Sunday, November 8, 2009

What a Week

Actually it has been a weird couple of weeks. It started out with a 3:00 a.m. visit to Retreat Hospital for Harry Homeowner. I went to to look up the word "retreat" as I wasn't quite sure why this hospital was named that. I thought of retreat as a place to go for peace and quiet. But, I found out that it also means "an asylum, as for the insane". Okay - makes sense now. Poor Harry has had a history of kidney stones, so often that it is almost routine except that it happens in the middle of the night so it isn't really a part of any one's routine around here. So, off we go to the hospital which is only about 6 blocks from Haven. I had taken our younger son there on our first day in Richmond so I was thinking that we might want to go a little further afield the next time. But Harry was in a lot of pain so off we went. The scenario is pretty much always the same - they check him in and then he writhes in pain as they try to find a vein to put a port in for that all important pain medication. His veins like to hide. Then, as he goes off to his happy place I sit and stare at the cinder blocks hoping that someone will come to take care of him. All he needs is a pain prescription and time to let it pass but they insist on all of the tests known to man first. As he went off to his happy place I felt a panic attack coming on. The beeping of machines and retching of all the other patients was making my skin crawl. Right before Harry went off to that zone he told me I could go back home. Nice wife - I took him up on his offer. I crawled back into my cozy bed and then he called a few hours later and said he was walking home. I forgot to mention it was raining. The good news is that he passed it not 24 hours later. It looked like a peppercorn (too much information?). In the meantime I had this dull ache in my cheekbone that I was trying to convince myself wasn't teeth related. I finally cried uncle and went off to the dentist. Paybacks are hell. I had to have a root canal. It wasn't all that bad - thanks, Dr. Londrey.

Somewhere in the middle of all of that I discovered that both dogs were covered in fleas. I thought I had dodged a bullet and didn't put the frontline on them as I assumed that we were into the winter season and that the fleas were done, or that Richmond maybe doesn't have a flea population. I can't thank Patricia at Critter Wash enough for coming to my rescue - she took them that morning and while they were being de-flead I came home and threw everything in the wash and tried to de-flea the house. According to Patricia the fleas are really bad right now.

And then the torrential rain started and so the Honda wouldn't start and water started pouring into the brand new kitchen from one of the recessed lights.


The only "safe" way to get up to the roof is to put a ladder on the balcony off of the guest room and climb up from there. I held the ladder (pouring down rain) while Harry climbed up to see what he could see. I kept wondering if the ambulance crew would take him to Retreat. After throwing a few leaves over the side of the house he came safely back down with no real diagnosis. I guess we need to call in a roofer.

I tell you all of this because sometimes I think my blog sounds a little to sweet - like everything is rosy all of the time. I don't like to whine but this week just got the better of me.

The week came to a lovely end with a visit from one of my favorite bloggers, Michele from My Notting Hill and her adorable daughter. I first "met" Michele when she blogged out the interior design firm in DC that I work for and she has been really helpful to me in starting this blog and also had one of the most enjoyable parties that I've been to in quite a while. The new range got fired up and I made my favorite tomato tart with the last of the season's tomatoes.
The first layer of Heirloom Tomato Tart - YUMMM

We did a quick tour of some of my favorite Richmond shops: Sunny's Good Time Paint, LiVing, a new shop on Grove Avenue featuring talented artist and craftsmen from the area, Fraiche, and U-fab. It was great having some time to get to know Michele and her daughter (in person!). Off they went to their final destination, Williamsburg, and I made my list of which galleries I wanted to visit during First Friday's Art Walk.

Normally we head down to Broad Street to take part in First Friday. However, this month I was sent an invitation to an opening to a gallery closer to the hood, as there are several galleries out this way that participate. Our first stop was to Reynolds Gallery on Main Street. The current exhibition features the work of James Prosek
His watercolors of fish on tea-stained paper knocked my socks off. I have just the wall, just not the budget.

Then we walked down the street to Glave Kocen - another favorite.
Santa, if you're reading this I'd like one of these dogs for Christmas. The current exhibit features the work of Steven Walker.Beautiful depiction of one of Richmond's train trestle

Our next stop was the Page Bond Gallery for the Sanches, Scurlock, Crumb opening. I fell in love with Mary Scurlock's trees.
My photos don't do these encaustics justice - get over there and see them in person. Maybe I need to sign up for an encaustic painting class. First I'd better learn how to draw trees!!

After the gallery openings I came home to plug in my camera battery in preparation for the Urbanna Oyster Fest. Any festival that celebrates a slimy colorless crustacean has to be attended. Unfortunately, I woke up with a raging sore throat and headache so I stayed in bed.

But I hate to whine - there is always next year. The good news is that in the midst of all of the above we hired a charming VCU student to come help us move the upstairs Family Room furniture down to the new family room and to move the guest room furniture (stored in the Dining Room) up. Now we just need a cable hook up for the television and we'll be spending more time in the newly renovated spaces. More on that to come.

Have a great week - I'm hoping for a peaceful, healthy one.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hanover Halloween Part Three

Words can really not describe what Halloween was like on Hanover last night. So, I'll let the pictures do the talking.
We started out with 45 bags of candy at 5:30 and they were gone by 7:30. There was a constant line of trick or treaters at my porch so I had no time to take pictures. When I had about 5 pieces of candy left there was a slight lull so we ran inside and turned out the porch lights and then headed back out to join the party.

Right across the street the neighbors created a cemetery for the night. All night long this boy kept jumping out of the coffin with his chain saw. The screaming crowds could be heard well into the night. I'm sure he scared the you know what out of a lot of toddlers.
The block between Meadow and Granby is closed to traffic. This block is where most of the action was.
On the left you can see that Elmo came down from Sesame Street to be at the party.
This string duo played jazz for all of us from their front porch.

Rumor has it that over the years this pirate ship has conveyed twice with the sale of the house.
I couldn't believe it when I saw these gorgeous chandeliers hanging outside this home.

I love this huge black cat - look at the line-up of people waiting their turn for a snicker bar.
Scary witch with a bowl of eyeballs
Great silhouettes
Scary silhouette.

This neighbor not only had the skulls in the ivy but also several awesome paper mache aliens.

I can't wait until next year's party. The renovation will be way behind us and we can focus on how we can keep up with the Joneses in the Halloween decorating department. In the meantime, I have 17 people coming for Thanksgiving dinner (5 staying here for 4 nights). Yikes.

We finally moved some furniture downstairs this weekend and have livable spaces - more on that later.