Slippers, Wheezing, and Solar Powered Cats

My last post, not counting dead people (the Bon Voyage posts) was about how sick I felt and going back to bed. Unfortunately, that rather fierce gentleman and his even fiercer blowing-things-up-object, failed to eliminate the flu-ets and I got even sicker still.

Not being able to get enough air into our lungs taps into the worst primal fears us ‘oomins have.

My cancer treatments from 2013, whilst saving my life, also screwed up my immune system. I admit I’d rather have the flu/bronchitis/flu again/head cold, than be dead, (although at the time it didn’t feel like it) however, a compromised immune system is not to be sneezed at. (I can’t believe I wrote that without even realising the pun until I was editing) One of my tasks this year is to build my immune system up so that come the next Dreaded Lurgy Season I’ll sail through with nary a snuffle, sneeze, or wheeze.

*** ***

So, I’m officially almost-healthy, and back at my desk doing more than obits and comments on my favourite blogs.

Without further ado:

… welcome to the people who have started following my blog since the Pseudoephedrine post. Pleased to meet’cha! :D

… I cleared the dross off my desk yesterday and found, wonder of wonders, my writing schedule … a strange desiccated creature I’m hoping to rehydrate with the sweat of my brow. Stay tuned for updates.

… I also came across the pics I took of a project that saved my sanity during my tribulations. Herewith be the Slipper Chronicles:

A ball of wool, a crochet hook, and a PLAN

A ball of wool, a crochet hook, and a PLAN

More wool and an amended plan, same crochet hook

More wool and an amended plan, same crochet hook

Bits and scissors

Bits and scissors


A VERY BIG needle - and believe me it hurts when you jam it into your finger

A VERY BIG needle – and believe me it hurts when you jam it into your finger

A perfect fit!

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Because tomorrow is the first day of Spring here in the Northern Hemisphere and it’s STILL raining on Widder Island, in the middle of Widder Lake, in the middle of Widder Rainforest, I thought it would be nice to watch some cats … in the sun.

Bon Voyage Leonard Nimoy

There are going to be all sorts of tributes all over the interwebz, so I thought this one might be a little different.

He will be missed.

Bon Voyage Lesley Gore

You will be missed.

Pseudoephedrine, How Do I Love Th …

I love thee to the depth of my itchy ears where I am sorely tempted to stick knitting needles in them to alleviate my torture.

I love thee to the furthest reaches of my sinuses that stuff up the moment I stop moving …


… that was last week. This is this week. I got sicker. Then I got sickest. This is what I want to do to flu germs.

… going back to bed now.

Parse the Parcel …

… is a new category I just invented for myself. When I come upon interwebz ‘stuff’ that catches my attention I’ll store everything in a big basket on my desk then post their gloriousness here.


Parsing now


I only have two today, but they’re good ones.

First … Author Earnings has published their January 2015 Author Earnings Report. There’s a lot of data to dig into if you’ve a mind to, but for the juicy bits, check out their summary at the top of the post.

Many thanks to The Passive Voice for the hat tip … which by-the-way is a great blog with a wonderful commenter community.

Next … a bit of fun. Canadian Lesfic is having a ‘write-in’. This is from their blog – 

From January 30 to February 13, five diabolical Canadian masterminds will be writing a story together.  
What will the story be about?  We have no idea.
Except that lesbians will figure in it, pretty definitely.
Maybe maple syrup, too.
Expect laughs.  Expect action.  Expect plaid flannel.
Expect Canada. 

Feeling Snarly



I’m finally getting into my writing rhythm of four hours a day that I promised myself I would aspire to this year. I break it up into 30 minute bite-sized bits by setting a timer to go off every half hour so I can stand up, stretch my arthriticals, ablute, eat, do chores, (take pics of Coco the community cat) that sort of thing.

The universe I created for ‘Bel, and the Knight Whiskey Runners’ morphed into a story gobbling creature that’s absorbed several other story concepts. I’m not complaining. In fact it’s rather astounding how they all slipped into the established framework. I now have a timeline that extends into hundreds, if not thousands of years. Go big or go home, I say … *gulp*

My plan is to have at least the first installments of each of these series published by Fall, hence my full-on-flat-out schedule.

This is a good thing. What’s not so good is that I’m so immersed in my wordy worlds, re-entry to this mortal coil is … let’s just call it, an interesting exercise.

When the timer goes off, it’s usually just at the moment I’m typing faster than the speed of light in the throes of decadent inspiration … Snarl – the lip curling kind.

I stomp off and do whatever it is that I planned to do and then sigh dramatically as I wait for the kettle to boil for a cup of tea.

That’s not the really interesting part though. I know most writers experience variations on this theme, but what happens when it’s time to sit back down at the keyboard again is what causes me to, eventually, laugh at myself.

My procrastinating self really resents having its procrastinations interrupted by this horrible work ethic it’s certain I’ve picked up from some den of scum and villainy, and I get snarly.

I believe this is the definition of a no-win situation!

Now, for some eerily appropriate Coco pics …





Mrs Widds Bakes

But before we get to that, here’s some good news. In November I had my 1-year-later cancer scan, and everything was clear.


And … HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone … so glad to see we all made it, although it was a close call for some of us. All I can say is I’m so glad you decided to stick around.

On with the show …

‘Twas the season for all things made with flour, fats and sugars, namely cookies and tarts … And inspirational songs, ritual feasts and fastings, and Santa, and for those who follow some traditions, a birthday.

Our big day is Winter Solstice.

Mrs Widds and I make special food, and release the year past to welcome in the new year to come, and other stuff to honour our spiritual traditions.

Then we start the baking for the family.

Since we’ve been here on Widder Island we’ve actually had the space to host our immediate family’s Christmas Day feast and present sharing. One of the most requested feasting items are baked goods, of which Mrs Widds is the unparalleled Mistress Of Baking. (I am merely the gorgeous assistant and quality control advisor)

First there’s the mixing of ingredients.

Ingredients - gazillions of 'em

Ingredients – gazillions of ‘em

The hands-on approach

The hands-on approach

Only Mistresses of Bakings know the secrets of perfect pastry

Only Mistresses of Bakings know the secrets of perfect pastry

Then there’s the placing on trays.

Chocolate chip, shortbread, spellbinders (pictured) ginger snaps, orange zest ... oh, the list goes on, and on, and ...

Chocolate chip, shortbread, spellbinders (pictured) ginger snaps, orange zest … oh, the list goes on, and on, and …

Then there’s the baking and subsequent eating. (and these are the ones I thought to take pictures of)

Apple tarts, and ...

Apple tarts, and …

Butter tarts, and ...

Butter tarts, and …

for something savoury, mini quiches, and ...

for something savoury, mini quiches, and …

thumbprint cheesy bites

thumbprint cheesy bites

Needless to say the Widds family was well supplied for months … Seriously? Months? … these lasted for as long as it took them to drive home and open their Goodie Baskets!

and then …

It snowed!