Product Review: L. L. Bean Full-length down coat

Quick version – great coat, does what it’s supposed to, water-resistant, order a size up from your usual.

Longer version – I needed a new long winter coat, one for dress and Day Job. I have one that is nice, boiled wool, but it is not wind or water-resistant and really not suitable for serious winter wear. I’ve made do for a while, but it was becoming a safety issue. So I asked for this coat for Christmas. Continue reading


Horse Lessons

When I was flying full time, I needed something to do in my free time that was not flying airplanes or reading. It just so happened that the stars aligned and I was able to take riding lessons, both western and modified English. I loved it, and it did wonders for my posture and my knees. I almost had a six-pack (thank you, cantering). I also had bruises in interesting places and learned how to fall with grace and dignity, sort of. Continue reading

Remembering and Forgetting

What should a people remember? What should individuals forget? What is the danger of forgetting?

The lectionary text this week was Deuteronomy 8. I freely admit, it has been a very, very long time since I read past Exodus without skipping to Joshua and Judges (typical, dodge all the world-building and background to get to the battle scenes). Continue reading

New Release: Woman’s Work

Woman’s Work, the fourth Shikari book, is now live on Amazon.

Rigi and Tomás, now married, are stationed on Verdina, the northern continent, assisting with the re-founding of Staré settlement there. And human settlement as well. Rigi learns that life as a proper officer’s wife doesn’t exactly suit her. And that honor may matter more than career.

Exploration, holy-terror-birds, wombow breath, a lecherous cad, and the Officers’ Wives Club. Which peril is the most dangerous? Read and find out!

Sunday Teaser: Woman’s Work

The opening of the new Shikari novel, Woman’s Work.

Chapter One: Marital Miss


“Oof!” Rigi sat firmly on the dry ground beside the wombow shed. “That’s not supposed to happen,” she told the recalcitrant piece of leather. Makana and Lonka had made getting the wombow harness in place look easy. The lower chest strap of Slowth’s harness flapped in the breeze like a rude tongue. “Well, they had that soft old harness to work with, and Stodge. Slowth is not Stodge.” She got to one knee and shoved herself to her feet.

She got the strap pulled tight on the second try, latching the attached belly band despite Slowth’s wiggles and grunts of complaint. The brindled brown wombow always fussed about the harness, she’d discovered. The man who sold her the beast had neglected to mention that little flaw. Deep down Rigi suspected that if her husband had been with her, she’d have been shown different animals and could have gotten one as docile as Stodge. But Tomás was at advanced scout training with Kor, and some things a woman had to do for herself. Rigi planted her fists on her hips and studied the cart and Slowth. “Do not run away. Or I’ll turn you into wombow stew.”

Slowth’s stubby round tail wagged vigorously, warning her that she couldn’t dawdle. “Nahla, any additions to the list?” Rigi called as she took a firm grip on Slowth’s guide lines and walked him and the cart backwards away from the shed. Continue reading

Overheard in the Halls: Part 14

Mr. Fizz [chemistry teacher]: Just for once, do not do this to me.

Big copier: Thpppppth beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. [Red light flashes]

Mr. Fizz: Arrrrrgh!  [races down to the other copier to see if he can get everything done in time]

Fr. Romanus shook his head. He and I cleared the jams, and he put his stack of originals on the feed mechanism.

Fr. Romanus: You’re such a good copier, you really are. [Presses buttons]. Such a good copier. [Gently pets lid of copier]

Copier: Thpth. Thpth. Thpth.

Fifty collated, stapled, and trimmed copies later, Fr. Romanus departs.

********** Continue reading

Alma 1: Beethoven 2

So, I successfully survived Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy. It is a miniature version of the Ninth Symphony. The pianist has a solo for about five minutes or so, then the orchestra begins passing around a theme and variations for another ten minutes before the chorus and soloists enter. We get five very challenging minutes, then the orchestra gets the last word (or note, in this case). Continue reading