Fribble's Blend

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Location: Jefferson City, Tennessee, United States

Published by: Hard Shell Word Factory ( and Awe-Struck E-Books (

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Under Orders to Blog

I didn't blog yesterday because nothing much was happening. But today my son has ordered me to blog. Not much happened today, either, but what did happen was unusual.

My husband does odd jobs for the woman who lives up the hill behind us. Today he was putting a tarp over a gable frame attached to her house, for the purpose of sheltering her lawnmower.

Rashly, I said I'd help. I didn't know it would involve ladders. Luckily it didn't involve me going up on the roof, even though it was only one story. It did, however, involve me using knitting techniques and Girl Scout knots to secure rope through grommits and around aluminum pipe. You never know when those homely crafts will come in handy.

That tarp isn't going anywhere unless the house blows down!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

It's a Glorious Day!

I spent some time out in the yard, raking leaves away from beds where they were being used as compost/mulch against the winter winds. But most of the time I was outside I spent the time inventorying the flowers blooming. We have a beautiful little patch of white daffodils, very different from the two hunderd or so yellow ones--and the narcissi are yet to come. The quince is blooming and the hyacinths are in full show.

The Bradford pears are out and the redbuds are about to flower.

But to me, I love the pansies best.

Friday, March 25, 2005

So Many Weeds, So Little Time

It's nice enough to day to get out and weed. We started a lot of new flower beds last year, an ambitious project to make the yard more colorful. We had some success, but the test is having plants come back another year. Our winter wasn't bad, so there is hope.

But there are also weeds! Most of the places where we planted the perennials and the bushes were originally lawn, and not neat lawn where every blade is grass. No, we had weeds, persistent weeds that spread their roots and seeds and want to take over every bit of earth they can.

There is something that can be done, And I think we did it! We planted monarda, a strain of mint, and mint is a plant that, once established, becomes invasive on its own. Look out weeds, the monarda is on your case!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

There Is No Magic...

that makes you a good grandmother. I think I'm a horrible grandmother. If it is true that being a grandparent is the reward for allowing your children to reach adulthood, I made a mistake somewhere.

It's not that I don't like my grandkids. They have possibilities. But I don't like it when their mother drops them on my husband and me and goes to another state. It seems that is always the time when hacking coughs descend. Strange food likes and dislikes surface. And I've had enough Sesame Street!

It takes a while for a grandchild to grow on me -- fourteen years seems like the right length of time. If I can squint my eyes to block out the worst of the wardrobe choices. And don't get me started on amores du jour! All I can hope for is that wisdom and grace will come with age.

All in all, I'm hoping they get some of my good genes -- not that I have many. But I still have hope.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Continuing From Yesterday

Sorry, I haven't come up with an URL, but I am assured that Reader software for the GameBoy and a program to convert txt into .gb files are available open source and compiled on the web, for free -- exact quote from someone who knows computers. You might be able to track it down with a little sleuth work.

What interests me is that the cartridge is 256 MB. Someone said that she can hold 25 books on a device that has 8MB. Now, my math is not my strong subject, but I think that means a GB equipped with such a cart could hold 800 books...a ton of books...more than a year's worth.

But if you could get kids text books onto a GameBoy, we would not see children having back trouble from carrying books home.

Did you know the latest thing in Japan is reading on text-enabled cellphones. This is going to ba an area where school texts maybe be available.

Don't we live at a wonderful time!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

You Can Read books on a GameBoy!!!

I've been excited aboutthis for the past three weeks, but I've just found out some of the details in the last few days. That GameBoy you entertain yourself with (and drive your family nuts with) can be your portable library.

You need a storage cartridge, a USB cord and a downloadable program to have a ton of books at your fingertips. You may be able to get the first to at a place that sells GameBoys, and you can surely get them on Amazon for less than $90. when I get back to my own computer tomorrow, I'll even give you the particulars--at least the name and where to find it--on the downloadable program.

What are you going to read? Well, there are 15,000,000 I think it is now, classic, out-of-copyright books you can get from Project Gutenburg, and there are lots of books in HTML that you can buy at Fictionwise, or EPIC authors website ( click on EPIC Bookstore) and many, many individual publishers on the Internet.

So if you are tired of your GameBoy, turn it into your own library, with your favorite books on it! It will impress everyone around you!

Monday, March 21, 2005

And Suddenly Spring!

It is such a glorious day outside, it is hard to stay inside, where there is work to be done. But there is work to be done outside as well. It is never all done -- inside or outside.

I want to get to my writing, but my desk is a mess. I want to get to my sewing, but my work table is a mess. I want to get to gardening, but my potting table is -- you guessed it.

It's a time to try to put evertything in order. But the more things you own, the more things own you. They never stay in one place -- they move around when you aren't looking. I would blame the cat, but I know better.

Friday, March 18, 2005

It's Hard to Get Back to Work

Oh, there are plenty of things to do, little things like reorganizing to put travel things back where they belong and find places for the junk I brought home. And there are make-work things, like a little dress for my new grandniece.

It's too cold and wet to go out and work in the garden, so I just stare out at it. I can't get settled down to my writing. Our grandson is coming to spend the next week with us, so he will be a distraction, too.

Maybe with warmer weather -- it's supposed to go into the 60's next week -- my imagination will thaw too.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Just a Test

My blog, short as I keep it, has not published in the last three days. So I thought I'd try it earlier in the day.

This is just a test. Do not be alarmed.

Monday, March 14, 2005

I'm Back!

My trip to California was much too short, but wonderfully entertaining and enlightening.

Our conference on the Queen Mary was greatly influenced by the location, and mostly in a positive way. It was wonderful to step back to another time, close enough to relate to, far enough to still surprise and dazzle us.

The most wonderful thing about traveling is seeing something new, meeting someone interesting, getting new ideas.

But such things also make the head spin. I'm at a point of re-entry into my normal life that I find short naps are efficacious.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

On the Way Out the Door

The bags are packed. I have a glitch in my ticketing on my return Sunday, but I'll probably be able to straighten that out tomorrow morning. But if I can get to Long Beach, I may not want to come home, huh?

The bigget problem I am going to have is getting up at 04:00 tomorrow morning, when it will be 24 degrees out, and getting to the airport which is about 40 miles away. Luckily I have to drive.

So, if Continental figures out how to get me back from California Sunday, I'll see y'all Monday!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Sticker Shock

We had to stop for gas this morning. Granted, we don't do much driving, and the car is small -- not a road-hogging gas-guzzler at all, just a Dodge Intrepid with a little age on it. But it took $25 worth of gas! It gets about 26 miles to the gallon city, 30 open road. So that's not anywhere near what it takes to drive a Hummer. Still, it's a lot.

I was raised in the Oil Region of Pennsylvania, right in Titusville. We had a sucker pipe running right through our yard from a well to the refinery. No big eye-sore -- it was underground.

But I expected people to take better care of the resource. We're in danger of having it all dry up by 2015. I don't advocate drilling more wells. I advocate conserving what we have and developing better ways of transporting people, or their work (like telecommuting).

We should be ashamed of ourselves for squandering our petroleum.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Trying To Fool the System

My own, personal timing system, that is. The habitual getting up in the morning and going to bed at night.

The previous time that I went to California, I had no thought of jet lag. Even if I had known how to prepare for skipping over three time zones, I wouldn't have been able to do it. At that time, my children were in school and I had to get up at a certain time to get them moving, fed and out the door. Staying in bed longer and staying up later were just not possible.

The last two nights, I've stayed up a little later, but only as late as midnight. That's nine o'clock West Coast time. Still in party-pooper range.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to take naps to be bright and sparkling when that is needed. I just hope I can take my naps at appropriate times!

Friday, March 04, 2005

Flight or Fight?

I've asked one of the lists I'm on for information and suggestions about my trip next week, mostly focusing on surviving airport security.

I guess the best bit I've gotten is to cut down on any unnecessary metal, all sharp things, etc.

Has this country gone mad? Did you see the segment on the news on CBS last night that the inspectors in most cases have not had the required 3 hours of retraining every week that they are supposed to have? Most had only the training given when they were hired, and nothing since! They don't really know what they are looking for!

And the airlines have cut back everything they possibly can just to save money and keep flying. We have to take our own food. One of the legs of my flight says they will serve a snack. What? A bag of peanuts? How about the airline that served a dinner -- and no silverware, even plastic?

Well, I just went out and bought a sports bra. Ha!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

It's Time to Take Your Money Back

I have been listening with interest to George W. Bush's ideas for saving Social Security -- if it needs saving. But one thing is clear -- Americans are squandering too much of their personal wealth by their day-to-day habits.

When I was a kid, we had savings plans in school. You took a quarter to school every week, got a stamp to put on a card, and when the card was full, you took it to the bank or post office and were given a U S Savings Bond. Maybe you were given an allowance on Friday night. You went to the bank and put fifty cents into a Christmas Club, and around the first of December, you got a check from the bank -- not a very large one -- to do your Christmas shopping, and maybe buy something for yourself.

Kids have not been trained to save money these last thirty or forty years. If they have an after-school job, they use their money to support their cars, or just have a good time. Not many squirrel away that money for college, so when they get out of college, their faced with huge debts. They start relying on credit cards to get them from paycheck to paycheck. And now those young people are being told that Social Security might not be around when they need it.

I say take steps to be more economically self-sufficient. Be frugal! Give up some of the self-indulgences you don't really need and keep the money -- put it in a piggy bank or in a financial institution. Take control of your money now so your lack of it doesn't control you later.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Getting Ready for My Trip

The house has been in a frenzy since Christmastime about my trip to California next week. I've been making clothes, obsessing about security inspections, and generally indulging in poor housekeeping -- nothing new there!

Today I decided it was time I started looking for some lost objects, and started with my desk. I got rid or some clutter, like six out-of-date quilting catalogs. That was easy, but I still didn't find what I was looking for. I decided I would start packing. After all, it's only a week... So I scrubbed my suitcase, then started packing.

In the process, I began to dig down through the layers of clean clothes on my dresser. Understand that the dresser itself is full of clothes I no longer wear, mostly for size reasons, because my taste is classic, after all. But! I FOUND what I was looking for.

Am I still packing for the trip? Well, I have to at least move the suitcase, or my husband won't have a place to sleep tonight. Why would I use my side of the bed?

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

I Get a Little Help From My Friends

I have friends in the writing world who give me a boost from time to time. I'm going to tell you about one or two from time to time.

Have you ever noticed at Amazon or Palm Digital that there is a place that says "People who bought this book also bought..." That's where I find some of my friends. And the first I'm going to tell you about is Michele (yes, only one l) Bardsley.

I met Michele when she was one of my roommates at a conference in Chicago. She is one of the wittiest, funniest, most creative-thinking people I know. When her ebooks are selling, mine sell -- that's what a good friend she is. When Daddy in Training sells, Once Again a Princess or Time of Possession sells. When Michele's current book Wild Women sells, my current Diamond in the Rough sells.

Michele was the big winner of Writer's Digest's last writing contest (can I pick a pal or what!) and went to NYC to take her pick of several agents. Her agent has already come through for her.

Who says print publishers won't buy from ebook authors? Cross that one off!