Go and Sing to the Moon

Random picture (Castle Gardens Petroglyph Site, Wyoming) to match the complete randomness to follow.

I finally broke down and purchased a fracture boot. I reinjured the stress fractures when I was cleaning the bathroom. FYI, it’s not a terribly bright idea to stand on your tiptoes with cracks in your metatarsals. The boot is cumbersome, but I can walk without canes now, and I’ve been able to start making dinner again, which I’m very excited about. Take-out here is basically burgers or pizza or pizza or pizza. I am not someone who enjoys the same flavors over and over again, and we’ve had to have take-out since I first injured my legs back in March. Now we’re back to dinners of Peruvian shrimp with rice and kale, spelt spaghetti with anchovies and olives, emu stew, pad kee mao, and smoked salmon with rainbow chard.

The ranch behind our home was sold to the man who was using the property for his cattle. Sadly, that means Pickwick has moved away with the previous owner. He was spending most of his time in her home these days anyway, so we rarely saw him. I’ll miss him. I won’t so much miss being bitten. Should that ever change there’s always Muggabee, who still hisses at me, as well as the cat we’ve named Foosball, because he’s “the debbil” and picks on Muggabee.

The new owner has brought chickens. We wanted to turn our shed into a coop two years ago, but we need the storage for the tools we purchased to fix up the shed and make it into a coop. He’s already given us one and a half dozen fresh eggs. They’re a beautiful variety of sizes and colors. I’ll take a picture tomorrow if you remind me to charge my camera battery. Nevermind, we’ve eaten them since I began writing this post almost a week ago. They were delicious, by the way. The chickens have already made their way into our pasture and yard. They’ll be a great help with the earwigs and grasshoppers. The dogs have mostly ignored them, though Wicket did herd them back onto their side of the fence one morning. It was interesting to watch, but I’m not sure the chickens would agree.

Wildfire season has been rough this year. Over one million acres of Montana has burned. Not only are the fires here bringing horrendous amounts of smoke to the entire state, we’re getting smoke from fires farther west as well. It’s been hard breathing recently, though the poor folks deep in the mountains have it far worse, and I can’t complain about a bit of bad air when others have lost much more than the ability to open windows. If I could rain dance right now, I would.

If you’d like to donate to the fire relief, you can check out a couple links below. You can also do some searching of your own, but be wary of anything coming from a suspicious source.

đź’“ Seeley Lake / Rice Ridge Fire Fund
đź’“ Lolo Peak Fire Fund
đź’“ Garfield County Fire Foundation Relief Fund

Title From:
Sing To The Mountain
by Elephant Revival

Down a Dusty Road

A post shared by Rebma Belanger (@suzzerpuss) on

Before we go out, which is not very often these days with all my injuries, I will pee ninety-seven times. At least I’ll try to pee ninety-seven times. I’ll pee like a normal person, wash my hands, and then a niggling thought will enter the back of my mind, “How much pee did I just make while washing my hands? Could I pee again?” The next thing I know I’ve spent fifteen minutes peeing four drops, and Brian is sending me messages from the truck like, “I’m running out of gas waiting for you, what are you doing in there?”

This is probably not normal, but I can’t help it, and I doubt I’ll ever stop doing it. I began this odd habit when we moved to Montana because Montana doesn’t have bathrooms. If you’re on the interstate or a more substantial road, you’ll have rest stops and gas stations available, but if you’re on a back road? You’re peeing on the side of that road.

While it’s true you can go for long periods of time without coming across another vehicle here, it’s inevitable that as soon as you have to pee, someone will either appear behind you or a steady spaced-out stream of trucks, it’s almost always trucks, will start coming from the opposite direction. Also, anywhere east of Bozeman is pretty wide open, there aren’t a lot of trees, so you’d be exposed during your exposure. So, I try to pee ninety-seven times.

It seems my current injury, which has now also led to my foot feeling broken, possibly with microfractures from the stress of not using my thigh for so long, has triggered the same pee habit. Every time I make it all the way to the bathroom, which is honestly at least four miles away from the living room, I spend up to fifteen minutes trying to pee everything I can pee, so I won’t have to make the trek again for a while. Of course, the bathroom in our bedroom is only five steps from the bed, and I do it there as well, so maybe I’m just lazy about getting up to pee, regardless of where I am in the house.

Note: Technically, the picture here is from Wyoming, but I had to include it because of the Dusty Road song!

Title From:
Dusty Road
by Dave Stamey

Though the Ground Might Shake

A couple nights ago, not long past midnight, we were sitting on the couch watching something on the television. My leg has been getting worse, so I’ve removed two of the three back cushions to use for elevating my injured parts, and have taken to hogging the majority of the couch. Brian is relegated to less than one whole cushion. I was cleaning my glasses because my eyelashes are too long and they tend to transfer my moisturizing cream onto the lenses in blurry streaks. I can’t see anything without them, so when the couch started swaying, I thought Brian was adjusting in his tiny cubby of a seat.

As a kid, I used to lay in bed and imagine monsters. I do not know why but imagining monsters all around my home made me feel safe. I guess my weirdness started early. One of the things I would imagine was that my bed was stranded in the middle of the ocean and was floating amongst enormous sharks and other unknown creatures of the deep. The only way I could be safe was to keep on top of the mattress. I would imagine the waves gently rolling the bed, and I would fall asleep to that feeling.

That’s what the sofa felt like. Swaying on the ocean on a magical floating mattress. It was smooth and rhythmic. With my glasses back on I could see that Brian wasn’t dramatically adjusting. So there was only one thing it could have been, and ten minutes later the headline of “Magnitude 5.8 earthquake 48 km from Helena Valley West Central, Montana” popped up. We were feeling the tremors.

It was the first time Brian ever experienced one. I had one previous experience in Pennsylvania. I had been sitting on a tiny recliner in my grandparents’ trailer when suddenly I was vibrating. I turned to my (grandpa) Pappy, who had been talking to his friend Jerry in the kitchen, and asked, “What was that?!” He nonchalantly replied, “Probably a truck going down the road.” Turns out it wasn’t a truck after all. It was a 4.6 earthquake.

Title From:
Fly
by Maddie & Tae

Paint the Breeze

I’m still on the couch. Two weeks ago, while I was sleeping in bed, I pulled my right leg up by my side and felt a little pain in my thigh. Other than a quick thought of, “Oh great, another place to hurt,” and a readjusting of my position, it didn’t cause much of an issue. Later that same evening I was trying to propel myself out of this awful piece of furniture, and just as I stood straight, I involuntarily screamed and went down to the couch again. I had torn whatever muscle runs the entirety of your inner thigh. I could probably look up the proper name, but why? According to the internet, because I do not go to the doctor unless I’m seriously hurt, it was a Grade 2 tear, which requires 3-6 weeks recovery. Two down, four to go.

Guess what happened next? I was walking with great difficulty, using my Wizard’s Staff walking stick that I picked up on our hike up the mountain behind our cabin in Connecticut on the way to the Appalachian Trail. Off topic, we heard what sounded exactly like the howling of a wolf up there. It was quite unsettling. Anyway, because of the odd walking and stress being put on other parts to compensate for the torn thigh muscles, I hurt my lower leg. I suspect shin splints and some other injury that’s resulted in a massive bruise and swelling.

So now it’s compression socks, ice, and painful elevation, which pulls at my thigh muscle quite uncomfortably. I haven’t seen any improvement in my lower leg, but as it doesn’t show signs of falling off, I’m sure it’ll get better eventually.

Look at this brilliant transition into another topic.

The 4th of July is quickly approaching. I can hear the pop of fireworks in the distance tonight. The 4th used to be my favorite holiday, but I’m far too afraid of celebrating here. Spring was amazing, with more rain than I’ve seen in the last three years. The grass stayed green for so much longer than usual. However, it’s dead now. We have fire danger signs all over the place here, which look like this. I’ve never seen them below moderate, and I’ve rarely seen them below high. I get nervous when Brian grills, and the little sparks start drifting off. I can’t even imagine setting off a firework. Fortunately for whoever is setting them off tonight, our county doesn’t have any fire restrictions at the moment.

While I’m far too fearful of burning Montana down, I’m thankful others aren’t as concerned, so it’s still possible to see some explosions of color. My favorite part is when they’ve set off so many that each new one illuminates the smoke in the sky. It’s just a shame I can’t see anything from the couch.

Title From:
This Is My Country
by Tennessee Ernie Ford

On Wobbly Knees

Well, that was fun.

Not long after my birthday, back in March, I woke up from having fallen asleep on the couch unable to walk properly. It started with a tightness in both my calves which felt as if I had run a marathon on my tip-toes. Then, because I was hobbling around, my knee started to hurt. Then, because I was hobbling even worse with my new injury, my right hip started to hurt. When the pain hit my hip I was no longer able to walk without crutches. It took months for things to improve. Right now I have a renewed hip pain because I’ve been walking slightly off because my calf is hurt again. I don’t know what is going on, but I’ve really had quite enough.

I’ve tried resting, spending way too many hours on the couch watching YouTube videos of people falling down. I’ve tried forcing myself to walk properly, regardless of the pain. Now I’m going to try working out on the elliptical. I won’t be vigorously trying to conquer the mountain program, but I’ve got to do something. I’m bored with sitting around. Reminder: I need to recharge my Fitbit since there’s really no point in exercising if you can’t count your steps.

Because I was unable to stand for any prolonged length of time, we’ve had pretty much nothing but take-out since March. Working out a little will definitely be a benefit, even if it doesn’t necessarily get rid of this traveling pain. Full disclosure, I’m writing this while Brian is out picking up our pizza and beer for this evening. Don’t judge.

In other news, the weather here has been amazing. We’re still occasionally getting rain, the river is flooding, and the grass remains a beautiful green. Temperatures have been perfect. Today was 76°F, I believe. Nights are still cold enough to warrant use of the heater; tonight will drop to 47°F. Although, it doesn’t matter that two Mondays from now is forecast to be 90°F because we bought a new air conditioner, which keeps the whole place chilly even on the hottest days. It’s the first time we’ve had truly comfortable, even a little too cold at times, temperatures in the house during summer here. In fact, I think it’s the first time we’ve had truly comfortable temperatures during any summer since we had central air in our house back in Iowa City, Iowa, in 2011.

Pickwick may be leaving us. He’s been loved by the owner of the ranch behind our property. She’s taken him in for the winters, and now he doesn’t want to go outside much. She’ll be moving soon, and he may go with her. She offered him to us, but Levee would definitely kill him. She calls him Billy Bob.

There is another new cat around though – one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen. It has a very Siamese look about its face and body, but its tail is dark and striped like a tabby. However, it runs when I speak to it, and after the years of fussing with Muggabee, I don’t feel like dealing with another skittish animal. Of course, I’ll still put out the food. Someone has to feed the neighborhood.

Title From:
Run For The Roses
by Michael Martin Murphey