Thursday, May 22, 2014

It's Thursday morning, May 22 and I am in the Penn Stater Hotel - ready to leave for Old Main and some coaching.  These are the last formal sessions for my Penn Staters in the CIC9 program.  I'll miss them, and I am looking forward to July when I am not on the road anymore this academic year.

I am looking out the window from the 5th floor at the mountains that surround this beautiful valley.  Just watched a squirrel run up a pine tree only to be scared back down by a big crow.  Somehow, I have to figure out how to spend time outside in beautiful and quiet places.  It has gotten harder to navigate the places that I would like to be with this bionic leg and ankle.  The one outside time in beautiful space that I know I will have is at 'the farm' in the Finger Lakes for a few days in August.  But I do stay put wherever I am, rather than wander and explore.  That is something I miss.

Grand son Gaven has his Waldorf School knighting ceremony this evening.  I will be home in time to help him get ready and be there with him.  I was on the phone with him this morning as he was trying to figure out how to carry his backpack, his saxophone, and the requisite bouquet of flowers to the school bus stop.  I hope the flowers arrive intact.

Grand daughter, Maeve has her high school prom tonight and she broke her right arm the day before yesterday. After much negotiation, she has the arm splinted such that she can attend the prom - beautiful black evening dress with accompanying splint.  Then she gets the arm cast tomorrow or early next week.

I have just a couple of days to finish the work on the Woodstock house so I can get a CO on it and we can close the sale.  I have grandsons and miscellaneous boyfriend scheduled to do yard clean up and some painting on Monday.  I just learned though, that the handyman who was fixing things could not figure out how to fix one of the windows.  I wonder if i can get a new window installed next week - actually need to install two windows or the dining room will be mismatched. Maybe, just maybe, Construction Junction has a couple of windows that are the right size.   It will be good when this house is no longer part of my life.

Life does happen when you are living it.  I do wish mine was just a bit simpler right now.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday morning, May 9 in the I-Hotel - Champaign-Urbana IL

The first leg of my flight home was cancelled, I imagine in anticipation of thunder storms.  And there is no way I can get from here to Chicago in time to pick up the next leg.  Tonight's flight on AA to PIT is full.  A few years ago, I would have rented a car and driven to Chicago and picked up some other flight home.  That doesn't work as I need a car with a left foot gas pedal and they are just not sitting in rental lots.  I have been renting from Enterprise since the amputation, and with two weeks notice, they will have a car waiting for me at the right Enterprise station.  But without the lead time, I can't get a car.  I wonder if it is easier to rent cars with hand controls.  But that's for futures.  I don't know how to use hand controls, and I would want some experience before I simply go for it.

Anyway, I am here at the I-Hotel - not home until afternoon tomorrow.  I have sent out notes canceling the morning quilting activities - and I was looking forward to that time.  But, it will come again.  Late afternoon tomorrow I am planning on taking my family to dinner - and then we head to CCAC for James' pinning ceremony.  He keeps trying to act like this RN degree is "no big deal", but he is very excited about it.

I am looking at the movie section of the local paper thinking that would be the way to spend a couple of hours.  Not too much interesting out there.  Think I will go see SpiderMan 2 at the I-Max.

So, my gmail inbox has 25,542 messages in it.  What do I do with them?  Most are absolutely irrelevant.  If I lost them all would it matter?  My former UW colleague and friend, John Peterson use to "accidently" wipe  out his email once a year or so.  He seemed to survive just fine.  I could probably figure out how to do that.  I do have a yahoo account that I look at very, very infrequently.  The only think it has is the Nolting long-arm quilters mail.  I could just leave the gmail account alone and adopt another mail platform that I tell my friends and work related folks about, and leave everything else going to the gmail box - then forget about the box.  I will ponder this a while longer.

Time to work on that expense report and then go see Peter Parker/SpiderMan 2.

(It's not raining here now.  The sky is blue.  There are, however, lots of big clouds out there).

Friday, May 2, 2014

May 2 in the morning -

Last day in Chicago for this trip.  This is a quick post - a shower experience and an idle thought or two.
One legged in the shower.  It really is important to have a towel right near the shower so I can dry this limb before dressing it with prosthesis.  I almost always do that, but not this morning.  And I can't hop - other leg doesn't do that well, and my balance ain't good enough.  Think a minute.  realize I did remember to put down the shower mat - and I didn't get it soaking wet.  It's a fine substitute towel.  I have observed before that every time I use a different bathing facility, I need to check it out and be planful about how I approach it.  This morning I forgot.

Second grandaughter got her driver's license yesterday.  First grandaughter got hers a year ago.  Both got permits near the same time.  One was anxious for the license - took the test four times before she passed, but did it in a short time span.  Second one only does things when she know she can do them perfectly.  So she passed on first try - but it took her a more than a year longer to achieve the level of perfection she was comfortable with.  Now first grandson (of three) has a permit.  This is scary.  He doesn't pay attention to anything around him except his guitar and bass.  I'll observe this with interest, but not sure I want to ride in a car he is driving.

I want to talk about Maeve's sermon in church last Sunday - but that's next post.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May 1 - Location - Medical Center Marriott, Chicago, IL

In Chicago this week working with the folks at the University of Illinois Hospital (mostly).  Spending the weekend with a friend then heading to Urbana for the next IT Leaders Program (ITLP) as well as time with the folks on the Urbana campus.  This is two weeks away straight.  I miss my dog.  I really took on a lot of work this year.  I love it - but this aging body does not love the airplanes - or the alarm clocks.  My idea of the best possible morning is to wake up when the sun shines and lie in bed with a book.  Recent fun books - a series by a British ex-pat living in Thailand, Colin Cotterill, who writes about the coroner of Laos - an elderly gentleman who is solving mysteries with his motley crew of friends and professional colleagues.  This all takes place in the 70's, after we left our military campaign in that part of the world.  Great written pictures of Laos at the time and fun mysteries.

More about socks - I am actually wearing a pair of mismatched socks - I have on culottes that show my socks, and not a single body notices.  Of course, when people can see my socks, they can also see my prosthetic leg, and I don't think they pay much attention to the socks, matched or not  (and they were the same color - pattern just a little bit off).

And about the leg - or really about the foot.  When I got this newest prosthesis - and I think that was the beginning of March - I got a new foot as well as a new socket.  Prior foot had a bit of side-to-side rocking motion, but no front-to-back motion - in effect, it was pretty much like that fused ankle I lived with for years.  This new foot (now eight weeks old to me), has front-to-back motion.  I feel less stable with this foot.  It is certainly friendlier to use on ramps (up and down) and on stairs too.  But I often feel as if I am going to fall forward forward or fall backward.  I haven't done that.  I have tripped and tumbled, but that's not new.  But it is the sense of instability back and forth that is challenging me.  So, do I want to return to the old foot?  Do I want to keep working with this one a while longer?  I haven't figured out what the decision point is.  I imagine, I will know it when I come to it.

Day is done for me.  Need to repack my bag tonight and be ready to check out of this hotel in the morning.  Gonna watch a few more episodes of MadMen.  (Not gonna report on washing machine sex again).