Swiss Cheese

I woke up at 3 a.m. I’d say it was exactly 3 a.m., but Studly Doright’s clock runs fast, so it was likely only 2:57. At any rate, it was early.

Of course I’d gone to bed around seven last night because I hadn’t been able to sleep at all the night before. Do I lead an exciting life or what?

My brain and I have been having some intense discussions lately. The old girl just isn’t as sharp as she used to be. I always dreamed of being one of those elderly women that people would describe as being sharp as a tack. Instead, I fear they’ll compare my mental capacity to a slice of Swiss cheese or worse, a dull knife.

And as they carry me away to the memory care center, I’ll protest that I once was able to memorize Shakespearean soliloquies with the greatest of ease. And they’ll ask, “Did you say Swiss cheese?”

Peace, people.

Cookies? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Cookies

I tried. I really did. Someone gave us a sugar cookie kit for Christmas, so I dug out the cookie sheet from its hiding place beneath the kitchen island. I found a cooking rack, so the cookies could relax for a while when they came out of the oven. I even dug out the rolling pin I received as a gift thirty or so years ago. I purchased cookie cutters thinking that finally, at the advanced age of 66 I’d be able to successfully roll out dough and cut it into Christmas shapes.

Following the explicit directions on the package, I mixed the dough until it clogged the beaters on my mixer. I scraped it out of the beaters with a knife, then rolled it into a large ball and chilled it for over an hour.

Then I sprinkled flour on my workspace and rolling pin and on my hands and the cat and every other place I could think of. I even dabbed some behind my ears for good measure. I began to roll.

The dough was uncooperative. I used more flour. I rolled and rolled until the dough surrendered and allowed me to cut a snowman. Alas, the snowman fell apart when I attempted to move it to the cookie sheet. The same thing happened with the Christmas tree and the candy cane.

Fine. I decided to just make round cookies. Apparently, my idea of a teaspoon sized ball is warped. And inconsistent. The cookies varied wildly in size. The cutest was just about a quarter of an inch in diameter. I ate it.

Studly Doright said they just need to be decorated. I handed him the icing. And washed my hands. We don’t need no stinkin’ cookies.

Peace, people.

What Goes BOOM-BOOM in the Middle of the Night?

Studly Doright and I met our daughter and her family at an airport in Orlando yesterday. They’re spending today with us at a hotel in Cocoa Beach before boarding a cruise ship from Port Canaveral. I’ve tried to get myself included as a chaperone for the trip, but so far have had no luck. It didn’t help that I came down with a case of food poisoning last night and puked in the parking lot of the hotel. Now no one wants to take me along. Not even Studly.

There was some excitement around 2:43 this morning when an incredibly loud double sonic boom rattled the windows of our room. Grandson Garrett and I rushed out to the balcony to see if we could get a glimpse of the rocket as it broke away from the earth’s atmosphere. For one weird moment we stared in rapt attention at an extra tall flag pole, thinking it was the tail of the rocket’s trajectory. Sick as I was it made me giggle when we realized that the pole was stationary.

Then I returned to the bathroom where I continued to retch. Good times.

I think I feel better this morning. At least I can now identify a flag pole.

Peace, people!

The Mark of a Good Donut…

…Is the distance a person will drive in order to buy one.

Studly Doright and I drove about an hour to have donuts at Johnson’s Donuts in Perry, Florida, this morning, but that was nothing. A couple from Gainesville, a two hour drive, came in just because someone told them that Johnson’s donuts were better than Krispy Kreme. They ordered one of everything. We didn’t stick around to see what they thought, but they sure had big smiles on their faces.

Studly and I had donut holes, hot donut holes. Well worth the drive.

Peace, people!

In Spite of Me

My knee seems to be healing nicely from arthroscopic surgery, no thanks to me. Last night Studly Doright commented on just how well I was doing.

“You’re hardly whining at all,” he said.

I thanked him, then said, “I just can’t believe how little pain I’m having.” And followed that statement up with an abrupt movement, a quick bend of the knee, that had me in tears.

So all night I worried that I’d undone all the good the surgeon had done. I iced the knee with a vengeance (like regular icing, only with a great deal of scowling), and kept it elevated.

This morning I’m fairly certain no real harm was done, but I feel chastened and now have no plans to move my knee ever again. Ever.

Peace, people.

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.

Leaving Las Vegas

I had a crazy, wonderful week at the 20Books conference in Vegas. The conference featured some of the best indie authors in the business, from all over the world. I’m still a little star struck.

Craig Martelle? He was there. Elena Johnson? Sure thing. Michael Anderle? Yep. Britt Andrews? Oui! Kevin J. Anderson? Holy cow! Kevin McLaughlin? Yes, indeed. And these writers are just the tip of the iceberg.

When I wasn’t engaged in geeking out over meeting some of my writing heroes, I was busy learning stuff. Important stuff. And meeting TONS of people. My voice is practically gone.

I have wonderful ideas for incorporating all the knowledge I gained, but the main thing on my agenda now is getting home to Studly Doright and Gracie the cat. My flight leaves early in the morning, so I’m heading to bed soon. Hoping I can sleep even as my mind churns with possibilities.

Thank you for hanging with me!

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.

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