Friday, May 25, 2012

Pin Cushion

I have had the opportunity recently to try out the magical world of Acupuncture.  I don't know that I'm totally sucked into this method of treatment but since I had the chance to try it out...I took it.  A man at our church, who is a Doctor of psychiatry and Family medicine was recently selected to add Acupuncturist to his titles.  He has been taking classes and traveling back to the states to learn how to use this alternative medicine.  He has recently asked people he knows if we have any pain or ailments that bother us.  If we tell him what they are he asks us if we would like to try acupuncture as a treatment.  Last week I was riding in his van with a group of people and his wife asked me if I had any pain  that he could practice his acupuncture.  No, I had to admit, I had no aches or pains but I did mention I didn't sleep very well.  The Doctor piped up at this point and told me he could try acupuncture on me that would help me relax.  Oh, this sounded good to me so I agreed to be his guinea pig. When we got to his house it only took a few minutes for him to figure out where to put the pins and here's a picture of what my ears looked like when he was done.

I had these pins in each ear, however for some reason this ear only shows 2 pins.  I think I lost one of them on the way home, but the other ear had 3 pins in it.If you notice the top of my ear is kind of red-apparently that is a good sign, but I'm not sure why.  I was instructed to leave the pins in for 20 minutes and then I could take them out.  It drove home which took me about 20 minutes and then headed for bed since it was quite late.  I took out the pins or needles or whatever you call these things things and went to bed.  Amazingly, I slept the night without waking up in the middle of the night and woke up at my regular time which was 5:30 am.  I was pretty happy with the results but what was even more amazing I fell back asleep until 8:00.  Usually when I wake up in the morning-that's it-no more sleep but for some reason I was able to go back to sleep.

I reported my results to the Dr. the next day and he was happy I had such a good experience.  He suggested he put in these little gold acupuncture studs to leave in my ears for 5 days.  I agreed to this also.  Here is one of the little gold studs and you can see how tiny they really are.
I'm holding this in my hand and if you look carefully you can see if has a little barb on it.  This helps it stay in place but eventually they fall out.  So the Dr.inserted three of these little studs in the same places as the original pins.  I was to wear them for 5 days.  After they were in place I came to realize I probably shouldn't have done this as I was supposed to go to a Ward Conference the next day and these little gold stud kind of looked like little earrings.  I didn't want the girls I visited thinking I had multiple piercings in my ear.  Oh well, the next day I tried to strategically arrange my hair so my ears were covered.  It would have been fine except I kept putting my hair behind my ears as it's a habit I have and didn't realize I was doing that.  I tried to stop doing that but I guess thats a hard habit to break.  I finally told the YW leaders I was visiting that I didn't have multiple piercings but I was trying out some acupuncture for a sleep problem.  I'm sure they were thinking I was a nut, but it was too late.  Yesterday I took them out but I only had to take one out since the other ones all fell out somewhere during the week.  Here's a picture of the lone one left in my ear before I took it out.
Just so you know, it does not go all the way through the ear so my ears were not pierced through and through. 

So you are probably wondering how it all worked out.  Well, I didn't think the gold posts worked as well as the original needles I had.  Maybe it was the power of suggestion that first day, I don't know.  But it's hard to say because while I had the gold posts in I had some things going on that stressed me a bit.  for instance the first night they were in, Giuilana came in at 2:30 am to tell me she was home from Prom.  I heard her come in so that woke me up.  Then on Monday I was asked to teach seminary and so I was stressing out about the lesson which caused me to wake up multiple times.  I think it did help me relax but sometimes my mind is mightier than the medicine.  So my conclusion is, I definitely think there is a place for acupuncture in the medicine wold.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

To get my attention--Ride a Bull

Of all the random things I've ever posted, this is the randiomist. When I take Giuliana to ballet in Heidelberg I spend my time doing different things.  I read, sometimes I hit the commissary but mostly I spend my time at the gym on a treadmill doing my 4 miles.  At the gym in Heidelberg they have big TV's set up around the room but I can never hear the TV's because the machines are too loud.  The gym at Ramstein is wired so that all you have to do is plug in your earphones to the machine you are using and you can hear whatever they are showing on the TV's in front of you.  The gym at Heidelberg is not wired like that you and just have to turn up the sound to blasting if you want to have any chance of hearing what is going on.  There are several TV's on different channels throughout the room that are turned up to blasting making it hard to hear anything. That's why I always bring my Ipod to listen to while I exercise.  Yesterday I found myself at the Heidelberg gym and brought my Ipod and started in on my 4 miles.  There was an exercise show on the TV to the left of me and some kind of travel show on to the right of me--both snoozers.  It didn't matter as I was enjoying the music I was listening to.  About 20 minutes into my routine, I looked up and saw the tv on my right was now featuring bull riding.  I must admit, I've always been mesmerized by bull riding.  I couldn't take my eyes off the TV which at times caused me to bobble a bit on the treadmill.  I didn't need to hear the commentary, my eyes were stuck on watching this unbelievable heart pounding display of man vs. beast.  Bull riding is a mystery to me.  As I watched this show I found myself asking all sorts of questions in my head like, "Who thought it would be a good idea to ride a bull?  Who was the first person to even attempt this feat?  Why is there a rope tied around the bulls flank?  Where are all the barrels that the rodeo clowns used to escape to from a raging bull?  When did bull riders start wearing helmets? Why do the bulls feel the need to be constantly bucking, twisting and turning? How do they score the riders?"  These are just a few of the questions I found myself asking without taking my eyes off the TV.  Now I have only been to one rodeo in my entire life and that was in Colorado.  Colorado boasts that they were the first to hold a rodeo in the USA sometime in the late 1800's.  Wyoming boasts that they were the first.  Who knows, all I know is I find them quite interesting.  As I watched each Bull rider mount the bull I took notice of some of the names of the bulls flashed on the screen.  Names like Bushwacker, Perfect Poison, Bad Blake and High Steaks are just a sample of scary bull names.  Just the names would instill fear in me.  Nonetheless these guys would mount the bull in these small little pens and as they are wrapping a rope around their hands you could already see the bull was agitated and trying to buck the rider off.  Sometimes there would be 4 or 5 men trying to keep the rider stable in the pen while he readied himself for the ride of his life.  With a simple nod of the cowboys head the pen door would open and that bull who can weigh up to 2000 lbs exerts all his energy into getting that cowboy off his back. That bull twists, bucks turns and can leap up to 6 feet into the air.  At times it looked like the bull was doing a cartwheel or would almost look cartoonish when he would buck his hind legs up and it would appear that his front legs were doing little baby steps in front.  Did you know that a bull can lift 1300 lbs with just his neck muscles?  The goal of the cowboy is to stay on for 8 seconds. As I watched I found myself letting out little noises and gasps because I just can't believe people do this willingly and it was so scary.   Because I was so mesmerized my workout took a hit.  I found myself holding on to the treadmill the majority of the time and  slowing down so I could watch  without flying off the treadmill.  I came home that evening and looked up the history of bull riding and found some of the answers to my questions but not all..  I did find out that bull riding got it's roots in Mexico in the 1600's.  It was kind of like a bull riding/bull fighting activity.  Bull riding did not really appear in rodeos however until the 1930's.  The bull will twist and turn and buck because they truly want to get the rider off it's back.  Someone discovered that when you tie a rope around the bulls flank he will buck up it encourages hind leg bucking.   There are still barrels that a clown can jump into for protection (usually 1 or 2) but their job is really to protect the cowboy.  They work in pairs trying to distract the bull so they can free a rider or protect him if he's been thrown off.  As I watched this show I was just as interested in watching the clowns or bullfighters as they are now called.  Sometimes, in order to free a rider, one of the clowns has to go right up next to the bulls head while another clown tries to free the cowboy.  It's amazing that they can survive these incredible hulks. As far as the scoring judges score the bull first as far as difficulty, then they score the rider.  Some bulls have a 100% buck off rate.  A Bull named Bushwacker and High Steaks have this rate. I won't bore you with the rest of the details I learned, but it is a fasinating sport.  It's also the sport that has the highest rate of injury of all the rodeo sports.    So now you know if you really ever want to get my full undivided attention, all you have to do is ride a bull!  Here are a few videos featuring Bushwacker-the bull who has a 100% buck off rate.
 And here's the guy that almost succeeded in bringing Bushwacker down--almost is the key word here.





Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mother's Day

In honor of Mother's Day, I'm dedicating this blog to who else?  My mother!  I love the picture above because my mom looks like she's a teenager!  I think she is probably about 33 years old in this picture.  Here she stands in front of the house I grew up in. Yes, what you see is real--a pink and grey house. Mom's favorite color is pink so perhaps that was the draw that got them to buy that house!   Actually I quite like the pink and grey look and I'm not sure when the colors changed to grey and white but it seems like it was grey and white most of my childhood.  In the background you can see my mom planted some flowers.  I suspect they are petunias, they sure look cute. Eventually that flower box came down along with those big globe like bushes.  In place of the bushes, mom had a flower garden that was really nice.  I remember one year she was nursing a begonia in that flower garden and eventually she was successful, that begonia was really pretty.  What a cute house, with a cute mom and a cute family.
Mom never did want to live permanently in New York.  I think my dad said something like they would only stay 5 years--now it's been 50+ years.  My dad likes to say, he didn't specify which 5 years it would be.  For awhile every summer we would all get in the station wagon and head west for Utah.  It was 3 day journey of long days.  Mom would prepare and plan for this 3 day trip in the car and we would live off fried chicken, boiled eggs, sandwiches of boiled ham and swiss cheese, poptarts and mini boxes of cereal.  I think I lived off the poptarts and cereal for 3 days.  We would have a great time in Utah and Mom and Dad made sure we hit the highlights like, Hogle Zoo, Lagoon, and getting spudnuts at the cottonwood mall.  Of course those were my highlights. I'm sure mom and dad only cared about visiting the family.  One year when it was time to leave I noticed Mom crying.  I remember saying to her..."Why are you crying?  We're going home!!"  What I didn't realize at the time was Mom didn't consider NY her home.  Nonetheless, we went home.

Here is a picture of Mom in 1977.  She is 43 in this picture.  Remember when Mom's got corsages for Mother's Day.  I do.  When we would go to church there would be lots of Mom's wearing coursages.  I'm quite sure this was Mother's Day because when this picture was sent to me it said, "Best Mother!"  Everything is green and so that tells me it had to be around May.  So here's to Mom, my greatest example of what it is to be Christlike.  I doubt I will ever be as selfless, kind, long suffering or charitable as mom but my goal is to try to be like her.  Happy Mother's Day Mom!  I love you.
Just for fun I will answer these 12 questions about Mom.
1.  What is your Mother's name?  Helen Janet Savage Selin.  She goes by her middle name, Janet.
2.  My Mom's favorite food is?  Well, I know she likes chocolate because she used to hide Hershey kisses in the back of the refrigerator! But if we are talking real food I would have to say Homemade bread and Homemade jam.  Sometimes when I watch mom eat the bread and jam I think, "Would you like a little bread with that jam?", because she puts so much jam on the bread!
3.  The funniest thing I ever saw my mom do was?  Oh there are so many choices!  One of the funniest things I saw mom do was decide to wear a wig.  I walked in from school one day and wondered what had happened to my mom.  There mom sat in the living room with this reddish wig on.  She smiled at me and I was not sure I liked what I saw.  I thought it was weird and after that day I don't remember mom wearing that wig again.  In fact, I think that wig ended up in our toy box and we kids got a lot of amusement out of that wig.
4.I think my Mom would like to go...To Utah.I think Mom to this day would like to move back to Utah even though all her brothers and all but one of her sisters have died.  I think it will always be her home.
5.  The thing I hear my Mom say the most is:  I do my best but it's just never good enough!
6.  What was your mothers favorite subject in school?  Wow, you know, I don't even know the answer to this question.  I suspect it was english because Mom is a good writer.
7. :I wish my Mom wouldn't say: she is not pretty.  I've always thought I favored my mom and when she says that I think, "but I look like you, and I think I'm pretty!"
8.:My mother is :78 years old!  But she doesn't look that old!
9.  I love it when: my Mom tries not to smile.  It's so funny when she tries to pretend to be disgusted about something but really she's trying not to smile.
10.  If I could give my mom anything, I would giver her:  A hug and a kiss.
11.  When my Mom wakes up she:  has watery eyes.  I used to notice that in the morning sometimes she would have a tear running down her cheek.
12.  I love my Mom because:  So many reasons I love my mom but I think I love my mom because,  she loves me!



 One more awesome mom.  Here are two pictures of my mother-in law, Elma Gillespie.  Although my mother-in law passed away several years ago, she is not forgotten.  I know Paul will be thinking about her on Mother's Day as she was a wonderful mom as well.  I love this first picture as she is young and beautiful.  I never saw her with long hear like this but she is stunning


 Below is a picture of how I remember my Mother-in-law.  She was always so good to me and I loved her.  I know I will see her again but I still miss her.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Saarburg

Saarburg is one of my favorite little towns in Germany and so while Robin, Elaina and Rachel were visiting I wanted to take therm there.  The reason why I love this little town is because it's old.  They still have working water wheels, old houses dating back to the 1600's and it's just a cute town overall.  This town was a mariner and fishing town and there are still symbols on some of the houses letting us know if a fisherman lived in the house or a mariner.  There is also a cute little train that drives around the town letting people on and off.  There is an alpine slide and a cable car that you can ride on.  Unfortunately these things are closed on Monday's but no matter-we enjoyed our time in Saarburg.  Here are some pictures to prove we were there.
Here is the river that flows through Saarburg.  This is the waterfall that flows down that enters the waterwheels a little further down river.
The water enters the troughs that hug the sides of these buildings and you can see the wheels turn.  It's really very picturesque.
Here's a different view from a higher point.
This river runs right through the middle of the town.  There are a lot of restaurants as you can see by all the umbrellas.
One last view.
Here is the entrance to the old homes, some built in the 1600's.
Here's a building that has been here since the 1600's.  The date is above the door.

The symbols above the door on this house shows us that whoever lived here was a mariner.

This area here is called "little Venice."  It was just one small little part of Saarburg.

A prettier picture without me in it.

Here is a cool picture taken from a tower with the river in view.
Finally a picture of the fisherman part of town and the cute houses there.  That's the end of the tour of Saarburg and I'm sure I will go there again to take other guests to the beautiful place.