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Vacation!

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Yes, sometimes even reporters get a little time off.

I won't be on Facebook while we're on vacation, but I'll likely be Tweeting on the personal account at @edonald if I see something amusing. I'll switch off the automatic feed so the Facebook crew won't be deluged with my blather, but if you actually want to see what we're up to, follow me there.

I will blog if I feel like it.

If you all have news, contact my bosses at Ye Olde Newspaper.
Public officials, please remember you are still under adult supervision.
No scandals or exciting chases, please.
If you're planning crime, please hold off until I get back.
[Redacted] is certainly not allowed to resolve itself without me.
In fact, no news is allowed to take place for the next two weeks.

We are going to have fun as a family and hang out with good friends. And I'll have the joy of changing Boy's bandages three times a day, so that should be fun. (He's going to be fine.)

See y'all on the flip …

Stumpy

The good news: Boy is home early! Yay for boyhugs.
The bad news: He is home early due to injury. Of course.

About a week to ten days ago, he was nicked by an arrow in the leg. (Long story.) Tonight they called me to tell me the wound had gotten badly infected, and he needed immediate medical attention. So I drove out to collect him and his things (made record time to camp); he was due to leave Sunday, so this basically cuts his time short.

He greeted me, "Hello momperson."

So tonight was a pile of fun, with attempting to clean out the wound and bandage it properly. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but I worked as a medical assistant in my youth, and Jim was an Air Force medic. (Of course, that was in 1985, so our arguments over the advisability of using hydrogen peroxide in wounds will continue as long as we argue over macaroni and cheese as a side dish.)

We drove by Jim's work on the way back from camp so Jim could look at the leg. We debated taking him to ur…

Mail Fraud, or How to Ask Rude Questions in Public

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So, did anybody send us money recently?

There's no polite way to ask that question, but I have to ask, because it looks like someone may have been swiping our mail. We have had three pieces of mail go missing en route to us in the last month, and each of them was related to money: a check for a Relay fundraiser, a graduation card for Boy with check enclosed, and a replacement debit card for my business account.

We are getting the card replaced and the others have been informed. But the complicating factor is that Boy received a metric ton of wonderful cards, letters and other mail from kind family and friends congratulating him on his graduation. And in the time-honored tradition of the starving student, most of them sent cash or checks.

Boy diligently wrote thank-you cards for gifts received before he went off to camp. There were a few that came in after he left, so those have not been properly thanked yet. (He's getting to them as soon as he comes home, he swears.)

But as we…

Workaversary

A random thought occurred to me tonight: This month marks 17 years with the News-Democrat, and simultaneously marks 20 years in journalism.

I suppose I could count my career from my occasional dabblings in junior high or high school newspapers, or from the point where I switched majors to news editorial and started working for the University of Tennessee student paper. But for my own purposes, I count from my internship at the Union City (Tenn.) Daily Messenger, which began this month in the sunny year of 1997.

It doesn't feel like 20 years ago, and sometimes I feel like I catch glimpses of the greenest cub reporter to step into an old-fashioned newsroom. Many of the tales I could tell from those days belong over drinks in a bar, not in this blog. But I can tell this one: I learned more from the editor of the Daily Messenger in six months than I could have learned in years of study.

His name was David Critchlow, and last I heard, he's still running the show. They had never had…

On how I damn near killed my fool self

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I haven't blogged in a while, because May was a hell of a month. There was the Kentucky signing, the 175th anniversary of my church, a health issue that turned out okay, Jim's 50th birthday, Ian's graduation, the big barbecue celebration, Relay for Life, Ian's orchestra trip to Florida and now off to be a camp staffer for the Boy Scouts this summer. Frankly, I was too damn busy to blog.

So I planned to come back to blogging with some profound statements about the big milestones we achieved in the last month. Emotions surrounding the graduation of my son, something profound about Jim's birthday, my elation at actually meeting our Relay goal despite my minimal effort this year, pictures from the family gatherings.

Instead, I damn near killed my fool self today, so you get that instead.

Our refrigerator door rail pops free all the time, and when it does, it spills condiments and bottles all over the floor. I did a grocery run after work, and I was putting away the foo…

Bakeapalooza completed

In the last three weeks, I have successfully:

• Planned and executed Easter dinner;

• Planned, promoted and baked a smorgasbord for a pottery-painting fundraiser (cookies, brownies, strawberry cake, fruit punch) to benefit Relay for Life;

• Done a writing/photography/signing trip to Louisville;

• Planned, promoted and coordinated an author fair;

• Prepared and served a fundraiser chili supper with chili, hot dogs, chips, fruit cups, cupcakes, cookies, key lime pie, candybars and more for Relay;

• Prepared and served a dessert buffet for the church (chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake, cheese and crackers, cheese dip, bagels and cream cheese);

• Prepared and served the remains of the chili supper for the church.

I'm... tired.

No rest for the wicked; next comes preparation for Jim's 50th birthday and Ian's high school graduation, which take place the same weekend. I am in search of the little elves and forest creatures that are supposed to appear out of nowhere to assist …

Hello Kentucky/Indiana

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Oh, just pick a state, willya...

I greet you from a lovely bed and breakfast in Charlestown, Indiana. It's a charming mansion with many rooms decorated in a comfortable, Victorian-inspired style, a billiards and music room downstairs and lovely gardens, at least what I could see when I arrived after dark.



The only downside of the room: No desk, and I neglected to charge the laptop, so I can't work at the nifty writing-desk in the hall. Therefore I have the laptop balanced on my knees in the Victorian contour chair so I can write this blog. The things I do for you people.

Today was supposed to be a leisurely drive to the Louisville, Ky. area to explore the area before the marketing symposium for writers at Karen's Book Barn, the store hosting me and many other authors this weekend. Of course, I got hit with about five errands to run "on my way out of town," no less than two minor crises, and got twenty minutes away from home before I realized I'd forgotten som…