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My ankle is finally getting better, thank you. I got worried for awhile because it kept feeling numb and I couldn’t go without wearing the brace. Finally, I told my doctor who got me an appointment with an orthopedic doctor. It’s a rather pain to have to go that route, see your regular doctor in order to go to a specialist. But, c’est la vie.

I go to the specialist. They look at my foot. I’m thinking like nerve damage, surgery, and all sorts of bad. Nope, it’s doing fine and it’ll take awhile to heal all the way. Ditch the brace and do the exercises. So I do. Before, when I forewent the brace, my foot went all tingly and numb. The day after the doctor visit, it was fine. No problems. Even the exercises didn’t bother my foot. It could have done that earlier. It’s like it needed to hear it from a professional to feel better. And there went a hundred plus bucks fluttering in the wind to pay for something I really didn’t need.

Still, on the bright side, I now know nothing is really wrong with it. I will do my exercises and be happy it wasn’t worse. And this should be it for my ankle.

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Have a worry? Something bothering you? Type it in the Worry Web Site and your classmates will answer. It’s anonymous, but you can guess who wrote what. Samantha always goes on about her father. Holly wants a wicked stepmother. A wicked one will be easier to dislike. Greg has a crush on a girl. Whatever the worry, Mr. Speed, their teacher, hopes to lend a hand.

This is told in a collection of connected short stories. Each chapter is in first person by a different person. All, but one story is by Ms. Wilson. The odd one out was written by a twelve-year-old girl who won a competition. You can’t even tell which one it is, it’s so good. And how cool is that? I thought that was the neatest thing when I read about it.

These stories are all ones that kids can relate to and I love that there is no miracle solution to any of the worries. Just like in real life, things don’t solve that easily.

Jacqueline Wilson is a British author who writes middle grades and young adult fiction. I was on a binge, reading her books like the ‘The Illustrated Mum’ and ‘Candy Floss’, and The Lottie Project. I’d recommend all of them.

Cinnamon Mint

I’m seriously considering getting Linux Cinnamon Mint for an operating system when it’s time to get a new (used) laptop/netbook. I just wish there was an easier way to find out more about it.

I’m hoping my netbook will last still awhile. It has Windows 7 on it, which I like. I don’t want Windows 10. Call me old school, a luddite, or whatever, but I tend to do a lot of work not connected to the Internet. If I’m writing, I don’t need the Internet and if I have a question, I consult one of my books or see if the library has something, or I can wait a bit before using the Internet to find my answer. More often than not, the answer is not there or not complete. Everything is not on the Internet.

But, let’s go back to Linux. For one, there are so many versions I can find one I like and I don’t have to contend with Windows 10. It’s not as susceptible as Windows to viruses and that. That’s good because I probably have one or two on my netbook even thought my virus checker says there isn’t. It can handle the software I like – LibreOffice, GIMP, etc.

The downside, it might not handle some of the older software I have. I have to research that part still. But Windows doesn’t like them either. Even with Windows 8, I can’t use some of my software. My scanner doesn’t work 100% and I can’t use the software that came with my MP3 player (over ten years old and still going!).

I have to find someone who uses it and talk to them, someone in person. Someone who can be a mentor as I go through the process. Or maybe I’ll just leap in. I’ve gotten as far as picking out the distro I want, but I have gotten as far as leaping into the water yet. Will keep people updated.

Having grown up on military posts, I like that there are more children’s books with kids who have a parent (or two) in the military. If I see a book like this I pick it up, but sometimes with reluctance. Sometimes the scenarios of the books are so far off from when I was a kid. Either times have changed, and that’s a good possibility, or the author takes quite a bit of liberties with the story line.

For instance, in some books the kids are almost mini-soldiers, using military lingo and doing things the ‘Army way’.  In a few books, the kids sneak in places that are off-limits and just go wherever they want. In the latter, I guess, for the sake of adventure that’s okay. Not that I like those kind, but I’ll go with it.

Still, it’s not like real life. I can’t remember any of my friends going around playing or talking like soldiers. We did play with those plastic army men, but I think, everyone did. We did play army dodge. That’s where if you’re hit by the ball, wherever it hit, you were ‘wounded’, but not out. I actually liked that version.  We played a lot of dodge ball. Basically we were just regular kids who had a parent in the Army.

There was no sneaking around the base. I never even entertained the thought. Not only would I get in trouble, but so would my Dad. If someplace was off-limits, it stayed off-limits. There was a time when we used to be walk through Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg (now closed and maybe even torn down) to school, but when they tightened restrictions, forget that. We had to walk all the way around and if you wanted to go in, be prepared to show that ID.

Every evil castle needs a master. The minions at Castle Hangnail are hoping for a good one, nice and evil that is. Like the Vampire Lord. They’re not picky. An evil vampire or a dark sorceress, or even a loathsome hag will do. Who they get is Molly. Yes, she’s an evil twin, but she’s, well, twelve. And she’s short. But she does wear black boots with serious steel tips. Still, the guardian of the castle has his doubts whether she’ll pass the tests to save Castle Hangnail especially since Molly’s hiding a few secrets.

I’m so hoping there’s a second book to this. All the characters were wonderful from burlap Pins to the sweater wearing, hypochondriac goldfish to the Minotaur cook who hates the letter Q. And, of course, Molly. I liked how the townspeople didn’t think it’s strange talking to creatures, like the Minotaur or to the scarred, hunchbacked guardian of the castle.

This is a delightful fantasy with a plucky girl who wants to live her dream

 

Solar Eclipse

Yes, this is about a month late, but hey. It was on my mind.

We’re lucky enough to live in an area which reached totality. For days we were inundated with the solar eclipse. In the newspaper. On the local news. We even had an ‘official’ meteorologist.

On the day of the eclipse, I wheeled my mom to where others had gathered. There were cookies and moon pies, but we arrived to late for that. Using our official glasses, we scanned the skies. It was cloudy and there was a real chance the eclipse would be eclipsed.

Mama said she couldn’t see anything, she couldn’t tilt her head back enough. I hoped I could figure out something before we reached totality. When we reached the spot where the others were, all elderly ladies, she did manage to see it. It was here I was told I couldn’t put the eclipse glasses over my regular glasses. Well, it was that or see nothing but blur, so I only took quick peeks.

Meanwhile, the clouds clustered closer together, smashing together to create larger ones. And the clock was ticking down. Fifteen minutes to totality. Ten. Five. One.

The cloud covered the sun/moon.

Noooooooooo!

And the clouds parted. I snapped a few pictures. Using the LCD panel to see and leaning against a pillar, I snapped a few pictures, hoping for the best before putting the camera down and admire the view, to experience totality. It was cool. I didn’t find it mind-blowing, but it was pretty neat. Definitely something one had to see once.

Mom liked it too although I’m not quite sure she did see it. She first said she didn’t, then said she did. I should have checked on her better. Still, she had the experience. Totality.

For the past summers, my local library, Richland Library, has a Saturday where it offers workshops and activities from ten a.m. to two p.m. They offer a variety of interests and in the past there’s been knot tying, writing, and arts and crafts. Last year I didn’t find much to tempt me. This year they had numerous ones that piqued my interest.

In order to fully participate, I arrived early. With construction ongoing, parking is always a problem. After grabbing the schedule, I made the rounds. There was Fiber Arts: Loom Knitting. I wanted to know if that was something my mom could do. While I was complimented on how quick I picked it up, I didn’t find it my cup of tea. Still, I got to know more about it.

There was DIY Cat Toys. Had to do that. I’ve made things for my kitties they appreciated. I walked away with two items for my sister’s cat as mine are sadly gone to Kitty Heaven. On the top floor they had Inflatable Archery! I had to wrap my head around that one, but, basically, it’s an inflatable target (big so no one can miss it) and arrows with like marshmallows on the end. Cool.

There was Friendship Bracelet Make and Take. I made and took, but I learned forgot about anything like this. My mind would wander and there went my braiding. It was a hot mess. I also learned about a local watershed, one they plan to make into a greenspace with hiking and learned some welcome drawing techniques. All in all, it was a good day. Should I move to another town, I’ll be asking them to have something similar.