Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bizarre Story

Those who have heard this story say "you've got to put this on your blog" so here goes....
Last Sunday night about 8 pm my old friend Mary Butler arrived from San Miguel Allende, Mexico, for a visit. We reunited joyfully of course. About 8:45 I was showing her around my study, where she would sleep. I was explaining that the overhead light and ceiling fan, instead of working on a wall switch, worked on a remote. To demonstrate I held the remote up close to my face, with Mary standing close to my right shoulder. I clicked the button on the remote and a horrible wailing sound commenced. For those old enough to remember (like me) it sounded like an air raid siren. We assumed it was a smoke alarm, although it was even louder and more piercing. Mary is only about five feet tall but considerably younger than I. Carefully I held Mary's knees while she balanced on the ladder disconnecting every smoke alarm in the place but  the wailing continued. So I disconnected the carbon monoxide alarm. No effect. At this point I called my neighbor Jim who got into some clothes and came over and repeated all of our motions. No effect. Fifteen minutes had ensued. Neighbors doors were opening and they were beginning to gather in the street in front. "I'm calling 911" I said, but the task seemed almost impossible for I had to scream into the telephone to have the operator hear me, so I went out to the back deck thinking it would be quieter, but it was the same. Then Jim and Mary came out to the deck and said it had become quieter in the house. I went back in and the roaring continued again. At this point Jim pointed at me and yelled "Bonnie, its coming from YOU". All I could imagine, then, was it was my pacemaker screaming. I hurried out to the front walkway to meet the firemen, understandably in a state of panic. By this time seventeen minutes had elapsed of this deafening noise. Four fully clad fireman came running up and I announced that we had just discovered the blaring was coming from me so the fire captain said "Take off your hearing aid". I looked puzzled but took off the left hearing aid and held it in my palm. It continued to blast about four more seconds. Then silence. The fireman in the lead told me to turn down the volume on it but of course my hearing aids, engineered in Germany, are preset just for me, and there is no volume control. I was too rattled to explain this to the helpful firemen. What a relief to have the noise end.
How embarrassing to me in front of the gathered neighbors. Eventually we went to bed but I was too wired to sleep, and in fact the next day I could not keep my food down. But I did solve the mystery after I talked to my nephew-in-law in Arlington, Washington. Alvie is an electrician and explained that the radio frequency on the remote for the fan must have been the same as for my hearing aid, and it set up a kind of loop. When I called Dr. Gil, my hearing aid doctor, he confirmed this likelihood. Meanwhile I checked with the electro-physiologist in my cardiologist's office and he assured me that I had not harmed my pace-maker. "If the pace-maker was failing" he said, "you would feel a vibration in your chest, not hear an alarm".  Good to know.
Do these wild and bizarre things happen to everyone, or is it just me?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Serious Contemplation

Returning yesterday from a delightful afternoon of film (French Impressionists) and early dinner at a fun place in Sebastopol, a sense of gloom overcame me as I contemplated the hour's appointment at the dentist today. Seems that the new bridge coming from the lab did not fit, after another hour's effort on Monday. Both the dentist and I bewailed our fate. So we have to start all over. New impressions and everything. Heart weary as I am, novocain and hours in the dentist's chair are not my cup of tea. So climbing the three stairs to my front yard, feeling abused, I was transfixed by this medium-sized  lizard perched on a rock. He or she stopped me in my tracks. Everything about his posture said "patience". I stood there immobile for at least four minutes, waiting for a twitch of an eyelid. But no, it was as if he were carved in stone, his coloration blending artfully with the boulder. I asked him what he was thinking so hard about, but his response was mute. Note how exquisitely his posture blends into the block. The experience transformed my mind set. so I was able to put my dental troubles in perspective.
Well, I survived the dentist today and came home to find a covey of baby quail in the back yard. They were adorable, but too wary to let me get close enough for a picture. What is the moral of this story? When all else fails, take a lesson from nature.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Kitchen frustrations

There are a lot of 65 year old women in Oakmont and I don't think any of them aspire to look like Caitlyn Jenner.  Likewise I  doubt that many of them are rejoicing at the FDA approval of  Viagra for women. But what most of us  65 and plus lament is the lack of strength and dexterity to open jars, bottles, and plastic packages. In this house I have plenty of kitchen drawers. The top one contains a hammer, a screw driver, pliers and a pick . These utensils are not for household projects, alas, but for trying to open containers. Now don't tell me to go to SurLeTab and buy a special opener; I have three of those, and none work. Sometimes I remember to ask the clerk at Safeway to open something. Occasionally they groan "I can't open it either" but usually they comply with tender smiles. Invariably, whether it is mayonnaise or soda pop, I spill it on the way home.

Bt the way, now that Safeway has sold, have you noticed the clerks can have facial hair and visible body art? They are delerious with joy. I appreciate they are happier.
Kelly, my treasured housekeeper, brought me fresh oranges from her tree on Tuesday. I could not resist painting them. I know they don't look as orange as most oranges, but the color I painted them is accurate. It makes me wonder if the oranges I buy at the store have artificial color.
Anyway, these sure are good.