Throw her in, see if she swims again

Good golly. After my book, Drinking from the Trough: A Veterinarian’s Memoir, was published two months ago, I sank into like a postpartum writer’s depression. Nothing came into my mind to write about. Jeez, doing this all again? What an idiot!

I have a lot of ideas, but I think it’s more of the quality of “It was a dark and stormy night.”

Then Judy, my coach, told me that November is a month to write as much of a novel as you can, minimum 50,000 words (a lot). I’m not a novelist, but my low expectations ought to make this fun.

May even spice up my mood to do something absolutely ridiculous for me. Don’t get me wrong, this is a serious competition, but one so awfully wrong for me, I’m going to have fun!

P.S. Read my book yet?

How to pre-order my book!

Drinking from the Trough, published by She Writes Press, is ready to pre-order. I can’t believe it-that’s seven months away!

Here’s how you do it: Go to Amazon. In the space to find things, type in Mary Carlson DVM. That takes you to the book cover. Click on the cover, and it asks if you want the Kindle version or the paperback. Click on one, and you’re done.

Also scroll down to see a short biography. This is getting fun, if not totally confusing.

The butt goes up

Well now I’ve seen everything. I came in the house after mailing Betty White a letter asking her to please write a back cover blurb for my book. We are both involved with Morris Animal Foundation, but at 96, I think she is focusing more on the Los Angeles Zoo and saving sea otters.

Ivy was on the stairs, with her front paws on the lower step, and sitting one step up. She knew I wanted to get by, so instead of turning around and going up, or going down by me, she put her weight on the front paws and hitched her butt up the stairs. She did this until she got to the top.

I think I’ve seen it all now.

Myra Kanter

The storm raging the East coast and a FB comment from a law professor prompted me to this memory.

When I was at Highland Park High School, at the end of the semesters we had a final exam schedule. You only came to school when you had a final. There was a special bus schedule. If you left the building, you could not come back in.

At the end of my first semester, the final exam schedule was fixed for January (this is before Fort Collins, and hurrying to finish the semester with the college students to get out early.) It also happened to be the time of the Great Blizzard of 1967.

Myra Kanter, a school friend who was a genius, finished her final, and went out to the bus area. With the snow and wind swirling around her and seeing no busses, Myra realized she missed the bus. She tried to get back inside, because the next bus was in an hour. School officials would not let her in.

First, imagine a Chicago blizzard. Then imagine a skinny genius with the sweet temperament actually standing in the raging snow looking through the door at the guard watching her suffer. There were no cell phones to call her mom, and even if she wanted to use a phone, she wasn’t going to be let in.

I have never forgotten that. It’s one of those memories I have stuffed in my brain. My friend, Linda, always says to me, “How do you remember things like that”? I don’t know, but I do.

Stay out of the northeast for a few days, Myra.

Save the date, my friends, I just don’t know what it will be!

I will be sending nice email invitations to friends, relatives, and colleagues of mine. You can’t save the date, because I don’t know it yet. The book publication date is August 28, 2018. I don’t know how many you are supposed to invite, and you have to have enough books on hand to sell and sign, but I want a big party. I’m one of those people who worries that she invites people to a party but no one comes. They will, and I think I do a reading. I’m used to speaking, as I had a full career in teaching, a business, and multiple volunteer positions. I broke my piggy bank and chose a publicity package. My VISA is now a limp noodle. Tax deductible. I bet I get a refund.

My book, Drinking From the Trough, A Veterinarian’s Memoir, is in publication right now. I can’t believe how fast She Writes Press, the publisher, moves the production. SWP promotes the works of women authors and puts together the book with their ace designers, while their partner in publication, Spark Point, does the men’s side, as well as all the publicity packages. I hope I got that right, I’m still a rookie. Spark Point also has webinars. I did one on the SWP side, and it was very informative. I’m just an idiot as to how to set the whole thing up, and whether you can listen to it later, not in real time. Need to get my head out of my *&(, because there is a publicity one coming up end of January.

I’ve chosen a cover with Judy, my writing coach, which will be done soon, then the cover designer does her thing. It is going to be spectacular! After that, another designer chooses what the book will look like inside. We don’t think of what it takes to be a readable book, but it is a big deal. Being as ignorant as I am, I just shut up and nod my head yes. The book is finished, has yet to be proofread, and I am so excited I often send Judy several emails at a time. Then she knows intuitively that I am excited.

With my risk of getting a bite wound (going to the total hip and trashing it) while practicing vet med, I no longer practice. I do keep all my profession memberships,licenses and malpractice up to date, read journals, and am available for charity work, and to be an extra pair of hands if needed.

Last week, I got an LLC, just to make my taxes extra work for my CPA, John, nicest man and fastest tax guy I know.

It is said that people have several careers during their working lifetimes, so I have a new career-full time author.

I think there is a reason for everyone, and perhaps fracturing both my hips, 13 years apart, has given me time to work at home, take care of the pets, and live in quiet companionship with the three senior cats and Ivy, my Golden doodle, who is now 15 months old.

Really creepy

My childhood friend, Marcy, disappeared off the radar. No one knew where she was after she took her mother from Florida, went to New Orleans, and ended up on the North Shore of Chicago where we grew up. She touched base with friends from her Highland Park days. Her mother stroked out and died .

It turns out that Marcy died last August in the Denver area. I didn’t even know she was in the state. My friend, Michael L., said the Arapahoe County coroner said the death was of natural causes. She was 65.

Fast forward to yesterday. There was an email on Marcy’s address. Anonymous, but the person, who of course said she was not Marcy, said she was handling the estate. She had read our letters over the last two years, and seemed gleeful that I stopped all communication with Marcy, and took her off my FB account.

I wrote back and asked, “Who is this?” We went back and forth with the writer getting more vitriolic about Marcy with each letter. I said I would not communicate without knowing who this was.

Then I got a FB note from Michael W., another childhood classmate. He said the writer was her sister, and was spewing hate to all Marcy’s friends. The sister and brother are over ten years older than Marcy was, but Marcy was stuck taking care of her elderly parents who were in their 90’s. Her mom died at 98.

I don’t know who put the fun in this dysfunctional family, but leave me out of it. I’m sorry Marcy had a hard life after being the most popular girl in school, but I remember us being good friends at Braeside School. I’d play at her house after school. She lived right across the street from Braeside Elementary.

We are taught to forgive those who do bad things to others. I’ll never know the truth about what happened, but that happens. There is only one person in the world I do not and never will forgive. Marcy’s sister, I forgive you, but leave me the hell alone.

Oh nooooooooooo!

Flash back to the summer of 1975 or 76. My sister was home visiting, and I was in graduate school at Northwestern and living with Mom. The way our rooms were situated was that mine was over the garage, and hers up the landing and to the right. But our windows were very close by. It was hot and humid,  so our windows were wide open.

I was watching a new show, Saturday Night Live. They had a sketch that was so funny, I was laughing so hard tears flowed down my face, and I rolled around in bed. I couldn’t be silent, even though everyone was asleep. I screamed in laughter. Really.

Margo came into my room and asked what was so funny. All I could do was point at the TV. It was a new character made of clay,  with a high pitched voice dressed in one outfit. It was Mr. Bill. Mr. Bill always talked in the falsetto voice to an unseen Mr. Hands. Bad things always happened to Mr. Bill. If he had a sprained wrist, a drunken orthopedic surgeon would cut off his arm. An O shaped mouth would scream, “Oh no……..” Every time Mr. Bill was on, something sadistic happened to him and his clay body.

I became obsessed with Mr. Bill. He had a dog made of yellow clay who suffered similar fates. When I was a first year vet student, we had a Halloween party in costume. My classmate, Anna, and I put on “Mr. Bill goes to Anatomy Lab.” He said he was a dog lover, and had a wonderful dog. A voice would always sing “Here comes Mr. Bill’s dog.” In our sketch, Anna sang it to perfection. When Mr. Bill told the audience it was a racing greyhound, the dogs we used to use for dissection, the whole room cracked up.  They knew what would transpire. “Oh noooooo!”

When I first starting using Chewy.com, they had a perfect Mr. Bill dog toy. Instead of squeaking, it screamed, “Oh no………….” I kept the toy for me, and ordered another for Ivy. She soon became obsessed with Mr. Bill. I can be far away in the house and hear a muffled “Oh noooooooooo” Ivy knows the toy by name, and will go look for him when asked. She tries to take him outside, which I won’t let her do, so when I open the door, she lets me take his white hand, and goes out.

When I mention that Ivy’s favorite toy is Mr. Bill, Millennials look at me with blank stares. They have no idea who he is. Go to YouTube, kids, and laugh your guts out.

Oh no……………..

 

Which is it? I need some help with this one.

In my book, Drinking From the Trough,  in the Epilogue I mention Ivy. But how do you write her breed? She is a Goldendoodle.

But what is the correct way to write the breed (doodles are not really breeds recognized by the AKC, they are expensive mutts and well worth it).

Goldendoodle

Golden Doodle

Golden doodle

goldendoodle

golden doodle

What, already? I’ve seen breeders write the name several different ways in the same paragraph.

Remember that obnoxious comic who would say, “My name is Raymond W. Johnson.You can call me Ray, you can call me J, you can call me RJ, you can call me Ray Jay.” Remember that guy? Well that’s what I think of. I remembered how much that guy would annoy me while I was watching TV.

Who’s on first. Who’s on second. No, what’s on second. Get the idea?

Any help would be appreciated.

Goldendoodles-the Abbott and Costello of the dog world.

My dog is in love with a couch!

I sit here writing, and watch Ivy lying full out on my uncle’s old couch made new by expensive reupholstering two years ago.

Gone are the days of the fluffy doodle jumping up to watch TV sitting on my lap or next to me in the recliner.

My huskies were never allowed on furniture because they shed a lot. But my Goldendoodle does not, and they are not like huskies, who can be alone  for a long time. Doodles won’t spend hours out in the dog pen. They do their business to come back to their humans.

But my Ivy abandoning me for a couch?

I initially trained her to get on beds gently for her therapy dog training (put off by the fractured hip). Now, she just jumps on the couch like she owns it. I guess she does. I do have her sit and call for her to jump on the bed.

I was getting used to TV with a dog comforter. Cowboy Joe does that as he did before we got Ivy.

Happy Holidays!

A movie and a recliner…

It’s time for my second recheck after my stay at the Shangri La Hilton for 5 days. I’m only supposed to put 15# on the leg with crutches, but you know, I’ve been bad. Bad Mary. But the leg feels pretty good. A few steps is OK. I wouldn’t use the stairs without help. Experimenting is OK if done carefully. Going too hard and fast is just plain stupid.

With the last hip fx, it was horribly painful. This one has been pretty good because it was not displaced. No pain meds except while in the hospital and here at home for the first week. My pain meds were Oxycodone-yep, the one that has gotten so much publicity of late. My doctor told me once that if you take it for real pain, you don’t get addicted. When I broke my R hip in ’04, it was so painful that the trauma surgeon had me on two tabs every four hours. Now that’s a lot. Did I come out of that as an addict? No. I just stopped when the pain was minimal. As an athlete in HS and college, and afterward, I can tell you I have never been stoned or high. I did hallucinate during the first hip fx, as I had the pump with morphine in it. I hallucinated, but didn’t know what it was.

For the L hip, I was surprised and angry that the hospital sent me home with only a week’s worth of Oxy. One pill every six hours. I was expecting horrid pain. The pain was so minimal compared to the other hip, that I got along just fine with the dosage-one tab every six hours. I renewed it once, but have only taken one pill of the second bottle.

Now that I’m mobile, driving, doing errands, and getting the mail (in the car!), when I have a busy day, I’m beat by 3pm. I eat lunch, put in a movie watched a million times, and snooze. Life is good.

Wednesday, I have an appt. with the dr. is in the morning. I’ll bring my Kindle as he often runs two and a half hours behind.At one, my usual appt. with my writing coach, Judy. Then that evening, we have our double-November/December park board meeting. I know the next day will be a movie and the recliner. One’s body has a way of telling you, “Enough”! Time to heal. The only thing I have is shlepping my currently fuzzy pup to the spa.

Thursday will be my movie and recliner day.