Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Careful Use of Compliments

Jesse's parents called Sunday afternoon and offered to take Mia to the county fair. It was a bit of a relief to us. Mia was going a bit stir crazy stuck in the house because of rain, Jesse had homework to do, and I'm in pain from weaning myself from the steriods. A couple hours later when she came home, Jesse asked me to go out onto the porch and see something. Some neighbors had nine lop-eared bunnies and offered one to Roger, Jesse's dad, to give to Mia. She picked out a black one, and SURPRISE we now have a little bunny. Despite the initial shock, we're all pretty pleased with our new pet. The kids have all been begging for a pet, other than the peacock, for some time, and because this one doesn't require house-training or spaying, it's a good option for us. Mia insisted on dressing up like the bunny, now named Ebony, so the second picture is of her dressed up as it, piggy-tails as bunny-ears and all. She's going out everyday to pet it through the cage, and when Jesse comes home they spend time feeding it, cleaning the cage and holding it to make it accustomed to us.

The Careful Use of Compliments by Alexander Mccall Smith is the most recent entry in the Isabel Dalhousie mystery series. Isabel's son, Charlie, by her friend/lover Jamie has been born and has brought about many changes to her household. Cat, Isabel's niece and Jamie's former girlfriend, has given the new family the cold shoulder, especially Charlie. Jamie and Isabel take a weekend trip to northern Scotland, and Isabel discovers a mystery in two paintings recently come to auction by a deceased artist. She also loses her job as editor of a small philosophy journal, and with all of these changes in her life finds herself on shifting ground. Smith seems to be regarding the transiency of life in this delightful novel. Isabel is lost in love with her new son and finds herself contemplating how quickly life passes. As always, she debates moral arguments of all sorts in her mind and tries to practice being the best person she can. She brings up interesting questions about the responsibility of those with great wealth and how they should be taxed. I really love reading Smith's works. They engage the mind and soul with realistic characters facing everyday problems and struggling to make their little corner of the world a better place. Isabel could easily be accused of being a nosy busybody, but her every act is taken with great thought and in love.

I'm down to 2.5 miligrams of prednisone a day, and it's become a real struggle. At my last appointment, the doctor warned me that getting down this far would be extremely painful, but I needed to do it, and to get through it, I would have to use vicodin. I've barely been out of the house since Friday, and it seems to get a little worse every day. I travel from the couch to the bed and back taking with me the phone, a book, vicodin, ibuprofen, and a drink. Poor Jess. Not only is he trying to get his schoolwork done, but I'm of no help at all around the house. I'm praying that in a couple of weeks I'll be able to function again.