Archive for February, 2011

Feb 27 2011

PS (Post Snow)

Published by under Country Life,Weather

Well, the snow was quite exciting. I guess those of you to whom snow is a common occurrence and nuisance (all that shoveling! Slush! Ugh!), it must seem about as silly as getting excited about a toothache, but it’s a real rarity here. I’m not sure when it last snowed in Hooterville, but in San Francisco, it was 35 years ago.

It was especially nice to observe the snow from the warmth of the house. And it was a “Gilmore Girls” type of snow, where the snow is just plastered on green trees and grass:

so it was like a little trip to Stars Hollow, which made it extra fun. And it melted by noon, making it even more perfect. Everything was wet and shiny in the bright sunlight, as if nothing had happened but the usual rain.

California really does have everything. Ocean, mountains, deserts, lakes, rivers, San Francisco, Hollywood, vineyards, centuries-old redwoods, fascinating architecture and history. From San Francisco, and even Hooterville, you can drive for a few hours and go skiing, then drive back to your sunny garden, with no shoveling required (though you will need tire chains on I-80). Even here, in the relative winter frigidity, there is always something blooming.

3 responses so far

Feb 26 2011

Snow Day!

Published by under Cats,Country Life,Weather

Winter Wonderland

I woke up this morning to a winter wonderland. I set the coffee to brew, then grabbed my cute boots (which were magically turned into snow boots from rain boots) and my coat, threw them on over my kitty PJs and ran outside to take pictures.

The moon was winking at me in the early morning (about 6:30) light:

The tulips were snowy. Megan says it’s barely cold enough here for them, so they were probably enjoying their frosty blanket:

Audrey, the intrepid Canadian, was unconcerned by the unexpected snowfall:

Which turned the rain gauge into a snow gauge:

And little paw prints in the snow:

I was so excited that I heartlessly called Megan at 7:45, waking her up. She and Rob good-naturedly came over for coffee, partly so we could share the fun of the snow together and partly because they couldn’t find their own coffee (it was later discovered, covered with snow, on a shelf on their back porch). By then, the sun was beginning to melt the snow:

It was fun while it lasted!

3 responses so far

Feb 25 2011

Three Cat Night (and Day)

Published by under Cats,Weather

Last night was definitely a three cat night. Or at least this morning was. I woke up to below-freezing temperatures and a discouraging forecast of 38 degrees for the daytime high.

Roscoe was lying on my legs, Audrey next to them and Clyde was on the pillow. As soon as I sat up, though, they ran eagerly downstairs, so perhaps they were just keeping tabs on the food dispenser instead of staying warm or keeping me company.

The living room is cluttered with plants which do not enjoy sub-freezing temperatures (the budding orchids; the aloe vera clipping Lu gave me; the fuchsia) and the cats find them a lot more entertaining inside than outside, where they totally ignored them. The aloe vera was uprooted this morning and one of its branches broken off. I wonder how people handle it when their cats are inside all the time and don’t have the opportunity to use up their naughtiness outside.

Yesterday, it rained steadily all day, so none of the cats wanted to spend much time outside. But they were bored inside, so got up to all kinds of antics. I tried to catch a shot of Roscoe playing in the alcove above the counter where the microwave lives, but this was the best I could do:

No-one looks good in a mug shot.

One response so far

Feb 24 2011

The Dynamic Duo

Published by under Cats

It’s no secret that Audrey is not the kittens’ biggest fan. She stares at them in disgust from her perch on the stairs, and whenever they cross her path, they are greeted with the growl’n’swipe. I’ve seen them get the G&S when they’re all outside and the boys are nowhere near Audrey.

But when it really counts – say, keeping the Girl awake when she has to get up at 6:30 and go to work on the following day – they are willing to put their differences aside and work toward a common goal.

Take Tuesday night, for example. While Roscoe slept peacefully in the bed by the heater (his usual spot, unless it’s a three cat night and he’s under the covers), Audrey and Clyde tag teamed me.

Audrey clawed at the balcony door, squeaking her claws against the glass and thumping the cat door. It’s remarkable how much noise that little cat can make. Also how totally relentless she is. She did her usual thing of going downstairs and clawing on that door, then running upstairs to try the balcony door. When all else fails, she claws at the bedskirt and bed, and then starts reaching under the blankets to claw Me.

Told you she was relentless.

While this was going on, Clyde did his patented Smother Snuggle. He stands on the pillow with his back paws facing my face, and then drapes himself over me, making sure that his fuzzy fur goes up my nose. Bonus points for scratching my face while getting into the correct position. I also have to be sure my hands are hidden, or he’ll scratch them, and he also enjoys biting my nose, usually right after I’ve finally drifted off to sleep.

He’s been doing this since he was two months old, but now he’s nearly nine months old and eight pounds, it’s a little less comfortable for Self. Amazingly, though, I can usually fall asleep, listening to him purr. His purr gets slower and spottier, then stops. And with a big sigh, he’s asleep. I find the sigh particularly charming for some reason. And somehow, I can never stay mad at the kitties. Even when they’ve kept me up half the night and it’s time to get up in the early morning darkness.

3 responses so far

Feb 23 2011


Published by under Country Life,Work

Monday was one of those semi holidays that only the US of A seems to specialize in. The banks are closed, the post office is closed, but you still have to work. People who live in other countries equipped with better vacation policies will be shocked to their relaxed cores to learn that most of us don’t get a single public holiday between New Year’s Day on January 1 and Memorial Day at the end of May.

When I worked at Big Company years ago, it offended me to no end that if you wanted the day off after Thanksgiving, you had to take it as a vacation day. It seemed really petty to me, you know? Especially since Thanksgiving is the biggest travel occasion of the year.

In stark contrast, I was the only one at work on Monday’s fake holiday. As I opened the gate and unlocked the front door, it occurred to me what a surprising (and flattering) level of trust my employers seemed to have developed in me after a mere two weeks (actually, six days) of work. I have to wonder if this kind of thing ever happens in the city. Maybe it’s the kind of thing that comes out of living where you don’t lock your doors.

The cat next door was the only one to check in on me, gazing at me through the window with his big blue eyes.

When I left work today, I was transported back to Oakland with the appearance of four or five police cars in the mall-ette across the street (liquor store; cafe; laundromat; Mexican restaurant – all the necessities of life). Needless to say, this stopped passers-by in their tracks, as people started asking each other what happened (sorry, but I have no idea). I imagine that law enforcement was happy to have something to do for a change.

3 responses so far

Feb 22 2011

Covet: Necklaces

Published by under Covet: A Series

I love Erica Weiner’s work. She re-uses and re-purposes objects in a magical and delightful way. Have a look and you’ll see what I mean. All of these are one of a kind, so once some lucky person buys them (hopefully you), they’re gone!

This love token necklace ($165) happens to be engraved with the name of my maternal grandmother. I’d love to wear it close to my heart, where she is always in residence. And it would go well with my watch, engraved on the back with the glamorous name of the mystery woman who wore it before me: Eve Esquith. She should be the heroine of a James M. Cain story.

The only thing more charming than this tiny book, which dates from the fateful year of the Great Earthquake and Fire, is the description of the necklace:

“This 1″ tall pendant is a miniature calendar from 1906, complete with phases of the moon, holidays, and blank spaces to write in daily events. Page edges are red, and although the clasp is missing, the book stays closed by itself. The metal may be silver, but I suspect that it’s not sterling. A beautiful black patina has developed on the locket over the past 105 years, and we’ve oxidized a new 24″ sterling silver box chain to match.” A steal at $295.

Also a mere $165 (each) are these necklaces adorned with teeny packs of cigarettes from the 1920s – with wooden cigarettes that slide out! Politcally incorrect and delightful, you’d want to wear all three. At least I do.

Last but not least (or least expensive, at $375), is this rare Stanhope camera bijou. Once again, I can’t do better than quote the description:

“This sterling silver camera stanhope charm was made in France in the 1940s. A stanhope is a miniature microphotographic lens which has been built into this 3/4″ by 1/2″ movie camera. The most commonly found stanhopes feature photographs from popular tourist destinations, but the coolest and rarest ones are a little smutty. This one isn’t too risque, however, when you look into the camera you can see the tiny image of a glamorous swimsuit-clad beauty at the beach. The reel component of the camera rotates and the charm is in excellent condition. We’ve added a 19″ sterling silver chain.”

And if you like the necklace, you’ll adore this risque little ring ($400):

Which just happens to be in my size.

One response so far

Feb 21 2011


Published by under Country Life,Special Occasions

Come on over and set a spell

While my cookie baking skills may be lacking, my shopping skills are unparalleled.

I managed to shop while not being at the store (or online), with no money, and I didn’t even have to bring the purchases home! In fact, the purchases arrived at my house before I paid for them.

How about that?

Yesterday, Megan took our hard-won Rice Krispie Treats to the sneak peek pre-sale Purge Party. It’s an elite event and only the A list is invited, which is why I wasn’t there. That, and my tiara was at the cleaner’s. Megan noticed that were some Adirondack chairs at a ridiculously low price. She called me, and by the time I had made up my mind – a matter of minutes – there were only two left.

Monica agreed to reserve them for me, and I’ll pay her today. Or maybe tomorrow. Rob offered to pick them up and deliver them for me in his trusty truck. So I didn’t have to do a thing, and I’m already “working” on my resolution to improve my outdoor space this year.

Speaking of which: there are now ten sprouts in the pots of tulips!

2 responses so far

Feb 20 2011

Cookie Monster

Published by under Cooking,Family,Special Occasions

Hey! I just found something else I can’t do: bake cookies!

Notice that I didn’t say “make” cookies. My incompetence is even more impressive when you take into account that I was merely cutting pieces off logs of dough (made by my sister), applying them to a baking sheet, and putting them into the already heated oven.

Now you’re impressed, aren’t you?

The results were uniformly poor, though not in a uniform way. In fact, I should probably get extra credit for finding so many ways to make bad cookies. Some were discouragingly flat; others were lumpy; some were resolutely doughy in the center, while others were burned around the edges. Some were a winning combo of burned on the bottom while doughy in the middle. Some of them melted together during baking, so when I separated them, they had the odd look of having already been half eaten. Neatly eaten, but eaten all the same.

None of these beauty pageant problems would have really mattered to the exasperated bakers if we weren’t supposed to sell the damn things. Looking at the pitiful parade of cookies, it was pretty obvious that our only potential market was sugar-deprived elementary school students.

But it was a confectionery emergency. The cookies were to be sold at today’s Purge Party*, the annual fundraiser for Daisy Davis Pit Bull Rescue. Someone had promised to make 150 cookies for the sale, then backed out at the last minute, making it Megan’s problem. And I do mean problem.

I suggested that we make Rice Krispie treats. Although Megan objected that she had never made them, I assured her it was easy. So she raced down to the store, five bumpy miles each way, while I tended to the last batches of the saddest cookies in town.

She returned triumphant with shockingly expensive Rice Krispies ($7 a box, anyone?) marshmallows, and colorful sprinkles to make the finished product more festive. They turned out to be Suzy proof, and the day was saved. We also have enough unattractive cookies for the rest of our lives. Bonus!

*I can’t help it, but every time I hear this I picture a bunch of bulimics with balloons and noisemakers. It’s entirely possible that I will never grow up.

6 responses so far

Feb 19 2011

A(n) Update

Published by under Friends

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but A is still in Intensive Care over in London. It’s been six long weeks now, which you’d think would be a record-breaker. It’s been a scary roller coaster, too, with high fevers, sudden blood pressure drops, and words like “fistula” being bandied around (I suggest that you don’t look it up. I did, and regretted it immediately), along with “more surgery”.

The latest is that she is well enough to receive visitors, though the conversation will be a trifle one-sided since she still has the tube in her trachea. On the bright side, she’s off dialysis and hopefully off the ventilator for good. And I do mean good.

I know I’m far from impartial about the British healthcare system. The hospital which killed my father with negligence also has the dubious distinction of having killed my stepmother’s first husband. The deaths were mirror images: Dad’s because they forgot to put him back on blood thinners; Bill’s because they forgot to take him off. All this in the middle of London, one of the most civilized places in the world.

Lest you think I’m exaggerating: the hospital took full responsibility for my father’s death after my stepmother pursued a complaint of wrongful death. They agreed to change their procedures and this has hopefully saved other lives, which is about the best you can hope for.

I’m so glad that A is still alive and is recovering, however slowly, yet I remain convinced that had she been admitted to, say, Stanford Medical Center near San Jose, where my father received excellent care, she would not still be in intensive care and that they would have dealt with the causes of her fever and other symptoms more quickly.

I could, of course, be wrong, but an unofficial survey of American healthcare professionals agrees with me. It’s incredible that she’s still in ICU, and that her husband has had to endure such a lengthy ordeal. She’s going to have to learn to walk again and regain her strength, so even if she came home today, it would be a long road ahead of her. I guess I’m just frustrated and feeling the miles these days.

3 responses so far

Feb 18 2011

Rainy Day Kitties

Published by under Cats,Weather

The storm seems to have blown out of here for now, leaving ragged clouds in a windswept blue sky and an inch and a half of rain in the rain gauge.

It rained so much and so steadily yesterday that the kitties had little to no interest in going outside. They did venture out a couple of times, returning soaking wet with their fur all spiky. Audrey however seems to have perfected the art of being outside in the rain without getting very wet. I doubt if she’ll share her secret with the hellions, though.

The boys found novel ways of entertaining themselves on a rainy day. Clyde climbed up onto the top shelf in the living room, shoving aside the antique stereopticon and the silver (which I see needs polishing) and started clawing at the curtains:

After I removed him, Roscoe picked up the baton in the relay race of naughtiness and kicked it up a notch. He climbed onto the shelf above the couch and into the painting. Yes, into. He is small enough to crouch on the frame from the back. For a heart-stopping moment, I could see the shape of his body against the canvas. I could just picture his little paw smashing through it.

I have to admit I screamed, which had no effect on the little miscreant, and was finally able to retrieve him with no harm done to picture or kitten, though my heart was racing.

Later, when I saw one of them perched on top of the case with the grandfather clock in it, about seven feet off the floor, it didn’t faze me in the slightest.

2 responses so far

Feb 17 2011

Snow Day

Published by under Cats,Country Life,Weather

Spot the kitty, Thursday edition

It’s been a wild weather trip this week, my friends. Yesterday featured rain, wind, hail, sunshine, and thunder. It actually snowed on the higher elevations. My neighbor Jim was driving back to Hooterville from a shopping expedition to Santa Rosa when it started to snow. He took the opportunity to pull over, set up his camera on the dashboard, and take this movie of snow on highway 128 yesterday afternoon.

Oddly, on the way home last night I was thinking of how I’d like to do the same thing so you could enjoy my commute with me, beside the ocean, through the redwoods and quaint villages. Great minds think alike!

Snow seems to be on everyone’s minds lately here in Northern California, probably because it’s such a rarity. This morning, the San Francisco Chronicle ran an article with some truly delightful photos of snow in the city from the past century.

As for me, I’m still in my pajamas in the late morning gloom, glad I don’t have to drive to town in the pouring rain. It will be nice to curl up with the kitties and read with the rain pattering against the roof/walls.

2 responses so far

Feb 15 2011

Super-ish Suzy

Published by under Country Life,Weather,Work

Volunteer daffodil in my garden

I did move the orchids and tulips before I went to work yesterday morning. I pulled on my cute rain boots, a hat Lu made me (for some reason, it’s the hat I usually wear when it rains), and my coat over my kitty PJs and ventured out into the rainy darkness to move the plants. Mission accomplished!

After that, I worked on Job 1 for a while before heading out to Job 2, making sure the kitties were all safe inside on a blustery day.

By working on Job 1 last night and earlier this morning, I have met the deadline early, and all I have to is finish up Job 2 for the week (i.e., today and tomorrow).

I’d feel like Super Girl if I hadn’t left my umbrella at the office yesterday. It’s still rainy, windy, and deleterious to hair and make-up.

Yesterday, a famous canine joined our weekly staff meeting. You have to love a job where dogs sit up at the table during meetings. And a county which has an official dog ambassador.

Later, I called to confirm a meeting and was told that the person I wanted to talk to couldn’t come to the phone because she was tying balloons to the mailbox.

On my way home, I saw a Fed Ex truck pull into a completely deserted beach parking lot. This particular beach is almost never deserted, being a favorite of divers, kayakers, and abalone hunters, so it was particularly noticeable. I couldn’t help but wonder if some seals had ordered more kelp than they could handle, or one of the returning migratory whales a case of champagne, perhaps.

3 responses so far

Feb 14 2011

Rainy Monday

Published by under Country Life,Weather,Work

Sunday afternoon spider

The halcyon days of sunny days and starry nights are over. I think it’s been three weeks since it rained, and I believe we have another foot of rain due to us. After all, it is winter.

The rain woke me up this morning, clattering on the roof. I have been up before the alarm clock every day I’ve been working, and the only day I had off was Tuesday. I spent the sunny weekend working on my regular job, and now it’s time to start the other one. This week, it’s Monday-Wednesday, so that will get it out of the way, as it were. The only problem is that I have two projects from my regular job which are due on Wednesday. Can she do it?

Before I head to the shower for the lengthy grooming routine, I should probably venture into the rainy darkness to retrieve the orchids and tulips so they don’t get flooded by the rain’s generosity. It’s not an appealing prospect, though, especially since I just did my nails last night (Color: the appropriate Naked Ambition). Is anyone enthusiastic on Mondays?

3 responses so far

Feb 12 2011

Week One

Published by under Work

Audrey on Alert

Well, the first week of the jobette is over. It’s been a pretty big adjustment for being a jobette, though. Add all that driving and dressing up, and trying to fit in my original job (6 am conference calls, anyone?) to the million and one house and cat related duties, and you have a tired little Suzy at the end of the day. I don’t know how you parents do it, especially the single ones and the ones with more than one job who are also remodeling their kitchen. I am in awe of you all.

It’s been weirdly sunny all week, though the rain is supposed to come back next week, making the drive even more adventurous. People point out to me that it’s a beautiful drive, and it is, but you can’t really look at it when you’re looking at the road and the curves and the many bad drivers out there. I think Miller in “Repo Man” really had something when he observed, “The more you drive, the less intelligent you are,” though it’s a scary thought for my two remaining brain cells.

We had the office door open on Thursday, since it was so warm, and a dog came racing in. She made right for me, even though my desk is in the back of the room, and kissed my nose. Then she rolled over on her back so I could pet her tummy. I saw she had a collar. She then ran out onto the sidewalk, and I made sure she was reunited with her person before I went back inside. Later in the day, a tailless Siamese cat sat outside my window, gazing at me grandly with his magnificent blue eyes before he got bored with me and left. He lives next door, so I should get another visit one of these days.

The ocean is at the foot of the street, so from my office I can hear fog horns and seagulls, as well as the comforting sound of passing cars. It’s right in the heart of town, so it’s easy to get to the library and Safeway as well as drop in on Monica.

The people I work with are really nice, and I already have an office key to add to my rare and precious key collection*. All I have are: car key, post office key, and now office key. I never have to worry about forgetting my house keys, since I have six doors to my house and not one of them locks. In fact, I leave the sliding glass doors open for the cats when I go to work.

It looks like my work schedule will be Monday through Wednesday, which is exactly when Megan works, though I’m getting up when she’s getting home. It will be good to get it all done early in the week, and then I’ll have time for my other job, dog walking, and other important things. I think it will all work out well once I finally adjust.

*The Monogram Groom keychain now features the big, fake diamond from last Christmas’ cracker. I love mixing real and fake accessories.

4 responses so far

Feb 08 2011

First Day

Published by under Country Life

Yesterday was my first day at the new job (well, jobette, since it’s only about 20 hours a week).

I got up around 6:30 in order to start work at 9:00. Some of this is my fault (I need half an hour to caffeinate and fully accept the horror of being awake in the darkness), and some of it is the commute (45 minutes each way). Then there’s the time it takes to get pretty, a time which lengthens as a girl becomes more vintage.

It’s been so long since I’ve worked in an office that my getting pretty skills have rusted. It took me a while to do hair and make-up. Fortunately, my parents’ insistence on setting out clothes the night before when we were kids came in useful, since I’d gotten everything ready, right down to the accessories.

Speaking of wardrobe, mine definitely needs some additions. I think I can come up with three acceptable outfits this week, but that’s about it. Working at home and walking the dogs doesn’t require much elegance. Fortunately, the new job isn’t formal, but as I have noted here before, “business casual” can be confusing and difficult to put together. Especially when you have to either buy clothes on line, or drive two hours each way to try them on.

So, as suitably attired as I could be, I headed out into the sunny day a little after 8:00.

We spent most of the morning on paperwork and a class on social media, which seems like a great business tool. Then, a delightful lunch at the Wharf (aka the official home of the Hooterville Girls’ Night Out), where I didn’t try to resist the crab cakes, but did resist the pomegranate martini. First impressions are so important. They’ll find out the Awful Truth soon enough.

The afternoon included a meeting with a local TV station and brainstorming about a focus group, as well as picking up proofs at the printer’s down the street and ordering a (très expensive) drum unit for the temperamental printer. And voilà! It was time to go home.

So far, so good!

4 responses so far

Feb 06 2011


Published by under Country Life,Family

Late afternoon windmill

While I was getting a new job and falling off a log (amazingly, the Horror Hand still hurts, though it has deflated), Jonathan and Rob were making a windmill.

Yes, making it. Mostly out of spare parts and found things, as is the Way of Rob. It’s seated firmly in cement, set three feet deep into the ground.

The welder came in handy when they welded the hinges and attached the pole they used to raise it. It’s about 20 feet high, and there are plans afoot to make it even higher and take advantage of the wind that is supposed to be up there. The sunny weather continues, and needless to say, the wind has been uncooperatively calm lately.

A closer look

But when it starts up again, my brother will have an extra power source in addition to the solar panels. If it gets too windy, they can tilt the windmill’s blades back and fasten them there so there isn’t too much strain on it. All in all, a great design and a great job. I have to admit I’m kind of in awe of their abilities and ingenuity.

2 responses so far

Feb 05 2011

Testing, 1-2-3

Published by under Country Life,Dogs,Schatzi

Yesterday, Megan and I took Schatzi to the vet. They wanted to take some blood to make sure that her medication isn’t affecting her liver too much. The test results were complete in about ten minutes, and Schatzi’s liver is fine, though her kidneys were showing on the high end of normal.

Dr. Karen said that if we brought her a urine sample, she could run another test to make sure it wasn’t something bad (all the medi-chat and charts went way over my head). She then handed Megan a ladle.

I had thought that “ladle” was medi-chat for something, but it was, in fact, the type you’d use to distribute soup to the deserving poor or your undeserving family. You can imagine the lovely picture we made walking around the village, me with Schatzi on a leash and Megan with the ladle poised under Schatzi’s underpinnings.

Needless to say, this was the one time in Schatzi’s entire life when she didn’t stop every two minutes to pee. She was prancing around in the sunlight as if she were a puppy. You’d never know that her hips and spine look like cheap Swiss cheese inside.

Finally, Megan was successful and the test revealed nothing untoward. Yay! Apparently cats and dogs tend to get tired kidneys as they age, and since Schatzi is 11 now, it’s not too surprising, just something we need to keep an eye on.

After all that, we felt Schatzi deserved a real, ladle-free walk, so we headed to the headlands.

I love how the wind-swept trees frame the ocean here:

And the path:

The headlands jut out into the rocky ocean:

It was a beautiful day, and Schatzi trotted along happily on the narrow path, enjoying the sun on her fur as we enjoyed being with her in this lovely place.

One response so far

Feb 04 2011

The Wide World of Kittens

Published by under Cats,Country Life

The kittens have been enjoying the sunny weather as much as I have. Maybe more. I often don’t see them for hours at a time. But when I do, they’re usually doing something funny. Or at least photogenic.

The rare Tree Clyde in his natural habitat:

This is the best picture I could get before he shimmied down the tree. His claws kind of scared me as they dug into the bark. The boys are armed and dangerous!

Logging road Roscoe:

On Sunday, Roscoe came bouncing out of the bushes by the logging road to meet me. He was joined by Clyde. Then they chased each other somewhere. Just another day in the life of kittens!

A bucket o’ Clyde:

I discovered Clyde relaxing in the bucket of sawdust we used to plant the tulips. He seemed perfectly comfortable and hung out there for quite a while.

Rooftop Roscoe:

I went out to water (!) the tulips, and felt a claw on my head. This happens often when I clean out the litterbox, since it’s under a shelf, but I didn’t expect it on the side deck. I looked up, and there was Roscoe. You just never know where those kittens will be.

Not surprisingly, they are sleepy in the evenings. It’s the perfect time to cuddle by the heater:

2 responses so far

Feb 03 2011

Good News

Tulips beginning to sprout

OK, peeps, brace yourselves for a downpour of excellent news! Are you sitting down? Smelling salts at the ready? Phone poised to call 911? Good. Here we go:

  • A month after her arrival in the Intensive Care Unit, A is finally breathing on her own! Yes, she still has a fever and is mostly unconscious, and the hospital is considering charging her rent, but it’s a huge step forward. The most recent email from C, who, bless his heart, has somehow found the time to call or email me every single day of this ordeal, reads as follows:

    “A her breathing is going well, she breathes all by herself now, just gets some extra oxygen.
    Still unconscious most of the time, but I do get a big, big smile every once in a while when she wakes up!
    Also still moving a lot, caused most likely by not getting all those drugs anymore, still fever too. Physiotherapist had her sitting on the edge of the bed again this morning, if she wouldn’t move so much, they would have put her in a chair, but they found it too risky. Love, C”

    So I think she’s pretty much out of the woods now, though she faces a long, hard road of recovery. The worst has to be behind her now. So, yay! And thanks to all of you for your kind thoughts and emails. It really helped.

  • I have a new part-time job! It starts on Monday! It’s at a local tourism office. The people are really nice, and I think it will be fun. I’m not exactly looking forward to driving to town three days a week, but after work, I can run errands, meet up with Monica, and maybe even go to the fancy pool. I’ll probably learn about lots of new places and fun things to do. And finally, I can use my make-up and handbag collections!

    On Monday, I’ll get to work at 9:00. At 10:00, we’re all going to a hotel for a social networking class, followed by lunch, a return to the office, and a meeting with a local TV station who is considering partnering with us. Sounds like fun, no?

  • The tulips are beginning to sprout! See above. And I keep having to water them, because it has only rained once in the past month. A check of the weather shows a forecast of sunny with highs ranging from 58 to 70 degrees during the day, lows in the 30s (so the orchid is sheltering inside again) for the next ten days. I feel a little guilty when seeing the horrible weather the rest of the country has been having, especially since we’re considering having a barbecue on the weekend.

So there you have it. Things are looking up!

5 responses so far

Feb 02 2011

Back In Business

Published by under Bullshit,Country Life

You may remember that the landline phone quit suddenly, walking out on me with no explanation or apology. In keeping with this theme, AT&T did not show up to fix it on the appointed date. Despite the fact that they presumably do know how to use a phone, they didn’t call me. After being on hold for 45 years minutes, I hung up in frustration.

I called them the next day and canceled the service.

After a couple of weeks, it became clear that cell phone only was not going to work for me. My phone is from one area code and living in another, and no amount of *228 is going to stop it from constantly searching for service, which means that the battery gets tired faster than a 100 year old running a marathon in mid-summer heat.

Cell phone service here is spotty at best, and there are various parts of the house which get no service, a definite drawback for a habitual pacer like Self. And there is essentially no service between Casa di Kitties and the village, several miles away.

And don’t get me started on the difficulties of being on a conference call on a cell phone. The sound is terrible, and it’s really hard for me to take notes while holding the phone with one hand. If use the headset I used to use on the landline, the sound is exponentially worse.

So, to my chagrin, I called AT&T back and asked them to restore the service. Unsurprisingly, my number hadn’t been taken, so I could get the old number back. Unsurprisingly, the repairman did not appear on the scheduled date. Another frustrating call and more than a month after the original problem reared its ugly head, and the repairman arrived! Two hours early!

He fixed it right up, telling me that the phone box is actually located several miles away and it was the longest connection he had ever seen. He was really nice, and I felt sorry that he had to drive all the way here from Santa Rosa, but I’m glad that I’m communicado again.

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