True to my resolve, the Christmas tree and decorations are now down and all packed away.  But,just for elan, I hung the wreath on the handlebars of my blue bike in the Ernest Hemingway room and it gives everything an interesting touch.  I did brave the back porch to remove the red light and string the purple.  As I worked to take down the tree, I got overheated so I opened the back porch door for air and all was fine.  No sooner had I finished with everything and sat down for a moment, the most dreadful chill crept over me.  I couldn’t get warm.  It seemed to settle in my chest, and although I covered my head and ears with a bandana, put on flannel jammy bottoms, two shirts under a flannel shirt and fleece robe, leg warmers, got under Earl’s quilt and turned up the heat, I was still shivering and miserably cold.  What’s more, I started to get very sleepy in the midst of it and jerked myself awake thinking, hypothermia.  This went on for nearly an hour and I didn’t know what to do when I remembered ma chere gran’mere, Mimi, that first winter in California I ever spent, six blocks from the Pacific Ocean and that chill I couldn’t get rid of.  She gave me brandy, and that was that.  The chill went away for good.  And so, this morning, although it was barely 11 am, poured a finger and a half of Courvoisier, from that bottle with the purple and gold label with that laddie Napoleon on it, and sipped under the quilt.  Almost immediately, warmth crept back to me.  It’s easy to see why St. Bernards carry a cask of brandy round their furry necks on rescue missions.  Or did…do they still?  Ah, well, as Alan Jackson said, it’s five o’clock somewhere…and at least I am warm.  I thnk I am going to keep cognac on hand for medicinal purposes from now ow.  I almost warmed it, as Grace Kelly did in, “Rear Window,” although why, in the dead of a stultifying summer she did that, don’t know, but nice touch.

Do you remember when my innocent post about puffing on Mores cigarettes got picked up by the cigarette fetish crowd on the Internet and my following grew by leaps and bounds.  I posted a picture of Jesus under the same heading and the nonsense abated.  I went into the chat room of this group and responded to a particularly disgusting commentor and didn’t mince words.  Well, this week, just by chance on the internet, I saw where that website came up with my name and I was surprise.  He must have said I overreacted–they always do as a defense mechanism–and someone responded by saying:  I don’t think she overreacted at all.  She is a literary woman who probably had no idea these were associated with cigarette fetishes, and, as an intellectual, she rightfully felt obligated to track thiss down and set the record straight.  That description of me surprised me very much.  And made me feel pretty damned good.  You see for so long, with my writing, I always feel like She Who Must Be Stolen From and Ignored; and that’s my fault for letting the unscrupulous and clueless actions of some making me feel that way.

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