One Unicorn is One Too Many

About 1:30 yesterday afternoon, I dropped Jen off at her daughter Maggie’s house so she could spend some time with her grands. Austin was still at school, but 4-year-old Lilly was busily cutting out stickers at the kitchen table when we walked into the house. She smiled in greeting, but kept up her important work of dividing stickers into little piles.

We sat and chatted for a bit, and then I started making movements to go home. I wanted to write a blog post for today, and I didn’t have a single notion of what to write about.

“What should I write my blog about tomorrow, Lilly?” I asked. She barely looked up from her cutting, but said without hesitation, “Unicorns.”

Here’s the thing: I appreciated her input, especially since it required so little forethought. Unicorns were top of mind. However, it happens that — interestingly — I have already written about unicorns. Who’d have thought?…..

I woke up yesterday morning feeling more myself than I have since I first came down with this terrible cold on Friday. One nostral was completely opened up, making me feel like an American Ninja Warrior. Without the bikini. Or the muscles.

“Wanna go shopping?” I asked Jen.

For many years Jen and I had a tradition of going shopping on Veterans’ Day. Each year we would maintain that we would start our Christmas shopping; however, inevitably we bought exactly zero Christmas presents but many things for ourselves. Lunch and fancy coffee were always included in our holiday fun. We actually half-heartedly planned on going shopping on Monday with Bec, but none of us quite felt up to the task. It seemed much more fun to sit in Bec’s lovely family room with a glass of wine and talk about life. We were never really very good shoppers anyway.

But given my surge of health from a clear nasal cavity and a whole day in front of us with nothing to do, we decided to drive to Chandler Fashion Mall where they have a Nordstrom’s. Our mission: to buy me a pair of jeans.

Buying jeans is second only to buying a swimsuit in the depression category. I haven’t put on a pair of jeans and thought “I look goooooood” in, well, ever really. But Jen insisted that Nordstrom’s sells a brand of jeans that are flattering (as long as your expectations aren’t that you will look like Princess Kate in jeans)…..

and — more important — are very comfortable. That’s code for stretch and hidden panels.

It was very surprised that she was correct. I’m giving a big Nana’s Whimsies endorsement (unpaid) to Wit and Wisdom brand jeans at Nordstrom’s. I won’t comment on the flattering part, but I will confirm that they are extremely comfortable and don’t look like Old Lady Jeans without looking like jeans that aren’t designed for Old Ladies. If you know what I mean.

To show you just how much the Gloor sisters dislike shopping, Jen and I drove 30 minutes to get to the nearest Nordstrom’s. We went in and found the jeans with the great Nordstrom’s customer service for which they are justifiably known. I tried them on, and bought a pair of blue and a pair of black. We walked out perhaps 30 minutes later and were done.

Well, not exactly true. After a quick stop at Lululemon where we quickly discarded the idea of paying a hundred bucks for a pair of yoga pants, and another stop to have a latte, we were done.

And true to form, we didn’t buy a single Christmas gift.

Oh, For the Love of All That Is Good

We arrived back in AZ Tuesday last, a week ago. What with not having what Bill has taken to calling the jamulator (meaning the cannula inserter which absence resulted in him having to jam needles into his legs by hand) and me promptly getting a cold, it hasn’t been exactly a relaxing experience.

Still, when I heard that snow was falling on the cities of Colorado’s front range, I will admit to sighing a bit in relief that we didn’t have to shovel said snow. That task was left for Maggie Faith, who has agreed to be responsible for snow removal in our absence. I assure you she will be duly compensated. Despite her small stature, she is strong. As stated by Shakespeare: though she be but little, she is fierce…..

Back to my cold, which I’m sure you’re all waiting with baited breath about which to be enlightened. I get one cold a year or so. While a cold will knock Bill off his feet, I’m generally liable to not let a little bit of snot stop me. Oh, for the love of all that is good, it’s just a cold, I will say.

Except this one has been the Cold From Hell. Perhaps God is providing a bit of lesson on humility, reminding me that anytime my sentence starts with Oh, for the love of all that is good, I should stop right there. The last time I had a cold this bad was just before, during, and following my 50th birthday. That was 15 years ago, my friends. I caught that particular cold on an airplane upon which we were returning from a Thanksgiving trip to London and my seat was directly in front of a man with a cold who coughed and sneezed on me for eight hours. No hard feelings, Mister. Not much you can do when you’re stuck in a tin can with a cold.

That year my family gave me a birthday party featuring a turducken. I was sick as hell. Included with my dreadful cold was a delightful case of pink eye. We took this photo of my sibs and my dad and me, and you might notice that my left eye is practically fully closed…..

You might also notice that it’s the bluest photo I’ve ever seen. There’s so much denim that it looks like it’s 1995 and we’re all getting ready to go to a Britney Spears concert. (Except they wouldn’t have let me in with my pink eye. Even my family shoved me to the back of the couch.)

At any rate, my cold has finally improved, and I’m going to make it even better because as I write this post on Monday, I am preparing to leave to meet my sisters at Pho Chandler which serves up some of the best hot noodles and spicy broth you’ve ever tasted…..

 

Take that, Cold!

Happy Veterans’ Day

In honor of my two favorite veterans…..

…..and everyone who has served our country in the military, please know that you have the appreciation of this blogger and of a grateful nation.

Happy Veterans’s Day!

Saturday Smile: And I Thought It Was Just Wine

This past week has not been the easiest in either Bill’s or my life. Leaving home without the cannula inserter caused no end of problems. Finally, Thursday afternoon, one of the nurses who will care for Bill when we are in AZ showed up on our doorstep with a cannula inserter in her hand and a smile on her face. Victory was ours, at long last.

The above paragraph doesn’t really sound like anything that would make me smile; however, when I walked into Total Wine and Liquor yesterday afternoon to stock up on, well, wine and liquor, here’s what greeted me as soon as I entered the door…..

Dark and brooding. Just like my mood, which immediately lifted. In my next life, I’m going to be the person who describes wine flavors.

Have a great weekend. Oh, and cheers!

Friday Book Whimsy: The Summer I Met Jack

I have heard stories about the Kennedys my entire life. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and his elegant wife Jackie were as close as Americans ever got to royalty. There was no one before or after them that created such a sensation. Americans couldn’t get enough. You either loved the Kennedys or hated them. There wasn’t a lot in between.

I was only 9 years old when President Kennedy was assassinated, so I wasn’t old enough to have strong opinions about the Kennedy family. My mother and father did, however, and they were not particular fans. They were both Republicans, but truly I believe they were more concerned with the shenanigans that were part of the family’s legacy.

The Summer I Met Jack, by Michelle Gable, is a novel based on one of the lesser known stories about John F. Kennedy as a young man. There is no doubt the author took a fair amount of liberties with the book — it is fiction, after all — but it certainly didn’t paint a good picture of the family. It did, however, tell an unusual tale.

The book is based on the true story of Alicia Darr, a young woman who purportedly came as a Jewish refugee from Poland (though she always proclaimed she came from Vienna) as part of the Displaced Persons Act just as World War II was beginning. She ended up working as a housekeeper for the Joseph Kennedy family in Hyannis Port, at their acclaimed estate on Hyannis Port, MA.

She was quite beautiful, and caught the eye of young Jack Kennedy. I believe all of the above is true, but the author takes great liberties with the remainder of the story.

Jack and Alicia fall in love and prepare to marry. Old Man Joe puts the kibash on the wedding however, and eventually Alicia moves to Hollywood where she became a minor movie starr. She ended up marrying into the Corning fortune. But oh the ANGST that happens as part of this story!

The author’s portrayal of the Kennedy family is stark and disturbing. If even half of her stories are true, this was an — shall we say — unusual family. Jack Kennedy is portrayed as completely self-absorbed and addicted to sex. The rest of the family is little better.

I didn’t particularly love the author’s writing style, finding it simplistic and almost childish. I have no idea how much truth is in the novel, but if the characters had not been Kennedys, I would have lost interest in the story long before I did.

Still, it was an angle about the Kennedy family that I had not heard, and I am as much of a voyeur as the next guy.

I can’t give this an overwhelming thumbs up, but it was an interesting portrayal of the Kennedys.

Here is a link to the book.

 

 

Thursday Thoughts

Princess Forever
Facebook Users: You know how every so often Facebook will remind you of a photo you posted such and such years ago, tempting you to bore your Facebook friends once again with a repeat? It’s always tempting. Recently it reminded me of a photo I posted eight years ago or so of little Kaiya wearing a tiara as she prepared for a day of watching princess movies at Nana’s house. It reminded me that Kaiya has been a princess from the get-go, having also dressed up as a princess this year for Halloween. Grace Kelly, are you watching?……

Hats Off
I was able to get Cole to hold still long enough to shoot a photo of him wearing one of the stocking caps I’m selling on my Etsy page (see link above). Kaiya was much easier to photograph. The hats sell for $10 each, and they are made to order in the color(s) and size desired…..

Blob
The other day Cole asked me to make a dog out of Play Doh. He referenced a photo of a dog featured on the package. I gave it my all, but alas, this was the result…..

To be fair, the dog is supposed to be running. On the other hand, to be honest, I know the dog I created is crap. Remember this blog post? Cole didn’t appear to be impressed, and when I showed it to his mom, her reply was, “It looks like a rat.” No sir. A rat’s tail is skinnier.

Oh My Heart
I mentioned the other day that Addie and I went out for sushi. We had such a grand time, what with her filling me in on all of the details of her young and exciting life. Those were the days, though we didn’t really know it then. I will admit, however, that I wouldn’t want to live them over, though I would undoubtedly do a few things differently. And I was never as pretty as she…..

Ciao.

We Plan, God Laughs

Yesterday started out like any other day. Little did we know that before the morning was over, Bill was going to be a superhero.

Monday we had our monthly appointment with the medical people who are supervising Bill’s participation in the research study. As instructed, we took all of the accoutrements to the study — the empty vials, the remaining unused vials, the cannula inserter, the pump, etc. The medical people did their thing and two hours later they sent us on our merry way, presumably returning anything that was important. Like, say, the cannula inserter.

We spent the remainder of the day packing our suitcases to leave for AZ, where I now sit writing this blog. We got to bed reasonably early, and set our alarm for 5:30. That would give us plenty of time to relax a bit in the morning over a cup of coffee. We would get Bill hooked up to the pump around 6:30. That was our best-laid plan, and you know what they say about that.

I got everything prepared, and went up to the bedroom to complete the task. I went over to the drawer where we keep the cannula inserter, and lo, and behold! there was no cannula inserter. Panic set in, and with a sinking feeling in my stomach, I realized that the cannula inserter was missing in action, likely sitting on the counter in the doctor’s office where we had last seen it.

We have been told over and over that should we run into any problems, we were to call the Helpline number and would receive immediate assistance. And so, that’s exactly what we did.

Now, here’s the thing: We have never had a reason to call the Helpline prior to this, but I had a clear picture in my mind just what the Helpline Call Center looked like. It was in a fancy office building in some large city somewhere, maybe Omaha, NE, and in a very sterile room there were dozens of desks at which sat professional men and women wearing headsets answering calls about the clinical research study. Thank you for calling Neuroderm, how can I help?

Instead, at 6:30 on a Tuesday morning, after a couple of rings, what I heard was, hello?

Really? Hello?

Is this the Helpline? I asked. It was. One fellow, huffing and puffing because I caught him as he was at an aerobic class at the gym. His name is David, and he IS THE HELPLINE

I explained our problem, and he was as nice as could be. He continued to talk to me as he hurried up some stairs to his lonely desk. This led to that, and his best solution was that it was possible that there was an office in Phoenix where we could get another cannula inserter if the moon aligned with the sun and we had lived a good and charitable life.

Some people have inserted the needle themselves without an inserter, David said (he had finally caught his breath after the aerobic class). It’s not something we really recommend, however.

I know this is hard to believe, but I was in a state of panic. After all, we HAD to get him connected to the pump. The research study require participants to be connected to the pump every day.

If David can find us an inserter in Phoenix, I said to Bill, worse case scenario is that you could be connected to your pump by 2 o’clock this afternoon.

I glanced over at Bill, only then noticing that while I was talking to David, he had jabbed two needles into his legs without a single yelp. God bless his super hero heart.

Did it hurt?  I asked him. Um, yes, he admitted. That’s why he’s a super hero.

At any rate, we are settled into our house in AZ, and things can only go up from here. If, at any rate, the new inserter arrives via FedEx by tomorrow at 10 a.m. as planned. But we plan; God laughs. Fingers crossed.

As we sat at the restaurant at the airport with a double bloody mary sitting in front of me (never mind that it was only 8 o’clock in the morning), I told Bill that God threw us this curve ball to help me know that we will survive this Year-of-the-Research-Study because nothing can stop this man…..