Sunday, July 23, 2006

Weird and wonderful

The week that I had been dreading has passed, and all is well.

My Dad is now at home, recovering nicely from Tuesday's prostate surgery. The Surgeon is confident that the cancer had not spread outside the (now removed) prostate. My Dad's pre-operative fitness level is undoubtedly playing a role in his swift recovery.

Nothing dramatic or definitive came out of Steve's consultation with the Neurologist at Walter Reed. Another MRI has been ordered, but we left Washington without any new insight or information about what could have been causing Steve's left-sided weakness, fatigue, or episodic confusion and mental fogginess.

On Wednesday, we took the scenic route home through central Pennsylvania. We stopped in at Carson Long Military Institute, where Steve attended boarding school from grades 8 through 12. It boosted Steve's spirits to visit his old stomping grounds and catch up on old times with his former teachers. We continued on the road less traveled, and drove through the Endless Mountains region of Pennsylvania. It's simply gorgeous!

On Friday, Steve had outpatient surgery to remove a bump from the left side of his forehead. This bump appeared a few years ago, and all along, the doctors have shrugged it off. From all appearances, it was a lipoma - a benign fatty tumour. The surgeon who removed it was confident that it was indeed a lipoma with some muscular involvement. The incised tissues have been sent off to the histology lab for further analysis, just to be certain. The entire staff of the Outpatient Procedures Unit of Samaritan Hospital in Watertown, NY, is to be commended for their professionalism. We are completely satisfied with the experience.

Now, here's the weird and wonderful part: Steve feels better than he has in years. He usually rated his joint pain as a 7 or 8 on the classic ten point scale, with some days being worse than others. Yesterday and today, he has reported a pain level of 2 or 3 - without the aid of Darvocet. More to the point, his mental clarity and sharpness have returned. We're not really sure why. The Surgeon called yesterday to check up on Steve. Yes, the Surgeon, himself! On a Saturday afternoon! He was quite certain that the surgery was not the reason for the improved mental clarity. From an anatomical and pathological standpoint, there doesn't seem to be any possible correlation. Yet, here we are, in a happy place.

Are there any medical sleuths out there? Is it possible that the lipoma was exerting backpressure on the blood vessels and nerves supplying the underlying facialis muscle? Could that cause episodic fatigue and confusion?

To those who have sent their prayers and kind thoughts, we thank you profusely. And now, we're off to enjoy this beautiful day.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Greetings From Sunny Maryland

Gentle reader, please forgive the recent dearth of blog entries. Things have been rather hectic. Last week, my husband FINALLY (!!!!) got a referral to the Neurology Department at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. So, tonight, we are safely ensconced in the air conditioned comfort of the Courtyard Marriott in Silver Spring, Maryland, just a short bus ride north of the hospital.
We are right across the street from a Whole Foods Market, from which I gleaned a wonderful picnic dinner for my family. It's all part of my "turning lemons into lemonade" strategy. Most of the elements of the big picture are beyond my control, but by hook or by crook, that which is within my sphere of influence will be pleasant, goddammit.
And now, in the grand Army tradition of "Hurry Up and Wait" .. we wait. Please send warm thoughts, white light, prayers, or good wishes our way.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Hey, Minutemen!

And all you other neocon alarmist "pay-no-heed-to-Quagmiraq-we-gots-go-get-rid-of-those-darned-illegals" freaks.

If I get scurvy this winter due to a lack of orange juice, I will hold each and every one of you responsible. Especially you, Michelle Malkin.

That is all. Carry on.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Oddly enough,


My Italian-born son is cheering for France in today's World Cup finals. Posted by Picasa

Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly


Thompson Park Zoo, 9 July 2006 Posted by Picasa

Restaurant review: Trattoria di Miniature Rose

The insalata simplice is guaranteed to be fresh, organic, and handpicked by a legal immigrant. The wine selection is limited, but generally favours simple beverages from the Veneto region.

The pizza, grilled outdoors, is simple but charming. Posted by Picasa

The ambience can only be described as rustic and spectacular.

Menu changes seasonally. Reservations recommended.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Note the complete and utter lack of safety equipment! Posted by Picasa


Amish Barn Raising
Northern Jefferson County, NY, 6 July 2006

By my count, there were at least forty men working on this barn.

A little further down the road, about a dozen Amish women were working on a quilt. Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 03, 2006

Pizza recipe, revised for the summer

Inspired by the cover picture on the June issue of Canadian Living, I made pizza on our new gas grill tonight.


I made a simple crust in the bread machine while Steve and I assembled the new gas grill. I cut the dough into 4 pieces, flattened each segment into a nice oval, then slathered them with olive oil. I grilled the dough on medium heat (although low heat would have produced a less rustic crust), flipping it once. I slathered each piece with Dinosaur BBQ Honey-Garlic sauce, then tossed some mozzarella and diced tomatoes and vidalia onions on the crusts.

Yeah, it was as good as you think it was.

You're jealous, aren't you?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Curious Creatures Studying Each Other

William communes with the Humboldt Penguin chicks.
Rosamund Gifford Zoo, Syracuse, New York.
1 July 2006 Posted by Picasa

Like, Roar, or Something.

Lounging lions at the Rosamund Gifford Zoo.
Syracuse, New York.
1 July 2006 Posted by Picasa

On Guard For Thee

Chocolate the Wunder Mutt, in her Dominion Day attire. Posted by Picasa

A-HA! A very Canadian Conspiracy!

Happy Canada Day! Bonne fĂȘte, Canada!

As is our habit, we tuned in to CBC Radio this morning. Our beloved Fresh Air with Jeff Goodes was replaced with a show out of Alberta called Snap, Crackle, Pop. We didn't mind because our sweet and ebullient Jeff Goodes surely deserves a long weekend, and because this "Snap, Crackle, Pop" program promised three hours of great Canadian tunes. Patiently, we waited for the quintessential Canadian tune, the one that is de rigeur for this auspicious occasion: Canada Day by Stompin' Tom.

Alas, our ears were not blessed by that sacred hymn.

I think I understand why, now.

CBC actually snubbed Stompin' Tom.

Note to my family: your favourite son-in law would appreciate this DVD.