Wilderness — A Meditation

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Not til May

For some reason, just thinking of writing this post has been most difficult.

I have started a dozen times since Monday to jot a quick note to report on the appt. with the Aussie surgeon. Just couldn't make myself do it. However, taxes need doing today and writing this post must come first so that I can concentrate on the Business At Hand, if you know what I mean.

So - May 11 while under local anesthesia I will lie on an operating table while an astute, well practiced surgeon saws off the end of half of my femur and tibia before he covers the cuts with titanium and inserts a high molecular weight polyethylene pad in between.

Now, that's the hopeful prognosis. The less positive version severs my ACL and and cuts off the entire end of my right femur and tibia. Titanium gets glued or grown into the bone tissue that's left.

The next two months as well as the previous 69 years of wear and tear on my right knee determine the health of my knee. If the outside portion is in 'good' shape, it can stay; otherwise it, too, must be sacrificed.

I so want to trek again - to wander 23 kilometers from Binna Burra Lodge to the edge of the Great Dividing Range and look down on New South Wales. I am determined to backpack through Desolation Wilderness into Evolution Valley, to show my favourite place on the planet to the Aussie.

Otherwise, I'd just keep on, keeping on! A little ibprophin at bedtime, limiting my walking to two kilometers three times a week..urgh! boring!!

The surgeon warns me that I will probably not be able to accomplish my goals, but I intend to head in that direction, to heist the forty pounds of backpack onto my shoulders and hips and head out over the front range of the Sierras one or seven more times in this life.

Cross Country skiing awaits me in a northern hemisphere winter. Currently, I can only go several kilometers before having to turn back to the warm fire of the lodge. I want an entire day or at the very least an afternoon of skiing before heading home to warm soup and a hot toddy.

All of which means that I must lose another twenty pounds in the next two months..doable! And exercise like a banshee in order to strengthen muscles and mind in readiness.

Only the future lies ahead! No turning back

Monday, February 22, 2010

D-Day - Visiting the Orthopedic Surgeon

They (health professionals in the media) keep saying, 'Don't live with pain - operate.'

I do realize this means more money coming into the system. Surgeons seldom say, 'Oh, no, you don't need surgery. Let's not operate today.'

More often they are apt to convince you that you really do need to go under the knife, although today that's more likely to be pronounced 'under the lazer'.

My Australian orthopedic surgeon, however, commented, 'If you lived in another country, you would just learn to live with this pain and get on with it.'

My response, 'Yep, doctor, but I live here and you are an expert, and my knee pain is limiting my quality of life as well as my ability to plan for the future. I figure that without exercise, my longevity is probably cut in half.'

'Well,' comments the doctor, ' I think we can do a half knee reconstruction. That means we can leave you with an ACL intact.'

'Ok, See you in a year when we get back from our current round of 'gray nomadism.'

And so, here I am. The day has arrived. Let's move this process forward. Cut and paste if you will. Give me half a knee's worth of stainless titanium and plastic. Then, watch out. Nepal, here I come! Trekking days begin again.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Yep! Been out of commission for a day or so

Roller coaster time. You know the feeling? Every now and again the energy levels drop a tad and computer time flies by without my stopping in. Mostly that suggests that the weather systems have actually had impact on my emotional self which I suppose means the weather in some ways - high and low pressure - wrecks havoc with my neuro transmitters.

However, a discovery yesterday.

Went for a walk in the park whilst the Aussie was riding his bike nearby. (I chose NOT to ride mine because I have an appointment with the surgeon about knee replacement on Monday and I didn't want to have a scabbed up or scrapped knee from falling off my own bike) That's spelled the power of negative thinking. :(

Back to the discovery. I love it that the universe gives gifts even when we don't deserve them.

Have been wanting to sprout a Bunya Pine seed I have sitting here on my desk. On that just previous rainy day, we were headed out to steal some Bunya Pine soil in order to facilitate my plan. Rain interfered.

So, yesterday while wandering up and down the highest hills in the park, I found myself standing in what looked powerfully like a Bunya Pine grove. Actually, after a bit, I decided it was a Hoop Pine grove (close relative to Bunyas).

And there at my feet were twenty or thirty seedlings sprouting in the soil. Carefully, I moved my feet and discovered I was actually standing on a couple.

Hooray!! I am willing to start with close cousins.

I had no tools with which to extract any of the seedlings, but this afternoon I will. Report to follow.

I am once again a happy camper, able to jot you all a note; able to steal (rescue) a seedling, ready to get on with it!! (in the Aussie fashion)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rain, rain, I'm here today!

Oops...100 mm of rain in less than an hour this noon time.

Click on the title of this post to go to the Brisbane Courier Mail. Click on 'gallery' to see pics of what 100 mm in an hour means to the low lying areas of this sub-topical city.

We sit high on the ridge line above this flooding, but are amazed at what a weather front can do to stop a city. DC may have it's snow, but here in Oz, rain will do.

The rain continues to fall, although at a significantly lower pace, as I jot this note to you all.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Movie Madness

90 degrees with a westerly lilting through my office windows - Way too hot to live without air conditioning.

Solution: The movie theatre and on a Monday, an empty movie theatre at noon fifteen.

We finally saw the movie we went to see the last time we had a coffee in the air conditioning - The Edge of Darkness.

Not precisely Mad Max, but a passable rendition of Max grown old with the addition of Ray Winstone, a favourite British actor.

Better than allowing the glow to turn into dripping sweat slithering beneath the eyebrows.

Friday, February 12, 2010


The house angels arrive at noon every other Friday.

The Aussie and I vacate the premises so as not to interfere.

Today we had lunch at the Barracks - good flat whites in bowls and yummy wraps.

Then we toddled off to the Palace Cinema to see Invictus. Only we screwed up on the time. It started fifteen minutes before we arrived. Damn.

Instead, we bought tickets to Wolfman. I checked with the ticket salesman to see if I could call tonight in case I couldn't sleep. He claimed he wouldn't be around. Another Damn.

Entertaining movie. Three of my fav actors - Benicio del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, and Hugo Weaving. Acting was passable in all three cases. Make up was to die for - literally. Sets were especially appropriate. Well chosen and well rendered. del Toro was one of the producers. That means he put up some of the funds to move the production forward - interesting. First time I've seen him in a staring role. Not bad.

I wouldn't see it a second time, but enjoyed having the entire theatre auditorium to ourselves so I could jump right out of my seat at all the right moments without blocking any other viewers.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Air New Zealand - 2010 Airline of the Year

My favourite airline has just won the 2010 Airline of the year award.

I can't think of a group of folks who are more deserving.

There are days when I kinda wish the Aussie was a Kiwi just so I could claim this courteous, funny, warm, and talented crew of folks as belonging to my adopted homeland.

If you click on the title to this post, you will go to the little video about the award. It made me cry.

I can only echo what each of the commentators has to say. My admiration for the Kiwis start with the Chief Accountant of the airlines, whom I met on a flight 8 years ago because he was sitting next to me and I couldn't figure out how to make my seat do the collapse into an almost bed thingy. We sat and discussed airline politics, Kiwi sports - that would be The All Blacks, good wine, better cream, and possum-wool neck scarves far into the flight.

I determined never to fly another airline soon thereafter. The thoughtful, comfortable atmosphere in the airport, the instant comraderie effectively make long distance travel a tad easier.

The wise forethought of this airline has produced a new idea in economy travel. Check it out; they now have ways for the seats on the side aisles to break down into a bed for two at an affordable price in their transpacific flights. Long before the Peking Olympics, Air New Zealand included Chinese in their cabin and ground crews. Sitting waiting for a flight, it was great entertainment to watch and listen as the new Chinese ground crew practiced their English in the San Francisco and Auckland airports.

Air New Zealand brought the Aussie to me that 4th of July 2000. We've been loyal members of their flight family ever since.

Try em! You'll like em!!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Off to See the Wizard

Ah, Kookaburras have returned!

As I write, they argue in the gum trees next door. Not too raucous for a change. Building construction in the neighbourhood has seemed to limit their visits to our corner of their territory; but, this morning they greeted the cloud cover moving in from off the coast. Must be some food in the area, most of which was also frightened away by all the big machinery and noisy power tools.

Today we head to the Farmer's Market for newly baked bread and a few avocado and then scurry north to the hinterland near Montville to visit with friends who have recently fled the city for more rural environs. They are building a home and studio on a few hectares of land. Looking forward to a glass of wine, some superb green curry, and yummy fresh garlic bread.

Catch up with ya'll in a few days.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Urban Dictionary

Now for a little fun!

Go to Urban by clicking on the title to this blog entry.

Type in your first name.

See what wonderments appear.

Prepare to smile - great way to take a break in the middle of your cyber day.