I'm at Anson-Wright Campground again. The last time I was here was pretty traumatic -being run out in the middle of the night by a very fragrant family that arrived 14 hrs early and found me in the spot they had reserved. Technically it wasn't theirs until 1:00 p.m. the next day, but once they fragranced everything, it was too late. I'm only back here because bow hunters are using Cutsforth. Rosie and I are the only campers here. The meeting between the camp host and I was a little edgy. She had some undoubtedly has some concerns from last time too. Perhaps she needed to establish that I knew she was in charge and would respect her. She told me I couldn't put out my cones that say "do not enter." She did provide a rope to drape across the road a few spaces down. We worked out a signal if I get into trouble. I assured her I've never honked Dave (the host at Cutsforth) in. She did reiterate it was those other people's spot. I don't know why she keeps forgetting that it was mine, too. She'd rented it to me until 11:00 a.m. But, perhaps they had actually rented it the day before and just told her they'd be arriving the next day. I don't know. I didn't bring it up. Discretion being the better part, and all...
That inconsiderate melon farmer started spraying the neighbor's field last Saturday morning at 6:00 a.m. I happened to be taking the dog out to potty at 6:30, just as the spray rig passed within sight of the back door. I'd just barely opened the door, saw it, and shut it right quick. I'm thanking God it hadn't finished and left, or been on the other side of the hill, because I would have walked right out there, been horribly injured, and it would have been too late. As it was I spent several days imprisoned in my home. All the melon farmer said when I got hold of him was, "I dropped the ball, didn't I." I'm over a barrel, so I kept my tongue between my teeth. Since having 50% of my amalgams removed, and isolating my specific DNA damage so I can take the correct supplements, it wasn't too bad. It was amazingly less hurtful! Today a different neighbor had contracted his field to be sprayed with glyphosate. That spray company works with me. They gave me several days notice. I couldn't actually get anything loaded into the RV until yesterday, due to the melon farmer's spraying, but I could get everything ready to load. I got 'er done and out of there on time today, and only minimal injury to me.
Rosie and I took our time driving up. There were still some pretty stiff winds on the way up here. We arrived between 4:00 and 4:30. I didn't look at the time, I was so busy setting up. You remember the drill? Level the coach, then hook up power. Set the awnings and put out the step. Then unstow the inside stuff and set it out: the coffee maker, the cab's privacy curtain, the dishsoap, towels to cover Rosie's spots. I also put out food and water for Rosie. Then I ate a little and rested. A lot less than the last time. It used to be that I'd be so wiped out that I'd need a 2 hr nap. I didn't! Just a few minutes rest. I'm getting better! :-)
Rosie and I have been on 2 walks. The first one. Was pretty short, just a potty break. The second one was a little longer. We surprised a couple of deer grazing between the RV hookups above us. Now we're just hanging out in the RV and its so very quiet. I think being run out of my own home makes me lonely and a little depressed. That makes the quiet more invasive. Since we're the only ones here I'm wondering why the camp host is having me stay in the "nickle seats." This leg only has 120v hook ups. Up the hill behind me they have 30 & 50 amp hook ups. I think she's hoping to rent those spots to someone who just shows up. She doesn't want to lose revenue if she had to keep a few of those open to protect me. That makes sense. However, on 120v I can only run one thing at a time. Like the heater or the microwave. Or the purifier or the airconditioner or the coffee maker, etc. I have to keep an eye on the refrigerator. It will shut down if the water heater starts up while the microwave (etc) is running, or if the airconditioner draws too much. I can run lights, and the water pump most of the time. They're on the coach batteries.
Thursday Sept. 4, 2014
I slept in til 10:00 and woke with a headache. Probably from over sleeping. @@ I didn't sleep very well for the first half of the night. After my last trip I washed and turned my mattress. Including unstuffing and airing. It was lumpy and not mashed into my preferred shape. It was fluffy in all the wrong places and I was sore from lymph inflammation from the exposures I got loading the RV. It took me a while to rework the mattress into a comfortable form. I'd built a mattress that I could take out the stuffing and wash it, and the casings, because I outgas toxins when I sleep. Well, everybody does. Since TIs can't break them down they come out of our pores still toxic. They wick, with the help of gravity, into the mattress and sheets. Then they keep re-volitizing. If I couldn't wash the whole thing, I'd just be retoxing myself. The last few trips I took some hits: poison mushrooms, insecticides. I could smell it coming from the mattress after I'd been home a few days. Thats why I'd taken it apart and washed it.
That also sparked a thorough RV cleaning. If there were toxins in the mattress, there were toxins everywhere else. But like an absent minded professor, I'd eaten my lunch out here while cleaning; It was an avacado. I left the pit in the sink. A nice oily pit! I also left the lid off the cod liver oil cap bottle. I think it was either empty or had only a cap or two left. The next time I came out, OH THE MOUSE DROPPINGS!!!!! I HATE mice!!! That sparked a second thorough cleaning/sterilizing, along with some limber 'self-rear-kicking.' After removing all the washables, and sweeping up the turds, I sprayed everything down with non-toxic disinfectant. Then I crawled around looking for where the nasty little vermin could have gotten in. I found two possibles. The place where the wires come in from the engine for the diagnostic's hook-up, and under the coach step in the battery box. The hole that the cables run through for the diagnosic hook up is big enough they can get in there. We had packed it with organic wool carpet pad scraps, to keep out VOCs, but they'd evidently made a hole. The hole for the cables that enter the battety box left enough room for a mouse to squeeze through to. I'd mentioned it to Ron when he changed out the batteries but he didn't think it would be a problem... The step is light enough they could push it up and get inside the coach. There was heavier accummulations of mouse poo in both locations. I duck taped the area where the wires came through for the diagnostic hook up. I found a large rock and set it on the step that is the lid for the battery box. I also set a trap. I monitored for mice for two weeks. Nothing in the trap and no more droppings. I sprayed organic essential oil spray, that mice hate, all over. Every time I stepped past the rock I thought of it as my "Coach Cat." It looks a little like a sitting cat. I brought craft paint along this trip. I'm going to try to paint it to bring out its catliness. :-) I would have started it this morning while it was cool out, but I slept in...
Rosie and I went out again. This time we stretched our walk out for an hour and a half. We walked all around the campground, except near the main office. The camp's maintanance vehicals are there and I could smell dirty oil (they should clean their engine, fuel and air filters, and carburetor. Heh, heh having a nose like mine can be useful). We walked back toward our site. We both still had lots of energy, and didn't want to go in yet. We made another circuit of the hill loop. There's a chain in front of an old skid road in the back. We walked around the posts, got on the skid road and hiked down as far as the gate. Maybe a third of a mile. Then we turned around and came back hiking up the other way once we reached the chain. It was a steeper climb. I could feel I was burning out so we quit about half way up the first slope. We'll try that way first, next time. When we got back to the camper (mostly down hill) I felt refreshed. So I grabbed my cell phone. There's supposed to be a cell umbrella up by the office. I thought we'd try to see if I could get reception from as close as I could get. It turned out I couldn't. :-( Still not feeling "done in" we came back to the camper. I grabbed my back room air purifier and a broom and we took them outside, to a picnic table. I took it apart, while Rosie looked on, and cleaned it. It collects dander and dust on the prefilter. Each time we've come back to the RV the air conditioner has shorted the system. I've been turning it on when we go out because I don't want to return to an oven. The hook up I'm in has very little shade. It is half way between the highway that runs by the camp and the hook ups on the other side of the rope the camp host set up. She didn't give me the whole loop and I need to respect her decisions, but still place myself in the safest location possible. I've turned the air conditioner off and am using the traditional, passive method: doors and windows open. I have to be here to do that because if anyone comes by I have to jump up and shut everything or they would contaminate us.
Its been so quiet and cool that I decided to start on painting the cat. I took my supplies to a shady table. I caught myself playing the mission impossible theme in my head. Yeah, it isn't very daring for most people, but me doing anything outside, in a public place, puts me in danger should anyone suddenly show up. Rosie picked a nice spot and snoozed. I was outside for 3 whole hours!!! Here's a pic. I'm pleased.
Rocky the Coach Cat
He turned out better than I expected. I was a little frustrated with having lost so much coordination, but he's just fine for being what he is. :-) If anything bothers me I can always fix it later! It was very lovely spending all that time outdoors. I did do a lot of scanning my perimeter, and watching Rosie's reactions. After we came in and were having dinner (4:30), a silver truck w/canopy drove thru the campground. We timed it just right! We were safely inside and quickly shut everything down. I'm feeling so much better these days. I even had vegetable, chicken soup for dinner. With the reduction in amalgams and having the metabolic work-a-rounds, my achalasia seems to be healing. :-) :-) I'm keeping the chicken and veggies down this evening. That in its self is lovely!!!
Friday Sept. 5, 2014
I woke up at 8:00, or there abouts. Rosie snoozed on. I reached down to pet her and startled her. Poor dear. As an apology we went out as soon as I got my hair done and was dressed. She chose to relieve herself in a deer bed on the other side of the meadow. I could tell it was a deer bed because it smelled strongly of fresh deer pee. Then she got all intense about something a little further into the brush. I'm guessing it was the fawn that came down into the meadow with his mommy, just after 7:00 last night.
The fawn's spots were fading. The momma looked sleek and healthy. About 10 minutes later a truck slowed way down on the highway and two bucks sprang over the hill. The truck moved on and the bucks meandered down into the meadow, too. They were a 3 point (we only count the points on one side in the Pacific Northwest) and a spike. They were very robust, dinified and elegant. Rosie and I enjoyed the show. I tried to get a picture but my ipad storage was full, and the RV's window was spotty.
It was nice to have that special visit to break up the sameness. The hours and minutes drag by so slowly when I'm in isolation. I need to insert one of those scenes in movies that illustrate the crawling of time. You know, shots of grass blowing, leaves turning gold then brown and falling, shadows lengthening, dustmotes dancing in a sunbeam and a clock ticking. Beyond that, stillness. I called this entry "Lonliness Echos" because the lonliness keeps bouncing back to me. It reverberates from every surface. Everything reminds me of how isolated I am. My whole body aches with the pain of being outcast. Alone. I've been drumming up things to do that are interesting, and distracting, for 10 years. Lately I've been feeling that I can't keep doing it. It seems harder. Perhaps its because I feel better and am physically able to do more. Maybe thats why I'm beating the bars of my cage? Or, its simpler than that: I'm tired of being alone. How can I make you understand the blessing of sharing a cup of coffee with a friend? Of having someone over, or going on an outing together? And not having to think about protocols or toxins! I've decided that while Sandy (the host) is doing better this time, I still like Cutsforth better. Dave checks on me every couple of days, and he and Roberta talk to me. Loneliness is horrible, brutal in ways that are hard for people with full lives to imagine.
Rosie and I went for our long walk. We went up the road behind the chain. It was a nice climb. It got my heart rate up but not uncomfortably so. When we got up to the top of the rise there was a fenced cistern, and beyond that another locked gate. I heard a grunt and a heavy, sharp noise. I knew instantly that it was a startled, large animal. In a split second my eyes locked in on the sound and adrenaline cracked through my brain. It was just a small herd of cattle: Herefords and Black Baldies. Whew! Relief. (This is bear country...) They were bedded down next to the gate, under a tree. They'd all bolted to their feet and were preparing to charge away. I spoke softly to the cattle as we approached the gate and they returned to their rest. I was thrilled to find that my body was processing the adrenaline the way it used to, before TI. That must be the metabolic supplements. I'm so pleased! We left the gate and the roadway and walked across the top of the bench that circles the camp ground. I kept an eye out for snakes. Specifically rattlers. It looked like prime rattlesnake country. I'm not wearing hiking boots and Rosie has no protection. It made me think about gaiters for her, for hunting season, and refitting my knee high hiking boots with leather insoles. We didn't see any snakes. Just some magpies and crows, a few tweeties (on the chickadee order, only too far away for me to identify). We ended up above the playground, then turned around and retraced our steps. We took in the other leg of the campground and then returned to the RV. Since its tick, and sticky seed season I brush Rosie out thoroughly after our walks, before we get back in the coach. She's showing some signs that her coat color may turn to grey. While its mostly black, its laced with dark grey hairs. Lots of her siblings are grey. It would certainly be easier to spot ticks if she was lighter. Its not unusual for animals to change coat color over the course of their life time. Horses do it, so do sheep. My silver grey ewe, 7 of '07, turned all black this year. We shall see.
We set out for a walk again. We got most of the way around the hill loop when a truck drove up, stopped and a person got out and started walking t'word the RV. It was Sandy. I hailed her and we met (50ft apart) down below. My husband had called and wanted to know what I needed. He's coming up in the morning. At 50 ft, Sandy was o.k.. Unfortunately her truck, when I passed it, at 30 ft. was not. I felt that me going to the RV was safer than backing up the hill and letting her drive by. It was just not a "safe" enough choice. :-( Sandy did let me know it was o.k. for me to move up to the top of the hill. She said she would check the reservation service and see if anyone has reserved it. She felt there most likely wouldn't be anyone coming the rest of the week, if no one came this weekend. If they did, I told her I'd gladly move back. I think we're building a relationship of mutual respect. :-) If she o.k.s it, I'll probably move up to the top of the hill loop tomorrow when Ron comes.
Just the spike visited this evening.
Saturday Sept 6, 2014
Spent an uncomfortable night. Urping a bit and lymph pain. Woke up with kidney problems. Very little, and very brown, urine. Must have been the host's truck....
Its chilly this morning. There's a light frost on the picnic tables.
Ron arrived before 9:00 a.m. We spent the morning together. He told me that Sandy had checked the reservations. Nothing. So he helped me move. He also set out the cones. I did tell him that Sandy had said "no signs." He said he'd clear it with her. I hope he remembered, and that it doesn't offend her. We sat around and discussed our various broken down vehicles, and what our options are. Not only is my Baja down, with no motor, but we got the Jimmy back from our son and his wife, sans working transmission! I have my next set of dental apt.s coming up and would prefer not to drive the RV to them. The quickest to fix is the Jimmy. But it will have to be decontaminated. Or I could decontaminate the hunting truck which Ron retrieved me in, when the Baja broke down. (That story is on the Chatter Box.) He'll be taking the Dogde hunting the first week of October. I'd probably have to clean it again after hunting if my Baja isn't repaired. We also talked about our fly fishing trip that we had planned for the end of this week. Then we hiked up the road behind us. Ron said we were allowed to hike/hunt beyond the gate; its a barbed wire "leverage" gate. He opened it (and closed it behind us), and we hiked up the overgrown road beyond there. Then we turned off the road and hiked nearly to the summit. I was tired. If I push beyond that point, I'd hurt myself too bad. So we turned around and came back down. We practiced communication signals for bow hunting season for next year. I'm planning on going. By the time we got back to the RV it was time for him to hit the road.
He's heading down to Corvallis to clean up the yard of our duplex. The renter hasn't been taking good care of it. Then he'll put it on the market. I want it sold. I'm looking for a piece of property in the mountains where I can be safer. Especially during spray season. One where I can have a life that isn't interrupted by everyone else's whims. One where I can go when I need to and don't have to worry about availability.
Ron's also taking our daughter and her family along, to the valley, to visit my Dad and his wife... That hurt! I'm left out of another family trip! It absolutely breaks my heart. Oh, I recognize that they should go. My Dad isn't doing very well. They need to have their lives and do those kinds of things. It still hurts being left out!!!
Rosie and I are back from a walk. We took showers and I washed clothes. I'm running the bathroom exhaust fan to help dry it out in here. Other than that, not a lot happening. :-\ Nobody has even driven through today.
I made a pot of chili and left it simmering while we hiked up and down the road. I took my cell along just in case we could catch some signal from the OHV Park. Nada. When we got back I stuck myself with some acupuncture needles in the lymph nodes that still hurt. I ran some other protocols including teas and coffee. It helped a little. I'd have thought all that walking would have helped, but it didn't. I ended up realizing that the 'clean' shirt I'd put on after my shower had something in it. I started feeling better when I changed into a long sleeve shirt in the cool of the evening. I put the contaminated one in one of the basement bins. Sigh.
No deer this evening. We never did have any drive thrus. It was great to have Ron's company this morning. It was hard to watch him leave. Its crushing knowing that everyone else is going on a trip together and I'm excluded. I do not know how to solve that problem.
Sunday Sept. 7, 2014
We woke up around 7:00 this morning. When I first went to bed last night I experienced several waves of intense heat. They seemed to resolve the remaining lymph congestion. Other than a bout of regurgintation and aspirating some dinner, in the middle of the night, I slept much better.
There's something I've been mulling over for awhile, and haven't shared. On the surface it seems pretty far-fetched. I thought starting a website (theholisticchatterbox.com) was a stretch and an insane learning curve. This is way beyond that. Its an idea that most TI's have, "If only there was someplace safe where we could go and have a normal life. A place where everybody lives non-toxic." That would solve so many of my problems: safety, lonliness. But the idea is basically unattainable. There isn't one out there. The cost of purchasing that much land is beyond my reach. I've been looking at land, thinking if I got 50-100 acres, in a wilderness area, then at least I could save myself from being poisoned, even though the isolation would be complete and total. While I've been looking I saw a piece with a hunting lodge and 6 cabins on it. Its $1,500,000. I've been making jokes that if $2,000,000 suddenly fell out of the sky, I'd buy it in a heart beat and start a TI retreat and healing resort. I'd need the extra $500,000 for non-toxic remodel and start up costs.
So, why not? I mean, it would be a project that benifits a particular social class of underserved people. There are grants available for these kinds of projects. I just have to figure out how to locate the right group and write the grant, then be awarded the money. My daughter writes grants for her job. She might be willing to give me some pointers and critiques. I know several alternative medicine providers that might be interested in providing services to guests that would come. Like my dentist. Very few TIs that I know have received dental care. I didn't know of any others that had received safe dental care, until I found Dr. Stevens. That's who he mainly services. My EI doctor is now refering his patients to my dentist. A great many don't even receive medical care because they can't access standard practitioners, standard practitions don't know how to help them, or specialists don't take medicare. We could do some free or sliding fee clinics for low income clients, while more affluent guests would pay for the medical care provider's services. I know an acupuncturist and practitioner of Asian medicine. And some massage therapists. I know more about detox, and toxins, than anyone else I know. I know a person who is a chef, with a degree from the Cordon Blue school of cooking. He's not working as a chef right now, he's driving truck. He's TI savvy. He also likes to mow lawns. ;-) And I've figured out all the non-toxic yard care... If I ran a healing resort for people like me, I'd have social interaction. I'd also have a job! Not having a job has been killing me!!! Its a long shot. A really long shot. But at least its a direction, and something I can look forward too, to get me out of this spot. I know there are a ton of hoops to jump. Lots more details to look into, to see if it would even work, but I figure if I work at it and God wants it to happen, it will. What do you think?
One very exhausted poodle is hogging the couch (she's supposed to stay on the blue side). But we worked very hard, and she probably hiked 2 or 3 times as far as I did. I figure she's earned it. We hiked to the top. Well, the top above the top we didn't make it to yesterday. I decided to take both cell phones and see if I could get reception. Sometimes, if you get high enough...
We started out climbing the hill behind the RV, on the other side of the skid road. I thought we might get high enough to catch the OHV's signal. Nope. So we scrambled back down. It was all good training for Rosie for when we go hunting. She's learning to be aware of snags and trees and not getting her lead tangled on them. Then we went up the skid road to the gate. I did a second teaching session on how I want her to handle barbed wire gates. I also learned that I was strong enough to wrestle that gate opened and closed. :-) After closing the gate we set out up the track until we found a nice spot to start up t'word the top that we didn't reach yesterday. In most of the rest of the situations you run into "the shortest distance between two points is a straight line." Not in climbing mountains. Oh straight up may be physically shorter, but it will take you longer, and its harder, and not as safe. The best bet for climbing this kind of country, where the ground is as steep as a cows butt, is a series of zigzags. So we angled up, and switched back and forth. Rosie often surged ahead, or to the sides and worked her way back to me. Thats why I say she covered 2 or 3 times the ground. We jumped those cows again. They ran off about 50 yards, then kept up with us for sometime. They can be pretty curious. It was hard going for me, and even Rosie was panting hard by the time we reached the ridge we'd fallen short of yesterday. When we got to the top of the ridge I could see another ridge behind it. It was much higher, and steeper. Well, we rested for a bit. Then we picked an approach and pressed on. We left the cows there. Both Rosie and I were pretty blown by the time we reached the top of that ridge. We'd had to stop several times to cool off. I had to wait for my heart to slow down. It was pounding pretty hard. When we finally reached the summit, wouldn't you know it, 2 more ridge tops beyond that! But I figured I had had enough for today. Probably a few days! Those other two ascentions weren't that much higher but the were a long way around the ridge top we were on. They were also devoid of trees, and looked hot. The ridge we were standing on still had shady cool trees and was high enough that we should be able to get a signal if there was one out there. I checked for cell reception with both phones while Rosie flopped over into the cheat grass and dried weeds, panting hard. Nothin'. It was a beautiful view, though. I led Rosie over to a nice shady log and sat down. We rested for about 10 minutes. When we were cooled off and the sweat was dry enough on my face to feel salty and sticky, we started back down.
We didn't come down the same way we came up. That worried Rosie a bit. She would have preferred to back track. I used to be really good at finding my way through the wilderness; I had an infallible sense of compass direction. I know I've lost some of that. This would be a good test of my current skills. So I set off on a new route. I checked the land marks. I know the camp is down in the bottom of the canyon beneath us, more or less. The tricky part is coming out at the campground as opposed to miles above or below it. It can happen when you start down from a ridge top. If you take the wrong draw, you can end up far, far from your goal. So I scanned the ridgetops across the canyon from me. Based on their folds I estimated where the two highways converged, near the campground. We worked our way down thru the timber heading SE. We met up with the cattle again just on the other side of the timber. We kept angling down and ended up on the back side of the spur Ron and I had been scaling yesterday. I scanned the land forms across the canyon, and by dropping to one knee I got a peek at the intersection I was looking for. I know my camper is South of the intersection by 500 yrds. Looking straight down the hill from that point, you couldn't see either the campground, or the skid road, just cheatgrass, tamaracks, broken basalt rocks and a profusion of dried weeds dispersing the army of sticky, hitchhiker seeds. Rosie was already sporting a large assortment. Looking carefully at the landforms that surrounded me I guessed that I was most likely above the bowl by the barbed wire gate. I wasn't sure because I've lost so much in the last 10 years. One of the things that led me to believe it was that further ahead of me (1000 yards or so) there was a massive rock slide. You can't see it from below. However there is a sizable draw that leads up from that bowl by the gate in what would be the correct direction. If I continued on the same heading I could end up taking a draw that would put me on the wrong side of the lower ridge that surrounds the campground, adding lots more miles to get where I wanted, and possibly missing the gate altogether. That would mean having to negotiate myself and my poodle through a nasty barbed wire fence. Plus, the rock fall area looked extremely steep and unstable. I made the decision to turn and hike down on a NE descent. Incase you don't have a lot of experience with land forms, the main, higher ridge runs primarily N and S with spurs and draws angling off it in generally easterly directions.
We started out acrossed a steep, rocky open face, slick with dried cheat grass. I've lost my footing on those when I was hunting and wearing much better hiking shoes than the cute little mary janes I was currently wearing. About a hundred feet into it I heard a familiar clicking, rattling sound. Three things make a similar sound: chipmunks, rattlers, and grasshoppers. They differ in pitch, frequency, and duration. Only I couldn't remember which this one was. The cows had thundered off through this area when they heard us coming down through the trees. They could have disturbed a snake... I just couldn't identify the noise like I used to be able to. That bugged me. I went well around the source, just in case, keeping my eye out (hoping) to see a chipmunk. I thought that it sounded more like that than a rattler. But, I couldn't be sure. Then I realized it was too long for a chipmonk call. It was also moving closer to us rather quickly. Thats when I spotted the grasshopper flying over the almost vertical meadow. I watched him for a moment to be sure the chittering noise was keeping up with him. Relief! I wasn't looking forward to dealing with a rattler on that slippery, loose slope. I think thats the first time I've been pleased to see a grasshopper! We continued picking our way carefully across, and down. I kept checking for signs of the park and the highways. Every so often I'd spot a piece of highway thru the trees. When we drew even with the intersection we turned back and made our way down on a SE heading again. As we dropped over that next bench we could see the bowl by the gate and the skid road beneath us. I must admit, I was feeling smuggly satisfied with myself. :-) It didn't take us long to get back to the RV after that. Rosie negotiated the barbed wire gate like a pro. It took me another 20 minutes, once we got back, to brush out all the cheatgrass and seeds in Rosie's coat before we could flop down in the RV for long cool drinks of water. I think it took us an hour to get to the top, and 15 minutes to get back down. :-} And no, we didn't fall. Rosie is still sacked out. At least she's not giving me that "I'm bored!" Look.
Last potty call of the night completed. We've buttoned up the camper for the cold night. I put away the shirts I washed. They finally dried out. My jeans are still damp. They were dry enough to move out of the shower and hang in the galley. It takes a long time to dry out anything hand washed in here. It would be faster if I could hang it outside, but not if some one drives by. I'd have to start over. We did have one drive thru today. It was a silver truck with a canopy. I couldn't tell you if it was the same one or not. He drove up the hill loop and right past our spot. I had to jump up and shut everything down. I'd never have been able to safely get the laundry in. So I'm stuck trying to dry it out in here. When I eventually get my wash-machine decontaminated it won't be so bad. I'd checked a day or so before the melon farmer sprayed. Still stinks.
Well, how do you like that! Rosie wandered off to bed without me! She must be one tired pup!
Monday Sept. 8, 2014
We got up sometime before 8:30. My pants & socks were dry so we put away laundry. I had a pretty good night. A little urping when I first laid down, but after that I slept pretty good. Well until 5:30. A really bizarre dream woke me up. SMH What was that about? Anyway, I got ready to take Rosie out, and she looked rather reluctant. Poor dear. How do you reassure your dog we are not doing another killer mountain climbing hike?
I decided to take out the garbage on our walk. I generally let Ron deal with it because trash cans have toxins. Not only the stuff that other people throw away, but the lining bags have nasty chemicals. I put all my garbage in used gallon sized ziploc bags so I don't have to smell it. :-) It does make a tidy package to take out. As fate would have it I noticed a very long stout limb had fallen to the ground next to our picnic table last night. It was about 8-10 feet long. I figure I can use the limb to open the can and toss the garbage in from a safe distance away. Then use the limb to replace the lid. Rosie thought I was a bit odd, bringing the garbage bag. She was a bit concerned with me collecting that stick, and breaking off the small branches, too. She remained in the place I put her while I leveraged off the lid. There wasn't much of a breeze but I picked the best side. It worked quite well. I had a bit of difficulty when I went to put the lid back on. It was tight fitting to keep animals out of the trash. I wanted to make sure I got it back on securely, so I wacked it with the stick a few times. It made a lot of noise. I left the stick near there in case I needed it again and we continued our walk down the leg t'word the office. On our way back Sandy hailed me from behind. She was worried there had been a problem. We went back, to our 50 foot perimeter, and let her know what I did. That got a smile. I could see she appreciated my efforts to keep her practices, despite my barriers. I think she's warming up to me. :-) We chatted for a while. That was nice. I learned a little bit about her. It was fun. I used to think of people as treasures, or like trunks in "grandma's attic." When you start talking to them its like opening up the trunk and discovering all the neat things inside. Older people are the best. They have the most amazing histories. I know a woman that scouted for enemy aircraft, at night, during WWII, from the top of the tallest building in her town! Thats where she met her husband. Boy did she live an adventurous life. You'd never know it to look at her. She just looked like a sweet little old church lady.
Anyway, Sandy went back to work, telling me she'd double check the lid to make sure it was on good and tight. Good idea. I wasn't sure I'd gotten it on completely. And she said it would be fine if I wanted to move my cones further down the hill (I made sure to check to see if Ron had told her). She also let me know that Dave and Roberta were retiring after this year. She'd be moving over to Cutsforth next year. She was looking forward to it. More for her to do. I had got the impression she was the kind of person that liked to keep busy.
When we got back to the RV I had my morning coffee. Rosie was looking glum so I got out 3 treats and had her hide her eyes so we could play "hide and seek." She loves that game. I had her sit in the front seat to hide her eyes, but she kept peaking. I changed "base" to the bathroom, and shut the door. We played several rounds, switching from hiding treats to hiding an old sock, and then some of her toys. She had a very good time. Eventually I had to quit. I still had to scrub out the tub and start washing my Handspun sweater. I was wearing it when I got exposed to Sandy's truck the other day. It smells faintly of dirty motor oil. I'd been trying to clean it with enzymes but it wasn't working. Its currently soaking in the tub, full of soapy water and alcohol. I have the bathroom fan on to suck out the VOCs that are being released. In a while I'll add baking soda to open the fibers, to release more of the toxins. I figure either today or tomorrow I'm going to have to add water to my tank. I may try to see how bad the dump vault is. If its not bad, I'll stand upwind and empty my own grey and black water. Hah! I do love getting better, and more "able." Here's a pic of my sweater. I chopped off my head because I asked Ron to take the photo and he's NOT a photographer. He just holds his finger on the button while it snaps away. Then feels that one of them should work. @@ I was talking, and making really weird faces in all of the shots. I'm vain (and self conscious) enough I didn't want to post pics of myself looking crazier than I already feel.
Its a nice heavy sweater so its going to be a booger to get dry!
The sweater is drying. I moved the cones to the bottom of the hill and laid it out on a towel, on some paper towels, on a rock, just outside the door. I just can't help pushing the envelope. Nobody actually drove thru so I didn't have to jump and run to save my laundry. I spent the afternoon finishing the second sock of this pair (and watching for vehicles). Its nice to have a good light weight pair of socks w/o holes! They're made from 2 strands of organic cotton lace weight thread worked together. I was buying buster brown cotton socks but I wear thru them in 2 months. :-/ Kinda spendy. They're just too fine to stand up to heavy wear.
Tuesday Spt. 9, 2014
Its me the boundry pusher again. We got up at 8:00 and did a short potty walk around the hill loop. It was overcast and smelled of rain. Then I set about refilling the water. The pressure is considerably less here, than at home, so it took a lot longer. Rosie and I made several rounds of the loop while we were waiting. I had driven in with my door on the opposite side than the site was designed for. The same side as the hook ups. That way the door is on the leeward side if I get caught out when someone comes. The bulk of the RV would be added protection from drifting toxins, and they wouldn't blow right in when I opened the door like they would if it was on the windward side. But, of course, it makes taking care of fresh, grey and black water a little more cumbersome. Its just one extra hose for fresh water. Mostly because of the filter. After I finished filling the tank I ran water through the filter into my empty glass drinking water jars. I don't want to drink the plastic tank water because of dioxins, PCBs, and phthalates that leach out of plastics. With that done I drained the filter and put all the fresh water equipment away.
The sewer hook up was the worst part. Yes, thats right. I decided to go ahead and try that sewer dump on my own. I was going to wait for Ron. He said he'd be back today or tomorrow, but last night the fresh water tank didn't read any lights!!! It was on red earlier in the day, but apparently I'd run it down past even that. Last night I turned off both the water pump and the heater so they wouldn't burn out (and I wouldn't forget). And the grey and black were both screaming RED!!! I didn't want anything backing up into the bathtub, etc, so I decided to give it a try. I figured if I cracked open the dump vault just the tiniest amount and stinkies rushed out I could close it real quick and leave it for Ron. First though, I'd have to get my special sewer hose from the outlet (on the farside) under the RV and stretched over to the vault. Hmmm.
I gloved up. Poo germs, eeewwwwww! I'd already unlocked and opened the appropriate bins. The dump hose looks like a dryer exhaust hose, only its brown. How apt. Ours is stored in a large plastic, squatty "terracotta" looking pot (we inherited it from the previous owner). I pulled the whole pot out where I could see what I had to work with. This is the first time I've actually used the brown hoses. There's a short, blue piece that extends out of the receptacle, by the valves, on the RV. Thats all I've ever needed at home. I could tell that Ron had been doing an excellent job of cleaning the dump hose after he'd used it at the Boardman RV dump station. It didn't stink. I don't have a "dirty hose" to wash it when I get done, so I wouldn't be leaving it as clean as I found it. I'll have to remedy that when I get home (You don't use drinking water hoses for waste water anything). There were two seperate sections of brown hose and several fittings in the pot. The longest piece of hose had a black insert sleeve pressure banded to one end. That looked right. I flipped the rodent cover off of the exit port and pulled out the blue hose using the tips of two fingers. Yeah, I was wearing gloves, but still! I shoved the black sleeve into the sleeve coupling on the end of that hose. It was snug and looked good. I studied it briefly. I felt that it should hold up under the waste stream pressure without separating and flooding the sight with all kinds of disgusting, personal nasties. I briefly imagined me, having to scoop that all up with a dustpan and my gloved hands and then transport it a load at a time to the vault... SHUDDER! I checked that fitting again, shoving it in just a bit further. Then I grabbed the free end and walked to the back of the RV. The hose extended to it's maximum, straining the junction between it and the blue hose. The junction held. I bent double and with my arm extended under the back of the coach I drug it across and under the RV. The toughest part was the far corner. Then I walked up to the rear tire, laying the hose as far out toward the vault cap as it would extend. I was still short by 10 feet. Hmmm. I went back to the other side. Checked my junction. It was still solid. I checked the connection inside the exit port. I didn't want it to have come loose there either. Visions of poo and waste water spewing from that failed connection flashed through my overly imaginative brain. It looked secure, too. I picked up the terracotta pot and carried it to the other side. The second piece of hose was about 8 feet, condensed. It should stretch enough to reach the vault. Now my only problem is marrying the two hoses together. I have one insert sleeve that I should just be able to shove one end in each hose and it should work. I couldn't do it. I wrestled with it for some time. I got nowhere. I moved on to the other fittings. I have two fittings that have an apparent inny and outy end. I couldn't make those work either. I have two elbows that are supposed to go on the end of the tube and sit on the vault. I have a strange screw on fitting and a universal foam donut that also is supposed to sit on the vault and prevent sewer gasses from escaping while you drain. I liked that one for the vault end. I shoved it on. It was easy. I still had two separate hoses. And mounting frustration. I tried the screw on fitting. With some effort I was able to get the screw-on part on one of the hose ends. I just couldn't get the sleeve end shoved in to the other hose. I had to stand up and pace off a little of that head of steam I was building. This is obviously one of those jobs that requires brute strength. They must shove those things on by brute strength alone. Something I don't have... I decided to try the oldest, most worn of the elbow fittings. Perhaps it would be worn enough I could manage it. I unscrewed the strange fitting and screwed the old red elbow onto that hose end. Then I took the plastic film on the other hose end and stretched it as much as I could, with my fingers, to make it easier to get started. Then, powered by stubborness and temper I held that stupid fitting down with one side of the hose over the edge and pried one crummy wire, a millimeter at a time carefully over the opposite rim. I thought about getting my universal tool out to help pry, but I didn't want to get poo germs on it. I would never be able to look at it the same again. I fought with that thing so hard I thought I was going to tear a ligament in my fingers, or the skin right off. But finally, I got that first circle of wire completely over the fitting. Damn thing! Then I twisted and shoved with all my puny strength. I'm glad no one was around to see! All that thrashing and grunting!They would have thought I was wrestling an anaconda! Finally I got it far enough up the sleeve that I felt pretty confident it wouldn't come apart. I was exhausted. I was also light headed. I hadn't had breakfast, or even coffee, because I hadn't had wash water. I didn't break for coffee after filling the fresh water because I don't like to leave things out incase of toxic events. I was sure missing my coffee now! I had to sit down for a moment before I could go on.
O.k. The next part was the dangerous part. Opening the vault. With the foam donut encased free end of the brown hose in one hand I slipped up to the side of the vault cap. I figured that if there were any trapped gasses in there the main force of the propellant gas would be directly over the hole. With my right arm extended and squatting low to the side I checked for tightness. Oh, good. It wan't reefed on there so tight I'd need a wrench to break it free. I hadn't thought about that until just that moment. It started unscrewing quite easily. Then as quick as I could, I whipped off the cap and slapped the donut in place. Ha ha! I didn't smell a thing. I was feeling sassy at this point. I stood up and looked at my jury-rigged hose set up. The moment of truth was at hand! I examined each joint, and gave them an appropriate shove, as I made my way back to the valve box. The valves are on either side of the exit port. One for "body waste" or black water, one for "liquid waste" or grey water. The previous owner had very smartly labeled them. You empty black water first. That way your used dish, sink and bath water rinses a lot of the black water out. This was it. I grabbed the black water valve, gave it a twist and a pull, and jumped back - just in case! It held! I ran around the other side to inspect my elbow junction. It was holding too! I could hear the waste water rushing forcefully into the vault. Hooray!! It was working!! I wasn't as exultant as a quarterback scoring a touchdown, or anything like that. But I was wearing a pretty big grin! I waited several minutes longer after the water stopped rushing, before I shoved in the valve. I know that it continues to drain a tiny stream for a while. Then I gave the grey water valve a twist and a pull. That one ran for a long time! It was really full. I'm glad I emptied them. I would have had back up in the tub before the end of the day. That would have made the whole coach reek! When it was all done draining out of the tank I carefully disconnected the black sleeve from the blue fitting. The hose was still full of waste water, mostly grey, I think. But I didn't want it spilling out all over the site, so I carried it carefully around the back end if the RV to the vault, keeping it as high as I was able. As I walked closer to the vault I gathered up more hose. I listened to the water running into the vault from the hose. Eventually I lifted the last stretch of hose directly above the vault and the last of the waste water ran in. I removed the end of the hose and replaced the cap. Then I stretch out the hose to finish draining on the bank. It smelled a little. All I had left was to clean up and stow the equipment. Then, oh then, I could have that cup of coffee!
Rosie and I took a walk down to the office. The wind was blowing strongly out of the NW and we were able to get quite close. Sandy came out and we had a lovely visit. I'm glad we've gotten past our misunderstanding. She is a very nice and interesting woman. I won't share the things we talked about that are her personal things. Those are hers to choose to share with whomever she wishes, and not mine. But, I had a lovely time. It was very heartwarming. I can't imagine that she would know the depth of how special it was to me. She told me the other day that she is quite comfortable being alone. You know how much I've been struggling with it.
I spent the rest of the day relearning how to play guitar, and reading a book. I did have a little bit of Kimchee chicken soup for dinner. I managed to hang onto it better today than I did yesterday. I just couldn't hang onto the veggies and had urped them up clear until this morning. So far I'd only urped a few tougher pieces. Some time shortly after my visit to the office a dark grey truck with a camper on the back pulled in and took a site down by the public toilet. I actually didn't know they were still there until Rosie and I hiked from gate to gate on the skid road for our evening walk. Rosie acted like she was eager to go through the gate and hike further up the road. It was dusk and I had had a big day. We returned to the RV.
Wednesday Sept. 10, 2014
It was a cold night. There was frost on the picnic tables at the bottom of the hill. Its interesting to note the thermal cline, or layer of cold air mass. I'd been thinking it seemed warmer up here in the trees but hadn't mentioned it in case it was just all around warmer. Now looking at the frost on the tables just 10 feet lower than the ones in the trees, that don't have frost, well it kind of proves it. :-}
We got up a little earlier this morning. My bladder was making protestations. I found I was having kidney problems again. :-(
I'm still struggling with the lonliness. Laying down at night is when its the worst. I don't fall right to sleep. I'm hyper vigilant. I lay there trying to hear the world outside my shell, over the whirring of air purifiers and the heater. The darkness is thick and heavy, broken only by the pinpoint of the tiny green bulb on the carbon monoxide detector hanging above my bed and the faint reflection of the red glow from the electric heater in the galley, off the hallway wall. It takes a few minutes of adjustment before my eyes can even detect that difference in the total darkness. Thats when the lonliness rolls in like a winter breaker on the Oregon coast. Muddy and hard. I'm cut off from my family. Its not just my husband, he's always been focused on something other than me. Its my kids and grandkids. If I had a life of my own, with pursuits and friends that filled my days, the pain wouldn't be so sharp. I'd built that life before TI. I was preparing it so that when my kids set out on their own lives I'd be ready. Only my injuries washed all that away. Now they've all gone on with their lives and I feel cast aside, broken in the gutter. The heartache engulfs me at night and I cry soul wrenching, unbidden tears. They stream down the sides of my face, 3 and 4 from each eye all at once, soaking my hair and my pillow and I can't stop them. My chest hurts so bad I feel as if I might die from the pain. I struggle to push them down, to rationalize my situation, to understand the unreasonableness of my feelings and empthize with their perspective. But the pain continues. Night after night my heart breaks open like a shattered vase. I understand why so many TIs commit suicide. If its not the unending physical torture that we live with, its the unrelenting emotional torment. I do not want my family to have to forfeit their hopes, plans and dreams for me and my emotional needs, and yet the sacrifice costs me dearly. I feel impaled, like someone caught upon the upright bamboo stakes of a pit trap in one of those jungle movies. I cry at night of a broken heart.
Rosie and I went out for another walk. This time we headed up to the gate, passed through and then went left, up the hill along the fence. We were making our way toward the far side of the rock fall that we'd seen on our last big hike. We wandered around up there on all the knobs and met up with our friends the cows several times. I think we spent about an hour hiking around. Of course when we got back to the RV I collected the brush and the scissors and cleaned Rosie up. I had her stand on the picnic table so she was at the right height. I brushed her thoroughly and trimmed her topknot. I been making sure to lift her collar and to brush under there. I don't want any cheat grass to get embedded. This time when I went to do that I noticed what looked like a big glob of pitch smeared under her collar. I asked her how she managed that but she didn't say a word. I figured I'd clean it up real good when we got inside with some enzymes and orange oil soap. We finished trimming up and headed for the RV. When we were in and comfy, with cleaner and towels gathered around us I had her put her head in my lap and I started spraying it down with enzymes. I figured it was going to take awhile. Only it started dissolving right away! It wasn't pitch, it was blood!! I could see there was a very large hole on the side of her neck!! I got the scissors again and carefully trimmed all the hair away from the wound. The hole was bigger around than my finger. I palpated it and applied pressure to see if there was any pus. There wasn't. It still wasn't bleeding much so I squeezed it to get more blood flow, and see if I could get something out. There was some chunky, waxy white stuff along with some black and gray stuff that looked like "whisker stubble." I cleaned all of that out that I could. I didn't have any equipment to probe the wound and I sure don't know what made it. Rosie never really said anything about it. A couple of days ago she yelped when I touched her in that general area. I checked it for cheat grass and even checked her ear. There wasn't anything. My guesses were one of those flies that lay eggs in the flesh of animals (we've had a cow and some sheep get them before), or a cheat grass that I missed, that had burrowed in and ulcerated or she ran into something while we were out. I couldn't identify all the stuff I saw in there (there was a big red brown thing, I didn't want to poke it if it was a blood vessel, butdidn't want to leave it if it was a laeval sack) and I didn't want to leave a cheat grass or another sharp burrowing seed in there either, so I decided to take her to the vet. Either one could get septic or burrow into the artery. First I dripped some Lugols iodine solution in the hole. Then I smeared in a good dollop of waterbased iodine gel. And last I applied a bandaid. I left Rosie in the RV and went down to talk to Sandy. I needed a name and number of a vet. Sandy gave me hers. He was 30 miles away and probably not fragrance free. I'd have to see what we could do. Back to the RV I went and broke camp. Hardman is about 7 miles away. That's the first place I'd be able to get cell signal. I got through to Ron, but lost the call to the vet. I drove another 5 miles to Ruggs. I picked up 3 bars just the other side of Ruggs. I explained Rosies problem, and my issues. Karen, the receptionist and the vet's wife, who told me her daughter had an anaphilactic reaction to water, so she totally gets it and they hardly use anything toxic. I'm guessing it was probably the chemicals the city was using in the water, but I kept my mouth shut. Not the time... I finished the drive down the mountain and into Lexington. I'd told Ron I'd head back up or down depending on how far I had to go to find a safe vet for Rosie.
The Vet's office was in a older doublewide trailer, on the edge of a residential neighborhood. I knew I couldn't go in. Karen was great about helping me decide where the safest place to park and have Rosie seen outside was. Stephan, who must be an intern, came out to assist us. He was great. He was almost entirely fragrance free. He probed the hole, thoroughly and carefully. He couldn't find anything left in it. He said my guesses were what he'd guess. The wound looked clean and to keep treating it how I was treating it. He did tell me it was about 2" deep. Well technically he showed me on his finger, I'm estimating the length he indicated was about 2". I asked for some gauze dressing, and he gave me a wad of packets. He only charged me $20. Cheap for piece of mind. :-) I called Ron and told him I was heading back up. He was on his way to pick up Joey from daycare, then they'd head up to Anson-Wright and picnic with me.
I was not sure how that was going to work, since the daycare lady's place is very fragrant. That means Joey is fragrant. I held my tongue. I know Ron just wants to make sure I see my Joey-boy. I redressed Rosies wound and buckled her back in. I climbed back into the drivers seat and drove back up to the campground. I rehooked up the power, and reset up the coach. Then grabbed a bite of chocolate and a teaspoon of honey. I'd missed lunch. My stomach was too upset to eat much. Rosie was looking a little famished as well so we split a couple slices of cheese. Ron and Joey arrived around 7:00.
I decide to leave Rosie in the RV since I can't bath her with that open wound. I also decided that I'd sacrifice the clothes I was wearing and just wash them and shower after they left. Joey was not happy about being prevented from loving on his Ro-Ro. And he too excited to eat. Ron on the otherhand was ravenous. He ate, I chased Joey around, lifting him up to look in the windows to talk to Rosie, and playing "Daniel Tigers Neighborhood" on the RV step and coach door. It got dark pretty quick and Joey was tired and grouchy. Ron handed off some groceries and loaded Joey-boy up in his carseat. I reminded him to take his time and watch out for deer on the road. We'd both found them thick as flies on a cow's face on our way up this evening all ready. They left and I came in, threw all the clothes I was wearing in the tub with soap, jumped in on top and showered and stomped laundry. When I felt clean I got out and drained the laundry wash water. In fresh clothes I did the rinse. I'm waiting for them to drip out enough I can move them to hang in the galley. I'll have to refill the fresh water tomorrow and re-empty the grey water. Sigh. Its going to be a late night.
Thursday Sept. 11, 2014
It was a rough night! A very rough night. I had to get up twice to run protocols, and was still up at 5:30. It felt like someone had buried a hatchet in my skull. The pain behind my eyes was so intense I couldn't see. Some time after 8:00 I managed to pass out. When I came too just before 10:00, I'd improved to "just barely see." I felt so bad I didn't want to get up. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to drive and get out of there today. I did some more protocols and figured I'd try to do the water and see how it goes.
It was definitely slow going. I changed Rosie's dressing and packed up for departure. We were finally ready around 12:30 p.m.. It was a long cautious drive back down the mountain. We headed for LGW Ranch where we'll meet up with Ron and head out again to try to get in some fly fishing.