Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fresh Greens and a Walk Down Memory Lane

This seemed like a photo-worthy occasion to me:  my first mess of greens from my garden!  All kinds -- I just grazed through the bed and pulled off larger leaves of everything: lettuce, chard, spinach, beet tops (which are actually chard), then turned it into this:

A quick stir-fry with coconut oil and lots of fresh garlic, add a little sliced leftover steak, and you've got dinner.  Yum. Not a terribly appetizing photo, but it tasted great.

Other than that, I've been working every day this week and that's a real drag when it's not something you're used to doing.  We've actually had fun with the boss gone, but I'm missing my time to work here at home, and I'm running out of time to get all this pre-winter stuff done.  Fortunately, we're back to Indian summer today for a few days -- sunny, temps in the mid-80's, just lovely.  No ice on my window this morning (unlike yesterday morning).

Remember that old principle that goes something like "anything that can go wrong will go wrong"?  Well -- the saga of my insulation continues.  I called Lowes yesterday to check and see if the delivery date of 10/10 was still good, and learned that the vendor had changed that to 10/21.  Well, that's a little too late.  So I talked to the folks at my local Lowe's, and since I don't carry the checkbook or debit card from my Oregon bank with me, had them set aside 8 bales of what they have in stock, and went back today with the checkbook, canceled the original order and bought stuff from stock.  Another $109 out of my pocketbook, but in the end it'll only cost $50 more because I'll get a larger rebate.  We'll pick it up Monday and get it home, hopefully it'll be installed on Tuesday.

Today was my follow-up visit with the cardiologist on my EKG, and things tried to go wrong there, too.  My doctor's office said they'd faxed the report to the cardiologist, but they didn't have it.  Fortunately, having lived long enough to learn from experience, I had my copy with me and gave that to them.  The doc said he wasn't terribly impressed with the EKG -- said it looked pretty normal to him but had red-flagged because it appears to show evidence of a prior heart attack (and if I ever had one, I sure didn't know about it), so he's ordered an echocardiogram.  I haven't had one of those in many years anyway, so it's probably time.  All in all, the 'abnormal' EKG doesn't appear to be anything to worry about, which is good news, of course.

In the small world category, I asked the doc (wonderful person, apparently the top cardiac doc in the area) if there was or had ever been a John Garner in the administration of that clinic, and he said yes, but that he wasn't living in the area now.  I worked with John when I first moved to Atlanta in 1986 for awhile, and we stayed friends for years.  His wife was a top cardiac surgical nurse and he'd been in cardiac clinic administration for years.  One of his cardiologist buddies from California came to Rome to open a new cardiac clinic and John moved there to work with him.  I didn't remember the name of the clinic, but I don't think there's more than one large cardiac clinic in that small city.  We had a nice chat about John and his wife (who had been this doc's nurse while they lived in Rome).

Karen worked at the Emory Clinic cardiac unit in Atlanta when we all lived there and worked crazy hours -- lots of nights, weekends and holidays.  John would get bored, so sometimes he and I would go out for a drink or find something to do. I have several specific memories of John, but some of the more special are:  bringing a copy of Little Shop of Horrors to the office and sitting me down to watch it in the conference room; convincing me to bring an amazing amount of utensils and food to his house one evening when I was going to make some fresh lasagne for a potluck, so he could see how I made it.  This included the cuisinart to make the pasta dough, the pasta machine for rolling it, plus the ingredients and such.  I remember making two batches -- a small one for us to eat, and the larger one to take to my potluck; John talking his way past the guards at the federal prison in Atlanta when it was under siege by the inmates, and getting inside the prison (you'd have to know John to realize that this is true -- he told me about it in detail the next day and I know he wasn't lying and I know he doesn't drink or do drugs); a wine-tasting party at his house when Karen was working and I had a bit too much wine, got sick, crashed on their sofa.  I don't think Karen was amused when she got home that night; one Christmas eve when Karen was working and John and I hit the movie theaters -- an Eddie Murphy movie at the first theater, then on to a second theater to see Dirty Dancing.  But the best memory of all is when I turned 50 and was feeling pretty traumatized by it all.  My boss at the time had promised to buy me a drink, but on the day he had to cancel because of obligations at home (my birthday is, after all 3 days before Christmas). Right after he'd told me this the phone range and it was John, asking if I had somebody to buy me a drink on my birthday.  I was almost in tears, and said 'no', and he said, "well, you do now".  He drove all the way to Atlanta from Rome, about a two hour drive, bought me a drink and a light dinner, then turned around and drove back to Rome.  I'll never forget that one.  The doc said he hadn't heard from him in years, thought he was in California.  Sure wish I'd stayed in touch with him.

I don't usually put names of people in this blog, but John, if somehow this finds its way to you, give me a holler, and Mike said if I ever heard from you to tell you to call him.  

So, that's my day.

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