Fribble's Blend

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Location: Jefferson City, Tennessee, United States

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

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Jeff Strand Said It First!

Jeff Strand is a very funny writer of horror. So help me, he has a boyish innocence about him like a high school junior who has just used a ton of Saran Wrap in the teachers' loo. He is MC-For-Life ine EPIC (a group of authors published electronically) and he is downright funny.

But in Tampa, back in 2003, there was a touchy situation onstage (if you could call it a stage!) A napkin had been placed over a light to keep it from blinding awards presenters. Jeff said that if something untoward happened with the lamp, the code phrase would be, "My arm is on fire." About three minutes later, he has occasion to say that very thing.

It has become a standing -- more like a rolling-in-the-aisles -- joke among EPICsters, which he uses skillfully at our gatherings.

I was listening to Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me! Saturday morning when that same line was used to answer a question. I collasped in laughter -- and husband couldn't figure out why.

Jeff, you had the line first, and now it's spreading. See you in San Antonio!

Friday, November 25, 2005

And Now -- Leftovers!

We had ham for Thanksgiving. Unconventional, I know, but you cook one turkey in November, and if it goes out the door, you opt for ham next time around.

It was not the best ham I've ever had -- not the worst. I'm just contemplating going to the "high-priced grocery store" for the next one. But that will probably be the subject of another blog.

For lunch today, I had a ham and Swiss sandwich with tomato, lettuce and mayo on pumpernickle. It doesn't get much better than that!

Yesterday while we were watching television, two of the neighbor girls and a friend dropped by, bearing gifts. Husband leaves eight Thanksgiving meals at their door, and their parents and grandparents are teaching them to give back also. This year it was a loaf of pumpkin bread and (sigh) a cheesecake!

There will be no leftovers of the cheesecake. just didn't get here soon enough!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Oh, To Be Filthy Rich!

Last evening my son and I were discussing the advantages of being very, very rich, beyond-our-dreams know, too rich to need a credit card.

But there are things that might be drawbacks. Like having to live in a warm climate, in a huge house with heat when you needed it, AC for when you didn't. A garage that held twelve cars, too hoity and toity for anything worth less than a couple hundred grand. A private jet to take you off to vacations -- being rich does have stresses you have to get away from.

They I mentioned I'd need someone to do the laundry, clean, bake and cook my meals.

Then it hit me! I already do! Husband!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Feed Them and They Will Come Back!

Saturday was our little church's annual attempt to feed the immediate county a Thanksgiving dinner. This is about the sixth time we've done it, and it grows every year. Although we accept donations, we don't charge anyone for the meal, whether it is delivered or eaten at the church.

It started with the traditional potato-paring party at 9 in the morning, and went on through the ingathering of home-roasted turkeys and dressing, rolls, green beans, cranberry sauce and coleslaw being delivered to the dinky church kitchen.

Scads of pumpkin pies, cakes, cookies and other desserts being brought in to be cut and packaged to go out in the 288 meals to go out in about ten cars and trucks to be delivered. The remaining cakes, pies and (oh, I'm making myself hungry--)-- well, they were placed on a long table for the people who came to eat in the church meeting hall.

We fed about 70 people in the church itself. Again this year, even though we roasted 21 turkeys, we ran out! The remaining potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, green beans, coleslaw, cranberries, etc, including all the cakes and pies left over, were taken to a local shelter for families without homes, where it was well-received. None of it went to waste!

This past year, our congregation grew by 16 members. Yesterday at morning service, six people appeared who have never come to our church before for worship. Perhaps they will join the 50 active members of our congregation in the months to come.

If you read this and are so inclined, pray for us to get a larger kitchen -- after we get our new roof.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I'm Getting Serious!

I wake up to "Morning Edition" on NPR every morning. Sometimes I want to just stick my fingers in my ears and not hear the latest about hurricanes, wars, and social problems. But this morning I heard something I really wanted to hear -- even though the snoring from the other side of the bed made parts difficult to remember.

There were some important book awards handed out last night, the kind that include an impressive statuette and a check. In my early-morning fog, it didn't catch most of the names, and others I am not even going to try to spell when I'm fully awake, but I heard a quote that stuck.

"Nobody is writing serious novels anymore." I don't know if that's true, or if serious novels don't fit into major publishers' schedules, but we have long decried the "lowest common denominator" philosophy we see on the bookshelves.

I hereby am making my stand! My current novel was dumped by my computer, so I am going to rewrite it as nitty-gritty and relevant. I'd been getting a little nervous about the ramifications of the premise that I was glossing over or ignoring. No more!

I'm going for the guts of the issue! If this is the last book I get to write, I want it to be the one that makes my great-grandkids proud. (Not that I have any great-grandkids yet, mind you, but I was referring to the long-range impact I hope this books makes. And just maybe the romance won't work out.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

He Was Almost In Trouble!

This morning I got into the car with my husband and I smelled something. It was not my scent--one rarely smells one's own. It was someone else's and smelled pretty good -- sweet, spicy, sort of floral.

I looked at him suspiciously. "Who was riding in your car yesterday?" I demanded. "I smell a different scent."

He gave me a blank look. He has that down to an art. He doesn't remember much, at least not at appropriate times. "Nobody! Oh! I took the car to have the oil changed."

It didn't smell like oil -- I know what 10-30 smells like. I pointed this out to him.

"Well, you know, they have someone get in the car and drive it in, and then clean the inside. It might have been a woman."

I gave him another version on my dubious look.

"Oh! I know what it was! I used some cleaner to make the dashboard soft. Maybe that's what you smell."

I think I'll buy that explanation. I don't clean house often enough to know what cleaner smells like.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Back to Abnormal

I got my computer back this noon. It was a hard almost two weeks. I lost four incomplete projects.

I'm about to go back and reconstruct one of the projects and press on to finishing it, because in this time with nothing to do (so far as writing was concerned) I worked out an ending.

But I'm wondering if I have a better beginning in me somewhere. Should I just cut out all the scene-setting I usually go through and cut to the really explosive moment that sets everything in motion? This would make the reader have to fill in here and there, get the mind working, rather than being told everything.

This is a question I frequently ask myself. I've often wanted the reader to work to find the story, but when I was writing formulaic romances, the editors didn't like that concept.

But I'm back to writing! What a rush!

Monday, November 14, 2005

A New Look at Coordination

You know the old wheeze about patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time? Well, the other evening when I was preparing for bed, I found myself doing something strange and realized I have a new talent. I can brush my teeth and scratch my back at the same time. The tooth-brushing doesn't suffer from going from up and down to circular motion, and the back-scratching -- well, that doesn't take all that much concentration if it was already working before I realized I was doing it!

The significance of this is accomplishment is rather limited, to say the least, but it is encouraging to find that at my advanced age, I'm not completely incapacitated by any measurement. But I still can't throw a baton in the air and turn around three times before I catch it. Come to think of it -- I never could!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Brighter Side of a Dark Cloud

My computer was hit by a power surge a week ago. Worse, my son's suffered the same calamity. His only needed a new power supply, so it is now back home and feeling fine. Mine is still in critical condition.

My hard drive is in a deep freeze, and hopes of resussitation are fading. There are four unfinished projects which -- alas -- had not been backed up recently. A hard lesson. Back when I was using floppies, I backed up every time I added anything.

But I have been able to step back and think of my main project is terms that I had not considered before. I think this time of wanting so desperately to work on it and not having access to the text is giving me new insights into possibilities, philosophical angles and optional conflicts. I'm hoping this will improve the end product.

But it is back to floppies --or writeable CDs at the very least!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Simple Minds Are Easily Amused

My husband likes to buy cheap things from catalogs. We never know what is going to show up! The last shipment, however, had something that is keeping him happy -- a hand-crank paper shredder. It came last Wednesday and was an immediate hit. We compost as much as possible, but even with all our trees, we run out of mulch long before we run out of things that need roots covered against the winter blasts.

Enter the paper shredder and all the junk that comes in the mail! Charity appeals, church bulletins, old quilt patterns, copies of emails -- all that was collected up and run between little blades. At last count, it came to three garbage bags crammed full.

It did my heart good to see husband in his recliner last night, TV turned to the Colts/Patriots game, the intermittent whirr of the little machine -- that grin on husband's face. Maybe in a former life he was an organ grinder -- or the organ grinder's monkey.

I just hope he doesn't notice the quilting fabric catalog that came in today's mail. We're out of garbage bags...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Hazard of the Season

I hate having a cold...being sick is such a waste of time. And I hate the concept of it "only" being a cold. As if one isn't feeling -- and looking -- like the dog's breakfast.

I didn't get a cold in my singing voice, however, so I was able to lead the singing in church Sunday. One has to have something worse than a cold to lose the singing voice. Pneumonia, probably.

And during the last days of distress, there is the pain -- the aching ribs, the sore nose and lips and -- yuck! the everything hurts. And food has no taste. I couldn't even taste my birthday cake.

Two more days and I'm over it -- until my husband brings another one home. I blame the barber shop. I really do.