Tuesday Thoughts: Begin the Chili Season!

Yep, we had the first of the chili cook offs we are helping out at this past weekend. We were in Arlington, VT. Vermont is such a pretty state, so the drive is quite lovely. We’ve had a long time off since our last cook off last year, but now we are heading into a stretch of almost constant weekends where we will be off to play Chief Judge and Scorekeeper.

We do get to take Lambeau to this one, and he gets to stay in a hotel overnight. The cook off is held in conjunction with the Arlington Fire Department’s carnival, so turn in times are late, with red chili (the last event) being judged at 6 PM. We added Homestyle this year, and that gets judged early so the cooks can then serve the rest of that chili as their People’s Choice.What that means is that it’s a long and tiring day, and we don’t make the drive home after it. We stay at a very lovely and dog friendly hotel, the Harwood Hill Motel. They have really cool grounds. They bring in artwork and sculptures from artists in the local area and some nearby states and display it in the rooms and on the grounds. All of the art is for sale. It’s a great concept and makes for interesting walks because a lot of the stuff is different every year.

As for Mr. Lambeau, he had a great time. People love him, and he loves everyone, so he gets a lot of attention and fussing over. There were three kids who were especially happy to come and pet him and fuss over him. I took him out with them for a while and they tossed his toy for him to run and fetch. He was a good boy. A little jumping, but most people were good about not letting him get away with it. He was good in the hotel room, too. A little confused, I think, because we don’t stay overnight for most of the cook offs he goes to, but he did okay. There’s a dog park just a short distance up the road from the hotel, so he got some time there, too.

I got a new smartwatch last week. It’s a Fossil Q Venture, and it’s pretty! Rose gold case and band, with tiny crystal accents around the dial and on the band. I wanted one that would be a fully functional smartwatch as well as looking nice. So many of them look like sports watches, which is fine for every day wear, but I wanted something that would look nice when I am dressed up, too. This fits both nicely. It’s big, but the round face is a better look on my wrist than the square ones, I think. And it is a bit on the heavy side, but I find I don’t really notice it anymore.

So far, I like it. It was blowing through the battery pretty quickly the first couple days, but after reading up a bit, I changed a few settings and it seems to be doing much better now. I’m still learning how to use it and some things are still a bit confusing, but I am sure that is just getting used to it. I do like the fact that I don’t have to dig my phone out of my pocket or purse every time I get an email or text message. And if I don’t have pockets (curse you, designers of women’s clothing!), I don’t miss my steps because I have to put my phone down to do something.

I had to run string from the deck railing down to the cucumber box for the vines to climb on. They outgrew the trellis around the box so quickly, and are almost to the level of the deck now. I will be picking cucumbers from the deck before long! The tomatoes are getting huge as well, and have lots of green tomatoes on them. I keep looking for signs of ripening! I picked a bowl full of kale last night from the boxes under the lights in the basement. It’s nice having fresh picked produce right here. And it’s yummy!

Last, just another reminder that my books are still on sale at Smashwords, and will be until the end of the month. Circle Unbroken, the sci-fi novel, and Six of One, the collection of short stories, are half price. The shorter pieces are free. You can read the short synopses of them below, and pick them up here.


 Coming in December 2018: Two’s Company, a sci-fi novel in the space opera tradition. Artificial intelligence, corporate plots, spaceships, a heroine with an attitude. More details soon!

Available now :

tn_Circle Unbroken Cover (eBook)

After five years away, Kaili is coming home for the ceremony to install her sister as head of the family business. When an old rivalry threatens the family, Kaili and her partner need to use all their skills to save the sisters’ lives. Learn more here



tn_Six of One

A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.




tn_Survival of the Fittest (Front Cover)

A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final environmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.





In a world reeling under the effects of severe climate change, food shortages are common, and arable farmland is scarce. Unscupulous distributors like Beni Oligowma take advantage of the shortages for their own gain. When a promising new technology for growing food even under the harsh conditions is unveiled, grocery store owner Frank is determined to see that everyone is able to benefit from the results, not just the Benis of the world.
Feed My People is a short story, set in a dystopian science fiction world, and is free. Learn more here

Five and Daemonthumb

Demon hunters Johnny and Cerise travel to the small town of Carroll Fork where they find a demon-possessed thrift store, a sweet old lady who is more than she seems, and an army of underworld inhabitants. Can Johnny and his trusty yo-yo save the town from a devil of a problem?

Five and Daemon, the Yo-Yo Files #1, is a short novelette in an urban fantasy setting, with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here


Things have been quiet. No demonic possessions, no otherworldly intrusions, nothing. And then Lucifer shows up in Johnny’s living room, claiming that two archangels are missing, and something is definitely not right in the heavenly- and other- realms. Saying he has nothing to do with it- this time- he asks Johnny and Cerise to help him find out what’s happening, and who is behind the disappearances. While they are trying to do just that, Lucifer is devilnapped by a larger-than-life serpent. He manages to get a clue to Johnny before he disappears. Johnny and Cerise are left to puzzle out the disappearances and try to find the missing angels. Oh, and stop what could mean the ultimate destruction of pretty much everything.

Snake’s Alive, the Yo-Yo Files #2 is an urban fantasy novelette with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here.