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Alaska Notes

From the front porch, Eagle River, AK PHALL PHOTO 2014

From the front porch, Eagle River, AK
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Alaska weather, mom’s new hip, photographic opportunities, smoking status and maybe a little romance.

ALASKA

The weather here has been weird. Almost all (not by Georgia standards) of the snow is gone, but we still get some nights of frost that don’t thaw until late in the day. While most of the rest of the country is suffering severe cold and snow, we have a temporary reprieve.

Out the kitchen window: a grove of beautiful birch trees, with a few fir and cottonwood tossed into the mix; recently snow-laden limbs, now free of their heavy white burden. Out the window that is above the kitchen table, is dad’s Quonset hut; once shrouded in a thick layer of snow and icicles, but now down to the rust-colored metal. Out the living room window: the front yard and the busy road to/from Eagle River; the regular work of the big colorful road plows is done for now. Everyone is guessing when and if winter cold and snow will come back.

Every single day, no matter the weather, I revel in the way that the changing light of morning, mid-day and evening touch the sheen of the birch tree bark. I have seen those trees almost neon white, and with more subtle shades of pink, purple, red and blue, depending on the tint of moment.

The longer I’m here, the more I notice that I move from window to window in this small house, no matter the original purpose of entering a room. I look out the window as I enter, and then again before I leave. I’m looking for that light. I’m watching for a moose, a bear or a flutter of wings that announce a flock of Wax Wings or Northern Grosbeaks.

Maybe I’ll spot that stealthy fox that I used to see around midnight, when I sat freezing and smoking on the deck. Often, what I see makes me rush to throw on something warm, and maybe some boots, grab a camera and head out to take a shot, or two, or twenty of the light hitting the trees. That light. That moment. Sometimes even, that second.

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The health status. It seems very much as if mom, dad, and I are trading our minor illnesses back and forth. Cold and/or flu symptoms are flying around and landing on one of us, until it morphs and moves on to the next. Our sleep patterns are crazy. Despite all of that, we’ve had days where I play DJ and we listen to the old music that we all love, and days when we laugh a lot. Yep, we also have some grump days and cry days; missing our Michaela or bruised feelings.

Meanwhile, mom’s new hip is doing all those healing things that make each day one level of challenge or the next. The pain meds are not being used much at all, no matter the challenge level. Home health nurses are no longer coming to the house. Eventually, mom’s doc will allow her to do outpatient PT, but for now he wants her to take it easy. We’re hoping that the blood thinner medicine will end soon and that mom won’t have to go in for the weekly blood draw. The walker is her pal and she has a hard time remembering that it will be many months before she is allowed to bend over and pick something up.

SMOKING– Nope, not me. 20 days. I’m awesome:>)

THE ROMANCE– oops, no time to report on this right now. All is just peachy though!

Peace out and I’ll write more soon,

Patti


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Juicing With Jon, A Pause For Health

Juicing

Fruit & veggies before the cutting happens.
Photo by Jon and his phone

Mostly cut and peeled. Photo by Jon & his phone

Mostly cut and peeled.
Photo by Jon & his phone

 

Ahhh, the pineapple! Photo by Jon & his phone

Ahhh, the pineapple!
Photo by Jon & his phone

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My son turns 24 tomorrow, however he gave me a pre-birthday gift. Over the past two days he taught me about juicing.  We shopped for delicious fruits and veggies, then he gave me and my neighbor juicing lessons.

He showed us the how of it, while explaining the why of each ingredient. He made us 3 different juices yesterday and one today. It is a lot of work, but it is enjoyable work that results in a healthy and (usually) tasty juice.

We liked them all, but Jon said that a lot of people don’t like the green one. It is heart healthy with lots of kale and other green veggies in it.

Now, he’s on his way home and our juice chef is gone! I’m still working on the one he made us a batch of, but tomorrow, I’m on my own; just me and the veggies and the juicer. I’m planning on one a day until I get the hang of it and make it a routine.

Enjoy the photos,

Patti


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Souvenirs from My Heart; Postcards-One

CASPIAN TERNS & A LOST SEAGULL Ready-Set-Take Off!!

CASPIAN TERNS & A LOST SEAGULL
Ready-Set-Take Off!!

First, please go see my “gutsy story” at http://www.gutsyliving.com  You can make a comment at the very bottom of the page.

The post title conveys that this is part 1 of a serialized version from a portion of my memoir-in-progress. It varies slightly from the actual book, in that it is not a book, but a blog post. Smile. My intention is to keep my writing focused on the memoir project, including blog posts here on The Write Place. If I bore the socks off you, then my new intention will be to move to a deserted island and never write again. Either that, or rewrite the damn thing, I mean, the host object of all my worldly dreams.  So, on with it!

This post could be about you or someone you love.

The contents of this post don’t come with citations, statistics, links, or expert opinions. You get souvenir postcards, instead.

The words within come from my heart; these are not happy souvenirs from my heart, but practical souvenirs, with bits of humor to buffer the fear, pain and sadness. (Plus Paul and I really loved to laugh)

These souvenirs were collected along our travels through many hospital stays. My late husband, Paul, and I gathered ways to help others who would be fighting for their lives, like we were fighting for his at the time.

We wiled away many hours in the hospital and temporary housing, talking about the physical clues we may have missed. I made a few notes about what we could put in a book for people in our situation. Paul’s first suggestion about our future book was to include his health information, from a few years before, right up to the day he was diagnosed with cancer.

That part was easy; I had already dug through doctor bills, lab reports and even our family wall calendar. My mission had been to make a document, specific to Paul’s health, for the millions of times doctors, nurses, administrators and others asked about Paul’s medical history.

I’m giving you the nitty-gritty truth here; even if you hand them a copy of the medical history, they will still want to hear it from the patient. In our case, Paul had made me his unofficial health advocate right after we became a couple, so he would defer their questions to me. I just read the answers from our copy of the document, or used it as a reminder of dates, lab values and other details. It did take months for me to think of making the document, but it sure saved our brain power once I had it completed.

Postcard 1: Make a written health history for yourself and family members, BEFORE it is needed, like now. Okay, maybe wait until you finish reading this post.

To be continued…

See, I told you it would be short, but that also means I had to cut it off sometime.

Watch for Souvenirs from My Heart; Postcards-Two with another beautiful picture that has nothing to do with the post.

As usual, I am happy to read your comments, questions, and critiques. However, mind reading isn’t my forte, so you’ll have to actually click on the button and write me a note. I’m so happy if you “like” this post, but why do you like it?

If you can’t “comment” or “like” because of technical difficulties, send me an email at 1writeplacewordpress at symbol gmail dot com. Weird, but that is so spammies can’t glom onto me. Please use the blog post title in the subject line.

Thanks ever so much,

Patti