Friday, January 18, 2013

A Week in Mid-January

Last week I made resolutions to write less for this blog and write more - every single day - for that book of mine. And I also needed to make time for a collage series for Houston Press Artopia.  I made progress on all three fronts. No blog posts until this morning. As for the 'every single day writing'? I printed and copied all those rough notes written over the last year. Now, I'll begin to cut and staple them into a narrative. I have more material than I thought, so 'writing' will be rewrites and edits, overlayed with lots of thought time for developing a framework to contain these multitudinous anecdotes.
Also spent two days hosting the fellows who put all new airconditioning/heating duct work in my attic, enjoyed two suppers and healthy walks with Sally, spent time in two doctor's offices, got in touch with my college roommate and three other women friends, scheduled an Apple one-on-one session and spent two afternoons in the studio. BTW, the collages series are filled with Paris and Houston images. That graffiti image at the top of this post is, by the way, across the street from the Pompidou Center.
On Monday, for whatever reason, I began to monitor my blood pressure again and found it sky high. As if the medicine was no longer working. A call to my cardiologist on Wednesday and she doubled the dosage. Effective, but knocked me out. I napped most of Thursday, as if I were heavy with antihistamines. And, yeah, my nasal allergies have been intense since Terlingua, and nasal spray and Zertex are not working.
Given these health issues and drug side effects, the fact that anything was accomplished this week is a good thing. I am beginning to see that last year was not an aberration. Going forward, health may always be an issue, to be monitored daily. Takes precious time and money. Thank heaven for Medicare. Wish it covered more alternative care too. My friends and I are all talking about health issues.  Suddenly we are all facing 'things.' It's come to that.
And one more thing. Big orange Farrell did not come in Wednesday night to sleep at the foot of my bed. It was cold too, so I knew something bad happened to this cat of mine. I intermittently searched for him on Thursday between naps and those doctor's appointments and was about to make picture signs to tack on poles when I got a call from a neighbor.
Do I own an orange cat? She'd seen such a cat up on an electric pole behind her house that morning and he was still there at dusk, resting his head against the pole with his fat body balanced on telephone lines. I suspect Farrell was hunkered down on those lines for close to 24 hours by the time I identified him. The neighbor had already called Centerpoint. They'd respond at the scene in one to four hours. So I stood in the cold, periodically beaming her flashlight on Farrell, watching him perilously move a foot out on the wires and then return to the pole, all the time speaking words of affection and encouragement.
I am sure I made a nuisance of myself calling Centerpoint every 40 minutes for arrival time updates. At last, a young man from Centerpoint showed up about 10:30. A cat rescue was a first for him, and it certainly was for me. He climbed the pole holding a rope pulley on which I hung a canvas basket and hoisted before he reached for Farrell. Farrell was lowered down in the basket. Amazingly, Farrell was compliant. I wrapped him firmly in a big towel and hustled him home. Then returned to ask the young rescuer's name so I can write Centerpoint a thank you. May this never happen again.
One last thing before I turn to a bowl of soup, another walk with Sally and then, daily writing. Since January 1, I've needed a 2013 twelve month folder in which to put bills paid. Rather than buy ever more, I took to my closet and was embarrassed to find and now confess, there were brown folders dating from 1993. A sign of hoarding? Indifference to a closet on overload with unnecessary back up? An entire closet shelf could be freed by eliminating a decade. I pulled 1994 from the top shelf and yes, I went through the paid invoices before ripping them to shreds.

Wouldn't have missed this exercise. Again, I state the importance of memories. Here's what I found and now remember.
  • A charge from Butera's, that family supermarket on Bissonett where my daughters bought after school snacks and where one could visit with half a dozen friends in as many minutes. 
  • Macy's sent a statement with a charge for cookware and gift wrapping for 'Yasmin.' It took me a moment to remember that Yasmin was an intern from Houston Baptist University back when Julie and I had a pr/media relations firm. Another lifetime.
  • A credit card has an item labelled Mary's spring break. It's a Continental ticket for $350.
  • My ADT quarterly alarm service was $71.45. Wish that were still the same.
  • Bank of Houston sent a CD interest notice. Back when a CD earned some interest.
  • Central Houston Animal Hospital still cost more than pediatrician's visits. A bill for Frances totalled $209. I'd forgotten that Frances moved with me to Rockbridge Lane. A timid stray, we took her in at Shadowlawn and she twice moved with me.
  • Westheimer Transfer and Storage sent a quarterly bill for more than I care to state. After moving from the 'big house', I stored the world with them. Things like Jeanne's canopy bed, which is now in her basement in Seattle. Will Lauren ever use this bed? Can it even be lifted up your winding staircase? Doubt it. Westheimer Transfer and Storage on the SW corner of Kirby and 59 is long gone, overtaken by a strip shopping center. All has been dispersed.
  • A Southwestern Bell bill details credit card calls from Atlanta, GA and Oakland, CA where Jeanne and Caroline lived before their moves to the Pacific Northwest.
  • I subscribed to the now defunct Houston Post for $11 a month. I appear to have paid for Caroline's gasoline which she billed to a Shell credit card.
  • The preparation of my income tax return was invoiced at $335.32. 
Details a life make. On to other writing. Or maybe a nap. I feel that extra blood pressure pill effect coming on.

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