Friday, July 30, 2010

Balmy Winter's Day

Ok, so I know it's a weather post, but, guys, the temperature hovers at 23 C...that's spring luscious - rained two days ago and misted mightly this early a.m...so gardening was perfect! Soil clumped on the little garden hoe, roots loosened magically, the rake broke the clods and all the beds are ready for seedlings!!

Only it's mid-winter!...In Oz, winter begins 1 June and ends 1 September..Today is almost 1 August. This place is paradise - no other description suits.

Foggy this morning as all warm winter mornings are - airport in Brisbane and Sydney, 900 kilometres south, were closed - no struggling jet engines overhead!! ...

love it, love Oz, looking forward to the morrow.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Half Knee Replacement - 2 Months Later

Last February, I commented on this year's initial appointment with the orthopedic surgeon.

Here it is the end of July, two and a half months since my half knee surgery, and I thought I might revisit the topic.

Success?

I'd say 100%. I walk where ever I wish when ever with no pain in my knee. I climb stairs and enjoy the considerable inclines of the Kolgan Track at Mt. Cooth-tha with a little shortness of breath but with no physical discomfort.

However, I re-iterate, this surgery was 'half-knee' and the recovery period is much shorter than that required for full knee replacement.

The physio warned me that gardening and skiing were now off limits.

You know I am a rule bender who hates being caught, and so have to admit that I look for ways to 'do it my way' that keep the rule makers from discovering that I have flaunted their edicts.

I spent all day yesterday in the garden. It is looking absolutely groomed, weeded, mulched and trimmed — it should survive our ten months away and I'm proud of myself — no pain.

I visit a physio therapist twice monthly. The exercises she prescribes, if practiced religiously and daily, ought to take me successfully onto the cross-country ski runs at Izaak Walton, Montana, in mid January. Even though I have been forbidden skiing, the physio knows I intend to cross country to my hearts content if the snow is sufficient.

Her exercises require that I reach a 135 degree bend of my knee and a flat back of my knee on a hard surface. I am still not there. I have 125 degree bend and I'm 4 degrees off flat.

These are my challenges – there is pain associated with accomplishing these final degrees in both directions. The pain is NOT about walking or climbing or descending. The pain is about stretching.

After 8 years of not bending my knee very far, the tendons and ligaments of my right leg have a mind of their own - mostly shortened. My muscles need strengthening. I'm working on em, gritting my teeth into the pain and softly encouraging tissue to release and grow stronger.

I'm sure I'll reach my goals.

In other words, life is good! I know that's a television commercial, but damn, it's also the truth.

I just love the idea of keeping on, of setting goals, reaching them and setting new ones - all with a new half knee that keeps me from limping and most of all has established that I may never loose my balance again. Wouldn't that be a wonderment?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fairy Wrens - male variety

The picture above is of a male Fairy Wren — about the size of the palm of my hand — this fellow was flitting to and fro along the track less travelled by my Scots companion and me yesterday. What a joy to catch the streak of red across the deep blue Queensland bush sky.

Other photos show the colour of the Australian outback in mid winter after the unusual proliferation of autumn rain.

Sitting in the residue of an ancient homestead deep in the Flinders Mountain back country, we enjoyed a cuppa and chocolate mudcake muffins in honour of my 70th unbirthday celebration.

I will be sad to leave the southern hemisphere — there is joy in 'them thar hills'.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sierra Nevada

Am missing my home above Owens Valley.

This sunrise was taken by my eldest, Christina, on Monday early from her perch at Lone Pine Lake.

Amazing, isn't it, to know that daylight is close, that the last three miles hiked in darkness will be outclassed by sunlight on my shoulder.

I love Christina, loved that she stopped to take this photo, love that she has been in MY mountains. Guess, they're her mountains, too! :)

Sigh! I'm jealous

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Trans Cultural Traditions: The World is SO small

I've been looking for some time for a version of this lovely Scots' song from which I stole my avatar.

And here it is — The former Soviet Red Army Choir singing a lilting Scots ballad about a heroine who forgot to keep her word..oh my!

Hope you enjoy. I listened to many versions before choosing this one - definitely a fav...

"Annie Laurie" (Scottish Song) - Sung by Former Soviet Red Army Choir

Friday, July 16, 2010

Time Capsule

Somebody's stolen weeks of my life. I've been looking everywhere. Can't find em..Two weeks gone..well ten days at least!

How could it be so long since last I posted? Just can't figure it out.

Lovely winter afternoon, deepest blue skies, westerlies on parade, life is presently delightful - that is, until I realize I had failed to communicate for so long.

Distractions these days include writing, writing, writing, and sending short stories, travel stories, and articles off to magazines. Amazes me how long it actually takes to personalize each submission. The story changes every time I send it out. No two the same.

So, a month to go before my last appt. with the surgeon who gave me a new half-knee and then we fly north following the birds to warmer climes - sounds strange doesn't it. We northern hemisphere folks just don't realize that there are other ways to be in the world. :)

Catch you laters....I have a story to write about a seven year old - a young girl who forced a school to find her parents.

hugs

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Python joins traffic jam

RUSSIANS stuck in a traffic jam watched in astonishment as a two-metre-long python slithered into a neighbouring car.

The snake had apparently escaped from the home of its owner in Samara, a southern city on the Volga, when it joined the traffic yesterday

****************

Looks like the big snakes are omni-continental.

Do you remember the tale I told of the twelve foot long carpet python stretching across a suburban road?

My second year in Queensland - I was headed home from my walk in the Mt. Cooth-tha Wilderness Park when what to my wondering eyes should appear? Yep, a sea green/deep blue Persian carpet of snake sunning on the black bitumen road ahead.

First bewilderment, second amazement, third adrenalin -

Stunning crittur! The goddess gift is one I shall always hold dear!

My only choice was to run over the artistically designed snake who stretched from one side of the road to the fern fronds on the other or wait - You know what transpired - a glorious patience ensued as the king of the road slowly undulated to the creek side of the pavement.

Life is full of gifts. I am sure the Russian commuters will agree.