Thursday, December 31, 2009


New Years Eve already?!
Holy cow, this has been quite a year. Quite a decade!

I am looking forward to tonights festivities. Matt's parents always have a great party complete with black eyed pea & ham soup, Creme Brulee, Baked Alaska (Matt's dad Steve is the Pastry Chef at Makena Resort), and of course FIREWORKS! We are going to go to Longs later this afternoon with my parents to pick up some fireworks! It's fun, because fireworks are illegal in the Southwest, so it's always a treat to just walk into a store and buy some. When I lived in Arizona, we would travel to the Indian reservations on the Arizona, New Mexico border to buy fireworks. For some reason you could get them there year round. Then it was just a matter of finding a spot to burn them...

On Tuesday I had my check up with Dr. Galpin. He was amazing. My parents and Matt accompanied me in the examination room, and when he came in he said, "Holy Crap!, Why are there fourteen people in here? Who's the patient?" I raised my hand. He was on. He had me lie down and took a quick scan of my face, and commented on my progress. Then he asked if there were any questions. My dad had a few, one of which was why would a plastic surgeon do work on my jaw? He said he was called in because there was so much damage to my face (he had to stitch up my chin and put a metal plate in there, my upper lip, and two gashes by my left eye) and he of course also knew how to wire my fractured jaw (in two places). He then told us that being the Chief Surgeon of Maui Memorial Hospital, that my accident made him miss his own Christmas party. If I can do it, I would love to make it up to Dr. Galpin, and throw him a Christmas party in July!
Then came the really great news: on Jan. 15th, I have my pre-op appointment. We will discuss all the detail of my surgery scheduled for the 20th to remove the wires, and hardware from my jaw. Woo hoo! I wonder if I will talk less. Matt's sister Jessica told me I may not be able to open my jaw very wide at first. Not using those muscles for 6 weeks, is just like not using any muscles for that amount of time. Then it will be on to phase two. My teeth. I have contacted Jeannette the 7th grade teacher at Waldorf about retreiving my top 5, and Jess has my one bottom. I am hoping having the originals will help with the "construction" of my new ones. I have already made an appointment with Dr. Clark my orthodontist on the 21st to start doing all my paperwork with him.
That brings me to another piece of amazingly great news. When Carolyn was here we went to the hospital with my mom as well, to turn in the remaining piece of my paperwork for Quest. My caseworker was not in the office, but the woman who looked at my bank statement said it looked good. Sounds like I may have insurance for all this stuff.
Well, I'm off to go feed the chickens. Matt and I went on an early morning moonlit walk with the kitties this morning (at 6 AM), so they have already been fed, as has our bunny rabbit Oona. I think I will do another session of pilates too. I started yesterday, and it felt great. My flexibility is nearly gone, so it felt great to stretch, and get sore. Going from cycling 30 miles a week to nothing is taking it's toll, but I will combat it!
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 28, 2009


Thought I'd share some photo's since my parents have been on Maui. Having Carolyn here is...well, it's hard for me to even write about how special she is to me. Without further ado here are the pics!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Another Wonderful Day

I am so excited to see Carolyn! She has never been to the aquarium here, so we are planning to go directly from the airport. Perfect no sun activity.

Please be sure to check out our other websites, as we update them regularly. Matt is working on a life-sized portrait of a nine
year old girl. The sketch is stunning. It's all in her eyes...her face is full of life, and her body
jumps off the canvas without even one drop of
paint yet! Matt, your art is healing.

This website has all information Holton Gallery. Directions to the studio, new artwork, events, and much, much, more. Matt and I work on this site together, and although I have only done one edit since the accident, Matt keeps on producing artwork. It is his love, and his life, on canvas.

Get a chance to hear about Matt's work directly from him. Find out why he did certain subjects, or the history of a favorite artist. Get into the mind of the artist. This blog is written exclusively by Matt Holton, and is quite informative.

This blog is a lot of fun for me and Matt. Since we met, we have always loved to cook together. Matt comes from a talented family of cooks, and has always prepared such wonderful meals for us, our friends and family. I remember when he taught me how to make my own pasta sauce from scratch. What a realization! From there I have learned a pleuthura of recipes from him, his mom, and from recipe books I have had, but was reluctant to pick up. We have saved a gang load of money cooking for ourselves, and we hope that you will enjoy cooking as much as we do.

Joe Joe Blog (about our first kitty cat):
The musings of being a cat, and being a cat owner. This blog is silly to the max.

Please enjoy looking at Matt's work, reading Matt's blog, finding recipes, and I hope you find some levity on Joe Joe's blog.

Oh, and can you do something for me? Open your mouth as wide as you can, and think, "this feels great!". Thanks.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What a Christmas!

Wow. We had a great Christmas. Matt & I went on a trip to the north shore, and he snapped this great photo...
The waves were huge! It was great to be outside with my giant hat, and be by the ocean. Matt & I had some good beer, and a really mellow, nice time. It was like old times.
Then it was off to Matt's parents place for a wonderful meal & even more wonderful company. We started things off with a toast with Doreen's famous egg nog. My dad & I enjoyed the "virgin" version. Then Steve blended up a cup of crackers, salami, and Boursin cheese for my appetizer.
Shortly after Matt blended up a mix of potatoes, roasted veggies, turkey, ham, & gravy. Yummmy!
Then there were the gifts! How much fun. So many smiles, laughter, hugs and kisses. It was magic. Matt gave me some great gifts. On Christmas eve he gave me some beautiful dangle amber earrings. So pretty. Then he topped that with a personal sweatshirt design of my very own!
Want one of your own? This design is available to you on t-shirts, a hoodie like mine, and other various types of clothing. Proceeds will go towards those pesky doctor(s) bills. This design holds some significance...Matt's sister had given us some fabric, and I focused in on
this design. I cut out a square & made a cape for our cat Joe Joe. Matt took the cape, got out his oil pastels, and drew a prototype. He did all the lettering by hand as well. SO AWESOME. Thank you honey! My mom gave us all these neat whistle/flutes called 4-hole ocarina's with songbooks...everyone got a different animal...really sweet! Practice, Practice, Practice and we will get to Carnegie Hall! Our dear, dear friend Satica came with a bag of more clothing for me (since I'm shrinking a bit...). Love all the jeans, sweaters, and velvety attire! Thank you my tactile personal shopper extraordinaire! Thank you Jess, Morgan, Steve, Doreen, and Papa too for all your beautiful gifts.
Our friend Linda came too, and she is an incredible body work/massage artist. She offered to work on my shoulders/neck/lower could I resist! It was so relaxing. I could feel her hands on me even after she left the room. Amazing. Doreen came in and gave me blended gingerbread cookies & milk to top it all off. I hope you have all had a great holiday as well.
Tomorrow, my dear friend from college Carolyn Malinowski is visiting from the Big Island (by way of Chicago). It has been at least 10 years since we've seen each other. She was with me for my last surgery in '97 when I had an ACL reconstruction. Crazy how things work out. A long time friend, Auben Salazar from Santa Fe will be on Maui next week too. She texted me yesterday to let me know she will be armed with smoothies! Can't wait to see both of you girls!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Greek Christmas Eve

Thank you Michael Hughes (Eurythmy teacher)for your beautiful card, and generous donation. Your words move me. I am in no pain! Even the challenges of not being able to talk are subsiding. My long to share with others is being fulfilled here through this blog, and through emailing ( texting, and chatting (Google talk: acristinapineda) as well. I also find solace in the silence.

Merry Christmas Eve, and Happy Holidays to you all!

Tonight Matt & I are having a little party with the family. We are so looking forward to it. We will have chicken gyros! Matt's dad already made the pita's, Matt's mom Doreen will be whipping up one of her awesome Greek salads, and Matt is cooking up the chicken. I will be making the Tzatziki sauce. Yum Yum! It will be fun to have everyone together. Morgan & Jess (Matt's brother-in-law & sis)are coming & my parents too. Looking forward to it. We are also planning to watch It's a Wonderful Life. It is a wonderful life indeed.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Thank all of you children from Fun, 2, 3 & Haleakala Waldorf School for your wonderful cards/collages. I have them hanging in our room, and around the Christmas tree to make me smile. You all are fantastic artists!

Thank you everyone for your loving voice mails. Hearing your healing thoughts is simply magic.

We are so happy the donations have already begun!

Thank you to the Gibardo family for your generous donation. Yamuna, Kumari, Imlitala, & Laura Lynn you are my dear friends. We have got to go camping again sometime this summer! When I think of you it's all about smiles...

Many thanks to Monica Riker (whom I don't even know) for the astounding donation. Monica, what school did I sub for your daughter? Big hugs and kisses to you and your daughter. You amaze me.

These donations will no doubt help with my hospital bill (11K! Yikes!), doctor visits, orthodontist visits to come, and perhaps some frivolous fun stuff too!

Tomorrow I turn in my current bank statement to Quest for the final approval for insurance. Cross your fingers! We love you Gigi (my case worker)! She can work miracles (hopefully)!!!

What a Day...

Got all my stitches out! Didn't expect that...
Only took about 30 minutes or so. Then I got to sleep over at Jess & Morgans (Matt's sister & brother-in-law) place in Wailuku, while Matt ran around doing errands with my parents. They are all so good to me! Thanks Matt, mama & papa! You rule.
Now at home getting ready to eat some lobster bisque; yummy! Then a movie or some instant viewing on Netflix (thank you Tina!). is good.

Getting Some Stitches Out Today

About two and a half hours from now, I will be getting some of my stitches out. I hope it doesn't hurt too much, although my chin is sort of numb, I know that one will feel weird. The ones by my left eye look really good, and I don't expect any pain over there. My lip stitches on the other hand are very, very sensitive, and I don't believe they are even ready yet. Either way it will be nice to see Hope again (that's Galpins' nurse). She is very sweet and mild mannered. It will be nice for my parents to meet her as well, and ask all the questions they want answered.
I am really getting used to my shake diet. It's really not all that bad. I have always liked smoothies, and soup, so doing it through a straw isn't too terrible.

Not talking is still presenting a major challenge on the other hand. When people talk, my impulse is to contribute to the conversation, and when I write something down it seems the moment has passed. All this is showing me that I just need to slow it down. Who cares if I have nothing to say? I want to try to find a positive spin on this one, and I'm having trouble. Matt has been so great about telling me to "stop talking!" with all his might. I know he hates telling me what to do, but because of him my jaw will heal more quickly. I have got to just let go of conversation. It would help too if the people who speak to me would only ask me "yes", or "no" questions. I suppose this will be a learning experience for us all!
I believe I need to start studying Stan Laurel (although he wasn't always silent), and Harpo Marxs' means of communication. I already have a horn just like Harpo! I'm getting somewhere!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Parental Unit Arrives!

My parents arrived last night...what a relief to have them here. They landed on Maui around 6:30, and got up to the house around 8. While waiting I thought it would be fun to go light up the tennis courts at the end of our driveway as what Matt called a sort of beacon for them to drive towards. It was great to be outside. Did I tell you I'm not allowed to be in the sun for 2 months? Yeah. Because I have all new pink skin on over 50% of my face, I can not afford to be in the sun. Dr. Gelpin said my skin would scar black! Yikes! Anyways, it was cool to go on a night walk. I am going to start to do these night walks on a regular basis. My three kittens came along too. It was fun.

To see my parents smiling faces was really great. They checked out my face, and were pleasantly surprised at how good I look. We sat and chatted for about an hour, and looked at all my cards I received from the children at Fun, 2, 3, and Waldorf. I am so proud of my cards.

My parents are slowly convincing me to go to Fun, 2, 3 for Santa's visit on Wednesday. We shall see. Matt suggested I ask Dr. Gelpin's nurse, Hope on Monday when I get my stitches out. My dad said they need to see me...

My parents will be up in about an hour. I think I will lay down for a bit until then. Gotta tell you I am feeling great today!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Here's What I Know

On Friday, December, 11th I got up around 5:30 to start getting ready for my daily bike ride to work. I left the house around 6:20 to cycle the 5 or so miles to Fun, 2, 3 in Keokea, Maui, HI. School is nice at that time of day. It's quiet, and I walk around feeding all of our animals. First is Joe & Violet our ducks. They are so funny. They wag their "tails" and are so affectionate. Then I go inside and feed the fish. Then it's Tigre's turn, that's our kitty (who has a new kitten friend black & white). I then go out to the playground/yard and feed the guinea pigs. They squeal with delight as I fill their water bottles, and give them fresh greens from the yard.
Then it's just waiting for the children to arrive. I try to tidy up the work table, and perhaps put out a few activities, and throw on NPR to listen to some news & classical music. This day was funny, no one showed up until around 7:30.
Then the day was rolling! Much activity, and I believe we had around 12 or so children (ranging in ages from 2-4). Today was going to be a fun one, because we had a picnic planned at rolling hills. Rolling hills is a big park with wouldn't you know it rolling hills across the street from the Kula Hospital, just moments from the school. We all walk up there with a wagon full of our lunches, a parachute to spread out an have our picnic on, and just run around. I remember feeling sort of tired around this time of the day, but enjoying watching the children scurry around. We had so much fun! This is my last memory of that day. I don't even remember getting on the bike.
All of what I am about to tell you now is what I have heard from the few people that have been up to my house in the last couple of days. I went my regular route from school which includes cycling past Rice Park on Lower Kula Rd. and eventually crossing Naele Rd. It is my understanding it was around this area that the crash happened. The seventh grade class from Haleakala Waldorf School was on a field trip that day (thank goodness) and I apparently waved to some of the children, then a car behind me honked. This combined with the road being a fairly steep downhill (and I love to fly down that hill!) and with much gravel, and a somewhat sharp curve to it caused me to go over the handle bars and land on my chin/left jaw/left shoulder. I have been told the 7th grade teacher, held me until the ambulance arrived. Children and a parent collected my teeth (ew!), and they simply supported me until the medics arrived. I was told just yesterday even at that point I was joking around and keeping the mood somewhat light. Before this accident, way back in the 3rd grade I had to get a fake front right tooth. So when the children told me I lost 5 teeth, I assured them it was only really 4. I don't remember any of this, but it is sufficient for move on from.
Going to the ER is a roll of the dice as far as what doctors one is hooked up with. Matt & his sister Jessica were there with me. They said I didn't have to wait at all, and when Jessica saw Dr. Gelpin roll into the ER she was very excited and relieved that I had the best plastic surgeon working on me, as she works in the medical profession and knows who all these doctors are. It took three hours or so. I had a big hole/gash right beside by left eye, my chin was split open (now I have a metal plate in there), my lips also have lots of stitches too. By the way stitches are out on Monday the 22nd!
My first consciousness was in the hospital on Saturday sometime. I was on so much morphine (boo!) it's all sort of hazy. In fact Saturday night I talked my nurse into giving me a double dose and promptly threw up. This was good though, because I was really afraid of what that might be like with a wired mouth. It was fine. Sneezing on the other hand is SO NOT COOL. I digress...
So that's my story & I'm not sticking to it! However, I am way past that point just one week ago and feel like I can move on from the mystery of it all.
My face is no longer swollen like a giant pumpkin. One of the first times I saw my face was in the reflection of a window. I couldn't even see my ears my head was so big. It was like Sputnik! I no longer have Jabba the Hutt face. I look like I just got a fresh chemical peel. Fresh new skin. Speaking of fresh new skin, gotta go wash my face & get ready for my massage later. Thanks Linda! I love you all and please if you feel like you want to do something, just concentrate on sending me healing thoughts. That's all I need.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Just to let you know I'm still piecing together the accident. I have no recollection; just woke up in the hospital on Saturday. Once I know more I'll post!

Really? David Blaine?

Today I was lucky to receive my very first Reiki treatment from one of the parents at Haleakala Waldorf School (one of the schools I am a substitute at). Kira (Reiki Master) and Erin (massage therapist/nurse) brought along cards the 7th & 8th graders at the school made for me. What amazing heartfelt cards I have! Gorgeous artwork! I quickly hung them up in our room so I can see them while resting in bed. What is really neat is I did a poetry lesson in the 7th grade a couple of weeks ago, and one of the cards had a beautiful poem in it. It worked! Thank you all for your thoughts and the time you spent on crafting your greetings.

So what does this have to do with David Blaine and the Queen of Hearts?

The 7
th grade was lucky enough to have David Blaine visit their classroom to do some magic. He was using a deck of cards, and hand signing them for the students, and Erin's daughter Jasmine asked if he could sign one for a special friend (me). He spread out the deck, and randomly the Queen of Hearts came out. Here's the funny thing. In college I was totally obsessed with David Blaine. I was so in awe of his ability to levitate. Totally bought into it. Shortly thereafter I became frightened of him. It seemed to me that someone with that sort of power was just a little bit scary. It's those eyes of his. It's just funny how this all came full circle! I would have never guessed I would have come into contact with this guy...ever! Isn't life great?
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Poi and Joe Joe

Joe-Joe helping me recover after some morning poi and juice.
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As I lay here with my kitty Joe Joe and eat my breakfast I feel so content, safe, loved, and full of light. Thank you all for your thoughts.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Follow-up with the Green Beret

Today we are going to meet my plastic surgeon for the first time again. Let me explain: apparently I met Dr. Galpin in the E.R. but I don't remember. I am excited and hopeful.

My appetite is getting better. I had poi for breakfast and feel full for the first time in awhile.

We are also completing the process of getting insurance.

Leaving in about an hour wish me luck.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Looking at the Christmas tree, sitting with Matt...ahhh feels good!
Aloha friends and family close and far. I am back home and recovering after a bicycle accident. Recovery is going well but will take time. I have been feeling the support and love from all of you. With the help of Matt, I hope to keep everyone updated through this blog.
Mahalo and Aloha Cristina