Saturday, July 31, 2010

Turning the Page

Wait!  Wait!!  i no dun wit dat page

After this post, I'm going to stop making every post entirely about Jamie's condition and the days spent in ICU with her or in the hospital waiting room. I may include brief updates within posts on other topics or one post per week devoted to it. I find that after a 12+ hour day spent in preparation, travel, waiting, visiting, waiting some more, traveling some more, I just need to not have to spend yet another hour or two on a post recapping it. I'm burning out and I'm not even the one doing most of the work involved. My sister is the driver and the one communicating with the nurses and doctors and then phoning a dozen or so family and friends with updates.

Jamie was calmer today. They upped the anti-anxiety med. She slept more. We all went in one at a time. Mom and Carri read Psalms to her. At one point she grabbed the Bible from my sister and found I Corinthians 13, the chapter defining love, stabbing her finger on it emphatically. So Carri read it to her. Then Jamie asked to see Mom.

I didn't go in to see her until after 4pm. The first thing she wrote on the clipboard was "What is your name?" That threw me a bit but after I wrote 'Joy' followed by 'sister-friend' she began to write back things that indicated she was making correct associations to the things we have shared. She fell asleep in the middle of something she was writing to me. During the next five hours she asked for Carri or Mom but never me.

I suppose I could have asked to go back again to say goodnight around 9 but I confess I was so engrossed in making notes in the FOS storyworld file of thoughts I'd had about one of my stories that I lost track of time. For most of the morning and afternoon before my visit with Jamie I'd been reading Wally Lamb's The Hour I First Believed. But after I returned from ICU I got out my netbook. Tried first to access my blog but apparently the hospital's server has blocked access to the entire Blogger site. Today was the first whole day that I did no crocheting tho I'd taken a large bag with several bookmark projects in progress.

We stayed until after 10 tonight because Jamie's biological sister was flying in from Alabama and her plane landed in Portland at 9PM. Jamie smiled for her but wasn't able to keep her eyes open. They'd already given her the night meds around 9, I assume, as that is when the were giving them every other night this week.

She is still off the respirator. For two full days now. I'm not sure what further milestones she needs to reach before they release her from ICU.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Nodding Off

Left the house before noon today. Arrived at ICU a bit after 1PM having first stopped by Jamie's apartment to water her plants. It was wonderful to discover Jamie had been off the respirator all night and was still off--just over 24 hours as we arrived. She was still off of it when we left at 9:30 tonight.

Not so wonderful was how agitated she got at various times even to the point of asking us to go or the nurses sending us back to the waiting room for a time. I think some of us spent more time in the waiting room than with Jamie today. I know I did. Mom as well.

Well I'm literally nodding off like the kitty in the video even to the point of my head falling back or to the side or my chin onto my chest. It's been a long day punctuating a long week behind and another ahead of us. I've been clocking in at under six hours of sleep per night for over a week. Guess I better go see how many I can get tonight and I better get my butt out of this recliner before I find myself waking in it when the dawn light hits the big plate glass windows that comprise 80% of the front wall of the house.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Soon, Sister-Friend. Soon



It's 7PM, I'm sitting in the waiting room at SW Medical. They have a public WIFI here.

Jamie, sister-friend. We are so proud of you. You have been breathing without the respirator for eight hours so far today. That is so great. If you can keep it up they may not send you to the other place whose program for weaning can take months. The sooner you don't need that respirator the sooner you can be free of that bed and do for yourself again, the sooner you can start the rehab program, the sooner they can take out the trach so you can talk again, the sooner they can take out the feeding tube so you can have real food again, the sooner you can go home!


You had been breathing on your own for 11 hours at the time we left tonight. Keep that up and you could be out of there much sooner than we could hope three days ago.


Storybook Bed

da bes bed eva!

This wold be my 'cheezburger!!

Speaking of beds. Best or not I've gotta find mine and fall in. Had less than five hours of sleep this morning and have been awake since 9AM. We just got back from visiting Jamie in the ICU at a Vancouver hospital. I have to be up and awake in time to fix Mom's lunch as my sister is going to go sit with Jamie from late morning to mid afternoon and then come get Mom and I after Mom's nap. It'll probably be near midnight again when we get home tomorrow. It has been all week so far.

Was gonna say at least a little about Jamie's condition today but I can't keep my eyes open and focused and am typoing in every other word. Suffice to say she is improving in small increments. Not as fast as the doctors hoped for though. They can't wean her off the ventilator. They are giving her a day or two more to show significant improvement in the number of hours she can keep her oxygen levels up without the ventilator and if she doesn't meet their expectations they are going to transfer her to a facility in Portland that specializes in weaning of respirators.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010


am highdng frum da big bad   mean wirld dats messng wit me

We've gone to visit Jamie in ICU both yesterday and today, leaving here in the afternoon and leaving her room between 9 & 10 to arrive back at home between 11 & 12.

I thought i wanted to do an update post tonight but I think I need to process longer. Or maybe I just need sleep.

It's just very disturbing to witness a loved one like that. Tubes and wire and restraints. Beeps and whirs and clicks and sighs and hums non-stop.

I will update to this extent: she opened her eyes for us. she recognized us; she communicated wants and needs by mouthing words and nodding yes or no. she cried silent tears, was asked if she was in pain and she shook her head no so we ran down a list of possible wrongnesses and she kept shaking her head no until finally my sister Carri asked Are you just happy to see us. And we got a vigorous nod.

She asks for her purse, her cell phone, something to write with. We can't accommodate the first two but Carri finds a pen and small notepad in her bag. Jamie tries to write what she had been trying to say. It looks like a toddler's scribble.

She keeps asking for the restraints on her hands to be removed but she can't yet be trusted not to pull out the respirator tube so it would be life threatening for her to have her hands free. That breaks our hearts. She asked repeatedly to go home. Our hearts hurt when we have to say Not yet.

On our way out the door at 9:30 I showed her the bookmark I was crocheting for her off and on all day. She mouthed Pretty. I told her it was for her, the one she had asked for for her birthday in May. She wanted red and pink. I had already made several in those colors and was going to let her choose one and direct me how to dress it when I saw her in person on my trip. But yesterday I decided to start a new one, making up a new pattern of rows so it will be unique. It has red, white and two shades of pink and is about a third done. Would have been more but I kept making mistakes and having to take out rows and rows and getting my four strands of thread tangled.

We're going again tomorrow afternoon and I'm going to take my netbook so I can maybe prepare a post during one of the times they kick us out of the room. I took it yesterday but never got it out until we were in the car on the way home when I discovered I couldn't control the mouse in a moving car so I just watched news pods. I decided not to take it today but then wished I had when my sister was able to access the web with her mini touchscreen device from the waiting room.

But first I really need to get at least eight hours of sleep if I can and to do that I need to start heading towards that goal soon. This is going to be a long haul.

I wish I fit inside a pillowcase.


Monday, July 26, 2010

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? #11

I didn't get to read much all last week. I did have some scattered periods of free time during each day but I tended to use them to crochet, watch news pods, play on LOLcats. Things that I didn't mind having interrupted as much as I mind having a story interrupted. And then there was the Bones season 3 which consumed all my free time on Monday and Tuesday. I wish now that I'd had the good sense to wait until i got back to Phoenix next month to order the Bones DVD. I could have used that time for so many other things. Things that I can only do here. Books that I can only get at the Longview library.

The week of Mom and I being on our own went by without many hitches and nothing major. The worst faux pas was when I was trying to refill the Pur pitcher with the spray nozzle at the sink and my thumb got trigger happy and pulled the trigger before I had it aimed into the pitched. It was aimed at the fridge across the room. So I created a sudden cloudburst in the kitchen which I had to clean up with a Sham Wow.

I didn't read much last week but I did carry that 1100+ page book, The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb, around the house with me to keep it near me just in case. I did get to read nearly 50 pages in one sitting but mostly it was in snatches of a few paragraphs or pages. I'm still not to the half-way point yet.

And now I have reached the half way point on the time I can have The Book Thief. It's due in 11 days. There may be a grace day. I'll have to check with my sister. Or the library web site...duh! But it is a 500 page book and I know it won't renew so I need to start it at the latest six days before it is due or by August 1.

So my plan for this week is to focus on The Hour I First Believed until I finish or until I sleep Saturday night or if it is obvious I can't finish by Saturday night look for a good enough stopping place and switch over to The Book Thief. Because I am really, really wanting to read that and have already let one of my turns at it dwindle away until it was too late. That was the week I was packing for this trip and though it wasn't due for another week I couldn't start it because I couldn't take it with me.

My sister just picked up several books I'd ordered from the Vancouver library today which I'll probably browse in a bit. Especially the Crochet Stitch Bible and the Japanese braiding book. There are more waiting for me at the Longview library which she'll probably pick up tomorrow. But my focus this week will be on those two novels and I need to get as far as I can by the weekend because the package I am expecting from might come any time after Friday and I suspect I will find it too hard to resist playing with my fourteen new balls of thread.


Sunday Serenity #189

This is for you sister-friend. A celebration of breath. We must from this day forth hold each breath in gratitude.

I am looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. If Carri is well enough she is bringing Mom and I to visit you in ICU. I have been wishing all week that I could be there to support you through this.

I am missing our daily chats. If this had been any other of my loved ones it would be your shoulder I'd be leaning on, your ear I'd be filling with my anxiety.

I know your love of music so I collected these songs about breath for you to enjoy once you are home. Soon, Sis. Soon!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Breathe Sister-Friend

My sister-friend Jamie has been in the hospital since Tuesday morning and will probably remain there two to three days more but only if she continues to improve at the rate she has been the last couple days and no more complications arise.

She went in for a procedure that was supposed to take 90 minutes to two hours and then be released to go home when she was released from recovery. But things did not go as expected. The procedure was to scrape scar tissue off the inside of her trachea that was building up and blocking her airway to the point she had chronic low oxygen and when talking or walking she wheezed and gasped for air which then produced a whistle. This was the third time they went in to open up her throat. The first time last December they stretched it out, the second time this spring they took a biopsy to be sure that all it was was scar tissue. When that was confirmed they scheduled this procedure to remove as much as possible and possibly all of it.

They suspect acid-reflux getting into the trachea during sleep to be the culprit. This suspicion was made stronger when she was found to have aspirated stomach acid into her lungs during surgery which has caused a non-bacterial pneumonia. That was just one of the complications. When they tried to pull the respirator tube out in recovery last Tuesday her throat began to swell shut and they had to quickly insert a new tube but smaller than the normal one because they could no longer get the standard one back in.

Because her oxygen levels did not rise to a safe level she had to remain intubated with the respirator breathing for her and because of that they had to keep her sedated to keep her from pulling on the several tubes and wires hooked up to her. Plus when they brought her out from under the anesthesia in recovery she was in extreme distress from the pain so besides sedating her they have given her something that will cause amnesia so she won't remember this later nor, I imagine, remember it from one waking to another as they have repeatedly tried to wean her off the sedative and each time she exhibits extreme distress and combativeness so they restart the sedative. They have also had to tie down her hands and feet.

Yesterday somebody on staff pulled the tube out (I don't know their position or why or whether they didn't look at her chart or the Doctor had not written in it that he had decided to leave it in until certain he would not have to reinsert it as they had no smaller tube and the pulling out and reinserting would irritate the area where the scar tissue was removed possibly causing a thicker scar) and because they could not keep her oxygen level up without the respirator they had to do a tracheotomy.

They have added anti-anxiety medicine and today they were able to allow her to remain semi-conscious for a couple hours before needing to restart the sedative.

Today they began to suspect internal bleeding as her red blood cells are low. It's not from the site of the surgery. They could not find any external evidence of its location so they did a CAT scan. We don't yet know if that revealed anything.

This has been on my mind all week. Every second of the day as I go about my chores--the watering and feeding and cleaning and posting and etc. When Jamie first told me in an IM last month the date for the surgery my first question was why THAT week. Why not the week before or the week after. Because we already knew this was the week that I was committed to caring for Mom and her yard and the family pets while my sister who is her care provider went with her son to a Christian Rock festival up near Seattle. And unlike previous years Mom could not go stay at my brother's home in Portland because his wife and kids are at a Church camp in Idaho and my brother has to work, which would leave Mom home alone which is not advisable.

So I agreed to fill in for my sister though I was highly anxious about the concept of two all but blind women in motion in a house in which either one at any time can make a circuit from living room to dining room to kitchen to hallway to living room and the door out of the kitchen into the hall is four feet from the bathroom door and six feet from the door of the bedroom we are sharing. Opportunities for collision abound. Especially since both of us have attention issue. Mom's due to her stroke affecting the area of the brain that initiates action along with aphasia. Me, who knows. maybe ADD. I am day dreamy and tend to move quick and make sudden turns without telegraphing them--even in the middle of a room. I tend to not be paying attention to where I am at the moment but either (or both) what I'm going to be doing at my destination or what I was just doing and what I hope to do when I get back to it.

But, tho there have been a couple of close calls, we have made it through six days without a collision. I credit Jamie's suggestion for that. We've been wearing bells which helps us keep track of each other.

I've prepared twelve meals. More than half with Mom's help either in the prep or in the clearing up. It amazed me but we seem to be working better together in the kitchen than we did when I was a teen.

Mom and I have both listened anxiously for the phone every evening for the update on Jamie from my brother who stops by the hospital every day before and/or after work and spends and hour or two in her room on his way home. Today on his day off he spent over six. Even though she is not blood related Jamie is family. She was my parents ward through her teens, arriving over five year's after the youngest of us siblings had left home.

My brother was expecting his first son at the time and Ed and I had just recently move back to Longview. Jamie would occasionally watch my brother's kids over the next seven years and she would often stay at my apartment when my folks had functions in or out of town to attend, Mom being involved at that time with several committees or groups advocating for the visually impaired, seniors and disabled. So there were a lot of these functions and a lot of visits to my brother's to spend time with their grandkids so Jamie stayed with me quite often. I also tutored her in English and coached her through writing a term paper (urm...sorry about accidentally deleting that one sister-friend *blush*) and Ed tutored her in math a bit. She would often help me babysit Ed's brothers' kids and the occasional neighbor's or friend's kid.

OMG I just realized this is taking on the aura of a eulogy. Did not intend for that.

I'm going to close with this:

Breathe sister-friend. Just breathe.

Boy have I been missing our IM sessions and emails and you reading my post and leaving comments. Had no idea how often I composed narratives of my daily activities in my mind anticipating our next IM exchanges. I really missed not being able to share with you my triumphs and fumbles this week and who else but you would I have normally turned to to share my anxiety over a loved one in distress. I'm sending you love with every breath.

Here's a little something for you to enjoy as soon as you're able to be online again:


Friday, July 23, 2010

Where's the Nap Attacks When You Need Them?

dis wut hapins when i not git nuf naps

Excuse me but this is going to be a ramble and rant post as sleep deprivation has lowered my inhibitions as effectively as a double shot of Kaluha and Cream. I have just pulled my first wake-around-the-clock stunt since I got here almost two weeks ago. I guess it was bound to happen but it caught me by surprise. I didn't feel it coming. I'd been feeling pleased with myself for sticking fairly close to a wake up between 10 and 11 AM and asleep between 2 and 3AM schedule. Now I'm not only ticked at myself for blowing that schedule all to hello and back but I'm having the morning after regrets, wondering how it is I think I'm capable of managing a web-based business, a bookstore or a writing career let alone all three whether in some combination or consecutively when it takes me 2 to 6 hours to complete an online transaction involving money.

Last night I started a task that I expected would take me no longer than four hours tops and hopefully more like 2.5. I began at 10 PM. The task was to activate the pre-paid, reloadable card my husband sent me and then go spend some of it on to take advantage of a 30% off sale on crochet thread, floss, and ribbon coupled with free shipping.. Scrapbooking supplies too but that's not my current craft, though it looks to be the kind I could love.

OK Joy get back on track. You don't need any more hobbies.

I was excited at the thought of getting to plug several more holes in my thread rainbow. I'd been waiting since February for another $5 flat rate shipping offer to land in my inbox. That was when I acquired 8 hard-to-find colors. I had been drooling over them for months but could not justify ordering them when the shipping costs would add anywhere from a third to a half again to the cost of each ball of thread. In February I got 8 balls at their regular price of 2.49 to 2.79 apiece for a total of a little less than $20 plus the $5 shipping fee that added only 62 cents to the cost of each ball. Before their standard shipping was $5 for the first $10 of product ordered then it jumped to $7 something when your order went over $10 and $10 when it went over $20 and so on and on. I rounded some of those numbers up or down because I can't remember them exactly just the approximate range.

This time I ordered 17 items (15 assorted crochet thread balls) and that $5 flat rate would have added only 29 cents to each item. But the day after I received the email announcing the $5 flat rate and after I had discovered the 30% off sale but before the prepaid card was delivered, another email from announced FREE shipping and an extension of the sale that was supposed to end Wednesday through to Saturday. After finding that email I spent several hours fretting over whether the card would arrive in time. If the offers had not been extended then the card would have had to arrive that day and I would have had to activate it and compile my order by midnight. Which was in the realm of the improbably knowing my propensity to make 30 minute tasks into 300 minute tasks. But knowing the card was supposed to have gone in the mail Monday afternoon I had little hope that it would reach me by Wednesday afternoon anyway. Yet the card did arrive late Wednesday afternoon after all as Ed had sent it UPS but by then I'd seen the announcement of the extended deadline so I didn't rush to tend to it that night. I'm glad I wasn't up against that midnight deadline as I probably couldn't have made it. I found the card just before needing to start dinner prep and was not free to tend to it until after 8PM but I also need to tend to that day's post.

So on Thursday I made sure to get my post up in the afternoon and then had my night session after Mom went to bed to tend to the card and the order. See I had never taken care of either of these tasks completely by myself before. I always had my husband there to walk me through it, to direct my eyes to the right place on the screen, to explain the jargon, to dictate the strings of numbers and so forth. Because of my visual impairment these tasks are tedious and slow and most commercial websites do not consider the issues I have and how their page design might detract or enhance my experience in dealing with their company or product. If they did they wouldn't be using 6pt font in gray on cream or cream on chocolate Talk about the fine print. If they gave a care at all about my issues they wouldn't have their form pages time out in two minutes for security reasons so that I end up having to start over at the beginning over and over and over. I finally make it past page one and complete page two only to have it reject my submission and go back to page 1 because my session had timed out while I read the instructions and filled in the form. This happened multiple times on each page and there must have been at least 7 to 10 of them.

And each time I ended up back on page one I was socked in the eye with the 20 pt font shouting 'Congratulations and Thank you for choosing 'dippity doo da' card. You are just minutes away from enjoying the blippity blah blah bleh.'

So. See? They have noting against 20pt font. They're perfectly willing to use it when it doesn't even matter to the ease or integrity of doing business with them.

What slows me down the most is the need to keep changing the focus of my eyes between the screen, keyboard and whatever object has the info I need to copy. Finding the right spot on the screen to input the info is difficult and keeping track of it once I know the vicinity to aim my eyes is a challenge. Especially when I or someone else inadvertently cause the screen to scroll. Like a helpful kitty nudging my elbow as I'm navigating the page with the mouse. Because I use the page enlarge function of the browser I need to scroll sideways nearly as often as up and down.

Well. I had to break off at 5:30 to prep and have dinner with Mom. I came back and sat down again about 7 only to notice the sound of the sprinkler going in the back yard still. I had set it at 2 and meant to turn it off at 4. When I got out back it looked at first like either I was seeing double or someone had set up a second sprinkler. But I finally figured out the second geyser of water was shooting straight up out of a slit in the hose and reaching the level of the windows on the upper floor. I had to walk through the spray to reach the spigot.

That was just one of the many things that happened to me today as a result of inattention. The inattention being the result of sleep deprivation which was due to my not laying down at all because I didn't get my order form successfully submitted at until after Mom was awake and up after 7:30. Remember I started activating the prepaid card before 10 PM

Now Mom is asleep again already and I'm still up and can't lay down until I get a shower. Today was litter box duty up and down stairs...Don't ask. Suffice to say it was one of those things I alluded to above and I should have got a shower before starting dinner but Mom's stomach seems to be on a schedule so I just washed my hands up to my elbows and a few inches further and by 'washed' I mean something akin to what a surgeon does before entering the OR. Everything but hold my hands in the air and let the water drip off my elbows onto the floor.

When I started this post I had thought I'd talk about some of the things I ordered and maybe even filch a pic or two off I'm so excited about it. It's fifteen new colors, including four variegated and three different weights and texture of thread and there are two tools to aid in the bookmark making project as well. But that will have to wait. Maybe even until the day it arrives here in a week or so when I can take the pictures my own self. I am going to hit that shower now and after that I'm down for the count.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Book Giveaway: The Link by Colin Tudge & Josh Young

I'm authorized to give away 3 copies. Rules for entry in the drawing are below. Please read them carefully.

By Colin Tudge, Josh Young
(c) 2009

Back Bay BooksFor more than a century, scientists have raced to unravel the human family tree and have grappled with its complications. Now, with an astonishing new discovery, everything we thought we knew about primate origins could change. Lying inside a high-security vault, deep within the heart of one of the world's leading natural history museums, is the scientific find of a lifetime - a perfectly fossilized early primate, older than the previously most famous primate fossil, Lucy, by forty-four million years.

IDA - the Darwinius Masillae FossilWho Is Ida? Ida is a 47 million year old, perfectly preserved primate recovered from the Messel Pit in Germany. Ida is the most complete early primate fossil ever found, and scientists believe that...

Ida, an exceptionally well-preserved fossil primate from Germany, is being hailed by some as a critical "missing link" in human evolution—but not all experts are convinced.

Colin Tudge: This 47m-year-old bears out Darwin's belief that all creatures now on Earth are, literally, related

Revealing The Link: The Website.

For more than a century, scientists have raced to unravel the human family tree and have grappled with its complications. Now, with an astonishing new discovery, everything we thought we knew about primate origins could change. ...

The Link is a feature-length documentary film made by the award-winning Atlantic Productions with exclusive access to Ida and the team of scientists who have examined her. The film shows how microtomography, ...

Wikipedia article featuring the fossil Ida.

The paper published by the team studying Ida.


  • Leave a comment in this post expressing your interest in entering the drawing.
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  • Deadline for entering is NOON PDT Saturday, August 14 , 2010. I will select the winners with a random sequence generator using
  • I will announce the winners in a post as well as notify by email. Winners must respond with their mailing info within two days or forfeit. In which case I notify the next entry in the sequence generated by
  • Winners must provide a US or Canadian mailing address. Hachette is unable to deliver to PO Boxes. Also, for those of you winning the same title in more than one contest, be aware that Hachette may not deliver multiple copies of a single title to a single address.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I'd Rather be Dreaming

Sleeping on teh job.

May need to sleep on the blog job some this week as my day duties have to take priority. This was the third of seven days that I'm assisting my Mom alone while my sister is on vacation with her son. It is going well. In fact way better than I anticipated. I'm gaining confidence. But today I showed marked evidence of sleep deprivation. Began by oversleeping after turning off alarm. Waking at 11:30am meant having to start lunch prep immediately with zero waking up time.

Was lethargic, day-dreamy, ditzy, fumble-fingered, stumbled-toed most of the day. I did do all my duties: lunch prep and clean-up; kitten feed & water outside; cat feed and water downstairs; cat feed and water upstairs; front yard water by hose; backyard water by sprinkler; top off water in Mom's breathing machine (which she uses at night against apnea); shower & shampoo; dinner prep and clean-up. In between chores I racked up two hours of reading in Wally Lamb's The Hour I First Believed and two hours of crochet. I had hoped to go out on the mini-tramp but kept wimping out.

By the time Mom was heading to bed at 9pm I felt ready myself but I sat down with netbook to work on a post. I was preparing something somewhat ambitious and I finally just ran out of oomph.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Just One More...

wun moar page pwease

Pretty please? With Cheeses on it?

And after that one more...

And then one more...

A story of a thousand pages begins with one paragraph.

Excuse me while I return to turning pages in Wally Lamb's The Hour I First Believed.


Monday, July 19, 2010

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? #10

I can't believe I've been here at my Mom's a whole week already. My sister left with her son on vacation today and won't be back until Sunday, leaving me here to assist Mom and care for the pets and yard.

I don't know how reading is going to fit into my routines this week. Lunch and supper meal prep is mostly on me though Mom helps when she is feeling up to it. But her helping actually makes the tasks take longer as I can't rush her nor can I rush around when she is nearby as we are both visually impaired and that would risk a collision that could have really bad results. We didn't get through this day unscathed as I banged a dinner plate on her elbow as I was attempting to reach past her to lay it in the sink. But that was minor compared to scenarios I have imagined. We are both wearing bells to keep each other alerted to our whereabouts. Mom has them on her shoes and have one on my right wrist and the other on my left ankle.

The week just past was a great one for reading though. Before the Bones DVDs came home from the library on Friday and Saturday I was reading 2 to 4 hours per day. That's approximately how much time I spent watching Bones in the last two days so I hope to give some of that back to reading after watching the rest of season three.


The mind tree : a miraculous child breaks the silence of autism / Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay.


The hour I first believed / Wally Lamb. Am reading this in large print and have read over 200 of the 1100 some pages.

Browsed in while placing bookmarks as my sister brought them home from the Longview library:

Some of these were books I had out of the library at home in the last month or so the rest are mostly books I had checked out of the Longview library during my previous visits in the last year and are not available at home.

Proust was a neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer

The family : the secret fundamentalism at the heart of American power / Jeff Sharlet.

Losing my religion : how I lost my faith reporting on religion in America--and found unexpected peace / William Lobdellby

The religious case against belief / Carse, James P

The unwritten rules of social relationships: Decoding Social Mysteries Through the Unique Perspectives of Autism /by Grandin, Temple.

Aladdin's lamp : how Greek science came to Europe through the Islamic world /
by Freely, John.

The art & craft of the short story / by DeMarinis, Rick

Banquet at Delmonico's : great minds, the Gilded Age, and the triumph of evolution in America / by Werth, Barry.

White Protestant nation : the rise of the American conservative movement / by Lichtman, Allan J.

Believer, beware : first-person dispatches from the margins of faith / by Sharlet, Jeff

The Novel up next if I finish the Lamb before Monday:

The book thief / Markus Zusak

DVD watched:

Precious -- twice. Once alone and the second time with my sister.

Bones season 2 disc 5 & 6
Bones season 3 disc 1, 2, & 3 (will be watching 4 & 5--there is no 6--before Thursday and then probably walking the set over to the library while my Mom naps. Unless I luck out and it renews for me again which ought to take it till my sister gets home on Sunday. The Longview library only allows three days for videos and there is a $1 per day fine if late. At home in the Jackson County Oregon system videos are checked out for a full week and the fine is the same as for books--20 cents per day)


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Serenity #188

The Master of Serenity


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gotta Draw the Line Somewhere

Stop n smell da rozez dey sed.  sed noting bout takn em to bed wit u

It's been a long day on a short sleep. Including several hours of socializing with friends of my Mom who were strangers to me except for one couple. who are dear to me and whom for the sake of seeing I attended the AARP chapter picnic.

I've been fighting the sleepies ever since we got home this afternoon. Maybe I should have followed Mom's example and taken a nap But I didn't so here I am five hours later with less than lazer focus eyes and mind. I should stop fighting it. Especially as tomorrow is my sister's last full day here before she takes off for a week leaving me alone with Mom so it'll be my last chance to ask questions, get schedules, menus, routines etc straight.

I was looking forward to watching a few Bones season 2 episodes tonight as it came in at the library today. Season 3 had come in yesterday and is due Monday but I didn't want to start it until I could watch the last five episodes of season 2. Now I'm unlikely to have the time to cram all 23 or so episodes in by Monday evening let alone Monday noonish when my sister heads out which, if she doesn't drop them off then I'll have to find someone willing to come run them over to the library before it closes. So I should maybe just do the best I can before she leaves and send for 3 again after she gets home or even after I get home next month.

Its a silly thing to be fretting about and a measure of my fatigue that I'm wasting words and thought on it. It's time to hit the sheets.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Library Loot July 14-20

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Marg that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

This week Marg has the Mr. Linky where you can link your own Library Loot post anytime this week if you wish to participate.

Last Sunday I had to pile all thirty-some of the library items I had checked out on the go-back pile as I was on my way out of town. I have been at my mom's house in Longview, WA since Sunday night and there was already a small pile of books that I'd ordered from the library of my childhood, the library of my first library card waiting for me. My sister had given me permission to order them on her account a week before I left home and she picked them up. After I arrived, I ordered several more which she picked up today. That will be it until the week after next (the 26th at least) as she is leaving Monday and won't be back until Sunday. I'm going to be staying with Mom and seeing to her needs.

I'm quite nervous about that as Mom and I are both visually impaired and the thought of colliding with her and knocking her off her feet terrifies me. She is still recovering from the broken hip and resulting stroke from November 2008. My sister's solution was to tie bells on Mom's shoes and one on my right wrist. Yeah, you can laugh, I don't blame you. Mom cracked up when I first told her what we were thinking. She thought I was joking but even though I was laughing with her I was emphasizing how important it was that she not fall again and how I would feel soooooo bad if I knocked her down.

So. The books:

The Hour I First Believed [text (large print)] : a novel / Wally Lamb

I had this checked out in Phoenix several weeks ago and it had to go back unread because I'd opted to watch several DVD series I'd been in queue for instead of reading it. That was the second time in a year I'd had it checked out and didn't get to it. So with it fresh in my mind, it was one of the first novels I looked for in the Longview library catalog and when I found they too had it in large print I ordered it. It was waiting for me when I arrived but I didn't start it until today. I was past page 140 when I was called to dinner.

Losing my religion : how I lost my faith reporting on religion in America--and found unexpected peace / William Lobdell.

I was reading this last month and didn't finish it before it had to go back so when I found Longview had it too, I put in my order.

Proust was a neuroscientist / Jonah Lehrer.

Ditto for this one. My interest in this is three-fold: I've long been interested in how the mind works; it fulfills a req for the Science reading challenge and I'm reading Proust's Remembrance of Things Past in ebook (very, very slowly. slow as morning glory growing)

The family : the secret fundamentalism at the heart of American power / Jeff Sharlet

I started this one while here in Longview last January because I'd been trying to get my hands on it every since Rachel Maddow of MSNBC started interview the author and covering the C Street House in DC last year but our library didn't have it then. By the time I got back home last winter they did have a copy and I've had it out a couple times, both times waiting in a short queue, but still haven't finished it. Could have had it for another several weeks this last time but it had to go back with everything else as I left town. But I'd already ordered it from the Longview library and expected it to be waiting for me here and it was.

Aladdin's lamp : how Greek science came to Europe through the Islamic world /
by Freely, John.

I had checked this out of the Longview library last spring when I was here shortly before I went back home. Last time I checked our library system had not acquired it. I suppose I should put in a request that they do. Anyway, I ordered this one after I arrived and it was among the items my sister picked up today. As were the following:

The art & craft of the short story / by DeMarinis, Rick

I was reading this winter and spring of 09 while I was here and finding it very helpful. Our Southern Oregon system doens't have it though it has some of DeMarinis' short story collections. I tried to check it out again when I was here in January but someone else had it out. I don't know why it slipped my mind when I ordered the first batch a couple weeks ago but I glad I remembered it this week and it was available.

Banquet at Delmonico's : great minds, the Gilded Age, and the triumph of evolution in America / by Werth, Barry.

I had this checked out while here both last January and in the spring of 09. The history of the development of the theory of evolution and trying to understand the acceptance/rejection tug of war in America has been one of my pet research projects for several years. Almost a decade. This book isn't in our SO system.

The religious case against belief / by Carse, James P.

This is another one I checked out while I was here in 09 but not until a couple weeks before I left and barely got to do more than preview it and browse in it a bit.

White Protestant nation : the rise of the American conservative movement / by Lichtman, Allan J.

Had this one checked out last January and in the last month of my visit in 09 as well. This is related to research for my FOS storyworld. This one is not in our system either.

Believer, beware : first-person dispatches from the margins of faith / by Sharlet, Jeff.

This is a collection of essays by individuals with rocky relationships with the faith of their youth and a questing mind and heart for a spiritual dimension to life. Sharlet, author of The Family, mentioned above, is editor but also contributes the introduction and several essays.

The book thief / Markus Zusak

I had this out at home. It was next in line to read. I could have read it my last week at home but chose to devote that week to watching seasons 4-7 of The West Wing. I ordered it with the first Longview batch two weeks ago but it just now came in. Now I'm wishing I had waited another day to start Lamb's 1100 page novel as it is likely to renew while Zusak's is not. But if I can maintain the 140+ pages per day pace I should be able to finish both in the next three weeks. It helps that I'm not watching a lot of DVD like I was at home with 4-6 months of my requests flooding in over the last two months averaging a rate of 6-16 hours of video per week.

But I haven't sworn off video. My sister rented Precious for me Tuesday while she was grocery shopping, remembering that I'd had to send it back unwatched when I left home after waiting my turn since February. I watched it alone on my netbook in the wee hours of Wednesday morning as my sister had realized that she was too overcommitted to watch it with me in the 24 hours allotted by the rental but I had already got in queue for the Longview copy and she was able to make time tonight when it was among the items waiting at the library today. It wasn't something we could watch with Mom as the language was too raw so we were limited to late evening hours. She probably didn't really have the time tonight but wanted to anyway.

Another item waiting was Bones season 3. I had also ordered season 2 but 3 came in first. I only need to watch the last disc of season 2. That was another item I sent back without finishing last weekend. Now I've got to hope 2 comes in tomorrow (it was due today) or decide if I want to skip ahead, four or five episodes, missing the season finale, to watch 3 while I have it or let 3 go back and wait until my sister gets home next week to order them again or even wait until I get home next month to order them again there. Choices choices choices.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dystopian & Apocolyse Reading Challenges

Soon da powers be ours.  We makes u beg.  We teach u tricks and teazez u with stringz on stiks.

Dystopian Challenge

From the host:

  1. Open to everyone (if you do not have a blog, just state in the comments section that you read the book and on what date)
  2. Any book format - Wiki list of dystopian lit
  3. Books can be chosen throughout the year, but must have been read within the timeline. Just because your read Fahrenheit 451 in 7th grade doesn't mean it counts.
  4. Sign-up below with Mr. Linky
  5. Post your reviews in the comments area
  6. Three Levels:
  • Level 1 - Experimental - 5 books
  • Level 2 - Addict - 10 books
  • Level 3 - Junkee - 20 books
I'll do Level 1 - Experimental - 5 books

1. Under the dome : a novel
2. Boneshaker / Cherie Priest

It's The End of the World III

From the host:

Name: It's The End of the World III
Host: Becky of Becky's Book Reviews
Dates: March 17, 2010 - October 31, 2010
Books Required: Four

Read at least four books about "the end of the world." This includes both apocalyptic fiction and post-apocalyptic fiction. There is quite a bit of overlap with dystopic fiction as well. The point being something--be it coming from within or without, natural or unnatural--has changed civilization, society, humanity to such a degree that it radically differs from "life as we now know it."

1. Under the dome : a novel
2. Boneshaker / Cherie Priest

You can follow my progress in these and other 2010 challenges in the Reading Challenges Portal.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge

Oh boy!! Tug toy!! When we can play?

2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge

From the host:

1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.

--Non-Bloggers: Post your list of books in the comment section of the wrap-up post. To learn how to sign up without having a blog, click here.

2. There are four levels:

--The Mini YA Reading Challenge – Read 12 Young Adult novels.

--Just My Size YA Reading Challenge – Read 25 Young Adult novels.

--Stepping It Up YA Reading Challenge – Read 50 Young Adult novels.

--Super Size Me YA Reading Challenge – Read 75 Young Adult novels.

3. Audio, eBooks, re-reads all count.

4. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010.

6. When you sign up under Mr. Linky, put the direct link to your post where your Young Adult novels will be listed. Include the URL so that other viewers can find this fun challenge. If you’d prefer to put your list in the sidebar of your blog, please leave your viewers the link to the sign up page. Again, so viewers can join the challenge too.

****You do NOT need to review your books. That is optional.****

Since I'm starting so late I'm committing to the mini: 12 YA

You can follow my progress in these and other 2010 challenges in the Reading Challenges Portal.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Settling in and All That

Lookn 4 da purrfect  word? ders an apt 4 dat

The perfect word to describe the excellent adventure of my day? Sherlock on Qualudes? Mr. Magoo meets Nancy Drew? (and exchange eye wear) Bond meets Ms. Blond?

I spent nearly an hour today looking for my spool of white crochet thread. I unpacked the entire drawstring trash bag that I'd packed them in until I could see everything left on the bottom. At that point I developed a number of theories as to what had happened, must of them involving the pristine white ball of thread rolling out of the open top of the bag between the front room and the car at home, between the car and my mom's van at Rice Hill, out of the back of the van when we opened it at a rest stop or restaurant or in Mom's driveway, somewhere in the car or van, between the van and the front room at Mom's.

All of these scenario's I could visualize more clearly than anything directly in front of my eyes.

Which is why it didn't register that the incomplete bookmark hanging out of the wrist bag containing the two spools of thread used in its construction was half white. That had been my portable project for traveling on Sunday. I have continued to work on it intermittently each day including today.

And yet I spent half to three quarters of an hour looking for that white ball of thread. I imagined asking my sister to go pick up a replacement for it and asking my husband for the money. I wrote and sent an email to Ed to ask him to look for it in the house, yard and car and tell him I would have to replace it as at least a dozen of the bookmarks awaiting tassels were partly white.

Not thirty seconds after clicking send on that email I happened to glance at the wristbag with the nearly finished bookmark dangling out of it and it finally clicked in my mind.

Oh what a doofus am I.


Monday, July 12, 2010

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? #9

I am now in Longview, WA for my 4-6 week visit at my Mom's. I arrived late Sunday night and slept until late afternoon today. My sister didn't head to bed until after 11pm so I'm really getting a late start on this post.

Begun but not quite finished:

The mind tree : a miraculous child breaks the silence of autism / Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay.

This was one of two Jackson County Library books I brought with me in the car Sunday to read on the way to meet my sister. I intended to send them both back with Ed to be returned along with the 30 some other items. But at last second I decided to hang onto this one so I could finish and then share with my sister who is reading everything she can get her hands on about autism spectrum as her son was recently diagnosed with mild Asberger's syndrome.

I've been reading on the subject for several years because I had planned to give a character in one of my novels high functioning autism or Asberger's.


The Good man Jesus and the scoundrel Christ by Pullman, Philip

Finished this one in the car on the way to rendevous with my sister in Rice Hill Sunday. Turned the last page as we entered the truck stop parking lot. Which was good as it has a hold on it so there was no way I could hang onto it. And the Longview system also had queues. I'm hoping I can manage to review it without having it in my hands.

Advanced Bookmarks (and will continue to):

Proust was a neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer

The value of nothing : how to reshape market society and redefine democracy by Raj Patel

The family : the secret fundamentalism at the heart of American power
/ Jeff Sharlet.

Have been reading in these three at home and had to leave them behind but I ordered them form either the Longview or Vancouver libraries on my sister's card. Proust and The Family were waiting for me already but not the Patel which I hope arrives sometime this week.

Returning to:

Losing my religion : how I lost my faith reporting on religion in America--and found unexpected peace / William Lobdellby

Had been reading this a couple weeks ago and it had to go back to library unfinished. It was one of the books I ordered from the Longview library on my sister's card and it was waiting for me when I got here.

The religious case against belief / Carse, James P

This was one of the books I started during my Longview visit last year and checked it out again during my January visit this year. It isn't available in our Jackson County system. It was one of the books already waiting for me last night. I hope to finish it this visit.

The unwritten rules of social relationships: Decoding Social Mysteries Through the Unique Perspectives of Autism /by Grandin, Temple.

This one isn't available in the Jackson County system so I was eager to order it last weekend when I checked on the availability of Grandin titles in the Longview system. It was awaiting me at Mom's house last night.

Will Begin Next:

The hour I first believed / Wally Lamb.

I'd had this checked out at home several weeks ago but had not gotten started before it was time for it to go back. By then it was getting too close to my planned trip to Longview for me to reorder it so when I found a waiting list for The Book Thief at the Longview and Vancouver libraries, I chose this one as the novel to begin next. I ordered it from the Longview library last weekend on my sister's card and it was among the books awaiting me here at Mom's house when I arrived last night.


I've ordered a bunch more books from both the Longview and Vancouver library systems tonight but don't know which, if any, will arrive before next Monday so I'll leave them until they are in my hands to list.

DVD watched:


The West Wing
seasons 4, 5, 6 & 7

Yes I was obsessed with finishing these before I left town. I watched seasons 4 and 5 at 1.2 (or 120%) speed and sped 6 and 7 up to 1.3 (or 130%) I spent 10+ hours each day watching and finished last episode at 5:30 am Sunday morning about five hours before I hit the road. I got about three hours of sleep before I started getting ready to go.

Because I focused on West Wing though I lost my turn with Precious, My Life in Ruins and Motherhood and Bones season 2 disc 5 & 6. Will now have to get back in queue for them.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday Serenity #187

I thought I was going to be seeing scenes like those above and below today.

Instead I saw a lot of scenes similar to this one:

Ed and I rendezvoused with my sister at Rice Hill this afternoon which is close to the halfway point between Phoenix and Portland. I'm to be spending the next month or so at my mom's in Longview WA and the plan was for us to head east to the coast and drive up the Oregon coast on Highway 101 maybe stop at a beach and walk in the surf.

It was a beautiful day for it too and we three sisters (Carri had stopped in Vancouver WA on her way south to pick up Jamie) were eagerly looking forward to seeing the beaches and hearing the surf. We all love beaches.

So we took Highway 20 just north of Eugene heading toward Newport. It was during the hour or so on that road that we saw many scenes similar to the bucolic barn scene above.

We were just ten miles from Newport when traffic suddenly began crawling and then halted altogether. We smelled smoke. Then traffic began flowing back towards us from ahead. It was cars that had turned around and headed east again. One of them stopped to inform us that a hay truck had caught fire ahead and the road had been closed.

So we had to turn around as well. By then it was after 5PM so we realized that it would be too late to make the six hour drive up the coast by the time we had made the hour or so drive back to I5 and found another Highway east. So disappointing.

But a really bizarre thing happened on our drive back to the freeway. We stopped at a rest area and while there my sister spotted an older couple exiting their car and was struck by how much the gentleman resembled our uncles--our mother's brothers and their father, our grandpa.

Now my sister, unlike me, is far far far from shy. She had no qualms about calling out to him and saying 'you look like you could be in our family.' In the course of the next few minutes she had elicited from him that his father had been from Indiana. Our mother's father had been raised in Elkhart Indiana. So she asked his name and learned it was Myers. Which is our mother's maiden name. And spelled the way her's was spelled which is the uncommon way to spell it as it is more often spelled Meyers. And the gentleman's first name was the same as one of our Myers cousin's. And someone else in his family (possibly his father, grandfather or uncle) was named Warren which is Mom's brother's name.

Now we know that Mom's dad, Howard Myers was the son of Amos Myers of Elkhart and Amos had six brothers.

Above was my attempt to photograph my mom's photographic print of the huge photo wall portrait of her Grandpa Amos and his brothers taken in the late 1800s. I don't know which one is Amos. Nor do I know any of his brother's names. But I think I would be willing to lay a bet that one of the young men pictured above is the great or great-great grandfather of Mr Myers whom we met on Oregon Highway 20 this afternoon. If so it might be possible his direct ancestor was my own grandfather's brother but since Mr Myers had not heard of an Amos in his direct line, it would be more likely it was one of Amos's brothers or even one of Amos's father's brothers.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

BP Makes Me Sick

Join experts, political leaders, and thousands of Americans in signing the statement:

We cannot let the denial of protective gear that hurt so many 9/11 clean-up workers happen again with the Gulf clean-up workers.

President Obama and the federal government must demand that BP allow every clean-up worker who wants to wear respiratory protective equipment to do so -- and ensure that workers get the equipment and training they need to do their jobs safely.
Over 50K signatures already.

Forbidding workers from wearing protective gear around hazardous materials is a crime and if the government and law enforcement will not intervene they are themselves complicit and displaying the final proof that America is no longer free but owned by big corporations and voting is a sham, a circus performance put on for the sole purpose of pacifying the populace.

Obama can not claim that the White House has been calling the shots from day one of the oil rig explosion and continue to allow this travesty to continue unless he wishes to own the policy of preventing workers the use of appropriate protection as his own. The first hints of this story were breaking over a month ago so it very much looks like the administration either can't or won't enforce compliance of worker safety rules regarding the handling of hazardous materials.

This is not change I can believe in Mr President. The hope you engendered in my spirit two years ago is going the way of the brown pelican and the marshes of Louisiana.


Friday, July 09, 2010

Two More Reading Challenges

I calql8 u r not finish dis storee  b4 mai belly growls i fink i give 2 goggie tel him it bone

E-Books Challenge

I don't own an e-book reader but I have collected dozens of books in electronic format over the last several years and then not got around to reading them. So I'm going to join this in hopes of starting the habit.

I'll take on the Fascinated level: 6

I'm already reading Remembrance of Things Past in electronic format.

I like to be spontaneous so I won't pin myself to a predetermined list.

From the host:

Challenge Guidelines:
1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.
--Non-Bloggers: Include your information in the comment section.

2. There are four levels:

-- Curious – Read 3 E-Books.

-- Fascinated – Read 6 E-Books.

-- Addicted – Read 12 E-Books.

-- Obsessed – Read 20 E-Books.

3. Any genre counts.

4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010.

The Colorful Reading Challenge

From the host: 9 books with 9 different colors in the title.

The challenge runs from January 1- December 31, 2010.

You can follow my progress in these and other 2010 challenges in the Reading Challenges Portal.


Thursday, July 08, 2010

i can haz snow cone?

i can haz snow cone?

Too darn hot. We jumped from low 70s to high 90s inside a week. Its zapping me.

Truth be told though even if it weren't so hot I'd still be wanting to sluff this post as I'd rather be watching The West Wing. Just picked up season 7 on DVD from the library this afternoon and have just begun season 6. Have watched season 4 and 5 since Sunday. I am pushing to get them watched before I leave town Sunday as I cannot count on getting another turn before Thanksgiving.

I also have several movies I've been in queue for for weeks or months but the only one I'm dead set on watching before I leave is Precious.

Let's not even talk about the books I'm in the middle of.

Nor the packing for the month away from home I haven't started yet.

We're supposed to hit the road at 11 am Sunday in order to rendezvous with my sister at Rice Hill around 1pm. Sixty hours. But subtract 8 to 10 right off because I haven't slept for over thirty so that's next on the agenda.


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Fern Valley Road Grass Fire

There's a better video here which didn't allow embed. It shows more scenes from inside the trailer park of the neighbors using garden hoses to fend it off.

There was a grass fire on the Bear Creek Greenway which runs behind the houses across the lane from us. Actually grass fire or brush fire doesn't seem to accurately describe it as, although the brush, weeds, grass, berry vines were burning the fire was also climbing the tall trees.

The two trailers across the lane from us have only a yard or so between the back side of their trailer and their fence and the fence was crawling with berry vines. One trailer's back wall was scorched and a bathroom window cracked by the heat.

But it could have been so much worse if the dozen or more neighbors had not rallied to fend off the fire with their garden hoses, keeping it on the creek side of the fence until the fire trucks arrived.

Ed was one of them, joining in after he'd made the 911 call and then gone over to pound on the door of the trailer nearest to the fire to alert the woman who, as it turned out, had been asleep in the back room no more than a couple yards from the flames scorching the back of her trailer. She also has several pets who were all indoors because of the afternoon heat.

Most of the excitement was over by the time I knew anything was happening. I'd been watching West Wing episodes on my netbook with the earbuds in and cranked and there had been sirens in those episodes so if there had been sirens from the fire trucks responding I did not distinguish them from the video.

The fire was spotted shortly after 4 by Ed's mom as the two of them sat on the front porch. It was shortly before six when Ed came in to tell me what was going on. He had just returned to the house after the firemen had gone into mop up mode. Though there continued to be some smoldering on the ground and up in the trees for a couple more hours, the yards and trailer homes safe unless there was another flare up.

It was after 9 before the firetrucks were all cleared out. At least form the trailer park side of the fence. I couldn't see over to the creek from our porch and wasn't about to go try to see. But around six I took a bunch of pictures of the trees above the roofs of the two houses across the lane. Was planning to prep and post them tonight but decided too go with the videos instead I just wish that second one would have allowed embed as well as it was the better one.


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Beginning With a Pile of Books Falling on My Head

When even the family pets ROFLOL at you  you know you day has been one big pile on. It feels like I woke up in clown world. I can almost hear the laugh track.

Merlin knocked the pile of books off the ledge he likes to sit and watch the neighbor's cat from. I knew when I put that pile there a month ago that it was probably a risky thing to do. But I got complacent when nothing happened and I kept stacking them there even though returned books had made room on the shelves and some in the stack went back and new ones arrived.

Even after the rude awakening by a shower of books, I still put them back up there. Until after dinner when I returned to the room and realized that was a stupendously silly thing to do and finally moved them to the empty space on the shelf left by the slew of books I had to return in the last week.

The pile on by inanimate objects did not stop with the books hitting my head and shoulders and elbow and wrist to yank me out of a one dream into a reality that continues to feel as capricious as a nightmare. As I began to gather up the books off the bed and floor, everywhere I reached something grabbed at me, poked at me tickled me, wrapped itself around my wrist, slapped my face. Things fell off perches they had happily sat on for months to slip and slide into out of reach crevices between the bed and the bookshelf. The mouse ran away across the mattress as I tried to move my netbook back onto the desk from the bed beside me where I'd left it as I closed the lid on the titles of a West Wing episode as I fell asleep.

Maybe the netbook was out for revenge as it did take the brunt of the book avalanche having been left where my head would have been if I'd not taken it to bed with me.

How many ways can earbuds attack? Wrap around your wrist, poke your face, hook onto the cover of a book to keep you from moving the netbook and DVD player in one smooth motion back to the desk but instead have to set it back down on the bed to free your hands to unhook the earbud. Meanwhile the mouse jumped off the bed onto the floor.

Finally, having gotten the books restacked and the netbook reestablished on the desk, I was about to start the next episode of West Wing but paused to take my BP meds first. And that's when the pill sorter slid off it's perch and through the narrow passage between the box that sits between bed and bookshelf and into the dark cobwebby cave under the bookshelf. My arm barely fits through that crack between the box and the bottom shelf and only if twisted until it looks dislocated from the perspective anyone watching my contortions. I'm going to have three or four bruises along the inside of my right arm between wrist and elbow. The spots still hurt hours and hours later.

In order to reach down into that cave to retrieve my meds, I had to move a pile of pillows and folded blankets. I admit I was a careless and not looking where I put them but is that any reason for them to jump on my back, pin my other arm to the mattress and bounce off my head?

And while I was thus engaged the mouse somersaulted off the desk landing a few inches from the cats dish.

There was more. Altercations with cords and cans and cutlery. Proceeding through the afternoon and through dinner and through the evening. But I'll just leave it there as I'm sure you're as bored as I am by the play by play.

Besides, I don't dare keep my hand off that mouse for long. I'm sure if I did, I would find it under the living room couch but not before spending hours or days searching.


Monday, July 05, 2010

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? #8

oh waz u readn dis?

Since last Monday:

Begun but not quite finished finished:

The Good man Jesus and the scoundrel Christ by Pullman, Philip

Advanced bookmarks in:

Proust was a neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer
have ordered this one from the Longview library on my sister's card so I'll get to continue with it while staying at my Mom's.

There were several other titles I was able to do that with and yet others I discovered would be available if I wanted them. And I also ordered a few of the titles I was reading during my visits last year and this past January--titles I can't get in our library. I stopped ordering after 7 or 8. My sister was generous to allow me to access her account from here and put in my orders and she will also be picking them up this week before my arrival next Sunday. Didn't want her to have to bring her Cosco shopping bags to bring home my books. :)

Will begin next:

The book thief [text (large print)] by Zusak, Markus 757 p.
even tho I'm unlikely to finish it before I leave town Sunday. I just been soooo looking forward to reading it. I should have started it instead of the Pullman last Monday I guess but after reading two books cover to cover over the weekend I thought I had a good chance of ripping through the short fable like novel in a day or two and moving onto the Zusak by Wednesday which would have given me a better chance of finishing by next Sunday afternoon (including the 2.5 hr drive to the rendezvous with my sister at Rice Hill OR). I have already got in queue on my sister's card at the Longview library. Am 3rd in line for two copies so hopefully it will only be a week or two and I won't have to start it over.

Part of the reason I read so little this past week was having got caught up in the oil spill story unfolding in real life. I watched several weeks worth of news pods that I'd allowed to accumulate on my netbook and then supplemented that with a lot of online reading of news and views sites and blogs. Sometime I get a bit obsessive about a topic. :)

I also watched several DVD:

Prime (funny. Meryl Streep plays a psychiatrist treating a 37 yr old divorcee who begins to date a 23 yr old, and shares the intimate details of the developing relationship with her therapist, who soon realizes the young man is her own son.)

(a sweet tho often dark animated fable of a young girl who feels she isn't getting enough attention from her parents and discovers a secret passage to another version of the house with another version of her parents who are doting and extravagantly generous in attention and treats. but soon she discovers it is an a illusion baiting a trap and she meets the ghosts of several children previously captured. It is a Niel Gaimann story and it has the look and feel of a Tim Burton animated film but I don't think I saw his name in the titles.)

Watchmen (watched this with Ed tonight. Long. Dark. Violent. And yet I'm not sorry. Wouldn't have chosen it for myself but was willing to watch with him.)

DVD next in line:

Still hope to watch MILK tonight as soon as I'm posted. It was due Thursday and so must be in drop box by 9am to avoid fine. But I don't know. Am leaning toward giving it a pass as I did HBO's Band of Brothers and Curb Your Enthusiasm which also came in last week.


I lucked out and West Wing 4 renewed Thursday so I I got to keep it for another week and am anxious to get started. I also ordered 5, 6 and 7 to come in between last Thursday and tomorrow. 5 & 6 did arrive last week but we didn't get over to pick them up. Had hoped to watch them all before I left town as the queues are building up behind me. I seem to have been the first one to discover the library system acquired the 7 season set so have been the first one in line for each of them. That won't be true by the time get home in mid August. I won't have time to watch all of them now. Not with the packing, the heat wave (90s now and 100s by Thursday) and a Dr appointment this week)


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