Sunday, April 27, 2008

Fire Sale at the Big Top

Wanna know what I did for my birthday??? Had a garage sale. I know; it sounds like the epitome of fun. However, North Beach had a town-wide yard sale which was a perfect opportunity to 'down-size' all of our stuff before moving into the (much smaller) funky beach shack.

How does one get all that stuff? For a year we've had the largest sized warehouse that the local place leases. It's criminal. And before that we've had one in various places (Baltimore and Charleston before) for around 3 years. Maybe it's hereditary. Mom had a warehouse in Marathon Florida for over 20 years!! All during a time when we lived 50 miles away. When it was said and done she had to back up a dump truck to the door and empty the whole thing out. Anyway, I digress...

So we had this wicked large sale yesterday. Kudos to our neighbor Mark for letting us take over the garage to set everything up! It made life much more wonderful. Power to prove things worked (plus the absolutely necessary music), nice and shaded, and best of all when it was said and done we just closed the door. Fabulous!

Sadly, we've done a few of these before. Gary and I have differing pricing philosophies. His is to ask the highest price and hope it goes... Nothing really wrong with that. Mine though is to price it to go... Release all emotional attachment to the stuff and let it fly. This has worked in the past. We had an enormous barn sale when we lived in North Carolina. And let me tell you, those people are major yard salers!!! In a two-weekend sale, we made over $5,000!! And still had enough stuff to completely outfit the abused women's shelter.

We did very well this time; sold all the furniture and probably half of the stuff. People that came said we had the best sale in town - good prices and tons of stuff. One woman spent 2 hours and her car was absolutely bulging at the rivets when she pulled out. Several others returned with friends. Despite the good turn out we still have billions of kitchen gizmo's and enough clothes to start our own department store. We made over $600; not bad. It will pay for the movers. Today we'll pack the rest up and take it to the local charity thrift store.

My day wasn't all work. We joined our friends Aric and Gwen and some of their friends in Annapolis last night for sushi. Had a great time and some tasty fish. Drove home through a total deluge, crawled into bed and slept the sleep of the just.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lights, Camera,,, Circus?

More insanity at the circus. The powers that be at the University of Maryland Medical Center Breast Cancer Center somehow got it in their heads that I would be a good subject to make a TV advertisement about. Okaaaayyyy... The weeks approaching the shoot were rather hilarious. My super-wonderful colleague in charge of the shoot, Denise, informed me that I would be given several questions about my experience plus they would film me doing an activity that my recovery is allowing me to do.

Hmmmm. What in the world do the brand ta ta's enable me to do now. I joked with her for weeks that now I can enter wet tee shirt contests or take up pole dancing. But I'm not sure the head of the cancer center would appreciate that hobby. Oh! Sailing!! Now I can go sailing again. That's perfect. But the shooting schedule didn't allow the camera crew to drive an hour to get to the boat let alone the time it would take to go out on it.

Denise kept probing, "What other activities do you do?" "Well, I walk the dogs." She just looked at me. "Hey, if you knew my dogs, you'd understand that it's a complete workout!" Again, logistical issues of time and travel were an issue. Moving on.

I like to garden. Again, not something in which I actively use my breasts, but it's physical. Great. We are in downtown Baltimore and the only acceptable green patch is in front of the medical school. I think if I moseyed up and started digging up their tulips I'd probably be arrested. Next.

"Hey, I knit! And I've gotten really fast since my surgery!" I've never seen anyone roll their eyes that far back in their head. "Great! Your 40 and we have you knitting, Grandma. This is supposed to show how you've gotten back into activities. You know; like being active." Oh dear.

The problem is I was only cleared last Thursday to slowly resume lifting and activity. Yea, finally! But I haven't exercised or lifted since November, and now that I am cleared to do so I really see how much strength and flexibility I've lost. I've never in my life been this out of shape... No exaggeration. So much so that I'm not sure where to start without really hurting myself. Ah ha!!! That's it. I'll get back to doing yoga! It's been a while but it is self-paced and you do what you can and it builds strength and flexibility. Perfect. Denise loved the idea.

So once they have the commercial edited (a few weeks or so) I'll see if I can add it to the blog. You'll be able to see my best (albeit shaky) tree pose and warrior stance. Still workin' out that charlie-horse in my calf though.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Circus is Packing Up

Much as I hate the act of moving (from house to house that is) Gary and I have decided to resettle once our lease is up at the end of May. Having moved twice since December of 2006, I've come to the conclusion that I'd rather have my wisdom teeth removed through my nostrils. But we discussed it and while we live in a great house now, we really need to pair down. Since mom is gone, this place is entirely too big for us. There is something kinda sad about waking up every morning and looking out of my bedroom into hers and seeing an empty bed. I absolutely refuse to close the doors; I would rather look into her room and feel a pinch of sadness than close off the memory all together.

We have no intention of leaving North Beach. Despite not being able to truly enjoy all this little 'burg has to offer over the past year, we've completely fallen in love with the place. For those who haven't been to 'Casa del Fuego' it is a great beach house built about 10 years ago, 2 rows off the water, a wonderful covered porch, hot tub, blah, blah, blah. But we've found a funky little beach bungalow build in 1928, right on the water, stunning views from the living and dining room, screened porch, excruciatingly small bedrooms (3 of them) and two, uh, really funky bathrooms (or were those closets?) And we plan to paint each one in funky beach colors. Can you say 'South Beach?'

After spending a year dealing with 'adult' problems, Gar and I need a year off. We need to have a little carefree adolescent time. This past year has been wrought with hardship, change and enormous growth. While I'd give anything to have mom back with us, I relish the growth that her illness and passing (along with my own cancer) have forced me to experience. I've learned more about myself over that time than in any other period of my life.
Now Gary and I need a year of rest to let those seeds sow.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Moving Along

Things continue to progress on this end. All bandages and steri-strips are off now and most of the scabs have washed away. For the first time in 5 months the headlights are on (but nobody's home...) Get it? Sorry; bad joke.

Anyway, I've been pardoned from the penance of wearing the 'bra' for now, but I must still wear the binder. It's still a hate-hate relationship with the thing, but I'm a little more used to it now. Having proportionately larger hips than my waist means that I'm constantly pulling it down as it never fails to inch up my torso. And the itching, oh my lord!! Especially around my back at the lipo sites. At first I just thought it was the area healing, but I was a bad girl last night and took off the binder to sleep. Lo and behold, this morning I was 'itch-free.' It was wonderful!

I'm looking forward to getting back to life. My doctor told me I could not drive until this coming Monday, so I've been working from home all week. I sounds nice, but it's been a little frustrating that I feel perfectly fine to get out but I've been sequestered at home. The weather has been a little warmer here, so I've really enjoyed my daily walk to the post office.

On a more somber note, I've started going through Mom's things. I woke up yesterday and I knew I was ready, so I took the day off from work. Going through drawer after drawer, a wave of emotions washed over me. I went through all of the 'get well' and condolence cards sent. I reread every one. Laughter, sadness, pride in such wonderful friends and family went through me. I found pictures long forgotten, Mom's collections of everything from lapel pins and buttons to an unbelievable supply of stationary (the REALLY good stuff too...) I guess I have no excuse not to write anymore. And good lord! The SOCKS that woman had! I've only begun to get through it and there is still so much more to go. In some respects, it's a little sad doing it by myself, but it's very private and intimate and I can take the time I need to get through it. I feel her there with me, laughing and crying right along with me. Reliving all the memories.