mamagotcha: (bonk!)
My dad called tonight. His procedure has been moved up to April 24 (It WAS going to be mid-May sometime).

I'm thinking I'm going to fly out instead of drive, and rent a car for a month so I can go visit Julia and my in-laws after staying with my dad.

I'm trying to stay positive about this, but I'm worried... first the doctors seemed pretty blasé about this thing, and now they're suddenly saying he needs it done faster.

This means I won't be seeing all you lovely Kansas City folks, at least not as soon as I want to. But I will be at Whole Earth Festival, and this way I will have more time to wander around the coast and in Washington.

If all goes well.
mamagotcha: (bonk!)
Since the last visit with the old ENT back in February, I found that the medication he had prescribed actually promoted fungal growth,, and that the management of otomycosis requires frequent, if not daily, debridement for healing (he was cleaning once every two or three weeks, and forbidding me to do so between visits). So I had been treating it myself, cleaning with alcohol and using a mixture of tea tree oil suspended in olive oil (melaleuca is both antibacterial and antifungal). About two weeks ago, I had a recurrence of the bacterial infection in the middle ear, and used the ofloxacin to calm it down (while keeping the eardrum area scrupulously clean and dry to avoid another fungal infection). The fullness and ear noise and dizzyness and deafness and discharge were all still present to some extent, but generally improving.

Last week, when I saw a new ENT, they used a nifty fiber optic camera to check all the holes in my head (an fascinating process!). And while there was still some evidence of Not Rightness, it was clear that the perforations had healed! He even had me do the Valsalva maneuver (where you blow into your ears while holding your nose to "pop" them), and you could see the ear drum moving in and out with the pressure, and NOT leaking! The hearing in that ear is only about 30% of the other one, but I know that's much better than it was, and he gave every indication that I could expect a full recovery back to normal hearing in time.

I'm still in shock. It's been six months since this odyssey began. After almost a week, I'm feeling even better and decided it must be true, and so I'm sharing it now with you LJers, who have been on this ride with me from the beginning. Thank you all for your kind words of support and encouragement!

My other big news is that I'm definitely heading out for a road trip in the next few weeks... I'm hoping to hit Kansas City, Denver/Boulder, Davis, Penngrove/Petaluma, Portland, Seattle, Spokane, and Yellowstone. My dates aren't set in stone yet, but I do hope to be in Davis for the Whole Earth Festival (over Mother's Day weekend). Other than that, we're flexible. Want to connect? Willing to host a wandering mama and her kiddo? Want to take us for a hike to show us your favorite view? Leave a comment and we will MAKE IT HAPPEN! Woohooooo!
mamagotcha: (Default)
Drove to KC in the rain, got in late to Jill's and crashed. Listened to Magnetic Fields much of the way, along with a Ben Folds Presents album of college acapella groups doing his songs. Awesome, thanks Clay!

Saturday, Jill had a few people over to celebrate Valerie's 4th birthday. Kenna, Raegan, Monica, Christina A., Tracy, Tara and Derek all showed up, with their assorted kiddos. It was for the most part a merry mess, with a beautiful purple and yellow birthday cake, sunny weather, and lots of yarn and beads. Christopher and Linc had a little tiff over Lily and Linc wound up with a bonked arm, but Monica came to the rescue and tragedy was averted.

Jill let me use her wonderful tub to soak in, but the hot water ran out after about six inches. I just flipped and basted, and felt so much better afterwords.

Sunday, I took Linc and Charlotte to the zoo (which didn't accept my Brookfield membership, pooh), then Kaufman Gardens (which was in glorious full bloom) and then a couple hours of Science City. They got along great and ran around like mad things.

That evening I was going to go out with Angie, Christina, Tamera, and Karen, but two of them were feeling poorly so we called it off and instead we did an impromptu picnic (using the sourdough sandwich loaf I made; the asiago pepper boules were long gone, and well appreciated, by then!). We went out to Black Hoof park near a dam by Jill's house, and Monica, Tara and Derek joined us again. Nobody fell into the lake, and we all enjoyed the beautiful evening. This time, Christopher and Linc were buddies. A few ticks were found and squicked over, but otherwise it was lovely.

Monday I was going to go to Nia, but just really didn't feel like it. I wound up taking the marudai back to Derek's (he'd made one for me, but there were screws in the mirror and he said he could redo it). I wound up chatting with Tara and we took the kids to the park near their house. Lily, Linc and Aden all wound up soaked and happy from exploring the creek and woods in the park, and they all found rocks with fossils embedded in them! Monica and little Tony and then Derek joined us and we headed to a WONDERFUL Chinese buffet (Joy Wok, I think?) once we got everyone dried off and into clean clothes.

Linc and I then went to see Anne U. and Anne B. to eat homemade kraut sandwiches and chocolate-cherry-almond clusters, plus some awesome gourmet sodas, while Linc plagued Sailor, Noah and Quinn (who are all tall and polite and beautiful young men now!). The hours FLEW by as we gabbed about everything... it was like I'd never left! Rick came home and I got a tour of their beautiful house that just went on the market... I also drove by the nifty condo they might buy. We finally tore Linc away from Sailor, and dashed over to see poor sick Christina before I left town (I'd grabbed some lacey chocolate cookies for her before I knew she was sick). Christian, Skylar and (?? forgot third guy's name) were practicing their band... they sounded great, and again entertained Linc. All these little guys grew into great tall yearlings! Christina and I hung out on the front porch during the concert, while Linc gamboled over the lawn (oh, I remembered to give back her book, Clay).

It was dark when we finally left KC, and only got as far as St. Joseph, to have a quick dinner at an IHOP and crash at a Motel 6.

The CPAP had been acting funny... took three nights before I finally looked up how to change the pressure and amped it up a bit. Not sure if my breathing needs more oomph, or if there's something wrong with the machine itself. I've had to ramp it up again with the high altitude. Also, while I was dashing around, I got several messages from an insurance person in Chicago... my handheld UV device was finally approved and they're sending it to me! I got them to change the address to my dad's house in California, so I'll get it in a week or so!!!

We grabbed our first geocache on the way out of St. Joe, and Linc found it before I got out of the car!

We headed to Lincoln, NE, and got to the Lincoln Children's Museum with two hours left to play. We grabbed a T-shirt (I've wanted a Lincoln shirt for Linc for a long time) and spent some quality time with the Rhoads sculpture there. Linc also talked me into buying him a canister of Brain Food, this awesome funky putty that has been worth its weight in gold! He plays with it constantly, and it's glow-in-the-dark, too.

We stayed in Kearney, and got a nice walk the next morning with another geocache. We hit the road and started listening to Diane Wynne Jones' "House of Many Ways," called the sequel to "Howl's Moving Castle," and it was absolutely awesome.

Argh. Linc really wants to get back into the pool, so I'll try to finish next time we have internet...
mamagotcha: (Default)
Most people with a lick of sense in their heads use the days following Christmas to relax, play with new toys, read new books, and generally not do anything too strenuous.

Me: not so much sense in the head. )

All in all, a wonderful trip... I missed some folks I would have loved to see (Anne U., Anne B., Angie B., Lisa S., and [livejournal.com profile] jillcook, I'm lookin' at you!) but ate some great food, had some lovely conversations, saw some beautiful babies growing up too fast, and had a smashing adventure overall.
mamagotcha: (Default)
If everything goes OK, here's the current plan:

Tues., Oct. 20: Drive to Shasta or other more northerly point

Wed., Oct. 21: Drive to Portland, crash with the lovely Crowmama

Thu., Oct. 22: Drive to Seattle

Fri., Oct. 23: Meet up with friends (zoo? childrens' museum? other idea?) (I'm looking at you, Qarin and Megan and Heidi and Colleen and Hollie!); pick up my sister at SEA/TAC at 7:30 pm

Sat., Oct. 24: Hang in Seattle a bit (breakfast with my sister- and brother-in-law?), drive to Spokane

Sun., Oct. 25: Visit with Lorraine & Paul, stay in Spokane one more night

Mon., Oct. 26: Start heading back to Chicago; maybe a side-trip to visit Uncanny in Butte?

Tue., Oct. 27: Drive

Wed., Oct. 28: Drive

Thu., Oct. 29: Drive

Fri., Oct. 30: Arrive Twin Cities area?

Sat., Oct. 31: HOME!!!

Sun., Nov. 1: My sister flies back to NY from Chicago

I'd love to connect with folks in Oregon and Washington... if you're reading this, it's a safe bet that I'd like to hang out with you at least for a meal or maybe a stop at your favorite park (so I can let Linc and Wiley get their ya-yas out). Comment and we'll make it happen!

Also... if you have a bed (after Friday, two), don't mind a kid and a dog, and feel like letting us mooch for a night, we'd be more than happy to impose upon you. I would happily provide massage, braids, babysitting, dishwashing or some other service to help out while I'm around!

In other news... did you know that all Motel 6s allow pets? Yay!
mamagotcha: (Default)
Cordell found this movie on Google (Kintaro Walks Japan), and we watched it tonight. It's really fired up my wanderlust, although the idea of trekking on foot seems much more daunting with a two-year-old kid in tow. I think I'll stick with the van for now...

It's a lovely little film (67 minutes), about the adventures of a young man who decides to walk the length of Japan in search of his father's birthplace, his lover's admiration, and, in no small part, himself.

We're doing some homework on our own trip... I'm thinking that the braiding classes really aren't going to happen, but I might try to schedule one in West Palm Beach because we'll probably crash there the longest. I do like the idea of earning my way as I go along, but the realities of the road mean that I can't schedule things as tightly as that. Also, I like not having specific deadlines to force us to push on driving even if we're tired and need to stop.

I'm going on the road again, wheee! Thanks, Kintaro, for egging me on...

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