Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I'm free!
My cast has been removed. The old disgusting skin has been rubbed away. It still looks gross, with my new pink scars just in time for Halloween. A little swollen still. I walk like Frankenstein, but at least I'm walking.

If you don't look too closely, I look perfectly normal, although that was true before, wasn't it?

Thanks so much to my family - especially Mom & Dad who helped keep my household rolling during this incapacitation.

I'm going to go take a test drive now. yippee!

Monday, October 29, 2007

When you are 98 years old, I wonder what five memories will still be rolling around your mind?

I sent an hour recently watching my daughter get an “up-do” at the salon for her first high school dance – Homecoming. While watching my daughter be transformed, my mother (who has been our gracious chauffeur while my broken right leg heals) saw a woman in the salon who was a patient at the doctor’s office years ago. Although the woman, who was 98, didn’t readily recall my mother the nurse, her caregiver did. They chatted and the caregiver said that she heard the same five stories over and over. My mom commented that she always had great stories. The freshly glamorized Grand Madame passed us on her scooter and graced us with a funny story about a glass of Scotch.

I’ve decided that as part of my retirement planning, I am going to embark on as many memorable adventures as I can, so that when I’m a 98 year old Grand Madame, I will still have a few great stories to laugh about with strangers in salon.

I’m stockpiling my silo of memories.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Do you have 14 minutes for a fun reminder of the early 80's? My friend Geni has posted the full length Michael Jackson "Thriller" video. I forgot how comically creepy it was. I think Thriller was the high water mark of his career. It was only one or two plastic surgeries into his madness. He still had the faint scent of normal lingering about him.
One of my college friend's was ga-ga over him, which is probably why I watch this movie as often as I could see it in the pre-youtube, dawn of MTV.

Anyway, if you click on this link to Geni's myspace, the video will begin. I absolutely love the zombie dance. He certainly was a great entertainer.

Geni's Thrilling Myspace

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Having sat on this couch for a month while I recover from this leg break, I have a few observations to share about television.

I have access to nearly 1000 channels with my state-of-the-art fiber-optic programming on my high definition television. My primary conclusion is that I could get away with only two or three of them easily. There are few truly original shows. The talk shows are the same. The news is depressing (unless it is fake.) The dramas are predictable. The game shows are annoying.

My children are far from this stage in their relationship with television. They can watch the same insipid sitcoms for hours. I have much lower Hannah Montana stamina.

I have enjoyed the music channels I found up in the 6 & 7 hundreds. I like them because there are absolutely no commercials (unless you count it for the music industry.) They display the information about the songs so that the non-musically aware, like me, can figure out who it is I’m looking for on iTunes.

I found a cool show that speaks to my inner Mr. Rogers on the Discovery Channel called “How It’s Made”. I’ve taken quick trip through manufacturing processes that require curious components, fascinating machinery and manual dexterity: plate glass, toothpicks, bike helmets, bathtubs, computers, aluminum.

I investigated reality television, but I always realize that I have other real-life things to do that are of more relevance, even though I am primarily sedentary.

The one reality show that I was most amazed by was one called “Cheaters”. Have you heard of this show? Some sleazy guy in a black suit speaks to heartbroken women, or men I suppose, who suspect their significant other has embarked on another relationship. The guy in the suit speaks in a tone of feigned concern and support while deliberately steering this grieving, emotionally raw person into catching the object of their affection in a compromising situation on national television.

Everyone is making bad decisions, but the one who irritates me most was the guy in the suit. As the shaken, raging heartbreakee is trying to drive away from the scene of their self-inflicted, public humiliation, sleazy suit guy (with the lights & cameras & mics behind him) stops the car and expresses his concern for her safety as she attempts to make a get-away.

It was so painful to watch on so many levels. I couldn’t stay tuned in for the whole show. Back to the music channel and blogs.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

As my oldest child has embarked on her first year of high school and her social life is ringing off the hook, it occurs to me that I need to establish some dating guidelines for my children. These guidelines will set the tone for the two following her.

I see my role in motherhood changing and confess I feel a little daunted by the teen years I have only begun to parent through. Although this is new territory for me, I see the path is well worn ahead of me.

So I ask you,
What dating rules and guidelines should I establish for my children?
How do I distinguish a dating relationship from a friend?

Monday, October 15, 2007

I inadvertently spent much of Saturday night in an obstacle course. Have you ever needed to rely on crutches? Although I am getting better, I am still a novice manipulating these tools of freedom.

I am in the last two weeks of having my lower right leg entombed in no-longer-soft cotton lined rigid fiberglass. My inaccessible skin is driving me wild. So I was happy to accept an offer to attend a bachelorette dinner at the Chart House in Annapolis. I figured, surely I can crutch it into a table and back to the car for a change of scenery.

The Chart House is a wonderful restaurant overlooking the historic Annapolis harbor. I had been there before, but not in a long time, and certainly not on crutches. I had forgotten, for example, that the front door to the restaurant was down a long pier. I had not realized that this weekend was the Boat Show, and it was more crowded than usual. I felt a bit like I was returning to the scene of the crime.

It occurred to me as I hobbled toward the entrance that I would make an easy mark for a purse snatcher and I hoped that everyone would be nice. Overall, everyone was nice, but I was a bit dismayed at the general public's lack of helpfulness, or more likely awareness, of my need for assistance. I am reminded that I need to pay more attention to these opportunities to help in the future.

Maneuvering in a restroom with crutches is a comedy of errors. I have new opinions of handicapped accessibility and a renewed respect for those among us living with permanent disabilities. You know those sadists who place toilet paper roles in locations designed for contortionists? They wreak their havoc in the handicapped stall as well. I'd like to see them reach for that dispenser while balancing on one foot.

Anyway, the invigorating laughter of new and old friends coupled with the pecan and cranberry encrusted mahi-mahi more than made up for the challenges the night set out for me. I even had wine from the Snoqualmie Vinyards in Washington State that I visited a few years ago with my dear friend in Seattle and it was a sweet reminder of that old friend.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Last night at dinner, my sister started a line of conversation with
"My favorite mashed potato story is..." I wondered aloud if everyone had a mashed potato story. My father had a baked potato story. I had a raw one. Mom had a potato soup story. It was an interesting line of conversation, that didn't quite make it all the way around the table.

What is your favorite potato story?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Have you ever felt just a little off-balance?
Now that I am in this one-legged phase of life, I am finding the metaphor unavoidable.

I was feeling quite grounded in my life when my divorce metaphorically knocked me off balance. During that time I spent a lot of time on my couch, self-medicating, and relying on the kindness of my friends and the cooperation of my children. After more than four years, I was feeling increasingly stronger, perhaps more balanced than ever before.

And then I stood up at the wrong time on a boat. The moment I stood up, I had no concern for my safety, I was having fun. I was simply moving to a different vantage point. I never even saw how it exactly happened, but in a second, all my attention diverted to a small section of my body. I knew when I saw my foot pointing in the wrong direction that things were going to be different for quite while. All my plans were ruined. Even though I was literally being held close by a kind friend, I knew that life was going to be dramatically different than I planned. I yearned for oblivion, to sleep through the beginning of the healing time. I have clocked a lot of hours on this damn couch. I have been relying on the kindness of friends and the cooperation of my children.

Bones mend easier than hearts, but the healing process is still grueling. It is such a small portion of my body that is incapacitated, probably less than 5%. But that small portion has thrown everything off balance. True balance requires your full effort

When I am finally able to put weight on that leg again (20 more days)I will be far from balanced. Already my underused leg is obviously wasting. Atrophy is so unattractive, not to mention debilitating. To regain my balance, I will have to work hard, be deliberate, push myself. I have read of the dangers of doing too much too soon, how it can be detrimental to recovery.

Have you ever felt your feet knocked out from under you? What aided your return to balance?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I'm finally returning to clarity after a couple weeks on some really wonderful pain-killers. I am now only taking them at bedtime. This afternoon I get my stitches out and a real cast on. My kids have already claimed certain areas for decorating rights.

My refrigerator is bursting at the seams with church-lady cooking. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful support network. My kids have thanked me for breaking my leg, the food has been so delicious: curry chicken salad, kaluah chili, vegetarian chili, sausage lasagna, chicken gumbo, South Beach zucchini-meatball pasta, struesel cake, chocolate chip cookies & muffins, friendship bread... I'm going to have more than physical therapy to do after 6 weeks of this delicious lovin'.

I am only just beginning to get to the stir crazy part. I have had some work to catch up on to distract me and many visitors. But I anticipate being ready to get outta this house soon. First, I am just looking forward to going upstairs. A shower would certainly be nice too. My girlfriends have helped me wash my hair al fresco.

I am so fortunate to have had my parents in town, ready to do whatever I need. My house is cleaner than it has been in ages, thanks to Mom. She is realizing that the laundry piles were part of our clothing storage system, as she has gotten further ahead in laundry than I ever did. Dad has networked my laptop to my PC so I can get all my documents. He's taking over my son's science fair project for me and driving to lacrosse games & practice. Fortunately, they have been assisting me in eating this mountain of good cookin'.

I'm looking forward to catching up on your lives & blogs. Thanks for being there for me.