So, dear reader, here is the flip side of the idyllic scenes described in the previous post, i.e., happy trip to Gatlinburg and fill-in volunteer work at Day Job enabled by Cherished Son.  Timothy picked me up at school since he had brought me there after the chemotherapy training session, greeting me with the news that he had accidentally broken my gorgeous, huge computer monitor.  Even though I had bought it last summer along with a new computer since my previous desktop is old and tottering (like another occupant of this house I could mention), I have barely used it because the Oldie has been holding up so far.  Timothy brought home his own desktop and this gargantuan TV monitor that he uses for a computer monitor, but unfortunately has been rearranging cables and peripherals between his computer and my new computer for some dread purpose and the monitor just finally fell off the table.  

In his frustration, he kicked the front door.  Which is hollow.  Now I have a broken front door.  Which is one of a matched pair that has unusually deep-set locks because of their retro sunburst doorknob plates, just to make sure that replacement would cost the moon.

My somewhat aching incision and I trailed out to the garbage can to get the make and model of the monitor (with which I had totally bonded even with little use), so I could get the same thing at some point in the future (not possible now with these crushing medical bills hurtling at me from every angle).  He had bashed it so badly (did he think it was a Taliban?) that it was impossible to locate the label.

In revenge, I am making him pick up the clothes off the floor of his bedroom.  This should take several days.

Just another day in Paradise.



Hello, all.  First the biggest news: poor Rembrandt had a UTI!  It took a while for me to realize what was wrong with her because of my preoccupation with surgery recuperation, but she got treatment and a new expensive vet-based food that she and Jack will be eating for a while (or forever), and she is her old Rembrandt self again, thank goodness.

Amazingly, Timothy's emergency family leave from the Marines has evolved into three months of paid leave (of which two months are left) because there is no slot available for him to work at the local recruiting station.  He asked me if I would like to go somewhere before the chemotherapy/radiation begins, so off we went to Gatlinburg for a few days last week-end.  I was delighted that I (slooowly) managed to hike the Laurel Falls Trail, which is 2.6 miles round-trip.  It was rainy and the fog was really moving in on the trail and it was just gorgeous.
  Reaching the Falls:

 We had some tasty meals, at Pancake Pantry, which has been in Gatlinburg since 1960, oh the nostalgia:
and The Old Mill Pottery House Cafe, which has one of those great menus where you want one of everything and the meals are served on their own handmade pottery.  The building used to be a potter's house.  I can remember when the large old mill next to it was literally the only thing in Pigeon Forge; oh, how times change.  We stayed at a different motel each of the two nights; the first motel, Zoder's, was one I had never stayed at but had always intended to try sometime.  It was fabulous, right on the babbling creek of course, with complimentary wine and cheese at 6 and cookies and milk at 8, and the most comfy beds ever. There was a small indoor pool with a waterfall, exercise equipment, and our room had a view of one of the log cabin cottages that looked quite authentic.

It snowed the final night, so here are a few parting pictures of that gorgeous scene.  Brutal reality now looms, with the first chemotherapy scheduled for next Friday.  Appointment yesterday, training session this morning, pet scan / mammogram / port installation TBA, chemotherapy pills, chemotherapy IV, shot to stimulate white blood cell creation, apparently hundreds of visits to the cancer center, and the challenge of maintaining the job through all of this.  You aren't going to believe this next part.  Timothy offered to work as a volunteer (normally parents are volunteers) in my place at such times that I can't be there, something that he can easily do since my job duties at the new school are considerably simpler than my duties have been at the previous schools, since there are two other librarians besides me.  So I am going to show him what to do later today after the training session at the cancer center.  Is this a good boy or what?
 One of these mountain peaks is Mt. le Conte, which you may remember we have hiked a few times and stayed overnight in the cabins on the tippy-top:
 And it's off for home...