Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Honeymoon, Day One

Monday, September 27, 2010

I am in a forest. I love the smell of the pine and redwood trees. The smell reminds me of summer vacations. When I breathe it, I feel my light and airy, like the worries of home have been left behind.

My mother is in the hospital. They want to keep her there until Wednesday or Thursday. I told the doctor about my situation and she agreed that a few days out of town would do me good. Mother seems to be recovering just fine and my sisters are supposed to visit her. I need to sometimes remind myself that she's okay and being looked after by professionals. One of the blessings my father left her is an excellent health plan. I won't have to pay for her hospitalization. Too bad I'm not entitled to the same, but I'm not going to worry about that today.

John and I have been to this hotel before. Since it's our honeymoon, we splurged and are staying in a cabin. It has a gas fireplace (which it's too warm to use) and a kitchenette. The kitchenette has a two-burner stove and a mini refrigerator, as well as a microwave and a coffee maker.

I do not plan to do any cooking here. I am on vacation. And, even though we got married three months ago, this is our honeymoon.

We are in Nevada City, California. Today we wandered around the historic district of this little gold rush town. We ate in a Mexican restaurant. We browsed a used bookstore.

Back in our cute little cabin in the forest, we can't get the internet to work. The indicator says we are connected, four bars, but we can't seem to get online. I don't understand why this doesn't work, the hotel provides free access. It's okay. This is vacation. I don't really need to know what my Facebook friends are up to.

I can just enjoy being alone with John. This is the best relationship I've ever been in. He loves me just as I am. I wish I were thirty years and forty pounds younger.

Day Two

This place has cable television! Shows we've heard of but have never seen!

I still can't connect to the internet. I called the office again today and they said there is no password. They said would restart their system. It gave me the feeling I'm not the first to mention it doesn't work.

Today we went out to breakfast at the hotel restaurant. Half of this hotel has been converted into housing for "active seniors". The altitude here makes me feel weak. I wonder how the active seniors manage on the steep hills. I understand it snows here in the winter.

Today we wandered through the historic district in Grass Valley. I found an early Donald Duck teapot in an antique store for $550. No, I didn't buy it. It was cute, but I am not insane. I liked a cute bear cookie jar better. But my home is too full of clutter and I don't need it. So I didn't buy that, either.

John is limping badly. The walk through the villages was too much for his hip. We need to ask his doctor about this.

The young lady at the front desk told us we could walk up the hill past our cabin and we would come to a really nice garden. I'd like to take a look, but I don't want to cause John any extra pain.

We brought takeout food back to our cabin. We spent the evening watching shows on cable like The Bill Cosby Show and Whose Line Is It Anyway? It was really nice to cuddle together and laugh.

Day Three

This morning, I walked up the road to see the garden. I came to a sign at the top of the hill that said, "DANGER KEEP OUT!" So I walked back. I don't know if the garden is somewhere past the sign.

We had to check out by 12 o'clock. Of course, we got interested in a movie on TV that played from 11 to 1. We're going to have to look for that one on Netflix so we can find out how it ends. It's called HOSTAGE .

When we were back in Sacramento, but not home yet, we noticed a strange vibration in the car. Then suddenly a loud noise. There was something wrong with one of the tires. But somehow, the car rolled along just fine. We took the next exit and pulled over to look at the tire.

The tread had completely come off one of the tires. But the tire was still inflated.

We drove to the nearby Firestone store and bought two new tires. We were lucky that no one was hurt.

Mother will be coming home tomorrow.


Monday, September 20, 2010

the danger of kitchen appliances in a postmodern world

The reports of my injury have been greatly exaggerated. By me. Contrary to what you may have heard, I did not have to have skin grafts. In fact, a few days later, I am pretty much back to normal. Although I can’t say the same for certain kitchen appliances.

Here’s what happened.

It was my youngest sister’s birthday and I decided to bake her a birthday cake. I bought a box of Betty Crocker cake mix, a tub of frosting, and some decorating do-dahs. Although my mother is no longer able to participate in these domestic activities, I put an apron on her and had her watch me from her wheelchair, telling her what I was doing and that she was “helping” me.

All went well until I put the bowl of ingredients under the stand mixer. It’s actually an Oster Kitchen Center from 1977 with a mixer attachment. The beaters started to mix the batter, but then they stalled. I turned the thing off and checked that the beaters were pushed in like they were supposed to be. After trying this and that, and receiving no cooperation from the contraption, I removed the bowl from its grasp and finished whipping up the cake batter by hand.

I told my dear husband that the mixer seemed to be having some sort of problem as I finished up the cake. It probably should have been more light and fluffy, but I’m sure it was all right.

After I showed John how to remove the mixer attachment from the kitchen center base, he took it apart and discovered a white plastic gear, maybe three inches in diameter, that had snapped in two. He said he would fix it later, after we bought some glue.

I bought Super Glue the next time I went to WalMart. John said he’d fix the mixer when he had time.

A week later, I wanted to make mashed potatoes and the mixer still wasn’t fixed. I decided that I’d rather do it myself than nag him about it. How hard could it be? I’d used Super Glue before.

The new tube of glue was sealed shut. You had to use the cap to pierce the top, then put the cap on the tube. I pushed the cap against the seal. It wouldn’t budge. I pushed harder. It was stubborn.

Then all of a sudden there was Super Glue everywhere. I quickly assembled the gear and put a rubber band around it to hold it until it dried.

Then suddenly, before I could wipe my hands off, I found myself stuck. My fingers were stuck together. Really stuck! And the Super Glue tube was now united with my right index finger. When I tried to pull it off, I realized that the bond was stronger than the surrounding skin. And it really hurts to try to pull your skin off. Both of my hands were bonded together.

Fortunately, my dear husband was home. After we both searched in vain for a bottle of nail polish remover, (Darn me and my natural look!) I asked him to please go up to the store and buy some.

He disappeared into the garage and returned with two aerosol cans. “Let’s try this first,” he said. “Hold your hands over the sink.”

I couldn’t believe it when he proceeded to spray black paint on my hands. “This has an acetone base”, he said. “Can you pull your fingers apart now?”


“Then how about now?” He added a coat of clear lacquer.

“John, PLEASE go to the store and get me some nail polish remover!”

He got me to sit down and relax and told me not to touch anything. My arms were getting tired from holding my hands in that position. I stared dazedly at the television while he did that errand for me. He was back pretty quickly.

John poured the polish remover into a bowl and I soaked my hands. It stung like the Dickens where I had been pulling at my skin. I managed to get a couple of the bonds broken. The tube was still firmly affixed to my fingertip and it REALLY HURT when I tried to pull it off.

I managed to move the bowl to the dining room table where I had been trying to glue the gear in the first place. I wanted to sit down. As I did so, I looked at the package from the Super Glue there on the table.

“Fingers glued together?”, it taunted.” Soak them in cooking oil.”

John poured some canola oil into another bowl. I rinsed my sticky paws with cool water and then plunged them into the oil. It was quite a relief. The nail polish remover had dried my skin out. It even felt good on the sore places. Soon I was able to peel chunks of glue/paint/lacquer off. Even then, it took quite a bit of soaking and tugging to get that tube off my finger. It took with it a small chunk of skin, leaving a sensitive spot.

I used Neosporin Plus Pain Relief on the sore spots and slathered my hands with thick lotion before putting on some latex gloves so I could fix dinner and take care of Momma. Later, I found some spray-on bandage (I don’t know how old it was, but it worked) in the medicine cabinet that protected my fingertip until it stopped being so sore.

That evening, I discovered two drops of Super Glue on the lens of my glasses. They were way over to one side, so I didn’t see them earlier. Good thing, too. I probably would have glued my hand to them. I went to two different eyeglass places the next day, and was told the same thing – if they tried to remove the glue, my glasses would be destroyed.

When the ordeal was finally over, I asked John to please put the mixer back together. I didn’t watch him take it apart and I didn’t know how it goes.

That’s when he explained to me what I’d done. There was an axle piece that had to go through the hole in the middle of the gear. Since I glued it back together without that piece, it couldn’t be reassembled.

Sunday, September 12, 2010