Thursday * May 28th 2015

An Evening Stroll…

It’s that time of year…

You know – late Spring with the promise of Summer in the air.  Dinner was over, so Cali and I took a walk around the neighborhood.  I’m fortunate to have two parks in my little neighborhood.  One park has a basketball court, and the other a playground with several picnic tables.

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A family car near the park entrance…

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The oleanders were in full bloom…

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Some cacti are still lingering with their display…

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It was a pleasant walk with some much needed exercise for both Cali AND myself.  Tomorrow, Cali goes to the “puppy beauty shop” for a much needed grooming.  I had to wait three weeks to get her an appointment.  I have an appointment with a new endocrinologist after I drop off my “best girl.”  No life threatening problems – I’m just going to see if certain issues I have can be managed better.

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Point of Peace…

I’m not very disciplined at all…

Every day, I try to find a middle space – a place where I feel calm and at peace.  The little birds flutter around the feeders in my backyard at twilight.  They don’t like feeding in the full sun, but become active as the day is done and the last light of the day fades…

No matter what the worries of the day entail, I need these few sacred moments.  Cali is fed and keeps me company on the sofa in my computer room.  I let go of the frustrations of day and just “be.”

Today, I was searching for a fix between my iPod Touch – (3rd generation) and Windows 8.1.  I keep getting an error message (USB device not recognized) and a Windows error #43.  I want to load music onto my iPod for when I travel this summer, but if I can’t fix the problem, I’ll just take the CD with me.

Which brings me to this…

Have you ever listened to music and felt your heart open and had a sense of profound peace?  A serendipitous visit to a thrift store produced a Windham Hill CD entitled “Summer Solstice.”  I’m enamored by a recording entitled “Summer Star,” by Celtic harpist Lisa Lynne – originally from her CD “Secret Songs.”

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An accompanying  glass of wine helps…

It’s a “nod” to the end of the day.  No matter what happens, one can find the balance of peace and solitude.  What more can you ask for?

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Project Sunday…

Every so often, it’s good to catch up on things. 

So, today as part of Memorial Day Weekend I did just that.  I puttered here, and I puttered there and enjoyed a somewhat lazy and relaxing day.

I’ve become somewhat fascinated with birds lately, and have put out some wild bird feeders in my backyard.  Alas, I have two hummingbird feeders, but I think I’ve only seen one hummingbird in a month or so.

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Wal*Mart special with “bully bird” deterrent…

There are literally TONS of mourning doves in our neighborhood and they act as “bullies” taking over the bird feeders and driving away the smaller birds.  My 85-year old neighbor Marvin, fashioned a “dove deterrent” from a scrap of thin aluminum for me.  Now, the bigger birds can’t perch on the feeder and the small birds are visiting.

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Plastic, but only $3.50 at Wal*Mart…

I bought a second wild bird feeder at Wal*Mart for the whopping price of $3.50!  It’s cute and the little birds do visit the new feeder.

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These guys aren’t starving, and are really bullies!

Sorry, I’m just not a big fan of the mourning doves – there are zillions of them and they poop over literally everything.  I have to hose off my lawn chairs and wood wall every couple of days.  My neighbors laughed at me when I tried to deter them with a fake owl.  The doves just perch right beside it!

It wasn’t all about birds in my backyard today…

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Butterflies visit…

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Roses bloom…

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The Backyard Buddha watches it all…

Tomorrow my neighbors are having a cook-out…

Marvin and Wilma always invite me over no matter what the holiday.  It’s always fun, and I’ve come to know many of their family and friends over the years.

So, today I made potato salad and baked a New Mexican Apple Pie with green chile and pecans.  I “do” love to cook, but usually stick to simple meals for myself.

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It LOOKS pretty, but is it tasty?

I’m especially thinking tonight of two people…

  • Al of The Bayfield Bunch, reports that Kelly is having a liver biopsy tomorrow.  She has a rare auto immune disorder that affects her liver function, and I wish her well.  I met Al and Kelly a couple of years back in Borrego Springs, and Kelly is a sweetheart.
  • Dave and Marcia of Going RV Way began their epic journey to Alaska today.  I wish them an enjoyable and safe trip!

Have a wonderful week – summer’s coming!

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WordPress Photo Challenge: Broken

WordPress Photo Challenge:  Broken

I didn’t have to go far for photo inspiration for this theme.  When I think of photos of “broken,” April 2008 immediately comes to mind.  I’ll preface this by saying that I first broke my right wrist when I was thirty and taking a year off to get my master’s degree.  However, I was young(er) and my wrist was set and I wore a regular cast for six weeks.

However, the second time I broke (the same wrist) I was fifty-five and had established osteoporosis.  Uh, not so good.  The break was more severe and in the emergency room they tried to set the bone.  However, the bone wouldn’t stay in place and I was sent home and told I’d have to have surgery.

Pain

The external fixator…

I was dancing ballroom at a tea dance in El Paso with someone I’d never danced with before.  He was somewhat “overzealous” and “spun and flung” me.  I hit a nearby table, lost my balance and fell.  In any kind of couple dance, leaders are always supposed to protect the follower in their “frame” and if they’re a really good lead “showcase the follower.”  Although he was dancing ballroom, “Tango Bob” (as he likes to be called) is one of the WORST dancers I’ve ever met.

An orthopedic surgeon in Las Cruces, did the surgery and installed an external fixator.  Unbeknownst to me, Dr. Kenneth Yaw was going through somewhat of a family crisis and was eventually arrested with his 2nd wife for alleged child abuse.   The external fixator was removed five weeks after surgery, and my wrist collapsed due to the osteoporosis.

Chamber of Horrors

I got a little “Frida Kahlo” inspired…

I have to say I was more than a little “nervous” that someone unstable was responsible for my wrist.  My wrist was now hideous and “hanging” in a tilted fashion.  I took an RV trip that summer and literally begged to be seen at the University of Washington which has one of the best orthopedic departments in the Western United States.  I was all ready to have a second surgery, but found a very talented orthopedic hand surgeon literally in my backyard.  Dr. Miguel Pirella-Cruz did a second surgery to my right wrist that involved a plate, screws, and a cadaver bone graft.   I still have a small tilt which Dr. Pirella-Cruz said he could perfect by shortening the ulnar bone, but my wrist is functional and only “slightly” tilted.

The Journey of Wrist Healing

It was a long, strange trip…

I was certainly “broken” for a time.  Things happen in life and sometimes we don’t know the rhyme or reason.  However, it’s all part of the mystery of our earthly journey…

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Never.Give.Up.

OK, well at least TRY not to give up…

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First things first…

Thanks everyone for not labeling me a raving lunatic.  I just had a bad day, and although today had some “challenges,” hearing from kind hearts helped me look at things differently.  So, I thank you for that…

In the last month I’ve had some “big bills” as well as major worries…

  1. When I left Mexico at the end of March, a guy was “yammering” at me while I was hooking up my CR-V.  I don’t have a lot of experience towing, and the distraction was enough for me to leave my manual transmission in first gear.  Needless to say, that didn’t work well and the cost for a reconditioned engine, clutch, and starter came to $4,300.
  2. Driving my RV and towing my poor disabled CR-V on the way to Tucson (in the middle of nowhere) I had a dually blowout.  I know about “tire age” from my Toyota Dolphin, but failed to safety check the Lazy Daze tires.  The “youngest” tire was five years old, and the “oldest”, (the spare) was twelve.  I no longer felt safe after road service (after 5 hours) came to change the tire so I “bit the bullet” and replaced all of the tires the next day in Tucson at Discount Tire for a grand total of approximately $1,500.
  3. Cali developed a strange rash while we were in Mexico (I took her to a vet there, to no avail) so I took her to the vet here in Las Cruces.  The vet was more concerned about another “lumpy bumpy,” and after a needle aspiration sent the sample to a pathologist.  Luckily, the report came back as a benign fatty tumor which is somewhat prevalent in older dogs.  (If you recall, Cali had the “big C” last summer and went through two surgeries.)  The reality is that now I’m $300 poorer.
  4. Speaking of check-up, I had my first physical in years and got “put through the proverbial wringer” with blood tests, x-rays, and body scans.  It wasn’t so much the money involved, but doing all this put me in “high anxiety.”  My new Internist told me I needed to relax and try meditation and yoga.  I had to do a 24-hour urine test, and it seems that I have an overabundance of calcium in my urine (which can be a red flag for kidney stones).  Uh, no more calcium supplements, but Vitamin D3 (1,000 mg).  However, one needs all the calcium they can get when they have severe osteoporosis.  All in all, my co-pay for the exams and drugs came up to around $200.
  5. Ah, now we talk about the Lazy Daze.  Gee, I was just trying to keep up with the regular maintenance and have the wheel bearing repacked.  That was supposedly going to be around $100.  However, I got the oil changed, some differential seals replaced and the total shot up to $580.  The service manger called me with the new quote, but said my brakes were good with 60% in the front and 70% in the rear.  Today the shop called me and said they made a mistake and were talking about ANOTHER RV that was in the shop.  My brakes apparently are toast.  I’ll be lucky if I get out with under $1,000.

I have sufficiently beaten myself up over not putting my CR-V into neutral. 

You don’t know how many times I’ve called myself stupid.  I was am still horribly ashamed that I did this, and felt that I’m not fit to even attempt to drive an RV and tow a car.  I’m totally responsible for what happened, but next time if anyone starts talking to me when I’m hooking up my car I’ll tell them (in the nicest way possible) to GET LOST I’ll talk to you after I hook up my car! (I should point out that this was the person I met with his female friend in Mexico who invited me to park on his property for the week of Easter for what is known as Semana Santa.  The beach would have been full of Mexican vacationers and crazy and loud.  However, his partner reared her ugly jealous head and make life miserable for me the week I was there.  The person said said “not to worry about it,” but in retrospect I think he was trying to hit on me and not in a healthy way.  Sometimes, I’m so very naive.)

In perspective, all is well…

I’m just a natural worrier, and it’s difficult to see my saving dwindle.  However, I have many blessings in my life.  I have the money in my savings, I’m relatively healthy, and I still have my “best girl” Cali at my side.  I really can’t ask for more.

Life is a Highway…

Yeah, I’m gonna ride it!

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