April ’21 newsletter: Attention ground bees, the cinnamon spreader cometh

March 30, 2021 – I just finished spreading powdered cinnamon in my yard for the fourth straight day. That’s supposed to be one of the more humane ways to get ground bees to stop making nests in your ground and going elsewhere. They’re not supposed to like cinnamon.

Mr. Ground Bee, you are a pesky varmint!

I don’t like them. Well, I don’t like them nesting in a big colony in my backyard anyway. They’re fairly docile (only the females have stingers) and they’re pollinators. So, I really have nothing against them per se. But my lawn doesn’t need all of their nesting holes in it and I think we’d all be much happier if they found a less lived in place to do their nesting thing.

So far, my spice spilling hasn’t convinced the little guys to buzz off. I’m going to keep at this for a whole week and see if it works. If not, I may move on to cardamom, paprika, or bay leaves.

Apparently, they don’t like cucumber peels, peppermint, vinegar, garlic powder, and wet lawns, too. Maybe I can try a combination of all of those for a ground bee cocktail.

Just another sign of spring in my south central Indiana abode.

Moving on…


Really quick overview of some of the major happenings with PathBinder Publishing:

*My wife has found some media interest in the book she just published with my company. Love, Hope: Children Express Their Emotions During the Coronavirus Pandemic explores children’s emotions, thoughts and attitudes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The book was featured in two local newspapers as well as on Indianapolis TV station WTHR with this really nice 2½-minute segment.

*Angela Childs, a retired art and music teacher, will have her second children’s books out with us on April 1. Chasing Rainbows: A Story of Faith is available for pre-order on Amazon right now in hardback and paperback. Her A Rat for Thanksgiving? came out a little before Thanksgiving last year.

*I’m working on finalizing another book project and I’ve also added a service where I help authors self-publish under their own name. I stay out of the marketing and the royalties, just helping them put the book together and posting it to the appropriate publishing platform.


Writing? What writing? Oh, that.

Well, there’s these here newsletters, which take so much brain power, all I have left in the tank each month is publishing brain cells. If you believe that …

Actually, the writing group I’m in is keeping my skills honed. I’ll have to see what this month’s assignment is.


I finished Little Cruelties by Irish author Liz Nugent early last month, then cruised through Standing in Another Man’s Grave, one of the novels in the Inspector Rebus series by Scottish author Ian Rankin. Little Cruelties was my second novel about a messed-up Irish family this year. The Rankin book was my third Rebus book (one was a collection of short stories). In this one, John Rebus investigates the disappearances of three women from the same road over a ten-year period.

And now, I am on Q.W.E.R.T.Y.: A Haunting by my friend, Barbara Avon of Ontario, Canada. Luke is an author and a widower. His aunt gifts him a Remington typewriter, and he soon discovers that everything he types comes true. Oooh!

Ailment of the Month

Everything. Yes, let’s just go with everything.

Well, OK, there’s no halitosis or hangnails to speak of. But a lingering chest/sinus infection that I began treatment for the same day I got my first COVID vaccine left me feeling several of the potential side effects of the vaccine to a higher degree than I might have otherwise.

To be fair, I only experienced the first half of the potential side effects of the Pfizer dose. And nothing was so horrible that it ruined entire days … half days and a few nights with chills perhaps, and a few mid-afternoon or even mid-morning naps. I’m hoping this chest/sinus thing is completely gone when Round 2 of Mr. Pfizer comes to call in a couple of weeks.

Oh, and I’m going for a consultation for cataract surgery on April Fools’ Day. No surgery that day, but if all is OKd by the ophthalmologist (which is really hard to spell by the way), I’ll be getting new lenses stuck into my eyeballs pretty soon. At present, my vision can no longer be corrected to better than 20/40. This has been coming on quickly the past few years, so the decline in visual acuity has been quite noticeable, even if I’ve been able to function well enough to get by, during daylight hours anyway. I’m looking forward to being able to see 20/20 again.


Let’s see. What else is there to blab on and on about …

* I did a movie audition last month for the first time ever. Callbacks are supposed to be at the end of March. I haven’t heard back yet. I’m not confident at this point. But maybe they’re running late. Oh well, if I don’t get called back, at least I got to experience doing something on camera that someone else looked at. Plus, I got to make the hour-long from Columbus to Bloomington in great weather and have lunch with two of my daughters.

* Just finishing up the second of two fantasy baseball drafts. The first one took an hour and 15 minutes; the other one 10 days.

* Ready to increase my daily step total as the weather keeps warming up. Love to walk outside, and once it hits 65 degrees, it’s tough to go back out there when it drops back to 30. But we won’t have many sub-freezing mornings for a while. I’ve found $17.88 this month, which is on pace for $73.33 for the year. But I am expecting the warmer months to produce more cash flow. So, we could be looking at a record year. Last year set the record with $98.47 found.

*I have been posting signs on Twitter and Facebook of businesses’ signs containing the Hoffman name. There are a lot of them. I’m up to 26 posted, and I have many more. It looks like I own a zillion businesses. I don’t.

I haven’t even dipped into the alternate spellings of my last name … Hoffmann, Hofmann, Huffman, and so forth. There could literally be eleventy billion and twelve if I included those. Below is a slide show of a sampling of Hoffman signs I’ve posted. Use the hashtag #HoffmanSigns to collect them all!

That’s it for this month. Have a good one!


Helpful Links

My books:

My social media:

PathBinder Publishing website

PathBinder Publishing on Facebook

PathBinder Publishing on Instagram

Paul on Instagram

Paul/PathBinder Publishing on Twitter

Paul J. Hoffman author page on Facebook

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