30 August, 2013

A moment of brilliant clumsiness

This afternoon I was in the bathroom, and as I was finishing up in there, I slipped off my rolly cart and crashed to the floor.

I hit my bandaged foot hard on the floor, smashing hard on my big toe and the second toe (the toe that needed the surgery). It was excruciating. As I fell, my right knee scraped over the rear wheel of the rolly and the brake left a 6 or 8 inch scrape along the curve of the joint. About three inches of that was deep enough to really dig in and leave a bleeding gouge.

The physical pain was bad, but even worse was my stomach-clenching panic that I had undone the stitching on the tendon.

I called the doctor. He can't see me, but tomorrow (Saturday) one of his colleagues will. I am currently doped up the the gills. I've had my foot elevated all afternoon/evening, have been icing like a maniac, and hoping like crazy that no damage was done to the surgery site.

27 August, 2013

Can't you write any faster than that?

I don't like to make generalizations, but... oh, who am I kidding, I make generalizations all the time. Most of us do. It's one of the ways that we little individual people manage and make sense of the vastness of the world. We have to make some big generalizations just to organize things enough to think about them. So I'm about to make one.

Readers (people who love to read the same way they love oxygen) are some of the most selfish people in the world.

What do I base that on? My feelings that my favorite writers are taking too much time for silly, unimportant things, like
  • family
  • vacations
  • being sick
  • jobs that aren't writing
  • anthing that isn't sitting their ass down at a computer/typewriter/yellow legal pad and knocking out another book for me to enjoy
I've talked to reader friends who bemoan the amount of time that that dude is taking to crank out the tomes that make up the Game of Thrones. What is his name? George R.R. Martin, that's the one! Apparently he thinks one enormous book ever five-seven years is fine. His fans would prefer one book every year or two, I am sure.

Two of my favorite authors, Laurie J. Marks and Laurie Kirstein, have not had anything new out in years. Selfish writerly cows! They feel like they are entitled to their LIVES, when I am sitting here, waiting with bated breath for the next gems to fall from their pens.

I know there are always other people writing, but I really love my old favorites and want to find out what is going to happen to THEIR characters.

While recuperating, I've been reading S.M. Stirling's Emberverse novels. The series started out extremely strong with Dies The Fire. I've enjoyed all the others too, but the fantasy aspect of the final three has been  starting to grate. When your main hero has a magic sword that lets him speak all languages, pull all sorts of magic facts out of the air, etc. it gets annoying. I'm still going to keep reading because I love the characters and the worldbuilding is excellent and I really want to know what is going to happen to everyone, but urgh, that stupid sword...

A little randomosity

Pictures taken by Thomas. The first features a beautiful artichoke flower FROM OUR GARDEN. Also tomatoes from same garden. Yay us.

Second picture is beautiful Sparky with his short haircut. So cute!

25 August, 2013

Diary of a part-time invalid

Today Thomas and I did not go to church, but our friends came over afterwards and brought food. We had burgers/hot dogs, salads, chips, and TWO delicious cakes.

For three hours we sat on the patio, eating and talking and having a good time. It was delightful. The minute the last person left I came inside and collapsed. My foot was swelling and I was TIRED. Two hours of sleeping and lying down with my foot up has improved all that.

My next big outing will be tomorrrow evening, when Thomas takes me to the library. I know, I KNOW...but for me that is an exciting trip!

24 August, 2013

One foot, and I don't mean 12 inches

I had some (relatively minor) foot surgery done on August 16th. Seems that I tore a tendon in my right foot a few weeks ago. The surgeon fixed that.

I expect three - six weeks of one footed recovery. I'm one week in. It has not been so bad, except for the first 2-3 days. Then my foot hurt, I was groggy from the pain meds, and getting used to getting around with one working foot.

I have this thing called a Roll-A-Bout. Here is a picture of one.

This is exactly what mine looks like. I've been calling it "Silver," as in "Hi ho, Silver, away!"

I've been out of the house three times in the past week. On Tuesday I went to the doctor for my first post-op appointment. Thursday Mom and I went out and had Chinese food for lunch. Today Thomas and I sat in the back yard for a little while. It's great to get outside, even if it's a little scary getting down the stairs.

I've spent a lot of time reading. I just read my way through the first nine books of S.M. Stirling's Emberverse series. I am excited that book 10 is coming out sometime this fall.

My next plan is to read something a little lighter and fluffier. Maybe...Regency romances?

06 August, 2013

Snippet - Her Last Breath

I just read a great book. It was called Her Last Breath. It's a police procedural, sort of. It's set in rural Ohio, in Amish country. The detective is Kate Burkhalter, and she grew up Amish, but left the church sometime in her teenage years.

I enjoyed the book a lot, but as I worked my way through the book it became obvious that there were several books that had come before. I've requested the first FOUR books from the library so I can get caught up on whatever it was that happened before to Kate.

I am not terribly romantic about the Amish. A lot of them are in the puppy milling business, and I hate that. I also think that in their decision to keep themselves so separate from us Englisch that they have created a lot of health problems in their communities. I'm also not sure, based on a lot you hear about the community in general, that they are any better Christians than the rest of us.

But they are interesting, and this book is too!

04 August, 2013


Back in the days when we all went to Wilson United Methodist Church, we had a weekly dinner together on Wednesday night. Whoever hosted provided a main dish and drinks and everyone else brought side dishes or dessert. (It's part of our Methodist heritage. Methodists worship God with song, prayer, and potluck suppers, we totally think the Last Supper was probably devilled eggs, casseroles, and jello-salads.)

One day a new girl started coming to church and to our Wednesday nights. After a short while she became one of my dearest friends. Her name is Katy. She's an artist and a poet and is super well-organized, which I totally admire.

After she finished grad school she moved to North Carolina. When I was engaged to Thomas, she started brushing up on her German so she could help me with Thomas' German-only family members. Her tutor was Peter, a German pastor studying in Chapel Hill. She and Peter got married about 7 weeks after Thomas and I. They moved to Deutschland shortly after their wedding. For 7 years they were there and we were here, although we saw each other every time I visited Germany to see Thomas' family.

They've now been living just up the road, in Gettysburg, for years now, and I'm so glad to have her on THIS side of the Atlantic. It's close enough that we can celebrate birthdays and special times together and have regular dinners together.

Here is a picture of us at Jim and Andy's wedding, celebrating!

Zwei Frauen!

02 August, 2013

Won't you marry me....

I went to a special wedding last weekend. My friends Andy and Jim, after being together for 16 17 years, finally got married. The reason it took them so long to getting around to tying the knot is that they are gay men, and up until this year, they could not get married.
Thanks to the voters in Maryland, homosexuals can marry and get the same civil benefits that heterosexual couples get from marriage as regards to sharing insurance, finances, being each other’s next-of-kin, etc.
The ceremony.
It was, of course, fantastic. They had it at their home; the ceremony was in the back garden, which was in bloom. There were butterflies flocking around the flowers and it was a beautiful setting for a wedding.
Thomas and I did our best to help out wherever possible. On Friday we went over to help with the set up. While I ironed five large tablecloths, Thomas helped move furniture and organize things in the coolers, bars, etc. Then we all (Jim, Andy, Jim’s sister, Andy’s niece, and us) had some pizza and then went back to working on the refreshments. I finished up the night by putting together the wedding program in MS Word.
We made Italian appetizers. That is a bamboo skewer with the following threaded on it: cherry or grape tomato, slice of Italian cheese, basil leaf, slice of folded pepperoni, and a black olive. Rachel and Karen made dozens and dozens of cucumber sandwiches.
Jim’s theme for the food was for everything to be small/miniature/easy to eat. If you know him, you know that anything that gives him a reason to use tiny plates or mini serving vessels makes him happy. So the menu included:
  • Shrimp cocktails that consisted of 2 shrimp on a skewer, in a tiny cup with a bit of cocktail sauce
  • Miniature mushroom pies in a tiny pastry cup
  • Our Italian skewer appetizers
  • Cucumber sandwiches
  • Thai chicken salad in phyllo cups
  • Prosciutto wrapped melon on skewers
  • The cutest crab balls served on wee little plates with wee little forks
  • Spicy ground beef broiled on toast squares
  • Shot glasses of cold watermelon soup. This was truly delicious, not too sweet, sort of minty and refreshing. I drank several shots!
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Toast rounds with thinly sliced roast beef topped with onion jam
The drinks also flowed freely. We had a champagne toast, lemonade, sangria, vodka tonics, red and white wine, Dark and Stormy cocktails, and beer. Thomas was one of the bartenders and he did a great job of keeping everyone’s glass filled.
The champagne toast.
One of their neighbors was in charge of taking care of the food in the kitchen. She warmed things, or kept them cool, and plated everything and two hired servers circulated and made sure no one was ever lacking something tasty to eat. Jim and Andy were smart to get help, because that way they could relax and enjoy their own special day.
There were about 50 people there. The wedding was a simple service. The readings were from the Song of Solomon and from a poem by Walt Whitman. All of Jim’s family was there, and two of Andy’s siblings were there. Although the United Methodist church is not (yet?) marrying gay couples, the service was a basic Methodist service and more than half of the guests were from our church.
Grace friends - Sue and Linda, David and his husband Jerry, George, me!

The champagne toast for the happy couple.

The wedding cake was from Patisserie Poupon. Delicious!
I was happy to be there and to be with so many friends and family with Jim and Andy. In the past years they have supported each other through a lot – the death of three parents (including Jim’s Dad’s slow decline from Alzheimer’s), the ups and downs of employment, health scares, and surgeries. Getting married just put an official stamp on their commitment.
Listen! I will be honest with you;
I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes;
These are the days that must happen to you:

You shall not heap up what is call'd riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve,
You but arrive at the city to which you were destin'd--you hardly
settle yourself to satisfaction, before you are call'd by an irresistible call to depart,
You shall be treated to the ironical smiles and mockings of those who remain behind you;
What beckonings of love you receive, you shall only answer with passionate kisses of parting,
I give you my hand!
I give you my love, more precious than money,
I give you myself, before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? Will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?  - from A Song of the Open Road by Walt Whitman