Reading Rules, Frigid Weather & Sick Husband Update


May I say one thing?

It’s friggin’ cold here!

Yesterday I had to run an errand or two and I thought I just might be walking around with a frozen face. I wondered if everyone was looking at me and thinking, “Poor girl, her face is totally frozen…how sad.” Right before I left to run those errands, Scout had been hopeful that my putting on my coat meant she might get a walk, so when I came back home I figured I would walk her around the property. Let me tell you, that was the fastest walk we’ve ever taken. I couldn’t wait to get back in the house.

Too cold.


A curious thing has been happening. I think I will now call it a ‘rule’ of my reading life. I often reserve books through our library’s loan system.  We have a little branch here in town but the loan system covers several counties. I put three popular books on reserve quite a long time ago – I’m talking months.

A Wanted Man by Lee Child: On the waiting list for a few months. I finally broke down and asked for it for my birthday. Received the present on November 21st. A week later, I got a notice from the library that the book was on hold for me at my local branch.

Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young: Don’s a big fan of Neil Young and we had talked about how much he’d like to read this book. I signed up for the waiting list a few months back. Nothing. So I gave it to Don for Christmas. A week later, I received a notice saying the book was on hold for me at my local branch.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: On the waiting list for the longest span of time. Figured I’d never get it. Broke down and bought it last week. This morning I received an email from my library saying it was in the library waiting for me.

You see? This is the rule: If I want the book I’ve reserved to appear on my local library’s Hold shelf, I have to buy it first.


Don is still sick. For some boneheaded reason, the theater doesn’t have understudies during the main season, only when the Shakespeare Rep is going on over the summer. This decision was apparently made several years ago. When I worked there, the MFA students routinely understudied all roles throughout the year. There are MFA students in the cast of Pygmalion. So on Sunday when he came down with the flu, the theater had to cancel two performances. Don’t get me started on that. Why a huge theater doesn’t ensure that a performance can go on if an actor is sick is beyond me. No actor should have to feel guilty about being ill.

On Tuesday, the powers-that-be decided to rehearse one of the MFA students in the role, just in case. Don was sick but prepared to go on but those same administrators thought he should take one more night off and see a doctor the next day. The MFA student performed that night, script in hand. (Audiences usually love that sort of thing and they cheer the understudy on.) Don went to the doctor yesterday where it was confirmed that he had the bad strain of flu that is going around. (Don calls and says: I’ve officially got the flu. Says me: We already knew that.) He’s been on antibiotics since Sunday and the doctor gave him some Tamiflu yesterday. He went on last night.

He’s getting better, slowly but surely, but he says this is the worst flu he can ever remember having.

For those of you who are also dealing with this deep freeze, stay warm. I’ve been taking a break from quilting to crochet some scarves, but I may go back to quilting today just to have those three extra layers on my lap!

Happy Thursday.


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  1. Kathleen says

    It is so cold here in the Thumb. We have a chance of getting eight inches of lake affect snow and it feels like -11 out there. I went out to feed the poor birds and just about froze to death. At least the sun is shining.

    • Claudia says

      The sun is shining here, too, but my pipes are freezing! I can’t wait for this deep freeze to end.

  2. says

    Good morning, Claudia. We are caught in the same freezing grip of winter! I was watching the news yesterday morning and the weather man dipped a t-shirt in a bucket of water. Ten minutes later the t-shirt was a solid board of ice that you could pick up and hold sideways. It’s kind of how my face feels when I step outside! I’m glad to hear Don is slowly improving. My son is stage managing a production (opens in three weeks) and just received this phone text from the female lead: “hey, Matthew, sorry for the short notice but my heart just isn’t in this production. I’m sure you can find someone else. looking forward to future productions, though!” Point one–three weeks from opening, no lead (who appears in 45 of the 48 page script); NO UNDERSTUDY; and this girl is majoring in acting, and thinks this stunt will lead to being cast in future productions?! I’m just shaking my head…

    You and Scout stay warm inside today! I loved your walk through of your living room yesterday–like you, every piece of furniture, every picture and every object displayed in my living room has a story to tell. I wouldn’t have it any other way. xxoo, Martha

    • Claudia says

      I’d want to kill that actress! There is no excuse for that kind of unprofessional behavior!

      I just discovered I had a frozen pipe in the kitchen. Fortunately some prolonged heat from the hair dryer thawed it. Yikes.

  3. Sharon Carstens says


    Sorry it is so cold there. I live in a suburb of Dallas and it was 75 yesterday and it is supposed to be the same today. Crazy Texas weather!. By the way, I received my scarf from you on Tuesday and was so excited about wearing it, but it is too warm right now. So, it is hanging on a lamp in my bedroom just waiting for the temperature to drop enough so I can enjoy it. It is beautiful.

  4. says

    Hi Claudia,
    It’s going to be 3 degrees tonight! But, next week the forecast is better, 50 on Wednesday. A heat wave!
    Hope the Tamiflu works for your husband. Can’t imagine having to perform or do anything with the flu.
    Oh, speaking of dogs-my lab seems to love this weather! He keeps standing by the door to go out-luckily the yard is fenced in. He’s crazy! :)
    Keep warm today!

    • Claudia says

      Just got done unfreezing one of the pipes! I didn’t realize that the cold water pipe in the kitchen had frozen. Thank goodness for a hair dryer and some patience! I drip the taps every night, but I only had dripped the hot water. Tonight it will be both!

  5. says

    As an Old Globe subscriber maybe I should have words with them! I do remember reading about swings and alternates in past programs though. But maybe that was just for musicals… I hope Don will get better quickly now that he’s seen the doctor!

    • Claudia says

      Swings and alternates are for musicals, Leanne. I have a feeling things will change for the future. Lesson learned.

  6. Judy says

    Claudia,I drove to work this a.m. in a way I never have before. FREEZING RAIN!!! I have never been so scared. Having a son in Boston, I believe you folks do it on a regular basis in the winter? I sure enjoy your blog. -Judy A-

  7. Tana says

    Oh, I do hope that Don gets better soon! This year the flu is just terrible. I have had many friends down for days and days and then dragging around for another week or two! I got sick November 4th and didn’t feel well until after Thanksgiving and had a cough for another two weeks. I never felt bad enough to go to bed but that is because I had had a flu shot a couple of days before this all started. I think I had some help with that, but not enough to let me skate by totally free.
    You and Scout stay warm and hopefully this cold snap will end soon. We finally got sun and temps in the low 40’s yesterday. We had fog and freezing temps for over a week.

    • Claudia says

      It’s just terrible here. One of the kitchen pipes froze, but I was able to unthaw it rather quickly. Cannot wait until it warms up!

  8. says

    Hey Claudia – poor Don. I hope he is feeling better soon. I’ve had the flu this week but a mild case compared to all my friends and family. It’s so cold here too that I haven’t stuck my head out except to put the garbage out. There is a benefit to cats, although Finn has been begging for days to go out and I keep saying it’s too cold. Glad you caught your pipe in time. I worry about the ones in the basement bathroom. It’s so cold in there.

    I am dying to get my laptop back. I’m keeping up reading everyone’s blog but I feel like I’m missing my arm or something when I can’t post. J

  9. Donnamae says

    Yes…still frigid here, and trying hard to stay warm. I went out yesterday, first time since Friday…I’m getting too old for Wisconsin winters! Chilled to the bone! I was wondering about the understudy thing…I can’t believe they didn’t have any, and cancelled two performances….doesn’t make sense. Glad Don is better. Be careful how you thaw your pipes…but I’m sure you know that! Stay warm! 😉

  10. Lori Cassaro says

    I commiserate, Claudia…I used to live north of you, in Fulton County. My kids were small then, and I didn’t drive. We walked EVERYWHERE. I remembers those winters well, and even though I do get homesick, I don’t miss that bone-chilling cold. Hoping you get that mid-winter thaw soon! Stay warm! Glad to hear Don’s feeling better!

  11. says

    I hope Don is feeling well again very soon. It’s too bad that they had to cancel those performances for not being prepared. Hope it warms soon, everywhere! We’re in the single digits here and I’m tired of it :)

  12. rizzi says


    • Claudia says

      I just wrapped them in some insulated foam stuff I had on hand. Rizzi. Some of the pipes were already wrapped but I added some to the cold water pipes as well. The problem is a section of the pipes that is below the sink, in an area that isn’t very well insulated. I usually do a hot water drip every night, but I didn’t do a cold water drip and that’s what froze.

  13. says

    Am so glad Don is feeling some better. Everyone I know who has the flu this year says it takes forever to get completely over it. It must really be a rough strain.

    Stay warm and quilt on my quilt! LOL


  14. says

    Poor guy, I hope he feels much better soon.

    Love your reading rules….I’ve books from August still waiting in line…..someday over the rainbow..

    Maybe I should try your method, of purchasing them to speed it up a little.


  15. Annette Tracy says

    It does seem strange they wouldn’t use an understudy, especially in this season with the bad flu strain. I”m glad to hear he is on the mend. I don’t think I could ever live in harsh winters again after growing up in Michigan. I’m too spoiled by our So Cal winters. It has turned cold again and rainy. I’m not complaining as we need rain and a lot of it.

    • Claudia says

      I’ve lived both places and, though I am tired of winter, the other 3 seasons are so gorgeous that I have to put up with it.

  16. says

    Somehow I missed reading about Don being sick with flu. I’m so sorry and hope he gets better soon. That’s awful about them not having an understudy from the college avaiailable when they had to cancel those two performances. I’m glad he’s getting better, but good grief!

    I hope things warm up for you a bit. We’re chilly, but I am going to work a BBQ contest on Friday and Saturday, selling things for a chairty in a merchandise tent. It is cold in the morning, and then by noon, it’s about 76. Typical!

    Okay, get well wishes to Don and love to you and Scout!

    Stay warm…



  17. Terri says

    The hospitals are nearly full of patients with flu-related complications around here. Our weather isn’t helping. I did errands in a zip-up hoodie yesterday. Today one needs a winter coat, gloves and scarf!

    • Claudia says

      I know – it’s been so changeable. Next week it’s supposed to go up to the 40’s again.

  18. Francine says

    Happy to hear Don is feeling better, Claudia!!! This has been a bad year for the flu. This is some cold snap we’re having… Sorry to hear about your pipe. We have a woodstove and that is barely keeping up with the cold. Stay warm under your quilt! Francine

  19. says

    I’m sorry to hear that Don is still sick but glad he’s on the mend. It’s been terribly cold here too. Single digits for over 2 weeks, but today has finally broken the freezing and hit 33 degrees! I’m doing a happy dance right now.


  20. says

    I think that cold cold is heading our way. It was sunny today but chilly. I’m glad Don saw a Dr but hate that he has extra pressure on him to perform. Hoping he is much better soon. So stay warm and inside.

    • Claudia says

      I will. I only ventured out to take out the trash and get the mail. Glad to read your sweet kitty is doing better!

  21. says

    So cold on this CT mountain top, that my teeth hurt when I gassed up the car.
    Eager to hear how you like Gone Girl. I look at our libraries, but have never seen a copy.

  22. says

    Claudia, I think your rule has proven itself. That is crazy! I hope Don has a quick recovery, how long does the show run? It’s hard to believe there wasn’t an understudy at the ready – glad they got one for one performance anyway. This is where Don’s acting skills will really come in helpful, performing while feeling like yuck! Stay warm! Ann

  23. says

    I’m thinking maybe YOU should start your own lending library…lol I am glad Don is improving…poor man. He has certainly suffered long enough- Hope you have a great night- xo Diana

  24. says

    Poor Don – this flu is awful and I have heard of so many folks being laid low. How awful to have to perform while sick. I agree with you about understudies.

    Our friend James stepped into a role in Perseverance Theatre’s production of “Tuesdays With Morrie” when one of the (two) leads had to leave for a family emergency. He studied the role in one day, referred to the script occasionally and then went with the show when they took it to Anchorage. He was amazing and the show went on.

  25. says

    Wow so sorry your husband is sick with the flu. I to started today with ‘something’ not sure what that something is but we’ll give it the weekend. I hope he rebounds quickly.. Being sick is no for the books, yep, I agree.. If you want it to come in you’ll have to buy it first.. Sounds like the kind of luck I have.. LOL

  26. Regena Fickes says

    So sorry that Don is still ill. Nasty, nasty! We are cold here in TN., however nothing such as you are experiencing. Sometimes it seems as if Murphy’s Law is on a tantrum! Keep warm, give Scoutie a hug. I think of her everytime I see my Leo sitting in the sun by the back fence. Give Don my best.

  27. says

    The ‘flu has been virulent here in New England and the Norovirus has also reared its ugly head recently. I’m relieved Don is taking antibiotics. I can’t recommend REST more highly. Otherwise it just goes on and there’s danger of a relapse. I find it astonishing that a theatre of that calibre doesn’t have understudies during the main season. Perhaps this has taught them a lesson! (I’d say your library inter-loan process sounds like it’s being run by very pokey squirrels and chipmunks…. although that would be an insult to chipmunks and squirrels…)

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