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…Six Weeks Later…

March 7, 2011

photo credit

…hindsight tells me that I was wrong on two counts in my last post. First of all, my laptop required far more than a few days to get back to health. It’s still a bit touch-and-go as far as the power cord is concerned, but I shall baby it as much as possible so that I can get back into blogging. I’ve missed you guys unbelievably; I swear, without all of my blogging friends, I began feeling horribly lonely, isolated, and useless. You see, soon after my laptop died, my fibro decided to kick into overdrive, and I had to take a good long look at my dreams for the future and if my health will ever really allow them. I have no idea where February went, or even what books I read since my last post. Yep, for the first time since 2006, I didn’t keep track of what I was reading; I was too sick to read much anyway (instead, I watched an obscene amount of Netflix instant viewing) and since several were books I picked up randomly from the library, I can’t go back and piece things together from my Library Loot posts. I think I can probably get together a somewhat representative list, but it might be fuzzy on some of the details. Plus, I kept getting about one hundred or so pages into books and then just never returning to them; I can’t blame any of them, my fibro brain was the cause of the abandonment, but it’ll be awhile before I give them another shot.

So that’s the sad part of the post. But let’s move on, shall we? Because the happy part is so, so happy that I’m brimming with joy. Remember how I began by saying I was wrong on two counts? Well, it turns out that although my parents aren’t dog people, they are Eva people. And when they saw me sinking into a kind of hopeless fibro coma, they came to an incredible decision: I could have a dog. More specifically, a small, non-shedding (well, low-shedding if we’re getting technical) dog who is great with kids (since my niece lives in the house). I knew I wanted a rescue dog, and yesterday we went to meet one that sounded just perfect from her foster mom’s description. And y’all? She was even more perfect in person. So we brought her home and I spent the weekend in a daze of doggy love! Just look at that face (click to enlarge):

photo credit: my trusty Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1

The rescue group said she’s about two years old (apparently, vets can estimate based on their teeth; hers are shiny white). The group also thinks she’s a Lhasa Apso/Bichon Frise mix; from what I’ve read of the two breeds, she has more of a Bichon temperament (loves people, is incredibly easygoing, very playful, eager to please, and enjoys standing on her hind legs), build (quite sturdy, a little less than 12″ tall at the shoulder, with a long neck and tail that curls over her back), and face (a longer muzzle and scissor) while her coat is definitely Lhasa. That is, what we can see of her coat. She had to be shaved, poor baby, because her mats were so bad, so her fur right now is really short. I can’t wait to see what it’s like as it grows in; the texture is so soft and she has a little orange mask around her eyes that’s too precious. Anyway, it’s really just a guess for fun, and I’ll be proudly introducing her as my rescue mutt to anyone who asks. :D

Now, I’m sure y’all are wondering what I decided to name her. If I had adopted a boy dog, I was going to name him Wilkie, after my favourite Victorian. But since she’s a girl, and since eventually she’ll be a fluffy little thing, and since she’s so full of happiness, I decided on Colette, with a possible nickname of Lotte. I love Colette’s books, and from her writing it just felt appropriate to name a poofy-haired girl who loves being pet by people of both genders after her. ;)

Thanks so much to those of you who sent e-mails and left comments (which I shall be replying to shortly) during my break. I’m not going to lie, for about two weeks of my fibro coma, I kept composing drafts of final posts in my head. But fortunately, my mom knocked some sense into me: blogging allows me to stay connected with incredible people, even if I’m physically quite isolated. Plus, even at my worst (which was compounded greatly by my lack of computer access), I found myself wondering what y’all were up to, thinking about various bloggers and smiling. I had six weeks of life without blogging, which is enough to know that I can’t imagine giving it up forever. Especially not when everyone is so understanding of my blogging breaks, an understanding I remind myself of when facing guilt-induced new-post paralysis (tell me I’m not the only one). This clears that hurdle, hehe.

The point is, I think in these past few weeks I faced up to the possibility that I’ll never have a ‘normal’ or ‘conventionally successful’ life. But regardless of all of that, I can have a ‘small’ life that is still rich and varied and joyful. And blogging is such an important part of that. Oh, and it’s much easier to be happy when an adorable dog is squirming with joy every time she sees you.

Tomorrow, I shall return to books! And expect Colette to make a guest appearance on my next vlog; in the above photo, she’s curled up in my reading chair, so she’s already got the setting down. ;)

117 Comments leave one →
  1. March 7, 2011 4:12 am

    Oooh – I’m so glad to see you – I was wondering only yesterday how you were. How wonderful are your parents?! I’m not an animal person at all but I couldn’t fail to find the picture of your dog incredibly cute.

  2. March 7, 2011 4:17 am

    Eva – every good and sensible part of me wants to make this comment a genuinely heartfelt one about being glad that you’re back to blogging (obviously I am) but as soon as I got to the picture of Colette, that part of brain retired to a corner, while the remaining nine-tenths of it just starting making noises like: IT’S A DOGGY! WOOK AT THE WITTLE DOGGY! SOOOO SCHWEEET! EWWO DOGGY! etc. She is ADORABLE. And I’m a cat person, so that’s a big thing for me.

  3. Debbie M permalink
    March 7, 2011 4:44 am

    Hi there. Sorry to hear you have been unwell. You are so lucky to be able to keep a dog; I rent, so that is out; I also think it is kinder to dogs to only keep them if you can spend most of your day with them, so now is probably the best time for you and your pup. This might sound strange but Erica Jong’s character Isadora Wing has a bichon frise in one or two of the novels following that character, so there is a literary link if you like!

  4. FleurFisher permalink
    March 7, 2011 4:48 am

    Oh Eva, I have missed you.

    I’m sorry that you have had such a horrible time, but I am sure that what you are going through give you the understanding and compassion to do something wonderful in your future. It’s the waiting, dealing with things and figuring out that’s difficult.

    Conventionally successful isn’t as important as adding something positive to the world and other people’s lives, which you are certainly doing here on this blog already.

    And Colette is utterly gorgeous, and I’m quite sure that she will light up your life. Dogs are magical like that!

  5. March 7, 2011 4:50 am

    Eeeeeeeeeevvvvvvvvvvvvvvvaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! I have missed you tons and now you return with puppy pictures – could you be any more awesome? It sounds like you’ve been on a serious emotional journey while you’ve been away, but that you’ve come out with a way to go forward?

    PS Your dog has superhero mask markings!

  6. March 7, 2011 4:51 am

    I am over the moon to see you back! I missed seeing you on here. Everytime I take my bag out that I won, I keep thinking of you. I am so sorry that you have been so poorly and I am glad your parents got you a dog to keep you company. I can’t wait to see more of Colette. Big hugsx

  7. March 7, 2011 5:03 am

    What an adorable dog!! I certainly missed your posts while you were away, but taking care of yourself is the most important. I’m glad to hear you’re doing better and that your spirits are up. Enjoy Colette. Can’t wait to read your next post!

  8. March 7, 2011 5:07 am

    Oh my goodness, what a beautiful little sweetie! You know what, it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about how much she’s going to add to your life. :)

  9. March 7, 2011 5:12 am

    Welcome back.

  10. March 7, 2011 5:14 am

    Colette is an absolutely beautiful dog!! I’m so glad that you’re back and that you’re aren’t giving up on blogging. It sounds like it’s been pretty rough for you :(

  11. Marg permalink
    March 7, 2011 6:00 am

    Yay! So glad to see you back, and Lotte is gorgeous! I have always put off buying a dog but my son is getting more and more insistent about it!

    And you are right about still being able to have a rich and varied life without having to comply with the conventional measures of what is necessary for happiness.

    You have been missed my friend!

  12. March 7, 2011 6:20 am

    Eva…shame on you for ever considering giving up blogging. :P

    Lotte is absolutely adorable. I can’t wait to see her with a full coat.

    Missed you girl.

  13. March 7, 2011 6:28 am

    I am so glad to see you back! And I’m really moved by your discussion of trying to come to terms with what your limits are and your efforts to create a full and happy life within those definitions. Lovely and meaningful.

  14. March 7, 2011 6:49 am

    Eva, welcome back, it’s great to hear from you again. And your new dog is adorable! I’m looking forward to doggy posts & pictures as well as your usual bookish excellence.

  15. Jillian permalink
    March 7, 2011 6:52 am

    Ah, it’s good to see you back! A few of us were wondering where you’d gone, a couple days ago on Twitter.

    I’m sorry to hear things have been bad for a few weeks (though bow-tied with a sweet little fur-friend — always soul-warming.)

    *But regardless of all of that, I can have a ‘small’ life that is still rich and varied and joyful.*

    That line is so inspiring, for me — for reasons that are private but find some solace in your courage.

    Welcome back.

  16. March 7, 2011 7:03 am

    Yay, so glad you are back for the moment. You’ve definitely been missed, and the whole book blogging community would be worse off if you decided to quite blogging. So I’m glad you haven’t.

    What an adorable puppy. Lucky you!

  17. March 7, 2011 7:09 am

    It is so nice to have you back!

  18. Joan Kyler permalink
    March 7, 2011 7:18 am

    I’m so glad you’re feeling better. I knew that computer problems were the issue, but when you didn’t come back and didn’t come back, I was afraid you were ill again. We all miss you when you’re not here on your blog.

    Congratulations to Colette for finding such a wonderful, loving home. It brought tears to my eyes to think of how happy you both must be. She’s adorable!

  19. March 7, 2011 7:28 am

    I’ve been wondering how you were – it seems the start of this year has been rubbish for just about everyone I know with chronic conditions (myself included!). My heart goes out to you, Eva and I send big hugs. I really do know just how you feel. But blogging does make me feel better, and the support and encouragement I get from online friends is quite amazing. Just remember to pace yourself and you’ll be fine. Your puppy is completely adorable and Colette would be thrilled, I feel sure, to have such a namesake. They even go to the same hairdresser, I think!

  20. March 7, 2011 7:30 am

    Oh I am so glad you are back! Was really starting to get worried. Your little Collette is beautiful. And as someone who has had to re-evaluate their dreams I understand *hugs*

  21. March 7, 2011 7:35 am

    OOH welcome back! I am so glad to see you posting ;)

  22. March 7, 2011 7:36 am

    oh Eva! I’m so glad to “see” you! Sorry you had such a rough time with the last fibro flareup. Congrats on the adorable little dog! Welcome back, we’ve all missed you!

  23. March 7, 2011 7:51 am

    Yay! I’m happy to see this. I’ve been wondering where you were. Glad to see you back! Your doggy is the cutest thing.

  24. March 7, 2011 7:59 am

    I am so glad you’re back and feeling better! And with a rescue dog that is beyond cute! We got our rescue poodle about 2 years ago and it has transformed our lives. He is so loving and wonderful, I think Lotte is going to really help you in your more down days. Our Charlie was also shaved at first, but now has a great “head of hair”. Congratulations!

  25. March 7, 2011 8:06 am

    I’m so, so happy you’re back! And please don’t ever give up blogging, no matter how long you are gone, the rest of us will be right here when you return. You can always count on that. :)

    And Colette is such an adorable dog! I am sure she will bring you much dog. And I’m so with you – if I were to ever get a dog, I would get a rescue dog for sure.

    • March 7, 2011 8:08 am

      LOL *I’m sure she will bring you much JOY, not much dog. Of course she will bring you much dog, she will bring you herself. I’m chuckling at myself right now.

  26. March 7, 2011 8:07 am

    Eva, what a joy to have you posting again. I’m glad you are feeling better and I know Lotte will bring warmth and solace to you when you are feeling down. I have to say no life is ever “small”, particularly one as open and filled with curiosity as your is!

  27. March 7, 2011 8:32 am

    Welcome back! I was wondering where you’d vanished to. So sorry to hear that you’ve been having a tough time but it seems as though something good has come out of it all the same in the form of your frankly gorgeous new friend. Lovely to see you back.

  28. March 7, 2011 8:41 am

    It is so nice to have you back and feeling better! And congratulations on Collette finding a wonderful new home.

  29. March 7, 2011 8:42 am

    We have missed you! It’s really good to see you back and I say you should take as much time as you want regarding posting:) And what a cool name for such a CUTE little dog!

  30. March 7, 2011 8:48 am

    Welcome back, Eva! I was delighted to see a post from you pop up in my inbox. In the email I couldn’t see Colette’s photograph but isn’t she a cutie?! I also instantly knew when I saw the flash of her name that you were naming a pet after the most vibrant of writers ever to grace our shelves.

    Have you read Spoons Theory? If not, tweet me and I’ll send you a link.

  31. March 7, 2011 9:08 am

    I’d just been wondering recently how you were, since you hadn’t had any posts for awhile. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been so sick. It doesn’t matter how long of blogging breaks you have to take, I will always be eager to read your new posts when you come back!

    I am not a dog person myself, but that is an adorable-looking dog. Enjoy getting to know her!

  32. March 7, 2011 9:18 am

    Very glad to see you back at it! Yay for doggies! I have a rescued puppy myself and he’s just pure magic, lights up the entire house. Yours sounds like she’s just the same and I hope she helps to make you feel good again. She’s ridiculously cute!!

  33. March 7, 2011 9:36 am

    Eva! I’m so sorry to hear that the last six weeks have been so rough for you. Every time I opened up my feed reader I wondered if we would have a new post from you, but I knew you would be back when the time was right. I’m glad you’re feeling better! Puppies make EVERYTHING better! And Colette is ADORABLE. I love her sweet little face and I’m sure she’ll bring a lot of sunshine into your life. Don’t know what I would do without my two “fur kids”!

  34. March 7, 2011 9:36 am

    Eva, I’m so glad you’re back! We were all worried, but knew you had good reason to be quiet.

    The new dog is adorable and will be life changing. I never thought I was a dog person until my rescue, Shae, waltzed into my life, completely unexpectedly. The world is now a better place :)

  35. March 7, 2011 9:39 am

    It’s fantastic to have you back after the radio silence, especially after some soul-searching. Success is different for everyone, which you’ve just proven. And congratulations on Colette! She’s adorable and I think she’s going to be wonderful for you.

  36. March 7, 2011 9:44 am

    Eva, we have missed you! I was worried. I’m glad that you’re okay and that you have Colette! She’s beautiful!

  37. March 7, 2011 10:36 am

    I’m so very glad you’re back, Eva!

  38. Therese permalink
    March 7, 2011 11:08 am

    I regularly read your blog and have missed it. Ms. Colette is an uncommon beauty. Dogs do make everything better. My favorite dog book is the unsentimental Merle’s Door. Do you know about the program for therapy dogs and reading? Kids who struggle with reading, read to the dog who does not judge. Search for therapy animals and R.E.A.D. I think Colette would love to be read to.

  39. March 7, 2011 11:09 am

    Glad to see you Eva! You have been missed. And Colette looks like a sweetie :)

  40. March 7, 2011 11:20 am

    Eva – your post brought tears to my eyes. You have a beautiful life, based on everything you reveal through your posts: loving family, a home, a dog, books, and the ability to love them.

    I am so glad you posted. I have been worried but knew you were taking time you needed. As for Colette – I love the name. She is absolutely beautiful. My Maddie (short for Madeline from the storybooks) is such a source of joy, and I hope Lotte gives you the absolute same. Dogs have an uncanny ability to seek out what we need when we need it. My mom has lupus, and whenever she has a flare up, her dog Gabrielle doesn’t leave her side.

    Welcome back, and have a fabulous week.

  41. March 7, 2011 11:21 am

    SO HAPPY YOU ARE BACK! I missed reading your posts. I’m glad things are starting to go better, and congratulations on getting Collette. Looking forward to reading your posts again. :)

  42. March 7, 2011 11:30 am

    It’s lovely to have you back; I’ve been worried about you. Accepting your limitations is never easy, believe me, I know, but when I’m at my worst I remember the singer Emma Kirkby, who when asked if on days off she listened to large scale orchestral music as opposed to the small group medieval works for which she is best known replied. “No, I guess I’m a small scale person really. That’s what satisfies me most.” I try to be happy being a small scale person and do you know, it isn’t that bad.

  43. March 7, 2011 11:36 am

    It was so wonderful to see a post from you pop up in my Google Reader this morning. I’m sorry that things have been so rough – I can’t even begin to imagine dealing with an insidious disease like fibro. You are incredibly brave, Eva – and I’m so glad you’re not giving up on blogging. I plan to be more diligent about noticing how long you are absent from blogging (time gets away from me!) and praying during those absence for strength and health. And congrats on Colette – she’s a beauty!

  44. March 7, 2011 11:39 am

    Welcome Lotte! She’s adorable.

  45. March 7, 2011 11:49 am

    Welcome back Eva! Every day I was hoping to see a new post from you. I knew you’d be back when the time was right for you. And I’m so happy you have a new little friend to hang out with you while you read. I have a dog I rescued from Hurricane Katrina. He’s a sweet, fluffy, little Mutt named Bentley. I can’t tell you how much joy he has brought into my life! Enjoy getting back into reading and I will look forward to your future posts!

  46. March 7, 2011 11:56 am

    Welcome back, Eva. Wonderful to hear that you are on the mend and in excellent new company. As Colette herself said, “Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.”

  47. March 7, 2011 1:01 pm

    So wonderful to see you back on blogging! And Colette is vert, very cute. I’m looking forward to seeing her in your vlog. Your reasoning on why you named her Colette made me giggle out loud. :)

  48. March 7, 2011 1:31 pm

    It’s so good to see a new post from you! I’m sorry that your fibromyalgia takes such a toll on you in every way, but am happy to see that Collette is there to brighten your days.

    A few months ago, I had a problem with my Toshiba laptop’s power cord. Actually, the internal connector pin had to be replaced because it had broken off and the cord could not make a connection with the pin. I guess it’s a fairly common problem with Toshiba laptops. If you get the problem fixed, see about buying a new cord that has a short right-angle end. A computer repair shop will sell them. The Toshiba cord sticks out too far (when it is plugged into the computer) and it can snap the internal pin loose by accident. Enough computer talk.

    Eva, I’m very happy to see you back online and that your mom gave you such great advice. You have a group of readers/friends who love your blog and care personally about how you are doing… me included!

    Karenne Saylor

  49. March 7, 2011 1:46 pm

    Eva!!!!!! I’ve been thinking about you a lot recently, but I really didn’t want to bother you. Please never write a final post – we will always be here. Your mom is right! I’m so sorry to hear about your fibro and how bad it has been recently. :( I hope that things improve, so we can hear more from you. Colette is beautiful. I hope she’s a good companion for you… she looks like she will be!

    What is a successful life? You can only answer that question for yourself.

  50. Liz permalink
    March 7, 2011 1:46 pm

    You don’t know me, and I don’t know you. But I have missed reading your blog posts. Welcome back! Hope you feel better soon.

  51. March 7, 2011 1:56 pm

    really glad to see you back Eva, Colette the dog is so gorgeous xx

  52. March 7, 2011 2:10 pm

    I’m glad to see you back! It sounds like you have fantastic parents and I’m sure Colette will be a wonderful addition to your household – she is simply beautiful!

  53. March 7, 2011 2:51 pm

    Oh, Eva. I’m so glad to see you’ve returned. Whenever I went to check my Google Reader, I always looked to see if you were back. I’ve missed your posts.

    I’m sorry you’ve had such a hard six weeks. :( That’s never good.

    But, ohmygosh, Colette is just to die for. Soooo adorable. I absolutely love dogs so much but am allergic to them so can’t’ have one. I do love the colourful mask on her face. So gorgeous. I can’t wait t see more pictures of her and hear more about her. And I can’t wait for more posts from you. :) Welcome back, hun.

  54. March 7, 2011 3:03 pm

    Eva, it is SO so good to hear from you again. I was keeping you in my thoughts over the last few weeks – I am sorry you had such a miserable time of it, but glad that you are feeling better and have come back to us :) Never feel obliged to blog, is my opinion; let it be a joy.

    What a beautiful dog you’ve found…wish you lots of happy days together. She already looks quite content! And I agree, Colette is a perfect name. Looking forward to hearing more about her as you get to know her better.

  55. sam permalink
    March 7, 2011 3:04 pm

    Welcome back! I don’t comment often, but your blog is one of my favorites. I’m glad you’re feeling better and your new dog is adorable.

  56. March 7, 2011 3:14 pm

    It’s good to see you back, Eva. Looking forward to reading your posts and hearing all about Colette!

  57. March 7, 2011 3:23 pm

    oh so glad to see you again! I’ve been worrying about you, hoping you weren’t sick, that you might possibly get a computer that you could work on. So glad you’ve decided not to abandon us for ever, and I’m sorry for the realization that you’re going to be recovering for the long haul. We are here to be your friends, don’t feel all isolated!

  58. March 7, 2011 3:52 pm

    I’m glad both you and your computer are doing better! I also missed reading your posts, since you are one on my Blogroll that posts so often. And your dog looks so pretty! I don’t think I’ll ever have a dog :( My husband is from the country and thinks dogs stay outside, I’m from the city and want it to stay inside (unless we’re outside playing or something). We won’t be able to resolve this one easily haha

  59. March 7, 2011 4:07 pm

    Eva, I’m so glad you’re feeling better! It is so good to see your post! In my eyes you are successful in life–look at all of the people you’ll never even meet who have been touched by your life on this blog. :)

    And awww, what a sweet little doggy. Your parents are so awesome to invite a dog into their home just for you. :D

  60. Juanita permalink
    March 7, 2011 4:10 pm

    I’m glad you’re feeling better. And the mask on that puppy is precious. I so miss having a dog. BTW, normalcy is overrated. Most people lead small lives. It’s what you make out of what you have that counts. Just try to steer clear of comparing yourself to others; that’s a trap that gives me a lot of trouble.

  61. March 7, 2011 5:01 pm

    I am so glad everything is okay! I was thinking of you the other day on twitter and I was so happy to see your post come up this afternoon!

    I totally understand how you’re feeling. and I am glad that you seem to be feeling better.

    Your parents awesome. Colette looks like such a sweetheart! I know that on bad days my kitties make me feel better just by cuddling next to me, so I am sure she will be a comfort to you as well!

    So glad you’re back!

  62. March 7, 2011 5:24 pm

    Eva! You are back, you have returned! I’m sorry you were having such a crap time away, and I am delighted you decided to come back. #verylargehugforthesadnessyouwerehaving

    Also? That is the cutest damn dog I have ever seen (that is not my own dog, who is obviously the actual cutest damn dog I have ever seen). Now that I am away from my puppy, I am bright green with envy. If I had that dog my life would be perfect (although I might have to make some tough decisions about who was going to eat and get regular doctor visits, it or me).

  63. March 7, 2011 6:20 pm

    Eva — You have been missed! It is good to see you back! I hope you are feeling well now and that all goes well.

    Your new dog is by far one of the cutest out there, how wonderful for you. Dogs are such great companions and Colette looks like she will be a wonderful friend. I look forward to seeing her more on your posts. She is much too adorable for words!

  64. March 7, 2011 6:27 pm

    Have you been tested for a magnesium deficiencies? Look into the book Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Syndrome – A survival manual by Dr. Devin Starlanyl when you get a chance. Also, deep tissue massages & acupuncture should help alleviate some of your symptoms. Keep me posted.

  65. March 7, 2011 6:48 pm

    OMGoodness! Colette looks adorrrrrrable!

    So glad to see you back! I’m glad you didn’t end up writing any “final” posts! Your mom certainly understands you well! :)

  66. March 7, 2011 6:48 pm

    It’s so great to have you back Eva! I’m sorry you’ve been dealing with so much with your fibro. Just focus on you. And, you have a wonderful addition to your family. I cannot wait to see your vlog with Collette! Ha, that’s going to be so cute. Take care girl.

  67. adevotedreader permalink
    March 7, 2011 7:16 pm

    Good to see you back Eva, sorry to hear you’ve been so unwell. Colette is gorgeous!

  68. March 7, 2011 7:46 pm

    Yay, yay, yay! I’m so glad that you are back! I’m so sorry to hear that you had such a rough time but look at the puppy face. My kids want a dog so bad and now that my youngest is walking I may have to give in :) I just can’t tell you how happy I am to hear that you are feeling better. You’ve been missed!

  69. March 7, 2011 8:19 pm

    It’s so nice to see you back. I’ve been wondering how you’ve been doing; I’m sorry to hear that you weren’t well for a while. But Colette is adorable! I confess, I’m not much of a dog person myself, but I often find them incredible cute. I hope you have lots of fun and happiness with her.

  70. March 7, 2011 9:00 pm

    Welcome back! I’m so glad to hear that you have a lovely new dog to cheer you up. My cats definitely make me feel happy when I’m feeling down. And don’t underestimate the influence you have on people, though you may be physically isolated. You’re a gem!

  71. March 7, 2011 9:25 pm

    Welcome back !!!!! Like everyone else I’ve missed you terribly !!! Glad you are back. Can’t wait to start reading your posts once again.
    Hang in there !!

  72. March 7, 2011 9:34 pm

    Welcome back, Eva! I think dogs are genuinely very good for physical & mental health; I hope Colette reinforces that idea for you. :-)

  73. March 7, 2011 11:38 pm

    That dog is very cute. Mine bring me tons of joy and I hope yours does as well. Glad to hear you are feeling better.

  74. March 7, 2011 11:59 pm

    Wonderful to have you back! Colette is adorable; rescuing an animal brings such joy–even more when they ‘take’ to their new family as well as your Lotte has taken (over) you. Wishing you many happy times with her, and a long respite from the fibro…

  75. ana permalink
    March 8, 2011 12:24 am

    So glad to see your post, Eva. Have been concerned about your absence, and knew it would only be fibro that would keep you away. It is just marvellous that you are back and with such an adorable young friend, she will be counting her blessings to have been rescued by a loving family.
    We are all barracking for you. And looking forward to vlogs of even more colour and movement [LOL]

  76. Caroline permalink
    March 8, 2011 2:16 am

    Welcome back, Eva! I’ve really missed you, like everyone else. Sorry you’ve had such a rotten time over the past six weeks, but it’s great that you’re feeling better. I’m looking forward to reading your posts again. And I can’t wait to see Colette in a vlog! What a gorgeous dog she is – absolutely adorable! I’m so happy for you – having a pet dog just makes life that much brighter.

  77. March 8, 2011 6:54 am

    Missed you muchly. Whew, I thought when I saw your new post. Wow, I thought when I saw Colette!

  78. March 8, 2011 8:47 am

    I’ve been thinking fond thoughts of you and have been concentrating on sending gentle healthy strong thoughts to the universe on your behalf. SMILES and HUGS!
    Colette is just darling. I’m sure she will know just what to do to be nursemaid and friend!

  79. March 8, 2011 9:19 am

    Good to see that you’re back and feeling a bit better.
    You seem to have a wonderfully positive attitude and this will perhaps lead you to even greater successes than you anticipate – even if unconventional. :)

    Your Colette is a real beauty.
    My little shih tzu, Daisy, is a daily comfort and companion for me. As I type this, she’s curled up on my lap. Dogs are the best!

  80. March 8, 2011 10:09 am

    I MISSED YOU SOOOO MUCH!!! I kept coming over to check, just in case my feed wasn’t working correctly. I am sorry about the sad part, and I’ll always hope that you can do WHATEVER you want in life. In the meantime, I am SO glad you have a comfort in lovely little Colette/Lotte (adorable!). She is just the cutest thing, and I’m sure her companionship will enrich your life exponentially. I seriously love you, Eva, and you’re one of my favorite bloggers, so I’m thrilled to see you posting again. :)

  81. March 8, 2011 10:28 am

    Collette is perfectly wonderful! She will bring you such joy and love and companionship. I am a big believer in ‘small’ lives. I’ve always lived one and I am now 63 with no regrets. I’m so very glad you are back. Your voice is special, unique and you are much cared about. Friends are friends whether we see them in person or not.

  82. March 8, 2011 11:19 am

    I’m so glad that you’re back! I noticed that you were gone but thought it was just technical difficulties still. Health problems can be so overwhelming, and I understand how easy it is to get depressed when they take over (I’ve dealt with ongoing thyroid problems for the past four years). I hope that you continue to feel better and that you continue to feel good for a very, very long time.

    Your new little doggie is adorable and so sweet! Your parents completely rock!

  83. March 8, 2011 12:13 pm

    Oh honey!! I am so sorry you are having such a tough time. We totally understand, over here at our CFS house. Sending you healing thoughts and love. And your little Colette is ADORABLE!!! Will we be getting guest posts from her?

    We missed you and I know that I was thinking of you and hoping you were okay. Blog as you feel able; it’s a good way to stay connected and we all love you.

  84. March 8, 2011 2:02 pm

    Eva I’m so sorry you’ve had such a tough time. Thinking of you and sending you so many good positive thoughts. I’ve missed you and am glad to hear that you have a puppy dog now at least. He looks absolutely adorable. Love you!

  85. March 8, 2011 2:26 pm

    I’ve been checking back repeatedly, missing your posts. I don’t comment much, but I have to this time. I’m so sorry you’ve had such a rough time with your fibro. Colette is adorable and she sounds like an angel!! I’m thrilled for you. Your parents are awesome. A pet can be such a huge upper; I know mine are. They are just so full of love and affection. My son got a 2-year-old rescue dog, recently, too. He’s completely besotted. :)

    I hope you’re past the worst and will be able to get back to normal reading, now. I have similar problems since nearly dying of low potassium — sometimes I just can’t focus and I do a lot of abandoning of books. It’s frustrating. (((HUGS)))

  86. Nicole permalink
    March 8, 2011 2:31 pm

    Yay! I came to work this afternoon and there was this post waiting for me in my blog reader. So, I did have to work up the courage to actually comment! That has to be the sweetest dog ever, too. Hurray for pound puppies.

  87. March 8, 2011 4:43 pm

    Eva… I just found your blog when you went off the air, but kept you in my Google Reader in hopes that you would resurface! I’m so glad you did. Courage for all the health issues… those are scary and dampening, but Colette looks like a perfect antidote! I am not going to show this post to my two little boys, who talk non-stop about getting a small white dog that they want to name “Fluffy”. They would love Colette! Feel good – looking forward to reading you more!

  88. March 8, 2011 6:37 pm

    Welcome back! And what a cutie your new friend is.

  89. March 8, 2011 9:10 pm

    So glad to see you back! Not too long ago, after a spate of blog-reading, I was staring off into space and my roommate asked me what I was thinking about and I said, I was thinking about how Eva of A Striped Armchair had been absent from the blogosphere for a while and I hoped she would return soon. True story. My roommate knows who you are because she has seen me playing your library loot videos on my computer.

    Also, Colette is adorable! I can’t wait for the photo updates we’ll be seeing of her on your blog. :)

  90. March 8, 2011 11:10 pm

    Glad to see you are back around, Eva! I have missed you! And, yay, on the dog! I really want a dog, but it is not in the cards at the moment. Hope to talk to you soon now that you are back around. :)

  91. March 9, 2011 2:10 am

    Eva, I don’t comment often – I’m an inveterate lurker – but I wanted to say welcome back, and how much I missed your posts. I’m glad you, and the laptop, are feeling a little better. Colette is absolutely gorgeous! Dogs are such a comfort and an inspiration; they can go through so much cruelty and loneliness, and still come out full of love and bounce and life. Bless them. I know she’ll give you so much joy.

    What you say about facing up to the possibility of a different, quieter life than you imagined for yourself, reminded me of the powerfully wise words at the end of ‘Middlemarch’:

    Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistorical acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life…

    The fact that mine is the 92nd comment on this post goes to show, I think, that your effect is diffusive, and for the growing good. :-)

  92. kimbofo permalink
    March 9, 2011 7:15 am

    Welcome back!

    Your dog is such a sweetie ;-)

  93. March 9, 2011 7:20 am

    Colette has to be one of the cutest dogs I’ve ever seen. I thought before you said it that she must have some Bichon Frise in her. I love the name too, from the photo it suits her :)

    I’m going to see if I can work my other thoughts into a coherent email and contact you.

  94. March 9, 2011 8:21 am

    Hurrah, you’re back! And with a dog! I hope you stick around for a long time now. Don’t worry too much about the whole “conventionally successful life”, especially if you mean professional life. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and my conclusion is: I blame Hollywood :)

    There are so many ways to be happy and make a difference! This whole soul-search came because I was decided whether to quit big business and big pay to accept an NGO job. I took the plunge and so far, so good!

    (((hug from across the Ocean)))

  95. Heqit permalink
    March 9, 2011 11:20 am

    Yay! So glad you’re back and (I hope) feeling better! And to hell with the markers of “conventional success” — you ARE successful, right now. You contribute good things to the world (joy, happiness, knowledge, companionship, etc.) and the world is a better place because of you. How much more successful could you get?

    Colette is adorable, and that’s the perfect name for her. Hooray for saving rescued animals!

  96. March 9, 2011 11:57 am

    It’s so very good to see you back and posting!! Congrats on the new puppy…it’s so cute!!! We’ve missed you =)

  97. March 9, 2011 2:52 pm

    Oh how adorable your puppy is! (My husband would love a dog as he too deals with an ongoing illness, but he makes do with our cat.) So glad you’re back, Eva, I was just checking today to see if there was a new post! I’ve developed a recent interest in China and Chinese literature, so have been busy looking through your old posts for recommendations and will be happy to hear about more international literature (or any books) from your perspective.

  98. March 9, 2011 5:11 pm

    Welcome back, Eva, and what an awesome dog! Colette is a perfect name, too, as she looks very French.

    I know what you mean about sinking into depression without the blogging world. The last time my computer went on the fritz, I was flailing about, as if I didn’t know what to do with myself. And I had even used a computer at the library a couple of times, but it’s not the same.

    I need to start thinking about getting a laptop, since my desktop computer has been around for about five years. I think.

    Why don’t I keep better track of these things?

    Hope you enjoy your return to blogging….

  99. Mumsy permalink
    March 10, 2011 7:31 am

    Wow! How lovely that two bad things (your fibro, and Colette’s maltreatment) should bring a totally marvelous thing to be! It is clear that that you and Colette needed each other, and now are destined for a long and wonderful journey together. Congratulations; she is just beautiful.

  100. March 10, 2011 8:00 am

    Welcome back. Your new dog is adorable!

  101. March 10, 2011 9:58 am

    So glad you’re back and you got a puppy! I just got a puppy too! I’m so excited for you. Love the name and she looks so sweet. I’m such a huge fan of giving rescued dogs healthy homes. Here’s my new pup…

  102. March 10, 2011 10:33 am

    My little pound puppy is sitting next to me this very minute making little sounds that ask for breakfast instead of blogging….But I had to congratulate you on getting a rescue dog.

    God, how many times in life do we have a chance to make that much of a difference to a fellow creature?

  103. March 10, 2011 12:57 pm

    We’re all glad to have you back. Colette is adorable.

  104. March 10, 2011 5:03 pm

    So glad you’re back Eva, and with a dog! My dad got a puppy a few months ago and I BEGGED him to call it Wilkie (I was reading the Woman in White at the time). He chose a different name, but I love that we had that same idea :) I wish you good times from here on out!

  105. March 11, 2011 9:52 am

    You have been so missed! I am very, very happy to see you back to blogging, and so glad your health is better as well. Colette is absolutely precious – and speaking of the actual author, I actually picked up her books while you were gone, and am looking forward to reading them thanks to you!

  106. March 11, 2011 1:06 pm

    Eva, I’m glad you’re back again! And, welcome, Colette! I bet she has already grown onto your parents :-) . Looking forward to more Colette appearances on your blog!

  107. March 11, 2011 1:37 pm

    Its so nice to see you come up in my reader. Having similarly considered the fact of needing to live a small life, I can sympathize (even if I cause my own smallness, in contrast). Colette is an excellent name for a dog.

  108. March 11, 2011 4:39 pm

    Welcome home Eva! I am so glad you found your way back. Your doggie is adorable and being part of the internet world you create is very joyful.

  109. March 11, 2011 11:16 pm

    Glad to see you back. Sorry you’ve had a rough time as of late. Your new friend is adorable!

    • March 13, 2011 12:51 am

      It’s lovely to see you back Eva, sorry to hear you haven’t been well. Colette is adorable! It’s amazing how healing animals can be and really special you were able to rescue her 0:)

  110. March 13, 2011 1:55 am

    Colette is a beauty! And I love the name–I actually read a ton of Colette’s books when I was hospitalized for a spell and so I associate her strongly with recovery and hope. So glad you have her–animals bring such joy. Can’t wait to see her in action in a vlog. :)

  111. March 13, 2011 6:05 am

    So glad to see you back, Eva! I’ve missed reading your thoughts.

    Your dog! Let’s just say its a good thing I don’t live in Texas any more…

  112. March 13, 2011 7:37 am

    Oh I am just SOOOO pleased to see you back (even if I am a litle belated sorry its been a weird few months for lots of people I think – I mean that in an empathetic way not a competition way lol) and am looking forward to much more from you as and when you want. My mum was saying something very similar about blogs the other week and how great they are for keeping you in touch, if not exactly physically, with people.

    Colette is gorgeous, I am quite jealous.

  113. March 13, 2011 9:35 pm

    You guys are the BEST!!! You make me feel so good about myself. :D

  114. March 15, 2011 12:08 pm

    I’ve been completely out of the loop lately so am sorry to be leaving this comment so tardily–but it’s great to see you back! I hope you’re feeling better now–as for the whole normal thing–I wouldn’t worry too much–what is normal anyway? Trust me, there are probably lots more ‘not normals’ out there than you think! :) Sorry Colette didn’t work out–she looks like a cutie and I can see how you would have been excited about her, but I am sure there are more dogs out there wanting to be loved and who might get on better with cats. Hopefully Colette will find a nice new home, too! Take Care! :)

  115. March 31, 2011 5:42 pm

    Oh, she’s beautiful! And having a dog for company is so good for stopping you from feeling low. I hope since you wrote this that your fibro flare has continued to wane. Your mum is definitely right about how helpful an online community can be. Keep coming back!

Thank you for commenting! For a long while, my health precluded me replying to everyone. Yet I missed the conversation, so I'm now making an effort to reply again. It might take a few days though, and there will be times when I simply can't. Regardless, I always read and value what you say.

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