Luggage

Thirty odd years ago (yeah, I can’t believe I can say that either) my mother bought me a luggage set as a birthday/graduation/xmas present.  It was pretty expensive then (especially for my mom) and I have to say I have gotten a lot of use out of it.  For roughly $100-$150 I got a complete Samsonite set.

20170702_203051_Burst01.jpgAnd, after 30 some years of traveling (I lived out of them for a couple of years) they really have stood the test of time.

What happened to the days where you bought something and knew it would last?  Remember the days where Samsonite had those commercials where chimpanzee’s, monkey’s, and apes threw the cases around?  They really did/do last.  Okay, it was American Tourister (do they still exist?) but, you get my drift…

I’m sad to say that other cases I’ve added have never lasted as long.  This set, pictured above is still going fairly strong.  I have one or two pieces I never use anymore (makeup case) and I’ve learned to downsize, but the same basic three pieces are still alive.  I’ve lost the pull strap for the big one which still has working wheels, you can see wear and tear on the edges, and today I found a hole through one of them as I pack for the GCLS con in Chicago.  Still, quality LASTS.  So does a GOOD story.  It stick’s with you for a LONG time, even after the book has become frayed and worn away.

We are living in a time where people dispose of their possessions far too easily.  A book, a story that sticks with you, makes you want to read over and over again, is priceless.  So take a moment and think over those you have enjoyed.  Check out mine if you haven’t, and if you have, please leave a review….you never know who you might influence and they can have the same enjoyment of the story that you had.

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If you are at GCLS this next week, please say hello to me.  If I look a bit confused it’s because I have the memory of a goldfish and while your name might ring a bell, the bell’s clapper may have been muffled…Facebook friends and others have a tendency to make me look as though I don’t remember anyone, but I do, and I have a long memory for the oddest things…so take a chance and give me a hug (I really don’t bite (despite the fangs)…hard), talk to me, and ask me for a lesbian membership card!  Lol!   Who knows when/where we will meet again!  See you all there!

Sew, so what?

Did you know I can sew?  Yeah, not one of my better accomplishments but in a pinch I can do it.  My father, a misogynist and sexist boor gave me a sewing kit similar to this one master-SMR010 for my graduation from high school gift…and, I think because it was free on his credit card statement (remember when they used to do that to entice you to spend MORE money) and also, because it didn’t arrive in time to give it to my SISTER for Xmas.  My sister is definitely more domesticated than I.  Mine is beige and has lots more room for spools of thread on it than the one shown here.  I’ve rarely had to replace any of those spools that came with it, because there was so much!  And, although it really was one of those HUH moments of why someone would give you such a thing, I have kept it for the last 30 plus years.  Used it, and slowly added to it.  Grandma, a champion sewer, had a beautiful sewing basket that I have kept out of nostalgia and I added her shears and some of the other things from it to mine, after all, needles and safety pins never fade away in their apparent value.

Today I had to sew up a few things in preparation for the conference and resultant travel.  How is it everything needs repairing all at once?  Well, I procrastinate until I have no choice and do it all at once.  I’m pretty good, I have to say, despite never having made my own clothes and only repairs over the years.  My sister-in-law made her wedding dress, which was absolutely gorgeous as well some horrible maids dresses (I know, I had to wear one).

I only got two-three pin pricks, because, apparently I can’t see as well as I once did.  I use a thingy I have no idea what it is called, that helps me thread the needle, if I can see the eye of the needle to stick it through.  Okay, I’ll admit, I want to know what this thingy is called now…it has a narrow metal crossed band that you put the thread in and pull it through the needle, effectively threading the needle.  Anyone know what it’s official name is?

Funniest darn thing happened though, I sewed a button on a shirt, on the INSIDE accidentally, and tight too.  Trying to get that thing back off was frustrating, but I had done a good job.  I laughed at that one, but now it’s all sewed on good and tight, and on the correct side.

So, as my skills at domesticity surprise you all (me too) and my eyesight fails, I want to remind you to READ while you CAN and while you are at it…check out my books at:

Rainbow Feather www.kannemeinel.com READ

It’s off to Chicago I go for GCLS!

Has it really been a YEAR since Washington DC and GCLS?  Where has the time gone?  REALLY?  I traveled a lot since then, bought a few new computers, got a new SUV, wrote a few books (you didn’t miss THAT did you?) and here we are again!  Another event.  This year it’s in Chicago which is cool because it’s only 5 hour (depending on traffic) or so from the Northwoods where I hole up in my cave *depending on if I’m writing.  This hermit is coming out of the cave for this event.  Be sure to stop by the Shadoe Publishing booth as seen here from last year.20160707_124440

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Ask me for a Lesbian Membership card!  I laminated a few too for you die-hards who need a card!  lol!

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Oh, and I’m bringing PLENTY of books too, got the first loads in the back of my new SUV:

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Yeah, those are HEAVY…I will have to either get a bigger SUV or a trailer soon!

C'mon Folks.

All joking aside, Shadoe Publishing has two booths this year as always and we would LOVE to see you.  I’ll be on a panel with some very nice authors on Thursday, and, of course around for the author signings…or, if you can’t be there for that, buy a book and hunt me down with my red fedora or my light up shoes!

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Because, well, as you know, I don’t like to draw attention to myself, bahahahahahah!

C’mon, you know you want to give me a hug, get a picture, and I want to see you all there too!  Don’t be shy!  I don’t bite…hard.  BTW, if you post a picture of me and you on Facebook from the conference, I want you to tag me!  I’ll even consider GIVING you a book for doing that!

See you there!

K’Anne!

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The Fidget Cube

My girlfriend is a FIDGETIER.

I know it.  She knows it.  We accept it.

It is particularly annoying when you wish to cuddle and she lasts only a little while before the twitches start, usually in the legs or feet, and she has to move.  I used to take it personally, but I’ve learned, she just HAS to move, she MUST move, or she’ll implode or something along that line.  That would probably be messy.  I have learned to accept and look beyond her fidgeting.

However, my sense of humor gets the best of me sometimes and I couldn’t help myself.  I saw this little gadget on line somewhere, probably on Facebook, and I thought, that is PERFECT for her.  I MUST get THAT.  Now, to be fair, I’m a gadget freak, maybe a nerd would sound better?  I love gadgets, do-dads, and dust collectors.  I think that compensates for her fidgeting, don’t you think?  Anyway, back to my story.  I ordered this little item here:

I had to order it.  It was so PERFECT for my girlfriend.  I KNEW she could not POSSIBLY have one.  She does not collect things.  She does not have useless gadgets lying around (I do, and someday, that may be a bone of contention).  She doesn’t have dust-collectors.  She’s a minimalist.  Why she likes me, I have to say it must be our scintillating conversations and my outrageous sense of humor…yeah, right.

Well, it took well over a month for this Fidget Box, also known as a Gadget Box, also known as a Stress Cube, to arrive from China. (Notice it reads FIDDET CUBE, figure THAT one out).  Fortunately, I told her that ‘something’ was coming.  I did NOT tell her WHAT.

Today she received the envelope that it came in.  She said the oriental writing was so obscure she couldn’t have sent it back if she wanted to.  I laughed.  Then she told me when she opened it, it did not have instructions.  I laughed so hard, I cried.  She said she was looking for a USB port to plug it in.  She flipped the switch, she pushed the buttons, she rolled the ball, flipped the dial, and as she is telling me all this I’m only laughing harder, and HARDER!  I finally explained, it didn’t NEED instructions.  It did EXACTLY what it was supposed to do.  It made her fidget, it made her think, it had her concentrate on it as she tried to figure out WHAT it DID! E

I haven’t laughed that hard in ages, and, fortunately, she got my humor in this case.  She too joined in as she told me her trials and tribulations in trying to figure it out.  It only made it funnier to me.  Then I remembered that old joke, how to keep an idiot entertained:

My girlfriend is not an idiot, she is one of the most intelligent women I have ever met, but I did tell her the joke and we both laughed as it hit the funny bone in this whole story.

Meanwhile, it now sits in a place of honor on her desk, waiting for her to fidget with it, and, I hope, provide her with inane and random laughter as she thinks over this conversation and plays with it.

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If you’ve enjoyed this little story, please check out my books…somewhere in them is a little bit of me…and my humors…

Rainbow Feather www.kannemeinel.com READ

Pirated Heart, the sequel to Pirated Love

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~A swashbuckling good time~

From China to India to Africa and home to England…Will the love that Bettina Carmichaels shares with her wife, Claire, stand the test of time?  Will it even last the second year of marriage?

Trading, pirating, sword fights, sea battles, near drownings, and imprisonment…a sailor’s life may not be for all.  Come along as Tina, also known as ‘Black Betty,’ and Claire attempt to repair their failing marriage and survive sailing on the high seas…

Buy Direct on my website     Get a signed copy here!

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And coming soon to these three:

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The Northwood Lodge

I am pleased to present to you my FIRST non-fiction novella.  A biographical novella about my father and grandparents with plenty of pictures.

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In 1934, John Dillinger engaged in a shoot-out with the Division of Investigation, later called the F.B.I., at Little Bohemia in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin.  Next door to Little Bohemia was the Northwood Lodge owned by Ernst and Agatha Meinel, my paternal grandparents.

Buy Direct on my website

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And coming soon to these two retailers:

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Another NEW year, celebrate WITH me!

I don’t know why this date always sticks out, because I don’t recall the exact day I found out I had cancer.  However, I do remember it was April, I’d just come back from an expo with my sons, my mother had died of brain cancer in January, I was selling my house in Southern California, I was finishing up my lengthy divorce that had taken over six years, and I was very, very sick.  I couldn’t breathe.  It was a Wednesday when I got in to see the doctor.  On Thursday I had x-rays, on Friday I went in for a biopsy…I was awake for the surgery where they removed the lymph nodes in my neck…it was gross because I could see the entire procedure on the shiny light above me, I couldn’t move from the anesthetic paralysis they had put me in, but they wanted me to talk to them, you know, in case they hit my vocal chords?

I’d been sick for a year, I knew it, as a woman, as a mother, and as someone who feels things very intrinsically.   I ignored it.  Why?  I was trying to raise two boys.  They were, when I found out my prognosis, aged twelve and ten.  I was also trying to run two businesses, one of them internationally and it was growing exponentially.  I was also trying to maintain two households.  I had a house in Huntington Beach, CA and another that I was renting in Los Osos, CA.  Then, my mother started behaving oddly.  She was living in our house in Huntington Beach and I was ‘home’ for the weekend.  I remember the first sign vividly in October of 2000 as it still hurts, even though she didn’t mean it, and it was so out of character for her.

We were watching some TV and a commercial came on about abuse.  A woman of about forty was yelling.  You would assume by what she was yelling that she was saying it to kids, abusing them.  Then the camera panned out to show a little old lady, practically cringing away from yelling woman.  I was horrified.  I turned to my mother and told her how much that commercial upset me.  Not that it was okay if it was children she was yelling at, neither was it okay to yell at a defenseless older woman.  My mother looked at me almost blankly for a moment and said, “Well, what do you think you do to me?”  I stared at her in the same horror that I had felt at seeing that commercial.  I gasped.  I also defended myself.  I said, “I would never speak to you in that manner!”  She had raised me correctly and she knew I would NEVER raise my voice to her.  She subsided after that.  I, however, realized something was wrong.  My wonderful, kind, and patient mother was behaving irrationally, that was the ‘first’ incident that I was aware of.

In November of that year, I bought another house, this time in Los Osos, CA, across the bay from Morro Bay, CA, so we could all live under one roof again.  It had to have a fenced in yard since we had two dogs, five cats, two growing boys, and my mother and I, as well as near enough to my warehouse in Morro Bay.  We were all elated as I signed the paperwork.  I had told no one as I didn’t want to jinx it until it was complete, good thing too as a week after I signed the seller changed their mind.  I felt horrible as my mother was so excited about us living together again.  She adored her grandchildren which she had helped me raise once I became a single parent.  I firmly believe that with her help they turned into better human beings than they would have it I had been completely alone for those years.

At Thanksgiving, I arranged to have someone else cook our dinner, I was too busy with work and picked it up.  We really enjoyed the meal and my mother was behaving oddly.  I kept asking her if she was okay the whole weekend before I had to get back to my other home and work up in Morro Bay.  It was a four-hour drive.

My mother knew my 1-800 number (it’s a free number to call businesses to those of you who don’t have that in your country) by heart and called me at least once a day, or I called her to check in.  A week or so before Christmas I couldn’t reach her.  I tried for days.  I had the police go do a ‘wellness’ check where they go pound on the door and ask the occupant if they are ‘okay.’  There was no response.  I finished up my Christmas rush of orders as fast as I could and headed down as soon as the boys were out of school for the day.  No one answered the door, my key worked, but the door was bolted.  I could, however, hear the dogs barking.  I had to lift my boys, one by one, over the back fence.  My biggest worry was that she had died in the house and they would find her, there was nothing I could do.  They went through the dogie door.  I went around to the front of our town home and they let me in.  My mother was sitting on the couch and was like, “Hi there!”  I was not amused, but I was relieved.

Fortunately, across the common area of our townhome complex lived my friend Jill.  She had been a nurse for years and I went to see her after we visited for a while at mom’s.  I asked her what I should do and she recommended I take my mother to the E.R. and tell them about her altered state, just as I had told her.  With that course in mind I went home and asked my mother when was the last time she had bathed.  Clearly, she could no longer take care of herself and this altered state of mind worried me.  Was she taking her meds?  Was she feeding the dogs?  I had regular orders of groceries delivered, part of our phone calls so I could just arrange that all the time.  Everything ‘seemed’ fine but I knew something was wrong.  She asked me if she stank, I assured her that she didn’t, but wondered if a bath would make her ‘feel’ better.  It did.  We had a delightful evening together, just like always.  The next morning, I took her to the E.R., she would never return home.

Getting her to the hospital alone was a nightmare.  I had one of those extended vans and she couldn’t get up in it.  I tried to lift her, but as we were about equal in weight and height, that didn’t work.  Then, her colostomy bag broke and we had to clean her up.  It took two HOURS to get her out the door and to the E.R. which was about ten minutes away.  I felt so bad as though I had failed her as a daughter.  I hadn’t, but I felt that way.

They kept her because based on my description of her behavior, they ran a scan and found a brain-tumor.  The doctor was eager to operate.  I could imagine my mother’s horror at the idea.  She was a very conscientious and particular person…about the way things should and shouldn’t be done.  She was very classy, very dignified.  She’d already survived thyroid and colon cancer, she would not want her head shaved and them digging into her brain.  The tumor had metastasized already but not from her other two cancers.  I have a theory that when she went in for her regular checkup in June, that they found out about the tumor, and she chose not to tell me.  She chose to let it go.  I decided then and there, knowing my mother, that she wouldn’t want the brief amount of time the doctors would have given her with such a surgery.  She would want to go on, she was tired of fighting, she was tired of living, she would want to die with dignity.  We’d talked extensively over the years about her two cancers, her three strokes, and I knew her well enough to know what she would want and the decisions she would make if she could.  I refused to allow the surgery.  I told my mother who was lucid, but had short-term memory loss, my decision.  I wasn’t sure she was nodding because she trusted me or because she agreed with me.  After telling her three times that weekend that she was dying of a brain tumor, I was done, I wouldn’t tell her anymore.  It hurt too much.  This was Saturday when I admitted her, by Monday she was in a coma.  They said she would never awaken again and probably be dead by Thursday.  This was right before Christmas 2000.

My mother not only woke up again, she recognized me, my boys, and my brother when he visited.  Nothing like making a liar out of the doctors.  During the last days, she had a stroke.  She always thought she would die of a stroke since her mother had, so when she tried to ask me what was wrong with her and I couldn’t tell her again that she was dying of a brain tumor, I told her she’d had a stroke.  THAT she could understand and comprehend and it seemed to give her comfort.  She even tried, during the last days, to comfort me when I was crying about her dying.  She told me I would be okay, patting me on the stomach.  She was right, I would be okay.  When she slipped back into her coma a few days later, I told her to go on, don’t hang around for me, I would be fine, she raised a strong woman, and I loved her.  She died the next day on January 4, 2001.

Four months later in April I was dealing with my own prognosis and possible death.  It was terrifying for my two boys.  I tell you, if they didn’t exist, I probably would not have fought so hard.  The doctor told me if I did nothing that I would live maybe 4-5 months…and it wouldn’t be a very pleasant death, choking to death.  I became a human guinea pig.

You might wonder why I tell all this, part of it is to remember because I need to, to exorcise it from my psyche.  Part of it is to tell others that no matter how bad things are, you can do it, you can deal with it.  I write about strong women in my books because I am a strong woman, my mother was a strong woman, my grandmother was a strong woman, my great-grandmother was one too…so I come from a long line of strong women and that is what I know and write about.  Here’s a bit of trivia, I am the youngest daughter, of the youngest daughter, of the youngest daughter, of the youngest daughter…how is that for a legacy?  I have no daughters, lol

No matter what you go through, what you may go through, you can do it…I firmly believe that the fates, that a higher power, God if you believe, doesn’t give you ANYthing that you can’t handle.  So, celebrate with me that it’s been SIXTEEN years since that long-ago prognosis.  I’m here, I’m still publishing stories that I hope you all enjoy, AND there is more to come.

If you wish to read more about my cancer story, please click here, here, here, and for the first mention, here.

AND, as always, check out my website to look at all my amazing books!  (Click on the picture to be taken to the site)

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