Thursday, April 30, 2009

Free at last!

From the title above, you’d think I just busted out of jail, or the psycho ward, or some other such place. And you’d also probably think that it just happened. But neither are true (so perhaps the title sucks).

The truth is I was released from the hospital late Tuesday morning, after arriving there scared and anxious early Sunday morning.

I spent a total of 51 hours there before I was discharged, my only captors the doctors listed below (and then a seemingly endless parade of other doctors and nurses after them).

I was amazed at the number of medical personnel that I met during my brief stay. And I wasn’t up walking around having a meet and greet. Oh no. I had to be wheeled in a wheelchair anywhere I went, even if it was just down the hall, even though I was perfectly capable of walking. These hospital folk were just those that entered my room.

The hospital is a trippy place.

I didn’t just realize this, I have been in a hospital before, but the only other two times I spent the night in a hospital I’d just given birth, and that newborn in the clear box next my bed was such a distraction that I did not have time to notice all the hospital-y things I did this time.

This visit I spent way too much time looking at this room curtain:

And later this room curtain:

And even though I preferred the first curtain, this second curtain was in a much, much better room.

I even stared at a framed photograph of violets on the wall for so long that the markings on the leaves morphed into various faces, complete with personalities.

Yeah, you’ve got a lot of time in a hospital to stare, and to think, and to worry, and to eat, and to read, and to watch the endless hysteria regarding the swine flu on TV.

During my stay I vacillated between feeling spoiled for engaging in activities like eating a hot meal that was just served to me in bed and reading for hours without interruption, to being bored out of my mind (remember the violets?) and somewhat irked at the amount of time I had to wait to get an ultrasound, or a shower, or some sliver of information from a doctor.

I was lucky that things worked out the way they did, and that I have access to such good medical care. You don’t want to be pregnant and bleeding, and when you call the labor and delivery nurse to tell them you are, and they ask if the amount of blood is more like a dime or golf ball in size, and you have to admit that’s more like a whole jar of change, you feel extremely relived when it all works out.

But after the fear subsides, and you’re left with 48 hours of observation, it’s just you, no internet connection, anyone who visits, the hot but tasteless hospital food, and the endless faces of the nurses and nurses assistants and nutritionists and residents and attending physicians and cleaning crew. Just you and Elise, Victoria, Christy, Didi, Soosan, Dr. Hull, Gina, Teresa, Dr. Wen, etc., etc. etc.

And although I met and talked to a plethora of doctors and nurses, I was discharged without being completely clear on what my activity level should be from this point forward; but what I can say without a doubt, is that I do not have high blood pressure and my normal body temperature is 97.6 degrees.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Sometimes, you have a friend . . .

. . . like maybe this one.

She's a good one.

And sometimes you have another friend . . .

. . . say for instance, this one . . .

She's a good one, too.

And sometimes, when a friend you've had forevah, and a friend you've had for just a few years, get together . . .

. . . well, it's like you've all known eachother forevah.

I don't know how it happens . . .

. . . and I don't know why . . .

. . . but really, who am I to ask why, anyway?

Sometimes it just is what it is. Sometimes, without any effort, it just happens. All by itself.
Sometimes, it's just magic.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

so, where was I?

Last Wednesday night, I brought my laptop down to the pool to watch my kids frolic while I uploaded photos from the busy first two days of our trip to Phoenix. It took a while, but it was fun to play with the images of our fun in the sun. Sadly, the universe had to settle for a lame-ass non post when I could not manage an upload to the blog. Bastids.
So, play along with a little time warp, will ya? Pretend it's last Thursday, and that I'm still in hell Arizona.

March 23, 2009

We're in Arizona! It's farking H-O-T here, like a desert.

We've had a very full couple of days, and the words are few but the images are many:

We had some time to kill in the airport before our flight,

but once airborne the trip was so quick that we hardly had the chance to plow through our delectable snacks!

When we arrived at the hotel, we were very excited.

Some people got right to unpacking, while others were differently engaged

We explored every inch of the hotel, finding places to blend in with the art both inside

and out.

We topped it off with nighttime highballs cannonballs

Yesterday, the kids spent the day boosting the local economy with a sitter while I experienced the splendor of a windowless conference room.

But last night was quite special, because we had the rare pleasure of being whisked out of this downtown corporate name tag mecca to the 'burbs, where we enjoyed the hospitality of two of my cousins and their families.

These two clowns were our gallant chauffeurs, and I am the head cheerleader behind the campaign to get them a spot on the next Amazing Race.

The second cousins bonded like superglue over spaghetti and meatballs

and legos

and the most fantastic girl power.

Our generous and lovely hosts were a delight, and we had a thoroughly wonderful evening in their happy home, where the banner hangs all year round, just in case.

Thanks for the great time, AZ peeps! See you at Legoland?


Wasn't that fun? Thanks for playing along, universe. Hey, if you're into drama, fortune, vomit, hot rods, swarms, endangered species, and Alice Cooper, be sure to check back later in the week for highlights and lowlights from the rest of our week in 'zonie.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Bishop of Champagne

Mistah Schleckah had a few friends over the other afternoon.

The Mayor (of the Book Barn, but still) . . .

. . . Cookbook Ken (left), and on the right, The Bishop. Bishop is an ordained Bishop in the Order of St. Mary the Virgin, he speaks 5 or 6 languages, and he manages a collection of international devotional art that crosses religious boundaries, with a goal of fostering understanding and acceptance of other world views through art, but in my book, he's the Bishop of Champagne.

Bill and I went for lunch -- and Champagne -- at The Bishop's home at the Ministry in St. Augustine, Florida a few years ago, and we've been quoting him ever since:
"In my house, sin is defined as an empty glass."

We had lovely snacks . . .

Mistah Schleckah was a lovely host . . .

. . . and kept us all entertained with his sometimes-silly, sometimes-erudite stories.

Really, he was nothing but gracious . . .

. . . except he kept having to be reminded to share the Champagne.

I was there, too. I had to make an occasional foray to the front porch to get away from the crazy people enjoy the lovely afternoon.

The Mayor left, but Cookbook, The Bishop, The Schleckah and I carried right on without him.

And things got even more fun when Bill went off on his bike to get us a couple more bottles.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Weekend 3 Way: happy blogday

There are numerous types of years. There are seasonal years, calendar years, fiscal years, academic years, and all sorts of astronomical years (Julian year, Draconic year, and lunar year, to name just a few), but this past Sunday, April 19, marked the first full year of Me and You and Ellie.

Yes, our baby blog turned one. Happy birthday to it! I forgot to look at the number of visitors the site had accumulated by that particular day, but today we’re over 23,000, so I think we can safely say over 20,000.

Within the last 24 hours we’ve had visitors from Mexico, Dubai, the United Kingdom, and Canada, as well as plenty of Americans from New York to Arizona, Connecticut to Texas, Michigan to California. Some people reach us in error, others visit only occasionally, and still others stop by regularly. We welcome you all!

So in honor of M&Y&E's first birthday, what I’m asking this weekend is what is it about creating/contributing to the blog for the last year that you’ve most enjoyed? Most disliked?

Overall it’s been great. I look forward seeing what my co-bloggers have been doing and thinking and planning. I’ve learned things about them I never would have without the blog. In terms of contributing to the blog, the best part for me is that it forces me to write two or three times a week. Even when I have absolutely nothing to say or cute photos to display, I’ve still got to blog. It’s good for me, and so nice to have one central depository for all the mindless drivel creative ideas that become rambling developed posts.

What I dislike, interestingly, is this same thing—having to write two or three times a week, every week. There are nights when I remember at 11 PM that it’s my turn to post the next day, and I curse the wretched blog. However, once I dig in and actually start writing the post, my displeasure is transformed. (Well, most of the time anyway...)

Well Happy Blogday to my two little co-bloggers. Well done, kids. A year ago I were stuck at the Motel 6 in Nogales Arizona. Sigh...
What I like best about this outlet with which we get to share our minutiae with the world is the ah-ha moment. I have photos, I have an idea, I'm trying to figure out how to get it all to gel, and ah-HA. There is is. The post lands in my brain fully formed, like a little gift from the goddess of creativity. Or something.

What I dislike is the anti-ah-ha moment -- the ah-ha moment's diabolical evil twin. I think I've got all the elements: great photos thanks to Mistah, a viable idea, time to sit down and put it together . . . and it just feels difficult and ungraceful and forced. Think I let that stop me though? Not a chance.
Oh, and I always struggle with endings.

I refuse to end on that negative note, though. The other thing I love -- and I do love this little blog of ours, I do -- is discovering every day what my clever, articulate, beautiful and entirely inimitable co-bloggers have to say.

Awww, happy birthday little Bloggie! I love writing the blog, it’s a great outlet for the stories I want to tell, and a great opportunity to write regularly. I love that so many people from different parts of my life are reading it, it makes me feel connected to extended family and friends that I do not otherwise keep in close touch with. I love the planning aspect of it; and although it can be stressful when it’s my turn and I have no inspiration, I know I can always tell a story from my childhood or snap a few photos of my goofy kids and call it a day. I often have a bunch of ideas swimming around in my head, and try to flesh a couple out to see what grabs hold. I keep notepads in my car, in my gym bag, and in my purse so I can jot phrases and bits that I want to remember. I have written pages and pages of drivel that never saw the publish button, but they are tucked away for future reference, maybe. The only negative for me is the platform, I’ve got some compatibility issues with my laptop/camera/blogger that cause me angst. I hate the feeling that I’ve wasted time, and sometimes when I click publish and get an error message, I become intensely pissed off at the failure. But mostly, the blogging life has offered me pure joy.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Sunday was one of those sparkling days around here: the sun was shining, it wasn't raining, and it was warm. And, after a long winter, we felt the need to open every door and every window . . . to make the inside of the house at least as warm as the outside.

It was a gorgeous day.

We took advantage of the beautiful weather to give poor ol' Westy a long overdue oil change. And we took advantage of having Westy's inside compartments open and available to give her a long overdue cleaning.

We vacuumed, we windexed, we polished.

We armoral-ed Westy's dash clean.

I even cleaned organized the under-the-backseat compartment. I love to organize compartments.

Westy quite often does not look like this, on the road.

She sometimes looks like this.

Or, yikes, like this.

But right now? She looks like this. A clean Westy is, afterall, a happy Westy.

And then, out of nowhere, Street Sweeper Guy came and swept our street.
As Street Sweeper Guys do.
Our Westy was clean, our street was clean . . .
We were so enamored of this whole Hey, it's Spring! Let's clean! idea, that we went right down to my parents' house, and continued our cleaning jag.

My sister Ann had brain surgery last week. Last week. And she needed a shampoo. Oh, she'd gotten a shampoo already, from Mom, who was awarded an, ahem, C- for her efforts. (Sorry Mom). I was on a cleaning roll, though. I was the cavalry. I was ready to step in and save the day.

I washed Ann's hair.

Ann's got a big incision, but I washed successfully right around it.

And I didn't get a drop of water in her brain.

I'm going to tell Jennie that I'm available as a sub, whenever she needs me.

Who needs creme rinse conditioner when you've got bacitracin?

Westy? Check. Lenox Street? Check. Ann's hair? Check.

Clean. And Fresh.