Sunday, August 29, 2010

Despair, Hope

Someone said to my teacher, “I want to kill myself in despair over the suffering.” And I thought…

Dan, I want to lift you up in rejoicing over suffering ended
, diminished, and accompanied in your ~60 years of mercy and my ~40 years of trying and if both of us fall over dead today, we know that younger people are moving up to the line and we’ll get past a 100 years of mercy one way or another. A 100 years, a 1,000 years, we’ll hold the line.

I was talking last week with someone who works emergency about working in emergency and how it’s possible to take (literally) just a moment or not even that, just in the way you be, to be nice; to bring some confidence and comfort to people at the edge of existence – and people going beyond that. You don't have to go anywhere to be a missionary. I was thinking about 10 or 12 years ago when I was in a room with a man in his 70s and his wife, also in her 70s who was dying and I noticed her breast was exposed in all the action and I reached over and covered her and her husband said, “It’s okay.”

My beloved wife

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Links, a little freer, working out, food

Two new links, two new trips: Blog removed (Chris in the Marines in Afghanistan) and The Way Life Should Be (Mandela with the Jesuits in Maine).

Yesterday I realized that I was enmeshed in a political internet forum and that the ugliness was bad for me. The way it works is people will post on a topic and often the more conservative posters will then be attacked in personal and vicious terms by "progressives." And the thing is, the political forum is on a backpacking site so naturally I’d be going there. And I would think, I’ll just have a look at what’s being discussed on the political forum, and there I’d be. So I took it all out of favorites. I feel better already. Photo: Behind the refugee agency with some Karen people.

Today I rode home from the lake via Loving Street, which has the steepest hill. Oh man, what a grind! The first time I did it, I started to walk across Gaston (big, busy road) when I got to the top and realized my legs weren’t working very well at all and I couldn’t really turn around, so Mr. Rubber Legs was shaky-walking across Gaston. Time today: 1.15.

Last week I was lying in bed, thinking that it had been a long time since that same morning when Jun and I rode around White Rock and that maybe I’d work out tomorrow and then, come on, I need to take several days off each week and so okay, but the point is, when was the last time I wanted to exercise? Never in my life. Yet here I am, looking forward to the next 14 mile ride and especially the last hills. The schedule I mentioned in the last post remains the same:

Sunday – Ride home to around White Rock and back
Monday – Gym (at 35 minutes now)
Tuesday – Ride
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Gym
Friday – Gym
Saturday – Rest

And here I am, plotting and scheming to increase protein intake and learning lots of new good things about nutrition. Photo: Waiting for the clinic to open.

Started tonight getting food together for Colorado. It looks like this:
Breakfast: Freeze-dried eggs with cheese and bread (crostini-type toasts) alternating with oatmeal, fruit, and milk. Coffee and/or hot chocolate. I’m working on a protein drink – something like dried milk + protein powder (whey) + water chilled in snow. We’ll see how the test kitchen does (at least 50-50 chance of blech, I think).
Lunch: Granola or granola bars & candy bars for snacks
Dinner: Chili, burger, pasta, chips, cheese; Chipotle chicken, green beans, bread; Mashed potatoes, bacon, cheese, bread; Tom kha with chicken and rice; Spaghetti, pasta, burger, cheese, bread;

I’ll have this on the first (solo) part (Ute Creek Semi-Loop) and repeat it when DK and I are on the Elk Park/Chicago Basin shuttle loop.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Summer, Plans, Beautiful Things

DK left two days ago for Chicago first, then Berkeley for his last year of law school. It was a good summer with him here; a significant change from two people to three in our medium-size cottage; and the only thing I would change would be for him to be around more. From his blog: “Today I leave Texas, and I don’t yet know when I’ll be back. I had an unbelievably great time this summer. I could not ask for more.”

The plan as it stands is to head back to Colorado next month. Current thinking is for me to start with the Ute Creek semi-loop, a 25 mile lollipop loop in the Weminuche Wilderness. I’m giving myself a few extra days on the trail to go slow and acclimate and hoping I don’t go too slow so I get a few days in Fort Collins (the town of my dreams). Then I’ll meet David in Denver and we’ll go back to the Weminuche to hike the Elk Park/Chicago Basin shuttle loop. We’ll catch the train from Durango and get off at the start of the hike, hike a 40 mile loop, and then catch the train back to Durango. We’ll go back to Denver, he’ll fly to Berkeley and I’ll drive back to Dallas.

My inability to get up the hill in New Mexico with Jim Z was a major wake-up call. Shortly after returning home I joined the Lakewood Gym and have been working out five days/week since then. Last week I biked around White Rock Lake Sunday and Tuesday (14 miles each time and the hard part is the hills on the way home) and worked out at the gym three days. This seems like an excellent schedule that addresses cardio and legs with some upper body as well. I’m pretty excited about it all – glad that I’m getting it done kind of like cardiac rehab before an MI. I’ll have 7 weeks to get to an improved condition.

Along with the same theme of health, or something like that, a week ago I bought a Cuisinart ice cream maker for $5 at a garage sale. The test case was basic chocolate ice cream and it’s grrrreat. Since I started baking, especially around the holidays, I’ve been thinking it would be a good idea to be able to make some primo vanilla ice cream to go with certain pies or some dark chocolate ice cream or fresh peach ice cream – so many possibilities, like mixing in chocolate covered peanuts, other things from bulk... The next test will be to make that primo vanilla, the one with 1.5 cups milk, 1.5 cups cream, a vanilla bean, 2 eggs and 3 egg yolks, and some sugar. ¡¡Ay Caramba!!

And now to the photos. In the top photo there's more beauty here than is first seen. Lupe’s daughter, obviously, and her hair(!) - and also that she's planning to cut her hair and give it to an organization that makes wigs for people with cancer. And there's the man in the photo, Alan, the dermatologist who gives several days each month to the poor – he’s beautiful. And the room they’re in, the derm room, started by Carrie K when she was a resident and still going years later while Carrie’s gone on to teach at UPenn – the room is beautiful (not to mention Carrie!) and then there was Kelly (in the photo here), who worked in the derm room for three years and who passed on at such a young age. That was one of the saddest things - and she was beautiful.