My Son & TBI

My son was born on Christmas Day…this was such as beautiful gift … I can not even express the gratitude I have for this event …

The years flew by and during the summer of my sons 17th year of life he was hit by a van that was traveling at 45 mph while he was crossing the median on his skateboard.

He was flipped up and over the van due to impact and landed on the pavement below.

He was instantly lifeless… and not expected to live.

When I arrived at Children’s Hospital I was greeted by the Chaplin and a Social worker … my son was NOT going to die – why were they here?

They guided me to a private room and started to prepare me for the worst….

I broke down…

He survived …

He ended up with a broken orb, broken clavicle, lobe damage and a diagnosis of TBI.

The broken clavicle required surgery for bolt placement so he went under…

12 days after being admitted he went from being in critical condition to walking out on his own! I was told over and over by so many doctors this is very rare and they have only heard of someone surviving what he went through and most lost use of their legs…

He had a short set back and was readmitted due to an infection at the clavicle surgery site, which required an additional surgery to clean the wound and all I could think was he is NOT going to die… is he?

He stayed a few more nights and was sent home with a picc line. It was the first time I was alone to be his nurse… I had to go to work and leave him on the couch and hope that he did not start to bleed out at the site. I was a wreck leaving him there …

We made it …

He has gone through physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other types of therapy… He has taken physiological tests… he has been measured, reviewed, watched, prodded…

Loved…

He continues (years later) to experience issues with response time, fine motor skill, depression, anxiety, emotion control, a sleep disorder and involuntary limb movement when he does sleep… (there is more)

Sometimes I cry for myself because I am tired, sometimes I cry for him because he is tired and sometimes we cry together…

I have a lot going on … It has been a hard year with a few really good victories!

We are not giving up…
For more information about TBI please visit the below website and remember you never know what someone is going through, be kind, you don’t have to understand it all… just be kind :

http://www.traumaticbraininjury.com/injury-resources/state-resources-for-tbi/ohio/

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Laxmi Road | India | Let Go …

One day, early… I hopped in a rickshaw and headed out for shopping!

My friend “Pradnya” introduced me to this way of taxing and to Laxmi Road, itself.

I had heard many times that, Laxmi Road was ‘the place’ to go at least once during any stay in Pune! Who was I to argue about a shopping experience… in India!?

Once I arrived- I hit the ground running,  little did I know at the time that this area is about 4 km (approx 2.5 miles) of pure bliss. Scarves, Kurti’s, Jewelry, Sandals and the list goes on and on.

Laxmi Road is a blocked off area on the streets of Pune which serves as an outside mall, in direct sunlight and without covering … Hot! Hot! Hot! … to be expected I guess because afterall, this area IS named after a Goddess !

This area is VERY popular and today is no different. People of all areas of India and beyond seem to be covering every inch of this place. It is remarkable, overcrowded, buzzing with energy and full of a language that I do not understand.

This day in my life, is one that, I will never forget.

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Photographed by Beverly Stephens

Pictured above is traditional party jewelry. I absolutely loved this piece -and- it had matching earrings! I bought it no matter the price… I do not even recall how much it was because it just did not matter. The price was “Mine” dollars!

Unfortunately, I never wore this nearly as much as I thought I would…

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Photograph by Beverly Stephens

The one thing I really liked about this piece and a lot of necklaces displayed in India is the portion that is placed around the back of the neck is made of cord or string. This makes it very comfortable to wear and also there is ease in adjustment by simply tieing it tight or loose.

In May of 2016, I decided to declutter more of my jewelry and this set was amongst the selections that I chose to purge. If you are interesting in seeing what other earring and necklace sets that I decluttered, the video is below.

Cherish your belongings and the memories they were a part of … but above all, when items no longer serve you… say ‘Thank You’ and let go…

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Christian Turns 4 Years Old

OH my little buddy … Christian is his name … he is a purebred, black Pug !

April 2013

Taken in 2013 – Posing in the green grass with his red walking harness

Christian can be very territorial and likes to bark when anyone visits or comes knocking at the door and he loves to talk to the neighbors dogs by barking through our fence. He doesn’t have any issues ‘acting’ like he is a big dog and he doesn’t mind posing for pictures from time to time.Christian

 

I remember the day I brought him home, he was so tiny and depended on me for everything. He was so small in fact I could wrap him in a hand towel, folded in half. He loved that, I am guessing it made him feel secure being wrapped up in something soft while I held him. Those really early days were precious to me and times I will never, ever forget.

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2016 Birthday Hat – I turned 4,  Jan 12th !

This month he turns 4 years old and we celebrated with a new toy, a special dinner and a nice red party hat!  He wore the hat just long enough for me to snap a few pictures.

He has gained a few pounds in the last couple of years as he settles nicely into his pug rolls and is happy and healthy in our home… a little spoiled but I guess with a face like that, who wouldn’t be spoiled!              Signature

Christian and I - 3rd Birthday

Christian & Mommy (Me) – On his 3rd Birthday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUDDY !

 

Small Pantry Organization

Oh The Pantry!

You know that space … where the chef of the home can go to create …and dream and… provide delish meals for the family… That Pantry!

I dream of a large walk in with a place that will hold everyday food items, stockpile supplies, menu plans, cookbooks with recipes, food inventory lists and ample space for large appliance storage!  A girl can dream, right?!

The reality is … I do not have a walk in, nor space to hold everything I want in a single space. But, I do have a very modest pantry with several shallow shelves SO I am able to house a little bit of everything. This also means there are other spaces where I house all needed items in order to maintain my kitchen (that will be a different topic for a different day).

Small Patry Organization

When I moved into my current home, I downsized in all areas to include the kitchen… with that downsize went the walk-in pantry…  So I chose to say “Hello”, to small spaces!

This is an honest pic of my unorganized pantry when I first moved in …

Small Pantry Organization

I quickly found out that the systems I used in my previous pantry (which was a walk in) did not work in my current pantry.

The systems I used before consisted of risers for canned goods and plastic pull out drawers that contained items that I could see easily in my previous space by pulling out the sliding drawer. In my new space the risers did not fit properly (to narrow of a space) and the drawers would not pull out completely. I dealt with it for as long as I could and decided enough is enough – time for a Small Pantry Organization!

I took inventory and decided what the must have items were and what I absolutely HAD to have there… and added on nice to have and this is what I came up with for RULES :

1) Must be functional, above all !

2) I must be able to know at a glance where everything is located.

3) The space must allow other members of the family to put away/get out grocery items without having any difficulty.

4) Visually appealing – This was my nice to have!

I was able to organize with Dollar Tree bins (most of which I already had) and Dollar Tree canisters and containers.

This is what my pantry looks like now – Take A look!

I also filmed 2 YouTube videos – One BEFORE and one AFTER The link to those are below!

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I filmed a short video of my pantry BEFORE :

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Iuv-V9ov2kg” target=”_blank”>

I filmed a short video of my pantry AFTER :

https://www.youtube.com/embed/nM2a7tGxgtU” target=”_blank”>

 

 

72 Hour (on the go) Food Kit !

September is National Preparedness Month in the United States!

Want to know more ? Click on FEMA or CDC below  :

FEMA    AND    CDC

72 HOUR FOOD KIT 

My main goal this month was focused on updating my family’s 72 hour on the go food kits! What is that, you ask? A 72 hour on the go kit contains mainly food that can be eaten on the go without much effort in the event you are in a situation where there is little to no resources.

The kits fit nicely into each family member’s backpack and is light enough to make it one of the most convenient ways to have food in an emergency situation.

There are numerous resources regarding 72 hour food kits all over the internet and even on Pinterest if you wanted to venture out there and take a look at what others have come up with in theirs! For now… let me share a few tips and also show you what is in ours !Signature

TIPS

  • Use a 1 gallon Ziploc bag for all food items
  • Pack food that your family normally eats and likes
  • Make your kit with calories in mind (1 – 2 thousand calories a day)
  • Consider others dietary needs
  • Have water, can opener and sterno in a separate group backpack
  • Make an extra kit (or two) to share with someone outside your family
  • Check your kit regularly – when items are close to expire eat them and replace the items so you are always ready!

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Pictured above is everything that is in a single 1 gallon Ziploc bag !

Note : After filming I ended up adding three items to each kit :

  1. Fruit Rollup
  2. Cereal Bar
  3. Protein Bar

Watch my YouTube video below :

Solitude Time

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Enjoying time in solitude is a ‘rare’ commodity these days…

I have a full life and I am very thankful for every single minute of it however, a little solitude is essential in order to recharge in this ‘busy, do more’ kind of world.

I recently had the opportunity to get a way from it all – I thought of all kinds of places that I might go from the Amish country to a Casino Resort… and then I found Hueston Woods Resort Lodge!

Preferring more peaceful environments in general, because they make be feel the best… I decided on Hueston Woods Resort for this years solitude time.

I ate delicious food, watched movies, relaxed poolside, participated in lite exercise, filmed videos, took tours, met really interesting staff and by going, found a new place that I never visited before.

I am very thankful for the first solitude time of 2014!

Happy New Year!