Birthday and High School

I neglected to publicly wish my darlin’ a happy birthday. I got her two cards and a wireless headset for the television. Okay, so maybe the headset was also for my benefit, too.

Precious (she’s Precious, I’m Special) had to work that day (Jan. 13th) and I had a major headache so we didn’t go out to eat until the next day. We went to the Longhorn Steakhouse. Not too bad price but the cook for the day was far too fond of the salt shaker. We mentioned it to the waiter (he asked why we had so much left on our plates and why we weren’t taking it home) and we got a free dessert. We didn’t want it but he thought he was doing something nice so we ate some of it.

Our 20th anniversary is coming up (June 23rd). We had hoped to maybe go to the UK this year but international travel kept looking hairy. We don’t know what we’ll do now. The GCLS conference is in May or June in Orlando so maybe we’ll just add some time onto that trip. It’s not that I’m apathetic to where and what we’ll be doing but I really had my hopes set for the UK. Of course, accessibility issues would have made it very difficult but we’d survived.

Speaking of 20 years, I heard from a friend from high school (go Chiefs!) the other day. High school was 27 years ago. We actually also went to college together (go Railsplitters!) but grew apart as graduation neared. She joined the military and I went to NJ. We’ve been emailing back and forth as she reminds me of folks we knew and where they are now. Weird. When she first contacted me, she used my Other Name and I was tempted to not respond. But I knew who it was and I didn’t want to wave her off. Apparently, I am hard to find! When most women change their last name, they do it because they got married. They then become Sandy Jenkins Smith (hyphen is optional). But I didn’t change my name because of marriage so that other moniker just got tossed aside like dross (new word of the day).

I’ve often thought of going to a high school reunion. Our freakin’ 30th is coming up soon. I’ve changed a lot. I’m fat. Really fat. I don’t think so until I see a photo and I freak and want to stop eating for the next month. I’ve got enough fat that I can live off of that until then. Bad genetics bit me in the butt so many times… Then there’s the whole “And this is my partner, Lorna. No, she’s not my caregiver, she’s my lover. Yes, she’s a brave woman for putting up with me.” thing and the “I write books. The genre? Lesbian romance and lesbian sci-fi/fantasy.” And then there’s the wheelchair thing. “No, not Iraq or swimming pool or drive-by gang shooting. I was born a mutant and lived among you as a human.”

Hump Dump Umpdate

An update to this update is found at the end.

Knee: The overall pain has dropped dramatically, unless it rains then it’s a heap o’ goodness. The swelling has finally gotten to where it looks more round like a basketball and less lumpy like a football. I still can’t straighten the knee out, though. And I can balance with the toes but cannot take a step.

Hip: My hip is giving me a lot of grief. We’re trying to figure out what the problems are so we can eliminate them as much as we can. I think most of it is the entire weight of the leg is on a so-so hip socket. The tendon on the front (groin?) is very tender, hates to be moved, and isn’t happy no matter what position I try to sleep in. I can now only sleep on my back with a pillow under and to the side of that leg to position the hip and to support the un-bending knee.

Other Knee: the brace I got is great! I can wear it all day and not get the usual grossness underneath. This proves it is the latex/neoprene and it is an allergy, not heat related. The knee is very tender to the touch but it is easier to stand and hop on it now. I have a groove on the side that includes the knee cap. I’m going to have the bone doc check it out when I see him one the 23rd.

Writing: Eh, not much. Lots of ideas, though. I got Moon’s Deeds of Paksenarrion and am re-reading it. I love that book and it inspires me to write. The style is so simple, so real. There’s big info dumps because of the war strategy and stuff but overall, it is fantastic. I am re-gaining a visual image of where Sarah and crew are and that allows me to “be there” further and therefore write much more better-er.

Cats: The Tues. before I fell and broke my leg (that still sounds so weird), Lorna called me to say there were three kittens at the post office. I joined her there and we caught them. We brought them home and set them up in Mike’s Big Boy crate. They drove the dogs nuts. We had to cover the crate with a sheet at night. We knew there were going to be problems. Mike has a huge prey drive and chasing cats is fun. I could keep that under control if Sass didn’t egg him on. So when I fell and we realized how much it was screwed up, we also realized there was no way Lorna could take care of three kittens AND me AND the house AND the dogs AND our own 2 cats. So we called Mary at Asheville Pet Supply. She often finds kittens in boxes left on the store’s doorstep and has a huge cat crate set up. We called her and asked if she could take them for us and help us find homes. She did! AND then called the next day to say they’d all found homes already! All 3 went to the same home which was great. This lady decided a while back she wanted kittens but would only take any that Mary got, knowing they’d need homes. She happened to come in that morning and there they were. We’ve heard since then that they are doing great.

Dogs: Joella is now on full-time pain meds for her arthritis. She still has trouble getting up off the floor but is happier and more active. We played with the dosage for a few weeks and think we found the right amount. Mike is a handful and a half. What a teenager he is! No more snakes although there was the dead possum and the mouse. And bamboo. Lots of bamboo. And sticks. And lost toys. Lorna had to wander through the dog lot to find all the cat bowls he took outside. She has to pick them up each morning or they wander back out. Now that I’m not so stoned, I hope to re-re-restart his training again.

Friends: About a week before I fell, a close friend of ours was thrown from her horse. She broke her spine but had no spinal cord damage. She was in neuro-ICU for several days then in a room for quite some time. She’s home now and slowly recovering. It will be a long haul for her. Patti is the woman who takes care of the dogs when we both leave, like for trips up Nawth. Another friend, Elena, is doing “as good as can be expected”. Her husband is dying of cancer. Hospice has been working with them for a month or so now. The hard part for her is his mental capacity. Between the cancer and the drugs, he’s far from himself.

**I have found out that Lew died Sunday, at home where he wanted to be.

So there you have it. A big honkin’ set of updates. Did I miss anything?

Adoring Fans

Fans come from the strangest places.

Friday I helped someone (I’ll call her J) move from her parents’ place to her own place. She was living in a Class C camper (meaning it had a cab and an engine) in her parents’ back yard. Also living in the camper was her husband and two of her kids. The new place is a mobile home with tilting floor but it has plenty of space compared to the camper! These folks are doing the best they can with what they have. The kids are cool and the husband, while slightly deranged, is also cool.

J. is a waitress at my version of “Cheers”: Waffle House. She’d heard I’d written a book and told me she wanted a copy for her sister (who is a lesbian). I got her two copies so she could read it too. She hasn’t finished it yet (bet its kinda hard to read in that cramped camper) but she shared it with her mother. I met her mom Friday. This woman was ecstatic to meet me. Why? Because I have a published book that she is reading. She is intrigued with knowing a writer and loves the book (she’s not finished with it either). While the guys loaded a car after loading my truck (I think it was load #2), I got to sit on the porch with J’s parents. It was a fun (and too short!) conversation about marriage, people, kids, neighbors, and life as we saw it.

Her mom wants another BG book and isn’t interested in a Fantasy novel. Her husband (J’s husband, that is) said if butch girls can fix anything then he’s gonna line up a bunch of stuff for me. Sigh. Men, tsk.