Fribble's Blend

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Location: Jefferson City, Tennessee, United States

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

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Heartbreak Goes Out Like Ripples

My daughter and her fiance went to New Orleans this past spring, so she could meet his mother, and see the city that he loves so much. They did everything they could cram into the time they were there.

Last evening, one huge worry was lifted from them -- they heard from her fiance's mother that she is fine and continuing north.

So why am I crying? I've never been to New Orleans, just seen a few pictures, heard a few songs. It does no good to be sensible, to say a city of that size should never have been built below sealevel. How oculd it not have been built there? There surely must have been some mystical force that made so many elements converge there.

New Orleans will recover, and the memories will live on. But now, we'll all cry.

Friday, August 26, 2005

I Don't Do Hurricanes -- Anymore

We moved from Pennsylvania to Florida in '79 -- and got the heck out of there in '96.

But still, when I see a hurricane bearing down on Florida (I'm obsessed with time-lapse weather maps) I cringe. We weren't in Florida two months when Hurricane David blew in. Then Fredrick, as I recall. And there have been some others that put a crimp in us. I tried to look at hurricanes as blizzards without snow. Well, that didn't help...

I've been called a Weather Witch. I've been known to keep rain from coming down on parades, and delaying it until after the festivities. Lately, I've been looking at those weather maps and figuring out what hurricanes are going to do better than the prognosticators. I knew, for instance, that Katrina was going to come in a good 18 hours before the weather guys said it would, and I'm not surprised that they "adjusted" the expected path to hit the Panhandle instead of New Orleans. I still think they've got it plotted a little too far west -- but that's just me.

I remember Elena with the most discomfort. We were living in Hernando County, FL at the time, and Elena sat off Cedar Key for 24 hours, just pounding us with Westerlies.
Okay, a whole day of wind blowing through your breezeway is harrowing enough, but we had husband's parents and one of their neighbors with us, because they lived on a canal on the other side of US 19 and had been ordered to evacuate.

So I don't do hurricanes any more -- I just watch them on the computer screen and guess...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

There's Always a Way

We've been using the Internet for about eight years, and with two computer hounds in the house and one phone line, it's taken some doing. After a few months of people complaining that they could never reach us on the phone, we decided to have an hour when we would not be on the phone -- 7-8 PM local time -- so that people could call us. We cheerfully call it the Dead Hour.

Well, the complaints lessened somewhat, but people still seem to try to get away with not communicating with us by saying that the phone is busy when they try to get us. (Yeah, sure...I'm skeptical.) We've put our names on just about every "Don't Call" list extant. We still get an occasional call from someone trying to sell us something, but not very often...I guess those lists work. I've been known to take down the offending caller's info and threaten to pass it on to authorities. Now that REALLY gets their attention.

Some people do get through, because we're not on line all the time. My daughter complains that she can't remember when the Dead Hour is, and it's not convenient for her even if she does. But we are blissfully interruption free most of the time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Sold! errr--Contracted!

My faithful readers stood by while I retyped BUILDING PASSION into my computer so now the payoff! BUILDING PASSION will be republished by Awe-Struck E-Books! Yahoo!

But -- the bad news is that it won't be available until "late 2006". So what do I do until then? You don't want me to promote for fifteen months, do you? Didn't think so.

I'm the president of EPIC, a group of writers who are published electronically, and I've thought that promoting my own work was a little tacky. My sales figures have suffered, but I have the larger picture in mind. So I'm going to take a step back and promote my last book, DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH.

Now this is what happens -- I can check my sales figures pretty easily, if readers buy my book on Fictionwise. I can see if DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH climbs in Awe-Struck's rankings. It's just a little thing I can do because I'm -- well -- obsessive/compulsive by nature.

DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH is a nice little romance, set in Asheville, NC -- which is a really neat place. Very avant garde, etc. You can go to Fictionwise and read some of it if you want, before you decide, oh that sounds cute...maybe I'll buy it.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

No-Name Fear

I have this awful fear of men with paintbrushes. And I don't mean artists -- I mean housepainters. Amateurs at that.

This is a long-held, deep-seated phobia. I get this terrible urge to leave home! Here's how it started.

Say my mother wanted the dining room painted. In January, she might start mentioning that the paint in the dining room was getting too dingy to look good even after washing. In February, my father would admit that the paint in the dining room might need refreshing. March would be devoted to deciding what color the dining room would be painted. In April they would take the easy way out and decide to use the same shade of green it was.

Father would authorize the expenditure and my mother would call the hardware store and have the paint delivered the same day. All through April the cans of paint would remain right where they had been delivered, inside the door of the vestibule. By May, Father would be tired or tripping over them and move they to the dining room. During June the pile would be augmented with news papers, dropcloths and rags.

The first weekend of July, my mother would have had enough of my father's procrastination and bring the step ladder (with accompanying noises) up from the basement, and push furniture around to get to the walls. The moment she pried the lid off the first can, Father would appear, telling her that she was doing everything wrong. She would retire in a huff and let him do the job properly.

This is NOT the way things have gone in my household for the last forty-one years. I have never in my life seen a wall that I had any right of ownership of that needed a coat of paint. I do not think in wall colors. My husband does not even warn me when he comtemplates painting -- he just paints, using the handiest can available, and rarely takes the time to go through all the "proper" motions my father did.

Hence, my son's office suddenly had the beginnings of a coat of bright blue ("Teeny Bikini" for heaven's sake! left over from painting our tin roof) paint a few months ago. I was out of the house when he started. When I saw the limited progress he'd made, I took a deep breath, controlled my temper, and retreated. When our son came home from wherever he'd been, he took care of the situation -- with my blessing.

I think husband has learned his lesson. He consulted me this week. I consulted our son. I was confronted with paint chips. I warned that the aforementioned "Teeny Bikini" paint would need something put over it to -- ahem -- minimize its residual effects. I was heeded. The paint started today, without much notice, but I should have known -- it was going to rain. The "Teeny Bikini" needs perhaps another coat.

But I'm still in fear -- abject fear -- of housepainters.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

You'd Think I'd Outgrown This Stage

My daughter is, well, a grown woman, married for sixteen years and divorced, not thinking of marrying again. That's background.

Yesterday my husband and I were invited over to Asheville to have lunch with her intended's mother. Now, I'm a little old for worrying about events like this. For one thing, I have about gotten over my fear of public speaking, meeting important strangers and going into strange places. I have not, however, been completely cured of foot-in-mouth disease I suffered though in my youth.

Well, she was a nice lady and didn't make me feel that I was the scum of the earth. Maybe she was impressed by my husband and me. Anyway, on the way home, I reflected that I was concerned for no reason at all.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

I Stacked and Whacked...

There is a technique of cutting pieces of fabric and sewing them back together that is called Stack and Whack, and I did some as a reward to getting my book out of the house.

You take a fabric that is a large print with some movement to it, then you study it for the repeats, and cut it precisely in strips so they are all the same -- oversimplification, but you probably don't want to do this anyway. Or maybe you already know how. Loud fabric is often, but not always, great for this.

I had a piece of fabric, about a yard, with pink and purple irises on it. The use for which I was purchased was either satisfied another way, or forgotten, and it was just lying there.

It made 16 six-segment blocks that look like what you see when you look through a kaleidoscope. I put them up on my sticky wall and from a distance--namely my computer chair, they look like the headboard for a single bed.

Our bed is a queen-size, but it doesn't have a headboard...oh, am I getting ideas!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I Love Having Written

Today we dispatched the files for BUILDING PASSION to my publisher. Sine the book had been published twenty-two years ago, publishing is pretty certain.

So I am enjoying a day of "having written." This is the time that has a wonderful hollow feeling, the day between projects when I can let my mind wander forward and backward and do something totally "unwriting." I can do some sewing. I could have done some gardening had it not been so muggy out. I played some computer games without guilt.

The guilt starts again tomorrow, when I have to sit here at the computer, open an ole file and carry on from where I left off. In a way there is pressure, but there is almost the feeling of meeting an old friend for coffee and pie in some out-of-the-way coffee shop.

The sewing can wait for the tag-ends of the day, the gardening will get done sometime, but I will be working once more toward the feeling of Haivng written.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Trouble with Tennessee

Friday morning, when the bikers were packing up their tents and tuning up their bike, rattling old pickup trucks drove past our house very slowly, but there seemed to be a lot of traffic anyway, so I didn't pay much attention.

We had a sign down at the end of the driveway, handlettered saying "Pedal 4 Peace", with a peace sign and a arrow, and a couple of balloons.

Three -- count 'em, three -- men in pickup trucks drove up the driveway and asked where the yard sale was.

I told them there wasn't any yard sale, it was a peace rally.

Everyone of those three trucks had really good reverse gears!

I guess it's only the women in Tennessee who can read.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Doing Our Bit For World Peace

Yesterday we were invaded by a bunch -- and that is about the best way to describe it -- motley attired mostly vegetarian bicycle riding peacenik Quakers. The are riding from Asheville, NC to Oak Ridge, TN to take part in the commemmoration of the bombing of Hiroshima sixty years ago.

We get into things like this because of our daughter Lyn who never heard of a cause she couldn't get behind. But she wasn't even one of the riders -- she just pointed the organizers in our direction. Which was good, because we were right on their way.

My husband and I cooked for two days, cleaned and straightened things up --and waited -- and waited...part of the group got separated from the others. Thank God for cellphones. Anyway, they came, they ate, they pitched tents to sleep outside. (Hey, last night it was a good choice!) They ate some more, packed up the support van, and headed out at the crack of 9:15.

We wish them traveling mercies. They were a great group!