Sunday, May 24, 2009

Talent on Tap

Delirious has blogged about giving piano lessons to the members of the Spanish Branch in her area. This must be a universal problem, because they are always looking for someone to play for the Branch here.

My daughter J has often played for them, and was supposed to do so again today. Unfortunately, she came down with this same spring cold that everyone around her seems to either be getting, or getting over. In her place, my third daughter A went and played for them. All of my daughters have done the same, although S has yet to pursue it the way the others have. R plays and sight reads very well, and has accompanied the others when they sing together for church.

All of this is amazing to me. I have trouble reading music, let alone transferring that to keys on the piano. They have both done this with very limited lessons on the piano. We bought a computer program years ago to help learn to play the piano, and R and A took 5 months of beginning piano at school, but we never gave them lessons. They did it on their own. I guess this is my way of telling them how amazing I think they are. I only hope this skill gets passed down to future generations.

Have a great day. Stick.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I think I'm Taller

A couple of years ago, I went to a hot spring recreation area with my family. This place is really fun, with water slides, hot tubs, pools etc. I decided to sit in the hot tub (Very Hot), and relax for a few minutes. Then my boys came running over and wanted me to go down one of the steep,fast slides with them. The result of all of this was to loosen my back muscles enough that when I went down the slide (an almost straight 40' drop before leveling out into a pool) I had my L5 vertabrae slip and pinch a nerve. I have suffered with that since then.

Lately, I have been going to a chiropractor to try and correct this. He has been trying to use traction to move that L5 off the nerve. I blogged a little about this already. Now I have set two new records for his office for the most weight ever used for traction for a patient, and I still haven't been really bothered by it at all (nor has it fixed the problem, although it has eased a little). I have hope that this will work, if we can find the magic number that actually stretches my back. Until then, I've always wanted to be 6' 2".

Take care. Stick

The To-Do List Is Getting Longer

Towards the end of the school year, things start to get a little hectic, especially around our place. With six active children, we have many activities that call for our time and attention. It is also the time of year when winter has finally let go, and we have nice enough weather to get outside and do a little yard work.

Did I say a LITTLE yard work? We have several projects either planned, or underway. We started these as soon as the snow had been melted long enough to have dry ground, rather than a mudhole. Unfortuantely, Mother Nature decided that winter wasn't over yet, and we had a series of spring storms that brought more snow, or cold rain.

I now have a storage shed halfway assembled, a sprinkler system with only half the trenches dug, a lawn half mowed, a garden plot just waiting for a day to till it up, and another day to plant, and other assorted outside and inside jobs that we just can't seem to find time to get done. Our last day of work before summer break is June 8th. I guess the list will have to wait a little longer. (Last year, we planted our garden, and then it snowed June 4th.)

Take care. Make your list. Stick.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Swine Who?

There has been such an uproar about this outbreak of swine flu. Kids at school were even afraid to eat pork products because they didn't want to get it. Our school district has a Pandemic illness protocol that will shut the district down if there is a confirmed case of the flu in the area.

To me, this is ridiculous. Yes, it is the flu. Yes, it is contagious. Yes, people can die from this. The same can be said of the regular flu, and half-a-dozen other diseases. This flu is indistinguishable from the regular flu as to its symptoms. In fact, if you don't specifically test for it, you might never know if you had it, or not.

As a historian, I know that the influenza killed more people during WWI than the war did. However, that said, with our modern medical techniques and drugs, you have to be in very bad shape already before you have a chance of kicking the bucket from the flu. Either that, or not receive medical help.

Our press does this same thing with every thing. Blow it out of proportion, sensationalize it, exaggerate the risk, or ignore it completely, and bury their head in the sand. It doesn't matter what it is. From politics to football, they can't help building that mountain from the molehill.
A theory on global warming goes so far that even though there is no proof, we have laws and restrictions to prevent it. The liberal press who laud the fame of every liberal who comes down the pike, and criticizes and makes fun of any republiican, no matter how logical his statment cannot see the forest for the trees.

Conservatism doesn't sell papers. Logic isn't headline news. Its not dramatic.

I could use a little less drama in my life. Stick.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A “Cracking” Good Time (sorry it’s so long)

My wife and I recently went to a Home and health fair. Among the other exhibits that were there, we ran into a booth where a friend of ours had set up his Chiropractic table. He was doing scan of the spinal cord. He was using some sort of hand held ultra-sound scanner that showed if the spine was out of alignment or not. My wife wanted to have it done, since she has had back pain for many years. When he scanned her back, she had several places where her spine was mis-aligned. Another friend, who was with us, also had her back scanned, then, I had mine done. I knew I was having a little problem with my back, because I pinched a nerve in my lower back almost two years ago. He told me that my back scan would be the best he would do all day, but that he still wanted to see me to help get rid of the pinched nerve.

When we went in to his office, he began slowly, only making mild adjustments the first couple of days. After a week, he decided he wanted to x-ray my wife’s back to see what was going on. When my wife was in college, she had a roommate who offered to walk on everyone’s back. My wife let her, and that is when her back pain started. That was over twenty years ago. His x-rays showed that when that girl walked on my wife’s back, she had caused a twisting, greenstick type fracture of my wife’s back. Three of her vertebrae were twisted out of alignment, and fused together by arthritis. Several of her ribs had been separated from the backbone, and this was why she had been having pain. He told her he wanted to take her treatment slowly, because he was afraid if he broke those vertebrae loose from each other and the arthritis holding them together, she would really be in pain. He said he wanted to loosen things up a little and see if he could get the vertebrae above and below the fused mass to move. He took a spring-loaded device and thumped around the area, then did an adjustment centering on the area just below her fused vertebrae. A shocked look came on his face. “I just broke all of them loose.” Since then, he has been working to get her back to except the new alignment. She has had a little pain, but nothing like before, and now her back is beginning to feel normal for the first time in years.

As for me, every time he tries to adjust my back, he complains about the fact that my back is too strong. He says he cannot get anything to move the way he wants it to. He finally decided to resort to what I will call “THE RACK”. This is similar in concept to the medieval torture device of the same name, with only minor differences. They put a harness around your hips, and another around your rib cage. One harness is hooked to one end of the table; the other is hooked to a motorized pulley system that will automatically pull at a preset weight. He normally starts people out at around 50-60 lbs. of weight. He started me at 100. He said he didn’t want to hurt me. When the weight started pulling, I spoke up from the table. I told him, “You’ll have to do better than this. The next visit, he went to 120 with the same results. On Monday, he told me, “They say I can go to 150 without pulling your spine apart. Today we’ll do 135.” For the first time, I actually felt like something was happening, and I can now tell that something moved. He has me stretching, and doing some other exercises, and on Monday, he is going to go to 145 or 150. It will be the most weight he has ever had to put on anyone.

All I can say is, I hope it works.

Get Crackin’. Stick.