Tag Archives: MurderCon

It’s All Fun and Games . . . Until It Isn’t.

I hate sounding like a Negative Nellie but the last few months have gone by at an alarming rate and I’m not sure I have much to show for it. We’re settling into our new home a bit slower than I anticipated. Being a creature of instant gratification does not bode well when certain projects take months to complete or when I can’t even instigate a start date until next year. I’m learning patience . . . and can’t say I find the virtue terribly endearing.

Even though we live at a higher elevation and enjoy cooler temperatures than metro areas like Tucson and Phoenix, it was still hot this summer. My courtyard is concrete surrounded by an adobe wall. No matter how much I watered, my plants suffered from the heat which sometimes reached 115 degrees or more during mid-day. I needed a plan to alter the reflective, heat-absorbing design before next summer and I think I have a solution. We’re installing a large pergola with water misters to lower the temperature. I’m re-landscaping the border flower beds with succulents and adding garden totems for color, relocating the rose bushes and forsythia to the back of the house where I plan to create a little oasis in the middle of the landscaping rock and trees surrounding our property.

I discovered no matter how much time I invested in pulling weeds from the roots, they continued to invade our property at an alarming rate. After enduring snide remarks and laughter from my neighbors because I refused to use Round-Up or any toxic weed killer, I finally succumbed to the urge and sprayed the outer perimeters. Before moving here, I thought tumbleweeds were quaint and picturesque, a lovely symbol of the old west. They are now my enemy and I am waging war. Plus, the darned things have stickers that embed their gnarly little thorns in my fingers even through leather gloves.

I erected a multi-unit bird feeder pole outside my office window. It was lovely watching the little guys hop around from feeding station to the feeding station. But then the doves invaded. They kicked, shoved, bullied their way through the seed, tossing it to the ground with an irreverence that was beyond annoying. I tried to compromise with a ground feeder but they preferred to chase away my little lovelies, bobbing their heads with an attitude that clearly said, “We’re not sharing.” If there is such a thing as dove “tagging” on feeders, I’m sure these pillagers marked their territory. I kept a loaded water gun at my desk and delighted in squirting the feathered marauders through an open screened window. My day soon changed from writing and doing business to plotting battle lines and plans of attack. Realizing I was taking things way too personally, especially after watching Bill Murray pursue a gopher in the movie, Caddyshack and recognizing a disturbing similarity to my own actions, I resigned to moving the bird feeder to another area. I’m now more productive. Calmer. Happier. But still pissed off at those damn doves!

I took a couple of breaks from the bird droppings and constant weed pulling to attend two incredible writer’s conferences – one of which was MurderCon, presented by Writer’s Police Academy in conjunction with Sirchie Institute. It was all about homicide but included so much more. I filled an entire spiral with notes. Wow!!! Truly an amazing experience. I also attended one of the best “small” conferences in the area – Sister’s in Crime Desert Sleuth chapter’s Write Now conference in Scottsdale. Great speakers, great information, great location. Another wow!

As I mentioned earlier, I’m short on patience – so I took a seasonal job working at an Amazon fulfillment center. It’s a good opportunity. Pays well. Will fund my projects and more. But I hurt in places I didn’t know I had muscles. This work is not for the faint of heart or old people. I’m hanging in but only by a thread. It’s little consolation to know I’ve outlasted much younger people in my hire “class” when I can barely straighten up to full standing height after a 10-hour shift. I truly hope I make it through these next two months but I’m not placing any bets. It’s almost time to hit the hiking trails . . . but I may not have the time or energy.

In the midst of this turmoil, hubs and I found a happy place creating and selling Thunder Gourds, and offering organic CBD at a few local farmer’s markets. Our favorite is Tombstone. Such a fun town and our fellow vendors are great. There’s always a nice blend of locals and tourists, and the cowboys in period dress are interesting eye candy.

In the midst of this turmoil, hubs and I found a happy place making and selling Thunder Gourds, and offering organic CBD at a few local farmer’s markets. Our favorite is Tombstone. Such a fun town and our fellow vendors are great. There’s always a nice blend of locals and tourists, and the cowboys in period dress are interesting eye candy. 🙂

So that’s all the news from here. How did you spend YOUR summer vacation?