lydamorehouse: (Bazz-B)
 Shawn's birthday was yesterday, a Monday.

She took the day off, in order to have a three day weekend birthday celebration. We went thrifting, shoe shopping, and out to dinner/lunch numerous times. Shawn loves to go to Taste of India, so that's where we were Sunday night in celebration. On her birthday proper, we stayed in, had a favorite home cooked meal, and watched "Into the Spider-Verse," which you probably already know, is a supremely awesome movie.

Today, I took the car to Dave's to prep it for Mason and my road trip down to Chicago. Dave called a few minutes ago with the bad news. We need new struts, which is actually going to set us back a pretty penny. On the other hand, I'd rather spend the money than have the car brake down somewhere in Wisconsin, or gods forbid on one of those insane by-ways in Chicago.  Boo. 

Shawn is also thinking very seriously this year about entering one (or two, depending on the categories) of her rugs into the State Fair's competition. Last year, when I went to support Mason's robotics team. their demonstration happened to be in the tail end of the craft barn, so I ended up wandering through all of the exhibits of knitted things, quilts, and all the usual stuff  you expect to seen in such a place. I was surprised to see a category for rag rugs and only two place winners, first and second. We found out that that's because only two people entered. If the odd stay like this, Shawn is pretty much guaranteed a third place.... I mean, of course, now the secret is out and they might be flooded in the rag rug division.  

We're keeping our eye out for when those applications are due.

The other thing that's going to have to happen this spring, probably even before we fix our bewitched tub, is the front steps. The concrete is finally crumbling beyond our ability to apply patches. Shawn sent me the name of someone to call and give us an estimate for that. 

Ah, at least work called today and asked if I could go to work at White Bear on Monday from 10-2. Believe me, with all the bills coming due, I signed the f*ck right up.
lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
I have a bunch of things to report, for those interested.  

First, I booked a hotel room for Mason and I in downtown Chicago for our trip in early April to attend the Open House at the University of Chicago. We're headed down on Thursday, April 4, for a Friday, half day presentation.  The tentative schedule of events includes "model classes," which, I mean, *I* will totally enjoy, even if Mason does not. Because the Friday programming starts so early, I booked our hotel through until Saturday morning so that we could have a little time to generally explore Chicago, which is something Mason has been wanting to do since forever. We go there fairly often, but almost always straight to the Field Museum, and I think he'd like to see some new stuff, if at all possible. To the end, I booked us some theater tickets. Since Chicago is known for its improv comedy, I found us a show called "Improvised Shakespeare" to go see on Thursday night.

I plan to hit the library in the next few days and raid it of any and all books on traveling to Chicago that they might have, because I love playing tourist pretty much anywhere.

Continuing with Mason-related news, Mason found out this morning that he did NOT get accepted to the Yale Global Studies Youth Summer Program for this year, alas. He did get the option to go on the waiting list, but since we were always on the fence about how the in living f*ck we were going to pay for this and the fact that Mason actually really ENJOYS a program free summer, we're letting him decide whether or not he's going to request to be on the waiting list or not. I feel pretty good about this outcome, despite an initial wave of disappointment. Had he gotten in, there would have been massive panic to rearrange our summer schedule, figure out whether or not it was worth a loan, etc., etc. Moreover, Mason only heard about the program two weeks before the application deadline. The fact that he got as far as being wait listed, seems pretty darned good.

Besides, because it's Yale, one of the many schools caught up in the pay to play scandal? I can totally just mutter, "Humph, I'm sure some rich family just paid to get THEIR kid on the top of the list." ;-)

Continuing on with things Mason is up to... Today is the first day of Mason's robotics tournament at the University of Minnesota (Williams Arena).  It's a three day thing, with inspections and warm-ups today and competition tomorrow and Saturday.  Mason left for school this morning saying, "Well, today the team gets to re-learn how to tolerate each other in a 10 x 10 space for 8 hours  without restarting to actual murder," which when he puts it like that i wonder why he likes this activity at ALL.  :-)

Shawn's birthday is coming up, on the first of April. Today, in fact, I need to take some time to get my butt to the store and get her the present she's been asking for. I meant to do that yesterday, but she ended up staying home with a terrible migraine. I could pretend that I stayed home to nurse her through it, but I actually left her sleeping to go hang out with my friends Harry and [personal profile] naomikritzer at a Chinese buffet for two hours to talk Marvel movies and rock operas.

For myself, I have to remember that I signed up to work/volunteer at the MELSA pop-up manga library at Anime Detour both tomorrow (from noon - 2 pm) and Saturday (6pm - 8 pm). 

Wow, we have a lot going on.

How's you?
lydamorehouse: (Aizen)
I turned in my apocalypse story yesterday morning. I will let you all know what, if anything, becomes of that. It was a good story for me to write. I normally DON'T use writing as therapy, but this one was a good vehicle to work out some of my feelings about my cats' deaths. It was kind of a "the world ends, but you go on anyway" sort of apocalypse.

Now it's time to turn my attention to Unjust Cause and getting that thing in order for Wizard Tower Press.

Last night, we had a guest. Mason has several close friends on his Overwatch Team. One of them is a young person named Græ (pronounced like Gray, and might even be spelled with a 'y' also. That is their online persona, but what Mason calls them, so...), who just happened to be in town with their parents visiting Macalaster College. Mason and Græ arranged to hang out and play video games in the basement. We ordered pizza, because of course, and also Græ is a vegetarian. We got to meet Græ's parents, who I absolutely ADORED. I mean, do you ever have that experience where you start talking to someone and you think, "Oh! This is one my people!" It was like that. Græ and Mason already knew each other, so they got on like a house on fire, as well. I think Græ was here from 4 pm to almost 10 pm, and then we all stood around the living room hanging out for another half hour when it was supposed to be time to pick-up because, yeah, they were all that great.

So that was a lot of fun.

While it Mason and Græ played video games and chatted in the basement, Shawn and I went upstairs and watched "Ant-Man and Wasp," which Shawn hadn't seen before. We started watching some Hong Kong drama called "Iceman," about time traveling Chinese warriors, but Shawn found that just too silly (many wires, much weirdness) and so we switched over to the MCU. Shawn had NOT seen the first Ant-Man, but was introduced to him via "Captain America: Civil War." She really loved the character Luis, so we're going to try and hunt down that first Ant-Man, because I do think she'll like the Luis bits, if nothing else.

Speaking of the MCU, I saw "Captain Marvel" and loved it. Only really a spoiler if you are living under a cave, but I respect cave-dwellers so... )

Over the weekend, we made a double batch of fleischkeukle, which, as my parents pointed out when they called, is something we seem to be doing more often. This is true, partly because we made the decision to make smaller batches more often. Otherwise, it takes ALL DAY. It only took MOST of the day this way.

Uncooked dough meat pockets, like slightly larger pierogi lining a baking pan

People on Facebook asked me what we fill these with. Shawn's family traditionally fills them with hamburger, onions, and spices. Very simple. The dough is really only special because it's a cream-based dough. They still manage to be very delicious, IMHO, particularly when eaten, piping hot, right out of the deep-fat frier.

Same meat filled pockets only deep-fat fried to a golden brown

My D&D group got cancelled on Saturday night, for reasons of a death in the extended family of one of our members. That made me sad for a number of reasons. I really look forward to playing, if nothing else, but the situation reminded me a lot of my (still living) first lover and all those complicated feelings that I will probably carry around my whole life, much like what our member described. 

The only other news is that we moved Shawn in to her new upstairs office on Saturday, while Mason was at work. Mostly this involved carrying plants and all the delicate things not normally trusted to workplace movers. I think her new office looks very nice, very IMPORTANT, befitting a State Archivist and Director of Library and Archives. The only thing she needs more of is art for the big beige industrial walls and she'll be set.

I think that's everything I know. I mean, I could squee at you all about my fannish life, wherein I have a fan of my fan work, who happens to be an artist and who has taken it upon themselves to make a manga-esque comic book out of on of my Bleach fics. As someone who always wanted to grow up to be a comic book artist herself, it thrills me no end to see my words put to pictures in this particular way. In fact, yesterday, I finished another chapter of this work and so I made sure to send a sneak preview to my artist ahead of time in the secret hope that they will feel inspired to draw something from the upcoming action. :-) I don't expect anyone here to be all that curious, but if you are, the permalink to my reblog is: (a note for those who are regular manga readers, this one reads English-language style, left to right.) The story of mine that 'aysmiro' is illustrating is linked to at the bottom of the three page panel spread, too, if you're inspired to check out my work, as well.

So cool.

lydamorehouse: (gryffindor)
 To be fair, I stopped to get a cup of coffee from Claddaugh before I spent 20 minutes on the phone telling my credit card company that, yeah, no, I did not want $99 of Proactiv sent to Jamie Sanabria in Miami, Florida. 

Thank all the gods that not only did Jamie need to provide a delivery address for their purchase, but ALSO that Proactiv had whatever the f*ck they wanted on backorder, because WE GOT THE NOTIFICATION OF DELAY. The purchase had not yet shown up on our credit card statement and without Proactiv's lovely note informing us that our shipment to Jamie was going to be late by 2 to 3 weeks, we would have had no idea that someone was using our credit card.

Thanks to stunning incompetence all around, we were spared.

And now we're getting new credit cards. Whee!

So, that was my morning. How are you?

Let's see, the last couple of days have been kind of busy, but all in a good way. I spent yesterday morning having a lovely chat [personal profile] jiawen about a recent trip she took, Tiawan in general, and life. Oh! But, I forgot to ask her the question I've been asking everyone since hanging out with [personal profile] naomikritzer on Tuesday, however!

Naomi and I were chatting, like you do, about the various interesting things seen on social media, and she left me with this lovely question: Is there a childhood event that you would consider most "on brand" to who you are today?  

This stuck with me because I felt a little stumped. I could only think of something I'd done as an adult/post-college, that I would considered on "brand."  I mean, part of what's interesting about this question is that you sort of also have to define what you think is your BRAND.

For me, I picked a story from when I worked at the Immigration History Research Center at the U of MN, where a colleague and I detected what smelled like a potential gas leak.  That rotten egg smell?  I told my boss about it and there was some discussion about what to do. When it seemed like the answer was going to be, "Meh, it's probably fine, everybody go back to work," I announced that I was walking off the job. I would be going next door to dial 9-1-1 and wait somewhere safe. I was told to sit down and get back to work. I refused and looked my boss in the eye and dared them to fire me. Three hours later, I was the only one who did not have to ride in the ambulance because along with the natural gas there was a MASSIVE CARBON MONOXIDE LEAK. There was well over 400 parts per million in the air.

When I asked Shawn and told her that I couldn't think of anything that was from my "youth," she said, "Well, promise not to be mad, but..." and reminded me of the story I told her about when, in high school, I was in Paris on the senior language class trip and I talked a friend of mine into to going into a fancy restaurant because I noticed that escargot was on the menu. We sat down, ordered, ate the escargot (salty! yum!) and then walked out. It was only later did we realize we had walked out of an eight course meal, having only eaten the appetizer. Shawn said she figured that my "brand" was "adventurous, but kind of foolhardy."


Seems also accurate.

For Shawn, I could think of two incidents from when she was very, very small. Apparently, her very first full sentence as a toddler was when she was reaching for something, she stopped herself and said, "Oh hell, that's a no-no."  I find that both very adorable and very Shawn. Also, when she was fighting with her older brother Keven, she, apparently, got super mad and the WORST thing she could think to do was write "HELL" on a piece of notebook paper and slide it under Keven's locked door. (She's still mad that her much older brother narced on her.) 

Mason didn't really want to play this game, and, to be fair, he's not entirely settled on a brand.  We have stories we love to tell on him, but it's not clear yet which of those will be the most likely to represent his future self.  I'm hoping it's the story of, when, in kindergarten, the teacher was talking about compound words to get the kids using longer words, and she asked the class to think of the biggest word they knew. When they got to Mason he said, "Antidisestablishmentarianism." She told us she blinked at him and said, "What?" And Mason with a pained sigh, slowly repeated "anti-dis-establish-ment-ari-an-ism." She said, "is that a word?" He said, "It's the longest word in the English language." (in a tone that implied that he was vaguely mortified that she didn't know.)

The reason he knew, of course, is that we were heavy into a video game called "Bookworm Adventures" where you get points making super long words and he'd wanted to know what would be the longest word we could potentially spell. So, we looked up the longest word. I think there are chemical compounds that are longer, but this one I'd also heard of.  We brought in the dictionary's definition to show his teacher.

Those are my family's "on brand" moments.  What's yours? 
lydamorehouse: (cap and flag)
 ... to try to write about mundane things after Inky's death, but life goes on, I suppose.  

Shawn ended up doing a ton of research into "elderly" cats and discovered that Deliah, who is 16, and Ms. Piggy, who is 18, are considered BEYOND elderly and into geriatric. You can kind of see it on Ms. Piggy, she's been cranky and stiff for some time now, but Deliah? She still acts like a kitten!

Shawn sent me a lot of the articles she'd read and it was comforting to read that we're doing everything right by our older cats. It's absolutely correct to be feeding on demand (small amounts, often,) and looking for foods high in protein and fat.  Of course, this is doing NO GOOD for our fatty orange boy, Buttercup. But at this point, I'm very much looking at our cats and saying "WHATEVER YOU WANT, MY PRECIOUS BABIES."

Today is Imbolc, but my family is going to celebrate tomorrow. Normally, in our tradition, we dedicate ourselves to work with a particular deity for a year. No one in this household has had he wherewithal to do the requisite research, so our plan is to make something yummy for breakfast (I'm thinking cinnamon buns) and spend a little time as a family planning out some of the rituals we all want to do together.  That seems 'close enough' to the spirit of the holiday for us right now.

I made some piroshki for dinner tonight at the urging of my family.  

piroshki on a plate

This is a recipe that Shawn got from her "Recipes North Dakota" FB group. Shawn has the best FB groups. She's in "Liberal Preppers," "Recipes of North Dakota," "Simple Vintage and Homemaking," "Stocking our Shelves," and "Weird Thrift Store Finds."  All my FB groups make me vaguely annoyed, and meanwhile, she's showing me pictures of strange things found at Good Will. To be fair, Shawn spends a LOT of time curating her feed. She has a modest number of friends that she follows and she is very fast with the hide, snooze, block, and unfriend buttons. Meanwhile, I friend anyone. Part of that is because: writer.  I never know who is following me because they've read my books and they just want to know what might be coming out next.

Mason had work today at KAYSC. He said they had an open discussion about various projects they're considering undertaking. It sounded very much like baby's first meeting. He came home and bonded with Shawn about various buzzwords, "fostering synergy" and such like. 

He's now playing D&D on Discord with a bunch of people he's in an amateur Overwatch league team with. I'm so glad he found his people. I have no idea who I'd be if the internet had existed when I was his age.

Otherwise, I spent part of my day going through old DW journal entries updating my tag set. It started because Shawn and I had one of those arguments couple have about the timing of various things in our collective memory. Did this thing happen first, or that other thing? Both of us were SO SURE we were right, and I knew I'd blogged about the events in question.  BUT, it took me forever to figure out how to track down the whole story because I'd been really sloppy with my tagging. So, I spent an hour or so reading through the old entries from 2011 and making the tags consistent.  

It was really funny to watch my comments numbers drop precipitously after I became a Bleach fan.

Ah, speaking of finding one's tribe, if only I'd known about Tumblr back then (or whatever other fan communities existed.)  

Otherwise, it was a quiet day. I've been a bit more spotty with my Spell-a-Day, but I did manage yesterday's. Not much to report, however, just a renewal spell/meditation. 
lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
 A lot happened since I last posted, however.  Mason and I went down to Mankato, Minnesota, on Thursday night. We had a fun time traveling together as we always do.  We ended up stopping early for "road food" in Burnsville.  Shawn laughed pretty hard when I called from the "Old Country Buffet," given that we hadn't even managed to break the exo-suburbs before pulling over.  To be fair, Mason had had one slice of pizza for lunch (one of those school fundraising things) and I was just generally starving, too.  Of course, the food there was.... meh. I always make the mistake of thinking the taco bar should be okay. (It's not.)

We only got turned around a couple of times once we reached Mankato.  The in-city map was printed very small and there was the classic confusion of is Stadium Road the same as Highway 58 (or whatever)???  Turns out it was, but we at least figure that out BEFORE we drove too far out of town.  Yes, there is great irony in the fact that we got LOST ON THE WAY TO THE GEOGRAPHY BEE.

We spent out hotel time doing geography quizzes based on Trivial Pursuit cards, which was our fun way of studying.  Mason did bring along some atlases and such, but it was much more fun to read the questions and think... is the answer going to be the USSR? Or some other country that no longer exists because this deck was printed in the early 1990s???!  We laughed a lot, which, IMHO, is the very best way to study.

On the day of, we got up early (too early in my case. I woke up precisely when the cats normally would rouse me: 5:45 am.)  We were too nervous to do much constructive, so we at at the hotel (passably okay) and then thew everything into the car, checked out, and headed to the bee, which was being held in the Student Union of Mankato State University, about four or five blocks away.

Here's another attempt at a picture:

Mason at bee 2017

This is a picture of a smiling (smirking?) Mason holding up the classic yellow National Geographic magazine's frame around his face.  He's wearing a blue plaid shirt and you can see his official geography be name tag over the right pocket of his shirt.  The wall behind him is marble-esque and has some letters carved into it, which make up some part of Mankato State University, I suspect.  

After some brief discussion, it was decided that I sit out the preliminary round. Two of his teachers were there--Ms. Lesser and Ms. Croone.  Ms. Croone was there as one of the judges, but Ms. Lesser went in with Mason to root for him.  I would have done the same, but we decided that me being there might make Mason more nervous. If you can't tell, one of the big themes of this trip for us was that we really, really wanted this to be as FUN as possible. No stressing about how far we made it in the competition, etc.  Just to accept that it's really pretty damn awesome that we made it this far--because it is/was.  Mason had to beat out not only his whole class, but also the other two grades that were eligible (there were some 6th graders in the competition: Mason is in eighth.) Out of the 500 people who got that far, only the top 100 scorers on the written test advanced to state.  

Out of those 100? ONLY 10 advanced to the final round.

Mason wasn't one of those. But both he and his teacher thought that he did very well in the preliminary round, but he was eliminated. You have to get a near perfect score (only one wrong is allowed, two wrong and you're OUT) to advance.  

We stayed to watch the final elimination round and it was INTENSE.  There were a couple interesting things that happened.  At one point, in the second round of questions, you could hear someone in the audience give the right answer. What I found fascinating is that, though there was an admonishment from the National Geographic judges to the audience, that question was allowed to stand (no re-take) and the person who answered that question went on to be the final-place winner.  I'm not sure how I feel about that, but the judges decided to let it stand.  I'm really surprised that they didn't give that particular competitor a different question. But, whatever.

it's also interesting to me that the winner was actually the previous year's winner... and home-schooled.  I've been trying to decide if I feel like homeschooling is an unfair advantage here, or not.

Also, 90% of the competitors were white and male.

As Mason wondered out loud, "Why? What about geography has a gender bias?" Outside of institutionalized sexism and racism, I have no idea. Two of the ten finalists were obvious PoCs, but they were all male.

Other than that depressing observation, we had fun.  I don't know if there is a high school version, so Mason may not have a chance to do this again, but we ARE planning to watch the National bee when it's aired.  Despite the weird start, we ended up liking the state champion.  Mason called him, "The Han Solo of Geography Bees" because it was very clear that he was making a lot of educated guesses that were turning out correct (you could tell by his occasional SHOCKED expression.)  That made him very likable, so we will root for him in the Nationals.

The drive home was fun. Mason LOVES road trips, so we had our usual enjoyment of watching small towns roll by, commenting on especially creepy rural cemeteries, etc.  We managed to leave behind Mason's school iPad's cord, but that was the only even vaguely dark cloud on the whole trip. (Cue a lot of calling the hotel, not getting answers, and then finally what I think of as a brush off, which was, "Nope we never found it." The next whole rigamarole will be getting a new one either from school, or apparently the Apple store, but that's a whole other headache. Though, it should be noted, ultimately VERY solvable.)

Saturday was Shawn's birthday. She has now successfully leveled up to level 50. When I went out to fetch the birthday cake and coffee on Saturday morning a lot of the people I interacted with asked, "So BIG plans?"  I had to say, "Listen, Shawn is an introvert. It's big enough we're going out to dinner." And, it was true, after the excitement of cake and presents we spent much of her birthday doing a lot of napping and jigsaw puzzling on the porch.  It was so lovely out that I did a little garden prep, but that was about the pinnacle of excitement for us.  :-)  Dinner was at the Indian place in Maplewood, per usual. Shawn and I both really love that place.  Turns out, Mason loves it now, too, so that's extra wonderful.


lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
 I'm trying to convince Shawn that she's having a "pajama day," rather than day eleven of her back trauma.  I'm not sure it's working.  But, we are cuddled up in bed with several cats, the Sunday paper, and I have a nice hot cup of coffee and my laptop.  If Shawn wasn't still so miserable, it would be very pleasant.  

Unfortunately, Shawn is still really miserable.

Nerve pain is like that, though.  Last year, when I woke up with searing pain in my upper back, that was nerve pinch pain. It was the only time in my life that I screamed, "EIGHT, totally EIGHT!" to my doctors when presented with that ridiculous pain chart.  I think most Minnesotans, including myself, don't really like to be a bother and so even if we were legitimately bleeding out, we'd say, "Oh, I don't know? A four?"

If you've never read Hyperbole and a Half's 'real pain chart' you totally should. I always think of it at times like this.

Shawn's doctor finally consented to prescribing a fairly heavy-duty painkiller, though at a low dose. I think that's helping some, even though Shawn is convinced she's going to be crippled for life.  Like Shawn, probably a lot of you are wondering 'what the hell did she even DO???!!" Thing is, Shawn has had a bulging disc for the past, oh, nearly the entire time I've known her, so maybe 25 years or so?  A lot of people who have bulging discs don't really notice them until THEY SUDDENLY DO.  For Shawn, I think her first OHSHITOHSHIT episode happened when she sneezed.  Seriously, a sneeze brought her down. The doctors all said, "Yep, this is a thing that happens."  So, it really does not take much for her to end up bedridden. 

Usually, however, there isn't this nerve pain, and so she can slowly exercise her way back to better health.  This time, just moving her leg or putting pressure on it was excruciating (see: "I have seen Jesus, and I am scared" on the REAL pain chart.) So, that's played a big role in Shawn's slow recovery.  One of the reasons Shawn's doc agreed to the serious painkillers is that she (the doctor) really wants Shawn up and moving so that she can do the PT that is really going to help.  Pretty much everyone, including Shawn, agree that PT is the real "miracle drug" for back issues.

But, Shawn really needs to get back to work tomorrow.  Not because she's so vital (although I think she is as State Archivist), but because she's out of sick and vacation days.  If she stays home too much more, she'll have to go on unpaid leave and we really can't afford that.  Ironically, I think being stressed about that is actually tensing up the muscles that her muscle relaxants have been working so hard to unwind.


The only thing I really have planned for the day is to take Mason to Barnes & Noble.  We want to buy him a fancy, up-to-date Atlas as a reward for having gotten this far in the geography bee.  Plus, we haven't been to Barnes & Noble in forever and it would be nice to do a little window shopping. (Also I have two overdue books that need to be returned to the Roseville Library.)  Ive been thinking about attending a revolutionary song sing-along at Merlin's Rest today, just because I love singing rebel songs and it might be good for my soul.  We'll have to see if the timing works out, though. If you're interested (and local) here's the FB page for the event:

Yesterday, I briefly entertained the idea of going to a counter-protest at the Capitol yesterday.  Apparently, it was a Trump supporter rally day, and the SDS organized a "Make Racists Afraid Again" counter-protest.  The SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) are... well, I remember them from my college days.  Augsburg was hardly a hotbed of activism, but we had one rabble-rouser Biology teacher who was the head of our campus SDS. One of our colleagues got caught up with her and ended up constantly being arrested down in Chicago where they would go an join laborers on strike or what have you. I think I would have been down there with them, if I'd been able to get along with this teacher (which I really couldn't.)  The point--and I do have one--is that when I saw it was the SDS organizing this my first thought was, "Someone's gonna throw a punch."

Sure enough.

Apparently six people were arrested and there were, shall we say, fisticuffs (and pepper spray?)  Here's an article about what happened:  

You know I'm all for Nazi punching. The NY Times wrote an article about what happened in Minneapolis between the Wobblies and the Nazis (no, this is not an article from 1937, though I swear it could be:)  

How do I feel about all this?  

I'm not surprised that the Socialists and the Wobblies and the far-left of of our vanguard is reacting first, reacting hard.  Should they go to jail for assault? Absolutely. Am I just as glad I wasn't there? OH HELL YES.  Would I go their bail? I dunno, but I'd certainly throw some change in a bucket.


Dec. 2nd, 2016 07:48 am
lydamorehouse: (ichigo being adorbs)
 Like a lot of GLBT couples, Shawn and I have made up our anniversary.  It's a fictional date, convenient, easy to remember.  It doesn't mark anything, other than the fact that we're PRETTY SURE we went on a 'date' to Target to do Christmas shopping together.  This was 1985 and I don't even think we were on each other's Christmas lists even, yet. We probably actually met months earlier at one of Michael J. Batman's D&D campaigns, where I remember very clearly telling Shawn she had the most beautiful eyes I'd ever seen.  I'd been sketching people's D&D characters for them and Shawn told me to make hers have blond hair and brown eyes, and I said, "No one has that combination!" (Keep in mind I was 17, what the hell did I even know? At that point I was sure Chicago was in Wisconsin.) She said, "I do." And I looked up... and, yeah, I'd say that was the moment fate was sealed.

But, in all honesty, I wasn't even out to myself yet that December. I still thought I was a straight girl (kind of... ask me about how I was already reading Gay Comix I bought at a head shop in LaCrosse my senior year).  Thing is, I would go on after December 1, 1985, to have a couple of more boyfriends and a several girlfriends. Shawn, too, had boyfriends post that fateful meeting.

Yet, we count December 1, 1985 as our anniversary because we were certainly already living together at that point (and having sex).  I moved in, and never, ever moved out.  By the end, my girlfriends would look at me and say, "How can I compete when you're living with the one you love?"  

They were right. I was cheating on all of them with Shawn.

The story would have been pathetic and sad, if Shawn didn't also finally have the same realization when we were living in our first apartment on Franklin Avenue.  After a friend of ours visited and regaled us with the stories of his gay single life and his heartaches, we looked at each other over the top of his head and knew.  We knew it was time to make things official.  Why keep seeking when we'd found love already? If we could remember the date of that day, that would probably be more accurate in a very strict sense.

But, relationships are messy, so why not just count from the real beginning? Why not skip the mess and embrace that first wonderful moment?  So we do.  Your rules do not apply to us.  Or, at least, before we were mainstreamed by marriage, there really were no rules, no sense of how any of it was supposed to work, so we just made things up as we went along.  I think most people do, anyway.  It's just that the majority of people have... well, I guess, traditions and institutions to fall back on.  Marriage dates. First dates.  We never thought to mark any of those, either. I'm sure we eventually picked a date because people asked us how long we'd been together and we had no idea.  

Ask me when Shawn and I were married, and I'll say, "It was a Monday!  Oh, and hot!"  I'm sure it was in August because that was the first month it was legal and we did the official thing in front of a judge as soon as possible because I'd gone over a decade without any decent health insurance. 

Of course, I'm generally terrible about dates.  I feel like I must be the only mom in the universe who hesitates when health professionals ask for Mason's birthday.  I've finally got it down, but for a while I used to switch the last number of his birthday with the last number of the year he was born.  I also have memories like this, "It was hot."  (Apparently important things in my life always happen on the hottest days of the year.)  

So last night we celebrated our made-up anniversary the way we have been for decades.  Actually, maybe more like a single decade, since we started this tradition when Mason was an infant and Shawn and I were too exhausted to even consider dressing up and doing something fancy.  I remember complaining to my friend Ember about how it wasn't going to be romantic with a baby, and she suggested that I surprise Shawn--that I get take out from a favorite place and fancy up the table with candles (and the high chair.) It was PERFECT. I picked Vescio's in Dinkytown.  Vescio's was one of the first restaurants I remember taking Shawn to when we did finally become 'official.'  And, miraculously, it's still there. It's still EXACTLY the same and has the EXACT same menu.  Bonus: Mason loves it and always has, even when he was in his toddler "I will only eat noodles" phase.  

We had a lovely night. 

Here's to another thirty-two years!
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Shawn had... a rough night. The rest of her organs, particularly the intestines, are not being cooperative with the recovery plan. There has been super-uncomfortable gas and all sorts of woes regarding that. We were up and down a bunch. On top of that, she's beginning to think that the really good, strong pain medicine might actually be making her nauseous. So today we're trying to be more active, use fewer drugs, sit up more, and keeping fingers crossed because the last thing we want to do is have to go back to the hospital.

I have never prayed more for someone to fart in my life.

If you're worried I'm not taking care of myself in all this, don't. When Mason first came home from the hospital, someone told me "sleep when the baby sleeps." Like you do when you have no idea, I totally thought that that was ridiculous advice. Within days, it proved itself invaluable. I've reverted to this methodology. So if Shawn is sleeping--or even if I've gotten her to the bathroom and she's spending quality time there, I take a micro nap.

We've got a friend coming to take Mason away for fun this afternoon. He'd never ever admit it, but he's been pretty terrified. Hospitals are scary places and seeing a parent in a bad way is never easy (no matter how old you are.) So, I'm super glad we have a friend willing to take him off for several rounds of cut-throat Munchkin. That should do Mason a world of good. I don't mind having him here; he's totally not under foot, but I think he needs a break too.

Meanwhile, even though I had a hardcopy of GOBLIN EMPEROR, I gave up on it. I read at least 50 pages, which I think is a reasonable attempt. There's nothing "wrong" with it, I'm just not in the mood for high fantasy with elves and goblins at the moment. Since none of the other Nebula nominees have come from the library system yet, I hunted around the internet and found another good list to try. The Locus Award is coming up (it's being voted on right now) and so I decided to see what might be interesting on the many books they have on their lists. I decided that there were far too many for me to tackle in the science fiction category, so I'm going to read the debut author list.

The Race, Nina Allan (NewCon)
Elysium, Jennifer Marie Brissett (Aqueduct) (Already Read)
The Girl in the Road, Monica Byrne (Crown; Blackfriars)
A Darkling Sea, James L. Cambias (Tor)
The Clockwork Dagger, Beth Cato (Harper Voyager)
Unwrapped Sky, Rjurik Davidson (Tor; Tor UK)
Otherbound, Corinne Duyvis (Amulet)
The Angel of Losses, Stephanie Feldman (Ecco)
The Memory Garden, Mary Rickert (Sourcebooks Landmark)
The Emperor’s Blades, Brian Staveley (Tor; Tor UK)
The Stone Boatmen, Sarah Tolmie (Aqueduct)

The St. Paul Public Library's e-book collection had The Girl in the Road so I started that. It's pretty interesting so far. Our heroine is a manic/depressive and unreliable narrator who is convinced she's being stalked by assassins (and may be to some extent, it's not clear yet--I'm only 20% into it) in a future India. The future India has been very cool, and the heroine is troubled, but fascinating. I decided she was sympathetic after she was nearly giddy with excitement during a trip to a museum (been there, done that). Things have taken an interesting turn, so I'm anxious to get back to the book soon to see how everything turns out.

But, as you can see, 9 out of 11 (approximately 80%) of these books would qualify for Tempest's challenge. That's not why I chose this list, however. I'm really trying to be better read in general and picking new authors with new speculative books out seems like a lovely way to do it.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
We got to the hospital on time and all that and everything went according to plan.... until Shawn's surgery kept going on and on. Mason and I struggled not to be worried. Finally, the monitor switched from "Procedure" to "Closing" and I could finally breathe. When the doctor came he said, "She's fine," but then had us go into a private room which had me nearly hyperventilating with worry. Turns out, half way through the procedure they had to switch from robot-assisted to laparoscopic.

The surgeon was clearly HORRIFIED by the state of Shawn's gallbladder. He could not believe, I think, that she could even walk around give the state of it. He said, "There were several large stones, but the whole organ was... filled with a gritty sludge." He kept saying, "I guess people experience pain differently." I said, yes, Shawn is an exception because of her migraines. She really doesn't know what pain-free is like, so probably this felt minor in comparison. He kept shaking his head. "She's the definition of stoic."


For myself, I deal with panic by reading so I read the entirety of ELYSIUM, OR, THE WORLD AFTER by Jennifer Marie Brissett. Turns out, if I *were* doing Tempest's challenge this book would have counted in more than one criteria. The bio at the back of the book tells me that Jennifer Marie Brissett identifies as "Jamaican-British American" (born in London, now living here). The book itself was... very complex. The writing was smooth and beautiful, but you had to pay attention and think through the whole thing. I can very much understand why it might be that Aqueduct Press published it, as opposed to a traditional New York publisher. I explained it to a friend as the kind of book where you spend a lot of time thinking WTF, but you keep turning pages. It's 100% science fiction. It might not qualify to some as "hard science fiction" but there are (eventually) space ships and aliens and artificial intelligences. So, that's skiffy enough for me, thank you very much.

Now, I'm going to finish THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE by Meg Elison. I set it aside because I had to use Inter-Library Loan to get a hold of Brissett's book and so I knew I couldn't renew it, if I didn't read it fast enough. Elison's book will disappear soon too, but I got that one from a new Kindle loan feature which gives me much more time.

Also in my possession is the first of the Nebula Award nominees that I'll be reading a book called THE GOBLIN EMPEROR by Katherine Addison (who is actually Sarah Monette). All of the books up for the Nebula this year are available through Ramsey County Library, so I signed myself up on the waiting lists for the rest of those. I'm only going to try to read all the books up this year, so if you're curious what's going to be on my TBR list it will be:

Trial by Fire, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)

Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

The Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu ( ), translated by Ken Liu (Tor)

Coming Home, Jack McDevitt (Ace)

Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer (FSG Originals; Fourth Estate; HarperCollins Canada)

So, you can see, if you were at all concerned, I will be reading plenty of (presumed) straight, white, (presumed) cis, men.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Other than a stop for food (at a McDonald's, I think) we continued the rest of the way to Bearskin Lodge without stopping. We talked about places we wanted to go on the way back: Iona's Beach and the Split Rock Lighthouse (which I have never seen). But, we were starting to get anxious to arrive before the sun completely went down.

We got there around seven and checked in. Bearskin Lodge is about thirty-miles up the Gunflint Trail and pretty much delineates the "Last Homey House." There are flush toliets, running water, and showers in the cabins. You can gave motor boats on parts of East Bearskin Lake, but the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) is just around the bend. A lot of people rent a cabin at Bearskin but use it as a place to take off from and come home to. We like to just call it "home" and do very short trips into the wilds.

Each cabin comes with its own, private dock. Inside are all the amenities including a kitchen (we packed all the food we'd need since the nearest store is MILES/hours away) and a fireplace. This time we took full advantage of the fireplace. It got very chilly late at night, so the fire was functional as well as fun.

Here's a blurry picture of me roasting marshmallows for our champaign and S'mores honeymoon feast (yes, you read that right. We had champaign and S'mores for our honeymoon):


Here's a better one of Mason doing the same thing (you can kind of see the main room of the cabin in this shot, too):


We had for the most part really good weather. As we left at the end of the week, Bob, the owner, told us we'd hit the "weather jackpot" and I think he was right, especially since we've come home to days and days of seemingly unending rain. While we were up there, both Shawn and Mason managed to get sunburned. For reasons of Bizzaro-World, I think, I managed to be the one who remembered to reapply my sunscreen early and often. I am a bit browner, but I managed to not get scorched. To be fair, I may have gotten burned if I'd brought more than one book to Bearskin, because this is what my family did most nice days (which is to say, sit on the dock and read):


I love to read, but I'm bad at it. I'm easily distracted partly because reading has always been a bit of a chore for me thanks to a mild case of dyslexia. Plus, I'm that person. Last time we were at Bearskin, Shawn teased me because I was always the one up at 6 am ready for a hike deep into the underbrush. At the time Modern Family had just had its Hawaii special episode and there was a funny bit about the two dads and how one of them preferred to relax and sip Mai-tais and the other wanted to visit the obscure lavender farm that had all 50 varieties of lavender. I was the lavender dad; Shawn was the Mai-tai dad.

Mason, too. He could read all day.

But here's my dock queen in her element:

IMG_9070 copy

Okay, I think that's it for tonight. My internet has been very come-and-go thanks to all these storms we've been having so any more pictures might break it. More tomorrow.

Also, if you're curious how my class went today, the answer was very well. My lecture started out a bit rough, but I could see it hit some of the students because I watched their gears turn and eyes light up and suddenly people had things they wanted to share. I love moments like that. Plus, we had this one as well:
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I've gotten our trip a bit out of order already, because we actually stopped at the historical marker for the Buchanan Settlement (12 miles from Duluth) before we got to Two Harbor's break wall. According to our guide book, this is the sight of a town that has since disappeared--a Minnesotan ghost town, if you will.

Honestly, we didn't even see any part of the remaining town. What impressed us was the beach that was just a hop down from the historical marker:

IMG_9026 copy

It was our first real up-close-and-personal with Lake Superior. As you can see, it was a gorgeous day. The sun was bright and the water and the sky were nearly the same color.


It'd been a long trip to this point. Duluth isn't all that far away, maybe three hours (?), but we'd had to turn back after we'd gone a half hour from the cities. Shawn had forgotten the passports. She only remembered them because we kept seeing sign after sign for Thunder Bay and we'd made a special point of getting Mason a passport so that we could travel to Canada on our last day of our honeymoon. So, it was a half hour to "oh sh*t!", a half hour laughing at ourselves back home, a quick call to Bearskin to warn them we might be late for check-in, and then a half-hour to get back where we'd started.

As the driver, I could have been irritated, but I knew that, like the last time Shawn and I and Mason had done this north shore trip, we'd be doing a lot of stops at overlooks, waysides and attractions along the way.

Next up was, as I already posted Twin Harbors break wall. Then, we went on to Flood Bay, a spot we'd enjoyed last time around. It's supposedly some of the best agate hunting along the north shore, but I'll be honest you. I wouldn't know an agate in the rough if it walked up and introduced itself to me. Luckily, the beach just has cool rocks. Tons and tons of Superior flattened, time worn, awesome looking rocks. Shawn found some "sea glass" (which Superior produces, even though it's a lake) and Mason found a rock with a perfect hole in the center of it--a fairy spyglass. He's been wearing it as a necklace since.

Here's what Flood Bay looks like:

Our guide book says "agate picking is good for the soul" and I have to agree. We often spend a huge amount of time sitting on this beach sifting stones. It's just... relaxing.


Much, much more to come, but I'm going to stop here again. Today, the other things I did was have a lovely critique session with my Loft students. It ended up taking the entire class, but I think that the students got a LOT out of it. Tomorrow we only have one person to critique, but I think that will make up for the lack of lecture today.

Also, it's Wednesday so, Mason and I did our usual podcast silliness. This one was lucky number 13, and I felt it was a lot of fun... see what you think.
lydamorehouse: (slytherin)
Shawn talks in her sleep. Last night, as I'm coming back up the stairs after being harrassed awake by my annoying black cat Inky who is perpetually convinced he's starving to death, Shawn calls out. She yells, "Your feet are rather heavy on the stairs, Mr. Potter!"

I was clear to me that the only proper response was, "Sorry, Professor Snape!"

I thought, actually, she might be awake so when I got back into bed I said, "I'm kind of surprised you're not dreaming of Mordor..." (since we'd watched "Fellowship of the Ring" last night,) but she was SOUND asleep (and snoring, but she'd deny tht last part.) I worried for a few minutes that I might have caused a dreaming mishap, wherein Harry goes to Mordor, but she had no recollection of either the conversation or any Potter/Mordor crossover dreams.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Happy Friday the 13th!

I've got a surprisingly busy day ahead of me. I have lunch plans with a friend this afternoon, a book that still needs some revision (though I've been making steady progress,) and this evening we've got both Mason's school's carnival (a fundraiser), AND a special topics class at KSW on "Jumping" for me.

I'd actually forgotten that Carnival was going to conflict with my Jumping class, so this means that the clausterphobic and crowd wary Shawn will end up having to accompany Mason at the Carnival.

So while I don't expect any disasters today, it's certainly set up for some.

Wish me luck.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
You know the Jewish tradition where, when someone is gravely ill, you give them a new name, so that the Angel of Death will walk by when he comes looking for them? Well, my dad has always gone by a nickname, "Mort." I'm really starting to believe that the angel of death keeps showing up asking for "Richard Morehouse" and, only finding this "Mort" guy, leaves.

I got a call yesterday morning that my dad had a stroke.

Yes, this after successfully surviving sepsis, c-def, and months in the recovery wing of the nursing home while waiting for a hip replacement. My mom had been worried, starting Saturday, because my dad was having a really difficult time recovering from the surgery. It went into overtime by several hours, and, while my dad is clearly a really tough bird, it really seemed to have knocked him back. She said he was confused at one point and thought he was still getting ready to go into surgery. This freaked me out, but all the other signs seemed okay, so I tried to put it out of my mind.

Then, on Sunday, after I took Shawn to the airport (she's off on a work trip to a conference in Washington, D.C.), I got home to the message. I'd left my cell charging because it had run out of battery unexpectedly the night before. (For some reason it's stopped giving me the warning beeps when it's low.) Anyway, there were three fairly frantic messages from my mom. I finally was able to call her back and find out what was going on.

He'd had a stroke. The doctors said they think it was a kind of stroke called a transient ischemic attack. They'd know more in 48 hours. (Now having read the wikipedia article, I know why. Apparently the effects are reversable if they last as long as 24 hours, but fewer than 72.)

I'm still not entirely clear WHY this happened to my dad. The surgery he underwent was pretty routine, even if it did go into overtime. He's been through a LOT in the last six months, but he was in fairly good shape when they checked him in before the procedure. Though, he has had problems with blood clots in the past, it's not clear that's what caused this. The multitude of theories my mom has heard from various doctors include the absorption rate of the anesthesia during the long procedure to something messed up in his brain stem... none of which are very clear to me or make a whole lot of sense.

The important thing is that he's regained his speech as of this morning, and strength has returned to his right side. Right now, as long as things continue to be stable, the doctors are predicting a full recovery.

I tell you though, this has been a serious emotional ride for me (as I'm sure it has been ten times that for my mom and my dad's sister, Mary Ann, who has been a trouper by showing up every day during this entire saga.) Last night, I had the craziest nightmare that I know is related. I had one of those dreams where someone is trying to get into the house. I'm trying to avoid being see by this shadowy figure -- ducking down before reaching up to lock windows, avoiding answering the door. I'm in the upstairs bathroom with Shawn and I'm telling her, "for god's sake, don't tell anyone it's okay to come in," when I realize it's too late. The shadowy figure is at the landing of the stairs. I'm completely impotent against it. I try to throw a recipie book I'm holding at it, but it bounces of (or passes through, at any rate, it's useless). I'm trying to tell it that I can see it and it should go away, but my mouth won't work, I've got something stuck in my throat. I can't breathe. That moment freaks me out so much that I wake up. My heart is pounding.

I actually go up to make sure no one was on the landing, of course. And I took my asthma medicine in case I really WAS having trouble breathing, but as I laid in bed thinking about that dream. I knew it was the angel of death. I was trying, subconsciously, to keep the "wolves" from the door.

Maybe it worked. Fingers crossed.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Before Shawn ended up in the hospital, I'd started a book by Catherine Asaro called THE LAST HAWK. I'm normally a very slow reader thanks to my mild dyslexia and the fact that I'm usually easily distracted by Mason and/or my own writing and life. I brought the book along to the hospital and, because it was much easier to focus on than my own writing, I finished it.

And now I'm trying to decide how I feel about it.

I really loved Catherine Asaro's first couple of books. Though it's been a long time since I read them, I have a strong sense of having enjoyed PRIMARY INVERSION and CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

THE LAST HAWK, however, is from the period in which I remember a lot of my fellow SF fans complaining that Asaro had slid (as in downward - poo! poo!) into romance. I have no problem with romance obviously, but this book *isn't* romantic. (Spoilers under the cut...)

Read more... )

I think it's simply difficult to write this kind of thing well, unless one's tongue is firmly planted in cheek. Perhaps I'm supposed to have read this as the feminist twist on those horrible Gor novels. As I said, if I told you I didn't enjoy this book, I'd be lying. But, if you look at the situation with a critical eye, it's pretty dispicable.

And now I find out there's a sequel. Do I want to find out what happens next? Kind of... but, am I going to need a shower afterwards?

Does anyone out there know of a book that does this well??

In other news, Shawn bailed early from work yesterday, though she's back at it today. She's still suffering from these weird new headaches that involve stroke-like symptoms (numbness on one side of her body.) So, the medical mystery that is Shawn continues. She's going to contact her doctor today, though, so hopefully, we'll start down the path of figuring out how to manage her headaches more effectively.

Mason has been occupied by the thought that Pokemon's new Black & White game is coming out for the DS in a matter of days.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
If a picture is worth a thousand words, do you think I could send in a photo montage instead of the last several chapters of my novel to Penguin?

But seriously, I thought I could post a few pictures of the other stuff we did this last weekend BESIDES being in the hospital. Plus, I promised Grandpa a picture of Mason's gap tooth smile:

Also, I don't think that I was able to report this earlier, but Mason did really well in the kuk soOlympics. They divide by belt, of course, and, even though Mason was the only white belt junior competing, he placed FIRST in "techniques" (where you throw people to the ground.)

Here's Nikki Jo Kyo Nym listening carefully to Mason's introduction:

And the winner's block:

In the middle of all the trauma with Shawn and the hospital, I got a very nice surprise in the mail:

Shawn, BTW, is doing well enough that she headed off to work this morning around 9:00 am. Mason and I are still on intersession vacation for a couple more days, so we're planning to get together with our usual Women of Wyrdsmiths Wednesday crowd. It's nice to be back to old routines.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
A quick Shawn update -- thanks to everyone who has offered support. It's been really tremendous that so many people care and are willing to offer prayers, well-wishes, thoughts and support. We're all back home today. Despite the "failed" stress test, the cardiologist is certain that Shawn is in no immediate dangers so they sent us home. She (the doctor) also gave us the good news that the stress test has about a 5 - 10% chance of showing false positives, and, given Shawn's utter lack of family history with heart disease or risk factors, thinks this much more likely the case.


We're stuck waiting around the house, however, because the doctor put Shawn on the schedule for an "echo test" of the stress test (where they do a similar test, but there's no radiation injection. Instead, they run an ultrasound) and we're waiting for the call to see when that will be. They say it SHOULD be today, but in-patients get first priority. And, frankly, I'm okay with that. Shawn has had so many heart tests in the last three days that if there were any other abnormalities something would have shown up by now.

Shawn is, of course, sound asleep still. Hospitals are one of the worst places to try to rest, IMHO, so she's utterly exhausted. It's so great to be home and to know that everything is going to be okay. Because, even if this "reversible defect" turns out to really be there, they have a procedure to fix it permanently. That'll mean angioplasty, or something like that to unclog the block, but it's a very routine procedure.

So I'm feeling really very confident today. Mason has been an absolute trouper through this whole thing. I'm just really glad that he's off school right now on intersession so I didn't have to try to cart him back and forth to school and hospital and everything else. We've just hung out playing video games, like we would if we were sitting in the coffee shop all day. Of course he still got squirrelly by the end of the day (you can only sit so long), but that was about the time when I took him home for the night anyway.

So that's everything for now. I'll drop Mouse into another post. Because I actually wrote a little vingette last night while waiting for the cardiologist. I'm afraid I'm one of those people who gets comfort from "going back to work." Though, I do think that I probably made this next scene slightly less scary than I might have otherwise had not all this stuff gone down with Shawn.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Turns out Shawn's heart *is* broken a little. We're still in the hospital this evening because the stress test turned up what is called a "reversable defect" (possilby "mild reversible perfusion defect," according to the Googles -- we haven't seen the cardiologist yet.) Anyway, her heart functions normally at rest, but under stress this tiny portion of her heart doesn't get enough oxygen, probably due to some kind of blockage.

Mason and I meanwhile have gotten very proficient at hanging out. I'm ETERNALLY grateful for the free WiFi that United provides its guests. Otherwise, I'd be bored out of my skull. I have managed to get a little work done on Tate's novel, but, despite long stretches of nothing to do, it's hard to concentrate here. We're always getting interrupted by nurses and other staff, and, of course, we're at a HOSPITAL. Not exactly the sort of place where people feel relaxed and at ease. I mean, d'uh, right? Plus, I'm worried sick about Shawn this whole time, although, honestly, I was less worried before they found something. Before we figured her brain had just gone a bit haywire with the migraine stuff... now....

Now, as I was joking to her earlier, we need to get the Great and Powerful Oz on the line. We not only need a brain, but we need a heart too! And maybe a little courage to boot!

lydamorehouse: (Default)
We're at the hospital.

After the kuk soOlympics, Shawn complained of dizziness and upper chest/arm pain. I wanted to just slink off to bed and ignore it, but, of course, these are classic symptoms for a heart attack. Woman of the certain age which we happen to be tend to ignore subtle signs of heart disease and end up dead. So we decided it was time for a trip to the emergency room.

I think we all expected that the folks in the emergency room would solve this mystery quickly and with something simple like "Oh, it was heart burn; you can go home now." But Shawn was admitted. They took EKGs and X-Rays and a battery of blood tests. Then, when she told them about some of the other symptoms including intermittent numbness on her left side, they wanted to rule out the possiblity of a stroke.

So she stayed the night under observation. Mason and I went home last night and came back this morning. She's going to be here at least until Monday, though, because, even though they're PRETTY sure that she didn't have a heart attack _or_ a stroke, they're not sure enough to feel comfortable letting her go home. Especially since they don't know what it is. She's in a 40-minute MRI right now, and then tomorrow they've scheduled a final stress test (just to double and triple check the heart). The doc's suspicion is that this may be a new complication to Shawn's continual migraine problems, but they're all about rather safe than sorry. Which I'm mostly grateful for, though they also sent in an "insurance counselor" to give us the bad news that we've been classified as "under observation" rather than "in-patient" which may cost us a LOT more out of pocket. We're going to check to see what we can do about that, but we might just be screwed.

Wish us luck.

Will keep you posted.

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