My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I've waited a loooong time...


...for the chance to use this graphic! :-)



Thank you all, once again, for your thoughtful comments on my busted elbow post! I still intend to reply to each one, but life has torn me away from blogging. My elbow has been healing very well and I've been relatively pain free, except when I overuse it. I have another appointment with my orthopedic doctor (who looks all of 17) this afternoon, and hope to trade the splint for a brace that will allow more mobility and not have to be wrapped in saran wrap and painter's tape before every shower!

Update:

Well, I was naughty... because I have almost no pain, substantially increased mobility, and a helluva lot to do every day, I was using my right arm a lot. I thought I was being prudent, with any twinges of discomfort as my guide. Um, oops! I didn't do any damage, but yesterday's elbow X-rays showed very little change from last week's, which had shown substantial healing from the original X-rays - the period when pain and immobility required I hold it still and do nothing with it. The doctor asked me if I was refraining from pushing, pulling, lifting and twisting and I confessed, I'd been a baaaaaaaad girl... but with good reason, because here on Reality Street where I live, there is no way I can just lay about on the fainting couch eating vegan bonbons and watching infomercials all day! So as punishment (well, not really - this was going to be my fate either way), he put me in this hideous contraption!

(That's not my torso, of course, as treatment for a broken elbow 
at our local hospital does not include transgender surgery. 
Though if it did, this wouldn't be a bad choice for a new look! LOL)

Not exactly the brace I'd been expecting, which I imagined to be a chic, lightweight little velcro'ed number in fashionable colors that I could remove at will (for showering, mostly!) and easily put back on by myself. This thing can't get wet and requires a mechanical engineering degree (and two high-functioning hands) to take off and put on! The Spanish Inquisition would have been delighted to get a shipment of these. And I'm in it for the next four weeks! With firm instructions to not vacuum nor mop nor do laundry nor make beds nor do dishes nor lift anything...

Yarite, Doogie Howser, that'll work! 

Especially since most of what has kept me busy and distracted is our housing situation. Our landlord decided (for reasons known only to himself) to put Dragonfly Cottage on the market on March 1 instead of May 1, which is the day after our lease expires and the date he'd told us he'd re-list it when we signed our lease back in September. Since he remained unmoved by our arguments that he was failing to keep his word (not for the first time), and that house showings will be intrusive and disruptive and will impede our enjoyment of the property (in real estate parlance), we started packing up a lot of our possessions and trying to find another rental in town that will allow our three dogs. (Due diligence, among other things, had us rule out buying Dragonfly Cottage ourselves). We just missed out on two rental houses that would have been ideal, and have settled for one that will just have to do. At least it's only for a few months, there's room for most of our belongings, they're allowing our dogs, and it's close to UPS for BW. But I won't be decorating it and don't expect any posts about it! We expect to be all moved in and spending the nights there by mid-April. Meanwhile, the real estate firm's photographer will be here at 9:30 this morning, and then we'll have to hunker down like mules in a hailstorm for the showings to follow. There are bound to be plenty of looky-lous since this cottage is a familiar landmark, and given that it's on a lot with zero drainage and we're heading into mud season (5" of snow yesterday and 40ยบ sunshine predicted for today), I'll be a one-armed daily floor mopper for a while. *sigh*

We grew very frustrated and tired of looking at over-priced, shoddily built or poorly maintained (when maintained at all) houses for sale. So after a year spent looking at many homes in a wide price range and variety of locales and making a few failed offers, we have decided to build. Our builder, Todd, is one of the best in town, and he's buying the lot. So we chose the floor plan, have been making modifications and will be choosing all the finishes while he's getting the construction loan and will build it and then sell the whole enchilada to us when it's finished. His estimated completion date is mid-July. Todd is still lining things up and expects to get started in a couple of weeks, so I'll post more about the new house when things actually start happening, and since this will be our first experience with new construction I'll be photographing and blogging about the project as it progresses. It's exciting and intimidating and surreal right now, and mostly we're focused on getting through house showings while packing and moving - again! Argh. After living in one place for 19 years, I can't believe we'll have lived in 4 houses (and three storage units) in 10 months!

I won't have much time for blogging in the next several weeks ~ and adding to my woes, as of this morning I can't access my PhotoBucket account, where I have hundreds of photos and images stored! I've emailed them an SOS, and hope my account wasn't hacked or something while I've been on broken-elbow hiatus. It's always something!

In other unhappy news, two of the most vegan-friendly restaurants in town (Lulu's Cafe, which was less than a year old, and Tumbleweed, where I ate lunch nearly weekly for years) closed within days of each other this month. They were both very successful, so it wasn't due to lack of customers. Lulu's mysteriously claimed to have "received a new business venture opportunity that we couldn't resist," while the building Tumbleweed was in sold and they were given the immediate (and I mean immediate) heave-ho by the new owner(s). I never even got a chance to say goodbye to Anna and Liz, the sisters who own it, or use my finally filled up free smoothie punch card! Damn the luck. Since Tumbleweed had also been for sale we don't expect to see it re-open elsewhere and I don't know what poor Anna and Liz will do now to sell it as a business! It also put Fred the baker out on the street, as he baked delicious fresh artisan bread in the back area of Tumbleweed to sell as loaves and for use in Tumbleweed's yummy sandwiches. Boo-hoo! We ran into Fred at Home Depot last week and asked him what he's going to do, and he said (pointing to his cart full of tools), "projects!" I told him that was all well and good, but I doubted those tools would make decent bread! A third restaurant we like (a Mexican one with awesome vegan burritos and delicious sangria) is now for sale too, so who knows what may happen to that one. That'll just leave our favorite Chinese place, Chopstix. *sigh again* Guess we'll be back to eating all our meals at home again like we did when we lived 30 minutes from town! So you can bet the new house is going to have a spiffy kitchen! :-)

One last update before I vanish again for a spell - when Josie (who has suffered recurring bladder infections for years) had another "pee check" in January, she had crystals in her urine and her pH was elevated again. This time our vet had a new theory ~ an infection called ureaplasma. So we're on the second half of a month-long regimen of antibiotics (2 pills twice a day with food) to treat it, and her mid-treatment checkup last week was great. Ureaplasma is a tricky infection, as it doesn't show up on cultures, doesn't respond to the various antibiotics used to treat UTIs, and can cause secondary bladder infections like Josie's been experiencing all these years. So if we can clear up the ureaplasma, maybe poor Josie will have kicked these wretched infections once and for all! Fingers crossed!

I wish you a happy Leap Day, and hope it works a little magic for all of us!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It beats a broken heart (or broken dish)...


Or a twisted neck!


But it sucks nevertheless that I still can't nail the landing on my triple salchow/double toe loop combination, because as I was rushing to my car to go pick up a goodie I'd commissioned a couple months ago from a local artisan, Bob TippieI fell on the ice late Friday afternoon and broke my right elbow. And naturally, I'm right-handed. It hurt like the dickens (I can feel the empathy coming from you through the "Internets," dear Molly and Jane!) but I went to my appointment anyway, because this was the irresistibly tantalizing treasure that was waiting for me at Mr. Tippie's house...


He makes the easel he provides with each piece out of copper plumbing. Clever!


I took the first photo without flash and the second one with it, so you can see how the colors change and shimmer with the light. I love the funky shape of the clay dish and the sparkly glass and the colors, and am very grateful I got my thing-busting tumble out of the way before I had to carry this through the thickly falling snow and across more trecherous ice to my car, and then into the cottage! 

Only after it was safely ensconced there did I remove my jacket to survey the damage to my elbow. It was swollen and I could only bend it a little without excruciating pain, so I got a lift to the ER where I spent the next three hours getting xrays, a CT scan, a splint, and - only at the very end - pain pills! Sadists.

I saw the orthopedic doctor yesterday, who said surgery isn't required nor recommended at this point, and to my delight neither is a cast. He removed my splint, repositioned my elbow to bring the bone ends closer to together, and put me in a new splint that now allows me the somewhat awkward use of my fingers for typing. Which is good, since I'm not allowed to do anything else with my right hand and arm for 2-3 weeks, and at least permitted me to put this post together. He also had the xray tech put my elbow xrays on a disc for me so I could post one of them here (for ABC Wednesday tomorrow, which is the letter "E" - how perfectly did I orchestrate my pratfall, and how dedicated a blogger am I? LOL), but since my iMac can't make heads nor tails out of the disc contents, I thought I'd just post this update today and take the opportunity to wish you all a very.... 


And be careful out there, those of you in wintery lands!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

ABC Wednesday: Critters



Happy February, the month of Cupid and candy hearts. Seems a perfect chance to use this week's ABC Wednesday to celebrate a sweet subject close to my heart: critters!


A huge fenced section of Kendrick Park (the park across the creek from our rented cottage) is home to a few bison and elk. While they sometimes choose to congregate close to the park's swimming pool, I most love to climb the big hill to see them in their favorite pasture near the Kendrick Mansion, where the Big Horn Mountains provide a majestic backdrop befitting such majestic creatures...

Bull elk

American bison




Even closer to home, this cutie-pie squirrel in our backyard captured my attention while I was photographing the waxwings and robins for last week's post. The squirrels are certainly cooperative photo subjects who clearly relish the attention!



And especially near and dear to my heart is my charming, captivating, comical and cherished chum Punky. These are the last photos I took of her before we closed on our house in the mountains last October and moved to town. We delighted in her calming and congenial company, and sure do miss her!



I think I could turn and live with animals,
they are so placid and self-contain'd,
I stand and look at them long and long...
~ Walt Whitman

Carpe diem and go C more Cs at...


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SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

  • INFERNO ~ Dan Brown
  • MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL ~ John Berendt
  • MY NOTORIOUS LIFE: A NOVEL ~ Kate Manning
  • ONE SUMMER: AMERICA, 1927 ~ Bill Bryson
  • QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN'T STOP TALKING ~ Susan Cain
  • THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL ~ Daniel Stashower
  • THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY ~ Erik Larson
  • THE SHADOWS, KITH AND KIN ~ Joe R. Lansdale
  • THE TIPPING POINT ~ Malcolm Gladwell
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"