Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Losing and Finding

This post was started some time ago but like all the others I come back to, it evolved. After J's bday and the joy he found in hanging out with his friend,
doing what they do best:  squeeze the most out of life. By playing hard, joking around, belly laughing at old episodes of The Three Stooges and the things they say to one another,
enjoying the outdoors...
(much to Padre's chagrin, I've requested that the sticks be left on the yard just a little longer so they can make forts by the tramp. However, I believe today was the last day for that. Time to pick up sticks.)
it goes on and on. I couldn't help but feel the same. The trip to Army Surplus was a boy's dream come true and gave me McManus flashbacks of his jaunts Grogan's surplus store to buy old stuff that seemed to always need some work. Even the smell in Army Surplus made me a bit queasy due to all the "old" stuff from the wars and what not. Despite a lot of new things, too, it just overpowered my senses.  When we were finished looking around bought two old gunny sacks, a new mosquito netting and fake tattoos, I wanted to shower.
 So my focus on the post came to be on the best thing in life:
 Relationships with Others.
Our friends and family. Friends that become family. And family that can become friends...

However, it began with the subject of loss, due to the Boston Marathon, not being able to find an old friend for a few day and the panic that seeped into me.  Losing a ring from my HS sweetheart. Everything piled up. And I felt so sad about the lives that were affected in the tragedy in Boston.
It [[pst] slowly morphed into 'finding'. Because I found Karma Brinkman and we talked. Her hearing isn't great as you can imagine at 85, but we yelled back and forth and got a great conversation in. We talked  about her son, Curtis, and how he dealt with his life after being electrocuted, how he won the Boston Marathon- even beating the normal runners. (Because they grouped them all together at the 1980 run. It was healing to hear about his life.) It was Healing to hear he was in a better place now. That he was no longer suffering. And it felt good to know that he wasn't perfect but he was striving- like we all do, eh?
And I found that the country and the majority of people are good, want to help one another and bear each others burdens during tragedy.

So here is how the post started....

Losing something is the worst feeling.
That deep rolling in your stomach- wait did I pull that line inadvertently from Adele? Anyway, your stomach is affected. Heck, your whole body is. The headache and tightening of your heart, literally wringing itself out like a wet wash rag.
You feel limp like a rag. The question: "How do I go on?" may enter your mind.
Anyhow, it is a sadness that can affect you physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. 

God prepares you for loss early on in life. When you are young, it seems to start small but is a BIG deal. And you recall it for the rest of your life as a BIG deal.
Because it is the first of something.
It may have been A tooth; which brings pain and the reality of missing something that was not only beneficial in your life but necessary to your survival. (Eating is important!) So you have to come up with a new way to eat without that crucial tooth.
 Eventually those baby teeth are then replaced with awesome chompers and eating is easier. But you still had to lose them to learn those beaver teeth are handy; although ugly until your face grows into them.. And then  the molars.... they hold on for dear life.  Despite twisting the loose molar around with your tongue all day in class, cutting it [your tongue] up by putting it between the tooth  and your gum. Finally, you loosen it enough to twist it with your fingers and even though it hurts, you still do it, only to have it come out while eating some food. That is a surprising loss, chewing it a couple times and then realizing what you are eating....
The gaping hole is so tender and everybody just tells you they lost teeth and it's part of life.
Which you begin to understand but it doesn't take away the fact that you wonder how you're going to brush your teeth in the mean time!
Thankfully I had the Torment
(lost this plant and the one before it was pretty special that died after years of living. And from a great friend as well. I need to replace it. Any ideas, Jen? Boy, we need to chat. It's been awhile! I will have to get on FB it looks like. ugh.)
 help me out with my first front tooth when he tried to convince me to tie floss around it and then to the closet door and slam it shut. When that didn't work he chased me down, pinned me to the bed and gave my mouth a good whop. Out it came.
Then there is the loss of those precious possessions . Whether cheap or expensive, if you loved it, it hurt to have it disappear. Like
A ring from the dentists or a necklace from Avon that a special aunt gave you.
Somewhere in the grass it lay while I had been playing in the backyard. Not even the approaching nighttime kept me from scouring the blades of grass of retraced steps.
Again, tears soak the pillow that night. 
 An earring back in third grade.
A Great grandparent, you don't know well, but go to the funeral and see him unmoving and cold to the touch is so foreign and not as traumatic as an earring?
(when you first get your ears pierced you treat them like a newborn; afraid to make to bend their arms while dressing them and such. Or maybe you treat it like brain surgery. It was after all a painful process to get the things in there, take care of them daily with rubbing alchol and twist them over and over until finally you can wear whatever earrings your little heart desires. 

The lost ring was seemingly more traumatic than the death. And the twirly dress I wore was so layered, that it was made to twirl in. So while everyone talked, I felt like a princess,  shyly sat on unknown relatives laps. Despite the sadness and the strangers, I still loved the fact that I was loved and would twirl for them to show my gratitude and hopefully help them not be so sad.
How could you be sad if you got to wear a great dress?
 And what is death, you wonder at age 3, or so?
In comparison to the feelings and actions at the funeral, the loss of my earring back prompted me to frantically raise my hand during a lesson, inform my teacher, and class, of the horrific loss and ask permission to look under my desk for a clear, plastic backing to an earring. 
My well esteemed teacher said:
" no."
Not only that,
 I received a scolding for interrupting the class for something so trivial. Which actually sunk in as I sat rigidly in my seat for fear of my plastic, green apple earring from slipping out of my ear. I still was near tears about the loss and sad I'd let one of my favorite teachers down. 
Being 3 and being in third grade hopefully would have made a difference when I attended a funeral!
(It did. I went to a distant, unknown, and not seen often aunt and bawled about it that night. Mainly that she was no longer alive for her sake.)

Loss is a difficult thing to understand and endure when you are a kid!

And life amps it up as you go along.  If you were lucky enough to have a pet, you experienced death again. But this death had more of an impact. That is when you learned how bitter life could be. How unfair.

Some of your childhood friends may have had to move away. Even as you get older and have to move or life takes you in different directions, you lose track of those friends to an extent.
As a child- only a trip on my big wheel up the Persival's steep drive way,  stopping at the top to cry as the evening approached and cover my sadness from the world at losing this friend, could help the pain.
As an adult there is always another person that is there that fills the void.
As a girl Shobba and I had spent hours playing gingham paper dolls.
 Shobba was from India and had a mom whose long flowing dresses,  beautiful shiny jewelry and dot on her forehead were exotic and even a little frightening. However,  she would let me stand on the couch in their basement a brush her long black hair and my fear melted away and iIt prompted me to grow mine to my waist, too.
(This isn't what her mother wore, and she was minus the nose ring. But it was traditional clothing that she was draped in.)

The bob hair cut came into fashion once mom was tired of my tangles and so we cut my hair. There was the  ANOTHER loss; my hair.... how could this hurt so badly? A haircut? How could I cry over a foot of hair for so long?

Then you lost friends in a different way. They either chose a different group or you fought and it felt like they had died to you as both of you ignored each other in class and at recess then at church.


But you learned about FINDING what was lost. No, Shobba from India never moved back across the street. (and no I never found her on facebook.
Finding you can heal old wounds, rekindle friendships, finding that lost ring- I wish. Or finding you can endure.
Okay. Ready for Amanda Bedtime Story Time?
Many a millenia ago my college room mate (pictured atop at left) came to IF and we traveled to the base of the Tetons.
Bringing along my little sister we drove to our destination- Verrrrryyyy early in the morning.
When you hike, you wake up very early so you aren't hiking in the dead heat of the afternoon.
The feeling upon waking up this early and a hike before you is nauseating. You feel like you do when you are about to play in a big game, shoot a big buck, or are in the starting blocks waiting for the gun to go off.
Except when hiking you get to LOOK at the mountain you are going to climb for close to two hours before you get to the trail head.
This  hike starts out vertically immediately. By the first switch back you are huffing and puffing and despite being close enough to unlock your car door.
Then it eases up a bit and you are only slightly off vertical.
It kicks your butt and by the time you are through the bear infested trees and to the rock garden proceeding this Table, you are ready to collapse. No matter how good of shape you are in.
And P.S. while in those shady willowy trees that hold the bears- you don't even care. You are so wiped out and looking down at the back of your friend's boots that you don't even notice that they, too, are close enough to open you and your car door up.
So my good friend Alyssa and my sister A., unable to sing the song we'd memorized on the way up to the trail while holding our bladders for the latrine, we hiked ourselves out of a bright beautiful day and into a rain storm.
Prepared as we were, ponchos covered us as we walked through the rain.
Suddenly Allysa gave me a weird look.  Then she broke out into her characteristic laughter.
Allysa:  "Your hair is standing up!"
My head was covered with my poncho hood, so for this statement to be true, it had to be preetty darn near scary. The static on that mountain from the rain storm had pulled, not only my hair, but all of our long hair that was closest to the edge of the ponchos, out and up into the air.
It looked as if we had been jumping on the tramp and our hair was wildly sticking up.
Me: All of our hair is standing up! We gotta get down from here!
Half way up the Table we scrambled back down to where another group of hikers were gathered in a ditch.
We waited it out. The group in the ditch with us ditched the final part of the hike for safety purposes. Before doing so one of the adults snapped our famous picture.
(this looks like a crack of lightning in the center of the picture....)
WE on the other hand didn't climb that far to not reach the dad gum top!  
So we waited.
The clouds parted and we could see darker ones on the brink of sun rays. Sooooo.... 
We beat it up the Table. Which is a hard feat cause it's loose rock. Breathlessly we sang the hymn;
How Great Thou Art (a tradition )  and took in the view, then beat it back down the mountain.
I felt bad the group didn't do as we'd done because it was beautiful for a brief moment. But the dangerous static was coming back and they could have had some slower hikers with them.
Taking the longer route on the other side of the "hill" it wasn't as vertical but took longer.
It's either Huckleberry or Blueberry canyon. (Either way, it's a berry long walk.)
 Eventually the sun shone hot upon us again when we had outdistanced the high altitude and Alyssa kept the bears away by cussing. (She twisted her knee on the way down. She is straight arrow so don't think that her cussing makes her a bad egg.
She just had a bad leg and we didn't bring Tylenol.
Running into a bear actually didn't intimidate me at this point either because I knew that my good friend would keep them at bay.
Joking aside,
The walk down was HARD for her and I was begining to wonder if Amy and I would need to carry her at points. Luckily she is a tough gal- she's had 5 kids now, I think- and toughed it out so we wouldn't have to haul her.

You can't replace a good friend. Or a memory.
(J. tearing it up with a great friend out back and finding out about good friends and being one.)
They stay in your life even when you aren't in touch because of the bond that is formed in tough times. And great times.

Monday, April 22, 2013

FOUND: One Great Friend


I found her! She is in another state, dealing with cancer but she is alive.

I'm emotionally exhuasted after tracking her down,and talking on the phone with her, Snd thinking about all that has transpired since our talks. Bless her heart. 85. We will be pen pals for however long it takes.

I will imagine myself barreling down to the land of sun and fun to visit this dear woman, but even that makes me tired thinking about it.

One hand is painted in nails polish. One Birthday approaching fast and furiously. But at least it will be low key. And one boy is just as bushed.

Unexpected Connection to Boston Marathon and Lost Friend

Do you ever do things that seemed last minute, not mentally given any attention until later you discovered it was meant to be?

Today I picked up the paper because of the initial front page concerning an MS patient. Common symptoms and treatments led me to want to see about this woman's struggle. And she was leaning on a cane.

(the meds can cause fall and balance problems. Rolling ankles. But I am working hard to strengthen those puppies. But thank goodness for help when you have walked a long ways, rolled an ankle in the grass, have to walk in bumpy grass for baseball games. Thanks to Ryan at Sports Authority that helped me find good ankle braces to wear as well.  And we can be thankful to Pinterest for the chair idea. Needs another coat and a nephew to sit in it and watch a cartoon.)

My pride has made it a little tough for me to 'lean on' a cane. But when I drop the pride, it makes my life easier. I don't always need it. But when my leg tires, it is a relief. When my balance is off, it makes me feel safe.

BAck to the newspaper....

Below the big picture was a smaller article about a man that I came to know through his mother. Who became one of those kindred spirits that Ann of those Gables talks about.... How could we not? She'd been an elementary teacher, loved to garden, and loved flowers. A woman after my own heart! We'd met when she was selling her home, I was looking to buy and ended up renting/ house sitting for a time while she settled into a new place. I read her son's book on the couch in the home, with all its furnishings still in place, while his mother vacationed in Alaska.

It took only a couple of days to read the book at night, in his mother's rocker beneath the lamp she used to do her needlework. It was the perfect light to read from in the dead of night as my toddler snoozed in the spare bedroom.

I thought I'd live in that home but another home closer to work became available.  I still visited Mrs. B. at her new town house in I.F. Our visits slowly petered out as my health declined and things got busier. The trips across town and dropping in to see K became few and far between! She gave me ideas and books to read. She listened to me complain about my own health and we worked together in her flower beds one last time.

Sadly, I'd let  three years go by with no contact. The years fly by it seems!  Just a couple weeks ago I commented to my own mother that I needed to get in touch with her. I had one of those feelings that I dismissed and promised myself I would in the near future.

Ms. Brinkman's son was the first person that "ran" the Boston Marathon in a wheelchair in 1980. He was a double amputee and "ran" the course in a specialized wheelchair. He set all sorts of records and broke times for certain races.

As a young man he moved pipe. His 6'7" frame was sure to make his dreams come true with basketball. Then one morning he pulled on his rubber boots to go move pipe on his father's potato farm for the last time.

Sitting in the kitchen of the Brinkman home, at the table that Curt had many meals, I learned where he slept in the summers with his brother, the route they took to the fields where they moved pipe, and the bravado he felt one summer morning to climb a tall pole where he was electrocuted by a 72k volt power line that arced.


Personally he felt it killed him but the fall to the ground, he believed, re-started his heart. Covered and stuck in the mud face down he was helped by his brother and others- eventually loaded into an old school paramedic station wagon and taken to the hospital. (Correct me if I'm wrong Brinkman's)
Months of hospital stays and rehab took place.

Lilacs were in bloom along the west side of the bricked Brinkman home as I heard this old tale from his mother.  Proudly she pulled his book

(Great hair for his time! )
 from the bookcase and let me read it. Both perspectives were interesting.

 It was her experience that lent to the real knowledge of the incident and his life afterward. Talking to someone in person does that. And someone close to him- a mom's perspective can truly be heart wrenching.
What I learned:

It was hell.

In SLC he underwent amputation and pain that was beyond description and about a mother's ability to endure watching her son writhe in pain.  If I recall correctly she described such pain and thrashing and all she could do was knit through it.

What else could a mother do for months in a hospital with no way to help him? She is my hero, too.

Curt sank into depression as friends came to visit and his situation sunk in further than it ever had. One evening he got into his wheel chair and headed west, over the Snake River bridge and kept "running'. Running from the despair and pain. He must have wanted to burn it all out of his system. A system that felt phantom pain, and nerve pain in the stumps of his legs that never went away.

The newspaper helped me realize he died in 2010.

Where was I?

Why didn't I get the memo? On one of my last visits with my dear friend, who was almost three times my age,  told me how hard his life was after the accident and many years under his belt from the time the disaster happened. even though he was an inspirational speaker, hardcore runner, won medals, he still suffered.

 Even though he'd found love again after a divorce from his college sweetheart. Even that marriage dissolved. His pain and disability constantly affected his life despite his ability to overcome and triumhp against the odds.

But he inspired many. And from the article I read in The Post Register he inspired a runner in the laterst Boston Marathon that ironically has left many with amputations. Are these events coincidences? As I read the article I became frantic they didn't use his mother as a source.

Is she still alive? All I can recall from the last talks with her were that Curt had taken some falls- broke his nose and other things. He put his hands and shoulders through a lot on that wheel chair and needed several operations. On top of it he was diabetic. sheesh.

Unexpected. His accident. My life intetwining briefly with his mother's and then picking up the paper that I haven't purchased ever. (I delivered those babies for awhile though)

The unexpected was likeJ's surprising day that he shared with me this evening.

Jaden said: "Today was work upon work.

"Not that I wasn't expecting it [work]. It was just a long day. And then I lost that molar. That hurt.Riding bikes with D. was hard. You wouldn't think so, but it is after awhile.  I'm beat."
 and he fell asleep with his molar stuck in a little pillow that belonged to his Uncle, The Torment.

Earlier I reiminded him about the Tooth Fairy he gave me a look. I should have let it go and saved the Fairy some bucks.

Life is full of the Unexpected. Sp just expect that.

J's day was full of hard work at a Scout Webelo Wow. Which should have been called:
BuT that would only cause poor attendence.

J. informed me that it was now serious business being a scout. The days of passing off simple things were over; now it was time for him to get down to business.

Wah! I thought the other stuff was hard to help him pass off.  And as I flipped through The Webelos book I found that it is intimidating. You should get one and look at what is expected of these kids- if they do it right. Whoa.

I pray that he learns some common sense, too. That when he's out moving pipe (yes, I have arranged it already with a farmer friend) he won't do anything, well,  stupid.

Because stupid hurts as we have both learned. And stupid can "strike" you at any time.

I heard a quote somewhere that said:
 "Bravado in the face of physical danger is foolhardy." Faust.
Boys like to impress others. And they are in situations at times that places them in physical danger.
So I have that mother feeling to help him the best I can. Which is make him a jam sandwich before he heads on his way to whereever. And teach him, of course. But it doesn't take away the empathy you can feel for them as they struggle through life.

Maybe it was meant to happen to Curt. So he could inspire. The irony is that this new National tragedy is leaving a lot of people amputee victims. My heart goes out. I met Curt casually at his mother's house one evening for a brief moment. So many questions I wanted to ask but they had been answered by his mother. I just gawked at how well he manuevered around the house; off the bar stool. Onto his chair. Out onto the patio where those mosquito candles burned and the sun had sunk enough to require a sweatshirt. He seemed normal. Wore jeans that were folded to extend the look of his legs.

He was handsome.
But I knew that his life was still a heck of a lot of pain.
Curt inspired the man in the article today. I'd like to learn more about this person and hope Curt's mom can help me.
I need to read his last book because I know that he felt a lot of depression after falls, dealing with diabetes and dealing with consistent loss.
Earlier this evening it was hard to watch him practice throwing a ball at the staircase and it wasn't just because he'd just showered and was working up a sweat.  And the thunk on the stairs, as he perfected his pitch,  was noisy;  he was carrying the weight of feeling it was him who lost the game for his team the other day.

He confided before sleep:

"I hit a kid in the leg, Mom." he said matter of fact as I tried to be positive.

"And I struck out when the bases were loaded and they were depending on me to do a homer."

Me: Well, it was windy and the kid seemed to turn right into the throw. (always have to add something to lessen the blow.)  And some of your foul balls were so great they almost hit our car parked across the street. They truly were high and cleared that dang fence so well that it almost kissed my windshield. No wonder that parking place was open.....

J: Mom, not a hint of wind was happening when I nailed that kid. But that ump would call my such and such throws, "ball". When they would drop perfectlly.

Me: I know! Those pitches were perfect! They are HS umps. Not pros. That's part of the game, too.

J: I know. But I just feel I let my team down.

Me: Welcome to athletics, Son. It's part of the game. You gotta shake off the negativity, play through it, as if it didn't happen and SEE yourself doing something amazing. Oh, it happens in life as well by the way. The game is life.

I told him a bit about Curt Brinkman and what he did with his trials. We talked about the boys that caused the bombings and they were captured, etc. He was relieved. But was curious about why they wanted  to kill.Me, too.

That one is a hard one to get into, especially right before bed. But that is when he asks the tough, long answer questions that I don't have answers for and wonder about myself. Part of his plan to put off going to sleep, maybe? I dunno.

However, our talking it out calmed him down. Or he was warn to the bone and slipped into his
 coma state of sleeping. After holding onto him for a good while, I left him breathing heavily, sound asleep.

Oh, Son. What lays ahead for you? I know that it will be  hard. It has been for me. It's harder for a parent to watch. Just like Curt's mom. You could see the pain etched in her face but I also could see the strength and peace surrounding her like a wall of armour. I pray for this armour to encompass me so that I can pull my son through his trials. Whether it's being there knitting, or writting. Or simply an example he can look to when it gets bumpy.

Thank you to all those who Wowed the Webelos today. There was a Native American Indian from the Nez Pearce tribe who talked to the boys through a translator and made J. enammered even more than he already is, with the Indian culture and history. I can't wait to read The White Indian Boy 
that my mom and dad read to me while on long family trips. My love of the wilderness and the Native Ameriicans was born with that book. And The Book of Mormon. But I didn't put two and two together for a couple more years.

If you read this book, which may be renamed: Among the Shoshone- realize it is a bit graffic in some instances. 10 years of age is fine, I think for a kid to hear about the history. Heck, I was younger and standing up in our red Monte Carlo, leaning over the front seat to hear the story better.

That was before the seat belt laws were enforced.....

Wear your seatbelts!

Keep track of your friends! (I'm a hypocrite here, but don't let years pass with out keeping contact. Especially if they are older. They may pass in the time you have wasted.

Tomorrow I will find out if my dear friend is still alive, living in the newer home she moved to, and the day I will apoligize for not calling at least once a year. Oh, please be aware and alive, K.

And I will be visitng Shelley, Idaho's cemetary to take Curt something. A plastic flower most likely.

** The phone number listed in the phone book is a number that has been disconnected. Tracking down my friend is going to take more effort than I thought. I was so sad to hear the automated voice and ring tone telling me the disappointing news. I pray she has a cell phone and bagged a lan line.\\

Hope she is easier to find than J's scout shirt this last few weeks...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Shin Splint and Water Retention Recipe: Steeee-r-e-t-c-h!

(End Result Of J's Sea Shell Collection turned Shadow Box)

Get Back Into The Game Recipe.
Stay In the Game Recipe.

You do not have to be on prednisone to love this Recipe for Relief. In fact, you could be a runner/hard core athlete and be doing this. Or need to be doing this therapy. Because shin splints and sprains happen to everybody.

* (please note that this post was started before the Boston Marathon Tragedy)

Soreness and age happen to us all, serious illness and re-hab to some, and plain tired feet to all. This cold/hot water soak is something that has brought me relief.  It takes NFL strength to sit in ice cold water but eventually you do get numb. . And pretty soon you'll shine yourself up like those sea shells that were covered with

So stick with it if you can.

And maybe, one day, you can make it to the beach instead of dreaming about it! (I know the perfect place.)

Or maybe it will  simply be something that helps you stay independent in your life, builds your strength after a blow to your health, and keeps you relatively pain free.
Start small.

When I say that I mean with the time in the water and what exercises you do. You may "run" by using your dresser for balance and doing high knees for awhile. If it is hard to do, it's running, friend.

As I scoured the web, asked individuals for help with the water retention, elevated my legs against the wall, only to have it pool in my head and torso- I came up with my own plan that helped both maladies (shin splints and water retention) with the same program; Warm then Ice cold soaks

.Not much different than a hard core HS injury. But I am older. I do have some limitations. Hopefully those reading this will use what works for them at whatever stage of injury, etc.And adjust the time frame, as I'm not a Dr. and don't want to harm anyone.

Again, the biggest problemo I had was with the painful water retention. This helped.

What you need.

A tall bucket.

The tub, if you don't have a tall bucket.
(this one gets your bath over with, too. And is what I do in order to consolidate time and energy. )

A stool; to sit next to the tub.

Ice if you are dead serious about how cold to make the soaks in the bucket.

80 minutes if you are in need of some serious healing.

40 if on the run. Pun intended.

However, if you are really injured my bet is you aren't getting anywhere fast; this will help.  And possibly at the PTs. If you do it in the morning, you'll find you are knocking out two birds with one stone by getting ready for the day.

I personally am not going to a physical therapist and don't prescribe to be one. A lot of the time spent in traffic traveling to and from these appointments and then being sent home with
"homework" is time consumming. I figured if I could do this, I could stay away from the PT. Unless I get injured enough to need the technology they can give on sprained ankles or what have you, then I will continue to do what I've learned from coaches and therapy in the past and wind up in the PTs if all else fails.

So you know, I haven't done this every day.I should  have this whole time.
 It makes a difference in the bone pain I feel in my heels, arches, and on top of the foot that feels like it has a stress fracture. It helps with past ankle injuries, addresses the shin splints and lowers the pressure on my body from Prednisone water retention. It has kept me away from the Dr.s office and I think that helps them and me.


1. Get in the tub. Get it hot. Relax. Make sure your legs are submerged for a good ten minutes. Then sit up and get scrubbed, shave your legs. Whatever. The last five minutes I work on massaging my feet, ankles, calves. Move it upward.
2. I hate to waste too much water- so if you are able, yoga positions come into play on the cold water part.
Empty the tub and fill to the point that your shins  and calves will be covered. Use your yoga skills and realize that the faucet is a good place to rest your forehead at times.
 Get out and sit on the stool with a warm towel wrapped around you. Fill the bucket or use the cold water in the tub. I don't fill it up past an inch above my ankles. Hate using a minimal amount of the space if I'm on the stool and don't grab the bucket.
3. This time is perfect for stretching your upper body. Which is all incorporated into the core. If on the stool and feet in tub- lean forward and stretch your back on the tile wall of the tub. Do neck exercises that your Physical Therapist has you drive clear across town to do in his office.
I do some swimming like motions with my hands still forward, leaning against the tiled wall,  supporting my back. Use the warmth of the bath to do the warm up exercises of the neck and back. Use the breathing techniques that you would if you were swimming laps at the pool. So I go from left to right as if I were swimming but only with my neck. I touch my chin to my chest then slowly move it to the back.
4. Keep your posture. Sit up straight and do those arm stretches. Stretch the neck from side to side with one hand. Use a hand to put resitance on your chin as you move it from one side to the other.
Another step I add to help with retention is to raise both hands in the air, clench my hands into fists for a count of ten then release for a ten second count. Repeat as many as you can. Then let them rest on your head and grab the oppossite elbows and stretch.

Another exercise is to hold those arms out to your sides, rotate in circles. Or hold them out and  pretend you have weights in them and curl the arms toward the biceps. Moves that blood.

Just get them moving.
5. 20 minutes flies by when you concentrate on these other moves. But the ice cold water could be difficult for older or more injured individuals. So make it a temperature that is bearable as you start out. Especially if on prednisone and your skin is sensitive.

6.  Slowly remove your legs, dry them,  put lotion on those appendages and get them warmed up. All that cold water makes my heels crack- so put vaseline on the heels of your feet. I think you will find that these soaks help bone pain in your heels as well. Or maybe it's just me. Get some warm socks and slippers on and finish up getting ready.
7.  If doing this on the fly; DONE. 

1. fill the bucket, foot massage unit, or tub back up with hot water. This time do some foot stretches. Keep the feet flat on the floor and pull the toes toward your legs. I do ten of these and hold for ten. A bonus you get by doing this exercise in the tub, is that you don't stand a huge chance of getting the horrible charlie horses. If you do- push the toes, ankle or muscle in the direction of the pulling muscles. I also stand with one foot lined up with the heel, spread shoulder length. Bend your legs and keep your shoulders in line with the knees. Now do the same thing with your toes of pulling them toward your shins. Use the wall to also stretch out the calf muscles. If you are older or dealing with balance/fall issues, which anyone in a tub could, make sure you have safety bars or non slip grip on the floor of the tub. Better yet, don't do those in the tub. Do them outside the tub. I don't want you to fall.
2. I do the alphabet with my feet to help strengthen my ankles/ Or maybe it just adds to my pain and there is nothing you can do for ankles that have been sprained more than once???
3. You are done before you know it.
4. Repeat the 20 minutes of cold. Put your make-up on.
By this time you are ANCY to get on with your day-bring a book. Really. Study up on what your kid needs to do for Scouts.


 This will get you and the material water logged so go for paper backs.

So you don't think I am totally crazy for doing yoga in ice water here's some basics I believe...

The theory behind cold water soaks is that it constricts the blood vessels and flushes out the gunk. When I say gunk I mean the built up lactic acid or whatever is hiding in those muscles and tissues.Which could be anything after what I've seen and felt. That makes sense to me so I go with it.

 Whether you are out there running miles and miles and causing lactic acid and some other things to break down or to build up, or have meds that cause similar conditions; it flushes it.

 AND it reduces swelling/tissue breakdown. Makes sense to me.
I wish I could do this to my Moon Face.

Maybe I can.... cold compress or wash rag and then warm. ??? Anyone want to try and let me know?

Madre says it's, or I'm "cute", with my face how it is. But I still have some issues with it. Being Chipmunk or Squirrel cute is fine if it means I am able to be a mom and do what I need to do.

 I can't imagine an ice cold submerge of my face into the water.... 

After a work out of even walking a small distance, if I stick my sore feet, the ones that get bruises and feel like stress fractures coming on- ice water brings immediate relief. As does icing my shins. When I was younger I would grab the six pack ice packs that we put in the coolers and run it up and down my shins. That does not currently work with the size I am now. So I have to get creative.

  • Warm water opens those blood vessels and speeds up circulation. Which is really helpful to get water retention's attention. And helps with the healing process of breaking down muscle to build it up.

  • If I have done the whole 80 minutes I feel pretty cold at this point. Slowly work toward moving your feet out. Like I mentioned earlier, put on your lotion. Do the Vaseline.

    (I'd want this one item if stuck on an Island- it is super healing for cracked feet, cuticles, etc. However I am loving a Vitamin E liquid by Sally Hansen for the non healing cracks on my cuticles. Band-Aids with Vaseline afterward help, too.)

    This is a great time to put on make-up. Stand up. Sit back down on your stool. Get blood running. If you're a guy- I guess shave your face.
    Then it's time to get dressed. Your body is going to be getting warmer and back to business shortyly.
    Make your bed. Make your kids' beds if they forgot.
    UUUUUnnnnnlessss you are in the part of trying to get back into the game.
    Segue into the fact that you still have to work out. I know. You just bathed. But if you have a sprained ankle or injury, you aren't breaking a huge sweat.
    So go outside for the windy walk or hit the Tread! I only do 20 min. sessions at a time. But guess what?
    I am a die hard on stretching. So this means:Warm up at a speed. Get off and do the stretches.
    STAY hydrated. Seriously pound the water. Sip a lot of that H20.
    Who wants a needle and saline drip stuck in your arm for a few hours?
    Then you are really tied down.
    So remember to drink.


    The other day I saw J with chapped lips and dry skin made me inquire if he was drinking enough of the stuff. Nope. So push your kid, too. They need reminders like we all do. Especially when he spends most the day in the Idaho wind. Lovely stuff that wind.
    You can stop  reading now
     if you don't want to hear me
     "blog about it"

    (this is where I journalize and get emotional at times.)

    or go into how I stretch out J.!

     Because it is baseball season and they don't do a lot of that. Or maybe it is the fact his muscles are tight as a drum.
    Amanda blogs about 'It'.
    Do you feel that at times you are pushing past your limits?  Just the other day my little sign:
    (I had to turn it so you could read it. Maybe I should have left it!)
    - was hanging by a thread. And I had to wonder:

     "Is this a sign?" to really let it go; give up?

    The only thing keeping it from falling off the fridge; a picture of my late, Great grandfather. He past away due to the flu turned Scarlett Fever when my grandpa was just a lad.
    That lad had to do paper routes to help support his mom, two younger siblings, and the house. His mother worked in the Dole canery. Pretty humble. His two younger siblings relied on him quite a bit. He even bought the first set of furniture for the living room for his mom. I believe Grandpa H. was 12.

    Now, I wonder  if I could handle this sort of situation?

    Would/could my son do this? He is so involved in things from scouts to sports to whatever and I wonder if it is building this kind of ability? Or, Instead am I making sure he is set to do what I think is building those characteristics but maybe just saying no to norm and getting back to good old fashioned at home sort of character building would be good?

    An example of me keeping an eye on  J.'s condition after a baseball practice: While sitting down, I asked him to touch his toes. I was curious.

    Just as I thought. He was tight as a drum. Which means injuries.In baseball it is tough to work that into the workout, or they feel they get them warmed up and it is super cold her in Idaho right now.
    And windy. I picked up a shingle that had gotten ripped off the roof and landed in the yard today.
    This blog about it is after the marathon disaster. Which has made some changes to what I've written weeks ago on this particular post. More sappiness is added at points as I am doing a bit of editing and picture adding.

    Back to my point of stretching. Literally and theoretically.  
    In HS my track coach and weight/conditioning coach (See Coach Guilford post of the past) was a die hard on stretching. He empasized stretching and even showed J. and I that, initially, it could be knocked out in 20 minutes of cardio warm up.  (He's researched since my days in HS- consolidating precious time, etc). Even now,although he is retired, he volunteers with the HS runners. There is only so much time that he has to work with them and does  tell them that " after practice" they are on their own to do this major important step; stretch. 
    When J could barely get a fingernail within the vicinity of his big toe- trying to reach as hard as he could foward, I took over in the warm down/stretch deparment. Knowing that his after practice strecthing is something he isn't going to prioritize. 
    Thanks to the Tread I got him on it and had to re- warm him up a bit. Stretched hiim in the l-o-n-g methodical way I had learned, ran him a bit more, letting him get some cardio in and then, stretched him again. In the same way. It took time.  I did it too.

     As I was wearing thin and stretching too far in areas that I need to quit. It helped the massive pulled muscle in my neck.  I walked. And I stretched. And I wondered if the muscle pain has to do with the prednisone induced muscle wasting? Too much google time. 
    Stretching is time consumming.

    But it felt worth it when we were done. Time well spent. Spending time with J. is always a time to talk.

    The next few weeks are full of testing for J. One of the tests is on language. I hope he comes out okay on this one because his vocab, is big but sometimes and,  like his aunt, he'll use big words in wrong places. But it's cute and I have to laugh.
    I have gotten a kick out of some quotess on Pinterest-

    which got me in trouble with Padre the other day when I put this sign, with  benign intention on the bathroom mirror.  Backfired. It is a tough truth that stretches him.
    I'd almost ordered vinyl to put on the toilet seat lid that read:

     Put Me Down-

    as a reminder to the male toilet users. And sarcarsm to add to sarcasm in the house.

    It makes me laugh and thought it would do so when I clean those toilets but after the first quotes initial rejection- Padre might be inclined to take the advice on the toilet and dole out some more put. downs OUT of the restroom, too. So I will run it passed him first, remind him about upcoming grandkids and that it would be a cute reminder... hmmm.

     In Padre's defense,
     he did get over it and said we could put the sign back up. But I felt it better to keep in my room so as not to remind him of it the extras he has in the house- at least too often.

    Last night, after a cold baseball practice in the snow, J. came home happy as a clam.
    He ate, we did our stretches and we discussed the Boston Marathon.

    We had some information earlier in the day due to a connection to one of the runners. Before bed J. confided and asked:

    " how much more could a kid take? "

    Silently, I answered to myself... 'Good question.'
     He listed off his stressors. Which surprisingly didn't include throwing a baseball to teammates in winter-like condition.

    "And  to top it off runners in a race had to worry about explosions?"

    I had to explain that the Boston Marathon was a BIG race, where a lot of harm could be inflicted and that he should keep running cause the perpetrator's intent was to scare a large number of people. And I didn't want him thinking of getting out of track or anything....
    But still, in passing the living  room to the kitchen, he'd seen on  TV the  tid bits about the event and overheard me talking about it with family. And repeated what my friend's brother had felt;

    "that it was an eerie sound ahead... not one of celebration."
    I can't imagine running 26 miles and then having a surprise that would send your adrenal glands into mega overdrive under an already stressful situation. 
    The maxed out feeling,  then THAT??. Some ran further to the a hospital and donated blood.

    This didn't affect me directly, but I look at it and wonder how to "Prepare".
    How do you prepare for that? I saw we had awesome ENTs arrive and ready to take injured people to the best hospitals in the country.  The people looked to be pulling together and helping one another like in other times we have "come under attack".   
    I'd initially felt bad sending  J.  out to play in the cold, snowy weather. But maybe it all  is preparation for what a boy has to face. (Or girl) He came home giddy for the next day's game. So, obviously, this generation is getting some preparation. (it helps he is an overheated kid in general when the temps are low.)

    But what about when something like this happens? Will he or I keep our cool?
    Will we start with the first order of business?
    This always reminds me of a book I read about the New Orleans evac and what  a Dr. said: "It was my outdoor survival training that helped me the most in this situation."

    Done. We are working on these types of things in scouts, as hikers when I was a kid, etc.
    This month his Pack leader empasized that it was the Faith segement for what is called Duty to God or Faith in God.  This is a program that the boys do in the area of religion in scouts. Whether they do scouts or not. Or are LDS, or not.
    I had been reading a book which emphasized how important these programs were in the rising gens lives.


    Mom had picked out the book and during the day I read it. The title reminds me of the last Star Wars. When Darth- Anikan is on a lower level and his Yoda master has the higher ground.

    We all know what Anakin does to try and gain advantage of his once loved master/teacher. So the analogy is catchy.
     At his age I was definintely not as intuned or aware of things this generation seems to have to really face head on. And I am at times wondering how to teach such a generation. It is intense. I feel like I have to apoligize, but I think they are up to it and so am I if I put my heart into it on the physical aspects and more importantly, spiritula; we'll be good. 

    Even though I also can  barely touch my toes and my muscles are tight as a drum, we are improving.
    Oh, and one more thing. I've burned close to 1,000 M&Ms. Yet, on prednisone,  my weight hasn't gone anywhere. Which has me stoked to not have gained.

     Miles and miles of those little candies yet to go.

    Tuesday, April 16, 2013

    Play Ball! and: One Scout Uni; FOUND!

    Tsunami-like weather, minus living by the ocean, is now hitting Idaho. Which means, like I said in previous posts; baseball is here.
    It is debatably worse than football season. The blasts of wind cause your face to weather more quickly.
    But J. seems to love it. So I let him do what he loves. After a few years of me making him suffer by putting him on a team that I coached, that included a handful of kids' names at the Rec center, he now is able to develop and play under actual coaches.
    Even those who know the rules better than I did. I just knew how to stretch them out, do basic drills, and love the kids.
    Above is J's first glove. He had been born loving the basketball but the baseball... now that was neat, too. The only baseballs we had were the hard ones and so he got used to throwing those around indoors for two minutes and then it was all about baseball for a bit.
    His first mitt: a plastic glove with Velcro inside to hold a soft tennis like ball that the Velcro could grab easily if it was tossed to him.
    The look on his face is classic. It almost seems to be wondering: 'This is not real leather.'
    'Even though I don't know what real leather is, I know this is not right somehow.' 
    Shortly after this revelation he accepted it but wanted to have a real, hard baseball thrown back and forth with a plastic mitt..... it didn't work too well. And I had to convince him to use the tennis ball. Which he'd just go and throw to the neighbor dogs that lived on either side of us.
    He did this with his shoes too. He just wanted to play catch. Like the leather, he didn't realize the dogs would not hand back the items through the fence, but chew on them. This caused me great consternation and he received one of the few swats I gave him in his early career as a child.
    Eventually he was moved  up to a "real" one that was a better plastic and then his fortune came and he had the op to get a leather mitt for a bday gift.
    (I think this is mitt number 3.)
    Of course he grew out of it, like they do shoes, and it was saved for the next grandkid.
    Actually, one neighborhood boy saw J. practicing hitting at the park and J's first good mitt was loaned out to the cutest kid in love with a baseball mitt too. I was glad the little guy got some father and son catch in with those mitts.
    One day we had a picnic and outing to a park that was an old school church ball field.
    Below is Jaden walking onto one of the first ball fields he'd seen. Beside being a baby at an IF Chukars game.
    (He even found a softball that was hit into the outfield and unraveled. Foreshadowings??
    I was still of the mind frame that  basketball was his true love and this was just like any other boy who instictively loves any game involving throwing an object potentially able to break things. I love that the bottom pic- him trying to understand why church and baseball are on the same grounds.
    Or is he wondering if he could throw the ball that far and nail the building?
     It [sports] becomes religion, I've noticed.  I hope he is looking back there to remember he needs both and that we can balance it all out in the coming years.
    (All kids love bleachers. Especially if there are rocks underneath and you are two.
    Oh, boy.
    Another stressful fact is that I spent many hours climbing behind a toddler on bleachers to keep him from falling through them. Which I think he wanted to test for good measure.
     Rather stressful, those bleachers. Along with being very hard to sit on. But I have to take a good long look at them and realize I will be sittin on a lot of them through my life! I guess I should ask for a stadium seat to sit on next Christmas to soften the inevitable..)
    That day, was the day he was introduced to a ball field.  I took pics. so I could scrap book them. I started to scrap book those first baseball moments but other things took precedence. My health for one. And digital cams came out. eventually taking scrapbooking online it seemed.  
    Those stickers were pricey to boot! (when you're poor, everything is!)So it took a back seat.
     Unfortunately, that was the end of my die hard scrap booking days and I look at these pages with a little trepitdation. I need to finish them up in the manner I meant to decorate them in the first place and then call it good.
    Don't get me wrong, I still take photos and I dream of putting them in sleeves and documenting things a little rather than keeping them on digital cams that are then transferred to the computer where they sit and are forgotten.
    Rarely do we sit in the crowded office of Padre's and just go back through the pics.
     All of technology has helped us to simplify. But there is something about holding a tangible book in your hands of your history. Still, I am now into streamlining.
    In these days, there  is nothing "simple" about the "game". Whether it is baseball, basketball, golf, football, or the stupendously fun and competitive game of playing croquet!
    When I look back to when this guy was a littl tike...I think of things like:
     Hours that were spent throwing the ball to him in the back yard ( when he was three and four) so he could either catch it or hit it. Not only was I pitcher, but catcher and would have to retrieve the ball.
    These were some of the most trying times for me as a mom. Because I didn't feel hot health wise. yet he propelled me on and he was my physical trainer.  Just the mention of going outside by a child that still is learning to pump him/herself on the swing set, is simply torture for some reason. Adults like to talk with other adults when they can and this is the exact time a child would like a nice pump on the swing set. Even in winter. Pushing them on the swing is one thing, doing 9 innings of practicing baseball, football or whatever is tough.
    Do other parents feel this way?
    Just wishing that the swing set would be like the automatic ones they had when they were babies? But they want YOU to be out there pushing them anyway becayse it is a bonding moment, and the child thinks you are having as much of a blast pushing them as they are in their little tike, belted in swing. (Eventually you have to break it to them that they have to learn to pump themselves or it's audios swing.
    Like I said about those earlier years, it could be physical torture.  Coincidientally,  it was only a foreshadow of the future torture!
    Pretty soon kids  get good at throwing that baseball. And you as a parent, aunt or uncle,  are fielding balls, throwing grounders, hearing pleas for just one more pop fly all before you have to start dinner!
    And did I mention bats? or socks?
     His first bat was a big barreled, plastic yellow bat. Used in conjunction with the T stand at Padre's or the play mop that had to be hand held by a parent, he learned that bats were essential and part of the baseball package.
    The big barrel has come full circle, and at sports Authority they quizzed me on drop weight,etc. for his league and I'm thinking: "What is the difference? We have a family of bats at home. I don't see what the deal is. I just need to find a good brace for my ankles while J drools over bats that cost as major bucks.
    Baseball is expensive.
    Cleats. Pants and belt. Pay to play. Bats. Balls. Mitt. Bat. Hand warmers, jackets, and rain gear for playing through the rain and wind storms.
    Eventually, once you have all your gear, all of this cummulates into a Rockwell paintingand as I watch my son re-enact Norman's painting:.
    The lean forward, pull back, stand erect with the ball in his mitt while he eyes the target and his mate with catcher's glove awaits the special picth.... 
    Iit's the movie Sandlot all over again!! . This set of  kids love the game, celebrate it, cheer on their teammates.And afterwards are still playing.
    How did I get so fortunate? Or how did he score in the areas of friends? My gosh, he has really come to be loyal and feel a duty to his teammates.. I think playing sports is a good lesson, like Monopoly. You play your best. No matter what position you put in. If  you can, learn every position and be aware of your teammates style of playing so you can orchestrate some poetry out on the field. In a cloud of dust due to the wind. Ha!
    My one mistake during the game:
    the cardinal no- no, I went up to him after an inning of great pitching. I had to sit in the car to avoid the wind and was precariously positioned to get nailed by a foul ball- however, I had to get to him and let him know how cool I thought he was out there. How well he did.
    He'd had looked to the car to see if I was watching during some awesome pitches, catches, and plays that were fun to take in.
    "Yes, son I was watching. And, yes, I was couldn't contain myself in the vehicle from cheering as if I was on the bleachers.
    I was never that cool. Maybe I was in parent's eyes. But I was proud of him. I mean it was freezing cold out there! When he got home he filled me in on the post scrimmage game talk.
    Said his lips hurt so bad due to licking them, the wind, and seasoned sunflower seeds mixed with dirt.
    Being prepared, I pulled out the vaseline.
    Oh! Sunflower seeds need to be added to list of needs as well.  Even I am craving the things.
    Whoa! Playing Ball causes me to write a HUGE post.
    oh, and Readers, I found the scout shirt. You won't believe where I found it. I'd finished laundry, searched bedrooms and was ready to embark on going through EVERY Tupperware plastic box that I'd put things away.. Then I happened to be in the laundry room and sorting some boxes. There, between the lazy- susan box and a holiday box, was a crumpled Scout shirt. How it got sandwiched so tightly in betwee with all his arrow points, etc. is beyond me. But finally our prayer was answered. 
    I should have seen if my lost ring was there, too. I will have to move the sorting bins further away, into a different spot, so they don't  mingle with the holiday decorations.

    Either way- We are back in business!
    If you made it though this post you deserve a pat on the back and possibly a scouting segment for patience.

    Thursday, April 11, 2013

    The Neighborhood Myth

    J: "Mom, have you heard of the Neighborhood Myth?"

    Me: Is that where all the kids are good and help take care of the yard and take out the garbage?"

    J: No. It is about a man that walks the streets at night and he morphs into different things... and if a fly lands on him then comes into contact with you- you get some of his morph charachteristics.

    Me: hmmm. who told you this? The Dagster? (pal)

    J: Yeh, I played with it for awhile and  told him: 'Yeh, I've heard about the Neighborhood Myth.' But after awhile I jumped on my bike and rode home as fast as I could. Rememeber I was home playing blah, blah, blee?

    Me: Do you mean you "Went along with it"?  Wow. I've never heard of that myth. Do you know what a myth means?

    J: Yeh.

    Me: I think you are just going along with me now. But there ya go. And I did wonder why you were home when the sun was shining that day. I will keep a watch out for flies and any symptoms you may have that are different than other times.

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    Monopolized Test Taking Advice

    (Combating stress and worry over test taking. )
    Tonight J. asked me for some ideas or tips on "not worrying about important school tests".
    Well, I could only refer back to the last "official" test I took; the series 7 and 63 to become a stockbroker. If I failed I would lose my job. It was that important to get employees for the financial institution to get us doing trades for people. The company had great insurance and I NEEDED that job.
    So, I had to study the best I could and then drive an hour away to take the test at some random test taking place. I recall trying to stack so much info in my brain by memorization, etc. that it hurt so bad some nights.
    I didn't tell him that part.
    (J. does a great job of posing with his Christmas loot- but as you can see, you need several weapons to defend yourself from the negativity you can feel toward tests- i.e. Life.)
    Me: Well, you've done all you can do, now just remember to relax, go slow, and concentrate on your breathing. Then let the chips fall where they may.
    J: What chips?
    Okay, that last part I made up. But I did tell him that I rode to the testing place praying the whole time in my head. No music. Just me and the silence before a long test. Like 4 hours or something.
    Really, it took that long and there were few breaks, where we were allowed to stand and stretch.
    Not to take away the importance of the test I asked him what the worst thing could be if he didn't do as well as he wished? I informed him that I couldn't recall how I did on some test in 4th grade. But that he had the rest of his life to keep learning and eventually get it right.
    Recalling the dentist appointment and that brief period on laughing gas, I offered that as a last worry free option. 
    "We'll just call Dr. O and then you could giggle through the whole thing and, when it is over, you won't even recall taking the test."
    That reminded me of a nightmare I had. So I told him about how I thought I had brushed my teeth with the toothbrush I'd been using to clean all those see shells. LUckily it was a dream.
    He chuckled and drifted off to sleep.
    Which led me to reflect on the passed few days. Ugh. Spring has arrived in all it's glory. Idaho glory.
    There was a calm before the lion arrived with its mighty hair rattling, door slamming, wind.
    Right now It is whistling through the fireplace as if to remind me that it is unrelenting. The wind, cold temps, and soggy grass is a signal it is track/baseball season.
    I must say,however, that we lucked out over his spring break; beautiful high temps for the majority of the time. Quite unusual for an Idaho spring break. But then it started to act like itself and returned to normal, depressing Idaho weather.
    (maybe wearing jammies would help....)
    After a long winter you would think that you had built up the fortitude to endure such a blast- but it never gets easy. Like J's dentist said about long distance running, it never gets easy to run 16 miles.
    Yes, you get in better shape and it isn't so hard to "get started" . He said he is always fighting with himself about whether or not to stop and tie his shoes, or take it easier.
    It made me think about being on prednisone and dealing with disease and it is true across the board; it never gets easier. You just know what to expect and you learn some things to help you, but ultimately you have to ruck it.
    To add to the abominable weather, going back to school, and having tests to take,  J. and I  started a game of Monop, Monop, Monopoly over his spring break This time the long hours of counting money, remembering to collect 200 when you pass 'Go' ,and worrying about landing on the Income Tax box has made us a little stressed.To boot,  J. has taken it personal for some reason. He must be growing up because that's how I recall the game going with others I played it with years ago.
    J. wants to beat me at this game. And I am not making it easy on him- I taught him some tricks of the trade and things little rules or ways to escape paying the other person- like being non- chalant about it all and then I roll the dice to find that he'd been camped out on board walk inside one of my houses.
    (don't try to multitask during Monopoly. Brain drain and bickering is the only result.
    (if he only knew I am posting these pics... ha! Revenge!)
     It [the game] lays on the floor of the basement each day waiting for the time we allot to playing the aggravating game. Something that I'm sure annoys Padre as he passes the family room to shower each evening.
     One transaction, transfer of titles had J up in arms most of last night  and I found myself fighting with him over land, that is not even real, on our way to practices and running errands. And even threatening to burn the game. (that last part I added for spice in this post)
    As banker, I hope he is learning some things to help him with his tests this week.
    Unfortunately, I am learning some about money, selling, and testing of my patience through this whole ordeal.
    I wish I had a cavity instead.

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