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Intruder

a few hardcovers and pbs available from Closed Circle, signed. Latest: Moonlover and the Fountain of Blood, Jane Fancher short story. Chernevog, part 2 of the Rusalka trilogy co-written by CJ and Jane; and Orion's Children, a tetralogy from Lynn.

We’re baaaack….

Dear me, photos are urging enough to get to walking and drop a few pounds.

We are safe and well. We went from Spokane to Buffalo WY (where new pet policies at our hotel (15.00 a head) make it certain we will use another routing)—then on to Sioux Falls SD, where we stayed the night, on to Lisle IL, and dropped off the kittehs with Jane’s sister…with two pens, and a cat tree for their amusement, plus ample food and water—‘Don’t open that door whatever you hear from in there!’

Went on to the Nebulas at the Palmer House, and meeting people. Wiishu channeled Bren…I’m sure Jane will have pix. Betsy had a lovely gift for me, a short kimono, which I wore on awards night, with black kit, and we had a very nice evening; had lunch at the Billy Goat Tavern, a little distance away, which was fun; and otherwise snacked off the con suite: two hamburgers at that hotel Palmer House are 65.00, counting a glass of beverage each. Good burgers, but not that good.

Sunday we all went our ways, and I began to cough. By Sunday evening, back in the far more comfy Red Roof Inn, which had ac that worked and mattresses that were comfy—(the fancy hotel, not so much)— I then came down with a royal case of whatever was floating about, respiratory crud. I don’t remember much, except we bought some groceries, and I survived while Jane helped out her sis with a couple of construction problems. We did collect the cats, who emerged fat, happy, and oh, so glad to see us. So I cat-sat, semi-conscious, too contagious to go near Jane’s sis, so I stayed and slept, oh, from Monday until Friday morning, at which point we gathered up the cats and baggage and took out. Jane drove the city traffic, which is insane, and when we got to the Dells, I took over and drove a bit.

First night we aimed for Al’s Oasis, a huge travel stop on I-90 at Oacama SD, and the comfiest hotel mattresses in the universe—Serta Pillowtop Commercial Grade—we asked. We tore ourselves away from the mattresses, and unwillingly aimed ourselves at Buffalo WY, but somewhere around Spearfish, or Gillette, our GPS advised us to hang a right and go up toward Broadus MT…through what proved to be the back side of the Crow Reservation, and a good route, if you don’t need gas, which there isn’t, except at Broadus—which is a western movie set doing business as a modern little town. Absolutely lovely but basic little bar, which fed us lunch, and on we went, across territory that at some points didn’t even have phone lines, and into a windstorm at the Custer Battlefield Conoco…nearly blew me off my feet as I was trying to cross a massive puddle. We had 60+mph headwind from there to Rocker MT, where, thank goodness, we had an old familiar hotel and a room.

From there, home is easy, except for driving rain and poor visibility: we were still back noonish, had lunch at the Swinging Doors, and collapsed. The aforementioned windstorm had also hit here, so we have flowers down, and weeds exploding from the warm moisture, but we’re glad to be back.

Waves limply.

Jane is sleeping in this morning—past 9:30 and she’s still out. But she needs it. She worked beyond reasonable limits getting us in order, packed, on the road, and back again—she’s exhausted, and I’m glad she’s sleeping. I only hope she doesn’t take what I’m just getting over.

Did we believe the GPS that did a rotational dance in central Chicago? We were dubious, being told to take off into a long run of empty territory. But that diagonal route between Spearfish and 90 at the Custer Battlefield is a big time-saver. It would be much easier if we had stayed at Bozeman or nearby, but prices there (it being gateway to Yellowstone) are higher, and we happen to like the Rocker motel.

Back’s been killing me. I got a new chair…

with lumbar support. And I’ve got a real find, a ‘laptop cart’ from Office Depot, rolls right up to the chair at the right height, and better yet, the top can lift off and become a lapdesk. Best little laptop support going. laptop cart

Did I mention bashing myself in the eye?

Bent over to get something from my purse, hanging on the coat tree…bam! right into one of the metal arms. That hurt. A lot. I don’t quite have a shiner, but I do have a very red eye.

The hard drive crashed. Bigtime. No warning.

The good news is—Carbonite.
I’ve pulled the critical file down off the cloud and have put it on laptop #2. We are running. They promise me a new drive by Tuesday. Dell diagnosed over chat, on another computer, while I read off instructions and Jane pushed buttons, and yes, it is most sincerely dead. The good news is, again, Carbonite. I don’t have e-mail at the moment, but I do have The File.

Jane and I will have no trouble installing the new drive, which will come in with Win 7, with Win 7 disks, in case of screw-up, and we will just have to sit through endless downloads of updates and patches while THAT gets organized, but hey, it sure beats the lightning strike on a prior book, in which Lynn and Jane were down at Kinko’s scanning in pages and I was reconstituting text from a very bad (couldn’t tell double ll from H or m or whatever).

If you have critical stuff on your computer, Carbonite is a real good idea.

We are FINALLY seeing light at the end of the tunnel…

and it’s not the 5:10 train.

We have just about finished the window trim and are beginning to move furniture from where it has been piled (in any large empty space in the house—scratch that: any place void of furniture. We have, since November blackout, had furniture out of place, rooms nearly emptied, furniture piled in the kitchen, with paths to get to the pantry, to the back door, to the kitchen, wherever. You walk past, brush some broom leaning against some box and three boxes fall, spilling contents. We are so frayed and tired—at one point there was only one place each to sit in the living room, and the rest literally piled with furniture. We pass the tv control to whoever is sitting with a clear shot at the good spot to communicate with the set.

Now—we clean up, dust, rearrange, tidy up, and our house begins to look like other than a warehouse for lost boxes.

Jewelry…lack of,—for some years; now repaired.

We’re rough on jewelry. Admittedly. We don’t lose rings by taking them off. We damage them by wearing them while running a tiller, etc, or by just having the loop wear as a chain slides through.

After nearly six years Jane and I treated ourselves to some repair. I now have my rings wearable again, and am resolved to be kinder to them. Jane has the stag pendant nicely repaired and on a very pretty chain.

Feels nice to have the shinies again.

Worked ourselves to exhaustion: I cooked a special dinner…

And just as we sat down, we saw a huge puddle coming from under the entertainment unit, emanating from the freshwater fish tank in the corner, and soaking our new living room floor.

We mopped, we moved things, we fixed stuff, we swore in ways Bet Yeager would approve, and we put a fan on the problem. There is damage. There is also a waterproof underlayment, which assured it spread, but it spared the downstairs ceiling.

We thought we stopped it.

This morning there was another puddle. I swore some more and this time yanked the wretched filter system completely out and installed a simple Penguin filter (yes, Paul) that cannot leak—dried off the floor, and think I have it solved.

The good news is there are only 6 planks that have water-risen edges, and we have 4 extra boxes of laminate. We should be able to repair the floor. The problem is, the installation is directional, in terms of how they go in, but we think we may be able to do it in reverse, and work toward the wall rather than away from it.

We are so very tired. There is no joint that does not ache. WHY the tank leaked has to do with a pipe fitting, I think, but I have now taken that entire pipe out of service, so I do not think we will have a repeat.

We are just glad that we were sitting there when it happened. It was a cold dinner, but if the whole 50 gallons had gone—it was about 8, total—we would have had to order more floor.

Kobo glitch now fixed.

Had the word from DAW.

Good news on Kepler glitch.

Glitch unglitched, apparently. Huge sigh of relief.

Kobo glitch to be fixed.

DAW is aware and working on it. They think it’s a code missing in something.