Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Joy and Pain of Losing Technology.

This has to count as one of the strangest weeks on record in a life that doesn’t have to look far to find strange.I don’t think I’ve answered a telephone nor made a phone call in about 6 years but nonetheless to have the internet I have a phone line and while I have a phone line my wife would talk. The calls I usually get are to remind me I haven’t claimed my free boiler yet,it’s someone asking if I’ve had an accident in the last 5 years or my personal favourite(not). asking if I’d like to claim against the banks for a refund of the insurance they made me pay on loans. I warn you now call centres, if I becomme God next week I’m banishing automatic dialling machines. Anyway, on we go.

Sunday. MiRo left early this morning as another trip to Manchester airport was needed to collect one of the Canada stragglers. Hankie in hand and tear in eye I waved them off before settling down to the morning messages. At lunch time I had a bing meal and settled to watching trash films on the TV and fiddling with my phones. The new sim card went in the old phone nicely and I’m back to working but have to wait until during this week to see what the old provider says about unlocking the iphone 3 properly.More mail late afternoon and evening just to keep me going.

Monday. I was working on my morning mail when the front door opened and my nephew appeared unexpectedly. He handed me a box and trooped out again leaving the door ajar. The box proved to contain a small turbo-vac for doing my keyboard which means my supply of biscuit crumbs will now be made to disappear.David re-appeared with pack of loft boards and in fact had 3 packs with him along with another fabulous walking stick as a gift. I had no idea my loft was to be boarded yet but I had no appointments and so was able to help- if locating and unfolding the ladders can be construed as thus.Fair play though, I did pass a pack up to him to the delight of the surgeon who will deal with the hernia.Perhaps it would have made more sense to open the pack and pass a piece at a time? We worked for a while or to be more accurate he worked, I chatted, until lunch time approached and I went to buy some SALAD sandwiches.The last of the rubbish out of the loft after lunch and David looked for a suitable place to start laying. It seems there are a lot of pipes and wires up there which lie over the rafters rather than under or through them. He found a spot and laid the first one, drilling holes to take the screws. The second he had to use a jigsaw to create space for a few wayward wires. The third he used both tools and I heard him call down about a funny old phone junction box he’d found. ” A strange place to put it” he said. He left about 3 pm after tidying up and I did’t realise till he’d gone that he’d taken a large bedspread (Comforter?) with him I’d put on one side.Ah well, accidents will happen. I went to catch up on my emails but found the internet not working. This happens so was annoying rather than worrying.I turned the internet box off and went to watch a bit of TV. I got wrapped up in NCIS then The Mentalist and didn’t return to the computer until 6 pm. Still no joy so I texted Yvonne and asked her to check if my ISP had any problems in the area. I received a text back asking if I’d answer the phone if she rang. I said OK and waited.Next text “Why aren’t you answering?” My response “Because it isn’t ringing.” and the penny dropped.

Tuesday. A knock at the door early this morning brought a delivery. I’d ordered some books as Christmas gifts including some for Reuben, not that I’m expecting him to be reading by then. I started to pull them out of the box and checked them against the invoice. Most were OK but one set of Reuben’s were missing though kindly they had included an alternative- A set of Romances. Call me awkward but I didn’t think he should be reading that kind of thing yet.So, when Yvonne and Reuben arrived late morning I pulled her to one side so he wouldn’t hear- difficult as he was being carried in a papoose sling-and asked her to phone them. As usual I expected problems of understanding people from a call centre based i a far flung corner of the Empire. It turned out to be a pleasant young lady from Bangor about 50 miles away.She quickly apologised, offered to put the missing books straight in the post and told us to keep the romances or donate them to charity if I preferred. Well Done ‘The Book People’. This was no casual visit by Yvonne. I had an early afternoon hospital appointment followed by an appointment in the surgery and when Der Fuhrer says I’m going, I’M GOING ! We caught a bus into town and went for lunch at ‘Kassidy’s’ which some of you may recognise from my books. I still have to take chocolates in for the staff to stop them suing me.Lunch was great, only interrupted by the sight of Reuben’s face changing colour as he filled a nappy. Since we didn’t fancy a manslaughter charge we took our leave and Yvonne went and changed him elsewhere which shall remain unnamed. The hospital appointment went well and I’m told I won’t be called back again but can get another appointment only if I feel I need to.That left just the surgery which surely would be as easy.I had thought I was going just to collect some antibiotics and have my BP taken and since I was given new meds (which I got Monday) as a result of the last one, I expected a change. I entered the room and was greeted by the Sister holding the sphigmomnometer like a noose. She only wrapped it round my arm though as she reminded me my 6 monthly chest check up was a tad overdue last year. That helped as my BP is now 180/100. We got down to the flow test where you blow through a tube for a series of tests, they call them a battery of tests cos’ that’s what it feels like just without the assault. I strained to do the first blow and she said I could start anytime I liked ( no-one likes a smart arse). Things only went from bad to worse until at the end she remembered I usually don’t do that particular test as I have unstable angina. Anyhoo, I did leave with a prescription for antibiotics which I’ve decided I can take when I think I feel they’re best needed. Home again on the bus with me still trying to catch my breath and we all waited for Ugo to finish work and come to fetch his family. He arrived with a chip shop meal for tea and I had to eat another ‘Healthy’ meal following my choice of bacon sandwiches at lunchtime.We had a good natter before they all let and took Reuben for his bath.

Wednesday. Another boring day with no internet. I decided to look at my variety of catalogues and think about ordering Christmas gifts. I actually made good progress I thought. At lunchtime I made myself a bing meal of braised steak and mash with a tin of peas and carrots. It was very nice. After washing up I settled back down with the catalogue until an episode of The Mentalist came on and I urged Patrick Jane to catch Red John.The rest of the evening passed in a blur mainly because I think I was inspecting the insides of my eyelids.

Thursday. An early knock on the door brought the telephone engineer who told me he had some checking to do outside.He was a nice man and I didn’t want to argue- mainly because I have enough of a problem just talking to strangers. Anyway, I left him to it. After an hour he said he couldn’t find a fault on the line outside but he couldn’t check the roof connection as they’re not allowed to walk on roofs. Before I could suggest investigation inside he told me he’d ordered a cherry picker which would take an hour to arrive so he could check the pole which was askew.I wondered if. it was possible the fault could be there and crossed my fingers.In the meantime, he was going to the local exchange to check things there. The hour or so passed and another knock. No, there was no fault with the pole despite his equipment showing an outside fault. He spent a long time checking the box on the wall before finally asking if he could access the loft. Gulp. Within a few minutes he asked if anyone had been up there recently and I had to say yes. Up came the loft boards and there lay the connection box smashed under the board and the panel broken with disconnected wires. “Someone made a mess of this” he told me,” but I think I can fix it”. Half an hour later it was done and by about 3 pm my internet was back ad I was attacking emails. At 5 pm I broke off for tea and came back to find it had gone again. Grrrr, in frustration I texted Yvonne and had her look online to see if my carrier had problems. The answer was no again so back on her phone she went to the call centre which was staffed by the most polite people with the worst accent to understand in the world. She became more and more frustrate as they asked a question and she answered, then they’d repeat her answer to her and ask a new question. She’d answer and they’d come back and repeat both answers until she was having 5 or 6 previous answers repeated back to her. The next step involved me lying face down on my floor as instructions were dictate from India to Yvonne and from she to me to unscrew the junction box and plug the phone jack into the empty test socket inside. This would have been followed to the letter had their actually been a test socket inside. I gave it a good rattle to check and screwed it back together full of disappointment. India assured us we would be placed with a priority crew. Five minutes later the whole kit and caboodle started working again. I ploughed into the remaining 731 messages.I didn’t sleep much but who cares, the internet is back !!

Friday. I unpeeled my eyelids and decided to wash and change before the arrival of my visitors. MuJo were coming and I had another bag of Christmas goodies for them after Monday’s visit to the loft.I managed to get my morning mail dealt with before they arrived and I made drinks. We decided to have lunch at Kassidy’s and I got the bribe chocolates ready. They were surprised to see me again so soon and I got a lovely hug and welcome from Sheryl. We all ordered pork roast dinners and it was fortunate that a new member of staff served them as John’s first question was “Is this a child’s portion?” Had it been Sheryl, he might have been wearing it. We ventured into a little shopping later where I was able to make even more headway with Christmas, finding a nice fleece for Muriel. We sat down with a coffee afterwards to relax and Muriel asked if Mike was visiting for the weekend.I was just about to say I’d text to find out when in he walked and with a funny knee gripping limp and a wave went straight past me. Rose followed a minute later and asked whether he’d made it to the loo. We all chorused that we hoped so.Rose drew up a chair to join us and I ordered drinks.The staff in Temptations are wonderful with service and well worth their chocolate gifts too. At home later MuJo left ad I left Mike trying the iPhone while I did more mail. After an hour I’d done but he was no further on so I made them a meal and we ad our usual evening of insults.

Saturday. By 8 am Mike and I were off shopping.By 10 am we’d finished and were on our way back to unpack. That accomplished I put a load of washing in, Rose got her coat on and we set off to show her a little more of Wales.First stop brunch which somehow ended up being not in the least bit healthy or diabetic friendly but was delish !From there we went to an Antique centre in a deep but beautiful valley in the Vale of Clwyd.We had a great wander and every time I drooled Mike dutifully wiped my chin and reminded me I couldn’t afford things.From there we went to an outlet place hoping for inspiration. We had a cuppa, forced Mike to walk round the Christmas decorations which Rose and I commented on while Mike sulked yet guess who was the only one of us to make a purchase. Round the gift hop I bought a commemorative spoon with 2013 inscribed to remember Reuben’s birth. Home by a different route and as usual I abandoned my guests to get my emails done. Only 98 this time.We watched a couple of NCIS episodes after tea before I nearly died- without Mike’s hands round my neck- having a nasty angina attack and he nearly died- without my hands round his neck- having difficulty catching his breath which seemed to be making a rapid escape from his body.We both had the appropriate sprays and responded well enough to get back to insults.
Hoping You ALL have a wonderful new week.

Anyone for Golf?

Anyone for Golf?


Fore !

Fore !

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iPhone or maybe i don’t

Sunday. There’k at home and took his leave.s not point in pretending I’m technically minded. I don’t walk round with Nerd written on my head but spend hours trying to scrub the word Plonker off.  Yvonne has given me her old iphone 3 since she’s updated to the latest model that probably has better fathering skills than  I do too.  Dim  as a Toc H lamp I thought all I needed to do was transfer the sim from my old phone to the new one to forge ahead into the ‘I can get the internet anywhere’ brigade. Mike when he deigned to get up this afternoon morning ( he said I had to change it) pointed out the two phones weren’t even with the same Company let alone the tariff that allows internet. Accordingly he changed the sim card over and registered it with the internet and cloud (?) before phoning my supplier Virgin to see what the next move is. Seems Yvonne has to speak to Apple to get the phone unlocked. He spoke to her and she said she’d get in touch.

This messing about had us running a little late so we dashed off for lunch. We went to The Blossoms where we’ve been a few times recently. On walking in we both burst into laughter as the whole back wall of the dining-room has been decorated to resemble a library using exactly the same wallpaper I used on my doors. Looks like I’m a trend-setter at last. After lunch and his trough plate was empty, Mike dropped me back at home and said his goodbyes before heading off home. I had a go at getting onto Virgin to change my tariff only to find they were down for possibly 48 hours. Worst of it was I tried to put the old sim back in my old phone for now and it wouldn’t work. Looks like maybe something has happened to the sim card. Emails to everyone to explain texts won’t get answered. I miss you Mike.

Monday. David arrived today showing what a trouper he is. Nerves of steel, a sense of humour and a strong stomach are needed for Loft pt.1. Up he went and I resisted hiding the ladders till the job was complete. I sat in the hallway as stuff came tumbling down around me, I had been standing till the first Christmas tree hit me. I couldn’t even begin to list all the things that were found but before he left for the day David had a trailer full. That included 5 Christmas Trees and a lot of fairy lights and decorations which are going to Heart Radio to be given to those who are struggling to celebrate this year. There were a few books and quite a few items we’ll describe as collectibles, they were going to a Charity shop where I hope they’ll do some good. David also showed he has some of my genes by taking a few things for his own collections.

Tuesday. Today was shopping with Yvonne and Reuben. Thanks to a skill I’ve not forgotten, moral blackmail and pure pleading, Yvonne has agreed to help me think of items for people’s Christmas gifts this year. I’ve too few working brain cells left to chance wearing them out just yet.

flat cap

Shopping with Yvonne is always a laugh for me as I can use all the old jokes she’s not heard and her sense of humour is as warped as mine anyway so when we see something ridiculous for someone she’s always on the same wavelength. I pray Reuben has the relationship with is Mum that she and I have so life is always fun for him. The cap and Cardigan are two items I couldn’t resist buying Reuben today. I even got a Santa’s Little Helper sleep suit ready for his first Christmas. Ugo took me home with Yvonne and Reuben when he got back from work and we enjoyed a chip supper together.

Wednesday. David returned for round 2 today. I’m sure his mental condition can be treated. It was another hard slog and four more Christmas trees were brought down before the forest was finally denuded. Again there were bags of decorations which included a singing turkey which danced around the room when batteries were added. I had just the home for that. Much Chinese crockery was found to Yvonne’s delight and also quite a few pieces of Chokin  and other things. We’d made great headway by early afternoon and decided that what was still up there could be dealt with by me at a later date. The loft hatch was closed with sighs of relief from both of us. A sucker for punishment David asked if I wanted to carry on and clear Ju’s books. I jumped at the chance and a ton of books from her collection on Princess Diana, books on horses and even more of crafting left heading for a charity shop. David left for the day and I tried to tidy up some of the things left behind that I had other homes for. I spent the evening sneezing from the dust that had drifted out of the loft and off the books. I’m not sure what happened to the other 6 dwarves and Snow White. My brother Dilwyn, nephew Matthew and Nephew Lee came to humiliate me at Trivial Pursuit. Lee also helped me place my important files in ‘Dropbox’ ready to format my computer, take  back to factory settings and put Windows 7 on. That will hopefully happen next Wednesday.

Thursday. Oh evil day. I was up at five doing emails including one from Yvonne to say Apple had messaged her that the phone was unlocked. By eight o’clock I was dashing to the loo and throwing up. I had to go back to bed and that’s not something I enjoy. I absolutely hate admitting defeat and giving up. I slept……….. As I got up later my screen was deader than a dodo. Back to the hated laptop to complete messages and try to get Virgin to change my package to a sim only with internet access and also to send me a new sim card.

Friday I’m in trouble for not arranging to see the surgery Chest Clinic about my bronchitis. Yvonne’s disapproval came hurtling down T’interweb and she’s booked me in straight after a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday. Worse still, she’s coming with me. Such a lack of trust there. I’m sure I’ve been there so often I have an invitation to the staff Christmas party this year. MuJo arrived and were thrilled with their goodies from the loft which included the funky Turkey. Muriel was also pleased with a number of books written in cartoon form about horse riders. She was also delighted when we got to town and found my tearoom had  Roast Lamb dinner on today since it’s her favourite meal. We followed that with a short shopping/ coffee expedition before returning home where we found MiRo ( Mike and Rose) waiting for us. A little chit-chat and Mujo left to visit his mother. The three of us who remained caught up on each other’s news and eventually Mike fitted the new sim card which had arrived in the iphone 3. Nada. He spoke to Virgin and they said it needed to be activated ( why, it’s the same number). 24 hours and we could try it again. Mike washed my hair  for me to save me putting my arms above my head then we filled our faces while watching the TV. I kept the laptop on my knee to keep abreast of emails.

Saturday. I knew Mike had set his alarm for 7.am so after finishing my messages at 6.30 I crept into their room to gather their cups to wash. I must creep with a creak because I disturbed Rose who to her credit didn’t scream at having someone wandering round her room. I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror and almost wet myself. Anyway she came through to the lounge and we had a drink together. The fibbin’Arab had set his alarm for 7.30 and true to form ignored it. I took a coffee through and threaten to tickle his feet if he didn’t move. That generated a grunt. One reminder later and he moved. Not much chance of an eight o’clock start though. We did manage to leave the house by 9.am though and headed for Broughton Park where Mike and I did the shopping while Rose had a cuppa upstairs in ‘Ella’s Fountain’. Shopping done, Mike and I joined her for a coffee and a look round he sale stock. We left and went to look for a gift Mike particularly wants for his so for Christmas. We’ve seen them in a particular shop before but not today. They’re all gone. We had a waltz round the other shops there and went for lunch.Rose even managed to get him to stop doing his Quasimodo impressions long enough to place the order. I was forced, FORCED I tell you to indulge in a (diabetic) all day breakfast of bacon, sausage, egg, beans, mushrooms and chips. After this we shot to another set of shops where Rose managed to find the gift Mike wanted so we headed home with a detour for coffee at my favourite watering hole. Mike being Mike tried to see how long it would take to get me banned, and there we were back to Quasimodo again. The evening was spent with TV, laptop and supper along with the laugh of finding out the new sim card won’t work in the old phone ( have we bugger’d that up now) and isn’t being recognised in the new one either. I think I’ll go back to using semaphore.

Wishing you all a Wonderful week and sending Hugs.

cheeky face

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Welcome to an Interview with Bee L. Kirk

Welcome to an Interview with Bee L. Kirk
picbypond     
 
Author of “City of the Guardians: Introducing Alex Honor”
cotgcover
 
A BRIEF SYNOPSIS OF “City of the Guardians”:
My book is titled City of the Guardians: Introducing Alex Honor and I always start out explaining the book with a personal experience.
I was driving down the freeway one day and something kinda whispered, “change lanes.”  It wasn’t an audible voice or a vision, just a little…whisper. I changed lanes. Five seconds later a car swerved into the very lane I would have been in, had I not changed lanes.
 
That’s just one example but this happens to all of us, everyday. That little whisper that says, “Watch this person or Don’t go there today.” Well in City of the Guardians, I took those whispers and gave them names and attitudes and opinions. I call them Guardians and one of the Guardians name is Stilo, he represents Strength. He’s the voice that we hear whispering not to give up and keep going. Rip is another Guardian but he represents Rage, he can be heard whispering, “Commit Suicide or Kill them.” There are a total of 10 Guardians that range from Love(Leere) to Jealousy(Jilt), Mercy(Mica) and Vengeance(Vile).
 
The message behind City of the Guardians isn’t new, I’ve just put a different spin on the common advice of listening to your gut instinct.
My personal message states that no matter what your past mistakes were, current circumstance is or future doubts are, pursue your passion with a passion.

SHARE YOUR BIO:

I’m a thirty-five year old, mother of two. I have loved writing for as long as I can remember but denied that it was my passion for years. I was born and raised in Camden, Arkansas and moved to Texas in 1996. I worked for the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department for four years as a Detention Service Officer, or Jailer. While there I came to appreciate the fragility of the unknown. I am also the host of a radio talk show called “The Honey Hour” on DFWiradio.com, Thursdays at 11:00 a.m. I am a contributing writer for Best Southwest Moms Blog and have my personal blog atwww.beelkirk.blogspot.com and www.beeklkirk.wordpress.com

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE YOU ‘HAD TO’ WRITE THIS BOOK?
I began writing this book over 4 years ago but stopped after only 3 pages. The notebook I was writing the story in was loaned to my brother and I forgot about it. Not entirely but it wasn’t something at the top of my priority list. Then one day my brother called me (3 years later) and asked me when I was going to finish the book. When I asked him, “What book?”, he began to read the words I’d written years earlier. I thought he’d lost the notebook because during those 3 years he moved around a lot. But always had it with him, he never lost it. The notebook and story survived for a reason and I couldn’t deny it the right to be told.
 
WHERE DID THE TITLE COME FROM?
One of the main characters name is Stilo(Strength) and he’s a Guardian (Angel). I didn’t want to use the words “Guardian Angels”, in the title because it felt overdone. Some titles that I experimented with were, The Unseens, The Hidden, and The Whispers but they didn’t do the story justice. I wanted the title to represent a place, since the story took place in the city of Los Angeles, I simply combined the two ideas. City…Guardians…The City of the Guardians. Alex Honor is the first character whose soul is being fought for, so I introduce him, first. The next book is titled City of the Guardians: Introducing Stilo.
 
DO YOU ALWAYS WRITE IN THIS GENRE?
No, I’m actually working a self help book right now called, “Real Life Consequences of Bad Decisions: Stupidity is a Choice. I’m gathering real life stories from ‘the average joe’ and telling their stories. Some of my bad decisions are in the book also (smile).
IF I SAID ” EXCLUDING FAMILY AND FRIENDS, WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN YOUR LIFE”? What would it be and why?
I would have to say my faith. My relationship with Jesus is very important to me. I’ve been through some pretty tough things and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that, if it had not been for my faith and belief in Jesus Christ, I would not be here today.
WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION TO WRITE AND WHEN DID YOU START?
My inspiration in the beginning was just something to do but then it turned into a message, my mantra. I originally started writing City of the Guardians about 3 years ago, I finished Mothers Day of this year. The more I wrote, the more inspired I became. I wanted to show my children that if you pursue your passion, you can do the impossible. I want to leave something behind, once I’m no longer here. I desire to inspire the out of the box idea that only comes from hard work and determination.
ARE YOU SELF PUBLISHED OR TRADITIONAL AND WAS IT A CONSCIOUS CHOICE? Traditional in the sense of I went through a company called Xulon Press and yes it was a conscious choice. I searched and queried until my hands cramped but didn’t get the feedback I felt this story deserved. I wasn’t willing to wait 2 or 3 years for the publishing elite to figure out that I had ‘something’. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and introduce the world to City of the Guardians.
SHARE WITH ME A SECRET ABOUT YOURSELF, I WON’T TELL ANYONE.
Okay, since you promise. I ran away with my brother when I was 6 years old. I only made it to the end of the street and I don’t remember why I wanted to run away. I’ve always been a strong willed person so I’m sure it had something to do with me not getting my way, maybe. I planned for the great escape by putting back underwear and food. I hid it in a box under the bunk beds my brother and I slept in. On the designated morning of freedom, I woke my brother, retrieved the hidden box of essential survival items, and left. I remember the golden sand that embedded our driveway, crawling through my toes. Once reaching the end of Apple Street, I decided to return to the comforts of our room. I wish I could remember why I wanted  to leave. That’s a secret I would like to know myself.
ARE YOU A WELL ORGANIZED PLANNER OR A PANSTER?
I wish I was well organized. I have an idea of what needs to be accomplished for the day. But that always gets sidetracked by the inevitable call of motherhood. I always write at night, when the kids are asleep. During the day, I try to handle business related tasks.
DO YOU HAVE A WEBSITE TO SHARE?   Yes, www.beelkirk.com
ANY LINKS TO THE BOOK?
Amazon:
 
Barnes & Noble
Goodreads Giveaway:
 
Twitter:
 
Authors Database:
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE AN EXCERPT.
This excerpt contains the characters Vile and Joe. Vile represents Vengeance. She’s tempting Joe, as he tries to process the death of his son.
 
”Once she crossed the threshold, she immediately
felt what she was looking for. Then she followed it
down the hallway, into a room. It was dark in the
room, and Joe was on his knees leaning against the
bed. There was a photo album on the bed with pictures of him and Jeff.
Vile went to his side and knelt down. She bowed
her head as if she were praying and began to whisper.
“You will never get over this. It is the worst thing
that could have ever happened to you. The children
are supposed to bury the parents, not the other way
around. Someone needs to pay for this. Why was
your son the only one taken? Why are you the only
one hurting?”
Joe’s tears became longer. He held his head and
shook it. Vile knew she was getting to him.
“You will never see him again. He is gone forever and the others are still alive. The old woman
driving should never have been driving. If it wasn’t
for her, Jeff would still be alive,” she whispered ever
so softly.
Thank you David for the opportunity and patience.
Be Blessed,
Bee
 
 
 
Twitter: @beelkirk
 
 
 
Many thanks Bee for taking the time to share with us. It was nice to have you drop in.

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Bad Temper(ature) and Boil(er)ing Hot.

Sunday.  Sunday morning at 8.30 saw my visitors leave. Not because I’d insulted them or refused to feed them but because they needed to make a swift run to Manchester airport to collect Mike’s father returning from foreign parts. He’d been quite well over there so at least he wasn’t returning with foreign parts. They haven’t realised it’s his 65th trip abroad this year and when they search his suitcase for contraband booze he walks through with the 65th pacemaker he’s smuggled. The house was empty without them here, apart from me of course and I found that I’d been left with a bad case of sleeping sickness after Saturday’s illness. No, I’m not telling you, you’ll have to read last weeks blog now. I went through to sit in the lounge after doing my emails and promptly fell asleep . It was almost lunch time before I woke. My stomach is a very reliable alarm clock. No sooner has I eaten a Bing meal than I fell asleep again for most of the afternoon. It was about 4.pm when I woke and dragged myself through to the bedroom to check messages again. At well over 100 I was almost sorry I’d bothered. I just stayed there after that until it was time for bed and set about trying to create a new World Sleep Record. No chance of that as I’ve found out there are people who can actually stay in bed beyond noon !!!! And there are shops open!

Monday. Monday was a terrible day. Sooo boring. I did some washing and was almost bored enough to start I***ing, but sanity kept  a tight grip and I managed to hold back. After all, once you start, there’s no knowing where it might lead. I might be tempted to go further than shirts and start on the bedding. I managed to catch a bit of TV during the evening which was great for a change.

Tuesday. We all get those days we’re going to dread. This was mine. My nephew David arrived as threatened promised, to kick me out of my bedroom to give it a lick of paint, or to put it another way, change the walls from nicotine yellow to something more acceptable like Terracotta and Cream. If you try to imagine a square box which has a door at the bottom left ( it’s the bottom from where I’m standing anyway, but you go with your own plans). We started by unloading the bookcase of the left as you go in and the wardrobe beyond that. Once empty they could be walked forward about 18 inches. Davis had the joy of starting on the wall behind them. I was dismissed and sent to do my emails in the lounge using a laptop with keys missing- such fun. There was a  fair bit of blue air and grunts as a not too small man tried to perform 4 coats of cream miracles in such a small space. He then glossed the back of the door and wedged it to dry without anything touching it. Back went the bookcase and wardrobe. Opposite the door is the window wall under which I have a large trunk. That moved, he did as much cream as he could, and then glossing the window frame and window sill before the trunk could go back he waited for my help in moving the bed. The bed is on the right hand side wall and at the foot there is approx 12 inches of room before another mass of bookcases one atop another appear. On the last wall, just to the right of the door is my computer desk which had to be moved so the bed could come away from the wall. That achieved David slapped on the terracotta. then he moved all the bookcases so that wall could be finished and the last wall started. In his anxiety to do a good job but to get away from my watchful eye I think this is where the day went awry. The bed was pushed back a little too early and I later found a long patch of terracotta bedding and some terrcotta blue shirt sleeves. It was either an accident or a fashion statement. In the middle of this disruption a man called about the boiler. Bear in mind it was serviced three weeks ago and then a week later someone else came to check the quality of the work. This one came to look and decided I was due a new boiler as the existing one is ten years old. I didn’t sing Happy Birthday  but just laughed at the lack of organisation. More so when he said the work would take place Friday.

Wednesday. David arrived for the next bout of torture today but it actually warranted very little furniture removal as he was doing the ceiling. Being a very small room and only requiring ten coats or so he was done quite soon. After that he asked for the ladders. A shiver went down my spine as I knew what was coming. The dreaded loft. I suggested just taking a look today as he couldn’t come again this week due to visitors. “Who’s coming?” he asked, so I quickly thought up some fictitious names and smiled sincerely. I did aslk him to check the heating flue was OK and not covered in bags of books. I had to disappear for a few minutes and left him to it as I made lunch. He came and with a shrug said it wouldn’t take long, which surprised me, and that he couldn’t see the flue which flummoxed me. It was only on stepping out I found that I hadn’t warned him I have two lofts, and he’d chosen the wrong one. Assuring him I wanted to keep the books in the first one, I directed him to the other hatchway. Even from the kitchen I heard the “Bloody Hell” and the heart wrenching sobs when he saw what he was up against. ” How many flamin’ trees does one house need.6, 7, 8??” He called down to me that he’d cleared the flue and could he pass a few things down. He did and I told him to take them to his car boot sale. Fortunately a large glass framed box full of personal seals, quill pens and ink bottles had survived and I hope should get him a few pounds. He did ask one or two questions about Christmas trees and decorations before saying he’s be round on Monday with a trailer. Now I know it’s bad. We went through our usual tarantella about him being paid with me forcing at least fuel money on him ( I have a stroppy family) an he left. My brother and nephew Matthew arrived for their evening game and I was so pleased my nephew Lee came. He was going to try and put more memory in y desktop and sort out a few problems but he also played games with us. Dil won Scrabble, I won a Balderdash and then we opened the never played Absolute Balderdash. What a game. No-one really cares who wins but it matters who get the most insults in. As it happened Dil won that too but I swear he cheated. No way would I lose two games if there’s fair play and I’m cheating.

Thursday. For me days don’t start any worse. The desk top wouldn’t work. I was reduced to the lap top again and I don’t like laptops. I have to remember passwords to my programmes and it doesn’t like them so twitter is out of bounds as is Gather and my ancestry.com. There are probably more. My messages took forever to do. With no delete button I have to keep backspacing where the errors are. Thinking that was the worst that could happen there was a knock at the door. The contractor for the boiler asked if it was possible he could have a look round before Friday’s work started and maybe check the flue in the loft. Knowing that was safe I said OK. FOOL. As I walked round he pointed out that the airing cupboard would need emptying, and all the radiators would need to be exposed so they could be bled and have new valves fitted. Naturally all the sections of the radiators needed are behind trunks, TV’d or I***ing baskets. Nonetheless I said it would be done. He went into the loft and I could hear banging and clattering, another man entered and water tanks and other pieces of metal were passed down. I thought they were just robbers after my lead pipes. They finally left and I just at there waiting to be flooded.

Friday. First thing in the morning I went round emptying the airing cupboard and exposing all the radiators. They arrived and started work at 8.30am. I was expecting a MuJo visit but they cried off saying it would be difficult with workmen there. It’s a shame as Yvonne was bringing Reuben through for a visit to meet them.At 10.am I went off with my friend to have our flu jabs. I was leaving the surgery and just said “See you later” to the nurse when she called me back after realising I was due back there for a BP test in the afternoon. Knowing it takes so little ti,me she did it there and then though the receptionist had refused to book me at that time. Yvonne arrived before noon and I sat and fed Reuben until Mike arrived flying solo this week, he was glad not to be having to take me out for the BP test later on.( It’s still up BTW)..

monkey-Reuben

 

It was nice to have a little support there since the contractors didn’t finish when they thought but were there until about 3 pm. Everything was fine and they were very clean even doing their own hoovering but I did notice after they’d gone a large hole in my kitchen wall where they’d removed the old heater controls. On the other hand I now have hot water on tap. Yvonne left soon after to get home and left Mike and I to chat and grab something to eat at ‘The Bell’s of St Mary’s’ a local carvery. Home for the evening for TV and my messages.

Saturday. Some people, and I’m not pointing the finger at anyone in particular here, are lousy at getting up in a morning. I was up, washed, dressed and raring to go when Mike  the nameless person was still throwing Zzz’s at the ceiling. He’d set his alarm for 7.30 am and then ignored it. Not for long though as I put on tap dancing shoes and did a loud Fred Astaire right to his bedroom with a coffee. After waking him to say it was there I tapped away again. Two minutes later, my corns safely wrapped in a pair of slippers I shouted for him not to forget his drink. He moved. By 8.15 we were on our way to the shops. We wandered round with a trolley until the checkout where we packed the bags and made our way to the cafe. I said I’d have a drink but couldn’t have breakfast as I’d forgotten my tablets. The evil beggar sat and ate a sausage toastie in front of me. How cruel is that? Home again to unpack and by 10.30 we were on our way again heading for ‘Sunny’ Rhyl to meet our friend for lunch as it’s his 65th birthday. We met up at another branch of the store we’d been in this morning which gave me chance to pick up a couple of things I hadn’t got then. We had a nice lunch and took the cars to park in the town centre for a look round. Day over, Brian went home and Mike and I headed back here to relax. I did my messages while watching TV and chatting with Mike just to prove I can multi task, though my temper at the laptop has only just kept it in the room instead of the garden.

I hope you’ve all had nice weeks and have great weeks to come.

Hugs

 

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Having a Nappy Day and the Doghouse.

Sunday.      Today the Gods took pity on me for having spent a day without shopping on Saturday. Away from their normal visit , Team MuJo decided to come and make sure I had a solid lunch.  There wasn’t much debate as they don’t know many Sunday choices in the area. I of course raved about The Springfield that Mike and I had visited a few weeks ago and eaten like Kings. I explained that serving didn’t start until 12.30 but that we could go a little early and get a drink from the bar.  This meant we set off on the five minute journey at 12 of the clock. Much as before the service was great. We got our drinks and sat at a table giving us  fantastic view over the Dee Estuary to the Wirral that appeared to be covered in sunlight.  Dinner, a carvery, was a dream again too. My usual beef was plentiful and delicious and as long as I was sated who cares about anyone else? Yet I couldn’t help but hear praises being uttered over the other plates. After lunch we sat with a coffee and home made shortbread biscuit in the windowed corridor leading to the gym and spa. I didn’t even give entering them a thought.

After lunch I directed them to Flint and my favourite shops purely by accident. I should have said that they loved the decoration in the house and bought me a beautiful throw with poppies on for the settee which just set everything off nicely without overpowering. They were delighted with the effect and left me in a sate of bliss over my lunch as they departed for home. After that I ploughed into my emails like a good chap because I panic when they build up.

Monday.  Today was the day Yvonne has realised that though the Gods had allowed me to eat for the week the day before, I should still go shopping for basics. Since I believe my basics still include cigarettes, who was I to argue. Accordingly Yvonne, Ugo and young Reuben arrived in their chariot about 10 am to carry me off. I may have mentioned that Ugo is no real fan of shopping so his first port of call with Reuben in tow is the Macky D’s while Yvonne and I got on our marks with trolleys. At the off shout we raced into action. Ha, the trolley is a great support but I still have my crutches and they stick out so much it looks like Boudicca’s chariot as the Iceni run down the Roman soldiers. Less and less people get in my way these days. We finished in record time which actually meant less than two hours or two breakfasts in Ugo time. We got through checkout quite well despite my pleading to be allowed to wash pots in the staff canteen to pay the bill. Who knew a few item’s would cost a King’s ransom. The first bit of good news was that Ugo had changed Reuben ( I don’t know if he got a good swap or not) and that he was now fit company for an enclosed space like the car. We headed off for lunch. ( Has anyone else noticed how much food is involved in my blog?) As we sat in the pub ( I was on lime and lemonade honestly) Reuben woke up and I was able to hold him. Unusually he was not his usual happy self and didn’t nod off again in my arms ( Damn that deodorant). After a fair bit of jiggling he did settle a bit and I passed him onto Yvonne while I ate. Holding him had trapped a nerve in my arm and it was agony. I almost couldn’t hold a fork.

Without mentioning that I’d been there the day before we dropped off in Flint for a quick foray into the shops. I had time to buy some chocolates to take into my favourite watering hole for the girls and we enjoyed a coffee. It wasn’t long before we were home again and they had to head off but not before I had another last cuddle with Reuben.

Reuben and Pops                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Reuben and Poops

The trouble was for once I wasn’t sorry to see him leave. Here are two pictures to explain why. No1. Reuben and Pops  No2. Reuben and Poops. See that little smile of satisfaction.

Tuesday. I was expecting my nephew David today to carry out his threat of painting my bedroom. To say I’m reluctant to be moved is an understatement but again the heavens intervened and I got a text. David was unable to come because he’d inadvertently put petrol in his wife’s car instead of diesel. Talk about in the doghouse, I could hear him bark from here. It was going to take a while to get someone to clean the tank. I sailed through the day in a haze of relief and happiness, except when I realised I had no excuse to avoid the ironing now.

Wednesday. David arrived this morning ready for work. Quick thinking on my part avoided a two day stint this week due to visitors and so I suggested we do other tasks instead. It was time to dismantle the four poster which to my mind mad the big bedroom look too enclosed and crowded. We marked where I’d like it cut and he set to work with a saw. That part probably took an hour but then the upper parts had to be disassembled and one of the upper stretchers brought down to serve as a headboard. This worked beautifully. He then started staining his cuts to match the colour of the bed before we were able to make the bed up and hoover up the sawdust. The room definitely looks roomier and I was also able toget rid of a book cupboard and a lot of books to his weekly charity car boot sale and to a local charity shop.

David departed and I had time for a little tea before my brother and nephew Matthew arrived for the weekly games. If you can hear me whistling ‘We are the Champions’ by Queen round about now there’s no need for me to explain. Of course I’m going to anyway, I won two games of Balderdash easily which proves what a straight face I can keep when lying through my teeth and sorry Dil, my memory might be defective at this point but I’m sure I won a game of scrabble too. Why wasn’t I gambling? I’ll never know. I absolutely love having them here and we always enjoy a real laugh. They left about 9.30 and it was straight into answering emails till midnight.

Thursday. The Gods hate it when people get too cocky don’t they. Up at 4. am and started emails. I made it to 6.am before suffering an angina attack bad enough to have me scrambling back to bed. I didn’t wake until 8.am. Fish dealt with, tablets etc taken and back to finish emails until MuJo arrived for another visit. I was able to give John a new gift that had arrived for him, a walking stick where the lower half lights up so he can see where he’s going on dark nights. He really lives in the sticks and the nights seem darker there. We went out for an early lunch so he didn’t need the stick. Up to Kassidy’s which you all know I love where I indulged in a roast pork dinner and I even got some pork crackling. The girls got their chocolates and a copy of the latest book ‘Memoirs of a Superior’ which despite having a picture of the cat on the front they naturally thought referred to me. Surprisingly, after lunch we went shopping again. Back to Flint where we bought a few items and I was able to persuade Mu to choose a couple of things for her birthday in November. Then off to Temptations witht the usual bribery for the girls and a coffee. Mu had a chocolate indulgence which looked like Vesuvius on speed. After they got me home and were sure I was OK they headed off. For the rest of the day blah, blah, blah, emails.

Friday. I know I am due to have a visit from someone today to check  the work done on the boiler recently. How idiotic, the work is done, someone has to check oit and then a visit due from someone else soon to see if it needs replacing because it’s about ten years old. Whilst waiting for the engineer I had lunch. I can’t say what I had in case it may incriminate me but it did have tomato sauce on it so there was vegetable. An hour later Mike and Rose arrived. He walked in and asked me if I’d had a message to sat they were five minutes away and to put the kettle on. “No” I said and went to start the drinks. Then I slipped to where my phone was and checked. The message was there so being polite I answered it. ” No problem” I sent, “kettle going on now.” For some reason he wasn’t amused. They were disappointed when they found I’d eaten. So was I when I found they’d come early to take me out for lunch. Guilt ridden I offered to make them lunch, spite driven he accepted.

After lunch they suggested we still had time to go out for a while and since I hadn’t been to Flint for such a long time I accepted. We’d just reached the car when I saw someone with ladders walk past me and go to a neighbour’s. I realised it was the engineer and suggested Mike and Rose go without me. They refused and told me they’d wait with me.( I’m sure he knows where I have a supply of chocolate hidden). By the time the engineer had been and looked at the boiler, checked the loft, the cooker and the gas meter it was too late to go out so we stayed chatting instead.

Saturday. Today was unusually pleasant weatherwise despite forecasts. Mike took me shopping about 8 am but refused to pretend to be disabled so we could race the disabled wheelchairs round the shop. We were home again by 10am and after a coffee decided to go out. I’d given Rose a picture frame last night and promised to take a picture to go in it. My suggestion was a trip to Conway which was accepted. When we got there we all wanted the loo and as I have a ‘Radar’ key I could use the disabled loos close by while they had stairs to contend with. Naturally after draining ourselves the next step is to refuel so it was a coffee stop. From there I suggested a walk round the town walls in order to try a photograph there. What a pillock, there are about a thousand steps ( perhaps 50) and they’re very steep so I got Mike to walk behind me in case I fell. I needed something soft to land on and his head was handy.( It’s OK he won’t have time to read this before he has to leave tomorrow).                                                         DSCF3261

The photos there didn’t turn out too bad. That’s Conway Castle in the background. From there we walked all round Conwy via the walls and stopped on on the Quay for another photo opportunity.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        DSCF3264

This one wasn’t bad either. As this is my blog you’ll know food has to be involved somewhere so lunch followed at a Fish and Chippy. We took a gentle walk up the High Street looking  in shops as we headed back to the car when I was poorly again. No point telling anyone so as we were by  a cafe I pleaded for a cuppa. Mike mentioned something about me being a little pleader ( I think) but acceded to my request.

We made it back to the car. It was warm and sunny so I removed my jacket and settled in my seat. Mike deccided to take a scenic route so we headed over the River Conwy to Deganwy and from there to the Great Orme in Llandudno. From the top of the Orme the view is magnificent though we couldn’t see the Isle of Man today. We did see some of the goats for which the Orme is famous. From there to home where I left them to make tea and came to do my emails. For some reason the computer has dug it’s heels in and decided not to work on messages to Australia so I’ve had to deal with the other 147 instead. It’s now 1.17 am and Mike and Rose are long in bed, well Rose is but he’s a little short (Oops, and he’s promised to take me to the doctor’s next week. More comments and it will be for neutering). I’m off to bed so I’ll just leave you with a picture of Reuben as I wish you Good Night or Nos Da and send you Hugs aplenty. Have a Great Weekend.

Happy for Pops

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Welcome to an Interview with S.R.Mallery

Welcome to an Interview with S. R. Mallery
S.R.Malleryheadshot
Author of “Unexpected Gifts” and soon “Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads”
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A BRIEF SYNOPSIS OF “UNEXPECTED GIFTS”:
Can we learn from our ancestral past?  Do our relatives’ behaviors help mold our own?  In Unexpected Gifts, that is precisely what happens to Sonia, a confused college student, forever choosing the wrong man.  Searching for answers, she begins to read her families diaries and journals from America’s past: the Vietnam War, Woodstock and Timothy Leary era; Tupperware parties, McCarthyism and Black Power; the Great Depression, dance marathons, and Eleanor Roosevelt; the 1910 immigrant experience and the Suffragists.  Back and forth the book journeys, weaving yesteryear with modern life until finally, Sonia begins to make the right choices.
 SHARE YOUR BIO:
I have worn many hats in my life.  My earliest hat involved music.  I was trained in classical singing–not opera, but mostly ‘Art Songs’, performing the likes of Faure, Brahms, and Debussy.  I soon learned, however, that I was too  hindered by that rigidity, so I decided to branch out and start singing in local clubs during the ‘Disco Years’ to loosen up and get over my stage-fright.  Standing up on stage, I would belt out (with an overly trained voice, mind you) light rock/pop songs to a four piece band while customers did their Polyester John Travolta and Donna Summers Thing.
After several bartenders quipped at me, “What are you doing here? Your voice is fine, but you just don’t belong”, and running home as soon as the 2am call came, leaving the rest of the musicians to jam until dawn, I realized that the life of a pop singer wasn’t for me.
I then moved onto the professional world of production art and calligraphy, followed by a long career as an award winning quilt artist/teacher and an ESL/Reading instructor.  And when I tried my hand at fiction writing, I was totally hooked.
My short stories have been published in descent 2008, Snowy Egret, Transcendent Visions, The Storyteller and Down In the Dirt.  Unexpected Gifts is my debut novel.  Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads, a collection, is due out late 2013.
I confess to being intrigued by your days of Sex n’ Drugs n’Rock n’Roll n’cocoa. I think you’d have been great on the folk circuit with the likes of Maddy Prior or Peter, Paul and Mary.
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO WRITE THIS BOOK?
Without going on Ancestry.com or writing books about my family tree, I have, nevertheless, always been interested in my ancestors––what were they like? What did they have to go through as immigrants? How much a part of America did they play?  I also love all facets of U.S. history, so when I decided to write a novel, these two areas quickly converged in my brain.
It would be interesting had the family kept diaries from the days when they first came to the U.S. to see how they found the differences from whence they came.
 
WHERE DID THE TITLE COME FROM?
The ‘Gifts’ part was suggested by a friend, the ‘Unexpected,’ by me.  In hindsight, I realize I should have checked for other similar titles, because mine is a tad too popular, but hey, live and learn, no?
DO YOU ALWAYS WRITE IN THIS GENRE?
I have mostly written historical fiction, but there have been several short stories that are not in that genre and actually, I’ve enjoyed those very much.  Maybe more modern work in the future?
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD YOUR FIRST CHOICE BE?
Oh, boy.  One thing?  There are so many unsolved issues….okay, I’ll give it a shot. How ‘bout putting a muzzle on corporate greed for starters…(or greed in general)…I’m itching to list more things, but in deference to you, David, I shall refrain from doing so!!
Oh that’s good. I like deference since it only usually happens in my imagination. You should have scratched the itch though, I wouldn’t have minded. I have guidelines not rules.
WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION TO WRITE AND WHEN DID YOU START?
I’ve had kind of a weird avoidance about writing as an adult. Because so many family members were writers, I shied away from it, in fact I always laughed and exclaimed, “I wouldn’t touch that with a ten foot pole!”  But finally, as a ‘mature’ woman, I sat down and started writing my first short story (included in my upcoming collection Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads), about the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911.  It was like being injected with a heavy drug (trust me, I can only guess—I don’t know this from personal experience!!)  I’ve never looked back.
WHAT WAS YOUR DESTINATION TO PUBLISHING? I.E., ARE YOU SELF PUBLISHED?
Probably because my family had always used traditional publishing, I just naturally assumed that was the way I would go.  I am fast learning, however, that there is more freedom with self-publishing and certainly more income.  It seems to be totally acceptable now and that is a good thing.
SHARE WITH THE READERS ONE LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT YOURSELF
My main character Sonia has OCD—Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and in doing the research on that, I discovered that I, too, have some form of it.  Oh, I don’t wash my hands twenty times a day or tap against tables or walls.  No, mine comes in the form of a mind that never stops, which, although annoying at 4 a.m., actually, for a writer, ain’t so bad, you know?
In my case the best I can manage are shopping lists.
 
ARE YOU A WELL ORGANIZED PLANNER OR A PANSTER?
I am definitely a well-planned writer, or Plotter, as they say.  I percolate about a vague plot idea along with characters and then, as I go along, I may write a scene or two, just to stretch my brain muscles and a feel for the story, but before I really start I need some kind of outline, even if it’s very generalized.  In fact, if I don’t have an ending to my book before I write it, I get nervous, like something is rotten in Denmark.
 DO YOU HAVE A WEBSITE TO SHARE?    My website:  www.srmallery.com
 ANY LINKS TO THE BOOK?
Book trailer: http://bit.ly/18cSWUG
AN EXCERPT TO “UNEXPECTED GIFTS”   – SAMPLES OF SOME OF SONIA’S RELATIVES’ STORIES
Chapter 2:  Sam––Living With Fear
             [From Sonia’s father’s letters]
            “….crack-crack-crack! Everyone froze.  “Get the fuck down!” yelled our squad leader, Sgt. Carbini.
            We dropped like stones, trying to listen for snipers over our pounding chests…..”
            “….Nearing the village, we passed women in their beige tunics, black pants, and Sampan hats…Most kept their heads lowered as they walked, but the few who didn’t, stared up at us with dead, black-brown eyes and pressed lips….”
            “….Carbini was first. He marched over to a hooch, flipped on his Zippo, and carefully lit the underbelly of its thatched roof.  It smoldered for a few seconds, a thin, rising wisp of smoke twisting in the tropical air.  From that, a flame grew, nibbling at the straw with a low, blue heat before suddenly bursting into a torch, arcing up towards the sky in a yellow-hot blaze….”
 
Chapter 10:  Tony’s Demons
             [from Sonia’s great-grandfather Tony’s journal]
            “…In 1930, the big city breadlines expanded by the hour, snaking around buildings like a cobra slowly choking the life out of its victims, but the farmers stayed smug; they thought they were the bee’s knees…..but when record droughts, the likes of which had never been seen, ravaged the Great Plains, farming became impossible. By 1936, storms had picked up, slamming the entire country with heavy rains, blizzards, tornadoes, and floods, and if that didn’t beat all, giant black clouds of rolling dust and grit darkened the sky over the Midwest, cocooning it like it was the end of the world….”
 
Chapter 12: Daria––Living With Proverbs
             [written in Sonia’s Irish great great-grandmother Daria’s bible]
            “….And they say I was born at an inconvenient time.  The year was 1902, and the moment, the wee hours of a rain-soaked morn in County Kerry.  A terrible storm it was, with lightning that crackled the sky and hoarse winds that rattled the trees.  If it be true that St. Patrick had banished all the snakes from Ireland, it sure was a shame he didn’t bother with the rain.  But maybe that was too big a job even for the likes of him, who knows?”
Chapter 14: Adriana––Guilty Freedoms
             [from Sonia’s great Aunt Adriana’s journal]
            “…Eleanor [Roosevelt] surreptitiously pulled me aside…”
            “I want you to go down to Alabama…”
            “….speeding off, I looked behind us at the Spanish Moss swaying in the sultry summer breeze, the porch lights on, the fireflies sparking, the cicadas sawing their song, and the memory of…double-edged gentility.  We both breathed huge sighs of relief and agreed how we could now fully commiserate with the Negroes in our country, not only in the South.
            BANG! My body lurched forward, my head hitting the windshield.  I could hear Jim swearing.
            “Dammit!  They’re comin’ after us!”
 Chapter16: Adriana––Sentinels Amongst the Hoi Polloi
 
            [From Sonia’s great-great aunt Adriana’s journal when she was a young suffragist]
            “…as the nurse jammed a twenty foot tube, topped off with a funnel on one end, far up into my right nostril, all my senses heightened.  I could smell the stench of urine in my underwear, feel the ties on my hands digging into my skin, the hard chair under me prodding my backbone, and just before the steady flow of liquid food descended into my nasal cavity, I heard the nurse heave the tiniest of sighs.”
Chapter 18:Andrei––Escaping Icons
            [From Sonia’s great great-grandfather Andrei’s journal working at the Ford Factory in 1915 Detroit]
            “….The first couple of rooms were filled with drive train assembly lines, the large, metal chains hoisting and lowering engines onto chasses.  The next couple of rooms were only for women building spark plugs by hand, their backs hunched over in awkward positions that foreshadowed major arthritis at too young an age…”
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Synopsis for the upcoming Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads:    
 
The eleven long short stories in “Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads combine history, mystery, action and/or romance, and range from drug trafficking using Guatemalan hand-woven wallets, to an Antebellum U.S. slave using codes in her quilts as a message system to freedom; from an ex-journalist and her Hopi Indian maid solving a cold case together involving Katchina spirits, to a couple hiding Christian passports in a comforter in Nazi Germany; from a wedding quilt curse dating back to the Salem Witchcraft Trials, to a mystery involving a young seamstress in the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire; from a 1980’s Romeo and Juliet romance between a rising Wall Street financial ‘star’ and an eclectic fiber artist, to a Haight-Asbury love affair between a professor and a beautiful macramé artist gone horribly askew, just to name a few.
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To be published Winter 2013 through www.mockingbirdlanepress.com
Thanks so much for joining us Sarah and sharing the information. I am not responsible for any blackmail attempts and am not the A.N.Other that signed the demand. Oops. I hope it wasn’t too much of a trial.

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