‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #42 #IARTG #FlashFiction #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts

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Time to turn the clock back, stealing time from us.

That’s what the ticking clock does, a slow-moving thief.

First you wonder where your youth disappeared to

Then middle age brings on the moody moments too often.

Old age, God bless us.

No one warned us how hard for some of us it could be.

Aches and pains in places you never heard of in your youth.

I can hear those lucky ones, fit in mind and body,

Saying life is good. Well, bully for you

Not all of us are as lucky…

© Anita Dawes 2021

Update on Anita and Deja Vu

After the longest four days, we arrived to collect a pale and fragile Anita from a bench outside the hospital. She could barely walk and still seemed to be in so much pain, even though the terrible breathlessness had gone.

We knew they would have liked to keep her for a few more days but Anita insisted on coming home. And as number one son said, the antibiotics can work just as well on our couch, and he had a point although I did wonder if it was too soon to come home.

On those first days home, Anita was far from well, not comfortable, had no appetite and had trouble drinking anything but the dreadful paleness had gone, and she looked a little better.

THE ALL-IMPORTANT VERDICT.

We finally managed, over the phone, to prise some proper information from the hospital doctor, and it wasn’t good.

The pneumonia was caused by a bacterial infection in Anita’s lungs, resulting in fluid around her heart. The pain came from a clot they think originated in her heart.

Her heart is still irreparably damaged from last year’s attack and in their opinion, cannot hope to perform well enough to stop this happening again, but they have adjusted her meds to help improve the situation.

The communication has been bad this time, with so much conflicting information. To be honest, sometimes I think they don’t understand how she is still here. At one point I thought they were merely keeping her comfortable.

But… and this cheered us all up … the doctor did say that Anita’s heart is unbelievably strong, even though only half of it is working. Apparently, the half that is working is doing a wonderful job.

We were not surprised by this as we all know about Anita’s legendary determination…

Myself and the rest of the family are deeply grateful for all your wonderful messages of hope and caring, and especially all of the hugs!

Jaye’s Week…

I started the week in good spirits despite having a roaring toothache.

There is so much I want to do, book and writing-wise. The bonsai are beginning to wake up, and the garden is still a jungle. Several jobs have been neglected around the house, but I am learning to move from room to room with my eyes averted!

Seriously though, I am beginning to wonder about my job description.

  • Head cook and bottle washer
  • Housekeeper and accounts clerk
  • Part-time carer and medication assistant
  • Full time writer/blogger/editor
  • Bonsai enthusiast and part-time gardener

DIY/decorator should be on this list, but I just can’t make myself do it.  Not sure how I can manage to fit everything in, but I must try. Even though I am aware of that old maxim, Jack of all Trades, master of none…

~~~~~~

The dentist assured me that there was no infection last week and that the aching hole in my gum would stop hurting very soon. I didn’t believe him then, and I wasn’t buying it now, for the pain is worse, accompanied by some severe throbbing. Made an appointment to see him on Thursday.

While I waited, I tried to find any trace of the creative spark in my head and failed, so I resigned to doing routine work on the computer. This wasn’t easy either, what with the pain in my mouth and the granddaddy of all headaches, but it was something.

After a speedy Xray, the dentist had to admit I had an infection. My swollen gum must have cinched it, and I toddled off home with some strong antibiotics.

A walk around the garden provided me with some lovely images to close with…

See you soon, hopefully with news of some progress!

The Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic Parade

The Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic Parade

All Rodeos need a parade, just as the Carrot Ranch yearly rodeo has done. The Rodeo Classic parade will be a parade like no other – and we don’t need to wait until the end of the contest or announcement of winners to do so. It’s time to celebrate with gusto and march down the main street of Carrot Ranch central.

Sue Vincent

As mentioned above, Sue Vincent is a poet who has acted as glue for the community for over a decade now. She has honed her poetry and prose to a beautiful finish, and her adventures through ruins and the English countryside have inspired many of us throughout our blogging journeys. Recently, Sue has run into a spot of trouble with a bit of small cell lung cancer. With Covid complicating all medical procedures and the ability to speak with others (especially for those with respiratory illnesses), some of the best comfort can come from online interactions. You can read more about Sue’s situation on the series of posts beginning here.

The Parade, however, will march on through many different avenues. Sue’s literary art will be on full display throughout the month of February. Here’s some ways you can help participate in the parade and make the Rodeo Classic even better!

  • Advertise the Rodeo. Advertise this rodeo on your own blog, tweet it, forward on Instagram, post on Facebook, wherever you can! The graphic at the top of this page can be used freely as part of the campaign. The more participants, the merrier. We’d like to advertise the contest to people who may not already be familiar with our or Sue’s literary community, so put up the posters far and wide!
  • Reblog a post from Sue’s blogs. Go to The Daily Echo and/or France & Vincent and take a gander at some of the things there. Choose a post, or two, or seven, and reblog it with a comment on why you did so. Feel free to advertise the contest when you do.
  • Purchase one of her books. You can find a link to Sue’s books here and choose the Amazon page appropriate for your region.
  • Review that purchased book! Read the book and post a review. There’s many places to put it, but we suggest Amazon, Goodreads, and your blog as a start.
  • Comment or like her posts. Comments brighten anyone’s day, and Sue’s blog is filled with posts ripe for commenting. The Rodeo Organization Team will be reblogging some of her posts, so keep an eye out for those if you want some suggestions!

We look forward to seeing you in the stands, on the back of a bull, or maybe even clowning about.

Sincerely,

The Rodeo Organization Team

Take me somewhere I have never been.
Open my eyes, lift me high on wings of steel,
Across the white topped mountains to Shangri la
Lay me gently on snow white feathers.
Let me sleep in your eyrie above the world,
where I dream of touching infinity
See angels dancing on the head of a pin.
Where freedom calls with many voices
Where rainbows illuminate each raindrop
with colour magic, blessing those that walk beneath.
A wish made true, their future written with a golden pen.
How good would life be if we could fly on wings of steel…

© Anita Dawes 2021

Jaye’s Week… Growing old Disgracefully…

I am not fond of the house we live in.

It is a vast improvement to where we lived before, and why we moved.

But…  life here is getting harder. The stairs are a struggle for my arthritic knees. It gets too hot in the summer because the insulation in the loft is ancient. We freeze in the winter because we only have a few ancient storage heaters.  Parking is another nightmare because we live on a busy and noisy main road!


Just lately, I am feeling an infinity with the place as it starts to show its age. Which leads me to wonder how much longer we can live here. I long to live near woods or water, preferably both…

Serious cracks are appearing on walls and ceilings, and ominous creaks follow me up and down the stairs, and not just from my knees!
The chimney stack on the roof is supported by steel bands, but chunks of brickwork rain down into our yard on a regular basis.
Doors swing closed all by themselves and the bathroom floor slopes like the Swiss alps.

This house was built in 1887, which makes it 134 years old. So, how old is too old for a domestic domicile?

I suppose there will come a time when the cost of repairs or renovation will become a bridge too far. A bit like me?

I take vitamins, fish oil, turmeric and as healthy a diet as I can manage, and attempt yoga every day, but am I doing any good? And when did I switch from being a silver surfer into a mouldy golden oldie?

How long before I get condemned, along with the house?




Jaye’s Week…

” …of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most…” Mark Twain

The New Year and the new month have been slipping past me at an alarming rate, and what with being under house arrest and suffering a miserable cold (at least I hope it’s a cold) I am becoming a bit depressed.

I haven’t been doing anything creative. I can’t think straight and just realised how close I am getting to despair.

I have small moments of pull yourself together girl and quite a few just have a look at the WIP… but nothing is working. It feels like an eternity since anything was normal, and not much hope of any of it turning up.

Every now and then, I have a moment when life seems better and my head clears, only to vanish again when the paracetamol wears off, leaving me a pathetic sniffing heap again. It isn’t just the aching joints, headache and streaming nose, the depression is worming its way into everything.

I have been trying to keep on top of the emails and other small jobs, but anything else just slips through my fingers. But I have been doing a lot of thinking about the future of Books & Bonsai. Not enough, obviously, to get me doing anything creative but at least the grey matter is trying to function. My WIP is haunting me. It’s a mess, with piles of notes depending on what I have already researched. Before I can move in any direction, I must make a workable plan.

And this morning, that was what I did. The germs have retreated enough to allow a little get up and go to creep back into my life, and I now have a new list.

Yay!

ABOUT US: For those new to our website and blog, we would like to thank you for visiting. Between us, we write in several different genres, so there should be something for everyone to enjoy. Anita cannot abide computers, so I (Jaye) do all the technical (oily rag) stuff! Our books tend to be varied, from horror to supernatural romance and coming of age, and mystery thrillers.  We try to keep our website interesting with guest posts, bloggers, poetry, and reviews for all the books we read. Our books are shown in the right-hand sidebar and clicking on the images should take you straight to Amazon.

If you enjoyed your visit, we would love you to leave a comment…

Hoping to see you again!

Jaye’s Week… Life – as we know it now…

People can fail you.

When the world fails you, we just grit our teeth and get on with it. 

But when your body starts to fail you, and your teeth are long past being able to chew, let alone grit anything, you know you have just stepped on to that slippery slope.

Very slowly…over the years, various bits of us have stopped performing as we would want them to, but we manage to find ways to get around each problem.

Those handy little rubber mats for opening stubborn bottles and jars. Kneeling pads and handrails, stronger reading glasses and tablets for the arthritis. Little tricks that fool us into thinking we are as good as we ever were.

Secretly though, we know our shortcomings only too well. We just wish the list would stop getting any longer.

This has been brought home to me quite strongly, as I help Anita to regain some of her usual abilities after being fitted with an ICD. Implantable cardio verter – defibrillator. A small battery-operated device to monitor the heart.

All the reports about this procedure said that after the initial six weeks, Anita would be blessed with a new lease of life, stronger and more able to cope with life in general.

So far, we have yet to see much improvement.

Her damaged heart seems to be behaving, thanks to a strict and intensive drug regime, although this is tough going for someone who is rarely ill and never takes as much as an aspirin!

Breathlessness is still a big problem, leaving her weak (and bad tempered) and the site of the implant is still painfully uncomfortable, but as yet, only mild sensations from the device have been experienced.

Between the two of us and help from our family, our life rolls on much as it always has, but for the ever-present shadow of the elephant in the room…

© Jaye Marie 2020

#Jaye’s Week …

Anita came home from the hospital after having the pacemaker fitted with a digital monitor, something that will be plugged in next to her bed to record her heart activity while she sleeps. This amazing gadget is linked to the hospital and can alert them and us in the event of another heart attack. It will also record if it has been called upon to restart or shock Anita’s heart back to a normal rhythm.

Knowing what to do when or if this ever happens, is extremely complicated, so the next home visit from the heart failure nurse will be full of questions.

And speaking of questions, there seems to be far too many answers now, none of which are helping us to know what is really going on at any one time.

In fact, we are more confused than ever as each doctor/person we speak to, seems to have a different explanation of what’s going on.

Anita is progressing, albeit slowly and that’s what really counts, isn’t it?

Ten days later, Anita began to have trouble breathing again, so it was back to the hospital to have her checked out.

It all seemed like the worst kind of Déjà vu.

Before the pacemaker was fitted, Anita was getting on well, doing small jobs around the house and even walking to town almost every day.

This simple procedure seems to have sent her back to how she was in the beginning, something she is not happy about!

They were very thorough with their checks, and everything was deemed normal apart from the fluid in her lungs, but no explanation as to why.

As the next lockdown starts, I am hoping to knuckle down and finally get cracking with the writing as my muse is getting so tired of waiting for me. 

I just wish she could learn to type!

Good luck to those of you who are taking part in NaNo this year!

Jaye’s Week… #WIPWednesday

#WIP Wednesday

I spotted this hashtag this morning, on my travels around the blogosphere.

And it made me think of all the works in progress that I have now.

Unless I am working on one, I try not to think of the others too much as it can get a little depressing, but they are always there, lurking in the background.

The main WIP is the new story I have been trying to outline for what seems like forever. This involves an old character, so I know him like the back of my hand. The antagonist, however, is new and I’m having the devil’s own job getting to grips with him, for I think the antagonist is just as important a character as the hero and needs to be written well. So far, he is Mr Nobody!

Having caught up with the housework last week, the garden must be the second WIP. So overgrown, I get rather overwhelmed when I look at it, especially when an old tree fell over out there last week, but determined to get to grips with it, even if it takes a while. That’s if it ever stops raining!

Which brings me to what I think is the last WIP. The project I started as a way of relaxing, but which so far has had the opposite effect. Browsing through Pinterest, I saw this amazing stained-glass crochet pattern, and the challenge to master it was born. I love to crochet, but some of the more complicated stitches are usually a bridge too far for my aging brain, but when has that ever stopped me?

Overtaking and more important than any of the above, is caring for Anita.

( she wouldn’t like to be regarded as a work in progress, so this is just between us)  I am consumed with the complicated business of getting her back on her feet. It has been a week since the pacemaker thingy was installed and the wound is healing well, but she is still weak, lightheaded, and very breathless. I think at least one of her medications is not agreeing with her, but which one? The nurse will be here this morning, so we will see what she thinks…