Sunday, November 29, 2015

Yet More Hummingbird Cuteness

Who's tired of hummingbirds?  Nobody?  Good. We sat outside late this morning and watched the defense of the feeder.

There was also resting in the palm tree.

Cue "Flight of the Valkyries."

The bird is just a hoot to watch.  Looks left, looks right.  We are at defcon 1.

Even with surveillance measures in place, we have the cute bird butts.  Have you ever seen anything as cute as a hummingbird's butt?  No, no you have not.

Going back in to defend the feeder homeland.

This morning we watched the hummingbirds.  In the late afternoon there was a drive out among the mine tailings, which I will post in the next few days.  Convalescence is slow and steady, but ultimately boring.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Even More Hummingbird Cuteness

The level of violence in the RV park continues to escalate.  "Our" hummingbird spends time hanging out in the palm tree.  He's diving on any other hummers that come to the feeder.  This morning three of them were at it for hours; only breaking for food.  Does his beak look blue to you?

Here he is, looking down at the feeder, with a steely eyed glint.

Off to defend the bird feeder.

And now, a big bird stretch and time spent warming up in the sun.

It was cool this morning when we got up - it was 40 degrees.  I gave some thought to microwaving the hummingbird juice, but ultimately was too lazy to get the ladder so I could get the feeder down.
This afternoon Jim and I went to Lowe's to buy a new grill scraper.  We used the store mobility cart, which was good.  Being on crutches is just a bear.  It puts too much weight on the surviving foot, stresses your shoulders and hurts the hands.  The knee cart is better, but it pushes the hard edge of the cast into the shin.  It's always something.  Weight bearing will be much better when it occurs.
Other than this pitiful offering, maties, I have nothing else to report.

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Happy Thanksgiving to you all. While this is not the winter season we thought we'd be having, it could be worse.  There could be snow.  So I am grateful to be wearing shorts.  Yesterday was a very cloudy day, but it brought a beautiful sunset.  We were awash in glowing pink.

The hummingbird continues to entertain us.  We're pretty sure we're getting the same one most of the time.

Today I was able to get the flash as he left the feeder.

Here he is, coming right at me, flashing pink.

Here's wishing you all a great opening day of the holiday season.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Reveal of the Achilles Surgery

We saw the surgeon yesterday.  He's a fairly terse guy, friendly but laconic.  We learned that Jim's rupture, although complete, was not as bad as many he has seen in the past.  This is probably good.
The splint was removed.  The cast lady had to work on it some to get it off.  The hard part was made out of plaster, which is why it was so heavy.

This is the incision.  At this point the stitches were still in.  Note the bruising and the swelling in the heel.

Here is the incision with the stitches out.  It doesn't look all that different.

The cast is being built now.  First there is a soft stocking applied.  Jim's foot is resting on a support.

Then mass quantities of fluffy material are wrapped around the leg.

The first layer of fiber glass has been applied here.  It comes in a roll, and is dunked in water.  Then it's wrapped around the leg.  The top and bottom of the stocking have been rolled back over the first fiber glass layer.

This is the second layer of fiber glass.  We went for the high visibility color.  It almost glows in the dark.

When they were wrapping, Jim was asked to push his knee forward a little.  The back of his calf is really tight.  He's going to have a fair amount of work to do with that in the future.  At the moment his toes are dropped about 10 degrees to keep any tension off the repaired tendon.
We have three weeks in the cast, non weight bearing.  Currently the cast is fairly uncomfortable.  Jim hasn't been able to find a good place to put his leg yet.  It could be a long three weeks.  After that there will be a boot, non weight bearing.  Slowly, he'll be able to put weight on it.  It's a process.

Monday, November 23, 2015

More Birds

Greetings from the recovery RV, Earthlings!  How are things in your various climates?  The weather here has been stunning so far.  Maybe a little windy, but great temperatures.  I've been walking in the RV park some, looking at stuff.  Most of my time, however, is consumed by handing things to Jim when he points at them; much as he did for me in 2013.  Kidding, just kidding.

Bougainvillea rambling across someone's park model.

Here we have a wood pecker pulling out a tasty snack from a palm tree.  I have no idea what that might be.

I am still taken with the hummingbirds at the feeder.  They are just so darn cute.

Tomorrow Jim goes in to see the surgeon.  I'm pretty sure he'll be getting the hard cast, as well.  Hopefully there will be pictures.

Friday, November 20, 2015


We now have a hummingbird feeder.  There are many of them in the park.  It's interesting to watch them defend a feeder, denying everyone nourishment - when there are many feeders sitting empty.  They're cranky little birds.
Fun facts from the World of Hummingbirds.  They have the largest brains (as a percentage of body weight) in the bird world.  However their eyes weigh more than their brains.  At flight, their hearts beat 1,250 times a minute.  They're pretty amazing little critters.
These were taken from the inside of the RV.  The camera was not sure what to focus on.

This morning we sat outside and waited for a hummer.  We were rewarded with a visit.

There is a really big hummer in the park, but he doesn't come over here.  He stays two streets over.  I may have to stalk him at some time with the camera.
Now we are off to Camping World for a better patio chair than our current drug store special.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Weather in the GPNW

This is old news, because it happened Monday and Tuesday, but I didn't have time to write about it.  These pictures are from the Seattle megalopolis.  Various areas had wind speeds up to 120 miles an hour.  Mission Ridge (a ski area near Wenatchee) clocked winds at 136 mph.  That's pretty exciting for the GPNW.
When we lived in West Seattle, we liked to drive down along the beach and watch the water blow over the road.  Of course, then Jim would have to get the salt off the car, but it was impressive to see that much water in the air.

The ferry system hates it when it's this windy.  So do the passengers with weak inner ears.

Trees were uprooted and fell on cars and houses.  One poor family had just finished an extensive remodel when the tree they planned to remove this summer fell on their house.

Carnation Valley is swamped.  This is on the route we ride a lot.

We're very happy to be convalescing here and not there.  Terrible weather makes everything more difficult than it needs to be.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Leaving the RV With a Splint

Greetings from the recovery RV.  Here is Jim, preparing to venture out and crutch through the gravel.

This is how one departs the bus with crutches.  It's too dang narrow to use them in this stairwell.  When I was in the boot two years ago, I always went in and out on the butt.  It's just safer.

I must confess that I have never dumped the black tank before.  All of the women who RV alone are probably giving me the lip fart of disdain right now, but there it is.  The black tank is solidly in the domain of blue work, and it was my goal to leave it there.  However, things change.  With Jim's coaching, the dumping and tank flushing went smoothly.  Over the next few months I will be fully cross trained in all RV operations.

Look carefully at the rider's shoulder, and just forward. It's unfortunate that I didn't get the photo when they were coming at us.  That's a poodle sitting on the motorcycle.  We can tell she's a girl because of all the pink ribbons on her head.  Cute, so cute. 

Jim's doing well.  The swelling has gone down dramatically, so the giant splint is less uncomfortable than it was.  That thing is heavy.  The temptation is to rest it on the ground, but the discharge nurse made it clear that to do that is forbidden.  So he doesn't.  That's all I have to report maties.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Jim's Procedure

Jim's procedure went well.  The nerve block in his leg took 15 minutes, the actual repair of the tendon was about 35 minutes.  Have you ever had a nerve block in your leg?  They use ultrasound to visualize the nerve.  Then they stick a 4 inch needle in to the leg using the ultrasound to determine when the needle is approaching the nerve.  There was a lot of fishing the needle back and forth, looking for the nerve.  Before the anesthesiologist did that, he gave Jim a pretty good whack of happy juice in the IV.  It's unfortunate that I did not get a picture of that needle.  But wait!  The internet has a picture.  The nerve block was in addition to general anesthesia.

The surgeon said that the Achilles was totally ruptured.  He believes he made a good repair and is happy with the results.  
Jim has a gigundo bandage on his surgical foot and leg.  That stays on until November 24, then he gets a hard cast.  There will be 2 to 3 weeks in the cast.  Then there will be the beginning of weight bearing in a boot.  This will be will Jim's position for at least the next three days.  One must elevate to keep the swelling down.

He's doing well.  With the nerve block in place there is currently no pain.  Tomorrow should be interesting.