Camping, Chaperoning, Being Blessed with Black Belt Candidates

August 30, 2015 by Rieshy

Rocky running with rubber knees bouncing side to side,
parkour style.

Frantic pace following testosterone driven boys with a lung reserving space to hollar, "no higher" and,  "no closer to the edge."

Barely keeping up.  Using the boys as an excuse to race, undignified and gleeful with trails tipping up and twisting down in narrow tunnels of roots and rocks and hard state park tourist packed dirt.

"Excuse us, coming up on the left."

Sweat joining humidity, muscles burning, lungs screaming after sprints.  A glorious moment of treacherous cheating finds me the leader of the pack and I pretend to soar with thunder behind me until the thunder passes with the smell of multiple Axe cologne wearers and I stumble to a slower pace.

Joyful gulps of outside freedom and approximation of flying through late summer and distant water.

Then, with joy imbued in its watery molecules, the run ends with a splash.  Falls and falling love.  The love of a God so amazing and so varied and so physical that he provided waterfalls with rock slides and swimming holes to jump into fully clothed and drenched with happiness.

Chaperoning was never so fun as this.


Posted in | 0 Comments »

School Of Hard Knocks

August 28, 2015 by Rieshy

After martial arts classes or open mat I like to jot down things I learned or things I didn't understand and I especially write things down that I sucked at.   Note-taking after the fact was always my best learning strategy in college.  Doing a mind dump onto paper solidifies and makes real the subjects I'm studying.

Unfortunately, when I get home from martial arts class and everything is fresh and ready for writing I often don't get a chance because of that pesky little thing called Real Life.

Which leads me to the built in note-taking of jiujitsu and sometimes even karate.  Visible reminders.  Those identical bruises on each ankle? Oh yeah, we worked on ankle locks.  The bruise below my clavicle?  Oh yeah, I tried for a triangle but forgot to shimmy up first and my training partner accidentally got me with their elbow.  The Gentle Art may be gentle but accidental hard knocks are part and parcel.

I find it amusing.  My husband less so.  Especially when people look askance at him because of my "visible reminders".

Last night in karate we were training in self-defense, working on blocks.  I have the amazing  lightning response time of a sloth.   A slow sloth at that.  A slow sloth that all the other sloth relatives consider awkward and uncoordinated.

Our sensei mentioned trying to practice, building reflexes as much as possible; I immediately pictured Cato.  He would be a great aid to my martial arts journey but I'm pretty sure I couldn't afford him or the extra drywall repairs.  Instead, I told my 13 year old son, and fellow martial arts student, to please randomly strike at me during the day.

Then we laughed because a lot of caveats have to accompany that instruction.  I pictured standing in line at Starbucks, sporting some jiujitsu bruises, when my 13 year old suddenly throws a punch at my head.  Not exactly socially acceptable; DHS might be notified, or even worse; I might spill my coffee.

But I am renaming my homeschool.

Abused By Health Care

August 12, 2015 by Rieshy

The hidden health cost of health care brought on by the stress by paperwork and hours of phone calls to insurance and health companies is one of the special parts of dealing with a child's chronic illness.

It's why I'm gray.

I'm so angry I can barely limit this post to one story of what I consider the intentional incompetence that I have had to deal with over the past 9 years.  I am ashamed that I desire special circles of hell for certain subgroups of humanity... but people who design the billing and insurance company policies are seriously difficult for me to forgive.  Their designs intentionally inflict suffering and lost hours and untold worry on caregivers.  Even worse their models rob, yes, absolutely rob people who don't have the hours or know-how to fight and appeal.  And I mean rob- no less than if I held a gun to someone in a parking lot and demanded their cash.

Case in point:  My son needed a blood test in January, I was assured it was covered, I asked multiple times- I showed them my insurance.  They said they would double check.  A month later I received a bill from the lab saying insurance was denied and I owed them $10,000.

I appealed.
I appealed.
I appealed.  I got a EOB from my insurance company saying that they would cover part of the $13,622 bill.

?  But whatever.  One thing you get used to is that no bill is trustworthy, they play around with the numbers.  Imagine Kroger doing this.

Yesterday, I got a bill from the children's hospital where the blood draw was taken.  They politely told me that this same outpatient work done in January was $19,460.76 and now due.

More phone calls.  The "system" was blamed.  Give me a break, systems do not give birth to themselves... not yet anyway.  This happens every single time our child has a hospitalization.

The really fun bonus is that sometimes bills will be bumped to a collection agency because the appeal process is so lengthy that the bill becomes "delinquent".

Time.  My time.  My children's time.  I really hurt for someone without the ability or gumption to fight back.

Not to mention the inches and inches of mail that these companies try to drown you with.  If you have a problem requiring multiple labs or doctors and hospitals, good luck keeping up with who legitimately needs to be paid and who is sending bogus or inflated bills.

It's criminal, it's intentional, and we should be ashamed as a nation that we have allowed this parasite of bureaucracy to suck the life blood of our patients and their families.


These Go To 11

August 10, 2015 by Rieshy

It's happened, it's finally hit, my youngest are tired of summer.  They don't realize it yet but the cranky meter has been rising.  When it hits 10 I either make them do an unpleasant and heavy duty chore or I sell them to a passing carnival.

Unfortunately our county fair no longer buys minors, even in bulk and the only heavy duty chores left to do this summer require a two story ladder or my invested involvement, both of which I'm loath to supply.

It is the bane of suburbia- energetic boys living where bush hogging is frowned upon.

However, creativity is the mother of rowdy boys; I will prevail.


Don't Fly With Friends

August 7, 2015 by Rieshy

I love listening when I'm out and about.  Life is infinitely fascinating if you pay attention.

This morning my husband surprised me with an impromptu apple fritter and coffee run.  And no- we didn't get any for the children.  Mwahhahah! The early birds get to gain all the weight.

As we sat eating our fritters at our favorite tiny local donut shop the owner was checking her child's backpack for their first day of school while issuing last minute advice.

"Pay attention to teachers, don't fly with friends, friends don't take you anywhere."

I don't know if this phrase is a translation of a common saying from the owner's native Chinese but as someone who teaches, it is gloriously spot-on descriptive.

I left the shop full of caffeine, sugar, and language.  Flying.


Posted in Labels: | 0 Comments »

Painful Options

August 2, 2015 by Rieshy

If it hurts, don't do it.

Unless you have arthritis.

With arthritis often the less you do the more you hurt. I tried the less.  I avoided shaking hands with people, avoided using my arms.  I lost grip strength, the pain worsened and I felt old and decrepit; my brain began to decay and crumble like dried up school glue.

Now, I'm doing the more; it's been years since my last significant flare up.  This flare up I don't feel old and decrepit... mostly.  Sometimes when my hands or feet hurt, when I've woken in the night multiple times with my shoulders throbbing, on days when I can't quite make a proper fist, I know that hitting or kicking a punching bag is going to hurt like blue blazes or like screaming flying monkeys but afterwards I'll be able to move more easily.  My ankles often hurt more before my runs than after.  Counter-intuitive: if it hurts do it.

Sometimes my elbows ache, a background sort of ache but I do pushups anyway.  Girly sort of pushups but it's the motion that counts.  After I hyperextended my elbow this spring I didn't realize how badly I had mangled my arm.  I kept doing pushup and pull-up practice, it was the motion that counted- this time against me, making my injury take much longer to heal.

I'd rather do and hurt, than not do and still hurt   I'd even rather do and mistakenly injure than not do and still hurt and grow weaker.

I'd really rather my options were a bit more varied, but actually I feel quite blessed.  My pain keeps me moving and though it is sometimes a treacherous-tutor it does keep me motivated.