Moses, I can explain…

Standard

Today I broke number ten of the BIG ten –  Ten Commandments, that is.  The one that says “Do Not Covet.”  With any luck, I can use the excuse that the original intent would make such behavior specific to my neighbor’s house, his wife, his servants, his ox or his donkey.  Now anyone who knows me will agree that I really like my neighbors, but not to the point of wanting to kidnap them, and have yet to worry about their livestock, which consists mostly of dogs and a few squirrels.  But I did covet today.

I was watching one of those inane afternoon talk shows where everyone is so darn cute and happy.  You know what I’m talking about – where the audience is full of nicely dressed women with shoulder length hair, who, at regular intervals, applaud madly, hoping that they will each go home with a car, a Kelly Clarkson CD or a freezer full of gluten free squid.  I was cycling away at one of my infrequent attempts at healthier living, just beginning to feel a tinge of cute and happy and there they were.  Martha Stewart’s legs.  I hardly noticed her hair, which has improved some since her bangs have moved to the right of her forehead or the lovely silken tunic with the soft neckline pleats (well, maybe a bit more than hardly) that graced her thinner looking frame.  But her legs!  I would kill for those legs (and there goes another commandment).  Long and lovely, ending in a pair of those fifty-five inch heels, they carried her so gracefully across the stage.

Martha’s okay.  Well, probably more than okay.  I suppose a net worth of $638 million puts you right up there in the big piggy bank league.  But she’s earned it and proved she can make a comeback.  I like a lot of her stuff and used to follow her television shows and read her magazines faithfully.  However, she lost a lot of appeal for me when she spent one entire TV segment demonstrating how to make chocolate cabbage leaves – using real cabbage and a giant vat of melted chocolate.  I simply could not get my head wrapped around that.  It was frightening.  Her jail term didn’t bother me (I think she got crosswise with the false witnessing thing back then), but I can’t look at a head of cabbage anymore without feeling some sort of perverted shiver down my spine.

And I can explain about the-covet-the-legs-thing.  I’m what you’d call “good peasant stock” – not really short, but not tall.  Wide based and sturdy, I’m more like a small Ford, or an older model Samsonite carry on.  My mother and sisters, all tall, sinewy creatures resembled those wafer thin drawings you see on dress patterns.  They could wear belts, shirtwaist dresses and anything pleated or shirred (I, on the other hand, was relegated to dark Bermudas and vertical stripes only).  And they had legs.  Real legs.  The kind that inspired Capri pants and lace up sandals.  The kind Martha has.   And today I wanted them.  Badly.  Moses would not be happy.

For the time being, I’ll have to deal with my coveting.  If I promise not to taunt anything lacking a four chambered stomach in the neighbor’s yard or torment their cleaning lady I hope the big guy/girl upstairs will let me off the hook.  Or at least give Martha some bunions…

2013 – out with a bang and a very fancy ice bag

Standard

I spent most of today at the hospital in the same day surgery suite. Not for me this time, thankfully. But for my Sweetheart who had some shoulder renovations done. Although not quite bionic in nature, the pins, screws and patches that replace what’s been worn away should get him back to near perfect by the time the golf course opens in the spring.

Entering the building in the darkness this morning, it hit me. I miss it.  Even though it’s been over 20 years, I always get a small pang in my chest akin to homesickness whenever I walk down a hospital hallway. Waxing nostalgic for the days when I wore white (yes, even a cap now and then) and bustled about with needles, medicine, bed pans and pillows, I remember the good old days – when healthcare was fun (and I was thinner).  And, the pillows. Lots of them. Usually larger than the pillow case we had to stuff them into and located on the highest shelf in the cabinet.  We used them to situate, separate, seat and soothe body types and parts of all sizes and shapes. Ice bags were filled by hand, leaked often and moved about in the bed like hamsters.  But somehow, it worked.

“Back in the day” patients stayed for several days – sometimes for weeks. Not like today when you are discharged as you emerge from anesthesia. Many of those long ago bed-bound, tethered down by ice bags (and sand bags when necessary) became part of a special family to those of us who bustled.  I still remember many of them. Fondly.

Thinking of the tall, lanky surgeon today, I recall that the doctors didn’t seem quite as young as they do now, but were still handsome and always to be obeyed.  Back then, patients were allowed to smoke, as long as they sat in a chair, and the nurses smoked in the bathroom next to the nurses’ station.  Perhaps the habit was what kept our patient census high and kept us employed.   Today, it’s hard to know whether the nice person in colorful scrubs is a doctor, a nurse practitioner, a physician’s assistant or a nurse’s aide – and only the respiratory therapists smoke.  But I don’t mind, as there seems to be a certain camaraderie in the halls now. And I like it.  I like the colorful uniforms and they way we are made to feel at home. And they still bustle. They really bustle.  The airlines would do well to pay attention.  I also know that I could never go back to nursing.  The technology, fast pace and ever increasing paperwork would make it a good day job for me; meaning I’d last about a day.

Back to Sweetheart. He is doing well. He’s wearing his fancy electric, velcroed, state of the art ice bag and I’ve got him all settled in with pillows (of course) and his TV remote.  Obviously, going home within hours of a surgery would never have happened in the old days. Today, even being recliner-bound will be short lived as physical therapy begins in a couple of days.  So we start the new year in the recovery mode. Not such a bad thing.  He might keep me busy with the pillows, but at least he’s still handsome.

Happy New Year. May it be healthy and full of all good things.

Holiday Blog

Standard

Christmas this year was white, cold and busy.  You would think that being retired would mean that I would have more time to get organized, get cards out early and prepare for the festivities. NOT!  I was out shopping at the last minute, wrapping and mailing just days before Christmas and wondering, as I do each year, why it all happens so fast.  I did manage to decorate my year-round corner tree, bake some cut out cookies and get the presents to the grandkids before the big day.   I also saw the three “big girls” each perform in front of an audience, watched numerous episodes of “Frosty” with my toddler grandson and spend a little time with my son and my daughter and their spouses. I am blessed. 

As for resolutions, I think I’ll forget about the annual pledge to lose weight, exercise more and save the whales.  I think that this time, I’ll try and mend some fences, strengthen some relationships, and laugh  a lot more. I might also try to see a few more movies at the theater and visit a few more friends whose lives and moving vans have taken them to other places. 

This is my first and only attempt at blogging (like you didn’t notice) and I do  hope to keep it up to date with photos of my cards and such.  This will mean spending less time on Facebook looking at cat pictures (which I love) and more time down in my “craft room.”

Here’s to a safe, healthy and happy New Year.  And to the whales, wherever they are.