I know a lot of you are eager to find out what we’re working on next. We are trying to figure it out. We have chunks. Chunk of this, chunk of that, and none of it is grabby enough to sustain focus for the six months it would take to produce a book.
This week will be busy with the holidays and the release of FATED BLADES. We’ll see if a solid idea for one of our ongoing series or something new presents itself while we are doing dishes or cleaning. Right now asking either one of us about it results in snarling. We need more down time.
We spent the pre-holiday weekend paying for our past procrastination. Every house has a spot where flotsam and jetsam accumulates like a sand dune island, brought there by the currents of daily life. Mail that was too important to throw away but not important enough for immediate response. Non-perishable goods like boxes of tissues that were brought inside but temporarily forgotten due to other pressing concerns or simply lack of space, waiting like lost luggage to be taken to their proper storage place. If you’re not careful, you will end up with Outer Banks.
Our Outer Banks spot was in the dining room, the least used room in the house. We mostly eat in the kitchen at the breakfast table or in front of the TV on the couch. Yes, a bad habit, spare me, the world is on fire. If I want to eat my chicken wrap and watch yet another riveting documentary about Bigfoot where they don’t find Bigfoot, I am going to do so. But back to the story. Our dining room housed a cat tree, which was Oliver’s favorite spot, a stack of paper towels and toilet paper, and two IKEA bookcases with glass shelves.
We ordered the bookcases for Kid 1 months ago. Somehow they never got put together.
Putting the bookcases together is a breeze. Hanging glass doors on them is the seventh circle of hell. When the doors go on, the bookcases become very front heavy. Open the doors, and the bookcase will fall on you. Also, if you lift the box containing said bookcase, and scorpions run out, things get a little hectic.
Gordon, having disposed of scorpions and grasping the next box: We lift this one and tap it on the ground so they will fall out.
Me: … Let’s not.
Gordon: Why… Oh, this is a glass door, isn’t it?
Gordon: Damn it.
After a two-hour wrestle with the doors, I had to break out the stud finder so we could attach the bookcases to the wall with L brackets. I’m happy to report that I successfully found two wooden studs and my husband. The bookcases are now attached to the wall, and we both feel that we have completed our annual quota of furniture assembly. The cat tree was moved to a different room, to Oliver’s great mourning, and the dining room is now cleared out.
We also replaced the candle lights in the chandelier with LED candle lights. Supposedly they will last 10 years or more. That would be good, because the chandelier is very high, and we had to use a broom to pull it to the catwalk and then release it very gently so it didn’t swing into the front window. Because that would be exciting, but expensive.
Kid 1 and her boyfriend assisted with furniture assembly and furniture carrying. Kid 2 also made an appearance and brought me flowers and a stuffed horse because I was feeling sad and frustrated over a conversation on professional front.
The German Shepherds had broken the back gate of Kid 2’s house. Nobody is sure how they opened it, but they did. They ran out, and then Quincy took off down the street to have an adventure. He walked a child to the Dollar Store and back home and was permitted into the store, because he is apparently an extra good boy. He was found by his frantic pet parents escorting a dog walker and the dog she was walking through the neighborhood, while maintaining perfect pace and canine etiquette. Artha spent her hour of freedom by returning to the back yard and guarding the broken gate against intruders.
The gate has been repaired by a professional and the entire fence will likely be getting an overhaul. Due to this event, and some other tragic things that happened in Kid 2’s neighborhood, Kid 2 convinced her sister that she should make her a separate green bean casserole before Thanksgiving just for her. That’s between them. I shall have no part of this heresy.
Tomorrow is cleaning. And the grocery order for Thanksgiving. Must not forget napkins.
Napkins. Very important.
Napkins very important. Also Paper towels, aluminum foil, parchment paper and tupperware. All things I will be getting and always need before the holidays.
I am very impressed by Quincy. My darlings if they got out would be hellions and no one would allow them inside any store for sheer chaos would insure due to their clumber butt nature. I am glad that the fence it fixed and all animals are safe.
Mine got out, and as I was driving around looking for them, I see them run through nasty green ditch water. Not a problem as I was in the work van, but just as I was about to stop for them a lady opened her car door and the two large, muddy knuckleheads promptly jumped in, ready for a car ride. I drove on by like I didn’t recognize them. Then I sent the kids to collect THEIR dogs.
That is absolutely hilarious 😀
Brenda Harry says
Permission to post the paragraph on the antics of the German Shepherds to a GSD group on FB. Having one myself I can well imagine the feelings regarding the escape artists!
Moderator R says
I love Artha. That is all ????
Hubby eats his meals on the recliner in front of the TV. I eat my meals at the dining table while reading. We are in site of each other and can talk if necessary. Works for us. Enjoy your holiday.
I will be going in search of leeks for the turkey and leek quiche I want to make with the leftover poultry.
BTW, where did you get your ‘special’ stud finder? LOL!
A very happy thanksgiving to all of House Andrews.
Dee T says
That stud finder joke went right over my head. I was like, was her husband lost? Face palm, face palm so hard.
Henry King says
Wait until they run it over someone; No beep, must not be a stud.
I’m glad you posted. I didn’t get the joke at first either. I thought maybe he wandered off to kill more scorpions or he’s just really, really bad at finding wooden studs in the wall.
So begins the search for lobster tails and booster shots before Thanksgiving. It shall be an epic quest through many stores I’m sure.
We scheduled our boosters tomorrow morning, at Costco. Boosters, pumpkin pie, and Mac and cheese for the kids. Win!
mary howell says
Creative discontent – the search for the next guiding principle. It is sometimes uncomfortable. For myself, I choose a path towards more joy.
So, which project would be the most fun, most joyful, silliest and yet profoundly right book?
So, I am curious about the green bean casserole. Thinking maybe your daughter is doing something extra to it to make it extra tasty. Care to share the recipe?
My ex once requested green bean casserole, as he’d grown up with it. I used fresh green beans, made a sauce of wild mushrooms and heavy cream, and topped it with crispy fried shallots. It was tasty.
He said that I missed the point. But also ate an awful lot of it. (I told him that there was nothing to stop him from making the classic for himself.)
Love the extra mile ????
Someone made the same kind of green bean casserole effort one year at our giant Thanksgiving get together. People missed the canned Campbell’s mushroom soup and the fried onions. Although people politely ate it.
This year I am making the green bean casserole with no special effort (although I will be using fresh beans and not canned) because if I want the classic, I will have to make it myself. I also make turkey just for myself because the giant get together never has any leftovers.
Even when I was seating 24 (and what a year that was…) we always had leftovers, and leftovers were fairly mandatory. As in, the core group would ambush you at the door and say “Nope! You can’t leave without leftovers!” (Though cranky small children and such were treated as a good excuse.) We saved our large yogurt containers all year, though tin foil origami also came into play.
That being said, while there were usually a fair bit of Turkey leftovers, there were rules and a lot of competition for the distribution of any leg of lamb leftovers. And my sister and I would often hide the second pumpkin chiffon pie to split between us. (In addition to the seated crowd, we usually had another 15 people join us later for pie. One year we had seventeen kinds of pie. So it wasn’t like people missed the pumpkin chiffon. Well, until they caught us at it, and everyone tried the pumpkin chiffon and learned why we loved it so much.)
Also: I totally get loving the classics. It’s not one I grew up with?
(Once I gave a friend a spring form pan, with the promise I would periodically bake a cheese cake in it for them. He later confessed to his wife – one of my best friends – that he really preferred the cheesecake from a box to my lovely baked cheesecakes. Okay, I won’t say I didn’t judge, just a little, but comfort food is comfort food. Mostly, I thought it was hilarious.)
I like frozen green beans instead of canned, and use cream of celery or cream of onion soup. No mushroom soup because of mushroom allergy. (Once used cream of chicken soup – it was, shall we say, not as subtle as celery or onion…) ????
Katie R says
“I’m happy to report that I successfully found two wooden studs and my husband.”
This may be my favorite line you’ve ever written.
Patricia Schlorke says
I loved that statement too. I laughed after reading it.
At least Gordon isn’t a wooden stud. 😀
I laughed as soon as the stud finder came out because that’s a (super lame but we giggle anyway) joke my husband and I do, too.
Me: *gets out stud finder*
Hubby: *stands directly in my way so I use it on him*
Me: *snicker snicker* “Oh Look, I Found One!”
Ahlskog Kristine says
Hilarious! This is why we’re addicted to Ilona’s posts about daily life.
+ 1,000!! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Mary Beth says
“I’m happy to report that I successfully found two wooden studs and my husband.”
Thank you for this giggle.
I once caught my husband using a stud finder to see if his vasectomy clips were intact. **Sigh** It’s one of those visions that once seen, is never unseen.
I haven’t sat at our kitchen table for a meal in years.
Artha is awesome. Hope the Holidays are less stressful and relaxing.
thank you for this. Tea narrowly missed the keyboard!
I no longer hold a cup or drink anything while reading these posts. Between the Andrews & the BDH, there is always an opportunity to spray liquid across the keypad. Happy Thanksgiving to all
I laughed so hard at you nearly taking out your keyboard.
Liv W says
???? Happy Gobblefest to the Andrews family, blood and chosen, as well as to the moderators and BDH and their respective loved ones. ????
Liv, I echo your best wishes for HA and the BDH as we begin the holiday season in the States. And I send the same to you and yours as well!
Sad and frustrated? … professional front?
BDH assemble! Which city shall we lay waste to to annihilate the frustrating Individuum?
… just kidding. But you should know that something like this triggers our protective reflexes.
Take all the time you need. And stay clear of scorpions!
I can relate! I moved in at the beginning of October, yet about a fourth of my possessions are still in boxes. Due to supply chain issues, Ikea rarely has what I want in stock and when I do manage to get something, I have to assemble it with great difficulty. I am understating how CRAZY this is making me. Made me.
I love living in a clean and tidy home, but that’s probably not happening until next year. My dad has cancer and the province is in a state of emergency due to flooding destroying the infrastructure.
On a happier note, I was able to buy and assemble three small MALM dressers. I consider this a major triumph.
Sara B. says
I love Artha … letting Quincy have the “glory” jobs of walk children while she (?) returns to guard the gate and keep home safe.
“If I want to eat my chicken wrap and watch yet another riveting documentary about Bigfoot where they don’t find Bigfoot, I am going to do so.”
The laugh I just let out ????????????
Have a very Wonderful Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays to everyone in House Andrews. Peace and blessings to all.
Judy E Schultheis says
You found two studs and your husband. I’m sure he was pleased.
Omar Mtz says
I loved Bigfoot documentaries but why can we find them!!!!
Moderator R says
I think the wrong people are on the case ????
+1 & stealing.
As a former Girl Scout, I confess we DID swear to keep the source of our cookies secret. Remember those oaths!
This exchange makes me think that a type of girl scout cookie is made _from_ bigfoots…
Patricia Schlorke says
Watch out for those Girl Scouts. Not only are they keeping Bigfoot secret, but also detaining interlopers who run across an archery competition. 😉
Girl Scouts. We rock.
Both puppy’s are good dogs!y dog now 9 years old, rarely goes outaide now. Just to do her business and come right back in.
I am switching jobs and have a few weeks off between leaving the old and starting the new. As a result Ive been cleaning since we “may” also be moving in May or June or maybe July (the military life is never exact). Our outer banks is our Harry Potter closet and the front area closet. I found snow shoes my kids have long grown out of and an old navy package unopened with sweaters that I ordered 2 years ago. It would have been for my oldest son, but it wont fit him now, but his sister has taken them to her room. At least it wont go to waste.
Maria Schneider says
We might make a pumpkin pie early this week. No worries. You need not partake in this heresy!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, all the beasts and all the kin, except for the scorpion!
Your non-writing time is filled with more activity and interesting things than anyone I know. I love reading about them. Enjoy your holiday. Hugs.
So. Everything at your house is like at our house.
Pile(s) of stuff(s). Check.
Escapee animals. Check.
Neighbor’s overgrown bamboo likely to take out the fence. Check.
What’s that burning smell? Where’s the fire? Oh, the evil neighbor with the bamboo. Again. No, not the bamboo. The ill considered fire pit fire with Santa Ana winds blowing.
LOL, Also, do we all make the exact same joke when we put our hands on a stud finder?
I needed the dogs being good dogs and helping. My mom died in July. She had money in a trust. It was a great deal of money for one person and allowed us to house her in a very nice nursing home for her last years. I have 7 siblings. A great deal of money for one person is… not so when divided among 8 people. It won’t let any of us retire, but it takes a bit of the edge off.
But we are being so screwed around with by an unnamed really big Bank in the united states of America who was in charge of the trust. Determined to squeeze every possible fee out of the trust, they have done everything they can to not disburse the funds. They told us in the last week of October the disbursements would happen in 8-15 days. Upon closer enquiry, that became 8-15 *working* days. Upon even closer enquiry, that became 8-15 working days *after the trust manager signed off*. In theory, the trust disbursed on Friday, Nov 12. Except nothing has shown up in our accounts. Last Monday they said it was pending and nothing was wrong. They then spent all last week dodging calls and emails. My sister sent a super angry but professional email last night, to be at the top of the inbox this morning. She just forwarded the reply, which is that 8-15 days meant that 8-15 working days after the trust manager signed off on it, it was handed to the Trust Closing Department which takes 10-20 days to disburse.
I emailed the bit about the Very Good Dogs to that sister. She will read it to her German Shepard tonight and she will be so happy to hear about other German Shepards also being Very Good Dogs.
Seriously, my sister said if I hadn’t texted her that bit, she would have hit send on the first draft of her reply, which maybe would not have been so good.
Patricia Schlorke says
If the bank doesn’t disburse the money soon, have an attorney look into it. The bank will give you the money so fast, everyone’s head will spin.
Good luck with all that stuff.
April Griffin Thomas says
I am sorry that in addition to your families loss they are having to “handle” big business trying to hold on to someone else’s money. If there are not laws that govern procedure there should be.
There is an Outer Banks in hell for VERY BIG BANKS (too many to have just a peninsula) who may not be named.
Happy Thanksgiving anyway.
…this reminds me I need to send in paperwork to disburse one of the *many* smallish accounts my mom had squirreled away. Why am I so good as doing things by computer, but so bad as soon as it involves paper?
I’m pretty sure we signed away any rights to an attorney when we signed the release of a formal audit. Which would have taken up to two years and cost us way more than they (might have) skimmed.
Tylicat, I hear you. My mom had a $10K life insurance policy (split that 7 ways) and John Hancock issues all insurance payments on policies opened before 196X (I don’t remember the exact year) by check.
Europe. It does not do checks. I have to either mail it to my US bank with a deposit slip (not happening, as I have no slips) or sign it over and mail it to my brother, who will deposit it in his account via his bank app and Venmo me the money*. John Hancock said I could submit an application for a hardship exemption, but that sounded like a lot more work. The check, signed over to my brother, is sitting in an addressed envelope on the hall bookcase, where it has been for two weeks now. Because stamps. The post office is right next to the grocery store. But somehow I forget the envelope every time (twice, but still).
April, there are definitely laws and the unnamed bank is sliding right up alongside them.
OMG. I can share this here. My mom also had a mystery safe deposit box. No one had any idea what was in it, from empty to filled with bearer bonds. At one point I suggested it was full of Confederacy cash — that way it was both Something AND Nothing. It took my sister, as executor of the estate, two months of filing forms with various places and getting stuff notarized (as all three signatories on the box were dead — dad, mom, oldest brother).
It turned out to be my great-great-grandmother’s jewelry.
My sister went on a quest and overcame many obstacles to get to the treasure chest. And I’m the only gamer in the family.
*I cannot download the app for my US bank, because Apple won’t let me. No joke. Apple says I’m in the German iTunes Store and the American Bank app doesn’t exist there for me.
…do you have a US sim?
(My recollection from when I was last in Europe – Scotland, almost exactly two years ago – is that since I was using t-mobiles international roaming, I still couldn’t get books that hadn’t yet been released here through Amazon, to my annoyance. Even more so because I got sick after my first presentation, and ended up spending most of the conference in my hotel, sleeping, and listening to audiobooks. Which is why you shouldn’t travel not long after antibiotic resistant pneumonia.)
I’m sorry your trip was unfun. I don’t have a US sim. I *might* get one with my next iPhone, if I get the big one that has two sim slots. But I have had no problem for the past decade ordering from the Amazon US Kindle store. I know that Germany and the UK eventually ask for proof of residency if you switch your store to .uk.co or .de. But .com just hasn’t seemed to care about where I live.
And I really don’t know the ins and outs of how the apple store works, so this was a pretty random suggestion.
It wasn’t an unfun trip! After my first presentation, there was a reception in the national museum, and I chose to walk there, at night, through a big chunk of the old city, and both the walk and the museum were delightful. (And the reception was… okay. I was really more in the mood to look at wonderful old machines than try and talk to people by that point, though I managed a good conversation or two.)
I did feel terrible about being too sick to give the second talk, and it was sad not to get to look around more. But I slept well, my hotel had nice breakfasts, and there was a lovely Vietnamese place around the corner where I ate large quantities of pho the first two days of being sick.
By the end of the week, I was back on my feet, and even managed to get a tattoo before I left 🙂
A big Bank in the united states of America? We had a problem with a big Bank in the united states of America as well; after going back and forth for a long time with no results, we sicced the Consumer Financial Protection Board on them and it was amazing how fast they moved.
Astonishing, isn’t it? They’ve now extra promised to get it transferred this week. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll do something similar. Because of COURSE they’re still collecting fees.
Thank you for the reminder that Fated Blades will be released tomorrow!! ???????????????????? I’m so looking forward to it, all the best!
We lost our last Shepherd 10 years ago to anal fistula. We haven’t had one since. So I live vicariously through your Aretha, Quincy stories. Thank you for the joy they bring
Those sound like the best dogs ever. So adorable. I hope that the frustration abates with some downtime and family time. I’m so excited for Fated Blades! My birthday is coming up and it feels like the best present ever.
Patricia Schlorke says
Take all the time you need to relax. If something comes to you and Gordon while your hands are in hot, soapy dishwater after Thanksgiving, fine. If not, that’s fine too.
I eat in front of my TV too. My dining table is for my sewing. I bought a new sewing machine a couple of weeks ago since the one I have is over 20 years old. My old machine works, but I never know when that thing will give out. I have to get the new machine out of the box, and start learning it. I will have to move the new rice cooker I have on my cutting mat at the moment before I do any sewing, but that’s for another day. 🙂
Now when I see a stud finder at Lowe’s or Wal-Mart, I am going to laugh to myself. Thanks for the laugh!
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. If you are travelling, be safe.
Eating in front of the TV is a basic human right. My dining room table is the overflow area for Greater Outer Banks which is the kitchen peninsula. Please take all the down time you need. It would be nice if you enjoyed writing the next book. Happy Thanksgiving to House Andrews, Mod R and the BDH!
I hired a professional organizer. I had organized my basement twice. It took weeks. I get overwhelmed by how much stuff I have. I have my mother’s and father’s things, and some of my brothers. I need help because it is just too much and I realize I do get stuck on some items because of the memories and emotions attached to those objects. My PO makes me move and gives me homework. When she does it herself, she is a whirlwind. The best thing I learned it do the easy stuff first. If you get stuck making a decision move on the next item. I have a lot of easy stuff. It is exhausting.
You guys are nonstop. I released my book in September, and the thought of even picking up something new makes my gut ache. Writing like that takes so much time, energy, and brain space.
As much as I love Julie, Dina, and Helen I can’t imagine having the writing schedule y’all do.
Callie Winterburn says
I love when I see a dog out and about alone , I make up a little story on my head about their adventures and how they secretly saved the world from an evil villain .if I see two dogs together they might belong to a spy agency bringing down the birds of henchdogs
I love this!
On our drive to our Zoo (in North Carolina), on a fairly major highway there was a…wait for it… COW wandering down the side of the road. Just walking along, on his(?) way to somewhere else having said goodbye to the farm and off for adventure. It was quite surreal. I’m driving and suddenly there is a cow walking on the side of the road. Deer, yes. Raccoons, yes. Possums, turtles, birds, dogs, all yes. But a COW?!?
Loose cows seem to be a regular thing in my neck of the woods. I am famiar with the Sherrif’s dept
Maybe you heard about the loose zebras in Maryland?
April Griffin Thomas says
Your blog made me laugh out loud. In this time of distancing, it helps me feel half-way sane to know that other people’s dogs escape and they have non-perishable items left sitting out for days. If green bean casserole helps us through the day we should have it …DAILY.
Getting the dining room organized has to be very satisfying. The antics of Kid 2’s dogs made me laugh out loud. Having to repair the fence and the frantic search for the escaped dogs isn’t funny, but the dogs actions are. Thank you for my morning laugh.
Whatever you decide to write works for the BDH.
Have a peaceful and wonderful Thanksgiving
Mary Cruickshank Peed says
I’ve had an unassembled desk in the back of my truck for a month for son 1. Son 1 really needs a desk and I found it on a good sale. But son 1 lives on the 4th floor of an old apartment building (built in the 1880s) that doesn’t have an elevator and because he works nights and his roommate works days, the desk remains in my truck because they are never awake at the same time.
Today I’m unearthing my dining room, also the least used room in our house. When the kids were home we ate at the table every night. Now that it’s me and son2 …I’m lucky to see him once a week outside of the fact that he cooks every other night. We usually don’t eat together.
We have friends coming for Thanksgiving. I’m also thinking they’re going to want to use a toilet so after the dining room I’m going to clean the bathroom and fix the toilet. The bathroom is under construction so is a dusty mess.
Just want to express my gratitude at your postings. I may or may not read snippets of your ongoing works, but I adore snippets of your life. Thank you.
Thank you for this bright spot. A peaceful Thanksgiving to all.
Happy feast day with the family! Thanks for all of the very many wonderful hours spent with your stories.
Love the German shepherd story! I feel this could be a subplot in HL with the Harrison pets
Also I have the same bookshelves. Spent a happy couple of hours covering the backing to give a pop of colour and then paid someone £35 to put them together and attach to the wall so all I had to do was change out the handles
Bill G says
“Because that would be exciting, but expensive.”
I lol’ed 🙂
Amber Am says
The scorpions are a no…. just no…. I have trouble enough with our house centipedes. No
Shari Atilano says
” I’m happy to report that I successfully found two wooden studs and my husband.”
LOL! Have a Happy Thanksgiving.
Micaela Kelly says
I have almost as much fun reading your comments as reading the books. Not exactly. But yours is the first email I read out of dozens.
I honestly don’t know how you make the mundane problems of finding space for paper towels and the like interesting. I kind of want a novel now about this family who have adventures with scorpions and green bean casseroles. Actually, the more I think about it the better I like this idea.
Shel F. says
Thank goodness I’m not the only one with a cat tree in the dining room!
I LOL’d to so much in your post! Thankful and grateful for your books and your blog posts!
Happy Thanksgiving to all of your family and the moderators!
Give the dogs extra turkey for being so good!
Cheryl M says
Ha! Yeah, banging glass doors to remove the scorpions, while points for creativity, probably not a good idea. We had a similar situation in a house with tall ceilings and the chandelier in the entry. I hate bannisters. My nightmares often involve bannisters and my fears of their lack of support. Somehow it became my job to reach out with an extension pole, snag it, and bring it over to change light bulbs and clean. Also, to then GENTLY return it to position so it too wouldn’t break windows. Nope, not again. Ever.
trailing wife says
I set up an A-frame ladder under the chandelier on a matched pair of very sturdy microwave stands, then climb up with Swiffer extension duster and replacement bulbs. It’s the only way — the chain isn’t long enough to pull the thing over to the upper hall overlooking the entrance.
I am doing a re read of Kate Daniels, nearly to the end, read Iron and Magic before Magic Triumphs and it makes so much more sense in that order. Fingers crossed the 2nd of Hugh’s story makes it to the top of the list.
I so much enjoyed the re read (I did it last year during being unemployed and had to borrow all the books from the library as everything I owned was packed away in storage while I sorted out which Island/city I was going to reside in.
My new place is too small to have an Outer Banks area, I have called it The Shoebox but I did put up an IKEA bookcase for my books which was a mission and had to borrow a friend’s husband to help put it up especially for the glass doors.
Enjoy your down time I am sure something will be inspired.
Steve lucas says
Take all the time you need Know you and yours are appreciated and loved(in brotherly way) from afar. Here it is winter, snow and -18ish C that is -0 F
Glad you got flowers you deserve many. We can and will wait 4 you
What. Is the deal. With green bean casserole?
It’s disgusting. A travesty and a crime against green beans. Ick. But everyone seems to rave about it. Enough that a few years ago I convinced myself that I hadn’t given it a fair chance and I tried both a friend‘s recipe, and my great-aunt‘s. Neither was even remotely palatable.
A few years ago, I was visiting friends and we left the dogs in the backyard. Before doing so, I told them to be careful because my dog does not like closed doors, gates, portals, etc. They assured me that the lock was secure. Fifteen minutes later, she was at the front door barking to be let in, thoroughly pleased with herself for having successfully triumphed over the gate… and released my friends‘ dogs into the neighborhood. Dog 1 was old and fat and easy to catch. Dog 2 was a year and a half old terrier, and with three of us, it took a half an hour to locate and catch him. Oddly, after that my dog wasn’t allowed to hang out with him without supervision…
Never saw the attraction for green bean casserole myself. If we have green beans they will be sauteed with bacon and onions, then simmered until done (not soggy). Family prefers Italian flat beans for the dish, though Blue Lakes can do in a pinch. Also like roasted Brussels sprouts and whipped sweet potatoes with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon (no marshmallow please).
The pups did a divide and conquer approach–guard the homestead and escort the populace to make sure they were safe. Very GSD.
Nicole in WI says
“I had to break out the stud finder so we could attach the bookcases to the wall with L brackets. I’m happy to report that I successfully found two wooden studs and my husband.”
Thank you for the much needed Monday laugh!!
German Shepard’s are escape artists! Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving. Can’t wait to read Fated Blades and whatever you decide to do next!
My hubby’s stud finder finds the occasional wall stud but more often it just finds the studlyness that is my hubs! ????
Carysa Locke says
Shepherds are so dang smart. Ours loves to open doors. She is also sneaky, extremely energetic, loves to be stimulated with a job to do, and is an anxiety dog to boot.
The other day she managed to get out first thing in the morning while carrying an illicit sock. She almost always carries something to the door, because carrying things is one of her coping mechanisms for when she is anxious. Usually I catch it and make her leave the item before letting her out, but this time I didn’t see that she had anything. When I went to let her in she was sitting by the door waiting, but when I opened it and she stood up, instead of coming inside she turned around, trotted off to the yard while I asked her where she was going with breakfast waiting, and came back carrying the sock, which she brought inside and helpfully deposited at my feet. Like “Oops, sorry, Mom. I know I’m not supposed to take these outside, but I forgot. Here you go.”
Yes, thank you Savannah. Good dog.
My bichon frisé could not be trusted off a leash his entire life. I’m so impressed Quincy politely accompanied other passersby during his hour of freedom, thereby making him very easy to find. And Artha is such a good girl to go back home and guard the house.
My dad once took my dog to the park at night and for some reason let him off leash (???), if my recollection is correct. Milou predictably took off for a joy ride of sorts and my dad just shrugged his shoulders and returned back home without him, as he didn’t think it was his job to find his dog in the dark. Sometime later we received a call from the local Rec department (the park where Milou ran off), an employee had found him running around (luckily we had our phone number on his tag). Turned out the employee was also a part time gym teacher at our private school and was my sister’s gym teacher!
Happy Thanksgiving and happy meal prep.
I think we all have Outer Banks. I love that you still consider your husband a stud.
I’m glad the puppies were found.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope you get a chance to do some knitting. I’m madly working on an afghan for Christmas. Fingers crossed.
Karen the Griffmom says
A joyous Wolfenoot to all doggos, other beloved companion creatures, and their human pets. Arooo! Thursday’s desserts are pumpkin pie, mince pie, and raspberry pithivier. The entire meal is hors d’oeuvres.
Moderator R says
This menu tempts me for Christmas. The starters and the desserts are always the best part of the meal anyway! Enjoy 🙂
Yes. I’ve given up on the main dishes entirely. We now have “Yule Board.” All the yummy stuff, a quarter of the work, and everyone loves it.
O yea! Best meals!
And IKEA furniture assembly — who writes those instructions?
Also have you ever read the horror novel that takes place in an IKEA type store?
It’s called Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix
I have read that book. It really makes me think.
I so sympathize with the cleaning. I eat in my recliner and enjoy it. I have a living room window with a hole in it. Getting it out required the bottom half to come out and the 9 foot cat tree coming down. After taping a tarp to the outside and delivering the window for measuring, I found out it takes 12 weeks to get the window section back so they can insert it into the frame. You know the drill, clean all the windows inside and out, might just as well wash the curtains and the walls as long as everything is moved all of which needs the tall and heavy ladder to reach. It looks like I moved in last week because of all the “might as well do because” things. The dining table will be paint pouring central and the extra table is furniture painting space. Christmas presents must be made!
On a more enjoyable note my calendar came this morning and it is gorgeous!
Regarding the led light… I have one that has been turned on constantly for nearly 20 years now. It is my living room night light and I have never turned it off. Night lights are necessity as my entire house has either odd obstructions or flotsam. My bedroom has had the LED chandelier lights for at least 15 years now, as that was when I changed the fixture. The lights are constantly on and off for all that time. I don’t think you have to worry about them ????
My whole house is the outer banks. With six kids and two adults who are not too obsessed with putting things away we have collect little bits here and there of daily living. I realized how many stacks of stuff we have when I went to take pictures of our furniture for insurance purposes and I realized everything has something on it. ???? Someday I might clean it. . .but then again maybe not.
trailing wife says
Happy Monday! Enjoy a bit of normalcy before we all dive into the next book — the Book Devouring Horde by proxy while House Andrews waxes creative once again. 🙂
Kindle informs me that Burn For Me in ebook form is currently available for $2.99. Sadly, I already have it, but for any here whose library is incomplete, or who has kith and/or kin who desperately need to receive a wonderful and inexpensive gift for their reading device, herewith the link: https://smile.amazon.com/Burn-Me-Hidden-Legacy-Novel-ebook/dp/B00I7V11WU/ref=sr_1_36?qid=1637612084&s=digital-text&sr=1-36
Janet Scurlock says
As much as I would love to hear about another book, I hope you guys are able to just sit around and just veg. Relax and do fun things together.
I understand the everyday hustle and bustle of work, kids, holiday stress, but after the past 18 months we all deserve to just enjoy the little things in life that being us joy.
Watch a beautiful sunset and drink expensive tea, take time to just be.
For all the stress and deadlines, edits you both deserve to just be.
Thank you for all that you both do. Reading has become, for me an even more precious and honored tradition for me. Being able to immerse myself in the lives and adventures of the characters in the books I read is a wonderful way to lessen the stress of work and the pandemic.
Truly thank you to both of you!!
Lynn Thompson says
Thank you, Ilona Andrews for the hilarious post.
Napkins are very important so no do not forget them.
Ah, yes. German Shepherds. Smart escapists and returnees. Memphis went walkabout daily for a year before one of my neighbors ratted him out. Well, He was always home when I left for work and when I returned from work.
Then there is my present dog, a rescue Rhodesian Labrador, who jumps the fence which is up to 8 foot now and after his walkabout bangs/ paw knocks on back door to get human out of bed to open door so he can get back in house. ????. Or I return home to find him sacked out on back porch…. Sigh
Do have a great thanksgiving holiday/ break. Enjoy yourselves and whatever story pops up Dec 1 —as an arbitrary finish line—will be the next story. Or you two can decide on another deadline. Shrug
Your Dining room comments were interesting.
Nice to know we’re not the only ones eating in front of TV.
Our own Dining room story:
During our kids teenage years ours was a weight room ( table in storage building).
Our daughter-in-laws to this day still have trouble with that one.
Debra Hoffmaster says
German shepherds. Gotta love em
“found two wooden studs and my husband”
I laughed so hard at this pun.
So if you like silly Big Foot documentaries, have you tried Curse of Oak Island, that is actually finding stuff!
Emily Pyers says
Roman!! I wanna hear more about those Eyeore pyjamas – they’ve been playing on my mind more than they possibly should…
I live alone, and mostly eat in front of the computer. Occasionally the television. Very rarely the dining table.
My least neat freak areas are random horizontal surfaces – the bar height cabinet. The edges of my desk. Windowsills (though my sills are all extra wide, and if I push it, the cats will just knock everything off. The windowsills are theirs, dammit.)
Working on it. But that’s where detritus will gather if I’m super busy, or ill, or anything else that disrupts the delicate balance…
Erika Gill says
I enjoy reading your blog posts as much as your books. Strong voice and I love it.
susan reynolds says
When I got my last job, I bought a small bookcase for the office. Somehow it never got assembled, and I ended up taking it home when that job ended. Now I just signed a contract for next (much nicer! Hooray!) job, and realized I still have the bookcase in the trunk of my car, which I guess is the Sargasso Sea. The whole house is the outer banks, the car is outside of the house and a little bit away…. The metaphor is actually accurate.
BTW, if Roman is getting cranky because someone has been sitting on his book for 4-5 years, it might be a good idea to stand up. An angry Volhv can be dangerous. And this might be a sneaky way to bring Hugh, and Julie, and Erra, and Roman, and Andrea, and George, and maybe the backstory for the wolf alpha and commander of the order falling for each other, all together. just saying.
Of course, we would all happily read your grocery lists, but I miss Derek…!
You have paper towels, napkins have back up readily available.
This is one of my favourite kinds of posts- the daily life stuff where your sense of humour gets to come out! Best line for me is the one about replacing the chandelier lights and gently putting the fixture back in place without swinging. “Because that would be exciting, but expensive.” Exciting not being the word that immediately comes to mind for me, I find that funny.
Always good to calibrate the instrument against a grade A standard!
I hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving!
Wendy Morrey says
“I found two studs and my husband.” Hehe. I see what you did there. ???? Those stud finders sure come in handy!
I am so excited for tomorrow! Hope you have a restful week and wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family and lots of good things to eat!
Cheyanne Farley says
Hiya–reading Small Magics today. Again. Please accept my gratitude for you and your work. Like many our lives have been chaos for past few years. We have had two adult deaths–one sudden–broke five bones in my foot two surgeries++stem cell insertion not healing or working. Permanent disability. Job problems non stop and of course sosoSO many serious financial issues. We accept this is our life right now. Smart lady taught us our motto–Adapt or Die. We know we can make it to the other side. We know nothing works unless you do. We also have learned Retreat. Rest. Reload. Return. When we rest we return to your books&series. XLNT well written enjoyable&healing. Tried other authors not a lot of really good but some. ALso our book group started reading books about women who survived–this month Both/And by Huma Abedin. As Master Storytellers pls know you are necessary and appreciated. BEE well
Whatever you chose to write next, I shall enjoy reading.
My stud finder must be malfunctioning. Back to Lowe’s it goes.
Valerie in CA says
Oliver’s perception on the scorpion’s? Chase them or let them be?
I realized the last time I went to the HEB that I have not bought napkins in years. I usually just fold a paper towel into quarters and use that. (Sometimes I don’t fold it.)
Obviously, I live alone and never entertain…
Love the German shepherd story. Both of the expected behaviors at the same time.
I also have those book cases, but they hold part of my glass collection. (I also have large, nosy cats.) I need another one, but don’t really have a place to put it in my new house. So, I have three large vases and a large bowl lying on the floor of my pantry, where they cannot be knocked over and broken.
Does that count as my outer banks?
Enjoy your holiday / down time. The BDH will be here when you find a topic that interests and/or engages you, egging you on to accept our money at the earliest possible moment.
Take all the time you need to rejuvenate your creativity
I’ll just imagine certain character reactions to different tv shows
Example Dishing with Julia Child
(PBS) and how a certain inn chef or his master might react to julia
Katherine Bushman says
Well, if napkins are a lost cause, at least you have tissues…
Once upon a time, I had a Very Good Portuguese Water Dog named Rosie. My uncle came to visit with his two, who were very good dogs who had taken some recent adventures which landed them in the pound. We left them in the backyard, went to the movies, and came back to three good dogs lounging on the front deck. And an answering machine full of stories about “Rosie is running loose through the neighborhood with two strange dogs, “Your Rosie’s out,” and so forth.
Because my Very Good Dog was smart enough to open the back gate, have a good romp, and make sure her cousins remembered where the food was and lead them home.
Kat in NJ says
LOVE the stud finder comment…can I use it in some format on my hubby to score brownie points? Also, it sounds like concentrating on the holidays instead of what writing comes next is a good idea: you deserve the break and it will be easier to figure out later. Happy Thanksgiving! I (like the rest of the BDH) am certainly thankful for your books! ????
Quincy!!! I bought Ikea shelves with doors once and only once. If you put enough heavy books in the lower shelves they stay put. But, yah, never again. Thanks for sharing.
I hope you will feel inclined to share your Thanksgiving menu and guest list for this year as you have in years past. Those posts have given many warm fuzzies at your hospitality.
If not, not. Whichever suits you at this time, best wishes to you and yours for a happy holiday.
Roxanne Montgomery says
I saw compelling photo evidence that Bigfoot is indeed in the French Quarter ATM.
Hope your Thanksgiving is insanely wonderful and filled with laughter as well as shenanigans!
Julie Edwards says
Our kitchen table is the collector of stuff we can’t quite bring ourselves to throw away plus keys. We eat at the coffee table is front of the tv. I’m pretty sure eating at the table is a lost art.
Have a great Thanksgiving!
kim hurt says
Napkins or in our house paper towels and the extra large chinet paper plates. We do use real silverware. Quick cleanup. Enjoy your holidays.
Happy Thanksgiving to all. It’s also my 54th wedding anniversary so I wanted carrot cake. The rest of family can have pumpkin pie. I’m looking forward to Faded Blades tomorrow. The BDH will read anything you write, so write what brings you joy.
Quincy’s adventure made me laugh!
Are you making your stuffing? I’ve been thinking about it ever since you described it briefly a few years ago. I thought to try to back into the recipe but haven’t done so yet. I miss my mother’s bread stuffing and my Italian Nana’s hamburg and rice stuffing.
Roxanne Wynne Davenport says
Aaaaagggghhhh! I saw the post title and thought perhaps you were taking a Thanksgiving vacation on a North Carolina Beach. I’m within an easy drive of most of the Outer Banks and was going to offer to take you out for lunch or dinner. Well, shazbot. Anyway, if you’re ever in the neighborhood, the offer stands.
1) It doesn’t matter what you work on next: I will buy it, and I will love it. Y’all have never disappointed me.
2) I think everyone (certainly everyone with a job) has ‘debris drifts’ that get cleared periodically but always grow back
3)You sound like wonderful parents and enjoyable friends, in addition to great authors…so that’s a win all around
4)In spite of your country/state of origin, you often sound so very Texan…I love it
My poodle beast will get loose and find new slaves that she sucks in with her cuteness and who will give her scritchies. Little do they know that she can be an aggressive little s**t and bite you until you bleed. She’s better than she was now that I’ve worked on socializing her (if I could find the 3 previous owners, I’d kick them in the face for what they did to her), and is mostly a cuddly puppy, until she eats random stuff in the yard (like today) and I have to stop working to induce vomiting, and then clean it up because she wouldn’t do the vomiting outside. Better than another vet bill at the emergency vet and an extra day stay to make sure she passes the IV tubing that she literally ate.
Hey this is probably not something that will work for you guys for a huge variety of reasons but if there’s no larger work that’s really grabbing you then there’s always a short story compilation?
That way you could put it down once something came along that did feel grabby.
You have a million interesting side characters that the bdh loves.
Tiger Lily says
I enjoy your life stories. My pit mix can climb a fence like a monkey. After various tries at multiple remedies I have conceded and always have to watch him when he is outside. I cannot even go outside to work in the front yard if he is in the fenced back yard or over he comes to join me. Wouldn’t trade him for the world.
Not related to the post but…
OMG!!! Fated Blades are out (in UK)!!!
I am bouncing off the walls with excitement when I should be getting ready to bed, it’s just past midnight… Oh, but maybe just first chapter… but will I be able to stop reading? Doubtfull.
Melissa DePlanche says
Amused by the Outer Banks metaphor, as I grew up out there ( I moved inland due to hurricane flooding driving me nuts, last straw Hurricane Floyd). The islands do tend to move and create their inlets (especially Hatteras way) and not always in a human ideal way.
Loud whispers *Quick, someone hand him a muffin!*
My mom’s side of the family loves putting things on available horizontal surfaces. Tables, counters, floors, bookcases (but mostly items on the long side). It seems to be common to most of the family and inheritable. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
What’d Ilona make of the American holiday dishes when she came over? Was it weird? Did she introduce some Russian holiday dishes which are now family favorites or even a mostly Russian holiday?
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. I love the pet stories, especially. Thank you for sharing them.
I spent the weekend organizing the remaining “Outerbank” from my move to Texas last year; the Christmas stuff. The ornament storage containers I’ve been wanting were finally on sale for early Black Friday Sales, so got them and got to work going through all of it. I separated it into put out, keep and store, give away to family, donate, and trash.
So I am feeling accomplished as well. No scorpions here though, thankfully.
Best thing paper towel manufacturers did was to make each sheet smaller, just the perfect size to fold and use as a napkin. I have several in a pile next to the recliner.
Dining room tables are by definition an outer bank to be dismantled just before the stack comes tumbling down. Great vignette
Paper towels (kitchen roll UK version) works fine as napkins. Don’t stress it. It’s the people you spend time with that are important. Happy Thanksgiving.
Angela Knigh says
I enjoy even your stories about home repair. Though the scorpions sounded like too much adventure to me.
🙂 🙂 Got my copy of the book just after midnight 🙂 So that made my week.
Our small dog never got out but he did like to go and say hello to all the big dogs when we took him to dog training.
Sara B. says
Off topic, but … Four Hours and Twenty-two minutes … Four Hours and Twenty-two minutes … Four Hours and Twenty-one minutes … Four Hours and Twenty-one minutes ….
My version of the green bean casserole is a broccoli casserole. Cooked broccoli florets with water chestnuts added for crunch. Layer the top with slices of old school brick Velveeta and top with crushed Ritz crackers. Then take some melter butter and pour over the top. 350° for 1 hour.
I figure anybody can make healthy broccoli. Once a year we go for broke ????
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
I mean. Just ‘awww’ to all of it. Take some downtime. We love you but we’ll live!
I just made chocolate cupcakes ???? but now I need chopped peanuts. That they are skinned roasted and chopped and will go on the peanut biscuits once iced and then dark chocolate lines. Yummy but I can’t find the pkt I brought last week. So I enjoyed your story/ life. Hehahahe.
Rachel Baker says
I’m such a huge fan of your work, the Kate Daniels/Aurelia Ryder series in particular.
THANK YOU for Blood Heir. It’s amazing. I’ve read the Kate Daniels series an embarrassing number of times, and Blood Heir is getting there too.
Ya’ll are awesome. Thank you!!
They might try installing a chain link gate on the yard side of the wooden gate.
The double gate keeps them from reaching the wooden gate. It worked for my Pyrs who kept getting out to find their sheep. We don’t have sheep but I was afraid they would come home with some any way.
Lee Anne says
Glad everything worked out safely for the doggos. When I’ve had escape artists in the pst they were never so well behaved. My current rescue thinks outside is unsanitary. He won’t willingly go outside.
We used to eat at the table when my son was little. We stopped after he went away to college and didn’t resume when he moved back home a semester later. College in a pandemic was overwhelming for our introvert. We do plan on eating Thanksgiving at the table though so I have to clear it from all the lost things that seem to find their way there now.
I know it’s been said before, but it bears repeating that we will happily wait for you to feel recharged and excited about your next project. Happy authors make for happy readers and God knows how much we love y’all’s work.
Best wishes to HA for a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving.
Wow Quincy is such a good boy ????
That is German Shepherds for you. If there is a way they will find it. We had one growing up and she learned that she could open lever door handles and chain-link gates with her nose. So all exterior doors with lever handles had to always be locked and double ended spring clips put through the lock hole on the chain link gates. When she did get out it was a day of chase, wading through every pond and trying to get other neighbor dogs to come play. Thankfully she always fell for the let’s go for a car ride.
Dogs are always a story unto themselves. We have had a lot of adventures over the years. Some totally funny and others that were not. Life to a dog or cat is an adventure.
I’m fully supportive of eating on the sofa in front of the tv – let us unite without shame! ????
“I’m happy to report that I successfully found two wooden studs and my husband.” – haha! We make a similar joke. ????
Our Thanksgiving is small (3) and with our own traditions (including being stress free) and I’m very much looking forward to it!
Happy Thanksgiving to you, to Mod R and to the BDH! ????????????
If you’re in EST, Fated Blades is available for download now!!!!!! Whispersync on the audio is $1.99 at the moment. Not available to download, yet, at least for me.
I’m going to resist temptation and go to bed now…. probably. Maybe just a chapter or two. Definitely not staying up all night to read it. ????
Ok… I always read the posts because they make my day but this is next level! A doggy adventure, scorpions and a green bean casserole?! This is madness. Someone must write a theatre production immediately so that we can watch this many time times 🙂 not to mention what might happen next…
Melisa M. says
Nothing is better than a good dinner while u watch a Bigfoot documentary haha! I didn’t know I could love you more Ilona!
Except for the time you quoted Steel Magnolias 🙂
Living in Australia is fantastic on book release days! Just finished Fated Blades! It’s amazing!!!!
Pat Roos says
a most happy thanksgiving! and you only have one room where things are out of control… I’m covered in envy!
I eat all my meals at my computer desk or on the couch in front of the TV. You do you, meals are more enjoyable to me when I can catch up on my latest TV show.
My housemate from years ago had a well trained dog who was scared of loud noises, thunder and fireworks being the usual culprits. If she was home alone at the time she would escape trying to outrun the noise. It usually ended up with her making friends with dogs in the neighbourhood still behind their own fences.
“Nobody is sure how they opened it…”
Yup. One sweet faced sheppy toddler-in-a-fursuit is clever enough on their own. Put two of them together and you have the makings of The Great Escape.
I don’t want to find out what my boy would do if he got out but, I have suspicions that it would involve chasing rabbits and visiting the other dogs in the neighborhood. Nothing so gallant as the story above!
Just so you know, I read the title as “The Outer Banks of Doom.”
Ann M says
I hope that you have a lovely Thanksgiving.
Kid2 seems very resourceful. Did she read Tom Sawyer as a child? Your stories of her all seem to involve her convincing others to do things for her. ????
“Because that would be exciting, but expensive” – bwahahah
I like chunks. Chunk all the chunks together, throw in your shopping list and whatever else takes your fancy and I’d buy it. I think you’re underestimating just how desperate readers get between books…. Six months of focus totally not needed.
This had me giggling over the scorpions, light bulb changing, furniture assembly shenanigans & dog escapees ????