Sometimes I think I’m getting close to defeating Laundry Mountain. Then I start to do some regular cleaning. I find clothes lying around in random places, and I strip the sheets from the beds. They will all have to be washed. Then I notice that there are no clean towels in the bathroom, and the bathroom rugs are looking kind of grungy. So I go from feeling like I’m finally on top of the laundry situation to feeling crushed under a laundry avalanche.
Below is a list of Barbara Michaels novels. I cobbled the list together from information I found at several websites. It looks as though Barbara Mertz published about a book per year under this pseudonym, for a total of twenty-nine. It’s an impressive list, especially considering that she had other pseudonyms.
I’ve created this list for myself, just in case I feel like reading them all. Each book takes me one or two nights to read, time that I would probably otherwise waste watching TV. I like being able to say I’ve read all of any author’s work. It gives me a feeling of having accomplished something.
Oh, I know there are many other readers who would sneer at my choice. I know a thing or two about literary snobs, in part because I am one. Though I myself often ridicule the genre, and sometimes (more gently) the author, I have been enjoying my Barbara Michaels binge. Nothing makes me happier than light reading by an author who seemed to look upon the world in much the same way as I do.┬áIt’s not literary. It’s not deep. It’s just escapist reading. Anyone who looks down on escapist reading should remember that, as C.S. Lewis told Arthur C. Clarke, “The only people who object to escapism are jailers.” Escapism is what we need when we’re watching so many things in this world go wrong. Escapism is what we need when we’re confronted with our own powerlessness. Escapism is what we need when we just can’t get out of a bad mood. Escapism is necessity, now more than ever. I have found the form of escapism that works for me right now. I only hope that everyone else can, too!
List of Novels by Barbara Michaels (those I’ve read are in bold)
- The Master of Blacktower (1966)
- Sons of the Wolf (1967)
- Ammie, Come Home (1968)
- Prince of Darkness (1969)
- The Dark on the Other Side (1970)
- The Crying Child (1971)
- Greygallows (1972)
- Witch (1973)
- House of Many Shadows (1974)
- The Sea King’s Daughter (1975)
- Patriot’s Dream (1976)
- Wings of the Falcon (1977)
- Wait for What Will Come (1978)
- The Walker in Shadows (1979)
- The Wizard’s Daughter (1980)
- Someone in the House (1981)
- Black Rainbow (1982)
- Here I Stay (1983)
- The Grey Beginning (1984)
- Be Buried in the Rain (1985)
- Shattered Silk (1986)
- Search the Shadows (1987)
- Smoke and Mirrors (1989)
- Into the Darkness (1990)
- Vanish with the Rose (1992)
- Houses of Stone (1993)
- Stitches in Time (1995)
- The Dancing Floor (1997)
- Other Worlds (1999)
Poor, Marshall. If he asks for anything in the morning, his parents are likely to answer, “Wait until I’m done drinking my coffee!”
One morning, while said parents were leisurely drinking their coffee, he was heard to lament, “Why do people drink stupid coffee?!?!”
2018 hasn’t been a great year so far. Our cat died, then we all caught the flu, and then we had a nasty nor’easter that knocked our power out for 24 hours. I am thankful, though, that these things happened sequentially instead of at the same time. I can’t imagine trying to take care of a dying cat while we all had the flu, or being sick while the power was out and we had no heat. In other words, it could have been worse, and I am grateful that it wasn’t.
Yesterday morning my temperature was normal. I felt just good enough to get up, do laundry, and take care of the kids. I let my hubby sleep in my daybed for most of the day. I stayed downstairs with the children and tried to keep them occupied. We listened to music, colored pictures, wrote silly poems. That was enough to wear me out. By the end of the day, I was exhausted and my fever had come back.
I’m trying to take it easier today. There are things that have to be done, of course. I already did the dishes, made lunch, threw in a load of laundry, and walked to the end of the driveway to pick up the paper. Now I am in bed, and I will try to stay here as much as possible. Lying down is essential to recovery.
Tomorrow we have to get back to our usual schedule. Marshall is well enough to return to school. I have no choice but to return to work. My deadline is looming. My boss was able to squeeze a few more days out the schedule for me, but that’s it. Now it’s up to me to make sure the work gets done in time. I have never missed a deadline, and I don’t plan to start now.
Do you know what’s really bad about the flu?
Everything about the flu is really bad.
We are still sick. We are totally exhausted. But I suppose we can take some small comfort in the fact that we probably have the B strain. The doctor said the B strain is a little less awful than the A strain.
The name of the game is “Flu” and it’s played like this:
Feel a little better. Get up. Immediately feel worse. Get back into bed. Feel cold. Bundle up. Start feeling so hot that you can’t stand it. Sweat so bad that you soak your clothes. Feel chilled. Change clothes. Fall asleep for a while.
Repeat and repeat and repeat, until it’s finally over.
The outdoors was not alone in being warm today. I’ve got a fever of 101.9. I caught this illness, whatever it is, from the kids. Marshall seems to have recovered. Livia is on the mend. I’m probably at the peak of it, and my husband is not far behind. Joy.
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ANGER: you have to use it or lose it. Channel it into something good, or let it go.