I haz a conversation with my mother.

Don’t mistake circular-speech for stupidity.  My mother is sharp as a tack.

“Hi mom. I heard you went to a Shakespeare play. Which one?”

“The one with no arms.”

“A Shakespeare play with no arms? What had no arms? The play?”

“No, the woman.”

“What woman?”

“The bartender. She didn’t have any arms.”

“The bartender? Which play was this?”

“Oh, some people didn’t like it, it got a few bad reviews, but I thought it was interesting. They had to dress her.”

“Had to dress who?”

“The woman with no arms.”

“But you said she was a bartender. How did she serve drinks? With her feet? Who hires a bartender without any arms? Which Shakespeare play was this?”

“The Bernstein’s daughter directed it. You know the Bernsteins… You know, your sister’s friends, the Bernsteins.”

“I don’t know the Bernsteins. I’ve never heard of the Bernsteins.”

“Oh, we stayed after to talk to her. It was so interesting.”

“To talk to who? The bartender with no arms or the director?”

“I don’t know how these people come up with these ideas.”

“Mom, which people? The director?  Shakespeare? The bartender? Who are you talking about?”

“You know they burned the nun.”

“Ummmmm, what nun?”

“Somebody in a convent found a secret manuscript and they burned the nun.”

“What nun? Was there a nun in the play?”

“No, there’s a nun in the other play. I haven’t seen it yet.”

“Mom, what plays are you talking about?”

“You know, in the Shakespeare Festival.”

“I don’t remember an arm-less bartender in any Shakespeare play or a burning nun. What plays?”

“She had to use a cane when she went to the funeral.”

“What funeral? The nun’s funeral? Who used a cane? The arm-less bartender? How did she hold a cane? With her foot?”

“No, silly, your cousin Mary. She used a cane.”

“At the play? She’s visiting you?”

“No, at the funeral.”

“What funeral are you talking about and why in the hell is Mary using a cane?”

“Because she left her walker in the car.”

“Why is Mary using a walker???”

“Because her friend died, you know, that ninety year old friend.”

“What ninety year old friend?”

“Mitchell (Mary’s husband) had to help her.”

“He had to help the ninety year old friend who died?”

“No, Mary.”

“Why is Mitchell helping Mary?”

“Because she left her walker in the car.”

“For crying out loud, Mom, since when is Mary walking with a cane and a walker?”

“Oh, she has a show.”

KMN. “What show?”

“A jewelry show.”

“What does that have to do with her cane or her walker?”

“Her neighbor is making the turkey.”

“For the funeral or for the jewelry show?”

“No, for Thanksgiving.”

Please somebody, KMN. “Are Mary and Mitchell going to their neighbor’s for Thanksgiving?”

“No, the kids are coming in and she doesn’t want to cook.”

“Mary or the neighbor?”

“The kitchen burned down.”

“Mom, the kitchen burned down two years ago. They had it rebuilt. Why is Mary walking with a cane?”

“Oh, she’s too ferschmiggled to cook. I think Christie is making the pies. Did you see what Sharon’s been doing?”

“Who’s Sharon?”

“She’s crazy. She’s talking to Cassie’s ghost.”

“Mom, who’s Sharon and who’s Cassie? Is this another play?”

“She pushed Phyllis down the stairs right before she left the show.”

Oh god, The Young and the Restless.

“Okay, Mom, well, I gotta go.”

“Wait, I thought you wanted to hear about the play.”

“No, that’s okay, I think I got the gist of it.”

“Your father refused to go because he says Shakespeare makes him want to commit suicide.”

“I don’t think it’s Shakespeare who makes him want to commit suicide, Mom.”

And you, dear reader, wonder why I’m so crazy…














Question of the Day…

What do you do when your bird lays eggs?

Little parrot eggs.

Little parrot eggs.

No, she doesn’t have a husband.

This is the second time Tibby has laid eggs.  The first time was 2-3 years ago and she laid seven eggs.  Gaaaaaa!  She kept on laying because I kept on removing the eggs.  This time she’s laid three eggs.  She accidentally smashed the first one so I did remove that, but I’m letting her sit on the other two eggs.  I don’t know what else to do.  She pulls a little felt toy along the bottom of the cage, smushes it down onto the towel I placed there, and rolls the eggs onto it.  Then she fluffs her feathers and sits on top of everything.  Oh boy.  I don’t know how long it will take her to lose interest.

Tibby sitting on her toy and her eggs.

Tibby sitting on her toy and her eggs.

In the meantime she’s not eating much at all.  I hope she’ll be okay.  Who knew egg laying was so difficult?  Outside birds seem to manage without our interference.

So listen up–  Wait… What was I about to say?

Sorry.  I am still such a zombie.  Reading The Conqueror series by Conn Iggulden, which is damn good.  Daaaaaamn good!  Thanks to Tom Stronach for the rec.  I had to order all five books from England but they are so worth it.  I devoured Wolf of the Plains and Lords of the Bow in record time and now I’m into Bones of the Hills.  If you read one series this year – pick this series.

Wolf of the Plains

Haven’t worked on anything – I promise I will get to at least one of my works of fiction eventually.  Just when you think you’ll have time to write fantasy, real life intervenes.  Ain’t it the truth.

My thoughts are with my dear friend, J.W. Manus, who has been evacced due to fires in Colorado and our good bud, Tom Stronach, who is ready to thump a few heads in his thwarted quest for necessary surgery.

My dad got better.  My son in law is improving.  My dog is in the car because he’s bored and wants to go for a ride.  Also he’s getting freaked out by our travel schedule.  Jake has developed a bad case of suitcase-itis.  I drove ‘Oscar’ to the airport yesterday so he could help another one of our kids make a school-related move.  Seems as if he and I are two ships passing in the night.  One barely arrives home and the other leaves.  That was pretty much our spring and that’s pretty much how the rest of our summer looks.

When he returns, I may head back up to Montana.  The end of July I travel to Boston and from there catch a train and a bus to Maine to help the third kid move back to California.  As soon as I get home, ‘Oscar’ heads off to Minnesota to visit family and goes on to Ohio for a wedding.  When he gets home I head to Los Angeles for a wedding reception.  This is getting freaky — I’m worried Jake will develop a case of permanent suitcase-itis and the bird will still be sitting on eggs come September.

He's got it baaaaaad.

He’s got it baaaaaad.

Next week, regular schedule… I hope.


I’m a grown-ass woman!

I can pump my own gas!

Gas pump jockeys

Gas pump jockeys.

Oregon bugs me for many reasons.  First and foremost because it’s illegal to pump your own gas here.  An attendant must pump the gas for you.

Usually I stop to fill up my tank just before I hit the California-Oregon border.  Then I hope I can hang on, parcel out the driving, until I head home and get back through the pass and over the border so I can again fill up my own damn tank.

The last time I was here I was so spacey I stopped at a gas station, not even thinking about the no-pump-your-own-gas law.  I hopped out of my car and grabbed the pump to fill up my tank.  The attendant yelled at me and came a-runnin’.  Rather than get back in my car, wait for him to fill the tank and then wait for him to take my credit card and bring me that little signy plastic tray I simply said – “Never mind,” and took off on maybe an eighth of a tank, hoping there would be no delays.  I figured once I got through the two passes it was pretty much downhill the rest of the way and I could coast if necessary.

I guess I get it, Oregon wants to ensure employment for gas pump jockeys.  However, I’ve been pumping my own gas and cleaning my own windshield my entire driving life.  I don’t need some guy in a little suit knocking on my driver’s side window.

In other news… My father is still in a holding position, however he looks fantastic.  He’s stuck in limbo until his heartbeat is regular.  He’s suffering from Atrial Fibrillation, which sucks.  He’ll be converted (we hope) as soon as his coumadin level is therapeutic and blah blah blah.

Last night I made him lamb chops marinated in olive oil, cumin, chili and smoked paprika, roasted potatoes with crispy shallots, a salad of mixed greens and tomatoes (he has to be consistent with the green vegetable intake) and fresh sourdough bread – I stopped at one of our local bakeries on my way out of town to pick up a couple of loaves of his favorite bread.

Tonight I plan to make a pasta Bolognese with guanciale and grass fed beef from my daughter’s cows – Bolognese does feature meat and my dad is craving meat.  Probably I’ll steam some asparagus and slice up another loaf of bread.



Tomorrow – beef short-ribs in a soy-maple-citrus marinade with smashed potatoes and brussel sprouts.

Monday – croque Madam.  I brought him some thin-sliced sweet ham, guyere cheese and farm fresh eggs.

It’s kind of fun.  My dad is usually running around so much he has no time to sit still.  Fortunately, despite his inability to exercise, he continues to be super skinny so I’m not worried about him over-eating.

I also have an opportunity to go through all my old letters and writings – my mom saved everything, except my collectible comic books – which she tossed out – but we won’t go there.

So… talk soon!  Julia


Home again, home again…

We had a great time.

I learned some new words like ramfeezled and dandypratt.  Oh, and angakok and putti.  This is what vacations are for – playing games and hanging out with the people you love.

And in that vein, the enormity of the tragedy in Connecticut is just now sinking in.  I’m so sorry.

I’d planned to post some photos of our getaway, but I think I’ll wait until tomorrow.  Julia

Off the Ventilator.

He’s sitting in a chair, joking with the nurses in CCU about the thirty year warranty on his Kosher (bovine) heart valve.

I know he’s just a dad, but he’s my dad and he’s a great dad.

Last night was the worst night of all.  I went to spend time with him after hours.  I was able to rouse him, he could follow my directions, but he was so weak and  I was so terrified they wouldn’t get him off the vent.  Weaning from the vent was the downfall of many of my patients back in my CCU days.

At last I can fall apart and enjoy that good cry.