Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hot Fun in the Summertime

Sly and the Family Stone sang about it in 1969, but “fun” isn’t the appropriate word for this year’s summertime in the Midwest, Mid-South and eastward.  This is the year that spending a vacation on the West Coast would be cool.  And I do mean cool.

Where I live, smack in the middle of the country, we had our hottest days in July, breaking records right and left.  The day after a record breaking official 111 degrees, my AC went out.  It was repaired the next afternoon and we thought we’d never get cool again.  Ten days later, it quit again, and the temp in the house made it to 98 degrees.  It was all anyone talked about for weeks.  And as you can see, we still are!

I shouldn’t complain.  I spent twenty-four years in a farmhouse with no AC.  My oldest was born in what was the hottest summer on record—1980—until that record was broken this summer.  We set several records this year, beating the ones that were set back then.  It was the hottest July we’ve ever had, with twenty-four 100+ degree days.  There have been thirty-six 100+ degree days this year thru July 31.  I live a few miles from the Air Force Base, and the temperature there one day was 114, although not official for the U.S. Weather Service.

It has finally cooled off, at least for a few days.  Today was 91 with a heat index of 98, thanks to 50+% humidity.  Tomorrow will see triple digits again, or at least that's the rumor.

Those in Texas have had it even worse, with no rain since May and drought conditions only getting worse.  I’ve heard there’s been a little rain in some areas.  Linda Warren, I hope you’ve gotten some of it!

We’re expecting a few more 100 degree days here before this is all over.  School started today, and I’m thankful that most schools are air conditioned.  Trying to stay awake in a hot school building can be a struggle, even for the younger set.

If your summer has been hot, hot, hot, relief is on the way…in a few weeks.  And if you’ve been one of the lucky ones with cooler weather, your turn will come, sometime in the future, I’m sure. ☺

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New and improved...or is it?

We recently went to see a little theatre production of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. For those of you not familiar with the story, here’s a brief description:

Ten people are invited to an isolated mansion on a private island. On prominent display in the mansion are copies of a poem about the deaths of ten little soldiers, as well as a grouping of ten small ceramic figurines guessed it. The soldiers. Not long after the guests arrive, they’re cut off from the mainland—and then someone begins murdering them one by one. The circumstances of the murders match the deaths in the poem, and as each victim is claimed, one of the statues goes missing.

The actors were great, the set appropriate to the time period, the mystery as intriguing as ever. They’d even found a clever method of eliminating the statues at the time of each murder. But...

The ending of the play didn’t match the ending of the book.

As a romance writer, I have to say, the different ending to the play satisfied me. But as a long-time mystery reader and a huge Agatha Christie fan, I’ll tell you truthfully, I was crushed. It didn’t help at all for me to learn that the new ending for the play had been written by Agatha herself.

FYI, all this didn’t come as a surprise to me; I’d read the book and seen both the play and movie versions many times before. But, still...

I was crushed. LOL

How do you feel about it when one of your favorite books is turned into a script for the stage or the big or little screen? Are you okay with the new version? Or do you wish they’d stayed true to the original?

All my best to you,



Barbara White Daille

Monday, August 15, 2011


Everyone has stress, no doubt. One person’s is a little different than the next, but we all have it at times. And we all deal with it differently. I have a young friend who shuts down when things get on top of her. She just doesn’t deal with any of it. A boss I had years ago said she methodically dealt with it. She’d pick up something off her desk or open an email and wouldn’t move on until she’d successfully dealt with that one thing. Then she’d go on to the next until she was done. In her mind it was a waste of time to keep opening the same thing numerous times. Just deal was her approach when things were too much. My mother gets snippy and angry. Snaps at anyone about anything and if you try to help her, you’re the one who gets snapped at the loudest. I admit, I learned a bit of that technique growing up, but I’ve tried hard to break it.

When I have a bad time like this summer when it seems that one thing after another goes wrong, I feel out of control. Being somewhat of a control freak, that does not work for me. Often I can’t control the things that are really stressing me out, but I can control a few others. When my grandmother died years ago, I cleaned my house, my car, my mom’s house and her car. And I don’t mean surface cleaned, I mean, deep down get the cobwebs out of the corners clean. Later in years when my boys were teens, my house was always full of kids and chaos. Whatever I organized, just as quickly got disorganized. When I got stressed, I had the cleanest, best organized underwear drawer in the country. It was the only thing in the house that nobody but me touched. But hey, I was totally in control and it helped.

After putting in some extremely long hours at work this week, I was exhausted when I got off Friday night. But did I relax and maybe turn in early? No! I started cleaning. I vacuumed the bugs and spider webs out of the windows, washed the inside of all the windows and shutters, cleaned out a closet, cleaned and polished the kitchen counters, cleaned baseboards, even scrubbed the shower down.

I’m exhausted and my back hurts, but feeling a little less stressed. Since I fully realize that stress is just something we all have to deal with, I’d love some suggestions that maybe are a little less strenuous. Any thoughts?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Stuck on the sofa instead of my big green chair!!

In the hospital, my toes were the only thing looking good!!

Where to start . . .  Right after returning from NYC, I finally went to the doctor about a nagging stomachache that'd been dogging me for a few weeks.  My doctor ordered a gazillion tests, most of which came back fine.  Meanwhile, my formerly nagging tummy was now screaming!!  Weeks and more tests passed and I had surprise gallstone surgery.  I was actually pretty pleased about this, as now that I finally knew what was wrong, I could finally get back to living instead of frowning on the couch!!  The surgery was a great success and soon I was back on my couch, only with the promise that in a matter of days I'd be mostly back to normal.  Hubby was a fantastic nurse and my dogs even managed to stay off the worst of my ouchies!! 

Fast forward a week and I'm off pain meds and guess what's back?  My original stomachache!!  Screaming louder than ever!!  Grrr.  Meanwhile, Hubby landed an amazing new job, which is great, but the downside is a transition in health insurance.  Do we even have it?  Once we got documentation proving we're insured, back to the doctor I went, and next week I'm all set up for a flurry of new tests with a new specialist.  Yay!!

Daisy pouting when I wouldn't let her sleep on my tummy!

Until then, I'm still on the sofa instead of my big green chair.  Seeing friends for a few hours at a baby shower yesterday reminded me how much I'm missing my usual life.  Being upright for three hours might as well have been running a marathon.  I went straight home to sleep.  So far, the only good thing to come of all this is losing a few pounds, but as a diet expert, I know there are far easier ways to diet!!  LOL!!

Have any of you had a mystery illness?  If so, if you don't mind my asking, did it ever get fixed?  I could really use a happy ending about now!!