Wednesday, December 23, 2009

No big storm

Just a little rain and wind but it is chilly for Phoenix. The snowbirds are unhappy but it's better than Michigan or Minnesota so they don't complain.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Big Storm

A big storm is starting, you know wind and rain, so now that I found my blog we'll probably loose the internet. Hope the dish doesn't fall over! There might be snow in the mountains but not down here in the Valley!

Monday, December 21, 2009

World War II

I remembered I was going to share what I remembered about WWII. (I wonder why this is in italics) anyhow here's what I started to write last night as kind of stream of consciousness. It wasn't in italics then!
My twin brothers were born in August of 1941 and I thought I remembered everything after that (I was 4) but I don't remember Pearl Harbor, I remember more after I was 6 and we moved to a house which made it a longer walk to school. We bought victory stamps in school which we pasted in a book until we had enough to buy a victory bond. We had blackout curtains on the windows and air raid drills. After all this was Brooklyn. We were right on the east coast and then there would be search lights in the sky during the drills. You could look out the window if all the lights were out. And we could hear antiaircraft shots from Floyd Bennett Field. I guess they were just for practice because I don't think any enemy airplane made it to New York. I remember asking my Mother why God didn't stop Hitler but I don't remember her answer. My father wasn't drafted because he was 4F. He couldn't pass the physical mainly because of his eye sight. My uncle was in the army but I don't think he saw any combat. We had ration books (I especially remember the extra ration book we got when my baby brother was born in April 1945 and my mother used it to by shoes for one of the twins) and it was almost impossible to get any fresh meat. I remember going with my Mother pushing the twins in the stroller to a store that was reported to have lamb patties. We didn't have any relatives in Europe but somehow I knew that Jews who were there had to get out. It's hard to know what I knew then and what I found out later. The Long Island railroad tracks were just a few blocks away and we would walk down the hill and wave at the soldiers in the trains going by. Gasoline was rationed and only people like doctors could get it. They came to your house when you were sick. Milk was delivered by a horsedrawn wagon. I remember when Roosevelt was elected for his fourth term and that he died before the war was over.
Everything (wow, no italics! wonder what that was all about) is kind of fuzzy after that, what I knew at the time and what I learned later. Do I remember VE day? Do I remember VJ? I remember Truman firing MacArthur but that was after the war when MacArthur was disobeying orders from Truman. Maybe that's when I really became aware of the dichotomy in the US between liberals and conservatives or probably I thought at the time between smart people like us (liberals) and ignorant people that sang "Old Soldiers Never Die" It wasn't just Democrats and Republicans because my maternal grandfather wouldn't vote for the corrupt local Democrats that were part of the machine that ran NY at that time but in general I guess I believed that Democrats were for the little people and Republicans were for the rich people. Times were so different then. My grandparents lived with us because they had lost everything in the depression. Songs I knew were like "the rich get richer and the poor get children" but I also knew anti-union songs (which I'm trying very hard now to remember) about the union leaders working for the bosses and not for the workers and I also knew some people who made it rich during the war. So as I might have mentioned somewhere along the line I was not a happy kid because most of the grown-ups I knew I didn't admire. My grandfather was the only man I thought well of. Although he had lost everything, he still had his dignity, his love (I thought especially for me), and his sense of humor. I spent a lot of time with him probably because my mother had her hands full with my older sister and my twin brothers and my father was never around except on Thursdays. He worked nights six days a week at the family "candy" store on the lower east side of Manhattan. It was a stand-up soda fountain which sold the orginal "eggcream" My father made the chocolate syrup every night in the basement of the store and used eggs and carnation evaporated milk. Austers claim on the internet that they invented the eggcream. Somehow I have to correct that. So a lot was going on besides WWII when I was a child. Now if I could write about it coherently...

I found my blog

I have to remember now how I did it. I googled my blog which I've had no trouble doing. I just couldn't sign on as its author. Then I clicked on sign out and when that happened I clicked on Home and there was a space where I could type in the email that I set up my blog with. I think that's what I did. Anyhow here I am but I don't know where I was like I didn't look to see what the last post was about. Now it's probably almost 4 weeks since Eliot's surgery which according to the surgeon went well but now he has pain and weakness on his right side. Today he had MRIs of his shoulders but Eliot thinks it's got to be related to the nerve. So we'll see.
I can't think of all the things I was going to blog about and now it's late but at least I think I figured out how to get on.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Eliot's surgery

It went well. Eliot was overnight in the hospital and I brought him home to the 5th wheel today. He has a sheet called no BLT's (bending, lifting or twisting). He needs another person's help with some tasks so now I'm an SOP! He has to wear a hard collar for two weeks and perform a log roll technique to get in and out of bed. The next two weeks should be interesting. Pain so far has been easy to control and he has a sore throat probably from having things moved around to get to his spine. The disc was right on the spinal cord so it was really necessary to get it out. The surgeon showed me and Eliot's son the xrays of his neck and you could clearly see the little device which was holding the cadaver bone to fuse C5 and 6.
The challenge now will be listening to Eliot's bitching about having "to rot in the RV park" till it heals. I just reminded him that he was thrilled after the surgery that everything went so well. Nights are going to be a challenge. There's really very little room in the 5th wheel bedroom. He said he practiced the logroll with the physical therapist. That was before I got back to the hospital this morning so I just can't picture it.
Driving back last night from the hospital I put on NPR and they were playing Johnny Mercer songs nonstop since it was his 100th birthday. And then going down this morning I listened to the Diane Rhiems (sp?) show. I got all my old cassette tapes out of storage so I can listen to them when we travel so I can block out Eliot's talk shows. My cassette player has bigger ear pieces. The cheap MPs player I bought I can't get loud enough and you have to stick those things into your ears. It's a challenge living with a conservative.
Hey, it's a challenge being 72. What I need to do is to get back to writing about some of the great things I did in my life and other challenges I've had. After all I can remember WWII. Maybe I should write about that. It would probably be good for my memory to try to see what I can remember.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What I Lost the Other Day

We moved last Tuesday after two weeks at Cave Creek Regional Park, a real campground with nice sites and spaces in between with flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert. Unfortunately at Cave Creek you can't stay in one site for more than two weeks. On day 15 if there's another site open you can move into that. If not you go into overflow and get on a queue. There are no hookups in overflow. Electricity and water in each site and one dump station on the way in. Well Eliot is finally scheduled for surgery on his neck on November 18th so we moved to Pioneer RV Park where you rent a site with full hook-ups for as long as you want, paying monthly. There's no space between the sites but we can stay in one place and backing up the fifth wheel and moving the satellite dish is not easy on Eliot's neck. Hopefully the surgery will fix that. The doctor says he'll be able to travel in a month. That seems overly optimistic. We'll take it one step at a time. He's on four blood pressure medications but the cardiologist thinks he might not need all that after the surgery since pain can increase the blood pressure.
I wrote the above yesterday. Today I just want to whine so if anybody is reading this you can stop now because all the rest is whining.
Yesterday I went to the eye dr since it's been over two years and my mother and grandmother had glaucoma and I've had cataract surgery. Everythings okay but I just hate the dilated pupils and going to drs in general and today we had to go back to Eliot's PCP for approval for the surgery and she wants him to have oxygen at night which he of course thinks is stupid so we're not answering the phone during the day since someone is supposed to call to set that up. In the meantime I can't get hold of my son Patrick whom I can only call after 9 o'clock when we have free time on the cell phone. I used to also contact him on the Pocketmail website which is now non-functional and he hasn't been on Facebook lately and the past two nights I got his answering machine. I just took a Valium.
I'm also sorry I look at the news on the computer because it's all so depressing.
And I don't know why I'm writing all this anyhow. I just want a hug and somebody so say "there, there" I'm not looking forward to next week and Eliot's surgery. Two more hours till I can try to call Patrick. If I reach him I'll feel better. One thing I learned from my mother is to worry. I wish I had learned something useful.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Halleleujah, I back

Eliot bought me a new computer (for only $329!) and I was able to find me! Now I have to find out if the old computer burns CDs so I can get my pictures off the hard drive. If the old computer is not connected to the internet it works, like I can play games or get My Pictures but if I connect to the internet nothing happens.
That was yesterday! I tried the old computer this morning and the first thing it wanted to do was install updates which I did and then I connected to the internet!?! and here I am on the old computer. How long this is going to last I don't know. Eliot thinks it's temporary.
Now yesterday I wrote a lot more but it didn't autosave like this one always did every few minutes and when I went to publish it, the internet connection crashed. I think I'll try to publish this before rewriting what I wrote yesterday. I just noticed it hasn't autosaved for the last 4 minutes. So I will save it first and then try to publish it.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Night on the Town

After seeing the latest Coen Bros movie (A Serious Man - loved it) at the Harkins Camelback (the only theatre in the Phoenix area outside of Tempe that shows limited release movies) in Scottsdale, we went across the road (Goldwater Road) to the fancy mall and I got a free chocolate pumpkin truffle at Godivas after a free taste of Ice Cream at Haagen Daas after a slice of spinach and broccoli stuffed pizza at Sbarros (under $5). Nice change from Walmart and Golden Corral and movies that make me sick. BTW we used our free coupons that Harkins gave us after I got sick at Paranormal Activity.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Don't bother reading this

I get sick on roller coasters, the back seat of a car, in a small airplane, a rough sea ride but this was the first time I got sick in the movies. Since it's still hot here in Phoenix and we're waiting for Eliot's results from all the tests the cardiologist ordered we go to the movies a lot. Why Eliot won't spend more than $10 for a meal but has no problem with $6.50 (senior discount) for a stupid movie is beyond me. But anyhow he said there's this movie that cost only a few thousand $ to make and was raking in millions. Apparently it was taken in one house with a shakey camera and was supposed to be a horror movie (not my kind of movie to start with but if he's willing to put out the $13 what do I have to say). After 3/4 of an hour of this shakey camera I'm feeling really bad and said I'm going to go out for a drink. I found an usher who sat me down and brought me some water but I really wanted to get out of there and she went in to the theatre to get Eliot (who apparently hadn't missed me much) and we got out money back (I mean Eliot's money). I really complain a lot, don't I, but nobody really has to read this. I don't know why you bother Bobbie when you can be out taking pretty pictures of flowers and skies.
Today the big complaint is Pocketmail. Pocketmail is this handheld device that you can hold up to the phone to send and receive email which I got a long time ago when I was traveling alone. Actually it was a present at the end of a three month relationship with a first class asshole who I traded in for a poodle. Now that's a long story which I'll get into another time. Actually that's two stories: the asshole retired Air Force Lt Colonel and my 3 years with Cherie, my foster poodle.
So since we have satellite I use the Pocketmail website instead of taking the device to a phone. Some hacker or phisher messed up pocketmail and now I can't get my email from the website anymore. I actually have several emails besides the pocketmail but there were a number of people, mostly my family that I stayed in touch with through Pocketmail. So being Sunday (when our cell phone has unlimited minutes) I called everybody including my friend in Arkansas with whom I hadn't spoken in years. That was the high point of my day!
What pisses me off the most about not being able to access the website of Pocketmail is that I saved so many messages that chronicled our journeys which I never printed off and a lot of other stuff in various boxes and I've paid pocketmail through next May!
Maybe I shouldn't even be relying on this blog because of cyberwarfare!
Back to notebooks and pens. Fortunately I did keep a log but since I've been blogging I don't write much in it anymore except dr appointments and the names of the stupid movies we see and one other private matter :).

Friday, October 23, 2009

Joe, Teddy and Edie

I was on my way to the bathroom. A golf cart stopped with a man and a dog. The dog was cute and didn't bark. I scratched the dog's head.

"He doesn't bark. I like dogs that don't bark. What's his name?"

"That's Teddy and I'm Joe. My wife is Edie. I'm Irish and she's Dutch. That doesn't amount to much. You new here?"

"We're just passing through. We'll be here for a month. You live here?"

"Now we do but we're from New Jersey. I drove a newspaper truck"

"I was married to an Irishman. He drank. When we were in Ireland they either drank or wore abstinent buttons"

"I don't need no button. Never touched a drop. On my route there would be tavern after tavern " Joe pointed "there and there and there and there, one after the other and they all asked me what"ll I have and I would say 'a coke'"

"Nice talking to you. I've got to go to the bathroom"

"See you around"

Next day I'm riding my bike and come across Joe and Teddy in the golf cart. I stop and say hello and scratch Teddy's head.

"So where do you and Teddy go"

"I take him up to the dog run. I was so mad. Somebody had a big dog who made this big turd and just left it there. How can people do that? I always pick up after Teddy"

"Yeah, some people are jerks. Especially people with big dogs. I hate it when I'm walking or riding my bike and a dog barks at me, like they should have special sections in the park for people with dogs. One lunged at me. Although he was on a leash, he scared the hell out of me and I almost fell off my bike. I reported it to the office."

"Why don't you come meet Edie. I'm Irish and she's Dutch and we don't amount to much"

I followed Joe on my bike and he called to Edie to come out. She came out on the porch. And Joe rode away with Teddy.

I remember looking up at her. She had very big nostrils. That's not very nice but that's what I remember most about her face.

"Joe says you're from New Jersey. I was born in Brooklyn. He said I should meet you"

"You know Joe has dementia. He takes medication but I can't let him go anyplace alone outside the park. We both use oxygen at night and always take it with us but don't take it into restaurants. We like to eat out a lot but they don't have good restauants here like they do in Jersey."

"Eliot doesn't like to spend more than $10 for a meal. He says he just wants to buy a meal, not the restautant. So we go to Golden Corral a lot for the early bird senior special. He likes buffets.
We used to go to Souper Salad but they closed."

"Yes, they closed 3 years ago. Times have changed. You can't get a meal for $10. $15 to $20 is the least these days" Then Edie listed a number of places where you can get a decent meal for that but I didn't pay much attention because I knew Eliot would never consider them.

When Eliot and I first met I would treat him once a month to a real restaurant meal on our monthly anniversary date but I stopped after a while because it wasn't any fun. He thought I was wasting my money and he would order the cheapest thing on the menu. And then we would have nothing to talk about while waiting for service. It's best when we eat at home in the RV. He makes everything in the microwave except for the frozen vegetables which he boils in a pot.
We usually have canned potatoes and either frozen chicken breasts, frozen fish or Boca burgers. When we first met I tried to cook for him but he didn't like anything I made and he won't let me use the oven. "It's for storage" he says. Like the bathtub even if we have full hookups.

"Nice meeting you Edie. I'd better get back"

"Stop by anytime"

The next morning I met Joe and Teddy and we chatted again.

"I'm Irish and Edie's Dutch and that doesn't amount to much" I used to drive a newspaper truck
and there were tavern after tavern and they asked me what I what I wanted and I always said 'a coke'"

Okay, I tried to write some dialogue. I never was any good at writing dialogue so I though I'd give it a try but then what happened. I got self absorbed again and started complaining. I do that a lot lately. Wow, I'm really into self-pity when I'm not doing the self-hatred bit. I'm good at both. But I did email my congresswoman. I tried calling her but her mailbox was full. It was about the public option. I got an email from Credo telling me that Giffords had not yet stated her position on Pelosi's robust Medicare+ 5% public option and I should tell her to support it. I also called my brother and my son, Patrick today. My whole family are Democrats and it's really hard living with a Republican so I had a good time with my brother. Eliot can't stand Barney Frank, like he's responsible for the mess we're in especially the housing bubble. My brother loves Barney Frank, says he's got 3 strikes against him. He's gay, Jewish and has a lisp. It's funny that Giffords is my rep in Congress. Up until April I was a registered voter in New York because my driver's license from New York which had been good for 9 years finally expired and I had to get an Arizona driver's license using my brother's address in Tucson which is my mailing address. So at least I have a Democrat representative in Congress. I've tried writing to my two Republican Senators, McCain and Kyl but that's like hitting my head against a brick wall. At least they know there's one voter in AZ who opposes their positions.


Samhain (Halloween)

It's pronounced sauwin - Samhain is the old Irish spelling. There are eight holidays in the Wiccan religion. They're called Sabbats. The four main ones are the solstices and the equinoxes. Samhain is one of the cross sabbats coming between the fall equinox and the winter solstice. It is the time when the veil between the worlds is the thinest meaning spirits can travel back and forth and has been adapted by Christians as All Saints Day and the Mexicans as the Day of the Dead and by Americans as a fun time to wear costumes and carve pumpkins and play trick or treat. It used to be if you didn't get a treat, beware you might find some damage done to your property. Times have changed. Now you have to watch out for the tricks in the treats.
Now I guess I should try to remember the other three cross sabbats. I really didn't study Wicca very long and of course became disenchanted with it as I did with all organized religions. What I liked most was "Do as thou wilt but harm none" and I liked calling down one of the many (symbolic) Goddesses to assist me when I needed her help. Let's see there Lammas, that comes between the summer solstice and the fall equinox, probably some sort of harvest celebration. Beltane is the real fun one where you jump across the fire and go into the woods with a comvenient male for procreation. That's become May Day and comes between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. The fourth one is the one I always have trouble remembering. It's February 2nd. Imbolc I think. Now it's become Ground Hog's Day.
If you want to find out more, just Google Wicca.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Synchronicity

Yikes, I make some stupid remark when I'm tired and it's been a stressful day and I'm feeling depressed and probably just need a hug and then Bobbie writes about green cemeteries and webwisewoman's friend dies. What's this about death. It's on everybody's mind. Could be we're getting old.

What we need now is some humor. New Jersey, that's a funny place. I read some comedian or actor - what's his name - is trying to sell his 30million$ house for 15million. I think it would make a nice old people's home. He should donate it to us. That should help his taxes. The taxes on the home are almost 200thoussand $ a year. Could we afford that? or maybe if we set it up as non-profit or make it into a church. The church of the Almighty Old Person. We could take turns being the Mother Goddess. Oh by the way, no males allowed especially not WASPs. They're definitely not PC these days. We'd probably have to put in some alterations, like a lift to get some of us in and out of the pool and we'd need a PT for the gym. What the hell would we do with the bowling alley? Any suggestions? Lots of room to plant yellow flowers for Mellow Yellow Monday and I have a friend who's into making houses green. Does that mean I can't paint my room purple? Actually I think I'd like rainbows. And only old comedies in the movie theatre except for Hitchcock. A few raunchy ones would be okay too especially if we could get Margaret and Helen to join us.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mad Woman Returns

This mad woman is not just crazy she's also angry and she certainly isn't wise (that was always tongue in cheek anyhow). I couldn't log into my blog like they didn't friggin know who I was. Like aren't they suppose to remember me even if we move the satellite. We just had another hell of a day moving down from Prescott Valley to Cave Creek Regional Park on Carefree Highway just north of Phoenix. and the high was 99F. We actually made two trips first taking the fifth-wheel which Eliot still hasn't mastered backing up. And then after setting up the satellite we went back up to Prescott Valley for the trailer with the quads and ate at Golden Corral which Eliot loves and is probably one of the worst places for me to eat.
And then I finally figured out when I had to reset my password that I had been typing the number part of the password wrong!
And now I probably ought to go to bed because we have to get up before 6am because Eliot's stress test is at 7:20.
Most of my life I was in charge. I had a marriage where my husband drank and taught his students and I had to do everything else. He didn't even drive. And then the 12 years I lived with Brian he gradually broke away from my control. (We both had a lot of therapy.) And then I was on my own for five years driving my RV back and forth across the country. Now I feel completely helpless. I've never even driven the fifth wheel . We used to have a Class A motorhome which Eliot drove pulling the trailer with the quads and I drove a Tacoma truck following him. That wasn't bad except he refused to get CBs so some time he lost me because he wouldn't notice I wasn't behind him. But now we have a truck which pulls the fifth-wheel which pulls the trailer and I'm always the passenger. A few times I got to drive the truck like after he has a medical procedure and the day I went to the thrift shop by myself.
Sometimes I'm pretty depressed and wonder if it would be better just not to wake up some morning. But actually mornings are the best time. It's now late at night so I'll take a Valium and an Ambien and tomorrow will be another day.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Scattered

Now that I have everybody's attention through begging, nagging, cajoling etc and so forth (now where did I plagiarize that from - don't tell me I just remembered - Kurt Vonnegut but not which novel?), I'm going to have to produce. But you have to know I'm scattered. Okay no excuses (those would take up the whole page).

Everyday two of the other children got to play with the big doll house. I was waiting for my turn. It never came. Lisa and I had to go to first grade after only a half year of kindergarten. I never asked Lisa if she ever got to play with the dollhouse. Okay I'm whining and making excuses for not having ever grown up just because I had only a half year of kindergarten. I use that excuse all the time especially when I get mixed up with right and left. "I told you to turn right instead of left because I only had half a year of kindergarten."
Okay so I'm scattered. I'm reading three books at once and then bought a dozen more at the thrift store so now I'm reading 5 books at once. Ah, but it's the one I read before I fall asleep that really matters. I got back to Jung last night and had fabulous dreams. It's always nice to find someone else who had a confusing childhood.
I even found a book for Eliot at Stepping Stones which is quite a feat because Eliot hasn't read a book since he was 12 years old that didn't talk about trails. It's about squirrels.
When I was barefoot and pregnant in Arkansas, well actually I wasn't pregnant anymore. It's another expression I use too much like "I only had half a year of kindergarten" like I'm trying to be Andy Rooney or Sam Levinson. So the three children and I would go to the library once a week and get lots of books. Half of mine would be for my husband. This was one of the few things I could do to please him besides buy his Irish Whiskey.
Mark (my husband) and Eliot (my current paramour - a word I introduced to his illiterate family and friends at his granddaughter's 23rd birthday party last week) are so different they could belong to different species: homo intellectus and homo hikeus.
Oops, did I mention I was scattered?
Off to the urologist, another funny guy who likes to stick a gidget up my widget (his expresssion , not mine). He has cartoons on the ceiling so that when you're lying on your back with your legs in those contraptions, you can read them and laugh instead of wince.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Found Anne

It's 2othcenturywoman.com and now I have her bookmarked. I don't think she's ever read my blog. She's invited all the people she's met on blogs to her guest house. She doesn't know me but I feel I know her. I'll just turn up some day on Lummi Island!

20th Century Woman

Does anybody who reads my blog read 20th Century Woman, the woman who lives on an island in Puget Sound and writes so wonderfully. For some reason I can't access her blog anymore. when I click on it from my blog I get something like >edif< or whatever. I knows she's not on blogspot. Her URL is something else. Maybe I can search around. I know someplace it shows things I've looked at if I haven't already erased those.

Stepping Stones

We got up too late for the hike on the east side of Watson Lake. Monday we had taken a short hike there and Eliot said we'd come back early one day with sandwiches in out fanny packs and go further exploring some of the intersting side trails. I've mentioned before that Prescott has lots of nice places to hike and also bike. The biking part of the trail is a rails to trail path that used to be part of the Sante Fe, Phoenix, Prescott railroad back in the days before automobiles took over. Between the trail and the Lake are all these side trails through boulders with cute names that I can't remember.
So instead Eliot took a two hour walk through the RV park. It's a large park with mobile homes at one end. He probably had to make only two circuits while I got to go to Stepping Stones, one of the local thrift stores where for under $20 I got five shirts - two long sleeve and three short sleeve, a pair of nylon hiking pants and a dozen books. I love thrift stores. I almost never buy anything new. Utah has the best thrift stores in the country run by Deseret Industries (known as DI) the charity arm of the LDS church. Goodwill has gotten too expensive. The Salvation Army, DAV, and some of the others charities are variable. Some of the best buys can be hospital thrift stores because people die with lots of nice hardly used clothes and the stores are usually staffed by volunteers who underprice. Before I met Eliot and I travelled alone for 5 years I thought of writing a guide to thrift stores throughout the country. But now I hardly ever get to spend time in them. Not one of Eliot's favorite pasttimes.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

the saga continues...

Eliot can't have surgery until clearance from the cardiologist. Although his EKG hadn't changed his blood pressure`was off the charts. So today he's having an ultrasound of his renal artery, and next Tuesday a chemical stress test and echo cardiogram with a follow-up with the cardiologist the following Monday.The surgery on his neck was supposed to be next Wednesday. So he will cancel that and he says indefinitely because the third cortisone shot has left him almost pain free so he wants to wait. He's never been happy with the surgery though even his chiropractor friend, who is against surgery in most cases, says he should have it. In the meantime his blood pressure seemed to be going down since he gave up beer and we've been doing some hiking but last night and this morning was high again.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Another hike near Prescott

Today we did a 3+ mile (round trip - a little over two hours) hike on the trail to Granite Mountain trail in the Granite Mountain Wilderness northwest of Prescott. Several years ago we actually made it to the top about 8 miles round trip eating lunch at the top overlooking Prescott. I remember that hike vividly because of the ant that got stuck under my sleeve and stung me and the prickly pear that I brushed against too closely. It's a popular hike and being Sunday we had lots of people passing us :). Eliot's blood pressure is down a bit tonight. He almost seemed disappointed because he really doesn't want the surgery on his neck. I did okay with my two sticks. It's not my favorite hike because of all the loose granite on the trail, like ball bearings under your feet. We were surprised by all the flowers still on the sides of the trail but we didn't have the camera with us! If we had remembered it I'd have a photo for Mellow Yellow Monday.
It's hard to believe that for six years before we became decrepit we hiked all the time. In fact we met through the keyword "hiking" on Yahoo Personals.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Comment on 20thcenturywoman's post on Death

I tried to post this on 20thcenturywoman's blog but since it was over a month old I guess it was too late and it wouldn't submit or maybe it's out satellite connection. The post was about death.
I tried to figure out how I missed this wonderfully written post. I must not have known of you then when we were still in the mts and Eliot turned the generator off when he started his nighty campfires. I had an alcoholic husband also from whom I had been divorced and tried to help once, actually got him into VA rehab but after his second collapse our daughter rescued him but he didn't like living in the assisted living home she put him in and got a friend to get him out. He died six weeks later and I would have gone to his funeral but it was postponed 3 months because of the backlog at Arlington National Cemetery where his ashes finally ended up. I was far away by then as I had already become a gypsy (full-time RVer) but I should have flown back for the funeral for my daughter. That would be once less thing she'd have against me. I have recently begun reading Jung as I've always been interested in his idea of the collective unconscious and think he'd be thrilled with cyberspace where all our thoughts are floating around. I'm sure no one will read this because it's over a month late but it doesn't matter. I only afraid Anne (I call you Anne even though we don't know each other and you've never read any of my posts) that I'll never finish my library books including Memories, Dreams, Reflections because I'll be spending all my time reading your posts.

Mancos, Co and high blood pressure

I was reading a post on 20th Century Woman's blog about Manley Hot Springs in Alaska which reminded me of Mancos, CO which is between Cortez and Durango. They refused to give up their High School and join the “unified High School” something that has ruined small towns in the US and probably contributed to the Columbine tragedy. It is a town with a very mixed population from oldtime conservative libertarians to “new age” liberals that teach yoga. They have a wonderful library and they hold lots of events in their high school and take good care of their teenagers.
Yesterday we saw Eliot's cardiologist and his blood pressure is too high but he made a deal with the cardiologist not to put him on more powerful drugs till he can see if he can bring his blood pressure down by giving up beer. He usually drinks a six pack at night so he can sleep. He's sure now that he won't be able to sleep but did get some last night. He will be having more tests next week including a chemical stress test. He says he doesn't want his blood pressure to go down because he's afraid of the surgery. I know he's concerned about the surgery and I'm not sure how much to believe him. The high blood pressure would seem to me to be more of a problem.
We have three days that we don't have to go down to Phoenix and hope to do some hiking each day.
I wish I had more time to write and read other blogs as well as the three books I'm currently reading. Maybe I should hire a "life coach" I heard there are actually such people that make their living organizing other people's life. (I don't know how to put in one of those funny faces so I'll just say smile or laugh)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lynx Lake

Lynx Lake Recreational Area is one of the many parks in the Prescott area. Arizona has many natural recreation areas. Arizona is not just Phoenix and the Grand Canyon. There is a trail all around the Lake. The west side of the lake has a paved trail from the picnic area at the top of the lake to the larger one on the bottom which also has a boat launch. The east side of the lake is unpaved and a little rugged and is closed from December 1st through June 30th to protect the nesting bald eagles. But this was Oct 8th and we got to walk all around and not only did we see two eagles flying but numerous ducks and cormorants and grebes and a squirrel with a great big white tail. Ponderosas and alligator junipers and blue lake and sky. The trail was 2.3 miles and took us an hour and a half. I use two Leki poles and the only pain Eliot had was his knee. Hopefully his blood pressure will be normal tomorrow when we see the cardiologist. Guess who suggested we go to Lynx Lake today. Twas the caregiver who supposedly makes Eliot's blood pressure rise. I also have been blamed for my late husband's drinking.

New Jersey, Wal-mart and other controversies

It's very thought provoking to live with someone with a completely different world view. First to the New Jersey girls: Since my companion likes to listen to right-wing talk shows I got to hear Hugh Hewitt interviewing Daggett. Hewitt is up there on my list of offensive talk hosts with Rush, Hannity, Levin, Beck, Medved, Savage and the rest of the ilk. Hewitt is telling Daggett he has no chance and the reason Hewitt is so against Daggett is that he will take votes away from the Republican, probably not as many as he would take away from Corzine. So after listening to Daggett who sounded reasonable if I were a New Jersey woman I would probably vote for him on the chance that he might get in and if he didn't probably Corzine would win which would be the better alternative to Christy (sp? - I never saw the name in print).
Secondly the Wal-mart billionaires aren't making their money from Wal-mart. When Wal-mart was riding high and everybody was buying their stock, they took their money and invested it in other companies. Wal-mart stock is really down now but it won't effect their wealth. Things are not black and white. Wal-mart is not all good or bad. We shop there all the time because it's cheaper. Wal-mart didn't put the Mom and Pop stores out all by themselves and if a community wants to keep them out, they can by their votes.
I am basically against super capitalism and greed but also against fanaticism whether it's on the right or left.

Back from Phoenix

Eliot doesn't handle stress well. So his blood pressure was out of sight when the Nurse Practioner took it. He didn't want me to go in with him for the examination. He said that led to his stress. But he doesn't pay attention to details that I (as someone who has had some experience as an LPN) might think is important. And what he does remember he doesn't tell me. As his caregiver, I want to know all I can. So here it's 2:30 already and we still have to go to the lab and get the chest xray and finally make it over to Golden Corral 8 minutes before the early bird special ends (at 4pm). He says McCrystal eats only one meal a day. Like what has that got to do with the price of eggs in China or the fact that he is so stressed out because he hasn't eaten all day. By the time we get to Walmart to get his new Rx (an increase in Bisopr/Hctz to 10/6.25 from 5/6.25) he was mellow and the blood pressure machine there showed satisfactory results for his blood pressure. I took mine which seemed to be a little low. The Walmart blood pressure machines are not always accurate. So when we finally made it back to Prescott Valley I took out our blood pressure machine. The results were a little higher but Eliot was satisfied that it was stress that gave him the high reading. But they won't do the surgery if his blood pressure is off the charts. Anyhow we go see the cardiologist tomorrow and he will probably order a stress test. His EKG by the way was fine, that is no different from his past EKGs which just shows his earlier heart attack from 15 years ago.

I know stress reduction exercises but Eliot won't let me do any of this "new age" stuff on him. I tell him that there are scientific results that the relaxation response lowers blood pressure. He says all he needs to do to reduce stress is to go hiking so today we're going to go hiking at Lynx Lake.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Down to Phoenix

Off to Phoenix again, this time to Eliot's PCP to get approval for his surgery on Oct 21st. He's fasted because he figures he'll need blood work. He's not concerned about the PCP's approval. It's the cardiologist on Friday that he's worried about. He's sure he'll make him do a stress test.
I had a cup of Earl Grey tea and decided I'd wait also to eat. My son, Jake, in Budapest is always telling me to go on juice fasts. He does it all the time usually for 3 days but sometimes longer. Did I ever mention that both my sons are vegetarians. Another short story!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

too long for a comment

This started out as a comment to the comments by Bobbie and webwisewoman but then developed a life of its own so I decided to make it into a new post.
I'm thinking there's several short stories in there after reading about what a short story is by Nadine Gordimer. And the coming full circle I guess is that maybe I did learn something from that essay course I took at Writers and Books those many years ago, you know like there's got to be a point you're making, tying things together. Eliot says what's this thing about mothers and daughters. I said Freud figured it out but Eliot never even heard of Oedipus. All he knows about is hiking and stocks. I know I'd never get lost in the woods with Eliot. Now there's another short story.
Bobbie, It's finally comforting to have all these siblings especially my youngest brother who was only 11 when I got married and I only got to know 30 years later. I sure didn't feel that way many times in the past. Eliot is an only child and has only one son. It makes his life simpler. Maybe that's why he loves those Alvins so much.
But back to my siblings. I often wonder who's going to go first . My 75 year old sister who's in assisted living and can't walk and says her short term memory is shot. One of the twins who's 68, diabetic, had a quintuple bypass and parts of his esophogus and stomach and one kidney removed from cancer (diagnosed early), bad peripheral neuropathy and is in constant pain, takes 4 Vicodan a day but he's the patriarch. The other twin who was always the physical fitness nut and was a psychologist in the Air Force (now that's another story) but has chronic indolent leukemia, now in remission. My youngest brother who's 64 and travels all over the world (his wife used to have a tour guide business and is the daughter-in-law my mother my disliked) but is basically healthy and exercises a lot. He did have a failed hernia operation several years ago that perforated his intestine and was hospitalized a month. He also worries the most (after me) or will I be the first to go. My problems are not lifethreatening I think. I have peripheral neuropathy and might be pre-diabetic. Just started testing my blood sugar. My legs and feet swell and I wear elastic stockings. I have interstitial cystitis and don't empty my bladder so I'm prone to UTIs and have ulcerative proctitis which is currently in remission. Most of my problems are probably due to having been on a tricyclic anti-depression (desimpramine) for 7 years. The side effects were terrible but the half-empty glass was finally half-filled. I always thought my depression was caused by my seeing the pathology of the human race but it turned out to be the reuptake of norepinehrine in the synapsis. Or so they say. Anyhow now what keeps me alive is writing on my blog (and what saved me this summer when I sometimes felt that I'd rather not wake up in the morning) and finding all of you in cyberspace especially Bobbie and Celeste and now webwisewoman urging me to write. and all those other wonderful women whose blogs I read.
I wrote this this earlier but didn't post it right away because I wanted to ride my bicycle a little bit while Eliot walked and then Eliot wanted to go out to the early bird special at the Golden Corral (for those that don't know the Golden Corral is an all you can eat buffet that lures obese seniors in between meals). I thought this would be a good opportunity for me to see what would happen to my blood sugar if I just stayed away from the Dessert Bar and kept all other carbs to a minimum. I stuffed myself on green vegetables and salad with pine nuts and ham, a deviled egg and a bunless hot dog (they didn't have any sauerkraut - how can you eat a hot dog without sauerkraut?). My blood sugar was 107 right after the meal. I think that's okay. I'm keeping a log. My fasting blood sugar when I got up this morning was 84 and just 89 after a lowcarb breakfast.
Then we went to our storage shed because I told Mary Ellen I might have something about her Irish relatives. I didn't find what I was looking for but did find her little stuffed bear that she always took to bed and too many other old memories.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Windy Weekend

This past weekend was very windy and played havoc with the satellitle dish. Things aren't really back to normal yet since Hughes doesn't officially allow portable satellites so they've blamed us for overuse because of all the failed transmissions or something like that. Anyhow I used the weekend to call all my relatives since we have unlimited minutes on the cell phone. I actually had a conversation with my daughter with whom I've had limited contact with for many years. I called her and she did talk. And it wasn't as painful for me as the last time we had a long talk about nine years ago. I know after her father left she felt I neglected her and this time I said I had no excuse and I was very sorry. Nine years ago I guess I gave excuses. She said she learned to cope by being mean and apologized for hurting me. It's funny how her father got off the hook. Well, he had a disease - alcoholism (which she inherited but is a recovering alcoholic thanks to AA). I wrote to my sons after the conversation and got a wonderful reply from my son who lives in Budapest and spoke to my other son with whom I am very close. She's mean to them too. But maybe it's an opening. Afterall she did talk to me instead of saying she didn't have time. And as Eliot says it's water under the bridge. I'm just afraid that if she doesn't let it go she's only going to hurt herself. She has Crohn's disease and arthritis and from what I hear from relatives is that she is putting on weight. If I ask her how she is, she says she is fine. She recently got an RN degree but isn't working. I don't know what more I can do but I have to stop beating myself up.
I also spoke to my sister who is in an assisted living place in Jackson, WY where her daughter lives. She is 3 years older than me and has fought MS since she was 24, actually having a child when she was 40. I was "yuck another girl" in the opinion of my paternal grandmother
and then when I was four years old my twin brothers were born and I learned that taking care of precious baby boys made me useful. Another boy was born four years later. My mother said we were all mistakes, that is, we weren't planned. My father was a compulsive gambler but died when he was 53, leaving my mother who was 49 penniless. She then made a life for herself, starting selling in a Sears store in Florida and ended up as their top decorator. When she retired from Sears at 65, she moved to Rochester, NY where my brother had just opened a Fabrics store and she started his "shop at home" business decorating many fancy homes. When I sold my house to Brian and bought my RV I took her in the RV to Tucson where my sister had just moved and my youngest brother had lived for years. She found a retirement home there and then I drove her in the RV to Florida where my brother for whom she had worked now lived and then after she sold her house in Rochester I took her in the RV back to Tucson by way of Sheridan, WY where the other brother now lived with his second wife. My mother loved traveling in the RV. This is beginning to sound like an autobiography. Write, write, write but should I be doing this on my blog. What is a blog anyhow? It started out as a windy weekend when I called all my relatives, I also spoke to all 3 brothers. My Mother died on Thanksgiving Day in 2002. I and all my siblings were there. We had come to celebrate Thanksgiving with her because she had turned 90 that July. She was in ICU by the time we all got there. So we pulled the plug on Granny. She had septicemia by then and the machine was doing 100% of her breathing. Every Thanksgiving now I feel I should light a Yarhzeit candle instead of eating turkey. Maybe this year I will.
Why am I writing all this. When I was around my daughter's age sometime in my 40's my brother (who had become the patriarch) sent me and my mother to my nephew's bar mitzvah in Tucson and my mother and I started talking about "our disagreements" especially over my sister-in-law and ended up crying into each others arms. So that's why I called my daughter.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Harkins Theatres birthday gift

Today is Eliot's 70th birthday. I took him to the Chinese Buffet and then to "The Invention of Lying". I told the ticket seller at Harkins that it was Eliot's birthday and they gave me a coupon for free popcorn. I asked at the counter if we could get something else because Eliot can't eat popcorn (something probably many other people our age have problems with). They said they'd have to call the manager, who said he'd have to ask the general manager. By that time it was getting late and the movie was about to start. After the movie I mentioned it to the cleaners who were waiting at the door and was told by a young woman that they can only give popcorn free. I told her she should ask the man in the sky but she hadn't seen the movie and didn't get the reference. I recommend the movie to all skeptics.

Pranic Healing

I mentioned in a comment on Bobbie's blog about the right foot going clockwise and the right hand making a six changing the direction of the foot if pranic healing would help (it doesn't) but I thought I'd give to reference to the pranic healing video:
www.pranichealing.com/video/superbrain-Yoga-workout-improve-brain

Looks like surgery is probable

If you're not interested in hearing about the health problems of old folks, skip this!
We went back to Dr Field who showed us just what he does actually showing us what I had seen on You Tube. He removes the disc, clean up the vertebrae, grafts on a cadaver bone and then holds it in place with a metal thing which he screws in. When that is done (the metal plate) you don't need to wear a collar long. Field said he didn't even need to wear it at night. And last night we saw friend chiropractor Bill who first said he is against surgery except in Eliot's case. If he were a couch potato and was not going anyplace then he would say just get the shot and hang around but since Eliot wants to be active he should get the surgery even if the third shot leaves him pain free. Also he explained why he was sick after the fall. Toxins are released from the disc so we're thinking it must have herniated when he fell. He said the fusion is necessary because of the stenosis and agreed with Field that this is a good surgery especially since it's one level. I just hope Eliot follows through because as Bill said you don't want something happening in East Jesus, Nebraska and something like even a sneeze could cause a problem. He also made some suggestions about my problems so now I know what to ask Levy, my PCP, when I see him. Eliot will get one more cortisone shot Monday and if that goes okay I'll see Levy on Monday afternoon. I did see Maureen, my urologist, Hurm's nurse. She is wonderful. I should write about her on in another post. She did give me some cipro because there were some white cells but the culture results won't be in until Monday and then she got me fitted in to see Hurm on the 15th even though there was no room. You see in addition to my peripheral neuropathy and circulation problems (I wear elastic stockings), I have institial cystitis and also don't empty my bladder fully (which is why I get frequent UTIs) but Hurm said last time he did a procedure (he is so funny, talks about torture and putting a gidget up my widget) he said my bladder actually can hold up to 2 liters so sometimes, especially during a long movie, I just tell myself I don't really have to pee, it just feels like I do.
So it looks like Eliot will have surgery on Sept 21st. I'm optimistic. He's not.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

For Bobbie

For some reason I couldn't post a comment on your blog. Probably something going on with my computer or the satellite connection. Anyhow I wanted to tell you I was sorry you and your computer weren't feeling well. and I was also disappointed about the public option.
and then I think I said something about watching the Ken Burns documentary on the National Parks and commenting that the dollar always was king.

Spine Surgery?

Yesterday we drove down to Phoenix to see the pain doctor. First comes in the nurse practioner who tells us about a 3rd cortisone shot and physical therapy and traction with a chiropractor down the hall. Then comes in the dr (very young) who says he wants Eliot to see this surgeon with whom he's already spoken before doing anything else. So early this morning we're back in Phoenix seeing Dr. Field (also quite young) at the Desert Institute of Spine Care who talks like there's nothing to it. We just make a little slit in the front and get rid of this bad thing that's pressing on your spinal cord that could be big trouble if we don't and makes it sound like a cinch and you'll be back hiking and travelling in two weeks and never says it's "anterior cervical discectomy and fusion" until we read it on the releases for his PCP and cardiologist forms. He also spoke of herniated disc which nobody has called it that yet as it is bulging not herniated. My reaction was to talk to this doctor again right away after reading about what seems to be major surgery and asking lots of questions we didn't know to ask then. At least calling chiropractor Bill who recommended the pain dr in the first place to get his take on it. I mean like the surgery is already scheduled for the 21st with our moving down on the 18th to Cave Creek Regional Park just outside of Phoenix. Like hey wait a second!
I know Eliot is very concerned but he wants to read all he can on the internet first before calling Bill or the doctor back. He's got an appointment with his PCP's PA and the new cardiologist next week. Thursday I'm going to see my PCP because I don't know how to handle all this . Eliot is reading all these horror stories on the internet about this kind of surgery. I don't know what he's going to do.
At least it's supposed to cool off tomorrow.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Writing

I read 20th century woman's blog about her writing experiences which reminded me of my "creative writing" classes and the pieces I wrote that I hope are still stored in the storage space that Eliot and I rented. Will I ever find them and does it really matter? I took a creative writing class at the community college in Rochester, NY where I lived for 18 years and then signed up for several classes at Writers and Books, a community literary center that had classes and seminars taught by teachers from all over, whoever felt like sharing their knowledge and experience. I opened the door once for Alan Ginzberg who was giving a seminar and we had a short conversation. I was struck by how strong his New Jersey accent still was but of course most people think of that accent as a Brooklyn accent but it was actually stronger in Jersey and it's not just because I was from Brooklyn that I'm saying that. My 7th grade teacher did often remark on my lack of accent. She would say "Is your mother an elocution teacher?" I also read Writing Down the Bones -was that the title? - I should really look it up but it said you should practice writing all the time with someone and my friend Anita and I would go to McDonalds and sit there for hours writing and reading to each other what we had written. I think that if I start practicing writing again I should do it on my private blog.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cheers

Eliot has an appointment with a doctor in Phoenix Monday. To make the time go faster I bought him cable for a month. When we signed in here he said no to cable. Since his 70th birthday is Oct 2nd I said it was an early birthday present. I've noticed that for the past hour he's had a few laughs watching old Cheers. Now Becker is on. It's fun to laugh for a change. Eliot has a satellite dish but it's just for internet, not TV. If I had TV I never would have gotten into blogging and made all these great friends.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Arizona

We made it to Prescott Valley, AZ and have signed up for a month at the Orchard Park Senior RV Park and got the satellite set up. Last night we were in Devils Canyon, between Monticello and Blanding, Utah our last national forest experience for a while and used up all the wood we brought down from Pole Creek Lake in our last campfire. Eliot's pain is no better so now we have to find out what to do. Hopefully he can get a third cortisone shot before something more drastic.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Next Move

Eliot is in a great deal of pain so instead of waiting till Tuesday to leave Torrey we'll pack up tomorrow and head out Sunday hoping to make it to Blanding (still in Utah) and then Monday to Prescott Valley, AZ hopefully to the Orchard Park over 55 RV park and plan to stay a month. From there he hopes to be able to make a doctor's appointment in Phoenix. It's too hot to stay in Phoenix although he doesn't look forward to the drive down and back in the truck from Prescott Valley to Phoenix.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Public Option

I found this on Facebook (where I follow the goings on of my children and nieces and nephews) although it was actually posted by my brother. I signed the petition and want to make sure it's out there in blog land. I wasn't aware of credoaction.com an arm of Working Assets.
Tell Harry Reid: Don't let Max Baucus kill the public option.
Source: act.credoaction.com
Next week, the Senate Finance Committee is expected to start debating and voting on its health care reform bill. Of the five Congressional committees writing health care bills, this will be the only one not to include provisions for a public health insurance

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Remembering Brian

He would have been 78 Sept 14th but just after his 72nd birthday he had rotator cuff surgery which was successful but the next day he had a massive stroke. They kept him on a machine so that whatever organs were still good could be harvested and then he was let go. We had been together 12 years but five years before he died I sold him my house in Rochester, NY and bought my small RV and went on the road. He would join me several times over the next four years for 3 week trips and we remained good friends but he didn't like to travel for more than 3 weeks at a time. He loved his music and art and children and grandchildren. When I first met him he told me that his mother had died when he was 7 years old, his first wife committed suicide after 7 years of marriage leaving him with 3 small boys. His second wife divorced him after 7 years after giving him his beautiful daughter. I took his hand and said woman have caused you a lot of pain and knew he was standing on this huge pile of manure which could be thrown at me or I could love him better than any of those other women. As I said we were together 12 years and I think helped each other heal but we finally had to go our separate ways. We had some wonderful times and some very difficult times from which we both grew. He was a wonderful father and his children adored and sometimes protected him. His youngest son was most protective and never really approved of me but was always civil. Before he retired from Kodak where he had been an ergonomist we would always take vacations so that he could see his daughter whose mother had moved her to Richmond, VA. That brought us to the Outer banks of North Carolina several times and the Cape May Lighthouse once on our way back. When his daughter and her fiancee moved to Washington state we made a trip west and were also able to visit my daughter in San Francisco. He loved his retirement because he was free to pursue his music. He had a collection of 42 brass instruments when he died, most of which he could play and also his art. One of his last works was a chalice he made for the Unitarian church. He was a kind, thoughtful, curious, inquisitive and loved the outdoors and everything beautiful. We camped, biked, hiked, canoed, cross-country skied and even once tried snow shoeing with old snow shoes he had repaired. He loved to tinker and fix things. I learned a lot from Brian and I hope I made his life richer too.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I stand corrected

Thanks, Killer. I guess I figured that Boulder Mountain and Thousand Lake Mountain were the western boundary and never realized how far north in Utah CP went. I guess we were on the northern edge the past four summers as hosts at Pole Creek Lake Campground. Thanks for the website information. Gives me a lot more to look at since we've decided to stay here at Sand Creek RV park for another week using Donna's wifi. How did you find me and my misinformation? I probably should be posting this some other place like on your blog.

yellow brick road


Eliot took this picture of fallen aspen leaves near Pagosa Springs, CO on the V-Rock Trail.

Still in Torrey

We decided to stay another week in Torrey, Utah. Eliot spoke to his chiropractor friend in Phoenix who told him he probably had the stenosis for years and it was the repetitive motion of splitting wood that caused the disc to bulge and the fact that the first shot worked was good even if the second didn't work after the fall. He thinks he should try a third shot and go back to doing the traction but start by using less weight. He's been sleeping well and some days has very little pain. Eliot says the reduced function of his left arm he can put up with. So maybe we can slowly make our way back to the Phoenix area enjoying red rock country and turning aspens along the way. Funny when I lived in the East I knew only individual trees which we called quaking aspens that reproduced like trees do, flowering and making seeds that become new trees I didn't know till I came to the West about what they call aspens here which grow in groves and are in effect one tree which comes up from a common root and most places never even flower. I guess the season is too short. These large groups of yellow aspens are indeed a delightful sight. I will have to get one from Eliot's pictures to post on Mellow Yellow. There are a few that even turn red. On the west side of Fish Lake there's a heart shaped grove that turns red and the Indians had a legend about the heart but we didn't stay long enough in the store to read about it. We took a short walk along the Lakeshore Trail last Friday and since the store was opened stopped in and talked to the Forest Service volunteer (a kindred spirit of course). Fish Lake is geologically very interesting. It is west of here, not part of the Colorado Plateau. Torrey is on the western edge of the Plateau. Fish Lake is a graben caused by a big drop on a fault line and is 170 feet deep and has very large trout! After reading Alan G.'s journal yesterday I thought I'm just going to write as long as I feel like it and it doesn't matter if anybody comments or not. Now that I've met all these other people I can read their blogs and look at their pictures. I have put in the option now of approving posts before showing them which I should have had before so that anyone can comment and ask not to be printed. I've probably said this before but finding all these blogs is like opening up the collective unconscious. Jung would have been thrilled.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Blackwater Lightship

I just finished this novel by Colm Toibin. It is about three generations of strong independent women, sorting through the love and resentments that bind them. As Helen helps her mother and grandmother care for her dying brother in a remote crumbling house by the sea in Ireland after a bad sleepless night she stands at the edge of the cliff and I wanted to share the following paragraph which struck me so deeply:
"Imaginings, and resonances and pain and small longings and prejudices. They meant nothing against the resolute hardness of the sea. They meant less than the marl and the mud and the dry clay of the cliff that were eaten away by the weather, washed away by the sea. It was not just that they would fade: they hardly existed, they did not matter, they would have no impact on this cold dawn, this deserted remote seascape where the water shone in the early light and shocked her with its sullen beauty. It might have been better she felt, if there had never been people, if this turning of the world, and the glistening sea and the morning breeze happened without witnesses, without anyone feeling, or remembering, or dying, or trying to love. She stood at the edge of the cliff until the sun came out from behind the black rainclouds."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

More joy from Celeste




Celeste Maia recognized me for my "pluck" and I love her image. It speaks to me on several levels. The moon has always been special to me since my Wiccan days and the figure holding the moon is for me definitely Jungian.

Celeste is a rare creature, so talented and so caring bringing joy into many lives. I am so honored that she found me on the mountain and gave me the courage to continue my pluck. I have so enjoyed her blog and the many blogs she has introduced me to. And how wonderful that she shares her paintings on her blog and website. I go to them often.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Alvins will miss us.

Eliot feeding one of the Alvins (chipmunks) at Pole Creek Lake

Red Rock Country






I don't know who the bicycle riders are, something I could have done maybe 40 years ago.
The first photo is in Sulphur Canyon just outside Capitol Reef National Park which Eliot and I really like because not being a signed trail their are very few hikers on it and it cuts through many layers of the Colorado Plateau. The middle picture is actually in Capitol Reef. This whole area is part of what's called the Colorado Plateau although most of it is in Utah, actually roughly centered on the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States. It covers an area of 337,000 km (130,000 mi.) within western Colorado, northwestern New Mexico, southern and eastern Utah, and northern Arizona. About 90% of the area is drained by the Colorado River and its main tributaries; the Green, San Juan and Little Colorado.
In the southwest corner of the Plateau lies the Grand Canyon of the Colorado. Most of the Colorado Plateau's landscape is related, in both appearance and geologic history, to the Grand Canyon. The nickname "Red Rock Country" suggests the brightly colored rock left bare to the view by dryness and erosion. Domes, hoodoos, fins, reefs, goblins, river narrows, natural bridges and slot canyons are only some of the additional features typical of the Plateau.
The Colorado Plateau has the greatest concentration of national parks in the United States. Among its parks are Grand Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, and Petrified Forest National Park. Among the national monuments are Dinosaur National Monument, Hovenweep National Monument, Wupatki National Monument, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and Colorado National Monument.
I cheated and copied some of the above from Wikipedia. We've hiked in all these parks and monuments and many places outside of them.

Torrey, Utah

Tuesday we were up at 7am and made it out of Pole Creek Campground at 9:48am all connected, then down the mt and ended up in Torrey, Utah (just west of Capitol Reef National Park) a little after 4pm. Eliot was really hurting but got a good night sleep and felt better today. We're staying at Sand Creek RV park and campground, a small rustic park built entirely by the owners, Donna and Dwayne. She does lapidary work and makes beautiful jewelry and he builds rustic furniture. We have electricity and water and nice showers. We've stayed here every spring and fall for the past four years on out way up and back from Pole Creek Lake. It's a beautiful part of Utah, red rock country. I'll try to get some pictures and post them later. We have wifi here which is not always reliable.
Eliot found on the internet the Laser Spine Institute based in Tampa Florida that says they can do endoscopic minimally invasive procedures to free pinched nerves and that they have an officer in Scottsdale, AZ. I wonder if anyone who reads this has heard about such procedures.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Going off line

This will be my last post for a while because Rhett, the seasonal ranger (who hasn't landed a full-time job yet despite his many talents and skills, his love of the outdoors, his genuine concern for people and stewardship of the land) will help us take down the satellite dish in the morning and load the generators into the truck. We will miss him. Tuesday we hope to take the last trip down the mountain - truck pulling fifth-wheel pulling trailer with the quads.
I have to explain he thrill of receiving the award which might have seemed a little over the edge. When I was in first-grade in elementary school I had my gold stars taken away from me for a minor infraction which I didn't even know was wrong. Nobody had explained the rules to me. School from kindergarten up was a disaster for me. Celeste you don't know how lucky you were to be taught by your parents. I could write a whole long post about the tortures of childhood and the failure of public education in the US. When I was an usher one year at the UU Church in Rochester (I joked about it being called a church - I said it was a cover for subversive activities. It had little to do with religion, no dogma, inclusive of all believes and lifestyles - it was about community, love and service) I mentioned the gold star incident to the head usher. At the end of the year he handed me a card for good work done with gold stars all over it.
When we get back online I'll try to figure out how to send awards. I'm constantly finding new wonderful blogs to read.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I got an award!



Look what LadyLuz send me, an award. I don't know why. Don't think I deserve it and now I'm supposed to send it to 7 other blogs. I hope I can find seven other blogs who don't already have it. Maybe I can send duplicates. And I'm supposed to send 7 things about myself nobody knows:

1. I practiced social nudism for a while. It's great for body image. You don't find any beauty queens at family nudist camps, lots of happy kids running around as they were born, every thing hanging out naturally and skinny dipping beats bathing suits anytime. One does have to be picky about where to go. The Naturist Society is he best way to connect to family oriented camps. And many of them don't allow singles. It's best to be a member of a local club.

2. I volunteered two winters at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico before I met Eliot. I learned a lot about birds and met some wonderful people. Didn't know until after I'd known Eliot for a while that he's been a birder his whole life.

3. I studied Transactional Analysis originated by Eric Berne and figured out my life script according to his method which helped explain a lot of my behavior and and found his Games People Play to be very helpful.

4. In 1957 I bicycled with my late husband from Munich to Bremerhaven on single speed bikes. It took a month and we lived on $1 a day.

5. I worked five years in a Nursing Home as an LPN on the night shift. They loved my hugs but hated the suppositories I had to give some before my shift ended. And I hope I helped some find peace in their final days. If I believed in guardian angels, I know who'd they be.

6. When I worked in the Nursing Home, I bicycled to my job at 10:30 at night and rode home at 7:30 in the morning except when it rained or snowed when I walked instead. It rained and snowed a lot in Rochester, NY. 20 minute ride, 40 minute walk.

7. I've been in 47 of the 50 states.

Now I have to figure out how to send the awards. Bobbie will probably tell me how or maybe LadyLuz or maybe I'll even figure it out myself (unlikely).

2.

Saturday

Last I wrote I had to stop because Eliot wanted to turn off the generator. It's Saturday morning and now I am trying to remember what it is was I wanted to write. It was clearer last night and very fuzzy this morning. and the computer keeps wanting to do things other than what I want. I remember when I was studying Wicca and I wanted to concentrate I would meditate and call down one of the Goddesses, usually Athena who was known to have a swift mind. (Ritalin also works, if you're into western medicine). Last night I discovered that Lady Luz sent me an award which I thought was wonderful and wanted to capture it but didn't know how. Maybe Athena can tell me. Also I want to tell Bobbie that I can now get her Videos since updating something (I think Adobe) and just listened to Simon and Garfunkel which got me quite emotional (nostalgic, sentimental, whatever it is that happens to old ladies). I am so close to tears now. I think I should call down Kwan Yin because I know when I feel like this I need forgiveness which is her specialty. And then I am also so sad because I started reading Sleepwalking Land. Can Kwan Yin forgive the whole human race? War is so devastating. Our Civil (why do they call it civil - should be called barbaric) War lasted only 4 years, Mozambique, 15 years. This rambling is getting pretty silly. I should stop and do something useful like checking the vault toilets. With so many people up here this weekend they might need more TP. A bit of humor is needed now. Did you know that when you want a parking space you call down the Goddess Asphalta?

Friday, September 4, 2009

So Little Time

I am trying to catch up before Eliot wants me to turn the computer off because the generator is pretty close to the big fire he just started and I'm sure he wants some peace and quiet by the fire. We gave up on the traction because he had a very bad night after using it twice and I thought looking at him in this contraption cannot be good because of the angle of his spine. It's different lying flat on the table at PT and having traction. He stopped and last night he slept well and he won't use it again until we get another opinion once we get back to the Phoenix area which we hope won't be until the end of Oct unless he starts hurting too much in which case we'll go quickly back. There's more I want to say but I guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Books

I travel between two worlds on the internet: Facebook and the blog-0-sphere. I thought it might be fun to mix the two because I had fun with this from Facebook.
Rules (as I received them): “Don’t take too long to think about it. List 15 books you’ve read that WILL ALWAYS STICK WITH YOU. They should be the first 15 you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. Then there were more rules that just apply to Facebook
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
Grimms Fairy Tales
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
1984 by George Orwell
2001, A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clark
Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr
Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann
Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy
One of Ours by Willa Cather
Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Traction

Funny, the doctor and the Physical Therapist totally disagree on how to use the traction. Part of the dr's instructions seem impossible to follow. The other part whether to have constant pressure (PT's advice) or intermittant (dr's) is debatable. Eliot's thinks he'll go along with the PT's advice. Afterall he's a fisherman.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Peace and Necks

I just published my BlogBlast for Peace post dated 11/5/09. I sure hope that works because who knows where I'll be at that time.
Am I also supposed to send a copy to Mimi? Sometimes when I try to click on her site my computer goes bananas and tells me to end program. So maybe somebody will tell me how to send my post to Mimi.
In the meantime, Justin, the physical therapist from Vernal, yesterday brought up this over door cervical traction device that the dr in Vernal wants Eliot to use. Justin's first love is fishing and found that having to deliver the device was the best excuse to get out of the house on Saturday. He also brought his two year old son in a backpack and they hiked up to a favorite lake. Eliot hasn't tried the traction device yet. He wants to talk to the doctor first so we're going to go down Monday to Vernal but at least Justin got to go fishing.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Loss

One thought that I forgot to mention that was in the post I lost. It was seeing the casket of Ted Kennedy causing flashbacks to 63 and 68.
Also I didn't mention how depressing it is reading Buzz Aldrin's autobiography. I haven't gotten very far but just remembering that I thought our landing on the moon was the beginning of a new era of space exploration and cooperation among the people of the earth. I was a Star Trek fan as well as a reader of other science fiction, not science fantasy. 2009 is not at all what I hoped it would have been 40 years ago.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Lost Post

I just lost a new long post. Where did it go?
First I said that we went back to Salt Lake City for another cortisone shot.
Then I said we probably have to get this traction apparatus for Eliot's neck.
then I complained about the scare tactics that the opponents to health care reform are using.
Then I said that Eliot and are I are 180 degrees apart on political views.
Then I said that I finally got my BlogBlast for Peace globe done with James' help whom Mimi sent me and then I said I'd better post date it if I can follow James' instructions.
Then I lost it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Eliot's health

We saw the PT on Monday and he did some traction and we see the doctor Thursday and maybe he'll order another MRI. We'll then have to decide whether to go back to the Phoenix area directly (where his primary doctors are) or more slowly make our way down. Driving is still very difficult for him whether he's driving himself or just riding. Is it neurogenic, torn rotater cuff or both?

My first photo

My son, Jake and his son Eldar at Butterfly Valley on the coast of Turkey. I can't believe I finally figured how to get a photo on my blog!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Help Mimi or Somebody

For some reason I can't get the site where I first got the globe I want to use on my blogblastforpeace. I copied it originally but then when I was adding things to it on paint I messed something up and nowI can't seem to find the blank blue rectangle with Dona Nobis Pacem on top and the November 5, 2009 on the bottom. I can only find ones with a different date. Help! The site that had what I want keeps saying the program is not responding.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Patagonia

I tried to post a comment to Celeste's wonderful story and photos of Patagonia. I'm not sure it got through. Several years ago before our health problems showed up it was one of our destinations but we couldn't figure out how to get there the way Eliot wanted to go - like down the Pan American highway! Our bucket list grows shorter. We did do a hike today to several lakes where Eliot fished and Karin read.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bond

Somebody named Bond became a follower but I can't seem to access his sites. They say I'm not invited. So Bond if you want me to see your blogs, I guess you have to invite me. Whatever that means.

BlogBlastforPeace

I still need help in understanding how I do something to the design I chose. I put the design in My Pictures. Now how do I add something to it?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Women's Crusade

I just read a wonderful article by Nicholas D. Kristof in the NYTimes Magazine. I think it was in a special section on Saving the World's Women. I think it can be accessed through the NYTimes.com. My neice who works for the State Dept mentioned in on Facebook and I thought I should spread the word while I try to figure out how I can personally help.
Yesterday we went on our first hike since Eliot's injury, the Split Rock Path and he was thrilled at the lack of problems. When we got to Lower Rock Lake, he was ready to continue to Middle Rock Lake but I was too tired so we ate lunch and Eliot fished and was able to reel in with his left arm. Then we went to Middle Rock where he did more fishing and I read. Eliot did much better than I did. I was short of breath and my feet complained as usual. Today we've been so far doing campground chores and my feet are already swollen despite my elastic stockings. After lunch we'll try a quad ride (we got the ATVs when we both couldn't hike as much as we used to).
Celeste, the name Goldfeder is almost always Jewish from the Yiddish, not German. Jews in Europe used to not have last names but were just called like David ben Joseph - David son of Joseph but then in various places at different times they were required to get last names, sometimes it would have to do with their trade or places that they lived or they sometimes had to get it from local jurisdiction where money had to pass hands which accounts for some peculiar names like cat's elbow and there actually is a reporter on National Public Radio named Ashlocke which means asshole. I'm not an expert on this, mostly got it second hand. Names like Cohen and Levy however, I believe are from priestly castes. I'm afraid I know more about Wicca than I do about Judaism.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

BlogBlast for Peace

I'm having lots of trouble with our satellite connection. I hope this one goes through. Celeste, there is a site called BlogBlastforPeace.com run by Mimi Lennox who started this and I got it from Bobbie's site, Almost There. I'm still not sure what exactly to do but November 5 seems to be the day all us bloggers are supposed to put up Dona Nobis Pacem. Can you help us Bobbie? Something about designing a globe and posting it. By the way, Celeste, Eliot got two comments on some of his photos from the north rim of the Grand Canyon in Portugese from someone who can only travel on the internet. He was able to find out from panoramio how to translate them. I haven't yet figured out how to translate on Facebook where I have a new friend from Belgium with a similar name to mine. I was born Karin Goldfeder. Her name is Kareen Goldfeder. Eliot drove down and up the mt yesterday with minimal pain. Big problem now is rotator cuff. Is it neurogenic or torn or both. In any event, long time to heal but he's doing exercises from physical therapist. and I am trying to stay positive despite Eliot's thinking I'm silly to do things like BlogBlast for Peace.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Global Consciousness

A while back (before I started blogging) I joined Facebook at my son, Patrick's sugestion so I could more easily follow my children and nieces and nephews goings on. There are very few older people on Facebook although I did find two people from my High School in Brooklyn. Most of what goes on on Facebook seems to me to be pretty silly but since Celeste Maia has helped me stop staring at my navel and become involved in the world again I joined BlogBlast for Peace and invited my "friends" on Facebook to join. I rarely get a response to any of my comments on Facebook (that's why I started blogging and found elder blogs) but let's see what happens now.

Energy

What amazes me is Celeste Maia coming into my life and now she is prodding me. How am I and how is Eliot's neck? He is feeling better since the cortisone shot. Tomorrow will be the test. Driving back down the bumpy road to Vernal. But Celeste asked about me too and I am tearing up writing this because she cares enough to ask and despite the fact that she is a talented woman who has done so much with her life and I feel such a failure (my daughter won't talk to me, says leave me alone) I am close to my sons especially the youngest, Patrick, the sculptor. They both seem to have forgiven me for my lack of parenting skills. I have led a strange life. There was a time when I was practicing Wicca. I liked that they said "Do as thou wilt but harm none" and really believed in the power of creating and aiming positive energy toward a goal. And then just through reading other comments to Celeste Maia's post came across the synchronity site which rekindled my earlier fascination with Jung. (Eliot wants to stop generator to check oil so I will have to end this now) I just wanted to say my dreams lately are mostly about being lost.

Friday, August 14, 2009

400 miles

Riding in a Ford 250 Heavy Duty pick up meant for hauling is not really comfortable but especially 400 miles including 27 on a dirt mountain road and the rest of everything from almost smooth to really bumpy is not something old folks like us consider fun. But we did make it to Salt Lake City Thursday for a cortisone shot in the blugling disc between C5-6 and even picked up the repaired generator in Spanish Fork on the way back. I can't imagine the agony Eliot was in most of the time. How I made it back up the mt at 8pm is fading in memory. We'll know is a few days if the shot really helped. At least it did no harm. No leakage of spinal fluid.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Eliot's neck

As far as Eliot's neck it was scary looking at the MRI. Almost 4 weeks ago he had pain that felt like a pinched nerve. After two visits to a chiropractor we ended up in the emergency room last Monday where they did the MRI which showed two bulging cervical discs, ruled out heart problems and made a appointment early this morning whith a pain specialist who was going on vacation last week but did prescribe a series of prednisone. When we saw him today at first he debated between a torn rotator cuff and a pinched nerve but after looking at the MRI decided we should treat the discs as one is touching the spinal cord (that's the scary part to me not seeng any fluid around the cord). But he doesn't do cortisone shots in the neck and has referred us to someone in Salt Lake City with whom they'll be in touch with Wednesday. In the meantime he has to go to physical therapy which we scheduled for Wednesday, so Eliot could rest tomorrow. The almost two hour trip to Vernal in the pick up is agony. The doctor also prescribed Robaxin as well as more percoset.Oh, yes the quiet generator that quit is still in Spanish Fork but is finally being worked on so Eliot is hoping we can pick it up when we go to Salt Lake City. But we do use the cheap noisey generator.If we make it through the summer how can Eliot be persuaded that this should be our last year as hosts at the primitive remote campground that he loves but is just too far away from help whem we need it.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Good but cold night

Wrapped indivdually in our fleece liners we both slept well in beween trips to out night bottles and Eliot seemed to be in less pain this morning but the weakness in his left arm is troubling . Looking forward to seeing the doctor Monday morning, hoping he'll let Eliot come back up the mountain. Got down to 37 degrees Fahrenheit last night.
Found an interesting blog: Blog of Ages: Aging -- one story at a time.
Welcome back Celeste. I'll have to check your blog to see about your adventures.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bad night

Eliot could not get into a position that relieved the pain enough for him to sleep until about 6am when we redid the whole bed. So this old lady didn't getting any sleep till then also. Hope we make it throught till Monday when he sees the doctor. The big problem is traveling in the pick-up truck on these bumpy roads. No way he can get comfortable riding.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A letter I sent to IBDEditorials

Dear Sirs,
I wanted you to hear from someone who favors single payer universal health care. For 5 years before I reached 65 I had no health insurance because I was self-employed and could not afford it. A close friend died of cancer at 65 because he wasn't able to get it diagnosed before he received Medicare. We are the only industrialized country without universal health care. I am tired of all these scare tactics put out by by the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies. Most doctors I know favor single payer and they don't belong to the AMA. Rich people can always get the health care they want. We are already have rationing because people without health insurance don't get the care they need.
I am not a socialist. I believe in responsible capitalism. I believe in small businesses. I don't have much trust in big conglomerates and investors who make their money from other's misfortunes. Unfortunately I feel that most politicians are bought by lobbyists and the best government reform would be term limits for all congressmen.
I am 72 years old and just wanted to have my say because it's not going to affect me for much longer. I also have worked in Nursing Homes and believe people should have a choice about their end of life care. Pneumonia used to be viewed as the old man's friend. In nursing homes people who are ready to leave this life are given antibiotics when they get pneumonia.
I was lucky to have been born in the United States because I am Jewish by birth and if I had been born in Europe in 1937 I probably wouldn't be living now to write this. I am sorry to see the greed and ugly tactics that are used to push an agenda. We need people of all beliefs to sit down and talk to one another civilly.
Enough. The human race is on the way to oblivian. We are hardly a blip in geologic terms. Too bad we couldn't have been a better blip.
Sincerely,
a wise old woman

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

constipation

Guess who had to drive back down and up the mountain to get the sick guy some suppositories because he's all bound up from the pain pills? How come guys seem to suffer more than women from life's common miseries? But I did find mail for me, the book "Sleepwalking Land" which I ordered thru Amazon.com. But first I have to finish "The Angel's Game" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and the other library books before I start on the ones I own when I won't have access to a library!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Emergency Room

We're finally back up the mountain after a full-day in the emergency room where Eliot finally got an MRI showing he does indeed has two bulging discs in his neck pressing on a nerve and got some real medication (methylprednisone tablets) as well as more pain pills and an appointment next Monday with the only medical doctor in the Uintah Basin who deals in necks (non-surgical pain specialist). One reason we were so long in the ER was to rule out any heart problems because the pain did radiate to his chest and he has heart disease. Eliot knew he wasn't having a heart attack. I drove the truck down and back and up the mountain. Going down this morning wasn't too bad, coming back up was dreadful. 13 miles of rocky steep winding dirt road with the sun sometimes straight ahead. I think it's what they call "living on th edge." Eliot doesn't mind driving up the road. Dirt roads are his thing. Usually when we come up from our weekly trip down I fall asleep. Now I know why.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Back to Nature?

After nearly three days without communication to the outside world, our dish is now talking to the satellite. We're not sure what the problem was, maybe just a little out of line. Since we're like gypsies we have to set up the dish where ever we park. Do gypsies have internet? This is all so strange because I just started reading Fatu-Hiva by Thor Heyerdahl, his first book describing how at 22 he and his 20 years old bride went to live on a primitice Marquesa island living strictly according to nature.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Ode to Celeste Maia

If I were a poet I'd write an ode to Celeste Maia. At least I can thank you Celeste for reading my blog and knowing I'm not just another lonely voice in cyberspace. Next time I'm at the library I will look to see if they have your books. It must be wonderful to be your grandchild! Yes, thank you, Eliot necks seems to be improving although I'm not certain if it's just the effects of the pain pills and muscle relaxants. We took the Kipor generator to near Provo, an 8 hour drive round trip so maybe it will get fixed. I am so curious about Mozambique and how you came to be born there and actually your whole life. I'm an avid reader and love to read of other cultures although the last few books I've read were so devastating: The Kite Runner, Tomorrow Will Be Better, a book about a Czech woman during the war who escaped the communists only to end up in Lahore during the Partition, and another book about the Armenian Holocaust. And having been born Jewish, I've read everything I could on the Holocaust marveling how lucky I was to be born in the United States instead of Europe. I wish I could have what seems to me your more positive view of the human race.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

more problems

Eliot has a pinched nerve in his neck. The AC got accidentally turned on during the night because the stupid thermostat is right above the bathroom light switch so when Karin tried to turn on the generator because Eliot couldn't even get out of bed, the generator blew. It's a Kipor, a Honda knockoff. So we had to get a cheap noisey Champion to replace it and it looks like there's no one here who can fix the Kipor. The local RV place in Vernal says they've given up being a dealer because they're unreliable so even though it's probably still under warranty we wont be able to get it fixed. Eliot tried a chiropractor on Monday but today we went to the Urgent Care Clinic so he could get some pain pills and muscle relaxants. And the mosquitoes are still driving me crazy and I'm trying to plant a seed in Eliot's mind that it would be better not coming up here again next year. It's 13 miles down this horrible steep rocky dirt road to a paved road for another half hour to Vernal when something happens. I'm too old for this. Eliot says he's rather drop dead up here hiking than not be here. But first he has to stop hurting before he can actually hike. I know I complain too much and should count my blessings. I had a long adventurous life. I just hope we make it through this summer. And if we do I'd like to see the Atlantic Ocean once more preferably on Jekyl Island off of Georgia.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Visit from the Sheriff

We were just about to eat supper. The generator was on high so that the microwave would work when there was a knock on the door, a firm hard knock. I recognized it as the knock of a lawman. Just come up to check that all was well. Well, it wasn't. His visit introduced a zillion new mosquitoes who joined us for dinner. I got many of them with my battery operated tennis racquet shaped flying insect zapper but those mosquitoes are smart. They know if they get too close to the computer I won't try to electocute them because the charge knocks out the computer.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Split Rock Path

Eliot is very proud that his picture of the Split Rock made it to Google Earth: Split Rock Path near White Rocks, Utah. I call it the Rocky Horror Trail. I think I mentioned in previous posts that the High Uintahs are noted for their rocks. Did I also mention mosquitoes? We've cairned the path to Lower Rock Lake. It's about an hour long and kids love to follow the cairns. There are other landmarks for me along the way, the little opening with Indian Paint Brush, the detour around a very old big tree that fell many years ago, the log that's easy to cross because of the two rocks on either side to help you over, the huge rock with a depression beneath it that holds water until the end of summer. The Lake is beautiful framed by rocky cliffs and sun sparkling on the water. Eliot actually caught a very big cutthroat, maybe 18 inches while I tried to read Amy Tan through my mosquito net. When I first met Eliot I tried to fish also but never bcame very skilled at releasing the hook from the fish's mouth and had too much empathy for the poor tricked fish. So I always bring a book. A reminder of our hike for several days will be the itchy welts on my tush from answering nature's call.