Hello and Goodbye, For Now

Hello All!  Been a while…

As you might have gathered, I’ve had some health issues lately—like since October of 2015.  And as some of you know, I’ve been slowly recovering enough to go on Facebook and visit some of your blogs, if not my own.

poem tree

It’s been a tough road, but I can finally see the end of the forest from here.

Apparently, though, I’m not done with the Life Experiences™ yet.  And since the way I work through those is to write ’em down and share them online with nary a thought for the TMI,* I’ve decided to start blogging again.

However, since most of my posts are going to be about working through this specific Life Experience™, I’ve decided to start a new blog.

That doesn’t mean I won’t be posting at Earful again, but . . . I probably won’t be posting at Earful again very often.  I need a different space right now and I like this one the way it is.

So, If you want to know what’s going on with me, or just want to drop in and say hello, I’ll be over here for the foreseeable future.


*Plus a variety of therapies, both physical and otherwise, and some rather nice prescription medications.  But writing is a lot cheaper, I can sit down the whole time, and no one asks me the tough questions but me.









Random Thursday: Art to See, Tats for Me, and Toes that Squee

It’s Thursday, traditionally the day when I throw odd stuff onscreen in the hopes that it will resemble an actual post.

Several of you lovely people have been asking if–or more optimistically when–I would be starting those up again.

I guess… now?


The Art of Healing

My go-to surgery site* is within the depths of the University of Iowa Hospitals.  It’s a huge, extremely busy complex, but it does its best to avoid being impersonable, mostly through a kick-ass staff, but also through artwork.  A LOT of artwork.  Everywhere you go, it lines the walls, sparking interest and awe.

Like this, in my surgeon’s registration queue:


Or this, in the waiting room:


There are even a line of dollhouses in the skyramp to the parking garage:


And amazing sculptures by the elevators.  My favorite? This one, which is currently in the F elevator bank on Level 2.


There’s nothing like a manual typewriter grasshopper to take your mind off a CT scan. Just look at his feet!


Much of the art is for sale, but unfortunately this guy is on loan.  But he is a bright side to frequent hospital visits, which I suppose is the point.


Butterflied Toes

Lately, I’ve fallen into the abyss of nail art.  Polish comes in so many shades, it’s good for my manual dexterity and patience, and I like being able to take care of myself, even in this small way.

When I have some time on my hands (pun totally intended, you have to ask?) I either do my own nails or bribe Sunny into sitting still–relinquishing the TV remote usually works–so I can do hers.

My first attempts at vinyls were perpetrated on her toes.  I think I did a decent job, since butterflies aren’t supposed to be synched up… though I admit the cuteness of the canvas made up for a lot:


Today crooked butterflies, tomorrow, holographic zebra stripes!**


Tattling on Tattly


It’s no secret that I love tattoos and even sport a few. But for obvious reasons, I won’t be going out to get any new ones anytime soon.***

So I started bringing them to me.

Tattly is an online temporary tattoo shop that hires top-notch artists to create designs from the wacky (Banana in Sunglasses, anyone?) to the elegant (So. Gorgeous.)

The designs are reasonably priced,  individually or in sets.  They have something for everyone, young or old, including scented herbs and florals!^


Plus, they have a good reputation for paying their artists well and on time.  I like that in a company, even more than I like the free sponges they offer with each purchase.


If nothing else, you should totally subscribe to Tattly’s newsletter. It not only offers deals and contests, but random links to some pretty awesome stuff!

And you know that’s how we roll around here.


* Yeah, I have a go-to surgery site, now. It surprised me, too. I’m going back to it this coming Wednesday, by the way, but more on that later.

**Because it’s only fair that she picks the colors, that’s why.

***If it isn’t obvious to you, please for to click here and here.

^ And rainbows on skateboards!



Sock it to me

Since I’m pretty much a homebody these days, I’m trying to set small projects for myself, things that stretch me a bit but that I can handle without lifting much or bending or whatever, like folding laundry, reviewing piles of saved mail for the shredder, or trying to get a brush through Sunny’ s hair.

Call it Occupational Therapy and also a way to combat the boredom/guilt over the household chores I can’t do yet.

And even though my usual ensemble on most days is one of my tres chic  (read, old, comfortable, and slightly worn) cotton nightgowns and a mismatched robe,* I’ve set myself the job of cleaning out my dresser drawers, one at a time, top to bottom, with a little assistance from whichever kid I can snag/nag/bribe.

Today, I tackled my underwear drawer.

With Sunny’s one-armed help,** I pulled out the things that don’t fit any more, the uncomfortable and/or ugly what-was-I-thinking items, and the aged/worn stuff my mother warned me not to wear in case a random bus might be feeling homicidal.

The rest was folded/matched, and put neatly back in the drawer.***


Fuzzies on the left, trouser coutre in the center, white athletics on the right.^

I’m left with a mountain of mismatched socks (including five distinctly different red fuzzy socks… five) that I don’t dare pitch, in case their mates escaped down into the lower drawer (or underneath)  and other, say, foundation garments that I already pitched because donating them is impossible…and a little gross.

I honestly can’t believe the discard piles actually fit into that drawer in the first place–I mean, it barely closes now.

But it’s done.  And now, all I have left is the bottom drawer of nightmar–I mean, nightwear, which I hope will yield at least some of the matches to the denizens of Sock Mountain.

Because I have no idea how to dispose of perfectly good single socks… we don’t need any more dusters or silver polishers, the craft closet is full, and no one I know wants to make sock puppets…

Any ideas?  Heck, I’ll mail them to anyone who wants ’em–and I might toss in a basketful of single baby socks^^ to sweeten the deal…


*Best thing about having a stomach wound: being legitimately excused from wearing pants, at least at home.

True story: I was in Physical Therapy a while back with an older man who was wheeled in once a week.  A therapist mentioned that she’d thought he was homebound, since he hadn’t been around lately. He said, “I’m not homebound–I just hate wearing pants!” He was a hoot.

**Sunny’s bike pedal fell off a few weeks ago, just as she stood up to get some power.  She nobly cushioned her bike’s fall and was rewarded with several nasty contusions and a broken arm. She’s fine now–in fact, she didn’t even need a cast, just a sling, and she’s all but forgotten to take her OTC pain reliever. So she and I are palling around this summer, until she’s deemed well enough to go back to day camp. Her only real side effect is being seriously bored.

*** That last bit really took it out of me–no one person should own that many socks. Especially that many nearly identical white ankle socks, all of which had somehow been separated from their solemates.

^ I’m usually anti-segregation, but they’ll re-sort themselves by tomorrow, anyway.  And probably start partner-swapping as well, darn their round heels.

^^Yes, my younger kid is ten. I told you I have no idea.

Weekend Writing Warriors: Odd Duck (Mooon)

We WriWa bannerEditHave a WIP, an EIP, an MS, or a published work you want to share on your blog, eight to ten sentences at a time?

Want to sample other people’s WIPs, EIPs, MSs, or published works, eight to ten sentences at a time?

Be a Weekend Writing Warrior!

Rules are here!

List of participants is here!


Or if you’re a fellow Facebook addict (we can quit any time we want to, right?),
why not check out the offerings of the Snippet Sunday gang?



“I won’t have our child superseded by a brother or sister simply because he or she can’t shift. And my bloodline,” he said, with razor-sharp scorn, “never brought me anything but trouble. If I didn’t love you so much, I never would have wanted children at all. But if I don’t have an acceptable replacement, there will be a Challenge Moon.”

“What’s a Challenge Moon?” I asked.

“Just what it sounds like,” he said. “If enough of the pack supports a different packleader, a challenge is held on the full moon. The . . . candidates try to maim their opponents beyond the ability to fight—and the winner decides whether the loser is worthy to remain in the pack. These days, they’re usually given letters of introduction to other leaders and their portion of the pack’s assets. But sometimes they’re considered too dangerous to the pack—or the packleader.”

Weekend Writing Warriors: Odd Duck (Puppies)

We WriWa bannerEditHave a WIP, an EIP, an MS, or a published work you want to share on your blog, eight to ten sentences at a time?

Want to sample other people’s WIPs, EIPs, MSs, or published works, eight to ten sentences at a time?

Be a Weekend Writing Warrior!

Rules are here!

List of participants is here!


Or if you’re a fellow Facebook addict (we can quit any time we want to, right?),
why not check out the offerings of the Snippet Sunday gang?


Two weeks ago, Rhombeck, the leader of the Talbot City wolfpack and CEO of the pack’s corporation, said that he wanted to give up his position because Susan, his human administrative assistant, is pregnant.

Rhombeck thinks his cousin (and our wereduck hero Tom’s adopted brother) Bryan would make a good choice to take over.

Susan and Tom still think he’s being hasty about quitting:


“If I don’t step down, they’ll put me down—it’s possible they won’t wait for an official challenge,” Rhombeck told her,   “and there’s no question that they’ll come after you to get to me; I can’t risk that.”

“Who’re they?” I asked.

Rhombeck held up fingers, one by one. “People who hate my family, or humans, or the corporation, or me.”

“Disgruntled ex-girlfriends,” Susan said.

Opportunists,  specieists, rabble rousers, traditionalists, competitors,” Rhombeck said, ignoring her. “Take your choice.”

“I don’t suppose artificial insemination would be an acceptable solution?” I asked. “I can think of eight or nine ladies who would love to be your purebred puppymama.”

Susan snorted and raised her eyebrow at Rhombeck.


Maybe I went too far.  Did I go too far?