Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My 15 minutes of fame? - Part 3

Back in April, a film crew was at my house for two days. I'd been selected by Road Scholar and Participant Media to be interviewed and filmed as an example of a person in retirement who wanted to make a difference. I had no idea how the video would turn out. Now I know!

Here's the video, created by Participant Media from the two days of filming.

You can read about the filming experience in two of my blog posts.


This is very cool - not bad at all for my 15 minutes of fame. I'm about 12 pounds thinner than I was then, but oh, well!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Man with the knee and the Minion

My husband Art is a hard worker, a helpful man, the person who shops and cooks and fixes and gardens and drives. I am also a hard worker, the person who takes care of the money and plans the trips and coordinates the housekeeper and communicates with the eight grown children.

Art is now 17 days post-surgery on a new knee. He has worked mightily in physical therapy and achieved impressive results. He has graduated from walker to cane. He has elevated and iced and the swelling has come down. He has greatly reduced his daily intake of oxycodone.

However, he can't work hard right now. Can't shop or cook much or fix much or garden much or drive at all. Those things have fallen to me, the minion.

For the past four days we have had one short outing each day: out to breakfast on Saturday at a local diner; to a morning meeting on Sunday; to massages today. They say the stamina is the last to return. That means, after each outing, Art needs the rest of the day to rest.

But not me.

We never watch television, except for shows and movies on Netflix. TV is about all Art can manage right now. I have been listening to "kill and maim" TV shows and movies for nearly a week now. The TV is on six or seven hours a day. Not loud, but on.

I have cut the lettuce from the garden for salads. Pulled up the two remaining turnips in the garden and brought in 150 seeds to put in an envelope. Weeded the buttercups so our little yard crew (son and grandson) can spread the mulch next weekend. Driven to the pho place to pick up dinner. Driven to Safeway to pick up almond milk. Put the newspapers and the bottles into the recycle bin. Taken the recycle and trash bins to the curb. Loaded and unloaded the dishwasher. Cleared the table. Filled Art's ice pump with ice. Moved the ice pump from the bedroom to the living room to the bedroom. Filled Art's water bottle with water and ice. Done the laundry. Changed the sheets. Counseled with two grown children.

I am taking care of myself, though. I get seven hours of sleep each night, at least. I go to exercise class on weekdays. Today I got a massage for the first time in three weeks. I fell asleep on the massage table. I never do that. Tomorrow I get to mediate at the dispute resolution center. Tomorrow night I get to meet with my writers group.

Still. I am one tired minion. So, so grateful this is temporary.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Only seven days?

My husband Art had a total knee replacement on Friday, June 8. It has been a long, long week. I'm going to defer to my sister's blog for her excellent description of our experience.

Week two begins tomorrow. I hope I am ready.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Author's request

As you probably know, my husband Art and I published a book called "Return to Viet Nam: One Veteran's Journey of Healing." It came out last December, and we have received two quarterly royalty checks - what a total thrill!

We self-published this book; that is, we paid a publishing company to produce our book in hardcopy, paperback and eBook format. Though we're happy with the product, there were more bumps in the road than I had expected. We are still smoothing out some of the bumps.

For example, if you look for the book on Amazon, you'll find the hardcopy and the paperback if you spell the country in the title with two words - Viet Nam. But the Kindle version spells it with one - Vietnam. So the three versions don't sort together unless you search for the author's name - Linda G Myers. And on Barnes & Noble it's just the opposite - the Nook version says Vietnam and the hardcopy and paperback say Viet Nam - but for some reason all three versions sort together. These errors originated someplace between the time I submitted the manuscript to the publisher and the time the online retailers received the information.

As soon as our publisher corrects the online title problem - they told me last week it was being "expedited" - we want to submit our book to places like the public library, independent booksellers, and retailers. The library, at least, looks at reviews as part of its process to decide whether to carry the book. So here's my request. If you have read our book, I'd be most grateful if you'd go to Amazon and/or Barnes & Noble and write a review, so the library can see what people think.

This book is not the Great American Novel. It's the story of one young Marine, his day of combat in 1968, and the influence that day had on his life for 35 years until he returned to Viet Nam in 2005 in a journey of reconciliation and healing. I've heard positive, moving comments from veterans who have read it, and from others who have bought extra copies for vets they know.

If you'd like to hear Art read the first chapter, called "One Day of Combat", you can click on that option on the right-hand side of this page.

So that's my request. If you've read the book, please consider reviewing it as a step to getting it out there for others to read.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Moving forward on four roads

Sometimes we just live from day to day, taking things as they come along. And sometimes we know we're moving forward. This is one of those times.

First, I'm excited to say that, on Tuesday, I passed my Professional Standards Evaluation in my mediation practicum. Now I move forward to co-mediate 12 sessions and attend several in-services, on the road to becoming a certified mediator in the state of Washington. This will be a volunteer activity, mostly, and I have both the skill and the passion to undertake it. I'm grateful to have found a meaningful way to be useful in my community. I have a feeling I'll use mediation in other areas of my life, too.

My husband Art is having knee replacement surgery a week from today. I've gone with him to the class at the hospital and the pre-surgical consultation with the surgeon. Art has done the dental checkup thing, the physical checkup thing, the order-the-walker thing. We've made arrangement for my sister Alyx to fly down from Anchorage and be Art's "coach" (no longer "caregiver") for the first week after surgery. She's a second-year nursing student with a great sense of humor and a solid, trusting relationship with both of us.  Art isn't a particularly compliant patient, and I'm not a particularly accepting wife around noncompliance, so having Alyx here for the first week will be easier on everyone - except maybe Alyx! Art isn't supposed to drive for six weeks after the surgery, so I'm keeping my summer schedule as open as possible. I can take an exercise class any three of four days a week, depending on what's going on. Art and I are fairly independent as a rule, but this summer it will shift. We've done this several times before, after a surgery, so I'm anticipating some bumps but an overall recovery afterwards - and a schooner cruise off the coast of Maine in late summer to reward us for our work.

While we walk this presurgical road, we're still on the eating plan, heading into our third week on mostly fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts. Art has lost 11 pounds. I haven't weighed myself since last weekend, but there's a looseness around my waistband and a bit less of a muffin above it. Today I had a treat for lunch - Chinese food at a local restaurant with broccoli (legitimate on the eating plan) and shrimp (not). An occasional treat makes the process easier. I'm encouraged. The toughest part of this road is behind us, I think.

The most fun road, though, is that I've finally gotten the publisher of our book to ask Amazon and Barnes&Noble to correct the title on their websites. Some places it's "Viet Nam" and others it's "Vietnam". Art says it only matters to me. I say, well, if you're looking for all the versions of the book so you can choose which one you want to buy, they don't all sort together if the titles are different. After a couple of months of fruitless emails to the publisher, I called yesterday and connected with Daisy in customer service. And she has expedited the issue. She also assured me that the updated version of the book is the one that's out there, including the ebook version. I downloaded it today onto my Kindle and she is right. Finally! Now I'll begin to contact the library, and bookstores, and local radio stations. I didn't want to do that until the latest version of the book was available. In the meantime, Art and I each carry a few copies of it around with us. And we'll be continuing our deliveries to the Vet Centers - it will be the ones in Washington and Oregon this summer.

These four roads - mediation, surgery, weight loss, and the book - are the ones I'm on for the summer. You know in the winter we'll be on the ones that take us to Arizona or some other sunny place!