Monday, September 22, 2008

Kevin's first catch

We camped at Greenbrier State Park in Boonsboro, MD, this weekend. The weather was BEAUTIFUL and we enjoyed hiking, kayaking, fishing and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows.

This was Kevin's first time using a hook on his fishing pole. He has practiced a lot in our yard with just a weight and is good at casting but never had to be that concerned about hurting anyone. Andy took quite a risk allowing Kevin to fish with him in the kayak.

The first day, Andy caught one fish and that was it. Fishing quickly became boring.

The second day, we fished from the shore with smaller hooks and Kevin caught his first-ever fish! And then he caught his second, third, fourth and fifth fish, too. He exclaimed that the fish was so heavy - I think he thought he was reeling in a marlin.

No pouty, bored face here!

I caught some fish, too.

Andy only caught one fish, but it was a Big Daddy (in Bluegill terms, anyway) - he coulda made a sandwich for lunch with this guy.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

What to do when feeling blue about what usually makes me feel yellow

What do you do when what usually provides you with the most happiness becomes one of your biggest frustrations?

Here's my dilemma.

I love sports. I enjoy watching sports, I love to play sports. I regularly play ultimate [frisbee] a couple of times a week and volleyball once a week.

I spend a lot of time looking forward to games of any sport. I smile more talking about and playing sports than just about any other time. Sports energize me.


Lately, that is not the case and it's thrown me for a loop. Last week's ultimate games were so frustrating I would've walked off the field mid-game if it wouldn't have drawn attention to me and my bad attitude. Last night I didn't want to go to my volleyball game. When I was playing, I would've been fine for the match to be over at any point. Afterward, I didn't feel like talking about how we played.

I'm apathetic about playing but also quick to anger when I do play. If someone makes 2 stupid plays in a row (mental mistakes, not just missing something) I get angry at them. When two people do it, forget it, I feel like stomping off the field. The anger I felt last week at myself and other players was so great that I would rather not play today.

This is coming from a woman who plays even when she has a migraine. This is coming from a woman who has driven 30 minutes home and 30 minutes back to work (during the work day and knowing the time would have to be made up in the evening) when she forgot clothes to play in. This is coming from a woman who knows what each player needs to hear, in order to decide to play on a day that they're not sure if they want to come out or not, so that she can get enough people for a game. This is coming from a woman who knows that she should get home to her family but instead stays for an extra hour of volleyball because it's impossible to pass up a chance to play doubles.

All my life I've had what people might call a "bad attitude" about things like my performance in sporting events. When I was young, I competed in gymnastics and I recall a distinct event when, during practice, I used a very serious curse word at my coach when I was 9 years old.

Over the past 10 years, I've gotten away from some of my more childish behaviors regarding sports, in particular. Now it seems as though I'm a kid again, unable to control her temper, wanting to stomp off in a huff.

Where did this come from? Why is it showing up now? How do I get rid of it???

Friday, September 12, 2008

Needs nobody

This comment, made last night by a dear person whom I love very much, provides a glimpse of the life of an extreme introvert. It was made thoughtfully and honestly.

"I have never missed anyone."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The mental picture is at least as good as real-life

Tell me you can read this without laughing:
(By the Associated Press as read in the Baltimore Sun)

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) A middle school teacher suffered some bruising and a big scratch on his back after he struck a bear while riding his bicycle to school.

Jim Litz said he was traveling about 25 mph Monday morning when he came upon a rise and spotted a black bear about 10 feet in front of him. He didn't have time to stop and T-boned the bruin. [T-boned! Ha!]

He tumbled over the handlebars, his helmet hit the bear's back and the two went cartwheeling down the road.

The bear rolled over Litz's head, cracking his helmet, and scratched his back before scampering up a hill above the road. [I hope he got that spot right in the middle that's so hard to reach on your own.]

Litz's wife drove by shortly after the crash and took her husband to the hospital. He hoped to be able to return to teaching science at Target Range Middle School on Friday.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lance Armstrong to be in 2009 Tour de France!

This summer's Tour de France passed by without any comment by me, at least not on this blog. That doesn't mean I didn't pay attention to it. That doesn't mean I didn't get wound up and excited about it. It just means I didn't write anything about it on my blog.

However, I have to comment on next year's Tour even though it is 10+ months away. Why? Because LANCE ARMSTRONG IS GOING TO RACE AGAIN!

Here is a VeloNews article about his return to professional racing.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Top Ten Things Overheard When the Neighborhood Girls Come Over to Play

10.) "Can Kevin come out to play?"
9.) "Can we play with your cat?"
8.) "I love foamy stickers!"
7.) "Where's your cat?"
6.) "Can we have a piece of candy?"
5.) "Can you go find your cat?"
4.) "Can you play SPUD with us?"
3.) "Can we give your cat a treat?"
2.) "First, we need to clean off this table - it's a mess."
1.) **squeal**!!!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

My ankle is all better, right? Wrong.

Before vacation, I had a cortisone injection in the sheath of my peroneal tendons. It took care of the pain on the outside of my ankle but did nothing for the pain in the back of my ankle, which was a little better from wearing the boot for three weeks. After vacation, I restarted playing ultimate, very carefully at first. It felt ok, so I played some more. After the third time playing, I woke up the next morning with a very sore ankle that was swollen once again.


This week I had a followup appointment with my doctor and told him that the cortisone injection worked for only 2 weeks and did nothing for the pain in the back of my ankle. He revisited my MRI report and said, "Well, the radiologist noted signficant arthritis in there. You should see a specialist yadda, yadda, yadda...." I admit to zoning out when he said there was really arthritis in there. I pictured my grandfather who worked outside and lumberjacked "for fun" as a way to combat the painful arthritis in his spine and not succumb to a wheelchair as his father did from debilitating arthritis. I pictured my mom's hands which are becoming more gnarled as the years pass with arthritis in her fingers, despite the rest of her looking and acting like a much younger woman than she is.

I never found the presence of mind while in his office to ask why he hadn't mentioned that before. I also didn't ask how a slowly developing disease suddenly caused my ankle to swell and made me limp one morning.

Either way, he said I should go see a foot and ankle specialist (orthopedic surgeon, not podiatrist) at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. Yesterday I decided to go ahead and make an appointment (earliest available is Nov 6th - next available is sometime after January) because I really want to know what the problem is although I had little hope of really finding out.

After making the appointment, I headed to Google yet again to search on ankle pain. I found - THE ANSWER. I discovered a description of the pain in the back of my ankle! It was the first time anything made sense regarding my ankle. The problem is called "posterior impingement of the ankle." Something in the back of my ankle is getting pinched, simple as that. Now the problem is to figure out what is getting pinched, and why, and then how to stop it from getting pinched. There are lots of possible causes for posterior impingement, including subtalar arthritis and an os trigonum getting in the way - both of which I've been told I have. The os trigonum is a bone that up to 10% of the population has in their ankle which usually causes no problems. X-rays when I was much younger showed I have that. So.... I could still have the arthritis as a problem, but how it is a problem makes more sense now. Or it could be something entirely different causing the impingement.

But now I have hope again that we can figure out the problem and work out a plan to take care of it. I look forward to November 6th.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Labor Day Kayaking

Oddly, this Great Blue Heron didn't flush even when I floated slowly by it fairly closely. They usually don't stick around that long.

The front of my boat. Can you find my camouflaged water bottle?

The engine of a train that roared overhead. The first time one of these came over the bridge while we were kayaking, I thought, "Wow, I'm gonna go float under the bridge as it goes over!" Then I realized that is way too scary and not worth the adrenaline. Sitting close by is ok - still exciting what with all the noise and rumbling. This picture was taken from farther away because there were other people watching from closer.

We hadn't been to this area - the Daniels Area of Patapsco Valley State Park - in about a month. Since the last time we were there, this part of the river just above the dam had filled in with a lot of greenery below and on the water. Andy looks like he's in a swamp somewhere.

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