Day Two of No Hot Water

We had a water leak in a pipe underneath the sink in one of our guest bathrooms here at Doright Manor. The water seeped into the carpet in an adjacent room—Studly Doright’s office. Fortunately we caught it before too many days went by. Studly Doright turned off our hot water, so at least I have access to cold water that can be heated for various uses.

I heated water for a “bath” in the sink on Saturday morning. My hair is still fairly short, so it wasn’t too difficult to clean. And I gave myself a sponge bath. I don’t feel as clean as I would following a shower, though. Today, I bought some dry shampoo. I hope it will yield good results.

Washing dishes was labor intensive, but not awful. Finding the right ratio of hot to cold water was a trial and error affair. I’m strongly encouraging the use of plastic cups and paper plates for the time being,

Some good news—the damages will be covered by our insurance. We’ll be responsible for paying a deductible, but will gladly do so rather than be stuck with a four or five thousand dollar repair bill.

The bad news? It might take awhile for Doright Manor to get back to normal. The insurance company will provide us with a list of plumbers, but the leak is in pipes running through the foundation of the house. Not an easy fix.

I’m so ready for normality. I just hope I recognize it when it arrives.

The Spider Identity

After I posted “Spider Dude” yesterday I heard from folks who hate spiders and others who adore them. What I needed, though, was someone who could identify them. I turned to Twitter for an answer.

I follow the sci-fi author, Adrian Tchaikovsky, on Twitter. Tchaikovsky penned one of my favorite books, Children of Time, in which spiders play major roles. He happens to be well versed in spider-ology. Okay, that’s not really a word, but I like it.

After I posted the picture I tagged Adrian Tchaikovsky and asked if he knew what it was. He didn’t, because he lives in the U.K. and the above spider is American, but one of his other followers did.

Say hello to Anasaitas Canosa, also known as a Twin-flagged Jumping Spider. I’m going to call him Ana for short. He is non-venomous and is good at controlling pests. I’m so glad I didn’t allow Studly to smush him.

Peace, people.

When it Rains, You Get Wet

You know the old saying, “When it rains, it pours”? Here at Doright Manor it might not be pouring, but it’s certainly dribbling at a pretty good clip.

A week or so ago I noticed that the water for my morning shower was getting hot more quickly and staying hot much longer than normal. I like my showers hot, but not near boiling. Then today, there was zero hot water. Hmmm.

Also today, we noticed the carpet in Studly Doright’s home office was wet. Now that his company has called employees back to work at their regular office we are seldom in that room. Had I not been sorting through some craft materials, I might not have noticed the dampness until it began to smell like mildew.

Studly’s pretty certain the two events are connected and that the job calls for more plumbing expertise than he has. He’s called plumber after plumber, but no one he’s talked to will come into homes right now thanks to the Coronavirus.

Current status: No hot water, so no shower, no washing machine, no dishwasher. We’re going to start stinking before long.

Peace, people.

Monday’s All Write

Usually I take Saturday and Sunday off from writing. I’m trying to adhere to a daily schedule just as if writing this novel was a paying gig. Then on Monday mornings I have to get back into the groove. I’ll go back and reread the last chapter or so and make any changes on the manuscript as a whole that occurred to me over the weekend.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve awakened in the middle of the night with a thought such as, “That tshirt couldn’t have matched her green eyes. Her eyes are blue, idiot.”

One would think my copious character notes would be all I need, yet sometimes in the heat of writing I get details confused.

Anyway, this past weekend I wrote a little bit on both days, just to hedge against the Monday morning “what the hell happened to my characters on Friday” confusion. I wish my brain could keep it all straight, but I’m like a freshly hatched chick every Monday.

My strategy didn’t seem to help all that much at first. On Monday morning I still had to spend some time reviewing what I’d written and where I needed to take the story. But as the day went on the words came more easily and when I reached a good stopping place I was pleased with the way everything had come together.

Will I still feel that way on Tuesday morning? Who knows?

But at least I did the best I could. Right?

Peace, people!

On Her Bike Videos

Several days ago I posted a piece about a solo female motorcycle adventure rider who posts videos under the name “Itchy Boots.” Here’s a link to that post if you’re interested:

Studly and I started watching her YouTube offerings and were impressed by her skill and her courage. After we exhausted all of those videos, we stumbled upon those of another such female rider who posts under the title, “On Her Bike.”

The rider, Kinga Tanajewska, is a 39-year-old Polish-born engineer, who immigrated to Australia to work in construction. Now she travels the world on her BMW F800GS and records her adventures for posterity while raising money for a young boy’s medical expenses. Studly and I are hooked on her videos.

Here’s one of the shorter episodes:

Even if you’re not a motorcycle enthusiast I think you’d enjoy Kinga’s journey. She’s not only fearless, she’s also a bit goofy, and warm hearted. And, as Studly was quick to note, easy on the eyes.

In a couple of episodes she’s had us on the edges of our respective seats.

I just wish I had an ounce of her courage and another ounce of her skill on a motorcycle.

Peace, people.

Mother’s Day

I had such a wonderful Mother’s Day.

Studly bought me flowers,

my son sent me designer face masks,

and my daughter sent me a set of “books” with each of the grandkid’s names printed on the spines.

Best of all, both of the kids called me and wished me a happy Mother’s Day, and Studly Doright spent extra time with me.

Happy Mother’s Day and peace, people!

A Sweet Kick in the Pants

Friday morning I sat down at my laptop to work on my novel. Folks, I was at 83,902 words, and yet I couldn’t get a single thought on the electronic page.

I’d type a bit, then delete. Type and delete. At the end of two hours I had 83,899 words. Yikes! I was going backwards. Studly Doright called around 9:30 a.m. to ask how the writing was going, and I just laughed.

He said, “Take a break.”

I reminded him that the last time I took a break from working on this novel it lasted seven years. This time, he laughed.

I went back to the WIP (Work in Progress) and sat staring at the screen. I picked up the book I’m currently reading and let it carry me away for a couple of chapters. Sometimes that gets me unstuck, but not this time.

Finally it was lunch time. Okay, it was only 10:30, but close enough. I put on some eye makeup and my mask (the one with books and a cat on it) and called Sweet Pea Cafe to order their daily special. I sat in their parking lot eating a sweet potato wrap with a side of hummus and veggies. So good.

Back home, I checked the mailbox and there was an oversized envelope addressed to me from my good friend, Flo. But not addressed to JUST any old me, to this me. Author me.

This little psychological boost was enough to give me a kick in the pants and I ended up writing over a thousand words that day. Flo, thank you!

The clippings she sent were ones Flo had found while going through her late sister’s memorabilia.

I remember reading about this woman who claimed to be Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova, the youngest daughter of Russian Tsar Nikolas II.

According to Wikipedia: Anastasia was the younger sister of Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, and Maria, and was the elder sister of Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia. She was murdered with her family by a group of Bolsheviks in Yekaterinburg on July 17, 1918.

And yet many people believed that Anastasia somehow escaped the fate that befell the rest of her family and made it to the United States where she lived out the rest of her life. I need to reread the whole story. There are several movies about the young woman, at least two are animated.

Thanks to Flo, I not only got a boost for my writing, but much to ponder. If I ever get this thing finished and published, she and Studly get mentions for sure.

Peace, people!

Itchy Boots Videos

In the evenings during our quarantine, Studly Doright and I have been watching a series of YouTube videos shot by a 31-year-old solo female adventure motorcyclist from The Netherlands. Her name is Noraly, and she is fearless.

I’ve subscribed to her blog and am enjoying every minute of it. Many of the videos are quite recent. On her planned trip from Patagonia to Alaska, she had a harrowing experience while trying to get out of Peru to keep from being quarantined there due to COVID-19. Her bike had to stay in Peru while she made it home to The Netherlands, and she’s unsure when, or if, she’ll be reunited with it.

She makes me want to be brave, but I have trouble being brave riding a motorcycle on smooth American roads. Noraly rides on all terrain—gravel, sand, rocks. She stops at checkpoints and speaks whatever language is necessary to get through. I can only speak English and a smattering of Spanish. What have I done with my life?

Motorcycle enthusiasts will enjoy Noraly’s adventures, but even non-motorcyclists will find something to enjoy in her videos. She meets so many lovely people who welcome her with open arms. These videos have restored much of my faith in humanity. And, they’re kind of addictive.

Peace, people.