A Drive Through Door County

After sitting around for the past two weekends I really felt the need to escape while still staying off my ankle as much as possible. My husband offered to drive us to Door County for the day and I did not hesitate one second to except his offer.

We started out at a marina in Bailey’s Harbor for a little fishing.

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I relaxed on a bench while he attempted to catch “the big one”.

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Even though the sun was shining brightly, it was cold and quite chilly. After fishing for a bit we headed over to a shop that I had seen on my last trip and really wanted to check out. I felt very out of place entering an active lifestyle store in a boot up to my knee. Although, I believe I will soon be on my way back to the active lifestyle I am accustomed to.

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We then did lunch at our favorite pizza place, stopped at Peninsula State Park to get our 2015 entrance stickers and made our way back toward home but not before stopping at the Sturgeon Bay Coast Guard Station and lighthouse for a little more fishing.

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Since my husband walked all the way to the end of the pier to fish, I decided to sit and enjoy the beach.

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It ended up to be a beautiful day away from home.

 

 

 

 

Ok, So I Am Starting To Go A Little Crazy!

I almost have two weeks into this ankle immobilization and it’s starting to make me a little crazy. Not so much with the actual boot itself, honestly I kinda like wearing it. I am not on guard as much about someone bumping into it with the boot on. That being said, I am tired of sitting…..really tired of sitting. This toes over nose thing is getting to me.

Last weekend, I sat in the truck at a boat launch waiting for my son and husband while they paddled a near by river with their kayaks. Total bummer!

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Then I came home and I sat on a chair talking with my husband as he worked in the garage. After this became boring, I grabbed my kindle and finished a book I had started while sitting on the porch outside. I did get up to make dinner…..thank goodness we need to eat. Then I again, sat on the porch outside to eat my dinner. After dinner it started to get cool outside so I came in and crashed on the couch, leg propped, and watch some television…..another total bummer. I swear I can feel my derriere expanding by the hour from lack of activity. Although so far, I have kept it together and not exploded with frustration…. yet.

As for the good things that have happened recently, there are a few. I hung my first few loads of laundry outside this year. I love fresh hung laundry! We ate our first meals of the year on the front porch again.

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We slept one night without having to turn the furnace back on. Our temps all week have been gorgeous so open windows during the day and fresh air have been the best! Our landscaping is all done, which officially finishes the list of chores to do before we can enjoy summer. However, I don’t think getting into a kayak with this anchor on my foot is a good idea. And I have my first tan line of the summer. Take a guess where…..right where that boot meets my knee. Can you imagine what my legs will look like in another two weeks? One will be nicely tan and the other will be completely white! A fabulous thought that is.

Anyhow, a few hours from now another weekend will be upon us. Obviously, nothing too exciting here is planned but I sure hope you all find something fun to do.

 

Kayaking Safely With New Paddlers

It’s that time of year again. All our “seasonal friends” are letting us know that this will be the year they give kayaking a try. I laugh every year I hear them state this fact. In the back of my mind I know it all sounds great and exciting UNTIL it comes to summer and time to bite the bullet and actually come along. Then they all seem to chicken out…..but we play along and usually have a few give it a try.

Anyhow, here are a few basic facts that we have learned over the years that will make guiding a trip with newbies much more enjoyable for you as a guide. Plus, by following a few basic guidelines you can ensure that it will be safe, fun, and very enjoyable for first time paddlers.

#1 Check that everyone has the proper gear before leaving home. Examples:PFD, helmet, spare keys, water, sunscreen, portage shoes, snacks etc. Also, make sure their PFD fits them.

#2 Let someone (neighbor, friend, parent) know what river you are doing, from what point to what point and when you expect to return home. Just in case!

#3 Get the current weather forecast. If possible, try and take a newbie on a nice day. It’s not so cold and miserable for them then in the event that they decide to swim instead of paddle:)

#4 Give details of the river they will be paddling. Some of the most common questions for us when we are guiding a trip is: How do we portage? How many portages are there? Do I have to portage? Is there a place to change? What should I wear? (These last two are normally asked by females) Letting them know what to expect always seems to help.

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#5 Stress proper hydration/nutrition throughout the day. Tell them to bring water and somehow secure it into their kayak. Remind them throughout the day to drink. You would be surprised how many people forget to drink. Also, ask them often how they feel. Would they like to stop for a snack? Are they comfortable?

#6 Assist them on paddle strokes and the feel of the kayak upon entering the water. Before you even start paddling, make sure they understand how to hold the paddle, what strokes do what, make sure their seat is adjusted correctly, and they are comfortable with their kayak. Making adjustments mid river is not always easy or possible for that matter.

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#7 Make sure you take them to a river you are familiar with. I cannot stress this enough!!! They are depending on you to know what is coming next. If they change their mind when they start to hear the rapid around the corner, you know where and how much time you have to get them out to portage before they are committed. Be a knowledgeable guide about the river you are on.

#8 Don’t push them too hard. Ask if they are tired and would like a break. Remember you paddle often, they do not. If they want to try something new, let them. On the other hand, if they need to think about it for awhile or watch someone else first, let them do so.

#9 Stress what to do in a roll over. This is usually the scariest thing for newbies, but let’s face it, it sometime happens. Tell them exactly what to do. Tell them in what position to float downriver, never to get between their overturned kayak and a rock, and to swim to the rivers edge when possible. Explain to them how to wet exit their overturned kayak.  Remember it’s all about priorities. Rescue order should be people, boats, equipment.

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#10 Bring First Aid. This is what dry bags are for. Accidents happen. You don’t need much, but when you need it, you will be glad you had it. We have used our first aid a couple times. From simple bandaids to gauze wrapped with duct tape. (Yes, duct tape! Holds great in water)

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#11 Keep Alcohol For The End Of The Trip. We do not allow anyone in our group to consume alcohol while with us on the water. Maybe it’s being over cautious, but it’s hard enough to help and rescue a sober person when they are in a panic much less if they have alcohol in them. We have no problem asking anyone to leave the alcoholic beverages of choice for the end of the trip. This is for their safety as much as ours.

These are the basics for taking a newbie kayaking. Just keep in mind, a great guide can really make a great trip. If you want your family and friends to join you, show them you can be fun and knowledgeable all at the same time.

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Safe and Happy Paddling Everyone!

 

 

Coming Up With A Plan With My Bum Ankle

I almost have the first week finished with this knee high immobilization boot and I have to say, I find myself only slightly irritated so far. Thankfully, I am allowed to work so while caring for all the children I am pretty occupied and don’t notice too much hassle. The worst time I would have to say is during the night. I am suppose to sleep with this horrendous contraption on but that is pretty much impossible. What I have been doing is sleeping with an air cast on to continue the support and not allow me to move it the direction that gives me so much pain. So far this seems to be working just fine. I have not been woken up with pain since starting this whole treatment plan, let’s hope that is a good sign.

That being said, this will be the first weekend I am laid up and not suppose to do more than absolutely necessary. This will be a challenge. Weather looks to be very nice and that is not a good thing. I am slowly starting to feel normal again from whatever kind of viral hell entered my body for the past week and I am ready to do something other than lay around feeling miserable. I know my husband and son are dying to hit the water with there new kayaks which I will not be joining in on. Ultimately, I would be happy to just sit outside without a jacket on.

Let’s move on to what I have figured out to do for exercise for the next few weeks. This is huge for me. Telling me to take it easy and relax is like telling me to stop breathing. I just can’t do it and if I do I can’t do it for long. Monday I plan to start with a series of mat workouts on the floor. I am not allowed to do any weight bearing exercises (besides lifting my two 12-15 lb infants I care for) standing on that ankle but laying/sitting down I can do weights. Thankfully I have a weight machine at home so this will be a normal part of my daily workout also. I also plan to do yoga. Obviously, no moves standing or stretching out that foot/leg but the rest of me could use a good stretch. For now, hopefully it’s enough to keep my insanity in check. If you have any other suggestions, please send them my way.

That’s it for now. If we hit a local river I will be sure to take a few pictures from my perch where I sit and watch. You all have a great weekend.

 

Where Have I Been You Ask?

Ahhhh, I can’t believe it been a week since my last post. I apologize but life sort of got away from me for awhile.

Let’s update you all on what I’ve been up to. Last Friday I finally had my MRI of my ankle. It took forever but I actually enjoyed the 38 minutes I had to lay there peacefully listening to the machine bang away. I started feeling somewhat under the weather Friday morning so a little rest at the end of the day was quite nice.

Saturday I woke up feeling terrible. My head hurt, I had this nasty cough, and my entire body felt like I was run over by a semi. The sun was shining brightly and I did not even care. I did venture from bed to the couch but it did not take me long to venture back to bed.

Easter Sunday I seriously felt like I would have felt better to some extent. After spending Saturday sleeping all day, how could Sunday not be better? Well, it was not! I was the same if not a little worse. I tried to push through it, do some things around the house and finally just gave up. Back to the couch I went and that is where I stayed until the phone rang. This was part of our original plan for Easter Sunday and one I knew I would have to just get up and get through. Earlier in the week I had worked out a deal and a delivery time with a kayak outfitter in Ironwood, MI to purchase and deliver my husbands new kayak. When they offered to bring it to WI for us instead of us making the drive to MI on Saturday I was elated. One of the employees were traveling straight through and said she could just throw it atop her vehicle if we would meet her Sunday night and make the exchange. When the phone rang, I needed to get up and function for about 45 minutes. We arrived at the meeting spot and soon were the owners of yet another Jackson kayak! We drove home with my husband dying to paddle a nearby river and me just waiting to get back into my nice warm bed.

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Then Monday arrived and instead of life getting better, it didn’t take long to get just a little bit worse. By 8:15 in the morning I received the call stating the results of the MRI I had Friday. I have a tendon tear in my ankle. My doctor basically gave me two options:

#1: total immobilization for 4 weeks in a knee high boot 24 hrs a day.

#2: surgery and immobilization for 12 weeks in a boot with physical therapy to follow.

Ummmm, being the person I am and the plans I know I have on the calendar I knew before asking which one I wanted to hear. But I did ask him what he would recommend. He surprised me by saying, ” lets try the boot first for a month. If we can keep you still and off that ankle as much as possible, I think we have a good chance of it healing without surgery.” HURRAY!!!!!

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As you see, I agreed completely (well almost). I am determined to do my best to stay off that ankle. Which, if you follow this blog, you know this is not going to be a pleasant experience for me. We already discussed this as a family, and my son said,”mom it’s just a month.We can live with you crabby for a month better than three months.” This means, no hiking, exercising, walking, workouts, geocaching, disc golf, etc. This ought to be an interesting month.

I’ll let you all know how this works out as I progress through this journey.

 

April Health Challenge

Hello Hello!

Happy April Fool’s Day:-)

Did you all survive last months health challenge? Have you figured out what to spend all that extra money on that you saved from making and taking your lunch? Congrats to all that made it and have fun shopping.

Now, onto another challenge for another month. This one is sort of a cop out if you ask me. Although, I know many, many people who personally need some serious help reaching this goal.

April’s Health Challenge Is : To drink 32oz. of water per day.

See what I mean. I personally can’t even image drinking this little amount of water per day. On the other hand, to many people this is a huge amount which they rarely never meet on a daily basis.

Professionals suggest drinking at least 2x’s this amount so I figure just reaching half this amount for many of you will be an improvement.

Get yourself a 32 oz. water bottle, fill it, and make a deal with yourself. Nothing to drink other than water until it’s all gone. After that, you can drink whatever you wish for the remainder of the day. If you are feeling really ambitious, fill it again and drink the total recommended amount.

Good luck!

 

A Little Of Everything: MRI, Disc Golf, Sale,Workouts, Birthdays….

Hi, how was your weekend?

Mine was a bit crazy. Not overwhelming just crazy.

First let me update you on where I am with that ankle of mine that has been giving me pain since last August. After seeing a doctor last week I am now awaiting an appointment for a MRI of this ankle. Doc seems to think that I may have a piece of bone/cartilage floating around causing me such agony. As for repairing this problem if he is correct, well, that is to be discussed in more detail at that time. I suppose it all depends on recovery time for me. I have big plans coming up and I need to be able to rely on that ankle. Which right now I can although, I suffer the consequences later on. So in other words this topic is “to be continued” after I get some definite results.

Now back to the weekend. My son and I found time to clean his room and rearrange the furniture. During this cleaning frenzy he came up with even more junk that is being contributed to a garage sale we are hoping to have this summer, which made me very happy. I am not a pack rat which means it’s not hard at all for me to throw things in the sale pile. My son is not too bad with this either but my husband is the worst. He thinks at some time in his lifetime he may be able to use this or that and it drives me insane.

Saturday we actually had plans to do a few chores and then take a trip to the gym for a workout. We have not been to the gym in over two weeks. Instead we have been walking outside every night since the weather has been tolerable. It was suppose to be cold and miserable the entire weekend which turned out to be very wrong. By mid afternoon the sun was high in the sky and we just could not see spending a nice sunny day in a sweaty gym so we contacted our neighbor and all went disc golfing. The four of us dodged a few mud puddles( water hazards) and really had a good time. None of us were all that rusty which is always a nice surprise after a long winter.
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After disc golf the sun was still high in the sky and we just could not see wasting a single moment of it, so we dropped off our son and neighbor at home and continued on to the Mountain Bay Trail for a two mile walk together.

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Sunday brought us clouds, rain, and windy conditions. Although, that was ok, it gave us no reason what so ever not to make it to the gym on that day. So we woke up and my husband made us french toast,cinnamon apples, and coffee. After breakfast we were off the the gym for a wonderful workout together. It felt so good to be back, but surprisingly I felt no guilt about not being there for awhile. I knew I had not been just sitting back being lazy. I have still been working out daily, walking and/or hiking on weekends. It was just a nice change of pace. We hope to possibly start walking to the gym from our home, doing our weight lifting routine and then walking back. This way we each get a little of what we love to do without sacrificing one thing for another.

Sunday also was my husbands birthday. We celebrated with a nice lunch out as a family and then it was one of those days where cuddling on the couch just seemed appropriate since it was dreary, cold, and rainy outside. It was a great way to end a very nice weekend.