Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Thank-full for health insurance

Having spent 4 hours in the emergency room last night with Dick, I am grateful that we have health insurance.

It all started with a phone call from Dick saying he had fallen off his bicycle on his way home from work, and would I come and collect him as he was a 'bit banged up'? I rushed there and the first thing I saw was that I could hardly see his eyes- he was having a severe allergic reaction to something that was manifesting itself in his sinuses. All he could remember was having a huge sneezing fit after he 'woke up' having fell off his bike. 'Woke up'?? He couldn't remember hitting his head, although the scrape on the right side of his forehead showed he'd definitely banged his head. His first concern, naturally, was that the bike and his laptop were ok. However, we did not hang around to check them over, we just loaded them into the car- after he taken an anti-histamine that I always keep in my bag. For Dick to say he is hurting is unusual enough, but to ask to go to the ER, was another thing. That was my lesson for the day - find out where the local ER is when you move to a new town before you need it. Luckily, I had my trusty GPS with me, although it needs a fast way of telling me which of the nearest hospitals has an ER unit. Luckily I remembered approximately where I thought the hospital was and we found it- Saint Louise Regional Hospital

I had forgotten how having an allergic reaction would help us get in to see someone very quickly- despite the anti-histamine, Dick could barely see. I won't go into the whole process, except that the nurses and doctor were great. Dick had numerous x-rays with high-tech machines and was treated really nicely. The scrapes and bruises were seen to, and they gave us detailed discharge instructions, along with all the prescriptions needed to get him back into shape. The eyes were a little less puffy, and his arm was in a sling. The x-rays had shown cracked ribs, and a separated shoulder- both of which threatened to be very painful for a little while. We'd been there some time but he was thoroughly checked over.

This morning Dick is sore and a little stiff but not too worse for wear. He won't be going into work until next week as he is not allowed to drive whilst on the meds- we were warned that he could be arrested for DUI if he did. Someone in the cubicle next to us in the ER last night had also fallen off his bike, however he was arrested for DUI whilst riding his bicycle having admitted to nurses that he had fallen off after having a few beers!

Dick needs to rest, and is doing better already although he is very tired (as am I!). He just looks like he has been in a boxing match. We still don't know what caused the allergic reaction- there doesn't seem to be any marks to indicate insect bites, but that was the docs final theory; something that happened while he was knocked out? What caused the accident? A little over-enthusiasm- Dick's lesson for the day.. slow down when there are obstacles ahead. The other good news is that the bike is ok, and so is the laptop. Dick will be getting a new bicycle helmet.. maybe the scooter was a good idea after all!

And, in case you are interested, this is Dick's version of the same tale

Monday, April 23, 2007

New family vehicle...

Those of you who know us, know that fast vehicles are a big part of Dick's life in particular: first it was the motorbike- his baby, all cooped up still in Georgia; then came the Mustang convertible, the fun car, perfect for California; then the very swish Specialized bicycle, and now.... the razor scooter!

I have done nothing but giggle since Sunday morning, when on a trip to Target to buy a new inner tube for the bicycle, Dick decided that a Razor scooter would be perfect to get about the campus at Google. So, as it was his birthday week, it came home. He loves it! The apartment complex is just perfect for scooting around, whilst I am walking Pepper- so long as no one is looking! As soon as anyone older than a child is around, Dick steps off it and pretends it isn't really his.. (although I must admit, I'd probably do the same). In case you don't believe me, I took this picture only yesterday (which he wouldn't have let me take if he'd have known what I was going to do with it) Some people don't ever grow up, and I love him for it! Today he took it to work, where it will just look normal.. wouldn't it be wonderful to work in a place where you can really embrace the inner child in yourself and play while you work? He is such a lucky guy!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Hike up El Toro, Morgan Hill.

Today we hiked up 'El Toro'....

Wikipedia says.. El Toro means "The Bull" in Spanish. According to a local legend, author Bret Harte named the hill when he climbed it and discovered two bulls fighting near the summit (they subsequently chased him back down). The official name shown on USGS maps is simply El Toro. Elevation at the summit is about 427 m (1403 ft).

The Annual Spring Hike up El Toro is the only time when you can officially hike up there as it is private land, so there were at least a couple of hundred people who took the chance. There are two start times, 7:45 am and 9:45 am, and we went to the later one this time. We had planned to get up earlier but as it turned out, the hill was covered in low cloud first thing this morning, so it may have been cooler, but the view would not have been as spectacular as it was later. The hike itself is about 1.5 miles to the top- all up hill.

Kudos goes to a Morgan Hill Scout troop who had cut in steps and erected a rope hand rail for the particularly steep and dry final part of the hike (climb!), without which it would have been impossible to make it down in particular. The soil underfoot was very dry and therefore very slippery. Kudos also to the Morgan Hill Historical Society who sponsored the event, warned us to bring gloves (for the rope) and even award you a certificate when you make it all the way to the top and back down again, This hike was not for the faint-hearted and is correctly described as a "moderate to difficult" hike. However it was a well organized event, and we'll be signing up next year!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

First days in Morgan Hill

This is an extract from some of the emails I have been sending friends since I arrived on the West Coast at the end of February.

Since we arrived in Morgan Hill, I have explored all the shops in the small high street- they are very eclectic shops; there is everything from a knitting shop, to jewelery, one of a kind clothing shops, nick-nac shops and a large independent book store (with an in-store book-club!) There are also several restaurants (fish, Mexican, Italian, BBQ, a breakfast bar, coffee shop and a couple of bars). There is also a small local newspaper which is published twice a week, and a regular Saturday farmers market, and a fish and meat store- all locally run. Obviously there are the chain stores, a Safeway supermarket, and even a new Trader Joes (yay!) but they are a little further away, but within a mile or two.

Just to help those of you who are not geographically inclined, Morgan Hill is about 20 miles south of San Jose, and 70 miles south of San Francisco. We are also about an hour from the coast, and the nearest big coastal town you may recognize is Santa Cruz.

One of the strangest things for me so far is the time difference between here and the East coast. The TV stations talk about 'this evening' at 6 pm their time, when is it still only mid afternoon here! Our favorite TV programs are on at different times too :-)

We are getting used to living in 705 sq feet- it is very easy to keep clean and tidy! We have everything we need and are trying hard not to buy anything that duplicates what we already have. We are pretty sure we'd like a smaller house here, but it is hard to find- they all seem to be bigger than we expected, but not cheaper unfortunately!

Pepper is very content to sleep outside on the enclosed patio in our apartment as the sun doesn't hit it until late afternoon. She is also less bothered when we leave her, and is back to eating normally. She does like to potter around the apartment complex which is landscaped beautifully, and has lots of grass and bushes to explore. A few nights go she could smell an opossum but could not see it, even though I could, as it was balanced frozen on top of a six foot high fence and we walked right past it!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin