Saturday, April 30, 2011


I am curled up in the bed after having scarfed down my Jack in the Box southwest grilled chicken salad (really excellent, but be sure they don't gyp you on the corn sticks!) and starting my movie for the night, Julie and Julia. I picked this up in the bargain section of Target where Bob and I took refuge during the showing this afternoon between 4:30 and 5:30.

What thrills me at this moment, I mean, so much so that I paused the movie to come start this blog, is that I have discovered this movie has an option to subtitle the commentary. Have I been missing out on this? I've never seen this option on a DVD, and believe me, I subtitle everything. It amuses me to see the subtitles of sound and music, plus I can catch those lines no one ever hears when people are talking over one another. I really hate when people talk over one another. My father-in-law watches these horrible news programs where it appears the main goal is to see who can shout the loudest over the other people on the panel and it makes me nuts. I digress . . .

Julie and Julia is the first movie I've discovered this charming feature on and even though I am only twenty minutes into the movie, I am absolutely delighted. You see, I like to know the knowledge imparted in intelligent commentaries, but they tend to do the same thing as those news panel shows -- the audio for the film and the audio for the commentary mix and mingle and make me crazy. So here, I'm listening to the film, but I'm getting to read the thoughts of the director as I go. Did you know they recreated Julia Child's post-war French apartment almost identically from all the pictures they had of her and Paul during that time, but the size of the one in the film is actually two rooms smaller than the gigantic thing they lived in?  And that when they were scouting for all those fabulous French restaurants of the 50s that we see the Childs eating at, the best places they could find that looked like 50s era France were in New York?

The writer and director, Norah Ephron,  talks about the real Julie's menagerie of three cats and a boa constrictor being too much for her to even imagine in the film (there's only the one cat). Did you know that the woman who plays the horrid Madame Brassart from the Cordon Blue is actually Joan Juliet Buck, an editor at Vogue? I loved her description of filming the scene of all 14 males cooks and Julia cooking omelets over real stoves at the same time as, she imagines, male directors must feel about filming car race scenes.

Large parts of the letters you hear Meryl Streep reading are almost word for word from Julia's actual letters she wrote to her friend, as are Paul's. His toast to her as the "butter to my bread and the breath to my life" weren't written for the movie. I'm not sure why this thrills me so, but it does.

And Amy Adams has not eaten a lobster since shooting the lobster killer scene. . .

You know how Julie dresses as Julia for her birthday dinner? The emblem she pinned on everyone's shirt is the emblem of the cooking school Julia started with her friends who collaborated with her to write her cookbook: L'Ecole des Trois Gourmandes, aka the school of the three big eaters.

Chris Messina actually ate 35 tums for one scene. Who keeps count of that?

That fantastic train station? Hoboken, New Jersey. It was going to run them half a million dollars for half a day's shooting at one in Paris. And later in the film, when they are supposed to be in the Boston station? Same Hoboken Station from another angle.

Meryl Streep is 5'6 and they've managed to make her convincingly 6'2 like the real Julia, whose sister was even taller at 6'4. The real Paul Childs stood on a ladder over Julia's shoulder to take the photographs to be used in her cookbook, so that they would make more sense to the cook who was following the illustrations to the recipes.

The very best commentary is late in the movie, right before Julie finds out Julia Child doesn't appreciate her blog, when Norah is describing what looks like this innocuous shot of Julie's cat: "This is one of those scenes that looks like nothing. But it's a complete nightmare. Trust me. You never want to put a cat in a movie. This one, finally, on about the 28th take, did what we wanted her to do. Or maybe it was a him. I can't remember."

4-30-11 Mr. Wilkes

Thanks to Blogger's automatic resizing limitations, the screenshots below may be a little fuzzy. But I have to share them because they remind me exactly why, for all its shortcomings, I love Facebook. Thursday was my high school band director's birthday. I left him a short note with a link to the particular section of Scheherazade that I recalled sight reading in band for Mr. Wilkes some 24 years ago. It was Mr. Wilkes' last year at Dobie before he left us for Tennessee where he now serves as the Director of Orchestras at the Chatanooga School of Arts and Sciences. 

Now, here's the thing. I don't think I have a particularly exceptional memory. But there are certain moments in your life when you spend the rest of your lifetime remembering them as though you'd videotaped taped them and played them back a thousand times. And this just happens to be one of those times.

I'd always been a lazy player, one who never practiced enough and skated by. My freshman year I'd come in as the second chair oboe to Robin Blilie, senior and the most amazing, committed, accomplished oboe player I'd ever known. I was not worthy. The day the spring class transfer came through to send me to the First Wind Ensemble as second oboe was about a week into class. They'd been working on some piece of music that blackened the page with notes, which I must say, as I would recall it in years to come, as similar to Salieri's complaint about Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio, "Ten minutes of ghastly scales. Arpeggios! Whizzing up and down like fireworks at a fairground!" I sat there quite dumbfounded as they played through it. Mr. Wilkes stopped everyone, gave me one his patented stares, and said, "You have to try."

It was Mr. Wilkes who introduced me to the film Amadeus in fact. We watched it later that semester at the end of the year, after it had won its eight Academy Awards.

For some reason, I remember Mr. Wilkes directing the orchestra on one of those days where the elementary school kids come to hear a performance and touch the instruments. We were playing Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf. I froze, or my reed did, or maybe both, when we came to the first line of the oboe solo (the entrance of the duck) and he nearly came over the first row of violins to throttle me for missing it.

I also remember him after school one day playing a jazz number, written and recorded by my boyfriend Lance and a number of other former band members, on the loudspeakers into the band hall because he was so impressed.

But the above Facebook comments are in reference to one of my most vivid memories. It was his last year as my director when he selected passages from Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherezade for the wind ensemble to sight read that stands out as most distinct in my memory. I'd heard the piece only months before when I'd gone to see The Man with One Red Shoe, a farcical comedy starring then relative newcomer Tom Hanks, as a violinist whose orchestra performs Scheherezade in the film.

When we started our way through it, I immediately recognized it. In other words, although I'd never seen the notes before, I'd heard them, which is all that mattered. So after the bassoon solo, came the oboe solo, which I already knew how to play since I'd already heard the melody. (I told you, lazy.)  Anyway, about halfway through the solo, I glance up at Mr. Wilkes who has this bug-eyed look on his face and he's just finished mouthing something, which I think was intended for me, and which I instantly read as doing something wrong. I think I've come in at the wrong time or something and stop playing. Turns out, he'd just mouthed "She's sight reading!" to the assistant band director, Mr. Scott, who was sitting at the back of the band hall.

When I learned this, I have to tell you I beamed with pride the rest of the day.

So it's not all that surprising that this would stay with me for all these years. What delights me is that I could share it again with him and some other former band members. This, for me, is why Facebook exists.

Friday, April 29, 2011

I Have Started to Say
I have started to say
"A quarter of a century"
Or "thirty years back"
About my own life.

It makes me breathless
It's like falling and recovering
In huge gesturing loops
Through an empty sky.

All that's left to happen
Is some deaths (my own included).
Their order, and their manner,
Remain to be learnt.
~Phillip Larkin


being to timelessness as it’s to time,
love did no more begin than love will end;
where nothing is to breathe to stroll to swim
love is the air the ocean and the land
(do lovers suffer? all divinities
proudly descending put on deathful flesh:
are lovers glad? only their smallest joy’s
a universe emerging from a wish)
love is the voice under all silences,
the hope which has no opposite in fear;
the strength so strong mere force is feebleness:
the truth more first than sun more last than star
—do lovers love? why then to heaven with hell.
Whatever sages say and fools, all’s well
— e.e. cummings
Thursday, April 28, 2011


In time and space, if you just look for what's right - in others, in relationships, in yourself and your journey - you'll always find it. 

Same when looking for what's wrong.

The Universe

In that vein, I shall not regale you with the wrong, but focus on a dozen "right" things off the top of my head. . .

1. I am healthy and recovering.
2. I drove for the first time today.
3. I got the dogs into the car for a showing without having to figure out how to lift Katy in.
4. If I park across the street with my laptop, I can still work with my home WiFi signal if I have to for future showings.
5. I had my mom and dad with me through all of this testing phase, which made it a lot less stressful.
6. The house is still getting a lot of interest and we're making people's "top 3 lists" often. 
7. My job is doing well and I haven't fallen behind AND my job can be done from my bed. (This one could be #1 right now!)
8. Even though I am hurting now, I've been going most days with only a little ibuprofen in the evenings.
9. I have fantastic friends. Just fan-freakin-tastic. 
10. I have even better family. My parents just headed home and tomorrow will be my first day "on my own". That's THREE weeks of constant care from them, Bob's parents, Bob, Nick, and Sammi, who have all tirelessly helped with anything and everything cheerfully. The constant cleaning of house showings is exhausting and they've done it non-stop for three weeks. The house has never looked better.
11. My son is graduating from high school in a couple of weeks, with honors, going to my alma mater to walk on and stun the football world, and be the first student athlete in the Eliot T. Bowers Honors College. 
12. My daughter is finishing up her first year of high school with excellent grades, but it's her creativity in the arts that has floored me. She's teaching herself River Flows in by You, which sounds tricky as all get out as she works her way through it this evening, waiting on the dinner she's cooking for all of us. She's entirely self-taught. She writes, she draws, she's just a-MAZ-ing all around.

I am blessed.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

4-27-11 Green with sunlight and tulips

Participating in Sticky Fingers Weekly Gallery for the first time. The subject this week: GREEN.

I have sorely missed being able to get out of bed and roam the neighborhood with my dogs on our spring walks this month. I am hoping to be able to still get some wandering in during the month of May, even though the tulips and daffodils will be gone. This is from May 2010, with early morning shafts of light playing among a neighbor's green lawn and flowers.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

4-26-11 is always worth a visit when you're in a mood. And I'm in a mood.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Bob Sr. and Nell headed home this morning and I had one very despondent dog by my bed.

But my folks arrived a few hours later and after much ball throwing and pets, she seems to be quite revived.

And, for the first time since before surgery, I had dinner at the dinner table. Shocking.

And we got an offer on the house from one of the two showings Saturday. Not a great offer, definitely going to counter, but between another showing tomorrow, and some other very interested buyers from the other showing on Saturday (both of whom know, or soon will, about our offer) we are very hopeful that things are starting to fall into place.
Sunday, April 24, 2011

4-24-11 a new normal, for the short term

I was struck this afternoon at how quickly I adjust to new versions of normal. 

The only pill I would swallow before the surgery was one multi-vitamin, and that was on days I happened to remember to take it.

Now, this:

And this:

This is the afore and oft mentioned cool belly band, AKA the swelly belly band. I will spare you the actual more realistic picture, as this little baby, filled with cool gel, actually goes directly against the incision. (And yes, I rather ironically put the bands in a position to resemble a uterus.) So the new normal also includes having a cold pink pillow shoved down my pants half the day. Whose life is this?

4-24-11 Easter

(Matthew 28)
11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

This must've been some fantastic payoff. If I'm a Roman centurion, admitting to falling asleep at my post means I will be stoned to death. Of course, admitting the tomb I was guarding is now empty doesn't bode well either. Now I've got to depend on the word of these Jewish elders that they've got enough clout to keep me from getting killed? Guess my options are agree or go tell some insane story about how this dead guy has disappeared after I was sent into a catatonic coma when some lightening-looking creature appeared out of nowhere and sent a stone weighing at least a ton uphill to open the tomb. Um, yeah. Guess I'll take the money and hope for the best.

We never get to find out what happened to the guards, just another in a million strands of untold stories the Bible leaves us with. I always like the metaphor of the knothole in the fence. Max Lucado compared Bible stories to watching the action through this one hole, only getting to see people briefly in their encounters with God, and being left to wonder where their stories went after they walked off the tiny part of the scene that was recorded.

There is so much we don't know, so much we can't answer. But what we are left with is enough: 

(Matthew 22)

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40This is the first and greatest commandment. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

I kind of love how this passage opens. Word comes that Jesus has stumped the warring faction, so the Pharisees see an opportunity to one-up those guys and score one for their team by testing Christ. Sound familiar? I think this little snippet is the most honest representation of God's followers' inclinations you could ask for. How much effort has been wasted on in-fighting among those who claim to be God's people? The One they've been waiting so many generations for is standing right in front of them, and what do they do? Get giddy over the idea they can do better at trying to stump Jesus than the other guys.

I think in large part this is why I sometimes cringe at my fellow believers' attempts to convert others through their words, through carefully designed arguments aimed at shattering wrongly held beliefs. Because all of that stems from the same vein: I'm right, you're wrong, let me tell you why. Not sure who really ever responds to such an attitude, but it hasn't stopped millions of people from taking that stance with both unbelievers and fellow believers who happen to disagree with them on some point of doctrine (or tradition).

Back to Max for a moment, who sums up the mindset of Nicodemus this way: Legalism turns my opinions into your burden, your boundary, and your obligation.

Christ turns that upside down, both in his answer to the Pharisees and to Nicodemus by essentially saying you have no idea the power of unseen forces at work in your life. Stop thinking you have Christ boxed up into an understandable package. You can't.

"Spirituality, says Jesus, comes not from church attendance or good deeds or correct doctrine, but from heaven itself. Such words must have set Nicodemus back on his heels, but Jesus was just getting started.

The wind blows where it wants and you hear the soudn of it but you don't know where it comes from or where it is going. It is the same with every person who is born from the Spirit. (John 3:8)

By now Nicodemus is growing edgy. We religious teachers like to control and manage. We like to define and outline. Structure and clarity are the friend of the preacher. But they aren't always the protocol of God.

Salvation is God's business. Grace is His idea, His work, and His expense. He offers it to whom He desires, when He desires.

The question must have been written all over Nicodemus' face. Why would God do this? What would motivate him to offer such a gift? What Jesus told Nicodemus, Nicodemus never could have imagined. The motive behind the gift of new birth? Love.  God loved the world so much that he gave His one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him may not be lost, but have eternal life.

Nicodemus had never heard such words. Never. He has had many discussions of salvation. But this is the first in which no rules were given. No system was offered. No code or ritual.  .  . Could God be so generous?" (Lucado's He Still Moves Stones, 131-2)

Nicodemus clearly must have thought so after this encounter.

The only other time we get a glimpse of him through our knothole is right back at the tomb whose emptiness we celebrate this day. Instead of coming to Christ in the night, he and Joseph are the two men who, in the light of day, in front of all those Pharisees and Sadducees, bury the broken body of Christ before the coming Sabbath.

That's love.

You have to wonder what was going through his mind then.

Was it all for nothing?

You have to wonder where Nic was when he heard the rumors that the centurions had fallen asleep and Jesus' body had been stolen. Don't you know he revisited the tomb, saw the stone, that massive stone that he had seen rolled down the groove and sealed closed,  lying uphill again? Can't you imagine the gust of wind that might have encircled him for a moment, just to make him smile?

I hope this Easter finds you reminded of the invisible forces that are always at work, oftentimes in spite of our feeble efforts to "control" the message we have received. I hope you feel a gentle breeze and are reminded that Love is uncontrollable, and can move immovable forces, if we allow it to work in our lives.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

4-23-11 Saturday

Katy watches the guys loading the shopping into the back of the car and knows she's about to have to give up her seat.

 Watching for Bob to come back out from Sam's

Guess what? We spent a lot of time in the van this afternoon. Two showings back to back meant everyone out of the house and into the van. I actually walked around Walmart, very slowly and carefully, and picked out some new reading glasses and a few other Easter things while the guys did the weekly shopping and the dogs, Sammi, and Nell waited in the van. Between getting the house ready and my outing, I spent the rest of the evening in bed conserving energy and watching the latest Harry Potter film with Sammi. I kept asking, "did that happen in the book?" We've now decided it is imperative that I reread the last book. Since this new to DVD film is only the first part of the final book, I can get caught up and not drive her crazy when we go to see the last film to end the series when it comes out this summer.

I started reading the Harry Potter series to both Nicholas and Sammi many moons ago, aloud, chapter by chapter. By the time the last couple of books came out they were more than advanced enough to consume them on their own, but still they sat and listened as I read them the rest of the series aloud. It's a treasured memory for us. When the first film came out I'm sure we made everyone sitting around us in the theater crazy pointing out the differences between the film and the book, and we continued that tradition through at least the first four films. Somewhere along the way though, Nick lost interest in Harry Potter and Sammi started going to see them with her friends and mom kind of got left behind. It was a nice treat to curl up on the bed, just my girl and me, with all the lights out (and this is a DARK movie -- adjust your sets!) and still whisper about what changes were made from the book to the film. It helps that she's reread the whole series multiple times on her own and has them memorized. But then, she a voracious reader who seems to consume books faster than she does food. If she never stopped to teach herself a new piece on the piano or to sketch new artwork for her portfolio, all she would do is read. Since I've been largely bedridden and Bob has been out of town, she's been my tireless companion, getting me things and keeping me company, along with Evan (which is about as much as this one bed can comfortably hold).

In other news, we've heard that the couple who stayed so long outside the house last Friday are still considering our house. The major drawback seems to be the basement space, which I assume means they either wanted a full floor basement or a walk-out. Not much can be done on that account, but I'm still hopeful they don't find anything "perfect" and come back to see us again.

Wrapping up and crawling in for the night. Happy Easter to all come the sunrise!

4-23-11 spaces

I have this fantasy that one day I will have a garden space where I can put surprising, fun and whimsical things for flowers to grow around and through.

And there will be space for garden teas and company.

And for the library?

Or maybe this:

The library will be filled with light, whatever it looks like.

But I do think Cicero left out one key ingredient: a large, hot cup of coffee.

4-23-11 do one thing . . .

My one thing this morning: I removed 6 out of the 10 steri-strips from my incision. Go me!

Friday, April 22, 2011

4-22-11 the demise of the flower puppy

My fluffy flower puppy that resembled a Bichon Frise when it arrived has slowly atrophied into a Chihuahua.
Thursday, April 21, 2011

4-21-11 A funny thing happened while I was having my uterus taken out. . . .

While I've been indoors and on bed rest, Spring happened outside my window, and I've been too immobile to appreciate it. Not that I'm complaining -- getting moo-goo gai pan brought to you and getting to work propped up on pillows is very appreciated. But on the trip to the doctor today, colors kept jumping out at me. The white blooms on the trees are already starting to turn green -- I almost missed them!

The bright green leaves are popping out against the white trunks.

And the redbud trees are in full glory!

The two-week post-op appointment went very well. Mom and Dad came up to take me, while Bob Sr. and Nell drove to the airport to pick up Bob coming back from Baltimore.

I remembered the pillow as I started to strap in the seat belt. And what a difference a week and no catheter makes. I felt human being outside. Maybe in another week I can take short walks to see the last of the tulips and daffodils before they are gone.

On the way, riding beside the long train that paralleled our drive, my thoughts wandered to the consistent graffiti that adorns the lower sections of so many of the railcars. Was a memo put out that requires all graffiti to be two toned bubble letters? I want to look out the window one day and see a replica of Starry Night filling up the space. Then I'll be impressed.

As we approached the hospital,  I wondered, why are all hospital buildings so utilitarian and institutional? Wouldn't some grand, even whimsical, architecture lift the spirits of people who had to visit there, and those who have to work there among the stress and difficulties of the ill?

When I got called back to the room, I weighed about a pound less (hmm, the exact weight of the removed organ...) so at least the swelling is being evened out by eating less. I made myself giggle at the careful way I folded my underwear inside my yoga pants to hide them. Hello? I'm getting on a table naked from the waist down with nothing but a paper sheet and I'm worried about her seeing my giant incision-avoiding purple granny panties? How odd.

At the appointment, Dr. Watt went over all the results of the pathology again and the complications. She made me laugh when she read the part about the section of the ureter, "'Ureter was unremarkable.' Um, except that it was OUTSIDE your body."

She told me, "No one in the office could believe where that ureter ended up!" I laughed and said, "Well, at least I was memorable!" She nodded rather vehemently and said, "Oh, you are soooo memorable." I am going to take that in a good way.

She checked out the incision, said it looked great, and asked if I wanted her to take the steri-strips off. I told her I would keep them a year if that's how long they took to come off on their own. Every time I look at them I am reminded of watching that C-section incision pop open when the nurse pulled the first one off, poo-pooed my concerns, and I ended up with a pus filled infected wound that made me want to kill myself. Dr. Watt was fine with leaving them alone. I knew I liked her.

I asked her if we could run my blood numbers to see how the ramped up protein and iron supplements were doing. I laughed when she popped back into my room after we'd already said our goodbyes to tell me, "By the way, this blood test will be hemoglobin numbers. Those are 1/3 of the hematacrit numbers I've been giving you."

I smiled and said, "So when the tech tells me '10' I shouldn't faint or go check myself into the hospital next door?"

She laughed. "Right."

"So this is a blood versus crit thing, huh?"

She got my joke. I told you I liked her.

The tech did a finger prick on my right hand after I exposed my left-handedness, and in a minute I got my number: 12. Multiply times 3 and that's a 36! (See? I can do math.) So in two weeks I've gone from a 26 to a 36 and I'm only 5 away from my pre-surgery numbers. Yay! I wish I wasn't still so tired and swollen, but this gives me hope that things are getting better and better inside.

Of course, tonight I'm wiped and was very slow at work this afternoon. The belly is hurting a bit more due to all the extra activity, but I'm miles ahead of how awful I felt last Friday after the urologist visit. Baby steps: I'm aiming for a little bit better every day from here on out.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


18 grams of protein on that plate and 2/3s of them are in the eggs. Add to that a huge source of B12, Vitamin D, and choline, and studies linking eggs as great protectors against breast cancer, cataracts, and strokes, and you've got yourself a wonder food.

And Evan loves to share the eggy crusts as he doesn't read my blog or share my opinion of them. :)



Looks scary, don't it?

It's really not. Promise.

I've had people ask me if it was Russian quite a lot, someone else referred to it as Chinese, and several others haven't clicked on the links from my Facebook page for fear of being hijacked, despite the the fact that it has "" right next to it and usually one of my pictures.

I thought explaining the word in the sidebar might help, but it would seem not everyone notices the sidebar.

Alas, this explanation will probably get pushed down and lost soon, too, in the ennui of daily blogging.

But for the record, the name of my blog is peripláni̱si̱, which is the more modern Greek spelling of the English word "wandering."

I was initially inspired by the piece the Tolkien's Fellowship of the Ring:

Not all who wander are lost,
the old that are strong do not wither,
deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
a light from the shadows shall spring,
renewed shall be blade that is broken,
the crownless again shall be king.

I like the idea of wandering, blogging about whatever was going on, or had gone on, that my little brain was thinking about or remembering. I liked the look of the ancient Greek figures and the way it added a bit of mystery to where I might wander on odd days. I am a wanderer by nature, either in thoughts or on walks, just enjoying where the journey takes me, and becoming nostalgic for where I have already have been and might someday return.

It would seem that is a bit more mystery than people are ready for. But after a couple of years, I still love it. And, to be honest, I think a little mystification now and then isn't such a bad thing.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011


This is the midmorning ritual now, drinking to excess. Coffee, constant sport bottle filled with ice water, apple juice, and nastiest most gag inducing drink in the world to me right now: 100% unsweetened cranberry juice. I would rather drink lemon juice. Or paint thinner. Just looking at this picture makes my mouth feel all dry and nasty. This morning it took me half an hour to finally screw up my courage and down the thing. And down it you must. There is no sipping, unless you have a thing for torture. Absolutely nasty medicine.

In other news I sneezed twice today. I am still trying to locate the guts that I am quite sure sprayed on the wall when it happened. I was talking to Bob tonight who was raving about how proud he was that I was only taking ibuprofen now. I almost didn't have the heart to tell my by sneeze #2 I was reaching for that bottle of vicodin. The pain literally takes my breath away and I have trouble doing anything but sitting still holding my abdomen and feeling around for the bits that broke free.

Bad sleep last night, so I've given in and gone back to the Benadryl this evening. Apparently insomnia and sleeping in two hour spurts is a common side effect after surgery, but it sure doesn't do much for the mood or the brain power during the day.

I wish I had something exciting to share, but this is just it right now. I am trapped on the second floor of my house, mainly my bedroom, with a few hours of parole on Thursday for the doctor's appointment, which will inevitably be followed by two days of exhaustion. I am still shaking my head at the description of this recovery as similar to a C-section.

Kids are off of school tomorrow here, in memory of the Columbine shootings. Today was the observance of the 16th anniversary of the OKC bombing. I will now stop complaining.

Monday, April 18, 2011

4-18-11 My Care Package

My friend Jennifer send me a care package that arrived today. Ouachita Valley Honey Almond Oat soaps, lip balm, and Healing Cream. Jennifer makes these herself. I loved everything, even the beautiful lining inside the envelope card. Jenni is my blog partner -- I love finding new postings from her and she always has something encouraging to say about mine. We met when her little girl Taylor and my little boy Nicholas were babies and we were struggling young moms who didn't have two pennies to rub together. And now our babies are graduating high school and leaving for college in about a month. I love that Facebook enabled us to reconnect after a number of years where we'd only just managed Christmas card exchanges. Facebook has plenty of issues, to be sure, but, I think, it's still one of the most efficient ways of reconnecting with people who might just make your life more joyous by being a little bit "closer" at least in cyberspace.

Thank you Jenni! Note there are only two bars of soap when I took the picture. I offered one to Nell who immediately removed one to her room :) Even though my olfactory senses are muted, I can still hold them close and get a whiff of their wonderfulness!

4-18-11 Free at last

Still feeling swollen and tender, but also feeling strangely unencumbered and very comfy in my yoga pants. Just the mental aspect of getting rid of that catheter makes me feel like my blood count must have gotten a 3 point boost this morning :) Score one for the good morning column!
Sunday, April 17, 2011

4-17-11 Full Circle

Yup, I'm getting dangerously close to a diaper away from full circle. Today I showered, ate, slept, ate, slept, slept some more, woke up to eat, then slept some more, showered again (all that sweaty sleeping), and . . . guessing I'm about to go back to sleep. Mom and Dad visited this afternoon and brought Rudy's for supper . . . and I was asleep when they left. Started taking slow release iron today, so maybe I can get this blood count out of the cellar faster.  
Saturday, April 16, 2011


Today, as expected, I have paid for yesterday's activity and stress. I held out as long as I could before taking one of my new vicodin, which for the record is not nearly as good as the percocet (duh). Feels a little like a baseball bat was taken to my lower back, hips, and belly. I'm sure the stress I added onto myself made it twice as hard for this body to keep on healing.

So today, I've gone back to focusing on my recovery and just letting everything else take care of itself.

This morning, I stayed put while the showing took place. The young couple was very nice.

I've laid in bed all day, getting up only occasionally and for very short periods of time, and used my swelly belly band off and on all day. The swelly belly is the term used by the HysterSisters for the almost inevitable swelling that follows a hysterectomy. The body is sending blood and fluids like crazy to this traumatized area to speed healing. So while it's very discouraging to see my figure right now, I have to remind myself it's my insides' turn to get a workout, to let it do what needs to be done to heal completely, even if that means have a swollen belly. The HysterSisters sell a swelly belly band that is like an abdominal binder, only it has fluid packs sewn inside that, after being submerged in ice water and then kept in the freezer or fridge, feel absolutely heavenly on the big belly and hot burning incision site.

And while I let my insides focus on what they need to do to get healthy and not stress about the outside too much. That will come back in time. It is difficult to see so much of my hard gym work getting soft, but I've done it before and I will do it again when my body is ready. Deep breathing continues to be a fantastic outlet. I'm pretty certain I'm going to take up a yoga class this summer.

Despite the fact that a slug has moved more than I have, I've had very nice company all day.

Sammi has been my constant companion, tirelessly bringing me things and watching movies with me all afternoon. She made us all dinner tonight, too.

Nick has his senior prom tonight, so I took pictures from my bed.

Prom tonight. Next stop . . . graduation one month from tomorrow. Won't be long before he's off to Texas! Not sure how that happened.

Tomorrow I'm focused on doing the same as today: total rest, no stress. I figure if the surgeon says 10 days is optimal to heal, I'm going to make these last days  . . . optimalicious!