Monday, July 21, 2014

Visits, Letter, Phone Calls & Texts: Thanks!

 
Thanks for the visits, amigasas!
 
The other day I had my comrades in crime come for a visit. Well, the ones from growing up. Which meant we got into trouble, got out of trouble, and now have children who basically are bound to be trouble.
 
What a nice visit! Thank you for cramming me into your hectic schedule. Most of the pals came from out of town and had family to take care of and vist. One even drove from Colarado, in a car with all her kids without air conditioning. She wins an award for enduring that to come back to I.F.
 
I can't get the letters out to ya, but thanks. And speaking of letter, I even recieved snail mail. And text messages. Thank you. I know it's hard. I can't believe I was that nervous to meet up with my childhood friends, but when your body changes into a potato, well, you are worried.
 
But then we started talking, and the fact I hadn't tweezed my eye brows, didn't matter! I've started keeping a pair out in my car it's gotten that bad.
 
Due to circumstances I hope that you can accept a "blanket thanks." ! I hope that you read this. I appreciate all the communications  and hope for the best for each of you. I have loved the long conversations while the kids have been to scout camp, those just checking in, and seeing friends I haven't seen outside of the Christmas pictures each year! It's been a good month. 
 
Speaking of blankets.....(here is my segue to blogging)
 
- I now have one that reminds me of a Great Aunt's polyester quilt. I enjoy changing things up as the seasons come and go, (that's why the bed is unmade in the picture above. ) but this particluar one is making me feel a bit outdated. I don't know why. Maybe the reason old people appreciated polyester is because it lasts a long time. My other quilts are showing wear and tear despiter the dry cleaning, etc.
 
Does anyone else have something go wrong at the dry cleaner's?  You take something very valuable and delicate and you get it back only to find a tear in your collectible quilt. Ah! That's why I took it in the first place.  It isn't made out of polyester and that is probably why. 
 
Oh, well.
 
 The lan line is ringing and Padre is texting me from his chair upstairs....
 
Him: "Who is it?" (calling on the phone)
 
Me: "It' just a 'Toll Free' call." I tell him after getting up and looking at the caller I.D. on the phone.
 
We are both bushed. Oh, and that one telemarketer from Florida- he's still trying to call me. Dedicated guy.
 
That's about all I have for tonight.







Sunday, July 20, 2014

Entyvio, New Miracle For Crohns?

So Padre came with me to the GI.

It's fun to come here and make light of life but tonight I am thinking a lot about this new drug, hot off the press, and can't sleep cause of the infection prednisone has helped me enjoy the last few months in my esophagus. (finally got it diagnosed. And feel I lost at least four to five months of my life! Hello! Why do we live in such a modern time and still can't figure out some stuff? Sheesh. Such is life.)

Those of you not on prednisone, wondering if you may be on one day, or just plain don't find it fun to talk medical jargon; this post won't mind if you skip it. Go read one from a few years ago when I was doing a really cute garden and uploading personal pictures on a regular basis. I actually have had to do that myself (read my own past posts) and they are funny.

Okay, so like I said, Padre comes with me to the Dr. I brought him kinda like the reason why people get dogs and signs to say: Beware of Dog- it makes them feel safe. Or it is kind of a hobby to raise and breed fercious dogs. In Padre's case, his bark is louder than his bite, and he asked only a couple questions and pointed out that the Mumu I put on was inside out.


Dr. comes in after being out of town for couple weeks and not there for the camera that scoped out the infection that I requested when I had stumped all of his collegues with the pain in my throat and heart burn that felt more like a hole in the airway had been singed at the local welder's, and he says this:

A new drug is available. The name: Entyvio.


Enwho-ho?


Yeh, I know. A whole slew of new medical terms that J. and I will need to learn and eventually be saying to people like we were raised in its native tongue, pretty soon. IF I decide to take it.

After some research, I found absolutely nothing. No forums telling how people feel on it, etc. Just that it is out.

I did find out why the word is so foreign and that is cause the drug comes from the biggest Pharmaceutical Co. in Japan, Tekeda.

Might want to buy some stock in it.... unless the side effects of it are bad. Which there is the usual slew of them.

Anyway, back to the GI- he rattled off that the med "addressed the genetic cascade of blah, blah, blah C3PO, blah, blah, and those who have been on, not continued to respond to the biologics, oh and (here's the kicker) had to BE ON PREDNISONE for most of their stinkin' lives were who this drug was for.

It was as if I had walked up to a medical buffet, put all my salad toppings on it and returned to my seat to eat it with out worrying about my insides not being able to digest lettuce! Meaning it was happy news and could not have come at a better time.

And a drug that seemed TAILORED for me.

Which must mean there are a lot of me-s out there that have done all the big gun drugs, have been immuno-suppressed for almost half their lives, and have the common prednisone stories to swap in order for a Big Pharm from Japan has made a break through med.


It almost seems too good to be true.

But he said that many are having the response from it that they did with Remicade- which was a ground breaking drug back in 2000 for me and many others. It took a three year flare and made me feel alive again.

However, I am not in my early twenties any more. I have a kid. And I don't know if I can continue to enjoy the same old side effects like migraines, sinus infections, other infections, and/or possibly PML. Did I mention I have a kid? Named J.? That I blog about and who I think managed to come home from his scout out with out unpacking his pack AND taking a shower. He's lucky I had a bad headached and allergies and couldn't smell.

PML....  not to be mistaken with PMS- which I thought was bad growing up and was glad for Ibuprofen. Nope, PML

It is short for one of the  new and longest words I have to now learn. AND it helped me realize that Entyvio, was the drug that I was almost in the third, double blind study for at the U some time ago. But cause I didn't want to roll the dice and pick a number of mgs. of Prednisone to stay on, * I wanted off it soo bad and they would only let you go up to 20 if you went into a flare. Which could be bad if you wanted to go to the hospital and possibly get relieved with IV prednisone. And if you were the Placebo group.... just not the odds I wanted to play. They called it Simponi.

PML - a rare nervous infection of the brain- is 99.1 percent fatal or something happy like that. The rest? 

 are vegetables.
I don't know about you, but I would rather grow them than be one. Yup, I tried to imagine myself drooling out of the side of my mouth or giggling as I engaged with my parents (the only ones who really love you and want to keep you around if you are smiling and a vegetable) when they came to the nursing home that is only slightly more staffed than the local hospital. And with no credentials. Cause you are a vegetable during a time in the world when kids want to buy Ipods and play Mine Craft rather than be interns at a vegetable garden, er I mean nursing home..

Good grief, People! I mean, Readers!

Actually, I don't know what the percentage is and you get tested for something that helps it move along every six months or so. So you can take En TV io for two years, get some great quality of life, help your kid learn some more math, and then be back to square one again. Except now you are two years older and done a drug no one knows what the long term effects are.

I guess we all face being a cucumber or squash eventually in our lives. I mean, a very healthy friend I knew had a heart attack. Some get cancer. Others get something else. Why should I think I could somehow escape something?

I guess I sorta thought I'd put "in my time" so to say, after twenty some years dealing with an auto-immune disease and figured someone else might want a turn. And my bones are really taking a beating from being on the prednisone.

Which, by the way, I hope those of you who are reading me and have health problems are not judging is all bad. Prednisone saved my life. Ruined it at times, but saved it. And it saves others. If your kid or someone needs it on a short term basis, to say, help during an allergic reaction, don't be afraid.

Yes, I have lamented its attributes on here many a post. But it is there to help. Okay. I have a headache thanks to it.

It will take days, weeks, possibly months to get my insurance to approve the drug. And then days, weeks, months to see results. So I have time to decide and think about which kind of vegetable J. would want to visit in a nursing home.


I didn't know if I really wanted to go that way. At least for a study. I was willing to let others trial that for me. BUT, they let all of Europe know in May that it is now treating UC and Crohns.

Ugh. I can almost taste the feel of a Big Gun Med coursing through my veins this early morning. Not a favorite feeliing. But my disease has progressed and I need of the toxic prednisone now more than ever.

I can't believe I have been on it and have permanent damage from it. Now that I am older, I am starting to see the side effects that I read about years ago and with no qualms, headed into the unknown for the sake of my self, having a family, and mankind. Aren't I brave? Yeh, right. I didn't even really think about my choices affecting anyone else until I had J. and THEN, knowing it could be part genetic, I prayed my actions meant less suffering for him in his life. If that was all that my  measly time spent on prednisone afforded me, then I was glad.


The molecular parent to Entyvio is Tysabri- A drug for MS patients and also some Crohnies have done it.

-- Padre is trying to tell me about how he found the cabin of my third great grandfather, so I guess I gotta stop blogging. It is really late and he's just finishing up. He should just create a blog.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Padre Packing

 
 
Well, Readers I don't know if I have blogged  much about how Padre loved preparing for summer hiking, and outdoor camping and how he passed down the love to us, or not.
(another sentence needing scrutiny by an English grad)
 
But he did. He did love it, and appears to love it now.Or so it seems....
His behavior on some of the latest ones is making me wonder if it has all been a facade!
 
Recently, when he was told about an upcoming camp out, and then the time for the camp out came, Padre sprung into action by leaving the house to run errands.
(Which is part of his preparation for camping; do things at the last minute. )
It must be when he works best cause we have had some long preparation moments the night before an excursion.

Were it not for cell phones and texting, Readers,  I would have had no clue that he was on an errand to help J. pack for the overnighter. Because we were packing and actually done, it was news to me that he was 'helping.'

 
 
J. had lugged his back pack up the stairs, through the tight place on the landing that is called The Eye of the Needle cause you have to suck in and move side ways to get past the fridge and door frame that opens onto the landing. The kitchen garbage is to the right and is a good reference point for your feet as you accomplish this difficult task. We could remove the door and gain an inch of space but grand kids fall down the stairs, so we limit that possibility with the door and just have to,, literally, suck it up.

So J. made it past the Eye, where he had to do like many travelers going to Jerusalem and that was unpack their camels, then repack them once inside the gates. scouts



J. happily had tippy -toed and wrestled his back pack through the door all because a camp out lay ahead! Anything was worth enduring at this point! He was almost home free! The only thing that held him back from the great outdoors and roughing it, was almost over!

 He placed his heavy pack leaning against the steps to wait for the leader to pick him up.
With his fishing pole strapped to his pack, we sat there,  on the hard porch, when suddenly
Padre pulled up into the drive way. He held J's tackle box, retrieved from the trailer, out the window and before he'd even put the truck into park, and before we had even stood up, he started to tell us something about how fishing poles get broken.

(this was the last hurdle standing between J. and camping. )

 
"What?"

I hollered over the wind and his motor which was still running.
He sighed and put the truck into park.

Him: "I'm a blah, blah Wal-Mart, blah,blah fishing pole."

Me: "Wal- Mart is a fishing hole?"

Him, looking exhausted probably because he needs to use that CPAP machine in his room for oxygen, shook his head and answered a few decibels louder:
  
 
" I bet you that a fishing pole, attached to a back pack like that, and going with a bunch a boy scouts
is as likely to break as... "

hm.

 seems I have already forgotten his analogy.




(what's up with the crutch? do you see it? Shows what happens when boys get together; injuries. i.e. football)

 Either way the assemblage of boys that age, or any age, must mean that they would get horsing around, up to some sort of sha-nan-agains, and before anyone knew it, a fishing pole would be broken. Or some body's tooth knocked out.
Padre simply didn't trust that many kids together could end in anything but disaster.

Ya see, Padre has a sixth sense for bad things happening and so he prepared for them and had little mottoes for us as we went through childhood, our teen years, and adulthood.

One of those motto/rules/good ideas to live by was:

Just Sleep In Your Own Bed.

I don't think this was necessarily to keep us out of trouble for toilet papering a person's house or anything but mainly he just enjoyed his own bed, had been to Vietnam for crying out loud! He MUST have known something we didn't!

It was there that he realized that a hot shower is important at the end of the day, regardless of whether you'd rolled around in rice paddies or that there were sand bugs that got into everything, even your food. And no matter how late, nor whether you fell asleep in the car, ya needed to get a good shower before getting into bed.

And I think he had this motto so as to avoid having mom pull the car out late at night and come get us because we feigned we were scared and couldn't make it til morning in Grandma's creaky house twenty minutes away.

bh_boy_scouts_01



As you can imagine,  this motto made going, to say, girl's camp and Adventure Camp, a bit hard. 
J. is now finding it hard to earn his scout badges for overnights whilst incorporating  these life lessons or "mottoes."

Can you imagine how difficult?
There we are, camping and the stars start to blink on and the sky turns pitch black and we have back packed in at least 7 miles.
The fire has cooked dinner and the stories are getting started. Smoke is moving around the group like a clock, all the campers are sitting on fallen logs or rocks and staring at the oranges, yellows and blues of the fire. And we are wondering how to get back to our own bed.
(I say we because I have a big family that were all taught the same mottoes.)



Finally the moon appears and the realization that it is high time you start the trek back home to sleep in your own bed has come.

 Re-assuring  the leaders as I struggled to take down the tent in the pitch dark, and then  locate a flashlight to help me avoid spraining an ankle on the rocks built into the trail is tough.

Convicing them I'd be back bright and early in the morning, so not to worry!, didn't work. So they convinced me to stay.

So fast forward to when Padre was giving  me a percentage of fishing poles that could survive such a trip and not get broken......

I forget the statistics Pa raddled off to me in the drive way before he sped off.

It was

 two minutes

before his ride was to arrive.
 
 Padre decided to go to Wal-Mart's Fishing Hole to get a cover for J.'s fishing pole at the last minute.

"Where and what are doing again?" I'd asked futile before he scrambled away.

 Something about protecting the pole, and having to get his truck washed. It was really hard to understand.

However,

It left J. and I some moments to have a pow wow about his gear, if we'd forgotten anything, and to say a prayer. I let him do the honors then said one myself.

"....and please bless my fishing pole... that I will be able to catch some fish this time. Oh, and bless my mom that she can endure being around Padre."

Aren't the prayers of the children so innocent and sweet?

(okay this isn't totally what he said. but close. the part about the poles is true. Sorry, J.)

The Scout Master. By Norman Rockwell
 
The ride appeared and I helped J walk to the car.
(can't hold much with a sprained hand and broken body)
so that left him balancing under a heavy pack, holding his tackle box, and his fishing pole.

Once we reached the curb, I asked his leader if the other kids had brought fishing poles.
I don't know why. Maybe I was worried J. didnt actually need one on the trip, or whatever.


(The Catch by Norman Rockwell)

Yup.

he assured me as he opened the back of the jeep and I uttered foolishly:
 
 
"Do they [fishing poles] have covers for them?"
 

Confused Leader and Father: "Covers?"

he asked looking at me as if I was on prednisone or something.
 
Me, wearing a shirt from J's orthodontist that talks about smiles gettin' used:

"Yeah, to protect them from getting bro ...."


My voice trailed off as I gazed into the back of the jeep. There, attached to the back of several scout's packs, were fishing poles. Haphazardly bare against the unknowns of a camp out, thrown into the jaws of  unruly boy scouts on a camping trip, were the innocent and very spindly, fishing poles.

 They looked much like J.'s had been earlier; casually strapped to the bag.

Suddenly my brain recounted all the pictures of kids through out the ages from Huck Finn til now, and I could not recall covers over the fishing poles.

Even the ones made out of sticks and string....
Not one branch had been wrapped in a gun case quality covering to protect them from nature.
 
 
"...ken. Did I say fishing pole covers?  To protect their poles from breaking? Sorry, just a small relapse in the brain. Comes from a childhood of being teased by The Torment  er, uh- thanks for taking him! Good luck! "

 
I kissed J. good-bye and as soon as the jeep had rounded the corner,  I immediately dialed my mom's number. I had to let her know that Padre had set me up to look like I didn't know how to pack!

IWillDoMyBest



(I don't know whether Padre was able to pick up a cover and get to the church in time. For J's sake, it came home unbroken. And he didn't mention any kids teasing him about being outfitted and prepared. Need to do more research before blogging I guess.)

Anyway, this little exchange and preparation reminded me of my childhood camping days and how I learned the ropes of

Packing, Preparation, Preparedness, and Preparation H.

 
 We had a camper on the back of our truck that had a full sized, comfortable striped mattres in it -w

 'The Gray Diablo.' as our truck was knick named made for many a memory of camping.
 
(* see extra story included below about the truck)Boy-scouts1_11729668_tcm11-17574

 
 
 Apparently I loved camping so much by the age of TWO, that I cried when we sold a different piggy back camper on the truck, I referred to it as

 "The Campin."
 
This melted Padre's heart and he set out to buy the proper equipment for us to camp! (canteens, plastic cups and other kitchen necessities. Bins and basins for cleaning up afterward, black sleeping bags with the softest insides that had pictures of deer running on red material and stuffed with down feathers from some goose back east.

He still has all of his initial camping equipment. Aside from the stuff borrowed and lost. I don't know if any of the equipment is still usable. But they are in the same package and could be returned if the company that sold them, still existed.
 
 Padre's ability to give us the impression he liked camping was some good acting. But, it seems, that all along he was deceiving us.

Yup, Padre didn't especially enjoy camping as he just liked the part where you
 
Prepared
 
to camp, hike, climb, golf, walk, and /or breathe.
And then I think he hoped that he would enjoy it. But in the end, he really just wanted to get back home, have a hot shower, and sleep in his own bed.
 
All the Kodak slides of us kids in the wilderness and Padre smiling as he cooked over a kerosene stove top, were a charade!
 
He wasn't having fun! He was torturing himself like someone who walks across hot coals or shards or glass does for a living.


 
 I started to pick this up as I aged. For instance, when I was of the age of 10 or so, we  arrived in a campground after a long day of packing which gave us a late start and we ended up in the campground around dinnertime.
 
Padre had pulled off the highway and onto the gravel dirt road in Island Park and
 (a stone's throw from I.F.)
 
he slowly wound  the car along the  figure eight pathway of the campground.

 I guess he  figured it would be a lot of work to actually unpack what he'd packed only to have to re-pack and unpack at home, because the car kept driving until it had slowly inched back to the entrance of the campground. With one final push on the gas pedal he pulled the sub up over the lip of dirt and highway and we ended up back at home.
 
It was a good thing the park is not that far from home or else the ride would have been that much more painful.

 
Us kids cried or whined,  cause we were under the impression we were gonna actually stay. Which would requite that we unpack. What threw me off of the fact that we weren't really going to stay and this was actually just a preparation drill like the military uses, was when Mom would say:
 
"Craig, that looks like a good spot."
 And Padre would shake his head that it wasn't.
 Padre was able to fool us by saying the reason we weren't staying was because us kids had been fighting in the car ride the whole way there or something.
 
Wha?? we would look at each other
 in surprise.

And then a look of blame toward the other person for being the worst on the car ride.
 
Doh!
 
Had we only been warned that the consequence was having to load and pack everything, drive there, then drive home- we would have sat next to each other and not even acknowledged we were blood relatives!
(this photo of a family happily camping is cute. It must have been a "before" picture. It is entitled Family Camping by Joseph Csatari.)

However it was really hard to just nod your head when The Torment was, well,tormenting you.
I was smart enough or able to get him to quit teasing me by just acting like nothing was happening.
This took some serious strength. And a course in acting helped. 
Younger siblings were not so fortunate, unfortunately.
Sister  1 would immediately pull her thumb out of her mouth and shreak or bawl.

 Which was Exactly the response he was looking for. I was so gratefu that playing mute saved me from this torture.
 
His teasing regimen included things like poking, prodding, nasal fluids being swished around his mouth, and other forms of torture that only Heads of State know about cause they avoid using them for fear of being sued by actual terrorists from terror cells through out the world, and implicating our president.

It is all under wraps! Top notch security holding that info.
 
Another down side to the teasing was the bad habits it created, like swearing for instance.
 
Sure thumb sucking, nail biting, and slight tics were all part of most kids' child hoods. However, some of us believed that they were side effects of The Torment.

 Most of these habits  passed, except for the occasional desire to utter a swear word of course.
( when something painful or an accident almost occuring in traffic are the tipping points.)

This post is getting long. I am gonna stop now. Maybe I will get to the story about the truck and how embarrased I was one night when I took it to a basketball game in HS. I dunno.
I'm stinkin tired. Anyone else?

Gonna go to bed. In my OWN bed!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Painting the Padre Way


It wasn't until I was able to read that I learned that the First Commandment wasn't

"Thou Shalt Not Put Holes in The Walls"

Recently, (just now in fact) After watching a video on Youtube as a "Refresher" before I gauged my ability to paint J.'s room, I came to realize why putting something up on the wall using a large and an innocent looking nail, was a sin; it's darn hard to get perfection during pre-painting preparation when you decide to re-do it.

Now, Padre isn't a professional painter. But, somehow, before there was youtube, Padre learned how to do it like the pros. Or at least look like it.
 
 He used these amazing skills usually during a momentous event in the family,

like mom having a baby.

 Padre would learn a new skill, make good use of it while mom was in the hospital and mom would be wheeled out of the hospital carrying the newest member of the family. Instead of flowers she had some tool or piece of counter top laminate that would go in the new bathroom.

Back then he couldn't be in the delivery room cause of the notion of germs, so he went ahead and picked out the colors of the basement bathroom as a gift to mom; she could relax and just start doing her duties when she got home.
 
 There are pictures in photo albums chronicling the way he painted.

Wearing white painters garb he'd picked up from where paint was invented back then, he can be seen standing on a drop cloth that was carefully laid down to protect the carpet or hard wood floor. He is holding a long handled paint brush, the room's lamps baring bright light onto the glossy white sheen of paint that matched the equally shiny sheen surface of his forehead.
 
With a painter's hat, on backwards,  his pompadour hid and the glare off bare bulbs, was shiny.

(that sentence needs some serious editing. But, like a painter, I need to keep painting and not get muddled with commas, periods, and the need to breath between paragraphs or make any sense.)

Nope, I am just gonna type tonight. To heck with it!
 (actually, when do I edit? Sorry English teachers. I bring you such shame.)

Padre became so good at painting that he even used to threaten:
"Okay, that's it! I'm not painting the walls ever again."
We'd cry cause we were wanting a hue rather than egg shell when the trend to use dark colors came into style.

Where was I?

Oh, how Dad would do these crazy projects, buy all the gear, become successful at it, and then leave us to wonder how we can even match his abilities and manage to live with orange flooring in the bathroom for our entire childhood.

And I was telling you I needed a crash course refresher in painting and needed to ask what kind  of paint was on the walls. Was it water based? Did I need a primer? If so what and where and who?

More importantly, should I go with Stone Lion again? Totally Tan in J.'s room, or throw the color: just peachy on one wall?

In all fairness, I was asking Padre some questions that made it hard for him to explain and our phone conversation went something like:

Padre: "Ya know I like to talk to somebody that's a painter. The sales people are trying to sell you something and I don't know if the paint on the wall in your room is oil or water based. And it's kind of hard to help you while I am in Such and Such Park and trying to park the trailer."

Me: "I know. I guess I should at least wait until this infection clears up.

And 'cutting in'


 (painter's terminology for the word (s) for doing the edging with a good brush, not cheap synthetic, all the while trying to not paint over the blue tape that is protecting the ceiling, doors,

and on and on and on.
And on.
 
Lans sakes I hate my mental detours during a post!

I think I wass thinking about how well Padre did things and trying to recall how he did them and then calling him after youtubing and learning that I cannot do the kind of job he can. Especially while sick. Or wearing a cast. Makes painting a lot tougher than it seems.

Padre: "Shouldn't you at least wait til you get out of the hospital? "

ME: "Yeh, I guess you are right. The I.V. in my arm is making it hard to look at color samples on the wall and sides of my bed."
I don't have time or energy required for the vocational training invovled at the local college campus.

How do you learn to be as good as him?
One, he doesn't want ya using his tools, and Two, if you did get permission, you'd be so scared of returning it in poor condition that you would rather work overtime and buy him a new tool.

Or pray mom never wanted the walls repainted. Ever. Or at least a color change from surgeon coat white.

So mom would have a baby, and instead of handing out bubble gum cigars in the color of the kid (pink- for girl, so on and so forth) dad took time off, multi-tasked taking care of us and learned how to put in a bathroom in an almost finished basement.

I don't know how mom could conceal her excitement when she came home to a house full of kids who were as excited to see an American Embassy of Foreign Soil as a traveler overseas in a hostile region, as they were to have her get back to making breakfast.
 
 (well, actually that is starting to change. There were movies at one time that made an Embassy look like home base. And when they shut those gates- you were safe, man! i am going to go with my gut on the fact that none of them are safe unless I had a personal drone that fed into the White House that

I was in a hostile environment.

But I don't think the U.S. provides those protective services if you are putting holes in the walls- and missing studs. Then putting something too heavy for the dry wall to handle and the hole sagging.

There is a kit for this,Readers. In case you are visitng and find you want to put a hole in one of our walls.

So before the days of even The Home Depot, he managed to get all the tools needed for a project through out town. In fact, most of the tools are in the original package, their price tag has slowly faded away. Which Padre has re-tapped them the best he could but time has also caused the tape to crack.

Yup, the youtube videos at this stage of life may as well be a "You-Not-Me-Tube" video; cause I'm just not going to be able to do it. NOT that I don't want to, Readers.
I do.

I really want to cover the hap hazardous holes heaped on my walls during some late night bright idea with the white toothpaste looking stuff called caulking, and, instead of having a

"hue of lavender", a "breath of heaven" 

paint color to make my room a

little haven.


Yes, it is hard to refrain from wanting to do a Big project when you are out of commission..
 
But I think I will wait until something even bigger that happens in order to make things more interesting.
 
However, I don't know if I can convince my mom to have another baby so that Padre would get excited and got the incentive like he did when we were younger.

He just flip flopped down here and, upon seeing a box marked:

RELOCATE,

he looked in it like he checks the garbage cans for signs of us throwing out something useful, unused, or untaken care of.

I calmed him down and let him know that it was a mere organization idea so that you can come to it later. Like a first draft of  a paper. Streamlines the whole process.

:He gave me a look and the accompanying lecture,

"Be sure you don't throw away or lose anything valuable." as his eyes scanned the box's insides.

Me: Just relocating it to somewhere in the house, Padre, A mean, Pa, or er, Dad.

Padre, bending over and grabbing a remote control that has to have belonged to something we owned twenty years ago, "I'll relocate you if blah,blah, ha, ha- "
 *******************************************

Confession- still looking for the camera component to upload photos....
I had to dig up this post from the post bin as I can't type due to a very odd and annoying injury that means my thumb and wrist are in prison. I mean a semi-cast. For Real, People. Things can't get more interesting.

Spraining some body parts

Makes it hard to type with two left hands!


* Oh, And I made up some stuff in this post. Well, I make up a lot of stuff. In all my posts.Like Mark Twain I am just drawn to telling a yarn. hmm. I wonder if that is why J. tells elaborate, eye-brow raising analogues about his adventures?

 Here is the dog gone truth, Readers-  I have been pecking out some of this old post like a beginner in typing class.

Yup. Total typing fraud.
Sigh.
How can a writer write or type without the use of a hand?
There has to be a computer that I could talk to and then I could wouldn't even need my hands!
Or I could get creative. Make J. do it like a personal secretary.

Oh, wait now I recall a past post about a guy whose mom strapped a pencil to his head and he typed that way.
Man, I am such whiner.
I wonder if I could at least caulk the holes in the wall....

PPS- Now that I can't type  I am getting the best ideas for free lance articles, journal entries, blog posts, newspaper editor letters with my name next to them, and writing ideas for J,
My words per minute now -- 20, using the middle index ginger to peck out ideas, makes it hard to keep tje flpw of writing inspiratiion goimh.

And back spacing; annoying.

<aking my editing really really necessary.

If J. cou;d only write short hand. Where is that kid anyway <
Oh, he's enjoying summer. Je just may end up with a brolen arm or injury like LAST summer when je o[ened up his knee!!!!

HA<HA!

Who is laughing now?

I left this post un-edited so I could see How my worl was affected by a wrisy and thumb injury.

Ny the looks of ut, thumbs are pretty important.

I hope I donlt forget ,y ideas... jot tjis down will ua?

-alar, clock still set to ski
-friends that fkly

and something I have already forgotten... dang



 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Finally a Scout- The long journey!




Readers, it has been several years that J. has waited to be a full-fledged Scout.
 

 
He has now been one for a few months and I have some time to think about the road that led to this magnificent accomplishment and record J's first real SCOUT ACT.
Or should I say REAL hard.
(and no it wasn't the 12 mile hike they took.)
 
The other day he returned home from one of his Scouting nights and exclaimed in exhaustion:
 
"MOM!"
 
"We (as in the mere 11 years olds) just moved a couple's stuff onto a moving truck!"
 
Me: I thought you guys were going to go over getting ready for the Scout Camp Out.
 
J: "Chh! I know! We did too. But there was a couple that needed help and asked THE SCOUTS- US- to help! Our leader told them we would do it!"
 
J's countenance reflected the evening's hard work. His shirt was untucked and he was tired.
 
It had been a hot evening and he'd worn a normal shirt with his new one hastily thrown on and tucked into long pants with the belt loops. 
Tucking in a shirt for J. is on par with me wearing full fledged nylons for three hours of church.
(Remember, I'm a potato shape now- mixing nylons and pototoes is not pretty)
 
His core temperature had to have cooked going up and down the apartment stairs and into the truck with all his layers and then a kerchief and slide around his neck like a tie or noose.
 
He embellished the evening's events and the circumstances. I listened and then, I broke it to him, Readers. I told him the truth about scouting and why he had to learn all he did for all those years that he pined away at wanting to be in a forest of pine trees back packing. 
 
Me: "Guess what."
 
J downing a tall glass of water:
 
 "What?"
 
Me: "All those years of preparing in cub scouts is basically to prepare you to move people. And usually people that live in an apartment and have lots of steps because they live on the third floor."
 
J: "Move people?"
 
Me: "Yes. In fact, if you decide to serve a mission, it pretty much will be the same. A lot of moving people, cleaning people's houses, cars, pulling weeds, mowing and doing yard work on lawns or areas of land that have been untouched for possibly years. Oh,  you might teach them the gospel- while sitting on the floor or ground. "
 
I felt like I was breaking some sort of news , like Santa Clause was not true or something far fecthing.
 
Jaden sat there.
 
So I took advantage of the time to remind him of another event that is in the near future that will give
give him opportunities to do more service in the community, our neighborhood, our ward, and our church.
 
"You will eventually get into young mens...
 
(in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, this is what the next step is in his life. He will turn 12 and it is ceremoniously the time that he will receive what we call the Aaronic Priesthood and he will pass the sacrament.)
 
AND
 
do more service projects for people that could have a lot of things you will have to lift.
 
Or visit the sick, and the afflicted in nursing homes or homeless.
 
 And they may look, act, talk, or do things way differently than you.
In fact, if you choose to serve The Lord, you will move even MORE people."
 
Readers, he honestly had a heart to heart with me on this because he had been under the impression that he was now able to hike, camp, make fires, and essentially learn how to survive in the wilderness.
 
He has spent hours earning money (with me right there helping him earn and learn up until just last summer) so he could buy that new tent.
 
That money was tithed, a percentage to savings, and an allowance given to me for the help I gave him on occasion.
 
Which money went back to him because I'd stick it in savings.
(like shopping, saving can be addicting. I mean look at all the couponers out there saving like crazy!
 
J  slogged hours and then went to practices or games. Or I had to sub for him if they intervened.
 
J: "You are kidding me."
 
Me: "No." I chuckled. "Tonight you did what a Scout is trained to do-  help!"
 
J. had been led to believe it was all about being prepared, Readers!
In all honesty I was surprised they had this chore so early in his first scouting experience. Truly was glad, of course.

It opened his eyes. Like going onto a college campus would help a child see that there is more to elementary than Jr. High and then graduating High School, that there is a huge campus in some forbidden land that is windy, cold, and a campus so spread out there is no time to gain 15 pounds.

Oh, wait, that is where I went to college. He could choose a sunny climate or go for a trade like becoming an electrician, handy man which is essentially the title for a husband and father.

They sure come in handy.
 
He sat down to the table to talk with me about this new detour of scouting he had come upon like a mama bear in the wilderness.

 I reminded him to remember all that had been done for him. For me. Essentially the 'debt' that each of us had to others.
 
It was hard not to look back on the VERY FIRST months when he'd become of age to enter Cub Scouts.
 
I had been a leader so none of the initial stuff was a shocker- bird feeders, walking a planked board, push-ups. He wanted to move up so badly, we spent hours and days in a row doing everything.
And he didn't even care if it was repeated with his leaders and pals after school!
 
One Sunday we walked all over the neighborhood passing off things that he needed to learn or read and commit to memory from the book.
 
It was Scouts on Steroids, People.
 
And our summers were unknown. Would he be home or at Dad's? So springtime was "Scout time."
We hit it like a crash course so as to earn the badge, learn the thing, and move up.

(we've had some things that I thought he knew how to do cause it was checked off in his book.- like make his bed for a straight month. Now that was a hard one.
 
To any parent and mother facing this daunting challenge of the word, Scout, take heed.
Yes, it is like a rubix cube to look at all the requirements. As a leader I wish I would have read the scout book like a normal book. Not flip through pages and look at the out dated pictures of kids doing things and then look at the little squirts in matching shirts trying to learn the scout motto and stressing out because they just wanted to fool around and joke rather than roll peanut butter in bird seed.
 
Remember that using a coping saw is doable. If you make a mistake, it's just cheap wood.
And all the boys will make a mistake. But they will LOVE YOU for teaching them to build a paddle boat.
 
They also will have no idea how much effort you put into them. Pace yourself. Or reign in your kid when he wants to pass of something all the time. But our situation was different. I had one on one time and one child.
And I had a TON of help.

That was the key.
 
I have to thank the person who got him the shirt and did the initial sewing on of the patches, including his scout troupe number.
 
I.N.V.A.L.U.A.B.L.E
 
Best Gift.
 
Purchasing a book at the local Scout Store for a birthday is also a good idea because most of the time you are doing a birthday celebration and getting those Scout things rounded up (shirt, scarf, belt, book, etc. add up to EXPENSIVE.

Heck, that could be a good baby shower gift. Because then you will have finished reading it by the time they get
 
(It does make it hard to hear that the top dog makes over a million. But I guess if I had to go on that many scouting trips through out the year..... I'd want to be paid too.)
 
Readers, scouts have great leaders (at least J. has. In fact, they have been astounding and are a dying breed.) but they need parent involvement too. Actually they need you In a BIG way.
 
Some kids wait 'til their birthday is in three weeks and a parent frantically calls and asks how to get it all done so the child can earn his Arrow of Light or something. 
 
No, an 'Arrow of Light' isn't a shooting star they have to watch through a telescope to anyone new. 
 
Don't make this mistake!!
 
 
There were hours spent handing out fliers for food drives (me too), learning sign language, Morse code, basic safety drills and athletic drills, different sports learned for the heck of it, (cause J. did most of them in his leisure hours) neighborhoods picked up, library visits on top of regular ones with me, recycle plants visited that we already went to to take the cans he recycled, craft projects,

environmental mottos learned- LEAVE NO TRACE (this was hours long of listening and reading and then doing a poster and teaching his fellow cubbies about how to act in the wilderness and anywhere; Leave a Place Better Than You Found It.), hours spent reading what was "required" in a book that got lost, got found, got grubby and the pages ear worn,

and some real words from another language, MANY hours spent sitting on a cold folding chair each month as funny skits were performed, nervous/proud/bashful/boisterous boys did a different clap or hoorah for a fellow cub scout who earned something, those expensive "somethings" were purchased by a dedicated leader, then sewn *eventually I got the sticky tape*. or pinned to a flap on the shoulder, and placed on a  blue shirt- one that barely fit toward the end and ended up just having to get into the tan scout one that didn't show all his bells and whistles earned-

Oh- don't forget those Pine Wood Derby Days. Luckily, I have the great blessing of men that helped with that part. But the FIRST one was literally so stressful that I dreaded it like college exams. First, the "design" had to be chosen, then cut out.... Yes, it was so intimidating as I didn't take shop class.

Yes, being single made me more intimidated at this task for some reason. It was the male bonding time designated in the history of, well, man. Like when cave men went hunting with spears or something. Maybe they actually just did a lot more cave drawings because it was easier than putting together a small, rock wheeled race wheelbarrow.

Well, the other day my scout told me about the birds that would come to his Gazebo- finches, ------
**********
Posting this as is. Take or leave it!


 It's on sale!


 Cause I can't recall the birds that are gonna come and I'm tired. I can only recall that he said there is one type that are real Gossips. I did not know this. I should have been a scout. Lucky for me, he is.


A Thousand of White Legs Under the Sea Part II


Some White Legs

My last post was halted due to a misbehaving computer. Pulled 'er outta putting her nose in time out. 

Now I gotta go read what I wrote and why I thought what I was gonna write would be funny.....*

K- now I remember. I have white legs, it is now summer and my blog title is linking Jules Verne's 20k legs (Leagues/whatever/)  to be funny and well, it isn't. But, incorrectly, there are more than just that; a thousand untanned legs are in the water right now.
(not counting the ones that have been to tanning salons. The lines get long especially now that men are using them, too.

I haven't crunched the numbers cause we sent the snorkeling stuff to the thrift store after realizing it was just a faster way to drink chlorine, and salt. And I don't want to pay to rent any.
 
 
 
And, actually, I don't know of much recreational scuba diving going on around here unless, sadly there is a tragedy along the Snake River or nearby dams. Please be careful, Readers.
 
**
(truly. no funny in that last request. Our community has had many tragedies that could have been avoided. And summer always brings news and articles of inevitable loss. Hug your kids.)
 
**
Technically it should be summer but, in Idaho,  you recall it snows on occasion in June. Once in July. (See library Archives. I didn't but I know I heard it snowed in July and so the library must archive that stuff.)And just last week it snow/hailed and gusting across  Broadway while I drove while I ran errands. It [the snow] was the topic of conversation with everyone I talked to that day.

Me: " Can you believe this?" I said as if surprised that weather in Idaho was jumbled up like a rubix cube used by someone who never figured it out on their own. (I just peeled the stickers off to match up the sides.)
 
Person: shaking his/her head.

Me: "It's as if we are driving over  Malad Pass in winter!"

Another person: "I didn't bring an umbrella before I left today. The sun was barely visible behind semi- dark clouds"

Me: "Me either! But that is only because my umbrella likes to crumple when it sees the wind coming ;it hides behind my back or worse yets runs away. Very wimpy umbrella I own."
 
 
SO!
 
(Clap your hands together and pretend I am a boring professor just did the same and who has lectured for some time now and you, as a student have been day dreaming on a hard auditorium chair and wishing the professor, or I, was going to get to the point.)
 
My point: Even us locals act surprised when weather misbehaves.
 
We haven't had to witness any views of the earth showing a huge hurricane looming onto toward Idaho, an advantage being inland and only a stones throw from a huge volcano that is a National/International Park.
 
Nope, we don't have monsoon season to worry about. Just hunting season if you are married to a hunter.
 
What we do have in common is advisories. For instance, there are snow advisories for going over The PASS- which there are several mountain passes depending on if you go North, East or South of I.F.
 
And then we have PAST experiences (not to confuse with the treacherous winding roads that are always under construction this time of year), like mutual funds, aren't necessarily a predictor of future fluctuation.
 
Heck, I was in a line at the gas station along with some tourists from, well, not here, because they clearly were not dressed for the weather. Nor for the long line at the gas station.
 
 
And they looked like travelers to me while I was trying to act surprised by the weather and pretend I was smart enough to dress for the bad weather, and they only nodded.
Clearly, they didn't know Idaho.
 
Oh, and one person
 did say: 'Yellowstone' and nodded while I was trying to dry off with a towel in my purse. Yellowstone is basically a stones throw from where I live.
 
The thing that finally tipped me off that they were travelers was that they left their luggage on the bus outside and I was juggling mine to find the towel and hand sanitizer.
 
Rubbing my hands on my arms,  I found out is a universal feeling/language for:
 
"It's cold outside!"
 
Or at least it gets a smile.
And some people nod their heads.
 
Just like a smile is universal for the sign of happiness. Or fake happiness. Or the fact that you save money and that makes you happy. Because you don't have to worry about bills. So you smile.
And whistle. Even while you work! Or wait to use the bathroom with Crohns Disease!
 
People, for the most part, are pretty nice when you are in a
 
 
l     o   n    g 
 
gas station bathroom line and you are having small talk about the weather.  What else can you do when you have to go so bad, and your plight is futile?
You don't want to simply cut in front of everyone in front of you and show a card that you are
Gastrointestinal Challenged.
And besides, that would give Idaho a bad name. For the most part, we are nice. I've been in other states and found un-nice people. they think us Idahoans are bad drivers cause we like to enjoy the ride.
We don't race in and out of traffic unless we are training for the Indy 100.
So ya gotta be nice in the bathroom even if you have to just go.
 
By the time the bathroom wait is over, you have walked into a well used stall,  relieved yourself of the impending doom, exited the inward swinging bathroom stall door and managed to only get your purse and backside dunked into the toilet, then maneuvered around the others in line, and to the sink- there comes the awkward moment of goodbye.
 
Well, you have to reach through the line to get to the paper towels, or the air blower installed in environmentally friendly bathrooms, so you have a few minutes to say that goodbye and wish them the best. But what do you say?
 What do you say to someone that seems like a long time friend? Even though minutes before you were mere strangers. ?
 
I've found myself just not talking. Rare. But sometimes you have to reserve your energy.
 
So back to summer in Idaho. White legs emerging from clothing.
 
 
 
Purple veins sticking out like the roots of a huge tree suddenly stripped  by a landslide/mud slide in a place no one thought water could reach.
 

Oh, ho, ho! How wrong meteorologists and cosmetologists and just those of us ignorant folk are!
 
 Oh, yes, those legs have to come OUT! Cause eventually it's hot. Then they suffer the consequences. And all the sudden you have to add shaving your legs on a daily basis to one of the jobs you don't check off on your To Do List but ya feel guilty. The hair, that kept you warm in winter you rationalized, suddenly wants to be laser -ed off once and for all!

No more cutting your shins with a dull razor as you sit precariously atop the bathroom counter, with your white leg crying under some white shaving cream, or conditioner from a hotel stayed in some time ago, or better yet, a bar of Irish Spring that sat on a shelf for two or three years, neglected cause of its dryness. No! It is smooth sailing skin from here on out!
 (Irish spring isn't the smoothest lubricant on the block but Padre loves it.)

So back to my hair rant which will lead to my solution for white legs....


NO!!!! White legs everywhere are picketing for equality! They have unionized, gotten on buses and headed to the WHITE HOUSE in droves. There they can really make a change by walking around in front of a building that empathizes with their feelings behind the black gate.

However, the White House is manicured daily and that could cause some jealousy. But, shhh- don't tell. Just make they jealous.

THAT'S RIGHT! A lot legs are jealous and can't wait to hide under an expensive wrap from Wal-Mart that is meant to hide your legs but pretend you would shed it when the tide came in.

So are you ready for what I laughed about in the middle of the night and then made a mental note to write about? Here it comes!

I sprayed fake tan on my legs one day.

Yup. I bought a can of it at Wal-Mart. Since my legs have protested against actual sun, having changed their stance from when I was a teen and naturally just soaked in that lovely honey golden rays and made me feel cooler when I unwrapped my towel and dove into a pool like an Olympic medalist competing in the games
 
 
 
 
 
- slicing through water without a ripple.

Where was I? I was on the bean bag that I had covered with old towels cause I didn't want to spray paint Padre's carpet even if the bottle said the "tan" only lasted a few days or week or so.
Carpet tans waaayyyy easier and longer than legs from a tan in a can.

So that's it, Readers. Kinda anti-climatic, huh. For some reason I laughed and thought it would be a great blog post .
 
For your sakes I have tried to bring in guest bloggers. Like J. Or Padre. But they look at me as if I asked them to go to an appointment for me or something; like it will be a pain in the back side; waste of time, or something.

So, yeh.... I painted on a tan. When you see me, let me know what you think. Oh, and if you saw my legs and they looked red- it wasn't the tan can's fault nor the sun, just a minor allergic reaction to something that made me look beet red.But that is another blog post.  Oh, and if you see a tan and then white parts, that is just where my leg hairs cast a shadow when I was spraying the tan on. Not a big deal.

=Just a head's up! The grass is growing so there are mowing stories to share in upcoming lawn posts. You know how much J. loves that! And this year he gets to juggle a few. And football is in September and so we start training for that, like, in the Spring while we gut out track and sit through windy 'first of the season' baseball games.

So those boys are out there doing football drills to get ready for September. It's really confusing mixing all those sports. Kids don't know if it school is in session, if it's holiday, or summertim




Maybe white legs will help them know it is summer...

White legs reflecting the sun off them like a solar panel even when the kids are swimming in the water. So, Readers, please wear sunglasses. The glare off the glassy water is one thing but for those of us whose tans wash off like a loosely double knotted string bikini when it sees a riptide, we can't be held responsible.

So forgive us for any UVA of UVM or Uof U or USU rays  that come off our legs that could ruin your health.

One last question: Should I just go natural?

Bag the tan and worrying about wearing flip flops and someone looking at my feet and WHITE legs
offering to buy me a membership to Tan America? Cause really, at this point, I mean who am are my legs trying to impress? I will just ditch short shorts and stick with the longer ones called pants.

****
Update- I tried the Neurtrogenia Tan in a Can. Worked great. However the person applying it didn't take the precautions for joint areas so I am tanner in some spots.

The good news is that my feet are no longer white, white. the tan covers a couple shades and makes the bulging purple veins less obvious. However, there is bad news and that is my feet now look "dirty" in some areas. So folks might think I have a skin problem, or I don't scrub my feet. Or I missed a few spots while in the tub.

The parts I like tan are washing off but not my feet. This is sounding like an episode for Seinfeld.

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Thousand White Legs Under the Sea




Whew! Getting a minute to write on here feels like being a runner on base finally getting to slide into home.

For those not into baseball or smaller boys' baseball that can be a long, long time. In fact, I have seen a kid on second base wait so long for the chance to come to run that he has actually started finishing an assignment from school.
 
Thus suffering amnesia and not realizing school has let out for the year.

Where was I? Oh, glad to be home, writing on my lap top. Which has been acting funny again. It enjoys research and, apparently, it wanders into blogs and articles that are Padre's equivalent to going to bars.

The other day it just went blank, overheated. I got a bit concerned, like any parent. And when it shut off I rebooted it and initiated a scan. Then it asked for something which is like asking for the keys to a parent's refurbished, Chevy Truck.

Since my computer is a teenager, it was bound to take that truck and get in a fender bender. Or on a bender.

5 a.m.

Me: Why is it asking me this question? Oh no. I better ask Padre.

Padre: sleeping.

Me: "Padre my computer went somewhere last night and is trying to sneak back in the house as if nothing happened."

Padre: "What? How often do you scan it?"

Me: "Scan it? You mean the Full scan, or the not so full one?"

Padre: "Ya, know..... First of all, get out of flopbott and see if it is the spywear we put on it. This is the time of day when I don't have to do this sort of thing like I do on my job day in and day out....."

as his voice trailed off.

Me: "It is, it is the computer's licensed and worthy scan."

P: "Well, then my first initial thought is to not do what it is requesting. I think it has a bug again."

OH, GREAT.

I took my computer and gave it a talking to. And stayed on floptbott for a second. Or hours.


And my topic? Something that made me laugh. Ah, yes- white legs.

May and June usually mean the first days that legs come out of their cabins after a long snowstorm in which they experienced cabin fever; they are timid. Or excited. They can't wait to throw on shorts and a pair keds and ride their cruiser.

Owner's fail to put on sunscreen because it's Idaho- surely an overcast will come or some snow and hail and the time in the sun is minimal. Except for that enticing hot summer day when it is super hot and the virgin white legs head out all day with out a thought to the sunscreen that their parent's lathered on greasy white sunblock that made all toe headed children look like albinos.

This blog has been interrupted! It has been caught tramping around and is being sent to TIME OUT!