Tuesday, July 31, 2012

mostly pictorial

Mark is away to Pennsylvania for the Pennsic War, and I am home with two big bowls of Transparent apples that need processing and dehydrating, a freezer that needs defrosting, a garden that needs weeding and watering, a cat that needs attention and comfort, and a novel that needs finishing.
Oh, and a knee that still needs physiotherapy exercises.

So I'm going to ignore all that  and show you some pictures of roses.
Well, that one's a rose hip, on the rugosa, a full-figured lady to be sure. 

The Bright Jewel miniature is blooming happily. That's my hand, again for size reference.

The Dortmund that blooms forever and ever.

One of the front yard gallicas. It's much redder than it looks here, but none of my photos show it properly. 

Apples! This is the Golden Delicious, which goes through a reddish (bronze?) stage before it gets fat and yellow. Fortunately it doesn't ripen until October, and lasts into December.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

mermaids, stranded and rescued

 I promised you some pictures, didn't I?
 Well, my progress once out of the immobilizer has been pretty good. I got down to one crutch and to no crutch while indoors. Still can't manage kneeling other than on the bed to do my stretches, and getting up from anything lower than a regular chair requires something I can haul myself up by. I haven't tried driving yet. I think it would be okay for short distances, but road trips are out until I build back muscle in my leg.
 So I didn't think a camping event was going to work, until my wonderful former apprentice Elisa offered to drive up to Powell River for the Stranded Mermaid event, and to share her tent. (I should mention that I also had a tent offer from another wonderful former apprentice, Alicia--I have the best apprentices).  I knew I wouldn't have to cook in any case, because the Sugar Fairy would be on site, with a great full-weekend deal graded to your appetite.

I did well by the bacon and sausages and grilled cheese sandwiches and pound cake and ... You get the idea. Behind the camp kitchen you can see something of the site. It slopes away, first gently and then precipitately into a ravine, which has cool little stone stairways and trails down to the stream at the bottom. I was sad that I wouldn't be able to clamber down, as I've done previously at that site. But I was hanging on to at least one crutch for uneven ground.

 It was pleasant drive up, though we stuck to the highway route to make sure we'd arrive in time to catch the early ferry rather than the afternoon one. Because Comox was having a music festival and a bike tour and what all, we were a little concerned that the ferry might fill up, but we got on with plenty of room, then met Joan and her Amazing Twins in the cafeteria. So it was a lively trip. 
On the drive back we diverted briefly to the Scenic Seaside Route to check out Qualicum Beach. The sun was out and the sands stretched out invitingly, but alas! in between was an expanse of kelp-and-barnacle-encrusted rocks. More sadness, but we ate apples and walked along the promenade. 

The best thing about arriving in good time is the chance to set up by daylight and not in a rush--though I should note that Powell River is northerly enough to allow rather more daylight time. In fact it stayed light well past my bedtime. 
I wasn't much help with setting up the tent and furniture, other than holding one of the perimeter poles while pegs were hammered in, but it didn't take long, since Elisa has planned her camping so that she can do most of it herself (as I have with my little tent). 
Then we drove out to the Granada restaurant for their Greek platters. We ended up there last year mostly by accident, and loved the good Greek food and the kitschy decor, reminiscent of the old Romeo's restaurant in Victoria--though the Granada has its fountain outdoors on the patio, rather than in the foyer. This is my platter, and I managed to eat everything on it. I guess watching other people set up tents is a good way to work up an appetite. 

 Stranded Mermaid is a fairly low-key event. There's archery, and combat if enough heavy fighters and rapier fighters show up. The standout activity is the children's equestrian event, an obstacle course for kids riding hobby-horses. This year a new item:  besides riding through the Forest of Peril and the Row of Enemies, the kids had to rescue the Mermaid Baby Princess from a tower.
 Below, a tower rescue in action. Some of the rescuers were rather more cavalier with the princess, carrying her by her hair or tossing her in the air as they galloped.

The Tribute to the Mermaid contest this year was won by Dr. Carus, with his shadow-puppet play of the tale of the mermaid and the axe, a reference to the arms of False Isle, showing a mermaid holding an axe. The great challenge for this presentation was making a shadow play work on a bright sunny site, with few dark hours. Below is the improvised theatre behind the bandstand.

Monday, July 9, 2012

going walkies, eventually bikies

If I can get my EEE working again, I'll post photos of the event I was at this weekend, Stranded Mermaid in Powell River. I was able to go with my friend Elisa in her still-shiny-new van, and took my crutches as backup for walking on uneven ground (though the site is really well landscaped).

But for now, the big news is that I had my first physiotherapy session, at Shelbourne Physical Therapy, where Ian moved my knee around and gave his opinion that there was no ligament damage. He also measured the amount of bend and straight in my right knee (100 and -8 I think), and of course took me through a series of exercises that I'll have to do three times a day.
Then I rode a stationary bike for probably 10 minutes. The seat was up pretty high, making it possible for me to keep my feet in the stirrups for a complete cycle. I have the go-ahead to go back to weight training at the campus gym as well as riding the stationary bikes there. So I'll just have to psych myself up for the walk over to the gym from the library.
The business with my foot swelling up he says is an after-effect from the immobilizer, because my calf could not do its job of pumping fluid back and forth with the thigh muscles, and has to get that action established again. He went over the signs of deep-vein thrombosis and my leg isn't bright red, hot, or painful, so I'm less worried about the puffiness, though it's still annoying. 

This morning I had a shower with due care (like not standing on one foot at any point). It was lovely to rinse my hair out properly. I have been upstairs and downstairs several times today without any nasty flashes, though still going downstairs one step at a time because it really pulls my knee if I try two steps. (By this I mean toddler-style one-step, one foot down then the other foot to the same step)

So that's my health bulletin. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

less immobilized

Out of the immobilizer, able to walk (slowly) without crutches. However the knee still doesn't bend to 90 degrees, and sometimes not even to 45 degrees. It's like one of those folktales where witches turn part of someone to stone or wood.
Also yesterday my calf and foot swelled up like a pork sausage in the frying pan (though without the pleasing brown colour). Today it's better, though I had to take an NSAID which my doctor doesn't want me to do because, kidneys. But he couldn't figure out why it was happening, so I feel some justification in choosing my own treatment for it.
The hardest part is not pain (which isn't that bad) or awkwardness. It's the irrational flashes of terror that my leg will fold sideways if I put all my weight on it, as one does going up stairs etc. Even though I've been putting my weight on it up and down the front steps and just walking, and it has not folded. That vivid memory of my knee bending in the wrong direction as Mark helped me to the van after my fall, it just keeps popping up randomly. The first time I tried going upstairs to the bedroom, I had to sit down on the third step and cry for a while, because I could not find the courage to step up with one leg. Then of course I despise myself for being a coward, which doesn't get me on my feet either. 
But! I have a physio referral, so I just have to find a physiotherapist reasonably close to home or to work, and see if I can get in.

On the writing front, I've been twining Storyline Two into Storyline One, and tightening Storyline One. I'm pleased to see some resonances developing between the two, though I'll try not to get too attached, because there's bound to be revision and scene-shifting to come.
A tricky aspect of this blending is that I don't have a clear-cut system for how the two intersect. It's not the good old structure where each time something odd happens in the present day, someone digs out a plot-relevant ancient document that explains it or adds on to it. It's more like the 'zipper narrative', where you have two concurrent storylines with characters who are going to come together in the last part of the book.
On the good side, I'm seeing how to fix the episodic nature of Storyline One because with Scrivener I can pull scenes and fit them in earlier, so the beginnings of a later plot thread will have already been laid in, rather than waiting for the first one to be done before being introduced.

Now I will go away and research physiotherapists.