A Late Happy New Year (Pat)

Hi there. . .

My New Year’s Resolution is to be more active here on Storybroads.

I apologize for being lax but after a too long absence I’m back and plan to visit here weekly again.   Life got in the way for a while.  Floods, home repairs, sick pups and tight deadlines got in the way for a while, and I apologize for it.  I will do better.

In Memphis, we are just coming out of a deep freeze.   Normally, we have one or two inches of snow a year and it’s gone in a day.  This time, snow and ice have lasted a full week and in an area with so little really cold weather, two or three inches of ice and snow bring the city to a complete halt.   School’s been out for a week.   Businesses are closed.   We are not used to zero degree temperatures.

I usually go for a mile hike every morning, good weather or bad, with a friend.   I feel lost without that walk, but we’ve gone five days without one.   It’s been that cold, as much as zero degrees, and we’re weather wimps in the south.   The dogs didn’t want to go out, either, with their new stylish coats.

Quite a bit of news.   My new Covenant Falls book comes out April 1st and I’m working on the sixth one.  Bookbub featured one of my Scottish books and for the first time I hit the first in sales in Scottish history/romance on Amazon, and 125 in sales overall.   Really exciting.

My two rescues , Little Guy and Miss Anna,  are doing well after some problems.  Both are elderly and need a lot of attention.

Below is Little Guy, a happy little Poodle who has been with me nearly a year now.  Despite being a senior, he loves his walks.   When he sees his leash coming out, he does a little dance and wriggles all over.   He particularly enjoys meeting people and their canine companions.   He doesn’t mind posing for photos.



.         No so, Miss Anna, below.

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Miss Anna is an Affenpinscher and, if you’ve never heard of them, you are not alone.  Ninety five percent of the people I meet haven’t, and neither had I.  It’s a German breed and the name, I am told, means monkey face, and she does, indeed, have a monkey face.   She is also elderly, and grumpy, perhaps because her lad years have not gone well.  I adopted her from a rescue group who found her at the county shelter.  No one knew much about her past, but she craves affection and is very content as long as she is next to a human being.  Unlike her new brother, she believes exercise is highly overrated.  Nor was she enthralled about posing for a photo on the back of a deer but agreed to a short photo session.  Grumpily.

I’ve also become the benefactor of some feral cats during the freeze in Memphis.  I donated the use of my garage when it reached ten degrees and lower outside, and the invitees — three kittens — told their relatives and friends, and my garage is now a cat haven.  My job next week is easing them out.

Which leads me to another story.  One of the aforementioned kittens sneaked — unknowingly to me –into my house.  It hid behind an enormous bookcase –holding more than a thousand books –in my living room.  I started hearing pitiful mewing noises but couldn’t find the source.  I have a loft up above the living room  and when I was downstairs, the sound seemed to come from upstairs and vice versa.  I looked in every nook and cranny.  I looked behind the bookcase but spied nothing in the inch that separated it from the wall.

On the third day, I was going crazy.  I kept hearing the noise but it was getting weaker.  Another search, a more frantic one.   But then when I walked by the bookcase I heard it again.   I had looked before but didn’t see anything.   I grabbed a powerful flashlight and tried again.  Two little eyes stared at me.   It was in the middle of the back of the bookcase and apparently couldn’t move one way or another.

I started tossing books on the floor but no way could I move a floor to ceiling oak bookcase, books or not.  I called a couple of neighbors who were usually available to help with almost anything, but it was Sunday morning and none were home.     Meanwhile I was mentally counting the hours the kitten had been stuck behind the bookcase.

I was desperate.  The mental lightning struck. .  I decided to try the fire station in the community.  I was greeted dubiously by four stout firemen happily eating lunch.  I asked nicely — and frantically — whether they still saved kittens.  Not from a tree but a bookcase.   They looked at me as if I had lost my mind — which I was in the progress of doing — but after several glances at each other they agreed.

Ten minutes later, two fire engines roared up to my house.  Seven very big guys dismounted and came inside.  They  studied the problem, then took out most of the books and five of them moved the huge oak bookcase a foot.  The back door, just a few feet from the bookcase, was open and a tiny black kitten dashed from behind the bookcase to the great outdoors.   (It’s one of the kittens now inhabiting my garage).  The firemen even helped refill my bookcase and complimented my reading choices.

That afternoon I baked buttered and salted pecans and delivered them to the firehouse.  I was hoping they wouldn’t run for the back room and lock the door if I appeared at their door again.

And oh yes, I have been writing.   Finished the fifth Covenant Falls series about returning veterans, and it will be out April 1st.  I’ll be telling you more about that in the coming weeks.

Until next week.


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