Monday, May 18, 2015

Getting Ready to Switch Off

Yes. I'm getting reading to Switch Off


Photo Credit
Usually I have some good news in this spot, but today I'm changing this a bit. I'm closing shop for the month of June and since we've all been in a reflective mood lately, I thought I'd use this Monday to reflect a bit about where I am and where I'm going. 

There are several fronts to reflect on: personal life, my writing, this blog.






On the personal front, all is as good as it gets. I'm very lucky to have a family, a home, my health, and friends. I can't complain about any of it.


Photo Credit

As to the writing, there's all sorts of issues with that. I'm shredding a lot of my latest WIP out of frustration. I have a story to tell, and I'm not telling it right--not yet. The good news is that my research is turning up some fascinating history about something I know little to nothing about. 





  • Did you know that silver miners spared rats in the mines? And that was because rats were supposed to have some kind of special sensor that signals them when there's about to be a collapse. When the rats ran, so did the miners.



  • And in the lower depths of a silver mine (1000-3000 feet) temperatures could rise to 140/160 degrees F.? They had special cooling rooms where miners retreated to cool off and drink water. They could only work about 40 minutes at a time before collapsing. I'd make it to about a minute.


There's more. I'll save it for another post when I regale you with my writing success. 

By now you know I'm writing about silver mining in the 1800's. This period has always fascinated me, so reading about it has been exciting. It's getting that story to cooperate that's giving me fits.



Weary Blogger Help

As to this blog, I'm weary of it. I love to blog, but I'm tired of this one. I'm hoping that after a month away, I'll come back with some enthusiasm and some new ideas about how I want this site to look. 






This next year I'll be a co-host for The AtoZ Road Trip with a great blogger at Madlab Entertainment . I won't do much before July--maybe a couple of posts, but after that I'll be there regularly once or twice a month. It should be fun, so join us. HERE'S where you sign up. 

Some Housekeeping

I've made some more changes to the sidebars. I like to keep them up to date as often as possible. New books. New hops. New ideas.

If you'd sign up to follow me by email (top left sidebar), I'd appreciate that. I don't use the emails except to respond to comments that I think might be interesting or fun to discuss. And I don't bug people who prefer not to reply to my emails. Temporarily, I've gone back to responding on the blog in hopes some will return to see my responses.

Now with a nod to my usual posts, here's my Quote for the Day:

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view." Edward Abbey, Naturalist


97 comments:

  1. I think it's a good idea to slow down on the blog to re-energize. I'm looking forward to blogging less this summer, though I have to use the time to organize my posts for next year. I hope you find your way with your blog, because I enjoy visiting your blog.

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    1. Thanks Natalie. I love your visits, so I want to provide posts that have interest and are worthwhile.

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  2. Lee -- I really relate with your need to recharge on the blogging front, especially after A to Z. I may follow your lead in August.

    I know you will take your cast of characters and work some story magic in the WIP you are referring to. Sending good revision vibes your way!!

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    1. You of all people understand this mess. Poor crit partners have been subjected to this one a few times. :-) Hope you do get a break in August.

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  3. Take a break. I'm easing back for a while.
    Makes sense about the rats. They could probably detect gas as well.

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    1. Not sure about the gas, but they respond to change in pressure that precedes a wall crumbling.

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  4. Oh, interesting facts! I'm sorry you're feeling a bit weary about the blog but sometimes it's good to take a break and just figure things out. :) Summer is a great time to do so.

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    1. It does seem the right time. I'll still try to visit some folks, but I'm on the road, so it will be catch as catch can.

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  5. I hear ya Lee! We love our blogs and bloggie friends, yet it's so hard to justify the time for it. For me, anyways. I'm still trying to decide whether to get rid of mine or not.
    Taking a break is always a good thing. From writing too. It helps rejuvenate me.
    Fascinating about the mines! I love research like that.

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    1. That's the kind of thing that keeps me wanting to write. I have to research! Great to see you today.

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  6. We all need a break every now and then. It's good that you are taking the time for yourself.

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  7. Lot's of reflection--almost exhausting.

    See you later, gator. :)

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    1. Reflection does seem to take energy, doesn't it.?

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  8. Wait, did the miners run after the rats? It makes sense, but it's hard imaging I would because they scare me. Sounds like a break is much needed. Enjoy your June!

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    1. That creates quite an image. Men running after rats.

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  9. Enjoy your break. We all need time to ourselves. I'll be taking a few weeks off this summer myself. Interesting about the rats. I don't think I'd last a minute in those mines myself!

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    1. I just found they use to ship ice down to the deeper elevations. Can you imagine that in the 1800's?

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  10. We all need a break now and then. Changes are good. I know you'll find the answers to your new story. Your characters will help you. You've really made me think about my blog. I'm bored with it, the same old same oh. Maybe it needs a change too. Enjoy your break.

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    1. I guess I just need something different, but I'm limited by my imagination. Alas!

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  11. Taking a break sounds like a good idea to me, but there's no break in sight for me. :\

    I hope you can get back into writing and fix your WIP. :)

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    1. I have my fingers crossed on that WIP. At this point I'm seriously looking at my shredder. :-)

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  12. Reflection is good, all the best as you figure things out!

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  13. Sometimes ripping parts (or all) of our WIP is for the best. I find that research actually sparks my writing!! Good luck:)

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    1. Let's hope it works. I'll let you know.

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  14. I hope your blog break helps you reflect and come back with renewed energy. I think we all need a break sometimes and taking time to focus on other things is usually a good place to start, Catch you soon.

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne. I'm counting on my brain's vacation to make a lot of things work better.

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    2. Thanks, Suzanne. I'm counting on my brain's vacation to make a lot of things work better.

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  15. Enjoy your blogging break. I hope it revitalizes you.

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    1. Well, something has to! Thanks, Patricia.

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  16. It's good to take a break and reflect which way your life is going,
    I shall miss you in June , that goes without saying .
    Take care and RELAX.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Ah, that's so sweet. You know how to make a person feel very good, Yvonne. Thank you.

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  17. I think a historical about silver mining sounds awesome! I have so much respect for people who write historicals because so much research must be done to write them. I'm also trying to clean up/change my blog a bit. There are just too many pictures and linky things, you know? I'm happy you're having a getaway and hope you rest, relax, and re-charge!

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    1. You've been busy over at that blog of yours, Lexa. And you've pubbed another piece. You're going to need a break one of these days, too.

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  18. It's hard when you have to tear up your hard work. I hope you have a nice month of June, relax a little, and get your story to fall in line.

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    1. I'm hoping I'll learn a lot while I'm doing it! Thanks, S.L.

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  19. Hi
    I love your quote at the end. I am a quote freak and love quotes that inspire. I can feel for you with blogging. Last year, I felt that same way. I am the type of person that doesn't love to blog just to be talking about something. So I made up my mind last year to blog not based on my feeling but when I have something to say and it works for me. Sometimes I may have a point of view that I want to get across or like you I do lots of research and come up with some of the most interesting people that people have forgotten about because they are dead, and I write about their accomplishments. It is really true that there is nothing new under the sun. Somewhere back then someone else laid the groundwork.

    Hope you have a great June. Enjoy yourself and have fun with your family. I am planning to duck out in July. I have family coming to visit for three weeks and I am looking forward to it.

    Take care.
    Shalom,
    Patricia

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    1. What a wonderful comment, Pat. You've given me things to think about. Thank you so much, and here's to a wonderful July for you.

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  20. Sometimes, despite your best efforts you run out of steam. Rather than grit your teeth and carry on, which shows up in our writing of and responding to the blog, it's best to take a break. Everyone needs to be renewed and refreshed or we lose our way.

    I try for balance but when there's a lot going on, as there has been here lately, it's hard to be jazzed up. If your mind is going in so many directions you can't do justice to one area you need to give it a break. I love my blog, I've worked hard on it, but this past year I haven't done justice to it. When did it switch from a joy to a must do job? Not sure.

    I usually take a break in the summer and one in the winter but I've pared down and don't have as many guests and I'm burned out on doing reviews, and find myself at a crossroads trying to figure out my direction. Work in progress.

    Enjoy the freedom of your time off.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

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    1. It sounds like we're in the same spot, Sia. I hate to think of not connecting with you and others I've come to know over the years, but I want to do it so it has some meaning.

      Thank you so much for taking your time to tell me how you're dealing with this issue of burnout.

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  21. Ah, I will miss you, but I totally understand. I think almost everyone needs a break from blogging sometimes. My own blog has gone through a complete metamorphosis, and I'm so much happier with it. Taking a step back is definitely worth it.

    Going to check out the Road Trip Challenge! Good luck with your writing. You have my sympathies. I currently hate my WIP too.

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    1. What a coincidence that we're both unhappy with what we're writing at the moment. I'm sure we'll find our way. See you on the Road and thanks for very kind "I will miss you."

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  22. I think a lot of people have backed off of writing after the A to Z Challenge. It seems to wipe a lot of us out!

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    1. It is a challenge. I give up a lot to do it, but I think I gain a lot, too. New contacts are the best.

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  23. I will miss you, but I hear you about being tired of your blog. I'm kind of getting tired of mine. I'm debating about cutting back to just Mondays... which is what most everyone else is doing.

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    1. I had to do that, Bish. There just wasn't enough time to do my blog justice and do what I needed to do for my family.

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  24. Hope your break is refreshing. We all need it from time to time. And the facts were fun. I'd read a story about a silver mine!

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    1. Okay then. I think I'll just keep writing that puppy. Thanks, Nick.

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  25. Enjoy the r and r at your sea. Never knew that about the rats.

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    1. Me either. Rats are smart and they take a bad rap. Still they survive.

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  26. I know the right way to tell your story will come! - I started my road trip last night. - Interested in seeing what you may do with your blog!

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    1. Hurray! You're on the road. That's wonderful.

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  27. All the best. I will miss you while you are gone.

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  28. It sounds like you need to regroup, relax and become a little less stressed. Sometimes blogging, even when enjoyable, can feel stressful. Your book will be even stronger once you have conquered the impasse you are in. I know this from the excellent information you are finding out. I knew about the rats (I can't recall where) because they not only knew about potential collapse but gases and flooding. Enjoy your time away from your blog but I hope you do not end your blog as it is enjoyable to read

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  29. Enjoy your time away. It will do miracles for your outlook. The facts you uncovered concerning silver mining have me intrigued already. What an interesting time period to write about. Keep moving forward!

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  30. I think it's good to take a break now and then, get a new view of a new horizon, and take time to nuke our current WIPs . . I mean, make them work. :) See you in July, C. Lee! I think you're amazing and I hope you have a good, restful, energizing break!

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    1. Thanks so much, Tyrean. Nuke is probably the operative word here. :-) See you soon.

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  31. What can I say Lee? "May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view." Edward Abbey.

    It's good to reflect. I might be just shredding a story or two of my own while blogging/plogging once a week ish.

    Enjoy your refreshing time!

    Denise :-)

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  32. I can completely understand needing a break from the blog. I didn't know about rats in mines. I like rats, though, so any time I hear of them being spared, I'm happy. They're smart creatures.

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  33. Enjoy your break! I am experiencing blog fatigue as well and hope to get back to it sometime this summer.
    Great to read that your personal life is going so well as I remember you went thought some trials last year. Take care and Happy Summer to you.

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  34. Enjoy! We need to back off from time to time. Of course, the last time I took a break it was for a year, and that didn't work out so well. :)

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  35. Time to recharge sounds awesome - bet you'll find the answer to what your wip is looking for! I love that research stage - so many interesting things to know and discover. Enjoy :)

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  36. You're right to pick a helper dog for "weary blogger help." That one looks like he can nudge you in the right direction.

    We'll see you . . . sometime?

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    1. Buddy never looks bored. He just looks contemplative.

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  37. Enjoy your break and good luck researching silver mining. Don't forget the silver mines in Idaho...I'm thinking of the Sunshine mine in Kellogg, Idaho in particular. The area is fun to visit, with lots of roam around history.

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  38. Interesting perspective. Is a new way of looking. http://www.bellofpeace.org

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  39. I think the time to recharge will be good for you. You have been so busy lately and we all need time to regroup and relax.

    The silver mines do sound fascinating. I had no idea about the rats!
    ~Jess

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  40. I'll miss you in June, but I understand the need to recharge. Silver mining sounds like a rough job.

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  41. I've never heard of rats in a silver mine, it makes me think of a canary in a coal mine. I hope you have an enjoyable, refreshing time off!

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  42. Enjoy your break, Lee. I know you're a dynamo so when you know you need to step back, it's time to do it.

    Here's to you finding lots of inspiration and getting that mining story wrangled into good order.

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  43. Enjoy your time away. I started taking every 4th month off a year or so ago and it has help to keep me energized and focused.

    That is so fascinating about the rats and the cooling rooms.

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  44. Enjoy your break. Sometimes that's all it takes to get the creative juices flowing.

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  45. so we should always follow the rats... don't we already? I mean those in the government?
    Have a nice break

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  46. Love the quote!
    Enjoy your month off, and accomplish much.

    As to blogging, I have so many of those same feelings. I'll be making a few changes myself along the rest of this year. Good luck to both of us!

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  47. Have a wonderful, productive June. Your manuscript will take shape. I've been cutting back from 3 to 2 posts, which is unlike me. I know that's not a huge cut, but I do feel a little separated from online chatter.

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  48. Enjoy your break! I took (most of) April off, but I can't claim to have returned completely energized. I looked at May blog posts as a chore, and I really don't want it to be like that. I may need to do something like cut back to one day a week except for my monthly First Impressions posts.

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  49. Enjoy your June. Everyone needs a break. Your manuscript will come together. It's great you are enjoying the research. Hopefully something you come across there will allow everything to fall into place.

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  50. I hope you have a good "vacation" month. I was away earlier this year due to a computer meltdown. I really missed my blog. Though I took 2 blogging classes, and each time they make me think that I'm a terrible blogger because I'm having fun instead of selling or marketing or whatever. I don't know. Maybe I am terrible at it. But maybe I don't mind that.

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  51. Have a fun, refreshing vacay. I find that I still like to blog, but I can only put up a new post every few weeks. I'm just too busy.

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    1. I saw that! You are one busy writer.

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  52. I hope you're able to iron everything out with your story during your break. You've chosen a very interesting topic to write about . I never thought about rats in the mines. I wonder if using canaries was an old wives tale. Enjoy your blogging break, and I'll miss you, Lee!

    Julie

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    1. Canaries were used. Poor guys, but I can understand the need. Mining was a dangerous--is a dangerous career. Thanks for your support as always.

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  53. Enjoy your break, friend! Good luck figuring out your story. The university I used to work at had its own mine, which used to be for silver. You can go on tours! Maybe you should come visit CO and we'll go ;)

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    1. Sounds great! That would be perfect.

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  54. Enjoy your blogging time off. We all need to take time just to be human sometimes:)

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  55. Since I missed your blog in April, you are my second stop on the Challenge Road trip. A beautiful day here in NC so I have the top down on a sexy rag top something or other...cool. I think we are all rethinking our blogs after the challenge. I love mine, but there are some examples that set a high bar. One thing I have teased out of visiting blogs I know don't work is....what is the point of the blog? Writing the post with photographic support and not all the clutter that gets posted down the sidebars. Yet, some of that is helpful. Have a great time off. Will look forward to the results of your tweaking.

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  56. I've also slowed down a little... trying to re-boost/re-charge and move forward from there...
    I'm also putting in some serious reading time...

    With regards to mining - it's ALWAYS in the news this side of the globe---- our mining companies are key players in the global industry. We have the world’s largest reserves of manganese and platinum group metals and also among the largest reserves of gold, diamonds, chromite ore..
    Take care Lee - will see you around and about... and on FB from time to time...

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  57. Making my way around on the A to Z Road trip! Stopping by to say hello and I hope to see you again next year, if not sooner!

    Mary
    www.JingleJangleJungle.net

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  58. Sorry to hear that you've been having difficulties with your manuscript and that your blog has worn you out. I hope both will resolve themselves soon. Sounds like the break will be rejuvenating for you. Good luck!

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  59. Lee, thanks for the intro to Erin. I always enjoy meeting and learning about other writers.

    I hope this break refreshes you. I can relate to some extent - I love blogging, especially the people I've met, but it can be like running a marathon. A very long one. lol Take it easy!

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  60. Yes, I knew all that about silver mining :) At at some locations. The ice rooms were very common on the Comstock Lode where the temperatures were oppressive at the lower level. There were also problems like tapping into a hot water vein that could scald the miners... btw, I have struggled with my one attempt at fiction set on the Comstock (Virginia City, NV), but if you have questions, I might could help as I have already written a dissertation about the area--looking at how the church and community interacted during the 19th century.

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  61. Hi Lee - I'm way behind here .. and you're on your blog hopping way to a holiday ... or commercial break...

    Good luck with the silver mining research .. I really don't like being down mines - only been down one and that was enough ...

    Love blogging and will be back ... doubt I'll change my tune re blogging or my type of posts ... but good luck and enjoy the summer, also you'll be on the road for a great deal of the year, let alone the summer .. visiting A-Zers ... cheers and see you soon - Hilary

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