About Me

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Douglas, Alaska, United States
I have lived in Alaska since 1978, having come to Juneau as a Jesuit Volunteer. I fell in love with Alaska and now live on Douglas Island with my husband and two dogs.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Seven Quick Takes: Sickness, Wellness, Opera, Transportation And The Pope

I was sick with the Juneau Crud last week.  Sniffling, sneezing and mostly (and worstly) cough, cough, coughing.  Not just coughing, but that "wake up suddenly feeling like I am choking to death and then realize if I just cough it will fix it" feeling.  Thank God for those Halls Vitamin C drops to sooth my poor throat (not a commercial, I just like them).

I got better after about four days, and then had to go get a mammogram, which was fine except that the radiologist "saw" something.  So back I went yesterday and got the bejesus squeezed out of Lefty once again.  Then the tech came in and said that the radiologist wanted me to have an ultrasound.  Wearing my superhero cape (Breast Woman!) I followed the ultrasound tech into the darkened room to lie on the bed and have a magic wand (and some very cold and slimy gel) applied to Lefty.  Nothing there but some excess fat (I could have told them that) and I was given instructions to come back in 6 months.  I can't wait.  I am grateful, however.  I know so many women who have been through this, but with bad results followed by surgery, radiation, chemo.  So Lefty and I said a prayer and went home.

I am in the chorus of La Traviata with the Juneau Lyric Opera.  I missed the first couple of weeks of rehearsals because I didn't make up my mind about being in the chorus until they had already started.  Then, being sick, I missed an entire week last week.  The music isn't a problem, but singing in Italian is.  So many syllables and interesting letter combinations.  It is much harder to sing than I thought it would be.  Give me German, Latin or French any day.  Last night after singing it through with the orchestra, our choir director had us speaking the words of the "Matador Song" in rhythm.  Lots and lots of words.  We open a week from tomorrow. 

We got a new car.  Well, new to us anyway.  It is a 2003 Volkswagen Beetle.  Not quite as practical as the Subaru Forester we just sold, in terms of cargo space and snow performance, but it is much more fuel efficient.  Since both of our adult children have their own cars, we don't need as much space, and besides, it is so stinking cute.

If you live under a rock, or don't watch the news, you might have missed that the Holy Father gave an interview to America Magazine.  I haven't read it yet, but according to the secular world it is groundbreaking.  The Catholic blogging world is reeling with lots of opinions about what it all means.  From what I have read, it sounds like he is being practical, pastoral, and in keeping with Church teaching, as he would be expected to be.  I don't think there will be any major changes forthcoming in Catholic Social Teaching: care for the poor, respect for life, respect for the dignity of each person.  It's all there, folks!

Speaking of our new car - our poor old car was ready to bite the dust.  A nice guy at our service station has one just like it and bought it from us.  He said he can fix all the things that were wrong with it - blown head gasket, rear brakes, back hatch latch, CV joint, etc.  And so we sold it to him for 500 bucks.  Charles had the following conversation with him over the phone:

Charles: Are you still interested in the Forester?
Guy: Yeah, I think I want to get it. 
Mrs. Guy (in the background): We don't have no ROOM!
Guy (after mumbled conversation with Mrs. Guy): We might not have room for it.  I have a boat, a truck, a snow machine and another Forester.  I'll call you back.

Ten minutes later, he called back and said he was going to store his boat elsewhere and would take the car.  Yesterday, he and his wife came by and bought it.  I was not sorry to see it go, dripping oil, with the back hatch rattling.

I got nothing.  Wait - I do have something.  We are going to use the money from the sale to finally fix up our bedroom.  We are in the process of culling our books.  For me, just a question of throwing books into a box.  For Charles, like removing a limb.  So it is slow going, but soon we will have the excess bookage out to the Friends of the Library Amazing Bookstore, and everything else packed up and stored in the Tool Room, which also needs to be cleaned out.  Wait - we just got rid of our Subaru with the cargo space...oh well, we have a son with another Subaru that we can use for dump runs.

That's it.  That's all I got.

Scoot on over to Jen at Conversion Diary to see everybody else's quick takes!


  1. I'm with Charles on books. I've got lots that need new homes, but I'm too sad to see them go. They really are starting to take over my little apartment. Prayers for Lefty and Righty, too!

    1. I love my books as well, don't get me wrong, but most of mine are replaceable and Charles' are usually rare and he uses them for his art work and his job. By they way, the girls are named Pancho and Lefty!

  2. Oh Paula, I was holding my breath about your mammogram and so relieved that it was nothing.

    Your new car is so adorable..how nice it will be to not have to worry about the break downs. We will be getting a 'new to us' car the first of the year..Lord willing.

    Have a wonderful weekend. xo

  3. Glad all your tests came out ok - I had a similar experience and they drove me nuts with all the return visits for more sonograms, etc. Turned out to be nothing as well. Love the new car, I have always thought the VW beetles were adorable and yes, so good on gas. I read some of the new speeches from Pope Francis and I must say, he is quite a guy and I really like his attitude of being loving and non-judgemental towards others.

  4. Sorry Lefty got a workout and glad that it wasn't anything.

    We had a 1999 Beetle and loved it.


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