Wednesday, February 25, 2015

And The Green Grass Grows All Around

Worst case: My Mother The Dowager Duchess will be home Friday, 6 March. That was simply automatic based on her standard insurance coverage. However, she might be squeezed onto tomorrow's (Thursday's) weekly evaluation schedule for "release" in a day or two.

Meanwhile, the Dowager Duchess looks and feels better than she did when we visited in November. Her two daily occupational and physical therapy sessions have turned into gym workouts. She's doing squats, pull-downs, leg lifts with weights on her ankles. She's on the stationery bike every day (which is good, because she never learned how to ride an UN-stationery one) and she's walking around whenever she gets the chance.

All good news, which means I can get back to talking about San Geraldo...

... And food.

We went to the Parkview Diner for lunch Tuesday before heading to rehab. Apparently, the ownership of the diner had changed and no one told me. But the management and staff are still the same, and the food and portions remain excellent. San Geraldo was feeling a bit stressed (minus teen temperatures can do that to a person), so he had his favorite "comfort meal" -- hot, open-faced, turkey sandwich.

START WITH A PLATTER OF TURKEY SLICES ATOP BREAD SLICES.
FOLLOW WITH A PLATTER OF ACCOMPANIMENTS.
ADD THE MASHED POTATOES TO THE TURKEY ATOP THE BREAD.
ADD THE PEAS TO THE MASHED POTATOES
THAT WERE ADDED TO THE TURKEY THAT WAS ATOP THE BREAD.
ADD THE GRAVY TO THE PEAS
THAT WERE ADDED TO THE MASHED POTATOES
THAT WERE ADDED TO THE TURKEY THAT WAS ATOP THE BREAD.
ADD THE CRANBERRY SAUCE TO THE PLATTER WITH THE GRAVY
THAT WAS ADDED TO THE PEAS
THAT WERE ADDED TO THE MASHED POTATOES
THAT WERE ADDED TO THE TURKEY THAT WAS ATOP THE BREAD.
YADA YADA YADA
A VERY CONTENTED SAN GERALDO.
WHAT ABOUT ME? A HUGE OMELETE WITH BACON, MUSHROOMS, AND CHEESE...
ACCOMPANIED BY HASH BROWNS AND WHEAT TOAST.

San Geraldo will be so pleased to hear Louis Jordan pronounce the word "roots." 

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Cheap Brother... I Mean The KID Brother

As I began this post Sunday evening, it was 33°F/1°C here in New York City. But it was sunny and around 40F/4C earlier in the day. This, apparently, is as good as it gets. Today is partly cloudy with a high of 23F/5C and a low of 5F/–15C. (And that doesn't account for 'real feel.') At least we've got a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean.

THE COLOR- AND PATTERN-COORDINATED DOWAGER DUCHESS.
(THAT'S HER VERY COOL FRIEND ROSALIE IN BLUE AND GRAY.) 
THE VIEW FROM THE BALCONY SATURDAY EVENING. 
A COLD CONCH SHELL ON THE BALCONY.
(WHATEVER WAS INSIDE FLEW BACK TO JAMAICA LAST WEEK.)
FROM THE KITCHEN WINDOWS.
ICE FLOES IN THE NARROWS? (FROM THE DUCHESS'S WINDOWS.)


My Mother The Dowager Duchess has a beautiful view from her windows at Rehab, too. She's back in her first room, with a view of the Narrows leading into New York Harbor. Ice floes are visible!

THE KID BROTHER ... WEARING GEOFFREY BEENE.

The Kid Brother was over Sunday to chill with us for a bit. That 40°-day didn't feel as warm as expected. We went out for lunch at the Parkview Diner and, while we waited out front for the car to pick us up, we all stood with hoods up and scarves wrapped tightly. San Geraldo and I wore scarves purchased for about 3 euros each in Spain. The Kid Brother wore an Italian-made Geoffrey Beene scarf. And since it was the night of the Academy Awards here, I captioned the photo appropriately.

WITH SAN GERALDO FACING AWAY FROM THE WIND.
(THIS WAS THE "WARM" DAY; BACK BELOW FREEZING AGAIN TODAY!)

We had another lunch feast at the Parkview Diner and when the bill came I passed it to the Kid Brother. He passed it back to me like a hot potato.

"THANKS FOR LUNCH, CHUCK!"
"YOU GOTTA BE KIDDIN, WISE GUY!"

Then The Kid Brother headed home and we headed over to Rehab. (The Kid Brother spoke to The Dowager Duchess by phone before we went out to lunch.) The Duchess continues to thrive and we're hoping she'll be home very soon.

MY FATHER'S MAPS AND GUIDE BOOKS GOING BACK TO THE 1950s.
(THESE ARE SOME I DECIDED TO HOLD ONTO.)

Being back here in Brooklyn and in my mother's apartment for so many weeks has been, well, interesting. I now spend about an hour each morning lying in bed and reminiscing (or, more precisely, dwelling) on my past. (I wasn't always the joy-filled, confident, brilliant, witty, and stunning specimen you've come to know on these pages.)

I've been going through closets and shelves and trying to get things a bit more streamlined and less cluttered. I've come across things that bring back bittersweet memories (and quite a bit of dust). I'll share more of my discoveries in coming days ... or weeks ... or whenever I come up for air.

I miss reading all the exceptional blogs I follow. I'll have so much catching up to do once I'm back in Spain. The Duchess told me to send continued thanks to you all from her for all your kind comments, messages, and good wishes. She enjoys feeling the love and support from all around the world. Of course, I thank you, too! So, now it's time for lunch with the heavenly San Geraldo...

And then back to rehab!


Other than that, I can't control my destiny...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

He Won't Get Far With One Shoe

San Geraldo has big feet. Very big feet. He wears a US size 14 and a Spain size 49. His feet are wider than they used to be. It's nearly impossible to find shoes his size wherever we've been in Spain. The only ones we've found have been hideous. And the width now makes it a nightmare. Ordering from outside Spain means he would have to pay huge customs/import fees (almost the price of the shoes). So he ordered two pairs of shoes online from two very good US companies and had them delivered to My Mother The Dowager Duchess's apartment. (Click any image for the big picture.)

WHAT'S BLOOMING  IN THE DUCHESS'S KITCHEN.
AIR PLANT SHE BOUGHT NINE YEARS AGO IN SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA.

The first pair of shoes arrived the next day. San Geraldo was thrilled since that was the pair he needed for the current NY weather. He tried them on. Left foot first. It was perfect. He happily picked up the other shoe.

He felt like one of Cinderella's wicked step-sisters.

He couldn't cram his right foot into that shoe no matter how hard he tried. He took the shoes off and placed them side-by-side on the floor. His "feets" were no longer too big (as Fats Waller would say). Only one foot was.

The shoes were from REI. He phoned. No problem. With huge apologies they immediately sent out a new pair, which will arrive today. I just hope they're not a matched set for the 'pair' he already received.

ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER.

Other than that, all is going well here (except for the weather). The Dowager continues to return to her old (young), fit, self. We're hoping she'll get out of rehab soon and get back to her friends and her regular routine. I'm eating better now that San Geraldo is here. He makes sure I have dinner and, last night, he cooked up a huge pot of chicken soup.

We haven't had more than a few inches of snow at a time. But the temperatures have been well below freezing almost every day since my arrival. When the wind blows off the Atlantic, we just want to run back inside. That's what The Kid Brother did this morning. He said he was coming over. When he hadn't arrived, I called him and he said. It was too cold!


SAN GERALDO'S LUNCH AT WENDY'S FAST-FOOD RESTAURANT.
THERE'S A BAKED POTATO SOMEWHERE IN THERE.
A LARGE ROOT BEER. FREE REFILLS AND A SOUVENIR 'CUP."
AND WAY TOO MUCH TO DRINK.
MY LUNCH. GRILLED CHICKEN SANDWICH AND FRIES.
UNFORTUNATELY, WENDY'S WAS THE ONLY PLACE NEAR REHAB WITH SEATS THAT DAY.
MY CHOCOLATE EGG CREAM YESTERDAY AT PARKVIEW DINER!
(MILK, SELTZER, CHOCOLATE SYRUP.)
MY MONTE CRISTO.
FRENCH TOAST, HAM, TURKEY, CHEESE, AND...
... ENOUGH MAPLE SYRUP TO GO FOR A SWIM.
SAN GERALDO SNOOZING AT REHAB (THE DOWAGER DUCHESS'S REHAB).
HIS CHEEK IS PUFFED BECAUSE HE'S SNORING.
THE VIEW FROM THE DOWAGER DUCHESS'S NEW ROOM.
CONEY ISLAND'S PARACHUTE JUMP RIGHT OF CENTER IN BACKGROUND.


But, back to Cinderella ... and shoes.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Snowager Duchess and El Polito Pio

It is beyond freezing here! It was down to 16F/–8C overnight (with a real feel of 8F/–13C). It's still snowing, but I'm thankful it doesn't appear to be amounting to much down here. And to think a few weeks ago we were complaining about the weather in Málaga.

FROM THE BALCONY THIS MORNING.
(CLICK TO SEE THE FALLING SNOW.)

I have to say it feels a lot warmer because San Geraldo is now here in New York. AND... the Dowager Duchess returned to Rehab Monday evening.

HAVING JUST BEEN "DETACHED" FROM ALL THE WIRES, THE DUCHESS CHECKS
TO SEE IF ALL THE STICKY TABS HAVE BEEN REMOVED.

It appears that there was no heart attack after all. Just a rapid heartbeat (tachycardia). She feels and looks great. When her cardiologist saw her Saturday morning, he told her the good news. But, it was a holiday weekend (Monday was Presidents' Day), so it took until Monday afternoon to get the insurance approval for the return to Rehab.

The Duchess is currently exercising (physical therapy) and feeling great. San Geraldo and I have gotten off to a slow start today and will see her this afternoon. San Geraldo took The Kid Brother to "the racetrack" yesterday. Aqueduct Racetrack is about 20 minutes away. They opened a casino next door a little while back (I've written about it), but The Kid Brother likes to say he's going to "the racetrack." They called me at the end of the day to say they had just enough money for the car service home. The Kid Brother had told me he planned "to keep an eye on" San Geraldo. I guess I should have hired somebody to keep an eye on them both.

Just wanted to share the good news and thank you all for your warmth and generosity. I continue to read your comments and messages to The Dowager Duchess.


With thanks to Tere in Sevilla for sharing this video on facebook...

In honor of the Dowager Duchess's continued sense of humor (as indicated by the permission she gave me to share the previous photo), here's some music to make you laugh...*


*The lyrics in English
(much better in Spanish because Spanish animals speak Spanish)

On the radio there's a little chick
On the radio there's a little chick
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP

On the radio there's a little hen
On the radio there's a little hen
And the hen CO-CO
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP

On the radio there's a little cock
On the radio there's a little cock
And the cock DOODLE-DOO
And the hen CO-CO
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP

On the radio there's a little turkey
On the radio there's a little turkey
And the turkey GOBBLE GOBBLE
And the cock DOODLE-DOO
And the hen CO-CO
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP

On the radio there's a little pigeon
On the radio there's a little pigeon
And the pigeon CRU CRU
And the turkey GOBBLE GOBBLE
And the cock DOODLE-DOO
And the hen CO-CO
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP

On the radio there's a little cat
On the radio there's a little cat
And the cat MEW
And the pigeon CRU CRU
And the turkey GOBBLE GOBBLE
And the cock DOODLE-DOO
And the hen CO-CO
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP

On the radio there's a little dog
On the radio there's a little dog
And the dog WOOF
And the cat MEW
And the pigeon CRU CRU
And the turkey GOBBLE GOBBLE
And the cock DOODLE-DOO
And the hen CO-CO
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP

On the radio there's a little goat
On the radio there's a little goat
And the goat MAH
And the dog WOOF
And the cat MEW
And the pigeon CRU CRU
And the turkey GOBBLE GOBBLE
And the cock DOODLE-DOO
And the hen CO-CO
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP

On the radio there's a little lamb
On the radio there's a little lamb
And the lamb BAH
And the goat MAH
And the dog WOOF
And the cat MEW
And the pigeon CRU CRU
And the turkey GOBBLE GOBBLE
And the cock DOODLE-DOO
And the hen CO-CO
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP

On the radio there's a little cow
On the radio there's a little cow
And the cow MOW
And the lamb BAH
And the goat MAH
And the dog WOOF
And the cat MEW
And the pigeon CRU CRU
And the turkey GOBBLE GOBBLE
And the cock DOODLE-DOO
And the hen CO-CO
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP

On the radio there's a little bull
On the radio there's a little bull
And the bull MUU
The cow MOW
The lamb BAH
And the goat MAH
And the dog WOOF
And the cat MEW
And the pigeon CRU CRU
And the turkey GOBBLE GOBBLE
And the cock DOODLE-DOO
And the hen CO-CO
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP
And the chick CHEEP

On the radio there's a little tractor
On the radio there's a little tractor
And the tractor BRUMM
The tractor BRUMM
The tractor BRUMM
And the chick...
Oh oh!