Festive Friday’s life (and cerebral palsy) updates

My traveling companion M is in town so I stopped very briefly to say hi. He’s staying at a hotel between Sheetz and Wawa, and he’s never been to either, so I have a Pennsylvanian duty to educate him.

His hotel has a few artisanal touches in an otherwise uninteresting and rather lackluster environment.

I received a message from M last night while I was at Barnes & Noble at the Noble Quills poetry open mic where Darrell was featuring. (See YouTube video below.)

My most-exhausting-work week ended with a few lessons. I noticed that no pair of shoes I own will alleviate the foot pain I am experiencing, though experimenting with different tape/toe separator arrangements I can select the type of pain I prefer to experience. With this in mind, I have purchase three different varieties of toe separators from CVS today. ($22 worth of merchandise that I got for $15 and I paid with my HSA debit card.) I achieved 101%, 101%, 94% and 100%.

I had my follow-up with the neurologist-physiatrist today. The Baclofen appears to help my stiffness, and though I do experience a weird jerky stiffness at the end of the day after I sit and then get up, I have not fallen and I seem to move easier. She filled out my accommodations paperwork… so hopefully I will get a share of the easier work. I offered several ideas of how to provide easy accommodations. (I shared the same letter with my doctor and Stitch Fix.) The doctor remarked that my gait had noticeably improved and I think she laughed when I told her I preferred walking in cowboy boots because of the sound and the feel. (She was wearing a mask, so I can’t be sure.) She also seemed to make a quiet noise of approval upon the mention of a service dog.

I had an hour between appointments and in that time, I hung out with The Teenager’s dog (F. Bean Barker). It was Festive Friday at work so I wore my favorite “Fleece Navidad” Christmas sweater.

I then met with my therapist. He was one of three people who served as references for my service dog application and because I mentioned I had a therapist on my medical team, they sent him a psychiatric evaluation to fill out. He wanted to review it with me, because he wasn’t sure of the weight of his role in the whole process. He was much relieved to hear that I had had the in-person interview last week (read more about that here) and that I had received the email an hour earlier stating that my home visit and canine therapeutic evaluation would be scheduled early in the new year.

So I said I would approach the paperwork as if they just wanted to know if I was stable enough to care for myself and the dog.

By the time I returned home from that appointment, the UPS man had left a special package on my doorstep. It was Larry Sceurman’s debut novella, The Death of Big Butch. And some other books from Parisian Phoenix Publishing. As is my custom, I did an unboxing on film.

Buy Parisian Phoenix books from Barnes & Noble here.

The Teenager and I did some chores around the house and loaded up the car with the dog and the books and made deliveries: to the author (where books were signed) and to people anticipating the release. And, because Larry lives near a 7-Eleven, the teenager needed to stop for a Mountain Dew Slurpee.

She happens to have one of her new sweaters on from her latest fix.

And the joy of bringing Larry his books warmed my Grinchy heart.

And watching Larry decide how to sign his books, debating which of his signatures should be his author-specific nomenclature, also had an impact. I’m proud of his book. I’m proud of the product the Parisian Phoenix team made– and I’m told the effort and the quality of the book are more than Larry had ever expected to see from his stories. After all, when he pitched his stories to me, Larry had figured he had a short story anthology to offer the world.

And poor Larry, I told him he had a novella in Big Butch, and still had enough stories for the anthology, and that one of the longer anchor stories in the anthology really should be a full length novel. He’s stuck with me for a while.

Barbara gave us some cut-out cookies. Buttery, not thick not thin, with a lemony or vanilla-y hint of something so scrumptious. Roll-otts as my Pennsylvania Dutch in-laws would say.

Larry and Barbara also gave me a large bag of cat toys, which we gave to foster Khloe for right now. She’s protecting them and sleeping with them like a dragon hoarding treasure.

Maybe I’m naive or egotistical, but I really love the craft model of publishing I’m creating– including my authors in every stage of the process and creating a book we all believe in, from the author to the publisher, the artists to the designer. I never thought publishing could empower, but I’m learning so much that I never realized I wanted to explore. Talents always feel better when you share them.

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