Friday, January 2, 2009

The Hoots are not a Gaggle but I might be a Jildo!

One day I will understand how it is that the Fredster and I resolve conflict. Right now, all I know for sure is that laughter's role is key -- almost the Personification of Laughter, a third person in the relationship.

Not exactly Mr. Chuckles.

Sometimes Delayed Mirth will show up, more often Unexplained Giggles.

The Hoots are the best -- actually a group of Hoots that I wanted to call a Gaggle, but upon checking, feel that the term is already sufficiently coopted:

A gaggle is a term of venery for a flock of geese that isn't in flight; in flight, the group can be called a skein.

In military slang, a gaggle is an unorganized group doing nothing. In aviation, it is a large, loosely organized tactical formation of aircraft.

In colloquial Western Canadian English, a gaggle is an adjective describing a largely disorganized group of Jildos (another colloquial adjective describing a woman that tends to be annoying and lacking in her own individual opinions) putting forth discontent among all related fellows.

In the field of systems biology, The Gaggle is an open source software framework for exchanging data between independently developed software tools and databases to enable interactive exploration of data.

Okay, so The Hoots are not a Gaggle but I might be a Jildo!

What is requiring so much hilarity? What else, but the possibility of more surgery? Yes, the Infectious Disease crowd -- and *that* could easily be a gaggle of Jildos, head honcho excluded -- opines that the right shoulder spacer is infected; Indeed, it is now deemed to be nothing if not a germ magnet. Ergo, take the sucker out! Cut this woman to shreds! And then probably do it again!

My white count is still up. The C-reactive protein -- to which people seem very attentive -- is way high and has more than doubled in a week's time. Sed rate is up (but it almost always is up). RDWs are elevated. The hemoglobin and such? They've decided to go the opposite route and are in decline... not enough to mean anything, I don't think.

And, okay, if you insist on taking my temperature, I am likely to have a fever in the afternoon and evening. Yes, it is my evening wear. Glassy eyes, gleaming not unlike a hyena's orbs in darkness, nicely offset by my glittery, sallow skin. (Ewwww! "glittery, sallow skin"? Ewwww!)

Actually, I am pretty sallow. And pale at the same time. My hair? Oh, God. Sad to say, I haven't had the energy to demand a ride to get it cut. Usually, before a surgery, that is the last thing that I do in preparation in an all out battle against Bed Head. It didn't happen this time and now I cannot even raise my hands to my hair without burying my chin in my chest first.

Today's challenge? A shower. The first since December 15. I got my staples out on Wednesday and was told to wait a day or two -- one of the staples ended up wanting to be a permanent piercing and that area is raw. I will need the Fredster to Saran Wrap the PICC line first. Also, this cold Manor is going to have to warm up a bit -- we will go hew some yew trees to feed the fiery furnace before I hop into the shower stall.

I am not sure what the PICC line symbolizes to him. It means something and I am definitely out of the semiotic loop. The last go 'round with one of these thangs, he quit two days into it. Dare I say "in a fit of pique"? Hell yes, I dare say it: A bloody fit of bloody pique.

So this time, I spoke with him, using my inside voice, first. He was shocked that I would even think it possible for him to bail on such a task. Okie-dokie, then!

And suddenly he is deciding that the dose that was due at 11 am would be perfectly fine if given at 4 pm. What does it matter? And then... the next dose -- it is an every 12-hour schedule -- will be at the completely arbitrary time of 1 am. Everything has become a battle.

Is it possible that he can consider the failure of the cultures to grow out an offending organism to be some sort of personal failure on my part? The continuing pain and trouble doing almost everything? He is just plain sick of it. *That* I understand, sharing the sentiment. I am trying not to ask for too much. In fact, today, all that I am asking of him is the care of the PICC line (including the shower wrap). The only thing I have been able to eat is peanut butter sandwiches (I cannot get the strawberry preserves top off the jar) and microwave popcorn. This is supplemented by raw broc and cauliflower -- which I love. It just is not exactly... cuisine.

Something has happened and I missed it. Even The Hoots are not hanging around the edges -- and as a very bad writer friend of mine would say: there is no limning going on.

How very much I miss our fellowship when I feel its absence.

chris leben murder

Deconstructing the possibilities of how and why someone googles their way to this facetiously fecund fiction that is elle est belle la seine la seine elle est belle is sometimes alarming, sometimes a sad commentary.

Two people arrived yesterday after searching for "chris leben murder."

I have to confess to swallowing that possibilty hook, line, sinker.

It was completely within the realm of possibility that Chris Leben might have murdered someone -- and outside the octagon, too.

Action, reaction, over-reaction: There I was, googling away on Chris Leben and homicide.

This is what I found.

First of all, I have added an expression to my repertoire! Apparently, in MMA commentary, winning "by murder" is not a bad way to win, and usually does not involve leaving anything in the hands of the judges. In fact, the image that sticks in my visual cortex is a rude ground and pound, with lots of "short elbows" and "hammer fists" (I will never be able to get rid of the sound of Matt Serra when he was cornering fighters on TUF -- elbows/hammerfists, "you can do it all day long..." and "we're breathing, we're breathing...")

Outside of winning an MMA match by means of murder, the only recent allusions to the imposition of death comes from the sad news that Justin Levens has apparently murdered his wife and then killed himself.

(Levens -- Leben -- imagine hearing it on the radio or bleeping from a television... imagine kind of expecting to hear something along these lines... about LEBEN. You might end up on a weird blog trying to find a reliable police report midst a bunch of virtual kitsch.)

So... it is a matter of Levens. It is a matter of his wife, Sarah McLean-Levens, presumably killed by her husband's hands.

Allegedly, presumably, probably. And the immediate impulse is to hypothesize 'roid rage. He was known to have a problem with prescription pain killers, which were apparently found in large quantities at the scene and at their home. That would certainly resonate with crazed behavior -- but the search for anabolic steroids is on.

I am glad it wasn't Chris Leben and sorry that it had to be anyone. The fact, though, that anonymous people, unknown to one another, had no trouble imagining it to be Chris Leben? Well, he may want to consider why that is, and what he can do to squash any further unfortunate Google search terms.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Mir beat Nogueira -- Herb Dean stopped the match in the second round. I cannot believe that the whole UFC event slipped my mind!

To unify the heavyweight belt? Mir must take... Brock Lesnar. That has to feel discouraging, and familiar, all at the same time. I've no room to criticize Mir -- but even with this outstanding but, frankly, unexpected result, he needs to talk less, train more. Lesnar is not the same fighter that he submitted with that lethal and lovely leg lock early on in 2008 -- Oh! What a beautiful submission that was! "Word" is that Lesnar is training BJJ like a mad man. His last fight was strange to me -- he looked obviously capable of submitting or punching out, but instead allowed the ref to stand them up and restart. Boring but perhaps a propaganda vehicle? [correction -- not the Couture fight -- the one prior... about which I am pulling a blank. I ache for Randy... yes, it's true, I have a Veritable Thang for Captain America.]

HEATH HERRING. Voilà. He deserves beaucoup credit -- though I still contend that Lesnar was schooling us all.

I love the comments at Kiddeath82 writes: "SO i know brock has a good very good work ethic i mean from what i researched he doesnt even care about money he draives a little beat up car now thats a real fighter. BUt mir has the philisophical advantagde since both his parents are black belts."

Brock drives a beat-up car. Mir's parents are blackbelts. Why, it is the heady stuff of UFC commentary! Both of my parents drive Cadillacs and drink single malt scotch. Take that!
The rest of the results from Saturday night make me sad -- Forrest Griffin lost his title to Rashad Evans, the new Light Heavyweight champ at 205. Actually, it is hard to be sad about it, as there is much satisfaction in watching Evans steamroll his way through the UFC after being written off in such a rude fashion by Matt the Chin Hughes, and by Dana White, too.
But Forrest will forever be "our boy" here at Marlinspike Hall. I suppose many feel that way, having followed him since the TUF 1 Dream Fight with Stephan Bonnar. Oh... what is the hilarious moniker that Bonnar is using? Hmm. I have really not been paying attention -- in his Wikipedia entry, it is noted that following that TUF 1 fight, he was suspended for illegal steroid use. Damn it. Anyway -- he is being called "the American Psycho," and fairly leers at the camera when announced.
Wanderlei Silva must feel slightly schizoid. Congratulations to Quentin Rampage Jackson.
Cheick Kongo beat Mostapha al Turk.
Matt Hamill won. I don't like him... and am prepared to take abuse for it.

Wretched Excess: Peter Kraus

As I sit bleary-eyed in front of the babbling T.V. -- some of the more outrageous news sinks into my brain. Here is the Daily Kos version of the story, as filtered by nyceve, and presented to you below:

Former Merrill Lynch executive pays 37 million for NYC apartment (with taxpayer money)
by nyceve
Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:54:24 AM PST

This is a little off the beaten track for me, but it is a very real example of how taxpayer money is being wasted on bailouts for failed executives.

It's particularly important to publicize this sort of wretched excess, known as the privatization of profits and socialization of loss, as we approach the opening of the 111th Congress and the battle for affordable and guaranteed healthcare for all Americans goes into high gear.

As sure as night follows day, we will hear many say, the United States can't afford to provide healthcare to all our citizens. When this deceit gets going, please remember that a huge amount of taxpayer money is raining on people like Peter Kraus--no questions asked.

This is 720 Park Avenue in New York City. It's one of the most expensive buildings in Manhattan. Peter Kraus and his wife Jill, just paid $37 million for an apartment in this building. This year, Peter Kraus received a payout of $25 million dollars for working at Merrill Lynch for just three months.

photo credits:
720 Park Avenue, Merrill Lynch Logo

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Scream

Munch is one of those artists whose work you want to grace every room -- they have such a welcoming, warming effect. Certainly, waking up to one flashing in the middle of the night, backlit by, say, a lightening strike, is an illuminating experience.

So, it's almost official. German Expressionism has stomped all over the schmalzy poppy fields and brasseries of the lame French Impressionists.
Just kidding.

What is almost official, indeed *is* official, is that a third surgery is planned for my right shoulder area. Philosophical inquiry: When does the area between clavicle and humerus cease to be a shoulder area? [Mine may be the only Hergéveen Manor House in the region in which you will actually discover the sound of one hand clapping.]

You only have to tell me a dozen times, you cross-eyed Physician's Assistant! I get yer everlovin' drift, you emotionless cretin! [There is a storm brewing in some medical bloglets that purports to be about the usefulness of beings such as PAs and NPs. It is when you plomb the depths of the meaning of "usefulness" that the real argument, that is: how much money can Happy and Scalpel legally earn without compromising their liability one red cent? It's a riot. Yawn.] {I am being mean. The argument is interesting, and, as it touches on the nature of things, important to the future of healthcare. *burp*}

She is very nice. She has long, straight, and recently trimmed dark hair. She looks to be about 12 and speaks in a sing-song voice when saying things like, "I know it is hard."

She wouldn't know hard if I hit her.
(This is my new favorite sentence. I am going to enjoy it again: She wouldn't know hard if I hit her.)
Which, of course, I would never do -- I don't have any shoulders.
I may not have mentioned that I may decide to go left-hipless, too. But I think I will save that for when life begins to bore.

"The spacer in your right shoulder is now just a foreign body that is attracting bacteria. It must come out. You are having fevers, pain, and elevated white counts while on intravenous vancomycin. This is not normal. We cannot keep you on antibiotics indefinitely, particularly as we still do not know what we are dealing with -- your cultures are not growing any pathogens."

She has the art of S - V - O down pat. The plan, I see, is to wear me down with simple declaratives and restatements of what they think I already know. Ha! They can never know how little I really know! I should not be misoverestimated.

"But," I whine, "It seems like we are just chasing this from joint to joint, bone to bone, doing one surgery after another. It can't still be an emergency each time! I know I keep saying this but please hear me! I. cannot. do. this."

Note that most of my statements should be issued with asterisks and readily found errata sheets. My écouteurs, and rare interlocuteurs, also ought to be equiped with something like a fly swatter, to manage the pestilence of my punctuation -- it tends to swirl.

That would be pity in her eyes, however briefly -- proof she definitely does not know me. I am quite capable of producing sufficient self-pity, thank you. No matter, her tone of voice made plain her conviction that I had no choice but to play out the scenario that her boss has had her deliver.

He *may* have said the same thing to me last Tuesday. He *may* correctly have concluded that I am not accepting this thing that he sees as a fait accompli. Just because I am fluent in the language does not mean I am the least bit cartesian.

Maybe it wasn't pity. Maybe I poked her in the eyes with speed faster than light. Yeah... that's it. I poked her in the eyes -- yes, both eyes -- with a gnarly stick and was so quick about it that neither one of us saw it happen. Yeah. And where is the thermometer? Fred is hiding the thermometers...

The ID person I trust most is on vacation -- and while she can be equally assertive, she promises an open mind. I find her believable and capable of sustained argument and explanation. I leave her exam room without any still-plaguing worries or questions. Her hair is blond and blunt cut. She is tall and wiry, and wields her wit like a very sharp knife. She gets grossed out by skin ulcers. This I know because we sat together, groaning "grossssss!" at the sight of my nasty foot wound -- it is almost healed, thank goodness (and the Wound Care Center).

We call her Susan because that is her name. Susan doesn't afford me the time to develop a healthy strain of denial. She almost does the Triple Gallic Non, and does do a passable wagging finger. They say she is just a PA, but I suspect that she is the brains behind the outfit. I mean, go figure -- which of their medical staff has managed a two-week vacation at high-holiday time? That's right -- Susan has.

I am trying to understand how the passage from infected prosthetic joint to osteomyelitis means anything. It has significance for these medicos, I can see that. They think it profound, even.

Let's see: same process, slightly different medium. Certainly, once in the bone, any bacteria or what the eff-ever has it made -- I have pre-existing avascular necrosis virtually everywhere. A match made in heaven.

I am beyond depressed. I scared Fred last night -- sleeping fitfully, I kept waking up screaming. You see, as the shoulder area starts to relax and fall backward toward the mattress and the pillows -- well, it sure feels like tissue and schtuff rip and tear -- it is very painful. Horrific, actually. And, if it's my unconscious ruling the roost, I scream. All the care I take to behave well and unremarkably in my waking hours? A complete waste if I am going to scream my bloody head off all night.

Marmy stole my heart away during all that noise, though. As my wailing fades, I see Fred floating in mid-levitation, hair pointing skyward. I see the tip of Sam-I-Am's tail fleeing the scene. Dobby immediately jumps in the trashcan (there is no explaining Dobby). But Marmy? She has come close to me, she is "ack-ack"ing to beat the band, seeking in my scream some hint of syncopation for herself. She came close, she stayed, she did not leave me all night long.

Don't touch my anthropomorphism. It is a vestige of good mental health.

The Boutiqueur and I have a secret worry -- the heart. This breezy and beautiful afternoon, just as we arrived back at Marlinspike Hall, deep, deep in the Tête de Hergé, I had a good five minutes of chest pain. It could not have been truly cardiac -- but I am psychologically primed to fear the be-all-end-all of a "blown" aortic aneurysm.

There is a huge logical disconnect -- but the point, I suppose, is that any note taken of the heart now quickly converts to an internal seminar on what it might feel like for that sucker to really blow. The cardiologist I spoke with on the phone lacked all humor. I asked what symptoms I should learn to recognize. He laughed mirthlessly and said something like: "You won't have time to have any symptoms..."

I don't think that has any relationship with this tenacious infection -- The Boutiqueur is more correctly focused on my crappy aortic *valve* -- its bicuspidness. Bicuspidity? And the chest pain? Well, my heart rate hasn't been below about 110 in months now... Shoot, probably nothing but heartburn or a pulled muscle.

Yeah, Retired Educator! Borrow trouble, you nitwit.

Earlier this evening, I began a reread of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I like the transparency of my mind. My memory stretches back to sitting on an old painted bedstead with a very lumpy mattress -- down in my grandparents' basement, reading Tom out loud while my Nana ironed. It would have distressed her greatly to learn that the first "real" book I ever picked for myself, and finished, was Go up for glory by Bill Russell.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Thank you, and good night!

Okay, first off? I don't even recognize the preceding two posts. I am leaving them as "published drafts" because I do discern a barely familiar intent from which something might be salvaged. Not tonight, however.

I finally managed, through the magic of pharmaceuticals, to string together a three hour nap. The difference in mentation is remarkable! Several times, my own snoring almost roused me but I fought off the urge.

The medical folks who people my world are wonderful and why I do not remember their sincere dedication to helping me, I don't understand. Some of it has to do with constantly second-guessing myself. Some of it has to do with trust. Most of it is some sort of overblown pride.

Fred has been having A Day. That means -- in La Bianca shorthand -- that Fred is struggling with all that he must do versus the imperious demands of ADHD.

We needed to leave The Manor -- and that means through The Spikes and across The Moat -- at 11:30 am. I woke him in dulcet tones at 10 am, using naught but tender terms of endearment. Even so, he refused to exit the warm bed until I had furnished coffee and two perfectly cold slices of pizza pie. Finally opening both eyes at once, he ambled off in skips and hops across the cold 16th century stone paving and the fancy linoleum -- Welsh deo gratias tiles -- that leads the way to his office, where he plops down in front of his computer. This does not bode well for a timely departure, plus he is mumbling something about having my Go-To-Guy Doctor, now known simply as The Boutiqueur, learn what it feels like to wait. A noble sentiment in some farflung context, I am sure, but not in the realm of our experience with The Boutiqueur... and certainly not a position Fred has any right to adopt!

We were cooking with gas but with no food in sight.

At 11:22 am, Fred fairly flies across my field of vision and the knot in my stomach relaxes -- until I hear him cursing and see envelopes and other scraps of paper swirl upward in small vortices from the oddly planed oak wardrobe. There's nothing like tornadoes in the bedroom.

We have the following conversation:
Me: Whatcha doin?
Fred: What does it look like?
Me: We need to leave in seven minutes.
Fred: I am doing something important.
Me: Can I help?
Fred: No, you can't help.
Me: Well, at least tell me what is wrong...
Fred: I cannot find my VISA bill.
Me: Is that something that absolutely has to be done in the next seven... no, six... minutes?
Fred: {glares}
Me: Maybe I can help you find it when we get back over The Moat this afternoon.
Fred: {glaring} Fine. [He grabs a pair of wide-waled peat-colored corduroy pants and a mustard-colored denim shirt and sprints for the bathroom. Whew...]

Humming and packing up my Stuff, I hear the shower start. Between his putty skin, the peat pants, and the mustard shirt... I hope his colors run and smear.

We got there with five minutes to spare, although that included a brief stint between two tankers while the Fredster ate some of the aforementioned pizza pie and steered, if it can be called that, with his knees.

The Boutiqueur is now back in charge of my "case." We put our pointy heads together over the minutiae of my bone and joint infections, over the lacunae of information identifying the offending pathogen(s), over Fred's level of frustration, and over my bossy bitchiness.

He fears the overuse of vancomycin -- I am on my second six week course of receiving it via the PICC line, and they just hiked the dose to twice a day, even though my trough level was "normal."

He agrees with InfectiousDisease Man that the spacer impregnated with antibiotics that was inserted in August is now nothing more than a germ magnet and ought to be removed. (My index finger was wavering and waving in the air at that... but my lips seemed to be glommed together with pastry cream.)

My WBC count is 16,500. The CRP is still elevated (and the sed rate still NORMAL! How utterly odd...). No fever in the office... but back at the ranch, it shot up to 100.6.

It felt great to hear him think out loud, which let me relax, reassured that someone with plenty of brain power and compassion was there so that I could check out and put my resources toward something recuperative. Like a nap.

He has a notation in my voluminous chart (something I find very embarrassing) that when given things such as Ambien, I do NOT sleep and report "feeling weird." I do not recall this but he nods sagely and wonders aloud if there might not be something already in my "arsenal" that might work well to break the cycle of insomnia. We hit on amitriptyline and so I will try adding 100 mg tonight.

[Note that on the hint of a promise, alone, I was able to grab three hours!]

Ruby the Honda CR-V flew down the road -- zoom zoom zoom -- and I visited for a few minutes with Dr. PainDude's PA, who then gifted me with the month's worth of pain medicine. She used to work for the brother of my OS, and regaled me with funny stories of their apparently legendary antics.

Tomorrow? InfectiousDisease Man, blood draw (unless my PICC will give as well as receive, which it would not last week), a hair trim, and home.

I don't feel very hopeful when I look at my medical situation -- but I respect the hope I have seen in other people throughout the day -- and I love my Fred, and acknowledge his frustrations as being something seen only in people consumed with the rigors of breathing in, breathing out.

I am very lucky.

Thank you, and good night!

The Castafiore on Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy wants Hilary Clinton's New York Senate seat.

I, La Belle et Bonne Bianca Castafiore, want the mezzo soprano role of Carmen, despite the general contention that I am not -- {sniff} -- sultry enough.

"Tant pis, tant pis," murmure-t-on.

Kennedy told a local newsman over the weekend that she wants "to do her part" in the general goodwill inspired by Obama's election. "We all need to pitch-in" -- that kind of thing.

Unheard of!

She is reported to be an on-again, off-again voter and is not reknowned for her efforts within the Democratic party.

(Whatever that means... What does that mean? Mais, qu'est-ce que ça veut dire?)

Roland Barthes, he is not so much known aux E-U -- if you ask, no one (personne! personne!) has read Mythologies. Il en serait content, je crois. No one needs to *read* it. Ah! je ris de me voir si belle dans ce miroir...
En fait, je rigole!

Canonical images only go so far.
But I, La Belle et Bonne Bianca Castafiore, will not be the fool to underestimate them.
Death of the Author, indeed!
(Oh, puh-leeze, mes amis... a joke. Not a great or grand joke, and perhaps overdone, but -- still, a joke!)

Vous me suivez?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Aces over eights

I am passing through episodes of approximately 30-60 seconds of 10 out of 10 pain. Passing through as in stepping into the light mist of a gamey perfume -- and out again -- a delicate lunge, a tantalizing twirl into the rank emanations of owwwww -- and out again. Et ainsi de suite.

Ten out of ten: I have maintained that such a score would never be attained (by me), precisely because of what it is supposed to mean -- the worst pain imaginable.

The worst pain imaginable? Right off the bat, dès le début, I have issues. My imagination, a well-conditioned muscle, really should not be invited to the party. As an undergrad, I chose to satisfy my math requirement by taking a course in logic -- taught by a former priest whose defrocking story was mythic. I went on to almost major in medieval philosophy. Probably would have afforded me a more lively job market...

Professor Ryan made it so that this can never be just the issue of ten... because there is also the issue of zero.

In between the waves of ten are times of seven, eight -- there where I normally subsist. Ach, mein gott.

My good sense is floundering.

Fred, in Fred's goodness, is pulling chauffeur duty again this coming week. Monday: Dr. Boutiqueur, followed by Dr. PainDude. Tuesday: ID-Man and the Infusion Center Gals. Wednesday: Repeat Tuesday, plus see SuperTall PA to Dr. ShoulderMan.

Then ring in the damned new year.

Lindsay Wagner looks like death warmed over -- a great thing for a spokesperson for the Sleep Number Bed -- drab from head-to-toe in browns, a testament to verbal sepia. I am not so much sleep-inspired, looking at her, as worn out.

We've shut ourselves up in our little apartment off the roomy kitchen in the East Wing of Marlinspike Hall. Holed up. Huddled in seclusion. Not that there is anyone from whom to hide. The Castafiore is out driving Miss Daisy crazy, as we call her Sunday evening shenanigans. The felines are nowhere to be found. They did not appear underfoot at the sounds and smells of Fred Cuisine, which normally finds the trio circling our feet much as might three tiny sharks.

Three little *land* sharks, that is. Sly. Cunning. "Candygram!"

I have slept only four hours since Friday. The details before that are rather sketchy. I've not been fun to be around and seek to correct that moral failing.

Wa Hoo. Yee Haw.


My mind strays -- you may have noticed -- and I smile, thinking of my friend Diana-with-an-H and her most recent trip to Deadwood in South Dakota.

I love Diana-with-an-H. She totally *gets* me and chooses laughter as the best response to most everything. Well, that's probably not totally accurate. Better to say that I've yet to see a sad circumstance that could control her hilarious nature. Combine that with a good heart and, yep, you've got an exceptional person.

From time to time, she feels the need to gamble. To get the hell out of Dodge. {insert a westernism here} Do I live vicariously through her? You betcha. I don't believe that I've hit 10 on the pain scale since thinking of her, happy out in a snowstorm, soaking up history, and sharing it with me -- far away, wimping out, all whiney. What a gift! Here follows her email to me -- that she scribbled upon getting home -- knowing. You get that? Knowing!

(I'm so far away from ten. I feel it and I don't. The smile of friendship, even the memory of the smile -- wipes it away.)

We made it home safe and sound. As we were throwing our bags and sacks in
the house, I was putting everything away and already have a load of laundry

Rapid City was crazy with shoppers today.. We just hit three
stores and all had to do with Hunting... Cabalas-Shields-Blackhills Archery..
and then we were on the road.. too many people.

Last night, we had the
coolest trolley car driver who was giving us and another young couple a history
tour of Deadwood....

It was snowing so hard and the wind was blowing
that we jumped on the trolley car going the other direction, just to get out of
the snow....

He was talking about the Adam's Family. He was a merchant
in DW that made a ton of money and built a Mansion back in the 1800 and it still
stands today.. He also gave DW the money for the Museum. with one condition..
they never "charge" anyone to see it....

The road going to his Mansion
is also the same road to the Grave yard were Wild Bill and Calamity is buried...
You can go on tours of the Mansion also....

During the small pox break
out.. that Calamity helped with and also, every person she took care of.. did
not die.. however over 300 children died during this break-out.. and all our in
the grave-yard....

Wild Bills' Wife, who he said 'was the love of his
life" was in a Circus when they met and was said she was very pretty... Wild
Bill was only in DW for 6 weeks when he was shot...

His goal was to get
rich off of the gold in DW for his wife and him... He met Calamity in Cheyenne
WY and they both signed up to be "out-riders" for the wagon train bringing
supplies to DW... (out-riders rode ahead and checked the trails and looked for
Indians and problems)

It's said that Bill admired Calamity for her
Courage and he always tipped his hat to her....
But they say she grew up
very poor and a very rough childhood and she was built like a Man for those days
and also she never took a bath....

They say she left DW for three years
and came back with a 7 yr old child, a girl... well.. she was still such a drunk
and cuss and filthy.. that the State of S.D. came in and took the child away
from her..... She told everyone this was her child.. but the timing did not
match.. so they wonder if she might have found this child stranded.. no one
knows for sure....

They also said the Sheriff Bullock Never Once had to
use a Gun to take someone to Jail.. they said he stood 6'6 and had Gray Eye's
that looked right though you... they said he was a huge man and huge shoulders
and huge Hands..... big big Man.....

Some of the books say Wild Bill and
Comity were Lovers, but this was not true.. she said he was her "best-friend"
and she loved him but not in the sex way...

Wild Bills wife came to DW
and saw his grave and thought about taking him back East.. but decided this was
his final resting place and he needed to stay there. That was the one and only
time she was there....

This spring, lane and I are going to go to the
Mansion and Museum and Grave Yard... so I'll be sure to get pictures....

We were talking about the show DW and this guy was telling us how much
history and a lot of things are True or close to the truth of the real story....

He was telling us some kids went and stolid the Last Chinese Head Stone
two months ago out of the grave yard.. but they got caught and it's been placed
back on the grave..... So that's good.. also very sad....

We were
talking about it being BAD KARMA to steal from a grave yard... gives me the

While we were on the trolley car.. I was thinking of you
and how much you would LOVE this and the stories being told....

wanted to tell you about them before I forgot......

Christmas Day I had
Prim Rib-Ham-Scalloped Potatoes and fried shrimp.. Last night was Prim Rib and a
ton of Crab Legs... Yummy.....
Tonight.. Mom's making chili....

Okay.... Hope things were nice and quiet and pain-less as could be for

Good Night... Love Dianah
Pain? What pain? I am all smiles.