Quote

"I cannot live without books: but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object." -- Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Book Summary: Books by Four Primatologists

Note: This is a book summary written years ago.

I feel lucky enough to have the time to read a whole book, but I do not have enough time to write a full review.

After, I got Gorillas in the Mist by Dian Fossey, I picked up In the Shadow of Man by Jane Goodall; Almost Human by Shirley Strum; and Return to Eden by Biruté Gladikas.

As you may know, the authors are the famous primatologists of the 60s and 70s who overturned existing theories and practices of previous primate observers.

Goodall was paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey's first log-term primate observer to begin a study of chimpanzees. Fossey and Biruté followed studying gorillas and orangutans. Strum (not a Leakey protege) studied baboons.

This is what I enjoy, reading perspectives of a time and events by the main participants. Without the simultaneous readings, I would have missed a lot of the references to the underlying politics and personality conflicts. This knowledge added to the pleasure of reading about four women who lived in isolated pieces of wilderness with their particular primates as essentially their only companions.

Biruté and Strum benefited from Goodall's and Fossey's experiences, both refer to them and from that knowledge chose actions and outlooks that helped them avoid actions and attitudes that brought Goodall and Fossey adversity.

Both Biruté's and Strum's books reveal a depth of perspective regarding not only the primates but their environmental and local culture.

What surprised me was all the books covered as much as a thirty-year timespan and that all the authors witnessed dramatic changes in their study group due to the effects of increased human population. Each of the primates' territories faced severe destruction from logging, hunting, and farming. Each observer had to find a way to work with local jurisdictions to find a solution to save the primate's habitat.

While I enjoyed all the books, Strum's went the furtherest. She even briefly mentioned the reentry problems long-term primate observers face when returning to civilization. For every problem she encountered, she sought a rational, logical explanation and solution.


A New Batch of Vegetables - How Meals Will They Make?

I went to a local Expat market to get 1 cucumber and came home with 9 vegetables.


How many meals will they make?

Day One:

Quick pickles
Cucumber water with cucumber slices
Cucumber and Apple salad with yogurt
MW Baked potato topped with beans and cream cheese
Sliced up lime and froze for use in various drinks

Day Two:

Baked Apples
Vegetable Soup with potatoes
Sliced up Bell peppers and froze for future recipe


FYI: The cost for the 9 vegetables was $62MX. This was an Expat market, so I assume the prices are higher than at a local market.

$62MX = $3.30US (based on $18.77 exchange rate for 1$ on this day.)

I looked at an American Grocery flyer (I do not have a car, so I choose a store near my home that I can reach by bus) online and came up with this cost comparison:

Apples $1.79 - 2.49 a pound
Potatoes $3.50 for a 24oz bag or 3.99 for a 5lb bag
Peppers and/or Cucumbers 3 for $5
.10 or .25 for a lime, a Key lime or a Persian Lime

Estimated cost:

1.79 - 2.49 Apples
1.25 Potatoes
5.00 Peppers and Cucumbers
0.10 Lime
--------
$8.14 - $8.84US

Monday, February 17, 2020

Quick Pickles

DIY Quick Pickles
(Thanks to: Quick Pickled Cucumbers | Easy Refrigerator Pickles Recipe)


Ingredients:

1 Cucumber
A jar with a lid
Water
Apple Vinegar
1-3 TBspns of sugar
2-3 Tspns of rock salt or salt



Process:

Wash cucumber.
Cut in half vertically in the middle.
Cut each half into length-wise strips (julienne).
Cut away the seeds.

Add cucumber strips to jar.
Add water to jar until about 1/2 half to 2/3rds full.
Add spices.
Fill with vinegar.
Affix lid.
Shake jar to mix spices and liquids.
Store in frig.


Saturday, February 15, 2020

Guy Williams: Man Behind the Mask -- An Interview with Antoinette G. Lane

Update: 2/15/20 This is a repost because over time, Blogger.com has changed it's coding, so that the original post's coding was unattractive.



An Interview with Antoinette G. Lane
Author of Guy Williams: Man Behind the Mask

Guy Williams played Zorro in Walt Disney’s TV show in the 1950s.


I remember watching Zorro as a young girl. To me, a masked hero, on his beautiful black horse, sword in hand, riding in to save the day, was exciting. 


I fell in love with the show, with all the beautiful horses, the sword fights, the handsome hero and his loyal servant, Bernardo, the humor, and so much more. 



Guy Williams was not only handsome; he was graceful and kind. Some say Guy Williams was born to be Zorro. 



Sadly, when Walt Disney wanted more control over his show aired on a broadcast network, the discussions ended with Zorro being cancelled at the height of its popularity. 



Like others, I often wondered, “What happened to Guy Williams?” 





I got lucky, I found Antoinette G. Lane’s biography of Guy Williams and got my answer. Lane covers Guy’s life from his birth in New York City, through his modeling career, his marriage, and his experiences in a long but unpredictable career as an actor. 


This was Lane’s first biography and it took her nineteen years to complete. She interviewed many of Williams’ family and friends. Plus, Guy’s fans offered Lane access to a treasure trove of memorabilia. 



As a writer, I was intrigued by Lane’s achievement. So when I got an opportunity, I interviewed Lane about her experiences writing Guy Williams’ biography.
As Lane explains:
"I became obsessed with finding out more about him. I hoped to meet him, shake his hand, tell him I liked his work, and maybe ask him to write his autobiography. Then on Sunday, May 7, 1989 at the peak of my fever, I heard on the radio that Guy Williams had died in Buenos Aires. I was devastated. With no other fans to talk to I expressed my grief to the Los Angeles Times, who, to my surprise, printed my letter with a picture of Guy Williams, as a final tribute to him. As I heard myself saying, ‘Someone should write a book about him,’ an inner voice said, ‘Why not me!?’ " (from Guy Williams: Man Behind the Mask)

An abbreviated version of this interview may get posted on Boomer Cafe. Below is the full interview.

Could you tell my readers how you decided to write a biography of Guy Williams?

Yes, I turned on the Disney Channel one day in the late 1980s and there was Zorro. It brought back memories of watching it with my younger brother. By Spring of 1988, I was totally hooked and very curious to know more about Guy Williams.

In my frustration of finding very little about him in libraries, (we did not have computers yet) I thought someone should write a book about him. Soon, it was my own curiosity and passion that helped decide, it would be me.

When Guy passed away in 1989, I was more determined to do the book as a tribute to him.

I suppose one of the frequent questions you get, is what is Mrs. Williams like?

I was lucky, or maybe the word is blessed. When someone is loved as much as Guy was, I find people enjoy talking about them.

Janice Williams is an extraordinary person, just as Guy was. Maybe even more so to me because she’s a woman. She had to reinvent herself and did it successfully. She’s smart, witty, charming, kind, friendly, and beautiful. Her love for Guy and her desire to keep his memory alive was to my advantage. 

In 1973, after discovering Zorro was popular in Argentina, Guy moved there to enhance his acting career. What was the response you got from the Argentinians you corresponded with regarding the biography? Is Zorro still popular in Argentina, today?

The response was Love, Love, Love. They were eager to share; eager to talk about Guy.

Yes, Zorro is still very popular in Argentina for a couple of reasons: Zorro is still on TV every day, picking up new fans every year. Fernando Lupiz, who played Guy’s son in fencing shows in the 1970s, now produces Zorro shows at Mar del Plata. He plays Zorro and always gives tribute to Guy Williams, keeping his memory alive. 

Can you describe a typical day working on the biography? Did you travel to many places where Guy Williams may have lived or worked?

Progress got off to a slow start for several reasons: we did not have the Internet yet; I had to research “How to write a Biography”; read a lot of biographies; read how to “find” people; type letters and wait for a response; and make phone calls.

Sheer will and intention brings results. In 1989, I met Kathy G. who had an enormous collection of all things Guy Williams. From her various magazine clippings I was able to compile a long question sheet.

Things took off in 1995 when I met Janice Williams and she graciously appointed our first meeting on January 14, 1996, Guy’s Birthday!  Then for the next four years, when she was available, she gave me hours of interviews.

Since I had four children at home at the time, a typical day was trying to find time: to work on the book, to transcribe taped interviews, to find a quiet time for a phone interview, and to put the puzzle pieces together by writing. So it was a long ordeal.

Yes, I did go to many places where Guy lived and worked. Some of the places were: Hollywood where I saw his houses; 20th Century studio where he worked; the hills and rocks of Aqua Dolce and Chatsworth where I climbed and traipsed through areas where Zorro went on location; and Mission San Luis Rey where the first few episodes were filmed.

I did not go to New York but I contacted people from there who lived in Guy’s old neighborhood: classmates and his sister. I did not go to Buenos Aires but a friend of Guy’s sent me a video in which she filmed and narrated places that were Guy’s favorites, and where he lived and walked. Plus, she drew a diagram of his apartment, all of which were invaluable.

What advice would you give other writers who may want to attempt a biography?

DO IT!  Just jump in there and get started. Stay focused and things will come to you. An amazing magnetic force develops. 

Guy Williams died in Argentina on April 30, 1989, twenty-five years ago. How are Zorro fans honoring Mr. Williams on this day?

There are many websites and Facebook pages devoted to Guy Williams and fans post their feelings and memories on his birthday and death day. Some make a visit to his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to place flowers; some get together for lunch. 

Fans have also initiated several dedications in Guy’s memory:

  • Bronx Walk of Fame, NY, May 2000
  • Bench dedication in Central Park, NY,  October 2002
  • Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund Project 2002, to aid children of 9-11 tragedy in Guy’s name.
  • Bench dedication at Mission San Luis Rey, Oceanside, CA,  August, 2003
  • Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, CA, August, 2001
  • Named A Disney Legend, Anaheim, CA, August, 2011

(Source: http://www.guywilliams.net/g/02.zorroyears.htm)  
 
You can find Lane’s biography on BearManor Media:
Guy Williams: The Man Behind the Mask
.
 
 
See more about Lane and her adventures with other Zorro fans on FB.

Curry and Cinnamon Overnight Oats

I am enjoying making variations on Jack Monroe's Carrot Cake Overnight Oats

For this recipe, BudgetBytes offered another good idea for making a version of overnight oats using spices like Turmeric. As usual, I often don't have the spices called for in a recipe, so I have to make substitutions.

I did not have Turmeric, so I took a look at my Badia curry powder and it had Turmeric and a few other spices as its ingredients.

So, I went with the Curry and I made a few other adjustments. I had wanted to make one small serving, so instead of measuring the ingredients, I used them as a guide.

(Badia: https://badiaspices.com/product/curry-powder-1-20-lbs/)

Curry and Cinnamon Overnight Oats
(Adapted from:) https://www.budgetbytes.com/golden-milk-overnight-oats/)

 

Ingredients:

2 - 4 TBspns Rolled oats
1/2 - 2/3 Cup milk, made from dry powder mix
1 Tspn Curry powder
1/2 Tspn Cinnamon
1 Tspn Honey

 1/2 Capful Vanilla


Process:

In a small container with a lid, add a layer of oats.
Add a little milk, stir to coat oats.
Add a little more milk to cover oats.
Add spices and honey.
Stir and mix thoroughly.
Add lid.
Place in frig overnight.

In the morning, open the container. The oats will have absorbed the milk, add more milk and stir well before eating.


This makes a small serving. Increase oats, milk and spices for larger servings.

#GERD-friendly
 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Frozen Avocado - Avocado Mash and two recipes for use

 Updated: 2/15/2020, added more pictures

Previously, I had taken an avocado, cut it in half, removed the seed and froze the halves.


Yesterday, I removed 1 half of the frozen avocado from the freezer and set in the frig to thaw it out.

Today, I took the 1 half avocado out of the frig and made a mash which is just my Avocado Mixture with a few drops of hot sauce and ground black pepper.


Avocado Mash

Ingredients:

1 Avocado
1- 2 TB olive oil
1 TB Parsley, dry, crushed
1 Capful Lime Juice concentrate

2 Drops of hot sauce
Ground black pepper




Process:

Scoop out the pulp from the avocado shell.
Using a spoon, mash the pulp into a smooth paste.
Add oil, parsley, lime juice, hot sauce and ground black pepper.
Stir, mix and mash the ingredients together.


With this mash, I made 2 Toast Toppings:

Avocado mash with beans and Avocado mash with a Poached Egg.

Avocado Mash with Mashed Beans

Additional Ingredients:

2 Slices multi-grain bread
3 TBspns of mashed white beans
A Few sprinkles of Parmesan cheese
3 Tablespoons of water
1 egg


Process:

After toasting 1 slice of bread, place it on a plate.
Spread some of the Avocado mash over the toast.
Top mash with mashed beans.
Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the beans.


Avocado Mash with a Poached Egg

Process:

Toast a slice of bread.
Spread avocado mash over top of toast.

In a small microwave bowl, add water.
Break egg over water and let it fall into water.
Cover bowl.
Microwave on high for 25-40 seconds.
When done, remove bowl.
Using a slotted spoon, lift egg out of water and let water drain off.

Place egg on top of toast with avocado mash.
Sprinkle egg with Parmesan cheese.

No picture.

 

Anchovy Butter

Anchovy Butter is featured in several recipes on this blog.


Anchovy Butter
(Adapted from: https://www.thespruceeats.com/anchovy-butter-recipe-995327) 


Ingredients:

1 tin of anchovies, drained
1/2 Cup butter


Process:

Add anchovies to a container with a lid.
Add 1/2 Cup butter.
With a spoon, mix, smash and cream the butter and anchovies together until they are thoroughly combined and the anchovies are in tiny pieces.


#GERD-friendly, I find this anchovy butter useful in place of garlic butter.

Microwave: Glazed Carrots

Pulled from Sunday Cooking Marathon Recipes

Glazed Carrots Recipe

Ingredients:

1 16oz bag of baby carrots
1/2 cup water
A dollop of olive oil
1/2 tbspn sugar
S/P to taste

Process:

Add ingredients to a microwave casserole dish with a cover.
Mix well.
Cover and microwave on high for 10 minutes.

Canned Corn Salsa

Corn Salsa Recipe
Perused several Corn Salsa Recipes then made my own.

Ingredients:

1 14oz can kernel corn, drained and rinsed
1 8oz can salsa, drained
1 TBspn Onion flakes
1/2 Tspn Garlic Powder
1 Tbspn Basil flakes, crush in palms
Ground back pepper, to taste
1 capful Lemon juice

Process:

Mix all ingredients together.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

The Tightwad Gazette (TWG) - A Partial List of TWG Recipes

The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn is a revised collection of articles and ideas from Amy's previous Tightwad Gazette newsletters. The book is full of tips on how to save money as well as instructions to make a variety of craft items and other how-to ideas. Scattered among the articles and tips are many recipes.


This is a list of some of the over 86 TWG recipes found in the book and the page they are on in the book.


Tightwad Gazette Recipes

1. After-Thanksgiving Soup 72

2. Apple-Oatmeal Bars 349

3. Bean-bacon Chowder 160

4. Bean Soup Mix 129

5. Biscotti 499

6. Bread Bears 91-92

7. Burritos 377

8. Cake-mix Cookie 505

9. Candied Orange Peel 500

10. Carrot Pumpkin Pie 626

11. Cheese Ball 500-501

12. Cheese Sauce 355

13. Chilli 454-55

14. Chocolate Syrup 424

15. Coffee and Tea Mixes 128-9

16. see 422-25

17. Cookies and crackers 291, 498-99, 501, 505-6, 681, 905

18. Corn-broccoli Casserole 714

19. Corn casserole 41

20. Corn pone 160

21. Cracker Jack Snack 360-61

22. Cream Soup mix 424-25

23. Croutons 231

24. Cuban Bread 521, 542

25. Dunkin Soup 160

26. Gazpacho 379

27. Granola 27

28. Heart-shaped cupcakes 673

29. Hot cocoa 81

30. Hot rice with milk and sugar 354-65

31. Jam and milk popsicles 377, 417

32. Jell-O eggs 164-65

33. Jim’s Best Candy 138-39

34. Lentil burgers 376-77

35. Lentil-rice Casserole 453, 505

36. Maine Baked Beans 159-60

37. Mint Candy 158

38. Muffins 466-68, 682-83, 859

39. Mustard 766-67

40. Onion-Soup Mix 424

41. Orange Marmalade 813

42. Oven-Fried Potatoes 186

43. Pancake Snacks 608

44. Pancake Syrup 122-23

45. Peanut-butter Snacks 534

46. Pie-making…..633-35

47. Pigs in a blanket 805

48. Pilaf, Universal 824-25

49. Pizza 309-11

50. Pizza Casserole 772

51. Pizza Sauce 904

52. Potatoes and toppings 355-56

53. Potato-peel Appetizers 638

54. Puffy Pancake 858-59

55. Punch 859-60

56. Purple Cow 379

57. Quiches 134-35, 761-64, 872

58. Raisin-Oatmeal Scones 89-90

59. Refrigerator-dough 597-98, 626

60. Rice and beans 229, 245

61. Rice-a-Roni-style ground beef dish 738

62. Salad Dressings 230-32

63. Salsa 501

64. Seafood Casserole 211-12

65. Seasoned Rice Mix 426

66. Seasoned Salt 423

67. Shake and Bake Mix 265

68. Shake and Bake Potatoes 734

69. Soft Pretzel Valentines 389

70. Sourdough Bread 668-69

71. Stained-glass Cookies 498-99

72. Stuffing 423-24

73. Sweetened Condensed Milk 204

74. Taco-Seasoning Mix 423

75. Toaster Pastry 814

76. Toffee 500

77. Tomato Soup 424

78. Tuna-Cheddar Chowder 570

79. Turtles 868-69

80. Universal Casserole 625

81. Whipped Topping 352

82. Whole Wheat Crackers 501

83. Whoopie Pies 398

84. Worcestershire Sauce 290-91

85. Yeast Bread 885-87

86. Yogurt 715-21

Over time, I will post some of the TWG recipes I attempt to make. 
 

Om Shanti Om -- Yoga Your Way with Kate Barron


Ohm
Shanti
Yoga
  Yoga Your Way
with Kate Barron

Merida, Mexico


Yoga therapy applies yoga principles and techniques to
specific pain, conditions, imbalance and post surgery
physical recovery. This type of yoga targets specific areas to
help people in various ways such as back pain relief,
mobility in post operation scenarios etc.

Restorative Yoga or Deep Stretch
This type of yoga is for those people wanting to learn
simple relaxing and yet toning poses/asanas, techniques to
reduce stress, muscle tension from the body, address and
promote healthy sleeping patterns.

Vinyasa Yoga
A fluid fast flowing or softer movement yoga which
synchronizes the poses/asanas drawing on the breath to
maintain poses. There’s an element of cardio to this type of
yoga which makes it suitable as part of a fitness program.

Benefits:
Increases core strength & muscle tone
Lower blood pressure
Improves digestion, circulation & immunity
Provides pain & tension relief
Increases mobility, balance, posture & flexibility
Improves self-acceptance, concentration & memory
Classes tailored to
Meet Participants’ real needs.
Yoga for couples
Individuals/private sessions
Small group

Instructor Kate Barron Bio
My passion is the ancient art and philosophy of yoga, with
its use of graceful poses to achieve deep spiritual insight,
tranquility, strength and flexibility.

I have led yoga classes and meditation in Italy, Thailand,
Africa and Mexico for over 10 years.

Certificates/Licenses:
Fully licensed yoga instructor with formal training in:
• Meditation and training, Kenya, Africa, 2009.
• Meditation and training, Tulum, Mexico, 2010.
• Meditation and training, Southern Thailand.
• Pranayama techniques for stress management,
Rome, Italy.

 All ability levels are welcome,
Inquire at your hotel to arrange a class.

Contact Information
barron.kate@yahoo.com

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Throw Together Cucumber Sandwiches

I am in Cucumber heaven!!


My cucumber quick pickles came out great.

The cucumber water was refreshing and the water seemed to keep the cucumber slices crisp. So, I grabbed a few slices to make a sandwich and then, I added more water to the jar.

I also grabbed some:

Cream cheese
2 Slices of multi-grain bread
some Basil
some Paprika
Ground black pepper


After slathering the bread slices with cream cheese, I topped the cheese with a few cucumber slices.

Then, I sprinkled the slices with crushed basil and paprika. I added a few grinds of ground black pepper and slapped the two pieces of bread together. No way am I going to cut of the crusts, they are the best part.



I cut the sandwich into quarters and ate them.


They were good. There are many ways to make cucumber sandwiches, maybe someday I will try some of those variations.

I had a lot of fun using one cucumber to make five different recipes.

#GERD-friendly if you use little to no ground black pepper. 



Vignette: Mary's Story

Mary's Story

Late one Halloween evening as I got ready for bed, I got indigestion. I was unable to lie down, sit down, or standup with any comfort. I hurt. Nothing helped.

By morning, I called the doctor and made an appointment. I went by cab. Once there, I threw up. The doctor told me to go the hospital and asked how was I getting there. "Cab," I said but, at that moment, a neighbor stuck her head in the door and offered to drive me. She had followed me to the doctor’s.

After an agonizing ride and entrance interview that I moaned and stumbled through, I was taken up to a room. Surrounded by doctors, nurses, interns, and residents who kept asking questions, I rolled on the bed unable to lie down. Eventually, I faded out of consciousness, vaguely aware they were attempting to hookup an IV and were having trouble inserting the needle.

Time blurred.

I moaned and groaned my way in and out of a fever. I heard indecision above me about what was the true nature of my illness. I buried myself in blankets, levered myself up to a sitting position, and rocked between sleep and consciousness. I dreamt in purples and greens, and somewhere in the middle of it all, a woman in the next bed moaned and groaned, too.

Gradually, I became aware I had a roommate, Mary. She and I agreed to moan together. As I lay there drifting in and out, between the doctors and nurses who kept telling me I was seriously ill, Mary told me about her family, a living horror story, and I remember thinking this is too much.

Here's a woman next to me with her whole body out of whack and a family from hell. She had worked two jobs to support her fatherless family, buy a home and literally with every ounce of her soul, her energy, and her body, she supported countless people who gave her nothing in return. She had more stamina than I could ever dream of.

I fell asleep thinking I would die with her life's story in my ears. I thought it an irony as my consciousness faded. As I regained consciousness again, my inside voice said, "you can be positive or negative about this, you make the choice."

I woke up laughing.

I joked with the nurses and doctors, said please and thank you, and tried not to complain. Eventually an exploratory procedure found the blocked bile duct and it was cleaned out.

Nothing in my life helped me understand what was happening to Mary. I listened as she told me of generations that pulled away, each generation less supportive, less warm. Now there were grown children who had forgotten what it meant to be human.
I heard of beatings, theft, vandalism, drinking, unwanted children, abandoned pets, and fights. I heard of her attempts to hide food and money from her children because they took everything. I heard of her attempts to shield her aging father from her children's physical abuse, going so far as to put a lock on his door.

What advice could I offer her after all her years of doing? I had no children. Silly me, I tried to teach her meditation exercises to reduce stress. I remember lying there trying to describe, in an unpracticed voice, mountains, ocean beaches and forests, wishing for some comfort in her life.

When I visited the hospital chapel, I thought this Mary's story and that her survival was a miracle, her strength a wonder, so much without joyous fruition.

As medications began to make me feel better, Mary and I became "the pajama party" on the floor. Mary joked constantly. We laughed and teased the interns, technicians, nurses, and doctors. We had IV contests to see whose IV needle would stay in the longest. I lost.

All day and all night, she worked her phone managing her home and family from her bed, paying bills and instructing family members to care for her aging father left at home. By the end of the week, he, too, was admitted to a hospital.

Then, it came time for surgery. After I was prepped, moved onto a gurney and rolled out of the room, Mary came up to me and wished me luck.

The last face I saw before going into surgery was that of the Indian resident. He was beautiful. I could not have asked for a better last vision. I smiled and thanked God.

After surgery, it was pain big time and, of course, they wanted me to get up and walk immediately. I did and Mary and I called it the gall bladder slide as I shuffled my feet and pushed my IV along the floor.

I had not eaten in a week. When they brought my first meal, I could not even eat a pea. My mouth just would not accept it. Great way to diet, I thought. For the rest of my stay, I gave most of my food to Mary. She either saved it in plastic baggies she brought with her or feed her family when they came to visit.

When any of her children entered the room, darkness descended as they stood like large, grim, silent shadows against the wall. No words of affection or concern. No smiles. Pain from low self-esteem like beaten dogs emanated from them.

Once Mary sighed and said she wished her family had sent her flowers. When they came to take Mary for her procedure, I went to her side, squeezed her hand and wished her well.

As we both began to get better, we talked more. I was eager to return to my life. I do not think Mary was. She had been hospitalized many times for an odd digestive aliment I did not understand. Her throat, her stomach and most of her digestive organs were scarred and ulcerated. I think her hospital stays were a respite from her life.

The time we spent together in that room was intense. She was more comfort to me than I was to her but we had a good time. When I started roaming the hospital floors, I ventured downstairs to the gift shop and bought Mary flowers and a teddy bear. I got a nurse to help me surprise her. She was. I wanted give her something to take home.