#193–Excuses, excuses, excuses . . .


Not much happening, but just enough to give me plenty of excuses for not starting my new book. I had planned to have the research and text finished before I head to California mid-April. Not so sure now. Stay tuned!

Gimpy leg

When I was in California over the holidays, my right leg was giving me fits. I quit wearing the compression sock on that leg and that helped. I had been wearing them on both legs since last April when I discovered that I have edema––a result of the lymphoma.

After I got home, I saw my primary care physician who had some x-rays taken. Even though, it was my leg that was the problem, he had my hip and back x-rayed. I mentioned that to him, and he assured me he knew what he was doing. Apparently, he did because we discovered that I have arthritis in my right hip and my back as well as my knee. Any of which could be causing my problems. So I was signed up for a dozen physical therapy sessions.

I now have a series of exercises and stretches to do, none of which are difficult. And I’m to ride my exercycle and walk as much as I can. With all the rain we’ve had, I’ve done no walking outside, but I have been using the exercycle, which is in the nice, dry garage.

I’m half through with the PT, and I’ve discovered that my right leg doesn’t lie flat, it caves in when I walk or ride a bike, and I almost shuffle when I walk. Who knew! I have so much to think about now when I move around that it takes all my concentration––stand up straight, shoulders back, head up, keep the leg from caving in, step without scraping the ground, straighten each leg as I step, strike with the heel first. I’m afraid if anybody says “Hi,” I won’t even notice. And I’m to use walking sticks (not one but two) on my walks around the neighborhood. It will help my posture as well as my walking. Another advantage––I’ll be prepared if I meet a bear. Can’t you just picture it!

Backstreet Gallery


Backstreet Gallery is located on Bay Street and is a co-op gallery with about 25 member/owners.

I’ve completed my training at Backstreet Gallery. That means I’ve shadowed someone else twice while they were on duty from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and twice from 1:15 p.m. until 5 p.m. Next week I will be on duty by myself for a shift—first time alone. It scares me just to think about it. There are detailed lists of how to do everything, which I’ll be very grateful for.

I’ve been to a couple of meetings and to a couple of the Second Saturday receptions, which are very well attended. I am on the committee to set up and take down for every other month. Since I started at Backstreet, no matter how stupid my questions or when I’ve forgotten to do something, everyone has been very helpful. I feel like I’ve joined a community, a community of very talented and caring people. The best part is that I’m enjoying it and feel like I belong. I almost forgot to mention––at Backstreet, my books are selling.

Sick kitty

Sir Groucho

Groucho is feeling good in this photo.

For the past three weeks, Groucho went through what I call his “stuck hairball” routine each week. He stops eating and drinking water, which causes him to become totally lethargic. Then I take him to the vet where he gets hydrated, radiograms are taken, lots of lubricant is given, and we wait for the hairball to pass. When he gets sick like this, he is totally fine the day before and perks up within the day afterward. But during his sick time, it’s hard on him, hard on me, and hard on my pocketbook.

I give him hairball lubricant daily, but since the one I’ve been using doesn’t seem to be working any more, I’ve switched to a different one. This is the fourth week and first with a new lubricant. So far he’s feeling good!


During the first week when Groucho became sick, I had to take him to the vet on the same day I was to be the speaker for Rotary. I called the vet clinic at 8:30 a.m. and they fit me in at 11 a.m. Then I went to the Florence Events Center where Rotary meets and met with the staff there to help set up for my PowerPoint program. They set up their laptop and projector, and we tried my thumb drive. It worked. That meant I did not have to use my laptop and projector. Then they saved my program on their laptop’s desktop and gave me back my thumb drive.  I had also brought everything else I needed for the program, plus some books to hopefully sell afterward. All this, I stashed in a back room.

Then I dashed home. I was in the middle of figuring out what to wear, when I noticed the message light blinking on the phone. It was the vet, appointment changed to 10:30 a.m. I looked at the clock––10:15 a.m. and it takes 15 minutes to get to town. I put Groucho in his carrier. Dashed to the vet. Forgot about what I was going to wear. Even forgot my jacket. It was raining, of course. Finally, got him through check in and talked to the vet. Left at 11 a.m. Supposed to be at FEC by 11:30 a.m. Dashed home, changed clothes, dashed back, got there 11:45 a.m.

Got my books set up at a table in the lobby. Then went inside and Kevin, FEC director, gave me the clicker and showed me how to use it. Got a little lunch, sat down just as the gong sounded to start the meeting at noon sharp. Rotary runs on time—to the minute. You don’t dare go over. I was given a 25-minute slot at the end of the meeting. So I was doing my 20-minute history of Florence program. I hate rushing around before a program, and I hate being last when I’m part of a larger meeting. In spite of everything, my program went perfectly–no glitches. I love having a clicker that works. I usually choose a volunteer from the audience to click my laptop, since I don’t have a hand-held clicker. I finished with a couple of minutes to spare, which gave Rotary time to do their ending routine and finish just as the clock struck 1 p.m. Out in the lobby, I met with several people and sold seven books. Not too bad!

Then I dashed back to the vet clinic in my dress-up clothes and waited an hour before I got to see the vet. On this particular day, Groucho definitely had a hairball. It showed up on the radiogram. I took him home, and continued administering the lubricant. And about midnight, it passed.

4th Edition Crossings


We expected the books––all 1,000 of them––to arrive last week. But when they hadn’t come by late Thursday, I emailed Bob and he contacted the printer. They said they would be “released” the following Monday. Sounds like they had to tame them first. So it is Wednesday as I sit here writing, and I will be home ready both tomorrow and Friday. I‘ve made room for them in the garage and Bob and his assistant Patrick have offered to come to help unload the truck. I have a couple of trollies to make the job easier. I hope the driver will call ahead of time, so that I can give Bob and Patrick a heads up and have them here before the truck arrives. That’s the plan anyway. I don’t really expect them before Friday.


Right now, life is good. Groucho sits on my lap purring, and the sun is shining. Gotta grab my walking sticks and walk around the neighborhood before the next rain shower. Maybe I’ll start my new book tomorrow . . .  

About crossingsauthor

Judy Fleagle spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.Since 2009, she has written five books: "Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges," "The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans," "Around Florence," "Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known," and "The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED!!!."
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