Saturday, October 31, 2009

all in the family

This is the line-up of Brown women, three generations gathered for my sister's memorial. Left to right: Kaley DeGoursey, Vic's daughter; YT; Caitlin Davis; Alex Jordan; Ruby DeGoursey (on Alex's lap); Emily Jordan. Good job, Don and Virginia.

Don't forget to "Fall Behind" tonight.

Friday, October 30, 2009

we just missed it

Our original plan was to take off for Bozeman for a quick visit this weekend with Cait and Mike. Keeping in mind that the guest quarters at their house are downstairs, that bracing long walks with Ike are the order of the day, that I'm still in the big boot, and, most importantly, that it's 30º and snowing, we backed off. No mile high skies and brightly colored leaves this year. We have plenty to keep us busy here. Four weeks and counting.

NOTE: Don't forget to turn your clock back tomorrow night. Daylight Savings Time will be over for another year. I don't like the dark when I wake up now. Getting back on Standard time means it will be light by 6:30. But I am even less thrilled by the dark at 5 PM. Sometimes as early as 4:30 in deep winter here in the valley. In Mexico, since we are 2000 miles south, the light holds until 6:30 or 7. Very nice. As I said, four weeks and counting.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

whitecaps on the pool

It has been very windy up here in the valley. Winds and gusts to 50 MPH. The wisteria vines have been shredded, trees felled (although not in our yard), shrubs uprooted. I went for a massage at 6:30 and took the "big" car, fearing Dorothy would get blown to Oz. Still keeping the foot up; listened to the second in the James Crumley collection read by Jim Zeiger; "Bordersnake." Every bit as funny.

Next read: "Suite Francaise," given to me by my sister some years ago. It was what she was reading at the time of her death. I have been holding off reading it; stories of cruel loss, wasted lives, inhumanity are very difficult for me to read. I couldn't even finish "Shindler's List" much less see the movie. But it's now time. I will prop myself up in my bed, foot elevated, Kleenex® at the ready.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

the invalid's amusement

As you can see I got back most of the settings of my old blog layout. I still have no idea what happened. But after a total of 3 hours and the use of some words I had vowed never to use again I am back in a familiar format.

As I lay on my bed concentrating on making my toe fracture knit, I have been listening to "The Mexican Tree Duck" by James Crumley. I got this book from the Library of Congress service I belong to. It's being read by an absolute genius of vocal characterization named Jim Zeiger. He sounds like Roy Blount, Jr., an author I could listen to as long as he is willing to talk. (I love listening to his story-telling on "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" on NPR.) Anyway, this is a very, very funny book and I'm sure all this laughter is helping my toe to heal. Our hero, a private eye fueled by booze, cocaine and a wild imagination is reminiscent of Duke in Doonsbury, only more outrageous.

Meanwhile, time is passing quickly and I am falling further and further behind in my departure preparations. We leave here in five weeks and all I've managed to do so far is pile up stuff I've pulled out of cabinets and shelves in the bathroom so our tenants will have room for their stuff. All those toothpaste tubes go with us; can't find our favorite brand in Mexico. Then there are the bags of pills, insulin pump supplies, bandages, all things I can't get there so have to bring with me. I did manage to completely empty one side of the cabinet even if now I don't know what to do with it all.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

blog goes haywire

When I logged on this morning I was stunned to see a blog page that looks nothing like the one I looked at last night. Sometime between 8 PM Friday and 11 AM Saturday the blog gremlins got into the system, changed everything, set new code, and screwed up the format. I can't change the fonts or colors, can't do anything. All the blog connections were lost so I had to cannibalize all that information from The Tonsil War. Those that were new have been, alas, lost. I've spent almost 2 hours trying to figure it all out. I'm giving up for now and will tackle again later.

Monday, October 19, 2009

trials of the trustee

I have been buried in paper since I got home, what with the mail received when we were away, plus all the business of being the survivor trustee for my sister's trust account. On Saturday I got seven ~ SEVEN ~ packets of papers, brochures, financial accountings, etc. If anyone ever asks you to act as a survivor trustee, take my advice and decline. Graciously, of course. Then there's the setting up of the new trust, reams of paper to sign, and then more packets and envelopes stuffed with fine print stuff on tissue-thin paper that you will never read. Or can't. Next up will be the check book so I can pay the expenses of the trust. This is a lot more complicated than I would have imagined when I agreed to this exalted role.

I have not yet commented on the beautiful memorial service for my darling sister. I am not quite ready to talk about it except to say it went without a hitch. The Cathedral, at 4 PM, is flooded with light through the beautiful stained glass windows, the organ was in full voice for the chosen hymns and voluntaries, the clergy were elegant and majestic. She would have loved it.

Friday, October 16, 2009

das boot

So instead of a splint ~ you know, a couple of popsicle sticks and adhesive tape ~ I came away from the hospital with this attractive boot, known as the Maxtrax Walker. Five weeks in this contraption is supposed to do the trick. I do get to take it off when sleeping. Gee, thanks. Meanwhile, the classmates are laughing it up in Dallas. Doesn't seem quite fair, does it, after all I've been through . . .yadda, yadda, yadda.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

change of plans

I had been planning for more than 6 months to fly off to Dallas tomorrow morning for the weekend. The purpose was a mini-reunion of my boarding school classmates. Instead, I will be driving up to Sacramento to be fitted for a splint on my left big toe that has sustained a fracture! I slipped on some stairs while in San Diego, slid down to the bottom and landed with my left foot under me. To quote the doc: "I've looked at the X-rays and indeed you have fractured the toe, and quite a nice one at that (the fracture, not the toe). I see that you are going to Dallas soon. I will order a splint for you to wear. It needs to be more than just the surgical shoe to properly immobilize the toe." He goes on to say that swelling during flight could be a problem. At that point I decided the trip was definitely a no-go. No gallivanting for this girl grad. Instead, bed rest, elevated foot, ice pack, splint, reading, napping, etc., all for about 5 weeks! Nowhere near as much fun as they are going to have in Big D. But I am so neurotic about damaging my feet that I will do anything the doctor says. The next trip, by air, was to be to see Cait and Mike in Bozeman at the end of the month. We'll see how it is in 2 weeks.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

an interim message

The service was beautiful. The music was perfect. The readings hit just the right note. The reminiscences hit just the right note. I laughed, I cried, I rejoiced in the richness of my sister's life and the memories others had of her. More later.

Today we went through my sister's belongings and, aside from some serious tears, got much done. I scored a couple of things that I either gave her or remembered that she wore often. I need these personal remembrances of her. Tomorrow is the day for the books. Monday we go to visit the financial advisor (I am the trustee). Afterwards we will stay with Alex again. Tuesday morning we head home. This has been an exhausting effort, but it had to be done.

Monday, October 5, 2009

laughter before tears

Twenty years later the crew of the Gelena (minus one) stood/sat again for a picture. Who are these pale-faced, grey-haired folk, anyway? What's really amazing, however, is that we are all still here. There have been some serious illnesses and accidents among us, but we have all weathered every adversity and are lucky enough to be together again.

By the time we got home from the aforementioned reunion down in Pescadero my diaphram ached from so much laughing. It was a wonderful reunion, filled with the same esprit as the original trip. We talked, walked, laughed, ate, drank, laughed some more, and started thinking about yet another trip, perhaps to Italy. Betty and Bob (seated on the couch) have taken a house in Mexico for a month. A little village north of Puerto Vallerta. We plan to visit with them. We stayed in a charming B & B in Pescadero, McCormick Inn. Absolutely delightful. High recommendation.

Went to see "Chèri", a new film with Michelle Pfeiffer and Rupert Friend. From a novel by Colette that I had read in college. Bittersweet but with some laughs, too. Michell is a bit stiff in this role at the beginning. Her "delivery" seems off. But she gets better it rolls along. Then for even more laughs I went to see "Legally Blond: The Musical" yesterday. High energy, funny lines, good music, great performances by everyone in the cast, but especially from the woman who played Paulette the Manicurist. She stole the show! Even the dogs were good.

Now the hard part starts. We leave tomorrow for San Diego and the memorial for my sister. We'll be gone for a week, but I will take the trusty LapMac to keep in touch. I think all the details have been seen to. We can all be together to talk and reminisce and laugh and cry. I hope there will be more laughter, however. We all have good memories to share.