Tag Archives: shenanigans

Skip To My LOO

11 Apr

If fecal matter, aka crap, shit, poo, number 2, is offensive to you, or reading about it rather, then I strongly suggest you skip this post.  Because in this one, shit is definitely hitting the fan, making this an extremely dirty, nasty post!

My last week in San Jose was so exhausting.  First the drive up on Sunday, then the arrival where I served as luggage porter to our third floor room, Siberian Husky wrangler, cook, maid, and chauffeur.  And when it came to Thursday, the day I was to fly home for the weekend, the morning set the stage for what I call, “Rivka and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”  So much so, I couldn’t bring myself to write about the chaos and feel badly that I even shared it with a neighbor couple.  Let’s just say, it began with our hotel room toilet overflowing, middled with Piper, the dog, peeing on MY bed and my flight canceling, and ended with me stuck on an overfilled plane between two passengers who both needed one and a half seats.  It honestly took me two full days (Good Friday and even better Saturday) to recover from the exhaustion of it all–especially as I am sparing you several of the outrageous details.  In fact, at one point on that Thursday I had an “out of body experience”.  No, not the new-age type of ‘I-have-faced-myself-dead’ experiences; but the kind where I was literally in the mix of continuous, progressively building, chaotic events and wondering to myself how to abort the circumstance.  It was almost as if I was watching this fiasco, like it was a television sitcom, and desperately trying to figure out how to change the channel.

But wait, it continues to get better.  Since Piper sent me off with a yellow present, I guess she figured I needed a brown one upon my return…

At three thirty in the morning, Monday–the day of my scheduled return flight to San Jose–I heard our house phone ringing.  Mind you, I am still living on high alert, so a telephone ring at that hour, usually incites fear of impending news of death.  However, it was not the case.  It was my son, Cole, calling from the hotel room in San Jose.  Apparently Piper had a bout of diarrhea–all over the hotel room floor.  But since I was, all of 500 miles away and his Uncle was in the next room over, I suggested he wake his Uncle to help with the tragic situation.  …which he in fact did.  “Thank you a thousand times Uncle Timmy!”  But of course the paranoia of it all kept me awake just the same.

So I made it back to northern Cal and made sure to gift the laundry man and the maid something super special.  And even though our dear Tim assured us the Piper cub was probably finished with her “expelling”, Cole and I decided to have her sleep outside on our tiny, third story balcony with a half-hearted prayer she wouldn’t jump.  And if she did, Cole and I were resigned to mourning! 😉

Now last night, we figured she was for sure “finished, kaput, done” with her loose stools, thus the girl was again allowed to sleep inside.  But at 3a.m (what is it with that number?!), she was awake and pacing!  We quickly put her bed outside and I wrangled her back to the patio–a place she is not fond of!  And this morning what did I receive?  Yep, a patch-work quilt of poo.  Piles of loose, mucus filled stool.  Some areas bigger than others, with many small dots–the girl pretty much covered the area of the patio that did not house her bed!  Guess what I did this morning?  I had the high honor and privilege of collecting diarrhea via scooping with a plastic knife into a paper bowl.  And since I had taken an hour or so at breakfast to formulate my cleansing plan I was able to assess the patio and how, once the feces was collected, I would proceed with cleaning the area.  My deduction was as follows:

In the center of the patio is a drain hole, which I deduced would funnel the dirty water down a pipe and out to the ground floor.  So there I was, with a plastic bag over my hand, a brought-from-home rag (I didn’t want to again have to impose on the hotel staff!  I was afraid I’d have to also find us a new place to stay if they were brought into the our sitcom routine once more), an ice bucket filled with soapy warm water and all the scrubbing power I could muster.  Scrub, scrub, scrub and then WHOOSH…I poured the bucket of water over the area to rinse it down the drain.  Only as I was rinsing, I was hearing the sound of water dumping from below.  I looked over the balcony only to learn the drain hole empties directly onto the balcony of our second floor neighbors.  And as if that wasn’t the worst epiphany ever, the maintenance man (yes the one who had to unplug our toilet and who had to shampoo the carpet) was right outside in the parking lot to witness the occasion.  Needless to say I ducked down and hoped he would mistake the bubbles for rain!

I swear, sometimes I think our G-d in Heaven is a big television producer and he is making one heck of a killing off of my weekly episode.  Quick, somebody find the remote and change the channel!

And Cole?  He is progressing.  Though the progress is slow, there is a forward motion of improvement (otherwise we would pack up our things, end our humiliation, and head home).  We, of course, are praying for a miraculous return of his facial muscles (controlled by cranial nerve 7), but the tumor was strong on that area of the brain-stem, thus the damage it inflicted is difficult to ignore.  But we are not giving up…sorry San Jose, we will stay a while more!

No Luck, Only Grace

26 Feb

Today Brian and I celebrated our wedding anniversary.  Last night, in preparation for the surprise I wanted to give him, I went “driving” on Google maps.  The reason being is I couldn’t remember the name of the Alpine Lodge-like restaurant that Brian always says he wants to visit when we pass by it on the freeway.  I had a vague memory of it being after the 22 freeway and before the 605, so I got my map set to the 5 freeway just after the 22 and moved the little “man” icon to street level.  I admit, it was challenging because sometimes the map would jump me to an off ramp and I would find myself lost…then I would have to start over again.  I also questioned my memory of which freeway it was off of, and perused the 405 for about 20 minutes…excessive, I know!  Even as I was considering my method to be madness, I continued on.  After all, I convinced myself it was for an anniversary and so the extra pains to find my destination would be worth it.

Well I am happy to say I finally found the faux, snow covered alpine and thanks to the camera work of Google, and its 360 degree panning option, I found the name.  Clearman’s North Woods Inn, La Mirada California.  With the name in my possession I was able to check on its hours of operation, and even check its status on “Yelp”.  Let me offer a bit of advice…when you are planning something for a loved one, and are considering their interests, tastes, or desires, skip out on reading reviews and looking at pictures and reading the menu with prices.  Because even though I had found my prize, I also found my prize was an over priced dump which serves the type of food that, yes, Brian would love, but I would be compelled to picket due to the high amounts of injurious food and portions.  Which is why before I shut my accomplice down for the night (my computer), I avowed to not only surprise Brian with a lunch at the 1950’s should-be-thrown-back chalet, but to pretend I shared the same enjoyment with the entire experience as well…gloppy cheese bread, mayonnaise salad, and all.  And with my resolve, a good feeling fell upon me.  It does feel nice to have my “self” sit on the bench and let Brian take the play…it just took some coaching to get me-self agreeable to the idea!

Well today my lovely daughter asked us where we were headed for our lunch date.  I told her, her father didn’t know and it was a surprise–but it is about a half hour away from our home.  Upon hearing my words, Brian said, “I know where we’re going!  Is it to the snow?”  “WHAT?”, I questioned, “how did you know?”  Turns out that after 20+ years together, Brian and I are one…go figure.  I often know his thoughts, he often knows mine; even my hidden and surprise thoughts.  And lucky for me, he did know because he told me he wasn’t really feeling for driving as far as we would have to drive to get there.  HIP HIP HOORAY!!!  “No skin off of my nose”, I said, “I am happy to withdrawal the plan and redirect!”  Now that is what I call “grace”.  And off we went to Laguna Beach to one of our favorite and quaint little restaurants.  And being I didn’t have to swallow down bread dipped in grease, or potatoes lathered with “cheese butter” (which actually sounds intriguing in all the wrong ways), I enjoyed dessert because I could.

Then, as is customary for me after eating a meal out, I retrieved my little lipstick holder from my purse to refresh my, dried out and pale, lips.  And to my wonderful surprise, thanks to my ever conniving children, I found my little “King’s cake” baby lying in my lipstick holder.  I called them and they said, “you got Baby-D!”, and they laughed and laughed, as did Brian and I.  Since the oven is still on the fritz, the baby keeps “popping” up in the most notorious of locations.  In fact, he’s awaiting the next victim as we speak…I can’t wait to see who it will be!


Cole’s VA 100% service-connected rating coming in the mail on the very day our health insurance benefits ended–the same day of my grandmother’s passing, such good news on one heck of a hard day; more grace.  Not having to drive, eat, nor lounge anywhere near the Clearman’s North Woods Inn; grace, grace, grace!  Truly the Lord’s grace is washing over my weary soul…thank you Jesus!

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Fun and Games

15 Sep

Today I had the most fun I have had in a long time!

My son, Cole, had to have a venous filter removed from an artery (I believe I mentioned it in an earlier post).  So he had a scheduled appointment today at Mission Hospital, for this outpatient procedure.  We received our prep phone call yesterday; telling us to arrive at 9:00a.m. for pre-op and then the surgical procedure would happen at 11:00a.m. and than he would stay for observation 2 hours post the procedure.  Now of course, as is customary with any surgery, it was advised to abstain from food and all liquids after midnight.  Not too difficult a task when the scheduled appointment is for the morning.  Well we did what we were told and then the wait was on!

  • 9:00a.m. checked in
  • 9:30 IV inserted
  • 9:35 blood drawn
  • 9:50 admission questions
  • 10:00 swab nostrils for MRSA
  • 10:15 put in order for lunch, “they should be here to pick you up at 10:30”
  • 10:40 I hop in bed with Cole and shoot the breeze (I was cold)
  • 11:00 Cole and I decide to read one of my architectural books (checked out from the library)
  • 11:35 Call the nurse regarding start time, only to find out it would be another hour
  • 12:40 I decide to go down to the cafeteria to get something to eat–cashier recognizes me from Cole’s earlier hospital stay, sends a “hello” to Brian
  • 1:07 Cole is finally taken down for surgery
  • 2:40 Cole returns from surgery
  • 2:45 IV removed

A few moments after his IV was removed he began his attempt to eat the lunch that was provided, mac-n-cheese, green beans, and chocolate cake.  He took a few bites of the macaroni and cheese and decided the chocolate cake was a better choice.  He asked me why we couldn’t just leave.  So I offered to get his nurse so he could ask her.  He finished his cake and looked at the macaroni and asked me if we could get out of there and eat somewhere else.  I said, “Sure, if you can put your clothes on and walk out of here, I will follow you.”  So I gave him his clothes and he put them on.  Still no sign of his nurse (though there were two nurse looking ladies sitting outside his door, working on a portable computer.)  He got up and ventured to the in-room bathroom to check out his incision.  Then he said, “Ok, let’s go.” But he started walking toward me, so I asked, “Well if we are leaving, why are you walking toward me?”  To which he replied, “I am going to write ‘Thank You’ on my white board.”  And he did.  He then turned around and walked out (with his walker of course), with me following behind.  A nurse who was on duty in the morning happened to walk by as we were leaving and kindly said, “sorry about the wait.”  We assured her it was no problem, then head out the double doors of the hospital, to our car, and came home…laughing all the way!  I swear, I think we have all gone mad.  Well not Brian, he did encourage us to wait to be discharged; but he wasn’t there to stop us.

Just a few minutes ago the hospital called (It’s now after 4:00p.m.), I made sure to give the receiver to Cole so he could answer the call.  Sure enough it was his nurse.  She said, “You weren’t supposed to leave; I didn’t even get a chance to check the incision!”  He assured her he would follow up with his primary care physician in a week, and apologized for leaving.

Though he apologized, I can assure you he is not sorry.  He has had his fill of being in the hospital…and I do believe, so have I!


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