Sunday, April 29, 2018

It’s May, For Pete’s Sake!

I swear to heaven, life is just flying by. I wouldn’t mind that so much if it didn’t stop to heap coals of fire upon people I care about (and me) every thirty seconds or so.

For instance, my very favorite great-niece (actually, I think she’s my only great-niece) already has scleroderma. Look it up. You don’t want it. Trust me on this. And now she’s been diagnosed with what her doctor thinks is a synovial sarcoma that finally grew so big it shredded her meniscus. She’s THIRTY-THREE YEARS OLD, for dog’s sake! I mean, I whine and moan about all the things getting old is doing to me, but the hideous meanness of life is hitting her now, when she’s young, and it’s not fair. Single working mom, a thirteen-year-old son. I mean, come on. Where are the gods of mercy when you need them?

And then my wonderful neighbor and friend has been diagnosed with macular degeneration. That means she’s going to be blind one of these days. Talk about horrible!

My older daughter has such trouble with her feet, she has to use a wheelchair to get around. Gimme a break, life! My younger daughter also has trouble with her feet, and she just got through surgery for a detached retina and cataract surgery. These are what my daughters and I call “family heirlooms,” since they seem to pass from generation to generation (I’m sure both Anni and Robin will begin to suffer from back problems soon). Some families pass along… oh, I don’t know. Money. Jewelry. Wealth. Health. You know, good stuff, to their children. Not my family.

And yes, I know every family has its problems, but these things seem particularly harsh to me. And I haven’t even talked about my own problems yet, although you might have read about them on Facebook.

I came down with bronchitis. Bad stuff, bronchitis. It morphed into sinusitis. My face hurt, my teeth ached, my ears itched. And then, BOOM, all of a sudden I couldn’t hear out of my right ear! Mind you, I expected some hearing loss as I age, but this just happened all of a sudden in one swell foop, you know? So my regular doctor, after making sure all the various infections were cleared up, sent me to an ear-nose-throat guy who checked my ears and throat and did a lot of strange things (well, they seemed strange to me, anyway) with various instruments. Then he sat me down and said I had two options. One was to do nothing, and the problem might resolve itself eventually. Or it might not. The second was to insert a titanium ear tube, and the problem might resolve itself eventually. Or it might not. So, since I pay through the NOSE for a Medicare Plan F, I decided to go for the titanium. What the heck, if I never hear out of that ear again, I guess I can always sell the titanium.

This ear thing has been quite bothersome, however. I’m already unbalanced (and I’m not talking about my mental state, although that’s iffy, too). I had lumbar surgery in 2012. When I woke up in the recovery room, the adorable 16-year-old Austrian neurosurgeon smiled hugely at me and said, “Oh, my, you gave us such a challenge!” So happy to have given her something interesting to do for ten hours, y’know? Anyway, since then, my back has been full of so much hardware, I set off alarms in airports, and I tend to walk funny. Then I had to have my left hip replaced, so I have a metal hip. And (this is the important part as far as my unbalanced state goes) my left leg is now slightly longer than my right leg. So I wear heel lifts in my right shoes. What with the defunct ear now messing with my equilibrium, I’ve managed to take a couple of truly spectacular falls in recent weeks. I’m trying to remember to take my cane with me when I go places, but I more often than not forget it. Sigh.

I know I whine a lot, but jeez, I’m used to being an independent person! I’ve lived alone on purpose for years and years and like it that way. Yes, I have dachshunds. I also have lots of friends, and I adore them. I also adore most of the dachshunds. But I used to be a dancer, for pity’s sake! And a singer! My voice is now shot, too, thanks to the bronchitis-sinusitis junk. Not that I was an opera singer or anything, but I did enjoy singing in choirs and local choral groups from time to time. I even used to have a fairly respectable (loud, anyway) tenor voice. Now I croak when I talk. Singing is out of the realm of possibility at the moment. I really hope this all comes to an end, preferably before I do. It would be nice to be able to hear out of both ears again, you know? Whine, whine, whine.

Okay, enough of that. The wieners of SPIRITS UNEARTHED, Daisy Gumm Majesty’s 12th (or 13th, depending on who’s doing the counting) are: Linda Tippit, Prentiss Garner, Jeri Dickinson, and Brenda Winslow. I have to buy some more envelopes before I can send your books, but I promise I will get that done soon(ish). Congratulations, and I hope you enjoy the book!

Here’s my regular caution about my monthly contests. I love giving my work to people; however, I found out quite by accident a few months ago that sending books to Great Britain, Australia, and other countries outside the United States is beyond my monetary capability. If a resident of a nation other than the United States has an e-reader, I’ll happily supply that person with an e-book. If a person doesn’t have an e-reader and still likes to read book-books, he or she is on his or her own. I’m sorry, but what I laughingly call my writing career hasn’t made me wealthy yet. And it probably won’t, but let’s not get in to that because it always depresses me. So. That’s that. However, if you WANT to read a book, you may do so with an app on your computer, so let me know if you live in some far-off country (Canada, maybe), and you can still read the book on your computer with a Kindle or Nook app.

Um . . . about May’s contest. It’s the merry month of May, or so they say, so why not give away a merry book or two? Let me ponder a moment to see if I can think of my jolliest books. Ha! Found ‘em! How’s about I give away a couple of copies of SPIRITS ONSTAGE, in which Daisy gets to play the mean and nasty Katisha in Gilbert and Sullivan’s MIKADO; and two copies of UNSETTLED SPIRITS, during which people drop dead during communion services at Daisy’s church. Sounds like fun to me.

If you’d like to enter the contest to win a copy of, just send me an email ( and give me your name and home address. If you’d like to be added to my mailing list, you may do so on my web site ( or email me (you won’t be smothered in e-mails, because I only write one blog a month, and that’s an effort). If you’d like to be friends on Facebook, visit my page at

Thank you!


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