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October 28, 2012

Waiting for Sandy

Filed under: Uncategorized — annie @ 1:15 pm

middletown red tree.JPG  One last leaf peeping photo for the year.  Right now we’re waiting for Hurricane Sandy to visit.  I can’t believe that just a little over a year since Irene we will have to do this again.  Right now they are predicting 6+ inches of rain and sustained winds 50+ with gusts to 80.  I’m predicting sustained at 40 and gusts to 55. Hope we are both wrong and she loses her punch, but it doesn’t look that way.  If we still lived in Battery Park City, we’d be under mandatory evacuation.  I have a few friends in Far Rockaway who had to evacuate.  Randy’s office is in the evacuation zone.  No word yet on whether he should report to work, but he couldn’t get there if he tried.  NJ Transit, Metro North, the PATH trains, subways, and ferries will all be shut down today until further notice.

Otherwise, things are moving along.  I’m still somewhat in limbo, waiting for more test results before we make a final decision on adjuvant treatments.  It will be a while before I am more comfortable as far as the surgical recovery is concerned.  I have never wanted to look beyond the day at hand, but I’m almost saying ‘wait until spring’ and I’ll let you know how I am.  It’s an up one day, down another kind of thing.  I try to walk a mile every day, regardless.

Last night we watched a crazy movie called Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.  We thought it was topical, in light of the hurricane and all. It was quite strange.

Looking forward to having the Beisels for Thanksgiving.  Claire plays a mean game of In A Pickle, I hear, and we’ll get some game time in.   We saw Gavin and Sadie in their Halloween costumes last night (Facetime) and loved seeing the little shark and kangaroo.

I plan to start teaching again on Nov. 5th.  Looking forward to seeing my students and having a more normal life, that’s for sure.  November 4th is the teacher’s recital and I’ll be there as a spectator this time.

October 7, 2012

A little hike is a good thing.

Filed under: Uncategorized — annie @ 11:21 am

Stream to Awosking.jpg  Leaf Peeping is upon us.  We took a short drive to Minnewaska State Park for a little hike yesterday morning.  It’s very close–less than an hour on country roads–and we were lucky to have the place to ourselves for the first hour.  Very nice.

Randy at MSP.jpg  The first little falls on the stream to Awosking Falls.

Awosking Falls.jpg  Awosking Falls.

walking the carriage road.jpg  Randy walking the carriage road. A Robert Frost moment for sure.

big tee and color.jpg   nice color.jpg  Fall is amazing here.

October 4, 2012

Rule #6

Filed under: Uncategorized — annie @ 7:45 pm

orrsmill3 falljpg.jpg  What a beautiful drive to Middletown I had today.  This scene isn’t on the way; it’s the Moodna Viaduct, where the train goes.  The colors are going to be great this year.  It’s still a little early, but the drive over Sarah Wells Trail is stunning with just a little color. Poisen Ivy vines wrap the trees in neon reds right now.  We planned a trip to the Cape for the weekend, but it looks like rain all weekend long. Maybe we’ll head south to Cape May or find some waterfalls closer to home.

Today I had my pre-op tests done.  I was the only patient in the Pavilion area for pre-op tests (maybe because of the upcoming weekend?) so the nurse wasn’t rushed; in fact, we spent nearly 2 hours doing the usual testing and talking about what I can expect with this procedure.  I had my EKG, my bloodwork, my x-rays, the works.  We were talking about medical history and children and the fact that we are both nearly the same age, when she asked, out of the blue:

Are you afraid of anyone?  Do you think anyone might harm you?  Ah yes, the psych questions.  They all struck me so funny; she laughed with me and we had a great conversation about the difficulties of having someone close to you with Bipolar Disorder.   So, in case you are wondering, I see more humor in my situation than imaginable.  Ben Zander talks about Rule #6– Don’t take yourself so darned seriously. Good advice for leaders; good advice for us all.

Surgery is set for Oct. 12.

October 2, 2012

Leaf peeping and an observation about clothing.

Filed under: Uncategorized — annie @ 5:08 pm

Fall 2010.jpg We try to go to Cape Cod every Columbus Day weekend that we can.  The tourists are gone by then, and it’s just about the last weekend that we can comfortably ride the Cape Cod Rail Trail without winter-like gear.  We’ve been maybe five Columbus Days.  My upcoming surgery nearly ruined our chances to go this year, but it’s looking good for the Cape afterall.  We’re meeting the Beisels for a good time, maybe in Salem, maybe in Plymouth, maybe in Cape Cod, maybe all three. No bikes, though.  We don’t have a bike carrier for Harper yet.  Columbus Day is early this year.  One of my surgeons said to take the time, since soon my time won’t be my own.  I’ll take it.

One of the things that has made me laugh lately is how the medical profession tries to be so, well, professional.  Isn’t it odd how you can lie there naked as a jay bird for an hour, poked prodded and scrutinized, and then the med folk leave the room and stand in the hallway so you can dress in privacy?  Well, excuse me while I get decent.

My surgeon met me in jeans and sneakers when he told me the news.  He apologized for being drenched and underdressed, and stood shivering in the cold room for nearly two hours while he explained my situation.  He said his mom would be upset at him for not wearing a tie when he told me.  Seriously?  I’ll take his brand of professionalism any day. (He came into the office on his day off to see me.)

A steady and sometimes hard rain fell all day today.   I’m finishing up HCMTA obligations and teaching this week, looking forward to heading out on Friday.

October 1, 2012

A mad dash and a criminal has my car.

Filed under: Uncategorized — annie @ 10:26 am

drivers side best.jpg We thought about selling our van off and on for the past year or so.  Occasionally we need the extra room, but the idea of driving a more efficient car appealed to us.  Each time we rented cars during the past few years we sort of test drove them to see if we fell in love with any of them.  The Kia Soul was interesting.  Likewise the Nisson Altima, and we really like the Ford Fusion.  In fact, Randy was practically sold on it, and made an appointment on September 15 to test one out and possibly buy it.  The night before, I told him I wanted to try a Prius first.  Long story short, we now have a plug-in Prius car.  It’s charcoal grey.  It has my fish on the dash.  It’s my car, and I named her Harper.  We plug her in at night, and after a 3 hour charge, she’s good to go.  Of course, she can go hybrid without having been charged first, but if I want to drive her all electric, it makes sense to feed her some juice.

We put the van on Craig’s list and waited, but not for long. A guy called and said he was a strawberry farmer from upstate and wanted the car to cart strawberries to his farmer’s market. Sounded like a great “put out to pasture” for the old girl.  She was a 1999 model, with a scant 113K miles, serviced every 3,000 miles and waxed twice a year, always garaged. A great buy for someone. We didn’t trade her in because we knew we could get more for her on our own. So the price was set, and the strawberry farmer came to look at her. He left Randy with 700 dollars and said he’d be back in a few days with the rest.

Randy was at work when the Strawberry Farmer came to pick up the car.  Farmer was angry about being in a hurry, and angry because the DMV was in Newburgh and what he considered too far away.  He counted out 4K and I recounted it, and gave him the title and papers required by NYS to complete the transaction.  He became increasingly belligerent about the DMV being too far away, and angry that we took the plates and registration off.  Holy cow, he was ranting like a mad man.  When I told him that of course we took our registration off, he clenched his teeth and angrily told me that I didn’t get it, he “couldn’t get picked up by the cops.”  I don’t know what sort of warrant is out for him.  Maybe he just has too many points on his license.  Or maybe he’s marijuana farmer, or maybe my car is now a portable meth lab.  But a criminal has her now.

When we donated the Little Yellow Car, I was sad, and even wrote a little essay about it. Maybe because we keep our cars for so many years we have time to become attached to all of the little quirky things, though the subtleties of that logic may not make sense to all, I know.  Though this van saw me through five years of living mostly alone in North Idaho, and many here in New York, I didn’t even stop to say goodbye.

The last time I drove her was Sept 18th.  I got a phone call from my doctor’s office asking me to meet him in his office in twenty minutes.  Can’t do that, I said; it’s a thirty minute drive even on a good day.  So I unplugged my iron (yes, I was ironing!) and made a mad dash to Middletown through a terrible storm that brought tornados to Brooklyn.  Tree limbs were falling around me, drama, drama, drama.  I laughed out loud, thinking how much the situation resembled a terrible, terrible tv movie.  When the doctor told me I had cancer, and he said it was of course the worst day of my life, I answered, ‘not so much’ and laughed.  Most of you get that.

I really like the Prius.