#176–NEW BOOK, trip, health & yard . . .

Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known is finally here. It's my first hardback with dust jacket.

Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known is finally here. It’s my first hard cover book with dust jacket.

On Wednesday, May 6, my new book Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known arrived. At last! I picked up a copy and that evening sat down just to scan through it, and ended up reading it from cover to cover. I loved it! Duh! I’m just a little prejudiced. And Bob, my publisher, loved it too. Neither of us found anything to change and were very happy with the printing––color was right on and everything lined up to be where it was supposed to be.

The next day I went to the Pacific Publishing office and signed the first box of 42 copies. And took four boxes home. This week, I’ll do some phoning and line up some launch activities in the next couple of weeks. Exciting times!

Here I'm signing first copies of Devil Cat at Pacific Publishing office.

Here I’m signing first copies of Devil Cat at Pacific Publishing office.

California trip

I was gone for two weeks to visit family in Bakersfield.  I flew since driving 15 hours is beyond me right now. Carole, the gal who rents my downstairs, drove me to the airport, which I greatly appreciated. Because the walkways at Eugene and San Francisco airports are too long for me to walk with even a small carry-on, I requested and got a wheelchair or transport chair with an attendant to push it. Wow! That’s the only way to go––no waiting in line, special treatment, pre-boarding. Loved it!

Going through San Francisco is always an adventure and this time was no different. The plane I was boarding in Eugene had just arrived from S.F., but needed some mechanical work. Of course, the mechanic they needed was in Salem. By the time he got to the plane, did the repair, and the plane took off, it was two hours behind schedule. And I only had an hour and a half layover in S.F.

I thought I would be stranded there overnight (again), but I wasn’t because of a 12-year old boy traveling alone also flying to Bakersfield. They held the plane for him, since the airline did not want to strand a child traveling alone, and I simply tagged along. When our plane landed, the wheelchair was there and the attendant literally ran while pushing me to the waiting plane with the boy running along behind. They even waited to transfer our bags. I really lucked out!

Here are Jayne and Harry at their wedding with the officiant.

Here are Jayne and Harry at their wedding with the officiant.

While in Bakersfield, I became the caregiver for my mom who seems to be in just as good a shape as  when I last saw her a year ago. (We refer to her as the Energizer Bunny!) I also enjoyed visiting with various members of my family at dinner every night, and attended my brother’s wedding held in my sister’s garden. The weather was quite warm at times in the mid 80s to low 90s, but other times it was in the pleasant 60s and 70s.

During those two weeks, I was up at 6 a.m. each morning and kept busy most days with more cooking than I’ve done in many months and some housework, but not the major cleaning I normally do when I’m there. About my third day in Bakersfield, I developed edema in one leg that seemed serious enough that I called my oncologist. He then called a specialist who recommended I have an ultrasound to see if I had deep vein thrombosis. So my sister and I spent a day in ER at a nearby hospital. We arrived at 10:30 a.m. and by 1 p.m., I had had the ultrasound. But it was 4:30 p.m. before a doctor told me, “I see no problems with your leg; you may go now.” I peppered him with questions before leaving, but he didn’t know why it was happening.

As my dad would say, the whole dam-damly! Back row: me, Edna, Jason, Jayne's sons Hans, and Willie. Front row: Mom, Jayne's mom Betty,  Jayne, and Harry.

As my dad would say, the whole fam-damnly! Back row: me, Edna, Jason, Jayne’s sons Hans, and Willie. Front row: Mom, Jayne’s mom Betty, Jayne, and Harry.

Other than the edema, it was a lovely visit. My mom and I played many hands of gin rummy and the last three days I was there, she beat me more than I beat her. Not bad for being 102 years old.

Going home, low cloud cover in San Francisco caused the flight in Bakersfield to be delayed one and a half hours. Fortunately, this time I had a two-hour layover. I had just enough time in S.F to eat my packed lunch. When we got to Eugene, Carole was at the baggage carousel to greet me. I just love arriving in an airiport and having someone there to greet me.

Health and yard

After I got home, my edema immediately improved. I think the change of humidity and temperature was a big part of it. I still have some swelling in one leg that goes away every night. So I try to put my leg up a couple of times each day. For almost a week after getting home, I was tired. I eventually got caught up on the mail, paying bills, emails, etc. between naps. I just didn’t feel like doing much.

Just a few days after my return was the second Florence Festival of Books meeting. I got notes taken at the meeting in my role as secretary, but it was a week before I got them typed up even though they were on my to-do list every day.

My greenhouse looks like new. Notice lower right corner--that still needs to be cleaned.

My greenhouse looks like new. Notice lower right corner–that still needs to be cleaned.

And I’m still catching up in the yard. Everything is growing like crazy, and it’s time to plant veggies and annuals and that means endless weeding and getting the planting beds ready. Yesterday, both Carole and I were out in the yard. She is also a gardener. I used a shovel and turned over the soil in two beds and then distributed two huge bags of potting soil and one of mushroom compost in each bed. The bush beans that will go there have not sprouted yet, but they will any day now. That was the hardest I’ve worked since last August. It took three shifts with two naps, but I got it done.

Wonderful light now that all the gray scuzzy stuff is gone.

Wonderful light now that the gray scuzzy stuff is gone.

This is May in Florence, which means rhodies are in bloom––both wild and the hundreds of hybrids seen in yards. My rhodies are gorgeous. And my newly cleaned up and refurbished greenhouse is a pleasure to work in. It is filled with mostly tomato plants that I planted before heading to California.

While I was gone, Carole watered the greenhouse every sunny day and made sure its windows and vents were open each day. And her son is the one who refurbished it and has done a lot of my yardwork since January. What a Godsend. He is young and strong. I am still at only about 20% energy levels and hardly any strength. Whenever I work in the yard for a couple of hours, I have to come in and lie down for awhile.

First tomato since this morning on 'Oregon Spting.'

Look closely to see the first  tomato this year within the yellow blossom. I saw it this morning on  the’Oregon Spring’ variety of tomato plant.

When the weather is nice, which it has been, I try to spend some time outside. So my days have been filled with yard work and naps. I’ll end this post with some photos of rhodies.

Notes: If anyone wants to buy a signed and personalized copy of Devil Cat––my first hard cover book––just let me know. Check the menu and click on Books for details.

Also, I’ll be selling copies of all my books at the vendors fair at the Rhododendron Festival next weekend on Maple Street in Florence. Saturday, May 16, 10–6, Sunday, May 17, 10–3.

'Mrs. Furnival" is another favorite. I've had this one at least 25 years.

‘Mrs. Furnival” is a favorite.I planted this one at least 25 years ago.

Lavender colored rhode that is one of my favorites. I think it's called 'Blue Ensign.'

Lavender colored rhodie that is another of my favorites. I think it’s called ‘Blue Ensign.’It’s also about 25 years old.

The red 'Jean Marie'(actually three bushes) in front of the house with the blue lithadora ground cover.

The red ‘Jean Marie'(actually three bushes) in front of the house with the blue lithadora ground cover.These rhodies are at least 32 years old.

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About crossingsauthor

Freelance writer/editor and author of Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges, The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans, and Around Florence. Spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.
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5 Responses to #176–NEW BOOK, trip, health & yard . . .

  1. Evelyn says:

    Why am I not surprised that you hit the ground running? Amazing woman. And CONGRATULATIONS on the new book. I have to have one. Let me know how to accomplish that, please. 🙂

    I bought a little greenhouse in early April that I had to assemble (don’t ask) & immediately filled it up with my have-to-have plants and/or seeds. It’s almost impossible to grow veggies this close to the ocean, so a greenhouse is a must. Everything is growing like mad and the seeds have taken off as well. I love working in it each day; it’s like relaxing in a mini sauna.

    So delighted to hear you’re out & around. You’ll only get stronger! xoxo

    • Judy Fleagle says:

      Send check for $24.95 plus $3.50 shipping ($28.45) and make it out to Crossings. And I will mail a copy. Please email me your mailing address. I think you will thoroughly enjoy it. Do you want me to personalize it? I have already signed all of the opened box of books. So it will be signed.

      I’m not exactly running. I work a couple of hours outside, come in and rest, eat lunch, work some more and come in and rest. Sometimes I lie down under the quilt on the bed and go sound asleep for as much as two hours. And then sleep okay that night. Today I took notes at the FFOB meeting and then ran numerous errands and came home and put stuff away, fixed, ate, and cleaned up from dinner and will be able to type up the minutes. Last week, that would have been beyond me. So I am getting stronger–gradually. Tomorrow, I start back as a two days a month docent at the museum. I haven’t been there since last September. I’m looking forward to it.

      I love having a greenhouse–even though mine is located where it only receives sun from March thru Oct (absolutely none in winter). So it is empty of plants in winter. Enjoy your greenhouse. I’m so glad you have one.

      • Judy Fleagle says:

        I counted more carefully today, and I have eight tomatoes hiding within their yellow blossoms!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Hope says:

    Great post, Judy. But I can’t figure out the tomato plant caption…

    • Judy Fleagle says:

      If you look closely (or click on to enlarge), you can see the little tomato within the blossom. It is my first tomato this year and I saw it this morning on the ‘Oregon Spring’ variety. This variety is usually the first to bloom and have tomatoes, but usually not until July–so this is GREAT! I also don’t usually plant my plants till early May and this year I did in early April, still, this is way early to be having actual tomatoes forming. But, hey, I’m not complaining!

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