A “We’ll See” Idea…

In taking a friend for surgery yesterday, there was a lengthy delay and as we were in the Pre-Op area, we were able to observe what was a professional group with what seemed to be an excellent dynamic. It was quite busy as patients were prepped and there was not much spare space, yet the nurses and technicians flowed around each other with smiles and friendly bedside manners.

There were some tasks involving what they called Enhanced Recovery Protocol and after about the third thing, I asked about it. The protocol has been in place for not quite two years and includes some different medication combinations and placement of pads on a patient’s feet and another portion of the body to cushion contact during prolonged surgery to help avoid bed sores. The medication was to reduce the possibility of nausea from anesthesia and I don’t recall now the purpose of the other one. There was also a different way to measure baseline breathing capacity to ensure it was as good post-surgery. The explanation for the protocol was to shorten the recovery time, especially for patients who would be going home alone. This was for outpatient surgery and while everything was supported by studies and research, it would make sense that it will depend on the individual as well. In this particular case, the delay in surgery meant being late in the evening when everything was completed and an overnight stay was ordered as a precaution. There was no complication from the surgery, but it had been nearly a fourteen hour day when travel time to and from the hospital was included. Since this particular patient has had other out-patient procedures, it will be interesting to see if any measurable difference in recovery is noted. I hope so, of course, because shorter recovery is always a good thing.

Unintended or Ignored Consequences…..

Somewhat serious content alert. “Unintended consequences” is another term people often misuse. A definition posted on Wikipedia is, “outcomes that are not the ones foreseen and intended by a purposeful action.”

The “misuse” from my perspective is when a new idea is proposed and opposition to the idea is raised, reasons for the opposition may be met with a comment such as, “Oh, you’re worrying/arguing over something that won’t ever happen.” In my experience, this is especially applicable when social and actual engineering is involved. (Business, too, but I’m not going to use those examples). Those of us who were young in the 1960s, a time of much social upheaval, brushed aside a great many concerns of our parents/grandparents warning us of potential breakdown of families, etc. A number of those consequences can be seen today. Therefore, a major increase in children with no father figure and the adverse affect that can have is not an unintended consequence – it is one which was clearly stated and ignored. Yes, I realized having no father is better than a dangerously abusive one, but there are many, many studies supporting the major problem of no father figure in homes.

Moving on, however, to an example of unintended consequences (although maybe some people did warn of this) is the recent advertising for a company that provides on-line ordering and delivery of pet supplies. One of the benefits is  the consumer will no linger have to wrestle with heavy bags of pet food, etc. That is true. What I recently learned and hadn’t considered is that some postal workers are having to retire earlier than planned because of the significant increase in heavy loads they have to handle. As was stated to me, via a third, “Sure, one or two deliveries a week is okay. But when it becomes almost a daily thing with multiple deliveries, that’s more than I can deal with.” When private delivery firms hire people, that is with the understanding there are likely to be heavy deliveries. That is not in general (or wasn’t) true for most postal workers. Is the adverse affect on postal workers more important than the benefit to the consumer? That, will of course, depend on your point of view.

Amazing Talent….

I’ve mentioned last week and this are extra busy and I’m not going to get into everything added in for next week. One of the events was/is attending Aida, the first summer production of our community theater, The Seminole Players. Other than “A Christmas Carol” in December, the performances have all been musicals. This year, the Director decided to go with something less well-known – the Broadway musical version of Aida, done by Elton John and Tim Rice. Most of us were puzzled and much of the community was unclear as to what it was about. The theatre PR folks sent out clips to look at/listen to and snippets from rehearsals. Our regular group split up a bit as to which performances to attend. Two went to opening night last Friday and when we saw them at another event on Saturday, they gave it rave reviews. With a cast of around 30, the range of talent was from very good to great. At almost two-and-a-half hours (a short intermission), there was a level of energy though to keep it from dragging.

Those of us who went to the Sunday matinee were still not quite prepared for the incredible voices, the excellent choreography and the smoothness of the flow. The songs were good and I suspect the bits of humor thrown in might not have been in the original opera. The tragic theme remained, however, and played true to the love triangle caught up in dynamics beyond their control.

Facebook has been filled with photos and compliments which I hope will translate into full audiences for this weekend. Attendance has been good, but not quite what the staff was looking for. On the other hand, when you try something new, reluctance to embrace it is not uncommon. Word is spreading and we’ll see what the final count turns out to be.

No doubt the August show, “The Little Mermaid”, will be a sell-out as was “Annie” last year.

Busy Week Again and Other…

As I’ve mentioned lately, it was almost a year ago when my sister and I put together the extended time we would spend together in June. The week-long stay in Paris had to include two more days for Transatlantic travel time, then another 2-3 for Sis to get back and forth from Texas. Only a couple of other events were scheduled when we made these plans. As each successive one was added in, the calendar filled with back-to-backs in the ironic manner that can happen. The “irony” comes in because people constantly say, “Nothing happens in the summer here”. While it is true a number of organizations take July and August off, that only applies to a few things I am involved with. At any rate, getting through to about mid-July will continue to be interesting.

The long awaited fence repair is also bogged down and will require approximately double the number of days we thought. The ground here is extremely difficult to dig into because it’s very rocky (includes a lot of old coral) and the way the utilities are run prevent the guys from coming in with a machine to make things move faster. Hand digging dozens of holes, even with a power auger, in 90+ degrees is slow going. Then there is the stack of old fencing which we didn’t really discuss the removal of and as it turns out, the regular pick-up apparently doesn’t handle. We’ll get it all sorted out of course, but it is one more thing to deal with. I did put notes of apology into the mailboxes of the two neighbors most affected by the mess. Fortunately we all get along well enough so I don’t think this will have an adverse impact. It also means extra debris getting into the pool, so I won’t be using it for several more days. The important point though is progress is being made and we will get finished.

Catching Up and Photos….

Back when we planned the Paris trip, several events which are now jammed into June were not on the calendar. That does make it a bit tricky to try and fit everything in whether in prep before departing or for the rest of the month. And of course, the repair of our fence which was supposed to occurred the end of March is just getting started today. What a mess that will be. However, since we haven’t been able to do anything about re-landscaping the back yard, once this is done it should last a very long time. Yes, that comes with an assumption that Mother Nature doesn’t tear through and we all know that possibility very much exists.

I do finally have some photos to post. I’m skipping the Eiffel Tower one as everyone knows it. The “Thinker” at the Rodin Museum is almost as well known, but the roses are lovely. The dome of the Galleries Lafayette is truly breath-taking and the Water Lily Garden at Giverny is wonderful. You may have already seen these on Facebook.

It is a trip we will both long remember. Who knows if we’ll take grandchildren some day? And if we do, who knows what all will have changed?

One angle The Water Lily Pond in Monet Gardens

Outside the Rodin Museum

Partial View of the Dome Galleries Lafayette

Home Again…..

We had no delays in getting home although with a morning flight, we also didn’t winding up sleeping on the nine hour trip to Miami. We watched a lot of movies. “Mary Queen of Scots” is very well done if you haven’t seen it and “Bohemian Rhapsody” did bring back memories of those days. Even though  we haven’t yet signed up with Uber or Lyfte, a friend did recommend a young man who does a driving service. He was very polite, a nice car, reasonable rates and communicated well as we made our way through the process. And speaking of process; Hubby and I have Global Entry, but Sis doesn’t. MIA has installed a lot of kiosks for passport scanning as another expedited way of getting through Passport Control. It works well and there is no charge. There is also a Mobile App you can download for those who prefer that type of approach.

Sis is here until I/we take her to the airport mid-afternoon tomorrow so we will do a couple of local things we didn’t have a chance to do when she came in. As much as I’d like to run her down to Key Largo or Islamorada, doing so on any weekend, and especially Father’s Day weekend, is not happening. We had enough traffic in Paris. We might go to La Playa at Bayfront Park for lunch tomorrow – we haven’t been since it re-opened and it isn’t likely to be as crowded as all the “regular” places for Father’s Day.

Okay, I do still have things to catch up on and will parcel them out, knowing the upcoming week will be definitely super busy. This is one of those months when all three boards I sit on have their monthly meeting in the same week.


Paris Trip, Day 7……..

The weather report for this morning didn’t really match what we woke up to although I had already scratched the idea of going to Montmarte. As it turns out, taxis are more difficult to find than expected as they don’t have taxi stands at all the major attractions. Since Hubby and I usually take the Metro/RER (light internal rail), I simply never paid much attention to taxis. I was very concerned that we could get to Montmarte, but have difficulty in getting back and that is one place for sure access to the Metro is a long and mostly lengthy climb. (Not precisely uphill both ways, but not easy no matter which direction).

Anyway, since Sis is a great Monet lover, we went to L’Orangerie Museum in the Jardin de Tuilleries with the idea of strolling through the garden later. The Museum itself is small compared to others, yet it is impressive. The two rooms with the eight massive panels of Monet’s Water Lilies are indeed something to see. Done in the latter part of his life when he was struggling with eyesight, they “track” the hours from sunrise to sunset, not in any chronological sense, but in the play of light. Having now visited Giverny and seen the gardens and water lily pond in their natural light, it’s easy to see how he was inspired. How he managed the extraordinary blending of colors and form is another matter altogether. In fact, the pieces were not placed on public display until a few months after his death. He no doubt has been around in spirit as people have absorbed this very special work. Much of the rest of the museum houses an amazing collection from Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume, men who contributed immeasurably to the art world in the patronage of Picasso, Matisse, etc., In gifting 145 pieces to the museum, there are also a large number of Renoir and Cezanne, so it crosses the decades. A special exhibit on display was August Macke and Franz Marc, German artists who became friends and were part of the post-Impressionist, avante-garde group who brought us “contemporary” leading into “modern” art.

As we exited the museum, wandering in the garden didn’t seem to be a good idea and in managing to snag a taxi, we also experienced a traffic jam which of course is part of Paris life. Thus ends our museum trek for the trip.

Paris Trip, Day 6….

The weather did turn although the rain held off until we were inside Musee D’Orsay and broke a couple more times as we made it to lunch after and were unsuccessful in finding a cab until we took the RER to Les Invalides where we picked one up. But first, the museum. The Musee D’Orsay was built as an impressive train station for the 1900 World’s Fair. There was also a lovely hotel and incredibly ornate grand reception hall. It was ultimately turned into a museum in the late 1970s and is quite large. It is where the main Impressionist exhibit is up on the fifth floor. There are others on display also, but by the time you finish the fifth floor you generally need a break. Many other periods of arts are shown, lots of sculpture and periodic special exhibits. Sis took plenty of photos and of course it was special interest to see Monet paintings of Giverny since we were there yesterday. The Reniors are always a sight and Pissaro is featured among others. We did get a bit of a late start because Sis was extra tired from yesterday’s adventure and we decided not to roam in the rest of the museum.

We went to the nearby café for a light lunch and it was very tight quarters. Fortunately, the place was only about two-thirds full. Sis had what was basically a chef’s salad and I had the vegetable soup as I had not done so yet. As we make our way through some of the French “musts”, she had tarte tartin for dessert and hot chocolate since the rain had also dropped the temperature. It had been a long time since she had hot chocolate made from scratch.

Even though it will be my third (her second) time to go to the Alsace restaurant close to here for dinner, the hotel had a fairly limited menu and we dined here last night. There is an Italian place where we had lunch the other day, but Sis isn’t enthused with that idea, so we’ll play tomorrow night by ear. It will be our final night for dinner and I may ask the hotel staff.



Paris Trip, Day 5…..

Okay, today’s excursion to Giverny was the one absolute no matter what else we did. This was also the only thing planned I have never done. Interestingly, the “day trip” is actually only 1.5 hours on-site and with the crowds. It isn’t really enough time to do the gardens and the house. However, Sis has a couple of books with all the rooms of the house and I didn’t really care so we were fine. The Monet Gardens are open April through I think it’s October which means the 600,000 annual visitors are crammed into the space of months. Everyone is “funneled”, although “tunneled” is a more accurate term as you go through a tunnel from the parking lot/public areas and emerge into the gardens. You walk along defined paths and split multiple ways, all of which ultimately lead you to the gift shop which was a studio. By the way, the prices are actually quite reasonable in the shop. No, I didn’t buy anything.

So, Giverny is 45 miles from Paris, just as you cross into Normandy. With traffic it’s 1.5-2 hours time. Our driver, a pleasant young man quite experienced in both maneuvering dicey Paris traffic and the area, explained there are numerous B&Bs in Giverny and if you want to truly enjoy it, he suggests you book well enough in advance to stay 1-2 nights there to share in the small village and get into the gardens before the throngs arrive. I can see this as a possibility, especially for a photographer who needs morning light and fewer than hundreds of people at a time.

Anyway, it was lovely, I will leave a good review with Trip Advisor and I did get some good photos I will later post. Sis loved it. We had planned to have dinner at the hotel and did so. Last night (or rather this morning) was a terrible bout of insomnia, so I am really dragging. More tomorrow.

Paris Trip, Day 4….

There are certain things I had told Sis we would do that sounded okay to her, but she didn’t understand exactly what they were and today was one of them. For those who already know the Galleries Lafayette, bear with me; for those who don’t, you can share the surprise. Opened in 1912, it has a magnificent domed structure with marvelous interiors of glass, beautiful décor and in adding modernizations, they have maintained their line-up of all the major names in shopping as well as added trendy new ones. You flip the pages of Vogue or any fashion magazine and in all likelihood, every ad you see will have a place in Galleries Lafayette. Since we are staying on Champs Elysees, we certainly have now had access to any of the high-end shopping we might wish to do. Not that we do that, but the opportunity is available between the two places. We did not do the gourmet store; that might have been too difficult to resist. Sis did find some mascara she’d been looking for and there was some indulgence in presents for grandchildren. It’s not as if I need anything for myself.

We had quite a late lunch at an Italian place close the hotel and we’ll go the Alsace restaurant tonight. I’ve held off so far on my steak au poivre and suspect it will be tomorrow. Yesterday was really hard on walking for Sis and today was much better. Tomorrow is the day trip to Giverny which will be a first for me as well. It’s a min-bus though rather than the big tour bus so I have hope of a manageable group instead of a big crowd. The weather has improved and we of course have high hopes for tomorrow. I haven’t looked at the forecast as I don’t want to possibly jinx things.