Archive for January, 2011

Jan 31 2011


Published by under Friends

Incredibly, A is still in intensive care, as we approach Week Four. The tracheotomy went well (aren’t operations always a success?), and the ventilator is currently doing less than half of A’s breathing for her. But she remains in her Michael Jackson killing propophol twilight, in which she has been arching her back, grimacing, and repeatedly bringing her hands up to her face, which can’t be easy for C to watch.

Today, the doctors are doing a brain scan, in case this restlessness is due to brain damage, though Megan and a cousin of A’s who is a doctor think it’s the drugs. I hope they’re right.

I also hope that she can start breathing on her own soon. To my non-medical mind, that is the biggest step toward her recovery. Speaking of steps: it hadn’t even occurred to me that A will have to learn how to walk again, her muscles having atrophied during her Rip Van Winkle hospital stay. It’s going to be long road back to A’s becoming once again the girl who bicycled to work and solved the most difficult math problems with ease and grace.

As I walked the muddy logging road yesterday, I was so thankful that I could walk, and breathe, and talk. And I marveled yet again at fate, or chance, or whatever you choose to call it. An unseen virus, sitting next to the wrong person on the subway, or however that bug got into her body, has wrought havoc on A and brought fear and sadness to the many people who love her, all over the world. Is there a lesson here, or is it a simple twist of fate?

3 responses so far

Jan 28 2011

A Bunch of (Hot) Air

Published by under Country Life

It’s no secret that I’m not handy. I can hardly wrap a Christmas present, let alone put up a shelf or do anything with the car other than put gas in it while simultaneously wincing at the price ($3.69 a gallon in San Francisco! It’s a mere $3.23 out here in the boonies). And even then I sometimes forget to put the cap back on.

Before I ventured to the city, I thought the car had better have a quick check-up, since I couldn’t remember the last time anyone did that and I’d be driving hundreds of miles. Megan and Rob obligingly came over and peeked inside. It didn’t take them long to notice that the oil was practically empty (eek) and that all the tires needed air. The power steering fluid and coolant were fine, though.

Fortunately, I had a quart of oil on hand, but the car needed another one, so I stopped at the store on the way out of town and bought another, which I put in. Then I attempted to put air in the tires. It seemed that nothing was happening, even though there were lots of air noises. I finally went inside the store and asked if there was some secret I didn’t know. It turned out that for once there actually was a magic secret and it wasn’t my usual incompetence. Yay.

The secret is – in case you ever visit and are the kind of person who lets their car tires get low on air – that you have to press your key inside the air nozzle until the generator starts up. It can be hard to hear over the wind and the cars, but listen carefully at the (locked) door and you’ll hear it all right. Then air will actually begin to fill your tires instead of just pretending to.

The catch – and we all know there always is one – is that the generator stops after about a minute and a half, and you have to repeat the process. It took me about seven restarts to get the tires filled, but I triumphed in the end. I also noted the date of the refill and check up on the calendar, so hopefully I will remember to check it again before it’s almost too late. I may do a convincing impersonation of a grown-up one of these days after all. Or not.

3 responses so far

Jan 27 2011

Back Home

Published by under Cats,Country Life,San Francisco

Clyde takes a sunny bath in the garden

I was on the Golden Gate Bridge by 3:30 yesterday afternoon, leaving the city behind in a blaze of sunshine. The Bay looked like a postcard, with Alcatraz presiding grimly over blue water dotted with white sailboats. Traffic was fine, except for a minor slowdown near Santa Rosa. They’re adding a lane to the freeway there, so it’s a bottleneck during the construction phase.

The green hills of Sonoma were aglow in the sunset, touched with pink and gold as the sun left them behind. By the time I reached the majestic stands of redwoods, it was very nearly dark, and deep in the trees, it was dark enough to make me think uneasily of horror movies and things that go bump in the night. By the time I got to the ocean, though, I could see that it was still just barely pink at the very horizon.

When I got home, I discovered that Rob was there, working on another project. He was apparently more pleased to see me than the kitties were. Audrey seized the opportunity to run out the door, and the boys acted like they’d never seen me before and they weren’t too thrilled to be seeing me now. Rob told me that he’d had to wait hours for Audrey to come home the night before – she finally showed up around 9:00 pm. And one of the boys caught a mole and kept bringing it into the house. Both the kittens wanted lots of fussing and attention from their sitters, whereas Audrey barely tolerated their presence.

The usual.

I woke up this morning to still more sunshine and cloudless blue skies. At 3:00 in the afternoon, I’m still not wearing a sweater. Time to go and water the tulips!

3 responses so far

Jan 26 2011

The Awful Truth

Published by under San Francisco

Apparently the tracheotomy is because one’s esophagus gets (understandably) irritated by prolonged contact with the ventilator. I still don’t understand why A isn’t breathing on her own after three weeks in Intensive Care, but I’ll call C when I get home and ask. Sometimes the thousands of miles and difference in time seem so huge.

As for me, yesterday’s morning of work was followed by an afternoon of shopping. I had a commission from Erica to pick up something at Lush, and needless to say I didn’t get out of there with just the commission. Later in the evening, I had a delightfully long bath, lush with Lush products. A bath is especially luxurious when you only have a shower at home.

Well, world, I’m sorry to report that your favorite glam girl has officially become a country bumpkin. I know, I know. But the evidence is clear: number one, I have completely lost my ability to talk on a cellphone in a crowd of people and traffic. I had to cover my free ear, and even then, it was a challenge. Secondly, I am now extremely distressed by homeless people, especially the guy who was yelling at his dogs. I used to take it all for granted, but now the sheer number and visible craziness made me want to cry. Sad news on all counts, my friends.

Today I have a meeting inconveniently located at 2:00 in the afternoon. I’m hoping to keep it to under an hour, but I’ll probably still hit rush hour traffic on my way back and it will almost certainly be dark by the time I reach Hooterville. Good thing I’ll have some extreme take-out with me.

Next time I promise to pack my camera first. You have really been missing out, and I miss sharing what I see with you.

No responses yet

Jan 25 2011


Published by under San Francisco

First, the medical updates: A has been moved back to the original hospital, since she no longer needs the special equipment at the second hospital. They are considering giving her a tracheotomy so they can remove the ventilator. C says this is a good sign, but it doesn’t sound like it to me. As soon as Megan wakes up, I’ll check with her and see what she says.

The horror hand is slowly deflating and is less painful. At least I can hold a shopping bag now, which I think we can all agree is a big step forward. It was nice to walk a couple of blocks in the bright sunshine, with the wild parrots clattering overhead, and buy kitten food and other things not readily available in Hooterville. It was also nice to have bare arms in late January.

I did an excellent job of forgetting things when I packed for this trip. I left my camera and my business cards behind, and mixed up the Noir Festival showings so I arrived here when the movies I have already seen were playing. There’s always next year.

2 responses so far

Jan 24 2011


Published by under Calamity Suzy,San Francisco

It’s good that this year’s resolutions did not include any Calamity Suzy items, because the month isn’t over yet and I’ve already slightly damaged Self. In doing so, I proved, if there was any doubt to begin with, that the old adage is true.

It really is easy to fall off a log! Now you don’t have to try it yourself to see.

Megan and I were giving Schatzi a run on Saturday evening on an off-road path on the property. The path appears to be practically a highway for mountain lions, though, judging by the number of calling cards, and we wanted to get back to the car before darkness fell and rush hour began.

Part of the path devolved into fallen trees and bits of wood, and the only way across was balancing precariously on a fallen tree trunk. Needless to say, I only made it about halfway across befoore falling off said log, foolishly attempting to stave off the inevitable with my hand.

My fingers bent back horribly, and I spent a little time sitting on the log and swearing, no doubt scaring off the mountain lions.

Nothing was broken, but my fingers are now swollen and not too comfortable, and bruised across the knuckles. It looks like I punched Muhammed Ali, but actually I can’t clench my fingers enough to punch anyone. Same goes for actually straightening them out. I’ve been treating it with ibuprophen, that most pointless of panaceas, and an ice pack, which is almost as uncomfortable as the original injury.

Today, my Horror Hand and I are heading to the safety of the city (hence the theme change), where there are nice, even sidewalks to walk on and I can hopefully remain more or less upright despite being gravitationally challenged. I have some meetings but am hoping to fit in a movie or even two at the annual Noir City Festival. What’s the point of work without fun?

One response so far

Jan 23 2011

Happy Day

Published by under Country Life,Dogs,Jessica

Big River Beach

The beautiful weather has made walking the dogs even more of a pleasure. So far I’ve done pretty well at my “walk the dogs more often” resolution (though not as well at the “worry less about the cats” part. You can’t have everything). A couple of days ago, we met up with Lu and her dogs, Harlow and Marco, at Big River.

Patterns in the sand

Megan has been working with Star to teach her to heel and not pull so much on the leash. She’s planning to enroll Star in a Canine Good Citizen class this spring, all in the hopes of finally finding an adoptive family for her. Megan says that if we can’t find a home for Star this summer, she’ll stop looking. It’s going to take a special family to adopt Star. She’s so sensitive and nervous, needs constant care in her diet (her nails break off unless she gets enough Omega-3s and protein), and lots of exercise and attention. In the meantime, though, Megan is working hard to make Star the best and happiest dog she can be.

We stopped at our brother’s place on the way home to check in on the boys and their latest projects. They have a new – really new, not just new to us – welder, and are working on making a windmill to join the solar panels.

Imagine our surprise when we were met by none other than Miss Jessica!

Erica had to take her car in to be repaired, so Jonathan had picked Jessica up from school. She was wearing a pink pom pom scarf her mother had made her, which I immediately tried on. It was a little small on me, and Jessica, fearing that I’d want to keep it anyway, said, “And PS, it doesn’t look too good on you,” which made me laugh so hard I almost cried.

I gave Jessica her scarf back and went to visit Henry. I found some flowers to put on her grave and talked to her as I always do, while Jessica brushed away leaves and then, sweetly, patted the ground as if petting Henry. “I think she’s happy here,” she said. Then she gathered flowers for the other occupants of the ground under the tree. She really is a sweet girl.

We brought Jessica back to my house to wait for her mother, and she set about making a fairy house in my garden. Here you see her picking rhododendron leaves for fairy beds:

When I took the picture, I said, “You look so serious, ” to which she replied, “I’m trying to look glamorous.” After a pause she added, “I can be both, you know.” And she can.

2 responses so far

Jan 22 2011

Village Stroll

Published by under Country Life

The latest news on A is that she is improving slowly. “Improving” in this case means “still breathing on a ventilator, 102 degree fever, and still sedated”, but at least she is off dialysis. C says she still doesn’t recognize him through all the drugs, but is hopeful that she will be able to breathe on her own soon. It’s A’s 16th day in the ICU. It still seems kind of surreal to me. I’ll keep you posted on A’s progress.

Back here in Hooterville, the spectacular weather remains in full force. The nights are cold and starry, and the moonlight, especially when the moon was full, is like a floodlight, bathing the black woods in a silver glow. The days are sunny and warm up into the 60s from the morning’s 30s. What’s not to love?

Megan met a fellow Daisy Davis volunteer in the village a couple of days ago. While they were meeting, I went for a stroll around the village. Come with me and have a look around.

This house looks kind of secret:

I like the shadow on this one:

Red and green aren’t only for Christmas:

I think we know who was here first:

Little yellow flowers by a white picket fence:

At Dr. Karen’s:

These look like little torches to me:

I love this flowering tree:

And here’s a close-up:

3 responses so far

Jan 20 2011

Bag It

Published by under Country Life

Yes, I’m five.

During our errand running extravaganza last week, we stopped in at the Cute Store. The Cute Store is a valuable source of stocking stuffers during the holiday season, and the rest of the year, you can get all kinds of cute things to gladden a girl’s heart. Such as a purple Hello Kitty bag with matching charm, Pop Rocks, and a pack of clove gum. You have to love being able to buy candy at the same place you buy your Hello Kitty bag.

The bag came within a bag, something I had previously only experienced when buying my one and only Louis Vuitton bag at a consignment shop, back in the days when I had a tiara for competitive shopping. And even though my Christmas stocking mood ring* said I had mixed emotions:

but I really didn’t.

*It’s a little rainbow and a cloud. I love it!

3 responses so far

Jan 18 2011

Déjà Vu

Published by under Cats,Dogs

Home away from home

Somehow, I managed to go to the vet’s office two days in a row.

Yesterday, I went with Megan to consult with an orthopedic surgeon about Schatzi, and this morning, I took Clyde and Roscoe in for their final kitten shots. Does this mean they’re all grown up?

Dr. Carl, the orthopedic surgeon, was a really nice guy. He examined Schatzi and her x-rays, and said that she has extremely bad arthritis in her hips as well as a problem with her spine. The spine problem, as my non-medical mind understood it, is that the discs between her vertebrae have worn away, and her body has built a bony bridge along them to keep them together. Apparently the problem will be if/when the bridge breaks, which can happen from something as simple as jumping out of the car. Or not.

To top it all off, she has cataracts.

So basically Schatzi is like Dorian Gray – all youthful on the outside, but messed up on the inside. Both Dr. Carl and Dr. Karen were surprised by how bad the arthritis and spine were, considering her activity level and lack of complaining. When Dr. Carl was testing her range of motion, Megan and I were both flinching, but Schatzi was stoic as ever. Dr. Carl was pretty impressed, and it was clear he was taken with her.

It’s going to be painkillers and carefulness from now on, though Megan is looking into alternative treatments, and I’ll keep you up to date on that.

The boys hopped into their carrying case on their own, which made things easier:

They threw up instead of pooping on the way there, which was a nice change. Clyde is now 8 pounds and Roscoe 9 pounds, which explains why the carrier felt so heavy. They were so good while they had their shots! Now that we’re home, Clyde is sleeping it off and Roscoe is out doing something in the sunshine.

I can’t help thinking how important the first year of life is. Schatzi’s was so terrible, and I believe that the ill treatment she suffered as a puppy, along with the lack of proper nutrients and having a litter way too young, has come back to haunt her in her old age. Whereas the boys are shiny and happy, have the best food possible, and have never known a day’s unhappiness. I’m glad that Schatzi is so loved and cared for now, but it seems so unfair that she’s still suffering, or suffering again, from what happened to her when she was young.

4 responses so far

Jan 17 2011

Perfect Day

Published by under Country Life


First, an update on A

Last week, she was transferred to a different hospital. This was touch and go and the doctors, according to her husband, were “preparing him for the worst.” She has improved since arriving at Hospital B, and is off dialysis. However, she is still unconscious and on a ventilator, so she’s not out of the woods yet. But she is stable and we are all hoping for the best. I’ll let you know when I have more news.

And now back to our irregularly scheduled program…

The magical t-shirt weather continued through the weekend. We met Lu at Big River, and for once, we got there first. It was so funny to see her car coming toward us with Marco’s head hanging out of one window and Harlow’s head out of the other. It looked like her car had ears.

The picture above is at the halfway point of our usual three mile walk. It is a pond in the winter and just a big hole in the summer. It was full of peeping frogs and frogs-to-be. I liked the reflection of the evil pampas grass in the water. We all enjoyed the sunshine and sea breezes (Big River is an estuary and ends at the ocean) and meeting new dogs. Schatzi was particularly taken with a handsome Australian Shepherd named Oliver, and watched him disappear into the distance.

After the walk, we left all the dogs at Lu’s and did our in-town errands for the week. Then we returned to Lu’s and hung out for a while, watching a TV show about real ER cases. It was fun watching it with the two EMTs, who pointed out all the technical errors, and inevitably led to Tales from the Ambulance, which I always enjoy, though this week’s episode was a little gross. On the amusing side, though, I learned that Lu told Woody Harrelson to knock it off when he was racing wheelchairs up and down the hospital hallways*. He did, too. I wouldn’t say no to Lu, either.

It was time to meet Monica. We had a change of venue to the Wharf, which is where we all met the last time. That was more than six months ago! We have to make a newish year resolution to meet more often.

We enjoyed pomegranate martinis and Caesar salad with crab cakes. The crab cakes won the top award at last year’s Crab and Wine Days festival, and I’m pretty sure they’ll win again this year. It was wonderful to sit with the girls and watch the fishing boats come home as the sun set over the ocean. The perfect end to a perfect day.
*He was shooting a movie up here and accompanied someone who got injured on the set to the ER. He wasn’t hurt himself, unless Lu bruised his ego.

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Jan 15 2011

Happy Friday

Published by under Country Life,Dogs

Flowering tree in the village

Yesterday was one of those magical days we sometimes get in the winter. The frogs were chirping away like crazy and the robins were taking merry little baths in the puddles on the driveway.

It was sunny and so warm that when Megan and I walked the dogs at Big River, we didn’t need a sweater or a jacket. It was wonderful to feel the sun on our skin and watch the dogs frolic under the blue sky. We kept saying, “Can you believe it’s the middle of January?”

After we walked the dogs, we went to village to do some shopping and use the free wi-fi so Megan could order a new cell phone. Hers is four years old and the battery dies almost instantly, and a new battery costs almost the same as a new phone, so new phone it is.

Unfortunately, my iBook did not seem to enjoy the Verizon page, so we hopped in the car and went to Lu’s, where there is actual broadband internet and the Verizon page finally worked. Star and Schatzi played with their friends Harlow and Marco outside while Megan (finally!) bought her phone inside. We chatted for a while and somehow, by the time we got home, it was time to make dinner.

How did that happen?

Today looks like another beautiful day, so Lu, Megan, and I are planning to meet up with the dogs for a long walk. And this evening, we’re meeting Monica for a glass of wine at the Stanford Inn by the Sea. How’s that for a good start to the weekend?

4 responses so far

Jan 13 2011

Audrey Calling

Published by under Cats

Audrey takes a nap

I really liked the typewriter theme, but the text didn’t wrap properly around the pictures, and it drove me crazy. So I went back to this old theme while I look for something new and fabulous. It’s always so hard to find form and function in one place, isn’t it?

It was raining hard this morning. I woke up to the rain drumming on the roof, Roscoe stretched out at my side and Clyde curled up on my pillow. Suddenly, they were galvanized into action and raced downstairs. I listened carefully, and through the racket the rain was making, I heard the distinctive sound of Audrey’s claws squeaking on the panes of glass in the front door. She always picks the door where I’m not, so it’s good to have the boys be the doorbell, especially early in the morning.

She is growling at them more than ever lately. It’s been five months now, and my hopes of her taking to them are beginning to evaporate. Maybe when the boys grow up and are less naughty she’ll approve of them a little more.

Last night, I let them out after dinner for about an hour, even though it was dark. It’s all part of my “worry less about the cats” resolution, but I have to admit that I was relieved when all three of them were in for the night. They may be happiest when they’re outside, but I’m happiest when they’re inside.

2 responses so far

Jan 12 2011

A is for Anxious

Published by under Family,Memories

A during her modeling years

My friend A is a remarkable, accomplished woman. I’ve been lucky enough to know her since we were seventeen.

She was born in China, and her family fled to Canada to escape the Cultural Revolution (her uncle, if I remember correctly, was Deng Xiao Ping). In Canada, she learned to speak English and French, and in her twenties, became an international model, working for some of the most prestigious agencies in the world and gracing magazine covers. I still remember walking into Harrods and being surprised by huge banners bearing her face in a campaign for Shiseido cosmetics.

As models often do, she fell in love with a photographer. Her particular photographer, C, is from Amsterdam, and that’s where they settled, buying a 17th century house in the heart of the red light district. It is remarkably quiet in their house, which looks out over a music conservatory and the old part of the city. They have lived there ever since they married, 25 years ago, A wearing Comme des Garçons (to her mother’s horror: “Brides shouldn’t wear black!”).

As models don’t often do, A went back to school and received a PhD in pure math (in her fourth language, Dutch). She is currently a vice president at Barclays Capital in London, though they retain their Amsterdam home and go home as often as they can.

C sent me an email a few days ago, telling me that A had a flu which morphed into pneumonia and then got so bad that she has been in Intensive Care for five days. She’s on dialysis and is in a medical coma. Apparently the dehydration of the flu caused strain on her kidneys and in turn, her heart. C and I have been in touch every day, and I hope all my readers will join in me in sending A and C our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Once again, I am thankful for my sister, who has spent more time on the phone with C than I have, explaining medical jargon and what is happening to A at the hospital. After yesterday’s call, I walked home in the rain, feeling so lucky that I can I breathe on my own, and walk, and talk. I found my brother at my house, and I updated him. As we hugged goodbye, I felt so grateful to have my family close by and know that they are always there for me and the people we love, no matter how far away.

6 responses so far

Jan 11 2011


Published by under Country Life

A moss river

Even though winter temperatures in Hooterville can (and do) flirt with the freezing mark, sometimes slumming it in the south of 32 neighborhood, there’s usually something in bloom.

My neighbors down the Ridge have camellias in full bloom, much as I did in Oakland this time of year.

Here, the manzanitas are budding, the blooms-to-be looking like little lily of the valley bells:

One of the things that mystifies me about the huckleberry bushes which proliferate around here is that they bloom really early, but don’t fruit until the summer. They’re already budding:

But we probably can’t eat them until July. And they last into November. Usually, we pick a lot to freeze and make into pies in the depths of the berry-free winter, but we slacked last year and didn’t get around to it. I’ll make sure we do this year. Another huckleberry mystery is how they are always full of tiny spiders and other things when you wash them and pick through them before use, even though you didn’t notice it when picking them.

Yesterday, while checking on the tulips, I noticed that the daisy-ish bush in the middle of the garden has begun to bloom. I don’t know what the plant is called, but its sunny flowers are very welcome in the middle of January:

One response so far

Jan 10 2011

Weekend Walks

Published by under Country Life,Dogs,Schatzi

Today’s sunrise

I woke up this morning to the comforting sound of the propane heater downstairs. I set it for 52 degrees before I went to bed, so I knew it would be a chilly morning. But for the moment, I luxuriated in the warmth of my bed and the fact that the kittens were snuggled up to me, purring. Audrey hadn’t even asked to go out yet. It was about 6:00 when I checked the Moonbeam clock on my bedside table, so she was running late.

She scampered out into the darkness as I put on the outside lights and made coffee. Six in the morning does a very good imitation of midnight at this time of year. But when the sun comes up, it’s dressed to the nines. Or even the tens (see above).

We made the most of the sunny weather this weekend. We’re slated to get another front of storms starting tomorrow, so we’ll have more rain to join the 30.38 inches we’ve already accumulated. But in the meantime, it was great dog walking weather.

On Saturday, we took Star and Schatzi to Navarro Point. I had reckoned without the windiness by the ocean, and regretted not wearing a hat, though Megan’s kept getting blown off. It was a good test of the expensive sneakers, which strode jauntily through the mud and streams, leaving my feet warm and dry.

I loved the look of the wintery blackberry hedges in the foreground. They are such a beautiful reddish brown and look like something out of a fairy tale. Maybe surrounding a wicked witch’s house:

Here I liked the windswept look of both the sea and sky:

We were glad to get back to the car. Well, not the dogs.

On Sunday, we met Lu and her two dogs at Big River. It was another beautiful day, so there were lots of other people and their dogs, cyclists, and people riding horses. I am proud to say that Star behaved herself almost perfectly, not barking at strangers or horses. Megan did a lot of work with her on heeling, sitting, and staying. Schatzi, as usual, was off doing her own thing, stopping to sniff long enough that I could take pictures of the river, here:

And here, through the winter trees:

We walked them for about two hours. So far, I think I’ve done a pretty good job keeping my “walk dogs more” resolution. Talk about a fun resolution to keep!

2 responses so far

Jan 09 2011


Published by under Dogs,Family

I can’t believe that I haven’t told you yet about the Conspiracy Christmas Present I gave Megan.

In October, we were walking the dogs at Big River when Megan said she wished she could afford a professional photo of Schatzi before she gets old and infirm – the Schatz is 11 years old now, and just beginning to show signs of wear. I filed this away in my mental filing cabinet, which is dusty and overflowing with ridiculous things like 1970s radio songs, the difference between carat and karat, and the names of Ava Gardner’s husbands, so it took me a little while to act on it.

This little corner of the world is allegedly home to more artists per capita than anywhere else in this great country, so it’s not surprising that just the person was close at hand. Gerri created the logo for Daisy Davis Pit Bull Rescue, and has been a tireless photographer at fundraising events. I asked her if she could find time to photograph Schatzi, and we figured out a time right before Thanksgiving.

Lu was going to be away then, visiting family, so I asked if I could use her garden. Lu agreed, and alerted her dog sitters. Rob stole Schatzi while Megan was sleeping, and met Gerri and me at Lu’s house. It takes a village!

We spent over an hour taking photos, and you can see the best of them here.

A month was a long time to wait for Megan to open the present, and both Lu and I almost let it slip a couple of times. There really is nothing as good as giving someone the perfect present and seeing their happiness.

I gave them to Megan on a disk, so she could decide which was her favorite and then frame it. So far, she hasn’t been able to decide. Can you?

3 responses so far

Jan 08 2011

On the Mend

Published by under Country Life

I spent most of the day in bed yesterday, bemoaning the fact that my relationship with the cats isn’t a little more reciprocal. Instead of bringing me ginger ale and chicken soup in bed, they played outside in the sunshine all day, only coming in for meals and the occasional nap.

Despite my nausea, they refused to clean out the litter box.

I’m pleased to say that a day of lounging, reading the delightful Duchess of Devonshire’s memoirs* and watching “Daria” seemed to cure whatever ailed me, and after that early morning bulimia imitation, there were no encores. Today, I have successfully braved two thimbles of black coffee with no ill effects, so I’m hoping that I’m more or less back to normal (whatever that is).

Luckily, my personal hero, Mr. Amerigas himself, arrived noisily in the Thursday evening twilight, just as I was beginning to despair. He told me not to worry that there was only 15% in the tank, and merrily filled it up as I breathed a sigh of relief. It’s good to know that a girl can have a shower, heat her house, do laundry, and wash dishes if she is so inclined.

Happiness is a full propane tank on a sunny winter weekend.

*Deborah is the last remaining of the remarkable Mitford sisters: Nancy, the writer, Unity, the Hitler acolyte, Jessica, famous for writing “The American Way of Death”, and Diana, the beauty. “Whenever I see a headline starting “Peer’s Daughter”, I know one of you girls is in trouble again,” sighed their mother, Lady Redesdale.

2 responses so far

Jan 07 2011


Published by under Country Life

I was woken up in the early morning darkness by a headache instead of by Audrey.

I took a couple of ibuprophen, made some coffee, and let Audrey out. I drank the coffee while reading my emails and waiting for the pills to work. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed by a stomach ache, which got increasingly worse until it became clear that the coffee and pills were to be only temporary visitors.

I ran out into the dark garden and said a painful farewell under the stars. This summoned Audrey from whatever is so important for her to do in the early morning hours, and for once, I wasn’t all that thrilled to see her. Some things are better done alone. Not for the first time, I contemplated the methods of bulimics with confusion: why put yourself through this voluntarily?

As being sick goes, though, in the fresh air under the trees is about as good as it gets.

Fortunately, I had some ginger ale along with the emergency water stash, and had that with some chicken soup later on. So far, so good, other than a lingering headache and stomach ache and that “out of it” feeling so familiar to all of us at one time or another. I must have picked up a bug along with the groceries yesterday.

So far, I’ve pretty much spent this lovely, sunny day in pajamas, reading and sipping ginger ale while the cats play in the sunshine. Hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow.

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Jan 06 2011

(Extra) Ordinary

Published by under Country Life


Yesterday was Twelfth Night, so it was time to take down all the holiday decorations and face the fact that the days of presents and candy are, sadly, over for another year.

When I put the stockings, wreath, wrapping paper, trees (both metal and gel) away in the storage loft over the bathroom, I noticed a whole bag full of my handbags. After I put the decorations away, I looked through the bag of bags and rediscovered some fabulous old friends.

I liberated them from the darkness and have decided to use them more often. I also enjoyed using my grandmother’s silver at Christmas so much that I’m now using the matching fish set every time I have fish. It does make life prettier.

Accessorizing is so important.

Today, a handbag I bought for half price in New York came with me on errands. It did make the mundane seem less ordinary. When I came home, Luna and I took a walk together, where we came across the puddle you see above. I have to say that a sunny winter day in Hooterville is a beautiful thing. The skies are a clear blue, the ocean’s surf still spectacular from the last set of storms, and the sun warm. It was hovering around the freezing mark (32F/0C) when I got up this morning, but it’s about 50F/10C now. The rarely-reliable weather forecast says this should keep up until Tuesday. And I didn’t even have to use up one of my flying wish papers!

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