Update and stuff

The last of my beta readers has reported in and I am going to do some revising before the last tasks of proofreading and formatting, but even so by this time next month Dancing on Coals ought to be available unless I fall on my face or come down with something.

In one of the many internet places I haunt someone posted about a free book not too long ago. Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart. The Kindle version is free, so I hopped to Amazon and downloaded it. Don’t know if any of you would be interested. It’s not romance but a collection of letters written by a woman widowed with a small child who decides to try homesteading in Wyoming in 1909. There were a good many things I found interesting about it.

First, there were quite a few idiomatic expressions that were absolutely foreign to me, some of which I never did figure out. Next, the homesteading wasn’t quite the way you’d think of it with her going off into the wilds to try to survive. What she did was take a job as a housekeeper for a man who had already homesteaded. That gave her a safe harbor. Then she filed on land adjacent to his. She wasn’t out there with a hammer and saw building the required improvements either. Men did that for her. So this version of homesteading was quite different than what the word evokes in my mind.

She also ended up marrying the man she was housekeeper for, although the letters don’t detail any romance (over the years the correspondence covers she has 3 more children with this man and somehow the children just crop up; pregnancy and birth aren’t mentioned). Obviously those romances that have the heroine marrying the rugged employer are on the money with at least some reality. Lastly some of her descriptions of the land are just plain lyrical. I must confess I’ve been in that part of Wyoming and it never inspired anything vaguely lyrical in me.

I’m feeling a little sad about dog-related things right now. It’s been a while since I did any fostering of rescue dogs. For the last few years my rescue volunteer work has been limited to transporting dogs from one place to another. As it happens, Colorado is a good place to find adoptive homes for dogs, and some of our bordering states are not. Dogs have little or no chance of finding good second chance homes in rural areas of states like Kansas. There are some compassionate and enterprising people who work hard to get the most adoptable of the dogs in shelters in the no chance places to Colorado.

So one of the things I’ve done quite a lot of is pick up dogs from the out of state transporters and take them to the rescue group’s boarding kennel or, for the luckier ones, to a foster home. This past Friday, the head of our rescue group asked if I could meet a transport coming into the drop off place late enough in the evening the boarding kennel would be closed, overnight him, and take him to the kennel the next day. I agreed and picked up Victor.

Keep in mind our group is a Rottweiler rescue organization. Sometimes we take particularly appealing mixes, but the fact is people who come to a Rottweiler rescue to adopt want Rotties, and so mixes are much harder for us to find homes for. Victor was advertised as a 10-month-old Rottie. He is a 3-year-old Rottie mix smaller than my girl Schara. He’s heartworm positive. HW in a 10-month-old isn’t hard to treat because the worms haven’t had time to mature and infest the heart. A 3-year-old is a whole different story.

So the fact is after having this nice little dog overnight in my house I couldn’t bring myself to take him to the boarding kennel the next day. He’ll be staying with me through his HW treatments, but today I took him to the vet. His infestation is severe enough his heart is enlarged and he has fluid in his lungs. They want him to gain 7 or 8 pounds and to be on antibiotics and heart medicine for at least 6 weeks to give him a better chance or surviving the treatment. He’s only 3 years old. He came from an area where heartworm is prevalent, which is to say he should have been on preventative from an early age and this wouldn’t have happened. I’d really like to hit someone right now, but since I can’t I’m working on not crying. Send Victor some good thoughts, will you?

~Ellen

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9 Responses to Update and stuff

  1. MerviR says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Victor. It is hard to bear some people’s indifference to the welfare of their pets. It can turn out to be really cruel. I hope Victor will pull through. I have been working for animal welfare organizations, too, so I appreciate your commitment very much.

    Strenght and warm thoughts!

    Mervi

  2. DallasE says:

    I guess I’m an optimist. I think Victor is lucky to have found Ellen. Many good thoughts coming Victor’s way.

  3. Thanks, ladies. Victor is home now, and of course, he’s oblivious to such things as diagnosis and upcoming nasty treatment. He charmed everyone at the vet hospital. He’s on 3 meds, an antibiotic, a diuretic, and a heart med, and either he’s very happy to be back here or he’s feeling better or some combo of the two because he’s bouncing around joyously. Schara’s giving me the why didn’t you leave him wherever he was look. ~Ellen

  4. mesadallas says:

    Hi, ladies. I turn 51 today and to celebrate I am buying my long awaited kindle. Not having ever had one or knowing anything about the use and operation of e-readers I need some advice. I notice there are several makes and models. I want one that will be very easy to use as I am pretty much tech illiterate- don’t even know how to text or take photos with my cell phone. I also only want one to read books with. I don’t need one that will do anything from video to wash the dog.

    Amazon has the WI-FI,6 right now for $79.00; any advice?

  5. Woo Hoo, mesadallas is joining the techie side! This is just my take on the whole thing (as an avid Kindle fan).

    I really think anyone, no matter how tech challenged, can use a Kindle without trying too hard. They’re really wonderful and easy devices.

    If you only want it to read, I’d forget the Kindle Fire. It’s a tablet and does the other things, and it’s bigger, which isn’t always better when you’re talking about something to hold and read a book on.

    Next, I think there are stores that have Kindles available to look at – Best Buy is one. So if you can, you might want to go look at one. I don’t know how long it will be before they have the new ones in stock, but even holding the model I have, which they’re now calling the Keyboard Kindle (and which is still available), would give you an idea. I wouldn’t buy at a store, I’d order from Amazon, but if you haven’t had your hands on one, it might be worth a trip and the time.

    Next, do you have wifi at home? I know most of the world does, but I don’t. Unless you have wifi at home, you need a Kindle with 3G. (And my understanding is the little guy, the $79 model only comes as a wifi only device.)

    Unless you really would hate ads of any kind, there’s no reason not to save a bit and get one with ads. The people who have them say they aren’t bothersome and some of the deals offered are good ($20 Amazon gift certificate for $10). The ads are the screensaver and there’s a line at the bottom of the Home screen, but you don’t see ads when you’re reading a book.

    After that the big decision is how you like to turn pages (if you care). On my Kindle and previous models there are buttons on the sides of the screen. Since they’re on both sides, they’re easy to use, and I switch off using them as I change my hold on the thing now and then. The $79 model doesn’t have those buttons. It has page forward and page back buttons at the bottom of the screen – some people are reporting they are rotating the screen display so the buttons are on top and like that better. You can do things like that.

    The other new model is Touch Screen, so you would turn pages with finger swipes, kind of the way people swipe their fancy phones to do things. (Like you I don’t know how, but then I don’t think my phone does either. It’s a TracFone that I only use for emergencies.)

    I think those are the big differences and the things to consider in choosing.

    ~Ellen

    P.S. Oh, and you probably won’t be happy unless you have a case. Even with my model, I need the case to have some edges to hang onto.

  6. mesadallas says:

    Thank you so much, Ellen! I do have wifi (I had to look it up to see what it meant.) so I think based on all the advice I’ve recieved- especially yours -I’m going to amazon right now and order it along with a case.

    Then I have to spend the rest of the day working on a unit of colonial life, Revolutionary War and the Constitution on a third grade level. I’m actually looking forward to this! Love this period of history plus I’m getting paid a little more for the hours I put into it.

  7. DallasE says:

    Mesadallas, you are going to fall in love with reading all over again. I’ve always been an avid reader but since I got my Kindle I’ve more than tripled the time I spend reading! My Kindle is so easy on my eyes, I can actually read in bed for more than 20 minutes, LOL.

  8. Let us know what you get and how you like it once you’ve read a book or two on it. ~Ellen

  9. Oh, and I meant to say Happy Birthday, and I’m glad someone is still teaching kids some history, particularly someone who appreciates it herself. ~Ellen

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