Aging Like a Fine Whine

My right knee no longer likes me. Even during water aerobics, the gentlest of workouts, that knee doth protest way too much. And I amplify its complaints with my own whining. “Ow!” “Ouch!” “?$&@/!”

So, on the 30th of this month, at some time still to be determined, I’m having a little procedure aimed at relieving some of that pain. Now, Studly Doright is fond of telling people how I made him walk to such a procedure many years ago. And it’s true.

I was a new teacher—afraid to take a day off lest I miss the day I was to be observed by my principal. And in my mind, Studly was having a minor procedure. It was day surgery after all. I just needed to be there to pick him up. Silly me.

I’d forgotten that his pickup truck was a manual transmission and that his knee was in such bad shape that he couldn’t bend it to work the clutch. And he never mentioned a thing, knowing how worried I was about the observation. So he walked, on a bad knee, about two miles to the surgical center.

When I arrived to pick him up, the nurses berated me. “Where have you been? He’s been so sick.”

Still clueless, I said, “At work.” Duh.

It is a testament to his love for me that he only mentions this horrible story once a year. If the situation were reversed, I’d likely harp on it every night.

Of course, as the date for my procedure draws near I am a becoming a little nervous. We live about 20 miles from the outpatient surgical center. Perhaps I should begin walking now. Whining all the way.

Peace, people.

Vegas, Here I Come

I’m packed. Kind of. If there were a global list of travelers listed in order from most capable to least, I’d rank in the lower 10 percent. Right above those who’ve never left their homes and below those who once took a trip to their Aunt Jane and Uncle Bob’s place one town over.

No, scratch that, they’re all likely more capable than I am, and at one time in my life I flew weekly to visit schools all over the country. Back then, I was a lean, mean packing machine. I could cram all my training materials and a week’s worth of clothing into one suitcase in less than an hour.

And now? Now it takes me all day and I still end up leaving something at home or packing the wrong clothes or forgetting that my tennis shoes don’t necessarily go with everything.

Still, I’m packed. Kind of.

In spite of my failings, I’m super excited. I’ll be at Bally’s (aka The Horseshoe) in Las Vegas for a writing conference where I hope to learn from some of the best in the business. I wonder if any of them teach a class on packing? If so, sign me up!

Peace, people.

Whelm

whelm (verb)

past tense: whelmed; past participle: whelmed

  1. engulf, submerge, or bury (someone or something).”a swimmer whelmed in a raging storm”
    • flow or heap up abundantly.”the brook whelmed up from its source”

I’ve been trying to come up with a sentence for just plain old whelm. Maybe, “I was going to whelm them with my talent, but changed my mind at the last minute.“

Or, “He had to whelm everyone with his charm.”

It’s just weird, right? And then to think one can be overwhelmed, even underwhelmed. Personally, I’m over whelm. Just over it.

Peace, people.

Cosplay Blues

Next week at the writers’ conference in Vegas one day is designated Cosplay Day. I had to ask what that meant, ‘cos I’m not that with it these days.

So, basically, it’s a day one can dress in costume as one might on Halloween. Back when we lived in Illinois I dressed in costume to give out candy to trick or treaters. Usually my costumes were out of touch enough that kids had to ask me what I was.

My favorite was a red and white striped costume I pieced together, then called myself Not Waldo. Another year I wore one of Studly Doright’s shirts and inserted a doll’s head through the neck opening to create a two-headed monster. The head kept slipping inside my shirt, so I just had it peek out between button holes. In short, my costumes sucked.

So, when I learned about this cosplay thing I knew I had to up my game, but I couldn’t come up with even a hint of an idea. Then, a couple of nights ago I was rewatching Return of the Jedi (perhaps for the millionth time) and realized I should dress up as Mon Mothma—mostly because she has short hair and I wouldn’t need a wig.

I abandoned the movie and began searching the internet for Mon Mothma costumes. They were available, but wouldn’t arrive until after I’d left home for the conference. But the costume is fairly simple and I figured I could scrounge around for a long white dress and sleeveless vest. Add some braiding on the bodice and voilà!

It’s fall. Closing in on winter. The only long white dresses I could locate were on Amazon, and now shipping is delayed due to a little hurricane sitting off the coast of Florida. Okay, I’ll be Mon Mothma another year.

A black and white dress that I haven’t worn in quite a while caught my eye from the back of the closet. I could be Cruella Deville! All I need is a black and white wig. Surely Party City has one. Nope. And Amazon can’t deliver one until after I’ve departed for my trip.

But that’s okay. I’ve decided to go as an undercover spy. All I need to do is be myself and play it cool while leaving cryptic notes for others to decipher.

Acepe Oeplpe! (Peace People)

Fictional Crushes

I saw this question on Facebook, then stole it for my author page:

Do you have a literary crush? A fictional guy or gal who makes your heart beat just a little faster?

For me, it’s Jamie from Outlander. Oh, and Roark from J.D. Robb’s “In Death” series. And if I’m being honest, I have a huge crush on Mark Fields, aka Dr. Hunky, from my own Happy Valley series. Of course, I get to tell him what to say and how to act, so it’s no wonder I love him. Too bad that doesn’t work in real life with Studly Doright.

Studly: “Hey, I’m going for a burger. Want one?“

Me: “Studly, maybe you should ask like this: ‘Hey sweetheart, I love you and can’t bear to be away from you for very long, so would you please come along with me to get dinner? We’ll go anywhere you choose. You’re just so beautiful and sweet and smart, and…’ Studly? Studly?”

Anyway, who’s your fictional crush?

Peace, people.

It’s Like This, Cat

Gracie and I had a heart-to-heart talk this morning about Daylight Savings Time.

Starting at 4:30 a.m.

Gracie: (poking on Studly Doright’s nose) “Meow?”

Me: “Gracie, shh! It’s not time to get up yet.“

Gracie: (rubbing her head against the alarm clock) “Meow.”

Me: “The humans have messed with time. It makes no sense to us either, but we’ll acclimate.”

Gracie: (striding across Studly’s body and plopping onto my chest.) “Meow!!!”

Me: (pushing myself out of bed) “But until we acclimate I’ll bow to your wishes. As usual.”

Gracie: (supervising the food delivery system, aka, me) “Purrrrrrrr.”

She’s now sleeping soundly on my feet. Little tyrant.

Peace, people.

Buckle Up!

Lots of stuff happening in the next few weeks.

I already voted, so now it’s just a matter of nail biting. So sick of political ads, especially the negative ones. Wouldn’t it be nice if the ads stopped once you’d cast your votes? That being said, please vote.

On the 12th of November, I’m heading to Las Vegas for a huge writing conference at Bally’s (or the Horseshoe, Bally’s is getting a name change). I’m hoping to learn how to up my marketing game, which right now consists of me saying, “I’ve written books. Several books. You should buy them,” to everyone I meet. My friends are ready to throw me off a cliff, and I wouldn’t blame them.

I’m so excited to meet other indie authors and engage in geeky author stuff. I’m old, so I won’t overindulge. Maybe…

Then there’s Thanksgiving—my favorite holiday. Just good food, football, and fellowship. There’s no rush to buy gifts or push to over decorate. And the mimosas I make to aid in the cooking process are the best. Okay, they’re just orange juice and champagne, but they do the trick.

Our daughter and her kiddos are flying into Orlando in early December. Studly Doright and I are going to meet them at the airport and spend time with them before they leave on a cruise. I still hope one of the grandkids will let me hide in their suitcase. It could happen.

The build up to Christmas is in full swing, of course. Our son and his family are coming to celebrate with us at Doright Manor. So excited! I’m already buying gifts, and that’s something I normally put off until almost the last minute.

Oh, and somewhere in the mix, my newest book, Christmas at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort will publish. Hopefully around Thanksgiving. 😳 Have I mentioned yet that I’m a writer? That I’ve published several books? Wait, that’s a cliff, please, I’m begging you. I won’t mention it again….

Whew! That was close. I think I’ll have another glass of wine.

Peace, people!

Star Struck

I met one of my heroes last night. And I don’t use the term hero lightly. Sean Dietrich is an author, a humorist, a musician, a treasure.

For quite a while now I’ve read Sean’s blog posts on Facebook. He writes about life, about the goodness in this old world. He writes about the helpers. The everyday angels. And last night I was fortunate enough to hear him speak (and sing) in person at an event sponsored by the Bookshelf bookstore in Thomasville, Georgia. What a wonderful evening it was.

Studly Doright came along for the ride, peppering me with questions on the fifty minute drive from Havana to Thomasville.

“So, he isn’t some political nut is he?” Studly asked.

“Nope. The only thing I can think of that Sean pontificates on is the dearth of good modern country music.”

“Is he going to try to sell us a time share?”

“No, but I’ll probably buy one of his books.”

“Well, what’s he going to talk about anyway?”

“Life, probably. Growing up in a southern Baptist church. Fried chicken. Things we are familiar with.

Honestly, in retrospect, I should’ve just invited Studly along for a talk about good southern fried Baptist chicken. He didn’t ask another question after that—just stepped on the gas and got us to Thomasville in record time.

Sean was gracious enough to sign books and pass out hugs at the conclusion of his performance. And I was up for that. Such a huggable guy. I’m sure he thought I was a dotty old lady.

“We’re friends on Facebook,” I said, and he gave me a curious look. I might’ve mistaken me gushing over one of his posts for being friends on social media, because when I checked later, I discovered we weren’t friends there. My mind is quite adept at creating fictional circumstances.

Studly kind of sulked in a corner wondering where the fried chicken was, but grudgingly admitted he’d had a good time.

You can find Sean Dietrich’s books on Amazon. And I highly recommend them.

Peace, people

True Confession

True Confession: I am an idiot.

Once upon a time I created a Facebook ad for my first novel (Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort) with the assistance of the lovely and talented Lori Roberts Herbst (author of the Callie Cassidy Mysteries). You’ve likely seen my ad and maybe been annoyed by it because, well, it hasn’t been updated in FOREVER.

That’s because I can’t remember how to generate a new ad. Yes, I’m an idiot. The current (OLDER THAN DIRT) ad shows Mayhem with 239 reviews, when in fact, it now has 849 reviews. Mostly four and five star, I might add.

One of these days I’m going to tackle this issue. Just not this day. So, thanks for your patience and your love and support. I have THE BEST readers.

(By the way, there are currently two additional books in the series, and another sequel to be published in the near future—I’m just not savvy enough to create ads for them.)

Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, along with all my other books, is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Also available through Kindle Unlimited.

The Great Wine Disaster of 2022

A healthy pour

Red, a Merlot,

Full-bodied.

I knew the first taste

Before lifting the glass

To waiting lips,

And then

One awkward,

Thoughtless move

Sent the crystal

Lurching,

Slow-motion, yet

Too fast for old

Fingers to find

Purchase,

And wine went

EVERYWHERE:

The floor

Countertop

Inside cupboards

And drawers.

All over my khakis,

The ones with elastic

At the ankles

Harem girl style,

My favorites.

And saddest of all?

There was no wine

Left in the

Bottle.

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