Archive for April 2004

picnic by the sea

today felt like like summer, having a picnic down at Vanier with hummus and rosemary bread and goat cheese. Cory got to fly one of the kites and I read a book while stretched out in the sun on a blanket. Quiet, restful, and happy!

Cory’s recovering, getting more energy and starting to resemble his normal self. We walk every day in the sun, mostly down to Granville Island and around by the water in the middle of the day. By evening the air becomes more humid and his chest is irritated by the dampness, so we try to be home relaxing in front of a hockey game. Our Giants are out for the season, but the Leafs and the Canucks are playing opposite nights right now which leaves us plenty to cheer for.

With Cory being sick, I’ve been exploring my domestic side and yesterday we picked up a casserole dish for us, the same one we’ve given as a wedding present, and a classic Brady apron to adorn the chef. Along with vegetable dishes, it’s a handy size for stew for two, which will be useful. We’ve still a full 1.5 litres of beef stew from last week in the fridge and it felt like we ate nothing else for a few days. It’s also perfect for leftover Nana’s Shepard’s Pie (1, 2, 3). I’ve tried cooking with steamers, george foreman grills, slowcookers, and microwaves, but I’m truly a pot, pan, and oven type of girl and dishes like this entice me more than any appliance (hence why cory was keen to buy it for me).
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road to recovery?

It’s 11 am and he’s still asleep. That’s a good sign, we had a good day two days ago when he slept until noon, and a not quite so good day yesterday when he woke up early. He is getting better though, slowly, and his fever’s gone 90% of the time. It’s was horrible having him be that scary sick, and I’m feeling calmer now that he’s back to being just really sick.

According to the chest x-ray, he has a snowball size ball of mucus and infected pus in his upper right lung. To break it up, so that he can cough it up, I get to pound on his back with cupped hands (not fists). In our innocence, we joked that this would be fun for me to take out my frustrations. Actually it’s exhausting, but it does seem to make him feel better after, and cough a lot while I’m pounding.

I’ve also gotten back into a good work schedule now that the worst seems to be over and yesterday I got a file from the publishers with pdfs of my figures for the paper. It’s my final chance to check them over before the article proof, which I should have in 3 months. It feels like this is at once moving very quickly and very slow.
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things to do while sick: part 2

And the verdict is: Pneumonia

Two weeks ago I was sick and moaning about things being dull. Now, I’m realizing how much sicker people can get. Cory got diagnosed today with pneumonia after a chest X-ray revealed a huge bunch of white stuff in the upper lobe of his right lung. He’s now on antibiotics and the doctor estimated he’s off work until the 25th. The 25th? That’s a long time from now, and the thought of not feeling better until then has got Cory a little down.

Also intimidating for a guy that rarely stays still is the thought of being at home unable to get any exercise or ride his bike for three weeks. Ideas for fun things to do while sick are greatly appreciated (he’s mobile, and can walk short distances but coughs a lot so being in public isn’t a great idea, his head’s also a bit fuzzy so we’re looking for not-too-challenging things, ie chess isn’t going to work). Oh yeah, he’s sick of movies and we don’t have cable. help!
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As my patient is starting to recover from his flu, Cory’s now feeling worse, we went to a doctor today, but yesterday he was doing a bit better and I took some creative time to do some long needed sewing. A long jean skirt (from 1999) that I loved was too high waisted (either that or my waist has gotten larger) so I chopped off a few inches and created a new and improved waistband from some leftover quilt fabric and the skirt now sits comfortably on my hips and looks better to boot.

And some wool scraps that I bought on Bowen were finally put to use making a cute little purse. All the talk about ?100 + handbags on Joanne’s site motivated me to make my own similar to the ever popular Nanna Bags sold around here. This one’s the first attempt, the strap’s a bit long and there’s not enough pockets to really satisfy me, but it’s a fully lined little shoulderbag with one inside button pocket for credit cards and it’s just the right size for a moleskine and a vancouver giants playoff towel. (we won last night).

I really really love my sewing machine!
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Bitter Lemons

I am rereading Durrell’s Bitter Lemons, a memoir of both Durrell’s life on the island, and the origins of the (recent) political conflicts there. I love his capabilities with words, midsized and never misplaced. I read this almost five years ago, when I was infatuated with travel, lapping up the stories of late nights in taverns and sunrises on hillsides. This time the political undercurrents are strong, and while my respect for Durrel as a writer is unceasing, I’m suprised by his colonial arrogance.

We stumbled on a bar in Quebec City, us two days post-wedding and stuffed with good food and wine. Set back from the road by a dark courtyard it was lit with candles and cigarettes. We tipped well, settling into a table at the back to listen to a man charm a crowd with folksongs we alone didn’t know. When he stopped to welcome us, we felt so pleased to be welcomed, to be allowed to participate, not dominate. We believe in treading gently.

Durrell does not tread gently; willing to lie to the Cypriots to gain friendship. He is aware of the lack of self-determination of the people, yet believes in the colonial model. Durrell is not me. Five years later I read more carefully and while savouring the prose, feel slightly tarnished by the association.
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One after another

The medical opinion is that Cory has the flu. His fever’s been hovering around 102.7 F since tuesday (I can’t figure out how to change the thermometer to metric. It said you could on the box, but there’s only one little button and no matter how I press it, I can’t get to Celcius) and he’s worse off than I was last week. I’m crossing my fingers that I’m not going to get the flu, surely the fact that I was so sick with a cold last week should exempt me right?

Cory’s been feeling pretty horrid these past couple days, and doesn’t have enough energy to do much more than walk around the block. He’s also lost his appetite, and I’ve been trying to get him to eat (homemade chicken noodle soup) because aren’t you supposed to “feed a fever, starve a cold”? Or is it the other way around? I’m hoping that he’ll start getting better today though, he’s got a bit more energy and although he’s still hot[+], he’s moving around the house and eating breakfast.

Anyways, let me know if you have any super tips on how to recover from the flu, secrets your grandmothers have passed down and such and I’ll try them out on Cory today. It’s a sign that he’s really sick that he’s letting me baby him. When he’s just sort of sick he prefers to take care of himself.

[+] hot in the temperature sense, although he’s just marginally less attractive with his new raspy voice and cough. He’s really really hot though, I had to sleep on the couch for a bit last night because the bedroom was like a sauna.
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april photos

I’m working from home today, partly to be here when the cable guy came by to hook up our cable TV (for the tour de france, we’ll be cancelling at the end of July) and partly because the hard drive on my laptop is bigger than my desktop at work. The desktop is full and I want to take a look at another data set that’s a whopping 2 gigs. I know storage is cheap and we could just expand, but I’m so close to being done…

The nice thing about working from home is being able to work in my pjs. I wouldn’t want to work in pjs everyday, but as a rare treat, it’s nice to be comfortable. There’s something good about the ritual of dressing up for work, a transition in headspace, but there’s always something good about mixing it up on occasion. Maybe for the final stages of writing up I’ll get special “thesis-work only pjs”.
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