Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Watching someone unrelated to me cut my grass

Because of my recent illness, I am, for the first time ever, paying someone to cut my grass.

I have always cut my own grass. Before having my own home, I cut the US Navy's grass and before that I cut grass at the Granite Run Mall in Delaware County, PA and even before that I cut my father's grass.

I have along history of cutting grass and up until now I thought I enjoyed it, but I have to tell you it might be awfully easy to have someone keep cutting the grass.

Can only recall two extended periods when I did not cut my own grass.

1. After gall stone and bladder surgery in 1997. For two weeks in May of that year, the Chancellor cut the grass here in Mount La-La. After the first cut she came back in the house and had two things to day:

- What was your best time?
- Does the handle have to vibrate so much?

I told her this is not a competition and that I had never timed myself but I guess it took me an hour. She proceeded to tell me that was because I stopped and wiped my brow before each turn. I explained to her that I come from a long line of brow wipers and roughly translated, that is exactly what our name means in the original Italian -  "He who wipes the brow" (it used to be "He who squints from sweat" but that was before the invention of the moppine.)

As for the vibrations, that just comes with the territory.

2. When my kids took over. Sort of.
Nothing will improve your prayer life like having your 14 year old start cutting the grass. Especially ones that are future Italian and Philosophy/Anthropology/major to be named later majors. These are all good things to study (with the possible exception of something called Anthropology of Food which is in Youngest Son's course load next semester - but I digress). Let's just say my kids were never the most mechanically minded or inclined. I was forever thinking that they were going to reach under the mower or adjust the wheel height while holding the "dead man" bar on the handle to keep 'er running. ( This is not as uncommon as you might think, I actually worked with someone that did this - a grown man for crying out loud. Imagine what stupidity a 14 year old can come up with a whirling death machine when compared to a grown - albeit stupid - man).

Besides this a generation that thinks the internal combustion engine is a magical device that never needs gas or oil.

Ohh and they sucked at the actual "cutting of the lawn"  It wasn't incompetence as much as apathy - they just didn't care if an entire strip of grass in the middle of the lawn was missed. Frankly, I was ecstatic it was done - in what ever condition.

I think they spent more time selecting just the right playlist on their iPod then they did pushing a mower.

Other than these times (and there may be a few more like when we went on vacation or something) I've cut my own grass but these guys do such a great job. They trim.(Trim!) and edge. (Edge!)

Also, they beat the Chancellor's record by at least 15 minutes through the use of more manpower and better technology. It's a win-win.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


I'm in a timeout.

A Pause.

A Rest

A Caesura 

I'm on Short Term Disability until Tuesday.

My days are peace filled and quiet. I'm just watching spring flourish everyday here in Mount LA-LA. The cherry trees are flowering, the Magnolia is growing leaves and the grass is growing so fast I can almost hear it.

I was surprisingly tired the first few days of last week. I still have the Double -J Ranch/Stent in between my bladder and kidney which makes for fun after drinking large amounts of water and I still have the staples in my leg but other that that you might say "You look great".

And people do say that. "You look great" is what my neighbor said after she knocked on the door and told me the dog had escaped and I told her the whole tale of the previous week.

It's just me and Shadow all day long and she is still giving me the silent treatment after years of leaving her alone after I left for work.

The Chancellor and I have had a role reversal of sorts. She was given work hours in abundance this last week into next and so she is one setting the alarm, getting up and rushing out the door. I wait at home and when the time is right, I make dinner.

I'm usually the one rushing out and home in time for dinner.

Last night I made dinner and then waited for her to come down. I almost felt like a house wife waiting there, thinking "where is she and doesn't understand that I went through a lot of trouble to make dinner" while she did what ever upstairs.

The shoe is on the other foot.

I always thought that if I had a lot of time off that I would get "a lot done". Not true. I did finally hang that under counter LED light in the kitchen where the wire stuck out of the wall for 6 months and I got a hair cut but really, I have long list of things to do. The day just evaporates. Before you know it, it's 4 PM.

If you are in the neighborhood, stop by.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012


Well I'm in ICU and I'm told I'm the first to come to ICU with their own iPad. I made the Chancellor give it back to me in post-op.

The surgery went well and the surgeon was able to save the interior iliac artery which means my butt won't fall asleep for life.

The surgery was 3 hours and I didn't go in until nearly 3 PM so I was out at 7 something but didn't get my room until 10:30. I didnt sleep well - who can in ICU? There was a guy next too me that was spitting up either blood or cranberry juice, the nurses couldn't decided and so there was a little drama at 3 AM. I'm guessing it was cranberry juice since the drama subsided quietly.

Then of course the lab people wake you up at 6 am to draw blood. With the lights on. Which I guess makes sense since they are sticking you with a 25 gauge needle. I know because I asked, she had Me a little worried when she had to tell herself that the numbers get larger with smaller gauges.

Generally I'm doing well and expect a parole board hearing today for my release. The Dr told me it will be at least 2 weeks before I'm back in the office. We'll have to see about that if I'm up and blogging today.

The incisions hurt a bit and I'm tired but other than that I'm ok. Thank you Lord.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Homeless man

So how did your Monday start? I was woken by the nurse telling me to freshen up because they would be here to pick me up for my stress right away. She had told me the test was scheduled for noon so I had been preparing for at least another relaxing morning in the pants less hotel.

I didn't have much time to "freshen up" because the lab folks came right around to draw blood.

I need now to take a moment explain what I look like at this point.

- I haven't shaved since Thursday morning.
- "freshening up" meant dragging a comb across my head and brushing my teeth.
- I have a surgical gown on.

Basically, if you saw me outside, I'd look homeless.

Looking like this I was whisked off the stress test in Nuclear medicine. Now nuclear medicine is basically the waiting room for cat scan.

It's 7 am, I'm in a wheel chair, I look like I'm homeless and now I'm sitting outside my wife's office.

All in needed was a cup.

You should have seen the look on the Cat Scan supervisor's face when she came around the corner.