Thursday, February 27, 2014

Pizza Anyone?

Chloe look-a-like from the web.
I am restless. That is a great sign I am doing well. I can't rest much longer, although technically I have to take it easy. Next week I find out if I can drive. I've occupied myself with promoting my new book, Danger In Her Words, online and am working on my dog memoir. Later today I will post on my book blog, Book Talk With Barbara Barth, where I love to promote other authors. Perhaps I'll list on Ebay. When you are confined to your home with six canine companions it is a great time to think about the past and look towards the future. Surgery has a way of putting things in perspective. It also is a bit tedious if you are used to going full speed ahead! My wheels are spinning...but I am in park.
Friends have visited, their bright smiles making me happy. I spent the entire day before surgery cleaning a house that has needed to be cleaned for two years. Not of dirt, I do sweep and dust, but of all the merchandise that needed to leave my house so people could fit in. My antique dealer friends understand what that is all about. I find it amazing that it took a bit of surgery to open up more than I realized. I've wanted to entertain in my home, but between the dogs and my stuff, it has been talk, just talk. Now it is a reality.
How funny to me that last Saturday night, in my jammies, surrounded by dogs, a good friend came over for dinner and a movie. A first in, hmmm...four years. The dogs behaved well, the movie was hysterical. I laughed until I thought my sides would split, a pillow tucked close to my stomach. Then, later, alone, I looked at my sparkling hardwood floors, the gentle light from a few lamps highlighting their sheen, my antique cottage pieces no longer stacked high with 'stuff', and the art on my walls nodding back to me as if to say...about damn time.
The dogs are slowly bossing me around again. First Chloe had her breakdown and had to sleep with me. Two nights later I heard Bertha barking in her crate in the living room. It was three in the morning. I think she'd had it sleeping away from the others. She is crated at night, but in the bedroom. She felt exiled in the living room. I pulled myself out of bed and stumbled into the living room. "Good girl, Bertha." I reached down, bending as little as possible, and unhooked her crate. Bertha, all seventy-five pounds of her, trotted down towards the bedroom and into her open crate. She did a few circles, plopped down, and went to sleep. I pulled myself back into my bed.
Ten minutes later the racket from the sunroom was more than I could ignore. I pulled myself back up (and that is the hardest part of my surgery, getting up and down). Annabelle, my dear old hound, was barking, she could not find a spot on the couch, the others were there. I let Annabelle follow me back up the hall. She got her chunky butt up on the low bench at the foot of my bed, crawled under my quilt, and fell asleep. Chloe, of course, had to screech a few minutes that Annabelle crawled into the very spot Chloe had been sleeping. I pulled myself back to bed. We all slept well.
Three dogs back in the bedroom, three more to come. I'm getting there slowly.
The day looms ahead. I'll be here by myself with the dogs, figuring what to do to feel in touch with civilization. I have been so fortunate that my best friend for years, is a chef. She prepared twenty-six individual cooked and frozen gourmet meals, and I have eaten the healthiest and tastiest food one could imagine. I'd have been lost without her kindness, for I never cook and my cupboards are bare. (except for vintage treasures tucked in where food should be!).

I've been very good. Eating the right foods, not drinking soda, glass after glass of water. I feel good. My system loves how healthy I've been eating. My mind is tempting me today. Be bad, have fun. Should I, could I, would I? I think the answer is yes.
Tonight I'm thinking Pizza. Anyone care to join me?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dogs Know

Chloe look-a-like from the web.
My dogs know something is up. They are behaving themselves and stepping lightly around my body that is tucked up on the large wing chair, rather than sprawled out on my Tommy Bahama sofa, where we normally pile up most nights and watch TV as a group. Things are different this week. I had surgery on Monday. The dogs can not jump on me. They watch with gentle eyes and go back to sleeping on anything other than me. A sense that I am not quite well has taken over their normal wild ways, and they wait patiently for this to pass, and life to get back to normal.
They are not allowed in the bedroom just yet either. Our ritual of running down the hall, jumping on the bed, each dog in the exact spot they have slept on over the years, has changed. A temporary change. Again, they understand and wait.
Except for Chloe, my little eight pound Chihuahua. She did well with the pack in the sunroom, the room I spend my days on the computer, Tuesday night, my first night home from the hospital. Wednesday night we had a dog freak-out. In the wee morning hours Chloe started to screech at the top of her tiny lungs. I eased myself out of bed, the way they showed me in the hospital to stretch and roll to get my feet on the floor, than padded down the hallway to see what had happened to cause the ruckus. I opened the door and Chloe flew out like a rabid animal, dashing up and down the hallway, her eyes bugging out of her fawn colored head, that tiny pink tongue poking out of her mouth, her ears pinned back and low. She ran one end to another, then sprinted up on my bed and ran in circles until she dropped on my quilt, exhausted.
I went back down the hall and closed the sunroom door, as five heads poked up, five tales wagged, and five dogs continued to huddle together, sleeping, undisturbed by the sounds of an eight pound dog gone crazy.
Chloe would not leave the bed. And I decided she did not have to. I moved onto my bed in a sitting position, then eased down to sleep. Chloe curled up by my side. Her breathing gentle now. Her forever place by my side secured.  We both slept quietly and deeply until the morning.
Week one of surgery almost behind me. Things are going well thanks to my friends who have brought me food,  a pet-sitter who comes by to feed the dogs and let them out several times a day, and a pack of silly hounds who have surprised me yet again with life lessons on understanding.

Friday, February 14, 2014

ChickLitLove Valentine'sTweetathon

Check out the Valentine's Tweetathon on Twitter #ChickLitLove and find some wonderful authors and their books! I've joined in, but my knowledge of Twitter leaves much to be desired. But a gal can learn! Proud to be included in ChickLitChat on Facebook!

Let the tweets begin. . . . I think!

Danger In Her Words was released on February 12th. Currently in paperback only, but look for Kindle next week! On Amazon .

Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Reading!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

"Danger In Her Words" Published In Time For Valentine's Day. A Romantic Romp!

Paperback on Amazon. Kindle coming week of February 17th.
The best of news on a snowed-in day in Georgia. My book is now available on Amazon. A work of fiction, a bit girly, sassy, sexy, and fun, I am so happy to have finished it. My life since spring has been centered on writing, re-writing, and editing. An anticipated publication date of Christmas with a marketing theme of 'naughty or nice' got postponed until Valentine's Day.  I think it is the perfect romp for the most romantic holiday of the year!

A TV sitcom pitch gone wrong turns dog-column writer Susan Meyers in a tailspin. Sex Sells was the topic of the day at the writers’ convention. Susan decided to try something new and a steamy romantic novel seemed just the answer. A widow who hadn’t dated in three years, Susan was out of practice with men and sex. She turned to an online dating site to find inspiration for her book and unleashed a predator with the words she wrote. Tucked an hour away from her friends in a small town where she kept to herself, with only her tiny dog for company, Susan felt safe from the world. Little did she know her life was about to change.
 A romp of a story about writing and finding yourself in this book within a book. If you love girl-talk, farmhouses, antiques, country towns, a touch of murder, a sprinkle of suspense, and a bit of naughty fun, come join Susan as she learns about life from her character Jamie. Two widows looking for love in all the wrong places might still get it right if they live long enough.
Book and cover design by pd king design. Published by Gilbert Street Press.

Friday, February 7, 2014

My Hysterical Hysterectomy – Or Surviving Surgery With Six Dogs

Trust me. I promise not to hurt you.

   So, my big idea to start off 2014 by kicking it in the ass has a set-back. Surgery is in the cards for me. I’ve actually postponed it, knowing it was lurking out there, figuring if I ignored it, it would go away. I had bigger things to do late 2013, the biggest was completing my novel. I was assured waiting was not a worry as it is preventative surgery and not labeled as anything more than it is. Which is enough in my book. I am sure that down the road I will be happy that this is off my bucket list of things I really never planned, nor wanted to do. In the scheme of things it is a mere bump in the road. It does take a bite out of my favorite chant, no pain, no pain.

    My book will be available on Amazon and Kindle by Valentine’s Day. I’ve given birth to my first work of fiction and am excited. Then three days later I head to the hospital for my surgery. I was given the opportunity of going home at night or staying in the hospital overnight. What made my decision for me? Time. To come home that night I had to be at the hospital at 5:30 am. Seriously? That was harder to get my head around than the fact by the next day a part of me would be gone. So I opted to come in at 10 am and spend the night being catered to in my hospital bed. Which actually made everyone I know happy. No one wants me to go home to my house alone. I live with six dogs and my friends, who have never met my pack, are horrified I will be dealing with dogs as I deal with recovery. To tell you the truth, it worries me too.

    My dogs are my kids and my family. Try to explain to the medical community that you have six dogs, six dogs who are pretty finicky in their routines, six dogs that sleep in bed with me, the smallest, my seven pound Chi insists on curling up on my stomach. And that there are no other humans in the house to help. They don’t get it. I finally looked at the physician’s assistant and put it in words she might get. “It is like I have six babies at home that need to be fed, cleaned up after, and played with.

     “I thought you never had children.” She looked up from her chart.

      Really. She still wasn’t listening. Perhaps in Pre-Op on Monday they’ll get it. I need to know what to expect so I can keep my house in order.

     I have made some preliminary arrangements. My pet sitter will be with my dogs while I am alone in the hospital. They have a slumber party scheduled, I have a quiet night in room number (tbd) whatever. I guess I’ll finally discover what everyone who has spent a night in the hospital knows, it is not quiet or restful. On the bright side, perhaps there will be drugs.

     My medical issues over my life have been minimal. I have had one other surgery. Looking back, a book was paramount at that time too. In 2010 after my big launch party for The Unfaithful Widow, which was a grand fete at a bed and breakfast in Atlanta in honor of Animal Rescue, I ran into my kitchen in my bare feet and slipped on dog pee. After landing hard on my padded butt I realized I’d dislocated my shoulder. It was hard to miss, my left shoulder protruded out so far I got very scared. The hospital is within a sneeze of my house and my neighbor drove me over to the ER. I sat there alone, a small morphine drip, chattering that it was dog pee on my butt, I had not actually peed myself. The drugs took hold while I waited for three hours to see a doctor. In that short time I sold a few books by telling the staff that kept checking on me I had just published my book. If I had only realized there would be an interest, I could have packed a few copies to take with me. But wait, I was in terrible pain! Not only had I dislocated my shoulder, I tore my rotator cuff. I had surgery within the month. My dogs tiptoed on all four paws when I came home from the ER. “Who peed?” My tone was sharp. Their sweet faces told me all I needed to know, I would never know. I better learn to tread lightly or wear shoes.

     So, within a few days of my new book, Danger In Her Words, being released, history will repeat itself. I will have surgery. Easy-peasy I’ve been told. It’s a non-invasive procedure. I am waiting for my list of do’s and don’ts. I am sure top on that list will be, don’t let the dogs sleep with you! And so it will begin. My Hysterical Hysterectomy Recovery. Stayed tuned for the continuing posts if you have the stomach for it!

    On a note, I have a wonderful group of friends that have offered to help. I find it interesting that I am shy about having them in my home to see what life with six dogs entails. I am sure I will get over that as soon as my wimp factor hits.