It has been a week of medical drama. Julianna has had a cold for two weeks, which didn’t really process until her cough got worse Monday night. I don’t worry about her health very often anymore, but for some reason this time I worried. I took her to the doctor to make sure she didn’t have pneumonia, and it turned out she did. X rays, pulsox, the whole works. Her oxygen saturation was 92-93%, which has always sounded fine to me, but between Julianna and Michael I’ve been around enough pulsox monitors to know you’re supposed to be 95%. The doctor said she was borderline for going to the hospital. Five years ago the doctors told us that pneumonia can hang around being not too bad for a while and then get dangerous in just a few hours. I think we caught her right before the downward plunge, and I’m just grateful that Julianna’s health issues only warrant one Quick Take now, instead of two weeks of hospital posts.
I have my own medical drama this week, unfortunately. I’ve had pain in my feet for several weeks, but I could barely walk on Monday evening, so I also went to the doctor on Tuesday. I came out with a diagnosis of planter fasciitis. Which means I am not exercising for two to three weeks at least, and I’m wearing my Danskos and wrapping duct tape around my socks to compress the arch of my foot. I have never before realized the ordinary blessing of being able to stand up and make dinner or do dishes without pain. And I really don’t like not exercising. It’s hard to hold a calorie count without exercise. Boo. On the other hand, I’m really enjoying the extra time to write, clean house, and run errands. I’ll focus on that, and pray that this resolves instead of becoming chronic.
Parts of the writing process are deeply energizing. Others are deeply intimidating. I have been outlining a new novel this week. And procrastinating it. But accountability wins again: I am planning a NaNoWriMo run beginning tomorrow, and to succeed I have to have a very clear idea where I am going. I used to think I could be a pantser, but I should have known better. I am German. Hear me roar. It sounds like this: OUTLINE OUTLINE OUTLINE OUTLINE OUTLINE!
Thursdays mornings my aunt has been watching Michael for me. Last week I went shopping, but most weeks I just write. Usually I go to church and park myself at the piano. We have a 6.5-foot Yamaha grand there, and as Jeanne Cotter once said about another instrument, “There’s music in that piano.” It’s different from being at home on the studio upright. I serenade the church cleaners with sixty repetitions at breakneck turtle pace (the only way I can play a real piano part), stopping every few notes to scribble, erase, and rewrite on staff paper.
Speaking of writing music, I want to put an observation out there, and then I’ll have done. Many times in writing music–perhaps even most–the magic comes from a wrong note. I put my fingers down intending to play one thing and I hit something completely different, and I go, “Wait a minute! That works! And it’s not the same old same old!” I don’t know how people do it when they actually are good enough at piano to play the right notes.
I downloaded music and burned a new CD of pop music last week. I know, I’m really in the stone ages, but I’m doing just fine without a smart phone or ipod; I neither need nor want to have music in a universally portable format. Silence = mind rest. Anyway, I’ve been collecting the list ever since last year’s bulk purchase. It’s a process. The music at Jazzercise plays so loudly that you actually can’t hear the words, so when I like a song the first thing I have to do is go home and Google it to make sure it’s something I can play in the car with my kids along. That weeds out about a third of it right there. But there are some gems in there nonetheless.
How about a kid funny to end the post? Nicholas has taken to saying random letter combinations and asking what they spell. “What does C-N-F-T-B spell?” he asked Alex the other night.
“What does it spell in Spanish?”
“I don’t know Spanish!” said Alex, aggravated. “I only know a couple words!”
“Mommy? What does it spell in Spanish?”
“I only know a few Spanish words, too, Nicholas, but that doesn’t spell anything at all.”
Another pause. Then he said tentatively, “French?”
Happy Halloween, All Saints and All Souls!