Jaye’s Week… Grazing…

For most of 2022, I had been flitting from one job to another, spending a few futile moments with each. I was desperately hoping for inspiration, but none of these jobs inspired me, so no progress there.

I am still not quite back to normal life after covid and have discovered a collection of non-functioning cells in my head, masquerading as a brain. A brain that seems to have forgotten how to switch on and get on with anything. I have my fingers crossed that this after-effect of covid will pass, and the sooner, the better!

All through 2022, I honestly thought my writing days were over, as I hadn’t had any inspirational moments in what seemed like forever, and this was starting to seriously upset me.

I didn’t give up, though; perish the thought! I persevered, spending all my spare time re-reading the words languishing on the page.  Trying desperately to trigger a little inspiration, something I could work with.

Finally, I had a breakthrough and managed to write several chapters for the WIP, and it felt so good to be back in the saddle. At least, I hope that’s where I am at the moment.

If last year has taught us anything, though, there’s no point worrying about anything anymore.

The house gets grubbier every day, and going out has definitely lost its appeal. There are still plenty of germs out there, just waiting to grab us!

The weather has been appalling, and we haven’t set foot in the garden for ages.

Our health is the worst it has ever been, to the extent that we now need another carer to take care of us.  Seriously though, we are managing to take care of each other. Not very well, I must admit, but it’s better than nothing.

We hope that 2023 is ready to take on our expectations and find ways to cheer us all up…

We still haven’t had any snow, and it doesn’t look like we will.

I still haven’t had time to assess our progress or decide the best way forward this year. Basically, I just want to curl up on the couch and sleep.

Clocking in!

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

At the moment, this is what the inside of my head feels like.

Medication never seems to agree with me, and the ones they gave me to help shift the blockage in my artery have been no exception. I keep hoping my body will get used to them and that the pea soup in my head will fade and let me get on with my work.

I am managing the basics, but my brain falters even with the easy stuff. I am used to my brain having more holes than that cheese I love, but the last few days have been ridiculous. I still have the WIP to finish and work on the launch material for the 27th. I have been trying to write a blog post, but the original idea has taken a walk.

This post is to let you know I am doing well, I think! and to let you know, I really appreciated all your hugs and good wishes last week…

from Jaye

Help with Self-Hosting?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I have been avoiding tackling this problem for a while now, but the time has come… as the walrus once said. I know it must be now, for I have started blitzing the house, cleaning things that haven’t been touched in months, and that is never a good sign.

For someone who wages war with technology daily, we are actually contemplating the nightmare job of changing our blog/website.

We have been here on WP for 9 years and reasonably content, but our media usage is running at 84% and soon we will be forced to upgrade to Business.

But we don’t really want to.

WP has been good for us but there are some annoying shortcomings. The lack of Google Analytics and better SEO, for a start. Then being unable to use any plug ins and restricted to our choice of themes.

Thing is, I’m not sure if my ageing brain will cope with the mandatory hassle to transfer to a self-hosted WP. I have heard it can be a nightmare and I have enough brain melts (hissy fits) every time we are plagued with the upgrading tinkering going on, and a change of this magnitude might just be the straw that breaks this camel’s back! Surely, it can’t be too difficult?

I mean, just how complicated is it?

And what happens to this blog and the content?  Does it all transfer, or will I have to start from scratch?

Is there a way I can tell if someone has self-hosted, so I can have a look?

And most important of all, would you recommend doing it?

As I have been thinking about this for a while now, I have come up with a possible solution. I am sure that some of our followers have already made this transition and could share a few dos and don’ts with us.

All feedback regarding this ambitious or very stupid plan will be VERY welcome…

The Update I never wanted to post…

This is the most upsetting post I have ever written, but you have all been so kind and supportive of Anita, I knew I had to tell you what’s been happening and ask for even more thoughts and prayers…

Waiting and worrying was bad enough, but when Anita began to show signs of distress, we were thrown into a very different ball game.

She kept insisting she was fine, but late on Saturday night her breathing became seriously laboured and alarm bells were ringing loud and clear. We managed to persuade her to go back to the hospital as we thought she was having another heart attack.

On the way there, she deteriorated rapidly, moaning in pain, and gasping for breath, causing Stephen (number one son) to drive like a boy racer and run at least one red light, as we knew every minute counted.

Just the mention of a heart attack set the well-oiled wheels of the emergency department in motion, leaving me and Stephen standing outside the hospital, barely holding back the tears.

That’s when it became serious.

Within minutes, a nurse came out to us to say oxygen was being administered and a full barrage of tests had begun. Anita’s blood pressure was so low it was on the floor and there was fluid in her lungs again. Her heart was failing and she had been put on life support.

Last time we were here, just 10 weeks ago, we were not allowed inside the hospital and had to wait in the car. This time, however, we were taken to the relative’s lounge, causing weird alarm signals to us both. Were they just being kind now that lockdown was easing, or was there a more sinister reason?

An hour later, the on-call consultant came to update us, and he didn’t mince his words. He said that Anita’s heart was failing, and she was extremely poorly and that we had brought her in the nick of time. A few minutes more and she might have died.

He went on to talk about resuscitation, that due to Anita’s age and condition, resuscitation would not be in her best interest. He didn’t ask for our permission to do anything, but the message was clear, he didn’t expect Anita to make it.

After he left, we clung together and bawled like babies, desperately praying he was wrong.

We later found out that they had to cut Anita’s clothing away, such was the urgency, and this still makes me cry every time I think about it.

But…

 sometime on Sunday, Anita began to rally, surprising the medical staff. They couldn’t figure out what was causing the problem, for all the tests were coming back normal but she wasn’t about to go anywhere! 

When we mentioned the recent MRI, we had the feeling they didn’t have any information about this. I wonder if they might have lost it.

Early on Monday, I picked up the phone to hear Anita’s voice! She had begged to use the hospital phone and it was beyond wonderful to hear her voice and she sounded so normal as she listed her requests. She was still in intensive care, so hardly normal, but she sounded great to me!

Tomorrow, they have a load more tests lined up, tests that they are confident will give them some important answers…

I was just going to post this when some welcome news turned up!

They have discovered a blood clot inside her heart, and her arteries are no longer clear. There will be further tests, including an angiogram tomorrow, which may result in the application of stents.  All this, although distressing, is proof that this time she won’t be coming home until fit for purpose!

As testament to her improving health, she is busy writing in her hospital bed, and we talk frequently on the phone about everything!

Updating Anita…

I have been wanting to write this post for ages, as I hoped to have good news to share about Anita’s poor old ticker. I seem to be complaining about everything, but we are so grateful for the care and support she has received from the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth. and do appreciate how difficult it must be.

After 10 weeks of recovery, we have no clear idea of how she really is, medically speaking, although she does look a lot better these days and seems more like her old self. The breathlessness is easing a little, so using the stairs is less of a worry, and although we have had no news yet, the cardiac failure nurse has visited twice, and she says Anita is doing very well.

We are not however, totally convinced.

We really need to know what the recent MRI showed, the extent of the damage and/or how much it has recovered, for then we could possibly relax a little. (or maybe not!)

A letter arrived from the hospital yesterday with an appointment for a contrast echocardiogram next week.

Something else we will have to wait forever for a result, I suppose…

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!

Today is a Good Day!

These beautiful flowers arrived on Sunday, from Anita’s granddaughter and how she managed it what with lockdown and most shops being shut is amazing. So many of our garden favourites!

I have just spent two nerve wracking days trying to take care of someone who will never accept that she needs it. Then I spent yesterday afternoon supervising a family visit where we broke a few lockdown rules, and fretted the whole time about a certain person becoming over excited.

Anita did get tired, but seeing her family more than made up for that.

Every day she seems to get a little stronger, but we are desperate for the appointment for the heart MRI to arrive, so she can finally be mended!

I thought I would have to do the lions share of our workload this week, but this morning Anita strolled into the office and looked for something to do. The results are being posted today…

So today turned out much better than I thought it would!

From Bad to Worse?

I didn’t sleep well last night and when I finally closed my eyes, I dreamed of sprinkling grass seed into a seed tray that already had a thick carpet of grass.

Dreams are usually confusing, but I understood this one well enough. My life seems to have taken on an air of futility where I stubbornly keep doing things that are not necessary, and literally ignoring the things I should be doing.

I am still kicking myself for the stupid way I handled that impromptu meeting with David Snow, one of my resident detectives. I should have planned that a lot better than I did and maybe we could have come to some sort of agreement.

Or, left decisions like that until I felt better.

Speaking of feeling better, it appears that I am a long way from better now.

My doctor called me to the surgery yesterday to check on me. I had been on the verge of making an appointment as I didn’t think I was getting better fast enough.

So great minds think alike?

The long walk to the surgery was most enjoyable. The sun was shining, and it felt good to be outside in the fresh air.

I tried not to think about all the closed and empty shops, and the way the few people we saw all kept their distance. (Almost is if they knew I was infected with something!)

Turned out that my blood pressure was through the roof and the kidney infection was still very much alive and kicking!

Ill Taffy Cat

A sample of my wee is winging its way to the laboratory so they can get to the bottom of why the antibiotics didn’t get rid of it, and which one might work better.

So this explains my semi fragile state, continuing back ache and brain confusion. I hope!

The walk home after seeing the doctor seemed twice as long as before and I needed several sit downs along the way. My energy levels were all but crawling along the floor, but I managed to get home, walk up the path to my front door and collapse on to the nearest chair…

This was my first post with the new WordPress editor and wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Obviously, there is a lot to learn but I think I am going to like it!

©JayeMarie 2020