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Showing posts from October, 2007

Thread and Air

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... I make things by hand, professionally. And one of my great pleasure in life is learning about the things that other people make or made. Last night, Sheri and I worked until after midnight, painting the stage floor, and then we were back at work, bright and early, to continue with painting tasks. Once the carpenters had finished their on-stage notes, they were going to build a few new pieces of scenery, but there was going to be a bit of a lag-time until we could paint these things. We had some time on our hands, we were really tired, and we needed a treat. So Sheri and I took a long lunch and used the time to visit the Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles in Berkeley , where they were having shows of knitted lace and also something called Needle Lace . In this technique, artisans take single strands of linen fibers (significantly thinner than a human hair) and essentially "embroider the air." Every part of the lace is created by the lace makers. The tulle nettin

What's Moving?

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... Regular blog readers will recall the maps that I've shown of the parts of Robb's body that he cannot access, due to the neurological damage caused by his spinal cord accident. From the beginning, he's been able to move his big toe, but not the other toes on his feet, which is consistent with what these dermatome maps indicate. Last night, he very excitedly showed me that he could wiggle the pinky toe on his weaker foot. "What had changed?" I asked. Robb shrugged and said that he hadn't tried moving it for a while, but for some reason he now could. I'm thrilled. This means there's still improvement going on. The rate of recovery is so slow, that we often can't tell if Robb is getting better, or just getting better at adapting. The other "moving" thing that happened last night was an earthquake . I was crawling around under our bed, vacuuming, and what with the noise and vibration on the vacuum, I didn't notice a thin

A Balancing Act

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We talk a lot about balance on this blog. Partially, because with Robb's diminished sensation and strength in his feet, he has to work extra-hard to maintain his balance, and also because it is a good metaphor for our lives. We try to strike a balance between pushing ourselves to our limits, and not over-exerting ourselves. Or between acceptance of our situation and total denial. You get the picture. PHYSICAL Robb had been sick last week, with what was probably some kind of flu. Spinal cord injury notwithstanding, Robb is amazingly healthy, and almost never gets sick. (The fever he had right after the fundraising bike ride was related the the urological stuff that he's dealing with as a result of his injury. This is part of the things we have to learn to "manage.") I get a lot of small colds, probably because I have bad allergies, and my respiratory system is under stress. Robb almost never gets sick, but when he does, watch out! The funny thing is that while

Disclaimer

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... Robb is feeling much better. And I did not really leave him on the side of the trail, to be eaten by coyotes. This sweet little birdie was there, to keep him company. Happy Halloween, Y'all!

what we did on my birthday

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... We threw caution to the wind and went to Point Reyes. We figured that Robb could be under the weather at a beautiful beach or a lovely bed and breakfast just as well as he could be at home. Besides, the cost of the room was non-refundable. As usual, we had the place almost to ourselves. Well, almost. I have never gotten so close to shorebirds. They were totally unfazed by me. Robb was amused to watch me running up the beach to get between the birds and the setting sun. Michael Rosenthal from Bay Area Backroads gave me a heads-up on a great spot to see Acorn Woodpeckers, and I was not disappointed. Michael also suggested Abbott's Lagoon as a spot that might be easy for Robb to traverse. We took the wheelchair, since it was a three mile hike to the beach. Robb was tired, and his chair kept getting bogged down in the trail's sandy surface. I left him by the side of the trail, to be eaten by coyotes. Actually, he turned back and took a nap in t

Not Feeling Well

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Robb is sick. Really sick. Shivering so hard at night that he wakes all the household mammals. Unable to face food. Passing out on the way back from the bathroom. He's miserable. Tomorrow is my birthday and our anniversary, and Robb and I had planed to get out of town, and enjoy a relaxing weekend in Point Reyes. We have un-refundable un-transferable reservations at a rather expensive bed and breakfast. Damn. I did not do this drawing (but I really love it). We don't eat cheap duck pie at our house. And besides American vultures don't look like this fellow.

the roaming herd

I realize that I haven't been writing a lot about the state of Robb's health lately. Things have been challenging, and I don't know what to say about the current state of affairs. Robb continues to do all sorts of athletic therapies, but by the time I get home for the night, he's pretty much exhausted. We have dinner, and then I join his restless migration around the apartment. Robb finds it very difficult to get comfortable, lately. If he sits too long -- like for more than twenty minutes -- back hurts, so he goes and lays down. But lately if he lays down too long, his back hurts in a different way and so he has to get up and try something else. I generally trail him as he roams from living room to bedroom and back again. But, for some reason, I usually join him as he's reached his limit. I settle in, and then he's on the move again.

That Spooky Spirit

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... I love Halloween. Not just because my birthday is right about that time, but because it is a holiday that celebrates some pretty strange things. The hinge in the seasons between summer and winter, the idea that the dead can walk the earth for one night, the equally uncanny idea that for one night children can demand candy from total strangers, costumes..... Oh yeah, the list of why I love this holiday goes on and on. I had planned to have people over to the shop to carve pumpkins, but somehow I was really late in issuing invitations. Oh well, I thought, if nobody shows up, Robb and I can drink a few beers and mangle pumpkins by ourselves. (Alcohol and knives. Always a good combination, right?) As it turned out, quite a variety of people showed up. We were especially excited to see Robb's former nurse case manager Linda. I was finally able to give her the scarf I made as a thank you gift for everything she had done for us. I didn't manage to carve anything

Niobe

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... I miss my kitty so much that just looking at this photo, which I took on her last day with us, is making me cry. We've had a lot of experience dealing with grief at our home, and it never seems to get any easier.

How do you know when to say goodbye?

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... My beloved kitty Niobe is very ill, indeed. As a result of her kidney disease, she has poor muscular control, and is having great difficulty walking. Her gum infection has gotten much worse. She often seems confused. She's peeing all over the place. (To be honest, Niobe has always been a bit clumsy, short on brains and a naughty little pisser. However, things have gotten much worse.) Niobe is also spending the bulk of her time hanging out with Robb and me. Robb spends quite a large amount of every day laying down, and Niobe is constantly cuddled up with him. I have been struggling with what to do. On one hand, I don't want her to suffer, and I believe in euthanasia. But I cannot come to terms with scheduling the appointment to end her life. People always say "you'll know when the time comes." But I'm finding that I disagree with that. I don't know what the tipping point is. She is very old and frail, but she's also a little love m

Pumpkin Carving!

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Jack-o-lanterns Originally uploaded by Blue Lotus On Saturday October 20th at 2pm, we’re going to be carving pumpkins (and consuming a few beers) in the Berkeley Rep scenic studios. As we’re in the middle of building a huge show, you will get to experience the industrial charm of our scenic studios. Martha Stewart might be appalled at the lack of stark tidiness, but she would be drooling over our power tools. (Sorry to all you smarty-pants out there, we will not be carving pumpkins with power tools.) Join us, won’t you? 2526 Wood Street in Oakland Bring Your Own Pumpkin

A Change of Scenery

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... I've been swamped at work. This season, our schedule is very compressed. This week we're opening one show in one theater, dis-assembling the scenery for another show in a different space, and frantically trying to finish up work on a third show. Everyone is very stressed out, because there's so much to get done. The entire shop has been putting in long hours, and we all worked on Saturday. On Sunday, Robb and I decided to try a change of pace with the cycling. We rode out to where we thought the Iron Horse Trail went through Walnut Creek, but got on the wrong path. After riding in the bike lane through wildly affluent suburbs, and being yelled at not once but twice, we turned back in disgust. I really thought I had mis-heard the first man who yelled "Get off the road" until the guy with the SUV drove past and shouted "Buy a car!" at me through his on-board speaker system. I was flabbergasted. This gentleman actually spent money inst

Warm and Fuzzy

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... I started knitting Robb a sweater with alpaca yarn that I bought at the recent knitting expo. I wanted to have something to do on the car ride to the BORP ride. I'm keeping it very simple, design-wise, but I'm using teeny tiny needles, so I'll be working on this one for a while. This is a week's progress. Linguine seems unimpressed.

Such a Hottie!

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So, why has Rob been so notably silent since the ride? Is he still doing victory laps around the apartment? Alas, no. He's sick in bed with a fever.

We Did It -- And Then Some!

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... Another short ride recap. (It's Monday. Saturday was the ride, and Sunday I worked until 1:30 in the morning.) Nature could not have given us a more perfect day for the BORP fundraising ride. Gloriously sunny with a light breeze and not a hint of humidity or showers. The landscape was gleaming, with grape leaves turning autumn colors, and the smell of ripened grapes in the air. As we rode out of the vineyard at the start of the ride, I turned to Robb and said, "It smells like yellowjackets." And he knew exactly what I meant. The event was perfectly organized, and oh-so-fun. The roads were quite good, the support vans were never far away, and if we so much as stopped to put on some chapstick, someone would instantly pull over to see if we needed anything. It was, however, a hard ride. Despite the condition of her injured hand, Kara decided to ride with us, after all. She's moving to North Carolina next week, and realized that she would regret passing up a chance to

Scenes from a Revolutionary Life

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... I think I'll just post photos, and let them tell the story for now. It was a wonderful, inspiring, exhausting, exhilarating day!