Today marks the 13th day since my surgery, and a day-and-a-half since I stopped taking pain meds. I’m officially onto a simple diet of Advil, plus the regular steroids and anti-seizure meds required for the next few weeks. What a relief to finally begin feeling normal again. All things considered, I think I’ve been pretty busy over the past few weeks. For some reason the steroids make me hungrier than I’ve ever been- which has resulted in some serious over eating (at some good local restaurants, no less).
Sometime in the next day Inga and I will be adopting Tess, an 18 month old Catahoula Leopard Hound, who was surrendered to a shelter by her owner. In preparation for this I’ve been reading all sorts of books on positive reinforcement training and behavioral psychology of dogs, namely The Dog Listener, by Jane Fennell (thanks Sue Palmer); Don’t Shoot the Dog!, by Karen Pryor; and How Dogs Think, by Stanley Cohen (thanks David Ehrenfeld).
During the first week being home we had an explosion of mushrooms around the forest, so with the help of our friend Jay Kelly, I became hooked on the fungus among us. To that end I’ve been trying to key out the local fungal community using the National Audubon guide to North American Mushrooms, The Mushroom Hunter’s Field Guide, and Mushrooms Demystified. This has proven much more difficult than I imagined. Part of the problem, I think, is my lack of smelling ability, making it impossible to use smell (or even taste) as a helpful clue (I know, I shouldn’t be tasting strange mushrooms).
In between reading, sleeping, photographing and keying out mushrooms, I’ve been practicing my Deering Goodtime 2 5-string banjo. So far I’ve only mastered the first bit of Boil Them Cabbage Down, but I’m planning on focusing more of my attention on this in the coming weeks. Inga is on her way to becoming the next big fiddle player, so by our wedding this May we hope to be a bonafide bluegrass duo.
I want to send out a special thanks to all the folks who have emailed, called, or commented on this site or my flickr photos. The power of the ‘group’ is often underestimated, but I wholeheartedly believe that the extended support has helped me immensely through my recovery. You’re all wonderful, caring people with so much to offer. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, to the top of my head.
…now I need to call the doctor and see how long before I can drink a beer…I’ve been saving a few special ones since before the surgery.