Yesterday’s title has stirred up some curiosity.

That’ll have to wait for its place in the story.

I did my BodyFlex yesterday and 100 squats. That’s all I had time for but I didn’t know about the exercise I would get later.


27 ozzies grapefruit juice
32 ozzies banana/mango/spinach smoothie (four bananas, two mangos, and half a 9 ozzie bag of spinach)

Kim chee
4 bananas

Supper (supposedly a banquet)
Picking at the lettuce in the first course salad (my guest ate my grape tomato and I gave her the olives and croutons)
A very small dinner salad

Work was cut to four hours so I could get home and get all gussied up for the afternoon. I debated about what to eat before I left and came up with the bananas. I didn’t want to have to get up and leave the banquet so I could go potty.

I made it to pick up my guest at the rehab center a few minutes late. I found her sitting at the nurses’ station where they finally found the sign out/sign in book and got the paperwork done. The physical therapist was nice enough to accompany us outside and load her and her wheelchair. Before we left, she gave me a beautiful picture frame to celebrate my 20 years of hard labor.

We made it to the Center in plenty of time and found our way to the banquet where we were tagged (my name sticker said “25 years” instead of 20) and seated at table #36 with the other celebrants from the facility where I work. There were several rows of tables behind us plus the other 35 to the side and in front. Someone told me she’d made 650 name tags for the event. My guest enjoyed the beauty of the place and the immensity of it all.

Each place at the table was set with nice china, crystal, and flatware. Every table had a huge cut flower arrangement set on a tall glass pedestal that we had to look around if we wanted to talk to the person seated across from us.

The salad, crackers, and dessert were already on the table. And here’s where yesterday’s title comes in. There were parmesan shreds on my salad. It was just a sprinkle in the middle of the lettuce and I was able to avoid most of it but there was one little piece on some lettuce that I ate. It tasted like soap. And I used to like it. So, isn’t that a disappointment and a real letdown that I didn’t transgress with joy and abandon?

Here’s a reminder of what I’d answered to a request from the person in Human Resources about what I’d want to eat. “Mixed lettuces (no iceberg), parsley, cilantro, tomatoes, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet onion, red sweet pepper, carrots, alfalfa sprouts, and avocado. Any or all of the preceding dressed with extra virgin olive oil and fresh lime juice. Nothing that has been steamed, baked, boiled, or fried. No animal products.” I’d also told her I eat my salad in a three quart mixing bowl.

The waiter brought the main course, setting a plate with some veggies that looked like they had been lightly steamed after being thawed out, some kind of herbed rice, and chicken gunked up with a white sauce that had remnants of cooked herbs in it. I told him I was supposed to have a large salad and my guest was down for a vegetarian meal. He passed my plate on to the next person.

He disappeared for awhile and I thought he’d forgotten us. Some of my tablemates were being courteous and waiting but I told them to go ahead, that it might take more time than they cared to go hungry. Finally, here he came. He had the same dinner for my guest except the chicken had been replaced with veggie lasagna. My salad was on a small salad plate. There was a little mound of lettuce in the middle surrounded by assorted fruit and veggies. Well, only one veggie. There were two carrot sticks, three strawberries, two olives (I gave them to my guest), two slices of cucumber, two grape tomatoes, and a small bunch of grapes. He offered me a little plate of croutons which I turned down. When I told him I was supposed to have lime juice and olive oil to dress the “salad”, he went to consult with the chef and was sent back with two little containers of a vinaigrette. I was the Problem Child again and told him that was not lime juice and olive oil. He went back AGAIN and came back insisting that it was. He opened it and it looked like something that would have come in a bottle. There wasn’t any getting what I had asked for, so I dipped the edge of my spoon in it and sampled it. It was so much vinegar that it about made the hairs in my nose curl. I left it off. He came back and asked how my salad was. I said, “It isn’t what I wanted but I’ll live.” That might not have been nice but it was the sum total of my meal. I had better at a Disney World fast food place. You’d think the Marriott could make a large salad but they have no concept.

After all the honoring (I got a clock and a pin with four tiny rubies) and prize drawings (I didn’t get anything), we made ready to leave. Someone announced that, while we couldn’t have the pedestal, we could take the arrangement off the table. No one else wanted it so I had the one man who sat with us get it for my guest. She was thrilled with it. He had her put one of the cloth napkins on her lap to keep the water off her clothes. If the caterers are missing one, that’s where it is.

As we started for the car, I mentioned to her that I needed to use the bathroom. We forged on, though, and I figured I’d stop somewhere on the way if I needed to. We’d parked on level 5 East but I’d seen a sign pointing back in the direction we’d come from when we got there that said, “North Garage” so I figured we were in the North Garage but needed the East elevator. I don’t know how long we wound around but it must’ve been a half hour. I’d push her up one ramp and hold her back on the next. It was easier to push. There were a couple of times I almost lost her. She was enjoying the ride. I had on heels that were comfortable, fortunately, but I hadn’t taken time to cut my toenails. There was one nail that was jabbing the toe next to it and it didn’t feel good. I started praying (I should have done that sooner), happened on the right elevator, and there was the car. We both praised the Lord!

With my bladder still threatening to splatter, I got the Lady into the car and loaded the wheelchair into the trunk. She let me use her eyebrow pencil to put the name of the hospital on the back of the ticket so I didn’t have to pay for parking. Before we got going, we had a prayer of thanksgiving and a request for safety. We went swooping down the ramps I knew so well and were sprung!

It’s a good thing I know my way around the city better than how to find the right elevator. The Lady was concerned that I might not be able to get us home but I did. The sun was setting which reminded me of what my sister and her husband and later, my own family, would do at sundown on Friday. I told the Lady about it and we went through it. First, we’d sing “Day Is Dying in the West”, quote the 4th Commandment, and sing “Remember the Sabbath Day” (a kid’s song I’ve never heard anywhere else). We had some of the components out of order but we got them all in and she didn’t know the kid’s song but she enjoyed it.

We started talking about things we are thankful for. I told her that she makes me thankful that I can get out and go whenever I want/need to. There are times I’d rather not but at least I have the freedom. She said she does feel like she’s in prison sometimes.

Still hadn’t gone to the bathroom by the time we got to the rehab center. Since it was past her curfew, the front door couldn’t be opened. I walked around to the back and saw a couple of the nursing staff. One of them said she’d have someone open the door. Still pretty miserable, I lifted the wheelchair out of the trunk and got her inside. FINALLY, I was able to get to a bathroom. I had on a body shaper (don’t ask why) that hooks at the crotch. It was torture getting it unfastened and I couldn’t completely hold the contents of my bladder. Such is the result from eating only juicy, raw, whole foods. I didn’t drench anything and was able to blot the excess off my clothes.

The nurse was giving my friend (no longer my guest) her meds for the night when I got back to the station. We admired the flowers again and she was smelling them when I left. I had to stop going down the hall and rearrange my toes so I wasn’t being stabbed.

I made it home by, I think, about 10:30 and was in bed at 11. Happy Sabbath, everyone!

4 Responses to Yesterday’s title has stirred up some curiosity.

  1. Valerie April 28, 2007 at 6:54 pm #

    First off, what a big tease you are Tommie. Dropping the “I wasn’t vegan” bomb and then finding out you accidentally had a flake of parmesan. Good golly miss molly. Second, what an evening you had. Clueless. Folks are just clueless. Being made to feel like a problem child because you’re trying to take care of yourself is completely bogus. Things are changing but not fast enough for my liking.

  2. Tommie April 28, 2007 at 9:22 pm #

    But it was FUN! Not eating the parmesan. That was yucky but it was fun leading y’all on that way! 😀 I was optimal but not by choice. I also got my exercise. The person in HR was very nice about it all but she didn’t follow through to make sure the big salad got there as planned. More important fish to fry, I would imagine. At least more important to her but she had a full meal, too. It’s interesting to see the difference between being a lone customer in a restaurant like the Hard Rock Cafe or Wolfgang Puck where they fall all over themselves to make sure you have a delicious (and large) salad and being the lone raw foodist at a banquet full of other people who eat cooked.

    I don’t eat out much but you can go to my 2005 chronicles at and then to the first few days of October down at the bottom of this page: to see how I fared in FL. Quite a contrast!

    I’ve been thinking I should go to the banquet every year that I have left to work and see if it gets better. I could smuggle in my own food. I can go as a supervisor even if it isn’t my year to celebrate. Hmmmmmmmm.

  3. Leah May 8, 2007 at 5:21 pm #


    What an exciting evening you and your guest had…. and the body shaper story cracked me up. 🙂
    I have had days like that too! (more often than not.)


  4. Tommie May 8, 2007 at 9:13 pm #

    Thanks, Leah! My sister was distressed because I included that story. And the evening was exciting. I told my friend we wouldn’t remember it quite as well if everything had gone as it should have.

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