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Monday, September 1, 2014

Rainy weekend project

A christening gown for my nephew, who is due next week!
A very old-fashioned gown in fine cotton
Lace detailed bodice and peter-pan collar

Buttoned-up back and lacy bonnet

This project reminded me that infant sleeves are extremely tiny and hell to sew, especially since these are slightly puffed so require gathering. The sleeves took me longer than the whole bonnet.

Now that I've totally lost my eyesight pinning 1000 tucks in the bodice, I'm off to enjoy the rest of a long weekend. Happy Labor Day!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Double surprise

This weekend we had two surprise parties to attend (and I didn't give either one of them away, in case you're wondering).
The second party was fancier - it was at the World War II museum, live band, seated dinner, open bar. AND it was very important to me for snooping and gossiping purposes: my sister in law works at the WWII museum, and I'm pretty sure her coworker has crossed into dating territory from just friends, and I got to meet him. After an hour of observing them together, I'm pretty confident they're dating, but she hasn't admitted it to herself yet. Young love is so cute!

But anyway. The first party was amazing because we ended up being the ones surprised! We were going to a party for David's childhood friend, hosted by his girlfriend. We got there early, the birthday boy was duly surprised, etc. etc. Then one of his friends stood up and announced he had a birthday gift that we all had to see. So we all stood around, watching him opening this gift.
It was a big tote bag.
There was a ribbon in it, and as he pulled the ribbon out, he read a poem attached to a gift tied to the ribbon:
"This gift will support you (pulls out new bike seat), light up your life (pulls out pen light), make your life a bed of roses (pulls out a small bouquet) and sweet as honey (bottle of honey bourbon) -" etc. Finally he got to the bottom of the bag and pulled out...
An engagement ring! And proposed to his girlfriend!!!

It turns out he had had an entire proposal planned for that day, but started to suspect a surprise party. So he canceled all his other plans (which were elaborate, including a horse-drawn carriage and musician serenade!) and crafted this gift entirely himself and brought it to the party. He pulled one of his friends aside and told him, "Force me to open this gift in front of everyone. I'm going to argue and stuff, but you be firm. And then just play along". And he pulled it off! We were all surprised at his surprise party!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Katrina anniversary: nine years

In some ways, Katrina seems so far away, a disaster that happened to another city, in a long-ago time before people used text messaging (that's true: it's how we started texting, because texts were more reliable than calls with so many cell towers down and airways jammed).
A lot has changed in the city since Katrina, and much of it is for the better. We're still working to protect ourselves from future floods, but the levees are taller and stronger. Most businesses, all hospitals, and many families have disaster plans. Young, intelligent, energetic people moved here to volunteer, open businesses, or join start-ups. We might at some point even get a handle on crime and political corruption (probably not. But the police chief resigned last week, and I think that's a good thing). 
Yet I miss the innocence of pre-Katrina, the days when we would roll our eyes and say, "Storms always turn!" as we chose not to sit in contraflow for 8 hours to move 100 miles from the storm's path. We can't help but take storms seriously now, as we reflect on the death and loss that Katrina spilled down on the city. It's out of respect for lives lost that I maintain a hurricane plan at work, that I hand out prescription records to all my patients during peak storm season, that I never miss an opportunity to visit a historic site in New Orleans, in case it's not there next November. And even though Katrina fades from our day-to-day conversation, she left constant reminders. 
Every day, on the way to work, I drive past Baptist Hospital.
I re-opened Baptist hospital after Katrina, working with two pharmacists and one tech to ready the facility for patients. Baptist was hit particularly hard, due to a combination of poor planning, poor location, and federal neglect. Patients died unnecessarily, deprived of therapeutic interventions they needed, sitting hungry and thirsty in unbearable heat. Rumors of euthanasia still circle, and charges were brought against some doctors who stayed through the storm. The parking garage where I used to park had been used to hold patients waiting for evacuation as the waters rose, mostly because it was better ventilated than the hospital itself. Some patients died waiting for a boat or helicopter.
This week, I read a memoir by a local doctor, who stayed for the storm. He was chief of medicine at Baptist, and his view is a startling read: as one of the very last people out of Baptist, it's like when I went to work we picked up where he left off. That experience feels richer to me now, and more symbolic. He also reminded me of those days before the storm, when we took so much for granted. 
People like ourselves sometimes say, "We didn't lose anything in Katrina." We mean that we lived in an area that didn't flood, so our houses and cars were safe. But the statement isn't true. Out things might have been high and dry, and looters may have stayed far from our doors and yards, but we all lost something in Katrina. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Yes, things are actually looking up. And cross training.

I don't think it's a fluke. My hip is feeling better. I might be imagining it, but the clicking and annoying slipping in and out of the joint (not dislocation, just subluxation) seem to have decreased. The pain is still there, but it's less noticeable. Stupid mistakes, like catching my foot under a creeping vine, result in an "Ouch!" and a wince, not day-long shooting pains. My hip flexor is still killing me, but somehow it seems less distracting, and I get the impression that my femoral head is finally healing, losing that hypersensitivity. So, hurray!

Meanwhile, I'm just cross training. Sort of. I have to admit, I haven't done much. For one thing, I had a lot of restrictions early on. For another, I've been trying hard not to overdo it, and for that reason, I've been hesitant to do very much.
Since I have PT two days a week, I only have five days with time to exercise at all. I've been dividing my time amongst the four options open to me:
1. Pool jogging. I have gone several times, since I was allowed to start as soon as I was off crutches. It's fine, but I never feel like I get a good workout. Plus the last time I went, I was leaning against the edge of the pool stretching before I started, and my eye was an inch from a crack. There were two little twitching hairs sticking out of it...until I realized they were the tips of the antennas of a giant palmetto bug. Haven't been back...coincidence???
2. Elliptical. I was allowed to start the elliptical a few weeks ago. I've been....once. Yikes. I just don't love the elliptical! I get bored, and I don't like watching TV (unless it's a sports game I'm interesting in). I don't mind reading when I exercise, but while I can read on a stationary bike, I can't on the elliptical. The movement is too up and down.
3. Biking. I could ride the stationary bike very early on, I think even the first week. I couldn't add resistance until week 8, though, so it was a little pointless. Once I got cleared to ride a real bike, though, I started doing that most mornings. I enjoy getting outside for a little while, and I really missed Audubon Park. I'm lucky to have a bike lane to the park and safe biking in the park, even exiting the park up onto the levee for two miles (there is construction blocking the rest of the path on the levee, or I could go all the way to Baton Rouge. As it is now, I can do four mile loops a few times!).
4. Weights and strength training. I should be doing this anyway, right? I've been doing weights or strength of some sort about once a week. I usually do one or two core routines, plus some upper body stuff.

Besides that, I also do some home PT at least once a day. I try for twice, but I can't always fit it in. Overall, while I have definitely lost a lot of fitness and I'm sure all of my endurance, I still feel pretty strong. My muscles didn't atrophy as much as I expected, and now that I have more options open, I should be able to get back in shape with time.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I own bras with pockets!!

Well, I'm pretty excited. I received two more Coeur bras last week! I asked for them to surprise me and got these two patterns:
I would be nervous about wearing white bras around, but see that black lining? Absolutely no see-through happening. I really like that. I also, as I have babbled on about before, adore the bra pockets. And I don't think I pointed out fully the extreme usefulness of these pockets: there are actually two. See? The large one (it's made up of white and black fabric and is a good 4 or 5 inches wide) and the small one (sewn into the lining, but on the inside, so chafe-free - perfect size for a gel). I can imagine myself using the larger pocket for gloves or something like arm-warmers, and the small one for a key or a gel. 

Cutest part of the order: I got a sweet personal note. My hip still hurts, but encouraging notes make it immediately better. 
Now I just need to get better so I can WEAR some of my new clothes. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

I'm such a tightwad.

I sold my prison.

Yep, people bid on used medical equipment. Gross.

(This has been a big selling week for me. I also sold my vacuum on Craigslist. It's a fabulous fancy vacuum but I have two area rugs and I just never use it. It's too big and heavy. So I sold it for $50 and bought a new tiny light vacuum for $55, the same kind I have at work and love - I just wish I would have broken even. Stupid taxes.)

What's the weirdest thing you've bought used? I've purchased open paint before. Art supplies are expensive, and these weren't dried out and were someone's failed hobby for super cheap.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Five things Friday

Whatever, I'm tired this week.
1. Sunday night I went grocery shopping and filled up the fridge and freezer with milk, whole chickens, shark (it was on sale, woot!), and various dairy products. On Monday morning the refrigerator died. Love how that happens.
2. I have a new pharmacist at work. This is the NINTH pharmacist I've had in three years and a couple of months. Am I hard to work for?
3. Apparently Robin Williams was closer to some of my friends than their family members. I have really never seen anything like the outpouring online and in person for this man!
4. Ever since my scrape with Steven Johnson's Syndrome, I get red, raw patches on my fingertips whenever I fill prescriptions for Bactrim DS. I guess some powder from the drug puffs upward as I count and settles on my hands, and apparently I have quite the reaction to it now! Work hazards. Too bad I fill prescriptions for Bactrim about 20 times a day.
5. I hired a new bedside delivery tech a few weeks ago (yeah...see #2) and she says, "Ta-ta!" whenever she leaves the pharmacy. Now I find myself saying, "Ta-ta!"