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Speaking Publicly about TBI’s

14 Nov kevin-pearce_73136_600x450

Well, I haven’t written in a long time, so I figured I should. I’m much more glad being at home in Colorado Springs- when I was in Boulder, I had a lot on my mind that stressed me out, like getting a job, to help pay for my rent (and I was dipping into my savings, which defeats the whole purpose of having it!). I found some people to rent my apartment in Boulder, so I’m saving quite a bit of money by living at home. Plus, groceries are way cheaper here!

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Being at home gives me more time to publicly speak about TBI’s, which I think is so important. My former boss (and good friend) in Jackson, Wyoming, Chris Denny (aka CD) invited me up to attend Watershed Jackson event, where Kevin Pearce will be the lead speaker. CD knows just about everyone, and I was asked to speak for a few minutes before Kevin does. Kevin Pearce seems like a big name, so the fact that I’m able to speak before him is truly a gift. That has got me thinking about supporting organizations like Watershed. Since I loved Jackson so so much, and I was only there for a month and a half before my accident, knowing that things like Watershed are there that are spreading the importance of being safe while you ski.

I’m also speaking at the Summit Medical Center TBI Support Group event in Frisco, Colorado. I will show photos, this video, and speak for about 30 minutes describing my injury and recovery, and why it’s so important to wear a helmet while you ski.

If I was still in Boulder, I wouldn’t have these abilities. Yes, I world still be asked to speak at them, but being at home gives me more time to come up with my story and photos. In Boulder, I was stressed about finding a job, and my friends from college had other things going on in their lives and I felt like I was stuck where I was, and not moving on. Being at home has made me realize that yes, I do have time and energy to speak about ski accident stuff.

My parents (well, my dad) have decided to “remodel” the second floor of our house- that means new carpet, and new trim and doors. Dad has realized it’s much cheaper to buy stuff at Unfinished Furniture Warehouse (like he did for our main floor), and sand them and stain them himself. This really shows how talented my dad is and that he can sand/stain and then install them himself. I have helped some with cutting the pieces of our trim, and sanding and staining the wood, and helping my parents decide on the carpet, but I feel like I’m not much help. But I have supported them by cooking lunch and dinner, and they say that has helped them a ton.

I will take over the guest bedroom as my bedroom, and use Chris’s bedroom as my TV room and desk space, so it will be nice to have my own space that I can retreat to and get work done. We aren’t finished with the remodel yet, though, so I haven’t quite “settled in.” But everything is going well for me here at home!

(The image above found here: images.nationalgeographic.com)

Pumpkin Bread

27 Sep

Oh, and I forgot to include this- this Betty Crocker Pumpkin Bred recipe is really tasty. I knew I had all the ingredients but the canned pumpkin, and it was incredibly delicious! Here’s the recipe.

1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
3 cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose or whole wheat flour (I just used regular flour here)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts
1/2 cup raisins, if desired
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions
1. Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2×4 1/2×2 1/2 inches, or 1 loaf pan 9x5x3 inches, with shortening.
2. Stir together pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into pans.
3. Bake 8-inch loaves 50 to 60 minutes, 9-inch loaf 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

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Moving home

27 Sep IMG_0190-0.JPG

Although I love living in Boulder, moving home is what I need right now. I’m lonely being away from my parents (and my dog!), and living in Boulder had me worried about things- mostly, finding a job. If I move home, I will save some money and be able to focus on recovery.

I had lunch with my friend Andrew Hyde yesterday, and he asked if I had fallen because my walking was funny. No, I haven’t fallen, and that’s just more proof that I need to go home and focus on the things that make me feel, and look better.

What’s hard for me about living in Boulder is that my good friends lives have moved on- they’re enjoying their jobs, have a boyfriend or are married, and/or expecting a child. While I’m so incredibly happy for them, it just reminds me that I’m not progressing in the working world, I don’t have a boyfriend, and this ski accident has affected most everything with the way I live. I used to find great joy in my job, and since that has been affected (is it “affected” or “effected”? I’m an English major and I don’t even know) by my accident, that’s really tough for me. It is proof that I shouldn’t have had that much joy in my job, but I did, and there’s no way to change that now.

Hopefully moving home will give me the rest I need. Oh, and since I’m renting my apartment out for the month of October, I will make some money- another great step about moving home!

Oh, and I’m covering the “Pretty Faces” premiere at the Boulder Theater on Tuesday for Skiing Magazine. I’m excited because this will be the first all-female ski film our there. It was made by my friend Lynsey Dyer who lives up in Jackson, WY, and asked ski film companies if they had female ski footage that they weren’t going to use in their film, and she incorporated it into her film, without having to go out and film everything. I’m excited to see great female skiers in this film- and only females!!
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It’s chilly here…

27 Aug

…which means fall is coming!! I love fall- I love that it transitions from summer, and you can wear more things- my wardrobe has expanded.

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The reason I’m writing is that I’ve realized that life isn’t the same as it used to be. I absolutely love Boulder, but my parents live in Colorado Springs, so that’s hard. I either need them to move to somewhere up here, or I need to move back to Colorado Springs. Boulder is great because I have so much more independence than in Colorado Springs- since I don’t drive right now, I can ride the bus most everywhere I want to go, and I have a ton more friends in this part of the state. But I’ve kind of realized how important having them nearby is- like today, my mom is skipping her haircut and driving the hour and a half to come get me. Something needs to change here, so I’m not so lonely.

Although my friends should do what they want to, no doubt about that, it was just hard for me when I saw on Facebook them doing something I used to be a part of. It has kind of overwhelmed me lately that my life is in absolutely no way like it used to be, and I haven’t gotten used to that yet. I haven’t gotten used to the fact that there are different, “adaptive” ways that I can do things. I have put my fingers up in an “X” when I hear the word “adaptive.” But maybe that’s a way to keep doing what I love, but in a kind of different way.

I’ve realized that my balance and my coordination gets in the way of things I like doing- like cooking and exercise, for example. I used to be right-handed, and since my accident caused hemiplegia on that side, I’m now left-handed. And my balance gets in the way when I exercise. For instance, I’ve noticed yesterday that when I do spinal balance, I am on my knees, and the opposite leg and arm operate together. That’s fine when I lift the right leg to use with the left hand, but when I switch and use the left leg with the right hand, I notice it’s much more difficult. I never used to consider it, but your balance plays a huge role in the things that you do.

Having a TBI has made things extremely difficult. I can’t do the same things I used to, I’m not the same person that I was, and my dating life is absolutely null. I didn’t think that mattered, but having someone else to talk to when you’re going through a change is extremely important. I’ve relied on my parents, which has been great, but I would like someone my own age to go through this with.

If you have any suggestions on how to deal with these things I’m experiencing, I’m all ears.

 

(Image found here. I love the pattern of many photos, etc. on the wall over the couch.)

My birthday!

22 Jul photo-5

I had my birthday on Sunday, at home with my parents in Colorado Springs. I saw our family dog, a chocolate lab named Abby, and my brother has a chocolate lab/German short hared pointer mix. It’s very good to have family members that have dogs, because I don’t have to get one!

For my birthday, I cooked breakfast, dinner, and dessert. and my mom said “we’ve spent all day in the kitchen!” which is fine with me, because I love cooking! I got a Cuisinart, the Snitten Kitchen cookbook for my birthday, and dad printed one of my photos that I can hang in my apartment. It was good to be at home and just relax for my birthday, and not feel like there was anything I had to do.

My mom and I made blueberry oatmeal yogurt pancakes for my birthday (recipe here) and they were so delicious. Since we ate enough at breakfast, we didn’t need lunch, and we grilled pizza for dinner. I found a recipe for pizza online, and it called for pesto as a topping, and I knew we had homemade pesto because we grow our own basil plants in the backyard, and we just made up the other ingredients- chicken, red onion, and mini bell peppers, and we sprinkled some cheese on top. Since my dad is an “expert” at grilling, I always try to make him grill at home. The pizza turned out great, and there are leftovers that we’ll have for lunch!!

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We also made dessert for after dinner. I found this coconut cake recipe, and thought I’d give it a whirl. But it didn’t turn out (in any way) like the pictures said it would. It was a lot of hard work, though, so it’s a bummer that it didn’t come out the way I hoped. Oh well, it was still delicious.

My birthday went well; thanks for asking!! And I have a lot to be thankful for ever since my injury. Like I said in the last post, going through something like this makes you really appreciate what you do have. So while I don’t have a dog, there are a lot of things that are going in the right direction.

What’s going on

18 Jul http-_ref-lin.tumblr.com_post_83894349745

Things have been going pretty well for me. Last night, I went to a Red Rocks concert with Fahren and Tyler (my friends from Copper Mtn Ski Patrol), and we saw Gregory Alan Isakov- who I’ve never seen and was DYING to see. I’ve recently started work for my friend Andrew at his company. He started Boulder Startup Week, and it’s now owner/run by a larger company in Seattle. Working for him is great, and because he’s a close friend, I can say that I don’t have enough energy to go into work (like today). Having work to go to seems like a simple thing, but having a schedule keeps me on-track and I don’t get frustrated/annoyed as easily. And, this Sunday’s my birthday, so I’m happy to be at home in Colorado Springs, see the dog(s), and be relaxed and do what I want to do.

(My brother has a chocolate lab/German short haired pointer mix puppy, so it’s very good to have family members who have dogs, so I don’t have to get one!!)

With a TBI like I have, I’ve learned that it’s very good to thank and appreciate the people that have helped you. Last night at the concert, I have some balance issues, so having Fahren and Tyler help me was a step above what they had to do. I’m not exactly capable of what I used to e able to do, so rather than seeing that as a frustrating thing, I’ve just realized that I meed more assistance doing what I used to do (like walking, for instance) and I should gladly accept it from the people who offer it. Last night, at the concert, Fahren had found us new seats down the row, and the woman next to me noticed that I lost my balance and kind of fell into the guy siting on the other side of me. The woman said she’d help me walk down to where Fahren was sitting, and I didn’t even know her, but I gladly accepted. That was just one example I noticed where I need to accept help I need from people who offer it.

I’m already excited for the weekend- a chance to relax, celebrate doing what I want to do (it’s my birthday, after all!) and be with my parents and my dog. Hope you are as excited for the weekend as I am!

 

(Image from this site.)

 

High-Altitude Pumpkin Bread

4 Jul pumpkin-bread

I had pumpkin bread recently from the farmers market, and I thought it was so delicious, I’d try it myself.

I was kind of in the baking mood, so I also made these cookies for my friends BBQ this afternoon. Honey? And oats? What could go wrong? But I learned after I made them that the honey really makes the flavor different. It said to add your own extra ingredient, so I added some chocolate chips, which was a mistake, because the honey really alters the way they taste. I should have just left the chocolate chips out.

Here’s the pumpkin bread recipe. It was really good, but the next time I make it, I’ll have to kick up the pumpkin flavor. Does anyone have any ideas?

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups canned pumpkin puree
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 cup chopped raisins (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Beat oil, sugar, and eggs in large bowl until light and fluffy.
3. Add vanilla and pumpkin, mix until well blended.
4. Sift flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add to pumpkin mixture and beat on low speed until blended.
5. Stir in nuts and raisins if desired. (I added nuts.)
6. Pour batter into 2 9×5 inch loaf pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.
7. Bake for 60 minutes at 350F or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
8. Remove bread from pans and let cool on rack.
This recipe makes two loaves, and I noticed at the top you can decrease the amount it bakes. Oh well! Now my parents will have some to try.
(Photo from here.)
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