My Week: Another Seven Days in the Great Northwest

Sunday (This is the week of June 13-19, 2010.)
I think DD and merm are so used to showing people the sights, they don’t know how to just “be” when a guest is around. Especially one who feels like crawling in a hole and pulling it in after her. DD got online and found farms, farmers’ markets and U-Pick places so we’re going to pick strawberries this afternoon.

We went to see their garden yesterday and I was impressed by how far behind everything is here. My tomatoes are yea high and I was already getting a lot of stuff to eat and share. It isn’t that way here!

I’ve been in touch with another niece, the hospitalized sister’s daughter. I hope we can get with her soon. She’s renting a room to a couple and agreed to help them move in today.

This is after we got back from “picking” strawberries. Turns out the web site lied and they AREN’T ready to pick and won’t be for another 10 days. We had a nice tour of the countryside and saw lots of parts of Washington I’d never seen before. Another farm we were going to had closed early.

I’ve been wanting to see the original Karate Kid but the others don’t want to so we agreed on Up in the Air. It was good but sorta sad. I guess people say the “F” word a lot in real life but I hear it rarely. The movie would have been just as good or better without it, in my humble opinion.

Months ago, I ordered some things online that didn’t fit so we took them back today. I got a pair of jeans and some slacks at Kohl’s and DD got some things. We went through REI but didn’t buy anything. Then it was on to Nordstrom where I dropped a bunch of money on new bras. I think I remember being fitted before but I definitely have been now. The fitter was a nice lady named Julia and she tried at least a dozen on me if not more. I’ve been debating since whether to keep all the bras. That’s a lot of money to spend but, then again, they should last a long time. Oh, one of the bras is one “Oprah made famous.” I feel spashul!

It was a little late to go see my sister. I have an appointment with Shari’s naturopath in the morning and I want to get to bed at a reasonable hour. I called the rehab center and gave them a message to give to her that I’d come tomorrow.

DD and merm are both working on projects so I’m in my room (I have a bedroom and my own bath—uptown!) in bed under plenty of cover because it’s COLD. I have the window open. It’s been raining. I don’t think it is now but the pavement is wet.

Today is the day. I’ll meet Shari for the first time and be examined by her doctor. I’m starving because I know I can’t eat until after my lab work.

I was in bed at 9:30 last night and asleep not long thereafter. That’s the earliest I’ve accomplished such a feat since I’ve been here. Today is a work day for both DD and merm so they didn’t try to keep me up.

Later…merm took me to the clinic and dropped me off. I tell about my experience here.

After the clinic and going to do some quick shopping (which has been an almost every day thing since I’ve been here), Shari took me on a tour of the neighborhood where she grew up, by her schools and we stopped at three houses that were for sale and got three leaflets. DD and merm are in the market but they would like a place in the country with room for a garden, fruit trees and animals.

The highlight of the day was going to Shari’s home. I’d had three bananas after my blood was drawn but I could still eat. She peeled and cut up three large champagne mangoes and we ate off the same plate with different wooden forks. She’d taken the doctor a “cheesecake” and had a little bowl with the trimmings she’d cut off. We shared that and it was scrumptious. Later, she surprised me with a whole small cheesecake, some raw-style buttons and natural hairspray.

We took a tour of her house and I met her husband and son. The only one I didn’t get to meet was her daughter and she doesn’t get off work until 2 a.m. so she was probably still asleep. The house is an older home that they have remodeled. Shari had described it so well, I had imagined it pretty accurately. It’s neat! The grounds are beautiful and they are making use of all of the back yard. There’s an enormous deck, more than twice the size of mine, and a greenhouse she got off Freecycle. They are redoing their grow boxes so they don’t have a garden as such but it’s still so cool, they probably could later. There are strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and fruit trees. I want DD and merm to see what they’ve done. They are into permaculture.

Shari didn’t want to have to deal with rush hour so she brought me on back home after we did some more touring down by the Sound.

DD and I had a good long talk this afternoon but I’ve put that in my other post.

We went to see my sister in rehab and took her some watermelon, strawberries and a small piece of the “cheesecake”. Guess what she passed up and what she scarfed down? Yep. The cheesecake. She pronounced it delicious and wanted to know how one makes raw cheesecake. I told her the ingredients I could remember.

My BIL had brought her laptop but didn’t bring the mouse. I set it up on the tray table and typed to her and she’d answer me verbally. We did some more reminiscing. I told her we’d be back on Thursday. We were there about an hour and she was ready for the nurse to put her to bed when we said goodbye.

Sleep was hard to come by last night. I woke in the early (I don’t even know how early) so I turned on the light and read quite a bit in The Better Brain Book. I emailed my sister in NC that she and the others should read it. I didn’t time it but I was able to settle down, turn off the light and go to sleep. I had some strange dreams. In one of them, DD was a little girl. She was sick and managed to throw up on the same woman twice. Weird.

I’ve been here a week today and what a difference a week makes! We have hit all the stores in the area that might carry fava beans and struck out everywhere except PCC. The only place we didn’t buy anything at all is Top. Bought $10 worth of fresh ones at PCC and will try to stretch them until my dried ones come tomorrow.

It’s funk time and I’m tired of it. I’m not exercising any at all. The kids have a rebounder and I’ve bounced on it a little but not enough to do any good.

I was in bed ready to go to sleep last night when I remembered I hadn’t fixed my fava beans for in the morning. I got up and dragged down the stairs and did it with Pixel looking on with great interest. He likes beans and I gave him a few of the peelings the other day but I don’t know that they are digestible.

This morning I got up off my butt and rebounded. It wasn’t more than five minutes but I felt a lot better.

There’s a Brain Audit in The Better Brain Book that I had merm copy for me. I completed it and scored 13 to 15 yes answers. The reason for the disparity is that there are questions that ask, “Are you over 40 years old?” “Are you over 50 years old?” Well, of course I am so I answered both of them yes. Anyway, the result is moot because it would be the same either way it went. I’m still in the Tier 2 group.

Later—I finished the assigned reading an am not so sure I wish I had. I’ll talk about that in the other post.

We went to see my sister today. She was worn out from the physical therapy so we didn’t stay long. Her laptop is a big heavy one that’s hard for her to handle so she’s decided she wants one of those “baby computers” like my netbook. I took mine for her to try to make sure it would work for her but she was too tired to try it. We only stayed an hour.

Oh, woe! The other day, merm had told me he would need me to drive their car and follow him in his parents’ car to a place where he would be parking it for them to pick up. They’ve been on a cruise to Alaska. I thought he was surely kidding but he wasn’t. If I’d felt good, it would have been no problem but I’m still not up to par, whatever that is. Before we left the house, I was in tears. He asked if I wanted him to pray for us before we left and I, tearfully, said yes. He prayed that, if it was the day for us to die, that we were ready but to keep us safe if it wasn’t. Mercifully, it wasn’t our day to die. I told him not to run off and leave me and he didn’t. There were times cars would get between us but he would slow down enough that they would eventually pass. We made it and I lived through it.

Today was my second visit to the naturopath. My appointment was a short one. Because of delivering the car, we were late and merm had apologized to him. He’d said it was okay, that everyone had been late today. His new patient who was supposed to be there at 11 didn’t come in until 11:30 so I didn’t feel too bad. You can read about it on my almost fifth anniversary post.

This was my second meeting with Shari and my first with Fruitloop. We had to go back to pick up DD before we went to Chaco Canyon for lunch. Fruitloop had brought her intended. I didn’t have a chance to get acquainted with him but he’s a very nice-looking man.

Lunch was delicious. I had the raw enchiladas as did FL. Shari had “pasta” with “meatballs” I don’t know exactly what the cooked foodists had but merm took pictures of everything. We had to get a picture of the three of us. Shari is on the left, yours truly in the middle and Monica on the right.

At Chaco Canyon

After we all said goodbye and went our separate ways, someone suggested to go see the Space Needle. I’d promised to take pictures of it for “my” produce guys. The parking place merm found was a little on the small side so he stayed with the car in case someone came along to ticket it. DD and I took pictures and went in the gift shop. The line was too long to go up to the top so the reusable bags I bought are lying. They say “I WENT FULL CIRCLE AT THE SPACE NEEDLE”. I liked them better than the other one they were selling so I got them anyway. DD and merm had breakfast at the top not too long ago. Maybe someday I’ll make it up there. This is the second time I’ve seen it up close. The first was when DD was a toddler. When I was there in 2001, we didn’t venture that far afield.

I took this picture:

My Space Needle

DD took this one:

DD's Space Needle

The next two are by merm:

Mother and Daughter

Another Mother/Daughter Picture

I wanted to post some pictures of merm but he declined.

The trip to see the Wedgwood Trio has been preempted. The Alaska tourists will be back and want to see me (and, I’m sure, the others, too) so that’s the plan for tomorrow. I’ve seen the Wedgwood in recent years but it’s been nine years since I’ve seen merm’s parents and sister and it will be nice to see them again.

Happy Sabbath!

Saturday night
We met most of merm’s family for breakfast. The only one missing was his brother who is in Germany celebrating his 30th birthday. After our meal, we came back to DD and merm’s place and visited some more. I told merm’s mom about what the doctor suspects and she said one of the symptoms is trouble swallowing. I told her my trouble is that I can swallow too well.

She showed us pictures of Alaska and ones of them and their traveling companions at various functions. It looked like they had a good time. Maybe someday…

The patriarch and merm were getting the car ready to travel and they were waiting for the matriarch and she was waiting for them. Finally they all got on the same page and left. They would be doing the first leg of an 18 hour trip. Better them than me!

The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing. I’ll have tomorrow through Wednesday here and will go back to Tennessee on Thursday. I have mixed feelings about leaving. I’d love to stay but I need/want to go. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could teleport?

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