Expectations of productivity

This has been going on -- for four stinking months:

What I've been wearing for months now. It's finally starting to improve, but ohhh is it ever slow.The infamous thumb brace

If you're curious, it's De Quervain's tendonitis. If you put your left hand in the position shown in the photo, and pull your thumb in tight against your hand, then you've just made a silly gesture with your hand because someone on a blog told you to do so.


If you then extend your thumb out to form an 'L' shape, and you want to scream with pain when you do so, you have De Quervain's tendonitis. Congratulations. Now quit doing things that hurt yourself.

We have a winner!

The correct answer to "How much did UAB bill Blue Cross Blue Shield for Jeff's stay?" was $557,501.66, which means our winner is Susanna Leberman, assistant archivist at the Huntsville - Madison County Public Library. Her guess: $550,013. Well played!

Susanna works on the same floor of HMCPL as I do, and has followed a lot of my quilts from beginning to completion. Since she works in the library archives, she has a strong interest in historical preservation, and says that she didn't get a quilt when she got married ten years ago.

Thank you, all of you, for helping turn $557,501.66 from a jaw-dropping, heartbreaking number into something that has good connotations for me, for Susanna, and for Jeff's family. I could TOTALLY be convinced to do this again when the HealthSouth tally arrives. :)

First visit

This weekend was your first visit home, unsteady steps behind a walker equipped with tennis balls getting you from your beloved Passat, to the front porch, to the foyer whose flooring we never much cared for but never replaced.

The cats smelled your shoes and found them fascinating; we learned quickly that Tenzing had no fear of the walker, and Edmund who can't remember where his tail is half the time remembered that some number of months ago, you gave good scritchies.


Over years of texting and communicating through IM, you develop linguistic conventions that communicate emotion even through the impersonal medium of text. For me, an ever-present one has been the ellipsis; it denotes a moment without words. Often it's slackjawed astonishment. Sometimes it's laughter.

Yesterday it was tears.

We're professionals. Don't try this at home.

A short, sweet note: I owe both Brian and Crystal massive hugs of thanks. Both of them came to stay with me this weekend, and they asked what I needed. I hated admitting it, but what I needed was help housecleaning. Not just superficial tidying, but a really deep and thorough cleaning -- the kind of cleaning that helps set your house to rights.

Spring cleaning. Well, winter cleaning. I couldn't hold until spring, not with the house in the state it was and Jeff still hospitalized.

The memory keeper

I have held off writing for nearly 11 weeks. In that time, I didn't write at first because I was afraid you would never be able to read my words. Later, I was afraid of what would happen to me if I started to speak; I feared that if I opened my mouth at all, I would start screaming and just not know how to stop. How would that help anyone?

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