Frigging Snot-Sucking Cold

“The Cold” – The Sequel

flu microbeOh how I regret not getting the flu shot this year!  I was so busy all fall, I just didn’t take the time to go to the Dr. and take care of it.  Then I heard that the six strains of influenza that the flu gurus chose this year to protect us all against, weren’t the ones that were entering our airspace!  Great.  So I figured it probably wouldn’t have been worth my while, anyway.

We were doing very well until that lousy month of March descended upon us.  Our daughter was the first to succumb to the green eyed cold microbe.  Thankfully we had a puffer in the medicine cabinet that wasn’t expired from last year’s flu season, so within ten days along with dosing herself with Vitamins C and D, chugging lemon juice and honey and enough oranges to keep the Florida citrus farmer in business, she managed to fight it off.

Somewhere along the way, the hubby caught the bug, and while our daughter is very pro-active about taking control of her treatment, all hubby could do was sit in front of the TV in his recliner, moaning,  swaddled in a fleecy blanket, exploding at regular intervals in fits of coughing that had me checking to see if he brought up a lung.  As we are all aware, the man cold is a pitiful condition and all one can hope for is for it too, to pass.  I was not to escape unscathed, however.

Within days of Paul’s  getting infected, I started to feel the malaise creeping over me, the scratchy throat, the hurty eyes, the low grade fever.  How could I avoid it when the wash from the explosive coughing and hacking was constantly enveloping me?  I would have had to bathe in hand sanitizer and lysol to escape the contamination!  Or, at least wear a gas mask.

Meanwhile, the elder one sat in her granny flat, sucking in the oxygen and saying she felt fine.  Maybe, with the cannula tubes sticking up her nose, she had a better chance on avoiding it, and we had made sure the Dr. had administered the flu shot on his fall visit.  Of course, these circumstances were to change rapidly when her home care worker fell victim to the flu bug and it quickly turned to double pneumonia!

It wasn’t long before the elder one started showing signs of infection. I thanked my lucky stars that we weren’t living in an area of the world that is stricken with Ebola!  We wouldn’t last jig time!  After a couple of days with the cough progressing, the refusal to eat  and the weakness setting in, it was over to the Health Sciences Hospital we went.

I had to laugh at the hospital’s policy on protection of patient’s privacy, as I sat in the triage office with my mother-in-law, in full view of the patient intake records that were stacked on the counter.  We were ushered into an ER suite where an EKG was done, vitals recorded, and vials of blood drawn.  An IV was inserted and bags of saline and antibiotics were hung, and within minutes the elder one was whisked off for chest x-rays.  Soon a nurse came by to say they needed the room, so all of the elder one’s few possessions were packed aboard her transport and she was parked out in the ER corridor. Apparently we were waiting for a medical consult, or so I assumed from reading the white board which changed from minute to minute as patients entered and left the department.

Directly across from where I was sitting, a white board, announcing the handle time stats that the hospital had been able to achieve through the various departments, had been posted.  The statistics presented broke down the handle time of patient care from when the patient had entered the department, whether it be ER, hospital admittance, day surgery, etc. from the Dr.’s initial assessment, to discharge.  It reminded me of when I worked at Convergys and the all-important call handle time. they were unrealistically hoping to achieve.  They had the average length of stay worked out to the minute, and I wondered if the Dr.s who kept within their prescribed parameters got a bonus, or at least a treat.  It was no wonder that the nurses and Dr.s were running around like blue arsed flies and had no time to stop to fill a small request. like a paper cup of ice water for a person who was parched from the effects of pneumonia and the dry air of the hospital.

After several hours waiting in the corridor, during which time a Dr. and a couple of residents examined my mother-in-law, who was dressed only in a “Johnny coat” and endured the indignity of being on full display to the many folks who wandered in and out of the ER, either looking for their loved ones, or seeking treatment themselves.  This was also the circumstance that we found ourselves subjected to as the Dr. brought up the question of my mother-in-law’s wishes in the event that her heart should stop!  That’s not the place you would want to be presented with that decision to make, and someone standing over you, holding out a pen, and forcing you to make a decision right on the spot!

The Dr. decided that he would admit my mother-in-law and the clock started ticking on her admittance handle time.  we were further informed then that the hospital was on “Diversion” because of the busy day they were having, there was no bed available to put my mother in, so they were going to transport her across town in an ambulance to St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital.  Not the ideal situation for a ninety year old with one lung half filled with fluid! But what choice did we have, so we settled in to wait for the ambulance crew.

Three hours later, we were still waiting for the EMT’s to show up.  Even though at least seven crews rolled through, none had been asked to pick up the mother-in-law.  Finally I hailed the passing ER admin nurse and asked if there might not have been a bed open up in the three hours that we had been awaiting a transfer.  She was highly offended that I would presume to question their authority, so I expressed my views on the strain on my mother-in-law’s condition to put her through further bother in transferring her to another hospital..  She finally agreed to call the ambulance service to get an ETA on when we could expect them to show up.

At this point I was starving, and as a diabetic, knew that I should try and grab some food.  I was afraid to leave my monther-in-law’s side, however, as she was not lucid enough to answer questions about her condition, And I wouldn’t be sure of where they were going to take her.  Neither she nor I were sorry to hear the next EMT crew calling for Mrs. Cook.

From the time we brought her in at 10:45 am to the time she went into the ambulance at 8:10 pm, ten and a quarter hours had passed. I don’t know what that did to their patient handle time stats!

The elder one has since recovered marginally and has been deemed well enough to come home.The first time she was discharged was the Friday after her Monday’s admittance.  By Friday, she was still weak as a kitten, was barking like a dog, and had by now had developed a condition called thrush, which is a fungal infection of the mouth, causing pain in the tongue and tissues inside the mouth, making it difficult to eat, drink, or swallow.  The elder one, who was not a fan of hospital food at the best of times was now not eating anything, and drinking very little either.  We could literally see her shrinking away in the bed, and while she would have been happier and us more comfortable with her being home, we knew that there was danger to herself, being that she would be in her own apartment, alone at night, and with the sore mouth and complications with the pneumonia, even though she might meet the criterion for being declared “clinically stable” she was far from being well enough to come home in these circumstances.

Paul made the suggestion that he would like to have a social worker’s input on what should be done about Mrs. Cook’s care and it wasn’t long before another nurse showed up to take another set of vitals.  After a short time, the nurse announced that Mrs. Cook could stay overnight and they wold re-assess in the morning.  It looked like the Dr. wasn’t willing to take on the social worker, who does wield more power on whether a patient should be discharged or not.  Being that we would be into the weekend, with a decreased staff and very few Dr.s around, we figured she wouldn’t be going anywhere until Monday.

On monday, by three thirty we hadn’t heard anything from the hospital on whether or not they were discharging Mrs. Cook, so over we goes to the hospital to check on her status.  Her nurse said she had been trying to locate her Dr. to see if he would release her, but he wasn’t readily available.  Finally she said she would page him again, and we got her dressed and ready to go, in case we had to make a break for it.  Although she wasn’t what you would call well, and still isn’t, half a week from when she came home, as the Dr. put it, “she’s probably better off at home because at least she wouldn’t be exposed to further infection.”  What? are the health care facilities so rotten dirty that one risks infection lying in a bed receiving treatment for pneumonia?  I guess the thrush incident was proof that this was true.  Either this, or the nurses were not being vigilant in their patient’s care by cutting corners by not having them rinse their mouths after mask treatments.  God help us all if they were dealing with Ebola, Leprosy, or some either horrible communicable disease!  That’s one way to cut down on the patient handle time, if they all die!

The other night I just-for-fun googled Hospital Statistics and how they arrive at their goals for patient handle time.  I came across a study for handling patients presenting with pneumonia.  You should have seen the formulas and the variables they use to come up with an acceptable average  “goal” time for patient care.  Three days seemed to be what the computer squeezed out for a ninety one year old with a history of COPD, on home oxygen.  I remembered when the attending physician had, upon learning Mrs. Cook’s age, patted her on the hand and said, “My, you’ve lived a fine long life haven’t you?”  as much to say,” Well what do you expect, we’re not going to waste our time trying to prolong your life when their are lots of younger people out there  requiring our care.”

For a person who owned her own business for thirty eight years and diligently paid her taxes quarterly until we had to take control of her affairs, this attitude on the part of health care so-called “professionals” towards seniors is not warranted.  I would be very surprised if any of them would allow their elderly parents to be treated with the lack of respect and dignity that many of these poor old souls have to endure.  It’s time that Dr.s and nurses are allowed to take the time to make sure patients receive quality care in an environment conducive to healing.

Some say that the health care system here in Canada is the envy of the world, but the care you get is not always enviable.  Under our system, everyone is entitled to free health care, and that is a wonderful thing.  I just hope the bean counters don’t shave off so many minutes of patient handling time that people don’t have time to fully recover from their illnesses.  Remember that old nemesis in the call center called “One call resolution?”  maybe the statisticians should add another  variable called “re-admittance” to that God-awful long equation, before they are satisfied that they are making the best decisions on our health care.

norma in yellow circle                                                   elderly-hospital-bed


Patience, the launch is near!

T – minus seven till Launch!


Hi, my most patient friends and followers!

Lions Den Cover

The end is near!  No, I don’t mean the apocalypse!  I mean the waiting for The Lion’s Den launch to be over!  The launch date has been pushed back twice, but I have been promised that it should be up on Amazon next week.  Finally!  I have been waiting around forever like an expectant mother waiting to give birth.

If you haven’t read the prequels, yet, give them a test drive before you read the book.  Read them in order from one through seven.  You will get a better feel for Della’s and Aaron’s relationship before the timeline covered in the book, and a little spoiler as to what roles some of the characters play as the story unfolds.  I hope you enjoy the journey!

I’m about one third of the way through writing the second book in the Jamieson brother’s series, where Brad’s brother Ryan meets his match in Behind the Firewall.  If you’re interested in terrorist networking, computer espionage, and money laundering, this might be a good read for you.  With  a generous dollop of romance throw in to make the story rich and creamy, I promise you a treat as decadent as Spanish coffee, with none of the calories!

Come with me, behind the firewall to the luxurious venue of Majorca, Spain, and experience the lifestyle of the rich and famous as you’re taken on a tour of stunning scenery, sites of historical significance, the beaches, yachts, restaurants, hotels, and nightlife of this well known Spanish getaway!  Brad and Della make a re-appearance, too, so pack your suitcase, pour yourself a mojito, and reserve your beach lounger as we take a trip to Majorca with the Jamieson Brothers.  It’s a book you won’t soon forget!

love, norma



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           Behind the Firewall Coming Soon!
majorca nightlife

The Lions Den is Still on the launch pad

 Launch Pad to Ground Control…..Are you still there?

launchI knew the fog was bad here in Newfoundland, but I didn’t realize there were so many things that could hold back the launch of an e-book!  We optimistically looked at the projected launch time six months ago and said, “Yeah, that’ll be ready to roll out by April 15th, no sweat.  My publishing guru made the first editing pass October 02, 2014, I sent my first revisions back to her February 12, 2015, she sent back the second edit March 30th, I sent in my final edits April 8,  and I just got the formatted manuscript back, and I should be finished and ready to approve it tonight!  I can practically recite the manuscript word for word!  The cover is finished, ISBN number is assigned and added to cover design, along with synopsis for the back cover.  Inside design is all finished, dedication and acknowledgements are in.  The last piece is this final tweaking, the last kick at the cat.  I can’t wait for it to be pronounced finished!  Do they say, “It’s a wrap!” in publishing?

My people are starting to ask when the book will be out.  I was embarrassed when the first launch date, April 15th passed.  I was a little pissed when the second launch date, April 30th went by, while my publishing gurus were hanging out in Mexico, California, and Barbados.  I was assured that work on my project was continuing in their absence, and I’m sure it was, but what answer can you give to your  friends who are asking, “So when is the book coming out NOW?”

All I can say is soon! I ordered a special necklace today and had it engraved with the launch date 15/05/15.  If it’s not out by then, someone’s paying for a new charm!
sparkly norma  lauunch booklaunch button
ground control

The Laundry Mountain

Laundry – A Most Irksome Household Chore!


laundry 1

Whoooboy!  You know you have left the laundry too long when you’ve been wearing pajama pants around the house for two days and washing coldyour hubby is down to his last pair if skivvies, the ones with Santa skiing on them which he refuses to wear anytime other than Christmas.  A request has been made for clean socks and underwear so I must drag my ass out of the writing cave and get at it, even though I have caught the dreaded man-flu and feel like hammered shit.

Thanks be to God that I don’t have to go down to the river and beat the clothes clean with a stick!  Being that  we live on the 47th parallel, I would probably have to beat a hole through the ice still to get to running water, despite the fact that it’s APRIL 26TH!!! Thankfully,  I don’t have to hang out the wash to dry and have it freeze solid on the line, either.  So what is it about laundry that is such a pain, even with the convenience of modern day appliances?

I think that a degree course could be offered in the laundry arts.  The first thing to know is that symbols on clothing tags have meaning.  I have learned to avoid buying any  items that require hand washing, washing in any temperature other than warm, and anything that has to be laid flat to dry.  I figure, in this day and age, why would you buy clothing items that can’t be fired into an automatic washer and dryer?  My daughter has yet to acquire this wisdom, and therefore does her own laundry.  To avoid pink dress shirts and gray underwear, all of my stuff gets sorted by colors, blacks and whites.  Towels don’t have to abide by the color rule because they have been washed that often, there’s no dye left in them to run.  Do you get my drift about how titchy a task this laundry business can be?  I’m not even going to get into the different types of laundry detergent and fabric softeners that’s out there, and how to know how much to use.  Then there’s stain removers and laundry brighteners, and a plethora of helpful handy products to make your clean clothes smell clean!

Then there’s the time issue.  Wheras with the old school washer-spin-dryers or even the old wringer washers, a load of clothes would take 15 minutes max to cycle, the modern machines take about an hour, by the time they soak, pre-wash, wash, rinse, water soften, and rinse, then to dry a load, you’re looking at anywhere from a half hour to 45-50 minutes.  Then there is the process of folding, or hanging the clean clothes up in your closet.   I am a big advocate of catching the clothes at the end of the drying cycle to avoid IRONING!!!  UGH!!.  Thank the Gods for non wrinkle and perma press fabrics. Either way, this laundry mountain I’m looking at is gonna take all weekend to scale.

My husband, in his wisdom, says, “Why don’t you do a little laundry each day, then you don’t end up with a big old pile at the end of the week.”  To which I reply, “Why don’t you do any at all?”  Which does not bode well for marital harmony.  The problem is while laundry is a necessary evil, it is BORING AS HELL, and if you hope to tempt me out of the writing cave to do it, then I expect to be rewarded with chocolate or wine, or take-out for dinner!

I always wondered if owning your own laundry equipment was a better option than taking the whole mess out to a laundromat and loading up seven machines at the one time. Brilliant!  Unfortunately my washer broke down one weekend and I had to put the theory to the test.  I found out how small capacity the commercial washers really have, along with how unpredictably hot or cold the dryers could be.  Your clothes were either toasted or still damp after an hour.  I swear the dryers have an even more voracious appetite for odd socks than my own.  Plus, I spent almost $25 in coin to get all of the clothes washed and dried.

Conclusion?  I’ll stick to using my own machines at home, thank-you.  Anybody weighing the costs should look into a second hand machine!  Lots of folks are upgrading to the fancy new machines and abandoning their old ones, which still work great!

So, whatever you’re doing this weekend, I hope you’ve conquered your own personal laundry mountain and your whole week will be April fresh!


sparkly norma                                   laundrylaundry wringerlaundry mountain


What’s Your Preference? Classic book or e-reader?

Book vs e-reader



So folks, have you weighed in on the e-reader vs book debate yet?  Though it’s a personal preference, a case can certainly be made for both.  For me, it really comes down to comfort.  As a person suffering from arthritis, and one who loves to read in bed, the choice is easy.  The lighter weight and ease of holding the e-reader  are the two main features that make it my vehicle of choice for reading.  I have a second generation Kindle, which bears many battle scars from the many times I have dropped it on the floor due to my falling asleep while reading.  It still gives me great service, even though it sometimes doesn’t open to the last page read, which is a pain.  My husband gave me a Kindle Fire for Christmas because I had always complained  that my original was not backlit, which meant that I had to use a small flashlight for light if I didn’t want to disturb hubby during my 3:00 am reading sessions!  Although the Fire provides the backlight feature, I am still using my original model, because I can’t bear to put it out to pasture because it still works great! The Fire, however, lets you appreciate the great book covers out there as it displays in full color, and the resolution of the screen is fine, not to mention the browsing capability which gives you greater variety in choosing your ebook stores, as well as eliminating the need to use a tablet besides.

So why would I choose a regular paperback over my Kindle?  Well, there is the advantage of knowing how far along you are in the story at all times.  Sure you have the page counter on the Kindle, but it is not as good an indicator.  Some people talk about the feel and smell of a “real” book, which doesn’t hold much appeal for me.  I like the fact that if I spill ketchup or coffee on my Kindle, it’s a quick cleanup, rather than a permanent stain on my paperback copy.  I love the “open to last page read” feature of the Kindle.  Gone are the days of dog eared corners in books from marking pages, and the collection of lost bookmarks that have hidden themselves down between the cushions of the couch along with the potato chip crumbs and  M&M’s gone AWOL. There is also the obvious advantage of the capacity of the memory in the e-reader that allows you to take a library of books with you everywhere you go, plus the convenience of being able to purchase books anywhere and anytime you like  The instant reference manuals  available like dictionary or thesaurus, are so very handy, and the fact that you can download textbooks is a Godsend for students. The only downside is that you rack up charges on your credit card because you have to have your Kindle linked to it in order to purchase books.  It doesn’t take long to figure out what kind of book addiction you really have!

All in all, whether you’re a paperback, hardcover, Kindle, Nook, or Sony aficionado, reading is king.  The digital age has certainly made books more easily available, and the new era of Indie Publishing has made books available to us that would previously have not seen the light of day!  Exciting times for both readers and authors.  As for the e-reader, if any device can turn my magazine reading hubby into a lover of books, both non-fiction and fiction, I am extremely impressed.  It’s a pleasure to see him sitting in front of the TV and reading his Kindle at the same time. Anything that can keep him entertained while waiting in an airport or doctor’s office is gold in my book!

norma in yellow circle                        bookworm


Nearly Ready to Launch The Lion’s Den!

New book nearly ready to launch!


champagne launch



We’re finally in the home stretch for The Lion’s Den launch. Final editing is finished, manuscript is sent for formatting, dedication and acknowledgements have been written, synopsis is finished for the back cover. My publishing guru is waving her magic wand and putting it all together. Once an ISBN number is assigned and it’s uploaded to Amazon and Barnes & Noble, etc. I’ll throw a bottle of champagne at the computer, and consider it launched! It won’t be long now!

Lions Den Cover


blue glitter normaebook


What’s Good About Good Friday?

Good Friday in Modern Times                  

good friday4

I was out getting my ninety one year old mother-in-law her breakfast this morning when she came up with the question,”What’s good about Good Friday?” Well, I looked at her kinda funny and not being a very active Christian, I gave her the only answer I could think of, “Well, I guess it’s all about the hope for resurrection, that Jesus died for humanity, that we would be forgiven for our sins and there would be something beyond death.” This didn’t go over at all with the old lady, who insisted, “Yes but they crucified him, put him to death on the cross.”

Riiiigggghhhhtttt, well, it got me thinking, aside from the obvious (?) religious significance, (at least to Christians) what really is good about Good Friday in the modern day?

I started making a mental list:

Good Friday is a statutory holiday in Newfoundland and most people have FRIDAY OFF!!!

Good Friday falls on April 3rd this year.  If you live somewhere sensible (not Newfoundland) Spring is here and the grass is getting green and the birdies are chirping and the tulips are blooming.  (Not here – we had ten centimeters of snow last night, temperature is -12 degrees celsius, you can hide Easter eggs all right IN THE SNOWBANKS!!! Ughh.)

In the days of my parents, they would attend a 3 HOUR LONG CHURCH SERVICE!!!  At least some folks had a good nap, even though they came out with their arse’s paralyzed from sitting on the wooden pews.

It’s the best day in St. John’s for a feed of fish and chips!

It’s a THREE DAY WEEKEND.  It’s like having two Saturdays, cos you wake up on Friday and it’s a holiday, then you wake up the next day and it’s a holiday again, and it’s not even Sunday!!

Good Friday is supposed to be like Sunday on steroids.  To the old folks, Sunday is the day of rest, you know what that means!!!  NO HOUSEWORK!!! (no dancing, card playing, sports or general fun either, however.)

Stores are closed on Good Friday, so no blasted trips to the mall to buy last minute Easter crap that nobody needs anyway!!!

That’s the best I could come up with.  Feel free to add to the list by commenting.  I will add to the list and give you full credit.

I hope  I haven’t offended anyone with my slightly irreverent take on what I know is meant to be a solemn and holy day in the Christian calendar!  Don’t tell my mother, for she will be sure to scold me and kick my ass for being a heathen.  But then, I figure, if my mother-in-law who used to walk ten miles to church and back three times on a Sunday doesn’t know what’s good about Good Friday, then I didn’t miss much by skipping Sunday school.

(I’m gonna roast in hell)

love, normaeastergood friday3



So, How was your April Fool’s Day?

April Fool’s, the Sadist’s Holiday

april fool 3

Yeah, so, did any of you guys get pranked on April Fool’s Day?  Being the Queen of Gullible, I was amazed to have gotten away scott free this year.  My husband always gets me every damn year.  It’s because he goes to work at seven o’clock in the morning, and I don’t start till nine, So, his perky phone call at nine o’clock sometimes finds me in my usual early morning fog, before I have Tassimo’d my first cup of coffee, at which time it is sometimes possible to get one past me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to fall for stuff like, “We’re out of oil and there’s no hot water, so don’t plan on getting a shower today, and oh by the way, when did you pay the oil bill last?” Believe me, I am the chief bean counter of this operation, and it would be a rare day that I would forget to pay the bills.

“Can you check the mail box, today?  I’m expecting something to come.”  Dead giveaway!  All that comes in the mail is woe and misery, I would be instantly suspicious and would approach any locked boxes with extreme caution on the FIRST OF APRIL!!!

Last year, I’ll admit, I was a bit of a pushover, being that he called me all excited that a moose had been spotted trotting down Portugal Cove Road and  if I looked out the back window, I could probably see it.  Now being that last year there was a lady moose and her calf grazing on our front lawn one Sunday morning, I just might have found that scenario believable.

So, I’m needing ammunition for next year!  Please comment and tell me your best April Fool’s trick.

Norma coffee cup

april fool 2april fool

april fool 1

The Lion’s Den on schedule to launch April 30th

The Lion’s Den Cover and Description

Lions Den Cover


Della Rawlins is not long back from Afghanistan, where she and her partner, Aaron have joined the throng of photojournalists, reporters and bounty hunters in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. When the trail leads them into Pakistan, things get complicated and while Della makes it out before the net tightens around the American nationals, Aaron is captured and detained. It is unknown where he is being held, or if he is still alive.

Needing some distance from the problem to deal with the horrors she had been witness to, she takes a photographic assignment into the Canadian wilderness to clear her head. It isn’t long before her peace is invaded and she comes face to face with a tall dark stranger who tries to save her from haunted memories.

Della longs to leave the world of foreign conflict and political intrigue behind and to start a new life with her new man, Brad, but she is shackled to the past by a secret that puts her in the cross hairs of a vicious enemy. It will take all of her courage and determination to face the terror that awaits her. Trusting in Brad’s love and protection along with the support of an elite militia, Della fights for the integrity of her country and for her own personal freedom against almost insurmountable odds.

From the desert of Pakistan, to the wilderness of eastern Canada, to the rich man’s playground of Mallorca, Spain, follow Della and Brad as they take the journey that leads to the Lion’s Den.  Lives, hearts and the future of a presidency hang in the balance.

The Lion’s Den, coming April 30th

Getting Through the Hungry Month of March

Just Get Through It.

Hi Friends,writers cave

Just a shout out from the writing cave, where I have been hibernating for the past two weeks.  One must write when the inspiration flows! I met with my “Romancing the Rock” writers group last Sunday.  Nothing makes you get off your arse like talking to an author who has seventy-plus books in print!

 It seems that March is the one month in the year that has to be “gotten through.”  From the business perspective, you are trying to stretch those “ends” like a too-small pair of pantyhose, trying to get them to meet.  In our biz, customers want sixty days to pay, while suppliers want to be paid in thirty.  Coming out of the short month of December where you lose so many production days makes your February remittances lean, while your expenses are as big as dogs.  What do you do? You just have to get through it.

My mom has been needing back surgery since December.  After her third trip to Emergency, where all the staff would do was give her a shot of Morphine for the pain and send her home, I finally had to get an ambulance and take her in again because she had deteriorated to the point she couldn’t walk and the pills were not cutting the pain.  They admitted her on December 27th, and kept her medicated to try to reduce the inflammation in her spine.  After six weeks of that, with little easing of the pain, they sent her home with five hours of home care a day, and no booked date for her surgery.  It is unimaginable cruelty to send someone home to suffer in agony with pain that is so intense that she sobs and talks about taking her own life. I have phoned the surgeon’s office three times, each time becoming more desperate, until finally, they have her booked for April tenth.  Two and a half weeks away.  The only thing I can hope is for her to just get through it.

Oh the weather!  March is the time in Newfoundland that you might get a few days of nice weather, and you think, “Maybe we’ll have an early spring this year.” Then old man winter drops a snow bomb on us and we get a two day blizzard, dropping 48 centimeters of snow. “Oh, that’s just Sheila’s brush,” you think until the next day you get another 10 centimeters, with more coming for the weekend. People are opening their front doors to a wall of  the white stuff, and having to get out a window to shovel themselves out.  Your car is buried up to the roof and  trying to get around town is ridiculous.  The calendar is saying the first day of spring was last Friday, and we’re locked in the deep freeze. What do you do? If you don’t have the cash to fly south, you just have to get through it.

My book, The Lion’s Den is due to launch the end of April.  I am so excited.  I got the cover design proof the other day, and it is stunning!  Both of my publishing/advertising  mentors took off on holidays, just at the time when we are going through the editing/formatting/printing process, and I am biting my nails on getting the marketing machine fired up, or else be prepared to lose my shirt!  Being my first book, the wheels seem to be rolling….ever….so….slowly….right….now, but what can you do? You just have to get through it.

Wherever you are, I hope that you are “getting through it” too, and by the time Easter rolls around April 5th, we will all be able to think about bunnies, chicks and sunshine and the renewal of life.  Until then, stay warm, stay positive, and just get through it!


cursive norma

lion 12






Happy in my den!





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