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?