Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Big Fall, Part 8

It's been almost seven weeks since I broke my ankle when my horse, Scout, spooked at the neighbors' pack of dogs, while we were out riding, and reared over backwards on me. Last week, I was able to trade in my wheelchair for a boot because now, although I still can't put weight on my foot, I can use it for balance. This coming Thursday, I go back to the doctor who will (hopefully) tell me that my leg is healing and I can begin walking. The underside of my foot is still all black and blue bruises and very uncomfortable. Every day, when I get home from work, I take off the boot, and surgical (support) stocking and massage my leg and foot. I peel off dead skin and rub in lotion. I am amazed at how much my skin is peeling away! I've been trying to bend my ankle back and forth in preparation for the physical therapy that is supposed to begin on Friday but my ankle is still extremely swollen and won't hardly bend.

Here are some photos of my sic looking foot. Notice how skinny my calf is now? The outside of my ankle is at least as big.

I have learned to go around without crutches for short distances by hopping on one foot. It's amazing how necessity really is the mother of invention. I use a small backpack as a purse and I've learned how to balance a 32 ounce soda cup in my hand holding the crutch below the hand grips although I can't manage a full cup of coffee too well. I don't trust myself to carry cups too far, either. Sometimes, I can even move my crutches with no hands just by balancing with them under my arms. This only works for a step or two but it sure helps when I'm working in the kitchen and I've got hands that need to be washed. It's amazing to me how tired I am all the time though. Just going from my car to my desk at work wears me out. Trying to manuever doors that don't automatically open is a master feat to me nowadays. 

Also, I hobbled out to see the alpacas this past weekend. My son set up a chair in their pen for me to sit on. He then put out some hay for them, at my feet. I sat and hand fed them for some time. I was able to touch Thelma's topknot a few times but they are both very, very timid. I can see it's going to take some time to halter train them but I am very hopeful. They stay within ten feet of me even without food bribes and they do come over to see if I have any food. They are curious about my crutches too. I really, really need to get them sheared. I've been calling a guy who shears, if only he would call me back...

Then, I made the additional journey over to the horses. Yalla! and Annie stood with me and nuzzled. Scout would have come over to me too except that Annie gave him a full on kick to his flanks. Bad Annie! Nadia is not in with the other three very often anymore so that she doesn't get bullied like poor Scout. I visited her for a while too. I can't wait to get out there and really begin working with them and feeding them properly again. My son, Trevor, is the primary feeder and chore doer around the house and gets lazy about feeding mashes and extra grain to the horses. Plus, the grass hay is not such good quality right now. There are a lot of weeds mixed in. And, although it is recommended to feed grass hay to horses, my horses seem to do better on alfalfa or alfalfa/grass.

I'm wondering if Yalla! is wormy because she looks pot bellied and ribby to me. Her birthday is coming up and she still looks little and gangly, not like a two year old. The horses are overdue for their vet visit because I've been waiting until I can tend them. However, fortunately, I'm not taking them anywhere to be exposed to other horses.

Soon, soon, I'll be walking on my own two feet and everything will be back to normal for me, I hope!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Stills (05/29/11 Weeds and Grasses)

Well, I wanted to take a picture of some of the weed at the U2 concert but it all went up in smoke. Lol, I ended up stepping outside my front door to my little garden that is all overgrown because I can't get down to clean it up yet.

For more Sunday Stills, please visit here.

Ground Control to Major Tom

That's right! U2 came on stage while David Bowie was singing Ground Control to Major Tom (of course- there has to be a Bowie reference, right?) It felt like heaven right then. We were treated to the Wave several times around the stadium. The place absolutely thundered from all the noise!

Here's a panorama shot of the full stadium.
The LED screens were great assets. Some of the following photos were close ups from my camera and some were of the screens. Can you tell which is which?

They opened with Even Better Than the Real Thing.
 Mysterious Ways was quite possibly the highlight of the show. The graphics were exceptional.

 I like this shot. It shows the fan reaching out to Bono and you can see the actual band down below the video screens.
 I didn't record this video but here is a sample of the evening.

The video screens opened up and dropped down during one part of the show. Very cool effects.
Here's a better view of the screens while they're dropped down.
 Part of the show, Bono gave a speech about Amnesty International and people walked out and around the stage with these decorated lanterns.
 I took advantage of some extra lighting during one of the songs to capture the crowds. Full house- I'd say.

Bono explained that he's better than ever since his back surgery one year ago today; now he's Bono 2.0!

 Here's a few pictures of The Edge on lead guitar.
 Until the End of the World was dedicated to Harold Camping because May 21st was supposed to be just that- the Day of Rapture. It was for us U2 fans.

Part of the time, Bono wore a harness and swung out over the crowd.
They sang lots of hits: Sunday Bloody Sunday, Elevation, Vertigo, Streets with No Name, One Love, Beautiful Day, and lesser known gems: Zooropa and Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me. This was part of the encore (again, not my video):

The concert outro music was a flipside of Bowie's Space Oddity; Rocket Man was sung by Elton John. It made me rather sad, thinking that this might be the first and last time to see the greatest touring band in the world.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

U2 road trip, part 2

We decided to take the light rail train to Invesco Field because, with 70,000 attendees, parking was going to be far away and expensive ($30), even using my handicap pass. Ray suggested it and amazingly, the hotel we were staying at was just across the street from one of the light rail stops.

We pulled the wheelchair out of the car, dressed warm against the cold, windy weather, packed a few blankets, and headed out. Ray was a wonderful, chivalrous gentleman and pushed me all the way.
Here's the ticket machine for the light rail. It cost us $4.50 each, round trip.

There was even an elevator available to get to the train platform.
We hoped to beat the crowds but it was really busy on our train. The attendant at the station after the concert told us he'd heard at least 10 different languages spoken by concert going passengers.

There were great accomodations for handicapped passengers and I saw several other handicapped people using the light rail.

It seemed like everyone got off at Lincoln Station, the stop for Invesco Field, the Broncos Stadium. Then we had a mile "Sports" walk from the train stop to the stadium. I was glad I was being pushed in the wheelchair.
You can see the stadium in the distance. We actually had to cross several train tracks

go under this overpass

and cross the Platte River. If you didn't know where to go, you could just follow the crowds.

And there it is at last, Invesco Field- the Mile High Stadium!

This is why I love Denver. Just look at the horse statues!

We got to the stadium pretty early. So did a lot of other folks! If you look to the very top left of the signboards you can see section 513. That is where I bought the tickets for originally. The big contraption on the field is the "Claw" which is part of the 360 Tour.
Here's where we got to sit. You can see how bundled up I am; it was cold!

And here's my boot. I was actually able to sit with my leg raised and through the rail a bit without bothering anyone. And, when the row in front stood up, we could see fine because they were several feet below us.
Here's Lynne, my SIL and Ray, her friend.

The Fray opened for U2. This photo gives you more of a feel for the set up of the stage. The VIPs walked in to the inner circle down below us which is why it seems so empty. There is a ramp that circles the stage and two bridges that moved all around so the band members could walk in a full circle. The large video screens went all the way around and gave everyone great close ups of the bands. I believe there were 17,000 video screens all hooked together.
I thought this couple was cute. She's sitting on his lap. But gosh, her feet must have been cold!
Here's some more close ups of The Fray.

Here they are leaving the stage after their performance. I was really impressed with the great sound. I believe they are a local band from up around Boulder.
Then it was time for them to set up the stage for U2. We were treated to a revolving display of statistics for a while.
Check out all the babies born to crew! Remember this tour was postponed for a year during the middle because Bono hurt his back and had to have surgery. It's been going on two years, at least. This night was the first anniversary of his back surgery in Germany where the doctors removed bits of bone from his spine. Bono said he now had Made in Germany stamped on his butt. lol.
Here is a short video to show how fast some of the numbers were changing. The sound is terrible through my camera though.
Some other statistics were:
Number of US presidents without siblings: zero
$ spent on illegal drugs: billion something
# of songs U2 have performed on tour: 51
Tweets and texts today: millions and counting
Occupancy at Invesco Field tonight: continuously tallying 67,xxx. I don't know the final count.
Video panels in the 360 tour: 17 thousand something
We couldn't figure out the city and numbers. Any ideas? We thought latitude or longitude but it changes.

Next up- U2 takes the stage!

Friday, May 27, 2011

U2 road trip

So, after finding out that NATACHA GILLIS is a dishonest person and having to buy new tickets for the U2 concert (fortunately there were some still available), we decided to spend the day sightseeing. We drove out to Central City for a breakfast of country fried steak and eggs at one of the casinos my sister-in-law's friend works for- Johnny Zs.

Here are some photos on the way up to and around the old mining/new casino town of Central City.

Click on photos to enlarge.

Then, we drove over to the Red Rocks Amphitheater where U2 performed their landmark concert performance of Sunday Bloody Sunday in June 1983 which they recorded and made them legends of rock and roll.

The clouds, blue skies, and red rocks were spectacular. The next picture is a camera "oops" but I kind of like it of the clouds reflected in the car windshield.
Here's a model of the amphitheater. There is also a gift shop and a Music Hall of Legends for viewing.
During the day, the amphitheater and the surrounding parklands are available for recreational use and boy, are they used! Plus, there are no parking or day use fees.  Here is a zoom-in photo of downtown Denver.
Unfortunately, I was in no shape to work out, hobbling around on my crutches.

And here's the classis U2 video with a little intro. Enjoy!