Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Walking the Neighborhood

Yesterday I did my walk on different streets.  Driving around I had noticed flowers and trees worth photographing.

Cans out for Garbage Day and lovely creeping phlox

We have voluntary water restrictions.  This is a low water usage garden, no grass lots of bark.

I do love phlox.

Isn't this lovely?  Picket fence, roses, pretty paint job.  Almost Norman Rockwell.

Another low water yard, lava rock and a drip system.  Also, note they are ready for Christmas.

Yes, all you good Southerners, that is one beautiful magnolia ready to bloom.  Does this Southern Belle's heart good to see so many magnolias in San Leandro.

More lava rock

Star Jasmine along the sidewalk.  In the yard there are huge rhododendrons and azaleas.   

The perfect drought resistant yard, cactus!

All these different ways of gardening within a 30 minute brisk walk.  And I haven't even shown you the fruit trees.    Another day, another walk.

Monday, April 28, 2014


Ah, yes, memories.  In 70 years I have a lot of memories, good, bad, funny, awesome.  I thought I would bore you with a few of my memories.  I have to do memories, right now I don't have much going on other than Kaiser.

When I was a toddler my Daddy would stand me on his feet, hold my hands, and we would walk down the stairs to breakfast. 

I adored Mother and Daddy, but one day they ticked me off.  I was around 3 or 4.  I was probably still mad they brought home that redheaded baby boy.  Anyway, I called my Aunt Rosie and Uncle Fessor to come get me.  I could call them because I knew their number 314, and the operator also knew who I wanted when I said call my Uncle Fessor.  (This was before dial phones kids, the operator would say Number Please.  It was a small town and no numbers longer than three.) They came and picked me up.  I left in my pajamas, so they opened their store and outfitted me with shoes and clothes.  After a few days I forgave my parents and moved back home.

I remember us driving and Daddy would point out white smoke in the forests.  He explained it was from moonshine stills.  Remember I grew up in the mountains of Kentucky. 

I remember when I realized my widowed mother and Papa Jack were in love.  That is an awesome memory.  I also remember when Papa Jack said he was going to put bells on my shoes, because I kept walking in on them necking. 

Awkward memory that turned out great:  blind date with my husband, Marty.  Not the best date I have ever been on, but something was there.  47 years of marriage and counting.

Scary memory, the drive to the airport the day Little Brother left for Vietnam . 

Fun time, for years we played canasta marathons with Susan and Gary.  The kids played games and were put to bed.  The adults played cards.  Susan and I won every game for years and years.  Susan is a great partner.  She knew where every card was.  I drove her crazy because I hardly knew what was in my hand.  While we played cards Marty and Gary would drink Bourbon, Susan and I drank Pepsi.  The ladies had a big time edge there.  Then Susan and I discovered white wine.  The teams were suddenly equal.  Susan and I went years before we won another game. 

This was sort of fun.  Be warned, I will do memories again. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Really? We don't need more drama

First off let me say this time, it is not a health issue.  We are upset, but safe.

Yesterday some one broke into our apartment in broad daylight.  I left with friends around 5:10 to go to dinner and then to book group.  Marty was at a church meeting and got home around 8:00. When I got home at 9:30 I couldn't find my mini IPad, which I had left charging in the kitchen.  It was gone as was the cord, but not the wall plug.  Then we checked jewelry and a ring is missing.

There was no sign of a break in, doors locked, dead bolt on back door.  How did they get in? Maybe someone knew how to pick a lock.  We used find my IPhone/IPad.  Marty activated this IPad is lost, please call this number.  About an hour later my cell rang and a man wanted to know if I had lost my IPad.  He had just bought it on Craig's List, two hours ago. He was going to bring it back to us.

I was afraid it was the thief who would want a "reward" to return it.  I had his phone number in my calls' list, so if a bad guy I could give the police a phone number.  Marty called the police as we waited for the man.  He was a young man, a student at Berkeley, and he was upset for me and for himself.  He had paid $160 for it and he said he knew it was just too good of a deal.  He handed us his ID, the IPad and the charging cord.  The keyboard case was not with it.  The young man did not want to talk to the police.  The thief had his info and he really didn't want to get involved. After thanking him for returning it, we told him to leave because the police would be there soon.

Our policeman could not see how the thief got in, no signs of entry. He also thought it strange the computers weren't taken, and the rest of the jewelry wasn't taken.  He said to look and see if anything else was missing and call him today.   Then he would make a report for us to give to our insurance company.

The young man was a lovely honest person who is a witness.  He can not be forced to give information, and we have the IPad back.  So no search warrant can be served on Craig's list.

The locks have been changed.  We are checking out security systems.  We feel very strange about the whole thing.  Not as scared as I was, but not comfortable.  Someone thrashed my safe area.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

"One meal won't kill you", so he said

As posted before, do nothing planned.  So Thursday morning we decided to go out to eat and have a belated anniversary dinner.  I wanted something close, free parking, better than average food, good service, and a great view.  I made reservations at Horatio's.   I used Open Table and requested a window table, explaining a belated anniversary and why it was belated.

We arrived and the hostess ignored us!  Finally she noticed us, standing 2 feet from her, and we said we had reservations.  The other hostess came and asked us if we were celebrating something. Did she not read the note from Open Table?  They were not crowded, there were empty window tables, but she headed away from the windows.  I stopped her and explained our request, and the note on Open Table,  Oh, she will see what she can do.  This did not bode well for the rest of the meal.  She did put us at a window table and we had a great server.  Victor made up for the idiots at the hostess stand.

The doctor had told me one meal would not kill me, just don't put "one meal" killers close together. This meal was great, all kinds of evil food I don't get to eat.  Plus I had a glass of Woodford Reserve.  Bourbon sipping is very limited for Warfarin patients.

The happy couple.  Notice only one glass of wine.  No wine for me since I had my shot of Bourbon.

Sunset over Monarch Bay.  The other side of the trees is San Francisco Bay.

Looking to the left at the Marina.

Mussels in a cioppino sauce for Marty.  Which he shared with me.  Yummy, delicious.  The only healthy thing we ate. 

Fried calamari and fried artichokes.  There was an aioli sauce and a Bloody Mary sauce.  I was nice and shared with Marty.

Marty had halibut stuffed with crab.  The dark design is a thickened balsamic vinegar sauce.

My dish is smoked chicken over penne in a butter cream sauce.  Notice the bread, we had already had a wonderful garlic cheese bread with our appetizers.  So yes, lots of bread and pasta.  Killing  myself with a fork.  

Victor surprised us with a creme brulee with whipped cream and fruit.  We ate some, but we were so stuffed we left part of it.  So very good, and so rich and evil.  I loved every bite of that meal.  Trust me I have been very good since then.  

On the way home we took the scenic route around the marina.  This is looking toward San Francisco.

We had a great evening.  We forgot we both are physical messes right now.  We ate well, laughed, enjoyed a lovely time together, we celebrated love.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

And this is how things are going

I saw my primary care physician Friday.  He says basically I have a huge target on my back.  The  least little thing can set off one of my many aliments.  He says I am doing well, and to take things easy.  This week he said nothing planned, that meant no church, school, or marriage factory.  I have been good, slowly walking to regain strength; sleeping when my body tells me to rest; and eating a little more to slow down weight loss.

Also I have done laundry which made me walk up and down steps a lot, cooked, washed dishes, and waited on Marty hand and foot.  Remember Marty has bursitis and it to not walk except when absolutely necessary.  Thank goodness I am now stronger and can help him. 

Marty doesn't mind well, but he is trying to sit and let me take care of him for a change.  I bring water, ice packs, newspapers, mail, and whatever I can carry.  He is so miserable with pain that he can't sleep in the bed and sleeps in the recliner.  He now understands why I love our recliners.  They just wrap around you and support the hurt part of your body.

Every night I tuck him into the recliner.  He has a big down comforter that I wrap around his feet and tuck around his body.  I turn off all the lights in the living room except the one by his chair.  Then I go to bed.  I leave my phone on by the bed so if he needs something he can call me and I can go help him. 

Marty and I laugh and say between us we almost have one working body.  As pitiful as we sound, we are so much better off than many friends and family.  We are treatable, we have good insurance, and we have each other. 

Tonight we are celebrating our 47th anniversary, a week or so late.  We were not well enough on April 8 to be out and about.  Tonight we are going to a lovely place that is on the water.  We hope to have a window table to enjoy the view.  We will eat well, and I may even have a cocktail.  Then we will come home and watch Vampire Diaries. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Once around the block

After limited activity for over a month, I am allowed to start exercising again.  Today I walked around the block.  This took nearly twice as long as before the latest drama.  But I took it slow and I did it.

Northern California always has something in bloom.  Right now the neighborhood is a blast of color.

Our next door neighbors' front yard.  They love plants and keep planting more stuff.  But it is pretty if just a little bit overgrown.

California poppies.  This is our state flower and it grows where it wants to grow.  The middle of the driveway, on a bridge, with luck in a flower bed.

Two doors up, California poppies, roses and alstroemeria.  

Iris and roses

I have no idea what kind of trees these are.  But they are well worth looking at.

Love the neon colors.

It really is a very pleasant trip around the block.

I like this house and yard.  The colors of the house and of the plants just make me smile.

Home.  Only 20 more steps to the back door.

On our back porch orchids starting to bloom and lots of herbs for good eats.

San Leandro is a lovely town. Flowers and trees are always blooming here.  Marty and I are convinced you could stick a baseball bat in the ground and it would leaf out and produce flowers.  

Saturday, April 12, 2014


At my age needing a babysitter is ridiculous.  I am an independent senior citizen.  I do not need in home care.  Did you all buy that?  Yes there are days I should not be left alone.  My puny fainty days I do need a little help. 

As I last posted, Marty wanted me to have a babysitter while he had to lead a seminar.  As the day wore on, I was not getting much better.  He, and I, were afraid I would stand up and pass out.  So a call went out to friends, could someone come in a couple of hours and stay for 3 or 4 hours?  One dear friend, Pat, said she could almost make the window and had it covered.  She texted her son, Aaron, and he rode public transportation from San Francisco to get to me.  

Now if I ever have to walk down a dark scary alley, Aaron is who I would want to have my back.  He is street smart and intimidating.  The guy is 6 foot 9 inches tall.  But is he the person to help me out of the chair, walk me to the bathroom, recognize I was too tired to talk, and to be ready in an emergency.  Remember we had no car.  Yes, Aaron is a great babysitter.

Aaron had a plan.  If I needed medical help he would not let them take me to the bad Hospital that is closing in June.  He would text for an Uber car and take me to Oakland Kaiser.  He watched me like a hawk, followed me down the hall, sat quietly and let me rest.  And it gets better.

Mom Pat arrives and she and Aaron start planning supper.  Did I mention he is a culinary student?  The two of them pulled everything out of my refrigerator, threw out stuff I have been too sick to deal with, and started fixing roasted veggies and salad for dinner.  They did a compromise on the entrĂ©e.  When I mentioned wet burritos at Ana Rosa's across the street, the game plan changed.  Pat kept doing her thing and Aaron walked across to get our entrees. 

I wasn't real hungry but did damage to the veggies and the wet burrito.  They then cleaned the kitchen and walked me back to the living room.  I was better and we watched some Jeopardy yelling out our answers, talked, and laughed.  Bathroom breaks, I had both walking me down the hall.  Very protective of me, very kind to me.

I am very very lucky in my friends.  Other friends have offered to shop for us, run errands for us, have offered to bring meals.  Thank you all for the support.  And big hugs to my babysitters.  Much love.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

When we last talked . . .

Well, I didn't make my appointment with the cardiologist on Monday.  Sunday night I had screaming high Blood Pressure, but no A-Fib.  Back to the ER.  They observed, took lots and lots of blood, and gave me different drugs.  Tests showed no heart attack, nothing wrong with any of the tests, but BP still high.  So I was taken to the Cardiac Monitoring Unit Monday morning.

The hospital doctor started me on a different set of drugs and thought I would go home that evening.  That didn't happen.  After midnight and Tuesday morning I once again had safe numbers and I was discharged by lunch time on Tuesday.

The doctor had told me I could start regular activities again, slowly.  I was ready to leave house arrest and start normal activity. 

Wednesday I wake up, start to get out of bed, and I start passing out.  What the hell?  It took an hour for me to be able to get up.  I was still very light headed and weak.  To take one of my new meds, I have to have a systolic blood pressure over 100.  I was at 73.  That is zombie land folks.  The high blood pressure lady now is in dangerously low BP land.  I talked to  Kaiser's advice nurse and advice doctor, and then I had a doctor phone appointment.  Meds changed again.  I have to keep a score card to know when to take and what to take. 

Most of the day and evening I was fainty and weak.  Friends babysat me while Marty had to host a seminar.  More about my babysitters another day.

Today I feel pretty good and even it made to my rescheduled hair appointment.  We then went to breakfast and Marty insisted I eat rich food.  I am still losing weight and the doctor doesn't want me to right now.  So I ate Eggs Benedict, and loved the richness of the very bad for me Hollandaise Sauce.

Now the worst part of this sad tale is about Marty.  He has been limping around for a week, terrible pain in his hip.  I nagged and nagged and he finally went to our doctor Tuesday after he got me home from the hospital.  Marty has bursitis.  The pain is bad, and the 26 steps don't help either.  He is trying to stay still and let the medicine heal him.  But Marty is not a sit in the recliner for hours guy.  So I am still nagging him. 

Tomorrow, Friday, I see my primary care doctor for new instructions. 

Stay tuned.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Update on me

Life has been wacko since Wednesday March 19.  I had chest pains and we made another run to Kaiser ER.  I did not have a heart attack.  They changed my meds, and told me to have a stress test.  That Friday I started the stress test, a 20 minute test, I lasted 4 minutes.  No pain, no shortness of breath, but elevated pulse and blood pressure.  An angiogram was scheduled for April 1.  Yes, quite a joke on me.

To have the procedure I had to be weaned off Warfarin a long term drug.  I started Lovenox shots, which are 12 hour blood thinners.  Yes, sticking myself in the stomach again. This takes 10 days. During that time I had limited activity and the only time I could leave the apartment was to go to Kaiser.  Finally I am off all blood thinners and have the angiogram.  Great results no blockage, no build up of plaque, the heart is fine.  Again another week of no activity and homebound. 

During the night after the angiogram I went into A-Fib.  Weak, fainty, pounding heart, also very low blood pressure.   Back to Kaiser to see my primary care physician, Dr. J.   He cut out some meds, and said I was anemic probably from the loss of blood during the angiogram.  An appointment was made for next Monday with a cardiologist.  Dr. J also told me to stop losing weight.  I needed richer foods at this time.  First time in my life a doctor said not to diet. He wants me to maintain and rest.

After 2 days my heart has calmed down and I am feeling much better.  Monday maybe we will find out why chest pains, why I suddenly started having elevated pulse and blood pressure with exercise.

Stay tuned.