Sap central

I am a sap. Around our house, a “sap” is one who is sappy. The term is our shorthand for sappy romantic, sappy idealist, sappy optimist. Its usual application has to do with a certain amount of weepiness related to things romantic, or idealistic, or optimistic.

a watery solution of sugars, salts, and minerals that circulates through the vascular system of a plant

one who lacks good judgement

I come by this trait honestly. From childhood, I remember my mother tearing up, or crying outright, seemingly at the drop of a hat. She cried at the movies. She cried over books. She cried over televison commercials. My sister and I teased her mercilessly about this. And I believe that she was somewhat embarassed by her tears.

On a more personal note

I realize that my last postings have been pretty political. I’ve felt a little bad about that. I realize that the people who care about me come from all over the political spectrum, and that there are people who come to read the blog to find out about me, not to get a dose of left-of-center invective. I’ve been trying to think about more specifically personal things to write about, so my right-wing friends could get a break.

Last night, something very personal occurred to me, and I’m going to write about it, and I’ll ask the indulgence of those friends, because, as it turns out, the personal does become the political.

When I was in my early 20s, I faced the very real possibility of my own early and painful death. I lived, after battling that very aggressive lymphoma for many months, in ways too horrible to detail right now. I was changed.

So many people survive brushes with death nowadays that it’s almost become a cliche to talk about how it “changed” you. I don’t care. It’s true. That experience gave me a depth, a heavy keel, a perspective on life. I know it’s real because people who don’t even know my medical history have noticed it, and admired it. They’ve seen me as unflappable. They’ve seen me smiling and laughing at crises that overwhelm other people. They’ve seen me act with compassion that’s fueled by my own experiences.

I’ve also seen other people die, including friends my own age. I miss them. As if I needed any further schooling in the value, and fragility, of life. And then this year came the Squamous Monster.

Some of you have shared Thanksgiving with me, that day each year when I formally celebrate the fact that I lived, and that I’m still alive. You’ve seen me choke up, and get teary, just trying to make a toast that expresses the power of my gratitude and joy about that simple, yet profound, fact. Fewer of you have seen me during one of my more private celebrations, the kind that can happen almost any day, when something as common and beautiful as feeling the warm sun on my face, also brings me to tears. It is good to be alive.

Last night, one of John Kerry’s daughters told a story about advice he had once given her. She was 19, and bitching-and-moaning in the way a 19-year-old does. He told her to look out the window. It was a beautiful day. He told her to feel the sun on her face. He told her about young men he knew who didn’t get the chance to feel that sun. He told her to be happy to be alive, and to have that chance, and to be an American.

When I heard that story, I realized: he gets it. He knows that thing that I know, that thing that it’s so hard to explain, that thing that doesn’t really fit into words. He’s felt it. And he carries it with him, like I do. And it doesn’t matter that it was discovered a long time ago, because it doesn’t go away. It stays with you, and you see it every day. And it is the very opposite of cynical.

After hearing that story, and the other stories told last night, I decided that his politics don’t matter. It doesn’t matter that he has a funny horse-face, or runs on at the mouth, or looks funny in a clean-suit. He just seems like a completely different, and better, caliber of man that the one we currently have in the job. And I know he gets it, which is something I’ve never seen a glimmer of in Bush, not even on 9/11.

I was voting for him because his policies are the ones I want. NOW I’m voting for him because I believe he is really, deeply, the better man. I hope that all of you will vote for him too. Even my Republican friends.

And for them, I’ll add this other, more practical perspective. This morning I was thinking about 9/11, and about the stories I’d heard last night, and I found myself thinking, would I rather have a guy who, in his early 20s, could figure out how to get himself and his crew through Mekong Delta firefights, or a guy who, in his mid-50s, couldn’t figure out how to delicately extricate himself from a roomful of first-graders to go deal with the worst moment in American history since Pearl Harbor. Who do you want?

Florida

Just in case you’ve been watching the Convention, and thinking, gee, I wish they’d all get over the Florida vote thing, and stop making wisecracks about it every single chance they get, you might want to catch up on some news from the Sunshine State that hasn’t got much play, at least up here in the Northwest.

After the whole “hanging chad” issue, there was a lot of complaining about the work the State had done to “clean up” the voter lists, and accusing the Department of Elections of wrongly eliminating thousands of voters who were “misidentified” as felons. (Later investigated by the United States Commission on Civil Rights, which wrote: “Credible evidence shows many Floridians were denied the right to vote. Analysis of the testimony and evidence gathered by the Commission show that these denials fell most squarely on persons of color. “)

http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/vote2000/report/ch1.htm

So this year, I’d think that, when it came time to purging felons from the voter lists, the Department of Elections would do an extra-careful job, and hire top people to make sure they got it just right. But then, I’ve never been to Florida.

They hired a private contractor. They told the contractor to compare the voter list with the list of convicted felons who’d lost their right to vote. The contractor matches the two and compares name, date of birth, and race, and eliminates everyone who matches. But, on the voter registration list, your options for “race” include Hispanic. Not so on the state prison records. So, automatically, Hispanics will not get eliminated, because they will never match.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out. All over the country, thousands of people who work with mailing lists do this sort of matching every day. I did when I worked in a magazine circulation department. If you are matching two lists, you start by looking at a table that describes the data fields, and the possible values for those fields. I would have canned anyone who made a mistake like this.

So it becomes pretty hard to fault those who suggest that maybe it wasn’t just an honest mistake, since Hispanics in Florida tend to vote Republican. Especially when state officials resisted reporters’ requests for information on the list, until they got a court order. Especially when employees of the private contractor said they had warned the state officials of this exact problem. Especially when it also turns out that 2100 citizens who’d gotten clemency, restoring their voting rights, hadn’t been added back to the rolls, and many of them were African-Americans, who tend to vote Democratic.

But at least we won’t have hanging chad issues, since they replaced all that with spiffy new electronic voting machines. They’ve already used them in the September 2002 primary, and other elections, so things are good to go. Well. Funny thing about that. There’s been a lot of talk about who won that primary in Miami-Dade County, so a citizens group asked for all the data. Turns out, it’s been lost. See, there were some computer crashes. The election officials hadn’t started doing daily backups until over a year after the election.

What? I was doing daily local backups, and weekly archival backups which were stored off-site in case of fire, when I worked at that same magazine, over 15 years ago. And that was when it involved huge spools of tape. Nowadays there are CDs you can burn on the desktop, for pity’s sake. So, here are these officials, handling important data which often needs, by law, to be held for many months, and they can lose it in a computer crash? And we’re supposed to think they’re ready to handle a Presidential election with electronic equipment?

But at least, electronic voting machines allow the votes to be counted right the first time. Pay no attention to the announcement that many of the touchscreen machines had a bug (now allegedly fixed) that would make a manual recount impossible. Besides, it’s not like that would be a problem anyway: the Department of Elections has ruled that, since touchscreen machines make it impossible to skip a race, or vote for more than one candidate, there’s no possible grounds for a manual recount anyway, since under state law, the only such grounds is to determine voter intent, and that’s clear on a touchscreen machine. (By the way, one newspaper has done a study that shows that touchscreens do less well than optically scanned paper ballot systems.)

Governor Jeb Bush says he has “every confidence” in his election officials. I’m beginning to think that, perhaps, he’s figured out that having a quadrennial deluge of reporters, camera crews and lawyers is good for the state’s economy. Time to invest in Tallahassee hotel rooms for November and December.

I’d worry for my cousin who lives in Florida, except she’s white and registered Republican.

UPDATE July 30: Paul Krugman in the New York Times passes along a St. Petersburg Times report that the Republican Party of Florida sent out a flier urging supporters to use absentee ballots because electronic machines lack a paper trail and cannot verify your vote.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/30/opinion/30krugman.html

What liberal media?

Watching and listening to coverage of the Democratic Convention has been an interesting exercise in media presentation, and subtle spin. It’s a really rich opportunity to practice “savvy media consumer” skills. And I wasn’t even watching Fox or MSNBC!

First I was noticing the difference between watching C-SPAN and watching PBS. (Our local PBS station was showing it tape-delayed, so I could see the same events.) PBS keeps cutting away from the floor to its crop of analysts, who feel they are supposed to tell you what it is you’ve just seen, often spouting comments that are fatuous, or worse, contradict the evidence of your own eyes, all the while keeping you from seeing stuff that their editors have declared “unimportant.” Worst, when they are “covering” the stage, they keep cutting between cameras, away from the speaker and showing random faces from the audience. During the Barack Obama speech, I started timing it; they would stay on Obama for 10-20 seconds, and then bounce around the audience for an equivalent time, with no relation to the structure of the speech, pauses for applause, or anything. As a result, PBS viewers never saw Obama deliver some of his best lines, and got a fractured sense of the construction, and delivery, of his speech.

Then this morning, I was listening to NPR describe the speakers at the convention. You know NPR, that supposed bastion of the liberal media, or, at least, objective reporting? Hmm.

Here’s the email I sent to Morning Edition:

This morning, at the end of the story listed on your website as “Cheney Defends Iraq Policy Before Marines”, Renee Montagne said “a parade of leading Democrats, including Senator Edward Kennedy, former Democratic contender Howard Dean and Teresa Heinz Kerry, all pounded the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq War.”

This is inaccurate, and further, misleading. Coming at the end of a piece featuring several clips from Vice-President Cheney’s speech, which you described as an “official one, as Vice-President, since campaigning isn’t allowed on military bases”, it borders on the sort of biased reporting familiar on the Fox News channel.

Rather than go on about whether Cheney’s comments were “campaigning” or not, despite whatever legal fiction was involved, let’s look at what the Democrats actually said.

Of the three, only Senator Kennedy specifically referred to the Iraq War, and it was for two paragraphs in a four-page speech.

Senator Kennedy said:

“Most of all, we should have honored the principle so fundamental that our nation’s founders placed it in the very first sentence of the Declaration of Independence – that America must give “a decent respect to the Opinions of Mankind.” We failed to do that in Iraq.

More than 900 of our servicemen and women have already paid the ultimate price. Nearly 6,000 have been wounded in this misguided war. The administration has alienated long-time allies. Instead of making America more secure, they have made us less so. They have made it harder to win the real war on terrorism, and the war against Al Qaeda. And none of this had to happen.”

This is the only specific reference ANY of the three named speakers made to the war. It wasn’t the theme of Kennedy’s speech, and it wasn’t repeated. One other reference might be stretched to fit a description of criticizing the “Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq War:

“There’s a reason why this land was called “the American experiment.” If dedication to the common good were hardwired into human nature, we would never have had a need for a revolution. If each of us cared about the public interest, we wouldn’t’t have had the excesses of Enron. We wouldn’t have had the abuses of Halliburton. And Vice President Cheney would be retired to an undisclosed location. Soon, thanks to John Kerry and John Edwards, he’ll have ample time to do just that.”

This is more accurately described as a criticism of selfish greed, and failure to protect the public interest, (perhaps the energy policy?) than “pounding the administration” on the war.

The comments from Howard Dean that might relate to the Iraq War are:

“I am proud of John Kerry’s leadership and I intend to stand shoulder to shoulder with him as we fight for the things that Harry Truman promised us in 1948: health insurance for every single American, a jobs program that will create jobs instead of destroy them, standing up for middle-class and working Americans who got a tax increase not a tax cut, and standing up for a foreign policy that relies on the president of the United States telling the truth to the American people before we send our brave soldiers to fight in a foreign war.

I’d like a commander in chief who supports our soldiers and supports our veterans instead of cutting their hardship pay abroad and cutting their health benefits when they get back home.”

Let’s review: health insurance, jobs, standing up for the middle-class and working Americans, fair taxes, and a foreign policy that relies on the President telling the truth. OK, one of those applies to the Iraq War, if you acknowledge that Bush lied to the American people, which Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld don’t. The line about cutting hardship pay and health benefits does relate to soldiers in Iraq, but taken as a whole, it seems to relate more to the principles involved in how we should treat people in uniform, not the specifics of the Iraq War.

The only comment from Teresa Heinz Kerry that might have ANYTHING to do with the “Bush Administration’s handling of the Iraq War” is this:

“He believes that alternative fuels will guarantee that not only will no American boy or girl go to war because of our dependence on foreign oil, but also that our economy will forever become independent of this need.”

Claiming this as a criticism of the administration’s handling of the war requires that we believe that the Iraq War was related to our dependence on foreign oil, which is a stretch. To say that Teresa Heinz Kerry “pounded the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq War” is just plain wrong. It is NOT TRUE.

So, in the documented speeches of these “parade” members (what’s with that word “parade” anyway?), which were devoted to discussion of defining American values, hope, social responsibility, equity, health care, race, and the immigrant experience, you chose to characterize their speeches as being about the war. They hardly touched on the war, and yet you described a “parade” that “pounded” the administration on the war.

What’s up with that?

(By the way, does anyone out there know what, if any, “official” role the Vice-President has in the military chain of command? The President, not the V-P, is Commander-in-Chief. And I’m still working on why, on an “official” visit, it was required for him to criticize the voting record of a particular member of the US Senate to an audience of Marines, and just how this is NOT considered “campaigning.” Shouldn’t this be illegal?)

This is what 5 months (post-op) looks like

Five months ago tonight, at about this time, I had just been allowed into the ICU to see Paul following his surgery. It’s still much too easy for me to conjure up my feelings from that night: relief that Paul had made it through the surgery; anguish at his wounds and his attempts to wake up on hearing my voice; longing to hold him and comfort him; frustration that I couldn’t; fear of what was yet to come.

A lot has changed in the past 5 months. Paul has, for the most part, healed well. There’s still a ways to go on swallowing, strength and stamina, but the progress that Paul has made since the night of February 27 is huge.

On June 2, I took some photos of Paul prior to his starting physical therapy. This evening, I coaxed him back outside for a few more. The first obvious difference between these photos and those from 7 weeks ago is that he’s smiling. Why is Paul smiling?It was a little overcast this evening, which meant less lovely light and shadow in the photos, but also less squinting. More importantly, his hair has grown back in! His scalp is no longer visible! When he told the butcher barber idiot guy “not too short” almost two months ago, this is more what he had in mind.

Since he’s smiling, it’s a little difficult to compare the contours of his face with the other photos. The “pouch” is still there, but it is smaller, and much softer to the touch. The amount of swelling varies; there is usually more in the evening. The scars from his incisions have faded almost to invisibility, and the physical therapy has helped with the tightness around the incisions. If you know where to look, you can just barely see a couple of small scars from drain lines in the photo above. His t-shirt hides the trach scar.

And here is an update photo of the “paramecium.” The physical therapy has helped with the scar adhesions, though there are still some ridges and dimples on the skin’s surface. The color is continuing to fade towards “white guy’s thigh,” though as with most changes these days, the pace is slowing. Paul continues the sunscreen slathering, and now that it is warm enough for short sleeves (hah! warm enough for nudity recently), he often wraps it in an ace bandage if he’s going to be outside for a while.

In the interest of accurate reporting, I just went into Paul’s office and asked him to “drop trou,” so that I could look at his skin graft site. At this point, it’s not much darker than a sunburn, though it is a little more mottled. You want to see it, you’ll have to come visit. What, you think he’d drop his pants for just any of you? Think summer. Heat. Wearing shorts.

That’s all for now.

Boston tea-leaves

John Kerry diverted his campaign plane to Boston so he could throw out the first pitch in last night’s Yankees-Red Sox game. Since most of the pundits seem to be busy checking out their Fleet Center chairs and after-party invitations at the moment, it falls to me to provide the analysis of this bold move by the Kerry campaign.

Good sign: his campaign organization was so well-run that word didn’t leak out before he announced it himself to the journalists on the plane.

Bad sign: he was greeted with as much booing as cheering.

Less bad sign: some of this can be blamed on the lockdown that the convention has brought to the city, even if we really know the truth.

Good sign: he seems more like a “regular guy”. How could a real Bostonian miss this game?

Bad sign: the ball bounced on its way home. (Didn’t he see that episode of the West Wing? One witness said “He throws like a girl.”)

(Sign of the “Liberal Media” bias: None of the articles I’ve seen mention this.)

(Counter-sign: I heard about it on NPR.)

[Late addition: I just saw video of it. It was a decent pitch. The honorary catcher, a soldier back from Iraq, muffed the catch. Kerry doesn’t throw like a girl.]

Bad sign: when asked who he was rooting for, he acknowledged he needed votes in New York, but he was rooting for the Red Sox. What? He was thinking about the question? He IS a flip-flopper! (Apparently no one told him that everyone hates the Yankees, including all those New York Mets fans.)

Good sign: The Red Sox won, and apparently there were no fisticuffs, as there were the other night. Kerry brings peace and prosperity.



One thing I’d like to see from the podium in Boston is a statement along the lines of:

We are not a party of fear. We are the party of hope. We are strong, and we are confident. We are the party that believes in America, and the good of the American people, and strength of the American system.

Because of that, we are NOT AFRAID of those who might disagree with us, or those who want to make themselves heard. We do not need to silence our critics, or hide them away. Protests and demonstrations have been part of this country since before its founding, when men in THIS VERY CITY dumped tea into the harbor in political protest. It is CRIMINAL, and disrespectful to those who founded this country, and those dying overseas to defend it, to keep decent Americans corralled behind steel fences and concertina wire, like the prisoners in Guantanamo, and then call it “free speech.”

We call upon the Department of Homeland Security and the Boston Police Department to TEAR DOWN THE FENCES! We are NOT afraid of free speech. We are AMERICANS!

Six months later: the adventure continues

I started this blog six months ago. At that point I knew I had a cancerous tumor, but I didn’t know exactly how extensive it was, what we were going to do about it, or where. I started this blog to make it easier to keep people updated on what was happening, figuring that Kimberly and I didn’t need to be repeating the information over and over again. Nothing fancy, just a time-saver, a tool to allow us to focus resources where needed.

(I was so afraid then. Afraid of dying. Afraid that the disease would kill me, or the surgery would. I believed my doctors when they said my body could take the operation, but I’ve never been more fearful before surgery. One of my confused memories of the drugged up, trached-up, weird world of the ICU is a relief that the surgery was all over, and I had lived to tell about it. Phew!)

A lot has happened since then. I don’t have a tumor in my head anymore, or anywhere else that we know about. That’s a very good thing. I’ve been helped and supported and loved by an amazing assortment of acquaintances, friends and loved ones when I was absolutely in need. That’s a profound and moving thing. I’ve continue to heal. That’s a hopeful thing.

And there’s this blog. It served its intended function and more in the early days. Since then, it’s evolved. It’s taken on a life of its own. There are fewer developments to report, and we’ve been writing less about my medical story, and more about other topics. The Squamous Monster has been smitten, and we have the luxury of thinking, and therefore writing, about something else. Still, there are a lot of you who’ve made this blog part of your routine, and keep reading. I guess we’re still interesting.

I’d like to keep it that way. I’ve skimmed through blogs which merely recorded the prosaic details of day after boring day. I don’t want this to become another. Happily, my life is headed toward the prosaic, rather than away from it as it was when I started. But I don’t want to be posting the dull details in the blog. You’ve gotten a taste of that already; I imagine people nodding off as they read.

I don’t want to stop writing, though. One of the unexpected benefits of this blog has been to reawaken my writing, and to induce Kimberly to discover a new way of writing for herself. Both are worth keeping. And the medical adventure I started writing about six months ago isn’t over; it’s just shifted gears. I still have plenty to write about, just not in daily chunks.

Which is all a long way of saying that, as Kimberly warned you last week, you may not see new posts here every day. I’m hoping that, as a result, the quality of the ones you do see will be higher. Don’t think of it as a loss, think of it as saving you from reading about my daily calorie counts, treadmill mileage, or (excitement!) fixing the garbage disposal. OK? OK. See you soon.

(Oh, and if you’re really jonesin’ for a blog post, hit the archives. They’re why we keep putting the links in the right-hand column. There’s a lot in there. Later, P.)



In other news, since I’ve spent so much time lately writing about Le Tour, I suppose I should mention that Lance officially won today, becoming the only person to ever win six times, much less six in a row. He is amazing.

Meeeelllting……

It’s too damn hot.

Seattle’s weather is breaking records. Not for rain, of which we’re not having enough, but for heat. The temperature hit 95° today, 4° higher than the previous record. (That’s as hot as it was in Houston today. Houston!) And the low, I assume just before dawn, was 68°. Now, at 11:30 p.m., we’re at 71°. Fortunately, we’re supposed to be closer to normal (highs in the mid-70s, lows in the mid-50s) tomorrow.

So, how did our household deal with today’s weather?

The cats responded to the heat with more-prolonged-than-usual periods of flatness. They were clearly looking to maximize surface area. Although we had the curtains drawn most of the day to keep out the sunshine, that did not render the house sufficiently cavelike for the cats. They took the cave within a cave approach, spending a lot of time under the furniture. They moved slowly. They didn’t eat a lot. They drank lots of water.

The humans took the air-conditioned car and drove to the air-conditioned movie theater, where they were joined by many other humans who also felt that a cool, dark cave would be a great place to spend some time. Perhaps Fahrenheit 9/11 was not the best choice of movies for keeping one’s cool; tears are not the best choice for evaporative cooling, and anger… well, there’s a reason we say that we feel “steamed”. Fortunately, the theater air conditioning was mighty enough to compensate. We left feeling refreshed physically… but certainly not emotionally. (That is perhaps a rant for my co-author on another day. Today it’s too hot to rant.)

We also went out to a book reading and signing by JA Jance, a Seattle-based mystery writer whom we both read. The reading was held in a meeting room near our little neighborhood bookstore. It ended up being less a reading, and more a tale about the author’s bad first marriage, and her run-in with the real-life serial killer on whose story one of her books is loosely based. However, the somewhat off-topic presentation did not affect the main draw of the event: the room was air conditioned.

Back at home, we minimized clothing. We sprawled on the furniture. We moved slowly. We ate cold things. We used lots of water; some we sprayed over our bodies, some we drank.

A little while ago, the inside and outside air temperatures equalized, and Paul opened lots of windows and powered up the fans. In a few minutes, I think it will be cool enough to sleep.

Notes from my angry place

There was a message this afternoon on my cell phone’s voice mail. It was from Marcie at Group Health. Marcie Wheeler. (This is the first time that she has ever used her last name.) She called to tell me that – seven weeks and one day after I first contacted them – Group Health has taken care of that little matter of $1558.02 that they had incorrectly stated we owed to UWMC. According to Marcie’s message, the claim has been reprocessed to show “no patient responsibility” for that amount. (Perhaps she used her last name because she’s no longer afraid that I’m going to send harassing mail or stalk her. Or maybe she’s expecting a thank-you card.) Although she didn’t say, I assume we will receive paperwork to back this up… and that Group Health will fork over the money to UWMC. I’ll call Marcie on Monday to see if she can tell me what the process is, and when it might be completed. That other matter of a small procedure at UWMC having been coded as in-network rather than out-of-network? It’s still in the works. The way I figure it, the correction is still about a month out… but I’m willing to be wrong about this.

Perhaps someone else would’ve felt relieved at hearing Marcie’s message. I was still in my angry place (I’d been there writing the letter about billing errors to UW Physicians), and as Marcie’s chirpy voice is part of the ambient sound there, hearing it set me up nicely for a little rage… and suddenly, the problem was (apparently) solved. I felt stymied. All worked up, and nowhere to go…

Until tonight, when I had a little chat with our attorney (who also happens to be my sister) regarding the draft of the letter that I’ve written regarding UW Physicians’ billing errors. (Yes, I know we should have a local attorney. We just hadn’t seen much need for one up ’til this point.) Anyway, Melanie and I discussed my letter, and she dictated several much more directly threatening sentences to include. I do angry well. I do explication-of-why-I-am-angry well. I do this-is-what-I-expect-you-to-do-to-fix-it well. It’s the or-else that still gets me; writing if-you-do-not-fix-it-we-will-sue-you just isn’t in my repertoire. Or wasn’t, until today.

Slump

Despite my accomplishments with the screens, my energy has been low, and I’ve been dragging the last couple days. Yesterday I “gutted” my way through building another two screens, and today I paid for it by sleeping almost all day. It was another lesson that my heart doesn’t actually care what I want, and will take its rest whether I want to rest or not. In the by-now-tortured Tour metaphorical space, I need to remember that Lance gets alot farther by riding smarter, and not forcing it the way he did as a younger rider.

Perhaps THAT was the message the universe was trying to send me yesterday when, on my way to Home Depot, I passed a local bike shop with a sign out front declaring that they had Lance Armstrong Foundation yellow bracelets for sale. I’ve been meaning to pick some up for weeks, but hadn’t wanted to bother with ordering them online, nor managed to get my butt down to Niketown, where I knew they had them. “A-ha!” I thought, “this is my reward for getting out to Home Depot and working on the screen project.” So, now equipped with yellow bands, I spent all afternoon working hard on screens, without a lot of rest. NOW I’m wondering if I wasn’t supposed to be thinking about going at a more manageable pace, and saving my energy for when I needed it.

That’s the problem with those darn omens and cosmic messages from the universe: they are so open to interpretation! 😉

For what it’s worth, my nap today was much more pleasant for having been able to cool the house down in the morning. Today “only” got into the 80s, though. I have a feeling I won’t be the only one thinking about the movies this weekend, when 90s are expected.