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


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


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


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).



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


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


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.