Thursday, August 31, 2006

Trip To Lake Tahoe In August

When it gets really hot in our area we sometimes head for Lake Tahoe and the cool mountain air. This is the restaurante where we ate a few weeks ago. It's literally right on the water so you can watch the boats and kayaks go by. Great breeze and wonderful crab sandwiches.
This is a paddle wheel boat that takes people out on dinner cruises around this beautiful lake. We are going back to Lake Tahoe the middle of September with our friends Einar and Susan. That time we are going to rent a speedboat and travel around the lake looking at homes of the rich and famous which are only visible from the water.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Okay, Just One More Golden Retriever Picture

 Notice the bundle of reddish fur on the bow of the boat; that's a Golden Retriever who's been for a ride. When I first spotted him he was sitting with the humans. As soon as they got close to the dock he leaped onto the bow just as though it was his job to guide the boat in. Well, maybe it was. I watched the family put into their dock where the Golden leaped off wagging its tail. Not a bad life for a dog, any dog. Posted by Picasa

No More Gas Hogs For Me

 This is me backing my gas-guzzling Toyota Sequoia out of our garage for the last time. I drove to the Bay Area and returned it to my leasing agent. Then I took the train home. Great ride on Amtrak to Sacramento. It's been two weeks since I returned it and I still don't have a car. Kerry has many so I'm not without wheels. I think today is the day I will go to the Toyota dealer in Auburn and attempt to buy a Prius. If the salesperson gets too obnoxious I will simply leave. I did love driving the Sequoia. It's a great car. I just didn't want to pay $72 to fill it up each time. Posted by Picasa

Meet Gracie The Golden Retriever

 Gary (the one holding Gracie) has a daughter, Tammie, who breeds Golden Retrievers. This is a new puppy she got in California. She expects to breed her in about two years. She's also going to show Gracie. I just love Goldens so had to post this photo. Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 28, 2006

Cochlear Implant Activated Successfully

 These two photos tell the story. The first one is my brother's reaction when he first heard sound in his left ear. The other shows the configuration around his ear. The thing sticking to his scalp is a magnet that connects the whole thing in his cochlea. He has not really heard in his left ear since birth. He's found out just how noisy the world is. He can even plug his ipod into the processor and listen to music. And when he and his wife are driving together she can wear a tiny lapel microphone that is attached to him so they can talk despite the road noise. It is truly a medical miracle. I cried when I saw the activation photo. Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 25, 2006

Miss Kate Arrives This Weekend

 I'm going to be a dog au pair for about a week thanks to my friend Doug's prurient interests in naked women at The Burning Man Festival in the middle of no where in Nevada. They don't allow dogs so Kate, a border collie who flunked herding, stays with us each year. She is the best behaved dog I've ever seen. As many of you know, Golden Retrievers are known for their sweet, gentle nature, but never for their ability to follow commands. Life just gets too complicated when you have to do what your mistress or master says. So Kate will get to romp and play. We may even invite Barnie the Corgi puppy for a play date. We will have to wait to see if their calendars match up. But meanwhile I'm in dog heaven. The gentleman in the photo is Doug. Posted by Picasa

The Cochlear Implant Is Working

 First I want to thank all of you who prayed to whomever you pray to. It worked. Richard had the implant last week and yesterday was activated. The photos show a bleary-eyed Richard on his way home from the hospital just three hours after surgery, which lasted four hours. The photo of his incision behind his ear is hard to see but that's because the whole process was so non-invasive. The third is a diagram of the cochlear implant. Anyway, I'll let my brother tell you in his own words about the activation.

"So I got activated this afternoon. This means they gave me the speech processor and programmed it at the basic level and testing my ability to hear little beeps and things. Then they actually let me hear environmental sounds, which in this case were Charlotte (his wife) and Darcy (the audiologist/wizard talking. And they sounded just like they were supposed to, which is somewhat astonishing when you think about the technology. Here's the wild part. The world is noisy. Just how noisy I now know --sorta--though she has me set on a very low volume level and will adjust it upwards four times for the next four weeks. Also, the refrigerator is a noisy beast. How do you hearing people manage all this noise?"

Kerry and I have been on vacation in the Northwest celebrating his 60th birthday or I would have posted this sooner. I'll tell you about that in a later post with some pictures.

Again, thank you everyone. It's hard for me to express just how amazing it is to have a brother who can hear. He lost his hearing as a infant so he has no idea about the world of the hearing. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Surgery For My Brother...Cochlear Implant

My baby brother, okay he's 50, but he's still younger than I am, is having cochlear implant surgery on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2006. Surgery begins at 7 a.m. mountain time and takes about 4 hours. If all goes well he will actually be able to hear out of both ears. Many of us take it for granted. He doesn't. So your prayers, thoughts, energy or whatever you believe in would be greatly appreciated tomorrow. Thank you.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

My Next Car...Not An SUV

 For the past four years I have been driving a forest green Toyota Sequoia. It seats 8 with lap belts, has ten cup holders and five places to charge cell phones. On occasion I have had people in the back seat but rarely in the back, back seat. I have loved driving it. You are up high, which is very nice when you are as short as I am. But alas, it guzzles gas. I've been averaging 15-17 mpg. for the four years of the lease. Recently I have been spending between $60 and $75 for gas. The tank holds 23 gallons. Just don't want to do that anymore.

My lease is up so it's going back to Golden Bear Leasing in Walnut Creek. My next car will be a Prius, which is a hybrid. The photo shows the actual car and color I will get. One weird thing about this car is that you just push a button to start the engine. No key. Also, there is a small camera mounted in the back of the car so you can see your way into a parking space. I wish I had had one on the Sequoia. I'm going to charge the whole thing to my Visa card so I get the mileage. I'll be carless until early September. The man with whom I live has enough vehicles for both of us so I won't have to stay home. I can't face going to a dealership just before we leave on vacation. I've never had a good experience with a salesmen. So when we return on August 23rd I'll make the trek to the dealer. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Dead Heads And Other Things From The Past Two Weeks

 This poor critter is a Mongolian Elk that is now hanging on the wall of an office lunchroom in El Centro, CA. There are lots of other dead heads on other walls, but this is the biggest. I actually had to sit through a meeting in this room. It was hard to pay attention to the meeting. The trip where I met the Elk started last Sunday, Aug. 6th and ended on Thursday Aug. 10th.

I had the privilege of flying home on the first day the "no gel, no liquid" rule. Luckily I heard about it while I was still packing. I put everything liquid in the bag I checked. A lot of people had not heard about the new rule so were busy throwing away anything liquid or gel into a big trash can at the security checkpoint. If you didn't fess up there then they searched your bag just before you boarded the flight. People lost yet more liquids and gels. Surprisingly nobody complained.

Yesterday was a platelet donation day. I'm one pint shy of donating 9 gallons of platelets. That pretty much wiped me out for the rest of the day. We barbecued Japanese eggplant on the barbecue along with steak. Yum.

Yesterday I also started my first batch of tomato puree from tomatoes in my garden. This morning I turned the flame on under the pan again to get a little more evaporation going so the flavor would be really strong. Well, I forgot all about it so now have burned on tomato puree. I haven't figured out how I'm going to clean the pan. Any suggestions out there. The stuff is really burned on.

I'm taking it easy today too. I usually need about 24 hours to recover from the platelet donation. Kerry is at an art class, and I'm just taking it easy. The weather here is beautiful today. It's 1:30 and I still haven't turned the AC on. Our electic bill last month when we had the heat wave was $669.

Next week Kerry and I leave on a driving vacation to see his family in Washington. We will also celebrate his 60th birthday while we are there. On drive home we are going to come down the Oregon coast. It's a beautiful part of the world and we have a couple of friends to visit.

I'm going to take a nap. No sense wasting an unmade bed. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 03, 2006

It's Never Too Early For The First Xmas Catalog

I got one in the mail today, August 3. This may be my earliest Christmas catalog. Has anyone out there received a Christmas catalog so far? I have nothing against the company, I just think we shouldn't skip Labor Day, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. The company has a website if you are interested: Posted by Picasa