Thursday and Friday

Imbolc and the Shadow Mountain Moon

Saturday gratefuls: Kate’s surgeon. Her healing fingers. Ruth’s help. Seoah’s help. Joe from Singapore. His help. Jeffco snowplowers. Getting back to the loft. Murdoch in the kennel. Gertie’s pain managed right now. Ted for two pushes yesterday. Jon felt comfortable asking me for help.

As far as I can remember, even when traveling, I’ve never gone more than a day without a post. Let me give you a rough idea of why it happened this time.

Wednesday night Gertie started moaning in pain. SeoAh got up, then got us up. We’re downstairs and can’t hear her very well. Me, not at all. We were all up with here for an hour plus, giving her water, lying with her. She’s on her dog bed in the living room. Comfortable in that way, but the cancer pain came on stronger than we anticipated.

Thursday morning instead of coming up here to write, I went back to bed and slept in until 8:30. Kate’s iPad was in the shop in Denver and finished. I went in right then to get it since we both wanted to attend a potluck at CBE for the artist in residence, Ruth Gendler.

Was hungry so I stopped at Swift’s breakfast place on Santa Fe. Great joint. Formica table tops. Orange. Lots of men my age eating breakfast, many solo, but a group right behind me reminded me of the Woollies in their table conversation. Booths. Two seaters and four seaters extending in a long, narrow room.

My eggs, crisp bacon, American fries, and French toast went down like a gourmet meal. While I ate, I read the NYT about the impeachment trial. Waitresses with plates of pancakes, eggs, waffles sometimes three to an arm, moved between the two rows of booths. My kinda joint. Much like Pappy’s back in Andover.

After the meal, I hobbled back to the car. Threw my back out carrying Gertie outside on Wednesday. Seat heater on high my back felt caressed and I drove the three blocks over to 8th to the Apple repair place. As I pulled into a parking space right in front of it, I got a call from a strange number. I answered.

“Charlie, you have come home. Katie got bit.” It was Seoah. It was about 10 am. I talked to Kate. Kate had let Kepler inside while Murdoch, unbeknownst to her was in the living room. The door to the sewing room was open and he charged in to meet Kepler. A fight ensued in which two of Kate’s fingertips, her right middle finger and the between it and her little finger, got chewed off. “I need to go the E.R.” she said.

I got Kate’s iPad and headed back up the mountain. The roads were clear and I went fast, making the drive in 32 minutes. Kate had the fingertips on ice, had stopped the bleeding by squeezing her fingers, and sat calmly in a chair in the sewing room, right next to where it happened. Seoah got bit, too. A finger and her leg.

Gertie got some water and another pain med (oxycontin), then we took off for the Swedish E.R. once again. Kate went away with an E.R. nurse, so I took Seoah to a Rocky Mountain Urgent Care not far away from Swedish. With finding Seoah’s insurance (a military one, Tricare) and her time with a doctor, we were there until 2:30 pm.

A nurse liaison from Swedish had texted me, wondering where I was. I told her I was with Seoah. Kate was about go into surgery. Oh. Well. I’ll be there when I finish up with Seoah.

Back to Swedish to the Surgery waiting room on the third floor. Knew right where it was. Kate’s surgery lasted for almost three hours. At 5 pm, due to an imminent snow storm approaching the mountains and a house full of dogs that were hungry, plus Gertie with no pain meds, I decided to leave before the surgery finished. Kate would be in recovery for at least an hour if not more and even then not be very aware.

On the way home I spoke to the surgeon. “The fingertips were too shredded. I closed the fingers up.” I asked about her dexterity. “She should have full functionality, even for sewing and quilting.” He paused, went on, “I’m worried about those dogs you have. Somebody else could hurt. Even children.” Yes, I said, I know. We’re concerned about them, too.

By the time we reached Conifer the snow had begun. Once we reached home Rigel and Kep went on into the snow. Gertie moaned in pain. I was feeling guilty about insistence on not euthanizing her. I condemned her to this. Exhausted from the day my emotional reserves fell short. Hard to get back to a stable place. Crying. Feeling guilty. Seoah comforted me.

After Gertie quieted down, I fed Rigel and Kepler while Seoah let Murdoch out through the downstairs. What to do about the dogs? This was on Seoah’s mind and mine.

I fell asleep, not knowing or hearing Gertie’s moans. Seoah got up with her. Kep got me up around 5 or so. We’d already had over 6 inches by that time. How could I help Gertie? How was Kate? I hadn’t talked to her the night before. What were we going to do about Murdoch? How were Seoah’s bites? A lot of stuff swirling around.

Two immediate matters were Murdoch and Gertie. Seoah and I agreed that Murdoch needed to go to a kennel. That would lower the temperature level by a lot, not having to worry about a fifth (!) fight. Called Bergen Bark Inn where we boarded our dogs several different times. Yes, they could take and Akita, even one who’d been aggressive. It might cost extra if he couldn’t be out with the other dogs. Told Seoah. She said, just money. You and Katie be happy, safe.

This decision made me feel bad, since I’d wanted to give Seoah and Joe a peaceful and happy time in Singapore. Not to be. Felt like I was letting them down.

Gertie. I tried to find out what a maximum dose of oxy was for her. Got no help. Grrr. Decided finally to give her two more full tabs. That would eventually quiet her. At one point I had eight in my hand. End it now. I would have done it, but Kate wanted me to know the lethal dose and nobody would tell me. So I went with the two.

Around 9 Seoah and I drove in what was already a big snow storm to Evergreen. We took Murdoch in to the chalet like office of Bergen Bark Inn. I felt sad. He was so happy, bouncy. The staff there were great. They remembered Vega, Rigel, Gertie, and Kepler, so they understood the doggy context.

One of the staff told me about the Evergreen Animal Protective League. They don’t have a shelter, just find new homes or foster homes for animals. I got a phone number. It would be ideal of course to find somebody up here in the Evergreen/Conifer area to take Murdoch. That will be today.

On the way home my sadness shifted to relief. Seoah, too. Hard for her, but she said, Katie more important. Yes. I agreed.

Back home the two oxy’s had soothed Gertie and she rested. In talking with Kate I learned she would come home in the afternoon. Still snowing, another 6 inches or so. 12 by noon or so.

I went to bed for a nap around 12:30. While I napped, I got a text from Jon. Could I come over to Aurora and pick up Ruth and Gabe? He was really sick. Sure. I said.

Still snowing. Around 2 I left for Aurora. On the way down I went full Minnesotan, driving smoothly past the Coloradans with, oh, no, snow! on their minds, driving 40 mile an hour or less in the right lane. Precipitation hits their panic button. Especially snow. Weird, but true.

On the way down 285 northbound looked like a parking lot all the way to Morrison. Two jackknifed semis plus CDOT closed I-70 between Golden and the Eisenhower tunnel. Everybody coming home to Evergreen or Idaho Springs would have to detour up 285. Oh, joy.

Down though, was slick thanks to the hesitancy of folks with insufficient snowy road experience. Made it to Aurora around 3. The snow slowed way down once I passed through the hogbacks and went under Co 470. Picked up Ruth and Gabe on Florence and drove back to Swedish to pick up Kate. A nurse brought her down, we loaded her up, two gauzy fingers, and hit the road back for Conifer.

Once the semi’s cleared, 285 traffic moved. Slowly, but we made it up to Brook’s Tavern about 5 pm or so. Not bad. Had dinner there. By the time we made it back to Shadow Mountain almost 18 inches of snow had fallen.

This morning Ruth’s asleep on the couch, Gabe’s on the futon in the guest room, Seoah’s in the guest room. Murdoch’s in his kennel. Gertie was quiet. I’m feeling better rested and less labile. Kate’s still asleep. More yet do do, but taking Murdoch to the kennel opened up some breathing room for us all.

And that’s what I was doing the last two days.

Broken. Replaced.

Winter and the Future Moon

Tuesday gratefuls: Hot water in San Francisco! Diane’s recommendation of “Getting Open.” Sleep. Rest. Feeling rejuvenated. The U.S. grocery store. The NYT for endorsing Amy and Elizabeth. Blizzaks. AWD on Ruby. Healing from the dog bite. Almost done.

Cooked last night. Deep fried chicken chunks from a deli chicken. Coated with bread crumbs. Surprisingly good. Broke our vegetable chopper, too. A second time. I prefer hand tools in the kitchen for food prep. Knives, choppers, dicers, zesters. We have a mandolin somewhere and I want to find it. Just ordered a Swedish chopper, made of metal. More durable.

Broke the chopper making a version of Israeli salad. It was the onions that did it in. Well, not the onion, but me, pressing down quick and hard on the onion. Little blades popped off the cutting grid. Not supposed to happen. Got the salad, diced onions (by knife), tomatoes, cucumber, and a generous sprinkling of cilantro. Some lime juice. Some Italian seasoning.

But. I was also gonna warm up the cabbage and potatoes in the microwave. Put them in the microwave at the start. Kate’s taught me to get all the ingredients out before I begin. Forgot about the potatoes and the cabbage. Still in the microwave this morning.

Oh, yeah. Finally got the microwave installed. After the first appointment, I had to have an electrician come out to create a wall socket for it, then reschedule the installation. Happened Saturday. Kate is very happy. She can reheat her coffee. Hot coffee and the crossword in the morning make Kate a happy gal. I’m indifferent to coffee temperature. Cold. Hot. Meh. Not a gourmet.

Spent time yesterday on another modern chore. Cutting up boxes. We get our dogfood through chewy.com. Great service. Reasonable prices. Free shipping. And large cardboard boxes. Bought some airtight dogfood containers, too, through Amazon. Really big boxes. As I’ve noted before, the home has become a shipping and receiving department. All those cardboard boxes that used to get cut up at the warehouse or in the back of the store are now in living rooms across America. Or, garages.

Anyone rural appreciates the chance to look things up online and order them for delivery. Beats going on a Saturday morning quest for the right pan or sheets or, say, a vegetable chopper. Especially if the stores are miles and miles away. Makes a huge difference to caregivers like me, too. It’s why Sears and Roebuck did so well with their catalog. A shame they couldn’t make the transition to an economy much like the one they introduced back in the late 19th century.

Got doggy things to do now. Tomorrow.

Downsize?

Winter and the Future Moon

Monday gratefuls: Ruth and Jon skiing. Gabe peeling potatoes. Kate getting Murdoch upstairs. The picker at King Sooper. Having Sunday free of workout. Cleaning off my table. Organizing and preserving my paintings. Kate paying the bills. Ruth. Murdoch.

My paintings. Whoa. Like my novels and my blog. I’ve done, I don’t know, twenty/thirty paintings since I began. A few end up in the trash because I can’t bear to look at them. A few are standing out so I can look at them, review what I like about them, don’t like. The rest I put between buffered paper and/or cardboard sheets yesterday. Not sure what I’ll do with them. My novels exist in printed form in file boxes and in their revisions on my computer.

Two million words of Ancientrails rest on Kate’s old medical school desk, two thousand plus pages printed out with the wrong margins for binding. Sigh. Going to a bookbinder for an estimate and to be told how or if, if I decide to, I should layout the page for printing myself. Might give them a memory stick with all on it. Or, that might be too expensive. We’ll see.

Gabe stayed here yesterday while Ruth and Jon went to A-basin. I asked Gabe to tell me one interesting thing he’d done last week. I haven’t done much. I did see movies. Oh? Which ones? Lots of them on the Disney Channel.

Clever folks, Disney. They priced their channel, at $6.99 a month, so a kid with an allowance might choose to purchase their own subscription. Both Ruth and Gabe have a subscription.

Stirring inside. Declutter, simplify. Downsize. Example. When we moved, I kept every file I made for my docent work at the MIA. Why? Wanted to keep art as central to my life as it was when I was there. Tried several different things, none worked. And, having the files hasn’t helped either. Out they go. I also want to clean up the filing system (?) in the horizontal file which will mean throwing out yet more files.

The bigger, harder question? What about the books? Is it time to downsize my library? I’m considering it.

Doubt it will stop my book buying. That’s a lifelong habit started, I think, with those book lists from the Scholastic Reader (something like that). Sheets with books, descriptions, and modest prices. We could pay for them at school, then they would come at some other point. Sorta like e-commerce. Oh, how I looked forward to the arrival of those books. I read them quickly, too. I graduated to buying comics and paperbacks at the Newsstand downtown.

My first serious kick was all the James Bond books. I bought them one or two at a time with my paper route money. Lots of others, too. I was also reading books from the Carnegie library, too.

Got into the habit of buying books that interested me, books that followed other books I’d read. Buying books. College was hard in that I passed by the bookstore every day in the Student Union. If I went in, I’d always come out with a book or two.

Later, bookstores. Joseph had been in most of the good book stores in the Twin Cities before he hit first grade. And, finally, Amazon. Oh, right here in my own loft. On my computer. What a great deal.

Over 60+ years I’ve bought a lot of books. My interests have waxed and waned, but the books purchased during my enthusiasms remain. A few: Celtic mythology, fairy tales, Ovid’s Metamorphosis, magic, Jungian thought. An ur religion focused on the natural world, not scripture. Literature of all sorts. Plays. Theology. Poetry. U.S. history. the Civil War. Art. Lake Superior. Latin and the classics. Religion.

Getting rid of them feels like betraying my curiosity. I might finish that book on the Tarot. That commentary on the Inferno? Maybe next year? What about that ecological history of Lake Superior? The work on reconstructing, reimagining faith?

Still, it feels like time to begin paring down. Will take a while. And be hard.

For each of the tags listed here, I have a small or large collection of books.

Stick to it

Winter and the Full Future Moon shining through the lodgepole pines in the west

Friday gratefuls: for the Mussar group. for the Daf Yomi, now day seven. for the chance to do the Murdoch mitzvah. for the fresh new snow. for the 12 degree weather, what they call here, Stock Show weather. for Black Mountain who watches over me from above. for Shadow Mountain who supports me from below. for the crazy people who go out on Evergreen Lake for ice-fishing. May there always be crazy people.

Kepler to the vet yesterday. No, not bites and rips from Murdoch’s teeth. Rashes and hot spots. Antibiotics and an increased prednisone load for a week or so. Dr. Palmini has lost weight and buffed up. When I asked him if he would go to the Iditarod this year. The jury’s still out, he said. It’s a long time to be gone. But, it’s fun, isn’t it? Well, some of it, but when you get up at 3 am…? He goes as a volunteer vet for the sled dogs in the race. Lots of Iditarod memorabilia on the walls of his practice.

Back to HIIT workouts for cardio. Hi intensity interval training. A new one. Slow, 90 seconds. Fast as possible, 6mph for me, 30 seconds. Repeat four times then 3 minute cool down. I increased the number of intervals and the incline, from 1% to 2%, this week. Intervals are the best workout for cardio and they take a shorter time period that most cardio workouts.

Mussar. Got caught out nodding like I understood something that was said. Had to admit it, because the conversation expected me to say something about I’d already said. Everybody laughed when I told them. First time I can recall being caught in this oh, so usual gambit of not only me, but all folks hard of hearing. Gotta work on the ear wax thing. Seems to bother my hearing aid a lot.

The quality of the day, see Ruth Gendler’s The Book of Qualities, was perseverance. A lot of discussion, an amusing number of examples about math, not unusual in a group with literary inclinations. Perseverance is in my toolkit.

Mostly. I can write novels. Start and finish them. Not easy, often taking over a year. I did not persevere so well with marketing them, though. I enjoy, as I said a few posts back, long books, long movies, long tv series. I can start all of these and finish them. Think War and Peace, Dante’s Inferno, Spenser’s Fairie Queen, Faust, Romance of the Three Kingdoms. 10 Commandments, the Irishman, Gone with the Wind. And, Resurrection: Ertugrul. I’m finally in the fifth and last season. It only has 88 episodes.

I can make a commitment and stick to it for years, a lifetime. One of my youthful commitments was to keep reading difficult material. Stay political. College. Keep asking the fundamental questions and don’t shy away from difficult answers. Never work in a setting that compromises your values. Kate, now for over 30 years. The Woollies, about the same. Joseph, now going 39 years. Exercise, since my forties.

When I didn’t persevere, marketing and college German being the ones that come to mind, it was out of fear, I think. Fear is not a guide, it’s a caution, but I let myself get stuck in its glue at least those two times and I regret it. Anxiety grows along with fear and fear increases the anxiety. As I’m learning to be easier with myself, I’ll give myself an “I’m sorry to hear that, but you’re ok now.” bit of self-talk.

Up, Up, And Away

Samain and the Gratitude Moon

Sunday gratefuls: Joe and Seoah found each at San Francisco International, got a seat together. In the air right now. Rigel and Murdoch spent a so-far quiet night together. Hanukah. Which starts tonight. For the United folks at DIA yesterday. A smooth process checking Seoah in. As she might say, Amazing.

Seoah came with Joe on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. More Murdoch time. I took her to the airport yesterday. The short-term lot was full so we had to use Valet parking. Which I didn’t know they had. Not cheap, but in the circumstance, worth it.

We’ll miss her, Good Morning! Her cooking skills. She’s really good. Her willingness to clean. Mostly though her presence. She has a light heart and a cheerful manner. Much like Murdoch.

We’ll also miss our over the stove microwave which chose the holiday season as its death time. It died gradually, losing one function after another. The good news is that over the stove micros are really expensive! And, we’ll have to pay to have it installed. Merry Christmas!’

Odd product information. In a pick-up order at King Sooper I got Simple Truth Organic Seltzer Water as a replacement for my order of another brand. On the can, which is sized like an energy drink, less diameter, but more height, it says: What makes S.T. Seltzer water so refreshing? A. Organic, naturally flavored and free of calories… It’s water! They forgot to add gluten free.

Impeach

Samain and the Gratitude Moon

Monday gratefuls: Facebook. Yes, I know how evil it is, but I love it anyhow. Keeps me up with friends from faraway-in distance and time. Internet. Wow. Keeps on enthralling me (literally [sigh] and figuratively). This desktop computer that works. Always. My handheld computer which I rarely use as a phone. Electricity, whether from IREA, our solar panels, or our generator. And, by free association, Nicholas Tesla.

I’d like to apologize to all of you who read this about my near constant airing of my existential crisis. Must get old, but it’s on my mind. This is an online journal, meant to be an airing of what’s up, what’s current in my life and thinking. Not trying to be commercially friendly. Still, I like readers, so I hope I don’t lose you to the scattered thoughts about this guy’s attempt to grab hold of life. Again. And, again.

So. Whaddya think of this impeachment thing? I don’t know how to read it. Impeachment will happen, I’m sure. Removal from office will not. I’m pretty sure. In that case will we have accomplished anything as a body politic or will we have (or, have we already) baked the Trump bloc into our lives?

The separation of powers is, to me at least, sufficient reason to have proceeded. Congress needs to reassert its fiscal, policy, and military roles against an increasingly imperial presidency. Which, if we’re to be honest, Obama did a lot to nurture, too.

The shifting stances of the propagandists who want to keep Trump in office are not as friendly to democracy as we need them to be. The Trump faithful, an unreasoned but strong cult, is strengthened, not weakened by impeachment; they are driven more into each others arms. DJT right or wrong. Political differences, yes. Political battles, yes. But a devotional attitude toward this guy, no.

Where does all this lead us? I come from the rust belt. I know its politics, its people. I’m one of them. Those of my hometown who follow the Trump are many, but not varied. They have lost well-paying factory jobs, now in the long ago 1970’s, and nothing comparable has replaced them. Their community, Alexandria, which thrived while General Motors had Delco Remy and Guide Lamp in Anderson (25,000 jobs), has become a wasteland of dollar stores, boarded up businesses, and many homes with deferred maintenance. Where do they find hope?

The children of my classmates, who’ve known only this depressed economy, have a right to their disenchantment. We’ve earned it as a country by ignoring their needs. Their parents voted Democrat, understood strong unions, but the day the factories died, so did their political will. Trump has stepped into their hearts and into their children’s hearts. He and his kind will not be easily dislodged from them.

Not hopeful about this at the moment.

Always Something to Celebrate

Samain and the Gratitude Moon

Thursday (Thanksgiving) gratefuls: Annie, who came yesterday. The snow on Tuesday. The capon that gave its life for our meal. The winds that howl through the forests this morning. Orion, faithful friend and his good dog, Canis Major. The folks who designed and built our Rav4’s, especially Ruby, whose AWD makes her surefooted. Those who care for them at Stevinson Toyota. And, on this day in particular, for all those who sustain traditions and holidays, moments out of ordinary time.

I asked brother Mark and sister Mary what Thanksgiving, a very American holiday, looks like in lands Asian and Arab. Mark said Thanksgiving probably got celebrated in Aramco compounds. Here’s Mary’s reply from Singapore:

The big hotels serve Thanksgiving dinner & it needs to be reserved way in advance; Brits have Christmas dinner which is also involves Turkey so food is authentic- with all the trimmings- here Halloween and St Patrick‚Äôs Day☘️are also widely celebrated- in addition to Asian festivals- so pretty much there is always something to celebrate

Mary has made this comment, always something to celebrate, before. When I visited Singapore for the first time in 2004, I was there the first week of November. Christmas decorations lined Orchard Road, the big commercial street. It was also U.S. election week, so the American Club had a big breakfast spread so we could watch the returns live. You know how that turned out. We weren’t celebrating. (though right now GW Bush looks like a political genius)

These paled in comparison to the Arab quarters celebration of post-fast Ramadan. We found shisha smokers lounging on the sidewalks and had a good Arab meal, probably lamb and rice, but I don’t recall.

Little India had a huge arc of lights over its main road marking the holiday of Diwali, the festival of lights, also underway. There were stalls selling sweets, Diwali lights, and Hindu related religious artifacts. I bought a Kali medallion, a Vishnu and Shiva medallion. We had a vegetarian meal in a Tamil restaurant where we ate with our hands. Our right ones.

Not sure whether it was Diwali related or not, but much later that night, in the early a.m., Mary and I went to the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, Sri Mariamman Temple, built in 1827. According to the Temple’s website the firewalking was on October 20th this year.

Due to changes in population over time it happens to sit now in the midst of Chinatown. There were lines blocks long of men in various sorts of clothing, all holding branches of some kind and, if I recall correctly, lemons or limes. At the very end of these line were a few women.

I stopped to talk with some of the women. “Oh, yes. Now we can go to the firewalking, too. But they didn’t want us. We insisted.” This was about 3 am or so. Mary and I walked along the lines of devotees waiting for their turn.

We got to the temple and watched folks walk across the bed of coals, then into a milk bath, and finally into the arms of priests and fellow firewalkers. The moist night air, the early morning quiet, and this strange (to my eyes) sight is a special memory for me. Afterward, Mary and I had Chinese food at a big hotel.

Ramadan, Diwali, Christmas, firewalking, and the American election. It was my introduction to Asia and underlines Mary’s there’s always something to celebrate.

Safety and Maintenance

Samain and the Fallow Moon


Blizzaks on Ruby yesterday. And, an oil change. Synthetic, first time for me. They recommend changes every 10,000 miles or once a year. It so happens that the last time the oil got changed in Ruby was last December. She was sold back to the dealership not long after and had 4,000 miles on her at the time of our purchase. There’s only 11,800 now, but I got the last free oil change on the Toyota Care service plan. And, it’s been almost a year so it was time anyhow.

Lot of driving. Into Stevinson’s Toyota in Lakewood. Home. Back to Stevinson’s. Back to Stevinson’s. Home. Rental car.

These tires are not cheap, but I decided the year we moved here that for us old folks driving on curving mountain roads and on mountain highways, they’re a necessity. I want to give us all the safety options we can muster. Ruby’s all wheel drive is a revelation to me. Wish Ivory had it, too. (I know, Ruby and Ivory, but I’ve fallen under Kate’s spell.)



Turn Starwheel Turn

Samain and a full Fallow Moon

Orion was there, but dim. 4:30 am. Full Fallow Moon above Black Mountain outshone his distant stars. Going outside in the early morning, seeing Orion rise, his big dog, too, has somewhat rekindled my interest in astronomy. Enough that I repurchased something I gave away when we moved, a starwheel. Wonderful name. Relearning parts of the night sky.

The big dipper, easy to locate in Andover, often hides behind the lodgepoles to the northeast, but is now rising early enough that I can see it. With that friend I can find Polaris and Arcturus. Follow the arc to Arcturus. Follow the pointer stars to Polaris.

Coming out at 4:30 or so on a daily basis makes me understand how the heavens could have been used not only as a calendar, but also as a clock. Orion ticks over further and further to the west. Others come to his former spot. A person who focused on the stars at night could tell time with this movement.

Living in the mountains surrounded by the Arapaho National Forest gives each day and night a close connection with the changing natural world. On the ground. In the sky.

One outcome of Kate’s good news and my ok news about our lung diseases (geez) is that we’re here to stay. Yes, we’re challenged by the thin air, but we can cope. Better up here for both of us than down in the polluted air of the Denver metro.

Ruby’s Home

Fall and a thin crescent moon

Ruby, the cherry red 2018 Rav4, has come home. She’s sitting below me as I write this, in her stall for the first time in over two weeks. Her lift gate sparkles, the crumpled back bumper is smooth. She’s whole again.

Much as I appreciate having her back to normal it’s frustrating to have to go through all this stuff and the payoff is the vehicle we purchased. Not Kate’s fault. Yet we had to do the usual dance routine with insurance adjusters, rental car companies, and the collision repair folks. A lot of sturm and drang to arrive back where we started. Hope those folks are having a good time in Denmark.

Before I went in to pick up Ruby and bring her back to her forever home, Kate and I went into Swedish. She had a second PFT, pulmonary function test. Very tiring. Literally, a lot of huffing and puffing, some of it in an air tight clear plastic chamber. She came out looking exhausted.

A second CT scan on November 4th will produce another data set for Dr. Taryle, pulmonologist, and Dr. Gruber, cardio-thoracic surgeon. They’ll be looking for any change in the bleb found a month ago, plus any changes to her interstitial lung disease. Closing in on a diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. Aiming toward the lung biopsy on the 18th of November. That should resolve this now over a year long search for the reason behind her breathing problems.

And, just to show this is not an all Kate, all the time medical show, I go in on Monday for a stress test. Looking at my heart. This stems from my COPD diagnosis a few weeks ago. Shortness of breath is a medical red flag, not only indicating possible pulmonary problems, but cardiac problems, too. Possibly, congestive heart failure.

Since the spirometer showed breathing impairment, and, since Lisa diagnosed me with COPD, this is probably unnecessary, but you never know. Should tell me some interesting things anyhow.

Warm day today. Cold tomorrow and next week. More snow, too. The transitional time. Ivory gets her snowshoes on Friday. Not sure when Ruby will get hers. Not feeling so urgent about them for her right now.