Celebrate

From 0 to 130 in 4 weeks.

That can’t be car speeds with 4 weeks as the measure of time.  A good protractor could measure the degrees from 0 to 130, but in 4 weeks?

What about a Goniometer. A goniometer is an instrument that either measures an angle or allows an object to be rotated to a precise angular position.  What makes that worthy of a celebration?  Total knee replacement surgery.  If you haven’t experienced it, you’ve missed a chance to challenge yourself to get fit, get out of pain, and “get back into life”.

For over 2 years I’ve walked with both knees not bending.  The pain from bone-on-bone rubbing and pinched nerves was more than it was worth.  More and more I sat in the truck while Tracy hiked or explored rock hounding sites.  I thought about having something done last year, and then in November Tracy needed open heart surgery to replace his Aortic valve.  Not then!

Then I spent the next 4 months making 5 trips to San Diego from Utah to be with my mom as she slowly faded from Ovarian cancer.  After her passing in April I wandered what was next.  But we had planned a trip around the northwest to visit friends and family, pick up some rock and visit Yellowstone.  That took us three + weeks in August.  Not then!

After that trip I visited a retired Nurse friend and asked if she could recommend any Orthopedic Surgeons in my hometown.  She did and after a review and x-ray in late September, I was in surgery Oct. 10th.  Four weeks later I was learning how to walk, bend my knee, ride a bike, and sleep all night.  Not bad for 4 weeks work.  If not now when?

I was on opioids for 5 days taking 2 a day.  Then dropped back to one a day and hit an emotional bottom.  It was then I realized the impact of Percocet on people (including myself) and stopped taking them.  I switched to Tylenol and healing began anew.

Each week the Physical Therapy team have changed/modified my exercise plan to promote healing in targeted areas.  And each week the surgical site has healed a little more.

At week 4 I can bend that new knee to 130 degrees, making the staff @ the local PT office happy and myself as well. Approaching week 5 and I’m at 132 degrees on the Goniometer scale.  I’m grateful for the staff’s expertise and kindness to push me to heal!

 0 to 130 in four weeks – not bad for an old woman.

Expectations – Pet Nicknmes

I believe pet names can create negative responses and expectations.

I didn’t know how to answer my 93-yr. old mother when she asked me, “How did you get so smart?  If I wasn’t certain she was serious it wouldn’t have hit me so hard, but she was.

She had started calling me “flubadub” when I was about 5 yrs. old.  And she considered me as that my whole life.  That’s when I started thinking about my life and relationships and how nicknames are just another form of bullying. Living up to Expectations was easier with that nickname.

I was a carefree and happy child.  Gullible but loving and tended to believe what people told me.  When my older sister got me to try and put salt on a bird’s tail she started calling me “birdbrain”.  I carried that one around for at least 15 years.

 

 

In High School I was the tallest person in my class.  I had a green dress I loved and wore green tights with it.  Yes, I became the jolly green giant.  At first, I was sad, then I wore it just to be different.  Just to give them a reason to call me names.  At least I was in control of them.

But when my dad treated me with love and respect and called me “Pal” it didn’t take but a second to know who I’d “pal up with” at a moment’s notice.  I was fortunate to carry that one around for life – it help offset the others.

But none of that seemed to help answer the question – How did I get so smart and if I wasn’t why was I the sole trustee for the family trust?  She passed on two weeks later and I never got to talk with her about it before that.  But every time I think of “expectations” I think of her question and how hurtful pet names can be.

Why did she have one for me?  Because her Aunt had one for her and she still resented it 75 years later.  She was tall and thin, and Aunt Nelle called her “too big”.  Was momma too big because her Aunt’s daughter was short, thin and pale? We’ll never know that one either because Grandma didn’t stand for her daughter and we got much the same.

It was the beginning of generations of “expectations” that shouldn’t have been. Did I pass those on?  I’m not sure.  I called Julie “Lunch bucket” because she was hungry all the  time; she dubbed herself “funny leg” after she rode her bike in front of an oncoming car when she was 12.  And Jennifer?  We called her “spook”, what message did that send?  I met a man in rural Utah several years ago.  His nickname was “Toad”.  What in the name of heaven did he do to deserve that? 

Nicknames can be and are another form of bullying and we should consider them carefully.  Being a ”Pal” or “Sweetheart” is supportive and loving, “birdbrain” not so much.  I guess that’s how I got so smart – or not.

National Park Fee Increases

Both our state and regional newspapers want you to believe that the cost of getting into 17 National Parks is going to increase beyond the middle-class American can afford.  Fortunately, that’s not the case.

If you review the actual notice, you’ll find that the higher price for peak season is for a 5-day pass and/or an annual pass.  That means that families across America can visit their favorite National Park for just $75.00 a year, and that includes the car full of kids and adults.  Or, if you like, you can purchase a 1-day pass for $30.00 – the same price (or close to it) as is currently being charged.

Why the hue and cry?  Because National Environmental groups think they own and operate the parks.  They have huge memberships and lobby groups that are happy to “pay to play” just at what they think is “reasonable”.  This proposal is not going to keep less affluent citizens and guests from visiting our National treasurers, it’s just going to cost the folks that like to hike, bike, and camp a little more on an annual basis.

And since the parks get to keep 80% of the fees, they stand to benefit much more than places like Cedar Breaks and the Grand Staircase, because they are monuments managed by the BLM, whose budget is controlled line-by-line by Congress.

At a time when our parks are overrun with people, human waste, cars, and one-time visitors, isn’t it time to invest in them?  Perhaps it’s time to do what Utah has done, run ads and try and channel some of those visitors to State Parks and special places rather than just Utah’s “Mighty Five”.

I’ll be commenting in the affirmative on this proposal.  I hope you’ll join me.  Comment Here

 

 

 

 

Fall Foliage 2017

Another great week in Southern Utah. The weather cooperated and outdoor events went swimmingly.

If you enjoy Fall Foliage watching tis the season.  We went up to Brian Head on Saturday, but most of the Aspen is burnt. Not from the fire, from hot and dry winds the weeks leading up to the season. 

JR Hassett

SR 143 To Brian Head

But there is fire damage along the road and there is still damage along the road up to Brian Head from Parowan, but mostly safe. There is still one section about Mile Post 13 that is one way and controlled by a light – be patient.

After exploring upper Cedar Breaks, Tracy decided he’d like to try the Tushar’s east of Beaver, UT.  A friend had been up there the beginning of the week with his Jeep group and found things in great condition.  It’s about 30 miles north of our place and another 20 miles East. 

JR Hassett

Above Puffer Lake

There are two great areas to explore.  There wasn’t much traffic and little to no wind – great for photography.  We both enjoyed the new adventure and plan on going back.   The foliage is about 4-8 days from peak, but there’s heavy winds predicted for the area so it’s hard to know if the leaves will last. 

While it wasn’t perfect timing, it was great to find a new place for fall foliage runs.  We used to visit Boulder Mountain every year.  It’s nice to find someplace new.

JR Hassett

Puffer Lake