Archive for December, 2013

Aging Isn’t for Sissies

December 9, 2013

Aging Isn’t for Sissies

Two friends from Munds Park live in my condo complex in Scottsdale. Last week we were all afflicted with senior ailments that would definitely curtail romance, at least in the short run. After Dee read my new novel about dementia, she was frantic that she was in the beginning stages. She lost three sets of car keys and had to have her car towed to the dealership to have a new key made. Her doctor suggested a sleep study. When she went to the specialist for the results, he said she stopped breathing a hundred times in three hours and her oxygen level got very low. She absolutely needed a c-pack. She hates having a mask over her face at night and often wakes up with it off in the morning. Presumably she tore it off during the night. But her memory has returned, and for that she is grateful. I guess it was sleep deprivation that mimicked dementia.

Joan needed cataract operations on both of her eyes, one at a time. She was nervous about it because she had two friends who had catastrophic complications. I assured her that both of my cataract operations went well. Dee, a former nurse, was the designated driver for the surgeries and I drove Joan to her next day follow-up appointments. She looked like an understudy for The Phantom of the Opera in the perforated metal patch over her eye.

I had to have vascular leg surgery, but not the cosmetic kind. There was “backwash” in the veins in my legs so I had vascular laser ablation in the doctor’s office. The doctor used a sonogram to find the errant veins, positioned the optic fibers, stuck local anesthetic in the veins (that hurt!) and zapped them with a laser (that didn’t hurt.) After the surgery the nurse wrapped my leg with three six inch wide ace bandages and told me to elevate my leg. (See the accompanying photo.) I had to keep it like that for forty-eight hours. Then I could take a shower and wrap my leg mummy-style during the day for two weeks.


At first I wasn’t skilled at the wrapping. The first day I wrapped it by myself I went shopping at Nordstrom’s for some support hose. Another customer tapped me on the shoulder and pointed down, saying she was concerned I would trip. I was so embarrassed to be trailing a flopping ace bandage that was partially unrolled from the middle of my leg! I was shopping for support hose as I refused to wear slip on shoes and a mummy leg to the Teddy Bear Tea at the Ritz Carlton on Saturday. Do you know how hard it is to find support hose now that most women don’t wear stockings? I had to pay twenty -eight dollars because Spanx was the only brand available and I hadn’t thought ahead to research on the Internet. I do have to admit that my dress fit better due to the Spanx. Of course I got a huge run in the support hose. Think I’ll stop at Penney’s before I get the other leg done this week.

So Dee looks like an alien in bed, I have a mummy leg and Joan had a metal pirate patch. Are our nights of romance over?

 Check out Annie’s website at  Her novel, Reinvented Lives, is available at the Pinewood Farmers’ Market and on


I Finished NaNoWriMo

December 3, 2013

NaNoWriMo certificate 001

I’m so excited I can hardly stand it. I finished NaNoWriMo!  NaNoWriMo stands for National novel writing Month. During November the challenge I wrote about 7,500 words during the summer but couldn’t seem to get any farther.

Sharon Moore and Sandy Wright, my writing partners in Munds Park, encouraged me to try NaNoWriMo. Sharon helped with the planning. She shared that last year she made index cards for the scenes she needed to write.

I used my plot outline and followed her example. It worked! I wrote at least a scene a day. I had to add more scenes, out of order, but I’ll take care of that when I edit the manuscript. That will take at least four to six months.

Whoo-ee! My first draft of my novel is done. It’s only 58,000 words but I need to add descriptions so it won’t be a problem to get it to the 80,000 that is typical for a murder mystery.

Thanksgiving in Sonoma County

December 3, 2013


I went to Santa Rosa, in Sonoma County, for Thanksgiving. Susan, my best friend of over fifty years, packed many fun activities in six days. Her husband David is the nicest man I know and her daughter is my godchild. One day we went to Bodega Bay and hiked along the bluffs.

Beodega Bay and Hanukkah 2013 006

Beodega Bay and Hanukkah 2013 009

Beodega Bay and Hanukkah 2013 002

David enjoyed the hike

David enjoyed the hike

Afterwards we went to a party at a gorgeous country house. I drank mimosas and relaxed.

The next day I went to Chinatown for some tea tasting and buying. I bought some expensive tea after the tasting and then went next door to a grocery and bought wheels of inexpensive pu-er tea.

tea sh
tea sh

tea sh



Market in Chinatown in San Francisco

Market in Chinatown in San Francisco

I couldn’t find the restaurant, City View, where we were to meet for lunch. I got my exercise walking around trying to follow the Google map on my phone. I finally got to where it should have been and hailed a cab. He drove me three blocks to a street that was blocked off and I walked up the hill and found the place.

We spent time preparing and decorating for thanksgiving. Susan models the turkey hats.


On Wednesday night we celebrated the first night of Hanukkah lighting the candles and eating crabs and latkes.

Thanksgiving there was a crowd of nineteen for dinner. Ken, Alexis’s Dad, and the kids liked the turkey hats. The eats were delicious and the company incomparable.

Susan gives the toast with Vanessa

Susan gives the toast with Vanessa

Susan and David after a long day of entertaining

Susan and David after a long day of entertaining











David has decided to watch every sunset form his deck. I joined him most nights and tried to stay focused on the beuty of the here and now.