Sunday, August 31, 2008


I hate to continue talking about my health all the time. For one thing, not much has changed. If I’m better, the levels have increased in such small ways that I can’t detect them. I know I’m better overall, but this last slope seems to be taking a while.

For another, I can’t think of anything more boring than having someone tell you in exhaustive, mind-numbing detail about their health and every little thing that affects that. I hate to think of you having to endure it, and even worse, having to endure it from me!

The problem is, of course, I’m not doing much of anything these days. Being sick takes up most of my time with a bit of TV and a few books between meds and doctors’ visits. Overall, it’s a fairly boring existence.

One thing I’ve noted is you cannot will yourself healthy. Germs don’t pay attention to what you want. Your determination to be well means nothing to them. It’s a humbling experience when your body betrays you. I have such plans for when I’m healthy.

I want to finish Murder by the Acre. Got to finish it soon if I want it on sale by this Christmas. I need to finish outlining Murder by the Mile before National Novel Writing Month starts in November. I need to publish the August and September family newsletter. And hey, I should do my laundry and actually fold it instead of leaving in piles in my living room. And get my hair cut; my hair is longer than it has ever been. I go around looking like critters have made my hair into their nest. Things like that need to be done. Maybe vacuum my house. People keep asking me what they can do to help; I wonder what they would do if I said, “Hey, come clean my house. Help me do laundry. And I have maid uniforms for you to wear, too …”

Anyway, after talking about not talking about my health, I have spent most of this post talking about my health. Ironic, huh?

I do want to mention that I’m on Facebook now. My good friends Kevin and Jennifer got on Facebook and rapidly became addicted. I had checked out Facebook some time ago and dismissed it for various reasons. However, this time I signed up. So “friend” me if you have Facebook.

This morning I got to watch the DVD of a concert by Phillips, Craig & Dean, a contemporary Christmas trio. Absolutely awesome. I highly recommend it. Two songs on it touched me deeply: “When God Ran” and “Crucified with Christ.” The DVD is Phillips, Craig & Dean Live. I appreciate Mark and Marjie loaning the DVD to me.

My friend Kevin just called, and he and his family are going to bring me lunch. How cool is that? I have good friends. I have a family who loves me. I have many good things in my life. Despite my health problems, my life is good. I have been richly blessed more than I could ever deserve.

I hope you have a good Sunday. I believe in you, you know. Each and every one of you is special, however dumb that sounds. You are worthy of being happy. That’s a good note to end this post on. Talk to you later.

Friday, August 29, 2008


I saw an ear, throat and nose doctor today. He was very nice. Expensive, but nice. And he seemed to know what he was doing. Knowledgeable. But expensive. Anyway, I'm hoping these new prescriptions will do the trick.

The bad news is that I may have suffered permanent hearing loss in my left ear. I'm hoping that won't be true. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

I remain very tired, but overall I'm doing better. I'm starting to think I may finally be on the mend.

Anyway, enough of that. I hope you have a great Labor Day holiday. Talk to you later. Oh, I'm on Facebook now. It's kinda cool. Night!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I'm fine

I'm fine. Well, not well, but nothing urgent. Not in the hospital or nothing like that. I'm sorry if I worried anyone. I go back to the doctor tomorrow, and I hope that visit will be the turning point in all this. I'm ready to be well.

I hope things are going well for you. As soon as I can, I want to catch up with everyone and find out what exciting things are happening in your world. Talk to you later.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Second day

The second day back at work. I did well this morning, but this afternoon, I was completely exhausted. I came home and slept until seven-thirty, got up, and ate some supper. Then I watched The Cleaner. Haven't made my mind up about that show. The acting is good, but the stories aren't as strong as they could be. Maybe it will grow on me.

Otherwise, not much else to tell you. Wish some of my friends played World of Warcraft. I've discovered most people play with their "real life" friends on WoW. There are many exceptions to this, but time after time I've found players in a group know each other outside the game. I joined a guild with nice people in it, but they have different schedules than me and they don't play WoW much. I have enjoyed some aspects of WoW, but I find playing for any length of time makes me lonely and desperate for conversation. Sociologists have studied the alienating effect of video games for some time now, but WoW is my first experience with the disassociation inherit in any simulated environment. There's a book in this somewhere.

And that's all for tonight. Take care. Have a good day tomorrow.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back at work

Well, I made it to work. It wasn't too bad, considering that I had to leave at 11:30 and didn't come back until 2. I started having stomach cramps and ran out of energy in the morning. I came home, was sick for a while, and then slept. That helped. Tomorrow I'll try again. We'll see how that goes. It's apparent that I'm not going to have any help down there no matter how ill I am. There's a lack of concern that truly upsets me, but I have to remember that the world is as it is.

My roomie bought dinner home from Golden Corral. I could only eat about half of it -- still probably more than I should have -- and saved the rest for lunch tomorrow. One thing I enjoy from GC is their bread pudding. My mother loved bread pudding, and after she passed away, I started eating it whenever a restaurant served it. Sort of a strange way to remember her, but she sure enjoyed bread pudding. I like to remember her enjoying it.

What else? I watched The Closer tonight and the season finale for Saving Grace. The Closer was excellent, but I like it better when Brenda solves the mystery instead of stumbling on the solution. Saving Grace was ... dare I say it? ... good. I like Grace better when she's helping other people rather than wrapped up in her wild life.

SciFi Channel cancelled Stargate: Atlantis. Jerks. Short-sighted, money grubbing, pencil-necked, tasteless jerks. Eventually the brass at NBC (owns SciFi) will strip the channel of any good shows, and I won't ever watch it again. Some enterprises deserve to fail, and NBC and SciFi do.

Prayer request: My sister-in-law's father is in a hospice. There isn't much hope. Please pray for her and her family.

And now I'll close. Take care. Be well. Talk to you tomorrow.

Well, that's all I have to say tonight.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Health update

Howdy. It's been a while, hasn't it? I apologize for not updating and appreciate everyone who left a note of concern or called me. (Thanks, Crystal and Frenzied Feline!) It's been an interesting couple of weeks, depending on how you define interesting.

Let's do the health stuff. My diagnosis is: pneumonia in both lungs, bronchitis, and sinusitis with a throat and ear infection as the cherry and whipped cream on top of my illness sundae. I probably had the pneumonia for a while; I'd been sick for about a month and a half, but kept thinking I'd get over it without visiting the doctor. Sigh. Not having health insurance really bites.

After lots of tests and lots of expensive medicine (some of which I'm still on) I'm doing better. I'm not running a fever. I'm still coughing a lot, but not as much as I was. My throat is red, but doesn't burn anymore. The left ear remains infected, but it's better. I'm tired all the time -- just taking a shower seems impossibly hard at times -- but my energy is slowly coming back.

I'm going to try to return to work tomorrow. It's probably a mistake, but I've made up my mind to try. However, if I am unable to make it, I'm going home. I have to get better. That's all there is to it. And if I lose the job, I have to say that in many ways it would be a relief.

Otherwise, not much to tell you. I've mostly slept or been at the doctors or slept some more. My house is a pit, my life is a mess, my diabetes is out of control, my book needs my attention (which I hope to start giving it again this week as I regain my energy), I need a haircut, etc. The usual stuff.

I hope things are going well for you. Once again, I appreciate your thoughts and prayers. I hope to see you here tomorrow.

Monday, August 18, 2008

No hospital

No hospital time yet. After a terrible day filled with more people taking my body fluids, my doctor decided the hospital could wait until we see what the meds are going to do. And I have been able to keep down some liquids now so dehydration is moved off the list of problems, which I think was the real concern. That and the ability to have ready access for whatever body fluids they might need. No real diagnosis yet. Maybe tomorrow.

That's all I know at the moment. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers. You're awesome.


I'm waiting to go to the doctor. I'm not sure what's going to happen there. I suspect some more tests and maybe a hospital stay for a couple of days. The hospital was suggested Friday, but I -- penny pinching, no health insurance -- vetoed it. Now I'm going to shut up and do what they tell me to do. I'll worry about paying for it later. I need to get better.

What's wrong? I can only give you symptoms: fever, coughing, cramps, inflamed left ear, bloody snot, aches and pains, screaming headaches, dizzy, etc. It's a smorgasbord of pain, and I want it over.

I appreciate your thoughts, prayers, and well-wishes. If they put me in the hospital, I'll ask my roomie to get on here and update you. I'm not -- as far as I know -- near death or anything like that. I'm just really, really sick, and I need to do whatever I need to do to get better. Health is a blessing that I take for granted. I'm going to do better about that now.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Still sick

      Still sick. I'm very tired of feeling ill. The IBD flare is subsiding, but now I've caught this stupid respiratory infection. Throat's swollen. Running a slight temp, not enough to be dangerous, just enough to feel achy and creaky. And of course, my sinuses are either stopped up or running like mad. It's all quite annoying.
      I'm treating myself with Tylenol, Advil, Zicam throat spray, 1,000 milligrams of Vitamin C, 500 milligrams of cranberry extract, as much orange juice as my diabetes will safely allow me to drink, as much water and fitness water I can drink, and soup. I'd get more sleep if I could, but I have this inconvenient job that keeps that from happening.
      Murder by the Acre is going right along. I'm so glad I took this extra week for it. Although being ill has really cut down on my time with it, I've still been able to correct and rewrite several sections, making the story tighter and cleaner.
      Otherwise, I'm not doing much. I have been watching The Closer, which I think is the best show on TV these days, and I also enjoyed a recent Saving Grace that featured Barry Switzer. I thought it was funny. By the way, I'm really enjoying my Digital Video Recorder. It makes it easy to record programs. I've also been enjoying the Olympics.
      That's what's been happening in my neck of the woods. Anything exciting in yours?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


      Been gut-wrenching sick the past few days. A major IBD flare. Very unpleasant. Upsetting. I had all these plans for this past weekend. My intention was to send Murder by the Acre out to my proofers yesterday. Didn't happen. Not going to happen. I probably only got an hour or less in front of the computer. Didn't get much sleep most of this weekend or last night.
      Saturday night I was fretting about MBTA and finally -- yes, I know you told me this days ago, Frenzied -- came to realize that it was okay if I took a few more days to finish it. A strange -- strange because it's unusual for me -- feeling of peace came over me, and I felt the pressure release. I thought, "It's okay. You can finish MBTA next week." I can't really explain how liberating that thought was.
      It finally rained here yesterday and Sunday, and today the sky is overcast. The rain and clouds have greatly cooled things off for which I am grateful. Continuous triple-digit temps are a bit much even for me. Unfortunately the molds have bloomed -- spored or whatever they do -- and my allergies are acting up. I feel rather blah what with one thing or another.
      I did get FTI on Chapter 7-9 last night. I have to take a scene from 9 and put it in 8 and then write a new scene to replace it for 9 as well as rewrite the final scene in 9. All doable and manageable. I felt much encouraged after I finished the FTI. To me, the story seems to flow with only a few awkward places that I hope I have smoothed out.
      Anyway, that's what's going on in my world. What's happening in yours?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Stickie and sickie

Thursday, August 07, 2008


MBTA COUNTDOWN STATUS: All proofreaders have confirmed. We remain at Yellow Alert. Chapters 1-5 are nominal and in FTI position. Chapter Six will start FTI tonight. Chapters 7-9 are on standby. Front cover is nominal. Back cover is on standby.

      I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by the publishing process. There's still so much to do before Murder by the Acre hits the booksellers. Chapter Five had to be rewritten a bit to accommodate some changes in Chapter Three. It's done and in good shape, but I didn't expect to spend two nights on it. Hopefully I won't run into any other changes like that. I don't expect, but then, I never do. At least I'm confident the changes are making the book the better.
      I did okay on Weight Watchers Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday I had a terribly stressful day at work, came home, and attempted to eat the stress away. I accomplished that, but the points I consumed could have fed a small Third World Country. Twice. Okay, it was only 11 points over what I should have consumed (43 points instead of 32), but it did seem like a lot of food. I thoroughly enjoyed it, don't intend to do it again anytime soon, and that's that. Today, I'm was good. Very good. Until this evening when I went and ate food at the Mexican restaurant, but wait, I did limit myself and avoided the cheese and didn't eat a sopapilla and stuck to one of the more healthy choices for the meal. So I'm doing okay. And I haven't snacked tonight at all. Yeah, I'm bragging. Pride goeth before a pizza, right?
      By the way, I am posting on The Great Slimdown again. Today I posted an excellent and easy salsa recipe from Weight Watchers. Trixie mentioned she missed TGS, and I did, too. I hope we can get people posting there again. I know I need the support. Don't you?
      My younger sister continues to recover and is doing well. My brother-in-law is recovering from his facial surgery and is doing well. My niece is still in the hospital, but may be well enough to go home in the next few days, we hope.
      By the way, Adam Huckeby has started a new blog. Stop by This Fluid Life and say hi. He's reposting some interesting posts from his earlier blog so there's plenty to read and soon to be more, according to Adam. Worth a read.
      And that's all I have to write about tonight. Hope things are going well for you. I'm doing okay, not really over-whelmed, certainly not underwhelmed, just whelmed. I hope you're whelmed, too. Night!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A few points

EDITED AGAIN TO ADD: Jean and Nancy have confirmed their status as proofers. Repeat: Jean and Nancy have confirmed their status as proofers. We remain at Yellow Alert. Chapters 1-4 are nomimal. Chapter Five will achieve FTI tonight. Chapters 6-9 are on standby. Front cover is nomimal. Back cover is on standby.

EDITED TO ADD: Crystal, ETC, Frenzied Feline, and Kirsten have all confirmed their status as proofreaders for Murder by the Acre. We are waiting to hear from Jean and Nancy. We remain at Yellow Alert. Chapter Five ran into a field of adjectives, adverbs, and weak verbs and required corrective action last night, but will achieve FTI tonight. Chapters 1-4 are nomimal. Chapters 6-9 are on standby.

      I need my proofers to confirm they are still available to proof Murder by the Acre in a week. I meant to say that yesterday, but obviously didn't since only Kirsten (Hi, Kirsten!) said she was still available for proofing. Please let me know if you can't. I understand if you can't, but I do need to find another proofer to take your place.
      I mentioned yesterday I had gone back on Weight Watchers. Frankly, I needed the accountability that having to post my food consumption daily. On my first day, I once again confirmed what my weight loss problem is: the evenings at home. I was holding at only 16 Point after breakfast and lunch, but snacking as I watched TV and worked on my computer soon pushed that me over 39 points, seven more than I'm allowed.
      Here's what I ate yesterday with the point values to the side:

1 cup fresh orange juice (2)
1 cup 2% reduced fat milk (3)
1 1/8 cup Kellogg's Special K (2.5)
Subtotal 7.5 points
23 fl oz Propel Fitness Water Black Cherry (0.5)
1 slice cheddar cheese (3)
3 oz marinated chicken breast strips (2)
1 cup tomatoes (0)
2 cups lettuce (0)
Lemon pepper dressing (0)
1 dr pepper - 12 oz can (3)
Subtotal 8.5 points
3 slices wheat bread (3.5)
1/2 pound new potatoes, cooked (3)
2 cups grapes (2)
1 6-inch Subway® Restaurants Roasted Chicken Breast Sub (6)
1 cup 2% reduced fat milk (3)
1 peanut butter cookie(s) (2)
1 dr pepper - 12 oz can (3)
23 fl oz Propel Fitness Water Black Cherry (0.5)
Subtotal 23 points
Day Total 39 points

      So I need to shave seven points off my day. Obviously one of the Dr Peppers has to go. That's 3 points saved. Getting rid of one slice of wheat break saves us 1 point. Three more to remove. Remove the new potatoes. And that will take us down to 32.
      Sigh. The sad thing is I was hungry all day yesterday. I'm hungry right now. I'm going to be hungry for a while until my stomach and I adapt. That's okay. I can handle it.
      And now it's time to get ready for work. Have a great day. Talk to you tomorrow.

Monday, August 04, 2008


      I thought y'all might enjoy seeing the chapter sub-headings for Murder by the Acre. They're all in place now.

      Chapter One - Murder in a hobbit house
      Chapter Two - Strange reactions
      Chapter Three - What we can't take back
      Chapter Four - Confrontations & surprises
      Chapter Five - Funny things about funerals
      Chapter Six - Missing things
      Chapter Seven - What to do with pieces that don't fit
      Chapter Eight - Secrets people keep
      Chapter Nine - Never argue with a crazy person

      I'm sure about these, other than Chapter Six. It lacks something. We'll see if I can come up with anything better.
      I've read -- and been told -- that chapter headings are old-fashioned and simply "not done" anymore. I like them so I'm going to use them. That's the advantage of self-publishing: I decide how the book is going to look.
      I'm on Chapter Five of the so-called "final" type-in. I should finish it tonight. Barring unforeseen difficulties, the FTI should be done this weekend. I'm putting my proofreaders on yellow alert. They should receive a PDF of MBTA on Monday or Tuesday next week. At present, my proofers are: Crystal, ETC, Frenzied Feline, Jean, Kirsten, and Nancy. If any of y'all are unable to committ to proofing MBTA in a week, I totally understand -- we all live busy, busy, busy lives -- but please let me know ASAP so that I can recruit another victim to take your place.
      Nothing else to add here other than it's scorching hot. Triple-digit temps. Oh, and I went back on Weight Watchers this morning. More on my weight loss plans later. I hope life is treating you well. Talk to you tomorrow.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Quick update

      Been ill (summer cold), been swimming/floating in my pool, been working at my job, been cleaning house and paying bills, been playing World of Warcraft, but what's taking up all my time is working on Murder by the Acre. It has to be done this month. No excuses. Hope things are going well for you. Talk to you tomorrow.