Sunday, June 15, 2008

Some serious hammock time`

Is it hot where you are today? Or perhaps you are in Australia or South Africa or South America, and it is early winter?

This afternoon, for an hour and a half, I laid in my hammock on the hill behind our house. Strung between a cluster of oaks and a sturdy pine tree, it is positioned parallel to our house and therefore, parallel to our view.

I love the view from the hammock, where I can see towering pines marching down nearby slopes and beyond, a wide open dry, valley stretching toward the Columbia Hills I can see in the far distance. There's a lot of haying going on in the valley now, we see the tractors and swathers heading down our road toward their job in the broad valley.

The hammock swings just a little bit, from my weight and the breezes in the trees. I brought with me a blanket and I'm wearing a flannel jacket. Still, I am slightly shivering within. The little blanket helps a lot as I read chapter after chapter of my latest read, a thriller called "WhiteOut" which I picked up yesterday at the General Store in town, on their used book shelf.

My legs are incredibly painful, and my feet. I took a Percocet before heading out, but it took a very long time for the edge to go off the pain. They still hurt now, but at least, the edge is off.

My calves are the worst. So painful. This is spinal cord stuff, linked to the Tethered Cord surgery...or maybe it's all due to the upper Cspine problems, because I have read that if you injure yourself high enough up in the Cspine, you can have symptoms in all four extremities.

My new little dog Mickey lies on the ground beside me. Occasionally, I put my bare foot down onto the oak-leaf covered earth and feel the sun soaking into the ground. A faint whiff of a skunk floats by on a breeze that comes from the south, so I think about our neighbor and his reported skunk problems. Something we haven't had at all yet. Neighbor admits he keeps dry dog food outside on the porch in a container. That must be the difference. We don't.

I had made up my mind yesterday morning to get rid of Mickey. He's been too much of a big, heavy puppy for disabled folks. And yesterday he got up onto the guest bed and in five minutes, destroyed the sheets to shreds in happy abandon. That had been the straw...I emailed the lady at the rescue who had placed him with us.

When we stopped at a yard sale yesterday a mile from our house, the people had signs in the driveway showing they are Dachshund fans. I asked them if they'd like to buy Mickey. They took my number down and sounded interested.

Then, last night while playing outside, Mickey must have gotten stung by a bee or something. I didn't hear him yelp, but he's been on three legs since then. He's a very courageous dog.

And he has done something that has changed my mind about giving him away. He has not relented in wanting to stay with me, no matter what room I am in, or where I am at in the yard. On 3 legs, I'd expect him to keep sleeping wherever he was comfortable. But he does not, he sticks by my side.

I've decided to keep trying with him. And he isn't in any it seems.

Finishing a chapter in my book and finally tiring of shivering, I get up and head down the little hill to our house. My feet and legs are SO painful, so weak. As I pass the thermometer on the side of the house next to the door heading inside, I notice the temperature: 110 degrees in the sun. It's probably about 80 in the shade.

Temperature regulation is controlled by the brainstem. I've been having trouble with these chills now for about the last month. It's a new symptom. It isn't a quick, little goose-flesh chill that passes momentarily. It lasts for hours.

How I love the hammock and our yard! Life is lovely and our Creator is so good!
Happy Father's Day to all the fathers reading this. Some of you might not be a biological father, but you are fathering children anyway. This includes special wishes for you.

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