As Terry Pratchett’s witch character Granny Weatherwax says, on the sign she holds while she’s immobilized through “borrowing” another body, I antn’t dead.

A week ago last Thursday, I put a foot wrong and then I put another foot wrong and I fell down sideways. After I finished bouncing around, I discovered that I had sprained my foot. Again. The same foot I always sprain. I guess that’s a good thing–at least I don’t have TWO bum dogs. So there I was, lying on my bed of pain, enjoying the attention, and my mother decides she just HAS to have appendicitis for Christmas.

Saturday afternoon, our daughter #3 took Mom to the ER and they put her in the hospital. The doctor happened to be in and the OR team was finishing up an operation, so they scrubbed up again and took her in. Over the midnight between Saturday and Sunday, they took out her appendix. It took her several days to come back from it enough for them to send her home. I spent a lot of the days with her at the hospital, and I went home with her and spent a couple of days and nights with her.

Altogether, I’ve been off-line so long I can hardly remember my way around the ether.

Since she’s been home, I’ve been cooking for her. One night, just as I got ready to put supper on the table, she says, “I wish we could have some salad. Do we have anything for salad?” I said, “We have slaw.” She said, “I don’t want slaw.” I said, “We could have fruit.” Fruit sounded good. So I opened a can of pears and divided them into individual bowls. I drizzled them with honey and sprinkled them with cinnamon, and they were heavenly.

Today, she had some chicken breasts she wanted cooked before they got freezer burn, about half a can of sliced black olives and a sad and wrinkled red bell pepper. Here is what I made:

HAPPY LITTLE CASSEROLE

  • 1 package frozen chicken breasts
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 1/2 can ripe olives, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • salt, pepper, rosemary
  • olive oil

Oil a baking pan with the olive oil. Put the frozen chicken breasts in the pan in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, rosemary, onion, celery and olives. Cover and bake at 350F for 1 hour. This will throw off quite a bit of liquid, which you should save for soup.

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In other news, I was asked to do a further rewrite of “Leaving the Turtle”, the short story I submitted to Norilana Press’ WARRIOR WISEWOMAN anthology. Roby James is a terrific editor–she pinpoints just what’s needed. None of this “It just doesn’t work for me” stuff. She KNOWS why it doesn’t work, and she tells you. Invaluable! I hope I’ve done it right this time–I would be so honored to be in an anthology edited by such a spot-on professional.

I also got my contracts, edits, formatting instructions and other necessaries from Echelon Press. Been busy as well as HURTED. And I haven’t even started my Christmas baking!

MA

writing prompt: Sprain a character’s foot and see how he/she behaves.

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