A SHORT VACATION Kate’s Journal


dancer“Dancer” stoneware sculpture by kayti sweetland rasmussen

Dr. Advice does not cook. I mean he REALLY does not cook, so in preparation for my short vacation for a tune-up, I am preparing a bit of sustenance in advance. So far a chicken vegetable soup, a chocolate cake and a few enchiladas. He used to feel sorry for our friend Emmett Oliver after Georgia passed away when Emmett stocked his fridge with frozen dinners. Personally I think that was very smart.

This appointment for surgery popped out of the blue a day or so after the stress test. One of those “voices” informed me that the doctor was ready. There was no chance to say “Wait a darn minute–HE may be ready but I haven’t finished reading the brochure”.

Having a bypass of a leg artery may or may not correct my “spaghetti” legs. I don’t think there is a need to drag out my dancing shoes again, but perhaps I can pass along my wheeled transportation. It seems a very positive endeavor. I just hate to be rushed.

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90 YEARS YOUNG Kate’s Journal


Sam In Sitka>”Sam in Sitka” watercolor by kayti sweetland rasmussen

It’s a real treat to live with someone whose memory goes back further than your own. A convergence of the Universe, including planets, constellations and one tiny dwarf planet, gathered at our home last weekend to usher Dr. Advice into his tenth decade.

An awesome hustle and bustle took place preparatory to the celebration, during which I was only allowed to sit like a bump on a pickle and watch while our daughters do what they obviously do extraordinarily well–get a party going with all the bells and whistles.

Friends and family exchanged “Sam” stories, the tiny planet dangled from the fig tree, the only granddaughter dropped off the world’s largest floral arrangement, caught her Uber and flew back to London, old friends “caught up”, new friends were interrogated and judged OK, and food and drink did the hostesses proud.

So now, after having studied the DMV rules for several weeks, the patriarch of our family was discovered good for two more years, having misread the cut-off date.

Welcome to 90 dearest friend and husband, you’ll always be 18 to me.

STRESS TEST Kate’s Journal


When the voice identified herself as “Cardiology”, I wondered why they were calling me. In rapid fire English she informed me that my doctor had scheduled a Nuclear Stress Test for me in two days.
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I informed that I do not walk, especially on a treadmill. She told me that I would not be required to walk, It seems that the word “Nuclear” makes all the difference. Instead I would be a quiet recumbent participant of the three hour test.

I find the process of aging with its many ramifications very interesting. Each indication of new challenges gives you pause to get acquainted and decide how to cope with each with grace and dignity.

I showed up at the required time and was soon rigged out with an IV in my arm before we went into a room with a machine half the size of my dining room. They injected a dye into the IV and had me put both arms over my head while lying down. This position was maintained for 15 minutes while the machine (camera) lowered itself to within 1/2 inch from my face. It slowly revolved around the upper body while I forced myself to think of sailboats on a quiet sea with seagulls calling out to me. Conversing with seagulls is not easy and I truly find them noisy and greedy creatures, so this subterfuge really didn’t help the time pass any faster.

When this test was over, They took me into another room where a nurse with a lot of authority took charge. After explaining the process she injected me with another drug and began the test. I could tell she had done this before because suddenly I experienced everything she had mentioned. You become a bit panic stricken and want to end the test. She asked me what I was feeling and being an honest person I told her I really wanted to throw up. Her answer was to inject me with even more drugs as the test progressed. This test lasted a half hour after which the nurse suddenly asked me if I wanted a milkshake; either vanilla or chocolate. Obviously, no one wants to be vanilla so I took the other one. One stipulation of these tests was no caffeine for two days, so chocolate was the obvious choice.

After returning from my reclining run, the nurse told me I “looked very good for eighty-eight”, which gave me the boost to move back into the original room with the large camera. The original routine was repeated while the camera slowly rotated over me.

With the test over, we now wait for orders from the vascular surgeon who hopes to be able to do a bypass of my legs.