Of leisure skills, Hospice, coq au vin, Barrett, Ellington, and drug reps


I sent patients from Hospice alive,

I visited my old clinic hive.

     So that I’m not alone

     I got a new phone,

And served dinner at fifty past five.

I started my day by getting a new phone.

I had to replace the old one with a smart phone that would let me use a drug database.  It can also function as a camcorder, take excellent pictures, act as a GPS, remember more music than I’ve had time to listen to in my life, and browse the net.  I rate it Pretty Miraculous, but I realize I’m starting at the bottom of the learning curve and that it can do a lot more.  I’ve missed every call I’ve gotten so far today because I changed my ringtone.

I did well at my saxophone lesson.  My teacher, Diane, and I played some pretty great music; we did a duet by Barrett and it came out well.  Then we jammed some Ellington.  I allowed my analytic hemisphere rest and I let the horn find the notes.

My teacher continues to be a beacon of life lessons.

I stopped by the Clinic Formerly Known As Mine, I got lots of hugs and told my tales.  I also ate the lunch the pharmaceutical manufacturers’ representative brought, but I didn’t talk to the rep, and as I walked away from the clinic I realized that in the last eight weeks, the amount of time I hadn’t spent talking to drug reps totaled forty hours.   On the other hand I know of four new drugs on the market that I need to learn about, possibly more.

I’m still the Medical Director at Care Initiatives Hospice; while on my epic road trip I attended meetings by Skype.  Today I enjoyed having a real meeting.  I feel we do a good job; we let another patient out of Hospice alive.  We cut dosage or eliminated a medication six times.  A Hospice meeting brings lessons in the human condition, eternal verities about drama and irony, and, as always, great stories.  I won’t write those stories because demented people cannot give their permission.

Back at home I cut up chicken hindquarters.  I poured tablespoons of garlic salt and black pepper into half a cup of flour.  After dredging the chicken in the flour, the pieces browned nicely in canola oil at the bottom of a Dutch over.  I took the pieces out and dumped in a pound of sliced Portobello mushrooms  and two chopped white onions.  After sautéing those till the onions were translucent I put the chicken back in, dumped in a bottle of white wine, and pressed in a dozen cloves of garlic. The covered pot went into a 350 degree oven.  Two hours later the house smelled lovely; by then I had two loaves of take-and-bake baguette bread ready, and the rice cooker had done its job.

Our friends, Dolf and Mercedes and their children came over for dinner.  They talked about the Florida adventure they’d just been on and I told about my 6000 mile, 7 week road trip.

Dolf has a strong work ethic but he also possesses an enviable set of leisure skills.  About a year ago I went to him for advice in that realm.  He said, “I got one word for you:  practice.”

I’m taking his advice.

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