Monday, February 25, 2013

Busy Days

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Me and Sal
A view of Sal's property.
This month has been one for the books, one in which I've been kept busier than a tap dancing centipede. Earlier this month my husband visited a friend of ours up in the mountains of NY to find that he was recuperating from two back-to-back surgeries, two post-surgical infections and four separate trips to the hospital in less than a month. When he returned home, my husband was visibly shaken and very concerned for our friend Sal who appeared thin, frail and weakened from his medical ordeal. He didn't like the fact that Sal did not have anyone to care for him during the day and, frankly, was afraid he might die if left alone. Long story short...I spent nine days with Sal, making sure he rested, ate, took his medications and didn't overexert himself, a tall order considering this is a man who does it all, does it well and is fiercely proud and independent. During my time in the mountains we experienced a storm that dumped over a foot of snow, turning everything in sight into a living Currier and Ives scene. I ate eggs fresh from the chickens, woke to the sound of a cock's crow and reveled in the sight of the snow-clad mountains in the morning sun. It was truly heavenly.

Bowling with my young'uns.
Angel's Valentine Cupcakes
I returned home just in time to go bowling with my kids and help my daughter and  her boyfriend make cupcakes for Valentine's Day. Well, truth be told, the only help I offered was to supply the ingredients, the kitchen and eat the cupcakes but, believe me, that's enough. Being away for over a week left me with mountains of mail, both snail mail and email, to catch up with, baskets of laundry and hundreds of dog hair dust bunnies. That's not to say that my family didn't clean up after themselves but, honestly, does anyone's family clean up after themselves well?

Somehow in the middle of everything that was going on, I managed to do some baking and whipped up two delicious pound cakes from a recipe given to me by my oldest daughter's mother-in-law a few years ago. These cakes had my husband swooning, they were that good.

Coast Guard cadet on board
One of my surprise birthday cakes.
The highlight of my return home was my birthday weekend. I had expected a very quiet day with no fanfare whatsoever. Instead I received dozens of calls, email, text messages and Facebook well wishes. I was surprised with two birthday cakes and several gifts. My son cooked me a shrimp dinner and I was plied with wine and spirits. The following day we went to dinner at my sister's house where a going away dinner for my youngest daughter was being held to commemorate her imminent entry into Coast Guard boot camp.

Puppy patient in recovery.
My remarkable month was not without its down side. This morning I fell down the basement stairs...again...and was lucky that I didn't break a bone. I did, however, sprain my left shoulder badly enough that it swelled up to the point that I couldn't move my arm and the pain was close to unbearable. Fortunately, it's  nothing that rest, pain killers and some muscle relaxers can't take care of in time. Then my son and I had to take our dog to the vet to have her teeth cleaned, a procedure that requires she be anesthetized as if she were having surgery. My son was there to reassure his dog, I was there to reassure my son who was beside himself at having to leave his "little girl" alone with strangers for most of the day. We went to breakfast where I managed to get ketchup all over my light pink top and was witness to some quiet drama going on between two waitresses vying for the same customers and tips. In short, it was a day filled with minor mishaps and major annoyances, but even this day has its silver lining. It's over now.

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva