Not in the Plan

Posted: October 21st, 2012 under Life beyond writing.
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I had all sorts of plans for yesterday and today, but they were scuppered by an attack-bug of some sort that showed up overnight after I got home.  Fever, chills, aches, gut disturbance…bleh.  So I’m home, but not fighting-fit.  Or writing-fit.    Just to absolve myself of any blame (and I did try to be careful) I ‘m blaming New York ComicCon and the dense crowds of people carrying diseases to which I have no immunity.

This is not a serious illness, I’m sure…just miserable…and I should be well again in a few days, or at least better.  I had a flu shot before the trip, so if it’s flu, it should be milder than it would otherwise have been…and if it’s something else, then…I’ll just live over it, as usual.

However, yesterday I wasn’t up to going online for more than 5 minutes (and dealt with emergent situations)  and today’s going to be limited, so don’t expect much chatter from this end for awhile.    (Biggest disappointment–the pitcher sage, an “old prairie” plant that we have some remnant populations of, is now at peak, according to my husband.  It blooms only in October, briefly, with sky-blue flowers on a stalk from 3 to 6 feet high and I really, REALLY wanted to photograph it.  Also, NewBike is waiting and I expected to roll it out yesterday and ride up to town.  SIGH.)

I have been re-reading Mr. Sponge’s Sporting Tour in short snatches, one of my “sickbed” reading favorites.   It’s by Surtees, and those of you who have not had the pleasure of reading any of Surtees’ hunting novels should hunt one up–this is in my top three of his–and enjoy the biting satire.  Far less preachy than Dickens or Kingsley or Thackery, as witty as Austen or Trollope, with–like Dickens–a gift for names.


  • Comment by Ed Bunyan — October 21, 2012 @ 10:24 am


    Stress from getting ready for the trip. Stress from travel, stress from crowds and craziness of the convention. Stress from meetings and meeting time schedules. Stress does shut the system down and helps prep you for the bugs. Coming home and losing all that stress, your body drops it’s guard and next thing you know, it is sick time. Happens to me all the time. I always get sick after major stress periods at work.

    Get well soon and enjoy the chicken soup,

  • Comment by Jenn — October 21, 2012 @ 10:55 am


    Sorry about the bugs and missing the flowers!

    Hope you enjoy the hunting story. We got a moose cow while I was visiting up north. 700lb after she was field dressed. Thank God we have a front end loader. That will feed several families now. And the dog is happy with the bones.

  • Comment by cricketB — October 21, 2012 @ 12:24 pm


    Wil Weaton now does fist-bumps at cons. Yes, some fans hate it, but according to his blog, he finds his con-crud is much reduced since he started that policy. It may take a while for people to understand there’s a good reason, but it makes sense to me.

  • Comment by elizabeth — October 21, 2012 @ 12:47 pm


    Jenn: Is the yield on moose about 50% of live weight? That was a job to get her cut up, I’ll bet. 700 pounds of meat lasts awhile. Do moose leg bones make good stock? (Cow bones do.) Speaking of dog and moose bones, I presume you’ve run across the hilarious “Dogs in Elk” story that circulated online years back….

  • Comment by elizabeth — October 21, 2012 @ 12:48 pm


    Ed: stress could definitely be involved. I was running flat out (for me) most of the time.

  • Comment by Iphinome — October 21, 2012 @ 2:44 pm


    Did your Ladyship stop in St Louis at all? I went to a play there on Thursday and came home on Friday with crud. Maybe it’s a plague spot.

  • Comment by Naomi — October 21, 2012 @ 4:05 pm


    Sounds like what we Brits call ‘the dreaded lurgy” – it’s been rife here in Brussels, loads of people suffering similar symptoms, loads of sympathy to you!

  • Comment by patrick — October 21, 2012 @ 8:57 pm


    My sympathies and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    If you add a sore throat to your ills, I’ve found gargling with lightly salted warm water (spit, don’t swallow) can be soothing. There’s even some scientific evidence it works as a general preventative. (2005 study in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine).

  • Comment by ellen — October 21, 2012 @ 9:38 pm


    hope you feel better soon

  • Comment by elizabeth — October 21, 2012 @ 10:05 pm


    ellen: Thanks.

    patrick: No sore throat at all this time, oddly enough. A few sneezes, but nothing much.

    Naomi: Ah, so now I know what “the dreaded lurgy” is…I’ve been wondering.

    Iphinome: The train stopped in St. Louis, but I didn’t get off it. In fact, was eating supper in the dining car while stopped, which was rather nice as the dining car staff didn’t have to struggle with the train’s movement. I was off the train in Chicago, of course, to change trains. Another area of crowds from many places, including a woman seated in the waiting area about ten feet away who was coughing rather juicily and looked sick. I was more tired than anything else at that point. But oddly enough, I got some sleep even on the rough tracks of Missouri and Arkansas overnight, and then a good nap in the afternoon in Texas before reaching Austin, so I felt pretty good when I got off the train. That’s why waking up early Saturday morning with chills, fever, and flu-like aches was so surprising (and annoying.)

  • Comment by Richard — October 22, 2012 @ 1:26 am


    Ah, if husband photographs the pitcher sage for you, it won’t be the same thing at all as doing so yourself. Maybe next year …

  • Comment by mikelabb — October 22, 2012 @ 3:05 am


    Elizabeth, Best wishes for a swift recovery. My doctor suggested that I wasn’t getting enough sunshine last time I felt like that. Sunshine? In the UK? Very short supply this year. I am also not sure about injecting flu pathogens into me. I changed doctor a few months ago and new doctor insists that I am “at risk” as a heart attack survivor, and must have a flu jab on Wednesday. Have now loaded all Paksworld, Vatta and Serrano volumes to my Kindle just in case I can’t stagger to the bookshelf! Take the time to recover physically and mentally. Good luck with New Bike.

  • Comment by Annabel (Mrs Redboots) — October 22, 2012 @ 8:56 am


    Definitely a lurgy. I am similarly afflicted, only no gut involvement this time (thankfully – I had a minor dose of gutrot last weekend which didn’t improve a weekend away). Just the man flu my husband’s been suffering from for the past several days.

    Have just been out to lunch with my (sadly) ex-boss; we ate at an Italian restaurant, and a double espresso there chased away most of my symptoms in a hurry! Sadly, they are creeping back….

  • Comment by Jenn — October 22, 2012 @ 9:13 am



    We estimate the moose was 1200 before final prep. I did read “dogs in elk” that is hysterical.

    Along the crud line I find my favorite cure is Vietnamese Curry Chicken soup. Especially if you have a sore throat. It eliminated all my symptoms when I had strep. Now I swear by it. Hope you feel better soon.

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — October 22, 2012 @ 11:02 am


    We’ve got at least three variations of non flu, flu going around here in the north country. Had a bad round of late summer stuff which morphed into something “worse” the last couple of weeks.

    Everyone’s stressed out from construction in the office (taking out an explosion proof wall cannot be done quietly). So I’m hoping we can all manage to stay sane and well.

    Do rest with so much pushing for more, more and more productivity we still need to take time away to help with the health.

  • Comment by Rolv — October 22, 2012 @ 11:13 am


    Relax and take care of yourself, don’t rush getting back to work. Best wishes.

  • Comment by Genko — October 22, 2012 @ 11:28 am


    Sunshine in short supply in Oregon as well — somewhat similar to the UK, I understand. Though we did have a glorious summer that lingered. Until it didn’t, last week, when suddenly we were into cool, cloudy, rainy, which will last for the next 9 months or thereabouts.

    My last day in China, two years ago, I bought a silk comforter. They offered to compress it for me to fit into my luggage. I said, so then how does it get uncompressed? They said to just hang it out in the sunshine. My response was that sunshine was very difficult to find in Oregon in November. They looked surprised at that. And it’s true that our trip in China was marked by sunshine every single day. All the Chinese hang their bedding out to air out. I still see these incredible, ubiquitous high-rises, withe every single window and balcony strewn with blankets and other bedding.

    I love hanging laundry out in the sun in the summertime. But alas, no more this year.

  • Comment by Ginny W. — October 22, 2012 @ 11:44 am


    Elizabeth – It sounds as though you need to take an aspirin with hot tea or soup and go back to bed, with or without a book. Sleep cures nearly everything. Perhaps a brief walk in the sage tomorrow at high noon?

    Genko – What a lovely image!

    On a different note, we heard the Philadelphia Orchestra and Westminster Choir do Verdi’s Requiem yesterday. Absolutely glorious.

  • Comment by Karen — October 22, 2012 @ 5:38 pm


    May your sniffles be limited only by your sinus cavities.

    May the energy exerted during your adventures be returned through “words printed in a book” — or as many as need be to capture the ideas you’ve embraced/discovered/despised (and all of the values in between…) become encouragement to surmount the fever and whatever ills.

    To good health!

  • Comment by ellen — October 22, 2012 @ 10:20 pm


    While I”m not sick, I had a bit of an accident so I”m not feeling all that good either. I stepped on a broken floorboard on the verandah, and went straight through it up to my knee, and found I was completely stuck! Thank goodness my husband was home, even though he was out in the boat behind the house, using a power sander and wearing earmuffs. After five minutes of me yelling every time I heard the sander stop, he heard me and came to my rescue. Leg extensively bruised and swollen, but nothing broken, thankfully. But taking it easy this week.

  • Comment by Jenn — October 23, 2012 @ 10:47 am



    Deepest sympathies and glad to know nothing broke. I did that in a badger hole in the winter in the back 40 with only the dog to look at this stupid human with one knee in her arm pit.

  • Comment by ellen — October 23, 2012 @ 3:50 pm


    Thanks Jenn. Hope you weren’t hurt too bad, did the dog go and get help before you froze out there? Or is that only in the movies.

  • Comment by elizabeth — October 23, 2012 @ 10:00 pm


    ellen and Jenn: Yikes, and OW! and sympathies for both of you. Glad it wasn’t worse, but still…OW!!!

    Better today–didn’t make it to the pitcher sage, but did make it out of the house, past the clothesline (made it to the clothesline yesterday) and out into the Near Meadow briefly. Hope to go farther tomorrow.

  • Comment by elizabeth — October 23, 2012 @ 10:01 pm


    Oh, and do some serious writing tomorrow, as well, because it’s about time.

  • Comment by ellen — October 24, 2012 @ 12:58 am


    thanks Elizabeth, and I’m glad to hear you’re on the mend.
    our boat stiil isn’t finished but brother in law has bought one, we get to come on the delivery trip from Brisbane in a couple of weeks and they’ve said we can borrow it when we need a break, so that’ll be like a pressure relief valve for us:-)

  • Comment by pjm — October 24, 2012 @ 5:52 am


    Robbie Burns said it all – the best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley.

    Hope you are soon feeling better – “minor” bugs, lurgies etc can still make you feel miserable.

    Here in Melbourne in spring the weather is mixed as usual, but generally warming – a gently warm 24° today.


  • Comment by Richard — October 24, 2012 @ 1:48 pm


    Naomi, welcome back from your life stuff

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