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Spring Has Sprung

Spring Has Sprung

You can tell it’s spring in South Texas because the doves are cooing like mad in the morning.

Last night Stanley went out around 8:30 PM and was annoyed by a cat. I couldn’t hear his cacophony for the tree frogs. Those suckers can get loud – louder than Stanley, which is saying something. (By the way, I found a treat Stanley adores: kale chips. According to his vet they’re safe to give him, so every other day Stanley gets kale chips. Who knew?)

The cacti are having babies, especially the one in the backyard. And the odd looking bush in my front yard – I haven’t the slightest idea what it is – has streams of lush peppery smelling coral blossoms.

The oak tree has finally stopped depositing that yellow/brown flower dust that gets over everything. This morning alone I counted five squirrels scampering on the branches. I think they’re waiting for the acorns.

Thankfully, there are no baby varmints in the attic, due to the varmint guy putting sheet metal all around the base of the chimney. Hopefully, they don’t find another way inside.

How about your neck of the woods? Are things growing like mad? How about tree frogs – do you have them?

I Just Noticed the New Cover is Out

I Just Noticed the New Cover is Out

Remember the story behind the cover for To Bed the Bride? It’s here. Well, the final cover is out.

I rarely come up with titles for my contract books. So far it’s only been three of them: Tapestry, My Beloved, and In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams. Add To Bed the Bride to that list. I was writing along one day and it just occurred to me. Luckily, it sailed through the Cover Conference, so all was copacetic.

There are always changes in the editorial process. Sometimes you see them. Most of the time you don’t. For example, in To Wed An Heiress, Lennox’s name was changed from Ross because Ross was used for a character in an earlier book. (I never remember characters from book to book. Each book is a new world.)The Texan Duke was originally The American Duke. Everything about To Bed the Bride is the same – so far. 🙂

I’ll be posting an excerpt shortly.

An Interesting Image

An Interesting Image

The other day I was watching something on YouTube pertaining to morbid obesity. Yep, I’m absolutely fascinated by food addiction. Or maybe the way people handle it. Bottom line, in most cases it’s not being handled, in my humble opinion.

Unfortunately, I know something about addictions. I’m fortunate in that I don’t have a food addiction. However, I have screwed up my own health in an effort to lose weight. I engaged in intermittent fasting for three months. I would fast from Monday to Friday, then eat 1200 calories on Saturday and Sunday. I didn’t find it difficult at all. However, I was drinking copious amounts of coffee. What was the result? Not as much weight loss as I would have liked. But…I gave myself gout and acid reflux. Not a smart thing to do. I’m still paying for it two years later.

I took the above image from one of the videos I was watching. It haunts me. I guess I never thought about your skeleton remaining the same when you gain weight. Evidently, you can damage yourself even doing low impact exercise if you’re significantly overweight. You can destroy your knees or your back. Even walking can be dangerous. (I immediately thought of The Biggest Loser.)

I think the Healthy At Any Size movement might need to re-evaluate their stance. I know I’ve certainly changed how I do things. (Plus, I stay very far away from low carb/paleo/keto diets.)

How about you? Is that image as jarring to you as it was to me? Have you ever done something idiotic in the quest to lose weight (like me)?

Spoiled? Maybe. Frustrated? Definitely!

Spoiled? Maybe. Frustrated? Definitely!

My internet has been wonky for the past two weeks. That wouldn’t be a big thing except that everything I do relates either to the cloud or to cloud based systems.

I can access files just fine, because they’re stored on a local backup, but if I change anything, that change isn’t recorded. So when I’m writing I can save a manuscript to a local drive, but if I go to any other computer I can’t access it.

Trust me, all of that sucks.

My cellular and data plan saved me. At least I could get to my email on my phone. I have to say, however, that the experience of watching TV not on a 60″ screen but a 6″ screen was a trip. 🙂

Friday I was down more than I was up. Saturday I was down all day. Sunday morning same thing. It finally decided to come back up on Sunday afternoon. I got a call from my internet provider and they promised me it was all fixed. By that time I had a healthy appreciation for how much my life depends on the internet.

How about you? Would you be dead in the water without the internet?

Stanley and the Vet Appointment

Stanley and the Vet Appointment

Stanley and I went to the vet on Friday afternoon.

I anticipated the appointment, knowing that Stanley was going to get a chance to sniff derriere and noses with various dogs, which he doesn’t do at home. I wasn’t disappointed.

A cute little cocker spaniel and Stanley hit it off. Much sniffing ensued. Stanley embarrassed me by also sniffing the derriere of the cocker spaniel’s owner when he was sitting in the row of chairs in front of us. Uh, Stanley, no. Stanley was not deterred.

He also made friends with a golden retriever, but two bigger dogs came in later. One had the strangest aspect. He had his head down and was looking at people sideways. I was immediately on red alert. The other looked like a Saint Bernard and was just fluffy and cute. The weird dog bothered me, though. His owner came up to Stanley, said, “Hi, Shorty,” to him and asked me, “Mind if I pet him?”

Stanley is predictable at home. I know he’s going to lunge at strangers and try to bite them. In public he’s unpredictable. When we go out I put him in his Hurtta Active Dog Harness that has a handle on the top. If I ever have to extricate him from a dangerous situation in a hurry I just pick him up. I was a little leery about the guy petting Stanley, but he sat down next to us, extended his hand and tried to pet Stanley on the head. Stanley immediately backed up. The guy said, “What’s wrong with your dog?”

Lots of things came to mind, y’all. “He’s just showing good taste.” “He’s shy.” “He doesn’t trust people easily.” Instead of saying anything I just smiled.

What’s wrong with people who insist on petting a strange dog?

Stanley’s gained a pound. I’ve changed his base food, plus halved his Fresh Pet topping. I no longer give him “cookies” or his Kong bone with cheese. I bought some freeze dried veggies thinking that he would be interested in those as a treat. Nope. However, I think the other changes will work to keep any additional weight off. We’ll go back in a month to see if the plan is working.

He had five shots, plus his heartworm test and fecal. He’s got a clean bill of health – but I did learn something fascinating. Stanley has a kind of musty/yeasty smell. He has it even after he’s had a shampoo. The vet said that terriers and similar breeds can get bacteria on their skin that results in that kind of odor. When he goes back to the groomers I’m supposed to ask for an anti-bacterial/anti-fungal shampoo. Who knew? In the meantime I have a spray that I’m using when I brush him. (It’s a lot better than the no-rinse shampoo I used last week. It made him smell like a hooker after a very long night. Poor Stanley.)

Off to spray and entice him with a freeze dried pea or two.