Thursday, September 28, 2006

yep, did that

This morning, I woke up and wished Daddy a happy birthday. It's a tradition with me even though he's been gone for 11 years. I still wish him a happy birthday, telling him that we'll celebrate together someday in heaven. Then I go about my day and I'm fine.

Got very busy in my workday today. I'm back to working overtime again. Yeah, I know, take the splint off and I go back into full-speed-ahead mode. Can't be helped, I've got clients calling every day wondering where their policies are. Gotta get a little caught up.

So I'm in my day, working hard at this getting caught up thing. Feeling like I'm starving since breakfast was at
5:30 a.m. instead of 7. Grab a snack. Work more. Grab another snack. Work more. Eat lunch at desk. Work more.

Actual lunchtime came and I went for retail therapy.

Now the problem with retail therapy is that sometimes I end up at places like Target where they have a candy aisle in addition to anything else that I might need... like lipstick and makeup remover.

And those Hot Tamales just jumped right into my basket, whimpering for me to take 'em back to work with me. I swear they did. The popcorn did, too.

Yep, I ended up on a full-fledged eating binge today. It took me until
4 p.m. to realize that I was eating every treat thing that Daddy loved... guess I missed him more today than I realized when I got up and wished him a happy birthday this morning.

I'm not going to beat myself up over this because it isn't my normal pattern. Yes, I struggle daily with maintaining the 50 pounds I lost on Weight Watchers. Some days are easier than others. But normal days I don't eat everything in sight and more.

So this is for the unofficial record... yep, did it... comforted myself with things Daddy and I enjoyed together... will face what the scale has to say in the morning and accept that... and moving on to tomorrow now.

Tomorrow we head to
Portland to see our friends, their son and his new bride. It will be a first time meeting with the bride... and we will go winery touring together. Should be a fun weekend.

...may there be mercy as we travel.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

mine, all mine

Doc gave me the go-ahead to remove the splint today... yay! My wrist is mine, all mine again! I've got permission to use as I will, but if I hurt, I've got to wear the splint again. Not a chance!

I've got 36 placemats, 1 twin-sized quilt and at least 6 other quilting projects to complete for Christmas. Can't do all that if I have my wrist back in that splint.

So I'm going about my business and will be setting timers so that I don't overdo any single task and re-injure this wrist.

Sadly, I'm just too tired tonight to quilt. Combination of end-of-month exhaustion from work and the exhaustion that comes from another sleepless night due to a series of "private summers".

Whoever said that hot flashes are "power surges" was full of crap. There just ain't no power surging anywhere close to these suckers!

...may there be mercy and rest for this weary household - and no re-injuring!

Sunday, September 24, 2006


As you have seen, most times I post a blog it ends with "may there be mercy." And obviously I don't usually remember to mention the mercy given. My fault on that - many, many times mercy is given that I acknowledge privately in my prayers and not here publicly... but really should.

So tonight I'm taking just a quick moment to mention that there was mercy this weekend - refreshment granted with those simple joys, a banishment of the crabbies....

... and a safe arrival home in spite of another driver who changed lanes too close to me... coming within very slight inches of my back bumper... 70 mph and a little over full speed on the freeway... just about 50 feet before my home exit. I'm still wondering exactly how the driver missed me.

But I am grateful for that extra mercy.

...may I see and recognize the mercy given each day.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


For whatever reasons, and there are a lot of them, I've been terribly crabby all week. But I'm putting all that behind me and planning to just enjoy the weekend. Simple plans for simple pleasures.

This morning meeting a friend for coffee, followed by a manicure and pedicure at the local beauty school.

Company picnic this afternoon, catered by a great BBQ place.

A movie, a glass of wine and snuggle time with my sweet husband this evening.

Tomorrow is a drive to a little town just north of Olympia to meet with dear friends. It's the halfway point between the northernmost and southernmost persons meeting. We haven't had an opportunity to be together for quite a while, and so much has happened in each of our lives. Loss, health issues, kid issues, family stuff, work stuff, general stuff, fun stuff, etc., etc.

We have a lot of talking, catching up and laughing to do. Not to mention squealing and hugging!

Simple plans, simple pleasures... and a booting out of the crabbies.

...may there be mercy and refreshment with simple joys.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I'm crabby and I want to take this splint off so that I can quilt.

...may there be mercy and the healing time finish quickly.

Monday, September 18, 2006

chasing trains

In case you haven’t noticed, steam trains are a passion around our house. My sweet husband was clued into the love of trains at his 4th Christmas when Santa, in the form of his grandmother, gave him his first Lionel Train set.

The love affair with trains has not ended… and never will.

Of course my husband has his favorites among the steam engines. And the Southern Pacific Daylight #4449 is his all-time favorite.

Southern Pacific #4449
Built in 1941 as a 4-8-4 GS-4 "Northern" type locomotive, she is 110' long, 10' wide and 16' tall. With locomotive and tender weighing 433 tons and a boiler pressure of 300 psi, her eight 80" diameter drivers and unique firebox truck booster can apply 5,500 horsepower to the rails and exceed 100 mph. Retired to Oaks Park in 1958 for display only, in 1974 she was completely restored specifically to pull the 1976 Bicentennial Freedom Train throughout the United States to the delight of over 30 million people.

The only remaining operable "streamlined" steam locomotive of the Art Deco era, this grand Lady of the High Iron pulled Southern Pacific "Daylight" coaches from Los Angeles to San Francisco over the scenic Coast Route and then on to Portland until 1955. She is arguably one of the most beautiful locomotives ever built -- and kept that way by the all-volunteer Friends of the SP 4449.

(excerpt from the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation website

This last weekend, we put 1025 miles on our car - chasing the 4449 all over the Columbia Gorge and down into Bend, Oregon. I’m absolutely beyond exhausted today, and will pay for it trying to recoup my energy levels over the next week, but it was a blast!

It was a rare and very cool event, the 4449 on the rails. ( The journey started Saturday morning in Portland, Oregon, crossed the Columbia River into Vancouver, Washington and headed up the Columbia Gorge to a very small town called Wishram. From Wishram, it crossed back over the river and headed down the Deschutes River Valley. Once out of the Deschutes canyon, it continued south to Bend, Oregon for an overnight stay. Sunday they reversed the entire process.

It would have been very cool to have been able to ride the 4449 for this event, but tickets were $650 to $850 per person… and we just couldn’t do it right now. (check the 4449’s website for the fundraiser info and that explains the reason for the steep price)

Instead, we chased the train.

We drove down to The Dalles, OR on Friday night, staying over in a hotel there. Got up early Saturday morning, drove across The Dalles Bridge and to a lovely spot on the Washington side… where we discovered Dan and Leslie, who were camping in their motorhome there. It seems Dan and Leslie are rail fans, too.

We got to chatting and seem to have struck up a new friendship. Lovely folk. It was early morning, brisk and cool with a bit of wind off the water. Leslie was kind enough to give us coffee… and as anyone who knows me will agree, give me coffee and you become my new best friend! I now call her the Coffee Angel.

Pretty soon, a bunch of cars come tearing into the Avery Siding where we were waiting for the train. About 10 minutes later, here comes the train… excellent! Cameras blazing away, and when the engine was past us, waving like fools at the passengers… who were waving like fools back!

Everyone jumps into their cars and we all race away to the next good spot to get pictures. We leapfrogged and chased the train all the way to Bend, Oregon in this manner, meeting folk from all over the country who had come just to do this. Fun, fun, fun.

Highlight of the trip was standing on the abandoned highway bridge over a 300 foot deep canyon taking pictures of the 4449 as it passed on the railway bridge over this canyon… with the Three Sisters in the background. What a glorious place! Unfortunately my pictures don't show the intensity of the canyon depth... but I'm not sure at that time of day anyone's camera would have gotten past how little light was available in the deeper portions.

We met a bunch of really cool people chasing the 4449 from Portland to Bend and back. Exhausted ourselves and will definitely pay a price for it. But it was marvelous fun!

My sweet husband has a lifelong love affair with trains… and personally, I’d rather he chase trains than younger women!

…may there be mercy and rest for those who chase trains.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

new verdict

So... I go back to my doc and get new x-rays today. Still clear and no break in the wrist. Apparently, based on the exam, I've torn a ligament.

Another two weeks in the splint... no quilting... no camera... no nothing... ugh!

At this point, I can't even open a bottle of wine on my own!

I keep reminding myself that it will heal... it will heal... it will heal...

...may there be mercy!

Monday, September 11, 2006

same stuff, different day

Still leaking a bit and stuffing my bra with gauze... but I haven't ruined any of my clothes. (looking for the bright side here)

Wrist is still quite painful... will be heading back to the doc on Weds for another round of x-rays.

I'm ready to change the channel... this is getting to be pretty tiresome.

...may there be mercy.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Incision busted open again today. Got to see my doc, who advised me to let it drain. Apparently it's "old" blood, not fresh bleeding. Could be as old as from surgery, could be something I've done since surgery. Either way, it needs to be managed. Sometimes this is the way the body manages it.

So I've got this great splint on my wrist and one side of my bra stuffed with gauze.

Just about as cool as it gets, eh?

... may there be mercy and I don't ruin all my clothes!!!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Took today off work. Still hurts too much to be able to work a full day. Besides, typing left-handed/one-handed is hard!

Not to mention I write all day for a living.

...may there be mercy and I feel good enough to work tomorrow.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Queen of Klutz

Stanley Park Seawall... lovely place, eh?

Note the great walking trail closest to the water.

Red painted line separates bikes/skaters to a separate trail.

Benches are on far side of bike trail.

Run fast between bikes to get to bench to change camera battery.

Trip on uneven and odd height curb between trails.

Fall flat out in front of God and everybody...

Land on both knees, both hands and wrists... and camera.

Cause two strained knees, a severely sprained right wrist and a massive hematoma to the incision site from the recent surgery...

... that bursts open from the pressure about 2 hours later, gushing blood everywhere.

Try to get into a Canadian ER... hahahahahahaha!!

Drive to the border holding tightly to your breast, crying because your right arm and left knee are in terrible pain.

Pray as the customs agent/border patrol guy stares in your car probably worried about what terrible person has hurt you... and looking at your sweet husband like he is a monster.

Drive another 30 minutes to St. Joe's Hospital ER in Bellingham, still clutching breast to keep pressure on the incision to keep bleeding under control.

Wait in ER with 45 other people for 90 minutes before being called to the back... still clutching breast with all the dignity one can muster.

Explain to the 5th person, finally a doctor, what has happened, who finally gets the bleeding to calm to a minor, but continual ooze.

45 mintes later, x-rays indicate no breaks in wrist or knee... but lots of swelling in both, plus other knee.

Big splint on wrist, instructions for ice and immobilization... and no quilting for another 2-3 weeks... crap!!!... and painkillers... and then we are off to drive another 45 minutes home... and finally my own bed.

At least my camera still works!

... may there be mercy and I heal fast.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

another day trip

Yesterday turned out to be quite a fun day. We just enjoyed the sunshine, the long drive down back country roads, the train and each other. There was a little talk about JM while we road the train, but that part was a happy memory of him.

Today is a trip to Stanley Park. We love to explore in Vancouver, B.C. With the weather in the 80's... it should be a really good day for photography.

Packing an overnight bag... just in case we decide to stay over!

... may there be mercy on our day.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

day trip

It’s been a terribly busy and tiring week… end of month. And, end of month with a key “commercial deal” guy out of the office on vacation. Of course 6 of his big commercial deals came to a head while he was gone. So my boss, me and a couple others put our heads together and made a great team to get it all done.

I was totally too tired to even consider blogging or anything else fun during the evenings all week. Brain just turned off. Found the energy one evening to work a little on my quilting, but only once!

It’s great to have 3 days off to play!

Today we are going to see theMt. Rainier Scenic Railroad. It’s a steam train that we’ve visited before, but it’s been at least 6 years. The last time we were there, it was with my sweet husband’s best friend and his wife.

It will be interesting to see what memories of our friends this trip brings up. Sadly, 4 years ago this man took his own life… and my sweet husband has never really gotten over it. Nor have I.

I can’t even begin to describe the emotions of hearing that JM had died… and then to discover it was a suicide.

JM had massive health problems that were causing him horrific pain. The doctors were not giving him any hope that they could control the pain at all… but that he could “learn to live with it”. He tried. Oh, how he tried, to learn to live with that level of chronic pain.

I don’t condone his suicide, but I do understand why he did it. Well, as much as anyone still living with chronic pain and health issues can understand someone else’s pain and decision making process.

But at the same time, four years later I’m still very angry with him for doing it. Mostly the anger flares up when I see the look on my sweet husband’s face if he very carefully mentions JM’s name in conversation.

Today should be an interesting day. I’m planning on fun with my honey… and expecting a bit of emotion for each of us as we remember JM in this setting.

…may there be mercy on our day.