A Tale of Two Ankles

Note:  I’ve had the best intentions of finishing the cliffhanger post, but every time I come to the blog, I get sidetracked with the design… as you can see.

So… the right leg healed reasonably well.  I became officially bootless on July 24th or thereabouts—at least toward the end of July.  (Can’t remember the day of the week I went to the doc.)  The ankle was still a bit sore as it turns out the break wasn’t completely healed.  But I was cleared for shoes, albeit with ankle support of some kind, and warned not to go on any day hikes or such.

My car started up fine after 6 weeks of sitting idle.  (Subarus may not be sexy, but they sure are reliable!)  And life got back to normalcy, except for a bit of digestive problems I was having.

On Tuesday, August 6, I went to the 7-11 in the afternoon to pick up some milk (because I was out) and chicken noodle soup (for my digestive distress).  While waiting in line (the guy in front of me was taking forever, what with talking on his phone and trying to get just the right kind of “cigarillo” [or whatever those cigar-colored cigarettes are called]) I became dizzy.

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I Am Officially Old

It didn’t happen when I retired. It didn’t happen when I started getting Social Security. It didn’t happen when I started Medicare. Nope.

It happened when I fell.. and couldn’t get up.

In my defense, I had been drinking wine. In fact, I was on my way to the kitchen to refill my glass when I slipped. So yes, I was somewhat inebriated. Hey! It was Friday night and I was celebrating my successful endoscopy/colonoscopy earlier in the week.

It was a strange feeling, not being able to pull myself up. I couldn’t believe that all of a sudden I was that old. A chair was nearby so I tried pulling myself up, but I couldn’t get my legs underneath me. So I got on my knees and tried pushing up that way.

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I Haz Pikturz!

Here ya’ go!  I downloaded Paint Shop Pro 2019 this weekend.  I went with the full version vice the upgrade since 1) the old PSP isn’t on this computer and 2) it wasn’t much more expensive.  And it’s still cheaper than Photoshop Elements.  Maybe Ps Elements is better, but I have years of experience with PSP.  Not so much with Ps, even less with Ps Elements.

Romeo doesn't care for his namesake mitts.
A hand pat and some sun. LIfe is good.

The photos were taken a couple of years ago, back when I was actively knitting and was regularly on Ravelry.  The pattern is called Mitts for Romeo—because it gets cold waiting on the balconey for your Romeo to show up. With a name like that, I had to make them!  And of course, I had to include Romeo in the picture.  He wasn’t all that excited about it.

Incidentally, I can  find only one of the mitts now.  And Michaels no longer carries (or makes, since it’s a Michaels brand) this type of yarn anymore.  Although I do believe I have an extra skein… somewhere.

All for Naught?

Remember that book I was reading with the atrocious grammar?  I finally finished it.

I’d picked the book Heroes & Ghosts, specifically because it had 535 pages (nearly twice the number of pages these types of books usually have) so that I’d need to read only one more book—and a short one at that.  After reading the book, I had read a total of 4837 pages.  Which meant I had to read only 163 more pages to finish the challenge. Yay!

Notice the use of the past tense there?  Yeah.  That’s because when I moved around the gameboard (see pic) after rolling the die, I went the wrong way.

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Well, that didn’t work

Goodreads gives you the opportunity to copy your book review to your blog. I’ve never done it before, so I decided to try it out. Basically you just copy & paste the html—and it comes out looking like crap on WordPress.

I spent quite a lot of time trying to reformat the damn review, but decided instead to just show it as it comes out. As you see (after the break) the spacing is wonky, the text size is inconsistent. And honestly, I’m too afraid to to even try one of the links.  Hell, the GR “spoiler” tag doesn’t even work here, although it dares to show itself.  What a mess!

But I’ll leave it as it is for now, because, 1) I’m lazy, and 2) I’ll likely be changing my theme soon, and it’ll all look different again. Maybe even worse.

(Incidentally, the book is about the folly that was the Crimean War, with a [literal] demonic twist.  I loved it.)

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Opps!

That’s how I spelled “oops” for many years.  I recently came across it again when reading a self-published book, and had to laugh.  The book has hundreds of errors, including my #1 pet peeve, then for than.  But in this case the author also consistently uses than for then.  And for added measure, the notorious effect when she meant affect.  It’s obvious she’s not a great grammarian because she also misused apostrophes and commas ad nauseam.  Apparently she had no beta readers.

Anyway, all that is a prologue to say that “Oops, I forgot to post on Sunday.”  As for Saturday, I didn’t forget.  I knew I missed the day.

So, three.  Three days of consecutive blog posts.  I suppose the next goal is four consecutive days.

One Down…

…Three to Go

Goodreads tells me I’ve met my reading goal for this year—or rather my personal reading goal.  Then again, I aimed low, aiming for 50 books.  AT least that’s double last year’s goal.

I can’t take all the credit, though.  It’s mainly the result of the three challenges I’ve signed up for.  Two are annual challenges, one is a bi-annual challenge.  (Goodreads also have monthly and quarterly challenges.  And probably more that I don’t know about.)

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Summer Is Coming

The azaleas are in bloom!  So the dogwoods can’t be far behind.  Because I’ve been hermit-like in my hidey-hole too much this spring, I was surprised at all the beautiful color when trekking (ok, driving) through a wooded area yesterday.

I should not have been surprised.  My best friend and her husband are celebrating their anniversary today.  Don’t ask me which anniversary it is, though—the ’90s are all a blur.

Here’s the reason I should remember this is a beautiful time of year:  my friend had been a docent at the John Carlyle House in Old Town Alexandria and knew that’s where she wanted her reception.  It’s quite a popular site for wedding receptions, so the weekends fill up fast. Because of her docent status, she had preference and was first in line when registration opened.  The young couple behind her said they had scoped out Alexandria the  previous year to determine which weekend was the most colorful.  Turns out that happens to be the first weekend in May.  So, my friend snatched May 2nd from them.

And that’s the story of one of the most beautiful weddings ever.

Sadly, I have no pictures of the wedding.  My friend never got around to ordering any photos.  I do have one snapshot print of me, but I haven’t bothered trying to set up my scanner.  I suppose I could try taking a picture of it with my camera, but that’s too much work for right now.  Maybe later in the month I’ll get my act together.

And it’s a no-go for photos of the John Carlyle House.  The website won’t let me copy their photos.  And my work-around (to take a screenshot with my preferred graphics program) is a bust because I’ve yet to downloaded Paint Shop Pro to this computer.

The good news in all this is that perhaps I’ll have some pictures to share later in the month.

Shall We Write?

This blog needs some fresh blood, yeah? So how about a new theme? That’s the problem. There are so many themes available on WordPress.com, it takes a long time to sift through them to find just the right one. I end up spending so much time trying to pick a theme, I become overwhelmed. And then I don’t write anything. That’s back-ass-wards!

The blog needs new content! That’s more important that a new theme! But what’s there to write about? I’m not particularly interested in Outlander any more. Now, if Starz decided to do a Lord John Grey spinoff (he does have his own set of novels), I’d be there in two shakes of a martini lamb’s tail. But I’m afraid Lord John is destined to be just another Jamie Fraser fangirl.

I’m amazed at how commentators always find something to talk about every day. (Well, every weekday.) Granted, this is the nation’s capital region, so the federal government usually provides fodder for discussion. But oftentimes, the commentators discuss the frivolous. For example, one spent some time last winter discussing the weather, and how we mid-Atlanticans are wimps, complaining about 20-degree temperatures when Minneapolis boasted something like -30 degrees. (The commentator even chided himself for being a wimp, especially since he’s from Iowa and suffered through University of Wisconsin at Madison windchills.)

And see, right there? How I get sidetracked? Happens all the time.

I had an epiphany today. Why not try to write something every day this month? Yes, there is such an animal. It’s called NaBloPoMo, and I did it once, six years ago. But since today is May 1, it’s not too late to start this month, right? Heh. We’ll see how long this notorious quitter lasts.

Tuesday Ten: My Year in Books

Towards the end of 2018, Goodreads said I had read 73 “books.”  Considering I read a couple more after this tally, that brought my total to at least 75.  That’s 200% more than the goal of 25  I’d set.  Pretty good for someone with a (semi-undiagnosed) learning disability and possible dyslexia. But, to be fair, some of those “books” were short stories and novellas.  And most of the “full length” books were on the short side, under 300 pages.  Still, I’m taking time out to congratulate myself.

Then again, the majority of those books were of the m/m (male/male or gay) romance genre.  And to think romance novels never interested me.  I blame it on Diana Gabaldon and Lord John Gray, specifically, Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade.  It wasn’t a romance, per se, because there was a lot going on— mystery, political intrigue, military action, and a near-death experience.  But romance figured throughout.

But the year in books did include some diversity.  I’d planned to do a “Sunday Seven” featuring the non-gay-romance books I read, but there’s actually ten.  So let’s call it a Tuesday Ten.  Here they are, in order of longest to shortest (pages, not words).

  1. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, Time’s Best Novel of the Year 2004 and many other awards. I even read all the footnotes!
  2. Past Poisons, an anthology of historical mysteries dedicated to Ellis Peters, by a whole slew of authors
  3. Ballroom by Alice Simpson, more boring than The Man in the High Castle—but the cover is pretty
  4. The Man in the High Castle by Phillip K. Dick, only slightly better than the extremely boring television series
  5. The Squire’s Tale (Sister Frevisse #10) by Margaret Frazer, featuring the return of one of my favorite characters from the first Frevisse novel, The Novice’s Tale
  6. A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters, Brother Cadfael #1
  7. The Patchwork Girl of Oz (Oz #8) by L. Frank Baum, not his best
  8. The Ladies of Grace Adieu, a collection of very clever short stories by Susanna Clarke, a kind of continuation of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
  9. King Solomon’s Mines by Allan Quartermaine H. Ride Haggard, it hasn’t aged well, what with all the animal cruelty and machismo
  10. One Corpse Too Many by Ellis Peters, the second Brother Cadfael novel
  11. Nozy Cat #1 (yes, that’s its title) by Lyn Keyes, a cozy mystery with a talking cat.  The second book in the series is called Nozy Cat #2.

(Crap!  How did that list turn into 11? When I added them up initially, I swore there were only 10.)

My favorites and highly recommended:  The Ladies of Grace Adieu, One Corpse Too Many, and A Squire’s Tale.  I’d recommend reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell before The Ladies of Grace Adieu, and Sister Frevisse #1, and A Novice’s Tale, before The Squire’s Tale, to get a better understanding of Roger Fenner.  One Corpse Too Many can stand on its own, I think.

Any favorites you’d recommend?  (Oh yeah, I tried reading The Great Gatsby for a second time and didn’t even get as far as I did the first time.  Don’t recommend it, please.)