A Friday Bullet List

I've decided that Friday shall henceforth be called, "Bullet List Friday". It makes sense. After blogging all week, Friday is a good place to channel all the runoff, thus giving you, my masochistic readers, a virtual leftovers post. Scraps, as it were. It won't be as torturous as it sounds. Trust me.

I can't promise you that I'll post a bullet list each and every Friday, but I do feel that I need to structure this blogging thing a little better in order to make my writing life easier to work around. It seems that all I do these days is write. There are my various blogs, comments on other people's blogs, my correspondence, my online historic portrayal, requests from people to write things, grocery lists, song lyrics, Facebook, my personal journal, and of course my trilogy. Gads! No wonder I never can find time to write!...


Quiet, Cool and Well

It's amazing how soundproofed our little old cottage is. We live on a fairly busy corner in a smallish university town, so we get our fair share of muffler-deprived pickups, motorcycles, and cars with that boom-boom "music" playing so loudly that it sometimes rattles the pictures on the wall. But I never realized just how little of all this we actually heard until we were forced by a kaput AC unit to have our windows and doors open 24/7 for nearly a week.

More than the heat and humidity, the noise got to me, making me edgy, snappy, and generally rattled. Add the winds to that and I was about to jump out of my skin. I was even forced to take down the windchimes on the front porch because I just couldn't handle what they added to the incessant noise.

All that was rectified this morning when a repair dude installed the new AC unit behind the house. Now that the windows and doors are closed, it's quiet as can be in here. I can actually hear the sound of my fingers on the keyboard. Perhaps I'll be able to sleep a little better at night. I've enjoyed hearing the night birds, crickets and frogs, but to sleep with all the windows open unnerved me a little. Being from southern California with all the crime out there, I felt rather vulnerable.

And now the house is cool, I'm feeling better since I cut my Thyroidzilla-Be-Gone dosage, and Nettl is feeling better every day. I think I can get back to writing.


At Last, the Twain Shall Meet

I've always been particularly proud of my family ties with Mark Twain. He was my great-grandmother's cousin and this reverence was passed down to me through a short line of women with a literary bent, namely my grandmother and my mother.

The first novel I ever read was The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I was eight years old and sitting on the front porch of our first house in Solvang when my mother put it into my hand, telling me that it was expected of me to always have a book in progress from that day on, and I was to start with one by our august relative. I did not disappoint. Even today I usually have no fewer than three books going at once...


Train Up a Child in the Way He Should Go

I'm so old, I don't remember Easy Bake Ovens. The only career orientation toys or games I remember is "Doctor" and "Post Office", and those weren't really about training me for a working adult life. Thanks to a Facebook friend I found these little gems...


Back To It

I think that tomorrow, Monday, I'll be able to get back to my previous routine, which includes my daily blog entries and my daily blog rounds and comments.

But first...


Dear God, What Else!? Love, Me

It was terrifying. Need I say more? Well, yeah, I should, since it was the most terrifying one and one-half hours of my life.

Around 6:00 pm a message was shouted out all across town on the city's siren system, telling us that there was a storm coming toward us that had a history of delivering tornadoes. They instructed everyone to seek shelter and that it would be over in about 30 minutes...


Virtual Winos

Sorry I've been a bit absent. The past week or so finally took its toll on me and I haven't been able to drag my sorry backside off of the bed. I'm not ill, just fatigued, so don't worry about me.

Lynette tried to go back to work on Monday, but came home, where she has stayed. She's going to try it again tomorrow. Other than that, she's doing really well.

While enjoying some R&R, we discovered an online game, My Vineyard. Man, is it ever fun. I mean, if you like beautiful graphics, an easy-going, mellow gameplay, and being able to interact in real time with other winos players. Of course, Ville, Nettl, and I had to make it our own personal party place. It's kind of like a wine lover's holodeck, and everyone I meet says they wish they could live in there. Me too. The picture is a screen capture of Ville and me. (Click to enlarge.)

I think that tomorrow I'll be able to get back into the swing of real life; there's vacuuming and laundry to do, and a book I really need to finish writing.

And a blog that's feeling seriously neglected.


Alligators and Asses

It was one of those weeks that Dr. Kielbasa described today as, "When the alligators are snapping at your ass."

You all know what went on, so I won't repeat myself. You don't want to read about it again and I certainly don't want to write about it. I'd rather just let it slither down the drain where it belongs...


Way to Go!

Just an entry to congratulate our dear friend, Dr. Kielbasa, for receiving the Fulbright Award. He has been invited to go to Poland as a guest professor (I can't remember the name of the university). He will be leaving in September and, although we will miss him tremendously, he has worked long and hard for these distinctions and deserves every good thing that is coming his way.

We became friends with the Dr. while Nettl was working on her masters degree; he not only was her Music History professor, he was the chair of her graduate committee.

Congratulations, Herr Doktor. We're very proud of you!


Happy Heimer Day!

I don't know how it happened, but things like this happen only once in a lifetime, if even that often. Each of these people was born on May 14th. Each of them are (were, in the case of the first one) about as weird and wonderful as it gets, and each of them I've been honored to call my friend...


The Bed's Too Big

I think it was right about right this time ten years ago that Nettl came to Denver to live with me. The following August we moved to where we are now. That's approximately 3,640 nights, give or take, and of all of those we've spent only about twelve of them apart. Last night added to that number by one.

I was lonely, and I went to bed around midnight, waking up every hour and-a-half. Then, a great thunder storm rolled in and lulled me into some pretty good sleep until 4:30. I have to get up at six anyway, so here I am.

Nettl's surgery is scheduled for 8:00 this morning. I'll tag an update to the bottom of this post when she's safely out. She's already up. She left the following message on Facebook:
"It's four in the A.M. I've been resting pretty well considering that I'm in the hospital. Antibiotics have kicked in because my fever's gone and I'm feeling much better! Let's get this thing yanked out!"
More later...

UPDATE 1:35 pm:
One of the concerns was that the doctor was pretty certain Nettl's gallbladder was so bad that he might have to make a full abdominal incision to remove it rather than use the usual laparoscopy method. The bad news was that the infection was so extensive that if we'd waited much longer, she could have been in danger of peritonitis, or even liver failure. The good news is that the laparoscopy worked. This means that her recovery period will be a matter of days rather than weeks and she will most likely go home tomorrow. What does all this mean? It means everything is good and that it all turned out perfectly. When she came out of recovery, she was chatty and happy. She's napping now, so I think I'll take this opportunity to do the same.

Thank you, all, for your friendship. It means so much.


Blog Lite, Plus an Update

Sorry for the gaps between posts. Nettl's really ill and I just don't have the energy or the inclination to post. She's scheduled to see the surgeon on Friday, but I may have to take her to the emergency room again today.

I promise I'll write something soon.

UPDATE 6:20 pm:
Surgery has been scheduled for 8:00 tomorrow morning. It may be more entailed than we originally thought. Please keep up the prayers and positive thoughts that only a laparoscopic procedure will be necessary and not a full abdominal opening.


Calling Dr. Gallstone!

I've seen a couple of these in the past twelve hours and there are still a few more to go before the fortnight is up. This is one of the waiting areas at our local hospital.

Last night, after a wonderful Mothers Day, Nettl began experiencing terrible upper abdominal pain. After a couple of hours I took her to the emergency room, where it took two doses of some chalky stuff, an oral pain killer, and two injections to ease the pain. They sent her home with some Darvocet and we went to bed exhausted and expecting a phone call from the hospital to wake us up.

When it came, I was already up. Nettl, who was still spinning from the drugs, scheduled an ultrasound. I ran around the house collecting all of the financial statements we needed to submit (we have no health insurance), and we went to the hospital. When she came out of the ultrasound, she had a picture of an inch-long gallstone, and she called a recommended surgeon to schedule an appointment. She can't get in to see him until Friday.

Meantime, I'm wondering what I can cook for her this week. She found a website and it looks like she's restricted to fish and avocados. I mean, there's more, but the list of what she can't have is huge!

Off to the store...


A Week of Voracious Reading

In the past four days I've gobbled up three books, Clapton  the Autobiography by Eric Clapton, Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon—And the Journey of a Generation by Sheila Weller, and Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now by Barry Miles.

Feeling a bit under-educated about the early blues movement of the late Fifties and early Sixties in England, I checked out the Clapton book as research for my trilogy. England's roots of Rock and Roll are completely different than ours here in the States and I felt I needed to submerse myself in that history. My main character comes out of it after all. Not only did I learn all I need to know (and from the master himself) I came to respect Clapton for more than the great guitarist he is, I closed his book filled with deep respect and great affection for him as a human being...


So That's Where the Rum Went

In January, Disneyland, in Anaheim, California began draining the Rivers of America, a large circular river that is home to The Columbia (left), the Mark Twain paddle steamer, and the canoes and keel boats that take passengers across to Tom Sawyer's Island. It hasn't been drained, cleaned, and overhauled for seven years, so you can imagine the fun the workers are having finding things that people have lost in the water. Seven years ago, the strangest things they found were a toaster and a bottle of rum...



B.E.Earl has asked us to make a list of things we'd do if there weren't any repercussions to worry about. His list is pretty cool, and it got me to thinking. Here's what I've come up with at 4:30 in the morning.

1.  Like Earl, I'd stay in the sun until I got a tan, or what any natural redhead can expect to get as a tan. No burning, no peeling or blistering, no skin cancer, no wrinkling.

2.  I'd drink white wine instead of soda. I love the flavor of wine, and if they made a non-alcohol wine that tasted like real wine, I'd drink it, but to have the real thing without having to think about alcoholism, cirrhosis of the liver, barfing, and getting hangovers, would be great.

3.  I'd over-indulge in dairy products. 'Nuff said.

4.  I'd get a dog. I'd also install a pet door and fence the yard.

5.  I'd live like I did when I was in my 30s.

6.  I'd have a rum and coke. I miss that.

7. I'd sit crosslegged on the floor all the time like I used to do.

I can't think of anything else. What would you do?

The photo is by Liza Crowley Jusdon.


Sunday Afternoon

A cute flower pot of miniature roses on a cute, old-fashioned front porch, my favorite "room" in our house! And now, Nettl is grilling some steaks. Ah, Sunday!

We've worked hard this weekend, Nettl, Joel and myself. And that Corona? I'm going to go back to it right now.