Chasing The Finish Line

Those of you who read my blog regularly know that my laptop – sent off for repair – ended up missing somewhere in the Czech Republic.   Well, I never did get it back.  I eventually heard from the computer shop that it turned up in Germany and was being returned.

Unrepaired.  

So that was that.

But what matters now is that I am so happy with my new replacement laptop (but resisting Windows 10 with all my might, excuse my paranoia). How wonderful to write and blog and email and load pages and photographs on a machine that actually does what it’s meant to do: work.

I’ve been able access my photographs and squeeze in this of a painted bench (swinging, no less) for Jude’s August Bench Series just in time:

2014-11-16 15.26.02 Copyright

The grounds of Forde Abbey, Somerset, November 2014

I can also update you about Daughter’s (Aspie D) Chinese Button Quails.

Remember these cuties?

Newly hatched Chinese Button Quails, June 2015 (c) Sherri Matthews

Newly hatched Chinese Button Quails, June 2015
(c) Sherri Matthews

Well, raising birds, I am learning, is not for the faint hearted.   Sadly, we lost three of the six babies.  Nothing we could do.  Survival of the fittest and all that.

Then Mummy Cookie fell ill and Aspie D did her very best to nurse her back to health.  We thought she might be egg bound and she also lost a lot of feathers on her back.

Aspie D did her research and we even took her to the vet, who confirmed that we were doing all we could.

Epsom salt baths, which she so enjoyed ~

Sweet Mummy Cookie enjoying a warm Epsom Salt bath (c) Sherri Matthews 2015

Sweet Mummy Cookie enjoying a warm Epsom Salt bath
(c) Sherri Matthews 2015

And then some special ointment applied and wrapped up in a warm towel ~

Sweet Cookie (2)

Safe and warm, snuggled in a warm towel (c) Sherri Matthews 2015

She loved those warm baths, it was the one time when she was able to rest as relief washed over her.

She seemed to rally, her feathers grew back, but alas, it was not to be and we lost poor, sweet Mummy Cookie Quail.

Aspie D, terribly upset, made sure that Mooncake got a new wife, ‘Raisin’, as he was lonely.  We remove any eggs (Raisin discards them, as is typical).  Mummy Cookie’s remaining three offspring (two females, ‘The Cookie Twins’ and a male, ‘Gumdrop’) are now full-grown.

Happy quail family, all strong and healthy, but Mummy Cookie never forgotten…

Speaking of families,  I spent my dad’s 83rd birthday with him a couple of weeks ago.  He is still at the half-way house and despite ongoing health problems, he is doing well.  Still a wicked sense of humour, still keeping out of trouble.

I used to be able to count on one hand the number of conversations I had with him as an adult when he was sober.  We should never give up hope, even when we think it’s too late in the day.

It is never too late.

This was the first time I’ve spent his birthday with him since I was a child, the longest he has been out of prison in decades.   A precious day for sure, one we agreed when we remembered: Today Was a Good Day.

As for the rest?  Well, the truth is, the writing of my memoir consumes me: The end is in sight, so close I can taste it, yet still so elusive, so very far away and I’m climbing the walls at my inability to find the undistracted time to write.  I’m in the zone and I need to stay there until I reach the finish line.

I will also be spending long-awaited time with my family.

So…I have decided that I need to step away from blogging for a little while.

This is a very difficult decision to make, I will miss you all terribly, but I do believe this is the right decision.  I’ll be back as soon as I can, and you’ll hear from the rooftops when I’ve dashed through that tape, but I’ll be hanging around for the rest of this week to catch up with everyone first.

I’ll also very much miss the weekly Flash Fiction challenges.  This week, Charli asks us to write our story about onions:-

‘August 19, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes onions. It can be the main event or a spicy side to your flash. Think of the impact of onions — teary eyes, dragon-breath, indigestion. How can an onion add a twist, reveal a character or sabotage a perfect day? Have fun!’

Perfect, since it’s my last post for a while, what better way than to leave on a fun, silly note, and who better to continue with than Ethel and her clueless werewolf husband Fred?

Here, in 99 words, no more, no less:

Round Onion

Ethel climbed the stairs.

Stupid sod! To think I made his favourite liver and onions, but he’s out barking at the moon instead.

Dustbins clattered in the street.

Now what?

A giggle drifted from behind the hedge as Ethel opened the front door. “Oooh, Wolfie, you naughty boy…!”

Mave in a mini skirt and Fred, starkers, gauped at Ethel.

“I’m sorry love, it’s the full moon…” pleaded Fred back home. “I’m starvin’. Is that my fave I smell?”

“No onions for you, ya bastard, it’s yer nuts I’m after,” yelled Ethel as Fred let out a howl and bolted.

Thank you so much for your friendship, readership and support.
Have a great rest of the summer and I’ll see you soon!  Love Sherri x ❤

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
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129 Responses to Chasing The Finish Line

  1. Heyjude says:

    Thank you for squeezing in a bench.Pink at that! Sounds as though you have a lot going on in your life and I wish you every success with the memoir. Will miss your lovely comments, so keep in touch via email please! Enjoy France even if you won’t / can’t take me with you, and I shall see you in the summerhouse before you know it!

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    • Sherri says:

      Phew…I was determined to find this photo and get it in for your bench challenge Jude. And then I couldn’t find it and thought I was imagining things! It’s from my phone I think. Glad you like it 🙂 Thanks so much for your kind wishes and yes, will definitely keep in touch. I don’t like going away from blogging but I know I have to do this at this time, and hopefully it won’t be for too long. I’ll have lots of pics to share and will have to look out for some benches – and post boxes! Actually, I have an old French one built into a wall thinking of it, mustn’t forget. The doors to the summerhouse are always open, see you soon 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good luck with your memoir Sherri, thanks for leaving us with such a bittersweet but also funny post, I hope the right words pour out of you and you find pleasure in the final part of the journey. See you soon 🙂

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  3. Oh my goodness! Fred was a naughty boy, indeed! The bench was gorgeous. Poor Mummy Cookie, and her 3 babies. Please give Aspie D my condolences. I will miss you!! But, I’ll be here when you get back. Much writing success!
    Melinda

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  4. Such a lovely post Sherri with so many updates! It appears that your computer has made a round the world trip and has now returned (unfortunately) in the same condition! Glad to hear that the replacement has been working well. So sorry to hear that three of the baby quails did not make it… mother nature is so fickle at times 😦 I hope you fully enjoy devoting time to your memoir writing. You have such a wonderful way with words in your blog posts, that I can only imagine you are doing just the same as you write the memoir. I’m going to miss your posts Sherri but the blogging world will always be here when you come back. Enjoy your time away!

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…yes, I expect my computer to show up wearing a Panama hat, cream linen trousers and a passport stamped full of travels to exotic places 😀 Ten weeks of that Heather, can you believe it, and still it wasn’t even repaired!!!!! A real mystery that! Ahh…thanks so much, yes, it was so very sad and we thought ‘oh no, we’re going to lose them all’ but thankfully the others survived (except for poor Mummy Cookie though 😦 ) I hoped to get a photo for this post to show them all full grown, but they are too fast to photograph decently and I only ended up with blurred shots! Once I get down to it, I know it won’t take me too long to finish the first draft and that’s why I made this decision. Otherwise I’ll drift. I had to work out a ‘psychological’ thing when I found it hard to push through, but once I did that, the flood gates opened and I want to take advantage of that. I will really miss being here too, and thank you for your lovely, kind words, your visits to my summerhouse always brighten my day, but I so look forward to returning as soon as possible. Enjoy the rest of your summer Heather and I’ll see you over on FB 🙂

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  5. restlessjo says:

    Hooray!!! 🙂 🙂 I knew this must be why you were withdrawing, Sherri, and it’s a good decision. I often think that I should take the time to step away from all this and achieve something. You are already well on the way and I don’t know how you’ve managed it with all that goes on in your life. (not to mention the quails dilemma 😦 ) Hugs sweetheart! I gather from Jude’s comment, a holiday in France? Have the best time, and we’ll catch up when we can. 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      So glad that I was able to reach this decision Jo, hard though it is. But I need to follow through now and get this thing done!!! I am really looking forward to getting my ‘teeth’ into it and then, when I’m done, you’ll hear it from the rooftops 😀 Thanks so much, your encouragement and support means so much to me. And yes (although I thought I had also mentioned it to you, honestly, my memory of late is appalling 😮 ) but yes, also a short week away in France with the fam, and I can’t wait!! So much to do before though (why is it that going away seems to be more of a work up so that by the time you arrive, you’re exhausted?) Ha! Well, I’ll have some nice walks for you when I return, for sure, and yes, we’ll catch up here and there as I’m not completely disappearing into the ether 🙂 Take care Jo, and have a lovely holiday yourself. Hugs to you.. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Cutest photos of the mother bird and her chicks! Sad to hear that she and some of her young did not survive, but at least you can be certain you did everything in your power to keep them healthy.

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, you are so kind, thank you so much and yes, that’s the thing, there really was nothing else we could have done, the babies and Mummy Cookie couldn’t have been in better love and care than with my daughter 🙂 See you soon my friend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. TanGental says:

    Happy writing, Sherri; I’m sure you’ll do a grand job. See you very soon!

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Geoff. I didn’t want to take this step and I agonised over it, but realised that I really, really need to do this otherwise I’m going to drift and I’ll never get my book written. Will be in touch over on FB and yes, see you very soon indeed 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sherri, this post makes me SO happy. Brava! for your daughter’s continuing and successful efforts to save some of her feathered friends. I love the pictures, and I sniffled happily at the pictures of you with your dad. You’re a jewel of a daughter and a mother, you truly are. The story made me laugh, and though I will miss you, dear Sherri, I am so glad you’re taking some time for yourself.

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…thank you so much dear Marylin, you are a such a sweetie. Oh, now you’ve got me sniffling!!! I’m so glad this post made you happy and my flash made you laugh, that is the note on which I wanted to leave things 😀 The view from my summerhouse is far from perfect, but rain or shine, it is so wonderful to share it with you and everyone here and to be able to laugh and celebrate all our many blessings isn’t it? I will miss you too dear Marylin, but I will keep in touch and you will hear from the rooftops when I get that first draft written! And then the edit…but one step at a time! I’ll see you very soon and as always, holding you and your dear mom in my heart and prayers …

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  9. Sherri, love your short stories…this one got me laughing! Your Dad looks wonderful…great photo of the two of you. I was wondering why you are avoiding Windows 10? I’ve been hearing good things about it from computer buddies. I’ve already signed up for my free upgrade. And last but not least…those baby quails are adorable! God speed with the writing of your memoirs! Hope you don’t stay away too long!

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh Bev, I’m so glad to hear this! Haha…I know it’s silly but I love the free reign flash fiction gives me and Charli comes up with the best prompts that get me thinking in all kinds of ways!! Ahh…thank you so much, it was lovely to spend the day with my dad 🙂 And also for your very kind wishes, I hope not to be away too long and get back asap. Re Windows 10, I’ve got the free upgrade ready to use too, but I’m worried about any changes after all my laptop woes of late. Being a bit paranoid I admit! That’s great to know about the good news you’ve been hearing, which gives me great confidence, so thanks for that! I’m sure I’ll come around eventually… 🙂 Take care Bev and see you again very soon!

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  10. Luanne says:

    I want to scream NO don’t go. Are you coming back? Im in love with your D’s quail babies!

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh Luanne, you are so sweet and lovely and YES, I’m definitely coming back! I hate to do this, but I am in the flow of things right now and really need to knuckle down, but I’ll be back asap, you can count on it! I don’t want to miss anything, and I’ll be able to read your posts via FB and keep tabs on you over there. so you can’t escape me, haha 😀 Ahh…yes, those babies are the cutest aren’t they? Six weeks later and fullly grown! I tried to get pics, but they are too darn fast so they blurred, but will try again for another post when I return. See you over on FB 🙂

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  11. Sherri, all the best for getting your memoir completed. I cannot wait to read it! I am touched to see your father with you, sober on his birthday and so much between you. Never give up hope – thank you for the reminder! xoxo

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh Pauline, thank you so kindly. So much between us indeed and a long story, but the one thing I always hoped (and prayed for) was that I would be given time with my dad. There were many times when I didn’t think it was ever going to happen. I’ll definitely see you soon and will keep in touch. I don’t want to go away but the sooner I do, the sooner I’ll be back, hopefully!!! Take care Pauline 🙂 xoxo

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  12. Good luck with your memoir writing. See you when you get back.

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  13. cardamone5 says:

    Good luck, Sherri. Keep us posted. I’d love to be a beta reader, if you would like one.

    Fondly,
    E

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Elizabeth, I will definitely keep you posted and thank you so much for your kind offer, that’s wonderful. I will be in touch very soon! Take care and enjoy the rest of your summer 🙂

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  14. What cute little quailikins! So sad about the babies and poor Mummy Cookie. Hope that the survivors stay strong and healthy. Love the pink bench which is the prettiest I’ve seen for Jude’s challenge. Gorgeous photo of you and your dad, Sherri. So happy things are going well for him. Good luck with your writing. Glad you’re enjoying your new laptop. See you when I see you. *hugs*
    PS: Good for Ethel! Fred has had his onions by the sound of it. 😀

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh I know Sylvia, those darling little quailkins are the cutest aren’t they?! It is sad but thankfully all the others are doing very well and hopefully it will stay that way. Oh wow, glad you like the pink bench so much! Forde Abbey isn’t far from us, we like to go in the winter and take nice long walks around the grounds. It’s free for a few weekends November to December, so even better! And thanks for the photo and your lovely words about my dad, and also for your wonderful support and encourgement of my writing, really means so much to me. Haha…yes, Fred has definitely had his onions 😀 Hugs to you dear Sylvia and see you very soon! 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Mabel Kwong says:

    The chicks look sooo cute! So snug all wrapped up like that too. They are certainly being taken well cared off. But hopefully it’s not too hot for them like that, what with it being summer and all over there 🙂 Glad to hear you have a replacement laptop and yes, write and blog away til your heart’s content. As for Windows 10, some are for it, some aren’t. I’m resisting the urge to upgrade as my new-ish laptop is currently working fine as it is.

    Ah, Ethel again. She is one fierce woman and doesn’t seem to be taking any nonesense from anyone. Sounds like she likes being appreciated. Hope you are well, Sherri 🙂 ❤

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh yes, dear, sweet quailkins! Not too hot Mabel, the towel was only after Mummy Cookie had her bath and to dry off her feathers, when she wasn’t doing too well, poor little thing. Not easy raising button quails, so we’ve discovered, but so far so good now, thank goodness 🙂 And yes, that’s how I feel about Windows 10, but I’m sure i’ll come around to it soon enough, when I’m feeling a bit braver!
      Haha…yes, Ethel loses it from time to time thanks to Fred’s cluelessness! She is fierce indeed!
      Thanks so much for your lovely comment Mabel, and once I’m returned to blogging (and have my book written at long last!) I’ll look forward very much to catching up with you! Take care and see you soon! 🙂 ❤

      Like

      • Mabel Kwong says:

        Hope the quails feel better soon. They look tough though tiny. Maybe we will see more of them here on your blog at some point 🙂 Love your flash fictions as always, Sherri. Very powerful. Lots of good luck with the book 🙂 ❤

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Thank you so much Mabel, and you are right, these quails are indeed tough cookies 😉 I certainly hope to take some more photos to post later. Have a wonderful weekend and see you again very soon! 🙂 ❤

        Like

  16. Rachel M says:

    Those quails are adorable. I’m glad three of them made it to adults. I’m sorry to hear about MummyCookie. What was wrong with her, did the vet know? Enjoy your break, Sherri.

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    • Sherri says:

      Mummy Cookie got run down (which is common with female button quails apparantley, as normally they make bad mothers but she gave her all to her babies and also her ‘husband’ kept trying to mate her, hence the pulled out feathers, again normal, cruel as it sounds). We also found out that they don’t live very long, especially after laying eggs 😦 Perhaps that explains why quail eggs and quail are a delicassy and expensive on menus. All very sad, but thankfully the rest are all healthy and doing well 🙂 Thanks so much Rachel, I’ll be in touch and will see you soon. Enjoy the rest of your summer and lots of wonderful adventures 🙂

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  17. jennypellett says:

    Ah, I’m so glad that it’s your memoir that’s taking you away from Blogland for a while. First Jill, now you – I shall miss both my favourites but delighted that you have ‘broken the back’ of your very personal project. Good to spend time with the family too – precious moments which you can never get back. Your Dad looks in good shape and those baby chicks are delightful – good for Claire that they are now thriving.
    We’ll keep in touch by email Sherri – but very good luck and best wishes to you while you focus on the task in hand xx

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much dear Jenny for your wonderful support and encouragement and lovely words. Yes, we’ll be in touch by email and I hope it won’t be too long before I’m back here (I’ll miss blogging terribly) but it means a lot that you understand my reasons for stepping away. I hope you have a lovely rest of the summer and can get lots of R&R in and I look forward to catching up with you very soon. And see you by email! 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Sue says:

    I think you’ve made a sensible decision, Sherri, hard as it might seem……give you some ‘me’ time (I’ll be doing the same soon because of the house move) We’ll be here when you get back! Have a restorative holiday xx

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  19. Charli Mills says:

    Ha, ha! Great flash from Fred! But don’t send him to take care of my coyotes, Ethyl might follow. 🙂 Ah, Sherri, I know the tough decision you have made but your choice to pursue and finish your memoir and spend family time is beyond precious. It will all work out and we will wait to read the results of your focused time! ❤

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…yes, now that was a real flash wasn’t it 😀 Ethel is a handful that’s for sure. She can only take so much and Fred is pretty clueless 😀 So glad you enjoyed it…and although I know it’s a right pain for you dealing with all your critters, I’m still grinning at your post and the way you wrote about it. And still thinking of turkey drumsticks..no!!! Stop it I say!!!! Ahh, thanks so much Charli for understanding and for all your wonderful support and encouragement. I will miss blogging terribly but you know how I need to do this and I didn’t take this decision lightly. But I’ll be in touch and take things one day at a time and hopefully be back here asap. But I’ll see you very soon! 🙂 ❤

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  20. jenniferkmarsh says:

    Glad to hear you’ve finally got your laptop situation sorted, Sherri! What a nightmare that was. Fingers crossed this one stays well for you. You take as much time away as you need, dear Sherri P, and come back to us with smiles abound from all your personal success and inner peace ❤

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much dear Jenny Jen Jen but I’ll be in touch 🙂 I will miss blogging but will be back as soon as possible. You take care and I’ll see you soon 🙂 ❤ xx

      Like

  21. Elissaveta says:

    Those button quails are SO cute I almost melted!!
    It’s so lovely to hear about your father too, every cloud has its silver lining after all. 🙂
    I wish you all the best one more time! Take care 🙂 xx

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh that’s so sweet…’I almost melted!!’ Oh I know what you mean, I felt just the same way when my daughter appeared with them in her hands with the words: “You’re a granny now!” Haha 😀 And yes, it’s good to be able to end things on a good note, as they stand. Thanks so much Ellie, so kind of you, I will see you soon and you also take good care 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Denise says:

    It’s lovely to get a catch up post from you, especially when you always post such great photos. What cute quails, such a shame about poor Mummy Quail. Keep writing your memoir and we will be waiting to see the results when you return.

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  23. Amy says:

    Glad you got a new laptop, Sherri! Love the photo of you and you dad. Happy birthday to your dad!
    See you later! Take care. 🙂

    Like

  24. Good luck with the memoirs Sherri and come back soon much refreshed and raring to blog x I will miss you.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Brenda, you are very kind. I look forward to catching up with you as soon as I’m back, and meanwhile, I hope things are well with you and you are enjoying a happy summer with your lovely family 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Pat says:

    Oh my, Sherri. I’m so happy for you on one hand because you’ll be finishing your memoir but will miss you now that I’m warming up to coming back after being away from blogging all summer. So much to say . . . so much to catch up on but it will be there when our paths cross again. Those things friends are always able to pick up instantly when they get back together like where they left off as if they’ve never been gone.

    So sorry to hear you lost your old laptop but sounds like it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. And, I know what you mean about Windows 10. I’ve upgraded to it and going through some bumps in the road along with it but like it so far. It’s been interesting as I’m not up on the latest techy advancements. But making progress.

    Love the photo of you and your Dad. Truly happy you have this time together. You’re right: “It’s never too late.”

    Take care, my friend, and many kudos on finishing your memoir and upcoming publication. I know it will be a huge success. God bless and hugs. 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh I’ve missed you so much Pat, and so gald to know you are returning to blogging as I was worried you might not come back. You are right, it is a shame that you return just as I’m heading out, but we will catch up again soon as if there never was a gap, as is the way with good friends 🙂 So glad you are happy with Windows 10. I missed some weeks of blogging back in June/July due to endless laptop issues, so I really hesitated to take another break but this is for other reasons and one I really need to do, I believe it is the right time. Let’s hope so! You are very kind, thank you so much for your well wishes and for what you say about my dad. Never too late indeed! You take care too my friend and I hope to see you over on FB in the meantime. Enjoy the rest of your summer, and blessings and hugs to you too… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pat says:

        I share the same sentiment, Sherri, and I’ve really missed you, too. Lots of stuff to talk about when I do get back to blogging. It’s been amazing and can see it’s been the same for you. So happy for the good stuff that going on for you at this time of your life. 🙂

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Thank you so much Pat…so looking forward to catching up with you properly, I can’t wait to hear your news! Take care my friend and see you soon 🙂

        Like

  26. dgkaye says:

    Take a breather Sherri. We’ve all been there, and go through these periods from time to time while engrossed in our writing. We’ll all be here when you return. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Pingback: When Life Gives You Onions « Carrot Ranch Communications

  28. Norah says:

    Hehehe! I love it! Round onions! I’d be after him too. I hope Ethal gets him. Full moon – couldn’t he come up (not sure about my choice of words) with something else! What a brilliant way to leave us – wanting more and eagerly awaiting your return. I will miss you while you are away but am so pleased you now have a working computer and can concentrate on completing your memoir. I loved all the photos you shared – the pink bench, the quails, and your Dad. You both have the same colour hair – gorgeous. I’m pleased to see there has been some positive progress, even at 83 years! Sorry to hear about Mumma Cookie Quail though, but pleased the family is happy. You stay happy too. Keep writing. See you when you get back. 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…love it! There isn’t a lot Fred can ‘come up with’ other than lame excuses, and, well…ahem, moving swiftly on… 😀 😮 😉 Ethel was pulling out all the kitchen drawers looking for a fine set of nutcrackers 😀 Oh Norah, I had a lot of fun with this story and will sorely miss Charli’s weekly flash fiction prompts…I might just do them anyway to keep ‘up’ with things, but just not post them 😉 I will miss you too, but so glad we can connect on FB in the meantime. I agonised over this decision but feel it is the right time for me to do this now, and even though I’ve tried in the past to get to this stage, somehow it just never happened. It feels different now, as if something has shifted for me personally, and I’m guided by the fact that since making this decision and posting it, I am not regretting it but embracing the time ahead when I can focus 100% on getting my book finished. But I will miss blogging terribly, so I will have to restrain myself and I’m not normally that disciplined. This time though… :/ Ahh…that’s so sweet of you about the photos, thank you so much, and yes, I suppose Dad and I do have the same colour hair!! I was glad to leave things on a happy, fun note and relatively ‘status quo’ note. Something I don’t take for granted, ha! I wish you the very best in all your endeavours too Norah and I so much look forward to catching up with you here when I return. See you soon for sure! Take care 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Norah says:

        Nut crackers! Now you really are cracking me up! What a sense of humour!
        I am very happy for you with your decision to focus on completing your book and I hope that you are able to do so without distraction (other than a bit of fun from time to time).
        I’m struggling with Charli’s prompt this time and have had no flashes of inspiration yet, so if you continue you to do them I wish you well. But be careful – you may be distracted.
        I’ll “try” to get onto FB from time to time to catch up – no guarantees. It hasn’t found a way into my heart, or my routine, yet. We’ll see.
        I look forward to your return to the blogosphere and to hearing about your endeavours and success, as well as catching up on Fred’s escapades and Ethal’s devices to keep him out of trouble. Take care. 🙂 xo

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      • Sherri says:

        Haha 😀 Always good to have a laugh isn’t it? You give sound advice as always Norah and I very much appreciate it. Distraction is something I do need to avoid to make the most of this blogging break. Deep breath…! I’m sure you will find your flash of inspiration in good time for Charli’s prompt. I find that sometimes I know exactly what I’m going to write and others I literally sit down with an hour or two to spare before the cut off (evening for me thankfully with the time difference, giving me the day, phew!) before I get anything. I love flash fiction for that reason. Lovely chatting with you as always Norah, and now I’m heading over to your blog as promised to catch up with you before signing off 🙂 xo

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  29. Haha. That is so funny and so clever. We are going to miss your flashes (or is it Fred flashing). Work hard on your book and get back when you are finished. I can’t wait to read it and that is your priority. Glad to see your father looking well and happy. He is doing so well on both the health and staying on the outside and it looks as though he is not drinking either. So glad you could have that wonderful day together. Lovely to see the little birds also though sad about the deaths. Are Raisin and Mooncake in love? Your house must be a real menagerie.
    I will talk during your absence but will leave you in peace to write and finish and then rewrite and rewrite again. Lots of love. Take care and you know how to reach me if you need a sounding board. ❤ 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh I’m so glad you enjoyed it Irene, I had a bit of fun with Ethel and Fred and am glad to leave things on a funny note. Haha…a bit of both I think, Fred is no flash in the pan 😀 😉 🙂 Ahh yes, it was a special day with my dad. The big worry is when the time comes for him to move but the big hope is that he can stay where he is as long as possible and I’m sure they will take his age and health into consideration. Yes! Mooncake and Raisin are definitely in love, although Mooncake’s response to his adoration is the rather annoying habit of pulling out his love interest’s feathers, as he did to poor Mummy Cookie. And as cute as the babies are, it’s just as well that Raisin isn’t as maternal as Cookie as we have enough quails to keep us going now, and daughter loves it that the two females look like clones of their mother, so that helps a lot 🙂 Menagerie is right…enough is enough! I will post about Nate Bunnykins when I return which gives me time to get lots of pics of him as he grows into a fat little bunny. Last night he lay on the couch right next to my leg and stretched out all long and laid his sweet little head out on his paws and went to sleep, it was one of the most relaxing moments I’ve had in a long time, stroking his beautifully soft fur and feeling his sweet little body next to me like that. So cute 🙂 I’m a happy bunny at times like that 😀 So lovely to know you are ‘there’ my friend, thank you so much. Yes, we will talk and we will walk and we will be in touch and lots of love to you too, as you prepare for publication, and do keep me posted with everything and please do contact me too if you need a sounding board also. I won’t mind one bit 🙂 Meanwhile, have a super weekend and I’ll be in touch very soon 🙂 ❤ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  30. lbeth1950 says:

    Sorry about the quails and that you are stepped ng away from blogging, but loved the onion story.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Beth, really appreciate it, thrilled you enjoyed ‘Round Onions’ 😀 I’ll be back soon and hope to be able to catch up better with everyone when I do. Take care and I hope you have a wonderful rest of the summer 🙂

      Like

  31. A blogging break is good for us all, Sherri. Your loyal supports and friends will all be here when you return. I’m so pleased to hear you are doing what is best for you. There’s nothing wrong in putting ourselves first from time it time. After all, without us just who would we be? That’s a very strange question I know. 🙂

    I hope you get to achieve everything you want to do while you area away from Planet Blog. I also hope we see the return of Ethel and Fred. They’re a great couple. 🙂

    Take care and see you in the Autumn.
    xx

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      That’s so good to know Hugh, thank you so much for that, I really appreciate it. And I admit, I did have to read that question a few times, it is quite thought-provoking and a very good point 🙂 Haha…I’m delighted you enjoyed reading about Ethel and Fred, I have grown rather fond of them with just the two flashes (and talk about a flash, ha!!) so I definitely want to continue with them. I will miss Planet Blog very much, but I will be in touch as best I can. I know where to reach you and hope we can have that cup of coffee (or something stronger) soon! Meanwhile, I hope you have a wonderful bank holiday weekend Hugh and yes, see you in the Autumn 🙂 xx

      Like

  32. Dearest Sherri, following in my footsteps and having a break from blogging! Well, I can guarantee that everyone will still be there for you when you return. We all need breaks sometimes, even from things we love doing.
    Re Windows 10, I can quite understand your reticence about having anything to do with an upgrade after all the stress with your laptop. All I’d say is that upgrades are free at the moment but won’t be in the future (not sure how far in the future, though). Of course, there will come a time when older versions of Windows are no longer supported, as with Windows XP. I’m quite pleased with Windows 10, after I’d sorted out the high-jacking of my browser by Windows Edge. Some people have had issues with the upgrade, so it’s probably best to call upon a competent techie to do it for you, and not one who’ll send your laptop half way around the globe!
    I loved the continuation of your werewolf story 🙂
    Am glad the quail venture is doing okay. Unfortunately, as I remember with my mother’s dog breeding, there will always be a small degree of mortality among the offspring of creatures we rear, but still less than in the wild. It’s still hard to steel oneself when dealing with losses.
    Have a lovely break. That email of mine will come soon. That time-gobbling monster is playing up again. xxxx

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Yes dearest Sarah, I am indeed following in your footsteps! It was time and now I’ve made the decision I feel it’s the right one. I really want to get my book written now, with the bit between my teeth I’m ready to get going!
      I have been thinking about that re Windows 10 and you make all very valid points and as always, great advice and I know I’m going to have to take up the free upgrade offer before too long. I think I will get my eldest son to do it for me while I keep my eyes closed so that I can wake up when it’s all over! And yes, I can have every confidence that with him, my laptop will not leave the room 😉
      Oh I’m thrilled you enjoyed the ongoing adventures of Fred and Ethel. I had fun with it and hope to keep it going 🙂
      Ahh… so very true with animals. I honestly don’t know how some of these sweet little creatures survive in the wild at all. But for now, all is calm on the homefront and long may it reign…
      No pressure on the email, I know I will hear from you in due course and I very much look forward to it. Meanwhile, have a lovely long weekend and I hope you get in some good R&R which you richly deserve, and tell that time-gobbling monster to go back inside its closet and stay there, ha! If only…
      Thank you so much Sarah, see you very soon my friend! 🙂 xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dearest Sherri, I admit to having got in a neurosis about Windows 10 and wouldn’t do the upgrade until Mister was around, in case it went wrong.
        I’ve emailed you this morning.
        Am so glad you’ve got the bit between your teeth, re the book.
        Have a wonderful weekend, Sherri 🙂 xxxx

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Dearest Sarah, where is the time going? That time-gobbling monster is eating its way through every spare second at the moment over here…same with you I’m sure. Can’t we just get rid of it?????? A lovely but frenetic weekend thanks, hope a good one for you and an even better week/weeks to come! And now I’m over and out from blogging for a little while. Thank you for your lovely email, I’ll reply if not today then tomorrow for sure. See you soon 🙂 xxxx

        Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much for the reblog Judith! I look forward to catching up with you properly when I return, and meanwhile, I hope you have a lovely rest of the summer 🙂

      Like

  33. jabberjeans says:

    Wonderful way to “end” your stay at The Ranch – until you get back! Loved the antics – absolutely delicious and delightful response to the prompt!

    Good luck with finishing your memoirs – and enjoy your time with family. I’m sure you’ll be missed but everyone is rooting for you (sorry, couldn’t resist!). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…love it, that’s great! Thanks so much Sasha for your wonderful comment and kind wishes. Oh you’ve made my day about the flash, I’m thrilled you found it so delicious 😉 I had a lot of fun with it and have grown rather fond of Ethel and Fred, onions or not, ha 😀 I will miss coming over to the Ranch very much but will be back as soon as I can. Happy writing and see you soon! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Sherri wishing you every success, sorry to hear about the Quails, so beautiful. Great to see you with your Dad. happy writing friend.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thankfully we had no more ‘quail carnage’, for that is what it seemed like, and it was just so very sad, but things are settled and healthy and happy once again, and I am glad to leave things this way, on a happy, fun note. Thank you so much Kath, your support means a great deal to me as you know. I look forward to your beautiful art work on FB in the meantime, and wish you all the very best in all your endeavours also. See you soon my friend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Pingback: Perfect Day on the Fringe | litadoolan

  36. Sherri, I’ve been away from the blogging world for months – life has just been too frantic.
    But it’s so good to be reading your words again. So reassuring.
    I’m pleased you spent time with your dad. So pleased for you both. I do hope that you are able to share and enjoy more time together in the future. As you say – it’s never too late to give up hope.
    Very, very best wishes to you and your family.
    Emma 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Emma! So wonderful to hear from you and thank you so much for your lovely, kind sentiments and good wishes. I do hope that things are going well for you. I so look forward to catching up with you when I return to blogging. Meanwhile, I send the very same best wishes to you and yours. Take care 🙂

      Like

  37. Letizia says:

    Oh those little quails are so cute and so fragile!

    Like

  38. daffy says:

    It has been a while since I last visited but its lovely to see how things have changed in two years. loving the quails… how bitter sweet for you all but lovely seeing the survivors thrive. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Daffy! Goodness, you were practically the very first blogger (apart from family and one or two friends) who ever liked and commented on my blog over 2 1/2 years ago!! I was sad when I couldn’t find you any more 😦 So lovely to hear from you, what a wonderful surprise! And look..now I’m disappearing but not for too long I hope. I hope you are back and will look forward to catching up with you when I return. Two years…wow. Scary that. Take care and see you soon Daffy!! 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  39. Marie Keates says:

    Good luck with the memoirs. It’s hard to find time to fit it all in so I understand but I will miss your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Marie, I’ll miss you too (loved your post, just sorry I haven’t been able to keep up better than this) and I hope things go well for you over the next few weeks. I’ll see you when I get back. Take care 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  40. Marlene says:

    So wise of you to limit your commitments while you finish writing your book! I’m looking forward to reading it when it’s published. In the meantime, the image of that lovely bench reflected in the water will stay on my mind. Best wishes for smooth writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Marlene, I really appreciate your lovely comment and kind wishes. Take care and I look forward to catching up with you soon, and I’ll be checking in on FB from time to time too 🙂

      Like

  41. I’d say you and your Dad both share a wicked sense of humor after reading your latest flash fiction! Hilarious and I hope Ethel can catch him! And I loved the beautiful photo of Forde Abbey! Poor Cookie and your daughter who tried so valiantly to save her. I have cried buckets over all the animals I have lost, large and small. Liza our hamster will be 2 yrs old this month by the way! Your Dad’s journey through all these years has been surprising to say the very least but now this sweet & precious time you have to enjoy him. What a blessing. I will miss your blog very much but know you must carry on to complete your memoir (can’t wait!) the end is in site! lots of love xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…yes, we do enjoy a good laugh which is lovely 😀
      Ahh…sweet little Liza already 2 years old 🙂 Oh how we have gone through the wringer with our beloved pets haven’t we, and how we adore them 😀
      Thank you so much dear friend for your lovely words and good wishes. I will miss blogging too, very much, but will be back in no time, the way it is flying!! Your encouragement of my writing means the world to me. Lots of love to you too and see you soon! ❤ xoxo

      Like

  42. Ste J says:

    Ah my friend, you will be missed especially after such a wonderful post but getting on with your memoir will be great and of course you will be able to introduce more people to your wonderful writing style.I shall keep your blog warm for you by pottering around and picking up the mail and milk bottles for you.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hello my friend! This is the first time I’ve been on my blog for an eternity. Well, it seems like it anyway. I am planning to return next week but it feels very strange, as if I am a stranger here. Oh I hope not! I can’t say enough how lovely it is to know that you’ve been keeping an eye on things for me at the summerhouse. I wondered who it might be placing my mail neatly on the side table and putting the milk in the fridge. I feel comforted and safe knowing that…and no surprise to find out that it has been you all along! I hope things are well with you, and I will visit you again as soon as I can. I have missed you!

      Like

      • Ste J says:

        I have been away again for a week or so, work getting in the way as usual but I do like keeping your place tidy and making my own look a little less shabby. I put your mail in alphabetical order but backwards, just to keep you amused (or bemused). I have missed you too, although it has been a good excuse to be cranky at work, so that’s alright then!

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Ahh…these things that get in the way of blogging and writing and reading…and yet here you were, keeping the place nice and tidy (and I’m sure yours isn’t at all shabby, but actually I’m sort of thinking a bit of ‘Shabby Chic’ thing going on here, maybe…?), hence the back-to-front mail pile…no money in amongst that lot anyway, and no bills since all mine are online so I can pretend they don’t exist. Oh, It’s nice to be missed, thank you…cranky no more, haha!. I’m looking forward to hanging out again, but first I have to finish reading a book I was asked to review. It’s about memoir so I jumped to it, even though it was smack bang in the middle of me taking the time off to write, and I’ve never done a review before, so I hope I can do it half the justice you do with yours. Then, I’ll be able to start doing the rounds and paying you a visit… 🙂

        Like

  43. Well, I’m really, really late to this party. Sorry I missed it. Hope to see you again soon. I’ll be coming up for air by then too. It’s been one heck of a summer. I’m glad the computer woes are over. Great success with the memoir. You shall be in my thoughts till we meet here again. Hugs.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Dear Marlene, how lovely to return to my blog after so long and to read your wonderful messages waiting for me 🙂 I am just barely coming back up for air, having been lost in the world of memoir, but I have been writing, oh I have. I am planning to return to blogging next week and will then begin the mammoth catch up, but I will be over to see you as soon as I can. I have missed you and your news very much my friend! I hope all is well with you and big hugs back… xo

      Liked by 1 person

  44. Had to find a way to stop back by and leave you this link. I don’t know any other way to add it than copy and paste. It’s a video about neuroplasticity by the author of a book I’m reading. There is a bit of information about 3/4 of the way through on how they think it is involved with autism and Asperger’s. I’m being forced to forward this, not sure if it’s of any use to you but something says send it. ?
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/09/12/neuroplasticity.aspx?e_cid=20150912Z1_DNL_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20150912Z1&et_cid=DM85072&et_rid=1116744836

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you very much for sending this Marlene, I will take a look as soon as I can. So good you listen to your nudges…so many times I have not and have regretted it. I’ll let you know when I’ve read it!

      Liked by 1 person

  45. So glad to hear your memoir is going well and that you were able to truly celebrate your Dad’s birthday Sherri! I understand about the time it takes to blog and sometimes we have to divert it so that other goals can be accomplished. I definitely feel you in regards to Windows 10. I am also holding out as long as I can. B Blessed my friend and I am so glad to hear things prayed for are coming to fruition. Much peace and love to you!

    Like

  46. Nice you could spend time with your dad. A good day. How I know that type of thinking. I miss you. You never show up in my reader so I decided to chase you down.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Hollis! So nice to ‘see’ you again at the Summerhouse. I’ve only just returned to blogging, so apologies for my late reply to your lovely message, I love that you chased me down, ha! I miss you too…are you blogging again? I had to turn off all my email notifications of blog posts, so I’m going to try the reader once I’ve got a bit caught up here (easing in gently….). Several bloggers have said I don’t show up in their reader, I wonder why that is? Hope life is treating you well dear Hollis… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  47. Seyi sandra says:

    Hello dear Sherri, it’s been ages, over a month now! I’m so sorry I’ve been consumed with words, I literally swim in it. Writing books is such a lonely and time consuming work…
    I can’t believe I popped in and you’re going away. 😦 But all is well. Your dad looks good for his age, I hope your computer woes would be over for good, I’d refused to install windows 10, I wanted to be sure all the hiccups attached to it are sorted out first.
    I’m glad to read that you’re almost through with your memoir. Don’t worry, you’ll finish it and we’ll celebrate. Take care of yourself my friend and I’ll check back again soon.
    Much love and God bless you my friend!!:) 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hello to you dear Seyi! So lovely to return to blogging and read your delightful message, thank you so much for keeping an eye on me and on the Summerhouse 😉
      I know just what you mean about being ‘swimming in words’. It is lonely and all-encompassing at the same time.
      I’ll be slowly easing in here, while trying to meet other writing commitments (got the first draft done at last, yay! Now to move to the edits after a week’s rest, but I am chomping at the bit to keep writing my memoir…).
      And then, oneday soon, we shall indeed celebrate! 🙂
      Yes, that’s another reason for waiting to install Windows 10, I totally agree…
      I will be over to your pad as soon as I can (have a review to post tomorrow and still to finish the book… 😮 ), but I do hope that all is well with you.
      Much love and blessings to you too my friend, this gorgeous, sunny autumn day, and see you again very soon!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Seyi sandra says:

        Glad to see you back dear Sherri! I’m so excited that you’ve finished the first draft of your memoir, now the hard work begins! You’ll get things right at the end, I trust you. 🙂
        I’ll check by soon and read your new update. Rest well and keep writing!
        Much love and warm regards to the family!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          Thank you so much dear Seyi, your heartwarming and kind messages bring great joy to my day! I love that you trust me…you spur me on so greatly 🙂 See you soon and much love to you and your beautiful family also! 🙂 🙂 🙂

          Like

  48. Ali Isaac says:

    Good luck with your writing! Hope to see you back here soon. 😊

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Ali! Thanks so much, I’ve just returned to blogging to let everyone know that I finished the first draft, yay!!! Now I’m easing in slowly…and then will try to catch up. Takes a while to get back into the swing of things, I feel as if I’ve been away from blogland for ages. I hope everything is well with you, and see you soon! 🙂

      Like

  49. Ali Isaac says:

    Oh and cracking short story!

    Like

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