So Zeus and Other Updates

Zeus is still with me, never to depart. I cancelled the meeting with his prior mum. I told her that I had searched my heart and did not think we should put him through both of us here and in essence make him choose between us. It felt cruel. I also shared with her all of the expenses we’d been through to deal with his making-crystals issues, operation, etc. She did agree and asked only that I send her gobs of photos of him all of the time. Of course. The other thing which I did not say was that her pain with her current losses would not be eliminated through getting Zeus back. Life is like that, and these days it seems to be handed out in buckets full. Maybe her true pain is related to giving up Baby Z in the first place. I can’t imagine how she did so. Especially since she had him from the time he was 4-weeks old. Yes he was her baby. But she chose to give him up and keep the dog (it was not working out & the dog was new). As for how things are working out here, Lizzy Fig, aka LL Cool Fig is relegated to the back area of the apartment. Baby Z has the front area. They do not get along. Although I do keep trying with controlled visitations. We go on in our fashion.

Last week and weekend were hell with my dearly loved sister-in-law passing away from cancer. She and I were texting and sending notes and photos to the very end. It is a devastating loss. Another part of my past and my life falling away. I don’t understand how everyone else gets to die. I don’t want to be the cheese left standing alone. *sigh*

I have gotten back to the pool and am going three times a week. This is out of desperate need as I’ve gotten exhausted and seem to have no reserves to pull from. Yes, it may all be psychological but nonetheless physical strength is part of the foundation.

VALIS. I’ve gotten back to Philip K Dick and am rereading Valis. After I will read the two others in the trilogy which I just purchased: The Divine Invasion and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer. This is going quite well, something I did need to get back to. (Fortification continues.)

And yes, I still need to get out more agent queries for “Last House.” Happening today. Right after I complete this…right now…now…here we go…

Yes But And

I have no idea where I’ve been but obviously not here. And the odd thing is my return has not been goaded so much by guilt as by pull. A good thing, I’d say.

Please forgive any repeats on literary or writing updates, not looking back to check. Maybe I’ve been in some monster wave pushed back by the death of Tula. I don’t know. Whatever. So, to date:

I finally finished the rewrite of the rewrite of the cleanup of “Last House.” Actually send off a query to an agent. And yes, “a” is the right word. Only one? Yep, and it exhausted me. Maybe now I can get some more queries out as the time has come to assume that one as a reject. I’ve also sent “Redemption” (short story) off to a couple of places. I’ve reread & tinkered with “Byrne Road” and have come to the conclusion that it likely just belongs in the trash. *sigh* and huh. I don’t know. Maybe another read down the road. We’ll see. I’m not really a short-story writer. Sometimes I’m just moved. I am mentally and in dreams working on a very strangely different follow-up to The Fat Man. That is indeed working bytheway. Not all writing work has to do with the physical act. And I do have a few words on pages.

As for the rest of the world of mine?

My daughter got married. I didn’t know this was going to happen and I wasn’t invited. She told me when she came here to help me get my garage in order (a two person job). After the fact. *Tilt* I’m still numb I believe. I don’t know. To another woman, which is fine—just dropped in here for clarity. I’m glad they are together and that she has someone in her life. I do not know where that leaves me if it does and if anywhere. I feel like a stranger looking in through the window, the window to their house. They are still definitely moving to Portugal and the date keeps getting moved up. I don’t know if I’m going or not.

I told you that I got another cat—Baby Z, or Zeus. But I hadn’t updated with information. That was almost a year ago and now. Yes, now. His prior owner wants him back. He is a purebred Bengal. He is very chatty and knows lots of words. He also got very sick at one point as he was making crystals in his urine and almost died. Surgery was involved. Now he is on a special diet. I don’t know how all of this is going to work out. She (the prior owner) is coming over on Saturday to see him. So much for me depends upon his reaction to her. He called out “MA!” for a long time after she left him here, but then he stopped. I’ve been trying to get him to say “mama” for me. Sometimes he utters a soft “mummm.” I don’t know if that’s it or not. He is very clever and smart, currently learning how to walk with a leash.

I haven’t been swimming much at all. Just now & again with all of the silly medical tests I’ve been going through. (Good excuse.) I have grown extraordinarily annoyed with them as nothing has produced any results. Nothing has been identified as causal to the bouts of pericardial effusion. But they have let up and as I don’t know anything more, I am discontinuing any further testing. And here we go, yep! “It is what it is.” All of this to say that I’ve got my swimming suit on and am going to the pool today. Shortly.

So there you have it. And as the mice say….That’s the wayyyyyyy things are

Baby Z

Too Much & Dying Too

So much has been happening that it has been difficult to even attempt a sort-through to post. Indeed, where to begin.

First, I had another (twice now) trip to the hospital—pericardial effusion—wherein the people all thought it was a heart attack. It wasn’t. Either time. But apparently all of the medical paraphernalia thinks I am so they go with that rather than my insistence “I’m not having a heart attack!” *sigh* So. Now they have to find the cause of my attacks which are painful beyond belief.

In the operating room: The most exciting part of the whole thing is that I coded—yes, died!—and that’s where it got interesting rather than just painful. It was no big deal at all and there were no lights and out-of-body experiences or awareness or floating. Nothing. A great big huge black nothing.

Just before the Black in a millisecond I had an awareness something was happening and a wondrous peace wherein nothing mattered and then… Another second and I woke up, knew I had been “somewhere” and asked what happened. They said I coded twice (wrong count, only one, extended) and they had to resuscitate me. So while trying to “save my life”—in a non-heart attack—they almost killed me.

It is impossible to describe because the observer, and all consciousness was gone. As soon as we say nothing—we have something. It is an experience that can only be experienced. I do think that I stayed in my body because I wasn’t gone long enough. It was less than a minute. Perhaps it takes longer for the full-death experience.

It should be noted that this was Not a heart attack. It was Not heart failure. It was that my heart stopped. Those are all different things. Apparently the heart stopped due to the dye they were inserting into my veins to find the blockage (there was none) that was causing the heart attack that wasn’t.


Meanwhile. During and after recovery I’ve been doing a rewrite of a novel I wrote a while back called “Last House.” I was always fond of it and thought it should have another look through. I also wrote a short story and entered it in a couple of contests. That’s in addition to the family history I pluck away at and photos with comments I send to the family.


And the Snow! We’ve had a couple of snow storms that have been just glorious. The dog and I go out at all hours to play and enjoy. Especially deep into the night when no one else is around. It’s so incredibly joyous with mounds of white and blowing wind and the silence and the glory! Watching a black dog jump and run against all of this becomes a thing of the Spirit. Other worlds hover about, waver in the light that suddenly glints against the sweeping snow.

MatissePosted by Ravenous Butterflies


As my birthday is now gone, I can say it was. I’m not fond of saying that it is. I’ve not been interested in birthdays since the milestone days: 18, 21, and 30. After that it has seemed mostly inconsequential, especially to celebrate. Not avoidance, more like a no matter. A shrug of the shoulders.

But today I did see this poem posted, a lovely toast to the days as we mark them gone.

Poem and photo posted by Mauri Fox & Kathy Gallo

I Am Not Old
I am not old…she said
I am rare.
I am the standing ovation
At the end of the play.
I am the retrospective
Of my life as art
I am the hours
Connected like dots
Into good sense
I am the fullness
Of existing.
You think I am waiting to die…
But I am waiting to be found
I am a treasure.
I am a map.
And these wrinkles are
Imprints of my journey
Ask me anything.
~ Samantha Reynolds

And this coat has special significance for me as it’s a coat that reoccurs in my life. It is the coat that was first found on Billy the priest as we were kid-adults together in Michigan. He was quite heavyset then, and the coat looked fabulous on him. (He was not a priest at the time.) One of the first novels I wrote, “Last House” has a character in it who has such a coat. He is a character of some merit and all of the people who read the MS loved him. He is also heavyset and a very proud and kind man. When I think of the coat I can feel it, so warm and wonderful, and furry.