for a few minutes. That’s when the cat fight started.

They’ve calmed down now and will probably take their old-man naps in a few minutes.

Maybe they can sun on the balcony for a bit while it’s still warm out. Kind of what I’d like to do.

NaBloPoMo November 2016

Beautiful Day, NaBloPoMo Day 5, and NaNoWriMo

Well, the weather may not be the most attention-grabbing topic for a blog post, but few days are this lovely.

The leaves were at the peak of their autumn beauty. There were just enough crunchy ones on the ground to do cartwheels in the light breeze. The majority clung to their branches and when the sun hit them you’d swear they were lit and glowing from the inside. Reds, oranges, browns, and yellow, along with occasional greens lurking among the warm hues for added contrast.

It was warm at the peak of afternoon, but before and after that it was just crisp enough to feel like fall.

While my daughter was in dance class I ran errands and enjoyed the day. Between stops for essentials, I stopped by something called an urban farm that I’ve driven past many times but never stopped to visit. Today I did.

The house of pumpkins at DePaul’s Urban Farm.

It had beautiful fairytale pumpkins, squash, and an assortment of mums that looked like displaced sea creatures. The shop had apples and cider, specialty candles, and jars of yummy jam and apple and pumpkin butters.

There was also a large wood fire cracking in a large metal fire kettle that hung from a tripod. I could smell the burning wood before I stepped out of my car. Is it possible to overdose on autumn? Two adirondack chairs sat at the fire beckoning me to relax.

Mums the word (of beauty) at DePaul’s Urban Farm. The fire is peaking out from behind the white chair.

I could have spent the entire rest of the afternoon there and been quite happy. I’d read, write, and enjoy the fire and the day. My daughter would have been a little upset if I’d failed to pick her up after dance though. And I’d have missed her company. So I filed the name of the DePaul’s Urban Farm in my brain for a future outing and took a few pictures on my way out.

Meanwhile, I think I officially registered for NaNoWriMo. I could be wrong.

It is highly doubtful that I’ll make the word count, but if I set aside a little time most days through the end of the month then I should get something done. That’s better than nothing.

This compleats my NaBloPoMo post for day 5.

NaBloPoMo November 2016

NaBloPoMo Day 2, Concert

Just a quick entry for NaBloPoMo Day 2. I managed a Day 1 entry, so I wanted to keep rolling. NaBloPoMo is National Blog Posting Month. Writers pledge to blog at least one post every single day of November. Here’s a link to some writing prompts which I may or may not use.

I didn’t get any writing done for NaNoWriMo yesterday. (National Novel Writing Month.)

My daughter had an orchestra concert at school yesterday evening plus a lot of my free time in the morning was consumed with finishing the hem and alterations on her formal orchestra dress. Got it done ,and it didn’t look bad. Yay.

The orchestra performance was wonderful!

This was the first concert of the year and my daughter’s first concert as a high school student. I’m amazed that the musicians are just high schoolers.

Many of the students wore Halloween masks, and there was a separate contest for audience kids in costume. They were way cute! Loved the Eiffel Tower girl! My daughter wore a mask that was either a fox or a cat. I’m still not sure which. Maybe a foxcat. That’s a thing, right?

I hope to get more writing done tonight.

Today is the Day of the Dead in Mexico and other countries that celebrate it. And it’s All Soul’s Day for many Christians including Catholics. So greetings to those of you who celebrate. I will remember my grandparents and also hunker down at home to get things done including writing.

I’m going to try to go about this with an amount of time set aside for writing each day. I find I can do little chunks of time and just keep going until I have some writing done.

NaBloPoMo November 2016

November is NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo

So aside from meaning that Halloween has passed,  Thanksgiving is on a fast track, and Christmas & winter holiday items are flooding retail stores, November is NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo.

What are these strange words that start with “Na,” end with “Mo,” and have extra capital letters in the middle?

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. Read more about it here. Write a novel in a month. It doesn’t have to be great or finished publication quality — just written versus not written. 

NaBloPoMo is National Blog Posting Month. Read more about it here. Post to a blog every single day of November. 

I participated in NaBloPoMo before  and posted almost every day. 

I very loosely tried NaNoWriMo too, but I don’t think it’s fair to say I actually participated in NaNoWriMo. 

It was more like I had a fantasy, and I called it NaNoWriMo. Some days I nursed the fantasy and wrote stuff, but lots of days I didn’t. Kind of like I might name a plant “BuTterCup” and then not water Buttercup for most of the month. Then by the end of the month it’s cold out and buttercup would have probably died soon anyway (but maybe not), but it died faster because I forgot to water it.  By “forgot,” I mean sometimes I actually remembered, but I ran out of time because I had to get to work, drive my daughter to dance, buy food, cook food, eat food, sleep, pick up daughter from after school activities, take cat(s) to and from the vet, do laundry, and much more.

But I am going to try to write more this month. I’ll attempt NaNoBloMo even if it means some of my posts will be wee little things with lots typos.

I might try more work on the novel, but I can practically guarantee that I won’t write enough total words for it to count as a novel. I can still try. Maybe I can beat last year’s “attempt.” I shall name it ButterCup II. 

So without further ado, this completes, NaBloPoMo Day 1. Thank you for reading my post. 🙂

Please enjoy this photo of local fall colors and visit again soon.