I'm still high over the great weekend we had. It was just the two of us and we had a great time. We took it easy on Saturday for the most part. We had breakfast, then decided to take off for a nice walk at Mashapaug, and hiked out to Rock Point.
After that, we came home, rested up a bit, and went to dinner at what has become my favorite restaurant, Max Fish. We had a great time as usual.
On Sunday, we did yard work and prepared for Fall/Winter. This included mowing our lawn for the last time this year, and going to the garden store to buy mums. Fall is indeed here for us. We measure that on the day that we buy mums.
Today, I was still thinking of what a fun weekend it was. Here are a few photos from our walk to the pond.
We are back from Yuma, Arizona and really enjoyed the warm weather there. It was around 75 most days and for the most part, sunny. Later in the week that we were there, we went to Ajo, Arizona, a sleepy little place that has little going for it. The people there are very poor and there's little there in terms of places to stay or eat. But, it's close to a place that we wanted to see, Organ Pipe National Monument.
Here are a few photos we took...
I've grown to like the beauty of the desert a great deal. And since my operation, I've become very sensitive to cold weather. I have less tolerance for it.
Health wise, I'm feeling good. I've lost about 50 pounds. My diet is completely different from the "old days" before my operation. I seem to be getting my energy back. I'm not quite like I was before, but I've reconciled myself with the fact that I may not get that back. As long as I pace myself, I'm fine. But gone are the days where I can put work first, and put in a twelve hour day without it having consequences.
The down side right now is that I have fluid in my right lung that seem to have the doctors more concerned than I am. I had to go in for another X-Ray today. They first noticed it before I went to Arizona. I had hoped that they dry air of Arizona would clear it up. But that didn't happen. It's not causing pain. I can breathe without effort. So what's the problem? Anyway, my doctor is consulting with my cardiologist who has stated that "the heart is involved" with this issue, whatever that means. And he is consulting with the cardiac surgeon about it. So, we'll see where it goes.
Other news... this issue of heart disease (took me a long time to come to terms with saying that I have heart disease) apparently runs in my family. I knew that. My father died of a heart attack when he was 47 years old back in 1961. Everyone attributed it to over work, but they didn't know much about it back then (keep in mind that this was in Emmett, Idaho).
But now, my brother is having issues. He's four years older than me. He's a veteran, so he's in the VA health care system. They flew him to Seattle to do an angiogram, just like me. And, they found that he has three blocked arteries and will have to go through a triple bypass. The difference is, he doesn't have the health that I did when I went in for bypass. That's about all I can say about it without violating his privacy. We've grown very close over the last few years and it's hard for me to see him go through this. I plan to go to Idaho again this summer, probably in June or July.
Well, I usually don't do portraits, especially of myself.
This was taken last Sunday, after almost two months of recovery from double bypass surgery, and a haircut. My hair was getting longer and longer and I was starting to look bad, and, I was in a real slump. So, I decided to get a haircut. My stylist, Pedro, looked at me and said, "Oh my God!". That kind of said it all, so you can imagine how I looked. While I was there, he wanted to color it up a bit (ok, a LOT). I told him to have fun. Boy, did he! A color, highlight, and what is called a "glaze" to put a shine on the hair. This is what we ended up with.
It's been a battle to get to this point, and it's not over yet. I'm physically feeling less pain now because my sternum is finally on the mend, and I'm off all pain medications, taking my walks, and I've lost 37 pounds (and counting). So I thought it would be a good time to capture this historic moment!
I have cardiac rehab orientation a week from this Friday. After that, I go in for an initial 20 sessions to see what exercise I can do without killing myself. I'm told it's grueling, but I'm looking forward to it. I'm tired of walking on eggshells. I want to do something.
I've been working from home, which has actually kept my sanity. My place of work has been amazing through this whole ordeal, and if by chance they read this, I'd like to tell them specifically, Thank you! They are really compassionate people.
I've been away from posting for awhile. We are contemplating the idea of getting married. Most people thought that when Connecticut started to allow same sex couples to marry, we would just do it. Not so fast. I'm thrilled that we have the right for marriage equality in Connecticut. I just wish we had access to those really big ticket items at the federal level. Still, this is not the time to be stingy. How dare I ask for what straight couples have during this economic downturn? And, there's an argument to be made for that I suppose. I'm just finding it hard to get my head around that idea that some states are reasoning that now that the economic climate is so grim, that now is the time to allow gay couples to marry because it will bring in more revenue.
Who does benefit from legalizing gay marriage? Obviously, gay and lesbian couples who want a deeper, more meaningful commitment towards one another, the way straight couples do; and that should be reason enough to convince anyone with a heart. But, to those who think only in terms of money, there is also an economic benefit: Couples seeking recognition and marriage benefits wouldn't move to states that provide them, keeping much-needed tax dollars in a state that's already facing economic hardships.
Let's evaluate our reasoning for disallowing gay marriage, from a conservative viewpoint: First, we have the "morality" argument, driven by a religious belief that homosexuality is sinful. By that standard, we'd have a laundry list of things we DO permit that we'd then have to remove due to biblical standards, including shaving and grooming of facial hair and the eating of shellfish (not to mention our willingness to start wars).
Second, we have the argument that homosexual relationships don't lead to natural births. But again, that argument ignores key facts, among them the fact that straight couples who are incapable of having children, too, are allowed to wed.
Finally, there is also the argument that allowing gay marriage will lead to abuse in the system; that straight men or women will marry a member of the same sex simply to receive the benefits a marriage would grant them. That argument is moot, however, for two reasons: first, "marriages of convenience" already exist within the current system of marriage, and second, our government is perfectly content with recognizing such relationships as legitimate. (source)
Yes, I guess it would lead to more money for the state, and I see all the other reasons for doing it that the article mentioned. The sad thing for me is, why did we have to go through all of this before people could see how unfair this all is? Are people in this country that mean spirited and divided against us? Apparently, they are.
So that really just comes back to us as a couple. We have to look at marriage as a commitment to each other (but we've already done that -- I think being together 33+ years proves that), because aside from state protections which are nice (let's not forget that hospital visitation is on that list as long as we stay in Connecticut, along with other medical directives), but the bottom line is, my country won't recognize it, nor do other states. So it's nice, but if we travel outside of Connecticut or Massachusetts, it means nothing.
In fact, it makes filing taxes a hassle. We would have to prepare two federal tax claims - one as single individuals (that will be submitted to the IRS), and one where we are a married couple (that would not be valid to submit to the IRS). We have to do that because Connecticut would allow us to get married and file jointly, BUT, we have to submit our federal filing report as a married couple to them. So it's more effort.
We talked about it last night at dinner. There are so many people I'd like to be there, but most of them are in Idaho and as it stands now, going there for the wedding is not legal. So, many people that I love would not make it. I'm thinking of a small ceremony, maybe at our home, with a few local friends, with dinner and a celebration. Not exactly what I had hoped for, but Connecticut is not where we grew up or came from. But would that change everything? It seems like your wedding day should be right up there with the "happiest day of your life", but I don't think it would be because so many wouldn't be there.
It gets me down on so many levels.
But I guess you have to see it for what it is. Like this older couple. I read this and asked, why put it off? But them I go back and forth. It should have something to do with happiness and celebrating what we have, not how many weren't there. And for me, that why I've been dragging my feet on it. I wanted marriage equality and to be treated like everyone else, but after this bitter battle to get basic equality, it's like ruined it for me.
On other issues, we are going to the mall again. We've decided to bite the bullet and get the Nikon D300 for our next camera. I'll keep the D200 and will send it to Nikon for a tune up. It's nice to be able to do this stuff during these tough times.