Thursday, May 31, 2007

She's Home

Mom is officially home. She is still weak and disoriented, but she is home. Her cat was thrilled. She will have home health visits by a physical therapist and a nurse three times a week. She can walk some with a walker but tires easily.

I still can't seem to get enough sleep. And this week at work has been so crazy. I'm supposed to be "catching up", but I'm only treading water.

I wish I could go back to bed.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Sign of Hope

So Mom did so well yesterday that she may be able to go home today. She will require home health care for a while, but at least she will be home.

I am extremely tired. It seems that no matter how I try, I cannotget more that 7 hours sleep.

I read the second Jack Kerley novel over the week-end...very good. Then I read a romantic suspense I found laying around by Jasmine Cresswell. The suspense was good, the romance mediocre.

I'm waiting on the latest Tami Hoag from the library, and for the release of the latest in two series that I read by Victoria Thompson and Janet Evanovich.

My mantra for today? It's got to be better than yesterday.

Monday, May 28, 2007

In Review

First, WAITRESS. It was one of those movies you left with a smile on your face. I immediately wanted to see it again. And I wanted pie. Kerri Russell was sweet and cute and Nathan Fillian was charming.

Second, movie night. Only one of my GF's had ever seen Rachael and the Stranger, so it was a treat to introduce it to them. William Holden was so handsome, Loretta Young so lovely. But all I could think of when watching Robert Mitchum was Matt LeBlanc. I had never before been struck by the similarities, but I kept expecting Robert Mitchum to say "How you doin'?"

Topper was masked by...go figure...conversation. We would occasionally turn to watch the movie, but discussions of the finally of Lost and Heroes, among other things, kept distracting us.

The food was good. I made Sloppy Joes and had bought a chocolate pie. Karen made a delicious bean salad and brought strawberries and bananas. Lesa came with an assortment of goodies including Chex Mix, mozzarella sticks, stuffed jalapenos, and cole slaw. Ruth brought a yummy lemon chess pie, and Kim made a wonderful lemon cake.

Then I was up early yesterday morning to go visit Mom. I left the house a little after seven but made a stop at Walmart before hitting the road. I made it to the hospital a little before eleven. Sis had spent the night and Dad had come to relieve her until I arrived. He stayed thru lunch and the went home to do some things around the house. Mom had a visit from friends during the afternoon and then Dad came back in time for dinner. He left before seven and I settled in for the evening.

I am quite frightened about Mom's health. Her speech is slurred much of the time and she has lost quite a bit of motor control. There is a slackness on one side of her face. And she is so confused. So I spoke to my cousin this morning. Emily is an OT and far more knowledgeable about such things than I. She said that without seeing her, it sounded as though Mom might have had a small TIA. The most reassuring thing she said was that if had been something else, the doctors would have been giving her brain scans.

Let's talk about the confusion....last nite I confirmed the time every 15 t0 20 minutes. "Is it 3:00?" "Yes ma'am, it is 3:00." "Is it 4 or 5?" "It's 4." Then there was the "Where am I?" Every few minutes she asked, in some form or another, where she was. Her feet were cold. Her feet were hot. Her hand hurt (the antibiotic IV), she wanted to sit up, she wanted to raise the bed, she wanted to lower the bed. Aren't those curtains pretty? Where was Harvey? Who was going to stay the night? All in a regular rotation.

I came back to Mom and Dad's to get a little sleep, but find that I am unable to do so. I think that the time has come for me to consider packing up and moving back. My heart hurts.

Friday, May 25, 2007

A Good Report

I had a long, good conversation with my sister tonight. Mom is doing much better. She seems quite relieved. So am I.

Tomorrow is movie day. I'm going to see Waitress in the afternoon and then will have the gang over tomorrow night to watch classic movies. I know I want to show Rachael and the Stranger but am torn on the second feature...All About Eve, Leave Her to Heaven or Dark Victory. I have, however decided to make Sloppy Joes. Ymmm.

I'm torn between crawling into bed and watching the Monk marathon or soaking in the tub with a book. I'm reading the sequel to the book I read over the week-end. The Death Collectors by Jack Kerley.

Decisions, decisions...


I broke my glasses this morning and couldn't find my back-up pair. So I drove to work this morning winking at the world.

Mom is in for another couple of days in the hospital. They are concerned that two weeks of inactivity will have caused some muscle atrophy and hope to give her some physical therapy before sending her home.

I worry about my dad, who is wearing himself out trying to stay with mom and maintain the garden and his yard.

Back to work...until the optical place opens.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Is this day over yet?!!!!!

I'm working the late shift tonight. I left the house the morning at 8:30 and headed off to have my car inspected before getting my new tag. It didn't pass. Now I've got 30 days to have it fixed.

Since I had spent all of my cash on the inspection and I was jonzing for some caffeine, I went to Walgreens to get a Diet Coke and some cash. There was a very punky young woman in line behind me, pierced and tattooed and extremely sad, buying a pregnancy test. Ooops! I got to the office in time to do about 40 minutes of work before we headed to a local park for our team-building picnic/potluck. We ate and played games for about 2 hours before heading back and tackling an accumulated mountain of work.

I am exhausted. I've decided I work too hard.

And allow me a moment to rant. I hate to do the potluck thing and spend hours cooking something and have it be neglected over store-bought options. I baked a banana cake with chocolate frosting and another co-worker baked a dessert. There was also a pie from the freezer sectin of the supermarket, a cake and some cookies from the supermarket bakery, and a package of Oreos. The Oreos and bakery cookies were gone. The bakery cake did not fare as well, but the pie was almost gone while there were plenty of left-overs of the home-baked goods.

It makes me feel that people think I cook in unsanitary conditions. I am the first to admit that I am a casual housekeeper, but I am fanatical about my kitchen. The counters and appliances get bleached daily and the floors are mopped twice a week. My hands get washed so much when I cook that they are raw by the time I'm done. Am I deceiving myself in thinking I am a good cook?

Anyway, my system is back up, so it is back to work.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Gee! My House Smells Terrific

We are having a "team building" picnic potluck at work tomorrow, and I signed up for a dessert. I had everything handy, so I made a banana cake that I will ice with chocolate frosting. This cake smells soooo good.

We have a new American Idol. Nyeh. I lost interest when Melinda went home. I did like seeing Taylor Hicks again. And Rueben Studdard. And I always love seeing Kelly Clarkson. I honestly think they wasted the show with other "special guest stars" like Gwen Stephani and Bette Middler. I would have rather seen the 12 finalists do more performing.

Mom had a stint put into her foot today and is in step-down until tomorrow.

I'm off to frost a cake.

Ugly Cars

I saw tow of the ugliest cars today I have ever seen. Uglier than the old car covered with bumper stickers. Uglier than the cars with four different colored fenders and mismatched doors. Uglier than the car made to look like a fish.

One was a Nissan Sentra. In hot pink. With tinted windows and L.O.L. in hot pink on the back glass.

The other was very new looking. A Honda....part red and part cream. A cream spoiler and a cream bumper, with a red decklid (trunk). From behind, which was my viewpoint, it looked like a cat walking away.

Think about it.

Do you have the picture in your head?

Now have a nice day!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Is this week over yet?

It's crazy at work. Really crazy. Psycho crazy. I am so glad to have the long week-end ahead.

Mom is much better today...she even felt like talking on the phone...briefly. She will have an artereogram tomorrow and may get a shunt in her foot.

OMG! Hell's Kitchen starts next week!

I cannot put together a single paragraph, so I will be early to bed tonite. But one quick thought...the clock radio that I got for Christmas over 30 years ago is still going strong. WOW.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Early Shift

I am on the early shift this week. I actually prefer it, but it means leaving my house around 5:45 in the morning. Yes, I could wait and get to work right on time, but I am relentlessly early. Always.

Mom seems better today but there are some problems with the blood flow to her left foot. The vascular specialist will visit her tomorrow. Her temp has been down today, so hopefully she will be home soon. I worry about Dad. He spends most of his days at the hospital and about half of his nights, plus he puts in time in his garden. He is frantic about the condition of his yard. There are country club grounds keepers who would weep with envy at the sight of my dad's yard.

Prissy Cat is not happy with me. I've been restless and she has been unable to curl up in my lap. I think I've been forgiven for going out of town for the week-end, or would have been if I could be still.

I'm at my desk right now, feet propped on the bed and the keyboard in my lap, watching Law and Order: Criminal Intent. Mike Logan is getting a love interest. I love Chris Noth, but much prefer the episodes with Goren and Eams.

I read a very good book this week-end. The Hundredth Man by Jack Kerly. It was an especially well crafted mystery for a first novel. Sick and twisted and dark. It is set in the very beautiful city of Mobile, Alabama and includes forays to Gulf Shores, Daphne, Robertsdale, Montgomery, and Talladega.

Well, damn! Mike Logan's love interest just bit the big one. Mike must have Dave Robicheax disease.

Can you hear it? It's the sound of my bed with a set of crisp, cool, sheets calling my name. Must surrender.....

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sick Mommy

I went to visit my mom this week-end. She is still very ill so I spent the week-end at the hospital. She has pneumonia which is complicated by her diabetes. While she was on the mend on Friday, she was quite ill yesterday and today.

Should I be bothered by the fact that my sister seemed reluctant to leave me alone in the room with our mother? Hmmmm.....

On the other hand, I had a great laugh at a couple of billboards I caught while driving. One was for DNA testing...just $395.00! Who's your daddy? And the other was for vasectomy reversal. Is this something one should consider while driving 80? And how reputable is someone who advertises micro surgery on a bill-board 50 miles from anywhere?

My niece graduates from high school on Thursday night. Then the whole family heads for the beach on Friday. Ahhh...sweet memories! To be thin and tan and blonde and 18 again. If I knew then what I know now I could rule the world!

Friday, May 18, 2007

I love Friday afternoon. After a week when I seemed to function at full throtle, I can relax and breathe on this quiet Friday afternoon.

I spoke to my mom and the doctors believe she may have pneumonia. Hmmm. Is that very much like a gall bladder attack? I'm heading out in the morning to visit, so I'll find out for myself.

I NEED SOMETHING GOOD TO READ! I can hardly wait until the new Janet Evanovich comes out. And of course, I'm on pins and needles waiting on the final Harry Potter.

I must visit the library soon.


Gas Prices
I filled my tank on Monday and paid $2.89 a gallon. Yesterday morning, the same station had gas @ $2.95 per gallon and then last evening it was $2.99. As I passed it this morning, I noticed it was $3.09. That is a 20 cent jump in less than a week. Even more remarkable, it was a 15 cent jump in price in less than 24 hours.

So why is it that the guy behind me has it in his head that by riding my bumper, it will increase the speed of the 40-60 vehicles in front of me?

But why complain when the sun is shining, the temperatures are moderate, and it is, in fact, FRIDAY!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Very Bad Night

It started with the phone call that my mom was in the hospital. She's been sick since Saturday and thought it was a virus, but now they think it's her gall bladder. Plus she had fluid in her lungs and had to be put on oxygen. I tried calling this morning and didn't get an answer. She's either asleep or out for tests.

Then the cable was out in my living room so I had to watch my favorite shows in my bedroom. And my desk chair is not the most comfortable in the house.

Okay, so here's the run-down...Melinda is gone from Idol. My heart is broken. Renee is not America's Next Top Model. And Tyson is gone from Sheer Genius. The justice in this is that he took the evil Tabitha with him.

Now I must work.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Goodbye, Old Friend

I just watched the season finale of Gilmore Girls. I've watched from the beginning, and despite the ecocentric behavior of the two main characters, I loved it. I was, however, less than happy with the series finale. It was sweet and sad, and I really loved the scene with Richard telling Lorelei how special she is. Luke and Lorelei were re-united, but there was no passion.

Oh, well. They will live forever in syndication.


By Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain is an adventurous chef. He has a show on The Travel Channel in which he visits exotic locations and tries the local cuisine.

In this book, he breaks down the life of a chef and compares it to a pirate's life. He runs a kitchen of rogues and minions and braggarts. They are rough and full of testosterone...even the women. These people were never meant for the 9 to 5 life. They live on the edge of society and like it.

Bourdain, himself, has endured a romance with various drugs and remains a very heavy drinker and smoker.

While I know that this book reflects the worst and most extreme circumstances of restaurant life, I found it enlightening and immensely entertaining . There is a disdain for wait staff and customer alike. Bartenders, however, are held in very high regard.

Just a few tips garnered from reading this book:
Never order fish on Sunday. Especially if you see some form of fish "dish" on a brunch menu.
Eat out on Tuesday or Thursday. Week-ends are busy and the only effort being made in the kitchen is to get the food out...quickly... and turn the tables.
Never, ever request sauce on the side.

All in all, a very good, light read.

The Conversation Was Good

The book group left my house around midnight. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed the book and there was much discussion on dining out and restaurants. The beer bread went over well, as did the pie. The soup and salad not so much.

Oh, well. Live and learn.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Monday, Monday

I ache all over and I got almost no sleep last night. I'm in the process of finishing a 20 oz Diet Dr Pepper and will probably get a cup of coffee after.

A small rant about traffic
What is it with the people in this town? They drive 90 on the shoulder but will get in the far left lane and drive 5 miles under the speed limit. Oh! I saw a Ford Mustang with six (no lie, six) adult men in it. How? I've been pondering it all morning.

I'm not excited about work today.

I hear my bed calling my name

I've gotten very little sleep this week-end. I've made dinner for tomorrow, so all that is left for me to do when I get home from work is run the vacuum, set the table, and prepare my cheese platter. I've got Vichyssoise in the fridge, along with a mostly assembled Parisian salad and a chocolate truffle pie. And there is a loaf of beer bread wrapped in foil sitting on the counter.

My mom was very sick today. I called to wish her a Happy Mother's Day but she had been in bed for two days and couldn't hold anything down. She's going to the doctor tomorrow, but her blood sugar has been really low. I told her to eat some peppermint, it would settle her stomach and help to raise her blood sugar. I'll go to see her next week-end.

I missed part of tonight's episode of Blood Ties, but the parts I saw were great! And only one more episode? What a let-down.

I am doing something I absolutely never do...I am having a glass of wine while writing this. I had to open a bottle to make the Parisian salad, so I decided that a glass would assit my quest for rest. I froze the rest to use another day. Now I'm off to bed with How to Marry A Murdered by Amanda Matesky.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


It's early Sunday morning and I've just returned from taking my cousin to the airport. She arrived after midnight on Friday and I dropped her off at 7:15 on Sunday...a very short visit.

I'm now left to prepare for my book group tomorrow night. I'm trying to pinpoint a menu. Since the book is Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential, I know that I'll serve Vichyssoise, but can't decide what else. A grilled chicken salad, perhaps? And what for dessert?

I went to my local cheese monger yesterday, so I have a lovely Cottswold and a Stilton with blueberries to serve with crackers, cherry tomatoes, and olives for appetizers and I plan on making a beer bread. I also picked up a couple of bottles of Little Black Dress Pinot Grigio.

This is one of three book groups in which I am a member...a "General" group, a fantasy group, and a mystery group. I need to make a selection for the mystery group to discuss in July. I've been contemplating Donald Harstaad's A Long December, something I read a couple of years ago. I like Harstaad. He's got a different take on the police procedural mystery.

Last month was my selection for fantasy and I chose Greywalker by Kit Richardson. It was the story of a Seattle based private investigator who was severely beaten and was technically dead for almost 2 minutes. When she came to, she could see the dead and walk between the dead and the living. It was the first in a series and well liked by the members of the group. That night I served a pot roast cooked in coffee with potatoes, carrots, and onions. A spinach salad with pears, walnuts and bleu cheese in a light vinaigrette along with yeast rolls, too. And dessert was Molten Chocolate Cakes with strawberries and coffee ice cream. It was very well received.

This is my first post and I will probably be posting random thoughts on life, books, food, movies, and tv. I hope you enjoy!