Sunday, June 28, 2015

Listening for thunder

We've been having hot weather for some days now. I saw on the internet this morning that a thunderstorm then occurring in Everett would move north and hit my area around noon or 12:30. It's 2:00 p.m., and I haven't heard any thunder yet.

Animal lovers were warning pet owners to watch over animals who get scared by thunder and especially not to let them run off in terror and get lost. Fortunately my dog cares nothing for thunder and is likely to sleep through the storm if it ever comes.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Knitting and listening

 Recently, every time I go on Amazon through my Kindle, they've been trying to sell me Kindle Unlimited. I've mostly ignored it, but finally opted in for a free month's trial. What it is, is a $9.99 monthly fee to download and read any of the books in the Kindle Unlimited catalog, so for the price of one book, I can download and read multiple books. The fact that I won't "own" them is fairly irrelevant to me in the digital format. When I care a lot about a book, I'll buy a physical copy.

I'd been trying out some Georgette Heyer mysteries. I've read her romances since I was about 12, but never even looked at her mysteries. They're not as good, but they're not bad. I like them just because I like that older English vibe--country houses, servants, people who change their clothes for dinner, and so on. So I had read a couple of the "Inspector Hemingway" books, and the next one I wanted to read, Duplicate Death, cost $9.99 as a Kindle book, same as the $9.99 monthly charge (which I won't pay till next month anyway). Then when I downloaded it, I was also offered the audible version. I have sometimes been tempted by those with other books, but never got it because it added another several dollars to the price. I tend to buy and read Kindle books at the rate of one every few days. I buy Kindle books that I might not buy in a paper copy, just for something to read. Sometimes they're cheap, but often they're $9 - $10 or more.

So anyway, I got both the screen and recorded versions. When the recorded voice was reading, the screen version would highlight the text as the voice progressed through the book, so I could follow along if I wanted to. If I left the screen untouched long enough, it would go into sleep mode and go black, but the voice would keep reading. If I turned the voice off and read from the screen myself (as during my lunch in the break room at work), the next time I wanted to listen, it started from where I stopped reading (not from where I stopped listening).

It was entertaining because the reader had an English accent, so it helped give that Anglophile emphasis that I like. She varied her diction for the characters, so they each had a recognizable "voice." One policeman in the story was a Scot, so she did the Scottish accent.

I also had been reading lately about Jane Austen's family and her society in general, when one person might read aloud while the ladies, in particular, did their "work"--i.e. needle work of some kind. So as the novel progressed, I allowed the Kindle to read it to me while I knitted. So that was fun. I'll probably keep it up. And who knows how much knitting I'll get done.

Pros: Multiple books for the price of 1 book per month. Cons: You don't, technically, own the book--if you unsubscribe, the books you downloaded will be removed from your device. And only the book in the Kindle Unlimited catalog qualify, not every book on Amazon; however, there are more than 800,000 books in the catalog.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Old wives know what they're talking about

Earlier, I quoted a saying about my cold: "Three days coming, three days with you, and three days going." My cold started on Tuesday, June 16, so I calculated (counted on my fingers) that yesterday should be the last day. It's pretty darn close.

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Yesterday I was well enough to go to work, but felt pretty draggy and tired by late afternoon--not quite well. Today I worked and felt normal all day. My sinuses have opened up enough that I can smell (it seems I need to clean my fridge) and taste again. Still some remnant of the cold, however. Should I specify? Okay. Mucus. Yeah, that's still clearing out, not quite all gone. And maybe I feel about 96% well all over, just a small percentage of residual aches and fatigue.

This blog has provided quite the saga of my upper respiratory infection. Maybe sometime they can make a mini-series about it.

Remember mini-series (mini-serieses?)? I think the first one was "Rich Man, Poor Man." The first one I got caught up in was "Roots." I was in high school and another girl and I raved about it to each other in gym class the day after watching LeVar Burton portray Kunte Kinte.

Anyway, mini-series(es) were always "sweeping sagas," just like the saga of my head cold, which lasted nine days, just as the old wives' saying predicted.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Rest needed

I went back to work Monday though I felt tired most of the day. I did not sleep well and woke up this morning with a severe headache and upset stomach. I texted in sick again to work and fell back to sleep until 11:00 a.m. When I re-awoke, I had a mild headache, sort of a memory of a headache. I think I am well enough to go back to work tomorrow. I hope I can sleep through the night. I seem to get restless leg syndrome as soon as I try to sleep. I've had bouts of that ever since I was a teenager. For a long time, I thought it was some weird mental quirk of my own, but it's a thing.

On another topic, I just discovered this afternoon that I can turn on a light under my laptop keyboard so that the keys light up. I often type late at night in an area where the lights are out (I need to call an electrician), and I've had to type by touch or adjust the angle of my screen to cast some glow onto the keyboard if I need to find a key that I don't commonly use, like a hyphen or the "home" key, for example. Today I think I accidentally punched a function key that lit up the keyboard. Now that's handy.

Okay. To bed. I must and shall sleep.

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Saturday, June 20, 2015


Yesterday and today have been a little better, healthwise. I still am coughing and a little congested but I breathe a little easier. My sense of taste is not yet restored. I am going to go have coffee with my folks this afternoon, but I will buy hand sanitizer on the way to try to prevent passing my germs to them.

Meanwhile, it's a beautiful day outside. I wonder if I have the energy to plant some flowers.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


My cold is progressing--if progress is the word--through its stages. Today it descended into my chest so that I have a croupy-sounding cough. I sometimes feel cold and other times break into a sweat, which I suppose is a fever spiking and breaking. I have enough of a headache that I wonder if this is a cold or influenza.

If I recall correctly, both colds and flu are viral and not treatable by antibiotics, so not much to do but stay home and rest. A dear friend and co-worker transported my dog home from my niece's house, where he had been staying, so I have the comfort of cuddling up with him in my illness. I hope whatever I have cannot be passed from human to dog.

I remember the character Mary Richards, of the Mary Tyler Moore Show, saying that a cold is three days coming, three days with you, and three days going. Today is day three of my symptoms. They began on Tuesday as I traveled. We'll see what happens. Meanwhile my eyes ache right now, so I think it's time for more Advil and bed.

My mom called and advised me to drink lots of fluids. She needn't have bothered. She long ago instilled a voice in my head that tells me that.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sick day

I'm back home. I went down to California to attend my nephew's wedding and had a great time with my sister's whole family.

Yesterday I flew back and also started a cold. I had a raw throat when I woke up in the morning, but just drank some water and took some tylenol. But as the day went on, I became congested and sneezey. My ears were plugging and popping during landing and takeoff. During my layover in Seattle, I bought a couple packages of kleenex. I felt chilly, which is unusual for me and made me suspect I had a fever.

I felt so blah when I got home, I didn't even want to drive out to Custer to pick up my dog from my niece's house, where her kids have been caring for him. I didn't want to drive, I didn't want to carry his crate and his bag of food down stairs. So I asked her to keep him another day.

Symptoms did not improve overnight, so I texted in sick to work. In the old days, I would have called in sick. My home is a couple inches deep in used kleenex. I still am stopped up in my sinuses and feeling tired and chilled. I may ask my niece to keep the dog another day.

I'm just lolling around the house, mouth-breathing, blowing my nose, reading a bit, watching a bit of TV, dozing off, and drinking water.

I'm so glad I didn't get sick while I was visiting with my sister's family. I hope I was not incubating and contagious while in their midst. Meanwhile, I feel I'm doing my co-workers a favor by staying home in this condition. No one wants to catch this cold.

I'm reading on my Kindle a book about C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien's literary group, the Inklings. It's okay. If I were feeling better, I'd link to it at Amazon, but that feels like too much trouble right now. Maybe I'll go lie around some more.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Good idea

Yesterday I traveled by airplane. On one leg of the trip, after we took off, a lady came walking up the aisle to the front of the plane, where the restroom was. The flight attendant, who was still buckled into her seat. told her that the captain had not turned off the seatbelt light, so she needed to return to her seat. A conversation ensued in which the only word audible to me was "diarrhea." It occurred more than once, and then the lady proceeded to the restroom.

Good idea.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

No scratching

Bought this guy some anti-flea medicine today.

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It was pretty pricey, but I guess it's worth it to keep him (and me, and the house) flea-free.

First and last

The first sentence of Pride and Prejudice is famous, but what about its last sentence? and the first and last sentences of Jane Austen's other novels? Here they are.

Northanger Abbey

First: No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine.

Last: To begin perfect happiness at the respective ages of twenty-six and eighteen is to do pretty well; and professing myself moreover convinced that the general’s unjust interference, so far from being really injurious to their felicity, was perhaps rather conducive to it, by improving their knowledge of each other, and adding strength to their attachment, I leave it to be settled, by whomsoever it may concern, whether the tendency of this work be altogether to recommend parental tyranny, or reward filial disobedience.

Sense and Sensibility

First: The family of Dashwood had long been settled in Sussex.

Last: Between Barton and Delaford there was that constant communication which strong family affection would naturally dictate; and among the merits and the happiness of Elinor and Marianne, let it not be ranked as the least considerable, that, though sisters, and living almost within sight of each other, they could live without disagreement between themselves, or producing coolness between their husbands.

Pride and Prejudice

First: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Last: Darcy, as well as Elizabeth, really loved them [Elizabeth's Uncle and Aunt Gardiner]; and they were both ever sensible of the warmest gratitude towards the persons who, by bringing her into Derbyshire, had been the means of uniting them.

Mansfield Park

First: About thirty years ago Miss Maria Ward, of Huntingdon, with only seven thousand pounds, had the good luck to captivate Sir Thomas Bertram, of Mansfield Park, in the county of Northampton, and to be thereby raised to the rank of a baronet’s lady, with all the comforts and consequences of an handsome house and large income.

Last: On that event they removed to Mansfield; and the Parsonage there, which, under each of its two former owners, Fanny had never been able to approach but with some painful sensation of restraint or alarm, soon grew as dear to her heart, and as thoroughly perfect in her eyes, as everything else within the view and patronage of Mansfield Park had long been.


First: Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.

Last: But, in spite of these deficiencies ["Very little white satin, very few lace veils; a most pitiful business!"], the wishes, the hopes, the confidence, the predictions of the small band of true friends who witnessed the ceremony, were fully answered in the perfect happiness of the union.


First: Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch Hall, in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage; there he found occupation for an idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one; there his faculties were roused into admiration and respect, by contemplating the limited remnant of the earliest patents; there any unwelcome sensations, arising from domestic affairs changed naturally into pity and contempt as he turned over the almost endless creations of the last century; and there, if every other leaf were powerless, he could read his own history with an interest which never failed.

Last: She gloried in being a sailor’s wife, but she must pay the tax of quick alarm for belonging to that profession which is, if possible, more distinguished in its domestic virtues than in its national importance.