What Did You Do New Year’s Eve #Wednesday Words, #Excerpt

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Two months after Bill and I were married in 2005, we decided to toast the new year with French silk pie from Schwan. At a little before midnight, he served us each a slice of this chocolaty, rich dessert. Then, when he tried to put the pie back in the refrigerator, the dish slipped out of his hand, and the pie ended up on our carpeted kitchen floor. Needless to say, when 2006 arrived, we were cleaning bits of chocolate off the rug. We then ate our slices, laughed, and wished each other a happy New Year, unaware of what the new year would bring.

I don’t know why I didn’t include this in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds. But the following excerpt explains how Bill and I celebrated our first Christmas and New Year’s after his first debilitating stroke, when he could no longer slice a French silk pie.

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Christmas was a relatively simple affair compared to Thanksgiving. My uncle and aunt offered to come over on Christmas Day and bring chili. We had no out−of−town relatives visiting, just me, Bill, Dad, Grandma, and my uncle and aunt. It was a nice, quiet holiday. Bill and I rang in the New Year by watching Casablanca.

The past few months were tough at times, but we finally settled into a routine, and I could do most tasks associated with Bill’s care without thinking or worrying too much about them. Bill had recently started outpatient physical and occupational therapy, and I hoped he would develop the strength to do more on his own. However, as we snuggled together in bed after the movie, little did we know what lay ahead.

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By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

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Auld Lang Syne #Musical Monday

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

What am I doing New Year’s Eve? Probably what I do every night, stretch out in my recliner with a good book, magazine, podcast, or movie. What did we do on New Year’s Eve when I was growing up? Not a whole lot.

On rare occasions, we went out to eat, but we usually didn’t stay out late. One year, we lit sparklers in the house when the ball dropped on Times Square. Because December in Wyoming was cold and snowy, we didn’t take them outside. It’s a wonder we didn’t burn the house down.

Then, there was the year Dad got pulled over for drunk driving and would have spent the night in jail if Grandma and Uncle Jon hadn’t bailed him out. You see, because my father sold and serviced coin-operated machines, he was often called on New Year’s Eve and other nights to fix a broken jukebox in a bar where there was no other entertainment. On this particular New Year’s Eve, the establishment to which he was called was in a rural area. And, of course, he stayed after fixing the jukebox and enjoyed one too many. Fortunately, a highway patrolman caught him before he could have an accident.

On New Year’s Day, Mother always insisted on taking down the Christmas tree and other decorations. Although everyone was present when the house was decorated, my father and younger brother often had places to go on New Year’s Day, or they were sleeping it off after a night of celebration. So, the task of un-decorating fell to Mother and me.

I loved taking down ornaments just as much as I loved putting them up, fingering the glass balls and snowmen, angels, and other figurines. Although Mother grumbled about the lack of assistance, I didn’t mind. After everything was taken down and put away, I helped her haul the tree to the alley, where it would eventually be picked up by the sanitation department.

What about you? What do you remember doing on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day when you were growing up?

The song I’m singing today is synonymous with ringing in a new year. According to Wikipedia, “Auld Lang Syne” is a Scottish poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song. As I’m sure you all know, its traditional use is to bid farewell to the old year at midnight on New Year’s Eve. But it can also be sung at funerals, graduations, and as an ending to other occasions. The phrase, “Auld Lang Syne,” has been used in similar poems by Robert Ayton (1570-1638) Allan Ramsay, (1686-1757) and James Watson. (1711) It’s loosely translated as “for the sake of old times.” To learn more, click here.

If you know the words to “Auld Lang Syne,” you might want to sing along with me. Whatever you do New Year’s Eve, please keep others safe from the coronavirus by not gathering with a large crowd, and please don’t drink and drive. This post is part of Dr. Crystal Grimes’ holiday blogging party. Happy New Year!

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

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TMI Tuesday December 31st 2019

I’m back to end the year with answers to more interesting questions from the TMI Tuesday Blog.

What’s new?

 

Feel free to elaborate.

In 2019 did you

  1. Get a new job? No.
  2. Get a new haircut? No, I’ve gotten several haircuts in the past year, but they’ve always been the same style. I’ve been going to the same beautician for years, and she always remembers how I like my hair. Heaven help me when she retires.
  3. Get a new car? No.
  4. Move? No. I’ve been in the same house for over ten years, and I like it. As long as I don’t need to move, why bother?
  5. Get a new romantic partner? No. I haven’t been romantically involved since my husband passed in 2012, and I doubt I ever will be. You can read more about this in my memoir, My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.
  6. Have a kid? No.
  7. Take up a new hobby? No.

In 2020, will you?

  1. Get a new job? No. Why should I? I’ve been content working for myself as a writer for years, and as long as I don’t need the income, why bother?
  2. Get a new car? No. I’m visually impaired, so you don’t want me on the road.
  3. Take a risk? No. I might have when I was younger, but now, I’m set in my ways and prefer my life less complicated.

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How about you? To join the fun, click here, or you could leave your answers in the comment field below. Happy New Year!

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

Saying No and Yes

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.I feel like the person in Hawaii who accidentally pushed the button to alert everyone of incoming missiles last year. My earlier post, “Saying No” was not meant to go live. I composed and scheduled it last week, then had a change of heart. I thought I’d un-scheduled it when I changed the status to draft but apparently not. I have since removed the post and apologize for any inconvenience to those receiving it by email.

Instead of my Tuesday posts, I think I’ll say no to Colleen Chesebro’s weekly poetry challenge, but I haven’t yet made a decision. I’m definitely skipping it this week because I have too many things going on, and there’s a remote chance I’ll lose Internet connectivity later in the week. Here’s the story behind that.

Last week, two days after Christmas, I woke to find no Internet connection. I called CenturyLink, my current provider, but all I got was their automated system, and just when I thought a human being would finally answer, I heard a recorded message saying there was an error or that all circuits were busy. I tried several times that day, and finally in the afternoon, I didn’t even get the automated system. Instead, I got a recording that said the number was no longer in service.

Since I don’t have a smart phone, I had no way to look for information online, so I called a friend who found sketchy information on their Facebook page. Later, she told me she’d seen on the news that the company was experiencing a nationwide outage, which could take up to forty-eight hours to fix. I resigned myself to two more days without the Internet, but miracle of miracles, it started working the next morning.

However, the lack of communication between CenturyLink and its customers during the outage is inexcusable. Even the power company had a message on its phone system during an outage last year, explaining the problem and giving an estimated amount of time it would take to fix the problem. This time, not even CenturyLink’s Facebook page provided useful information about the outage, which not only affected Internet but also phone service and even 911.

I haven’t forgotten last year when I was without Internet for six days. Apparently, it was just a matter of flipping a switch in the local office, but the person in the local office responsible for doing this was away for the Christmas holiday, so that didn’t happen. This is also unacceptable.

Yesterday, I contacted Spectrum, one of the few Internet options available here in Wyoming, and was pleasantly surprised to almost immediately reach a friendly young man with an American accent who was easy to understand, compared to the clipped foreign accents of the representatives from CenturyLink I’ve spoken to in the past. When I told this particular customer service agent I just needed Internet service, that was all he offered me. He didn’t try to sell any bundled packages like the folks at CenturyLink are in the habit of doing. He did tell me about streaming music and cell service, but I explained I could easily stream music with my Amazon Echo devices and that I was happy with my cell service with Verizon, and he understood.

A technician will come next Monday to install my new service. I’ll be paying about the same amount I was before, but I’ll be getting faster service, 100 megabytes, compared to the approximately 14 megabytes I was getting before.

Now comes the hard part, notifying CenturyLink, but I will stand firm this time. I won’t let them persuade me to re-consider with a lower price for my bundled Internet and cell service. It won’t be worth it if I have to endure such shoddy services as I have in the past year.

If they cut me off in a huff, so be it. I plan to finish my online work before calling them so I’ll be covered in case that happens. If you don’t see a Song Lyric Sunday post from me later, that’ll be the reason. I’m ringing in 2019 by saying no to slow Internet speed and bad service and yes to faster Internet speed and better service. I hope you all have a safe and profitable 2019.

 

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My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

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Saturday Song: Auld Lang Syne by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

Believe it or not, another year is drawing to a close. I hope 2017 was a good one, and may 2018 be the same. Since “Auld Lang Syne” is a Scottish song, I think it’s only appropriate that we ring in the New Year with a Scottish band’s version. Enjoy, have a great Saturday, and Happy New Year!

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Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

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