I used to think that cutting onions had no effect on me, but later I realized there was another reason I never cried. My contacts acted as a shield. No, seriously, I asked my eye doctor about it once. I always forget about it until I’m chopping onions with my glasses on and the burning begins.
As you might guess, I was chopping onions today. I had to make pear relish — Grandma’s recipe — to go with the black-eyed peas and collards we were having for dinner. Now, besides the standard Southern tradition of beans and greens on New Year’s Day, I tend to hold with the belief that the way you conduct yourself on the first day of the year will influence how the rest of the year goes.
So we invited friends over for dinner and I set the table with crisply ironed linens, the china, the crystal, the silver and…. beans and greens.
We also have Ozuni, which is the traditional New Year’s Day soup in Japan and something Rob is very fond of. Then, to further blend cuisine traditions, we also have champagne and caviar. It all works together better than it has any right to.
It was a really, truly lovely evening and the perfect way to start the New Year. I hope the first day of 2009 was as nice for you.
It’s snowing big, beautiful fluffy flakes right now as we’re getting ready to head out to the airport. We’ve given ourselves extra time to get there. The flight is listed as being on time and the snow is supposed to turn to rain about the time we’re due to take off. Fingers crossed, eh?
Yesterday Rob managed to contact the physician and the insurance company. THIS time he was told that, yes, of course the physician’s office will contact the insurance company (as if they hadn’t told him that he needed to do that) but they need a copy of the worker’s comp rejection letter first. Okay… Sure would have been nice to know that earlier. So Rob faxes that over and calls back to make the appointment.
Now the lady says that he can’t schedule the appointment until he’s had a complete physical, which he needs to schedule at least two weeks prior to the surgery.
My reaction was a resounding WTF? [1. WTF, but not in acronym form.]
I mean, he could totally have had the physical anytime in the past couple of months if they’d just said that was a prerequisite. So Rob is calling around today, trying to find a primary care physician — because we don’t have one — so that he can get the physical before we leave for the holidays. And then AFTER he has the physical he can call back to schedule the appointment.
Mind you, this is for surgery that the physician wanted Rob to have right away in October
Both of us are so frustrated because of how many hoops we have to jump through just to get on the schedule. Since we’re both free-lancers we usually just pay out of pocket; write the check and you’re done. As Rob says, “It takes nine people just to make an appointment, no wonder insurance is so expensive.”
Here’s the latest on Rob’s hands. Last week the insurance finally approved his claim and said that he could have the surgery. Yay! I waited to post until we had a surgery date, which… we still don’t have.
Why? Because the doctor’s office said that they needed written authorization. It took a couple of days for Rob to reach the insurance company, which he did today, only to be told that they need the doctor’s office to make the request for the written authorization. Needless to say, when Rob called the doctor’s office to tell them that, the person who handles scheduling was gone. Maybe tomorrow he’ll get on the schedule. More likely, he’ll just have to jump through another hoop.
Rob and I have been watching Torchwood and trying to figure out the appeal. Last night as we were heading out to Fabulous Girl’s birthday celebration, I finally realized what the appeal is and why it wasn’t hitting me as strongly as other people. Behold, I present a pictorial demonstration.
Please note that this is the way Rob normally dresses when he’s not working at the winery. Witness the period correct suspenders.
So, I can understand, now, the appeal that Torchwood has to other people.
In case you can’t tell, I’ve decided to give myself a vacation. I’m working on things, but not very hurriedly or consistently this weekend. In fact, I think an embarrassingly sizable part of the day consisted of tweaking my new G1. I luuuuuuuv my new phone. It is very shiny.
Rob got home at 3:30 today, which is astonishingly early for him. Thank heavens, I’d already sent the dancing boys home or that would have been terribly embarrassing. He has tomorrow off. Rob. Not the dancing boys. Although, since Rob has the day off, they won’t be coming round either. Probably.
Today we took it totally easy. We’d had invitations to go to friends homes for Thanksgiving and turned them down because having two whole days with nothing on the schedule seemed much more appealing. I made blueberry walnut muffins for breakfast.
Around mid-day I realized that we basically had apples and some salsa in the house. Maybe a little more than that, but still, it was not presenting any easy menu options so I ventured out to the store. To my surprise, the stores were a) open and b) no more crowded than usual.
For dinner we had lemon rice, seared ahi tuna with black pepper and sesame seeds, and sauteed mixed winter greens with a tea broth. Afterwards we watched Groundhog Day, which Rob had never seen.
There are many things in the world to be thankful for and today, I’m thankful for a chance to be utterly lazy with my husband.
If you didn’t have to be anywhere at all, how would you spend the day?
You might remember about a month ago I mentioned that Rob had gone in to have his hands diagnosed and that the doctor wanted to get him in for surgery right away, as in that week. Â The nerves were dying. He’s been jumping through paperwork since then. Â We just found out that his worker’s comp claim has been denied because they’ve said the carpal tunnel is a pre-existing condition.
The problem with this is that it’s not debilitating if he’s not working harvest. Â I mean, the problems he’s having are so clearly linked to his job that it’s not even funny. Â Right now, he’s having trouble tying his shoes. Â This wasn’t an issue before harvest.
We’re been told that he can appeal to a judge, which we’ll try, meanwhile he’sÂ also jumping through the paperwork hoops for our regular insurance. Â I’m frustrated, angry and worried about him.
Yesterday was absolutely lovely. We slept in, had bagels and hung about being lazy together.
I gave Rob four wool Afghan pakol hats, which are his favorite headgear. See the one he’s wearing in this photo? It was his favorite and went missing while we were in Iceland so I picked up some replacements. He gave me a long natural wool knitted coat from Iceland. Clearly, we were both thinking about the same things.
In the afternoon we headed over to the farmer’s market to drop off our compost and pick up some vegetables. I know it might not seem like the most romantic thing, but it’s the sort of lazy day that we used to have while courting, so it feels really good.
In the evening we went to Lincoln Center to hear the Kirov Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre play music from Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible. The performance was outstanding, but the acoustics of the space were as bad as I’d been led to believe. You could tell the sheer volume of sound that must be coming off the stage, just by looking at the size of the ensemble, but it never got loud. And both those pieces of music are sweeping in range. Even so, it was a wonderful evening.
I must say, that unplugging for the day was really nice. Even if you don’t have a special occasion to prompt it, I’d recommend just taking a day to slow down and turn off. That said, coming back online, it was awfully nice to hear from all of you. Thanks for that!
Rob and I are celebrating our seventh anniversary today. One of my rituals is that I completely unplug and am unavailable to the rest of the world. In fact, this is an automated entry. La! It’s like time-travel.
I don’t mind if we miss birthdays or other holidays, but our anniversary is very important to me.[1. I carry around a copy of our wedding vows in my wallet. I’m that sappy] One of the things that I enjoy is the ritual of trying to find the right gift. We do that whole thing of following the traditional gifts, so the first annivesary we both gave paper gifts. This year is wool or copper. I picked wool and got Rob some of the afghan shepherd’s hats he’s so fond of.
Rob’s been having some trouble at the winery with his hands. He’d been losing sensation in his fingertips, dropping things and dealing with general weakness. We were pretty sure it was carpal tunnel syndrome, so he was trying to put off going to the doctor until after harvest.Â A persistant tingling in two of his fingers added to everything else finally sent him in yesterday.
The doctor, a hand specialist, confirmed that it was carpal tunnel.Â But then he told Rob that the persistant tingling was a sign of nerves dying.Â He didn’t want to delay treatment, at all. So sometime next week, Rob is going in for surgery.Â He won’t be able to lift anything at all for two weeks with that hand. And then be on very light duty with it for months.
(Tor Books — August 21, 2018) Continuing the grand sweep of alternate history laid out in The Calculating Stars, The Fated Sky looks forward to 1961, when mankind is well-established on the moon and looking forward to its next step: journeying to, and eventually colonizing, Mars. Of course, the noted Lady Astronaut Elma York would like to go, […]