Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pre-op Bits and Pieces and a Cruise in April!!!! - November 17, 2015

A beautiful day in San Mateo as I went about my tasks -
nothing like Mumbai traffic and madness!

It's been a busy week for me.  I finished up my preparation for tomorrow's right total shoulder replacement. I saw Dr. Yan, my primary care provider, the middle of last week for my preop physical and EKG - good to go in that department, then went yesterday for a chest x-ray and type  and crossmatch - though I don't anticipate needing any blood.  I expect all will go as smoothly as it did when I had my left shoulder done two years ago.  I am so ready for this operation since I have been in so much pain for the past year.  I know recovery will be a little more difficult since I won't be able to use my dominant hand for awhile ...Thanksgiving is out for me since I'll only be a week postop and I won't be up for a drive to Sacramento and hanging out all day with everyone.  I'll relax at home, maybe have a turkey TV dinner, a vodka martini, and a long snooze!

Did a few last minute tasks today, filled the car with gas, got a manicure and pedicure, prepared my advanced directive for health care, finished filling out hospital forms, went out for spicy Chinese food and did laundry.

I am really excited about one thing!  For the first time in over five years, I will be going on a cruise.  My good friend, Kris Bleything and I will be doing the fourteen day transatlantic crossing April 16th from Tampa to Barcelona on Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas.  After a week in Barcelona, she will come with me to India for a month.  Of course, I am planning to stay a few months but I am so excited to have a friend along with me for a little while - the first time I'll be able to show off "the country of my heart" to one of my American friends.  

Even nicer is that we'll spend a couple of days with my friend, Charlene, in Tampa, to start off our journey.

Well, enough chatter ... time to do my last minute check list and try to get a good night's sleep before my surgical adventure tomorrow.  At least Doctor Dreamy aka John Belzer, MD, is my orthopedist!

The sunset sky above my friend's condo with just a sliver of a moon.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Sundays in My City - Bits and Pieces - February 1, 2015 o

On the 3rd of February, it will be two months since my return from India!  My days seem so full, I can't catch up on all my projects and I still didn't complete Harper's stocking in time for her second Christmas.  I am determined to finish it before I return to India on May 5th.  I made the excuse that she is still too young to really find fault with her Nana's procrastination!

When Alex or Laura are working, I look after my granddaughter who will be two-years-old on April 13th.  She constantly amazes me.  Harper is so intelligent and is
learning Spanish as well as English.  Alex speaks fluent 
Spanish and reads her bilingual stories and identifies colors,
animals, etc, in both languages.  She is full of energy and
doesn't realize that Nana, at 70, can't quite keep up the pace 
that she does.  The other day, as we walked to the park, she
kept telling me, "Run, Nana, run," as I tried to match her little rapid footsteps!

My granddogs, Taffy and Bucky, are just wonderful with her,
tolerating having their tails and ears pulled - though we admonish her not to do so.  She constantly uses Bucky for a seat and MUST have Taffy, her doggie mother present whenever she goes in for her nap or bedtime.  If they go into
their kennels for a brief respite, she wants to go in with them!!

Watching Sesame Street with Taffy

I really miss San Francisco.  I've only been down once, for three doctor's appointments.  It's a hundred miles from Sacramento - thankfully, the gas prices have dropped to about $2.60/gallon - but, with my baby sitting responsibilities, I just can't get down there.  

I was able to see my orthopedist, Dr. John Belzer for cortisone injections in my right shoulder and left knee.  Probably, next time I'm home from India, I will have to get a total right shoulder replacement.  The procedure done on my left shoulder was such a success, I won't continue to suffer much longer with this pain. 

Thankfully, for the time being anyway, one of my really dear friends, Kris Bleything, has moved to Sacramento.  It is so nice to be able to have a pal to try out some of the area's restaurants and with whom to enjoy movies and to catch up on the latest gossip.  Last night, we watched a really nice Helen Mirren movie, "The Hundred Foot Journey."

I've managed to gain eight pounds since my return home, thanks to the ability to find so many good, reasonably priced wines and to access all sorts of decent restaurants near me.  
Alex and Laura are only about fifty miles from California's famed Napa Valley and there are several nice wineries within twenty miles of their home.  One of them, Bogle Vineyards, is in Clarksburg, only fifteen miles away.  I've always liked their wines, reasonably priced, and with many varietals from which to choose.  This past year, I attended a wine event at the Sacramento Convention Center and tasted their "Essential Red" for the first time.  It is a a blend of Old Vine Zinfandel,
Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Sirah.  

Bogle 2012 Essential Red, received a rating of 91 points in Wine Enthusiast as well as a "Best Buy" designation.  In many stores in my area, it is available for under $12/bottle.  
Rich and complex, with flavors of boysenberries and sweet cherries, it is a wine that is sure to please, in my opinion.  Costco, this past week, had it for $8/bottle.

I've eaten at some good restaurants, especially Japanese places for sashimi and sushi - since I won't do raw fish in India.  The Bay area abounds in these, often within a block or so of each other.  Most of the time, these are a bit hard on the budget but worth the indulgence!

My computer is on its last legs so I have been trying to read the latest info in hopes of getting a new one before I return to India. I do have a tablet but it just doesn't seem adequate to me for blogging, research, etc.  Anyone have suggestions for me?  

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Shadow Shot Sunday 2 - Winter Shadows in My West Sacramento, California Neighborhood - January 25, 2015

It's been down to freezing during the winter months but the days warm up to the 50's.  The trees are still bare and their
naked branches make interesting shadows on our bright
sunny afternoons.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Three Word Wednesday: Week 409 - A Blast! - January 7, 2015

About 3WW

Three Word Wednesday gives writers, poets and those who journal a mid-week jolt of creativity.Each week, three words are selected; you create something with the words. Then come back and post a link to your contribution.

The idea is to create an online writers' collective, where feedback is offered and received.All rights to the contributions rest with the author.  This is a place to stretch your muse, test your dreams.

This week's words:

Electric, adjective: Of, worked by, charged with, or producing electricity; (of a musical instrument) amplified through a loudspeaker; (of a color) brilliant and vivid; having or producing a sudden sense of thrilling excitement.

Passionate, adjective: Showing or caused by strong feelings or a strong belief; showing or caused by intense feelings of sexual love.

Savage, adjective: (Of an animal or force of nature) fierce, violent, and uncontrolled; cruel and vicious; aggressively hostile; (chiefly in historical or literary contexts) primitive; uncivilized; (of a place) wild-looking and inhospitable; uncultivated; (of something bad or negative) very great; severe; noun: A member of a people regarded as primitive and uncivilized; a brutal or vicious person; verb: (especially of a dog or wild animal) attack ferociously and maul. 

She clung desperately to him, tears coursing 
shamelessly down her cheeks, without abatement.  She
did not want to leave India for so many months.  Her
adopted country felt more like home now than the country
of her birth.  He held her close and shushed her as one
would a child, assuring her that, once she had visited 
family and friends, she could return early if that was her

As lightning flashed outside the terminal, the electric lights 
flickered and a voice announced, over the tinny loudspeaker,
in Hindu and English, that her flight would depart in thirty

Because he was a government official, he was allowed to
accompany her as far as the waiting lounge.  Observers 
wondered about this couple, both very striking in their
looks, he, obviously Indian, she, holding a United States
passport, dressed in an elegant sari.  They were well past
middle age.

As flight boarding was called, he took her into his arms
and they said farewell with a passionate embrace.  They
were oblivious of the eyes upon them or the flurry of 

She changed planes in Mumbai and began the long
journey to California.  It was going to be a tedious
trip, she thought, as she looked around the plane,
every single seat full.  She whispered a silent prayer as
she always did at the start of every flight.  It was then she
noticed the savage eyes of the man seated across the aisle
from her as he pulled wires attached to the vest under his

No survivors were found in the scattered bits of
wreckage and bomb fragments of Air International Flight 666.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year's Thoughts - From a Seventy-Year-Old! - December 30, 2014

I've just been reminiscing,
About great New Year's past,
I would dance the night away,
And have a merry blast!

I'd party hearty with my friends,
Raise my voice in "Old Lang Syne,"
And join the happy, rowdy bunch,
In a midnight conga line!

I'd wear a slinky, sparkly dress,
And heels, the six-inch kind,
And cleavage showing far too much,
Sexy BUT refined!

I'd see the New Year's sunrise,
Not ready yet for sleep,
And resolutions weren't for me,
Promises I'd never keep!

I'm lucky now to be awake,
When the New Year saunters in,
One martini and I'm asleep,
Much to my chagrin.

I'd love to find a partner,
To hold me while we dance,
He'd need strong arms and back,
Forget about romance!

I keep my cleavage covered,
Saggy boobs are best that way,
I do admit to vanity,
In covering up my gray!

I make one resolution,
To try to keep life fun,
To cherish those I've grown to love,
Till my New Year's days are done.

None of us can know, for sure,
When our sojourn here will end,
I'm grateful for God's gifts to me,
For each and every friend.

I wish my lovely family,
And friends both far and near,
Health, love and happiness,
In the coming year.

Carmen Henesy
December 30, 2014

Copyright Carmen M Henesy, December 30, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

It's About Time! - December 21, 2014

Good grief, I know folks are wondering if I disappeared from the face of the earth!  I
arrived home from India, more than a little weary, on the 3rd of December, after a 
change of planes in Amsterdam and Seattle.  All the flights were completely full so,
needless to say, it was a very tiring journey - almost 30 hours total time en route.  
That shows you how much I love India!!!  I've made that trip now eight times now in
three years and I will return May 5th.

Much to my delight, my West Sacramento family was there to greet me at the airport,
minus the two granddogs.  Harper Ann may have been briefed on "Nana's" arrival and,
even if she didn't exactly remember me, she said my name clearly and took to me
immediately - or was it the Santa bunny I'd picked up at Amsterdam's Schipol Airport
that did the trick?

Once home, the granddogs went into a frenzy when I walked in the door ( they ALWAYS
know me ).  I quickly took the heavenly glass of California red wine my daughter-in-law 
offered and the hours of jet travel melted away.  I do love India but, thus far, their wines
just can't compare to those in my home state, price-wise and otherwise.

Much to my dismay, I could not find my US attachment for my India purchased Lenovo
computer.  I immediately ordered one from Amazon but it was nearly a week until it 
arrived.  Funny how bereft one can feel without a computer to use.  Even with my fancy
Samsung Note 3 phone, I didn't feel adequate electronically to do my blog.

I have really been enjoying Harper who has learned so much in the five months
I have been gone.  She is quite the chatterbox and is so bright, learning words in
both Spanish and English ( both my younger sons graduated from high school 
with high honors in English ).  I am fairly fluent in Spanish myself so, with her
Spanish story books and all this early learning, she will be well on her way when
she begins school.  I am amazed at how much she knows for just 20-months.  She
is so cute as she wanders about the house, reciting in her sing song voice, :"Mommy,
Daddy, Nene, Bap Bap, Nana, Taffy, Bucky."

The dogs love her and have been her constant companions she she came home
from the hospital.  She can pull ears and tails without a protest from them and
they lie contentdly near her as she plays.  Taffy MUST be in her room as she goes
to sleep for naps and nighttime.

We went out for Italian food one night with my oldest son, Shawn, who just had
his 44th birthday on December 17th,  Harper enjoyed playing with the dough they 
brought out for her.  I forgot to recharge my phone so flash pictures weren't 
possible, much to my disappointment.  

Future Round Table employee

Middle son, Alex, 31, on left - Oldest son, Shawn, 44, on right

Nana, Harper, and Laura

I've only been to San Francisco one day, for three medical appointments, in one of 
our torrential rain storms.  Sacramento is only 100 miles from San Francisco and I
left at 4:30AM for my 10AM appointment, knowing there would be rush hour traffic
beginning soon.  I was not prepared to be four long, tedious hours on the freeway,
however.  What a nightmare.  All I could think, though, was, thank heavens, I wasn't
driving in Mumbai!!!!

After my doctor's appointment ( only thing wrong was that my blood pressure was
elevated - doc thinks it is because I am in so much pain - all my arthritic joint pain is
so much worse in this colder weather! ), I went to one of my old favorite haunts, American
Sushi House, for lunch.  I've been eating there since it opened and Bruce Lee ( not
of the marital arts fame but far more important to me ) welcomed me warmly.  I had
my usual bento lunch, raw oysters and a spicy tuna roll, with sake, of course.

From there, I went to my favorite Thai restaurant, Manivanh, near San Francisco
General Hospital, where I've eaten at least a thousand times and where the "Carmen's
Special" appears on the menu.  The Doungpanya family are like my own and are a
treasure to all of us who have worked at the General, especially to the forensic nurse
group.  I especially was thrilled because the 3rd of their four daughters had come in
to bring her baby, Taylor, to meet me.  It was a joyful reunion and I ended up staying
to have a late second lunch with the family, an incredible catfish dish.  Over fifteen
years, I've shared quite a few of their family meals and they are always very special.

As it turned out, I ended up sleeping the night on the floor in the restaurant.  Neither of 
the two hostels where I usually stay had any vacancies and Nang was staying over to
do late food prep for the next day so she invited me to camp out with her.  After my
exhausting morning drive, I slept like a baby!!!

I can't believe I didn't get any pictures of little Taylor with her mom, Ann, or papa, 
San but she seems perfectly content with her grandpa, Sam, and grandma, Nang.

Tuesday, I saw my dentist and my optometrist, then went to the Ritz Carlton for the
evening performance of my beloved Sony and Jerry Holland.  The two are now 
performing five nights a week in San Francisco!  How I wish I weren't a hundred
miles away!  At least, they are no longer living in Los Angeles.  I can't tell you what
a joy it is to see and hear them.  They brighten any rainy night and, usually, there
are a few old friends present of the fan club so it's always like "old home" week..  I
was so weary, though, that I was dozing off and on during some of the sweet 

So, now Christmas is just a few days away and I'm determined to finish Harper's
stocking which I began last year.  Felled by my kidney stones ( or one of them ) the
week before Christmas, I didn't complete it.  Alex is teasing me that he isn't expecting
it till she's eighteen - heaven's, I fear I'll be a speck of dirt by that time.  No, I must have
it done for Santa THIS Christmas.

It will be a nice holiday for me.  I haven't seen my youngest son yet.  He was away on 
vacation for ten days but, Christmas, all three boys will be here.  

I hope you will have your loved ones close to you, in happiness and good health.

Lots of love and good wishes from my home to yours.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Jaipur Cow - November 28, 2014

Cows wander the streets freely in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. This fellow seemed to be taking a rest against this orange brick wall.

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Thank You Every Day, Not Just on Thanksgiving - November 27, 2014

Who says we need one special day,
To let our thanks be known?
I find it best to often.
Make sure my gratitude is shown.

Of course, it's nice to gather,
With a special chosen group,
To feast on turkey and great food,
From appetizers down to soup.

But why not do it frequently,
On an ordinary day?
Just to show  our cherished ones,
Turkey's not the only way.

I really am most thankful,
For my loved ones far away,
But I'm thankful, too, to visit,
In  what once was called Bombay.

I won't have a bit of turkey,
While offering special thanks,
But you can rest assured,
I won't feast on beans and franks.

I'm grateful I can travel,
Then go home to the U. S. A.,
To spend time with my family,
And friends who share my way.

I'm thankful that my aches and pain,
Are not so very bad,
I really am much luckier,
Than many friends I've had.

Whatever destiny may hold for me,
I really can't complain,
For, except for a little here and there,
I'd do it all again.

Happy Thanksgiving to all,

Carmen Henesy
Nov 27, 2014