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Mindless Wanderings

Capturing the small moments in a full life

Silver Linings Surgeries

Follow my blog with BloglovinMost of America will remember Christmas 2015 as the Christmas of #MakingaMurderer. (Yes, we were sucked in by the phenomenon too, and of course I have strong opinions!)  However, we’ll remember Christmas 2015 a little bit differently.

Lefty
Christmas Eve with my patient patient “Lefty.”

At Casa Dilday, our holidays consisted of pre-op appointments, lab work, surgeries, and LOTS of hours spent in matching pajamas in our matching recliners. (Oh, and throw in one ambulance ride trip to the ER just for excitement!)

Mark’s surgery had been planned for quite some time. He suffered a torn rotator cuff about 18 months ago and was scheduled to have it (along with a torn bicep tendon) repaired in late December. We were NOT, however, planning synchronized surgeries, nor double the doctors bills.  But – regular blood work at my annual physical showed one teeny tiny gland wasn’t working properly and needed to come out.  I never knew that “parathyroidectomy” was a thing.

Although I can think of lots of things I’d rather do than go under the knife for Christmas, being the “glass half full girl” that I am, I’ve compiled a list of the silver linings that shine through in an experience like this.

  • We are healthy. These procedures were minor in the scope of things.
  • We are loved. Our family, friends and neighbors SHOWERED us with meals and other offers of help.
  • We are insured. Enough said.
  • Paid sick leave. Seriously. Knowing our jobs were not in jeopardy and we could take the time needed to rest and recuperate was a comfort. It made me think of all of the hourly workers who are one illness away from catastrophe.
  • Teenagers. Ethan got his driver’s license just in time to be our everyday errand boy. It was a life saver. Having Grace home for Christmas helped too.
  • Downtime. Getting Mark to “chill” is virtually impossible. Tethering him to the “Iceman” for hours on end forced him to take a load off. After the crazy year I’ve just had at work, I needed a little downtime too.
  • I love our home. Being at home for two solid weeks was a JOY because of all the renovations Mark completed this fall.
  • Marriage.  When we were married 23 years ago we didn’t opt for the traditional vows, so we never actually said “in sickness and in health.”  But I think its sort of implied. We did promise “in all circumstances of our life together to be loyal to you with my whole life and all my being.”  I think we passed this test.

 

 

 

Book Review: Loving Frank

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars (The writing was good, but I didn’t care for or about Mamah and Frank.)
Why I Picked It: The November 2015 Book Club pick.  Coincidentally, the Bachman-Wilson home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright opened this month at Crystal Bridges. I see a day trip in my future! Book Review: Loving Frank, Nancy Horan

Details/Topics: Historical novel based on Frank Lloyd Wright and  Mamah Borthwick Cheney’s extramarital love affair.

I was pretty disgusted by both characters’ choices throughout the book, so I couldn’t connect with them or feel empathy. It was kind of a chore to get through the book…but worth it in the end

Favorite Quotes:

“It’s the heart of his dilemma,” Mattie muttered. “The man’s values have flown right out his abstract windows.”

“She would take her grace where she found it.”

#Gratitude30 – Nature

12237494_1042137745826938_360338571_n(1)#Nature‘s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief.
So dawn goes down today.
Nothing gold can stay.

Thank you S.E. Hinton and Ponyboy Curtis for the one and only Robert Frost poem committed to memory, and for The Outsiders – the quintessential novel of my youth. #Gratitude30

Book Review: Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People

Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
My Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars
Why I Picked It: It’s written by Nadia Bolz-Weber, my Lutheran “sheroe.” Listen to her interview on NPR. Book Review: Accidental Saints, Nadia Bolz-Weber

Details/Topics: What if that person you’ve been trying to avoid is your best shot at grace today? And what if that’s the point? (I took this directly from the synopsis on GoodReads)

Favorite Quotes:  I could go on and on and quote the whole book (I basically highlighted every other sentence), but this really sums it up for me:

“And the thing about grace, real grace, is that it stings. It stings because if it’s real it means we don’t “deserve” it. … And receiving grace is basically the best shitty feeling in the world.”

Book Review: The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Why I Picked It: We were heading to the beach for a week and I knew I’d need several books to take with me. Thank goodness for the bargain bin at Barnes and Noble. I don’t typically read a lot of historical novels, but this one really tugged at me. I’m so glad.
light betweenDetails/Topics: A lightkeeper and his wife live in isolation to tend to a lighthouse. One day they discover a baby who has washed ashore in a boat along with a dead man.
Favorite Quotes:
“When he wakes sometimes from dark dreams of broken cradles, and compasses without bearings, he pushes the unease down, lets the daylight contradict it. And isolation lulls him with the music of the lie.”

“The town draws a veil over certain events. This is a small community where everyone knows that sometimes the contract to forget is as important as any promise to remember. Children can grow up having no knowledge of the indiscretion of their father in his youth or the illegitimate sibling who lives fifty miles away and bears another man’s name. History is that which is agreed upon by mutual consent. That’s how life goes on; protected by the silence that anaesthetises shame.”

“Such a mysterious business, motherhood. How brave a woman must be to embark on it.”

 

Book Review: The Boys in the Boat

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Why I Picked It: This was a book club pick, not something I would have likely chosen for myself. But, as always, I appreciate being stretched beyond my personal preferences. That’s how we grow! boys in boat

Details/Topics: The subtitle says it all:  Nine American’s and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

Favorite Quotes:

“…when Hitler watched Joe and the boys fight their way back from the rear of the field to sweep ahead of Italy and Germany seventy-five years ago, he saw, but did not recognize, heralds of his doom. He could not have known that one day hundreds of thousands of boys just like them , boys who shared their essential natures – decent and unassuming, not privileged or favored by anything in particular, just loyal, committed and perseverant – would return to Germany dressed in olive drab and hunt him down.”

Book Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Why I Picked It: Several months ago Gracie sent me a text or a FB message with the trailer to the movie “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” and said she wanted to see it together when she came home.  We never watched the movie.  But then I saw the book on the clearance rack at Barnes and Noble a few days before we were heading out for our beach vacation, so I grabbed it.  me and earl

Details/Topics: High school boys befriend a girl with cancer.  This is NOT The Fault in Our Stars 2.0.
Favorite Quotes: (which pretty much sums up the book for me)
“I’m not really putting this very well. My point is this: This book contains precisely zero Important Life Lessons, or Little-Known Facts About Love, or sappy tear-jerking Moments When We Knew We Had Left Our Childhood Behind for Good, or whatever. And, unlike most books in which a girl gets cancer, there are definitely no sugary paradoxical single-sentence-paragraphs that you’re supposed to think are deep because they’re in italics. Do you know what I’m talking about? I’m talking about sentences like this:

The cancer had taken her eyeballs, yet she saw the world with more clarity than ever before.

Barf. Forget it. For me personally, things are in no way more meaningful because I got to know Rachel before she died. If anything, things are less meaningful. All right?”

Book Review: Norwegian by Night

Norwegian by Night by Derek B. Miller
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Why I Picked It: I’m proud of my Norwegian heritage (Yah! You betcha!) and traveling to Norway is on my bucket list. So I picked up this book mainly because it contained “Norwegian” in the title. I purchased it because it takes place in Norway and I thought I could “travel” there in my imagination since it will be awhile before I can travel there in reality.  However, the storyline didn’t provide me a virtual tour of Norway as much as it gave me a glimpse into an aging mind struggling with both memories and regrets that haunt him.Norwegian
Details/Topics: Widowed Sheldon moves to Norway to live with his daughter, witnesses a murder, and escapes with a young victim of the crime.
Favorite Quotes:
“Only the educated stop to look for words—having enough to occasionally misplace them.”

“Most things are both true and absurd.”

 

Book Review – The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

My Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

Why I Picked It:
 Let’s face it. It was time. How did I reach this age without reading what is widely considered one of the great American Novels? (Second only to To Kill a Mockingbird.)  Especially since we’ve had a hard copy edition published in 1953 since 1992?

Details/Topics:  American Dream, Roaring 20’s, obsession, money/corruption.
TGG-orig
Favorite Quotes:

“Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope.” 

“He looked at her the way all women want to be looked at by a man.” 

“The rich get richer and the poor get – children.” 

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