Home from the north country

My wife an I spent a wonderful Thanksgiving week with my daughter and her husband and my granddaughters in Maryland. We hadn’t seen the family in two years due to my cancer radiation treatments and the COVID pandemic. We spent a lot of time just hanging out at their house enjoying being together again. Johanna’s husband Kevin fixed the Thanksgiving dinner after which I told him that if he wants a new career path he can become a chef.

War Correspondents Memorial ArchMy daugher, who admits she is a planner, set up some great activities. I already posted about the pinball games in the grocery store. We visited a museum of civil war medicine, the war correspondents memorial arch at the Antietam Battlefield park, and enjoyed walking through the beautiful festival of lights at nearby Gaithersburg.

Both granddaughters (Freya and Beatrice) are enjoying their ballet. In fact, both of them are dancing in the Metropolitan Ballet Theater’s production of the “Nutcracker” and “The Nut Cracker Suite this past weekend and next weekend in Rockville, Maryland.

Both of them like puzzles, Bebe (Beatrice) likes morning “nature walks” with her mother, and Freya carries around a sketchbook which she focusses on with persistance and passion. Both of them smile a lot and play together in a way that makes me smile and try to remember what life was like when I was that young.

Fortunately, our flights up and back went smoothly and were on time. Standing in the TSA line, especially at Reagan airport in DC, was tiring, and tedious. Flying while wearing a mask, while no doubt necessary, was unpleasant. While we were gone, our three cats were  checked on daily by a neighbor friend just down the street. We’re both still tired from the trip. Not long after we got home, I fell asleep in the living room recliner and the cats all climbed aboard.

What a great Thanksgiving! The granddaughters grow and change to fast, we don’t like missing out on visits. Their parents grow and change, too, but I’ve been instructed not to take pictures of them. I may have accidentally taken a couple <g> but I’m not posting the evidence here. Lesa and I hope we can dream up some more great experiences for next year, hopefully with fewer pandemic mandates and other hassles, perhaps at a place without those low temps and cold winds.

Malcolm

Here’s a sleigh full of gift ideas, all available in e-book, audiobook, paperback, and hard cover editions. Click on the graphic to buy the books from Amazon. You’ll also find them online at Barnes and Noble and other venues.

Sunday’s Gallimaufry

  • Homeowner captures an alligator to bring home and show his kids, Texas officials sayIn yesterday’s news, we heard that a Texan captured an alligator to bring home and show his kids. Those on Facebook who saw my post about this story weren’t amused. Needless to say, he wasn’t allowed to keep it. No word on the kids’ reactions. Frankly, I think this looks too large to be a pet.
  • I’m happy to see that Smoky Zeidel, my colleague at Thomas-Jacob Publishing, has come out with a new edition of Who’s Munching My Milkweed. This edition features her husband Scott’s cool artwork. The book is currently available as an e-book and a paperback, with the hard cover to appears shortly. From the publisher: When Ms. Gardener discovers something has been munching on her milkweed plants, she embarks on a fun and educational monarch butterfly journey that enchants both children and adults. From egg to larvae (caterpillar), to pupa (chrysalis) to adult (butterfly), Ms. Gardener watches over her friends to ensure they make the journey safely.”
  • According to Publishers Weekly, attempts to ban books have been rising. “New headlines virtually every day tell the story: across the country, there is an unprecedented spike in attempts to ban books from schools and libraries. And while efforts to remove books from schools and library collections are not uncommon, librarians and freedom to read advocates warn that this current spike in challenges is different, as it appears to be part of a broader political strategy.” We must remain viligant.
  • No photo description available.My wife and I are planning a long-awaited trip to Maryland to see the granddaughters. COVID kept us away last year. One year, our rental car was so snowed in, we couldn’t use it. Everyone took turns shoveling away the towering drift. We definitely don’t want to come home with another photograph like this one.

Best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving.

Malcolm

Delivery trucks, Ingram & Amazon, CT Scans, and granddaughters

  • In yesterday’s blog, I speculated about when (or if) a lawn mower service and a lawn mower delivery truck would show up. Our old mower is going into to be serviced. It was supposed to be picked up between 9 a.m. and high noon. It was picked up at 4 p.m. A new mower was supposed to be delivered between 3 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. It showed up before lunch. So, I guess that evens out, delivery-wise. Now, if the old mower can be repaired, we’ll be able to use both mowers on the 3+ acres of grass and maybe keep up with it better.
  • If you dashed out to buy hardback copies of the three copies in my Florida Folk Magic Series on Amazon, you probably noticed that two of them are displaying a “no image available” graphic. One of the three is displaying that graphic on the Barnes & Noble site. The good news is, you can still buy the copies and when they arrive, the covers will not say “no image  available.”  I don’t know if Ingram is backed up because it’s having to pick up the slack now that Baker & Taylor has suddenly stopped supplying bookstores, or if Ingram and Amazon are experiencing a failure of communications.

Fortunately, a CT scan is not as loud as an MRI. – Wikipedia photo.

  • I spent the morning at the imaging clinic getting two CT scans. This is a follow-up to the indications of scattered prostate cancer cells from a recent biopsy. If any of you have gone through this, or a similar series of tests, you know there’s a lot of hurry up and wait. So, that meant four days waiting on the biopsy results and another four waiting to hear what the CT scans show prior to meeting with the doctor on Tuesday. For the scans, they injected dye or kryptonite or cyanide or something to provide contrasty pictures that will show how extensive the problem is. If it’s not too bad, the treatment will most likely be hormone injections.
  • My granddaughter Beatrice recently celebrated her sixth birthday. She had a party. I wasn’t there since she’s in Maryland and I’m in Georgia. Fortunately, we’ve been able to see Beatrice (Bebe) and her older sister Freya a fair number of times a year. And, their mother is pretty good about posting pictures of the girls on Facebook. My wife and I hope to visit the Gettysburg battlefield this year. If that works out, we’ll be several hours away from my daughter and her family and might be able to get together.

Once I know the treatment plan, etc. for the prostate cancer, I want to get back to working on the novel in progress, Dark Arrows, Dark Targets. The medical thing has been distrating me, so I haven’t made much progress on it. But soon, I hope.

Malcolm