Another Quick #Update – #Evacuation? – #HurricaneIan

Thanks to all of you who are wishing us well here in Florida! It’s greatly appreciated!

Nancy Homlitas mentioned evacuation ahead of Hurricane Ian in her response to my earlier post, and I thought maybe I’d best clarify what’s going on currently. They have just ordered a mandatory evacuation order for Hillsborough County, because it includes Tampa and other communities that are on either the Gulf or Tampa Bay, and they are very likely to have heavy flooding and storm surges there.

Evacuation has never (that I know of) been ordered for Seminole County/Orlando area because we aren’t on the coast, and seldom have major flooding, though we can certainly get plenty of wind. The damage we received during Hurricane Irma was from a tornado spawned by the storm, but those can and do pop up randomly with or without hurricanes, and can’t be predicted.

When it comes to evacuating, it is not a good idea to do so if you aren’t told to, because the roads will already be jammed with those who really NEED to get out of their area. I just heard over 300,000 people are expected to be moving out today. I know the traffic on major northbound highways will be bumper to bumper. Because of that, we will not evacuate unless we are told to. It would just complicate things even more. But we also will NOT IGNORE evac orders for our area, should they tell us to go.

Basically, our best option right now is to lay in supplies (did that yesterday) and hunker down to ride it out. In my life time, I’ve been smack dab in the middle of some of the worst storms in Florida’s history, and being smart about our safety during them is just automatic. So far, in this case, our best bet is to stay here, though of course, there are no guarantees. Hurricanes are fickle, fickle things. 

If the situation changes, and we have to grab the cats and go, I’ll do my best to let everyone know. But I haven’t given up on the storm changing course, or even weakening considerably after crossing Cuba. You just never know with these events.

Thanks again for ALL your well wishes, and rest assured, we will do everything we can (even evacuating if necessary) to stay safe. I’ve still got some things on my To Do list, and I want to be around long after this storm in order to take care of them. 😁

I’ll be sending prayers out to all of you in the potential pathway of this storm. Please stay safe, folks, and don’t ignore any evac orders that might come your way.  We’ll try to do the same!

See You After All the Wind & Rain Dies Down!

#HurricaneIan – #Update

Doesn’t look good for Florida, folks. Latest from NOAA has us in the crosshairs of the center of Hurricane Ian. Still a few more things we need to do to get ready, so I won’t be around much today.

Here’s the latest projection. It could still change drastically, and I’m hoping and praying it will, but we have to prepare for the worst! Last hurricane that came through 5 years ago (Irma) did $85,000 worth of damage to our house, smashed our garage flat, and tore up our roof. Oh, and it did $15,000 worth of damage to our car too! Eeeek. I SO hope this one does NOT follow this latest trajectory! If it does, the center of the storm will come right over us. 😮😮😮

#This&That&TheOtherThing – #Update

THIS

Happy Tewe’s Day, Everybody! Hope your week got off to a good start yesterday and your day is off to another of those today! It’s been pretty quiet around here for too long, so I thought I’d better stop by to say hello, and to let you guys know I’m still alive. Just busy, busy, busy with all sorts of things Life threw my way all at one time. 

THAT

Saturday’s talk on the American Alligator went great, and I had a lot of fun with a super nice audience. (Definition of Super Nice: They laughed at all of my jokes and oohed and aaahed in all the right places!) 

BTW, I felt great on Saturday from the moment I got up until … well, actually, I’m still feeling pretty good today. Crossing my fingers that means it might be a good while before I have another bad day from you-know-what. Maybe even that it’s over! We’ll see how it goes.

THE OTHER THING

In the meantime, changing insurance and getting set up with all new doctors is keeping me on the go, so it will be slow here on the blog for the rest of this week. I’ll stop by when I can, though, and Granny will definitely be visiting on Friday. Hopefully life will calm down a bit by next week, and things will get back to normal.  I do have another talk next Saturday–don’t ask me how I managed to schedule them for back to back weekends, DOH!– but I’m almost ready for that one. What do you think? Look interesting?

And that’s pretty much where things are for now. I’m off to TWO different, fun-filled medical things today: Some imaging over at the local Radiology clinic, and a quick trip to my new primary care doctor with some paperwork to deliver. Easy-Peasy!

Will check in with you guys later, and hopefully have a few minutes somewhere to stop by a few of my favorite blogs. Yes, I know my Sunday #Twofer fell by the wayside this week, and I apologize for that, but I’m still aiming to get it posted somewhere. Maybe we’ll have a “FOUR-fer” this coming Sunday! That could work. Probably. 😁


And that’s it for my update.
Here’s to a great rest of the week for ALL of us!
As you were, folks, and enjoy this day to the fullest! 

 

#BlogBreakThursday & #Update (Brief)

I’m not going to be around much today, since it’s this week’s Blog Break Day, but I did want to let everyone know that I have a few openings coming up for both #GuestDayTuesday posts and #TenThingsYouMayNotKnowAboutMe posts. If any of you are interested in taking part in either of these series, please email me, and we’ll see what we can set up.

I’m sorry to say, I’m still not over the Long COVID thing yet, but I really do think the episodes are getting milder, and farther and farther apart. Hopefully that means this really won’t go on forever! 

And on that note, I’ll get back to the tasks on my agenda for today. 


Have a GREAT ThorsDay, everyone!

#This&That&TheOtherThing – #PublicServiceAnnouncement – #Update

THIS

THAT

I did NOT understand the difference, and discovered that a whole lot of folks I knew were also confused. As it turns out, the intermittent health problems I’ve been having for several months have NOT been caused by my diabetes (which is completely under control now, with my A1C test well in the normal range) or residual damage from my fall some time back. NOPE. It turns out I apparently have Long Covid! For those who may have been as confused as I’ve been, here’s what my doctor and the CDC have to say about how this annoyingly persistent problem differs from actual Covid. 

Check with CDC for more Info HERE

THE OTHER THING

My Long Covid symptoms have mainly been extreme fatigue, brain fog/inability to focus my thoughts, and frequent dizzy spells, often accompanied by tingling and numbness in my right leg.  Yes, all three of those are among the 19 symptoms listed on the CDC website. Fatigue and brain fog are very annoying, and often prevent me from accomplishing anything while they last. But the scariest to me are the dizzy spells. Having received a serious concussion with my afore-mentioned fall, I’m truly afraid of having another. Believe me, I’m being very, very careful when I’m up and about on days when these symptoms start showing up. 

Also, there is no pattern I can establish as to when the next episode is going to happen, nor how long it will last. Sometimes I feel fine for 2 or 3 weeks in between Long Covid episodes, and sometimes one will return within 2 or 3 days of the last one. And sometimes they last for only a couple of days, while at least one has lasted for TEN days! 

If you have had Covid at some point and have any random symptoms such as described above, you might want to talk to your doctor to see if you are actually experiencing Long Covid. Not everyone has these episodes, but many do. As for myself, I feel infinitely better knowing what the heck is going on, and finding ways to cope with it, with the fervent wish that it will soon disappear forever!

At least it wasn’t Rapid-Speed Senility shoving me over the edge! 😂

Hope this info has been helpful to some of you, but mainly, I hope most of you never have to deal with either Covid OR the Long Covid after-effects. 


Stay Safe and Stay WELL, Everyone!

This & That & The Other Thing – Update – And a Poem by Hunter Painter

THIS

Just a quick update to let you folks know I’m still here, though I’ve had a lot on my plate of late. Between endless appointments for this or that and some annoying health issues to deal with,  I’m continuing to run behind, but I do think I see a dim glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Can’t wait for things to return to normal.

THAT

I know I’ve promised I’d be writing on my Blog Break days, but so far, that isn’t working out as well as I’d hoped. (See above for reasons why.) However, I’m not giving up on my Cole, Cole, & Dupree novella. I’m determined to finish that, and very hopeful to make more progress in the next week or two. Don’t count me out, yet. My brain is jam-packed with ideas for this one, and somehow, I WILL get them down on paper. (Well, down in a Word document, anyway! 😀 )

THE OTHER THING

Was going through some clutter today, trying in vain to get my desk area organized and useful again, and I found this little poem I came up with while working on Finding Hunter. Hunter Painter is a writer. One who marches to a different drummer, as many writers do, but also one who has been in love with Willow Greene since high school, though he never had the nerve to explore his feelings. (Except in his dreams, of course, or scribbled on scraps of paper here and there.)

This is a poem he wrote while in 11th grade, though he never showed it to a soul. I debated including it in my book, but ended up not doing so. It does, however, appear on the cover, if you look closely enough at the page shown there. When I saw it this morning, I decided to post it for you today. This is the first time I’ve ever shared it, and I hope you enjoy taking a look.

Emeralds and Silver

No emerald pulled from
  darkest earth holds
    light so warm, so
      full of life, as the
          green in those eyes.

No precious metal
  curled or curved in
    filigrees of man’s design
      offers half the sheen of that
        spun-silver hair.

Who would trade her
  incandescent glow for
    emeralds and silver
      lonely and cold,
        joyless, both, next to her
          bright sparkle.

~~~

And on that note,
I’ll get back to work.
Enjoy the rest of your day, everyone!

#This&That&TheOtherThing – #Update – #Excerpt – #TheEmissary2:ToLoveSomebody

THIS

Thought I’d take a break from physical labor and let you guys know that my new Time Management Plan is working great, so far. Both of my venues were amenable to having me visit every other month, so that alone cut my presentation workload in half. And I’ve scheduled my regular series posts as far in advance as possible, freeing me up a bit more each week. #GrannySays is now scheduled through the end of December! WooHoo! 

THAT

Speaking of scheduling, just want to let you all know that I’ve still got some dates open for both my #TenThings series, and my #GuestDayTuesday series. If any of you are interested in doing a guest post for either one, here are some upcoming dates you can choose from:

#TenThings: July 6, August 17 and 31, and September 14.
#GuestDayTuesday: July 12 & 26, August 9 & 23, and September 6 & 20

That’s as far ahead as I want to schedule for now. If any of these dates will work for you please email me so I can hold it for you. While I may not be running these quite as often as I was, I still want to keep them going when I can. I love having guests here on TWS, and hope you’ll take advantage of one more opportunity to get your books “out there.”

THE OTHER THING

Just for kicks, I thought maybe I’d share an excerpt with you today from one of my books. I may do this now and then going forward, but not on a strict schedule or anything. Just when the spirit moves me and I have time to do so. Hope you enjoy this one, which is from the second novella in my Emissary series. This scene features the Archangel Azrael putting the first two human Emissaries to the Angels to work with his idea of what rigorous physical training should be. Enjoy! 

The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody

Three Weeks Later, on the Same Swelteringly Hot Deserted Island,
Two Exhausted, Frustrated Emissaries Dreamed of Escape,
While One Ginormous, Cranky Angel Rethought His Entire Career. 

“TWENTY-FIVE MORE and you may take a brief swim break to cool down. Then we will focus on the ground exercises.”

“Push-ups!” Dodger snarled, sweat streaming down his face. “Just call them freakin’ damn push-ups, why don’tcha?”

Jake counted off the last of his jumping jacks then flopped down on the sand, too tired to argue much less walk down to the water’s edge. Dodger dropped right beside him, every bit as exhausted and frustrated. The boy’s chest heaved, and Jake knew exactly how he felt. Time to speak up, perhaps.

“Azrael, we’ve been at this all afternoon. It could be time to call it a day. There’s such a thing as heatstroke, you know.”

“Too late,” Dodger muttered. “Already there. My blood is boilin’, and my eyeballs are melting.”

The angel snorted in disgust.

But Dodger wasn’t done with Azrael. “This is crazy. Why do we have to exercise like this, anyway? Our job is mostly mental stuff, but you’ve got us on a workout schedule elite military units couldn’t keep up with. I don’t get it, man.”

“I find it difficult to believe we are about to have this same conversation, yet again, but fine. If that is how you wish to spend your break, instead of cooling off in the ocean, I shall do my part. A strong body and a strong mind go hand in hand. It is my belief that both mental and physical training will enhance and strengthen your ability to do your job as emissaries. Do I need to keep saying this?”

Jake sat up, raising his hands over his head in surrender. “Peace, Azrael. Come on, Dodge. Let’s go cool off before he changes his mind.”

They slogged across the wet shingle and waded out just far enough to be able to sit shoulder-deep in the calm, green water.

“We’re gonna die here on this island, you know,” Dodger muttered.

“You do remember he can hear us, don’t you?”

“Let him listen. I don’t really care anymore.” He paused, then yelled out, “You hear that, Azrael. I don’t care! I’m two steps away from dead, here, thanks to you.”

Jake thought about reminding Dodger he couldn’t die, but then figured the boy might decide continuing to live in these conditions would be even worse—and he might be right.

“Okay, kid. I’ll talk to him. Even with the extra strength we’ve been given as emissaries, we have limits, and it’s probably time to ease back a little.”

He spent a few minutes going over how to approach Azrael, then they headed back across the sand. The angel was nowhere to be seen.

Shocked, they stood under the palms looking this way and that. Surely, they hadn’t made the angel angry enough for him to abandon them in this remote spot? Had they? The only food and shelter they had was what Azrael had been providing. Hell, they could be in another dimension, for all they knew! Alone, they really might die here.

Dodger was visibly shaken, chewing on his bottom lip as he studied the shoreline in each direction, and Jake could offer no reassurances. He hadn’t a clue what they should do, other than wait. Just when he began to think maybe Azrael really had abandoned them to their fate, a voice behind him said, “Looking for me?”

Fighting mad, Jake whirled around, only to see the angel standing beside an elegant dining table set for three. A white and gold tablecloth, china, sparkling stemware, and silver serving dishes from which mouth-watering aromas rose, awaited them. He gaped in complete silence, and amazingly, so did Dodger.

“If you two are ready to cease hostilities, I am ready to admit I may have been pushing you somewhat harder than necessary. My intention was to enable you to become the best you could be, but it is possible I overdid it a bit. I am aware that at least one of you has a very high regard for food and hope this meal will prove I have not been trying to kill you. Please accept this as my peace offering.”

He paused, waiting for their reactions, and Dodger rewarded him with half a smile. “Well, it’s a good start, anyway.”

“Smells like a delicious start to me,” Jake added.

Azrael pulled out their chairs. “Come. Let us enjoy our food. We have much to discuss about what you’ll be doing next.”

Dodger stopped. “Next as in what kind of torture you’re plannin’ to put us through tomorrow?”

“Next as in I think it is possible your first round of training might be complete.”

Jake grinned and punched Dodger in the arm. “Hear that, kid? We made it through this grueling process and have survived to tell the tale.”

Dodger balked. “I heard the words ‘possible’ and ‘might’ in that sentence. Did we finish, or didn’t we?”

Azrael’s face grew serious. “You have completed this portion of your training, though there may be more to come at a later date, if needed. And you surpassed all of my expectations, by the way, which were quite high. I am proud of you both, and I am also amazed it took you until today to mount a serious rebellion. Now, I hope you will join me in a celebratory dinner. You have earned it.”

They ate a meal 5-star restaurants could only dream about serving, then toasted the sun as it slid down behind the emerald waves. For the first time in nearly two weeks, their conversation was peaceful and relaxed. It consisted of things that didn’t involve sweaty workouts under the hot sun, nor laborious mental exercises focused on helping them control their ever-expanding powers. And it was exactly what they needed.

The meal ended with a dessert so chocolatey and decadent, it nearly made Dodger swoon, then Azrael waved his hand, and voila! Dishes, glassware, leftover food, tablecloth, table, and even the chairs disappeared in a blink.

“Handy trick,” Dodger observed.

Azrael simply smiled, and Jake marveled once again at the healing power behind that gentle, pleased expression. They were, indeed, blessed—even before Azrael whisked them back to where they’d left their truck, delivered a quiet benediction over them, then rose into the starry heavens.

They stared into the night sky for some time after the angel’s departure, silent, until Dodger’s soft comment. “Sometimes I forget what a wonderful and holy miracle he is.”

The night breeze carried the gentlest whisper of a reply. “I love you, too, Dodger.”

Jake put his arm around his boy’s shoulder and they climbed into the back of their big semi, crawled into their bunks, then drifted off to sleep. In the morning, they’d be ready to hit the road again, better prepared than ever to help those who needed them.


You can download The Emissary series here:
The Emissary 1
The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody
The Emissary 3: Love Hurts


And that’s it for today’s update. Hope you enjoyed the excerpt,
and please email me if you want to set up a guest visit between now and September.
Have a great afternoon!

#This&That&TheOtherThing – #Update

THIS

Happy Tewe’s Day, everyone. Hope you all had great weekends. Mine was busy, busy, busy, but a bit more upbeat than the last few have been. My computer is still working, though there’s a problem with the co-ax cable which causes us to lose WiFi if it gets bumped even slightly. We’ll replace with new cable the next time it goes out.  For now, I’m back in business. And therein lies the rub. (Some famous guy once said that in a play, you know.  😀 ) 

THAT

The said “rub” mentioned above: I’ve been told by several people including friends (you know who you are), family, and even my family doctor that it’s possible … just possible, mind you … I’m trying to do too many things at one time. Huh. I never knew that would become a problem. Guess I figured I could handle as much stuff when closing in on 80 as I’ve been handling all my life. Apparently that was a Fool’s Dream. (Who knew?) Consequently, I’m busy trying to work out a schedule that lets me do as much as I can manage without pushing myself over the metaphorical cliff.

With that in mind, some things will have to go. Others I’ll mostly just need to cut back on the frequency of. (My beloved Wildlife talks may have to be cut to one a month, instead of two, for instance. Twenty-four a year is becoming problematic, so we’ll see if twelve works better.) But rest assured, I’m NOT giving up entirely on anything I either love to do, or need to do, especially my current WIP! It’s right at the top of my list, and Rabbit is getting antsy, since he’s full of things he wants me to write down for him. 😊

Our weekend home and garden projects are still a “need to” situation for now, but once most of them are completed, those can be cut WAY back. I do need to do at least a bare minimum of typical household chores fairly often, too, darn it.( Laundry will not wash itself, no matter how nicely I ask! 🙄 )

But saddest of all, I may have to cut back on the frequency of some of my blog posts (and even temporarily, some of my blog visits). To help prevent too much of that nonsense, however, I’m going to go ahead and schedule most of my regular “series” posts (#GrannySays, #ThorsDaySmile, etc) through the end of the year, though #MondayMeme is on a break for now. This will give me time each week to handle the guest posts I still intend to run any time I have folks who’d like to visit. (I do have openings for both #TenThings & GuestDayTuesdays, and will post a list of those dates later.) And on weeks when I find extra time available, I may throw in some bonus posts of my own on various topics, just for fun. No  promises on those, though, as I’m going to behave exactly as I’ve been advised to!

THE OTHER THING

Last of all, this is idea is already starting to work. I’m in a much better frame of mind today than I’ve been in for several weeks. Having a plan in place always helps me relax, and even if I’m still working on the implementation of it, I know I’m on the right track.

Thanks to all of you for your understanding and patience, and especially to those of you who’ve been extra supportive of me lately as I’ve stumbled around trying to make all the things I want to do work as easily as they used to. That’s not likely to be possible any longer, but that doesn’t mean I have to give up on everything I love! Not at all! I just have to be prudent and use some common sense. I can do that, no matter what anyone thinks. I can! Honest. No, really … I mean it! 😂😂😂  I’ll just pay more attention to the things Granny Says! 😉

Thanks for Sticking With Me Through This LONG Post!


STILL LOVE ALL YOU GUYS!

#WooHoo! – Shrinking #CompterWoes – #Update

Just a quick update on a more positive note than some I’ve had lately … today marked a MILESTONE in the Saga of the New Computer: I finally got my printer hooked up and working. There were several things impeding that process, not the least of which was that it wouldn’t accept the Wi-Fi password, but a call to a VERY nice young lady at Spectrum helped me figure that one out. And I have actually printed out THREE documents this afternoon, hence the happy dance above.

I’m still not out of the woods yet, as I try to find a graphics program that does more than the pathetic Paint that comes with Microsoft Office, yet doesn’t cost as much as many. I won’t be using it professionally any more, so I don’t want to lay out another huge chunk of change, but I DO need something whereby I can make headers and do some photo retouching. If any of you has a good suggestion, I’d be love to know. I’ve got a list I’m planning to check out tomorrow, but would be interested in hearing any success stories you might have. (I’d prefer something that resides on my own computer, rather than an online site.)

Thanks so much for all the kind and supportive comments on my previous posts. Haven’t been able to respond to all of them, but I read each and every one, and they ALL helped me keep my sanity! With any luck, a few more days will at least get me out of Crisis Mode here, and I can take my time with other apps and programs I might want.

Thanks again for being part of our wonderfully supportive writing and blogging community, and always being willing to offer a friendly word of understanding.

LOVE YOU GUYS!

 

 

#TearingOfHair and #GnashingOfTeeth – #ComputerWoes – #Update

Just a quick update on my progress–or lack thereof–with setting up my new computer. Yeah, it’s plenty fast, but heck if I can find everything I need, even when it’s actually ON the thing. Plus, many (probably most) of my programs are gone, due to being incompatible with Windows 11, so I’m trying to find possible substitutes for them. Every file I ever had is still here, but the list is astonishingly long, and finding things is tough. And worst of all (so far), my printer doesn’t seem to work on this computer, even though the pc says it’s the default printer. If I can’t figure that out, I’ll have to buy another. *sigh* (Not like I haven’t already spent a lot of money on this.)

But never fear! I WILL get things sorted out one way or the other. It’s just going to take some time, and that means less time I have for blog stuff. I am scheduling all guest posts, etc, first and foremost, so that those run for you guys, no matter where I am in this process. But what I may not be able to do is spend very much time responding to comments and/or checking out my favorite blogs. I’ll do my best, I promise, but getting my pc in order is critically important, so I have to keep working on that every chance I get. 

I know you guys will bear with me as I work through this process, and sooner or later, in the famous words of a certain Terminator, “Ah’ll be baahck!” In the meantime, thanks for your patience!

NOTE: Sorry I should have mentioned that my wonderful SON (in his early 50’s now) has helped me hugely, but he doesn’t live here. He did give me some great pointers over the phone, and is hoping to visit us before too long. I also know I can call Best Buy, but I wanted to be sure I’d done everything I could before doing so. (It’s a good way to learn as I go.) I considered myself fairly savvy about my OLD computer, and earned a living with digital art for some time, etc. But I skipped about five generations of pc’s between it and the one I have now, so everything on this one is quite different. I’ll get there, though. THANKS!