Monthly Archives: September 2011


Tales from the River – Amsterdam, Netherlands, Sept 30, 2011

We really must’ve been exhausted last night because we both overslept this morning. We woke up at 8:15, totally missing the wakeup call that was supposed to be set at 6:30 am! Yet after Ed didn’t sleep at all on … Continue reading


Tales from the River – Traveling, 2011-09-29

September 29, 2011 We checked our luggage all the way to Amsterdam, so we didn’t have to deal with that but we did, however, have to go through a passport checkpoint.  It’s not like the U.S.A. setup, where you stay … Continue reading

Tales from the River – Traveling, 2011-09-28

Sept 28, 2011:

Yes, we probably should’ve started packing a few days ago but we both had it in our minds exactly what we wanted to take with us.  And we have brand new, BIG, 4-wheel pieces of luggage so we can travel easier.  Most friends and family we talked to were totally amazed that we hadn’t finished packing the night before we left.  In reality, Ed STARTED packing the afternoon before and I didn’t start until the night before.

Ed only had one huge bag and his carry-on.  I, on the other hand, was thinking ahead – or trying to anyway – and I spread my stuff out between one huge bag and one medium bag, plus my rolling laptop carry-on bag  There are lots of extra room for the goodies we bring back!  Yeah!

And, yes, we were packed and ready to go by 1:35 pm Wednesday.

Checking n to American Airlines, International Terminal D, was a breeze.  No bags over 50 pounds.  Yes, thinking ahead again.

Going through security was easy – at least for me.  Ed had to remove his belt and the two pouches that hold his camera and phone.  He had everything else in his travel vest but, for some reason, refused to give up his camera and phone to the vest.  Then he told the TSA agent he had a new pacemaker.  Instead of a manual search, which we both expected, the agent perked up and said Ed wouldn’t have a problem going through the security machine because all it did was bounce rays off of his body and it wasn’t magnetic

That was great until they said he needed to raise his arms.  I must’ve had an odd look on my face because the agent standing beside me asked what was wrong.  I told him that Ed had just had surgery and wasn’t supposed to raise his left arm above shoulder height.  But by that time, Ed had already complied and the machine had finished the scan.  Oh, well.  So far, no harm done.

On to the Admiral’s Club and two complementary drinks.  I guess, since we were on an international flight, we got two coupons, so I had my calming coffee & Bailey’s and Ed had a nice, refreshing gin & tonic.  We had 2 hours to kill when we went through security so free drinks and some sliders were a good treat.

I thought we were in business class but I was wrong.  We were in front of coach and behind business class and there was no first class section.  Coach seats and service, bah, humbug!  I will be changing our seats on the return flight!  Yes, I’m spoiled, I know, but I hate being cramped and having coach food and paying for drinks and NOT having a mini-TV at my seat.  Ed was fine with it but, as Executive Platinum, I was really looking forward to being pampered on this long flight,

A sleepless night in mid-air, above the Atlantic Ocean.  I dozed but never really went to sleep.  Ed didn’t sleep at all.

We had an hour and a half to go on this 9 hours flight.  I would be very glad to stretch my legs and I’m sure Ed was suffering even more than me.  He had the window seat but, with his long legs and his carry-on under the seat in front of him, he wasn’t able to stretch them out fully and his knees had been scrunched up into the back of the sleeping man leaning back in front of him.

Finally, the long night was over, breakfast was served and we landed in Madrid.

One of Those Days

Have you ever just had one of those days?  Today has been that day for me.

It started off so well!  I had a massage first thing this morning and that really helped my entire demeanor.  As some of you know, I REALLY look forward to my massage and am so relaxed when I get home.  I guess that’s why the rest of the day seemed so much more frustrating than it usually would have.

One of my tenants griped at my maintenance man at the Meadows Building because, instead of doing what he asked, Ken told him to talk to me about it.  Ok, there are indeed sticker burrs in spots in the parking lot but I had already asked the landscapers to spray them.  Ken is my maintenance man, not my gardener, at the Meadows Building.  It’s not his job to spray and dig up stickers!  I was ready for bear by the time I got down to the Meadows Building.

Yes, I addressed the problem with the tenant.  I also said not to make any changes to the Meadows Building without running it by me first, such as painting and putting up signs, which was done earlier this summer.  Man, did I get ticked! 

I had seen my next door neighbor’s new pavement, right next door to the Meadows Building, and recently they striped it to make for more organized parking.  I can understand that but it wasn’t until today, when a long pickup truck was parked in-between the two buildings, that it became apparent how much room those parking spots were actually taking away from the Meadows Building parking. 

At one time, I hoped to pave my parking lot also but it was way out of my budget so I’ll have to wait a few years.  When they paved next door, they paved to the middle of the space between the buildings but they only own a few feet next to their building so they paved some of my lot.  Ok, no big deal.  I appreciate it.  Thank you.

I have been told that those parking spaces can be used for the Meadows Building also but there is no “Public Parking” sign on those spaces and, since they are now paved and mine are not, it looks like there is a distinct line of demarcation between the two buildings.  The customers for my building don’t seem to be parking there.  Am I being too picky here???

I have mulled and mulled for the past week about the $2k bill I got from my landscapers and, after today, I have decided that I just can’t afford this guy any more.  He takes care of the sprinkler systems at the Meadows Building and my mom’s house and plants seasonal flowers at both places.  But $2,000 worth???  I just can’t afford that, not in this fiscal environment.  After how today went, I was on a roll so I called and fired him.  I don’t know who I’ll get to take it over but I will negotiate a much better deal AND I will make sure that the new landscapers clear all expenses with me before I get billed!

Sitting here tonight and stewing, it finally dawned on me what was wrong.  I don’t like it when people do something and don’t give me fair warning when it concerns something that I own.  Tell me what you are going to do before you do it and I will probably be fine with it but give me the opportunity to do something better or different or more effective or just something MY way.  If you want to pave or paint or stripe or make 35 trips, tell me about it and ask my opinion.  Don’t just assume that I will be grateful!

One thing that I AM grateful for is having Ed’s health back.  I feel like he has been MIA for over a year and I am grateful to his doctors, his nurses, and the technology for helping us.  Yes, there are things he can’t do for a while but that will pass.  We are taking our barge trip for my mom and will sit on the river barge on the Danube with some of her friends and drink a toast to her, we will tell stories about her, and we will celebrate her life.  I know that she will be there also, enjoying everything but the scotch.  I’m glad that Ed will be there because he can enjoy that scotch for her.  I’m also grateful that Ed will be there so he can now enjoy all the walking tours with me and we can be totally exhausted after a fun day … together.

A Whirlwind Week!

This week has been a whirlwind of activity! 

Ed had difficulty getting a contact out of his left eye early this week and irritated the eye.  We went to Dallas to his optometrist on Wednesday.  Somehow he scratched his cornea so now he has antibiotic eye drops. 

Yesterday, Ed had an appointment with Dr. Naceem to discuss the results of the stress test last week.  The doctor recommended a pacemaker.  We could’ve tried a surgery to get rid of the atrial fibrillation however, if it didn’t work, we would be back to having a pacemaker.  Later, Dr. Naceem said that he didn’t think Ed had a-fib at all; Ed’s heart just worked that way.  On a brighter note, Dr. Naceem said that Ed had the body of a 65 year old.  I guess all that weight-lifting has paid off!

Knowing that we are soon to go on vacation, Dr. Naceem wanted to get the surgery over with quickly so that he would have lots of time to monitor Ed before we left and he felt it would be much better for Ed to go on vacation with a pacemaker.  The surgery occurred around noon today.  Is that quick enough for you, Doc???

I left Ed about 6:30 tonight and he was feeling great.  He ate a late lunch today and was eating dinner when I left.  His heart rate is now strong and steady.  What a great sound to hear!  He is still on bed rest until tomorrow so we don’t know yet if he has more energy or if he will get out of breath when he walks but the doctor assures us that he will feel so much better and will do fine with all the walking on our trip.  Woo-hoo!!!

I will bring Ed home tomorrow.  He can’t life anything heavy for a month.  In fact, he can’t even lift his left arm over shoulder height for a month.  And they don’t want him to drive for a month.  Not that he couldn’t drive, of course.  He could drive just fine but if he jerked the wheel to avoid a collision or something, he could tear loose the wires they screwed into his heart and that would mean surgery to fix them. 

What that means I that I will be doing all the driving for the next 2 weeks, I will be lifting all of the luggage on our trip, and he will have to call me to lift groceries and laundry the next 2 weeks.  Geez, thanks, Doc!!!  Man, will I be glad when we get back from vacation and his month of limitations is over!!!

I Wish I Had a Picture of That

Sam and SoLow spend most of their days either sleeping or playing.  Sometimes they come to us for petting but usually they just like to play and sleep. 

It’s easy to see when Sam wants to play with SoLow.  She will walk up to SoLow and crouch, as if she’s going to jump on her.  If SoLow doesn’t respond, Sam will stand up and swat her with her right paw a few times on the shoulder.  That always gets SoLow charging toward Sam and off they go.

Now, if SoLow wants to play, usually she will just dance around, back and forth, and act like she’s going to take off running.  That usually gets Sam dancing and running with SoLow through the house.  SoLow takes advantage of it by trying to bite Sam’s ankles as she runs and sometimes they both go tumbling and sliding on the tile floor.  Rarely does SoLow ever actually catch Sam’s ankle but I have seen it happen.  What a hoot to watch.

But for the first time, today I saw SoLow sit up on her butt, balanced by her tail, little paws sticking straight out, nosing Sam in the face.  And Sam was just standing there and taking it!  The funny thing is that SoLow is a dachshund and Sam is a Sheltie.  SoLow HAS to sit that way for her face to be at the same level as Sam’s.  It would’ve done no good for me to take a picture because SoLow was sitting at my feet but I so wish Ed had been holding a camera right at that moment.

Why is it that when something funny … or interesting … or memorable happens, we never seem to have a camera in hand?  And that moment is gone before we have time to capture it.  Thankfully, I will always have the memories of Sam and SoLow playing and I hope to have Sam and SoLow to watch for years to come.  Can you tell?  I missed my dogs while I was on vacation!


Home again, Home again

After a grueling 2-day drive, we are home again.  We beat Tropical Storm Lee during our drive and the only rain we saw was in Louisiana.  We did get some drizzle in Mississippi and Louisiana but it wasn’t bad. We … Continue reading