Painting, Writing, Poll Worker: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

If you’ve been following my blog for a long time, you may remember that in October 2018, I brought my mom from New York to live with me here in Arizona. We had decorated the room she was in with a fresh coat of lilac paint, her favorite color. She passed on December 31, 2018. To be honest, I hadn’t done much with the room since then. However, a few days ago my hubby decided that lilac was too feminine and wanted to repaint. I went in the room for a moment. Pictures of her children and grand-children and great-grand-children, and her beloved dog now long past, were on the walls. Shelves held her bric-a-brac. I took a last look and said yes. So we emptied the walls, moved the lighter furniture out of the room, and prepped it for painting. You can see above, the taped walls and the dot of the test patch, a suede-brown, that my husband chose. I’ll miss the lilac color. I really liked it. But, as with all things, it’s time to move on. I still have her pictures and some of the bric-a-brac. I definitely still have the memories.

Last week I volunteered to be a poll worker for the Arizona Primary. The experience was interesting, as I’d never done that kind of work before. The day started at 3:30am for me as I wanted a shower before I left the house. Then I had a half-hour drive to the little town north of us where I’d been assigned to work. After reviewing my handbook, I felt I was ready. The small town where I was working doesn’t usually have a huge turnout. Arizona has mail-in balloting and most people vote that way. So there was some time on and off through the day where I could pick up my Jean Hays story and fill in some of the story from her time in Afghanistan. I filled 10 hand-written pages with two scenes. I felt good about it and I’m sure those of you waiting for the next story will be glad to hear that. Later in the week I typed up my hand-written notes and did some light editing. The scenes aren’t inserted into the story yet but I know about where they’ll go in the manuscript.

As for the poll work, the polling place had a larger than usual turnout. There were several hotly contested local races so interest was high. I found the entire process fascinating. We spent the day in masks and social distancing. We also were wiping down tables, voting booths, door handles, and pretty much any other spot we saw voters touching. It’s been a week since then and I’ve stayed home, just in case. One more week at home and I’ll feel confident I didn’t pick up the Corona. With the election coming up, there will be a need for poll workers and poll watchers again in November. Call your county registrar if you’d like to help out. I’m already signed up for November.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Giveaways:

The spring giveaway, Spring Flings and Book Things, is over. I’ll let you know when the winners are drawn.

In the meantime, the Summer giveaway is now in progress! Check it out here: https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. As always, each author is giving away at least 2 prizes and there’s a Paypal cash grand prize.

Where will I Be?

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting, has been officially rescheduled. The new date for my apprearance is October 26th, still at 1pm. So if you happen to be in Pine, AZ on that date, Come on by. I’ll have some books available for purchase and signing.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming. Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Fund Raiser Reminder, Hibernation, Gardening, Smashwords July Summer/Winter Sale: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

It’s the last few days and I’m asking that people donate to my favorite 501c3 non-profit, the Payson Book Festival as my birthday fundraiser. Cancelled this year for the Coronavirus, I thought I’d try to get a jump on earning money so that the 2021 Payson Book Festival will be even better than before. So if you’d care to, pop on over to Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/donate/952277878565180/10217646111446962/, and drop a little money into the kitty. You can find out more about our festival at www.PaysonBookFestival.org.

Avocado Pesto

How many of you are using this time to make some changes in your life? Losing weight? Working out? Writing more? That would not be me. I’m in a twilight zone, scrolling through Facebook, writing small, almost throw away things, and have hardly touched a vegetable, unless you count tomato pasta sauce. Hibernation. That’s what I’m doing. Keep up the good work, whatever you’re doing. Share if you’d care to.

From a couple of years ago

The garden, well at least the tomatoes and the green sweet pepper plant are doing well. The squash plants keep having their blossoms eaten, probably by the squirrel or the chipmunks, so if I get a zucchini or a yellow squash it will be a miracle. Are you growing anything? Share a picture if you’d like.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Giveaways:

New sale! Over on Smashwords starting the 1st of July, it’s the summer/winter sale. Several of my books are on sale and I hope you get a chance to go to that site and check them out. Click on the link and scroll through the list to see books on discount sale. Have fun and check out some other authors while you’re there! https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/conniecockrell Don’t forget. The sale starts 1 July and ends on the 31st.

The spring giveaway, Spring Flings and Book Things, is over. I’ll let you know when the winners are drawn.

In the meantime, the Summer giveaway is now in progress! Check it out here: https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. As always the authors are giving away at least 2 prizes and there’s a Paypal cash grand prize.

Where will I Be?

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting, has been rescheduled. The new date for my appearance is October 26th, still at 1pm. So, if you happen to be in Pine, AZ on that date, come on by. I’ll have some books available for purchase and signing.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming. Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Art, BookShop.Org, The Garden, Fire: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

I belong to a Facebook group that does casual art. The admin posts a new prompt once a day and if you feel the prompt, you draw, paint, photograph to the prompt. The other day the prompt was campfire. Above is what I did. It’s pencil and watercolor paint on art paper.

The other day I was scrolling through Facebook posts and there was one from an author group I belong to talking about a newish website called BookShop.org. They said the site had their books on it so I clicked over to take a look. BookShop’s About page describe it as an alternative to Amazon and the site supports local bookstores. I went ahead and set up a page on there. You can now find my books, all except Gold Dreams, at bookshop.org/shop/conniesrandomthoughts. Check it out.

The weather here has been hot and dry and windy. My garden plants are taking a bit of a beating but still doing well. The tomato plants are blooming, so that’s a good thing, though I won’t have any tomatoes until well after the 4th of July. The basil is still surviving, and the potatoes are dying back quickly. I just need to harvest them promptly when they’re ready. The peas and beans that were overwhelmed by the potatoes are now visible and the peas, especially, seem quite happy. They’re blooming too. The roses are past their 1st glorious bloom and if I weren’t so lazy, I’d deadhead them and get a nice second blush. Sigh.

https://wildfiretoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Bush-Fire-closes-Hwy-87.jpg

There is a major fire burning just 60 miles south of us, called the Bush Fire. https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6773/ Nearby neighborhoods, directly east of the fire just this morning, have been issued an evacuate order. The air here is smoky and people with breathing problems have been advised to stay indoors. This was a human caused fire, a car caught fire on the highway that runs between Phoenix and Payson. So not deliberately set. Unfortunately, it has closed the highway since Friday afternoon and the traffic confusion that has resulted on Saturday and Sunday has been immense. All the valley campers up here for the weekend were forced to take very long reroutes to get back home. I17, to our west, had 50-mile backups as there was a fire near that travel artery as well. Arizona is beautiful, but escape routes, especially for rural areas like ours can be down to just one or two ways out. So everyone who heads out of your city and to the country for weekends or vacations, please, please, please follow no burn rules if they’re in place. A careless camper can devastate miles and miles of countryside, potentially destroying local towns, and send residents running for their lives. We have a saying up here, “If it’s not camping without a campfire, just think what it’s like with no forest.”

Stay safe. Stay well.

Giveaways:

The spring giveaway, Spring Flings and Book Things, is now open. You can get to it here, on my Giveaways page.

Where will I Be?

Phoenix Fan Fusion, September 25th – 27th. This event has been postponed until the end of September. Note that the event is a day shorter, starting on Friday rather than Thursday. For people who have special Thursday passes and other special tickets, check out the Fan Fusion website for details on how those will be handled.

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting, has been officially rescheduled. The new date for my appearance is October 26th, still at 1pm. So if you happen to be in Pine, AZ on that date, come on by. I’ll have some books available for purchase and signing.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming. Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Wildlife, The Garden: Monday Blog Post

Found out this is a Gopher Snake.

Newest News:

So, just an Arizona thing. We went for a drive around town in areas we don’t normally travel, just to see what’s new, where new homes are being built, just a joy ride. On a back street, we saw the above fellow, crossing the street. It isn’t a rattlesnake, as there are no rattles. We don’t know what he is but he was a good three plus feet long. Handsome, isn’t he? Any pictures of wildlife in your area you’d like to share?

A rose getting a drink from the birdbath.

The tomato and pepper plants I bought last week have survived the heat and the chipmunks. So at Saturday’s Farmer’s Market, I decided to press my luck and bought two basil plants. We’ll see if chipmunks like those. The roses are mostly gone, now, and the arugula has all gone to flowers. The lavender in the front yard is almost ready to bloom. Things are happening all over the yard. I have not yet seen our Chiricahua lizards yet this year but there have been plenty of others, darting around both the front and the back. The hummingbirds are also returning. Not enough as yet, to hang the second feeder, but they’re out there, fighting about who gets to drink at the feeder we do have up.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Giveaways:

The spring giveaway, Spring Flings and Book Things, is now open. You can get to it here, on my Giveaways page.

Where will I Be?

Phoenix Fan Fusion, September 25th – 27th. This event has been postponed until the end of September. Note that the event is a day shorter, starting on Friday rather than Thursday. For people who have special Thursday passes and other special tickets, check out the Fan Fusion website for details on how those will be handled.

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting, has been officially rescheduled. The new date for my appearance is October 26th, still at 1pm. So if you happen to be in Pine, AZ on that date, come on by. I’ll have some books available for purchase and signing.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming. Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Mother’s Day, Horror Flash Fiction, ebook Sale: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

I love the way this red-orange one has only opened the outermost petals. The rest is still a bud!

The tenth was Mother’s Day and like pretty much everyone under stay at home orders, I had a lovely day at home. Hope you had a great one. I lazed half the morning away reading emails, watching Food Network shows and having breakfast. Then I watered the garden, had a shower, and took some time to macerate some strawberries for strawberry shortcake. I found a Paleo Lemon Pound Cake recipe and made that as my shortcake base. Dinner, however, is less elegant. I have a fridge full of leftovers, so we’ll be having left over pork scallopini, Cauliflower rice with asparagus, and the afore mentioned shortcake for dessert. Not bad, right? The rest of my rose bushes are blooming. Above is a picture of one of the red ones. It’s an orangey red. Below is a coral peach color one. I love both of them.

This one is a coral peach color, which in full sun, the camera on my phone didn’t capture very well.

I found a contest for a Horror Christmas/New Year/Solstice short story contest and I’ve been working on a story. I think I’m doing well on the scary part. My ending is a happy one though. Those of you who like to read horror, would a happy ending be disappointing? Comment back if you have an opinion, I’d really like to know.

I should mention here that I have a sale going on over on the Smashwords site. https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/conniecockrell This is my author page and as you scroll down, you’ll see all of my books. Since I make my books as inexpensive as possible right from the start, I don’t usually do sales but because of the lockdown, I did put some on sale for 60% off. You’ll see the sale prices listed on the ones on sale. This runs through the end of the month, so hop on board an get some reading in. Prices will return to normal June 1st so don’t delay.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Giveaways:

The spring giveaway, Spring Flings and Book Things, is now open. You can get to it here, on my Giveaways page.

Where will I Be?

Payson Book Festival, at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino, Payson AZ. This event is now cancelled the next festival is July 17th, 2021. The danger to our authors, volunteers, and guests just seemed too great to hold the event. I’m disappointed, as are the committee, volunteers and authors already scheduled to attend. With luck, next year will be much better.

CokoCon 2020, September 4 – 7th, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Phoenix Tempe, 2100 S Tempe, AZ. This event hasn’t been cancelled yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Phoenix Fan Fusion, September 25th – 27th. This event has been postponed until the end of September. Note that the event is a day shorter, starting on Friday rather than Thursday. For people who have special Thursday passes and other special tickets, check out the Fan Fusion website for details on how those will be handled.

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting, has been officially rescheduled. The new date for my appearance is October 26th, still at 1pm. So if you happen to be in Pine, AZ, on that date, come on by. I’ll have some books available for purchase and signing.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Dinners, Poetry, Good Causes: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

So, during our stay at home, I’ve been cooking dinners regularly. Of course we have the occasional frozen pizza night and a hot dogs and French fry supper but I’ve been quite likely to try new stuff too. The other night I made a chicken satay. I saw a Youtube video of some guy who does food tours of the food in Vietnam, Laos, and China, and one of the things he tried was a street vendor’s chicken satay. It looked good so I tried to make my own. It turned out pretty good and it was a fun, dinner on a stick, that we don’t do more than once every five years. Last night I tried marinated pork chops with a pineapple salsa. That was good, too. What are you experimenting with for dinner?

I’m still participating in April’s Poetry month. I post a new poem every day on my Facebook page if you’re looking for something quick and fun to read. https://www.facebook.com/ConniesRandomThoughts/ You can participate if you like. I sometimes give links and other hints for writing your own poetry.

Bald Eagle at our local pond. Taken by Randy Cockrell.

Have you seen people on Facebook announcing their birthday but instead of gifts, are asking people to donate to a cause? I’ve run this question a couple of weeks now. I noticed yesterday that my second brother set up a donation thing for his Amateur Radio Club for his birthday. Hmm. I’ll have to step up my game, though at this point I’m thinking donations to my local food banks would be most appropriate. Have you ever set up a Facebook donation for your birthday? What did you choose?

Stay safe. Stay well.

Giveaways:

The spring giveaway, Spring Flings and Book Things, is now open. You can get to it here, on my Giveaways page. As soon as the winners are announced for the St. Patrick’s giveaway, I’ll let you know.

Where will I Be?

Payson Book Festival, July 18th at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino, Payson AZ. This event is under consideration for cancellation. We’ll know more in May

CokoCon 2020, September 4 – 7th, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Phoenix Tempe, 2100 S Tempe, AZ. This event hasn’t been cancelled yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Phoenix Fan Fusion, September 25th – 27th. This event has been postponed until the end of September. Note that the event is a day shorter, starting on Friday rather than Thursday. For people who have special Thursday passes and other special tickets, check out the Fan Fusion website for details on how those will be handled.

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting, April 27th has been officially rescheduled. The new date for my appearance is October 26th, still at 1pm. So if you happen to be in Pine, AZ on that date, come on by. I’ll have some books available for purchase.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on AmazonAppleBarnes and NobleKobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance. Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Easter, The Corona, Upkeep, Writing, My Birthday: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

It’s Easter Monday, and I hope everyone had a pleasant Easter Sunday. I spent time listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing Handel’s Messiah. A moving piece of music for sure and of course, the Choir did an excellent job of it. I made pork shoulder in the crockpot for our dinner. The resulting bbq sandwiches were quite enjoyable. Not my usual Easter dinner but with just the two of us in the house, we didn’t miss the usual ham, mashed potatoes, and sides. Our little town’s police and fire departments joined together to escort the Easter Bunny around town, waving to everyone. Of course the kids really enjoyed it. I didn’t see it in person, though I heard the sirens at the end of my block early this morning. Many pictures showed up on the town’s Facebook page, though. I thought it was a nice gesture and surely appreciated by all the kids.

Still no issues at my house with the coronavirus. Hubby and I are social distancing, and wearing my new, homemade masks when we do have to go out in public. My daughter received the masks I sent and she and her roommate were happy to have them. She lives in California and has noticed that people out without masks are given quite the stink eye. She now feels safer. Our town’s hospital has been prepping for people who may get sick. Only three cases have been confirmed here, and none of them required hospitalization. Matter of fact, one person has already recovered though still in quarantine. I do hope all of you are safe and well.

As with many people, we spend some time doing household upkeep, just to keep ourselves busy. My husband has taken on re-staining our wooden fence. You can see from the picture, our fence borders a big drainage ditch. Working so closely to the fence is tiring and he has enlisted my help. So while the last couple of days have been idle due to threat of rain, we are out there together, getting the fence done. With brushes. The slow way. But it does leave a great coat of stain on the fence so we’re happy about that.

I’m looking at the last paragraph of my post and am shocked to realize I haven’t released anything since last May. It’s not that I don’t have a lot of projects in process. I do think I have just been burnt out and to be honest, my mother’s death just before New Year’s last year really set me back. The unfinished works I have sitting on my hard drive have been nagging at me and I hope to get something new, anything new, out in the near future.

Have you seen people on Facebook announcing their birthday but instead of gifts, are asking people to donate to a cause? I have too and I’ve been intrigued. I’m past the point where I want more stuff in my house. With that in mind, I’m considering doing the donation thing. I have several options of a cause in mind. One is the National Kidney Foundation, in memory of my mom. However, with the Corona, I know our local food banks are suffering. Which do you think would be a better cause?

On the positive posting side of new work, April is National Poetry month and I’ve been writing a new poem daily with a group on Facebook. If you’d like a quick getaway, I also post the poems on my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ConniesRandomThoughts/. They’re a quick read and sometimes fun, sometimes thoughtful. You’d like to join in the poetry writing fun? Check out https://www.facebook.com/groups/178557275869627/. Tell Stephanie I invited you!

See below for cancellations and changed dates for my appearances.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Giveaways:

The spring giveaway, Spring Flings and Book Things, is now open. You can get to it here, on my Giveaways page. As soon as the winners are announced for the St. Patrick’s giveaway, I’ll let you know.

Where will I Be?

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting, April 27th has been officially rescheduled. The new date for my appearance is October 26th, still at 1pm. So if you happen to be in Pine, AZ on that date, come on by. I’ll have some books available for purchase.

Payson Book Festival, July 18th at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino, Payson AZ. This event is under consideration for cancellation. We’ll know more in May

CokoCon 2020, September 4 – 7th, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Phoenix Tempe, 2100 S Tempe, AZ. This event hasn’t been cancelled yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Phoenix Fan Fusion, September 25th – 27th. This event has been postponed until the end of September. Note that the event is a day shorter, starting on Friday rather than Thursday. For people who have special Thursday passes and other special tickets, check out the Fan Fusion website for details on how those will be handled.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on AmazonAppleBarnes and NobleKobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Gardening, One Problem after Another, Masks, Poetry, Giveaways: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Sunday I spent some time in the yard, enjoying the sunshine and warm weather. I watered the two flower pots out front that have pansies in them. They’ve been there five days and the javelina haven’t found them yet. They like to snack on the flowers, pulling them up by the roots, eating the flower part and spreading root balls and dirt in all directions. So far so good. I also watered my lavender and my fruit trees. A good long soak to get deep to the roots. Then, my biggest challenge was to repot my jade plant. I’d put it in a pretty but narrow necked jar two years ago and it was definitely looking like it needed repotting. The problem was to get it out of the jar. It wasn’t easy. I soaked the root ball and slid my hand down into the jar and around the root ball to break it up. With a lot of effort, I got it out but minus the lower third of the roots. I repotted it in a wide mouth pot this time and watered it well. Cross your fingers for it to survive the abuse.

Problems. If you own a house or the appliances and furniture in your apartment, you eventually end up with issues. Since Friday my poor husband has had to fix a number of things. First was the ice maker in the refrigerator. True, having an ice maker quit isn’t exactly an earth-shattering problem but I use my ice maker all the time. So, after tinkering with it, then dumping out all the ice into a container to use as needed, then tinkering some more. He fixed it. At the time we both decided the ice maker was broken, all I could see was a giant repair bill. We’d had a repairman come to the house once before for a previous fridge. Hundreds of dollars later, it was fixed. Thank goodness we didn’t have that this time. If a repair person would come out in the middle of a shut down anyway. Second was the Prius. Hubby got in it early Sunday morning to make our grocery run. It wouldn’t start. That’s never a good start to the day. Anyway, he took the second car and when he got home, spent some time with the owner’s manual to try and figure it out. Turns out the 2nd battery, the one that starts the car, was dead. He managed to find a new battery at a local car parts store and got it fixed. Disaster averted, but it wasn’t cheap. New batteries for Prius’ are expensive.

Hubby asked me to make him a mask to wear out in public. So Friday and Saturday I did. It took me three hours to make two camo masks, one for my husband and one for my daughter’s room mate. The next day, I made two more, one for me and one for my daughter. The second time around it went a lot faster. These pleated masks have a pocket to put a filter in them. My sister-in-law, the nurse, told me about these and she uses the best hepa furnace filters she can find to put in the pocket. So, anyway, they’re done.

April is National Poetry month and I’ve been writing a new poem daily with a group on Facebook. If you’d like a quick getaway, I also post the poems on my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ConniesRandomThoughts/. They’re a quick read and sometimes fun, sometimes thoughtful. You’d like to join in the poetry writing fun? Check out https://www.facebook.com/groups/178557275869627/. Tell Stephanie I invited you!

The St. Patrick’s Day giveaway is done. I’ll post my winners as soon as I get them.

See below for cancellations and changed dates for my appearances.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Giveaways:

The spring giveaway, Spring Flings and Book Things, is now open. You can get to it here, on my Giveaways page. As soon as the winners are announced for the St. Patrick’s giveaway, I’ll let you know.

Where will I Be?

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting, April 27th at 1pm. This event hasn’t been officially cancelled though the library is closed through April. If anything changes, I’ll let you know.

Payson Book Festival, July 18th at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino, Payson AZ. This event hasn’t been cancelled yet. I’ll keep you posted.

CokoCon 2020, September 4 – 7th, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Phoenix Tempe, 2100 S Tempe, AZ. This event hasn’t been cancelled yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Phoenix Fan Fusion, September 25th – 27th. This event has been postponed until the end of September. Note that the event is a day shorter, starting on Friday rather than Thursday. For people who have special Thursday passes and other special tickets, check out the Fan Fusion website for details on how those will be handled.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on AmazonAppleBarnes and NobleKobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

The Garden, Navajo Flatbread, Appearance News: Monday Blog Post

My nectarine tree in full bloom

Newest News:

So, finally cleaned up the 3 backyard raised garden beds. They only had a few stems and dead leaves in them. I have no idea why I kept putting it off since November. It took all of five minutes to clean. Sigh. I also went to the front yard and pruned off the dead stems from the lavender plant. I hate that job and it took me about an hour. Now though, it’s done, and the plant is all ready to put out new flower shoots. The weather here is getting warmer, even though we can still get frosts and maybe even a late snow. No matter. I’m going to put in some lettuces and maybe even the peas. I’m certainly going to put in my Swiss Chard. It’s a mild kind, all green, that substitutes really well for spinach, which I can never grow. With luck, the chipmunks will leave it all alone. The bunny from last year must have moved on when it ran out of my garden veggies to eat. I haven’t seen it in months.

I found this easy bread recipe on-line for Navajo flatbread and I made it for supper last night. https://templehousegallery.com/pioneer-plate-blog/2020/3/18/bread-shortage-easiest-kind-of-bread-you-can-make It was quite easy to do, and I substituted a mix of cassava, tapioca and a general-purpose gluten free flours for general all-purpose flour to make it. Came out wonderfully. It calls for a cast-iron pan but I used my non-stick frying pan and they came out perfectly. Very tasty. I served it with a chicken tikka masala with broccoli and peas. I’ll make it again.

The St. Patrick’s Day giveaway is done. I’ll post my winners as soon as I get them. In the meantime, prepare for the Spring giveaway which will be starting in the next day or two.

See below for cancellations and changed dates for my appearances.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Giveaways:

The St. Patrick Day giveaway is now over but the Spring giveaway hasn’t quite started yet. I’ll post my winners as soon as I get them.

Where will I Be?

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting, April 27th at 1pm. This event hasn’t been officially cancelled though the library is closed through April. If anything changes, I’ll let you know.

Payson Book Festival, July 18th at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino, Payson AZ. This event hasn’t been cancelled yet. I’ll keep you posted.

CokoCon 2020, September 4 – 7th, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Phoenix Tempe, 2100 S Tempe, AZ. This event hasn’t been cancelled yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Phoenix Fan Fusion, May 21st – 24th. This event has been postponed until the end of September. Current dates are now September 25th through Sunday the 27th. Note that it’s a day shorter, starting on Friday rather than Saturday. For people who have special Thursday passes and other special tickets, check out the Fan Fusion website for details on how those will be handled.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on AmazonAppleBarnes and NobleKobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Self-Distancing, Panic Buying: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

It’s calving season in Central AZ. This is just one of the cuties I saw on a drive about a week ago.

I started staying home last week so I’m about a week and a half into my isolation. Hubby excepted, of course. Most of my friends are doing the same. I saw a friend of mine walking her dog by my house the other day and I ran out to say hi, ten feet apart, of course. Sunday I ate the last of my homemade coconut milk yogurt so I made some more. It will be ready on Monday. Hubby does the shopping for us, and reports the stores still with many empty shelves. To keep busy I found a Youtube site, Lunch Doodles by children’s author Mo Willems. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmzjCPQv3y8  The series is set up for children but it thought it was fun and some good practice for me to illustrate my own children’s story. I’m also involved in a Pixar workshop on storytelling. You can find it at https://www.khanacademy.org/partner-content/pixar/storytelling. I figured that Pixar has a great storytelling set up and is very successful at it so I thought I’d check it out. I’ve done two sections so far and have really enjoyed it. So if you’re looking to strengthen your writing skills, check it out. Both the doodles and the storytelling are free! Final thing, if you aren’t doing Facebook, you might want to come back. Tons of people are posting recipes, (I can’t eat regular bread but the post on cast iron skillet bread looked so good!), games and exercises for you and the kids, fun links to games, movies, art, music, and so much more. Just scroll by any post that you dislike and get to the good stuff.

Stay safe. Stay well.

I don’t often do this but with the store shelves continuing to be empty I thought I’d post this piece by author Angela Chrysler www.angelabchrysler.com. The entire newsletter is full of great advice, but this part of her post seemed especially significant to me.  It’s on panic buying and to be honest, I’ve found myself doing the same things, the last time I was in the store. So, with many thanks to Angela, here’s her post on:

The 5 Stages of Panic Buying.

I first started seeing panic buying two weeks ago in early March. Was 7 March really only that recent ago?
I didn’t panic buy in Stage #1. I stood back, wrinkling my brow and asked, “What? Toilet paper?” I didn’t panic buy in stage #2 when herd mentality kicked in. I knew how to recognize the lemming stage. I did however panic buy in stage 3 with the, “Oooh! I finally found this!”
Here are the multiple stages of panic buying and how to control them as they hit.
 
Stage #1 – “How we feel in control when things are out of control.”
Summary:
I see Olaf in Frozen II sitting in the forest with children who proceed to shove crystals into his face. “This is how we feel in control when things are feeling out of control.” It’s an old instinct that runs deep and, if you can’t recognize it, you most likely will have it. If you’ve ever been without, it will hit you harder than most. Think of those who lived during the First Great Depression.
The problem with it:
This is the stage that sets off the chain reaction to all the other stages. It leads to economic downfall and an imbalance of supply and demand. This Stage is the stage that starts all other stages. It is the catalyst. The cause that creates the effect.
How to recognize and stop it:
Are you buying what is not on your list? Do you need it now? Are you being emotional or logical? First and foremost, are you scared? Every one of these stages is a fear response, but this one more than most because it is the least logical. Nothing more. Be honest with yourself. Be aware of it, and remind yourself that buying that extra gallon (or five) of milk will not solve the issue. You will still have a possibly lethal virus running rampant around you. You may still get sick. You will just have one (or five) more gallons of milk to store in your fridge. Buying that milk will not stop the virus.  
 
Stage #2 – The Lemming Stage.
Summary:
“Everyone was buying the giant balls of butter, so I got on for each of us!” This is one of my favorite lines from 3rd Rock from the Sun. Sally Solomon came home with four turkeys when she experienced her first Thanksgiving in Season 1. We do this because when monkey sees, monkey does. We don’t understand WHY everyone is buying toilet paper, but we assume they have news that we don’t have and stopping to ask for an explanation could result in you losing out while others grab and run. Act first. Ask later.
My husband is an Aries: the one astrological sign that likes to mess with people…because he can.  “Ooh!” My husband said and dramatically snatched up a kitchen sponge, clutching it to his body protectively, then, slunk away as if someone would wrestle it from him. “What’s that?” Shoppers around him instantly zoomed in to the wall of sponges and started stocking up. Seriously people, pay attention to your emotions specifically the impulses driven by fear.
I also call this stage the “lemming” stage as these are the panic buyers who buy because they see everyone else doing it.
The problem with it:
This stage feeds the next lemming beside you. Panic breeds panic. While Stage #1 launches the downfall, the lemming stage builds the momentum and keeps it going until nothing is left. Still largely fear-based, this stage doesn’t have a drop of logical thought around.
How to recognize and stop it:
This one is easy. The ONLY reason why you would panic buy in stage #2 is because you consistently saw the same item in everyone else’s cart OR you went to a store, saw that the shelf was almost bare and you grabbed the last two cans of dog food before remembering that you don’t even own a dog. Or you were one of the ten shoppers who saw my husband clutching the sponges to his chest. Ask yourself, am I buying this because I need it or because I saw what others are doing?
 
 
Stage #3 – The Adrenaline Stage –
“Ooh! I haven’t been able to find this!”

Summary:
Still fear based and still no logic in sight. I did this yesterday at Target. I found THE LAST packs of tissues!! (I didn’t need them). They were travel sized, BUT THEY WERE MINE (I didn’t need them)! “At Last” played in my head. I cried, actually cried, with relief. I wouldn’t even put them in the cart. They were MINE (I didn’t need them).  
The problem with it:
This one is tricky because it has the illusion of logic attached to it…even though it doesn’t. Did you read the part where I said I didn’t need them? Yes. Buying something because you finally found it looks logically, but if you’re buying something for anything other than need, it isn’t logical. It’s emotional. I have $6.00 less in my wallet than I had yesterday for something I don’t need, and I took from someone else who actually may need it. It was this event yesterday that led me to writing this article.
How to recognize and stop it:
Recognizing this stage is simple. Did you ever use the phrase, “I found it!?”Before you buy ask, “Do I need it?” If the answer is no then yes, you are in stage #3. If you DO need it, you’re not panic buying UNLESS…You are buying more than you NEED. Logically determine your need before you buy. Not sure if you need it? Then ask yourself, “Can I do without this?”  
 
Stage #4 – The Stage of Overthinking Foresight –
“I found it NOW, but what if I can’t get it when I need it?”

Summary:
This is the stage that has not happened yet…but it will. This stage will hit alongside Stage #5. You can and probably will have Stage #4 and Stage #5 at the same time. There is one subtle difference: Stage #5 can last for years, even a lifetime. Stage #4 will only last for a month or two after the demand drops and supply can finally recover.
This stage will hit when toilet paper does make its way back on the shelves. This is the one I feel the most. I could easily buy 3 dozen packages of toilet paper when they FINALLY hit the shelves…just because I can’t trust they won’t be there. I know others will have the same feeling. If we don’t keep Stage #4 in check, we could easily start the whole cycle over again, prolonging the supply deficit.  
The problem with it:
This will keep mandatory essentials scarce. It will continue to keep the bare shelves bare. It will start panic buying over again from Stage #2.
How to recognize and stop it:
This is the first stage that is not only emotional, but it is VERY logical. This is why Stage #4 is so dangerous. One could easily convince themselves why they need to buy and will stock up. It is easy to recognize, but not so easy to stop. In fact, it’s downright DIFFICULT to stop. It’s simple. Imagine the paper product aisle in Walmart fully stocked. What would you do? If you answered, “Buy it all” you are probably in Stage #4. What I recommend is the following:
Consult an old grocery list. One you used March 2019.
Buy only what is on that list and ONLY in the quantities you would have purchased in March 2019.
This stage truly is the “it looks easy on paper, but in practice…” I know. I’m right there with you. This stage is going to be hard.
 
Stage #5 – Trauma Induced Stage –
“I missed you! I’m getting you now because I finally can! I finally feel empowered! I will never live without you again!”

Summary:
This stage will arrive alongside stage #4. But, when stage #4 dies out, stage #5 will stick around a little (or a lot) longer. This one is the one that could stick with any one person for the rest of their lives. This is where the trauma of having no toilet paper for 3 months could easily result in keeping a year’s worth of toilet paper for the rest of your life. Do you remember that weird quirk your grandmother had where she always saved every last piece of wrapping paper no matter how mangled it was? Or your grandfather who kept every newspaper because there was always a way he could use it later? Yeah. That is what Stage #5 looks like years later.
In short, Stage #5 is what the trauma of doing without leaves behind.
The problem with it:
It is a trauma that, if left unchecked, could result in a mind or severe case of hoarding. It can lead to storage problems, financial ruin, or, in some cases, severe forms of clutter.  
How to recognize and stop it:
Does the thought of not buying 6 months’ supply of toilet paper renew feelings of panic? Do you literally fight back tears or violently lash out if someone tries to prevent or question the quantity of toilet paper you purchase? If any part of this stage fills you with a massive waves of emotion, you’re probably in stage #5.
If it is a mild case, to stop it, apply the methods of stage #4. Again, easier said than done. If it is an advanced case, a licensed therapist may be in order.

I know that made my blog post longer than normal but I thought it important that we examine our own emotional situation and work together to get the supply lines back to normal.

Giveaways:

Hooray! The St. Patrick Day giveaway still live! This is one of our shortest giveaways and sure to be shut down any day now, so be sure to click on the link right away. As always, we ask that to win, you follow us on one or more of several social media, or our newsletters, or our websites. You don’t have to join all of them, but to find out more about the many wonderful authors, you’ll want to do that. Here’s the link. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ or go to https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2703c98f110/  Sign up today!

Where will I Be?

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting, April 27th at 1pm. This event hasn’t been cancelled yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Phoenix Fan Fusion, May 21st – 24th. This event hasn’t been cancelled yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Payson Book Festival, July 18th at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino, Payson AZ. This event hasn’t been cancelled yet. I’ll keep you posted.

CokoCon 2020, September 4 – 7th, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Phoenix Tempe, 2100 S Tempe, AZ. This event hasn’t been cancelled yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on AmazonAppleBarnes and NobleKobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.