What A Long Strange Year It Has Been

So today is my birthday, and I’ve been mired in stuff I’d rather not be doing, not to mention having been snowed in yesterday.

Later on the program is seeing some houses, as we are as yet “homeless.”  We have a house, but it’s a rental and full of strange mountain ranges of boxes, so not “home.”

My husband gave me A Writer’s Emergency Pack which has 26 idea cards and 26 detail cards with helpful suggestions to try.  I’m wondering if this is like the birthday when I gave my brother The Giant Book of Dinosaurs with Illustrations. 😉

I do need to get back on the writing horse, and the vacation didn’t help, but then I was always afraid three day (which turned into two and an extra night) wouldn’t be enough, because…

What a long strange year it’s been.  It started before my bday with the discovery of something that SHOULDN’T be there, and then my doctor assuring me it was nothing just before Christmas (in the misguided belief, I think, that it would help my holidays) then discovering in mid november after we decided to rent a house, so we could clean our home of 13 years and get it ready for us to move out and sell, that what I had was not strictly speaking cancerous, but it was “highly proliferative and mutational” aka, pre-cancerous.  So surgery was scheduled, and then I came out of that to the Big Puppy Fight of 15.  Because I’d had Brad take my place due to my health issues, I felt bad about the guys getting piled on and I dove in.  JUST before we went back to the house to paint, scrape and generally make it acceptable for sale. Then I came home and finished overdue work (Novel, novella, etc.) AND THEN we had an offer and needed to hop through “new Federal guidelines rules’ because apparently what was wrong with the real estate market was NOT giving loans to people based on tan, not finances.  No, what was wrong was NOT ENOUGH FEDERAL RULES AND PAPERWORK.  And then we did final cleaning and emptying on the house which was made more fun by some of the furniture being Robert’s, which we had to drive over to him after everything was done.

Oh, yeah, Robert moved into a place of his own just as the house went up.  This was fine, good really, but it’s a huge change and I’m still getting used to the new rhythms of life.

I want to get this over with — the changes — as soon as possible, so I can sit back down and work again.  But the changes have, in general, been very positive.  I’m just ready for a slow, lazy year.  And of course 16 is an election year, which means…  Yeah.  Probably not.

However, as of right now, I’m going to write.  And later I hope there will be drinks and G-d knows there MIGHT be cake.

I’ll write at you again tomorrow!



119 responses to “What A Long Strange Year It Has Been


    May the next year bring you far far less stress. 🙂

    • What Julie said, with an extra helping of HAPPY!

    • Net year is a presidential election year, with HRC the probable Democrat nominee. Less stress is not really an option, is it?

      May the coming year bring you positive and beneficial release from stress.

      • Wayne Blackburn

        I’m not confident that Hillary will be the nominee. Bern has a lot of support, from what I can see.

        • So did Ron Paul. Bernie’s support is loud, not particularly deep. Really the only thing he’s going to end up doing is pulling Hillary! far enough to the left that an intelligent Republican will slaughter her. Her recent embrace of gun control is enough to cost her the election – she isn’t the triangulator her husband is. Her entire campaign strategy is to be for women what Obama was for blacks, but based on current approval ratings, she’ll likely lose the women’s vote. The only way she wins is if the GOP puts up Bush. Trump and Rubio are her best realistic bets, but that depends strongly on the GOP electorate more than any ability on her part.

          • Her entire campaign strategy is to be for women what Obama was for blacks

            This is what comes of politicians drinking their own ink. The Black vote was already pretty monolithic, >85% going to Democrats even before the shenanigans.* The “Women’s Vote” was rarely more than 15% pro-Dem, a number which, once African-American women were removed from the sample became about a toss-up.

            Parse the bloc a step further, into married vs single women and you see the voters available to HRC for being a woman are rather few. Meanwhile, the gender gap rising from the number of men who can’t stand Hillary continues to grow.

            There is only one way for Hillary to win the General Election, and that is by attacking the Republican candidate so viciously that she suppresses the overall vote while driving her supporters to turn out. The signs of her strategies are already becoming apparent as she criticizes Republicans on any grounds possible while doing her best to avoid providing any ammunition for them to use against her.

            It will be very interesting to see the public response to the upcoming January release of 13 Hours, a film whose title lends itself to GOP ads to the tune of: Hillary Cliinton Stonewalled the Congressional Benghazi Committee for 11 hours, only two hours less than our brave soldiers held out in Benghazi waiting for somebody in Washington to answer their call for help.”

            *AKA, casting of invalid votes

            • “while doing her best to avoid providing any ammunition for them to use against her.”

              And that’s what Bernie Sanders has done to her. There’s already enough footage from the primary debates that the GOP could run a different ad every week between the conventions and election day using her own words against her. And that doesn’t even count her Congressional testimony.

            • BTW – about HRC capturing the “Women’s Vote” … not in Colorado:

              Hillary Clinton may have a Colorado woman problem
              By Ashe Schow
              Hillary Clinton is not well-liked by Colorado women, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

              The poll found the former secretary of state trailing each of the top four GOP presidential candidates (Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson and Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio) by double digits.

              Even worse news for Clinton, who is making her womanhood a central part of her campaign and won’t stop reminding people of her gender, is that women in Colorado prefer nearly every top GOP candidate to her.


              But the bad news for Clinton doesn’t end there. She is deeply unpopular with women in the Centennial State, with a favorability rating of just 38 percent among women and an unfavorable rating of 55 percent. Among white women, she has a 37 percent favorable rating and a 60 percent unfavorable rating.


              Women also don’t trust Clinton. Thirty-three percent find her to be “honest and trustworthy.” Again the only candidate trusted less is Trump, but just barely, with 32 percent believing he is honest.

              Women also don’t believe Clinton shares their values and believes she cares less about the problems they face than Rubio and Carson.

              This is just one poll. It could be an outlier. But for a candidate who’s making her womanhood a central part of her campaign, it should serve as a wakeup call that something might not be going right.

            • The “Women’s Vote” was rarely more than 15% pro-Dem …

              Took me a second read-through to get your meaning, and I’m still not 100% sure whether you mean the “women’s vote” split 65-35 (15% above an even 50%) or whether it split about 57-43 (a net difference of close to 15%).

              And this post is not an excuse to click the notification box. Nope. Nothing to see behind that curtain.

              • At its greatest claimed extent, the Gender Gap was supposedly around 20% — meaning 60% of women were polled as leaning Democrat, 40% polled leaning Republican.

                From Wikipedia:

                For more than 60 years after women’s suffrage the female population turned out less often than men. This was true from 1920 to 1980. However, after 1980 a reversal occurred and a gender gap in voting between men and women has been evident ever since. The range is from a low of 4 points in 1988, to a high of 10 percentage points in 1996.
                In 1996 Bill Clinton raked in 11 percentage points more women than men, 54% of all women and 43% of all men voted for Clinton. The only other president to get a higher women vote was Barack Obama with 56%. This gap has serious significance. Bill Clinton won with 49.2% of the popular vote or 47 million votes. Fifty-four percent of all women voters voted for Bill Clinton. While men were split 43% Clinton, 44% Dole and 10% Perot. The Clinton – Dole divide was insignificant among men, only 1 percentage point. However among women that gap is 54% of women voting for Clinton to 38% of women voting for Dole. In terms of votes that is 11 million votes. Bill Clinton defeated Bob Dole with just over 8 million votes.

                When you factor the (90% pro-Democrats) African-American vote out, the gender gap, as mentioned above, largely disappears.

                Think of it this way: the non-Black “women’s vote” splits 45M D, 45M R. Add 10 Million African American women’s votes, all on the D side and now the “women’s vote” is 55M D, 45M R, creating a “Gender Gap” that is wholly reflective of a single bloc’s vote, a bloc that is largely determined by ethnicity, not gender.

                Looking at voting by gender is as sensible as looking at basketball games in terms of shots taken; it creates a heavily distorted picture which can obscure what is actually occurring. To properly understand the electoral dynamics you have to get much more granular in your analysis than simply Male/Female.

          • My only criticism of Jeff’s analysis is his phrase “intelligent Republican”. That is the part we have not seen yet.

            • The Other Sean

              Oh, I’ve encountered a few. They just don’t often run for President.

              • The Other Sean

                And if they do run, they even more seldom get the nomination.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                Why would any intelligent person run for President? [Sad Smile]

                Note, IMO the President doesn’t earn enough to put up with the problems of being President.

                • I recall hearing that JFK once said he ran for President because he couldn’t trust anyone who wanted the job.

                • Frankly, one of the late Fred Thompson’s biggest qualifications for the job was that he didn’t wet-dream 24/7 about getting it.

                • Why would any intelligent person run for President?

                  I remember a joke from when I was a kid…

                  In America, any child can grow up to be President. And that’s just a risk they have to take.

                • Why would any intelligent person run for President?

                  For an intelligent Liberal the benefits of the presidency are significant: adulation of the masses and the Media, tremendous post-presidency financial opportunities, a pass on all violations of the Constitutionally recognized rights of conservatives and access to a lifestyle far above what that person could have achieved in the private sector and no inconvenient ethical standards to adhere to.

                  I leave aside the question of whether “Intelligent Liberal” is oxymoronic.

              • What about Ted Cruz? I think that he’s a great candidate for President!

                • The Other Sean

                  I’m not sure about Cruz. I don’t actively dislike him, and he hasn’t yet struck me as stupid – besides running for President, of course. 🙂

            • There’s a reason I included the qualifier.

          • Wayne Blackburn

            Oh, I didn’t mean the loud supporters. I meant that I’m hearing people who I thought would have WAY more sense than that saying they like Sanders. A lot of them.

        • Hillary is already attempting to punish perpetrators of lèse-majesté, as reported by Judicial Watch and noted by Power Line and Instapundit:

          [Laugh Factory club owner] Masada told Judicial Watch that, as soon as the video got posted on the Laugh Factory website, he received a phone call from a “prominent” person inside Clinton’s campaign. “He said the video was disgusting and asked who put me up to this,” Masada said. The Clinton staffer, who Masada did not want to identify, also demanded to know the names and phone numbers of the comedians that appear in the video.

          It isn’t very funny, in my jaundiced opinion, but deserves to go viral to spite Her Royal Clintoness.

          Of course, since disrespectful videos on Youtube have been known to cause riots and even the deaths of American foreign service officers, disseminate this with all due caution.

          OTOH, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

    • Happy Birthday!


    In the view of all too many these days, this is what is wrong with nearly everything, and additional federal rules and paperwork is the cure for all conditions.

    Me, I think sacrificing a chicken is probably more effective for everything up to and including male pattern baldness, international terrorism, the declining value of the dollar, and the heartbreak of psoriasis.

    • If you sacrifice a chicken, you might not contact anyone who can actually make the situation worse? 😛

      Many Happy Returns, Sarah. I’m glad for the positive changes and wish you drinks, cake, and a more restful year than anticipated!

    • I plan to participate in the ritual sacrifice of a turkey dinner next week… does that count?

    • The heartbreak of psoriasis keeps me awake many a night… Now if I only knew what it is, and anyone that actually has it.

      • Psoriasis is a skin condition similar to eczema (See: http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/psoriasis-or-eczema )

        It sounds irritating as heck, but why it should engender heartbreak is a puzzle (broken skin I can understand.)

        Rubbing a little schmaltz on it couldn’t hurt.

        • Wayne Blackburn

          I believe that the ads using the phrase to hawk their wares to the sufferers of such, were aiming toward the under-25 market with implications that the visible signs of psoriasis would raise a barrier to their finding a mate, thus, heartbreak.

        • I knew the psoriasis part. It is the heartbreak part. Perhaps Wayne has the right of it, especially now days when 1/2 of them shave their heads, and I’m sure psoriasis in the middle of your tattoo would be heartbreaking.

        • Reality Observer

          Ask Sarah on the eczema front. On the psoriasis side, it is frequently an indicator of psioratic arthritis – as I found out when I finally got pushed into going for treatment. (This is why I have to keep the office at a temperature of at least 72F during the winter, if I’m going to get anything done.)

        • “Rubbing a little schmaltz on it couldn’t hurt.”

          I had to look up schmaltz to find out it was goose grease; it sounds like a malt schnapps… which I assume would be more effective if taken internally.

          • The term schmaltz can be used for rendered chicken fat as well.

            Kosher law does not allow for the mixing of dairy and meat products. Browning or basting your meats with butterfat was not to be done. Nor was it to be included in any other dishes that were to be served with meat, such as spreading your bread or topping your potatoes. Schmaltz came in handy in those areas where olive oil was not available.

    • Reality Observer

      Well, having personal experience with the first and the last – anyone have a chicken they’re willing to give up?

      • Yes. Hatched, unhatched, hen, rooster, currently productive? (I have a friend whose flock has gotten ‘accidentally’ larger than the town allows. I’m not willing to sacrifice a productive hen, but she’s got ten extras.)

        • Reality Observer

          If you were just a bit closer… (I have a wicked fried chicken recipe. I had a farm grandmother, too, and a place outside to singe.)

    • The Other Sean

      I recommend sacrificing Federal regulatorsions by throwing them into a steaming volcano.

    • “… what was wrong was NOT ENOUGH FEDERAL RULES AND PAPERWORK.” I missed where that come from, but THIS:
      says DIFFERENTLY, and shows why.

  3. Happy birthday.

    Praying the process of house hunting prove successful, this year prove to be one blessed by improving health, and far more joys and fewer sorrows than this last one.

  4. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Happy Birthday Young Lady!!!!! [Wink]

  5. Happy Birthday, Mrs. Hoyt! I hope you have a great day filled with family, friends, fun, and food.

  6. Happy Birthday – and enjoy your writing. I knew my year would be shot so was surprised at the reception of my last novel. Still having problems writing, but I take each day as it comes and try to do a little bit every day.

    Plus the little doggy is now sporting a new sweater I knitted for her. She likes it, but wants to make it an off-shoulder sweater all the time. 😉

  7. Happy Birthday.

  8. Happy birthday! I will be eating cake today, too! (You share your day with my little brother.)

  9. It’s a travesty of justice that Beautiful But Evil Space Princess Day is not recognized as a federal holiday.

    • Today is at least Founder’s Day in Goldport, CO, or am I ‘off’ again/still?

      • Don’t know about that, but with the move to Denver, she’ll find it more convenient if she wishes to participate in Frozen Dead Guy Days in Nederland.

        I’d recommend the Tick Festival in Heeney, but they haven’t held that for quite a few years. I presume it sucked.

  10. Happy Birthday!

    May the next year be far better than the last!

  11. Happy birthday, and may your next year be less stressful (despite being an election year)!

  12. Reality Observer

    Happy birthday to you! (Yet another November birthday to remember – the SIL comes up in four days, the SO on Thanksgiving…). May the next one be in a home that you can call your own AND after enough time to unpack the boxes.

    Good thing this isn’t an audio blog, though, I’d get banned for life (or be the guest of honor for a burial in carp).

  13. A very happy birthday!!
    But no. A Writer’s Emergency Pack isn’t anything close (or as neat as) The Giant Book of Dinosaurs with Illustrations.

  14. Many happy returns of the day.

  15. Happy Birthday! 🙂

  16. Have a wonderful, awesome, stress-free birthday! I’m grateful to have you as a friend, and hoping you will have a phenomenal year ahead!

  17. Feliz Aniversário para o mais dolorosamente bela e mal Espaço Princesa Dona Sara !!!

    (Thank you google translate.)

    Happy Birthday!!!!! Six Exclamation Points!!!!!! Now Twelve!!!!! 18!!!!!! Drop the rods – It’s an exclamation runaway!!!!!!!!

  18. Happy Birthday, may you coming year be great, stress free and productive.

  19. The Other Sean

    Happy Birthday to you.
    Find a home near the zoo.
    Puppy kickers act like monkeys.
    So avoid their darn… goo.

    I’ll refrain from adding verses of “How Odd are you now?”


  20. Happy Birthday! And many more! 🎂

    I know I’ve been watching your year, and wondering what else would happen. Here’s to hoping next year will be better!

  21. As I recall, Writers’ Birthdays are honored by buying stuff from said writer. Or was that waiters’ birthdays? I can never remember.

    Any way, Hippo birdie ewe ewe!

    • Waiters birthdays used to be honored by $20 beer night. Every time you ordered a beer on their birthday, you were supposed to hand them a twenty and tell them to keep the change. I remember a friend of mine who was a waitress managed to finance her first semester of college’s rent this way, when her dad and his buddies came into the restaurant she worked at, on her birthday.

  22. I really could have gotten a better price for you if you had let me be sellers’ agent.

    Your loss.

    I meant for selling Robert, not the house.

  23. Bappy Hirthday!
    Or as my father would say, Happy Anniversary of your birth. (“Everyone gets only on birthday – the rest are anniversaries.” he would explain.)
    Enjoy the day!

  24. Happy Birthday!

  25. Happy Birthday!

  26. Happy Birthday and, most sincerely, may you have many, many more.

  27. What them other folk said: Hippie Bird Day! In Hippie Bird, that’s Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep, maaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

  28. Happy Birthday, Sarah!

  29. Christopher M. Chupik

    Just remember: the world may be falling apart, but at least you’re a year older.

    Okay, maybe that’s not helping.

  30. Happy Birthday and have a prosperous new (personal) year.

  31. A late Birthy Hapday Milady.
    And now for more pandering (~_^)

    can’t give yo a birthday cake, so some Birthday Cohen instead

  32. Meredith Dixon

    November 18th is your birthday? Neat! It’s mine, too. I’m 53 today.
    Many happy returns of the day to you!

    • Mine as well. We can form a November 18 club.

      And appropriately enough, my parents bought me one of Sarah’s books as a birthday gift. Seems an appropriate present for both me and her.

  33. Joe Miller (@joethefatman1)

    Happy Birthday to you dear lady

  34. Happy Birthday Sarah.

    If I get a vote, when you do decide to write more, Darkship. Haven’t had nearly enough of those. I will, at that point, vote with my $$.

  35. A time traveller walks into the bookstore…

    “She’s had another one.”

    “Another what? Tyrannosaurus? Quiche? Invasion of small furry rodents? Anonymous kitten basket?”


    “Oh. Damn, I was all set to try out my new anti-giant-lizard machine…”

    Merriest of birthdays to you, Miss Sarah (even if they aren’t “normal”). Hopefully the move will confuse the RLF for long enough you can get away scot-free!

  36. Happy birthday!

  37. Anent nothing in particular …


    1477 – William Caxton produced “Dictes or Sayengis of the Philosophres,” which was the first book to be printed in England.

    1820 – Captain Nathaniel Palmer became the first American to sight the continent of Antarctica.

    1865 – Samuel L. Clemens published “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” under the pen name “Mark Twain” in the New York “Saturday Press.”

    1883 – The U.S. and Canada adopted a system of standard time zones.

    1903 – The U.S. and Panama signed a treaty that granted the U.S. rights to build the Panama Canal.

    1966 – U.S. Roman Catholic bishops did away with the rule against eating meat on Fridays.

    1969 – Apollo 12 astronauts Charles “Pete” Conrad Jr. and Alan L. Bean landed on the lunar surface during the second manned mission to the moon.

    2001 – Nintendo released the GameCube home video game console in the United States.


    Louis Daguerre 1789

    William Gilbert 1836

    Alan Shepard, Jr. 1923

    Owen Wilson 1968 – Actor (“Shanghai Noon,” “Wedding Crashers,” “Marley & Me”)

    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/November_18

      401 – The Visigoths, led by king Alaric I, cross the Alps and invade northern Italy.

      1105 – Maginulfo is elected the Antipope as Sylvester IV.

      1302 – Pope Boniface VIII issues the Papal bull Unam sanctam, claiming spiritual supremacy for the papacy.

      1307 – According to legend, William Tell shoots an apple off his son’s head.

      1493 – Christopher Columbus first sights the island now known as Puerto Rico.

      1883 – American and Canadian railroads institute five standard continental time zones, ending the confusion of thousands of local times.

      1918 – Latvia declares its independence from Russia.

      1926 – George Bernard Shaw refuses to accept the money for his Nobel Prize, saying, “I can forgive Alfred Nobel for inventing dynamite, but only a fiend in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize.”

      1928 – Release of the animated short Steamboat Willie, the first fully synchronized sound cartoon, directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, featuring the third appearances of cartoon characters Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. This is considered by the Disney corporation to be Mickey’s birthday.

      1961 – United States President John F. Kennedy sends 18,000 military advisors to South Vietnam.

      1963 – The first push-button telephone goes into service.


      1942 – Susan Sullivan, American actress

      1946 – Alan Dean Foster, American author

      1950 – Michael Swanwick, American science fiction author

      1951 – Justin Raimondo, American journalist and author

      1953 – Alan Moore, English author and illustrator

      1959 – Karla Faye Tucker, American murderer (d. 1998)

      1970 – Megyn Kelly, American lawyer and journalist


      1830 – Adam Weishaupt, German philosopher and academic, founded the Illuminati (b. 1748)

      1886 – Chester A. Arthur, American general, lawyer, and politician, 21st President of the United States (b. 1829)

      1962 – Niels Bohr, Danish footballer, physicist, and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1885)

      1994 – Cab Calloway, American singer-songwriter and bandleader (The Cab Calloway Orchestra) (b. 1907)

      1999 – Doug Sahm, American singer and guitarist (Sir Douglas Quintet and Flaco Jiménez) (b. 1941)

      2002 – James Coburn, American actor (b. 1928)

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      1936 Germany and Italy recognize Franco’s government in Spain.
      1943 Sanae sunk by USS Bluefish.
      1961 18,000 military advisors sent to Vietnam, and apparently not near enough police.
      1978 Drinking the Kool-Aid.

      Benjamin Roberts, of “Roberts’ Rules of Order”
      Carl Vinson
      Shelby Foote
      Alan Shepard

      Saint Peter
      Saint Hesychius of Antioch
      Duke John II of Brittany
      Chester Arthur

  38. Happy Birthday!

  39. Happy birthday, warm up with a hot buttered rum, for me.

  40. Patrick Chester

    Happy Birthday!

  41. Happy Birthday (What’s left of it, anyway).

  42. Happy birthday. May you have many more and make your enemies insanely jealous by continued success.

  43. The cake is a lie.
    A delicious, delicious lie.

    How you had a happy birthday!

  44. A belated Happy Birthday to our Beautiful but Evil Hostess. Hope this year is better then the last year.


  45. So, I’m a day late… Happy Birthday!

  46. Happy Birthday Sarah! Hope you got something nice.

  47. Many happy returns of the day Mrs. Hoyt. I hope to throw many hard earned dollars at your literary offerings in 2016