Coming back to Austin is always fun, but can be a bit challenging as I don’t have a place to stay or a car. Our home is on the rental market and completely empty. Luckily, my good friend Michelle, allows me to stay at her house and use it as my “home base” during my visits. She has a gorgeous home, central to almost everything, is a generous and loving host and friend. Plus I get unlimited love and kisses from her son Jake and she and Jeremy are superb chefs!
Michelle sent me a text, immediately after my plane landed. She had been helping me with my birthday present to myself and told me to meet her at Rock of Ages. She miraculously scheduled an appointment with Steve, the owner who was willing to give me my 50th birthday tattoo.
Many of you know that I have a small tattoo on my right shoulder (a heart with a cross inside it) which was replicated from a piece of James Avery jewelry that one of my dear friends (Darlene) gave me years ago. Unfortunately, the tattoo did not come out as well as I had hoped and for years I have wanted to clean it up or cover it. About 6 years ago I found a new tattoo that I really liked but I just wasn’t ready to pull the trigger as the first one hurt like a mother trucker!
After a lot of contemplation, I decided that I wanted to cover my old tattoo with my new one. The entire process took all of 10 minutes – but it wasn’t a pleasant 10 minutes. Not nearly as painful as the first one, but certainly not easy.
First, he drew the new design on paper and stenciled it on my back so I could see what it would like. You can see the blurry edges of the original tattoo and then compare it to the clean edges of my new tattoo. Then the outlining process began…
Michelle being the studious one, documented the entire process, asking questions, and gathering data. It was a great distraction as all I could was hold my breath. It was especially painful when he went over the old tattoo as scar tissue had formed underneath and he had to break it up – fun!
But, the end product was perfect, better than I had imagined! Steve did an amazing job, was very gentle, and extremely professional. I would highly recommend him and his shop!
The next day, I was able to get a MUCH needed cut and color. Wendy at Deseo salon has been my stylist for over a decade and always makes me feel like a princess when I leave. Right image has straggly hair, long, but wickedly damaged. Left is nicely managed, silky smooth.
Deseo hair salon with Wendy who cut and colored my hair.
Besides visiting friends and running errands, the main reason I come to Austin is to see my doctors. My first visit was with my plastic surgeon Dr. Piazza at The Piazza Center. Usually I don’t have any concerns when visiting him as it is a general follow up. However, I had a bump on my incision that had been bothering me for well over 16 months that I wanted him to check out. Thinking it was nothing, I was not worried.
However, he informed me that the number one location for breast cancer to metastasize is the incision site. AND, this bump was on the incision site, on the left side of my left breast (which is where my cancer was), so guess what? He had to biopsy it. $HIT! A few shots, biopsy and 3 stitches later I am out the door. Thank Heaven above, the results came back 2 days later clean! My oncology visit with Dr. Patt at Texas Oncology, went really well. She is so happy with my recovery that she is willing to let me visit annually vs bi-annually. Sweet!
A wonderful scheduling phenomenon occurred during my Austin visit. My old boss and several co-workers happened to be in Austin for a regional meeting and were able to meet me for dinner. It was so awesome to catch up with them!
Jes, Jon, Stacy and I – TDC comrades.
One of my biggest chores on this trip was to clean out the attic at our house. We had sold, donated, or tossed everything inside the house to make room for renters. However, we stored items in our garage attic. It was time to clean it out. My friends Shawn and Sharon came to help, thank goodness! Piles to Goodwill, piles in the trash, a pile for Wayne’s house and a pile for John and Missy’s barn. Now the house is completely empty of all Mitchell paraphernalia. We went to celebrate at Maudie’s.
Sharon and Shawn with me at Maudie’s
Our favorite server, Adolfo at Maudie’s
A few visits with friends squished in between tons of errands and chores. Always productive and good to be back in Austin.