Thursday, December 28, 2006

We Sent Her To Live On The Farm. Really.

When we went down to visit my parents down in Virginia for Christmas, we took one of our cats, Jubilee, to go live with them?

Why? Well, having four cats in a two bedroom apartment was starting to seem like not such a great idea. And she was more reclusive than the others. Kept trying to escape every time we left the window open a crack. So we took her down and by the time we left yesterday morning she seemed well adjusted and happy as a clam.

Now, though? The apartment seems so empty with just three lonely furry critters to keep us company.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Why I Never Give Blood & Also Why I'd Never Shoot Heroine

Now, I've always get a little nervous when a doc has to take some blood for tests. I can't look at the actual needle, the actual vial, or even the my own arm with that little thing they tie around your upper arm. I avert my entire head and stare gamely at the window/cheesey poster/wall.

I feel faint and a little whoozy but usually can laugh it off with the phlebotomist.

Today, though, I went into my Dad's oncology practice to get some tests done (not cancer: specialized cholesterol and vitamin D levels he's been nagging me to do for ages and now that I'm down in Virginia over Christmas I figured I'd just have his nurses do it for me) and something weird happened.

R went first, then it was my turn.

The nurse was too nervous to do it--said something about my having "small" veins but I think she was just too nervous to draw blood from her boss's daughter. My dad came in and drew the 7 vials (okay; more than just vit D and cholesterol, but still: no where near cancer.) He took the thingy off my arm and had me hold it over my head and as I did so I looked down and saw all those vials of my blood--it was so dark, almost maroon--and then I felt faint and the next thing I knew my Dad and R were carrying me to this lounge chair they had in the office.

They said I'd fainted twice and that the second time I'd had a mini seizure. All I remember is being in the chair and then saying to Rod, "What are you doing, Rod?" as he helped drag me into the chair.


I felt fine after about half an hour and then R dropped me off back at my parents farm while he went into town to run some errands. My Mom and I spent the rest of the day baking cookies. (I ate a gazillion of them.)

But now? Fucking scared shitless of needles.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Separation of Church & State?

So I guess we all decided to just drop that whole thing, huh?

Have you all heard of the Christian Embassy? Pretty friggin' scary. (Via Huffington Post).


Monday, December 11, 2006

The Passing

Saturday night, after living for ten years in a nursing home in a near catatonic state, my grandfather passed away from complications arising from pneumonia.

He was 99.

A true renaissane man, he spoke three languages, was an accomplished pianist, a watercolor painter, an author of both fiction and non-fiction, an avid gardener, an amateur vintner, a bicyclist, and a family doctor. He retired from medicine at age 70 and dedicated the rest of his life to tracing his family roots here in the Northeast. He finally produced a book, titled A Connecticut Yankee In Penn's Woods, that tells the life-story of one of those relatives, a man named Thomas Bennett who settled in Wyoming Valley, PA in the early 1700s. (One of Thomas' descendants, Martha Myers, had a grandson named Stephen Crane who eventually wrote the Red Badge of Courage.) In his 70s and 80s my grandfather and his wife, the lovely Ginny, went on countless bike trips across France, New Zealand, Italy, Ireland, England and the United States. I still have some of his sketches and notes from one trip to France. Some day I hope to visit the specific restaurants and hotels he visited and to write an accounting of my travels.

Even though I'm sad that he's gone, I'm also relieved that his suffering is over: unable to speak or move of his own volition, none of us knew how much he knew about what was going on around him in that nursing home. And yet for ten years, every day my grandmother visited him--to feed him his lunch; to tell him about her day. To kiss his cheek and tell him she loved him. And every visit she wore the same perfume, Estee Lauders' White Linen, so that he would know that it was her beside him. If not by touch or feel or sound, than by scent.
Could This Possibly Be Real?