Saturday, October 08, 2011

A Beautiful Fall Day

Here in the backwoods. Temps are expected to be around 80 degrees today. I like that!

Discovered that creating a mobile site from the existing Backwoods Living pages is going to be much more difficult than I thought. Ah, new technology - gotta love it! So until I learn it, those pages may be a while in coming.

Did update the website today with two new product reviews. One I love, the other I loathe. Check out the New page to read which is which.

In other news, we have completed our first film, The Fan, and it is now making the rounds of Film Festival submissions. If we get accepted into a festival, I'll be sure to let you know the details of when and where. We're now editing the second film, Truth of Becoming. Once that is complete we can move on and shoot the next two movies in the series.

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNo, begins November 1st. This will be the sixth year I've participated since 2002. For those following me that are also writers, I invite you to join me for this adventure. Fifty thousand words in 30 days - it is doable.

Now, I'm off to enjoy this beautiful weather.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Missing in Action

You may have noticed I haven't been posting much the last few weeks. There is an explanation for that. I've been spending most of my time getting my laptop set up and working on my next novel. I know, poor excuse, but actually the truth.

We've also been very busy editing our first short film "The Fan". After three weeks, I think we have a movie. Just need to do a bit more tweeking with the color and transitions. We sent our first rough cut out to five reviewers that we trusted to give us honest feedback. While each had a number of criticisms of the film - four out of five liked what we had done. I feel good about that.

Backwoods Living will be updated with new articles just as soon as we figure out how to import the existing files, pictures and videos into Site Spinner Pro. We just updated that program from the lesser version so that, with any luck, soon you'll be able to visit Backwoods Living on your mobile device. Of course, how soon that happens will depend on how smart I am and how complicated the new version of the program is. Plus we've got to collect the files for the website from three different computers that have been used over the years. Hard to imagine that the site started with ten articles and now has over 300 different pages. So it's probably going to be a daunting task, no matter how uncomplicated the new program is. :)

Weather here is cool for the middle of September. Temps never reached 60 degrees yesterday and I don't think it will get much warmer than that today. Cloud cover and rain will hold those temps down. But, as Kevin says, the rain will make the ground softer, which in turn, will make it easier to dig the holes for the pier supports for the new library addition. Which we will hopefully be able to get started on next week, if it doesn't rain all week long. At least the temps won't be in the 100s like most of last month.

So stay tuned, big changes are coming to Backwoods Living...once I figure out how to make them happen.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Sun is Shining...

Sort of, it's in and out behind the clouds. But that's okay. We've had four glorious days of rain here. According to the rain gauge, more than six inches. After all the 100+ degree days and little to no rain for the last month, I'll take every drop we can get. I consider all this rain Mother Nature's way of saying Happy Birthday to me (which was earlier in the week). The other plus is that it is cooler! I actually have the house open and the air-conditioner off for the first time in what seems like months.

Along with the rain, new technology entered the household this week as Kevin bought me a new laptop for my birthday. Top of the line little machine perfect for editing video. Look for updates about our films in the near future as we now have a machine that can handle the high-definition video.

In other news, Kevin (and I also) is adapting to his new weekend work schedule. It's a killer what with three 12 hour days. The plus side of this is that he's home from Sunday evening to Thursday night. I'm really liking that part of the deal.

With any luck, we'll slowly begin working on the library next week. Provided the temps aren't back to over a 100 degrees. So far the weather forecast says we'll probably be good to go, at least early in the week. I think once we get closer to fall the work will go much more quickly. I know excessive heat really slows me down.

On another note, still waiting to hear if daughter dumpling and grandson's are coming for a visit. Would be great to see the kids (even the grown one). I'm sure the boys have grown like weeds since the last time I saw them. Just hoping I don't get asked to babysit. :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It Rained!

Okay not much, but it was enough to get me excited! With any luck there is more on the way this afternoon - we'll see, but I can hope, right?

Still waiting on the tiger lilies to begin blooming. Usually they are in full bloom by now, but with all the rain earlier this spring, they seem to be a bit behind.

Been taking a lot of pictures of the various flowers in the yard, which I'll be sharing on the website over the summer. The more I use them - the more I love our Nex-5 cameras; which is one reason I decided to review them on the website this week.

Also being reviewed is a fantastic book I picked up titled Stories of Survival: Arkansas Farmers during the Great Depression by William D. Downs, Jr. If you enjoy the Foxfire series of books, this book is along the same ideals; sharing stories of life in Arkansas during those terrible years.

I see the sun peeking through the clouds and the radar doesn't look promising for more rain, but at least we got a bit. Not enough to save the gardens, but maybe the grass will green up a bit.

So that's it for today...keep watching this space for more news and updates from the Ozark backwoods.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ozark Summertime...but can it rain soon, please???

Summer is in full swing here in the Ozarks. While only a couple of weeks ago, I was whining about all the rain, now I would really like some, please. Temperatures have been running in the mid to high nineties for the last couple of weeks.

Neighbor came down with potatoes the other evening. Like most around here, the early rains of spring pretty much destroyed his garden. Beans and corn all washed away. The transfer from wet to hot did in his potato plants. Not a good year for gardens, so all in all, I'm kinda glad we didn't plant one this year. With Kevin working all the hours he is, really didn't have time this year which proves that most things always work out for the best.

Beyond that not a whole lot happening around here, just trying to stay cool. I can now play three full songs on my dulcimer and am planning to start a new section on the Backwoods Living website to begin documenting my journey as I learn to play.

So check in to the website often, new articles are being added weekly now so there is always something new to read.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

I have decided....

That there just are not enough hours in a day. Even tho I'm generally up by 4am and don't go to bed until 9pm or so...I still don't have time to do everything I want to do every day. Could someone please extend daylight hours to 24 and make days 36 hours long?

So what things am I wanting to do...beside write?

Take pictures. With early summer here in the Ozarks, I'd love to tramp around the hills with my Sony Nex-5 and take pictures of everything. I'd love to take a picture a day of certain subjects then work them into a time-lapse video. Speaking of video, still have to help edit the footage from our two films...but that's going to take a better computer than what I have at the moment.

Keep learning to play my dulcimer. And that takes time and lots of practice. Okay, so I can knock out a fairly decent rendition of Amazing Grace, but there are so many other songs I want to learn.

Did I mention - write more? I've got stories dancing in my head, begging to be put on paper. For right now, I've just been filling out index cards of ideas as they mesh in my brain.

Reading screenplays. I currently have two sitting on my hard drive from friends that want me to read them and write comments and notes. Each one, to do it justice, would take at least 8 hours of time. But for friends, how can you not make the time?

Reading message and discussion boards. While lots can be said about these things being a waste of time, I love them. My day follows not only other homesteading boards and websites, but also boards catering to freelance writing, fiction writing, and wait for it - the dulcimer.

Plus reading...books of all kinds, from fiction to biographies to non-fiction how to's. My too be read pile is stacking up real nice...

I guess this post could be seen as whining and moaning when really I'm not. I find that it's a wonderful thing when you have so much to do and want to learn. It's what get's me out of bed in the morning and allows me to sleep well at night - knowing I've had a full day of experiencing something new. And that's a good thing, no?

For right now, I think I'm going to grab the camera and head outside - the roses are in full bloom!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

So Ready for the End of Stormy Weather

Well after another night of storms and tornado warnings, it looks like today may be the last bad weather day, at least for a few days. Tornado season has been especially deadly this year and I cannot image the grief suffered by those living in places like Joplin where over a hundred people died just this week from a massive twister. While tornado season seems to be changing (used to be mostly just in the spring, but now seems to be year-round), summer is almost here and hopefully the risk will drop significantly.

It's been so wet that we've given up on having a garden this year. There just hasn't been a good, dry time to build the raised beds we want and anything in the ground would have either floated away in all this rain or rotted in the ground. But such is the way of Mother Nature, sometimes we have no control and have to take things as they come.

Slowly learning to play my dulcimer. Did switch it back to a traditional three string, instead of four - gives me more of that old time sound I was looking for. Learned to change the strings (challenging) and am finding tablature (tab) music very easy to play, provided that I know the song to start with. Since I can't read music, tab makes my playing simpler - I like things that make life simple.

I've set up a Facebook 'like' button at the top of the page. If you, like me, are a Facebooker, would love it if you would click the button and follow the Backwoods Living page. I'll probably post on the page when I update the website.

Now to get through this stormy day.