Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gotta stay out of the Saddle

What a week! I feel like I have forgotten my most important “Paris Lesson”, that of slowing down and REALLY enjoying life. Some of the racing around this week was out of my control, well sort of. One evening I needed to manage a funeral home visit and an awesome lecture on violence against women. The funeral home visit was really nice, it was much more a celebration, rather than sadness and pain. I want my funeral to be a party! Good music, great food and wine. Maybe even a beer or two for those who have never learned to enjoy the complexity of wine.

The lecture was at Marian University, a part of their Global Studies Lecture series. I know as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner just how pervasive the problem violence against women is in our own country. It affects the burgeoning, overcrowded justice system, our over taxed health care system, and decreases the contributions of women in our country and our world. Violence against women cheats us! I also know that there are reports of generations of children in some African countries who are the product of sexual assault, and those reports say that the mothers are not bonding with their children! That terrifies me. If we already have boy soldiers killing and raping, what will become of this generation of unattached children? Will they be capable of even more violence? The lecture outlined briefly the International Violence Against Women bill that is due to he heard in our national legislature. In length we heard about Violence in the Congo, Afghanistan, and Nigeria. One young man asked about the cost to our country if we approve this bill. I want to know the cost to our country if we do not?

Later in the week I had the privilege of attending the third annual Outpouring event. It is a lovely wine tasting event that is a fund raiser for Legacy House. Dates stuffed with almonds then wrapped in bacon, brie baked and then dipped in a brown sugar sauce, crab cakes with aioli , stuffed mushrooms, and chocolate covered strawberries were a few of the oral memories I have from the event. I honestly only had one glass of Malbec as I knew I had to drive home, so I was not able to enjoy the full variety of wines available to be tasted. The music was a divine little jazz trio that I listened to for much of the night. Good friends, good food and drink and great music! Does it get any better? On the serious side though, I send many of my patients to Legacy House I can, with confidence, send my patients there just as I would my mother, best friend or myself if we needed services. I know that they will be treated with compassion and that the people they encounter there understand the issues of violence. AND it is free to the victims of violence that present there! Of course it would be better not to need the services at all!

And last evening I had the privilege of attending yet another lovely evening listening to the voice of Carrie Newcomer. She played in an exquisite nature park on the grounds of DePauw University. Set in the midst of limestone walls, birch trees haloed by the sun, and rolling green grass. She sang to us with a huge slab of limestone as her stage. Children ran, played and danced to her music. Her lovely, funny, hopeful music that is frequently my part of my morning routine. We took lawn chairs, a picnic basket and enjoyed.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tea and Friends

Go in on Sunday, stay late on Tuesday, go home early on Thursday; being salaried can be a big drain, and a big pleasure.  Today I took off at noon to meet my best bud.   We met at a great little place in downtown Indy called the Tea Cozy.  We entered off of Market St. west of the circle, into an oasis of green accented with some black. It reminded me of the store, Darjeeling, where I purchased a lovely soutien gorge (Bra) in Paris.     There was not an available table on our arrival so we waited in a charming area filled with couches, hassocks, hats, hatboxes and china.  We both ended up eating a delectable sandwich with Turkey and Swiss on a croissant WITH apple butter.  It was a perfect blend of the sweet and savory!  We also had a cup of the standard tortellini and spinach soup!  Tasty.  For dessert I had the Sticky Toffee pudding, which I had to tell our waitress, was better than what I had in London last June!  All in all, this entire place is a little sweet little retreat in the middle of downtown Indy.  Next on our schedule is a trip back for a real afternoon tea!  Sounds like a trip after work one day soon to me!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Small Things

After working late last night in a productive frenzy, I got out of an all day training early today!  It is hot and humid in a way that I have only experienced in Indiana and during my sojourn in St. Louis.  I quickly let Lucy out to do her stuff and raced with her back into the cool house.  How grateful I am on days like today for the luxury of air conditioning!  As I was shutting the sliding door though, I noticed through the glass the loveliest huge bees feeding in my garden, they are feasting as I did last weekend at Devour Downtown. Sliding in and out of the fuchsia coronets  of my flowers as they experience their progressive dinner, they buzz and hum.  What a joy to see them enjoying their feast with the same pleasure I felt last weekend as I dinned with friends.   How quickly amazement creeps up on one, the small blessings of life.  

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Devour Downtown, One inch of Grass and a New Cousin

This week has certainly been a full one!  I have seen a present day Hatfield and McCoy feud in my very own family, gained a new cousin and behaved in a most hedonistic fashion.

First things first.  My brother and his neighbor are in a feud, over one inch of grass.  Can you believe it, one inch of grass!  It seems that my brother was “helping” his neighbor by cutting the grass onto his property, and the neighbor did not like the level of my brother’s lawn mower.  And the merde hit the fan when my sweet niece, who would have been about 12 or 13 at the time mowed and the neighbor I shall call “Elmer” allegedly got in my bothers face about it.  So my brother just quit mowing the grass on that side of his yard.  This summer “Elmer” spent the time and money on a 50-60 foot 6 foot fence.  Which he place exactly 4 inched on his side of the property.  Tuesday I was at my brothers fixing a pizza and spending some quality time with my niece (one of my favorite pastimes) and my brother said “ I am going to go see if that weed eater works, I have been tinkering on it.”  I heard it start to hum and thought happily, “it’s working.”  He came in a little while later and said “ the oddest thing happened, it sounded like someone was throwing rocks at the other side of the fence out there while I was trimming.”  I was joyfully placing mushrooms, sausage and mozzarella on the pizza when “Elmer came to my brothers back door pounding and saying “you get out here”, I finished and went out to see what was brewing.  There was “Elmer” demonstrating how he had placed his fence 4 inches on the other side of the property line and how my brother had trespassed onto his property, this tirade while standing firmly on my brother’s property!  My initial reaction was to get tickled, as it was ludicrous and then to think what an ass.  So amusingly enough I send my 45 year old brother to the house and tried to reason with the gentleman, indicating that he had really set my brother up to fail with this one if he didn’t was him weed eating there.  He had to tell me his whole side of the sordid story.  And I shared with him my philosophy about how it would be a pretty worthless argument on his deathbed and didn’t he think maybe relationships were more important than one inch of grass, because that is what this argument is really about, one inch of grass.  Utterly Amazing

Then the same day I get a call from my mother at work asking me what I was doing. 

“Well, I am working Mother,” I said. 
She replied, make sure you call me later; I have something really important to tell you.

“You can’t do that, what is going on?”

“It seems that this lady contacted your Uncle on Face Book and he told her that he did not need any more friends, so after a couple of tries (HE says he was not very nice to her) she contacted your cousin with the same last name.  He asked her to prove her allegations that she is related to us.  So she did.  Sending a birth certificate, an adoption form and a brief rundown of the events of her life.  My mother showed me the birth certificate and said, “that is my sisters signature, I am totally sure, I would know it anywhere.”  It seems I have a cousin 2 years older than I.  This is amazing, joyful and exciting to me.

So I have celebrated!  In Indianapolis each summer and winter there is an event called Devour Downtown.  I have managed so far to indulge in Salmon at Palomino with my boss, Goat Cheese Ravioli at Scholars Inn with my ex, and Filet with BĂ©arnaise at Morton’s with a friend from work.  The whipped cream was going to see Julie Julia last night.  I loved it, maybe almost as much as Momma Mia and Something’s Gotta Give.  That is saying a lot!  I liked the pure unadulterated joy in the relationships of both heroines, I liked the food and lastly I thoroughly loved the scenes of Paris.  It is an owner!

I wonder what next week could do to top this one!  

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


When I first saw the apple and the little “roundy round thingy” (which I was told later was a timer) I was not particularly alarmed, however after forcing the thing off and booting it up, forcing it off and booting it off a couple more times, I became panicked.  Trying to stay calm I looked up the number for support, dialed, punched in numbers, selected options until I finally got a living person to help me.  That person was gracious but of no real assistance other than to prepare me for the worst and tell met that I had to take my beloved computer to the Apple store for a visit to the Genius Bar.  

My initial reaction was darn, I can’t get on the internet now, but it did not take long to begin to consider all I stood to loose if the hard drive was not recoverable.  I had backed up my data prior to going to Paris.  What writing would be on my external hard drive?  I had been prolific in Paris and I knew that would be all gone.  Thank God that I had not done any real work on my book.  Something I had been nearly embarrassed over.  All the writing I did for the blog, the new blog and some from last semester would be gone.  There was no way to know, so I busied myself feeling nauseated over it.  And then there were the photos, most I still had on the memory card.  The first day or so, however, I had hit that convenient option to delete the photos on the card, that was before I thought it through.  The first two days worth of photographs were potentially gone too.  The day I went to St. Denis, gone as well.  I felt rather numb, like a cut the first few seconds after the incision, then my heart began to throb.

My mind raced then to the recipes, the ones from class, the ones Pino, my instructor sent me for a birthday present, the ones I had researched for Macarons, the ones I had gleaned from other sources!  Also all gone. Now I felt a sinking feeling, the one one gets when there is no hope.

Oh, and my homework from class, the journaling that I had drug to WWFAC and forced my poor writing buddies to endure.  This too was gone.  I was panicked, as if I had done something wrong or I was given news that I had a serious illness.  All this over a computer, that, I had failed to back up.. Data, bits of magnetic informations, that was precious to me, images, thoughts, ideas. All gone.

Jodi was particularly helpful, “ did you have it backed up?  I gave you that extra hard drive, where was it.  I  would have thought you would have learned you lesson after locking up your thumb-drive”. Fat lot of consolation I was going to get there.

I left work early the next day to take her, yes her, to the Apple store where a very nice person named Molly tried valiantly to resuscitate her, to no avail.  She gave me the look I have seen colleagues give patients when they had to be told that they had a fracture or were going to need surgery.  That look of, “this is going to be painful, but I have to do it to fix you”.  How many times have I delivered that message and accompanying look myself?  Molly said that she was gong to have to erase my hard drive to restore the computer at all.  Gone with one keystroke, Memories, writing and food yet to be, music I would long to hear, applications I use.  Pieces of my own creativity that I took for granted, that I did not cherish to back up with regularity,  All gone.