Monday, July 16, 2018

#Music Monday: Celine Dion - Titanic Theme Song • My Heart Will Go On

C is for Celine Dion, who you probably know is French-Canadian. I decided to share this version of "My heart will go on" - the version from the movie "Titanic" - because it's the first thing I think of when I think of her, which is probably true for a lot of people. So... Enjoy!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Of Medical Mutterings, Some Cuddly Animals, And The 2018 #StLeonards Festival

I had my first shot this past Friday (July 13th).

It's too soon to know if it's going to do anything, but I thought those who have been following my medical news would want to know I've had it. The next shot is scheduled for August 10th at 2:30pm.

While I was there, I had them weigh me.

I lost half a kilo (a little over a pound).

I'm not sure how I feel about it.

On the one hand, I'm pleased, because any weight loss is a good thing, and losing weight slowly is the best way. After all, they say losing weight slowly means it's easier to keep it off. So, if it was after my surgery, and I was just doing this to slowly get myself in to better shape, I'd be happy with even that small weight loss. I know I'm trying, and that it will get easier in time, but that the reason it wasn't much is because pushing myself to my limits still doesn't mean I'm getting anywhere near as much exercise as I should be. I know things will improve for me in time, and - as I said - if this was after my surgery, so it was only myself I had to answer to, I'd be happy that things are moving in the right direction, all be it slowly.

On the other hand, since I have to convince the gynecologists I'm trying, I'm a bit upset that I only lost that much. I need to lose more than I have been if I'm going to have enough of a decrease in weight to satisfy them. That half a kilo was in four weeks. If I only lose that much every four weeks, I'll only manage to lose two or three kilos before the surgery date rolls around - depending when that date does roll around - and I don't think they'd be too pleased if that's all I've lost. Losing that little could be enough to give them an excuse to postpone things longer. I don't want to give them that excuse. They never said exactly how much I had to lose, but I'm pretty sure they meant more than a couple of kilos. So, I'm disappointed in how little I've lost.

I've decided to deal with it by thinking of it like this: that weight loss was great, and I'm happy for me. But it would be fantastic if I could see a larger decrease in my weight when I go back for my second shot.

Now I just have to figure out how to make that happen.

***~~~***



The photo above is of some cuddly animals I got recently, which I kept meaning to post about, but didn't get around to even having Kelly sort photos of until now. They're Peter Rabbit - yes, he's an actual small Peter Rabbit cuddly toy - Marie the kitten, and another rabbit named Aurora.

Peter Rabbit came in an Easter egg. OK, OK, I admit it! I brought the egg myself so I could get the toy. The chocolate egg was nice too, but I brought it because I wanted the toy. I'm pretty sure the reason it was available was because of the new Peter Rabbit movie, but I haven't actually seen that, and it was my love for Beatrix Potter's books - which I've been enjoying since my Nan used to read them to us when we were little - that made me want him. There was a Flopsy Bunny one too, but I didn't get a chance to go back for it due to ending up in hospital, and they weren't doing them any more by the time I was home. I should have grabbed both in the first place. Oh well, never mind. At least I got the Peter Rabbit one.

Marie is an actual teddy of Marie from The Aristocats movie. It's one of the movies my brother, Carl, and I have loved since we were young. It was actually Carl who brought me Marie. She was a get well present from him after my Easter weekend hospital stay.

Aurora was sent to me by my Mam, and got her name because it was how she was listed on Amazon, and we thought it was a pretty name. She's to come to hospital with me when I finally have my surgery, because Mam won't be able to visit due to her own health issues. Mam sent her to me around the start of June, just to make sure I had her before my surgery date rolls around. It was only afterwards we learned of the need to wait three to six months. But Aurora is here now, and sat on my desk waiting to be packed along with the other stuff I'll be taking in to hospital when the time comes. Oh, well, better for her to be waiting a while than not make it in time.

***~~~***

The St Leonards festival happens in late June or early July - most often June - every year. This year it happened on June 30th. We didn't go, because of a combination of my being exhausted from having gone out the day before, and the fact we only remembered exactly which day it was this year when I heard drums in the distance. Well, more the second thing... Erm... Oops!

Anyway, we grabbed a couple of shots of the marching band when they were passing near where we live, so here are the couple of photos we got:

Friday, July 13, 2018

#FurkidFriday: A Photo And Video Of Joshua The #Degu From June 2018

Hi everyone. This is Joshua the degu.

The human caretakers took this photo of me a month ago, right after sorting out some fresh hay for my nesting box, and changing the sawdust in the tray thing under my cage. I thought you'd like to see it, so here it is:



They did a video too, which explains why they stood there pointing the flashy thing at me without it doing the flashing... I wondered at the time what that was about. Anyway, here's the video:







Hope you enjoyed seeing my photo and video.

Oh, and don't mind the barking in the background of my video... That's just the Lilie dog.

Squeak soon,
Joshua

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

#WriterWednesday - Tools Of The Telling Trade In Reality And Fiction - #FortuneTelling #Runes #Tarot

Charles - yes, the same Charles with a recent fantasy book release that's on sale throughout July, which I posted about here - did a series of posts on his blog recently about some of the tools of the fortune telling trade.

The purpose of these posts was to briefly look at some of the tools of the trade in real life, as well as how they can - and do - get used in fiction. It's not an in-depth look, but I found the posts - along with some of the comments left on them - interesting, so thought I'd give them a mention.

If you'd like to check them out, you can do so on his blog. Here are the links:


In case you're interested: I'm a Scorpio, born on a day when the moon was in Cancer, in the year of the rat. So my Sun sign is Scorpio, my Moon sign is Cancer, and my Chinese Zodiac sign is the rat. Thought I'd mention all three versions of my zodiac signs that I know exist, just to be thorough. If you know of any others, I'd be interested to hear about them.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Sally's Cafe And Bookstore Summer #Sale Now On!

Sally is posting about books that are on sale.

!My books get a mention in one of the posts, but I'm just one of several authors mentioned, and there are plenty more posts planned to tell you about others with books on sale.

So, check out the posts in Sally's Cafe And Bookstore Summer Sale, and grab some bargain books.

Hurry! The sales won't last forever!

Monday, July 09, 2018

#Music Monday: Bryan Adams - (Everything I Do) I Do It For You

B is for Bryan Adams, who - if you don't know - has duel Canadian and British citizenship, like Kelly does (though I think his is based on residency duration, so not for the same reason Kelly has it). Anyway, it had to be "Everything I do" that I shared, because it's my favourite of his, and the first one that comes to mind when I think of him. So, here it is... Enjoy!

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Of Medical Mutterings, Outings, #Tofu, #Jackfruit, And Internet Woes

(The photo above was taken on June 22nd 2018, and shows people enjoying the beach on a nice day).

I started trying to go out with Kelly and Lilie for some of their walks even before my letter from the gynecologist reached the doctor. It's been tough on me to do so, but with no guarantee the shots will work and make the bleeding stop, I didn't dare wait, even though the usual advice you get from a doctor is not to do anything that makes your symptoms worse if you feel dizzy. I need to do what I can to reduce my weight before my surgery date rolls around after all, and the gynecologist made it clear I was to do so no matter how I was feeling. I knew this from my last gynecology appointment, and am especially aware of this fact after getting my copy of the gynecologist's letter to the doctor, which says what it was meant to - about how I'm now on the waiting list, because they've agreed to do the surgery, how they're insisting Kelly be the one to sign the consent form, and that they've established that I know the risks, etc, but need those shots to try and stop the bleeding and decrease the risks to me for issues while trying to exercise - but it also says what I'd suspected, though been unable to confirm was the case, about how the reason they weren't doing the surgery right away was because they were intentionally delaying things to get me to lose some weight first. I'm a bit annoyed about that, but there's not much I can do, except do all I can to get at least a slight decrease in weight, so they don't use it as an excuse to try and delay things further, and hope these shots do what they're supposed to. So, I've been going out with Kelly and Lilie a couple of times a week.

I can't do more than that yet. Between the stairs being hard on me in general, and the strain all the bleeding has put on my body, even that much is pushing me to my limits at the moment. In fact, Kelly's very nearly ended up calling me an ambulance a couple of times. Not having been able to do much for the past several months - and not being much better for a few years before that - meant it was really hard on me. Maybe I wouldn't have been quite so bad if I didn't have to do the stairs too. On the other hand, having to do those might help with the weight loss. Just trying to think positive.

Dealing with the stairs wouldn't be quite so bad if I could take them a few at a time and then rest a while. But I can't. I can't risk being sat on the stairs when that neighbour wants to go in and out. Our other neighbours would understand, and give me the time I need to rest, or to move for them to pass, or whatever. But she wouldn't. Though she seems to have taken quite a disliking to Kelly, she's not quite as bad to me as to everyone else, but she's still rude and unpleasant to me - not to mention, has this thing about insisting she has to be physically touching a blind person when speaking to one, so insists on touching my arm or trying to hold my hand, which I hate, especially when she's doing it while yelling at me - so I wouldn't want to be there trying to rest a bit when she wanted to pass, even if the police hadn't already said I was to avoid it happening. But I don't want to talk about her if I can help it. So... Moving on...

Despite some comments made by a couple of people who think I'm not doing enough to try and lose weight, most of me knows I shouldn't be pushing myself as hard as I am. Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, it's been made clear to me that weight loss is essential, regardless of how I'm feeling. So I don't feel I have much choice. It's push myself like this, or risk them using a lack of weight loss to delay my surgery date even further. They won't take me off the list now that I'm on it, but they might try and delay things, so I'm trying not to give them an excuse to do so. I'm hoping the shots will do their job, and the lack of bleeding combined with the exercise I'm now getting will mean it starts getting easier. Can but hope, right?

As it turns out, it's actually a good thing I didn't wait for them to do the shots first - despite the near hospital trips that have resulted from my not waiting - since I haven't even had the first shot yet, so would have lost an entire month waiting for them. Yes, it's almost a month later, and I'm still waiting for the first shot.

I got my copy of the letter from the gynecologist a week after my appointment, but the surgery was insisting they didn't have their copy even after that. When I called after a week, they said they only get letters that quickly if it's an emergency situation, which this wasn't, so I should call back the following week. When I did, they said it takes about two weeks after the date the letter is sent out from the hospital for it to get to them, and another day or so for it to be on the system and checked by a doctor, so I needed to give them a bit longer, and they suggested that maybe I should call back the following week. When I called again this past Thursday - three weeks after my appointment with the gynecologist, and two weeks after I got my copy of the letter - they finally had my letter, so I was able to make an appointment to go in for the shot.

Throughout this entire thing, they were insisting they, "Can understand my situation."

I managed to resist the urge to tell them they obviously can't, or they wouldn't let things drag out like this, especially since I'd even mentioned the near hospital trips during my attempts at getting the exercise the gynecologist insists I make sure to get. I even managed to resist the urge to point out how ridiculous it is that things take as long as they do, and that it shouldn't be the case. But only just.

I wonder if they'd have sped things up if those near hospital trips had been actual trips to the hospital?

Anyway, I've got an appointment to go for the first shot on Friday July 13th at 1:50pm. That's this coming Friday afternoon.

Oh, and speaking of delays in medical related things getting sorted out: despite being told he'd get it sorted within six weeks, Kelly still doesn't have a date for having that lump drained. Every time he calls to chase it up - which he's done a few times now - they just point out that he's on the waiting list, and tell him he'll hear something soon. *Sigh*

OK, back to the outings thing...

Kelly and Lilie usually go out every day, but I've only been going with them on Mondays and Fridays, making use of the benches along the seafront, and picking one of the local cafes to rest at for a drink or lunch sometimes, so I can deal with it a little easier (trying to find a balance between using cafes to rest, and being careful how much we spend while out, because of trying to save to move). It's still really hard on me though, and I'm too exhausted to do anything else for the rest of that day. I'm not much better the following day either. This is part of the reason it's only twice a week at the moment. As it is I'm pushing myself to my limits.

Lilie thinks it's great though. Not how hard it is on me, but the fact I'm joining them on the walks. Plus, my needing to rest while we're out means we end up staying out for a long time, and she gets to say, "Hi," to a lot of people and other dogs, which she loves. Sometimes we meet them while we're walking, sometimes they walk by while I'm taking a short rest. Sometimes they pass by while we're sat having a drink or lunch at one of the cafes. Lilie doesn't really mind which is the case. She loves everyone - human or otherwise - and loves being outside in general.

I have to admit, despite how hard it is on me, I am glad to be getting out of the house sometimes for more than medical appointments.

Luckily, we've had a lot of nice weather, which helps with the being outside thing, since it makes us want to be out there.

In mid June, temperatures were hovering around the high teens. Mostly around 19 degrees C (70 F). By the end of June, the average temperature was hovering around 23 degrees C (78 F). During this past week though, temperatures have been more like 26 degrees C (84 F). Bearing in mind, that's with the nice breeze coming in off the ocean to cool things down some. Many places - especially those without access to the coastal breezes - have had temperatures much hotter. I think I'll stick to our temperatures, thank you very much! As it is, many days have had me staying close to the fan, and wishing we had air conditioning.

We've had a few storms too, though not really any big ones, and they've been wind storms - no rain. I've enjoyed listening to them though. I've also enjoyed the way they tend to take the edge off the heat for a while just after their over. Not as well as a rain storm would, but it helps a little. Another benifit to living this close to the ocean.

As I said though, the weather makes us want to be outside. Especially since both Oscars and The Goat's Ledge are right on the seafront, so we get the full benifit of the ocean breeze during most of our walk to and from them, as well as while we're there.

Speaking of which: the photo at the top of this post was taken during one of those outings. It was taken while we were having lunch at the Goat's Ledge cafe. It's one that's only recently opened, and is along the seafront (as I just mentioned above). The photo in this post was taken the day we first tried it. We were actually sat at one of the picnic tables outside the cafe when the photo was taken. Unfortunately, though there were a couple of boats out on the water, I'm told I just missed getting a boat in the shot. Oh, well, never mind. Plenty of ocean for you, which was the whole point of taking the photo.

Here are a couple more ocean shots for you. These two were taken this past Friday (July 6th) while we were sat on one of the picnic tables that are actually on the beach, enjoying the ocean breeze, and waiting for our food order.


The place now known as "Goat's Ledge" used to be a fish and chip shop, but now it does more of a variety of foods. They still do fish and chips, but they also do salads, and cater to vegetarians and vegans. The guy who owns it now is the guy with the ice-cream cart that goes along the seafront most days. His ice-cream and sorbet is excellent, so we thought we'd try his actual cooking. Turns out that's great too. He does a fantastic tofu burger, and was even nice enough to make me one when we showed up earlier than the time he usually starts cooking them (he starts making things like that after noon, but made me one when we got there around 11:30am). He's a wonderful guy who really cares about his customers. He went and sorted me out a sorbet the other day too, when I wanted one and he was late bringing the ice-cream cart out because things were so busy. The service is absolutely fantastic - in fact, as I said, he really cares about his customers, and is prepared to put in a bit of extra effort just to make them happy - the food is delicious, and there are outside tables we can sit at with Lilie (he even provides a bowl of water for dogs who are sat out there, though it wouldn't matter too much to us if he didn't, since we always take water and a bowl with us for Lilie anyhow).

I don't often take photos of my lunch to post. I did this time though, so here are a couple of shots of my tofu burger and fries:


By the way, speaking of tofu: Carol Taylor was talking about it on her blog recently, and asking for tips, because she wanted to try tofu, but wasn't sure where to start. When she learned I'd had tofu several times, she asked me to write a guest post for her about tofu. I pointed out I'm far from being an expert, but since she still seemed enthusiastic about the idea of me writing what I could anyhow, I put something together for her. If you're interested, you can read my tofu post here.

Something I didn't think to add in the post is that you can make your tofu firmer. Simply place it between two pieces of kitchen roll (paper towels) on a hard surface, and then press down on it with a chopping board. The more you do this, the more of the moisture will be removed, and the firmer your tofu will become.

In other food related news:

I like to make most of my food from scratch, or have Kelly do so for me, that way I know for sure what's in what I'm eating. But I do often buy some vegetarian friendly burgers, sausages, or quiches (checking ingredients carefully when I do). I use them for those days when nobody has the energy to deal with much food preparation, we're really busy, or whatever, but I don't want to be ordering take-away. Anyway, I spotted something called "Vegetarian & Vegan Edamame, Asparagus & Mint Burgers" when ordering my groceries a few weeks back. I think it was in early June. Regardless of exactly when it was, I thought they sounded interesting, so I brought some to try. They turned out to be quite tasty. They're kind of messy to eat, since they don't stay together too well, which also means you'd need to put them on something if you wanted to grill them. But they tasted really good, which is the important thing. My Mam - who isn't a vegetarian, but often likes to observe "Meat Free Mondays" - tried them too, and also really enjoyed them.

I also recently tried jackfruit for the first time. Oscars - which is a cafe I've mentioned before that's along the seafront, and that we like - has it on their menu. Since I hadn't ever tried it, but wanted to, I ordered one of their jackfruit subs, which is one of their vegetarian options (but can be veganized by asking them not to add any mayo). It was delicious!

Not sure what jackfruit is? Read this post to find out what it is, how to use it, etc. There's also information - along with a couple of recipes - in Carol's jackfruit post, which is part of the "Fruity Fridays" post series she's been running on her blog.

***~~~***

Long time followers of my blog may be familiar with my blog's post rating system, details of which appeared on my blog's sidebar. Don't worry if you aren't. For those who aren't, this is the rating system list:

  • AED or AED = Avoid eating and drinking while reading this post... Failure to do so could result in choking and/or the contents of your mouth ending up all over your monitor, for reasons that will become clear when reading this post
  • FD = Food discussed... Those who get hungry when food is discussed may wish to grab something to snack on (unless an AED rating is also added)
  • LBE = Long blog entry... You may want to grab a snack and/or a drink to keep you going to the end (a quick bathroom break is advised too)
  • PTMI = Possibly too much info... May contain parts that some consider too much info, too gross to have shared, etc...
  • R/WP = Rant, or whiney post... Sorry! But sometimes you need a good whine or rant. Posts with this rating may contain offensive language!

Well, I should say it "was" the list, because I'm no longer bothering with it, and have removed it from the sidebar. If I need to add one of the warnings... Most importantly the last two... I can do so in the post itself.

The post rating letters may appear on some upcoming posts, since I already had some scheduled before I decided this. I don't think there are any this applies to, but if you see the letters after today, it means I didn't bother to go in and remove them from an already scheduled post. But any posts I create from today onwards definitely won't use the system.

Why?

For one thing, there were people still asking what the letters stood for, so I know it sometimes caused confusion that way. For another thing, the rise in the use of hashtags could potentially cause extra confusion when my posts are shared on social media, since a lot of them are shortened to a selection of letters like that, and I've seen a few not too far removed from those I use for different purposes. So I decided not to bother with them any more, especially since I'm making use of hashtags to potentially boost post visibility. But I thought I'd mention it, for the benifit of those who do remember what the letters in brackets in my post titles are about, who might miss them once they're no longer being used.

By the way, speaking of social media and the sharing of blog posts:

Networked blogs has suspended their services, so I now have to share my posts across social media myself. So - for the benifit of anyone who finds my posts via social media - I thought I'd let you know that's the reason behind any delays between my posts going live and them being shared. As much as I try to, I can't always get on here at exactly 10:00am UK time to share my posts as soon as they go live.

Apparently I also have to share my own posts to my Google+ profile now, which is weird, since they're supposed to go on there via an automatic feed like the one on Goodreads, and my Google+ profile is what I log in to Blogger with, so you'd think that would work fine. Guess not. At least Goodreads is still automatically getting my posts. Hope that doesn't stop, since I don't have a Goodreads sharing button.

Also, it seems Facebook has changed how their pages work enough that my Twitter posts will no longer automatically post on there - or, if they are posting, I sure can't see them - so I now have to go and post on my page whenever I want something to show up there too. My Twitter posts still come through on my personal profile, but not on the page. This is annoying, because JAWS hates Facebook as it is, and the pages are even harder for it to accept. I might have to put the Facebook Page Manager on my phone. After all, Facebook itself works better for me via the app on my phone, so maybe the page manager will too? Like I said, I might have to try it. In the meantime, at least I can share my blog posts to my page via my own sharing buttons below each of my posts.

On a similar note:

I had some issues recently with the new backgrounds feature on Facebook. I posted about it on my personal Facebook profile, and Chris wrote a post about on his blog for me. Loads of people shared the post, and I contacted Facebook about the issue the same day Chris and I posted about it. A few days later, I noticed I was once more able to read those posts, and it was back to telling me what background had been chosen. So, it looks like they fixed the issue - as Chris reported on my behalf here - which is nice. I decided to still mention it here though, just so you're aware that it could happen... In case someone from Facebook fiddles with the settings again. I hope they won't now they know it's a potential issue though. Also, I wanted to mention it as an example of what can happen if people work together towards a positive resolution for a problem.

Now, if only I could figure out why I'm no longer getting notifications about things being added to the YouTube channels I follow, even though I've got it set to send me notifications...

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that settings for a lot of online things have gotten messed up lately?

Friday, July 06, 2018

#FurkidFriday: A Lilie The #Westie Medical And Grooming Update - July 2018

Hi everyone. This is Lilie the Westie.

I thought you'd like to know that my sores have all healed up now. I'm still scratching more than I probably should, but at least I've not got any nasty sores, which means I don't need to have that cream stuff put on me any more.

But, the humans are keeping hold of what's left of the cream stuff, just in case I need it again any time soon.

I almost ended up back at the vet for something else though.

I went to the doggy groomer last week to get my nails trimmed, because I don't manage to wear them down well myself... It's common for us smaller breeds of dog to have that problem. Anyway, I moved just as he was cutting one of them, and he accidentally cut me a little. It wasn't really my fault. The lady groomer had been going to do my nails, but she wasn't very confident doing so, and her nervousness got me all worked up, so I was still a bit agitated, even though he'd taken over the job of doing my nails when she was failing to manage it.

Anyhow, I bled a little bit from it, but he managed to stop it quickly, so I didn't bleed much, and was - and still am - fine afterwards. If he hadn't managed to stop it quickly, I'd have had to be rushed to the vet immediately, which would not have been a good thing, despite my love of vet visits. So, we're glad he did manage to stop it as quickly as he did.

Speaking of the doggy groomer though: I have an appointment to go in for the full grooming treatment - haircut included - on September 4th at 10:30am. Just thought I'd mention that, in case you're interested.

Lots of licks,
Lilie

Thursday, July 05, 2018

"Abby & Holly School Dance" by @janice_spina - #KidLit #Mystery #BookRelease



This is Book 1 of a series of Abby & Holly books. These two girls were first introduced in Book 5 of the Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series. The girls are first cousins on their mothers’ side. They moved to the quiet town of Lindon, New Hampshire and live in a grand old Victorian which is haunted.

The cousins are excited about attending the sixth grade dance. When their friend, Justine, is bullied, Abby and Holly, along with the help of a ghost and Davey & Derek, work together to formalize a plan to put a stop to the bullying.

The book is now available to buy from Amazon.Com in both paperback and eBook, as well as Amazon UK in both paperback and eBook. It will also soon be available to buy from Barnes & Noble.

Find and connect with Janice via
her blog
, her Facebook page, or Twitter.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

#WriterWednesday - 10th Annual #Smashwords Summer/Winter #Sale Now On! Grab Your #FREE And Discounted #eBooks Today!

It's time for the 10th annual Smashwords July Summer/Winter sale!

For the entire month of July, thousands of Smashwords authors and publishers will provide readers deep discounts on ebooks, with coupon code levels for 25%-off, 50%-off, 75%-off and FREE.

The sale runs from July 1st to July 31st, and is exclusive to Smashwords.

All my books are enrolled at 50% off, making some of them completely free, and most of them just $0.99 with coupon code SSW50. The coupon code is the same for all books, and should be automatically applied at checkout. Simply go to my Smashwords profile page, pick your book, add it to your cart, and take your discounted eBook through the checkout.

Plenty of other authors - A. L. Butcher, Barbara G.Tarn, and Jemima Pett, for example - have some or all of their books enrolled too, so don't forget to browse the books on sale. But don't forget to check format availability, since not all Smashwords authors make all formats available.

I do make all formats available though, so, since I make my books available in multiple formats - including mobi for Kindles, ePub for Nooks and iPads, and PDF for use on your computer - there should be a format that works for you, regardless of your eReader of choice. In fact, since one of the formats only requires a browser to read, if you can read this post, you can read my books.

Remember: sale ends July 31st, and is exclusive to Smashwords.

Tell your family, friends, neighbours, random strangers you meet on the street... Anyone you can! But hurry! Don't miss out!

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

"Quest Of The Brokenhearted" - New #Fantasy #BookRelease by @cyallowitz for #99Cents Or #99Pence Throughout July!

A battered soul faces a city of monsters in Quest of the Brokenhearted!
~Cover Art by Sean Harrington

As Windemere moves forward, a broken spirit falls into the shadows.

Two years have passed since Luke Callindor was lost during the champions’ battle against Baron Kernaghan. Many mourn the loss, but none have been hurt more than the fiancĂ©e he left behind, Kira Grasdon. Plagued by grief and determined to prove he is alive, she has sacrificed her business, her reputation, and her hope. Surviving on the streets of Gaia, she has become an emotional husk of her former self. It is only by chance that Kira crosses paths with an old friend and learns of a path, which will either end her suffering or revive her shattered soul. As the rumors state, hundreds of adventurers have flocked to Lacarsis and none have returned.

Will Kira meet her death in the City of Evil or will she thrive among the monsters?

*****

Book Excerpt: The Farm
The blast of warm air hits and swirls around the area to make all those in metal armor feel like they are about to faint. As the wind billows out, it carries the fog away to reveal broken fences and an abandoned farmhouse. The porch is partially collapsed with a swing sitting in the mud, its chains still connected to the fallen roof. The front door is closed, but a large hole is in the middle as if something tried to punch its way inside. Rusty pots and tools are scattered about the ground, some of them having been plunged into the ground. Not far away is a large barn, which shows no sign of damage beyond peeling paint and cobwebs dangling from the eaves. A crooked weathervane sits above the hay loft, the bat-shaped object spinning wildly even though the wind has died. Wilted crops stand in the fields among those that have already rotted into mush. Piles of hay dot the landscape, each one having turned black and become surrounded by swarms of thumb-sized flies. When the last of the fog clears, the entire area is bathed in a sickly orange light that causes the adventurers’ skin to crawl.
An animal call erupts from a nearby pasture, the grass a light brown and showing signs of being repeatedly trampled. In response, the sounds of chickens drift from the farmhouse and they are soon joined by other familiar noises. The ear-wrenching symphony continues to grow as the adventurers spread out across the road and into the fields. Most are focused on the farmhouse door, so they are caught off-guard when the attack begins. Zombified pigs, horses, goats, and sheep burst out of the barn to charge the nearest warriors. With acidic foam flying from their mouths, the undead livestock crash into the armored figures and rip into whatever flesh they can reach. The goats and pigs cause the most damage, their teeth breaking through metal and bone while the horses do more harm with their hooves. Flapping wings from the farmhouse are a slight warning before a flock of chickens and ducks explode from the windows. Lacking teeth, they have a harder time killing their prey, who swing wildly and blindly cast spells that miss half of the time. Chaos is consuming the crowd when the first animal call erupts from the right and four knights are sent hurtling through the air. Flesh dangling from its horns and blood splattered across its rotting face, the zombified bull barrels into the adventurers. The grunting beast tramples everything in its path as it crashes into one of the fields and sends a broken cart rolling away. Turning around, the animal ignores the arrows that stick into its hindquarters and charges back into the crowd.
While the others try to retreat, Kira swings her sickle at the bull’s side and gets the weapon stuck between the exposed ribs. She holds on while she is dragged and uses the blunt end to swat chickens out of the air. As she passes a stallion, she swings her kusari-gama to get the chain wrapped around its hind legs. With the horse galloping away from the bull, Kira plants her feet and pulls hard on her weapon. Her strength combined with that of the zombified steed allows her to shatter the larger animal’s ribs. Spinning around, she whips the sickle into the side of the stallion’s head and uncoils the chain as it crashes to the ground. Without turning back, the adventurer dives to the side and narrowly avoids getting gored by the bull. The moment she hits the ground, she pounces to grab the jagged hole in its body and pulls herself close enough to punch inside with the blunt end of her weapon. Kira continues striking the rotting heart until the confused animal rears back and exposes its stomach for a pair of spearmen to impale it. They are unable to support its weight and are promptly crushed while the young woman flips up to slam her sickle into the base of its skull. Hanging onto the bucking bull, she violently twists the blade until the zombie finally falls over and rapid decays. The others are about to cheer when the call of another bull bursts from the pasture.
“They just keep coming,” Kira mutters as she watches more animals pour out of the buildings.

Grab your copy on Amazon for 99 cents throughout the month of July!
Also on Amazon UK for just 99 pence throughout July!

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Interested in more Windemere? Then don't forget to check out Charles E. Yallowitz's first series: Legends of Windemere
~All Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Or, more interested in vampires? Then check out War of Nytefall: Loyalty:
~Cover Art by Alison Hunt

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About the Author:
Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

LET THE TOURNAMENT OF LACARSIS BEGIN!




Monday, July 02, 2018

#Music Monday: Aselin Debison - Sweet is the Melody

Since yesterday was Canada Day, I decided to go with a Canadian artist for this month's musical share. Trouble is, three sprun to mind immediately, and I couldn't choose between them. Interestingly though, when listed alphabetically by first name, they run A, B, C. So, since that's the case, I decided to do an "ABC of Canadian artists" this month, and will share one a week. Starting today with my A.

A is for Aselin Debison. My favourite song of hers is "Sweet is the melody" which is the first of her songs I heard. I've loved it ever since, and listened to it so many times I've lost count. So, here it is... Enjoy!

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Tori's June 2018 #Book #Reviews - #AmReading

It's time to take a look at what I read in June.

First: here's a post with some suggestions for how to decide your next read, just in case you need help with that.

Anyway, as with the previous posts like this one, if you want to know more about the book, or the author, click on whichever it is you want to learn more about, and it will take you to the appropriate page on Goodreads. Clicking on my rating should take you to my actual Goodreads review for the book in question.

Don't forget: the format I've reviewed may not be the format I read. Also, please remember that I read across multiple genres and age ranges, so you should always check if a book is suitable for the intended reader, especially when children are involved. Sometimes reading the book's description on its Goodreads page will be enough for this, but other times you may need to check elsewhere to figure out the genre and/or recommended reading level.

OK... On to the reviews!

Red Rising (Red Rising, #1)Red Rising by Pierce Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It's like the Hunger Games in space! The main character has attitude and anger management issues, but that - strangely - is part of his appeal. The plot moved a bit slower than I thought it should at times, but not enough to spoil the book for me, since the story concept is an interesting enough one to have held my attention even during those scenes. Also, the reaper song is beautiful and haunting; such a touching song!

Golden Son (Red Rising, #2)Golden Son by Pierce Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
WOW! Powerful storytelling, and that ending... Well, let's just say I'm extremely glad I had book three ready to start immediately, because if I hadn't been able to do that I'd have been screaming for book three right about now. I don't usually like to give the full five stars to a book that leaves me hanging like that, but this one was so fantastic that I really can't give it less.

Morning Star (Red Rising, #3)Morning Star by Pierce Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was one of those books that will have you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions throughout; one moment I was celebrating right along with the characters, and the next I was crying or raging beside them instead. Also, what an awesome ending!

Iron Gold (Red Rising, #4)Iron Gold by Pierce Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
While I did really enjoy this book, there were two issues that stopped me loving it as much as the previous books in this series. One was the way a blind character was not only made to seem utterly helpless just because of his lack of sight, but also viewed as someone who needed to be "fixed" even by his own family. The other was the multiple cliffhanger situations left unresolved at the end of the book, and my dislike of having things left like they were for several of the characters. I loved everything else about this book though, and look forward to when I can find out what happens next.

Year of the Celt: ImbolcYear of the Celt: Imbolc by Rob Godfrey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was a book with a lot of potential, which it unfortunately didn't reach. The author claims to have done a lot of research, which is obvious in places, while in others there are historical inaccuracies that make me think he should have done more. The characters are well-rounded, but their mannerisms and way of thinking are too modern for the story. The main plot is interesting, but there are places where it drags, and some of the other events are based around modern thinking so don't make sense in a historical story like this one. Also, the cliff-hanger ending was annoying. I'm aware this is the first in a series, but that's not the point, especially given the fact the next book doesn't seem to have been published yet, despite this one having now been out for almost six years (or, if it has, I can't find it). A bit of extra research and editing could have made this a much more enjoyable read. I hope – if they ever get published – the other books in the series will benefit from those things.

Zombie NightsZombie Nights by Tom Lichtenberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was a bit disappointed by the lack of emotion and ease of acceptance by those who encountered the zombie. Other than that, this was a great read, especially if you like the kind of zombie book where the zombies are more than just mindless creatures stumbling around looking for victims.

The Girl in the TreesThe Girl in the Trees by Tom Lichtenberg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I was really enjoying this story, and would have given it a higher rating, but the ending has no clear resolution, so I'm now left feeling like I just read the introduction to something longer, with no idea when - or even if - the rest of the story will be available.

The White-Hole SituationThe White-Hole Situation by Tom Lichtenberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
An interesting and well-written story.

Tiddlywink the MouseTiddlywink the Mouse by Tom Lichtenberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a cute collection of imaginative stories. I wish some of them had been expanded a bit, but they were otherwise great.

How My Brain Ended Up Inside This BoxHow My Brain Ended Up Inside This Box by Tom Lichtenberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
An interesting story, which will potentially appeal to anyone wondering about how perception influences our knowledge of what's real and what's not, and how we could tell if we weren't the "real" people we appear to be.

The Homeless Birds (Short Chapter Books for Ages 8-10 Book 6)The Homeless Birds by Gita V. Reddy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was a sweet and beautifully written story, which was a delight to read.

the fern and the crossthe fern and the cross by Barbara G. Tarn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was an excellent read, with an interesting plot, and some great characters.

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We're half way through the year, so I thought I'd take a look at how I'm doing with my reading goals:

  • I've got two more letters to complete for my A-Z challenge. I know which books I plan to use for them. It's just a matter of getting around to reading those particular books, which I hope to do in the next couple of months.
  • I've read 57 of the 150 books I pledged to read this year. I should really have read 75 by now. This means I'm 18 books behind schedule. However, I'm not concerned, since I have another six months to go, and have already caught up by a few books (I was 23 books behind schedule in early June).

If you're doing any reading challenges - such as the Goodreads reading challenge - I'd love to know how you're getting on. Let me know in the comments.

Friday, June 29, 2018

#FurkidFriday: Maizie The #Chinchilla's Thoughts On The Packing Of Boxes

Hi everyone. This is Maizie the chinchilla.

The human caretakers are doing something strange: they're putting things in boxes.

Now, we're familiar with boxes. Things come in them, the human caretakers take the things out of them, and sometimes we get to play with them and chew on them afterwards. It's great!

But this putting things in them is new.

My degu brother, Joshua, says he's seen them do this once before. But he says it doesn't make any more sense to him now than it did then. He thinks he remembers something about his cage getting moved some time afterwards, though he's not sure if the two events were connected or not.

I wonder what the human caretakers are up to.

Should we be worried?

Joshua doesn't think so. I hope he's right. We're watching the human caretakers closely though, just in case.

Squeak soon,
Maizie

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

#Poetry #Book - Waves Of Broken Dreams And Other Poems Now In #Audio!


A collection of poems of various styles and lengths, which are about heartache, loss, pain, and broken dreams.

Note: Some of the poems in this book may not be suitable for younger readers.

Previously only made available in eBook and paperback, "Waves Of Broken Dreams And Other Poems" is now available as an audiobook, read for you by Carol Weakland.

Regardless of the format you'd prefer, here's where you can buy the book:

Audible, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Chapters-Indigo, iBooks, iTunes, Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon Canada, and The Book Depository.

The book also has a page on Goodreads.

Monday, June 25, 2018

#MondayMotivation And #Inspiration - June 2018 Edition

Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.
~Ancient Chinese proverb

A day without laughter is a day wasted.
~Nicolas Chamfort

May you live every day of your life.
~Jonathan Swift

One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don't throw it away.
~Stephen Hawking

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
~William Shakespeare

A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
~Albert Einstein

Sunday, June 24, 2018

June 2018 #TV Talk And #Movie Mutterings - #AmWatching

There's still very little to share with you when it comes to what I've been watching, because I honestly haven't been watching much. The TV has mainly been on for the chinchillas to watch their crime shows, and I haven't watched many TV shows or movies - new to me or otherwise. Still, I figured I'd get you caught up anyhow. So...

As with the previous posts like this one, just click on the titles to go to a page where you can find out more details about the movie or TV show in question; the title links will usually take you to a page on IMDB.

Don't forget: I watch things across multiple genres, as well as for different age ranges, so you should always check before viewing to make certain something is suitable for the intended audience, especially when children are involved. IMDB will usually provide this information for you, but you'll have to look elsewhere if you can't find it on the page I link to.

OK... On to the reviews!

I watched a DVD that's a collection of six Peter Rabbit episodes. I can't find a link for you, hence there not being one posted at the start of this particular review. It was just one we found and picked up a couple of months ago. From searching online, I'm guessing it's some of the episodes from the 2012 - 2016 TV series, since the episode titles match some of the ones from that. Either way, it was a fun little collection; really cute. I recommend it to anyone who comes across it, and recommend that anyone who doesn't checks out the TV series I just linked to, since I'm pretty sure that's what it was from. Oh, and I give it five out of five stars.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011 movie):
Like the previous movies in this series, this was an entertaining enough movie that I enjoyed watching it, and considered watching it to be a fun way to pass the time. It wasn't fantastic though. Still, as with the other Pirates of the Caribbean movies, I give this movie four out of five stars.

Friday, June 22, 2018

#FurkidFriday: Favourite #Movies Of The Furry Family Members - #AmWatching

Hi everyone. This is Mollie the chinchilla.

The Mummy human was talking about her favourite things to watch on TV, so we thought we'd do the same. We told you about our favourite TV shows last week, so now here's what we had to say about our favourite movies:

Joshua: "I like action movies best.  Although, those movies the Mummy human often watches with talking animals in them are sometimes pretty good too. Some of my favourite movies are Tomb Raider, the X-Men movies, the Lord Of The Rings movies, the Harry Potter movies, and Ratatouille."

Mollie and Maizie: "We'd rather watch NCIS.  But if we have to watch a movie instead, something with action... Like those superhero movies the Daddy human often watches. The Star Wars movies are pretty good too."

Lilie: "Movies? Why would I care about movies? I'm usually too busy playing to care what's on TV. OK, fine... Sometimes I like to sit with Daddy while he watches his superhero movies.  Only sometimes though, and only if it's Daddy."

I hope you enjoyed learning about the kinds of movies we enjoy watching.

Squeak soon,
Mollie

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

#WriterWednesday - June 20th 2018

First, second, and third. Each point of view has its pros and cons, but which one is right for your book? Only you can decide, but the post I just linked to may be able to help you to do so, as well as offering a bit of an explanation if you're confused about the different types of point of view.

It doesn't matter what genre you write in, your story will have a certain theme - whether it's one you planned to use from the start, or one that became clear as the story began to unfold - the same goes for poems, but we're talking about stories right now. So, here's a post about how you can use theme to determine subplots, supporting characters, and tension in your story. Oh, and... Speaking of tension: take a look at these tips for sustaining tension in your writing.

On a similar note: take a look at this post that talks about the basic plot of a voyage and return story. NOTE: spoilers for The Wizard Of Oz are involved in the post... Just so you're warned.

Regardless of what you write, or the point of view you write it in, here are some tips for making a workspace conducive to writing. On a sort of related note, you might want to read this next post if you currently need to be thinking about how to make Summer and writing work together (or Winter, if you're in the Southern hemisphere).

No matter what your workspace looks like, or what changes you might have to make to your writing routine because of the changing seasons, if you're an author who blogs, you may be interested in what this post on better blogging topics for authors has to say.

Speaking of authors and blogs: here's a post that discusses why guest posting is awesome for writers, which you may wish to take a look at. Also, here's a list of 100 blog topics for fiction writers, which may be useful if you're trying to figure out what to blog about.

Also, if you want others to do reviews, a guest posting slot, or whatever else you think they might do for you, make sure to treat bloggers and reviewers with respect when contacting them.

Next, here are six tips to become a great author. I think the one about writing every day should be rephrased to say you should write regularly, because it really is OK if you don't write every single day. Other than that though, I think these are good tips.

Sometimes you need something to get your creative juices flowing again. If that's the case for you right now, here are some fun tools to engage your creativity.

If your creative juices are flowing just fine in general, but you haven't touched your 'passion' project in ages, you might want to take a look at the post I just linked to, and think about the possible reasons for that (as well as what you can do about it). Also, here's a post about the art of finding your way back to your projects, and another about mining old manuscripts, which I think are worth reading.

These are the top three excuses for not writing that book. If these are your excuses, take a look at your situation again, and see what you can do to change that. I understand that circumstances do sometimes get in the way, but nine times out of ten you can work around any of those three excuses. On a similar note, here's some advice on how to write 'less' and do 'more', and some tips for Summer writing.

Finally, here are 15 things that happen when you stop stressing about writing the 'perfect' book. So stop stressing about it, and just write!

Monday, June 18, 2018

You Can Cross The Finish Line Too - #MondayMotivation

It's not always whether you finish first that matters. Sometimes it's just that you finish at all.

Yes, you might take some tumbles along the way. But if you keep trying, eventually you'll cross that finish line.

Just like I did in the only race I ever ran.

With the physical and/or emotional struggles that many people - myself included - are facing these days, as well as the time of year I'm writing this post, I was thinking about that race recently.

It was my school's sports day. Every primary/elementary school has them over here. They happen around late May or early to mid June each year, which is where the time of year comes in to it. Anyway, this was the only year I'd ever been allowed to join in with my school's sports day events. Concerns for my health - especially with my poor eyesight added to the mix - made them reluctant to let me before, and what happened made them decide never to let me again.

The field at our school wasn't entirely even, and that fact - combined with the fact children fall over sometimes when running about normally - meant I wasn't the only child who fell that day. But they were always more careful with me, because I was very ill until I was almost seven, and I was the only disabled child in a mainstream school.

I was also the only child who didn't go running to their parent or guardian when I fell.

What most children were doing was falling, getting up, and running for comfort.

But I wasn't most children.

I fell several times during that race, and crossed the finish line ages behind the last of the others to do so. But every time I fell, I got back to my feet, dusted myself off, and started running again.

Every single time.

I'd started that race, and I was determined to finish it.

By the time I did, every adult on the school grounds that day was cheering me on.

Sure, my ankle was throbbing so much I immediately hobbled over to the nearest tree, and sat in the shade of it clutching my ankle and crying, which is where I stayed until my Mam and teacher came for me a little while later.

But I finished the race; I crossed the finish line.

If you're facing some kind of challenge of your own right now, you can reach your own finish line too.

If you stumble and fall, just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and carry on. Just like I did.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Medical Update - June 17th 2018 (PTMI)

This past Thursday was exhausting. But everything worked out, and I made it to both appointments with time to spare.

First, the asthma appointment:

I didn't see my own asthma nurse, because she's unavailable at the moment - hence the rescheduling in the first place - but the one I saw was just as nice, and my asthma appointment went well, as I'd expected it would.

My peak flow level is up a little. Not by much, but I have asthma, so it being low is normal. It was 250 last time, and 260 this time (normal is supposed to be 430, though the asthma nurse admitted that many people without asthma actually struggle to manage that). Also, my asthma assessment shows some improvement in general since I started using the spacer and the new inhaler, which is a good thing. I did say I thought it was helping. There's still room for improvement, but the asthma nurse and I are pretty sure some of that will settle itself in time, and when the issues I'm currently dealing with are resolved. So we're leaving things as they are for now, and I shouldn't need to see an asthma nurse again for at least a few months. No new appointment has been made at this time, since we'll just make one when it's time for me to get one of the regular assessments I should have been having.

As for the gynecology appointment:

It went better than I expected, but not as well as I'd hoped.

The good news is, I'm now on the hysterectomy waiting list. The bad news is, it's a three to six month wait.

I saw a female gynecologist who isn't the big guy in charge, but can speak for him in certain situations, plus got his approval before leaving too. They said I could stick around until he was free to get it then, or make an appointment to come back for that. I told them I'd stick around. I wasn't having them use that as an excuse to delay things even further.

OK, here's where that "PTMI" warning mentioned in the title comes in.

The gynecologist went straight to suggestions of alternatives to a hysterectomy. I wasn't surprised when she started in on other options first, including a comment about how, since the scan and the biopsy - which was clear, so didn't give us more issues to worry about - had been so painful for me, perhaps they could put me under anasthetic to have a proper look inside my womb. I was frustrated that she did so, but not surprised.

"So," I said. "No matter what path we take, you have to give me anasthetic, yes?"

She confirmed that this was the case.

"Good," I said. "Then you can give me my hysterectomy."

The gynecologist suggested maybe I wasn't understanding about how it carried so many risks. I pointed out that every option is risky, and I know the risks.

"Alright then," she said. "Tell me what they are."

So I did. I listed the risks the NHS themselves list.

When I did that, they backed down, and agreed I could go on the waiting list for a hysterectomy.

She insisted my being put on that three to six month waiting list is the soonest I can have it done. It isn't. They could do it faster if I was a priority case, but they won't make me a priority, because they want me to try and lose some weight.

I knew they'd start about that. Gynecologists always nag me about my weight.

Anyway, I did have to agree that less weight would be better for me, and it would be nice to get some weight off before the extra weight starts giving me other health issues to worry about. But I also pointed out that this would be easier for me to do if they'd get on with giving me the hysterectomy already, and asked how I'm supposed to manage to get weightoff with the constant bleeding making me feel so dizzy that just sitting up for too long can often make me feel like I'm about to pass out.

They suggested we increase my iron tablets to try and control the anemia. I replied that I don't need more iron, I need less bleeding. They had to admit I was probably right about that. Well, duh!

To cut a long story short, a compramize was reached. They'll tell my doctor to arrange hormone blocker shots for while I'm waiting, which should - hopefully - make the bleeding stop so I can get some exercise without such a high risk of passing out. They don't usually like to do this for someone my age. That's why, when they do the hysterectomy, they'll be taking my womb and not my ovaries. If the shots work, they will temporarily make my body think it's going through menapause, because it will essentially temporarily shut down my ovaries' hormone production. The hormones do more than work the reproductive organs, which is why they leave them to keep working as long as possible when they do a hysterectomy, unless they absolutely have no choice but to remove them for medical reasons (which they don't in my case, since removing my womb will be enough to make the bleeding go away). However, it is potentially a good way to make the bleeding stop - assuming the shots do what they're meant to - and at least I know it's not something they're going to want to leave me having for longer than they have to.

I'm torn on how I feel right now. On the one hand, I'm relieved they finally said yes to the surgery. On the other hand, I'm annoyed that they started in on my weight again, especially when at least 40lbs of my weight is what I've put on over the past few years while fighting them, and that they're using this weight issue as an excuse to avoid doing it quickly.

Anyway, now I have to hope these shots do what they're supposed to, and - quite frankly - have to do everything in my power to try and get some weight off, no matter how I'm feeling. Thankfully, they never gave me a spacific weight goal to reach. They just want to see that I'm trying. I think they're doing it to make me prove that I really would do something about my weight if I didn't have the bleeding to deal with. If the shots do their job, it shouldn't be too bad. If they don't... Well, I'll just have to hope that doesn't happen.

I suppose, if the worse comes to the worse, and the shots don't work like they're supposed to, so I end up passing out while attempting to get some exercise when the bleeding is bad, at least the ambulance ride to hospital will make them get the point. I hope it doesn't come to that though.

Oh, and there's one final condition I have to meet before they'll do the surgery, but it won't need to be worried about until the day I go in to hospital, and is one I don't mind doing, even though it means more hastle for us at the time.

They're insisting it be my next of kin - so that means Kelly - who signs the consent form, because I can't see to read what I'm signing. When I had my eye out, they were content to have the doctor read the consent form to me, and me sign it, while a nurse watched to verify this had been done, and I was signing of my own free will. The gynecologists are not content to do this though. They were willing to do this for the one that gave them permission to put me on the waiting list. I even managed to write my own name clearly enough that they could read it. But the pre-op form is another matter. So, when surgery day comes around, we'll have to arrange a doggy-sitter for Lilie, or put her in doggy daycare for the day, because she has seporation anxiety issues, so leaving her home alone is not an option, especially since Kelly will need to be at the hospital with me for at least a couple of hours, and I doubt they'll speed things up for our convenience.

Basically, they're agreeing to do the surgery, but they're making me jump through their hoops in order to get them to do it. It's unfair, and it's stupid. But it's what they're doing, and I can only do so much to stop them playing their games. Personally, I wish they'd do what needs doing quickly, so I can get on with my life.

I also wish people would realize that being overweight doesn't mean the overweight person is always making poor diet choices. I eat healthily 90% of the time, and don't over eat. My weight issues are due to lack of exercise. Why do people struggle to accept that? Why does everyone keep assuming that I'm overweight because I sit around stuffing my face with junk all day long? Yes, it's the cause of weight issues in many people. But there are other reasons why someone could be overweight too. Why is that so difficult for people to accept?