Wednesday, January 6, 2010


For three days, painters and plasterers  have been busy repairing the damage that was inflicted on our apartment from the recent renovation project in the building. After all the cracks were filled and sanded, they matched paint on ceilings, trim, and walls, including our hand-sponged living room walls from 1997.

The place still looks like a wreck because of the ringworm wars, and now most of the paintings are down and there's plaster dust everywhere. But the shell — walls, ceilings, doorframes, etc. — looks great. They did excellent work, far above and beyond what we expected.  I am very pleased, and I enjoyed having the guys around. They were friendly, sympathetic, and polite. (If you want to win over an Irish workman, just ask him a few times if he'd like a cup of tea.)

The ringworm plague may be passing, too. After waiting and wondering for almost two extra weeks, our vet called today to tell us that the kittens now have two negative culture results apiece. We need one more (in a few days, I hope) and they we're done! Bring out the heavy comforter and the Persian carpets! Pack away those Indian bedspreads! There should be feasts and dancing. We'll at least mark the occasion with a burrito.

Then there's my dad. He fell last week in his house, where he lives alone, age 95. He's always been much younger-looking and stronger than his age might suggest — he takes no medications, for example, because he has no health conditions. But he's been complaining for about a year that his legs feel weak and unsteady. I tried to get him to go to a doctor for some tests. I thought he might have a vitamin deficiency, because he doesn't eat a lot, and doesn't think about nutrition. But my dad has deep, complicated issues with doctors, and refuses to even have a primary care doctor. He'd just yell at me that he took a five different vitamin pills and that a deficiency was ridiculous.

When he fell, he bruised his liver, cracked a vertebra, and pinched a nerve. After a trip to the ER and being miserable at home, my siblings took him back to the hospital. He had a rotten couple of days there, too, and then he suddenly turned around. I think they adjusted his pain medication, and then this morning they moved him into the rehab wing. He went from being bedridden, mildly incoherent, and needing a sponge bath yesterday to taking a shower by himself this morning and walking around. He enjoyed his meals, made a new buddy, flirted with the nurses, and talked my ear off alertly for 72 minutes (he does that routinely, but not since he fell).

It turns out he has a vitamin D deficiency, which probably contributed to his fall. Who knew? Whatever, it's wonderful that he's better.

The final little miracle of the day: the dean in charge of putting together my husband's offer letter and contract for his new teaching position called. Every time he hears from a dean, it hits us all over again: It's a Job! This Is Real. It Happened. We Can Stop Waiting and Worrying.  It's amazing. It was a Christmas miracle, and it continues to be an epiphany.

Speaking of which, many "wise men" — two were female, so lets call them all "magi" — appeared in this apartment today.

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