Thursday, March 24, 2011


Thank you for all your notes of concern.

Group Health gave me antibiotics; within 6 hours of the first (double) dose, I felt like myself again, and I continue to improve. The goal is to get myself to the presentation tomorrow afternoon.

I have only the vaguest memory of what I've been doing between March 9 and yesterday. I hope I didn't offend anyone, do anything embarrassing, or give anyone else bronchitis.

I do, however, seem to have committed to a really scary amount of activity through the end of June.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Still barking

I've spent the past two weeks sick with bronchitis, and last night it got worse. I came home from a board meeting hallucinating...I actually have no idea how I drove from Seattle Center to the house. I got here with fever, chills, and the miserable cough that I'd thought was getting somewhat better. It's as if we'd rolled the whole thing back to March 9, and started all over again.

This relapse gets me in to see a doctor at Group Health this afternoon. It's not that I'm particularly sick — if something started out this way, you'd say, hmmm, the flu, big deal — but having been exhausted for two weeks and then getting hit by this is really discouraging.

I'm supposed to be speaking to a IT industry group on Friday, and am hoping that I'll get some kind of medicine that will enable me to deal with a two-hour panel discussion. At the moment, I can't even imagine driving to the event!

Fortunately, I have only one major client project in the works this week, and it can all be done (ghost blogging) from bed. And, fortunately, Tom got better so is able to bring me liquids and take care of the cats when he's not at work.

Unfortunately, the part of last night's meeting at which I committed to organizing and hosting a strategic planing event in April and a cocktail part at the house in May turns out to have not been a hallucination.

Mostly, I'm sorry to be missing the non-rainy weather today. I have five blueberry bushes that need to get planted!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

I thought I heard a seal bark

I get colds a few times a year, but it's been a very long time since I've run a fever. Somewhere along the trip from Seattle to San Jose to Washington, D.C., I was exposed to a bug, and now I'm incredibly sick.
Tom does quite a good job of taking care of me when I'm sick, and I, him,  but that doesn't help much -- because we got the same thing at the same time.

After dinner with family this evening we went to a drugstore and I got all the right chemicals (I like chemicals, Tom doesn't) and we took them. Much good it did.

We are both barking like seals, and feel like someone is grinding our joints to dust. The last thing you want, of course, when you have aches from a fever is someone barking like a seal in the bed next to you.

Because it's an inflammation, the aches seem to be focusing on the ankle I chip fractured in October.

It could be worse. We're staying at a very homey hotel and our room has a refrigerator and microwave and coffee maker that is capable of making tea that doesn't taste like coffee. The hotel is full of vending machines with inexpensive name-brand sodas and sparkling water, plus snacks like pretzels. The heat is easy to control, there are plenty of blankets, and a pretty decent bathtub for when the chills get really bad.

Tomorrow night is when we are supposed to go to the events at the Italian embassy. I'm hoping that if we rest and drink lots of fluids from now until then we'll be able to get to the art exhibit opening and lecture and enjoy it as much as we enjoyed the tour of the Canaletto exhibit at the National Gallery this morning.

Flying home on the plane Friday? I am so trying not to think about that.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

A few things

Catalog photo of the "Script" fabric roman
 shades from Smith & Noble.
The painters have come and gone, with remarkably little fuss — once they discovered the local Benjamin Moore store had made a mistake mixing the trim color for my office and got that fixed. (Queen Anne Painting; highly recommended).

Now the bathrooms have new (white) paint after 10 years, and all sorts of minor damage to the walls got repaired. Best of all, my office is no longer a sterile, cold white: It's a pale sage green with beige/cream trim. The wall with the large window is done in an accent color: A sunny hacienda-style yellow. The colors are all part of the Cabana color palette from Color and Space, who did the colors for the living room and dining room three years ago and then gave me the rest of the palette for future projects.

When I get back from San Jose and DC, the challenge will be to fill the walls with art. No, actually that will be easy — the challenge will be to do it in a way that looks good. I'm will be, literally, following directions from Martha Stewart Living.

I also want to splurge on an attractive, cat-proof shade for the window. That means no metal or plastic blinds they can bend, no clawable fabric, and no snaggable weaves. I'm thinking either a very sturdy bamboo shade, like the ones in the living room, or this amazing linen roman shade (see photo, above). The shade, from Smith & Noble, is hideously expensive, so it'll likely be either the bamboo — or get a plain linen shade and hire a calligrapher to write all over it!

* * *

Today's weather was the usual mix of sun, snow, rain, sleet, high winds, with the occasional rattle of hail on the roof. I watched in delight as this foul weather tormented the roofers working on the house one block down from us.

Why so sadistic? Well, this was the crummy rental house that, three years ago, had its perfectly nice roof torn off and a shoddy "second story" with a (I love this) metal stove-pipe chimney slapped on.

Apparently that original roof job was so crummy that just three years later they are having to tear off all the asphalt and the plywood and start over again.

It has always been my dream to win a small lottery and use the money to buy that house so I could rip off the second story and that ghastly chimney and reinstate the original roofline — along with it the very pretty view of Puget Sound that I used to enjoy from my kitchen table.

* * *

Sheba. She gives new meaning to
flying toasters.
No update would be complete without mention of the cats. Sheba the deaf white cat is now about 13, and definitely looking older. Yet she still dashes madly about and leaps onto high shelves. Recently she has become even fussier about food — something I associate with age in cats. She used to eat only one flavor of fancy feast; now she won't eat even that, and yowls and throws things (like the toaster oven) off the counter if she isn't given treats, freeze-dried salmon, or baked chicken for her meals. Sheba is such a lovely cat when she isn't yowling or throwing things that this is less annoying that it sounds. After all, baked chicken is good for all of us.

Kaylee, the high-strung little Abyssinian has finally settled down. For the past several months, she's been sitting on my lap late at night when the house is very quiet and I'm wearing a fleece bathrobe. She now comes in and ambushes me when I'm getting out of the tub or shower and she knows I'm about to put on the robe. It takes her several minutes of stomping around and kneading before she sits down to be petted, but this morning she actually skipped the stomping around and relaxed immediately.

Kaylee's half-sister, Zoe, the huge striped non-Abyssinian, is just as clownish as ever. I've never been able to get Zoe to stop clawing me in the face in the middle of the night unless I wake up enough to blast her with a squirt gun. Instead, I've just resigned myself to getting her claws clipped professionally on a regular basis — so I get pawed, rather than clawed, at 3 a.m. (We tried clipping Zoe's nails ourselves but sustained way too much damage. It's a job for the pros, and we take Zoe in along with Mabel, who I wouldn't even dream of trying to clip.)

Mabel, the Bombay, is a lovely, extremely sage cat who treats people as if they were her kittens. She, also, has extraordinarily long, sharp claws. Unlike Zoe, she can retract them. Mabel doesn't seem to have very strong back legs, and she uses her front claws to haul herself up on things, like the bed. Or your lap. OUCH. Mabel sharpens her claws on the cedar posts of the back porch. Zoe has been working on one of the posts for years, but Mabel has been able to demolish her target in just 15 months.