Monday, July 13, 2009

Dear Laura,

Dammit woman, no current contact info for you. Have called the one I have repeatedly to no avail. Your livejournal died. Have sent notice to whimseywoman(all I had that was current). Please do the calling. Number hasn't changed or I'm in the book.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

10 Years of Wedded Bliss

A few weeks ago he woke me up and said we’re going – in 9 hours. He covered every step, every hotel, every activity, and even had rain contingencies for twelve days. He hijacked our hotel email confirmation address by guessing my password hint so I wouldn’t get notified. He arranged cat coverage with my neighbor and sister (who patiently listened to me wistfully wonder why he didn’t seem up for a concert or at least a movie. Was he feeling run down? I’ve been wanting him to get a physical). He did all the laundry. He turned the GPS away from me so every day was a surprise.

After we left Maryland:

  • NHRA drag racing at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN - I couldn't figure out why signs said x-miles to Bristol. There's no NASCAR race that weekend in Bristol! But as we ate in FATZ (fried green tomatoes on stone ground grits mmmmm) he handed me tickets to the drag races. We saw all the big time drivers from TV up close in the pits. They don't hide like in NASCAR. Skipped the autographs, there were so many drivers I was content with great pictures. Very cool.
  • Roller Derby at the Shriners in Atlanta, GA – We laughed, we cheered, we had a ball. The funny names for the players and the teams were a scream. My fave team was the Apocalipstix, while the husband was all over the Sake Tuyas. What a hoot.
  • Tradin’ Paint in Marietta, GA – A wonderful play about an auto parts clerk with a crazy(as in mentally ill) NASCAR lovin’ boyfriend, who finds her true destiny. I loved the scene where she’s hit with debris and during brain surgery dreams of her race-fan gay black English professor, the father she blames for her poor self esteem, and the ghost of Dale Earnhardt.
  • Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida – The site of most of our original honeymoon. It rained the whole time. The Lion King show stopped abruptly after the first number due to a leak but we returned later and it was fantastic. It took three (count 'em three) tries before we saw Beauty and the Beast all the way through because of mist blowing onto the stage. Bobby scored more than me on the Toy Story ride and Expedition Everest still made me cry. Four times. Our car still smells like swamp water but it couldn’t kill our fun, fun, fun, fun . . . fun.
  • Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC – No, not for the rained out NASCAR race, though we could have stayed for Monday and easily bought resale tickets for a pittance. We went for the stuff at the circus in the parking lot and because the husband wanted to replace my favorite hat that went over the edge(gulp)at the Grand Canyon in March.
In between were days of driving with my Boo. Doing what we like to do. I got to knit - although I thoroughly messed up my project and had to switch to smaller things. But mostly we just enjoyed each-other’s company and the music we could find on the radio instead of CDs we brought from home. Or just talked.

My husband. He loves me.

It still amazes me.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Husband . . .

. . . calmly woke me up this morning and said, "Boo, do me a favor. Put some clothes in this suitcase". My first thought was "Oh God, he's sick and has to go in the hospital after work and didn't tell me - how like him."

I think I managed to choke out

"You need clothes for Honeymoon."

On Saturday we will celebrate out ten year anniversary. Not for a nice weekend somewhere, but 8-10 days and we leave as soon as he gets home from work. I have no idea where. Heck, we just got back from Vegas.

My husband. He loves me.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Vegas Baby!

After I got up off the floor(see previous post), I really needed to hit the blog. We just got back from two weeks vacation.

I highly recommend two w
eeks at a time, especially if travel time and "recovery" is needed. We live in Maryland, and went to Las Vegas, toured some of Arizona and finished with a few days back in Vegas. We stayed at the MGM Grand the first week with a plan to decide on the hotel for the end of our trip later. Our reservation was incorrect and we were upgraded that night. It was still incorrect, so they upgraded us again in the morning. We were transferred to a "Hollywood Suite" on the ground floor - right off the casino floor on a secure hallway. It was palatial. Luckily I did not pee myself when the bellman opened the door and showed us in, it was that amazing.

Folks automatically think of gambling when you say Las Vegas - we only bet on the NASCAR races. There is so much more to do. We went to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for a day at the Neon Garage to see the cars and drivers up close and take pictures. I even had a private moment with my favorite driver I'll always remember. We went to the Shelby427 Nextel Cup race too, and while I didn't pick the winner, I won one of my bets! (that my driver would beat his teammates) You can bet on lots of things in Vegas.

Then there were the shows. Our first show was Ka from Cirque du Soleil at our hotel. That show with it's ever changing stage was worth the trip. Then we saved lots of money using Tix 4 Tonight. They didn't carry everything we wanted to see, but for up to half price plus 10% with a coupon it was worth a trip downstairs or across the street. With their service we saw another Cirque show LOVE (click video tour up top) an amazing show inspired by the music of the Beatles. Then there was The Vegas version of Phantom at the Venetian from Tix. It was a bit shorter than the Broadway show to do away with intermission, and the overall did not suffer. We hit Crazy Horse Paris at the MGM which was an all female review of perfectly matched body type women plus a few unique acts in a small theater a la strip joint. They weren't the feathered showgirls, but I had to admire their precision.

We ate rather moderately in Vegas this trip, with no big casino dinners. Instead we hit some great local fare and chains we don't have at home. Places like Cozymels, (twice!) where our waiter David made fabulous guacamole tableside. Or the Italian Buca di Beppo - famous for double portions to be served family style and split. And Memphis Championship Barbecue really deserves the trophies in the case that back up that claim. We also favored the 24 hr Studio Cafe at the MGM with reliable service and good food for several breakfasts and a lunch. Their Ruben was the best I've ever had. We checked out In-N-Out Burgers and I also made several pilgrimages to Jack In The Box. Jack's was a favorite of mine from High School and was the first drive through with "talk to the clown" in our neighborhood. My best friend and I still talk about it.

There was other stuff of course, but let's go on to Arizona, shall we?

We took off the south route to Grand Canyon, marveling at the desert and the mountains. The two days there was a trip back in time, to when I was 5 and my family drove across the US in a station wagon. I found myself choking up big time, even in the gift shop. Srsly. But the wind. The WIND! It was the first week of March and we expected temperatures in the forties, but the WIND!

I lost a hat over the edge.

Then it was off to Monument Valley in Navajo Nation. That is where John Ford filmed many of his Westerns with John Wayne. Movies like Stagecoach, Fort Apache and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. Movies I used to watch with my Dad. Seeing those sculpted red rocks rising out of the earth for no apparent reason was just as sobering as the split earth we had left behind. Our hotel The View, was perched on a cliff and has only been open since December. The feel of the place was very spiritual and our pictures are amazing.

Next we headed south for a bit of historic Route 66, stopping for a night in Flagstaff before heading back to Vegas. We even managed a movie and shipped a box of laundry home from there.

North now to cross Hoover Dam, where Bobby spotted some Big Horn Sheep as we emerged from the mountains. We toured it the last time we were in Las Vegas, but were surprised to see they are now building the Hoover Dam Bypass. It was interesting to see the two sides of the span working towards the middle.

Back to Las Vegas. Back to Tix 4 Tonight.
Vegas is also known for magic, and we saw two shows. Lance Burton is talented but quite dated and needs a smaller venue so the empty seats aren't so noticeable. Still, after I got past his canned patter, the show had a few good "howtheheck?"s. But Penn & Teller kicked his butt. Part of the butt kicking is delivery, but even the tricks they explain are pure . . . magic. After the show they have a meet and greet. I'm not much of an autograph hound, but I happened to have a 3 of clubs in my scooter pocket and Teller signed it "Is this your card?". Very cool. Finally, we closed our Vegas vacation with the dozens of feathered ladies and the muscled men of Folies Bergere at The Tropicana. We were fortunate to see them in their last month and were sad to hear they were closing after 49 years - the longest running show on The Strip. All those shows. And with the discount, we could get the better tickets. Yes, we liked Tix 4 Tonight.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Huge Milestone

Last week, I got up off the floor. All by myself, I got up off the floor. That is something I had not been able to do for oh, let's say three years. I did a really dumb thing in my bedroom and as a result took a tumble. To make matters worse, I did not have my brace on - which, as you can imagine, contributed to the initial gymnastic part of this story. I've been practicing getting up in PT, but have not been successful because my new brace doesn't allow me any purchase with my right foot at the toes. I only have the tip of my right toe down to push on that side. An almost 300 lb ballerina I ain't. So I took a different approach, and without sweating the details, I put the brace foot up first and the trumpets sounded. Confetti flew and streamers descended. Thousands of doves were released into the skies. Okay, a sparrow flew by.

But, my Physical Therapist cried and Bobby took me out for a celebratory pizza.


18 months and I'm still slugging away at Physical Therapy.

I wonder if that's some kind of record? Without my physical therapist, I'd still be on the floor. Heck, I'd still be unable to walk into a restaurant, or escort my Aunt up to her apartment on foot, or simply have the balance to carry a knitting bag or a purse and still be able to open a door. She has worked with me through
new skills and fast progress to building strength and endurance as we tackle even bigger goals. I believe a lot of people reach a plateau, run out of insurance or money, or just plain give up. My therapist says as long as she sees progress, she will treat me.

And they say the medical profession has gotten jaded and lost it's heart.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Gee, where does the time go?

Life is good.

The week before Christmas 2007 was my last radiation treatment. The week before Christmas 2008, my blood counts were finally normal and I took my last antibiotic, which ended all chemical treatment. I also had a terrific follow up MRI of my brain but I will continue to see my Oncologist for follow up and MRIs every 2 months.
I'm getting back to normal, whatever that is. I just have to remember what to do with myself.

In Physical Therapy I've worked hard for over fifteen months and have almost reached my maximum potential. Then I have to find a gym for maintenance. (eeek!) In a way, I am in better shape than I have been for a very, very long time. Balance. Strength. Stamina. Cardiovascular status. I'm stiff and creaky in the mornings or when I've been sitting, but when I get warmed up . . .

  • Do sit ups, press ups, and stand ups(without holding on to something)
  • Stand without a cane near a corner and kick a ball with my therapist, changing feet and aiming like a soccer star
  • Catch and throw! Fast! While maintaining eye contact with my therapist!
  • Pull 8 lbs of weights in three different directions
  • Walk an average of 14 minutes on the treadmill
  • Walk backwards
  • Stand on my feet or shop in a store up to an hour without collapsing
  • Load my scooter in and out of my car by myself, even on a windy day in the cold (a HUGE goal)

Everybody wishes folks a "happy and healthy New Year". Yeah yeah yeah.

I hope you tackle something you've been wanting to, but never thought you could.

No matter how small it seems.