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Showing posts from April, 2012

Let the Partying Begin!

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After a long winter (okay, this year, it was more like a long NON-winter), spring is upon us and so is party and event season. It started yesterday with Lisa Scottoline's annual visit to Pittsburgh. This year, she was here to promote her latest "emotional thriller" Come Home.
I've long sung Lisa's praises. Back when I was first starting my search for an agent, she was generous enough to insist I send my manuscript to HER agent. I did. He rejected it. But I will love her forever for being so supportive. She also agreed to be the keynote speaker for me at the Pennwriters Conference that I coordinated in 2009. Let's face it, I adore anyone who makes me look good. And that keynote speech still ranks as the best one we've ever had (in my opinion anyway).
Yesterday's visit to Pittsburgh...Oakmont actually...was bittersweet. Lisa's mom is in the hospital forcing her to cancel her book tour, with the exception of this stop. And the main reason she HAD t…

Poor Skye/Bad Kensi

Some Higher Power seems to think I'm a good kitty mom because He keeps sending me cats with health problems. I've dealt with thyroid issues, kidney failure, blindness, deafness, and cancer in my cats over the years. After my sweet Sammie lost her battle to squamous cell carcinoma, I thought my next rescue kitty, Skye, would be low maintenance with her measly allergies.
That fantasy lasted all of a week when my vet diagnosed her with Bartonella. You might have heard of it called Cat Scratch Fever. There's a lot of conflicting information out there about the illness. Basically, it's spread by fleas. Skye had been infested with them when she was dumped at the shelter. In her case, the infection manifests itself in severely inflamed gums.
But after a couple of rounds of azithromycin, Skye's oral problems were under control.
That lasted for about five years. Now, it's back. I did three rounds of the antibiotic this time with only temporary results. Last week, my …

The Joys of Camping

I have a rule about no cleaning the first two trips to our camp in the spring. The place definitely needs it, but I’ve learned to ignore the mess. For one thing, April in Pennsylvania is generally muddy. That old adage about April showers wasn’t created for nothing. For another, there are always unexpected repairs to be made after the place has sat empty for six months.
This year, the mud isn’t so much an issue. It’s been a weird winter and spring. It’s also been dry.
However, the “unexpected” repairs part of the equation has more than made up for it.
The campgrounds don’t “officially” open until next week, so we weren’t sure what we’d find. Our first happy discovery was the water had already been turned on. My first less-than-happy discovery was that the Internet had not.
No big deal. It’s amazing how much work I get done when I’m not online. Yes, I should know this by now. But when I’m offline for days on end, the emails tend to pile up in my inbox and take half a week to sort th…

Grandpap's House: Part Two

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Last September, “they” (I don’t know who “they” are…someone hired by the current owner) started tearing down my grandfather’s house. I blogged about it at the time, expecting that the house would be gone by winter. Wrong. They made it this far and quit.
As if being neglected for all those years wasn’t insult enough, they ripped off half her roof and left her wide open, naked to the elements.
I prefer to remember the house I spent much of my youth in like this.
And I have a nice collection of even older pictures of the house in its heyday.  The picture below is my mom and my great grandma feeding the chickens out back.

And a shot of the inside. That's my older brother by the tree.
The house will definitely live on for me. I’ve used it as the home for two of my protagonists. If I keep writing about it, I’ll never completely lose it.
But in reality, the demolition crew has returned. They removed a big chunk of the house this weekend. Now it looks like this.
By the way, this is m…