Tuesday, December 23, 2008

DON'T MISS THE JOY!

Can I get any sadder. I'm remembering that this once was a happy time when excitement and anticipation filled my heart. It has become a time to feel sorry for myself.

When I was growing up we were real poor. We rented a small house from, and next door to, the landlords, who weren't poor and who lavished their four grandchildren with gifts every Christmas. I helped shop, wrap, decorate, clean, cook, serve, pass out gifts, and collect the discarded wrappings. I was also filled with great envy. When I had children of my own, I tried to assuage that envy by lavishing them with gifts every Christmas. Every year my husband would look at the beautifully wrapped gifts piled high around our Christmas tree and would say, "Too much!" or, "You're sure showing them landlord kids." When my children left home, I tried to keep it up from afar. It just isn't the same.

I began to rock as the tear neared my right jaw line and another tear broke out of the corner of my left eye. Noticing the tears, my mind turned away from the sad thoughts I'd been dwelling on. I grabbed a tissue from a nearby box and wiped the tears away.

"I'm imagining that everyone else in the world is smiling. How ridiculous. I have chosen to feel sorry for myself and I can chose differently!" I thought as a spark of joy started to grow.

I think I will have myself a happy new day! After all, it is almost the most wonderful day of the year and I don't want to miss it by feeling sad!

Friday, December 12, 2008

CHAPTER SEVEN
Let me just end it because I have another meme to write!

I had surgery on Tuesday. Wednesday I was washing, brushing and going potty in the bathroom in the hospital room, with the support of a walker. Occasionally I would sit in a chair across the room from the bed, maybe six steps. Thursday the therapists came, en mass, to teach me how to put on my clothes and walk up and down stairs. It was a long walk down the long hall to the area where the wooden stairs and other PT equipment was set up. I tried to crack some jokes, but, was unsuccessful. My devoted husband, who faithfully attended me once I was out of my delirium, was the only one to laugh.

That afternoon a handsome young doctor came by to say that Dr. P was out of town and that I could go home the next day because I was doing so well. Wooowhoo!!!

Friday my husband arrived around 8am. The nurse gave him gauze pads, tape and instructions for changing my dressing (The incision is high on the side of my thigh so it would take some of those contortions I talked about in the last chapter for me to even see it) prescriptions, as well as instructions for giving me shots everyday to prevent blood clots. It had to be done every morning for 24 days and was what I liked least about the whole process (I could do it myself, but, my loving husband usually spared me the task). A wheel chair was brought to the room for me, I wished my room mate good luck, then I was wheeled to the parking garage. My husband brought the car to the door. Getting into the car was not easy. I slept most of the 40 minute drive home. Getting out of the car was easier. The two steps up to our front door was a breeze.

To make a long story, that is starting to bore me, short, I will summerize quickly.My husband took excellent care of me. With hard work and determination it became less uncomfortable and arduous to get around. In record time, I graduated to a cane and the riser came off the toilet. Dr. P sent me back to physical therapy where H put me through the paces on the machines and doing exercises. I was walking on my own without a waddle before the allotted visits were up. I cried at my last visit. H said I could come back anytime to use the stationery bike, but, I haven't.

I now know that it is necessary for me to keep up the exercises. When I don't exercise. I feel discomfort in my affected hip and occasssionally I also have pain in the small of my back and the other hip, which scares me (I would prefer not to repeat this experience with the other hip). It is propably my muscles compensating for the new metal occupant that has moved in to replace my poor baby hip. Dr. P has said the ache in my hip would go away in about six months. I wonder what they did with the bone that they cut off my hip?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

I'll Whine If I Want To

YOU WOULD WHINE TOO IF IT HAPPENED TO YOU!!!!

I feel an obligation to finish the rendition of my hip drama, or as others might refer to it as a tragic comedy. But, da-dada-dum, I'm using my very clever avoidance routine, which is shifting my focus, instead.

Every year about this time I become determined not to be rushed. Ask me how often I am successful. No, not really, that was what I think is a rhetorical question. I'm going to tell you just what I think. I think that I have less responsibility and more time and accomplish half as much as I did five or ten years ago. And I think it is all your fault. That wasn't rhetorical, just ridiculous:)

We bought a very inexpensive, small artificial tree recently, so we could use it inside, instead of using our lighted artificial outdoor tree in a lovely pot, as we have been doing for a couple of years. Just assembling the new tree, then putting on the lights (200), with copious breaks, took two days. The decorating process is turning out worse. Searching for all the decorations that I was sure I had organized in one place has created huge piles of stuff all over the house, because as I search, I pull things out and decide that it really must be organized before I put it back, or it is in the wrong place. I have started to think about baking cookies instead.

So, then I become overwhelmed and use my very clever new avoidance technique of blogging instead of gettin' on with gettin' on. Now, don't you tell me you've never stooped so low.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

CHAPTER SIX
LZM Cowboys Up

As I sit in my "studio", (a name suggested by a friend after telling me to stop calling it my "junkroom") at my laptop, the sun casts the shadow of my home onto the bare wall of the home next door, I catch movement with my right eye and look out of the window. I recognize the movement as some one's adorable golden Cockerspaniel that is loose in the neighborhood.

I thought I was ready to document the history of my hip. I see though that I would rather talk about a cute little dog....and the weather.

It is becoming more difficult to recall the details. I want to write it all down before I forget all the hard work and determination it has taken to be able to walk upright without waddling like a duck out of water. Keep that duck in mind.

The first instrument of support I used to assist me in walking was a walker. The walker was brought to me to help me get onto the bedside potty chair. I soon used it to walk to a chair to sit for a few minutes while a contraption was put on my bed. This contraption was a metal pipe framework that had had hangy downy thingys for each of my hands to hold onto and aid me in pulling myself up and in getting in and out of bed. Then, I was able to go all the way to the real toilet. Well, actually, a plastic riser was put on the seat of the real toilet. I would also have a riser on my toilet at home for a couple (few?) of weeks.

I always had to keep the right surgery leg out in front of me when I sat down, otherwise it hurt hugely. When the hospital physical therapists descended on me the next day, they told me a bunch of other positions I wasn't suppose to get into, for fear of dislocating my new hip (which would have been nice to know BEFORE I started moving around). Just getting in and out of bed was painful and labor intensive in itself. And then you add on their admonitions of, "be sure to stick that out that way", and "don't turn this the other way". You had to be a contortionist. And luckily I was used to being flexible and adventurous in bed!

My biggest fear was doing something to dislocate my new hip. So, whatever I was asked not to do, I didn't do, and whatever I was asked to do, I did, and then some. I did some of the exercises the hospital physical therapists told me to do three times; six times, or ten times, or more, a day. They were very matter of fact and humorless and I wanted to show them a thing or two.

I weaned myself off the drugz quickly because that would mean being connected to one less wire. The pills I was given to replace the morphine took me to a tropical island where I felt secure, contented, warm and sunny for awhile before I fell asleep.

Then I had the drain removed from my incision by a male nurse (not Pall) who had neglected to when asked to do so earlier. Now he was anxious to get off work and was treating me roughly. The dressing had been changed on other occassions by other nurses without so much pain.

"What did I ever do to you? I have only been nice to you."

He made no reply.

Painful as it was, that was one more thing I wasn't connected to, making me much more mobile.

No hospital stay is complete without a mention of the food. I am usually ravenous all the time, so when I found myself without much of an appetite, I thought it was the food. When asked why I hadn't eaten much of the cardboard that had been slathered in brown tinted thin wallpaper paste I said, "I think it is the food, not my appetite." One of my favorite nurses, Windy, would bring me little containers of raspberry sherbet and fix me chicken broth in a styrofoam cup, so I wouldn't starve! When I got home, though and could have whatever I wanted, I realized that it was my appetite. Wish that side affect had lasted longer!

Coming soon........Let me out of this place.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

CHAPTER FIVE
Drugz

It was a male nurse, Pall, with long full prematurely grey hair, gathered at the nape of his neck who kept calling me Becky. As he explained things to me I nodded or shook my head because I was still too groggy to speak. His kind round Polynesian face smiled and expressed concern easily. I had the feeling a butterfly was following him around in the room, and having a hard time keeping up with him.

"If you want anything, need anything at all, Becky, just let me know. I am here for you, Becky!" he declared brightly and left the room.

I looked at the clock high on the wall directly in front of me. 10:30 and it is light out so it must be morning. What happened to "starting to wake right about the time I went into recovery"? Why isn't my husband here to me tell how things went? I felt no pain, but I wanted to sob. That feeling is returning to me as I write this. I calculated that it had been three and a half hours since I went in to surgery. The surgery was suppose to take 45 minutes, which would mean it took me over two hours to wake up. Where is my husband? I felt alone and abandoned. I am sure it was all exacerbated by the drugz I had been given. And as I had been informed by Pall, I could get more every six minutes by pushing the button on the end of the cord that was wound around the railing on my bed.

While I was still groggy, Dr. P stopped by with his 'I am trying to smile' expression, and said,

"You did fine, just fine."

If he said anything else I don't remember it. I do remember what he was wearing, though! (I would link back to that description if I knew how)(I would also punctuate properly if I remembered how!)

Then I had to pee because you are encouraged to drink lots of water. And I do, and did, without being encouraged. I told the nurse's aid and she said,

"I'll get you a bedpan."

"I have never been able to use a bedpan, ever. Do you have a bedside potty?"

Dr. P had told me at our first visit that they would have me get out of bed as soon as three hours after surgery. So, I just assumed I could get up. The nurse's aid brought me a potty chair and another nurse's aid (they weren't called nurse's aids, but I forgot what they were called. Their names were written on a board on the wall under the clock in front of me along with the name of the nurse and the names were changed every shift.) to help me get out of bed. It was difficult getting all the tubes and machines I was connected to out of the way. And, oh boy, it hurt and was scary. It continued to be decreasingly painful to get out of bed for several weeks. At first I moved in small incriments to see what movement would hurt least. Then I would forget what worked least painfully by the time I needed to get out of bed the next time. But, I made it. It was only later that I learned that most of the nursing staff had never seen that even attempted so soon after a total hip replacement surgery. I was a star!

The next time Pall came into the room to attend to Karol in the bed next to me, on his way out of the room he asked me,

"Becky, do you need anything, anything at all?"

I shook my head and indicated with my hand that he should come closer to me. He did and I softly said to him,

"My name is Betty not Becky."

"Oh, my gosh, I am so sorry, Betty!", emphasizing the Betty.

"That's okay Pall", I said, emphasizing the Pall.

But, when my husband finally walked into the room, it wasn't okay. I was angry to have been left alone for so long. He explained that when I was brought to my room where he had been told he could wait for me, I had appeared to be awake with my eyes open and even told him,

"It hurts."

He says he said loving things to me; stroked my hair , kissed my nose and forehead", until I started drifting off after about forty five minutes. He told me he was going to go to Walm*rt to get me a CD player because the one we had previously purchased specifically to entertain me during my hospital stay, didn't work properly. He was then going to get something to eat. (HOW DARE HE?) He says he then "kissed your widdo forehead", said he loved me and that he would be back soon. At some point in time I think I dreamt the last sentence, but I do not remember any of the rest.

Especially not starting to wake up right about the time I went into recovery. It just makes me indignant that "they" don't believe me when I tell them about my sensitivity to anasthesia. If the dentist doesn't use less "stuff" when he numbs me I will be numb for four or more hours. Twenty years ago I had my gall bladder and apendix removed (The surgeon did not tell me it was routine to remove my appendix at the same time as my gall bladder). It took me a really long time (four or five hours) to wake up from that.

Starting to sound too much like whining. I'm going to take a break and come back to tell you all about my miraculous recovery.

Friday, November 21, 2008

CHAPTER FOUR
You're Going to Do Fine!

I was unable to take the xrays that had been taken of my hip to my first appointment with the orthopedist, because of a computer problem. I was promised they would be faxed. They weren't. When my husband and I had been led back to a room at the Orthopedic Clinic by Dr. P's nurse, Baron Niece, she said I would have to have another xray, or Dr. P would not see me. I was very distressed. Not the foot I wanted to start out on.

Dr. P presented (I watch both 'Grays' and 'ER') as a white haired Julius Caesar. Instead of a white toga and crown of leaves, every time I saw him, except in the operating room, he was dressed in brown loafers, white socks, chinos, a brown belt and a light blue shirt with long sleeves rolled up and a button down collar. He usually wore a 'I am trying to smile' or a 'I am trying to understand' look on his face.

He shook hands with me and my husband then explained what he had just seen in my xray. I asked him,

"What are my options?"

We will never forget his answer,

"It is like a flat tire. You either fix it, drive on it anyway or park it."

I had learned as much as I could about hip replacement surgery options on the net, and I knew he did the "anterior approach" that I understood to be less invasive. He misunderstood me when, just to show him I knew a thing or two, I said I wanted the less invasive approach, which he took to mean a new experimental one. I think he thought that his subsequent explanation of his successful surgery method had changed my mind and convinced me to have the surgery. Several times during the visit and as he left the room he told me,

" You're going to do fine."

Actually, I was still trying to adjust to the reality of having to have the surgery much sooner than I had expected to. Dr. P's nurse, Baron Niece came in with instructions, paperwork and brochures. We set a date, August 5, 2008 at 7:30am.

As soon as my husband and I walked out of the clinic doors I started to sob. My husband folded me in his arms and rubbed my convulsing back. We got into my car and I continued to let out a bunch of nasty toxins through my tears. Eventually I stopped, and from then on I was resigned and courageous:D Tah! Dah!

When H and the others heard the news of my upcoming surgery at my next PT appointment, their attitude towards me seemed to change. It was as if I had graduated "summa cum laude". Now I think it was more like they were missing me already as I now do them. My last PT would be just before my scheduled trip to Virginia that I already wrote about. It was a sad day for me. PT had become one of my few pleasurable contacts with the outside world.

I returned from Virginia around 11pm July 24th. Twelve days until my total hip replacement. There was so much to do that I didn't have much time to get nervous. I had a pre-op physical with my primary care physician on the 28th. The next day I had a Barium swallow that my ENT ordered to find out if I have a hiatal hernia. (Turns out I have something called a presby esophagus with esophageal dismotility because it is so dry in Nevada.) I was also scheduled that day for a pap, but it dawned on me the day before that it would be impossible for me to get my legs in the stirrups with the severe osteoarthritis in my hip! And I cancelled that.

The following day my husband took me to the hospital to do the paperwork and tests required before surgery. I filled out a gazillion forms and answered as many questions. Then, while my husband went to our dentist to have a crown put in, I had blood taken, gave urine, had a chest x-ray and an electrocardiogram. My husband picked me up and rewarded me with all the crabs legs I could eat. Yum!


Two days later, on August 1st, I went to see the ENT. In between all this I was trying to get the house cleaned and the laundry done, in preparation. Monday, the day before my surgery, I went to see Dr. P. He drew a wide line about five inches long on my right hip with a huge permanant marker. And told me,

"You're going to do fine."

The next morning, at five o'dark thirty, we parked in the practically deserted parking garage at the hospital. The hospital itself felt "other worldly". My surgery was scheduled for 7:30am. A nurse prepared me for surgery while my husband read his book in the corner of the room. Dr. P came by and assured me for the umteenth time that,

"You are going to do fine."

He said the surgery should take about 45 minutes. The anesthesiologist came by. I told her about being sensitive to anesthesia. She assured me that I would be waking up right about the time I went into recovery. So, I kissed my husband and was wheeled into the operating room soon after 7, where Dr P waited with his 'I amtrying to smile' expression. He asked me,

"Where is your blue stripe ?"

I pointed to it and that is the last thing I remembered until I woke up alone, in my room about 10:30am. It makes me want to cry even now, remembering what waking up felt like. Then a male nurse came in calling me by the wrong name.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

CHAPTER THREE
Doctor Who ?

The doctor I wanted to adopt was sent off to Afghanistan. So, I made an appointment with Dr. M, who had taken his place. H, my physical therapist, had called Dr. M and explained why she thought I should be evaluated by an orthopedist. The first thing Dr. M said to me was,

"So, you're ready for a new hip?"

My eyes instantly expanded with shock (clever way to say wide eyed, isn't it?) and I defensively replied, "I certainly hope not!"

I thought I was going to see the orthopedist to be evaluated, have a nice friendly conversation about my options. Plus, this was the first time I had seen this "doctor". She seemed abrupt and was dressed in black so I erroneously labeled her as "g*stapo". I think it was my shaky emotional state and her newness......anyway, to get on with it, she set me up with a referral to see an orthopedist.

I went on line and investigated my options for an orthopedist. At my next visit to PT I took a printout of possibilities with me. H had assured me that she would help me choose an orthopedist. She took the list to study and said she would consult with the other therapists and give me their recommendations at my next visit. Before my next visit, the receptionist called to ask if I would mind changing my appointment to an earlier one. I agreed.

From the tiny reception and waiting area with five chairs, two end tables (which barely fit) and no frills, you turn left down the narrow hall passing five treatment rooms on the right. Just before the last room, there is a big opening to the right into the "gym". The "gym" is a big room with machines, high adjustable treatment tables, big adjustable low padded platforms and all kinds of blocks and balls and pulleys and ropes and blocks and ......fun stuff. And, oh yes, the mirrors! Three or four therapists at a time might be treating one to three people at a time. I was in the gym at this earlier than usual appointment, being guided through my exercises and working on the equipment while H was consulting with the other therapists about the best orthopedist for me. I knew they would come to a wise choice because I also knew they all adored my quirky character. I worked hard, encouraged the other people who came there to be treated and tried always to be cheerful. (This advertisement was paid for by lzm)

B, one of the therapists was working with a man who overheard the therapists discussing me and recommended the doctor who had done his second hip replacement. Yes, I said second. Two different doctors and two different approaches. The first was a negative experience. He recommended the second approach and doctor, who was Dr.P. Before he left we got together and talked. He was at PT because he had just had knee replacement surgery.

"Would you mind me asking how old you are.?" I asked.

His surprising answer was ten years younger than I am. And since I intend to remain eternally youthful I am choosing not to divulge that information.

He brought some brochures for me to his next PT appointment.

I saw this as divine intervention and I can't wait to introduce you to Dr. P. But, this is my husband's day off and we are planning a huge excursion to the lieberry and then to the new Black Bear Diner which is connected to the new Nugget Casino. I have just 60 pages left to read in the book I want to finish and return.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

CHAPTER TWO
Continuing

I fell in love with my physical therapist. It was not H's twinkling eyes, endearing freckles or amazing red hair that made me fall. It was her hands. Laying on the therapy bed in the small treatment room, H instructed me to turn on my left side, my backside to the tastefully wallpapered mauve and blue wall. She pulled up the red shorts I was provided with, to expose my bare hip, then slipped a small pillow between my knees. As she poured warm oil from a squeeze bottle onto my hip and thigh it felt a little like foreplay. Her fingers found all the aching spots without any direction. She would linger on the areas that cried out for her touch as if they were speaking to each other. My eyes closed and I made some small mewling sounds as my body melted into the surface I lay on.

Too soon she asked, "Did that help?", shocking me back from that new fuzzy warm place I never wanted to leave.

"That was heaven", I answered.

Then she taped me, adhering special flesh colored flexible two inch tape that looked sorta like crepe paper, at a point near my waist to just below my knee, along what (I think) she referred to as my "T-bar", which would stay adhered until my next visit. Then she sent me home.

Twice a week I went to that "house of heaven". Routinely I would change into shorts (my own on subsequent visits). One of the assistants would give me an ultrasound treatment on my hip and thigh or hook the area up to the electric pulse machine and cover it with a cozy heating pad, turn down the lights and leave me. A timer would go off and the assistant would stop rubbing me with the ultra sound "thingy" or come back in and unhook me. H would come in and manipulate me for a bit (my favorite was when she pulled my affected leg) and gradually had me do exercises. Then she would "touch me" and take me to heaven for a short while. Eventually she took to the gym where I did more exercises on the padded platform and used some of the machines, including the stationery bicycle, which was my favorite because of z.

After several (?) months H suggested I talk to my doctor about seeing an orthopedist. And I did.

Gotta do some laundry.

Friday, November 14, 2008

meme for Z



Z (http://razorbladeoflife.blogspot.com/ )at Razor-Blade of Life tagged me for this meme.
#1. Go to your sixth picture folder then pick your sixth picture. (The problem with this is that going there is a post in itself.)
#2. Pray that you remember the details.(Remembering too many details will be the problem here.)
#3. Tag 5 others, leave a comment to let them know they've been tagged. ( I tag those who read this and want to do it!)
TOTAL HIP
REPLACEMENT
SURGERY
Chapter One
Discovery
The bed cradled me in a perfect sleeping position and I tried to will myself back to sleep. Being unsuccessful, I rolled over so I could see the luminous numbers on the alarm clock that has sat on the very same long low six drawer dark oak dresser for 27 years. I quickly calculated that I had slept long enough. With resignation I sat up, swung my legs out from under the cozy bed linens, stepped onto the thickly padded carpet with the ball of my right foot. Confidently my right heel followed. Sharp stinging pain shot up from the padded little shock absorber and I quickly raised my heel back up and sat for a moment wondering what could be the cause of this pain.

This incident happened almost two years ago to the day. I was unable to rest weight on my right heel without pain. I quickly investigated on line and discovered I had something called "plantar faciitis". I followed all the suggested remedies, always wearing athletic shoes with over the counter orthotic inserts and doing the suggested exercises. There was some relief. I cowboyed up. At the doctors I was told that orthotics weren't covered by my medical coverage. Shortly thereafter I began having sharp pains mid thigh on the outside of my right leg that made me stop in my tracks. It became more frequent and more frequent. I diagnosed that the "plantar faciitis" changed my gate, causing this new pain. I was thoroughly convinced that the doctor I had been assigned and I were totally incompatible. So, I went through an act of congress to change. I went to a new doctor (who I wanted to adopt) and he sent me to physical therapy and had my hip xrayed. The xrays revealed:

FINDINGS: AP and frogleg views of the right hip demonstrate severe degenerative changes consisting with joint space loss, subchondral sclerosis, osteophytosis, and subchondral cyst formation. The femoral head is deformed by osteophytes with thickening of the proximal femoral neck, perhaps resulting in a component of femoral acetabular impingement. There is no evidence of fracture or dislocation. Soft tissues are unremarkable.

IMPRESSION: Severe osteoarthritis of the right hip as described above.

I will have to work on this long sad story after I go to the library to pick up some books they are holding for me, before the library closes. Let's just call this z meme Chapter One.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Conservatives for change

Time for me to make a stand. With only one exception, I have voted for a Republican President for the past 32 years, though I am an Independent.

Go to http://www.conservativesforchange.com/ and listen to some other voices.

Make your decision and then VOTE!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Total rare occurance so soon. We are in the desert after all. The snow didn't stick though, except on the far off mountains.
Holy Crap! It's snowing!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman

"Oh, shit!"

I was deeply saddened today, to hear that Paul Newman has died. After reading the news I went to http://www.newmansown.com and have copied and pasted the following for myself and anyone else who might be interested. I once read in some interview that he ate a half a cantaloupe in the shower every morning. The thought comes to me frequently when I am around cantaloupes and makes me smile. I have been in love with Paul Newman since the night in high school when I piled in my girlfriends Buick with her and a couple other girlfriends and went to the Drive-in to see "Exodus".

For 25 years, we at Newman's Own have had a front row seat to watch Paul's entrepreneurial brilliance, humor, and compassion at work helping those in need. Our company motto, "Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good," was Paul's vision for Newman's Own and it is a philosophy we are proud to continue.
Paul occasionally referred to Newman's Own as the "joke that got out of control" and would express astonishment at its success. Despite this humorous approach, Paul was committed to the company's business and to providing top-notch quality – he brought all-natural food products to a wide audience long before it was fashionable. And he was one of the greatest recyclers, giving back to charity all the money he earned from the sale of Newman's Own products.
Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good
Newman's Own has grown into a powerful and lasting expression of Paul Newman's generosity. The Company has generated over $250 million in proceeds that have been donated by Paul Newman and the Newman's Own Foundation to thousands of charities worldwide. Particularly close to his heart were the Hole in the Wall Camps, now the leading global family of camps for children with life-threatening illnesses, which Paul started over 20 years ago.

Today, Newman’s Own is a thriving company with hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue. As always, all profits are donated to charity through Newman's Own Foundation. We will miss Paul, but we will honor his vision for the Common Good through dedicated stewardship of his company that will perpetuate his philanthropic legacy. Paul wouldn’t have it any other way.
He was also a terrific actor.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

MORE MARVELOUS MOMENTS

Almost every time I post pictures, especially if it has been a long time since doing so, I have difficulty. This time I emailed them to myself to shrink them enough so that blogger would upload them. And almost every time I have this problem, I become determined to figure it out and forget about the story I was eager to tell. I will just use my email method for pictures for now though and get on with the adventure.



N's home is warm, welcoming and beautifully decorated. It is deeply seated on a knoll, surrounded by pastures and trees. A road winds up past the small barn at the top left and then further right to the ranch style house. The views from every room are, again, breathtaking. Just being there is a relaxing vacation, just like the drive to it is.



We talked. We laughed. We cried. I felt a little on display the first few days. N wanted her sister B to know whyt she thinks I'm so wonderful. N shares me with Band B with me, but we have only met a few brief times. It didn't take long for me to know what a delightful person B is. I have no doubt she likes me too!





With N and I both having trouble with our hips and she dealing with canc:r as well, we didn't do anything that involved a lot of walking. But, we did eat out a lot, which meant driving through more of the breathtaking Virginia countryside and seeing structures two and three hundred years old. I have always been fascinated with old stuff and am awed thinking about all the history. N would stop so I could take pictures and sometimes I just held my arm out of the window and took a shot.




One hot muggy evening N suggested we get in the pool. The conditions wre prfect, as the house was shading half of the pool and sunscreen wouldn't be necessary. Took me no time at all to wiggle into my new swimsuit and get in the beautiful pool with N to float. I noticed that my bouyancy had much improved since my last visit. Perhaps the extra pounds I'd brought with me! Floating is one of my favorite things, as is being with N, so I was in La La land and felt so comfortable that I didn't even care that I hadn't shaved my legs. N and I were pretty much prunes by the time we got out.









Saturday, August 16, 2008

Promised pictures

The sky at the airport when I arrived.



And then the breathtaking.......






More about the wonderful adventure, as well as more pictures.


Friday, August 15, 2008

My Trip to Virginia

_________
My scheduled departure from Reno was 11:55pm Sunday July 13. I was packed and ready to go before 4pm, though, so that I could go into Reno with my husband when he went to work. I dropped him off at work, then toddled around until it was time for him to get off work and take me to the airport.

I was having a great deal of pain in my hip because of the toddling around. We had arranged for electric car assistance for me to be able to make it to the next gate when I changed planes. I am able to walk long distances with just the support of my husbands’ hand, so I expected to be able to make it to security with him and imagined a golf cart type ride from there. The only thing available was wheelchairs and I was talked in to taking one from the young man at the check in counter. I became very weepy as we waited for the wheelchair to come. My husband tried to comfort me and suggested I look at it as if I had broken my leg skiing and needed the wheelchair temporarily. This helped some, but I was uncomfortable using the wheelchairs the whole trip as well as on the return trip. There was no doubt that I needed the assistance, though, when I saw some of the distances between gates that would have been impossible for me to walk.

After arrival at Dulles I called N as I was being wheeled to Baggage. She said she and her sister were waiting at Baggage. As I got near baggage I saw my beloved N. Her sparkling eyes and incredible smile made the eight years that we’d last been together, melt away in an instant. And our adventure began immediately.

We stopped for lunch and a “look see” at Wegman’s, an amazing huge building filled with food. N knows my interests! Then we drove through the breathtaking (literally for me, as I sigh a lot) Virginia countryside to her home.


I am working on posting pictures. Breathtaking pictures!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Virginia here I come!

UP UP AND AWAY

Sunday at 11:55 pm my flight leaves for Virginia. I will change planes in Texas, then arrive at Dulles Airport at 11:55am. This must be what is called the "Red Eye"? Subtracting the three hour difference, that will mean eight hours to get there. I will have a two hour and 23 minute layover at Houston Airport.

I have been trying to control my excitement and remain calm. I usually obsess for weeks, worrying about everything. Will let you know how this new approach turns our! I am going to visit my dearest friend. It has been over eight years since I last visited? I fly back on the 24th.

In preparation for the trip, this afternoon I went to the same hair salon that I went to for the last haircut that I liked so much. I hoped that the same gal who cut it last time would be there. Alas and alack, she wasn't and I am not so thrilled with how my hair turned out. I look like a little dutch boy and I'm not. I am only a small part dutch.

When I get back I will be having a new hip installed. Didn't know this would be necessary before I bought the airline tickets. So, I've had a lot of doctor appointments to go to and arrange, as well as dental work being done. And shopping for things I wanted to fill in my wardrobe, as well as needed sundries. Also, I don't like to go off on a trip with a dirty house, so I've been cleaning house and doing laundry. Now I have some ironing to do. And I have a book from the library that I need to finish reading before I leave because it will be due while I'm gone and not allowed to renew.

Looking forward to telling you all about it when I return.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Windows of the Soul

I started this April 20 and didn't get around to finishing or publishing. I don't even remember where I found the MEME. I do remember how I was overwhelmed by some of the images that arose.

*Seeing my mother the first time after her stroke. She was in a coma and not expected to live. There is no way I could describe that vision. I will just say it was a painful one.

*The dark skin everywhere, when I got off the plane in Hawaii the first time in 1964. My Mom had married a Hawaiian when I was just 2. So I grew up in a Hawaiian community. Everyone went together to give me a plane ticket to Hawaii for a High School graduation gift. I lived and worked there for almost five years.

*I can still see the magnificent mountains on a trip to Hope, BC, more than half a century ago.

* The first time I set eyes on my first grandchild.

*Seeing my second grandchild's squished hairy little head first peep at the world. And then having the honor of cutting her cord.

*Recently driving through the Redwoods in the early morning darkness on a trip from Reno to Seattle.

*Seeing my dearest friend for the first time. I didn't know we would become such close friends. I just admired how classy she was.

*Hiding in the pasture in Sandpoint when my mother was coming to visit my brother and I at my fathers parents house. They had convinced my Mom to go to Seattle to join my father and to work. While there she caught him screwing around and divorced him. When she came back to get us our grandparents made us hide in the pasture. I remember crying because I wanted to run to my mother.

*Setting eyes on my first child. She was and still is perfect.

*Bright pink kitchen nook, with big windows, table and chairs where a dear dear friend and I investigated our souls over gallons and gallons of coffee.

*Sitting on the floor of a VOQ quarters lost in the eyes of my future husband, in Sacramento the night we went to Empamanondos 34 years ago. It makes me blush thinking about the rest of the evening*)

*Watching my husband cradle our son in the crook of his arm, holding his tiny head in his hand while talking about finance with him the day he was born in Germany.

*The canal in Georgetown.

*England, especially the stairs in The Tower of London. The thought of all the people I'd read about in books whose feet had actually walked up those same stairs too.
*George and Martha Washingtons grave.

*Williamsburg,VA

You are welcome to join in this writing prompt. Simply add the links below to the bottom of your post and let me know to add yours to the list!


jen with seven windows of my soulJessica with Eleven windowsTracy from Tiny MantrasDefiant Muse from Musings...Kaliroz with windowsBarrenAlbion with seven windows of my soulArwen with windows to my soulSomewhere in the suburbs with windowsKaren with eight windowsJennifer with Seven viewsMagpie with windowsKaty with windowsMary with seven windows of my soulBA with come to my windowsSlouchy with there are places I remember




Friday, June 27, 2008

Test Results

ENFJ - "Persuader". Outstanding leader of groups. Can be aggressive at helping others to be the best that they can be. 2.5% of total population.
Free Jung Personality Test (similar to Myers-Briggs/MBTI)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Graduation Humiliation

Graduation Humiliation
Tomorrow my husband and I will be attending a graduation party our friends are having for their daughter. Also, I just read Meno's blog (http://menosblog.blogspot.com/) about her daughters senior overnighter. Both these upcoming events reminded me of our experience at our son's senior overnighter in 1996.


My husband and I volunteered to help with the Monte Carlo games at our son's senior overnighter by running a craps game. Our son and his friends were thrilled that we would be doing this. My husband and I were looking forward to the experience as well.


We were rattled because we were having difficulty finding the location of the senior all nighter and it was making us late. Parking was tight. It was dark. When we thought we were near, we followed signs that said, "Senior All Nighter" with arrows pointing the way. Inside the building we got directions and a bunch of paper chits, that looked like Monopoly money, which were being used as money that the graduates could exchange for prizes.We hurried through the crowd of teenagers. It was like moving through a crowd at a carnival. We were a little relieved, when we arrived at the far end of the festivities, to find that only a few of the seniors had reached that area. Parents who were already running other games, showed us an empty table where we could set up our craps game. They hadn't expected us. We set up and had a grand time with all the kids that came by to roll them bones, while being on the lookout for our son or his friends. After the time we were scheduled to be there had almost passed with no sight of them, I happened to notice what was written on the chits we had been using for money. I hadn't looked closely at them until then.

I asked one of the parents standing near me, "Why do these say Central Valley HS on them," indicating the play money.


She looked at me strangely and said, "Because that is what the name of our school is", duh was quite evident on her face.


I froze a moment while she continued to look at me. My voice lowered several octaves as I said, "Oh. No. We thought this was the M......... overnighter. I was wondering why we didn't recognize anyone."


We were humiliated and left apologetically but quickly, imagining how our son must feel about us not showing up as expected. We were able to get directions to our son's overnighter (same area different building).


Our son and some of his buds were near the entrance when we arrived at the correct place. Their disappointment was obvious to me. Though the time we were scheduled to run the craps game had passed, the boys took us there and we explained what had happened. They sympathized but didn't need us. So, we spent a short time with the boys, then left with our tails between our legs.


I was sure for a long time that this travesty would ruin my son's life. He has become a truly caring, talented, loyal, delightful human being. So, I guess I can let go of this experience now!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

New haircut



THE HAIRCUT

It has taken me three days to figure out how to import this picture that my husband took of me then. I had to inlist his help, so, I had to tell him about waiting to see how long it would take him to notice the drastic difference in my hair. He said I am always beautiful in his eyes! Ahhhhh....

I didn't think to do a before picture. Trust me though, my hair was six or more inches longer and was either in a ponytail or hung down sadly. I wouldn't be making such a big deal about it, except that figuring out how to post this picture out of Photoshop (the only change I made was cropping) has been so consuming.

'

Monday, May 12, 2008

NOT YET

He still hasn't said anything but I think I noticed a, "Something is different look", as Z suggested would happen. I am amused and curious how long before he says something. He did call me from work and thanked me for being the mother of his children! He suggested he should go with me to PT today to make sure they aren't torturing his Sweetie! How sweet is that. The thing is, I am sure everyone at PT will notice the drastic difference in my hair.

Started plowing through the piles of treasures that have been deposited in my "studio", which was previously called my junk room, until a dear friend suggested the new designation. This was before I actually started doing watercolor. I get distracted easily with the clearing process. For instance, I started practicing calligraphy when I came upon a poem I've been meaning to do in calligraphy for my son for years, but keep misplacing. Then I started thumbing through catalogs that I forgot I had.

I keep believing that there is hope for my studio. I have been successful before, in different homes, states, a lifetime ago! Has anyone out there finally, conquered their cluttered, disorganized "studio", who are willing to advise and share?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

"Oh, he'll notice alright!"

"Oh, he'll notice alright!"


Yesterday, after I had finished at the physical therapist, I took the plunge and went in to the new Fantastic Sam's here. My hair has just grown and grown for almost a year, for a few reasons, one being that I didn't know how I wanted it cut and another that I didn't know where I should have it done. I bought a hair magazine and cut out possibilities. I went on line and printed out possibilities. I carried them in my purse for months. Meanwhile, I was unable to feel good about the way I fixed my hair. It just hung there, pulling everything with it. A couple of weeks after I started PT, the assistant that usually does my ultrasound treatments , told me that she had worked part time as a receptionist at the new Fantastic Sam's. She highly recommended them. For a few weeks I looked for $ off coupons for Fantastic Sam's in the newspapers. Yesterday I couldn't stand it one more day.

I showed the hairstylist all the pictures of possibilities I'd been carrying around in my purse. I indicated the one that I liked best. She washed my hair and even massaged my head. I was anxious for a while when the cutting started. At one point, when I thought she was finished and standing back to admire her work, I said, "Oh, that's not short enough!"

After some discussion it hit me, "Oh, you aren't finished, are you?"

As I looked at her in the mirror. She smiled indulgently and shock her head no.

I was happy with the cut even before she blew it dry. When it was dry I was thrilled and felt ten years younger. My hair had been shortened at least 6 inches. I said, "Let's see if my husband notices."

The hairstylist said, "Oh, he'll notice alright!"Italic

The hairstylist next to us assured me he'd notice as well.

So far he hasn't noticed. He came home from work about 2am. There was, as usual, "Hi Honey!" and my reply, "Hey Sweetie!", as he went about his ritual of putting his stuff away, then going in the bedroom to change. He got himself something to eat and joined me in front of the TV: he in his recliner and me at about a 45 degree angle, 6 feet away on the sofa. We watched TV until about 3:30am, when he started to fall asleep. We went to bed. He got up before me. When I woke I went in and kissed him on the head, where he sat in his recliner watching TV. I cleaned the kitchen, started the dishes in the DW then sorted out the pantry shelves, to remind myself what is in there. I came into the office and sat down at the computer. If he leaned forward and looked to the right, he would have been able to clearly see me.

So, he has gone off to work now and still hasn't said anything about my drastically different hair.

Maybe I will email this to him!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Where was I?



Where was I?

I was walking around like a cripple for several months. About ten weeks ago I started going to Physical Therapy(twice a week), for what I learned after x-rays last week is "Severe osteoarthritis of the right hip"(Too much, "I can do it myself" and carrying many babies on my hip, neither of which I regret!). At the same time I was doing Oprah's online class on "The New Earth". The rest of what has been going on with me, I determined, was pretty much, whine, whine, whine and I chose not to share it with you. So, I have been posting secondhand stuff or not at all. I'm sure you can tell.


I am making a change.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Buying Gas

This was emailed to me by a friend and I immediately wanted to share it with you.

GAS

I don't know what you guys are paying for gasoline.... but here in California we are paying up to $3.75 to $4.10 per gallon. My line of work is in petroleum for about 31 years now, so here are some tricks to get more of your money's worth for every gallon.

Here at the Kinder Morgan Pipeline where I work in San Jose, CA we deliver about 4 million gallons in a 24-hour period thru the pipeline. One day is diesel the next day is jet fuel, and gasoline, regular and premium grades. We have 34-storage tanks here with a total capacity of 16,800,000 gallons.


TIPS ON PUMPING GAS

Tip #1: Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening....your gallon is not exactly a gallon. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role. A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.

Tip #2: When you're filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode. If you look you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. You should be pumping on low mode, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created
while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you're getting less worth for your money.

Tip #3: One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is HALF FULL. The reason for this is the more gas you have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation. Unlike service stations, here where I work, every truck that we load is temperature compensated so that every gallon is actually the exact amount.

Tip #4: Another reminder, if there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up; most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that normally
settles on the bottom.

WHERE TO BUY USA GAS, THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO KNOW.
READ ON:


Gas rationing in the 80's worked even though we grumbled about it. It might even be good for us! The Saudis are boycotting American goods. We should return the favor.
An interesting thought is to boycott their GAS. Every time you fill up the car, you can avoid putting more money into the coffers of Saudi Arabia. Just buy from gas companies that don't import their oil from the Saudis. Nothing is more frustrating than the feeling that every time I fill-up the tank, I am sending my money to people who are trying to kill me, my family, and my friends. I thought it might be interesting for you to know which oil companies are the best to buy gas from and which major companies import Middle Eastern oil.

Companies that import Middle Eastern oil:

Shell............................ 205,742,000 barrels
Chevron/Texaco.......... 144,332,000 barrels
Exxon /Mobil................ 130,082,000 barrels
Marathon/Speedway.... 117,740,000 barrels
Amoco.............................62,231,000 barrels

Citgo gas is from South America, from a Dictator who hates Americans.
If you do the math at $30/barrel, these exports amount to over $18 BILLION! (Oil is now $90 - $100 a barrel. Don't buy from CITGO).<>

Companies that DO NOT import Middle Eastern oil:

Sunoco..................0 barrels
Conoco.. ...............0 barrels
Sinclair.................0 barrels
BP/Phillips............0 barrels
Hess.......................0 barrels
ARC0....................0 barrels
If you go to Sunoco.com <
http://sunoco.com/> , you will get a list of the station locations near you. All of this information is available from the Department of Energy and each is required to state where they get their oil and how much they are importing.

To have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of gas buyers. It's really simple to do. I'm sending this note to about thirty people. If each of you send it to at least ten more (30 x 10 = 300)...and those 300 send it to at least ten more (300 x 10 = 3,000) and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth generation of people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumers !!!!!!! If those three million get excited and pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million people will have been contacted! If it goes one level further, you guessed it..... THREE HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE!!! Again, all you have to do is send this to 10 people...and maybe we can make a dent in this gasoline dependency.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Look what I found!

April 10, 2008
I meant to post this a looooooooooooooooong time ago.

I came across this comment by "cheesy" http://cheesewoods.blogspot.com/ on someones blog and thought it deserved a more prominent place, so I am posting it.

"You are Gorgeous!
Several of us do not take the time to observe and recognize how beautiful we are as humans. We may be grand lovers of splendor, seeing it in the people, places, and things around us, while completely missing it in ourselves. Some of us sense that it is vain to think about our appearance too much, or we may find that when we gaze at ourselves, all we see are imperfections. Frequently we come to the mirror with expectations and fixed ideas about beauty that shade us from seeing ourselves clearly. As a result, we overlook the beauty that is closest to us, the beauty we are. Sometimes we see our beauty in a trivial way, noticing how well we are in compliance to public norms, but failing to see the deeper beauty that shines out from inside and that will persist to shine in spite of how we measure up to society’s model.
If we can bring ourselves to take the trail to self love and we can hack through all these obstacles and simply value how beautiful we are, we free up so much power. We also become less reliant upon the opinions and criticism of others since we become our own greatest admirers. Some of us know that after a long, deep meditation, we are more able to see how lovely we are. This is because we have freed some of our baggage, as a result unburdening ourselves and summoning forth the spirit that dwells within us. It is the thrilling combination of the divine spirit and the human body that conveys beauty more precisely than anything else.To keep ourselves in touch with our personal beauty, we can envelop ourselves with images that echo our beauty back to us—photos of a relative or child who has our eyes, images of teachers who embody spirit, or self-portraits that capture our core in a way that allows us to see ourselves anew. The finest way to keep ourselves in touch with our own beauty is to keep looking deeply into our own souls and opening our eyes to the human being we see in the mirror every day.
Please...
remember to love yourself this year!
cheesy"


I have been doing the "A New Earth" online class and "summoning forth the spirit that dwells within".....all of us.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Testing the waters....



This is a picture of some of the watercolors that I have done and I thought it was time to share them with you. It is part of what I call my "Journey" series.

The top left is a barn in Pennsylvania that I saw when I was on a trip with my dearest friend. The day was a bit drippy and dreary. The road was two lanes with hardly any shoulder. When we saw the barn in the distance we turned onto a small road so we could admire it, which eventually resulted in this painting.

The painting on the bottom is of a road in Virginia near my dearest friends' home. This is a place where the road turns a reddish color and for me is a reminder that we are getting near her home.

The top middle is my favorite painting of Lake Tahoe. The small one is of a spot on the road that circles Lake Tahoe. I have always been a lover of rocks and I especially love the ones in that area.

Yesterday I went through the process necessary to unload the pictures from my new camera onto the computer. First, I went around taking pictures to unload. When I saw this one I thought, "I could post this one and maybe find out if what family and friends say is only because they love me. They think I am brilliant. There were also a bunch of strangers who I was told thought so too when I was unable to attend a showing of some of my work. I even amaze myself sometimes. Perhaps your comments will encourage me to get back to painting.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Car Jacking Warning

You walk across the parking lot, unlock your car, and get inside. Then you start the engine and shift into REVERSE, and you look into the rearview mirror to back out of your parking space and you notice a piece of paper stuck to the middle of the rear window. So, you shift into PARK, unlock your doors and jump out of your car to remove that paper (or whatever it is) that is obstructing your view. When you reach the back of your car, that is when the car-jackers appear out of nowhere, jump into your car and take off! Your engine was running and they practically mow you down as they speed off in your car. And guess what ladies? I bet your purse is still in the car... BE AWARE OF THIS NEW SCHEME THAT IS NOW BEING USED. Just drive away and remove the paper that is stuck to your window later, and be thankful that you read this email. I hope you will forward this to friends and family... especially to women! A purse contains all of your identification, and you certainly do NOT want someone getting your home address. They already HAVE your keys!

Monday, January 14, 2008

This is something I wrote just over a year ago and never posted for obvious reasons. I am posting it now because I no longer feel this way.



JANUARY 1,2007



Now this would be amazing if I posted this because this is a pity party.



I have been at a pity party for a very long time because it is easier than trying to deal with the reasons I've been feeling so sorry for myself. I have been feeling sorry for myself because:
My husband ignors me.

1.I have gained so much weight (because of #1).


2.I have no enthusiasm to do anything with the house (because of #1).


3.My throathurts and I am afraid that I have something horrible, like cancer. And I haven't made an appointment with the Dr. because


4.I feel that my husband doesn't care (because of #1).


5.Ditto about the pain in my heel and leg.


6.I keep scratching holes in my head.


7.Nobody cares whether I exist or not.


Really. If I were gone they would feel bad, not because they cared about me, but because I wasn't there anymore to use or blame or do for them. I am really feeling that right now. I really would like this pain to stop. I mean well, but I seem to just piss people off, especially my husband; or not say the things they need to hear, like my son; or embarass them, like my daughter.

I am just so tired of disappointing people that I love. There surely is something I am missing here or why would the pain keep happening over and over? I just want to love and be loved. My husbands idea of that is to pretend that everything is ok and sweep everything else under the rug. Oh, I can imagine what he is probably thinking, "She's got it made. Nice home and all, not having to work. Buy her whatever she wants. Gambling money up the yump yump."

Right now I am just existing. When I start to think about how illogical I am being and of how scary it would be to start moving forward I start to back down and think about eating or watching TV, something to distract me from my feelings.

Really, I so want to get up from this chair and go eat or .......This post I started the day after the last one I posted.Three weeks ago (12/31/06).

Monday, January 07, 2008

The Day the Levee Broke

I woke, that afternoon, to the sound of rain and thought, "How lovely", because, growing up in or near Seattle, the sound was kinda like a comfy ole' shoe to me. My husband was at the computer (exactly where I am sitting now). I greeted him cheerfully and set about emptying the dishwasher in the kitchen. I paused occasionally to watch the rain fall and to take in our view out of the kitchen windows. (I will now attempt to insert a picture of our view here. Wish me luck!))



Tah dah!

As you can see, I can see our neighbors yard from this window. I noticed that rain was pooling in her yard. I wondered momentarily if there was any danger of it getting into their house. Then I walked to our patio doors to the left, pulled aside the curtains and checked the rain level in our yard. I could tell that some rain was not being absorbed on a few spots of our lawn. We have had to reduce the time that our automatic sprinkler system waters this area because of that, so that wasn't a worry. I turned around and sat down to work on the puzzle spread out on our table. It was a Christmas gift (1000 pieces), that my husband decided we should "do" the day before. That was the end of my thoughts of danger. It continued to rain heavily. At 11 minutes to midnight I set the microwave alarm so I could sing Happy Birthday to my husband. I went to bed about 4 am or so (as usual) and my husband stayed up a little later. I woke at 6:17 to the sound of a helicopter. I went potty, then back to bed wondering about the helicopter. The sound of helicopters woke me again about nine and then once more around noon when I got up.

I got on the computer and started to blog. I wrote a birthday post. The birthday boy got up and I sang Happy Birthday to him again. Then his Mommy called. Moments after he hung up our daughter called (1:47pm) and he answered. He thought she was being silly when she asked if our house was flooded. He called to me, "Lucky says the national news says that 35,000 (I am so sure I heard 35,000 though my husband later insisted that he said 35 hundred) homes were flooded in Fernley, Nevada when a levee broke".

From the table where I was back working on the puzzle, I said, "Wow, that must be what all the helicopters were about"!

He said, "What, helicopters". I told him about all the helicopters I'd heard. After he got off the phone I also told him about the rain pooling in our neighbors yard. He got on the computer and read aloud the news. Sure enough a levee had broken through at 4:30am and flooded an area of about a mile in our town.







We immediately assumed that it had happened in an area on the other side of town from us, where, before we bought our present home in Fernley, we were actually under contract to have a home built on half an acre adjacent to the "canal", for less than 24 hours. We canceled it because my husband wasn't comfortable with the one sided terms of the builders contract.

It began to snow hugely. We had planned to drive the little over thirty miles into Reno for my husbands Birthday dinner, like I said in my last post. We decided to get ready to go (Shower, dress, makeup, hair) and then decide. The streets were clear when we were both presentable. So, off we went.

Just past the third entrance onto the freeway a portable sign flashed saying,"accident ahead, Caution". We drove for 25 or more miles without seeing any accident, so we figured they must have cleared away the accident and forgot to take down the sign. Wrong. Screech.......

I don't know if you remember the graduation we were unable to attend because of the wildfires. This was very near the same stretch of freeway. The right lane was full of semi's for several miles. The left lane was creeping then stopping, creeping then stopping. My husband said, "Well, it's a good thing I didn't have to go to work and we don't have to be anywhere, like you know when".

I said, "I was thinking the same thing".

By the time we reached the scene of the accident it was pretty much cleared away. We wouldn't know until the next day that it had been a 17 car pile-up in which 3 people were injured.

It was not until the next day, also, that I was able to find out where the break in the levee had occurred, by following links on the computer. I also saved some pictures and will now attempt to post them now, though they may appear at the top again:0)

Wow. That was an exciting challenge.

Today I followed the "canal" on the Google satellite map. I believe I found the place where the levee broke because the water changes color only in that spot. And it is my uneducated but highly intuitive guess that the reason the levee broke is because for whatever reason the depth of the levee in that spot was not as deep, possibly because of sediment build up, because someone dumped something there or gophers.

I wondered how we could help. There were announcements on TV saying not to go near the area so as not to get in the way. They announced that they had enough clothing, blankets and coats. Good thoughts and prayers are always helpful though.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Happy Birthday

To My Husband



And to my son-in-law.



Because of New Years Eve,my husband has had to work six days in a row, when he usually works four. He would be working today, though, if he hadn't had to do that. We will be going out to his restaurant of choice for dinner tonight. Work wife (if you remember her) made him a beautiful cake and gave it to him Wednesday(she used to do cakes professionally), before she left for a trip with her family to Texas. It is as delicious as foreplay! Chocolate with a creamy filling, chocolate mousse frosting and then covered in a dark chocolate genache(well, I couldn't find how to spell that), decorated beautifully.

He also received his gifts early; two tricky folding sawhorses, because they were what he wanted and on sale.

His mommy just called to wish him a happy birthday. So things are looking good.