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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

......the girls of the house take a beating!

I will start this by saying we are all okay now.......

If you have been following my post, you will know that I am having to walk the dogs about 4 times a day. We have a little schedule worked out and it seems that the other dog owners who "share" the park with me have their schedule too so this helps us avoid each others dogs.  I take Morgan and Einstein for their walks around 5:30 a.m. (don't groan, I'm a morning person!), 10:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and their last walk about 8:00 p.m.  They are able to "hold it" longer if we aren't here to take them, but if I am home, this is our schedule.

The other morning I had some errands I wanted to run.  I wanted to start early, so I decided to take them for a walk at 9:00 a.m. rather than 10:00 a.m.  In seems that the people 2 floors below us with the large, black un-neutered male lab take him out for his walk around this time.  Something I did not know!  So as we rounded the corner to head down the hill to the park, we came face to face with him and his owner. Needless to say, everyone was surprised!

Morgan, being the ever-friendly dumb lab, leaps forward to greet them.  Einstein, with her irrational belief that she is a bad-ass, charges the dog.  Now, this is all happening in a split second but for some reason my cat-like reflexes (ha ha) don't work as fast.  The lab's owner pulls his dog across the street but not before my dogs have run me into the metal fence that lines the sidewalk.  Since they had already turned the corner, but I had not, my left arm took the brunt of the force.

I regroup and pull them back towards the apartment.  All the while, the neighbor and his dog are standing calmly on the other side of the street, watching.  Oh, the horror!  Then to make a bad situation worse, bad-ass Einstein, hopped up on doggie adrenaline, decides to take on Morgan.  Now my dogs are scuffling in the doorway, the neighbor is watching and all I want to do is hide.  I finally get them inside and back up the apartment, check for injuries and shoot nasty stink-eyes and lots of "bad dogs" at them.

The dogs were fine apart from one small bite on Einstein's leg (serves you right, bad-ass - NOT).  Then I checked my arm.  Apart from being scraped up, the bones seemed okay.  Put ice on it and shot more stink eyes at the dogs.

All this happened about a week ago.  So this is the end result.
Nice bruise, huh!?!

I have noted on this blog about my concerns about being car-less and the kids in school across town.   So we have leased a car, however we aren't going to be able to pick it up until our temporary residence cards arrive (new wrinkle in the plan).  Hopefully we will get the cards by Monday and still be able to pick up the car on Tuesday, 4/12/11 as originally planned.  But right now, I remain carless and at the mercy of public transportation.

So yesterday I got the call.  The school nurse was calling to inform me that Samantha had collided with another student playing soccer in P.E. and landed on her elbow.  The school, thankfully, does have a registered nurse so she had placed ice on it but was concerned because of the amount of pain she was still having after 20 minutes.  So my options are running through my head the whole time she is talking:  (1) take the tram/Metro/bus, (2)  take a taxi, (3) call Patrick.

Since I was going to call Patrick first anyway to tell him about Samantha, I thought that maybe someone at his work could drive him to the kid's school or loan him a car.  Thankfully, his co-worker, Lorraine, was at work and came to our rescue again!  (Lorraine was the one who drove Patrick to my rescue with my first grocery store debacle!)  She drove him to the school to get Samantha and then took them to the train station.  There is a a Metro stop in Saint Cloud across the street from the hospital and the hospital is within walking distance to our apartment (all lucky coincidences).  

Patrick and Sam reach the hospital about 3:00 and I meet them there at 3:30.  Samantha is waiting to be x-rayed.  She was being a trooper and only had a few tears.  She got her x-rays and was going back up to see the doctor with Patrick.  Now, it's time to meet the bus with Max.  Another stroke of luck, the bus stop is right in front of the hospital!  I retrieve Max and he wants to see his sister (sweet of him!).  I text Patrick and he says they are done and coming out, so we wait and meet them and all walk home.

They told Patrick that there was no "obvious fracture", but they would have the radiologist look at it.  Okay, I have been in the ortho field a long time and all her symptoms were classic for an elbow fracture, but I don't claim to have x-ray vision, so I let it go.......They had also given us a prescription for pain medicine that we needed to fill.  I was getting ready to leave and go to the pharmacy when the phone rang.  We had been home about 10 minutes.  It was the hospital saying that the radiologist had looked at the x-ray and determined that "yes, there was a fracture" in her elbow.   (Told you so, na na na na boo boo!)  So Patrick walks her back to the hospital.  Now she is in a half-cast and has a return appointment in two weeks.
Sam - the brave trooper
I miss my job and my friends at Cary Orthopaedics even more today than I usually do!  

Last night was a little difficult getting her comfortable in bed and the "pain" medication they gave me is nothing more than 500mg of acetaminophen.  She finally found a good position on the couch about 11:00 p.m.  As you can see from the picture, it is her left arm and of course she is left-handed!  But Spring Break starts Monday and they are out of school until 4/26/11, so I guess the timing was good if it had to happen!  She did go to school today, but hey, what kid wouldn't love to show off their "war wound"!  

As I stated in the beginning, we are fine now.  A little sore, but we are some tough chicks!











Sunday, April 3, 2011

......I forgot a picture last time!

I had this great picture to accompany my last post when I was writing about the dogs and the barking, but I forgot to include it!  I still think it makes a great comedic addition to the blog, so I am going to post it now.  (Please take time to review my last entry if you missed it to know why I think this is funny! and shame on you if you didn't read my last post!)  When I take the dogs out for their walks, we pass the bank of mailboxes which have the residents names on them and I noticed this one........

Maybe this is the neighbor
who complained!!

So onto more current topics......we have another week of Paris living under our belts (which Patrick is having to tighten as he is down a pants size with all the walking!) and are still amazed daily with things we see and learn.  

Before we moved, we heard horror stories about worker strikes.  The trains would stop running on transit strikes or trash would pile up if sanitation workers decided they needed better coffee on their breaks.........  We have been lucky though since we have been here as everyone seems to be happy with their jobs right now!  No strikes!  **fingers crossed**

Something interesting about Paris is that trash is picked up daily (except Sunday) and about twice a month you see these guys.
Outside my kitchen window
See the guy in yellow?










Two guys on each side of the street come down welding huge hoses like firemen slowly followed by a truck with a tank of water.  They move down the streets spraying the trash, leaves, and anything else is in way (dog poop), into the center of the road.  Then after they are done, another truck comes by and "vacuums" up all the stuff.  You see this all over the city in residential areas as well as commercial.  This is in addition to my guy in yellow who wanders the street daily picking up trash.  This is nice, however they seem to have an aversion to actually bending over and picking things up.  I watched one guy spray a car battery that has been sitting against this wall since we moved in for about 3 minutes and when it refused to move down with the stream of water, he walked on......leaving the battery.  So far the battery has survived all subsequent attacks and is still sitting there looking smug!

When we moved here we thought that we would see if we could get buy without a car.  Well, due to some unforeseen circumstances, i.e. kids going to school across town not down the road and dogs not being allowed to run in the fenced area, we made the decision to lease a car.  I had thoughts of getting a call that one of the kids was sick and needed to come home from school and I would have to take a taxi to get to school and to get them home.  I really didn't relish the thought of putting a vomiting kid in a taxi. Also, I wanted to be able to take the dogs to the many parks around here and let them run and get good and tired so they will sleep more and maybe bark less!  Patrick will still be taking public transport to work except for days he may need to get somewhere, so the car will be with me most of the time.  Since parking is a problem in the city, I think that we will still take public transport much of the time, but for exploring areas outside of Paris and for emergencies, it will be nice to have a car.

It seemed apropos that we decided to do this yesterday, our 13th anniversary.  When we got married in Colorado Springs, instead of taking a honeymoon, we bought a Dodge Durango.  So yesterday we went to the Honda showroom and leased a Honda Jazz for the next 3 years.
ours will be black
It has room for all four of us as well as room in way back for Morgan.  Einstein usually rides in between the kids.  We wanted to do our part and get the Hybrid model, but would have had to wait until August to get the car.  As it is, buying/leasing a car here is VERY different than in the U.S.  First of all there is the whole language thing......  After establishing some form of "Frenglish"(I walked out of the VW showroom when I was told, rather rudely, that "No" no one there spoke English) the lady we leased from spoke minimal English, but with our minimal French, we got it done (and at times quite comically with hand gestures). Then there are no car lots in Paris.  You go to a showroom and they might have 6 cars parked inside to look at.  No sales person comes up to you and immediately befriends you.  You have to go looking for them. Then they want to know if you have all forms of I.D. and your first born child (thankfully we had Max with us! **wink**) ready to turn over to them. It seems that first the paperwork portion must be submitted and approved, then you can talk car.  There is also no test drive.  You just look and I guess, imagine, driving.  Thankfully, because it is a Honda, we felt comfortable committing to this car without driving it.  You also don't leave with a car when your done....  We should expect delivery in about 10 days and then we will have to travel about 25 minutes to a different place to get it.  But all in all, very happy about our decision.

In my adventures to look at different car showrooms, I saw some more of Paris and only got lost once or twice.  I'm getting better at rectifying these times thanks to the fact that I am starting to recognize places and my handy I-Phone app, Google Maps!!
Storm coming over steeple in downtown
Saint Cloud

Yep, that's the Statue of Liberty with the Eiffel Tower

We also received news from family in Seattle that our extended family has increased by one!  My cousin, Sheryl, and her husband, Jeremy, had a little girl!  
Welcome to Maya Lynn Grater!
You have some cool parents!