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Monday, July 7, 2014

You gotta have friends....

"The Amazing Canine Adventures of Harry Spotter" has a facebook page.  He already has hundreds of "likes!"  Yikes!  That is a wonderful thing.  What would be really wonderful would be for all those people to buy the book, so that "Almost Home Dog Rescue of New Jersey" can have a decent donation and help more dogs be rescued, fostered and find forever homes! 

It's a fun summertime book that a parent can read to a child or a child, depending on reading level, can enjoy reading alone.  Older kids, tweens and young teens can learn about rescue dogs and gain some understanding as to why people rescue and adopt rather than purchase a "designer" dog.

Please help Harry to help others like himself.

(The "Ask the Author" app has been added to Goodreads, along with Harry's book.  Please feel free to visit)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Oh, isn't this amazing, it's my favorite part...

"The Amazing Canine Adventures of Harry Spotter" is available through Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

Follow Harry from his days as a lost stray to his rescue, foster and adoption to his forever family!

Told from his point of view (with the help of a  narrator) this book is perfect for older children, tweens and young teens.  Animal lovers of all ages should enjoy it, and it is a great book to read to younger children!  The book includes original illustrations. 

Twenty percent of all profits will be donated to "Almost Home Dog Rescue of New Jersey."

Harry also has his  own blog -  His adventures continue there !


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It's a new day, it's a new life.....

It is done.  With the excellent assistance of my daughter and her artistic ability, a second book is finally done.  I am practically blind from having to submit the text and illustrations to specifications.  And that was the easy part.  

The really hard part was the cover.  I mean, really.  Really.  The instructions say "cover."  What is a cover?  It's the front, right?  Nowhere do they state, until you have already submitted something that is totally wrong, that the "cover" includes a spine and a back.  The "cover" is both front and back, all one big piece and must be submitted as such.  That means the back goes on the left and the front goes on the right and for me that was not an automatic, built in, instinctive reflex reaction.  The specifications for back and front are precise.  And my word program doesn't exactly match whatever program the "guide" uses because the tools I had to use were also not readily evident so, in my ignorance, it took me hours to finally (and accidentally) hit upon the key to filling blue rectangles with images.  I'm surprised I didn't have nightmares about blue rectangles. 

But now I am quite happy with the result.   Here it is - aimed at preteens and young teens, but hopefully anyone can enjoy it - whether reading to a smaller child or just for fun yourself.  It is not released yet but will be very soon.    Here is the cover:

"The Amazing Canine Adventures of Harry Spotter"

The real life adventures of a rescued dog from his days as a lost stray through his foster care and finally to his forever family!  It will be available through Amazon and Kindle. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tossin' and Turnin'

Turnin' and tossin'
Tossin' and turnin' all night.

("Tossin' and Turnin'," Adams/Rene 1961)

You know how you fall into bed convinced that  you are going to slide off to dreamland very soon because you are tired and the bed feels so good?  And then you don't.  You are lying on your left side and your left hip begins a rhythmic *yipes*.  But you are too tired to move in spite of the pain and still hold out hope that sleep will come.  *yipes*  Then you realize that your left arm has gone to sleep instead of your brain.  And your left leg is going numb, too.  *yipes*  Ah, screw it.

So you roll over onto your right side.  There.  No more pain, feeling restored to left arm.  *yipes* Now your right hip starts to complain.  Alright, roll onto your back, then.  Ouch!  When the vertebrae slide bone on bone in your lower back you almost decide to get up.  But now you have settled down and the acute pain is gone.  But your left elbow hurts.  And your neck is uncomfortable.  And you don't know what to do with your feet.  They can't go straight up, the bed covers are too heavy.  They have to lie sideways, but then one or the other goes numb.  And besides, now your lower back hurts again in a long, slow ache. You should get up.  But you don't want to wake your husband.  You should get up.  Try the stomach.  That works for a while, until your knees hurt. *yipes*

So you roll onto your left side, which is exactly where you began. *yipes*  Now how in the world did three hours go by?  Now it's past midnight and even if you did get up to take something, you will feel drugged in the morning and that's no good. You know better.  You've been through this before.  You know your limit is midnight.  You should have taken something, idiot.

Then you try a sort of semi on your side, not really flat on your back contortion.  That lasts all of five minutes. 

It's hopeless.  You stare at the shadows the tree outside casts on the window blinds.  You hear the dog softly woofing in his sleep, having sweet puppy dreams.  Your husband turns over and all the cold air gets sucked up under the covers  making your back freeze. 

Now there is faint light in the sky.  Morning is coming.  You are grateful you don't have to drag yourself into the city into that job you hated anymore, grateful you don't have to be  near tears, feeling like a zombie that has been beaten up all night.  Sleep.  At last.

Two hours later it's time to walk the dog.  Your body feels like lead has been pumped into its' veins.  Everything hurts.  You know when you put your feet on the floor your back will scream.  Agh.  Ow.  Out you go, doggie does his duty.  Then he has his breakfast and you both head back to bed.

This time sleep comes.  The next time you wake up it is  nearly noon.  Another wasted day.  Living with arthritis is no picnic.  Remember, remember, remember, your limit is midnight.  The time for better living through chemistry. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Somethings coming up......

Coming later this year.......very excited......totally different.........


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Here comes the sun....

Little darling, it's been a long, cold, lonely winter
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here...
Here comes the sun.
Here comes the sun.
And I say, it's alright.

("Here Comes the Sun"  G. Harrison, 1969)

Three months into the move.  I'm beginning to see the light now.  Although royally sick of winter, we have had a rogue day here and there where it warmed up and held that promise of spring.  Plus, the light is changing and staying out later, which always lifts a bad mood. 

Our stressed plants that spent a night in a dark  moving van when the outside temperature was merely 17 degrees are recuperated now.  Two geraniums are blooming!   Everyone else has new growth, new leaves, new sprouts. 

Most of the painting is done -  once the last wall in the living room is finished, we move on to the "sinus infection" green bedroom.  Actually, the real name of the color is "Pickle."  Well, a pickle by any other name is still a dreadful wall color.  The last frontier will be the sun room. 

The long lost pictures of my long lost family have been printed and placed in frames.  It's so odd.  It's odd to have no memory of a day that clearly was because there I am in a photo.  How can I not remember something that was supposed to be remembered? (We were all, by the looks of it, in an old American western town reproduction of some sort.) I feel as though I am looking at a stranger yet at the same time it comforts me to see these pictures of my past. Back when I felt safe.

I force myself to go to the fitness room.  I have to force myself to face the miserable weather, and, quite frankly, there have been times it has been too dangerous to venture out because of icy conditions.  But I have to force myself, also, because it is not the same as my former gym and I miss it so much.  This is a very different environment.  There is no music unless I bring my own.  There are two televisions which I find annoying, especially if they are on a faux news channel.  And there is the fact that I barely know anyone.  That is changing, as it inevitably will, with time and repetition.  I've had conversations with several ladies, mostly about decorating and health.  I keep repeating my mantra in my head - "I am here to save my life."

But what I am having difficulty with is my own mortality.  Here, I am one of the young ones.  We've seen an ambulance or two arrive at nearby homes.  I blast my ears with rock and roll and notice that very few people have iPods, pads or even ebook readers.  Yet here I am, one of them.  One of the old people.  How much time do I have left?  What purpose do I have?  What purpose does anyone have? I try not to let my mind take me the way of depression.  I fear my husband is somewhat depressed, in denial and angry.  We both sleep a lot.  On the other hand, maybe we need to.  Years and years of getting up in the middle of the night (4:30 am) only to drag ourselves home by seven in the evening took a toll.  It's hard to reinvent oneself.  It takes conviction and stamina.  It helps to not be sleep deprived.

I am learning my way around the area and I have established myself with two new doctors.   My genetic marker was negative, luckily.  What I keep trying to do is get into a new routine, but that has been sidetracked by all the painting and the 'just getting used to being here."

My new project is coming along.  We now have to worry and hope that my daughter finds gainful employment and a place to live.  Meanwhile, I am thrilled with her illustrations and I know I have to put my own nose to the grindstone and do more actual work. 

We were able to explore the enormous public park that is nearby and bring the dog to the "dog park" so he could run off leash.  He had a wonderful time and the other dogs were all well behaved.  Today it is miserably cold again, but at least the sun is out.  And I MUST go out and get to the fitness room.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Tell me that you've heard every sound there is....

And your bird can swing,
But you can't hear me.
You can't hear me.

("And Your Bird Can Sing"  Lennon/McCartney, 1966)

After years and years of blithely telling doctors there was no history of breast cancer in my family, I have found that two of my three sisters suffered from it. My doctor immediately sent me for the genetic marker test, the results will take some time.  So I wait.......

I have discovered a world of great nieces and nephews and my "friend" list on social media has expanded  hugely.  I had fun getting a birthday card for one nephew and a load of Valentines for the upcoming date.  The rabid progressives in my new found family keep me up to date and full of venom with their relentless political posts.  Who needs MSNBC with relative like this?? 

Since the gene pool also seems to be riddled with autism and ADHD, my daughter has also been welcomed into the loop and I think it will be a great help and comfort to her.  Not only to have someone else to bounce things off of but merely not to feel so alone.

It has been six weeks since we moved to our new abode.  The dining room is painted and an electrician is coming tomorrow to remove the gigantic monster of a chandelier and replace it with an art deco reproduction that is about one third the size of the existing fixture.  The hallway is also painted (warm white) and pictures and mirrors have been hung.  There is now a pub table in the breakfast nook - actually where I am sitting right now.  Little by little, step by step, it's beginning to feel less foreign and more like home.

My family entered the picture just in time as I was just making friends in our former town through the gym.  I miss the gym and I  miss the people.  I haven't hit it off with anyone yet other than to nod and smile.  But then, I tend to be shy.  Really.  I am.  And because of the snow the other day, I braved it and drove over to the "fitness room" but I was all alone, not a soul ventured out so I had the place to myself for two hours.  But it was a bit lonely.

My niece informed me that my only living sister wanted to reconnect.  She gave me the email address of my brother-in-law.  I reached out.  He replied.  There were a couple of emails back and forth, polite and pleasant.  Then something strange happened.  I mean, I didn't figure my sister the type to embrace new technology, so I wasn't surprised that I had to have my brother-in-law as the go-between.  But the last email had a totally different tone and sounded like it was coming, literally, from someone else.  In it I was told that in order to continue communications I would have to understand that certain subjects (my father, my sister) were taboo.  Taboo.  He who shall not be named!  The title of the email was 'Taboo."

My first reaction was "What the hell???"  Then I got really, really pissed off.  I reviewed my emails.  No TABOOS were mentioned.  OOOOOOOGABOOOOGA!!!!   But seriously, folks, talking about the past is taboo?  Why?  Because my sister is too fragile an individual to discuss her own family?  Because it is unpleasant?  So what?  If she still has huge issues this many decades later, she needs a psychologist and some serious counseling.

The email went on to tell me that my poor, delicate flower of a sister was seriously damaged because my other sister was mentally ill and she had to go with my mother to visit her in the mental institutions.  This made me feel like throwing something.  I was the youngest child, seven and ten years younger than my sisters.  I was the child who was dragged to the mental institutions, terrified and confused.  Me. Not her.  In fact, I was sent away to spend a summer with this sister and brother-in-law when I was fourteen because of the difficulties with my mentally ill sister.  They seem to have forgotten.  The fact that my sister was rewriting history enraged me.  And, quite frankly, at my age, even though I had not broken their very special  cardinal rules, I am hardly going to be silenced by anyone.  Bite me.

So I stewed and fumed and spit nails for awhile.  I wrote an epithet laden reply just to get it out of my system but I decided, finally, to take the high road and not reply at all.  Let her fester in her fantasy land if that's what she wants.   What a shame.  It's her loss.