Holiday Hangover

The 5th of July and life can go back to normal, right? Yeah, whatever. I feel like I’ve been hit by a tornado and just want to curl up and sleep it off. Too much to drink, you say? Gotta learn to reign it in a bit, you say? Oh, no. Not a drop was drunk last evening, at least by me. What I have is called Revenge of the Mumps Shot.

Over the winter, there was a mumps outbreak in Iowa. We here in South Dakota (the land that God and everyone else forgot) knew it was a matter of time before it got here, but we weren’t worried too much. I think our first case was in March or maybe April. But that was way south of here. By May, though, it was in full swing and the whole state was mobilized into immunization mode.

My kids have all had the recommended two MMR shots (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) and I have the papers to prove it. I wasn’t too concerned myself, since I had had two shots as a kid and then one in college, thanks to a measles outbreak.  So I was covered, right?


All school district and school agency employees who were in contact with the children were suddenly having to get immunized if they had not had the required injections. There were horror stories going around about people trying to prove they’d had the shots, only to have to get them again. But A) I do not have contact with the kids and B) I’ve had my shots, so I wasn’t worried. Then the college, where we have our offices, informed us that we all needed to have our shots. And provide written proof.

I don’t have written proof. My injections were administered by the US Air Force, which destroyed my medical records when I turned 21. So I soon found myself in line with the other poor schlubs to get my fourth and fifth mumps injections.

My first shot wasn’t so bad. I swelled up a little at the injection site, but since my boss bruised for more than a month after hers, I was pretty lucky. A month after my first shot, I had to have a second. That was on Monday.

My 4th of July was spent laying around reading, nursing a fever and a very sore arm. Apparently 5 mumps shots in one lifetime is starting to push it a little. My body is saying the immune system equivalent of “No way, Jose” and rebelling a bit. And since the husband had to work, I also had three very bored little boys to entertain. So much for backyard barbecues and having a few beers over fireworks. Oh, don’t worry. The kids got to see fireworks and even went to a local place called Storybook Land (have to tell you about that place sometime), but Mom’s heart wasn’t in it.

The good thing about laying around like a lump all day was reading TWELVE SHARP. Now I have not exactly been shy about my criticisms of the Stephani Plum books, primarily stating that Stephanie never changes and never learns. She keeps making the same mistakes over and over again, and the reader eventually starts thinking she must be the biggest idiot in the world to repeat the same dumb stunts again and again. I mean, how many times can she sneak out a window against Morelli and Ranger’s advice and get into trouble before she learns? And how long is Morelli really going to put up with her on again off again thing?

However, I have to say that even though Stephanie is a repeat offender, these books are so funny I literally cried my way through about half of it. The other half, I was glued to my chair with kids begging me for food, but I could not put it down!! So does Stephanie frustrate me? Heck yeah. Am I going to buy 13 when it comes out? Heck Yeah! And I will recommend it to my friends, because this series still cracks me up. And to keep characters that funny for 12 plus books, well, that just takes talent.

Sigh… back to post-holiday life. Off to swim lessons and tee-ball, etc. And, with any luck, back to writing today. But that remains to be seen. Might have to finish another book first.


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