Sunday, August 31, 2008

Room to Breathe

** Ok so in case you don't know... DL stands for Disneyland.

So awhile ago I had won 4 tickets from the radio for DL. I had some friends I knew wanted to go so I promised them a ticket.So I had 4 tickets. Of my tickets one was promised to Justin, one I ended up using one when Sharon came out and one for my Mom at the same time. Then after we went my mom won 4 tickets. SO I still had two (the one for Justin and one extra) then at church one day while talking to some friends one of the girls was saying she wanted to go to DL but unlike the others in the conversation she didn't have an annual pass. So I gave her a ticket. We went in a group of 4 girls and had fun before Renee moved to Utah. I still had Justin's ticket and back in July he was coming out for a visit. We set a date to go and everything. Well on his drive here from Idaho his car broke down. He didn't make it to CA that week. In the meanwhile shortly after we had gone with Sharon and stuff my Mom won tickets of her own so she had 4 tickets. so for awhile now she has been considering who to take and when to go etc. Finally she decided she wanted to go with us. My little sister and myself both have a pass so her and Rhonda and Denise would need tickets and she had one more. She invited her sister (my aunt Linda) to join. But the problem was picking a date to go. My nephews would both be free because they are under 3 years old. If we went on a weekday because school just started Denise wouldn't be able to go, and Rhonda would need the day off from a job she just started. The only day my aunt could go would be a fri or sat because of her work schedule but if we went on Fri she would be super tired and not have gotten any sleep since shes on the night shift. So we were aiming for a Sat. Deann had her gallbladder removed on the 14th. SO a few weeks ago I told my mom "why don't we go on your birthday on the 30th, its a Sat so Rhonda, Denise and Aunt Linda all are already available, its 2 weeks after Deann's surgery so she should be moving around better to tolerate it and its before I am scheduled to return to work." SO that became the plan. But then as it turns out because its the holiday weekend Deann and I both had blackout days on our passes.

Well the tickets my Mom and I both had were to expire on the 15th of Sept. SO we needed to use them. I got ahold of Justin to see if he knew when he would be rescheduling his trip yet, but he said unfortunately with work, and just starting school he didn't think he would be able to make it to CA. But he let me know Matt was coming. Well last year I had promised Matt and another friend Peter both tickets when I had won them before. But neither had made it in time either. So I talked to Matt and he was coming to CA but didn't think he had time in his visit for DL. SO I ended up using my ticket and Deann got a blackout day ticket for the park. It all worked out and we all went to DL yesterday! Woohoo................

My knee was hurting before we even left in the morning. I had already planned on renting a wheelchair, but now I knew for sure I would need one. We got out of the house later than planned and so the disagreements began. Rhonda and I had been fighting last weekend. But then I left and went fishing. I was thinking the fact that we didn't see each other for 4 days would be a good way for us both to chill out and settle down a bit. Well from the time I got back she was still giving me an attitude. She would walk across the room and ask my mom to hold my nephew when she went to make a bottle, when I was sitting right next to her and stuff like that. She barely said two words to me once I was home. Anything she did say or do was done with attitude! It was frustrating! I thought we were older and wiser. But apparently only one of us has grown up in life. So I prayed for strength and comfort and to be able to keep my temper under control. I prayed that we would be able to go to DL and have fun and be loving and less contentious. Well I did pretty well but my sister continued to give me an attitude and stuff. It really upset me. Nobody would listen to what I had to say about which rides we should go to or how we got in line and stuff when they would ask me the questions nobody seemed to care about the responses. So I was in pain, trying to keep my temper in check, and felt like I was being ignored. It was hard and I was getting more and more frustrated as the day went on. It was really hard. Then it seemed like they were being kind of hypocritical. I wanted to go into my favorite store since we were right there and look around and my mom said something about we could come back after going to CA adventure. But then when I was done and we were going to CA Adv. they all stopped in a different store! UGH!! Then they stopped to get pineapple ice cream. SO I was getting pretty upset. But instead of saying anything or arguing I bit my tongue and was crying. So that was that. It pretty much continued like this for most of the day.

Another thing that kinda upset me was my aunt made a comment while we were waiting in the wheelchair line for Splash mountain about "cheating" because I said I was trying to get into the line before the other wheelchairs. I questioned her about how is that cheating trying to get in front of other in line and she said something about using a wheelchair! It felt like to me she was accusing me of not needing the wheelchair at all! Luckily for me Denise heard the conversation and stood up for me before I even had the chance to retaliate. She told my aunt that I couldn't walk the park that I was crying in pain before we had even left the house. This was especially upsetting because this week while I was up north I went to visit with my aunt Barbara a little while and she commented to me about how my knee must not be hurting much because I walked down the stairs too easily at her house. I had gone down her front steps a little too fast because they were smaller steps so I wasn't thinking and I actually did irritate my knee when I went down them but I didn't express it outwardly. Then because she asked me to I went with her to the store and while we were there she was lecturing me about how I should stay off my knee and stuff and I told her that I could sit at home on the couch just as easily as on the fishing boat and she said "what about now?" I wanted to say "you are the one who brought me to the store, otherwise I would be off of it!" but I didn't say it!

So twice this week by my own family I felt like I was being judged and as if I was faking it! Its really hard for me to think they think that of me! I am not that kind of person! I want my knee to be better and at to be working more than anything else in the world right now and it scares me to death that I cannot be there! I get my first injection on Weds afternoon and I am supposed to be returning to work next week and unfortunatly I am going to have to tell them that its getting worse and that I won't be able to return yet so I need another note. Unless the injection is a mircale drug and I am better in 5 days from the first shot! But I have a feeling it isn't going to work that way!

Well I am not sure what else I can say. I did have some fun at DL but not as much as usually when I am with friends and not being treated like a nobody. When I am not judged for my disability and when people are talking to me like a human and not treating me like a piece of dirt on their shoe! I wish things were different and I am only one person so I cannot change the world but I am sure going to try and be more positive! I am going to try and pull through. I have this song on a Reba CD that I have been listening to. its called "Room to Breathe" its geared more towards a boyfriend or significant other but I really think the chorus applies to how I feel right now.
Here is the complete song lyrics:

You ain’t done nothing wrong
But I think we need to talk
You might be the one but before we go too far
I need a little time, to figure out my heart
Who could ask for more
But I need to know for sure
I haven’t been myself from the minute that we met
I ran into your world and kinda walked out on myself
All those dreams I had I begin to second guess
For you
One too many questions
Until I know the truth
I need Room to breathe
A little time to think
To make sure I don’t lose me
I need room to breathe
I know you’re not to blame
And I swear there’s no one new
This has to do with me
And not a thing to do with you
So don’t try to understand
You don’t have a thing to prove to me
If you really love me
Just give me what I need
Room to breathe
A little time to think
To make sure I don’t lose me
I need room to breathe
Please don’t take this wrong
and please don’t turn away I just don’t
Want to look back one day and say
I need room to breathe
A little time to think
To make sure I don’t lose me
I need room to breathe
Room to breathe

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The one that got away....

Well it's Thurs morning. I came to Denair, CA on Tues. (right outside Turlock, CA) and Tues night we went to Lake McClure with the boat. We stopped and got some bait and hot dogs for dinner (we had a small camping stove) and we were gone. We got to the lake at about 6:30 I think.... we put the boat in the water and there was some deer by the dock....I took some pictures but I don't know how they will look.... and right about now you are probably thinking "Renee has a digital camera why wouldn't she see the pictures?" Well here's the story about that... while driving up here to Denair I had my camera out and on my passenger seat so that during the drive I could take scenery pictures etc.... and I took a few, I also took a few when I was having lunch with some friends when I stopped to eat... well I got here and we got our stuff ready to go and I forgot to put my camera back in my purse... so at the bait shop I got one of the disposable cameras. So then because I only had the one I didn't get to take many lake pictures and stuff and play around like I normally would because I only had 27 exposures to use.... so I took two pictures of the 4 deer on the mountain... but I didn't have a zoom....I don't know how they will look.... back to the fishing now! So we are in the boat and my cousin showed me a little bit how to drive the boat, just incase something happened to him where I would be stuck and need to drive it myself (I didn't actually do any driving of the boat, he just showed me the controls) then we went around the lake a little and he showed me the old train tunnel that is now sometimes covered in water when the lake levels get high enough and some houses nearby and stuff and we went around pretty quick and felt the breeze as we flew across the water at higher speeds. It was really nice. Then we went to the spot he knew was usually good for catching fish near the dam. he showed me how to bait my hook and we put our lines in the water.

Now before we left he told me that nobody ever catches any fish until he drinks some beer. I told him I wasn't drinking anything... he said just a sip, and his wife said just let it touch your lips. I didn't even want to do that. So at the bait shop I bought a root beer. I told him it has "beer" in the title and was the closest I would get. SO as we were driving around the lake getting close to where we were going to fish he was like "you'd better start drinking your beer" (he added emphasis when he said it, thus the italics) So I drank my beer. It was about 7pm when we started "fishing". a couple hours later we started bbq'ing and I don't remember if it was just before that or just after that Robbie caught a small bass. Now in this area you are not allowed to keep any bass unless they are at least 15inches long so he had to release him back. He gave me a hard time and said I was supposed to be the first one to catch anything... oh well :) we ate and we waited some more. It was such a beautiful day the temperature was nice and it wasn't windy or anything. Now of course we were "roughing" it so to speak on the boat. There are no bathrooms and so if you have to go there is a bucket, you take the bucket to the front and everyone looks away and you take care of business. After that you dump in the lake and "rinse" the bucket. I had decided that even though I have bucket pee'd before I would wait until I couldn't wait anymore to use the bucket. It was getting later and was close to ten and I was thinking I would wait until 10 tp use the bucket. But in the back of my mind I kept thinking that as soon as I was on the bucket that my line would get a bite. I kept waiting. It was after 10 now and I was still waiting. As I was getting closer to wanting the bucket I got a bite. WHen I finally saw something pull my line I was like "oh oh oh oh" and until I started to get up to get my pole Robbie thought my knee was hurting! He was making fun of my noises after the fact. Well as it turns out he was the one that got away! But he put up a mighty good fight and got most of my worm! Man you should've seen him! I didn't see him, but you should've :) So we rebaited my line and got it back in the water, I grabbed the bucket and about 5 min after the first bite (and after I was done with the bucket) I got another bite.... "oh oh oh" now we were fishing! This one didn't get away!! It was a small trout, probably close to the size of Robbies bass but maybe just a hair smaller. We got him in, I took a few pictures with my fish (I named him Timothy Trout) and we were still fishing. I caught Timothy about 10:45pm. We stayed out until about 12:15 when RObbie started cleaning up fishing stuff and we headed back. I had thought I might have had a couple more bites, but if I did they got away too! So we headed back to load the boat and we waited for someone else who didnt seem to know how to load their boat on the trailer right so we waited... finally we got ours on and we were heading home. We got home about 2am and went to sleep. Yesterday Robbie cut the filet's off my fish for me (he had told me I would have to clean my own fish, but apparantly since I only caught one he took pity on me?? I don't really know) but before he did I took some more pictures with Timothy Trout and this time it was with my digital camera! then as he cut Timothy I took pictures.... then we rinsed the filet's and put him in a ziploc and got rid of the rest. Since we only brought home one small fish and there was to be 7 of us eating they got some out of the freezer they had caught previous times and we still had fish for dinner. Robbie fried little Timothy... I got pictures of that... and a picture of my taking my first bite. My mom says its rude of me to name my fish than eat him... but this was the first time I was to eat something I caught myself not storebought or whatever and so even though its weird I think it made it easier for me. I would never think of living on a farm and naming pigs, or chickens or whatever I was planning on eating. I could never raise something as a pet and than eat it. I didn't name timothy until the morning when we were taking pictures. By then because he had been in the ice chest he was already frozen so I think its completely different. If you want to think less of me for naming a dead fish before I eat it... so what! I can't stop you! But people name their recipes and specialty meals they prepare so if its a hamburger or something isn't that the same thing??

Anyways it was good eating! RObbie says I can come back to go fishing anytime I want. He even said if I come closer to the winter like late Oct early Nov before it gets too cold that he would take me to the Delta where we can catch the BIG fish. Huge sturgeons and such! THat would be fun! I would have the potential to catch a fish as big/tall as me and stuff! So depending on what happens with my knee and such I plan to do that! I think it would be great! But this time I am not leaving my camera in the car :)

Well the doctors office finally called me yesterday that they got my medication in for my injections. SO I called to set up an appointment to get it.... Fri they are all booked up, so I asked about afternoon today and they were booked. Mon is the holiday and Tues they are bookd. SO I don't even get my 1st injection until Weds afternoon!! All the trouble I went to and as long as I have waited already and its more waiting for me now! Oh well. It means I get to stay another night here and tonight we are going to my UNcles house and having a BBQ/ pool party. My other cousin is coming as well with his wife and two girls and RObbie and Deneen and the other kids are coming. SO it will be fun. Tomorrow I drive home and Sat we are all going to Disneyland for my Mom's birthday! Lotsa fun! For now I gotta shower and go shopping. I am making the macaroni salad for tonight and picking up the beef for RObbie to make burgers (apparantly he has some delicious recipe for burgers)....

So incase you were wondering, even though we spent like 6 hours fishing and only brought one fish home to eat, I am not sad because you should've seen the one that got away!!!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Going Fishing

I am so glad I am leaving tomorrow to go fishing! In fact I wish I would've left today like I had originally planned because I just got into another fight with my sister! I am so stressed out right now and cannot wait to get away from her! I feel so bad for my nephew because she treats him so badly.. it seems like all she does is yell at him and since he has gotten home today (he was gone with my parents most of the day) he has been playing with me when she wasn't yelling at him! We were singing and dancing to Disney music earlier and all she did was give me dirty looks while he was laughing and playing and having fun! Then he was in my room with me while I was folding and putting away my laundry and then tonight after getting into another fight with her he came in my room and was having fun with me so she came and took him out (because he likes being with me more than her..... gee I wonder why miss yell-a-mom!) I hate that I was fighting with her because it makes me think things I shouldnt be thinking like keying her car and such! I wanted to say things to her that shouldn't be said (and that I normally wouldnt say...but she would) but I held my tongue. I have tried to do that to just walk away and come into my room so she came after me and kicked my door and knocked my mirror off.... so then my nephew came and was kicking my door as well before he came in and was playing in here..... I wish I could get out of here! But I wont be leaving anytime soon! Especially if my thoughts are right that I might be having surgery again! I miss working and being away from all the crap at home! My mom was trying to convince me today that I shouldnt go fishing because my knee has been sore and stuff but I really need to get out of the house. She even suggested that I should ask my other sister to go with me. I asked but she has a doctors appointment which I was kinda glad about because I really wanted to get away on my own and be able to have fun and relax! It will be nice to see my family there and be away from the house for a couple days! I really want to stay until Fri but I will probably come home Thurs so that I can get my knee injection on Fri.... we shall see! I just know I can't wait!!!


OK so I've been out of work since June 19th because of having re-injured my knee. I am supposed to go back around Sept 8th.... but I am beginnning to doubt whether or not that will happen! I have been still geting sore and these past few days it seems to be increasing again! Its so frustrating and is really starting to scare me! At my last doctors appointment he basically told me that I don't have many choices that because there had been a previous injury to my acl that even though it's attached it is basically unstable and so increased activity can easily aggravate it. He told me that one of the only ways to fix that is by surgery. He said that its an option they don't usually like to consider unless absolutely neccessary because the surgery would be a complete acl repair and that the operation would be more involved than my previous one, and that it would require a more difficult and longer recovery time.... he said that because I had already tried a cortisone type injection without any major improvement that I could try some newer gel like injection that would be a series of 3 injections a week apart from each other. He asked what I wanted to do and I said I just wanted to be able to go back to work.... we decided on trying the injections.... well its been several weeks and I havent even had my first one yet because they havent recieved the medication yet from the insurance company. When I called on Mon the doctors office called the pharmacy agency that was supposed to be shipping the medication and they had no record of me as a patient in their system and so that was why they hadn't shipped the meds..... SO my dr's office gave them my info and I figured I would've heard form the doctors later in the week to schedule my first injection. Instead on Fri I recieved a phone call from the pharmacy company to verify my birthdate and so forth!! Why it took them 5 days to call and verify is beyond my imagination! Then the guys tells me after confirming my info that he has to call the dr's office before he can ship it to them!!!!! Can I say UGH?? So I asked him how long before my dr should have the meds and he said no later than Tues. Which I guess since I am out of work and all that should eb fine and dandy... except I planned to go up north and visit family this week and on Tues night I am going fishing! So I am really hoping they have the meds by Mon afternoon so that either late Mon or first thign Tues I can go get my first injection! I need to leave no later than lunchtime on Tues to go up north and wasn't planning on returning till Thurs or Fri.... but I have waited this long so I don't want to have to postpone the injection any longer than I have to! So I am hoping I can get it before going fishing! But considering my continued increased pain again I have a feeling they are going to be pretty ineffective like the cortisone! I don't really want another surgery but I have a feeling thats the road I am about to travel!~ At first I was telling my mom the other day that maybe if it came down to needing another surgery, that I could go back to work and then wait until the beginning of next year and start all over with disability and such... but I know I cannot work with it being the way it is especially if its anything like it was earlier! Its way too risky! It wouldnt be smart for me or for my partner or my patients! Plus if I do it before the end of this year I wont have to pay my $1500 insurance deductible again and since I am already out of work I can get it fixed and go back hopefully healthy as a beaver....
So I am a little scared... that I may need another operation, that I may have injured my knee way too much and it wont ever get better! That even if it does get better that in the long run I won't be able to return to working as an EMT! I love my job so much and am starting to consider other posibilities! I hate that I have to but I am starting to feel as if I have no choice! It's a scary road I am on but I know that I need to travel it with faith and with patience and that I will be guided along the way!

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I cannot stand it when people are disrespectful! Even more so when on top of that they are constantly unappreciative! My sister is completely oblivious to all that is done in her behalf and rarely ever says thank you and never shows any respect towards others! I can't stand it anymore! My mom does so much for her and I do a lot too regarding my nephews and such and she doesn't even say thanks! Like for instance my mom made a comment the other day that my sister said my parents can take my nephew for a haircut whenever they want because she can't afford to! Well neither can my parents really and they are providing free board and childcare and so forth for my sister and my nephews to begin with and she doesn't even help with household chores! SO I decided even though I couldn't really afford it either my nephew needed a haircut so I took him on his bday and got him one... did I get a thank you?? NO WAY!! Than this morning we got into an argument because she doesn't even take care of her dog (who is basically suffering a slow death and she doesn't seem to care) and she was saying that my dog is stupid acting as if hers is perfect but she doesn't even take care of her dog. Its so frustrating, basically she said my dog hadn't been out all night and I said before you make a comment like that you should verify the facts because I took my dog out at 3 am before I went to sleep! She rarely goes out and feeds or gives water to her dog it's usually my mom who does so (and me on occasion like the other day) her dog is 14 years old, is going deaf (if not already completely so) has a tumor on her breast that seems to be getting bigger and my sister doesn't do anything about it! Its really sad and I feel bad for her dog! Mine may not always listen and he barks a lot when people walk by outside or whatever but thats what he is supposed to do! Anyways she is always like this and I am tired of it! I can't stand that she disrespects me constantly and never says thank you for anything that people do for her! Maybe one day she will move out and really learn how much is done on her behalf!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I forgot to put in my last blog the distances for the river tubing..... I clocked the mileage the next day in my car when I had to drive back to the shell station across the street from the park to buy ice and water..... I know its slightly different for the road than the river based on how each turns and such but its just an approximate anyway:

From the campsite to the park 5.5 miles
from the campsite to where I got out of the river 4.5 miles
where I got out of the water to where I hiked to the road .2 miles (hiking)
Walking on the road to where I got picked up .5 (1/2) mile (walking)
Where I got picked up to the park .3 miles (driven in a car)

So basically I spent about 4.5 miles on the river and about 3/4 miles hiking/walking from there and got picked up about a quarter mile from the park.....

Fun times!!! :)

A more involved nutshell

My Kern river intertubing experience! SO here it goes! Last weekend my ward had our 3rd annual retreat! This time around we went camping at the Kern river! We also had planned an intertubing trip on the river with lunch downstream at the park where we could also play sports etc and just hang out for the day! President Pinkston has been to this particular campsite before and tubed the river and stuff and said that it would be about 45 min to an hour to tube from our campsite to the park! Easy enough that would mean we could go probably like 4 trips down. We didnt quite have enough life jackets or intertubes for all 60 or so of us there was camping so we were going to go in groups. The first group would go then they would shuttle the jackets adn tubes back up to the campsite and the second group could go and then the 3rd and 4th groups would be from whoever wanted to go again etc! Because I already have a bad knee and so forth and was our official first aid person on the trip I decided I only wanted to go once, so I figured I should go in the first group. I knew I probably shouldn't go at all but I had never been intertubing and wanted to try it out. I figured I would go once and not anything after that! This way I would be at the park and be able to hang out and have fun and be there for first aid. WHile everyone else continued to ride the river! SO I had my life jacket on and got my intertube (we had actual large truck tubes...not river tubes with handles and stuff so they all had a valve stem on them and so forth....) We went to the river with the first group and we were off. THey asked Mike and Brandon to kinda lead the group off in the start and atay in front and President Walden was going to follow up the rear incase of problems etc. I got on my tube and my butt kept falling in the hole! SO then with my jacket on and my butt sinking I was not in a good position. I couldn't control myself or do anythign and was definately uncomfortable to be on the river for the next hour or so. I continued to try and figure out a good way to sit and struggled a lot! I was kinda getting a little better and hit my first big "drop" and went down. I stayed on my tube and looked towards the shore when I got down and one of the guys from my ward Kevin was right there. He made a notion like taking a picture (I wish he really had a camera because it woudve been a good shot) Anyways where I came down I kinda got stuck in a smei whirlpool like state. It seemed like whichever rock I tried to push off of sent me back towards where I had just come from! It was a little frustrating and I thought I should just give up now! ( I wish I wouldve listened to myself) Kevin was tryign to tell me how to get away from the rocks but I couldnt understand what he was saying. Around the same time P Walden came up behind me but saw me and was able to stop himself before coming down on top of me! :) whoo! He too was trying to give me advice to get away! I kept struggling! Finally I just kinda jumped into the water from my tube and got away then was going to get back on. P Walden was trying to give me advice and I told him I was falling into my tube hole too much! He traded me his tube so I could se if I liked it better. I did because it kinda had an airbubble so the one side was inflated slightly more and so it helped keep me upright better on the tube and I wasnt falling in so much! I was ready to continue! P Walden told me to stay in front of him and he was giving me some advice on how to be a better tuber! He was telling me to stay towards the center of the river more because it is generally deeper and the current would be a little faster as well. He was telling me how to get through the rough spots, keep my body straight and my feet in front of me. to stay one the tube and not in the tube etc. I was trying to do all he was saying. I would let the water carry me and try not to resist much etc and for some reason the current liked pushing me to the sides where the water was shallower and rockier and slower! SO then he would tell me to stay in the middle! It was hard! With the way the tube was inflated to keep the bigger side in the back in meant I had to have the valve stem in the front. To keep from being punctured by it I kept it facing downward. But then everytime it would hit a rock the other part of it (where it was connected to the tube) was being driven up into my behind! SO I knew that was going to leave a bruise. I continued to struggle with the water and the currents and the rocks. I even got going once and the current took me slightly to the right side of the water where I got stopped by a fallen tree in the water! I thought I cut my leg on it but it ended up only being a few scratches! No matter what I did to try and stay in the middle the river sent me to the rocks! It seemed like I was destined to struggle! Then I came over one part of the rapids and over a rock (one of the few that I didnt get stuck on) but when I came over it my legs went down and my foot got caught in between two rocks and my leg was completely bent. That didn't help my knee at all! The water was moving pretty swiftly at that point and I was kinda stuck for a minute or so, but I got myself free and kept going. Then we hit the first of several areas where the water was deep but not moving so you basically had to swim through it. Many people just did like a backstroke while lying backwards on their tubes... my arms were too short for this and my knee was already getting sore so kicking was a little tough as well. P Walden came along and he was doing the backstroke thing and let me hold his foot so he was pulling me along with him! I felt like such a burden and felt like a loser! I really didnt want him to have to do any extra work on my behalf but I didn't have much choice in the situation he was already having to slow down to keep behind me! Previous to this I had been praying to get through it and stuff so I knew he was an answer to my prayers! As bad as I felt I knew Heavenly FAther was looking out for me! There was several prayers said by me on the river that day! As well as many tears shed! I felt like I should've given up in the beginning like I wanted too! So we continued in this manner for awhile. He would pull me during the slower parts and encourage and aid me in the "rapids" But as long as I sorta stayed towards the middle I was moving along pretty well, but then the river sent me off to find an obstacle! I managed to find all the rocks and get stuck frequently! But with P Walden telling me all along to keep moving!
We got to another bigger rapid and I went down. I was doing alright than I lost my tube and continued down the big rocks in just my jacket! I was glad I had it at that point and was thankful I didn't hit my head or lose my sunglasses or my contacts! I got carried downstream a good ways without my tube! (I lost my tube twice during the day) I didnt want P Walden to see my tube and not me and to get worried and managed to stop myself on a rock. I was hoping my tube would come to me but it seemed to like where it was and was staying put! UGH! Then some kid that was there with his family saw me and saw my tube and swam it to me! I was so thankful for that and I continued to go. I was into a slower water again and P Walden was behind me so I was kicking and kinda swimming as much as I could on my own. At some point during this whole ordeal I got stuck again on some rocks and when I leaned back to try and unwedge my tube from the rocks I managed to get my hair stuck behind me between my tube and a rock! I think I ripped some of it out trying to get unwedged! Then it was some more swifter rapid type water again! I was doing better now though and was able to handle it more because P Walden had been instructing me so I was improving. But then we hit some lower water again and a lot of rocks and while going through the cap came off the stem of my tube and I started losing air! But I was in another slower area again so I rolled over and put my tube around my waist and got the stem blocked so that it wouldnt leak and was swimming along trying to save my air. At some point I had asked someone about how much further to the park and she told me several more miles! I was getting to a spot where I thought I surely must have been a few miles by then so I thought if I save my air I can probably make it. Then I started feeling stuff around my feet. It was kinda like when you get kelp around your feet at the beach, but it wasnt as big and thick, but there was lots of it and it was really slimy and GROSS!! But I was mostly only feeling it with my feet so I tried not to kick as much and kept going. THen it seemed like I might be in a spot where i could maybe stand and walk so I tried. I wound up knee deep in that slimy MUCK!! It really slowed me down because not only did it feel absolutely GROSS but it was thick! When I looked it was all black and kinda looked like sand in the water but it was really disgusting! P Walden had caught up to me again and was telling me to keep going and I explained to him my tube was flat and I was knee deep in grossness! So he traded me tubes again! (He really was like a Savior to me that day!) He continued by just swimming wearing only his vest.
At some point we had asked another person how much further and he told me like 30 more min and to just lay back and relax that I was almost there and had a few more really good rapids to go! I told him I was done relaxing that I had been going for way too long already! (at several points in time I was beginning to think that the 2nd group was going to come up behind me and pass me up!) I told him where I had started and he was kinda surprised! Anyways we came to another rapid and P Walden asked me if I wanted to ride it on the tube or walk along side on the shore... I told him I was ready to get to that bridge! And I got on and went! He told me later that I took that rapid (which was one of the worst) like a pro and that I did really well! I did manage to stay on that time! But on the way down I hit my backside on several rocks and I had hit pretty hard. One time I thought I might have broken my tailbone! It was that bad! The water stayed pretty good for a little bit so I was about 10 min down the river. I knew P Walden had gotten out but I never saw him get back in the water. I was looking for him in the water and onshore and didnt see him anywhere. I got to an area with more rocks again and was stuck in the middle of the river! The water was moving pretty swiftly but the rocks were kinda high and so i wasnt moving along too well on them on the tube! But they were super close together and covered in algae so they were slippery and I couldnt really walk to the side. I kept slipping and my knee was already hurting. I had been on the river for like 5 hours at this point in time and was exhausted! I knew I was dehydrated because I didnt have anything to drink and we had eaten breakfast more than 6 hours before this! After that last big rapid and hitting myself I was sore and didnt want to do any more! I knew I was like 15-20 min from the park but I felt like I couldnt continue! Especially knowing I had at least one more big rapid to go! I shed some more tears and prayed again and was looking for P Walden to be able to help me and I didnt see him anywhere! I know I sat there for probably close to 10 min and knew I had to do something. Finally I laid on top of the tube on my stomach and bent my knees keeping my legs out f the water so they wouldnt drag and just went for it. I managed to get off the rocks and felt so relieved! As soon as I could I found a good spot and worked my way to the side and got out of the water! I wanted so much to finish the tubing but was done! I knew I couldnt make it to the bridge/park at that point! I was done!
I looked for P Walden again so that I could give him the tube if he wanted and to tell him I was going to walk the rest of the way but I still didnt see him! I tried to stay as close to teh shore as possible so he could maybe see me but it wasnt very far downstream before the trail led away from the water a little bit and actually put me into a campground. SO I made sure I kept a view of the water from where I was walking and I continued to walk. I got through the campsite and the trail continued but it was covered with trees and stuff and I couldnt really see the water so I didnt feel right about it. I knew at that point that nobody knew I had left the water and I didnt know where the trail would lead and I didnt want to get lost. I found another more open trail and even though it was away from the water it lead to several sets of stairs. I could tell the stairs led up towards some of the local hotels. I remembered that because there was to be several groups going down teh river there should be shuttle cars going back and forth between the camp and the park. so I knew if I could get up to the road somehow then maybe I would be seen. So I was hiking wearing my water shoes that were falling apart a little (and I almost lost a few times so I was glad I still had them) and I unzipped and unbuckled my life jacket, I put my intertube across my shoulder and under one arm and started hiking! I followed trails as much as I could and when I got to some stairs I started climbing. Of course the ones I went up were old and went to the ruins of some old building so I got to a point where there was no trail and no steps but a approx 4 foot wall. I got up some rocks and onto the wall and continued and foudn some more steps. Then another small wall and eventually got to the road and continued. I was walking on the road and watching for familiar cars! It had been about 20-30 min since I left the water and my knee was even more sore now from the hiking and all the steps and inclines but I was on the road now so it was better. (it was already swollen a little when I was in the water) I knew where I was going and knew I was close to getting there. I walked for a bit and then I saw a truck turn on a road up a little bit ahead of me, and P Pinkston got out and walked to me and took my jacket and tube! P Anderson was driving and I got in the truck! I felt so relieved! I was so thankful to have been found! I got some water and when P Anderson asked if I was ok I kinda started crying! Mostly I was just overwhelemed and completely exhausted. He told me that he had driven up and down about 4-5 times looking for me. I told them I had enough of the water and hiked to the road because I figured I was more apt to be found (and I was found , P Pinkston said it had been the right thing to do) I told them I had been with P Walden and about getting separated and not knowing where he had gone so they went to try to find him. )he showed up tubeless on the river I guess just before I had gotten there and he got worried when people told him I wasnt there yet) P Anderson and Pinkston dropped me off at the park and told me to have one of the guys get me some ice for me knee. I sat down by Laura and she was like "have you eaten yet?" and I (still having a good since of humor despite all that had happened) I said "yeah during the last like 5+ hours on the water caught a fish and had some sushi" the people around at the time Laura and I had a good laugh about that! She had meant to ask if someone had gotten me food yet but nobody had so she helped me make a sandwich. I drank like 4 or 5 bottles of water and ate my sandwich while icing my knee. Apparantly everyone else got down the river at least an hour before me and so they were pretty worried! :) Someone got a picture of me with one of the ward cameras right after I arrived and I think I had just sat down at the table.... so I am pretty sure it will look pretty bad because it should show exactly how exhausted I was! And how sunburned my face was and just overall not a good time for a photo!
All in all I survived the trip! When they realized after a couple hours that nobody from the first group was arriving at teh park yet they had shuttled the rest of the group down to the park and they used what tubes and jackets were left and did shorter runs. So of course all the people in the first group were sleeping on the grass at thepark when i arrived and everyone else was playing sports! You could tell who was done in for! Because I had been "lost" and with my knee and stuff I got out of having to do dinner (it was relief society responsibility to cook that night) but I felt guilty for not helping. But P Anderson told me I was not to help and was to ice/elevate my knee! So thats what I did (while writing a letter) I wound up with 2 major bruises on my behind from the valve stem and the rocks, and my face was completely sunburned from 5 hours on my back on the water! And I had shorts on and sprayed my legs with sunscreen but they rode up in the water on the tubes, so above my knees on the tops of my thighs got burned too! So I was pretty banged up and sore that night! It was hard to get comfortable to sleep for several days.... but I am slowly feeling better!
That afternoon we were supposed to be going up to the Sequoia Nat'l forrest to look at the giant trees but everyone was so tired we waited and went on Sat morn after cleaning up camp before coming home! We walked the trail and everyone kept asking how my knee was doing. I was doing alright unless walking on an incline of any sort whether ascending or descending. It was my sunburned legs and the bruise on my tush that hurt more than anything! But overall it was an amazing trip! I had so much fun! I would totally do it again, but I would make sure I knew exactly how far I was going and the water conditions first! The water level must not be that low again for me to go! :) My bruise is super dark but isnt hurting as much now, and my face tanned really well! I was super brown, but that has since peeled off (I called it my peel-a-tan) I am still peeling a little on my legs and barely on my face. But I am just glad most of it is done peeling because it looked really gross!
So "in a nutshell" I was tried and tested but I overcame and I was thankful that I was not seriously injured! Heavenly Father was watching out for me that day! I was praying so much to just finish and then I would ask and be told I had a ways to go still but I know it was a trial I needed to overcome! I knew I was ok and would be ok! Its funny as I was praying on the river and crying and stuff I was remembering a part of my patriarchal blessing that says how I can overcome tribulations! It was such a powerful feeling of comfort! I knew I would make it ok and I did!

In a Nutshell!

Ok so I am not personally "in a nutshell" if I were, it would be a very big shell! But here's an update on my life "in a nutshell". I'm breathing! The end!

Saturday, August 9, 2008


I am pretty sure they feel the same way about me, but I pretty much hate ants! I know hate is a strong word, but they are so annoying and it's so frustrating to get rid of them! For some reason every summer they like to bombard my room! Maybe it's because I have pets, or maybe its because my nephew likes to spill stuff in my room, or come in with sticky ice cream fingers or whatever. But it seems that no matter how hard I try they always manage to be in my room! I do my best to not put food trash in my room (i do this all year long) But despite the animosity I do have some tender feelings towards the little guys. I find it pretty fascinating that they follow the scent of the other ants and thats why they all travel the same way. Even if one does a quick shift to the left they all make that same quick shift. So it always makes it interesting when you disrupt that scent. You can place something in the way, or whatever and all of a sudden they all go nuts! They are not sure their way home or where they are! Its pretty crazy! I find it kind of fun sometimes when I find a solitary ant to give him a ride. I like to pretend he is back east somewhere and I give him a taste of "hurricane Renee" I just blow really hard and let him fly! Thats what he gets for wandering away from the trail! I noticed too that its hard to wipe them up without spraying them first because again with the scent thing they all scatter wildly! But at the same time aerosol sprays irrate my respiratory system. I don't have asthma or anything except allergies but aerosols aggravate me so much!! So I don't like to use them.
Well my friend V. manages to always make her blog posts somehow gospel related. She always ties some gospel principle into it and bears her testimony! I love that about her! She is on that straight and narrow path and I think the ants are kind the same way. As long as they have that scent to follow they know where they are going and how to get there. I think we have that too! We have the gospel and we have the scriptures. We know where we are going and we can follow that path to eternal life. But occasionally Satan likes to give us a hurricane. He likes to put something in the path to mess up that scent and lead us astray! I think we need to stand strong and do all we can to stay on that road. We can always return to our Heavenly Father. He will always guide us in the right direction and we have our Savior to help us return. He has paid the price of our sins and we just have to accept that offering. I know this to be true and I love it! I love knowing that my Heavenly Father loves me and wants me to return even if I do stray a little I can return to the right path. What an amazing blessing that is!

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Ok so since as long as I can remember I have always wanted to go on a grunion run. I thought it would be a really cool thing to do and would be nice to be able to say "I've done that" and get pictures! The problem with that was I would always hear about them after they happened and wouldn't know when to go in advance. Of course I never thought to investigate it and figure it out...partly because I would hear about it happening and think I'm too late! So I found out about it happening this weekend. I did a little research and found they wont give any sort of good beach to go to, just the dates it should be happening. We did find on one website that it would be tentatively between the hours of 10:35pm and 12:35am of course this isn't exact because the grunion don't send an email or anything as to when/where they would arrive. The tentative times have to do with the moon and the tides. Anyways a couple friends and I went to a beach in Ventura to attempt a grunion run. I even purchased a 1day fishing license to try and catch one. I didn't take any equipment with me though because the law states you cannot use anything but your hands to catch a grunion. SO I was ready to go. I was excited and really looking forward to seeing the run and catching a slippery slimy fish with my hands and taking some pictures. We got to the beach at about 10:30pm and I went straight to the water. I kept my feet in the waves and watched and waited. Then I continued to watch and wait. I walked downshore a little and watched and waited. Walked back and watched and waited. Basically I spent a lot of time with my feet in the sand and water just watching and waiting. Finally about 1:15am we decided the grunion were being rude by making us watch and wait for so long and we left! I really don't know if they came onshore last night or not. I don't know if they came to Ventura or not.... but I do know after that much time watching and waiting my shorts were wet from a few unexpected big waves and I still have no grunion pictures! We noticed on a website last night before we left that you can call the lifeguard towers to see if they have noticed any recent spawnings of the grunion to get a better idea where to go, but it was too late to call.... so next time I learn of a good time for a run I plan to be better prepared. I plan to call ahead and hopefully get a better location to go to~ On the way home I was told that if the next time I go I find the grunion I will then know where to go from then on out. I let her know this is just a one time thing for me! I kind of feel that once I have felt some fish mate at my feet I will be good to go. I don't think I will need to reattend any grunion runs after that!