Saturday, October 3, 2009

Catching Up


It's been a few weeks since I've published anything.

I totally forgot to publish my annual September fashion edition!

I have indeed been remiss. The picture to the left will have to suffice.

With regard to last week's Tumblebug Complex smoke and ash downpour, I noticed that standing in the middle of the parking lot at the Cascade Village Shopping Center between Bed, Bath, and Beyond and World Market on that hot, smoky day was just like a trip to Southern California. It was hot and hellish, and I'm sure that with the right photoshopping and promotion you could get it to look really attractive.

Lately I've been clumping around a lot on two legs with a stabilization boot on the recovering leg. On Tuesday my orthopedic surgeon said that the end of the tibia (leg bone) and top of the talus (ankle bone) are now nicely-fused and that it's time to get the custom-molded orthotics (insoles) made so I can start with non-booted weight bearing and walking.

I got the bottoms of my feets cast at Pacific Medical Orthotics and Prosthetic and the orthotics will be delivered next week. At which point I will have to lay out some more bucks for some "rocker bottom" shoes to help with walking. MBT shoes (sold at North Sole on Wall St.) and New Balance 1123's (Footzone) are the two that have been commended to me.

Alas, my crummy health insurance was only willing to cough up enough money for eight physical therapy visits. Runner and skiier Chris Vergona at Rebound Physical Therapy is the go-to physical therapist and she tells me that this is not nearly enough sessions for someone who has been non weight-bearing for as long as I have, esp. after getting an ankle fusion. The risk is that I'll never get the right muscles strengthened up sufficiently to get a normal gait back.

She's under the illusion that I had a normal gait before my ankle blew out and was fused. This ankle was shattered when I was 29 years old, along with the hip, and the knee on my other leg.

I just want to be able to get back on a bicycle again.

But for right now, even in the stabilization boot I can get around quite a bit. I'm starting to putter around the house, doing manly activities like using tools and repairing broken things, taking out the trash, and doing my own damn laundry.

Which makes Mrs Elliott happy.

Yesterday afternoon, after dropping off some parcels destined for a customer in Scotland at the downtown post office, I parked my VW Vanagon camper van in a handicap parking spot on Bond Street across from the barber shop for a much-needed haircut and a pint of 10 Barrel's new award-winning Sinistor Black Ale, which is really quite nice.

The place was jumpin': barbers at all four chairs, everyone seemed to be enjoying Friday. Even the UPS man, who came in for a haircut at the end of his shift decided to dump his uniform shirt and strip to a t-shirt so he could have a glass of ale w/o besmirching the company's reputation.

There's something about getting a glass of ale with your haircut that is eminently satisfying.

Mrs Elliott met up with me later and we stayed out the evening for Art Walk. This was my first First Friday on two legs! ...and it felt grand.

At Hot Box Betty a young husband and wife team were showing a number of figurative oil paintings on large canvases. I did not catch their names! But the work was wonderful: everything that one should know about painting the human form -- composition, values, warm and cold colors, foreshortening -- were on display. Lovely work.

Next door at Mockingbird Gallery -- which was really crowded -- I suggested to owner Jim Peterson that he pop over to Hot Box Betty and take a look. Ken Roth, one of my favorite local artists and nice guy to boot, said that the two artists were former students of his. He felt that it was about time for Mockingbird to set up an annex for edgier, less mainstream work. Mockingbird does have some lovely pieces, but this economy being what it is, the selection leans toward very nice, sometimes brilliantly-executed, but safe works. Although it must be said that if it's cheesy and hyper-commercial art you have a hankering for, you can't go wrong at the Lahaina Gallery at the Old Mill.

(My opinions only, of course. But it's my blog and if you don't like what I have to say, then get your own - Ed.)

At the end of the evening, I left my van downtown and Mrs Elliott drove us both home. She dropped me off early this morning to pick it up. Our first freeze, I reckon. Had to scrape the windshield, and midway home the gas pedal froze to the bottom of this stupid plastic stabilization boot and it was pulled right off the accelerator linkage when I lifted my foot off the gas to use the brake in a roundabout.

The engine dropped to an idle and I pulled to the side of the road to see what happened.

So thar I was, pinned down by Jap fire . . . no, wait: wrong war story. Thar I was, in a sweatshirt and pajama bottoms with my big butt sticking out into traffic fiddling around under the pedal getting it re-attached to the linkage.

One of those odd mechanical things that parts on VW Vanagons do to remind us of their existence.

I got home without further incident and have been loving the alternating rain, snow, and sun that we've been having today. I reckon it's about time to yank the casement-mount air conditioner and its cardboard gasket from the window and put the window back in. Two cords of seasoned wood have refreshed the woodpile, the wood stove downstairs and its chimney insert have been cleaned, and we're prepping for winter.

I have my fingers crossed that we get a few more days of nice weather before winter clamps down because my son and I are hoping to get one more camping trip later this month. We're thinking of Pine Mountain, up by the observatory. 6,200 feet closer to the stars. The night sky in fall is lovely.

4 comments:

  1. "standing in the middle of the parking lot at the Cascade Village Shopping Center between Bed, Bath, and Beyond and World Market on that hot, smoky day was just like a trip to Southern California. It was hot and hellish"

    See, we have the best of both worlds here -- hot and hellish in the summer, cold and hellish in the winter.

    "Although it must be said that if it's cheesy and hyper-commercial art you have a hankering for, you can't go wrong at the Lahaina Gallery at the Old Mill."

    Amen to that! They sell the same kind of crap at their gallery in Lahaina. Quite successful in both places, though, I understand. No accounting for "taste."

    "I ... have been loving the alternating rain, snow, and sun that we've been having today."

    I know I've said it before, but you are WEIRD.

    "I have my fingers crossed that we get a few more days of nice weather before winter clamps down"

    If the weather pattern runs true to form we will. Real winter, most years, starts Oct. 31 on the dot. And I remember one year driving to the Lord's Acre Sale in Powell Butte in early November with the top down on my Miata.

    The Lord's Acre Sale is something I think you and your wife would enjoy BTW. A Gen-yoo-wine Slice of Americana, and you can buy homemade pies that are just incredibly delicious. Among other things.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey Jack, is this weather "interesting" enough for you?

    I've got big tree limbs coming down all over my property because they haven't lost their leaves yet and can't take the weight of the snow. Probably gonna cost me a few hundred dollars for the tree service guys to come out and clean up the debris when it's over.

    I can't think of enough adjectives to adequately describe the vileness of Bend's climate.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awright, I thought we'd gone down this road before. If all you want to do is bellyache about the weather and make dire predictions that I'll bail out of Bend, then take 'em someplace else. As anonymous suggested, maybe start a blog about it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "As anonymous suggested, maybe start a blog about it."

    Already did: http://bendsux.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete

 
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