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Happy holidays 2023

This year has been filled with lots of good changes and several very big challenges. I’ll start with the good changes: 

  • Daughter Liz and her youngest son, Easton, flew here from Texas to visit March 8-12. It was wonderful to see them. 

  • For the past year twice a month on Sunday mornings I Zoom for an hour or more with my three kids who live in Indiana, Texas and Southern. California so we all can catch up with our busy lives. 

  • Victor and I continue to take private yoga lessons at 6:45 every Friday morning with Laura Mullin at Clayton Yoga Shala— we are in our 8th year! A couple months ago they had to move their studio from a mile down the road to a new space in downtown Clayton that adds about 5 more minutes to our commute! Happy that it all worked out. We really love Laura! 

  • In July we got new windows installed throughout the house and they look beautiful… easy to open, easy to close and lock. Also, they make a huge difference in the noise level from outside as well as helping with our PG&E bill by keeping the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. 

  • After the new window install, we got new window blinds for Victor’s office and his art studio and our master bedroom, along with a new comforter bedspread and drapes to match. It changed the entire look of the bedroom that hadn’t changed in about 15 years!!

  • On August 11th we got a new couch and loveseat for our living room. We were worried that they wouldn’t be able to get our old, very large, reclining loveseat through the door. But much to our surprise, they came in and completely took the entire unit apart in less than 15 minutes, moved it out the door and brought in the new furniture (in parts), assembled it and were completely done within an hour. They gifted us with four “Flower of Life” pillows to go with the furniture. We really love the new look! I bought new pillow covers that I can change with the seasons. The first picture is the before and after picture of our livingroom.

  • The second picture is my “Autumn” theme. I bought new “autumn” pillow covers & an autumn tablecloth for the coffee table. I also got a large electric candle for the center.

  • The third collage is my Christmas Holiday theme collage. It’s the first time in over 15 years that I’ve actually had fun changing the look of our living room with the seasons. I got new holiday pillow covers, a “live” green wreath for the center candle, new electronic candles and a holiday covering for the fireplace mantle. It’s the first time in over 15 years that I’ve actually had fun changing the look of our living room with the seasons. 


Now for the challenging events

  • On April 2 I came down with COVID and on April 5 Victor came down with COVID. We both had been vaccinated and had received our booster shots. However, on April 2 we went to a garden center to purchase some vines for our patio. The center was extremely crowded and no one was wearing masks. That night I woke up with the worst sore throat I’d ever experienced and for the next 3 weeks I couldn’t sleep laying down in our bed because of the horrible coughing. I ended up sleeping downstairs in our recliner. Victor also had a horrible sore throat, but not the bad coughing. We both tested positive for COVID and even after we both finally tested negative, my cough lingered for about two months.

  • On August 31 I had a dental appointment because of an infection in a back molar. I was referred to an Endodontic who reamed out the tooth on September 6 and had me take medication for the infection. The tooth was extremely painful. Then a week later on September 14 I flew to Carefree, AZ for a 3-day Gather the Women retreat.  I was still in quite a lot of pain during the retreat but was happy that I got to participate for the 20th anniversary of Gather the Women that I actually hosted in San Francisco 20 years ago on Oct. 6, 2003. There is a great video at:

  • On October 2 I had a dental appointment to be fitted for a new crown on the back molar that had been infected and fixed..

  • On October 29 I had a stroke caused by a blood clot in my brain. It happened suddenly while Victor and I were preparing dinner. All of a sudden I wasn’t feeling well and then lost my ability to talk. He sat me down on a chair and immediately called 911. The ambulance arrived within 15 minutes and transported me to Kaiser Hospital in Walnut Creek. Victor followed the ambulance in his car and arrived shortly after I was being examined. I still couldn’t talk so Victor gave permission for them to administer a drug that would dissolve the blood clot. They explained that if they could use the medication on the clot within 2 hours, that it could dissolve the clot and avoid me needing surgery. Ultimately, it could save my life. They admitted me to the ICU where I stayed for 2 days under observation and then was transferred to the 3rd floor for another day. They ran all kinds of tests and gave me medication every few hours. I really wasn’t aware of WHAT medication they were giving me. After 2 days I was feeling better and they released me on the 3rd day. Victor brought me home with a boatload of prescriptions that I was supposed to take. I slept well that night and actually felt pretty good in the morning. I took the meditation that they had sent home with me. What I didn’t realize is that one of the medications was a statin that I was extremely allergic to. I went into my home office to check my computer while Victor took a shower. Within 15 minutes of taking the statin medication, I felt dizzy, stood up and then passed out hitting my head on the corner of my portable typing table. I don’t know how long I laid on the floor but when I woke up I couldn’t get up. After his shower, Victor came into my office to check on me and found me lying on the floor. He couldn’t get me up so he called 911 who sent an ambulance within 10 minutes. They got me on a cart and loaded me into the ambulance for my second trip to Kaiser Hospital within a couple of days! Victor again followed the ambulance in his car. They kept me under observation in the ER and then transferred me to another area in the hospital where they ran a whole series of tests, not only on my brain but on my heart. They kept me for 3 days and sent me home instructing me to make an appointment to get a heart monitor.

  • Two days after I got home I had a followup phone conversation with a hospital doctor. I told her that I had a history of being allergic to statins. She was surprised by this information and indicated that she would make sure that an allergy to statins would be listed on my chart.

  • On November 8 Kaiser sent a Physical Therapist who had been assigned to work with me at my home two days a week for 3 weeks. She helped me regain some muscle strength in my arms and legs using several exercises she led me through for 30 minutes. She left us with the program so that Victor could continue to guide me through the exercise routine after the 3 weeks were up. 

  • On Novembert 10 I had an appointment to be fitted with a heart monitor and was given instructions on how to use it for the next 30 days. I finally finished the 30 days about a week ago. The report came back that my heart was healthy!


On Thanksgiving, daughter Kris and her family drove up from Southern California to celebrate the holiday. They met with Jeff’s mom on Thanksgiving and met Victor and me for breakfast on Sunday, Nov. 26, at Min’s Kitchen in Concord. See the picture above. Jeff and Kris next to Victor and me with their sons in the back: Finn, Jude and Jack.


I am so very grateful for the ambulance paramedics and the Kaiser medical staff who were so caring and competent and especially for Victor who knew exactly what to do when I needed medical attention immediately.

I am HERE today because of him!

Happy Holidays,

Carol & Victor

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