A JoJo Update

After involving my blog readers in the Jojo drama, it’s only fair that I give you an update. I’m typing this on my laptop with Jojo lying next to my leg and with her long little body under my elbow. It’s exactly two weeks today when this all started. We’ve been told that it will be at least four weeks before we’ll be able to know what’s what.

She needs to be confined, so we now have a play pen here in the family room. Before the playpen, I went looking for something that would work. Regular dog crates don’t due to my having to reach down to pick her up. I was pulling in to the All the Best pet store in Bellevue to find something suitable when I noticed that the business next to it, Relax the Back, was discarding some boxes. One of them seemed to be about the same size as our three-by-four foot dog beds. It was also only a foot tall. When I asked the manager if I could have one of the boxes and explained why I needed it, he said yes immediately and even loaded it for me. With the top cut off, leaving a small rim inside to keep Jojo from climbing out, the box has turned out to be perfect. After a lifetime of sleeping in our bed, she seems content to be there, cozied up next to our bed if not in it.

Jojo has been on steroids, and I have to remember to make sure she gets plenty of water. And let’s just say that dealing with an incontinent dog is … well … challenging. But so far, we’re making it work. Mary, our other Doxie, has been having some sibling rivalry issues. She’s understandably needy right now, and doesn’t want to have much to do with Jojo. So we’ll see. We’re hoping to have a healthy little dog back again in the future, but right now we’re playing a game of wait and see.

At the same time I’ve been caregiver-in-chief, I’ve also been working on the first stage of editing for Credible Threat with my new editor, who is terrific. I’ve learned a couple of things about her in the process. When she had no idea what a “Florsheim Wedge” was, I unmasked her as a non-golfer. For you other non-golfers out there, a Florsheim Wedge is what golf-cheaters use when they kick their ball out of an impossible lie rather than using an actual club. My editor also wanted to know how the AI in my Ali books, Frigg, had ensnared a new human supervisor, Stu Ramey. That told me she hadn’t read either Man Overboard or Duel to the Death. I told her she’d need to read one of those because I wasn’t telling her. (I want other new readers to go back to earlier books as well.)

My progress on the edits has been slow but steady. My use of hyphens is abominable, and she has dutifully fixed them all. At this stage it seems feasible that we’ll be able to skip the copy-editing step and go straight to production, but then again, maybe not.

When I hear from caregivers dealing with loved ones’ serious health issues, I always admonish them to take care of the caregiver, and it’s time for me to take a little of my own advice on that score. Taking care of Jojo is good for about 3,000 steps a day, plus a lot of heavy lifting. If my frozen shoulder was still frozen, I wouldn’t be able to do this, so here’s a big shout out from both Jojo and me to our personal trainer, Dan Kritsonis. “Thank you.” My step goal for the year was to pass the 6,000,000 mark, and I did that, yesterday, by 300 steps. But now that we have the playpen, it’s important for both Bill and me to get back to walking.

And tomorrow, we’ll have a dog sitter come to look after our puppies while we go out for lunch to celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary. The anniversary itself is on Saturday, but with a houseful and more of company arriving for our annual Christmas party, we thought going early was a good idea. And now, in honor of that, I’ll end with a tiny trip down memory lane.

I’m not one of those people who believes in long engagements. Bill and I met in June of 1985. On October twelfth he asked me to marry him, and I said yes. We got married December twenty-first. A few days after popping the question, Bill came to the condo in downtown Seattle that I shared with my sister. My sister’s son, David, his wife Mary, and Mary’s daughter, Celina Rose, were all there visiting, too. Bill and I decided we’d go ring shopping. We rode down in the elevator, walked across the street to the Jewelry Exchange, picked out rings, rode back up in the elevator, and were back in the condo less than half an hour later. “What happened?” someone asked. “Did you change your minds?” “No,” we said. “The rings are all picked out.”

At that point, Celina, burst into tears. It seems that she had spent day after day accompanying David and her mother while they shopped endlessly for engagement rings.

The rings we chose that day in less than thirty minutes have served us well for thirty-four years. Ditto for the guy I picked out in practically the blink of an eye—Bill’s not bad either.

Tomorrow we’ll leave “the kids” at home and go be just “us” for a while, celebrating the joy of spending so many years of being second-time-arounders.

And yes, take it from me, love really is lovelier the second time around.

35 thoughts on “A JoJo Update

  1. Happy Anniversary to two special people. I always enjoy stories about you and Bill. I hope that Jojo continues to improve in health and strength. I wish all of you a Merry Christmas ! Re-reading your books and catching up with favorite characters is part of my plan for 2020. Thanks for all the help you have been to me in 2019. You helped me hold onto the fraying rope of my life more than you realize. My copy of After The Fire is still on my desk where I can read your words that remind me we are stronger than we think we are. Merry Christmas.

  2. Happy Anniversary!!! Sorry to tell you – yours was a long engagement. My late hubby and I met in July, 1968. He first mentioned marriage 2 days later, and proposed, with ring in hand, 3 weeks later. We married within 4 months – on Nov. 28, 1968 – Thanksgiving day. He died too young, (a month after his 53rd birthday) in 1997, two weeks before our 29th anniversary. It was a wonderful ride with fabulous memories, as I’m sure your years together have been. Enjoy your anniversary dinner and many more years together.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Can’t wait for the new book! Go, JoJo

  3. Since you a sure to be too busy to be hanging around the computer, Happy Anniversary. I am glad to hear that things are going well with JoJo, and I pray that it works out well.
    It is always good to know that your are making progress on one of your wonderful books. Congratulation on your 3 Million steps!
    Have a full and happy holiday season. Merry Christmas!

  4. I don’t believe in long engagements either. I met my husband in March 1967, he proposed in May, we married in early September. This year celebrated our 52nd anniversary. And they said it wouldn’t last…ha!

  5. I’m glad that JoJo is coming along as well as she can. I guess these things just take time.

    I hope you have a Happy Anniversary dinner (eat dessert). Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  6. Happy Anniversary!!! Hope Jojo recovers to be close to her normal self. Caring for a sick fur baby is like caring for your human baby and takes the same toil on the parents. Merry Christmas to and your family.

    • Happy Anniversary! I also wish you a very Merry Christmas! I am sure that the New Year will be busy for you with your new book, but, don’t forget to take time to relax as well. I have loved all of your books and look forward to each one. It’s a little like keeping up with family and friends!

  7. Because I have read all your books and my memory retrieval often has hiccups, I, will have to refresh from earlier books, too. Thanks for the heads up. Wishing you a long life of love and writing.

  8. Happy Anniversary. Merry Christmas, and a healthy, blessed New Year for your household. I look forward to the next book release. Amazed with all going on, that you have continued your steps. Congratulations on the milestone!

  9. Happy Christmas, Judith Jance, to you, Bill, and your puppies. Thanks for hours of reading happiness, and, well–everything!

  10. Happy Anniversary. I hope the two of you have a wonderful lunch.
    I am so glad JoJo is comfortable. Her playpen sounds perfect and is hopefully temporary. Prayers that the steroids help. I am wondering if dogs experience the same effects that humans do when on steroids. Hunger, weight gain, mood swings? It would be interesting to know.
    Merry Christmas to you, Bill and your family.

  11. Congratulations on your anniversary! Happy to hear JoJo is feeling better and the care bugs are getting worked out. Life is a process and learning to roll with the punches makes it easier. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  12. Joyful happy anniversary wishes to you and Bill! Enjoy an especially lovely lunch celebration.

    Here”s wishing JoJo a full recovery with your loving care.

  13. As always really enjoyed your blog. Happy Anniversary, also and Merry Christmas to you and Bill. One thing I AM surprised about is that your editor hasn’t read Ali. I guess I don’t understand book editor because I thougt that would be a requisite for editing an author’s books. Needless to say I’m anxiously looking forwar to the new “Ali”.

    • Have to say I’m sorry I didn’t review my response to JoJo blog update. So, sadly I now some some typos. Been through a lot lately so that might be the problem. Anyway, again, thanks for the beautiful story.

  14. Jerry and I may have best by a week or two. Our first date was the end of September, 1974. Then he had a 3 week business trip to California (we live in Chicago). Then I had a two week business trip to Philadelphia. We had a second date the end of October. He insists I asked home to marry me — I’m not so sure of that – the middle of November. We announced our engagement on Thanksgiving day and married on February 1st. This coming February we will celebrate 45 years of married life. I am now also his caregiver as he has a non-alzheimers dementia.

  15. Happy Anniversary, and a Very Merry Christmas to you and yours. If you happen to need some music for entertaining, the group I sing with, The Westshore Chorale is having our Christmas concert broadcast on WCLV (Cleveland) at 8:00 our time Christmas night. I think I sent you a link to our flash mob at the market yonks ago.

    Glad to hear that Jojo is on the mend. I have a cat who is 18, and he leaves a “poo du jour” as we all call it. So I understand some of the work involved with an ill/elderly animal. But, we love them, so we do for them, right?

    I’m on Winter Break, so I am looking forward to reading your books!

  16. I’m so looking forward to reading your new book, and I just wanted you to know that I enjoy your blog posts immensely. I love getting a peek at an author’s “behind the scenes” life. We’ve had dogs and cats over the years, and I know how much they become a part of the family. Pets add such joy, and I’ve enjoyed reading about yours. You are one of my very favorite authors. My other favorites include John Lescroat, John Grisham, David Baldacci, Dick Francis, and Jan Karon. Keep up the good work!

  17. My husband and I are also second time arounders. On Monday, December 23 we will celebrate our 31st anniversary. We had dated for a very short time and he never really asked me to.marry him, we just started talking anout getting married and once the decision was made….we were married 3 days later and yes after eloping the first time my daddy got to walk me down the aisle.

  18. My husband and i were married on the riverboat in laughlin Nevada. We are celebating 8 yrs. It is the 3rd for both of us. Praying JoJo makes a good recovery. Love all your books.

  19. Thank you for the update on Jojo and Happy Anniversary to you both! Having heard you talk at several book signings and been a regular reader of your wonderful blog, I wasn’t at all surprised at your approach to picking out your rings! It suits you! This new editor of yours is in for a real treat when she gets into your earlier books!

  20. Congratulations on your 34th wedding anniversary! Yes, it does get better the second time around. Sending you both much love and praying for little Joe Joe. Thank you for keeping us in the loop and know that if love can heal, Jojo has lots of it going his way. Merry Christmas! So looking forward to your new book

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