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Archive for January 2011

right heart cath

January 29th, 2011 — 8:38am

Last Monday I had to spend a few hours at the hospital having a scheduled heart catheterization done, so my doctor could check on my primary pulmonary hypertension (caused by heart defect). It had been seven years since the last time I had this procedure done. I’ve been feeling considerably worse over the last couple of months, so I was quite worried, but my doctor says that the pressures have worsened but not drastically so, and he’s just going to double one of my prescriptions and see if that helps me feel a bit better.

Also, he thinks that my constant cough, which is not caused by allergies, asthma, or freaky diseases, must be a rare symptom of my PPH, and that it might get better on this new dose of medication. That’d be nice. I’m really tired of coughing all the time.

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an egg a day…

January 21st, 2011 — 11:05am

I have a problem with never being hungry, so not eating enough. I decided in January to try to eat some kind of lunch every day, and I’ve stuck to that. I keep a few small leftover dinner portions in the freezer, as well as some of Trader Joe’s frozen cheese tamales, and I have something nutritious, if only something small, every afternoon whether I’m hungry or not.

For the past couple of weeks I’ve also been eating breakfast. I have a fried egg on whole wheat toast every morning (where morning is sometime before noon), and I find that, paradoxically, I am much more likely to be hungry for lunch when I’ve had my egg in the morning. It’s quick to make, tastes nice, and isn’t too much food. I’m not a big egg fan — don’t like them scrambled or omeletted — but a fried egg is pleasant.

Lately I notice myself getting hungry by 11 if I haven’t had my egg yet. Yay! So, it’s time to go make my egg and eat it on the lawn in the sunshine. We’ve had some beautifully sunny days lately, which is a nice change from the unusual amounts of rain and gloom we’ve had this winter.

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January 15th, 2011 — 1:47pm

So, almost a month late and I’m finally writing about our lovely family Christmas!

My dear Aunt Susan and Uncle Jack flew into town from New York a few days before Christmas, and my sister Kirsten and her husband Marcos drove down from San Francisco, visited with his family in LA for Christmas eve, and then came to us on Christmas day.

(Here is Kirsten trying out Angry Birds on Dan’s iPad on Christmas night)

We had, of course, several sessions of wonderful Christmas Carol playing/singing! Mom borrowed a couple of cellos for Kirsten and Susan to play, Chloe and Sal and I all played the piano in various combinations, Bob played the guitar, and Marcos borrowed Henry’s electric bass.

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Just before Christmas Dan helped me to rearrange the furniture so we could get the piano out of the dark, crowded corner of the dining room and into the living room. We just pulled the sliding doors shut between dining and living rooms, put the piano against them, and now we pretend it’s a real wall. Though it is a bit crowded, especially with 12 people in the room, it’s much more cheerful.

We had gray rainy weather most of the week, but one day right after Christmas it was beautifully sunny, so we all took a walk at Mission Bay. I need to walk rather slowly, but Bob stuck with me the whole time so I didn’t get lonely. Very sweet :) (Dan was asleep at home that morning, or he would have walked slowly with me too!)


We had dinner one night at En Fuego, and lunch another day at the Studio Diner — that meal was Grandma’s Christmas present to us all. She sent some money so we could all do something special together.

I have the BEST family.

Next time I’ll tell you about Christmas knitting and presents!

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Grammar-Land, chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

January 13th, 2011 — 11:11am

More Grammar-Land! Sorry, I forgot to update this since November, but this post will catch you up with the podcast feed and we’ll all be in the same place again.

01 Mr. Noun – 00:10:47
02 Little Article – 00:06:56
03 Mr. Pronoun – 00:11:18
04 Serjeant Parsing’s Visit to Schoolroom-shire
05 Mr. Adjective – 00:10:03
06 Mr. Adjective Tried for Stealing – 00:11:24

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The Apple Stone, chapters 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

January 13th, 2011 — 11:05am

Oops :) Forgot! Here’s all the rest of The Apple Stone. Hope you like it!

58 The Apple Stone, Ch. 8: The Muddled Image
59 The Apple Stone, Ch. 9: Stupid as Stone?
60 The Apple Stone, Ch. 10: Big Game
61 The Apple Stone, Ch. 11: Sheep May Safely Graze
62 The Apple Stone, Ch. 12: The Monster

Next up is “The Four-Story Mistake” by Elizabeth Enright.

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Happy New Year!

January 1st, 2011 — 11:21am

Happy New Year, everyone! It sure would have been nice if I’d gotten around to telling you all about our wonderful Christmastime, so I’ll try to remember to do that over the next few days, but for now, I’ll tell you about my very nice New Year’s Eve and Day.

First of all, yesterday Dan and Henry cleaned the whole hideously messy back room which serves as hobby-room/office/Kara-closet. I’ve been wishing that room was clean for, oh, years, so that was a wonderful thing!

And then last night my mom and Bob and Chloe came over, and Dan and Henry were here too so it was a very jolly New year’s Eve. We talked and laughed and ate a nice dinner of my carrot-potato-cheese soup and garlic toast, and a beautiful salad that Mom made using lettuce and the few remaining tomatoes from her garden, YUM. Sal gave piano lessons to Henry and Chloe while I was cooking dinner. Mom went home after dinner (8pm is pretty late for her already) and, until midnight, the rest of us just talked and laughed and listened to a collection of Beatles tracks that someone somewhere ripped from the Beatles Rock Band disks, so we could hear JUST vocals, or JUST bass, etc. That was really quite thrilling.

I got to bed around 12:30, listened to The Archers, fell asleep immediately after that, and slept until 9am, so that must have been close to 8 hours of sleep. A good way to start 2011. After I woke up and read email, checked twitter, etc., I did my first LibriVox recording of the year, Charles Perrault’s version of Puss in Boots for the Charles Perrault Fairy Tale collection. When I saw that project go up I begged for Puss in Boots. I just love that tale. Why does he need the boots? Who cares. He just does.

Then I had a lovely chat with Aravis until it was time to wake Henry up. I fixed him a little cup of coffee for a treat (decaf!) and we had a great time listening to The Rite of Spring and following along in the Dover edition of the full orchestral score that Santa brought him. Henry’s dad picked him up around 1:30, and a minute or two later Mom showed up to help me get my garden ready for Spring! She brought me six lovely sacks of composted steer manure (from Home Depot, she doesn’t have any livestock, heh), and she dug those into my little garden bed, and pulled weeds and everything, while I tried to stay warm in the sunshine and we talked and talked. And then we planted peas, lettuce, spring onions, and cilantro.

In the early evening Dan and I went to see “The King’s Speech” which was really superb! I loved every minute of it, as did Dan I think, and the minute we got home I made plans with Mom and Chloe to take them to see it tomorrow. It’s got a quiet but extraordinarily moving story, a great cast (Mister Darcy, Lucy Honeychurch, Lizzie Bennett, Squire Hamley, Mister Collins, and many other familiar faces), and a lovely score with lots of Mozart and an excellent use of Beethoven’s 7th at a critical moment in the story. Read some reviews to see if it looks like your kind of thing, and if it does, please go see it before it leaves the theater. Let’s support those rare movie makers who know how to tell a decent story.

Then this evening I knitted and watched several episodes of a BBC Music History series by Howard Goodall, which was great, and then we watched a few episodes of Venture Brothers and now it is bedtime.

I hope your 2011 started out as pleasantly as mine did!

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