Sunday, August 27, 2017

Trying Something New

I've been writing this blog for several years, always trying to "capture" an essence of what I wanted to say, but always failing in the completion.  Okay, not a total failure, but I've always felt my blogs were somewhat lackluster. Yes, occasionally I would have one that stood out, glistening in the sunlight, but more often than not, most of the posts were either drab, boring updates or some rant. Again, maybe more rants than updates.

Today I want to try something different. In addition to my usual mundane update and/or rant, I want to add personal items about me.

Why, you ask? Because I want you to know me, the guy who puts this all together. Sure, everyone knows I write and I cook and I have a wife, kids and grandkids. But... do you really know me?

First, my updates. I've been busy the last few weeks doing edits for my writing clients. I really enjoy doing them because I get to be on the cutting edge of what is new coming out. Plus, I feel I am giving back to the writing community, teaching others how to improve their skills as writers.

If all goes well, once more I'll be teaching a class at Terra State Community College in Fremont, OH. This one will be a shorter class, about three weeks. It is about using dialog for characterization. I'm hoping the students find it useful and helpful.

My garden is coming to harvest.  I have nine (9) tomato plants with a couple of plants of several different varieties. I tried something different this year rather than the same old types as I have grown in the past.  The most unusual one was the Jersey Devil, a 'Roma-type' tomato. Here's a picture of them growing and another with my hand around one still growing to ripeness.

Notice their length? And inside is basically all meat with just a few seeds.  Great for salsa, stewed tomatoes and purees.

This is my wife's first batch of salsa for 2017. There wasn't quite enough to make 8 pints so Yours Truly got to do a little QC that night.  And I wiped out what was left of the tortilla chips.  My wife went to the store and bought two big bags so I won't run out. She has since canned 6 qts of stewed tomatoes, another 11 pts of salsa and 8 pts of tomato juice. She looked at the garden and made the following comment. "[heavy sigh] And this is only the start of the season."

I should mention she also canned 9 qts of dill pickles, 8 pts of banana peppers and I have a couple heads of cabbage - to which I will make a lot of egg rolls for the freezer. There is a bevy of green peppers and I'll be making my infamous freezer green pepper casseroles for the winter.

In addition to all this canning, we're also camping. I finally got the RV toilet repaired. It became a fiasco with always something to stymie me as I attempted the project. Let's just say, after several months (this started the fall of 2016) we were finally able to go camping, and camping we did. Almost a month of camping. A week with friends, a week alone, a week with granddaughters and another week alone. Sure, it was only for a few days each week... being honest, the first week was five nights, the week alone was four nights, the one with the granddaughters was three nights since we had other activities planned and the last week was another four nighter.  We prefer to camp during the week to avoid the weekend chaos and cramped camping.  With school just around the corner, camping is going to be mostly seniors until the nights get too cold. Me? I enjoy those brisk nights, sitting around the campfire, enjoying the fall in all its glorious colors. Having been involved with Scouting since I was 10 yrs old, I have no issue camping when the snow flies and have done it several times - in a tent, no less!

Oh, before I forget. I actually got back to writing my own stuff again. Last night I was able to put just a hair over 1000 words to my followup Amish novel - The New York Voice.  It will still need some heavy-handed editing, but I'm thrilled to be writing, again.

Now, for the new stuff.  Here goes...

My favorite color ever since I was a little kid, let's say at least a half century ago... plus a tad more, was red. I love red. But, I've matured a lot since I was a grade school kid and my colors have changed. Not really. I still love red but it is so brash. I've learned I also love green, especially the deep forest greens. And I enjoy a good shade of blue. My wife has taught me to embrace shades of purple, more so the violet shades she enjoys.

One of my granddaughters wanted to make me something special for my birthday and asked my favorite color. I tried to explain my hesitancy to blurt out the color red, instead telling her I liked all the colors of the rainbow.  She made me key chain fob. It was very colorful with red being the main color, but she did a great job blending in all the other colors and not make it look like a rainbow but have almost every color of the rainbow in it.

As with my choice in colors, my music choices are even more eclectic. One cannot point at me and say 'There goes a rock and roll man' or 'He's really into classical music.' Me? I roll with the waves of the ocean and my music is about as varied as the waves of the seas. To get you started, here's one of my favorite music groups, Brulé performing 'Spirit Horses.'

No, I am not Native American, but, even as a young lad playing "Cowboy and Indians" - yes, I'm THAT old - my younger brother always had to be the cowboy with the guns which left me the Indian. As I got older I was drawn to the American Indian mystique and enjoyed doing beading and recreating Indian headdresses. I even learned, at the "ripe" age of 15 some words of the Indians who lived in the NW Ohio area - the Delaware aka the Lenni Lenape or just plain, Lenape. 

Anyway, to give you a little more insight to me, here's another piece of music I enjoy.

Now, so you totally understand what I mean by the words "I enjoy" or "love" this music. I have these songs on my computer and have had them on my computer for decades for some of them. I listen to them repeatedly - and I do mean repeatedly. I may play a song over and over - as many as a dozen or more times - before moving on to the next song. Some of my music has transferred across as many as ten different computers and laptops over time. Probably more. I kept my music list on all - and I mean ALL - my computers... even at work. My play list is now about four (4) hours long and I keep adding to it as new songs come along or I find a digital copy of an old song I just have to have.

If you have a favorite piece of music, share it with me. Maybe we'll find a common ground.

In future blogs we'll discuss my favorite foods, share some recipes, more music, what I enjoy reading and whatever I feel is necessary for you to know me, Bob Nailor - the guy, the husband, the father, the grandfather and great-grandfather, the writer, the traveler, the gardener, and more.

Until next I ramble on...