Smashed Finger

I seem to be having a series of ailments this week. My earache is slowly subsiding, but now I have managed to smash my little finger and also cut it fairly deeply. I am hoping it is not broken. 

What happened?  Something stupid. I was helping Ray move a very heavy seat out of our van and I overestimated my strength and underestimated the weight of that damn seat. Normally, van seats aren’t that heavy but this particular one had a very dense metal base. Ray had one end and had just said, “Let me take that end. It might be too heavy for you.”  Instead of listening, I said,”No, it’ll be okay.”  I lifted it up (or tried) and the next thing I know that heavy metal base had landed on my little finger. I pulled it out and the blood immediately was dripping everywhere. I had about an inch gash. Double ouch!  Man, that hurt. 

I went into the house, dripping blood the whole way and immediately put my finger under cold water. Then I found a cloth and created a compress until I could get upstairs to the big bandaids. I poured hydrogen peroxide on the cut and by this time Ray was there. (He had to move the van seat since we had been in the alley.). He wrapped my finger in a big band aid. 

The bandaid is so large that it is covering my entire little finger. I have ‘t tried to bend my finger yet. Will try in just a bit since the end feels fairly numb. Oh joy. What a pain. The good news, my ear ache seems minor in comparison. 

I move lots of things given that  we buy and sell antiques. Overall, I am rarely hurt. I suppose this was just a little glitch in my luck. I will be more aware of my strength level in future. I guess I need to be glad my pinkie isn’t more hurt than it is. 

With that I will bid you adieu. I think it’s time to check if I can bend this little fellow. 

Will check back in with you tomorrow. 


I woke up in the middle of the night with a piercing earache, not something I’ve had since about age 10.  I still have it now, though I am taking Advil to quell the pain.  I assume this is allergy-related since pollen is literally dripping off the bushes out front and I have had other signs of allergy symptoms: stuffy nose and gunky eyes after sleeping.  Last night, I had to get up and get Advil in order to sleep so while up, I decided to read a bit about earaches.  The general consensus from what I read was that they usually go away on their own in fairly short order with minor treatment.  I am hesitant to put any ear drops in my ears, or olive oil, as was suggested in one blog. Since Advil seems to be working, I thought perhaps it’s best not to add any other anything to my ear canal since that thought scares me just a bit. I have no desire to add to the pain…

This ailment has shifted our plans a bit over the next few days.  We didn’t go to church today and we’re waiting a day or so before heading to Ojai.  Hopefully, the earache will have subsided by then.  We had other reasons to delay our trip as well; it wasn’t solely based on my ailment.  But I will admit that I am happy not to be jumping in the car just yet to drive for an hour and a half. Not that a drive would affect my ear ache one way or the other, but I didn’t sleep as well as I might have last night as a result of that accused pain so I am looking forward to my comfortable bed tonight.

I can see from this little ailment just how precarious quality-of-life balance truly is. Piercing pain in basically any bodily location from a splinter to a deep scrape to a toothache or a headache can knock the wind out of your sails in short order.  This dang ole ear ache falls in that same category.  I’m not incapacitated, but with just a slight upping of the pain and a slight downing of the Advil effectiveness, this small annoyance could bring me right to my knees.  Of course, I’m counting on my body’s strong immune system to send this annoyance packing so I can get back to life as I prefer it to be, aka, painless from the physical point of view, except for a few minor joint squawks.

Okay, I will stop waxing philosophic (was there any philosophy there?) so I can now go leash up the dogs and walk them around the block.  I might add this is not high on my list of “Yes, let’s do this,” types of activities, but Ray is already up in bed and I prefer knowing we’re not having any doggie accidents during the night.  There is some comfort to THAT thought.

Off I go to let the canines do their duty.  I’ll check back in tomorrow with what I hope is a good report on the end of my achy ear.

Sleep well, my friends.  I plan to Advil-up so I can do the same. Fingers crossed.




Grandkids’ Visit

Sorry I have been out of touch.  We went to Ojai for an overnight stay on Wednesday night, arrived home on Thursday late in the evening and then had our grandkids arrive yesterday by midday for a sleepover last night.  I fully expected to blog after putting Nico to bed at 7 pm, but the truth is that I only got up to prepare for bed myself and was out by 8.  Good thing since the kids were both awake and raring to go by 6:50 am.  Still, I got at least 11 hours of sleep.  Aw, bliss.

Tonight we went to a choir fundraiser at our church, which was lovely.  We just returned home about thirty minutes ago and since then I have made a trip around the block with the dogs.

Tomorrow, we are up early for church and then heading to the LA Phil with our friend, David Bode.  Then, I believe, we’ll be going back to Ojai to work for a few days.

Yes, busy, but good busy, not the kind where you just feel dragged from spot to spot.  I enjoy physical work – moving my body – and so I am happy to be up in Ojai, moving stuff around.

Right now, I’m going to drag my body upstairs and get ready for bed.  Eight o’clock mass will be here quick as a wink.

Here are Luna and Nico during their stay.  Darling kids, those two. So loving and sweet.



Newest Binge-watching: “The Leftovers”

I am sitting in a semi-dark room.  It’s 10:07 pm.  I want to hurry and finish my blog for tonight so I can go watch television.  We are binge-watching “The Leftovers” and we are midway through Season 2.  I think there are 3 seasons.  I would say this show has a compelling premise, which is that 3 years before 2% of the world’s population disappeared in an instant.  A sort of “rapture,” but without a religious aspect. It’s not just the “good” people who have been called up to heaven, but rather a random selection of folks, good, bad and in between, who suddenly are simply gone.  The series is about those who are left behind, The Leftovers, and how they cope with the major worldwide disappearance.

This series is based on a novel written by Tom Perrota, who also wrote Little Children, and is produced by Damon Lindelof.  The main stars are Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston, Carrie Coon and Liv Tyler.  The acting is excellent, the problems ring true given the circumstances and the storytelling is compelling.  I won’t know how I feel about the series until I’ve seen it all, but so far, it definitely has captured my interest.

Here is a trailer for Season One:

Okay, off I go to watch at least one more episode before I go to sleep!

Talk tomorrow.


Birthday Evening with a Friend

We just returned from celebrating our friend David Bode’s belated birthday.  We went to eat Indian food in Pasadena and then headed to the Laemmle Theater for a movie.  That move was “Norman: The Moderate Rise And Tragic Fall Of A New York Fixer,” and it is about a loveable loser who is always trying to fix other people’s problems. Norman is constantly trying to make a few connections so that people get what they need while he makes a semblance of a living.  Richard Gere has the starring role and is very believable. He inhabits this role.  Both Steve Buscemi and Michael Sheen are very strong as Norman’s rabbi and his nephew.  There is an Israeli connection in the film as well with Lior Ashkenazi playing the Israeli prime minister.  He and Gere could garner Oscar nods for their performances.

I would recommend this film to anyone who likes a movie that is character-based and filled with unexpected twists and turns.

We had a lovely time with David during dinner and at the movies.   Lots of fun conversation and excellent Indian cuisine.

Thanks, David Bode, for a fun evening!

Here is the link for the trailer.

Mother’s Day Celebration at Lacy Park

Here are a few photos of my lovely Mother’s Day celebration at the park yesterday in San Marino.  The best part of the day was when my three daughters honored a request I had made, which was to write down one happy memory of their childhood for me.  These brought tears from me, of course, and absolutely made my day.  I felt surrounded with love from Sarah, Liz and Rachael, as well as from three very special young men, two wonderful grandchildren, one exceptional husband and even a visiting Godson of Liz and Ron’s, Michael May.  Thank you, family, for making my life so rich and fulfilled.

Here are a few photos:


Ariel and Rachael
Ariel and Rachael



Luna, Ray, Sarah, Rachael, Baby Michael and Nico


Ron, Liz, Gregorio and Ariel
Baby Michael and Luna with Sarah and Nico in background
Luna Climbing
Ron and Liz


Happy Mother’s Day and Birthday to Daughter Sarah

Tomorrow we are celebrating both Mother’s Day and Sarah’s birthday since she is starting a grueling 8-week rotation on Monday, which is her actual birthday.  Our family is meeting at the Arboretum in Arcadia at 12:30 to tour the gardens and have a picnic of bagels, cream cheese, juice and coffee.  Then afterward, we’ll head to Sarah and Gregorio’s house in Pasadena to prepare for her official birthday party, at which time several friends will join us.  We plan to grill chicken and vegetables, plus serve the chicken enchiladas that Rachael and I made this afternoon.  Of course, there will also be homemade beans, rice, salsa, guacamole, and chips.   Rachael and I also made a honey-sweetened chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting and strawberries plus a honey-sweetened banana cream pie. The banana cream pie is officially for Rachael’s birthday, which was last month.  Unfortunately, she was sick on the day of her party and didn’t have any of the pie that I made!

I am looking forward to our day together.  I am also happy that this 8-week rotation is the last really hard one for Sarah before she finishes her residency in September.  She has worked her little heart out over these past 3 years of residency and 4 years of medical school.  She deserves the wonderful job that is waiting for her at Asia Pacific medical clinic, which is associated with her residency program. Sarah is the only person from her residency class who has been invited to join the faculty.  I am so proud of her and pleased for her. All of her hard work has paid off, and life may actually start to return to some version of normal after she finishes!

Here are a few facts about Sarah since she’s about to be celebrating her birthday:

  1. She blushes very easily.
  2. She is very funny.  (This came from her dad, of course.)
  3. She is as loving and kind as she is beautiful.
  4. She was an All-Zone swimmer when she was at Beverly Hills High School, swim team captain for two years, and honored as Girl Athlete of the Year for Beverly Hills High School her senior year.
  5. She loves Gregorio Pacheco.
  6. She is a wonderful mother to Luna and Nico.
  7. She has informed me in the nicest tone possible that she does not have “the religious gene.”  (Ha!)
  8. She works very hard to be a conscientious physician.
  9. She loves women’s health, which is what she’ll be doing at Asia Pacific.
  10. She can be a little bit shy.
  11. She loves both her sisters fiercely.
  12. She loves her dad and me with equal ferocity.
  13. She is a loyal friend.
  14. She is a strong believer and practitioner of good nutrition.
  15. She loves Hank III and has been to performances in both LA and Arizona.
  16. She has a nurturing quality about her, which I love.
  17. She loves to hike, camp and come to the orange grove in Ojai.
  18. Did I mention how much she loves her children?
  19. She has perfected juggling twenty tasks in the air at the same time.
  20. She has learned how to make hard decisions so that she can have a family life while pursuing her career. 
  21. She is my favorite oldest child.
  22. I would like her even if she were not my daughter.
  23. She can make me belly laugh.
  24. She is smart.
  25. She will always be my baby and I am proud to be her mama.

Happy birthday, sweet Sarah!  I love you.

Here’s to the next phase in your already happy/solid/productive/love-filled life.

Sarah and family

Flash Fiction, Memoir and Essay

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