January 21, 2009


A little after eight o'clock last night, while having a phone conversation with Margaret and pacing my apartment, I suddenly felt "wet" under my feet. Appalled, I initially thought that all three of my cats had decided to eschew the extremely clean cat box and piddle on my bathroom floor. Then, I noticed the rest of the bathroon. The toilet was full of very brown water....all the way to the rim. Then, someone living on a floor above me flushed her toilet. My toilet responded with a robust cascade of more brownish water onto the bathroom floor. The most amazing part was that, simultaneously, "something" brown and unfragrant, spewed from the overflow drain in my bathtub. Said bathtub had at least seven inches of sewage in it....and I have a big tub!

After notifying the front desk of my disaster, I waited for a call from the head engineer. I was not pleased with his response that was, basically, "wait until the morning." I asked those living above me not to flush. Apparently, some did not remember this request.

This AM, the plumber and Sam, the engineer, finally showed up at nine o'clock. They were loaded down with all sorts of plumbing equipment. The water vacuum was employed and buckets and buckets of "something" were scooped up and taken away.

Up came the toilet and down went the router. Multiple attempts were made to clear the blockage. Router tips were changed......the blockage did not budge. After some anxious moments, progress was announced and we all raced down to the basement to see what had been collected. The collection was not very significant - just some paper towel looking stuff - still we were all happy with the success of the exercise.

Upstairs, the toilet awaited. Rollo was speechless when, upon extracting the router from the bowels of our plumbing system, out came a sixteen ounce Gatorade plastic bottle!

The toilet was reinstalled.

I spent the rest of the morning doing my best to sanitize the bathroom. I contacted the insurance agency. I arranged for rugs to be picked up for thorough cleaning. I laundered with Simple Green and a bleach concoction almost every towel in my mismatched collection. Before coming in to work at two o'clock, I enjoyed a small glass of heated Courvoisier V.S.O.P that had been purchased expressly for Cynthia's upcoming visit. Cynthia, you'd better hurry!

Posted by leah at 03:15 PM | Comments (82)

September 13, 2007

13 SEP 2007 Quick note re Kristopher

Wow i would like to thank everyone for the support you have for me if you would like to contact me on the ship you can reach me on my email address its kdolan@lsd50.navy.mil

The above is Kris' response to the blog about his graduation from recruit training.........and is for all who wanted his address.

My next entry, coming soon, will be entitled "What I did on my summer vacation." It won't actually be about my vacation but about my summer.

Posted by leah at 10:33 AM | Comments (33)

May 16, 2007


On Monday, I had an appointment with a vitrioretinol specialist here at the University of Chicago Medical Center. The purpose was a screening for age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) since there is a strong familial disposition for the disease. With no trepidation, I underwent the preliminary procedures of local anesthetic and dilation drops. A very nice resident, Dr. Lin, introduced himself and proceeded to shine a much-too-bright light into each eye. Although I did present with "drusen" (small bright structures seen in the retina and in the optic disc. Origin: Ger. Pl. Of druse, stony nodule, geode), the very nice resident told me that the drusen was diffuse and that I definitely did not have ARMD. I greeted his professional opinion with alacrity and bade him adieu. Drusen is thought to be a precusor or contributor to ARMD .....but, not necessarily. Next entered Dr. Hariprasad, the esteemed attending physician, and much senior in both status and experience than the aforementioned, Dr. Lin. We repeated the routine with the bright light. The good doctor then rendered his diagnosis.............."you definitely have macular degeneration!" The good news..........."of the 3000 plus patients that I see each year with macular degeneration, you are in the top two percent!" He sent me on my way with instructions to take a Centrum Silver each day and to return for follow-up in one year. And so, though I have received the dreaded diagnosis, I currently suffer none of the symptoms of this unfortunate disease. And, so it goes......... The specialist did say that anyone with familial history of ARMD should have screenings, by a specialist, beginning at age 50.

Posted by leah at 10:56 AM | Comments (2148)

April 20, 2007

20 APRIL 2007 - GOT ICE?

I have never purchased a new refrigerator. Nor have I ever enjoyed a fancy-dancy fridge enabled with all of the bells and whistles that are so ubiquitious in modern, advanced technology, appliances.

My refrigerator, very small by today's standards, is probably original to the apartment. I have only a teeny-tiny compartment that is dedicated to keeping frozen stuff frozen.........and, I have to periodically defrost the freezer to maintain the space. Otherwise, ice grows and freezer capacity shrinks.

In addition to my small, old refrigerator, I have a new housekeeper from Guatamala. She speaks little English but we make do. I conveyed to Latesia, after offering her a soft drink, that I had no ice....."porque mi refrigerador es muy poquita." With a huge smile, she escorted me to the kitchen. She proudly opened the refrigerator to reveal two trays of partially frozen water that she had positioned on the pull-out defroster tray that is directly below the freezer compartment. "Brava!", said I.............."y muchas gracias."

After almost 19 years of residing with my little refrigerator and imbibing luke-warm martinis.........I GOT ICE!!!

Posted by leah at 10:59 AM | Comments (145)

April 17, 2007


Last Friday, I attended the graduation of Theresa's son, Kristopher, from Navy Recruit Training at Great Lakes. I am so glad that I went. The ceremony was impressive as almost 1000 new Sailors joined the Fleet......excellent Navy band composed of recruits, disciplined drill team, choral group, flag bearers displaying the flags of the home states of the graduates........even some inspirational speeches. And, the immense drill hall was packed with proud families who traveled to the Chicagoland area from all corners of the States.

I didn't recognize Kristopher. He has slimmed dow and buffed up since I saw him last at Mother's 90th birthday party. One of his shipmates led me to him and he looked resplendent in his impeccable Navy Dress Blue uniform. It was a proud day for him. I was proud of him.

We went to a local restaurant for lunch and I returned him to the base so he could enjoy his weekend liberty. Kristopher is scheduled to stay at Great Lakes Naval Station where he will attend Gunner's Mate Class"A" School. He said that it is a six month course. I look forward to seeing the nephew again soon.

Posted by leah at 12:04 PM | Comments (5)