Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year or Feliz Ano Viejo

The last 2 months of 2009 didn't go exactly as planned, I spend a good part of them in New Jersey taking care of my father. He's doing well now after 3 surgeries in 5 weeks, it's been very impressive how at 82 years old he recovered from a quadruple bypass and 3 weeks later went in for a hernia fix. The good part is I was able to help him and spend lots of time together, the bad part is that Joe and I missed our trip to Ecuador. Joe wasn't able to switch his time off, so now I'm going to Ecuador without him :-(
Ian is having a grand adventure in Peru with his friends Andrew and Chris, equally passionate birders. We keep in touch with facebook and emails, and on Christmas day by old fashioned phone from a cabina in a rural Peruvian town. He's seen over 800 species and here's a photo I love he took in Contamana Hills, Peru.

Red-and-Green Macaw. Photo by Ian

Moving on from tropical birds to snowy New England!

Our neighbor, a monk from Thailand, clearing his front stairs.

Walking to the library in the snow yesterday, Joe and I admired the homes covered in white.

Joe clearing our front walk with a bit of help from Milo.

December, West Orange New Jersey, Kessler Rehab. The same place Christopher Reeves went for his spinal injury. My dad spent a few weeks here working at recovering from his small stroke and bypass surgery. After a while I grew accustomed to seeing people in wheelchairs in various forms of disability, and the naked behinds or fronts, yikes, of those not in wheelchairs.

My dad's spacious shared room after he was switched out of the awful first cramped room. Squeaky wheel and all, but I always tried to remain a pleasant squeaky wheel. We were later told the old room would not be used anymore for 2 people...

My dad with his new cell phone!
I was caught off guard in NJ without my winter gear. It was relatively warm when I left and I didn't bring my scraper, winter boots, etc. The ice on my windshield made for a good photo, and I learned how to use a credit card as an ice scraper.

My dad with a hat I crocheted while sitting around hospitals. Crocheting and GPS were life savers for me during my time in NJ.

Cabbage outside of St Barnabas Hospital where we spent a day in emergency. Turned out all was fine.
Morristown Memorial, a very well funded hospital where my dad had all his surgeries.

Getting ready for the Blizzard of 2009, December 19. Morristown Memorial Hospital.

Medication is now dispensed to patients from these carts, all computerized and rolled from room to room.

Back home for Christmas!! Ian's in the photo, but definitely not home for the holidays, and I'm missing him.

I'm home for 2 weeks and have spent time with friends as much as I could before leaving for Ecuador on Tuesday. Julie and her lovely children came for a visit. Maddox giving the thumbs up!

Danika being very resourceful, she found the stool and dragged it over to the chair so she could have a seat. My version of a booster chair was to pile on the seat cushions. Gail, do you recognize the stool Dave built for me about 30 years ago?

The building blocks representing love, laughter, good health and friendship for a Happy New Year!


  1. Nice post. Looking forward to more tropical photos :-) Bon voyage and safe travels!!

  2. Ditto what Ting said about your travels! Enjoy accomplishing your goals -- we'll be missing you.

    Also, tell Ian to submit his photos to magazines -- National Geographic, Smithsonian -- they're good enough for any of them. Also stock photo houses...

    Love, Julia