Culinary baptism by fire…


Gunsmoke

Marshal Dillon kept the peace.

We picked up one more straggler for the trek into the Bridger: Ellen.  Her ticket is already in hand and there’s no disguising how much I look forward to her joining our little band of hikers.   She’ll be a good addition although she’s already reminded me yet again that she doesn’t eat red meat (like we were going to tote steaks around) and she’s about to get a culinary baptism by fire with camp cooking.  She also professes to not like fish, but if she’s hungry enough, she’ll warm up to roasted trout sprinkled with lemon pepper soon enough.  Assuming we catch any.

————–

June 27, 2011

Ellen/Reid: What is worth looking forward to this week is a short Friday.  My boys Tom, Mike and Todd are planning a grudge match at some local course on Friday afternoon.  They all have high pressure 24/7 jobs at the bank and they are really looking forward to getting the three day weekend off with a bang.  Of course, it will be at my expense since those thieves demand strokes.  Not that your inheritance is at risk but I’ll need to keep my hands on my wallet at all times.  It is near criminal.

Got a pretty clean bill of health from my four month checkup on Wednesday.  The doctor is on one hand a no-nonsense guy in that it is all about data/results, but he shows his softer side, too from time to time.  I go back in September and that will be the real litmus test.  He took me off guard by saying that everything has yet to heal fully and by September it should be all buttoned up, so to speak.   His assistant paints something of another picture.  There’s this troublesome diverticulum (kind of a large balloon or bulge) on the bladder which creates what is essentially an unintended reservoir.  That’s why things don’t empty as they should.  The thinking of the assistant is that this creates a long-term set of problems (infections, etc.) if not corrected.  It doesn’t have to be right now but it’s a strong point of consideration.  Not real invasive surgery, but they go in and cut out this protrusion and sew the hole in the bladder shut.  It would put me down for up to two weeks with another 30 with “no lifting or straining.”  Literally, we were talking a January timeframe (so as to miss the least amount of golf and riding) when the doctor came in.  He immediately nixed those plans.  His reasoning is since I feel good and all the numbers point to things being mostly okay, he doesn’t want to operate in the absence of symptoms.  He reserved the right to change his mind when the September results are in.  I’m not opposed to the knife although he cautioned that every surgery has its risks.  So we’ll see.  But I feel good as of this writing.

Felicia came through her melanoma surgery in fine shape.  Basically, they carved out a chunk of her left calf and sewed it up nice and snug.  The assumption is they send the tissue to pathology to check it out, and no word so far on the results.  She was hobbling around like Festus on Gunsmoke and I had to ride her about just taking things easy for a while.  If it were me, I would’ve milked her nursing for everything I could get.  But she’s headstrong and she was doing it her way.  There are no stitches per se.  They glued the wound (can you really glue human skin?) and then did some other kind of non-stitch thingies and kept it together.  It will be interesting to see how it all looks once the bandage is removed and the non-stitch thingies go away.  It’s good they moved up the surgery a week or so because that gives her more time to heal before we head to the Bridger.

Enough health morbidity.  Apparently they no longer manufacture the tent pegs I want.  That, or people simply buy them out.  I’ve been to REI and another couple of stores more than once and everyone is flat out of good tent pegs.  This weekend we resolve to fire up the MSR stove and fumble our way around erecting the Mountain Hardware tent so we’ll know what we’re doing when the time comes.  I’ve put up a tent in heavy, wet snowfall before and it’s no fun and that’s no time to figure out how to erect a tent for the first time.  The menu is beginning to take shape although I am all ears when it comes to innovative breakfasts as long as it does not involve freeze dried food.  No doubt it will be the traditional instant oatmeal and whatever additives come to mind.  I just hope the weather is decent and we can have fires.  People are relatively outraged that there will be no smores or other fresh foods available.  What keeps coming to mind for me is: bears.

Well, off to the races (as in rat races).  Be good, stay cool and have fun.

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