Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snowed in with Gertie...

Now, you know, Gert and I have about run out of things to talk about today but there were a few really funny exchanges today. My favorite was when Mom decided that Killian, in a previous life, was a distinguished gentleman, tall, about 6'2", he was a banker - worked in the 'banking industry' actually was what she said. He had a family - a wife and 2 children - 2 boys, to be exact. Ok, at this point I'm agreeing with her until she said that he was a brilliant man in that previous life. Now, she didn't witness him eating the yellow snow today like I did...

I took Killey and Hops out in the back 40 to have a run...and, run they did. What fun it was to watch them tackle each other in the backyard. I love snowy days!

I've had the wood stove burning all day today and have finally, after 2 years, figured the sucker out. The key is to not get it too hot and burn us out of the living room. One small log an hour is all it needs. Sahweet! So, all is well in our little world - in fact, it's delightful tonight....

eHow update

Well, for anyone interested, I've been writing articles for eHow for a year now. For the last 6 months, I've made somewhere between $100-140 per month. What's really nice is that I didn't write any new articles for around 5 weeks and my articles continued to earn residual income. Theoretically, I should be able to collect for the rest of my life! Too cool. Since I write the articles mostly while sitting with Mom in the evenings, it's a fairly productive pasttime. Here's some of my latest stuff:

How to Get Cheap Health Insurance

Snow storm!

Well, we've been hit! We've got about 11" right now of a nice, fluffy snow, with a projection of another foot coming! PERFECT as I just adore snow storms. Of course, I don't OWN a pair of snow boots (d'oh!) and had to shovel in small boots that barely covered my ankles. But, I had to get a path made in the hopes that Rita would use it (no go, so far). The snow is up over her back - there's some major disadvantages to being short...So, Mom and I are watching her like hawks - well, as I type, there's a question of who is watching who as Mom is sound asleep underneath the heated throw John gave her for Channukah (GREAT present, BTW) and Rita is sound asleep in her spot on top. She and Matee fight for the prime spot of Mom's lap.

Channukah was quiet around here with a nice dinner, complete with potato pancakes which, honestly, weren't my best. But, John and Mom are easily impressed so they liked them (or, perhaps they were too chicken to let on that the pancakes sucked..)

John gave me a great present for my holiday - he had a walkway built around the hot tub so we don't track in mud, and dirt every time we climb in for a soak. Ben, my handyman extraordinaire, put the thing in yesterday; just in time for it to be buried under snow! But, it came out very nicely and we're all pleased with the results.

John and I had a fabulous cruise over Thanksgiving which I'll detail in another post as there's some great pictures to share. Sharyn took a full week off work and came up to stay with Mom - thereby allowing me to really relax on vacation as I knew Mom would be fine under Sharyn's watchful eye. And, she was.

I managed to get Mom out last week for some minor shopping. Since it's cold outside, I try to bring the entertainment inside with having frequent visits from whomever I can scare up. Most nights, it's Mom, John, Bobbi and me but, since we find each other pretty amusing, the mix works!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

From the mouth of babes...

Mom and I were discussing the demise of Tiger Wood's squeaky clean image today. Mom's profound take on the situation is:

Seems to me that he's playing with the wrong balls...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Asberger's sydrome

My great niece, Jillian, has a mild form of autism, called Aspergers syndrome. She and Monya (my niece - my sister's middle girl) are doing a lot to raise awareness, including creating a great t-shirt. Here's a link to Jillian's blog:


Friday, November 13, 2009

Namaste woes.

Uh oh; we've suffered our first blow on Namaste II when the mast came down during the latest storm. Contacting the manufacture as it never should have happened. The boat is a powersailer so the mast is 'removable' but a crucial cable frayed which, in just a year, is not good wear.

John, however, and the boat made the front page of the Washington Post Metro section today - a sad 15 minutes of fame....

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Well, we made 93!

Yep, Mom's doing quite well and had a nice, if quiet, birthday. Mom got her breakfast #1 served in her chair on that damned tray I shouldn't have bought. Queenie was in heaven with fresh buckwheat pancakes and a fresh cup of coffee. Lunch was also served 'in chair' - she told me how nice this bed (chair?) and breakfast is.

John and I offered a happy hour - Mom's standard response of 'what are we waiting for' let us know the party was ON! Sherry (or two...) for Mom, a manhattan for me, soda for John (what's up with that?!). John suggested I make Mom liver and onions (ew.....) for dinner and I was sorry he mentioned it as then I had to do it. Had to run down to Rockville to get calf liver and picked up a few desserts, including the obligatory birthday cake for the celebration. All in all, another great day with Gertrude!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gertie-ism 3048

So, we're watching tv last night and this woman, Sheri someone, who is on The View is on tv in a mini dress. Now, there are some woman who should and some women who shouldn't wear mini dresses - she's a strong contender for the latter category. Anyway, Mom looks up and says:

Either she needs a longer dress or shorter legs.

Made me snort.

I guess I'm not a 'new mother' anymore...

When Mom first came to live with me after Dad died, I panicked at any little thing that she reported as unusual. 'Your elbow hurts? Let me call the doctor.' 'Your knee. Doctor' 'Cardiologist app't today Mom. Yes, I know you feel fine but let's GO.' 'Of course we're going to the doctor - you just sneezed!'

So, she's been nursing an earache for the last 4 days and, since it was dragging on, I did make her go to the Dr yesterday. Nothing really unusual going on except a little fluid and probably a slight sinus infection. She got a very light antibiotic which was fine. The 'sweet oil' I've been heating in the microwave and shoving in her ear with a piece of cotton gauze (left over from Killian's sore foot - no cottonballs in the house....) seems to have actually helped.

Anyway, today, we both ended up in the livingroom at 4 am after having cups of coffee with John. She fell asleep in her chair, I'm on the sofa with a sore back (yes, I'm also aging...). She got up at 7 and walked to the bathroom. On the way back, she looked at me and told me her chest hurts. Now, in days of yore, I would have immediately hit the 'I've fallen and can't get up button', run around securing the dogs while simultaneously dressing myself and packing a hospital bag for her, all while waiting for the ambulance to deliver my precious charge to the local hospital and trained medical personnel. Today though, I looked at her and said 'Well, you're ok. You were sleeping crooked.' I propped her up with fresh pillows, straightened her butterfly clip in her hair (this is our version of 'dressing' her), and covered her and Matee with her blankee. 15 minutes later, I was proven correct. Chest pain is gone. I've survived 2 years of being a new mother. I guess I've graduated. Good thing as my 'baby' will be 93 tomorrow!

Now, I've got a sick cat too. Took poor JB to the vet yesterday as his cough has returned. Since he's got the feline AIDS virus, I'm particularly interested in keeping him healthy so he doesn't roll into full blown AIDS and a much shortened lifespan. The vet drew blood, put him on a twice a day antibiotic (note to self: don't mix up antibiotics!) and did xrays of his chest to see if anything else was going on. The vet and I were shocked and saddened to see a bullet in my cat's chest. The poor thing has been shot sometime in his past, and, the bastard shot him at close range. Luckily, the bullet lodged in soft tissue and didn't implode on a rib or a bone.

Now, this is about the most wonderful cat going (and, this is coming from a dog girl). He's totally trusting, loves his family as much as a cat can, accepts the dogs (mostly) and is quite the amazing creature. How he's managed to survive not only being homeless 5 years but being shot and, God knows what else, is beyond me. Even if he does roll into AIDS, something tells me this cat is a survivor. We'll do what we need to do to ensure his continued health and safety.

John and I spent Saturday on the boat in a pouring rainstorm which was fantastic. Loved it. We had Matee and Rita with us so took a rather damp walk over to Chesapeake Beach on a great boardwalk with the ladies, where Matee found a new best friend, a fox terrier with a tennis ball obsession!

Sunday, we powered over to Tilghman's Island which appears to be our normal path for brunch and then headed back. Gorgeous day on the bay although it was a bit rocky in the mid part. Still, any time on the bay is wondrous.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Winter is approaching

It's only 43 degrees out today so Autumn is in full swing. I've got a fire working to warm the living room and keep Gertie warm and toasty. Mom and I were just discussing the choice of this woodstove last year - it was WAY more expensive than I had budgeted but we both love it very much. And, it holds a fire like no other.

I've got 4 dogs at the groomer today and 1 happy cat relaxing in front of the fire. Ah, bring on the snowy days!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

TMI? You decide

So, I get another one of these list things; this one I find pretty interesting so here's my answers (Gert's will follow)

1.What was the last thing you put in your mouth?
Inside of an egg roll (well, it's the outside that has all the calories....)

2.Where was your profile picture taken?
My Facebook profile picture is on Namaste II, John's boat. My google picture is my mom and me in our kitchen

3.Can you play Guitar Hero?
Um, who is Guitar Hero? If I knew who he was, I'll bet I could play him...

4.Name someone who made you laugh today?
Rick and Mom, at the same time. Rick on the phone, Gert listening to my side of the conversation.

5.How late did you stay up last night and why?
A better question is how early did I go to bed....Sadly, I usually beat Mom up the steps by an hour or so. Need I really put down an hour? Can't make me.

6.If you could move somewhere else, would you?
We're thinking Wilmington, NC with a home in Key West...

7. Ever been kissed under fireworks?
Every kiss, now, is 'under fireworks.'

8. Which of your friends lives closest to you?
Bobbi Keith Lowe Sproles Tuten Lowe....and my mom.

9. Do you believe ex's can be friends?
Sure; if you haven't lost respect for him/her. I have a few old exes floating around still - always will love those guys.

10. How do you feel about Dr Pepper?
It's horrid! Why would anyone drink carbonated prune juice?!

11. When was the last time you cried really hard?
After my Dad died in 2007.

12. Who took your profile picture?
My very significant other, John.

13. Who was the last person you took a picture of?
Gert in Atlantic City - see previous post.

14. Was yesterday better than today?
No. The days just keep getting better and better.

15. Can you live a day without TV?
Sure could; Gert however, cannot.

16. Are you upset about anything?
Nope. Can't make me...

17. Do you think relationships are ever really worth it?
Oh gosh YES. A humongous YES, OF COURSE, ABSOLUTELY!

18. Are you a bad influence?
Um, I've been known to be a bad influence. But, those people have no sense of humor.

19. Night out or night in?
Night in, with Gert, John, 5 dogs and a confused cat.

20. What items could you not go without during the day?
Well, does my Mom count as an 'item?' How about dogs/boyfriend? Ok, items - um....let's see now...ah....gee, not sure there's anything except my glasses I couldn't go without (well, if I wanted to see).

21. Who was the last person you visited in the hospital?
My Mom.

22. What does the last text message in your inbox say?
Well, if I told, I'd have to kill someone.

23. How do you feel about your life right now?
There's no words to describe the difference in my life from past to present. Life is incredible, wondrous, and very fun these days.

24. Do you hate anyone?
No, I don't hate anyone. There's some people I feel sorry for but don't hate. Life's too short for that emotion to fill up any moments.

25. If we were to look in your Facebook Inbox, what would we find?
Emails from one of my favorite people and ex-neighbor, Rick. We were best pals for 20 or so years back in the day. Emails from Mo, my friend who was in St. Thomas who is now in Maryland for a month before heading back to St. Thomas.

26. Say you were given a drug test right now, would you pass?
I'm with Rick - I can identify most drugs so, yes, I would pass.

27. Has anyone ever called you perfect before?
Shoot. No....

28. What song is stuck in your head?
That girl by Shaggy

29. Someone knocks on your window at 2:00 a.m., who do you want it to be?
John, after going home to WV for the night, and coming down early to crawl into bed before heading to work at 6.

30.Wanna have grandkids before you’re 50?
Oh, God. NO! I didn't breed!

31. Name something you have to do tomorrow?
Plan a birthday celebration.

32. Do you think too much or too little?
Probably 'too little.'

Ok, here's Gert's answers:

1.What was the last thing you put in your mouth?

2.Where was your profile picture taken?
Our kitchen

3.Can you play Guitar Hero?

4.Name someone who made you laugh today?

5.How late did you stay up last night and why?

6.If you could move somewhere else, would you?
No. I can't get off the chair

7. Ever been kissed under fireworks?
No, we made our own fireworks (ha, the apple doesn't fall far from that tree...>)

8. Which of your friends lives closest to you?
Bobbi - I said 'gee, thanks...'

9. Do you believe ex's can be friends?

10. How do you feel about Dr Pepper?
I don't know him.

11. When was the last time you cried really hard?
After Joe died.

12. Who took your profile picture?

13. Who was the last person you took a picture of?

14. Was yesterday better than today?

15. Can you live a day without TV?
Probably (Lori comment: she's so old to be lying!)

16. Are you upset about anything?

17. Do you think relationships are ever really worth it?

18. Are you a bad influence?
Could be.

19. Night out or night in?
Night in

20. What items could you not go without during the day?

21. Who was the last person you visited in the hospital?

22. What does the last text message in your inbox say?
I don't have a 'text box.'

23. How do you feel about your life right now?

24. Do you hate anyone?

25. If we were to look in your Facebook Inbox, what would we find?

26. Say you were given a drug test right now, would you pass?
Probably. (Lori comment: I said 'PROBABLY?'). She looks at me and says 'Not.'

27. Has anyone ever called you perfect before?
Yes. Joe.

28. What song is stuck in your head?
It's a wild wild world

29. Someone knocks on your window at 2:00 a.m., who do you want it to be?
Santa Claus (ok, and this is coming from a Jew...)

30.Wanna have grandkids before you’re 50?
Ha ha...too late.

31. Name something you have to do tomorrow?

32. Do you think too much or too little?
Too little.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Gambling Gert!

That fuzzy little old lady there on the left is my momma in a undercover photo at the Hilton Casino in Atlantic City. Since it's illegal to take pics inside a casino, it was the best I could do - she sure looks purdy from behind though.

So, last weekend found Mom, me, Marlon (her date) and Craig (my date) in Atlantic City for some gambling fun. Had a total blast! Mom actually came out pretty good, only having lost a small amount of money. I, however, did not fare as well. Mom had expressed some concern about her playing skills, having not handled a blackjack hand in about a year. She shouldn't have worried - she was da bomb. She played much better than about anyone around her - splitting, doubling down as appropriate. I was comfortable after a bit leaving her on her own although I did need to keep her in my sight (last time we went to AC, the security guard took her to her room.....long story on this blog in another post somewhere...).

The first night found all 4 of us, after a fabulous dinner, around the same blackjack table on a very nice roll - we were really taking the dealer. Should have known it wouldn't last. We had many many laughs that night. The next day was as amusing, if not as rewarding. While Mom took a nap, Marlon, Craig and I hit the Trop for some craps - and, it as pure crap. Ugh. We were still laughing pretty good though - even losing is fun with those guys.

We took every occasion to prop Mom up at the craps table while Marlon, Craig and I partook in our passion - rolling the dice. Mom never was a craps girl; that was much more Dad's gig. I learned from the best. And, he was there with me quite a few times when he told me to 'goose up that 9 to $25.' I did as he instructed and mostly won that bet. Mom was the keeper of my cash so I actually came out ahead, as she was under strict instructions to NOT give me the pretty green or black chips. After one very nice roll where I held the dice 20 minutes or so, I was up $400. I heard him say 'That was nice but if I was betting....' He always said that after a nice roll, insinuating that he could have really made retirement money - used to piss mom off at the blackjack table. I just laughed at him.

So, all in all, it was a quite successful weekend. We had a very nice time and can't wait to go back. I'm thinking a respite in December sounds about right....better start saving.

Oh, the pic to the left is proof that I actually got outside for a bit! Gorgeous day!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Remembering Uncle Al (1917-2009)

We got sad news a few days ago; Mom's 'baby' brother, my dear Uncle Al, died Saturday at 91 years of age - he's the one in the front in the picture to the left (I think he thought he was taller than he was....).

My favorite Uncle had fallen a few days prior and was in hospice when he just slipped away. Although the death of an elder is, in a sad way, not unexpected, it's never easy. We were very saddened over here, but still managed to raise a glass of sherry in his honor. BFF Bobbi came over to lighten the mood which was a nice relief. It's sometimes difficult to prop Gert up, even though she is very resilient and very wonderful.

Note: that very handsome man to the left in the photo was my gorgeous cousin, Jay - Uncle Al's son who passed away a few years ago from cancer. Jay and I were co-conspirators in crashing the Presidential Summit held in Philly when Bush was in office. But, that's a story for another time.

There were 5 children in Mom's family; Aunt Rose, Aunt Ruby, Uncle Herman, Mom, and Uncle Al. Four of these children lived into their 80's which, if you think about it, is amazing considering they were all born in the early 1900s. And, quite thankfully, Gert is doing quite well over here and about to be 93 on the 28th of October.

When I was growing up, we took yearly trips back to St. Joe, MO to visit my mom's parents (my Bubie and Zadie) and the rest of her family. I remember so well the stories her brothers and sisters would share with us about the antics that Mom and Uncle Al got into as children - like oiling Zadie's wallpapering board (his livelihood) so that they could slide down it and amuse themselves. Or the time Uncle Al ducked when a rival threw a brick at him and the brick took out a plate glass window at the pharmacy - only time in history a kid's been beaten for ducking!

And, of course, we, the next generation of Burdoo children, in a way, owe Uncle Al our lives. It was Uncle Al who knew Dad from their fraternity at school. Uncle Al invited my Dad on a hayride to be a date for his sister (enter my Mom) ‘with the good personality’. Of course, Dad's first question was 'is she cute?' Uncle Al's reply was honest and to the point: 'Hell no she's not cute but you'll have a great time with her.' And, they did, for 65.5 years.

On my folk's 25th anniversary, they went to Hawaii, with a brief layover in California. Now, Uncle Al and his wife (Aunt Lois) had move to LA right after my folks had married. Uncle Al and my folks were living on separate coasts of the US. Back in the day, air travel was not as easy to come by as it is today and, with both siblings raising families, they didn't see each other for 25 years. So, as the story goes, Mom and Dad stopped in for a quick visit to LA. As Uncle Al met them at the airport, he clapped Dad on the back and said 'You sure hold a hell of a grudge.' That pretty much sums up my Uncle's humor.

And, of course, there were all the wonderful times I spent with him in Arizona every year when I went to visit the folks. I'd always pick him up and take him out for marguerita's at Arriba's (our favorite spot) and sit and laugh the afternoon away. He and Mom shared the same sense of humor - he never failed to get me laughing, and laughing hard.

He and Aunt Lois happened to have the only bathtub, it appeared, in the entire city of Sun City, AZ. So, each year, I'd drop in with my bathrobe in tow to soak in the tub - showers are ok but there's nothing like a bath for relaxation. One time, I brought along some cookies I'd made and the three of us laid in their bed eating cookies, drinking milk and laughing. He never failed to remind me of that time. He also never failed to send off a card for a family birthday or anniversary - it was always magical when a card appeared on the exact special day.

When Uncle Al retired, he became quite the artist - wood was his first media, then there was stones - all kinds of jewelry came my way. I'm the recipient of miles of beautiful beads and earrings.

And, really, who can forget the mini-basset head bashers he made (well, that's what I used them for). Uncle Al, in later years, became quite the woodworker and made these things (said basset head basher) which were actually thoughtful tools designed to push items safely into a garbage disposal. Well, the theory was nice but, since my house is from 1857, I don't have such luxuries as a garbage disposal (or air conditioning, for that matter!). And, who can forget the toaster tongs (by the dozens) he sent over? I do have some very nice handmade bowls and spoons and a few gorgeous stained glass lamps - he gave that up when he tired of running to the drugstore for bandaids. Figures; that was one craft I really loved. I have a few very beautiful stained glass windows he made which I enjoy daily. And, he's the one we have to thank for the profusion of stone clocks we've all grown to love - I mean PROFUSION....

So, then there was one. Mom is the lone child left from her generation and I'm so glad she's here with me. So very glad. I tell her daily how lucky I am to have her with me.

I took Mom out this weekend for a little car ride. I decided to wander a few backroads and take her across the ford on our road to the 'other side of the woods'. We ended up wandering up toward Sugar Loaf, our only mountain which is, oh 700 feet tall. On the way though, we found ourselves wandering past a local winery where, of course, we just had to stop, get a few glasses of wine, olive and cheese platter. I'm always amazed at the amount of people who smile, wave, and talk to Mom (I'm invisible). It's just adorable to watch - especially the teenage boys who totally let down their guard with her.

So, on the way back, I took us on a tour of a nice cemetery up there - there's a Judaic gardens that I've always been curious about but never been in. It's gorgeous - as far as cemeteries go - very serene, birdbaths hold the memorial stones that we drop on headstones when we visit. It's a fairly new cemetery and very well cared for - much more like a park than a cemetery. We rounded the road to a particularly beautiful corner with a family plot tucked away down a small secluded meadow, surrounded on all side by oak trees with changing leaves. I mentioned that, if you had to go, that's not a bad place to spend eternity. Mom looks at me and says 'I prefer not to go.' Good enough.

My pill pusher dog

Well, we've been fairly busy over here. Last night found me choking a redheaded dog who ate one of Mom's heart pills which hit the floor accidentally. While I grabbed him and fled outside to choke the pill out (no go; his gag reflex is as strong as mine is - I almost threw up though...). Anyway...

I called the animal hospital who gave me the number for poison control for animals. I was dialing and yelled for John to call human poison control at the same time as I was on HOLD (5 minutes worth of hold, btw). John got his poison control on the first ring. Nice to know they're so responsive on the human side.

So, after 5 minutes, I ascertained that animal poison control won't give you info unless you:
1. Pay $65 for a 'consult' - that's how much your pet is worth, evidentally
2. You have to hit the #2 if your dog is convulsing or having seizures. Now, Killian was not convulsing or having seizures, but I wasn't about to hang around to find out exactly which numnber one must hit if your dog ate your Mom's heart pill. And, if my dog WAS convulsing or having seizures, shouldn't that be #1 (ONE) on the list? Nope, I forgot - that was to enter your credit card info....

End result is that a 62 lb dog downing a Micardis 80 mg is not a big deal although he slept more soundly than normal and scared me a few times throughout the night when I tried to wake him to check on him. He, at least, had a nice night.

Oh, and the human poison control called back today to check on him so they could update their database....I thought that was a great touch. I called the animal hospital and told them my tale. They were aghast, as was I. Ridiculous episode.

So, we have a new 'pill pusher' in the house. I'm onto his antics this time though - he's banished to the other room while Mom eats from this day forward.

Monday, September 21, 2009

On boots and such...

Sitting here ordering shoes online (fat foot and all....). I was looking at a pair of boots which, I don't care what anyone says, they're hot (always). I asked Mom if she'd ever worn a pair of boots. She replied that Dad used to buy her boot sample all the time when they were first married - he worked in a shoe store and bought her fine sample boots - they were $6/pair! Leather! Is that a trip, or what?

When she was first married, she reports that she had 25 pairs of shoes, each $1 a pair and they were excellent shoes. Amazing...

Forgot to post this great pic...

Borrowed a wig from friend Judy the other day to test the color (need to get going on my winter hair). Got Gert into the act...

Our next project is to put makeup on her. THAT should be a fun day.


John and I took Mom to see Cavalia in DC on Saturday. We took in the 2:00 matinee and had a great time, once we got there. My Honda Pilot's navigation systems is, how should I say it....sucky. Got lost once on the way down and once on the way back. But, as life is these days, the 'lost' times were very fun and triggered some interesting memories for Mom. On one of our lost excursions, we wandered into an area where Aunt Molly worked in a grocery store and, over there (somewhere) was zaidie's store. Ended up on MacArthur blvd and saw some gorgeous old homes. The ride home was sort of like sailing - the trip was about the journey, not necessarily the destination. Ah, but I've digressed...

Cavalia is a fascinating show highlighting some highly trained horses and acrobats. However, unless you're aware of some horsey facts, you might not be as amazed at the moves that these animals learn and execute flawlessly - such as switching cantering legs or doing a cross step where all 4 legs cross over sideways. I know how hard these moves are as canine freestyle (which I do with Killian) is based on these horse dressage moves. I also saw the white stallions when I was in Vienna for business one year so knew some of the fancier moves and explained them to Mom so she knew what to watch for.

Regardless, Cavalia is an amazing show although not so much for younger children. We had a 4 year old behind us who didn't want to sit still or stop chatting. Even the parents were getting frustrated! 4 year olds would have more fun at a petting zoo, up close and personal. But, older children (I'd recommend 8 and up) and adults may love this show. It's a bit pricey at $100 or so a ticket but it's a worthwhile trip if it comes to a city near you. Mom really had a great time and John and I both love getting her out with us as much as we can.

Spent yesterday down at the bay, sailing to nowhere (at a slow pace, btw!). But, the sun was warm, John even took a swim (I was not as brave as the water was 70 degrees - burr...), the bloody mary's were flowing, and we had a great time with friends Al and Michelle. We took a walk over to Chesapeake Beach where I found a man who taught me to find shark's teeth and skate plates (they grind their food between serrated plates - the thingee in the bottom of the photo to the left is from a skate (about 10 thousand years ago!).

Now, I've looked for 51 years and never found one shark's tooth - this guy reached down and found 8 in about 2 minutes. I finally found one on my own although John tried to help me along I think by 'planting' one in a group of shells in his hand for me to find - well, it counts...He got pretty good at finding them too. I'm ready next time though - I know what to look for now (well, it's a theory).

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

We have achieved blast-off!

Well, we've been fairly successful of late in blasting Gert out of her chair. She got a hair cut last week which is beautiful - her hair was the longest it's ever been prior! We've been to the chinese grocery a few times (hey, I take what I can get....).
John, Gert and I met up with Mark and Jeff for Jeff's 50th birthday. Headed over to Carraba's for a very good italian dinner. What made it SO good was I didn't have to cook.

One day, Gert and I spent an hour or so perusing the 'treasures' at TJ Max. That store is quite interesting - it's sort of like an 'I can't get there from here story' as, no matter what I find that I like, it's not in the right size, it's not in the right color, it's not the right style or, if I manage to satisfy all of the above, it's got a button missing.... I did manage to get some very nice bath towels and scored some Jordan almonds for Mom during our shopping tour - one of her favorite treats.

When we were coming home from TJ Max, I gave her 5 almonds to chew on during the ride. We got home, settled back into the livingroom and she asked for some more almonds. Now, we've both got a lot of experience with introducing 'new' foods to her - it's best to introduce slowly and wait for the effects to sort themselves out (I know this first person as I think I put her in the hospital a few years back by serving her some innocent looking fresh pineapple...). Anyway, I told her I didn't want to give her any more during the first seating so the little thing looks at me, stands up, sits back down, hold out her wobbly hand and says 'There. This is the next seating.' She got her almonds. And, for future reference, we're in the clear...

Mom and I have also been busy putting together a few of the new office pieces - so far, we've done 2 filing cabinets and 1 to go. She's very good at figuring out what goes where - I, however, did not receive that gene from her. My genome is filled with Dad's head-scratcing, slightly concerned gene titled 'How'd that get there or, more likely, where the heck does that go?' He and I also shared the 'extra part left over' gene...Needless to say, Mom's more handy with this stuff than I am so I leaned on her a lot with the construction. She handled all the instructions and told me what went where. Much easier this way.

Handyman extraordinaire and I put together 3 of the 4 desks in the room. He had to finish up himself as I was plumbed tuckered out. But, with dear friend Nancie's decorating touch, the room is coming together in fine fashion. Nancie is so good at decorating that she's able to do it long distance - she being in NY and me being, well, not....Nonetheless - she picked the beautiful blue paint for the room in about 30 seconds and it's exactly right.... So, the room should be totally finished, telephone line moved along with the cable line by Thursday. Cannot wait to get my dining room back!

Jumping back a few days....

John and I spent Labor Day night anchored out down in Solomon's Island. Had a very pleasant sail down, stopped twice and swam during the day. We had a great afternoon at the Tiki bar, talking to a few locals which is always fun. Evening found us in a beautiful cove across the river, surrounded by just a few other boats. We jumped in and swam for an hour or so before throwing steaks on the grill, accompanied by sauteed mushrooms and onions. Great friend David1 had given us a special bottle of wine from his family's vineyard in Peru which made the meal even more special. Had a great time and a very restful night under the stars...until....

The storm of the century hit the next morning...

Oh, man, the harbor we were in was glass-like when we awoke early - should have known something was going to happen. We got the boat together and stowed everything (we thought), rounded the corner of the Patuxent river into the Bay and BAM! 5' swells had us singing the theme to Gilligan's Island (and me without high heels or even one long formal dress...). Namaste II, being a power sailer, motored through at a steady 8 knots but there was no sailing to be done this day! She handled the swells pretty well, especially considering she's not a heavy keel boat. We bobbed, we rallied, we dodged left, we weaved right, we rose, we fell. We did it all...and again... and again... and again. Finally we got back to the harbor at Chesapeake Beach in what turned out to be pretty good time...3.5 forever hours! We both ran for the hot shower as we were soaked from the sea spray. Luckily, the water was 74.5 degrees still so it wasn't too horrible, but we were both pruny anyway. A good lunch finished the day before I hit the road while John stayed behind to put the boat back together. All in all, a grand day.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Proof that there is a 6:15 in the morning

John and I generally get up around 4:30 or 5 in the morning but I just knew Mom didn't believe that time existed as she usually rolls out of bed around 9 am. Actually, she's been getting into a pattern I'm not liking so much; she gets up early for coffee and 'just a little something', goes back to sleep and gets up at 9 for coffee and 'just a little something' - now, my read on this is that she's getting an extra breakfast serving somewhere along the line.

She got up this morning at 6. I greeted her with a cheery 'Good Morning, Sunshine.' She looks at me through bleary eyes and replies 'it's more like moonshine....' She's got it goin' on even at 6:15.

Nephew Greg, niece Nora, and Sis-in-law Linda came over for a visit yesterday afternoon - nice way to break up the week. Mom loves having visitor, especially during the day.

Sophia and Bobbi came over for dinner last night. Made some great chicken kabobs on the grill, rice and Sophia mixed up some vegetables, chinese style. Delicious. John worked late but sent him off today with breakfast AND lunch - not a bad gig, if you can get it.

Heading down to the boat Sunday night for an overnight run - our first at actually anchoring out. Got a nice steak dinner planned with a special bottle of wine. Looking SO forward to it!

Monday, August 31, 2009

I believe I made a tactical error...

Well, I've managed to blast Mom out of her chair and out the door 3 times last week (!). A record for the last two years. She got a nice mani/pedi one day and then off to meet up with Ms. Lowe for cocktails at our local dive bar. Our feet are the only proof we were all there. Of course, Bobbi is wearing the sexy shoes (well, the only shoes - I left the house without shoes again)....But, the real kicker (pun intended) is that those shoes are MINE! Bobbi is 'borrowing' them until she gets bored and passes them over again.

So, another day, I took Mom over to Montgomery Mall for some shopping and to meet up with Sophia for some lunch. We're all so busy these days that we infrequently get together. Life just keeps getting in the way. Anyway, Mom and I stopped at a chinese market on the way home to get veggies (note to all: if you want very fresh, very inexpensive vegetables, head to the oriental market. )

While there, I saw a very pretty tray (here's the tactical error part of the story). Gert loved it so, off we went with said tray in hand. So, what I just did, was buy an implement with which to serve Gertie....great, just great. That's what she needs; a reason to stay seated in that chair!

The other night, I was kissing her goodnight before bed and she leaned in for a kiss and, I though, she was going to say something sweet to me like she usually does. Was it going to be 'Goodnight, Sweetheart' (her closing line for Dad for all those years and now the closing line for me - most nights. Maybe it was going to be 'I love you' like I hear frequently. Perhaps a sweet whispered 'Thank you for my day.' So, she leans in, seductively, btw, and whispers....

'I believe I'll have cream of wheat, toast and coffee for breakfast tomorrow.'

And, this was BEFORE I bought the tray. Oy, such a monster I've created...

So, today, she got lunch on her new tray, complete with fresh from-the-garden tomatoes which we're quite flush in. In fact, they're everywhere. Good thing the dogs like them.

I've been quite busy setting up my new business - Data Concepts & Solutions. John is going to be my IT department, having already started to prove his worth. I'm setting up the office upstairs and will be ordering furniture Wednesday - can't wait as I've been working out of the dining room for 6 months and I'm starting to bleed over into the kitchen. I've been quite busy and have managed to even put Mom to work more than once. She has great ideas and, since she's owned Town Hall for, oh, 50 years now, there's a lot of wisdom in her mind.

Picture below was the 3 of the 5 starving dogs today. You'd never know they were starving. And, that blob at the bottom of the last picture is JB falling asleep on duty - he guards the refrigerator on a daily basis and takes his duty (usually) very seriously.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Ok, so there's two so far today:

1. Mom comes into the kitchen from the bathroom where she's evidently been perusing the recent Cosmopolitan magazine in there. One headline on the magazine is '125 different sexual positions.' (Who knew...). Anyway, she comes into the kitchen and says 'I'm sore.' I immediately roll through scenarios in my mind, has she fallen and not told me? Is her bed to hard? Is her bed too soft? Has a dog tripped/licked/or bitten her? A surreptitious glance shows no swollen ankles, visible bruises, etc. Now, remember, this all happens in my mind in about .00001 second.

So, I replied 'Um...why are you sore?' Her reply kills me 'I tried 120 positions and think I got hurt. I don't think I can make all 125.'

Now, it took me a minute to grasp what she was talking about but then I just fell out. I need to remember to pick up my magazines.

2. So, I'm sitting here and just completed an article for about elder abuse. If you're interested, click here:
Elder Care 101: Reporting elder abuse

Anyway, I found a really nice resource, the National Center for Elder Abuse and mentioned to Mom about how great the information is up there. I explained a bit about elder abuse to her and she looks at me and says 'Maybe they should teach us to box.' Ok, I'm done - still laughing!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

On wayward tour guides and such

Well, Mo, our free tourguide for St. Thomas picked us up this morning after John and I spent a few hours having coffee at the pool. It was stiffling hot and my skin was sizzling so hopping in Mo's car for a beautiful ride to Mountaintop sounded right - the key word here is 'sounded.'

All I know is that Mo's poor Toyota Corolla (circa 1990's somewhere), was screaming for mercy as it tried to get Mo, John and me up this mountain to what was, seriously, a gorgeous view of the island.

Now, ok, I've had a few slices of pizza on vacation but this car bucked, it huffed, it puffed. If you ask me, it was a bit dramatic and not happy in the least. We did get a great view from Mountaintop, a few times, in fact.

Ended up at the port authority, or some sort place, for some appetizers before we wound our way into downtown where Mo dropped John and me off in the town center to peruse a few jewelry stores. Luckily, I made it out unscathed as just couldn't find the earrings I was looking for.

Mo took us to another great restaurant around the corner from her house, right on the beach. Food was just great and Mo actually has a job app in for an adjoining restaurant with a great menu. She's going to come in handy again in the near future, we hope. Had some great lunch and lots of laughs for a few hours. Good times.

On the way back, we stopped by Mo's darling apartment which is smack dab on the Caribbean. The views couldn't be any more gorgeous and the place is just adorable. John and I are totally jealous!

Made it back to our condo and the three of us hit the pool for a few hours of lounging. Watched the sun come down and a lightning storm over St. John. Sorry to be leaving tomorrow but also anxious to get home to Mom and the pups. Wish I could have brought them all down here for, on, an eternity or so. Pictures will be forthcoming....

St John afternoon

Well, morning found us in our favorite spot for coffee, sitting by the pool, watching the waves. Nothing higher on our list - well, except, perhaps, John's bloody mary...he might have to wean off the suckers when we come home! Swam, walked the beach a few times, swam some more. You get the idea. Picture at left is my view from the pool lounge chair.

Took a cab into Red Hook and then the ferry over to St. John as I really wanted to hit a few jewelry stores in search of a pair of earrings. Had forgotten that St. John is known for its gorgeous beaches, pretty much only. No so much for shopping, Did have some great onion rings and very cold Red Stripe though before catching the next ferry back to St. Thomas where naps awaited, and, of course, more pool time.

Actually made it out to dinner for the first time to our favorite bartender, Michelle's, upscale bar, XO. The sashimi tuna I had was among the best I've ever had, cocktails were cold so it was all good. Our favorite ex-bartender, Mo, came to collect us for the 5 minute ride home. Met her baby sis who was working a Duffy's Love Shack - she's a waitress and it's hard work as there's no airconditioning and it does get, man, HOT here. I certainly couldn't do it.

I believe the plan for today is, well, pool for coffee, beach for snorkeling, pool, beach, lather, rinse and repeat. Home tomorrow which is a bit sad but necessary and I'm missing my mama pretty good down here. Only saw one dog yesterday, thankfully, and he had on a collar and had found a patch of sun.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Boating day!

So, yesterday found John, Mo and me zipping around the Caribbean in our 26 foot open fisherman with twin 200 engines - va va va vooooom. Smoking fast! It was certainly the best vacation day I've personally have ever experienced as the views were just phenomenal.

We went over to a pretty remote snorkeling spot only accessable
by water as it was a small island. We moored off the reef and swam over from the boat which might not have looked far but turned into a healthy swim! Deep blue water abounded until the reef appeared suddenly. Gorgeous parrot fish greeted me first, followed by fair size snappers. No turtles - drats, or seahorses, double drats as have always wanted to see a few.

Found Skinny Legs at the first try as our Captain was just that good. John put that boat exactly where we wanted to go! I threw the line to Mike, the 8 year old on the dock who tied us up - that's the type of skills kids should have. He was sitting on the peer fishing for snappers with his brother, Sawyer (great childs name, imho). Cute kids who were as nice as could be and suntanned the way a child should be in the summer.
John bought me a hat at Skinny Legs but, alas, it was a tad too late as I appear to be a red tomato today. I swore I wouldn't get sunburnt but a few Dark and Stormys makes one forget about protection (or suntan lotion),. My hair is following suit in a tangled mess - I appear to be that old woman on the front of Hallmark cards this morning. Speaking of this morning, fought a good fight to stay asleep but didn't win. Up around 2, gave up lying around the bed at 4 so the day is off to a start.

Oh, we also landed at the Westin hotel on St. John yesterday for a cocktail at the pool bar. Mo is very handy to have around as it seems that she knows everyone (and gets pretty nice treatment too!).
Hoping to go shopping at some point, if I can get off this gorgeous beach and the pool right in front of me. A nap is certainly in the future today.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The joys of pool days...

Well, today found us sitting by the pool - from 4:30 am until, well, just about now. Dear friend Mo came over to hang out and bring club soda reinforcements (the need for this should not be downplayed as club soda is our friend and we were about out). Most of our last club soda stash found itself in John's belly in the form of 'bloody mary lites.' He was on fire with the old bloody mary's again - drank them literally all day and, well, now, if a bit hungover. I just told him that if he couldn't run with the big dogs, he needed to stay on the porch with the puppies. He looked at me a bit bleakly as I handed him aspirin and a club to wash them down.

We had a great day though. We were the hits of the pool as, it seems that no one else thought to bring sunscreen along and we had a bag full. WHY oh WHY would one come to St. Thomas in AUGUST without protection (or sunscreen....). Anyway, we tried to save a few of the poor waifs (yes, bobbi, thanks) but one was already a lobster boy and well on his way to misery tonight...

Entertained an iguana who actually bit my toe (orange toenails with white polka dots must have resembled something tasty to him, or her.). The thing 'about took my toe off at the knuckle' but was, in actuality, a bit of a slight nibble that felt kind of good until I realized what it was! He/she/ it was about 3 feet long and was ok eating the last of our nachos, piece by slight piece. I was pretty close to the sucker at one point, leaning in for a good look when he sort of reared up. Maureen chose this moment to say 'Looks like he might jump' or something to that effect. JUMP? HE CAN JUMP???? WTF! Why didn't you say something about this before???? And, in a moment, he jumped from the ground to the top of the wall which was about 2 feet up! Holy MOLY, who knew the things could jump??? Anyway, all was well as he moved on his merry way. Note to audience: Iguanas will lick a grape jolly rancher but really don't like those candies any more than I do.

Tomorrow, we're hoping to head to Red Hook with Mo in tow to rent the boat. One destination will be St. John where Skinny Legs, the bar, is noted to have the best burgers around. I'm there! John wants to hit Tortola or whatever that other island is and, sadly, St. Croix is not in our future as we can't take the boat there for some reason. I was hoping to see where wee Rita came from but not this trip. We've seen a mess of stray cats but nary a stray dog - lucky for us as I was working on John re: bringing home an older stray, someone around 12 or so (designed to be outtahere within 4 or 5 years), but he's been pretty good about holding steady with 'no more dogs.' So, 'no more dogs' it will be...unless I find one...he he...

Pictures wil be forthcoming once we, well, get around to it. We're on island time, Mon...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

St. Thomas Heaven

Well, if my memory for my camera wasn't stuck in John's computer, I'd upload some wonderful photos but it is and I won't!

We got to St. John after a great plane ride during which I bonded with my seat mate - she has a timeshare at the Ritz and is me on steroids! She comes to St. John 4 times a year, this time, she left her husband back at the ranch (he's an exec in big pharma!) while she headed to the islands (mon!) with her 72 year old momma, her sister and 2 nieces. I'm sort of glad she doesn't live closer (she's from NJ and, no, Miss Lowe, she's not a typical 'Jersey girl' - um, not that there's anything wrong with that...). She and I hit it off from the start and ended up the plane ride finishing each other's sentences. She's a jewelry fan so she tuned me into the good stores on the island which I hope to visit on Tuesday. Julia was a blast - can't say enough about her; she kept me totally entertained, and John too. I'm thinking that we'll run back into her during the week when we crash the facilities at the Ritz.

So, we get here and wait an appropriate amount of time in island terms (that's an eternity to a DC girl...1 hour) for our bag which I'd packed chock full of suntan lotion (can't be too cautious), hair gel (can't be too frizzy), deodorant (can't be too smelly) and short dresses (can't be too...never mind).

Our darling friend Mo, an ex-bartender from La Mex who moved here 3 months ago picked us up in her car at the airport and delivered us to our ocean front condo which is da bomb....full kitchen, great breeze, incredible value. Gotta love all that. Anyway, poor Mo only gained 3.5 lbs of Jolly Ranchers, a bag of Werthers, and some cinnamon candies for her troubles. So, John and I did a very quick unpack and hit what we thought was the beach bar only to find it (gasp) closed! So, took a taxi to redhook and hit Duffy's Love Shack for some mojitos and nachos. Just right! Wandered the marina and fell in big love with a Sundancer 32 footer. Just right, again! Beautiful boat to island hop in!

So, I'm sitting here in our oceanfront condo, listening to the ocean's roar. John, poor young dear, is sleeping and it's 8:08! I've got a few hours to go so figured I'd blog for posterity sake.

Oh, didn't finish the story...

So, J-boy and I took a taxi into Redhook, after Duffy's, hit a few more local spots and ended up in a very nice bar where we met a great woman - Michelle, the bartender...all 24 years of her (give me a break)... But, she's a doll and ended up giving us a ride to the local market, where she waited for us to do some power shopping (wine, vodka, you know...the essentials). Michelle dropped us back at our condo and gave us some great lessons in etiquette for the islands (some things, like, for instance, saying 'Good morning, good afternoon or good evening' as greeting - who knew?) We're planning on seeing her again this coming week. She and her fiance are leaving the island next month to hike the entire Appalachian trail, starting in Georgia and working their way up. I'm sure she'll do exactly that - she's a great find.

It's interesting to me how these people come into our lives - I mean, really, I don't know Julia or Michelle from a hill of beans this morning (is that the expression), yet, despite our ages, life experiences and lifestyles, we all really connected. Our souls must have met before - that's what it feels like and, in fact, I'm sure that John and my's soul must have intermingled for countless ages until we found each other again in this lifetime.

Life, dear friends, is enchanting... can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Charlies 'Angels'....

Or are these the Devil in disguise?

As you can see, we've been having a blast on Nasmaste II all summer.

We've had plenty of guest visits which both John and I really enjoy. Our 'go-to' spot is usually buzzing over for lunch at Tilghman Island and then a sail back (or visa versa, depending on where the wind blows us). I've gotten much better at sailing, having not yet knocked John overboard. I tried once but to no avail.

John and I are heading to St. Thomas on Saturday for 5 glorious days in an ocean front home. Can't wait! A friend of ours, Mo, one of the ex-bartenders from La Mex, moved down there just a few months ago so we're looking forward to spending some time with an 'islander.' Good friends are covering Gert for me which is so nice. I so appreciate my friends! Amazing people; all of them. Thanks Sophia, Bobbi, Mark (keep your bedroom door locked....), Ruth Ann and Kimmie!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Knowing Gert better....

So, I got this quiz forwarded to me on Facebook. I don't generally do these things but thought it would be fun to have Mom complete it. She sure looks boring by her answers below. I might need to do this quiz too, now that I think of it. The below answers are from dear Gert (my comments are in blue)...

1. Been arrested? N

2. Kissed someone you didn't like? N

3. Slept in until 5:00 PM? N

4. Ran a red light? N (I don't believe it....)

5. Been suspended from school? N

6. Experienced love at first sight? Y (Joe!)

7. Totaled your car in an accident? Y

8. Been fired from a job? N (not fired, laid off - JC Penney)

9. Fired somebody? Y

10. Sang karaoke in public? N

11. Pointed a real gun at someone? N

12. Done something you told yourself you wouldn't? N (don't believe this one either - she says she doesn't want to flunk this test..)

13. Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Y

14. Kissed in the rain? Y

15. Had a close brush with death (your own)? N

16. Seen someone die? N

17. Played spin-the-bottle? Y (In school, we'd play spin the bottle - schools must have been 'looser' back then....)

18. Smoked a cigar? N

19. Sat on a rooftop? Y (and got paddled for it when Bubie found out....)

20. Smuggled something into another country? N

21. Grown your own vegetables? N

22. Broken a bone? N

22. Posed for a racy photograph? N (this one elicited a long 'Noooooooo' - I didn't ask...)

23. Eaten a bug? N

24. Sleepwalked? N

25. Walked a moonlit beach? N

26. Rode a motorcycle? No (this one came out with a long 'I don't think mother wouldn't let me.' Funny thing is my mother won't let me either and now I have a rather large scar on the back of my right leg so I understand this rule now).

27. Dumped someone? N

28. Lied to avoid a ticket? N (I'm thinking Mother Theresa is sitting here next to me and I KNOW that ain't right).

29. Ridden in a helicopter? N

30. Shaved your head? N

31. Made a loved one cry? Y

32. Eaten snake? N

33. Marched, demonstrated, or protested in public? N

34. Buried a pet in the back yard? N

35. Vomited on an amusement ride? N

36. Seriously and intentionally boycotted something? N

37. Been in a band? N

38. Been on TV? N

39. Shot a gun? Y

40. Skinny-dipped? N

41. Gave someone stitches? N

42. Ridden a surfboard? N

43. Drank straight from a liquor bottle? N ( I know she's not right as I have a picture, somewhere, of her sucking down liquor....note to self: must find photo)

44. Had surgery? Y

45. Sent back a meal in a restaurant because it wasn't acceptable? N

46. Taken by ambulance to hospital? Y (Sadly, yes...)

47. Fainted? Y

48. Been in handcuffs? N (hmmm...this No was slow in coming...)

49. Donated blood? N

50. Written a love poem? N

51. Eaten alligator meat? N

52. Killed an animal? N

53. Seen a U.S. president in person? N

54. Sneaked into a movie without paying? N

55. Written graffiti? N

56. Still love someone you shouldn't? N

57. Saved someone's life? N

58. Believe in love? Y

Now, since the above quiz seems like I have a quite boring, strait-laced mother, let's make up some questions of our own...

1. Ever cheated in poker? N (hmmmm....)

2. Ever lost more than $1000 gambling? Y

3. Seen Michael Jackson? Y

4. Worked your ass off (this was her helpful entry into the list): Y

5. Loved a dog? Y

6. Put lard on your father's wallpaper board (which, btw, he used in his livelihood...) and use it as a sliding board with your baby brother (who is 91 now): Y

7. Driven a turquoise and white Desoto convertible? Y - sure wish we still had that car...sigh.

8. Know how to answer a bluetooth? Y (hello?).

9. Loved the same man 65.5 year? Y (that love remains today too..)

10. Had a favorite child? Y (didn't ask - didn't want to know).

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Out of the mouth of (old) babes...

So, dear Gert and I are sitting here quite early this morning as my 'date' tottled downstairs around 6 am for early coffee. We're in the living room, watching the morning news and on comes an expose about tanning. The piece is documenting how dangerous tanning beds are as they pretty much grill you from the inside out. The newscasters correlate the dangers of tanning with alcoholism, tobacco use, etc.

As the piece finishes up, Mom looks at me and says 'Great. Next they'll tell me to give up sex. I've got one damn thing to have fun with and they'll probably take that too...'

I believe the coffee spurted right out my nose...What a way to start the day.

Here's another Gertie-ism from today:

She's reading the paper and sort of muttering, half to me and half to herself. I start to listen in as some of these 'self' conversations are pretty funny. Newspaper is rattling, she's looking a bit confused over the top of the paper. She comes out with: It's been so long since I've looked at my horoscope that I'm not sure which one I'm in any more.

Scans the paper a bit longer, moves the paper up a bit and says 'I think I moved down a notch...'

Then finally, there's this other one from just today (the woman was on a roll):

I've been riding her a bit about not excusing herself after burping, or, for that matter, any other bodily noise. She's cute as hell - I'll hear her burp in the hallway, say 'excuse me' to no one and crack herself up. Funny. Anyway...

She says to me today 'I have a question. If I'm sitting on the pot and I burp and no one is in the house, do I have to say excuse me?' I laugh and say no. She said 'thank you - I wasted my breath on that one yesterday.'

Friday, July 17, 2009

Doctors, Doctors, everywhere!

Well, we've spent the last two weeks investigating Mom's shortness of breath. We've seen a pulmonologist (useless individual) and a cardiologist (fabulous man). It appears as though her shortness of breath issues are not lung related but may be cardiac - not a surprise given her advanced age and not particularly alarming either as they're periodic and clear fairly quickly.

Our latest travels found us at the pulmonologist who wanted to perform a 40 minute breathing test that was fairly strenuous. Since all signs (including the hospital ER Doctor's assessment during our 4 hour tour of Shady Grove) point to it not being a lung issue, she opted out and off to the cardiologist we go on Monday for a chemical stress test. She had this 2 years ago and it was a breeze so we don't expect any issues.

Took her out yesterday to Butler's Orchard to get fresh veggies for a dinner party tonight. Then, we rambled our way back to the house. One very interesting part of being a caregiver for her is that I see things and do things I normally wouldn't. How many of us are racing to get back to the house to, what? Clean the toilet? Nope, Gert and I frequently wander the back roads, ruminating on who the hell needs ALL that house, watching the teenage boys (11 of em!) playing basketball in a friend's backyard - this was particularly heartwarming as you hardly ever seen kids playing outside these days. They're all addicted to the tv or their gameboy or their computer get the idea.

Anyway, we've been having some pretty good days around here. Mom reports that she's sleeping better even though her bedroom sounds like it's about to take off - I have an air conditioner, an air freshener and a humidifier in there for her. It's like staying in a hotel at the beach by the airport...But, she's happy so that's good by me!

I've recently started writing for which is a blast. Here's a few fun articles, especially interesting for the elders among us (yes, I'm counting myself there, having move to Red Hat Society territory just last year):

Elder Fun 101 - Find a local Red Hat Society chapter near to Silver Spring, MD - LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the pic of dear Joe in this one.

Elder Travel 101: Where can I find travel activities?

And, I haven't forgotten the chocoholics:
FRIDAYS ONLY! Get a free Milky Way, M&Ms, Snickers, Dove or Twix chocolate bar!!

Here's my profile - if you care!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A new boat home...

Well, John and I had a fantastic day on the boat yesterday. I wanted to practice getting out of the slip and heading out for the Bay and, if I say so myself, I had a spectacular maiden voyage. No issues at all, Namaste responded to my fledgling captaining very well, much to my delight (and, John's amazement!). Got out to the Bay and held her steady as John upped the sails and off we went. Got up to 6.2 miles under sail, heeling (leaning over) all the way. Totally loved it! What a great time. Dropped anchor and spent an hour swimming in a jellyfish-free Chesapeake. Water temp was 73.5 and incredibly comfortable.

I got up this morning around 3, which seems to be my normal time of awakening these days. Around 5, snapped the pics of an awe-inspiring sunrise over the marina - tried to wake John but he wasn't having it. The rocking of the boat was too comforting.

We did get a nice walk in over to get coffee at the Java Stop and then continued onto Petey Greene's which is supposed to be open for breakfast - yeah, they open at 11 - ok, maybe not everyone wakes at 3, but really 11?? Anyway, once we found our favorite spot closed, John suggested we head to Chesapeake Beach for breakfast and what a fateful decision it was.

We got to Chesapeake beach and had a great breakfast at the hotel, overlooking the marina. Decided to walk out and talk to a few of the boat owners about rental slip rates for the marina. Long story short (too late), in 3 quick hours, we had already moved the boat to our new marina spot! It's gorgeous and we have an incredible spot, just the second from the bulkhead which means we're out in the Bay at full speed in less than 5 minutes. And the best part of all is that we can take Mom to the hotel, about 100 feet from the boat, get a bay-front room for the night, and get some gambling in too (they have slots there). Really excited about the rest of the summer at our new 'home.' The people we met today were very nice and welcoming - I think we're in for some big fun! And, to top it off, I was up $45 in about 3 minutes on the slot machine before John pulled me away - good move.

Picture to the left was snapped this morning on our walk - in coming home and reviewing the shots, this one cracked me up. It looks like a raven wedding to me...