Monday, March 30, 2009

Well... where do I start. I got home from the big house, the kaiser hotel, the hospital on Friday. It was another week long stay. The boredom was grinding, the procedures were disgusting and kicking morphine was a nightmare approaching the worst thing I have ever done.

I am tired as all hell. I've lost about 10lbs that I didn't have to lose. Fitness is back in the toilet. I got out of breath fixing a flat on the Chickenhawk's mountain bike.

I did get my long lost sense of smell back. Funny though, I can only smell one thing and I smell it all the time. It sort of smells like electrical fire.

As you might guess, I am filled with mixed feelings.
  • I am off of morphine and anti depressants.
  • I am home.
  • It is spring in the foothills, and all those other life affirming things.
  • On some level, I want morphine.
  • I now feel the highs and lows of life. The lows are dark and evil. The highs are great.
  • I have taken a big step backward in my ability to function.
  • Despite the above, my expectations of myself are high
  • I can take 10 mgs of ambien and still not sleep.

It is all temporary. I am in the moment, this is just another step forward, even if it feels backward.

OK I have a big list of stuff to get done. Thanks for reading

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Coloma Goes Boi-yoi-yoing

This is it. One of the many reasons I live here. Coloma in the Spring time. There is nothing like it. All the south facing slopes are covered with poppies and the lupine is coming out too. Here is the view from my patio looking across the river:

OK it isnt the best pic but if you look close you can see the poppies up there on the left and in the middle.

I went for a bike ride the other day. My first one since you know what. Downhill was great. I felt like I hadn't missed a minute. Uphill on the other hand... and we are talking very slight up hill sucked. I have no strength to turn the pedals. I think I'll wait a while before I ride again. I did enjoy my bike hugely. I took my cyclocross bike, a bianchi axis. Note the fresh yellow bar tape. I didn't win a tour stage and I am not in the yellow jersey. I think what I did was a little harder, certainly more unpleasant. So I gave myself a bit of yellow.

I've also got a few pics to wrap up the vacation. These are on the penultimate day at Refugio State Beach.

The girls spent hours running around in the waves. Note Dana is soaked. She did a faceplant right before this shot was taken.

The beach was beautiful and the temps were in the low 70's. Note, you can check out my Facebook page for a lot more pictures.

There we are making smores on the last night.

One last comment. I am sitting here listening to talk radio, NPR's talk of the nation. The subject is populist outrage over the bonuses at AIG. What the hell!? Where was everyone 4 years ago when this mess started brewing. Oh yeah, we were cashing out the equity on our homes and living fat and happy. No one was looking at what the Bushies and their corporate buddies were perpetrating on the economy. This has been going on for years. Pay attention my friends, the people with the money are counting on us looking the other way. What are they doing right now while we are worrying about the bonuses. Look at the magician's other hand. I'll bet there is something nefarious happening while we are thinking about AIG.

Whatever... It is all small potatoes to me. I am alive and I get to spend time with my family. It is spring and I am going to go paddling right now.

Love you. thanks for reading.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

La Vida Dolce

Do you know the feeling?

The trip is winding down, your body is starting to feel a bit worn from the exertion, you are more familiar with the other people on the trip. Everything is still going great but you know in a couple of days it’ll be over. And you’ll remember it forever. Do you know that feeling? It has bee a great trip with the girls. RVing is a blast.

We went to Disneyland on Friday with Aunt Chris and Uncle Mike. The girls had a great time and we got to do EVERYTHING that we wanted to and some 2x or 3x. Thunder Mountain was the biggest hit with the so yes we did it 3x. I rode in a wheel chair most of the day and that got us past most of the lines. Our trip through the park was a 12 hour whirlwind. Dana said it was the most fun she’s had in her life.

Now it is Sunday and we are at Newport Dunes RV park in Newport Beach. It is the ritziest RV park in the world with a bay, clubhouse, workout, pool, and Jacuzzi. Not to mention WiFi.
Aunt Chris had a breakfast party at her place in HB yesterday and we got to see all the cousins: Danny, Matt, Rachel, Joey, James and Jeff as well as Christie and Amy and of course aunt Cindy. It was the biggest reunion that we’ve had in some time. Thanks little blue schwin and Uncle Mike for putting that together!

We are tired and the CH is pooped. Our intended destination for tonight is Goleta’s Refugio Campground. Then home tomorrow. The weather is in the 70’s and clear with windy afternoons.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Life Goes On

Welcome to the next post; a pretty momentous occasion. We are on vacation. We rented an RV from a company in Cameron Park and drove over Echo Summit on Friday. We camped that first night at the base of Monitor Pass. Just pulled over at about 11pm and went to sleep. In th emonring we toured down 395 along the Walker River through Bridgeport and past Mono Lake; one of my favorite drives.

Then we stopped at “the hot tub,” a hot spring in the middle of the Owens Valley where we all had a mid morning soak. The water wasn’t too hot or too cold. The view could not be beat. After the soak we continued southward to Bishop and Schat’s Bakery for Shepherder Bread (the worlds greatest bread) and donuts, raisin bread and strude. l should have got some Garlic Cheese bread too, what was I thinking?

At Independence we turned east and into Death Valley National Park. I haven’t really been here since 5th grade. It hasn’t changed much. We camped the second night at Stovepipe Wells, a giant flat gravel parking lot with parking bars to mark the “campsites.” The only redeeming naturalness to it was the tent campsites around the perimeter of the campsite. The girls played in the sand and made a “mole mountain.” I drank my first beer in 12 months. It was a Corona Light and I fell asleep after drinking it.
Sunday morning was partly cloudy and in the 70’s. We played in the sand dunes near-by. I hiked with the family all the way out to the dunes, climbed the steep dunes and even slid down them. The girls had a great time jumping off the tops of the dunes. I must have walked over one mile. That was huge for me, I felt like I had done a big ride when we got back to the RV. I did one of those straight to the kitchen and make a big sandwich post workout maneuvers. Then we went for another hike up Mosaic Canyon. It is a beautiful slot canyon the required a bit of advanced hiking. I went as far as I was comfortable and then headed back to the RV for some shade and a cool drink.
It feels really really good to be on the road and having an adventure. It has been 1.5 years since we went somewhere as a family. The girls are great travelers and are having a great time. I am already looking forward to our next trip, whatever it might be.

The RV is perfect for us and our current situation and considering the time of year. We are totally self contained. We can pull over and sleep anywhere. All the food is right with us and you can make a sandwich rolling down the road. We’ve got tons of food and have yet to go out for a meal. The RV drives like a pig, but that is what you get.
Then we turned the nose of our 24’ RV north to Ubehebe Crater. It is a big hole in the ground created by volcanic action. The girls took the steep trail down into the crater while I watched and shot photo’s. The wind at the top of the crater was intense. At times I had to lean into it to stay standing. Dana pooped out at the bottom of the crater so the Chickenhawk piggybacked her out of the hole. It was amazing to watch that tough woman schlepping the 40 pound rug-rat like she was a small load. I amazed at how tough that woman is.
We camped at the northish end of the park at Mesquite Springs which much more resembles a campground, with benches and fire pits and toilets that aren’t a ½ mile away. We are now at Scotty’s Castle.