Thursday, May 21, 2009

My first installment happened way before I actually flew to Portland to buy a house in early May. Since then I've fallen in and out of love with a house that was long on charm but would ultimately be a money pit.  I loved the area, but wold have to travel through some dicey neighborhoods of the city to get there.  The ironic thing about this house is that I fell in love with the front and back yards which would require a lot of work.  I'm not a gardener.  I've read approximately two garden books in my life.  I own a multi-part DVD series on the great gardens of the world, but only because it was narrated by Audrey Hepburn, my favorite movie goddess.  If Audrey was starring in a series demonstrating how to install appliances in your home, I'd buy the DVDs.  Suddenly I'm staring in awe at a twenty-foot lilac bush in full bloom in the backyard while logic is screaming at me to run: the master bedroom was in the basement and the bathroom sink shared space with the washer and dryer.  I would need to install a new stairway, and lower the floors so my head wouldn't scrape the ceiling.  

As many of you know, another house grabbed me and refused to let go.  This lovely 1938 Cape Cod beauty was move-in ready, had a beautiful and roomy updated kitchen that made me weep in gratitude, a second floor laundry room, an airy master bedroom with a walk-in closet and an en-suite bathroom, all in my targeted neighborhood.  It even has a long second floor balcony off the master bedroom where I can contemplate life and my neighbor's back yards.  The house would cost as much as the fixer-uppers after they had been fixed up!  

The negotiation had some snags that took away from the pleasure of the purchase.  I found myself threatening to walk whenever negotiations bogged down, but in the end, the house was mine.  So back home, it was time to set the move into motion.  

Let me tell you, finding a mover, setting the dates, arranging the financing, and trying to make sure Beau, my six-year-old brindled French bulldog, isn't freaking out because he definitely knows something is up.  But it occurred to me that I had to figure out how to get him out to Portland.  I became alarmed when I found out he's really too heavy at 24 pounds to bring on the plane with me.  The airlines want a dog to weigh in at between 16 and 20 pounds.  I momentarily lost my mind and considered sending him to Portland in steerage.  The airlines won't allow a dog with a flat nose to fly cargo in the summer if there's a possibility that the temperature will climb above 85 degrees.  Then I found a service that will take your dog and get him to the destination of your choice, in my case, for more than $4000!  Scratch that.  As I began to whine to my friends, I was instantly reassured that Beau would easily qualify to come on board the plane with me because they brought their larger dogs with them and nobody weighs the dog as long as it isn't as big as a Labrador Retreiver.  No chance of that since Beau is built very low to the floor.  So I got him a carrier and will try to bluff our way onto the plane. Okay, I think that problem is solved for now.  Next.

My friends are trying to be brave as possible.  Everyone is saying to me, "I'm so happy for you, and so sad for me."  Maryann likes to remind me that this is the dumbest idea of many dumb ideas she's endured as my friend for more than 30 years.  But those who know me seem to be genuinely excited.  I'm ridiculously rich in friends.  Nobody should have as many pals as I do.  They have been accumulated, romanced, nurtured, and loved since I became an adult.  I like a wide variety of friends, and I've finally learned who to mix in with my regular set, and who to see on my own. But now I'm going to try to gather them all together in June for one farewell bash at my friend, Alison's perfect party apartment.  I'm thinking 50 people will show up and I'm thrilled to be able to kiss and hug'em all before I get out of Dodge.  So there's another thing to organize before I go.  

My buds at my local dog run where Beau and I go every day rain or shine, also want to send me off in fine style and we've organized a drink night at a local pub near the dog run.  Then Maryann decided to host a gathering of my publishing friends.  This is all wonderful--with lunches and dinners planned until the last day.  But there's a wrinkle to all this partying...

I'm over-the-moon about my new doctor, which my great friend, Carl recommended.  Dr. Leichman has the greatest bedside manners of any doctor I've ever known except my dentist, Dr Siegal.  He's funny, warm, reassuring, and very thorough. For years I had a wonderful doctor, though a tad argumentative at times.  But when I moved my business home and started paying my own insurance premiums, I could no longer afford him.  Two doctors later, and here was Dr. Leichman.  He took a lot of blood and when I returned home from Portland, I went to see him for the results.  His response?  "The party's over."  My cholesterol, always high (part of the family DNA), was over 300.  My triglycerides were in the area where some are dignosed with pancreatitus, and my glucose was loudly proclaiming "diabetes."  Time to take stock.  Well I've been playing with fire for years now with my health.  My weight has ballooned out of control, and as my friend Susan likes to remind me, "Greg just because you take massive amounts of cholesterol controlling drugs doesn't give you permission at your age to eat precisely what you want."  Damn.  I hate that.  

But truth be told, I got a bit of a sense that maybe it was time to start taking this lifestyle change seriously.  Here I am moving out into the wild blue yonder where everyone is into a more healthy lifestyle.  The simple fact of the matter is that I drink like a fish (though I'm always well behaved) and indiscriminately eat more than my fair share of red meat, pasta, rice, butter, eggs, cheese, bread (my homemade bread is addictive), olive oil, cookies, cake, pie, ice cream and candy.  I'm either cooking for myself or my friends, or I'm dining out in the greatest food city in the world.  So all this indulging eradicates all the good vegetables and the "Mediterranean-style" food lifestyle that I like to think try to follow.  

I went on the wagon seven days ago, and I've been eating lots of veggies, fish, chicken, oatmeal, beans, while strenuously avoiding all my trigger foods.  It's not bad, actually.  I miss cookies, but all in all, I'm doing rather well for someone on a diet.  I did cheat a bit yesterday at lunch.  I ate some sushi.  But got right back in the diet saddle for dinner with some grilled Tilapia and a bountiful veggie salad.  Some of these parties will be tough.  While all my friends are tippling, I'll be sucking on a diet Coke.  But I am determined to get those numbers down.  

Coming challenges and shopping for appliances. 

No comments:

Post a Comment