06.28.09

Life is SO exciting!

Posted in Miscellaneous at 12:57 pm by Grandma O

     I can’t believe how much has happened in the last two weeks. This is the good thing about blogging or journaling or whatever we want to call it. When you actually record things, you become more aware of life. Sometimes time seems to just fly by, especially for people my age, but I can look back and see what has really happened.
    First of all, TA-DA! Bonny got married to Jim Salsbery on Saturday, June 20th. Sally, Gil and boys all arrived the Sunday before, spent some time with Gil’s relatives in Anchorage and then came out here later in the week. Nancy, Walid and Loei arrived from Egypt after 27 hours of travel—actual air time only 21 hours, but they went from Cairo to New York City, to Atlanta and then to Anchorage. Molly helped arrange the flights and she was very worried because there wasn’t much time at NYC and that is where the customs deal takes place which could hold them up. It was a tight connection thing, and if any hitches occurred along the way, the whole thing would mess up. But everything went through just the way it should and they arrived alive but fried.
     Everyone was sort of “camping out” the first night, but Dan and I finally bit the bullet and bought TWO new king size beds from Costco. Between Walid and Benny, we set one up downstairs in Apt. 4 for Nancy and Walid and the other upstairs in Apt. 1 for Sally and Gil who arrived later. It was too much trouble to get it into Apt. 2 which was our eventual plan after Sally and Gil went home. Our long term plan is to use Apt. 4 for a “Bed & Breakfast” type of deal. I’ve been told that it is pretty easy to get $150 a night for a nice place and at least $100 for an old place. You can choose when you want tenants and only rent it a couple of weeks each month and easily get enough to cover property taxes for the whole year. Surprisingly, I know people who only do it in the WINTER! There are enough people who come up for skiing adventures, the Iditarod, etc. that it is no problem for them. Then they DON’T rent in the summer when they want to do adventures themselves.
     Back to the wedding—everyone was so helpful. Sally organized a work group and made table decorations and a canopy to get married under. Molly and some friends, with Dan’s help, did the music. Benny, Gil and Walid were the brute strength to unload and haul tables, chairs, food, etc. plus Benny performed the ceremony. I worked on the wedding dress and Nancy took pictures and did the miscellaneous stuff. The location was at the “Houston Lodge” which is on the Parks Highway between Willow and Big Lake. It just looked like a Bar with a parking lot from the front, but in back is a large deck looking out at a small lake (or large pond) and a nice grassy lawn. There was a covered Barbeque area where we set up the food. Some friends went to Anchorage and picked up a whole roasted pig, we had fruit and veggie trays and some of their friends kind of brought potluck. We had chairs set up in front of the canopy during the ceremony and then moved the chairs to the tables set up in front of the lake. The weather was perfect, no rain and just a slight breeze to cut down on bugs. Of course, there weren’t any mosquitoes anyway because of hundreds of dragonflies. I’ve never seen so many—some were even “mating” which led to lots of risqué jokes from the men. Bonny was wearing a necklace with a dragonfly that Jim gave her months ago and a little dragonfly pin on her left shoulder. So it seemed to be some sort of good omen. I don’t know about that but it was wonderfully pleasant to be outside in glorious perfect June Alaska weather and not have the one drawback of mosquitoes. I always say there is no real paradise on earth—there’s always something—but Bonny’s wedding day came close.
     Two funny stories need to be told at this point. I was really determined to not be working on the dress at the last minute, but I ended up doing it anyway. I was sitting at the machine with the dress across my lap, when I dropped the scissors I was using. They were little pointed embroidery scissors and very sharp. Now what would be the odds that they would go into my big toe point first like a spear? I felt the prick but didn’t think a whole lot about it since I have a high pain tolerance. Nancy was right there when a couple of minutes later, I looked down and saw my toe covered in blood. She looked and said, “Oh no, Mom, are you okay?” I leaped up and said “Forget the toe; the dress, the DRESS!” Between us, we spread it out on the adjoining table. Sure enough, blood was on the hem and on the under slip. I grabbed a towel, got really cold water and in a frantic panic began blotting. Voila, it all came off without a trace! I breathed a sigh of relief and I’m afraid Nancy and I then laughed our heads off. I told Bonny later AFTER she was already married. She was totally calm the whole time so it probably didn’t matter.
     The second incident has come to be known as the bird crap story. While we were all sitting there eating, a bird flew overhead and did it on Jim’s head. One of their friends was videotaping and caught the whole thing. Jim said something landed on his head, reached up, and then pulled his hand down with the strangest look on his face. Bonny jumped up with a napkin and started rubbing his head. Dan said he was afraid he’d have to do the Heimlich maneuver on me, I was laughing so hard. Bonny said she was going to send it in to one of those funny video shows and maybe they could win some money. Bonny also fell down when Jim was pushing the cake toward her because her own heels were on her dress. We teased her that it was a very graceful fall and it was! The dress kept her from going clear backward so she just landed slowly on her butt. Then she had a grass stain, so the dress did end up with something on it, but not my blood!
     To continue with the exciting life: I have been encouraged for years to take care of my overactive thyroid gland and I have always avoided it. I don’t know if my major fatigue is my age, my physical condition or the thyroid, but I finally decided to take the poison pill. It is radioactive iodine, which they use because iodine goes right for the thyroid. The radioactive part then destroys the tissue that is causing the problem. In the best case scenario, only part of it is destroyed, and then I will have normal levels of thyroid. But the usual outcome is forced hypothyroidism which means thyroid medication for the rest of my life. The biggest problem with the hyperthyroid thing is a racing heart which “wears” it out sooner. As I have gotten older, my motivation to live longer has kicked in and I decided I would no longer be a medical nihilist. (That means someone who puts down all medical treatments of the modern age.) However, I am typing this with plastic gloves as I miss church. I am not supposed to be closer than 6 to 8 feet from other people for two days and then 2 feet for short periods of time after that. It’s over a week before I’m not “contaminated” to be around others. This is after they have reassured me over and over and OVER that it won’t cause ME any harmful side affects. Well, if it can’t hurt me, how can it hurt anyone else? I guess the main contention is that it’s just like giving someone else a dose of your morphine after surgery—it wasn’t prescribed for them for a medical condition. I have to be especially careful around babies and small children… Wouldn’t you know that Loei, who has held back from me, has finally decided to warm up the last couple of days? I have to shoo him away when he comes toward me. Now, THAT is hard. Last week I got Walid and Benny to help me move the new bed out of Apt. 1 over to 2 and then the old one over to 1. So now I am sleeping on the old bed in Apt. 1 and Dan gets the new bed in Apt.2. I am staying back there as much as possible, but I can’t lie around that much, plus my back was aching. So yesterday, I got up and did some cleaning and organizing in the bathroom and bedroom. So far, I feel fine and don’t have any side effects that I can tell. At least I have gotten caught up on my sleep!
     Last excitement of the week: Our refinance from Matanuska Valley Credit Union went through for our building. Even though we are using it for a primary residence the very nature of the building means we have to pay 1% higher which is frustrating. Now we need to transfer some money over to Wells Fargo and pay off some credit card debt. It’s so important to me to NEVER get into that kind of debt again. It reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw once. “Please Lord, send us another Prudhoe Bay and we promise not to piss it away.” (I’m sorry to use what is considered a dirty word but it’s actually one that wasn’t bad that was made into a bad word—like gay.) Anyway, I really want to get my financial affairs “in order”. My paperwork is in absolute chaos and sometimes I’m surprised that we have a good credit score and get our bills paid on time!

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