Grape Creek Ride March 2014

We met up with Tina Heffner and Linda Clark at the Kwik Stop at Highway 50 and 115 in Penrose. From there it was about a twenty minute drive to Grape Creek. We headed west on Hwy 50 to Canon City. Took a left (south) at the prison on First Street. Then a right (west) on County Road 3, which is also Temple Canyon Road.
prisontoGrapeCreek
There is a big dirt parking lot with plenty of room to park several horse trailers and still share the lot with the unfortunate people that hike rather than ride a horse.

Maestro is still a little nervous in our relatively small two horse strait load trailer. It’s a little tight for him, which causes a slight freak out but nothing bad. We opened the gate and he just stood there, refused to back out. So we opened up Rio’s side, told him to back up and he did just that. It’s like magic to me when they do that.

Maestro saw that his buddy Rio was leaving the trailer and he decided to bail pretty quickly. Reverse psychology works with kids as well as horses.

There was a lot of looking around, sniffing and snorting and then he settled down. Got the saddle on as well as his new jaquima and bit hanger. I thought he looked very handsome with the snazzy red and yellow accents.

MCandMaestrocrop
Linda was the only one that had ridden this area before so she took the lead. I wish I could tell you where we went but I was so busy looking around that I didn’t pay that much attention to how we got to where we went!

I realized afterwards that this was the first time we had ever ridden in a gaited only group. Linda was on Gabby her 11 year old Missouri Fox Trotter gelding. Tina was riding Sophie, a MFT mare who is 12. Steve and I were our 20 year old Paso Finos Rio and Maestro. I have to say, it was very liberating riding with a group that all had gaited horses. Maestro kept his temper and we did not stop and wait for the group or circle around to kill time once. That might be why he didn’t have any stomping hissy fits that day?

Steve did his typical thing of looking for high ground to climb or interesting things to ride over. Maestro and I joined him on a couple of narrow ridge rides that that had some spectacular views. Next time I’ll take more pics.

Not a lot of rock on these trails, so we did some loping and a lot of gaiting. When we went off the dirt trails there were rocks a quite a bit of cactus. Apparently both of our guys have tangled with cactus before because we learned to hang on if they decided to play dodge the cactus as we were loping off trail. We went around a ridge line and down to the creek. What a gorgeous area. Linda said you could ride down the creek quite a ways when the weather is warmer and the water not as cold. A good excuse to go back. We let the horses splash around a while in the creek. Had to laugh at Rio who looks like he is trying to drown his fool self when he puts his head almost up to his eyeballs in the water.

Grape Creek, CO
After criss crossing the creek a few times we headed back.

The ride took a couple of hours. Lots of trails that went unexplored that we were taking note of for next time.

Great ride, great area, awesome company.

grapecreepmapride

Adults Can Be Bullies Too

Grown ass women can be just as mean as teenage girls. We may think that bullying is restricted to school age kids, but let me tell you bullying is alive and well in the grown up world.
This will come as no surprise to many women.
Clique as defined by Wikipedia:
In the social sciences, a clique (CanE, UK /ˈkliːk/ or US /ˈklɪk/) is a group of “persons who interact with each other more regularly and intensely than others in the same setting.” Interacting with cliques is part of normative social development regardless of gender, ethnicity, or popularity. Although cliques are most commonly studied during adolescence and middle childhood, they exist in all age groups
So dealing with cliques is a normal part of being a human being is society.
I experienced this in the martial arts. There was the “School Owner Clique”, “High Ranking Black Belt Clique” and the “I Am A Black Belt And You Are Not Clique”. But for the most part, my Taekwondo friends were polite and inclusive. Of course, we did a lot of talk about respect and self control, and ugly behavior for the most part was not tolerated. And there was something to be said for knowing that if you mouthed off at someone the next time you sparred you could get your ass kicked. You knew you would be seeing this same group of people at tournaments and camps. So I think we all tried very hard to at least be polite and courteous, even if we couldn’t stand the person.
Women that are involved in martial arts are a little different. We have to learn that it is ok to hit and be hit. It is not acceptable to get your nose out of joint because another woman whacked you in the head with her foot. If you do get pissy about it and you are one of my students, I’m going to tell you to “suck it up and you should have blocked it”. If you are one of the relatively few women that make it to black belt, you have learned how to fit into a male dominated culture. Some of my best friends in the whole world are fellow black belt women. We admire each other not for how we look, but how tough we are. How many boards we can break, how fierce we are when we spar, how fast and strong we are when we hit the mitts. I respect women that come back from injuries still swinging.
I saw some of the “I Am A Black Belt And You Are Not” exclusion routine at tournaments, and even in my own school. As a school owner it drove me nuts. I had several women come to me and tell me how they were talked about behind their backs, openly not included in social activities, made fun of.
Really? Adult, professional women treating each other this way? Sounds like middle school doesn’t it?
The point is, I know that bullying, exclusion, or just being mean exists in the adult world. At least in my school I could attempt to control it.
Then I moved to Penrose, Colorado. And I got involved in the horse culture here.
For the most part, the people here have been awesome. Welcoming, inclusive and helpful to this newbie.
But there are cliques. The clique I am choosing to be a part of is fun, accepting and welcoming. They laugh with me, help me, and reach out to me. What a great group of people, and I feel so fortunate be part of their group.
I’ve recently made the choice to unfriend (GASP!) someone on Facebook because I simply can’t stand to watch her behavior anymore. I talk to my 11 year old daughter about choosing friends that encourage her and make her feel better about herself. I tell her not to be around people that are mean, or talk about her behind her back. So I decided to take my own advice and remove someone that simply isn’t the kind of person I want to be around.
I’m not going to bash this person. I’m not going to tell my friends that I won’t be friends with them if they are friends with her. I don’t think she is a bad person, I don’t want to hurt her. I know that she has had some difficulties and I really have no idea of what she is going through that causes her to act the way she does. She has her own journey and history, and I know she has a lot of good things going for her. I think she can be a lot of fun, and can be a good friend. It’s just that we were not going to be friends and I don’t want to read her stuff. And I can’t fix her.
She has burned some bridges with my group of friends. At first, I was going to try to stay friends with her, believing that there are always to sides to a story. After hearing some of the stuff she has said about me and my friends, I’ve had to rethink that decision. After seeing her blast a friend on Facebook for disagreeing with her I know I made the right decision.
When you own a business, sometimes you have to do business with people that you might prefer to not be around. I can’t tell you the times I’ve had to grit my teeth during the forty years or so that I was a business owner, first in surety bonds, and then in martial arts.
Now, I get to choose who I spend time with. And I get to choose who I walk away from. There is no reason to associate with people that are hurtful and uncaring. Hopefully I can help Keely learn this a lot earlier than I did.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM

Aspens
Aspens
It’s been a year. A year without your voice, a year without your laugh.

Those last months when your body was still with us but your mind was flitting between here and somewhere else were hard. The trip we made to Little Rock to see you was bittersweet. I’ll never forget the smile on your face when you saw Steve and me walk into your room. You instantly recognized us, which was such a relief. Then you started talking and I couldn’t follow. The next day you didn’t remember I had been there. In a way that was a relief, because I knew it was not causing you pain that I wasn’t there to see you every day. I still felt guilty, but not as much.
There were no more phone calls. You couldn’t figure out how to use the phone. If Michael or Tracey put the phone to your ear, all you were doing was parroting words. You couldn’t hear or understand me. That was so sad, but it prepared me for this year.

You may not physically be on this earth, but you are still with me.
Every time, and I mean every time, Steve and I walk through the house watching the sunset we talk of you. We remember your joy in the vibrant colors and huge scope of our Colorado sunsets. I remember you sitting on the couch in the sun room, watching the birds, nodding off to sleep in the sun.

We drove to Cripple Creek a few weeks ago. We remembered you looking out the window, riveted by the colors of the aspens in the fall. We laughed about your gambling “addiction” and how adamant you were that you needed to try out the casinos in Cripple Creek. I regret not taking you more often.

I sit in the living room and remember us painting it together. I was on the ladder, you were doing the lower part of the walls. I never told you about going behind you to get the parts that you missed. Remember all the houses we have painted together?

I’m not as directionally challenged as you were. Frankly I don’t think it’s possible to be worse than you were and still operate in society. But when I get turned around and a little lost, you are there with me giggling. And the first thing out of Steve’s mouth is “you are just like your mother”

I’ll always take that as a compliment.

We had friends over last night. They were sitting on your side of the counter while I cooked. We poured some wine for them and the memories flooded me yet again. I could see you sitting there, wine glass in hand, keeping me company while I cooked. I remember the laughter, the jokes, and the giggles. How fortunate I am to have had such a wacky mom.
So more people have heard about you Mom. More of your stories have been told. They don’t mean much to the people that hear them, I know that. But the telling is important to me. To Steve. To Keely. It’s the way that we continue to include you in our lives.

It hurt that you were not able to be with us when Steve and I got married. I know how important that was to you. But we felt your presence that day. We felt your joy and approval. I know that is just the first of many occasions that we will miss you.

I think I talk to you more now than I did that last year you were alive. On those long drives in the car going to Colorado Springs I tell you about what is going on in my life. I know you already know, but it helps to tell you. And of course I can carry on your part of the conversation because I know you so well. I can hear your voice “Well, Michelle….”

When I am alone in the house that is when I feel you close. I put on “your” music, Enya or Yanni, and as it floods through the air you are there. I cry. I miss my Mom. I want to hold your hand, hug you one more time.
I had the gift of time with you for many months while you stayed with us in Colorado. What a very precious gift that was. Steve got to know you and love you. Keely got to spend a lot of time with her beloved Grandma.

You knew that I loved you. I knew that you loved me. In the end, that was really all that mattered.

So Mom, this is your birthday. It is one year and a few days since you left us. So listen to me as I sing Happy Birthday to you, and know that I love you very much.

4th2009 001

A Skinny Kid Taught Me A Lot About Life

 I reconnected with some old friends today on Facebook.  While I had not talked to them in years, I’ve talked about them many many times. Many of the people that have gone through my Taekwondo school will remember the story, if not the names.  I’ve cried a lot because of Lee and Becky Coon and their son Michael.  I’ve cried every time I’ve told their story to a school gym filled with kids.  I’ve cried when I told the story to Steve, to Keely and her friends.  I’ve cried buckets of tears today as I wrote this blog.

 There are some people that make a huge impact on your life.  A skinny teenage boy with big ears changed my life forever. 

Michael Coon was very quiet, very polite.  He got that from his dad Lee and his mom Becky.  Well, Lee was pretty quiet, Becky kind of balanced the quiet with the gift of gab.  They all were students at my taekwondo school when I bought it.  Michael was in our instructor program for a while, and then he hit those teenage years when time gets so precious.  He was involved in activities at school and church, and the drive from Redfield to Little Rock in the evenings became too much.  But his dad Lee still worked out with us when he could during the day, and the family would stop by and say hi when they were in the area.  A great family.

I’m going to tell you the story, but I’ll tell you up front I’m kind of fuzzy on some of the details. 

It’s been ten years, and I can’t remember who called me.  I’m pretty sure it was Lee.  He told me that Michael had been shot and was on the way to the hospital.  Becky was on the way.  They got there, and he was gone. 

He was fourteen. 

Michael and a couple of friends were going to go hunting.  Somehow, Michael was shot.  By one of his friends. 

I can’t imagine the shock to Lee and Becky.  They left for work that morning, a normal routine.   That evening when they came home their world had been turned upside down.  This story is one of the reasons that my kids always hear me tell them “I love you” before we go in our different directions.  Every single time.

Lee asked that Charles and I come to the house.  It was overflowing with people, there to support Becky and Lee.

Lee pulled us aside, and told us that the police had arrested Michael’s friend, the one who shot him.  This was a boy that had grown up with their son, someone that they loved and had welcomed into their family.  Lee was heartbroken. 

He took us into Michael’s room and showed us something very special.  Michael was one of the youth leaders at their church, and he had been keeping a journal.  One of the last things he had written was:

“If Christ died for my sins, who am I to not forgive others?”

He told us that he and Becky felt that Michael was telling them a very important truth. 

During the grieving process of losing their son, Lee and Becky comforted the other boys’ family.  They visited him in jail and told him that they loved him.  They stood by him.  No hate.  No anger.  Just love and forgiveness. 

I went to the memorial service for Michael.  His black belt certificate was next to the casket.  The church was overflowing, full of teenagers that had gone to school with Michael, full of adults that had been touched by the Coon family.

The pastor invited people to talk about their memories of Michael.

In a sea of white faces, an African American young man stood in line to speak:

“I moved here from New Orleans after Katrina.  I don’t know if you guys noticed, but there are not a lot of black faces around here.  I was really scared about starting a new school.  Really scared.  I had heard a lot of stories.

The first day I walked up to the school, there was a group of guys standing around.  One of them saw me and started heading over.   I thought to myself, I’m going to get beat up right now.   Well, that is not what happened.  Michael Coon reached out his hand to me, introduced himself, and took me over to meet his friends.  He invited me to sit with him at his table at lunch.  He invited me into his home.  Mr. Lee and Mrs. Becky invited me into their family.  

I’ll never forget him.”

The young man broke down and went to his seat.  I don’t think there was a dry eye in that church.  I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much.

We hear a lot of talk about leadership.   Martial Arts schools have programs saying that they teach it.   Corporations bring in consultants to teach it. 

But that skinny fourteen year old boy could teach a lot of people about leadership. 

I’ve told Michael’s story to thousands of people.  I’ve been in schools where the teachers couldn’t get the students to calm down, and after I’ve told Michaels story there was a hushed gym full of teenagers.  I’ve talked to my students during class, and cried for the loss of this very special boy.  I’ve given out the Michael Coon Leadership Award to some very special people at our annual awards ceremony. 

Michael Coon touched a lot of people in the short time he was here.  His legacy is one of friendship, inclusion, leadership and love. 

I know that Lee and Becky think of Michael every day. But I wanted them to know that they, and their son, forever changed me. I hope they are proud of his legacy, and the impact that he, and they, have had on so many people.  

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Happy Birthday David Ray

David and Kyle
David and Kyle
Thirty five years ago, my son was born. I wasn’t there, in fact I didn’t meet him for another two years.

David is the son of my heart. For the years I was married to his dad, he was legally my step-son. After his dad and I split up, he called to tell me that he loved me, and I was still his mom. He is still my son.

I met him when he was two. White blond hair, extremely verbal, very precocious. He started to call me Mom, which bothered his mom Laurel. I don’t blame her a bit. David handled it by calling me Mom when he was with me, but if both of his moms were together he would call me Michelle when talking to Laurel, and use Laurel’s name when talking to me. Like I said, he was a smart kid.

He loved Star Wars. He had a problem pronouncing “L” and “Y” for a while. He was always “Uke” Skywalker and he wanted to wear the “Ellow” shirt. I still pronounce “Luke” and “Yellow” that way sometimes.

My mom told David that he was her “Number One Grandchild”. David started crying. “I don’t want to be Number One!”
Mom said, “but David, you are my oldest grandchild, that makes you Number One.”
“I don’t want to be Number One, I want to be Number Zero because Zero comes before One!”
Henceforth, mom always referred to him as “Ole Number Zero”.

There was a picnic table on the beach at Destin, Florida that David ran into every year. The story of that table and David’s affinity for it comes up every time we get together.

Destin is where a momentous occasion occurred.
It was our first visit as a family, David was two and a half. We went to a restaurant on the wharf, and to put it bluntly, he was being a holy terror. We put up with it for a while, and then finally Charles got up, took him by the hand and marched him outside.

A while later, David came down the aisle with his dad behind him. I could tell they had both been crying.
David climbed into his booster seat beside me, looked at me and said “Boy, Mom, wait until you have your first spanking!”
Charles had taken him out, spanked him, and then cried with him afterwards.
I reminisced with David just this week about that story.

We have had our ups and downs, David and I. He came to live with us when he was 13. Anyone with any experience with kids will tell you that the teenage years are not anything fun to go through, for the kid, or the parents.

There were battles over getting up in the morning. The solution of several alarm clocks around his room didn’t work because he would just put his pillow over his head and go back to sleep. Drove us nuts.

I had to bang on the bathroom door in the mornings because he would go to sleep in the bathtub.

It was a battle of wits and will. I remember telling him he had five chores to do because he could go out. He only got three done. And he said I didn’t tell him about the other three. Now I was pretty sure I had said five, but there was some doubt. So I let him go out with his friends.
Next weekend, I gave him a list. And I made him sign and date it.

And then there are all of the Christmas stories. Maybe they are so real because of all the pictures we have.

David and Kat would start checking the packages at Christmas, so they pretty much had all their gifts figured out by Christmas morning. I fixed that by putting numbers instead of names on the packages. And I wouldn’t tell them who had which number until they came downstairs Christmas morning.

Another Christmas I rustled everyone out of bed to open gifts. We noticed after the gifts were open that it was still dark. Which is when I realized the clock had read 3:30am instead of 5:30am. They all stumbled back to bed while I enjoyed the quiet of a Christmas morning and read the newspaper.

David’s little brother Joe spent Christmas with us one year.

David, Kat and Joe Christmas morning
David, Kat and Joe Christmas morning

David moved back to California when he was 17. We kept in touch by phone, with a few visits tossed in.

Christmas of 1999 David called to ask if he and some friends could stop over for Christmas on their way to Florida for the for the New Year’s 2000 Phish concert. Several young adult boys piled into a van in Oregon, with virtually no money, and made the cross country trek. What a cool adventure. We fed them well, packed a lot of left overs for the trip and sent them on their way in an epic ice storm.
He spent Christmas with us our first year in Colorado. Charles was here too, so Keely was in heaven. It was the first time any of us had seen David in four or five years. It was a good week. David and I went on some walks, talked about life and tried to solve all the problems of the world.
Christmas 2010
So many great Christmas memories.

David now is a dad. Kyle is two, and looks so much like David that it is spooky. And he is verbal and precocious just like his dad was at that age. So when David calls and tells me Kyle stories, I find myself remembering that little white blond boy. And telling those David stories to David.

David and Kyle
David and Kyle

So there is this full circle kind of thing going on. This Christmas, Steve, Keely and I are going to be joining Krista, David, Toby, Jake and Kyle for Christmas.
My little boy is now a man. A responsible adult, who goes to work and takes care of his boys. He calls me on my birthday and on Mother’s Day.

That little boy that insisted on calling me mom is someone I am proud to call my son.
Happy Birthday David. I love you.

Mom

Hip chronicles day 7: Crying over Banana Pudding

banana puddingHip Replacement was a week ago. I’m getting around really well, off of pain meds, no depression.

And last night I had a total meltdown over banana pudding.

While I had cooked and frozen a lot of healthy food, these first few days out of the hospital I didn’nt even feel like finding something and warming it up,

Steve said on Monday “Look I can’t cook for you, and you wouldn’t want to try to eat it if I did. But I can pick stuff up. So you order it, and I’ll pick up dinner for us on my way home.”

Good deal.

Now if you want to see Steve Cox’s face light up, suggest going to eat at The Black Eyed Pea. Since I didn’t have much appetite, I thought The Pea would be a good place to get some decent food that everybody would enjoy. I spent a while looking at the menu, and even looked at the desert menu. I NEVER look at the desert menu. Ever. I do not believe in using food for comfort. Been there done that and had the fat to prove it.

But the cobbler and the banana pudding sounded really good. Comfort food. And there was a little voice in the back of me head saying I deserved some banana pudding. My mom was a really awful cook. But one of the few things she made that we could actually eat was banana pudding. And as I have been hobbling around this week I’ve seen my mom in the ways I am moving. She had such problems with her legs and hips those last few years, finally going from a cane to a walker. So when I reach for the counter to walk my way through the counter I’m seeing mom do the same.

I don’t really know of mom had anything to do with it but I was really looking forward to banana pudding.

So I called in the order. Cobb Salad (for me to eat the next day) Chicken tender dinners for Keely and Steve, Pot Roast with sweet potato fries for me. And Peach Cobbler and Banana Pudding.

Well guess what? We got the wrong order. Chicken Fried steak, pot roast, lots of mashed potatoess. No sweet potato fries, and NO BANANA PUDDING! I was disappointed. I was pissed. But since we live 30 minutes away from the restaurant, there was not a lot that could be done.

Tuesday night we had take out Thai.

Wednesday, one week anniversary of my surgery, we decided on The Black Eyed Pea again. Keely was going to church with a friend so it would be just me and Steve. . Intermittently during the day I would look at the menu. I knew what Steve would have…Chicken Tenders, okra, black eyed peas. I knew I was going to order peach cobbler and banana pudding. I still didn’t have much of an appetities, so finding something that sounded good to me was more difficult. I finally decided on a plain hamburger steak with sweet potato fries and spinanch. Healthy, and I was going to indulge in a bite of cobbler and some banana pudding.

Now there are some things you have to understand about my first week after surgery.

I have not had any of my vitamins and supplements for two weeks. Including the stuff that keeps my hormones in check.
I’m sleeping in a recliner next to our bed. I’m not getting a lot of sleep and the sleep I’m getting is not what I call quality sleep.
I really miss sleeping in bed my husband
I am trapped in this house, unable to drive (yet) and have not been out since we came home on Friday.
I have to think about every move I make. I can’t pick up something from the ground if I drop it. I have to walk with a crutch. I have to be careful about my leg. yada yada yada.

So understand that I was looking forward to this meal. I got to control it, choose what I wanted, and have it delivered to me with no effort on my part. Sheer bliss.

This time, when I called in the order, I told the very nice lady to put the full name “Steve Cox” on the order, because Monday we got someone else’s order. She was very apologetic and said she would make sure this order was right. She just didn’t understand how they could have messed it up that bad.

Steve got home and I took one look at that bag and I knew we had a problem. There was not enough food in that bag. In fact, there were several small round containers but only one entree sized container. And nothing that could possibly be cobbler or banana pudding.

“Is there another bag?”

“No, this is all they gave me.’

My stomach dropped and I could feel the emotions welling up.

“This is wrong. There is not enough food. Damnit WHY CAN THEY NOT GET THIS RIGHT? IT’S CHICKEN FRIED STEAK AGAIN! CHICKEN FRIED STEAK! I HATE CHICKEN FRIED STEAK AND THERE IS NO BANANA PUDDING!”

Steve did not say a word as I dialed my phone. I am ashamed to say that my voice was actually shaking when I told the woman that we had the wrong order again. She calmed me down. We went back and forth, I questioned Steve “There is only one Black Eyed Pea in Pueblo, right?”

Voice on the phone “Pueblo? You picked up in Pueblo?”
Me: “Yes”
Voice: We are at Garden of the Gods in the Springs”
Me: “Oh shit”

So apparently I called the wrong restaurant, in the wrong city to place an order. Twice. And what is interesting is twice they gave Steve food. Someone else’s order obviously.

I hung up the phone, told Steve that I had called the wrong restaurant twice, and promptly started tearing up. Steve said “I think you need a hug” and started around the counter. He hugged me, I sniffled a little bit feeling like a total wuss baby. So I took a couple of deep breaths and said ok let’s eat.

Steve innocently asked what it was we were going to be eating. “Fucking chicken fried steak” I growled.

In a really chipper voice he said “Well I really like chicken fried steak! ”

Bless his heart, the poor man had no idea what he just got himself in for with that one sentence.

“I don’t care if you like chicken fried steak. I don’t like chicken fried steak. This is not about what you like, this is about me not getting once single thing I wanted last time or this time and I WANTED BANANA PUDDING AND THERE IS NO BANANA PUDDING!” And I burst into tears again.

He came back around the corner, held me while I cried. He did not utter a word. Not a sound. Smart man.

“OK” I sniffed. “You divide it up and I’ll get the silverware.”

Later, Steve looked at me. “You OK?”

“Yeah”
“That wasn’t like you”
“Yeah”
“You’ve had major surgery, you don’t have any control over a lot of stuff, and you were really looking forward to that meal and that’s why you reacted that way”
Yeah”
I’ll get you some banana pudding tomorrow.
Sniff.
“OK”

Today, I wont get any banana pudding. Steve will be home late and I’m warming up a zucchini lasagna that I froze a couple of weeks ago.

And of course, it’s not like banana pudding is all that important. It’s really not even my favorite desert. It’s just seem to symbolize comfort to me this week, maybe because it is one of the few deserts my mom ever made.

I don’t need banana pudding for comfort. I have a wonderful man that loves me and takes care of me. A daughter that is happy to help me with my compression socks, put my boots on me, and load the dishwasher and clean the house. Friends that cook me good food, bring me flowers and their company. Phone calls and cards from those that are not close. That is what is real. That is what is truly comforting,.

But I’ll certainly enjoy me some banana pudding this weekend.

Hip Replacement chronicles 2: day after surgery

As expected, yesterday pretty much sucked. It took two
hours to make the drive to Denver from Penrose. The night before we
had a good a good meal and finished up packing. I hugged Maestro
and Patches, breathing deeply of that comforting horse smell.

Pepper, my new fuzzy Shih Tzu knew that something was going on and
was dodging my every step. All four dogs were concerned. It was
hard saying goodbye to their worried little faces.

I have to say the staff at Porter Adventist Hospital have been awesome. Once we
started the admission process at 9:30 everything moved very
rapidly. They let Steve hang out with me after they got me all
punctured and hooked up. He watched everything very carefully. At one point as the nurse was running the IV line I looked at him and said “you think this is cool don’t you?” Big grin. ”
Yeah I do”

Dr. Haas was running early so my surgery was at 11:00am instead of noon. Spinal injection and meds injected
into my IV, and the next thing I remember is looking at a clock and
it was 1:30. I was fuzzy. Sometime later they moved me to the room.
I saw Steve in the hallway as we moved to the elevator so he
walked with us. It was so comforting seeing his smile from across the hallway.

Gorgeous room. It’s newly remodeled and large. A couch for Steve to sleep on. I haven’t been out of bed to check out
the bathroom. I still have a catheter. This hospital has a room service menu, free for me the patient, minimal charge for Steve. I don’t have much appetite so I just eat a few bites.

I can wriggle my toes on my right leg, but that is about it . If I want to move my leg, I have to reach down and lift from above the knee. One if he hardest prohibitions for me is to not bend past 90 degrees. That means I cant reach down and put on my shoes and socks. I cant pick anything up from the floor. For EIGHT weeks.

My first night was tough. My right quad, my nemisis, started spasming. The room was dark, Steve was getting some well deserved rest and I was miserable. I couldn’t even feel my hip, the quad hurt so much. It was a claustrophobic feeling, trapped in the bed, unable to roll over or stretch my leg. I couldn’t get away from the pain. I finally called the nurse, woke Steve up. She suggested a muscle relazer. OMG what a difference that little pill made.

Physical Therapy the first day consisted of walking through the halls, first with a walker, then with crutches. Occupational Therapy came by after, and I was instructed on the no bending past 90 degrees again. They are really serious about that.

Early afternoon my PT guy came by again and we strolled over to the gym. I went up and down stairs and got in and out of a car. Piece of cake. We spent much more time talking about karate and his two kids than we did PT stuff.

So one more night, Jen the OT comes by in the morning and I get to take a shower. A shower! A shower!
Then home.