Head Injuries

My brothers and I have recently been discussing head injuries. Here’s a modified story that I shared with them.  I thought others might find this story entertaining. I’m fortunate in that I have not experienced significant head trauma, well, at least not that I can remember.

I can only remember hitting my head hard once and that was last summer (2017).  I had my first “real” bike crash.  A bee flew down my jersey.  I screamed and my husband who was in front of me, locked up his new disk brakes.  I clipped the back of the bike trailer and slid out, staying with the bike as they say to do.  As my helmet and head was sliding across the asphalt with my eyes inches from the ground, I actually was thinking, “wow, my helmet is doing its job, I’m not passing out!”

I had lots of road rash, and you could say my bike did too, but my carbon fiber frame was ok.  My helmet was cracked all the way through.  I laid on the asphalt for some time mentally assessing my situation with my legs entangled with my bike and my feet still clipped in.  My husband removed my bike and I continued to lay on the bike trail for a moment and then slowly moved up to assess the damage.
We were 15 miles from home.  We road slowly to a drug store to buy Neosporin, Motrin and bandages.  Then we road home, slowly. Which was probably the best thing I could do for my muscles.
My daughter brought me her race helmet the next day.
I was wearing a fairly high-end Specialized bike helmet.  Now I wear an even higher end race helmet.  I credit my helmet with absorbing the shock and preventing blackout or more.
It is also remarkable that I did not fracture anything, because up to about 2 years ago, any fall or trip and I would fracture.  I credit my celiac diagnosis to my improved bone health which for a woman at my age is truly remarkable.   As I’ve said, I have had more bone fractures then I can remember. Close to one a year.
After the crash, I had some serious contusions, a really swollen knee and a very painful sore area on my ribcage opposite the crash side.  I was told that when a racer impacts at that force a shock wave travels across the chest and can cause pain on the opposite side.  Since it did start to feel better after many days, I did not seek medical attention for a rib fracture which I had by then ruled out.
I healed and got on my bike once again.

Why do I think I’m fat?

“Women 50 years old and older who are less than 28 percent body fat are included in the low body fat category. Having too little body fat could impact muscle function and other body systems.” The Normal Percentage of Body Fat for Women

I’ll say it here, my body fat index is 27%. And I feel like I’m fat and that I have this unsightly gut that I can’t do any thing about. Todays thin tight clingy knit fashions don’t help.

Society has done a great job making me feel horribly terribly conflicted gross about my gut pouch. But medicine says I’m “wtf” below normal.

I feel guilty about my lack of will power to avoid a second serving or sweets.

Doesn’t help that for my first 50 years of life I had undiagnosed Celiac which meant in my younger days my body fat was around 16-20% because I wasn’t absorbing necessary nutrients. Yes, I felt skinny back then but I was also unhealthy.

Damn society for how we treat women.

Girls CAN too!

I grew up very sheltered and was regretfully fed a message that I was weaker then boys, needed to be protected, fearful of the world and there were things “girls” just didn’t do. I don’t think it was my parents intentions to instill this message but it still happened. It was surely out of love that they protected me. I was the youngest of four and the only daughter. I wasn’t the rebellious type and just went along with it, accepted life as it was and didn’t know any better. It wasn’t till many years later that I began to realize that not all girls were sheltered like me. Some girls got to do what the boys did or whatever they wanted to.

I hope and pray I set my daughters free and encouraged them to believe they can do anything they want. Maybe having the internet at their fingertips is a big advantage. They can see beyond their shelter and can see the bigger picture.

On that note, making up for a LOT of lost time, it’s finally my turn to start trying those forbidden activities. Today I’m building my first model rocket. I maybe a middle aged (late 50’s) woman, but this is something I would have liked to have been encouraged to do when my brothers got to. I spent a lot of time watching my brothers build electronics, build rockets, rebuild car engines, tinker in the family photo darkroom, go rock climbing and backpacking and on ski trips with their buddies. I was never allowed or encouraged to explore the world on my own. Instead, I learned to sew, cook, clean house and garden. Sexist much?

How many coins in the coffee mug?

I have a coffee mug that I received years ago as a teacher gift. Seeing as teachers get lots of mugs, this one has never seen coffee. Mostly pens but lately coins. All coins in this house end up in my mug. Yesterday I took my mug of coins to the local CoinStar machine. Those pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters do add up. In this case $50.54.

Allergies and oak pollen

If you have seasonal allergies to oak pollen, I would suggest you avoid central California, my yard or stay inside. I know this happens every spring but the coating of pollen seems extra thick this year.

Just a mere week or so ago we had rain and freezing temperatures. Then the temperature shot up to the 80’s the last few days and in the photos below you can see what coats my backyard bricks, tables and chairs. What’s even scarier is I cleaned the yard yesterday and wiped the tables down.

My pet hens are very happy to gobble up the pollen which is highly nutritious and will help color their yolks an even deeper orange.

I predict 2 hours

I predict it will take a mere 2 hours to remove brick and wall. Then some clean-up. A day of prep (making wall a 6″ wall, adding heat reflecting barrier and insulation), 3rd day dry wall/taping/finish work. 4th Day texture? Day 5 and 6, tile and grout. (It will be interesting to see how accurate my timeline predictions are.)

Yes, we removed the insert ourselves. The company that was to do it, backed out last minute. So, I removed the insert facade, insert fire bricks and insert door, to reduce weight. Determined how to disconnect chimney liner pipe. Hubby cleaned the chimney and did the muscle work of getting the stove out onto plywood. I purchased wood floor sliders to put under plywood. Slid perfectly across floor.

Do to a lack of laborers and skilled workers in the Bay Area, more and more, projects are becoming DIY. That’s not our first choice. I know we could do this entire job ourselves, but hanging drywall and texturing is not my expertise.

Carefully labeled insert bricks complete with schematics.

My chimney sweep. He’s done this for years.

Next up for me is cleaning the inside of the fire box. Bought the TSP, brushes and gloves. Then I plan to paint the inside with high temperature fireplace paint. Unless Lance wants to do this for me?

My only request of hubby is that he build the arts and crafts mantel/columns by November. I think I’m being very generous with my timeline.

Oh the joys of home ownership.

Welcome back my old friend

I haven’t worn my watch for probably 5 years. I had become so attached to my iPhone I no longer needed or wanted to wear my watch. Now that I’m breaking my addiction of feeling I need to be constantly connected to “that” life, I’m welcoming my old watch back.

The other day I was out gardening. After several hours I realized I was hungry. I wondered if it was lunch time. I reached for my back pocket, but my phone wasn’t there. I’d left it in the house. Of course when I located my phone to check the time (it was past lunchtime), I found myself sitting down and getting sucked into my phone. What were my latest emails, latest news, weather updates, texts, SnapChats, any Instagram posts?

If I was wearing my watch I would have seen it was lunchtime. I would have taken a break to eat, probably have eaten outside and noted what else needed to be done and then returned to my gardening. But no, I wasn’t wearing my watch, so I wasted my time surfing my phone.

Welcome back my old friend. I bet you don’t need cell coverage or wi-fi connection to tell me what time it is. But can you take pictures of garden critters? Dang!

When you’ve waited 33 years

Destruction reconstruction time. From the first day I moved into this house I’ve disliked this brick facade. Finally, after 33 years, my wish to replace this wall is about to happen. Sometimes one just has to be patient. Am I being patient if I moved most of the furniture out two days ahead? I left the TV for dear sweet hubby. Side note: that’s a chair he built and the entertainment center he built.


Why do we even have to do this, March for our LIVES?

I was/am a teacher. Armed teachers is a ludicrous idea. Children shouldn’t have to live with this fear of school not being safe.

Someday soon I will be a grandmother. I want a safer country for my grandchild.

March For Our Lives – Walnut Creek, CA

Carrizio Plains National Monument

Recently discovered a place that I will need to return to, to explore more. On this visit I was a bit too early for any wildflower bloom and due to the wet weather many of the dirt roads were impassable. We did enjoy the solitude and being the only ones in the campground. Possibly the best aspect was the lack of internet access or cell signal. Managed to read a book and a few journals.Diversity of wildflowers yet to come seen in the seedlings.