All According To Plan

Monica had her knee surgery yesterday. It went well. She was feeling little pain today, though Day 2 is supposed to be the worst. Probably released on parole tomorrow at noon.  ;^)

Posted in Uncategorized

Give A Knee, Take A Knee II

If you are reading this Tuesday morning, know that I am currently unconscious and a surgeon is doing noisy and unsettling things to my right knee. Which makes me glad to be unaware of his activities. He’ll be finished soon, and I will wake up and be encouraged to stand and even take a few steps on the new joint. There is an old Kingston Trio song that has the line, “We’re worried now, but we won’t be worried long.” That about describes my state of mind this late Monday afternoon. I am hoping this new adventure in medicine will also at last break the log-jam that my literary brain is trapped in, and I will find myself back in writing mode as the knee heals. I can see where the story needs to go next, and then the plot turnings after that . . .

I did not finish stitching the Christmas stocking. On the other hand, I will have the time to get it done and will have it “finished” (turned into a proper stocking) in time, perhaps, for New Year’s Eve. It’s so pretty, I will hang it up even unto Easter, just because it’s a lovely artifact. Take a look (imagine the top portion done entirely in the color of the red line):


Posted in Uncategorized

Take a Knee, Get a Knee

Went to a longish briefing yesterday with some other candidates for knee replacement. A nurse explained what was going to happen, and went into great detail about things like where to park, what kind of clothing to bring, how therapy would begin as soon as we became conscious after the surgery (seriously!), whether we should try a cane or stick to a walker, etc., etc. Then I had another physical to see if I’m fit for surgery (I am). I remarked to the nurse practitioner that the strengthening exercises I’m doing in preparation for the therapy post-surgery had so stabilized the knee that maybe I don’t need surgery right now. She asked me if I wanted to postpone it for a few months. I thought about it, then said I didn’t want to go through the worry I’m experiencing in anticipation all over again in a few months, so let’s do it now. She noted that delaying it meant the bones were grinding on each other and might complicate the repair, and that made me more certain that Tuesday was the day.  All this kerfuffle about football players “taking a knee” (nobody speaks English anymore, have you noticed?) just makes me think about how a surgeon is going to take the ends off my knee joint – and installing a new one.  What they are doing is genuflecting, which used to be a sign of deep respect.

I am trying very hard to get the Christmas stocking needlepoint piece done by Saturday, which is the deadline to have it “finished” (turned into a real stocking as opposed to a pretty picture painted on canvas) by Christmas

Posted in Uncategorized

Amazing Goose

No doubt about it, fall is here. The trees are changing and those not changing are dropping leaves.

Friday and Saturday I went to Duluth for the annual Episcopal Church in Minnesota Convention. This is my second one and I’m less intimidated by the confusing combination of political and Episcopalian terminology. For example, any motions, amendments, nominations, comments, arguments, suggestions, etc., from the floor are addressed entirely to the bishop and must begin, “Right Reverend Sir!” It was very orderly and decorous, typical Episcopalian behavior. There was a Eucharist Saturday morning with a good sermon in which Ms. Kim reminded the congregation that while the country was in an uproar and civil unrest rampant, it would do all sides good to remember that even the ones you hate and castigate are children of God and much beloved by Him.

I have begun a program of physical exercise designed to strengthen my leg muscles in anticipation of knee replacement surgery October 3. This is in addition to the water exercises I’ve been doing for years. I am surprised at how good it feels to push and lift and shove three mornings a week.

It will also help me prepare the big Michaelmas feast September 29. For the first time in years we have the use of the party room in our building and so can invite a crowd. “Who eats goose on the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels will not want for money for a year.”  It doesn’t make you rich, it just stops the string of fiscal emergencies that haunt so many of us. We’ve been doing it for thirty-odd years and we haven’t had a bankruptcy yet. We sing, “Amazing goose, how sweet the flesh . . .” and say a serious, militant prayer to St. Michael, and eat a big, potluck meal. I stuff my geese with whole cloves of garlic, chopped apple, green grapes, onion, and fresh parsley and roast them in a hot oven. The medieval recipe calls for galingale, and for the first time in a very long while, someone has found a source for it, so there will be an added gingery tang to the stuffing.

Michaelmas is a “quarter day,” one of four that divided the English year – still does, in some respects. They are Lady Day (March 25), Midsummer Day (June 24), Michaelmas (September 29), and Christmas Day (December 25). Wikipedia has an interesting essay on quarter and cross-quarter days.

Posted in Uncategorized

Push, Grunt, Groan

I got my State Fair entry of the happy skeleton dancing through a graveyard back, along with a not-very-helpful score sheet. There was space for commentary, but the judge didn’t write anything. I wish she had, maybe something useful would have been said. I did come close; my friend Tanya got a total score of ninety and earned a ribbon, I only missed it by one.

I am going for my pre-surgery physical exam this morning. October 3, I am having my right knee replaced. I have been working on strength exercises, which I understand make healing go faster and better. They already are improving my mood, which is nice.

Posted in Uncategorized


Work on Tying the Knot has again ground almost to a halt. As usual, I don’t know why, and it’s painfully frustrating. Makes me want to throw my computer away. But what other work can I do? It was, for many years, my one big talent. Now I can only stitch – and not very well (note the lack of ribbons from the State Fair).  No income from that.  Maybe I should get into politics, there seem to be a lot of politicians who wind up very wealthy – plus, I’m very opinionated. (Relax, that’s sarcasm!)

No, I’ll keep struggling with this awhile longer.

Posted in Uncategorized

Piteously Slain and Murdered

“On this day was our good King Richard, late reigning over us, piteously slain and murdered, to the great heaviness of this City.” From the official record of the City of York, England, written in 1485 on the occasion of the death in battle of King Richard III. That was a brave thing to write by, seeing as his successor was Henry Tudor, his bitter enemy. It was reading Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey, while I was living in London back in 1967 or ’68, that set off my serious interest in medieval England.  I have worked King Richard into many of my books.  In The Chronicles of Deer Abbey, my heroine met him!

We intended to rise very early yesterday morning and drive to Kansas City to see the eclipse, but checking the weather report saw that it was to be overcast with thunderstorms, and stayed home instead.

I finished the bunny needlepoint and sent it to my sister. I think it came out well, even if the narrow pinkish frame is done in a near-random series of stitches.


Now on to a rush to finish a Christmas stocking by October 1 so it can be turned into a proper stocking. Right now it’s on a flat piece of canvas. It needs to be lined and given a back. Not that anything will ever be put in it; it’s strictly an ornamental piece.

Posted in Uncategorized