Sunday, May 30, 2021

Appendicitis-Zero Stars, Would Not Reccomend


Just a quick note over here (already mentioned on Instagram and tumblr) I had an appendectomy Saturday afternoon after almost fifteen hours at the hospital waiting for a surgeon because, long holiday weekend=trauma injuries in Nebraska. I don't know why, but I suspect all that alcohol consumption drives the injuries and heart attacks. Anyway, they finally had someone free to do a quick laparoscopic procedure and now 24 hours later I'm resting at home. The hospital was awful and I essentially went without sleep for three days, but I'm fine. The worst part is the shoulder pain caused by the gas they have to shoot patients full of to do the procedure, but that should be okay in a day or two. 

I am not the sort of person that will go to a hospital emergency room unless I'm at death's door, and Friday night I honestly thought I might be. I could have been if I'd waited as it was all rather acute by the time I was puking blood. So that was exciting! Anyway, there's things you can ignore but barfing blood is never a good sign. 

The RN Oksana that took care of me Saturday and Sunday during the day was such a wonderful nurse I'm writing the hospital to tell them. I'm also thinking of sending her flowers because she was having an awful on-call shift over the long holiday weekend. For someone that genuinely loathes dealing with medical people, she made an awful situation bearable. I was very, very, lucky to be assigned a good nurse. 

I'm REALLY starting to hate Memorial Day weekend. My mum died over Memorial Day weekend in 1992. In 1994 I was diagnosed with Wegener's Granulomatosis over Memorial Day weekend,  and had lung surgery. Then, This. Growing up in Chicago one of the worst Plane crashes in Chicago happened in 1979 over Memorial Day weekend, not to mention the (before my time but still very much in the DNA of every labour union I belonged to in my working life) Memorial Day Massacre. Clearly, I just can't get excited about this holiday, maybe have a picnic or go shopping like everyone else. 

But I was lucky. When my gran had her acute appendicitis she ignored it for so long she ended up losing part of her colon. I was close. Listen to your body. I felt sick earlier in the day but pushed through with cooking dinner, doing laundry, and grocery shopping. It wasn't until I couldn't stop heaving that I finally accepted I was sick. You don't need to be dramatically ill to get medical care. I'm glad this didn't happen at the height of Covid when at one point we only had nine available hospital beds in town. Another good reason to get vaccinated if you want other acute illnesses treated. On the way to the hospital last evening to see me off to surgery, Dan passed a group of anti-vaccine protesters along the bridge by the medical centre. He gave them an appropriate one-finger salute. 

Anyway, I'm feeling much better-at least until the bill arrives. I don't even want to think about that right now. Glad we didn't spend the stimulus money because that's basically my bailout appendectomy. I don't understand people that don't want socialised medicine. Obviously, they've never been sick. 

I have three smallish scars and I will still be wearing my bikini this summer though it will be at least a month before I can use a pool. That's OK. I was joking that after they washed me with the iodine solution it made by skin bronze, then they used a sharpie pen to mark my stomach like a tattoo, and finally shaved me for surgery-it was like getting a spa treatment. Spray tan, pubic hair removal, tattoo=I'm ready for summer now. *Sarcastic voice*  "You don't need an appendix to have a fun summer!"

Right, so just checking in to let everyone know I'm doing well. I hope your long holiday weekend (if you're having one) is going better than mine. Take care.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Around Omaha

 Who wants to go sightseeing on a beautifully rainy day in Omaha? Really? Great! Let's Go!

First stop-Swanson Tower.

I was showing some of the more interesting mid-century buildings in my neighbourhood on Instagram, and though it might be interesting to readers over here as well. So  much of the Indian Hills and surrounding neighbourhoods were farmland until the 50s, it is like living in a time capsule of sorts. Many of the buildings are the work of the same architecture firm (Leo Daly) and they certainly left a mark on the area. The company is still in operation. 
(Not my photo)

The building in the top photo is the Swanson Tower where I hope to buy a unit when I'm elderly and have won a lottery because you're not moving to the Swanson Tower unless you're old and rich as a  three bedroom unit goes for upward of a million dollars. But I can dream. As a bonus, you're literally just feet from the emergency entrance to the hospital-which is perfect for the pensioner set. The towers were one of the first things built in the neighbourhood and while I'm sure no one could have anticipated how the hospitals have taken over the 84th street corridor, it isn't a bad thing living next to a hospital.  I live across Dodge a few blocks away, and can't tell you how happy I am to have Children's hospital nearby. Methodist hospital is next door, where Danny was born. They've since built a dedicated maternity hospital in the western part of the city. We didn't live here then, and had to drive in from our rural home. But imagine growing old feet from a hospital, a supermarket, a Walgreen's (chemist), a bank, and most importantly, an Amigos/King's Classic. Well, you have to eat, don't you? 

Yes, that's my rear-view mirror. I was stopped in traffic when I snapped the photo. It was a rainy day as I drove around, but as a non-professional photographer I find overcast days easier than bright sunshine. Personally, I think Omaha looks better on a grey day. 

Making our way up 84th Street...

At 84th and Pacific, there's the beautiful St. Andrews Episcopal Church built around the same time. I've seen the basement of the church (there's a thrift shop three days a week in the afternoons) but I haven't seen the sanctuary. It must be beautiful on sunny days with afternoon light streaming through the windows. After having not visited the thrift shop for over a year, I stopped on Friday to kill some time before picking Danny up from school. I came home with an antique ring with seed pearls (three dollars!) and four pieces of vintage Pyrex for .50 cents a piece. The lovely women ringing out my purchases were pleased to see someone buy the Pyrex because it is so useful. It absolutely is. A while back, there was a bit of a hysteria/urban legend floating around that the vintage Pyrex is poisonous because of the lead used in paints long ago. It has been repeatedly debunked, but the rumour is hard to kill. As a result, I'm able to purchase Pyrex for .50 cents a piece, though that's a rather exceptional price, online hysteria or not. Even if there were a bit of lead in the paint, unless you're licking the outside of the casserole, the amount of lead you're likely to encounter is negligible. You'd get more lead from touching the binding of old books. Anyway, the Nearly New Shop is open Thu-Sat and worth a stop if you're in the area. 

Another driving photo (I'm delivering the realism here). 
At 90th and Pacific we have the Pacific Hills Lutheran Church built in 1963. Westside High is located between the two churches on Pacific. I used to drop Dan at the Lutheran church in the morning, and pick him up at the Episcopal one in the afternoon. It worked out well as he could get a short walk, I could avoid the drop off/pick up chaos and he could get a little religion if he felt moved. Sadly, he hasn't felt moved, but the Lord works in mysterious ways I'm told, so we never know. If nothing else he got some exercise.  Then Covid happened and he never walks anywhere.
(Not my photo)
Look at that organ!!!
Don't laugh, but I like the landscaping. The trees mirror the  tall straight lines of the church and are standing there like worshipers heading off the church. They have an extremely retro Nativity they put on the lawn each Advent that probably came with the church. It is wonderful.
I also love the light fixtures. Lutheran churches always look so restrained from the outside and then you get inside and it is all high ceilings and stained glass. They've been doing extensive work on the building over the past year, and it will be interesting to see how it ends up. Such a stunningly beautiful Mid-Century church. 

Enough religion for now? 
Shall we visit Westside High School?

(Not my photo)

There's Westside now. Home of the Warriors and a "Nationally Recognized Show Choir" which I know because it says so right on the side of the building. The high school was built in 1961. The front hall and cafeteria are the only part of the building with windows. The rest is a windowless, carpeted, three story cube like so many mid-century brutalist buildings. It is dire inside. The hallway layout is vertigo-inducing as well. But the front hall is nice. Heaven help you if you're there for a meeting and get caught in the landing during a passing period-that was intense! Oh, and they have Modular Scheduling, which is absolutely as bonkers as it sounds. I'm glad I'm not a student today-I'd never make it to the right class. 

Leaving Westside behind for now, let's drive up 90th Street towards Dodge Street to visit one of my very favourite spots in Omaha, the Swanson Library. Click the link to take a virtual tour of the main floor of the library. 

The Swanson Library (like the Swanson Tower) named for the Mr. Swanson of frozen dinners fame who hailed from Omaha. Originally, the new library was to be built near the high school on Pacific, but the Swanson family donated a plot of land they had a disused house on. It is an awkwardly shaped parcel of land and how they managed to angle a library onto it is a feat of drafting (I suppose free land did make it worth trying). From the outside, the library looks like a concrete block, but unlike the high school, it is light and beautiful inside. The reading room at Swanson is one of my favourites in our library system. 
Not my photos: In season the planters to the left are always blooming with something. The Master Gardeners from the Extension office keep it beautiful along with the rest of the gardens around the building. 

See how light and beautiful it is inside? To the left is the children's department which is just a fantastic place to spend an afternoon. 
This mural is in the basement where the Friends of the Public Library Book Sale used to take place every week. I cannot wait for that to resume again once the pandemic is under control. The volunteers are like family and I miss them all so much. 

I saved the best for last...
This is Christ The King Church across the street from Westside High. It was also built in 1961. I love this building so much. 
(not my photo)
The stained glass was recently restored. How absolutely gorgeous is that?! I don't want to go to mass (sorry) but if you did want to go to mass, I imagine that would be a spiritually uplifting place to do it. I do honestly feel that there's something to be gained from just sitting and taking in the environment of a house of worship, no matter the denomination. The places are built for quiet contemplation. 

Interesting use of breeze-blocks! It certainly doesn't scream, "Catholic Church" does it? The absence of spires and arches must have raised a few eyebrows at the time. Sixty years on, it still looks striking and original. 
I will try to do a few more of these, perhaps as walking video tours as the weather warms up. There's so much to see and I've only just started. I hope you enjoyed the tour. 


Monday, May 17, 2021

You're In Your Place and You Know Where You Are


That was all rather anti-climactic, wasn't it? One day we're chugging along wearing masks, avoiding each other and suddenly, off with the masks and as you were?! I don't know how we're supposed to know who's been vaccinated, but for the moment I'm content to keep wearing mine in public situations. I'm sure smarter people than old Goody here have been thinking about it. I hope. Those kind of decisions are way above my pay grade so...yeah. I will say that I've rather enjoyed not subjecting my immune system to other dangers this last year so who knows-perhaps I'll just keep wearing them anyway. I've just started another monster course of steroids so it isn't like I want to push my luck out in public any more than I need to. At this point there's other things that can kill me besides Covid.  I'm finding it rather difficult to be too terribly celebratory when a large swath of the world is dying and unable to access vaccines. Even if it is "over" (for the present) in the US, it is hardly done and over with for everyone else. I know, what difference does it make what I think anyway? It isn't like I can do jack shit about it, or anything else. Wow, sorry. That got off topic pretty quickly. 

Clothes, anyone? 

It is still quite cold in Omaha, but at long last the rain has arrived. We've been so dry and brush fires were breaking out across the area. Almost at once, everything started turning bright green and perhaps the strawberries that have formed will now start growing in earnest. I'm still digging deep in the wardrobe and came up with this polyester dress from the 70s that I've had for some time but never wore. I rather like it and expect to wear it regularly now that I've re-discovered it. 
This old Richmark handbag would have been a bit mature for me in the 80s. Just about perfect now. 

Outfit Particulars:
1970s dress-thrifted (Goodwill, maybe?)
Handbag-New Life Thrift

I took Danny for a haircut, but I'm still waiting to do something with mine as I don't really have any idea what to do with it! In those situations I find it is best to just leave things alone. His haircut took 5 minutes and there was only one other patron in the place-that was a relief. I will happily admit that the hairdresser did a far superior job to mama's home haircuts, and I was overjoyed to have her take over that chore. My little boy has giant, dark sideburns. He's gonna look like Lemmy pretty soon if he keeps growing them! 

I've had this fast-fashion skirt for several years now (I thrifted it) and it has held up rather well. It looks like an African wax print, but isn't. The linen blouse was something I bought 10 years ago at K Mart and just keeps getting better with age. Sometimes I've been lucky with inexpensive pieces like these but year by year things are looking ever cheaper. I attempted to purchase some tee shirts from Target, but they were just pure garbage. 
The 70s wool suit had a wear. There's a matching skirt and waistcoat making this a rare 4 piece set to survive through the decades together. 
I had a set very much like this circa 1977 and I loved it. Mine was red/grey/black/white and I wore it with a white acrylic cowl neck sweater because-well, 1977😀. It was such a beautiful suit and I wore it until I outgrew it. Mine came from Best and Company department store. I'd spotted it in the window on my way to the allergist's office one Saturday morning. I don't remember who bought it for me-there's a good chance it was my older sister because I have a very hard time imagining my mother buying me anything plaid that would have to stretch across my rear end. Seriously, I was forty before I finally kicked her ghost out of my brain and bought a pair of white trousers. Anyway, I'm not sure where this set came from as there's no surviving labels, but I am thrilled to have it in my collection and make a point of wearing the various pieces throughout the cooler weather. 

I hesitate to call these jeans vintage, but they are now twenty years old so that makes them older than some of the people that follow me on instagram. 
As I always say, nothing's ever really out of fashion-you just style it differently. I wouldn't wear it with a spaghetti strapped tank top and a Juicy Couture velour hoodie (probably) but they're still perfectly wearable jeans. Predictably,  they got quite a lot of love from the Gen Z kids. 

The blouse is something I picked up at World Market a few years ago. They sell tea. It isn't my fault they also sell beautiful clothing. Most of the time I resist. You can understand why I'd go weak at the sight of this embroidered blouse though. 

Anyone hungry? I made tofu. This was so easy and quick. Using what I had ended up interesting when I cooked assorted greens from the garden with some peas and herbs. Everything went over some tri-coloured quinoa. The boys enjoyed it. I was afraid the greens might have been too spicy, but they both tucked in without complaint. I'm pretty lucky-they'll eat almost anything. 
This was another stupidly easy meal. 
This was a chuck roast cooked in the slow cooker and served over chickpea flour pasta. Very, very, simple cooking but when it is freezing cold in May, this is the sort of thing they want to eat. That seems fair to me. 
Another dress I've owned forever. The bolero was thrifted about 8 years ago when we moved to Omaha. Useful little thing. I should try crocheting one-they can't be that difficult.
Purse and giant bakelite bracelet were both thrifted at a Goodwill. Perhaps the most amazing thing is that the elastic in the bracelet is still quite strong after so many decades. It must have been stored in perfect conditions. The bag is vinyl inside and out and these days anything that can be wiped clean with an antiseptic cloth is my kind of bag. Good classic shape too-and holds just enough. 

I nearly gave away this polyester knit car coat-I'm glad I thought better of it. There's something I like about the wide cuffed sleeves even if the overall effect can swamp me a bit. With heels and a long skirt to keep me from looking even shorter than I am, it works better. It took several years to figure out how it should be worn, but I am rather pleased with the result. 
It is much, much too large, but I'm going to say that's part of the charm.  Giant pockets too. 

Lost one of those earrings that day-grrr. 

Another very old dress that's been in my collection close to 30 years. It was home sewn. I wonder if the maker ever imagined it would still be having a life half a continent away in Nebraska? 

A good print is always welcome in my wardrobe. 

This dress? You've seen it a million times before. 
That bag! I don't usually carry oversized bags how could I resist it? Heavy too-could probably injure someone with it, if need be. 
Made in France. That's unusual these days. 

You've seen this before as well. I was freezing and had to change. Looked good for the photo though! 
Another brightly coloured dress that hid beneath a coat the entire time I was out because, Nebraska. 


I now have an owl, pussycat, and piggy wig-I need a turkey to have the whole story. 
Because if you're not matching your brooches to your novelty dress, are you even trying? 
I have over-stuffed this bag and will fix that shortly. 

So that's about it for this time. I hope you'll forgive me just sort of slapping up photos rather than composing well written posts-my brain just isn't here right now. I'm OK, just completely worn out from this most recent flare of my autoimmune crap, and the ongoing dental stuff. I like sharing photos of outfits because really at this point, that's the only thing bringing me much enjoyment, but I'm finding it difficult to have anything interesting to say. Maybe Instagram is making me stupid? Stupid and angry?  Whatever it is, please know that I enjoy visiting your blogs as well even if I don't have anything profound to contribute in the comments. I appreciate each and every one of you that take the time to come here and comment and I don't want to seem aloof. I mean, I am sometimes, but it isn't anything some pain-free sleep and food that isn't liquid would fix. I can't believe 6 months ago I was running. I'm lucky to make it to the end of my street now. Anyway, please bear with my scatterbrained posts. 

See you sooner than last time-I promise.