Well, let me get this out of the way once and for all – 2020 was the year from (obscenity deleted) (theoretical location of the bad hereafter deleted) and I hold out no great hopes for 2021, save even more of the depressing same in the outside world. As for my inner world – grounds for relative cheer, considering my ‘to do’ list from last year at this time, In the spirit of setting goals for the year and working to achieve them, now and again around this time of year, I look forward and goals, and backwards to see if last years’ were achieved.

As of this time last year (remember way back then? No masks and social distancing a thing unheard of) I had resolved to –

  1. Start on replacing the decayed original contractor-grade windows, and the sliding patio door. Still not quite achieved, alas, although it is in hand. I made a down payment to a company to order new windows and slider door in November, hoped to hear from the installer in mid-December (It supposedly will take a day or two to install, all the way around.) This is something that we are still waiting on – say, halfway done.
  2. Actually, item 1B – the siding and paint. All done, and beautifully. An Austin company specializing that kind of work and application of a special grade of heat-reflecting paint guaranteed for decades once applied, had a hireling walking the neighborhood and trolling for business on the day that the Daughter Unit and I were putting out the Halloween ornaments. Yes, the siding and trim was a worry of mine, as it was a contractor grade pressed-wood with a known propensity for not lasting nearly as long as originally advertised. They came, they saw, estimated … and now I have new cement siding/trim all the way around and a gorgeous exterior paint job all the way around. A long-distance project, done and dusted ahead of schedule.
  3. The Chicken Abode – replacement of same, and addition of four young laying hens: Done and Done. A nice metal-framed wooden coop from Tractor Supply and four Red Sex-link hens, procured in about May for the back yard. The Daughter Unit and I went halfsies on that purchase. They were older pullets than the original two, and straightaway began producing eggs. They were bred as commercial laying hens, though – and will burn out somewhat faster. They do have extra vitamins, and all the kitchen veg and fruit peel scraps they can scarf down, so there is that.

As for the other items listed on my list of goals – my size in jeans remains about the same. Considering that most people chose to sequester at home, and the gym was closed entirely for several months … well, that is the reason that the Daughter Unit and I walk with the dogs for at least three miles, three times weekly.

The garage door was replaced, early on – and we were able to clear out enough of the detritus in the garage that I could park my car in it. All thanks to the small local company whose’ card I had saved, after seeing them doing a couple of bang-up jobs in the neighborhood. Which is nice, as the sunroof has a leak in it; most discouraging, as it is now also an elderly car, and it turns out that parts for it are nearly unobtainable.

As for the books completed and loosed into the wild – Yes, Luna City #9 was done, and released into the wild as expected, and the third Luna City Compendium. But the Civil War episode That Fateful Lightening is as of now about half -finished. I got distracted by a particularly vivid dream one early morning in July, a dream which mapped out a concept for a novel set in the WWII period, told partly in letters, about a pair of cousins from the families established in my series of historicals set in Texas. They are friends and close confidants; one has married an Englishman, gone to Malaya to set up housekeeping and raise a family with him, and the other to be an Army nurse … and thereafter during the war, they write letters to each other. That work is all but done and farmed out to the beta readers. Still tentative about the title to it – but it should be loosed to the world by mid-January.

Then at that point, back to the Civil War setting of That Fateful Lightning, and another Luna City episode, wherein Chef Richard comes to a couple of fateful decisions…   

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