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A sick-day roundup.

Some people who visit Florida bring back postcards, or ashtrays made out of seashells. I brought a virus: sore throat, chest-tightening cough and general malaise. I’m achy and wheezy (two dwarfs whom Snow White never mentioned) and the switch in time zones messed with my sleep both there and back at home.

Worth it, though, because I got to see my father and stepmom plus my sister, brother great-nephew. I even met a reader named Cheryl, who lives in the area and met me and Dad at Dunkin Donuts for a stimulating discussion about money and life.

Finished the rough draft of the new Playbook For Tough Times while I was there, too. Now all I have to do is edit it, work with the formatter and the cover-design guy, write a press release and start in on promotion.

At that point my inability to take a deep breath will, with luck, be figurative rather than literal. However, if this crud is the same one everyone else has been talking about I could be stuck with it for weeks.

 


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On Saturday I hung out the first laundry of the year. We’ve been putting the bedclothes out  air all winter long in order to sleep in fresh air, but this was the first time in months that it’s been possible to dry stuff on the line. (It helped that I’d first tumbled those clothes in the dryer for a few minutes.)

Not that it was super-balmy, mind you. This was mid-30s weather, but a nice breeze blew and the sun was strong and constant. By midday the temperature in the greenhouse was in the 70s. Maybe I should have dried the clothes in there.

The next day DF put the comforter, blanket and top sheet out to gain the benefit of the sun and wind. He had to hang the linens lengthwise to keep them from dragging in the snow. Despite steady daytime melt, the drifts are still high near the clothesline because of DF’s use of the snowblower.

Two days after my second cataract surgery we got another dumping of snow, the first in several weeks. About nine inches fell at our place, plumping up what already lay on the ground. I don’t know how much has fallen this year and I don’t know how much of it was still there after sublimation and melt. But the back yard still looks fairly snowbound.

 


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Last September, the Dollar Dig cash-back site sponsored a giveaway of $150 worth of Amazon gift cards. This was a real win-win, since I like giving things away and you guys like the chance to get them. (The giveaway garnered more than 140 responses.)

Now site owner Rich Chrobak has asked my daughter and me to do posts to call attention to Autism Awareness Month. Since a giveaway does tend to get more eyeballs on a site, Chrobak is sponsoring giveaways in both places.

Here you have a shot at winning an Amazon Echo Dot. On Abby’s site, you’ll be in the running for a SamsungVR headset.

But that’s not the only way Dollar Dig is involved with Autism Awareness Month. Chrobak is putting his money where his heart is: All net profits for the month of April will go to POAC Autism Services, a New Jersey nonprofit that offers support, education, training and activities for families experiencing autism.

And if you like, you can be part of this effort.

 


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Those who follow my daughter’s blog already know what happened recently: Her husband broke one heel and sprained the other quite badly.

Tim is feeling extra-crummy about the way-preventable incident (see “The whole story” for details) and Abby’s feeling overwhelmed by needing to take on Tim’s share of household responsibilities in addition to her own, and to her full-time job.

For those who aren’t familiar with my daughter’s situation, both she and her husband have chronic health issues. Some days she has more spoons than others.

After she e-mailed me about what had happened I wrote an “oh noes!” sort of note in return. As a P.S., I said “let me know if you want me to use one of my buddy passes and come do a little heavy lifting.” She wrote back something along the lines of, “Were you serious about that? How soon can you get here?”

And that, Phoenix-area readers, is why I’m heading south once more.

 


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Warmth and plenty.

thOh, the breakfast we just had. Perfectly cooked bacon, done in the oven. Sliced tomatoes. The last of the homemade rolls from the freezer, toasted and served with a choice of three homemade (not by us) jams. Tea and coffee aplenty

Scrambled eggs for me and for DF, eggs done “the way Jesus had his.” (See Matthew 11:30 for the punny explanation.) A dish of yogurt with rhubarb compote, both – you guessed it – homemade. The only reason we didn’t add in some of those Del Monte red grapefruit sections was that we forgot they were in the fridge.

The fireplace insert was churning out BTUs, its flames resurrected from the previous evening’s fire that had entertained us and also dried two racks of laundry. While I slept in DF had folded that laundry and put away the racks.

This lazy Saturday morning was seasoned perfectly by gusts of snow blown against the kitchen windows. Not new snow, but slabs of old snow and hand-sized chunks of frost blown off the roof and the neighbor’s giant larch tree. My breakfast sat more snugly and smugly each time snow scoured the panes: It’s out there and I’m in here, enjoying warmth and a leisurely breakfast.

All of which reminded me of a line from Pearl S. Buck’s “The Good Earth.”

 



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