Saturday, October 8, 2016

Now Available: Forests of Dreams

Forests of Dreams (Dreams #3)

On one day everything was normal.  The next morning billions of people had vanished, and new magical creatures had appeared, altering not only the Earth but everyone who woke up on that one day.  Lulu survived the change, only to encounter far worse situations than she’d ever known before.  Two years after a sea of dreams transformed everything, Lulu searches for “tech bubbles,” places where technology is still operational, and consequently useful to the survivors.  What she discovers is that not all weapons from the past are nonfunctioning, and that the past is never truly dead.  She will fight to save the new world and everyone she’s come to love.

Book 3 of the Dreams novels.  Book 1 is Sea of Dreams.  Book 2 is Mountains of Dreams.

Available on iTunes.


Monday, September 26, 2016

Dichotomy of an Election

I remember the first time I voted in a Presidential election.  I voted for Reagan.  I don't remember why I voted for Reagan, probably because he once worked with a chimpanzee.  Then I think I voted for Bush.  Then Bush again.  Or maybe it was Ross Perot.  (Who, for all of you neophytes, was Trump before Trump was Trump.)
Then I don't remember exactly because the whole 90s and early 2000s were a blur.
Every time there's a Presidential election year, things have a massive tendency to go sideways.  Mudslinging happens.  Mudslinging on crack happens.  Things are said that most people would never dream about saying.
And there's this year.  This year is a state of utter confusion confounded by idiocy and the inability for people to stop for a moment and take a good look around them.
I mean, what the hell happened?
I suppose I could say something about the obvious villain: the Electoral College, but would that do me any good?  I think not.
So without further ado, unless ado is running for President 2016, which if we want to go with puns, it's true, two doos are running.  There were other doos to be sure, but they dropped out.

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Fat Woman Continues the D OR How I Felt Like a Criminal in the Misses Section at Walmart

Warning: Fat Woman will talk about...dieting...AGAIN!  Ranting may be involved.  Plus diet memes.  Lots of diet memes.  If diet memes offend you, this is your big opportunity to click on the x in the upper right hand corner.  Don't say I didn't warn ya!

So I'm on month four of the lifestyle change.  (MONTH FOUR!  Four months.  Sixteen weeks.  112 days.  2,688 hours.  161,280 minutes.  Yes.  I've been thinking about this a lot.)  I've plateaued like four times and each time is worse than the last.  Currently I've lost a total of 37 pounds.  I eat 1000 to 1100 calories a day and I exercise six times a week.  I hate that I've stopped losing weight.  If I weren't going to go to the doctor next month I would be screaming "WHY!  Why am I not losing weight?"  I've looked up all kinds of answers.  I'm not cheating on food portions.  I might not be sleeping enough.  I might not be getting enough vitamin D.  I might have some issues with hormones.

All things I need to take up with the M.D.  Plus he hasn't seen me for 37 pounds and I expect some kind of doctorly happiness over my weight loss.

I want the guy to be enthusiastic, dammit.  I want him to do a cheerleading routine on my weight loss!  I want him to run out into the hallway and scream out that I'm the best patient, ever!  Am I going to be disappointed?  Probably.

So this last week I went to get a new pair of pants.  Why?  All my other pairs of jeans are sliding down my ass which isn't a style choice I like to go with.

Although I did some sewing to save myself a little money and also to use the old jeans as working-in-the-garden jeans, even those are too baggy, so they went up on the shelf in the closet because I can't quite bring myself to throw them away...yet.

Therefore I'm in Walmart.  Why am I in Walmart?  Because Walmart is where I usually buy my fat jeans.  You can see my mindset hasn't yet moved into the proper zone.  I literally went to Walmart to buy my fat jeans because it hadn't sunk in that I didn't need to buy fat jeans again.  (Duh moment approaching.)  Without hesitation I went to the fat women's section.  (They call it the women's section because calling it the fat section might not be PC.)  I'm standing there like a doofus because I can't find a size 14.

Yes, I am truly confused.  I look.  I look again.  I look a third time, and then I had to scratch my head.  I think if I was MacGyver, I would have found it.  In fact, I would have used a Swiss Army knife to make a new pair for myself out of old ones.

Then it dawns on me.

I'm in the wrong section.  I was IN THE WRONG FRICKIN' SECTION.  So I surreptitiously slide on over to the misses section.  I expect someone will yell at me like Donald Sutherland in Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

I mean, I'm looking around expecting someone to look at me and ask, "What are you doing here?"  But they don't and I'm all like, "Hey, this must be a meaningful moment."

I went to the US Space & Rocket Center to see my daughter graduate from Space Camp the very next day, and my husband who I was meeting there, did not recognize me when he was looking for me.  So it's another meaningful moment.
I may be plateaued, but it doesn't mean it's necessarily a bad thing.
Fat Woman out.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

More Thoughts About the "D" Word OR How Fat Woman Deals With the "D" Word in a Snarky Fashion

So the "D" word news is old.  I've been put on a good food timeout.  I've lost 20 pounds and no one has said anything which is a little depressing, but I have to be realistic.  Regardless, I have to look at nutrition labels everywhere I go.  If I'm really bored I look at how many calories are in the fast food items I can't even touch.  (1/3 Lb. Mushroom and Swiss Thickburger from Hardees's, which has 650 calories in it.  Their 1/3 Lb. Frisco Thickburger has 930 calories.  I couldn't even eat a 1/3 of that in my present plan.)  I worry about sounding like Reformed Diet Fiend.  "Hey, person I don't know," I say to a random stranger in a fast food place, "did you know that has 930 calories in it?  Hey, where ya going?"  Previously I complained about HIM, the man to whom I'm married, and how's he's lost 25 pounds and he's got all kinds of people saying stuff to him.  (Showoff.)

Therefore I haz some shizz to say about what I've learned in the last five weeks.

Anyway, it turns out that if you substitute turkey for some of the meats you can get more bang for your buck.  However, the bang doesn't exactly taste right.  Example: Jenni-O turkey hot dogs.  These aren't actually bad.  They have about 70 calories per dog and they don't taste exactly wrong.  If you put a crapload of mustard on them, you're golden.  (No pun intended.)
It was hot and it was technically a dog, so yes, it was.
The turkey hot dog was our first foray into the wide world of turkey biproducts.
I know this really doesn't have anything to do with the blog, but
I never would have thought to do this with a coffee pot.
Having partially succeeded with the turkey hot dog, we went for the turkey burger.  I believe our reasoning was something along the lines of "But the turkey hot dog wasn't bad."  These turkey burgers are also Jenni-O's, and they're preformed patties that you fry up and supposedly eat like a regular burger.  I ate the first one okay.  I added a towering pile of sautéed mushrooms and onions, baby, and more mustard.  (I'll whisper a little dietary secret about mustard.  The bottle says it has 0 calories.  0, 0, 0, which is good for me.  Someone's probably going so say something about sodium, but I've got a trade-off here, and I'm going with 0 calories.  0!)  (Also mushrooms and onions are like, retroactive calorie foods.  It takes you more calories to prepare them than they contain, and no, I didn't use butter or oil to sauté them.)  HIM liked the turkey burger so much we made it the next day.  But then my stomach said, "Oh, hell no," and I couldn't finish it, probably because it suddenly had the consistency and smell of fried Alpo.  (I never fried dog food, but I had to try some dry dog food kibble when I was about ten because if my dog was eating it then I should too.  Anyone who was a kid with a dog has done this, don't deny it.)
Do you think this woman looks at memes of herself all day long?
And surprisingly there were more memes about turkey burgers than I would have imagined, which meant I have to post them in my blog because...because...the memes have 0 calories, too.  0!
So this guy finally retired.  They sent his
character into space in the commercial.  How degrading.
I bet they didn't send Dos XX's with him.
"In space, no one can hear you scream because there is no beer."
So turkey hot dogs = okay.  Turkey burgers = only when you're starving to death, on a desert island, without any coconuts, and Tom Hanks is unavailable for backup.  (Which sometimes I feel like I am starving to death, but then I think I could eat a turkey burger.  Then I think, "I'm not really starving to death.")
And I got distracted again.  This guy is from Turkey, and I don't
know why it's supposed to be funny, but I liked it anyway.
Next up on the turkey byproduct list was Jenni-O's attempt at a sweet Italian turkey sausage.  (Think a turkey version of a brat.)  (Somewhere there's an underground guerilla group of turkeys who are planning to bomb Jenni-O factories.)
Distracted again.  I would say it was the diet, but it's probably just me.
Then we tried Jimmy Dean turkey breakfast sausages.  You can hear me squealing in the meat aisle when I read on the back that it's 100 calories per serving and one serving includes two sausages.  Two.  (Those people at the supermarket don't like it when I squeal.  I'm not sure what they think is going to happen but it can't be pretty.)
I couldn't find a turkey sausage meme.
Would you look at that picture?
Seriously, who eats kiwi and blueberries at
brekky?  By the way, the diet Nazi in me sez
this is actually showing 1 1/2 servings of turkey
sausage patties, so it's slightly misleading.
Despite the lack of memes in the breakfast turkey sausage arena, the sausages aren't bad.  They only mildly taste like dog food.  (HIM adds Siracha sauce liberally.  I mean he drowns the poor little sausage-y bastards in it, but he also has to add the calories to his app.)  (I suppose if I put cheese on it, slapped some mayo on it, added a fried egg, on top of a toasted English muffin it wouldn't be so bad, but then I couldn't eat anything else during the day, which would suck about 4 PM, whereupon I would likely strangle everyone in the house.  Maybe the neighbors, too.)

So I went looking for recipes and found one for meatloaf.  I decided that I would attempt to make a lower calories version of meatloaf using lean ground beef and lean ground turkey.  Believe me when I say that I added the normal amount of onions to the recipe and then I doubled it because I knew if I didn't it would taste more like dog food again.
I went looking for turkey meatloaf memes and I couldn't find any,
but I did find this picture that someone did for their recipe, so I
will now make fun of it by saying it looks like
a turkey meatloaf fruitcake.
That just made me gag.
My turkey meatloaf wasn't terrible, but it wasn't my regular yummy meatloaf.
So someone got really bored with their turkey meatloaf and
threw boiled eggs in it.  I did not do this with mine.  Maybe
next time.
And I continued to look for memes to amuse myself.
I yam amused.  Also I have no yams.
More meatloafy memes.
I thought I was perverse.  Someone actually
took the time to make a baby meatloaf with
bacon diapers.  This looks uber gross.  I
wish they posted the after it was cooked part.
Finally the Dos XX's guy again.
This has to do with Meatloaf, but not meatloaf.
Get it?  Also, he probably won't have meatloaf
in space, unless it's the freeze dried kind,
which is probably worse than the turkey meatloaf fruitcake.
Anyway, tomorrow we're trying a different type of turkey sausage.  (Think kind of Hillshire Farms smoked sausage except with turkey.)  I don't know.  I hope it doesn't taste like Alpo.

Fat Woman (who might have to rename her blog) out.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Bubba and the Wacky Wedding Wickedness is OUT!

Bubba and the Wacky Wedding Wickedness is out!

It’s the day of Bubba and Willodean’s wedding day.  The sun is shining.  There isn’t a cloud in the sky.  The pergola is decorated in high style with baby’s breath and ribbons streaming galore, and the preacher is ready.  So what can possibly go wrong?
Just about everything can go wrong.  While twenty-two types of canapés are being served along with gallons of mimosas, Bubba finds the one thing that he well and truly did not want to find.  There’s a dead body in his house.  Then the dead body disappears while Bubba goes for help.  Then the body reappears with nary a witness except Bubba.  One would think all of that would be bad enough, but throw in a super steampunk villain, a cranky baby, no available cellphones, a mother who invited “everyone” to the wedding, and dozens of people trying to keep a secret from Bubba, and one’s got a bona fide comical caper of epic proportions.

The questions are very nearly endless.  Will there be a wedding?  Will Bubba ever find the dead body again?  Will he find out who the murderer is?  Will this trailer ever end?
Bubba and the Wacky Wedding Wickedness is the seventh book in the Bubba Mystery series.  The series is as follows: Bubba and the Dead Woman, Bubba and the 12 Deadly Days of Christmas, Bubba and the Missing Woman, Brownie and the Dame (3.5), Bubba and the Mysterious Murder Note, The Ransom of Brownie (4.5), Bubba and the Zigzaggery Zombies, and Bubba and the Ten Little Loonies.


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Fat Woman and the Diet of Doom

Anyone who is on Facebook with me knows that I'm on a diet.  Why because I'm posting about it all the time.  (Also known as bitching about it all the time.)
Jeez, I hate this.  On my last visit to the doctor, he tells me, "Well, look at that, we have some new news.  You're still a borderline diabetic, but now you've got Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 3."  I had to go look that shizz up because my mind kind of blurred after the words came out of the doctor's mouth.  You have to picture it in slow motion.  "CER-RON-IC...KID-KNEE...DEE-ZEES," he said.  Since he's the doctor, I'm technically obliged to listen, no matter how much I don't want to listen.

Then came some other stuff like Weight Clinic and Optifast and injections, and I think my brain kind of dropped out of orbit, kind of like Skylab.  (You have to be of a certain age to remember that one, so the hell with you if you have to Google it.)  (I looked for a Skylab meme and I couldn't find one and so I looked for one for the International Space Station and I did find a mildly funny one, but then I was really distracted and found one that has nothing to do with diets, space stations, or anything in the blog, which is the one I'm going to put below.)
In space, no one can hear John Williams'
infamous score.  You know it because
you're humming it right now.
Anyway, Skylab was the precursor to the International Space Station.  Astronauts went up, hung out, did experiments, and sang songs.  Then the whole kit and caboodle fell down in the seventies.  I think it hit part of Australia.  And you didn't have to Google it.
An International Space Station cartoon because I can.
So I talked to my husband about the diet.  Words were said like, "We must," "I must," and "You must."  I talked to our daughter.  Support was mandated.  I then went to this weight clinic because we initially decided to do the Optifast thing.  I talked to the counselor there.  This is where the problems started.

It's my concerted opinion that their weight control Nazi megalomaniac twat in charge of bringing in people to their $2300 program (not to mention $120 per week for the shake product) is, oh, shall we try to use a polite term, or should I just call a guilt-inducing, non-compassion having, prune-faced, know-it-all spade a spade?  I think I just did.
Of course, my mini-rant calls for a meme.
Therefore it dawns on me that it doesn't matter who is holding my hand, because I'm going to have to do it myself no matter what.
I hate Dr. Phil, too.  He's a total jerkface.  I don't think he really
has a degree in psychology, but I don't feel like looking it up.
And I thought about it and I thought about it.  There was only one way to go and that was to count calories and exercise.  It sucks to count everything that goes in your mouth, (no nasty jokes there), but I gotta do it.

Furthermore, I had to apologize in advance to my husband, HIM who still remains nameless, for transmogrifying into Diet Nazi Bitch.  I suggested to HIM that the reason that he wasn't losing weight was because he was eating too many calories.  I use the S Fit app on my Samsung which is pretty damn good for doing that, if a little time consuming.  (Insert fat joke here.)  So he's counting all his calories too.  We've both lost about ten pounds, which is good, but here's the shizzy part.  He eats about 2000 calories a day and I eat about 1000 calories a day.  This SUCKS!
I love this artist.
How is that fair?  He literally eats twice as much as I do (but he did give up beer and wine) and he gets the same bennies.  This blows.  Now I've plateaued for a few days which also blows because it's depressing to get on the scale after days of STARVING YOURSELF. for pete's sake, and there is no decrease in weight.  My mantra is usually muttered in a manic fashion while glaring at the numbers on the scale, "Stick to it, stick to it, stick to it."
Oh, I've gotten pretty creative.  We had turkey hot dogs today.
I'm going on a trip to visit my sister and I'm probably going to have to apologize in advance for anything that comes out of my mouth there, but this is not just a diet, it's permanent.  I have to eat like this for the rest of my life.

Shopping at Target: Runs into the sample woman.  The sample woman says, "Here, have one."  She offers something with sausage, cheese, and other stuff on it.  I say, "I can't eat that.  I wouldn't know how to count all the $#$%^!! calories on it.  What's wrong with you?  Can't you see that I'm a fat woman on a diet?  Can't you offer it to skinny women who obviously need the calories.  Jesus Tapdancing Christ, what is the problem with you people?"  HIM: "Honey, just let it go and we'll go browse through the vegetables again."

Dieting is definitely affecting me.  I was at Home Depot the other day and was minding my own business when I stopped to let a man with a cart full of siding go in front of me.  He saw my t-shirt which said: "Home is where the wifi is at", and said, "That's the stupidest t-shirt I've ever seen."  Then I said, without pausing, which isn't usually the way I am, but it was an hour before dinner, "No one $&*@#^!! cares what you think."  Well, he was rude first, and I suppose I should have been carrying my "Danger: Dieting Fat Woman" sign, but I wasn't.  Next time, he might know not to insult a fat woman.

In conclusion, the diet endures.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

On Suicide

Yes.  I know.  Normally I joke or rant or sometimes use hyperbole with excessive exuberance.  Today, not so much.  Today, I read two articles today about depression and suicide which prompted me to be serious for a change.

The first article was from the perspective of Christine Chubbuck's brother, Greg.  Christine was a media personality who during a 1974 morning show on television, shot herself.  A link to the article is here.  A lady who suffered from bipolar disease before it was widely diagnosed, she was unhappy with her life.  There were various problems mentioned in the article from the mental illness to romantic issues to the possible inability to have children.  I'm not certain why she chose to end her life so publically, but she did, and now there a few movies cropping up about her.  Her brother describes her as "An interesting, gifted, flawed person."  What a sad way to remember a loved one.

I feel for the family.  Their loss touches me in a way most people aren't aware.  My mother killed herself in 1979.  She didn't do it on live television.  She didn't do it in front of a crowd.  Specifically, she left our family house, went to her mother's house, borrowed my grandmother's .22 pistol, and put the barrel in her mouth.  She left a two-word note underneath her glasses on the table in front of her.  "Forgive me," it said, and I've often wondered what happened to that note.  I'm not certain if I wished I'd kept it or not.

There was a tiny article in the local paper a few days later about our mother's suicide that offended my sister and me terribly.  I remember that we called up the paper's offices and said something anonymous and nasty to them.  (Upon reflection that was silly, but we felt better.)  I didn't get to say that she was an interesting, gifted, flawed person.  Much, much later, I remember her being a kind person, but a person who kept her nose in a book, and ignored what was happening all around her.  (Which is ironic considering my present profession.)

At the time of my mother's suicide, I was fifteen years old, a sophomore in high school, gleefully trotting myself down a dark path of rebelliousness.  I can't say how much my mother's death was a wakeup call, and forever changed I became thereafter.

The other article I read was written by a woman who discusses her experiences with mental disease and the effects of its impact on her life.  Stephanie Land speaks about what it was like to commit herself in a psychiatric hospital and the aftermath of financial responsibility.  See the article here.  I also took a look at some of her blog articles, which are just as compelling.  See her website/blog here.

Recently my daughter asked what happened to my parents, which proves that the past is never really past.  My father died in 1972 when I was eight.  His death was primarily due to a heart attack caused by arteriosclerosis.  (Those fried catfish done him in.  Sorry, Dad.)  Answering what had happened to my father came naturally if ruefully, and doesn't bother me.  When it comes to answering about my mother, I had to be a little more discrete.  I wouldn't have thought that I'm ashamed of my mother's death by suicide, although at one point in my life I was very much aware that I was wretchedly mortified to admit it.  So in the present, it was more like I didn't want to sully my daughter's head, which leads down that same mental path that suicide/mental disease is something that is inherently dirty.  I don't remember my exact words to my daughter, but it went something like, "My mother was very unhappy.  Because she was so unhappy she thought that she should die.  I've often wished that she talked to me or someone else about it instead."  And my daughter was very understanding.  I dislike lying to my daughter so I try not to lie about things like death and taxes.  (The whole Santa Claus/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy is making me itchy under the collar because she's gotten to the age where the holiday cat should be out of the bag.)

In a similar manner, I told my daughter the truth about her grandmother.  I didn't go into detail.  I didn't specify how and why, and I could have because when my grandmother found my mother's body, she called me up.  I ran the half block to her house and opened the front door to see my mother on the sofa with blood coming out of her ears, nose, and mouth.  My grandmother was washing her hands in the sink, and I didn't immediately understand what had happened.  I rushed to my mother's side, thinking she'd had some kind of stroke, and I checked her pulse.  Much later, the EMTs were standing in front of her body laughing about something and I screamed at them to get out of the house because her death was not something amusing.  This is very likely the most dreadful memory I have in my life.

And therefore I came to the conclusion that even now, some 37 years later, there is still a tinge of shame in the manner of my mother's death.  I don't like to say that I am.  I certainly can't change what happened, but I can change the way I think about it.

The impact of my mother's death continues to be felt.  Not only did it color my life (I have two degrees that relate directly to the circumstances of her death) but I've suffered through three episodes of major depression in my life, including a five year period directly after her death.  I don't know if my family was aware of my problems or that they chose to ignore them, but I remember getting advice like, "You should make more friends," and "You should just go out more."  I had to work myself out of my depression, and I had to do it in a way that I would never recommend.  My marriage was one of several keys to my recovery.  HIM, the man to whom I'm married, may never know how much he truly helped me.

Mental illness continues to be swept under the carpet like a redheaded stepchild that must be hidden away in a closet when visitors appear.

For those of you who need help, here's the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255.

The link to their website is here.

I wish this had been an option for my mother.  Or for myself for that matter.

Coming Soon - Bubba and the Curse of the Boogity-Boo. Available December 21st, 2018 It’s two weeks until Bubba’s wife, Willodean...