Category: Cabin Fever

How I Spent My Summer

Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here. Happy Labor Day!

Since I’ve already done a post on Labor Day history and trivia in a previous post (you can read it HERE ), I thought I’d do something a little different this year – take a look back on my summer.

As you may or may not remember, I had foot surgery back in mid-February. It was a long healing process – 12 weeks where I couldn’t let my foot touch the floor and another 2 weeks where I could walk, but only if I wore a medical boot.  This was me at the end of those 14 weeks.

That took me to the end of May. So as summer began I was ready to make up for lost time.  I made a trip to my hairdresser – such a relief to get rid of 4 months worth of shagginess!  Then we made a trip down to my Mom’s – so good to be able to visit with her and some of my siblings again.

It was also in June that my future daughter-in-law invited me to accompany her and her bridesmaids (which included my daughters) to shop for their dresses. The wedding gown she picked is breath taking and the bridesmaids dresses are lovely and I was very happy I got to tag along and be part of the day.

Another thing I was once more able to do was have all my kids and their families over to my house, which is just what we did to celebrate my husband with a Father’s Day family lunch.

The month of June ended with me dogsitting for my daughter’s sweet and frisky Dean while she and her husband went on vacation. Dean made sure that I got my exercise, no matter how hot it was outside!

July was all about the Romance Writers of America national conference – something I look forward to every year. Preparations included getting my notes together for the workshop I was scheduled to present, making sure I was prepared for the board meeting (I’m currently a member of the RWA board), doing a little shopping and getting my hair and nails done.

But I also began to feel that something was still not quite right with my foot. A visit to my doctor three days before my scheduled departure for Denver confirmed my fears. He told me to resume wearing my medical boot and he scheduled a CT scan for the week after I returned.

Determined to find the silver lining, I posted this picture, saying that it had definitely lightened my suitcase to only have to pack left shoes!

Despite having to wear the boot, I had a great time at the conference in Denver.  My agent, the fabulous Michelle Grajkowski, along with her associate Cori Deyoe, invited all their clients who were at the conference to tour the fabulous Molly Brown House Museum with them. The place was a fabulous step back in time and I learned a lot of things I hadn’t previously known about this remarkable woman.

The rest of the conference went equally well. While there were some things I couldn’t do – no dance party for me – I focused on the things I could do.  The workshop Renee Ryan and I presented was well attended and well received. I had opportunities to visit with several editors I’d targeted, my agent and I had a productive career planning session and I was able to meet all of my volunteer obligations. But one of my favorite parts of the conference is getting to spend time with friends, some of whom I only get to see this one time a year. Here are pics of just a few of those friends I reconnected with this year.

Three days after I got home from the conference I was back in the doctor’s office listening to the results of the CT scan. It seems one of the metal screws they inserted in February had shifted and was causing problems that only another surgery could correct. A week later it was done and I was back in a post-op cast with strict instructions not to let my right foot so much as touch the floor. This time I was a little more prepared for the process, but cabin fever is what it is. The only time I get out of the house these days is to visit the doctor. On the bright side, I’m enjoying being able to being able to do a lot more reading guilt free 🙂

Since my surgery I’ve gone through two more casts.  The doctor lets me pick my cast color so I tend to pick colors that make me happy.  I think my next one will be a bright blue 🙂

 

However, there was a wedding shower scheduled for my son and his fiancee down at my Mom’s (a 5 hour drive from me) that I was determined not to miss. So my three daughters agreed to drive me down in my van and get me there.  It meant packing up my wheelchair, knee scooter and assorted other paraphenalia, and setting up the van so I could sit with my foot propped off the floor for the entire trip.  Here’s what the back of my van looked like for an overnight trip.

But it was well worth it!  The shower was lovely, the guests were all family so it was great having a chance to visit. Here’s a picture of the happy couple along with the cake my very talented sister made for them.

So that was what my summer was like.

How about you? Did you take a fun vacation or stay-cation? Have any memorable moments? 

Leave a comment and I’ll pick one person to win their chice of any book in my backlist.

Updated: September 2, 2018 — 6:32 pm

Cabin Fever – Time to Dream & Plan

by Kathryn Albright

Cabin Fever anyone?

We have it so much better than the pioneers did in the Old West!
Although they had their share of quilting bees and sleigh rides,
I’m sure that by the middle of March they were dog-gone tired of the snow and slush and cold.

I can’t imagine that anyone in the southern states has to deal with such a thing
(except in the form of putting up with snowbirds who fly down from the north!)
but here in northern Illinois, cabin fever is a very real feeling!

All I can say is thank goodness for books, movies, and the internet!
(And my husband, board games, puzzles…)

This is me with cabin fever…well, not really.
I just loved the dress (and I wish I had her waist!)

But truthfully, I love the change of seasons.
The rest of the year, I am outside with all sorts of busyness,
but when the months of January through March happen,
suddenly I am tucked inside, cozy and content.
For some reason, being closed in by the cold weather,
I feel safe and cocooned and that is when my imagination takes wing and…

Magic Happens!

 

 

I dream up new stories…

I dream up the next big road trip I hope to take with my husband…

 

Last year’s epic trip to the Northwest!

We are thinking about Branson, Missouri for a new destination.
Have any of you been there? Any suggestions or advice?

 

 

I dream up the next landscaping renovation for my aging house…

We are putting in a patio that I designed after scouring Pinterest!
Thank goodness my sons live close enough to help with some of the heavy lifting!

 

This winter, I also started cooking lighter. I’ve had a few fails — such as making cauliflower buns for turkey burgers. Those simply fell apart 🙂 But I did come across one recipe my family loved and I thought I would share it here…

 

Chicken Taco Soup (for the crock pot)

Ingredients:
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 teaspoon taco seasoning mix
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 clove garlic, minced
13-14 oz raw chicken breasts – should yield 9 oz cooked
2 cups cabbage, chopped (May need more because of shrinkage)
2 oz shredded Mexican Cheese to garnish

Directions:
Combine chicken broth, water, diced tomatoes, taco seasoning, cumin, chili powder, garlic, cabbage and chicken in a crock pot. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high 3 to 4 hours. Shred chicken breasts in crock pot before serving. Pour soup into bowls and top with cheese.

Servings: 2

(I doubled this recipe for my family. It is just as tasty as leftovers.)

* * * * * * * *

What about you? Do you deal with cabin fever or are you snug and content where you live?

Here’s wishing everyone at Petticoats and Pistols

— readers and fillies alike —

a Warm, Happy Spring!

 

 

 

Cabin Fever… a Season Of Its Own up North!

 

Guys and gals, I am NOT WHINING.

I am not whining because landsakes, I do not whine about things I can’t control. Silly, mundane, everyday things like stinkin’ weather that goes on forever because I live 4 miles from one of the biggest fresh water lakes in the world.

Hi, I’m Ruthy and I have Cabin Fever… but here in Western New York, far away from the crazy of New York City and the glamour of coastal living, in the bucolic and pastoral Eastern woodland forested neighborhoods and farms, winter does not give up easily! The temps of the Great Lakes keep anyone within five or six miles of the lake distinctly cool in spring…

By cool, I mean cold.

By spring, I mean snow.

WE KNOW HOW TO HAVE A GOOD TIME!!!!

 

So as we’re entering Holy Week, and preparing for an early Easter, do not be surprised if I camouflage my eggs by hiding them as is. White. PERFECT CAMO!!! 🙂

It’s no surprise we get spring fever here… we love winter (or at least shrug it off) but we WELCOME SPRING!!!! When it comes (early June) we laugh and cheer and clap each other on the back and dance our happy dances!

And then we welcome summer the next day.

This is only PARTIALLY EXAGGERATED. And I mean that part.

So what do you do when you have the winter that keeps on giving? (Anyone in the upper U.S. understands this…)

I write. I burrow down for one last solid month or six weeks of writing before farm season hits the ground running, and I PRETEND I’m okay with it. Clearly I’m a big, fat liar.

Because I want to grab Missy Tippens’ Georgia spring with both hands and haul it north. I want to visit Arizona for a week… and then leave before it gets hot. 🙂

I want to fly to Florida for spring training… or just to walk in the sand!

I never get sick of reading… or writing. I love it, It’s like my favorite other than grandbabies…. but part of embracing writing is staying involved with the real world. You know the kind. The people who go out in the snow!!! The people who go sledding! And build snowmen! The people who hop in a car and drive in semi-blizzard conditions and think nothing of it… the folks who bundle up like you should if you live up here and DON’T WHO SEES THEM.

Yeah. Them.

Cabin fever…. Here’s how I’m tackling it. I celebrate every new latitudinal degree of increase the sun makes.

I read great romance that makes me smile.

I write great romance that makes me smile more!!!

I try not to think about winter weight.

STUPID SCALE.

I brush the mini donkeys and they really, really need a bath.

I plan gardens.

I order seeds!

I read more books and smile…

I eat. (I know, I know, we shouldn’t do that, but I can’t help it!)

And I make sure the windows are clean because when that sun breaks through, with no leaves on the trees to filter it, the sins of a long winter are quite apparent… and me and the windows then pause… and wait for spring.

Hey, hey, I’ve got a copy of “Back in the Saddle” the first book of the Double S Ranch trilogy… Leave a comment and I’ll tuck your name into the drawing because one of the best ways of fighting cabin fever is… With That Great Book!

You don’t have to have a smokin’ hot hero in a Western… but it don’t hurt, neither! 🙂

Petticoats & Pistols © 2015