Showing posts from August, 2007

Vacation Journal

Presque Isle, Erie, PA Vacation. Ah, to escape. To de-stress, decompress, and relax. To sleep. And to eat. Monday -We arrived at Sara’s Campground around noon. Set up camp. Ate lunch. Went for short bike ride. Back at camp, I had a cup of coffee and broke into the Kettle Chips. Did some reading. Fixed supper. Ate supper. Took photographs of sunset. Did some more reading while finishing the bag of kettle chips. Went to bed early. (Is it any wonder I gain weight on vacation?) Tuesday -After sleeping for ten hours, we got up, ate breakfast, packed a lunch and hit the bike trail. We stopped at all the interesting points along the way including the Perry Monument. The Interpretive Pontoon Boat tours of the lagoon were closed down indefinitely due to mechanical problems, so we kept going. We stopped at Beach 10 to get our feet wet. I love standing in the water and let the waves lap at my ankles. It washes the tension out of me little by little. Next we stopped in a cove of trees fo

Changing Seasons

With Mom settled into the Health Center, doing exceptionally well with her therapy, hubby and I are seizing the opportunity to escape for a few days. It was Mom’s idea, months ago, that while she was rehabbing, we sneak in a vacation. My first reaction was, NO, I couldn’t do that…leave her there and go off to have fun. Then as time went on and Sammie passed, I thought, well, maybe. So we’re going camping. Of course, NOW Mom is hitting me with a guilt trip, telling me how she’s going to miss me. I’m used to the guilty looks Sammie used to give me when she spotted us packing. No matter how discreet I tried to be, she knew. As sad as I am over her absence in my life, I thought I’d at least be able to take a vacation without dealing with the guilt of leaving her behind. Instead, I get to feel guilty about leaving Mom behind. Sigh. But I know she’ll be fine. And I’ll have my cell phone. What did we do before cell phones? I’ll tell you what we did. We escaped on vacations in ignorant b


It occurred to me today that for the biggest part of this year, I’ve been distraught. In January, I was distraught over my dad’s declining health and his eventual passing. In February, I started my Sammie kitty on chemo following the news that the cancer was back. In March, my cousins were in that horrible car crash. After that came long, painful months of watching Patty struggle her way back from brain injury and hovering over Sammie, watching for symptoms to develop. And they did. At the same time as Sammie’s health grew worse, Mom’s pain also increased and surgery became imminent. Sammie’s battle ended and Mom’s operation came and went along with an array of complications. Wednesday, we transferred Mom to the Washington County Health Center for rehab. She’s doing fabulous. All the post-op complications have resolved themselves and she spent yesterday sitting up in a wheelchair between rounds of occupational therapy and physical therapy. I took a side trip up to the third floor w

Posting at Working Stiffs

I'm over at Working Stiffs today telling about my experiences in the city this week. Come on over and join us. Mom update: They finally got her up again yesterday and she didn't pass out. YAY! Still a long way to go, though...

Family Updates

It’s been a roller coaster weekend following my mom’s operation. She gave us all a real scare on Friday when her body started showing the stress of a very difficult surgery. She passed out when they tried to teach her to stand and again when they tried to get her back in bed. Her blood pressure plummeted and her heart rate soared. Her hemoglobin count and oxygen levels were down and her blood sugar was up. At 2:30 Saturday morning, they transferred her to the cardiovascular unit. Five units of blood later, she’s doing much better. Each day finds her feeling stronger. But they haven’t made an effort to get her up again yet. They want her numbers to be on more solid ground first. In other family news, Patty is home!!! After a very long haul (the accident was March third), she is finally out of the nursing facility. I’d love to say that she’s back living next door to me, but sadly, the house was seized and sold at sheriff’s sale. But she’s living only five minutes away and I intend

The Waiting Game

Patience is a virtue. Or so I’ve been told. For me, it’s a matter of survival. I sent my manuscript to my agent on Tuesday. Now I wait. I have lots of practice. Yesterday, my mom had her hip replacement surgery. Or hip REVISION surgery to use the correct technical term. It’s a replacement of a replacement. The original replacement took place in 1976, in the dark ages of such procedures. The last four or five weeks have been torture for my mom as the pain seemed to grow exponentially day by day. We had to be at the hospital by 5AM yesterday morning. That meant leaving here by 3:30AM. Early even by my standards. The rain started at 3:15 and continued to pour the entire dark drive into Pittsburgh. Dark, that is, except for the vivid lightning that nearly burnt out my retinas. But we made it with time to spare. There is very little traffic at that hour. Parking was plenty and the hospital corridors leading into the main lobby were silent and eerie. We had to wait for the registration

An Archeological Dig

I don’t need to go to Egypt or even the Rockshelter at Meadowcroft to take part in an archeological excavation. I had my own little uncovering of historical relics right here in my own house this weekend. It started with the new storage space created by the wardrobe from IKEA (scroll down if you missed it). I was going through our vast collection of “stuff” (AKA junk) determining what to toss and what to place on one of the shelves of the new wardrobe and I unearthed my dear old Jenny mare’s AQHA registration papers. Technically, I should have sent them in to AQHA headquarters when she died, but at the time I was distraught and couldn’t bring myself to make her death “official.” Now, eleven years later, it seems somewhat superfluous. However, holding her papers in my hands once again brought a flood of emotion. Maybe on the heels of losing my Sammie, memories of another time of grief hit me a little harder than they might have otherwise. Jenny was my once-in-a-lifetime horse, the w


The wardrobe project went surprisingly well. We managed to get the entire thing put together in one evening. With no swearing. Amazing. The only problem is that it’s BIG. Funny, it didn’t look that huge in the store. But in our little house… I don’t care. I’ve been whining about needing storage space for over twenty years. The deal we’ve struck is that hubby doesn’t complain about the size of the wardrobe and I don’t complain about needing closet space. Ever again. My thoughts are, if we can’t fit our stuff in this thing, we definitely have too much stuff. The wardrobe isn’t the only thing that’s finished. As of yesterday my final draft of my manuscript is DONE. Now I have to compose a killer summary of it for the query email to my agent. Here are some pictures of the wardrobe. First, in pieces and then the completed project.

Operation: New Furniture

We went to IKEA this weekend. Every time I come out of that store, I’m exhausted. I think it’s because the way the store is laid out, you have to walk past every single item to get to what you want and back out again. You can’t just run to bedding and be done with it. No. You have to follow the arrows through kitchens and living rooms and storage units and bathrooms and office and… I would be really annoyed if I weren’t so darned impressed by whatever retail genius came up with the design. However, after wandering the entire maze on Sunday and then going back with the truck yesterday to order the ONE PIECE we wanted, I must say, I’ve enough of IKEA for a while. We bought a three-door wardrobe for use as closet space in our living room. It should fit where my desk used to sit. At least, I HOPE it will fit where my desk used to sit. Currently the two boxes containing the pieces for the do-it-yourself project remain in the back of the pick up truck. Operation: Furniture Construction

Coming to Grips

Anyone who has never allowed a pet to share their life or their world has no idea of the anguish of losing that little companion. Sammie isn’t the first cat I’ve lost, but she’s definitely the one who has had the biggest impact on my life, sharing everything from my office to my bed. The last few months, watching squamous cell carcinoma eat large raw ulcers on and under her tongue have been nothing short of torture. Deciding late last week to put an end to it was devastating. Now I’m trying to come to grips with my decision and the quiet that has settled over my house like a thick fog. I wondered how long before I got back to a place where I could write. Especially when my current work in progress is about a vet who is owned by two cats, one of which is a composite of my late Fluffy and Sammie. The answer came Wednesday when I was trying to see through the tears to read email and instead, opened my novel’s file. The story sucked me in and I spent several hours escaping from my world