Not the Best Update…

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Waiting five weeks for the MRI was bad enough, then we had to wait for the results, so when the telephone rang, our hopes soared.

Our hopes quickly dived again when it wasn’t the results, just the Cardiac Failure nurse, ringing to make an appointment to visit and run checks on Anita’s progress.

When she arrived, complete with plastic apron, gloves and mask, she proceeded to carry out a barrage of tests in our living room, including Anita’s blood pressure, both sitting and standing, a full ECG, breathing monitored and then a ton of questions about the medication and how she was feeling.

The nurse seemed quite pleased with her findings, but changed several medications, according to instruction from the consultant.

There were so many questions I wanted to ask, but I knew instinctively that she probably couldn’t answer them. The only thing that can do that will be the results of the MRI.

In the six weeks since Anita’s heart attack, she has become stronger and is able to continue pretty much as normal. She gets very out of breath going upstairs, and this is a strong indication that she still has a long way to go.

After the nurse left, I had a look at the copy of the paper readout from the ECG machine, and I have to say that I have never seen a reading that bad. The familiar, normal spikes were non-existent.

I am quite familiar with heart patterns, due to my own heart attack a few years ago, and this one resembled nothing I had ever seen before.

Printed at the end of the printout were the machines conclusions and the words myocardial damage said it all. Among all the technical jargon was the word aberrant, which I knew meant deviating from what is normal. At that point, I would have given my eye teeth to know how badly Anita’s heart is damaged and/or what the MRI found…

I really hope to have better news soon…

Progress Report!

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This is going to be a hard week to get through!

We now have a date for Anita’s MRI –1st August — Saturday!

We also had a phone call check up this morning from the cardiology department. They asked a million questions but seemed happy with Anita’s progress. She is a lot stronger, but the stairs still leave her struggling to breathe, which is a worry.

I’m doing a fair bit of struggling of my own, too — what with running the household and all my other jobs. Some housework is being done, but nowhere near enough!

Most of the time, I have no idea what I am doing, or if I have forgotten anything as I’m concentrating so hard to make Anita well again. Her medication is complicated, nine different kinds of pills every day. 

Number one son brought one of those weekly pill boxes, which has helped a lot. At least I can now see immediately if I have missed any!

I find myself thinking about some funny things these days, even with all the stress, which is rather odd seeing as how I can’t persuade my brain to do anything for me. I would have thought it would welcome the time off, or does it know something I don’t?

Perhaps it’s trying to get my attention?

Not a chance mate, if the WIP can’t do it, I don’t think anything else will.

I have been reading some interesting posts lately, about goals, ambitions and what most of us settle for and maybe we shouldn’t?

I have the ill-gotten reputation for being a bit clever, but I’ll let you into a secret. I’m the world’s best winger!

I love to make all manner of craft work, plus knitting, crochet, and dressmaking. I cook and paint and have two sets of green fingers. Most of what I make looks passable, but is any of it really great? Perhaps it all comes down to the difference between good and brilliant!

The phrase ‘Jack of all Trades, master of none’ runs through my head, making me wonder if I should stop trying everything and concentrate on just one thing and try for perfection.

As writing is my most favourite thing, maybe I should start with a creative writing course? Any ideas, anyone?


I spotted this somewhere, and couldn’t resist sharing it!

He gets my vote!

Jaye’s Journal …

Jaye's Journal x12

Every now and then, we get a wake-up call, a wonderful moment when a magic light bulb illuminates an area in our brain. This usually heralds a brilliant idea, something groundbreaking or so incredibly sensible, you wonder why it took so long to surface.

Then there are the other kind. The ones accompanied by that awful stomach churning, as you realise how stupid you are or have been.

Today, I had one of these, and it has done absolutely nothing good to my self-confidence. I was rechecking the enormous pile of helpful notes (I use this term advisedly) when the realisation hit me between the eyes.

We make all these lists of things to do, things to remember or try. Then we get a sense of achievement when we actually cross something off. Today, it was brought home to me, just how stupid that is.

I had been watching a trailer someone had made using a company called Animoto. That name rang a bell, but the memory didn’t follow on. Had  I already checked them out? And if  I did, what did I find?

Those of you with fantastic memories will not need the advice I am about to share, but I suspect quite a few of you, like me, will find it useful.

When we read something that needs checking out, we should have a place to record our findings. Either a page in a notebook or an index card in our follow up box. Write a simple assessment, was it good/rubbish/too expensive/unsuitable…and if you logged on to the site, record the URL and your password.

I have no idea why this has never occurred to me before, as I seem to spend my life revisiting sites, only to realise I had been there before. It will be so helpful to be able to see at a glance all the info.

Just think of the time saved!

Better Late than Never!

All the indications are pointing towards a much better week for all of us, a little more freedom in the world and less problems for us to deal with, so feeling extremely optimistic.

Last week I really found myself rolling with the punches so often I lost track of everything. The truckload of family troubles had gathered momentum and what with worrying about Anita’s health, a large part of me wanted to just crawl into a dark cupboard and stay there.

The weekend was a game changer for most of our troubles. Fate obviously decided to play fair for once and with a bit of wangling, most of the bigger problems have faded away like a bad smell.

No news from the hospital yet about the MRI, but Anita seems to get a little stronger each day. She is really fed up with all the restrictions (and me being on her case!) I must be really careful not to overdo the nagging as she is a bit like a dodgy stick of dynamite! I mean, how do you stop someone worrying, when they were obviously born to worry?

The book tour for Anita’s new book, Annie’s Song began on Saturday. We will be posting all the websites involved every day to allow people to comment. This is the first time we have enlisted the help of Silver Dagger Tours, which has turned out to be more than lucky, for one way or another we didn’t get to do much promoting of Annie’s Song.

Best laid plans, eh?

With the dust barely settling, my mind is already wondering what to do next. I had some serious thoughts about the current WIP and might shelve it to make way for something different. Maybe something that has nothing to do with detectives?

We have been a bit lax with the newsletters this year, so must do better there too…

And finally, has anyone anything to say about STORY ORIGIN?

Sounds a bit like Book Funnel, but is it something we should be looking at?

Hoping this is a much better week for all our readers too!

Bonsai Surprises…

I switched off my PC after lunch yesterday and spent the afternoon catching up on repotting my bonsai trees.

It should be all done and dusted by now, but one way or another I seem to have been chosen to be the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. Always late!

I never like to be late for anything, so I enjoyed the glorious weather and the peaceful company of my trees. It was blissfully quiet in my yard and I could feel the tension leaking from my muscles.

It doesn’t matter how often I visit them, there is always something new going on, either naturally or from outside influences.

Peanut Foliage

Like the time I found these strange plants growing in most of the bonsai pots. Such pretty foliage, which I discovered were peanut plants, deposited by the local squirrels.

I have discovered tiny mushrooms growing and caterpillars munching, but today I found something I had never seen before.

Many years ago, I had an olive bonsai, quite an attractive bonsai, but it never flowered, so no olives! Sadly, I had to give this tree away when we moved house, but a few weeks ago, I found a young bonsai, what they call a trainer plant on Amazon of all places. They said it was guaranteed to produce olives, so I bought it for the princely sum of £9.99 never expecting it to amount to much.

Out of nowhere, it has produced two flower spikes. Too soon to tell what colour the flowers will be, or if I will get any olives, but my fingers are crossed!

Another bonsai that was bought on a whim was this Japanese acer. It was little more than a twig when I saw it in my local garden centre, but the leaves are incredible, so many enchanting colours. It is still little more than a stick, but in time it may develop into something special…

You might like to read this post about bonsai not being perfect too!

#Jaye’s Journal…

Monday was the day for tackling the new editor on WordPress.

First impressions were good, and I managed to create a standard paragraph post with an image. Said goodbye to all my misgivings and felt a little smug!

On Tuesday I tried to do it again, but it turned into a wrestling match. For some reason, it didn’t seem as easy today. I swear they have changed things overnight!

It always take me forever to muddle my way through anything new, so I know I will get there eventually but I would get on better if they stopped tweaking everything!

Today, everything seemed to fall into place as if by magic. I’m playing around with colour and found where to add the tags and categories!

Provided nothing changes too dramatically, I might hang on to my sanity after all!

Speaking of things changing, I logged into Buffer this morning to schedule a week’s promo posts, only to be met with this message…

WELCOME TO NEW BUFFER!!

The air in the office was blue for nearly an hour as I tried to discover exactly what they had changed. Turned out to be everything and I nearly threw in the towel!

First, my current password didn’t work, and I found out by the process of elimination, that they had reverted to a password from years ago. Not a good sign…

Feeling far more confident than I had a right to, I switched heads and made sense of it all, so that’s another notch on my belt this week.

If I could just figure out why Google have abandoned me, I would be well pleased!  I like to upload some of my photos there, to be accessed by my tablet but for some reason, I can’t do that anymore despite trying everything I can think of…

When did life get this complicated?

I’m signing off now to work on this month’s newsletter with Mailchimp.

Now that WAS one huge learning curve!


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’s books tend to be varied, from horror to supernatural romance and coming of age, where mine (Jaye) are all 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!

Two Weeks Ago…

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Two Weeks Ago…

 

 

Looking back, it seems such a long time ago that my temperature began to rise alarmingly, and I thought the worst. I never once thought it could have anything to do with cystitis that had been plaguing me for years.

I mean, some things you simply must learn to live with, like your mother in law or the resident ghost.

This time, however, it was serious.

Cystitis had progressed from a simple bladder problem to a full-blown kidney infection, possibly both kidneys.

My doctor was in lockdown, so my family telephoned the helpline 111 for help. I was given a week’s course of a strong antibiotic and told to drink as much water as possible.

It was a nightmare of a week.

A week when death seemed preferable to the agony I was going through. I was semi-conscious most of the time and unwilling to eat. The pills were seriously upsetting my stomach and made my body hurt even more, which I did not think was possible.

After what felt like a lifetime of pain, my temperature finally slid slowly back down to normal, but I didn’t feel normal at all. That would happen gradually and I’m not quite there yet!

I have lost 7 lbs somewhere, but don’t feel any different.

As I am writing this, my body still hurts and my head refuses to function properly. I keep trying to think of all the projects I had planned before this happened and wonder how my muse is feeling. I hope it feels better than I do, for we have much work to catch up on, seeing as how I have been reminded of how valuable our time is…

And I have just wasted enough of it already…

©Jaye Marie 2020

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Jaye’s Journal… Progress Report!

 

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Progress Report

 

Just when I was beginning to think I wouldn’t be doing anything creative this year, there has been a breakthrough.

It was bad enough before Covid19 but since it arrived, I have been floundering.

I am used to feeling like a ship without a rudder, indeed, I have done some of my best work like that, but this was different. There was no ship, never mind a rudder, no get up and go or even much of a guilt trip about my non-activity.

There was so much I wanted to do this year and it wasn’t really my fault that so much has happened to derail me. Malfunctions of every kind, postponements galore and then along came lockdown.

I would normally have loved an excuse to hole up like a hermit, as I love being on my own. Quite a different thing to be banned from going out and it has really been getting my goat.

I tried to reason with myself, even tried bribing but I wasn’t buying it.

Then something must have happened.

I have no idea what, but my brain started working. I mean, it was cooperating like crazy and before I knew it, I was in my working clothes and sawing wood like a crazy person.

Replacing the old bonsai shelves is underway, and that’s not all…

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One done…

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As you can see, not before time…

I have also been editing the last few chapters of Anita’s new book.

Picked up a book I have been dying to read, Himself by Jess Kidd and am enjoying reading it.

While all this was going on, I managed to get a priority slot with Tesco, so starving is now on hold, at least for now.

I have finally been working on the storyboard for my new WIP, for my detective, David Snow, has won the battle for his sequel to Out of Time. I had the feeling he would.

So, I seem to be firing on all cylinders now and hope it lasts, for I am enjoying being back to my old self. Figuratively speaking, of course…

 

 

#Jaye’s Journal… Enjoying a happy moment!

 

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I have been escaping to the garden more and more lately. The weather has been slowly improving, so I should be able to start working on that very long list of jobs that need to be done.

The need to escape, even to the garden, has been gradually building as the news of this evil virus gets worse.

Everyone is getting edgy, wondering how bad it might get. I have always been an optimist, but I can feel it straining to assert itself.

The shops are empty, and the worry swings between getting sick or starving to death. Some choice, eh?

But… (changing the subject, as I’d rather not dwell on things I can’t do much about)

My bonsai are waking up and this never fails to cheer me up, although this year it seems to be just a little subdued.

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My Acer says hello…

I have been busy making sure I have everything I need for the repotting marathon, and the wood for the new shelving should be delivered soon.

The rain-sodden grass has been trying to dry out and although I didn’t feel like cutting it, I thought I had better get to it. Just as well I did, for it poured with rain the following day.

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The rest of the garden is waking up too and did my heart good to see my favourites have survived for another year.

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My favourite Camelia

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Not sure what this is called, but I love it!

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Forsythia, everyone’s favourite

Back indoors I try to come to terms with the virus situation. I can forget everything when I’m in the garden, but it waits for me the minute I come back in.

So many things are likely to change and to be honest, I’m terrified. The situation gets worse every day, yet no one seems to know how bad it will get.

Every time I wash my hands, I think about the people who have already died and pray there won’t be many more.

That a miracle will arrive and save us all…

 

©Jaye Marie 2020

 

My Last Escape?

Jaye's Journal x12

 

Visiting the Garden Centre is always a bit risky, for they have some interesting plants (and bonsai too) so I have been known to lose control and I needed to order the wood for the new bonsai shelves.

The weather was dreadful, cold, wet and miserable. Not even the thought of spoiling myself to a new plant (or three) helped to cheer me up.

It had been so long since we had gone anywhere and the journey to the garden centre is a very pleasant one, by the time we were halfway there my mood had improved a lot. I love living in the country, there are so many fields, trees and greenery in Hampshire it’s quite impossible for me to stay miserable for long!

 

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Image by Jaye Marie

The morning turned into a right fiasco as the only suitable wood they had was a bit fancy and far too expensive. On top of that the man in the timber department didn’t seem to know what he was doing and wanted to charge us a fortune for the wood I wanted, and an extra £20 for delivery!

I tried to remember where I went last time but my brain either couldn’t (or wouldn’t) dredge that information up.

We decided to drive on to another garden centre which was full to the rafters with gorgeous Spring flowers. The wealth of colour was staggering but again I managed to control myself as our garden needs more help than new arrivals now. Their wood department had nothing suitable either so feeling decidedly unloved, travel sick and wet, we went home.

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Image by Anelka from Pixabay 

Once home and warm, I remembered where I went last time. Our local B&Q has a garden centre (and the very wood I needed) at very reasonable prices too.

If the government and Covid-19 have their way, this might well be my last trip to the outside world…

 

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