First off, I will give you an Emery update in case that's the main reason you are checking the blog! She's been in the hospital since last Friday but has been doing fine and they are only keeping her to make sure her infection is cleared up. They are doing lab work and cultures every day and all the cultures have been negative. Bonnie said they are both bored, but all's well. They've had some visitors, which cheered them up, and gave them something more fun to do with their time. Emery has been turning over on her own and Bonnie captured her on video, which is really cute! She put the videos on Facebook so check her page if you can. Hopefully she can put them up on her blog soon, too. My internet is so slow that I cannot seem to get any videos loaded from here. They were told they get to leave today and David arrives tonight so they will all be back out in Katy with Lauren and Dan. I know they will be happy to have David back for the weekend! I am assuming the plan is for more clinic visits and lab work till the end of the month (as needed) and Emery will continue her OT appointments as well. She also had a follow-up hearing evaluation and her hearing was still perfectly normal, thankfully. And we are just waiting for the MRI and CT scan to be done at the end of the month so we will know whether surgery is indicated or not.
It always makes me laugh when people complain that there is nothing to do here. I find myself constantly running from one activity to another and trying to decide what to skip because I can't fit it all in. That has been the case since returning home a week ago. Sunday was a little bit of a day off after getting right back to work on Friday and Saturday. I hadn't been to Sunday brunch at the hotel in a very long time (even before I left for Texas) so it was nice to see everyone and to enjoy the delicious food after missing out for months. We watched some of the health care debate, though we don't get C-SPAN which I would have preferred so we could just get it "unfiltered" without all the commentary from the talking heads. As a social worker and a dedicated community organizer and activist, I was thrilled to see health care reform pass, though I wish it were a stronger bill and I am sure that there will be parts of it that I am not crazy about. At the same time, I can't believe it took so long for us to do SOMETHING. Throughout my career, I have seen many children and families suffering for lack of needed medical care or insurance coverage. I do not agree that we are going to hell in a handbasket because we are at last trying to rectify the situation. Yes, I have heard all of the cries of "socialism" and the downright ugly and disrespectful remarks made about and toward our President. All I can say is that the same people who are demonizing him were the ones telling me I was unpatriotic and unAmerican for voicing ANY disagreement with George W. Bush. Funny how one's perspective changes, isn't it? Personally, I am proud of those who stood up to the fear mongering and did the right thing for the most vulnerable in society. If that makes me a socialist, so be it. After sitting at Texas Children's Cancer Center for 9 weeks, I can't imagine how anyone would not be in favor of health care for all.
Back to work on Monday and I'm just trying to catch up on many items that were unfinished or left waiting while I was gone. Rich and I went to the grocery store on Monday evening because that is our "Senior Discount" day. We ended up spending $300, which I believe is a world record for us. I can tell that he did not do a lot of shopping while I was gone! We returned to the house to find a voicemail from the Unalaska Court "reminding" me that I was to report for jury duty at 8:30 AM on Tuesday. Ooops. I knew that I was in the Jan-Feb-March batch of jurors but had been out of town most of that time and had totally forgotten that I was supposed to call in on certain dates to see if I was needed. Since I've been working part time, I am not an early riser any more so you can guess that I was not all that happy about the check in time!
Up early Monday and off to court. In a small town, even jury duty is a chance to mix and mingle with friends and neighbors. Fellow blogger Steve was there, along with a variety of other folks we know. It was chatting time for awhile and then we were all taken into court to begin the jury selection process. I've served on two juries in Texas but have never even had to report in Alaska till now. I am interested in the process and definitely think it's our civic duty to take part so I am not one of those who is trying to think of reasons to get out of it. In fact, I would like to be picked! This time my number was pretty high so I never even got questioned before they found 12 acceptable people. I was there all morning and then dismissed but have to call in every night to see if I am needed the next day. So far I have not had to go back but I'm calling in again tonight. We'll see!
Already this week, I've missed a movie about Maggie Kuhn, founder of the Grey Panthers, and the opening of a new exhibit at the Museum. In the meantime, my friend Tammy and I were trying to get our precinct organized to participate in the Democratic caucus by teleconference with the rest of our district in Dillingham. Between phone calls, emails and Facebook communication, we got everything set up for Wednesday night. There's a big interdisciplinary science conference going on at the hotel this week so many locals are involved with that. Oh, and I had a dental appointment for teeth cleaning and a checkup on Tuesday after work. Our dentist is an itinerant who is only out here periodically so we have to make sure we get in when he and his hygienist are in town.
Wednesday morning I got up early again and met my friends (and former coworkers) Judi, Darcel, Donna and Char for a birthday breakfast for Judi. It was great to see them all again and to catch up on everyone's news! From there, Donna, Char and I met with the newspaper reporter for the Dutch Harbor Fisherman who was in town (she's based in Anchorage...we have a weekly newspaper!) to talk about our involvement in the Health Native Communities Fellowship. Donna and Char attended the first retreat back in January but that's when I first arrived in Houston and I was not able to go. Our next retreat is in San Diego in early April and I am very excited to get to take part!
After the interview, the electricity went out. I headed for my office, only to find we had no electricity either, and, in fact, it was down all over town. It's funny how many things we take for granted and it's very hard for me to do my job without a telephone or the internet. I used my laptop to do non-internet tasks till the battery died, met with my coworkers about some planning and was about to go home when the electricity came back on about 4 1/2 hours later.
Then off to the caucus last night. We had a small showing with everything else going on in town (didn't I tell you there's way too much happening here?!) but we elected precinct and district officers, discussed resolutions to bring to the State convention in May, and people put their names into consideration to attend the State convention. I had already decided that I would not try to go this year since I have been gone so much and still have several other trips coming up. But now I am thinking about it....Sitka in May could be really nice...
Rich has been busy with the science conference, Wed. seafood buffet, developing new specials, and hiring new staff, among many other things. I've been to the Harbor View with friends twice to try out the fish tacos and they are fabulous. I am so glad he finally put them on the menu after I've LOVED having them at home for years.
I'm still sitting at home but need to get ready for our monthly interagency meeting at noon and then on to work! I'm sure there's something I am supposed to do tonight. The gym has been on the short list but we have not made it yet! I know, I know, you'd think that would be more of a priority. Did I say that my order of SIX boxes of Girl Scout cookies came in while I was gone?!