Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving Two: The Gamminator

Bill and I drove over on Thursday, Nov. 24, for a turkey day celebration with Mom and Joe.

While I cooked, and Bill made a last minute run to the store, Joe vacuumed and tidied up. We got out some of Mom's 'Spode' dishes for the meal.

Gussie watched.

Joe took the Grape to fetch Mom.

Trying out the new front ramp. (Joe almost dumped her out on the first try!)

Joe poured champagne to celebrate the occasion.

The feast! (Turkey, sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, mashed sweet potatoes with a sugared pecan crunchy topping, rolls, fresh cranberry sauce, olives, and cranberry salad.) (And pumpkin pie with heavy cream for dessert.)

The diners....

Even Gussie had a plate of turkey.

Happy turkey, everyone!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A lovely garnish for your turkey....

As if the world isn't weird enough... and just in time for the holiday gift-buying season... comes a wonderful new gift: The Dr. Laura talking action figure!

You, too, can buy one for your misogynistic, judgmental, women’s rights-hating, homophobic, holier-than-thou friends—it’ll be the best gift they ever received!

The website is suspiciously silent on where the profits for these dolls will end up. This is odd, as in the past, the good "doctor" (in physiology-- not psychology!) has been most vocal about her funds ending up supporting abstinence education or other right-wing conservative causes.

Anyway, I suggest you use the doll to stuff your turkey. Stuff it right up the turkey's... Well, you know. Kind of unfair to the turkey, though.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy Turkey Day!

Or as my Spanish teacher taught us, "El dia del massacre del pavo!" (pavo = turkey)

More later, but see above for the picture of our early family celebration on 11-19. L-R: Erin, Ernie, me, Bill, Scott, Rebecca, and Pookie Moose.

Stay tuned for more photos....

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Toasty warm

Bill got me a really neat early Yule gift the other day: a portable heater that looks like a little fireplace. It's very cute and also a very effective heater, and it heats for only pennies. We put it in the corner of my home office; I spend most evenings in there, working, and this will keep the room snug.

I moved Ernie's dog bed over in front of it, and... well, you can see the results.

I drove over to see Mom today. Not much to report-- she's having some pain relief from the Celebrex. However her therapy has been slowed up by her problems with atrial fibrillation. She wore a portable cardiac monitor/recorder for two days, and Joe is now waiting to hear from the doc re: the results. She may need a pacemaker to stabilize her heart. Stay tuned on that. Anyway, it was good to see here-- she was cheery, although tired. Joe seems to be hanging in, too.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Weather watching

It's a helluva day at sea, sir! (Trivia buffs... name that film!)

In the last week or so, we've had something like 8 inches of rain here in Portland. In the last two days, we had a windstorm (gust to 70+ mph) and more rain; the same storms are dumping feet of snow in the Cascades. It's a mess-- flooding, trees, down, power outtages, roads washed out. Hwy 35 on Mt. Hood lost 23 miles (!) of roadway, completely cutting off the Mt.Hood Meadows ski area from humanity; repairs will cause many millions and will take many months (interestingly, said ski area continues to sell season passes. Hmmm....) The gorge is on landslide watch, and the old highway is closed.

Milwaukie is only 39 feet above sea level, so flooding always gets my attention. But thanks to the French drain bill installed aorund the foundation we've stayed snuggly dry. Yay!

Anyway, I've stayed close to home. Was going to go see Mom yesterday, but didn't think it was wide in terms of the multi-dimensional horrible weather.

That's the report. Boring, I know.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Another interesting few days.

Nov. 2: Went to the Schnitzer to see Stephen King, in one of his very rare public appearances and readings—this one a benefit for Literary Arts in Portland. It was everything I hoped for, and more. He’s one creepy guy—and funny, too. He walked on stage in a black T-shirt and blue jeans, hair sticking up all mohawkish, and then started saying how he didn’t want to scare us, but he hoped we’d remembered to lock our cars before coming into the concert hall, and that when we went back to our cars, he hoped we checked the back seat before we got in. Because insurance statistics say that one in twenty people forget to lock their cars. And sometimes crazy psychopaths hide on the floor in the back seat. And sometimes they have knives.

Nov. 4: Chris Anderson’s funeral. Our family knows Chris (and family) through a combination of the Milwaukie community, school, Boy Scouts, and his photography studio. Chris took all of my kids’ senior pictures, and a month ago handled the photography for Lora (Spencer) Reilly’s wedding. We camped together on many a Boy Scout family trip, and bumped elbows at school, and he and his wife Debbie gave Katie her very first job—a receptionist position at their photography studio. Chris was one of those people who has a truly kind, sweet spirit, who seemed to delight in people, and who made you feel a little easier just because he was there. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer almost a year ago, and given a couple of months to live. He lived almost a year. Toward the end, he stopped the chemo and spent his remaining time fishing and just being with his family. The love of the Milwaukie community for this man was shown in the hundreds of people who attended his funeral, spilling out of the church and into the reception halls, where cameras with video feed had been set up for those who couldn’t fit into the sanctuary. You couldn’t find a parking place in downtown Milwaukie. It was something. The world was better for this man having been here. I can’t imagine the sadness of his family. I am glad I was able to know him.

Nov. 5-6: I went to Redmond to see Mom. She’s in what Joe and I call “The Home” right now. It’s kind of nursing homey, but really pretty decent. They are keeping her clean and shiny, and she’s having regular rehab. But the rooms are small, it’s noisy, the food is so-so, etc. Joe is starting the process to get her moved home as soon as he can. This will mean arranging in-home care for several hours each day, bringing in therapists, etc. Also making some modifications—he’s already installed a wheelchair ramp outside the front door. The shower needs modification, the bathrooms need grab bars, the bed needs lowering, etc.

Mom looked stronger and more Mom-ish when I was there. No huge jumps in her overall status, but her speech is better and she’s able to reply more intentionally to conversation, which is great. She seems cheerful about being where she is, which is good, and seems more aware of the world.

Today, Nov. 7: It’s raining here in Portland. I mean, really RAINING. We’ve had 5.5 inches in the last two days and are supposed to have another 1.5 inches today. See the picture below, taken in Tillamook, where they’ve had almost 9 inches in the last day and a half. Everything is flooding. And it’s really warm out, too. In the 60s. And dark. And windy. Thanks to Bill’s fine ditch-digging last summer, and his extension of our French drain, our basement is (knock on wood) still dry. Cross fingers….