Nothing but gnashing of teeth, and wailing from me.

(Notes from Alexis: She is thrilled by CD’s and not so thrilled with a new scanner. Makes me laugh, thinking about CD’s being new, sort of like 8 tracks being Wonderful!)


Dearest Lex,

We were so sorry to hear about your misery. I know you don’t want to hear anything about being too thin and needing to gain some weight to hold your bones together, so I won’t mention it. I’ll tell you about our vexations, not that they compare with yours, but just to give you something to think about.

First of all Dad lost the electricity to his shop. He has dug up two spots he thought to be the problem, but still nothing. He is totally baffled and guesses he will have to dig up the entire line to find it. This makes him sulk, and he is hard to live with when he sulks. I don’t blame him for it, it is just too aggravating.

I am enclosing a page out of a catalog, since you have heard nothing but gnashing of teeth and wailing from me, ever since I bought the ink jet printer. I thought you might like to see that I was not alone. Someone else was as upset as I was and did something about it. I ordered two packs, but haven’t used them. Out of sheer perversity the cartridge I have in there has now outdone itself.

I told you I had ordered a scanner. It finally came, and the software didn’t work. I called their 800 number and they said they would send me a new disk.

It came yesterday and I started it up and it worked fine, only the scanner, she no scan. It was almost impossible to press the start button, so I packed it up and sent it back this morning. It was a disappointment and I almost gave up on the project. But you know me, as soon as I gave up, the wheels started turning, and I plotted an end run. Scanning is a much-needed project, and lovely to behold, but oh my gosh is it ever going to be work. Perhaps my 5-year project.

Of course, I am still plodding along with my other books. They just have to be worked at every day. I went in yesterday and worked for two hours, and just as I started to move my finger to the save key, the computer blinked, the electricity evidently had spiked. Of course, my surge control stopped it (and the juice to the computer) so I lost two hours work, but I did gain an instant headache, so that was something. Lately, we have been having a lot of flutters and spikes. Do you think we have angered the electrical gods? I took an Advil and a nap, and ate some cherry pie and felt better.

I can’t remember if I told you about Mom’s latest project. She made state bird and flower quilts (150 blocks) and got tired of them so I came up with a brilliant (even if I say so) idea of butterflies. I found a book with good pictures and she set to with great enthusiasm. She told me yesterday she has now made 35 blocks. I’m ahead of her, though, because when I cut out the blocks I cut 100, and didn’t tell her about the other 50.

I started putting the first bird & flower quilt together and it is lovely, but I had to stop 2/3 of the way along and put up the sewing machine to print books. Everything is stop and go, put up the machine and get out the copier. I dream of having rooms to wander into and work, without first having to dismantle them from some previous job.

Dad bought a new stereo and we have been listening to CD’s, tapes and records. I swear to you, all our tapes and records sound brand new, and some I don’t even recognize. I had never heard CD’s before, so it has been pure pleasure to hear them.

I have to apologize to you. I gave you some bad advice when you were a young girl. I told you to learn bookkeeping because you could always get a job as a bookkeeper. I should have told you to learn office equipment repair. I called around to find out how much to have my IBM Selectric III cleaned, just cleaned mind you. I was quoted $85- $125 because it would take an hour or an hour and a half. Just think, you could be a thousand-aire by now if you had just been given good advice.

My computer doctor tells me my hard disk (which I bought from him and the warranty has now expired) has low level problems, whatever that means, and could go at any time to the tune of $275 replacement. I live on the edge, all the time, afraid- I’ll lose it, but Dad says not to worry – use it until it goes. (Are we talking my mind or my hard disk?)

I spent my birthday money from Mom early on a catalytic converter. Somehow one doesn’t get the same glow from a catalytic converter as from a stereo, so to get revenge I play it all day (the stereo, not the converter). Dad only gets to listen to it at night.
We had 1-1/2 days of spring Saturday & Sunday, but now black clouds and wind are threatening rain. Which may not be all bad. At least it keeps Dad in the house instead of working himself to death.

We don’t plan too much of a garden. M’s father, (across the street) is putting in three, that’s right, three gardens, and since nobody over there would touch a vegetable if their lives depended on it, we’ve already got dibs. There is nothing that pleases L. as much as seeing how thrilled we are with his garden produce. We plan to eat like kings.

Well, sweetheart take care or yourself and get well. I’ve got to get back to work. My fans are clamoring for my new book. Write when you get the time and energy, and I’m glad to hear you have some clients. The others will come, too.