I’m Calling It

I think it is finally safe to say the Winter is over.   File under “Grateful”.  (Watch it start to snow now.)

The residual trauma for me came out this weekend as I spent every free minute outside:

Yesterday, I woke up early and took a walk to Starbucks.  Then I played in the backyard with my dogs.  Then I ran my errands, making a point to stop at the outdoor mall near my brother’s house.  Then we went to Ainslie’s t-ball game.

Ainslie is five years old and if she understood the concept would probably self-identify as a dancer.  But her best friend was going to be the only girl on the t-ball team, so Ainslie said she would play.  The poetry there is there was a mix up when the teams were formed and the girls are not on the same team.  But a little boy from Ainslie’s class is there, so she is fine.  According to my mother, she had a rough go in her first game but yesterday was her third and I thought she looked great.  She always knew where the ball was and showed great hustle.  In fact, her father/my brother noted that for someone with such tiny legs, she was really fast.


Heading for 1st


After the game, they headed to five o’clock mass, so I headed home.  It should be noted that my sister-in-law, Becky, was doing a 5K this morning and then the kids had more baseball games.   When I got to the house, I looked at my watch and decided I’d better go take another walk because it was going to rain today.  So I did.

Then this morning, the sky looked clear so I took the dogs to the park.  Because the rain was coming.  Then I went to yoga and ran some errands and then came home.  I looked at my watch and looked at the sky and decided I’d better take another walk before the rain came.  I went by my elementary school and saw this:


Buddy Bench


I’ve heard of these things at the playground – where a kid can go if he or she feels lonely to buddy up with another kid.  A lovely idea.  I do not think for a second that it would have worked when I went to that school.  Here’s hoping a new generation does a better job taking care of each other.

When I got home, it was time to let the birds out for their play time so my mother took the dogs upstairs.  I thought, “I’m just going to sit outside with a book until it starts raining.”  For two hours.  God knows what Kiwi was getting into while I was sitting outside, but I was not wasting a single minute.  It finally started raining.  For ten minutes.

I could almost do this every weekend.

Pinterest-y Things We Did This Weekend

I was in Indianapolis this weekend for my friend Austin’s 40th birthday.  I think 40th birthday parties are meant for us to drink like we are 20 years old and decorate like we are four.  Austin’s fantastic boyfriend, Justin, threw a party with a Rainbows & Unicorns theme.  Or, My Little Pony farting rainbows:




My job was to find the perfect sangria recipe.  “Perfect” means:

  1. Easy to make
  2. Not too many ingredients
  3. Nothing in it that I won’t personally consume (like cloves or something)
  4. Does not have to sit overnight.

I found this. But neglected to take pictures of it.  We tripled the recipe and used Menage a Trois Cabernet Sauvignon, which was a random find at the store.  While the recipe says to let sit overnight for the best flavor, I don’t think ours was sitting for much more than two hours.  Justin liked the idea of using ginger ale instead of sugar and it was fabulous.  I was inspired to write this blog to be sure that I don’t lose the recipe.

Then there was the cake:



Justin rocked this.  The recipe is simply yellow cake mix, prepared and separated into six cups.  Then food coloring is added to each cup.  Then the batter is poured into the baking pan one at a time for the swirl effect.  Very pretty and very tasty.  I found an online recipe if you don’t believe me. 

That, Ladies and Gentlemen, is as crafty as we get.


Sometimes, the System Works

I ran an errand this morning, then went to yoga.  When I was finished, I went back to my car and looked at my phone.  There was a voicemail from an 800 number that turned out to be Amex.  Fraud alert, please call.  So I did.

The last time I had a fraud alert, it turned out that my account had been flagged for making too many charitable contributions in the past week.  Seriously.  So I wasn’t worried.  In the automated system, they asked if they could text me the details.  I said they could and the system stayed on the line while I checked.

$1,300 to Continental Airlines.   Continental Airlines doesn’t exist anymore, but nevermind that.  I didn’t make that charge, so I clicked the button and the next message said that they were transferring me to a live person.

The live person asked me to confirm that the charge was fraudulent, confirm that one more charge was fraudulent, then ran through a bunch more charges that were legitimate including the one from this morning.  Then she reversed the two bad charges, cancelled my card and said a new one would be at my house on Monday.

This whole process took less than 15 minutes from my cell phone, sitting in my car.

When I got home, I logged in to look at my recent charges again.  Everything looks fine again.  I don’t know what kind of data mining action these people have going on, but this is the second time (the first was on my Chase card) that fraud was spotted and flagged before I knew there was anything wrong.  And then killed as soon as they got hold of me.

This, kids, is why I feel totally comfortable using plastic all the time.


Part of my short term treatment is self-administered shots.  Not pleasant.  They are the same shots, actually, that I gave my mother a couple of years ago after she had surgery.  To prevent the condition that I have now, incidentally.  I remember having a hard time believing that she couldn’t manage to give them to herself.  She reminded me that I was squeamish about giving Vitamin B shots to the dog.  Point.

Tangent – I did a whole bunch of anecdotal research on this phenomenon and found that everyone has a different combination of self/other people/pets where they they thought they could or could not manage to give injections of medication.  I felt much better.  Anyway.

I remember whining on Facebook about having to give these shots to my mother.  And demanding sympathy.  My Facebook friends came through with all kinds of sympathy.  In fact, the first two responders were:

B, whose mother had recently been diagnosed with early onset dementia.  And whose father had been diagnosed with lung cancer.  And:

A, who is a cancer survivor and has been giving himself injections ever since.


So tonight, as I was breaking out the syringe and alcohol wipes, I told myself that this is temporary.  And I am grateful.


It started with a surgery that is a story for another day.  Sunday morning, six weeks post op, I went downstairs to let the dogs out and open the bird room as I do every morning.  Suddenly, I felt light-headed and went to sit down on the floor by the kitchen door.  Because I have hypochondriac tendencies, I argue with myself every time I feel sick.  I ran through the things that could be wrong with me.  Pulmonary embolism, a blood clot to the lung, came to mind.  Also, it is not unusual for me to pass out when I have a panic attack.  I blacked out somewhere between the landing on my staircase and my mother’s bedroom door.

Like every other time I have ever passed out, I came to a minute later with my head back on straight so we went about our day.  By mid-morning, at the dog park, I decided that I was getting winded when I really shouldn’t.   Sinuses, I thought.  If I don’t shake it off by morning, I will go to the doctor.  So Monday morning, I went to the doctor.  Who sent me to a Radiology Lab for a Chest CT.  Which called an ambulance and sent me to the ER.

Two blood clots on my lungs.  And some strain to my heart trying to push them through.

After calling my mother and my boss, I messaged my friend T who went through it a year ago.  I asked her to tell me everything she knew.  Her story was close enough to mine to make me feel better pretty quickly – she is fine now.  (Thank you, T.) This seems to fall into the category of Serious and Freakin’ Scary, but Fixable.

So – three nights in the hospital to monitor and start building up blood thinners in my system.  My heart rate, oxygen and temp were normal the entire time.  I was discharged today, I see my PCP tomorrow and might get back to work as soon as next week.  I have several months of “therapeutic meds” in my future, but there doesn’t seem to be any permanent damage.  I daresay I was pretty lucky.

Sorta Checking In

It seems I have been neglecting my blog.


I have three books and two plays to write about.  There is the story of my dogs being sick that isn’t quite funny yet.  (They seem to be fine now.)  And there have been several parrot adoptions from the Refuge in the past weeks.

My niece Ashlyn, aged not-quite-three, called me yesterday with the help of her father to tell me that she wants to come to my house.  I am pretty sure the draw is Fiona, so she is good for some stuff.  We made tentative plans for next weekend, which happens to be my brother’s birthday.

I have a big work meeting next week and I may or may not be getting serious about buying a new car.   That should about catch us up.