Monday, July 29, 2013

Bike Clip Clarifiication

A few weeks ago J. had a bicycle accident. I wanted to clarify that it WASN'T the new bike clips that were put on that caused the accident.
He looked down and ran into a car. The reason he looked down was to put his foot in a clip.
Looking down and not paying attention is what caused the accident.
Clips are actually really great and an asset to mountain biking. Which makes for more fun.
Not watching where you are going is another story.
Just wanted to clarify because his open wound made the facebook circuit pretty quick before he even had time to tell the Dr. what had happened.
Another interesting thing.... I blogged the other day about Kevin Pearce and his accident. Although he had

a massive brain injury

 doing an Action Sport, he did not begrudge or blame the extreme risk or deter futute athletes from participating in the sport.

He said it brought him a lot of

Anything can happen in life. Yes, you can increase your odds of risk by stepping outside.... but if you are smart and educate yourself on the safety end, you can decrease those odds.
Case in point: my bug bites. I didn't spray myself before stepping into it after Madre had been bit 7 times.
So, really, that is my own fault too. Happy to report that the Apple Cider/Baking Soda paste has brought relief. If took away the redness and spreading of the bite;s venom. No joke! I have had to repeat it, but I have not had any major allergy reactions, thank goodness.
So get on a bike, or strap on a snowboard/wakeboard and use your head.
But, please love your brain and wear a helmet when needed!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Jam Packed

I have not stepped foot in my garden. As most readers know this is rare.

The garden is where I lived/live for and was the topic of many a blog post. This year there have been no flowers lining the garden for me to water each morning.

No hanging baskets in the front to mist. The break has been a relief although it has been sad.
Susan Branch's blog has provided the needed garden fix as hers has come to fruition. Along with her new book based on the trip to England she took this last year.

Saved me the trip! But I still need to own that book.

In the two years that I have delegated the duties, the raspberry transplants mom got from her friend, have taken over the garden.

So I lied. I stepped out  in my garden  this morning wearing black rain boots while everyone was still snoozing.

And I saw the damage....

The vines have taken over my Rhubarb patch. Um. That was the basis of one of my books.... The Blessing of Rhubarb Pie.

(look! you  can barely see my Rhubarb, choked out!)

Now we have raspberries coming out of our ears. Madre has canned them. She even weeded the other day. As a result was biten 7 times by some black looking bug.

The bites made her arms swell up.. She had to go on prednisone for an allergic reaction! HELLO!

I don't know if this is the year of the arachnids, or what.

Remember how I'd sit on my little stool like a little nimph out there and just weed? Not on your life now.

The stool is about rusted away and that doesn't help, but unless Padre gets out there with some big gun pesticides, I'm throwing in the towel on the garden.

Each evening around mid-night when Padre settles down and looks outside he will lament the raspberry situation.

Padre: People covet those. [raspberries].

Me: (ignoring the implication I go out there and can them, right there outside, off the vine.)

Padre: "that is what I work for."

Me: Rasberries? I was totally under the impression you worked to have mom make you bacon and to have your own, monogrammed towel. Man, I was way off!

(so as no one else will use your towel...)
Padre: "To come home and enjoy the fruits of my labor; i.e. canned jam on toast.
Folks would jump through hoops to have those. [berries that have ripened right before our eyes]
okay I just paraphrased there.
He actually used some very colorful language that needed censoring. But that is the jist.
The old man really loves to pour cream over raspberries in a bowl and saturate them with sugar.
As do I.
Then he will notice all the apples that have dropped on the grass. Overnight they fall off the branches and are squishy applesauce consistency by late afternoon.

Madre: "Don't worry, Honey. The mower's will pick them up on Monday."

Me: (aren't we, as in J. and I, 'The Mowers' ?)

Unless we get a bee keeper's costume, I'm not going out there to weed, cut back vines from my blessed Rhubarb, or can.

And I need a new gardening stool. Mine is on it's last leg.

*Tragic Update! How stupid can I be? In the name of gathering raspberries and pictures for this blog,

 I got bit! !!!!!
I immediately made a paste:

Two teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar and then baking soda. Or should it have been baking powder?
Something I saw somewhere to help draw out venom.
J said:  "That garden is FORBIDDEN!
Tidbits for bites that I googled- have NO idea if any work:
Apparently I should have walked out there after spritzing myself with pure Vanilla.
Didn't. Sooo.  Now what?
Probably Lyme Disease.
DIY Spray
Mosquito Bites: This recipe from had four ingredients (witch hazel, Listerine, apple cider vinegar and scented oil) but was still easy to make. Mix it all in a spray bottle, shake it up and spraysaway. The first obvious downside is that it has the strong odor — makes a really strong — odor.
Spit on it. has antibiotics in it apparently.
Make a past with mud if desperate.
Super hot water on it or hot compress immediately afterward. 
Vicks rubbed on the bite.
Insect Bites
Banana Peel rubbed on it...
too tired to research any more.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Love Your Brain, Like Kevin Pearce.

 Kevin Pearce.
Can you see the determination in his eyes? The future right in front of him, for the taking?
His eyes pierce your soul.
I so remember the intensity, drive, and excitement for the future!
His led him down this path....
A contender for the 09 Olympics, slated as one to rival Shaun White.
Guess what changed all that?
Not a traffic violation.
A Traumatic Brain Injury.
(now he will pierce your heart)
 He was practicing a double cork and nailed his noggin' on the half pipe.
His helmet saved his life.
The fall damaged his vision along with that important thing in his skull.
His family, The Pearce's live back east, where his father established a glass company called Simon Pearce, gathered round him. 
(Go to the web site and watch them make the beautiful pieces of art. Who knew a drinking glass could take that much effort? )
Oh, they also have a love your brain bowl.

All proceeds go to Kevin's foundation: Love your Brain.

Their mission:
Our mission is to remove the stigma from the term "mental health." The goal is to educate America
about mental health and bring the conversation out of the shadows and into regular life.
They also have another famous and amazing member of their family, David. (on K's right in above picture.)The mother, Pea, explained how David prepared them for their young son's dreams to shatter like glass right before their eyes- at age 22, I believe.
Watch it on the documentary: The Crash Reels.
(apparently still not available online yet. But there are showing in Europe and down under as the summer progresses)
It was played in Utah's backyard Sundance Festival this last Feb. Dang, that is when I fell and bumped my head. Compared to his whip slap on the lip of the half pipe.... oh, my.
I don't know how Pea endured watching him run the mountain since he was 5.
But when you have a helmet on.... you think you are somewhat safer.
Utah even got to have Kevin while he was:
In a Coma.
This is a universal sign for being bed-ridden I think.
It isn't fun.
His passion helped him get through months of rehab at Craig Hospital after awaking from his coma.
Located in Colorado, he retrained his body and endured eye surgeries, and more to even get to where he is at now.
Kevin assumed he would compete again. The documentary helps him see that he could die if he does. Watch and see what this amazing kid does with his life.
Soap Box is officially sudzed up!
Enjoy the searches..... Kevin Pearce, Lucy Walker and her documentary on him, The Pearce Family, Glass Blowing in the beautiful Vermont area.
Sigh. One, day I will walk into their restaurant and have dinner with them.
it's that kind of destination.
And they are the kind of people you would want to meet.
 Or have them adopt you.
And your kid.
Love your Brains!
I am gonna need one of these.
 So will J.

Same Turn Out

One of the mysteries I have found from blogging, and not blogging, is that I have the same reader turn out. With the exception of my come back post and then some others. But on the whole, I have the same reader turn out.
So, if I were a library book, I'd still be checked out. Which I guess is the least any author hoped for in their life.
So I am having random mid morning thoughts. First of all there is cuteness. J. 's future employer or wife will love this one....
But he showed me a picture taken with a phone and he put 'Jaden and Amanda' above it.
That is the cutest thing.
Then again it could be a subliminal message to me that he wished he was canoeing down that river and will need my help to do so. And so I better keep with my almost post prednisone regimen.
Which entails tring to get passed the fact you were on prednisone. Whether by denial or trying to rehabilitate your brain and body like those suffering from major brain trauma. Except those of us on prednisone didn't fall down on our brains to mix up the wires, signals, and road ways that are all askewed.
Speaking of askew- that's all I've got this morning.
oh wait- one more thought that is on my mind. Did the Duchess and Prince William practice that baby hand off? Because that wasn't awkward at all. And every time we have a new baby in the family or when I first did, the handoff was almost a fumble.
I think they practiced that over and over  with a dummy baby because she checked out of the hospital so fast, I don't know how they could have practiced it in that amount of time.
He was a screamer though and so maybe they just got used to handing him back and forth to whoever would hold little George.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

All Mail The Queen!

J misread a line in a book, instead of 'hail' he said 'mail'.
Easy mistake, no?
 And quite timely considering the biggest good royal news, the great grandma might enjoy some mail!

Friday, July 19, 2013

1 week Anni and Tenner Shoes

Jaden loves these shoes. They are two shoes ago, meaning that he has a new pair AND a fall back pair before these need to be even thought about.
If it were up to me, they'd be in the garbage. The tread is gone. Holes have sprouted along with some bacteria, I'm sure. If I saw him wearing any of his shoes with out socks I reminded him of all the clean ones of different varieties waiting in his drawer. He declined.
If they came home wet, I told him to stuff them with newspaper to absorb the water and the smell.
Finally, I even bought new ones. And told him they could be retired into the mowing lawn shoes.
But they haven't. I believe it has something to do with summer and not needing to worry about sliding on the black top playground.
Either way, I  Couldn't understand the "pull" to these shoes when hehad a new pair.
Wulp, we read a short story/chapter from McManus' book:
and I found out.

Books were written by an avid sportskid since birth. He hails from Northern Idaho and has published several books and articles for outdoorsy people.
(Annnddd indoorsy people.)
After having lived a life full of material for writing such exploits, he turned his attention to putting them on paper so we could enjoy them.
 My father and us would sit around the table and giggle while reading this signed book out loud.
I remember cramping up in my sides as I listened to stories of him his dog, Strange. He just understood what it was like to be camping in your back yard and needing to go to the bathroom, but being too scared to go into the house due to the enormous distance.
 These books have disappeared over their lifetime. Or Padre's. And it's caused a child or two to be removed from the will.
I know I once got the best one soaked, a signed version, no less. And it now has mold on it.
I wonder if Pat would replace it? Or the whole lot of books for my old man, so we kids could read them without being berated for losing his books or being left out of his will.
Those were just McManus threats by Padre. I'm sure he didn't mean it. I haven't even seen this so called "will" anways.
But last night, on the Eve of J's one week anniversary of getting his knee opened up, we read a chapter about shoes. 98 cent Tenner shoes, purchased every spring by the single mother of McManus.
They were a standard shoe that did everything. Scaled mountains, rode bikes, horses, cows, and walked in water. Went hunting. And even to church and weddings.
Eventually the shoe conformed to the kids' feet that wore them.
Half way through the heavily soaked sarcasm, J. said:
"Finally! Someone who gets it!"
He said this in a serious tone as he rearranged himself in his bed to find a comfy position before sleep came.
I am assuming he meant McManus and so I had to read in between the lines in this chapter to understand a kid's love and devotion to a very old, on its last thread, pair of shoes.
Essentially that shoe up above is conformed to J's foot- it is as if he is going barefoot. Any nuance his toes may make can then be read by the shoe and appropriately compensated for against the ground or whatever is beneath his foot.
McManus does mention that these shoes were also worn in sleeping bags... J can keep the smelly things but I have to put my foot down on them getting into any sleeping bags or beds.
I have to say this about writing.... I was afraid I wouldn't be able to after this last bout but look, I'm writing.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


It is hard to think.

And I've been trying really hard tonight to make some connections. I must have really wanted to empathize with J. and his knees.
Tonight I walked upstairs to get some milk. My right foot, the toes, caught the lip of the stairs. Again.
Like they caught the lip of the curb the other day. I'd just started to formulate a smile, shoved my hand into the hoodie of my sweatshirt and *doink*.
My right leg didn't raise enough. It caught just enough to send me air born. my knees skidded across the sidewalk. right hand came to the rescue and caught my body and head from nailing the ground.
thank you wrist and hand. but still the whiplash.
i did what only anyone could do, roll around on the moist grass until the cursing storm in my brain passed. i must say I did phenominal at not making a loud racket.
but tonight it hits me that i am struggling in this area. endless googling about the connections of prednisone and balance and/or bone fraility have turned up with little results.
is this a side effect? of another med I've taken in the past for this disease. is it and me morphing into like a continual brain injury, or what.
it is bugging me.

as if nausea, Crohns, two years on prednisone and tapering weren't enough. as if depression weren't enough.

maybe I should google that? depressed and falling. ? I look for stories that could relate and nothing until I start reading my own blog and think I am spot on. Which means I might as well keep blogging in the hopes of helping some other hapless faller who is on prednisone.
it could do with the eye sight thing. but ya know it isn't like I am watching my feet as I climb stairs or crawl over curbs.
so it must be spatial. either way, I am finding that this year's brain problems have added a new dimension to the disease.
pharm companies call me every so often to get updates from me. they wanna track my life. see if their drug has any consistencies with others who have taken it.
I get really riled up. to think you go through and sign all the permission slips knowing that you could have the unkown happen- and when it does,you can only be ticked with yourself for having signed up.

Monday, July 15, 2013

"People Clear in Kentucky"

The other day I asked J. for permission to  put a pic of his stitched up knee on my blog. His response:

"Well, people clear in Kentucky have seen it on facebook when it wasn't stitched, so sure."

When he had his accident I took a few pics. and sent them to my parents. Eventually it made it on Facebook. Which J. must think has an outside reader perimeter of Kentucky.

He was receiving get wells before he made it home from the hospital. However none have come from Kentucky.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Not Retiring Yet

Because I am still here. Still tapering off prednisone.  (takes a freakishly long time after you've been on it a few years.)
Still J's mom. Still being whoed by the whole thing.

This is what has happened since I said I was done:

J's baseball pants did retire - you can see why- I scrubbed them up one last time for his final game.
Here's how he handled the end of the season.....

Yup. Strewn across the basement couch. It looks like he shrunk inside them doesn't it?

Well, he hung up his big barrel baseball bat in the spring, (he was willing to play year round baseball)


summer got into full swing- wind and all.

Summer has meant a myriad of things this year. Many similar to past summers.

Mowing lawns.

Saving money for something he really wants.

Me helping him do that while curbing his desire to spend all his money. Which is  having to lay down the savings law of saving. (Tithe. and then a portion into savings.)

Very painful. But I help the kid and feel that is my contribution to his savings and purchases.

Some random ones...

New Tent. New desire to camp. Kid camp. Back yard used as training ground. Put up tent at least ten times.
Put sealant on the seams of tent until his fingers stuck together. Then I finished the rest.

Read a book about camping. Only made his desire to go even more profound.

Went camping, in a forest with no bears he was informed, just recently.

 J: "But the bathrooms had signs on them that read 'Bear Country' 

Me: Must have been for decoration.

We all know what camping out in your own tent in a forest with bears that pull you from your tent and maul you can be like. (The Uintas- and pretty much anywhere bears are it is possible.)

His induction into Webelos has meant Turbo Scouting.

Which means they learn even more about camping, widdling, wild life and what have you.

(working with molding clay was one optional scout requirement. He has quite the knack.)

While many are sewing dresses for wedding receptions we hit the ER the other day to have a Dr. sew up J's knee.

His experience immediately roused my writing abilities from the dead.

He's been biking a lot and as you know he likes to bike. He never sustainted any hospital trip injuries whilst dropping in and out of the bowl at Tauphuas Park.

He hasn't fallen going down stairs or up stairs on his mountain bike.

But tooling around on the street with his friend just 'doing nothin' prompted this call from best friend's mom:

 BF Mom: "Amanda? Jaden is here (nothing unusual to alert me of the dire situation))
and he's had a fall.

hmmmm. .... my mother instinct is going back over the possiblities.

BF Mom: It looks like he's gonna need stitches.

Me: REally?

The doorbell rang. Their car was outside. Uh-oh. Jaden was on the other side where his BF's Dad was kneeling with him, holding a white wash rag over the wound.

They pulled it back at my request.

WHOA. A crater in his leg. The upper skin was squished up and out of the way like drapes being pulled back to reveal the anatomy of his knee. It wasn't pretty.
I had my bile moment then pulled it together.

Out to the hospital we went; Me trying to prepare him for what was to come,
and telling myself I could get through the moments of him bawling while they cleaned it out and then tortured him with telephone cable and a quilting needle to put him back together.

Amazingly the ER was empty.

Triage nurse hooked him up the to the BP cuff in no time.

J: It might have a high reading because I am nervous.

P.A. and nurse chuckle.

They ask the usual questions.

Them: Are his booster shots current?

Me: Yes. Those measle looking dots are mere mosquito bites....

And then some unusual questions.

Them: Are you a home schooled kid?

J: Uh, I'm a school, schooled kid.

He was wheeled by yours truly back to cubby twenty three.

The Dr. came in.

Dr.: Who was she?

J: huh?

Dr. The girl chasing you?

J: uh...

Dr.: So what happened?

J: It's a classic tale...

and his voice faded as he shook a bit on the gurney waiting his fate.

Dr. looked at it and told the nurse to pour some numbing agent on it.

That's right, POUR.

Me- what? no needles? how the heck...

So the nurse came in and poured some cold lidocaine liquid on his knee that his little crater absorbed.
J: I can't feel a thing!

Ten minutes later the nurse comes back and pours more of the cold liquid on his knee.
Jaden is perplexed and excited despite shaking a bit. REason: epinepherine is also in that concotion.

So the Dr. comes back and scrubs the crater. I am amazed I am not disgusted by this but the fact my son isn't wailing, really helps. He talks about how clips on his mountain bike made him fall right at a stop sigh once. So they connect about mountain biking. (this is why J. fell. he was riding his bike with the clips newly put on, one glance down to try to get out of the pedals and... yeah.

Jaden sits up and starts quizzing the Dr. about his credentials.
Like where he practiced, what things he dissected in HS and his Med schooling.

The Dr. answered that he had worked on pig legs to give him practice and then cadavers. After that real people back east while he interned. Which meant a really good Dr. leaned over his shoulder and watched.

Jaden was satisfied with his experience and professionalism.

J: What kind of knots are those?
he asked as the doctor pulled back the squished up skin flat twizzers and pulled it over the crater.

Dr. :Surgeon knots.

The Dr.  stopped for a bit and showed us how he made square knots with the use of blunted scissors.
Then he took out a knot and decided that it needed a mattres knot instead.

This made the bottom part of the knee skin have the potential to lay flatter. It was longer across horizontally. All very interesting. Again, made possible because I wasn't holding his arms and body down while they numbed the area with shots right in the crater. Like in the old days.

The nurse was amazed at his composure and desire to watch. She asked if he could help her the rest of the day. What a nice nurse.

They are understaffed I told him...

Then the Dr. dropped the bomb.

"You can't bend your knee to a 90 degree angle. So no bike riding. No swimming in creeks. (that was in the plans for the afternoon.) No swimming in even chlorinated water.
Wash the wound daily with soap and water. No hydrogen peroxide.  So it is basically X-box and movies for the next ten days."


Our jaws dropped.

J: ha, hah!!!!!!!!!!! payback!
he said to me mockingly then quickly looked at his Dr. and asked:

J: No camping? I was going to camp out back tonight! And NO BIKING?

Dr. You can walk.

oh, brill.

Jaden was subdued as they wrapped his leg in bandage to remind him to not bend it, but the pain in recent days and hours has helped him to remember to lay flat as a cadaver.

And the keeping his leg up lasted all of two hours as I read to him from Patrick McManus; camping extroidinaire.

he got his camping fix, so no worries. He also only made it til about 3 a.m. before the knee was getting to him.

So he has a ten day excuse to get out of mowing it looks like.

 Good thing he has a built in sub.

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