On The Blackwater

Musing on retirement, writing, puppies, and whatever else strikes my fancy

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Spending my life in 20-year increments: DC, Calif, Maine, & now in the BlueRidge Mountains of VA, where my YoChon, Sadie Mae, has started to blog...

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Weather may postpone Sadie Mae's surgery

We're expecting snow, sleet & freezing rain (my personal favorites) tomorrow; it appears to have moved faster than expected & may arrive here in the morning, laying down 3-4" of snow before the sleet begins about noon. Since Sadie Mae's appointment is for 1 pm, I doubt it'll happen.

I gave her a nice bath today, getting her all ready for tomorrow. Oh, well, we can wait so long as the lusting male Labs stay away from her. She hides under the low furniture when they get carried away. Mother Nature, I know, but this kind of hassle for 21 days is not something I look forward to.

Our Franklin County Library Book Fest Committee has begun meeting for this year's August event. We've lined up Alyson Hagy, a farmer's daughter from Rocky Mount, now living and teaching in Laramie, Wyoming, as our featured speaker on Saturday, August 11th. She is published by Simon & Schuster.

Most of our focus this year will be on our Coffeehouse readings, Friday evening August 10th at Edible Vibes. So far, we have Linda Hamlett Childress who wrote "Tobacco Farmer's Daughter" and "Rural Route Two," as well as local authors Dick Raymond, poet, Becky Mushko, and yours truly. There has been a lot of interest expressed in our Coffeehouse reading from last year. It was a very social event!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Book signing at the Blue Lady Bookshop

I was truly honored to participate in a booksigning at the lovely Greer home in Rocky Mount, down the path from the relocated Blue Lady Bookshop. The Blue Lady has moved back into Jubal Early's former law office at The Grove, so Ibby Greer held a nice reception and book signing for her husband, T. Keister Greer and his books, "The Great Moonshine Conspiracy Trial of 1935," and "Genesis of a Virginia Frontier: Franklin County, 1740-1785," as well as Ibby's baby boomer memoir, "Paper Faces."

Other authors featured were Peggy Ann Shifflett, retired professor of Sociology at Radford, who writes about her Appalachian childhood and includes many Appalachian recipes in "Mom's Family Pie," and April Miller, author of several books including her newest, "Reflections in an Old Mirror."

My book, "When Men Move to the Basement" was also featured, and I was joined by Bruce Rae, the multi-talented artist/sculptor who illustrated my book with his humorous pen and ink drawings. Bruce also signed the books, to the delight of everyone attending.

Becky Mushko, award-winning Franklin County columnist and book author, served as a guide to the visitors touring the beautiful old home at the Grove. There were plates and trays of wonderful food at each author's location, along with coffee and apple juice. It was a grand afternoon, and even the weather cooperated.

Most of us drive PT Cruisers, so at one point, it looked as if it were a Chrysler car lot full of our quirky little cars, including Keister's PT convertible.

Public Radio Essay Broadcast

WVTF recorded my reading of Donna Reed Doesn't Live Here Anymore from my book, When Men Move to the Basement, and it was broadcast Friday morning January 26th at 8:50. Drive Time! and directly after Dr. James Robertson's civil war piece.

Here's the link to hear it (without the nice intro and close from Rick Matteoni)...

A dream realized, to be on the same airwaves (well, not NPR but still Virginia PR) as Garrison Keillor.

Update on Sadie Mae: She's nearly 6 months old now and it appears she is becoming Marilyn Monroe in the eyes of the two chocolate Labs who live in our household now. I'm taking her in to the vet's next week to see if she might need a nip and tuck to make her not quite so attractive to them. I'd rather have THEIR plumbing fixed, but apparently the very thought of that surgery makes my hubby cringe.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Exciting News!!

I got an e-mail from WVTF, the Public Radio station that broadcasts out of Roanoke, asking me to give them the times it will take me to read two of my essays from my book, When Men Move to the Basement! The essays are: Donna Reed and Plastic Deer.

Initially, I'd gotten the response that they had a stack of essays already, and would I re-submit in the future. Darn! Then, surprise, I got the e-mail yesterday about 2 of the 3 essays I'd submitted to them. Apparently, someone actually READ and LIKED them!

I am totally beside myself. It has always been a dream of mine to read a piece over Public Radio.
Needless to say, I am e-mailing all of my relatives to spread the news.

Funerals and Memorials

Dick lost an uncle sadly to lung cancer and his 92-year old great aunt died a week later. Aunt Letha had a well-thought-out Obituary in the Bangor Daily News (Maine). The Obit said she wanted everyone to wear bright colors, no dreary black, please...and to celebrate her wonderful long life, because now she was going Home.

This made me realize I need to draw up some directives myself! What a lovely idea, for everyone to wear bright colors and celebrate her life.

Yesterday, though, Dick got a call about a sudden death of a friend, one of the lead singers from his Harmeneers (yes, that's spelled correctly) Barbershop Chorus of 40-50 members suffered a massive coronary while at his Florida winter home. He has a lot of family in that area, so at the moment, no one is certain where or when the services will be held. Jim Gregory and his wife, Barbara, have their home at Smith Mountain Lake and he was very active in the Chorus and with other groups in this area. Jim was a delightful man, so enthusiastic about singing that everyone was just swept along when he burst into song. It is a great loss and he will be SO missed by a great many folks.

I have some good news to share, so I'll start a new post rather than add it here.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Yorkies among 5 breeds most difficult to housebreak~

ARGHHH! Sadie Mae does just fine for 2 or 3 days, then she decides to forget everything. Well, not everything...she's definitely connected with the Clicker training. When I say to her: Come! Her little head swivals towards me, her black eyes open wide, she grins (honest!) & runs up the little ramp to the front door, scratching in her eagerness to get inside.

Inside. Where little bits of cooked chicken breast reside in a container in the fridge. Oh, yessss!

And it is crucial that she respond to that command. Of course, sometimes she is having way too much fun chasing around with Remington, the chocolate Lab puppy. Then, when I say: Sadie Mae...Come! She looks at me, grins, & says to herself: Oh, maybe later...& off she goes to do her bullet run around the yard.

I need the Dog Whisperer!

She definitely has more Yorkie DNA than Bichon, although I confess to knowing more about Yorkies than Bichons.

I really need to get some pictures of Remington taking Sadie's lead & treating her as if she were HIS puppy, leading her around the lawn.

Oh, a bit of news about my book, When Men Move to the Basement. On Saturday, January 27th, 2-5 pm, Ibby Greer is holding a book signing at her beautiful home in Rocky Mount. She has moved her Blue Lady Bookshop back to the original location on the Greer land, called The Grove, and the book signing will involve my book, Ibby's baby boomer memoir, Paper Faces, and her husband Keister Greer's The Great Moonshine Conspiracy Trial of 1935 and Genesis of a Virginia Frontier: Franklin County, 1740-1785. Also signing their books will be Peggy Ann Shifflett, who wrote The Red Flannel Rag: Memories of an Appalachian Childhood and Mama's Family Pie, Family Recipes in Appalachia. April Miller will sign her Reflections in an Old Mirror, poignant, often humorous, tales about her life, and My Table at Brightwood, Southern recipes.

I'm excited. Now all I have to do is lose 20 pounds before the 27th.

New Year's Resolutions: I resolve to eat more chocolate, and eat more icecream (see above?)
I also resolve to stop telling everyone I'm going back to Waterobics at the Y...until I actually show up there.

See, this way I can actually keep my resolutions! Happy New Year, everybody...