My birthday and our 40th wedding anniversary are this week – I have Covid-19. About three weeks ago, I started coughing and took a negative test. “It’s the excessive heat or allergies,” I thought. A week later I was watering the garden when I became really breathless so I made a Saturday morning appointment at the doctors. He asked if I was anxious but said it in a kind way. All my medical information tells doctors that my primary illness is anxiety so it is reasonable to ask. In my mind my files are stamped with ‘DON’T BELIEVE ANYTHING SHE SAYS!!!!’ ‘CRAZY OLDER LADY WITH WEIRD ACCENT’ ‘SHE’S AWAY WITH THE FAIRIES’ ‘DANGER, DANGER!!!’. He was very thorough given my ‘cyst in the lungs’ history, gave me another negative test for Covid and chest X-rays. I haven’t seen a pulmonologist since my last one died of Covid during the worst of the Pandemic but the GP urged me to find a new one.
I left thinking it was all in my head – ‘bloody anxiety is the bane of my life’. Teddy and I went off to Galveston for a couple of days and I felt good. The sight and smell of the sea was heaven. When we came back, I decided to book a little trip to one of the Great Lakes (cooler, more water, less tourists) for the anniversary/birthday combo. The bag was packed instantly and for once I was excited. Then I got anxious…we are having a drought and every day is over 100 F. My sprinkler system has not worked for 2 years because I had nothing else to do but hose the garden. What will happen to my little critters who rely on the various water bowls? For some reason the birds prefer the blue bowl on the ground and the squirrels love the bird bath to drink out of. A friend kindly offered to water the garden/critters but using my very sweet voice, I asked the sprinkler guy if he could fit me in – he could! All problems solved…
We always book at the last minute because of my rapidly changing moods. The flights could be cancelled but I hovered over paying $70 more for the hotel for last minute cancellation. Teddy said, “Why would we cancel at this stage?” so I booked the non-refundable option… This will now become part of the saga of our marriage and brought up every time I am annoyed on vacation. Then the diarrhea started which was exacerbated by the hacking cough with almost disastrous results. My nose was running into my coffee, my mask and the food I was preparing. Then there was a message from the Saturday doctor – there was evidence of emphysema on my chest X-ray. Really?? Time to take another stupid Covid test which was finally positive.
The hotel allowed us to book another date and the flights were cancelled. God laughs at our plan, eh? On our 30th anniversary we had to cancel a trip to Panama because Teddy’s Dad had the temerity to die so inconveniently. I got sicker with Covid but the worst symptoms are abating. I was fully vaccinated with 2 boosters but worked at the airport. At least I don’t have Monkeypox. Now Teddy is getting ill. Nurse Ratched has appeared and he may as well be Patient Zero or Typhoid Teddy. Is grumpiness part of Covid? He has just sloped off to bed because he feels weak. My response was ‘Good’ doublespeak for ‘Get out of my sight’. Then we got an alert because we used 500 gallons more water than usual when the sprinklers started so I am back to hosing and misting.
Last night I cooked chicken marinated in white wine, lemon and oregano along with spiced couscous with sour cherries. It just tasted like small white food with bigger white food. My hair is standing on end with all the sweating and sleeping so I took a shower last night. As I was drying off, I spotted a small cockroach fall out of my towel and skitter under my bed. My OCD brain struggled to compete with Covid brain. Previously a KLAXON warning would have gone off; I would have bathed in a light solution of bleach (joking DO NOT DO THIS), sprayed insecticide under the bed, washed the carpets, changed the sheets and had a small breakdown. Covid brain won. I just washed the towels and went to my unwashed bed with my new pet slumbering beneath me.
I married in 1982, one year after Princess Diana. Many of the dresses of that period look dated but my lucky bargain dress stayed stylish and beautiful. This photo (set) was a gift to Teddy on our 30th wedding anniversary – 6 years ago. My wedding dress had not been cleaned in all those years and had traveled across continents. It was in a plastic bag in our attic in Texas and after I lost weight, I decided to try it on. It looked amazing so I took it my local dry cleaner who made it like new for less than $10. It is ivory satin with tulle and Belgian cotton lace on the bottom. I was struggling to find a wedding dress in Scotland because my skin is really more sallow than it looks. All the bright white dresses washed me out. Finally, my mum and I went to Fraser’s department store in Glasgow and found this dusty ballgown (not a wedding dress) reduced from 100 to 15 GBP. Even then that was a steal.
As soon as the photographs were taken, I took the dress to my local thrift store so that some other lucky bride could enjoy it. I felt somewhat guilty for having ignored it for the previous 30 years… Below is the dress on the original day, 19 July 1982.
Teddy and Bunny, with our Mums at our side in 1982
So this is the original color of my hair and also Teddy’s glorious blonde hair. My hair is naturally curly and covered in confetti. My mum had sewn up the low cut neckline for modesty but the stitches burst open as soon as I stepped (elegantly) out of the taxi. At least Teddy and his grand-dad looked really happy at the view! I was 21 but looked like a teenager – nervous about marrying a virtual stranger and living in a new country.
The anniversary photographer had a make-up artist so I posed for a variety of shots. Teddy proudly displays them in his office and delights in visitors saying “Is that your wife??” Yes, she is. ❤
It has been a while since I did a fashion post. This bargain buy was a treat after a very long work week. I found it in Nordstrom’s Rack for $17. It is a Maggy London dress so they normally retail at around $120. I have paired them with my favorite BOC lime flower sandals and the foxes’ mermaid. We have a video of the puppies carrying the mermaid in their mouths.
I wore it for a pre-birthday dinner with Teddy and my friend. On my actual birthday it was over 100 degrees so it was too hot to wear it. Teddy and I also celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary, the day before my birthday. We didn’t know each other very well when we married in haste, so I thought if we married the day before my birthday he would never forget my birthday. Teddy never forgets anything but Bunny does…
Our 36th wedding anniversary
We spent our anniversary in a historic little town just north of us. Teddy loves antiquing so I just follow him around…he also loves ballet. Who knew? As far as I know, he is out of the closet.
Birthday girl at Lake Conroe
On my birthday we tried a new restaurant on Lake Conroe. There is a real haze in the air from Saharan dust which some weird weather has brought to Texas. We managed to stay outside despite the blistering heat. Then we went home to collapse in the air conditioning!.
Kerry wearing her favorite Max Studio dress from some years ago with a rust crochet topper and matching BOC shoes
It is my 57th 37th birthday today and I have a new hair color to celebrate. It was also our 35th wedding anniversary yesterday so last week I decided to try a new hair color at home and have my hair cut. Every manufacturer of hair color is different so even if you choose the same color and number #, it might tint your hair an unusual shade. It did…
In the photograph above you can see more of the color underneath – it came out dark blonde, almost brown. There was no panic because at least it wasn’t green but I thought, “why don’t I try frosting/highlighting the brown?” Off I sped to CVS and spent less than $20 on a L’Oreal frosting kit in Iced Champagne. They very cleverly color the frosting blue so that when you apply it you can see the highlights more easily. I started out with the little brush and quickly moved on to just using my gloved fingers with two mirrors to see the back of my head.
To my astonishment, it turned out really nicely and even my hairdresser complimented me. She cut it to accentuate the highlights. I will probably color it all over with a lighter blonde when it next needs done but might try this technique on occasion. Teddy took these photographs at the weekend and we had great plans to go out to dinner on the 19th but we are both sick! Both of us have headaches and nausea so spent our anniversary watching the latest Game of Thrones in pajamas with very bland food. Ah well, on the bright side I will have kept off the weight that I have struggled to lose and my bras will still fit!
This is a fun photograph of my husband and his mother on a glacier in Austria in the late 1960s. Doesn’t she look like the coolest chick with that Caucasian ‘fro? Her hair was naturally curly. She died peacefully in her sleep on Monday 4th January after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Nessie spent the last four years of her life in a wonderfully caring home in Scotland and thrived under their care. I still can’t believe that she lived so long – she had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at least 15 years before her death at the age of 87.
This week has passed in a blur, writing a business plan for my husband on Monday, then onto all the funeral preparations. The mortuaries are full of bodies at this time in Scotland. Somehow the cold and viruses just takes out the weak. The funeral is planned for Wednesday 13th January when we have a brief break in the weather. It will be near freezing but dry – so important if you are travelling in Scotland (or to Scotland).
Curiously, the funeral will take place on the same day that my mother died 14 years ago. They were good friends in life so perhaps they will be again in death. I asked my husband if I could speak at her church service and he thought that was a good idea as he would be too upset. I first met her when I was 21 years old and she accepted me immediately. It is now over 34 years later, I am still married to her only child and I cared for her relentlessly. She had good instinct.
I will probably not blog again for a couple of weeks but who knows? The journey across the pond is tiring and we have much to do in a short time. We traveled regularly to the UK to see my husband’s parents but now we are unlikely to do so for some years. Our visit will be a gentle goodbye to both a lovely mother and a beautiful country.
That title probably says it all but I suppose you would like an explanation. I just posted my latest travelogue from Nacogdoches which was truly a beautiful little city but we were staying a Hampton Inn on the main interstate just a mile or so from the center. We were there to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary. I would guess that many of their guests are just travelling along that route or are visiting the local university. The hotel was lovely despite its location and they put us in a nice quiet room at the back of the hotel. The first night was great and then I noticed a sign that said, ‘Welcome to student orientation’. There were plenty of out of state car plates including New York and I wondered if parents were bringing freshman college kids to visit the university. We had a lovely evening out and, as many Texans do, were in bed watching TV at about 9.30 pm. Then we heard shouting and eventually realized that it was coming from the car park despite the double glazed windows that prevented any noise from the busy road.
I opened the curtains to see a group of young men playing with a soft ball in the car park. They noticed me banging on the window and I signaled for them to go around the back to play where there were no rooms. There were no obscene signs but they had no intention of moving. We phoned reception who said they would sort it out. After ten minutes the top of my head blew off, I stripped off my nightdress and put on my shorts and t-shirt. My husband said that it would be better if he went down but I thought that might turn into an aggressive situation. I flew out of the side door and starting telling them that they had to stop playing ball in the car park, they were disturbing the guests many of whom had young children and they might damage the cars. I suggested that they play around the back which backed onto some forested ground. One was belligerent (was he from New York?) and that incensed me. How dare he answer back to a lady in her 50s who was telling him that they were disturbing the guests? You are in Texas now, honey! My voice raised and I said that they either move off or I would phone the police. In truth, the police couldn’t do much unless there was criminal damage but I thought a sharp talk from a Texas Sheriff might sort them out. Half of them started to move towards the back of the hotel, with the belligerent youth facing me off.
I turned around and stomped towards reception and met a man who I saw moving his brand new car to the other side of the hotel while I was remonstrating with the boys. I said, “Did you move your car because of those boys?” To be fair my tone was angry especially since he said nothing to the boys. His response was that they weren’t doing any harm; leave them alone, mutter, mutter and more muttering. I thought that the top of my head had blown off before but now it exploded. I was so angry that he had obviously moved his car to prevent it getting damaged (or the alarm being set off) and worse that he had not defended me that I shouted very loudly, “F*** Off!” I don’t know who was more surprised him or I. I rarely lose my temper or use cuss words in anger but it was worth it to see the look on his horrible face. He started telling me what he thought of me but I had stormed off to reception. The poor girl, who looked like a student, couldn’t deal with all the complaints from the guests but she should have dealt with the situation immediately. I said that if she didn’t move the boys on, I would call the police.
Then I went back up to our room – great anniversary mood, eh? My husband told me that they had briefly gone around the back, were presumably scared by the forest and raccoons (now I am just being bitchy) and came back. After 10 minutes they were still shouting in the car park and my husband put on his best scary Scottish accent (think Shrek in a bad mood), called reception and very firmly said that she either she call the police or he would. Magically, it worked and the hotel returned to blissful silence. The mood had gone, however, and nothing could restore it. We drove home the next day, stopping at one of our favorite places for lunch in Lufkin. Suddenly blackened catfish restored my usual sunny temperament and the weekend was saved. Sunday was our actual anniversary and we had a cozy romantic meal at our local restaurant after we returned home. All was rosy between Bunny and Teddy until Teddy uploaded Windows 10 onto Bunny’s computer and killed it. It took five hours of ‘conversation’ with Microsoft to restore it and Bunny is still not happy. It is going to be a thrill road through my menopause – Bunny alternates between loving spouse, sex mad cougar and crazy lady.