A new shower for mom!


Here is Mark, checking out the shower.   For some reason mom is a little tired of the fake marble walls and the flowered wallpaper.   By any standards, this is not a lovely bathroom.


First, get in the new plumbing.   Mom now has a mixer valve and a taller shower.


Add greenboard, to which the new tub surround can stick.


First panel of the surround is up, and Mark resorts to reading the instructions.


I thought the wall looked pretty cool.   It had tile at some point, but that was pulled off before the fake marble was put on and all that remains is bizarre   glue patterns.

fifthMark is very proud of the second panel of the tub surround.   Beautiful isn’t it.


Finished!!   All she needs is a new shower curtain and some paint!

Getting back to Mark's back

Yesterday Mark went in for more shots into the nerves in his spine.   These help him a lot.   They are painkillers and steroids put directly into the nerves, and slowly make him feel better, then wear off, lasting about two weeks.   He still has pain, but his back is much better than it has been, and he’s been able to do a lot of the work on the new house, as long as it doesn’t involve lifting.   He is also able to start doing his back exercises.   And he has done them, maybe twice.   I’m tired of begging and cajoling, so I’m asking our friends, next time you happen to be talking to Mark, passing him on the street, or talking to him on the phone, just casually ask him, “Have you done your back exercises today?”.     Thanks, I appreciate it.

Wedding day

Chelsea asked me to blog about my wedding, so here goes.   So, Chelsea, long before you were born, I married Mark.   OK, not long before you were born, I guess you were already well established on the planet 15 years ago.   Still, quite a while ago.   Mark and I had been together for 10 years, so we figured it was about time.   We were of course small children when we met.   OK, maybe not.   Having over a century of life between the two of us, we are older than dirt.   Well, Mark would explain that I’m a year older, I would correct him and say   only eleven months, so I guess Mark is as old as dirt and I’m older.   But I digress.

Because we’d been together so long, and were living together at that point, we didn’t want to do a church wedding, we just wanted a big ol’ party.   Food and music were important, ritual and beauty were not important.   We didn’t want to spend months planning, after 10 years we figured we could get the job done without too much carrying on.

On October 31, 1993, at the Majestic Theater downtown Detroit, Mark and I tied the knot.   Why Halloween?   Well, lets see.   I was working retail at the time, so I wanted the wedding to be on a Sunday.   That way more of my employees could attend, as Sundays were slow at the store.   I do enjoy Halloween, very much, but I’ve never been one of those crazy overboard Halloween folks (like Jim).   We decided on the Majestic because we were friends with the owners, Mark had been working sound gigs there for some time.   We wanted the Sun Messengers as the band, a great local band that can rock the crowd and please everyone from babies to octogenarians.   When Rick from the Sun Messengers called to say which dates he had available, I decided to go for Halloween.   I figured it’s a scary day anyway, why not get married on it?

(sorry Chelsea, no Chucks.   Even though I was in my late 30’s, I wasn’t ready for my mother to disown me.)

My mother made my beautiful lace wedding dress, and Sharon, the antiques dealer, helped Mark find an appropriate wedding suit, complete with a mad hatter hat.

Due to friends of my mother-in-law, the Majestic was transformed into a rather pretty cavern, but still large and dark.   Mark and I saw no reason to spend money on a photographer, we were pretty sure we’d remember the event anyway.   Some people brought their pretty good cameras, so we had some good pictures, but our idea of putting cheap cameras on the tables and letting guests take pictures was probably not the best idea.   You see, in a large dark area, with a cheap camera, if your subject stands an inch too close, they bleach out white from the flash, and if they stand an inch too far away, they are a ghostly unidentifiable figure.   So this is one of the few better photo’s we have:

Mark and I were trying to remember who he was, was he an Oppat friend or a Meixner friend?   Then we noticed the tray.   He’s the waiter.

Mom made the beautiful wreath I wore in my hair.   She wasn’t happy that I went from table to table telling people that I had a coat hanger on my head.   Cousin Susan took the pictures of us with her camera, that’s why you can see us.

We had no preacher, my brother-in-law preformed the ceremony, it was very silly, and a wonderful time.   My sister read a passage from a Tom Robbins novel, and the ceremony ended with “Let the wild rumpus begin!”

Oh, and we had pumpkins on the tables.   Mark carved one of me, and his sister carved one of him, so I consider this our official wedding portrait:

So, I ask my married readers, what’s your wedding story?   Feel free to either blog about it or   leave a comment about your wedding here.

Family get together

Mark’s brother Scott and his wife and daughter are in town, we had a bar-b-que at Mark’s folks last night. This is me and Leslie goofing.

The ever pensive Scott, trying to figure it out.

Leslie with Mark’s sister Kelly.

Kelly’s dog scooter.

Scott and Leslie’s daughter Kelsey. Imagine going through life looking like that!

Amy and Francine.

My man Mark, who is slated for back surgery on Monday! Smiling, or just gritting his teeth?


Hospital, that’s where I’ve been hanging out. My mother’s husband, (that makes him my stepfather, though that’s a word that doesn’t do this wonderful man justice) had an “incident”, blurred vision, loss of equilibrium, that put him in the hospital. It looks like all will be well, but it’s very scary while you’re going through it. Anyone who has been in the situation before knows, it’s hurry up and wait and by the time you get an answer to one question there are three more. It’s hours watching people you love worry and go hungry, they wouldn’t let the poor man have food all day for fear he’d need surgery (luckily no).

But with the waiting and lack of answers you can see it’s because they don’t see his problems as life-threatening, and that alone helps. The emergency ward was crowded, with patient laden gurneys waiting in the hall. One passed with an elderly thin women sitting up, wrinkled black skin stretched over brittle bones, white frizzy hair about her, passed by our door. I was struck by how regally she carried herself, she looked like a queen gazing at her countryside while her serfs wheeled her chariot.   Impressive, to be wheeled around by orderlies and still give such an impression.

Now our sweet Les has been admitted, fed well, and will probably be released soon. He is in very good spirits, and we have every reason to believe life will be back to normal quickly.

Fifth Lumbar

That’s where Mark’s back trouble is, a slightly herniated disc and a drying out of the discs. Those are the results of the EMG and MRI. He’s still in a lot of pain, but that varies from day to day. Next step is to see a surgeon and determine whether surgery or physical therapy is in order. It is, of course, that pesky sciatic nerve that’s causing the pain in his leg. I don’t have any new artwork to show you, I’ve been dealing with this and the snow, and I need to get back to it. Last night we got the ice melt replenished everywhere and started shoveling, there’s more to do today.

Mark's back

Yesterday Mark and I went to the doctor to get the results from his MRI. He’s got torn ligaments and arthritis in his lower back, but no blown disks. The doctor says he has reason for his pain, but it’s not something surgery can solve. Looks like he’ll be doing time in physical therapy.

Mark's upcoming birthday

Saturday is my husband Mark’s birthday. It’s pretty difficult getting presents in the house and wrapped when we share the car, all the space in the house, and neither of us ever leaves to go to work, but I managed to get it done. I couldn’t find any cool ribbon in the house, but I think shredded fabric works just fine. Being as his birthday is so close to Halloween, I like the color combination real well.