Early flu

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Somehow or other my darling husband caught what seems to be the flu. In the course of a day, he got so sick he had to cancel a business trip. When my DH does that, then he's really sick.

In the course of another day, he gave it to me.

I swear. I told him from now on if one of us got sick, the other one was going to sleep in the guest room.

I struggled to make deadlines until Friday evening when I gave it up. Spent all day Saturday in bed. Now it's nearly three in the morning on Sunday, and I'm wide awake courtesy of a throat so sore I'd like to just rip it out and be done with it.

Instead, I did the Alka Seltzer Flu med, and I'm sipping a cup of tea with honey as I type this.

Not looking forward to this next week and it's demands at all!

Sling Words (cranky and sick) out!

Dawn Temple's book is available

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Dawn Temple, a friend of mine, was a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist in 2005. The Golden Heart is a contest for unpublished writers. She subsequently sold her book.

Fast forward (fast? not really!) to September 2007. Her novel To Have And To Hold has been published by Silhouette Special Edition.

Drum roll please! The book is finally in the stores!

Two years, people. That's why we writers get frustrated and cranky, not to mention, starve!

Everyone, if you see Dawn's book, buy a copy!

Congratulations, Dawn, and thanks for providing a heartwarming novel for readers.

TeePee Motel in Wharton, TX

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This place was featured in the Houston Chronicle today and provided a trip down memory lane to my childhood. Once upon a time in America, the country was dotted with picturesque motels like the Tee Pee Motel.

When I first came to Houston nearly thirty years ago, there was still the cutest little motel on the Gulf Freeway. Neat white frame cabins with a glowing neon sign featuring a bell boy complete with pillbox-type hat. It was torn down long ago like most of the mom and pop motels and tourist cabins. If you've ever seen the old Clark Gable-Claudette Colbert movie It Happened One Night, then you know what I mean by tourist cabins.

The Tee Pee Motel in Wharton, about 50 miles southwest of Houston, lay abandoned for many years until Bryon Woods won $49 million in a July 2003 Texas Lotto. Just four months after that, Woods and his wife Barbara were driving by the ruins of the old motel. Barbara Woods announced she wanted to stay there so they bought it and renovated it, adding the usual amenities today's travelers look for including stellite TV and high-speed Internet. They even made one of the teepees wheelchair capable.

Apparently, they're doing a booming business from nostalgic adults to kids attracted by the teepee. You can call it tacky if you want, but to me it sounds fun. Of course, I'm like most adults. I'd love to spend the night in a teepee. Add all the high tech stuff I'm used to, and it sounds better than a couple of places in Europe I've stayed in.

At $52.50 a night, it sounds like a bargain. I may have to make a reservation, but I think I'll wait until they have the coffee shop renovated. Got to have my morning coffee.

World War II insights

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I'm interested in most facets of history. Call me an amateur historian, and I certainly wouldn't be insulted. In fact, I usually watch History Channel while I have my morning coffee rather than news broadcasts of events that will be history of the future.

I was pleasantly surprised during a recent conversation with noted audio book voice actor Simon Vance to discover that he too is a history buff. (You may know Simon Vance from his stage or television work as well as his audio book performances. If you haven't heard him perform a book, then immediately order The Quest or The Terror or perhaps one of his "Master and Commander" narrations or DUNE MESSIAH coming in October. You'll be blown away!)

Simon had just finished reading NO SIMPLE VICTORY by Norman Davies, a reassessment of the five biggest battles of World War II. Simon said most people don't realize that most of the major battles were on the eastern front.

That conversation made me go looking for a book I'd read a long time ago, TENOZAN by George Feifer. Tenozan is about the battle of Okinawa. Since I'd lived on Okinawa for a number of years and had recently been asked to write an article about that, I wanted to reacquaint myself with the World War II battle fought on that chunk of coral.

You know how sometimes things just come to you when you're interested in a particular subject? First was the request by the magazine editor in Japan asking for an article, second was the conversation with Simon Vance, and the third was a friend of mine who is retired military sending me what I'm posting below. We call that coincidence though I have a little sign posted on the copy stand next to my computer that says: "Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous."

I found these WWII trivia tidbits really interesting. Maybe you will too. Of course, if this is floating around the Net, it may have already washed up on your shore.

From Col. D. G. Swinford, USMC, Ret. (and a history buff).

1. The first German serviceman killed in WW2 was killed by the Japanese (China, 1937). The first American serviceman killed was killed by the Russians (Finland 1940). The highest ranking American killed was Lt. Gen. Lesley McNair, killed by the US Army Air Corps.

2. The youngest U.S. serviceman was 12-year-old Calvin Graham, USN. He was wounded and given a Dishonorable Discharge for lying about his age. (His benefits were later restored by act of Congress.)

3. At the time of Pearl Harbor, the top U.S. Navy command was Called CINCUS (pronounced "sink us"); the shoulder patch of the US Army's 45th Infantry division was the Swastika; and Hitler's private train was named "Amerika." All three were soon changed for PR purposes.

4. More U.S. servicemen died in the Air Corps than the Marine Corps. While completing the required 30 missions, your chance of being killed was 71%.

5. Generally speaking there was no such thing as an average fighter pilot. You were either an ace or a target. For instance Japanese ace Hiroyoshi Nishizawa shot down over 80 planes. He died while a passenger on a cargo plane.

6. It was a common practice on fighter planes to load every 5th round with a tracer round to aid in aiming. This was a mistake. Tracers had different ballistics so (at long range) if your tracers were hitting the target 80% of your rounds were missing. Worse yet tracers instantly told your enemy he was under fire and from which direction. Worst of all was the practice of loading a string of tracers at the end of the belt to tell you that you were out of ammo. This was definitely not something you wanted to tell the enemy. Units that stopped using tracers saw their success rate nearly double and their loss rate go down.

7. When allied armies reached the Rhine, the first thing men did was pee in it. This was pretty universal from the lowest private to Winston Churchill, who made a big show of it, and Gen. Patton, who had himself photographed in the act.

8. German Me-264 bombers were capable of bombing New York City, but it wasn't worth the effort.

9. German submarine U-120 was sunk by a malfunctioning toilet.

10. Among the first "Germans" captured at Normandy were several Koreans. They had been forced to fight for the Japanese Army until they were captured by the Russians and forced to fight for the Russian Army until they were captured by the Germans and forced to fight for the German Army until they were captured by the US Army.

11. Following a massive naval bombardment 35,000 US and Canadian troops stormed ashore at Kiska, in the Aleutian Islands. 21 troops were killed in the firefight. It would have been worse if there had been any Japanese on the island.

Happy Labor Day! Fly those flags high!