Friday, December 3, 2021
Sunday, July 11, 2021
As I was lacing up my sneakers for my morning walk today, I realized that the very people who had helped me so much had last seen me in severe pain, but had never heard the rest of the story--the story that they had set in motion through an act of kindness. This post is a thank you to them and a reminder to us all that what might seem like a small kindness can change someone else's life.
Back in 2007 when I was 62 and still working, I was in so much foot and knee pain that walking was becoming more and more difficult. I had even cancelled out on our proposed 25th anniversary trip to Italy the year before--we had a family trip to Yellowstone instead, where I was wheeled around in a rented wheelchair by my cheerful son, Ben, who made wheelchairing fun.
I had come to believe that joint pain was a part of growing older. As I limped through each day, I was resigned but sad to be missing out on so much.
One day, while walking down the hall at the school where I was librarian, I was hit with such severe knee pain that I grabbed at the wall for support. I hadn't realized that one of my fellow teachers was walking behind me and saw my agony. Di, an occupational therapist, took me by the elbow, saying "You are going to the principal's office with me, NOW."
It turned out that the principal had a wonderful orthopedic surgeon. She handed me the phone number and these two good samaritans stood over me while I phoned and made an appointment. I will thank both of these women to the end of my days!
Within a week, I got a shot in my knee that gave instant relief that lasted several months. I met with my own doctor and we mapped out a plan to deal with my bad joints starting with the ground up. I had foot surgery as soon as it could be scheduled, which meant that I had to retire before the end of the year as originally planned.
Once I had healed, we moved cross country to New Mexico. I had my right knee replaced in April 2008 and the left one replaced on November 8th of the same year.
People talk about life-changing events, and now I know just what they mean. Because of the kindness of two women (and the expertise of medical specialists) I can walk without pain. I'm 76 now and, since those surgeries, have been to France and Iceland. I've hiked in many amazing places around New Mexico and the Southwest. I walk six days a week through pecan orchards and along irrigation canals with my friend Florence, who is five years older than me and who inspires me every day.
Thank you to the friends who saw me in pain and found a way to help. You made such a difference in my life.
Thursday, July 8, 2021
This is that morning, the one where there is some indefinable something in the air that promises that autumn will come. Is it the coolness, the dew (so rare in the desert), the sound of the owls hunting in the orchard? Autumn is still months away and the day will soon be blazing. But, still. This is that morning.
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Thursday, January 14, 2021
Here is Audrey on November 1
She is a Turken or Naked Neck chicken, but when she is molting she is naked all over in patches.
What a mess!
By November 18, you can see that Audrey has begun the (painful-looking) process of growing out new feathers.
Here is a graphic illustration of what is happening. The whole technical explanation that goes with it can be found on the Cornell University Bird Academy's page "Everything You Need to Know About Feathers." It's really worth your time to look at this beautifully illustrated article.
And here is Audrey today, January 14, in all her iridescent splendor.
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
This list will be added to during the year.
Backman: Anxious People Audio
Bharara: Doing Justice; A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law
Box: Dark Sky (Joe Pickett #21) Audio
Brown: Inferno (Robert Langdon #4)
Brown: The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon #3)
Brown: Origin (Robert Langdon #5)
Cameron: Bone Rattle (Arliss Cutter #3)
Cameron: Open Carry (Arliss Cutter #1) Audio
Cameron: Stone Cross (Arliss Cutter #3)
Church: The House at Otowi Bridge
Cleeves: The Crow Trap (Vera Stanhope #1)
Cleeves: The Darkest Evening (Vera Stanhope #9)
Cleeves: The Glass Room (Vera Stanhope #5)
Cleeves: Harbour Street (Vera Stanhope #6)
Cleeves: The Moth Catcher (Vera Stanhope #7)
Cleeves: Raven Black 9 (Shetland Island #1) Audio
Cleeves: Red Bones (Shetland Island #3)
Cleeves: Silent Voices (Vera Stanhope #4)
Cleeves: White Nights (Shetland Island #2)
Clinton: The President is Missing. Audio
Conroy: The Water is Wide
Doerr: Cloud Cuckoo Land
Evanovich: Eleven on Top (Stephanie Plum #11) Audio
Evanovich: Fortune and Glory (Stephanie Plum #27) Audio
Evanovich: Hard Core Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum #24) Audio
Evanovich: Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #26) Audio
Evanovich: Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum #22) Audio
Evanovich: Turbo Twenty-Three (Stephanie Plum #23) Audio
Evanovich: Twisted Twenty-Six (Stephanie Plum #26) Audio
Grafton: W is for Wasted (Kinsey Millhone #23)
Grafton: Y is for Yesterday (Kinsey Millhone #25)
Grisham, J.: Camino Island (Camino Island #1)
Grisham, J.: Camino Winds (Camino Island #2)
Grisham, J.: The Chamber
Grisham, J.: The Confession
Grisham, J.: The Firm
Grisham, J.: The Guardians
Grisham, J.: A Painted House
Grisham, J.: The Pelican Brief
Grisham, J.: The Racketeer
Grisham, J.: The Reckoning
Grisham, J.: Rogue Lawyer
Grisham, J.: The Rooster Bar
Grisham, J.: Sycamore Row (Jake Brigance #2)
Grisham, J.: A Time for Mercy (Jake Brigance #3)
Grisham, J.: A Time to Kill (Jake Brigance #1)
Grisham, J.: The Whistler (The Whistler #1)
Grisham, J.: Witness to a Trial (The Whistler #0.5)
Grisham, S.: I'll Take Your Questions Now
Haig: The Midnight Library Audio
Hamilton: Blood is the Sky (Alex McKnight #5)
Hamilton: A Cold Day in Paradise (Alex McKnight #1)
Hamilton: Die a Stranger (Alex McKnight #9)
Hamilton: The Hunting Wind (Alex McKnight #3)
Hamilton: Ice Run (Alex McKnight #6)
Hamilton: Let it Burn (Alex McKnight #10)
Hamilton: Misery Bay (Alex McKnight #8)
Hamilton: North of Nowhere (Alex McKnight #4)
Hamilton: The Second Life of Nick Mason (Nick Mason #1) Audio
Hamilton: A Stolen Season (Alex McKnight #7)
Hamilton: Winter of the Wolf Moon (Alex McKnight #2)
Hannah: The Four Winds
Hiaasen: Strip Tease. Audio
Hoffman: Magic Lessons (Practical Magic #0.1)
Johnson: Daughter of the Morning Star (Walt Longmire #17)
Johnson: Next to Last Stand (Walt Longmire #16)
Johnson: Now in November
Mandel: Station Eleven. Audio
McCall Smith: Chance Developments Audio
McCall Smith: The Colors of All the Cattle (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #19)
McCall Smith: The Department of Sensitive Crimes (Detective Varg #1) Audio
McCall Smith: The House of Unexpected Sisters (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #18) Audio
McCall Smith: How to Raise an Elephant (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #21)
McCall Smith: The Miracle at Speedy Motors (No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency #9). Audio
McCall Smith: To the Land of Long Lost Friends (No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency #20) Audio
Meltzer: The Escape Artist (Escape Artist #1) Audio
Millet: The Children's Bible
Montgomery: The Soul of an Octopus
Morgenstern: The Starless Sea. Audio
Moriarty: The Husband's Secret
Newman: Falling. Audio
O'Farrell: Hamnet. Audio
Patchett: The Dutch House. Audio
Patterson: Cross My Heart (Alex Cross #21)
Patterson: 1st Case
Patterson: The Summer House
Pears: The Raphael Affair ((Jonathan Argyll #1) Audio
Picoult: The Book of Two Ways. Audio
Raden: The Truth About Lies; The Illusion of Honesty and the Evolution of Deceit
Shipman: The Charm Bracelet
Smiley: At Paradise Gate Audio
Smiley: Some Luck (Last Hundred Years, A Family Saga #1) Audio
Waters: The Woman at Otowi Crossing
Winton: Dirt Music
Winton: The Riders
Wolff: Landslide; The Final Days of the Trump Presidency