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Patio Time

Patio Time

Hi all! Colleen was discharged from the hospital yeserday, July 25th. As much relief as I feel having her home I am also extremely grateful for her experience in the hospital. It is absolutely fascinating to see how fast the body heals and changes.

I can’t help but be amazed, grateful, and not just a little shocked at all the external “hook-ups” that had to be connected to Colleen during this time:

  • Catheter – Well, we all have to pee don’t we? (no pun intended!)
  • “Pain Pump” – This particular device delivered morphine directly to the abdomen. I can’t really give many more details about this one since none of the nurses knew how to use it!
  • Blood Monitor – A very strange light connected to the end of Colleen’s finger, this was responsible for measuring the amount of oxygen her blood was carrying around. Effectively, this monitored how she was breathing.
  • Oxygen tube- As a result of the blood monitor going off, additional oxygen was needed for proper breathing, particular during periods of sleep. You know, the little tube under the nose…
  • IV – Ahh, the “intake tube” we’ve all seen in the movies.  I don’t really know how to describe seeing somebody not needing to eat real food and having everything (including medication) delivered ‘on-demand’. “Convenient”, “scary”, “miraculous”, “bizarre”… I could go on and on, but this is certainly one of the most critical components to Colleen being ok, for sure.

Needless to say, I am so happy to see her up and walking around and not needing one of the previously mentioned connections.  I know she has a long way to go before she is 100%, but what she has been through has been fairly eye-opening to me in my little software writing world.

Hematocrit Levels

(Grain of salt warning: I may have the numbers wrong here, but I don’t think so…) We were slightly worried that she wouldn’t be able to come home because of her “Hematocrit Level“. 38% is about average for a woman. Fortunately, thanks to Colleen, her level was about at 42% when she went in to surgery. After surgery it was about 28%… Then 25%… Then 22%…   So, this was the piece that made me nervous during recovery!   Her last test went back up to 25! Yippie!  The doctor told us that this can fluctuate quite a bit due to various factors – drugs, hydration, etc… so a particular number is not critical. Since this can mean internal bleeding, however, it is critical that this number stabilize. Seeing it stabilize was crucial.  I suspect she will have another test before week’s out, but it looks good!


I don’t really know what else to say besides “thank you”.  Thanks to everybody who has had a kind word for Colleen, sent a flower, or just had a moment of contemplation about how really valuable the people around you are.

P.S. I probably won’t post as much as I will be quite short on time come tomorrow.  I am hopeful, however, that Colleen will be back to her bloggin self in no time!



You might not know this about me, but I love movies.  When I started this whole blog endeavor, I knew that I would write about them, but what troubled me was deciding which one to write about first.  Some might say, how about your favorite?  Ooh la la! The word favorite is very tricky because it is so exclusive.  Here’s an example:

What is your favorite food?

Well, what time of day is it?  Are we talking breakfast? Lunch? Snack? Dinner?  Dessert?  What is the weather like?  Am I feeling melancholy?  Happy?  Mellow?  I mean gosh, there are so many variables to contend with.  Yikes!

So here we are, after doing some serious calcualting, I arrived at Drugstore Cowboy, what I believe to be Matt Dillon’s finest work.   The other actors aren’t too shabby either.  I think this is Heather Graham’s first.  And if you’re a Sex and the City fan, you’ll recognize Gentry right away.

To say that my mind is blown every time I view this film is putting it mildly.  There are so many reasons to love it. 

First off, the characters, and their very calculated means of staying high and breaking the law, are very real.  Yet, I can’t help but root for them, especially Bob Hughes (an aside – this is always my bowling name).  He’s a dope fiend, thief, not-so-nice person, but I like him more and more as the film progresses.  Perhaps it is his honesty.  This guy knows precisely who he is and what he’s doing.  

Second, the cinematography, coupled with the lovely landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, is amazingly beautiful.  I love the cows and hats dreamily floating through the moisture laden sky. 

Third, this movie is filled with wonderful one-liners:  “What’s a transom Bob?”  “Lord, it’s my dope fiend thief of a son and his crazy little nymphomaniac wife.”  “Jesus, Bob, you never told us anything about not mentioning dogs.”

Fourth, the soundtrack is mighty fine: “The Israelite,” “For All We Know,” “Psychotic Reaction,”  and many more.

Then there’s the story, it always comes back to the story.  For me, it is a wonderful coming of age tale.  Bob finally learns what is important in life and is willing to pay a very high price for it.  So very, very good. 

When Martin Luther King, Jr. died on April 4th 1968, I was three years from being born.  As a white girl, living in a predominantly white neighborhood, I would only be scarcely aware of his existence until I bought my favorite U2 album The Unforgettable Fire in 1984.  Despite this pathetic history, he is ever present in my life now, providing me with a shining example of goodness, bravery, intelligence, and wisdom. 

There is rarely a day that passes that I do not think of him and find inspiration in his deeds and words.  Through them I find my own strength and courage.  Here are just a few: 

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined non-conformists who are dedicated to justice, peace, and brotherhood.”

“On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’  Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’  And Vanity comes along and asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’  But Conscience asks the question ‘Is it right?’  And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

“The strong man holds in a living blend strongly marked opposites. The idealists are usually not realistic, and the realists are not usually idealistic. The militant are not generally known to be passive, nor the passive to be militant. Seldom are the humble self-assertive, or the self-assertive humble. But life at its best is a creative synthesis of opposites in fruitful harmony. The philosopher Hegel said that truth is found neither in the thesis nor the antithesis, but in the emergent synthesis which reconciles the two.”

This is me now, sending a little prayer out for peace and happiness to all.  Infinite blessings upon your path…

In January, after one of my quarterly trips Buffalo Exchange to sell and donate clothes, I had an epiphany.  If I “am” my possessions, why am I constantly getting rid of them?

What does that say about me?  “I am constantly getting rid of me?”  Why do I have so much of myself that I don’t need?  Which brought me to the next question – what, in life, do I really need?

I’m sure you already know the answers.  So, then and there, I made a decision to do something that I previously considered radical.  I would not buy any clothes until June.  I love clothes! 

Then, after looking at the giant pile of other miscellaneous junk waiting to be chauffered off to the Goodwill, Gregory and I decided together to not make any purchases, besides necessities, for our entire household until June.  No clothes, no shoes, no gadgets, no art, no CD’s.  Zip, zilch, nada!

Our start date was February first, and, with the exception of an Easter Lily ($6.49 at Trader Joe’s – brain fart!), we have kept our word.  It’s been really exciting, not just to see the savings add up, but to know that we can set a limit and stick to it.  

By my calculations, after a couple years of whining that we didn’t have the money, we’ll have enough to reupholster some chairs that are in dire need (darn kitty claws).  Who knows what other seemingly monumental task will be within our grasp?  I can’t wait to find out!

The picture is what our garden looks like in June, full of flowers and lush greenery.  Right now, there are some weeds and a few sprouts.  I think I forget that we already have all we need – with a little patience, the blooms reveal themselves!

I first saw Wayne Dyer on PBS when they were advertising for his special about The Power of Intention.  Something about the commercials really turned me off, so I didn’t watch the show or buy the book.

I guess it must have been a couple of years later when the show for his next book Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling came on the air.  Like the first time, I was resistant, making sure I kept away from PBS the first night it was aired.  However, rather surprisingly, when I turned on the television on a lazy Sunday afternoon and saw that it was on, I kept watching. 

I enjoyed what I heard.  Like the title, I actually felt inspired and a bit awed, expecially about the butterfly story (you’ll have to read it – I’m not spoiling it).  So, I told Gregory, “I think I might buy that book.  It sounds like it might be what I’m looking for in my life right now.”  He was less sure, but I tend to be the first in our household to jump on any sort of exercise or self-help bandwagon.

Here’s what convinced us both: 

Have you ever seen Angel Cards like the one above?  They are small, probably 1″x 2.5″, and have a word or phrase with a drawing of an angel (or angels) in some corresponding way. 

We first saw them at our naturopath’s office.  Each patient drew a card at the beginning of their visit for something to ponder in the waiting room.  We liked the idea of the cards, so Gregory bought us some (in French!  They’ve got them in many languages :).

In a strange coincidence, or maybe not, the card I drew on the Monday after viewing the program was Inspiration (insert weird sound effect here).  You bet your booty I bought that book at the first opportunity, and, of course, it changed my perspective about the world and my life in a very profound way.

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