Friday, May 29, 2020

#Covid19 Experiences; My #Coronavirus Diaries: May 2020 Check-In

We spent most of a day and night without water a few weeks ago, because there was an "incident" near the local reservoir.  I don't know for sure what happened, but it resulted in the entire town either being without water or having such low water pressure they might as well have been.  It took them most of the day to fix it, and half the night to get the system up and running properly again.  I only know as much as I do about it from social media.

There was no warning, so we had no time to fill things with water before it happened. The first I knew there was a problem was when we tried to do something with water and couldn't.  Then, when I called the water company to find out why my water wasn't running, I was told there was an incident in my area (though not what kind of incident it was) and that bottled water was being sent out.  I was not, however, told you had to request said bottles of water, and only learned later you had to call a special number and ask for some.  Luckily, as it happened, we had a couple of big bottles of water on hand, "Just in case," so we managed OK.  I really think, "If you need the water, please call this number," should have been part of the information given to those who called the company, since I happen to know many of my neighbours also assumed water was automatically being sent out, and not all of them were lucky enough to have bottles of water on hand as we did.

Anyway, we're doing OK.  No health issues but the usual ones.  Although I cut my hand a couple of weeks ago, and was worried for a bit it was infected.  I managed to clear it up though, and it's healing nicely now.

As for mentally/emotionally... Well, I'm doing a bit better, though still having sleeping issues because of anxiety and stress causing nightmares and making it difficult to switch off properly at bed time.  I'm functioning better in general though, and actually have the desire to do more than hide away in a corner with the petkids, so that's a step in the right direction.

In local virus related news:

Despite the fact the death toll is more than 35,000 in the UK, though with thankfully only a very small number of those cases in my area (I haven't checked the exact numbers in the past several days, so can't give you them, but I do know my area is one of the ones with the least number of cases in the country) lockdown has been eased in England, with plans for it to ease further in stages over the next couple of months.

I specify "England" because it hasn't in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, which are officially part of the UK, but have their own people in charge of them, and whether or not those people do what the Prime Minister (currently Borris Johnson, if you don't know) tells them to do, generally depends how they feel about it.

So, if you're a UK resident, depending on where you live in the UK, you can either go out as much as you like as long as you social distance, wash your hands while singing, "Happy birthday," etc.  Or can still only go out for essential trips and a short bit of exercise each day.  Because, despite being known as the "United" Kingdom, we currently aren't united, even if we only look at the government.

Other sites and blogs cover everything better than I could, whether you want to check in on official news sites, or on blogs - these pandemic updates are usually good ways to keep reasonably up to date in a way that allows you to keep some of your sanity, for example - so I'll leave it there.  Especially since I've been attempting to keep what remains of my own sanity by not checking the news every day.  It helps with the anxiety somewhat.

Regardless of what's going on that I either know about and wish I didn't, or missed hearing about, I live in a place where the lockdown has been eased.  Although, other than this past Tuesday, when a certain situation that couldn't wait for the pandemic to be over before it was dealt with - which I'll talk about another day, when I understand it all myself - caused me to need to spend over an hour on the seafront by myself with Lilie and Logan, since it was the only way we could deal with it and still observe social distancing, I still haven't been going out much.  Mind you, I never went out an awful lot even before the virus showed up, so... *shrugs*

Lockdown or no, we also would have had to have someone come in last Friday, because our toilet broke.  The flusher button thingy broke.  Yeah, I know, real technical sounding, I don't think.  Hey, I'm not a plumber.  Though with our luck with bathrooms maybe I should consider becoming one.  Anyway, when it was being fixed a crack in the toilet itself was noticed, so we ended up with a completely new toilet being installed.  Lucky the flusher part went first, since a cracked toilet wouldn't have been pleasant.  At least the guy doing that only needed access to the bathroom, so I could stay home and still observe social distancing for that one.

In other news:

We still have to line up to go in the shops where we are, since social distancing means only a certain number of people can go in at once.  Most people in our area are being good about it, lining up nicely, waiting patiently for their turn, only grabbing what they need, etc.  But there are still those who get annoyed at not being able to just walk right in regardless of how many others have been waiting, or how many people are already in there, make return trips to buy up as much as possible of certain things (or shop in groups, while pretending to be individual shoppers, so they can get more than they should that way) and so on.  We just keep out of it, line up patiently, only buy what we need, and so on.  Well, I say, "We," but it's still just Kelly fetching things from the shops.

By the way, I was still getting my fruit and vegetables box, but as of this week we've decided to just have Kelly go fetch what I need from the local fruit and veg shop every few days, because I was having some bits left at the end of each box, and it's now reached the point where I didn't have one come this week, but still have enough stuff to feed me for most of this week, plus some extra bits of fruit and such I put in the freezer to stop it going bad.  If I was on my own, I'd still continue the box, but maybe change the frequency or amount, but Kelly wants to go fetch the stuff for me, and the fresh air and vitamin D will do him good, so I agreed he could.

Anyway, in other food news: after several experiments with coconut flour, I decided I'll go without flour rather than buy that again, since we were never happy with the results, regardless of what we did with it.  So I was relieved when Kelly was able to find me some proper flour during one of his trips to the local shops.  I celebrated by having my first attempt at making cinnamon buns.  My veganization of the recipe needs a bit of work, and they were a bit flat due to a lack of yeast, but here's a photo of my first attempt at making them anyhow:

Despite needing some work, they were still better than most of what I tried to do with the coconut flour, and they did taste pretty good.  But, when I can get some yeast, I'll try again, making the adjustments Kelly and I discussed I need to make to my veganized version of the recipe, which I'm sure will be an improvement.

Our anniversary meal was perfect though.

It was our 17th wedding anniversary last Friday (May 22nd) and Kelly went and picked up food for us from Oscars, which he brought home for us to eat here, since we still aren't allowed to eat at cafes yet, and anyway think it's too soon to start doing so, whatever the government says.  I always love food from Oscars, and this time was no exception.  We were both happy to have that be our anniversary meal of choice.

That's all we really did for our anniversary, to be honest: had a meal neither of us had to cook or wash the dishes after.  Oh, and we also gave each other money to spend on whatever we wanted.  But that was good enough for us.

I mean, that's all we've done most years anyhow, so we probably wouldn't have done much more than that even if it wasn't for the current circumstances.  We do things for and with each other all the time, so - though we do like to acknowledge our anniversary - we don't feel the need to make a big fuss over it.  We missed having the option to go out for the meal, but beyond that were happy with how we acknowledged and celebrated having been married for 17 years.  Even if I'm still baffled as to why he's not sick of me yet.

Mind you, I have to admit, not spending a large chunk of our wedding anniversary dealing with the replacement of our toilet would have been nice, regardless of what else we may or may not have done instead.  Just saying.

Anyway, there's not really much else to say, so I'm going to let this do.  Before I end this post though, here are a couple of recent puppy photos, just to make sure I'm ending on a positive note.  Enjoy!

So, how are things were you are? And how are you doing yourself? Happy and healthy, I hope?

Thursday, May 28, 2020

#AmReading + #AmWatching + #AmListening - Media Shares And #Reviews 28-05-20

Picking five favorite books is like picking the five body parts you'd most like not to lose
~Neil Gaiman

Welcome to this week's weekly media shares and reviews post!

*Disclaimer: no matter what's being reviewed, all opinions in this post are entirely my own, and I reserve the right to have them, regardless of who may or may not share them. Feel free to express your own in the comments, but please respect my right - and the rights of other commenters - to have opinions that might differ from yours, and to express those opinions too.

Also, please remember that I read/watch/listen to things in a variety of genres, and for all ages, so you should make sure you check that the book/movie/show/song is suitable for the intended audience before reading/watching/listening to it, especially if children are involved. I take no responsibility for anything which may happen as a result of failing to do so.

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. Please bear in mind that the format I've reviewed on Goodreads may not be the format I actually read.

Alternatively, if it's a movie or TV show you want to know more about, just click on the title 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.

Unless otherwise stated, all music videos are via YouTube.

OK. Let's see what I've been reading, watching, and listening to, and which song I'm going to share this week, shall we? After all, that's the point of this post, and why you're here today, right?

  • Reading:
This week I've been reading "An Echo In The Bone" - the 7th book in the "Outlander" series.  I haven't finished it yet though, and I didn't read anything else this week, so I don't have any book reviews to share with you today.

  • Watching:

This week I watched "Dumbo" (the 2019 version).  This was the first time I'd seen this one, though I've seen the old one several times.  There's more of the touching message in the new one, so I loved the ending of it better.  On the other hand, most of the movie wasn't as good as the old one, and was only, "Good... Not great," meaning I enjoyed it, but didn't love it - apart from the ending.  With that in mind, I give it four out of five stars.


  • Listening:
This week I've been listening to 90s pop music again.  So, here's a song by my favourite band from that time, and another I've seen live in concert: Boyzone.  Since I couldn't decide on a song to share, I'm sharing the first Boyzone song that comes up when I search for them on the thing for adding a video via YouTube, which is "No Matter What" (at least, it is today, though they don't always show up search results in the same order).  Anyway, enjoy!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

#WriterWednesday: #WritersLife + Writerly #Quotes And Links + Last Chance For The #AuthorsGiveBack #Sale - #AmWriting 27-05-20

Along with writing a few new poems - including the one Lilie and I posted last week -I managed to finish the formatting for the versions of "Snowlilie's Brother" - the story inspired by Lilie and Logan - over the past couple of weeks.

To be honest, I officially could have done a release for today, or even this coming weekend, so as to make it in time for my original deadline of the end of May.  It wouldn't have been too difficult, since the Smashwords version was already uploaded by this time last week, and the Kindle edition and distributed versions weren't far behind.  But I decided not to.  For one thing, holding off until early June gave me time to guarantee I'd have more than just the Smashwords and Amazon links for the eBook versions ready for the announcement post, and for another it allowed me to release the book on the anniversary of when Logan joined our family.  Considering Logan joining the family is what the story is all about, I thought the first anniversary of when Logan came home was an appropriate date, and might have even aimed for that date in the first place if I'd thought about it before.  So, "Snowlilie's Brother" is to be officially released on June 9th 2020.  The eBook version anyhow, since the audio and paperback versions will take a bit longer to organize.  In fact, the eBook version is already available to pre-order from some of the places; feel free to check out the Smashwords and Kindle versions I've linked to in this paragraph if you'd like to pre-order a copy, or even just have a sneak peek at the cover and book blurb.

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world. ~Robin Williams

OK. Let’s see what I have to share with you this week.


The writing process, and writing life in general:

"When stories nestle in the body, the soul comes forth."
~Deena Metzger
"A writer’s duty is to register what it is like for him or her to be in the world."
~Zadie Smith

The dreaded 'E' word = Editing

"Every little detail you can smuggle with you into your fiction makes your world more real to your reader."
 ~Neil Gaiman


The business side of writing:

"Trust your reader. Not everything needs to be explained. If you really know something, and breathe life into it, they'll know it too."
~Esther Freud

Don't forget: my books are still on sale, though only for a few more days.  So, grab my poetry and children's stories for $2.00 or less - in some cases completely free - via Smashwords by going to my Smashwords author profile.  But hurry, because you only have a few more days, since the sale ends this coming Sunday (May 31st 2020).

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

12 #AmReading #Book Themed #Quotes

People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.
~Logan Pearsall Smith

People can lose their lives in libraries. They ought to be warned.
~Saul Bellow

Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you.
~Louis L’Amour

No. I can survive well enough on my own—if given the proper reading material.
~Sarah J. Maas

It’s not that I don’t like people. It’s just that when I’m in the company of others – even my nearest and dearest – there always comes a moment when I’d rather be reading a book.
~Maureen Corrigan

Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them.
~Arnold Lobel

Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.
~Jane Smiley

Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.
~Henry David Thoreau

Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.
~George Bernard Shaw

Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words!
~Betty Smith

It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own.
~Arthur Conan Doyle

I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once.
~C.S. Lewis

Monday, May 25, 2020

#MondayMotivation - #Quotes + Words Of #Wisdom 25-05-20

Once the game is over, the king & the pawn go back in the same box.
~Italian Proverb

Have more than you show. Speak less than you know.
~William Shakespeare

What lies behind us & what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
~Martin Luther King

A wise person speaks first with his actions, second with his mouth.
~Dr. Partha Nandi

There is never a better measure of what a person is than what he does when he's absolutely free to choose.
~William M. Bulger

No one has ever made himself great by showing how small someone else is.
~Irvin Himmel

The only thing that is more expensive than education is ignorance.
~Ben Franklin

Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life.
~Henry L. Doherty

In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future.
~Eric Hoffer

Difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson.
~Tom Bodett

The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.

Friday, May 22, 2020

PetKid Pals: Campbell

Hi everyone.  This is Lilie the Westie.


I have a new friend for you to meet today.  We haven’t had a friend visit for a while.  It’s not because of that Avirus situation the humans are all talking about either, since Mummy says online friends don’t count in that, since you’re already social distancing from them.  Good thing, since we’re still sort of locked down here, I think.  I hope you understood all that, because I can’t explain, since I don’t fully understand it all myself.


Anyway, today’s PetKid Pal is called Campbell.  Or maybe Bubba.  You know what? I’m actually not sure which it is, so let’s ask him, shall we?


Hello, friend.  What’s your name? If you have an unusual name, or there’s an interesting story behind it, I’d love to hear about it, and am sure others would too, so please share.


“Hi, my name is Bubba, well, Bubba is the nickname m    ade of love that my human mother gave to me. My real name is King Campbell-Lee, Seeing Eye Dog. Something I must tell you though, is that I was not always a king. It wasn’t until my mother loved me that I became s    o.”


Well, that explains it.  At least that’s easier to understand than most of what the humans are saying and doing right now.  Anyway, Campbell – I’m going to call you Campbell, since Bubba sounds like a special name between you and your human - what species and breed(s) are you?


“I’m a Dog, black Labrador.”


Ah, yes, of course.  For those who aren’t familiar with the breed, please describe your appearance.


“I am quite long and muscular. I’ve rich, dark, black, shiny, plush fur, and when I stand on all fours, I come almost to my human mother’s knee.

My eyes are a dark brown, and I’ve floppy ears, which my human mother is always kissing because they have little tufts of curls behind them. She calls them her “little curlies.”

*Embarrassed Doggy 😊*”


Yeah… Humans do that kind of thing a lot.  Especially the female humans.  You should see my Mummy with my brother’s floppy ears… It’s embarrassing! Look at Campbell all handsome in his king outfit though:

Hey, Campbell, where do you live? What sort of place do you live in? Who do you share it with? Do any other animals live with you? Or is it just you and your human?


“I live with my mommy in a neat little house in the great land of Kingsport Tennessee which is in the United States. I even have my very own room.

We do not have any pets. When I first came to live with my human mother, who I call mommy, we did have another dog, named Rocky, and two cats, named, Celine Kitty, and Kitty Bob, but Rocky became unhappy being left alone all the time, while my mother and I went out and about town, to that place my mommy called work, so we helped him find another wonderful home to live in, and he has his very own kingdom, with his very own people.

Celine Kitty, and Kitty Bob, have gone onto the Rainbow Bridge, where all is peace and love, and sad though it is, from there, unless they come in their spirit selves, they may never return. I must say, Celine Kitty does come every now and then, in her spirit self, just to make sure I do not forget just how very fun and at times, annoying cats can be.”


That’s nice.  I know some animals who went across the rainbow bridge, but none of them come back to see me.  Maybe it’s for the best, especially if spirit animals are as likely to steal my ball as my little brother is.  I wouldn’t like that.  Something I would like though is to know more about you.  So, tell me, what’s your favorite thing to do?


“When I was still a working Seeing Eye Dog my favorite thing to do was to take my human mother all the places she wanted or needed to go.

I am retired now, so I love spending my days going on leisurely sniff fests alongside my mommy who now uses her cane to tap out the way, taking long lazy naps in the sun, eating good food, and getting lots of toys which my human mother and I play with every evening after she is through with her work.”


Oh, that sounds wonderful! It’s great you were able to help your Mommy so much, but also nice you’re retired now and get to focus on naps and more leisurely walks.  What about playing though? Do you have a favorite toy? If yes, what is it?


“My favorite toy is my Squeaky Sheep. I call him Sheepy. My next favorite is Mr. Squeaky Duck, and last but not at all least is Mr. Knots. He is a Kong Monster but one of my human mother’s friends named him Mr. Knots. I’m not sure why, but it stuck, and I must have him to go to sleep at night.”

They all sound like wonderful toys.  How about food? What is your favorite food?


“What’s my favorite food? Are you kidding? I do not know how to answer that! Goodness Sakes! I’m a Labrador! Everything is good!”


Fair enough.  Well then, what’s the one thing your human does that you love the most?


“My human mother has written a song just for me. She sings it to me every night before we go to sleep or when I am not feeling well. Sometimes she sings it just cause she wants to, but that’s my favourite thing.

The song is called, ‘You Are My Bubba’ and it goes…

“You are my Bubba, my great big bubba.

You make me happy every-day.

You’ll never know, my great big bubba, how much I love you, and in my heart, you always, will stay.

And, together, every-day, you and I will, work, and play.”

Now that I’m retired she always ends it by telling me that although the way we do things has changed, that we’re still working together when we go on our sniff fests and I love that she reminds me because sometimes I miss the work we did together.”


That’s really lovely.  I love that you have a special song.  I bet there are things she does that you don’t like though.  So, what’s the one thing your human does you hate most?


“I hate it, when my nose smells the best smell ever, and my human mother says, “Leave it!” and makes me walk away. Gees! Humans! I mean seriously!”


Oh, I totally get that! So annoying, isn’t it?


By the way, Campbell, your human is a writer/blogger.  Has she written anything about you? If yes, can you tell us about it? If no, do you think she will in the future?


 “My human mother wrote a book. It is called, Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life.

It tells the story of how she and I came together and what happened after.

Later, once the two of us were used to each other, we wrote a book together.

It’s my story. I told it and my human mother wrote it for me.

It is called Bubba Tails from the Puppy Nursery At The Seeing Eye.

It is my tale/tail of what it was like for me to grow up and become a Seeing Eye Dog.

Later I’ll share the information about that book.”


That’s fantastic! So, when you aren’t helping her write your book, what do you do while your human writes, or works on blog posts?


“When mom is working I like to snooze on the loveseat in the living room under the window, or, if it’s a pretty day and mom has the windows open I like to lay on the bed by the window in my room and sniff the breeze as it flows through. I like knowing what’s going on in my kingdom and sniffing is the best way to find out.”


That’s very true, and a great way to pass the time while she’s working.


Right, as much as I’m enjoying chatting to you, we should probably end this now.  Before we do though, is there anything else you’d like people to know about you?


“I want all people everywhere to know all they can know about Seeing Eye Dogs, and all their wondrous powers. Before I go, I just want to say, that I’m awfully glad to have been given this opportunity to speak. Many times, I have things to say, but because no one asks me, I must remain silent.


I’d also like to share just a little more about when I was born and the land from where I come. So, below is what my human mother calls an author bio.

After that please keep reading to learn about my human mother and all the work she does., and before I forget, thank you for interviewing me. It was great fun.”


You’re very welcome.  I’m glad you could come over for a visit, and hope some of your friends will too.  Mummy loves to let those of us who aren’t human have their say.  That’s why she let me start doing these interviews.





King Campbell was born in Chester N.J. November, 28 2008.

He lived with his Dog Mother and Litter Mates until he was approximately eight weeks old, and then he went to live with his Puppy Raisers.

Then, when he was just over a year-old he was taken away from his Puppy Raiser family by a wise and ancient trainer, so he could go and live in the magickal and ancient land of The Seeing Eye, where his training truly began.

After only four short months he was chosen to become the guide of his now human mother Patty L. Fletcher author of the book shown below.  He now lives in the land of Kingsport Tennessee with her, and there they live a wonderful life.  They have many magickal and at times challenging adventures, but through it all King Campbell does his very best to keep all he loves safe from harm.




Bubba Tails from the Puppy Nursery at The Seeing Eye Written by Patty L. Fletcher Told by, King Campbell Lee - The Seeing Eye Dog AKA Bubba

Fall 2017

In this magical and love-filled tail, King Campbell AKA Bubba travels to the puppy nursery at The Seeing Eye to help ready a group of puppies who are just about to embark on the fabulous journey of learning to become Seeing Eye dogs. Just as he is about to finish his tail, a wee pup becomes very frightened of all that lies ahead, and one frightfully stormy night she runs away! Will King Campbell hear the urgent call from the puppy nursery in time? Will they find her and save her so she can fulfill her destiny?

The use of Tail instead of Tale for story and Magik instead of Magic is intended for these short stories. A great play on words from King Campbell.

Currently on sale until the end of May at:



Patty L. Fletcher lives in Kingsport Tennessee where she works full time as a Writer with the goal of bridging the great chasm which separates the disAbled from the non-disAbled. And as a Social Media Promotional Assistant.

She is the owner and creator of Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing (Author, Blogger Business Assist), and is the published author of two books, Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life and Bubba Tails From the Puppy Nursery At The Seeing Eye: Volume One.

She can also be found in two anthologies which are, December Awethology Light

And A Treasure Chest of Children’s Tales.

She is now working on her third book which is to be a memoir trilogy called, ‘Pathway To Freedom: Broken and Healed’.

For more details visit:




Campbells Rambles


Corner the Comfort Zone.

Patty & Pals

Bob-Cat And Friends

A most excellent interview


Anthology Links

December Awethology Light

A Treasure Chest of Children’s Tales


Legal Notes THE SEEING EYE® and SEEING EYE® are registered trademarks of The

Seeing Eye, Inc:




I hope you enjoyed getting to know Campbell – AKA Bubba – and his human, Patty.  If you enjoyed their post, please share it around, leave them a nice comment, or both.  I’m sure it will make them very happy.  I know it will make me and my Mummy happy, that’s for sure.


If you’re a bird, cat, chinchilla, degu, dog, fish, gerbil, guinea pig, hamster, rabbit, rat, tortoise, or any other non-human animal, and you share your home with a human calling themselves a writer – yes, blogging counts – and you’d like to be a PetKid Pal too, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  To learn how, go to the “PetKid Pals” page, where you can also see all the posts for the previously featured PetKid Pals.


Lots of licks,