Monday, May 31, 2010

Gratitude Monday -- Warning Signs

Unlike in the photo above, some warning signs are best left alone. However, I am still grateful that the people who were concerned with my latest ECG took the steps they did.
I was to see my cardiologist last week on a routine visit through telehealth. That's a camera hookup that allows us to be more than 100 miles apart and still talk face to face. I needed an ECG first so he could see what was happening with me.
Said test was done on the Friday that started the Victoria Day weekend. The lab tech (forgive me I do not know the proper title) was concerned, showed another lab tech who was concerned, who then showed it to the ER doctor who was concerned.
I had to have a second one and then was escorted to ER for more tests. I didn't believe there was a problem but I don't know how to argue with a machine. I do not have those skills.
Because of the reading on the test the Dr. put me on rat poison. He gave me a choice and I was sore tempted to say no. But for all I knew I needed it and he did note it was until at least I saw my cardiologist on the following Thursday.
I took the Warfarin and had to come to the hospital every day until the following Tuesday to have my blood clotting rate checked.
This has a happy ending. My cardiologist took me off Warfarin and said he'd make it clear to the local doctors that I was not to go on it again. Daily low dose aspirin does the job.
The local doctor did not have the background on me to know that. He was doing his job and putting all his skills and knowledge into helping what appeared to be a problem. I am grateful to him and to the lab techs for acting on what they saw. I am also grateful that I likely won't have to go through this again.
In fact, I am so healthy --but for that annoying irregular heart rhythm nonsense-- that I don't need to see my cardiologist ever again unless something unusual, good or bad, happens.
I am grateful for that.
The few days I took Coumadin again are but a blip, a few days out of a lifetime. They don't mean anything other than we have medical personnel on the job who see that someone may be on thin ice and who light a fire under their skills to take care of it.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Photo-Finish Friday - Sealing the Harbor

Cannon fire at sunset signals the sealing of the harbor near Santiago de Cuba.
Castillo de San Pedro del Morro sits in dramatic splendor on the cliffs at Santiago Bay. Each night soldiers in period costume fire the cannon.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Crescent Falls

Here's a short video-with sound- of a waterfall out west.
It's called Crescent Falls and there's a campground beside it.

I hope you enjoyed the show.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Moody Mountain

Bright, sunny days in the mountains are wonderful, but rain and snow bring a texture to the world around us not found any other way.
Above, low clouds with a smattering of rain cast a moodiness to Abraham Lake.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Twofer Tuesday--A Real Ending

I'm happy to report I finally did it. I finally wrote a proper ending to A Fly on the Wall.
The final scene has been in my mind since before I finished the manuscript last summer. I knew how it had to end. The problem was getting there. I didn't have a logical reason to bring about the logical conclusion.
The other day I was winding up the second edit when I realized it had to be fixed. Now. No more waiting and hoping that I'd be inspired in the next pass.
If I kept my weak, happy, all -tightened-up conclusion in any longer I'd be tempted to give up and keep it. That would be wrong and stupid.

Action had to be taken. I had to fix the second -last chapter and rewrite most of the final chapter. This meant guitar playing and chew toys. I strummed for a bit and then bought some gelatinous fruit chewies that got me started and I finished with a toothpick stuck out at a jaunty angle from my mouth.
The ending's not perfect, but neither is it embarrassingly sewed-up and happy. It'll take some rest, and some strumming and chewing, but I'll one day have something to send out.

Here are two fresh lines from A Fly on the Wall:

"Just like the first time, it was over and done before Brelyan knew what happened. One moment he and Nick were about to say goodbye, the next they were in a small cage not sure what happened or who they were."

I'm reading Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits (Dial Press Trade Paperback, 2005.) I saw the movie years ago, sometime in the nineties I think, and loved it. It made me want to read the book. I found it a short while ago and am so happy that it made it to the top of my TBR pile.

Two sentences I read:

"The Jesuit's index finger, which was already raised to illustrate additional tortures, remained suspended like a lightning rod above his head. People stopped breathing, and those whose heads had been nodding suddenly woke up."

Thanks for coming by.
For more or to get in on the fun, please see the Women of Mystery.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Gratitude Monday - Baby Bear Edition

-photo by Mike Mayrl

We went for a drive out west toward the Banff Park gate on Saturday and were blessed to see the three bears. This is the young one who was about to cross the road. This was our second sighting of him (or her).
When we saw it earlier it was on the right side of the road and I was the passenger so I was closest. Within a few hundred metres, if that, we saw mama bear on the opposite side of the road, and a few hundred metres later papa bear.
Much as they scare me I enjoy seeing them. I especially enjoy the fact that I am in a running vehicle and can get away if they take exception to my presence.
I am grateful for the photos I took and Mike took, and I am deeply grateful that the black bear elders were okay with us photographing their offspring.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Photo-Finish Friday --To The Mountains

The Bronze Titan

The monument of War of Independence Hero Antonio Maceo in Santiago de Cuba.
He is looking back at the Sierra Maestra Mountains.
It's the other part of the monument photo I posted last Friday.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy Day

I hope your day is at least this happy.

This is the neighbour's cat, Toad.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Scenes From Our Front Yard

Spring is in bloom in our front yard.
This is a prairie anemone. It's brief, glorious blossom is nearly over.


The nanking cherries are in full flower and this makes the honeybees busy. Warning: enlarge this photo at your own risk.

A wider shot of the nanking cherries along our driveway.

The tulips are in bloom.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday Twosomes - Cleaning Time

I'd have to say the editing I'm doing is more like cleaning. I have some extensive rewriting to do on the ending of A Fly on the Wall and yet I'm concentrating on fixing the typos and assorted other errors. I claim it is because it gives me a framework with which to think about what I might do.
Mostly, it lets me put it off a bit longer as I haven't decided the direction it would take.
The current ending is completely logical, but too pat, too feel-good, and much too convenient for my liking. It feels tacked on, and in many ways it was. I wanted to finish the story so it could simmer and then I could get to fixing it up.
I'd like it to be a reasonably happy conclusion with a wee dram of edge to keep readers from being too comfortable. All I have to do is sort out how to do it.

Here are two sentences from a chapter I edited a few days ago:

"He sat quietly as he had been directed. The mirror had been told to be quiet as well, but no one was willing to guarantee that would happen."

And from what I read about the habits of the American Goldfinch:

A goldfinch and a pine siskin contemplate sharing a bath.

"Though bathing is less frequent that preening, it is also an important part of feather maintenance. It provides an additional means of keeping the feathers clean and may also be important for skin care."
- Wild Bird Guides American Goldfinch, by Alex L.A. Middleton, (Stackpole Books 1998)

Thanks so much for coming by.
For more or to get in on the fun, please see the Women of Mystery.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gratitude Monday - Fishing Instead

Mitchell Lake, southwest of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta.

I went fishing instead.
I was going to plant my garden yesterday. Mike dug the compost into it in the morning and then dug up some lawn on the west side of it to add a few more feet of growing space. I was going to plant things right afterward.
Earlier that morning, just before getting out of bed, I pictured it in my mind and decided where the spices, carrots, and peas would go. The onions went in on Saturday in the few extra feet I added a few weeks ago. Remaining space could house the lettuce and radishes. If there was still space available it would be home to a random potato.
Rather than do all this work we decided to spend the afternoon on a canoe on a local lake. We never know when Mike will have a day off. I can put in a garden while he's at work, but I can't fish with him.
Yesterday was the time we had. We used it. Instead of gardening we went fishing. We didn't catch anything, but that does not matter.
I spent the afternoon relaxing on a lake with my husband and I am grateful.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Photo-Finish Friday - Independent Spirit

Part of the Monumento Antonio Maceo in Santiago de Cuba.
He was a hero of the War of Independence. The other part of this monument shows him on his rearing horse with his head turned to the Sierra Maestra Mountains.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Plenty of Time to Write that Cheque

It's new moon day.
There's plenty of forewarning today as the new moon is this evening at 7:04 MDT.
I know regular readers know the drill, but if you've just tuned in this is what to do to write an Abundance Cheque:

Take a blank cheque from your chequebook or draw a facsimilie. The Universe is pretty cool that way.
Fill in your name in the pay to the order of line.
Write Paid in Full in the amount line and the amount box.
Leave the date blank.
Sign it The Law of Abundance.
Put it away and go about your business.
You've got from 7:04 p.m. MDT today (May 13) to 7:04 p.m. tomorrow to do this.

Have at it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Supplying a Cuban School

Santo Domingo, Cuba.

It wasn't much. In fact, by our standards it really wasn't anything at all, but for a school there, every bit helps.
We'd read that school supplies are scarce so we brought some along with us. Five pencils take little room, an eraser even less, and foolscap is flat. The only question was when to do it?
In Santo Domingo I got my chance. I'd stayed back while almost everyone else went on a hike and used the time to look around. Just down from our resort was a school. The kids used the road as their playground. I watched them as I walked past.
The building is toward the top end of the line of buildings just past the building with the red roof.
I took what little supplies we'd brought and dropped them off. A gentleman had stepped out of one door of the school and was about to go in another when I handed them to him.
He smiled. So did I. Then I walked away.
It feels good to give something that is needed, wanted, appreciated, and will be used.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Twofer Tuesday - Think Days

I've taken a few think days this past week to sort out the WIP. It's coming along, albeit slowly. The downside of not writing one day is it is easier to not write again the next day. It's even easier the day after that even though I miss it. And the "think day" excuse runs thin after a time.

Two sentences I read this week are from my hotmail account's junk folder. It includes all the usual suspects such as meds for my erectile dysfunction and weight loss, but this week I have two favourites.

The subject lines are as follows:

"Augustine Dinga (ESQ) "Immediate transfer of $ 2.5 Million Dollars to you"
(Yay! I'll be rich! Wheee!)

and my personal top choice: " "Your PayPal account has been limited"

I give this second one the edge because it can be argued to be the absolute, undeniable truth. I do not have a Paypal account, therefore, it is, by its very nonexistence, limited.

And speaking of relative non-existence here are a few from Dead Broke:

"I craned a bit and saw that ankle again. Even dead I didn't dare look any higher. It was her and I had the spiritual boner to prove it."

Thanks so much for coming by.
For more or to get in on the game, please see the Women of Mystery.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Gratitude Monday - Strength

The Earth is strong and true. It is sights such as these that remind me no matter what happens in the world, the strength of the Earth will prevail.
For this I am grateful.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Photo-Finish Friday -- Flower Power

From the Orchid Gardens at Soroa, Cuba.

Husband thought it might be an odontoglossom.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Twofer Tuesday--Now With Goats!

My favourite book is Heidi. Johanna Spryi's tale puts me right on the alm, listening to the wind in the trees. To this day goat cheese, especially melted, brings me right back to the alm-uncle's hut.
Consequently I was reasonably excited when my husband brought home Heidi Grows up.

A good excuse to run a goat photo.

He'd rescued it from the recycling table at the town dump. Plenty of people leave books there for the taking. He's brought home dozens and I've found a few gems myself.
This is our current bedtime story. It's a bit disappointing. She's away at school and it's a dry read so far. I was tempted to give it back to the table, but my husband is still okay with reading it out loud to me.
Who knows? The author is Charles Tritten who was Spyri's translator. Perhaps that bodes well for this sequel.

Without further ado, here are two lines:

" 'As for you, Heidi, you may move into Jamy's room and take what's left of your little goat cheese with you.'
'Oh, thank you, Mademoiselle!' Heidi exclaimed gratefully."
-Heidi Grows Up, Charles Tritten, copyright MCMXXXVIII renewed MCMLXVI (Western Publishing Company Inc.)

I'm plugging away on my current WIP. Some days it flows. Other days not so much.
I may have to take a few think days to sort out what direction to take.
Meanwhile, fresh offerings from Dead Broke:

" ' I have a lot of faith in you, sweetheart. I always did. Even when you stayed up late at night locked in your room practicing how to cheat at cards, I had faith.' "

Thanks for coming here. I appreciate it .
For more, or to get in on the fun, please see the Women of Mystery.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Gratitude Monday--Peace

My corner of the world is peaceful, and I am grateful.