On The Blackwater

Musing on retirement, writing, puppies, and whatever else strikes my fancy

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Spending my life in 20-year increments: DC, Calif, Maine, & now in the BlueRidge Mountains of VA, where my YoChon, Sadie Mae, has started to blog...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Size is relative!

When I mentioned that the kidney stone was HUGE, the largest the nurses there had ever seen, I need to clarify...See, they gave me the stone in a glass tube, and it looks like a lady bug! The top is jagged (not a good sign) but at least it is out of my body and in the tube!

Thanks for your kind thoughts, Becky.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Kidney Stones...arghhhhh!

Thursday night, I wasn't feeling well, thought it was the flu. Around midnight, I woke hubby asking he to get me to the ER. Now! He realized that the symptoms I had, severe pain down my left side, vomiting, the shakes...were serious indications that kidney stones were back to haunt me.

He drove me to Rocky Mt ER and they took me by ambulance to Roanoke Carilion, where XRays and CT scan helped with the diagnosis.

I'm home and feeling GREAT. They put a stent in and will replace it to be sure they get all the little stones.

Sorry to be so graphic, but I feel it's always good to let people know what they might need to watch for. After all, kidney stones usually invade men, not women. But my doctor tells me I will probably continue to produce them. They are ugly little things! The nurses said mine was the largest one they'd ever seen. Oh goody!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tears Over Haiti

Babies, orphans, horribly injured young children...every day, I'm in tears. I read a piece about a wealthy couple with an enormous house full of advanced technology, and I want them to consider the children, to stop bragging about what they have and find a way to help in Haiti.

I've called the Red Cross and donated on-line, because I know every penny will go to help, and with organizations matching donations, the Red Cross is amazed at the huge amount they've raised. And babies lie in the streets, or under rubble, crying out for help.

Tonight, a rap artist was in tears. He had carried two young children to the morgue, but was turned away...the morgue had no room. They sent him down the road to the cemetery. When he got there, Haitians were fighting over the grave sites, the 'holes' in the cemetery. He was just stricken with grief.

One woman said a child came up to her carrying her bible, and asked if she would read something for her. The woman flipped open to this: Oh Lord, why hath thou forsaken me?

So sad. Yes, there is a bit of comfort to learn that people are still surviving. Sanje Gupta, it turns out, is a neurosurgeon, and he operated on a young girl when schrapnel had pierced her skull. He saved her life. In another case, rescuers found a child needing surgery, but they had no anesthetist...incredibly, two anesthetists were just then being flown into the airport. They both rushed to the field hospital, and her life was saved.

I need to dwell on these small victories.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Night at the (smithsonian) Museum

Movie Review: I watched Night at The Museum: Smithsonian and it was great fun. Definitely a movie for the grandkids, but enough inside joking comments to intrigue adults. Amy Adams is perfect as Earhardt. Everytime she is on the screen she is an absolute delight. My son said his wife took their boys to see it and they all just loved it.

and now the flu strikes

Dick has had a terrible long-lasting 'cold.' Now we're learning that several friends have been diagnosed with a flu...not the swine flu...that is contagious. Dick has been sleeping for hours and hours.

Meanwhile, our driveway is still frozen solid. Staying here in the house is beginning to feel stifling. Hubby has to get me to the store and sit outside in his truck while I get the bare necessities. Whine, whine, whine!

A big pot of homemade chicken soup was perfect for this cold weather. Dick also discovered that several of our windows had dropped down, so he raised them and locked them in place...he also lit the fireplace. And when I mentioned that my feet were cold, he got a pair of his wool socks and gently put them on my feet. Maybe it isn't so stifling here in the house after all!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Frigid Weather!

We moved south from northern Maine to get away from cold and snow and ice. Our gravel driveway and the road leading to our driveway are both covered with thick ice. Thank heavens Dick has a 4WD truck as my PT is huddled in our garage, shivering with the cold.

We've brought the 2 Labs into the house every night. Temperatures of 14 are just too dangerous. Of course, little Yorkie Sadie Mae is enjoying being high up on our bed and ordering the 2 Labs around when she deigns to join them on the floor.

This frigid weather can leave any time...

Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve 2009

We got back from a family Christmas in Birmingham to find our driveway solid ice! Thank heavens for 4WD. We were able to unpack the truck by pulling up close to the front door and walking v e r y c a r e f u l l y...

Tonight is New Year's Eve and the driveway is still frozen, so we're in our PJs and will try to stay up for the ball to drop. Couldn't the New Year come in a little earlier for those of us of a certain age?

We had a great time in Birmingham. Dick's son Shane had taken a box of old family pictures and had them made into a CD, so we were able to ID all of the relatives. What a treat that was! We'll make copies for Dick's sisters, especially the one who showed up in a fancy hat throughout. We teased her about one yellow dress with a yellow hat...lots of giggles via e-mail over that one!

Happy New Year, all!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Aunt Jimmie

Aunt Jimmie was so dear to me as I was growing up. She had married my Uncle Wallie, who worked for the Red Cross and was a lifeguard at the beach during the summer.

They would drive over and pick me up, and take me to their apartment where Jimmie would bake chocolate chip cookies and fry chicken for the next day. When we got to the beach, Wallie would climb up into the lifeguard's chair and Jimmie and I would lie on big towels and talk and talk. They had no children, so I had Jimmie's full attention. I could talk about boys, about classes I was taking or not taking, about colleges I was interested in.

Jimmie convinced me to take typing and shorthand (this was the 50's) as a backup plan after high school. She was exactly right; those skills got me excellent employment, including working for a guided missile research firm in DC. My Dad was shocked to find out my salary was higher than his as an engineer for DC government. He got over his shock and moved on to bragging about his daughter. I had a wonderful loving Dad.

When Jimmie retired to Florida after Wallie's death from a heart attack, we talked mostly by phone, but I did visit her. One visit included my husband and also one of my sons. She was excited to meet them and so welcoming. We went to a neighborhood restaurant and ate 'sky-high pie' that was their specialty.

Now, I'm trying to find Aunt Jimmie. I called her Florida nursing home but all they could tell me was that she'd been transferred to a skilled care facility. Information had no phone number, no listing at all for the scf, so today I wrote a letter to the nursing home, asking them to help me find her. If she is still living, she will be 90 this coming February. The last time I spoke with her, she was very vague and confused, so I suspect she may have passed on. She no longer had any family in Florida.

She isn't truly gone; she lives on in my heart and always will.

But she will never leave my heart.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Designing your life

I wonder how many folks realize that your retirement can be a time to design your life just the way you want to live it. OK, dire economic times can have an impact, but those of us who long ago decided to live within our means don't run into that so much.

When we were kids, the life ahead was an open book, and we thought we could do exactly what we planned to do. As teens, we learned more about the real world, and it's limits. As adults, with mortages and families, the world sometimes became brutally clear.

So, then, retirement, and the chance to write that novel or dance that dance, or join the Peace Corps and give back. So freeing!

Friday, December 11, 2009

How I Met my (current!) Husband

I may just chicken out on writing this. After all, my grown kids read my Blog. But Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl wrote beautifully about how she met her 2nd husband, so I thought I'd give it a go.

It was the 70's, in California, a time of flower-power and tie-dyes, short flirty colorful polyester dresses, lights under the dance floor. I'd divorced an abusive alcoholic and was having a grand time. My kids were old enough to thoroughly appreciate the calmness and lack of tension in our townhouse.

I had met some darling English sailors at a local pub and when a GF called me and insisted I come to town and have at least one glass of wine (she was sure I would end up as an old lady living alone with a dozen cats!) I threw on my embroidered jeans and workshirt, jumped in my car, and drove to town.

My GF introduced me to a fellow she'd just met, I danced with him, invited him to the Dixieland Jubilee dance on Sunday, drank my glass of wine and headed home.

Sunday, I met several GFs at the dance, then said to my one GF: Hey, I just saw the best-looking fellow ever...you're good at meeting people...help me out here. When I pointed him out to her, she laughed. "Hon, you've not only met him and danced with him, but you invited him here."


He joined our group and all of us had several glasses of wine, whereupon he decided he'd better sober me up before I drove back across town. He took me to his house (his male roommate was traveling) and got me to drink about a gallon of strong tea, then handed me a bathing suit that belonged to the roommate's GF so we could sit in the jacuzzi in the backyard. Well, GF's suit was too large for me, so I wrapped myself in a big beach towel, went outside and slipped into the water, convinced he wouldn't notice. Right.

It's a wonder I didn't scare this fellow from rural Maine. He said he fell in love when I stepped out of the towel into the water. I've always said he fell in lust.....

30 years later, we've had our good times and our bad times, but we both know it was meant to be. Like the saying goes: We plan and God laughs.