Saturday, September 27, 2008

Another Loooong Day

Here's today's update: I'm tired!

I know that compared to what my dad is going through, this is nothing, but man! I'm exhausted! The hospital he's in is an hour south of my parents house. The drive there and back it torture. We have to go through New Haven which is always quite busy and that just makes it worse. But that's enough of my whining, here's the update on dad.

When we got there this morning he was out of bed, sitting up in his chair. He was hugging a teddy bear-which was funny. They gave it to him to hug when he coughs to help ease the pain a bit, which is good, but seeing my dad hugging a teddy bear (when my niece isn't around) was comical. In any case, he was sitting up out of bed and had eaten solid food. Great progress.

The physical therapist came to talk to him and actually started some exercises. They included breathing deep, rolling his shoulders, lifting his elbows and his legs. At one point my (very drugged up father) said, "This isn't really taxing for me you know." Which made me crack up. Actually, it made me cry with laughter for some reason and I couldn't stop. Just hearing him tell the therapist that he works out and can do more was funny to me I guess. Luckily she didn't let him do more, but she DID get him to stand up. I think this was too much for him.

After about another hour sitting in the chair I asked him if he wanted to lay down. He did, so I called in his nurse and he helped my father into bed. Shortly after, lunch arrived and while he was eating, his heart started doing funny things-it doubled it's speed, then dropped. Then did it again.

The nurses came in and checked it out and told him they were giving him medicine to get it lowered. The first dose didn't quite do its job, so they added more. When that didn't really do much, we opted to let him rest alone and went to the waiting room. (The doctor was there then and told us he was ok). Apparently this happens to about 40% of patients who have heart surgery. Because they manipulated the valves and stuff, I guess the heart has to find its own rhythm again and in doing so, it jumps around. They said it's nothing to be alarmed about, but they'd still like to keep the rate down, so he'll have drugs for it now.

This prevented him from being moved out of ICU. He had been doing so incredibly well (they all said that over and over again) that they considered bringing him to a normal room-but once this happened they decided to play it safe and to keep the chest tubes in for another day. Tomorrow's agenda is to monitor the heart rate and to possibly have him walk. I'm not sure if they'll change their minds on the walking part, but for now, that's the plan.

So, he's well, but not out of the woods completely. His spirits are abnormally high but he's very drugged up-something I haven't seen of my father in a really long time. Luckily I can have a sense of humor about it as I know it's for pain and I know he's not addicted.

As we were sitting in the room I heard a machine next door that reminded me of the Ever lasting Gob Stopper machine in the original Willy Wonka movie. I said this out loud and my father said, "What's her last name?" Puzzled, I said, "What? What's who's name?" He said, "Oh-I thought you said the nurses last name." So I explained what I said and he chuckled. A minute later the male nurse came in and my little sister said something not related to the gobstopper conversation. My father looked at her and said, "I don't know his last name either."

It was funny, because we know that it's helping his pain and well, he's silly. I guess when my Aunt and Uncle were in there with him he zoned out and woke up and said that he was going driving...not for a little bit dad!!

So anyway, there you have it. I think I've changed my plan to include staying here overnight tomorrow and leaving on Monday. I think I'll take Monday to rest and recoup so I can go back to work ok on Tuesday. They said I could stay the whole week, but I don't think it's necessary at this point, and I'll come back down next weekend when he's out (cross your fingers!). Thanks again for all of your wishes, text messages, emails and prayer. You are the BEST.

Love ya,


Friday, September 26, 2008

Another Update

Hi everyone-I'm exhausted but wanted to let you know that my father came out of surgery OK and the doctor said he did well. Because they caught the problem early, there was no actual damage to his heart. They were able to do the bypass successfully and he's expected to make a full (but slow) recovery.

We were able to see him in ICU about 2 hours after he came out. He was hooked up to too many tubes including one that helped him breath, but the nurse told us that most people have even more than that and she's really happy at his progress. Right before we left, he was giving us the thumbs up sign and tried to communicate (though we yelled at him not to.) The goal was to get the breathing tube out right after we left. I've not heard if that happened, but we have every reason to believe that it did.

He'll be in ICU for about a week, they say. If everything goes as planned, I'll stay the weekend and will return to work on Monday.

Thanks again for all of your prayers and emails. It gave me comfort knowing that so many of you were asking for his safe recovery.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

If You Pray...

**UPDATE 11pm**Thank you all for your kind comments today and for your prayers and well wishes. Shortly after I posted this, my father's surgery was elevated to a bypass. It's a shock because he's been very healthy for over 10 years and we thought he was past this. But as the nurse said, "You can pick your parents." meaning it's genetic.

I left work and drove to CT to visit with him-the surgery was postponed until 7am tomorrow. My mother and I will be leaving here at 5am to get to the hospital before he goes in. They say it'll be about a 5 hour surgery and that he'll be in ICU for at least a couple of days.

I'll try to update you tomorrow after I know how he is. Thank you again for all of your support and prayers.


Last night Claire and I went to her very first baseball game! It was a really fun time and I have a few pictures to share (not of Claire) with you, but I've got some things to do first.

If you are the praying type, I'd like to ask you to say a few for my dad. I received word when I got home that he's going in for heart surgery this morning and though he said "It's nothing to worry about" I know better. He's had a couple of heart attacks years ago and though he's gotten himself healthy in recent years, it apparently wasn't a complete transformation. So please send some good wishes and prayers his way today.

Off to do something productive-I'll be back later.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


It's sad when all of the emails in your inbox are from yourself.

Losing all of your pictures, files and music is more devastating than I thought it would be. I don't know how many recipes and bookmarks I've lost...

I really wish I could wear socks. Being that my tattoo has to stay open and uncovered, that's not going to happen for at least another few days.

My Asian neighbor moved out finally! I don't know if he got evicted or if he just left, but I do know that his lease was ending soon b/c he moved in just before me. A nice quiet person (so far) has moved in. He coughs a lot though-but he doesn't have a roll-y chair and doesn't seem to throw parties in his bedroom.

Tonight I will be in heaven. Or Fenway Park. Whichever you'd like to call it. :)

I would never try out for the Biggest Loser simply because the women have to wear sports bras and spandex while the men get to wear t-shirts and shorts. WTF? How is that fair? Why are the women made to show off their fat bellies all day while the men only have to show it during weigh in? Ridiculous.

Also, am I the only one who thinks that trainer Jillian looks like "The Beast"?

People who can't see that they are close minded, angry people are no fun to talk to. This statement has nothing to do with what some of you think it does.

Hi. My name is Mags and I don't know what channel the weather is on. ;)

I really wanted to write, "I don't fucking know" what channel the weather is on. But writing it doesn't quite have the same effect in writing as it does in person.

True Story.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ink: Before & After

Callie casually mentioned at the beginning of the trip that she *might* want to get a tattoo. Somewhere along the line, Mo jumped on board too. After going through the entire week without seeing a shop, I picked up a phone book and flipped through the yellow pages.

After calling a few places surrounding our beach house, I finally managed to get in touch with Aaron. He gave me directions and I hung up, exclaiming, "He's nice, we're going there!"

Upon walking into the shop I knew that we were in for an adventure. The shop was painted red and had a coffin in the corner. Artwork flanked the walls. Aaron, the artist sat at his computer.

He greeted us in a rather boring manner and then suddenly sprung to life when we started talking about what we wanted. Callie was first. Callie chose a Hawaiian flower on her left breast area. For someone who was getting her first tattoo, she was rather brave! She didn't flinch once and even made a few jokes. This is my favorite picture of the day:

Callie, all done...Mo was next. He chose to get an Eye of Horus. It was the perfect choice for him and it came out fantastic!I'm not sure why I was making this face, but I'm looking at Aaron and that's my skeptical look so he must have been saying something crazy-which is very possible!Mo's ink:I was, at that point, undecided. But I knew that my tattoo had faded and that it was looking pretty horrible. So I lifted my leg up to the counter and had him take a look. I told him I didn't want black in the tattoo and he practically scoffed at me. Then he said, "Give my your foot babe."
And he used a black ballpoint pen to convince me that I needed shading-within a few strokes of the pen, I agreed and wondered why I was so afraid of the black.
It hurt more than it did the first time. I'm not sure why that was-though he said that I had scar tissue from the first one.

It started to hurt bad. As you can see, my left foot was pointed in pain and his face was smiling. That's because I had just swore and he said, "Oooo, talk dirty to me baby." In pain, and slightly amused.
Finally all done. Finally.The brave ones and Aaron, the artist. A HUGE thank you to Linda for being our official photographer. Without her, we wouldn't have such a detailed reminder of our trip to Aaron's studio.

Are You Hungry?

Don't forget to scroll down for Toosdae ?'s!

My Callie girl sent some of her pictures to the group so I have a few more. She was the official food photographer so I couldn't post any until she got home and settled...missing from these photos: Appetizer night (Artichoke Dip, Wings, Pear & Blue Cheese Canapes), Breakfast for Dinner night (Breakfast Risotto & Croque Madame Sandwiches) and Grill night completed. (Ginger Beer Pork, Garlic Lime Chicken, Corn on the Cob w/ Cilantro Butter and Baked Potatoes.)

Mexican Night-Beef Tacos, Chicken Enchiladas (a favorite) & Mexican Rice w/ Cilantro Dressing (another favorite) Dessert was Linda's birthday cake that I made the night before: Chocolate Cake with Kahlua Buttercream.Friendship Breakfast included Herbed Shirred Eggs w/ Ham, Bacon, Lyonnaise Potatoes & Lemon Yogurt Bread.
Impromptu Lunch: Antipasto. This was meant to go with dinner one night, but I realized that it would be too much food, so I put it together for lunch. Missing from the normal platter is marinated artichoke hearts-we'd had artichoke dip the night before, so I didn't put them on here.
Italian Night: Penne a la Vodka, Chicken Saltimboca and Garlic Bread.
Grill Night: Mentioned above, making below.

It was a pleasure cooking for all of my Beach Bitches. Not only did I get to cook and plan menus, but I got to see their reactions and the smiles they had when they ate the food. And also, their empty plates. Cooking for one is harder than ever now...

Toosdae ?'s

It was harder than I thought it would be to get back into blogging after vacation! My eyes are weary (could be my contact lenses) and my brain is still at the please answer these questions to welcome me back in style!

1. What or who encourages the child in you to come out and play?

2. At what age did you move out of your parents house? (Or what age do you plan on moving out?)

3. What was the last meal you ordered in a restaurant?

1. The most obvious answer is my niece Rye Bread. It's really easy to be seriously silly and crazy when it makes a child bubble over with laughter. The other answer is my sisters. We sometimes act really silly.

2. It was either 19 or 20. This doesn't include going to college and living in a dorm-that would have been 18. But I moved to Florida my sophomore year in college and lived on my own then.

3. For take out it was a chicken sub with mushrooms and cheese-sit down it was a (gross) burger downtown.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Vacation by the Days

That little guy spent a few mornings next door to our house romping around. He had a bright bushy tail and was very cute! He had a little friend-a gray fox-who didn't show himself for this picture. (Thanks Kyra for catching him!)

Last week was relaxing. Our house was literally right on the beach and though we couldn't actually use the beach due to mounds of seaweed, it was lovely. Waking up to the sound of waves crashing to the shore is so wonderful.

When Mo, Callie and I arrived at the house last week, the owners walked us through and pointed out the do's and don'ts. Though the owner was very nice, she was also very strange, and after a few minutes, Callie and Mo left me alone so they could go chuckle in private! Once I had the lay of the land, she pulled away just as Linda, Claire and Kyra were pulling in.

Vacation had begun.

If you've never met any bloggers that you've known for years, you might not understand this. Never once did I (or anyone else, I believe) feel like we were strangers. Instead, it felt like we'd known each other forever and were getting together for a reunion. Everyone on this vacation is JUST like they are on their blog-only better in person because you can hear their laughter, see their mannerisms and best of all, hug them.

Saturday night we threw Linda a surprise party-though we're still not sure how she didn't know about it! I made what I thought would be her favorite dinner-Mexican night-and brought a Coffee and Kahlua cake that I'd made the night before. We laughed and celebrated being together and stuffed our faces full of yummy food-if I do say so myself. As you can see from the photo of Linda in last nights post, she enjoyed her party.

Sunday's weather wasn't too great. In fact, it was down right yucky. It was chilly and VERY foggy. After a lazy morning of lots of coffee, we made our way over to Iggy's Clam Shack for some fried goodness and chowder. After our bellies were full, we went over to the Point Judith Lighthouse and took some photos.

Monday-to be honest, I don't remember specifically what we did. I think we just hung around and enjoyed each other's company. I do remember this being a VERY windy day. I think that this was also the night that all of us (minus Claire who stayed home for some peace and quiet and to catch up on reading) went to the Casino. First we stopped at some old cemeteries in Linda's town though, which was fun-even for me who hates dead people. I did get skeeved out when I had to walk over the graves and the earth would sink a bit, but I got over it fast. As for the casino, we had a HUGE dinner of bbq-which was amazing-and gambled a bit. I came away as the big winner (which is shocking) with a total win of $16.50. Not bad for playing the penny slots!

Tuesday was our Block Island day-and the weather was beautiful. What a difference a day makes! We all piled into our van and made our way to the ferry. Kai and Claire celebrated by sampling the local "Block Island" beer and we all braced ourselves for the 55 minute ferry ride. Once there, we ate lunch and took a taxi tour around the island. After, we split up and walked around the shops, had ice cream or just relaxed. Overall, a nice day. Back to the house for a late dinner and then laughter and drinks...and bed.

Wednesday I got my hair cut. This was a major excitement for me as I needed one for weeks but just didn't have the cash to do so. I went into town while the rest of the bunch hung at the house. Later, Claire and Linda went to town to do a little exploring and shopping, Kyra took a walk, Mo and Callie took naps and I read 1/2 of my new book on the deck with a beer. It was lovely.

Thursday was Cape Cod-we went to Ptown. This was a very long day for me, as I got up at 7am (because I had to blow dry my hair) and drove there and back. We got lost a few times which was frustrating for me. I didn't like the feeling of being the reason why my friends were stuck in the van longer than they had to be. As it was, the trip was over 3 hours-adding time onto that made me feel horrible. Once there though, we stretched our legs and had a nice lunch and walked around the shops. The funny of the day was that Callie didn't know that Ptown was known for embracing the gay community. That girl is FUNNY, let me tell you!! It also cracked us up that she carried a bag with rainbow handles all day without even knowing it.

Friday was fun for me. Linda, Callie, Mo and I went on a little adventure. We met a guy named Aaron who is an incredible artist and who is very funny. He also knows how to inflict pain on some people!! What in the world am I talking about? Tattoos. Callie and Mo both got ink and I got my plum blossom touched up-which, by the way, looks amazing but hurts a lot. I didn't have black on it before which I liked, but it faded and looked like a rash (it's pink). Aaron took a ball point black pen and showed me what it would look like with shading and an outline-instantly I told him yes. I won't give away Callie or Mo's stories, but I'm very happy to have gone through this with them. Linda Loo, of course, took pictures. I'll share them once she gets them together-it might be a while as she took about 800 photos!! (Not just of our tattoos, lol)

Saturday morning we all woke up early and after our coffee we started the cleaning and packing. Sadly, it was time to say goodbye and we split into our groups of 3. Morgen, Callie and I dropped off our van (stressful!!!) and went home for a nap. However, right before vacation, my computer died so I called Dell for help. Turns out, my operating system was corrupt and I had to install it again.

Which means I lost everything on my computer. :( I'm happy I didn't have to buy a new lap top though, but still-that's a lot of photos and songs gone.

After naps and computer stuff, we made our way downtown so those 2 could see some of Boston. It was a beautiful night so we ate outside and walked around the shops at Faneuil Hall. I dragged Mo over to the North End for some pastries (if they weren't good, I think he would have killed me in my sleep for taking him that far!!) and we headed home. Sadly, both are home now, and my apartment is empty.

I do still have one exciting thing left and that's Claire's return to my apartment on Wednesday when we'll be going to a Red Sox game. That should be a fun way to send her off for a long trip back home.

I know you wanted specifics about people and funny things, but honestly, those are mine right now and I want to keep them to myself. I'm sure some will emerge from others in time, and perhaps once I get back into the normal routine again, I will share...but for now, I'd like to remember them quietly, with a smile, while dreaming of being back at the beach...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Home Again, Home Again...

I'm back home in Boston with an empty apartment. Morgen left this morning and I just dropped Callie off for her flight back to Oregon. I'll have to get used to a quiet life again!

We had a wonderful time-way too many memories to share right now. I know that everyone is looking forward to details and such, but right now, I just want to keep them close. Here are a few pictures of the trip to hold you over...

I completely enjoyed being away from my computer-which is very surprising! It might take a little bit for me to get back into it...or not. I dunno. :)