I mentioned in a recent post that about a week after my falls my ribs started to hurt. I wrote to the chiro I will be seeing soon and asked if there is any alternative to taking meds, and he mentioned moist heat for 10 min. at a time. The heating pad I bought is great, and using it in the morning for 10 minutes gives me great relief all day, although the ache is still there. I was using the heat pad this morning while lying in bed, and my youngest grandson came in. I explained about the heating pad, and he ran to get a pad out of the closet that fits a chair, so I tried it out. I sat on the pad which covers the back and seat of the chair, and he turned it on. All I could do was giggle at first, and then I was laughing out loud, and then it turned to a cackle! What fun. He kept changing the program so I got to experience all the various things it would do, and he added the heat as well. His other grandmother sat in the chair and when he turned it on she actually leaped up and out of the chair in shock! Who knew you could have fun and laugh while alleviating pain. Now everyone is outdoors working at cleaning up, watering plants, etc. The boys are at each other as they usually are, so I came back in the house. I'm getting weary of the bickering, although I'm sure they get satisfaction and enjoyment out of tormenting each other. But I've stayed about my limit and need to be on the road again. I mistakenly thought the soccer tournaments were on Saturday, but it turns out they will be tomorrow. Everyone just made a trip to the Mall and while there are a few items I need from Target I decided to stay home and enjoy the quiet. I'm going to sit and read for a while.
Not just yet, but I think I can organize pretty quickly.
This morning I bought a moist/dry heating pad. The old one I have at home isn't working any more and it's a good thing to have on hand. The moist heat feature means it is easier to use that a wet washcloth heated in the microwave, so I'll do it more often. Yesterday I caved in and took an Alleve, but today I'm hopeful I won't have to rely on drugs.
Having a while to consider the events of the past couple of weeks, I come to the conclusion that even with my injuries and the associated pain, mine was an experience I wouldn't trade for the world. It taught me a lot about myself, as well as relieved my mind that my daughter and granddaughter are extremely capable and will be able to meet life's challenges. Not that I had any doubt about it. I hope next year we can find a trail that will be a bit easier and mostly rock free. Considering that I haven't done anything to compare with this hike in the last 18 yrs, I'm damn proud I could even consider it!
I got on the scale this morning and found I've lost about 5+ pounds. When I can get back to my normal diet at home I can gain a few of those pounds back although I will no longer obsess about my weight as long as I'm feeling good and have energy to do the things I want and need to do.
While I was at the store I stopped when I saw the blood pressure machine, and was surprised to see 111/55 on the read-out. Blood pressure fluctuates constantly so I don't really care what it said.
Another jigsaw puzzle has been opened but I won't be here to see the finished product, which has 2000 pieces! I will buy a couple puzzles when I get back, as it will be better to work on something like that when I have nothing else to do except to turn on the TV. If I could get good internet on its own, without the TV part of the package, I think I would consider cancelling TV. I haven't watched it at all since I arrived 7 wks ago.
Wildlife spotted recently:
Last puzzle completed, and the newest one to be worked: (Click a picture to enlarge it.) I rotated the last photo when I downloaded it, but it looks like it reverted to the original orientation. Sorry about the glare on one of them.
This is a soccer tournament week, with Joshua playing 4 games on Saturday. I am definitely going to beg off! I hope everyone has a great weekend.
Time is drawing short for my stay in NY, with less than 2 weeks to go now. I changed my intended route back to CA to drive aross the south and ending up in Southern California (where the chiropractor is located). Now with storms, tornados, and such in the south, I'm not sure how I will go. As always, I'll make up my mind at the last minute according to the weather forecasts as well as my own intuition.
I just checked the Sacramento weather, and the beautiful temps in the 70's are now a thing of the past, with 80's and 90's being the norm. I wilt just thinking about it.
Will it ever end? Late yesterday I started to feel pain in the ribs on my left side. Today I got into the car and found it hurts really bad to turn the steering wheel. I have power steering. I had a big bowl of fudge ripple ice cream after lunch but it hasn't worked any magic so far!
Maybe tomorrow I'll feel a lot better. Here's hoping - I hate to always write about not feeling good, and I know you hate to keep hearing it.
I think I'm coming along pretty well, although much of what I can do requires sheer willpower. I think my knee has passed the turning point - I hurt it on Wednesday last week, and today, Tuesday, the heat is finally abating so I would presume the same goes for the infection. I'm glad I let my body's defenses take care of it rather than dump a lot of meds into my system. I've used Neosporin and that's about all.
My face is, well, it's my face and it's looking as well as I can expect. I think the area that was hurt has just brought out more wrinkles!
I went to Walmart this morning to return something, and I swear that I won't darken their doors ever again with the possible exception of the Vision Center. I don't know what anyone sees in that store, but our differences are what makes the world go around.
Mama fox is back with 3 kits that I can see, but they must be spending more time in the woods than under the shed.
One final photo that shows how I even managed to finish the backpacking trip and get to our finish line. Jeannie is one of the sweetest girls in the whole world, and I am so grateful for her. She was there for me every time I had to step up or down on a rock! (Click on photo to enlarge.)
Does anyone remember humorist Erma Bombeck? Toward the end of her life she wrote the most beautiful column of her career, called "When does the child become the mother, and the mother become the child?"
I'm feeling a little better this morning but my knee is still stiff and sore. I'm thinking about a short slow walk on the treadmill to help it along, and maybe going out this morning to get something for my face. I hear that Arnica is good for reducing bruises.
In response to several comments, I want to stress that I am the one who chose the backpacking route, and I was originally planning to hike it alone. Thank goodness I had my girls along. I selected this section because of the close proximity and the fact that Mike could drive us to the trail at least one way, reducing the need for shuttling cars. He ended up taking us as well as picking us up, which was a big help.
The NY section is known as a fairly easy hike, and it is from the standpoint that there are no steep mountains to climb or descend. It wouldn't be that difficult for a fit (and younger) person, and if I did it again I would be more aware of the potential for serious falls. Next time I'm going to make sure to find a smoother trail, maybe in Virginia. PA is known to be rocky but there may be some less difficult stretches - VA sounds like the closest and best bet.
Google is messing with me - I can't seem to type any text after the photo(s), so I'll post the last of the ones I got from Jeannie & Ara and then sign off for today. Click a pic to enlarge.
"Where are we?"
Wilderness first aid:
In the 3rd picture up, the look says it all! (For some reason I can add text after the photos now. Darn Google!)
We had to cross at least 3 streams by hopping across rocks, and I didn't have a bit of trouble with them.
By the way, some of the foxes are back but aren't outside where I can see them as often. Maybe they are spending more time in the woods. A couple of the kits are looking more like the mother now, with reddish coat and bushy tails.
I may not post tomorrow - being Memorial Day I'm not sure what we will be doing. I have stayed inside since the hike because my face looks so bad, but I hope to venture out soon. I hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday.
The first morning of our trip Mike dropped us off about 8:00 am and we set off enthused and hopeful. The trail was very much up and down and very rocky. I didn't realize that most of the way would be rocks and boulders everywhere, and I stumbled a lot trying to get over and around them, and had two fairly significant falls. Jeannie insisted on carrying my tent as well as the sleeping pad, and they made me carry two of the trekking poles for more stability on the rocks. After the 2nd fall Ara actually took my pack and put it on front to back, with her own pack back to front, and I don't know how she did it, but she did.
It was fairly warm all day and drizzly although the rain didn't reach us through the trees enough to get us totally wet. That night one of them got a text from Mike informing us that a huge rain storm was heading right through the area we were camped in. Jeannie and I were in my 2-person tent, and Ara in her 1-person tent, with the tent doors facing each other. All of the sudden after the rain came pouring down faster and heavier than I've ever experienced, Ara yelled that her tent was leaking. We opened the tent doors and she threw our packs in (she had kept all our packs in her tent), then came her wet sleeping pad and mattress, and then she flew in soaking wet. The three of us slept in my dry tent and though it was crowded with 3 of us plus all our gear, it was cozy and sort of fun.
The rest of the time the weather was maybe 70 and fairly cool, but good hiking weather. There was no let up from the rocks, and about mid-day on the 2nd day I took a really bad fall, striking the left side of my face on a sharp rock. I worried that I broke my nose or else shattered my cheekbones - it ended up I didn't break anything except some blood vessels in my left eye, and have a huge ugly red injury on my cheek, a very bad cut below my knee, and superficial cuts on my nose.
I didn't think I could continue, but being in the middle of nowhere I had no choice. I would have bailed out the first day, and certainly after the second, but Jeannie had flown out from CA and she and Ara had put so much into this trip, and my pride in continuing what I started made me keep going. I am in sad shape now and it will probably take a while to heal, but I'm going to be ok eventually. I'm so glad I kept going and feel the accomplishment did a lot for all 3 of us. We didn't hike many miles total, but for the terrain and the accidents it didn't matter. The closeness we all feel and the loving help they gave to me makes such a difference.
I'm still going to be posting photos for a while - many seem to be redundant, but I have photos taken by Jeannie and Ara with their iPhones, plus I haven't even looked at the ones I took with my camera.
The lake picture is actually where our hike ended and Mike picked us up, although none of these pictures nor the ones to follow are in chronological order. (Having trouble with Blogger, so I will just close this post out and continue tomorrow.)
I will post some photos and leave out the history of the hike for a couple of days. I have lots of photos, so please bear with me.
The trail was extremely rocky - small rocks and large boulders, some of which I had to crawl over. I took several tumbles which will be described in future posts, but leave it to say that yesterday I declared that I was finished with backpacking forever! Today I suggested to the girls that this is Hike #1 of our Yearly 3 Generation hike! Am I a fool or what? There is no fool like an old fool, my mother used to say!
This is the best I can do. Sorry part of it is not entirely in focus, but I don't think I held the camera still for long enough. Oh well, you get the idea. This was a fun and fairly easy, 1000 pc. puzzle.
I'm still waiting on the girls to show up so we can get our s**t together. I have probably mentioned it before, but I hate waiting.
UPDATE: I just looked out the window and wondered "what the heck is this" . I went out on the back deck when I realized it was a cat, and what it went into the stalking position. I'm not a cat lover but wouldn't want to hurt any animal, and I didn't want to witness a cat stalking a bird or whatever it had its eyes on. It looked at me like I was crazy and didn't budge! I went almost up to it and tried to shoo it away, but it wouldn't move. I finally gave up because there wasn't much more I could do about it, and I hoped the noise I was making scared off the bird or whatever. The cat finally moved through the underbrush and up the hill. I know animals do what is natural for them to do, but I don't want to watch a bird being killed!
Mike, Joshua and I went to West Point again today to the PX and Commissary. It is graduation weekend - with the ceremonies being next Tuesday, but it was crowded with proud families.
Before that I looked out the window and saw one of the little foxes walking across the back yard, hesitating, and then entering his former home. I'm sure he didn't stay and I doubt the rest of them will be back, but he just wanted to say goodbye to the old homestead, I guess.
Someone had told Sandy that if you wanted to domesticate a fox (why you would want to do that I can't imagine), leave a piece of your clothing and a bowl of cat food on top of it. We laughed about it but didn't think anything else about it until today, when Sandy was making out the grocery list. She wrote "cat food" on the list; when Mike saw it he yelled "cat food? We're not getting cat food!". Sandy and I laughed so hard we were worn out from it.
We finished another puzzle today. I took a couple of photos but the light wasn't right, so I'll try to get a good one tomorrow morning.
...and the foxes are nowhere in sight! I think my mental telepathy finally worked, and Mama was not seen today with any of her kits. The jeep was pulled up to the shed and the guys took the hard top off and put it into the shed. I went out there first, clapping my hands and tapping all around the building with a small stick, but Mama and her kits were gone. I had worked on the telepathy since yesterday, urging Mama to get her kids and move, and she did! I was so worried about a confrontation, and the foxes would definitely have gotten the worst of it. They have provided me so much joy for a week of watching them, and I wasn't about to let macho get in the way!
I'm worn out from attending two soccer games today, and then helping Sandy get the dinner prepared. Friends of theirs came for dinner - and he helped with the jeep top - Sandy grilled kabobs, shrimp, veggies, etc., plus all the dishes she fixed ahead of time. I hadn't eaten lunch so I outdid myself at dinner.
I'm looking forward to Monday when Jeannie and Ara will be here. Jeannie flew into Philadelphia early this morning, and they will come out on Monday when we will get our packs and other backpacking gear organized for a 3 day trip on the Appalachian Trail. No stress about mileage or anything like that - we are going to enjoy the three of us being together. They cooked this up a while back to surprise me! We still haven't decided for certain where we will start and end, but it really doesn't matter. The only thing is that Tuesday is something like a 70% chance of rain, but forecasts sometimes change - for the better or for the worst!
I'm planning to enjoy this trip to the utmost, as it will undoubtedly be my last backpacking venture. I'm looking forward to a change in lifestyle in my future - maybe not as active, or maybe more active but in a different way. No matter what, life is great!
I took my Highlander through a car wash this morning and it looks nice and shiny. It's now parked in the driveway where the trees can spread pollen all over it again. At least I got rid of the dirt from the trip, and will try to wash it again before I leave in June.
Since Walmart was nearby and I wanted a pair of knee high stockings to wear with my sandals and long dresses, I thought I'd dash in, find them, and dash back out. You don't dash anywhere once you get into the clutches of Walmart! I have never seen so many long lines move so slowly. On the way into the store I passed some cheap folding outdoor chairs, and bought one since I forgot to include a chair when I left Sacramento. I haven't missed it yet, but if I stop at any campsites on the way back I will appreciate having a chair that's softer than a picnic table bench!
No pictures of the foxes today - my camera hasn't been working properly so I didn't take any photos this morning. I have another camera that I use alternately, but both of them aren't really satisfactory. One thing I was wrong about though, is that the shed isn't set on a concrete foundation. It looks that way from the kitchen window, but it is actually on a bed of hard packed gravel, with a plywood floor. It looks to me like the foxes are actually living in the shed, and they will be surprised this weekend when Sandy switches the hard top for the Jeep for the soft top, and stores the hard top in the shed! I think they should yell "Company coming!" before entering. Mama Fox could get quite vicious if she feels cornered.
I will post these and then quit taking so many. They are just so darned cute and I can't help myself! (Click on a picture to enlarge it.)
The shed is built on a concrete slab, and we think they have tunneled their way through from one side to the other under the slab. Yesterday I think I counted 5 little ones; some are way larger than the others, and I'm wondering if the petites are dainty little females. There very well may be more than 5.
I've been reading up on the red fox - they are monogamous and the male helps to build the den and stays with the female while she needs food brought to her. When she can manage the litter on her own he leaves and goes farther afield, returning during the next mating season. The litter can be up to 10 babies.
I take the photos through the kitchen window, and mama is aware of me, sometimes staring back. I try to assure her (via mental telepathy) that I mean her no harm and enjoy watching her babies, but maybe I haven't found the right wave length yet.
I needed an oil change and went to get the $19.99 special at Valvoline, which ended up running me $71. I needed a new air filter (they showed me the dirty one), and a new wiper blade for the rear window. It was virtually useless and at the last service I had they didn't have a wiper to fit my back window. So I'm a satisfied customer, and now need to find a car wash and get rid of the yellow pollen coating over my entire car.