Friday, January 30, 2015


Had good PT today; the PT woman remembered to bring the tweezers and I got the bad ones out. Then Barbara came to visit with my own new tweezer and People and Us magazines... and we had a nice visit. She groomed me like a Mother Monkey so my face is clear of all remnants of looking like a Billy Goat.

Heres Barbara with her reading matter and her tweezer.

This was dinner, It doesn't look bad, but the meat was some sort of ground meat -- chicken? who knows? The aide brought be a PB&J which I appreciated.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

And Baby Adelyn

I am no speech and language therapist, but I believe this is the beginning steps of speaking -- that the baby realizes that he/she can make a different sound with and without the tongue. I'm serious here.

Mary's Lunch Guest

Mary said she took this as she was eating lunch.

Thursday Progress

I made it all the way to the top of the stairs, turned around and came back down and got a round of applause from the therapists. I sort of didn't like it -- it seemed patronizing -- like -- oh look, she can talk.

I feel as if I have had a mental change --- sort of round the bend and heading home and thinking that's within reach.

The bad news of today is I hadn't looked in a mirror in a long time -- which is weird -- and I have the grossest, longest white hairs -- a few from my chin, and a few from my upper lip. God, do I ever need a waxing. One of the female PTs is going to bring me a tweezer tomorrow so at least I can pluck the worst of them. Knowing that they are there just is bothering me.

So progress continues. I guess the fact that I care about my white hairs is a positive thing.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wednesday Progress

I was thinking last night as I went to sleep, "I want my life back." And although I do not want to field questions about when I get out of here, I can report that everyone is making noises in that direction. We're working on stairs and tonight the Occupational Therapy woman asked me if I knew my release date. So that's moving in the right direction.

I had this lovely woman as a roommate for a few days and she was transferred to be by her husband who is also here... and today in PT she came over to say goodbye to me as she's being sent home tomorrow and she told me that I was her role model. I said gee, if I"m your role model, how come you're going home and I'm not? So I do work hard, do what is asked of me, always a willing spirit, no matter how hard.

Am still doing a full schedule of work-work which is good. And I am imagining, that despite all this cold and snow, that spring is coming. John Denver had a song about seasons and about spring he sang, Can you understand the need to carry on? So I am thinking that brighter days are ahead.

Monday, January 26, 2015

More Baby Adelyn

This is baby Adelyn with her grandmother, grandfather (Mary's brother), Howie the Dog and Lucky the Cat,

DC Snow

Fran says::

Right now, around noon, snow is wet but we are expecting more snow late today and overnight that may accumulate and create bad road conditions. This according to crackerjack weather guys.

Attached is my "Methodist" tree (so-called because it is on the front lawn of the Methodist Home, now called the Forest Hills Home, and a shot from outside the home looking south in Connecticut Ave.

  Mary says:

I don't think we are going to have any issues with snow.  It's beautiful and it's falling steadily but it's too warm down here for anything to stick on the roads or sidewalks.  If it were colder, we'd probably already have an inch or two.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Nigel is growing up

Still a cute puppy

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Opening Night

I have some West Side Story music on my iPod which I've been listening to -- and I can't help but wonder what it was like on opening night of that show. So many amazing songs that became standards. I think about what the audience must have thought.

When West Side Story came out as a movie, I believe I was in 8th grade, and because it was special, the movie house raised the rates to $2 which was a lot of money.

I think the same thing about South Pacific, Music Man and some of the other classics. A client told me he saw South Pacific in its opening run on Broadway. Maybe it was controversial at the time. Think I'll see if there are any opening night reviews.

I have a vivid memory of when my parents would go to Broadway plays and my mother would wear a fancy cocktail dress -- and now people clean out their garage and arrive in the same apparel. Oh, I sound like an old lady!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Stairway to Heaven

We ended the week in PT by attempting stairs... I did two and stopped. They thought that was great progress, In case you can't picture this, in the PT room, there's five stairs to a landing with railing. Of course, no release date has been set, but they did mention several times that I have to do stairs to get out of here so at least there's an end in sight.

Expecing snow, sleet and rain tonight and tomorrow --- in that order.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Slow and Steady

Both the medical doctor and my PT people told me independently that I was making slow and steady progress and that's how it should be.

It's so hard to not be impatient, so don't give up on me yet. I'm getting there via the Tortoise Highway.

More Baby Adelyn

This reminds me of a photo where years from now, Adelyn will be saying "Oh Daddy, look how young you were!"

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Burn In Hell

Just learned a new word -- Ransomware

This is a new way of hacking where the contents of your computer is stolen and you're left with a ransom note. Read a story about a man who has operated a radio station for 50 years out of his basement. His music library was stolen, and the "kidnappers" want $500 to give it back.

Who are these people? Were they dropped on their head as babies? Are they missing some human gene? I am by far not Pollyanna, but I can't imagine doing this and feeling good about yourself.

Snow in DC

No snow in NYC yet, but it's supposedly on its way. Here's Mary's screened in porch.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Mother and Child

This is a lovely shot of Mary's niece Laura and her brand new daughter Adelyn:

San Francisco Beer Week

Ok, got another news release from a tavern (fancy) which is doing beer/dessert pairings. Here they are with my comments:

  • Mascarpone Ginger Tart, paired with Brown Ale
  • Pat says: I'm not sure what mascarpone tastes like, but this sounds OK. Am also iffy about whether I want beer with dessert.
  • Mini Bleu Cheese Cheesecake with candied bacon and a maple bourbon reduction paired with Double Bore IPA
  • I'm actually a blue, or rather bleu, cheese fan -- as salad dressing itself in a creamy base or crumpled with oil and vinegar. As my friends will attest, I am also a cheesecake fan... make that my #3 dessert, but my jury is out on bleu cheese cheesecake.
  • Spiced Poached Pears, paired with PaPa Juice Barleywine
  • It's rare to get a good pear, but when you do, there's nothing like it. I'd want to know the spices, but this one seems ok.
  • Beeramisu, paired with Calf-eine
  • I don't like tiramisu, so I think I'd likewise pass on beeramisu.
    Guess I'd go with the ginger tart.

    Monday, January 19, 2015

    Magic Moment

    Mary had brought me my iPod where I have music, and the earbuds, but I didn't mention, forgot about the charger so I couldn;t use it. Marilyn mailed me the charger so I am able to enjoy music today. It's a great way to shut out everything else. Right now, I'm listening to Simon & Garfunkle sing "The Boxer" -- a song I never get tired of hearing.

    One of the songs I have is "And I am telling you" from the original Broadway show "Dream Girls" which I saw back in the 1980s with Jennifer Holliday. She was so brilliant, so mesmerizing that while she sang this the world could have collapsed and no one would notice. It is so dramatic and so raw and powerful. It was hearing her that I understood for the first time the meaning of "show stopper" -- the show literally stopped and the audience gave her a standing ovation.

    The audience was stunned by her performance, wave after wave of applause. It was like we couldn't believe what we had just heard. I am so grateful that I was able to hear that performanmce live.

    (Now I'm listening to Livingston Taylor singing City Lights)

    Ever since, lesser singers have tried that song, but no one will ever sing it like Jennifer Holliday did.

    Pick a Dessert

    From another restaurant news release for its Valentine's Day dinner:

    chocolat "fleur de sel" sea salt caramel creme brulee -  valrhona french chocolat powder
    with Raspberry Sorbet. "best dessert highlight of 2011"
    Pat says: Creme Brulee is my #2 favorite dessert, with the #1 being profiteroles with vanilla ice cream and warm fudge sauce.  The best creme brulee I ever had was a warn coconut one that I can still recall. This one sounds good, and I like that added rasberry sorbet.

    daily selection of homemade fresh fruit sorbets   
    pure ripe seasonnal fruits, no preserve or additive, pastry chef's choice    
    Pat says: I have to say that homemade sorbets and fresh fruit really does appeal to me. Not decadent but I bet this is wonderful.   
    valrhona cocoa sorbet with candied orange peals     
    smooth and rich in bitter sweet coca
    Pat says: I'll pass on this one as I don't like bittersweet chocolate.
    And you?

    Sunday, January 18, 2015

    More on the New Baby Adelyn

    Here's today's photo along with Adelyn and Howie the dog meeting each other.

    This is Jay, the baby's father. He is Mary's nephew by marriage. The mother is Laura, Mary's niece.

    Mary and Milo's Selfie

    Milo was settled in on my legs when I was lying down reading the paper. All of a sudden he got up, walked around me and resettled on my neck. How am I supposed to read the paper? I'm going to get up and get some coffee in a minute. He is nice and warm though.

    Mary's New Cart

    After years of having a piece of furniture in her dining room that someone, someone, someone was going to use, a person finally claimed it and moved it out, leaving an empty space. Mary decided on a bar cart, but couldn't find one she liked. So many of them look like they belong in a catering house with all the fancy decorations.

    So I found one that Mary  liked, and she ordered it... and here's the report:

    There's a comic strip I read call Knight Life, written by Keith Knight, that I love.  He has occasion strips he titles "Life's little victories" and I just had one.  The bar cart I ordered had indicated assembly required but all I needed was a screwdriver.  The box came on Friday and it was really big so I said "it's big enough to have come fully assembled".  I just opened it and it IS fully assembled!  Nice little victory.  Here is a picture of the cart before I loaded it up and a picture after.

    By the way, when Mary says she "reads" she has for years read for Washington Ear, which provides tapes of the newspaper etc for blind people. Yes, that's my Mary. Reads for blind people.  Her goodness sometimes shames me.

    But back to the bar cart:


    I was watching an episode of Big Bang Theory last night and one of the geeks... the one who is always correcting people was mad that regular pizza night got changed (Thursdays) and they were all supposed to go to someone else's apt to have Tex Mex, and he didn't want that. He wanted his same night of Thursdays is pizza night. 

    So the host puts this tray on the coffee table and says "Here are fajitas with all the fixin's" and this geek sighs and says, "Dinner, some assembly required."

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

    Slow Satiurday

    Things really go on autopilot around here on the weekends. There was hubbub in my room that a third "resident" was coming in, but she didn't appear last night as announced, nor did she come today which is fine with me.

    Dinner was horrid, cold crap and I asked the aide if she came across a sandwich to bring it to me, but she didn't have to go hunting. Much to my surprise a few minutes later, she appeared with an American cheese sandwich. The highlight is that it comes with a pack of mayo. O happy day.

    It is so cold here, a little chilly in the room, but if you turn on the heater, it's too much -- blast of heated air.

    Wish I had more scintillating news to report, but that's it for me.

    Friday, January 16, 2015

    A Fancier Menu

    I'm still on the mailing list of some fancy restaurants from when I wrote for the restaurant magazine. This is from a news release from an upcoming Valentine's Day dinner. I'll tell you my picks... what are yours?

    Valentine's Day Menu


    NICK'S PREMIUM OYSTER PLATTER a selection of oysters on the half-shell   32
    DRAKE'S BAY, DRAKES ESTERO medium-strong brine, crisp finish   3.75
    KUMAMOTO, TOMALES BAY medium brine, crisp finish   3.85
    POINT REYES MIYAGI, TOMALES BAY mild brine, crisp finish   3.25

    THE ORIGINAL TOMALES BAY BBQ’D OYSTER half dozen oysters, house-made BBQ sauce, garlic-parsley butter   18
    BAKED OYSTER MORNAY half dozen oysters, parmesan, Pt. Reyes Toma, breadcrumbs   18
    BACON BRAISED OYSTER half dozen oysters, shallots, sherry 18
    PAT SAYS: I wish I ate raw oysters, but they don't appeal to me. I'd be game for Baked Oyster Mornay.


    Choice of: 

    DUNGENESS CRAB LOUIS egg, radish, avocado, cucumber
    TOMALES BAY CLAM CHOWDER applewood smoked bacon
    DUNGENESS CRAB CAKE smoked paprika aioli, arugula, fennel
    ASPARAGUS ARANCINI grana padano, chives, pine nuts
    PAT SAYS: I'd do any of the first three -- maybe go with the clam chowder

    Choice of:

    DUNGENESS CRAB MAC & CHEESE Spring Hill cheddar, Pt. Reyes Toma
    SALMON TARTARE fried capers, quail egg, house-made brioche
    ROASTED BEEF MARROW BONES fig preserves, fried sage, house-made potato chips
    CAULIFLOWER CUSTARD smoked oyster, Serrano ham
    PAT SAYS:  Of course, it's the crab mac and cheese.

    Choice of: 

    WOOD FIRED SALMON marinated beets, béarnaise, salmon tartare
    WILD MUSHROOM FARRO RISOTTO fines herbes, maitake, chanterelle
    SEARED AMERICAN WAGYU BEEF bone marrow mashed potatoes, chanterelle mushrooms, mushroom reduction
    PAT SAYS: I haven't had a good piece of red meat in months so I think I go with that. I don't know what Wagyu beef is; have never had bone marrow mashed, but I love mushrooms.

    Choice of:

    ORANGE–CHOCOLATE BOMBE TORTE Grand Marnier anglaise, orange syrup, cocoa nibs, fior di latte gelato
    SALTED CARAMEL POT DE CREME hazelnut-bacon brittle
    WARM SPICED WALNUT CAKE red wine lazed dates, blood orange curd, candied pecans
    PAT SAYS: I don't like liquor baked into my desserts so I think I'd go for the pot de creme, although I'm not 100 percent sure what it is. The warm spiced walnut cake sounds awfully good too,
    What looks good to you?

    Thursday, January 15, 2015

    Gwenyth's New Hairband

    Mary brought Gwenyth's hairband in South Africa:

    From my 7th grade social studies teacher

    Two of my junior high teachers married each other, and we heard through the grapevine that the man died, and we (high school reunion list) was sent the woman's email address. So I wrote her to express my condolences and told her a bit of my life. Here is the first paragraph of her response. I really am stunned (and a little proud) that she remembered me.

    Miss Young aka Mrs. Snyder wrote:

    As soon as I saw your name I remembered what you looked like.  I also remember your intellectual curiosity which always makes a teacher happy.  It sounds like you had the best of everything in your career.  You got a chance to teach which is a great thing and your other career choices seemed to be very interesting and challenging.  The best thing is that you live in Manhatten!!  I never got a chance to do that which I regret.

    Wednesday, January 14, 2015

    New Baby

    This baby is so new (Mary's grand-niece) she doesn't have a name yet, but mother and new baby doing fine, and she weighs 6 lbs 7 ounces.

    Monday, January 12, 2015

    Who Got the Better Dinner?

    Mary is on Amtrak, chugging her way back to DC. She ordered turbot for dinner and says it is not overcooked. Note glass of wine and little salt and pepper shakers. I was reading Vanity Fair last night and came upon a Grey Goose ad and was thinking how good a vodka gimlet would taste.

    Sunday, January 11, 2015

    Sunday Afternoon

    This is last night's dinner -- trying to duplicate Chicken McNuggets. Well, I've had them hot, salty and greasy (yum) and these weren't any of those things Soft, bready coating over chopped chicken parts. Unadorned rice and unseasoned carrots. I used my butter for the bread, which I didn't eat, and mixed the rice and carrots with a pat of butter and it was edible.

    Mary came up and we went through all my mail. I remembered I hadn't paid my mortgage so that was done'. That's one bill I can't pay online, but it's OK and it's not considered "late" until the 17th of the month. I passed along a book Russell had brought me  which I highly recommend. It's "Hand to Mouth" and was written by a real life working poor person. Lots of food for thought here. Very quick read.  It is NOT a bleeding heart thing --- just a raw description of what it's like to be working poor, including defending why she smokes, has kids, working conditions, etc.

    Louisa and the rest of the family came right from church. After the visit, they had to go collect seaweed samples for a school project of Charlotte's. We had a nice time,b and Mary and Mary Elizabeth were reunited after not having seen each other in probably 30 years.


    Friday, January 9, 2015

    Food Reviews

    I give this a D. The brown/black thing was supposed to be a steak?? but I literally could not cut it. The zucchini just is slimy and tasteless and I think I ate ther rice stuff.

    If  I graded on a curve, I/d give this an A. I ate it all... macaroni and cheese and canned beets. I actually like beets, but there's no seasoning, but this is one of the better meals.

    I ate the sweet potatoes; skipped the turkey roll and ate some of the vegetables (peas and carrots).

    This is too close to the White Meal... this gets an F... I don't remember what the white stuff i9s, but it's bad, canned bean salad. No thanks.

    I couldn't (really) figure out what the brown crusty thing is. The vegetables are drowned and slimy so I ate the spaghetti which was like typical canned spaghetti with the sauce already mixed in. I'd say B- for the spaghetti and D for the rest.

    I ate the noodles (give that an A-) mixed with some of the gravy. I do like spinach, although I was dreaming about a fresh spinach salad with bacon pieces and some wonderful dressing)... this was roast beef or something and I ate a bit of itl

    The Men in My Life

    Here's my date, Mr. Reggie, who comes to visit me. I am not sure if he is throwing a gang sign or what. I told him my friends thought he was handsome and that made him happy. He really is a lovely man.

    And this is Bob, another serenader to shut ins. His version of a 60s song was to sing "All my Lovin'" by the Beatles. I have to give this guy credit for doing this. It is a nice break.

    Wednesday, January 7, 2015


    Mary got a bad day to have her windown replaced. She and Milo holed up in the basement trying to stay warm. It's frigid here too, but warm inside at least.

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

    More Kids

    Snowy DC

    We had about two inches of snow here -- very pretty for while it was happening. The PT room overlooks Jamaica Bay so it's like woodland out that window. Now it has stopped and looks nasty and slushy out.

    But it always looks good for a time -- here's Mary's backyard....

    And here is Mary's annual snow angel:

    Monday, January 5, 2015

    Christmas Puppy

    Introducing Mac and Stancie's Christmas puppy, an English bulldog named Nigel:

    More Christmas Kitties