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alyburns' (aka sideburns & alyjude) Hiding Place
If you spoke faster than David Hewlett you’d travel back in time: Michael Shanks
alyburns
Welcome to my Journal

This is where I jabber, blather, ramble, rant and comfortably insert foot in mouth as often as humanly possible. You may also find posts with art in the form of icons, wallpapers, banners and story cover art, thanks to discovering Photoshop a few years ago. I love creating fandom artwork almost as much as writing. Everything else you need to know about this journal or me can be found under the cut (including samples of my 'artwork' in the form of icons, banners, cover art; which are also links to the stories, and even samples of a few photo restorations I've done). You'll find more samples at my photo_fixer journal.

My stories (in The Sentinel, SG1 & SGA fandoms) are archived in several places, with one link under the cut while the others are on the left side of my journal under, appropriately enough: LINKS *g*.
That's about it, so continue on - at your own risk!

Don't forget to click on the lj cut!

Oh, and we have a fandom "Phone Tree" list (to help notify people when we lose one of our own) and if you'd like to be on it, you can find the info here.
everything you ever wanted to know...or notCollapse )Moonridge Banner samplesCollapse )



Story covers and Fandom banners/iconsCollapse )Samples of my Photo restorations/FixesCollapse )


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alyburns

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alyburns
A fellow senfen suggested I post the GoFundMe updates here as they're easier to read, so here's the latest posted this morning around 3am:

"Well, it's time for another update and, while Abby is doing fine, the fact is she threw up Thursday night, which technically was right on schedule. You may remember from a previous update, the mobile vet has Abby on the anti-nausea medication with a "4 days on and 7 days off" schedule, while giving the new diet a chance to take hold.

The first cycle started on a Saturday and ended on a Tuesday and, for the four days "on", there was no vomiting, but on Thursday, day two of the "Seven days off" - she threw up. And so it went for the remaining "off" days, with Abby vomiting about every other day. As it happened, the second cycle ended on the Tuesday before the vet appointment, which made Wednesday "Off Day One", which is why it was technically on schedule when she spit-up on Thursday, day two.

There were a couple of things though that gave me pause; one of course being that she'd had major surgery, but the vet didn't warn about the possibility of it causing or triggering vomiting, but still....

The other was that I'd forgotten there was only one can remaining of her newest food, which she ate Wednesday night - only 3oz., as instructed. But that meant on Thursday I had to give her a packet of some boxed-up food awaiting a return label. It was purchased back when the vet suggested trying grain-free with limited ingredients - and before she said to change to the "Novel Diet".

It was just plain chicken breast with pumpkin in chicken broth (meaning nothing but chicken juices and water), so I thought it would be safe (which makes me a stupid cat owner - or stupid owned-by-a-cat-human). It was only *after* she'd scarfed it down that I remembered the full description of "Novel Diet" which is you don't give them anything they've eaten before. And it was also *after* she'd scarfed it down that I remembered chicken is the first protein cats can develop an intolerance for as they grow older. Yes, I know, I lose even more pet owner - or owned-by-pet points. Anyway, she spit-up three hours later.

Compared to every other episode, this was almost insignificant as it was so little and the same color as the food. Even her yowl was different; it was more of a half yowl/half meow, at which point I picked her up, put her on the ground, stuck a paper towel under her, where upon she obligingly spit-up. She then moved back, sat up and watched me throw it out and test the carpet, which wasn't damp. She then jumped on the bed and took a bath.

It's now technically Saturday (3:00 am) and she hasn't thrown up since Thursday so I'm really hoping she continues in this vein. She now has more cans of the Nature's Variety Instinct, thanks to a friend who picked up a few to tide us over until the larger order, due Wednesday, arrives.

Basically, the next week and a half (from this last Wednesday) is important. If we make it past the the length of time the antibiotic shot lasts (5-7 days) without anti-nausea medication and no vomiting, we may have found the answer, namely the infected teeth and/or food intolerances.

But if the vomiting continues, then, as the doctor said, we move to the next phase; ultrasound and possible exploratory surgery.

Right now I really just want to put some weight back on her and keep her happy.

By the way, as mentioned in several different updates, when we find the problem, and everything's taken care of, if there's money left in the "kitty", I'd be doing refunds (less the fees). Some have already let me know they don't want theirs, but because I'm a positive thinker and thus believe - must believe - that between her new diet and the removal of those teeth, we might have done it. But I still wanted to remind you of the offer and ask that you just let me know that, if we reach that point, you do indeed want a refund.  So please drop me an 'e' ASAP!

Thank you all again and don't worry, I'll keep everyone informed as we go through this next week and a half, so keep those good thoughts, and crossed fingers crossed, even if you have to type/text with your toes! And keep spreading the word...just in case.





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alyburns
NEW UPDATE:

BLUNTNESS IS THE BY-WORD!

Wednesday's the big day for taking Abby to the new vet, with help from BJ (and I *will* make it out the front door)! Thanks to tips from several of you, I've great ideas for successfully getting her highness in the carrier!

But the knowledge that this is finally happening means looking - and looking hard - at the money situation. And in doing so, I'm worried.

So far, the monies in the 'Kitty' (meaning amount donated with fees subtracted and then sent to me) equals $2438. Of that, $1153 has been spent on the vet, medications, refills, and the vet's prescribed "Novel Protein Diet."

I know the tooth issue will cost approximately $400, (if all goes well and there are no complications) + the exam fee ($65) from the new vet. That will bring the total to $1618, leaving only $820 to diagnose and treat Abby's primary issue: the vomiting.

That amount isn't likely to cut it. Which means I have to hit the target of $3500.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE - please send everyone you know, and everyone they know, to this site, PLEASE.

80% of those who've donated so far *know* me, and about 30% of the 80% know me personally; and they all understand this is real.

I look at the amount I'm trying to raise; try to wrap my head around the knowledge that many people who've read Abby's story, find it obscene to spend this kind of money on a 'pet', a mere animal - and not even a dog; man's best friend. But I fail every time.

I'm a human, and I look and talk one way. Abby's a feline and she looks and talks in another way. So what? She's MY FRIEND and I'd do anything for her. And I'm asking you to help me succeed.

According to feline sites, Abby's got a good ten years to go. That adds up to a lot of fun chasing dust bunnies; running after empty toilet paper rolls at 4 in the morning; purring approximately 10 hours a day; finding every scrap of paper she can and making it into a bed; delighting in paper towels and the magic and wonder of an empty box or a brown paper grocery bag. And, after 8 years, she's still surprised every time the A/C comes on. She almost always enters the living room as if it were a brand new place she's just discovered, then takes a stalking position and begins a feline reconnoiter that would put a female lion to shame!

She's special - to me. And she'd be grateful if you'd recognize how brilliant, cute, clever - and in need of your help - she is.

So please do help Abby. I understand the holidays are looming, not to mention an election, so maybe take a break from it all, and fall just a little bit in love with Abitha (don't you think that's a great name for a Halloween cat?), enough so that you'll donate, and/or help get the word out.

Thank You from the bottom of my heart and Abby's purr.


0915161557a

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alyburns

First off, I apologize to those who already know about this, so please, feel free to skip!

Okay, yes, I'm asking for help again, and have absolutely no right to do so. But nevertheless, I am because it's all about a fur ball. Just a small, 10 pound devil of a cat; my Abby.

She's sick, and it's not allergies this time (those are under control, thanks to your help back in June). This time, though, it's serious. She's been throwing up since August 27th, and not hairballs. But as you know, living on nothing but a Social Security check means paying for Abby's vet, and all that goes with bringing good health back to her, is simply impossible. Some would let her go, but not anyone I know. We fight for our beloved pets, so I'm fighting for Abby. And if I could do it on my own, I would. Those of you who have gone through pet illnesses, know the resulting vet bills can come at you faster than a pitch from Dellin Betances of the Yankees. In my case, thanks to the PTSD and agoraphobia, there's the additional expense of having to use a mobile vet, which means paying for not just each exam (and tests/treatments) but the 'mobile' part of "Mobile Vet". For example, the first visit and exam for her vomiting cost almost $800, and we still don't know the cause.

A fellow fandom friend suggested I go to "GoFundMe" and start an "Abby Campaign", so that's exactly what I've done. You can find it here.

When you go to the campaign, you can read "Abby's Story" and catch up via the the updates I post each time there's more information. You can see them by clicking on the "Update" link just above and to the right of the story. If you don't want to continually visit the site for the updates, GoFundMe let's you subscribe to them, although anyone on Facebook who has friended me will receive them automatically, as will anyone who donates. On Facebook, I'm here.

If you can help, you can do it by donating (any amount you can afford), but I understand the financial situation for many of us, and that even $5 can hurt a budget, but you can help by sharing the GoFundMe link with friends, family and pet lovers. Spread Abby's story, please.

NOTE: GoFundMe and the pay processor they use (WePay) charge me a fee for each donation (automatically taken out), and, while this is explained in "Abby's Story" and the updates, I wanted to let you know here as well. There's a "Campaign Goal" - which I've had to raise higher twice as the expenses - and anticipated expenses - grew, but for each donation, there are fees from both Go FundMe and WePay - fees charged to me, not you - and automatically deducted from each donation. Those fees are:

"GoFundMe automatically deducts a 5% fee from each donation received. In addition, our payment processor WePay charges 2.9% + $0.30 per donation. The total charge is 7.9% + $0.30 per donation. Example: If a donation of $100 is made, $91.80 is the amount received."

I've also promised if all the monies in the 'kitty' aren't required, after the cause - and treatment - have been concluded, I'll refund the remaining $ -  less the fees - as there's no way I'd be able to absorb them financially.

I know I rarely post any longer (although I do read my friends), and many of my LJ friends may no longer include me in their 'read' category, which I totally understand. But I have this little fur ball...so I'm asking; please donate and/or repost or send your LJ friends here, or given them the GoFundMe link? She's my world now.

Thank you, and my apologies for bothering you again, but for Abby, I'll do anything.

0701161532c

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alyburns


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I know it's tough turning 30, but let's face it, 29 sucked big time! 😉

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alyburns

Back on June 1st, I posted this, a post that, while less than forthcoming, still resulted in a response that left me in tears; tears of gratitude. My reasons for not disclosing the needed help were based on nothing more than pride, but as we've all heard, "Pride goeth before a Fall." In this case though, a fall came first. 😡

I next posted this thank you note, but only touched on a few of the financial burdens I was suddenly faced with after Memorial Day and nothing about what really spurred me to ask for help. And I definitely didn't show you what you'd all done for me, mostly out of a weird sense of...maybe shame? And some of that famous pride. But you all deserved so much more than a 'thank you'. So, before attaching a photo, I'd like to give you a part of the story (the rest would be pretty boring), starting with the 'fall' that went before the 'pride'.

The fall, in fact, was a crashing good one, and all because of the loss of strength in my right arm (following the mastectomy last year). Walking toward my bed, I tripped over my pedastal cane; something that's happened a couple of times before, but my right arm had always been srrong enough to grip the cane, steady it, thus me. But not this time. When I tried to anchor myself this time, the right arm gave out and down I went. There were only two things to fall on; the bed to my left - or the TV on the wooden stand (with shelves holding a cable box, DVD player, assorted DVD's and knickknacks) to my right.

The TV won.

But the stand, etc. lost. I made mincemeat out of it as I crashed through everything. Pieces of wood, dvd's and knick-knacks flew everywhere, with the exception of what my body buried. When my brain came out of the typical fog that comes with such a fall, and before I began to take stock of things, I was already yelling for my cat, who'd followed me into the bedroom (duh). I was afarid she might be under me - seriously. Then, thank God, I heard a rather pissed off meow coming from the safety of the hallway, thus reassuring me the lumps I was beginning to feel had nothing to do with her.

Now, there's always a silver lining in such cases - besides Abby's well-being and the fact that I was conscious. In this case, the tv survived, thanks to a flailing arm which struck it, knocking it off the stand before the 747 that was my body crashlanded on the stand. Another line of silver was my arm hitting the the tv, thus saving me from crashing into it and possibly suffering serious injury. The final glittering line were the four handsome, husky, hunky paramedics who got me up off the floor.

Before I get to the actual reasons for my online plea, I have to share the rest of the 'fall' story, if for no other reason than the total ridiculousness of it, and it'll give you a laugh - because, YES, when I called 911 (the cell phone was within cane's reach, thank God), those now infamous words, "Help! I've fallen and can't get up!" were uttered by me. And if that weren't enough, they were repeated more than once!

#2: When the 911 operator transferred me to the fire station around the corner (because you always have to repeat everything when you're transferred).
Fireman: "What's the problem, ma'am?"
Me: "Help! I've fallen and can't get up!"

#3: While dispatching the paramedics to rescue me, the poor woman who'd fallen -yadda yadda, the conversation continued....
Fireman: "Is the front door unlocked?"
Me: "No."
Fireman: "Can you let us in when we arrive?"
Me (after counting to ten): "Huh, I've fallen and can't, you know, get UP!"

#4: My handsome, husky, hunky saviors arrived to the locked door (you know, the one they already knew was locked? Yeah, that one)...
Firemen: "Hello? Miss French?"
Me: "Yes, I'm here!"
Firemen: "The door's locked. Can you let us in?"
Me: *counts to twenty* "Huh, hello! I've fallen and can't get up!?"

Yeah.

Okay, so I was rescued. But once the paramedics left (after assuring themselves of my overall health, no pieces of wood buried deep within a vital organ, heart sound, brain clear which is debatable in the best of times, and the shock was fading), I huddled under the covers with Abby, my room a shambles, everything but the tv broken, and suddenly, instead of being grateful for what hadn't happened, all I could see was the mess, the huge financial issues already looming over me, and now knowing a new tv stand was needed on top of everything else...and finally acknowledging the truth about my right arm and the additional limitations of my body...and what that would mean financially.

I started crying, sobbing, and basically indulging in a major pity party. I was also starting to feel the fall, which made me cry harder. I finally fell asleep, with nightmares of living in my car and trying to figure out the best spot for Abby's litter box (the brain can be bery weird). The next day, per paramedic instructions, I followed through with a call to my doctor. By then, my right knee and tailbone were screaming loud enough to break glass, so the nurse set it up for x-ray technicians to come to my home (a story for another time). An hour later, my actual doctor called and I had to relate the entire fall. When done, he said, "You know, this means it's time to talk walkers again."

Yes, I did know. Which is why things had gone from worse to worse and I'd dreamt of 'car-sleeping'. Normally, my insurance would pay for a walker, but a while back, my doctor received authorization for a 'rollator' with a seat, based on a suggestion from Physical Therapy. His reasoning then had been to use it in helping me regain muscle tone by walking through the halls here (albeit at 2am due to agoraphobia), stop and rest on the seat, then go again. The request was approved and a couple weeks later a technician arrived with the walker. Only it was designed for The Jolly Green Giant. I'd told the people in charge I was at 290lbs and they sent me something for  a 6'5, 400+ man! It didn't even fit through doors! The technician, once he opened it up and looked at me, simply closed it and said, "Call Monarch, this isn't the one for you."

Called and was told it was the only one they'd approve. Explained it was too big, they said I was, "...close to 300 pounds, so we decided to approve a walker for 400lbs and above." I argued. "But I'm not 400 pounds." They countered. "But you're close to 300, so we decided to go up a level...." This could have gone on indefinitely, but I hung on them. End result? Now that the fall illustrated a real need for a walker, my doctor and I knew I'd have to pay for it myself. Which wasn't possible any more than the rest of of the looming expenses, like experimental chemo pill/treatment not covered by my insurance (duh), amoung other treatments, since it turned out I was unable to tolerate Arimidex (thus the other two as well) and Tamoxifen.

We all have our burdens, but every now and then, they seem insurmountable. That's how I felt when I decided to ask for help. I must add at this point that a small group of incredible women have been helping me, at crucial moments, for some time, but I couldn't ask them again. So I wrote that post (but still don't know how) and you responded. There's still more to face, more financial issues, but thanks to pattrose's brother, who donated the walker, your generosity took care of many of the issues, including, as mentioned in the previous post, Abby, who's finally forgiven me for the mobile vet.

The photo below illustrates a happy and well Abby, along with the walker, which she adopted immediately. I now move safely and easily around my apartment and so does Abby, as it's become her own personal taxi.

It's not over, but thanks to all of you, I can breathe a bit easier. THANK YOU!

rollator


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alyburns
It’s officially summer and, if you’re like me, you’re looking for something really hot to read. Something exciting, mysterious, and sexy. A story that will heat you up whether you’re lying on a beach with a beautiful ocean at your feet, or sitting in your favorite reading chair at home, the cool air of a fan tickling your skin. Well, guess what? I know the perfect book to kick off your summer.

Deductions” by Lyn Gala, a name you may already be familiar with if you love eBooks (and her wonderful TS, SGA, etc, stories written as lit_gal!) is the first in a thrilling new series, “Aberrant Magic.” A series that combines Shamanism, adepts, magic spells and spirit guides with police work and thrilling mysteries! Check this out:

Darren is proud of his work on the FBI’s magical Talent unit. However, his own lack of magic means he can never pursue a relationship with his boss, Supervisory Special Agent and Shaman Kavon Boucher. The shamanic magic can pose a real danger to any mundane who gets too close, so Darren must hide his attraction, keeping everything strictly professional between them. But his resolve begins to crumble when a new man, an ‘adept’, joins the team - and sets his sights on Kavon.

Now they have a brutal new case with a suspect targeting magical adepts. Darren and the rest of the team are completely focused on these crimes, but then something happens that could change them all forever, and Darren’s relationship with his boss, Kavon. Darren suddenly finds he might have a second chance at love … if Kavon can learn to trust Darren in ways neither of them could ever have expected.”

Deductions” is ‘live’ right now, and on sale for just $5.39! Is that cool, or what? You can find it front and center at Loose Id (http://www.loose-id.com/) so stop reading this, jump over to Loose Id, buy your copy now, download it and start reading! But be warned, you won’t be able to put it down. I couldn’t. There are surprises, twists and turns, and, at the core, a beautiful love story full of ‘magic’. 

lyn poster #1

 

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alyburns
I wish to thank the wonderful friends who responded to my last post asking for your trust and help. I’ll be sending individual notes expressing my gratitude over the next few days, but in the meantime, I had to express my thanks here, where it started.

There were so many ‘bricks’ falling (in more ways than one) on me, all at the same time (something we’ve all experienced), that I knew it was big trouble. Even as my plea appeared, more bricks started dropping, leaving me faced with choosing between health, or my kitty’s, or my car’s (actually, Abby was going to get a mobile vet even if I had to steal), so it was really between me or the car. But then pattrose shared one of my major ‘bricks’ (the first one to fall) with her brother, Daniel, a minister, and, wonderfully, through his church, he donated something I desperately needed.

So now, as a result of your generosity, which had already helped with the other ‘bricks’, I no longer needed to make any choice. Your help made it possible for Abby’s mobile vet, and a new battery for the car. A battery which died without so much as a groan or click, for the final time, on Friday.

I was so lucky to find The Sentinel and Stargate SG1 fandoms; they changed me back in 1996. But they also introduced me to some of the finest women around the world, the finest writers and artists, and gave me such incredible friends. In addition, I found women with hearts so big, it’s literally impossible to express properly.

And now, twenty years later, almost to the day, fandom saved me.

So thank you; two words that hold a huge power, yet never seem to be enough

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alyburns
I've never done this before, unless offering something in return, such as selling zines, etc. But I don't have much in the way of fandom memorabilia any longer, so I'm dispensing with pride and coming right out and asking for monetary help from any friends who know me via fandom and/or stories.

The reason is rather long and complicated so I'm asking for for $5-$10 from anyone willing to help, admittedly on nothing more than the strength of
knowing me.

Needless to say, I'm falling back on good old PayPal (please use whatever category *won't* cost you any fees) at either alysideburns@gmail.com or alyjude@cox.net.

Thank you for reading!

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