Dear Followers: Sorry I'm behind in my posts. I've been under the gun and the weather since before Christmas. Thank goodness for the company of my cats and pigs, or I would've gone stark-raving mad lying 24/7 on the couch staring at the boob-tube. December 23rd I went in for carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand. I had to have someone else open my presents on Christmas Day! I'm going in for the other hand on February 17. Both hands had severe nerve damage--probably caused by my writing books on the computer, riding the horses, and manic tending of the garden and its produce throughout the summer.
My right hand is still not very good: fingertips are still numb, but at least I'm able to better hit these keys on the computer. A few weeks after the surgery my husband and I contracted a severe bronchitis. In my case, pair asthma with bronchitis, and I was a hurting buckeroo. Beware this cold, this bronchitis that's circulating: you don't want it. I heard from many others who had it: it lingers. And I can verify that: I've been struggling to breathe, had been to the doctor at least five times, and had a chest X-ray for pneumonia within the last three weeks. Ugh! Finally, though, I am able to breathe more freely--the wonders of steroids
Being so sick, I was unable to feed all our animals, and my husband has been doing all the work with them--thank goodness. He had it too, but not nearly as severe (above picture on right is him and Ralphie taking a "sicky" nap). All the animals survived our disease, and today I think I might venture outside to get a bit of exercise.
Here's an update on our four new kittens: Li'l Ralphie's one eye has a cataract, as diagnosed by my own eye doctor, so on Monday I'm taking him to an opthalmalogist to see about having it removed. I think he got it because of the bad eye infection he had when we rescued him from the side of the highway. He squints from that eye as though it bothers him, and because he's so young, if the surgeon recommends it, we'll spring for the surgery because I want him to be able to see as much out of that damaged eye as possible. I'll keep you posted on Ralphie's eye.
Elliot and Eveyln are growing. Lyla, the cat I rescued from a shelter in North Carolina, has one of those extreme pushed-in noses that won't allow her to get air easily from her one nostril--poor thing. We always know where Lyla is in the housebecause of her continual snorting. But she is a kind, wide-eyed cat that is grateful to have a loving home and attention. (her pic is upper left).
Of course, in the middle of all this disease and disability, the Haitian earthquake took place, and I was immediately worried about all the animals left in the disaster. I donated funds to Best Friends Organization, and their people are down there now trying to feed and support the animal population there. If you'd like to help the stranded pets in Haiti, go to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any donation is appreciated, and you can donate also through www,bestfriends.org. I write for this organization and can attest to its integrity.
Other news around here includes my attending a pet writing conference in February where I am scheduled to meet with three editors and pitch my three mss. that are so deserving of a publisher. I had a reject the other day: the editor said she absolutely "loved, loved, loved" my THE SUMMER OF RUSTLE book (a memoir of my having raised a baby raccoon during the summer of 2005) but that things were so bad in the publishing industry, she was afraid to take a chance. Oh, well. At least I know my material is attractive and entertaining. Economics is what is rejecting my books.
When I go to this pet-writing conference in NYC, I'm going to remind the editors that my books reflect how our pets sustain us, define us, and keep us honest and sincere. I'm going to stress the uniqueness of my own approach to appreciating animals and the literary quality of my writing that several editors have commented on. But my focus will be on the purity of the animals and how my books enlighten readers to that fact. I am very hopeful that my own sincerity, derived from my long-time association with my animal comrades, will be able to persuade the editors to consider my works for publication.
We who have our best friends in our pets truly realize what gifts they bring us. For instance, Li'l Ralphie has jammed himself, here as I'm writing, between a stack of papers and my laptop. He's singing to me--well--purring, and watching my fingers dance over the keyboard. He makes what would be a somewhat lonely task that much more bearable. Ralphie's not too busy today that he can't share time with me.
Thanks Li'l Ralphie.