Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Camping Photos

Silent Valley Campgrounds

July 2009

Mountain Lakes Resort, Lytle Creek August 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

Starting at the beginning of 2009.

We started back into our normal routines slowly at first with my Red Hat LaDieS meetings in January. ( If you don't know what Red Hat LaDieS is, see my blog @ www.qmb2.com/rhlds ) We hadn't gone camping in January or February because we felt mom shouldn't be let alone yet, but she healed a lot faster than we thought possible and so decided to try it out in March. We weren't sure whether my back could handle sleeping on the firm couch surface in the R.V. as I had just started sleeping in my own bed recently. My bed had been the recliners in the family room as lying flat was torture. We planned to go for the night and if my back hurt too badly, we would leave to sleep @ home. Luckily, my back didn't hurt any more than usual and so we were able to stay the weekend. Our home campground is Mountain Lakes Resort in Lytle Creek off the 15 hwy near Glen Helen. It is close enough for weekend jaunts but far enough & up into the hills to feel like we are "getting away" from it all. It takes about 45 min. from home to reach the grounds. They have a recreation area for adults with pool table, table tennis, and a hall where they hold Bingo & other adult oriented activities. The children have arts & crafts counselors and families can participate in activities like food fights, water wars & other games. There is a library with books, puzzles & a large screen T.V. The lake has paddle boats & swan boats & a island to go around while geese and ducks chase each other and fishermen try to catch the fish on the opposite end. There are 2 pools (adult w/jacuzzi's) & a family pool. There are movies and kareoke contests or the best part, lounging around doing nothing.
The R.V. is Kathy's & Dan's and we split the cost of the monthly camping dues and the cost of the food we eat for the weekend. Their R.V. has a queen bed, a table (bed), and a couch slideout (bed), kitchen with refrigerator, stove, & microwave, bathroom with toilet & shower. At the beginning, I would sleep on the couch as the table bed was too hard on my back. Besides, Willy, our cocker spaniel sleeps with me and he's a bed-hog anyway but it was too funny watching Leo sleep with his feet dangling out the side. Now we have learned to extra-pad the table bed and I sleep there, although the bed-hog still sleeps with me. I just give Leo all the clothing bags etc. to keep him company on his side. It works pretty good. Now we just shake our head in amazement because Leo will sleep with his head hanging down the side of the bed. It would give me a gruesome headache but at least his feet are protected from midnight roamings from other occupants.
We really enjoy bringing Willy & I think he enjoys being with us too. We would love to bring Chillie but he just won't, #1 stop barking, and #2 getting out of his collar & running away, so we leave him at home and he keeps mom company. Dogs are not allowed to roam free with out a leash and they are not allowed in the lake but early one morning, we "accidently" dropped the leash. Now, Willie loves to lunge after the geese & ducks & birds that travel throughout the park so we thought since he was a water dog, and it's early morning, and the geese and ducks were in the lake...well, you see where we are going, right? WRONG, Willie took off running into the water about 2-3 feet, and stopped. He looked around, looked at me and came back out. Now the water wasn't too cold, he just knew he wasn't allowed loose or maybe the ducks scared him off?
Camping has been one of the activities that Leo and I both enjoy. I have been camping since I was a little girl and we camped as a family for years in Northern California. Next time, I'll have to show you some of the sights around camp.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

December 18, 2009

You would think that mom would have enough to do with two invalids in the house, being a temple worker in Redlands, and Family Home Evening with friends in Rowland Heights. Nooooo, she had to make things more difficult.
I had recovered enough from my accident, that I had returned to work and was able to care for most of my needs by this time in December. I was sitting at home in the my room resting when the phone rang. A male voice asked for Katheryn (mom) and I said no, she wasn't there. (muffled sound) The voice asked for me. When I answered yes, the voice told me that mom had been in an accident, that she was alert and the paramedics were there. She was being taken to the nearby hospital. I got off the phone and called my sister Kathy at the same time, hollering for Leo. Kathy took off down the Pomona freeway, while I called the police to find out where the paramedics were taking her. She was taken to Loma Linda University Hospital. Kathy and I went into the hospital room where she was lying on a guerney, a cervical collar on and cuts and nick over her face. There was a small matted area of blood in the hair on the back of her head. We waited and waited and as we waited the blood pooled onto the bed. We finally asked a nurse if anyone was going to take care of the cut on her head when the blood started to pool onto the floor under the guerney. You should have seen the staff run for a doctor, and immediately, the doctors came in and stitched or rather stapled her head together.
We found out later that she had broken her back in four places. She was kept in the collar for for several days and then fitted for a full back brace. It was determined that she was not a candidate for surgery. We would tease her in the days to come that she was a turtle with a shell on her chest and one on her back. She was in the hospital for almost a week and then transferred to a nursing facility. Nothing can be worse than to be a nurse working in the convalenscent care field, and put into one of them yourself. Of course she was a very impatient patient and as her daughter, I was no better. Both of us were relieved when she was able to be brought home.
So the invalid was home taking care of an invalid. I used a full week of vacation with doctor appointments between myself and my mother. Fortunately my work allowed me to change my working hours so that I could have the late afternoon off.
The final result is that mom has so much bone deteriation, as seen in a MRI scan, that the usual option of fusing the bones was not an option. Mom would be in a back brace for the rest of her life. As time went on and mother healed she made a decision. She would not spend the rest of her life in a brace. The impact of that decision is that if she were to fall or have another accident , it might prove fatal.
Today mom is active and back to her usual routine although she might be more tired than before. Once again God has protected our family.

October 10, 2008

My husband, Leo, our two dogs, Willie & Chillie and I were driving in evening rush-hour traffic to get up into the mountains to go camping for the weekend. I was thinking about the groceries we still needed to buy, and the lateness of the hour. It was 8:15 pm on a Friday night, and I knew my sister and Vice-Queen would be getting worried with us not having shown up @ the campgrounds yet. My husband was driving his usual slow self, leaving yards and yards of space in front of him, cars darting back and forth in front of him taking our space! It was exasperating, “but then at least if we had an accident, we wouldn’t hit the car in front of us”, was my thought. The next thing I knew, I woke up screaming in pain, and “my chest hurts, oh Leo, my chest hurts”. The dogs were crawling all over me in the excitement, “get the dogs off of me!!” I yelled. Leo spoke to me in a calm voice, calling the dogs away, telling me that we had been rear-ended by another car. “I hurt, my chest hurts so much” I cried.
I don’t remember much except for scattered pieces, paramedics talking to me, Leo answering, being covered with a sheet so that they could break the glass in my passenger side window, the ambulance ride with the paramedic holding my hand, explaining away the bumps and jolts from the road. The next thing I remember is my family being there, my mother’s voice calling my name, my sister holding my hand. I remembered Leo telling me we had an accident; I could feel the cervical collar around my neck, the relief from the worst of the pain from the Morphine being injected into my leg. My mouth was so dry, as if my body was in the desert. My two sons and their wives came to the emergency room. My husband was in the other emergency room being evaluated. Usually it feels like time will never go by, it seems forever to get medical care but I was so out of it, time is remembered only in segments. My children said good-bye but mother and Kathy stayed until I was taken up to my room. I woke in the night and nurses helped me to the bathroom, but I guess I had so many drugs in me that while painful, I handled it okay. That morning Kathy came in with some clothing for me, and helped me in the shower. I was only able to stand for a minute or two but how nice it was to get clean. The water ran red and flecks of glass fell to the ground. Kathy cleaned my hair carefully but with longer hair, it wasn’t the best. It wasn’t till the next morning that the full extent of pain was felt. I found out that I had broken my ribs, a thick band about 8-10 inch band fully encircling around my chest and back was in pain. I had some minor cuts, (scalp), and bruises on my legs but that was the extent of my bruises but not of my pain. Have you ever lifted and carried a #10 tin can, the biggest size they sell in Smart N Final? I felt like someone had taped my boobs to the top of those #10 cans and strapped the dang thing around my back. I tried to sleep in bed but kept waking up with such dreadful pain. During the day for short breaks of time, I would sit in the recliner chair in the den but was so tired that I would have to go to bed, until I realized that I could sleep in the recliner. It was to become my bed for the next 4 mos. I was able to return to work 5 weeks after the accident but but I was very cautious of riding the train. It wasn't until March that the rib pain went away, the #10 cans were gone. And that’s when I realized that there was an enormous amount of pain in my back. I would cringe when well-meaning people would want to pat me on the back or give me hugs. One time, a good friend came up behind me and gave me a light pat on the back which resulted in my screams echoing the halls of the church. Everyone turned to look and with tears of pain in my eyes, I had to tell her I was okay. The skin on my back had been numb since the accident, but underlying the rib pain was the back pain. I went to an acupuncturist to get some relief from the pain. When he started the first of 8 treatments, I didn’t feel a thing; no touch, no needles, just nice warmth from the heat lamp. Gradually the skin on my back for the most part has returned to full feeling although I still have a patch the size of a large grapefruit on my left shoulder blade, which is still numb. Everyone was kind, caring and concerned. I received flowers from my coworkers and lots of cards. My mother was my nurse, feeding me, giving me my medication, rubbing lotion into my skin, taking Leo and I to doctor appointments. The whole family pulled together, with Eric, mother and Leo taking turns getting up with me during the nights til I could get up and down by myself. I learned to sleep sitting up, sleep longer and sleep deeper. Leo took upon the last part of my care with all the love and concern he has always had for me. It is now August and I still take pain medication in the morning and then again at night before I retire for bed. But hey! The good news is I lost 20 pounds!
My husband suffered a mild concussion and was in intensive car for observation but fortunately wasn’t injured further; he has enough medical problems with out the accident. Unfortunately, he suffered from extreme headaches for the longest time.
Of course, the guy who hit us was a drunk driver with no insurance driving a big, old 1987 International Scout (SUV), which totaled our car. He hit us in the rear passenger side, came up and over smashing the passenger side roof and rolling down onto the freeway.
He got a few stitches and overnight in jail.

Our Heavenly Father is good to us, we are still alive and can enjoy our life with children, grandchildren, family and friends.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Camping with Critters

One of the joys of camping is the communication with nature. The sun was high, the sky clear, and a cool breeze wafted throughout the campground. Each of us were enjoying the day, relaxing or playing when we noticed a ground squirrel coming across the road with a bunch of stick and leaves in his mouth. He paused at the side of the road, then turned and ran back & up behind the rocks. I grabbed a chair and my camera to sit up away from the hole but close enough to watch. Within a few minutes he was back but again got cold feet, or paws I should say and ran back across the street. Patience is the key I thought. I sat as still as can be and turned the camera back on. Look carefully into the shadows and check it out!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Catching up to do

There's been so much going on this past month that I am just now catching my breath. June was a busy month with all the family goings-on. Sharon came out to California with her two children, Nicholas, age 8, and Emilia, age 6. They out in the south-eastern states. They flew to LAX from Atlanta arriving on Sat. June 7th. The trip was uneventful if you describe spilling orange juice on both mother and daughter as a normal event for the day. Sunday we went to church and then had a picnic in Heritage Park, Cerritos, Ca. It was a revisit back from when my husband Leo and I had our first outing, can't really call it a date with 7 children tagging along. Lots has changed over the last 25 years. The trees are a lot bigger, good for climbing by my grandaughter, Emila. There used to be only one way on and off the island which made it pretty secure to let your kids run wild over there. Now there are many different ways but then the buildings have been renovated to include climbing structures and activities in what were once just empty buildings. It sort of saddens me because it seems we have taken away some of the imaginination that was needed to explore the island. The playground was still cool.
On Monday, June10th we left to go camping for the week. I've never gone camping for a whole week before so I was real excited. It was soooo...much better than just a weekend. Of course, we had my sister Kathy, Sharon, Emilia, Nicholas, my husband Leo and myself all together so that made it so much funner!

We camped in a spot just east of the city of Julian, Ca. famous for it's apples. We walked through town on Tuesday exploring the candy stores and looking at all the tourist gegaws. We brought home Cherry-Apple cider to have with lunch. Yummy!
The campground had horseshoes, tennis, fishing, swimming, jacuzi, horseback riding, recreation center, campstore, playgrounds, tetherball and a kids club. Can you guess what the kids liked best? The kids club of course because it had painting, arts & crafts and video games. My favorite part was the smores. My least favorite happened Wednesday night. I woke up haven fallen off my air mattress (twin bed high), trapped in my sleeping bag between the mattress & the tent side. I hollered for Leo to help, and then heard the tent zipper. "Leo, I'm INSIDE the tent!" I yelled. He pulled me up and I painfully went to back to sleep. No bruises showed up and at this time, a whole month later, still haven't but the pain is still with me every time I make a sudden move or lie down. At least the pain has stopped for this last week when I walked. For more pictures and other information, go to: http://byrumnews.blogspot.com/

Monday, June 2, 2008

Eric & Brooke

Eric is the oldest of 4 siblings raised in our home. Eric and I have the same type of personality in that we like rules and don't mind inforcing those rules even if nobody else cares. We also recognize a good thing when we see it. When Eric was approximately 8 years old, he threatened to run away from home. I sat down with him and explained all the pros and cons of leaving home. Evidently I did such a good job that years later as a teenager, when there was so much teenage angst, he would threaten us to NEVER move away from home and in fact, we moved to So. California in 2000 leaving HIM behind. Later on he and his wife moved down to Los Angeles area near us. Six years later and with his divorce and different moves in the works, he has wound up back at home with us once more.
About 3 months ago Eric was surfing the net and met up with a girl. They talked a few times, when they had the following conversation (as told to me by Eric):
Eric: Where do you work?
Brooke: I work in Rancho Cucamonga
Eric: So do I! Where do you live?
Brooke: I live in Pomona.
Eric: So do I!
Brooke: I live in a mobile home park across from the DMV.
Eric: So do I!
Of course this is sort of simplistic but you get the idea. He came out of the room laughing saying he just had to go see this girl just for the fun of it if for no other reason. Here he has been living in this house for the past 2 years and he might have seen the girl many times over the years and not even realized it. It turns out that if you walk out our front door, through the neighbors house across the street, through the neighbor behind them and out to the corner house, you would be standing in her front yard.
You have to understand that except for work and an occasional night out with a friend to a wrestling match or comedy act, Eric never left his room and his on-line gaming. Since he and Brooke have been dating, he is never home.
Eric and Brooke will be married January 10, 2009.