Tuesday, May 31, 2011

An Aha Moment from Oprah


It is now 1 week, plus since my knee hasn't worked well. I went to Medford, Oregon to an Orthopedic doctor on Friday with my nurse-practioner friend, Catherine. We got the examination, questions, x-rays and MRI leaving without any real answers to what happened to that poor knee. The x-ray only showed that I have minimal arthritis in my knee; which I consider very good news for a woman of my advanced age of 70! The whole story is now left up to the MRI; which is taking 5 working days to be read and then the information passed onto me. I expect to hear by the end of the week my summer-time fate.

Will I be back in the garden enjoying my passion without much of a hiccup, or will I be carefully walking about careful not to bend, squat or any other position making it possible to actually get my hands into the earth? I may even be facing surgery of some kind.

Needless to say, just sitting days upon days has relieved my knee of most of the pain. I can still feel it especially if I get off center and find my foot not facing forward at all times. I almost stepped on the cat yesterday causing me to lurch a bit reminding me that, yes, I have a problem. So, no squatting in the garden just yet.

I watched the Oprah OWN Channel when she was talking about what she personally believed on her Master Class program. I found the idea that we can surrender ourselves to a higher being finding that once that surrender is sincere, life often finds the answers to any problems we think we may be having or issues that seem to have no answers will become clear to us.

One of my strongest traits is my bull-dog efforts to make things right or to solve a problem. I can use energy that most people find unbelievable to make senseless into reason or wrong into right. I don't accept gracefully that life is not always fair. I thought that I have been rewarded in my life for being a bull-dog; but now I'm thinking that it hasn't been an actual reward but just admiration from a few for my determination as foolish as it can often be. You can't say I don't try, but Oprah has hit me aside the head reminding me to examine if that determination is just a bratty child stamping her feet in protest or a real effort to change the situation

In the example of my knee, I decided since I am booked for a cruise in early September, I need to do the right thing first and then spend time getting well. I wasn't willing to spend a month waiting to see if my knee would heal itself on its own only to find out I needed surgery for any real healing. In the case of personal situations where I am butting heads trying to get someone to listen, to hear my pleas and to understand me; I think Oprah is right. I need to let the issue go once I see the efforts made have not made a dent in anyone else's state of mind. I need to surrender. OMG, that is a difficult task for me!

In my efforts to make life more fair, I have not waited for any God to solve my earth-bound problems. I have believed God was way to busy. I have held the belief that rewards from God are rare and that it is up to man to make his life both better and/or worse. I still am not a religious woman. I do believe in a God or an energy of sorts. I will now make an effort to surrender to that energy. I cannot always succeed in being the master of my fate. As Oprah would say, it was an aha moment.

For the last five years I have been running into a wall trying to make a bad thing good. Five years is long enough to know what I am doing is not working. Along with my knee, I will surrender the problem to the universe. Maybe I will be hugging loved ones that have found me flawed. If I surrender I might find a blanket of comfort warming me instead of the cold prickly unknown hovering over my life.

I can give up trying to convince others that they need to understand what I am saying. I protest too much making me unloved and maybe not so good. The fact is that no one that matters when it comes to my problem is listening to me. I get support from my husband and my friends who love me unconditionally. Those that do not value the unconditional part of love, have cast me aside as bothersome, manipulative and not worth much. It so happens those who cast me aside are very important to me. I believe I need them in my life. I will stop trying to make it happen. I surrender. Maybe the answer is that I don't need them as much as I thought. Maybe it will be that without me harping at them, they will miss me and remember how special I was. If I surrender, the future is unknown; which is something I don't do well with. That could be the lesson learned to let that certainity not be needed. Hmm...now to get the surrender going. I imagine, like Oprah, I will have to remind myself often and long asking my form of God to take charge instead of me. All my efforts have been useless. It is time for another method. Thank you Oprah for the heads up!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I have Finally Felt My Age

I am a believer in accepting life as it comes not bothering to fudge on my age or attempt alterations to my body to hide the aging process. I was doing pretty good with this philosophy until I reached my 70th birthday being confronted with aging problems roaring its ugly head.

I hike at least six miles each week; plus whatever I do in the garden hacking and hauling for hours at a time. I have been pretty smug about the fact that I could still do whatever I wanted without suffering aches and pains that seem to be normal for many of my friends. Well 70 dumped on me big time with an arthritis blow up across all the knuckles on my right hand. I was only digging and hacking out 200 lbs of rock from where I wanted to plant a rose bush. Then number two old-age rot happened. My left knee had ached a bit. I was beginning to worry what it possibly could be the reason. After a month of feeling the discomfort, I made an appointment with our most loved Dr. McDougall to check it out.

Almost a week before the appointment, I was attempting to stand up after doing some garden work at ground level. My whole knee seemed to fall apart hurting to the point of nausea. I could visualize a legiment or other long rope of sorts, snap across a bone causing everything to let loose. I actually have no idea what really happened, but I do know what my mind saw as I crumbled in pain.

A good neighbor gave me a knee brace to use. I believe it is why I can still walk a bit without that knee crushing in on itself like it did on Saturday. I immediately started with ice/heat and Aleve knowing how important to not just lie in pain doing nothing for the problem. After two days of total boredom, I took myself to our local medical clinic to start the process of healing. The doctor I saw simply said to get myself to a orthopedic doctor of my choice. I am on my way to Medford on Friday to save myself from being a disabled senior citizen. I want myself to show up again. I imagine that I might be facing surgery; which holds only hope in my mind. I want to get it done, get it done now and return to my mobile life. No, Scooter Store, I am not ready for you yet.

I am insanely bored here on the couch waiting to start a journey back to health. I somehow have lost my concern for the blown out knuckles that hurt in the middle of the night or when I pick up that cup of coffee early in the morning. I can function with pain. I cannot function without being able to weed, hack, haul and plant new life. My happiness is directly connected to the connection to earth that I have cultivated loving every particle of dust, pebbles in my shoes, and blisters on my weeding hand. I feel humbled in the knowledge of how truly tragic it is to loose yourself in random disabilities that are often part of old age. I foolishly believed I would escape the fate of way too many. I imagined myself hiking through my 80's, gardening to the day I died and walking down the driveway to pick up the mail forever. I know I mistreated my knees while riding motorcycles because of the down time I often had not keeping my shining side up.

I will keep you updated by another recital of crap that happens no matter how hard you try to keep it from showing up. In two days, I will see what the cure will be. I will work hard to be back as soon as I can manage..

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Old Time Loggers We are Not

Spring is said to be here, but winter rains are continuing way past their due date to STOP. I am holding on to the hope that June will be the end of rains until Fall.

Jim and I decided we needed to grow more vegetables so we took down 3 of our aspen trees to provide enough sun for an expansion for the garden. I made a slide show showing the progress of our garden so far.



As you can see Jim and I are not "old time" loggers from the woods of Oregon. We are transplanted Californians not realizing that we have little control over a falling tree. Lucky for us the damage was minimal. Jim had to replace a section of rail on the boat and paint over a few scratches.

Since the pictures were taken, the plants have grown and I have added more. It is looking more like a vegetable garden each day. I plan to build a gate and trellis for the other opening of the garden. I grow willow for this very reason. Jim has cut the wood and now it is up to me to create leaving the actual putting together with nails and screws to my master worker bee, Jim. It is raining again today, so tomato plants and gate building will have to wait. I am going for a rustic natural look.






I would like to plant a squash plant to climb up the trellis...or maybe beans or peas. I have a whole file of things to build for plants to climb or be supported by. We have two bean supports in the garage ready to put into action. Jim built two that look similar to this:




He was able to use the FREE inter locking pipes I found at Santa Clara, CA annual clean up. I love recycling. If you want a really good time finding treasures, take a truck to the event and then wish you had a moving van.

I also dug in a new bed along the retaining wall near the orchard for tomatoes and other heat-lovers. We suffer from a marine-layer challenged gardening area. We are 4 miles up river from the ocean, but that fog can creep up over the hills late in the day lasting until mid morning. Tomatoes can be either a bust or do really well. We plan to enclose them with a temporary greenhouse of sorts. That plan is yet to be completed.




this beautiful planted area has been reduced by 2/3 to make room for the vegetable garden. Yes, pretty is nice; but food is better!

So many plans and so little time is my problem. I have crawled, hauled, hacked and loaded tons since moving here 13 years ago. We sit in the aspen grove late in the day sipping wine and wondering where the heck we got the energy to create our piece of paradise. Many of the things we accomplished are not possible today with our much older bodies.



We sit right over there to your right in the dappled shade feeling the cool breeze coming up over yonder hill from the ocean. You can agree that we do live in our own private paradise. The dogs love romping around while we work like dogs.

Salmon season opens today, so I will loose my worker bee when the fish find their way off our shores.
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We blog about our rural area in the Pacific Northwest . This blog is all about my life and the places where my mind wonders from day to day. Have fun reading and looking at pictures. We welcome comments.

Be sure to watch, just above this blurb, my husband, Jim, using his 10 foot hands-free electric fishing kayak

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Be sure to check out the separate blog to find out about our electric kayak, Kingfisher 10! You can find the blog at http://electrickayakkingfisher-10.blogspot.com . You can also read the features list on this kayak and purchase building plans and building kits at www.winchuckriverstore.com .

About Me

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We moved to our current home on the Wild River Coast of Southern Oregon from San Jose, CA. Our family consist of Jim and Karen, two dogs and two cats. Karen's passion is gardening. Jim's obsession is building electric powered fishing kayaks and fishing.