Monday, February 22, 2010


A year before I met Eliot he went to Alaska. As soon as his wife died he sold his house and bought a Class A motor home and a Chevy Tracker to tow. He had taken his marriage vows quite seriously and although he would leave his wife for two weeks at a time to go hiking, he always called her and came back every two weeks to check on her although for 7 years they didn't have marital relations and said they were like two strangers. He hiked alone and then for two years with Tom, another hiker he met. He never had a girlfriend during those 7 years but after his wife died he did meet a woman at a campground and was with her more or less for nine months but she wanted to move to Missouri and also resented it went he went hiking with Tom. So he gave up on her. Then he found me on Yahoo personals with the keyword "hiking." And boy did we hike that summer and fall in the Canadian Rockies and then back in the states often with Tom. And we fell in love. I followed him in my little RV and then he asked me if I wanted to go to Australia. We traveled for almost 6 months all around Australia in a Land Cruiser with a pop-up top with a bed I had to make up every night and we didn't kill each other and we learned how best not to push each others buttons. So when we came back to the states I sold my RV and moved in with him. And the next five years we did lots of hiking and when he hurt his knee he bought ATVs so we could ride them as far as the wilderness and then hike in the wilderness, many times with Tom. I wish I had kept track of all the wildernesses we hiked in. We also went to New Zealand and Hawaii one winter and back to Australia for another six months and one winter the Gulf Coast from Big Bend to Big Thicket. That was the year before Hurricane Ike so we were hoping to go back this winter to see how different things would be. But I've already told the story of this winter in Phoenix and Eliot's neck surgery. For four years we were hosts at Pole Creek Lake Campground where I started this blog last summer. Since I said no more Pole Creek Lake Eliot said okay but we'll go to Alaska instead. He had a wonderful time the first time he went. So I'm willing to try it. My brother lives on the Long Beach Penisula in southwest Washington so I'm pretty sure we'll make it that far and hopefully into B.C. and who knows maybe we'll make it all the way to Alaska. And that's why I needed to go on anti-depressant medication and knowing we have someplace to come back to also helps. And I have to go with him because I owe him so much. He's taken me to places I never would have seen. And he's really very nice even if he's a Republican! We both miss Tom, He came up to Pole Creek Lake the first summer we were there and we were hoping to see him when we went to Texas since he lived in Oklahoma. He had been at Big Bend not long before that but wasn't feeling good. He put off going to the doctor until he turned 65 and had Medicare. But it was too late. He had metatasized lung cancer that was already in his brain and was dead in six months. So why not go to Alaska.

Maybe Karin returns

I was afraid after my last post I'd get no comments. I'm grateful for the support Bobbie and WWW. Yes, when real stuff happens you have to deal with I usually can handle that because the adrenalin (I think the British say adrenalin and we say epinenepherine) starts to flow. That's always been my problem, not so much not enough serotonin but too much reuptake of the norepinepherine in the synapses (I once worked for a neuroleptic psychiatrist and typed his whole book on neuroleptic drugs). One shrink I had said one reason depressed people lived on the edge was to make the adrenalin flow. And I've sure done some risky things in my life and a lot of stupid things. I realized after reading Eric Berne ( the transactional analyis inventor) how I played games and even figured out my life script when I took a course on TA but it wasn't until I went on medication that I could change my behavior. I knew it was time to do something now because I could only remember the stupid stuff and kept beating myself up when there actually was a lots of good times and good things I did. I loved working in a nursing home and helped many people over to the other side and in my better moments I can feel the presence of those guardian angels up there in the collective unconscious.
Eliot wants to take the 5th wheel to Alaska this summer but first he's buying an anchor home, a singlewide Manufactured home in an over 55 development in Chino Valley, 15 miles north of Prescott, AZ. We close March 15th so maybe we'll get to stay in it a month before traveling and that also makes it possible for Eliot to possibly get a knee replacement when we get back because there's no way he could recover from that in the 5th wheel. and it will be a place to stay when we can no longer travel. And I think he's mainly doing this for me for which I am very grateful. We've had a wonderful six years but this seventh since he hurt his neck has been very difficult.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Shutter Island

I shouldn't ever watch movies that have to do with insanity. There's just to many times in my life when I felt close to the edge and two of children were even hospitalized with brief manic episodes but I've never been manic. From adolescence on I felt either okay or not okay, meaning depressed. The closest I ever came to euphoria were at the births of my children. I always say those were the three best times of my life. and occasionally something would happen that would make me feel good for a couple of weeks, once a workshop with Paul Winter. Those times I was Karin, the other times I was Narren, the not okay Karin. I went to many therapists until I was finally put on medication. But I haven't been taking anything for quite a while but last week asked my PCP if I could try Cymbalta because I've been either depressed or anxious or worse like not wanting to wake up in the morning. He also wanted me to add tamotrigine which you have to start out very slowly because of the possibility of a life-threatening situation starting with a rash. It's supposed to even one out, yeah, like I'm ever going to become manic just because two of my children had manic episodes but they hadn't slept for four nights and my daughter had been on drugs. And now I have headaches. So I'm stopping the tamotrigine because it's more likely to be from that and not the Cymbalta and if there's one thing worse than being depressed it's a headache.
I actually was feeling better from the Cymbalta until I saw Shutter Island. The day before we watched a DVD "National Lampoon presents Repli-Kate"and I couldn't stop laughing for 5 minutes after the movie.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

more about downloading

Eliot thinks it might be the downloading of automatic updates that takes a lot of MBs so now we've just told the computers to first let us know before downloading any updates.

Hope that fixes the problems because I'd hate not reading everybody's blogs.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

more about downloading

It's after midnight when the fair access policy isn't in effect so I took a look at some of the blogs and many days are downloaded not justs the recent posts. This morning for less than an hour I had 89MBs. And now when I looked at the blogs I counted like as many as 20 pictures from a single download but still 89MBs sounds like too much since when I checked the properties on the pictures it looked liked it would take 15 pictures to make 1MB. So we don't know what's going on.

downloading overload

We have this problem with our satellite connection. we live in a 5th wheel and have this portable dish that picks up a Hughes network satellite and they have a "fair access policy" which means you can only download 200MB a day and we don't know why we're exceeding this limit which we do quite often lately. I asked Eliot if my downloading other people's blogs that have lots of pictures might be a reason. I don't know how many bytes downloading a picture is but I though it was in a KB category. So I'm going to view a lot of your blogs now while Eliot isn't using his computer so we can see how much it takes while I'm doing this as we can see by the hour how much is downloaded. If any of your are computer nerds and can give me an answer to this problem, let me know. Now I'm going to look at all your blogs.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A little bit more of Ireland

My fondest memories of Ireland include miles of fushia hedges in bloom along the side of the road and walking out on the moor and finding a ewe on her back with a bockety leg. I turned her right side up and she hobbled away on three legs but no way was she going to survive because there were no shepherds. The sheep were just splotched with a color for whom they belonged to and sent out on the moor. Some must have dropped off cliffs and come to other bad ends. I was walking by myself at sunset. My husband preferred to sit and drink and talk to some other talkative drunken Irishman. He was fine when he wasn't drinking and we had many nice hikes that first trip but after the first drink he was lost to me.
The most beautiful sunset I ever saw was on the shore I think it was an island we took a boat to off the west of Ireland and the sunset was mirrored on the waves slowly making their way up the beach. We also had the best salmon I ever ate there.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ireland - first post

I married an Irish orphan. His father died when he was 10 and his mother when he was 16 after a long illness. His father was born in County Roscomon and his mother in County Lietrim (sp?). That's all he knew. He had two paternal uncles, one whom he lived with till he was 18 and who stole his social security money and one who was a bartender in Brooklyn but never learned anything from them about his heritage. We went to Ireland in 1957, and again in 1965 to search for the place where his father came from. He did remember the name of a town in Roscomon that was mentioned sometime in his youth. The first time we didn't find it but had a great time anyhow because there was a bus strike and we hitchhiked throughout the country meeting a lot of interesting people and did a lot of hiking (with ponchos) because it rains every day, not usually long or much but that's why Ireland is so green. The second time we rented a car and found the town that he remembered and was sent to an old priest who was supposed to know everybody in the County and ended up at a farmhouse owned by Mitch (I can't remember his last name ) who was the son of Amy Doyle, one of the three sisters of his father who had never emigrated and found out that Mark had 21 first cousins he never knew existed because no one ever told him that his father had three sisters.
It was still a quite primitive place by US standards, a big stove where you built various wood fires depending on what you were cooking or baking. I think there was a water pump in the kitchen but the barn was used for elimination by people as well as animals. Mitch was married to a nurse, Eileen and they had four children, more to come later. The toddler didn't wear diapers just ran around with a bare bottom learning early to head to the barn. They were quite self-sufficient living off the few acres they had but there was very little cash for anything that needed to be bought. They served us dinner in the parlour which was only used for special occasions. Maria, the oldest girl called it the Christmas room. Mitch's sister drove down late in the evening. She had been engaged to a man with whom she was going to emigrate to the U.S. but he had been killed in an automobile crash driving down to the homestead. So we waited quite anxiously for her late arrival. She did later marry another man and they did emigrate to Brooklyn and had two girls who competed in Irish dancing. We found out about more of the cousins and later visited one in Dublin who with his family during tourist season lived in a tent in the backyard, renting out rooms in the house as a bed and breakfast. In those days in the UK and Ireland the cheapest way to travel was to stay at a bed and breakfast, usually just a room or two in somebody's house. Not at all like the fancy bed and breakfast places you find nowadays here in the states.
There's much more to say about Ireland and also about Mark's brothers and sister whom he had no contact with till our daughter, Mary Ellen started writing to her cousin Mary Ellen (both named after their Irish grandmother because Mark's sister got our address from Eileen with whom I stayed in touch.
More later. Eliot wants to watch a DVD.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Language etc and so forth

It all started a while back, weeks maybe a month or more when I thought I needed to do something about my dendrites, you know those little electric charges that join one nerve cell to another in the brain (something like that - I'm no neuroscientist) but I had heard learning a new language was supposed to be an excellent brain exerciser. So I looked up Esperanto. There's actually a free website for those who would like to learn. I had given up on Spanish for more reasons than I want to go into now and flirted with Portugese after meeting Celeste Maia in cyberspace. Being the scatter brain I am I did pick up some interesting facts about Esperanto but then when reading a comment on Friko's musings in German I thought why not try to go back to the one foreign language I was most familiar with (encouragement from Friko). My late husband taught German and I spent some time in Germany and Austria. Actually bicycled from Munich to Bremerhaven when I was 20 (Now that's another blog post there) but never became fluent (I'm an excellent example of a dilettante, dabbler, a subject 101 person never becoming proficient at anything). So I'm at the library in the 433's . There's some German books but right next to them is this interesting title "Words on Fire, The Unfinished Story of Yiddish." A little background here. I come from a mixed marriage. My Mother was a Deutschejudin, that is her grandparents were Jews that came from Germany and practiced Reformed Judiasm but immmigrated during an enlightened period of German history and considered themselves German as much as Jewish and spoke German. We always had a Christmas tree considering it to be a German tradition rather than a religious one. A little hard for my father to get used to because his parents were Yids, that is eastern European Jews, actually coming from or more appropriately running from Russia. They spoke Yiddish and came from an orthodox Judiasm tradition. As a result we actually practiced no religion just knew we were Jewish. My twin brothers did become bar mitzvah but only after a crash course because my Yiddish grandparents were still alive. My younger brother didn't have to because they died before he was 13. Ironically, he was the only one of the five of us to marry a Jewish person.
Where was I? In the library! So I ended up taking out "Words on Fire" and "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Learning Yiddish." Oy vey, how long will I stick with this? Especially since I'm also reading two other books at the same time, one of which is "Consililence, The Unity of Knowledge" by Edward O. Wilson, the pioneer of sociobiology and biodiversity. He's been my guru ever since I read his "On Human Nature." I was delighted that he devotes many pages to Condorcet of whom I've written earlier and only just became familiar with.
Wilson says "In education the search for consilience is the way to renew the crumbling structure of the liberal arts. During the past 30 years the ideal of the unity of learning, which the Rennaissance and Enlightenment bequeathed us, has largely been abandoned. ...Every college student should be able to answer the following question: What is the relationship between science and the humanities and how is it important for human welfare? Every public intellectual and political leader should be able to answer that question as well. ...The same is true of the public intellectuals, the columnists, the media interrogators, and think-tank gurus."
I could go back to being a jaded old lady but I remember how impressed I was when I first read Wilson and became aware that if we realized how much of human behavior is based on our DNA. In the beginning we had to believe our tribe was better than the other tribe in order to survive. But we're not hunter-gatherers any more. Or according to Dawkins we also have to overcome evolution or some such thing. I'd have to look him up again.
Oh, maybe I should go back to being a jaded old lady.
...and so it goes

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Am I in my right mind or is it my left mind but I joined Friko's Fridge Soup. I don't even have enough time to write a post on this blog and I don't have enough time to read all the blogs I want to follow, officially or not. And now I just got 4 more books from the library in addition to the book that I think I'm rereading. Ah, but this is good if only I can keep it upbeat and that's by not following the news. I think I might have offended Eliot by telling him I wasn't interested in his nattering on about politics and I'm sorry our interests are different although we both do like Hitchcock. I also found a DVD at the library which we both just watched "Frenzy" a really good old Hitchcock which of course was digitally upgraded so that you think you're watching a new movie. I remember when I lived in Rochester, NY the Eastman House had archives of old movies which were kept in ideal storage condition so as not to deteriorate as old films did and once a week they would show an old one in their small movie theatre. I wonder what they're doing now at Eastman House. When I lived there they did what I though was terrible. Someone thought that Eastman House should look like it did when George Eastman lived there but the Copper Beech on the front lawn had grown so huge you couldn't see the house. It was a magnificent tree but they cut it down. East Avenue on which Eastman House is located is a very wide street and across the street was another copper beech probably planted at the same time. After the tree in front of the house was cut down I noticed that the tree on the opposite side of the street started to look poorly and in time it died. I'm not a botanist but I know instinctively that those two trees were joined together in some way deep down in the earth. Rochester has great trees, an urban forest with trees planted along all the streets. The ice storm (I believe it was in 1991) did so much damage and so many huge old trees were taken down because they were said to be dangerous but I'm sure many could have been saved with judicious pruning. This post started out as something else but then I remembered my love affair with trees.
It's getting late. I just made a cup of sleepy time tea and now I'll see what some of my blog friends are up to.