Monday, July 24, 2006

The Last Thing I Said

With the windows down on the non-airconditioned mini van on this 90-something degree day, I headed to the hospital for a heart stress/echo test. Doc thought it was a good idea to have an ECG (electrocardiogram) with my family history and some symptoms I've been having. With my tennis shoes in tow, I walked in and checked in at the front desk.

I was brought to the emergency room to have a nurse put in an i.v. for the procedure. I picked up the "Bazaar" magazine from the table and started some skimming while waiting to hear my name called. A woman with a young girl in her arms and a barefooted brother following behind walked in the door. The girl had cut her foot on some glass at the beach and had her big brothers t-shirt wrapped around her foot. They checked her out and took the young family back to an exam room.

Next a woman in her late 50's walked in and asked about a man that had been brought in earlier by ambulance. She said she worked with him. They asked her to take a seat. Within a few minutes another woman, also late 50's, early 60's walks in and greets the previous woman. Obviously distraught, this was the wife of the man brought in by ambulance. She went up to the desk with the co-worker and was asked to take a seat. I heard the co-worker say to the wife "he'll be just fine, he's a tough old coot."

Two women came out of the ER and went to the wife and introduced themselves as nurse "so and so" and this is "so and so" the social worker and would she, the wife, come with them to speak to the doctor. My heart worker. They walked out of the ER waiting room down the hall a bit and I heard a door click shut. Moments later I heard only her wails.

The heart wrenching sounds brought tears immediately. I felt like an invader in possibly the most horrible moment of her life - learning of the death of her husband. More wails. I looked over my shoulder at the co-worker seated behind me and her eyes were fixed down the hall with her hand over her mouth and tears running down her cheeks. In a few moments the doctor came for the co-worker and said the wife had asked for her.

I thought of my husband John immediately. How that could be him, that could be me, it could be any one of us at any time. My thoughts then raced to my Mom, who 33 years ago was that woman in a slightly different situation. I then wondered, what was the last thing I said to John? I didn't like the answer.

After the hour long procedure and my heart had been echoed, stressed, recorded, contrasted and imaged, I walked out into the heat again with tennis shoes in tow. As I left the parking lot of the hospital, I thought of the wife in the emergency room. How her life had changed in an instant. It was then I called my husband John at work and made sure the last thing I said to him was "I love you."

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What's With This Concertina Thing?

I like the fact that after 18 years of marriage I can still throw my husband for a loop now and then. He was looking at my profile on my blog and noticed that "learning to play the concertina" was listed as an interest. The other night he came home and sat down in my office and asks, "What's with this concertina thing?"

It started a couple of years ago and was a combination of things. The first spark was a designer I was working with at the time had decided to learn how to play the accordian. Once the seed was planted, I started listening for the instrument in songs. We took a trip to Florida and went to a bar to see a band called The Yard Dogs. They had a great Zydeco/Cajun sound and one of the guys played the accordian. Then last winter my friend and I were in a Good Will store where they had just set out two accordians to sell. I got to touch and feel it and realized what a heavy and bulky instrument it was. We had a party to attend that night and we were both pretty confident that if we bought the accordians, we could learn "Mama Has A Squeeze Box" within a few hours and perform at the party. Although we both seriously thought about buying them, something in our gut told us not to. I still think it would've been a hoot!

One day this spring I was checking eBay and got into the instruments area and found the concertinas. Why hadn't I thought of that? It's small, less complicated and sounds wonderful in my opinion. So I decided I would look into buying one. One thought kept popping through my head, "can I play the instrument with a missing finger?" I found a concertina forum online and was reassured that it wouldn't be a problem. Once I got reading further on that forum, the decision started getting complicated. There's different styles, key configurations, numbers of keys and constructions of the concertina. Do I get a $120 China-made instrument that won't last very long or do I spend more and get a better quality instrument? I was amazed at the cost of the instruments but they also hold their value. Decisions, decisions!

Since I had waited for two years to get to this point, I've decided I can wait a bit longer and save up for a better instrument. So while I tuck away my pennies for a Stagi 30 button Anglo concertina, I'll keep listening for the instrument in the music around us.
Free Image Hosting at

Here's a few links of concertina music:

Friday, July 14, 2006

A Good Sister Day

Free Image Hosting at

My sister Nancy came down for a visit. Woo Hoo! I got my shopping fix in! We hit downtown Red Wing yesterday afternoon where I found the wonderful sign above. Then to Woodbury today where Nanc made some great finds for a room she just remodeled.

My sister has a contagious smile. We were at DSW Shoes and she went to check out her purchase. I told her I'd go out to the car and get the AC running as it was about 100 degrees out today. So I'm sitting in the car watching the people come out of the store. One woman walks out with her bag in hand with a great big smile on her face. She smiled all the way to her car. My first thought was "I bet Nancy was talking to her in the checkout lane." Sure enough, Nancy came out the door next and gave the woman a little wave and a smile as she drove by. The woman was buying shoes to wear at her daughter's wedding. Nancy's advice to her was to "just enjoy the day."

It was a good sister day. Thanks for coming down Nanc. I enjoyed our day.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Stand away from me pail you scurvy dogs!

Free Image Hosting at
My friend/webmaster Cristina sent this photo of her daughter. Just in time for the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie release. Priceless!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Foggy Morning

A beautiful full moon, foggy morning out the front yard.
Free Image Hosting at

Flowers in window box on my office.
Free Image Hosting at

Monday, July 10, 2006

Born a Girl

"Born a girl." An interesting example of how a literal statement containing three small words can be grabbed by your imagination and tossed into a house of transgenderism, homosexuality, biological mishaps and beyond. No crisis or bio-mishap here...born a girl, still a girl and have no desire to be not a girl.

My connection with the phrase came about via a graphic design forum identity. I was assumed by many to be of the male persuasion on the forum. In talking with others, discovered the tendency is to assume the member is male unless there is an obvious female name, feminine image, or some give-away in the writings of the forum member. When I first joined there were several members that I too assumed to be male and over time discovered otherwise. I wonder why I have yet to discover the opposite - a member that I thought to be female who was male?

I did a little searching on "born a girl" and found some interesting links...

A song by the Manic Street Preachers
"Born A Girl"
Do I look good for you tonight
Will you accuse me as I hide
Behind these layers of disguise

And the mirrors of my own happiness

I've loved the freedom of being inside

Need a new start and a different time

Something grows in the space between me

And it's twisting and changing this fragile body

And I wish I had been born a girl

Instead of what I am

Yes I wish I had been born a girl

And not this mess of a man

And not this mess of a man

And not this mess of a man

The censorship of my skin

Is screaming inside and from within

There's no room in this world for a girl like me

No place around there where I fit in

And I wish I had been born a girl

Instead of what I am

Yes I wish I had been born a girl

And not this mess of a man

And not this mess of a man

And not this mess of a man

And not this mess of a man

And not this mess of a man

An article on a 13 year old Saudi girl and wondering “Why was I born a girl? This is a country of men and I would like to be one!”

Unfortunately there were several links with the same message that being born a girl in many cultures and countries is a sentence of a life of hardship. I am fortunate to have been born a girl in the U.S.


Song by Of Montreal
"Tim I Wish You Were Born a Girl"

Tim, wish you were born a girl,

So I could've been your boyfriend.
I know it's not possible now.
I just never met a girl I like half as much as you.

And we could lay around in bed, stay there all day,

Or at least until the afternoon
And I could make you spaghetti with tomato sauce
With just a touch of oregano and a parsley stem.

And then when you got sick,

I could take the day off work.
I could've made you chicken soup,
And we could watch soap operas
- oh, those TV dramas!
I could catch your cold
and you could take care of me.

If I could've met you at school, or met you at work,

It would have changed everything.
Those years of losing, confusion and insecurity,
They would have been shared,
they would have been easier.

Tim, wish you were born a girl,

So I could've been your fiancé.
I'm not saying you can't be all these things for me,
But it's just not the same because you're a man,
and so am I.